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Why the Lich gameplay died, and what can be done to improve it ?


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I rarely find squads for Lich nodes nowadays. People either got everything they wanted, or they stay simply don't bother playing them.

I know what went wrong with Liches has been discussed in broad strokes, but if we were to go into details,  what do you think are the top 3 things that has to change for Lich gameplay to liven up again ?

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Liches require you to play regular missions. Nobody want's to do that. It's boring. You just get the weapon you want and are done with them.

For me to continue creating Liches there would have to be an evergreen incentive. Kuva would be the obvious option (and I am afraid a couple hundred Kuva are insufficient). In addition you'd need to let me farm murmurs in missions I would want to play anyway.

Missions being boring and unrewarding is an issue in itself, but I don't see them putting in enough effort to change anything about that.

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Last week I killed a Lich for nightwave. It is pretty obvious why I avoid this game mode . It is boring af. :)

 

99% murmur farming and 1% fighting the Lich.

 

99% boring regular missions, no special rewards and still not on the same island as the other star chart missions...

Change those 99% into something else. Better rewards, better gameplay or even challenging gameplay. :)

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Make it newer player friendly. Half my clan was begging me to help finish their liches before I told them to stop parazonning the lich. When a new player has parazon'd their lich they don't realise that the lich can go into lvl 100 and almost like the wolf boss.

The farming of requimming mods and restricting it to thrall missions also sucks due to the tedious farm. Some saying it's better to get lich to rank 5 while some saying it's better to farm thralls instead.

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23 minutes ago, White_Matter said:

I rarely find squads for Lich nodes nowadays. People either got everything they wanted, or they stay simply don't bother playing them.

I know what went wrong with Liches has been discussed in broad strokes, but if we were to go into details,  what do you think are the top 3 things that has to change for Lich gameplay to liven up again ?

In this fanbase? Here's my two theories:

  1. Turn them -- or at least their final battles -- into pseudo-raids (which is what they were originally promised as, before the devs moved that idea to Scarlet Spear and completely gutted THAT game mode too). Despite the devs showing that only 5% of the playerbase cared about raids, said 5% was very loyal. Giving them something that's less buggy and more renewable would make them very happy
  2. Put a certain Lich node on the top of the power creep, and constantly update it to keep it there. At the moment that would mean giving Liches a Steel Path node at level 150. And if something else is added that results in even stronger enemies, the Liches would get a designated node there too
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My experience in the Asia region is actually the opposite. Murmur "hunting" groups formed from the rec. tab are probably the worst kind of pre-made group ever since this mode has so much traffic here. People just come and go as they please and hosts disbanding their groups without saying anything.

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Maybe because the hype for the guns died?

Imo the lichs are ok as far as gameplay goes. They are not what was promised but they are not terrible.

Fact is that people only do thwm for the weapons, and most vets and less vets already have at least one of each.

No reason to do them past getting all guns and ephemera. Even if they overhaul the hunting experience that will not change.

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49 minutes ago, White_Matter said:

I rarely find squads for Lich nodes nowadays. People either got everything they wanted, or they stay simply don't bother playing them.

I know what went wrong with Liches has been discussed in broad strokes, but if we were to go into details,  what do you think are the top 3 things that has to change for Lich gameplay to liven up again ?

If it was up to me I'd rework the Lich system to make it closer to what we were originally shown and more rewarding:

To make it closer to what was originally shown:

1) Make it so the Lich "dies" after a successful Parazon stab. Instead of just teleporting out of the game mission, animate the Lich so it falls to the ground in pain like it died, but it then starts floating and glowing and comes back to life. Then it leaves. This is nothing more than a visual illusion with no change with regards to gameplay, but it's an illusion that greatly enhances the feeling of the Lich being an actual lich that keeps coming back after being killed over and over. It also makes it so all current dialog and interactions pointing towards continuous fights make sense and the Lich feels closer to the initial design intent.

2) Progressively change the Lich's appearance based on the number of times they've "died". Start lightly armored, then start replacing limbs with mechanical parts and/or adding more armor and additional face scars. Again, an illusion, but one that helps sell the idea of they coming back from the dead and giving more weight to comments such as "you tore me limb from limb". 

3) Have the Lich's influence and rank increased by ignoring them for too long. 1 rank every 10 days without a single fight is fair. Yes, this punishes players that take breaks with an active Lich, but as shown in the reveal, that happens precisely because the Lich is expanding unchecked. This makes the experience feel more alive, with things happening or not happening because you were or were not there to make a difference in the Sol system.

4) Have the Lich grow additional ranks past 5. At 5 they still don't feel like a big threat.

5) If the Lich is at max rank over Rank 5 (Say, Rank 6) and you have all the murmurs and requiem mods unlocked, a dedicated optional mission is unlocked to fight the Lich. These missions are on wide-area maps such as the PoE, Orb Vallis, Cambion Drift or Veil Proxima (To Help improve the sense of connection with the rest of the game). If you decide to take this optional mission to hunt down your Lich this way instead of waiting for it to spawn in the Star Chart, the requiem mod order doesn't matter (Guaranteed kill), but the Lich gets additional stat buffs that can only be disabled by completing other in-mission objectives in the wide-area map. This alternative final fight ties to the improved reward system as it affects weapon bonus damage, ephemera chance (If it didn't have one before), and bonus stats if converted.

6) Have a counter show for how long (How many days) your current Lich has been alive. This does nothing else beyond enhancing the illusion of an long and old conflict with bad blood.

Making Lich farming more rewarding and less grindy, improving the overall experience:

1) Add a resource recovery multiplier based on the rank of your Lich (1x-10x) at the time you deal the final blow and kill them for good.

2) The Lich changes weapons after "dying". Weapon changes follow a set rotation but start at different points for different players. The weapon type doesn't change if you shoot down your Lich to down it 3 times but don't attempt to Parazon it (So you can "lock" the weapon type this way). The Lich won't change weapons either if it kills you. The element of the weapon changes based on the last WF used to fight the Lich regardless of it killing you, dying, or just leaving. This is allows you to change your mind mid-way in both weapon type and weapon element and there's no need to tie yourself to the entire process of killing several Larvings over and over with a specific WF until you get the weapon you want. This also gives you a reason to hold-off on killing your Lich even if you know the Requiem that will kill it until you get the weapon you'd like. This also gives more importance to farming thralls as you may now want to avoid trying to kill your Lich so it won't roll the weapon. 

3) Have both you and the Lich be affected in different thematic ways depending on which mission you decide to farm thralls on. For example, thrall spy has a chance to reveal the order in which a Requiem mod goes. Disruption recovers partially stolen resources. Interception allows you to "safeguard" a node that has not been conquered and keeps it clean (No resource loss) even if the rest of the planet is conquered. And so on. This gives different reasons for choosing thrall missions based secondary objectives that go beyond just "collect thralls".

4) Beyond the initial element of your Lich being tied to your WF at the time of creation, the Lich's abilities/element change again if the Lich kills you, based on the WF you were using at that time. This circles back to the original design intent of having the Lich "steal your abilities" and makes Lich fights a lot more dynamic in consideration of not tying the element of the weapon itself to the element of the Lich. This means you could end-up having to fight an ice Lich that uses a fire Kuva Nukor.

5) The weapon's extra damage bonus is tied to the Lich on creation even if it changes weapons or elements. Same for the Ephemera. However, if you decide to kill the Lich via the optional harder wide-area mission instead of waiting for it to spawn in the Star Chart, the weapon gets an additional +10% bonus, and if the Lich did not have an Ephemera, it gets a 20% change to generate one at death. If you decide to Convert the Lich in this mission, it gains additional stats.

6) If you kill a Lich via the optional final showdown mission with the help of a squad, team members get 15% of the resources you got (Their own share, not extracted from your reward). Mods and parts excluded.

7) Return the Lich's ability to 1-hit grab kill you, but don't make it instant. Instead, on a failed Parazon stab, a power struggle quick time event or power struggle ensures. If you win, you break away. If you fail, you die. Also, the Lich will try to grab and kill you this way on a successful Rank 5+ final stab, because it will try to fight for its life. This seems to have been the initial intent as well as have DE shown animations of your Lich grabbing you but you breaking away.

8 ) Drop the number of murmurs to farm to 30/45/60.

9) Have "thrall squads" able to spawn in any non-void, non-controlled star chart missions so it does feel like they are invading and expanding, and in turn make the experience feel more connected to the rest of the game.

10) Add a 3rd option when killing your Lich for good so the system retains long-term evergreen value even after all weapons are farmed: Extract the Lich's Kuva core for a Kuva battery in your ship. This battery can be used once per day to give you 100 Kuva. The amount increases with each Lich Kuva core added (No cap). Extracting a Kuva battery from a Lich sacrifices all stolen loot, mods and parts. You also forgo that Lich's weapon/ephemera, and the Lich is not converted either. Just gone. You are trading everything that Lich took from you in pursuit of Kuva.

11) Ability to generate a Lich now requires clearing Chains of Harrow and engaging in at least 5 Kuva Siphon/Kuva Flood missions. This is because:

- Based on the Queen's unmeasured anger when destroying her Kuva Siphons, the initial cinematic when the Queen infects the Kuva larving, and the Kuva Larving themselves being announced by Kuva Guardians (Which only show up in Kuva-related missions), it seems clear that the Queen sent the Lich after you in a desperate attempt to get revenge on you for destroying her Siphons, so it makes sense that you have to interact with a few Kuva Siphon/Flood missions in order to unlock this part of the game. Your actions have consequences.  

- You can now get rid of a Lich at any time by paying (10,000 Kuva + 1 Argon Crystal + 100 Ducats) x the rank of your Lich at Palladino. Since there is nothing in the game pointing towards Palladino's residence at Iron Wake prior to CoH, having the quest as a requirement ties to the Lich-be-gone system. The cost should be steep in my opinion because it functions as a deterrent to pay your way out while still giving you the choice to do so.

12) Once the ability to generate Kuva Liches is unlocked, Kuva Larvings will now spawn exclusively every 3 consecutive Kuva Siphon/Flood missions, similar to invasions. The larving becomes a Lich on the spot if killed with an ability. If killed by a weapon, it is downed and can be left to bleed out without generating a Lich, and it no longer shows the initial weapon. This is because the weapon roll mechanic negates the necessity to kill several larvings to get the weapon you want, the Larving will not spawn at all if you take a 1 mission break after 2 Siphons/Floods, the Larving itself is announced by a Kuva Guardian (Which is exclusive to Kuva missions) and the Lich is something you pretty much brought down upon yourself for indiscriminate Grineer killing and interrupting the Queen's operations, so you get less control Lich creation process if the Larving is already there unless you tone down the bloodlust.

This also fixes my personal pet-peeve of having the Larving show the weapon it will give you via a picture on top of their heads. Having the weapon shown, while convenient, is an immersion killer. This is one of the ugliest and more nonsensical player concessions DE have made to the game in my opinion. If the Larving was at least holding the weapon and you'd get to see it as held by them then fine, but the current implementation of a picture on top of their heads is nothing more than tacky and forced. Functional and easy to understand? Sure. Still tacky and immersion-breaking. This also fixes the feeling of the Lich being something you're farming. It should feel like a consequence for you meddling in Queen Kuva operations rather than a Kuva Weapon window shopping session.

Those are my suggestions for improving the Lich system.

Edited by Jarriaga
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It should make more sense in general. For instance killing higher level lich should give more powerful weapon. Lichens should be integrated into normal missions, so I don't have to grind special nodes.

I suggest reading this: https://shadowofwar.fandom.com/wiki/Nemesis

When ive read this, it suddenly made so much more sense to me what they were trying to do but didn't.

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Seems like a few things stand out.

Monotony of murmur grind. And the fact that it is not integrated into the base game.

And Liches being not challenging enough / not giving the boss vibe that they should have.

 

11 minutes ago, Rawbeard said:

there is almost always a murmur group or two in recruitment chat. what region are you on?

EU.

I wasn't talking about premades. I find those if I search hard enough.

Edited by White_Matter
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IDK I usually just do all my lich mission in public so I can get murmurs from others and share my lich murmurs with them when mine shows up (I don't mind leveling it every time, I love the challenge). 

And I don't even setup squads. I just jump right in. I almost always have multiple people join, if it's an odd type of mission that isn't as popular and it's a high level lich on a weird planet I still usually get at least one. 

I am curious what region you are on, because I'm in North America and I have region chat disabled so the first thing I see (for some reason instead of clan) is recruiting when I log in, and I see people hosting murmur farms all the time, lf murmur farms, need 1 more for murmur farm, etc. 

Edit: Sounds like maybe it is a problem in your region then, if you are in the EU. 

Because I am North America and even when I play at odd hours I get people just randomly showing up in my high and low level lich missions all the time. 

Edited by Tesseract7777
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DE just need remove the kuva drop for larv guy and the drop when we try to kill....and insert a decent amount of kuva when we finally kill the lich. Between 10k-20k.

Take more or less than 3 hours to kill a kuva lich....in arbitration 30 min we can get more than 30 vitus(sometimes with lucky more than 50 vitus) in 1 hour.....means 20k kuva.

 

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1 hour ago, White_Matter said:

I rarely find squads for Lich nodes nowadays. People either got everything they wanted, or they stay simply don't bother playing them.

I know what went wrong with Liches has been discussed in broad strokes, but if we were to go into details,  what do you think are the top 3 things that has to change for Lich gameplay to liven up again ?

It's a limited reward high level farm with not a lot of long term repeat value spread across all nodes, every one of those things is going to make make finding consistent groups a challenge. If you really want more seamless and consistent matchmaking though the node aspect is probably the harshest factor, spreading potential playing points to like 150+ areas is naturally going to make finding other people grouped together vastly more difficult because that makes it so those people could be over 150 other places. Making smaller more localized batch of nodes where liches occur, or making liches compatible with the base starchart missions would immediately improve matchmaking potential, but then of course you have to ask how reasonable it is to thrust a higher level system on random players who aren't seeking that particular task, or why if its a higher level system other players shouldn't be expected to be able to handle the challenge themselves at a bare minimum and company being just added convenience. Like we have to be real, this game hasn't been very caring for co-op in a long time, nukes by themselves are just prominent displays of a dismissal of co-op care/prioritization, the expectation is really no longer how can I find other people to have fun with but whether they're necessary or not to be efficient, and in that regard it falls into the previous concept of what difficultly is being aimed for with liches and how forgiving it is meant to be in regards to people who want to be aren't yet prepared to tackle the system individually, and then how to compensate for such. (to be clear i'd prefer if this game went back to its more co-op promoting roots myself, but i just don't think the effort to get there is anything de is willing to bear through with this playerbases current stances on rebalancing)

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I can't speak for others but for me the disappointment largely comes with the presentation of it.  They're basically a glorified assassination target like stalker, zenuka, gustraag than being something that's meant to be a big deal.  Probably an unpopular opinion here but I don't think Lich fit into the normal star chart missions thematically.  Having their influence effect star chart is fine.  but they need their own nodes.  Be it a specially designed room, or having us track them down in railjack to their own ship.  It just feels tacked on otherwise.

There's really no build up either.  You kinda just make them and then they are killed in a few hours.  This goes pretty much against the system they were taking inspiration from aka the nemesis system.  It's fine if DE thinks people don't want to take a few days-weeks time to hunt and kill a lich.  Make the final fight optional then.  And just have a regular "kill" happen for those who just want to spank them out for a reward and then move on.

Can't speak to rewards since that's not really my area of discussion.  But overall it's how we interact with the lich both actually encounter wise and then the build up of dealing with them that kills it for me.  They're not interesting fights because they don't really steal your abilities.  Having the ability to kill us was interesting but done poorly.  I think it should be brought back somehow.  But not in the way they originally did it.  And their influence over an area should be expanded upon.  I feel like whenever DE manages to link liches with railjack is when it'll feel more interesting.  But that wouldn't be enough of a change to fix the system as a whole.

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Thats usually what happens when the only incentive to do something is the primary reward and that reward being a specific item.

I don't think many people do Liches just for fun. Neither can you do them on the side, since you have to do missions specifically dedicated to the task. And there are no signifcant rewards outside of these weapons. That trickle of Kuva is a neat bonus when you are grinding out the weapons or even the Ephemera but you don't go hunt a Lich because you want Kuva.

I also highly doubt many people will really chase after that 60% element weapon, or even multiple ones. If these weapons were the mig chase wepaons of a real MMO then more players would chase them to be perfect. But in Warframe these weapons are, while powerful, usually just a drop in the pond. There is no prestige or any special status tot hese weapons. You basically just get what you want and get out.

The lich hunt loop isn't particularly engaging, while being isolated and perfectly repetitive. Once the completionists got their share the popularity cna only die down because tehre is no incentive to jsut go and play that mode. And it really doesn't help that the Liches themselves are basically irrelevant to the task. They are no big mean bosses, they are just pinatas with a password.

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It died down for the same reason everything in this game dies down. The novelty wore off and almost everyone that was playing at the release probably got most of the rewards they wanted or aren't in too big of a hurry to get everything. Unless new weapons are released or we get the Corpus Liches, there isn't going to every be a huge flood of interest in the system again. With so much content in the game, everything eventually levels out once the novelty wears off.

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1 hour ago, sorcer3r said:

99% murmur farming and 1% fighting the Lich.

This is the reason I quit doing Lich's.  Murmur farming is too time consuming, I'd rather use that time in Arbitrations.  Cut the Murmur requirement down by 50%, add a couple new weapons / ephemeras and I might be persuaded to start doing it again. (Don't get me wrong, it was fun when I first started and I know people who love the Lich system.)

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5 minutes ago, (XB1)Knight Raime said:

I can't speak for others but for me the disappointment largely comes with the presentation of it.  They're basically a glorified assassination target like stalker, zenuka, gustraag than being something that's meant to be a big deal.  Probably an unpopular opinion here but I don't think Lich fit into the normal star chart missions thematically.  Having their influence effect star chart is fine.  but they need their own nodes.  Be it a specially designed room, or having us track them down in railjack to their own ship.  It just feels tacked on otherwise.

There's really no build up either.  You kinda just make them and then they are killed in a few hours.  This goes pretty much against the system they were taking inspiration from aka the nemesis system.  It's fine if DE thinks people don't want to take a few days-weeks time to hunt and kill a lich.  Make the final fight optional then.  And just have a regular "kill" happen for those who just want to spank them out for a reward and then move on.

Can't speak to rewards since that's not really my area of discussion.  But overall it's how we interact with the lich both actually encounter wise and then the build up of dealing with them that kills it for me.  They're not interesting fights because they don't really steal your abilities.  Having the ability to kill us was interesting but done poorly.  I think it should be brought back somehow.  But not in the way they originally did it.  And their influence over an area should be expanded upon.  I feel like whenever DE manages to link liches with railjack is when it'll feel more interesting.  But that wouldn't be enough of a change to fix the system as a whole.

Yeah, Steve already talked about that. A nemesis that takes a long time (thus actually being a #*!%ing Nemesis) VS What we got.

Considering the pacing of the game and the COMMITMENT the former option would take... they opted to make it what we currently have.

But I wouldnt have minded the commitment to take long to kill a Lich, have it hunt you down and harass you in a non-optional way... but with this community? They seem to have an "Options" fetish at times. I've even seen people asking to opt-out of getting buffs like Roar.

So, here we are. Not a nemesis, not a personal enemy that would take time to kill and maybe get involved with. But a farming pinhata.

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Plain and simple: lack of evergreen rewards. There is nothing that Lich hunting specifically rewards you beyond a limited number of time you Lich hunt. Get alll the weapons and ephemera and that's it. Kuva drops but not as well as basically any other method that grants Kuva. And so if you encounter Lich squads, it's probably players that are on that journey to wear out the content.

That said, I've been doing Liches semi-regularly since their release and it's been rare for me not to find a squad of at least one other person.

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In the short term, A pretty easy solution to having a reason to make a lich is to integrate them into regular missions.

We already have syndicate invasions, Stalker, G3, Night wave enemies, etc. So kuva thralls should spawn in a similar fashion when you're on a lich controlled planet. This could be a planet your lich controls or planets controlled by lichs hunting other players in your group, so you would be invaded by thralls pretty consistently. If you're on planet your lich controls then you would get a bonus murmur so there's still a way to farm lichs if you want. Since you'd be killing way less thralls overall though murmur requirements should go way down.

The Lich itself would also randomly invade you in any mission, but would have a much higher chance of invading you if you're in mission on a planet they control, again letting you farm them. This way it would feel like they are actually hunting you.

 

Basically nothing changes with the actual system other than you would be passively gaining progress towards killing your lich and getting the rewards over time, rather than having to go out of your way to farm for the kuva weapons and ephemeras. 

It would also be nice if there was some kind of bonus for having a lich. Like Kaotyke suggested they could slowly acquire resources and mods from enemies that spawn on the planets the lich controls. Id tie the amount of resources to the number of thralls you kill so it doesn't just get an infinite amount of stuff, and DE wouldn't have to put a cap on how much stuff they can accumulate that way either.

Spoiler
2 hours ago, Kaotyke said:

Make the Lich passively steal the resources from a planet they occupy instead of only stealling when you play it.

They will be a more advanced Extractor.

And this way there's really no reason not to have a lich hunting you either. Since even if you have all of the kuva weapons maxed, as well as all of the ephemera, then you could at least let it acquire more and more stuff. So if you ever needed a big chunk of endo, credits, or resources, you could kill your lich to help.

Edited by HerpDerpy
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To me, it's the gameplay, the lack of interaction with liches, the rage bar is annoying and inconsistent, sometimes lich won't appear even the bar says furious or enraged. Honestly I want de to get rid of it. 

Also some of the nodes are troublesome to go through and boring.

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