Space Weapons Fix Mod

Some time ago the modding community started poking around in the TA tech trees to see why the AI was reluctant to develop certain techs.  We found that some weapons techs were categorised as PD, instead of Military, meaning that unless missile weapons were deployed, those techs would never be researched by the AI.  Obviously, an AI that can't fight back isn't much of a challenge.

The idea behind this mod was originally just to get the TA AI on the right track as far as weapons are concerned.  However as suggestions have been put forward by the community, more improvements have been made to the tech trees.  Some features have been driven by my own need to fix annoyances.

For example there is the AI's passion for spamming factories or labs onto every tile, crashing their early economy.  These basic improvements would get upgraded and then cost the AI even more in terms of miantenance and production cost, forcing the AI to run inefficiently with the production slider at far less than 100%.

All that's needed there is for the AI to be tweaked to skip building basic structures except on key planets where a boost is needed, and if it can be afforded.  Since nothing like that is forthcoming right now, the next best thing is to deprive human and AI alike of early structures that can cause economic meltdown, and in their place have Super Projects which allow for some single-planet focus.

Version History

v1: Re-categorises Space Weapons in the Weapons branch and as a Military category tech, for Altarians, Terrans, Drath, Korx, Thalan.

v2: Obsoletes Armor Plating, Chaff, and Superior Duranthium. Missile Defence Theory leads to Smart Chaff now.

The basic defence components yielded by early research into defences all start with a defence rating of 3.  However, they cost three times as much and are three times bigger than before.  Along the rest of the defence tech tree I have made the components take up more space and cost more but given them a proportionately better defence rating.  This includes any components that require Good alignment to unlock.

At various defence tech milestones however, you will get two components where you previously got one, the second component being a smaller (miniaturised) version of the first.  The list of these new components are:


What this new mod means is an end to all those AI ship designs (sometimes based around a small hull) which have a point or two of defence that doesn't do any good.  A ship will have a minimum of three points of defence if a defensive component is added.  By the time components that can give benefit to fighters are available, it's more likely for medium and large hulls to have been researched.

v3A: As Version 2, but with subtle changes to the Terran tech trees.  When playing against an AI using this tech trees, you may notice that they rotate their research projects more effectively.  Or not.  It's a beta, but I have seen it work really well so far.  In particular I have upped the value of a technology victory for the Yor tech tree, because they don't exactly have a lot of techs to help them do an Alliance or Culture victory.

As of version 3A the ultimate weapons are changed so that, as with the defences, they cost more, take up more space, and as compensation they do more damage.  You will still get a pretty mean weapon by doing the research, but you won't be able to fit so many on your ships.

Comparison of old and modded ultimate weapons
Weapon Old Damage New Damage Old Cost New Cost

Old Size

(small, large)

New Size

(small, large)

Doom Ray 22 48 150 330 11, 14 29, 39
Black Hole Gun 16 48 100 265 7, 10 33, 43
Nightmare Torpedo 25 50 160 280 12, 13 43, 48


v3B: Changes to the Terran, Yor, Altarian and Thalan tech trees. When playing against an AI using those tech trees, you may notice that they rotate their research projects more effectively.

Terran and Altarian tech trees have been altered a bit.  Instead of the single Planetary Improvements tech branching off from Artifical Gravity, you now have a group of four as follows -

(Xeno Communications is unlocked by Xeno Research)

The technologies unlocked change in later versions of the mod.

The basic idea here was to make sure that the AI unlocks the technologies which would have been unlocked by researching Planetrary Improvements.

Improvement changes:
Research Labs, Traditional Factories and Market Centers have been chucked.  Instead you will get three new Super Projects.  The idea here was to not waste the opening of a game by building lots of rubbish improvements that will need to get upgraded anyway (wasting more time) and give both the player and AI some special improvements to use right away where they see fit.

Also in 3B are some new weapon sound effects.  Not strictly a fix as such, but it began to bug me in my last game that Quantum Drivers sounded really dorky.  Initially I changed them to use the newer sound that was shipped with Twilight of the Arnor, but it didn't quite jive with the animation so I ran some effects on it and eventually mixed in the crisp firing sound of mass drivers.  You may like it, or you may not.  You can always delete it.

Plasmas, Particle Beams and Lasers should also sound different.


v3C: Same as 3B but with fixes for Torian tech tree.  This adds a similar four-part structure for Planetary Improvements to try and stagger the development of economic improvements, research improvements, and everything else.  Schools are replaced by a Super Project, which helps to avoid an early-game choke.

Some Torian techs have been moved around and new ones have been added:


v4: Introduces Technology Progression research to the Terran tech tree.

These techs are fairly lengthy projects which serve to split the tech tree up a bit.  Because the TPs required for these have been borrowed from elsewhere in the tech tree, it doesn't slow you down by much, but it does encourage the AI (Terran AI at least) to develop its early technologies properly before moving on to the advanced stuff.

v4A: Adds Technology Progression research to Torian and Altarian tech trees.  I've limited the early choice of technologies in the Torian tech tree in an attempt to speed them through the early stuff faster.

Also in this version, defensive and offensive starbase modules require additional techs (from the weapon and defence trees) to unlock.  The Warp Disruption Field requires Warp Drive now, and the Yor get a module that reduces ship speed by 1, making it harder to travel through their territory.

The Torians and Altarians have new industrial improvements.  I've worked up some recoloured icons for them and the other improvements I've added.  Nothing fancy, just so you can tell them apart from other improvements.

v4B: Scales back the Torian mines to two-thirds what they pulled in 4A.  Adapted Factories lose a point of industry.  They still put a lot of colony ships out there, but the rush is not so overpowered now.

v4D: Fixes some of the mistakes I made when editing Starbase Modules.  Adds new starbase modules and makes the Stellar Fortification modules a bit less powerful (but they're still free, which is nice).  Version 4C was just an earlier version of this fix.

v4F: Scaled back the module requirements for the weapon and defence starbase modules. So for example, Laser Cannon now only requires Battlestations, before it required Battlestations II.  Also, fixed module requirements (they were broken, you could add modules without having pre-requisite modules).

v4G: Adds Technology Progression and Core Technologies to Yor tech tree.  Collectives are initially limited in number per planet, but gain small manufacturing bonuses.  Research Matrix gains a research bonus.  Terran tech tree is changed around slightly - New Propulsion Techniques isn't opened until Starport Upgrades.

v4H: Yor improvements toned back a bit, Collectives have an increased maintenance, but are still cheaper to build than they were.  Logistics, miniaturisation and manufacturing techs moved to later positions in the Yor tech tree.

Revised Yor/Iconian starting weaponry and research time.

Also, made Mass Drivers or Ion Cannons research a bit cheaper because it seemed totally overpriced in comparison to Yor or Iconian mass drivers research.  That basically affects anyone who is not Yor or Iconian.

Also adjusted cost of Technology Progression II in Terran tech tree to make it cheaper, redistributing TPs back to techs which come after it.

v4I: Dialed back the maintenance on Research Matrix a couple of bc, given that it's a one-per planet building.  More streamlining of the early tech tree for teh Yor and Terrans.  made Xeno Communications and Universal Translator part of Core Technologies II for Terrans.

Moved Xeno Communications and Universal Translator to later in the tech tree for the Yor because, basically, they do not need to be negotiating with other races in the early stages of the game.

Also, split up extreme planet terraforming technologies, the first stage can be researched fairly early on, the second comes a bit later with Advanced/Expert Colonisation.  Well, not for all races, because I haven't had nearly enough time to look at all of them, but the basic idea here was to stop the AI from burning lots of turns trying to make a few worlds 100% productive.

v4J: Overhauled the Drengin tech tree.  Obsoleted Basic Pits, Slaveling Imagination Lab, and Black Market, but added three Super Projects for the Drengin to build at the start.

v4K: Added a new firing sound for the Ion Cannon (Drengin).  Nerfed Torian Basic Mine and removed the Core Mine altogether (the Adapted Factory now upgrades the Basic Mine).  Limited the basic Particle Beam to just the Drengin, Korath, Arcean and Thalan racesm and added 5bc to its cost.  Reduced the cost of Ion Cannons.  Massively reduced the research time for Drengin to research Planetary Invasion and Ultimate Shock Troops.  However all but the first in the line of Planetary Defence techs is stripped from their tech tree.

v5: The last tier of weapons on the tech tree before Ultimate weapons take much longer to research.  This makes it worthwhile pursuing weapons research that takes less time.  Ultimate weapons research takes significantly longer than before.

The Nano Ripper (new name: Singularity Ripper) has been scaled up so that it is more of a capital ship weapon.

A number of starbase modules have been stripped along with their pre-requisite techs.  There are still defensive and ship assist modules available, but not as many.  Some production assist and culture modules have been removed.  All but one of the sensor modules have been removed.  Mining modules are basically untouched.

The reason for this is because as has been mentioned, the AI cannot read past a certain arbitrary limit.  Accordingly, the module list below has been shortened.

v5A: Reworked the Terran and Drengin tech trees, just moving stuff around here and there.  Sensors techs are now spread out through the tech trees.  Techs which give access to a research facility cost 20% less.  Added Super Projects for Tech Progression research.  Added GC2Ships.xml which contains the nerfed Arnorian Ranger and Super Dominator Corvette designs.  Fixed up the Arceans to be more predatory with a +1 speed bonus instead of a speed nerf, but they take a -20 to Defence.  Various silliness fixes in Iconian tech tree.

The new Super Projects are:



New starbase modules and requirements
Module Properties Requires Tech Requires Module Cost (bc)
Laser Cannon +2 Beam Attack (Starbase) Laser V Battlestations 50
Kinectic Diffuser +2 Beam Attack (Starbase) Kinetic Streams III (Yor) BattleStations 50
Railgun Battery +2 MD Attack (Starbase) Mass Drivers III BattleStations 50
Pulveriser Cannon +2 MD Attack (Starbase) Scatter Blaster III (Yor) BattleStations 50
Stinger Missiles +2 Missile Attack (Starbase) Stinger IV BattleStations 50
Seeker Missiles +2 Missile Attack (Starbase) Seeker III (Yor) BattleStations 50
Nordstrom Shields +6 Beam Defence (Starbase) Shields Battlestations 200
Duranthium Plating +6 MD Defence (Starbase) Duranthium Battlestations 200
PD Batteries +6 Missile Defence (Starbase) Point Defence Battlestations 200
Plasma Diffuser +7 Beam Attack (Starbase) Plasma Weapons Battlestations 200
Graviton Mauler +7 MD Attack (Starbase) Graviton Driver Battlestations 200
Photonic Charges +7 Missile Attack (Starbase) Photonic Torpedo Battlestations 200
Nordstrom Force Fields +12 Beam Defence (Starbase) Force Fields Battlestations 400
Kanvium Plating +12 MD Defence (Starbase) Kanvium Battlestations 400
Drone Sentries +12 Missile Defence (Starbase) Droid Sentries Battlestations 400