In Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
), the Ascetic Virtues
is a Secret Project
. It may be built at a cost of 270 minerals, on discovery of Planetary Economics
(B6). It gives a Social Engineering
bonus of +1 Police, and increases base population limit by two sizes. For example, a base normally can't grow beyond size 7 without building a Hab Complex
base facility; with the Ascetic Virtues, a base may grow to size 9 without a Hab Complex.
How useful is this? The Morgan (yellow) faction design limits bases to size 4 without a Hab Complex; the Ascetic Virtues helps offset this restriction. It merely postpones the need for Hab Complex and Habitation Dome facilities, so it's not in the same class as Projects like the Command Nexus or Virtual World, which give a particular free base facility at all your bases. In my experience, using military units as Police isn't the most efficient way to prevent Drone riots. At higher difficulty levels, chronic Drone riots resulting from relaxed population limits may make this Project more of a liability than a boon! These considerations make the Ascetic Virtues a poor buy.
The Ascetic Virtues is unusual in that it doesn't seem to be a wonder of engineering achievement so much as a "Communist Manifesto" -style treatise on social philosophy by the dictatorial Chairman Sheng-ji Yang (Human Hive faction). For me, it kind of calls into question how Secret Projects should (or shouldn't) be tied to the base (or city, to extend to Civilization) in which they're completed.
Secret Project animation narrative:
"Learn to overcome the crass demands of flesh and bone, for they warp the matrix through which we perceive the world. Extend your awareness outward, beyond the self of body, to embrace the self of group and the self of humanity. The goals of the group and the greater race are transcendent, and to embrace them is to achieve enlightenment."
-- Chairman Sheng-ji Yang,
"Essays on Mind and Matter"