Are the Vex the Vex they should be?

To me, the Vex still do not add up. The Fallen, the Cabal and the Hive make sense. They have their story, their goals, their specific character and act appropriatly. The Vex do not.

Yet they have this great lore of being this monocellular species trying to tie itself to the universe and become something like a law of physics - which I think is a great idea considering stuff like teleonomy in the real world. They study everything they do not understand, simulate hundreds of possible scenarios to be able to solve every problem - which at this point they have perfected so much so that they should be able to anticipate pretty much everything that could happen in the (causal) universe - and apparently they can travel through time.

But: Why then do we encounter them in the form of these mindless robots? How do they come to think that these mechanical bodies are the best, most efficient solution? In my opinion, fighting the Vex - compared to all the other enemies - feels most like standing in a shooting gallery aiming at cardboard cutouts. What about their abilities? Their structures? Their hive mind? How do they even manage to lose against cabal or fallen forces? And why do they fight at all? Why waste all this material? Couldn’t they achieve everything they want much easier just by being peaceful and working in the background?

The only answer I see is that it is all just part of their plan. But this answer is topmost unsatisfying.

The Vex have the most frustrating motivation in the game. We have a general idea of it, but why they do what they specifically do is nebulous at the best of times. We even have a better sense of the Darkness’ specific goals: destroy everything, painfully.

The best I can think of is that they are trying different things because they are in fact groping around blind about how to actually achieve their goal. Everything they do is an experiment. The Vault? Experimenting extensively with time. The Garden? Darkness worship and sword logic. What we see on planets like Nessus and Mars…that one is not so obvious, but there must be some goal with the creation of machine worlds and some reason that they utilize existing planets to do so.

This theory explains the way the Vex simply throw apparently limitless resources at problems while not, say, simply teleporting into the City and destroying everything. There’s a vast pool of resources assigned to every experiment, that is what they are for, and that alone. It’s not a human way of thinking. Unlike with the other races, we’re not central to their goals in any way. We can either be an obstacle (…pick a mission against the Vex) or an asset (Paradox), depending on the situation.

I quite like this idea of experimentation. And it would partly explain their behavior when faced by guardians and their paracausal powers. Just like an immune system encountering a new kind of vicious bacteria or virus. Throwing everything it has against it, trying to win by the rules of trial and error.

But that doesn’t explain why they didn’t develop horrendously effective weapons against the Fallen or the Cabal. And this should be merely a matter of short amounts of time. At least until Destiny 2 (which unfortunately I didn’t get to play yet) they should have managed to achieve this.

And from a gameplay perspective the Vex are just such a big missed opportunity. If there was no told or written lore to Destiny, they would be even more bland than the Battle Droids in Star Wars.

PS: Nice Profile Pic. I sympathize with every other poor soul fooled by Damian and Ygerna.

My best guess is that they don’t have enough processing speed in this part of space at this exact time. There has to be a limitation of some sort that is slowing them down. Maybe they haven’t converted enough rocks into RAM sticks, maybe they are using most of their resources elsewhere, counting all the quarks in the universe or simulating universal heat death. It’s possible that the vex we’re dealing with are the equivalent of under-grads studying a sample in a lab with a shoestring budget, while the big vex projects like galactic fiber optic and quantum html get the real focus and suck up all the resources

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Thanks. That game! Spent several months knocking my head against it. The experience stuck with me.

Well, maybe they’re not too concerned with them? Resource prioritization? We just don’t know enough about the Vex to really know their capabilities or limits. It’s funny, considering they were the crowning big bad of the campaign.

You have a point about the gameplay. The Vex almost seem as if they were designed around the Vault of Glass, both in gameplay and aesthetics. It explains their otherwise bland killer robot status. They don’t have the raid gimmicks to spice them up.

We always get the JV team from the other enemy factions, don’t we? Badly supplied Cabal scouts, Crota making up for a mistake, Fallen who are not the Kings. It would fit if the Vex we’ve met are the second or third stringers.

The Vex’s bodies are made primarily for building, not fighting. From The Taken: Goblin:

You are a Goblin. A multifunctional armature. Your first purpose is to build — to alter the material world so it can think. Your second purpose is to eliminate threats to building.

And from the Minotaur card, as well as The Taken: Minotaur:

Minotaurs pack brutal heat, but most of their processing power is devoted to the physics of building massive Vex complexes, suspected to extend through multiple dimensions.

You are a Minotaur. A walking foundry. Your first purpose is to think about construction — folding space and time into the design. Your second purpose is to eliminate threats to the design.

The Vex could direct all available brainpower into making weapons, but that would not further their grand design- they wish to “build a victory condition for every possible end state of the universe,” but what happens if they wipe out everything in this timeline but meet a stronger foe in the next? The Vex as a whole do not obey the Sword Logic; that was Quria’s doing to try and defeat the Hive.

And the Vex are peaceful, sometimes, such as the beginning of Paradox in which they let you into the Vault. When it suits their purpose, they don’t fight. However, fighting currently seems to be their best chance of ‘winning,’ so they fight. Anything beyond that we don’t really have any answer for. There’s spitballing within the lore, though:

But it seems unlikely that an organization with the sheer computational scope of the Vex could be dragged into a losing war of attrition. Is it possible that the Vex are trying to draw out the Cabal strength? Or that their surface losses are a distraction from a deeper strategic ploy?

Ikora Rey has proposed that the Vex units can best be understood as algorithms - each a unique mapping of inputs to behavioral responses. Perhaps the Virgo Prohibition is simply the wrong algorithm for its environment, and its failure will drive the greater Vex network to adapt and improve.

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Seems so. Maybe that’s because we as Guardians aren’t exactly better than a JV team either. Apparently Bungie didn’t want to overstrain us. And they definitely didn’t want to give everything away with the first game in the series.

I just hope they are aware of all the questions they have yet to answer. They piled quite a bit.

Some really good points there. Still I find the difference between all we see them doing in-game and all we read in the lore about them to be quite striking. In the end, when we face them, we always see them presented with some kind of obstacle, something that harms them or slows them down. Be it the Cabal or the Fallen or us Guardians. And they really seem to be the worst at overcoming those, when in reality they should be the best, at least in some aspects.

It’s a jarring difference, definitely, even if some of it can be attributed to gameplay taking precedence. In places like the Vault, the Vex’s logic and power is much more immense than it is even within the story missions, or running around Venus. A lot of their threat seems to come from the planets we’re on- Mercury, Nessus, Venus, Io, etc.- being transformed, alongside Asher’s arm and the VOG team. Maybe they’re not intended to be powerful like the Cabal, and are instead a kind of ‘background threat’ until they grow out of control, such as the Black Garden, although that reading doesn’t really help to alleviate the sense that the Vex are a bunch of tin cans being strung along. Maybe Curse of Osiris will provide answers; the Vex did manage to get Osiris into some position of danger, after all.

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