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AshikagaWest

Taming the RNG Daemon

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We all have been there.  Looking at that new Warframe, Weapon, Mod, ... and wanting so badly to get that one last part, or blueprint.  Or perhaps we're working on those last few remaining items to reach max Mastery Rank.  But RNG gets in the way.

It goes something like this:

  • Play missions to get that relic
  • Wrong relic drops
  • Repeat
  • Finally get the relic!
  • Get into a RADSHARE (thank you recruiting channel)
  • Run the radshare
  • Don't get the part
  • Repeat from the top

Due to the inherit nature of randomness, some players will run this cycle 1 time without any repeats and get the part - I've had it happen more than once.  While others will run it 10-20 times without success.  This contributes to the tendency of players to rush through missions.  For me personally, it is the biggest reason I rush through missions - to get through the RNG daemon's resistance as quickly as possible.

We all know the idea that flipping a coin 20 times and getting heads every time has extremely low probability.  But then again, every outcome of that exercise has the exact same probability.  SO, it does happen - someone will flip 20 times and not get heads.  And when it happens to you as a player, the feeling of grind reaches a level that you may well decide, "I'm DONE."  I almost walked away permanently a few times due to feeling the grind was murderous (Gara comes to mind with the second grind, that took me by surprise, to get the necessary resources).

So with all that in mind, I would like to propose "taming the RNG daemon".  Here are thoughts on how that might be accomplished:

One solution

  • Add an item in-game (maybe call it wishing stone?)
  • That item gets assigned the part the player is working to obtain (e.g. Rubico Prime Barrel)
  • On every mission run with the wishing stone that could award the item but does not, the wishing stone gains points
  • After reaching enough points in the wishing stone, it can be traded in for that item/part
  • Acquisition of the wishing stone would not be random.  Maybe just free (why not?) or low credit cost (1000?) but limit its use - perhaps 1 per 24 hours.

Another solution

  • Either using the wishing stone concept, or just a general "luck pool"
  • The player can enable on desire (needs to be configurable in case players do not want the rarer items over more common ones)
  • When running a mission, extra luck (i.e. probability of obtaining more rare parts) is granted
  • On obtaining a rarer item, the luck pool decreases/drains
  • This would probably work decently for relics, but could have challenges (like using up the luck to get a rare part that still isn't the one the player wants)

Anyway, I hope to see some consideration for taming the RNG Daemon.  When it strikes, it is really punishing and discouraging.  While I generally advise others not to get too stuck on "getting that one item" without breaking for other activities in the game, I think a means to cap the effort expended on such exercises would be most welcome.

Bottom line - having a way to reliably CAP effort and tame the RNG daemon would be most welcome.  Even if the result is a well-understood "grind".  One line of thinking feeding into this - in real life, we work for money to buy just about every item.  We work at a job so many hours, and know how much money we'll earn, and hence how much of which items that'll get us (given a reliable store/market of the item).  And if we earn extra money or give up on an item, that money earned can be used for something else - so we never feel like that work was wasted effort (i.e. pointless grind).  When we grind for a resource that has a very limited use and value in a game, and either end up with extra or give up on the intended use of that resource, the result is a feeling of significant frustration - pointless grind.  And when we randomly get _other_ resources... well - it doesn't help.

With all the thoughts above, let me say that I am not suggesting a major overhaul - just asking to improve the player experience by capping the amount of grind required to obtain any one item/part.  Maybe consider how long, or how much effort, is expected for the "average" player to obtain an item/part, set a limit of double that number, and give players a way to avoid going beyond that limit.

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In terms of capping RNG, I agree. There's a certain point that a player NEEDS a sense of guaranteed progression, or they burn out.

For primes, it's easy. Make a sub-market for the Void Trader or other merchant where all prime parts are available for Ducats. Vaulted parts would need to cost 2-3X more, otherwise players farming up relics for those parts would feel jibbed.

It means every wrong part you get (sorry Forma bp!) would still contribute to your progression to the part you need, but you'd still be capable of running relics for the chance to get it straight up.

Then they just need to cap all the other forms of RNG in the game, like Riven rerolls, Kuva Weapon rolls, Railjack parts etc. There are ways to make it all fair, still reward players with chance, but to grant players an attainable goal through grinding.

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8 minutes ago, Xarteros said:

In terms of capping RNG, I agree. There's a certain point that a player NEEDS a sense of guaranteed progression, or they burn out.

For primes, it's easy. Make a sub-market for the Void Trader or other merchant where all prime parts are available for Ducats. Vaulted parts would need to cost 2-3X more, otherwise players farming up relics for those parts would feel jibbed.

It means every wrong part you get (sorry Forma bp!) would still contribute to your progression to the part you need, but you'd still be capable of running relics for the chance to get it straight up.

Then they just need to cap all the other forms of RNG in the game, like Riven rerolls, Kuva Weapon rolls, Railjack parts etc. There are ways to make it all fair, still reward players with chance, but to grant players an attainable goal through grinding.

Yeah, the ducat approach could work for primes.  And really, anything tradable is less of an issue than those things that are not tradable (or just are not commonly traded).  Ivara, Gara, and Trinity all come to mind.

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I think the main problem are the systems where you first farm the "lots" and then you run the missions to get your expected reward.

Becourse it feels realy unrewarding if you don't get what you worked for and all your "lots" are gone (worked for nothing). In the "prime part" system the problem is reduced via trading. But still, I would prefer a ducat market for prime parts.

The Kuva Lich System is not so different from the "prime part" system:

1. you need your relicts

2. you get your parts (mods) 

3. find out the mod comb, kill the lich, get your weapon.

It only adds with 3. another grind layer, and thats not the real problem, becourse it only adds time, which can reduced via luck, but you still progress with every mission. And I actully think that this is a good kind of rnd in the game, where you can be lucky, but if you don't it doesn't upset you.

The real Problem is that you can do 1-3 and still it's total rnd if your weapon is any good, becourse of the elemental bonus. To get rid of this rnd based bonus I would prefer to get some kind of "kuva heart" as a fix drop from every lich, which you can use to upgrade the elemental bonus of your kuva weapon. Maybe starting with 25%->35%->45%->55%->65%. Or increase it with every forma. To lower the grind on the mods, I would do a trade in system 4 to 1 or 5 to 1, where you can choose your Requiem Mod.

Of course, now you can trade lichs, but the prices are high, becourse you can only trade the hole thing and good weapons are rear.  

For Rivens it would be nice if there states depend on the amount of kuva spend on them. For example:

0 - 10k 1 low stat

10k+ - 25k 2 medium stats,

25k+ - 50k 2 high stats, 

50k+ - 100k 3 medium stats,  

100k+ 3 high stats or 3 very high with 1 neg.

Still got a high rnd faktor, but if the "stat level" of low/medium/high got a relativ small range it would feel realy rewording to sink a lot of kuva in a riven mod.
 

Over all I would perfer, less rnd in the game and more constant progress and I don't understand the elemental bonus on kuva weapons, a range of 25%->80% TOTAL RNG REALY. 

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Capping the amount of effort required to obtain items seems like a good solution.  Having a token-based system (heard mentioned in a stream last week) sounds really promising toward this end.

With a token system, there could be a random chance to grab extra tokens (say 3 instead of the usual 1) as a perk.

Once enough tokens are collected - turn in for the item.

Randomness in games that rewards players with elusive short-term bonuses are enjoyable.  For example, boosters.  Imagine a booster that doubles ability strength for 24 hours :).  On the other hand, randomness to get decent/top-tier gear / loadouts doesn't feel so rewarding (unless you get really lucky).  Like rolling that +CC +CD +DMG riven only to get -MULTI on it too!  Ouch.  That system contributes to a community of winners-and-losers and is confusing to players trying to figure out how to build effective loadouts.  Remember the first time you went into a mission with a tough enemy only to have a high MR player one-shot it?

Speaking of Rivens - if it were possible to nudge riven stats in a direction (e.g. add +1% to CC) - even if it took many hours of play to get a decent riven to a really strong one - I would be all over it.

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The hard part is to not crash the player market and significantly reduce DE's revenue because "Hmm why do I need to spend plat on the market while I can just do this X times to get the thing I want". The most realistic thing I see what DE is gonna do is upping the drop rate and reduce the RNG gap and after that they stop at that. 

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12 hours ago, DrivaMain said:

The hard part is to not crash the player market and significantly reduce DE's revenue because "Hmm why do I need to spend plat on the market while I can just do this X times to get the thing I want". The most realistic thing I see what DE is gonna do is upping the drop rate and reduce the RNG gap and after that they stop at that. 

 

True - the market and platinum are important.  I am glad you brought this up.

Keeping platinum and the market viable is important.  I actually like the way platinum and the market work a lot.  Trading is one of the activities in the game that is fun with little feeling of grind, and can be done nice and slow ;-).

Keeping the amount of time and effort required to reasonably obtain an item is the goal.  DE makes no money on players who rage quit.

I don't know how others choose to buy and spend their platinum, but for me, I actually do it intentionally to help DE, and then happily taking advantage of the benefits that provides me (such as buying more slots and boosters when I planned to do a lot of gear leveling).  If there were that -one- item I just could not get from RNG, most of the time, I stubbornly refuse to spend plat on it.

Keep in mind also that not all items are obtainable by trading.  Like Ivara blueprints (not her prime).

There's a balance in here somewhere.  I'm really just arguing to limit one of the extremes that consistently worsens the WarFrame experience.

Another thought that comes up on occasion here as well - there are so many weapons and frames in the game.  I personally would never have bothered to work on most of them (like Mark 1 Kunai!) except that Mastery Rank is locked behind them.  With that in mind - if there were a strong (not over-powered, just strong) weapon locked behind this type of RNG that were not involved in Mastery Rank progression, I could much more easily walk away from failed attempts to obtain it.  In other words - locking Mastery Rank progression behind layers of RNG leads to an intense source of grind (large amounts of effort with little or no perceived value/reward - amplified when combined with a feeling of stagnation - i.e. not learning how to get better).

For a bit of perspective - I have friends who also play.  They all walked away about a year ago.  Railjack helped me convince them to come back recently, but I anticipate there's a good chance they will walk away again soon since there is only so much to do in Railjack, especially when using someone else's ship.  What can I tell them about the awarded avionics, intrinsics and Railjack resources?  I also know one of them uses a platinum strategy much like mine - "I've been playing this for many hours, and I would have easily spent this much $$ on a game otherwise, so I don't mind to pay DE this much".

I really appreciate what DE has accomplished here - creating a free-to-play cooperative game that is so compelling, has so much content, and keeps growing faster than most people consume the content.  It would be awesome to see WarFrame become the de-facto game people discuss when talking about gaming, making money producing games, game system performance, immersion, and so on.

 

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