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Comparing Shadow of War to Kuva Liches


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I can definitely see where all the hate for kuva liches is coming from now. I've finished SoM, I'm not even 10 levels into SoW, and I'm absolutely loving the mechanics of their Nemesis system.

DE, whenever you are satisfied with where Railjack content is at and pick up kuva liches to polish it better... first pick up the two Middle-Earth games, Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War. You can learn a LOT from them, as they were exclusively built around the Nemesis system. They're both available on Steam. (I got them VERY cheap back over Black Friday weekend)

The main differences between how liches work, and how the Nemesis system works, I'm going to list off real quick, in no particular order, without getting into too much nitty gritty talk. Not only am I just not in the mood to really delve that deep, but I have barely seen even 10% of the second game and its expanded nemesis system (yes, I'm already impressed enough to post about the differences).

I'm going to list these things off not to praise Shadow of War, but because I want to see DE learn from these differences and use them to improve what we have with kuva liches. I want them to see what people loved about the Nemesis system and borrow more from that, because kuva liches... don't even come close. I'll let DE think about how to build a better system, because I don't have the patience to type that sort of thing out right now.

  • You have multiple orc captains active to fight at any given time.


  • They can have a good 15-20 captains active, and then another 3-5 warchiefs active above them.
  • Warchiefs are sort of like "super" captains. You have to actively lure them out, are significantly stronger, and they have specific captains as bodyguards (they can be taken out before facing warchiefs)
  • Individual captains will exist out in the basic world and can be randomly encountered (sometimes they will even ambush you! While fighting some other captain even!)
  • Captains will sometimes hang out near each other, forcing you to fight more than one at a time.
  • Captains will actively work to gain more power, sometimes even fighting each other and recruiting more followers (giving you missions where you can interrupt their efforts).
  • If you get killed by a nobody grunt orc, they can get promoted to captain, which creates a new foe for you to fight.
  • Sometimes captains you "killed" will simply come back! They will bear scars from your last fight, and be looking to get you back! (Sometimes they come back dozens of times over)
  • Their various quirks actually affect the strategy in taking them down - like being terrified of fire, or hating beasts - instead of just being "flavor" (e.g. some captains are immune to stealth, or ranged attacks, but sometimes they're mortally weak to fire, or heavily damaged by combat finishers...0 which are like heavy attacks)
  • If they kill you, they get stronger, and can even gain new powers/traits, and then they will offer better loot if you succeed next time
  • Sometimes when they kill you, they will not only get more power, but their title will change in recognition of defeating you!
  • If you take down a captain who previously killed you, it actually nets you better loot as a "vendetta" bonus.
  • When you die, for whatever reason, time will "advance" - which means conflicts between captains will resolve (one way or the other), new captains get promoted, etc etc.
  • Collecting intel on them is done *EXACTLY ONCE* - you find a worm, dominate him, pick the captain whose secrets you want revealed and... that's it. You know that captain's weaknesses and where to find him! No grind!
  • There's no "magic word" to kill them. You just have to take advantage of their weaknesses and come up with a working strategy to kill them.
  • The loot they drop is actually improved by the level and rank of the captains that drop them. You also get bonuses to the loot quality for correctly taking advantage of their weaknesses.
  • The loot they drop can be upgraded later with currency, instead of just being scrapped due to being weak trash.
  • The captains have different tribes and classes, which will affect how they actually fight you. They have berserkers, ranged spear throwers, commanders that summon/empower followers, beastmasters riding on monsters, sneaky assassin types that use poison and smoke bombs, and more I've yet to really see.
  • You can dominate captains to make them YOUR followers, and then command them to fight other captains or even work to become a warchief.
  • Doing this, you can build up captains to higher and higher levels to eventually take them down for truly amazing loot.

I'm sure I'll notice more differences later, but I won't bother with editing. Many of the people on these forums already know, way before I ever loaded up these games. I really think if the devs at DE would just play these games themselves and experience firsthand what makes the Nemesis system work, they can see how to improve the kuva lich system to be truly addicting. The way it's done in Shadow of War is so enjoyable that, most of the time, I'm not even thinking about the loot. I just take out captains for the sheer fun of it. Especially if it's a vendetta.

I'm just loving the idea of having a whole army of kuva liches to pick from and face down, all with different fighting styles. Imagine if the only way to kill my kuva lich is with a dagger! It sounds way more exciting than what we have currently. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a Poisonous Feral Destroyer to figure out how to kill. He's been hounding me since level one and is still three times my level. (Yes, I was ambushed at level 1 by a level 20 legendary, but I'm gonna get that sonnuva b---- back!)

Edited by DrakeWurrum
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to be clear, Liches are directly inspired from Shadow of War / Shadow or Mordor.

ofcourse, as we can see, a lot of the important features were lost in translation somehow.
most of the features aren't there, and it's all of those features together that made it work in the first place.

Edited by taiiat
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Im pretty sure they are not touching lich system for some time, it does work in their eyes and what community think/wants is obsolote. And you know there is no time for fixing stuff, they need to vomit out more cOnTEnt and never look back.

Also i cant see DE pulling out such sophisticated system at all, look at Railjack lamest progression system ever, there is nothing original or something "wow thats cool", its uninspired lame copy pasta (same as liches).

We in 2020 bois, its year of cOnTEnt, fixing bugs and listening to community is not fashionable anymore.

Oh not to mention there are some insane forum threads where ppl EXACTLY givning you guides HOW TO implement Liches and their systems are 1000000x better than yours and doesnt take forever to rework, but NOPE, not interested, liches are just FINE everything is JUST FINE GUYS nothing to see here, move on...

Edited by Benour
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