To preface this post, I have no experience in the realm of game design or balancing, but I have put a lot of thought into why Kuva Liches are boring and unimpactful. This is also my first ever post on Reddit and I made an account solely for this. Criticism is appreciated. I'll be abbreviating Kuva Lich as "KL" and Kuva Weapons as "KW".
So, let's talk about the biggest flaw I noticed in the whole KL system. The number one problem that's stood out to me since KL's were introduced, is that they can be dispatched way too easily and are hardly a threat, let alone a nemesis. Now don't get me wrong, they can be very tough to fight, especially for newer players, however for an enemy that's supposed to be my undying nemesis, killing them only takes an evening of grinding. The biggest hold-back for changing this is KW, because you have to kill a KL to get KWs it means that KLs have to be somewhat farmable otherwise obtaining all the KWs, and extras for Valence fusion, would take absurd amounts of time. To fix this issue I suggest adding an entirely new NPC, likely a grineer master blacksmith on Iron Wake, Earth. This blacksmith would be able to take weapons and/or resources and upgrade them into KWs by combining them with a new resource you get from doing KL related missions. This makes KWs still tangentially based on KLs but doesn't tie the system down and force them to be farmable. You could also craft the vengeful ephemera's with the blacksmith.
Next, I'll talk about the process of defeating your KL. The current method always feels incredibly annoying, whether it be farming requiem mods, farming requiem murmurs, or just playing the same few missions over and over again hoping for your lich to invade only for you to have the wrong sequence. I suggest that KL missions are instead based upon actively seeking out intel or sabotaging your KL's stuff. These missions should be incredibly hard, possibly solo only, and maybe even be entirely unique mission types. Converting your KL should be an entirely separate process from killing them, perhaps you have to infiltrate the Kuva Queen's lair and collect your KL's soul, and craft some complex recipe to free them. Another problem is that currently, KLs have no real impact on your game as a whole outside of when you explicitly want them to be, I say that they should be able to invade in ANY mission, these invasions would prompt a mini-mission of sorts with goals such as, simply "killing" your KL, fighting back a small army of incredibly difficult thralls, basically playing hide and seek, or maybe being forced to do some stealth assassinations on thralls. These mini-missions would serve to spice up average gameplay and make your KL feel like more of an ever-present threat that you can't quite get rid of yet.
Now let's talk about the way you get a KL in the first place in any grineer missions, at any time you don't have a lich, you get a random transmission pop-up, after which you're supposed to somehow know to kill as many grineer as you can before your lichling shows up and you murder them. This entire system is so intuitive and is on-par with the rest of the current KL system, that is to say, incredibly boring and with so much untapped potential. It baffles me that there isn't an entire mission to introduce KL's. Imagine this, right after killing the Kuva Queen in The War Within quest, you're headed to extraction and a cutscene plays of a single grineer charging at you after seeing you kill the queen, you quickly gun them down and mercy kill them with your parazon. Somewhere between 1 to 24 hours later, you receive an inbox message from an unknown identity which unlocks a new quest where you get introduced to your KL. In this quest, you would track down the signal, come face to face with your KL, and be defeated with relative ease and tossed out into the vacuum of space maybe, you would then get contacted by the grineer blacksmith who tells you to meet them at Iron Wake, they would make you help them build a device called like "The Kuva Forge", where they can help you make KWs! This gives a cinematic entrance to your new nemesis, gives you the motive to fight them, and introduces you to how to make KWs. As for getting a new KL after killing or converting yours, I'd make it so the KLs always have a protege prepared to replace them, but there can only be one lich at a time so there's a reason there isn't just always 10 liches or something.
Finally, we can talk about Kls in-combat. As of now, fighting a KL is alright they get unique abilities, resistances, and damage types. However, it could be a lot better; this is where I'm not quite sure how well it could be implemented at a technical level. My idea is to make Kls adapt in much more complicated ways, I think your KL and their thralls should adapt to 3 or 4 of your most used Warframes, and in weaker ways, your currently used Warframe. When I say adapt, I mean full-on tactics, for example, say your most used Warframe is Ivara, imagine then a thrall with a long-range sniper with incredibly high tech that can see her while she's invisible and shoot and tag her, revealing her to nearby enemies, or shoot her zipline wire snapping it and causing anyone on it to fall ungracefully to the ground. Now, let's say your 2nd most used Warframe is Saryn, some thralls will appear as plague doctors, with high immunity to corrosive/viral/toxin and who can cure and immunize nearby enemies to Saryns plagues, and maybe even weaponize them against her. And one more example, let's say your 3rd most used Warframe is Zephyr, how about a thrall with a super-fast bola launcher that heavily weighs her down? They should also be able to adapt on the fly to whatever frame you are using, however, this would be much weaker ways of adapting as it would essentially just be make-shift. I could go on all day about the ways they could adapt but I'll stop here.
And that's all my ideas as of now, can't wait to see how KLs work in railjack, and, at least if the wiki's upcoming content page is to be believed, how Corpus liches and Infested liches work. Let me know what you think about my ideas! Sorry, it's such a long read.
TLDR: Kuva liches underwhelming, make Kuva Weapons just upgraded weapons not lich drops, make Kuva liches not die so fast, invade any mission, and have more unique missions to learn how to kill or convert the lich. Also, make Kuva Liches and their thralls adapt to your Warframes.
Edit: While talking to a friend about it they suggested a jailbreak-style mission similar to being kidnapped by Zanuka. Also made a mistake in the title and can't find a way to edit it, if anyone knows how please let me know!
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