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Why The Grineer/corpus War Is Just Like Chromehounds, And What De Can Learn From It


FrothyOmen
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In tomorrow's update, we are going to see a war between the Grineer and the Corpus break out.  The star map that we all currently know will be steeped in chaos; each location on each planet a warzone.  Tenno will fight to push the balance towards the side they choose, and reap the benefits/suffer the consequences of their actions.

 

This concept of warring factions in a standstill war, only being pushed forward by bands of mercenaries, is very reminiscent of The Xbox 360 game Chromehounds.

 

In Chromehounds, you are the pilot of highly customizable war mechs called HOUNDS.  They could be built in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and fit into six different archetypes.  This isn't entirely relevant though, so I"ll get to the point:  The Neroimus War, the war of Chromehounds, and how it's similar to Warframe's upcoming war.  

 

To start, you joined a Squad, consisting of 20 mercenaries.  (warframe equivalent: clans!).  Your Squad is able to choose an allegiance to any of the three countries warring against one another:  Morskoj, Tarakia, or Sal-Kar.  Each country has differing types of technology available to the mercenaries it hires:  Morskoj fires big, heavy equipment.  Sal-Kar is small, fast, and high-tech.  Tarakia is a jack of all trades, excelling in none.  Let's take a look at the base map that all "seasons" of the war start out at:

 

neroimus_imagemap.jpg

 

You'll see a number of battlefields on the map, all initially controlled by a given country.  Countries on the outskirts of each border would be contested, mercenaries can choose to fight on the enemy's front and try to push their lines forward, or if they are under heavy attack from an enemy they can choose to defend their homeland and maintain their current borders.  Each mission a squad runs, a points meter either fills or drains depending on their outcome of the mission.  Successfully defending an invasion raises your country's control of the area, and the other options all work as you'd expect.  If enough squads attack an area on behalf of their country enough, they will conquer that area and push the front line towards the enemy country's Capital.

 

While all of this war is going on, politics are happening in the background.  Elections are occurring, time is passing; war fuels innovation.  The more successful your country is financially (and the more mercenaries donate to it), new technology is researched.  The mercenaries of a given country are able to equip themselves with even better weapons, helping them push through closer to the heart of the enemy Capital in order to eventually conquer it.  Sometimes, you would even see alerts like this pop up, allowing you a taste of what the other countries have to offer:

 

chromehounds-20060712000718974-000.jpg

 

I'll keep things brief and summarize here.  Your job in Chromehounds, in a nutshell, is as follows:  Choose your allegiance.  Join a squad.  Fight in missions, tip the balance of the war in your favor.  Advance the front lines.  Support your country financially as it annexes its new land, acquire new research for better gear.  Repeat until you crush the enemy, or until a pre-set time limit is reached and the war is declared a stalemate.  Try not to let your country get blown up too bad in the process.

 

At the end of a war (or "season"), everything is tallied.  Top squads are awarded medals for their outstanding service to their countries.  Squads are allowed to switch allegiances to try fighting for a new nation.  This is encouraged so you can get all of the individual country research gear, as well as to keep the metagame fresh.  

 

Before I ramble too long, does anyone else see all of the parallels between Chromehounds and this new war that's starting up soon in Warframe?  This is a great thing!  I think that everyone at DE can take a lot of inspiration from Chromehounds in hopefully shaping this event in the future.  Maybe another war can happen later, maybe the imbalance between the factions happening right now will become a permanent part of the game?  Here's a few ideas of how we can bring these concepts from Chromehounds, and put a Warframe spin on them.  It would be such a tremendous nod to a now dead game, whose servers have been shut down years ago.

 

Faction research!  We have clan tech weapons, all inspired by faction technology or otherwise.  If we choose to fight for the Corpus, surely they have been toiling away at the latest and greatest in energy weaponry?  Could we not exchange our services in giving them galactic control for new, experimental gear?  Could the Grineer be willing to part with a handful of Hellion Multi-Rocket Launchers?  Maybe Alad V's research and (assumed) reverse engineering of Tenno technology could yield experimental new mod tech, or maybe even new helmets with a Corpus twist?  

 

Real-Time Battlefield control rankings and Galactic Control!  Seems like this is already happening.  Hopefully we can stick with a "front line" of sorts so we will not be fighting a war on multiple fronts, but with Alad V anything seems possible.

 

War Seasons!  Part of the star chart could be constantly in flux, with constant battling over factional control of the area.  Maybe we could see another galaxy outside of our Origin System with rare resources everyone wants a piece of? (come on, it's gotta be called Origin for a reason, right? :] )

 

That's just a few of the more obvious things I've got boiling in my head right now.  Chromehounds was my favorite video game of all time, despite it failing a bit in the review department.  It was definitely a niche game, but it's general premise of playing out war games was superb and hopefully DE can take some ideas and make them their own.  Thank you for reading!

Edited by FrothyOmen
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I'm not sure how many would be willing to read this long of a post, so I would suggesting putting a TL;DR.

 

However, I actually really like the idea that you have going here. This could potentially open up more in-depth out-of-game mechanics like having a global research bar for each faction that increases based on either resources contributed, or on the successful of the war going on in particular regions. Overall really nice idea and great conveying of ideas here. I only wish I had the words to expand on your post more in depth lol. (:

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Oh, one thing I forgot to put in!  Those clans that perform exceptionally well in the war were rewarded with medals and commendations in Chromehounds.  I'm sure this is something DE is already planning on for the upcoming Grineer/Corpus war, but statues and other commemorative items for the top clans would be a great thing to aspire to!

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The problem is Chromehounds isn't really around anymore... it didn't do very well. Don't get me wrong, I loved the concept but I didn't find out about it until too late and now I am cursing that I never got to play it before the servers went down.

I agree that they can take some leaves off its tree, learn some things... but that's to say there are things not to do as well as to do. Can't make it too complicated or people won't like it--don't ask me why, I think something that well thought out is awesome but unfortunately not everyone is as amazing as me [/arrogance].

 

That said, they've already said that there'll be the usual clan-rank top-tier rewards, and that there will be rewards for "particularly faithful assistants of either side," and their description of how the war and system control-swinging will work is pretty much Chromehound's system but simpler, so I think its all good.

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The problem is Chromehounds isn't really around anymore... it didn't do very well. Don't get me wrong, I loved the concept but I didn't find out about it until too late and now I am cursing that I never got to play it before the servers went down.

I agree that they can take some leaves off its tree, learn some things... but that's to say there are things not to do as well as to do. Can't make it too complicated or people won't like it--don't ask me why, I think something that well thought out is awesome but unfortunately not everyone is as amazing as me [/arrogance].

 

That said, they've already said that there'll be the usual clan-rank top-tier rewards, and that there will be rewards for "particularly faithful assistants of either side," and their description of how the war and system control-swinging will work is pretty much Chromehound's system but simpler, so I think its all good.

Yeah, honestly they are already doing most of this stuff.  I guess my argument here is that i want it to be a constant thing; a permanent part of the game.  Maybe not encompassing the entire star map, but maybe small pockets here and there that are constantly in a power struggle.  A really ambitious idea would be to take these corpus/grineer war missions, and turn them into a hybrid co-op/VS mission.  Two tenno fight for grineer, two for corpus, with AI of each race allying themselves to players appropriately.  Just something to keep the power struggle concept alive and breathe life into the game.  

 

No matter what, should this conflict (or conflicts of this caliber in general) become permanent, It'll let Warframe have a pulse.  Instead of losing direction in the late game, you can fight for a faction to control the star map itself.  Something to do.  Purpose.

Edited by FrothyOmen
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I'll admit, I am all for the Tenno v Tenno on each side, gameplay wise. I'm not sure how that would work without separate factions of Tenno in the lore, though. They could make said factions over disagreements on what best serves the solar system, and say that they're not actually killing each other but removing the other side's help via incapacitation so that the battle goes in their favor... That could be pretty cool, actually.

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Back in May when DE started with events I sent DE_Steve a pm with some ideas of "a dynamic solar system".
In that pm I suggested that like in the previous MOA-Alert each planet could have a meter displaying "control" of the planet. Back then the idea was that Tenno needed to keep up the control (balance) of a planet - this was to lessen the focus play of some planets/nodes.

 

By each planet having a meter displaying the control tenno had over that sector we could see things evolving as a result of that. If there was a lower amount of people playing on a certain planet/node perhaps alerts would pop up there - High enemy appearance - new tech - aso. With exceptionally high controll another type of Alert might pop up - Lore - or: Discovery.

If continious low/high(/medium) control of a planet came into play, perhaps an event would find it's cause in that.
 

eg:

High control: Enough with the Tenno! Joined forces of Corpus/Grineer show up? Or maybe the Sentiens have acknowledged our return ("orokin")?
Low control: Danger! Corpus/infested/Grineer dominance in the sector - new tech, evil plans, hostages...aso.

Medium control: Escalating "special" tech-units/weapons (better against a certain faction/tenno)

 

Adapting a bit to the current state and this post - make it a bar with a few sections red/green/blue (infested/grineer/corpus) and have the planets display the % of control each faction has.

some planets may have almost 100% control by one faction - well, see this as a good thing, that planet has higher chances of producing one type of alerts/events. Each faction will evolve over time.

 

But why should we try to keep balance/take over planets/defend? well, perhaps you/your clan has an alliegance? Or conduct research there?
Maybe there could be clan/personal gain in maintaining a high presence in a sector? Lore, unlocks, warframe origin special alternate mods (primes? prime mods?)

 

So TL:DR

Each planet has a meter displaying control.

Control of a node/planet/sector yields various pros and cons.

Alerts and Events are based on the starmap and what happens in it.

Universal/clan and personal spectrum. (Replayability?)

Lore/weapons/tech/units/primes/prime-mods?

 

the letter

Sent 09 May 2013 - 12:53 PM

With the introduction of the event on Europa (thank you) you guys opened up a very good thing.


A thought on how to connect the events lore-wise and with the progress of the playerbase might be to implement similar "meters" that you used to keep count on the killed MOAs.


I.e. each planet has a meter that displays the "control" the Tenno has over a planet.

Each day the meter resets and we start anew. If the control gets to low for to long (x days in a row) that planet could be a candidate for an invasion type alert.

To keep players from just abandoning everything how ever - on the other side when a planet has very high control there could be special "scavanger events" where we get the opportunity to search for hidden secrets across the maps.

These could be dropped just as any other mod/pickup but hace a certain "relic/map fragment/data-cannister".


Even if you might not have this "problem" this could also be a way for you to choose which feature to reviel next.

Add a coupple of things that could be in an event (awards, enemies aso.) mix them up and devide them across the planets (without uss knowing of course). Then depending on what we do different things happen.


Thank you for reading.


Ps: I've heared that Pink shorts Grineer are very fond of those special-lore drops ;)

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