The Technology Level of the Planet/System in question.
|Using Traveller as a guide,
(I'd estimate that present-day Earth is maybe TL7).
From a discussion on the ability to show city lights on the night side of planets with Oolite v.1.90: note that Technology Level was inherited (unchanged) from Classic Elite, and that the Traveller RPG was one of the influences on its creation.
TL, politics & economy
Generally speaking, in the Vanilla game, the highest TL systems tend to be highly industrialised corporate states. The lowest TL systems tend to be poor agricultural anarchies.
Of the 10 systems with TL13+ some 6 are corporate states (1 democracy, 2 confederacies, 1 communist). Of the 11 systems with TL2 or less, 6 are anarchies, 4 feudal & 1 multi-government. See Oolite planet list/Galaxy 1 for some helpful tables.
The extremes. The only system with a TL of 15, Ceesxe, a corporate rich industrial state inhabited by avians, is located towards the middle of the top edge of Galaxy 1. There are two anarchies with a TL of 1, both being poor agricultural economies. Maesin is almost directly opposite Ceesxe, on the bottom edge of the map (populated by rodents). Qudira is in the top right hand corner (populated by human colonials).
The very lowest TL systems are all poor agricultural. The lowest mixed economies (mainly agricultural/mainly agricultural) have TLs of 5. The lowest industrials have a TL of 6.
The very highest TL systems are all rich industrials. The highest TL purely agricultural systems only manage a 9!
In-game, TL determines what you can purchase at your local Orbital Station shipyard on the F3 page (ship outfitting).
|Equipment||Function||Tech Level||Price (₢)||In BBC Elite?|
|Cargo Bay Expansion||Mercantile||2||400||yes|
|External Heat Shielding||Astrogatory||5||1,500||no|
|Advanced Navigational Array||Astrogatory||7||2,250||no|
|Advanced Space Compass||Astrogatory||8||650||no|
|Quirium Cascade Mine||Offensive||7||2,500||no|
|Extra Energy Unit||Defensive||9||1,500||yes|
|Target System Memory Expansion||Offensive||9||1,250||no|
|ECM Hardened Missile||Offensive||10||350||no|
|Witchdrive Fuel Injectors||Propulsive||11||600||no|
|Scanner Targeting Enhancement||Offensive||12||450||no|
|Integrated Targeting System||Offensive||12||1,500||no|
|Military Shield Enhancement||Defensive||14||47,550||no|
|Naval Energy Unit||Defensive||??||??||no|
So, for example, Military Shield Enhancement is purchasable only at one of the systems with TL 14 or 15 in Galaxy 1 (there are just 5 of them).
Note on Maintenance
While the cost of Maintenance is not affected by TL, the higher the TL of the system, the longer the maintenance lasts.
OXPs for equipment & weapons will add to this list, of course. As will a few others such as Vimana HUD & GalCop Missions ... Note that some OXPs shorten the list - most noticeably Weapon Laws which will remove weapons from the list depending on the political complexion of the system.
Note also that OXP shipyards can be a little different - especially those on visiting ships such as a naval Behemoth.
There is no change in the Vanilla game as to whether you can buy computers at a TL1 industrial system! Well... industrial TL1's don't exist as adumbrated above, but you get the idea!
But there is in SW Economy:
Agricultural Economies & TL - this includes the mainly agricultural (the higher TL systems tend to be such)
- Low TL and small planet size means no food/textiles/wine/furs/oxygen/medicine for sale
- Low TL alone means no oxygen/medicine
- Moderate TL means no medicine
Industrial Economies & TL - this includes the mainly industrial
- Low TL means no machinery/alloys/computers/luxuries for sale
- Moderate TL means no computers/luxuries