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It looks like once you've finished researching all available technologies up to tech level 50 in a specific category, you are presented with a set of Advanced Something Tech I to X to research.

The in-game description for all these levels reads: "General improvements of existing something technology."

I couldn't find any answers on the Internet, and I don't notice a difference in the speed of ships with Advanced Propulsion Tech I.

Does anyone have information on what it actually does? Is there any actual advantage to researching it?

(You can see a full technology tree here: http://www.moo3.at/moo1/technologies.php)

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It's been a bit since I've played this one... I believe the only benefit I've ever noticed from this research was that the parts you could install on ships took less of the available space. This allowed you to squeeze a better engine or maybe the high energy focus on a small/medium ship, or simply allow for space to be used elsewhere on larger ship models. I don't have a source other than my own experience, and I'm not sure on any other improvements it may provides... So, I'll just leave a comment for now. – king14nyr Jan 25 at 16:16
    
I believe those only added to your end-game score, since you had already researched all the existing techs. – MadMAxJr Jan 25 at 16:20
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Advanced techs have two effects. They add to your end game score, and they raise your tech level in their field. Tech level is important because it effects ship part miniaturization. For every 10 levels you have in a tech field above the minimum required to use a part, they cost half as much money, and take up half as much space. Your tech level in a field is determined by taking the tech level of the most advanced technology you have researched in a field, and adding 1 for every less advanced technology researched in that field.

Source: http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/564694-master-of-orion/faqs/1927

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I'm not sure if I'm missing something, but I've finished the game both by being voted Emperor, and by killing off all other races, and at no point did I spot an "end game score". I'll research all levels to see if I can fit more into a ship before accepting. – Gustav Bertram Jan 26 at 8:39
    
@GustavBertram I think that score was only a factor in MOO2, not MOO1. The rest is spot-on, though :) And the savings are very important. – Luaan Jan 26 at 9:20
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Okay, just built a number of "advanced techs" before the tech tree bottomed out. Apparently I can only build so many advanced techs, but the ships definitely had more space, and were cheaper to build. – Gustav Bertram Feb 5 at 19:21

According to the manual:

Advances in technology will reduce the cost of building existing ships and missile bases. For every ten levels above the minimum required level of technology that you have, the cost of producing that device is halved...Although there are no new devices at higher than 50th level technology, you can still decrease the costs of producing existing technology.

Along with reduced cost, advances in technology also allows you to reduce the size of existing devices so that you can fit more on your starships. The mass of a device is decreased by 25% per 10 levels of technology above the minimum required level. Weapons, however, reduce by 50% for every 10 levels...Miniaturization works on computers, ECM jammers, armor, force fields, ship engines, weapons, and most special devices.

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