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Concern with the number of mission nodes and the viability of matchmaking


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I jumped back into the game a month ago and while I'm having a blast in the open worlds and with most of the new content in general, in regular missions, I feel like empty nodes where I will not find any teammates are appearing way more often than I was used to, across all content but more so in certain cases detailed below.

To give some context, my internet connection is not bad or limited and I tend to play public most of the time, so I would not expect this perception to be the fruit of a user error.

I am beginning to suspect that between all available mission nodes, we are seeing a dilution of the player base  (the figure I managed to find on the Wiki is 466 nodes currently contributing to mastery https://warframe.fandom.com/wiki/Mastery_Rank#Mastery_Points) which are now:

-The regular star chart

-The three open worlds (with each bounties and free roam acting as a de facto group of mission nodes)

-The railjack start chart

-The steel path star chart

-The leaches infested nodes

I am thinking about the steel path in particular because I tend to find it consistently deserted past Earth and some of the same could be said for the leaches controlled nodes.

I would like to hear the opinion of other players on the matter and what their experience is.




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What you are actually seeing is not a dilution of the playerbase, but a concentration of it.

The truth of the matter is that there is very little reason to revisit most of the starchart's nodes after you've completed them once - so the majority of players don't. So there are some nodes where there are very often open public squads (Hydron/Helene, Ophelia, index, ESO), and there are other nodes, where you'll have a hard time ever finding anyone.

DE tried to partially remedy that on Steel Path with the incursions, but I'm not sure how successful they were (you have to slow down most missions to avoid completing them before an acolyte spawns - and you can't rely on a rando in a public squad to agree to do that. So locking mission to solo is a sensible precaution)

As for Railjack - I honestly don't understand DE's logic here. When I go solo, I'm using my own maxed railjack with full AI crew, making the experience fairly enjoyable (albeit way too easy). But if I try a public mission, I risk ending up in a freshly-built railjack with Mk1 Sigma parts, that gets a hull breach every time anyone in Earth Proxima even looks at it - making the whole experience still quite easy but also really anoing. And I have little to no control over this. So I see very little reason to actually try for public railjack missions. Judging by the few times I actually tried to join a public RJ mission, I'm not alone in that conclusion.

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