Some point late at night on July 21st, I finally finished the Steel Path. My last node was nothing special. A defense mission in the Void. The only remarkable thing was that 1. I was playing Limbo and 2. I wasn’t completely solo. The Steel Path hasn’t been particularly fun for me, as I’ve had to do most of it solo and found that my normal builds are woefully inadequate. I’m glad it’s over, but I feel I have a lot to talk about. Rather than go through the entire star chart though, I’m just going to mention the highs and lows of the Steel Path.
And I’m going to do it in a silly, fake award show format as well. Because why not.
The Easiest Planet – Eris
It took me about an hour to clear Eris. A vast improvement compared to literally every other planet. The only vaguely difficult mission was Infested Salvage, but even that wasn’t particularly difficult. What annoys me though is that I had 3 people join me when I was at 75% completion… which slowed my progress down to a crawl because there were more players.
I actually had to clear Eris twice because I helped someone else clear the map originally, but because I hadn’t unlocked the first node, none of that progress counted. Oh well.
The Thing Everyone was Using – The Kuva Nukor
Seriously, everyone was using the Kuva Nukor. It turned out to be so damn good. To the point that people were forgoing the Kuva Bramma and primaries in general. The fact that the Nukor has such high critical damage and status chance is insane, but it gets more insane when it spreads to other nearby enemies.
But even if you’re not using it for damage, you can still use the Nukor for status chance. It is EXTREMELY easy to get 3 elements on the Kuva Nukor AND get those statuses to proc on enemies. Just so you can murder everything with Condition Overload on your melee weapon. While melee weapons are king in the Steel Path, the Nukor takes them a step further.
The Biggest Mountain – Lua
To be fair, Lua was only hard because I constantly got my weapon loadouts wrong. Because the nodes swap between Grineer and Corpus and you can’t always see what faction the next node is, bringing the wrong elements can really screw you over. However, I did start Lua right at the start (after finishing Earth and Venus) so I was still getting used to the increase in difficulty. If I’d left it until last (like I did with the Void), I’d probably be fine.
The real difficulty though was the occasional Sentient. In the Exterminate mission, you can actually just ignore them. But in the Lua Mobile Defense, Sentients can and will spawn ON the terminal. If you can’t get them away from that terminal, you can kiss goodbye the chances of finishing that mission.
The Weirdest Bug – Larisa, Neptune
Mobile Defense isn’t normally a problem for me. I just stick the terminal in some sort of sheltered bubble, stun some enemies and go on with my day. But the Mobile Defense on Neptune turned out to be a massive pain in the ass because enemies were just flat out ignoring my abilities while I played solo (well, public but no one else joined). They weren’t getting caught in Khora’s Strangledome or her Ensnare and Limbo’s Cataclysms were instantly popping. Despite there being no Nullifiers or Scrambus around.
I replayed the mission with a squad though and the problem disappeared. And when I replayed the mission solo later on, I didn’t have a problem.
The Lifesaver – Khora
Really, Khora carried me through a lot of missions. This is for two reasons: Enemies can’t do anything if they’re stuck in Strangledome and you don’t always need to kill every enemy. In defense missions, I can just crowd-control everything and kill things at my own leisure. In survival missions, I can camp in a corridor and get free easy life support thanks to Pilfering Strangledome. In Interception missions (so many of which I had to solo), you can just capture the first control point, have enemies flood in there, crowd control them and then capture the other points in your own time.
And when I wasn’t doing the killing, I was providing some support to my team mates. Because if enemies are tangled up, they definitely can’t shoot you.
The Hidden Gem – Ash
Ash might not be the best frame around, but he does have a jack-of-all-trades feel about him. My build uses both Seeking Shuriken and Fatal Teleport, which gave me enough leeway to not just strip armour from enemies, but kill dangerous targets with ease, all while being invisible. While the invisibility duration is pretty short, Ash is mobile enough to be able to reapply invisibility on the move.
Ash also made each Junction stupidly simple. To the point that I can kill any Specter in 2 button presses. I then discovered that Fatal Teleport works on the enemies in Rathuum, and that turned out to be stupidly easy as well.
The Bad News – Steel Essence
The saddest thing though? I still need to play on the Steel Path. Because I don’t have nearly enough Steel Essence. After completing the entire star chart, I have 48 essence. Enough to buy the two cheaper parts of that fancy Dax armour. That’s it. Take away the 36 guaranteed Steel Essence (two for each planet completed) and I’m left with a meager 12 Essence found in the wild. None of which came from the 2-day resource booster I got on the first day of Steel Path coming out.
So back I go, back into the Steel Path, just to farm a bunch of little cubes.