Originally Posted by Woorloog
I thought a Gravemind is the embodiment of the Flood. The more Flood there are, the smarter they are, and at dumber state they instinctively gather more biomass.
I assume "proto-graveminds" are basically biological computer nodes. Having static systems dedicated for additional thinking gives flexibility in using combat forms (like, they can be consciously sacrificed without it having large impact on the capacity to think). A bit like the geth from Mass Effect.
Also, i thought Graveminds don't have personalities per se. Rather there is one personality that can rise again and again. Having multiple Gravemind-level "nodes" just provides massive thinking capacity and redundant system.
I wonder if Precursors were sort of telepathically linked race. Given that the Flood are basically sort of transcended, twisted form of Precursors, i'd imagine they were. Don't recall what the Forerunner Trilogy said about them. And so the Gravemind is basically also embodiment of the Precursors, their collective personality, though twisted.
Geth work like that, but I don't think the Flood really get smarter in a linear sense- a swarm of Spores isn't really any smarter than a single one wandering around. Rather, they get smarter in leaps and bounds. Graveminds represent a massive increase in what I guess you could call the Flood's "computing power," though for reasons I'll address in a moment that's probably too sterile a term to give it.
As for personality, the examples that we've had a lot of face-to-face time with certainly seem
to have them. The H2/3 one is certainly more talky than how I'd imagine a being without a personality to be. And the Flood as a whole aren't emotionless, they're actively malevolent; they're not the Tyranids or the Zerg (pre-Kerrigan, at least). So it'd be in keeping, thematically, to make the Graveminds at least a little bit distinct from each other.
Precursors were not, as far as we know, telepathic in their own right, but they'd more or less surpassed the bounds of physics as we know it so they might as well have been. Could be a holdover from that.