Hello, I've been discussing with a friend of mine the state of Mundanes being usually outmatched by Awakened characters and what it comes down to seems to be the fact that augmentations are overpriced and often times just outshined by other things.
Genetech is probably the worst offender, it's exceedingly pricey and it's effects are minuscule. The worst part of it is when I was reading the "Color blindness" therapy, which made me immediately go and look at the prices for just you know... replacing your eyes. Here's what I found.
Color Blindness Therapy: 90,000 nuyen, -0.2 essence from operation, restores a basic function to the eye.
Cybereye Basic System (Rating 1): 4,000 nuyen, -0.2 essence from operation, fully functional eye-sight that's modular and able to be modified.
Cat Eyes: 4,000 Nuyen, -0.1 essence from operation, gives fully functional eye + low-light vision.
Troll Eyes: 10,000 Nuyen, -0.2 essence from operation, gives fully functional eye + thermographic vision.
Notice an outlier? Because I do. What's the point of Color Blindness therapy when it's outclassed in every possible way by pre-existing options? There's no way they could sell color blindness therapy to the public at such an absurd mark up, nobody would buy it.
This is a common problem with Genetech in general, everything it can do has been done better by bioware or cyberware. Initiative boost? Bioware and Cyberware can hook you up, and more cheaply to boot. Strength boost? Muscle Augmentation is less essence intensive and has the same price and is scalable! And so on and so fourth. It makes Genetech largely irrelevant. The worst part is that most Genetech also comes bundled with an absolutely unnecessary drawback. The aforementioned strength boost from genetech? You take more fatigue damage. The drawback from Muscle Augmentation? Absolutely nothing.
This isn't just a problem with Genetech though, almost all augmentations possess dead-end designs. Muscle Replacement is largely beaten out by Cyberlimb Enhancements or Muscle Toner/Augmentation. Bone Density is cheaper and less essence intensive than Bone Lacing, and you can get it via prototype transhuman as well.
Another issue is that the costs of Ware, both in terms of essence and in terms of raw cost, is far too high. Most characters cannot hope to ever upgrade their ware based on the book's recommended payouts of nuyen. This means that 90% of the augmentations you will ever have will be in character generation only, which hobbles the options of mundane characters and forces them to be arbitrarily wealthy at the cost of other traits. Essence costs are also far too high for the effects of augmentations, a character buying an initiative boost not only costs nuyen but a limited pool of capacity points that magic users don't have to worry about. An adept can get the benefit of a Synaptic Booster or Wired Reflexes for 3.5 points of their "essence" capacity, but it's free and the comparable mundane alternatives are either Wired Reflexes, which cost 5 capacity and 217k nuyen on top of it, and 1.5 from a synaptic booster at 285k nuyen (which funnily enough makes wired reflexes the weakest option of the bunch). This isn't even getting into the fact that a magic user can boost their "capacity" through initiation or increasing their magic score. And this doesn't even take into account availability, which are far higher than they ought to be in this day and age and often causes ware to be even more expensive.
This isn't a case for awakened characters to get nerfed, so much as that Augmentations need to be comparable and currently they aren't.