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Perrin
16-11-2013, 11:53
A few questions about Eldar life-span, my only Eldar fluff knowledge being from Lexicanum, forums and the Path series.

How long does the average Eldar live?

If an Exarch didn't fall in battle would it live forever or would it have the same life-span as a normal Eldar?

If Eldar aren't immortal how have Vect and Eldrad survived for so long?

Again with Eldrad, the Paths series indicates that eventually Eldar farseers turn to crystal. How has Eldrad avoided this, and does anyone know how much of his body has crystallised already?

Shamana
16-11-2013, 13:34
A few questions about Eldar life-span, my only Eldar fluff knowledge being from Lexicanum, forums and the Path series.

How long does the average Eldar live?

If an Exarch didn't fall in battle would it live forever or would it have the same life-span as a normal Eldar?

If Eldar aren't immortal how have Vect and Eldrad survived for so long?

Again with Eldrad, the Paths series indicates that eventually Eldar farseers turn to crystal. How has Eldrad avoided this, and does anyone know how much of his body has crystallised already?

Well, by the lexicanum, the Eldar lifespan tends to vary with the psychic power of that eldar. Generally, they can look at around a thousand terrestrial years. Farseers can get more - a few times that, possibly, but with their age their bodies start to crystallize somewhat, apparently as a side effect of their powers. Incidentally, that is why in the 3E codex, Farseers were T4, as Eldrad still is (I wish we could get farseer ancients with T4 in the regular codex but you have to use Eldrad's stats for that ). With time, they tend to retire more and more to the so-called "dome of the crystal seers" where they eventually sort-of-die (physically) and their souls are kept within the Infinity Circuit.

Eldrad was a special case. His lifespan is very long even by eldar standards - he was most likely the Big Shot in Ulthwe while the Emperor was still around, as Eldrad tried to warn him about the heresy, and that sort of decision tends to imply that Eldrad had the official capacity to do something so major as to communicate with the head of a rival/enemy empire. IIRC it was stated that he kept himself from retiring to the dome of the crystal seers so that he could lead Ulthwe in person, and obviously had both the willpower and the psychic power to prolong his life until the end of the forty-first millenium.

Dark eldar are different. As Slaanesh leeches their souls, they need to replenish them by, in turn, leeching the souls of others - the victims they take from their raids. The tortures these poor sods are subjected to essentially replenish the souls of the Dark Eldar, as apparently agony and torment are most keenly felt. Think of Dark Eldar as psychic vampires and you won't be too far off - with their vile acts they essentially rejuvenate both their bodies and their spirits. In effect, as long as they are well-fed they don't age and won't die of age - ever. Mind you, the older and more powerful a Dark Eldar is, the more suffering and pain s/he needs, or at least that is the rule of thumb. There are probably other variables - such as the leeching being much more pronounced in Realspace, which is part of why the Dark Eldar favor lightning raids over prolonged conflicts.

baphomael
16-11-2013, 16:40
Well, by the lexicanum, the Eldar lifespan tends to vary with the psychic power of that eldar. Generally, they can look at around a thousand terrestrial years. Farseers can get more - a few times that, possibly, but with their age their bodies start to crystallize somewhat, apparently as a side effect of their powers. Incidentally, that is why in the 3E codex, Farseers were T4, as Eldrad still is (I wish we could get farseer ancients with T4 in the regular codex but you have to use Eldrad's stats for that ). With time, they tend to retire more and more to the so-called "dome of the crystal seers" where they eventually sort-of-die (physically) and their souls are kept within the Infinity Circuit.

Eldrad was a special case. His lifespan is very long even by eldar standards - he was most likely the Big Shot in Ulthwe while the Emperor was still around, as Eldrad tried to warn him about the heresy, and that sort of decision tends to imply that Eldrad had the official capacity to do something so major as to communicate with the head of a rival/enemy empire. IIRC it was stated that he kept himself from retiring to the dome of the crystal seers so that he could lead Ulthwe in person, and obviously had both the willpower and the psychic power to prolong his life until the end of the forty-first millenium.

Dark eldar are different. As Slaanesh leeches their souls, they need to replenish them by, in turn, leeching the souls of others - the victims they take from their raids. The tortures these poor sods are subjected to essentially replenish the souls of the Dark Eldar, as apparently agony and torment are most keenly felt. Think of Dark Eldar as psychic vampires and you won't be too far off - with their vile acts they essentially rejuvenate both their bodies and their spirits. In effect, as long as they are well-fed they don't age and won't die of age - ever. Mind you, the older and more powerful a Dark Eldar is, the more suffering and pain s/he needs, or at least that is the rule of thumb. There are probably other variables - such as the leeching being much more pronounced in Realspace, which is part of why the Dark Eldar favor lightning raids over prolonged conflicts.

Also, not to forget that Dark Eldar can regenerate upon death if they have the aid of a Haemonculus, so even violent death will not necessarily finish off a dark eldar.

cswang
17-11-2013, 04:59
If you go by Gav Thorpe's Path of the Warrior, Exarchs are not functionally immortal. The Exarch Kenainath ends up unable to take part in the last battle because he's too old and throughout much of the novel knows his time is almost up. It's implied that he dies peacefully, a distinct rarity for one stuck upon the warrior's path.

El_Machinae
17-11-2013, 15:59
Shouldn't they actually have the biotechnology to halt or reverse aging? Their afterlife is so 'part' of their lives, so visible, you can see why they'd not partake of biological immortality.

DoombringerATT
17-11-2013, 17:28
Xenology suggests that Eldar's psycho-reactive DNA might also be part of their longevity in the first place; Eldar appear to use biomancy to stabilize any genetic drift in their species, and their DNA is incredibly responsive to psychic stimuli.

It says that "modern" Eldar bones are identical to Eldar fossils that are tens of millions of years old. Eldar have an apparent desire to prevent any genetic drift in their species, possibly because the structure of their DNA is the foundation or a vital component of their psychic potency.

Tastyfish
17-11-2013, 17:47
Xenology suggests that Eldar's psycho-reactive DNA might also be part of their longevity in the first place; Eldar appear to use biomancy to stabilize any genetic drift in their species, and their DNA is incredibly responsive to psychic stimuli.

It says that "modern" Eldar bones are identical to Eldar fossils that are tens of millions of years old. Eldar have an apparent desire to prevent any genetic drift in their species, possibly because the structure of their DNA is the foundation or a vital component of their psychic potency.

I think the desire is more down to them being 'perfect' as is, and seeing no need to allow any defects to arise from simple copying errors in their highly engineered biology.
After millions of years of civilisation, they're more just basic biological organisms - they're highly tuned organic sports cars. Any changes are going to be due to conscious design rather than errors and dumb luck.

Given the Eldar at least appear to believe they used to reincarnate, and the Dark Eldar actually do, I'd lean towards the idea that Eldar can live forever. The problem they have is more of a mental one, an Eldar doesn't grow old and die - they just sort of fade out from society as less and less interests them (or they find themselves increasingly separated from their younger and more inexperienced fellows). Eventually they'll either sink into a deep depression and stop eating/doing whatever it is they need to do to maintain their bodies or commit some form of ritual suicide in order to embark on the next phase of their existence.

Kind of explains why the old Eldar empire went mad - they weren't prepared for true immortality and descended deeper into hedonism and addictions as a means to provide some purpose to their lives. Eldrad, having a very strong sense of purpose and an active interest in the changing galaxy of shorter lived species has managed to avoid sense of ennui that plagues others of his age - though he's probably always been considered a little bit mad.

El_Machinae
17-11-2013, 18:15
... I've forgotten, is there a known reason why Eldar cannot reincarnate from Spirit Stones?

harlokin
17-11-2013, 20:38
I thought that the birth of Slaanesh broke the Eldar cycle of reincarnation.

Their spirits are now consumed by She-Who-Thirsts unless they are absorbed into a Spirit Stone / Infinity Circuit, or (in the case of the The Dark Eldar) a recreated version of their original body.

Mellow
17-11-2013, 20:49
The Eldar worry about their mortality as they don't do very much copulating.

The last time they did, they caused an explosion ... in real space.

Tastyfish
17-11-2013, 22:11
... I've forgotten, is there a known reason why Eldar cannot reincarnate from Spirit Stones?

The Dark Eldar method isn't exactly clean and clinical, but more importantly I think it requires the process to be started whilst the individual is alive - so you can either go straight into a Soulstone or be dead and then brought back via a ritual of pain. Most Craftworlders aren't going to have such a strong link to a single emotion that they can be effectively 'summoned' back to 'possess' a clone of their corpse.

Born Again
17-11-2013, 23:58
The Eldar worry about their mortality as they don't do very much copulating.

The last time they did, they caused an explosion ... in real space.

Actually they do a fair bit of it, as it takes several instances for each newborn Eldar. This, combined with a long gestation period, is contributing to their 'dwindling' as a race.

Hendarion
18-11-2013, 04:57
The Eldar worry about their mortality as they don't do very much copulating.

The last time they did, they caused an explosion ... in real space.
Just no. This is the worst twist of how things actually went and wrong too. We know from PotW that the Eldar actually are still quite active when it comes to sexuality. And again no, Eldar-sex didn't cause an explosion. Slaanesh is so much more, I wonder when finally all people will understand what excess and debauchery really are. What happened during the Fall wasn't just simple sex. More like... "look, I take your organs and strangle you with it nearly to death, then I take the blood of your newborn baby we both drink and you will see we both enjoy it to the maximum. When I'm finished with you, I go to your mom and will feed her razorblades and eat some myself. I will then cut them out of my belly myself and go to develop some flesh-melting poison to feed it to some lesser alien species just for fun. With some remaining flesh of these, I will make myself some funny new dress".


... I've forgotten, is there a known reason why Eldar cannot reincarnate from Spirit Stones?Probably they have no idea how to make that happen. Plus they might believe it won't work any longer without Isha being around.

Mellow
18-11-2013, 07:53
Is it stated how long they carry their young? I suppose if you live a thousand years then carrying a baby for a few decades wouldn't seem extensive

Karhedron
18-11-2013, 14:00
I can't recall any figures for gestation being quoted. After such techno-babble gaffes as "depleted deuterium", I would prefer GW stay away from trying to provide to much hard-n-fast scientific data because it is bound to either be nonsense or contradict something else in the fluff.

Before you know it they'll be trying to make the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs. :p

Drasanil
18-11-2013, 14:01
Is it stated how long they carry their young? I suppose if you live a thousand years then carrying a baby for a few decades wouldn't seem extensive

They're also at their core a biologically engineered warrior-race, a ten year gestation period would be rather counter productive in this regard. There's no reason to assume a 1 for 1 correlation between lifespan and gestation.

Tastyfish
18-11-2013, 15:37
Is it stated how long they carry their young? I suppose if you live a thousand years then carrying a baby for a few decades wouldn't seem extensive

Probably as long as they want, they certainly have had the technology to clone or even just make new Eldar if they wanted to - as we can see by the Dark Eldar. Some Craftworlders may tread the Path of Isha very briefly, whilst others may find themselves carrying a child for decades - finding some beauty or purpose in communing with a new life inside them as a tiny reflection of the Craftworld, mother and child mirroring the relationship of the living and the dead.

They're a post-human alien race, again they're not going to need to wait for a bundle of cells to grow into a new body - from the dissections in Xenology, their skeletons are made of a similar psychoreactive plastic to wraithbone so there's really nothing stopping a new Eldar from just being sung into being (whether as a baby within a chosen vessel, or fully formed as an adult Eldar - though the latter might be considered a little improper).

The Eldar aren't dying because they can't make babies fast enough - Comorragh is what you get if you try to solve the problems with a more human mindset. The Eldar's extinction is more like the Elves going into the West in Tolkein's books - it's just not their time or place anymore, so they're slowly choosing to leave the world rather than stay in it, despite how much they might be able to help fix the things they don't like about it.

They've haven't changed physically for close to 10 million years, which implies that they've had access to the same sort of technology they have now (psycho-reactive plastics and bodies engineered to be largely free from need and virtually immortal). With these sort of timescales "Why" becomes the most important question, not "how". They've seen the results of multiple species' attempts at immortality and have no desire to become the next Necrontyr or Ork (or in the Craftworlder's case - the next Eldar). By and large when it comes to the Eldar as a civilization, it is no more, there's just a few things some people want to do before all the lights get turned out and it's time to move on. Only ones left are the young who've still got a lot to experience and understand, the fanatics who are driven by some obsession (Eldrad/Beil-tann/Exarchs) and the curious few who just want to stick things out long enough to see how it all ends. It's not really a time to bring a new Eldar into the world unless you want to make some kind of point and are willing to use another against their will to do so.

There's already all the Eldar there needs to be, a statistically irrelevant few at the far end of the bell curve that graphs all the Eldar ever.

Drasanil
18-11-2013, 15:58
That approach doesn't really make sense, it's nothing like Tolkien's elves going to the West. We know the Eldar aren't going gently into the night and have no desire to, we know they're in a desperate battle for the survival of their species hence all the extreme measures they go to save eldar lives and protect what once was theirs. A lot of what they do is geared towards the survival and continuation of their species, it has nothing to do with accepting their fate or thinking their time is up. Many of them even have a longer term (almost impossible) goal of reclaiming the preeminence of their species in some fashion or another, such as Biel-Tan wanting to rebuild the ancient empire.

Tastyfish
18-11-2013, 16:27
Are those Eldar in the majority because after 10,000 years they're the only ones left, assuming they are in the majority? They are in a 'desperate battle' to save their species but as all these threads always end up showing - they're not really behaving like it.
They're definitely acting the way a numerically weak force would if it wants to have a lot of influence in the Galaxy and being very protective of it's few remaining assets that let them do so, but they're also still very particular about the way they do this. They're a far cry away from the Imperium's 'end justify the means' mentality.

As I said - you've still got the young and the fanatics who are going to be kicking around to the bitter end, but there's not been any serious attempts to rebuild the Eldar civilisation in the last 10,000 years and they're still slowly fading away.

Drasanil
18-11-2013, 17:10
As I view it, the irony of the CWE is that they are in a desperate battle for survival but for the most part they are still unwilling to make the real sacrifices needed to actually succeed. Sacrificing a few million humans you don't care about to save a relative few eldar lives is easy. It costs them relatively little and they can keep going about their lives as usual and so far it has worked more or less.

Ask them to give up some of their freedoms or what not? Well that's just inconvenient and barbaric! Even if necessary to make some real progress they just don't want to do it and they have yet to be really forced into a situation where the stakes are readily apparent. Since what they have be doing so far is kind of 'good enough'. Although the new codex is starting to show cracks in that way of thinking, with many lesser paths dying out and being lost as craftworlds decided to start prioritising the Path of the Warrior.

It's kind of like the west, we know we have a population problem, everyone acknowledges our population can't sustain itself naturally, but actually do something about it? Well we can't have that, it wouldn't be modern and progressive and forward thinking.

El_Machinae
18-11-2013, 18:21
What kind of freedoms could they give up in order to increase their odds of surviving?

harlokin
18-11-2013, 18:28
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.

Drasanil
18-11-2013, 19:51
What kind of freedoms could they give up in order to increase their odds of surviving?

Biggest one would be no more 'Path' of the Outcast, it's been noted as the single biggest cause of eldar deaths. Either you conform or we break you until you do.

Next depending on how well the above worked or didn't, no more freedom to choose your path it's assigned. Alternatively a periodic conscription for certain key paths like warrior, parent etc etc...

--- --- ---

Been giving it some thought for the fluff of my own craftworld. Was planning on something like a spartan but thriving craftworld where only the old pre-fall aristocracy have any real freedoms or luxuries and pretty much run the show. Everyone else, with the exception of the most talented and gifted, is forced into a near permanent war-footing Cadia style where you're either training for war, maintaining the craftworld essentials, and where recruitment and parenthood have largely become the same thing.

A very martial culture with a strong cult of Ynnead at it's heart, where it's all about 'earning' your afterlife. Consequently they'd have very few wraithlords as such esteemed heroes have earned their rest, and things like wraithguard would be used for those eldar who failed to earn place in the infinity circuit and still owe service to their people.

harlokin
18-11-2013, 20:22
The Path of the Outcast could serve as a useful safety valve for Eldar society.

Drasanil
18-11-2013, 20:36
Yes, that's largely what it is portrayed as, a safety valve and an easy out for those who find the path system to stifling. But that has no bearing on the point I made, that it is listed as one of the leading causes of eldar deaths, there are other ways of dealing with problem children, like indoctrination and forced re-education. Which the eldar could make use of if they had the stomach for it. Hence the conform or we'll break you until you do part in my post.

harlokin
18-11-2013, 20:56
Indoctrination and forced re-education? It's not a matter of stomach, it's about living like an Eladar rather than aping (no pun intended) the Mon-keigh.

Drasanil
18-11-2013, 21:31
You just perfectly illustrated the point that I was making. Eldar are in a desperate battle for survival but are unwilling to fully to commit to doing what it takes to actually make any headway. They're sticking to their easy band-aid solutions because they have worked 'well enough' so far and they don't want to actually change anything or get their hands dirty.

harlokin
18-11-2013, 21:56
The True Eldar are thriving in Commorragh ;)

Drasanil
18-11-2013, 22:10
The True Eldar are thriving in Commorragh ;)

:D

(Words For the Word God)

El_Machinae
19-11-2013, 00:20
Next depending on how well the above worked or didn't, no more freedom to choose your path it's assigned. Alternatively a periodic conscription for certain key paths like warrior, parent etc etc...

Do you feel like Eldar have much 'choice' on the path that they choose? They could be forced into non-desired career paths, but that might not let them get onto a 'path' that they need to avoid Slannesh?

El_Machinae
19-11-2013, 00:24
Next depending on how well the above worked or didn't, no more freedom to choose your path it's assigned. Alternatively a periodic conscription for certain key paths like warrior, parent etc etc...

Do you feel like Eldar have much 'choice' on the path that they choose? They could be forced into non-desired career paths, but that might not let them get onto a 'path' that they need to avoid Slannesh?

Drasanil
19-11-2013, 01:00
Do you feel like Eldar have much 'choice' on the path that they choose?

Yes. From the background material it seems they can pretty much choose whatever paths they desire. The only constriction being that they actually have to pick a path in the first place.


They could be forced into non-desired career paths, but that might not let them get onto a 'path' that they need to avoid Slannesh?

I don't understand what you mean by this. No path provides freedom Slaanesh, even the most puritanical adherent of a given path still needs his/her soul stone to avoid being consumed upon death. The function of the paths is to provide focus and structure to an eldar so they don't end up losing themselves to what would otherwise be an unfettered psyche which is what lead to the fall and the creation of Slaanesh.

Lars Porsenna
19-11-2013, 02:58
I would argue that the Path system already is a huge sacrifice of freedom. Recall that the Path system was essentially developed post-Fall, and is in fact a massive restriction on the freedoms of the Eldar in order to perpetuate their civilization.

Also I would argue that the Path system is less one of free choice but a subtle psychic "push" of the individual from the larger psychic "gestalt" of the Craftworld (i.e. the collective will of ALL Eldar on the Craftworld) rather than free choice as we know it, though this is just my theory on it...

Damon.

Saunders
19-11-2013, 04:32
As I view it, the irony of the CWE is that they are in a desperate battle for survival but for the most part they are still unwilling to make the real sacrifices needed to actually succeed. Sacrificing a few million humans you don't care about to save a relative few eldar lives is easy. It costs them relatively little and they can keep going about their lives as usual and so far it has worked more or less.

I take it that you haven't heard of Craftworld Iyanden.

To save the living, the dead have been brought back enmass to fight. The craftworld's savior took possession of a spear so powerful that feeds on his life essence in order to end a tyranid invasion that had very well overrun the craftworld. The craftworld's remaining steward is intent upon sacrificing those who still live in order to stir Ynnead, the rumored Eldar god of the dead, awake.

Hendarion
19-11-2013, 04:47
They're also at their core a biologically engineered warrior-race, a ten year gestation period would be rather counter productive in this regard. There's no reason to assume a 1 for 1 correlation between lifespan and gestation.
I'd say it makes a lot of sense. An Eldar with a lifespan of at least 1000 years being able to get pregnant in 50% of the time with a gestation period of 9 months (and his/her children too) would lead to overpopulation insanely fast. Faster than real-life humanity. Comparing the gestation periods with life span on earth shows a clear correlation. And it is logical after all. Of course also bigger creatures tend to live longer, so the correlation is a bit tricky. But it is clear that a long-living animal with a very easy/effective biological reproduction system would lead to overpopulation quite quickly.


Yes, that's largely what it is portrayed as, a safety valve and an easy out for those who find the path system to stifling.No, its not. The "Path" of the Outcast isn't a true Path and that's why it is so dangerous. Unless of course Gav Thorpe messed it up in his book entirely.

Poseidal
19-11-2013, 08:38
They could have cycled fertility, being on 'heat' in only certain periods in a cycle or even every few cycles.

Also, it's not necessary that they would reproduce that much after being a developed people. There are countries today that have population decline, even though medicine is better in this age and people live longer.

I would imagine it to be longer than human gestation periods, but not overly so even though the lifespan is much longer.

El_Machinae
19-11-2013, 12:32
Yes. From the background material it seems they can pretty much choose whatever paths they desire. The only constriction being that they actually have to pick a path in the first place.

Yeah, that's my feeling too, but the word 'desire' pops in there for me. Like, in order to have to get onto a path, they have to desire to be on that path. While they could probably do a multitude of careers, the ability to get onto a path is much, much more ... whimsical(?) ... and so they actually have much less choice than we'd think. If they don't do the career that they feel called to do, they don't get the focus benefits of being on a path. That's my impression, anyway.

What I will agree on is their lack of will when it comes to war. They should be designing war machinery and tools that're vastly more powerful than they have been. Sure, if protecting an Eldar from dying is paramount, factor that in. A proper assignment of wargear/machines would go a long, long way.

Drasanil
19-11-2013, 13:42
I take it that you haven't heard of Craftworld Iyanden.

To save the living, the dead have been brought back enmass to fight. The craftworld's savior took possession of a spear so powerful that feeds on his life essence in order to end a tyranid invasion that had very well overrun the craftworld. The craftworld's remaining steward is intent upon sacrificing those who still live in order to stir Ynnead, the rumored Eldar god of the dead, awake.

Or perhaps I have heard of it, and realise Iyanden has only been in the state it has for the last 8 or so years in the current timeline and that it's population is still reeling from the collective shock of what happened. Ariel's plan reeks of desperation, sacrificing billions of living eldar on a gamble seems more like the act of someone who has given up and is essentially clutching at straws in their despair.

Yriel drew the spear because he was presented with an immediate and stark choice; pick it up or craftworld dies. And notice that he only contemplated doing so when everything was all but lost?


I'd say it makes a lot of sense. An Eldar with a lifespan of at least 1000 years being able to get pregnant in 50% of the time with a gestation period of 9 months (and his/her children too) would lead to overpopulation insanely fast. Faster than real-life humanity. Comparing the gestation periods with life span on earth shows a clear correlation. And it is logical after all. Of course also bigger creatures tend to live longer, so the correlation is a bit tricky. But it is clear that a long-living animal with a very easy/effective biological reproduction system would lead to overpopulation quite quickly.

Not necessarily, industrialized societies should be able to support far more children than third world ones and yet the former suffer from a declining population whilst the latter are overpopulated. There's more to it than just straight potential breeding time.

As for the gestation period/lifespan on earth, clams breed relatively quickly and have lifespans of hundreds of years. Similarly sea sponges are all but genetically immortal and don't have insane gestation periods. Not that any of it really apply does it? We're talking about a biologically engineered warrior species made to fight a near apocalyptic war between the Old Ones and the Necrons. Given they would need to be able to recoup their losses in an at least somewhat timely manner the idea of a decades long gestation periods seems very counter productive in this regard. Do I think they breed as fast or faster than humans? No, especially given multiple couplings are required. But I don't think the difference is quite as stretched out as several decades, two to three years thereabouts, maybe five tops if you really want to push it, after that it just seems to strain credibility.


No, its not. The "Path" of the Outcast isn't a true Path and that's why it is so dangerous. Unless of course Gav Thorpe messed it up in his book entirely.

What's your point? I never said it wasn't, in fact I called it earlier "Path" precisely because it isn't a real one and made mention it was the leading cause of eldar deaths. That doesn't mean however, it doesn't serve other functions as well like being an out for eldar who find system to stifling and a way for craftworlds to deal with potentially dangerous malcontents.

Nothing in the above is mutually exclusive as far as I can tell.


Yeah, that's my feeling too, but the word 'desire' pops in there for me. Like, in order to have to get onto a path, they have to desire to be on that path. While they could probably do a multitude of careers, the ability to get onto a path is much, much more ... whimsical(?) ... and so they actually have much less choice than we'd think. If they don't do the career that they feel called to do, they don't get the focus benefits of being on a path. That's my impression, anyway.

That would really be question aye? Not quite sure myself, the desire probably plays a big part in what paths you choose, but that doesn't mean you couldn't take paths you find less appealing if the situation called for it. Kind of like how everyone would like to have a job they love, but they still tend to show up for work when they have one they dislike.


What I will agree on is their lack of will when it comes to war. They should be designing war machinery and tools that're vastly more powerful than they have been. Sure, if protecting an Eldar from dying is paramount, factor that in. A proper assignment of wargear/machines would go a long, long way.

Yup, this I view more as a by-product of the table top than anything else. Eldar are supposed to be elite but relatively squishy, so no outfitting every guardian with sleeve mounted forcefields and heavy aspect armour.