The idea behind the Ascension Perks is to provide more unique unlockable features for Empires, and to provide the player with the ability to determine an 'endgame' for their species: What their empire is striving towards. Perhaps your goal is to go all-in on AI, replacing the frail biological bodies of your pops with immortal machines, or to harness the psionic potential of your species and reach a higher form of existence, allowing your empire to tap into other planes of being? All these and more are covered by the Ascension Perk system.
Each time you complete a Tradition tree, you will unlock one Ascension Perk slot, of which there are 8 in total. There may also be other ways to unlock slots, such as from certain rare technologies or as a reward for a particular event chain. This slot can then be filled with any of the Ascension Perks available to you. The final number of perks is not yet set down, but there are currently more than 20 and there will likely be more added. Ascension Perks have pre-requisites, which can for example be a particular technology or tradition, a certain number of Ascension Perk slots to be unlocked, or a specific ethos or government type. Some Ascension Perks are one-offs that simply provide a bonus to a particular area of your empire: For example, a bonus to border range, or cheaper terraforming. Others unlock new features, such as the ability to construct new types of space structures (more on in later dev diaries).
Finally there are the three 'Species Endgame' paths: The biological path, the spiritual path and the synthetic path. These three paths each consist of two perks, the first of which unlocks access to the second once a number of other pre-requisites have been met. The paths are mutually exclusive, and once you start heading down one of them, the other two are locked off.
- The Biological Path focuses on mastery over biological evolution. The first level of it gives access to more gene points and significantly cuts the cost of genemodding projects, while the second level expands the options available during genemodding in addition to further providing more points and less cost.
- The Psionic Path focuses on developing the psionic potential of your population. The first level unlocks new psionic technologies and benefits, while the second level allows your empire to reach a higher level of existance and communicate with the beings present there.
- The Synthetic Path focuses on the replacement of biology with machinery. The first level allows you to turn your population partly synthetic through the use of cybernetics, while the second level replaces your biological pops with robots, turning your empire entirely synthetic.
That's all for today! Next week we'll be talking about the concept of species rights and obligations.
Also about eating pops.