people don't like Assault? i don't see what they would hate about it - it's just a Sabotage Mission, what is even offensive about it. i digress.
i'd say that the distaste towards Defection is fine (for your reasoning), people aren't disliking that you do more than one thing in the Mission, they're disliking how incredibly tedious/monotonous the Gamemode ends up being. after about 5 or 10 minutes in the Mission, it's the same thing, forever.
and that same thing is the always unexciting Escorting some slow thing from A to B. so mainly walking while beyblading Enemies out of the way, and bringing a Nova because if you don't you're just worse than otherwise. Stims are technically useful but having enough of them to do any good is also incredibly tedious since you have to stare at your Foundry for.... basically the same amount of time that you end up saving, or maybe even more than you save, anyways. would be nice if more Abilities worked in a practical way on them and such, but ultimately the main thing that you do is walking back and forth at an artificially slowed pace relative to what Parkour can do, so you end up literally walking instead of what Players can otherwise do which is use the complex Player Movement to move quickly in all types of Terrain.
but they don't hate that you do more than one thing in the Mission.
in principle you're right but - Enemies have a much easier time of interjecting our Objective there because the Enemies are much less relevant to the Objective compared to Payday - Law of Retribution could be an example here, the terminals in the Boss room basically didn't matter ever because one dude running to a Console to fiddle with it to impede your progress is just not an effective interjection strategy in Warframe, while it can be in Payday.
in part, because Players in Warframe can so easily ignore every Enemy except the one(s) running to a Console, and just shoot those.
Toxic Ancients and Infested Ospreys can still do quite high Damage but sure, Infested Defense is much easier generally.
ofcourse, if in such a scenario where Objectives could work that way - we'd also need to change Enemies so that they actually abide by basic game rules, in that we need to be able to interrupt Enemies. instead of them still being able to interact with a Console that we ragdolled them away from, or still attack when the same, Et Cetera.
i'd definitely shave them down to remove variants for the most part, but i have to give credit that some of them either currently or at some point in their existence (usually before the "big Weapon """rebalance""" "), some of these variants did offer actually different use cases from one another, instead of one being just vertical from another.
usually only ones that had multiple Variants, as Variant vs vanilla never really did this, but alas.
either way in theory you could make all of the Variants have a purpose to exist other than Powercrepe, but that was not the intention and that effort was not made, so i'd cut them to start with and Variants could be created all over again with intent.
ideally one would also..... set the generic Weapons on fire. "yet another __" type of Weapons, usually Assault Rifles or Swords or the most basic things one can imagine in a game, most of them don't have a reason to exist because they aren't different in a meaningful way.
but you could still have hundreds of Weapons, just like how games that run forever will keep creating new Characters or whatever - you can have a lot of stuff, as long as you create stuff with the intention of creating different styles/new styles as the main bullet point.
infinite, yes. a large number, eh, you just have to put in the effort.
pretty sure i already said that the Players have offered much more unique & varied Abilities for existing and new Warframes, but that being not what we get into the game itself.
one person can't create grand variety, it takes many minds together to do so.
just as solving major problems in the world, i.e. inventions that revolutionized the world, wasn't just one person snapping their fingers. every grand world changing invention, hasn't been alone, other people had been looking at solving those issues too. oftentimes these people even borrowing ideas from each other and putting them together differently.
and so the same goes for creating unique Weapons. and why the Community is able to create so much variety, but ultimately that doesn't mean much if it doesn't get put into the game.
Melee Weapons has it the worst as they are the least able to provide variety, they have to use the same Animations and so the only ways they can differentiate is having a different Heavy/Charge Attack, and changing up some Stats. they're very limited. ironic that we have the most redundant filler for Melee Weapons despite that.
they've tried to do something about that, with say, Katana XL and Warfans - create a new Category that is functionally like another one, but with different Animations to let it try and stand out more.
there's a layer that already makes this work and a layer that could be lost, even though that's generally a desirable scenario to create - in that Weakpoint Crits are much better than normal Crits. not to mention that we even have the rare Enemy that Crits are pretty interesting in a way. while Ancients are super boring nowadays unfortunately, MOA's are still interesting, and have a distinct 'Headshot' Body Part, and a distinct Damage Multiplier one.
where that becomes interesting is that the one that is considered a 'Headshot', doesn't deal as much Damage as another zone, and you also don't get the Weakpoint Crit Bonus shooting at the 'Headshot' zone, but to that other Damage Multiplier zone.
that is a lot of interesting folds to Gameplay, and while it does rely on Randomization, it's still quite interesting. depending on what type of Weapon you may prefer to shoot at one place vs another, or Headshot activated effects make you hit one place then switch to the second place, Et Cetera.
just like how i'm excited for the PC Port of Horizon Zero Dawn, most complex Body Part Multipliers&hit zones ever in a Video Game, as far as i'm aware of
you're comparing an unmodded Weapon. not to mention a Mod that under normal circumstances does not add any significant amount of Damage.
what we actually compare in the game is a set of 8 Mods. increasing Crit Damage while leaving Crit Chance alone and then adding other Damage Mods (or if we had a second strong Crit Damage Mod, but that's rare), increases Damage more than balanced Crits. Weapons with high natural Crit Chance benefit more because of averaging, ofcourse, as some of those Weapons can push Crit Chance to a Multiplier of close to or exceeding 1; but there's Crit Weapons that don't offer such high Crit Chances.
it's just a result of having so many Damage Mods, and ergo many choices for pushing other Stats instead of Crits and that can exceed increasing Crit Chance, as poorly as that feels to use.