SL and tech trees clarification

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SL and tech trees clarification

Postby Caplin on Mon 23 Jul 2018 10:05

This is probably a very obvious question, but I can't find an answer in the rules. In the case of tech trees with gaps in them, Laser for instance, do I have to research SL 3 and 7 and so on, that is, SLs which don't have tech items associated with them? Are they meant to be a single "ladder," I need to climb, with the tech items available for development along the way, but only after I've reached the appropriate "rung?"

Thanks for clarification. :)
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Re: SL and tech trees clarification

Postby Whitecold on Mon 23 Jul 2018 10:55

You have to research every SL before you can research the Item. So for Laser you need 1,2,3 before you can get Lb, 4,5,6,7 for Le
The intermediate levels also allow you to unlock other stuff, like the Lc branch
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Re: SL and tech trees clarification

Postby Ged on Tue 24 Jul 2018 01:44

If I may, I also have what is most likely a silly question pertaining to the Laser tree.

Unlike ALL other weapon trees in SSF, the Heavy Laser (Lh) progression branches from the “L” root as opposed to the typical Capital (Lc) branch. My knee-jerk reaction was that this was just an oversight in the published Laser table and that I would find the resolution in posted errata – I came up empty. Was this ever discussed in a previous thread (I failed to find the topic discussed) and what was the design decision behind unique outcome?

Thank you in advance for any insight provided!
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Re: SL and tech trees clarification

Postby Lomn on Tue 24 Jul 2018 06:42

Caplin wrote:In the case of tech trees with gaps in them, Laser for instance, do I have to research SL 3 and 7 and so on, that is, SLs which don't have tech items associated with them?

N2.02 Science Levels: "Skipping an SL to research a higher SL is impossible" -- you must account for each SL, whether or not it has anything. For trees and branches, you must do this by specifically researching the SL unless there's an exception.

N2.04.1 Twig: "In Twigs, only the SL where an item is present (and the item) needs to be researched. SL without items present are automatically researched when any SL in a tree or branch that the twig could have come from is equal or greater than the twig SL". So N2.02 still holds even for twigs, but the manner of filling the empty SLs is different. the Laser Warhead twig, for example, has items at SL 6 and 9. LW SL 7 and 8 must be researched before LW SL 9 can be researched, but you can research 7 and 8 by researching 7 and 8 in G, Pt, Ptc, R, or Rc (the branches that open the twig). You can't advance it with the L branch -- that's a prerequisite of LW, but it's not a branch that actually opens it. Similarly, the Ic twig SL advances with any of the engine trees that opens it.

Eng.02: "as EL advances, engine [root] SL, if it would be lower than EL, will also advance to match the EL". Relevant for long campaigns that might unlock Gt or Jc engines.

Con (Construction tree) is locked to EL. It doesn't use any of the standard R&D rules to advance except for breaking knots related to specific developments (like generational hulls).
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Re: SL and tech trees clarification

Postby dazrand on Tue 24 Jul 2018 07:32

Ged wrote:If I may, I also have what is most likely a silly question pertaining to the Laser tree.

Unlike ALL other weapon trees in SSF, the Heavy Laser (Lh) progression branches from the “L” root as opposed to the typical Capital (Lc) branch. My knee-jerk reaction was that this was just an oversight in the published Laser table and that I would find the resolution in posted errata – I came up empty. Was this ever discussed in a previous thread (I failed to find the topic discussed) and what was the design decision behind unique outcome?

Thank you in advance for any insight provided!


The different progression is intentional. During balance discussions years ago, it was decided to allow Lasers a different development path than other weaponry.
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Re: SL and tech trees clarification

Postby Cralis on Tue 24 Jul 2018 09:08

It should be noted that Solar Starfire intentionally differs from Ultra Starfire on SL research. In Ultra Starfire, it is intended that only SLs with items are researched. This was done so players could easily catch up on tech trees they fell behind compared to other players (for pvp). In Solar Starfire, you have to actual progress through the SLs... because no free rides! It helps to reinforce differences in races through the research decisions made.

With lasers, t was felt that with laser technology used everywhere from communications to laser warheads, that it would be easier to research than other trees. This was how it was decided to work out.
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Re: SL and tech trees clarification

Postby Caplin on Tue 24 Jul 2018 14:12

Hey, thanks for clarifying that. :)

I'm about at the point where I'm ready to start a solo campaign. I think I'll use the paper forms from Ultra as a starting point, since they seem reasonably complete and I can't really get as much out of the spreadsheets as I'd like to. I"m not sure how far I'll get before tedium and/or paperwork explosion does me in, but we'll see :)
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Re: SL and tech trees clarification

Postby Cralis on Tue 24 Jul 2018 17:36

Caplin wrote:I'm about at the point where I'm ready to start a solo campaign.


Woooooooo! That’s the best news I’ve heard this week!
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