We've had some nice horde modes come and go. Eventually, they all went away or fell behind. What if we could have one that became a mainstream activity, a new 'ritual' alongside strikes, crucible and gambit so that it was continually updated? What if we became Lord Shaxx's new Redjacks? Been posting this idea in comments for a year or two now, and folks seem to like it. Figured I'd make a thread and see if it has more appeal, maybe some Bungie attention.
Skippable Background fluff: Shaxx had teams of Redjacks, agents would would go to areas and clear them so that they could be used for Crucible matches. This involved claiming new territory and clearing out existing arenas. Combat frames like Arcite 99-40 are only the current Redjacks. Shaxx used to have Guardian teams, but after events like the Great Disaster really hurt the Guardian population, Zavala pulled Shaxx's teams for field duty. Shaxx has been using the frames ever since. It's tough! One of Drifter's pre-match lines goes: "It takes a hundred of Shaxx's frames to bring down a Hive Knight. Why does he keep building them?" Shaxx seems to want a return to the old days. If some of you go on a 5-killstreak, you may hear him say "I need a Hunter like you with the Redjacks!"
Let's throw Shaxx a bone, shall we?? After all, sweet Queen Mara is gone. This will help him deal with it.
Zavala: It's crucial that we keep field operations running at peak capacity. At the same time, we cannot neglect the Crucible, where we train. Shaxx and myself haven't always seen eye to eye when it came to his Redjacks, and their makeup. It's time for that to change. Report to Lord Shaxx, inform him that you're ready to form a new team of Redjacks for him, if he'll have you. Something tells me that he will. Thank you, Guardian.
How it can work
We get to be Redjacks and do waves of horde mode on PvP maps. How many waves? Some say the three encounters from Prison of Elders wasn't enough. Let's set a 'wave' as being like one from Gambit for example. Drifter sends you to The Ruins on Emerald Cove, and there might be 15-20 enemies there. With that standard, can we say that players should sit down and play a minimum of 5-10 waves? They could easily end up doing more in a standard Gambit match(not necessarily Prime). These waves will escalate in difficulty, however. They could basically start off as Trostland Fallen with a couple Captains & a Servitor, move up to Gambit Prime-style 'elites and above,' to lots of yellow-bar majors like Escalation Protocol. The boss for each wave will also rise in difficulty, so by the end you're dealing with a strike boss with NF-tier health(they drop some decent loot on their own).
This can happen on any available Crucible map, or really, the ones Bungie decides fit the mode best. Something like Bannerfall ought to be a natural fit, since we've done PvE there before. Treat each map like a strike, and give it an emblem that can show your high scores and wave clears.
When a new map is due to be released, it comes two weeks early for the Redjacks so that 'canonically' they can clear it and make sure it's ready for Crucible matches on release day. Participants will get a special emblem variant. PvP players might have an interest in playing this mode to learn maps, test map movement theory and firing angles against opponents while getting some rewards too. If not, they ought to be interested in this early map access, so that they can get some extra familiarity before release.
Arcite 99-40 is the vendor, and has bounties, weapons & armor for purchase and any associated quests. You earn Crucible Valor, not Glory, and tokens for your completions.
The big key for rewards is to get your wave completions done. To track completions, Arcite 99-40 gives you a daily or weekly ticket. Similar to a Trials passage or Challenge of Elders scorecard. You can cash in your waves at the end of each day. You'll also keep working toward a bigger weekly total. Daily tickets will get you some legendary engrams, maybe high wave totals get upgrade modules and enhancement cores. Weekly tickets are the big score. You're guaranteed some higher stat legendary armor, maybe an exotic, and some prizms or even shards if you hit very high wave totals. What's nice is, you can play this your own way based on when you have time. For example, if you miss out during the week and you're mainly a weekend warrior, you could still grind out some weekend play with Fri-Sun tickets plus the Weekly and still do very nicely for yourself.
What's in the loot? To speed up the preparation of this activity a bit(and for a bit of nostalgia), repaints of popular D1 gear. Not only do we just miss the look of some of this stuff, but getting to skip a phase where D1 artists have to create all-new armor will help move things along. They can make some all-new stuff later, but the first batch can be stuff that we already liked anyway. What if we got the 'best looking weapon in Destiny,' the Stalker BNGL rare scout rifle, to return as a legendary? Just an example.
How does our mighty megaphone Shaxx handle this? He likes it. Shaxx relaxes a bit and tells old war stories. If you kill a Hive Knight: "I killed a Knight that way on the Moon before. A dozen more Knights saw that, and ran back to the Hellmouth! HAHA!!" Don't worry, go on some killmonger-style streaks, and Shaxx will turn back into our cheerleader.
On Iron Banner week, maybe Saladin shows up. He tells little Iron Lord stories, and gets enthusiastic for you as well. A bonus would be Efrideet, but I don't know if Bungie is ready for her to appear in D2 yet.
It probably wouldn't take much to include some bonus weeks of activity, similar to the double Ordeal drops. There could be increased drops from your tickets.
Perhaps Mayhem week in the Crucible could carry over to the Redjacks Missions…
So how does a new, relatively permanent horde mode sound? This is the kind of thing that can come sometime after Beyond Light, likely after the following expansion really. On arrival though, it would provide a nice stable horde mode that isn't going anywhere.
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