You thought we had done all of this for your benefit.  You were half right.

What do the Eldan want?

It’s a reasonable question. In the backstory of WildStar, the Eldan are the progenitors and the ultimate source of all the conflict that’s out there. They hold all the secrets to the planet Nexus, they are the source of the technology our characters will use, and they are the ultimate starting point. The Dominion may maintain its galactic stranglehold, but the Eldan gave them that imperative.

And they are not answering their calls.

WildStar players have been keeping a careful eye on bits of lore, and intrepid fan InnocentCivilian took the opportunity to write up a great compilation on what we know about the Eldan so far. It’s enough to get you thinking about what the Eldan are all about, and it led me to ask a few questions, ones that have obvious answers that make me wonder just what we’ll find on Planet Nexus.
Keep smiling, miss.  It only gets worse from here.So let’s ask again: What do the Eldan want? They clearly want something, and they expect the Dominion to provide it. That much is obvious. The Eldan gave the Dominion technology, gave them their half-human half-Eldan leaders, provided them with the Mechari, and gave them a directive. All signs point to a clear desire to obtain something out of the arrangement eventually.

The kicker is that the Eldan didn’t stay. They gave the Dominion all of that and then just left, meaning that as a race, the establishment of a galactic empire couldn’t possibly be their goal. Why go to all that trouble when you’re not actually going to enjoy the benefits of empire? For that matter, why request the formation of an empire you do not expect to be a part of? Why offer so much to another race when you aren’t going to derive anything from it yourself?

And the Mechari only deepen the issue. There’s no reason to assume that the Eldan couldn’t network the machine-men together, nor any reason to assume that they couldn’t give the Mechari a full explanation of the long-term plans behind the Eldan. It’s only reasonable to assume that anything the Mechari weren’t told was something the Mechari were not meant to know. The Mechari aren’t meant to be in on the joke, so to speak.

I think there’s a hint about what they were meant to do, however, and it starts when you consider an almost throwaway line in the Exiles trailer. The Exiles were the ones that found Nexus.

We know that Nexus had planetary defenses that would pound any approaching ship into dust, but that doesn’t mean no one had ever located it before; it just meant that no one had ever found it and gone back to tell others. Still, if you assume that the location of Nexus was known to anyone, the Dominion would have found it first when something didn’t get blown to heck. For that matter, the Dominion could have been used as those defenses. “Establish a galactic empire, and ensure that anything that approaches this planet is nothing but trace minerals before it can turn halfway around.”

No, the Dominion didn’t know about Nexus. Nor did the Mechari. They might have known what it was… but what if everyone just thinks he knows what Nexus is? If no one knew its location, that means all the information about it, including its status as the home of the Eldan, is suspect.

Having security around your home is certainly understandable, but there’s another sort of facility that would be surrounded by security and shrouded in secrecy. If you’re hiking in the right parts of Nevada and head the wrong way, you’ll run into the outskirts of that sort of facility, one that signals its presence when large men with guns drive up and ask you to hand over any recording equipment.

What if Nexus is a research facility?

We gave you machines meant to study you, record your behaviors.  You made them the source of your intelligence.Take a look at that original lore post again. There are animals with patterns engraved on them, which may be just natural… or those patterns might look as clear to Eldan scientists as radio collars look to humans. There are clearly several research facilities and attempts to control natural phenomena throughout the planet. There’s a moon in orbit that people speculate is artificial. We’ve got attempts to replicate organic creatures in ornate mechanical devices — witness what appears to be a robotic Xenobite Queen toward the bottom.

What, exactly, the Eldan were researching isn’t clear. But that doesn’t explain why the defenses shut down until you consider the possibility that the Eldan didn’t just vanish. They left.

Imagine, for a moment, that you need to collect data on something. You need the testing ground, and you need the test subjects. The subjects are easily acquired, and you even take the time to seed data collectors among them so that they’ll grow accustomed to that presence. Unfortunately, the testing ground will take a little while to be ready, but that’s all right as well. You’ll just set up static defenses until everything’s ready, and then when circumstances are right, they’ll shut down.

Your test subjects will find the testing ground, of course. They’ll know that the defenses are down. And some of them will start making a few inroads, and the next thing you know, you’ve got all the data coming back to roost. All you need to do is collect it.

So what do the Eldan want? I don’t know, but I don’t trust their overall intentions because there’s no such thing as a free lunch — or a free galactic empire.