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Today we’re talking about changes coming to the tech tree in SotP v0.90 Warlords!

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In our last article, (click here to read it) we talked about the upcoming leader system for v0.90 Warlords. Today, we’re going to touch a little bit on that system again and explain how it works in practice within the tech tree - which has some other big changes that we’ll explain here as well.

UNSC Leader Research


The first thing you’ll notice is that the tech tree has been reduced from 8 tiers down to 5. This is a dramatic change in scale for the tech tree that was made for several reasons, the largest of which was balance-related. Generally, our research tree has been bloated with tons of “filler” techs in past releases. These techs only served the purpose of filling up space in the menu and being repeatable techs that used up mid-late game resources. The progression that players experienced through these upgrades wasn’t rewarding, and most of them were relatively small bonuses that didn’t make you feel like you were improving your empire.

Reducing the number of tiers across the board allows us to make each individual tech functionally more important, and enhances the potential choices on each tree with bigger bonuses. This has the benefit of having the players spend less time in the research menu getting those filler techs and more time actually playing the game and building an empire. When you are in the tree, you’re making choices that can affect the outcome of the game and shift your playstyle.

Cov Leader Research


The biggest way that we’ve accomplished these playstyle choices is by making a new tab dedicated to the leader system for both factions. This allows for a dedicated space where most of the leader-specific empire changes can be found. You can follow the tree for each leader and see exactly how it will affect your empire throughout the game by seeing all the strengths of each leader listed progressively. Selecting one of the initial leader techs locks you into that leader tree, setting you up for a specific gameplay style and providing you with certain bonuses for your empire. Each leader has multiple additional ships that can be unlocked in both factions’ respective ship unlock tabs once locked into a leader tree.

The one caveat to this system is the removal of the dedicated fleet supply tab for both factions to make room for the leader system research trees. We wanted there to be a single place to see all of the leader techs, and rather than sacrifice one of the other tabs, we decided to spread out the supply upgrades across those other tabs. This dispersing of the supply upgrades allows for a more organic feeling of your fleet growing and lets it progress over more upgrades that don’t damage your economy as much.

UNSC Ship Research


An incredible amount of effort and tweaking has gone into making the tech tree for v0.90 Warlords more readable and user-friendly. The goals have been to improve the experience of the player, reduce time wasted, and make the upgrades more purposeful. With that said, there’s a lot more to talk about in the upcoming release besides the research tree - and you’ll be reading a lot more about it over the next few days and coming weeks following the release.

This is the first in a series of deep-dive articles discussing changes made in v0.90 Warlords, and we plan to explain some of the other equally (if not more) significant changes in the imminent future. Keep on the lookout for more information, and save the date of the release which is on January 17th.


Want to talk about this awesome update with other dedicated SotP fans? Why not become one of the 2300+ fans already in our Discord server and come tell us which leader you plan to specialize in!

Comments
Reacon11
Reacon11

This looks absoloutely amazing, I'm super keen to play! I do have to say the unsc ship tech tree looks a little visually cramped though, maybe downsizing the Icons or making the somehow more visually distinct so they blend together less?

Great work! Gonna be reading those articles :))

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Idios
Idios

I appreciate the feedback!

The last image might not have been the best choice to show off since it's the UNSC ship unlock tab, which uses a relatively limited color set for simplicity sake. It also helps visualize the ship silhouettes, so can be useful once you start learning the menu. They all blend a little bit into one another, but I'll work on making it a little less basic later.

As for downsizing, a big goal was actually to upscale our research icons due to poor image readability in previous releases. We want the art to shine in every aspect of the mod, even in the smallest places. We're working within the games limits in a confined space and using it as efficiently as we can to provide the best clarity across all the icons.

It could also be due to the compression in the image upload, ModDB doesn't always like full scale images as embeds. Seeing them in-game at full resolution should make them blend less.

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Schuchart
Schuchart

I am not very versed in this specific topic, but out of interest I would like to ask how the AI is faring with these changes? Is there a seperate tech tree specifically for it? Do you utilize a system similar to the Dominion/Cardassian Union-fork in Armada 3?

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Idios
Idios

The AI handles the changes extremely well, and choose random leaders every match. They don't have a separate tech tree but there's a couple of things we do have to give the AI to make sure they function properly.

I haven't played STA III in a long time so I can't really comment on your last question.

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Schuchart
Schuchart

Thank you for the quick reply, much appreciated! :)

I think it will be about the same as your method.

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Centurian128
Centurian128

Very cool! Specifically the fleet supply reorganization and the focus on leadership.

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MrPerson
MrPerson

Question, are the rampant militia in the mod? If so how are you going to make it so the Covenant militia doesn't automatically win all engagements with the UNSC militia?

Also would the militia ships change depending on which leader (and thus exclusive ships to that leader) you choose?

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Idios
Idios

Rampant militia are supported, you can turn them on or off. They're balanced as far as the base stats for the ships we're using for both factions go. The ships that spawn are faction locked so if you're Covenant you won't see UNSC ships spawning. Covenant militia ships are a little bit better but they don't spawn as often. They do not change based on leader choice, we can't affect the system as directly as that.

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MrPerson
MrPerson

Sounds good to me, I haven't played this mod in a while, are there minor factions integrated?

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Idios
Idios

We support minor factions, and all of the other DLCs. I will say that our minor factions aren't super fleshed out, but they're there with all of the functionaility as in the base game.

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MrPerson
MrPerson

Very Nice, I'll be sure to play it on release tomorrow!

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TheHippie
TheHippie

I'm loving the uncluttered research screens. FAR more streamlined and appealing to the eye than the more vanilla-esque ones.

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TheHippie
TheHippie

Also I'd love to see the Covie ship research screen if there's any preview for it.

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Brookvan
Brookvan

I have been following this mod for years and I can not wait for the new update. Small question on it. Is the Marathon Class Cruisier still in the game? In the photo for the UNSC ship tree, I can not find it.

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Idios
Idios

The Marathon is definitely still in the mod, it's just a tech 0 ship meaning it's unlocked by default as a starter UNSC capital ship.

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TheHippie
TheHippie

Same with the Orion?

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Idios
Idios

Yup, Orion is your tier 0 colonizer.

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