TL;DRI would like to see the ability to do some of the infinite researches without having all science packs, but at a much lower efficiency so the player can choose to either make all science packs, or go absolutely nuts on one of them and neglect the lower efficiency of time (and resources).
What ?Currently, research (and especially infinite research) happens in a linear fashion where you need a science pack of each kind to make it work. I would like to see the ability to do some of the infinite researches with only red and/or green science packs, but at a much lower efficiency so the player can choose to either make all science packs, or go absolutely nuts on one of them and neglect the lower efficiency of time (and resources). This would make it possible for players to instead of making all science, they can choose to make massive factories that pump out train loads of red science packs and research (or use up the materials in a way that isn't purely useless) anyway. Although I'd like to refer to the discussion for an actually method of implementation, here is an example to get my point and give you guys something to base it off:
Each science pack gets a certain amount of 'points' rewarded, based on the difficulty of production and the required resources. Each research requires an X amount of points to complete but a penalty is added for each type of science pack missing. The points could be as follows (did not calculate, just making something up):
Red : 1
Green : 2
Blue : 8
Production : 12
Military : 12
High Tech : 15
Space packs : 20
(Total : 70)
A certain research requires for example 700 points and science packs are used up in equal amounts. If all packs are available, 10 units of time will be necessary to get to the total of 700 'points' of research. If I choose not make all science packs, but mass produce for example only red and green, there will be a penalty of (for example) 20% added for each pack missing. This means I now need (700*1.2^(5) =) 3010 points to complete the research instead of the base amount of 700. As I'm only producing red and green packs, I'm only adding 3 points towards the research per pair of packs and I will need to wait for over a thousand units of time for my research to complete.
Why ?I am the kind of person who really likes train and although Steam says I played the game for nearly 600 hours (plus a few hundred pre-Steam), I never actually launched a rocket. I tend to set up a small factory, do the science necessary to start decently working with trains and then make separate towns/outposts (Yes, Bentham-Style) for individual components and start making the science packs. As I work through the necessary components and start on the basic science packs, I find myself making ridiculous amounts of red science packs with absolutely no point to them at all, and this is what got me thinking. I think it would be great to give players more choices in what they produce.
To be honest, there should probably be different penalties for different packs so it would be more viable to use only space packs then to use red packs (although the points do somewhat correct this already) but this is just an example of what it could look like. I'm looking forward to hearing the thoughts on this and what better systems arise in the discussion. Thank you for taking the time to read this.