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Elite Mode Starchart? A possible solution for the "Lack of Endgame" problem


(PSN)Jedi_Arts_
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A lot of veteran players (including myself) have been complaining for a long time that there's no endgame in Warframe. The main reason is that with all of the powercreep (which is to be expected in a game that is constantly coming out with new content), now there is a massive deficit between the enemies in Warframe and the power of basically any modded loadout. 

So far DE's solution to this has been to slowly implement new game modes that fail to satisfy after a while. (Sorties, Kuva Floods, Elite Sanctuary Onslaught, Arbitrations, etc.) Another problem with these modes is that they all follow their own unique structure. Some people just want to play the regular game without having to deal with mechanics like the single life in Arbitrations, the ridiculous amount of required DPS in ESO, or the boring wait to get to the highest level Sortie mission.

There's an entire Starchart of potential "Endgame" that is untapped because none of the normal missions exceed level 40-45. People want to just be able to jump into competitive missions. The idea of missions having to scale to competitive levels is contrary to the "Bite Sized" mantra that DE often has had.

My solution:

-Implement a new "Elite Mode" toggle that you can access in the game menu that makes any mission the player goes into start at level 100 (including open world missions on the Plains of Eidolon and Orb Vallis). (Also none of this level 60-80 stuff please, 100 at the least)

-The toggle is unlocked at a certain milestone into the game.

-Completing any mission in Elite Mode (or any Wave in an Endless Mode with Elite Activated) awards a unique currency that can be redeemed in a rotating new reward pool. (Following the blueprint of using Vitus Essence to redeem rewards in Arbitrations).

-Set matchmaking to match players only with others in Elite Mode.

I'm not saying this is the perfect solution, but I am definitely saying that this would intrigue the majority of longtime veterans and give them a greater sense of endgame immediately. I think the long-term success of the system would depend on DE's ability to rotate new and intriguing rewards into the pool. But even just putting something like this into the game without any rewards would create a major opportunity for something to build on.

Let me know what you think of the idea and if you can think of anything that would make it better. Also, do you want to fight enemies of an appropriately matching difficulty in the missions you actually want to play like in the new Open world maps? I certainly do.

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This would be awesome.  Elite mode for existing content would be a great addition.

I made a similar post in a bosses thread yesterday.  The change you describe would require less development time than the addition of new mechanics etc I brought up and would be a great start.

 

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I fully support the elite star chart idea, but disagree with the rewards.

Having a unique pool of reward make it feel like it's yet another mode that you will grind for a week and forget. Also, unique rewards mean it will attract everyone, even those who are definitely not ready for the content. They will not be able to complete it and cry for nerfs on the forums. For better or worse, having unique rewards make it mandatory for many players. By not offering any unique rewards, it make the whole thing optional, and that's a good thing for us. DE hasn't implemented end game in years, that's something we should keep in mind. They cater to the casuals and want all the content fairly accessible, locking some stuff behind level 100 enemies goes against that. If it offers unique rewards it will suffer the same fate as the ESO and Arbitration, the level of the enemies will be kept relatively low in the name of accessibility.

Instead it should offer some small bonuses, good enough for people to play it but not so good that people who can't play it will complain.

A few examples that come to mind:

- Small boosters active all the time during missions, like the ones we get every time we open a relic in fissures. It means elite missions would yield a bit more of everything, so a slightly more efficient farm, but at higher difficulty. I can't tell what would be a good value, I would say 25% as we get in fissures. It should at least offset the loss of drops from less kills due to higher time to kill the enemies, and give a slight increase.

- Increased enemy density. It gives both increased difficulty and increased drops from the enemies.

- Maybe alter the drop table slightly, the rare drops would have a better chance of loot, but don't go crazy.

 

Ideally you would switch to elite missions when you've reached end game, and start using it all the time. To veterans that should become the "default" setting, something they want on all the time except if there is a good reason to play the low level stuff. If it's the other way around it'll be forgotten soon enough. Make it a place we try our end game builds on, not yet another place to farm even more over powered mods.

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Instead it should offer some small bonuses, good enough for people to play it but not so good that people who can't play it will complain.

I agree. since those whouldnt even be new missions or content, you should just get more reward for more challenge, instead of different rewards for different challenges.

some specific missiontypes might need to be slightly altered, specificly spy since those whouldnt play any different on level 1 compared to level 100 due to lack of having to fight enemies in the first place. just use loki or if you're really bad ivara and cheese it. Therefore enemies might need some invisibility jammer field around them (3-4 meters is probably already enough) to make them more "elite", also always 1 vault failed = lose, like in sorties.

 

a nice sideeffect of this whould be that new players get to play more with new players. When i first started to play the game, i almost never got into public partys with other low MR people which was pretty frustrating since i barely, well... got to play the game. The game loses quite a bit of "new game magic" when 3 of your fellow tennos just blast trough levels in 10 seconds leaving you in the dust.

Edited by iHaku
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Like I said in a previous post, there are some conditions that I think constitute good endgame:

1. It cannot reward players with combat gear. If there is one thing I learned about vets in any game, it is that they already have the most broken gear in the game. It is impossible to reward endgame players with combat gear without introducing power creep. This leaves us with the other alternative reward: Cosmetics.

2. It has to be tiered. The gamemode that is introduced as endgame cannot be locked to one difficulty only. The rewards have to scale up according to difficulty because then it will introduce a dynamic of progression. Vets will know that they are the best, not-so-vets will know that they need to go back to the farm and grind out some better gear to attempt this again.

3. It needs to lead to impossibility, or near-impossibility. This rule applies only to a select few games I have seen and Warframe is one of them. In this game, players are presented with so many different options and ways to cheat around the game's combat, examples being limbo cheese, atterax spin, chroma instakills, the list goes on. Therefore it should be assumed that the players are gods and are able to to anything. With this in mind, a scaling mechanic should be in place to ensure that the final tier of endgame is impossible to get to.

So far your post hasnt addressed any of the above points.

There is also the issue that player density will be severely inconsistent. As of current most nodes in the starchart see little to no activity, only a select few being popular such as helene, hydron and mot. Imagine that problem but multiplied by a hundred times. With a veteran-only starchart, it would be difficult to utilise each and every planet. Perhaps it would be better if we narrow it down to a few places.

Just my two cents, hopefully you find my input helpful at best and interesting at worse.

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9 hours ago, O2D3nTe said:

I fully support the elite star chart idea, but disagree with the rewards.

Having a unique pool of reward make it feel like it's yet another mode that you will grind for a week and forget. Also, unique rewards mean it will attract everyone, even those who are definitely not ready for the content. They will not be able to complete it and cry for nerfs on the forums.

I'm really not too worried about the rewards system right now. However DE wants to do it is fine as long as it's good. If it was implemented the way I said in the post, I don't think that would be a bad thing. Just perhaps not the ideal way.

9 hours ago, O2D3nTe said:

I fully support the elite star chart idea

Yes I agree that this is the most important bit. The first priority I think is giving players some influence over the difficulty level of the game just across the board. I'm talking about we need this for the entire game on an optional basis. I can't stress that point enough. And if it's optional, I don't think there are really many downsides to speak of.

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2 hours ago, Cephalycion said:

It cannot reward players with combat gear. If there is one thing I learned about vets in any game, it is that they already have the most broken gear in the game. It is impossible to reward endgame players with combat gear without introducing power creep. This leaves us with the other alternative reward: Cosmetics.

I hear you, but I don't think an exclusively cosmetic system is an absolute necessity. Like, it's not a deal breaker if they decided to put in a gameplay item once in while. Especially because they already implement stuff into the game all the time that is supposed to be for veterans, but isn't really. It's just going to be a hit-or-miss situation kind of always on gameplay gear. And if the game completely stagnated on new gameplay gear and became completely about implementing cosmetics for the rest of time, I think that would take a lot of the creativity out of things. So, I think they should still at least try to create new gameplay gear aimed at veterans, but just try to avoid powercreep as much as possible. And if the gear is for veterans, you might as well put it in the veteran reward system. If people don't want to buy it, they can just buy the cosmetics instead.

But, like I talked about in a recent reply, I think more influence over the gameplay difficultly is the real priority over rewards anyway (at least just to get the ball rolling on an endgame structure).

 

2 hours ago, Cephalycion said:

Perhaps it would be better if we narrow it down to a few places.

I'd have to disagree about the narrowing it down to a few places. For what I recommended, at the very worst veterans may have to play some level 100 missions solo. That's really not a problem, and for a lot of people it may be highly desired to do that on any tileset (I would love to be able to do that). And if they don't want to play at level 100 alone, just turn off the toggle. I say value more options over less. And honestly, I would just love to see a day where I didn't HAVE to do mission on like level 20 if I don't want to.

Also having it as an overall toggle for the whole game lets people be able to play Elite Mode on any Void Fissure. I know there are a lot of people who would love to spice up those boring Void Fissure missions. I don't think there would be a lot of difficulty in matchmaking for Elite Void Fissures. There's always recruiting if nothing else.

 

Also your ideas for a Tiered system with an eventual impossible cutoff seems like a good idea. I wouldn't be opposed to the toggle being adjustable to certain enemy level benchmarks (like 100, 150, 200, etc.)

 

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I second this idea. End game content is somewhat of a vague descriptor that varies from game to game. For Warframe, this would be an excellent way to implement that end game content. I think it's also a great idea for it to be a toggle since with each new prime and warframe release, we'll be rank 0 and probably won't want to jump right into a level 100 match. I'd say a good qualifier for being able to use the toggle would be at minimum 50% of the starchart completed and completing ALL junctions are a must. Maybe toss in a few quest requirements too, such as you have to do Second Dream and War Within to be able to participate.

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13 hours ago, Falconer777 said:

Allows you to save developer resources, and at the same time give experienced players a version of the endgame.

Yeah the Dev resources are something that I did have in mind. DE has already created the basis for a game that can be really fun in just about every mission you play. All that untapped potential is already in game. The only thing keeping the game for being fun for longtime Vets is the difficulty level. An Elite Mode for the game at large seems like a natural step in the progression of Warframe. 

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9 часов назад, (PS4)Jedi_Arts_ сказал:

Да, ресурсы Dev - это то, что я имел в виду. DE уже создал основу для игры, которая может быть очень забавной в каждой миссии, которую вы играете. Все, что неиспользованный потенциал уже в игре. Единственное, что удерживает игру за то, что вы весело проводите время для ветеринаров, - это уровень сложности. Элитный режим для игры в целом кажется естественным шагом в развитии Warframe. 

I agree. I'm even a little surprised why it has not been added yet.
There are “nightmare” missions - but there, too, an opponent of a low level and very easy to kill.

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5 hours ago, Chaemyerelis said:

I like the removal of multishot suggestion. Our dmg output is just too much and bigger bullet sponges does not equal challenging. They should also overhaul  mobs on the starchart to perform more moves like the Orb Vallis mobs.

I mean, get where you're coming from. I will also add that trying to increase difficulty with mechanics and movement is a good concept. But entirely removing Multishot from the game comes with far too many complications. And aside from that, it doesn't really sound like a realistic thing that DE would do. That's why I'm mostly trying to recommend something that could go into the game without causing much drama. That's part of why I think an Elite Mode should be entirely optional.

But I do have a few more thoughts. First of all, with damage setup just how it is, level 100 enemies aren't really bullet sponges in the first place. If I had recommended like level 150, then maybe. But it really doesn't take very long to kill a level 100 enemy as long as you mod right.

Also I think History has shown that giving players more to work with is going to be more successful than taking something away. I'm not talking about Powercreep. I'm talking about things like the Primary & Secondary re-balances early this year for example. Almost all the changes they made were buffs, and I think it's clear that those were very successful. The weapons that were already very strong they mostly left alone. It was the weaker ones that got the significant buffs and it leveled the playing field for guns. That's why I thought that the Powercreep from it was minimal at best. The new strong weapons were disadvantaged in the first place. Meanwhile, everyone was thankful that they went that direction instead of nerfing the strongest weapons to the ground. I think similarly it would be better to give players more to work with (Like an option to raise the difficulty) instead of an across the board nerf to guns.

That also brings up the fact that guns aren't only thing that destroys the Starchart. What about Warframes, Melee, and even the Operator now? To really make content competitive in the Starchart as it is now, they would have to rework everything and figure out how to balance it all. They would also have a very hard time trying to figure out what to do with No-Multishot Rivens now that so many people would feel cheated out of the money the spent on them.

Last, I want to point out that removing Multishot doesn't solve all of our problems. Something else would just replace it in that slot. And even with the slot empty the majority of weapons would still trivialize most of the Starchart, and perhaps even trivialize Tiles like Sedna, Eris, Pluto, Etc. That's because this is inherently a Starchart problem instead of a weapon problem. Most of the content in the game is just far too low. We need to progress the content along with the new era of Warframe instead of trying to chase it backward.

Edited by (PS4)Jedi_Arts_
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18 hours ago, (PS4)Riko_113 said:

We had a good discussion about this exact idea a couple weeks ago. 

 

Thanks for pointing out this thread. This is interesting to me that others are having the exact same idea. Though it's not really a surprise to me because at this point it kind of feels like a no-brainier move. Earlier I believe I said that it feels like a natural step in the progression of Warframe. I have seen some opposition to the idea where people are saying that it's your responsibility to withhold the power from your build if you want a challenge, which is totally backward. But nobody has actually found a decent downside for a completely optional toggle. The fact that players with these super advanced loadouts are still having to spend their time doing fodder content is kind of silly after all these years. The way the game is built, there will always be some reason that players have to go to these lower level missions to get something they need. It would be nice if we could just cut out the wasted time "grinding" and actually have some fun on the way to the rewards.

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I also wanted to add that I feel like a reward system for an Endgame would be better served by a currency based system. Because if you want to make an item very difficult to get with a currency, it would just have to be very expensive. There's nothing wrong with that because at least the player would know they would get it eventually. And every mission they would do builds toward what they want. It would also be similar and comparable to do it through some sort of progression system like Standing. But making an item difficult to acquire through an RNG system means making it extremely rare. Then things would be very uneven and perhaps hopeless for some players, while easy for others. For an Endgame system some rewards would have to be difficult to get to create a feeling of progression and have a sense accomplishment for playing. Provided, I think the reward pool would need to be fairly frequently updated with new content. But for now if players could just adjust the difficulty of the game somehow, even without rewards that would be a good way to start.

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13 hours ago, moostar95 said:

De isnt going to listen to vets. Ill love to have elite star chart be like this game's take on new game plus. But then they get the fears of scaring away new players who dont wont be overwhelmed with challenge.  I feel like we're in a new era of warframe where challenging content isnt really on de mindset atm.

I have also been concerned that vets aren't really a priority anymore. It seems like every time they come out with something new, the bar is set like really low. And if it is set high, then it seems like it gets a nerf fairly early on. It also seems like that may be the business strategy. Just try to pull in as many people with the flashy new stuff, even if it's trivial for anyone who has played for a while. I think an endgame may be on the back burner because they're trying to wow new players with all this easy open world stuff.

But I have to believe that they at least want to try to give vets an endgame. The fact that they implemented ESO and Arbitration this year tells me that they want an endgame, but they just don't know how to make it. And they haven't been very pleased with the results so far. And I think it's because ESO and Arbitration are so limited and isolated. If they just opened the whole game up to higher difficulty, the variety already exists there to greater extend than ESO and Arbitration can offer. I also want to point out that there are so many games that have options for difficulty adjustments like Beginner, Normal, Advanced, etc. It's not like this is a very exotic idea and I think they should keep an open mind to suggestions like this, even if they are trying to get some platinum out of newbies right now. I think time will show that vets will put a lot more money into the game than new players if you give them a reason to stay in Warframe. This business strategy doesn't work if all the new players leave as soon as they realize this isn't going anywhere when they finish the Starchart.

Edited by (PS4)Jedi_Arts_
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Even if that'd be made I'm afraid DE would figure a way to make it into pointless grindfest. For example rewards every 1 hour of playing. Or every 10.000 units killed, or every 500 facepalms you made, or every 100 ragequits.

They are good at making playing this game a chore

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19 hours ago, (PS4)Jedi_Arts_ said:

I think time will show that vets will put a lot more money into the game than new players if you give them a reason to stay in Warframe. This business strategy doesn't work if all the new players leave as soon as they realize this isn't going anywhere when they finish the Starchart.

They noted that they were going to make spiders more....non-newbie friendly to some extent....but we know how things can change.

This is similar to something that I've suggested to breathe life into all aspects of Warframe "Peculiar Simulations" (basically fusing dragon keys and peculiar mods so they have a purpose instead of be useless "fun").

Here are a few, but essentially they each affect the difficulty of the player with them equipped, I need to go back and work on the positives on some of them, but with a system like this implemented they could theoretically do many variations on all content:

On 2018-08-19 at 5:04 AM, Synpai said:

Peculiar Hobbled Simulation: Player moves at a slower speed (can't sprint), but gains increased damage and a constant cold aura that slows enemies in radius.
Peculiar Nesting Doll Simulation:  Enemies have a chance to spawn more enemies when killed by a player with this active.
Peculiar Orbital Simulation:  The player is occasionally targeted by Orbital Strikes (only damages people with it active).
Peculiar Blind-Fight Simulation:  The player is periodically (at random) surrounded by darkness.
(Team) Peculiar Onslaught Simulation: Enemies are bountiful, but drops less items and affinity (Improved while mode set to solo).
(Team) Peculiar Eximus Simulation: Eximus enemies are bountiful, be sure of your footing!
(Team) Peculiar Fissure Simulation: Rift caution! Enemies may become corrupted, collecting 10 void traces has a chance to trigger a void buff or bonus relic mission award (resets once the buff ends).

 

I do think there's still room for silly effects here (like ones that cause sounds or visuals on kills), as well as purely "difficultly increasing effects" (see Orbital Strike) or double edged-sword effects (see: Peculiar Hobbled Simulation).

 

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I fully support the idea of OP. That's basically a 'new game +' which I think is much needed in Warframe. I'd totally be down to replay the star chart and quests in "elite" mode or even, if you want to make it more coherent with what's already in the game, in "arbitration mode" with a single life and drones and all, starting at level 60 or more on earth and going up 20 levels per planet. I don't even care about the rewards. Right now I have like 20 weapons waiting in the foundry to be collected, leveled and formated into WMDs but every time I think of collecting them my mind goes: "and what am I gonna use it for?"

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