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What is the normal/farthest extent of Ork/Gretchin/etc. intelligence?
Or is their intelligence based upon their design by their creators to not be curious about anything but combat or whatever role they were bred for?
It's very very random..
Ork knowledge and science is genetic.. All orks are born with an instinctive understanding of certain things. The oddboyz simply unlock bigger parts of the racial memory, and have access to more specialized knowledge. That also explains why they're a bit mad.. they've tapped into this giant pool of knowledge which their conscious brains might not be able to handle all the time. I'd go so far as to guess that the 'smarter' an ork is, the more likely he is to be deeply unstable.
If you think about it.. orks occasionally stumble upon technology far in excess of that humans can achieve purely by accident. My guess, most of the knowledge of the old ones (or whoever created them) is locked away in there somewhere.. it just all depends how they access and moderate it. Virtually anything is possible for them, but it's all situational. Orks aren't really driven to push towards new intellectual horizons unless there's a catalyst, so I doubt they'll ever bother to access to those higher levels of intelligence unless something happens to make it neccesary.
I guess most orks are as intelligent as they need to be to fill their role in the hierarchy. Warbosses get cunning and stumble upon new taktiks, boyz know how to fight effectively, gretchin have enough mechanical and kinaesthetic intelligence to make good slave labour. Everyone has access to the knowledge they need purely by instinct.
Orks are a designed race, and they're largely designed for war.. They don't exactly produce high art and culture and scientific learning. Neither do they have any pressing need to.
I see. lol So they only use their brains just enough to be able to kill the enemy.
Weren't there 'Smartboyz' who were killed for being un-Orky?
An interesting change can be seen in Ork's development in secluded Gorkamorka. They end up with much higher Initiative, maybe that can be equated with quicker wits?
Yeah, tenuous I know - I'm extrapolating from the fact that greenskins are affected in a lot of aspects of their development by their numbers.
Gorka-Morka was fiddled with to make it more playable, is all.