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(PS4)GEN-Son_17

Difficulty and Endgame...Solutions?

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“Now, Warframe can have proper difficulty with its borked damage (though that should really be reigned in considerably) but a large part of Warframe's difficulty problem is in ability spam.  Hard to challenge the player when with the press of a button they can virtually disable all enemy AI.  If we had to rely near solely on blue orbs to power our abilities, things would be a lot less spammy than they are now, and we would probably think level 60 is tough simply because there will always be a gap where the enemy can at least get in a few pot shots.  Anymore, I think DE is desperately trying to counter ability spam by resorting to any means besides resorting to cool downs.  And well, between you and me, I'd rather be able to use a CC every 30 seconds on the exploiter orb's hell spawn than never at all.”
                                                                                                                                                                                              -    Lost_Cartographer
 

     This is what I've been contemplating the most regarding these endgame/difficulty discussions. I think Lost_Cartographer was on the right track with the cool downs of CC abilities. Adding a cool down to Saryn, Mesa and the Zenistar from the vet roster quickly changes the conversation. Adding a charge over time to Rhino's iron skin would frustrate the new players that were looking for the easy route courtesy of a vet's hint. DE could add those mechanics similar to the charge up time of transcendence. Personally, I'd rather see them nerfed like Ember's 4. Of course we'd hate it but it's great for the game.

As examples, Saryn's spores can eat armor but provide little effect to enemy health while her 4 only halves enemy hp without adding damage at max rank (a true viral effect with maximum power strength allowing 75% health reduction). Toxic lash's melee spore bursts could be huge damage and provide a leech effect, giving her destructive power but making her work for it. No more inst-killing the map but still a huge support/killer while allowing her fellow tenno to benefit from the enemy weakening.

Mesa's 4, on the other hand, can still do heave damage but would have a limit of twelve shots at max rank (basically doubling her six shooter peacemakers). This ability would have a cool down associated with it to keep the power in check (with max power strength affecting damage and adding more shots). Also, once she begins her 4, she cannot cancel it until the shots are depleted, causing the player to think twice before unleashing it. The tradeoff would be high damage reduction and bullet deflection. This would definitely make "Mesa's Waltz" a more welcomed addition.

Rhino's Iron skin would scale based on enemy starting level but would not be accessible at the start of the mission and, instead, require a charge over time. Power strength would determine how soon and how effective iron skin is upon activation but players would have to balance their loadouts a little more carefully as power strength extends the charge time as a tradeoff. Efficiency helps but requires a lot to matter. A balancer and benefit to the charge time would be associated with the "Iron Shrapnel" and "Ironclad Charge" augments with the former becoming a more useful mini CC while calculating the remaining Iron skin armor released to reduce the charge time based on its value. The latter would not only speed up the charge time with Rhino Charge's use but, with continued use prior to the charge up, can award a MUCH more potent Iron Skin if the Ironclad timer doesn't expire. There would also be no cancelling this ability via bubbles or enemy abilities as it is no longer an energy related ability. 

     As for endgame difficulty, or endgame in general, I'd start at the Derelict since the basis of endgame mechanics are already present there. Missions start at different levels based on acquired keys (paying homage to the old tier system) and have four key types: Bronze, silver, gold and platinum. And, since virtually every faction travels there, it's a great canvas for multi stage missions, mixing up playstyles and causing players to think carefully about their load outs. Enemy level starts at 60 and peaks at 80 for bronze level, 85-100 at silver, 100-115 for gold and 120 and up for platinum. Rewards would come three fold per level: a grind hunt for an elusive and specific warframe/weapon/sentinel part (one part per difficulty with drop rates ranging from 20% for bronze, 30% silver, 50% gold and 90-100% platinum), a mission clear reward of a new arcane type (bronze for bronze, silver for silver, gold for gold and all three types for platinum, similar to the eidolons) and a riven+kuva combo if no one dies or endo+credits combo if someone dies (promoting teamwork).

Mission type #1 (any key) would begin as a survival of either grineer or corpus (20 minutes at bronze and silver level and 30 at gold and platinum levels) followed by a (300 at bronze to 500 at gold) enemy elimination to defeat infested and the mission would end with a laphantis assassination, aka the reason for entering.

Mission type #2 (silver, gold or platinum key) would be a resource based mission beginning as an excavation for 1000 cryotic with, cryotic, endo and credits as fully excavated rewards and a random chance at a gold mod or elusive sentinel part per 200 cryotic completed. Part two of this mission would involve locating a derelict vault with a new type of Corrupted mod inside if you have the right key (further adding to the difficulty). If opened, the reward goes to the team and the key's effects are gone but only after you defend the door which is on a timer...and whichever key that opens the door spreads its effects to the squad (keeping with the defense theme but adding a penalty). 

Mission type #3 (gold or platinum key only) would focus on capturing a corpus walker with data to locate a prisoner. Instead of the usual prison break, the prisoner would be trapped within a puzzle type and guarded by a Juggernaut Behemoth. Once the behemoth is defeated, the rescued prisoner, an actual tenno, must be defended (cryopod defense and NOT mobile defense) before the mission ends with him/her awarding a guaranteed elusive reward that would complete either the warframe, sentinel or weapon exclusive to these missions. Only one exclusive reward type is given, non-tradeable, and each mission completion nets the next exclusive item's piece. 

Platinum key users will also receive an exclusive completion emblem, armor (with bonus attributes built into it), syandana (with attributes) and a special arcane helmet specifically for the new endgame exclusive warframe.

These are just some of the potential solutions I thought of. Thoughts?

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another idea would be to have enemies that know how to deal with warframes better. they recognize what frame you're playing and adapt accordingly, for instance enemies who notice theres an ember in your squad will go to fetch heat-resistant armor, if theres a saryn they'll start wearing oxygen masks to prevent contagion, if they see people dying to a zenistar they'll learn to avoid that area as long as the zenistar is there. etc.

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