"Players will not be able to say, 'in two more turns I'll get the Kill-O-Zap Device and then look out!' Instead, they're going to have to make the best of things and use all the other tools in their toolbox to stall for time while they wait hopefully for the Kill-O-Zap Device Project to bear fruit."

1. General
2. Key Concept: Opacity
3. Refinement
4. Project Funding and Research Income
5. Spying
6. Other Factors

Here you'll find a glossary of terms

The Technology WheelScience is not a unidimensional entity. Research in many areas is affected by that in other related fields. And, occasionally, a scientific advance can be prompted by what appears at first to be a rather indirect connection between fields. This is the concept underlying the Technology Wheel.

There are the following research areas:
A Biological Sciences
B Mathematics and Computers
C Macrosciences
D Microsciences
E Social Arts and Sciences
F Economics and Business

Many players won't want to set every research project so you'll be able to adjust slider bars for the 6 main research areas to give general direction to the research teams. Of course you can dig deeper under the hood, and open up the display to show the current research priorities on each field within each main research area. Sliders for each field can be adjusted individually.
Various Leaders (Military, etc.) throughout the player's civilization will regularly generate needs for new or improved technologies. The player will see a queue of desired projects, which he can examine and reorganize, as appropriate, or delete items which are not desirable. Or, the player can simply let the AIs take care of the details and focus on other parts of the game.

In many games of this genre (like MoO1 & MoO2) you'll get exact datas when which technology will be discovered. Not so in Master of Orion 3. Like stated in the first few lines of this document, no one knows exactly how close to completion a research project is. At best, one can query their scientific community about a Research Category or Program and get a vague answer back about how progress is coming along and how soon things might be completed.
This does not only add excitement, it also helps the player against enemy spies. When something is discovered, it remains a Black Box Discovery until it is actually employed in some way. What this means is that spies will have a far more difficult time stealing secrets that have yet to be generally employed. Ones that have been in use in many places over a period of time will be much easier to acquire.

Technologies can be improved without inventing completely new ones.
Refinement is quite simple: once the player completes a given Advance, continued fundamental research will reduce the size or cost of the Advance. Each Level of additional research in the primary field for the Advance will affect these parameters by a defined amount. So if we finished researching a nuclear missile, it'll take less space and get cheaper and cheaper by every fundamental research level in the primary research field, where you've researched the nuclear missile.
This concept was known as Miniaturization in Master of Orion II, but has been renamed Refinement in this game because of its more general applicability.

Research "income" is derived from two primary sources, government spending on research and Research Points generated by Research facilities. Their sum is allocated (via slider bars) to fund Fundamental Research in each Field as well as all Applied Research.
How fast your research teams work, depends on the Project Funding Level. Along with the description of each project are estimates of the time/cost and "confidence".
The time/cost estimate recommends what level of funding will "fully fund" the project for the fastest, most cost efficient research. Options to fund at higher and lower levels will also be presented along with revised completion and confidence estimates.
Confidence estimates are subjective assessments of the "risk" of that project. In order to minimize risk, you can research additional fields of that research area until the risk of failure drops to nearly zero.

Other option of obtaining technologies are being diplomatic and buying them, or stealing them from other civilizations. In that case, you'll probably be faster than if you'd have tried to research it on your own, and possibly for a lower cost.
But everything has a drawback - it could happen that your scientists don't truely understand the new technology. Then you'll be able to make copies of the item, but further discoveries will become more and more difficult to achieve naturally.

There are several other factors influencing your success in researching. The education level, the governments, the religion - every race will have its preferred areas.
All races, however, will fear the advent of too many new technologies changing their lives too quickly. If a civilization is too aggressive in applying its research, there could be social backlash.

For some more "Under the Hood" information follow this link (this links leads off-site).



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