So would this be an accurate description of each of the fields in this thread?
Total Empire Research Potential: The total amount of research that your empire is capable of producing (before adding bonuses) based on the available scientists (which are the ones conducting the research) in your empire. These scientists are stationed at facilities that have labs in order to generate research. The type of research produced is dependent upon the labs that are present in the facility.
E.g. In a space port that has all 3 labs, the scientist(s) at the facility will split their research equally between the available labs; or a space port has, say, only energy labs, so that facility, if staffed with a scientist(s), will contribute that scientist's full potential to energy research
Total Research Capacity:The total *capacity* for each tech discipline (weapons, energy, high tech) that your empire can handle. Building a facility that had a large capacity for a specific field of research would end up providing the option of transferring scientists to that facility to effectively "specialize" in that area.
E.g. You decide that you want to research ship size quicker than anything else, so you build a couple of facilities that have energy labs exclusively. You transfer scientists to these facilities, and their research potential is directed towards energy research *only*, effectively distributing your "potential research" to a higher percentage in energy research. **It is worth noting that stationing scientists that have a bonus in a particular area in a facility that matches that ability is optimal. Their bonus will not apply if they are not conducting the relevant research.
Actual Output: The final product of your scientists' efforts in the stations that they are researching in. This number is the actual amount of research that you are producing, and incorporates your government bonuses, leader bonuses, location bonuses, and individual scientist bonuses (their character traits, and only applies if they are conducting research at a facility that has labs that correspond to their bonus)
E.g. You have a scientist that has a 10% bonus to weapons research. Their bonus will only apply if they are researching in a facility that has weapons labs, and the more specialized the facility (the more weapon labs it has in relation to the others, preferably 100% weapon labs to maximize the scientist's bonus) the more output you will generate.
Weapons plant, Energy plant, and high tech plant: Each plant manufactures components per "tick", which is 6 days in game. They produce components based on the size of the component. A plant that produces 45000 construction capacity, is capable of producing 450 (45,000 divided by 10) "size" in components every 6 in game days. Each plant only produces components that were obtained through research in it's respective field (any component that is obtained through technology that is researched in the weapons category will only be produced by weapon plants. The same holds true for energy and high tech components/plants)
E.g. A design has 3 titan beams, 10 deucalios shields, and 10 ultradense fuel cells. That is 6 size for each titan beam, or 18 "size" that the weapon plants must produce to complete this design. The deucalios shields would total 100, since each one has a size of 10, and that would need to be produced by the energy plants. The ultradense fuel cells, being researched in the high tech field and having a size of 6, would be produced by the high tech plants and would equal a total of 60 size. Since this example would be less than the 450 capacity of each plant, the components would be built within 1 "tick", and the design would be limited only by the construction speed of the construction yards.
None of this is my own work, other than interpreting the contribution of others in this thread and mixing it with my own common knowledge from casual play. I do not present this as is to be complete or 100% true, my only intention is to try and help simplify these concepts for new players by consolidating the collective wisdom as much as possible. This is something that I feel should have been done by the game creators, or at the very least they could have explained why they chose not to. In any case, any information in this post is subject to change at any point based on clarification of information based on research.
< Message edited by KevlarAxis -- 12/6/2015 2:56:42 AM >