Warframe has systems upon systems. Endgame options upon endgame options. Alerts. Sorties. Nightmare mode missions. Nightwave. Although to be fair, many of those are not exclusively endgame and can be unlocked relatively early. Also, I’m rather certain there are others I’m forgetting. (Oh yeah, like Eidolon Hunts.)

But there is one style I haven’t unlocked yet. The requirements struck me as too painful to be attempted. I’m not much of a completionist, and the requirement to unlock?

Complete. every. single. star map. node. *groan*

I started off finishing all nodes on a planet. It was a requirement to setup resource extractor drones. But I stopped doing so around Saturn. Instead I just bee-lined through the mandatory nodes to unlock the next planetary junction in a mad push to get to the cinematic story quests. Those quests, I might add, are amazing and well worth experiencing first hand.

Oh hi, me! (Wukong’s Celestial Twin)

So. Every node. That’s 232 nodes total. I was at about 175 nodes completed when I checked yesterday.

I was pretty worried about how long catching up through that might take. But then I blitzed through 20-odd (now sitting at 195 / 232) in very short order. Including at least a few of my least favourite mission types: Archwing and Spy.

Although honestly, at least in the case of Spy — doing these again is actually quite important. I’d forgotten how to actually do most of the spy challenges and need the refresher. If you’re unfamiliar Spy missions consist of three different puzzle sections.

The idea is to pass through them undetected by enemies, cameras or other sensors. If you are detected it isn’t an instant failure — you’ll have a 30 second clock before the data terminal in your section is wiped of data.

For the regular missions, as long as you successfully extract one of the three data sets you can pass it and consider the node ‘complete’. You forgo the additional rewards for the areas you miss, but that’s not my major concern right now. There are however other versions of Spy where it is mandatory to recover all three. So… Yep. Practice in these relatively low-risk scenarios is key.

Inside a cave on Fortuna — on a hunt for cute critters! (Not to kill, to save and preserve ’em!)

So, why bother? What even are Arbitration missions?

Well — they’re a form of endless mission. But with a few additional difficulty tweaks. Namely, you die — there is no bleedout phase and you have zero self-resurrect tokens.

If you go down — it isn’t quite ‘it’, but it is certainly much more nail biting. To be resurrected your team needs to find and kill a number of Arbitration Shield Drones. From these, they must collect 5 points and then bring them to where you died.

If everyone goes down — the mission fails. So it becomes a game of holding out as long as you can for additional rewards without becoming so greedy that you push too hard and fail, losing most if not all of it.

Which still leaves the ‘Why’ of it all, especially for me — someone not interested in completion. The motivation centre tickled by these for me is ‘Power’ — you can earn a lot of Endo from these missions. Endo is required to in rank up your Mods. Mods being how you not only power up — but also customise your builds.

Prime and Riven mods in particular take a lot of Endo to rank up — so Arbitrations will help a great deal. When I get there. I don’t know if I’ll achieve it this month or not as I’m only really working on it when playing solo. But at least so far — the road doesn’t seem as arduous as I feared it might be. :)

Perfect capture of a Red-crested Virmink on Fortuna. Don’t worry, I’ll save you! :D