When I try to design a tech tree so it scale on a longer period than the one we have right now, there is alway the same problems that arise. Mainly : why can't i research the stone axe anymore ?
Providing a stable tech tree that do not push everyone into crippling specialization (like now or in NRS) or a life threatening race to specialization (like it was in my CTT mod) seem impossible to achieve on longer term. In other words, T0 or T4 are very hard to conceive if they link to the T1-T3 tree...
That's why come the idea of compressible research point :
=> A research would have 2 type of research points CRP and URP (uncompressible RP).
=> Another research line (and potentially bonus checkpoints) would give "era points" that would substract directly the compressible points of other research.
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wooden club = 600 URP + 0 CRP (proof of concept, not actually claiming we should add caveman any soon XD ) MG = 100 URP + 1000 CRP Rockets = 90 URP + 1020 CRP Laser = 80 URP + 1040 CRP (Assuming all research gives the same amount of output)
A T2 player would start with 1020 "era point". the machine gun would stay at 100$ but the rockets would now cost 90$. It would make it a nicer weapon to get.
At T3, (1040 ep) the laser would be down to 80$. Far better antipersonal weapon than the MG and would be the natural choice if a player need to start a new AP line. At that point he could destroy the building that make new T1 weapons visible in his lab. And keep playing with T2, T3 and the futur T4 options.
This would give a smooth mechanism to slowly turn obsolete old stuff, while allowing players to see futur tech soon enough in the game. And allowing fluid, long term research tree.