Sanctuary Onslaught is a mess right now. The game mode that was supposed to be a horde mode where you kill literally everything simply isn’t working. It’s filled with bugs and all sorts, and the seven hotfixes we’ve seen since the game mode was released don’t seem to be making things any better.
The bugs are pretty harsh. Host migrations will destroy all of your rewards, booting you back to your ship with no rewards at all or worse leaving you trapped on a loading screen for eternity with no way out aside from quitting the game. Issues with efficiency going down when it shouldn’t (i.e. when a portal is spawning and there’s no enemies left) are still there. Issues with iffy spawn rates are still there. Issues with enemies not spawning quickly enough or not spawning at all have actually gotten worse. And people are still crashing. Sure, the hotfixes have been doing something to try and rectify these issues, but… it’s all a very bumpy ride still.
Now before you say “THEY WILL FIX IT!”, the developers have been doing balance changes too. Even though the game mode is unplayable for many people and crashes are abundant, they’ve decided to push out balance changes that nerf the drop rates of the already insanely rare Lato Vandal and Braton Vandal parts and mess around with focus gains, energy levels and efficiency.
The biggest issue right now are mobs and the efficiency timer. To continue playing the mission, you need to keep on killing enemies as quickly as you can, to fill the Efficiency meter. But there’s multiple problems just doing that. Enemy spawns are all over the place, with some maps being filled to the brim but others having no enemies at all, or enemies spawning so far away that they don’t even know to come along and attack you. No enemies means no efficiency, meaning you can’t win. It’s not even a fair way to lose half the time, because it’s completely out of your control. You win or lose based on randomness.
But on top of that, efficiency can suddenly drop incredibly quickly. It starts off alright (assuming enemies actually spawn) but rather than dropping faster and faster come wave 16 or so now, it starts dropping INSANELY fast at wave 10. Which is only about 20 minutes of gameplay. To the point that the game mode becomes almost unbeatable at waves 15 and higher. Sure, some people were leaving at zone 8 to get a better chance at rewards, but most people I played with wanted to go as long as they could, and the forced efficiency drops are a detriment to that, basically forcing you to lose should you make it to zone 20.
But ALSO on top of that, enemy levels have been messed around with. At first, the enemies that spawned APPEARED to be higher level enemies and did the damage of normal high level enemies but lacked the insane armour scaling that came with normal high level enemies. This meant that you could kill fast, but a couple of hits could leave you bleeding out. Now enemies are the same as in normal missions, Sanctuary Onslaught is now awkwardly harder, and there’s far less flexibility as to what you can bring. Enemy levels have been lowered, but they’re still far harder than old Onslaught enemies.
Another downside of this is that Focus gains have dropped by about 10% as well. Which wouldn’t be that much of a problem if the efficiency was the same, but now it’s much harder to get to waves 8 and higher where the focus gains are at their best, enemy spawns are still playing up and it’s harder for non-meta builds to kill as fast as before. Focus is a tedious thing to farm anyway unless you power-farm Eidolons and high level Exterminates with very specific builds, and now that we had a nice place to farm that was fun, it’s kinda being nerfed before anyone got to make use of it.
Sure, they made one small good change, putting Khora’s parts in the normal version only and adding Axi relics to the elite version, but they’ve also reduced the chances of already rare items and have done nothing with the utterly useless Synthetic Eidolon Shards that have no real value at all. Digital Extremes tend to listen just a little tiny bit but now they don’t seem to be listening at all.
This update feels way more rushed than any other update from the last year or so. Sure, Plains of Eidolon was buggy on release, but the changes to that, both fix-wise and balance-wise were mostly beneficial to players. Sanctuary Onslaught is all over the place. It feels like the developers have no idea what they actually want Sanctuary to do, whether they want it to be an endurance game mode or a short game mode or… well, anything.
So I’m going to recommend that you ignore the new content. Because it’s a broken, horrible mess. It will get fixed eventually, but for now, it’s not worth the frustration, especially when rewards can disappear so easily.
Doesn’t help that Cephalon Simaris is a prick who will chastise you for not killing when there’s no enemies around…