Hi, I'm SQUAKO
I want to address what a majority of arbitration players are thinking and their opinions to go on this forum post (or at least that is my goal here). You may or may not have seen my reply on the Plains of Eidolon Remaster: Update 24.8.0 post and this post pretty much just encompasses what I said in that reply with more depth and reasoning.
abbreviations (in case you don't play arbitrations):
ASD (Arbitration Shield Drone)
RB (Resurgence Burden)
Items in brackets will lead to source or evidence I have provided in a reply of this thread
Before the Developer Workshop & Update Notes announcement was shown, a lot of tenno (including myself) have a persistent problem playing Arbitrations with:
Rotational rewards are “earned at double-the-usual interval” [d1] and take a while to do.
This means that playing arb missions you can expect rotational rewards at:
10 minutes of survival
10 rounds of defense
2 rounds of interception
2 excavators finished excavating
2 rounds of infested salvage
2 defection squads rescued
This rotational reward type of having to do two sets for 1 rotation just completely kills some game modes due to the time to finish them compared to others. I.e., nobody would ever want to run an arb defense mission just purely based on how long it would take to get to rotation rewards (10 waves arb is 10+ minutes) compared to running an arb excavation, where it takes 5-6 minutes per rotation reward.
Arbitration rewards are underwhelming.
The rotational rewards do not feel valuable enough to warrant spending time earning them. If we took away Vitus Essence, a majority of rewards would end up being endo. The time spent doing arbs purely for the “endo farm” can be spent more effectively doing a quick run of Vodyanoi, Sedna (A premade group of 1 Nidus and 3 Nekros can finish the arena mission in 1-2 minutes and get an average of 600 endo purely on drops from enemies). [d2p1]
I think the mods from the rotational rewards are alright. I like the mods, but that’s all it was really going for at the time. Tenno grinding for the Seeding Step Ephemera Blueprint, good luck, especially since the mission screen will say you received an Adaptation but the end mission screen shows a Seeding Step Ephemera Blueprint [d2p2]
Vitus Essence rewards are also underwhelming.
As of right now (pre-update), the Arbitration Honors vendor is very monotonous. s Illumina doesn’t even pop up in the orbiter unless you have GPU particles on [d3p1]. The rest of the cosmetics (Vitus Emblem, Arbitration Statue, Scars of Arbitration Sigil, Judicial Coils, Bleeding Body Ephemera Blueprint) are cool. Personally, I don’t like how the Scars of Arbitration Sigil goes off of the primary energy color for the “scar” effect and the inside of the scars that open up is the actual sigil color, I would like to see possibly a second energy color option for that.
Functionality wise, Tenno can trade in their Vitus Essence for the Ayatan Amber Star Blueprint, Cautious Shot, and Power Donation. I love the Ayatan Amber Star Blueprint so it can bridge the gap between owning a couple of Ayatan Amber Stars and owning maybe a couple of thousand Ayatan Cyan Stars. Cautious Shot, in my opinion, seems completely useless. The mod can only be used on eight weapons, the Javlok, Ogris, Penta, Scourge, Tonkor, Zarr, Ignis and Ignis Wraith. I don’t even know what is the point of putting it on the Ignis (or Wraith variant) if it can’t even self-damage without Firestorm. Even then, Firestorm only works on the Ignis for the initial first clip of the beam. Using Cautious Shot on other weapons seems completely useless since Tenno can still kill themselves with a single shot if the weapon using Cautious Shot also has enough damage to still make 90% self-damage useless (which turns out to be a lot of weapons modded for damage, specifically all eight weapons). As for Power Donation, I think it’s a unique and cool mod to add to the pool just for the ability to transfer more Ability Strength to your squad-mates.
Arbitration Shield Drone’s unique interactions with enemies on the map.
Even though they are the main gimmick of arbitrations, ASDs just feel like another enemy to deal with. From my experience with them, I feel that fighting ASDs is relatively easy, but the AI and some interactions definitely need to be tweaked (or at least looked into).
I noticed that ASDs usually tether on to an enemy and follow them/the group, and if the tethered enemy is gone (either by losing the range to tether on or death) the ASDs will usually just float around in the general area. Without a form of enemy radar, sometimes the enemies may follow the ASD instead and since the ASDs will naturally follow enemies, this causes a majority of enemies to stack up across the map, filling up the enemy spawn capacity, and eventually ruining some runs such as survival (where enemies are just stuck on the map in obscure spots that nobody can find because nobody has any form of enemy detection). Sometimes the ASD will spawn in alone and just float around doing nothing, or wander around without tethering to nearby enemies. I don’t like how it feels as though you MUST run a form of enemy radar to find out where enemies are because the AI has forced them into a corner.
If you run an arb against the infested faction, I feel the Swarm Mutalist Moa should NOT be able to buff the ASD at all. After the second rotation C reward, the armor buff from Swarm Mutalist Moa makes ASDs almost impossible to kill (assuming your squad does not have full armor removal from Corrosive Projection/Coaction Drift) and this appears to be the only enemy ability affecting ASDs (Hotfix 23.10.7, ten days after arbitrations first released, a hotfix made “ASDs exempt from Infested Ancient Healer Auras” [d4p3]).
Specific Warframe: STRENGTH +300% and specific Weapon: DAMAGE +300%.
Personally, I don’t have an issue with this, because I don’t ever use the Warframes or weapons that give me the buff. Though, warframes such as Inaros, Nyx, Loki, Ivara, and Titania don’t gain any meaningful benefit from 300% bonus power strength. I will say that I like to use a weapon with 300% damage when I get the chance. Usually, a “Top Tier” weapon will eclipse the weapon with 300% damage bonus.
Aborting Mission forfeits all rewards.
Why is it that void fissure missions do not cause me to lose my regards on disconnect, but Arbitrations do? A player can enter a void fissure event, crack a few relics for their prime part loot, ALT + F4 or abort the mission, and keep the items. This seems to be the only mission type to allow the player to keep items upon aborting a mission and I would hate to go through 30+ minutes in my arb run, just to die and abort mission to lose all of my time and effort, but I would feel even worse to just stare at my team for the next X amount of time they take to successfully extract from the mission (or all die trying and earn the rewards anyways).
As of this update I have played with the new mechanic a little bit, and I think it's a great addition to squad parties. I like how the Resurgence Burdens (on the player and the ground) disappear after everyone is back up, getting RBs makes killing more engaging and less CC-dominant (if a player died of course), and that on death you can spectate other squad mates. I only really have two complaints:
Resurgence Burdens should not be picked up with Vacuum/Fetch.
I wouldn't want to help an ally get revived, only to wait around and accidentally AOE grab another one to get less health and be easier to die
In a squad of three or more and player A dies, if player B picked up a few RBs and then dies, they do not drop the RBs currently on them.
How can I save my allies easier if the person who originally had a couple died with them? If this mechanic is similar to "the index points", why not have them drop on a Tenno death?
Oh and I encountered a potential bug/unique mechanic:
When a Tenno dies they don't count as being downed and go straight to death
Basically, if you owned a riven that had a "...without an ally becoming downed" this can just bypass straight through that.
I don't have a screenshot of this (my screen capture didn't work) but I can guarantee someone can try this out and confirm for themselves.
Currently, Arbitrations are definitely challenging and would certainly be filling in the “Endgame Warframe Content”. Except for lots of tenno valuing their time doing better things to achieve the same loot. Why receive only Endo or Ayatan Sculptures as a reward? Any Tenno who has completed the star chart has access to more effective Endo farming methods. The mods and the Seeding Step Ephemera are more or less a “Earn once or buy and forget the game mode” for a majority of players due to the time constraints for rewards. I enjoy playing Arbitrations though to make it the true ‘Warframe End Game Mode’ I suggest making it more enticing with:
Make rotational rewards the earned at “the usual interval” [p1] with more steps.
If the enemy scaling will be reverted to normal mission enemy scaling then I think that rewards should be given per usual interval, one usual interval being defined as:
5 minutes of survival
5 rounds of defense
1 round of interception
1 excavator finished
1 round of infested salvage
1 defection squad rescued
To balance this out I would also like to suggest alongside this proposed update to have the reward rotation pool be AABBCCCCCC… so that Rotation C wouldn’t be immediately reached and still entice players enough with more rewards for Ayatan Sculptures/Endo/mods.
Add or change more rewards per rotation.
Add Kuva to the reward pool. All ‘End Game’ players love Kuva.
For Rotation A, have a 1300 Kuva reward take half of the percent chance of 1300 Endo (both should be at 18.25%).
For Rotation B, have a 1600 Kuva reward take half of the percent chance of 1600 Endo (both should be at 24%).
For Rotation C, have a 2000 Kuva reward take half of the percent chance of 1300 Endo (both should be at 26.25%).
There could even be a future update where Tenno can turn in Ayatan Sculptures for Kuva. Until then, I’ll never understand why I would have to spam the hourly Kuva Flood, occasional quick Siphons, and then proceed to do Taveuni, Kuva Fortress for the rest of the hour and repeat. This sounds oddly like a job to me more than an actual playable mission to me.
I will agree that receiving endo or Ayatan Sculptures is useful just to finish up a few mods you may not have at the rank desired, but for people who do have the endgame mods maxed/every possible rank/etc., endo becomes pretty useless very fast and many Tenno would rather just attempt for the mods/cosmetic/Aura Forma.
Change the Warframe: STRENGTH +300% and Weapon: DAMAGE +300% mechanic.
I would love to see this instead be changed to WARFRAME: 300% in any of the four power types (duration, efficiency, range, strength) to give more viability and fun to having a diverse set of Warframes to bring, even if it just hits the cap amount (e.g. 175% efficiency). I would also like to change Specific Weapon: DAMAGE +300% to +300% DAMAGE to Primaries/Secondaries/Melee weapon types to broaden the scope of damage amplifying powers.
Add more non-cosmetic rewards to Arbitration Honors.
We have Archgun rivens. I’m sure 10% of players will enjoy using a riven for some Corvas/Imperator(Vandal)/Larkspur when it comes to destroying The Profit-Taker Orb (or just having some fun using it in regular missions). But why stop there? Content for ‘End Game’ should include a variety of rewards, such as Kuva (bundles of Kuva, such as 2000 per 2 Vitus Essence), or the rest of the riven archetypes (Primary/Shotgun/Secondary/Kitgun/Melee/Zaw). Just having better rewards alone (instead of tieing Archgun rivens to be exclusively Vitus Essence) will bring in more Tenno to play Arbitrations after getting all rewards. From this update, what is the point of playing arbs if all the rewards will just get dumped to either Archgun rivens, Ayatan Amber Stars, or maybe a couple of Power Donations? Aside from the cosmetics of course.
Fix Arbitration Shield Drone AI (or make them easier to locate, such as having them permanently under the effects of enemy radar)
I just want them to properly tether on to an enemy so they can both run me down and not have them get lost and stuck across the map. Alternatively, they can get applied the enemy radar mechanic even if nobody on the squad has any enemy radar mod. This will be the saving grace to having a very long run with your squad-mates to easily obtain Resurgence Burdens and revive them. I wouldn’t have to risk death (while under the reducing health effects of the debuff) just trying to find some arb drones to kill and take their loot to the revive tower.
I would also like to suggest to exempt them from the effects of the Swarm Mutalist Moa. I don't want to fight against some level 200+ Swarm Mutalist Moa just to not even come close to killing the drone making it immune because they're both on the puddle.
Bind Vitus Essence to the account similar to how cracking relics work.
I would hate to be the Tenno that crashes (or aborts the mission) through the 10th rotation of an Arbitration to just lose all my progress and rewards and have those couple of hours just wasted.
Add Cautious Shot to more weapons.
I would at least expect it to be usable on a Lenz. That’s if anyone even uses it. The only use I could ever think of would be to play Ember, use the Penta with this mod, lob some shots on the floor and walk on top of the area so you get the fire debuff for more damage. Until then, this mod is almost never seen in normal gameplay (‘normal’ being playing through the star chart).
Make Resurgence Burdens unaffected by Vacuum/Fetch.
I believe if a player dies it's great to be able to bring them back again, but I don't think it should come at the cost of accidentally vacuuming up a bunch of other RBs to drop down to ~100 HP and then just basically get 1-shot by an enemy.
Have RBs drop on death.
I need to help my team! I can't help them if the player with four RBs dies while I was coming back with the fifth.
I hope that the developers/players that read this agree with me, or could offer alternatives to what I have suggested. I enjoy playing Warframe and Arbitrations, but I don’t think that one update that just adds a game mechanic to the game mode, one unique item reward, and a few cosmetic rewards will be enough to keep Arbitrations lasting any longer for anyone who doesn’t own a copy of everything already, but keeping updates with the player base on feedback and actual updates increasing the quality of life will keep players intact for Arbitrations. Thank you for your time.
sources for some stuff [with the brackets]