Awakened vs mundane is a separate argument from the posted subject.
Awakened is a more powerful choice than mundane- there's no need to rehash it.
Improving augmentation or making them cheaper just means awakened individuals have more of a reason to sacrifice some MR to get some.
Combine that with a mandatory increase in essence costs for ware on awakened characters versus non-awakened characters and it'll balance out more or less.
There are plenty of augmentations that are mechanically weak vs other choices.
But that's ok- not every augmentation should be equal.
Much like a smartgun system is mechanically stronger choice in most cases than a laser sight.
Doesn't mean we got to somehow improve the laser sight to make it the same as smartlink.
Neither costs an irreplaceable resource though. You can always get more Nuyen, and if you want just swap the two out as needed.
Some augmentations are overpriced, others underpriced.
Beats cost 4-5 times the equivalent skullcandy headset with less than a 1% difference in audio quality.
Are the Beats overpriced or the Skullcandy underpriced- who knows?
So why be surprised that cost and effectiveness aren't always a direct correlation in SR just as they are not in real life.
I don't worry about the price of any individual item since it's the same for everybody.
In the shadowrun fluff Wired Reflexes are supposed
to be a low-impact version of move by wire that's also cheaper. However, neither are reflected in game, Wired Reflexes costs the same essence at the highest rating, provides a weaker effect, and lacks about another .6 essence in fringe benefits. On top of it, it costs more to boot. This is not only mechanically broken, but it doesn't fit the fluff of the shadowrun lore at all.
Much of this Tech was not developed for the reasons Runners use it for. Cyber Limbs originally for those who had suffered an accident, and not as some new Fad or Designer Toy.... And most certainly NOT the "Hey, a cyber arm crushes skulls" crowd........ Although the latter probably make up a sizable percentage of the "Limb enhancement" market.
Oh hey, think I don't already know that? Because I do.... the problem is that the cyberware is supposed to be cheap, hence why it's essence hungry. The problem is that it's not
cheap, necessitating that any mundane character in shadowrun be either a rich guy or magic, which I feel flies in the face of the corporate dystopia when every mundane ever seems to be wealthy.
This is a "no-brainer" option for insurance companies, Mega Corps, and everyone who can afford it! Paying out for a new limb to replace a limb lost in an accident is going to be a LOT cheaper then the Disability payments. OR the lost income if you don't have insurance, which means banks would be willing to float you a loan for. Heck, some Governments may even pay for the surgery and limb, just to keep you off welfare! -IF that country still has welfare. (Of course, you need a SIN for these things...)
I'm aware, the problem is that the price of cyberware is far higher then it should be, especially when yous tart to compare it to bioware which is many times less essence hungry.
And some shit is just for those insane, rich, spoilt assholes of the world that just NEED a 20 karat gold IPhone with diamond and emerald edging.... Like your geneware.
Why develop a technology for a fringe market that will likely never be able to recoup the costs of research and development? Doesn't make sense to me, maybe it does when you run a AAA megacorp but ideally you want your products to be affordable
so you can make nuyen.
Of course, when we are talking about genes... we ARE talking about a inheritable trait....
Yeah about that, why is "Genesculpted" not a trait by now? Prototype transhuman makes genetech sound like something developed literally yesterday and in it's early alpha phase, not a commercial good. Again that comes down to the fluff not making sense with itself. I mean theoretically you'd probably have genesculpting as the big thing because it can be done in such a way that it has zero impact on essence. However, the game doesn't seem to acknowledge that fact or pretend it's even a possibility.