I'm Mechanis, Modder and Meddler extraordinaire!
I'm currently working on a custom race, complete with unique tech-tree, shipstyle, ETC. while not ready for release yet, I'd like to talk about their history, unique gameplay, and other suchlike, bounce ideas around with you folks.
the Tauran Combine is an offshoot of the Human Race, based in Tau Ceti, and is strongly transhumanist (think Eclipse Phase,) using A.I. and personality uploading, nanotechnology, and other unusual tech heavily.
the interesting thing about them, as a player, is the Morality Paths. unlike the other races, the Taurans do not research governments. instead, picking your alignment determines the path your civilazation takes.
an Evil!Tauran race will initially garnish a across-the-board 50% increase to everything...
but as you advance down the tree, the diplomatic, trade, influence, and other nonmilitary bonuses decline, as non-synthetics are marginalized, then exterminated. the final research, Annihilator Spores, gives access to sporeships. by that point, you economy, population, and approval will be in the toilet, and if you aren't already fighting the entire galaxy you will be shortly. however, the ludicrus bonuses to all things military means that you'll still be able to pump out armed sporeships like nobody's buisness.
on the other hand, the 'Good' path essentially turns you into The Culture. sure, if you wanted to you could basically level everybody in 3-6 weeks, but you're far more interested in this odd phenomena over here...
on the other other hand (Zaphod, Baby!) *Downs pan-galactic Gargle Blaster,*
the Neutrality path blurs the line first between man and machine, then between 'you' and 'me,' until it no longer exists, turning the Taurans into a massive hive-mind-like group-mind entity.
essentially, Evil!combines are Warrior/annihilator hybrids, Good!combines are meddling superpowers that nobody messes with, and the Neutral!combines are that odd guy who talks in third person all the time and is smarter than you by a larger exponent than you can comprehend times several trillion.
now, many will ask, particularly about the Evil Path, 'isn't that a tad unbalanced?'
however, the better technologies are all behind the alignment-specific trees. can you play a game without picking an alighnment? yes.
will you ever be able to build medium+ hulls or better-than-particle-beam-level weaponry and defenses or advanced planetary improvements? no.
that's how it's balanced- you can't just sit on the first Evil research and go LOL50%BOUNUSLOOSERS and expect to field anything better than medium hulls- the research you need to construct large hulls for evil alignment requires the next Evil-tree research before it's available.
evil players, of course, will go for either ascension or military victories, by desgin.
Neutrals are best at either diplomatic or research victories, while the Good player has the 'most' choice, being relatively capable of any victory set, but excelling at Cultural victory and research victory- Hyperspacial Computing Centers, a planetary improvement unlocked by the end of the 'good' tree, boost planetary research by 250% when built (one to a planet) and the 'good' culture upgrades are... well... the second culture research for good players is called 'Galactic Dominance' for a reason, after all.
feel free to begin your wild speculations now, fridge logic is the best logic.