It’s weird, but with Nightwave being around now, I’ve started to miss alert missions. Nightwave was supposed to replace the need for alerts, but… Nightwave isn’t a replacement for alerts at all.
The alerts system was always very basic. Any alert could be any random mission that would give you a specific reward at the end. Mostly these weapons would give you credits and a resource, or pitiful amounts of endo. Occasionally there would also be alerts for things like weapons (for example the Plasma Sword and the Jaw Sword) and you can also get random blueprints for Warframe helmets. Very rarely, you might see an alert for an Orokin Reactor or Catalyst. There were also Nightmare missions, where you’d have no shields and enemies would do triple damage, and you’d get a Nightmare mod (a mod with two stats on it instead of one). Most importantly though, there were always 4 Nitain Extract alerts a day. Nitain was always only available in alert missions, with insanely rare chances to appear in caches in sabotage missions or in Ghoul bounties.
The rewards weren’t always amazing unless you managed to catch a rare Orokin Reactor or Catalyst, but they were something to do.
Now, with Nightwave, those random missions are gone. They’ve been replaced with daily and weekly challenges, as well as a “Wolf Creds” shop. Wolf Creds are earned as you reach specific levels, the first of which is level 3. Getting to level 3 with Nightwave requires 30,000 standing, or 10 weekly normal challenges. Doable, and you can do it all in a week you manage all the dailies and maybe a couple of elite weekly tasks as well. But you only get 50 Wolf Creds.
50 Wolf Creds doesn’t get you very far. It’ll get you an aura mod and 10 Nitain, which isn’t bad. But there’s a lot of things a player will want to buy, and you have to get to level 6 and level 12 to get more Wolf Creds. It’s much more of a waiting game. On the one hand, you can consistently get the things you want by buying them from the Wolf Cred shop, but you have to wait for more tasks to do to earn more credits. This works nice when you need Nitain, especially when it costs 15 creds for 5 Nitain Extract, and Vauban is now far, far easier to obtain since you can buy all three of his parts for 25 credits each (that being said, you need at least level 6 for Vauban as you need 75 creds total to purchase him). But the weapons and weapon skins seem to cycle every few days, so if you want the Glaive for example, you just have to wait.
To be fair, alerts weren’t much better. Now you can just buy the Warframe helmet blueprint you want, although they cycle the same way other shop items do, so if the helmet you want isn’t there, you have to wait for it. On the other hand, alerts were helpful at being distractions and providing small amounts of resources, especially to low level players. A mission for 300 oxium is more useful than you’d think, and Exilus Adapters are even harder to come by these days.
But what confuses me is that alerts and Nightwave could totally exist side by side. Apart from the Wolf Cred store, they don’t coincide in any way. If anything, Nightwave just replaced the random mini-challenges that you had in every mission, and does a good job of that. Alerts and Nightwave have nothing in common and you could totally have both of them running at the same time.
Plus, alerts did something that Nightwave only ever does a little. Alerts made you play missions you normally wouldn’t play. Most of Nightwave’s challenges have been “do this thing a bunch of times”, like Lua Halls of Ascension, but once those tasks are over, you never go back. An alert though might take you to some forgotten node on the edge of Europa or Mercury.
So yeah, it’s a shame that alerts were gone. The rewards were random and often not amazing, but they were a change of pace you could do occasionally, rather than a specific task you do then move onto something else. There was no reason for them to disappear, but it looks like they’re gone for good.