Before I start – I'm British, my spellcheck is American, don't think too hard into how I’m spelling stuff. This is my personal opinions on the new origins, I may be wrong, I may be right. Let's start off with the basics:
Prosperous Union: This origin is about as simple as it gets. 4 additional pops and 2 additional districts. This is essentially the old normal start, with a slight buff to planetary happiness. Nothing unique, nothing really to comment on. I feel like people will probably overlook this as the "boring" start, but hey that extra population can give you an early game resource boost!
Mechanist: Mechanist is one of the old civics that's been adopted into the origins system, start off with 8 of your pops being robotic, and the production facilities to pump more out. Overall, its pretty good if you're planning on going for the good old fanatic materialist robot-rush, but in a normal materialist empire it sometimes can feel a bit extreme, especially since you're not going to get the droids tech for a while anyway.
Syncretic Evolution: Another old civic, Syncretic evolution is the biological equivalent to mechanist. 12 of your pops are a secondary dumber species. This species has the servile trait, effectively making them the perfect happy dumb laborers, but makes them incapable of anything requiring more than 2 brain cells, such as being a leader or specialist. Honestly speaking, I used to hate this
civic origin, but the new system of managing planets has made it a lot more viable – ignoring the pain that is managing biological ascension without having entirely specialized planets.
Life Seeded: Life Seeded has you start off on a size 25 Gaia world. I imagine you, as many of my friends have done, jumped from your seat a little bit – either with the childlike wonder of someone who's excited for an easy game, or the horror of someone whose just seen a game breaking bug, but don't worry! Life seeded may give you the biggest, best-est planet of the bunch, fit with its own unique resources, but it also somewhat limits you to that planet. Unless you find another Gaia world, or invest in some expensive terraforming/mega-construction, you're not going to be colonizing any planets for a while due to your species having a forced Gaia world preference. Good for the one-planet-challenge if people are still doing that.
Post-Apocalyptic: The last of the adopted civics, I don't really have much to say. You start on a tomb world; you can inhabit tomb worlds. It makes the horizon signal event chain even stronger from a gameplay sense, but perhaps a bit more boring from a story sense. I *THINK* you still get to choose a planet preference, but I haven't actually played this one yet, so outside of a planet type having a yellow circle around it (unlike with life seeded,) I can't verify this.
Alright, so that's the old dusty origins out the way, now it's time for something new and exciting.
Remnants: In the past I have often wanted to play as a once great empire, reduced to nothing but ashes, trying to build my way back up to the top. This initially seems like a really strong start; relic worlds are highly sought after right? Well, other than being able to rebuild your world back into an ecumenopolis, this relic world is a bit… different… For a start, it has food districts, while most relic worlds don't. And additionally, it doesn't offer the same tech buff that other relic worlds give. Overall, I'm not sure how I feel about this origin. (You still choose a normal planet preference)
Shattered Ring: Shattered ring is a more balanced version of the old ring world start mods. It starts you off on a ring world segment, which seems stronger than can possibly be balanced – however it somewhat is by the fact that two of the other segments are damaged, and one has been completely destroyed by an overly friendly planet (a good source of minerals, in an otherwise mineral-free system. You still get to inhabit regular planets and having a big ringworld capitol is kind of cool from an RP sense. I like it, some people don't.
Void Dwellers: Void dwellers feels like the shattered ring's annoying younger cousin. Again, you start off inhabiting a megastructure, however you are somewhat stuck on your three little habitats. You can obviously expand onto more habitats, as well as some special high-habitability planets and ringworlds. You get buffs while on habitats, and it makes the void born ascension perk an extremely obvious choice. If you're planning on building really tall, this can be an amazing origin, but for casual players like me who are prone to unoptimized mayhem, it's a scary start.
Scion: While most players tend to stare at fallen empires from a great distance, some enjoy getting involved in their enigmatic and ancient affairs. For this kind of player, there is the scion. Have you ever enjoyed having your every move controlled by an older (and richer) individual while receiving fine payments and lots of affection? Outside of the obvious jokes, scion is an interesting origin. You start off as the vassal of a fallen empire (with somewhat similar ethics to your own) – whether you choose to obey them and receive the many boons they can offer, or rebel against them and take their technologies for yourself, you're going to be stuck getting pushed around for a while.
Galactic doorstep: There's not a whole lot to say here. There's a gateway in your home system, there are some events keyed to it. It's interesting I guess but I've not actually looked into it that heavily. If you're looking for a unique home system story line/event chain, I'd still argue shoulders of giants is the better bet. What I can say is that this origin doesn't provide the same (sometimes considered unbalanced) buffs that some of the others do.
Tree of Life: Looking like something straight out of Avatar (2009) you play as a hive mind built around a massive tree. This tree provides a number of benefits for your planet, and every planet you colonize can have its own tree sapling planted too (this process occurs on colonization, resulting in your colony ships essentially being expensive oversized seeds.) This origin fixes some of the issues with non-swarm hive minds being pointless compared to their hungrier cousins, as it is not available to devouring swarms. Be careful though, the loss of your tree will heavily debuff your planet, so protect your home world carefully. This fits really well with the whole jungle world, plantoid, ecologist aesthetic.
On the Shoulders of Giants: This origin brings quite a lot of story with it. You start off in a relatively normal home system, but with a large number of archaeological sites present, with several boons available at their completion. Somebody's been here before you, and they've left quite a few things behind. I like this origin, it expands on the concept of precursor empires really well, providing a story to the home system of your empire, which I have for a while felt this game desperately needs.
Calamitous Birth: Federations, the newest DLC, was preceded by lithoids. This origin expands on the already interesting content that the species pack offers. Not only does lithoids have unique gameplay, unlike plantoids or humanoids, it now has its own origin. Calamitous birth plays on the idea of panspermia, with your species of rock-men having originated from an asteroid and using these asteroids to colonize new planets in a rather… calamitous… manner. This origin sacrifices the +50% habitability that lithoids usually possess, instead giving you a pop growth speed boost on colonized planets.
Resource Consolidation: As Lithoids got its origin, so does Synthetic Dawn. Machine empires now have the option to start off on a machine world. These massive factories lie somewhere between an ecumenopolis and a hive world. With machine worlds being completely inhospitable to biological life, this origin serves a similar function to Tree of Life, buffing default (non DE, DA, RS) machine empires. An all-around okay origin, you trade in the orbital resources of your home system for a worker output buff on your home world (including a flat out +25 minerals +15 food).
Common Ground: Just as Starfleet entered the space age hand in hand with the Vulcans, you can too. This origin starts you off as the leader of a galactic union. Your friends may have stolen your guaranteed habitable worlds from you, but they have also stolen your heart. This is a fun start for someone who plans on uniting the galaxy under a federation of united planets, but I warn you that expansion can be difficult with three of you starting in such close proximity to each other (let alone if you find yourself on the end of a long line of hyperlanes, both of your "allies" inhabiting the only route out)
Hegemon: Common ground expands on the oldest of the federation types, the galactic union, whilst Hegemon expands on one of the newer ones. You start off as the leader of a hegemony. This is a federation form reminiscent of the old feudal society civic. Your fellow federation members are effectively vassals to you; however, they possess slightly more autonomy. Very similar to common ground, but you play more of a dominant role in your federation.
Doomsday: For as long as Stellaris has been a game, people have been trying to challenge themselves. The one planet challenge, even the one system challenge. Well, paradox has once again bent to the whims of their self-destructive players and provided the doomsday origin. To cut it short and simple – your planet is going to explode. Full on 2012 (2009) style. As your planet crumbles, some extra resources rise to the surface, as if god herself is trying to apologize for dooming your species so badly. If that isn't bad enough, you also don't get garunteed (edit) habitable worlds. Overall, I would suggest this origin for experienced (and possibly suicidal) players only.
Lost colony: Finally, we're at the last origin, lost colony. For a long time, the game has contained a couple of default empires, the United Nations of Earth, and the Commonwealth of Man. If one of these empires spawned in, the other was guaranteed to. This was a fun little bit of roleplay, with two completely different human empires, however they still counted as being biologically distinct species. Well, now you can play this scenario to the full, with another empire somewhere in the galaxy possessing exactly the same species as you. They may be friend, they may be foe, but they will always be family. In my opinion, play the CoM if you want to play this origin. it has its own unique starting system events, and some cool unique dialogue when you meet your long-lost cousins. (also, playing a pre-set empire every once in a while is good if you're feeling low on creativity.)
Feel free to tell me if there's anything I've gotten wrong or forgotten.
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