Borg vs. Zerg

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby mdx_stargoliath » Tue May 05, 2009 5:42 pm UTC

GoC wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Yeah, we actually do know. You play that mission. It doesn't qualify as a "space" battle, though, because it took place on a station--notice how you're fighting against marines on foot.

Wait... You're bringing game mechanics into this?!
In that case 8 marines take on a battlecruiser. And they're probably 10,000km tall. Each.



I can understand not including game mechanics to a point but I dont think that including a mission that is integrated part of the storyline should be excluded.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby GoC » Tue May 05, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

mdx_stargoliath wrote:I can understand not including game mechanics to a point but I dont think that including a mission that is integrated part of the storyline should be excluded.

It can be excluded in this case because he was referring to a space battle (ship vs ship) and none of the missions are space battles.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby mdx_stargoliath » Tue May 05, 2009 6:01 pm UTC

Yes but if we are going by strictly story line based mechanics instead of game mechanics then a mission in game that is a part of the story line should be taken into consideration dont you think.

Cause its not game mechanics its story line based is it not.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby BlackSails » Tue May 05, 2009 6:42 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
BlackSails wrote:I just caught a few minutes of ST on tv.

The borg's most powerful weapon has a yield measured in tons. Not kiltons, or megatons, but plain old tons of TNT.

That is pretty sad.

Did they actually say "tons of TNT"? I'd want to see that line and its context. "Tons of antimatter" would be a more sensible interpretation. Even then, I think this ought to be chalked up to Trek's not-always-fantastic writers being inconsistent.


They said it had a yield of some number of isotons. Iso being the SI prefix for 10^0, that implies a yield of tons. I guess they could have meant antimatter, but when specifying yield, its usually tons of TNT. (stupid writers not specifying their units)

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby GoC » Tue May 05, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:They said it had a yield of some number of isotons. Iso being the SI prefix for 10^0, that implies a yield of tons. I guess they could have meant antimatter, but when specifying yield, its usually tons of TNT. (stupid writers not specifying their units)

Ah, yes. Good old isotons. Chosen because it has no meaning. The writers wanted flexibility.

mdx_stargoliath wrote:Yes but if we are going by strictly story line based mechanics instead of game mechanics then a mission in game that is a part of the story line should be taken into consideration dont you think.

Cause its not game mechanics its story line based is it not.

In which case my statement:
"We don't know how they did that. The only assumptions that makes sense are mass mind control, overwhelming stupidity or that the terrans are actually pretty weak."
Still stands.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby setzer777 » Tue May 05, 2009 7:44 pm UTC

Here my thoughts:

1. It's not fair to have Zerg fight post-overmind death, but allow the Borg to be in their TNG prime. Either both should be in their current form (as lame as that is for the Borg), or both should be in their prime. Also, to be more fair (and interesting), how about the Borg are allowed to assimilate Protoss, but the Zerg are allowed to infest some of the biologically superior species from the Star Trek universe and use their genetic material (not species 8472, since they're basically established as impossible to infest)?

2. Taking into account how the Borg actually function, I think the Zerg would have some time to adapt. Even though the Federation seems worth assimilating to the Borg, they still only send one cube at a time, even after the first is destroyed. To take Voyager into account, this is true even though they basically have a portal leading straight into Federation space (of course, by Voyager standards the collective is profoundly stupid.) So maybe have them be smarter than Voyager, but having them send large groups of cubes seems really unfair, as they literally never do that in the show (except when being invaded by 8472, and I think we can assume that the Zerg would not launch an invasion until they are at least capable of penetrating their defenses).

3. Given that a few drones (Assimilated Picard interfacing with Data, that one drone "Hugh" that learned individuality) were able to significantly disrupt groups of Borg, I think it's safe to say that assimilating the Overmind (or even a Cerebrate) would severely disrupt the functioning of the collective.

4. Going on about how Zerg acid can't even penetrate basic shields seems counterproductive to an interesting discussion. Given scaling issues, I think you have to give the Zerg time to advance (say the same amount of time it would take for the Terrans to reach Federation levels of technology). If you started the Zerg and the Borg on opposite ends of the Galaxy and gave both plenty of time to assimilate species and advance in numbers/technology before meeting, who would win? That is the more interesting question IMO.

Finally, since both groups have the same basic goal (becomes the perfect species), it seems plausible that the Overmind would willingly merge with the collective. There is no indication that it is egotistical enough to care about its loss of "free will", and it would realize that combining with the Borg would be a big step towards perfection (biological superiority combined with technological superiority).
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby aireoth » Tue May 05, 2009 8:26 pm UTC

Wouldn't they be more likely to conglomerate into some form of Super Borg?
If they did fight it would pretty much be the same with Borg vs Flood, can't really get past the personal shields of the Borg, and the cubes adapt quickly, so it would just be a matter of time and assimilation. The Borg wouldn't really care to much about something like the over mind either, as the collective consciousness is what give the hive its intelligence, the over mind would just be integrated into the said consciousness.

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue May 05, 2009 9:44 pm UTC

GoC wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Yeah, we actually do know. You play that mission. It doesn't qualify as a "space" battle, though, because it took place on a station--notice how you're fighting against marines on foot.

Wait... You're bringing game mechanics into this?!
In that case 8 marines take on a battlecruiser. And they're probably 10,000km tall. Each.

Is there anything to canonically suggest the battle took place fleet-to-fleet? Because, honestly, there's more than game mechanics being involved here. Like I said, it was a ground combat. Are you suggesting that the battle I played in BW never actually happened, and that there was a completely offscreen resolution to the conflict?
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Tue May 05, 2009 11:18 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Is there anything to canonically suggest the battle took place fleet-to-fleet? Because, honestly, there's more than game mechanics being involved here. Like I said, it was a ground combat. Are you suggesting that the battle I played in BW never actually happened, and that there was a completely offscreen resolution to the conflict?


They say 3 fleets. Outside of a purely gameplay oriented perspective it doesn't make sense to fight a space battle with ground units on a floating chunk of metal debris. I believe a space battle is inferred. If you watch the cut-scenes you will see the Zerg are perfectly able to engage in ship-to-"ship" combat and win. For example the Hyperion was downed by a handful of Zerg flyers, the glave-worm attack of Zerg mutalisks has been shown to cut right through ship hulls in the ending cinematic of SC1, and the pre-mission text has established the Zerg have effectively wiped out the majority of the most powerful space force in the SC universe, the Protoss. It is apparent that the Zerg are perfectly able to fight and win purely space born battles. I mean the Xel-Naga were far superior to the Protoss technologically and yet the Zerg wiped out an entire Xel-Naga fleet well before they had accrued the genetic diversity now seen in-game. If I am not mistaken it was the early Zerg that wiped out the entire Xel-Naga species, and now they are even more powerful.

If we are going to say the peaks in ST are vastly superior to their counterparts in the SC universe than we aren't playing fair. I get the feeling that is what a lot of us are doing in this thread.

setzer777 wrote:3. Given that a few drones (Assimilated Picard interfacing with Data, that one drone "Hugh" that learned individuality) were able to significantly disrupt groups of Borg, I think it's safe to say that assimilating the Overmind (or even a Cerebrate) would severely disrupt the functioning of the collective.


The Borg cannot assimilate anything that is not sentient and humanoid. Besides an infested Terran, which isn't really part of the swarm, there is nothing that fits the Borg's strict assimilation guidelines. The Zerg infesting the Borg on the other hand...

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Tue May 05, 2009 11:42 pm UTC

The Zerg would infest a Borg, say "Oh, a pale humanoid" and get...nothin'. The Borg are a technological force.

I dunno. I bet the Borg could at least take a shot at hydralisks.

Another problem we run into here is the lack of space-battle canon for starcraft. As I said, we know that to go FTL, the troops pile into a giant carrier thing and that opens a portal. (Note, a good deal less versatile than warp.) Can Zerg without their giant flying targets go FTL? (Note: Not that I know of.)

Actually, mutalisks. In space. Wings. *headdesk*

(I would totally read a fanfic where the Borg-Zerg merge scenario occurs. I would imagine that the Overmind would go to the Borg's main place to assimilate them, the way it went to Aiur. Then, the Borg would try and hit it up with nanites. They'd stop, look at each other, and say "Hey, nice technological and biological distinctiveness." Then, bam. Zerglings with adaptive shielding.)
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby GoC » Tue May 05, 2009 11:51 pm UTC

SpazzyMcGee wrote:I mean the Xel-Naga were far superior to the Protoss technologically and yet the Zerg wiped out an entire Xel-Naga fleet well before they had accrued the genetic diversity now seen in-game. If I am not mistaken it was the early Zerg that wiped out the entire Xel-Naga species, and now they are even more powerful.

Everyone treats that as Dis Continuity. You cannot wipe out a time-traveling species with the capabilities shown by the zerg. It's exactly like an ordinary human coach potato beating up a fully powered Thor. Your mind just says no.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed May 06, 2009 3:02 am UTC

Alright, so I just got done watching First Contact. My opinion on Borg supremacy is somewhat lessened. The fact that killing the Queen apparently shorted out the drones is a bit worrisome, but then I don't see the Zerg killing the Queen without killing the entire cube, since they can't beam onto the ship the way the Enterprise crew was so fond of doing.

No, the bit that bothers me is that the cube in the beginning went down once Picard targeted the right spot. (Fridge Logic: Why didn't he tell Starfleet what part of the cube needed to be hit beforehand?) Now, perhaps this is a one-off thing--I have no doubt that those coordinates wouldn't work on the next Borg cube that needed to be taken out--but it still suggests that having access to a former drone would be an immense tactical advantage. (Although, admittedly, we don't know what else has changed between Wolf 359 and that battle, and it did take some pretty concentrated fire.) The question becomes, could the Zerg gain that knowledge? I don't know that they'd be able to get it by infesting a Borg--they just can't interface with the necessary technology--but I can see Kerrigan doing some psychic stuff. How much of an advantage this would be, is hard to say.

GoC wrote:
SpazzyMcGee wrote:I mean the Xel-Naga were far superior to the Protoss technologically and yet the Zerg wiped out an entire Xel-Naga fleet well before they had accrued the genetic diversity now seen in-game. If I am not mistaken it was the early Zerg that wiped out the entire Xel-Naga species, and now they are even more powerful.

Everyone treats that as Dis Continuity. You cannot wipe out a time-traveling species with the capabilities shown by the zerg. It's exactly like an ordinary human coach potato beating up a fully powered Thor. Your mind just says no.

Woah. Woahhhhhh. The Xel'Naga had time travel?
Anyway, discontinuity is not a valid answer to this question. Canonically, the Xel'Naga were wiped out by the Zerg, that's why there probably none left, and if there are any left, possibly only one. If the Zerg never did that, there's a massive plot hole. Discontinuity only works if you can just pretend it didn't happen without it really affecting canon. For example, nothing in my Star Trek canon supports the idea that Spock's brain has ever been anywhere except Spock's skull. It doesn't affect the overall universe except in that one mildly hilarious episode, so we move on and accept it.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Wed May 06, 2009 8:42 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
GoC wrote:
SpazzyMcGee wrote:I mean the Xel-Naga were far superior to the Protoss technologically and yet the Zerg wiped out an entire Xel-Naga fleet well before they had accrued the genetic diversity now seen in-game. If I am not mistaken it was the early Zerg that wiped out the entire Xel-Naga species, and now they are even more powerful.

Everyone treats that as Dis Continuity. You cannot wipe out a time-traveling species with the capabilities shown by the zerg. It's exactly like an ordinary human coach potato beating up a fully powered Thor. Your mind just says no.

Woah. Woahhhhhh. The Xel'Naga had time travel?

That's what I was going to say! I have never heard of the Xel'Naga being able to time travel.

Sir_Elderberry wrote:The question becomes, could the Zerg gain that knowledge? I don't know that they'd be able to get it by infesting a Borg--they just can't interface with the necessary technology--but I can see Kerrigan doing some psychic stuff.

Kerrigan was infested by the Zerg and she retained all her memory. It would probably take some direct action on the part of Kerrigan, the Overmind, or a cerebrate to get intel out of a Borg but like you said, it only takes one.

The psyonic thing is something I have been thinking about too. The Overmind and Kerrigan and to a lesser extent the cerebrates are the only Zerg that have such abilities so I guess it really doesn't matter all too much in the grand scheme of things other than the fact Kerrigan could kick the ass out of any drone that comes her way and cerebrates being immortal.

As for the ability of the Zerg to infest Borg, there are reasons to believe they could and reasons to believe they couldn't. One the one hand the Zerg have been seen to be able to manipulate technology. They are able to infest Terran command centers and fly them around so it can be assumed an infested Borg cube... that's a scary thought. But anyways, on the other hand Borg nanites might disallow infestation. Just a quick injection of nanites into the blood stream and a human is on its way to becoming Borg. Obviously the Borg wouldn't be able to turn any Zerg into a drone, but the nanites might still act as a barrier for infestation acting a lot like an immune system. The Zerg may be able to compensate but the Borg might adapt and make drones yet more impalatable. But then again it only takes one and the Borg lose a lot of secrets. The Zerg disable a cube, boards it, and infests the Borg Queen. Now the Zerg have all the intel they could ever want on the entire collective.

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby GoC » Wed May 06, 2009 10:25 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Woah. Woahhhhhh. The Xel'Naga had time travel?

It came up in a previous thread.
Anyway, discontinuity is not a valid answer to this question. Canonically, the Xel'Naga were wiped out by the Zerg, that's why there probably none left, and if there are any left, possibly only one. If the Zerg never did that, there's a massive plot hole. Discontinuity only works if you can just pretend it didn't happen without it really affecting canon.

I can pretend it didn't happen: Just make it so the Xel'Naga left the galaxy for some mystereous reason (happens plenty in fiction).
And even if it was a plot hole there are plenty of other plot holes in fiction and it doesn't affect them too much. Star Trek is full of them, such as their pathetic ground combat ability, their complete stupidity not allowing them to see the replicator and teleporter potential and their extremely poor warship design.
The only way I can think of that allows a highly advanced species (everyone says the Xel'Naga are more highly advanced than the borg) to be wiped out by the zerg is if every Xel'Naga decided to keep a zergling as a pet and then get mass slaughtered.Which is pretty stupid but I bet you can't come up with anything better.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby setzer777 » Wed May 06, 2009 2:19 pm UTC

GoC wrote:The only way I can think of that allows a highly advanced species (everyone says the Xel'Naga are more highly advanced than the borg) to be wiped out by the zerg is if every Xel'Naga decided to keep a zergling as a pet and then get mass slaughtered.Which is pretty stupid but I bet you can't come up with anything better.


Why is it so hard? Modern humans are vastly more advanced than Neanderthals, but I think of plausible situations where a group of them could wipe out a group of us. Being advanced doesn't necessarily mean constantly walking around with armor or shields or something. If the Xel'Naga were not expecting an attack (say on account of hubris), I could see them being overwhelmed by the Zerg, especially if their ships were not designed for combat. It would certainly take carelessness on their part, but if out of the thousands of species they created, none ever launched a large-scale attack, I could see them ignoring the possibility of their creations actually being dangerous.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby MHD » Wed May 06, 2009 3:21 pm UTC

McCaber wrote:It's obviously the Tyranids.


Yes, obviously the Tyranids.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Wed May 06, 2009 5:54 pm UTC

GoC wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Woah. Woahhhhhh. The Xel'Naga had time travel?

It came up in a previous thread.
Anyway, discontinuity is not a valid answer to this question. Canonically, the Xel'Naga were wiped out by the Zerg, that's why there probably none left, and if there are any left, possibly only one. If the Zerg never did that, there's a massive plot hole. Discontinuity only works if you can just pretend it didn't happen without it really affecting canon.

I can pretend it didn't happen: Just make it so the Xel'Naga left the galaxy for some mystereous reason (happens plenty in fiction).
And even if it was a plot hole there are plenty of other plot holes in fiction and it doesn't affect them too much. Star Trek is full of them, such as their pathetic ground combat ability, their complete stupidity not allowing them to see the replicator and teleporter potential and their extremely poor warship design.
The only way I can think of that allows a highly advanced species (everyone says the Xel'Naga are more highly advanced than the borg) to be wiped out by the zerg is if every Xel'Naga decided to keep a zergling as a pet and then get mass slaughtered.Which is pretty stupid but I bet you can't come up with anything better.

The Xel'Naga have never time traveled. I have never read any SC books and I don't know if that is considered proper cannon so maybe, but until this thread is provided a source I think the XN should not be attributed the ability to time travel.

And you can't just come up with your own alternate version of SC history. Billions of Zerg swarmed the XN fleet above the Zerg homeworld char when the Zerg only had one flying form won and infested the XN within their own ships. They used the knowledge they gained from the infested XN and new DNA they accumulated from neighboring world to hunt down the rest of the XN. You can't just wish that away. All the inadequacies of each fictional universe must be accepted. If we took out everything that supposedly doesn't make sense in each fictional universe there would be nothing left.

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby GoC » Wed May 06, 2009 8:04 pm UTC

SpazzyMcGee wrote:The Xel'Naga have never time traveled. I have never read any SC books and I don't know if that is considered proper cannon so maybe, but until this thread is provided a source I think the XN should not be attributed the ability to time travel.

I don't have the source so I'll just say fair enough.

Billions of Zerg swarmed the XN fleet above the Zerg homeworld char when the Zerg only had one flying form won and infested the XN within their own ships.

How did they get in the ships? Aren't these ships capable of FLT or some fastish movement? Is their armor so pathetic that it can't withstand some chemical explosives? Where they really so stupid as to be completely weaponless? If the flying form was a mutalisk then it makes no sense at all as any armor more durable than the glaive wurm it throws would be completely immune to mutalisk fire.

They used the knowledge they gained from the infested XN and new DNA they accumulated from neighboring world to hunt down the rest of the XN.

So they can use the knowledge of the infested? I've never heard of that in the games. Why don't they build XN ships then? Why don't they still have these ships?

All the inadequacies of each fictional universe must be accepted. If we took out everything that supposedly doesn't make sense in each fictional universe there would be nothing left.

I disagree strongly on both counts. I think inconsistencies should be taken for what they are. Disregard the conflicting evidence.
I also think that it is quite possible to make a consistent universe but most script writers don't care as they assume it will never be analyzed.

setzer777 wrote:Why is it so hard? Modern humans are vastly more advanced than Neanderthals, but I think of plausible situations where a group of them could wipe out a group of us. Being advanced doesn't necessarily mean constantly walking around with armor or shields or something.

You might think so but you don't have 6+ billion different points of view. I cannot think of any concievable situation where a Neanderthal group can make humanity go extinct without first upgrading their technology to our levels.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby setzer777 » Wed May 06, 2009 8:16 pm UTC

GoC wrote:
setzer777 wrote:Why is it so hard? Modern humans are vastly more advanced than Neanderthals, but I think of plausible situations where a group of them could wipe out a group of us. Being advanced doesn't necessarily mean constantly walking around with armor or shields or something.

You might think so but you don't have 6+ billion different points of view. I cannot think of any conceivable situation where a Neanderthal group can make humanity go extinct without first upgrading their technology to our levels.


Well we don't know how many Xel'Naga were in orbit around the Zerg home world. If humanity consisted of a thousand modern humans and there was a much larger group of Neanderthals it seems completely plausible. Especially if there was no military. What if the Xel'Naga have not had to engage in any significant combat for centuries? They haven't encountered a space traveling race in ages and so don't even maintain their weapons or defensive systems (and maybe for a long time they've focused on genetic engineering at the expense of the other sciences. So in that scenario it's analogous to a thousand human biologists vs. a much larger group of Neanderthals.

EDIT: To address some canon vs. onscreen (or in-game) issues:

1. The Starcraft manual says that the Overmind used the Xel'Naga's expert knowledge of genetics to improve the swarm, specifically to create Cerebrates (fully conscious/intelligent Zerg still under it's control). Presumably they did not build Xel'Naga ships because it is only biological improvement that interests the swarm.

2. Even though we never see it onscreen (probably for budget reasons), it is implied that the Borg can and do attempt to assimilate any species. They specifically try to assimilate Species 8472, even though that species wouldn't be able to fit into the standard drone alcove shown on-screen. Perhaps it's only on spacecraft that they restrict the crew to humanoids (for practical reasons)?
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby GoC » Wed May 06, 2009 11:21 pm UTC

1000 humans waaaaaay is too small for civilization. Make it 100 million humans vs 10 billion Neanderthals. My guess? Humans. Even without specialized weapons they still have durable cars and various explosives. They can wield metal plates on a tractor and make a flamethrower. Fried Neaderthals!

Really, saying "The zerg beat the Xel'Naga so they MUST be really powerful." is rather silly. The Federation might have beaten the borg and the dominion but that was 100% deus ex machina and overwhelming borg stupidity.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby setzer777 » Thu May 07, 2009 12:34 am UTC

GoC wrote:1000 humans waaaaaay is too small for civilization. Make it 100 million humans vs 10 billion Neanderthals. My guess? Humans. Even without specialized weapons they still have durable cars and various explosives. They can wield metal plates on a tractor and make a flamethrower. Fried Neaderthals!

Really, saying "The zerg beat the Xel'Naga so they MUST be really powerful." is rather silly. The Federation might have beaten the borg and the dominion but that was 100% deus ex machina and overwhelming borg stupidity.



Well, if all 10 billion Neanderthals were in a position to surprise attack the 10 million humans in a span of minutes to hours I think they'd win. I think that another major factor is that the Xel'Naga are all in spaceships - in theory all the Zerg had to do was launch a surprise attack and knock out the life-support systems. It would still be a stretch, but it seems plausible that they might win (ok, about the plausibility level of the Enterprise defeating a Borg cube).

Yeah, I don't think it's a good establishment of how powerful they are in general. It's pretty analogous to the Federation defeating the Borg. For both the Borg and the Zerg, if they really acted as powerful as they are supposed to be in theory, they would easily dominate their respective galaxies (well, I guess the Zerg kinda have...).

If thrown into all out war at current levels of strength, the Borg would win simply because the universe they're in is at a much higher level of technology (and incredibly vast compared to the Koprulu Sector). But since that would be so one-sided as to be boring, let's consider who would win if both were given ample time to evolve/adapt and assimilate/infest many species. At the very start, I think it's fair to say that the Zerg could evolve attacks to penetrate Borg defenses - after all, Species 8472 creates incredibly power energy blasts using purely biological ships (not that the Zerg would become that strong, just that in principle biological weapons can be as devastating as mechanical ones).

In terms of general method of operation, it seems like each side has advantages.

Borg: it's much easier in general to achieve high levels of power through mechanical technology than biology (energy weapons and shields, tractor beams, transporters, etc.), and obviously their ability to adapt to attacks is very powerful.

Zerg: they are extremely prolific, and I think it's fair to say that they apply more creativity to their adaptations than the Borg: the Borg adapt to be immune to a very specific attack (down to the exact frequency of an energy blast), while the Zerg Overmind can use the sum total of assimilated genetic data to mix and match features and create unique creatures.

If it was a war to complete annihilation I don't think either side would win. I doubt the Borg would ever be creative enough to develop the psionic weapons required to destroy the Overmind (if they ever became aware of the Overmind's specific existence in the first place), and I think the Zerg could spread faster than the Borg could wipe out planets. The Zerg could probably keep evolving varying forms of attack to counter Borg adaptation, but having to do this would slow them down, and so I doubt they could ever really destroy the Borg while having to constantly regroup and evolve new attacks.

If either side did win, it would probably be after consuming the majority of resources in the Galaxy, and thus the "winner" would soon die off too.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby GoC » Thu May 07, 2009 1:06 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:For both the Borg and the Zerg, if they really acted as powerful as they are supposed to be in theory, they would easily dominate their respective galaxies (well, I guess the Zerg kinda have...).

Perhaps surprisingly I disagree on both counts. There are some very powerful races in Star Trek in addition to the nigh-omnipotents (Q ect). And the zerg are limited by having to make everything biological. Instead of being able to make steel plate they must contend with bone. They can't use gunpowder or jet engines. Membranes must be porous. They can't use the wheel.
The limitations imposed by biology are vast but the most problematic one is temperature. You're restricted to a very narrow range from 0 C to 100 C.

At the very start, I think it's fair to say that the Zerg could evolve attacks to penetrate Borg defenses - after all, Species 8472 creates incredibly power energy blasts using purely biological ships (not that the Zerg would become that strong, just that in principle biological weapons can be as devastating as mechanical ones).

My hatred for the biological ship brain bug further increases. :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Zerg: they are extremely prolific, and I think it's fair to say that they apply more creativity to their adaptations than the Borg: the Borg adapt to be immune to a very specific attack (down to the exact frequency of an energy blast), while the Zerg Overmind can use the sum total of assimilated genetic data to mix and match features and create unique creatures.

Humans are superior to zerg because memetic evolution is both faster and more versatile than biological evolution.
Then again, the zerg don't possess either type of evolution...
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby setzer777 » Thu May 07, 2009 1:28 am UTC

L0l, I love the brain bug site you linked to. While it certainly makes valid points, if applied to this discussion it would totally destroy it. The Borg would be entirely different, and the Zerg would have been an insignificant threat in their *own* universe...

Just as you have to suspend a ton of disbelief for a lot of the technologies in Star Trek and StarCraft (given that "psionic energy" is essentially magic...), you have to suspend disbelief when it comes to the capacity of organic vessels (I mean the Zerg can open warp portals with biological processes for goodness sake...). If would make you feel better to limit the magic to one type, we could say that the Zerg overcome the major deficiencies of organic material using psionic energy :)

Oh, and you're right, the Zerg do not really evolve at all (I was speaking using the Hollywood version of evolution), rather they use genetic engineering.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Fri May 08, 2009 3:04 am UTC

GoC wrote:How did they get in the ships? Aren't these ships capable of FLT or some fastish movement? Is their armor so pathetic that it can't withstand some chemical explosives? Where they really so stupid as to be completely weaponless? If the flying form was a mutalisk then it makes no sense at all as any armor more durable than the glaive wurm it throws would be completely immune to mutalisk fire.

The Overmind lead an interstellar species to Char via psionic link. Those creatures would have to be pretty "fastish" to get around themselves. The Zerg are just as fast in space as any ship. And have you even played SC? The Zerg are obviously capable of taking out spacecraft. The whole premise of the Zerg is that their biology is just as capable as any technology if not more so. You can't just say that because they are biological they are inferior. That defeats the entire concept of the Zerg.

GoC wrote:I disagree strongly on both counts. I think inconsistencies should be taken for what they are. Disregard the conflicting evidence.
I also think that it is quite possible to make a consistent universe but most script writers don't care as they assume it will never be analyzed.

Fine then, if that is the case the Star Trek universe can't have teleporters because it is not logical why they wouldn't just use it to clone an army of soldiers or Datas. It doesn't make sense why the Borg would need any biological components because ST technology is obviously advanced enough to do anything classical biology can do and it would remove the Borg's need to gallivant around the universe sustaining their addiction to humanoids. Starship maneuvering in ST doesn't make any sense either. They are capable of going right up to the speed of light before warp and yet they go at a pitiful few hundred miles an hour when in combat. Each argument is just as valid as your argument is against the Zerg being able to take out a Xel'Naga fleet.

I'm just illustrating that no one in this thread has the right to alter the cannon of either ST or SC. If we are talking about obvious inconsistencies like a man dying twice or if the source is an non-endorsed author then we can debate its validity. However you are talking about altering stuff that came directly from Blizzard. I think everyone else will agree with me that you can't just alter cannon as you see fit in a thread like this. You can imagine a universe in which the Zerg didn't wipe out the Xel'Naga, but it isn't the Starcraft universe.

GoC wrote:So they can use the knowledge of the infested? I've never heard of that in the games.

Kerrigan? The Dark Templar Matriarch was infested and she was able to fool her tribe so obviously she kept every last one of her memories. The Overmind learned everything Zeratul knew just by Zeratul coming in contact with a cerebrate, that was without even infesting him. Infested marines can remember how to speak English and in SC2 they can operate their weapons. Infested Command Centers can be flown by the Zerg.

The whole reason the Zerg came to the Koprulu sector was to find the Protoss which they learned about by infesting the Xel'Naga. If you assume the Zerg never defeated the XN then you have removed the entire reason the Zerg are in SC to begin with.

GoC wrote:Why don't they build XN ships then? Why don't they still have these ships?

Because the Zerg already just as capable as any starship. That is the whole concept of the Zerg.

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby GoC » Fri May 08, 2009 10:10 pm UTC

SpazzyMcGee wrote:The Overmind lead an interstellar species to Char via psionic link. Those creatures would have to be pretty "fastish" to get around themselves. The Zerg are just as fast in space as any ship. And have you even played SC? The Zerg are obviously capable of taking out spacecraft. The whole premise of the Zerg is that their biology is just as capable as any technology if not more so. You can't just say that because they are biological they are inferior. That defeats the entire concept of the Zerg.

I've played quite a lot. The zerg can take out really crappy spacecraft (they must be crappy by sci-fi standards to get blown up by chemical explosives). Big deal.

GoC wrote:I disagree strongly on both counts. I think inconsistencies should be taken for what they are. Disregard the conflicting evidence.
I also think that it is quite possible to make a consistent universe but most script writers don't care as they assume it will never be analyzed.

Fine then, if that is the case the Star Trek universe can't have teleporters because it is not logical why they wouldn't just use it to clone an army of soldiers or Datas.

Explanation: People in the federation suffer from stupidity imposes by an omnipotent ouside being.

It doesn't make sense why the Borg would need any biological components because ST technology is obviously advanced enough to do anything classical biology can do and it would remove the Borg's need to gallivant around the universe sustaining their addiction to humanoids.

Explanation: The borg were modified after their initial contact with mankind by an omnipotent being that likes screwing with humanity.

Starship maneuvering in ST doesn't make any sense either. They are capable of going right up to the speed of light before warp and yet they go at a pitiful few hundred miles an hour when in combat.

Explanation: See explanation number 1.

Each argument is just as valid as your argument is against the Zerg being able to take out a Xel'Naga fleet.

There's an omnipotent being making the zerg much more effective? Well this is a vs thread so omnipotent beings on both sides are removed.

You can imagine a universe in which the Zerg didn't wipe out the Xel'Naga, but it isn't the Starcraft universe.

The text says it happened. We have to imagine an explanation to explain this or all talk of the zerg beating the Zel'Naga is meaningless as no conclusions can be drawn. Omnipotent being should be a last resort because there's no precedence for such in Starcraft canon. What does that leave?

GoC wrote:So they can use the knowledge of the infested? I've never heard of that in the games.

Kerrigan? The Dark Templar Matriarch was infested and she was able to fool her tribe so obviously she kept every last one of her memories. The Overmind learned everything Zeratul knew just by Zeratul coming in contact with a cerebrate, that was without even infesting him. Infested marines can remember how to speak English and in SC2 they can operate their weapons. Infested Command Centers can be flown by the Zerg.

I'd forgotten about the infested marines... everything else was excpetional though.

Because the Zerg already just as capable as any starship. That is the whole concept of the Zerg.

So Xel'Naga starships are exactly as good as zerg mutalisks? Then why bring it up?
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat May 09, 2009 5:06 am UTC

Explanation: People in the federation suffer from stupidity imposes by an omnipotent ouside being.

Actually, it's more like, the Federation are (generally) actually good guys, and have no interest fighting wars with large amounts of clones--and who on earth is going to volunteer for the "get copied for cannon fodder" duty? Crazy, I know, but it's kind of refreshing to see a benevolent government in fiction.

As for Datas, "The Measure of a Man".

Now, as for why the less-good races don't try it, I imagine that for mass-troop-replication, again, most sentients aren't going to let you do that to them, and for androids...well, it's been done. In a TOS episode or two. Most empires like the Romulans or whoever aren't going to want to build a large group of intelligent machines better than them at combat.

It doesn't make sense why the Borg would need any biological components because ST technology is obviously advanced enough to do anything classical biology can do and it would remove the Borg's need to gallivant around the universe sustaining their addiction to humanoids.

The Borg tell themselves (and everyone listening) that they are logical, efficient, and perfect. They're not really correct. Sometime, a long time ago, they decided "we should modify ourselves to be the perfect beings!" and since then have gone a tad crazy with it.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby hotaru » Sat May 09, 2009 5:32 am UTC

borg > *
Spoiler:
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Code: Select all

factorial product enumFromTo 1
isPrime n 
factorial (1) `mod== 1

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby BlackSails » Sat May 09, 2009 7:14 pm UTC

The main problem is that the gameplay statistics for starcraft suffer from requirements imposed by game balance conditions.

Take the battlecruiser's yamato cannon ability. It is a nuclear explosion focused into a beam pulse. Lets assume a spot size of 10 meters. That means that 5*10^13 J are deposited on each square meter. That is enough to destroy anything made of any sort of matter.

So either starcraft units are incredibly strong, with a marine's rifle probably able to punch through the earth, and everything is coated with some sort of magic armor, or you have to accept the fact that you cant use the gameplay statistics as canon because they are inconsistent

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Sun May 10, 2009 7:35 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:The main problem is that the gameplay statistics for starcraft suffer from requirements imposed by game balance conditions.

Take the battlecruiser's yamato cannon ability. It is a nuclear explosion focused into a beam pulse. Lets assume a spot size of 10 meters. That means that 5*10^13 J are deposited on each square meter. That is enough to destroy anything made of any sort of matter.

So either starcraft units are incredibly strong, with a marine's rifle probably able to punch through the earth, and everything is coated with some sort of magic armor, or you have to accept the fact that you cant use the gameplay statistics as canon because they are inconsistent

Well, this being science fiction both universes have the ability to withstand direct nuclear attacks, especially if they have "shields". And as for Starcraft gameplay mechanics transferring to more realistic scenarios I find it useful to imagine the less expensive units having greater numbers in their respective "real life" situations. That is, it isn't 8 marines facing off against a battle cruiser, it's more like 80-200 marines against a battle cruiser. Same thing with Zerg scourges, and it also applies to entire missions too. Obviously the Zerg invasion of Aiur didn't consist of a single hatchery landing in one spot on the Protoss homeworld. It was scaled back to make it work with gameplay. Now if it were a hundred or a thousand more hatcheries it would make sense. It correlates with the out of game texts too. During Zerg invasions of Terran worlds it says billions of Zerg are attacking and yet only a few hundred are seen in-game.

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby setzer777 » Sun May 10, 2009 7:54 pm UTC

To go with the whole "come up with the most plausible explanation" thing in terms of Zerg strength. Since the Zerg can take out Protoss shields, and as pointed out above weapons depending on chemical reactions would be useless against energy shields, I think an easy solution is to hypothesize that Zerg attacks are a combination of chemicals designed to corrode metals (or have explosive reactions with them) and some sort of sci-fi chemical substance that interferes with energy shields.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Sun May 10, 2009 9:04 pm UTC

You guys... you are thinking too much about this whole "chemical vs non-chemical" thing. Need I remind you guys that nearly all of our current technology relies on chemical reactions? And who says the Zerg are limited to chemical reactions? Why wouldn't they be able to manipulate atoms and electricity? Think of the Zerg less as really big reptile insect things and more of grown warships. No matter if you are getting hit by a cruise missile or a Zerg scourge, at the end of the day your body is still spread around in little bite sized chunks.

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun May 10, 2009 10:37 pm UTC

SpazzyMcGee wrote:You guys... you are thinking too much about this whole "chemical vs non-chemical" thing. Need I remind you guys that nearly all of our current technology relies on chemical reactions? And who says the Zerg are limited to chemical reactions? Why wouldn't they be able to manipulate atoms and electricity? Think of the Zerg less as really big reptile insect things and more of grown warships. No matter if you are getting hit by a cruise missile or a Zerg scourge, at the end of the day your body is still spread around in little bite sized chunks.

The reason it matters is because several Zerg attacks do seem to be acidic in nature. And acid needs something to react with, and therefore ought to be totally ineffective against an energy shield.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Mon May 11, 2009 1:10 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:The reason it matters is because several Zerg attacks do seem to be acidic in nature. And acid needs something to react with, and therefore ought to be totally ineffective against an energy shield.

Most seem explosive to or physical to me. Hydrolisk, mutalisk, scourge, spore colonies, sunken colonies, ultralisks, zerglings, lurkers all use physical or explosive attacks. Guardians use an acidic plasma (whatever that means) which makes the only exception devourers although their acidic attack may also be super heated like the guardians'.

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby setzer777 » Mon May 11, 2009 1:13 am UTC

SpazzyMcGee wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:The reason it matters is because several Zerg attacks do seem to be acidic in nature. And acid needs something to react with, and therefore ought to be totally ineffective against an energy shield.

Most seem explosive to or physical to me. Hydrolisk, mutalisk, scourge, spore colonies, sunken colonies, ultralisks, zerglings, lurkers all use physical or explosive attacks. Guardians use an acidic plasma (whatever that means) which makes the only exception devourers although their acidic attack may also be super heated like the guardians'.


I think you have to assume that the non-explosive ones are acidic in some way: the hydralisk and mutalisk projectiles are so slow and small that the kinetic force from them would be minimal, the only way to account for them penetrating heavy armor is some sort of acid.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon May 11, 2009 1:15 am UTC

Most of them are kinetic, especially the ground troops. But many of them seem to have some sort of acidic component, and so it is worth mentioning.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Mon May 11, 2009 1:34 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Most of them are kinetic, especially the ground troops. But many of them seem to have some sort of acidic component, and so it is worth mentioning.

Acidic seems to be what people naturally assume when they hear it is coming from a biological organism. In my last original argument I was just trying to point out that the Zerg are hardly comparable to regular biological organisms. They are more like futuristic weapons that grow, breathe, and eat. To make it comically simple, I saw people pretty much saying "the Zerg are alive, living things use chemicals, chemical reactions aren't as cool as phasers". Every advanced technology uses chemical reactions.

The basis for nearly all warfare future and present consists of speeding things up really fast or making things really hot, having them hit a target, and then maybe having them explode. That is true for both the Zerg and the Borg and no matter if it is achieved with a plasma/acid or a phaser beam the result is the same.

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby setzer777 » Mon May 11, 2009 2:14 am UTC

SpazzyMcGee wrote:
The basis for nearly all warfare future and present consists of speeding things up really fast or making things really hot, having them hit a target, and then maybe having them explode. That is true for both the Zerg and the Borg and no matter if it is achieved with a plasma/acid or a phaser beam the result is the same.


My point is that Zerg projectiles do not move very fast at all compared to bullets or missiles (even in cutscenes), are not very large, for the most part do not seem to explode, and show no indication of generating huge amounts of heat. If you don't assume some sort of special property, it makes no sense that (for example) mutalisk glaives can damage siege tanks - it would be like using a crossbow against a modern tank. Given that multiple Zerg do explicitly use corrosive reactions as attacks (defilers and devourers), extreme acidity seems like a prime candidate for the "special property" that makes their projectiles remotely effective against metal armor.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby SpazzyMcGee » Mon May 11, 2009 2:24 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:
SpazzyMcGee wrote:
The basis for nearly all warfare future and present consists of speeding things up really fast or making things really hot, having them hit a target, and then maybe having them explode. That is true for both the Zerg and the Borg and no matter if it is achieved with a plasma/acid or a phaser beam the result is the same.


My point is that Zerg projectiles do not move very fast at all compared to bullets or missiles (even in cutscenes), are not very large, for the most part do not seem to explode, and show no indication of generating huge amounts of heat. If you don't assume some sort of special property, it makes no sense that (for example) mutalisk glaives can damage siege tanks - it would be like using a crossbow against a modern tank. Given that multiple Zerg do explicitly use corrosive reactions as attacks (defilers and devourers), extreme acidity seems like a prime candidate for the "special property" that makes their projectiles remotely effective against metal armor.

What cutscenes are you referring too? Most of the descriptions of the different castes of Zerg and their attacks say many are super heated or explosive. And I see no reason why a Zerg projectile wouldn't move just as fast as any projectile produced by non-Zerg... so ya, what cutscene?

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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby setzer777 » Mon May 11, 2009 4:33 am UTC

SpazzyMcGee wrote:
setzer777 wrote:
SpazzyMcGee wrote:
The basis for nearly all warfare future and present consists of speeding things up really fast or making things really hot, having them hit a target, and then maybe having them explode. That is true for both the Zerg and the Borg and no matter if it is achieved with a plasma/acid or a phaser beam the result is the same.


My point is that Zerg projectiles do not move very fast at all compared to bullets or missiles (even in cutscenes), are not very large, for the most part do not seem to explode, and show no indication of generating huge amounts of heat. If you don't assume some sort of special property, it makes no sense that (for example) mutalisk glaives can damage siege tanks - it would be like using a crossbow against a modern tank. Given that multiple Zerg do explicitly use corrosive reactions as attacks (defilers and devourers), extreme acidity seems like a prime candidate for the "special property" that makes their projectiles remotely effective against metal armor.

What cutscenes are you referring too? Most of the descriptions of the different castes of Zerg and their attacks say many are super heated or explosive. And I see no reason why a Zerg projectile wouldn't move just as fast as any projectile produced by non-Zerg... so ya, what cutscene?


I was thinking of the mutalisk firing a glaive into Tassadar's carrier while it's heading towards the Overmind. But actually, while trying to confirm the other cutscene I was thinking of I stumbled upon the Protoss Brood War ending (when they trigger the Temple), and the Zerg are clearly shooting energy-weapons at the scout retreating to the temple. So the Zerg do have energy weapons that can damage shields.
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Re: Borg vs. Zerg

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Mon May 11, 2009 11:58 pm UTC

We really need more Zerg-in-Space info to decide this, I think. Sadly, the game engine makes "space battles" occur on space platforms, rather than in-space, so it's hard to weigh the Zerg against Star Trek (where Starfleet doesn't even seem to have a land-war counterpart...)

Also, are Mutalisks supposed to be able to fly in space? Because, dammit, that's just stupid.
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