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A Fine Veteran Conversation on Challenge

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I stopped killing Kuva Liches shortly after Steel Path update arrived. My reasoning was plain- didn't wanna deal with that or even think about dealing with that. I dispatched the one I had at present time and proceeded to not touch another one until this weekend when a clan member of mine traded me the frost ephemera and the hunt was on. 

Hunting that lich and the one after it revived my love of Warframe. What I like is going into high level content- like Lich missions become (55-90) and feeling challenged beyond regularity. Rarely do I feel like I've been shot in the chest quite like how Liches do. There's a caveat here, there's plenty of erroneous challenge in WF- as in, why do it?

To that end and a very, very niche end might I add- varied and continuous Lich improvements would represent the intersection of challenge, fun and reward veteran players crave. Scaling liches to Rank 10, Adding Corpus variations and hopefully sentient variations would add so much variety- you couldn't reach the end of it and adding liches above rank 5 to Steel Path adds a new level of "Hold my beer" to Warframe for its most competitive and addicted veterans. Imagine getting a 3 forma bundle for killing your Steel Path Lich. To me? Worth it. For yes, the masochists among us do truly desire a level 200 Kuva Lich with 250% more everything to harass us and prove a true adversary. When I struggle, I know the entire system struggles. We joke that the only way to pressure us is to literally assault the Orbiter as soon as we log in and never stop sending troops, missiles, everything. We want to be fully assaulted here. 

Here are the game's biggest challenges (In no particular order):
SP: Shadow Stalker
SP: Grustrag Three
SP: Zanuka
SP: Wolf of Saturn Six
SP: Zealot Prelate
 Rank 5 Kuva Lich
SP: Eidolon Hunt
SP: Ambulas (I guess...)
Reg/SP: Profit Taker
-General Resource Grind- (Hard time gate)

Yes yes yes yes, this is the environment where we've all solo'd all of that and "iTz eAsY", but let's put that elitist behavior on the backburner for a second to analyze these challenges. The Stalker on Steel Path has absurd stats + adaptation + power restriction and that's just annoying. Dude still doesn't have a positive K/D ratio against me, but he's a threat to everyone. Just not a significant one..for example, the Grustrag will nerf you if you die. They attach a thing to you and you're not doing so great against Grineer. Zanuka will STEAL YOUR FRAME, which has never happened to me or most of us- but that was 1) Before Steel Path and 2)Easily avoided/rectified. The Wolf had incomprehensible health in normal play, the one video I saw of someone fighting them on Steel Path ended in death, but for the same reasons as the Stalker, he's technically not a threat. They'll both just kill you and leave- where there should be a consequence for dying (or a follow-through to kill you until the mission fails). The Prelate 4-5 shots Inaros, I've watched PLENTY of folks cry over a rank 5 Lich and let's not even get into the world bosses. They take so much specific grind to even attempt, most people literally haven't done them at all, and not for lack of skill, but lack of gear. 

As Veterans we've had enough time invested to have every combat positive influence available. Rank 5 arcanes, fully built out primed frames and the like- maxed focus schools. For us, we want to use everything we have and get bopped, find ourselves back at the drawing board. We don't want to do this for no reason, though. With liches specifically, I found myself constantly in Sortie-level missions because I had a reason to be there. I could always load up Steel Path Prelate or Lephantis and generally grab a build just for fun, but I don't get anything out of it. 

The reason I'm such a fan of Warframe's direction is because of 2019-2020's roadmap come to fruition. They added everything Veterans needed to have hope in the game, a hard mode, a railjack mode and a weakness that matters (HoD). Now it's like they couldn't possibly screw things up. Every new release will have a Steel Path variation, therefore making it challenging. If and when liches are reworked, adding them to Steel Path in any form would DECIMATE the unworthy Tenno, plainly. I need these liches to be INTENSE. The reason I love them is because there's no greater adversary in any game I've played. A lich stealing your loot delays your progress and potentially halts it altogether with 100% loot steal (At rank 10 hopefully). That means there will be a day when someone logs in and nothing in the system is more important than this ******* Lich and putting its head on a platter. 

The idea is we have enough current mechanics to deliver on the gripe we've had for years that the game isn't hard. A swift, unadvised and untested transfer of Kuva Liches to Steel Path would cause a 3 week pause for us to figure how to even...begin. Imagine a well-thought-out approach to integrating the Lich progress with Steel Path and Railjack to create the ultimate "WHOOOAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!", which is what I've taken to doing. 


Veterans, what ideas that seem totally possible (based on what we have in-game) would you share with Development and other veterans that you'd consider both challenging and worth playing?

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