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Author Topic: Technological advancement  (Read 1398 times)
Ceres
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Technological advancement
« on: January 28, 2013, 02:48:54 pm »

I thought there was some confusion about the level of independent technological advancement and the general level of development for most races. I collected some questions I could come up with here:

  • Races such as the Ilwrath were subjugated by the Ur-Quan with ease and it is mentioned that they received ship upgrades to enable them to serve as battle thralls. My question is, had they discovered space flight before? And what about the hyperdrive? What about the same thing for the Spathi and the Thraddash? We know that the Shofixti were uplifted by the Yehat. Humans in a sense were uplifted by the Chenjesu (hyperdrive technology). Are there other races who didn't achieve space flight capabilities independently?
  • We know that the Taalo were probably more advanced than even the Chenjesu. Given that the Milieu consisted of several species cooperating, did they have a shared tech level? Given that the Mael-Num and Ur-Quan both date back to the Milieu, do they have similar technology? Would it be possible that all the advanced technology the Melnorme outfit our ships with is basically Ur-Quan tech? And did the Ur-Quan continue to develop their technology while being controlled by the Dnyarri? Would they have been more or less successful during this time period? And as they were roaming the galaxy, did they simply depend on their old Milieu tech?
  • In general, what species are the most technologically advanced? - excluding the Precursors. What species are the most ancient? Which ones have the highest intellect? Which ones have the most potential to become the Precursors Mark II?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2013, 03:03:37 pm by Ceres » Logged
chenjesuwizard
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Re: Technological advancement
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 12:42:18 am »

1. Yes, the Ilwrath and other Hierarchy members did have Hyperdrive and space flight. The Ilwrath used to have occasional clashes with the Chenjesu and M-bots, the Thraddash has developed space flight multiple times during each culture and the Spathi gained space flight running away from the bears. The Shofixti, however, were uplifted by the Yehat.

2. We have no way of knowing if they shared tech, but it seems likely. The Taalo do of course build a mind shield for the Ur-quan, but this may have been an exception.  They probably both have different technology as they have had many years to research and develop their tech. Think about the amount of technology created by us in the last 25,000 years, and then apply it to two super powerful, intelligent species. This would create vastly different technologies. They would not have developed tech while under Dnyarri control as the Dnyarri would not want them arming themselves. And the Kzer-za are a species designed to study and invent, they would definitely constantly be advancing. The Kohr-ah might not so much, but even they would have changed their tech in 25,000 years.

3. The Kohr-ah, Kzer-za and Mael-num are all pretty ancient. Who knows how long the Mycon and M-bots have been around? The Chmmr have pretty high intellect (based on the Chenjesu) and the Kzer-za are genetically engineered scientists. I have no idea which race will be Precursors Mk. II.
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Re: Technological advancement
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 03:22:25 am »

had they discovered space flight before? And what about the hyperdrive?

Hyperdrive is space flight technology for the purposes of SC2.  Unless you just meant sub-light space flight, like our shuttles.
Barring any mention of SC3's "bubble drive", I don't recall any mention of another FTL technology other than Hyperdrives.  (I'm not really counting Quasispace here, as that's like FTL^2 or something. =P)

We know that the Shofixti were uplifted by the Yehat. Humans in a sense were uplifted by the Chenjesu (hyperdrive technology). Are there other races who didn't achieve space flight capabilities independently?

The Slylandro were given their probes by the Melnorme, if that counts.

1. The Spathi gained space flight running away from the bears.

The Spathi went from bronze spears to FTL space travel in a little over 400 "Earth Years" according to some of the Spathi dialogue in-game.  That means these little buggers are capable of some incredible leaps in technology, when they apply themselves.  One presumes the only reason they're still stuck at a technology level comparable to the rest of us is simply because they're too afraid of the rest of the universe to go out too far into it.

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We know that the Taalo were probably more advanced than even the Chenjesu. Given that the Milieu consisted of several species cooperating, did they have a shared tech level? Given that the Mael-Num and Ur-Quan both date back to the Milieu, do they have similar technology? Would it be possible that all the advanced technology the Melnorme outfit our ships with is basically Ur-Quan tech?

The Melnorme have been trading tech back and forth with various races they came across over the millennia.  While some of their tech no doubt comes form the milieu, some of it also comes from other sources, including potential Precursor relics.  The Ur-Quan, by all accounts, have been pretty focused on enslaving/killing all sentient life for the last 25,000 years, squashing anything that looks like a threat and wrapping uppity slave races in slave shields.  I'm sure their tech has improved somewhat over the eons, but it's probably still all based on their old Milieu stuff.

And did the Ur-Quan continue to develop their technology while being controlled by the Dnyarri? Would they have been more or less successful during this time period? And as they were roaming the galaxy, did they simply depend on their old Milieu tech?

The Kzer-Za sub-species was bred specifically for scientific research by the Dnyarri, so it seems likely that they did advance some technologies while they were enslaved.  Given the Dnyarri's overconfidence in their own control, I'm not entirely convinced they would have avoided weapons technology, either.  Better weapons makes it easier to kill anything that the Dnyarri can't command, after all.

As for after the slave revolt, the Ur-Quan have basically been at war with anything that can build a HyperWave Caster since forever.  While it's true (at least in human history) that war is an excellent motivator of new technologies, it's also true that the Ur-Quan are fairly set in their ways and may not have been concentrating that much on advancing their technology if it was already sufficient to put down most lesser species.  Like I said before, I'm sure it has advanced a little, but probably not too much overall.

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In general, what species are the most technologically advanced? - excluding the Precursors. What species are the most ancient? Which ones have the highest intellect? Which ones have the most potential to become the Precursors Mark II?

I think any race has the potential to become the Precursors #2, given enough time.  After all, there was nothing really special about the Precursors other than the fact that they lived so long ago and left a lot of crap behind.  The only reason their technology is so far advanced compared to the races of the current time frame is because they'd already lived and researched it all long before any of us were born.

As for which species are most ancient, the Mycon were created by the Precursors and the Slylandro still have oral histories of communicating with the Precursors, so those two races are probably the oldest of those yet living in our sector of the galaxy today.  Even older than the Milieu.  The Mmrnmhrm's origin is unknown, so how old they are is anyone's guess.
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Ceres
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Re: Technological advancement
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 06:32:00 pm »

I always wonder about things like 'potential' in science fiction stories. We know from earth that a lot of things have to happen in a culture before it can rapidly accelerate technologically. I think one of the reasons that the middle ages were relatively stagnant was that the population was lower, many people were living in poverty and therefore had no chance to dedicate themselves to scientific research and I think there would have been encouragement to devote oneself to Christianity that would occupy a lot of the brighter individuals in this already small talent pool. Once living conditions improved and universities were established progress sky rocketed.

There are also scientific discoveries that remove bottle necks. The development of libraries, more uniform education, universities, the printing press, and so on all served to increase the awareness of certain research. The development of the steam engine, electricity, the computer and nuclear energy are based on research that has usually only existed for at most a hundred years and in themselves allowed vast improvements in many other areas. In the future it might be that artificial intelligence, nuclear fusion, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, asteroid mining capability or any other advanced technology will serve as a stepping stone to a next tech level.

I think, in this sense, that since the laws of physics that govern the universe are shared, that any culture that devotes themselves to scientific research can eventually be capable of reaching the same tech levels. It is only a question of cultural forces that impede research, resource availability and time.

One silly thing about science fiction tends to be that tech level is seen as overwhelmingly important: if you have plasma cannons then those are newer compared to laser cannons, so they're always more destructive. It's not true, it depends on how much energy you spend and I think that any species that has a strong industrial base - possibly with colonies on multiple worlds, should be expected to be a force to be reckoned with and should therefore theoretically do well in a war and then you should be able to absorb your opponent's technological capabilities. If nothing else, you can simply enlist their scientists to do work for you.

Given that the Ur-Quan have vanquished a lot of cultures, given that they have control over vast territories and given that they had a lot of time to bother with research, I think it would make sense for them to be highly advanced, more so than any other existing race.
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