From my point of view, Operation Scarlet Spear isn’t very good. I’m not going to claim that it’s the worst thing ever, because that’s not true at all. But there are a number of problems that need to be talked about. And rather than getting all angry about everything, I’m going to go through each of these problems one by one.
Like I said before though, I’m not going to mention bugs. Bugs can be fixed. There are fundamental flaws with this event though, and those can’t be fixed.
The Lore is all wrong
Firstly, the lore is all wrong. None of this makes much sense. Even if you ignore side-issues like Little Duck being in charge and pulling a relay out of her ass. The New War teaser cinematic with Erra and Natah makes no sense. The fact that Teshin was unprepared makes no sense. It’s completely nonsensical how the only person doing anything is Little Duck and the rest of the universe doesn’t care.
But even the extra lore feels wrong. Because Sargus Ruk was originally a Grineer leader that you could actually negotiate with, instead of being Vay Hek 2.0. Speaking of which, this is Earth, where IS Vay Hek? Or New Loka? Or literally anyone nearby who normally helps out? The only real good lore here are the little tidbits you notice, like Konzu messaging Little Duck about needing hired help, or Ballas’s curious expressions. But they are so easily missed.
The Credit Rewards Suck
All things considered, the shop that Little Duck has is pretty alright. You have two weapons, some cosmetics, ship decorations and useful Arcanes. The big-boy rare and legendary Arcanes are coming “soon” but they’re not here yet, for some reason. But to BUY these things, you need a HUGE amount of Scarlet Spear credits.
That would be fine if you got plenty of credits somewhat easily. For a 17 Condrix run (the maximum you can do in one run), you get about 1500 credits. For a 5 Murex run (again, the maximum you can do) you get about 2500 credits. Depends on how many players you have and how many kill codes you send or receive. The new weapon blueprints (not even full weapons like the Thermia Fractures event) cost 20,000 and 15,000 credits.
The bulk of your rewards though come from successfully driving away 100 Murex from a Flotilla. But you can’t guarantee that you’ll manage to get those credits due to player population and how willing everyone is to grind,.
And no, the one-time compensation of doubling former gains is pointless. Because that ONLY benefits players like me, who stuck with the event at the start. If you only managed a few missions, you’d only get a few thousand credits.
The Grind needed is contrary to the Built in Constraints
Operation Scarlet Spear has weird limitations. You can only do 17 Condrix before having to leave. Why 17? Who knows? 18 would make more sense, considering how it takes 3 Condrix scans (3 kill codes per Murex) to drive away one Murex (which needs 9 kill codes). 15 Condrix or even 12 works as well. At the same time, you can only do 5 Murex in one mission.
At the same time though, it has a massive requirement for efficiency and grind. You HAVE to drive away 100 Murex to get the most out of your rewards and credits. Join a flotilla too early and you can go at a somewhat leisurely pace. If you join at the middle of a flotilla though, you find yourself in a rush to be able to get as many codes as possible alongside other players. Joining at the end is an even bigger rush because you need to secure enough points to get the bonuses. And if you join when the last Murex is driven away, then your mission is cut short.
But that’s assuming you’re in a flotilla that manages to drive the 100 Murex away. Because everything is set in a repeating 3-hour cycle, it’s perfectly possible to join late in said cycle and not be able to drive enough Murex away. Flotillas are created based on usage, meaning you can either end up in a flotilla that’s completed its job and have to leave and find another. OR you end up in a flotilla that can’t feasibly drive away 100 Murex because the player count is too low or you (or the relay) simply joined too late to make any real progress! So you NEED to grind for a chance to do the mission!
You are far, far too reliant on other players, completely out of your control.
Okay, sure, you’re reliant on people in most missions anyway, but here you are reliant on people doing a completely different mission to get anything done. You need 2-3 ground teams for every space team for things to go smoothly. And you need space teams so that the ground teams’ effort is actually worth something.
This would be perfectly fine… if you weren’t on a massive time limit. You NEED a ground team to send up codes to space teams. There’s a recurring problem of space teams never getting codes, because there’s not enough ground teams. And you’ve also got the wave timer to worry about as well. If you can’t get enough people into a relay and actually doing something to help out, then you’re screwed.
And that’s ignoring times where people simply just don’t receive kill codes, for some reason…
Your Railjack is useless!
You know what makes this stranger? The Railjack is mostly useless in this event. Even if you ignore the cheese method of parking your Railjack inside the Murex. All the Railjack is used for is to drag the special satellite from one Murex to another. The only real threats are Crewships and Ramsleds or Splinters and the latter two are somewhat easily dealt with. Crewships tend to only be a problem if they spawn close enough to the satellite to one-shot-kill them.
Sure, you could spend time out there fighting those Crewships and stuff but there’s no point. They spawn endlessly. It’s just a waste of resources. In fact, I’d say it’s actually riskier to go and fight because ship resources are in short supply! The last thing you want to do is run out of Omni as you repair your ship for the umpteenth time.
So it’s better to just park your Railjack inside the Murex and farm intrinsics by letting Ramsleds and Splinters board your ship.
The Event itself is boring
At the end of the day, it’s a shitty mobile defense. But not even a good one, because of all the problems above. And made worse by the fact that a lot of it is waiting. You can argue that other events, like Ambulas Reborn and Pacifism Defect, were worse than Scarlet Spear. They were grindy, repetitive and less fun. But those were minor events meant to showcase a new mission or boss. Scarlet Spear on the other hand is an introduction into a massive new, long-term event, the New War.
And the New War has had a very rocky start.
But also, the more I think about it, the more I realise that most of these events, from Pacifism Defect to Hostile Mergers to Scarlet Spear… are just variations of mobile defense missions…