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Damage mitigation for bosses could be more varied and thematic


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There are many different Bosses in Warframe and DE has tried many ways to prevent us, the collective hive-mind of the player base, from simply deleting them instantly. These methods have included tiny weakpoints on invulnerable bosses that require precise and/or finicky aiming (ex: Vay Hek, Lech Krill, Sargus Ruk), bosses with distinct phases that need to be damaged in fundamentally different ways (ex: eidolons, orb mothers, angels), puzzle bosses that require environmental gimics to be dealt with before the boss can be killed (ex: the new Jackal, Ambulas, zeloid prelate), and several varieties of damage mitigation or attenuation (ex: Lephantis, Lichs, Sisters, and the new Archons). There are a few more, and several bosses include multiple of these concepts.

What I want to discuss is specifically Lichs, Sisters, the potential Infested equivalent, and the new Archons.


I mostly like the lich system (after its many hotfixes and updates). It makes sense to me that they are overly tanky bullet sponges, as they are biologically augmented via grineer cloning and kuva infusion coupled with the best of grineer armor. There is a precedent for highly tanky individual grineer with the regular nox enemies and multiple grineer bosses who are damage immune except for specific weak points. I might have a problem with how severe the damage attenuation on Lichs can be, but I at least think it is thematic and appropriate.


My main issue started with the sisters. Visually they are quite frail compared to their Lich couterparts (even the female lichs). Thematically it doesn't make sense in my head why or HOW they are so tanky. I look to other corpus bosses and see more puzzle bosses than tanks. Those bosses are all about hacking, disabling, or destroying the various technological equipment empowering and protecting the bosses. I feel that this would be a far better approach to the sisters: give them nigh-impenetrable shields with almost no actual health behind it, but have that shield be dependent on flying drones (like the void sabotage boss), on their dogs, and on the various crew members and corpus equipment around them in the environment. What if the idea there was that these Sisters were relatively "normal" physically, but were being "bankrolled" with the best tech that Parvos can muster. We as the tenno have to strip them of their supporting tech in order to damage them. Are they near another crew member? They'll strip their shields to refill their own. Are their shield drones around or dispensers for more? Now their shields slowly heal. Is their dog alive? They can't be damaged at all while it's nearby. Etc. This still results in a boss that's hard to kill, but feeds into the ideas behind the corpus and uses mechanics the players have already seen in corpus boss fights before.


Much like the sisters I don't feel it is thematically appropriate for the Archons to have the same bullet-sponge damage attenuation as lichs when there is a pre-existing method that I feel would work just as well or better within the lore. Archons are hybrids of sentient tech and warframes. What if the Archons had a hybrid of sentient and warframe damage mitigation? Stacking resistances like the regular sentients (that can be purged or "rotated" with amps), a damage immunity phase like now except it can be ended early (or Only) by using your amp (like Eidolon shields), and certain abilities that can allow them to "purge" abilities or status effects when used or at specific health thresholds (like some frames can and as an alternative to outright immunity). This would again use various mechanics from other similarly themed bosses, perhaps with a more modern update to their exact functionality. But as they are now, simply making them absolute sponges even to the strongest weapons, AND turning off all warframe abilities just feels... bad. It's like the best parts of the game were striped away just to make the boss survive a bit longer. If you INSIST on the boss being immune to warframe abilities, there is a way to do this more thematically. How about you lean into the New War story and have them project a Murex-style nullification field that forces the whole fight to be fought as our operator/drifter? Perhaps have lotus tell us in advance that this will happen, and that we must bring a weapon that our operator could use: IE an amp for a secondary and a bow like the paris or nataruk (or some otherwise "non heavy" weapon). This would allow you to ban all heavy guns, snipers, explosives, shotguns, or other "meta" boss killing weapons and leave the player forced to learn and adapt to simpler single target and underused weapons like assault rifles or bows. We would still be more powerful than in the quest because we now have our mods and full void powers back, but we're still FAR weaker than if we just got to face-roll the boss with our frame (like we do at the end of the New War quest). This would be a massive change of pace to our normal play style, but still fits into the story and quest behind the boss. Couple this with more sentient-appropriate damage mitigations as listed above and I think the boss would at least feel better or justifiably harder while still leaving the player feeling like their game knowledge and tools aren't being completely striped away. They still get their amp, their operator school abilities, and their choice of a fully modded (but heavily curated selection) of their arsenal.

Potential Infested "lich equivalent":

What is the defining thematic characteristic of the infested? The swarm. What are the main infested bosses we have faced in the past? Lephantis, Jordas, and the mind-controlled Alad V. What if the thematic "explanation" for the infested nemesis boss was that a particular "voice" within the infested hive mind takes control of a particular ship/swarm like Jordas did. When you run the ordinary "lich missions," rather than a single infested boss running at you, the hive mind sends waves of thralls after you led by "conduits." Each conduit is spawned like a juggernaut: after a sufficient number of infested thralls are killed. If one spawn in your mission, and you stab it with the wrong parazon mod, it simply gets up and flees while the hive mind laughs at you. If you get the mod correct, that conduit dies and another two are guaranteed to spawn that mission after you kill more thralls. Each one can be stabbed once, with the third successful kill resulting in the Infested mind trying to flee and you having to chase it down in a railjack mission like the lichs and sisters. I would further suggest that the final encounter should be a re-imagined version of the Jordas fight where you have to fight it with a combination of railjack and archwing combat while it sends boarding parties of strengthened infested onto your ship that have to be dealt with. I feel this would feed off the lore of the infested swarm, tie into an often forgotten boss, and would give players something they've been asking for since railjack was released: an actual boss fight WITH the railjack itself.


I would be happy to hear what anyone else thinks about these ideas or opinions.

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