I’m going to be honest, after a little bit of playing normal Warframe on and off, mostly to farm for Ivara Prime and try and get to Mastery Rank 28 (the title of Master), I’ve gone back to Empyrean and it’s all kinda… eh… Now, don’t take this the wrong way, flying a ship through space is pretty fucking cool, especially in a game where you are normally a bouncy space ninja with a gun. But there’s something wrong with Empyrean. I mean, there’s something wrong with Empyrean aside from the horrible resource economy…
There’s only one mission type. Skirmish.
What is Skirmish? An Exterminate mission. Which, in normal Warframe missions, is a blast to do because everything dies super fast and runs straight towards you in a line. Even in Sortie missions, enemies in Exterminate missions die pretty quickly because they have a habit of bunching up together, making them a great target for pretty much everyone. Exterminate missions are simple and straight forward.
Skirmishes on the other hand are just Exterminates with additional objectives that appear at random, that seemingly no one wants to do. You start off shooting down 30 ships and a couple of crewships and you move upwards, finally shooting down 90 fighters and 6 crewships. Every single mission is like this. You see fighter ships, you shoot at them. You see crewships, you hope one of your team mates can fly over, board it, blow up its reactor then come back, rather than having to use the forward artillery, which frankly doesn’t do a lot of damage and requires leaving the pilot seat to use.
Aside from that though, what else do Skirmishes offer? Not much. There’s a chance to fight a ship commander, which involves flying to an asteroid and getting your away team to go in, kill the baddie and come out again. There’s also a handful of variations of Grineer defenses and cannons that need to be destroyed, which all involve going in, hacking some consoles, rushing outside to destroy some radiators or rushing around inside destroying some sort of reactor. Or a combination of all three, depending on what it is. But because of how kinda boring these
In fact, the only interesting Skirmish is the Sentient Anomaly, and that’s only really applicable every three hours. And even that is just another Exterminate mission! Seriously, you go into a Sentient space ship, which is filled with weird architecture and makes literally no sense based on the rest of the world around it, and all you do is kill any Sentients on board, which is generally about 20-25 of them. Hardly an army or even a scouting party.
But the weird thing is, people seem to prefer the shooting fighters and blowing up crewships part over the doing-anything-else part. People only care about the Sentient anomalies to farm Shedu parts and hope maybe there is a rare container in there. There’s no value in doing the missions inside these Grineer mega-structures because there’s no loot to be had in there, the majority of the loot comes from the things that fighters and crewships drop when they explode.
Really though, we should have had more missions from the very start, and loot should have been rewarded differently. But even if only the Skirmish mission time was all that could be released, the rewards need to be tied to doing the objectives. Or just have objectives give reasonable rewards as well. Then again, everyone just does the most efficient thing as fast as they can in a desperate struggle for better loot. Especially since said loot can have random stats on it. Which means doing the most boring shit over and over, i.e. finding the missions that only have fighters and crewships as objectives and repeating those.
While all the spaceships and flying around and dog-fighting are cool, Empyrean really, really needed a lot more to actually, you know, do. Even if it meant just having missions where you only have to fight a commander rather than shooting more ships.