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Free base facilities?

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  • Free base facilities?

    Recently, while reviewing my tech tree I noticed that I have indicated that you get a free base facility upon researching the following techs:

    Sentient Econometrics (E11)
    I: Free Recreation Commons

    Quantum Machinery (B12)
    I: Free energy bank

    Self-Aware Machines (D11)
    I: Free Network Node

    I got these from the Prima strategy guide for SMAC. Under these techs the book categorizes these as an "infrastructure" benefit for the tech (hence the reason I used "I" to categorize the benefit on my tech tree).

    Through gameplay and testing using the Scenario editor, I have never been able to confirm that you get these free facilities upon researching the tech. Does anyone know if you get these facilities in some way once the tech is researched? Perhaps you get ONE free facility? Perhaps this applied to an older version of the game? or was there in a Beta version of SMAC when Prima was writing the strategy guide?

    Please no comments about how poor Prima "strategy" guides are - I am simply interested in determining whether this feature exists in the game or not.
    Author of Nethog's Tech Trees.
    Get them at:

  • #2
    It does not.


    • #3
      I thought free in those cases referred to paying maintenance on existing facilities but have never checked this. Any game in which I happened to reach these high level techs is usually easily won and a couple of hundred ecs here or there seem irrelevant
      You don't get to 300 losses without being a pretty exceptional goaltender.-- Ben Kenobi speaking of Roberto Luongo


      • #4
        Try getting to that tech level, and then building a new base with a cp. Maybe those facilities will automatically appear.


        • #5
          I seriously doubt that it will be the case, as there is already a known mechanism for denoting free base facilities, namely greyed out facility name on the base display, with an asterisk if you have a normally built facility in addtion. Yang players who conquer bases with perimeter defenses intact will know what I'm talking about. Prima was smoking crack when they came up with that one.


          • #6
            alpha.txt makes it pretty clear:

            ; Free = No longer supported.
            Free facilities with a tech was something planned that was never implemented in the game. SMACX has an alternate version of it as a specific faction bonus.

            Edit: Typo
            "We are living in the future, I'll tell you how I know, I read it in the paper, Fifteen years ago" - John Prine


            • #7
              I can remember some times in late-game when building a new base and started construction of e.g. Recycling Tanks then when I discovered some new tech (can't remember which one) the next turn during upkeep it said "recycling tanks are already in place" and the word "completed" flashed in the minerals box.
              But maybe I entered recycling tanks twice in the building queue, i guess it was the latter (taking the list from Nethog into account).
              This also happens on occasion for netNodes, but I guess when building a base in late-game I am a little bit overzealous with the queue function


              • #8
                Thanks Static23. Also note that the same note "Free = No longer supported" appears in alphax.txt as well, so it does not apply to Alien Crossfire either. I will update my tech trees and remove the notes about free facilities.
                Author of Nethog's Tech Trees.
                Get them at:


                • #9
                  So ultimately is this feature something that you can mod and turn back ON, or is it forevermore to be deactivated?
                  "lol internet" ~ AAHZ


                  • #10
                    I would guess it to be the latter...seems that's what is indincated by the not supported text...much like energy and projectile weapons in the original design


                    • #11
                      It would be too easy getting those facilities in that way
                      I will never understand why some people on Apolyton find you so clever. You're predictable, mundane, and a google-whore and the most observant of us all know this. Your battles of "wits" rely on obscurity and whenever you fail to find something sufficiently obscure, like this, you just act like a 5 year old. Congratulations, molly.

                      Asher on molly bloom


                      • #12
                        The Prima guide saying they're "free" is not the best choice of wording, and the line in alpha(x).txt that says "Free = no longer supported" does refer to a valid feature.

                        It does not mean you get those facilities free at new bases founded after obtaining the tech. You still have to expend Minerals to build them.

                        What it does mean is you no longer have the -per-turn maintenance (support) costs for those specific facilities already in existence before you got the tech, and also will pay none for those built after.
                        Simply put, they don't cost you any Energy after you research the tech making them "free" or "support-free".

                        To see the effect, look in the {F3} screen at the list of facilities. There will be no cost associated with those facilities after the necessary tech is researched.

                        Edited three times. It's correct now.
                        Last edited by gwillybj; March 6, 2003, 22:07.
                        I am on a mission to see how much coffee it takes to actually achieve time travel. :frantic:


                        • #13
                          gwillybj, are you saying that the effect is actually enabled for SMACx?


                          • #14
                            gwillybj, I just finished using the scenerio editor for both SMAC and SMAX to see what the effect of the 3 high-level techs I identified above have on rec commons, net node, and energy bank maintenance costs and I do NOT see any any effect - i.e. they continue to cost 1ec each after the techs are discovered or if these new faciltiies are built AFTER the techs are discovered.

                            My test save game files for anyone that is interested:

                            Author of Nethog's Tech Trees.
                            Get them at:


                            • #15
                              I am so sorry.

                              To NetHog and everyone else here at Apolyton:

                              I was wrong.

                              I'm not a total idiot, but apparently I play one at Apolyton sometimes. I'm usually so good, but today I am very bad.

                              I just looked into my current well-advanced SMAC game and found that everything I wrote is absolutely and completely false.

                              I truly have no excuse . I can't even think why I was so utterly positive of all of that while I was composing it . It was all so clear and solid in my mind . Too bad, too; it sounded so right.

                              If anyone is looking for me, I'm over in the corner wearing the big pointed hat you know, the one that says DUNCE!

                              Please forget I ever wrote that post, when next I try to help someone.

                              On this side is gwillybj --> <-- On this side is everyone at Apolyton.
                              I am on a mission to see how much coffee it takes to actually achieve time travel. :frantic: