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The technology system in the game had for a long time been waiting for an overhaul. The common consensus had slowly turned recommend plain removal of the TL value from everything and replace the whole technology mechanic with something new.
On 2017-09-25 Haxus released the patch notes for an update that could remove the "TL" as hoped. The patch notes included a few questions about a few values and how to transition from the old system to the new.
However in many cases the proposed new system might have many of the same issues the old system had.
The TL system was as follows:
- Each building had a tech level from 1 to 32.
- Research had a 1% chance to make a breakthrough.
- Producing commodities of a TL required a minimum quality of all materials.
- When a building had a specific tech levels new advanced manufacturing processes were unlocked.
The TL system had a few major flaws:
- On/off switch. You either had TL32 (the maximum) or you didn't have it.
- Scaling. A TL32 spacecraft was 2.55 times stronger than a TL1 spacecraft of the same size without any added cost.
- Instant tech upgrade. A new city could be upgraded to TL32 with no effort if there was access to tech disks.
- Impossible to lose. Simply saving some tech disks in your sea-chest and no one could ever make you lose it.
- Redundant. The TL system was on top of the quality system, both following the same scale.
QL System and Patents
The QL system changed the 32 tech levels to simply use the 255 quality levels instead.
- All buildings have a quality, starting at 1 and going to 255.
- Buildings automatically increase their quality slowly, taking 1000*buildingQ seconds to increase from each level to the next.
- Each building has a slight chance to create a tech disk at each city report cycle.
- Mass media building creates more tech disks faster.
- Tech disks are used from a city's inventory at every city report cycle, instantly upgrading buildings to the quality of the tech disk.
- Manufacturing processes of buildings have the quality of their output production affected by the quality of the building,
( buildingQ + oldQ ) / 2 = newQ.
Along with the QL system is the patents.
- Almost all manufacturing processes now require a patent.
- The quality of the patent limits the quality of the manufacturing processes of that type.
- Patents can be exported into an item and then imported into another city.