So I decided to take a run at making a short guide on Ascension Perks in 2.2. This will focus on fairly standard strategic gameplay and going wide to at least some extent (don’t need to be conquering half the galaxy but assuming you’ll be expanding early game to as many systems as possible). I’m open to feedback and contributions and hope this will help others understand some of the more standard Ascension Perk choices.
I think the best way to cover Ascension Perks is by separating ascension paths and then their tiers since this is what you’ll have to choose from at each stage. Each tier number indicates how many previously taken Ascension Perks are required.
You can choose one of the following and select the tier 1 and 3 perks. Generally all 3 paths are pretty good and depends on what type of empire you are playing and play style. Don’t necessarily have to get immediately when they are available or at all but they provide solid bonuses around pop traits/modding.
- Synthetic (The Flesh is Weak, Synthetic Evolution)
- Biological (Engineered Evolution, Evolutionary Mastery)
- Psionic (Mind over Matter, Transcendence)
Tier 0 Options – Generic – Ranked
- Interstellar Dominion – Should almost always be first selection. Saves a significant amount of influence especially the wider you play.
- Executive Vigor – Significant bonus to edict/campaign duration. Decent early though you rarely have the influence to use many edicts but also extends campaigns to save a significant amount of energy. Tends to become stronger later on if your expansion slows and you have some influence to put into edicts.
- Xeno-Compatibility – Great if you have multiple species on each planet for growth boost and good with lots of migration treaties. So usually not a great first pick.
- Mastery of Nature – Kind of weak early but can be good mid/late game for more max districts especially if you have lots of planets with low max districts. Cheaper clear blocker saves energy but generally you aren’t clearing many blockers early game and the energy savings aren’t as meaningful mid/late game.
- Technological Ascendancy – Decent research boost useful throughout the game.
- One Vision – Decent unity boost and governing ethics attraction can help with happiness and faction influence generation.
Tier 0 Options – Specialized
- Voidborne – Only get if you are going to focus on building habitats which are currently considered a bit weak.
- Nihilistic Acquisition – Only get if you are going to play very aggressively and steal pops from enemies rather than outright conquering them. Can be pretty strong. Allows you to use bombardment to abduct pops instead of killing them.
- Universal Transactions – Only get if you are committed to branch offices and have lots of potential commercial pacts.
- Consecrated Worlds – Only for Spiritualists. Provides unity/amenity/ethic attraction empire wide boost based on the spiritual significance of 3 planets. Can usually get around +20%/+10%/+20%.
- Shared Destiny – Only useful if focusing on vassalization as saves time and influence for integrating them.
- Transcendent Learning – Rarely useful. Only useful if you need to increase max leader level.
Tier 1 Options – Ranked
- Imperial Prerogative – Good early choice especially for decreased tech and tradition cost. Kind of an all around solid perk. Useful all game but becomes weaker as you go further over the admin cap.
- Grasp the Void – Solid choice especially into mid/late game where every starbase counts. Can always use extra starbases for extra naval capacity but have the flexibility to use them as needed.
- Enigmatic Engineering – Rarely useful. Extra ship sensor range and hyperlane detection range is rarely ever needed.
Tier 2 Options – Generic
- Arcology Project – Enables Ecumenopolises which transform planets to allow very strong specialty districts including +10 alloy/CG jobs per district. Must have researched Anti-Gravity tech and can only transform planets with all district slots filled with City Districts and costs a significant amount of minerals. Close to a must have as you transition into mid/late game to build up your planets.
- Galactic Force Projection – Decent early as its a nice fleet/naval capacity bonus. Pretty weak late game as the extra capacity is less impactful and Grasp the Void can provide more naval capacity.
- Master Builders – Great bonuses for megastructures and habitats if focusing on those.
- World Shaper – Only useful if focusing on a lot of terraforming.
- Eternal Vigilance – Very weak as defense platforms aren’t usually worth it.
Tier 2 Options – Specialized
- Hive Worlds – Hive Mind only terraforming.
- Machine Worlds – Machine Intelligence only terraforming.
- Synthetic Age – Ok for machine empires for extra machine trait points but not a must have.
Tier 3 Options
- Galactic Wonders – Late game perk to enable the building of galactic wonders.
- Colossus Project – Late game perk to enable colossus ships.
- Defender of the Galaxy – Only useful against endgame crisis factions.
- Galactic Contender – Only useful against awakened/fallen empires.
So based on the above what would some standard choices be? It’s hard to say past the first 4 or so as it really depends on how the game is going at that point. But here is what I’d say are some good choices and alternatives.
First 4 APs for Standard Wide Strategy
- Interstellar Dominion, Executive Vigor
- Ascension #1 (The Flesh is Weak, Engineered Evolution, Mind over Matter)
- Arcology, Imperial Prerogative, Executive Vigor, Xeno-Compatibility, Galactic Force Projection, Grasp the Void, Technological Ascendancy, One Vision
- Ascension #2 (Synthetic Evolution, Evolutionary Mastery, Transcendence)
In most situations you want take Interstellar Dominion first unless you really aren’t going to expand much as it saves a significant amount of influence allowing you to expand faster. Executive Vigor is also a good choice as it’ll save a significant amount of energy on campaign costs and save a bit of influence for any edicts you use. It’s fine to wait to take the first ascension path perk as third instead of second if you aren’t going to get much immediate benefit and aren’t going to go for tier 2’s like Arcology or Galactic Force Projection. You can also choose to completely ignore ascension paths. The third choice usually boils down to if you researched Anti-Gravity and think you’ll have enough mineral income to transform/support some planets into Ecumenopolises and the pops to resettle to fill them in the near future then take that. Otherwise it’s pretty open and kind of depends what your focus is and what can give the most immediate bonuses. If you don’t take Arcology as your third pick then you’ll usually look to take it as your fourth or fifth.
Original Link – Continuation of discussion