One of the more recent patches for Warframe came with a strange piece of text. The maximum rank for Nightwave was changed from 60 to 90. But Nightwave only really goes up to rank 30, right? Rank 30, plus 30 more prestige ranks? Not quite. Those extra 30 ranks are what rank 60 was. Why did this happen? Because people did Nightwave tasks to the point that they would hit prestige rank 90.
This small change points out a massive problem with Nightwave.
There is not enough Nightwave content
Or, at least, it doesn’t refresh regularly enough. You see, the first Nightwave, the Wolf of Saturn Six, lasted a good amount of time. After the Saturn Six fiasco, we moved on to a Nightwave Intermission, with a maximum rank of 15. After Intermission 1, the Emissary came out with Nightwave Season 2. And when that finished? We got Intermission 2.
Intermission 2 has gone on for so long that DE were forced to add extra ranks. Despite the fact that Intermission 2 is… an intermission. Intermission 2 turned out to be longer than all the other Nightwave seasons.
This whole Nightwave season was supposed to be a stop-gap between the Emissary and the next season of Nightwave, but it just continued onwards, forever and ever. Sure, season 3 of Nightwave will be here soon… but when?
All this to avoid a bigger issue!
Remember back when Nightwave season 1 ended? We had a month long gap with no Nightwave. Or anything. Because we no longer had regular alerts, we couldn’t get our hands on any Nitain Extract. During that time, Nitain became an extremely scarce resource for anyone who happened to have run out. Players had to do Gift of the Lotus alerts to get Nitain during that time, but they were only 24 hour missions once a week, which not everyone can reliably access.
For that month, you also couldn’t build Vauban, because his parts were only available in the Nightwave cred store.
The Intermissions have to happen, so we can still reliably get Nitain, alert-based weapons like the Plasma Sword and all the parts of Vauban. Because having alerts back when Nightwave isn’t around clearly doesn’t seem to be an option here. We have to have Nightwave so people can get their Nitains and Vaubans.
There’s an even bigger issue though.
So many rewards are tied to Nightwave. But you need content for Nightwave. New content. Stories and lore. Creating a new Nightwave season requires having a story and some content behind it. You have the basic premise, some sort of story that unfolds over time. We need some sort of reward that will get people logging in every single day. The cred shop needs to be restocked with the occasional new item so that people check it, even if they have everything. And you need to create a handful of cinematic scenes to show every 2-3 weeks.
Oh and you need randomizing tasks for players to complete, but frankly we don’t seem to have a problem with that.
Really, creating fresh Nightwave content actually doesn’t sound too difficult, especially when you can somewhat copy and paste previous Nightwaves. While an extra way to earn Nightwave standing, whether it’s capturing Saturn Six prisoners or killing Emissary Zealots, the Intermissions proved that you don’t really need them.
But DE seems to be incapable of creating new Nightwave content in a timely fashion. Hence why Nightwave Intermission 2 has gone on for so damn long!
There doesn’t seem to be any real desire to fix this.
I mean, why should they fix these insanely long Nightwave seasons? It takes about 7-9 weeks to get to rank 30 and get the good rewards. After that, players get credits to spend in the store. Players will keep on playing because there are constant rewards for them if they work hard. An insanely long Nightwave season, even if it’s an Intermission, means that players who join later can still catch up. Combined with the new catch-up mechanics and front-loading the pre-30 credits, the playerbase seemed mostly satisfied and almost anyone can get to level 30 if they put the effort in, doubly so since Intermissions mainly just grant rewards from previous Nightwave seasons.
On top of that, a new Nightwave season will be identical to the Intermission, aside from new rewards and the odd thing that Nora Night says. And only fools like me care about new lore.
While the system does seem broken, it kinda… isn’t? And why waste time making new Nightwave content when you can work on actual Warframe content?