The Problems With Sanctuary Onslaught

Sanctuary Onslaught is one of the best ways to level things up. There’s generally a lot of enemies around and they increase in level pretty quickly, meaning your weapons level up pretty fast. It’s a silly, mindless game mode. But it’s also a fucking infuriating game mode at times for various reasons.

The first reason is actually reasonably simple. If you’ve already got one or two nuking characters playing, then you’re a dead weight to the team. There’s not enough killing to go around, especially when you’ve got a Saryn turning everyone into toxic mists and filling the room full of spores, or an Equinox murdering thousands with millions of tiny cuts. Public matchmaking can be funny and throw two Saryns and two Volts into a mission together, which makes things awkward as fuck when there’s no point using Discharge (Volt’s most useful ability) since everything is already dead. Makes things even worse when people say “don’t use Speed either” because it messes with Saryns spreading their spores. One mission, my squad mates actually asked me to not use Electric Shield as well for some stupid reason.

But the problem with nuker Warframes isn’t really their fault. Not when spawn rates are… actually kinda low. Depending on the tile set, you actively have to find spawning enemies to kill, murder them and wait for more to spawn, which not only is a pain for you but for those nukers as well, specifically Saryns who need to keep their spores spreading to more and more enemies.

Later one, past Zone 6, the wait between enemy spawns actually gets frustrating, as you NEED to be murdering enemies constantly to keep efficiency up, but if you get a large room like the old Orokin Pyramid tile or the massive Corpus room with two control panels, you have no choice but to waste time looking for enemies. After Zone 10, efficiency drops so fast that large rooms will definitely ruin a run if you’re particularly unlucky, especially if you get Corpus or Corrupted spawning, as they are more likely to hang back and have power-disrupting Nullifiers on their side.

That being said, there is literally no reason to go past Zone 8, both in normal Sanctuary Onslaught and the Elite variant. The drops in this game mode appear every two Zones (2, 4, 6, 8) and the reward pool depends on the zone. For Zones 2 and 4, you get Rotation A rewards, Rotation B rewards for Zone 6 and Rotation C rewards for Zone 8. But for Zone 10, it resets back to Rotation A, which has the least valuable rewards. More importantly, Zone 8 and Rotation C have the rarest and most important rewards: two Khora components (Systems and Blueprint) and rare mods Peculiar Bloom and Peculiar Growth. There are other Khora components in the other rotations, but there’s two chances at the Khora Chassis blueprint in Zones 2 and 4 and a single chance at Khora Neuroptics in Zone 6. That’s a very small chance to get everything you need, guaranteeing that you need to play Sanctuary Onslaught up to wave 16 to even have the chance of getting Khora all in one go.

Unfortunately, it’s way, way easier to get to Zone 8, get your reward then leave. Enemy armour just gets thicker and thicker, the efficiency timer drops faster and faster and if you’re playing with randoms, there’s no guarantee you’ll reach Zone 16 anyway. Better to just reset and start again.

What’s even worse though is the chance of good loot in general. The aforementioned Khora parts all have less than a 9% chance to drop. The System and Blueprint have a 5.6% chance each of dropping in Rotation C. So you will need to play a HUGE amount of Sanctuary Onslaught to get her. And only in the normal version, as Khora doesn’t drop in Elite Sanctuary Onslaught, due to “not wanting to dilute the drop pool”. The drop pool in both game modes, I should point out, is mostly filled with Endo or Relics, alongside shitty Synthetic Eidolon Shards that only give 5000 Focus and really aren’t worth it.

Khora may seem hard, but the Braton Vandal and Lato Vandal, which only drop in Elite Sanctuary Onslaught, have ludicrous drop chances. The Braton Vandal blueprint for example has a 2% drop chance in Rotation C. That’s insane. Sure, the chance of radiant relics is really good and helpful, but there’s shinier loot to be obtained and Sanctuary Onslaught doesn’t make it easy!

Thing is, you don’t want to be playing Sanctuary Onslaught for the loot. You want to play it for the extremely high Affinity and Focus gains. But to do that, you need to be killing enemies. And even with the high level enemies in Elite Sanctuary Onslaught, it’s just… not enough.

Basically, we should be absolutely flooded with enemies, and rewarded well for killing them. Yet Sanctuary Onslaught skimps out on both of these things.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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