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Combine Arbitration and Steel Path into One Hard Mode


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Nightmare Mode was the first iteration of a hard mode for Warframe because it added modifiers that nerfed the Warframes in some way. It wasn't noticeably hard compared to the normal gameplay.

The Arbitrations - hosted by the Arbiter of Hexis - was another iteration of a hard mode because of its revival system. It introduced its own form of currency - the [Vitus Essence] - that can be used to purchase certain goods.

The Steel Path was the most recent iteration of a hard mode due to its flat buff of enemies by at least +100 levels. It contained 100% Resource Drop Chance and 100% Mod Drop Chance. The mode even contained its own form of currency - the [Steel Essence].

That makes at least three different types of hard modes, and they're scattered all over the game. One of them is found through nodes, another is found in the upper tab while in Navigations, and the other is found on the right through a togglable setting. Why have three different hard modes with two of them containing their own currency? That's a lot of code and excess content. Why not merge them into a hard mode that works better than all three of them? It'll save space in the game and space in the coding. It reduces the amount of currencies a player has to keep track of. It simplifies the content of Warframe and makes it more [Streamline].

"If the design takes a long time to build, it's the wrong the design... Over and over, it's like there's a tendency to overcomplicate things... The thing that I'm most impressed with whenever I'm at the design meetings at SpaceX is 'What did you undesign?' Undesigning is the best thing. Just delete it!" - Elon Musk

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I dislike Arbitrations because of the drones causing invincibility. Sure you can cheese them with explosive weapons but to me it's always a chore to realize the ability you just cast was wasted because there was one drone hiding in the background. An Ancient Healer to me is an interesting priority target because they make my life harder to try and brute force the damage without taking him down first, but it's possible. An invincible drone is just "oopsy daisy you can't do anything at all until you stop everything you are doing, point at me and click".

That's why I play Steel Path often but don't bother with Arbitrations until they have something new to use the currency on, and then forget about it.

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I can get on board being able to access Nightmare modes and Arbitrations from the Steel Path, so that they work effectively the same but with Steel Path modifiers. I'd even be for a "Nightmare Arbitration" mode that tacks a random Nightmare modifier onto regular Arbitrations - which can then be Steel Path boosted for maximum overhard.

But throwing them all together has problems. First is Galvanized mods, which are meant to make ranged weapons more viable in Steel Path (and it's not very sensible if they're locked in Steel Path, let alone in Steel Path Ultra). Second is a pretty steep difficulty curve: where we now have a challenge scale from Nightmare missions to Arbitrations to Steel Path (and maybe combinations to go even further beyond), we'd go from regular Starchart to super ultra mega Steel Path Arbitrations with little to no in-between climb. Especially in what's supposed to be a power fantasy, that kind of level jump can proc Nope.avi at a pretty hard rate.

Plus, while it does offer some compression, you're not likely to save a lot in terms of code. Most of the code overhead is probably in the mode functionality - like adding levels for Steel Path, throwing up Nightmare modifiers, having Arbitration drones and the like. Those sorts of things would be present whether it was three distinct modes or just one. The only practical thing you'd be saving is a few switches (that currently toggle one modifier and not the others), one form of currency (and we're likely to get some other currency with the next big-ish update anyway), and some UI elements. And you're having to spend time optimizing that and, if you're doing it right, sorting out the second paragraph issues so that progression can still run smoothly. For what's being saved, that doesn't seem worth the time.

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12 minutes ago, George_PPS said:

What do you think about a super Steel Path mode that unlocked after completing all Steel Path? This super Steel Path can feature enemies from Level 200 and even more armor and shields. 

Er, DE said they didn't want to include further difficulty modifiers because it'd dilute the matchmaking even further.

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18 minutes ago, Schwitzer said:

Until cross-play smashes everyone together. 

I don't think that crossplay will drive up enough numbers for them to be willing to segment the playing field again.

I mean every platform complains about empty nodes in most situations.  By allowing crossplay we might just barely get to the point where those complaints stop....and if DE fragments the player base by adding another difficulty mode then we would be right back to where we are now.

11 hours ago, SnowWarFr said:

That's a lot of code and excess content. Why not merge them into a hard mode that works better than all three of them? It'll save space in the game and space in the coding. It reduces the amount of currencies a player has to keep track of. It simplifies the content of Warframe and makes it more [Streamline].

From a programmers perspective I can tell you that it won't be nearly as much code saved as you think it would be.  A lot of the specific code to manage the different game modes would be relatively small so they might save a a few megs and that's it.
Honestly not worth the effort.

To your other point:
Nightmare and Arbitrations are meant to be a step up from the game but a step down from SP, so what happens when those are all merged into one super hard mode?
I mean part of the reason to do Arbitrations is to get Galvanized mods which helps in the steel path....and now those are thrown into one mode so you have to play the super extra hard mode in order to get the mods that would help you through said mode?

Same thing goes for Nightmare missions.  The dual stat mods you get from Nightmare missions (especially things like Drifting Contact and Lethal Torrent) are supposed to help you gear up to fight things past the standard starchart.  And now what?  They are also locked behind the super extra hard mode you want created?


And in the end you're just going to create some combined super hard mode that goes "Good luck doing this without any of the dual stat or galvanized mods.....and if you want those mods you better play this mode even though the combined drop tables are going to be so super diluted it wont be worth it!!!!"

Sure a combined hard mode of some sort would be a benefit to the end-game players.  But what about everyone else?
How are the supposed to get the mods that dramatically help with the builds to handle SP when they need to do SP to get the mods?
It's just a hard catch 22 that will drive a lot of people away.

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