I coming from this post: posting.php?mode=reply&f=6&t=28900#pr197216 Add a slider to increase research and build times
When I read Kevin's thought about the research speed I thought this is a good idea.
My idea about this problem is, that the game should start as now, but with each tech you research the following tech takes more and more time.I found that increased lab power made the game much more enjoyable as it forces me to build more power, along with the need for more materials and the need to expand the base.
PROBLEMS: Increasing all science x100 makes starting the game not as fun since you are just waiting to research basic automation. Thus, I think there must be an option to exclude technologies that only use red science paks... these early techs would have no increased cost or time so you can get to the real game sooner.
In exchange to this nerf of technology tree the labs are buffed in a - not equal but - similar way:
If a lab is in continuous research for some time it increases it's speed. It "accelerates". This is limited by the current existing technology Lab efficiency (which still increases also the basic starting speed), but this speedup will be lost, once the lab needs to stop (cause no power or no items or just stopped).
The point is here: With each acceleration the power usage increases, too. So after some minutes (1-5 minutes?) of continuous research the lab speed is as high as "usual" (without this change), but the energy usage is much, much higher than yet.
- each research increases time-cost of the next research by some factor (could be explained with "the more research we already did, the more complicated it gets to find the next"). The result is an exponential (*) scale of time for the research cost.
- in exchange a continuous resarch-time in lab increases lab-speed exponentially.
- The lower bound of the lab speed is as now. There is no change.
- The upper bound needs to be calculated (some math) to be in a fair balance with the the above research time-factor and increases of course with lab-efficiency tech (as now).
- The bonus is lost when the lab stopped. Due to power shortage, item shortage or no order. This cries for a research-planner!
- The bonus is not lost if the lab stopped only for a very short time. I think bonus gets lost after some seconds (1-10?) of no power/items/order.
- The time without loosing the research-speed-acceleration-bonus could be increased by some research.
(*) I'm not sure, if exponential is right, perhaps we need other curves that are more flat in the end... in every case this curve needs to be balanced of course. So please replace in mind every "exponential" with "some fun-function".
Why is this useful?
You are in the mid-game, and you have managed - after some tries, that your labs have reached maximum research-speed (for now). The needed power surprises you, it's far beyond of what you ever imagined. Now you know, why there is a nuclear power plant in the game and you are proud for your working nuclear supply-chain.
But this is still a little bit too slow, each recipe increases the time a bit, so you research the lab-efficiency (again). Now this is overwhelming: The power need is over 2 gigawatts! Alone for the labs! Some short power fails everywhere! You need a second nuclear plant.
As you are looking around, you see an alarm coming in: a massive wave of biters. Now you need to make a decision: Turn off some of the labs to have more power for the lasers or keep the labs all on in hope that the power loss is short enough to keep the speed bonus.
- I think that a power-loss in the mid- to end-game is a very adrenaline kicking (and so enjoyable) part of the game.
- I also think, that exponential need of power is a very cool game element: you cannot longer estimate how far you can go, even experienced players will be surprised how fast things can change.
- Currently, after you reached some point in the game you don't need to care about the right order of research. With this change it is important again.
- There will be dozens of solutions/blueprints to control your research-center in a more or less optimal way, inclusive mods to telecontrol the research progress.
- There will be lab-layouts, that guarantees, that labs keep their research bonus as long as possible, even on item shortage.
- Your research-decision you formerly made changes the time (and power usage) for the following research. Which is a very interesting game element.
- You can balance this like so, that we don't need so much labs than yet, cause there is no sense in having 20 labs. I think 5-10 labs should be enough for anything that comes. If you build more you will come faster into power problems.
- You will care much more about if the labs have enough items, cause you will lose the whole speed-bonus, once a red potions is not available.
- And if you loose the bonus: Don't care - this is self-regulating.