A recent update has appeared that changed Arbitrations, claiming to make them better. Unfortunately, said update has not done that at all. In fact, this update has taken away the one thing that made Arbitrations unique.
You see, originally, if you died in an Arbitration, that was it, game over. You’d die and you’d be unable to rejoin. This meant that the meta slowly became filled with tanky frames rather than mass murder frames. Oberon, with his ability to prevent death with Phoenix Renewal is a very popular pick, but so are frames like Inaros, Rhino and Nezha, who can protect themselves from damage.
In new Arbitrations though, when you die, you leave a monument behind which has to be filled with points gathered by your team mates, sort of like a miniature version of the Index. Except the Index lets you respawn and rewards you with lots of money, while the downsides to holding points is a temporary risk with far less enemies around to fuck you up. If you’re in a hoard of enemies, then having to lose a ton of health just to revive a team mate just isn’t worth it. The new revive mechanic doesn’t reward you and it just puts an infuriating wall in front of reviving team mates.
It’s a really weird mechanic to add though. Revives should be a risky but quick thing to do. This whole gathering resources to revive someone makes no sense when revives could have simply been changed to be shorter or bleed-out times being reduced or something like that. In fact, messing around with actual revives would have been interesting since we have mods that reduce revive time and increase bleed-out times. But no, you have to run around, risking your life in a slow, dumb way, to grab little things to revive a team mate.
But the problem with not being able to revive was NEVER an issue with Arbitrations. That’s what made them challenging, that you only had one life.
The biggest issue with Arbitrations is that they take fucking forever, unless you get lucky and get an Excavation. Sure, the longer missions are supposed to be a challenge but it’s a slog to get there. The reward for the longer missions is supposed to be that you get to the C rotation of rewards more quickly and that, after the first C rotation, you get nothing but C rotation rewards, but here’s the funny thing: in an Arbitration, for example a Survival or a Defense (the most common ones by a mile), it takes 4 sets of 10 waves of Defense or 40 minutes of Survival to get to your second C rotation. If you did a normal Survival or Defense, it would take 8 sets of 5 waves of Defense or… 40 minutes of Survival to get to your C rotation. Unless you go to 50 minutes or 50 waves of Defense, you are not saving any time.
So really, to get two C rotation rewards, you’re spending the same amount of time. The only additional thing you’re getting is Vitus Essence.
Are there any rewards worth farming for though? Kinda? There are two new additions: Aura Forma and Archgun Riven Mods. The Aura Forma is interesting. It’s a special Forma for your Aura Slot, allowing you to put any Aura in your Aura Slot without penalty. This means you can switch from Corrosive Projection to another Aura with a different polarity. But most of the time you don’t really need to change your Aura. You either use Corrosive Projection or Energy Siphon or Enemy Sense, all of which use the – polarity, or you use whatever fits in the slot your Warframe came with. There are other slots where being able to use more than one polarity would be useful.
But the Aura Forma comes as a blueprint that costs 4 normal Forma to build, plus 10 Nitain. It’s a pricey thing and its insanely rare drop chance means that even if you do want one, you need to work your ass off to get one.
Archgun Rivens though are… weird. Currently, there is very little need for them, aside from doing Profit-Taker missions. But Archgun Rivens are also quite expensive – you need a LOT of Vitus Essence to obtain them and you get a random, unveiled Riven mod. Which sucks because there’s only really a handful of uses for Archguns right now. In general. You don’t need an Archgun Riven for any content at all, the same way you don’t need an Archgun for much content. The only thing an Archgun Riven helps with is killing Profit-Taker or the Wolf a bit more quickly, but you’ve still got to go through the whole mess of unveiling and rolling Rivens in general.
On top of that, with a maximum limit of 90 Rivens, there’s no room for more Riven types.
Frankly, it’s still not worth doing Arbitrations. All the rare rewards that people want have got incredibly small drop chances and frankly, if you want Endo, there are less efficient but way, way faster ways to get it. And all the problems are still there, completely unchanged.
If anything, Arbitrations have more problems now.