So, it's finally here. The first update since I started Warframe where I genuinely feel as though DE made a mistake. The Vacuum Within is, in my view, an ill-thought bandaid to a genuine player issue.
The problem arose because the majority of players used Carrier and its 12m Vacuum exclusively. Other than a few difficult missions (where I use DethCube with Sweeper) I have only ever used Carrier because Vacuum is so immensely useful and because otherwise I would have to choose between missing out on drops or slowing down my gameplay and staring at the floor. It's not a matter of 'git gud' or 'being a casual' as people on the forums seem to imply - I just don't like the pace of the game for me when I don't have carrier equipped.
DE had several options - make Vacuum innate to all sentinels, make Vacuum innate to all companions, make Vacuum innate to all warframes or keep Vacuum as a mod but make it available to more than just Carrier. Instead, they announced one of the most nuanced and well-thought out solutions instead, which for me would have made the game a lot more fun and engaging - Vacuum is split into 3 mods, available to all sentinels only.
It would have kept sentinels relevant - because with vacuum truly universal there is sincerely no reason to prefer a sentinel over one of the other companions. It would have allowed players to pick and choose what gets picked up (no more Valkyr losing 2 seconds of Hysteria because blue orbs are being sucked in from across the room) and given some additional build variety that sentinels currently lack.
And then the vocal minority of the players kicked up an almighty fuss and DE went back on this proposal. We got vacuum universal across all sentinels (ok) as a passive and not a mod. Then it got nerfed to 5m range (later boosted to a mighty 6m). Finally, DE are leaving it open to add vacuum to other companions and to warframes in future.
Playing with the new system, I find my game has slowed down considerably. Sometimes, I like to parkour through rooms really high off the floor, to avoid enemies or just for speed. I find it's not unusual for vacuum to fail to pick things up as I fly over them. I find myself waving around more on maps and looking at the floor more. This is all fine. I need to adapt my playstyle if I want all the loot, just like I needed to adapt my playstyle to deal with other changes. Once I'm used to it, yeah, I'll probably be up to speed.
But the changes still feel like a missed opportunity. A chance to have three utilities for vacuum, with different energy drains and ranges, for build variety and a chance to make each sentinel something unique (this is my status dealing Dethcube, that sucks up energy orbs for my spamming Hydroid, this is my stealth Shade for loot drops).
Anyhow, that's my two cents on an update that has really got my goat - maybe not the most coherent blog on here. I will get used to the new vacuum, and I will adapt my gameplay, and I will finally build that Helios and try it out. And I will keep praying for a vacuum mod for archwing, because seriously, the amount of mods and resources that I miss on fast maps is just unreal.