- The technology system changed quite a bit with the release of The Old Gods. Read more on the paradox forums in the developer diary about the new system.
Much like construction, technology is a long-time prospect. Unlike construction however making progress in technology takes decades, and the effects are tiny in comparison. I'll go into how technology works, and what you can do to maximize your benefit from it.
If you can't be bothered to read all of this, there's a summary at the end.
What It Does
The basics of how technology works in Crusader Kings II is rather simple, but not immediately obvious. Technology works on a per county basis; technology in one county will not directly benefit any other counties.
For every whole level of a technology, you'll get a benefit in that county. There are a variety of effects, and these will be gone into in a later section.
How It Spreads
Technological progress happens based on percentage chances. Every month you have a percentage chance of making progress for each tech for each county, measured on a per year basis. Through a dice roll you either make progress towards the next level, or remain where you were before.
Each time the dice roll succeeds, your technological level for that specific tech in that specific county increases by 0.1.
Once the technological level reaches a whole number, you gain the benefit from that level; you don't get say 50% of the effect of level 2 if you're at 1.5, you get the effect of level 1.
Most of your tech will be achieved through the dice rolls mentioned earlier. The percentage chances in a county are affected by several conditions:
- What year it is
- State attributes
- Tech focus
- Councillor missions
- County buildings
- Other counties
All of these factors are multiplied together to decide the final percentage. The base percentage is always 1.2% per year, but this can be increased to much higher levels.
There are in total 24 different technologies, 8 for each major area: Military, Economy, and Culture. The effects are as follows:
- Bows - Increases the attack stats of archers and horse archers by 10% at level 1, increases by 5% per level
- Light Armour - Increases the armor stats of Light Infantry, Light Cavalry, Archers, and Horse Archers by 10% at level 1, increases by 5% per level
- Heavy Armour - Increases the armor stats of Heavy Infantry, Heavy Cavalry, and Pikemen by 10% at level 1, increases by 5% per level
- Infantry Melee Weapons - Increases the attack stats of all infantry by 10% at level 1, increases by 5% per level
- Cavalry Melee Weapons - Increases the attack stats of all cavalry by 10% at level 1, increases by 5% per level
- Siege Equipment - Increases siege speed by 10% at level 1, increases by 10% per level
- Military Fortifications - Decreases enemy siege speed by 10% at level 1, increases by 10% per level
- Tactics - Increases morale by 0.1 at level 1, increases by 0.1 per level
- Farming - Increases castle tax by 10% at level 1, increases by 10% per level
- Trade Practices - Increases city tax by 10% at level 1, increases 10% per level
- Church Taxes - Increases church tax by 10% at level 1, increases 10% per level
- Castle Infrastructure - Unlocks castle buildings
- Town Infrastructure - Unlocks city buildings
- Temple Infrastructure - Unlocks temple buildings
- Improved Keeps - Unlocks walls, moats, and garrisons
- Construction - Reduces construction time by 5% at level 1, increases by 5% per level
- Noble Customs - Increases opinion of nobles by 3/6/8/10/12
- Popular Customs - Increases opinion of burghers by 3/6/8/10/12
- Religious Customs - Increases opinion of priests by 3/6/8/10/12
- Majesty - Increases prestige gain by 10% at level 1, increases by 10% per level
- Spiritual Art - Increases piety gain by 10% at level 1, increases by 10% per level
- Cultural Flexibility - Reduces the 'Foreigner' modifier by 10% at level 1, increases by 10% per level
- Religious Flexibility - Reduces the Infidel/Heretic modifiers by 10% at level 1, increases by 10% per level
- Legalism - Reduces the length of 'Short Reign' by 1 year at level 1, increases by 1 per level. Increases demesne size by 1 per level; every level for kings/emperors, every level but 3 and 5 for dukes, level 1 and 3 for counts, level 2 for barons
What To Research
Now, the culture techs are special in that they only affect you if your capital county has the technology. A low or high tech outside your capital will not hurt or help you directly in any way.
The culture techs are also, arguably, by far the most useful techs, especially the customs techs and legalism. Both let you more easily manage a large realm, and makes succession easier. The flexibility techs are also useful if you expand into areas with different culture or religion than your own, and thus end up with foreign vassals.
So for the culture techs, I would recommend focusing on legalism if you're a king/emperor as it will make succession so much easier both by giving you a larger powerbase, and by decreasing the short reign penalty. Second I would focus on Noble Customs as that will affect pretty much everyone in your realm with any real power.
For the economy techs, the two most important ones are Farming and Castle Infrastructure. Farming directly increases your income from a holding by 10%, while Castle Infrastructure will let you build further buildings, giving you access to more income and more levies.
For the military techs, Tactics is quite useful as it affects all your units. Beyond that you should probably just concentrate on whatever unit(s) you get from your culture's unique building.
How To Maximize Technological Growth
First off, don't try to get too far ahead of the curve, as you'll get a large 'ahead penalty' towards technological growth if you do so. Instead, try to just keep a few decades ahead of opposing realms.
Second, try to get as good councilors as you can, and especially your Court Chaplain. Your state learning (your own stat + your councilor's stat + half your spouse's stat) plus the state stat for the relevant area will increase technological growth in that area by as many percent. This can make a huge difference in how fast you achieve technological growth.
Third, use your tech focus to get what you want, and switch once you've achieved that level. It also benefits you to boost techs that are nearing the next level, as this will fuel tech growth in the rest of your demesne.
Fourth, focus on your capital. As the entire culture branch works based on your capital, there is no real point in encouraging cultural tech elsewhere.
Fifth, build the tech buildings in your capital. By upgrading the Monastic School and University in your capital county, you can easily achieve 50% higher technological growth there.
Sixth, use your councilors whenever they're available. Have them boost tech growth in your capital. They'll increase tech growth in that county by 5% per level they have in the relevant skill.
By concentrating entirely on your capital, you'll also be indirectly increasing tech growth in the rest of your realm as well. Neighboring a county with a higher tech level will increase tech growth by 15% per county, and having a county with a higher tech level in the same demesne will also increase tech growth by 25% per county. Thus, when you achieve a higher level in your capital you'll increase tech growth in your entire demesne for that tech by 25%, and by another 15% for any county your capital borders.
By maximizing technology you can get the edge you need to survive against the odds, and to deal with bad successions. Investing early in technology can benefit you for the entire length of a campaign, and can bring large benefits.
For those who cannot be bothered to read everything, just remember this:
- Concentrate on your capital
- Focus on Legalism, Noble Customs, Farming, Castle Infrastructure, and Tactics
- Get as good councilors as possible
- Use your councilors to boost tech growth in your capital
- Build tech buildings in your capital
- Utilize your tech focus
Published by Meneth
Small note from random guy: Moving the capital to a province of Muslim/Greek origin can give you a boost in Legalism and rest of tech by 3. + it gives all other provinces a boost in tech development.