Ive done all 3 paths and it seems the psychic path is the strongest/fastest. You get an extra trait (psionic) similar to what the synth path gives, but it's free…you do not need to do anything like the flesh is weak project, you get it instantly once you pick the 2nd ascencion perk.
The two synth special projects are incredibly expensive and stalls your engineering research for years if you have a lot of pop.
To top it off, after you turn your pops into synths, they lose all traits and you have to do ANOTHER special project to assign them traits. This also means that any gene modding that you may have done, and any gene research, is probably wasted now.
I also found that the assembly plants would keep producing regular robots instead of your synth pop, and i had to keep manually adjusting them to produce the synth pop only. You do not get any option to convert the robots into synths for some reason. And the robot assembly plants reset the moment you do apply any robo templates…which can will probably result in them producing more robots again instead of synths.
I think with the psionic path, I only had to research 2 or 3 techs, while it took a lot longer time to research the synth tech to be able to take the synth ascencion perk.
Then there's the shroud…random, but potentially very powerful…psionic shields are the best shields in the game hands down, and you can steal tech from FEs.
With synths you do get the benefit of being able to convert to a machine empire with a non-gestalt government, but it takes a long time to get there and then you have to convert all your food buildings/districts. And by the time you start doing that, the game is probably at least halfway over. Most of the psionic benefits are front loaded and all you need is the 2nd ascencion perk.
As for the bio path, you dont get any free leader traits, which is a huge let down. Sure you get a bunch more species trait points, but you are still limited to 5 traits max The unique traits are mostly decent I guess, but not having admirals with the synth or psionic perks is a disadvantage during battles.
Nerve stapled doesnt seem very good though…who wants even more pop micromanagement? And delicious seems weird…why would you waste valuable housing space on pop that produces only food with no bonuses? I think its a net gain of 5 food per month per livestock?
Main advantage of the bio path seems to be that you can get very high pop growth modifiers…clone vats + fertile + cyto is pretty amazing.
And I think psionics are the only one who can get an "uber" army unit (the psionic avatar)? The other two paths dont seem to have any equivalent, unless synths count as machine intelligence and can recruit the mega war form.
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