technology snowballing: any mechanics against it?

technology snowballing: any mechanics against it?

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Sonereal

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Number of patents filed is a terrible measure of anything except how many bureaucrats you employ.
Too bad I said "sent", not "filed".

I am not saying that the relationship between population size and scientific progress is 1:1. I simply disagree with using China and India as examples considering they actually are leading in things we can actually see, such as academic papers and patent applications.

But I agree. It is hard to determine who is and isn't a "leading scientific power". We can merely give a rough list based on things we can see and count. I also agree that the relationship between population size and "scientific output" is pretty complex. After all, China went centuries where it most definitely wasn't in the lead by any metric.

Never heard anyone seriously complaining about not-size-scaling research cost in EU4, though one might be puzzled at some point by Mainz being ahead of France .
Doesn't EUIV avoid the issue because mana isn't really tied to size?

They went through a phase of a few hundred years where they became hide bound traditionalists that set them behind rather recently allowing other nations to surpass them. Since that phase ended they've made up tremendous ground on the leading nations so they are once again considered a world superpower.
That is a really really really really simplistic analysis of Chinese history.
 

ProfPain77

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I never understood that. Shouldn't a higher population increase science? Considering there is a larger amount of people doing science, and a higher chance of producing an Albert Einstein, "exploding" science?
The dreaded "realism" issue aside, I think it just makes more sense from a gameplay perspective. The classic problem of 4Xs and some other genres (RTSs comes to mind) is the unstoppable snowball effect, where once a side has more colonies, ships, and tech, its victory becomes inevitable. Internal instability, end game crises, and the inefficiencies (scientific and otherwise) of large empires all seem angled towards keeping the meaningful decisions going and minimizing the grind towards an inevitable outcome.

You can see developers making similar decisions in other games, such as "super" or "rage" meters in fighting games, Reno Jackson in Hearthstone, and alterations in the gold rewards and death timers in League of Legends.

The counterargument is that sometimes these changes mitigate the benefits of a good early game performance. I can see some players getting angry if they are winning the game and perhaps end game crises are weighted to strike the strongest empire, for example. Another good example of a bad comeback mechanic is the dreaded "catch-up speed" in a racing game, where the optimal strategy is to sit in second place until the race nears the end. You are indirectly punished for leading the race.
 
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KonradKurze202

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China has been the leading edge of science for most of human history. They went through a phase of a few hundred years where they became hide bound traditionalists that set them behind rather recently allowing other nations to surpass them. Since that phase ended they've made up tremendous ground on the leading nations so they are once again considered a world superpower.
China (or the various empires and cultures that we now amalgamate into 'China') has indeed produced quite a lot of interesting technological marvels: the printing press, fireworks/gunpowder, the compass, etc, etc. However, since the shift of power towards the west (as the European nations decided to go from fireworks into gunpowder propelled projectiles) China slowly declined. In recent years China has made efforts to return to place of eminence on the world stage, yet they fell into the same trap the Russians did in their revolution. They killed a lot of the smart people during their revolt periods. Today not a whole lot of 'interesting' technology is invented in China, most of their military and industrial tech comes from western nations. As time goes on I have no doubt their scientific situation will improve, but as of today most interesting cutting-edge tech comes from the EU or the US (the US has started to fall behind in physics research recently, no super big Hadron Collider for us, plus no space ships, very sad).

Buy anyway this is off topic.
 
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Remoria

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It is simplistic sonreal its also pretty dang accurate.

How many ideas or inventions excluding say the last 350 years weren't done in china first?

Gunpowder? Sailing ships? The compass? printing presses? accurate census's? First calculators/computers? Cast iron? The list continues almost indefinitely.



But your right konrad they aren't currently the leading edge of tech. But within the last 30 years (roughly) they've gone from third world country status to a first world nation, their still behind the curve on the top nations, but their gaining at a remarkable rate.


Its not so much that having more people means you can throw more people on the job. (science wise at least) But having more people makes it more likely to have more of the super brilliant people we cite with pushing technology ahead by leaps and bounds
 
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Denkt

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Why not just as it is: It is all about balance, no need to for real life examples;)
 
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Remoria

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Because real life examples were raised in defense of the status quo and I was simply pointing out that the examples used don't work. (Mainly because they show that generally speaking the opposite of what their users were intending is what actually happens)

Personally I think arguing about the balance of a game we haven't gotten to play yet is pointless and dumb, but the forums been overwhelmed with these threads, and rather like a grammar nazi I can't pass by people misusing references/examples without correcting them.
 
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qer

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I find it funny that people keep mentioning civ V when in the OP I used it's much better predecessor :p . still , let's hope that the system is well balanced so that tall vs wide remain both viable options
 
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GC13

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My knee-jerk reaction is to be worried about that. What's the rate like? Does expanding still benefit your tech advancement even if you don't try to make some super academic research society?
Well looking at the stream, at the start of the game he has seven Pops and the lowest tech costs 240. It seems to do weird stuff, so I'm not sure it's tired directly to the population but at one point he has nineteen Pops and a low-cost tech costs 283. The low-cost techs are still 240 even when we know he definitely has at least eight Pops though, so the answer is a resounding "we don't know", but also with a strong helping of "expanding still helps."
 
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Korashy

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Well looking at the stream, at the start of the game he has seven Pops and the lowest tech costs 240. It seems to do weird stuff, so I'm not sure it's tired directly to the population but at one point he has nineteen Pops and a low-cost tech costs 283. The low-cost techs are still 240 even when we know he definitely has at least eight Pops though, so the answer is a resounding "we don't know", but also with a strong helping of "expanding still helps."
I mean of course expanding would still help if you are building research stations at a higher rate than your % pop malus gives you. The question is, will there be a point where say having an extra pop on a research station is more inefficient than not having that extra pop at all.
 

GC13

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I doubt they would implement an exponential growth thing, because that would make the player feel punished for succeeding in a way that factions do not. Likely it's either linear or some kind of 1/x^2 thing where expanding is always beneficial, just less so.
 
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RickInVA

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Tech costs increase from population size.
in my opinion this has some good points and some challenges. Reasonably speaking it does not take a large population longer to research new science, generally the opposite. However, it is certainly true that delivering the benefits of science to the whole population is a larger task with a larger population.

What I would like to see (which I know no one here will give a damn about) is that there be a separate, but related, process to turn discoveries into something usable. For example, I might discover a technology that theoretically allows me to colonize high pressure areas. I may not find that I need to invest the resources to turn that into the reality of being able to do that, but that having that knowledge may allow me to research something else I want. If commercializing, to use a word, that scientific advance impacts my whole empire, then I could understand that being a time consuming process.

Otherwise this just seems like another, in my opinion, unneeded game balancing idea. I see this in full force in EU IV where a one province backwater like Lesser Dumbovia has higher tech levels than France, Spain or Austria. It neither makes any logical sense, nor does it, again in my opinion, improve the game at all. Indeed it is one of the things that frustrates me the most about EU IV. I am sorry to see that kind of design choice intruding here.

But what do I know, I'm not a game designer, I'm just a customer that buys game that keep game designers employed.
 
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Cruxador

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am i the onlyone who thinks thats awful?
No.

Yes you have more population available to do research, but having more population also makes increases the cost of implementing technologies as there is simply more to implement. I.E. It would be easier to give all of Estonia fiber internet than it would be for China or Russia.
That's an infrastructural cost, not a research one. It would be just as easy for China to find out about fiber internet, but deploying it would be harder. Finding out about something is the research, the infrastructural cost comes when you're upgrading buildings or putting modules in stations or ships.

"Realism" is a terrible system, and it is only fun if it is balanced well and works.
If it's balanced, not necessarily. Asymmetry has worked well in Paradox games before, so why shouldn't it now? And "it's only fun if it works" applies to every system.
 
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Ex Mudder

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It's not science and technology, it's infrastructure that slows down with size. The bigger / more populous the country / star empire, the harder and more expensive it is to upgrade everything to the new tech. With the exception of Military Unit upgrades and better buildings, science benefits in games often include a drag based on empire size to reflect the cost of implementation.

How much of China or India is as hi tech as Japan, for example? In terms of surface area and population. Or Russia, one of the scientific greats during the cold war. Hell, compare Germany and Italy sometime.

Just because the govt gets cool toys doesn't mean everyone does.

Also, gameplay > other, and the compounding of large empire = faster science quickly snowballs out of control.
 
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Beric

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I'm really surprised that they aren't just using EU4's neighbor bonus. Nobody gets away with having vastly superior technology for long. The tech leaks over your borders to your neighbors, who use it for their designs. There is almost nothing that can stop the flow of information. The simple answer is to just make techs research faster if your neighbors already have had them for a while.
 
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Remoria

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Its not really the neighbor bonus that keeps techs level in eu4 its the ahead of time penalty where theres literally nothing else to spend those points on and you buy the next tier tech because next month your going to hit your cap.
 
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stratigo

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China (or the various empires and cultures that we now amalgamate into 'China') has indeed produced quite a lot of interesting technological marvels: the printing press, fireworks/gunpowder, the compass, etc, etc. However, since the shift of power towards the west (as the European nations decided to go from fireworks into gunpowder propelled projectiles) China slowly declined. In recent years China has made efforts to return to place of eminence on the world stage, yet they fell into the same trap the Russians did in their revolution. They killed a lot of the smart people during their revolt periods. Today not a whole lot of 'interesting' technology is invented in China, most of their military and industrial tech comes from western nations. As time goes on I have no doubt their scientific situation will improve, but as of today most interesting cutting-edge tech comes from the EU or the US (the US has started to fall behind in physics research recently, no super big Hadron Collider for us, plus no space ships, very sad).

Buy anyway this is off topic.
The industrial revolution is why China fell behind. The only reason. Europe experienced it and China didn't. Up until that point China was roughly equivalent to Europe when it wasn't MORE advanced. Also inventing tech isn't that important in the modern world on a global scale. You only need one person to invent something at a high cost, and then it is FAR cheaper to copy them. Which is what China is, smartly, doing. There would only be a problem if no one was inventing anything.
 
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CatsPajamas

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Also, gameplay > other, and the compounding of large empire = faster science quickly snowballs out of control.
The dreaded "realism" issue aside, I think it just makes more sense from a gameplay perspective. The classic problem of 4Xs and some other genres (RTSs comes to mind) is the unstoppable snowball effect, where once a side has more colonies, ships, and tech, its victory becomes inevitable. Internal instability, end game crises, and the inefficiencies (scientific and otherwise) of large empires all seem angled towards keeping the meaningful decisions going and minimizing the grind towards an inevitable outcome.
Good points Ex Mudder and ProfPain! It will be exciting to see the first couple months of Stellaris multiplayer and how the mechanics designed to prevent tech snowballing interact with things like the random research speed bonuses from tech and events.

What I would like to see (which I know no one here will give a damn about) is that there be a separate, but related, process to turn discoveries into something usable. For example, I might discover a technology that theoretically allows me to colonize high pressure areas. I may not find that I need to invest the resources to turn that into the reality of being able to do that, but that having that knowledge may allow me to research something else I want. If commercializing, to use a word, that scientific advance impacts my whole empire, then I could understand that being a time consuming process.
This idea seems similar to the Inventions system in Victoria 2, where researching a technology could lead to inventions/discoveries with their own effects. In that system the inventions had a random chance of happening each month though. It would be interesting to see a system like this explored with a different implementation, but I think the uniqueness of Stellaris' current research implementation is enough already.

One thing I could see is a system like this interacting with the Ship Designer where different ship components or upgrades take the place of Inventions from Victoria 2. For example, you could research something like "Gravity Well Manipulation" which could be used as a new kind of reactor, engine, or weapon but you'd have to invest separate to develop those components. That would add more tactical player choice, but it makes the ship design more complicated so it's something to consider for future development if at all.
 
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stratigo

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:p if people disagree with me, engage with me folks. I like scholarly discussions.
 
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zoislk

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Putting twice as many people on a project usually doesn't double productivity, you have larger overhead, more politics involved in the decision making process, so diminishing returns.
Very true. However, pitting twice as many competing theories against eachother can sometimes lead to better results (as long as the resources invested in each theory does not diminish).
 

6076

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Maybe. Why aren't China and India the worlds' leading scientific nations though? Moar peeps = moar Science! is a common 4X mechanic, but like a lot of things in these games, it's an abstraction. Any "realistic" research model would mostly consist of reading piles of procedurally generated funding requests, and reports from your leading scientists rubbishing the work of the other leading scientists, and suggesting that moar moneys be given to them instead. Do we really *need* that many hospitals anyway?
They are poor. And china is increasing its research ability. Why is USA is having a good science? It's rather big, a lot of people. Money + people = research. Just make implementing costly.
 
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