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Just returned after a few years to see all the new updates.

The robots are not fun, I don't like fighting them at all.

The rival bots seem to be 'extras' to missions, so I was wondering if they are just for this season?

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15 days ago - /u/GSG_Jacob - Direct link

They are a part of the themes featured in Season 1 and 2. They’re staying for Season 3, but will be toned down as the season is not about the Rivals this time. That means there will be less chance of getting the Rival Presence warning on missions, and the risk of a nemesis spawning on missions is also lower.