"Tactical Dynamics" is one of the key features of Universe at War: Earth Assault. Each of the three factions has the ability to research upgrades that modify existing tactics and provide new abilities. a different tactical dynamic on top of the dynamic research system.
Each faction has three research paths with 4 suites each. The 3 paths are separate but each suite in a path requires the previous suite to be completed. Each suite is progressively more expensive but the rewards are greater as well often unlocking special abilities, unit upgrades, and (in the case of the Hierarchy) new units and hardpoints.
Each player is allowed to research up to 6 Suites of research in any branch, meaning one can choose to focus research on one particular branch and unlock high tier upgrades, go an equal amount in each branch, or simply mix and match research to suit one's tactical needs.
Research is granted automatically in Defcon Mode
Mobile Structures and Hardpoints
The Hierarchy uses massive, customizable walkers in the place of the majority of their structures. Each walker has 3 or 4 crown sockets on the upper part of their bodies that allow hardpoints that enable new abilities, new units, and weapon enhancement to be built. In addition each walker has a hardpoint socket on each leg that can have utility items which reduce unit teleport times, unit cost, walker repair or add additional turrets.
These hardpoints can be swapped out at any time, provided funds are available. It is advisable not to do this in battle, since hardpoints are particularly vulnerable while being built in the same way a building under construction is. Some hardpoints are granted at the beginning of the game but most are granted through research.
Novus, being a race of machines, can quickly upload modifications to their forces in the form of patches. Novus initially has the ability to have one active patch at a time provided they have a Command Core or a powered Science Center. If a player has both, they gain a second slot for patchs.
At the beginning of a match, Novus has 2 basic patches that reduce damage from certain types of attacks used by the Hierarchy and Masari, but 10 more patches are available through research in different fields. These patches give abilities such as stealth detection and resource boosts as well as hitpoint or damage boosts. These can switch out the patches at any time but there will be a delay before another patch can be used.
The Masari have the light/dark mode dynamic that causes them to act almost as two factions.
Light and dark mode will affect all units under Masari control, granting them different abilities and changing their dynamics: In light mode, unit sight and weapon range is increased, certain units can fly, and projectiles cause a burning effect on impact. In dark mode all aerial units are grounded and act as heavy infantry, and all units gain dark matter armor that regenerates slowly and protects the units and buildings from damage. In addition sight and weapon range and damage is also decreased, but the fire rate is of units is increased and movement speed is increased.
The mode the Masari are currently in may be switched at any time but there is a delay before the mode will take effect and there is a short period afterwards during which the player cannot switch.
The different tech trees hinge upon the use of the light and dark mode and the abilities of the Masari heroes and superweapon change based on the mode.