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Arbitrations Revisited

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My biggest issue with arbitrations isn't the revives (but I play solo so I'm largely uneffected both by this change and host migration), it's with arbitration drones. Specifically, the best part of arbitrations (random warframe/weapon buff) is largely rendered moot by them. Trying to kill a drone with anything other than an AoE weapon is just not worth the time spent, either from losing life support or as a risk to dying to enemies. Similarly, many warframes that would otherwise be fun to play with 300% strength are ruined by having no survival option other than CC/killing enemies with abilities, and drones shut that down. That means the 300% buffs are really only relevant to the warframes/weapons you would already be taking to arbitrations. 

Could you please consider letting the random warframe/weapon chosen for the buff bypass arbitration drone effects? This would actually give a reason to run random frames/weapons allow CC/damage frames to be relevant in arbitrations, at least part of the time.

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I play a ton of Arbitrations. Get to around Wave 20/30 quite often in pubs. 

The biggest problem with Arbitrations isn't revives. They're nice to have if you make some changes (which I put a bit below), but that sometimes it's simply not worth doing the Arbitration shown. Defence (Non-Helene/Hydron Map), Defection and Survival are simply not worth as much as Interception or Excavation are. (No idea on Salvage.) 

Revival is a nice feature. However, it shouldn't be an auto pick up. I suggest it being a manual pick up, like an Ayatan Star. Have a big symbol showing also. Having Vacuum or Fetch will become super punishing if it's like the points in Index. If you ever play Khora in Index with Fetch, you know how far away you can pick up Index points without meaning/realizing it. 

The main problem with lack of revives is that Corpus can one shot you. It happens way too often to many people, experienced or not. One moment you exist and the next, you're wondering what hit you before you realize it was a Corpus Sniper hitting you both through your shield and your health and your computer screen. 

I do like the changes all around. Other people may have complaints about the length of a rotation. I can take it or leave it. 

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Well 0 revive is a problem but not the main issue of the mode.

The main let down of arbitrations are the rewards (Endo and sculptures) at least for me. When you exchange all the npc items you are done and never play it again. Why? because its tedious not hard.(Host Migration, artificial "long" runs).

Tokens (Vitus Essence) are awesome but you need to add more and more rewards for exchange otherwise it will be the same (exchange all items and never play it again). The continuously adding items for exchange is the key to this mode to be playable time to time.


Hope its read well (english is not my native language)😊

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I think the rewards need looking at. The endo is nice and all, but when you don't have anymore mods to max out, the endo/ayatan aren't very useful anymore. It would be nice to see some kuva in there too. We also need something to continuously spend the vitus essence on in the shop. Once you buy everything, they're kind useless. At the very least adding relic packs would make farming arbitrations worthwhile.

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As usual nothing really done, we were promised an Arbitration rework when LifeOfRio came to talk to you back in last year, so you're tellin' me you took 4months to get out with a solution to deaths ?! What about the boredom in these Arbitrations, the lack of true challenge, the absolute fustration brought by the drones that are affected by NOTHING *artificial difficulty* (like you always do), what about the rewards, what about the spawn rates and life support issues in survivals (especially when you're solo), what about the extremely long rotations *it feels like an eternity* ??

Yay, you did it, you just also destroyed arch-guns builds with rivens, when will you understand that rivens are just destroying the market, the balance, the builds diversity and our wallets ??

I guess we just had the confirmation that DE doesn't how to :

-make a proper endgame, congrats DE, warframe is the only game without endgame for 6 years in a row ! Big yikes,

-balance their game, rivens are garbage and everyone knows that,

-do interesting new game modes

-make interesting rewards ONLY (not just 3 good mods out of 6 for Arbitrations)

-keep promises.


That's a long list ! You told us 2019 was a year where you would do challeging content and try to introduce an endgame, we are 4 months in 2019 and NOTHING.

How about you just let us choose the mission level on EACH node (from base planet level to 150 or 200) and just let us do our thing ?


I love warframe, I love this company, but guys it always seem like you want to keep me away, seriously is it too much to take our ideas and put them in the game ? For once for the love of God!!!


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You should give players a way to ramp up difficulty (and rewards!) faster, manually, like you did for the Orb Vallis fissure farms.



What about a new Void Key system...

Have an alter you deposit Radiant Relics in Arbiters of Hexis hub or something, like Eidolon shrine... Also cost some Vitus Essence, but this mode pays more back.

Each time you deposit the relic you get a random mission. [Will it display next objective type and faction? Maybe that information becomes unavailable later as difficulty rises?]

Each mission is more difficult than last, with scaling rewards and you cash out when you're done. (Similar to Payday 2 Crime Spree mode)

You can match-make or premade; When match-making it bases it on the difficulty you are credited as achieving, allowing people to cash out when they feel done and not screw over people.

Call that Elite Arbitrations... And no Arbitration drones, no revives; The difficulty comes from scaling and maybe other factors.


Previous ideas...

Spend some Vitus essences on entry like The Index, but more is paid out faster... (Risk and reward!)

Farm items and deposit them to ramp up difficulty.

Hack some consoles to radio for reinforcements.

Or, something along the lines of the Eidolon shrine, make it spawn at the spawn and put a waypoint on it.

(Also, you could remove rezzes on the hardest setting or modes, such as if you take Index approach.)


Diversity and uniqueness to Arbitrations:

You should also add Assassin encounters as a percentage for staying in longer, or boss encounters, perhaps as a challenge to overcome to earn your reward as well as breaking the tedium.

I had an idea last year for a new frame/elite version of Stalker Acolyte that attacks frames at THEIR STRONGEST, not weakest... And they use Archwing guns and such, think like a crazy edge lord looking Hildryn.

That would add a lot of fun and challenge to the mode, they could spawn 30+ minutes into Arbitrations, all but guaranteed to spawn if you stay just over an hour. This is how you would farm that new Warframe, or their loot if it wasn't playable like my original idea has it.


You could also add new spawns or simply replace drones with Index and Rathuum enemies mixed into spawns, to make the mode more interesting and challenging.


General issues:

Arbitrations need to have scaling rewards to better reward the time invested and difficulty.

And as many have said... 5 minutes or equivalent, not 10 minutes / waves.

Also, need to normalize the time disparity between modes and maps.


Another issue is Arbitration Drones force people bring meta builds, to bring AOE guns like Arca Plasmor, Catchmoon, Lenz, Opticor Vandal, etc... And avoid specific frames like the plague while bringing tank frames.

ALSO,  Corpus and Corrupted  need to have LESS  ARBITRATION DRONES  due to  Nullifiers  being effectively the same thing as Arbitration Drones!


(I do not have color blindness but sometimes struggle to spot them, but this is why the AOE meta is further reinforced to deal with them. Also change Parasite enemies to be more visible AND REQUIRE LINE OF SIGHT! 😣)


Arbitration Drones, at present, are almost literally speed bumps in a racing game... Because you don't want people to drive fast... In a racing game... 🤔😒 Fuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnn... 🙄

(which then causes players to bring off-road vehicles just to bypass the speed bumps as much as possible, even though there are dozens of other cars and choices, choices they may prefer...anti-choice and anti-fun.)



If you're going to keep drones, maybe do like the Ancients for Infested and have different types of Drones and their functions or protection be different and a bit random but MORE of the Drones?

Examples: Damage resistance to a single IPS/element, to a type of Crowd Control, or just copy/paste Infested auras, etc..  That way we have more diversity in play and loadouts we can bring...

(YAY for CC frames being viable! As someone else said, it would be great if CC was LEGITIMATELY viable in Arbitrations because AOE frames unquestionably dominate ESO.)


Enabling recasting abilities on some frames without will also help make more frames playable in Arbitrations. 

Examples: Loki, Zephyr, etc.. Also, can Rhino get in on that?

Just buff up the damage a bit on his augment to make it still useful. 

Nezha would have been mentioned, but you fixed his issue by giving invulnerability window which also works.  

Although, that could also work decently for Rhino, BUT it's going to need to be long enough for him to roar and charge then cast iron skin, ideall


Alternative idea for revive system proposed:

1) Ally(s) go down to bleedout and get a debuff on revive.

2) Ally(s) dies next time they would have gone down due to debuff.

3) Ally(s) can clear a debuff by surviving until next wave.

Bleedout timer and a revive cap could be set by difficulty or time spent in mission.

Thus, forgiving and less grief inducing and becomes hard to achieve as difficulty goes up.

This would apply to pets...sorry, but if your pet can't stay alive, I'm not going to risk rezzing it every 5 seconds. Bring a Djinn with augment or something.


Alternative idea for revives 2:

Squishier frames get a downed state / bleedout timer and 2x lives or something to compensate so they can be viable, if played well.

(Focus school revive could apply in this instance and this is just a bandage for now, until broader changes get made and technically you should let Inaros get 1 downed state due to his passive, BUT he is insane so probably not, not unless its removed with arcanes equipped on frame to help newer players or something.)


Host migrations: 

1) Invulnerability state until players begin moving again. 

2) Preserve data for vulnerable frames like Gara; Store buffs locally on all clients and have them check each other for cheating. 

3) Reward hosts for staying;  maybe a modifier for their progress, 1.5x or bonus resources or Vitus. 

4) Require all equipment be fully leveled to participate, like ESO/Sorties tend to do.

5) Give a party icon to notify who the host is and confirmation dialog to exit when you're host.

6) The lack of HUD / UI information while dead in Arbitrations is very vexing and probably leads to people bailing unnecessarily and if nothing else makes it more boring to be dead, because you could be giving information or something engaging or at least see how long your wait is so you can pee or something... Kind of like being dead in R6 Siege isn't a total game over.

7) Force to not let high quit rate / extract ASAP players from being the host, when possible.  And, an option to prefer not to host in settings or something, like the "laptop" vs. "desktop" setting, because some people don't have stable situations and know it, be it technology or home life or if playing at work or something.


Power Creep:

DE, if you guys keep adding Rivens as-is to the game, you have no one else to blame for boring damage and tank meta and POWER CREEP, especially if you don't make Rivens tied to a weapon's Mastery Level so they even out to roughly same power and usefulness, not  " God tier item X God tier riven = DELETE ALL ENEMIES WITHOUT EFFORT. "


And don't get me started on the need for changed enemy scaling, need to rethink CC and its counters so it's viable, changes to enemy AI, enemies that 1 shot and shouldn't, and need for damage 3.0, better boss encounters more like Doma, new mission types or changes...

In short, removing or reducing invulnerability and immunity (I. E. Immune window is better than total immunity) from enemies and remove insane bullet sponge scaling enemies, should be the goal and let player choices and tactics matter to one degree or another without becoming EZ mode...and we are happy to help brainstorm that.

(I know that's a LOT of work, but you can crowd source a lot of ideas! You guys didn't even ask and people like me are working on things like this because we LOVE the game!)



While on the complaints of Arbitrations can we make it so that the enter key twice doesn't boot you out if you're dead?

Or not pop up that dialog altogether, especially when chatting?

Like, literally when you try to talk and you hit enter to send the message, it, for some asinine reason, also pops up a dialogue to ask you really want to leave...  and it does this EVERY TIME time you try to talk while you are dead.



Note: I have been in this thread for hours, reading and reacting to all posts and updating my post with ideas and chiming in on great points others made to reinforce them so hopefully they are implemented.



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6 hours ago, Ely.I said:

Also rivens are a mistake that you keep making and getting deeper into it, seriously what's next? warframe rivens?

i feel that the riven system was a good idea but the execution is bad, needs to be more like diablo ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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You remove what was the INITIAL PREMISE FOR THE CONTENT, and ignore all other issues, like lack of rewards, boredom from doubled mission durations, the crap scaling... No, perma death...



Here, watch this... Seriously, i think DE needs this as mandatory watch for devs:


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Trying to shed some light on the "too long and boring" issue from perhaps a slightly different angle: I think what contributes to this feeling is a combination of "player expertise" and "lack of escalation".

  • Players that qualify for Arbitrations are likely to be veterans. The're already very used to the game modes offered by Arbitrations, and the one new element they bring to the table - a lack of revives - can be largely countered with meta picks and cheesy builds, meaning the actual gameplay either stays the same as per usual or even becomes more boring as players "optimize the fun away" with the builds that the high risk system encourages you to use. Arbitrations do offer some power boni for picking off-color frames and weapons, but first and foremost Arbitrations are high challenge content, which means anyone who takes the challenge as seriously as it presents itself will bring safe picks.
  • Lack of escalation is something that affects both players that bring optimal cheese and those that handicap themselves for fun. Both types will still want to bring a certain minimum level of power since there's no fun in dying immediately. Usually this means that players will at least bring enough power to last to RotC for its exclusive rewards, tho Arbitrations encourage you to bring even more firepower so you can reach multiple RotCs. So until you hit the point where your loadout starts to struggle - RotC or later - the gameplay is going to stay at a relatively easy level. Arbitrations are supposed to be about challenge, but there's a big windup time until you actually get to that challenge, which is why a big chunk of the gameplay can feel like you're performing monotonous tasks in a "waiting room" until you get to the part where Arbitrations start to feel as intended.

Both issues also work together in the case of natural escalation - the game spawning heavier enemy types more frequently over time - because veterans are already very used to the escalated state of missions and in fact build around being able to trivialize even the heavy enemy types, that become virtually indistinguishable from cannonfodder if they die just as quickly as grunts before being able to get a shot off. So the game's own attempt at escalation falls flat.


Basically, I think players would be more okay with slower reward payouts if Arbitrations felt like its own beast. 10 minutes only feel like a long time if you're unengaged and not having fun.

Currently it mostly feels like normal gameplay with more stretched-out rewards, which obviously feels like a downgrade compared to normal gameplay with normal-frequency rewards. In fact, they kinda remind me of old Void missions or those 15min lvl10 GotL Survivals. It's more punishing if you fall asleep at the wheel and get OHK'd because of a stupid mistake, but overall my gameplay style hasn't been affected by that fact.

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Can't wait to test out the new changes, even if I personally disagree with some of them. It's always good to experiment with changes and see how they function with your playerbase.

Arbitrations are the most fun I've had in Warframe so far. I love the challenge and preparation it takes. I love experimenting and building non-tank frames to be viable in content where a single mistake is all it takes to get knocked out, (Khora & Gara being the most successful). And unlike the majority of opinions other opinions in this thread so far, as an endurance runner, I loved the longer reward times and the challenges that the drones provided (Survival being my favourite, even if it is much less rewarding).

That said, here's my feedback:

  1. I don't like the idea of perma-death being removed. It was part of the challenge of Arbitrations which gave it it's unique flavour. I understand this was in part to deal with Host Migration issues and associated tickets, but I feel like it is an aspect of Warframe that affects the entire game and a larger solution is required. 
  2. The revival system, while I don't personally agree with it, needs to be tested in an environment where it can be abused by intentional trolls/griefers. I see a lot of potentially negative experiences coming from the system explained in the post.
  3. As others have said, the stated changes will affect solo players the most as they have no use for squad revives.

My suggestions:

  1. Make rewards more meaningful/more frequent. A lot of people are calling for 5-minute rotations to match the ramp up in the speed of enemy scaling. But a good suggestion by jiminatorx that I read recommended AABBCCCC-rotations at 5-minutes but halving the rewards. So players are rewarded more frequently but keeping the current rate of reward.
  2. Make the revival system an optional feature more friendly to player choice. If someone comes into an arbitration unprepared, I want to be able to choose if I want to revive the person or not- and if I choose not to, not to be punished with decreased total health in the process with index-style pickups. Otherwise I like the idea of being able to revive my squad if he/she is worth his weight in gold.
  3. As suggested by ADirtyMonkto make longer, less rewarding content up-to-par with mission types like Excavation- Introducing Kuva Survival mechanics might be a good solution. So survival/defence missions still reward the same amount of Endo as other mission types.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

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I would personally enjoy it if instead of being longer missions or thrown in with the endless missions there could be something akin to hyper challenge missions things like level 150 capture everything in an eximus and the capture target is a boss in it's own right. 

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I've been playing arbitrations a lot recently with my husband and so far I've been really enjoying them in their current state. The permadeath mechanic to me is what makes it interesting, and I haven't been burnt out yet on having to play tank frames since I already mostly play Saryn/Nidus and all it took was a minor build tweak for me. I do understand other people's concerns about cc/squishy frames/drones because I would love to play Volt or Titania but don't dare to because my dumb ass would get annihilated.

I am concerned though, with how the revive system is going to work. We haven't faced host migration issues because playing together, 99% of the time one of us is hosting, but having encountered it while playing other aspects of the game, I agree it's something that needs to be looked at, and I don't think the revive system will help all that much. We've been lucky to have mostly very positive experiences with arbi teammates while on public, but we have encountered a handful who have hidden in a corner and only wiggled to unmark AFK and who are dead weight. Up till now its been pretty easy to leave the area and let them die, but with how it sounds, we'll now either have to res them, or be sitting ducks with the debuff. Again, this is only really applicable to people who intentionally do that, I don't mind at all ressing someone who messed up at one shot levels or really had to take a leak and we failed to protect.

I would like to see it as an opt-in system rather than like index points where if you accidentally get too close/vacuum you're SOL. Alternatively, the option to opt for either permadeath or revive modes, since coupled with enemy scaling, that is going to be pretty bad for solo players.

Another thing I've seen a lot in the thread is the length of time it takes, especially for defense/survival. Because of personal preference, I only go for excavation/survival/salvage, and there is a huge disparity there in terms of time to rewards. In less than an hour in excavation it's possible to get multiple (10+) rotation C rewards so that we're all drowning in endo, but in the same time span, survival you only get 4 rotation C. I really enjoy survivals, so it would be great to see the rewards a little more in line with the other game modes, especially with enemy scaling.

Aside from those concerns, I'm looking forward to the increased difficulty and having some new rewards available. It's hard to really judge how it's going to be before the patch is applied, so here's hoping the feedback in this thread is looked at and taken into account.

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Why not just have bleedout but you only get one life?

This seems like a convoluted way to add difficulty. There's just as much on the line when you have to leave your objective to tend to a bleedout player as there would be with this new debuff without being hindered needlessly. Furthermore, you'd open up the possibility of playing squishier frames knowing you won't just be a burden or dead in 2 seconds as long as you have the tank to watch your back.

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Will mods like Sacrifice that currently don't function at all in arbitration (which in itself is bizarre since other revive mechanics like Nidus' passive do work) be able to work with the new system or not? 

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Personally what I find "not fun" is waiting the double of waves/excavator/minutes to get a reward. Arbitration is meant to push a player to make a build strong enough to survive at high levels, if you take away the constant risk of end match when you get killed, you are going just to promote lazy builds. 

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While i love to see that you are trying to improve the game i feel that these are not the tweaks Arbitrations need. The problem with arbi are (in my opinion ofc):

  • 1) the extreme length while getting few rewards (i'm pretty sure that if you check which missions of arbi are the most played you'll find Excavations and Interceptions because these are the only modes that don't feel like a total waste of time, opposed to defense, which is terrible)
  • 2) the fact that you get rewards only half of the time (compared to a normal mission)
  • 3) the fact that you can't play you fav frame (or even the buffed one tbh) if it's not a tank since, sadly, the drones exist and negate any point in using anything that can't facetank enemies
  • 4) it's not hard! low base level for enemies and (i didn't know that!) even the scaling is nerfed. Remember DE: long things=/=hard things. We want to prove ourselves and get rewards based off that, not on how long you can keep playing without sleeping

If you can address the points above i'm sure that would make the community much happier then a revive functionality (at least, the typing tenno would be): honestly the one life only is very appealing, and unique to this game mode. True, host migrations suck, but the host migration is something Warframe is terrible with in any case, it's not an arbitration thing.

An option could be locking the mode to mr20+,as the one to die are usually the unexperienced and unprepared players. I know i know, the warframe politic is "welcome new player! Feel free to dive into the contents without even knowing how the game works as nothing is locked and you are free to do what you want even if you don't even have a maxed Vitality to save your ass!" but Arbi are supposed to be the "end game content", for experienced players, and i don't recall ever starting a game and having access to lv 60 instances with a level 10 priest. Before you can try yourself with Tiamat Fortress you must overcome the Fire Temple. Anyone can make a mistake and die, but if you have experience and a good frame it's hard, as honestly the low level of the mobs makes the mode somewhat easy anyway...

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So someone dies, and now we get a debuff so we can rez them, so they can die again?   Setting up everyone else to fail, and making a mode that most people do not make to C rotation on anyways even harder, for those who are doing it. It sounds like a bad idea to me, and more than likely will end up being like it is now, unless you go solo, everyone else will only do one wave and bounce. if perma death is an issue just add revives without a convoluted system that brings down everyone else too.  The main reason people do not like perma death though is host migration, and not because it makes it harder. 

Drones are my personal biggest issue but not because they are hard so much as they make bringing frames that use powers to damage, worthless, all that while there still being eximus leach units that can do a pretty good job already of hurting energy based frames, and no real obvious way of telling them from any other mob. 

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Any thoughts on letting exalted weapons harm the drones? It cripples Titania in particular since leaving razorwing is dangerous.

Also, how about immunity while raking out your archgun. It's supposed to feel powerful, but I actually often just die and get to enjoy the timer on my archgun.

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Making a single game mode challenging doesn't make the whole game balanced.

Only creates further discrepancies. Further scaling problems. If you are not gonna start nerfing (breaking the legs) of meta. You are still walking in circles.

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The only reason I actually play arbitrations; and I really genuinely like them is for the perma-death. You feel like there's real consequences. You have to use cover if you screw up. You have to be careful. It's delightful. Of course, there's ways around that: I could just play a tank or whatever.

By adding this goofy revive system, you're just making me solo these every single time. If someone's in the arbitration that's not set up right for it, they die, they leave ... the host migrations don't even bother me. This new rez system certainly does though. Sad.

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