Author Topic: Terraforming Tech Tree  (Read 435 times)

Offline Jefferson17

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Terraforming Tech Tree
« on: April 22, 2017, 12:18:43 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I really liked Outpost back in the day and decided to play it again recently.  I've played like 3-4 games in the last month and what was frustrating for me was to develop Terraforming.  One time it seemed to happen pretty easily and this last game it took forever to get it.  So, I thought that I'd write-up what "I believe" to be part of the prerequisites for the Game to allow one to build a Terraforming Facility.

I had MOST of the tech tree done and STILL didn't have the TF available.  So, I started researching all the stuff in Social Sciences and Humanities.

I THINK the game requires these for Terraforming (including other more obvious stuff):
 1. You need Applied Research-Social Sciences-Psychology-Advanced Teaching Methods
 2. Now build the most upgraded version of a Underground (UG) University

The rest of the Terraforming Tech Tree is more obvious - get Nanotech and Terraforming (Hot Lab).  See graphic.   A lot of people put in the work to help get to Nanotech as fast as possible - they deserve big kudos!

I hope this helps!

Oh ... after you build the first Terraforming Facility, click on it, and TURN IT ON, along with all the extra stuff - see graphic!

It seems that you only need to do this for the FIRST Terraforming facility and not (thank goodness) all of them.  The game has enough micromanagement without the extra 1200 clicks to turn this on for all those buildings!

Note: what happened for me is that the # of turns required was SUBSTANTIALLY higher than what was stated.  So, if you are supposed to need 120 years, it can easily take 3-4 times that.  So BUILD A LOT - A REAL LOT - of these Terraforming Stations.  Once you are around 150-250 years, and have Nano, you should have a lot of time on your hands - so clear a TON of space around your base in all directions and build rows of Tube Intersections - so you can rapidly add the buildings in later on.  It took me about 1025 years instead of what should have been 700-800 to totally complete Terraforming, due to the extra waiting and that I couldn't figure out the ONE OR TWO MISSING (and not obvious) pre-requisites.

Note: the game will NOT end once the atmosphere is breathable.  You'll get a cute cut scene and that's pretty much it.

I hope this helps and please feel free to join the discussion!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 02:07:03 PM by Jefferson17 »

Offline Hooman

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2017, 04:11:16 AM »
Thank you for that. It seems there's a lot of unexpected behaviour in OP1 that isn't well documented.

Kind of curious what that "cute" cut scene is.

Offline Jefferson17

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2017, 11:17:30 AM »
SPOILER ALERT - terraforming cut scene
---------------------------------------------------
IMO they should have made the cut scene a LOT more cool, considering the massive effort it takes to achieve it.  I would have liked to have seen people stepping outside the domes, opening their helmets, celebrating, etc.  Perhaps too much to hope for with the graphics of the day.  An option to elect to end the game in victory would also be nice!

Instead what you get is just a elevated outside 3D view of the base - an ultralight flies over, then a vehicle drives by below.  It's no big deal.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 04:20:06 PM »
Well it's not like they actually knew what they were doing when they made the game. The 3D modelling is something that's clearly new to the developer team (and was for the most part in that era of computer games).

But yeah, I can agree. The cut scenes in general were really boring. At the time it was a case of eye candy more than it was about a functional game.

Offline Jefferson17

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 07:17:32 PM »
Considering the year ... I think they made a pretty good effort overall.  It can be a bit frustrating how much one needs to research (and some of it is hidden or non-intuitive), to get nanotech or terraforming.  When I do play now I turn the cut scenes off until year 50-75.  And hopefully catch the disaster one's - they don't always seem to display but it is what it is.

Similarly, I found - thanks to this board - that it's better to have very few things being researched at once.  I can't be sure but it seems to me that if I keep the research labs open and watch it year over year that it "SEEMS" to go faster - I can at least see the progress every year - sometimes every 2.  When I don't do this, it seems to take forever but that can also be my imagination.  I haven't tested it and probably won't do so.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2017, 08:31:03 PM »
Sirbomber can probably tell you better how the Outpost research works. I remember just setting multiple labs to the same research topic but I have no idea if that actually worked. I used to build huge swathes of labs... reality is I don't think I was doing it right.

Offline Jefferson17

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 08:38:52 PM »
>> Sirbomber can probably tell you better how the Outpost research works. I remember just setting multiple labs to the same research topic but I have no idea if that actually worked. I used to build huge swathes of labs... reality is I don't think I was doing it right.

I agree.  I seem to get much better results with 2 hot labs (usually set to same objective - I have 2 because one of them likes to blow up now and then and I don't want to wait for the build time without one available) and 2 underground labs, set to same or only 2 objectives.  Even if I have "lots of scientists" that "should be sitting around doing nothing (labs only need like maybe 2?) my guess is the other scientists actually do help out and the work seems to get done a lot faster - especially when I'm literally watching the bar while hitting the "next year/turn" button.

I add a 3rd ug lab when a more modern type is available, then shift research to it and doze the older version so end up with 2 UG labs again.

Even when I had LOTS of scientists and lots of labs research seemed to take much longer.  Again I have not tested it for validation.

Offline Sirbomber

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2017, 08:48:51 PM »
Sirbomber can probably tell you better how the Outpost research works.

Me?  You're the one remaking the game!

But anyways, no, I don't know how OP1 research works.  Though if I had to take a guess, my answer would be the same I give when asked how any other feature of OP1 works.

Poorly.
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Offline leeor_net

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2017, 10:29:21 PM »
Sirbomber can probably tell you better how the Outpost research works.

Me?  You're the one remaking the game!

Sort of -- I'm building an entirely new game based on the concepts of the old one, not cloning it so my research model will likely be very very different from what Outpost offered.

Offline White Claw

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2017, 11:40:35 PM »
It's been a while since I played, but I recall that more labs researching a topic would yield faster results...and that it payed to invest in "basic research" topics. I think I would also build at least 50+ of the terraforming buildings to start, aiming for something like 200 or more.

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 07:17:33 PM »
Basic research is supposed to reduce research time after so many completed projects. I don't know if it was actually applied but it was definitely supposed to have an effect on general research speed. When I get home I'll look it up in the 'official strategy guide'.

Offline Jefferson17

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2017, 08:07:13 PM »
It's a good question.  One certainly NEEDS to do one round of "basic research".  I have NO IDEA if there are any benefits to doing more, but I always leave one lab doing nothing but basic until I have the most advanced UG Labs.  Even still I never run more than 3 UG labs no matter what.  And only 2 Hot labs - so that when one blows up I still have one while the other rebuilds. 

It is definitely helpful to limit the number of labs.  For some reason all those "spare scientists" with nothing to do seem to help out when there are only a few labs to work in - thought they are "supposedly unemployed".

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2017, 04:32:31 AM »
Okay, I pulled it up in the book and this is what it has to say about Basic Research:

Quote
Basic Research is designed to function as a "think tank," where some of your scientists have been placed in a laboratory and told that they can research whatever subject catches their interest.

... blah blah blah, useless information about think tanks on earth ...

In Outpost, an active program of Basic Research will generate beneficial results for your entire research effort. About every 100 turns, progress on all current research will accelerate by 5 turns, but the minimm time required to complete any line of research will still remain at 25 turns. So, if you have 30 turns remaining before you discover your first terraforming microbe, and 100 turns of active Basic Research have been completed, then you'll only need 25 more turns to make your discovery.

So basically, it's not terribly effective. Reducing research by 5 turns, at least for me, doesn't really feel like a major boost though I suppose it's useful for keeping those scientists busy.

Offline Jefferson17

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2017, 07:49:07 AM »
but the minimm time required to complete any line of research will still remain at 25 turns.

I find that I can complete research topics MUCH faster than 25 turns by running a small number of labs.  I also SEEM to get better progress when I keep the Labs window open while I run turns and the "mice research bar" will often move along 1 notch, sometimes 2 per turn.  I guess those scientists work faster when they are being watched   :P

Offline leeor_net

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Re: Terraforming Tech Tree
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2017, 09:08:30 PM »
I noticed that too. I think we can chalk that up to the game being broken beyond belief.