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BloodRavenCap

Old Blood and Shadow of War - and general thoughts about game mechanics

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You know, it felt like before that all new content was too disjointed. Open worlds separately, quests separately, everything exists in it's own little bubble. I thought it was a bad thing until this update.

So, if you don't want to have any part in Lich hunt, you have to tread very carefully so not to accidentally kill some "maggot", that will become a Kuva Lich. In a game where nukeframes and big guns are a thing and consistently used almost all the time. Because if you create the Lich, this little monster will expand his dominion over planets even if you don't bother it. And it will consistently steal your stuff, making a mind-numbing grind even worse. And I don't even want to start talking about situations, where the Lich can steal something rare. So, you can't not participate, sooner or later you WILL have to take the Lich down, until it expands his influence over all planets. But I don't want to be a part of that. And you know why. Because we have at least five layers of RNG before we'll get to the Lich. And you can't just make him disappear, the Lich is there to stay, until you take it down.

But you don't want that Lich. You don't want his lame gun and sure as hell don't want him as your follower, because - what's the point? You can't influence the Lich, he spawns randomly. And if the gun is bad, what's the point? But you still have to waste a ton of your time, because you don't want the Lich to mess up your game.

And at this point you just have to compare the Liches to the orcs from Shadow of War. I've been already wrote about that in Twitter to Steve, I've wrote about it here and will write it again, just to get my point across.

In SoW you can start the hunt for the bosses from the get-go. I mean, yeah, it takes some time to unlock the ability to recruit them, but you want to track down bosses, because not only they give experience, they also can drop some good loot. Even if it's randomized, the hunt itself is pretty straightforward. You just find the guy and kill him. That's all. And then look at what you got from him. And if you want to be prepared, you can catch some informant and find out everything about your target. Sometimes when you try to hunt someone down, you get in an ambush. Or you can be a witness to the feud between bosses and kill two birds with one stone or just aid the boss that you like more. Don't forget the fact that bosses in SoW are awesome, they have a lot of character and even if some of the bosses might not be that good, the sheer amount of unique situations can strike you with awe. And later in the game, when you get the ability to recruit orcs, you start to create your little personal army, that you can manage, you can direct at other bosses to kill them, you create betrayals, you can even grant them a fort to defend! And don't forget the fact that you can create your own personal guard that will have your back - or might turn on you if the moment is right.

Where do we have this in Warframe? Just think about it. When you get the Lich that you don't want, you can't do nothing about it. You can't send someone to kill it, just to wipe out the influence the Lich creates. You can't make it disappear. You just have to soldier through - just to get a gun that you don't want or a follower that you can't control in any way.

It's such a simple concept, that I can't understand why in a world Lich work that way. Cut down the RNG, make it possible to have at least 10 Liches at the same time, so at least one will be interesting, make them manageable and give the opportunity to send your Lich to kill another. I don't want this guy, but his influence messes up my game, I want him off the map and I don't want to deal with him myself. Or, as I said, cut down the layers and RNG, so hunting one Lich won't be such a pain. But the big number of Liches is a must, because why would I bother with them, if they don't give anything useful? Everything else is just a good concept. If you recruit someone, you want to watch them improve. You want to manage and direct them. The fact that Liches are so independent is just killing all the fun. It kills all the incentive to bother with them, especially if the only thing you get is just a gun. Even with a good stats, it's nothing new, it's just a reskin of another weapon. And in that situation it works only because everyone would be furious if the new gun was something completely different from what they wanted.

Another thing that I've been bombarding Steve in Twitter with - what about inventory system? Just grinding for guns might get old really quick and when we don't even control our followers - what's the point? But in the Shadow of War you could get not only the weapons, you got capes, armor and runes, that affected your Ring of Power. So, if I don't want Lich's weapon, there should always be a evergreen reward, that always comes in handy. For example, you can gather pieces of armor with different characteristics, something, that can increase your stats and something that separately equipable from the cosmetics, but is still visible on the warframe (or you can turn it off if it messes with your fashion). Or you can collect little pieces of armor or something else, like Riven Fragments, that you can later melt in a complete gear, that can stack with another gear from a different Lich. You might say that would create even more power creep, but I think the main problem we have right now is not the power creep -  I think the problem is not the power creep, I think that power creep just isn't big enough.
For me, mod system should be tweaked - like, we can still retain all the mods we have, but we take some "general mods", like those, that relate to warframes survival and damage mods and give another mechanic to it.
So, the mod slots won't a problem anymore and we can have the mandatory mods removed from the pool and added to this system and tied to global mission types, that increase your power. For example, you have to raid Corpus or Grineer bases for some new tech, that will increase your shields or health, then you can have faster shield regen and shieldgating. Raid the base, steal the blueprint for universal radar. Every new raid just increases its radius. Give us the raid for universal vacuum. Grineer missions would be tied to the armor system that not just negates the damage, but is tied to your look. First, you just buff your numbers, just like with the system we have today. But then, we should hunt down bosses like in Shadow of War, for example, for randomized loot, that you can equip on your warframe. Things that we take give randomized stats - we divide them in different categories, I don't know, capes, breastplates, cowls, something like this. We equip the loot and from hunting down more bosses we can tweak some of the effects, but not much, because we still want the reason to hunt down other bosses and take their loot. And at the same time we save the old modding system, so we still can add corrupted mods, some quality of life, augments and everything else.

Same goes for the weapons - we take the damage mods out, and to access "new level of damage" you have to make a raid on enemy base, so it's a lot easier to control progression of players in the game. Because until they hit mandatory raid, you can evaluate how much damage they give. The same goes for the elementals, you should be available to equip all damage mods at the same time, because you aren't tied to mod slots anymore. You just have to take raids to increase the damage output of your elementals. As I said, that way you can control at what general level of power players are. Leave the old parts be - we would still have mod slots, but then again, there are there just to modify the rate of fire, reload and stuff like this. And to top it all off, we still can save Rivens. But they are available only past a certain point and as I said, we basically know the level of firepower players can bring to the table on every mission, because progression is tied to the missions and not just to the mods.
So, we make a system, that scales to the level of the player. For example, even if you return to the older locations, you can still turn up the scaling difficulty. And the difficulty should be not about the sponginess and ability of every enemy to one shot you - it should be tied to enemy spawn rates, their AI and variety. So, if you are already powerful, you still smash through the enemies, you still play your power fantasy, but the enemy is just so relentless and cunning, that you still can lose.
On earlier levels you still should have some spongy enemies, like Heavy Gunners and Bombards, but so just that the player can appreciate his own power a tad later.
So, basically, every weapon is somewhat viable, you still have power fantasy and difficulty at the same time, you understand what level of power players have - and it somewhat streamlines the modding system, because right now new players can't understand nothing until they get into the wiki.

Right, and even after all this you still give incentive to players to go and get new stuff, because they still have to track down bosses for new randomised loot, also, you can give some abilities to their equipment, so in the end you can have additional effects and not only your four basic warframe powers.
Scaling is more understandable and after the scaling is fixed it's a lot easier to create difficult content, because basic calculations are there, you just need to give new rules, like we have now in sorties and arbitrations - and you at least have something interesting, instead of a busywork. Because "difficult" content is not difficult and not interesting just cause scaling and base mechanics don't work properly. And I think the key thing about this that you want to be crazy prepared for the difficult stuff, like, you want really broken builds that can just wipe the floor with dozens of enemies in seconds - and you're really, really strong, but, like in arbitrations, if you die - that's all, game over. There are no cellars for you, you can be basically a god, but you're still vulnerable.

And when we have dealth with the core mechanics, maybe it's time to fix the story? To bring in cohesion to all the plot arcs that are there. Because right now on Jupiter we have pre-infestation and post-infestation-post Second Dream Alad V, whom we also deal with on Eris much later on the starchart.
Not only that, but I think every warframe should have a backstory, like they gave to Umbra, some personality, something. I mean, yeah, maybe it's good for some people to create their headcanons about their favorite warframes, but what's the point of giving half the cast backstory and nothing to the other? We have backstories for Primes, we have Umbra, we have that moment in Second Dream when your warframe acts on its own. Give a way for Operator to interact with warframe. I don't know, I still can't understand why Umbra doesn't move through the Orbiter, because unlike every other warframe, he is almost a human being that has it's own character. Because what was the point in Operators then? I think everyone would want their warframe to have some connection to the Operator, instead we have these metal-flesh puppets that don't have soul and just obey everything Operators do. But if they have a little personality on their own, if we understand that we're not controlling Operator, who controls warframe, but we control two separate beings that agree to be in harmony and help each other - that would just dramatically enhance the feeling of the game.

Yeah, I got a little too excited, but I think I told everythind I wanted to tell.

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After playing for a while I can certainly say that game started to feel worse. 

At one mission of defense my squad had three Liches spawning one after another and after that we had a Stalker coming. Two of us, including me, didn't have right Requiem mods, so we had to let Liches kill us just cause right now you don't have a way to chase a Lich away. And if you consider my point about the Lich I don't want, game just becomes senseless chaos. It's just pure frustration without any fun. Grinding relics, grinding mods and then grinding murmurs to get to the Lich I didn't even want. And I understand the sentiment that it's not one day business, but it only makes it worse. And you just can't opt out, you have you to kill the Lich, cause it'll continue to spawn and mess with you. 

I understand why the system works the way it works. You try to make players spend more time in game. But it comes at the cost of fun. I even understand why Requiem mods have three charges, cause it's a close loop of the grind. But there is no incentive to grind, there is no choice, there is no free will in here. There will definitely be players that will say that no one forces me to play. Yes, but before I had fun. Right now - I'm not. I can't even play the usual missions, because Liches became so intrusive, so deeply ingrained in everything. 

As I said, give us some QoL. Make us have several different Liches, allow us to drive them out even without Requiem mods, so there will be less griefing, streamline the process of getting relics and mods, cut down the murmur grind or leave it out entirely. It feels like the whole system is broken, cause it would be more fun in quantity, cause quality of Liches depends on RNG. As I previously said before, in Shadow of War you could kill the boss even if you were underpowered - and that was part of the fun, overcoming the odds. Here - it just takes an unreasonable amount of time without real incentive if the RNG screwed you over. 

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And if we want to talk about Parazon mods - I think this whole Requiem system should be discarded entirely.

It's a lot more interesting to have dozens of Liches that you've created battling each other, you and other players. It's a lot more interesting to have the opportunity to kill them without specific mods, just killing them the old-fashioned way, cause right now Requiem mods don't serve any other purpose than stalling the player's progress. Increased amount of charges or infinite use won't solve the problem, because in the first situation you still have to grind them - and the grind is connected to other RNG mechanics, while infinite use just makes the whole system pointless. Why would we grind those relics after we get the whole mod set?

For me, it's a lot more interesting when you can have a lot of bosses that are difficult, but fair. Right now, they are just another layer of artificial difficulty. Player shouldn't be instantly killed after he gets the wrong Requiem mod on Parazon. Again, Shadow of War. You can kill any boss wherever you want. Just torture the Worm to know about weaknesses of this boss and go prepared or just bruteforce the guy who is levels above you. It's easier and more interesting to kill dozens different bosses in one hour than spend five hourse just to get one guy whose weapon you don't even want.

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6 hours ago, BloodRavenCap said:

As I previously said before, in Shadow of War you could kill the boss even if you were underpowered

Though I have only been able to skim your posts, I wanted to highlight this for a specific reason:

The whole concept of a Lich in RPGs is that they die but don't stay dead. They even say that in their dialogues in Warframe, that they've died countless times.

So why is it that we can knock them down when they show up in a mission, yet beat us if we try to kill them? It'd make more sense, both from a lore standpoint and a "less pain in the arse gameplay mechanic" standpoint, if we could "kill" them when they show up. I either have hulking metal blood guy after me an entire mission or I sacrifice a revive as he dunks on me. That's not that fun.

I don't think we need a lot of Liches - I don't think it's as unique that way. What I would rather see, however, are two permanent, sellable items: A Lich contract that ties a Lich to you, and a Lich guard that prevents larvalings from spawning and can be bought for credits. Both can be sold to either discard your current Lich or re-enable Lich spawning. It's a simple, straightforward way to opt in or opt out of the system, or opt out of certain Liches that you don't want. The larvalings spawn at a high enough rate that you should be able to swap out very, very easily just by selling contracts. And the current "glitch" that you can keep killing larvalings and creating Liches (despite still only having one) makes some lore sense in that case. There's potential to be able to trade them as well, or have random Lich contracts for sale in the market (like pre-built Zaws and Kitguns), though whether those are good ideas is highly questionable and why I don't include that.

I think if something like that were done, so it's easy to "reroll" Liches, the grind is much more acceptable. It's work, but it's work to get something you want, not work to shuffle Liches around and try to get what you want.

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1 час назад, Tyreaus сказал:

I don't think we need a lot of Liches - I don't think it's as unique that way. What I would rather see, however, are two permanent, sellable items: A Lich contract that ties a Lich to you, and a Lich guard that prevents larvalings from spawning and can be bought for credits. Both can be sold to either discard your current Lich or re-enable Lich spawning. It's a simple, straightforward way to opt in or opt out of the system, or opt out of certain Liches that you don't want. The larvalings spawn at a high enough rate that you should be able to swap out very, very easily just by selling contracts. And the current "glitch" that you can keep killing larvalings and creating Liches (despite still only having one) makes some lore sense in that case. There's potential to be able to trade them as well, or have random Lich contracts for sale in the market (like pre-built Zaws and Kitguns), though whether those are good ideas is highly questionable and why I don't include that.

This won't work because right now we see all the information about Lich's weaknesses, resistances and weapon. So, it would be the same system, but you'll just continue to roll Liches, until you get the one you want. And that is not interesting. You need to kill them, but you don't need to know, what you're going to get. So, to not make it tedious, you have to have an easier way to kill them and if it's easier - there should be more Liches, there should be more freedom of choice.

If we have the one and only guy controlling the whole system - it just feels comical and you can't pit them against each other. As I keep repeating, the part of the fun in Shadow of War was little feuds between warlords and opportunities to kill both parties or aid one. With the current system we can't have that. And with only one Lich at the same time, the depth is just not there. There is literally no interest in hunting down Liches apart from their weapons. And in SoW it was a complex system - inventory, weapons and, most and foremost, personalities.

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4 minutes ago, BloodRavenCap said:

You need to kill them, but you don't need to know, what you're going to get.

The problem is, this isn't Shadow of War. If I get a Drakgoon, it's MR fodder to me - I don't like that weapon. I also don't need MR, so it's not a reward to me at all. It isn't like a new ring in an RPG that I can sell for some gold that'll help me buy some potions or another weapon I do want (see, e.g., Prime parts and ducats). Being able to kill them easier alleviates the grind, but it keeps the "item I want" and "item I don't want" grinds equal. Thus, if I get the reward I want, it's purely luck. The effort is in pulling the slot machine lever again, not in actually getting the item.

You could rework things. You could have every Lich with a unique weapon show up, so the weapon you want is out there somewhere (though this would still require us to see what they're armed with, else it's just luck again). You can rework the entire modding system and fannagle the entire game in a way that you always get items that feel useful or boost your stats and always have enemies that'll challenge those stats so the power creep has some gameplay merit beyond just boosting the overkill of your one-hit-kill weapon. And you could add in things to make it more like Shadow of War. But, right now, it isn't Shadow of War. That is something years down the line, if they even decide to go that direction. And what I don't want to see is another update like this one with the charge attacks, where a system gets put in but the rest of the content doesn't fit with it.

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Yeah, I see your point. If they decide to implement something that I propose, it will take years. Well, a man can dream. 

Another thing I remembered - on Tennocon we've been shown that Lich have already been killed several times - and he still returns. That's another thing I don't like in this update and that's why I'm saying, that Liches should be killed without Requiem. Or, in that matter, if we really want to kill this Lich, we should use Requiem mods just to kill him for good. In all the other situations, Lich can just die and then be reborn again some time later, even stronger this time. Or he might not return at all - that should be a surprise. But the stronger the Lich gets, the more difficult it us to kill him, so at some point you would want to kill him for good, so he doesn't become too strong.

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20 hours ago, Tyreaus said:

So why is it that we can knock them down when they show up in a mission, yet beat us if we try to kill them? It'd make more sense, both from a lore standpoint and a "less pain in the arse gameplay mechanic" standpoint, if we could "kill" them when they show up. I either have hulking metal blood guy after me an entire mission or I sacrifice a revive as he dunks on me. That's not that fun.

Rumour is there's some kind of technical limitation which requires Liches to either kill you or be killed by you with no middle ground. However, I do agree with your general premise - DE should have fixed this on their end. The whole lore around Liches is that they aren't necessarily the most POWERFUL Grineer, but that they don't stay dead. You keep killing them and killing them, but they only grow stronger from it. As it stands right now, you can't even scratch them unless the game allows you to, in which case you can just carve them up. Lich encounters need at least three, possibly four states. Lich kills us in a fight, does a finisher. We kill Lich in a fight, don't have the runes. We kill Lich in a fight, we have the runes. We run away from Lich or Lich runs away from us. Let it level up by different degrees on every event, other than the one where we finish it.

 

On 2019-11-04 at 12:52 PM, BloodRavenCap said:

As I previously said before, in Shadow of War you could kill the boss even if you were underpowered - and that was part of the fun, overcoming the odds. Here - it just takes an unreasonable amount of time without real incentive if the RNG screwed you over. 

And then there's this. That's the big one for me. In Shadow of Mordor, you could assault the Warboss' keep right from the start. You're probably going to die and get kicked back to a tower, but you CAN. Each step along the way makes the assault easier, but no specific step enables it. You want to kill or convert his lieutenants, but they're also really tough, so want information on them, so you kill the underlings under them, you set up traps for said lieutenants, maybe convert them and set up a trap for the Warboss. What Warframe got was "baby's first Nemesis system." How we kill the boss is rigidly defined. Grind Thralls, grind Kuva Siphons/Floods, grind Kuva Fissures, then grind the boss some. Grind grind grind grind grind, with none of the personality, creativity or spontaneity.

Why do I have to grind through a literal 150 Thralls like I'm milling four? Why isn't there a faster but either riskier or more complex path? Why can I spook a Thrall and spawn a new, harder mission which gives me more information? Why can't I simply fight fewer Thralls per mission (like, ONE) but get more info out of them? Why does everything in Warframe have to be broken down into tiny pieces, doled over as long as possible in the most reductive, least compelling manner available? Shadow of Mordor wasn't exactly a great use of the Nemesis system, but it still offered a variety of activities one could undertake to dismantle a Warlord's defences. All Warframe has to offer is "shoot the dudes again, until further notice."

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5 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Lich kills us in a fight, does a finisher. We kill Lich in a fight, don't have the runes. We kill Lich in a fight, we have the runes. We run away from Lich or Lich runs away from us. Let it level up by different degrees on every event, other than the one where we finish it.

Pretty much this, yes. I can't agree further.

5 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

And then there's this. That's the big one for me. In Shadow of Mordor, you could assault the Warboss' keep right from the start. You're probably going to die and get kicked back to a tower, but you CAN. Each step along the way makes the assault easier, but no specific step enables it. You want to kill or convert his lieutenants, but they're also really tough, so want information on them, so you kill the underlings under them, you set up traps for said lieutenants, maybe convert them and set up a trap for the Warboss. What Warframe got was "baby's first Nemesis system." How we kill the boss is rigidly defined. Grind Thralls, grind Kuva Siphons/Floods, grind Kuva Fissures, then grind the boss some. Grind grind grind grind grind, with none of the personality, creativity or spontaneity.

As much as I'd like a more direct system, I think it's important to recognize the balance problems and AI shortcomings that, currently, would make that sort of fight either very easy, very cheap (i.e. one-shotting), or bland and arduous instead of necessarily difficult. The abilities Liches can use are interesting, but in all truth, their movements and attack patterns aren't engaging. They lumber around like any other mook and, in my case (mine is a Loki copycat), with an occasional teleport. Oh boy. /s (That's a teleport the thralls have too, btw) And considering it's their thralls one-shotting me and the low damage the Lich outputs lets me whack them with a sharp stick until the sun rises, well...that doesn't help when the mooks are more of a danger than the Lich. Not good. Certainly not good against invulnerability setups like invis or Rhino with the tank arcanes (not augments, correction).

It's funny in a way because, in my personal opinion, fighting the Lich is more fun. It's not spectacular by any stretch, his damage output makes him a total pushover, and he's still a lumbering buffoon, but "oh S#&$ that's his clone" sort of shenanigans...that's fun. I feel like Warframe needs to double down on that sort of thing: have fewer, more dynamic enemies with better AI, scale those up instead, and have the mooks keep being the mooks that are just target practice that piddle away at one's shields.

Then again, I also think missions like Spy and Capture and Mobile Defense need much less running toward the objective and more space for the dynamics of the objective itself. Running a literal kilometer to a spy vault isn't that engaging. So maybe I'm just miles off-base with the community, too.

Edited by Tyreaus
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Copying another suggestion from different thread:

"This whole Requiem system should be removed. They quote Shadow of War as their inspiration and that game didn't have stalling mechanics. It also had a good dynamic between different warchiefs, you could train them, recruit them, aid them in personal conflicts etc.

We only have one boring Lich at the same time, their personalities are basically the same, so the only incentive to chase them are their weapons, which we cannot reroll, until we kill the guy. Every system of killing Lich this game has at the moment is nothing more than the stack of time-gates.

It would infinitely be better if we had dozen Liches at the same time, you kill every Lich without a problem, but they would be very hard to kill, because of the immunities and powers. So, as in Shadow of War, if you want to take Lich down easily, you would want to track down several of his lieutenants, no more than three. They would be like mini-Liches, not so hard to kill, but challenging enough. So, one of the lieutenants gives information about Lich powers, another about his weaknesses, and another about immunities. Loot is randomized and you don't know what you'll get until you kill the Lich. But the weapons know include all the elements and can have two elements and maximum damage of the element can go to the 90%, as with usual elemental mods.

And if you recruit the Lich, you can send him or her against another one, you can train them to be better or you can summon them as bodyguards. Sometimes they can spawn in missions to get you of from hairy situations and revive you if you're down. They also have regular feuds with each other, so you can aid one side or kill both of the Liches at the same time. And, as orcs from Shadow of War, some killed Liches can return and try to track you down. 

It would be a lot more interesting and fun. Right now it's just an uninteresting chore."

Edited by BloodRavenCap
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20 hours ago, Tyreaus said:

As much as I'd like a more direct system, I think it's important to recognize the balance problems and AI shortcomings that, currently, would make that sort of fight either very easy, very cheap (i.e. one-shotting), or bland and arduous instead of necessarily difficult. The abilities Liches can use are interesting, but in all truth, their movements and attack patterns aren't engaging. They lumber around like any other mook and, in my case (mine is a Loki copycat), with an occasional teleport. Oh boy. /s (That's a teleport the thralls have too, btw) And considering it's their thralls one-shotting me and the low damage the Lich outputs lets me whack them with a sharp stick until the sun rises, well...that doesn't help when the mooks are more of a danger than the Lich. Not good. Certainly not good against invulnerability setups like invis or Rhino with the tank arcanes (not augments, correction).

Oh, no - I get that much. I don't expect Warframe to straight up HAVE the Nemesis system - it's a whole different game. However, I'm arguing that they needed to go with a more NUANCED system, rather than a checklist of very basic, very dull grinds. "Kill 150 of these guys" is not a compelling part of a personal vendetta. That's data entry at best. I was more saying that the way to target the Lich should have been more complex, more involved and less finely-granular. My favourite proposal is to beat down a Lich Thrall, intimidate it, let it run away and then spawn a mission which gives you 10-20 Thralls' worth of information with a boss fight at the end.

Unfortunately, Warframe has a deep, systemic design flaw - DE are afraid of objectives. For whatever reason, they seem outright hostile to the notion of giving us more than one singular goal per mission. I don't know if this is due to the procedural nature of the maps or some ideological reason, but the actual mission structure has no complexity to it. Go to target/location, kill target/defend location, leave. That right there describes the majority of Warframe's missions. There are exceptions, of course. Assault is easily my favourite game mode simply because it has a series of narratively linked objectives, but that's ONE node. A "complex" Lich Thrall mission might involve sabotaging a reactor to open a door, then killing security personnel for their keys to open another door, then scavenger-hunting for power cells to power a drill and push through another door, and finally fight a boss who's only vulnerable if you keep a self-repairing device damaged. Sure, people can still blow through that like it's not even there but at least there's stuff to do. At least it would be more compelling than stabbing 10 people.

DE talked the Kuva Lich system up and down, especially during TennoCon. I expected novel gameplay, whereas what I got was just the Wolf of Saturn Six all over again.

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12 minutes ago, Steel_Rook said:

Unfortunately, Warframe has a deep, systemic design flaw - DE are afraid of objectives.

I think it's this and it's also the idea that they want players to have bite-sized mission runs. Outside of endless missions, they don't seem terribly keen on making missions take more than about five minutes.

That's not that much of an excuse, though, when they could have the Lich take over part of a planet and separate those objectives you listed into separate nodes to keep it bite-sized. Nor is it much of an excuse when missions are just getting from point A to point B and Assault basically just intersperses that parkour simulator section with more things to do than the average Capture mission.

I do like the idea of Thrall missions touching on a little bit of everything (though I do like the idea behind the thralls as-is, it's a different dynamic when those targets are stronger, it's just too monotone). It's a good way to test player skill, because it's a little bit more difficult to cheese it with Saryn if, after you blow through the defense part no problem, you have to navigate a Spy data vault later on. But maybe that's also why they're adverse to doing that - that you can't explicitly build for the entire mission? Kind of a cop-out if you ask me but I'm not a game dev...

27 minutes ago, Steel_Rook said:

DE talked the Kuva Lich system up and down, especially during TennoCon. I expected novel gameplay, whereas what I got was just the Wolf of Saturn Six all over again.

I didn't even think about it that way and, yeah, that really does sum it up, doesn't it? Except it's a bullet sponge in the shape of a pike you kill yourself on lol

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1 час назад, Steel_Rook сказал:

DE talked the Kuva Lich system up and down, especially during TennoCon. I expected novel gameplay, whereas what I got was just the Wolf of Saturn Six all over again.

You know, I think it's just business as usual in videogame industry: they had some ideas and they had some prototype to show to the public. But nothing else. So, basically, at this point, to keep the game alive, they also had to rip out Kuva Liches from the Empyrean to ship it earlier. And at this point not an awful lot was really properly baked. Even with two weeks delay, I think DE originally wanted to ship it as a part of Empyrean.

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17 hours ago, Tyreaus said:

I think it's this and it's also the idea that they want players to have bite-sized mission runs. Outside of endless missions, they don't seem terribly keen on making missions take more than about five minutes.

That's... Honestly really disturbing to hear. I'm not an endurance runner by any stretch, but 5-minute sessions is "mobile game" territory. It allows for essentially no depth or complexity. I'm obviously not asking that all missions be made long, but a game which consistently DOESN'T offer activities in at least the 15-20 minute range just seems odd these days. Doubly so considering how FRIKKIN' HUGE most of the instanced maps are. Why create instances which would take upwards of 30 minutes to fully "clear" if you intend people to ignore most of it and just rush past all that lovely artwork straight to the end? That's a separate discussion, obviously, but longer missions could allow for more interesting, more involved objectives which could themselves be the challenge.

 

17 hours ago, Tyreaus said:

It's a good way to test player skill, because it's a little bit more difficult to cheese it with Saryn if, after you blow through the defense part no problem, you have to navigate a Spy data vault later on. But maybe that's also why they're adverse to doing that - that you can't explicitly build for the entire mission? Kind of a cop-out if you ask me but I'm not a game dev...

Yeah, I wouldn't really buy that as an excuse. It's true, don't get me wrong - you can't create narrowly-tailored builds for missions with diverse objectives, but I'd argue that's a good thing. If you give me JUST a defence mission I'm going to bring Frost - no questions asked. If you give me a Bounty with a Defence component but also a bunch of other objectives besides, I probably won't. Granted, I might bring something that's more broadly applicable - your Rhino, Inaros, Atlas, etc. The thing, though, is that all of the Warframes can do all of the Things. All of them can stealth, all of them can kill, all of them can race and climb, etc. Not all of them are great at defending objectives (I'd argue a flaw in design, the reliance on barriers) but that's the only exception.

Giving missions more varied objectives could also encourage the members of a team to "specialise." In my group of friends, I tend to be the one who's good at Spy Vaults so that's what I typically do. A friend of mine focuses on killing stuff so he tends to carry Survivals and such. Obviously that doesn't work on random pubbie teams, but in those cases you improvise. Again I go back to Payday 2, where I was always the guy who built around having only one gun since I replaced my secondary with the OVE9000 Portable Saw. Not a great weapon, but great at cutting through reinforced doors, metal bars, security lockboxes and all manner of other stuff which would otherwise take 2 minutes to drill - even on Pubbie teams.

What galls me even more is Warframe already has a "carryable" mechanic. The game's BEGGING for a "heist" style mission where players are tasked with moving, say, 10-20 cannisters (with a minimum of 4 before escape pops up), having to defend them from theft and not get them destroyed by gunfire, etc. It's also begging for a "lock and key" system where certain doors won't open to allow progress unless a physical key is carried to them to open them, Doom style. There's a lot the game can do with the mechanics it already has, but DE seem content to design reductive missions which wouldn't be out-of-place on my phone. I hope and pray that the Empyrean will offer some kind of more involved missions. Even if individual segments are simple, such as derelicts comprised of only a single room, I still hope we end up having to explore a few of them per instance.

 

17 hours ago, BloodRavenCap said:

You know, I think it's just business as usual in videogame industry: they had some ideas and they had some prototype to show to the public. But nothing else. So, basically, at this point, to keep the game alive, they also had to rip out Kuva Liches from the Empyrean to ship it earlier. And at this point not an awful lot was really properly baked. Even with two weeks delay, I think DE originally wanted to ship it as a part of Empyrean.

It looked like they did, yes. Seemed like Liches were tied to their ships and to that weird cross-mission multiplayer thing. It really does feel like what we saw at TennoCon was a staged tech demo with no real codebase behind it. When it came close to release date, they ended up throwing something together from existing mechanics (and not even the interesting ones) which vaguely fit into what was promised, with the hopes of developing it further later down the line. I get that the game is still in "beta" after seven years of taking people's money, but the result of it is shallow, unrefined content sitting around for months if not years while DE struggle to find the time to actually develop it.

Artwork aside, Liches honestly feel like they were thrown together in a few weeks, give how little of their inherent gameplay is actually unique to them. They're assassins with a gimmick. They involve grinding Eximus units. They involve grinding Void Relics. About the only truly unique aspect of them is the Parazon guessing game. That they're ALSO buried under such soul-crushing grind that even DE had to push back hard after just five days only makes things worse. I find it disappointing not necessarily because what's there is inherently bad. A lot can be done with preexisting systems. I find it disappointing because more and more DE seem to want to pass off "grind" as "content," and that does bother me.

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27 минут назад, Steel_Rook сказал:

It really does feel like what we saw at TennoCon was a staged tech demo with no real codebase behind it.

I think they even said that at one of devstreams. There was one bit with Steve teasing Rebecca about not actually playing the game at Tennocon.

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4 minutes ago, BloodRavenCap said:

I think they even said that at one of devstreams. There was one bit with Steve teasing Rebecca about not actually playing the game at Tennocon.

*cough*anthem*cough* Sorry, must be coming down with a cold. But yeah, that sounds about right. Teach me to trust promotional videos, I guess.

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I too would have personally loved the idea of being able to attack and kill the Lich head-on from the get-go, albeit in a monumentally difficult mission. One of my favorite developments in recent game design is to place the Big Bad right within reach of the player from the very beginning: a new player will foolishly walk in, get royally trounced, and leave with full knowledge of just how far they'll have to go in order to stand a chance. As they explore the rest of the world, they will have the villain constantly on their mind, tempting them to take another shot every time the player grows a little stronger. It creates constant tension and choice for the player, and when one gets luckier or is more skilled than they anticipated, and manages to succeed earlier than they thought, the feeling of triumph is immense. It's one of the key features of Breath of the Wild and Shadows of Mordor, and is something I wanted to see with the Lich system: in the Empyrean demo, Steve and Rebecca talked about the Lich becoming so powerful as to acquire a capital ship, and there being multiple forms of approach to kill it. They also talked about how the Lich got stronger from being killed by the player over and over, such that the time was right to defeat it for good.

As it turns out, we got none of this. The Lich isn't physically present anywhere in the Origin System, they're just another assassin with their own particular trigger mechanic, and a series of artificial gates that force the player to grind to defeat them, with early victories only happening through sheer dumb luck. What could and should have been a repeatable epic quest to vanquish an immortal foe is currently a series of hackneyed Eximus and relic hunts, punctuated by anticlimactic, perfunctory defeats. Pretty much none of what got players interested in Kuva Liches exists at the moment; instead what we got so far is yet another grinding system for mediocre rewards that will likely make us drop the whole thing once we get the Mastery we need.

While I wouldn't call this the worst update in Warframe's history by any stretch, nor one whose problems can't be solved, I'd say the Old Blood is the most worrying update to me so far, because it's the first in recent history to deliver a feature that was absolutely nothing like what was promised. DE has taken the habit of making grand announcements every Tennocon, often at the cost of a content drought around those announcements, yet despite some mixed reception at times, so far we mostly got what we were promised: The War Within may have introduced the broken and crass plat grab that is the Riven Mod system, yet at least also delivered a solid new cinematic quest, complete with a new tileset and an Operator overhaul. Plains of Eidolon and Fortuna were both initially saddled with absurd levels of grinding, and their modular weapon systems perhaps didn't give us the freedom of customization we expected, but at least did give us massive open levels for us to frolick in. The Sacrifice was a much smaller piece of content than we thought, but still gave us Excalibur Umbra and a gut-punching plot twist. By contrast, Empyrean and the Kingpin system before it promised us a dynamic, evolving enemy -- which we still have yet to receive. The Kuva Liches that were promised and the Kuva Liches we got are similar in name only, which makes me wonder: how much of Empyrean are we actually going to get? Are we going to truly explore a fully connected Origin System, or is it just going to be a few extra space nodes? Are we going to step into a bigger, more open game, or is all of this just going to be yet another feature people will grind, then forget about, in the space of a month? I really want to believe that DE will give us the Empyrean we wanted, and perhaps even the real Kuva Liches we wanted eventually, but I can't shake the feeling that the demo we got may turn out to be Warframe's first real bullshot.

Edited by Teridax68
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On 2019-11-01 at 2:16 PM, BloodRavenCap said:

why would I bother with them, if they don't give anything useful?

This sums up one of my main gripes with the system, and i think is the main point your post is getting at.

On 2019-11-04 at 5:52 AM, BloodRavenCap said:

because Liches became so intrusive, so deeply ingrained in everything. 

The lich integrates it's theft into your other missions, but if you wanna kill your lich, you have to grind separate, segregated missions that don't interact with the rest of the game in any way. Creating an entirely new game play loop that has nothing to do with our current day to day: ie. fissures, siphons, sorites, arbs. Its pretty much the worst of both worlds. They should've integrated both the grind and the effects of the lich into the main game so we could just run into them randomly. Similar to SoW, where you can just run into your nemesis while doing other things. Also intel is abundant and trivial to obtain in SoW whereas in Warframe its a massive grind.

I think the problem is DE is so desperate to get us to play more that its actually causing people to play less. I would be playing this update a lot more if liches were faster. The problem is they havent really introduced any repeatable rewards (weapons are not repeatable rewards, once i have a 55% kuva ogris, every kuva ogris after that has an 87.5% chance to be entirely useless to me, meaning i have to grind out this long lich system which is not part of any regular gameplay loop), which brings us back to the first quote.

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4 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

That's... Honestly really disturbing to hear. I'm not an endurance runner by any stretch, but 5-minute sessions is "mobile game" territory.

TBF I'm kind of just throwing out a number there because I'm very bad with time (I tell everyone I haven't seen them in five years when I saw them yesterday or last week), but the general principle is still that they lean toward bite-sized content rather than endurance runs. That's what I figure, and what I hear here and there, at least.

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to have shorter, piecemeal content like that - but it's about density of what players are doing. Even now, if you run a Spy mission, the actual vaults (the unique content) take maybe a handful of seconds? Minute tops for all three solo? If that mission takes 5 minutes total, that's 1/5th the content: take that ratio and apply it to a 20 minute mission and we get only 4 minutes of actual "core" mission, the rest being spent actually getting around from vault to vault. Take out a lot of the getting around and you can trim that mission back down to five minutes with just the interesting, core stuff. You could build a small level to be one large data vault with security measures that branches out into the three - heck, maybe 6 - terminals to be hacked.

Of course, it's also kind of the nature of what the game's become, too. It's about doing as many missions as fast as possible to get as many rewards per unit time. Sorry, not rewards, reward attempts. And therein lies the dragon: a longer mission means an exponential increase in the average time it takes to get a certain reward. And unless there's a certain level of difficulty where one has to particularly pay attention or else they could fail and not get that reward attempt at all—the kind of difficulty Warframe doesn't exactly have in spades but you can see in things like Destiny raids—and a drop-chance that well-reflects that effort (because nobody in their right mind is going to do a half-hour to an hour-long raid for a Concealed Explosives drop chance), it's drudgery time. It's the difference between "getting through content" and "earning a reward".

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Apparently, some guy found out that Lich's personality might be tied to the Requiems you have to use. So, if you don't have to grind Murmurs, what' s even the point?

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21 hours ago, Tyreaus said:

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to have shorter, piecemeal content like that - but it's about density of what players are doing. Even now, if you run a Spy mission, the actual vaults (the unique content) take maybe a handful of seconds? Minute tops for all three solo? If that mission takes 5 minutes total, that's 1/5th the content: take that ratio and apply it to a 20 minute mission and we get only 4 minutes of actual "core" mission, the rest being spent actually getting around from vault to vault. Take out a lot of the getting around and you can trim that mission back down to five minutes with just the interesting, core stuff. You could build a small level to be one large data vault with security measures that branches out into the three - heck, maybe 6 - terminals to be hacked.

Right, right. My issue wasn't so much with "time" as it was with complexity. If you want your missions to last about 5 minutes, then there really isn't a lot of room for either exploration or complex objectives. All you have time for is getting in, running to a waypoint, then running to the exit. The whole game becomes a speedrun where efficiency is decided by how much of the content you can skip. Compare this to something like Payday 2, which recently came back to life. Even a dirt simple heist like Watchdogs has multiple steps. You have 12 bags - move them somewhere safe, hold out until pick-up arrives, secure them, hold out until escape arrives, get to it fast or you miss your chance and have to wait for backup escape, instead. Most of those aren't even "objectives" so much as just basic mechanics (i.e., bag moving) used to create the illusion of direction.

Warframe has these systems in spades. Look at Assaualt. Ignoring the boring run TO the mission objective, what do you have to do? Prevent the cannon from firing by hacking three consoles before the timer expires. Then go to fire control, find three keys, physically carry them to three consoles. Defend those consoles while the system hacks. Now go back to the control room, retarget the cannon. Now go back to fire control, sabotage the targeting mechanism. Only NOW can you leave. The combination of a scavenger hunt with a defence objective with multiple objectives in multiple places around the map gives this particular mission a great sense of flow and activity. Once the actual objective starts, I'm no longer running around randomly shooting stuff. I have a goal, Grineer are in my way, I shoot them predominantly to get them OUT of my way because I have other business. But that's all of ONE mission.

Now imagine if we had more of these. Imagine if some amount of procedural generation went into them. We're after an assasination target, say our Lich, but he knows we're coming. To get to him, we need to pass through a locked door. The door requires three key fragments, held by three Thralls spawned randomly around the map. Once past the door, we need to trigger an elevator to get TO the Lich, but that's magnetically sealed. To get to it, we need to hack a console, but that has VERY low health. If it gets destroyed, we go to the backup plan - find and sabotage the main reactor to cut the power. Die Hard taught us that that bypasses magnetic locks. Finally, we get to the Lich, it's a boss fight, we kill him. He drops a key to his personal vault, which is stocked with 12 cannisters of "loot," carried like a datamass. We have the option of carrying those to our Lander, physically, but the ship has gone critical and will explode in 5 minutes, 10 minutes if we didn't sabotage the reactor. Optionally, we can find and trigger exhaust valves to release some pressure, but there are only 5 of those and each adds 60 seconds to the timer.

All of these mechanics exist, all of these mechanics can be slotted together procedurally so that each mission just has a random selection of them. Yes, a mission like that would be a lot longer, but the extra length would come from engaging gameplay, not just randomly shooting enemies waiting for an arbitrary clock or counter to count down. That's the game I want to play, or at least have the option of playing. I've nothing against the current reductive mission design as I know it has its fans. Fair enough - short and simple missions can be compelling in their own right. But longer, more elaborate, more eventful missions aren't necessarily a bad thing, either. Having them as an option beyond just replaying Assault out of frustration would have been nice.

 

21 hours ago, Tyreaus said:

Of course, it's also kind of the nature of what the game's become, too. It's about doing as many missions as fast as possible to get as many rewards per unit time. Sorry, not rewards, reward attempts. And therein lies the dragon: a longer mission means an exponential increase in the average time it takes to get a certain reward. And unless there's a certain level of difficulty where one has to particularly pay attention or else they could fail and not get that reward attempt at all—the kind of difficulty Warframe doesn't exactly have in spades but you can see in things like Destiny raids—and a drop-chance that well-reflects that effort (because nobody in their right mind is going to do a half-hour to an hour-long raid for a Concealed Explosives drop chance), it's drudgery time. It's the difference between "getting through content" and "earning a reward".

That's a broader issue with Warframe as a whole, and I blame DE for designing it that way. For one thing, I feel this constant rat race for "rewards" at the expense of the actual gameplay experience is ultimately detrimental for Warframe. It leads to burnout and resentment in the long run. For another thing, it's lazy. Why design new encounters when you can just reskin existing encounters, call them something else and slap more rewards on them? The central failure of the Kuva Lich system for me personally is that it's not a new system. It's simply a set of repainted rewards slapped onto a copy of a bunch of existing systems, and not even existing systems working together. It's basically a repeat of what used to be called Alerts with a repeat of Fissures with no real gameplay cohesion. Maybe if they'd been combined within the same mission with multiple objectives? But nope! The Lich is an Assassin defeated by running Alerts, Siphons and Fissures.

More broadly, though, the game as the same issue legacy Payday 2 did, which is to say only the end-of-mission reward counts, not what you did inside. It's the same issue L4D and the like suffer from, as well. The faster you finish, the more loot you get. Contrast this against modern-day Payday 2, however - you get XP and rewards based on how much money you made off the heist, which in turn is determined by how much bonus loot you found. That can add a lot of time to the execution, but can constitute easily 90% of your rewards. Or take modern-day Vermintide 2. Finishing a mission gives you next to no rewards. You want actual good item rolls? You need to find hidden loot dice, you need to find lost Tomes and if you're particularly brave, you can also find Skaven Grimoires which debuff your total health and take up potion slot. Rewards are based on finding and securing things in each mission, in other words, rather than just stuck to the end regardless of performance.

Warframe could easily do this, and in fact makes a token attempt to with Hidden Caches. Now imagine a mission with bonus objectives - real ones. Assassinate a target, but also if you could blow up the reactor. You don't have to, but it would be nice. Or kill everyone, but if  you could, hack into the secure vault and maybe find hidden cache of paper documents. Or hell, even simpler than that. "Throughout the map are loot cannisters scattered about. For each three you secure at your escape, you get an extra loot roll." People go for speed runs because the end of the mission is the only thing which matters. Introduce a bunch of missions with additional loot to be found throughout them either as physical items or bonus objectives and watch people stick around and explore for them. The whole reason nobody ever explores in Warframe is there's never anything useful to find. There are sculptures and stars, to be sure, but I haven't seen anyone care enough about them to stop and look.

Warframe has all of the tools necessary to create compelling secondary objectives and foster exploration... If it weren't for DE's stinginess. I mean, why give people two or three rolls per mission if you can give them just one and force them to grind more? I'm growing increasingly disillusioned with Warframe's development team, because more and more we're getting grind in place of actual content.

 

23 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

While I wouldn't call this the worst update in Warframe's history by any stretch, nor one whose problems can't be solved, I'd say the Old Blood is the most worrying update to me so far, because it's the first in recent history to deliver a feature that was absolutely nothing like what was promised. [...] The Kuva Liches that were promised and the Kuva Liches we got are similar in name only, which makes me wonder: how much of Empyrean are we actually going to get? Are we going to truly explore a fully connected Origin System, or is it just going to be a few extra space nodes? Are we going to step into a bigger, more open game, or is all of this just going to be yet another feature people will grind, then forget about, in the space of a month? I really want to believe that DE will give us the Empyrean we wanted, and perhaps even the real Kuva Liches we wanted eventually, but I can't shake the feeling that the demo we got may turn out to be Warframe's first real bullshot.

I worry along similar lines. Fool me twice, shame on me but I genuinely walked away hopeful from Empyrean. I thought for sure that they had the technology to add a space/sky layer to existing content, to let us warp to missions in our ship and jump into them physically using our Landers/Archwings, to go from mission to mission without returning to the Orbiter. Well, it turns out that everything about the Liches was fake, the video was fake, so how much of what they promised about Empyrean is going to be fake, too? While we haven't reached Aliens: Colonial Marines levels of bait-and-switch, we have reached Anthem's levels of "pre-rendered cutscenes passed off as gameplay that hasn't even been started yet." Kuva Liches were promised as an experience, and yet what we got was a few new guns at the end of the same old grinds that even a fairly newer player like myself has already seen and done to death. And again - Liches have all the hallmarks of rushed, slipshod development which was started no more than a month ago, and certainly not something that had been worked on since before TennoCon. I don't know if DE really did spend that time throwing pencils into the dropped ceiling at the studio or if they worked their asses off on Kuva Lich iterations which needed to be scrapped and redone at the 11th hours, but what we got was distressing.

More broadly, their approach to content has been distressing as a whole. Fortuna brought is a massive new open world map, albeit mostly empty and devoid of content. The Jovian Concord brought is an entire new Jupiter, a new boss fight and a new game mode. But then we got Nightwave, which brought us... Really nothing new, just a different more gated way to grind. And now this. Kuva liches which bring nothing new, just a different more gated way to grind. If this is a sign of things to come, then we really are headed towards mobile game design, where new "content" just constitutes new shinies to grind the same old content for. And frankly, this isn't working for me any more. Give me more complexity, give me changes which alter the fundamental way in which I approach the game. Give me something new to do. It's like they're treating the community like Pavlovian dogs who'll salivate at the mere thought of rewards without asking whether it's worth the bother, and that way lies derivative, reductive, repetitive gameplay.

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3 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Warframe could easily do this, and in fact makes a token attempt to with Hidden Caches. Now imagine a mission with bonus objectives - real ones. Assassinate a target, but also if you could blow up the reactor. You don't have to, but it would be nice. Or kill everyone, but if  you could, hack into the secure vault and maybe find hidden cache of paper documents. Or hell, even simpler than that. "Throughout the map are loot cannisters scattered about. For each three you secure at your escape, you get an extra loot roll." People go for speed runs because the end of the mission is the only thing which matters. Introduce a bunch of missions with additional loot to be found throughout them either as physical items or bonus objectives and watch people stick around and explore for them. The whole reason nobody ever explores in Warframe is there's never anything useful to find. There are sculptures and stars, to be sure, but I haven't seen anyone care enough about them to stop and look.

I think this is probably the most enticing thing for players to do sub-objectives. Up until this point, I was going to say, "yeah but we have collectables in Syndicate missions and people don't look for them because they don't understand the value of those rewards"—which is still a problem, don't get me wrong. It's weird to explain to people that yes, the standing they grant isn't great, but it goes above your daily syndicate standing, so it's good for maxxing out beyond your cap. And even then, is it really that impactful of a reward? But it's much simpler to say, "for each of these things you find, you roll the end-of-mission drop table again".

I think the only problem is that RNG could end up making even those rewards not worth it. E.g., if you could speedrun it in 2 minutes, but it takes you 8-10 minutes to run around the map and find all those canisters for those 3 extra rolls...you might as well just speedrun it because you're getting the same, if not more, rolls. So there'd have to be some kind of multiplier on it to make it worthwhile, or a contraction of map sizes in that particular case so it isn't too much of a slog to hunt for things. Indirectly reward for time spent in a mission.

And to bring it back to the Lich thing, it's entirely possible for those sub-objectives to work with the Lich system in Requiem discovery. It's not Shadow of War-like, but it works a little bit toward something akin to that while keeping to Warframe's style and working with its inherent strengths. Obviously it's not like the system doesn't need tweaks outside of that, but it could be a really good way to introduce sub-objectives without overhauling the entire mission system, even if it's just "exterminate, but hey here's some data vaults that'll give you a ton of murmur progress depending on if you trigger alarms or not".

As I said, I don't want to get too off-topic, and this might be better fit for a separate discussion thread on mission densities and rewards.

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3 hours ago, Tyreaus said:

I think the only problem is that RNG could end up making even those rewards not worth it. E.g., if you could speedrun it in 2 minutes, but it takes you 8-10 minutes to run around the map and find all those canisters for those 3 extra rolls...you might as well just speedrun it because you're getting the same, if not more, rolls. So there'd have to be some kind of multiplier on it to make it worthwhile, or a contraction of map sizes in that particular case so it isn't too much of a slog to hunt for things. Indirectly reward for time spent in a mission.

Yeah, it's not as simple as just adding secondary objectives, I'll grant you that. Warframe in general has an issue of "dead space," where the majority of the map is pointless and only the tiles with objectives in them actually matter. If we're supposed to do faster missions, I wouldn't be opposed to having smaller maps with more to do in them. After all, large maps just encourage people to skip past most of them anyway. And yes, that is an issue though I'd argue it's a broader game design thing. The way Warframe is set up right now, it's simplest to just run Capture or Assassination missions since you can knock those out in 90 seconds, than it is to stick around for multiple 5-minute rotations of a Survival mission. As I said - there's a lot to do beyond just adding more objectives, especially if we want to leave the critical path as rewarding as it is right now.

I'd say, though, that just giving people the option for more reward rolls at the end might be enough to convince more of us to bother. Sure, speed runners will always speed-run, but it's been my experience that most people fall somewhere in the middle. They'll speed-run if they feel pressured into doing so, but a lot seem willing to do longer or more complex objectives if that means more rewards. After all, people will break from their speed run and come crossing the entire map the moment you mark an Ayatan Sculpture for them 🙂 That's actually a hobby of a friend of mine - join random Pubbie teams, then keep finding Sculptures and Amber Stars and Rare Caches, then watching them race back across the map over and over again.

Right now, Warframe's core design is what's pushing people into speed-running content more than anything else. I'm an "explorer" sort by nature. I used to uncover every pixel on the map in City of Heroes and visit every dead end in Diablo games. Even I'm losing my patience with exploring GINORMOUS maps when I'm going to have to run that mission three times in order to complete the Invasion. Even I might just leave a mission as soon as Thralls stop spawning even if there's more to explore. Warframe is REALLY grindy which promotes a desire for efficiency, and its critical path almost always goes solely through mission completion. Very rarely does anything you do in the mission meaningfully contribute to your end-of-mission reward. Change the system and people's habits will change.

I want to bring up Payday 2 again. Back in the day, missions awarded a fixed amount of XP regardless of what you did. This led people to "farm" the Rats heist. They'd start Day 1 and deliberately blow up the drug lab getting no bonus loot, just to get it done. They'd start Day 2, immediately shoot at the Cobras and ruin the exchange without getting the C4 disarm codes, just to get it done. They'd start Day 3, shoot the Mendozas on the bus and run for the Helicopter, just to get it done. Basically, abandon all the loot, just finish the heist as fast as possible. Then Overkill changed XP calculations. Now you got bonus XP per bag of bonus loot you secured. Almost overnight, people played Rats completely differently. They stuck around Day 1 cooking more than the 4 bags which were required - they cooked all 7 which could possibly be cooked. They did the exchange properly on Day 2, and even pocketed the extra money bags. They spent time disarming bombs on the bus on Day 3 and pulled another 10-15 bags off of that. Yes, the whole thing together took 45 minutes but people still did it. They did it because escaping with all the bags was more efficient than speedrunning the Heist 3 times in that amount of time.

Give people the option to stick around for bonus objectives and people will do it. Even now that it's mostly pointless, plenty of people keep insisting on staying in Endless missions for hours. Speedrunning is only this popular because the game makes it so.

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21 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

It's like they're treating the community like Pavlovian dogs who'll salivate at the mere thought of rewards without asking whether it's worth the bother, and that way lies derivative, reductive, repetitive gameplay.

This I think is the crux of the problem: in a recent dev stream, DE talked about extrinsic vs. intrinsic rewards, and their conclusion was that they were so far gone on extrinsic rewards that they saw no way of shifting towards more intrinsic incentives to play. That both disappointed and worried me greatly, because it essentially revealed DE is afraid of giving players something to do without turning it into a grinding system, something we're seeing now with Kuva Liches: what could have very well been a genuinely durable expansion to the game has been reduced to yet another isolated, relatively short-lived grind wall, because the only way DE saw of making us fight Liches was by giving us rewards of dubious usefulness at the end of some by-the-numbers slog. Unless the system changes radically, it's going to be yet another self-contained bit of content that players will grind for the rewards, then abandon until new rewards are released, just like the Plains of Eidolon, and just like Fortuna.

By contrast, the Jovian Concord was my favorite update in recent times, maybe even of all time, precisely because it achieved the exact opposite: it brought permanent improvements to the game by giving us an updated tileset, a new (and enjoyable) mission type, and even a new gamut of enemies that may be the first ever to truly work well with Warframe's three-dimensional environments and movement system. In that respect, I still at least have faith in Empyrean's promised updates to ship tilesets, because Corpus ships especially are in the direst need of an overhaul. However, I hoped that the Lich system would similarly be a true systemic update to Warframe that would give us dynamic enemies and even mission types, yet that turned out differently, so I'm not sure if Archwing will truly be as well-integrated as promised.

Really, beyond the disappointment with Kuva Liches and DE's obsession with Skinner box gameplay, I think one of the reasons we're feeling frustrated is because DE seems to be fixed in this design direction that has proven not to work countless times already. Warframe is a landfill of short-lived grind walls and throwaway systems that are so numerous it's practically impossible to list them all from memory, and both the Liches and the Parazon will soon join it. The playerbase has given feedback time and again on many of these additions, as well as what they want the developers to actually address, and while DE has claimed to acknowledge this feedback, in practice what we've received hasn't really incorporated it: worse still, much of what we got this update felt really disconnected from how many players feel about the game, with unsatisfactory reworks designed almost entirely around band-aids, or even a melee system that still relies far too much on forced movement and unwieldy animations. It is thus not really surprising that the mood on the forums is especially dour following this update, because it doesn't feel like DE really listens, and worse still, it feels like many, if not most of the developers may not even be playing their own game. It would not have taken much play to realize how unpleasant it is to grind Liches, and this combined with many other design mistakes raises doubts as to whether DE's upcoming changes will truly benefit the game as well.

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6 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

DE talked about extrinsic vs. intrinsic rewards, and their conclusion was that they were so far gone on extrinsic rewards that they saw no way of shifting towards more intrinsic incentives to play.

This is frank bullocks, though. The extrinsic rewards are almost always end-of-mission. That leaves everything from the start of a mission to its end open to the addition of intrinsic rewards. That's pretty much the entire fecking game. It's things like this where I wish I could sit down with them during a devstream and say, "look, guys, you're flat-out wrong, here's why, here's the potential you still have that you think is closed off, don't be discouraged, don't be lazy, go for it".

Also I didn't reply to @Steel_Rookearlier because I have nothing worthwhile to add, I agree completely with that lol

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