4.0 minigame Edit
This page discusses the research system that was used before 4.1, for the benefit of any players who might be playing older versions. If you're putting paper into the research table, you're using this version.
There are three ways to get a research note to explore. Most commonly, you will spend one research point of a given aspect to look into some topic related to that aspect (or try to -- if there is no available research using that aspect, the point is wasted). You sometimes get research notes from scanning as well, and you can rarely assemble one from Ancient Fragments of lost research. The note is researched by playing a mini-game to connect all the nodes of the research map. The research topic will have one or two other aspects as well, and you then spend points of all of these aspects to activate or deactivate their runes. Some non-obvious points:
- When you start a research note, one node will be active, your "starting node". This node has to be at one end of the connected chain, not in the middle. The chain can't fork, either.
- Each aspect will activate the same number of runes. This can be used to spot and pre-place the runes for other aspects, before you've even found them -- for example, if the first aspect activates three runes, look for other runes which have exactly three of them on the page. Note that some "wrong' aspects will be marked as "red herrings", which will remove some of the inactive runes from the page.
- Not all minigames are solvable. If confronted with an unsolvable or overly difficult research note, you can discard the note and try again. After activating your first aspect, look at the distance between the nodes, and figure out how many runes will be needed to make all the connections. Look at how many nodes you activated, and remember that the early topics only have two or three aspects, each of which will activate the same number of runes. (Some of the advanced topics do have four or even five aspects.) If you can't find enough aspects to light enough runes for the job, then there's no need to waste research points on an unsolvable puzzle. Be particularly suspicious if the nodes are widely scattered.
- You can use inactive runes to block unwanted connections. Be warned that they might be removed by a red herring!
- Here is an extensive guide to 4.0 research.