The Current Issue
As we all currently know, trying to fill up murmurs is possibly the worst grind in the game at the moment. As someone mentioned before in regards to how it was supposed to be based off Shadow of Mordor: "It feels like I have to kill 200 goblins just to know what tickles the orc captain".
Lore wise as well it makes little to no sense why we're heavily LIMITED to collecting murmurs to get information on our Lich, and even less sense as to the "invasions" they do.
The Missed Opportunity
As it stands right now, murmurs are collected by doing Lich-ridden missions where these Thralls spawn. What baffles me is why did they not think to actually expand on these missions a bit more than just over-glorified Exterminates. The mission types themselves could have been utilized to this "information gathering" objective in terms of the Lich other than just murmurs, and it would MAKE A LOT OF SENSE Lore-Wise.
- Capture – There is a target enemy that happens to know some information on the Lich. Succeeding in this Capture mission would increase your "Information/Knowledge" about the Lich.
- Spy – There is a bunch of Data Vaults that have information regarding the Lich, each data vault you successfully hack increases your "Information/Knowledge" about the Lich.
- Mobile Defense/Defense/Rescue – The defended console/target has information regarding the lich. Successful missions increases the "Information/Knowledge" about the Lich.
- Excavation – There is information given on an area where certain additional means to get the Relics/Mods that can be used against Liches.
- ETC – You get the Idea.
But What About Murmurs and Thralls?
In a lore sense, Murmurs are sort of "tidbits" of information regarding the Lich, that the Thralls have. This is akin to asking a bigger mobster on where the Mafia Lord's base is. But that's all they should be, additional and extra means to increase Information on the Lich besides the missions. As for the Thralls? Well, it would make a lot of sense won't it that you send your Thralls to either protect the things that have information about you, or to eradicate them.
Here are some examples of how the Thralls could be better integrated in addition to their current system of chance/programmed spawns.
- Capture Mission – The Lich obviously doesn't want that target to be captured so he would have it protected/escorted by Thralls in a higher attempt to prevent the Tenno from capturing the target.
- Spy Mission (Hybridize with Mobile Defense) – The Lich would rather destroy that data than the Tenno getting more info on how to beat him. The moment you attempt to get the data, the Lich would send out a Thrall Squad to give you a beatdown and destroy the console with his data on it.
- Rescue Mission – A defector has some information regarding the Lich, it's up to you to rescue him to gain more information on your Lich. The Lich would send down more Thralls to prevent you from succeeding after rescuing the defector from their prison.
- ETC – You get the Idea.
During the course of these missions, you would still have the usual spawn of Thralls to get additional Murmurs.
Engaging The Lich
Right now, a lot of people aren't really feeling that the Lich as a "Long Term Rival/Boss" and instead often see him as another "Hitman/Hitsquad" like the Stalker or Zanuka. Especially with how they just randomly drop into a mission without any context, being more of a nuisance that people would often ignore.
There are definitely ways of implementing it so that the Lich's arrival is a lot more announced or meaningful.
- Defense – Have him spawn at the last wave of the Defense with his thralls, in an attempt to break the Defense target.
- Survival – Have him spawn in the last few minutes of Survival, to add that extra layer of "MUST SURVIVE".
- ETC – You get the Idea.
The Chase and Rite To Challenge
Currently right now, you can end your Lich's life in any of the missions that he spawns if you have the correct set of Requiem Mods. It honestly does feel quite Anticlimactic compared to what we saw on Tennocon, however I think there's a means to improving that without taking out too much of the initial idea.
At the moment, stabbing the Lich with the correct Requiem allows you to proceed to the next section of their lifebar as they continue to fight you. But this doesn't really make sense if you look at it in a practical or lore-wise sense. The Lich got injured, they FELT ACTUAL PAIN. This should be more of a shock to them, causing them to flee instead and attempt to recover.
A scenario that makes much more sense would be the following:
If the Tenno stabs the Lich with the correct First Requiem, the Lich is surprised at actually feeling pain, causing him to fall back. However, even if he did fall back, the First Requiem has already made its Mark. The next time the Tenno encounters the Lich and then stabs him with what they believe to be the correct Second Requiem, and is instead incorrect, so the Lich simply flees and levels up as it is right now (though to be honest, the Lich breaking and downing the Tenno here would have made more sense). This chase throughout the Lich infested areas continues until you stab him with the Third Correct Requiem. Upon doing so, the Lich retreats to his ship/base/whatever and decides to finish this long rivalry.
The Last Dance
Upon Marking the Lich with All 3 Correct Requiems, a Node (Or Capital Ship/Galleon/Asteroid in Railjack) is opened. An Assassination mission to finally end the Lich.
Assassination – Defeat
This would simply be an Assassination Mission centered around your Lich (give them the Cinematic Intro that Other Bosses have even, to see that name one last time on the screen.) You will fight the Lich at his full power, with all his Abilities, and his Thralls with him. (Or Whatever gimmicks he has). Now That The Lich is Marked, It's Time to ACTIVATE those Requiem Marks, to start the degeneration process. This fight can function the same way as the current fight with the Lich, where you down him at each bar and stab him with the correct Requiem.
Upon defeating the Lich, you receive your rewards and regain all your stolen items ontop of whatever bonuses you get.
BONUS: Curated Forces (Lich Preferences)
As it is right now, Liches have Personality Traits and what not, but they do little to nothing other than some few lines or quips. Why not extend that to the forces that the Lich deploys as well? The Lich is scared of dogs? That means no Drahks or Kubrows in his army. The Lich is a Pyromaniac? Then of course he employs more Scorches in his army.
So yeah, This is my take on how to make the Lich System more interesting and more engaging than it currently is. What do you guys think?
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