Alrighty, I'm gonna drop some big ideas here that you can use to fix some of these issues. I think a LOT of them need to be applied to the rest of the game in some way when you have a chance though (expanding rewards in line with difficulty/play time, alternate methods etc). maybe gradually after you finish new war (which is still coming for christmas right?) and as you slowly slot in more lich and empyrean content over the coming months. I'm rather very sad for you and all these leaving or frustrated Tenno cause of this recent update, and I have a feeling those expectations are weighing quite heavily even if you are doing what you can. But anyway, this might be a big one, here comes the feedback.
The parazon kills are delicious and the cinematic camera is a nice emphasis. My friends and I usually keep trying to fight over who gets the mercy kills and stuff which makes it funner. But I think this needs to be expanded on and improved as you get the time.
Mercy kills on normal enemies don't appear early enough to allow you to react to using it, nor do the enemies usually exist long enough to allow you to use it unless it's a thrall in bleed out. If you want to push this as something useful, something lethal, something cool, something "worth using", it needs a reason useful reason to break your flow (or be worked into someone's flow) and to have more emphasis.
When an enemy reaches parazon HP range if they haven't had it for atleast 2 seconds and dies they should remain alive but stunned/downed in a similar way to thralls for those total 2 seconds to allow you to react to the pop-up so you can hit X on them. After the mercy the enemy should always drop a health or energy orb. not by random, guaranteed, one or the other. A parazon kill should also feed into your combo meter and boost it by a small chunk. it's little things like this that make people want to use it, rather than doing their usual thing... spinning oversized sticks or shooting op guns.
Parazon assassin mods:
In the case of the parazon mods: blood for health/energy these should be stronger, as a single health orb isn't going to do much good for someone playing content this high up.
instead blood for health should draw red particles from the enemy during and after the animation refilling health by 25% of max health and provides like 200 armor for 15 secs. refreshable.
Blood for energy, should draw blue particles from the enemy and essentially cause a small energize burst that gives 25 energy to yourself and allies while improving ability efficiency (or power) by 25% for 10 seconds or something to the killer.
Blood for ammo is good, but a secondary effect like improves next reload speed by 50% would be wonderful.
Hit and run looks alright, but I think 10 seconds would be good, extend also to sprint speed and potentially some kind of 30% evasion could be attached with it over that short time.
Out of sight i'm unsure on. I haven't tested these but given how hard it is to land a mercy on a normal enemy on account of them just popping to normal reasons. But it should display the time the blind lasts for also, while if it doesn't already, opening enemies to normal finishers. Since now people can choose between finishing on X or just meleeing and not being held up on E this is fine for people who'd rather spin their sticks around on them.
A suggestion for some more parazon mercy mods down the line:
Lethal Chain: Animation speeds up 25% and after a mercy 25% chance to to transfer the parazon mark to another enemy within 8 meters regardless of health.
Shared Pain: After mercy finish release a burst that deals your melee weapon's overall damage in an area around you knocks down within 10 meters.
Unstoppable: After mercy finish improve armor by 100 and health by 10%, stacking up to 5 times, a stack decays every 20 seconds, but is refreshed when you gain another.
Soul Siphon: After Mercy Finish restore the equivalent of 50% of your max shields to self and allies while providing 2 energy per second for 10 secs. (so if you had max 300, you'd restore 150 shields, which if you're at 200 shield, you'd total 350 shields after the burst.)
Lich, requiem and the related content
I think it's no secret by now that a lot of people are mad about the stacking grind, while a lot are also just really anal about getting their maximum numbers and not settling for second grade rolls... :V. and they'd be right, but I'll let them dispense with the saltiness, while I focus on the fix that many of them have actually put forward simultaneously.
The player wants control, and less chances to be screwed. There are so many more interesting ways you could have made these new requiem cards work, without adding a second, third, four, and further level of unwelcome grind with reskinned reused content. I understand you are all under stress and need to make stuff fast and you've had release deadlines and stuff you've held yourselves to so to attempt to quell the endless no content callers and bored veterans but with a bit of time this CAN be salvaged, I'm sure of it.
1. Skip bundles:For starters, many have said that including "pay to skip" isn't the greatest move you've made, and I agree. The cosmetics seem good, but including all the mods to skip the grind was a bit off, and so was the relic bundles, even if you do it with normal relics. but you do relic packs for free also from syndicates, it wouldn't be so harsh I'd think if you actually had a way to get "free bundles" like normal relics, but because these are so needed for this system it looks predatory, regardless of your reasons for implementing in such a way.
2. Stacked grind: Weapon randomization on two levels (the weapon the lich has, which is unavoidable) but also the power strength of the bonus from the weapon. These liches, atleast from when they were originally thought of during tennocon, were meant to get stronger from dieing over and over to your tenno magic. Meaning, from multiple fights with the player, potentially over different frames, their strength would continue to be stacked until they were a true force to be reckoned with.
But instead the random value seems to be related directly to the frame that did the first murder and unrelated to what was used to murder them. (in my case, it was a slashbased tether coil trying infinitely to grab the larvling but failing but still being dealt damage. he even commented on being slashed apart) but it still landed as a fire based weapon cause vauban. I hope you're planning to think about this further eventually? Also the randomized value needs to go and become an influenceable system for no life minmaxers to have their fill, but still allow people to have fun without worrying if thats their jam. As it is clearly making people OBSESS about getting the best roll possible and giving them no hope syndrome as they complain to you about it across reddit and here... I have an idea for this to be made better also. but later, after I cover all the gripes.
3. Instagibs, no hope, no contest: You've made it right now that if you attempt to "fight off" your lich in any capacity unless you're instantly fully right with your requiems you're gonna get instantly bodied and have a much bader than bad time. in that, you get fekking INSTAGIBBED and the lich gets stronger. I dunno if you're going to reason this out in that the requiems are also power words that if they're wrong they absorb it and get tougher or something, but instagib should NEVER be the answer. Instead, you should make it that you're able to fight the lich for large chunks of murmur knowledge and to temporarily disable them from attacking you while searching for knowledge but they should still grow in power albeit more gradually over multiple fights or failures. I have an idea for this later also.
4. Forma for years. But this is all kuva related. why not kuva?: AThe 5 forma required per weapon to max is a little steep. I think 2 would be more manageable, with 5 levels per forma instead, with each forma also providing some bonus properties based on the weapon. But these weapons are KUVA weapons, and you're really making us need to get more kuva inadvertently cause of the relics. So...why not make it so that you boost it with kuva? 😮
You expend say 5-10k kuva you unlock two levels and improve the power slightly (and the effectiveness of the overall roll which is no longer random) . Total 25-50k kuva you're topped off and your new kuva weapon is now a level 40 weapon (although needing normal forma if you still need space for builds after 80 points). These kuva infusions could also have some kind of inbuilt special ability like a syndicate power proc styled thing in them that unlocks to make them truly stronger than their originals. Kinda like... a new style of prime. A grineer primed weapon of sorts. But I'm hearing a lot of them are just side grades, we can't have that, not with what you put us through to get them, much less the whole collection. Please think of us. :<
5. buff rewards for hunting thralls: I can solve this with one of my ideas, but right now the thrall missions don't have rewards within them other than the thrall intel, which is right now a very long grind. But I know this is meant to be longer term content you get mad with, and so instead it needs to be seen not as a slog, but just another form of the happy grind. The missions could be given completion rewards. The thralls could drop some rare bits making them walking caches. The drops within the missions could also be scaled as the missions are anywhere from 75-125 level depending on lich level but are still kinda meh. There are many things you can do to make this not just nifty but great. Don't be afraid to reward the player. we can only play for so long, but we will play for longer if we feel rewarded, either with proper challenge, cool gameplay, shinies, or better.
6. Relics? Relics again? And consumeable requiems? : Couldn't you have come up with something a touch better than more relics? sure don't fix whats not broke, but why not something better? The requiems having 3 charges is "so-so". It could be made workable within another idea which is more contained within the kuva and kuva lich hunting system itself rather than off on it's own in void fissures. All the contained rewards are good, but they should be brought into things that people want to be doing. Again, rewards and also not recycling content for the sake of extension. But if you truly want to keep using relics, they could be improved to be a bit more varied in acquisition. As this feels like just a reason to make people play kuva siphons/floods rather than just improving them from the get go to bring them in line with other forms of kuva farm like kuva survival and disruption.
My ideas for new or better systems than the existing ones.
Liches, fighting liches, leveling liches, getting the perfect gun or just having fun between "friends".
Kuva Larvlings should take into account not just the frame but the damage there-in to plan their initial bonuses and stats as a lich. Two elements most used from your weapon and the characteristics of the kill taken into account to plan their spawning speech.
If you use a slashy glaive with fire and the attack slashed the larvling up. have them mention the fire or on it or being cut up. Make it take into consideration this and they'll have maybe slash or fire as a resistance or weapon bonus. In some case it could initially be a weakness, a phobia of sorts from their first death. But that would be somewhat liquid and fluid over the course of the liches life time bothering you. of course, throw in a little rng for some other starting stats and like quirks etc also.
In the likes of shadow of mordor/war it was often beneficial to the player to aim for a challenging boss who has many levels whether on purpose or by accident, as the resulting gear and rewards would be stronger, and you'd obviously get more character and feelings out of what you were fighting as a player. So the following are ways in which the lich can be made into less of a puzzle door lock which one shots you and more an actual immortal frienemy who's both trying to figure you out as much as you him.
Lich anger, and incursions:
The anger of the lich as of right now is good. as you kill their nodes, the lich gets angry the lich can show up. Make this extend to any nodes within the area of any of their influence nodes provided they're not made special by a mechanic like arbitration or fissures etc. Say they have control over pluto, if I do a normal mission anywhere on pluto, have them able to assault my mission. The lich (or no lich, depending on anger) with a handful of thralls and some forces nearby. But they'll also be distracted by the enemies also within the level. A show of their power trying to take over the system. If this happens you can fight them and farm the thralls, defeat the grineer incursion and give the lich a bonk and a slap for good measure if you're up to it, or you can run and complete the mission/extract.
Fighting liches normally, science/disrupting fights instead of fighting to kill:
when the lich is out in the world they'll comment on you and fight you like normal. but if your parazon is empty this is a raw fight of brains/brawns, two immortals having a quick clash as they do. Their health bar will still be segmented etc. Fighting the lich after each segment they'll be stunned like normal and you can go for a strike. 50/50 chance you'll hit it, or they'll do an execution. Fail it, you take some damage like as if they grabbed you normally and chuck you away, or you'll break that health bar and gain a large chunk of murmurs, I dunno, maybe the parazon scans the liches blood as you dig into them quickly and gleans some ideas or your fight lets the void whisper their weaknesses to you like with the thralls.
Defeat the lich in a raw fight like this and it'll once again take into account the damage you dealt to it the most (for each bar of health one element) and this will be added to it's data and when enough of this is taken into account they'll gain experience which can rank them up over a few fights. The elements depending on level will influence some of their existing stats making their weaknesses/strengths eb and flow with whatever you desire to fight them with at a time. Have fun with it. If you kill they'll poof and be shown as stunned in the lich menu and maybe have some silly "dizzy"/"tired"/"Revenge" lines to hit you with.
What this would mean is that they won't come after you for 15-30 minutes or something (probably more). Essentially an empty attack meter. During this time you can kill their nodes down to the last one if you want and be free of them for a little bit until they come back super mad and take over a bit more territory.
Alternatively during a fight you can just stun one of their health bars and run and just leave them fuming after sniping the thralls if thats what you want to do. When you leave a chance for them to then control the node fully afterwards happens. Incursions should obviously also potentially occur when doing the normal mission which is under the controlled territory but cause it's already controlled there'd be the idiot tax and no changes would occur finishing it.
If you get beat, like any normal incursion boss they'll either ruin your day or just bugger off and gloat. In this case, lich could incur you a much bigger idiot tax at the end and gain a lot more experience than he would if you beat him down which adds to his levels which can also influence his stats overall later and his spreading power when he's not respawning. Node might also get controlled if it was out in the wild of the same planet.
Other ways lich can gain experience would be through idiot taxing idiots over time growing his resources from controlled nodes and expanding that way. More nodes at the end of a day more experience they'll have gained when you come back, but compared to ACTUAL interactions like tax and combat, these gains would be very slow and gradual to take into consideration people's away days.
Fight to kill
This is where you've got your requiems all scanned up from fighting your lich several times or farming his nodes, now you've equipped them and it's time to test and get the combo. Remember, instagib is bad but you can instill terror in other ways. so instead lets give them a rage mode.
If you fail a requiem you get nullified of all buffs, dropped on your head down to 25% HP then the lich growls and gets boosted cause of the wrong requiem giving you a chance to think about running or heal and stand your ground. The enemies around him would also buff up temporarily, like as if he used warcry or roar. You can time it out over 30 secs or so but the lich would remain mad.
A mad lich would have a joined health bar and restore full health. You can try to fight him in this powered up state or just leave. If you get them all the way to empty they'll just disappear in rage and get improved experience from it in the same way as if you had finished them just normally. Get dunked on and the experience gain they get from you is even steeper, like it currently is with being instadeathed.
Based on the failed requiem the lich could also gain some powers from it temporarily making further fighting with him ill advised over the next hour as the lich would have these bonus powers attached to him. if you land a good requiem the next time you fight you can cancel his buffs and instill that grineer fear of death in him again. So if you got a good requiem at first, consider keeping it on so to purge those buffs and either try another set if you know all requiems, or leave them off and fight normally like before against him being buffed.
Eventually, getting the full requiem set will have much the same outcome as it does now. Each hit will blind and allow you to break health bars guaranteed and eventually he'll go down and you can save his soul or vanquish and get the weapon you yourself farmed totally on purpose by fighting your lich with certain weapons and abilities with the desired elements to make the tool good for you.
Requiems, mumurs and mods, oh my.
I'm gonna address the relics and stuff now. So I was thinking: We have all these relics from normal missions we've run collecting dust in our storage and most people who have all the primes only need ducats, traces or stuff to trade for plat etc. but even then, if you farm relics at lot, you collect so many you dunno what to do with them. You've got a list of all kuva siphons and floods in the alert bar now, this is actually kind of perfect. What if you implemented one more set of siphons. Kuva Siphon, Kuva flow and Kuva Flood. 25-40, 40-60, 80-100 and you make it so that you equip relics with you on those siphons optionally. Complete the siphon encounter itself you get your kuva and it infuses the relic making a requiem relic at random (1-4) guaranteed out of the relic you brought.
Siphon takes lith and meso. Then Flow takes meso and neo and flood takes neo and axi. The relic also remains refined at the level that you brought it at, so you'll have it customly refined. During these missions each kuva drop that is busted should drop some kind of unstable or crystalized kuva 25% chance influenced by boosters but not looter frame influenceable. Gather 4 unstable kuva and you can go refine screen and refine a relic into a requiem relic.
Now people who do normal relics for farming sakes can keep their relics or turn them 1-1 into random requiem. Sounds pretty useful to me when simaris and profit taker keeps giving me radiant ones or other fissures randomly drop some slightly pre-refined ones.
Now just go crack your requiem kuva covered/converted relic and get a nice kuva cache/riven slip or your requiem mods fully crafting. (why am I saying fully crafted? well. thats another part to this).
The Kuva fort, now being somewhat important should be able to have it's missions relics converted to a random selection of requiem relics now also, more ways to farm means happy tennos. Especially kuva disruption or survival, chances for relics bigger kuva drops to make up for it. in the disruption or survival cracked caches or completed life support harvesters could drop the unstable kuva stuff from the kuva drops I made up earlier to refine existing relics.
Now this could be a way to get some nice loot from the relics and stuff. but whatabout those murmurs?
when fighting thralls they could have more abilities. I have noticed their ability to manic dash, possibly needs some simple elemental powers perhaps related to their master? dunno. But on killing them not only should you get a murmur but possibly also maybe normal kuva, my unstable kuva stuff for making relics, but also uncommonly some blackened slate. The stuff the requiem mods are etched on. Possibly also drop some planetary resources. But finishing a thrall mission should have a drop table that gives resources for clearing up lich territory. Massive credit/endo caches, Radiant relics related to the location (they can be converted with the raw kuva from the thralls in the mission, so it's acceptable) but also blueprints for printing new copies of the requiem mods at random.
You use the blueprints with like 10 unstable kuva and 1k normal kuva, some void traces from your general farming runs, an argon and a few pieces of the new blackened slate, give it an hour and you've printed a requiem mod. Not re-useable blueprint but shouldn't be super rare either since it's a mission finish reward and it's an alternate acquisition method from the relics which would now be far more farmable.
Downing a lich without requiems from my earlier suggestions or chasing off a maddened one should also release some kind of void whispers or something around the area and you get a cache with a spooky darkness aura show up that also can potentially have the requiem mod blueprints, a chunk of murmur progress or a bundle of unstable kuva, maybe rare chance of a riven sliver also?
That'd be my take on it. But, I don't mean to try to redesign your game for you. We all just want something a bit more engaging with less RNG I'd think.
I think I probably went too long, so I'm gonna go finish nightwave before it changes now. Good luck to yous when you get back Monday and potentially see this and the other feedbacks.