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OI Research Tree - Some ideas

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So I've been gazing at the new research tree and there's some things that could be done to make it more intuitive, as well as some adjustments I'd like to recommend for better expectations management and where a person is in the game.  I'm currently doing a playthrough where I only research things when I directly need them or want them, and it's showing me a few irregularities.

First, tree branching is non intuitive.  For example, when researching Healthcare, the tree tells you what your prereq's are, like so:


However, when researching Decontamination, even though the tree looks the same, the prereqs are not:


I recommend changing the branching to look more like this, for more visibility:



Next up, let's discuss some flaws I'm finding in the current research system, assuming it's not 20 days and done like it is now:

You have polluted water very early, simply from the washbasin. You also get polluted dirt and I've found slime in my starter biome occasionally.  All this leads to a Polluted Oxygen problem.  The only early game solution to this is deodorizers, yet they're tiered way back with an ore scrubber and mechanical airlocks.  This could be moved back to tier 2 with Filtration forcing a choice but not requiring huge investments in a starting colony.

However, another good reason to start here is the Mechanical Airlock being behind... plumbing?  Why?  It really should be down with ventilation, somewhere behind the mechanical airlock.  A) You can find it there instead of playing hide and seek throughout the research tree wondering if it was removed and B) It makes more logical progressive sense.

This brings me towards the power systems tree as far as progression.  I can understand plastic manufacturing being later in the tree than using fossil fuels, sure, I'm with ya!  Why is the oil well up there when you pretty much need it unless you got a lucky break and there's a ton of petro in a ditch somewhere?  I'd actually be okay with all of the fossil fuels moving up a step (leave the NGG there) and then move plastic up one more tier.

Finally: Exosuits.  They are way too deep in the research tree (tier 4 of two trees) if you're trying to encourage exploration and not turtling.  They require a committed effort to even get to them, and they also require a power grid, an O2 distribution source, as well as one of the highest polluted water using crops in the game: Thimble Reed @ 160kg/cycle! ... and you don't know ANY of that until you get to the back end of that particular tree.  At first I thought they required plastic which is why they were so deep, and had a chicken and the egg moment trying to get petro without catching on fire.  Making these researchable earlier allows for a few things:

  • Newer players can figure out what they need to work towards to get it up and running.
  • A suit or two can start the player deep exploring without huge investments.
  • Getting into and out of mid-game geysers isn't ridiculously problematic.

A few other notes:

  • Man the fridge is deep.
  • Animal control in farming seems odd, however showing plastic manufacturing as a pre-req to it would simplify confusion for newer players... actually, ANYTHING that needs plastic should have plastic manufacturing as a pre-req so it's communicated to the players what requires plastic.
  • Can you please just yank the Hydrofan until it's worth using?  It's especially odd being that high in the tree and so weak.
  • The tepidizer should be moved down earlier in the tree.  PH2O regulation and tank builds are an early/mid game concern and setting it up right the first time instead of trying to fight the 'how deep into the water can I go' water mechanics depending on your depth would be nice.
  • If Algae Terrariums are supposed to be early game CO2 management instead of me remaking the interior of Babylon 5, the carbon skimmer could be moved deeper into the tree.  It requires a pretty serious infrastructure investment usually to handle the power, atmospheric density, and outputs so it's not something you typically need, or want, early. 

I'm sure the research tree is a work in progress, but these are just some of my observations that I think would make it more enjoyable.  Thanks for reading!

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