The different tech levels and the definitions of the terms.
- Level 0: Primitive, Pre-industrial.
- Level 1: Modern technology, 'modern' being early twenty first century+late twentieth century
- Level 2: Early Space Age technology. This includes basic rockets and satellites
- Level 3: Middle Space Age technology. From Basic FTL to deflector shields. This is the level of a species comfortable with interstellar travel
- Level 4: A species has been traveling through space for generations or even centuries. Technology of this level is often less Spartan/Industrial and more artistic in appearance. Tech of this level are often superior versions or variations of the previous level.
- Level 5: Tech of this level is often awe inspiring brute force wonders. Tech such as rapid ecological restructuring (terraforming) is commonly of this level
- Level 6: Tech of this level includes devises that operate on Macro-Quantum mechanics, such as Quantum Drives, Space Bridges and teleporters of all kinds.
- Level 7: This level of technology involves rather godlike abilities, from matter-energy conversion, possibly time travel and such feats.
- Level 8: The technology is seemingly magical in nature.
Stagnation is a problem faced by nearly every single species and civilization. When used in terms of technological ability it means the difficulty a species may have in reaching the next level of technology or even moving back to the prior level. There several reasons for this and not all are endured together.
- Economics: It is said where there is trade there is civilization and thus technology. However this is also a double edged sword. Research based on economic systems will be biased to discoveries that do not threaten that system. To understand the difference look at Star Wars and Star Trek. In Star Wars civilization has been economically driven for thousands of years and technology during the movies is similar to technology during the Knights of the Old Republic era (in the Expanded Universe) which was around four thousand years prior. Yet in Star Trek, Earth/The Federation's economy is resourced based, and thus there is no real bias on research. They thus have technology that is seemingly superior to the Empire in practically every field except power, wherein the Empire simply outmatches them. However the Federation is only a few centuries old.
- Size: The larger a civilization, the longer it takes for technology to spread. Today, there is a saying 'The world is ten years more advance than you think'. This means, that every bit of technology we see today, was invented around ten years prior. Between refinements, which make it affordable, and an increase in popularity determines how quickly and how far some technology may spread.
- Hyperwaves/Mass Drives: Due to the nature of this type of FTL, more advance forms of technology are not advised due to the aging effect they have.