Sirian's Great Library - Strategies for Civilization III
POINTERS
Tips for Handling Research


Nov 16, 2001: The first thing to remember is that you don't have to discover everything for yourself. You can buy tech, with cash, or trade resources and information for it, or trade one tech for another. Sometimes it may pay off even to stop researching and make a bundle of cash, then try to buy what you need. Obviously, this isn't the best plan all the time, but it's an important tool in your scientific arsenal: trade!
Nov 16, 2001: Trying to win the scientific race is difficult. Those who are behind tend to catch up eventually. It's tough for any single civilization to stay ahead in science across the ages. Yet it is quite difficult to successfully build any world wonders unless you are the first to discover that advance. So you have to learn to recognize when you are behind, and how to catch up through trade and other means, versus when you are ahead in one or more areas, and need to do all you can to protect your lead.
Nov 16, 2001: Match your research to your situation and needs, and to your game plan or gambit. You may need to be flexible as well, as your plans may not unfold as you have envisioned.
Aug 1, 2002: Research costs are based on how many civs THAT YOU KNOW already have the tech you are researching. If no one else knows the tech, you research at full cost. If one other civs knows, you get a slight discount. If two other civs know, the cost drops by HALF. If three or more know, it drops further and further. This creates a whole side to the game that requires a lot of subtlety, to gain a tech lead, or to ride the coattails of others while you conserve your resources (presumably to jump to the lead at a later point, after you save up enough). Sometimes the best thing you can do is research the very techs everyone else already knows (or buy those). No sense being the first customer, either. Let others buy in, lower the cost, then you step in and buy the same tech for less money. You'll have to learn to manage this aspect of research to succeed on high difficulty levels.
Aug 1, 2002: Likewise, in accord with the previous Pointer, when selling techs to the AI's, you get the most profit selling to someone when nobody else but you has the tech. Once someone else discovers it, then the price drops a LOT. The trick is knowing when to sell or when NOT to sell. Very often, the AI's can't afford to pay the full market price anyway, so what use selling to them for pennies on the dollar? Instead, enjoy the tech lead and try to stretch it. Conversely, if some of them CAN pay the full market value for state of the art tech, make the deal and use the proceeds to further speed your own research.
Aug 1, 2002: Don't forget the Steal Tech option. Late in the game, if you are several techs behind in the space race but you have some money, the "safe" tech theft option does have a reasonable chance of success and may cost much much less than trying to obtain the tech legally. I've pulled a Deity space race out of the fire with this option, using the tech I stole to trade for other techs I needed, and won from a very weak position, but it IS risky, so it should only be used when there's little or nothing to lose.

- Sirian

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