The other day, I was thinking about how terrible life must be in Dayport. Aside from the fact that you've got a giant skyscraper blocking out the sun and there are thieves who regularly use your rooftops as a highway, you've also got the Children of Karras in the streets screaming WHEN I WAS NEWLY FORGED, KARRAS TOOK ME FROM THE FOUNDRY MOTHER AND SAID, "THOU ART THE CHILD OF MINE ENDEAVOURS. FOLLOW ME AND THOU SHALT INHERIT THE EARTH," WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF KARRAS. IT IS HE WE TURN TO IN TIMES OF TROUBLE AND CONFUSION. THE FLESH IS SINFUL; WOE TO THOSE BORN OF IT.
But that got me thinking; suppose a combat bot saw someone who didn't belong in Dayport. We don't know how the Builder's Children and the Watchful Eyes distinguish between friend and foe- to do that "Thou must attend the Mechanist seminary," to quote the Mechanist from "Framed!" But we can assume that the combat bots are meant to target people who don't look like they belong- thieves, housebreakers, beggars, anybody who looks scruffy enough. What would happen if the combat bot opened fire on that person?
Think about the mess, for starters. A cannon fired at close range would likely blast the unfortunate guttersnipe into the Maw. There would be blood and body parts everywhere. And, the cannonballs explode, so imagine the property damage in Dayport. Maybe in the iron and marble interiors of Angelwatch it wouldn't be so bad, but on the streets it would cause some terrific destruction. Given the tall buildings of Dayport, it could result in collapses or fires. And what if the cannonballs bounced up and onto someone's balcony or through a window?
Then I realized the problem wasn't just relegated to Dayport. At Shoalsgate Station, First City Bank and Trust, Lord Bram Gervaisius' mansion, the Lost City, the vandalism and loss of life would be catastrophic. Who wants to have turrets that suck up a lot of power AND fire exploding cannonballs that could burn down your mansion? Who would go near a police station more dangerous than the criminals inside it? Think about what turrets and combat bots would do to the Bank? No wonder the Mechanists went extinct after Thief II- there were probably so many lawsuits against them that they went bankrupt. And given the inanity of their defense systems, it's no wonder they're all gone by Deadly Shadows.