MOO1 early tech [EDIT] Edit to correct working of research penalty to new investment after ceasing funding. Early tech in MOO usually concentrates on expansion tech in propulsion and planetology (range, controlled environments) and fast economic tech in construction and planetology (waste cleanup, cheaper factories, terraforming). Required expansion tech will depend on the map but economic tech is always useful. So which early economic tech is best (if you have a choice) and how soon should you pursue it? Will the economic boost from the tech be worth slowing early economic growth? Well first let’s review how tech investment is calculated (been done before but with some new wrinkles). Tech Basics One BC of production converts to one RP tech. The tech screen divides tech investment into 50 clicks split between 6 fields of research, rounding down fractions so 9 RP divided evenly in 2 fields would be 4 RP each. MOO encourages steady tech investment rather than crash funding by providing interest for limited investment and a penalty for removing funding from a tech field. The Strategy Guide corrects the game manual by stating that the interest is double the amount invested this turn or 15% of your current investment whichever is less. Saying that the first 7.5% of the current investment is trebled then the rest is one for one is a very close approximation but misses that when 15% of current investment is odd that one RP can double eg. with 100 RP invested the next 7 RP generates 14 RP interest for a total of 121 RP but instead 8 RP increases interest to 15 RP (15% of 100) for a total of 123 RP then one for one thereafter. The penalty for ceasing funding in a tech field is loss of 10% of current investment. This penalty also happens to your new investment the first time you open a field so you need at least 2 RP to open a tech field. [EDIT] Note you do not suffer the 10% penalty to new investment if you cease funding a tech field even after losing all current investment, only the very first time you open each of the 6 fields. After you discover a tech you are given 1 RP in that tech field so you can immediately chose the next item to research.[EDIT end] As you invest in tech the lightbulb for that field fills in 8 steps of 12.5% each until you have invested the base cost. After reaching base cost the manuals state that with further investment for every 2% of base cost you are given an extra 1% chance of discovering that tech this turn. However looking at game I see tech discovery percent increases 1% for every 4% of base cost invested so either the manuals are wrong and it is 4 times for each percent or the percent in tech screen is wrong and it should be double what is displayed. After repeated testing of all tech fields at 50% hitting every time and roughly half the time when all fields show 25% I believe the percent on tech screen is wrong, the chance of discovery this turn is double what is displayed. Tech Costs At impossible for races average in field: IIT9 costs 360 RP – cheaper factories are useful early but not worth rushing too early RIW80% costs 1000 RP – increases full homeworld productivity by 20 BC per turn (after waste cleanup) so is very useful but not worth rushing too early at this cost IT+10 costs 160 RP – increases full homeworld productivity by 18 BC per turn (after spending 50 BC terraforming and growing), decreases colony ship cost by 24 BC and cheaply checks on controlled Tundra & Dead - great value IER costs 1000 RP – increases full homeworld productivity by 46 BC per turn and decreases colony ship cost by 84 BC Of course if you are the Psilons or are excellent (60%) or good (80%) at Construction (Bulrathi, Klackon) or Planetology (Human, Sakkra) these techs are even greater value. If you are poor (125%) at Construction (Mrrshan, Silicoids) or Planetology (Meklars, Silicoids) these techs have less value (Silicoids of course cannot receive waste reduction tech). The construction techs also help ship space and towards LR colony in particular. Tech mechanics IER provides such a large economic benefit to Colony ship production the question I had was could it be efficiently researched before the first colony ship. To research early techs economically use the interest given for free by starting with a sizeable investment (after opening tech field with 2 RP) then reducing to 7.5% and increasing steadily. For instance to research a tech like IER (or RIW80%) invest about 40 RP (over 2 turns if necessary) then scale down to 3 RP increasing slowly allows you to research a 1000 RP tech with extra 3-400 RP for a reasonable percent chance of discovery for as little as 470 RP (split between homeworld and colony) but can take around 25 turns. To hit IER before producing first colony ships at this rate would mean starting almost at game start in 2300. This is plausible but waiting for scout reports is more normal so for IER, if available, start in say 2308-12 with 60-90 RP (one full turn’s production) increasing discovery cost to 540-620 RP but with result close to earlier start. To simplify counting if starting before colony has time for much factory building (say up to 6 turns) I usually put all colony production into tech (except I always produce the first factory since it is the most valuable). Then about 2319-20 (when bulb shows 3 bars lighting neck) add investment from homeworld rising each turn from 1 click to 2 then to 3,4,6,8 etc. until reaching 10% discovery displayed then cutting back till about 15% displayed then minimum investment giving a cumulative chance of about 50% by around 2325-6. Tech’ing this way will slow your colony development but for the greater good. The low cost achieved and the big benefit of IER mean your homeworld can be out-producing a straight factory build-up very quickly, depending on the number of colony ships needed early. Of course you may want range tech or improved Barren urgently. You also may be missing IER from your tree but IT+10 is also great value. The early construction techs are not as important but are helpful enough to be worth a steady investment. The chance of having IER in your tech tree is 57%, the chance of IER or IT+10 is 86% for normal races. So why don’t the SG players ever plump for IER first when it is available?