In the last blog I have explained about the basic concepts and the grid layout of the new tech trees, which will be introduced with the revamp of the kernel research system.
By now we have completed the layout of all of the trees, have a look:
As you can see we'll have 7 separate trees, since we had to separate common and industrial tech, and even had to split the common one in two. This doesn't really have any influence on the research mechanic itself, it's just for usability reasons (less complexity, less scrolling).
As I have explained before, the items are laid out onto a grid, and the grid columns determine the research point cost of the items. The news here is that we'll also introduce new enabler extensions for each faction which will be used to unlock the research of the columns of that specific faction one by one. As there are 10 columns and 10 extension levels, this is really convenient (thanks Simmy for the hint!). Eventually when new items get introduced into the game we'll also create "advanced" extensions for this, but for now this will be enough.
I have also mentioned that we intend to make prototype variants for robots to give a reason to research them, and you have pointed out that ammunition and colony buildings don't have prototypes either. While this is true, we don't intend to make prototype versions for those due to balancing reasons. I also forgot to point out again that despite that, actually there will be a reason to research everything you want to mass produce, since you'll get a bonus for that if you have an item researched in both your personal and the corporation knowledge base. I believe this will come in handy for both ammo and buildings, since the former is in large demand, and the latter needs a lot of commodities to build so there is a lot to gain there.
In the next blog I can hopefully show you how the tech trees will actually look in the game. Until then feel free to provide some feedback on the tech tree layouts, we'll of course consider any changes if they sound logical.