I remember that Infinity: The Quest for Earth would have a tech tree like other sci-fi MMO games like Eve. I was thinking that instead of just unlocking items that other people were already using, I was thinking that players could invent completely new items that would be then available to everybody else if they had the blueprints. The new “technologies” to invent would be created by the devs. This could also work as a science system in which some technologies would require players to do research on specific things before they could be invented (ala KSP), and the science system could also be a way of discovering new lore. I think my proposal would give real meaning to science/R&D labs and the scientist kind of player. I think it would fit in well with the player-oriented and dynamic world of Infinity.
Edit1: Just to clarify things, I was thinking that research and development would be very expensive in-game. Sure, a player could bring a bunch of science tools to some planet/star/black hole/whatever and do scans with them, but getting meaningful information out of that data would require a very large laboratory and a lot of npc scientists. This would make actual R&D only in the realm of corporations with their own private space stations. When the MMO would go into beta there would already be a large tech tree made by the devs that would take a very long time to progress through in-universe. The debs could then add new technologies to the tree at their own leisure.
There are… a few different issues with this idea. The biggest ones are probably that there’ll (hopefully) be a lot more players than developers, and inventing an item in-game will hopefully be faster than creating it for the game.
After all, that’s what makes game more fun than life: less waiting, less running your head against a metaphorical wall, just generally less of the bad stuff.
Rather than individuals, I’d see it on a faction level.
After all, there’s no logic that a player (pilot ?) should necessarly be a top-notch scientist. Giving ressources to your faction would improve (accelerate ?) the research.
But then, problem would be about the numbers of (invested ?) players per faction, indirectly giving how fast a faction can rise up. Either there’s a ceiling and eventually everyone can get top technology, either there’s none or the amount of ressources is astronomically huge (no pun intended) and there will be imbalance.
This truly depends on the dev team point of view for “Quest for Earth”. For now, I think it would be wisest to focus on I:B
Just to clarify things, I was thinking that research and development would be very expensive in-game. Sure, a player could bring a bunch of science tools to some planet/star/black hole/whatever and do scans with them, but getting meaningful information out of that data would require a very large laboratory and a lot of npc scientists. This would make actual R&D only in the realm of corporations with their own private space stations. When the MMO would go into beta there would already be a large tech tree made by the devs that would take a very long time to progress through in-universe. The debs could then add new technologies to the tree at their own leisure.
I’m not convinced that a tech tree would be very useful for a game like what we imagine the Infinity MMO might be like. The idea of locking off particular items until an arbitrary piece of research has been done seems… counter-intuitive to the ideal of freedom that seems to be the guiding star of Infinity.
By all means, restrict items by price and perhaps faction reputation. Perhaps corporations could earn the right to sell a particular item from a faction, bringing them into the market. Player-created items are also okay (as long as they are properly monitored and moderated).
Research itself, however you dress it up, seems like a cheap gimmick to keep people playing over a length of time in my opinion. Make all the tech “available”, but make them work so they can afford it. It should give players intrinsic motivation to play, instead of always feeling like they are grinding for the next item.
Instead of “locking” items, the research tree could be used fot passives, something like X% quicker movement, or X meters better radar detection.
Reasearch would involve more differentiation between servers … at multiple possible risks, one of them being players flocking to “hardcore gamer” servers because their faction gets the most research. Then again, a ceiling could exists as i stated above.
Well that’s the definition of grinding, right? Make people work a lot to get something that can be measly (or not, depends on the point of view / measurement).
The only difference between the grindings is how much fun you’re getting from the process. If getting PvP rewards by kills / taking objectives is your drug, then it doesn’t matter if the necessary PvP reward is high (to a certain degree of course).
Research should in my opinion be able to create procedural/randomly generated altered blueprints for all items already in the game. This alterations should be ether small buffs in the order of 5% or bigger tradeoffs in the order of 20%.
Take a small Autocannon: Fire-Rate 1, Damage 1.
You ether can research it one way and get: Fire-Rate: 1.05, Damage: 1
Or ether you can research it another way and get: Fire-Rate: 1.20, Damage: 0.8
We covered this extensively on the old forums, I think it’s a good idea. A balance between generic “procedural” advancements and dev created ones can be achieved and yield a really interesting and useful expanding tech tree. This also goes hand in hand with player crafting and manufacturing.
My idea was that the new parts unlocked can then be used by all players who have the money. Basically, its a global tech tree. However, there actually wouldn’t be a guy showing the next parts to be unlocked, instead there would be labs researching “fields” of science/engineering(like particle physics, or ballistics) and discoveries would come out of those(think Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri).