How I would make a Kuva Lich System

While the new Kuva Lich system in Warframe has had some changes, like a very slight decrease in Thralls required, Liches no longer stealing the things you need to kill them and now the opportunity to not get the same weapon twice in a row, there’s still a few massive problems with it all: the system is too enclosed, requiring you to actively go out and hunt a Lich down for 1-5 hours for mediocre rewards; and Kuva Liches aren’t actually Liches in any way.

The latter problem is quite easy to solve by making it so that you can kill a Lich but he or she will reform in theirĀ  once you’ve left the room, reappearing in a phylactery of some sort (a quick aside, it took me 15 minutes to remember the word phylactery). To kill the Lich, you’d need to go to their phylactery and destroy it before killing the Lich permanently. This would also give players a better chance to meet their Lich and get a few new lines out of them, because most of the time you fight in completely random locations with no sense of… well, style.

The former problem is a bit harder to fix. Currently, if you want to fight a Lich, you need to go and do a mission on your own, kill the Larvaling and then specifically do missions on specific planets, praying that your Lich shows up so it can kill you and give you more progress towards murmurs. You can’t passively hunt or find information about a Lich, you have to run these missions otherwise nothing progresses.

A baby Kuva Lich
A baby Kuva Lich. The way you actually spawn a Lich isn’t that bad. It’s a bit off-kilter but you have the choice to do it now, at least.

Now, I don’t want to completely ruin and ignore the current Lich system. But I do want to build on it. Because our Liches have legions of thralls but no actual base or anything like that. The Parazon system with its mods would remain in use, but in a different way: The Parazon is used to get into the Lich’s inner sanctum so you can destroy its Phylactery and its soul. You still need a combination of Requiems to get in, but it’s more of a password than a weird magic phrase muttered as you stab the Lich itself, as it is currently.

And you’d still have the “red Kuva stain” showing the Lich’s influence. But you wouldn’t have to do missions there over and over. Instead, you’d have choices on what missions to do, split into active tasks and passive tasks. Passive tasks would involve missions similar to Nightwave, where you make progress just by doing everyday things like opening relics, doing Invasions and playing Sorties – if any of these missions happen to be in the Lich’s influenced areas, you gain information and progress towards cracking the code to the Lich’s Phylactery. Alternatively, you can actively do missions – high level ones at that – where you raid Lich-controlled warehouses for supplies, break into their bank accounts or rescue hostages that the Lich intends to feed on. These missions would give you more progress more quickly but would be much harder by default – 15 minute survivals, Spy missions with 5+ vaults, multiple capture and rescue targets, things like that. But you have a choice. You do it slow or steady or you do it quick and hard. You can, if you want, spend 2 hours doing ultra hard missions but you can also take your time and gradually discover the code over a few days. Or you can mix and match.

My biggest change would be how often you see and fight your Lich, and what loot a Lich gives you. A Lich SHOULD work the way Stalker does. He or she should appear out of the shadow with flickering lights and smoke effects and try to kill you. But you should win the fight because we’re all genocidal teenagers with biomechanical war puppets. And defeating the Lich should give you a little reward. You get some murmur progress but also something nice, like some endo or kuva or something.

No matter how many murmurs you have though, no matter how close you are to cracking the code, you can fight your Lich at any time, since they are on a ship floating around their territories. You just waltz up to his evil lair and start a fight. THIS is where the whole “come back stronger” bit comes in, because, unless you have the secret code to the Phylactery, you kill the Lich and the Lich comes back stronger and with more abilities. You start off with a level 30 Lich that knows how to charge, you break the door down, kick the shit out of them, steal their loot and they come back as a level 40 Lich. Do it again, it’s a level 50 Lich. Again? It keeps on going up and your Lich drops more loot every time. They’ll even drop Kuva Injectors, items that can turn normal Grineer guns into Kuva Variants. If things get too tough, failing the fight and dying will make the Lich drop down a few levels but you won’t get any extra loot.

You can’t kill the Lich though, not permanently, not until you have the code to his Phylactery. Once you do have the code, you need to blow the Phylactery up and then fight the Kuva Lich, who will bring in reinforcements that will try to stop you. Of course, we’re all Tenno so we win the day, and as you strike the final killing blow on your Lich, they explode into a fountain of Kuva, Endo, Forma and other goodies, based on the Lich’s level.

Oh and then you need to get off the ship before it blows up.

This is all just a fantasy idea and I haven’t really thought of the minor details, but frankly I think a lot of nemesis evil lich systems are better than the weird suicidal system we have currently in Warframe…


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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