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Fortuna / Current State of Warframe feedback


Ken0ky
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Disclaimer : this will be a very, very long post. I'll try my best to organize my feedbacks for future discussions.

 

Hi everyone !

I'm not a veteran player, i'm not a new player, i'm just in the middle. I've played a LOT of games in my last 15 years, from strategy games to ARPG, FPS, MMORPG, etc !

I discovered warframe one years ago with the plains of Eidolons and i found this game really really cool. Unique gameplay, that seems to extend with every frame, multiple mission types, and the plains on top of that that trully expand and change the way you play the game compared to the rest of the game.

But after a while, i became a bit bored, feeling that everything was pretty much the same and pushing for certain things that i enjoyed wasn't worth it from the beginning. I was looking for new gameplay loops with fortuna and every frames since the plains, but i haven't found that refreshing content i was looking for, despite trully liking Garuda !

My goal with that post is to give as much feedback as possible, based on my experience, on how i feel about the game and show somes changes that could really improve my experience as a player. Absolutly EVERTHING in that thread is open discussion and result from my limited and very personnal experience with the game and other games i have played.

I will try to avoid talking about specific frames or weapon, since they are "just" variables on top of structure. If that structure doesn't tolerate or encourage variations, certains frames will always be better while others will suck (from a effectiveness perspective ! not design !), same for weapons.

Also i will do a ton of feedback and it might quickly look like i'm judging everything DE has made as bad. That is not the case at all ! Warframe is a fantastic game for the first hundreds hours, thousands for some people. All those feedback are here to look at ways to give it a second breath, not judge DE fantastic work.

Let's jump into it !

 

I] Difficulty scaling

I'm going to start with this one to get it out of the way, even if it's probably a topic that has been discussed many times before. Many many changes and possible improvements i will share will only work if difficulty scaling is handle differently.

At his core, Warframe is the combination of two things : an FPS and an RPG.

When i play an FPS, i like two things :

  • kill dudes, especially with a sniper, with well placed shots
  • not die to random stuff

When i play an RPG, i like two things :

  • face defined difficulty steps that i can overcome by improving my character
  • face always more complex ennemies that will require me to change the way i play in order to beat them

By scaling into more and more difficult content, every thing will one shot my character despite defensive layers (going to talk about this topic later), so i die to more and more random stuff. Ennemies will have more and more health, making spam aoe more and more attractive over well placed shots. So the FPS player in me isn't happy with difficulty scaling !

What about the RPG player ? I face the same ennemies, just with more stats (after the first level of the game and full ennemy roaster discovered, leveling is more fun because of this btw !), so i don't really have to change the way i play based on what i'm facing (i have to change my playstyle overall we agree on that). Once the star map is discovered, there is no difficulty steps i have to overcome. No boss, specific encounters, just a number to chase, like longest possible run. But even if i'm ok with 6 to 8 hours long gaming session, over an hour survival run is clearly not something is enjoy (because of difficulty scaling, but other reasons i will talk about later).

So difficulty scaling offers me no satisfaction at all in this game, which is sad for a competitive player like myself !

Suggestions :

Instead of linear difficulty scaling, go for a step by step difficulty scaling :

  • Stop scaling of basic monsters at certain level. A butcher is a butcher. If he can survive more than 2 headshots from a well upgraded vectis, i can't even imagine the helmet he is wearing, even in a futuristic universe like Warframe. Maybe it's the drugs that do the tric ? Same for rockets, after a certain level, if i built to survive to 1 rocket, don't matter if i go 100 levels further, i will survive that rocket because the damages don't scale anymore. That way we don't feel weaker and weaker when difficulty scale.
  • Implement new mechanics and ennemies at certains levels. Over a certain level, ennemies don't have more stats, they act differently. For exemple, Greener could learn how to set up better deffensive positions and crossfires, or having new equipements : starting levels, butcher simply slowly run to you, followed by range fire, high level, range fire set up cover, butcher hide behind it until you close the distance, and then they rush in very quickly to you.
  • Special encounters / boss fights at certain levels ?

Clarification on goals with this :

By stopping the scaling at certain point, you might be afraid the game becomes even easier if you are a veteran. And yes, this portion of the gameplay loop will become easier. But the goal is to transition the difficulty from what i call trash mobs to other part of a new gameplay loop. More details in chapter 4 !

 

II] Defensive layers

It is so closely linked to difficulty scaling, i will talk about i now.

Every defensive layer scale differently into late game, and synergize with different other defensive layer.

With current difficulty scaling, most of them become useless sooner or later. That's why i'm asking for a cap on damage we can receive from each ennemy. By caping it at the right place, we can balance deffensive layers so they all are relevant.

 That being said, you have passive and active defensive layers.

From a passive point of view, every thing could be fine with a cap on difficulty scaling. Three main layers :

  • HP for an overall increase, that scale well with all over defensive layers expect shield.
  • Shield for more defense against one hit one kill with overshield mechanic, but that scale only with avoidance / damage reduction. Less effective against constant damage than health.
  • Energy as second health bar for extreme defense vs one shot one kill, but with drawback being loosing energy.

Multiple secondary layers i will not list, you got the idea.

From an active point of view now, i will always, always be looking for more. Currently with have roll / jumping around, warframe tied abilities, block with melee, and very, very few mods / weapon specific mechanics like rolling guard.

Suggestions :

  • To go along with some of the point i will raise later, i would really enjoy active defensive layers that you could share / use to protect your allies : 
    • After blocking X damage in less than X seconds, you gain like a Reinhart shield from Overwatch that block damage to an amount to X * Y for Z seconds.
    • After executing an opponent, you scare nearby opponents.
    • On using your 4, creating a bubble shield for X * Power Duration seconds, value of the shield being Y * Power Strength damage.
    • Grant damage reduction equal to the percentage of total health you loosed in the past 10 seconds. You can shatter this damage reduction on power attack, improving it's damage by twice the amount. (cool way to mix defense and offense in an active way).
    • Ground slam attacks raise a small wall in front of you for X second.
    • Upon inflicting electric status proc, gain energy shield (once again a way to link defensive and offensive options).
    • Dive kicking create a small shield in front of you, absorbing damage. Damage is released of impact.

Looking to add more mod ideas here.

 

III] Damage types

Once again, nothing trully new, but i wan't to get it out of the way !

Once again, every damage types scale differently into late game, and synergize with different other damage type.

With current difficulty scaling, in later stages of the game, slash is king because it bypasses armor, it goes very well with viral (cold + poison) that scales really well into late game since it divides ennemy health, and on top of those two, you add radiation that turns ennemies against each others, adding a defensive layer on top of huge and good scaling damage.

Few tweaks could improve the actual system, but for me damage types need a different ennemy design to trully become cohesive. That's the next point i'm gonna make, don't worry !

Suggestions :

  • Status proc changes
    • Slash : unchanged
    • Impact : stun / knockback target based on threshold. I know, you hate it, but not because it's a bad design at this point. It becomes bad when you pair it with current ennemy design. Trust me, with changes i will suggest in the next chapter, you are going to LOVE impact.
    • Puncture : Ignore all target defense and create a spot where following shots ignore % of the ennemy defense.
    • Fire : unchanged, with armor being capped, fire remains relevant !
    • Cold : unchanged, with ennemy damage being capped, reducing ennemy attack speed trully become a thing.
    • Toxin : unchanged, with armor being capped, toxin remains relevant !
    • Electricity : unchanged
    • Viral : unchanged
    • Radiation : unchanged
    • Gas : unchanged
    • Corrosive : amount of armor stripped based on how low fire rate is ? Multiple projectile weapons reamins king at stripping armor.
    • Magnetic : unchanged, ennemy design need to make it more relevant
    • Explosive : aoe impact ? Nop ! Destroy specific defensive layers from opponents (like shield, buildable cover and more ! see next chapter) based on thresholds
  • Force certain status proc to proc first or on certain action with mods : 
    • First headshot against an opponent is always a puncture proc (disable random puncture proc)
    • After rolling, next attack inflict a impact proc with X times more damage
    • First ammo in barrel is an explosive round, consuming half the ammunition (with a minimum of X) and dealing Y more damage.
    • When bullet jumping, inflict slash damage to every opponent on the way
  • Allow players to have for exemple viral + gaz by going for poison/cold + poison/fire mods. If two mods of the same elements are split by a mod from another damage type, those two mods don't combine their damage.

 

IV] Ennemy design

Here we go ! Now we can talk about what would really change Warframe gameplay loop and, for me, improve it !

a) Part One : Changing Gameplay loop

I spoiled a little bit in previous chapters, but know i can unleash it !

But first, current ennemy design. How do you interract with ennemies ? You shoot them, you slice them, you spray fire of them, you knock them down (and you HATE IT !) and they die , hopefully before they can fire back. Some frames have different interractions with them, and that's cool. overall the ARPG player i am (yes i am a player of everything, get used to it !) see that as interaction you have with trash mobs, and trash mobs only.

That's fine, especially when trash mob don't destroy you with infinite scaling, but it quickly become boring. I already talked about how changing group AI to improve difficulty could be good, and it's clearly a first step in the right direction by making trash mobs TOGETHER more interessting, not each one of them (that's not the goal of trash mobs, they are trash after all).

On the same vein, having different factions challenge us with different ennemy trash mobs strategies, that's good but not enough. I need something more than trash mobs, ennemies i can look to challenge, and beat.

Small story break here. I have played Monster Hunter World this year, over 100 hours in 3 weeks. With a full time job, that's a ton of hour put into one single game, because i love so many things in it. Wanna know what i like the most ? I have to learn how to interact with the monster, with the beast i have to kill. It's like building a relationship, but with sword, and i really like it. So without copying Monster Hunter completly, clearly my suggestions are based on all the lessons about ennemy design that game gave me.

Suggestions :

  • Improve what's already here :
    • More differences between faction "playstyle" on offense. Infested trully swarm, Greeners pin you down with gunpower, Corpus use technology in creative way to surprise you.
    • More factions specific layers of defense that are not stats ! Greener already have shield and buildable cover, Corpus have mechanized unit with plating at certain spot and nullifiers, Infested have Ancient. Add more on top or emphasis more on those aspect. 
  • Implement special encouters :
    • Player can't kill them instantly unless they perfectly know ennemy weaknesses, are prepared, and wait for the good moment. Ideally a fight against those ennemies should go from 10 to 30 seconds. The goal is not to create boss figths, but elite / less frequent ennemies that complement the trash mobs.
    • Localized damage on those ennemies ! If you shoot the legs and deal enough damage, the legs get broken and the ennemie is knocked, giving time to kill/weaken him even more. Impact damage are way better at this with their own threshold.
    • Specific defensive layer the ennemy use. It can go from ennemy having a shield or weapon to block damage (explosion allowing to remove that layer, cold to slow it's reactivity), having specific plating (explosion), localized armor value (corrosive), localized shield values / reactive defense to reinforce weaken parts (magnetic). Monster could also dodge specific attacks or blocks / mitigate them, and have specific attack pattern that you HAVE TO learn in order to survive.

With those two changes you create new interactions with ennemies : interactions with trash, factions specific, that act as a default gameplay loop, and overall not to hard with difficulty scaling being capped, and interactions with those special ennemies, that requires more out of the player but are still included within trash gameplay loop (where boss fights like eidolons are separate from it).

Think of it like the MOBA gameplay loop on steroïdes : trash you are farming minions, special encounters you are in a duel vs an other player.

 

a) Part Two : Popcorn Time

I wan't to take time now to talk about one think that impact your gameplay and experience at all time, your camera. Camera in Warframe is very close to your character. "Ok thank you, wtf does it have to do with ennemy design ?". Close camera angles are good for multiple thing :

  • It limits your PoV, creating tension in close spaces
  • Close range interaction with the ennemies are more visible, making stealth gameplay feel more alive for example
  • It limits your PoV, making stuff that are bigger than your PoV feel like actually massive !

On the third point, Eidolons ! Very good example of that. On the second one, when leveling i had a TON of fun going sneaky sneaky stabbing Greener left and right. First point, even if i don't really like horror as a person, i really enjoyed red veil mission in the dark, that was cool !

BUT ! 95% of the time in Warframe, i'm farming, wawes after wawes of thrash mob. Is that camera usefull here ? Not really ...

I will go over level / mission design later, for now, let's stick to ennemies !

Suggestions

  • More over human size ennemies. No need to go as big as eidolons, but man i wan't to feel small and week first, and then beat a Greener tank or giant Corpus bipede after breaking it into pieces !
  • More close range interaction with ennemies, especially special ones i'm suggesting. By lowering difficulty from trash mob, the player can put more focus on that single ennemy, and has more room for close range interactions without getting deleted by trash mobs. Get that Greener tank, i'm jumping on top of it, opening the entrance on top, and shooting the pilots inside. That could be sick !

 

V] Coop Gameplay 2.0

Story time again ! One day i trully enjoy Warframe to it's fullest. Me and two other guy where in trio survival. We played the same way, close enough to each others to interract in a good way with each other, without trully having too, but it was fun. Teamwork made the dream work ! That was one day, with two randoms, because we were playing the same way, at the same pace, without any effort needed. Now every time i go against an Eidolon with a volt, i'm like where the **** is volt shield !

Current coop in Warframe is really good in a way, because it doesn't force interraction between player, and that's fine especially for farming content. But it's atrocious when you actually wan't to, because almost no tools or clear indication allow to play as a team.

Once again i spoiled a bit earlier, let's go into suggestions !

Suggestions :

  • Interface coop tool ! I need to see an icon with the character they play on every ally in sight ! If not in sight ? An arrow with that icon on the border of the screen (if they are on left of my pov, icon on the left + arrow to tell me twice the are on the left). In any case, a distance indicator. Icon could be bordered with shield on the left side in blue, health on the right side in red, energy has gradient on the icon (with a grey filter going from top to bottom the lower energy is).
  • Coop oriented mods or set bonuses :
    • I spoked about it earlier, after blocking create a reinhart shield, cool interaction.
    • When executing an opponent, create a fountain of blood that heals allies (1 piece). When executing an opponent, fear nerby opponents (2 piece). When executing an opponent, throw a smoke cloud making you and allies quickly invisible (3 piece).
    • Take X% of incoming damage from nearby allies (up to Y% of max health in one seconds), but healing on you are improve by Z% and you share X% of that healing with allies.
    • When crouching, create an area around you that restore energy for you and allies. Break upon receiving damage (good synergy with reinhart like shield).
    • Vaulting an ennemy mark it, making first attack from allies deals more critical strikes for a short amount of time and knock it down. Imagine one melee "tank" vault a key ennemy, the sniper at the back headshot it right after, knocking it down, so the melee tank can finish that weaken opponent on the ground. That could be something beautifull !
  •  Maybe push player toward those mods with dedicated slots on weapons and frames.

 

VI] Consumables

In every game i play, i hate those things. Why ? It required minutes if not hour of crafting, for seconds of benefit. It forces me into menus, long crafting list and recipes, even longer gathering sessions, and finally often badly design inventory systems to finally use them. You know why i hate EVERY single one of those steps ? During al of them, i'm not doing what i'm looking to do in game, which is playing the god damn game ! Interacts with the encounters in front of me, runs through the world to discover it, etc.

I have to stop killing ennemies to gather, i have to stop jumping around to gather, i have to burried myself in my base to craft ... LET ME PLAY THE GAME !!!

Now that my anger against every single consumables system has been revealed, i have to tell you i lied .. ONE consumables system got me, took me by surprise, and i loved it ...

If at this point you are guessing Monster Hunter, you are right, well done mate ! You played it and loved it too right ?

Suggestions :

  • On the fly gathering ! I'm rolling near that red tree, press the looting key, gathered instantly, that's a damage boost for you my friend added directly into you inventory wheel !
  • On the fly crafting ! You have that red thing, roll near that water right here, looting key, gathered, that's a damage boost potion for you, with longer effect that red thing alone. Oh and you had some green thing is your inventory too, boom health regen potion crafted too ! You wan't more powerfull effects ? Now you have to go to crafting station !
  • On the fly looting ! Hey man, you just slayed that Nullifier with a clean headshot ? Here is his bubble you can pick up and use ! That heavy gunner still had ammo, let's spray and pray ! Just got rid of an Ancient, here is his grappling arm !

 

VII] Missions types / pacing / level design

I'm throwing those together because they are, in my eyes, so closely linked, i can't imagine one without the other two.

First let's talk a bit about pacing. My ennemy design and scaling difficulty suggestions already impact the gameplay loop on a very deep level, creating downtimes and uptimes. I trully like that as a person, because i dislike when a game put me on constant pressure, instead of creating various challenges i have time to rest in between. That time to rest allow to look back on what you just did and enjoy your victory, say yourself who's boss, have fun with friends before the next big challenge. It's like watching a football match. You can go to the kitchen at some times to take a beer with low chance on missing a key action, and if you do, you run back in front of your TV for the replay ! If you follow Overwatch as an E-Sport, the pace of the game as been slowed down because as a viewer and as a player, it was hard to understand when you had to be focused and when you could drink your beer. So all my suggestions will follow this path here : creating downtimes and uptimes inside mission, every uptimes having it's own challenges to overcome.

I will go other every mission type i have played (because i didn't played all of them and i will not talk about things i haven't experienced) and give feedback / ideas. Like every thing in that thread, it is only my opinion. I will also share some ideas of "new" mission type for Warframe.

a) Exterminate

Simple, kill things ! Very good especially to introduce the game to new player, but looses strength quickly since the game mode lacks depth. 

Two issues for me 

  • All extermination mission really feel the same, and every situation in those missions feel the same too.
  • Loading time. One extermination take as much time to load than a defense for example, but can't be looped for more reward. You have to go back to ship, and restart, that's a killer when you are looking to farm or just enjoy constant gameplay !

Suggestions :

This time i'm going to look at DOOM to take inspiration !

  • I would really enjoy an Arena to Arena level design. What do i mean by that ? DOOM was made by the creator of Quake, a multiplayer game, an extremely fast pace multiplayer shooter. How did they made DOOM, a simple kill demons game, so enjoyable and deep from a gameplay loop perspective ? They applied what they knew from Quake, an arena shooter. Each arena has it's own geometry you can use and abuse, and you have to master it in order to beat your opponents. Having elimination mission build that way, where you go from an arena to an other, with specific ennemies in each of them, designed to abuse the geometry of that arena, could make Extermination a simple but deep mission type. In that arena, stealth. In that one, abuse high ground. Every arena could be used by different combinasion of ennemy for different results. Take high ground ? Not this time there is a Greener aircraft and you have to use cover to survive, cover you will not find going high ground.
  • Make them loopable ! Enjoyed the run, wan't to continue ? Yes or no ? If yes, small loading time and let's go. I don't know how it's handle in background, but since texture should already be loaded, it could take less time than going back to ship. DE devs, don't blame me on that one if i'm wrong, but feel free to let me know ! 

 

b) Assassination

Simple, kill one guy. Once again very good especially to introduce to difficult opponents, but suffer the exact same flaws Exterminate has.

Suggestions :

  • Make them loopable, same idea !
  • Use assassination mission to introduce players to special opponents. Wan't to unlock that special opponent for better loot, you first will have to assassinate the boss version of it in assassination ? When for special opponents i'm suggesting 10 to 30 seconds encounters, boss versions should be 2 to 4 minutes long. Once again inspiration from Monster Hunter, let that opponent go through phases, make him go from one arena to another, where he is stronger and stronger at using the map Geometry every time.
  • Use the travel time from mission start to boss to introduce boss mechanics and hype it up !

Clarification on goals :

I'm looking at assassination missions like steps in a Tenno story. Key missions you will remember and rerun again and again for rewards, speedruns, and fun ! Also by introducing special opponent this way, they seem more faire once you have to face their non boss (but still deadly) version in the middle of a bunch of trash mobs, because you already know the patterns. And killing that special opponent might trigger you to rerun that assassination mission, that in harder levels could challenge you with a boss variant, unlocking a variant of the known special ennemy.

 

c) Capture

Not going to lie, i really dislike current implementation of those. Why ? Running behind a guy isn't fun, shooting someting that doesn't fight back isn't fun, and if it turns on me and destroy me, why is he running in the first place ??

And once again, not loopable.

Suggestions

  • Create different scenarios : that ennemy is running to flee, that one is running to bunker himself. He is trying to flee, follow him with archwing !
  • Is the opponent weak or not ? If yes, show it, he has body guard that covers him, take shots for him. He is not the danger, he is the target. If not, show it once again, and give us a fight before he tries to flee.
  • When the opponent flee, force us to use parcour to follow them as they lock doors, elevator and stuff. Make it challenging not to kill the guy fleeing while running at him. The shooting at the end is quick, the parcour was the difficulty, the shooting is the reward.

 

d) Defense

Really like that one ! Pushes me to use specific frames, especially defense that evolves round after round ! Looking at you defense on Lua, i really like you. Same when the objective i have to defend force me to move round after round.

Suggestions

  • Less static defense
  • Maybe shorter wawes, but with more structured / organised attacks. So every round has more of it's own flavor !

 

e) Survival

Some people might not agree at all on that one, i'm sure of it. I enjoy survival as a concept, but i don't like them from a pacing perspective. As i said earlier, survival is the perfect example of a mode that puts constant pressure, instead of having down/uptimes.

So yeah, i'm going to bring my taste on that one, but maybe it should stay as it is. Because every mission type isn't for everyone and even less for me after all !

Suggestions

  • You guessed it : less constant pressure, more organise attacks from your opponents. Challenges and (short !) downtimes in between. That's it !

 

f) Sabotage

I haven't played sabotage for long. Fun at first, but the same thing over and over afterwards. That's my feeling on it.

This time, inspiration come from a multiplayer title, Battlefield !

Suggestions :

  • In battlefield, there is one game mode in love : rush. Ennemy is set in a defensive position, with short reinforcement range and cover advantage, so very hard to break. But once you managed to do it, you plant the bomb on one of two sites, and suddendly you are the defender is a relatively easy to pin down spot and they have to attack the bomb site. You have to take both bomb sites to complete that section of the map and move on. Bring it to Warframe ! With sneak abilities and parcour there are room for different approach, while other frames and abilities will be better once bomb is on site ! Put all of that on a timer and force respawn from mission entry point, and there you go !
  • With above system, make it loopable ! First section = two bomb sites, once they are gone you move on to next section, etc.
  • Every bomb is kind of an Arena on it's own, making for unique challenges !

 

g) Interception

Interception is like an ex-girlfriend, maybe it applies to ex-boyfriend too ! I love it for everything but i hate it at the same time for one little thing. I Love it because it forces you to move around, you have to defend but you are not forced to a defensive frames making it different from defense mission but still have to be able to protect an area. LOVE IT !

But why do i hate it ? Same points round after round and ... 4 POINTS to hold !! How do i manage that solo or duo when difficulty scales ! Even as 4, why force us to spread, let people play together, interact with each others.

Suggestions :

  • Evolving missions, going from one arena to another ?
  • 2 to 3 locations at the same time maximum ! Challenge should be to hold those things, not spread properly and have the patience to stay on your location the entire round.

 

x) [NEW] Hunt

y) [NEW] King of the hill

 

VIII] Mod setup swapping

Soon

IX] Star map MMO systems

Soon

X] Buildable contents

Soon

XI] Expand modding diversity

Soon

 

TBC : feedbacks will keep coming !

Edited by Ken0ky
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