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Biography and MorphologyEdit
While they appear mechanical, the Vex are actually a species of sentient zooplankton, similar to radiolaria. The true living and thinking part of the Vex is the glowing white container normally found on the chest of their cybernetic bodies, and in areas where the Vex are dominant the "mind fluid" of bodiless Vex is left to stir and think in phosphorescent seas of white. Oddly, contact with mind fluid causes humans to be turned mechanical and eventually become new Vex frames, whilst partial mechanization will slowly kill even Guardians.
The Vex appeared on Venus from an unknown location by way of transfer gates that allow them to instantly warp through worlds and time. All attempts to communicate with the Vex have failed, due to their single purpose to expand their species throughout the galaxy, commanded by Axis Minds that single-handedly control whole armies. Their bodies are made of an unknown metal alloy resembling hammered brass, yet they are not entirely mechanical; some organic materials are present as well. If they are decapitated, they will remain active and become more aggressive. Their routines and ceremonies remain mysterious and illogical to humans; they are hostile, unrelenting, and deadly. The Vex despise the Cabal as much as humanity and are constantly fighting them on Mars.
The Grimoire cards and Destiny 2 reveal the Vex have a single hive consciousness, a "Network" that links them together in one collective intellect. However, they have individual personalities and the Vex Network itself is too distributed to be useful for specific projects. As a result, the Vex regularly create "Axis Minds" that serve as the project heads for important missions, using their more focused perspective as a way to coordinate lesser Vex. Their ultimate goal is to ensure their immortality as a species, which they believe requires the extinction of all other sentient life. They are also highly utilitarian, with each Vex model having both function as a soldier and as a civilian worker.
Bungie has described the Vex as having a "fascinating" fiction behind them, "which, in turn, creates one of the coolest deaths in the game".
In Destiny 2, the Vex have lost Mercury to the Cabal's Red Legion, who fed part of it to the Almighty, their star-killing flagship. However, they still have significant presence in the system, such as the centaur planetoid Nessus, which they have converted into a habitable Machine World they use as a laboratory.
Goblins are ground infantry and basic foot soldiers that defeat their enemies by overwhelming them in huge numbers, and the basic workmen of any Vex project. If the head is removed, the Goblin will become "enraged" and attempt to attack in close range. Damage to the mind core on the Goblin's chest will break it and send the mind fluid flying, destroying the Goblin in the process.
Hobgoblins resemble Goblins, but are larger and can be distinguished by their distinctive tails, as well as differently shaped heads. They serve as both snipers and communications officers for the Vex. Though Hobgoblins have relatively low health they should not be taken lightly due to the sniper-like line rifle they use. When shot, Hobgoblins will crouch, activating a temporary, impenetrable shield that deals solar damage to Guardians that get too close. This ability has a cooldown period and becomes permanently disabled if the head is removed. The Hobgoblin shares the same weakness of a vulnerable core as the Goblin, although their shield may delay their destruction long enough for other Vex to intervene.
Minotaurs are even larger than Hobgoblins, with broad shoulders and three glowing eyes. They are commanders and heavy infantry, while their large frames allow more than enough mind fluid capacity to serve as architects and scientists. They are very dangerous if not handled quickly, due to their aggressive teleportation and explosive weaponry. Significant damage will also result in them attempting to close the distance between themselves and their enemy as it attempts to physically pummel their attacker.
Cyclops are large, T-shaped, one-eyed Vex. The Cyclops are known for being one of the strongest if not the strongest non-boss Vex unit. They function as a stationary turret of sorts, and do not appear often.
Hydras resemble "robotic centipedes" and float through the air to attack from turrets attached to each segment of their wriggling bodies. They are effectively Vex tanks, and servers for the Network. They possess a large rotating shield.
Harpies are smaller Vex that dart in and out of battle, firing from mouths filled with filaments. They serve as sentry units, scouts, and aerial superiority. Though relatively weak, this unit relies on swarm tactics to overwhelm its foes. Harpies in missions that have the epic modifier active will possess an Arc shield.
Currently, eight programmings within the Vex army exist. These include:
The Aphix Invasive is a programming revealed in the official strategy guide. An Axis Minotaur belonging to this programming spawns in the Nexus strike if Guardians camp in the entry to the Nexus. Axis Minotaurs from this programming can also appear as an Eliminate the Target Public Event on Mars, in the Vault of Glass or in the Prison of Elders.
The Sol Imminent (a.k.a. Descendants) are an ancient programming located in Venus, who have been seen in the darkest, deepest portions of the Vault of Glass. They are portrayed in black with characteristics similar to feudal China's military.
The Sol Divisive is a programming located in the Black Garden, most of which are frozen in rapture. Very few members of the group are active, but the ones that are are very religious, due to the word "disciple" appearing in their names. They are green with moss hanging from their bodies.
The Sol Progeny is a programming located in the Black Garden. This group consists of three massive Vex, who are designated as the protectors of the Black Heart. They are portrayed as giant Minotaurs, with each bearing a different shaped head.
The Virgo Prohibition is a programming located on Venus and Mars, who are major enemies of the Cabal in the Meridian Bay area, as well as the protectors of the Black Garden's door. They are portrayed in blue and black.
Battle Tactics and TechnologyEdit
For the Vex, their battles are all about overwhelming numbers and massive armies. Little else is known about their battle tactics, but players should remember that the Vex weak spot is not the head (like with most enemies and for players) but rather the center of their torso, where their glowing power core is vulnerable. Decapitating them can actually make them more dangerous, as they enter a beserk state and fire wildly. However, pushing Vex into their berserk state could be beneficial as they lose some abilities: e.g. a headless Minotaur loses its shield, a headless Goblin loses the ability to teleport, and a headless Hobgoblin loses the ability to become immune and deal AoE damage for a short amount of time.
- The Vex are designed to resemble a "classic science-fiction machine race" mixed with the "inscrutable motives of a timeworn Lovecraftian nightmare monster". The result is not a typical science-fiction android race, but rather a "mixture of robots and creatures" that fight their enemies with "endless waves of metal armies".