Better Tech Scaling Mod changes the tech scaling of 1.1 and 1.2 back to the tech scaling of 1.0, making colonization fun again rather than a tedious drain.
In current versions, every planet you settle adds 10% to your base tech cost, and every pop you have (above your first 10) adds 1% to your base tech cost.
This means that, essentially, small planets (below size-10) aren’t worth colonizing at all, because they’ll never return on the investment made to colonize them. It can even make it less worth it to colonize ideal planets, because they’ll be a net negative on your science income for a long time.
It also makes conquering annoying, because AI will colonize small planets if you won’t, and so when you cede their planets, you end up with lots of tiny useless ones that do nothing but hurt your science.
This mod changes the tech scaling back to the original method. Planets do not increase tech cost, but every pop in your empire increases tech costs by 2%. As a result, you can colonize as many planets you want without having to worry about screwing yourself over by not choosing only the most optimal planets. As well, this also means it’s not as essential to have lots of large planets near your spawn; 2 size-10 planets are equivalent to a single size-20.
Note that this might make Wide empires more powerful. It should affect AI the same as you, so there should not be any player advantages there (in fact, it’ll likely make the AI more balanced).
Credit: Tyler Gently