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Jarriaga

Encouraging words from Rebecca on Warframe's difficulty problem (GameSpot interview)

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Posted (edited)

This interview is a week old but I didn't have time to watch it until now. I also don't see threads discussing this.

This part of the interview with Rebecca at the 14:52 mark made me happy as she directly addressed the power scaling vs. difficulty problem in Warframe. She mentions how being able to one-shot everything up to certain point leads to boredom because the game feels too easy, and that's a challenge they (DE) want to tackle on as a team. How they go about it is anyone's guess, but it is encouraging to know that they are aware of it in no uncertain terms.

I gave them a lot of flak a few weeks ago for the Arbitrations fiasco as it felt like they were ignoring us, and I am aware this interview was recorded months ago around TennoCon and only now released to the public, but it served as a reminder to have a little faith in them. They may be slow to act, but they do know our grievances with the game.

Cheers to what Empyrean/The New War will bring.

Edited by Jarriaga
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Posted (edited)

Well, they already showed that they are aware of this in the first Devstream of this year, i think they even wrote the word challenge on the whiteboard.

And they probably have done this in the past aswell, still no actions have been taken so far...

 

The one thing they have in mind for challenge are the kuva-liches right now, and tbh i dont think it will solve the problem.

Its just another system on top of tons of other systems, and you probably can ignore it if you want to.

 

At the same time, our weapons will get another modslot soon (not a bad thing though), the "general balance" of the game remains untouched and "hard" design decisions like Damage 3.0 simply got scrapped because there could have been a huge outcry from the community...

 

Note: I dont want to judge whether the whole kuva-lich system will be good or not, but i am sure it wont change huge parts of the game.

Again, it will be another system on top of what we have, but the (mostly unbalanced) foundation remains the same.

Edited by DreisterDino
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Being aware and doing something about it are not quite the same.

while an acknowledgement is always welcome some actual actions are what need to be shown ,

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3 minutes ago, DreisterDino said:

Well, they already showed that they are aware of this in the first Devstream of this year, i think they even wrote the word challenge on the whiteboard.

Yes, but not to this degree. Flat-out acknowledging that it leads to boredom recognizes that it is a problem for Warframe's player retention, which is something part of the community (Go play another game) doesn't like to acknowledge as it can lead to arguments about the necessity of some nerfs or the existence of nullifiers.

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They've been keenly aware of it for years now. It's just...you know, creating "challenge" (whatever that means) that's interesting, engaging, and rewarding, without making it too grindy and/or so rewarding that it becomes The Thing to Do, Always, while also respecting the time and effort players have invested in their arsenals...

Yeah it's a bit of a complex problem.

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4 minutes ago, DreisterDino said:

Well, they already showed that they are aware of this in the first Devstream of this year, i think they even wrote the word challenge on the whiteboard.

And it is a really hard problem to solve when you really have to deal with permutations of players that exist in this diverse of a player base.    One advantage of a new version of the game is you can pretty much tell everyone to "here is the new paradigm" but when the game is a continuous (like Warfame) it becomes much harder.  Since DE has explicitly stated they do not want Warframe 2, 3, etc because it devalues peoples time; oh snap.    Considering this game also rides on asymmetric income from its player base...you need to be very careful not to bite the hand that is currently feeding you.    Simply put...IT IS HARD.

This is why I am glad to see DE trying something very different with new update.   If it falls flat on its face..we learned something.  If it does well,..we learned something.    Regardless, it gives DE data to help answer this tough question of "how do we make a game we want to make and players want to play it".  

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Hopefully I will see something change while I am still alive... 😐

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Just now, NinthAria said:

They've been keenly aware of it for years now. It's just...you know, creating "challenge" (whatever that means) that's interesting, engaging, and rewarding, without making it too grindy and/or so rewarding that it becomes The Thing to Do, Always, while also respecting the time and effort players have invested in their arsenals...

Yeah it's a bit of a complex problem.

In my opinion, true challenge is inherently interesting and engaging when it is skill-based rather than stat-based, which in turn makes it intrinsically rewarding and does not need external rewards to sustain itself.

Respecting the time and effort invested into player arsenals just throws a curve ball in there that moves it back to stat-based difficulty, which is an impossible goal unless all WF abilities are scaled to the same level, which in turn moves the needle towards efficiency.

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Right now Warframe has essentially two modes 

  1. You oneshot everything or
  2. Everything oneshots you. 

There is some scant overlap but not much....

I just hope whatever they do to address the "issue" doesn't just have them rolling more content over into "Everything oneshots you" and calling it a day... cause as much as that might shut some people up, it still isn't balance. 

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That (payed)interview along with the latest devstream were unbearable to watch.Misleading towards new people, laughable for the older players.

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I'll believe it when I see it.

This issue has been growing for years with the only attempts to fix anything thus far being to add modes that would have been difficult ten title updates ago.

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2 minutes ago, Jarriaga said:

In my opinion, true challenge is inherently interesting and engaging when it is skill-based rather than stat-based, which in turn makes it intrinsically rewarding and does not need external rewards to sustain itself.

Respecting the time and effort invested into player arsenals just throws a curve ball in there that moves it back to stat-based difficulty, which is an impossible goal unless all WF abilities are scaled to the same level, which in turn moves the needle towards efficiency.

It's good that that works for you, but there are about as many definitions of "true challenge" as there are people--and the nature of any challenge, big or small, in a persistent game like Warframe, is that it's going to get run multiple times. The "challenge is its own reward" model works for some, but without anything else attached to it, I suspect it'd wear out its welcome pretty quickly with most people on repeat visits.

Don't think you're going to get much headway on the second point. For better or worse, Warframe's a game with some element of power progression to it, and DE tends to make an effort to respect people's time investment on that whenever possible.

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Still can't see why we need challenge in Warframe, it's been doing just fine without it for the past 6 years. Frankly, all we need is good, fun content (I know fun isn't allowed in DE's courtyard anymore, but hey, a man can dream).

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If I had to guess, their present approach is the gradual reworking of Warframe abilities away from the 'nuke/CC/be invincible to them all' approach they've been at. Sure, they're starting with the weaker frames, but if you look, you'll notice that they're avoiding ability design of old, where mass-effective abilities could be accessed at the touch of a button. Even Saryn requires a measure of engagement right now, albeit she's heavily overtuned.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Jarriaga said:

In my opinion, true challenge is inherently interesting and engaging when it is skill-based rather than stat-based, which in turn makes it intrinsically rewarding and does not need external rewards to sustain itself.

Respecting the time and effort invested into player arsenals just throws a curve ball in there that moves it back to stat-based difficulty, which is an impossible goal unless all WF abilities are scaled to the same level, which in turn moves the needle towards efficiency.

In my opinion, the game was at its best when you start out. When you have no reactors or catalysts and you’re desperately latching on to any power that comes to you.

It might rustle a few feathers, but I would like to see a new planet designed entirely around the assumption that people will be using “””””””””Meta builds””””””””””

An entire planet hand crafted for experienced warframe players.

As it stands now, once you have potatoes installed and you know how to mod, there is very little that can stand against you.

I think it was addressed once that the game was only really hand crafted in terms of difficulty till about level 40-50.

After that things scale up, but when that system was implemented you only ever really experienced that content when you stayed in endless missions. It was never really intended to be the core experience.

It might just be a pipe dream, but an entire planet containing enemies without levels, that are balanced around being killed by the guns we actually use, modded the way we actually mod them would be a dream.

I believe DE have this potential, as you experience it when you are a new player. There is just nothing that’s hand crafted in terms of balance for an end game player.

Edited by (PS4)Mono-Pop
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They are aware of this issue but this exists from the start. They simply made a game which is repetitive, means a lot of grind and also make the illusion you are powerful and can save the whole system. Making a difficult or more challenging game is not an easy task and if they need to sacrifice the core elements then they won't touch it. Broken hard enemies and impossible bulletsponge enemies not needed but they cannot really decide what will be the basis of the challenge. The solar system is their basis to set the difficulity and the majority of the players enjoying this, those whom got everything and has the best gears may feel the game too easy but because their levels are not challenging enough. Nerfing things would not be an ideal option because that means you nerf the early game and the players, whom stay in the starchart and not going beyond it. 

Any attempt to make the game more interesting was to add pvp what the majority of the playerbase just hates but otherwise noone wish to see their toys nerfed. They cannot make challenging content without restrict the majority of playerbase and let's say : " we make for you a special challenge / level, where you and the elites can challenge your skills ". This sounds maybe interesting for those whom has everything in the game, but it makes a gap between players and then the forums will be filled with such threads.

Also the playerbase as a whole is full of groups and there are major groups whom wants challenge, others content with the game, anothers want more power etc. I personally feel the game is enough challenging on the starchart too if you have not opened a certain amount of content or just plays with weaker gear. The fun and challenge is subjective to everyone and no player will think the exact same. I would like to have a bit more difficulity or a harder content designed to advanced players or more fun puzzles or secrets to explore. A simple environment hazard or random events applied to the game would be. I do not remember when Lotus said in my mission : ignore your original plan, kill all the enemies. 

These could be challenging if they wish to make them more challenging but then a large portion of the players will leave, probably who brings the money.

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I think "the player base" is off their rockers concerning "challenge". In that it is an impossible equation for a developer.

A player base used to meta'ing everything quickly that complains loudly when things are too hard, take too long and when things are too easy.

There is simply no way to introduce something that would stay meaningful long enough ("takes too long") and there is simply no way to make introducing new easier things meaningful (3-6 months of development & testing and the player base is satisfied for a couple of weeks, max).

Another option is making new shortcuts in the system available to high MR players, and while this can be quite meaningful (I am actually playing hours of Arbitrations again, due to Vitus drops) there is a limit to how much you can break the current mechanisms in favor of the "been there, done that" crowd.

This discussion raises its head at least once a week, in one form or another. But clear and practical suggestions what could be done are really scarce. That is, most just complain or want unspecific "more content", I can't even remember the last post where someone said "if you give me this I will be content and shut up complaining for six months".

I am not carping on the complainers (believe it or not), what I am trying to do is underlining why complaining is not a solution, and that the more complainers there is the less they are likely to be heard. "Constructive criticism" is what is needed, as well as the separation of wishful thinking from real-world realism (concerning game development, you can all of course continue to believe in all the other sh*t). 

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Difficulty in Warframe is a problem that everyone thinks they have a solution to, when in reality nobody does, but everyone still complains about it.

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How about they start by letting the player increase the levels of a mission to our liking? I feel that level 90-110 enemies are just right for me, but unfortunately there isn’t realistically a way for me to choose that. I’d like to play earth missions against level 100+ enemies, for instance.

Honestly, enemies level 1-70 all feel the same to me. Their damage is unbearably weak and they die in one shot from pretty much every weapon that I own. I’m pretty sure that the difficulty was designed with absolute beginner players in mind. For intermediate to veteran players, the first 70 levels might as well not even exist.

If I’m totally honest, I don’t think that enemy levels is a good idea. I mean, why can the exact same unit be potentially hundreds of times more powerful than another that’s identical to it? Grineer are literally clones, which further goes to show that this kind of thing makes no sense.

At any rate, you can’t even begin to address the difficulty when you have damage numbers that vary wildly from weapon to weapon.

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1 hour ago, DreisterDino said:

Its just another system on top of tons of other systems, and you probably can ignore it if you want to.

Well, if you can't ignore the hard-mode then that's not really good.

Playing on higher difficulty should be a choice, not everyone has the skill to handle it.

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I'm just hoping they add NEW challenging content instead of making the entire game more challenging. I, like many others, play Warframe because it is a power fantasy and relaxing, mindless shooter...

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Honestly they need to bite the bullet and just accept that not all frames guns and the like are going to work vs high level content. Then they need to give us a reason to do that high level content.

 

 

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vor 2 Minuten schrieb CalmClouds:

How about they start by letting the player increase the levels of a mission to our liking? I feel that level 90-110 enemies are just right for me, but unfortunately there isn’t realistically a way for me to choose that. I’d like to play earth missions against level 100+ enemies, for instance.

+1

I think this addition alone would satisfy a lot of people...

 Imo DE is overthinking the whole challenge-debate - and then we end up with stuff like Arbitration Drones which many people dislike.

I would be so happy if there would be High-Level-Fissure Missions for example, each starting at level 100 or in steps 60/70/80/90 for Lith/Meso/Neo/Axi.

Currently its just "wanna open a lith relic? ok fine, go fight lvl 10 enemies that havent even been a threat when you started the game"

 

At least i wouldnt have to stay in a mission for an hour to get to the desired enemy-level, i could simply start where i want to be at.

 

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14 minutes ago, (PS4)Mono-Pop said:

It might just be a pipe dream, but an entire planet containing enemies without levels, that are balanced around being killed by the guns we actually use, modded the way we actually mod them would be a dream.

I completely agree. It doesn't even have to be a planet, it could just be a warzone. An evolving warzone, not (mainly) based on enemy mob rushing, but on real team play in procedural longer-than-usual missions (a bit like the defunct raids). Even allowing players to switch warframes in-mission but pre-battle (to already composed A, B, C's ...), in order to maximise team efficiency (like tridolon hunts) 

And wouldn't it be a noble use of AI to de-construct player behaviour (from all over) and re-apply the lessons learned against the Tenno.

I don't think there is even a need for all kinds of wonderful drops, instead space mom could pay us in craftable war materials, an occasional fashion thingy and a new (procedural) chaos relic, where the six drops are randomly distributed on generation for each and every player (in the some common, uncommon and rare spots they have inhibited at some unspecified time in the past), and which can only be cracked in the warzone itself. Or space mom could offer a new material, allowing you a one-time one-row lock (only) when rolling rivens. That would be worth fighting for, together in a squad with ultimate Tenno warriors in "against all odds"-missions...

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The basic problem is that yeah, being able to one-shot everything makes the game kinda boring, but on the other hand taking that power away would feel like a massive nerf to the players' entire arsenal. So I can see why DE are very loathe to make major changes in that respect.

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