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Hard Mode: Will this become another abandoned "content island?"


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Posted (edited)

Hard mode as presented in its current "state" is just an elite version of the star chart with boosted enemy levels. If the rewards are lacking, I believe it will devolve into the current star chart's state: a one time completionist thing. Furthermore, this may not be the endgame content some are looking for, because your weapons and abilities will casually rip through a level 100 enemy with no problem either.

I've seen a lot of threads suggesting new mechanics to make hard mode "hard," but I don't think DE needs to reinvent the wheel. Nightmare mode is not "hard" because the levels are low, yes, but the modifiers are usually also not threatening enough. So I'll suggest this: why not allow players to enable more and more modifiers (more risk) for more rewards? Ideally, hard mode in my opinion would be something more like several rotating alerts (depending on which mode you want to play) every 15-30 minutes, with rewards being some "Elite token" or something you can trade in for rewards. More modifiers = more tokens. For any Halo players out there, basically the idea of skulls.

As I said, there are already modifiers in Warframe that can make it more difficult; I'll just pull them from existing Sortie/Nightmare modifiers for those not familiar.

  • Augmented Enemy Armor
  • Augmented Enemy Shields
  • Cryogenic Leakage (Half shields)
  • No shields
  • Fog
  • Electromagnetic Anomalies/Low gravity
  • Enemy Physical Enhancement (They take less physical damage and deal more of it)
  • Enemy Elemental Enhancement (They take less elemental damage and deal more of it)
  • Energy Reduction (Reduced energy pool and energy regen)
  • Energy Drain
  • Eximus Stronghold (More eximus units)
  • Extreme Cold (Slower movement e.g. bullet jumps, sprinting, rolling, reloading etc.)
  • Fire (Half health/reduced health regen)
  • Vampire mode (health drain, killing restores)
  • One weapon only (e.g. rifle, melee, secondary, etc.)
  • Death detonation
  • Timer (kills add time)

One of these modifiers by itself is probably not much to worry about, but when you start stacking them, you'll have reduced/draining health, shields, energy, damage, etc. The only thing that needs to be nerfed prematurely is spoiler mode and maybe Inaros, and then you'll have a challenge on hand. Most of these modifiers should only affect you, so if you go to matchmaking (pub) with all the modifiers on, you might still be matched with someone who only has like 1 or 2 enabled (with exception to some of the environmental modifiers). More modifiers can be introduced based on mechanics already in the game (e.g. Alarms make for more heavy unit spawns).

I personally only play Sorties/Kuva Floods because they are the closest thing I can get to "endgame content" without having to run an endless mission. They also don't feel repetitive because the nodes/modes for them are constantly changing. Hard mode can harness this same diversity, while actually introducing the challenging aspect some players are looking for. Thanks for reading! Let me know what y'all think.

 

TL;DR: Allow players to stack existing Warframe difficulty modifiers from Sortie/Nightmare in "Hard mode" to create more challenge as a high risk, high reward scenario. Rewards are some kind of tokens (similar to Scarlet Spear credits, idk about rewards).

Edited by HelmetTooTight
Removed radiation hazard since this is prone to griefing as others observed (originally only included for completeness)
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I don't see, and haven't heard any mention of, how Hard Mode is suppsoed to counter the current Meta; I've nothign against meta players, to each their own, but if anyone with Mesa, Saryn, Octavia etc. can just spam powers with impunity (Energy restrictions won't always be there), how is it any more challaneging than current content? you'd also have to let the Modifiers be random, because I could see people just taking the easiest modifiers each time around (Death Detonation, Low Gravity, One Weapon as an example.).

overall I'm just going to wait and see. most signs point to it not lasting long before we go back to asking fro a "true" endgame. it'll probably end up like Arbitrations: relatively fun, but not challenging, and probably getting nerfed later down the line due to complaints anyway.

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the weapon only modifier will also need a new modifier based on the different scrambus auras, for example the Nul scrambus aura to disable exalted weapons, that way it can't be cheesed by warframes with exalted weapons or using the the Sap scrambus aura to cripple the others warframes

to answer the title probably not, but maybe we will all move to ultra hard mode. (and play normal star chart mission when opening fissures).

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Hang on... you want to add in the troll modifier of radiation....

 

Honestly.. unless the rewards are worth going there I can see it becoming abandoned content... most people want a 'reward' for doing the maps and if it's not efficient time wise or a decent reward (ie something you can't get elsewhere) why would people do it over faster/better options.

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5 minutes ago, Hypernaut1 said:

I hope anyone looking for great rewards ignore hard mode. Hard mode shouldn't be the place for that

All the loot-based games I've played scale rewards with difficulty and even lock high-level gear behind the higher difficulty settings. Just to name one example, NiOh doesn't let you acquire the rarest possible gear category with the strongest buffs (Ethereal) until you beat the game in the 3rd extra hard mode (Way of the Wise) after beating the core game (Way of the Samurai) and the first 2 extra difficulty settings (Way of the Strong, Way of the Demon).

Also, core stats (Up to 200, from 99 in normal), base guardian spirit level (Up to 60, from 30 in normal), and base gear crafting level (Up to 300, from 150 in normal) are all locked until you beat the game in the hardest difficulty (Way of the NiOh), which is the 4th extra difficulty mode unlocked.

There's also Shadow Warrior 2, in which the game flat-out tells you that you won't get rare/strong gear if you play on a lower difficulty when starting the game.

But there's also Borderlands, Diablo, FFXIV, in which the difficulty and level affect the rarity and stats of your loot, and even the odds for obtaining rare loot. In case of Monster Hunter, some specific monsters are locked behind a higher difficulty mode, so you can't even attempt to farm them unless you change the hunting rank.

On the other end of the street, you have Anthem. Game issues aside, people always did the easiest stronghold over and over while ignoring the hardest stronghold because the rewards were exactly the same, so people had zero reason to invest more time and effort in the same outcome.

I understand if you think it should not be the case with WF, but hard mode will have to at the very least give a resource booster (Even if not 2x) so it won't be DoA for the exact same reason Anthem's hardest strongholds were barren: Why put more effort in the exact same outcome?

This is not Devil May Cry or Doom.

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34 minutes ago, (PS4)robotwars7 said:

I don't see, and haven't heard any mention of, how Hard Mode is suppsoed to counter the current Meta; 

It doesn't. In fact, it deliberately panders to them, by letting them fight level 150 enemies after five minutes instead of a hundred minutes

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4 minutes ago, Jarriaga said:

All the loot-based games I've played scale rewards with difficulty and even lock high-level gear behind the higher difficulty settings. Just to name one example, NiOh doesn't let you acquire the rarest possible gear category with the strongest buffs (Ethereal) until you beat the game in the 3rd extra hard mode (Way of the Wise) after beating the core game (Way of the Samurai) and the first 2 extra difficulty settings (Way of the Strong, Way of the Demon).

Also, core stats (Up to 200, from 99 in normal), base guardian spirit level (Up to 60, from 30 in normal), and base gear crafting level (Up to 300, from 150 in normal) are all locked until you beat the game in the hardest difficulty (Way of the NiOh), which is the 4th extra difficulty mode unlocked.

There's also Shadow Warrior 2, in which the game flat-out tells you that you won't get rare/strong gear if you play on a lower difficulty when starting the game.

But there's also Borderlands, Diablo, FFXIV, in which the difficulty and level affect the rarity and stats of your loot, and even the odds for obtaining rare loot. In case of Monster Hunter, some specific monsters are locked behind a higher difficulty mode, so you can't even attempt to farm them unless you change the hunting rank.

On the other end of the street, you have Anthem. Game issues aside, people always did the easiest stronghold over and over while ignoring the hardest stronghold because the rewards were exactly the same, so people had zero reason to invest more time and effort in the same outcome.

I understand if you think it should not be the case with WF, but hard mode will have to at the very least give a resource booster (Even if not 2x) so it won't be DoA for the exact same reason Anthem's hardest strongholds were barren: Why put more effort in the exact same outcome?

This is not Devil May Cry or Doom.

And look at what we get as rewards, we don't get weapons or armor from doing mission and our equipment is a standard equipment with no rarity and random stat or tier where even a braton can be used to wipe sortie level on the right hand so what are you going to do? Lock weapon blueprints behind them?

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, 844448 said:

And look at what we get as rewards, we don't get weapons or armor from doing mission and our equipment is a standard equipment with no rarity and random stat or tier where even a braton can be used to wipe sortie level on the right hand so what are you going to do? Lock weapon blueprints behind them?

What you are describing is a symptom of WF not having a tier-based progression, but rather a strict RNG progression in order to prolong the process as much as possible. 

DE can't do much about it without introducing a new tier of weapons or arcanes exclusive to hard mode.

Thus, I believe they'll resort to XP and resource boosters so you still get more than in normal mode even if it's more of the same. An illusion, yes, but a very effective one for the purpose of not making you feel like you're handicapping yourself with little to no benefit.

Kuva and void traces will benefit from this in particular.

Edited by Jarriaga
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3 minutes ago, Jarriaga said:

But there's also Borderlands, Diablo, FFXIV, in which the difficulty and level affect the rarity and stats of your loot, and even the odds for obtaining rare loot. In case of Monster Hunter, some specific monsters are locked behind a higher difficulty mode, so you can't even attempt to farm them unless you change the hunting rank.

As a small disclaimer to this note, the gear you get also goes strictly upward due to a natural player-side leveling system, something that Warframe doesn't have much of (aside from Focus and Warframe Rank bonuses).

Even Monster Hunter has a practical and clear break point between ranks, Warframe's enemy levels are INSANELY vague other than "This is supposed to die slower/hit harder" and the differences between them are not entirely clear due to jump points in the scaling multipliers.

Basically Warframe's issue is that there isn't any real feedback to the player that their gear isn't up to par, which causes frustration and confusion compared to other games where difficulty is more clear cut, a level 50 player will have no chance against a level 60 enemy in FF14 for example, a Rank 30 Warframe can both struggle with level 50 enemies or sleep through level 100 ones depending on mods.

The other issue is that people who can play Hard modes in Warframe have already likely overcome the content or farmed for more power, Warframe's reward system doesn't follow that traditional schema where the harder the content the better the reward works, you could double or triple resource drops, but most people playing the hard mode are likely drowning in them.

The hard mode being introduced is a QoL buff for people who want to slam into level 100+ enemies without needing to stay in Survival for an hour, it can't possibly reward somebody who can melt level 300+ enemies adequately because they have gone well past the initial scope of the game, and giving things like resource boosters just piles on more that they don't need.

The only rewards that come to mind that wouldn't be out of place or superfluous for Hard modes to me would be Relics (2-3 per drop instead of 1) Forma (pre-built) and Arcanes, because everything else doesn't matter to people at those levels, hell, I already have more Nano Spores than I will ever need and I'm only MR16 on Switch.

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Radiation hazard sucks. It's not hard mode. It's just annoying and broken. In radiation hazard sorties, I just stay away from other players or go solo so they can't blow me up...

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You could just let players choose the level and special debuffs in the mission.

Combined with self handicaps players can place on themselves. Should give the hardcore folks difficulty.

Not everyone cares about difficulty. And if the rewards suck then it's not needed. 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Aldain said:

The hard mode being introduced is a QoL buff for people who want to slam into level 100+ enemies without needing to stay in Survival for an hour, it can't possibly reward somebody who can melt level 300+ enemies adequately because they have gone well past the initial scope of the game, and giving things like resource boosters just piles on more that they don't need.

The only rewards that come to mind that wouldn't be out of place or superfluous for Hard modes to me would be Relics (2-3 per drop instead of 1) Forma (pre-built) and Arcanes, because everything else doesn't matter to people at those levels, hell, I already have more Nano Spores than I will ever need and I'm only MR16 on Switch.

I agree it can not adequately reward players at those levels, but there still has to be a baseline so you don't feel like it's more efficient to play in normal mode for the same amount of time. Again, look at engagement levels in Anthem's hardest stronghold vs. its easiest one.

Resource boosters at the very minimum. An illusion, yes, but a very effective one for the purpose of not making you feel like you're handicapping yourself with little to no benefit vs. player on an easier setting. Kuva and void traces will benefit from this in particular. 

Edited by Jarriaga
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It's probably going to be another Nighmare Mode.  People will do it until they get all of the rewards and then never touch it again outside of Nightwave challenges.

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About 3/4 of these sortie modifiers have little to no effect on actual gameplay though, especially if you pick the right frames to ignore them.

The rest can be negated by meta powercreep.

They are a kind of obsolete way of providing challenge, but it would be good to be able to pick your modifiers as long as they make sense and actually make the mission harder, for that reason new modifiers might be needed.

Maybe Dragon keys could also be usable as modifiers depending on the mission type.

Also Eximus Stronghold Hydron Hard mode runs might become the new leveling meta.

Instead of 10-15 waves, your equipment will be maxed after like 5 waves. :D

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1 hour ago, Hypernaut1 said:

I hope anyone looking for great rewards ignore hard mode. Hard mode shouldn't be the place for that

Same thing you said happened in anthem. Look how that game turned out.

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30 minutes ago, zuraja said:

It's probably going to be another Nighmare Mode.  People will do it until they get all of the rewards and then never touch it again outside of Nightwave challenges.

That happens in any game. You run something for a specific reward. Once you get it you stop running it.

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4 minutes ago, kevoisvevo said:

Same thing you said happened in anthem. Look how that game turned out.

To be fair Anthem was a circus from top to bottom.

Even having a loot-to-difficulty ratio would have been pointless if the actual missions were not fun and the loot was not worth it at any level of play half the time.

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2 minutes ago, Aldain said:

To be fair Anthem was a circus from top to bottom.

Even having a loot-to-difficulty ratio would have been pointless if the actual missions were not fun and the loot was not worth it at any level of play half the time.

That's besides the point. What loot that was remotely worth it was run 100s of times in grandmaster 1 rather than 3 due to how quick it was. A better example would be true vault hunter mode in all the borderlands games leading to it's longevity and meta community. It provided higher chance of stronger and even newer weapons.

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If it is just “start at a higher level,” then the people who equate ammo expenditure with difficulty can do their thing, and the rest of us can move on. 

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2 hours ago, Jarriaga said:

All the loot-based games I've played scale rewards with difficulty and even lock high-level gear behind the higher difficulty settings. Just to name one example, NiOh doesn't let you acquire the rarest possible gear category with the strongest buffs (Ethereal) until you beat the game in the 3rd extra hard mode (Way of the Wise) after beating the core game (Way of the Samurai) and the first 2 extra difficulty settings (Way of the Strong, Way of the Demon).

Also, core stats (Up to 200, from 99 in normal), base guardian spirit level (Up to 60, from 30 in normal), and base gear crafting level (Up to 300, from 150 in normal) are all locked until you beat the game in the hardest difficulty (Way of the NiOh), which is the 4th extra difficulty mode unlocked.

There's also Shadow Warrior 2, in which the game flat-out tells you that you won't get rare/strong gear if you play on a lower difficulty when starting the game.

But there's also Borderlands, Diablo, FFXIV, in which the difficulty and level affect the rarity and stats of your loot, and even the odds for obtaining rare loot. In case of Monster Hunter, some specific monsters are locked behind a higher difficulty mode, so you can't even attempt to farm them unless you change the hunting rank.

On the other end of the street, you have Anthem. Game issues aside, people always did the easiest stronghold over and over while ignoring the hardest stronghold because the rewards were exactly the same, so people had zero reason to invest more time and effort in the same outcome.

I understand if you think it should not be the case with WF, but hard mode will have to at the very least give a resource booster (Even if not 2x) so it won't be DoA for the exact same reason Anthem's hardest strongholds were barren: Why put more effort in the exact same outcome?

This is not Devil May Cry or Doom.

if they lock any kind of super exclusive rewards like weapons/mods/frames to hard mode, it will be cease to be "hard mode" for long. Why? because WF is a game where everyone wants to win with little effort. If there is something that people want, that isnt easy to win, forums will become a cesspool of complaints, and hard mode will be nerfed to the point where everyone can win again. 

Hard mode shouldnt be something that players feel like they are "forced" to play because it isnt mean for everyone. It should be for players that arent afraid to fail. Arent afraid to lose a revive. 

I really just want it to be difficulty layered on top of regular game. Same rewards. Same progression. Just there for those that want a little more challenge to their everyday WF grind. One player plays regular sorties because its all the challenge they need, the other plays "hard mode" sortie for a little bit more excitement. both get same rewards. It should just be a choice with a cosmetic given as a "cookie"

If a player doesnt think its worth it to play hard mode, then thats fine. The reward should be the difficulty itself. 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Hypernaut1 said:

if they lock any kind of super exclusive rewards like weapons/mods/frames to hard mode, it will be cease to be "hard mode" for long. Why? because WF is a game where everyone wants to win with little effort. If there is something that people want, that isnt easy to win, forums will become a cesspool of complaints, and hard mode will be nerfed to the point where everyone can win again. 

In that case, I can only hope DE stick to their guns. Little things are as absurd as nerfing a hard mode because it's not easy for those who want it easy. Do they also expect to remain hydrated without drinking water? That's not a reasonable expectation in any way, shape or form.

34 minutes ago, Hypernaut1 said:

Hard mode shouldnt be something that players feel like they are "forced" to play because it isnt mean for everyone. It should be for players that arent afraid to fail. Arent afraid to lose a revive. 

That's absolutely true for every single loot-based game though, and you don't hear their respective playerbases complain about a reward being tied to a more difficult mode or setting. WF players are very noticeable outliers in the looter-shooter/RPG genre because DE has cuddled them to the point they can't even fathom not being granted everything day 1 because they haven't been trained otherwise. But hey, I don't hear them complaining about not having their John Prodman posters, so there is hope for them to accept not getting everything they are not willing to put some effort on.

34 minutes ago, Hypernaut1 said:

I really just want it to be difficulty layered on top of regular game. Same rewards. Same progression. Just there for those that want a little more challenge to their everyday WF grind. One player plays regular sorties because its all the challenge they need, the other plays "hard mode" sortie for a little bit more excitement. both get same rewards. It should just be a choice with a cosmetic given as a "cookie"

If a player doesnt think its worth it to play hard mode, then thats fine. The reward should be the difficulty itself. 

If hard mode rewards you the exact same things as normal mode when playing it for the exact same amount of time, hard mode will be DoA. That's just the way it is. Players will only use it once in a blue moon after a forma instead of moving on from normal mode. We already have historical examples of this, like Anthem's strongholds. 

That is inevitable because if the reward vs. effort scale is tipped towards favoring normal mode by virtue of offering the same rewards for less effort  **ANTHEM**, at that moment hard mode is no different than playing normal mode using only your feet.

Boosters will have to be the bare minimum there.

Edited by Jarriaga
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6 minutes ago, Jarriaga said:

In that case, I can only hope DE stick to their guns. Little things are as absurd as nerfing a hard mode because it's not easy for those who want it easy. Do they also expect to remain hydrated without drinking water? That's not a reasonable expectation in any way, shape or form.

That's absolutely true for every single loot-based game though, and you don't hear their respective playerbases complain about a reward being tied to a more difficult mode or setting. WF players are very noticeable outliers in the looter-shooter/RPG genre because DE has cuddled them to the point they can't even fathom not being granted everything day 1 because they haven't been trained otherwise. But hey, I don't hear them complaining about not having their John Prodman posters, so there is hope for them to accept not getting everything they are not willing to put some effort on.

I think cosmetics would be an ok reward. The John Prodman poster is a cosmetic, so players feel like they can ignore it. Personally, i'll be happy with a cool badge that evolves something and the ship decorations they talked about. 

I do hope DE sticks to their guns, but they rarely do when that vocal minority gets too loud. There was a time when we had two special alerts after a devstream, one that was easy for everyone to complete and a community challenge one that was insane (like 100 lvl100 manics survival). They eventually got rid of the insane challenge because people said it was too hard and complained about "unfair challenges", NW elite challenges were supposed to be skippable, people still complained about them because they couldnt ignore the rep rewards. 

Time and time again has shown if an "optional" challenge has any kind of desirable rewards behind it, people will make forums unbearable until its changed. 

11 minutes ago, Jarriaga said:

If hard mode rewards you the exact same things as normal mode when playing it for the exact same amount of time, hard mode will be DoA. Players will only use it once in a blue moon after a forma instead of moving on from normal mode. We have historical examples of this, like Anthem's strongholds. 

That is inevitable because if the reward vs. effort scale is tipped towards favoring normal mode, at that moment hard mode is no different than playing normal mode using only your feet. It's something you can do right now. So again, a booster is the bare minimum.

I agree that there should at least be a booster. I dont agree with the comparision of hard mode to playing with your feet. A balanced hard mode will simply test your gear and skill, not remove them. 

 

 

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