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Snackrat

New Player Experience: from an experienced alt

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Hey, recently decided to make an alt account so I could re-experience stuff like the storyline, and Star Map progression, now that I've completed pretty much everything in the game with my main one. But it has been incredibly difficult, exhausting, and miserable, even though I already know most everything about the game and what to target to efficiency's sake (which is unreasonable to expect of a new player). My alt is trying to do everything independently, to represent a typical new player - only trades for plat, never buys it. Never asks people to taxi, carry, and boost it. It interacts with the market like a free player does, and it interacts with the game as the game is designed to allow it, without shortcuts. Here are the things that are most problematic.

 

Resource-gating
The biggest one, and one of the most popular requests new players make of older ones. You gave me Rhino blueprint from my first boss, and a Heat Sword blueprint from a quest reward, but I can't get Neural Sensors until Jupiter. I'm blockaded by a massive difficulty spike in the form of a Valkyr Spectre, and can't get nano-spores to craft most of the things that would help me until Saturn (the ninth area). The only other spore source would be Ayatan Treasure Hunt, if it rolls derelict, which can only be done once every seven days. Even the derelict itself, as a spore farm, requires spores to craft access keys. This used to be addressed through random resource alerts, but these are no longer available, and Nightwave does not plug this gap. Currently players 'taxi' each other to other planets and carry them there to compensate.
Suggestion: Reintroduce alerts that reward small amounts of random resources in addition to about 5k credits - a neurode here, 2k spores there. Or if you want to avoid random access, introduce an alternative source, such as a merchant on PoE/SU that will sell them in return for randomised local resources (think Ticker), or an NPC with quest-key system that will give players access to 'levelled down' nodes (think Clem's missions).

 

Imbalanced Junctions
The hardest junction by far is Ceres-Jupiter, entirely because it is guarded by Valkyr, who has massive armour. She does not remotely represent the difficulty of the planets following her. If you can defeat her (at all, let alone in a timely fashion), the following planets are pointlessly easy in comparison. It took my alt ~15min of taking potshots behind a pillar and using small squad ammo restores. New players do not know about small squad ammo restores. I was also able to use Rhino, because I was lucky enough to get Neural Sensors from a login. That's entirely random, and most players would be forced to do that with their starter Volt, Mag, or Excal, because of afore-mentioned resource-gating. I was also using Radiation damage, which has a +75% multiplier on Tenno amour, as well as ignoring 75% of the armour's damage reduction, and it still wasn't enough (corrosion is ideal for Tenno spectres, not radiation). Currently players cannot help each other directly in any way.
Suggestion: Move Valkyr to a much later junction. Perhaps swap her with Uranus-Neptune's Loki, as he is probably the easiest spectre in the game (and misrepresents difficulty in the opposite direction).

 

Open World Harassment
Since the weapons available at my low MR are mediocre, and I need something with grunt now that SUDDENLY VALKYR SPECTRE, I'm trying to fish and mine for PoE/SU standingfor Zaws and Kitguns, since they have decent stats even with weak, unspecialised parts. But it's hard to fish or mine when unaware enemies are being deliberately spawned just to converge on me, even when hiding in caves. They haven't detected me, they just 'conveniently' want to hang out at my location. My Paris, which its travel time, simply can't hit flying Dargyns, but neither can I ignore them. With other, faster weapons, their speed and health still makes them a problem. And upon felling them (I end up with like three at once!) I get about one uninterrupted minute at best before it spawns more. It reached the point I only farmed at night, because it was far easier to just stand next to a lure and ignore lysts than it was to deal with the daytime harassment. This is ironic given that in-game dialogue keeps reminding players to avoid moving around at night if they are new, but the Eidolon is incredibly easy to avoid (to the point it can be hard to even find). The Dargyns are not. Orb Vallis also has this problem, especially with small raknoids, though it is less pronounced. Coming across enemies is good for world flavour, but please stop making them converge deliberately on players they haven't even noticed. Also, I'm an MR4 player, in a solo mission, with level 15 enemies. Please do not spawn Thumpers, and then make them converge on me, too (if I leave the area to mine/fish somewhere else, they should not cross the plains to harass me there). This problem actually affects my main, also - trying to track animals is constantly interrupted with attacks from random groups designed to harass me, requiring me to swap to a weapon to deal with them. Upon finishing them off, the track is lost, and I have to start back at the beginning. Then I will frequently have yet another new spawn before I've finished that track.
Suggestion: Reduce the rate at which Dargyns/hunter squads spawn or increase the range they can spawn within and reduce detection radius or remove their player-seeking entirely.

 

Affinity scaling
Since MR is a requirement for progression - better gear, queuing for nodes, so on - the early game is more about levelling gear than it is about the narrative or the star map. But I can do a mission over and over and not gain a single level on the rank 20 weapon I'm using, because the returns are just so small. This is especially bad for firing weapons, because one cannot stack the affinity bonus from stealth kills with them (which again, I doubt most new players know about). Comparing my now MR5 alt to my MR26 main, my main levels a weapon in 20 minutes without boosters. My MR5 spends hours in on mission over and over and still is using the same one. Despite affinity from hacking, loot, and ability use, by far the majority comes from enemies.
Suggestion: Reduce scaling of affinity based on levelling slightly, add a chunk of additional base affinity to enemies of all levels.

 

The Loss of Alerts
Nightwave was largely inaccessible to my alt while it was running. Most challenges were difficult, or even impossible, requiring resources or tools I didn't have. It was also several weeks worth of Nightwave before I would have been rewarded any creds to get a single aura, compared to the drops from alerts. I made my alt when Nightwave still had about two weeks left on it, but couldn't rank up in it even once - let alone the several times needed to get a single cred. (Speaking of Nightwave, even when scaled low and solo, assassins were instant-loss situations due to their armour and damage. The Wolf required outright aborting, because some missions could not be advanced until he was killed, yet he was functionally unkillable.)
Suggestion: You're already doing stuff with Nightwave and I haven't seen what that is yet. But more regular creds is a must, even if in smaller amounts. Faster rate of rewards is a must. Reintroduction of random alerts, or a reasonable alternative, is a must!

Edited by Snackrat
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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, (PS4)Shaun-T-Wilson said:

Resource problems join a clan and have the taxi you.

"My alt is trying to do everything independently, to represent a typical new player - only trades for plat, never buys it. Never asks people to taxi, carry, and boost it. It interacts with the market like a free player does, and it interacts with the game as the game is designed to allow it, without shortcuts."

I know this is something that I as an individual can do (I could also just gift it a bunch of things from my main. or beg in chat). But I'm playing the game as it is designed to be played. As many players would play it.

Expecting other bored/helpful players to carry you, take you places, etc is just the community compensating for the NPE. It's a workaround, it is not the ideal. It would be like somebody saying 'the potholes on this street are large and many, and should be fixed' and having somebody respond 'get better suspension or drive around them, problem solved'.

I have an additional self-imposed challenge of creating and decorating my own solo clan, anyway. All progression is being deliberately earned off of my own back. It's currently stalled by every room requiring spores to craft.

The only positive of this design is that, because it is so needlessly punishing and counter-intuitive, it encourages players to take the steps to engage with each other and participate in the community. The negative of this design is the incredibly high turnover of new players that give up on Warframe entirely before getting very far.

Edited by Snackrat
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3 hours ago, Snackrat said:

Imbalanced Junctions
 The hardest junction by far is Ceres-Jupiter, entirely because it is guarded by Valkyr, who has massive armour. She does not remotely represent the difficulty of the planets following her. If you can defeat her (at all, let alone in a timely fashion), the following planets are pointlessly easy in comparison. It took my alt ~15min of taking potshots behind a pillar and using small squad ammo restores. New players do not know about small squad ammo restores. I was also able to use Rhino, because I was lucky enough to get Neural Sensors from a login. That's entirely random, and most players would be forced to do that with their starter Volt, Mag, or Excal, because of afore-mentioned resource-gating. I was also using Radiation damage, which has a +75% multiplier on Tenno amour, as well as ignoring 75% of the armour's damage reduction, and it still wasn't enough. Currently players cannot help each other directly in any way.
Suggestion: Move Valkyr to a much later junction. Perhaps swap her with Uranus-Neptune's Loki, as he is probably the easiest spectre in the game (and misrepresents difficulty in the opposite direction).

Not to detract from your point, but Mag can beat Valkyr with just the early game stuff: Pinning Valkyr with Magnetise then unloading on her with a Boltor rips her to shreds. Currently in the early game playing through with a couple of friends and we didn't stumble against Valkyr at all - we actually had more trouble with Trinity because she's when you need a basic damage mod to keep up and they aren't always forthcoming

(Also apparently they made Warframes have Ferrite instead of Alloy? At least according to the wiki)

That said, I agree with the point made - we all had Mag as our starters and I don't know how well it would have gone with other starters

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I don't know.

I think most players have some access to plat, either through a friend who is a long time player or through just buying a bit when they start the game, so I don't think your highly restrictive methods with your alt are necessarily representative.  Even with just 170 plat ($10 with none of the frequent discounts) wisely spent could over come most of what you list here.  My main is on PS4 but I made a new PC character and did much of what you did except that I got a 75% off coupon and bought one of the larger packages for $10.

I think the biggest difference is back then it was the unvaulting of Rhino and there were no junctions so i was able to rush Saturn for ember.  When I hit mastery 2 i already had a boltor prime built.  I know it's 13 now, but a latron (MR0), and a sonicor (MR2) with taters will get you through the star chart.  If anything the worst thing about the NPE is that a new player cannot use a weapon that is worth truly investing in for quite sometime which puts a soft power cap on what they can do.

I don't think resource gating is a huge problem.  None of the tasks are that difficult.  Once you have access to the void you can get all the mods you need from the crates in the obstacle courses, and that should give you the power to get anywhere you need to go.

I just killed that valkyr in about 45 seconds using a regular burston (MR0) with rank 4 serration, rank 4 infected clip and rank 4 stormbringer.  Total capacity used 24. I used ember with no durability mods and no arcanes.  I didn't use any abilities. Corrosive is a better choice for that fight since it removes her high armor.  I think its more a case of not using the tools available to you.

I think your open world harassment comes from prioritizing the wrong things.  You have the choice to use a bow but you are not forced to use one either.  Maybe leave the zaws and kitguns for later once you have a hitscan weapon, or in my case I had ember and just had to jump at them.  Once the patrols are not a threat they are never a threat again.

My early affinity leveling was done in void fissures.  Hepit gives you a relic every 90 seconds now and you can sure use the ducets later.  The corrupted enemies give more affinity and come in increased spawns.  It's not the fastest thing ever, but it is enough to get a weapon to rank 30 for new players.

Aura mods are 5p on the market.  You can get that selling prime junk.  I just don't see it as a problem.  Nitain is a bigger problem for nightwave than auras, but that's not really NPE.  Junction and quest rewards have replaced the need for alerts for early players.  Dark sectors give a decent chunk of credits until you hit MR5 and can sortie.  I don't really mind Nightwave not being part of the NPE.

Long story short I think there were other ways of going about what you were trying to do that would have made everything far easier.  By the same token I wouldn't expect a new player to know how to do any of those things, but they also would not have gotten trapped in the fishing loop like you were since a new player wouldn't know what a zaw was or why they would want one.

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I am a relatively new player (playing since a couple of months) and I have had no one to teach me the game or assist me. The game has many problems explaining itself, which has been said often, but honestly I don't share your opinion on the issues stated.

 

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Resource-gating

sure you sometimes don't have the resources you want right away. You have to go get them. Sometimes you have to wait for a new planet. I don't think all that is a problem at all.

 

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Imbalanced Junctions

another minor problem. Most junctions are one hits, they should at least pose a small challenge. There are a couple (or maybe just the one you mentioned?) that are harder. I never needed more than two tries or super elaborate tactics like you described though. But yeah, the junctions could use rebalancing, as a minor priority.

 

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Open World Harassment

well, don't take a bow into Eidolon, I also noticed that with my first bow! The only problem I see with "open world harassment" is that once the Grineer launch a reenforcements drone, the ships just keep on coming! (right???) It should really just be one ship. With other enemies you can just flee, but the ships conveniently just know your location and go there.

 

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Affinity scaling

what's the problem with that? As a new player you're overwhelmed with things anyway, you want new players to level a weapon in 20 minutes??? I found the experience perfectly fine.

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3 hours ago, Snackrat said:

(I could also just gift it a bunch of things from my main. or beg in chat).

I guarantee you if you do that both accounts will be banned.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Pingcode said:

Not to detract from your point, but Mag can beat Valkyr with just the early game stuff

She is pretty good at that, yeah. But most guides for new players will recommend Volt, because he can be hard to acquire, or Excal, because he scales well to end-game, over Mag. Mag is weak against infested and doesn't have a strong end-game niche. She also requires Neural Sensors to craft, which means that (without a login reward), you're not able to craft her until after you pass Valkyr.

2 hours ago, (PS4)Final_Dragon01 said:

I think most players have some access to plat, either through a friend who is a long time player or through just buying a bit when they start the game, so I don't think your highly restrictive methods with your alt are necessarily representative.

You start with 50p which can be spent in the market only. I ended up using it for warframe slots because you only start with two. It's not uncommon for people to spent money on a game certainly but I don't think it would be wise to assume that is the norm, especially just starting out. One of the reasons f2p models work is that they allow for income disparity by letting those who cannot pay for games still add to the community enjoyed by those who can (and do). This includes people with tight restrictive budgets (such as students or parents) or without access to purchasing plat (like not owning credit/debit,eg if they are underage).

I am not against using plat to buy stuff if I need to. But because I am only ever earning it in-game from paltry Lith relics (plus the amount that I start with), I'm being much more selective about where I use it. When I first played, I spent so much on neurodes, even the neurode blueprint eventually. In hindsight that wasn't a wise purchase, it only seemed so because mat availability was skewed so awkwardly for new players. And I think if I spent plat on buying spores just so I could craft a key and farm yet more spores, it would feel like I was paying to shortcut the 'intended' progression, so even with plat, I'm hesitant to do that.

The self-imposed restrictions are in place specifically because I want to show friends that it is possible to play and enjoy the game without spending anything on it.

2 hours ago, (PS4)Final_Dragon01 said:

I don't think resource gating is a huge problem.  None of the tasks are that difficult.  Once you have access to the void you can get all the mods you need from the crates in the obstacle courses, and that should give you the power to get anywhere you need to go.

Mods were largely not my problem (beyond missing a couple element types). I was more restricted by capacity on weapons that often didn't even have any polarised slots. And by resource-gating, I mean not being able to craft the blueprints I am given as a guaranteed quest reward, or the frames that drop from my first bosses, until I have reached halfway through the map. Previously this wasn't really felt so much because even though you couldn't farm the stuff, you could still get scraps of it from things like alerts. This is no longer the case, it is a hard cut-off.

2 hours ago, (PS4)Final_Dragon01 said:

 Corrosive is a better choice for that fight since it removes her high armor. I think its more a case of not using the tools available to you.

This is correct; I've since realised I was thinking of the Stalker and brought the wrong damage type. I was using mods that were dropped and available to me though, I wasn't able to build Corrosive on a firing weapon yet as only my melee had a toxin mod. There were plenty of missions I was doing over and over, mostly more common nodes like Earth excav or Seimeni to get squadmates (I end up solo on other nodes due to my location). Plenty of Spy to get dual-stats, that kind of thing. And I was unlocking the star map fully the way through, so I wasn't trying to speedrun ahead through junctions.

2 hours ago, (PS4)Final_Dragon01 said:

Long story short I think there were other ways of going about what you were trying to do that would have made everything far easier.  By the same token I wouldn't expect a new player to know how to do any of those things, but they also would not have gotten trapped in the fishing loop like you were since a new player wouldn't know what a zaw was or why they would want one.

Yes and no, you're right that most players probably wouldn't be doing exclusively fishing/mining, the reason its faster for me on my main is that I can get higher-value fish, and I already had the foresight to get a Fortuna drill to get epic gems. Part of it is that, as an Oceania player, I am usually solo even when queuing on public, so it can actually be simpler and more satisfying to just get Mortus Lungfish or Nyth/Thyst than it is to solo a single low-reward bounty over and over. But I would still expect them to get stuck in a loop on the plains for sure; we frequently have to remind new players that the Plains are not the game. Once they reach it some of them tend to get stuck there for a while.

The harassment is also a special case; while a new player probably wouldn't stay long in a single session if they couldn't manage, my main is still dealing with the effects as it interrupts tracking, too. It's not difficult or game-breaking, but it is annoying and demands attention (esp the Thumpers, chasing my invisible Loki). Even doing the bounties, or gathering resources needed just for ranking up, my alt will be chased down on the open fields.

2 hours ago, supernils said:

As a new player you're overwhelmed with things anyway, you want new players to level a weapon in 20 minutes???

Of course not. That's why I'm not suggesting that all affinity be replaced with a flat cap, that would be silly. I'm saying that the disparity between many hours, and many minutes, is way too great. Most games start you off fast to get you invested into your character and then slowly ramp you down. Warframe does the opposite, but it doesn't tell or show you that. It makes the game seem much longer and more unreasonable than it really is. You'll spent weeks in the first third of the star map and just a day in the last. I suppose I'm disadvantaged in that I already know what the game could be, and is, and can feel how terrible the experience is for a new player in comparison. 

2 hours ago, supernils said:

sure you sometimes don't have the resources you want right away. You have to go get them. Sometimes you have to wait for a new planet. I don't think all that is a problem at all.

I agree with this in essence but not in execution. Nano spores in particular are used for so much: sentinels, incubator cores, frames, spectres. I was more limited by the junctions blocking off Saturn - in particular the Valkyr junction - rather than the expectation I get them all immediately. But one cannot get spores at all until one has advanced through half the map. DE recognised this problem when they added a single incubator core as a junction reward because crafting it was so far off, that players were feeling pressured to purchase it. Even if ultimately plenty of players choose to do that, it doesn't reflect well on Warframe's f2p market. I encourage friends wary of f2p to pick it up by telling them the scale is reasonable, and not holding them hostage. Yet I still have to compensate by skipping them ahead to get materials.

This didn't used to be a problem with alerts could trickle this stuff in, but now that they're removed, most of the blueprints that I am given - directly, I'm not purchasing them - aren't craftable, and won't be for quite a long time. If they don't want to reintroduce a form of 'trickle' - not to replace farms, but their guided progression to actually progress - they could try shuffling around drop locations so you'd have access to everything once you'd hit Ceres, even if the rates aren't great. That's the point the star map moves from T1 to T2.

Edited by Snackrat
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Just going to put this here right at the start: 

MR3, solo'd to go faster stuck at Sedna junction. More detail came out eventually here

My other "wait a minute" moment was:

10 hours ago, Snackrat said:

Imbalanced Junctions
 The hardest junction by far is Ceres-Jupiter, entirely because it is guarded by Valkyr, who has massive armour. She does not remotely represent the difficulty of the planets following her. If you can defeat her (at all, let alone in a timely fashion), the following planets are pointlessly easy in comparison. It took my alt ~15min of taking potshots behind a pillar and using small squad ammo restores. New players do not know about small squad ammo restores. I was also able to use Rhino, because I was lucky enough to get Neural Sensors from a login. That's entirely random, and most players would be forced to do that with their starter Volt, Mag, or Excal, because of afore-mentioned resource-gating. I was also using Radiation damage, which has a +75% multiplier on Tenno amour, as well as ignoring 75% of the armour's damage reduction, and it still wasn't enough (corrosion is ideal for Tenno spectres, not radiation). Currently players cannot help each other directly in any way.
Suggestion: Move Valkyr to a much later junction. Perhaps swap her with Uranus-Neptune's Loki, as he is probably the easiest spectre in the game (and misrepresents difficulty in the opposite direction).

Uh... Excal, radial blind, walk behind spectre, backstab for finisher damage....? 

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7 hours ago, Snackrat said:

I'm saying that the disparity between many hours, and many minutes, is way too great. Most games start you off fast to get you invested into your character and then slowly ramp you down. Warframe does the opposite, but it doesn't tell or show you that. It makes the game seem much longer and more unreasonable than it really is. You'll spent weeks in the first third of the star map and just a day in the last. I suppose I'm disadvantaged in that I already know what the game could be, and is, and can feel how terrible the experience is for a new player in comparison.

That right there is a nice summary of why the new player experience is so hostile here. Warframe is a pretty good game with a wealth of content and extensive build variety, but all most new players are going to see is heavy grind, limited inventory and unreasonable costs, with the constant reminder that you could be buying this crap with real money. My experience was fortunate in that I got a 75% off on Platinum my first day and snagged 1000 of it, as well as having friends who played "twink" me with some Auras and decent mods. I have, however, attempted to introduce multiple players to the game in a similar fashion, and consequently found myself repeatedly assuring them that "it gets better." The longer the initial grind goes on, the hollower my words sound even to me. The latest person I introduced to the game is effectively burned out on feeling week, lacking resources and only ever being rewarded with blueprints that he often can't craft without more grind.

Progression is a major selling point of this game, sure. Finding loot, crafting gear and creating a better experience for yourself is part of the charm. In a lot of cases, however, it comes down to creating for yourself an experience which is slightly less tedious, hostile and unfun with the promise that "it gets better" at some indeterminate point later down the line. There's nothing there to hook a new player until well into the game, and that's not good for the community's long-term health.

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4 hours ago, (PS4)guzmantt1977 said:

Just going to put this here right at the start: 

MR3, solo'd to go faster stuck at Sedna junction. More detail came out eventually here

My other "wait a minute" moment was:

Uh... Excal, radial blind, walk behind spectre, backstab for finisher damage....? 

Your first example is both a speedrunner and an experienced Warframe player. You wouldn't want to design the NPE around them. They also didn't specify what frame they started with, or what they used, or whether they are using plat to speed up the experience. (They talk about Mag at the end; if she is the one she used, her 2 is decent as specters so I can understand why they didn't have trouble. But she's also far and away the least recommended for new players.)
Compare real new-player experiences like these:  [X] [X] [X] These are just ones that express frustration with Valkyr specifically; I found a bunch others that expressed frustration with the other stuff I mentioned (like being unable to access crafting materials or being stuck early game) that could be related to Valkyr, but were not provably so.

As for Valkyr, Excal is good like that. But I started with Volt, because he's Dojo-only and his passive can compensate for weak weapons. It's difficult to rely on abilities anywhere outside of junctions because you don't have energy regeneration there. And when I considered that I could use Mag's Magnetise, or Excal's blind, to open up a window of opportunity - you can get their parts before Ceres, after all - I literally couldn't craft either of them because they both required neural sensors, which the Valkyr spectre was gate-keeping. Volt can also hide and charge his 4 to stun her as well, but it takes a lot of time waiting.

Regardless, being able to defeat something doesn't mean that the scaling isn't still really mis-representative. Games are designed to be challenging but satisfying to defeat. Part of that design is a relatively smooth learning curve.

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1 hour ago, Steel_Rook said:

The latest person I introduced to the game is effectively burned out on feeling week, lacking resources and only ever being rewarded with blueprints that he often can't craft without more grind.

I think that is ironically a result of you taking them under your wings. Those players will feel pressured to catch up as fast as possible, they are constantly reminded what they don't have and that they can only have fun with help of seasoned players. That they lack this or that "essential" mod and thankfully you're giving it to them.

I've been on both ends of that relationship and I think it's the worst that you can do. Let noobs be noobs, answer their questions but not more.

Personally I've never had any of those problems in Warframe, and I'm very sensitive to "the grind", but in the end it's just a matter of your mindset. I've written about it in a little more detail in this comment

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2 hours ago, Snackrat said:

Your first example is both a speedrunner and an experienced Warframe player. You wouldn't want to design the NPE around them. They also didn't specify what frame they started with, or what they used, or whether they are using plat to speed up the experience. (They talk about Mag at the end; if she is the one she used, her 2 is decent as specters so I can understand why they didn't have trouble. But she's also far and away the least recommended for new players.)
Compare real new-player experiences like these:  [X] [X] [X] These are just ones that express frustration with Valkyr specifically; I found a bunch others that expressed frustration with the other stuff I mentioned (like being unable to access crafting materials or being stuck early game) that could be related to Valkyr, but were not provably so.

As for Valkyr, Excal is good like that. But I started with Volt, because he's Dojo-only and his passive can compensate for weak weapons. It's difficult to rely on abilities anywhere outside of junctions because you don't have energy regeneration there. And when I considered that I could use Mag's Magnetise, or Excal's blind, to open up a window of opportunity - you can get their parts before Ceres, after all - I literally couldn't craft either of them because they both required neural sensors, which the Valkyr spectre was gate-keeping. Volt can also hide and charge his 4 to stun her as well, but it takes a lot of time waiting.

Regardless, being able to defeat something doesn't mean that the scaling isn't still really mis-representative. Games are designed to be challenging but satisfying to defeat. Part of that design is a relatively smooth learning curve.

Yes they're held up as a counter example to you, an experienced player repeating the progress with greater knowledge, not to a new player's experience. 

The second link provides far more information on that player's speed runs, including video of one of the runs, and you can probably contact @GnarlsDarkley directly if you really want specific answers to how he did it with fml.bat or the other times.

 

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Posted (edited)

Affinity scaling is indeed broken, it'll take 3 minutes with eso leeching/stealth farming, and 20minutes with hydron, 15 minutes with spies, and few hours with most of every other gameplay.

Edited by Test-995

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11 hours ago, supernils said:

I think that is ironically a result of you taking them under your wings. Those players will feel pressured to catch up as fast as possible, they are constantly reminded what they don't have and that they can only have fun with help of seasoned players. That they lack this or that "essential" mod and thankfully you're giving it to them.

Wouldn't have worked. He'd tried the game multiple times before and highly disliked it due to obtuse storytelling, lack of inventory and general confusion. Never got much farther than Vor's Prize. The only reason he was even playing is because I kept assuring him that "No, really! It gets better! I can help!" He refused to be twinked in pretty much any way, but then ran into a difficulty spike around Jupiter from which I don't know that he ever recovered.

Point being, Warframe holds off on its actual selling point well past the point where new players would have the patience to stick around for. I know this from introducing other people, I know it from being a new player, myself. I spent literal hours on the Steam forums and then here and then on the Wiki doing homework and research just to figure the sodding game out and at least START to extract some entertainment value out of it. And the only reason I bothered was because another friend of mine was playing it and kept bugging me to try it. I too had played part-way through Vor's prize and left, having not seen any reason to bother nor understood any of what was going on. Even then I had to disregard large portions of the game like Cetus, Syndicates, MR and Clan stuff for the longest time just so I could wrap my head around more basic concepts like the difference between a "tenno" and an "endo."

 

11 hours ago, supernils said:

Personally I've never had any of those problems in Warframe, and I'm very sensitive to "the grind", but in the end it's just a matter of your mindset. I've written about it in a little more detail in this comment

It's not a matter of "the grind." It's a matter of being thrown into the deep end with no direction, having weird gobbledygook nonsense tossed at you and lacking any fun toys to play around with. It's a bit like being dropped in the middle of Saints Row 4 with no context, then having to work for 10 hours before you get your first gun, then another 10 hours before you can start jacking cars, and only then can you think about unlocking some super powers. Warframe is not a MineCraft or a Gary's Mod and it really has no business tasking players with making their own fun right out the gate. It needs a far more directed, signposted new player experience with a much more solid introduction to the fictional universe with at least the common knowledge a no-name colonist on Mars might have.

It also needs to start players with a much wider access to low-level inventory such that your average lowbie isn't limited to two guns and one blade for multiple hours at the start. I myself wanted an LMG and would have used even a terrible one if I had access to it. Unfortunately, the terrible low-level LMG (i.e. the Gorgon) wasn't on the Market, forcing me to grind for it before I could even start having fun with the game. I also wanted a heavy melee weapon, but that's locked behind a Solar Rail. I'd argue that players ought to have access to a few Warframes all of the Mk-1 weapons after completing Vor's Prize. Point being, give players some grounding in the world and some toys to play around with so that they have some idea what the fun is supposed to be, THEN task them with seeing more and earning more. There's no benefit to being THIS stingy right at the start.

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I do have several thoughts on how to fix or augment the points you made but it would require DE to implement them. For example for the resource gating for new players who prefer to solo missions it could be possible to have certain missions related to the syndicates raiding Grineer or Corpus ships in a space pirate mode which has a chance of dropping certain resources/mods which could make sense given the Tenno hit and run guerrilla warfare tactics and getting certain rewards as payment.

For the junction I don't have anything in particular to say but for the open world troops showing up randomly when fishing, mining or hunting can be annoying so having something that can be added to the gear wheel that you can throw out (provided you haven't been spotted) and acts like a mini drone that flies away from your character attracting enemies away from your location(which could also be used in missions to a certain degree as well i guess).

For the affinity I don't know how how helpful this is but nakak the mask seller in cetus ocassional sells Fosfor Blau and Fosfor Rahd which increased affinity range so if working with a a group you stay in affinity range longer. The alerts can be tied back to the resource gating I mentioned earlier where the syndicates send you on certain missions that they can't do or don't have the resources for. This can also be applied to Cetus and Fortuna as well if they need certain resources that can't be found in their respective areas and have the tenno acquire and smuggle resources back to the quest giver.

These are just my thoughts on it though and highly unlikely to be implemented.

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Posted (edited)

The reason I started playing Warframe at all, was the PS4 booster pack promo one year. I almost always ignored Warframe because I thought, from the descriptions and artwork, that it was a PVP shooter game, similar to Destiny, with different characters you could choose, like a street-fighter game. (Initial first impressions, without ever playing the game, in case anyone in marketing sees how this could be the case and it helps them change that impression.) Destiny 2 had recently been announced, and was still-born. A youtube video came to my attention around this time, explaining Warframe from a destiny player's PoV. The line that I'll always remember is: "It's like Destiny, with your super on the whole time." And just watching the parkour, rather than the stick-in-the-mud slowness that was Destiny was all that I needed to finally give Warframe a try.

My new player solo experience was with Alerts in place. Alerts were my bread and butter in this game - without them, I likely wouldn't have stuck around, progress-wise. Also, I saw the Orthos in a video, and made it a goal to get that ASAP, since it was such a fluid, perfect weapon for my playstyle, and matched the main character's weapon in a book I wrote, so I got to play out a personal fantasy. That made the game "fun to play" regardless of what I was actually doing in the game, from farming stuff to completing missions and stories. That, along with the freedom of the parkour, kept me around through the slump times where I was making zero progress.

I built my own Dojo, and have done all the research solo. (Forma, Oxium, and Nanospores were early blockade resources for this process.)

In general, as a matter of principle, I don't spend money on F2P games to expand inventory or buy temporary boosts. If I'm going to spend money, I want a real permanent benefit for that money that isn't tied to intentional money-grabbing. (No loot boxes, ever.) I don't mind if games like this have warframes and weapons for sale pre-built, with options in-game to acquire them as well.

In general, Warframe is good overall, but hides how good it is behind its bad points. The market/arsenal is the worst offender here. When I opened it up, as a newbie, I didn't see the difference between Credits and Platinum in the shop. It looked like: "Spend real money to get anything new, here." I thought I was missing some shop on a planet somewhere that sold them for credits or something, like most RPGs, and ignored that thing.

One thing I do with every new online game that I play, was a google search for "Things I wish I knew about (game) now, when I started"... which usually brings up good lists of tips and newbie guides that have the sort of info that benefits me. I found a good series of "getting started" videos by someone on Youtube, and watched those all the way through until spoiler warnings. They explained everything that was stupidly confusing in the game... like the importance of Mods above all else, really. Without those videos, I'd have been lost. It also highlighted the ability to use the market to switch over to only buying BLUEPRINTS, and that some early weapons were buyable pre-built, just with credits! Honestly, this should be more prominent. The arsenal being used as the credit-shop and plat-market may be condensed for ease of use, but is highly confusing to a new player.

I will say, as a newbie, I DID feel I had to go into the Plains of Eidolon, as the quests pushed you that way. The Dargyns and Ghouls (there was a ghoul purge event going on when I first visited), sent me packing, and I didn't step foot back in Cetus until months later when I got Inaros and could finally survive the constant Dargyn bombardments as I went about my business (I had no good ranged mods for my guns, so the Dargyns were essentially immortal flying attackers. I STILL hate them, a year later, even if I can kill them "easily" now.)

 

The other biggest issue I had with the game was the EXTREMELY limited inventory. This nearly stopped me from playing the game. As I said, I wouldn't spend money just to expand my inventory, on principle. I was stuck with just Excalibur for the longest time... all the way to Saturn (mainly due to lack of ingredients, as explained in this thread). I did spend my starter PS4 booster plat (150?), on warframe slots and weapon slots. It felt horribly bad to level up weapons, and just junk them... all that work down the drain... just for mastery... (I was sure to check the wiki to be certain I wasn't selling weapons that were ingredients in crafting other weapons, though, to be very efficient with my inventory and time.)

For a few months, I was stuck with just Excalibur, Oberon (first built frame) Rhino (first frame I really "used" other than Excalibur), Frost (built him to face Tyl Regor & defense missions), Titania, and Inaros (favorite frame). I stopped doing quests or farming bosses for new frames, because I didn't have room to bring them out of the foundry anyway. I stopped making and leveling weapons, because there were a few favorites I didn't want to just junk after ranking up. I spent most of this time farming the Void for golden mods to fill out my collection and make some of the builds I was researching.

There was definitely a hard power gap/leap at the Uranus/Pluto area, for me. I started to rely on Inaros' sand-to-face + finishers to kill most enemies in a timely manner Clearly, my mods were lacking, though I didn't know how badly, or how strong I could potentially be.

Then I won a plat give-away on the forums... 100 plat. Which let my buy more warframe slots, and breathed new life into the game for me. I was finally able to make progress with my mastery rank, and grow again.

 

Now, a year later, I finally got my friend, another ex-Destiny player, to play Warframe, and he's loving it, but our schedules almost never let us play at the same time. Finally getting to the point where we'll be able to face some of the stuff like Eidolons and such together, which is content I've largely ignored, despite the rewards present. (Just a sidepoint for him, he only reached Nightwave rank 25, and that was majorly due to my help - it's EXTREMELY newbie unfriendly. I've made plenty of Nightwave posts, though, so I won't bring that here.)

 

Edited by (PS4)AyinDygra
Remembered I had Oberon as my 2nd frame, but forgot because I used him so little. (Lack of energy restoration options early game made him useless to me)
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