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How do you want a Tech Tree function?

Discussion in 'General' started by doncdxx, Sep 21, 2017.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. doncdxx Apprentice Engineer

    Now that some sort of tech tree is confirmed, I thought it might be a good idea to have a discussion for the community to talk about how we'd want it done.

    How do you want it to function?

    My answer:
    My primary wish for a research system is a diversity of research blocks so I can justify large station designs with several themed research rooms. I don't want blocks to be made available through research, I want them to get buffs based on research. The kind of thing where you have a research station for each tech, e.g. thruster research station. You drop in resources and a timer starts and once it's elapsed the character, or faction, get's a % bonus to the output of all thrusters.

    There could even be several research options at each research block, for example ion thruster research options could be force output and power efficiency. Reactors could have both output research and uranium to power output efficiency research. Each research could be available multiple times, with larger research timers each level better. With multiple levels, it keeps research blocks from being something you build temporarily than remove later. If each research option could be taken several times and the research timers grow exponentially, it could encourage factions working together with multiple research stations all to contribute to a large mutual research goal.

    I also think the buff on the block should be based on the level of research the maker of the block was at the time they made it. That means you'd want to run around your ship and hack blocks down and weld them up again to give them the new stats.
  2. FoolishOwl Junior Engineer

    First, I'd prefer it to work entirely at the level of construction; the premise should be that your engineer avatar already has all the necessary technical knowledge, or has it at hand in computer databases, etc. Research trees make sense to me in 4X games, but not so much in RTS games; it definitely doesn't make sense to me that a solitary engineer somehow starts out knowing how to make internal combustion engines, but has to invent nuclear fission. Mostly, that's about flavor text of course, and about having separate construction trees and imposing questions of how to prioritize, in a game context. One practical upshot would be, it should be assumed that if in a scenario the engineer finds more advanced tech than they can currently construct, they can use it right away, rather than needing to work through some research tree to use it.

    Currently, there's a clear progression with tools, and *almost* a progression you can see in arc furnace -> refinery -> refinery with upgrade modules. That's a decent model, that could be extended to other major systems.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
  3. haibusa2005 Trainee Engineer

    To me, it makes more sense to obtain technologies from neutral/pirate bases and then input the data in your base's main computer to "research" new block. For example - ion thruster boost module that increases thrust in manner similar to refinery/assembler modules. That would add some challenge as well as be a reason to go out there and explore. Some upgrades could be obtained only at specific places - e.g. space pirate bases, neutral ships, planets, moons and so on. "If you really want that hydrogen thruster upgrade, you better prepare a planetary lander and go to the alien planet" kind of challenge :D
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Panzur Trainee Engineer

    This one can be a real issue of player expectation. Just like naming the non-creative mode to "Survival" the community is very split. A progression system is good , but its more a resource balance. The blueprint acquisition method sounds good but how to fit it where it appeals to the broad player base. When its only associated with Combat or cheese induced tactics it only meets the requirements of one type of player. With as a diverse player base we have, its like herding cats.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  5. Gummy89 Trainee Engineer

    I like the idea of having some blocks unavailable without a blueprint. And rather than the current upgrade modules we have. I would like new models for upgraded blocks. For instance tier 2 thrusters should be larger and actually look like upgraded versions.

    Maybe blueprints could be required to be placed in the assembler in order to create said block. Maybe instead of researching tech they are found in loot crates and bases. These are just some ideas I think would be fun. Especially because it adds a new element to PvP and PvE. If you lose your blueprints you will need to work towards getting it again.
  6. Echillion Senior Engineer

    OH F**K NO! It's bad enough SE is copying stuff from Empyrion we don't need that effing research tech tree as well. This^ happens I'm outta here permanently, locking stuff up that weve had to learn to use from day one behind pox ridden tech levels will be the last straw you might as well call SE - Engineers: Space Survival to go with Empyrion: Galactic Survival because their becoming indistinguishable from each other!.

    And before anyone says there's nothing to do perhaps if Keen fixed the NPCs and cargoships and neutral factions then perhaps stuff might liven up? But I cant see where locking tech away from players that have mined the resources needed to build them is going to advance gameplay? in actual fact its designed and going to retard gameplay and to go from a "sandbox" game where you can build anything you want so long as you have the resources to do it to tech locked behind player levels and research is narrowing the scope and appeal of the game .

    All I've heard from the above post is one person wants a actual tech tree whereas the rest want tiered versions of blocks or more upgrade modules for them? and losing your "blueprints" sets you back to square 1 again I have known and heard about players ragequitting games for less.
    • Agree Agree x 7
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  7. Gummy89 Trainee Engineer

    I don't know where they are going with a tech tree. All they have said is that it is planned. These are just some thoughts I had about it. I suppose the losing blueprints is a bit on the hardcore side. But if they do a tech tree one would assume things are going to be unavailable unless obtained through some mechanic.

    I'm not a fan of bringing a new window up in game to unlock tech. The "blueprints" were just an idea of obtaining said tech. I like the idea of tiered versions and won't mind if they are just there or unlockable. But if they do I just don't want a copy pasted model with new stats.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. May Rears Apprentice Engineer

    Did you actually go to the feedback page linked? It isn't just "one person wanting it"...it is planned, *Keen* want to put it into the game. As for SE being like Empyrion what is wrong with that? this isn't football where you are only supposed to support one team at a time. Both games, plus others are good games and it is perfectly fine to like all of them.
  9. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

    The way Duckroll did it in Escape From Mars was a very good way to go around it. You ended up wanting to go raid these places to unlock blocks. Oxygen systems, thrusters, weapons. Worked there, in a fairly open scenario and I expect a similar approach could work for space engineers survival.

    Though at the moment I don't see enough STUFF to have a tech tree. It'd be more like a knee high tech bush with a very thick trunk. Too much of the stuff in the game now is more or less vital to survival, taking them away prevents player progress. Discounting things like jump drives, possibly large thrusters, beacons (which are just useless), gravity manipulation and errr... is there anything else?
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Tharatan Trainee Engineer

    I like the idea of a tech tree with unlockable blocks, but I actually see a slightly different problem than Dax23333 does: with the variety of starting conditions currently available, you need almost every type of block given one condition or another.
    • Lock production blocks beyond Arc Furnace? Can't make computers for a control seat or next level of equipment.
    • Lock ions? Not very friendly for a space start, as new players will constantly be running out of fuel.
    • Lock hydrogen thrusters? Hard for planetary players to get to space, so you'd better have that unlock dirt-side....oh, but what about a space starter, they now have to rely on a parachute and a one-way trip? hmm....
    • Lock oxygen generation? Best hope you started on the Earth-like, or that O2 farms are made more intuitive re: how many are needed.
    • Lock all thruster types? Hope you've got working wheels!
    • Lock grav gens and artificial mass? Okay, that one works.
    • Lock a grid size? Can only lock small, then, as medbays and production are large-only in vanilla SE....and most players seem to stick with large-grid ships once they have the resource stream to do it anyway.

    I mean, yes, they could take a page from KSP's and create a more specialized "career mode" that started you as a dirt-farmer on the Earth-like with things locked, but now you're into game mode #3.

    For practical purposes, I think the original suggestion of block upgrades (perhaps requiring escalating resource and power inputs as well as time?) is the easiest to implement in the game as it stands now, though it would be nice if you could only ever choose to upgrade one of the various options for each block - so just because John decided to upgrade per-bullet gatling turret damage, Janice might have upgraded turret range instead and can try to snipe Jack's ships.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. ShadedMJ Apprentice Engineer

    I'm going to repeat what I said the last time this was brought up.

    The Easy Start games may need to be modified. Your character would need to know most of the small blocks to repair or modify small ships, because the pirate drones attack. You could learn most of the large blocks by grinding parts of the station, or if the station is damaged by drones/meteors you can't repair blocks. Need to know all the hydrogen thruster/tank blueprints in order to get off planet.

    That leaves not a lot of current blocks to get blueprints, but would get easier with new blocks.
  12. Dax23333 Junior Engineer

    This would be very interesting, especially for weapons as you say. A number of options not strictly better than each other would things much more interesting.

    Could potentially have the upgrade modules unlock so you have to do something to get them. Maybe raid a tough cargo ship, or find lots of parts from wrecks floating in space.
  13. lowrads Trainee Engineer

    I wouldn't mind seeing more industrial progression. Rather than have access to platinum as soon as I find platinum ore, I'd rather see intermediate steps. Turn ore into gravel with a crusher. I would like to be able to spawn two products from one item stack. Common metals and universal granulated slag.

    Slag can go into a more advanced and more expensive refinery for further processing, such as for platinum group metals. Having silicon as its own ore instead of just an intrinsic component of most ores is a little tedious.

    I'd also like reactors to operate like refineries, turning partially enriched uranium into depleted uranium for AP ammunition.

    It would also be welcome to see basic structural assemblers hurling out bulky parts like steel plates and tubes, while advanced assemblers take their time doing more delicate assembly work on various components. Oh, and please substitute tubes and girders for construction components in common objects like catwalk plates. It's unnecessary tedium for what should be very rapid construction.

    If you're feeling ambitious, please give us more cations and even anions. I think aluminium and copper are very good candidates. Sulfur and carbon are both pretty logical too. Sulfur is usually found as part of a metal salt in various ores. It's useful for things like explosives, batteries and chemical processing. Carbon is a rare material that is useful for chemical processing, and is found in greatly enhanced abundance in soil voxels as high dalton mass polymers as well as in hapless flora and fauna. All such resources most abundant on planets.

    The idea of a fractionation tower for separating gases sounds kinda interesting as it would make a very attractive addition to a base. Getting multiple kinds of ices sounds interesting as well. The red ice on the alien planet comes to mind.

    It's hard to elaborate on the spawn player function with medbays, but perhaps they could use charges the way parachute blocks do. Perhaps with the aid of fairly advanced components in charges, the medbay could produce enhancements for the engineer or portable consumable items that might prove handy out in the field.

    Being able to upgrade items or tools or the suit by inserting manufactured items into some socket in them sounds very attractive as well as starting out might yield only the most primitive options. Imagine being only able to detect iron group ores at limited range.
  14. Echillion Senior Engineer

    Actually I did and did you also read that quite a few people agree with me of the idea of Keen implementing a research tree!. Now don't get me wrong I've played Duckrolls Escape from Mars Scenario and Enjoyed it very much with unlocking the tech to further progress BUT! this should be left to scenarios and scenario makers so they can tailor the techs needed to the specific scenario because I do not want Keen putting in a blanket research tree to cover all custom maps nor do I wish to have to start on a planet only map every beeping time I play SE.Now if Keen want to implement different scenarios with different tech levels then fine but as Tharatan posted above when going for a "general" tech tree you have to account for every starting scenario and map or your going to screw someone over sooner or later. Keen have already broken their "Golden rule" of no one should be penalised for moving a block about in this game with what they did to batteries and powercells what makes anyone think they wont screw a tech tree up for someone or other?. At the end of the day all this is if your forgive the pun? is window dressing tarting up a game that has more bugs than a rain forest rather than actually fixing core mechanics and features that have been repeatedly "fixed" and broken for years!

    Don't Forget it was Keen that:

    - Nerfed Ions into the ground so you have to use Hydrogen thrusters to go to and from planets
    - banned gravity gens from operating in "Natural" gravity so player made weapons and propulsion wouldn't work on planets
    - Supposedly permanently "Fixed" Pistons,Rotors and landing gears but then had to adopt a player go around with small rotor heads on adv rotors so players can build small grids because of the last time I tried using a landing gear to build off of it would only place it upside down?
    - implemented fixed position weapons for small grids for gattlings but wouldn't do the same for large grids?
    - Has put in Parachutes yet wont put in wings?

    Need I go on? and yet you want the same people that did this^ to implement a general one size fits all tech/research tree for a game that in its nearly 4 years of existence hasn't had or needed one?. Oh and btw I have and do play Empyrion:GS for when I want a change from SE and I play SE when I want a change from Empyrion I don't want 2 games that are just different sides of the same coin.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    As far as a tech-tree, I can see it needing to meet the following criteria:

    1. Backwards compatible with existing games. You have to be able to load any previous world... and without absolute chaos.
    2. Optional. The tech-tree needs to be manageable. This may mean being able to turn off advanced tech or to be able to start players anywhere along the tech tree. It may mean check-boxes or just including advanced blocks incorporated into the respawn ship.
    3. Use of as many existing elements as possible. The more new code and rewritten code means higher labor costs and more bugs.
    4. Tech paths. Acquiring new technology types should make other technology types more expensive or difficult to acquire. An engineer that specializes in thruster tech should have a harder time with weapons for example. Specialization means making harder choices earlier in the game. It also encourages teaming up with other players with complimentary skills.
    5. The tech-tree would have to have a neutral impact on the game. This means it works whether or not there are planets or cargo ships. It would have to be location agnostic... meaning you aren't sent to specific coordinates to gain tech.

    I'd like to see a tech tree based around production blocks. Having different levels of assemblers, refineries, and arc furnaces that can be produced by the previous level would work for me.
    I'd like to see existing ores being able to be refined into higher purities of ingots. For instance, the base level of iron would be a standard level of purity, the next level even purer, etc. The amount of raw ore needed to generate one kg of ore would get exponentially more expensive. So if X kg of iron yields 1kg of standard iron ingots, 2X,3X, etc. would yield one kg of level II ingots, level III ingots, etc. This would balance in the game... meaning if you wanted to produce more advanced blocks you'd have to devote more ore resources to building equipment capable of creating higher tiered production blocks and the amount of ore to produce advanced components would be higher as well. So if you wanted to go balls-out and get advanced technology early in the game, you'd be at a disadvantage because most of your time and resources would have to go to building these blocks. For example, if you wanted advanced weaponry early in the game you could build a small handful of them versus someone who stayed low in the tech tree being able to build a ton of standard weapons that in sum would dwarf the fire power of the other player.

    Drop pods would make sense for finding keys to unlocking tech. However, it places luck over skill/experience... as an 'engineer' I would prefer the tech tree to involve careful planning than random encounters.
  16. Malware Master Engineer

    Which both were excellent decisions in my opinion

    Yet to be determined

    Yes. But it won't "fit all". That's not possible. It just have to fit most people.

    Highly subjective
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. FoolishOwl Junior Engineer

    *Shrug* I kept seeing claims that hydrogen is necessary for escaping a grav well, but I found it much easier to do without it. Hydrogen gives great acceleration, but you burn through the fuel too rapidly for sustained acceleration, so you can only use it to supplement other forms of thrust anyway.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Levits Senior Engineer

    Hunting for tech upgrades or advanced pieces sounds good to me. Researching some in order to create more advanced versions sounds good along with the need to harvest/find rarer resources/materials to build them. However, as far as I'm concerned, the vast majority of blocks currently in the game can be classified as Tier1.

    Tier 1: Basically, anything we currently have that can be built in your own backyard.
    Atmospheric Thruster.
    Wind Turbine.
    Steel Blocks (all of em' including concrete or whatever else is considered a construction block; including doors.).
    Window Blocks (all of em).
    Arc Furnace.
    Oxygen Generator and air vents.
    Oxygen Tank and hydrogen tank.
    Hydrogen Thruster.
    Pistons and Rotors.
    Conveyor Tubes.
    Airtight Hangar Doors.
    Hydrogen-powered Generator.

    Tier 2: Things that might be a bit hand-waved or possible in the future.
    Ion Thrusters (perhaps starting with only small ion thrusters initially).
    Refinery... though it may need to be tier 1.
    Nuclear Reactors.
    Solar panels.

    Tier 3: Things that are not exactly possible.
    Gravity Generators.
    Jump Drives.
    Upgrade Modules.

    This list does not include any "advanced" versions of said blocks and I expect that the vast majority of any tiered progression would be for something like advanced variants of current blocks. Laser Drills, welders, and other stuff could be used/included to upgrade performance and range of the default blocks. Same with armor and nearly everything else. There is still room to add more to the list; but as far as the current list of blocks, the majority should be easily accessible early on and in fact is pretty much a requirement considering the fact that if you start on a planet and especially in space, you have to have access to most of these blocks in order to survive.

    Wheels are tier 1 for sure and so would wind turbines be since they are nearly identical in design. From the start, You must have an assembler and a refinery or arc furnace. If you can build a square block, then you can build any other shaped block/s. If you can build an oxygen tank, then you can build a hydrogen tank. If you can build wheels, then you can build rotors. If you can build rotors then you can build grinders, wind turbines, atmospheric thrusters, etc...

    Not sure how they go about it, but I sure hope they don't make us jump through hoops just to build a hydrogen storage tank if/when we already know how to build a oxygen storage tank.

    Perhaps, other than discovery or research, the best way to include a tech tier would be through material acquisition and/or upgrading industrial equipment.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  19. Kregoth Trainee Engineer

    Please DO NOT implement a Tech tree system. We don't need a game about Research, we are engineers, we take shit apart to learn how to make them!

    We don't need a tech tree, we need an reverse engineering system. A system that forces players to explore and find blocks they can't build, and grind them down to figure out how to build them themselves. You know like how engineers in real life do it. Can't build Hydrogen blocks yet? go explore and grind down ones you find. The game need a system to incentivize exploration. I don't want a horrible tech tree in this game, it's something that been done to death in every other game, we aren't scientist! Space Engineers needs something to make the player get out in the vastness of space. the best part about doing it this way, is it can be implemented much easier and cheaply, basically using the mechanics and system the game already has, and finding way to improve and add more depth to them.

    Please for the love of all engineers here, do not make a tech tree, we need something unique to Space engineers, Like reverse engineering! Give exploration a reason for players to explore.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Malware Master Engineer

    Besides, any kind of tech tree they make will most likely be optional anyway. Don't like it? Don't use it.

    My ships are purely hydrogen, I can't say I've been having that trouble. Ions are boring. I want the fuel management.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  21. ShadedMJ Apprentice Engineer

    What it the point of having a refinery on tier 2? So mining won't do much good until tier 2? No thanks.

    If the theme is grinding down existing blocks to get plans, then the (solar panels/refinery/upgrade modules) are on every Easy Start station.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  22. sepen_ Trainee Engineer

    Sounds a lot like tedium.

    Same as with character tools. You use the gimped versions, cursing under your breath, till you get the other ones and never look back. "Yay." That's not content.

    Boy, do I hope they actually played at those teasered bootstrapping mechanics with this "planned" status. Else, all the fun will be, or not be, in another checkbox.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  23. odizzido Junior Engineer

    Progression through engineering please. I don't want to drill 5000 wolves to build a reactor or afk 40 hours to make a thruster.

    I want to create infrastructure/tools which takes me to the next step. People talk about hydrogen skimming with gas giants. Make them contain a gas used for higher tech stuff. Make me build a ship that can handle really high gravity to get it. Or shielded/remote ships to harvest uranium.

    Just use some creativity and thought instead of making us wait around for progress bars to fill up and I will probably not hate it.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  24. Arcturus Senior Engineer

    Wow, looking in the feedback website there are many highly-voted bad or technically infeasible ideas. (i.e. liquid water)
    • Agree Agree x 3
  25. Hyomoto Apprentice Engineer

    To be honest when it comes to the gameplay SE has sort of stagnated. I enjoy it, and I've put many hours in, but there's so much that has never been expanded upon. We haven't gotten a new weapon type in a very long time, the upgrade system has remained untouched since implementation and Keen has never implemented their own mods into the base game. So when I think of a tech tree I think, to where? Because right now there simply aren't enough blocks or diversity of gameplay to warrant such a thing.

    I mean, would you really want SE to play like Factorio? I'd much rather see gameplay additions than gating off what, arguably, little content we actually have.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  26. REDSHEILD Junior Engineer

    Tech trees in survival games, as they exist now, are decently amusing the first time around.

    Every subsequent time they are horrid grind-fests.

    Two years ago I would have high hopes for Keen doing something new and innovative that finally destroyed the classic research model (which is essentially a brain bug in game design by now, with how over used it is) and revolutionized the concept.

    Today, I'm not so sure.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  27. Levits Senior Engineer

    Before the Devs implement anything, you might want to throw your own ideas out there to give them a hand with brainstorming good solutions. Tech tiers are not a problem if implemented right and the timeframe for their introduction is not set in any way shape or form; so there is plenty of time for them to add more stuff.

    Seriously though, it doesn't' matter how bad your concept. Complaining about it later without trying to provide some sort of idea/feedback on what you want it to be like isn't going to help after the fact.

    What sort of "revolutionized" concept would you propose for them?
    --- Automerge ---
    The refinery is iffy as no matter the case since you have to be able to refine the basic material to build one eventually; and a arc furnace cannot smelt everything you need for stuff like that... can't remember exactly what the arc furnace refines. The Refinery can be tier 1 anyways; these are just examples and not something that I would expect to be set in stone.

    The way I see it, Once you build a arc furnace and a refinery, what sort of "advancement" could you add/acquire from there?

    As for acquiring the blueprints for them, I don't imagine you will get very far if you have to hunt down a ship or pirate base without first having access to a means to build weapons/vehicles to accomplish that task. Some blocks would be perfectly fine for such a thing. advanced/upgraded weapons and the like for instance would work. Hunt down a warship and steal its cannon designs or something.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  28. FoolishOwl Junior Engineer

    Yeah, I'm puzzled why they don't just go ahead and decline the impossible suggestions.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  29. Malware Master Engineer

    Yes. People can't be expected to understand the implications of these kinds of suggestions though.

    They probably will, eventually.
  30. Devon_v Senior Engineer

    It has a lot to do with wether or not you understand thruster overrides. If you switch on hydrogen and hold W you'll run out. Manage your thruster output as you gain altitude and things are fine. Some people may also not realize that ions don't just switch off in a gravity well, even on the surface they're still effective at 30% output. A hybrid ship can use both from liftoff and can cut off hydrogen before fully leaving the atmosphere. With the parachutes landing is almost free.

    Probably also depends on how much people are using disabled inertial canceling in space. Constant starts and stops are very expensive versus a pair of planned burns to get there and stop.

    Also, some people just seem to like ships that can do 0-100 in two seconds, and yeah, that costs some fuel.

    I've been working on a fighter craft lately, and it's been quite interesting working on endurace vs. maneuverability and acceleration, power needs, protection, total mass, all of which comes right back around into speed. I've settled on a concept of just enough ion power to get around with an operational life of a few hours, with a high-performance hydrogen setup for combat which can be sustained for a few minutes of maneurvering. I very much like the differences between the engines and the need to fuel them. (I also challenged myself to do this reactorless)
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
    • Agree Agree x 2
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