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I was deeply dismayed to hear that the Vaulters might not have a chance of surviving into the new game at all, you know, because of the Gray Owl exploderizing into dimensional cancer. But we still have a glaring plot hole. ∂'s background story story clearly states that it was because of the Grey Owl exploding that they were exposed to dust and the Riftborn's native cosmos was damaged. Emphasis on clearly, other academy entries don't say "nobody knows the truth, that cannibalism was his secret to absorbing that much dust". No, either it's a common fact or it's some sort of mystery. This means that the Academy and/or the Riftborn if not the rest of interstellar civilization know not only that it was the explosion of a ship, but a ship bearing that specific name. This means that either someone had been watching the explosion as it happened, probable considering the trailer. Except that it would have to have had been transmitting an identification signal for them to know, and I doubt that a ship dating from when the Endless were still called the Torians would be compatible with modern computational systems. Or someone escaped the incident, because Opbot is alive. This is important considering his role in Endless Legend, you know, the game that introduced the Vaulters? But if Opbot isn't talking about how he ended up on an otherwise insignificant backwater planet, then there's no way he would mention a detail as significant as him ESCAPING ONE OF THE MOST LEGENDARY PLANETS IN THE GALAXY! Finally, the description for the Vaulters in the first Endless Space describe them as having "suffered a number of major setbacks in trying to establish a permanent home for themselves". I, personally, can't imagine much fitting the description better than your initial attempt at space travel receiving an unscheduled demolition midflight. And from a meta standpoint, the lore built around extends into every game in the franchise, so making all of this hardship end up in the last hope for a doomed culture not only failing but dooming an entire plane would be really unsatisfactory, also Amplitude really loves its DLC fodder.
I'm obviously in denial.