Although I don't have the computer or art skills needed to make a functioning mood, I nevertheless enjoy brainstorming ideas for fun. Sometimes, I post the ideas that I brainstorm so that others can pick out parts that they might find useful.
Posted by Quadhelix on Oct 27th, 2013
Tiers 1 & 2
This proposal for GDI's tech tree was inspired by the observation that, although the Tech Tree in Command & Conquer: Generals technically allows players to build their Air Field before their War Factory (as they both have the same prerequisite), such an act appears strategically unsound. The principle problem is that each Air Field can support only four planes, and there is only one type of helicopter available (the Comanche for the US and the Helix for China). Consequently, a player that builds the Air Field first is going to have the problem of a homogenous force. Nevertheless, the American forces in the game have the option use the Air Field, rather than the War Factory, to unlock the Strategy Center; this planted the idea in my head for a version of GDI that could go "Airfield" first and still remain strategically viable.
The initial idea to allow GDI to build its Airfield before the War Factory was an upgrade that would allow the Airfield to produce certain ground units. Using C&C3 units as an example, the Airfield might be able to produce Pitbulls and Harvesters, but APCs and Predator Tanks would have to be built from the War Factory. This idea eventually metamorphosed into its current form - GDI has two structures that act as War Factories, one of which (the Tech Depot) produces light vehicles and helicopters, the other of which (the Armor Plant) produces tanks and mechs.
One issue is that the system has to provide a relatively complete set of Tier 1 units at Tier 1 (i.e., each type of War Factory has to be able to produce a complete set of Tier 1 units); at the same time, the system should avoid redundancies (that is, only one type of War Factory should be able to produce a complete set of Tier 1 units). To resolve this dilemma, building a particular War Factory type unlocks a specific technology branch. Building a "Tech Depot" first unlocks the "Tech Branch," meaning GDI's Tier 1 units are things like Pitbulls with sonic missiles (built from the Tech Depot) and its Tier 2 units are things are things like ECM Tanks and Mobile Repair Transports (built from the Armor Plant). Building an "Armor Plant" first unlocks the "Armor Branch," meaning that GDI's Tier 1 units are thinks like the Wolverine (built from the Armor Plant) and its Tier 2 units are things Titan Mechs and Sonic Tanks (built from the Tech Depot).
The basis of this idea is that GDI has three different structures that act as Technology Center, but is limited to building one of those three structures. The basic theme of these "Tech Centers" is that, whichever branch GDI follows, GDI is the best at what it does. The three possible Tier 3 branches are Heavy Vehicles, Mobile Infantry, and Covert Ops.
The "Heavy Vehicle Branch" is embodied in/unlocked by the Heavy Engineering Facility, which is inspired by the Reclamation Hub. The basic idea is that the units produced here (e.g., Mammoth Tanks and Mastodon Mechs) are something of a halfway point between C&C 3's Tier 3 units and the Epic Units from Kane's Wrath - they, themselves, are not subject to a build limit, but the structure that produces them is.
The "Mobile Infantry Branch" is unlocked by the Space Command Uplink (renamed the Orbital Command?). This branch unlocks Zone Trooper heavy infantry and specialized dropships for those Zone Troopers. The Space Command Uplink also charges the Shockwave Artillery support power and the Ion Cannon Strike superweapon.
The "Covert Ops Branch" is unlocked by the Intelligence Center. The basic idea of this branch is that the units it unlocks are the best stealth units - e.g., stealth rifle troops that don't decloak when they fire and stealth strike fighters with long-range anti-radiation missiles. The Intelligence Center also charges a number of intelligence oriented support powers (e.g., a "Satellite Scan" that reveals all structures on the map; HUMINT, which reveals all infantry units in a particular area, as well their orders).