Research overhaul suggestion

Started by historic_os, July 03, 2017, 08:44:32 PM

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I'd like to introduce a suggestion to make research what I believe is better than its current state. I know there were several topics discussing research already, but they are mostly dead and outdated.

I constantly get people asking me why my mod does not require research. My answer is always, "I don't believe in the current research system of the game".
Don't get me wrong, I love RimWorld, and the research system is fine. However, for a game so good, could we maybe achieve more?

The core purpose of the change is to

  • Make research interesting and not a passive time-consuming task.
  • Add aspects of macro management to research.
    While you could still "touch and forget" to start a research, you have more interaction options that will provide better rewards.
  • Make research more realistic and social by making it a joint task. Not a single  person's job.
  • Make knowledge a viable income method and keep research viable late-game.
Please note, this suggestion is merely a scrap which is why it will not be addressing balance at all.

1. Research requires knowledge
A specialist is defined as: A person with a skill(eg. shooting) higher than the researcher's same skill.
Research can be done faster with input from people who are specializing in the topic.
This is achieved in two ways:

Research data
New "craftable" item: Research data for <SKILL>

Made by a person with a relevant skill, scales in quality with the skill level.
Add new incapability: Can't write. People who can't write will not be able to write research data.

For example: "Packaged survival meals" could use "Research data for Cooking" written by a cook. Done in a writer table, probably as a bill.

Researchers having a conversation with a specialist in the relevant skill area will gain a buff to the research speed.

2. Multi-stage research
Make research longer, but in times faster, by splitting into multiple stages (more like R&D).

Phase 1: Researching
Time consumption: 0-5/10.

This phase is a timed research, like the current research system. However, it can vary in time or completely skipped based on the amount of relevant Research data the colony holds.

Phase 2: Development
Time consumption: 3/10.

This phase length is based on the researcher Intellectual skill and produces an item at the end for the relevant research.
For example, researching Gun Turrets will produce "Gun Turrets manufacture manual". The manual quality will determine how long the Finalize phase is and is based on the researcher intelligent.

Manufacture manuals are consumed upon use. Therefore, if this is the first time a colony is running this specific research, it will be consumed in Finalize phase.
On other cases, it will be kept as a tradeable item.

Phase 3: Finalize
Time consumption: 1-2/10.

Finalizing the research and preparing production.
If you acquire the relevant manual, you can skip phases 1 and 2 directly into this, finalize phase.

3. Research as a colony income method and trading knowledge
Research data and Manuals can be traded(both buy and sell) with factions based on their technological level.

Research data (Relatively cheap)
Having enough of them allows you to completely skip Phase 1 for relevant researches. Therefore, reduce research time.

Manufacture manual (Expensive)
Allows you to completely skip Phase 1 and 2. Almost completely nullify specific research time.

Some answers to possible questions

  • Nice, why don't you just mod it?
    Because i believe this will be a healthy change to research the game will greatly benefit from and feel like it should be a part of the core game.
    Regardless, i will be modding it. Tho i'm very short on time and i doubt it will ever see daylight.
  • If Manufacture manual is consumed upon use, how do you trade it?
    Once completing a research you'll be able to redo it. It will only run the 2nd phase (development) and produce a manual.
  • What about research that is not relevant to any skill?
    It will not use Research data. Phase 1 will be skipped and Phase 2 time will be adjusted properly
  • What about research that is relevant to multiple skills?
    It will use Research data of all relevant skills.
  • I don't think a level 20 constructor knowledge is enough to research a spaceship
    Maybe not, this is where research that is assigned to multiple skills could be relevant.
    A very intelligent person alone with zero understanding in construction will not build a spaceship without consulting a builder as well.
  • What priority is "write research data" for pawns who are not assigned to research?
    Writing could be added next to research in priorities tab.
  • I don't want to have to allocate my best construction guy time to write research data
    You don't have to, you can have the researcher simply do Phase 1.
    However, you can use the power of a good builder's construction knowledge to speed up the research.
  • Why?
    Why not? Research is kinda dull at the moment and adding more aspects to it would be nice. Also, there are many people taking a role play approach to rimworld building drug cartels etc. adding trading aspect to research alone will add more playability to the game.