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2019 : Balancing the small sprinkles of content with big dumps.


BrazilianJoe
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2018 was the year of the content drought for Warframe. 

I think the big content releases were very welcome, and the gradual release of content for the new open areas are a nce way to go about things. 

But I also think the time between content releases was too protracted. And it's a hard problem to solve.

So I was thinking on a way to make a win-win-win for content release. 

My suggestion tackles multiple action items in the game to provide what I think is a sensible strategy.

Let me start enumerating a few points: 

1) Fashionframe is one of the core values of the game. While some people do not care for it, and it's OK, there is a strong current in the community that says "fashionframe is the endgame".

2) There is a huge inventory of past weapons, nicely crafted and designed, but which are not necessarily endgame-worthy.

3) People always want more mastery, to finally reach MR30.

 

With those in mind, my ideas is: 

Let people dismantle old weapons to harvest one component to use on zaws/kitguns.

PROPOSED MECHANICS:

3 or 3 items can be extracted from a weapon:
a) a strike or chamber;
b) a secondary attack or link, if applicable;
c) a mesh+skin.

Only one item can be extracted each time you dismantle a weapon. If you want all items, you need to build multiple versions of a weapon and dismantle one weapon for each part.

Each harvested strike/chamber can be used in a zaw/kitgun, and gilded/leveled up one more time, for additional XP contributing to MR.

Upon gilding or renaming, it should be possible to select an alternative mesh+skin for any weapon (of the same type). Dual, akimbo and twin weapons can use different meshes on each hand.

RESTRICTIONS

Since it's not possible to do primary weapons and archwing weapons, they are not eligible for the process yet. Prime weapons are also excluded, until a future technological development to master Prime Orokin technology.

RELEASE STRATEGY

Release one wepon per week, or every two weeks. to give a little  thing to work on.

WHY IT MAKES SENSE

Of course there is programming involved, but there will be no need to create new art assets. The existing weapons already provide a baseline of stats to design the strike/chamber from. Re-release one chamber or strike per week or every two weeks is a non-overwhelming amount of work, and arguably less than creating a full new weapon to release.

It will provide a constant trickle of weapon content to revisit, work on, spend platinum, forge, and FASHION.

 

Edited by BrazilianJoe
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Oogh.

I get where you're coming from, but this sort of arbitrary recycling grind would really turn me off of Warframe. I think it would also be very difficult for DE to balance mixing and matching the best qualities of their various guns.

I think it would be better for DE to compartmentalize a bit, similarly to what they've done with Conclave - assigning a small dedicated team to balancing it.

Obviously, this comes down to their staffing options but it would be nice to have a small group dedicated to, say, Reinforcements or rooting through the game for dilapidated content needing a refresh.

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I can very much agree with the criticism here: this year we saw DE put all of their eggs into the Fortuna basket, neglecting essentially all other projects in favor of getting the next big open world out as soon as possible, and the results have been... well, not bad by any stretch, but not quite the revolution that was PoE. It feels like we've been waiting a long time for not all that much additional content, despite the Vallis's size, and the content that did get released in the interim, i.e. Khora, Revenant, ESO, Arbitrations, has been unpolished at best, and half-baked at worst. I don't think this is an entirely sustainable production pipeline, and while the desire to focus on large, awesome updates is an honorable one, it's led to the starvation of valuable content releases in-between.

With that said, though, I also do not think the proposed solutions in the OP would really alleviate that, especially since the recycling system sounds like a significant technical project on its own. I kinda doubt the longevity such a system would bring, as well, since ultimately players will almost certainly settle upon whichever optimal combination of parts, and likely stop iterating from then on unless there's a reward for doing so. Releasing new weapons every week or two is easier said than done, since making quality weapons takes time and resources, so the choice is to either release good weapons slowly, or to fill the game with even more cookie-cutter guns, when we have far too many generic weapons already.

If we're staying purely on the subject of content drought and how to solve it, I think there are two points to consider: first, DE needs to readjust its content production pipeline so that it allocates sufficient resources to smaller projects, even if they don't take the highest priority. As honorable as it sounds to get all hands on deck on the biggest priority project at hand, when that project takes time the result is starvation for everything else (i.e. a content drought): operating systems developers have been aware of this issue for years, which is why most computer operating systems use a thing called a multi-level feedback queue, which juggles priorities on computer processes that have been abandoned for long enough, so that smaller tasks can get handled alongside the larger ones in a timely manner. DE could benefit from applying the same principles to their development, and take the time to dedicate more resources to smaller releases from time to time to make sure we get more consistent and higher-quality content in smaller releases, along with an inevitable larger release. As awesome as it is to want to get another open world out as soon as possible, it very much looks like the playerbase would've appreciated more consistent content before then, even if it would've meant delaying Fortuna by a month or two.

The second point to this I think is that DE could stand to make the content drought less severe if they could simply make more use of their current content: as it stands, there is so much good content in Warframe that sees little to no play, simply because players have no reason to engage with it. Several different mission types are completely unseen outside of basic star chart missions (usually those that have been added more recently), and many different modes, like Sanctuary Onslaught, Arbitrations, Nightmare missions, and so on, give no reason to be played once the player has obtained all of the relevant rewards. Giving the player unlimited incentive to play this content, perhaps through floofs or the like (which isn't entirely unlimited, but could stretch things out a little further), would help make content last longer, even if implementing this fully would likely be an entire massive project on its own. 

Edited by Teridax68
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This is not supposed to replace the big dumps of content. It should ride alongside it.

Remember how we used to have more frequent releases of new weapons? It slowed down, a lot. 

I think this idea would give us a constant stream of content to revisit, and the ability of pulling unique weapon features from those old weapons, and put in a non-sucky kitgun or zaw, would be very welcome. 

Like for example pulling the unique Stug exploding bubble gum, and make a better version of it (as in better stats) in a Kitgun.

Or just plain pulling up a Tysis skin, and an Embolist skin, and using as a coat of paint in whichever akimbo pistol I want. 

Or picking up the dual-shot burst of CULT OF KRAKEN and pimp it up with a much improved version.

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To somehow alleviate the content droughts, spend quite a bit of development time to make every weapon into parts that can be used in constructing new weapons. Adding a fractal of balancing issues and pushing other projects back.

Interesting idea, but how is this supposed to fix content droughts?

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2 hours ago, BrazilianJoe said:

This is not supposed to replace the big dumps of content. It should ride alongside it.

Remember how we used to have more frequent releases of new weapons? It slowed down, a lot. 

Yep, and that's why I brought up compartmentalization. Unless adding a new weapon is some gargantuan task requiring entire departments to help, it should be feasible to dedicate a small team to designing and releasing new weapons (with minimal administrative oversight).

2 hours ago, BrazilianJoe said:

I think this idea would give us a constant stream of content to revisit, and the ability of pulling unique weapon features from those old weapons, and put in a non-sucky kitgun or zaw, would be very welcome. 

Like for example pulling the unique Stug exploding bubble gum, and make a better version of it (as in better stats) in a Kitgun.

Or just plain pulling up a Tysis skin, and an Embolist skin, and using as a coat of paint in whichever akimbo pistol I want. 

Or picking up the dual-shot burst of CULT OF KRAKEN and pimp it up with a much improved version.

Why can't we just have those old weapons not suck?

I'd like to see a sort of upgrade system that lets players buff base weapon stats through grinding up to a limit set by MR.

For example, if we consider MR 15 the maximum mastery level of any weapon, it could be MR divided by 2 determines the maximum upgrade level (i.e., an MR 30 player could upgrade a weapon to the highest possible performance bracket).

This would allow veteran players to invest in whichever toys interest them most without requiring substantial development work.

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Agreed. That's been my sentiment too. DE is so focused on the idea of rushing out fresh new new content that they haven't, in my opinion, really considered how good Warframe already is right now but how incomplete so many areas are and essential QoL patches. Actually, they do know but they want to make it even better BY the addition of new content. Which is where my problem with DE is.

I agree with @DiabolusUrsus on the fact that why should the old weapons suck. We should just update their stats so they're in line with all the current "useful weapons". After all, like you rightly said a lot of people consider end game to be fashion frame. This would bring more cosmetic diversity in what essentially the same weapons for whatever category they fall in. 

I want to modify your dismantling suggestion. Why not do this with ALL weapons if the old weapons were brought to the current meta-standard. But if not,  to create a new form of obtaining components for the kitguns will come into competition with the existing method. How would you go about balancing that? I do like the idea but I do think it's quite unhinged and a bit too advantageous. On the bright side, it would be a good way to pave the road to connecting a lot more systems in the game.

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1 hour ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Yep, and that's why I brought up compartmentalization. Unless adding a new weapon is some gargantuan task requiring entire departments to help, it should be feasible to dedicate a small team to designing and releasing new weapons (with minimal administrative oversight).

Why can't we just have those old weapons not suck?

I'd like to see a sort of upgrade system that lets players buff base weapon stats through grinding up to a limit set by MR.

For example, if we consider MR 15 the maximum mastery level of any weapon, it could be MR divided by 2 determines the maximum upgrade level (i.e., an MR 30 player could upgrade a weapon to the highest possible performance bracket).

This would allow veteran players to invest in whichever toys interest them most without requiring substantial development work.

Love it all, wish this man made a game, I'd buy it in a heartbeat and tell my buddies about it.

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17 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I think it would be better for DE to compartmentalize a bit, similarly to what they've done with Conclave - assigning a small dedicated team to balancing it.

Obviously, this comes down to their staffing options but it would be nice to have a small group dedicated to, say, Reinforcements or rooting through the game for dilapidated content needing a refresh.

I love this suggestion!

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