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mistformsquirrel
20-11-2007, 00:42
Alrighty... so since I got bit by the Eldar bug; I've been wondering something...

Do the Eldar still develop and modify technology? Or have they achieved some sort of plateau and can't go any further without some massive breakthrough?

There are some obvious possible indications that they do... the difference between Craftworld Eldar and Dark Eldar technology... but that could as easily be Dark Eldar regressing as Craftworld Eldar progressing...

I dunno, what do you all think? Any evidence for Eldar coming up with "new" technology in the past 10,000 years?

Icarus
20-11-2007, 01:02
I have wondered the same myself, but there is woefully little information on the subject. For the most part it seems Eldar technology remains the same, and given they view themselves as the pinnacle of the galaxy they probably don't see much need to improve on things. The Craftworld Eldar seem pretty focused on reclaiming what they lost, not building something new. Also given most of their technology is built upon wraithbone, and it works perfectly well, there isn't much motivation to research new tech.

Yet it seems likely that some things must be improved upon. This may be the province of particularly skilled craftsmen/bonesingers/whatever coming up with a new, better way of doing something, making a particularly fine piece of work or an interesting variant on an existing piece of technology.

As you point out, the Craftworld Eldar definately seem to possess different technologies to the Dark Eldar, so that could be taken as proof that technological improvement has taken place; but that could just as easily be attributed to the fact that the Dark Eldar didn't come away with much in the first place, and their society doesn't really lend itself to technology maintenance, let alone innovation.

Khaine's Messenger
20-11-2007, 01:52
Do the Eldar still develop and modify technology?

They modify it. Whether or not they develop it is something I would question. On the whole, the sheer pliability of the Eldar race's base-line engineering and technical abilities suggests that creating something new and interesting is mostly a matter of expending the will and talent to do so, much like the forms of art in which they choose to indulge. To some degree, that was the same apathy that led the Eldar race into its complacency in the first place, so it's quite likely that there are some imposed limits, either by the Path itself or by politics. A thousand artificers might reinvent the wheel simply for the artistic thrill of inventing anything at all, because the thought of sitting back and being idle grates heavily on their minds. Or at least, that is the gibe I get from some of the background sometimes.

On the other hand, one need only look at their methods of waging war to see that they do not approach this "level" of technology the same way that one imagines humans would, especially considering their position as a "dying race." Thus...it's quite likely that any pretension about being at the pinnacle of technology is merely an affectation. And perhaps it's that very affectation that limits them.

Kage2020
20-11-2007, 03:21
As I feel the last post, the Eldar have been basically Themed to death. (With that said, I agree with a number of the points.)

In a more dynamic universe? Yes, I think that the Eldar do develop their technology. Unfortunately it's that simple, i.e. a statement of belief.

Kage

kikkoman
20-11-2007, 06:06
I figure they do, but it's not something GW really thinks about (not their fault, it's just not something that comes up often)

Didn't Maugan Ra design the reaper launcher himself? Or the Maugetar.

Eldar pirate lords seem to be fond of customizing their weapons.

or Dire catapults, making them longer ranged than Guardian ones. Though that's more gameplay based (not wanting avengers to be too similar to guardians)

Hmmm, how much fluff is there around the Phoenix Lord weapons? Or Exarch weapons? It seems it's more a craftsmanship thing though. A Sunrifle is completely superior to a lasblaster, is the individual craftsmanship just better?

But these are gameplay issues, and I think it's a bad idea to take 40k too literally or logically. Great Warriors using Greater Weapons is just heroic story telling.

Dr.Clock
20-11-2007, 06:46
not necessarily... your ordinary grunt doesn't need or have time to learn how to pilot a jet-fighter... let alone build one.

As people have alluded to, eldar 'technology' isn't really technology in the sense that we perceive it.

As psychic-based, eldar technology is not really 'produced' but rather 'grown' or fashioned... they probably do not have any assembly-lines... they probably don't use blueprints.

Strictly speaking, it should be feasible for the eldar to build anything they can think of, given enough time... whether they would want to use it is another matter. Eldar aesthetic and cultural values are so highly developed that they tend away from certain things. They seem to have developed a system of tools (both of war and peace) that serves them rather well.

Dark Eldar, on the other hand, are averse to psychic exploits and have no access to wraithbone. I would think that their technology is closer to Imperial or Tau, albeit with a more aesthetic purpose in mind... they would demand the highest quality in workmanship and tooling.

I think it would be better to view eldar technology as just incredibly intricate atrifice... eldar would invest far more value and meaning in personally building/creating something than simply to view it as a tool devoid of 'personality'... there was a short story in some codex or what not where a farseer rides a jetbike... a great investigation of their relationship with their 'things'...

Cheers,

The Good Doctor.

BrainFireBob
20-11-2007, 06:55
If they have time, I think they do.

However, there's enough pressures on their lives that I don't think the wide-scale opportunities exist enough.

If they're going to create, they'd rather create art. IMHO, of course.

Guyver OmegaX
20-11-2007, 07:25
This is pure speculation, but I don't think the Eldar to try to improve their technology at all.

There are specific examples (the Maugetar, Guardian catapults, etc) where developments have been made, normally by someone legendary (weren't they both changed by Pheonix Lords?).

Generally, I think the Eldar are too arrogant to accept that their technology may need to be improved.

Heck, there's no other reason I'd use a Shuriken Pistol ;)

Iracundus
20-11-2007, 07:33
Vyper entry in the 4th ed. Codex says it was first pioneered by artisans of Saim-hann. The entry for Wraithlords also says the various forms were pioneered by Iyanden. So there are "new" products introduced from time to time however these seem to be more variations off the existing technological base.

Griffin
20-11-2007, 07:42
I think they still develop new technology - even if it is minor. Doesn't it say somewhere the Iyanden has different types of Wraith constructs - more so than any other craftworld ? Wouldn't that indicate some level of development ?

Galatan
20-11-2007, 07:50
As some posters above me have said, it is hinted that eldar improve their weapons and sometimes pioneer new things. Actually I think that they do it quite often, only for simplicity's sake GW lists only the most commen weapons or general versions. IA has a few other things that aren't listed in the codex, one of them is a tank that was first used by the biel-tan. It was called the night spinner IIRC (too lazy to grab the book) and it basicly mounts a huge shadow weaver on it's back.

EDIT: Eldar also only research certain aspects of weaponry, the ones they find is the best and most pure way to kill the enemy. They see war as an art and in each form of art you have specific tools for specific jobs. Example: I'm pretty sure eldar would be able to develop railgun tech, only they will probably see it as primitive and not worthy enough to wield in war, since they see laser tech as the best sort of weapon out there.

Iracundus
20-11-2007, 07:59
It was the Void Spinner super heavy and it's only mentioned in the newest Epic, not IA. It's also not pioneered by Biel-tan, just that Biel-tan uses it in a manner different from other craftworlds.

In all of these examples however, they are still variations on an existing theme or tech base. It's product design. There isn't any official evidence for actual original theoretical research into new technologies.

Galatan
20-11-2007, 08:05
Strange...I've got the night spinner stats in front of me right here, it's in IA2 a old book by now, released round 2001. It's a specialist version of the falcon, although it doesn't mention anything about biel-tan developing it.

Iracundus
20-11-2007, 08:07
That's because the Night Spinner is not the Void Spinner. Two different things. Though neither was developed by Biel-tan.

jfrazell
20-11-2007, 11:25
It also has to be noted, what we're seeing are the refugees of Eldar civilization (doesn't jkive with the 10,000 year thing but I generally view anything GW with the edition or subtraction of 0s). They've managed to stabize and are in fact re-colonizing some maiden worlds, but its akin to the a pickup truck caravan that managed to flee ahead of the storm that kills everyone on the planet. Your technology base is minimal. Its a testamant to their former glory that they have the technology they have now. For a real glimpse into "what was" look at their Blackstone Fortresses, capable of turning entire fleets (even necron ones) and planets instantly to ash. Abaddon's Planet Killer is a popgun in comparison.

Ravenous
20-11-2007, 11:29
I think they still develop new technology - even if it is minor. Doesn't it say somewhere the Iyanden has different types of Wraith constructs - more so than any other craftworld ? Wouldn't that indicate some level of development ?

Its been also mentioned that Iyanden has close combat varients on the wraithguard, and that they are developing all sorts of varients since that is the main stay of their army.

Maybe one day we will see a brightlances mounted on "stable platform" wraithguard.

elvinltl
20-11-2007, 11:52
They still do seek out means to improve their technology, problem is GW does not reflect it in their fluff. Eldar had a LONG LONG LONG History, in fact if you read their fluff, they reached their golden age when man were still barbaric.
And their golden age isn't like human golden age. Their golden age meant that EVERYTHING was automated by their machines that were controlled by their thoughts, put it simply the mere desire of getting something was easily fufilled. They terraformed planets and even destroyed suns just for fun. >.<

Imagine in the year 2600, 600 years from now mankind reached a highly advanced technological state and suddenly faced with an apocalypse which wiped 90% of the human population. The survivors are left with uber high tech stuff and gadgets.

Their technology also in a sense evolved. Instead of developing to advance, they develop to survive... Remember how Iyanden trained more SpiritSeers and fine-tuned their WraithWarrior technology to supplement their small fighting force?

There are also said to be MANY MANY MANY Craftworlds floating out there and each craftworld carry a fragment of Eldar's technology before the fall. In addition, many crone and maiden worlds are said to harbour ancient powerful technology even some present day Eldar don't realise. In all, they are more into rediscovering themselves to "develop" their technology.

Feor
20-11-2007, 11:53
Just to toss my hat in the ring:

but that could as easily be Dark Eldar regressing as Craftworld Eldar progressing...

I was always under the impression that this was the other way around, actually. The Dark Eldar still have most of the technology available at the time of the fall, and the craftworld Eldar, without the resources of the Crone Worlds, have been reduced to using their shruiken weapons & similar for the most part. That's why Dark Eldar have man-portable lances, blasters, APD6 flamers, portable webway portals, and other such goodies the Craftworlds lack.

Direhamster
20-11-2007, 12:20
I say Craftworlders work on wraithbone based stuff, seeking the way to perfecting it, find new ways of applicatio of it etc. They do develop, as they don't see technology in semi religious semi magical way, humans do.

Dark eldar on the other hand, have to focus more on other ways to make things, due to their lack of said wraithbone -they have to find other ways to make guns that kill people efficiently - and they do, so I say Craftworlders struggle to rediscover secrets from before the fall and seek the way of perfecting them, DE think of entirely new stuff but both factins actually develop, and both do this relatively fast - they Tau is the only race that can claim their development is faster.

Cheers

Direhamster

kikkoman
20-11-2007, 14:57
They send rangers into the Eye of Terror to recover artifacts, and I'm guessing technology counts.

So part of is recovery and reclaiming rather than invention.

mistformsquirrel
20-11-2007, 18:55
Hmm... very interesting...

Sephtar II
20-11-2007, 20:03
I would say yes. apart from the wraithlord entry mentioned above the fact that new weapons keep appearing indicates new craftsmanship and so forth. The eldar aren't afraid of technology like the imperium is so they have no problem with tinkering and innovating.

on the Dark Eldar note I would say that they would be on less high quality tech, they didn't exactly get to pick what to take with them screaming into the warp. Technicaly the exodites should have some pretty good stuff they just dont use it much. But consider that that the 'simple life' for Eldar is going to be very differant for the 'simple life' for humans. Basicaly the Exodites live on planets and actualy engage in farming, for the craftworld eldar thats akin to stone tools. But from a human point of view its not regressive at all. And importantly the exodites left a long time before the craftworlds did, so no mad ruch but rather a slower more considered exit taking a lot more very advanced tech with them.

SV_Harlequin
20-11-2007, 21:13
I wouldn't say they produce new tech more sort of modify and work on variations of current tech to suit the need.

Then there's also the thing that Eldar have lost, trapped their more powerful tech on planets no longer under their control and do seem to be more concentrated on getting this stuff back as its now in need again.

Burnthem
20-11-2007, 23:39
Maybe they've taken the 'If its aint broke, dont fix it' ethos to its evolutionary pinnacle? on the other hand maybe we just arent seeing advances in battlefield tech because its all behind the scenes, sure, mr and mrs guardian may be still be using shuriken catapults, but have you seen their new kitchen?!? ;)

mistformsquirrel
21-11-2007, 00:01
Hehehe <,< That's possible Burnthem lol

Eldar Infomercials... oh dear that's a scary thought...

"It slices, it dices, it makes julienne mon-keigh!" >.>;

In seriousness though; this is interesting, I had hoped there might be more 'definite' information out there; but it does seem to indicate they do mess around at least a bit.

Gives me an excuse to VDR stuff y'see <^.~> (I'd do it anyway really; this was just to sate my curiosity in all honesty)

sly_dog
21-11-2007, 08:16
I think the Eldar just kind of tinker around with current weapons to modify them for better use by Aspects. As far as I'm aware, the only race in 40K that tinkers with their technology with no concern is the Tau.

Kage2020
21-11-2007, 14:28
As people have alluded to, eldar 'technology' isn't really technology in the sense that we perceive it.
The problem with this is the boundaries in perception get blurred. Ultimately technology is a tool, but for the Eldar it is not only just a tool, but a work of art. This is commonly used in the whole "uber-civilised" label that is given to the Eldar (and one of the reasons for their Fall, purportedly) in comparison to either the Imperium with its brutish, blockish technology, or even the real world.

Yet in the real world, your getting functionality intermixing with aesthetics. Hence the Mac. ;)

But, yes, I would agree that the Eldar do definitely view the technology as something more than just a tool.


As psychic-based, eldar technology is not really 'produced' but rather 'grown' or fashioned... they probably do not have any assembly-lines... they probably don't use blueprints.
That is a common interpretation, true. Mention of Bonesingers "growing" parts of ships, concepts of them being essentially "TechPriests," tends to result in a typical GW melee of concepts. (Heck, if you were to go with the "40kFantasy" approach then you might as well just call them "Treesingers" and get it over with since, after all, they not only grow homes [craftworlds] but also weapons , etc.)

GW have gone out of their way to enforce the idea that the Eldar are not "industrial," which is commonly taken to mean that they are not technological (in the mundane sense of physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, etc.). Thus mentions in WD127 on how they did not have an "industrial revolution," coupled with comments on organic looks and "growth" of their technology. Thematically you're linked back to the elves and their symbiotic relationship with nature and technology, and through that also to the premise of "time." If you grow something it must take a lot of time.

Getting back to "industrial processes," if you grow something obviously it cannot be a form of industry. Again, growing takes time so how could you?

Consider, however, that there are mentions of "industrial areas" on the "outside" (or was it exterior?) of craftworlds. In older material still you have talk about "autofactories" that produce Eldar "technology."

In short, there is great latitude in the 'fluff' on the Eldar and their technology. And, yes, one point of latitude is to ignore the material, say that it has been retconned out of existence and now the Eldar psychically grow all of their technology, it takes time, each one is a work of art as a result, etc.

For me? The Eldar are a post-industrial civilisation, even if they never went through an 'industrial revolution' (then again, neither did the real world if you're to believe the arguments of some historians [and reasonable ones, too]). Further, that they understand the physical sciences, but have merely added the psychic 'science' as well, thus straddling the almost polar stances of the Old Ones (psychic engineering) and the Necrontyr/C'tan (mundane science): technomancy.

They have the ability to automatically produce any technology that they still have "records" for (yes, blueprints... of a form). This doesn't mean that every single Eldar has every single piece of equipment that the Eldar are capable of producing -- needs and desires should be taken into account. Further, I personally attribute the "personal touch" as being significant in Eldar society. Sure, you can have a standard knock off of a given artefact, but when it is crafted by an individual (or group) it acquires significance beyond the fact of its mere existence.

That's just me, though.


... eldar would invest far more value and meaning in personally building/creating something than simply to view it as a tool devoid of 'personality'...
Ah, we agree on that point, at least. :D


If they're going to create, they'd rather create art.
And a weapon that creates great destruction can also be a form of beauty and art. Just not necessarily "morally" to those that look upon it from outside the perspective of the creator, or to those that are the victims of that weapon.


Generally, I think the Eldar are too arrogant to accept that their technology may need to be improved.
That's another approach, but it is also reasonable to assume that the Eldar are aware that their relative level of technology was reduced with the Fall. Of course, this is a pretty standard Theme for the 40k universe.


Heck, there's no other reason I'd use a Shuriken Pistol
Remember, it wouldn't be good for the wargame if the Eldar with their purportedly higher technology carried weapons that vapourised Marines on the spot. Then Marines would not be "'ard," to borrowing Gav Thorpe's use of that contraction. 40k and technology have always had only the briefest of acquaintanceships, sufficient to remove it from the fantasy game of its origins into 'future fantasy.' One might consider, for example, the relative differences between modern (real world) weapons and those in, say, the late nineteenth century. Sure, they're still rather good at their function (killing things), but there is a marked improvement in real world modern weapons.


There isn't any official evidence for actual original theoretical research into new technologies.
Which buys into their Theme, of course. How can a race that is "dying" actually be improving their lot in life? Nope. Best leave them reading melancholic or nihilistic poetry, looking back onto the past glories and generally not doing a thing about it. ;)


...but its akin to the a pickup truck caravan that managed to flee ahead of the storm that kills everyone on the planet. Your technology base is minimal.
Good point, but one also has to remember that the Eldar had a great deal (relative, subjective term, I know) of time to make preparations. It would be like fleeing in the pickup truck with the Library of Congress. (And, further, that you have remote access to other library sources, even if spotty, for a given duration of time -- the Webway.) That doesn't mean that it contains all knowledge, or that your pickup truck has people skilled in every single area of knowledge, but also doesn't mean that you're a rag-tag band of refugees.

Obvious sources that aren't going to be showing up are advanced military technologies and weapons, but other things? Consider also that the Eldar (originally at least) had "autofactories," so even the skill-limitation is hazy in the earlier periods, and moderated by the fact that Eldar would have subsequently been born who could take up certain "careers" (sorry, Paths/Ways as viewed by GW).


In all, they are more into rediscovering themselves to "develop" their technology.
Sounds like the Adeptus Mechanicus. ;)

Of course, take that as the mad-ravings of a self-admitted Eldarphile, if you want. <grin>

[b]Kage

Lancer
21-11-2007, 19:13
It could also be constraints posed by the Eldar psyche that limit them from fielding more effective weapons. After all, they have to ritually restrain themselves to a single style of fighting at a time to prevent themselves from being overwhelmed and consumed by the need to kill everything that moves.

Imagine if Guardians suddenly picked up fusion guns en mass. It certainly wouldn't take significantly more effort to craft a fusion gun in place of a shuriken catapult, but you have to have some sort of internally consistent reason for limiting Guardians to using the less effective weapons. Having the Guardians all become irrevocably psychotic pyromaniacs because they've not had the aspect warrior training to channel the urges they'll experience is as good a reason as any.

Clockwork-Knight
21-11-2007, 21:03
How would you know that a fusion gun is easier to craft/create than a shuriken catapult? And also, which of those things are easier to maintain and more enduring?

Oelitto
21-11-2007, 21:50
It's just folly to think that any race would wouldn't tinker with their tech to better tackle the many threats in a warring galaxy.

One thing I dont get is with races like the Necron's and Space Marines being "highly armoured and numerous," wouldn't you think that to save as many lives as possible (of your race) you'd arm your basic infantry with weapons that would be more than capable of wipeing them out in one shot? same question with armour?

whats the point of claiming to be an Advanced race if the youngers can smack you silly with their basic weapons?

Maidel
21-11-2007, 21:53
One thing I dont get is with races like the Necron's and Space Marines being "highly armoured and numerous," wouldn't you think that to save as many lives as possible (of your race) you'd arm your basic infantry with weapons that would be more than capable of wipeing them out in one shot? same question with armour?



OK - i dont get it...

1000 chapters, 1000 marines in each = 1 million marines in a galaxy of TRILLIONS - even at worst estimates the eldar number in the billions...

so marines arent exactly 'numerous' (appart from in rl gaming terms where there are FAR MORE model marines than there ever could be in the games fluff)

Oelitto
21-11-2007, 22:20
using the word numerous as in many, many. plus i'm counting anything Space Marines, inc Chaos legions. necrons haven't been given a numerical limit yet...

Maidel
21-11-2007, 22:22
using the word numerous as in many, many. plus i'm counting anything Space Marines, inc Chaos legions. necrons haven't been given a numerical limit yet...

space marines + chaos space marines = less than 2million which is less than 1000 of a % of the eldar population...

necrons - well they are anyones guess.

Quin 242
21-11-2007, 23:58
Of course they do.. look at the new battle gear that they deployed not so long ago... New wraithlords and warwalkers and new armor for their Aspect warriors...

mistformsquirrel
22-11-2007, 00:32
I'm an Eldar Noob; I have no idea what's "new" and what's old I'm afraid (its all new to me!); err, could you explain what's new? (It'd certainly help give me some ideas!)