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Mastery Rank 9 Test should be reworked (again)


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The new mastery rank 9 test does not fit in as a good test of mastery and generally makes little sense - here's my thoughts

Most of the mastery tests involve an aspect of gameplay - shoot things, run obstacles, hack systems... etc. They're themed around demonstrating your skill at a small part of the missions you have / will encounter.

When you're tasked with running an obstacle course, the game is asking you - are you ready for Ayatan Sculpture retrieval missions, are you capable of navigating a level efficiently without bullet-jumping into walls or falling into reset pits? When you're tasked with shooting targets or eliminating enemies within time limits, the game is asking you - is your accuracy ready for boss fight weak spots, are you capable of pushing your weapons of choice to their limit?

These tests feature elements that appear frequently in the game and are heavily themed within Warframe as an idea. Hacking, shooting, parkour, close quarters combat. 

Mastery Rank 9's test is "stealth". Stealth is of course an element which also frequently occurs in the game. You have Rescue missions where you mustn't alert Wardens, and Spy missions where you are punished for triggering alarm technology. However there's an issue I have with the Mastery Rank 9 Test - it's far too restrictive.

Mastery Rank 9 takes away your Primary + Secondary weapons and use of abilities. You have only the movement buttons and your melee weapon. In a real stealth situation, how many times are you actually sneaking around trying not to be seen by enemies? The only time I can think of a single instance where I attempted stealth through crouching and slow, methodical navigation is literally the first mission in the game, when I had just started playing.... because I didn't know any better. 

Real stealth situations in Warframe do not utilise sneaking or (animation prompt) stealth kills. Stealth situations in Warframe involve tapping the button that either A.) puts enemies to sleep or B.) turns you invisible. Even in a situation where stealth is the #1 priority, nobody uses the sneak, nobody ever slows down to weave between cover - people turn invisible or sleep enemies because that is the best way to play stealth. 

So my issue with Mastery Rank 9 test is that... it doesn't teach you anything. In fact if it does teach you something, then it certainly teaches you the wrong things. Stealth in Warframe is not sneaking behind cover, painstakingly avoiding detection and using your Melee to stealth kill. Stealth in Warframe is picking Limbo or Equinox and equipping a focus lens.

Of course allowing your weapons or abilities to overcome a stealth based Mastery test would make no sense. Many Mastery tests restrict your options to truly test your proficiency in each small piece of the gameplay puzzle, and rightly so. I think it would be a much more appropriate stealth-based Mastery test if it was an environment derived from the Spy data security rooms, or the Rescue hostage prison areas. 

Rather than testing your ability to deal with weak enemies while remaining unseen - which comes up close to never in the rest of the game, have Mastery Rank 9 test your ability to not set off the Alarm systems of spy missions - Security cameras, laser grids, roaming scanner drones - those are something we often encounter and have to learn and improve on how to deal with! Or maybe it could test your ability to free hostages from their cells without alerting the same obstacles, perhaps with Warden-esque enemies mixed in as well. 

Mastery Rank 9 tests your abilities at a part of the game which simply never comes up in practical application, and honestly it feels like the game isn't based around this style of gameplay at all anyway. Stealth in Warframe is not cover-based sneaking and silent finisher animations - try that approach without using abilities or guns in an Infested mission. Stealth elimination in Warframe is very much ability-based. Stealth without involving much elimination is very much a kind of mix of parkouring (avoiding laser grids), patience and some elimination (wardens, cameras, drones). There is hacking involved too, but that isn't part of the "stealth".

Please change the test to line up more with other mastery rank tests by making it challenge the player on an aspect of the game which actually matters in that it occurs within the practical gameplay that you find in certain missions.



I just thought about the idea that the 9th mastery test, whether or not I want to argue if it's a valid representation of important gameplay aspects (and the mastery of), it's still difficult, and since it's difficult, it therefore still earns it's place as a test of warframe mastery. I'm OK with that idea, it's understandable, and I just want to add that if the nature of the test and it's task will not be scrutinised or changed - then please, I implore you, consider changing the "trial-and-error" nature of this test.

If you are not familiar of the Mastery Rank 9 test, then my written description will not help. Take some time out to go to Cephalon Simaris in most any relay and play the Mastery Rank 9 test until you beat it, this way you will be familiar with the test, it's nature, and it's difficulty. Perhaps you nail it first try, perhaps you find it very difficult. One thing I find with the test is that because you are navigating 3 separate trials, it has a very "trial and error" approach. You have 3 attempts - if you are detected, you lose 1 attempt and may start again at the room you got detected in. Those 3 attempts carry over for all 3 rooms, and each room is more difficult to best than the last. 

This means that if you are attempting the mastery test, and get spotted in maybe the second room once, then you now have 2 attempts to clear the second and third room. If you get spotted in third room once after that, you now have only 1 last attempt to beat the third, final room. It is frustrating because the test involves a lot of patrol patterns which you should learn - and learning these patrol patterns may cost you an attempt. 

My personal suggestion to curb the "trial and error" in this would be to explore the way in which the attempts are dolled out. Instead of 3 attempts across the entire mastery test, maybe have 2 attempts per 'room'. This would increase the number of attempts to 6, but if you fail any of the same rooms twice then you are out. 

Maybe you could explore the way an attempt resets your progress. Maybe the attempts are dolled out the same way, but enemies which are dead will stay dead, rather than respawning. 

Or perhaps it could be as simple as having all enemies marked in each room as if they have been 'waypointed' by a player. This means you don't have to risk spending your attempts learning enemy patrol patterns, or being caught out because an enemy patrolled around a pillar and now you have to lose sight of them because there are also 2 or 3 enemies who may patrol around the corner and spot you.

Edited by SlightlySpritely
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All the above from OP plus:

"So I can use the Paris, Kunai, and Glaive... literally all items from the stealth pack?"

"OH NO just the Glaive that makes you jump about and call attention to yourself, we can't have you actually using stealth weapons that don't, otherwise this wouldn't be artificially hard."

Edited by Darth_Nikon
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