Research and Technologies
“We will now discuss, in a little more detail, the Struggle for Existence.”
Introduction to technology and research
In Victoria, research and the technologies it brings is crucial to a successful game. Military technologies can give you an edge over your enemies in war; cultural technologies can load you up with tremendous prestige; and industrial technologies help you produce more, better, faster.
Each technology researched usually yields immediate benefits (such as the ability to build a higher level of railroad or a better kind of musket).
Further, many technologies open the possibility of inventions. These appear as popup event screens, letting the player know that something has been built. For example, discovering the technology Combustion Engine is the prerequisite for the individual invention called “Daimler’s Automobile” which allows the construction of automobile factories. Another example: the discovery of the technology Interchangeable Parts allows for the discovery of the invention “Precision Work”, which allows the construction of machine parts factories.
The speed at which inventions follow the requisite technologies depends on your prestige, but many inventions do not become available until a specific date after the game has begun, even if you discover the technology that triggers them early.
There are five areas of research in Victoria: Army, Navy, Commerce, Industry, and Culture. Each yields discoveries in its own field, and in no others, although certain technologies in one field can be required to unlock those in others. There are twenty-five technologies in each category, grouped into five subfields per area.
Most civilized countries start out with several technologies already discovered, though the specific ones vary by the country. Uncivilized countries start off far behind, hence the term “uncivilized”.
The rate at which you discover technologies depends on your rate of research point accumulation. Research points represent the strength of the intellectual establishment of your country and the rate at which it comes up with new ideas.
Effect of education spending on RP accumulation
The number of research points you get is dependent on several things. First, the higher your education spending, the more research points you accumulate. Education spending determines how much money the government feeds into research, and the more money the scientists get, the more they produce.
Effect of literacy on RP accumulation
Second, research point accumulation depends on your literacy rate. The higher your literacy rate, the more people can contribute to scientific development. If you keep education spending at fifty percent exactly, your literacy rate will remain steady. Put the education spending below fifty percent and your literacy will slowly drop; put it above, and it will slowly increase. The rate of increase or decrease depends on how far above or below fifty percent the slider is.
Effect of POPs on RP accumulation
Third, the number of Research Points you accumulate depends on the number of research-producing POPs in your country. These are Clergymen and Clerks. Both produce Research Points, on top of the other benefits they yield (see POPs).
But only Clerks remain the best producers of Research Points until the end of the game — Clergymen become slightly worse after the discovery of an invention called “Darwinism” that comes as a result of researching the technology called Biologism, in the culture field. When “Darwinism” is invented, Clergymen have their scientific output reduced by twenty five percent, while clerks have their output increased by twenty five percent to compensate. To take advantage of this, you can convert few to no Clergymen during the game while simultaneously creating large numbers of clerks (who, remember, have uses other than as researchers). When “Darwinism” is invented, it is not unheard of for the rate of Research Point accumulation to considerably increase.
The number of Research Points necessary to complete the technology is dependent on your country’s National Value. If it's Order, army and navy techs take 90% of cost in RP's and time to finish; if it's Liberty, the same applies to commerce, industry and culture. If it's Equality, all fields cost the full amount (but social reforms become more effective for those nations).
Time-limits on research
Each technology requires an input of research points before it can be discovered, but this is not the only requirement. Most technologies also have a minimum research time of one year. No technology can be discovered earlier than one calendar year after it has been assigned, no matter how many research points you have accumulated. The most advanced technologies have their cost in RPs increased as well as researching time.
Getting the most from your research points
Because of this, there is obviously a threshold at which you will produce exactly ten Research Points per year, and beyond which you will be accumulating spare Research Points. You can use these extras to trade technologies with other countries. You will need those extra points because for each newly received technology in a trade you lose Research Points. This loss represents the reverse engineering your scientists will have to do in order to incorporate the traded technology into your system.
The other factor to keep in mind when researching is your Intellectual Establishment. This represents the focus of the leading scientific figures of your nation. Different establishments have different foci, and can be useful for making up a serious deficiency in one area. There are six Intellectual Establishments from which you can choose:
- Traditional Academic Circle
- This is the normal, standard establishment. It gives one research opportunity in each of the five areas of research.
- Army-Industrial Complex
- Focuses on the army side of the military. This gives three army, one industrial, and one random research opportunity.
- Naval-Industrial Complex
- Focuses on the naval side of the military. This gives three naval, one industrial, and one random research opportunity.
- Industrialist-Science Factory
- Focuses on industrial development and economic strength. This gives three industrial, one commercial, and one random research opportunity.
- Banker-Science Factory
- Focuses on commercial development and economic strength. This gives three commercial, one industrial, and one random research opportunity.
- Radical Academic Circle
- Focuses on cultural development. This gives three cultural and two random research opportunities.
Changing intellectual establishments
You can change Intellectual Establishments at will and as frequently as you want, but note that you cannot choose what it will change to, and each time you change you will lose ten prestige points. Therefore, changing Intellectual Establishments is only worthwhile if you have prestige to waste looking for the right one and if you have a very serious deficiency in one specific area. Remember, once you make up that deficiency, you will have to change back to something else.