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My view on why Warframe feels repetitive (the 15 minute loop)


birdobash
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There is a pressing concern and problem with a lot of new content that is being pumped out nowadays in Warframe, and a lack of real fun replayable content, after examining the game from a design PoV and experiencing the game for a few years, I've seen a lack of a certain aspect that all new content in Warframe don't have. This missing aspect is the 15 minute loop.

What is the 15 minute loop? It essentially is a gameplay loop that lasts for around 15 minutes, when talking about games and replayability, a gameplay loop means all the actions the player takes within a certain time period, all of the actions inside a single gameplay loop should be interesting and different, but several gameplay loops should generally be similar in what actions they consist of. What the 15 minute loop basically means is, for a game to be fun AND have lasting replayability value, it has to have around 15 minutes worth of different things the player can do, before redoing it all over again.

The 15 minute loop makes gameplay feel fresh even after having done essentially the same thing several times, but the key here is that the player themselves does not innately realize they are even in a gameplay loop, and therefore do not get bored of the same gameplay as quickly. This is one of the most important factors to consider in game design when you want your game to be replayable.

So what's Warframes problem? Well, almost everything. Firstly, almost everybody knows there is this huge problem with veterans leaving the game or veterans and normal players setting the game down for months at a time, only logging in for dailies most of the time. The issue I found here is actually pretty simple, they ran out of things to upgrade their arsenal/cosmetics. Warframe is a game with an absolute mega ton of different gear, weapons and most importantly frames, part of the gameplay loop that Warframe gives you is actually finding new weapons you don't know exist and leveling it up to a useable state, or unlocking frames to gain access to new powers and playstyles, the big problem here is that after you're satisfied with what you own, or have unlocked and leveled everything, is that now you realize that most of the rest of the game is actually pretty boring. Almost none of the actual gameplay has a solid gameplay loop, you've actually been playing a gameplay loop of upgrading yourself, but now that you're done that, theres almost nothing left to actually do.

Another problem, following the theme of the previous one, is the way Warframe treats leveling and progression. Unlike most games, Warframe progression is both cumulative and almost completely horizontal. You gain new weapons and frames, none of them are actually upgrades, excluding the primes which are (exception being fang prime). They either do different jobs or just feel and look different, they can all do all the same content, some worse than others, but it is not required to do it. In this sense, Warframes gameplay loop is too shallow, because eventually you'll hit a point where you level up every single weapon and frame or almost every, and then the gameplay loop straight up stops.

The third problem I see in both newer and some old content is the duration of the gameplay loop, mostly it being much too short. Most star chart missions only around 5 minutes, at most usually 7-10, and at the fastest 1-2 minutes. What about eidolon fights you say? In reality, Eidolon fights are actually not a single complete gameplay loop in a single fight, it is actually just a series of much smaller ones smushed into 1 mission. What do I mean by this? The first part of the loop is dropping the shields, the second is taking out a limb, and that's all, you could perhaps add in grabbing lures, but that would only add to the very first instance of these gameplay loops. Altogether, a single gameplay loop of an eidolon fight at most lasts 4 minutes, and at its complete fastest lasts 10-15 seconds (LOL), past the first limb break, you are essentially doing the exact same thing every few seconds or minutes, with barely any variation. Orb mother fights are also very similar in this sense, where a gameplay loop of that consists of the roulette of damage types, then shooting out the limbs with an archgun, yet again a very short gameplay loop. (Although orb mother also spawns beacons that you must destroy, still, not enough)

Open world areas also have this same issue, sure, the first few times you play a bounty they're ok and do look like they fulfill that 15 minute loop, but after playing them a few times, you realize it's not a gameplay loop, it's just a LOOP loop. Bounties are literally 1:1 exactly the same, same location, same enemies, exactly same objective. Gameplay loops require small variation, and most importantly the player must not realize they are looping, making the player go back to accept bounty quests that are exactly the same every time is a pretty bad way of masking the loop, since the player willingly has to restart the gameplay loop themselves every single time.

The 15 minute loop is also the reason why things like long hour survivals are so popular, although the mechanics themselves don't change during a run of a survival, the enemy difficulty does, and therefore so does the gameplay that the player adapts to. In this, the variation in the gameplay loop is difficulty, every 15 minutes the enemy difficulty rises substantially, enough that it feels different every time you get around to those 15 minutes.

In conclusion, from what I have observed, Warframe outside of player arsenal progression is lacking a solid gameplay loop, and therefore is one of the reason why many players do not regularly play the game and only do so whenever a content drop hits.

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I can partially agree with this: the prime reason we are given to play Warframe is to obtain some item, and when we have everything, there's no more reason to play until the next content update. In this respect, we need more reasons to keep playing, ideally reasons that aren't based on limited, extrinsic rewards. However, I don't think that's exactly what makes the game repetitive: when you look at the whole breadth of content Warframe has on offer, there are actually a lot of different things the player can do, much more than in most other games, so if the game's feeling repetitive still, there's a problem. Conversely, I'd say the "15-minute loop" for any part of the game is fairly alright: the core movement, ability usage, and shooting are all well-liked, and as mentioned above, most individual missions give a few different things to do. I don't think many players feel like the movement or shooting are repetitive, even though they're the most heavily-repeated parts of the game.

With this in mind, I think the real reason Warframe feels repetitive is because its structure makes us run the same 15-minute loop (or, more usually, 5- or 10-minute loop) over and over again until we get sick of it, before moving onto the next bit. Running a Thermia Fracture once or twice in a day would likely feel okay, but after the fifteenth time in a row, it's understandable that things would start to feel a little less fresh. The reason we're made to do this is because we're being pushed to progress towards specific rewards, and the only way to obtain those rewards is usually to repeat the same mission over and over again. Our bite-sized bits of diverse content therefore end up becoming isolated from each other, and we end up drilling the same mission type in the hope of finally getting what we want, a process made all the more unrewarding given the random nature of most rewards, meaning most of our time in Warframe ends up being time largely wasted.

Because of this, I think Warframe would feel a lot less repetitive if it gave us multiple paths to get towards any reward, and in fact encouraged us to shake things up by doing different bits of content for any one reward, instead of having us repeat the same 10 minutes of content until we hate it and never want to touch it again. There are likely many different ways to accomplish this, but I think it will inevitably have to involve moving away from random rewards, and instead letting us choose what kind of content we wish to play, even if time spent playing remains the same.

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If you think about it DE never really tried to do any kind of gameplay loops.

Every mission is just "do a thing->extract", there is no difference, no loops, no effort to consider this less repetitive. Even the map design is just a long corridor with nothing interesting on it.

The sad thing is it does not need to be like this. An extermination mission at the end could let you choose to either extract or go and scavange whatever goods you find with a bunch of syndicate operatives. You would need to defend them from traps, hack alarms and doors while they open up the rest of the lockers or kill some remaining enemies. A spy mission could turn into a sabotage where you get coordinates to blow up the whole base and such.

Theres a lot of extras what could be added to create satisfying loops where you wouldnt consider every mission the same.

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1 hour ago, Fallen_Echo said:

If you think about it DE never really tried to do any kind of gameplay loops.

Every mission is just "do a thing->extract", there is no difference, no loops, no effort to consider this less repetitive. Even the map design is just a long corridor with nothing interesting on it.

The sad thing is it does not need to be like this. An extermination mission at the end could let you choose to either extract or go and scavange whatever goods you find with a bunch of syndicate operatives. You would need to defend them from traps, hack alarms and doors while they open up the rest of the lockers or kill some remaining enemies. A spy mission could turn into a sabotage where you get coordinates to blow up the whole base and such.

Theres a lot of extras what could be added to create satisfying loops where you wouldnt consider every mission the same.

I have always told my clan and friends that DE should start mixing the missions together. Good example of this might be the Assault mission on Kuva Fortress. The Invasion missions actually have a lot of potential.

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2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Because of this, I think Warframe would feel a lot less repetitive if it gave us multiple paths to get towards any reward, and in fact encouraged us to shake things up by doing different bits of content for any one reward, instead of having us repeat the same 10 minutes of content until we hate it and never want to touch it again. There are likely many different ways to accomplish this, but I think it will inevitably have to involve moving away from random rewards, and instead letting us choose what kind of content we wish to play, even if time spent playing remains the same.

This right here is something I've been shouting from the highest rooftop pretty much since I started playing Warframe. The game has a staggeringly massive wealth of content from locations to Warframes to guns to mission types and more. However, the game's progression is so structured as to funnel players into only a small, isolated section of all content for hours if not days at a time, grinding the same boss or the same node or the same one mission type over and over again, never even touching most of the rest of the game. Think about it - when was the last time you did anything on Lua? When was the last time you ran Defection or Salvage? When was the last time you did Assault? Do you even know what that is?

The problem is that DE almost always pair new content with resources and rewards exclusive to it. And because they're white-knuckle paranoid of people earning all the rewards too quickly, new content almost always releases with the grind dialed up to 11, made sane only weeks if not months later, the result is out-of-scale repetition. Everyone's funneled into the newest mission until we're sick to our teeth of it, all the while there's this massive, broad game to play that nobody so much as touches.

A repeated claim I've been making is that all parts of the game would benefit from a Baro Ki'teer / Relic style system. That is to say, a way to work towards a specific rewards while playing a wealth of different missions all across the star chart. Maybe that could be by letting the player pick which reward table to roll on ala Void Relics, or maybe the player could earn some kind of universal currency with which to directly buy the item they want... Or maybe even both. For all the flak it took, Nightwave was a giant step forward in this regard, allowing us to pick the nodes we wanted to play and still work towards Wolf Credits with which to buy the Nitain and Cosmetics we wanted. I have plenty of issues with the specific challenges and weekly schedule, but the reward system itself was absolutely solid. We need more of the game done like this.

I like the new Disruption game mode, even if I'm not that good at it. Am I going to like it still after I've run it 20, 30, 50 times in one sitting? I don't know... I might want to play something else somewhere in there, but what else CAN I play which gives me Hexagons or whatever the new resource is called? Nope, and that's kind of the problem. The game's progression system blinds people to all of the things we can DO, so the game feels far more repetitive than it actually is. The only way I've been able to combat this for myself was to approach Warframe like I did Payday. Sit on the Star Chart, look at the planets and go "Ooh! I haven't done that in a while! Let's do that!" I know that's not going to work for most people, however, as that's not a good way to progress.

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2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Salvage

I never even did that mission so your comment is pretty much spot on. I hate how we have all these great tilesets but the game is somehow even in "random" mission systems ignores like 90% of all nodes.

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1 hour ago, RunningChaos said:

Question is. How the hell can we get DE to notice the entire thread, because everything said here makes sense to me.

You gotta bring this to the reddit page, generate an outrage big enough for the firesquads to start appear and then wait till DE magically realises the problem.

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6 minutes ago, Fallen_Echo said:

I never even did that mission so your comment is pretty much spot on. I hate how we have all these great tilesets but the game is somehow even in "random" mission systems ignores like 90% of all nodes.

Yup! Even back when Alerts existed, none of them ever spawned on the Salvage node. They could actually spawn on Defection, but never on Salvage. Also never on Lua, for any of the nodes. They did spawn on the Kuva Fortress occasionally, but only on the standard game modes. I literally didn't know Assault existed until a random Sortie ran me through it, causing me to go look for it. And now that Alerts are gone, most people don't even remember that some of those more exotic game modes even exist.

This is why I've been advocating of a "Quick Play" type of game / matchmaking mode, as well as difficulty scaling for Star Chart nodes. Let people click a button and be thrown into a random node on a random planet at the level they picked, and matched with others who did the same. Maybe they'll be matched into a Hive Sabotage, maybe they'll be sent to a mission on Lua, or maybe they'll be thrown onto a planet they haven't played in a while. I get that that's probably not the best way to grind money/XP/whatever, but sometimes it's nice to just play the game for the sake of playing the game, and running exotic content is I think a good way of doing that.

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Honestly, to make the game more engaging they need to focus on the enemies and the tilesets some more.  Right no warframe's just a corridor shooter, there's not much room for stealth unless you have invisibility since everyone gets funneled down one small tunnel to get to the objective.  There's no hub-and-spoke based design, there's no alternative paths to an objective, there's no real ways an enemy can sneak up on you, etc.

 

Enemy design seems to range from "impotent fodder" to "bullet-sponge" but really lacks any particular depth or complexity to it that makes it interesting.  The environment isn't very interesting either, as neither the players not the enemies really can make use of it.  Enemies will, at most, just moon jump up to where you are, or sit there grunting impotently if they can't reach you.  Enemies just lemming-train into the players without any real strategy or tactics.  No enemies from what I know have any sense of positioning to them, snipers-style enemies don't seem to head for good sniping locations (partially because there aren't any) and there's not a whole lot in the variety of what enemies can do to you.  Most just damage you, and that's it.. really. 

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  • 2 years later...
Posted (edited)

The whole issue here seems to revolve around loops. If that's the case, then PvE games just aren't for you, or rather, PvE games that are seemingly endless. You're better off playing games that has an ending and that is it. You can quit, uninstall and stop playing it altogether. Enter PvP games where you're facing players with unlimited variations in their gameplay. But it's different for Warframe.

Horizontal progressions allows you to unlock quests, weapons, and basically more options for you to play with. These options allows you to explore and experiment, not mindlessly level up just cause you want or need to. I like using a Pandero to unload my magazine on an enemy or a Heliocor so I don't have whip out the codex/synthesis scanner or even use a Boltor simply because nailing enemies to walls feels like pure terror to me. The ranking up loop is normal as playing quests in other PvE games like Genshin Impact or Guild Wars except it's weapons which I reckon is far easier and quicker to level up. 

In a mission, you fail once or twice for the first time playing, but it's not like you're gonna keep failing isn't it? You get better at it eventually and then you can cheese right through it. I get a good laugh when I can complete a mission in 30 seconds just because I can. I also feel amazing when I can beat a boss on my own. You just can't expect DE to change enemy movesets and variations from time to time. Can't expect an Eidolyst or Orb Mother to just alter their playstyle as if they're actual players. WE are the real players here. WE control the game. WE should be the ones changing our playstyle however we want. Instead of using a Chroma with Rubico, why not Volt with Redeemer? Or Mirage with Velocitus? Or even a Rhino with Corvas? These are the things we're suppose to think of in a game like Warframe. Wanna feel less repetitive? Start getting creative. Being contented with one type of playstyle makes the game boring and lackluster. There will be no perspiration without these inspirations. 

I only agree to the bounty missions in Cetus simply because they feel similar to the normal mission nodes we play all day long. There's a capture bounty, an exterminate bounty, a rescue bounty. DE could definitely do a rework on that. I do however, enjoy the Fortuna and Necralisk bounties. They're unique, fun, and nothing like I've experienced in normal missions. 

With that being said, PvE games are always gonna be repetitive. It's up to you to find some joy in them. If you have already mastered the massive content Warframe has to offer, then I can only suggest for you to take a break and try something else. My only issue is the bugs, especially the one that randomly prevents me from using abilities and attacks in a mission. 

Edited by Zelion_Cormac
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Posted (edited)

Huh. I’m actually kind of glad for the revive of this topic; I hadn’t thought of a 15-minute loop perspective 🤔.

I wonder if this is a contributing factor as to why I can’t put Warframe down, because my missions tend to run 10, 15, rarely even 20 minutes for a higher-level exterminate (and maybe longer for endless if I’m aiming for something at the higher-reward level). I'll be doing something else, and then my mind will randomly remember that time that I successfully cleared a room with a last-ditch desperate cast of Ash's Bladstorm. Or when I was pinned by Corpus just outside of extraction, with no ammo in my primary shield-killer and a secondary meant for flesh, and then Yorvi appeared and powered her way through. Or when I was helping the Grineer fight back the infestation, and a Juggernaut appeared and killed all of my weaker allies, and it was me, a Frost Eximus, and a Minigunner who finally took it down (though we lost the Minigunner in the fight).

I guess it makes sense that these sorts of things need time to happen (combined with threat of death/mission failure, as well. Otherwise clearing that room wouldn't have been such a rush). It's like "Going slower means more interesting things happen?", and counter-intuitive thought it may seem, the answer, as far as I can tell, is "Yes".

Psychology is weird, and this topic is making me think. Thanks!

Edited by (NSW)Greybones
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On 2019-05-23 at 8:40 AM, birdobash said:

The issue I found here is actually pretty simple, they ran out of things to upgrade their arsenal/cosmetics. Warframe is a game with an absolute mega ton of different gear, weapons and most importantly frames, part of the gameplay loop that Warframe gives you is actually finding new weapons you don't know exist and leveling it up to a useable state, or unlocking frames to gain access to new powers and playstyles, the big problem here is that after you're satisfied with what you own, or have unlocked and leveled everything, is that now you realize that most of the rest of the game is actually pretty boring.

This I strongly disagree with. I barely play the game any more, and it's not because I ran out of "things to upgrade." By this point, I buy most of my stuff with money because the issue is the exact opposite - I ran out of stuff to DO. Grind is not content. Throwing items at my head isn't content. I'm trying to be as explicit as possible here, so - I couldn't give two S#&$s about what else Warframe has to reward me with, because I don't give a rat's ass about rewards and never have. Playing for rewards - treating this game with a transactional relationship - is precisely what's burned me out every time I've walked away.

The problem is that a player trying to play Warframe for fun will quickly realise that there's really not very much to this game. There are a thousand variants on maybe three mission types. We have a litany of tools for fun action combat, yet gameplay comes down to bringing enough of the right numbers and ideally involves us as little as possible. There's plenty of visual customisation, but there's next to no gameplay customisation, to the point that I have to use Liches as a ghetto-difficulty-setting. Almost everything that releases does so with next to no substance to it. DE almost never go back to add substance to existing systems, instead ploughing ahead with new ones.

Mechs were the thing for a hot minute. I love those things, but I still can't use them in missions. Archguns were a thing for a while, but they fell by the wayside. Operators were supposed to be a thing, but the less said about them the better. Railjack is about the only recent addition that's received persistent support, and the closest we've had to a compelling new feature. That's just about the only thing I still care about, because it manages to give me new things to actually DO. I get to use my Necramechs, I get to use my Archwing, I get to use my Operator on occasion (due to using the Necramech), I get to do more than grind the same mission over and over again. Hopefully there's more stuff coming with the Sisters of Parvos.

Warframe's problem is that - with very rare exceptions - DE prioritise grind over content. Here's one new mission type. Now do it 300 times so that you can earn this thing that has a 5% chance of dropping on Rotation 20. I still have nightmares about the Granum Void, and now I'll be dealing with it again for the Sisters. NOT looking forward to that. This game has such a massive body of content it's staggering, but its own progression system funnels us through only one piece of it at a time. And for those of us who defy progression, there really are no features on offer since the majority of content is too low-level to be fun, or too hardass hardcore to be approachable. If you would just let me run any node of my choosing at level 80-ish without the ridiculous Steel Path buffs or Acolytes, I could do that all day.

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Just now, Steel_Rook said:

This I strongly disagree with. I barely play the game any more, and it's not because I ran out of "things to upgrade." By this point, I buy most of my stuff with money because the issue is the exact opposite - I ran out of stuff to DO. Grind is not content. Throwing items at my head isn't content. I'm trying to be as explicit as possible here, so - I couldn't give two S#&$s about what else Warframe has to reward me with, because I don't give a rat's ass about rewards and never have. Playing for rewards - treating this game with a transactional relationship - is precisely what's burned me out every time I've walked away.

The problem is that a player trying to play Warframe for fun will quickly realise that there's really not very much to this game. There are a thousand variants on maybe three mission types. We have a litany of tools for fun action combat, yet gameplay comes down to bringing enough of the right numbers and ideally involves us as little as possible. There's plenty of visual customisation, but there's next to no gameplay customisation, to the point that I have to use Liches as a ghetto-difficulty-setting. Almost everything that releases does so with next to no substance to it. DE almost never go back to add substance to existing systems, instead ploughing ahead with new ones.

Mechs were the thing for a hot minute. I love those things, but I still can't use them in missions. Archguns were a thing for a while, but they fell by the wayside. Operators were supposed to be a thing, but the less said about them the better. Railjack is about the only recent addition that's received persistent support, and the closest we've had to a compelling new feature. That's just about the only thing I still care about, because it manages to give me new things to actually DO. I get to use my Necramechs, I get to use my Archwing, I get to use my Operator on occasion (due to using the Necramech), I get to do more than grind the same mission over and over again. Hopefully there's more stuff coming with the Sisters of Parvos.

Warframe's problem is that - with very rare exceptions - DE prioritise grind over content. Here's one new mission type. Now do it 300 times so that you can earn this thing that has a 5% chance of dropping on Rotation 20. I still have nightmares about the Granum Void, and now I'll be dealing with it again for the Sisters. NOT looking forward to that. This game has such a massive body of content it's staggering, but its own progression system funnels us through only one piece of it at a time. And for those of us who defy progression, there really are no features on offer since the majority of content is too low-level to be fun, or too hardass hardcore to be approachable. If you would just let me run any node of my choosing at level 80-ish without the ridiculous Steel Path buffs or Acolytes, I could do that all day.

Game rewards are just bits of, well, bits, why play if the content itself is dry, sparse, and padded out through grinding?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

We have a litany of tools for fun action combat, yet gameplay comes down to bringing enough of the right numbers and ideally involves us as little as possible.

Ick. Glad I don’t bring a number sledgehammer when all I need is a standard one; I’m so not a fan of those Idle Games.

edit: Some people are, and that’s fine.

double edit: 🤔 Actually, I get it. Sometimes blending enemies with raw power can be pretty chill. I’ve been scraping through for so long I’ve forgotten that I’ve indulged in some relaxing powertrips 😅

Edited by (NSW)Greybones
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I would argue that railjack is almost that.  I did a couple of void storms and the whole mechanic is lengthy but varied. 

Approach objective.

destroy crewship and nodes.

Go to hack secondary ship objective to get access code

Go on main ship and kill things.

extract to railjack

Optional: go to abandoned derelict and hack objective.

Problem is that it's implemented in a way that can easily be less than fun. Also orphix is done is the worst way possible for solo. Volatile is a pain bit better.

The reward system encourages a shorter loop too.  Doing an exterminate or capture is the same reward for less time than say a mobile defense. 

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17 hours ago, SheikaVoid said:

Game rewards are just bits of, well, bits, why play if the content itself is dry, sparse, and padded out through grinding?

Yup, my issue precisely. I really want to like Warframe combat because this game has one of the best movement systems I've ever seen and the breadth of content is significant. However, none of that matters when the core experience is tantamount to botting the game. As long as I bring enough of the right numbers, the game plays itself. It's partly DE letting power creep run away, partly DE having no appetite for actual skill-based enemy design and partly the game leaning too far into an RPG direction despite having an action game's toolkit. And even with all of that, the experience could still be compelling if the game didn't also insist on setting player level drastically above 90% of the game's actual content level.

I'll be back for the Sisters of Parvos, to be sure, just because it's more stuff to do in Railjack. Without more substantial "Revised" updates, though, I don't see myself sticking around for too long. I can only have the same balance discussions so many times before I lose my patience.

 

17 hours ago, (NSW)Greybones said:

double edit: 🤔 Actually, I get it. Sometimes blending enemies with raw power can be pretty chill. I’ve been scraping through for so long I’ve forgotten that I’ve indulged in some relaxing powertrips 😅

There's obviously charm to hands-off destruction. I played Cookie Clicker, I played Clicker Heroes. The problem is that it's a very shallow sort of enjoyment which loses its appeal very quickly. When I find myself running news, podcasts, video essays or even just TV in the background and progressively paying more attention to that than the game, then why am I even going through the motions? DE have succeeded in turning Warframe into a veritable screen saver by this point. That's what happens when you consistently refuse to implement systemic changes and just pile on a tower of workarounds, instead. You end up with a system that's impossible to balance and which is simultaneously way too difficult and way too easy.

By this point, Warframe feels a lot like GTA Online. I have a sub, I have VTOL, I have a tank, I have a jet bike... and sod-all to actually DO with them. They sit in the garage gathering dust while I use the same small set of actually practical tools to do the same few repetitive, boring tasks over and over again. Unlike GTA Online, though, Warframe has actually competent gunplay, amazing mobility and complex, procedurally-generated objectives. If we ever USED any of 'em rather than everything being some flavour of Mobile Defence, then maybe I'd have more to do.

Again - adding more mission types to Railjack will help. What WON'T help is adding most of those new missions on low-level planters, which isn't a lot of fun with my current gear level. Custom difficulty settings would help, but we can't have QoL things in this game.

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On 2021-06-07 at 11:12 PM, Steel_Rook said:

I still have nightmares about the Granum Void, and now I'll be dealing with it again for the Sisters. NOT looking forward to that.

I may be wrong but you don't have win GV to get "a Sister".

 

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On 2019-05-23 at 11:24 AM, RunningChaos said:

Question is. How the hell can we get DE to notice the entire thread, because everything said here makes sense to me.

Post it on Twitter but unfortunately this exceed the 144 limit 

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Posted (edited)
On 2019-05-23 at 6:40 AM, birdobash said:

the big problem here is that after you're satisfied with what you own, or have unlocked and leveled everything, is that now you realize that most of the rest of the game is actually pretty boring. Almost none of the actual gameplay has a solid gameplay loop, you've actually been playing a gameplay loop of upgrading yourself, but now that you're done that, theres almost nothing left to actually do

Amen. WF is a game of "level up" constantly. Once you run out of things to level, or acquire to level, then there is little else. Look at all the threads that say the reward is the ony aspect that matters - hence speedrunning through missions so fast you even fail to get the rewards!

Survival is not populart because of the loop, its popular because its easy to keep going and collect loot, and reward every 5 minutes. People don't play those missions for fun, they play them to cheese it, nuke it, and collect the stuff. Same reason i find defence is the most popular for me - the enemy comes to me, I just kill them, an every so often look at the affinity reward progression, and get a bonus every 5 rounds.

 

I think the answer is to vary things slightly, so each mission is not the same. Its like when Vor appears in a void mission and everyone wakes up suddenly. Silver Grove too to a point. The rare reward drops - always makes me laugh to see players rush to the exit, rush reush rush, then when an ayatan or even star drops, see them stop and rush rush rush back to collect it. lol. That's what the incentive is about, we just need a lot more "side missions" to encourage us to wake up from the tedium of repeating the same thing.

Edited by gbjbaanb
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On 2021-06-07 at 10:12 PM, Steel_Rook said:

And for those of us who defy progression, there really are no features on offer since the majority of content is too low-level to be fun, or too hardass hardcore to be approachable. If you would just let me run any node of my choosing at level 80-ish without the ridiculous Steel Path buffs or Acolytes, I could do that all day.

There's a lot to be said for that - the standard star chart had to be level 1 enemies on Earth and level 30 on Sedna in order to make a progression players could work with, as they get better the enemies did too.

But once you have completed the star chart like that, that "new player" progression should disappear and be replaced with enemies all of the same same level (I'd say 50 BTW - more than Sedna but not steel path level) and all players who have reached this point can then focus n being better themselves rather than trying to level their way through it. Bene there, done that, next challenge. Then those easy Earth missions would be as hard as any other, and that would make a difference.  It woudl also allow DE to distinguish between players getting intot he game and players who have played a lot, and tailor content appropriately - no more popping operator in Lith and having a MR2 guy says "WTF is that!" (or even nuking everything with Saryn whilst the MR2 guy looks on bewildered)

It might even allow DE the chance to balance combat. Imagine that!

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On 2019-05-23 at 1:40 AM, birdobash said:

There is a pressing concern and problem with a lot of new content that is being pumped out nowadays in Warframe, and a lack of real fun replayable content, after examining the game from a design PoV and experiencing the game for a few years, I've seen a lack of a certain aspect that all new content in Warframe don't have. This missing aspect is the 15 minute loop.

What is the 15 minute loop? It essentially is a gameplay loop that lasts for around 15 minutes, when talking about games and replayability, a gameplay loop means all the actions the player takes within a certain time period, all of the actions inside a single gameplay loop should be interesting and different, but several gameplay loops should generally be similar in what actions they consist of. What the 15 minute loop basically means is, for a game to be fun AND have lasting replayability value, it has to have around 15 minutes worth of different things the player can do, before redoing it all over again.

The 15 minute loop makes gameplay feel fresh even after having done essentially the same thing several times, but the key here is that the player themselves does not innately realize they are even in a gameplay loop, and therefore do not get bored of the same gameplay as quickly. This is one of the most important factors to consider in game design when you want your game to be replayable.

So what's Warframes problem? Well, almost everything. Firstly, almost everybody knows there is this huge problem with veterans leaving the game or veterans and normal players setting the game down for months at a time, only logging in for dailies most of the time. The issue I found here is actually pretty simple, they ran out of things to upgrade their arsenal/cosmetics. Warframe is a game with an absolute mega ton of different gear, weapons and most importantly frames, part of the gameplay loop that Warframe gives you is actually finding new weapons you don't know exist and leveling it up to a useable state, or unlocking frames to gain access to new powers and playstyles, the big problem here is that after you're satisfied with what you own, or have unlocked and leveled everything, is that now you realize that most of the rest of the game is actually pretty boring. Almost none of the actual gameplay has a solid gameplay loop, you've actually been playing a gameplay loop of upgrading yourself, but now that you're done that, theres almost nothing left to actually do.

Another problem, following the theme of the previous one, is the way Warframe treats leveling and progression. Unlike most games, Warframe progression is both cumulative and almost completely horizontal. You gain new weapons and frames, none of them are actually upgrades, excluding the primes which are (exception being fang prime). They either do different jobs or just feel and look different, they can all do all the same content, some worse than others, but it is not required to do it. In this sense, Warframes gameplay loop is too shallow, because eventually you'll hit a point where you level up every single weapon and frame or almost every, and then the gameplay loop straight up stops.

The third problem I see in both newer and some old content is the duration of the gameplay loop, mostly it being much too short. Most star chart missions only around 5 minutes, at most usually 7-10, and at the fastest 1-2 minutes. What about eidolon fights you say? In reality, Eidolon fights are actually not a single complete gameplay loop in a single fight, it is actually just a series of much smaller ones smushed into 1 mission. What do I mean by this? The first part of the loop is dropping the shields, the second is taking out a limb, and that's all, you could perhaps add in grabbing lures, but that would only add to the very first instance of these gameplay loops. Altogether, a single gameplay loop of an eidolon fight at most lasts 4 minutes, and at its complete fastest lasts 10-15 seconds (LOL), past the first limb break, you are essentially doing the exact same thing every few seconds or minutes, with barely any variation. Orb mother fights are also very similar in this sense, where a gameplay loop of that consists of the roulette of damage types, then shooting out the limbs with an archgun, yet again a very short gameplay loop. (Although orb mother also spawns beacons that you must destroy, still, not enough)

Open world areas also have this same issue, sure, the first few times you play a bounty they're ok and do look like they fulfill that 15 minute loop, but after playing them a few times, you realize it's not a gameplay loop, it's just a LOOP loop. Bounties are literally 1:1 exactly the same, same location, same enemies, exactly same objective. Gameplay loops require small variation, and most importantly the player must not realize they are looping, making the player go back to accept bounty quests that are exactly the same every time is a pretty bad way of masking the loop, since the player willingly has to restart the gameplay loop themselves every single time.

The 15 minute loop is also the reason why things like long hour survivals are so popular, although the mechanics themselves don't change during a run of a survival, the enemy difficulty does, and therefore so does the gameplay that the player adapts to. In this, the variation in the gameplay loop is difficulty, every 15 minutes the enemy difficulty rises substantially, enough that it feels different every time you get around to those 15 minutes.

In conclusion, from what I have observed, Warframe outside of player arsenal progression is lacking a solid gameplay loop, and therefore is one of the reason why many players do not regularly play the game and only do so whenever a content drop hits.

I agree with this and its entirety

 

Ive made suggestions in the past like add spontaneous objectives to the game that dont slowdown the gameplay too much

Ive made suggestions where enemies become beings thay require just 1 extra brain cell to take down but then we get orphix venom where the enemy quite literally stays completely still..... Deimos has one enemy that requires a brain cell sorta. Its the only enemy in the game that i actually enjoy fighting (when its not making its weakpoints almost impossible to hit). The rest of Deioms enemies are either bullet sponges or trash mobs....

Ive made suggestions where the clan dojo becomes more than just a market place, but more of a residental space station where you even get to rule over your own unique faction (npcs).

 

Part of me feels like theyre trying though. The addition of crew to the game was 20% of a treat and something fresh & useful that the game needed imo. Now the other 80% is making them far more commandable, customizable, adding them to the warframe story, enriching their personalities, & making them as accessible to any mission as they are in a railjack.

The one enemy on deimos was like 5% of a treat. Other 95% requires more avoidable-deadly attacks, more weakpoints that 'can' expose themselves one after the other, less bullet sponge, more enemies with weakpoints, rewards of the kill equalling the difficulty of the enemy, the same enemy sometimes appearing with different weakness, and making more "damage moves" instead of "damage types" as weaknesses and strengths

On the other hand when it comes to spontaneous enemies, i think the current ones like the Stalker and Zanuka do a pretty good job and is 60% of a treat. What id do with them is taking a few steps further. Maybe for the infested lich system, these liches dont have thralls or murmurs or whatever, theyll just randomly come out and attack you one day, sometimes more than one, and you will have no way of telling what it will look like, what type of attacks it will have, how powerful it is, etc. All you will know is its hunting you after hearing a loud roar or howl in one of your missions with a bit of visual changes on your screen.

Some variations of the creatures DE would tell us about but some they wont. They are 100% meant to be a surprise and you will have to figure out how to take it out, on your own as they will come with their own abilities, strengths, and weaknesses too. 

 

 

Something like that. 

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On 2021-06-09 at 2:41 AM, quxier said:

I may be wrong but you don't have win GV to get "a Sister".

I'm aware, yes. But it still requires interacting with it, waiting out the timer AND re-earning the Granum Coin, which means finishing the mission. On Cassini, I would just abort if the Larvling had the wrong weapon. It's an issue by proxy. I wouldn't be opposed to having to "win" at Granum Void for a Larvling to spawn if I had some means of deterministically picking the weapon it'll spawn with. I'm fine with doing more work as long as I know what I'm getting. But as long as it's RNG, then I'll want to reduce the cost of "hitting that lever" as much as possible.

I think the bigger underlying issue is that Warframe has turned into an online casino with a video game attached to the side. Barely anyone seems to care for the actual gameplay any more. The only consideration is "what's the cheapest I can hit the lever for, because I'll need to keep hitting it until the slot machine gives me my reward." Take away the slot machine and you're left with a relatively hollow experience because less development time goes into improving the moment-to-moment experience relative to the time, money and effort spent on improving the "Warframe-themed slot machine."

As someone who buys most of his gear any more, I'm left with a game that COULD be compelling if only the development team tried. I'm left with a game, in other words, that feels nearly abandoned. Oh, sure - we'll get new slot machines, new lootboxes, new gacha mechanics but as to gameplay? Bread crumbs. Railjack 3.0 was a massive shot in the arm because it brought a ton of content, but that's after a year of "not much." Oh, they'll throw in more artwork, but systems design always seems to get left for "later." How many years have they been talking about Pets now? What happened to Warframe Revised? What happened to Status?

 

46 minutes ago, (PSN)Frost_Nephilim said:

Ive made suggestions where enemies become beings thay require just 1 extra brain cell to take down but then we get orphix venom where the enemy quite literally stays completely still..... Deimos has one enemy that requires a brain cell sorta. Its the only enemy in the game that i actually enjoy fighting (when its not making its weakpoints almost impossible to hit). The rest of Deioms enemies are either bullet sponges or trash mobs....

The problem with most of that is the core combat system doesn't really allow for that. Because DE so dread nerfing things, we're experiencing such extreme power creep that none of the game's mechanics actually matter. What, realistically speaking, are you going to do to kill my Inaros that isn't just going to delete a regular Warframe from existence before they're finished loading in? What kind of enemy can you create that a Rivended-out supergun isn't going to blow to pieces that mere mortals shooting ordinary weapons won't take 72 hours to take down?

If we want to have compelling combat, first we're going to need major systemic change and - yes - massive nerfs. More broadly, we need stat compression, where the difference between min/maxed builds and your average players isn't multiple orders of magnitude. We need to prevent players from becoming functionally immortal like I have if we want players to care about avoiding attacks. We need to prevent players from one-click nuking entire maps if we want them to aim for weak points. We need a gameplay system where player actions matter at least as much as build, if not more so. The Warframe of today barely counts as a game. Sure, we go through the motions of miming playing a game, but very little of what we actually DO in-mission really matters.

I don't know if Warframe even CAN get to that point any more, since so many players have accepted it as the veritable cow clicker it has turned into, but I can still dream.

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