Some time ago the modding community started poking around in the TA tech trees to see why the AI was reluctant to develop certain techs. We found that some weapons techs were categorised as PD, instead of Military, meaning that unless missile weapons were deployed, those techs would never be researched by the AI. Obviously, an AI that can't fight back isn't much of a challenge.
The idea behind this mod was originally just to get the TA AI on the right track as far as weapons are concerned. However as suggestions have been put forward by the community, more improvements have been made to the tech trees. Some features have been driven by my own need to fix annoyances.
For example there is the AI's passion for spamming factories or labs onto every tile, crashing their early economy. These basic improvements would get upgraded and then cost the AI even more in terms of miantenance and production cost, forcing the AI to run inefficiently with the production slider at far less than 100%.
All that's needed there is for the AI to be tweaked to skip building basic structures except on key planets where a boost is needed, and if it can be afforded. Since nothing like that is forthcoming right now, the next best thing is to deprive human and AI alike of early structures that can cause economic meltdown, and in their place have Super Projects which allow for some single-planet focus.
N.B. Use the external link above or choose one of the versions below. The successive versions are not patches, they contain all the features of that version of the mod. Extract the ZIP folder to your mods folder - if one doesn't already exist, create it. If your mod select screen in-game is broken, see here to fix it.
v1: Re-categorises Space Weapons in the Weapons branch and as a Military category tech, for Altarians, Terrans, Drath, Korx, Thalan.
v2: Obsoletes Armor Plating, Chaff, and Superior Duranthium. Missile Defence Theory leads to Smart Chaff now.
The basic defence components yielded by early research into defences all start with a defence rating of 3. However, they cost three times as much and are three times bigger than before. Along the rest of the defence tech tree I have made the components take up more space and cost more but given them a proportionately better defence rating. This includes any components that require Good alignment to unlock.
At various defence tech milestones however, you will get two components where you previously got one, the second component being a smaller (miniaturised) version of the first. The list of these new components are:
- Tritanium (5 Armour, requires Superior Tri-Strontium)
- Duranvium (6 Armour, requires Kanvium III)
- Zeronium (8 Armour, requires Zero-Point Armor)
- Miniature Deflector (4 Shields, requires Barriers III)
- Force Shields (7 Shields, requires Superior Force Fields)
- Micro Barriers (9 Shields, requires Ultimate Invulnerability)
- Micro ECM (6 Point Defence, requires PD Combo III)
- Autodefence Turrets (9 Point Defence, requires Aereon Missile Defense)
What this new mod means is an end to all those AI ship designs (sometimes based around a small hull) which have a point or two of defence that doesn't do any good. A ship will have a minimum of three points of defence if a defensive component is added. By the time components that can give benefit to fighters are available, it's more likely for medium and large hulls to have been researched.
v3A: As Version 2, but with subtle changes to the Terran tech trees. When playing against an AI using this tech trees, you may notice that they rotate their research projects more effectively. Or not. It's a beta, but I have seen it work really well so far. In particular I have upped the value of a technology victory for the Yor tech tree, because they don't exactly have a lot of techs to help them do an Alliance or Culture victory.
As of version 3A the ultimate weapons are changed so that, as with the defences, they cost more, take up more space, and as compensation they do more damage. You will still get a pretty mean weapon by doing the research, but you won't be able to fit so many on your ships.
Comparison of old and modded ultimate weapons
|Black Hole Gun
v3B: Changes to the Terran, Yor, Altarian and Thalan tech trees. When playing against an AI using those tech trees, you may notice that they rotate their research projects more effectively.
Terran and Altarian tech trees have been altered a bit. Instead of the single Planetary Improvements tech branching off from Artifical Gravity, you now have a group of four as follows -
- Economic Improvements: opens up Xeno Economics
- Research Improvements: opens up Xeno Research
- Industrial Improvements: opens up Soil Enhacement, Extreme Colonisation, Xeno Farming, and Xeno Industrial Theory.
- Starport Upgrades: opens up Interstellar Warfare, Interstellar Construction, Basic Logistics.
(Xeno Communications is unlocked by Xeno Research)
The technologies unlocked change in later versions of the mod.
The basic idea here was to make sure that the AI unlocks the technologies which would have been unlocked by researching Planetrary Improvements.
Research Labs, Traditional Factories and Market Centers have been chucked. Instead you will get three new Super Projects. The idea here was to not waste the opening of a game by building lots of rubbish improvements that will need to get upgraded anyway (wasting more time) and give both the player and AI some special improvements to use right away where they see fit.
Also in 3B are some new weapon sound effects. Not strictly a fix as such, but it began to bug me in my last game that Quantum Drivers sounded really dorky. Initially I changed them to use the newer sound that was shipped with Twilight of the Arnor, but it didn't quite jive with the animation so I ran some effects on it and eventually mixed in the crisp firing sound of mass drivers. You may like it, or you may not. You can always delete it.
Plasmas, Particle Beams and Lasers should also sound different.
v3C: Same as 3B but with fixes for Torian tech tree. This adds a similar four-part structure for Planetary Improvements to try and stagger the development of economic improvements, research improvements, and everything else. Schools are replaced by a Super Project, which helps to avoid an early-game choke.
Some Torian techs have been moved around and new ones have been added:
- Advanced Space Liberation: Leads to Advanced Manufacturing, Planetary Bombardment, Planetary Defence, Advanced Logistics, More Space Weapons and Even More Space Weapons.
- Advanced Manufacturing: Leads to Xeno Factory Construction, Fusion Power Plants.
- Planetary Invasion : Leads to Advanced Troop Mod. All the other invasion techs are part of the Advanced Space Liberation branch now.
- Interstellar Construction: Is broken into parts I and II.
v4: Introduces Technology Progression research to the Terran tech tree.
These techs are fairly lengthy projects which serve to split the tech tree up a bit. Because the TPs required for these have been borrowed from elsewhere in the tech tree, it doesn't slow you down by much, but it does encourage the AI (Terran AI at least) to develop its early technologies properly before moving on to the advanced stuff.
v4A: Adds Technology Progression research to Torian and Altarian tech trees. I've limited the early choice of technologies in the Torian tech tree in an attempt to speed them through the early stuff faster.
Also in this version, defensive and offensive starbase modules require additional techs (from the weapon and defence trees) to unlock. The Warp Disruption Field requires Warp Drive now, and the Yor get a module that reduces ship speed by 1, making it harder to travel through their territory.
The Torians and Altarians have new industrial improvements. I've worked up some recoloured icons for them and the other improvements I've added. Nothing fancy, just so you can tell them apart from other improvements.
v4B: Scales back the Torian mines to two-thirds what they pulled in 4A. Adapted Factories lose a point of industry. They still put a lot of colony ships out there, but the rush is not so overpowered now.
v4D: Fixes some of the mistakes I made when editing Starbase Modules. Adds new starbase modules and makes the Stellar Fortification modules a bit less powerful (but they're still free, which is nice). Version 4C was just an earlier version of this fix.
v4F: Scaled back the module requirements for the weapon and defence starbase modules. So for example, Laser Cannon now only requires Battlestations, before it required Battlestations II. Also, fixed module requirements (they were broken, you could add modules without having pre-requisite modules).
v4G: Adds Technology Progression and Core Technologies to Yor tech tree. Collectives are initially limited in number per planet, but gain small manufacturing bonuses. Research Matrix gains a research bonus. Terran tech tree is changed around slightly - New Propulsion Techniques isn't opened until Starport Upgrades.
v4H: Yor improvements toned back a bit, Collectives have an increased maintenance, but are still cheaper to build than they were. Logistics, miniaturisation and manufacturing techs moved to later positions in the Yor tech tree.
Revised Yor/Iconian starting weaponry and research time.
Also, made Mass Drivers or Ion Cannons research a bit cheaper because it seemed totally overpriced in comparison to Yor or Iconian mass drivers research. That basically affects anyone who is not Yor or Iconian.
Also adjusted cost of Technology Progression II in Terran tech tree to make it cheaper, redistributing TPs back to techs which come after it.
v4I: Dialed back the maintenance on Research Matrix a couple of bc, given that it's a one-per planet building. More streamlining of the early tech tree for teh Yor and Terrans. made Xeno Communications and Universal Translator part of Core Technologies II for Terrans.
Moved Xeno Communications and Universal Translator to later in the tech tree for the Yor because, basically, they do not need to be negotiating with other races in the early stages of the game.
Also, split up extreme planet terraforming technologies, the first stage can be researched fairly early on, the second comes a bit later with Advanced/Expert Colonisation. Well, not for all races, because I haven't had nearly enough time to look at all of them, but the basic idea here was to stop the AI from burning lots of turns trying to make a few worlds 100% productive.
v4J: Overhauled the Drengin tech tree. Obsoleted Basic Pits, Slaveling Imagination Lab, and Black Market, but added three Super Projects for the Drengin to build at the start.
v4K: Added a new firing sound for the Ion Cannon (Drengin). Nerfed Torian Basic Mine and removed the Core Mine altogether (the Adapted Factory now upgrades the Basic Mine). Limited the basic Particle Beam to just the Drengin, Korath, Arcean and Thalan racesm and added 5bc to its cost. Reduced the cost of Ion Cannons. Massively reduced the research time for Drengin to research Planetary Invasion and Ultimate Shock Troops. However all but the first in the line of Planetary Defence techs is stripped from their tech tree.
v5: The last tier of weapons on the tech tree before Ultimate weapons take much longer to research. This makes it worthwhile pursuing weapons research that takes less time. Ultimate weapons research takes significantly longer than before.
The Nano Ripper (new name: Singularity Ripper) has been scaled up so that it is more of a capital ship weapon.
A number of starbase modules have been stripped along with their pre-requisite techs. There are still defensive and ship assist modules available, but not as many. Some production assist and culture modules have been removed. All but one of the sensor modules have been removed. Mining modules are basically untouched.
The reason for this is because as has been mentioned, the AI cannot read past a certain arbitrary limit. Accordingly, the module list below has been shortened.
||+2 Beam Attack (Starbase)
||+2 Beam Attack (Starbase)
||Kinetic Streams III (Yor)
||+2 MD Attack (Starbase)
||Mass Drivers III
||+2 MD Attack (Starbase)
||Scatter Blaster III (Yor)
||+2 Missile Attack (Starbase)
||+2 Missile Attack (Starbase)
||Seeker III (Yor)
||+6 Beam Defence (Starbase)
||+6 MD Defence (Starbase)
||+6 Missile Defence (Starbase)
||+7 Beam Attack (Starbase)
||+7 MD Attack (Starbase)
||+7 Missile Attack (Starbase)
|Nordstrom Force Fields
||+12 Beam Defence (Starbase)
||+12 MD Defence (Starbase)
||+12 Missile Defence (Starbase)
v5A: Reworked the Terran and Drengin tech trees, just moving stuff around here and there. Sensors techs are now spread out through the tech trees. Techs which give access to a research facility cost 20% less. Added Super Projects for Tech Progression research. Added GC2Ships.xml which contains the nerfed Arnorian Ranger and Super Dominator Corvette designs. Fixed up the Arceans to be more predatory with a +1 speed bonus instead of a speed nerf, but they take a -20 to Defence. Various silliness fixes in Iconian tech tree.
The new Super Projects are:
- Infinity Tech Labs: 18 tp, 14 bc maintenance.
- Pear Shaped labs: 4 tp, +20 to Research ability, 8bc maintenance.
- Nordstrom Technologies: +15 to Hitpoints ability, 2tp, no maintenance.
- Added Technology Progression and Core Technologies to Korx tech tree.
- Added Technology Progression and Core Technologies to Arcean tech tree.
- Restricted the number of money-sucking improvements the Thalans can build.
- Added Universities to Core Technologies for Torians.
- Reworked Korx tech tree slightly for visual consistency, altered pre-requisites for Cut-Throat Competition and Mercenaries.
- Reworked Torian tech tree slightly for visual consistency.
- Bugfixed Arcean tech tree and reworked for visual consistency.
- Sparrow missile costs more but takes less space, though not as space-efficient as Stinger or Seeker I.
- (Advanced) Navigation Centre takes less time to build, +5% HP bonus added.
- Removed some extra files from the package that were in the wrong directory.
- Arcean tech tree fixes:
- Moved Xeno Business (Xeno Anthropology) because early on in the tech tree it could be an unnecessary distraction for the AI.
- Moved Interstellar Navigation in the tech tree to match the order it appears in its group.
- Miniaturisation techs are split into three groupings.
- Xeno Engineering is now Industry branch, Manufacturing category
Reduced the build cost of Invention Matrix and Discovery Sphere to be more in line with the cost of Research Academy.
- Iconian tech tree now features Technology Strategy techs. These are basically the same deal as the Technology Progression techs, but the Super Project list is different:
Technology Strategy I - Centre for Intellect Studies, +20 to Research ability and +4tp
Technology Strategy II - Precursor Weapons Lab, +20 to Weapons ability and +4tp
Technology Strategy III - Galactic Technology Centre, +150% research on planet and +22tp
Four new Iconian improvements:
Precursor Repository - upgrade for Precursor Library, +20% research on planet and +16tp (respectively, 10% and 4tp better)
Precursor Matrix - upgrade for Precursor Archive, +40% economic bonus on planet +10% influence bonus and +12tp (respectively, 30% better on economic bonus and 2tp better on research)
Enhanced Invention Matrix - 17tp, 3tp more than the standard Invention Matrix
Enhanced Discovery Sphere - 21tp, 3tp more than the standard Discovery Sphere
- Research Centre has a new look to set it apart from the Iconian refinery.
- Unbuildable stock ships left over from DL and DA are now hidden so they don't show up in the tech tree.
- Farms are now one per planet, and give a percentage boost of 25% or 50% rather than a straight +mt food increase.
- An Improved Colony is now available for construction, technology needed varies depending on tech tree.
- Thalan tech tree reworked using Technology Adaptation I through III as separators. They now start with Planetary Adaptation instead of Interstellar Construction (you may need to press Clear on their race config screen first).
- Devils' Forge upgrades to Slaveling Training Center.
- Slaveling Training Center boosts production by 25% and adds 10 mp, and upgrades to Artificial Slave Pods.
- Artificial Slave Pods boost production by 30% and adds 12 mp.
- Engines re-costed as follows:
- Hyperdrive, Hyperdrive Plus: 20
- Ion drive, Stream Drive: 15
- Impulse Drive I - III: 30
- Warp Drive V: 60
- Hyperwarp I: 55
- Hyperwarp II: 50
- New defences for Good-aligned civs:
- Duranthium Battle Armour, +9 Armour, cost 95
Prerequisites for research: Duranthium III and Good alignment.
- Psionic Defence, +16 PD, cost 140
Prerequisites for research: PD Combo III and Good alignment.
- Sensors and sensor array re-costed and re-sized, research cost for sensor array reduced by quite a bit
- Re-costed the Yor Doom Ray research project.
- Added a custom race as an opponent, with a close copy of the Yor tech tree and the Super Warrior ability.
- Added the Omega Beam research project to the tech trees with Disruptors. It replaces Doom Ray and makes it more worthwhile picking beam weapons in the end game with those races.
- Omega Beam: Damage 66, Cost 405, uses the Disruptor II weapon model. Custom sound effect based on the disruptor sound effects, but same Doom Ray animation.
- Hopefully fixed Arceans getting stuck on Weather Control research.
- Trimmed Minor Tech Tree so that they have a headstart.
- Minor XML tweaking in the main tech tree.
- Weather Control Zenith improves PQ by 4 instead of 3, has maintenance 2 and improves food production by 50%.
- Farming techs removed from Arcean tech tree (otherwise they could have large unhappy populations!)
- Arcean first-tier weapon tech costs reduced by 50%.
- Arceans have earlier access to a low cost version of Advanced Logistics, but later logistics techs in their tech tree cost more.
- Minor races did not have Hyperdrive defined as Propulsion category, fixed.
- Made some consistency changes and fixes to Krynn tech tree.
Patch to radically lower research output. Extract to Mods\SWFix_ModV\Data and overwrite PlanetImprovements,xml if prompted. You may want to backup that file first.
This will not only limit the output of research structures, it will also restrict how many of them you can place on one planet. Some 1pp research boosters have been turned into Super Projects.