Come on devs, Ring Worlds are NOT the reason tech rush is so OP.

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Aeroclub

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So I read the dev diary yesterday that said they are going to address the player tech dominance by nerfing research districts of the Ring Worlds or something like that, so I decided to take a look at the current game I was playing and see what was happening there in that regard.

So check this out:
Screenshot from 2021-06-11 10-59-38.png


I'm not a good player by any stretch of imagination, but I am playing at the highest difficulty (which is another thing to address btw). It's mid game, and everybody else's relative science level is already PATHETIC compared to mine (even the guys in my Federation who I have a research agreement with!), and I don't have a single Ring World or any other megastructure for that matter.

But what I do have is 80% research bonus across the board BEFORE scientist bonus.

I agree that this is a very big problem that a player on the highest difficulty will technologically leave everyone in the dust so early. But as you can see, this problem has nothing to do with Ring Worlds!

The way I see it, these are the actual things that can/should be changed to remedy the situation:

1. The abundance of different research bonuses is not a problem in itself (after all, it's really nice to have all the variety), but only as long as the AI can also take advantage of them. I'm no modder and can't use the console to verify this, but something tells me that they don't take advantage of all these opportunities like they should.

2. If the above can't be solved for some technical reason, then yes, all of these bonuses have to be nerfed.

3. I also remember reading somewhere on the forums that the AI is scripted to not build more than ten research building because that is considered "enough". Well guess what: no it isn't.

4. Another small AI tweaks that the devs could possibly look into would be maybe to put a higher weight on AI priority list on research bonuses when choosing which systems to colonize. Or, better yet, to put a higher weight on investing into research if they know that the player outpaces them, especially if it's a rival.

Maybe you guys have other ideas about that? Let's all think creatively!
 

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You've got a base total research output of ~2k/month (according to the top bar) in the 2320s, that's somewhat reasonable. What we're talking about is having that much research in the 2220s.

Edit: Also I didn't realise we had fans in South Africa!
 
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Yeah tech rushing can be done with almost any Empire. That's more an issue with AI programming that they seem to be looking into as well.

That still doesn't make Ringworld not incredible overpowered. After the last nerfs they have come down slightly, but it is by far the strongest origin. Of course they shouldn't Nerf it down to like common ground, but turning it slightly down is a good idea. Having an asymmetry in the game is a fun and cool idea.
 
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Thank you for stopping by!
You've got a base total research output of ~2k/month (according to the top bar) in the 2320s, that's somewhat reasonable. What we're talking about is having that much research in the 2220s.
It may or may not be reasonable in absolute terms, but it is not at all reasonable in relative terms, i.e. when you're light years ahead of EVERYONE on the highest difficulty as early as ~2300.
Edit: Also I didn't realise we had fans in South Africa!
Being a fan of SA is different than being a fan in SA :)
 
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Yeah tech rushing can be done with almost any Empire. That's more an issue with AI programming that they seem to be looking into as well.

That still doesn't make Ringworld not incredible overpowered. After the last nerfs they have come down slightly, but it is by far the strongest origin. Of course they shouldn't Nerf it down to like common ground, but turning it slightly down is a good idea. Having an asymmetry in the game is a fun and cool idea.
I have no problem with nerfing the Ring Worlds. What I'm saying is that tech rush being OP is a much bigger problem then that, as evidenced by this game where I don't have any.
 
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You've got a base total research output of ~2k/month (according to the top bar) in the 2320s, that's somewhat reasonable. What we're talking about is having that much research in the 2220s.

Edit: Also I didn't realise we had fans in South Africa!
How is that even possible? That requires 500 research jobs, and 1000 consumer goods monthly production
 
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Yeah, I do agree... overpowered Origins are definitely not the problem here.

Firstly, the AI doesn't bother trying to build Research Labs until the midgame, even Technocracies. So if you build a couple, you'll easily outpace them. Secondly, I think there's a snowball effect that more tech is a little TOO overpowered, which is why Technocracies often do extremely well.
 
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How is that even possible? That requires 500 research jobs, and 1000 consumer goods monthly production
YouTube "Stefan Anon." He mentions some competitive people. If Necroids, meri/techno/ fanatic materialist. It's super duper easy. Especially because science director. I can get cruisers before 2230 with just meri/techno and intelligent/natural engineer trait. Researchers provide unity = faster traditions = faster ascensions like Technology one. It's just busted, busted.
 
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YouTube "Stefan Anon." He mentions some competitive people. If Necroids, meri/techno/ fanatic materialist. It's super duper easy. Especially because science director. I can get cruisers before 2230 with just meri/techno and intelligent/natural engineer trait. Researchers provide unity = faster traditions = faster ascensions like Technology one. It's just busted, busted.
OK well this is a meta-build and Stefan Anon is a true power gamer.

In my example, I'm just having a casual role-playing game that is far from the optimal min maxing. And this is what I get even on the highest difficulty.
 
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You've got a base total research output of ~2k/month (according to the top bar) in the 2320s, that's somewhat reasonable. What we're talking about is having that much research in the 2220s.

One issue I have noticed is that even when not specifically tech rushing the research output increases far more quickly than the tech costs. Essentially each new tier is researched quicker and quicker. The early wars are fought with mostly T1 and some T2 techs but by the mid-game you get new techs very rapidly.

edit: typoes.
 
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Found a video.


The problem isn't with the districts - the problem is with the extremely simplified economy that is core to the strategy. I mean, it's never made sense that empires can transform the T3 resource of research into a T2 resource. How do they perform their experiments without consumer goods like lab equipment?
 
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I really dont know if its my subjective view to these things, but i ALWAYS have the feeling that these problems never existed (for casuals) before 2.2. Sure, i got better at the game, but was it really possible to rush down the AI that hard before the economy rework? In my memory there was always at least 2 or more empires which were able to compete with me even in the late 2400s on higher difficulties.
 
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YouTube "Stefan Anon." He mentions some competitive people. If Necroids, meri/techno/ fanatic materialist. It's super duper easy. Especially because science director. I can get cruisers before 2230 with just meri/techno and intelligent/natural engineer trait. Researchers provide unity = faster traditions = faster ascensions like Technology one. It's just busted, busted.

Well they do play with tech cost .75 and spend most of their game min max trading with the galactic market which is another big can of worms in this game. They market, internal and galactic, need to be reigned in by some means as they also allow the player to stomp the AI through near exploitative trading.


As for reducing researcher spam, simply weight the cost of specialist jobs and non admin leader jobs to count against the admin cap - in effect treat admin cap like naval cap. To where researchers cost nearly as must as a colony. Of course by adding jobs into the cap admin jobs would need to produce more cap.

Finally, concentrating on a level of game play the majority of their players will not experience is not the best use of their time. Let the min max the fun out of the game crowd do what they want.
 
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How is that even possible? That requires 500 research jobs, and 1000 consumer goods monthly production
Not nearly as much. That's 2.7k research total, which mean 900 in each branch, considering you research techs improving research speed, you can quickly reach at least +50% in every field, so each researcher produce 6 base tech, meaning you need 900/6 = 150 researcher.
This is still huge, but far less than 500 that you suggest. This is based on a +50% bonus, you can somewhat easily go over it via numerous other bonuses, thus you would need less than 150 jobs.

That is 300 consumer goods ; however, AFAIK tech colony designation and one of the Discovery tradition both reduce upkeep of researchers, which mean it won't cost as much CG.
 

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Still, 2k by 2220 seems excessive. If that's possible, there's some guy out there who must be doing some next-level min-maxing that I've never seen, especially within something as narrow as a ring world start - which may of course be the case, but for me personally reaching 2k by 2230 seems a lot more reasonable of a ballpark estimate.

But on the point of normal research levels:
I think the problem isn't so much the research itself, it's the tech cost curve. There is simply no setting I can use where the tech is reasonably fast early on and then still reasonably fast later on. It's either too slow in the early game (on high multipliers), or too fast in the late game, because tech production just increases a lot faster than tech costs do.

That has been a problem since the economy rework, but it has been dialed up to 11 when administrators were introduced and made it so tech costs practically don't scale with your empire size anymore.
 
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Ringworlds make it easier, for two reasons:
- Early research is relegated to basic labs (2 jobs) and science directors. Ringworlds having it as a district option that's not limited by building slots, allow a much faster build up of researcher jobs. Though that is kinda the point of ringworlds.
- The other big source of early science are anomalies and event rewards, which scale with your science income, making a tech rush doubly effective.

Ringworlds basically run into the pre-3.0 ecu issue that they're not even better at the thing they do, but simply make it easier to do it. You can tech rush without ringworlds, but it is a bit harder to get 5 research labs up than 1 ringworld research district.
 
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I really dont know if its my subjective view to these things, but i ALWAYS have the feeling that these problems never existed (for casuals) before 2.2. Sure, i got better at the game, but was it really possible to rush down the AI that hard before the economy rework? In my memory there was always at least 2 or more empires which were able to compete with me even in the late 2400s on higher difficulties.

I don't think it was anywhere near this extreme when jobs were first introduced, either. What's happened since is
a) bureaucrats (meaning you pay baseline tech costs all game even as a huge blob with hundreds of researcher pops, whereas before, as your empire got bigger, costs went up roughly in proportion)
b) power creep due to added content, and in particular there are now a ton of techs that increase pop resource output of all kinds (either passively or through unlocking bonus buildings).
The result is that tech is an overwhelming positive feedback loop mechanism that the AI basically doesn't participate in, because the AI does the opposite of tech-rushing, it almost totally neglects science.
 
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Objulen

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An equally important question is, "If the Ring World origin is OP, then how are they going to tone it down without nerfing end-game Ring Worlds?"

I'm not very familiar with the Ring World tech-rush, but watching a video, it involves what most tech-rushes involve, with some extra bonuses. It also doesn't really require Ring Worlds, but everything is better with Ring Worlds. The part of the strategy that has nothing to do with Ring Worlds essentially involves running significant deficits floated on the Galactic Market, accepting some significant penalties to stability and at least moderate (say, 20% or so) deviancy/crime, and dumping that all into research. Typical rush build.

The part where it gets cheesy is with Machine Empires. First, they ignore the downside to the Ring World start. More importantly, both Ring Worlds and Resource Consolidation starts have a planet with all building slots unlocked, so you can spam early game labs on your home world. That allows for much stronger research in early decades than most other empires would have.

There are a couple of things here to consider when looking at the rush:

1) Floating low stability and accepting deviancy/crime needs to have stronger consequences. There needs to be a trigger, based on combined stability and deviancy, to trigger deviant drone jobs more readily. If you don't invest drones in maintaining your empire, they wander off and do other things. Having a geometric effect wouldn't be a bad idea. 50% stability is base line. At that level, 20% deviancy shouldn't produce many deviant drones, maybe 2 or so. But 25% stability? Let's say 8. On the flip side, if you invest in reducing deviancy and improving stability, those drones become productive again reasonably quickly. Making dumping Maintenance Drones and Hunter Seekers counter productive by eating pops fixes this part of the strategy handily.

2) The only way to nerf deficit spending is to nerf exchange rates on internal markets. Not the 30%, but the diminishing returns on the base exhcange rate. If each purchase on the internal market made the next purchase twice as expensive/half as profitable as it does now, and that penalty was only removed by joining the Galactic Market some decades into the game, then deficit spending becomes less feasible and a balanced economy becomes more important.

3) Ring Worlds and Machine Worlds. Primary, I see the best way to fix these is to use tech-gated blockers.

Ring Worlds - Introduce a blocker that limits the Ring World to 1 of each district and blocks 5 of the 11 building slots. The blocker can only be removed once the Mega Engineering technology is researched. This makes Ring Worlds a powerful hub of generalized production, but it can't be used as a specialized production powerhouse until the proper stage of the game. Note that Mega Engineering Remove the organic habitability penalty, since the Ring World isn't nearly as strong before its time.

Machine Worlds - Add a blocker that locks 5 of the 11 building slots, and requires Climate Restoration to clear.
 
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Incompetent

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An equally important question is, "If the Ring World origin is OP, then how are they going to tone it down without nerfing end-game Ring Worlds?"

The dev diary didn't propose any nerf to endgame ringworlds as far as I could tell, just that in 2200 the Shattered Ring will be even more... shattered... than it is now, and it will take quite a lot of effort to restore even your initial segment to the level of a standard ringworld segment.

So far the devs have tried to nerf some of these special starts by putting in blockers, but as the blockers don't require anything special to clear, just some basic resources, in practice they've only been minor speedbumps at the most. I imagine the serious nerf will come in the form of more intractable blockers that require "quests" of some sort to clear, on top of a substantial investment of resources, or maybe Shattered RIng will be a totally different colony type until you restore it (i.e. it will look as much like a fully functional ringworld segment as a relic world looks like an Ecumenopolis). That could mean you don't have access to any research districts at all on the shattered ring at game start, so you need to make some actual lab buildings in order to research how to fix the ringworld.
 
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