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Headscratchers / Destiny 2

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  • When the player arrives on Titan, Zavala will lament having chosen it as the location for depowered guardians to regroup, saying it's actually infested with the Hive and that he never thought they'd be hiding this deep in the system. Problem is, Titan is one of Saturn's moons, and Oryx's dreadnought is stationed on the planet's rings. Even if the ship was cleaned out by the guardians between the last game and this one, it's still the main Hive headquarters in this system, and it's right over there. You can actually see it in some cutscenes. Since Saturn is a gas giant, Titan is the closest location for the Hive to move into, especially given their apparent habit of setting up shop on moons. Even if he specifically chose Titan for the useful Golden Age technology abandoned there, he really shouldn't be surprised by the current inhabitants.
    • The Dreadnaught, at the time of Destiny 2, had been completely secured by the Guardians and it's master had been killed. Furthermore, the infestation on Titan is far, far older than the Dreadnaught's presence. Zavala is entirely valid in assuming at first that Titan was left unaffected by the Hive, or if there was a Hive presence, it would be far weaker than what is encountered on Titan.
    • As said, the infestation on Titan is very obviously far FAR too extensive to be from the Dreadnaught given that it hasn't been very long in relative terms since the Dreadnaught arrived in Sol. It's also worth noting that while the Dreadnaught is nearby, most of the ground-deployed troops fielded by Oryx were Taken, not Hive. It stands to reason that aside from defenses against being boarded most of the Hive aboardship were, in fact, fodder intended to be converted to Taken. In short: if the Hive on Titan WERE from the Dreadnaught, then how'd they manage to build up so much material over the entirety of the Arcology? I mean, between the gigantic thing hanging into the sea on the one side and the complete coverage of a good portion of the superstructure, I'd say that the sheer amount of material is almost equivalent (in volume) to the Dreadnaught itself. I can't see them producing THAT much material in a decade, nevermind a year or two, unless they had a Hive God helping them do it.
  • I'm confused on something about Exos: we know that they're more or less like any other machine, they require repairs when needed and if they take a significant amount of damage, they have to undergo a reboot which wipes their memories and personalities. But how does this work with Exos who are Guardians? Guardians are capable of regenerating from any kind of damage, even death. In Destiny 2, we see Cayde-6 with a missing arm and leg and he mentions having to get new ones but shouldn't he have just regenerated them? And it's not like he's lost his Ghost, we see it when we rescue him on Nessus so he'd still be able to heal without his powers just like the players do during the escape from the Last City.
    • Cayde's talking like someone who doesn't have a Ghost to repair him. Remember he doesn't have the Light, so serious damage is permanent until his Light is restored.
      • Right after the player re-encounters Ghost after losing their light, he says that while resurrection is not possible, he can still heal you. Presumably, the same applies to other ghosts. Cayde is fine in the ending cutscene, so he must have asked his ghost to heal him while the player was fighting their way through Ghaul's ship.
  • Why are the Vex so massively underpowered? The series has established that they are time-bending, hive-mind-wielding alien robots, so why are they so weak? We see them run simulations in real time when you would expect them to run nonillions of simulations in one attosecond flat, the Infinite Forest is said to only hold "trillions of simulations" instead of a more appropriate number like TREE(3), and the Vex never change, never adopt new strategies or apply their time tech more creatively, never outhink their human-level opponents in an instant, never calculate every Guardians' moves and weaknesses and make perfect plans to defeat them, and are often no more than a nuisance when really they don't have any excuse for ever losing. Why?
    • Breaking this down:
      • Simulations: Vex simulations are not purely computational; the Vex are creating entire entities and environments out of whole matter and running them inside a physical environment within their gate network. That's why you're able to physically enter their simulations and interfere with them using bullets. For that reason, the simulations are very resource intensive and presumably why they can only run trillions at a time due to the accelerated time in their gate network rather than running nonillions of simulations in a purely virtual network. This does have some advantages, however, as this allows the Vex to model behaviors based on things that they can't easily understand. For example, the Vex cannot create an Eliksni's mind and simulate its thought processes, because the Vex are a single-celled distributed consciousness that lacks any of the functions inherent to a multicellular lifeform. But they can copy an Eliksni wholesale and then let that entity run around and do things based on certain parameters and then study those. This is primarily what the Infinite Forest seems to be studying.
      • Adopting new strategies: The Vex seem to run on brute force calculations rather than rapidly changing and adapting. This actually makes sense, as the Vex wouldn't see any reason to change or adapt quickly due to their time-traveling capacities. If an iteration of a particular strategy or tactic fails, they simply loop back to a previous point and try something new. This does run into issues when dealing with Guardians and the Light, since Guardians and the Light essentially kick the Vex's time looping techniques and predictive analysis in the groin. From our perspective it doesn't look like they adopt anything new, because we're interfering with the process by which they gradually test and implement new strategies.
      • Time travel technology: Vex time travel has some clear limitations based on their operations and behavior. We know that the Vex seem to use their gate network as a time travel mechanism, and Destiny seems to run on the idea of different universes having different perceptions of time. For example, Oryx's throne world runs much slower than our reality, while the Vex network moves much faster. Further, the gate network links to different points in time and space - for example, one gate on Venus links to a point on Mars some time in the past, and a gate on Nessus might link to a gate on Io a year in the future. Temporal links between our universe and the Vex gate network are also apparently nonlinear, akin to two different train lines with switching stations at different points. The Vex move through time by moving between these links in the timeline, represented by their gate network. It is why, for example, Vex machinery seems to phase in and out of our timeline, because its moving between our world and the Vex network. These limitations are why the Vex cannot easily just rewrite events that happened, because they don't have absolute control over the timeline. An Axis Mind has to be at a specific location at a specific time to be able to move to another location and time in the network, which can leave that Mind vulnerable to being attacked.
      • Outhinking their opponents: One of the disadvantages that the Vex possess is that the majority of their processing power is tied up doing things unrelated to combat. One thing to keep in mind is that at no point in the games is anyone fighting the entire Vex collective, but rather smaller, individual parts of the Vex whole in the form of Axis Minds. And while the sum total of an Axis Mind's processing power can be quite potent, the aforementioned limitations on their time travel technology means that they may be able to come up with solutions but not necessarily implement them. Even the most brilliant mind can only do so much when there are physical constraints on their available resources. That and most Axis Minds are highly specialized with a specific purpose, and are often ill-suited for direct combat.
      • Calculating Guardians: The Vex cannot do this. Literally. Guardians and Light cannot be properly simulated by the Vex; by its nature Light is reality-twisting and unpredictable, able to break physical laws and rewrite reality. The Vex an try to simulate a Guardian but all that will happen is that the Guardian will do things that are unpredictable. Guardians are a back hole in the Vex's awareness that they can only respond to with brute force.
      • Lastly, it bears repeating: we are seeing the Vex in the context of a military force that literally ignores many of their greatest advantages and is able to target them at their most specific weaknesses, and we're dealing with the Vex in a single limited iteration of their infinitely-looping cycles of simulation. Since the Vex steadily brute-force simulate everything and they have the capacity to infinitely loop through time, they are entirely unconcerned with short-term victories Guardians, the Cabal, or anyone else achieves against them. They can just loop back and try again later. The point of reference we're seeing in Destiny is from a few centuries within a single iteration of these infinite loops. If the Vex seem slow to respond and adapt, it's because they are, by human standards, because they have no real impetus to adapt quickly; when you can just process data via simulations until the Darkness consumes the universe and then can loop right back to the beginning for another go, you can afford to take your time. At the end of the day, any victory by the Guardians is fleeting because nothing will stick long-term for the Vex, and they know it. At most, the Guardians are a minor inconvenience for a single iteration of the endless Vex time-loop. If the Vex seem weak, it's because they do not care enough - or perhaps literally cannot care enough - to react swiftly and with titanic, universe-bending force against the Guardians.