Personally, I've always been strictly against the idea that technological innovation in the Imperium is only stunted because of their approach to technology. That would mean that all it would take is one heretek to completely revolutionize basically everything, and organisations like the Logicians would be impossibly far ahead of everyone else.
The Adeptus Mechanicus is an organisation full of inhumanly intelligent super-geniuses, experts in every field of science, in whose hands lie all the knowledge mankind possesses. They are too smart to miss all this ****. What I have been saying since forever, is that technological evolution over an area as large as the Imperium, when there is no central power able to keep the Adeptus Mechanicus all working together instead of vying for power internally, hoarding power to the point where even individual Magi don't always share their knowledge, is incredibly difficult.
Here's an example of how this would work if large-scale technical progress was done in the Imperium.
Alright, so you're a magos. You just spent the last couple of years developing a new lasrifle. It's more powerful than the previous version, holds more ammunition than previous versions and impossibly, is still as easy to learn to use and maintain, still as ergonomic and still as indestructible, and the power packs can still be charged in sunlight. Now you have to step up to the galaxy-wide Mechanicus community and explain why *your* new las-rifle design should be adopted by the whole Imperium, rather than one of the thousand other ones created by other Magi, all of whom are just as good at this and proud about their work as you. You can do this either by sending millions of astropathic messages back and forth between forge worlds, or you and all the other Magi can abandon their work for years to go to a meeting somewhere and discuss it. Traveling will take years, some will undoubtedly be late by years, some may be lost in the Warp, and the discussion itself will likely take years as well.
Now that you've finally managed to convince them your las-rifle is truly the best, spending almost a decade away from your work, the retooling process will have to begin. Across the galaxy, factories the size of cities are completely rebuilt, billions of workers have to be re-educated and billions of servitors reprogrammed to fashion the new parts. Paperwork has to be altered on thousands of worlds, production lines tested and perfected, numbers run and new quotas created - all the while, no new lasguns are being produced, because all those workers are busy with construction. If your new lasgun functions somewhat differently from the last, battlefield tactics and such may also need revision. All of this has to be coordinated across the galaxy. All of this, of course, can't even begin before information on the new weapon has been disseminated throughout the Imperium, and you'd better hope no system governor or Archmagos is too cheap or conservative to agree to this change, because how are you going to make them? I can't even begin to speculate on how long this would take.
And a few years later, a thousand artificers have developed a new lasgun design.
Or you could just let it be, and equip your personal skitarii bodyguard with the new lasgun nobody knows about, so you'll have an edge when the next uppity little bastard comes to claim your position.
Of course, that's not very relevant to smaller organisations like the Logicians. My second, less ranty point is pretty much that reverse-engineering supertech can't be that easy, or the Logicians would have brought back the Dark Age already. Reliable, self-replicating combat androids would solve most of their problems in an explosive fashion.
At the same time, I do feel that there could well be more unique, personal weapons in the game. I don't see anything wrong with a rogue trader having an easy time getting hold of plasma, melta or any other standard type of weapon regular imperial guardsmen have easy access to, but purchasing rarer and better weapons from your connections in the Mechanicus or other unique places. I would have liked to see more unique weapons that actually have a point to their existence, instead of just another useless pattern of lasgun or stubber that nobody will ever bother to use, since everyone starts with bolters and hellguns. There are some exotic Imperial weapons, but most of them are utter crap. Toward the end game of my campaigns, my parties are usually littered with homebrewed weapons and devices, simply because there's nothing in the books that fits their needs.
Lastly, it seems insane to me that a Tau pulse rifle is no harder to get a hold of than a bolter in the Expanse.
Edited by Magellan, 21 June 2014 - 02:59 AM.