It seems like there's two distinct camps on the topic of Nightwave challenge/reward, and a lot of downvotes being cast due to disagreement with the other camp's opinions. I don't really understand that sentiment, both sides have valid opinions that are formed by their own individual experiences and situations. The system is objectively obstructive to new players, and other games have always given higher tier rewards to players that heavily invest in them. What player base is this system catering to? I thought I'd sit down and give some thought to each camp's discreet experience with the Nightwave system.
I think the issue is a combination of format and balance.
- — Format —
Obstructive to new players and unrewarding to veterans. I personally find the Nightwave challenges refreshing and fun, asking me to adjust my playstyle or target an area of the game I typically ignore. I spent hours yesterday looking for caches, summoning specters, reviving MR5 Excals in nightmares… all things I typically don't do, if not actively avoid. This took up the "what do I do now" time that would typically be spent running random alerts for stuff I don't need, either to stockpile auras, help new players through a challenging nightmare, or out of sheer boredom. That was a fun few hours, but after a couple evenings doing Nightwave challenges, I just run random missions or farm ephemera while I wait for the next daily.
That experience is in stark contrast to the casual, solo, and new players, who are restricted to only what they're capable of or have time to complete. Nora's big wall of demands, many of which seem (or actually are) impossible to these players, are a fortress of content defending rewards that these players actually need. If and when these players get a drop of wolf creds, they're faced with a choice… save up for a potato you might not be able to afford, or get the last few Nitain you need to make Amesha?
Instead of considering both ends of the player commitment spectrum, they seem to have catered to a "sweet spot" somewhere in the middle, which brings us to balance.
- — Balance —
At MR26, I want Umbra Forma. That's it. I personally have no use for wolf creds. I have all the auras, all the helmets, a heaping sack of potatoes, and literally more Nitain than I can use. I bought the statue and… I guess I'll just save up and if nothing interesting shows up in the offerings, I'll just get more potatoes before the creds expire.
In pursuit of Umbra Forma, though, I'm going to get a bunch of creds and weapon augments I'll probably never use. The regular forma bundles on the way will be nice, but don't really incentivize me.
However, as a new player, I would be incredibly overwhelmed and frustrated at this system. This is the only way to get Vauban now. There's not a lot of ways to get potatoes either, and your only other option for auras is trading. Forget cosmetics, that's next month's problem. That's a lot of planning and undue stress when you consider how dry and unrewarding the veteran experience is.
- — Who actually benefits? —
Honestly I don't have a damn clue. Maybe Tenno who have been playing long enough to get most of the cred offerings from old alerts, but are desperately short on catalysts or slots. The MR12-18 range that started playing 6-8 months ago?
Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy Nightwave… for a couple days a week. I am absolutely certain, though, that it is not doing enough to replace alerts for a majority of players. Whether you're in the "git gud scrub" camp, or the "but I have a life" camp, I think we can mostly agree on that.
Give us back the occasional Nitain or potato alert and toss endo or kuva into the cred offerings. Maybe we'll be at a better place then.
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