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Empyrean is surprisingly good (7y+ veteran feedback)


Captain_Fronk
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Some quick feedback here from "the old blood".

Spoiler

Edit: 2 hours later - not so quick eh

I've been with Warframe for many years (since Vauban got released, about 7 years or so). Spent a lot of $ on it too. Never took a long break, never lost faith in you guys, watched every PC devstream, even Steve's streams (even tho I'm not a gamedev). Untill the last tennocon when I was basically like Doubt (X). First time ever DE got me worried. Here I'll explain why.

Inb4: Everything turned out pretty well so please don't eat me, just hear me out. I think I have a say in this (more or less).

So.

I was really skeptical after the last devstream. Gameplay didn't look very promising, teamplay wasn't really great, it all looked overcomplicated and user-unfriendly. You could clearly see that SOME OF YOU (not pointing any fingers) were clearly lying (or at least 100% unsure) about solo experience, the difficulty, future content and so on.

So the biggest problem of that devstream IMO was this: Teamwork.

My proposal is this: Don't do it live. That's it, just pre-record and everyone's gonna be happy.

The reason for this was obviously the fact that you as developers see the game a bit diffrently from us, regular players. Especially co-op. We rarely communicate and even if we do - it's nowhere even close to what you do. Thank heavens that we have Cephalon Cy - he's our only guide, our true captain. He's literally the only thing that's holding railjack co-op together. I can't emphasize this enough - Cephalon Cy tells us everything, he is quick, always right on point, he's cool, Cy is pure love. Gameplay is so chaotic and players are so different and random at times that I can surely say - Cy is our only constant in this world of variables.

I'm not sure if this is how it should be tho. There should be other CLEAR indicators of what's going on and what should you do in public matches. Or there should simply be less indicators, less active variable compenents. Otherwise Empyrean (at least in public co-op which is the most popular way to play and as of right now - the ONLY way to play) won't last for too long.

Examples are:

1) Away teams / railjack teams - cooperation between them and marking objectives for them. This is executed very poorly.

2) Blowing crewships up from the inside vs your teammates blowing it up from the outside (killing you in the process).

3) Managing forges and resources.

4) Aiming artillery cannon / slingshot cannon.

5) General enemy identification problem - where is the main danger coming from is absolutely unclear. We could use different colors for enemy markers at least.

Why is it unclear and overcomplicated? Railjack is kind of easily manageable, yes. But in space there are too many objectives all at once. And this needs to be sorted out on the developers end, not the player's.

rlxzPND.jpg

And boy does it get worse when away teams get involved.

In fact that's the main reason Empyrean can't be solo'd. The away team objectives being active with all other objectives at the same time!

Here's how it goes for us players. One thing is when we're all in one railjack. Or (a bit more complicated) when it's just 1-2 people in railjack and others are killing stuff in archwings. Or (even more complicated and stressful enough) when one guy is on railjack, one guy is in crewship driving it, another guy is in crewship BUT he's trying to destroy instead and the 4-th guy is like "f it, we won't make it" and leaves the game - that's kinda bad and you can't really tell who's doing exactly what and where BUT IT'S STILL MANAGEABLE. Why is it manageable? It's railjack, crewships and a bit of archwing in between.

But when away teams on platforms/stations get involved - it gets out of control in public matches. Even Cy can't help us.

What happens most of the time - 1) either people lack experience/knowledge and just go "f this I don't understand nothing". In this case why do we all fail and start all over? Because somebody leaves or they hesitate for too long or some "surprise event" ruins everything. Is it fun? No.

How can you, DE, fix it? Don't throw it into the mix with all the objectives. Make it like a separate mode in "pre-railjack warframe". If there's an objective that requires away-team coordination - don't overcomplicate gameplay with additional tasks like kill 100 fighters or 6 crewships or whatever comes up next in future updates. Just leave one "intro objective" like kill 50 fighters OR 6 crewships OR something else. And then people will realize that they need to come all together at that second objective aka "away team objective" which requires cooperation. This way it will be OK in public matches, as people won't be overwhelmed and distracted by everything else all at once.

or what happens - 2) people know how to do it but there's not enough resources or their railjack/intrinsics are not good enough and they are overwhelmed by incoming fighters, crewships etc. Is it fun? Yes, partly. Is there a better way to do it? Yes, because it's a free to play game and it should be easily accessible. It shouldn't require that much investment on early stages.

What I propose is the same - reduce overall number of objectives which can be active at the same time during these missions. It won't affect combat that much, it's still going to be pretty damn fun but at least you'll be able to keep it under control in public matches. Plus give players a better start in Empyrean. Add mining nodes, add small quick missions, where you can loot and kill a bunch of fighters and MAYBE if you're unlucky - 1-2 crewships. Rewards shouldn't be that good, just give players some time to learn, to develop their skills and their railjack. Just the basics. Because right now it's more like "no pain no gain" which isn't ok for Warframe, it turns so many people off... As a veteran - I'm fine. But I see all these people jsut rage-quitting and it needss to stop or it will be the end of Empyrean. More on that below.

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Another problem that I just realized is change of pace. But not in an ordinary sort of way. There's certain stress level in Raijack which is kinda simmilar to what happens when you're about to loose an objective in "pre-railjack" warframe. But it's different. What I (and most people) don't like is that stress level rarely drops below extremes. It's either too freakin hot or like nothing happens at all and you can barely hear railjack/archwing engines or even music. It's not very immersive and you can't go like that for long. It makes you wanna quit the game and forget about warframe for a while. It kinda spills over the edge. It sounds vague but that's kind of a bottom line for my 2 days experience (I was taking some breaks ofc as it is too much stress as I said which is unusual for Warframe and any other video game really).

Why does it happen?

What do I propose?

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First of, enemies shouldn't spot us from that far away and swarm us all at once from all over the map, once Railjack starts firing. Please, reduce their spotting range, adjust spawns (both their quantity and placement).

Second, there should be nodes for beginners, like mining nodes, or nodes with just a couple enemies or one crewship and that's it. Free flight node on Earth is a great exmple but it's 100% empty. I must emphasize - MULTIPLE nodes, not just one. That's basics of space simulators, really. I understand Empyrean is on early stages of development so I hope it's jsut a question of time for it to be added.

Spoiler

On a side note, what would be amazing is to incorporate other Warframe resources into Empyrean, like fortuna alloys or PoE gems or other recources. You could craft avionics, upgrade railjack with them, maybe crew modules or something, maybe use them in research - practically anything. That would make it even more about interconnected. The other thing is trading, between planets, settlements, space stations, outposts, relays... But more on that later.

I do also suggest adding some kind of delay to enemy spawns, marked by some visual effects in 3d space and on the interface. When Cy tells us there are enemy reinforcements coming - it's usually too late and it means that there are 2 crewships 200 meters away from you, firing rockets at your back and 5 seconds later your railjack is on fire.

There's also another way of improving gameplay. Players should start with stationary cloak for Railjack or some emergency hyperjump, some chargeable-blink-kind-of ability for your ship or emergency repairs regen-kind-of ability OR all of it together available from the beginning. People won't play it less or cheese their entire empyrean experience, dont worry. This way they will actually play it more. Or to be more accurate: They will actually PLAY EMPYREAN instead of stressing their brains out and rage-quitting it 6 mission-fails into it.

Also (and this is pretty important) there's no way to save your progress and just jump out of the system to, let's say, a free flight node when you understand that you can't finish it. Instead we're forced to go to the Dry Dock. It breaks immersion and everyone is forced to leave your squad. This is bad and should be fixed. Imagine you just got the hang of it, found a good team and then in a minute the game just forces you to break the squad and say goodbye to good teammates and good loot. Conclusion: Let us leave the mission via an emergency hyperjump.

Here's a great example of great ship-to-ship combat that has great pacing and tactical depth (should be great source of insiration):

Spoiler

 

ETVQ2Tc.jpg?1

Another concern of mine is that Empyrean looks very different from what was basically promised at 2 tennocons.

If you look at the big picture, what we have right now (and many months into the future) is just a hectic stressful co-op only space combat, which doesnt even feel like space combat to be honest, more like just another archwing with many overcomplicated mechanics being active all at once. It's a great start, no doubt. I understand, it's Warframe taking a huuuge turn. It works actually quite well (server side at least), it looks gorgeous and it made me spent a lot of money after I played it for a couple hours.

BUT

history repeats itself. As Steve used to say earlier - he wants to breath more life into the Warframe universe. That's how relays were born, that's how we've got all kinds of wonderful NPCs, living breathing social hubs, etc. and people loved Warframe so much more since then. One of the things that might help it to feel alive and connected with the rest of the game is Space Trade. I have a separate thread about it, please, check it out:

Now back to tennocons.

I'm just here to remind you that you showed us:

1) Huge capital ships

2) Transition from planet to space

3) Liches in space

4) Huge space map with hundreds of missions, nodes and more

5) Connection between different aspects of Warframe

6) Void storms acting like weather in space

7) Void in general being more that just a loading screen

8 ) Relaxed, chill but still incredibly epic gameplay with classic Warframe elements

 

Besides there's still Fortuna, PoE and New War. And Duviri I guess too. What a long way to go. Empyrean is far from being complete and that's kinda sad.

 

Please don't disappoint us with false advertisement. You still have our trust. We still have faith in you. You guys always used to deliver and the only question has always been "when". You're going the right direction and many people love it. They love it so much in fact that they, otherwise unsocial quite and introverted, cooperate on such highly complicated levels, under so much pressure and without saying many words (or even orders who even unlocked that yet) that it leaves me baffled. One only has to see it to believe it.

 

Thanks in advance. ❤️

Edited by Captain_Fronk
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tl;dr

But I agree with the topic. Almost  a7 year Vet here and this is one the most unique Wf experience I had and I haven't felt something similar in some years believe me. It felt akin to when operators were first introduced and I immediately that realized the gameplay and the lore would change forever.

I see this as a step in the positive direction for sure. I hope they just keep polishing it and keep expanding on it. 

 

edit : 

I skimmed through it and I agree about the difficulty.

I think we need very easy first couple of nodes where people can have an easy time and get the hang of it simultaneusly. I did like 5 or 6 Earth missions and I keep failing in the last one. My turrets can't kill regular fighters and my railjack @ 1500 shields and 1700 hp go down pretty much instantaneously.

Although I have to admit failing has gotta to do with lack of team work and bugs. So I don't want to jump on the "this is too hard pls nerf" bandwagon too early.

Difficulty is a very intricate thing in WF and I wouldn't want them to turn this into an easy mode based on feedback. 

 

 

Edited by White_Matter
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Edit: Added this

 

Quote

Also (and this is pretty important) there's no way to save your progress and just jump out of the system to, let's say, a free flight node when you understand that you can't finish it. Instead we're forced to go to the Dry Dock. It breaks immersion and everyone is forced to leave your squad. This is bad and should be fixed. Imagine you just got the hang of it, found a good team and then in a minute the game just forces you to break the squad and say goodbye to good teammates and good loot. Conclusion: Let us leave the mission via an emergency hyperjump to a free flight zone to preserve our squad and to save rewards.

 

Edited by Captain_Fronk
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There is always a risk of failure,you can't just rush in head first as you will prob get nuked.Is a huge difference compared to the rest of the game,but it is fun once you get the hang of it.

Did a mission where my team have to destroy 60 starfighters and 4 crewships,along with a turbine generator built into an asteroid,the last part was an interesting one...though no enemy resistance faced at the sabotage part...but prob due to us finishing up the killing objectives before we did the sabotage.

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The stress level is the biggest issue with Railjack right now. It's basically a constant-action survival mission which offers no downtime of any kind. I suggest learning from games like L4D, Payday and Killing Floor. Or hell, learn from your own damn modes like Interception and Defence. It's fine to swarm the player with overwhelming enemy forcers as long as you do it in waves and give players some downtime to recover: time to repair hull breaches, time to reforge Omni Tool goo and ammunition, time to pick up some loot, time to take stock of who's where doing what. That right there, I think, would help make the experience feel less stressful and make me less likely to want a lie-down after a few missions. We're going to need to grind a LOT of these missions given how uphill the progression system is. If I feel stressed out after four or five of them, then that's just not going to happen.

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Yup. I'm having fun with it.

I know the content we have right now is limited. I know there's a lot of missing features, and it's nowhere close to what was promised. I'm disappointed I can't access terminals mid-mission to adjust power needs and whatnot as they originally said would be done (so now "engineering" is only about crafting up munitions). I'm disappointed in how there's SO MUCH SPACE in our ship, but... so little of it is involved in anything. The downstairs area just behind the gunnery section? There's nothing there. It's just a big empty room we pass through going to the forges.

So right now, like I said, I'm having fun... and crossing my fingers that Railjack gets expanded over the next year. Because I love what is put out, but I want MORE, or else it's just going to get stale and people will stop playing it.

I only wish I had people in my clan to actually play with, instead of matchmaking with randoms, but I'm terrible at socializing and work crazy hours.

17 hours ago, Captain_Fronk said:

Edit: Added this

 

 

Actually, no, they're not forced to leave your squad. In fact, they could get out and visit YOUR dojo at that point. When I was on another guy's ship, that's what I ended up doing.

What you're seeing is that everybody decides it's time to leave when the ship goes to the dry dock. So perhaps you need to communicate "Guys, I'm making a pit stop at the dry dock, but then I'll jump right back into it."

Communication really does matter in co-op experiences. It's probably why so many of us prefer solo.

Edited by DrakeWurrum
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