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Alien Research Instruments


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#1 Judge_Deadd

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Posted 19 May 2003 - 06:12 AM

You can find them in a research-mission UFO. Here is the Pedia entry I propose:

Aliens use these instruments in order to quickly analyze the terrain. These devices give them a lot of info about the researched item, thus the research takes a lot less time than normal human-technology based researching. The instruments perform a lot various functions, i. e. probing the composition of the substance or checking its features such as thickness or density. The devices provide us an opportunity to speed up our progress.

(sorry for bad spelling... if you find any)

These allow to research the Alien Technology Lab (or some other name, think of it yourself):

Build Time: 35 days
Construction Cost: 950 000$
Maintenance: 75 000$
Pedia Entry: This lab is equipped with newly-acquired devices, which speed up research speed. They need lots of energy, however.

It doubles the research speed.

Edited by Judge_Deadd, 19 May 2003 - 06:12 AM.

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#2 Breunor

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Posted 19 May 2003 - 06:56 AM

Hmmm... that is an awful powerful item to have for its cost. Consider how it could ultimately affect gameplay:
If I build that at my research base (which I expect many people build), which normally has 200 scientists, this device lets me drop 100 of those scientists and still get the same effect. So I can scrap 2 living quarters and 2 labs, which combined costs $80,000 per month to maintain. Then there's the salaries of the 100 scientists, which would be $60,000 IIRC. So there's $6million per month, for a total savings of around $6,000,000 a month (and 4 spaces in the base), for a cost of one facility and about $1million up front.

This sort of looks like a facility version of the salary flaw, I could transfer my scientists to avoid their salaries, etc. Perhaps it could have some other effect that's not so powerful, and make it cost more to maintain. Maybe it improves speed by 25%, costs more and requires elerium or something like that.

#3 Judge_Deadd

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Posted 19 May 2003 - 07:47 AM

OK Breunor. It speeds up by 25%, requires 5 Elerium maintenance per month and has 100 000 maintenance.
"This is why I love subtle humour, it's as dirty or as clean as the reader's own mind." -- Sinscale17

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#4 GreatGold

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Posted 19 May 2003 - 10:35 AM

Hey -

I think this would be way to powerful, especially in conjunction with the new research idea floating around regarding culmulative output of research for all bases. I think it would have to be one or the other, not both. Unless more balance could be made. I just really think that the power of culmulative research is skirting the edge of too powerful, and adding somthing on to that is definately going over the edge.

Now, if there was an accelerated research gameplay option, I could see this working. But definately not in a normal game, as it is currently imagined.

Just my thoughts,
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#5 Breunor

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Posted 19 May 2003 - 10:56 AM

Just like the cumulative research requires a facility at each participating base, this would be the same thing. I think if such a facility were considered, maybe it would be mutually exclusive of the combined research thing for balance? To keep the alien research facility from being an overpowering thing, you'd have to make it really expensive, so that it would be cheaper to just have the scientists, but the benefit would be space savings or something like that. Say there's a break point on the cost per month. If you devoted a base to research, this could help even more, but wouldn't make sense for an average base. My thought of monthly upkeep was more like $2,500,000 a month. Even if it only improved research speed by 25%, you'd break even with 168 scientists at the base. The facility gives you the effect of an extra 42 scientists, which would have cost you $2,520,000.

Another train of thought could be that there's a maximum number of people who can work on one project. Whatever the limit is, this facility could allow you to exceed that limit. So say the limit were 50, and this thing gave you a 50% bonus on every project at the base. Cooperative research between bases would probably need some type of limit like that to keep people from putting 800 people on a project and completed it in 1 day.

Just some thoughts, if none of this sounds good that's fine. Just suggesting here that there has to be a strong balance for each item in the game. The alien research thing is interesting, but would have to have some strong negatives. Elerium use is a good one, but while some people have a hard time keeping enough elerium around, others get it by the boat load. So then there's the question of how much elerium is it worth. Also when it appears would affect how expensive it should be. If it's found late in the game, you may have a lot of the research done and the cost could therefore be less.

#6 Judge_Deadd

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Posted 20 May 2003 - 07:18 AM

Uh, do as you want, Breunor.

Edited by Judge_Deadd, 16 January 2005 - 07:48 AM.

"This is why I love subtle humour, it's as dirty or as clean as the reader's own mind." -- Sinscale17

"Just imagine if you were really the XCOM commander. You'd build defence modules like there was no tomorrow. Because if you didn't, there really would be no tomorrow!" -- Aiki-Knight

#7 Breunor

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Posted 20 May 2003 - 08:02 AM

Hmmm... I get the impression you aren't thrilled with my comments. What I say isn't any more relevent than what you say Judge, I'm only suggesting that if you want an idea to work in the game you have to consider all the effects of its use. It's not my intent to sound argumentative in any way, but the points I brought up have to be addressed at some point in development with every idea people propose. Rather than just say 'item X is cool' and leave it at that, if you can flesh out the idea and cover all the possible issues successfully, then it's much more likely to be considered down the road by the programmers of the group. I'm sure they'd tell you that they aren't going to spend many hours implementing something that throws the game out of balance, regardless of what it is.

My comments aren't intended as an attack of your ideas, in fact it shows that I find it interesting and worth discussing. If you posted ideas and nobody responded, then that would be worrisome in my book.

#8 Deimos

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Posted 20 May 2003 - 07:46 PM

Judge, everyone's ideas in here are valid regardless of whether their good or bad. In your case I think it's an interesting idea but I have to agree with Bruenor that any new feature, not just yours will need comprehensive balance testing before it could be considered. We have to think primarily about how it would affect the gameplay balance.

The alien artifiact sounds very much like a Startrek tricorder. :)

#9 red knight

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 01:39 AM

I'm sure they'd tell you that they aren't going to spend many hours implementing something that throws the game out of balance, regardless of what it is.

You can bet that at least i wont be implementing untested and unfleshed out features unless you can state all the relevant interconnections between different gameplay factors.

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#10 Judge_Deadd

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 08:57 AM

Build Time: 45 days
Construction Cost: 985 000$
Maintenance: 250 500$
Pedia Entry: This lab is equipped with newly-acquired devices, which speed up research speed. They need lots of energy, however.
It increases research speed by 15%. It requires 8 Elerium per month to maintain.
"This is why I love subtle humour, it's as dirty or as clean as the reader's own mind." -- Sinscale17

"Just imagine if you were really the XCOM commander. You'd build defence modules like there was no tomorrow. Because if you didn't, there really would be no tomorrow!" -- Aiki-Knight

#11 Guest_blaa_*

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 11:26 AM

It's not the numbers JD. The concept needs to be tested.

The problem here, for me, is that this is yet anouther goodie for the Earthlings.

#12 Breunor

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 11:48 AM

Maybe it could be required to research anything past a certain point, without it the alien technology is just too foreign to understand.

#13 Cpt. Boxershorts

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 11:05 AM

How about as a side effect, with so much advanced alien technology in this research area, a mind shield is useless. Conversely, if there's no mind shield in the base, the nearest alien base AUTOMATICALLY knows where you are.

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#14 DwightMcNeil

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 10:50 PM

hhhmmmmm Good idea to have a special development space just for their gear. I ahve a question though. Why do we only use their weapons and ships.


Alien surgical equiptment..........Shouldn't healing go alot faster. Bladeless surgery. Abductees are returned within a night for surgery and experiements.

Alien food units........Makes great shakes for grays but if I read the research right ti should be able to make food for humans. Great combat rations so you can stay in the field longer.


Alien Alloys..............stronger builts, interceptors stronger and lighter.


Alien scout craft..........they don't have a UFO power source. So they must have another form of power. Could it be rebuilt and put in interceptor 2's

#15 Miklatov

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 03:29 AM

hhhmmmmm  Good idea to have a special development space just for their gear.  I ahve a question though.  Why do we only use their weapons and ships.


Alien surgical equiptment..........Shouldn't healing go alot faster.  Bladeless surgery.  Abductees are returned within a night for surgery and experiements.

Alien food units........Makes great shakes for grays but if I read the research right ti should be able to make food for humans.  Great combat rations so you can stay in the field longer.


Alien Alloys..............stronger builts, interceptors stronger and lighter.


Alien scout craft..........they don't have a UFO power source.  So they must have another form of power. Could it be rebuilt and put in interceptor 2's

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I'm liking these ideas a lot! Good thinking.

#16 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 22 July 2004 - 06:16 AM

hhhmmmmm  Good idea to have a special development space just for their gear.  I ahve a question though.  Why do we only use their weapons and ships.


Alien surgical equiptment..........Shouldn't healing go alot faster.  Bladeless surgery.  Abductees are returned within a night for surgery and experiements.

Alien food units........Makes great shakes for grays but if I read the research right ti should be able to make food for humans.  Great combat rations so you can stay in the field longer.


Alien Alloys..............stronger builts, interceptors stronger and lighter.


Alien scout craft..........they don't have a UFO power source.  So they must have another form of power. Could it be rebuilt and put in interceptor 2's

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Alien Surgical equipment- Agreed. Although the flayed open cows on the alien surgery table tend to disagree with you. :P

Alien Food units- I was under the impression that they were storage units, you stick a human inside, and he is broken down into something that aliens can readily digest. I don't believe it's a startrek replicator. ;)

Alien Alloys- used in all high grade strike craft. An upgrade to the basic interceptor would be nice though. Good idea.

Alien Scout Craft- I think those scouts used some sort of battery with a forty eight hour charge. (No evidence for that, just making suppositions.) However, I don't see the value of using that in an interceptor. It wouldn't boost speed any, and interceptors have plenty of fuel. It's not like the Interceptor uses elerium.
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#17 MirariNefas

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 04:22 AM

It's not the numbers JD. The concept needs to be tested.

The problem here, for me, is that this is yet anouther goodie for the Earthlings.


In reality, with normal lab equiptment, do you think earthlings would ever be able to research and develop new aircraft using alien power sources and so in a matter of months? If you just increase research difficulty closer to reality, than this won't be a 'goody', it will just be standard.


Maybe it could be required to research anything past a certain point, without it the alien technology is just too foreign to understand.


I couldn't agree more. Alien tech is not easy. You can't just stick a few hundred scientists in a room with microscopes and a tool box and tell them to reverse-engineer alien reactors, computers, weaponry, and biology. This stuff is not easy. Using alien technology in our tools and mainframes would be completely necessary for humanity to make any headway in this stuff. Some basic research in the beginning can be scaled to the initial lab, but a requisite for an advanced lab is completely reasonable, and not so difficult to balance.

#18 sir_schwick

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 12:06 PM

Assuming that the Alien Lab is required to study Alien stuff, we should also change the tech tree in a couple ways.

By studying gear we have captured, it is possible to learn how to operate it. However understanding it well enough to manufacture facsimilies requies the Alien Lab. Any alien gear that is captured can be researched in this way and then used, but cannot be manufactured. Here are the manufacture techs.

Plasma Weapon Manufacturing - This tech allows you to reproduce any plasma based alien weapon you have studied including Pistols, Rifles, Heavies, and Ship weapons.
Elerium Ammunition Manufacturing - This tech allows you to make any kind of plasma ammunition required. However if you don't have the aline clip research, then your clips only hold 3/4 of the normal ammo.
Alien Power Manufactureing - This tech allows you to manufacture the elerium based power sources.
Alien Alloy Manufacturing - This tech allows you to manufacture alien alloys.
Alien Navigation Manufacturing - This tech allows you to make a human friendly navigation system, convert captured alien navigation systems, and make an interface tool that allows lmited flight capability of field captured alien craft.