Slight modification to alternative Tech tree?

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Slight modification to alternative Tech tree?

Post by marecagiva » May 17th, 2014, 1:07 am

First, concerning Cybernetics. As it stands now, this technology seems to mainly serve as an alternative way for some races to get at Neural Motivator (picture 2); for such a weak technology, having it both compete with Neural Computing (effectively a must-have for anyone who plans to tech up) and allow for easy side access to a very strong tier 2 tech seems weird. Rather, I'd cut it off from that branch completely and have it serve only as a shortcut for Advanced Fighters, coupled with either Maneuvering Jets or Graviton Negator, as it is now.

Second, Neural Computing and Neural Motivator. For a tier 2 technology directly available from another very good tech, NM is too strong. In practice I've found that players will frequently acquire it regardless of their race or the situation on the board. My proposal would be to bump it up a tier, by having Neural Computing lead into Stasis Capsules, and then SC leading into NM (picture 2). While perhaps not quite down with implied fluff, it would bump NM to tier 3 (and Hyper Metabolism, another very powerful tech, to level 4), mitigate the action card flooding, and also serve to protect the individuality of races that have starting technologies on this branch or have action card manipulation as an important racial ability.

Third, Light/Wave Deflector. I believe it would be best if the L/WD branch was cut off from the Advanced Fighters branch (picture 3), since filling out one branch makes it easy to take the cap technology of the other, which I and other people who regularly play with me found to be gamebrekaing in practice, especially if Gravity Drive is also present. Swarms of unblockable fighters with 2 (3 sling) movement make most defensive tactics available in the game inadequate. Removing the link between Gravity Drive and L/WD would make acquiring both blue capstone technologies much more difficult - either you tech up for AF or for general fleet mobility. Gravity Drive is a strong enough tech on its own, and also leads to Transit Diodes, which lead to further useful stuff.

Fourth, Transfabrication as a prerequisite for Sarween Tools. Transfabrication seems to me to only be of practical use to Mentak. For everyone else, it is a technology useful only when multiple public objectives require you to spend trade goods to acquire them. It is very situational, even as a prerquisite for Sarween. I propose to add Integrated Economy as an alternative prerequisite for Sarween Tools (picture 1), so that there are two ways to acquire it, one short but situational, and one longer but more practical and profitable in normal circumstances.

Fifth, about starting techs for some races:
-Hacan choose between Sarween Tools and Neural Motivator. Hacan are an economic race, and while they can trade action cards around, it doesn't make much sense that they would start with NM and practically get to manipulate the action card part of the game from turn 1. Instead, I'd give them (as insane as it might sound) X-98 Bacterial Weapon. It's a fairly memorable technology, forcing the Hacan to either waste his own hand of action cards to use it or forcing him to telegraph his intent by selling everything he has, one being painful and the other fairly visible. Thematically, it's the only available Hacan-related tech that doesn't make them downright overpowered. It also leads to Integrated Economy, which kind of fits them but would be too strong as a starting tech, being a prerequisite for Nano Technology, which they could conceivable be able to obtain on round one using their substantial trade agreements (one to the holder of Trade SC, other to the holder of Technology SC, forcing them to activate their SCs as their first action and allowing Hacan to benefit from Nano Technology right on his initial expansion). It's also a scathing social commentary on the spirit of the free market.
-L1z1x should have Stasis Capsules in both tech sets. They are a slow race, and one that is rather distant from mobility techs compared to others, and they will also prioritize Type IV Drive to help their dreadnaughts along. Going after blue starting tech, they forfeit green tech completely until very later in the game. Inheritance Systems isn't a practical way to rectify this unless obtained at the very start of the game, first turn if possible, second turn max.
-XXcha should lose one of their starting techs, probably Magen. They need Hyper Metabolism because their every ability costs cc (racial that cancels political cards, both racial techs), and with them having the weakest starting units they really need early economic assistance provided by Sarween or Integrated Economy.
-Yssaril should have Antimass Deflectors instead of Micro Technology. As noted in the thread where your homebrew was discussed, MT leads to Transit Diodes, which later lead to Stasis Capsules. The problem here is that TD gives the Yssaril yet another effective way to stall, which, combined with action cards and their racial skip ability, would allow them to simply wait out all other players to pass before making their first move. AD would still let them get TD but eventually rather than immediately, and they could, thematically and practically, use fleet mobility research. So they'd have the option of taking AD and researching blue tech, or if they don't want blue tech, just taking Light/Wave Deflector and focusing on something else. Another thing to note is that L/WD is not very useful early on, while its preceding technologies are, and that TD is as far from AD as it is from L/WD.

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Re: Slight modification to alternative Tech tree?

Post by Nimor » May 19th, 2014, 8:15 pm

Here is a link to a more complete tech tree, the same one you are referring too:

You can also download GIMP, which is a free picture editing program kind of like Photoshop to visualize your ideas. Use that to tweak the tree.

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Re: Slight modification to alternative Tech tree?

Post by marsman57 » May 19th, 2014, 8:20 pm

First: I don't understand your concern here. You are saying simultaneously that Cybernetics is too weak, but then you want to make it even weaker by removing the shortcut to NM.

Second: I think NM is probably too low on the tree as well. I know that many players in my current game quickly teched into it and action cards flooded the game. That can be fun though. I wonder if instead of restructuring the tree if you might just consider swapping NM and HM while keeping the backdoor access to both the same.

Third: I agree here. In many galaxy setups, Gravity Drive + Light Wave Deflectors makes Type IV Drive and XRD not that valuable.

Fourth: I'm not sure if your remedy is the best or only way, but I agree that ST and EC are both really blocked by Transfabrication. They are great techs many times, but not as often worth wasting a tech on Transfabrication as well.

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Re: Slight modification to alternative Tech tree?

Post by brunoreturns » May 19th, 2014, 10:28 pm

marsman57 wrote:Second: I think NM is probably too low on the tree as well. I know that many players in my current game quickly teched into it and action cards flooded the game.
That was largely due to the CC spending objectives and the path to HM.

Although, I have noticed a trend (and it is not exclusive to TTV games) that when one person gets NM, other players get it as well. I guess they don't want to be left out of the fun. :)
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