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The Proposed Hard Mode

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When quoting what Hard Mode 'is', always keep in mind what Hard Mode 'is not'.  

On 2020-06-25 at 6:01 PM, [DE]Rebecca said:

What it isn’t:
- intended to be associated with the nebulous ‘end game’ topic.
- overly complicated in its goal to simply provide higher level content and some exclusive rewards.
- tiered. We are providing one 100+ level pass to be cognizant of matchmaking for our first iteration. 

Higher rewards and difference in the balance of basic rewards are part of the 'end game' topic. The concept that at the highest difficulty you get the best rewards.

And talking about rewards, that's point 2, it's simply to provide the higher level content and 'some exclusive rewards'. This does not have to be more than cosmetics. The entire point of Hard Mode, as discussed so far, is basically just bragging rights. Like having a John Prodman poster.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Cubewano said:

It is an option though, and the most realistic one they are able to fall back on seeing and difficulty is realistically not on the table, not relatively soon, and not something I'm frankly even confident DE will ever be willing to actually bear the brunt of to achieve. If they want to give the mode some kind of purpose/value on launch their option is basically some kind of reward system at this point, higher level engagement isn't on the table and its a far more complex and heavy matter to solve than some few weeks turn around. Levels as many well know no longer serve the balancing purpose they were made for, they don't really enhance difficulty, they've become arbitrary, enemies from 1-1000+ die effectively the same to our over bloated arsenal and that's not changing on its own, so that as a modifier is meaningless in isolation as well, and that notion being more or less being the entire core concept of difficulty for the mode makes it similarly ineffective.

I've tried to sidestep the issue because it's a quagmire of a discussion, but I disagree with the entire drive of your statement here. You seem to be asserting that enemy levels don't matter so a high-level version of low-level nodes is pointless, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Now, I can't speak to what builds and gear you're using, but for MINE, there's a massive difference in both TTK and apparent danger even between level 60 enemies and level 100 enemies. As an example, I picked what I thought was a level 90-110 Lich mission with a friend of mine yesterday. Immediately I noticed that enemies were dying WAAAY too fast relative to what I was expecting. Then I stopped to look - they were in fact level 50-60 Grineer. My Lich may have been Rank 5, but my friend was hosting and his Lich was Rank 1. The mission had scaled to his Lich Rank, and the difference was immediately noticeable. You seem to argue there is no difference. To you there might not be, but I can clearly see a distinction.

Enemy level has merit. I don't bother playing level 7 missions any more, because the stats on my Warframe and weapons are so disproportionate relative to level 7 enemies that core game mechanics break down. Inaros' Scarab Swarm doesn't work because it kills affected enemies long before it can spread. Grendel's Nourish doesn't work because targets die in a single application. I have my Atals equipped with Rage, but enemies deal so little damage that they can't break my unmodded shields much less deal damage to my health. Now if I had the option to play an Earth node at 60? 80? 100? I'd take that. That's essentially what Lich missions do. It's essentially what Kuva Siphon/Flood missions do. The game already has several "poor man's difficulty" options available, but they all have their limitations. Sorties are only available once per day and come with undesirable gimmicks. Floods offer only one mission per relocation of the Kuva Fortress. Lich missions are Grineer Only. Arbitrations come with their own undesirable mechanics.

When DE came up with the idea for "Hard Mode," I was excited. I thought this would give me the option of playing all nodes across the Star Chart at a decent level at all times. That's not what we ended up getting, however, because DE keep insisting enemy level relative to the base node level. You're asserting that it doesn't matter because "there is no difficulty." Maybe not TO YOU, but there could have been merit TO ME in a decent difficulty setting. Not just ignoring but resisting the discussion of design issues in favour of just pushing for another farm is a waste of content, as far as I'm concerned. "Farming" in a video game is what I do when I'm completely bored of it. Deliberately designing farms is skipping the fun and going straight to the burnout tedium of it. That doesn't sit well with me.

 

10 hours ago, Avienas said:

Then you get cases where entirely new game modes have to be so beyond b.s. in what they provide. Such as the case with relic farming, now being done on disruption for the quickest, easiest relic farm speed, especially for endless modes, due to how you can rush a wave, by just killing one specific enemy, ASAP, per conduit, where unless you have no issues with constantly reloading into new screens every 5 or less minutes, you honestly aren`t getting much of a boon with capture spam cheese-its.

Yeah, and that right there is the issue. Slapping excessive reward onto Steel Path is going to do the exact same thing. This is why internalising concepts solely within the context of "farming" and "grinding" is always a mistake. It's a reductive way to view video games in general, as it sidelines their entertainment value in favour of treating them as a make-pretend job by burnt-out players trying to gamify their boredom. It's reductive because only the most efficient activity counts. Turning Steel Path into the game's most efficient farm just means that people abandon legacy content and shift into grinding Steel Path. This includes people who may have enjoyed legacy content but don't enjoy Steel Path. We saw this exact same thing with Scarlet Spear. Not very many people enjoy fighting level 160 Sentients, but everyone fought level 160 Sentients because it was the most efficient way to gain score and buy Arcanes.

Turning Steel Path into a farm fundamentally undermines its potential entertainment value.

 

10 hours ago, Avienas said:

Unless this higher level implies that all droppable resource loot, credits, endo, and the odds for certain things got multiplied a sizable amount, more on the former then drop mods honestly, well then i would not really call it a hard mode.

And you would be wrong. Apologies for being blunt like this, but I've run out of ways to beat about the bush. Difficulty has nothing whatsoever to do with rewards. Players have built this relationship in their heads, but the two things are not intrinsically related. I've been playing video games since the late 80s. I remember plenty of games trying to insult my masculinity if I chose to play on lower difficulty settings, but I remember next to none of them offering me higher "rewards" for it. Largely because we conceptualised our experience with them within the context of "fun," not "compensation." I didn't play Half Life on Hard because it gave me any rewards. I played it on Hard because I wanted to see if I could make it. Turns out I could, but the experience wasn't a lot of fun. So I stopped doing it and played on Normal on subsequent runs. Not having higher rewards does not make a Hard Mode any less hard, because "Hard" refers to the difficulty of the encounter, not its potential to be an efficient farm.

At the risk of speaking too harshly, I find this sort of attitude to lack self-awareness. Yes, I know that modern Live Services try to condition us to disregard literally everything in a video game aside from rewards and play for that Pavlovian response to being given treats over any intrinsic quality of the experience. For this reason, I feel that any modern game has a responsibility to themselves not to buy into the conditioning in much the same way that any responsible TV viewer has the responsibility to not immediately "CALL NOW!!!" and buy pointless garbage off of telemarketing ads. I'd go one further, in fact - in much the same way that any user of social media has a responsibility to themselves to check the validity of news they obtain from social media, or at the very least treat it with scepticism. Life in the "information age" requires us to be self-aware and proactive about our sense of identity, because we're constantly under pressure from habit-forming, conditioning design in every aspect of our experience.

Telling me that Hard Mode can't be called "Hard Mode" if it doesn't have high rewards is fundamentally missing the point of Hard Mode, as far as I'm concerned.

 

10 hours ago, Avienas said:

Custom settings usually imply that we have a bit more then just a toggle switch to jump the levels of enemies by X amount. Granted i am spoiled by games like Disgaea, when i hear the term custom, as i expect to be able to modify values at the trade off of reducing other values(such as exp, mana & money or Hel for disgaea) and likely putting enemy boons in place like giving them b.s. modifiers/level-scaling and even what might as well be nightmare mode modifiers to boost the gains i desire.

Ideally, yes - custom difficulty settings would imply more than just a toggle. It would imply a list of options and proper matchmaking with lobby lists and filters. We don't have to aim for that idea in order to have SOME difficulty customisation, however. As the game stands right now, something as simple as clicking a button that says "All missions under level 60 are now level 60" would be more than enough as a first step. As I mentioned before - this is what Lich missions, Flood missions, Sorties and Arbitrations do right now, except they all come with undesirable side effects. The ability to run all Star Chart nodes at level 60, 80, 100, etc. would be a major improvement. It would allow me to pick a higher difficulty setting without the added gimmicks of the "poor man's higher difficulty settings" of today.

There's a misnomer with Steel Path, I think. People seem to be judging it on an impossible curve. They assert that if "Hard Mode" can't challenge the most broken, overpowered min/maxers then it might as well not even exist. Scrap difficult and just give me another far. That's a false dilemma, because there's another much larger population of more casual players for whom difficulty still matters. It's entirely possible for Hard Mode to still add positive difficulty for those kinds of players even if the hardcore won't notice a difference. There's still value in that. "Give me the ideal or don't bother" is a false dilemma in itself. Yes, I too would like proper expansive difficulty customisation. We're not getting that, however. Even so, I'm still willing to take SOME amount of difficulty customisation over giving up and just deferring to "farming" - the most reductive and least compelling way to play the game as far as I'm concerned.

 

10 hours ago, Avienas said:

If D.E. is going to just give us a hard mode, they might as well cut the number of mission nodes per planet in half(just like how railjack needs to have its nodes in the proximas downed to about 2-3 per prox until they give us freaking new game modes for railjack), have certain planets have more specific loot tables and actually give more reason to go after specific planets for certain loot, especially if the drop rates fo said loot is vastly boosted by playing in hard mode.

That might work for Railjack, but it won't work for Planetary nodes. Railjack has one mission type (I GUESS two if you count the Anomaly, but not really). All of the Railjack nodes are redundant with each other. The same doesn't apply to Star Chart nodes, however. Warframe has enough mission types to fill a planet, whether you in particular like all of them or not. Removing nodes removes mission types from planets, and I see no benefit to this. I have a Lich in Uranus. I like Spy missions. You've cut the planetary nodes in half and removed Rosalind. Now Uranus has no Spy missions and I no longer have the option of playing a Lich Spy. What did I gain in this process? Hell, I'd go the opposite direction. ADD more nodes to planets so that more planets have a Defection mission. I think the game has only three of them so far. Add more Dark Sectors, or maybe at least add some to Lua. Add Infested Salvage to more locations, too. It's one frikkin' node on Eris.

There's more to Warframe than loot, is what I'm getting at.

 

3 hours ago, Birdframe_Prime said:

And talking about rewards, that's point 2, it's simply to provide the higher level content and 'some exclusive rewards'. This does not have to be more than cosmetics. The entire point of Hard Mode, as discussed so far, is basically just bragging rights. Like having a John Prodman poster.

And just to wrap up - this is where I stand. I'm fine with exclusive cosmetics as a status symbol similar to Overwatch's Golden Guns. These things show accomplishment for people who care about this sort of thing and look gaudy to the rest of us, but that's all there really NEEDS to be for high difficulty. The only way for high difficulty to actually stay high difficulty is if it's a niche activity specifically for those looking for it. Having purely cosmetic rewards is - in my opinion - enough.

Edited by Steel_Rook
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3 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

-snippery due to absurd text wall chainery-

Ultimately its understandable on some points, but most hard modes back in the early, `non-online` days and for some these days, were because games were typically on single or local multi-player like setups with the charm being to have fun with no b.s. restrictions that can be internalized into the terminology: `mobile game timers`. If one were to keep things as simple as possible.

When it comes to online based games, its kind of expected that anything with higher difficulty has to have a better reward tied to it, whether its boosted exp/drop/money modifiers at the very least or a completely different drop table then what lower difficulties have.

This is kind of where i like Phantasy Star online 2`s use of its normal/hard/very hard/extremely hard diffuclty system & eventually what we will get in NA, Ultra hard i believe. Not only can you get vastly different rewards based on the difficulty drop such as much higher rarity weapons/units/pet-eggs/etc., you also have skill discs for photon arts and techniques able to drop in higher versions, exp/money-drops in quantity get significant increases with what is basically a 20~30 level difference per tier and it even has its client order or `quest system` require you to kill enemies above specific levels in some cases.

Simple, to the point & it sure as heck does did not need to get overly complex and did not need anything fancy to make it a thing. Anyway, because warframe is not as populated as some games and does not have systems to let you shove `decently useful A.I. team mates and requires alot more demand for co-op since d.e. cant put proper simplifications for game modes like interception/defense/disruption/etc. for smaller group sizes and only really makes things like capture times progress faster for you, It ruins a bit of things on how they can make a difficulty mode actually work, since if we are effectively doubling/tripling the enemy level right from the start, then we should have at the very least, the regular resources/credits/affinity doubled-triple in the same regard or more & have drop tables adjusted to compensate on wanting the enemies tougher right from the get-go.

 

Too bad D.E. has yet to `refresh` plenty of elements in just the solar map mission types alone, that could of used improvements that would likely tailor better into difficulty increases, just as much it could use more interactivity, to allow better opportunities to handle certain, mildly annoying game modes(*cough* interception not having less nodes with 1-2 man groups *cough* no way to speed up timers on mobile defense such as a tedious hacking multi chain puzzle to cut minutes off the timer *cough*), so its not just defaulted to perpetual map nuking & perpetual map lock down yeets. But thats honestly just me getting slightly off-topic, despite the fact that D.E. has such a desire to borrow elements from other game modes, implement them in horrible recreations and yet continues to ignore what would be fantastic elements they could take a page from *cough* PSO2 *cough*.

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11 minutes ago, Avienas said:

Ultimately its understandable on some points, but most hard modes back in the early, `non-online` days and for some these days, were because games were typically on single or local multi-player like setups with the charm being to have fun with no b.s. restrictions that can be internalized into the terminology: `mobile game timers`. If one were to keep things as simple as possible. When it comes to online based games, its kind of expected that anything with higher difficulty has to have a better reward tied to it, whether its boosted exp/drop/money modifiers at the very least or a completely different drop table then what lower difficulties have.

Obviously, but it's that expectation that I call into question. WHY are online games expected to reward people for high difficulty? I posit that the answer to this question is not the seemingly obvious refuge in common sense, but rather a deliberate construct purposely designed to condition players into acting against their own self-interest. Modern Live Services are - by this point - little more than glorified Skinner boxes which players are still both tolerating and having trouble internalising, simply because of their effectiveness. Modern Live Services style themselves under the superficial guise of "a job" in order to trigger a false cost/value calculation within the minds of their players. It's a naked attempt to present a thing which has lost its value - the core gameplay experience to a burnt-out player - as contributing to the value of the overall experience. At the same time, however, the player is intended to subconsciously consider their experience as the cost, then demand rewards which constitute enough value for playing the game to be worth it.

The problem is that this is a no-win scenario. Gameplay has no value because we're burnt out - it's a cost. Rewards have only an appearance of value due to artificial scarcity - they're a trap. There is no value anywhere in this calculation, yet we still somehow find worth. We're trapped in a transactional relationship with the game, doing our 9-5 shift but being paid in scrip with no value outside of the game's closed system. It's a Skinner box, where we go through the motions pretending we're having fun, when we are in fact engaging in a job that doesn't pay us and - crucially - often asks us to pay it. That's not to say it's a scam or that developers are evil. It's to say that we should always question beliefs which seem to stem from little more than intuitive common sense. While often helpful, our intuition is wrong more often than it's right. By trusting intuitive judgement calls, we open ourselves up to manipulation.

I view modern Live Services in general and Warframe in particular differently. I view this game as not that different from single-player games in the late 90s and early 2000s in one crucial aspect. Its business model still expects me to "buy it" (albeit by proxy), buy the DLC and pay for the subscription. This is not a "free" game with an "optional" paid route. It's a paid game with a free demo. You can do a lot with the demo depending on how much time you're willing to invest, but you're always swimming against the current because that's not how the game is intended to be played. The fact that just about everything is for sale ought to be a pretty big hint. I view rewards as having a cost rather than a value - specifically, their cost in money and/or time. Inversely, I view gameplay as offering the core value of the product. Sometimes I "need" to buy specific things to make gameplay more fun. This could be as basic as buying overpowered Arcanes to make my Warframe stronger or as esoteric as buying all the Graxx skins because it subjectively improves my experience.

Of course, there's a point to make about the subjectivity of value. Some people like just shooting stuff, some people like min/maxing, some people like collecting Floofs and some people like learning to play the guitar. So yes, for some, rewards do have intrinsic value as collectables or for whatever other reason. I would argue that that sort of player is just one niche, however. I would argue that the majority of us fall victim to the Skinner box and end up assigning objective value to rewards that they simply don't have. This is where an important point needs to be stressed: Rewards are not compensation. Rewards are incentive. Video games don't give us rewards to make us feel better about the things we've already done. They offer us rewards as incentive with which to control our actions. Rewards are given out to make us play content which we normally wouldn't by skewing our cost/value calculation, and THAT is a problem.

I firmly believe that gameplay should be fun on its own merits first and foremost before rewards are even considered. What's "fun" is subjective, but a large enough game can hedge its bets and offer a wide array of activities, in the hopes that at least some of them will be fun to most people. This is a good approach, because it allows players to curate their own experience. It clashes, however, with DE's overt objective of making EVERYONE play the newest thing. When they released Fortuna, EVERYONE was expected to play it because ALL of the rewards for a few months were gated behind it. Don't like Free Roam maps? Then you miss out on a lot of guns and two Warframes and also Atmospheric Archguns. Don't like raid bosses? Tough - latest Warframe is gated behind a raid boss. It doesn't matter what you like, incentives insist that you play new content one way or another. This is precisely what I foresee happening to the Steel Path. Don't like playing high level missions? Well, sucks to be you, because this is now the most efficient farm. You're literally wasting your time if you don't engage in it. We already have precedent, as well. ESO is probably the game's worst, most boring, most reductive game mode purely due to its core design... Yet I've ended up playing it time and again because it's SUCH a better Focus farm than anything else that anything else feels like wasting my time. Even though I'm intellectually aware that it's a trap, I still occasionally fall for it for purely emotional reasons. Because it's designed to do that to people.

In short, don't buy into the modern Live Service Skinner Box, don't let video games define what you put value on. Rewards are not the be all end all of modern gaming. Eventually people will stop buying into this design. The sooner it happens, the better.

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Posted (edited)
On 2020-06-27 at 12:15 PM, Steel_Rook said:

-snip-

K not gonna lie but this is getting too philosophical ramblesome speaking, so lets cut down on the paragraph sizes `again`, especially to get away from philosophical tier chants. Because some people, work lengthy weekdays or weekends , sometimes both and rather not get too wrapped up in lengthy posts that turn way too much into a ramble that everyone else has to ramble in response and just like the argument of religion: Its effectively pointless in general, just as much as it clearly as is for my stockholm syndrome to want to like D.E., but they clearly are showing a bunch of negligence on fixing the quality of the game, which i have seen more scummy companies have done much better actions to make said games base content a heck of alot more fun.

...Which yes, despite leaving League of Legends from Burn out quite a while back, i still enjoyed the fact when they changed the points to a blue essence currency amongst other things to streamline plenty of annoyances it had. Changes that QoLs the game in the proper elements are one fantastic way to make a boring game less of a chore. Having a so-called quest system dity was nice too, but atleast my burn out there, was getting cheesed by b.s. enemy champions too often, more then the game itself becoming boring, like how maplestory pulled a similar card of cranking out new content way too often and barely QoL`ing tediousness and poor elements of said game.

So lets just go back to keeping things SIMPLE, Hard mode is something some requested but honestly QoLs should of been more priority, especially if its gonna be a half baked product. I mean when are we going to get a bunch of generic universal mods be removed and made innate? When a PROPER Uni vac finally coming? When Pets going to be de-coupled from link mod reliance & can function more as a useful unit outside of cheese & being a buff bot? Less band aid fixes & Less b.s. like universal medallion `nerfs`, Cause dropping 1-2 of the barely requested ones, once every few updates, has not been cutting it for what has basically been a few years already.

It is way past the point, to where i wish i had the perfect phrase to describe it: D.E. prioritized new things more then improving and `evolving` existing content. Which funny enough, i believe you stated in another post, if one game mode had to go if not rehauled, It should be Defense, Since i would agree that it has so much tediousness due to being stuck in the same logic of run map nuke frame to just get it the frock over with. Where i would actually like it if the rotations were reduced to 3-4 waves, just to cut the hide-seek b.s. down a whole lot, amongst other fixes. to many other game modes. Especially when some get even that more b.s. with higher enemy levels and nothing, besides the most b.s. level of c.c./nukes can resolve hyper chonky nuke lords strolling up and capping interception nodes or blowing up most of the health of defense targets, Which the latter was only really band aid patch`d by D.E. finally making defense targets finally have actual scaling health.

 

Edited by Avienas

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You know what would be nice? convert every mod drop straight into endo in 'steel path'. Save me the trouble of dissolving them. How's that for QOL? 😛

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3 hours ago, Avienas said:

K not gonna lie but this is getting too philosophical ramblesome speaking, so lets cut down on the paragraph sizes `again`, especially to get away from philosophical tier chants. Because some people, work lengthy weekdays or weekends , sometimes both and rather not get too wrapped up in lengthy posts that turn way too much into a ramble that everyone else has to ramble in response and just like the argument of religion

OK, I'll make it simple, then. I personally find that asking for Steel Path to be made into an optimal farm is both missing the point and kind of missing an opportunity. Warframe has enough boring, tedious farms that people grind out of compulsion. Steel Path has the potential to be serve as poor-man's difficulty setting in the same way Lich and Flood missions do. While I'm fine with rewarding Steel Path missions relative to their level scaling, I'm not fine with gating exclusive non-cosmetic rewards because all that's going to do is turn it into another content island - another thing we grind until we have everything, then never touch again. Giving it "standard" rewards and letting only those who specifically want higher levels play it without additional incentive would be healthier for its long-term survival.

The last thing I want is Arbitrations 2.0.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Steel_Rook said:

Giving it "standard" rewards and letting only those who specifically want higher levels play it without additional incentive would be healthier for its long-term survival.

Counter-point: Not giving it exclusive (cosmetic/decoration) rewards means nobody will care about it.

If people only really play a mode for as long as it takes to get all the unique rewards from it, if there aren't any such unique rewards from it, why would they play it at all? If you can get the same rewards with less effort, why put in the extra effort?

Warframe's design doesn't lend itself to evergreen content.

Hell, even in MMOs with actual "end-game" they have this problem. Nobody really goes back to older raids or expansions except to gather cosmetics. Once you no longer need upgrades from a dungeon or raid, you stop playing it.

So really, nothing is evergreen. The problem, as I see it, is that the devs willingly abandon content and never seek to update it by adding new rewards.

Meanwhile, Nightwave's Cred Shop has us checking every week because new stuff is regularly added to it, at least on a seasonal basis. In that method, they've designed Nightwave such that we will at least care about somewhat long-term, because they do regularly update the rewards.

Edited by DrakeWurrum

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, DrakeWurrum said:

Counter-point: Not giving it exclusive (cosmetic/decoration) rewards means nobody will care about it.

If people only really play a mode for as long as it takes to get all the unique rewards from it, if there aren't any such unique rewards from it, why would they play it at all? If you can get the same rewards with less effort, why put in the extra effort?

And this is why i absolutely despise too many game mode types being present in a game with no long-standing worth present in it, especially when said modes can be capitalized with events that do something like dramatically boost the boons one normally chases.

Which what i mean is not simply defense/survival/etc. im talking about arbies, ESO, open world, index, kuva liches, kuva siphons/floods, railjack, arch-wing specific missions, etc. etc. etc. This is where i rather just say D.E. needs to gut some out, condense them into bonus functions one can do in normal gameplay

Small example? How about having Kuva liches become a new stalker-type enemy(while getting rid of syndicate death squads finally please) which gets a damage bonus & focus towards only attacking that person, specifically to whoever spawned it to act as a sweet integrated design for kuva liches where he can`t yeet others as much cause he is too busy going for his mark instead. With also, similar to how stalker gets pissy at you for killing bosses to boost his spawn rate, you simply boost the lich spawn rate by clearing quests on the planet he claimed instead of needing to kill thralls on SPECIAL mission nodes to learn his code, But honestly this is just me wanting D.E. to gut out the frocking Requeim mods/fissure frockery out, shove the riven slivers & weapon exilus mods somewhere that make more sense, like some kind of bonus reward for doing a good job on each sortie mission and the latter could honestly just be put in ESO & as some kind of simaris currency exchange. Seriously why dont we get Simaris standing for doing Sanctuary Onslaught?

 

Anyway if they want better ways to motivate people to play certain game modes, why not have some semi-rotational event like system which give bonuses to particular content types? Welp, aint gonna happen, cause the closest we ever got was basically them cramming a x2 booster and thats about it as far as i can tell. With most likely stop caring since most of these 2x weekend type of events tend to lose quite a bit of worth especially for mid-late game players.

Quote

Warframe's design doesn't lend itself to evergreen content.

Hell, even in MMOs with actual "end-game" they have this problem. Nobody really goes back to older raids or expansions except to gather cosmetics. Once you no longer need upgrades from a dungeon or raid, you stop playing it.

Aka pretty much why i can enjoy how certain MMOs keep said content short, typically designed for solo/low member size content and typically to give some useful items that could last likely for quite a few levels till you reach the next `theme dungeon` on how Maplestory did a lot of this type of things. But its always frustrating if said content does not allow ease for solo accessibility when wanting those cosmetic goods.

While the bigger content is actually made to work more as mid-late game stuff and KEEPS a reason to return some fine examples some games did this:

  1. A unique game mode that strips you of using and of your normal gear and rewarding points based on your progress which you can exchange for various goodies including high level weapons that you can even use as fodder for improving your main weapons, plenty of camos, boosters and even EXP tickets to gain flat exp instantly. Aka PSO2`s Challenge Quest.
  2. A game mode where you pay `capsules` at the start to enter a 3 sector quest, where your killing bunch of enemies that will not respawn, but gives increased EXP and a particular resource you can use as a currency for another exchange shop. But the host can actually pay extra capsules to raise the threat level that lasts an entire week to boot, drastically boosting enemy power, but also boosting exp/drop-rates and even rarer enemies who can give bigger pay outs to boot. Aka PSO2`s Advance Quest.
  3. A end-game type game mode where high level, super dangerous enemies can spawn where the goal is more to roam a map typically in a loop fashion, as you try to force special enemy trials to spawn, which said special trial enemies drop some of the most powerful gear in the game right now, especially for those wanting to maximize stats before the arrival of new content in 1-2 months. Aka PSO2`s Ultimate Quest.

If its not obvious enough, i have always tended to use PSO2 as a nice benchmark to see f2p online games, should be done well, and now that its officially a NA title, its easy for me to use it as a very active example on how to properly make interesting game modes(which its also a 8~ year old game to boot!), where the content is typically the same of kill everything while going down X route while dealing with semi-random challenges in your way, but can always be made so much interesting despite the repetition. Well, i could probably also ramble on about the other stuff like Time Attack Quests, Extreme Quests, Urgent Quests, Trigger Quests...etc., In addition to when PSO2NA catches up to PSO2JPN in the next 6 months such as bringing in: Rideroid Quests, Buster Quests, Some kind of Extreme quest called Abyss Depths and even its own semi-unique pvp game mode called Arena which funny enough, i believe plenty are going to treat it like PSO2 tried to create its own fort-nite type of gameplay, despite PSO2`s Arena has been out for a VERY long time, on PSO2JPN.

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So really, nothing is evergreen. The problem, as I see it, is that the devs willingly abandon content and never seek to update it by adding new rewards.

Meanwhile, Nightwave's Cred Shop has us checking every week because new stuff is regularly added to it, at least on a seasonal basis. In that method, they've designed Nightwave such that we will at least care about somewhat long-term, because they do regularly update the rewards.

Too bad that Nightwave screws itself over once you already pillaged all the appearance items, which thanks to absurdly extended intermission periods, should of had little issue doing such and even if some of the pvp mods become completely pve, They pretty much fall off worst as pointless LULz mods, even for other particular useless augment mods., that could only survive if D.E. redid the augment system and let us have up to 4 augments, without affecting the mod bench and only one augment for each related ability at a time. 

Seriously, even most new augments tend to fall in the same trap where the few that look good, gets sore`ly fk`d by the existence of mod space constraints, lack of augments not ALL being exilus mods, and just plain having so much setup involved that you could of just killed the enemies 5+ times over with the mission being over 3 times over, before you can reach optimal use of said augments.

 

Edited by Avienas

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14 hours ago, DrakeWurrum said:

Counter-point: Not giving it exclusive (cosmetic/decoration) rewards means nobody will care about it. If people only really play a mode for as long as it takes to get all the unique rewards from it, if there aren't any such unique rewards from it, why would they play it at all? If you can get the same rewards with less effort, why put in the extra effort?

Because it's fun. Because the core gameplay loop is itself intrinsically enjoyable. I've answered this question many times even in this thread alone, yet it keeps getting asked over and over again. Let me try and answer it in brief here, in the hopes that not posting a wall of text will help:

The only people I want playing Hard Mode are the people who intrinsically enjoy hard mode. If that small niche of the population ends up being the only people who ever play it, then GOOD. That's Hard Mode working as intended. Warframe is a large enough game that it can support niche content for a niche audience. If YOU don't want to play Steel Path missions, then you shouldn't play them and - crucially - you shouldn't be incentivised to play them, either. This is a video game - it's a hobby. We put in "the extra effort" because we enjoy the experience of putting in the extra effort. If we don't, then we ought to look for other activities in the game. Again - Warframe is large enough that there are bound to be at least a few things any of us would like doing for their own sake.

A niche game mode designed for its niche audience is always going to fit that niche audience's preferences better than a broad appeal game mode also trying to throw a bone to a niche audience. There's no benefit in incentivising people to play Hard Mode who don't actually enjoy Hard Mode. If very few people play Steel Path, then that would be a sign of good design in my book - that's how it should be.

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The structure of what Hard mode should be runs as follow. 

a. Enemies comes in packing a heavy punch and a thick shell. 

b. Enemies becomes aware of the tier and act accordingly if possible. No A.I. is needed, just a better distribution of enemies. 

c. Enemies mass in numbers attacking at the same time instead of one aiming at you, few focus their fire at the frame. 

d. Enemies begin to carry two or three weapons with them. Two primaries and one heavy. 

e. Enemies let you know that something is changing. They retreat. (This is the part where the player understand that things will get tougher). 

f.  Enemies brings in medium size bosses accompanied with heavy troops like four gunners and two napalm heavy troops. These troops fires rapidly. 

g. Enemies bring all the time the big boys. Their shield will not increase much but their aggressiveness will. They don't let you have it easy. The player relies on the parkour. 

The interesting part. 

h. Enemies retreat for the second time leaving the stage literally empty for few minutes while they widely alert saying, we have a clear and PERSISTENT danger. 

i. This wave are squad of liches with the same weapon. They are coordinated, meticulous and persistent. They come in waves of three or four. They bring in bosses like Vay Hek modified clones with more weapons in their mech armor. 

j. Enemies brings in aerial artillery on open areas or special operatives once the liches and the bosses are defeated partially. 

k. Enemies makes a third retreat. These waves will be based on arranged coordinated where their shield and XP damage will not increase much but these will attack ferociously. This is the first moment wen frames will have to work together for survivability. The synergy game begins. 

l. Enemies brings in ABILITIES where they are not afraid to use them. 

 

This is a proposed script of a hard mode that depends on enemy composition and simple behavior. Current enemies can do that without suing too much A.I. This type of design may improve a balanced and entertained hard mode. On high end runs, anything can happen like the attack of two heavy bosses at the same time. 

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On 2020-06-26 at 5:16 AM, -Kittens- said:

The mode itself is supposed to be the reward, and there are exactly zero ways in hell DE is going to allow "shortcut" rewards.

thats the problem, they keep feeding us game modes with no enticing rewards and rewards are what the point of this whole game is so without a reward the game mod is pretty much dead on launch. One interesting point someone brought up in a youtube comment about this hard mode was that the doubled exp and resouces was pretty much useless for the game mode because if you kill half as many enemies the amount of loot u get with a booster is the same as a normal mission. 

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, Steel_Rook said:

Because it's fun. Because the core gameplay loop is itself intrinsically enjoyable. I've answered this question many times even in this thread alone, yet it keeps getting asked over and over again. Let me try and answer it in brief here, in the hopes that not posting a wall of text will help:

K not gonna lie this is basically me wanting to slap statements like this with a rusty metal spike`d knuckle glove, charged with electricity and keep the slapping going till whatever battery powering said electrical charge is fully drained. Because this starts going under the `Pride and Accomplishment` logic when content is either set up under absurd grind walls for something extremely pointless or new content have nothing to come out of it, not even an achievement reward, pretty much starts up the meme on why should the content even exist in the first place?

Which sure might sound like conflicting points on some regards, but if people do not get something out of it, especially when normal gameplay is already having the lack of self satisfaction gameplay that i could likely get hundreds of times over by playing a Yakuza series game instead, then whats the point of the new game mode anyway?

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The only people I want playing Hard Mode are the people who intrinsically enjoy hard mode. If that small niche of the population ends up being the only people who ever play it, then GOOD. That's Hard Mode working as intended. Warframe is a large enough game that it can support niche content for a niche audience. If YOU don't want to play Steel Path missions, then you shouldn't play them and - crucially - you shouldn't be incentivised to play them, either. This is a video game - it's a hobby. We put in "the extra effort" because we enjoy the experience of putting in the extra effort. If we don't, then we ought to look for other activities in the game. Again - Warframe is large enough that there are bound to be at least a few things any of us would like doing for their own sake.

Oh sure, make a game mode that is specifically designed for a very small set of players despite how apparently a number of times we have heard, how D.E. did not want to cater to the end-game audience. Because lets be honest, if the `game mode` going to be on the highest starting level content(in addition to apparently having sortie-tier modifiers based on what some individuals like Ashisogi Tenno has described on trying out the hard mode) , regardless if it gives rewards or not (which thank god as far as i can tell has the stuff not tied to drop tables unless D.E. shoved the cosmetics in drop tables and just turns into Ephemera in freaking Arbitation/ESO drop pool b.s. again). Well, thats END-game period at that point, Just like how some people would argue that `thar loot boxes` are not `loot boxes`, they are `surprise mechanics`.

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A niche game mode designed for its niche audience is always going to fit that niche audience's preferences better than a broad appeal game mode also trying to throw a bone to a niche audience. There's no benefit in incentivising people to play Hard Mode who don't actually enjoy Hard Mode. If very few people play Steel Path, then that would be a sign of good design in my book - that's how it should be.

Too bad that still leaves a new game mode being stacked on top of a bunch of other dated game modes that could of used the time to make hard mode to instead refresh them. Which would in turn, once Hard mode arrives, would make Hard mode better, since the game modes involved with it would be well-designed.

But here`s a few small tid-bits i heard so far about hard mode:

  • Companions get yeeted within seconds of hard mode due to their fragility being on display even more so here then arbitation/ESO/Kuva-liches/Sortie/etc.
  • Too many missions to complete per planet, Which is basically a similar `RINGING` complaint on railjack with way too many missions per `planet`, even if hard mode has mission variety atleast.
  • Oh plus apparently things like defense objective based missions are a pain to work with, specifically the normal defense mission due to enemies being able to yeet them much faster then pre-defense-target-health scaling, hydron wave 15 and above turned into without healing cheese.
  • Not to mention the possibility of similar b.s. to those `special` missions like archwing missions in hard mode, which we all know how people love archwing interception, that chase one and that rush one.
  • Plus once the hype settles down on hard mode, it will likely become extremely difficult for people to get groups specifically for hard mode content, without having it be friends to help carry them thru it.
Edited by Avienas

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I said it once and i`ll say it again, I think you should have the option to choose the enemy level you want to play at like the simulacrum and I should also include other missions like syndicates, kuva lich missions. This would make it a whole lot more fun,to play due to it giving ppl a reason to play. If it`s not like this, I will only be playing it for the rewards ( if they are any good) and once I get them I`ll never play it again, and that`s something you don`t want ppl to do.

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1 hour ago, Avienas said:

K not gonna lie this is basically me wanting to slap statements like this with a rusty metal spike`d knuckle glove, charged with electricity and keep the slapping going till whatever battery powering said electrical charge is fully drained.

Yeah, and with that I've suddenly lost all interest in trying to have a discussion with you. Dismissing my statements without considering them and proposing to slap me is where I draw the line at arguing in good faith. We are done.

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1 hour ago, DemonStrikerX said:

thats the problem, they keep feeding us game modes with no enticing rewards and rewards are what the point of this whole game is so without a reward the game mod is pretty much dead on launch.

This reads like another version of "Warframe is a grindy game." As I've said many times before, this is not a justification - it's the definition of a problem. Asserting that rewards are "the point of the whole game" honestly feels like a dysfunctional relationship. It's damaging the end user experience and its detrimental to the game's long-term development. I'm not going to pretend that there's no value to rewards. Progression systems have their draws, and I know at least a minority of players genuinely enjoy the "gotta' catch 'em all" rush of collecting unimportant things. I would argue, however, that rewards and the collector mentality are just one aspect of a much larger game with a much broader set of merits.

Let me turn this around for a moment to explain why I find this stance to be self-defeating. Say DE introduce a new game mode that is "press a button." That's all you do. You get an e-mail, you press a button, and you instantly get all of the new rewards. We'll call that button "my money." New event releases, I use "my money" to instantly acquire everything that was just released. OK, then what? Do I stop playing the game entirely and wait for the next new release? The new release, where I'll use "my money" to again instantly acquire all items and presumably not play at all? If rewards are literally the whole point of Warframe, then "the game" portion of it is superfluous and the ideal game mode is one we never actually have to play. This mentality implies that Warframe is a terrible game that we all hate and wouldn't play if we weren't being paid to. I've already gotten chewed out for diverting into the philosophy of treating games like a job, so let me just say this: Warframe is not a job and should not be treated as such.

What I'm getting at here is that there has to be some intrinsic value to actually PLAYING the game above and beyond the Pavlovian reflex of getting rewards. If there weren't, we wouldn't be asking for new game modes, we'd be asking for handouts. I don't think anyone present here would do that, however, so I think we're on the same page to at least this extent. There is at least SOME amount of intrinsic value in gameplay. Well, I would personally go further. There's a LOT of intrinsic value in gameplay, to the point where some of us value gameplay MORE than rewards. It depends on the game mode obviously - not everyone likes every activity. I would argue, however, that if you don't like ANY activity enough to run it without rewards, then it's worth considering whether you "like Warframe" in the first place. Because if you despise the game and stick around only for the rewards, I don't think that's a good use of your time.

As such, I'm fine with Steel Path being a niche game mode played by a niche audience who value that particular brand of gameplay more than they value "another farm."

 

52 minutes ago, (PS4)Vexx757 said:

I said it once and i`ll say it again, I think you should have the option to choose the enemy level you want to play at like the simulacrum and I should also include other missions like syndicates, kuva lich missions. This would make it a whole lot more fun,to play due to it giving ppl a reason to play. If it`s not like this, I will only be playing it for the rewards ( if they are any good) and once I get them I`ll never play it again, and that`s something you don`t want ppl to do.

"Yes" to all of what you just said. The ideal solution here is to give us custom difficulty settings, allowing us to pick the level (and team scaling) of our missions ourselves. Letting players pick their difficulty is always going to be superior to pre-packaged difficulties. Rewards already scale with level, even if I'd argue they need to scale more aggressively. Especially affinity rewards and especially mission completion rewards. Every Sabotage mission past level 30-ish rewards the same XP, despite level 100 Lich Sabotage missions being substantially harder. However, that's not the point. The point here is to let players pick their experience. Do you want to grind easy missions quickly and efficiently? Pick low difficulty. Do you want to test your builds against tanky enemies? Pick a high difficulty. The choice ought to be with the player.

And yes, the issue of matchmaking does crop up with this suggestion. The solution here is "actual modern matchmaking" rather than the Byzantine crap that Warframe passes for a matchmaking system. Give us a lobby browser (curated, if need be) where all sorts of teams playing all sorts of missions at all sorts of level show up for us to choose from. Give us a set of filters for level, team size, game mode, enemy faction and maybe even a few optional flags like "speedrun" or "endurance" or "exploration." Let us filter available lobbies this way and matchmaking takes care of itself. And sure, the odd player wanting to do full exploration in a level 200 Corpus mission might not get a lot of takers, but that that's why you Host Your Own Game - to do things other people generally don't want to.

It's not 2013 any more. Shoddy matchmaking becomes less and less excusable the longer it's ignored.

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11 hours ago, Avienas said:
  1. A unique game mode that strips you of using and of your normal gear and rewarding points based on your progress which you can exchange for various goodies including high level weapons that you can even use as fodder for improving your main weapons, plenty of camos, boosters and even EXP tickets to gain flat exp instantly. Aka PSO2`s Challenge Quest.
  2. A game mode where you pay `capsules` at the start to enter a 3 sector quest, where your killing bunch of enemies that will not respawn, but gives increased EXP and a particular resource you can use as a currency for another exchange shop. But the host can actually pay extra capsules to raise the threat level that lasts an entire week to boot, drastically boosting enemy power, but also boosting exp/drop-rates and even rarer enemies who can give bigger pay outs to boot. Aka PSO2`s Advance Quest.
  3. A end-game type game mode where high level, super dangerous enemies can spawn where the goal is more to roam a map typically in a loop fashion, as you try to force special enemy trials to spawn, which said special trial enemies drop some of the most powerful gear in the game right now, especially for those wanting to maximize stats before the arrival of new content in 1-2 months. Aka PSO2`s Ultimate Quest.

 

So your recommendations are:

1. Isolated Rogue-lite mode.

I think that could be fun. I've heard it suggested before. You could just use the gear in the game, and mods could come equipped on them as 'random modifiers' as in other action rpgs. People tend to shy away from this idea because your own gear doesn't really play into it, and you don't make a build prior to the game. I would play this even if it was one of the arcade games with no rewards whatsoever, but I enjoy rogue-lites. It would be fun to play.

2. Resource-locked Sortie that you can start any time you want

What's fun about this? Collecting a resource to slightly raise difficulty but you get some extra xp and resource? This is literally just Steel Path/Sortie but you have to pay for entry, with a shop tacked on so you can buy items instead of dropping them. Doesn't really sound like an improvement at all.

3. Exterminate mission but random bosses spawn on an aggression rating like the Juggernaut

This... doesn't sound like much of a big deal either, really it sounds like your focused on the drops again. I could see it, but there's already so many systems of this nature in the game already. Lich, Invasions, Juggernaut, Assassins...

 

Warframe is a different kind of game. There isn't random-drop whole pieces of gear that you need to farm randomly on repeat until you arbitrarily have one strong enough to face the content with the higher numbers tacked on. This isn't a compelling progression type to add into the game, and the reward structure described doesn't function without that type of progression. Really ask yourself: What fun would the last two game-modes described be, stripped of their rewards?

Give me the mini rogue-lite though, I really couldn't care less how many people whine that it strips them of their gear. 🙂

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9 hours ago, KochDerFrettchen said:

-snip-

🙂

I wasnt suggesting them to do it, that is literally what PSO2 does and D.E. certainly needs to take notes from a GOOD game`s design that has been around just as long as warframe has, excluding the fact it has much more resources from previous entries and a bigger development team more then likely, yet both are free to play games still to this very day. Instead of pulling half shoddy re-creations and putting what might as well be meme things, like how the kuva lich would auto kill you and break your back on its release version.

Plus it does not matter what the game is, any game can take inspiration from some so-called new genre popping up and doing its own twist but they actually need to refine it then have what D.E. has done on some recent game modes on warframe. 

Metroid-vanias started quite a scene, battle royales turned into some ridiculousness, the whole slay-the-spire type of genre or however you call it also helped to do quite the push, just as digital TCG things, especially mobile game versions, have also done quite a bit of a explosion when each of them came and caused quite a few clones or inspiration to be spawned for existing games.

What i ultimately feel that D.E. could be doing instead of pooping out so-called new game modes, is to `evolve` existing game modes instead. Such as giving defense the ability to hack consoles to force enemies from being able to take certain pathways and get grouped more easily without ability cheese. Mobile defense should allow you to `join in on the hacking` to speed up the timer, Spy missions should let you be able to do optional targets that could drastically cut the security on spy rooms, especially to make it much easier to deal with say corpus gas city spy missions, maybe even give us the ability to do things like shut off interception nodes thru special semi-lenghty objectives to make it easier to defense them & we would not lose the capture speed either. Heck even having survival letting you hack consoles to dispense life support caches near to that console would also be neat for more `useful` functions.

They could easily do other things but the point is, polish the existing content they should, not thinking they are rewarding us by cranking out samie-same-same game modes with the same loop of a handful of new items present on it and it becomes instantly pointless to do once you reap said items.

 

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The point to this Hard mode. Is simply that Veteran player can hit higher level enemy without staying in a mission for 2h to finally hit something that is not paper.
Never was reward suppose to be a thing in hard mode. That is pure extra bonus
Never was mastery suppose to be a thing in hard mode. That is pure extra bonus.
Never was affinity intended to be farm in hard mode. That is pure extra bonus.

See it as a "test your warframe/weapon build" game mode. Not a "Better farm" game mode.

And for all the people that claim about Veteran "MR29" still playing the game cause of reward. Don't generalize what you honestly don't know.
I myself like many other, us MR29 keep playing the game only for "Test build" aspect of the game.
Why we would care about reward when we got everything already ( and every riven we needed ) ?
 

 

Let's not screw this update with what it isn't meant to be.
Cause if you make this mode a better reward mode. All it will do is attract the lower tier level of player. The kind of player that can not deal with that kind of mission and will only get in our way.

We saw it with the daily "Sortie" when lower tier player keep screwing a spy mission.
We saw it with the arbitration, were you can't stay in more than 10min without being the only one alive ( or full Inaros joke squad ... ).

We saw it with the Kuva lich were low mr keep begging help in the recruit channel



 

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On 2020-06-25 at 4:16 PM, -Kittens- said:

The mode itself is supposed to be the reward, and there are exactly zero ways in hell DE is going to allow "shortcut" rewards.

Only for the ones who cried about it. 

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9 hours ago, Taiepii said:

The point to this Hard mode. Is simply that Veteran player can hit higher level enemy without staying in a mission for 2h to finally hit something that is not paper.
Never was reward suppose to be a thing in hard mode. That is pure extra bonus
Never was mastery suppose to be a thing in hard mode. That is pure extra bonus.
Never was affinity intended to be farm in hard mode. That is pure extra bonus.

See it as a "test your warframe/weapon build" game mode. Not a "Better farm" game mode.

And for all the people that claim about Veteran "MR29" still playing the game cause of reward. Don't generalize what you honestly don't know.
I myself like many other, us MR29 keep playing the game only for "Test build" aspect of the game.
Why we would care about reward when we got everything already ( and every riven we needed ) ?

Let's not screw this update with what it isn't meant to be.
Cause if you make this mode a better reward mode. All it will do is attract the lower tier level of player. The kind of player that can not deal with that kind of mission and will only get in our way.

We saw it with the daily "Sortie" when lower tier player keep screwing a spy mission.
We saw it with the arbitration, were you can't stay in more than 10min without being the only one alive ( or full Inaros joke squad ... ).

We saw it with the Kuva lich were low mr keep begging help in the recruit channel

Thank you.

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Posted (edited)
On 2020-06-29 at 3:19 PM, Steel_Rook said:

"Yes" to all of what you just said. The ideal solution here is to give us custom difficulty settings, allowing us to pick the level (and team scaling) of our missions ourselves. Letting players pick their difficulty is always going to be superior to pre-packaged difficulties. Rewards already scale with level, even if I'd argue they need to scale more aggressively. Especially affinity rewards and especially mission completion rewards. Every Sabotage mission past level 30-ish rewards the same XP, despite level 100 Lich Sabotage missions being substantially harder. However, that's not the point. The point here is to let players pick their experience. Do you want to grind easy missions quickly and efficiently? Pick low difficulty. Do you want to test your builds against tanky enemies? Pick a high difficulty. The choice ought to be with the player.

And yes, the issue of matchmaking does crop up with this suggestion. The solution here is "actual modern matchmaking" rather than the Byzantine crap that Warframe passes for a matchmaking system. Give us a lobby browser (curated, if need be) where all sorts of teams playing all sorts of missions at all sorts of level show up for us to choose from. Give us a set of filters for level, team size, game mode, enemy faction and maybe even a few optional flags like "speedrun" or "endurance" or "exploration." Let us filter available lobbies this way and matchmaking takes care of itself. And sure, the odd player wanting to do full exploration in a level 200 Corpus mission might not get a lot of takers, but that that's why you Host Your Own Game - to do things other people generally don't want to.

It's not 2013 any more. Shoddy matchmaking becomes less and less excusable the longer it's ignored

Agreed it`s common sense to gives us a choice to pick the level otherwise it`s not unique and it`s just like playing sorties, having a set level is boring, I want to choose the level. This added will help out new players a lot, they can use this as a milestone for progression and it`s another alternative to the simulacrum but better for the fact that the encounters of the enemies is real and unpredictable plus it will address the issue with what scot had with ppl keep using the simulacrum (even through it was a stupid issue) and like I said before it will make missions like syndicate and lich mission more enjoyable to play if you can choose the enemy level. I hope DE will have the sense to add this and again the rewards need to at least have something unique added to them beside more affinity or higher drop rate if not i`m not playing it. 

Edited by (PS4)Vexx757

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Posted (edited)
On 2020-06-29 at 7:00 AM, Steel_Rook said:

Because it's fun. Because the core gameplay loop is itself intrinsically enjoyable.

If that's what you're hoping for, what you're going to find is that this game mode will be dead very quickly.

I have never once found an online game where the playerbase would willingly play the hardest content of the game simply to play it. They'd play it for the rewards, or for the bragging rights, but never because "Oh, I just LOVE playing against these hard enemies!"

At the very least, the actual number of players in that content will be just as small as the die-hard Conclave fans.

And I'll tell you the number one reason why: Everyone involved with actually mathing out how to beat the content right now is finding that you will be limited to very specific frames and weapons, and that you will be outright required to use Viral to be able to kill anything at all. Hopefully their predictions are wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

Unique cosmetic rewards would be enough to make the content worth it, but they would have to regularly cycle in new cosmetics without getting rid of the older cosmetics (thanks to new-player FOMO).

Edited by DrakeWurrum

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15 hours ago, DrakeWurrum said:

If that's what you're hoping for, what you're going to find is that this game mode will be dead very quickly. I have never once found an online game where the playerbase would willingly play the hardest content of the game simply to play it. They'd play it for the rewards, or for the bragging rights, but never because "Oh, I just LOVE playing against these hard enemies!" At the very least, the actual number of players in that content will be just as small as the die-hard Conclave fans.

Well... It's a niche game mode. Being played by a small niche of players sounds to me like it's working as intended. We've had a small but fairly vocal portion of the playerbase requesting difficult content specifically FOR the difficulty. You could argue that these people were being disingenuous, or didn't know what's best for them (and I'm tempted to agree), but I try to take people at their word. People wanted Hard Mode because "there's no challenge." The request wasn't "Hard Mode so I can farm better" or "Hard Mode so I can have exclusive stuff." I've stuck my nose in a fair few difficulty discussions, and what I've taken away from them is that some people simply want more difficulty, more tankiness, more stats in order to justify their massively overpowered builds. Exactly how many of these are out there, I'm not going to speculate... Though I will concede to "probably not many." But if that's the case, then it makes sense that a game mode tailored to those people isn't going to see a lot of mileage. And again - I'd argue that's working as intended.

I'll give you a similar example. Let's say DE introduced some kind of really tedious activity, something which would appeal to the kind of more traditional "World MMO" players but not so much to the broader Warframe playerbase who came here to shoot enemies and flip through the air. We'll call it "fishing" for the purposes of this example. Would you say it's a good idea to lock significant, exclusive rewards behind this theoretical "fishing" activity? I would then assert that a substantial majority of Warframe players would reject this "fishing" as being alien to the core principles of the game, but do it anyway because they want the rewards. I would assert that DE would, after a while, substantially dumb down the mechanics of this "fishing" so that all the players who play it but also hate it would hate it less. I would assert that this wouldn't work because it's missing the point - people dislike the game mode, not the mechanics. I would finally assert that DE would eventually render this "fishing" entirely superfluous by moving its original rewards to something entirely unrelated, such that players could get the rewards of this "fishing" without engaging in it. At the end, the people who actually liked this "fishing" would be left with an inferior, simplified system which has drifted far from its original design intent and everyone else would simply stop engaging in it altogether.

Now, I'm being a bit facetious up there, because my example is not hypothetical. That's precisely what happened to Fishing, and to an extent Mining in Warframe. Not replace that with "Steel Path" and tell me you don't see the exact same sequence of events happening. Hell, replace it with Arbitrations and most of the same things happened already. When you gate incentive behind a niche activity, you piss off average players who then feel compelled to engage in an activity they dislike AND you eventually water down the activity such that even its original target audience no longer likes it. The best you can hope for at that point is to turn it into "yet another farm" to be played by burnt-out jaded vets with no passion or affinity, and that's a waste of an opportunity.

In short, I see nothing wrong with adding niche activities to be played only by a niche audience. There's plenty of Warframe to go around for the rest of us. I don't feel entitled to playing ever bit of new content added to the game, because I don't feel that everything should cater to the niche I'm part of. Some updates "just aren't for me," and that's fine.

 

15 hours ago, DrakeWurrum said:

And I'll tell you the number one reason why: Everyone involved with actually mathing out how to beat the content right now is finding that you will be limited to very specific frames and weapons, and that you will be outright required to use Viral to be able to kill anything at all. Hopefully their predictions are wrong, but I'm not holding my breath.

I don't think their predictions are wrong. Hell, I could have told you that any potential Hard Mode would come with MASSIVE build restrictions with no additional information but the words "Hard Mode." Warframe's approach to game balance is reductive, with even moderately challenging content offering only the appearance of "challenge" by disqualifying a large portion of builds but still being trivial to the rest. Hard Mode was only ever going to be even more reductive. The thing here, though (and I don't want to speak for other people, but...), it seems that's kind of the point. Whenever difficulty discussions come up here on the forums, inevitably a particular type of player comes in to S#&$ all over everyone with some variety of the argument that: "Nothing matters in this game. If you use X, Y and Z everything is easy." Toroids? "Just bring Nekros, Hydroid, Khora, Nidus and buy Resource Boosters." Armour? "LOL Slash procs." Shield gating? "Who cares, my weapons deal 10 billion damage." Etc., etc., etc.

Time and again, what developers pass off as "Hard Mode" is closer to a "#*!% YOU!!!" mode deliberately designed to require the exact sort of broken, overpowered, ridiculous builds that cause balance issues otherwise. It's a mode ostensibly designed for people to figure out how to break the game and beat stats so high that they would normally be unplayable. There are people out there one-shotting Eidolons. There are people out there two-shotting the Profit-Taker's shields, there are people out there nuking entire maps of level 100 enemies without even seeing them, there are Rhinos running around with undreds of thousands of Iron Skin and Inaros running around with ends of thousands of EHP and massive constant regeneration, etc. When I say that Hard Mode is a niche activity, I'm fully aware that I myself am not part of that niche. I don't build to break the game, and I'd likely be in the same pool as 99% of the rest of the player base, chipping away at ridiculous enemy EHP wondering who thought this was a good idea. All the while, I fully expect people to turn up on the forums the next day, claim they've already cleared out the Steel Path and insisting it was no more difficult than a level 7 mission on Earth. I don't LIKE people who do that because it poisons discussions, but a game mode designed for them is not necessarily a bad idea.

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