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Debate 9: Tech Tree Thoughts

 

The long awaited return of the old debate topics is upon us, after a long hiatus of working on my doctorate I have decided to return to them as we traverse this wonderful road to alpha.

 

     Today I awoke with a simple thought, "How are the developers of Dual Universe ie Novaquark planning on structuring their tech tree system?" As far as I see it there are several ways that it can be approached, however, to keep things simple I will limit it just two ideas on the subject. Feel free to read through it, take to heart my opinions, or feel free to formulate your own or expand on pre existing ones, all feedback is welcome.
 

 

Linear Tree: ​This is the classic form of tech tree you see standardized in most games, it starts with usually a single item / tech then spreads along in a sub linear fashion, one tech leading to others along a fixed path. To me this is usually generalized and can end up fairly repetitive.

 

Circular / Adaptive Tree: ​This form of tech tree is generally more complicated but it allows for greater diversification. It allows you to have specific areas of science/technology researched - that lead to other sections of the circle that unlock as you go along. In my opinion this allows technology to be approached in a non linear fashion that is never dull, instead allowing asymmetric progression through the system - focusing in one area one day - in another the next.

 

Of course all of this is nothing but hypothetical, so feel free to do your own research on the concepts, post your thoughts, feelings, ideas below; and remember - just have fun!

 

We will be there before you know it.

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when you say "tech tree" you mean the player skills ? The craftable items ? or everything ?

Researchable technologies in general.

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I'd like to see a mix between Civilization (many low level techs/skills needed for higher ones) and master if Orion (whole branches can be researched without the need if other branches).

 

I don't quite get what you mean by that circular tree though

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I think the linear branching tree design is probably the simpler thus cheaper way to go. It works so why try to reinvent the wheel. You have categories for each different aspect, weapons, combat, armor, prospecting/scanning, economy etc. Then as they get used you get skill points or such to further in the tree. Simple.

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I always enjoyed the way Civ did it.

But I dont think that translates well for a game like DU.

 

I want to be a miner so I shouldnt be diverted to researching trading skills. Its not a great example but thats how Civ would work.

 

For Civ it makes sense because you need everything, I'm not sure the same holds true for a game like DU.

 

Just some thoughts on the subject, I'm interested to read other people's ideas.

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I always enjoyed the way Civ did it.

But I dont think that translates well for a game like DU.

 

I want to be a miner so I shouldnt be diverted to researching trading skills. Its not a great example but thats how Civ would work.

 

For Civ it makes sense because you need everything, I'm not sure the same holds true for a game like DU.

 

Just some thoughts on the subject, I'm interested to read other people's ideas.

As I said: combine it with master of orion. You can research all skills as miner without the need for skilling pvp or trade

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You could also add something similar to diablo 2, where having some skills/techs improves others. For example, having skills in using mining lasers helps with using combat lasers.

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I was also thinking about main techs - and under each main tech has various sub techs. . . and from those sub techs can potentially lead to secondary techs or other main techs which branch off. 

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As I said: combine it with master of orion. You can research all skills as miner without the need for skilling pvp or trade

I'll google that game.;)

I dont think I've played it.

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Since the devs have mentioned often the need and incentive for players to be specialists, we will likely see a highly segregated linear skill system. From what the devs have already mentioned, a player would be able to pick up basic skills in each category very quickly, but will take much longer to acquire an advanced skill form one category. They also mentioned in the discussion of Alloys that the advanced skills in each category will depend on other skills in that same category, this reinforces that their vision is of a linear tree.

 

We are unlikely to see situations where for example being able to manufacture an advanced Armor alloy will give you access to an advanced Hull Repair skill, as manufacturing/refining will be a different specialization from Logistics/repairs. This will probably be the case at launch, but who knows where they will go from there. Alpha might not include much in the way of character progression, so we likely won't have a firm grasp of this until beta much later.

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You could also add something similar to diablo 2, where having some skills/techs improves others. For example, having skills in using mining lasers helps with using combat lasers.

Have any examples for comparison - to add to the list? For purely visual reference. . .

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As I said: combine it with master of orion. You can research all skills as miner without the need for skilling pvp or trade

 

You could also add something similar to diablo 2, where having some skills/techs improves others. For example, having skills in using mining lasers helps with using combat lasers.

 

Could you provide some visual reference as to how the systems are organized - It would go a long ways as to helping conceptualize the idea. 

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Have any examples for comparison - to add to the list? For purely visual reference. . .

Hmm, its been a while... I know that in diablo 2, whilst playing a necromancer, upping any summon skeleton spells (warrior, mage and mimic) will improve the others (i.e. their stats increased the more skill points you put into it), but less so than putting points into the others directly.

 

Getting examples in DU is hard, since I have no clue what the skill tree would be like. I guess improving your vehicle construction skill (maybe used in fabricators) would reduce the decay rate or improve the repair rate of any vehicle you are a crew member of (due to more knowledge of maintaining machines coming from building them).

 

EDIT: To quote from the diablo 2 wiki:

 

 

Skill Synergy Bonuses

Synergy bonuses will boost the effectiveness of the higher-level skills based upon the number of points you place in lower-level skills. This gives players an incentive to use their skill points earlier in the game, rather than keeping them, and using them only for high-level skills. If a skill has a Synergy, the other skills that will help improve the skill will be listed. Items that give bonuses to skills and skill levels do not add to Synergy bonuses. 

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I think the Circular Tech Tree would make the most sense because that means each character can be unique based on their knowledge along with the ability to chose specific topics to focus on learning. It could allow for diversity and would also lead to more detail professions

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I think the Circular Tech Tree would make the most sense because that means each character can be unique based on their knowledge along with the ability to chose specific topics to focus on learning. It could allow for diversity and would also lead to more detail professions

 

That's true but to me it doesn't make any sense to skill Trade and then somehow get to heavy firearms...

 

A straight forward techtree like EVE, Master of orion, Civ,... makes much more sense. You can skill one field of expertise while needing only those basic skills in that branch.

Synergy bonuses are a must in a game like DU imho, so you can maximize your abilities in some branch

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That's true but to me it doesn't make any sense to skill Trade and then somehow get to heavy firearms...

 

A straight forward techtree like EVE, Master of orion, Civ,... makes much more sense. You can skill one field of expertise while needing only those basic skills in that branch.

Synergy bonuses are a must in a game like DU imho, so you can maximize your abilities in some branch

 

What if it was structured like the Ideology Tree in Civ 5 but opposite? You start with 2 slots and can choose from 10 different Tier 1 skills. After unlocking enough you can then move to Tier 2 which gives you more skills and has 5 slots, so on and so forth..... Looks like this:

 

http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/civilization/images/4/45/Autocracy_Tenents.gif/revision/latest?cb=20141228172533

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yeah that makes sense.

 

To me all such trees are very similar, they may vary in size and prerequisitions but in fact, EVE onlines skill tree is no different from Civilization - whatever they choose, it should take time to specialize and it should allow players to do so.

Because only then newbros will be allowed to take part in fights or industry, because they can participate, even if they have low skills.

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then newbros will be allowed to take part in fights or industry, because they can participate, even if they have low skills.

Yes, if new players can be useful from day 1 I would be happy. It makes for a much better game and community, in my opinion.

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I like circular style trees better. I think it can give new players a better idea of where to go with their skills as the devs can place related trees near one another or branch to each other. However these type of trees can be harder to implement.

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where only a couple are useful but REAL choices.

Agreed, I really dislike the illusion of choice. Like feats in some games.

 

Somehow I dont think it will be much of an issue with DU.

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Agreed, I really dislike the illusion of choice. Like feats in some games.

 

Somehow I dont think it will be much of an issue with DU.

Well, in EVE, the only other MMO tha can really ocmpare as of the training system, there are all sorts of useful gameplays one person can go for. However, due to "doctrines" on a fleet, people elct to deploy certain ones, based around tanking options (shields or armor) or weaponry (missiles, lasers, railguns or... guns) and in the end the function of the fleet.

 

In DU, I believe due to the lack of regenerating resources and the free-form building of a ship, people will build ships around a certain doctrine, which means that te enemy must have a certain type of ship to counter their doctrine, but also beign vulnerable to another doctrine. And as the resources do not regenerate, factions will eventually opt to balance out each ship design around a well-rounded damage tank and damage output.

 

As for ground combat, that's as simple as "find a logistical setup that supports cheap armors and guns that work very well in huge numbers".

 

that being said, in DU, it may seem as if Light Armor Type-A is good, cause many people have high killcounts with it, but in reality, is that the armor is used widely by convention, thus the numers apply to thesimple fact of equal standing between opposing armies.

 

In EVE, the same problem exists. People see "oh, that Proteus is so effen OP man, gonna get one and wreck ships" while in actuality, a Proteus is just a DPS machine that needs a large group behind it to actually do its job. A solo Proteus is toast within seconds, it has the DPS of a battleship and the HP of a fried potato. But this doesn't deter nooblords from buying, exploding and rebuying Proteuses, while they try to understand why the Proteus is keep exploding.

 

So, yeah, there's no such thing as "clear option" in games like EVE or DU, but the hype machine and marketing of in-game industrialists will surely shape the meta to a certain direction, giving the illusion of "better ships" or "better Armoty-Type armies", just simply because those people sold their hype better than others.

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