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Rethinking Forma For Modern Warframe


(PSN)BlitzKeir
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I cannot take credit for this idea. A member years ago suggested this. His username has changed and escapes my memory. But the forum backlog is wiped so I can't find his thread. There are forever appearing new justifications for his proposal, so I will carry on in his spirit. If you see this thread, dude, pop in and take credit!

What's the idea?
Instead of polarizing slots directly, every weapon and frame has a Polarity Bank. It is visible next to the stats in the Modding menu for that item. At first, the bank only contains built-in polarities. You can equip a polarity from the item's Bank onto a slot. Unequipping the polarity will return it to the Bank.

When a Forma is used, the player is prompted to choose a polarity. That polarity is added to the item's Bank. The polarity can then be equipped to a slot just like the built-in polarities. If you want to equip, say, two Naramon polarities, then you will need to add them both by using two Forma, just as you would now. Equipped polarities are specific to each config, but a single polarity can be used in multiple configs.

(Note: For clarity, the Bank is specific to each item! Adding polarities to your Lex Prime's Polarity Bank will not help your Bronco at all!)

Let's say that your Lex Prime has a built-in Vazarin polarity (*groan*), and a Naramon polarity that you have added via Forma. You don't want that Vazarin polarity on your main build in Config A, but you might have cause to use a pure cold mod at some point, especially if there's a Primed variant someday. So you simply unequip the Vazarin polarity, and it returns to Lex Prime's Bank. Then you equip your Naramon polarity and throw a toxin mod on it. Then you tab over to Config B, and put both the Vazarin and Naramon polarities there so you can design an experimental cold+slash build.

(Note: This example is only to illustrate the concept, I am aware you would not normally mod a Lex Prime this way.)

What are the advantages?
While you'll still need to spend a week farming, crafting, and leveling a duplicate frame if you want more fashion configs, modding will no longer feel restrictive. The more Forma you pour into an item, the more builds you can try out. You could even add x99 of each polarity, if you're one of those crazy people who have 100 Novas (looking at you, Kag).

The main criticism this idea receives is that you will be able to polarize every slot. This is already possible. The Polarity Bank does not increase the possible power of your gear, it is merely a QOL change that relieves the anxiety associated with extreme specialization and Forma mistakes.

I anticipate build diversity would increase, as large barrier to experimentation will be gone. While the benefit case for guns is debatable, the value of this system becomes clear when you look at melee 3.0 and frame builds, and especially pets.

The amount of leveling you need to do under this system is somewhat reduced over leveling duplicate frames. Rather than adding 3-6 polarities to a brand new frame, in most cases you would only need to add 2-3 Forma to the Bank after finishing that item's first build. Not to mention not having to wait through a duplicate frame's craft times.

Valence Fusion would no longer need an incredibly clear up-front explanation that your stuff is being dissolved. The resulting weapon could simply inherit all polarities in both weapon's banks! None of your work leveling that old weapon goes to waste!

Forma's value will skyrocket, resulting in more Forma Bundle sales. Great news for DE, and likely sinking more plat than from slot purchases for duplicate frames.

Thanks for reading!
I hope this idea gains traction in the office. I really do think it would improve Warframe in a big way.

Edited by (PS4)BlitzKeir
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What you're describing looks like on the whole it would reduce the number of Forma DE sells. DE is not going to do anything that reduces how many forma they sell unless or until they are required to do so to prevent their game being banned when one of several countries who are actively looking at regulating F2P games actually passes a law.

(Yes. People like to say "Warframe isn't effected by the laws that are being proposed. I base that view on my opinion and having studiously not read the language of the litigation being drafted. If any of these laws pass, uk is looking into it, USA is looking at it, so are a few other countries, any of those laws pass it's likely to hurt in the sales department. Which is why i keep saying DE needs to find a new way to monetize their property now instead of twiddling their thumbs and hoping they can find a loophole)

Either way, they make more money off forma then anything else, anything that's going to reduce forma sales, they're not going to do. Which is why they have forma star only once a year for all of one week and make the experience so unenjoyable most people will not get all the forma they could because it's BORING.  I'd much rather they did forma star every two months and limited the number of forma to 20. that's still 120 forma a year which is about all a dedicated player will get from plaguestar anyway. 

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5 hours ago, (PS4)Black-Cat-Jinx said:

What you're describing looks like on the whole it would reduce the number of Forma DE sells. DE is not going to do anything that reduces how many forma they sell unless or until they are required to do so to prevent their game being banned when one of several countries who are actively looking at regulating F2P games actually passes a law.

Quite the opposite, actually. The OP's proposed system would require more forma to fully utilise. Right now, most weapons don't really benefit from more than maybe 5-6 Forma, 9 in extremely rare cases. Sometimes more can be merited with new mod releases, large-scale rebalances or changing your mind as you learn the game. However, I'm a whale and buy all my forma. I rarely put more than 3-5 of it on a weapon, if that.

With the OP's proposed system, I would often need substantially more than that if I want to forma for multiple weapon loadouts. Right now, I have a Lanka built for Eidolon hunting, meaning it uses Electric and Heat damage mods. As a rifle, it has access to a Primed Cold damage mod which I'd like to use, but I can't since that would undermine my Radiation build. With a "Polarity Bank," I could have both builds on the same weapon at the cost of more Forma (one more, in this case).

I'm actually curious to know why you feel that a system which is purpose-designed to hold more polarities than you need for a single build will lead to less Forma use, to be perfectly honest.

 

11 hours ago, (PS4)BlitzKeir said:

Instead of polarizing slots directly, every weapon and frame has a Polarity Bank. It is visible next to the stats in the Modding menu for that item. At first, the bank only contains built-in polarities. You can equip a polarity from the item's Bank onto a slot. Unequipping the polarity will return it to the Bank.

When a Forma is used, the player is prompted to choose a polarity. That polarity is added to the item's Bank. The polarity can then be equipped to a slot just like the built-in polarities. If you want to equip, say, two Naramon polarities, then you will need to add them both by using two Forma, just as you would now. Equipped polarities are specific to each config, but a single polarity can be used in multiple configs.

As to the suggestion itself - I honestly like it. It's a much more flexible system which allows for greater build variety without adding a ton of extra complexity. It honestly seems like a rather elegant quality of life solution. Best of all, this is done without necessarily reducing the number of forma needed to make a single solid build.

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I'd prefer a multi-polarity system--i.e., a rare resource allows us to forma new polarities in a slot without overriding the old one(s).  

I think both have the same end effect, but multi-polarity feels to me a little cleaner and quicker than a polarity bank.  Maybe one or the other is easier to incorporate into the UI, I don't know.

Then there's the way DE is already experimenting with on kuva weapons, which is just adding capacity.

But any of these  would be an improvement on what we have now, which is carrying duplicate frames and weapons or just living with limited final builds.

Edited by Tiltskillet
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7 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Quite the opposite, actually.

He might be correct, but I don't believe so. It depends on how many people keep duplicate frames for different builds, and how many frames those folk bother to duplicate. My belief is that very few players bother to duplicate more than a handful of items, but that belief is anecdotal.

If I am right, nearly everyone will apply extra Forma to the one copy they keep so they can use additional builds, and Forma sales will increase.

If he is right, then the Forma a person would use for duplication decreases, and Forma sales decrease marginally.

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In case this is too much, a bank with a maximum of 10 Forma would also be good. So I can install 10 forma for my main build with the option of storing some if I want to change some mods. it won't allow as much freedom but it's still a QoL improvement.

Or a storage with a limit of like 5, so I can have up to 15 Forma in total, 10 installed and 5 in storage. With this option I could never have a free slot if I have 15 installed (if I want to remove a Vazarin, I need to leave in the storage, but it's already full, so I have to install one of the stored ones). DE might want to leave some punishment to having so much forma, like the current system.

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17 hours ago, (PS4)BlitzKeir said:

He might be correct, but I don't believe so. It depends on how many people keep duplicate frames for different builds, and how many frames those folk bother to duplicate. My belief is that very few players bother to duplicate more than a handful of items, but that belief is anecdotal. If I am right, nearly everyone will apply extra Forma to the one copy they keep so they can use additional builds, and Forma sales will increase. If he is right, then the Forma a person would use for duplication decreases, and Forma sales decrease marginally.

Given the cost of investment of acquiring and polarising duplicates for a large number of items, I strongly doubt this is a wide-spread practice. However, you are correct - this is data only DE would have and we can only really guess at. I still don't consider duplicates to be compelling enough to try and design around, however.

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