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Stellaris Dev Diary #63: Synthetic and Biological Ascension

Hello everyone and welcome to another Stellaris dev diary. This week we'll be talking about Ascension again, specifically the Synthetic and Biological Ascension Paths. In dev diary #60 we talked about the Psionic Ascension Path and the associated Shroud. The Shroud was a fairly major mechanical addition to the game, which we felt was needed as Psionics lacked any such mechanic associated with them, unlike the other two. For this reason, the Biological and Synthetic Ascension Paths do not have the same degree of new mechanics associated with them, but rather focus on enhancing the existing mechanics (Genemodding and Robots) that they are tied to.

The Synthetic Ascension Path focuses on abandoning your frail biological forms for that of a perfect machine. The first step, the Flesh is Weak, requires the Droids technology and allows you to modify your entire population through a special project, turning them into cyborgs. This gives them an immediate +20% boost to habitability, as well as bonuses to mineral production and army damage, and also makes any leaders generated from those species have the Cyborg trait granting an additional +40 years of lifespan.
2017_03_01_5.png

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The next step, Synthetic Evolution, requires the ability to build Synths, and allows you to upgrade your cyborg population into fully mechanical forms, finally abandoning the frailty of flesh for the surety of synthetics. When it is complete, you will become a fully robotic empire, with a robotic primary species. Your population will benefit from all the advantages normally conferred to Synths in production and research, and all your leaders will be immortal, able to be killed only in battle or through events. You will also naturally no longer require Food for your synthetic population, instead being replaced by an Energy maintenance similar to regular Synths. You will also be able to name your new, gloriously post-biological people.
2017_03_01_1.png


The Biological Ascension Path focuses on mastery of DNA and evolution. The first step, Engineered Evolution, requires the Gene Tailoring technology and grants a major reduction to the cost and time required to genetically modify species, gives you +2 trait points, and also unlocks the ability to research the Gene Seed Purification technology which is otherwise unavailable (it can still be researched as normal for those who do not have the Utopia expansion), allowing recruitment of Gene Warriors.
2017_03_01_2.png


The next step, Evolutionary Mastery requires the Targeted Gene Expressions technology. It grants an additional +3 trait points, a further reduction in time and cost of genemodding, and unlocks the ability to research the Genetic Resequencing technology, which once researched unlocks Advanced Genemodding. With Advanced Genemodding you will be able to add negative traits and remove positive traits, allowing you to completely reshape species at your whim. It also unlocks five new traits that are exclusively available to the Biological Ascension Path:
Robust: Upgrades from Extremely Adaptable, adds +30% habitability and an extra +30 years of lifespan.
Fertile: Upgrades from Rapid Breeders, gives -30% growth time and +5% happiness
Erudite: Upgrades from Intelligent, gives +20% science production and +1 leader skill levels.
Delicious: Makes the species delicious and nutritious, granting +100% food yield from Processing and Livestock.
Nerve Stapled: Removes the ability of the species to feel happiness or sadness. Happiness is disabled and Food/Mineral production increased, but adds major penalties to other resource production.
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Additionally, Advanced Genemodding allows for the ability for non-Hive Mind empires to remove the Hive-Minded trait from Pops and for Hive Minds to add it to Pops, as mentioned in dev diary #62.

That's all for today! Next week we'll be talking a variety of smaller features coming in the Banks update, including the ability to terraform Mars.
 

niallmcfc

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So any chance for half robot-half species portraits? Do robot pops grow naturally or have to be produced when you fully transfer? And does gene modding still take forever- could be pretty annoying to unlock all this new stuff and have to wait 10+ years to implement it.
 

Pyriel

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I love the delicious trait
 

An American Pyro

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I really can't wait to create a robot species.

But...I really can't resist playing an evil empire, removing emotions from slaves and livestock, and making livestock be delicious.

Wiz, will the Synthetic Ascension change how the rebellion thinks of you?
 
Last edited:

Nurgle84

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Gene mod all the things! Finally! Now, for these super soldier species...
 

Andy38

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Well thank you @Wiz for regaling us with an awesome DD from San Francisco!!!
 

Birnenpappe

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So, in an ultra-micromanaged playstyle, would it be viable to genemod only part of your species to be Erudites and put that part on research, gene-modify another part to be thrifty and put those on energy and so forth?
 

scaper12123

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Awesome stuff! My only hope is that we get more synth portraits. At the very least, have there be one for each phenotype so we can differentiate the former humans from the former reptiles
 

Garfazz Steamfang

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So you can't become or befriend prethoryns with biological path... Seems that only spiritualist can become late game crisis.
 

MistMage

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Mm, is the biological path the only way to save hive-minded pops after conquest? I would guess so, but would be interested to know more specifically.
 

Alectron

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Do we still need to own species' homeworld in order to genemod them? And how is AI rebellion go along Synthetic ascension?
 

Phantomiux

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One question mentioned in another thread - did we get more Droid portraits? Because I can't image reason why would Starfishes create droid which will look like some humanoid ( or turn themself into that form )...
 

Caspoi

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Questions:

1. Will there be random non-state-approved cybernization like it is with gene modding?

2. Will the synthetic ascencion path allow for further upgrades to synths and can we upgrade other species after we have already done so to ourselves?
 

MGoods

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Given that you're currently looking at gene modding have you considered allowing us to modify pops on colony ships? I'd make sense to be able to modify them to continental preference so I can colonize a continental world (for example), even if it was just limited to that kind of modification and no other it'd be really useful.
 

Zoinker

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+1 for the SMAC reference!

One question: Will we be able to keep the old species portrait if we go full robot? Just because I want to become an immortal machine, doesn't mean I want to LOOK like a machine.
 

nyah

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This expansion looks brilliant.
 

PAnZuRiEL

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The Synthetic Ascension Path focuses on abandoning your frail biological forms for that of a perfect machine. The first step, the Flesh is Weak, requires the Droids technology and allows you to modify your entire population through a special project, turning them into cyborgs. This gives them an immediate +20% boost to habitability, as well as bonuses to mineral production and army damage, and also makes any leaders generated from those species have the Cyborg trait granting an additional +40 years of lifespan.

The next step, Synthetic Evolution, requires the ability to build Synths, and allows you to upgrade your cyborg population into fully mechanical forms, finally abandoning the frailty of flesh for the surety of synthetics. When it is complete, you will become a fully robotic empire, with a robotic primary species. Your population will benefit from all the advantages normally conferred to Synths in production and research, and all your leaders will be immortal, able to be killed only in battle or through events. You will also naturally no longer require Food for your synthetic population, instead being replaced by an Energy maintenance similar to regular Synths. You will also be able to name your new, gloriously post-biological people.
Is the ascended species identical to synths? Do they grow from energy surplus like other pops grow from food, or are they constructed? Do synths now have a bonus to army damage, or is it impossible to recruit armies from them (forcing you to recruit robot or android armies)? What happens to the traits of the original organic species, are they retained in any way?