Stellaris: Aquatics Adds a Very Powerful Origin - When Used Correctly (2024)

In 2021, Stellaris received DLC in the Aquatics Species Pack, which lets players choose aquatic life forms for their Empire, complete with new portraits, ships, cities, traits, and origins. The first is called "Ocean Paradise," which starts players off with a size 30 Ocean World, allowing for potential tall playthroughs. The second is "Here Be Dragons," which, as the name implies, starts the player's Empire off with an allied guardian creature in their home system.

Known fully as Hrozgar of the Endless Flames, the Sky Dragon will patrol nearby planets within the player's home system and will be marked blue, indicating it's an ally, but players can't control it. It has no shields, but it is equipped with a strong hull and armor, and its energy weapons can destroy most ships in just a few hits. It's important to know that just because this came with Aquatics, doesn't mean players have to choose aquatic-based lifeforms. Stellaris' "Here Be Dragons" origin is available to nearly every species and Empire type, aside from those that are genocidal.

This Article has been updated on June 26, 2024, by Christopher Raley: Stellaris is a famously complicated grand strategy that is also famously immersive. The Here Be Dragons Origin gives players a chance to make a good start to the game. This article has been updated to include more details about the Origin.

What to Know About Starting Stellaris' Here Be Dragons Origin

The Dragon Comes With A Cool Benefit For New Worlds

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In Stellaris, the Dragon will defend the player's system and fleet against hostile space invaders, but players cannot command or control it. This includes rival Empires and any Marauders that attempt to raid. If nothing else, this Origin is useful in ensuring that an Empire will survive from the early to middle period of a player's game, something the Doomsday Origin will not provide.

The Dragon provides great protection, but it does have some needs from a player's Empire. Between six and 13 years after the start of the game, players will be notified that the Dragon wishes to feed by landing on the player's home world. If players refuse, it will kill two pops and create two blockers in the capital world. If players choose to observe, it'll kill one pop and proceed to feed. Allowing it to land and feed will cost 75 influence points, but no pops will be lost.

  • Pop is short for population and represents a group of people on a planet.
  • A blocker is anything that hampers growth on a planet and can include everything from the planet's natural features to economic problems.

While the Sky Dragon feeds, it'll boost unity and stability, with an upkeep of 15 food per month. Be aware that feeding the Sky Dragon takes 14-16 years, during which it won't help defend the system unless the planet itself is being invaded. After it is done feeding, the Empire will be rewarded with the choice of research points or other resources.

Having a Dragon Gives You Research Options

It Also Comes With a Risk

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In a gritty sci-fi strategy game like Stellaris, resources can be a bonus for a player's world, especially if the world needs to recover from feeding the dragon. Resources can include material resources such as food or abstract resources such as research points. Assuming players choose research points, this is what they can expect.

After researching at least two engineering and research technologies, players will be given the option of issuing one of two special projects. The Dragon can either be remotely scanned from a safe distance, or a science ship can attempt to gather samples directly from its armor.

  • If players choose to get samples directly from the dragon, there's a 30 percent chance that the Dragon destroys the ship and kills the player's scientist.
  • There is also a 55 percent chance of failing but being given the option of trying again for hopefully a different outcome.
  • Finally, there is a 15 percent chance of succeeding and unlocking the next armor-tier technology.

The chance of success will increase if players spend the 75 influence beforehand and allow the Dragon to feed peacefully. Otherwise, if the player loses pops to the Dragon and must deal with blockers in the player's world, getting samples of the dragon's armor will be more difficult.

How To Communicate With the Dragon

It Turns Out There Is a Way To Talk To It

One of the fundamental problems with the Dragon is that it is its own creature. So, while players get the benefit of the Dragon's protection, they have no way, at first, to communicate with the beast to use it proactively. However, it is possible to achieve this.

After either special project is completed and the player's Empire has established communications with at least 70 percent of the galaxy, the player can establish first contact with the Dragon. First contact is a tricky moment in the game that sometimes requires Stellaris' cloaking tech. But establishing communications with the Dragon rewards 150 influence and some unity. Plus, it finally provides the option of controlling the Dragon directly by making a deal with it. It only has one request, but it's a hefty one. The Dragon will ask the player's world to help hatch and care for its children.

  • If players refuse to help the Dragon, they will receive a hefty 500 influence (probably because helping hatch and raise Dragons is a drain on resources).
  • However, refusing the Dragon's one request results in the Dragon disappearing from the galaxy forever.

If players accept the offer, the Dragon will be added to their fleet, unlocking the unique Dragon Hatchery starbase building. Once players hatch the baby dragons, they will be added to their parent as members of the fleet, making it pretty formidable.

What it Costs To Hatch and Raise Dragons

The Toll On Resources Is Significant

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Before players can reap the benefit of a Dragon fleet while exploring Stellaris' universe, they must invest a lot of time and resources into hatching baby Sky Dragons and raising them. It ends up being quite a process, beginning with building the Dragon Hatchery. This costs 750 alloys and can take up to three years to complete. Once players have completed construction, they need to assemble the Dragon spawn.

  • Assembling each Dragon spawn will cost 500 exotic gases, 500 rare crystals, and 100 living metals.
  • Living metal will be the most difficult of these strategic resources to gather, as it is exceedingly rare to uncover while exploring the galaxy.

Fortunately, choosing the Here Be Dragons origin will also spawn living metal deposits in systems two hyperlanes away from the player's starting system. Of course, that still doesn't pinpoint what world the living metals are in, but it narrows the player's search from the whole galaxy to their corner of it. Also, Stellaris' story pack, First Contact, opens up interaction with primitive worlds whose resources players can access through different means depending on the user's empire type.

Up to 10 Fledgling Dragons can be assembled at a time, and while not as well armored as their parent, they have just as much damaging firepower. Together with their parent in a combined dragon fleet, they make for an awe-inspiring and nearly unstoppable force that allows for easy domination of rival Empires, even near the end-game.

How Does Here Be Dragons Compare With Other Origins?

And How Does It Compare With Ocean Paradise?

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While Here Be Dragons was added DLC content, it has become one of the highest-ranked origins in Stellaris. It's versatile, allowing players to use it with multiple species, and it is a huge asset when starting a world. This is especially true for players who are new to the game. Stellaris has a reputation for being difficult to learn (to put it mildly). When new players have a guardian for their home world, it allows them to focus on learning the game and establishing a strategy without worrying that they will lose everything (though, sometimes, Stellaris' compelling sci-fi universe is easier in Hard mode).

However, the Ocean Paradise Origin is nothing to sneeze at. Yes, players must use an Aquatic Species with the origin, but there are many other advantages.

  • Players start with a size 30 Ocean home world.
  • The starting system gets 10 Ice Astroids and 4 Frozen Worlds.
  • The home system is inside a nebula, which means other empires can't see what is in the nebula, giving the home system a sort of natural camouflage.

The size 30 world means that players can generate a lot of alloy capital and build a sizable economy by playing tall. Among other things, playing tall in Stellaris means that new players can focus on their world (especially with the added protection of a nebula) before considering the intricacies of the rest of the galaxy.

Players should also remember that, while the Dragon is a defense strategy, it might attract some empires to attempt to kill it. This would give them another vanquished Guardian under their belt. Since the Sky Dragon only uses energy weapons and has no shields, ships equipped with shields and energy weapons are ideal for counterattacks. Suppose an Empire does manage to defeat the Dragon. In that case, they'll be rewarded with the Artificial Dragonscales research option, and the Admiral that commanded the attacking fleet will be given the unique Dragonslayer trait.

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Stellaris
Platform(s)
PC , PS4 , Xbox One

Released
May 9, 2016

Developer(s)
Paradox Development Studio
Publisher(s)
Paradox Interactive

Genre(s)
4X , Grand Strategy

Multiplayer
Online Co-Op

ESRB
E10+ For Everyone 10+ due to Violent References, Mild Language

How Long To Beat
31 Hours

X|S Enhanced
Yes

File Size Xbox Series
14 GB (December 2023)

Metascore
81

Number of Players
1-32
Stellaris: Aquatics Adds a Very Powerful Origin - When Used Correctly (2024)
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