State of technologies
Technologies are used to enhance various things and can enhance efficiency of almost everything in the game.
Before alpha 18, technologies came in pair and didn't cost very much. Researching one tech made the paired one not researchable. This concept was removed almost entirely since alpha 18 by enhancing technologies cost. Alpha123 once wrote a full document explaining why this change should be done (if anyone can find the link).
Basically the paired tech system required you to make choices, not to be able to research everything. It allowed to enhance part of your strategy at small cost while leaving back some weaknesses.
One of the argument for removing the pairing was that it's up to you to make your choices, by researching more or less. If you are researching everything, it will leave you behind in an other part of the game.
The paired system still exists for some mutually exclusive technologies, like having walls being build faster with less HP or longer to build with more HP.
A technology gives a bonus and can have 3 types of costs:
- Resource cost
- Time cost
- Counter effect
For a technology to be worth it, the bonus must be somewhat equivalent to the cost. If the tech has a strong counter effect, it should cost almost nothing and be researched quickly.
The resource cost is self explanatory. If a tech costs resources, these are not used for anything else, like building an army or a city.
The time cost is more subtle. It is more valuable if the tech can be researched from a limited set of buildings (in number of build ones). So if the tech can be researched from houses, the time cost is not that useful because most can be researched in parallel. If it is in fortress it is more important as you generally have only one or two.
The counter effect adds some deepness to the gameplay but must be used wisely.
For the game to be more easy to learn, more consistent technologies can be grouped in families that will have almost the same cost and effect.
These are the resources gathering technologies that enhances the economic part. They are researched at storehouses and farmsteads. There are two kind of techs: the resource specific ones and the general ones.
The specific enhance the speed of gathering a given resource (from trees, bushes, farms...). It should be an investment in that resource on the long term. So wood enhancer costs wood and time.
The general ones reduces the distance effect by carrying more resources in one run. The resource cost should then be general (if any). The time cost is not that valuable because there are quickly multiple dropsites. If food is used for most of the things and wood to build dropsites, this one can cost food, wood and some time. A counter effect could be long range vs short range, with decreasing a bit gathering speed.
Finally the resources techs could be paired for each resource type, with short range gathering (gathering speed) versus long range gathering (transport ability). This reflects a general strategy about spreading or focusing.
These are the techs from the blacksmith, and some in fortress or siege facility for siege weapons.
Before alpha 18, they were a choice between infantry or cavalry, melee or range. Since alpha 18 they are costly but bonus only.
An other choice that can come with stamina is strength versus mobility, offensive versus defensive.
Armour increase adds durability at the cost of mobility (stamina). This was particularly true for phalangites, the Macedonian ones were lightly armored and very mobile, while in the following wars they were armored heavier at a decisive cost of mobility (because they were figthing mostly other phalangites).
Attack are mostly resources and time costs, quality versus quantity.
Then we have a two dimensional choice in quality and mobility, that is four families of strategies:
- Raiding (attack only, small number of effective and mobile units)
- Turtling (armour only, large number of strong units but not very mobile)
- Rushing (nothing, large number of mobile units)
- Booming/Bulldozer (attack and armour, small number of highly efficient units not very mobile)
TODO: siege unit techs.
These are towers and walls techs.
The tower techs are pure enhancement of them, with range, garrison capacity and empty effectiveness. These techs should be a deal between defensive and offensive ability, so time and counter effect are not really significant. If costing stone it comes more to a concentrated versus spread towers, but they cannot be concentrated with the build restrictions. So it should more cost military resources, like food, wood or metal.
And other pair is quick versus strong. Quick techs allows a more aggressive strategy by establishing defenses more easily but that can also be taken down more easily. This can be achieved in two ways: two step building (quick build phase followed by a consolidating phase) or paired techs with build time and cost against durability.
There are currently three types of technologies in trading: trading speed, trading gain and armour.
The first three are about trading efficiency, while the latest is about defending.
TODO: try to make some tech families with drawbacks
These ones are researched in houses (except sharing vision). They are mostly original technologies that cannot be grouped in families.
Women durability: be it a rather defensive tech, it makes the choice by costing food between more weak females or less with more HP. The tech could be HP against training cost like the attack tech.
Population size: this is a matter of building more houses or spreading more. It is then a choice between spreading with more houses or concentrating with fewer ones.
Train women from houses: this is a strange one with which allows a quick retaliation by being able to train a lot of women almost everywhere in short time. Don't know how to handle this one.
Sharing vision: only for team games, this one adds a huge communication bonus between the team members. This is a very wide enhancement that is hard to make clear what it should hinder.