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Year 13 Day 281 14:05
This may be stuck elsewhere, but while we're on the subject of R&D DCs, has it been decided and /or publicly confirmed whether points on datapads are going to be poolable to unlock the new entities on the tech tree (sometimes I might call them “leaves”), or whether the required number of points must be on a single datapad? Or for that matter, any other updates to the Draft Rules?

Sorry let me clarify:

You research on type at a time onto a single datapad, so you have datapad Weapon (‘dW’), datapad Metallurgy (‘dM’), datapad Electronics (‘dE’), datapad Engines (‘dG’) etc. if there’s some that I missed. A leaf on the tech tree requires X points of Weapon, Y points of Metallurgy, Z points of Electronics and Q points of Engines to unlock. Through research at various facilities I have several combinations of datapads. My question is whether or not several dWs can be combined to make up the total X points of Weapon R&D required for the leaf, or whether those X points must be on a single datapad that results from a single “research project”.

TL:DR Why does it matter? It’s all about how long it should take to unlock an item on your tech tree and whether it’s primarily a function of brute force (that can be utilized by anyone who can collect/buy/steal enough datapads of whatever Point value to pool points) or a function of drop chance (where the requisite points on a single datapad are much more unlikely to obtain the higher up the tree you go, and the Low-point value datapads are worthless once you get past a certain point in the tech tree). I believe R&D point generation onto datapads and the subsequent use to unlock leaves on the tech tree will be analogous to Creature Drops as opposed to XP-gaining. As for why I think R&D should turn out in a way that will make this pertinent, feel free to keep reading.

Draft Rule:
1.3.3/ Finishing Research
Once research has been complete, any points awarded will be added to the stored Schematic. If the datapad is reused in a new research project, any previous research will be wiped from the card. 

That seems to imply that each research action started by a player at a research entity is a “research project”, and therefore after any given research action some variable V points of R&D Weapons/whatever type are sunk onto the datapad. It finishes with saying that those V points are obliterated if that datapad is reused, which leads me to conclude that there is at least some intention to not have the points of the Same R&D Type poolable as between several datapads.

I can only conclude that “Schematic” in the draft rule is synonymous with datapad, since your tech tree leaf is non-transferrable with the datapad, only the points are, and therefore it would not be such that you assign a single to-be-unlocked-leaf of the tech tree to a single datapad that you then cart around to research points onto. That situation would be unfathomable because it would eliminate the worth of datapad theft or transferability. Unless it is the SIM’s intention to allow actual Ownership of unlocked DCs on the tech tree to be subject to theft/transfer between factions, and not just the “R&D Points” being subject to possession-based use.

From a system design point of view, I have to assume that climbing the Tech Tree is roughly analogous to Levelling up (where R&D points spent to unlock a leaf are analogous to XP gained to reach the next level). But since R&D points are meant to be theivable and transferrable, the system can’t be designed to Pool points into a single repository pending getting a new leaf. It is equally probable to me that a system would allow for several datapads of the same R&D Type to be used together to make up the point requirements, as it is for the system to allow only 1 datapad of each type. I would rather the latter format, however.

Firstly, Difficulty of obtaining higher-tech leafs. If faction A can build a system worth of R&D Entities and just round-the-clock pump out datapads with whatever level of points, and then just use all the datapads in conjunction to get up the tech tree, they’ll leap up the tech tree quickly. More power to them due to the massive undertaking that is. However, as they climb up the tech tree, the approach never changes. It’s always about Points piling, and their low-point-value results from research projects are not worth Selling or transferring to anyone else, because they can always be useable by the reasearching faction. Whereas in the latter format, faction A can still build a system worth of R&D entities to pump out datapads, but they now can only really use the datapads that have high enough point-values. This requires the re-use (as opposed to hoarding) of datapads, and encourages the reselling of lower-point value datapads (and thus the more likely opportunity for factions that have zero research capabilities of obtaining their own DCs through economic means or theft). The bigger factions with the most resources to bear will always have the Highest Probability of obtaining the higher-point-value datapads through the number of research projects they’ll run, but having it more a function of Drop Chance as opposed to brute force will allow any given faction with a single research facility a chance (albeit much smaller) to produce a High-Point value datapad and unlock a great DC.

I hope some of that made sense, as it’s rather rambly.


Year 13 Day 281 17:28
What you have to remember is that Zhao is still playing around with R&D, and the draft rules are just that - a draft. I would guess that specifics such as whether datapads can have their research pools combined would be liable to change as further work is done on the feature, so saying now wouldn't really mean anything.

Per the points themselves, my thoughts on it were that the points required for entity X would be auto calculated from their stats, much like the RMs, and so the bigger ships would need more points as they are bigger. But it wouldn't be like XP where the cost goes up exponentially just because you are futher up the tree - going up the TIE fighter branch would be a massive undertaking compared with, say, the Hapan branch, due to the sheer number of variants in canon for the TIEs.

As for a faction generating massive quantities of points, last I heard the idea was that a player performed a research activity on a datapad, wherever they are, which would limit the points accumulation to active members that aren't doing anything else.


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Year 13 Day 282 7:59
Absolutely everything's liable to change, but I just thought that there might be more progress and some decisions that have been settled so far that could give us a better idea. You know how Zhao says stuff unequivocally like "We're never going to award DCs to factions", I just figured there might be something like that settled for R&D that hasn't yet been put into the Draft Rules since they stated in another thread that the coding was basically done. And I guess I'm a little arrogantly allowing for the possibility that my idea was not in fact previously contemplated and is superior to whatever they've currently got planned (and therefore might make a better R&D at the end of things)


last I heard the idea was that a player performed a research activity on a datapad, wherever they are, which would limit the points accumulation to active members that aren't doing anything else.

- Elias Aubec
 


Wait, so the intention is that a single Player can only run one research project at a time, albeit remotely? As in, I can't have a single player go start up several entities' "research projects" to go onto their respective datapads like we do for Production or for Mining?


Year 13 Day 282 17:40
From what Jesfa/Zhao have mentioned in passing, my view is that you perform a research activity wherever you are. This will put points onto a datapad. Then, purely speculatively, you would go to an R&D entity and exchange those points for a DC, either instantly or with a time delay. I'd also suspect that if this is the case, doing your research action on an R&D entity will give you a boost to points you accumulate, much like healing does on medical entities.



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Year 13 Day 282 18:01
Hrm, interesting. I suppose that would give people something to do while in long hyper rather than upgrading doors and spamming the creation of Keycards. I do find it difficult to believe they would tie up a Player with a month-long research timer action, though. It does lend credence to the idea of a Drop Chance model for the accumulation of points on a datapad though, provided that the intention still is to have each research action destroy whatever previous research action was done on the target datapad.

Did they mention (in passing or otherwise) the proposed timer length for a research action? Last I heard (and this was with the assumption that research actions could only take place at research facilities via actions analogous to mining/production) it was a month.


Year 13 Day 283 0:48
Jesfa


Once I've become a little more settled in at school, I intend to sit down and work with Zhao on finalizing/setting in stone the various ideas we've got deadset in our heads on how we want this to work.

The rules we have now are fairly broad and are pretty basic to give a very rough idea, what we've got down on paper elsewhere/squirreled away in a corner of our heads is a great deal more detailed.


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Year 13 Day 283 0:48
Jesfa


Once I've become a little more settled in at school, I intend to sit down and work with Zhao on finalizing/setting in stone the various ideas we've got deadset in our heads on how we want this to work.

The rules we have now are fairly broad and are pretty basic to give a very rough idea, what we've got down on paper elsewhere/squirreled away in a corner of our heads is a great deal more detailed.


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Year 13 Day 283 19:42
Ellias, you mentioned the exponential increase in R&D point cot as you progress up a tech tree, which I think is a great idea.

But when you say:

...going up the TIE fighter branch would be a massive undertaking compared with, say, the Hapan branch, due to the sheer number of variants in canon for the TIEs. 


...it got me to thinking: perhaps the greater number of canon variants were because the entity/item being modified was easier to modify, as a stock item, and lent itself more easily to being upgraded.

A RL example would be the M4 Sherman tank in WWII. As the Allies came up against newer challenges, from better German tanks to minefields at Normandy, the Sherman was modified in a wide variety of ways, from better armor (cast hulls rather than the early riveted ones) and better guns (the 76 high-velocity weapon over the 75 mm), and even attached items that ranged from mine-sweeping flails and hedgerow-cutting teeth to rocket launchers welded on the decks.

One of the final models, used a decade later in Korea, displays in its name "M4A2E8" the long line of modifications it had undergone.

Another RL example would be the venerable Jeep. From pintle-mounted machine guns and the same RL racks as seen on the Sherman, to quad racks for carrying stretchers, the Jeep had dozens of official modifications, and many more "unofficial" variants.

While much of these mods can be attributed to the ingenuity of the Americans and Brits, the ease of modification of these entities, I believe, was instrumental in allowing for dozens of changes.

While I'm not exactly looking forward to up-armored TIE-wings, I would suggest that some canon mods, like the many based on the TIE fighter, may be attributed to the ease of modification of the base item, as opposed to that item being more difficult to work with in the Combine as a result of the many canon variants.

Does that make sense?


Edited By: Belloq Tull on Year 13 Day 283 19:46
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