Some of my recent playtests have given me the strong impression that research in the game may be both too quick, and a bit too cheap. I’m also told (and I think this is true) that the upgrade from research office to research center seems a poor tradeoff.
Here are the current stats:
Research Office, cost 53,900 research rate 0.2 points / 1200ms. 3 tiles
Research Center, cost 92,400, research rate 0.4 points / 1200 ms, 5 tiles.
When starting some scenarios, the immediate smart move is often to slap down a handful of research offices, and it very rapidly gets to a situation where the cost of research centers seems minimal compared to the restricted amount of office space. Therefore I’m thinking that increasing the base cost of both facilities would be justified, and this would marginally slow down the research time in the game, which would be no bad thing.
(Note that more research is coming, for stuff like higher performance engines, parking sensors, self driving tech etc so the full research tree is not enabled yet).
In theory the research center is a bargain, because it costs less than two research offices, it uses fractionally less than twice their size, and yet produces double the output. However, in practice, it requires research to be unlocked, and is also probably replacing 2 existing research offices anyway, which will have to be demolished. You can sometimes interlock research centers to make them fit in a smaller space, but in practice this is not enough of an incentive.
Therefore I think I should increase the output of the research center to 0.5, a 25% boost on its current output.
To compensate for this, I think late-game research (the most likely stuff to be researched once research centers are unlocked and placed) should get an increase to its research time.
I’m thinking maybe everything with a research cost of over 2000 should get a 15% research cost increase.
So here is what I think I should do in summary
- Increase research office cost by 20% to $64,680
- Increase research center cost by 20% to $110,880
- Increase research center output from 0.4 to 0.5
- Increase the research cost of all researchable items over 2000 by 15%
Does this sound reasonable? I’m especially interested to hear your view if you have played the game a lot, and maxed out the research in a game.