Star Lords Manual - Getting Started

Star Lords Table of Content

Technology Levels
Research Budgets
General Technology
Starship Technology
Warfare Technology
Beam Weapon Technology



Gaining the power to travel between the worlds, as impressive an achievement as it is, is not the end of technological discovery.  There remain many other new technologies, and improvements on existing technologies, to discover.  Those who develop new technologies faster will have superior ships, worlds that make more efficient use of their resources, and even the ability to terraform new worlds to match a race's tastes.  Some races also begin the game with technologies others do not, particularly in weaponry.


Technology Levels

An empire begins the game with level 1 in each technology that they have access to.  This level includes the basic technologies necessary to build basic starships and structures.  As the game progresses, the race will slowly gain new technologies, and the tech level in each area will slowly increase.  The maximum level obtainable is 9, and many games will not last long enough to allow a race reach this level in all technologies.


Research Budgets

When a new game is begun, each race (except the Insectians) devotes a certain amount of its tax income to research new technologies.  This amount is shown as 100% on the research allocation screen.  This amount can be increased to as much as the race is willing to pay, or reduced to zero.  As in building structures, holding Shift while clicking will increase (or decrease) the budget by 5%, holding Ctrl by 10%, and holding Alt by 100%.

Aside from increasing or cutting the overall budget, you can also select which specific areas you wish your scientists to concentrate on (or ignore).  This is done by going to the "Allocate Budget" screen and setting the percentages of the total budget spent on research for each area.  Most areas will begin the game with 5% of the total budget allocated.  Insectians, though they cannot increase their overall budget (having no form of money) can still allocate their research efforts among the various fields.


General Technology

General technology includes all of the technologies used to improve a world along with some of the technologies used on starships but not exclusive to them.  Improvements in general technology will generally improve the efficiency of your worlds and provide access to new structures.

Artificial Environment
Artificial Environment Technology allows you to create structures with life support systems that maintain a livable environment under harsh conditions.  Additionally, when a high enough level is reached, it provides structures capable of changing the natural environment.

This technology is required to build the following structures:
    High-Tech Farms (1)
    Remote Mining Factories (3)
    Outposts (5)
    Artificial Atmospheric Generators (7)
    Star Gates (9)

Computer Technology
Computer Technology focuses on improving the computational power of your empire.  Computers provide automated robotic systems used in industry, advanced entertainment systems, and more advanced weapon systems for your starships.  Each time your Computer Technology improves, your targeting systems also are updated and will give you a better chance of hitting your targets.

The planetary structures requiring advanced computer systems are:
    Remote Mining Factories (2)
    Entertainment Facilities (3)
    Robotic Mining Factories (4)
    Star Gates (9)

Construction Technology improves your capabilities to build both structures and starships.  Each advancement in Construction Technology increases the rate at which you build structures by 20%, and allows you to upgrade your drydocks, which increases your starship production rate by 20%.

Several advanced structures are dependent upon this technology, including:
    Cloning Factories (2)
    Remote Mining Factories (3)
    Robotic Mining Factories (4)
    Outposts (5)
    Artificial Atmospheric Generators (7)
    Star Gates (9)

Farming Technology helps your farms produce more food, allowing you to increase your food supply while reducing the number of structures required to feed your population.  Each level of advancement in farming makes your farms increase production by 20%.

Only one structure requires Farming Technology:
    High-Tech Farms (4).

Genetics Technology provides genetically improved soldiers, the ability to create clones, and improved strains of food.  Each level of Genetic Technology makes your soldiers stronger and gives them a 5% combat bonus when fighting aboard a ship or when on a planet's surface.

Until your Genetics Technology reaches advanced levels you will not be able to build:
    High-Tech Farms (2)
    Cloning Factory (5)

Mining Technology
Mining Technology improves your methods of extracting and refining the mineral ores within a planet's crust.  Each time your Mining Technology level advances, all your mining factories will produce 20% more alloys and energy crystals.

Power Generators
Power Generator Technology improves your ability to produce power.  As your power technology improves, your starship reactors become more efficient and produce more power, allowing them to move greater distances, to use more advanced components, and to perform at higher levels even when the reactors are damage.

Several structures require advances in power technology to be built:
    Remote Mining Factories (2)
    Planetary Shield Generators (3)
    Robotic Mining Factories (4)
    Artificial Atmospheric Generators (6)
    Star Gates (9)


Starship Technology

Starship technology covers the basics in making starships faster, stronger, and better able to fight.  These technologies have few applications on planets.  All the advances in starship technology (and warfare and beam technology) require building new ships in order to take advantage of their benefits.  Because it is much less expensive and more efficient to build a new ship than to rebuild an old one, existing ships cannot be refit with newer technology.

Cloaking Technology allows you to prevent your starships from being detected by sensors.  Advanced cloaking components improve your chances of staying cloaked during combat.  During warp travel, cloaking prevents your ship from being detected until it is within detail range of another empire's sensors.  Insectians do not have the ability to develop cloaking ships.

Thruster Technology
Thruster Technology enhances sub-light speed propulsion systems of starships.  While all starships need to be able to dock and do basic maneuvers, advanced propulsion systems are really designed for combat vessels.  Improving the starships thrusters increases its maneuverability and effectiveness in combat.  A more maneuverable ship is harder to hit and reaches its target quicker, allowing for it to do damage and survive longer than its opponent.

Hangar Technology
Hangars Technology makes a carrier ship more powerful by improving the hangar bays on the starship.  Advanced hangar bays make more efficient use of space allowing them to hold more fighters.  They also have more streamlined and advanced machinery that allows reserve fighters to be launched at a higher rate.  Additionally, if the starship carries alloys, hangars build replacement fighters, and advanced hangars make your fighters slightly stronger.

Hull Technology
Hulls Technology improves the hull creation process.  Advanced hulls use better materials and processes which require less raw material while producing a lighter, stronger hull.  These hulls produce more durable, more maneuverable ships that can decimate inferior ships of the same class.

While any ship can be built at any time, there is one structure requiring hull technology:
    Star Gates (9)

Sensor Technology
Sensors Technology is critical to expanding and defending your empire.  Advances in Sensor Technology increase the range that both starships and planets can obtain information about surrounding planets and other empire's fleets.  Additionally, without advanced sensors, your empire will be open to plundering by cloaked vessels, and you will be crippled.

Warp Technology
Warp Technology determines how fast and efficient your starship travels faster than light (FTL).  While FTL speed is not used during combat, your empire will be almost helpless in the face of faster ships because they will be able to pick and choose their targets, and you may not be able to intercept them.  If you attempt to invade an enemy empire with slow ships, you will also find that they will be able to easily intercept and destroy your fleets before they reach the intended target.

Warp Technology is also required to build:
    Star Gates (9)


Warfare Technology

These technologies deal with protecting a starship and providing it with the heavy weapons necessary to seriously damage large enemy vessels.  Some races have different heavy weapons than others, and jealously guard the secrets of their unique weapons.

Researching Armor Technology provides your starships with stronger armor, but stronger armor also increases the mass of a ship and reduces its maneuverability since more dense materials are required.  Armor is the last line of defense before your ship's components become damaged, and armor has saved many ships.  Hulls that will be armored must be specially constructed, so hulls designed for armor begin with more structure points.  Also, since the hull must be designed for the armor, you can never place a higher tech level of armor on a lower tech level hull, so it would be wise to research your hulls as you research armor.

Mass Driver
Insectians don't often have great ideas, but when they created the Mass-Driver weapons, they created one of the most powerful weapons.  A few weapons do more damage than the mass-driver to a specific type of target, but overall the mass driver does extreme amounts of damage.  On the other hand, no weapon has a shorter range, and the mass-driver also requires more power than most other weapons.  They are extremely effective as an anti-fighter weapon, and a few ships have used them as a main weapon.  Advancements in Mass-Driver technology do increase range, increase damage, and reduce power requirements.

It is always is difficult to obtain technology from the Insectians, and so they are the only race that starts with Mass-Drivers.

Shields Technology is one of the most important defense technologies for any Starship.  Shields are the first line of defense and are the most versatile.  Unlike armor, shields will regenerate over time, and as long as the shields hold, the starship will take no permanent damage.  As long as the shield generators are not damaged, each time a ship enters a battle, it will have recharged its shields.  Increasing this technology will allow a shield generator to absorb more energy and recharge faster.  Higher levels of research reduce the power requirements.

Torpedo Technology

Torpedoes are the main heavy weapons of starships. They are basically guided missiles that are converted to a half-energy, half-matter state immediately after firing.  All torpedoes will track their targets without fail and attempt to detonate once they reach them, causing severe damage to the ship.  The major drawback to torpedoes is that they can be fired upon.  A torpedo's stability determines how easily it can be prematurely detonated by defensive fire.  More maneuverable and quicker torpedoes can also evade enemy fire more easily.  Increasing a level in torpedo technology will improve the fire rates, stability, and maneuverability of torpedoes.  Various types of torpedo are available:

Anti-Matter Torpedoes
Anti-Matter Torpedoes are very powerful and very effective against Starships.  They do the most damage of any type of torpedo.  However, they are also the most unstable, slowest, and short-range torpedo, giving them the greatest chance of not reaching their targets.

Since no race starts with anti-matter torpedoes, you must research this technology and build custom ships to use this technology.

Ion Torpedoes
Ion Torpedoes are good long distance torpedoes.  They don't do much damage to the armor or do much damage to the ship, but they are extremely effective against shields.  They can lock on at the greatest distances, are the fastest type of torpedo, and are the most stable, so they have the best chance of reaching their target.

All the races start with Ion torpedo technology.

Photon Torpedoes
Photon Torpedoes are good general-purpose torpedoes.  They do good damage to shields, and do average armor and internal damage.  It is slightly less stable and slower than an Ion torpedo, but overall still has a good range and a good chance of reaching its target.

All the races start except for Predatorians start with Photon Torpedo technology.

Plasma Torpedoes
Predatorians have largely abandoned Photon torpedoes in favor of their sacred plasma technology.  Plasma Torpedoes are an excellent choice since they do the best against shields, and have great armor penetration.  Unfortunately, plasma torpedoes do only average damage to a starship and cannot take much damage before being destroyed.

Only the Predatorians start with plasma torpedoes.


Beam Weapon Technology

Beam weapons form the majority of a starship's armament, used for both offensive and defensive purposes.  All beam weapons project a beam of coherent energy that damages the target through heat and radiation effects.  Different types of beam weapons will have varying effectiveness against enemy shields, armor, and internal systems, and each race has a different selection of beam weapons available to them.

Anti-Matter Beams
Anti-Matter Beam weapons are one of the most powerful beam technologies in existence.  They have great shield penetration, good armor penetration, and excellent internal damage abilities.  Their only weaknesses are its limited range and high power requirements.  At higher technology levels, however, both of these factors are greatly improved.

Since no race has this technology to begin with, you will have to research this technology and design your own custom ships to take advantage of this powerful weapon.

Blaster Beams
Blaster Beam weapons are moderate in strength, with generally good shield penetration and average armor and internal damage abilities.  Blasters also have a good range factor making them a solid general purpose weapon.

Both Predatorians and Insectians start with blaster technology.

Disruptor Beam weapons are slightly above average in power, and are the most powerful weapon in its class (Lasers, X-Ray Lasers, Blasters, Disruptors, Ions).  They have good shield and armor penetration, but disruptors really shine when defenses are down since its excellent internal damage ability will quickly destroy enemy ships.  However, its range is just average, and it requires more power than other weapons of its class.

Only the Predatorians start with this technology.

Ion Beams
Ion Beam weapons are special purpose weapons designed to devastate shield defenses.  Ions will quickly bring down enemy shields, but once the shields are down, you should have back up weapons to penetrate their armor and destroy their ship, because Ion weapons have a difficult time with these critical tasks.  With an slightly better than average range, ion weapons are the best choice to capture an enemy ship and are also effective if an opponent relies too heavily on shields.

All the races except for Predatorians begin with Ion weapons.

Laser Beams
Laser Beam weapons are one of the lowest powered weapons available, but also require very little power and no weapon has greater range.  Lasers are below average in penetrating shields and doing internal damage, but they do have average armor penetration abilities.  With their longer range, lasers will hit more often and fire sooner, and this will often make up for their low damage abilities.

Humans are the only race that starts with this type of weapon.

Phaser Beams
Phaser Beam weapons were developed by the Humans in order to overcome the weaknesses of the laser weapons and modernize their warships.  Phasers have a good ability to penetrate shields and damage a ship, and even do well at penetrating armor.  Because of a phaser's high power requirements and reduced range, however, phasers have been reserved mainly for advanced warships, and the laser still has a place in their arsenal.

Knowing that advanced weapons are crucial to their survival, Humans have guarded this secret closely and are the only race that starts with Phaser Technology.

Photon Beams
Needing a more powerful weapon than Ions and X-Ray Lasers, Draconian scientists began researching what has become known as the Photon Beam weapons.  Since their development, Draconians have been modernizing their ships with photon weapons.  Due to their ability to quickly penetrate shields and armor, their good internal damage ability, and long range, photons are an excellent weapon.  Only the photon's power requirements prevent it from being used more widely.

Since the Draconians have zealously guarded this favored weapon, only they start with Photon Beam Technology.

Plasma Beams
On the Predatorian home world there is a curious phenomenon similar to the Aurora Borealis, only it occurs much more intensely, and travels across the planet in a 49 year cycle.  Predatorian scientists studied this effect and were to reproduce it, and have since focused, controlled, and intensified the process.  Recent advancements have enabled them to convert their research into Plasma weapons--one of the most powerful weapons known.  Plasma weapons do considerable damage to starships, shred armor, and obliterate shields.  Unfortunately, plasma weapons have a limited range and require a great amount of power.

Predatorians guard these sacred weapons well, and they are the only race that starts with these weapons.

X-Ray Lasers
X-Ray Laser Beam weapons are the lowest power weapons still in use.  They share the Laser's outstanding range, and consume even less energy than lasers.  Because of their ability to penetrate armor and do internal damage, if you have enough X-Ray lasers, you can give ships with just a few shields a nasty shock.

Draconians are the only race that begins with X-Ray laser technology.