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Thread: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

  1. #1

    Default What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    The zerg know about powerful advanced technology ever since they destroyed the Xel Naga but they never integrated any of it in their arsenal. There's only some occurrences of tech usage by the zerg but nothing systematic. Obviously the out of universe reason for this is just to keep the thematic of biological warfare but what would be convincing reasons in-unverse for them not to use technology?

    I can see 4 categories of arguments:
    1-They can't
    2-It's not a better alternative/ no need to
    3-They don't want to
    4-They didn't have the chance to yet

    For the first category, unless the technology in question requires advanced psionic powers, I can't find a convincing reason for them not to. Zerg leadership possess the necessary capacities to reverse engineer most tech and can presumably create any kind of morphology to fit the technology.

    For the 2nd category, this is a strong point in many situations and seems to be the preferred answer. With that said, there are specific techs that don't have an alternative in the zerg arsenal. Super nukes and planet crackers for examples. In the same vein, defensive tech against this type of weapons such as "shields"(I don't remember if there were ever such shields but their existence seems likely). I don't see any reason why this wouldn't be needed or any other alternative that the zerg might have that would be considered "better" than it. Another example are warp engines. Even with Kerrigan and the overmind capable of creating warp space tunnels, it's very limiting for the zerg to only have 2 individuals capable of doing it while the enemies have fleets full of ships that can do it on their own. With both of them gone post-sc2, an alternative is needed (unless queens suddenly gain this ability).

    For the 3rd category, there's no subjective reasons for the overmind or queens to not want to use technology. They don't really think this way. It is possible though that Kerrigan was opposed to using tech for personal reasons.

    For the last category, if we assume that the overmind wasn't careful when he destroyed the Xel Naga, it is possible that no technology was salvageable for him to study. In this case, the only time where he would have been able to study technology would be when he encountered the Terran. The story of SC1 is not long enough to give him time to reverse engineer tech for him to use. It can also be argued that Kerrigan didn't really have the time to use tech in her arsenal during BW. Post-BW though, she would definitely have had the time to get technology but she didn't.

    So, to summarize, if I'd have to make an argument as to why the zerg don't use tech in-universe, I'd first say that the only tech they really would want would be planet destroying tech and warp speed tech while everything else would not generally be needed or has better alternatives. The overmind didn't try to acquire this tech because he didn't know about it until he met the Terran and then didn't have the time and resources to get to it during SC1. When Kerrigan took over, she did not try to integrate those technology as she renounced and rejected the "humanoid way of life" of her past self and decided to solve every problem with the basic fundamentals available to the zerg.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    I could probably add another couple more arguments but they're kinda offshoots of what you have there.

    On a variation of reason 2, maybe the Zerg just plainly don't have the capacity to understand the value of technology in the way we or other technologically inclined peoples do. It could also be an ideological thing, too, in that they think "why bother trying to do something you can't do by making something to do it for you? It just means that you weren't meant to do it in the first place". They may also think technology or tools are a momentary and fallible crutch compared to something that's assimilated and ingrained into the entirety of the Swarm which can be used innately and reliably at any time.
    Yes, that's right! That is indeed ME on the right.


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  3. #3

    Default Re: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    Of your 4 reasons sandwich bird, it's likely they just didn't know how. Even if we use the SC1 lore, remember that the only part the Xel'Naga played when they came to Zerus was helping the zerg parasites survive the planet's harsh environment. From that point on the zerg evolved by themselves. After the Overmind assimilated most of the Xel'Naga, he merely used their intel to see if there's ways to better improve the swarm's evolution and that was all. It was only when Aiur was invaded that he was forced to used their intel to begin his work on the Khaydarin crystals since the infestation process didn't seem to work on the protoss.

    If you want to use the SC2 lore, perhaps this was a mentality shared by the primal zerg, and Amon didn't bother changing it. Recall what Dehaka was telling Kerrigan in HotS at Skygeirr: that he didn't need a weapon as he could evolve claws. Basically this is the zerg saying it didn't matter how advanced technology would get, their evolution would always overcome it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    for the opinion of the zerg is because they can do everything that technology can do with our biology intersteel travel communications design merits. they understand the technology they adapt their biology to use technology in the cases of vehicle infestation, they know that if they break a ship optimally in the carrier history memorizing the design, they know how to activate the self-destructions system (changeling) , for them the question would be if they have the possibility of genetic modification because they will not improve for themselves, the zerg are the future and the weak ones use tools to correct their intrinsic weakness

  5. #5

    Default Re: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    It's probably a matter of interface/compatibility, and availability. The few instances we have of Zerg using terran or protoss technology are by Kerrigan, Infested terrans, Duran and Abathur, all highly intelligent individuals with the dexterity to use them. Even if they had the appropriate limbs, the lesser breeds would need direction by an Alpha to properly make use of them.

    I'm sure Kerrigan, Zagara, Abathur et al understand that conventional technology have their advantages, but until they're willing to evolve more intelligent and flexible strains, I don't see the zerg making wide spread use of it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visions of Khas View Post

    I'm sure Kerrigan, Zagara, Abathur et al understand that conventional technology have their advantages, but until they're willing to evolve more intelligent and flexible strains, I don't see the zerg making wide spread use of it.
    In Abathur's case this is without doubt, just look at the Evolution book (given how he made the chitha). It's just that he didn't really care about technology, unless it threatened zerg evolution in some way....

  7. #7

    Default Re: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    There's also a difference between a Zerg entity using technology (infested terran mindlessly pulling the trigger on the gauss rifle still in its hand), understanding technology (seeking out ammo to reload), or modifying/creating their own technological thing.

    In StarCraft Ghost (so, not canon) infested marines used "infested gauss rifles," which dealt toxic damage over time— unlike SC2, where the infested marines are still just shooting normal bullets.

    However, this could easily just mean that the whole gun including the ammo was soaking in some poisonous secretion inadvertently, and then when you get shot the wound also gets contaminated. Or even if it was intentionally soaked in some toxic substance, that's still only using organic means to modify technology.

    Or, the gauss rifle could really have been infested, in the way an infested command center is, and then either had organisms inside making the regular ammo toxic, or maybe even shooting zerg organisms instead of terran ammo.

    I have no conclusion, just an example thing.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    I didn't know that about infested gauss rifles with the whole toxic thing. Still, there's always ways to "infest" terran tech. Just look at the Night Terrors mission in Nova Covert Ops. We got to see the zerg infesting siege tanks and banshees. Now granted, unlike what Stukov has in Co-op, the ones in NCO didn't have spine crawler tentacles on them, but it proves the zerg can put terran tech to use.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    I am just going to nip this in the bud right now. Rather than asking "why don't zerg use non-living tools and weapons?", ask yourself "why don't terrans/protoss breed themselves as living tools and weapons?"

    The answer is the same in both cases. Their psychology and evolution is so different that they simply do not think it make sense to do so. The zerg are intelligent enough to learn how to use automatic doors and hijack security systems and so forth, but they do not build their own. If zerg are adopting terran/protoss tech, it is only because that brood was specifically ordered to reverse-engineer it.

    There was a Q&A session that addressed this.

    Question: If the zerg are biological life-forms, how can they survive traveling across the universe without any air, shields, or armor suits?

    Answer: They can adapt to handle those environments. The question of how they can do things without tools is a uniquely human way to look at a problem. When we can't do something, we build a tool to do it for us. A race that can evolve and adapt so rapidly and so well simply doesn't think that way. As an example, there are creatures that thrive on the bottom of the ocean here on Earth, in places where our tools and equipment have only recently allowed us to go.
    In other words, zerg do not use terran technology for the exact same reason that terrans/protoss do not use zerg biotechnology. They do not think the same way. The best that terrans/protoss have come up with is enslavement.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What are good reasons for the zerg to not use technology?

    maybe the Zerg just plainly don't have the capacity to understand the value of technology in the way we or other technologically inclined peoples do. It could also be an ideological thing, too, in that they think "why bother trying to do something you can't do by making something to do it for you? It just means that you weren't meant to do it in the first place". They may also think technology or tools are a momentary and fallible crutch compared to something that's assimilated and ingrained into the entirety of the Swarm which can be used innately and reliably at any time.
    for the opinion of the zerg is because they can do everything that technology can do
    They can adapt to handle those environments. The question of how they can do things without tools is a uniquely human way to look at a problem. When we can't do something, we build a tool to do it for us. A race that can evolve and adapt so rapidly and so well simply doesn't think that way. As an example, there are creatures that thrive on the bottom of the ocean here on Earth, in places where our tools and equipment have only recently allowed us to go.
    These all falls under the category 2 I would say but you'd still have to explain how they would approach the problem of an enemy capable of:
    -Destroying planets
    -making units that "teleport" through space almost instantaneously
    -(maybe some other tech that I can't think of right now)

    These 2 technologies completely change warfare and are an existential threat to the zerg. Even if the zerg leadership insisted on solving problems through biology, these would be a strong wake up call to approach things differently I'd assume. That is, unless the zerg can replicate the same effect through biology. If the overmind and Kerrigan could create warp space tunnels, I'm guessing that there's "something" biological about it that could be engineered in lesser zergs. And honestly, if they can warp space and shit like that, presumably they can also warp space on a planet offensively and destroy it. Presumably, they could also warp space as a defensive mechanism on an incoming nuke or planet cracker. I'm not sure I like the thought of this at all (zerg mages yay! -.-) but I suppose it does fit with the lore. Some limitations to this power would need to be established though.

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