Here's what I'm planning to replace the current research grind with:
Research points are removed entirely. The Science machines stay, but are used to build prototypes of the currently unlockable recipes. You build a prototype at the machine the same way you currently unlock a recipe - but it costs 2x (3x? character dependent?) the usual cost. Once you've built a prototype, the recipe is unlocked for that world, and you can build the recipe anywhere at the normal cost. Unlocked recipes no longer carry between worlds.
- Much quicker unlocking. Some of the high-tier items take waaaay to long now.
- Reduced grind - there is an increased cost to build the prototype, but it isn't arbitrary like RP.
- Removes the RP-induced behaviour distortion - people won't do repetitive, boring things to increase that number.
- You get to make your research decisions with every play - kind of like in an RTS. It becomes a tech tree, not a checklist.
- Some players who have earned a lot of research points already may be disappointed. I'm sorry for this, but you have been warned. This is a beta, after all
- Less sense of progression between plays. I'm OK with this. The real progression in the game should be mental. I want you to *learn* between plays and do better.
So why am I doing this? I want to kill grind. The game isn't supposed to be about collecting unlocks. It is supposed to be about making interesting decisions with the tools that you have at your disposal. There needs to be a bit of a progression in there so as to not overwhelm new players, or I would probably just give you everything at the start.
Once RP is fixed, I'm going to try to figure out what to do about XP - the last remaining arbitrary grind in the game. I think it's less bad, but it's still not great as-is. Having to die to get your XP is a drag, at the very least.