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Open World Design in PoE/Fortuna/Cambian Drift


DrakeWurrum

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So... can we talk about how Genshin Impact has shown everybody exactly how an open world should be designed? Are we supposed to keep quiet about this, like everything is still fine? (Just like we do with kuva liches and Shadow of Mordor, right?)
I want to see what Warframe's open worlds would look like using similar design elements. Among them:

  • Random events (that don't have an obnoxious call from Lotus demanding you go handle it)
  • Puzzles littered all over the map (that actually require a degree of thought/effort/exploring)
  • Extra side quests (that you had no idea were there until stumbling across them)
  • Chests that reward you for exploring random parts of the map (and often require effort to unlock)
  • Camps of enemies actually dropping valuable resources (that mostly exist to give life to the world)
  • Friendly NPCs that provide small challenges/sidequests for you to complete, or sometimes just background lore
  • And above all of that, everything provides great rewards that actually incentivize you into doing it all!

And I think it would be great to look at what GI has done... and then springboard off that to innovate it even further here in Warframe. I'm not even sure where it could go from there (air-dropping from the Railjack directly into the Plains?!), but all three of our open world maps could both benefit from some TLC to make them into something truly grand. The kind of open world people got hyped about when we first heard about PoE to begin with. I can't count the number of times I've tried exploring out on the Vallis, hoping to find some secret puzzle or quest, only to realize it was random decorative items. Right now, they're just mission-grinding on a big map... rather than being a proper open world map. Why can't I stumble across a hidden door that leads to a jumping puzzle in a cavern, offering a chest full of Endo/Credits/Plat/Forma/Cosmetics? I've tried exploring the Cambion Drift's unique landscape, and it was all very pretty, but... also all pretty boring.

I understand that with Archwing and Parkour, it would be a completely different experience, but I still feel like our open world maps need a lot more to make them really fun. It's something that should be considered before DE moves on to their fourth open world map. DE loves to look at what other games and be inspired to try the same thing with their own twist. This would be a great time for that!

I know a lot of players are generally unhappy with the open worlds, so let's really dig into this problem: What more does DE need to add to open worlds to make them entertaining? (for those of us who do know how to enjoy an open world)

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The open worlds do need some work for sure, but taking inspiration from genshin impact/ breath of the wild and putting it into warframe is a bit outside of the scope of warframe. It would almost need to be it's own game or at least the focus, unlike now where open worlds are a side thing only tangentially connected with the main meat of the game. It's not that the idea isn't good, its that the game in its current form doesn't support or mesh well with that level of granularity for the open worlds.

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How would the be translated into Warframe, though? I love BoTW as much as anyone, but it's open world IS the game. Every facet of design was built with the wild being the means by which you discover something, achieve it, and where you use the rewards reaped from it. Warframe isn't.

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22 hours ago, Caobie said:

The open worlds do need some work for sure, but taking inspiration from genshin impact/ breath of the wild and putting it into warframe is a bit outside of the scope of warframe. It would almost need to be it's own game or at least the focus, unlike now where open worlds are a side thing only tangentially connected with the main meat of the game. It's not that the idea isn't good, its that the game in its current form doesn't support or mesh well with that level of granularity for the open worlds.

One of the main complaints people have with the "open world" maps in Warframe are that they're not really open, nor do they feel particularly alive. We just grind bounties.

Let's face it, the only interaction we really have with them is to run bounties. In other words, these maps are really just glorified starchart missions right now - simply on a much larger map, and with the option to keep running more missions on the same map. They attempted "random events" when PoE first launched, but everybody hated it because the Lotus would just NOT stop being so obnoxious about them.

We do, occasionally, head out into them to gather specific materials or hunt down conservation targets, but these aren't every well done. They're not so much rewards for enjoying the map as chores to deal with in order to get the gear we want.

I feel like if these maps had more "open world" elements to them (i.e. like in GI and BOTW), they would get a lot more interest. We'd actually want to spend time out in them just collecting stuff - which, right now, really nobody sees a point in. It would be great if we were actually excited about exploring these maps they worked so hard on, rather than just flying from one objective to the next and ignoring everything about these maps.

Even Shadow of War/Mordor had more open worlds than what Warframe has now, and that's basically because you could find orc captains through completely random encounters.

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@DrakeWurrum oh I'm not disagreeing with you at all, you are right. My point was more that what we have now would require a rework at a more fundamental level of not just the open worlds themselves. The actually kind of small nature of the open worlds doesn't really have room for any secret stuff to find in any major way and I'm not sure warframe as a base to build on is a good fit for bigger spaces with stuff like that. It would need a lot more than ideas to fix that

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On 2020-10-25 at 4:11 AM, Caobie said:

taking inspiration from genshin impact/ breath of the wild and putting it into warframe is a bit outside of the scope of warframe.

I dunno mate.. Wings of Icarus sounded like really idiotic idea to implement to warframe and people do enjoy railjack.

I see nothing wrong making OW more interactive and "multilayered", rather than "this map has big walking tree and that has big walking spider. And that new one has big... worm"

 

The issue is DE is still hellbent of burning out its playerbase with insane grind, so even if map was truly cool and well designed I'd never, EVER, wish to visit it again after 3-4 weeks of constant idiotic grind.

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@deothor you seem to misunderstand me, im not saying it isnt possible in warframe or that it shouldnt be done, it should, im saying that without a total rebuild of the open worlds from 0 that its not really feasible. the problem is that theyre too small to do anything cool with. think about botw (the one of the two examples that i have actually played) and if you look at how long it can take to travel across the map at your fastest speeds (without outright teleporting or glitches) it takes forever. compared to any of the open world maps in warframe, not counting caves (which are mostly dead ends or loop backs anyways) it takes you 30 seconds or so to go corner to corner on your fastest methods. our open worlds are too small to do anything cool with and i dont know that DE is willing or able to do a total rebuild of the areas and massively increasing the size without leaving them feeling even more barren even if they put in tons of stuff to find. even railjack partially suffers that problem. the spaces are huge sure and its fun to move around and shoot ships down but look at whats in them, a bunch of nothing. nothing to see and nothing to do outside of exactly what you came there to do (which is a whole other problem since theres like 3 different options for mission arrangement it seems). all the "interesting" things in those spaces are not much more than a place to break line of sight from enemy ships and stations....and the 1 interesting optional piece in there is really rare despite the set piece being in like every 3rd mission.

 

my point isnt that it shouldnt be done or couldnt be done, my point is that things would need to change on a fundamental level to the point that itd almost be better to make it a separate game. or else risk even further content islands...which all 3 open worlds and rail jack still are

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On 2020-10-25 at 4:49 AM, DrakeWurrum said:
  • Random events (that don't have an obnoxious call from Lotus demanding you go handle it)
  • Puzzles littered all over the map (that actually require a degree of thought/effort/exploring)
  • Extra side quests (that you had no idea were there until stumbling across them)
  • Chests that reward you for exploring random parts of the map (and often require effort to unlock)
  • Camps of enemies actually dropping valuable resources (that mostly exist to give life to the world)
  • Friendly NPCs that provide small challenges/sidequests for you to complete, or sometimes just background lore
  • And above all of that, everything provides great rewards that actually incentivize you into doing it all!

Things like these are easy to say, but how do you propose they actually be implemented? Without wishing to be rude, what you suggested there ostensibly boiled down to "make open worlds better." It sounds like you're giving specific suggestions, but none of those bullet points are actually specific. As someone who doesn't even know what a Gresnin Impact is, let me go through them with you.

  • Random events - what does that entail? Just randomly-occurring Bounty stages like what Cetus used to have? Those were quite terrible. How would players be notified of this if not via voice line? They'd need to be timed since the maps aren't that big, so do you require players to keep checking their map? Why would anyone do these things when we could do structured Bounties instead?
  • Puzzles - what kind of puzzles are you envisioning? Warframe singularly lacks any of those, nor does it really have the mechanics to engage with them. Moreover, how do you build a puzzle which "requires thought" when we can just look up the solution on the Wiki? Do you make them procedurally generated like the Glassmaker investigations? Because that boils down to a simple memory game, rather than requiring "thought." What form would they take? How would they be "all over the map?"
  • Extra side quests - what does that even mean? Just an additional Bounty that you can trigger from something on the map rather than from the Bounty rep? What would be the point? If I'm looking for side quests, why wouldn't I take them from a vendor, rather than having to check the Wiki for hidden crap and go looking for them? Why would I even bother doing them? Unless you're envisioning unique, custom-made missions (which won't happen in this game), what differentiates them from just another Bounty?
  • Chests - What do you propose those chests reward that's not in the Bounty drop tables? Do you propose the chests reseal themselves so we can open them over and over again? If so, you're creating a Cetus Wisp route - people load into the map, trace a route between all openable chests, leave, reset and do it again. Do you propose the chests move around and spawn randomly? Would they spawn in relation to landmarks of some sort? Because they can't be COMPLETELY random and people will still develop a route between all possible spawn points. What do you envision being the "effort" to unlock them and how would that even be remotely worth the reward?
  • Camps of enemies - these already exist on Cetus and Fortuna. I'm not sure what you hope to add to them. "Valuable resources?" What would those be in this game? Crucially, why would anyone bother? Orb Vallis already offers camps which can be taken over in order to grab a few missions from them and already nobody bothers.
  • Friendly NPCs - that suggestion wholly lacks substance. What are you even talking about? What kind of challenges would you propose friendly NPCs provide that aren't better taken from a Bounty Board/Vendor? Are you thinking something along the lines of K-Drive races? Because those have been broadly unpopular. How do you propose these NPCs provide "lore?" What makes them any better than the random scannable plates scattered around the Plains and the Vallis which already give you background lore on the characters?
  • Great reward - "everything will provide great reward" is what you say when you're running for political office, not making a suggestion for a video game - because it means absolutely nothing. What kind of reward are you envisioning there that can still be called "great" even after people have earned it a few times? Scintillant is one of the "greatest" rewards on Deimos, for instance, it loses its value once people have built all the items that require it. What's your version of a "great reward?"

The challenge with making suggestions for a video game - especially one as generally pretty large as Warframe - is that specificity matters. Everyone can make generic proposals that boil down to "make everything better," but that very fact gives these suggestions next to no substance. Yes, I get that you have another game that you're trying to draw inspiration from, but that's one of Warframe's weakest aspects. So many of our game systems are inferior copies of systems from other games which DE never went back to update or adapt. Melee 2.0 was an attempt to ape Devil May Cry - a combat system which doesn't fit Warframe at all. How many years did it take them to update that? Beast Pets seem to have been an attempt at a Warframe Tamagochi which just didn't work, and they're still working on those. Borrowing ideas from other games wholesale without a clear plan for how those ideas would be adapted to and implemented into Warframe is what gives us Liches and Railjack. We need to do better than that.

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21 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Random events - what does that entail? Just randomly-occurring Bounty stages like what Cetus used to have? Those were quite terrible. How would players be notified of this if not via voice line? They'd need to be timed since the maps aren't that big, so do you require players to keep checking their map? Why would anyone do these things when we could do structured Bounties instead?

The way GI seems to handle them is that they can just spawn near you on the mini-map. I don't know specifics of how it is handled, but I literally just stumble across them when doing other stuff. There's nothing but an icon on my map, and a little bit of text showing up informing me of a random event. I can go do it or ignore it, but nothing obnoxious takes over my screen or plays over the speakers. And it's not like it's across the map, either. It's close enough to be on my mini-map, so it's little more than a small detour where I go kill a group of enemies. It can be on the way, or just to the side of where I'm already heading.

DE handled it badly before, but they just needed to dramatically tone it down.

21 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Puzzles - what kind of puzzles are you envisioning? Warframe singularly lacks any of those, nor does it really have the mechanics to engage with them. Moreover, how do you build a puzzle which "requires thought" when we can just look up the solution on the Wiki? Do you make them procedurally generated like the Glassmaker investigations? Because that boils down to a simple memory game, rather than requiring "thought." What form would they take? How would they be "all over the map?"

Well I imagine it could involve finding destructible/shootable things out on the map that end up unlocking a special cache, rewarding something special.

Honestly, the way they handled the "secret" rooms in the Sentient ships comes pretty close to it. You had to specifically use your Operator to open those doors, and boom... reward for exploration with a specific type of interaction. Puzzles can be that simple, or maybe take a couple extra steps.
In the Sacrifice, we found that fancy lock that required us to find the glyphs on the wall (I think we had to scan them?). Maybe we find a cipher out in the world that unlocks some sort of reward cache if we find the glyphs in the nearby vicinity.
Or the whole "finding clues" bit from the Glassmaker.  Maybe we could just find memory puzzles out in the open world maps. I don't see why you look down on that idea or think it wouldn't be fun to have such puzzles out in the open worlds on a smaller scale.
Technically speaking, out on Deimos, we do have one small puzzle as a bounty: in order to free the cache from infestation, you have to follow the little light trails to break all the cysts. Not much of a "puzzle" but it's something.
Or do you remember the Lua puzzles, which came in different varieties? Like the one where you have to stand on the right platforms in the right order?
Or what about the whole apothics thing, or even the old injector thing on earth? Maybe instead of having to mess with crafted objects, there could be puzzles were we find a console or an old orokin relic, and somewhere nearby is an object we have to hunt down.
Maybe we could find a random scannable object out there, like a diary or a hunting log, that has a random Ostron from Cetus talking about having buried a stash of resources for emergencies, with a clue on where to look... and when you find the right spot, you just gotta break a false cliff wall to find a reward cache.

Not only does Warframe have puzzles already, but Warframe has plenty of mechanics for engaging with them. We can shoot things, we can melee things, we can stand on things, we can wall-hang on things, we can scan things, we can memorize objects, we can hunt/search for things, we can beat timed objectives...  You seem to be lacking in creativity here, let alone memory.

21 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Extra side quests - what does that even mean? Just an additional Bounty that you can trigger from something on the map rather than from the Bounty rep? What would be the point? If I'm looking for side quests, why wouldn't I take them from a vendor, rather than having to check the Wiki for hidden crap and go looking for them? Why would I even bother doing them? Unless you're envisioning unique, custom-made missions (which won't happen in this game), what differentiates them from just another Bounty?

I'd envision something smaller than the more story-rich ones, but a bit more involved than just bounties. Just little one-shot side stories that offer some basic rewards and add more life to the Sol system - specifically the open world the quest would be in. Frankly, it's boring to just always grab things from a vendor. I'd rather be able to explore the open world and find an extra little quest/bounty/mission/whatever out there that I hadn't known about before.
There wouldn't be lots of these, nor would they really require any real fanfare, unless there are specific rewards or achievements gained that would trigger our OCD "gotta collect everything" alarm. They'd be small and extra enough that people could often just ignore them unless they're desperate to find, say, credits, or endo, or whatever else could be decided upon as rewards good enough to incentivize the "explorers" among gamers.

I would rather have this method of giving more life and backstory to the characters and environs of these open worlds, over Loid going through the same damn speech every damn bounty.

And I should stop here to mention: yes, the wiki exists. For literally every single game that exists, you can go online and find the answer without having to use effort yourself. And that's fine - but also optional. For the players who lack patience/interest, they can do that. For the players who enjoy exploration and surprises, they can actively choose to find it organically. You'd be surprised just how many people are the latter. I'm married to one, and it can get aggravating when she tells me NOT to tell her things. She tells me it's cheating.

So the whole "wiki" argument? It's not an argument that works.

21 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:
  • Chests - What do you propose those chests reward that's not in the Bounty drop tables? Do you propose the chests reseal themselves so we can open them over and over again? If so, you're creating a Cetus Wisp route - people load into the map, trace a route between all openable chests, leave, reset and do it again. Do you propose the chests move around and spawn randomly? Would they spawn in relation to landmarks of some sort? Because they can't be COMPLETELY random and people will still develop a route between all possible spawn points. What do you envision being the "effort" to unlock them and how would that even be remotely worth the reward?
  • Camps of enemies - these already exist on Cetus and Fortuna. I'm not sure what you hope to add to them. "Valuable resources?" What would those be in this game? Crucially, why would anyone bother? Orb Vallis already offers camps which can be taken over in order to grab a few missions from them and already nobody bothers.

Maybe it would be a "cetus wisp" situation, but that would depend on what it offers. I suppose Warframe does already have random crates all over the place, but most of us who play the game just ignore them after a while, unless we're hunting down the rare ones.

So in terms of what could be rewarded from random things like random crates of loot and rewards from random puzzles or events... that's a larger problem that Warframe has been facing for a long time now. Endo and Credits are both valuable, as are the resources that drop from planets, but those are rewards that we often just ignore... right up to the point where we are actively deciding we need them, and don't have enough.

In terms of "effort" to unlock them, I already talked about puzzles/challenges up above, but why not have locations around the map where, say... killing off a patrol of enemies unlocked a nearby reward cache? I'm mostly asking for incentive to even care that random enemies around the open map exist, beyond making the place alive.

The camps we can take over on the Orb Vallis are a perfect example of a good idea that was never really realized in potential, which of course is par the course with DE, but that's not what I was referring to.
I was referring to how, in GI, killing specific enemies will drop resources unique to that enemy. These resources are valuable for use in upgrading characters, their talents, or their weapons. So when pursuing character progression, you have an active need to hunt down specific enemies, and will look for where they can spawn.
We don't really have anything similar in Warframe at all, let alone in the open worlds. Each world has its resource drops, and that's it. We mostly don't glance twice at who we're killing along the way.
Toroids are a notable exception, but those don't drop from specific enemies... more a specific area of the map (which might be better for Warframe).
And the Juggernaut, I suppose, but that has one specific use in the game that... isn't really that useful.

21 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Friendly NPCs - that suggestion wholly lacks substance. What are you even talking about? What kind of challenges would you propose friendly NPCs provide that aren't better taken from a Bounty Board/Vendor? Are you thinking something along the lines of K-Drive races? Because those have been broadly unpopular. How do you propose these NPCs provide "lore?" What makes them any better than the random scannable plates scattered around the Plains and the Vallis which already give you background lore on the characters?

Fair. We do already have K-drive races and bounty vendors. It just seems weird to me that on these maps, we mostly only find enemies.

You could probably consider this as tangential to wanting random events/sidequests/etc popping up in the world.

Out on Deimos, we can find random Necramechs going wild on Infested... but why can't we just stumble upon Garv outside of the bounty, doing his thing? Maybe we can interact with him to "challenge" him to a killing contest, or maybe he's willing to trade. Maybe we can find Latrox Une nearby some sort of orokin artifact, and he realizes now would be a good time to ask for some protective detail while he opens it.
When on the Vallis, why can't I just find a little group of Ventkids on the outskirts of a base, planning to loot some primo K-drive parts, and they ask for our help by way of providing a distraction?
Out on the Plains, we could find a group of hunters near a Grineer camp, expressing worry that one of their friends were grabbed by a Grineer patrol for one reason or another, and could we help rescue him?

Like I said, getting everything from vendors is boring.
Convenient, sure. Just... boring. Open worlds that feel alive are much more interesting.

21 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Great reward - "everything will provide great reward" is what you say when you're running for political office, not making a suggestion for a video game - because it means absolutely nothing. What kind of reward are you envisioning there that can still be called "great" even after people have earned it a few times? Scintillant is one of the "greatest" rewards on Deimos, for instance, it loses its value once people have built all the items that require it. What's your version of a "great reward?"

Eh, as I said above, it's definitely a larger issue in Warframe that a lot of the game's rewards just are unwanted by players right up to the point of actively needing it. We could have things reward large piles of endo, and people would decide that it's not worth their time. And then later, some content creator shares his "trade secret" that this a great way to farm endo! With tons of players suddenly sharing this secret around, and getting people who need it suddenly excited about a fun way to grind the endo they've decided they need. It's not like endo isn't a valuable resource. It's just that veterans end up not needing it anymore, and for those who do still need it, the actual amount can feel daunting, if they even ever decided they need it.
I would like to be more specific, but I think it's a design issue with how Warframe's resources are utilized to begin with that makes it hard to provide players with actually desirable rewards.

Maybe there could just be some sort of currency unique to each open world (not standing) that can be exchanged at a specific vendor for the usual Warframe rewards that get people going - new cosmetics to collect, new decos to hoard. With the usual problem of nobody caring once they have allthethings.

---
Ultimately, everything I'm suggesting is about finding some way of making these open world maps actually feel alive, and incentivizing us to actually spend time in these worlds. Remember Fish Team from Tennocon? Remember how the issue with Squad Link turned out to be... that it's damn near impossible to find people just hanging out on the plains for no reason? Which is why the Scarlet Spear ended up with the implementation that it did.

Because the only reason anybody goes to the open world maps is to run quick trips through a mission with laser focus on a specific objective. There's nobody out there just exploring the map for funsies. We have no reason to.
And that's where the whole "open world" aspect dies entirely. It's honestly a lie to market these as open worlds, because nobody plays them as if they are. They're glorified mission maps.

I'm not sure why you're hitting on me to provide more specifics. I'm not gonna write up a detailed design document as if I work for DE and am presenting my idea for a new content update. If they even deign to consider my suggestion, I provided enough of an idea on the matter that they could run with it if they wanted and come up with something far more detailed and involved than I could imagine.
If they want me to do the work, they'd need to pay me for it.

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5 hours ago, DrakeWurrum said:

The way GI seems to handle them is that they can just spawn near you on the mini-map. I don't know specifics of how it is handled, but I literally just stumble across them when doing other stuff. There's nothing but an icon on my map, and a little bit of text showing up informing me of a random event. I can go do it or ignore it, but nothing obnoxious takes over my screen or plays over the speakers. And it's not like it's across the map, either. It's close enough to be on my mini-map, so it's little more than a small detour where I go kill a group of enemies. It can be on the way, or just to the side of where I'm already heading.

I think this is as good a place as any to ask, but - what situation do you feel that any of your suggestions would be for? What would players be doing when they stumble upon these things? Because I can tell you right now - next to nobody goes into the open worlds "just because." Nobody jumps into Deimos without a plan and randomly roam around looking for stuff to happen. No, not everyone's out there doing Bounties, but the people who aren't are usually mining, fishing or looking for particular enemies. Spawning random events like what you're proposing isn't necessarily a bad idea, but it could turn into an "Oh, great! More glA******s!" situation. Or, more directly, into Tusk Thumpers. I can never find those #*!%ing things when I'm actually looking for them, but they always seem to pop up and ruin my Bounties when I'm doing something else.

I'm not necessarily opposed to random events, but I can almost guarantee that a majority of people would at best ignore them, at worst be annoyed that an event is spawning on top of their Conservation target and chasing it off or some such. By the nature of Warframe's design, gameplay is almost always "intentional." That is to say, players play missions or go to open worlds with a specific goal in mind. Sure, randomness in the activities needed to accomplish that goal is often welcome, but randomness which adds extra steps usually aren't. See: people's vitriol for "Change of plans. Leave nothing alive." at the tail end of a Capture mission. Sure, some people go to missions without much of a plan but just running missions (usually whales like myself who already have everything) and might be willing to add an extra step, but I doubt many others will.

For this, you'd need players roaming around without specific objective, such that they can stop and grab random missions. Which actually brings me to:

 

6 hours ago, DrakeWurrum said:

Yes, the wiki exists. For literally every single game that exists, you can go online and find the answer without having to use effort yourself. And that's fine - but also optional. For the players who lack patience/interest, they can do that. For the players who enjoy exploration and surprises, they can actively choose to find it organically. You'd be surprised just how many people are the latter. I'm married to one, and it can get aggravating when she tells me NOT to tell her things. She tells me it's cheating.

I would be surprised, yes. Do you happen to have some frame of reference for how many, though? No, I don't either, but that's kind of my point. I go by what I see in-game and on the forums. People want rewards. If they aren't given rewards, they inevitably ask "Why should I do this if I'm not being rewarded?" An answer of "Because it's fun!" never seems to get any traction no matter how often I propose it. Yes, I'm aware that some people enjoy exploration, but I'm not convinced that Warframe really even has the capacity to offer that. If you create a lot of random things to find, then you have to reward people for finding them. If you don't, people aren't going to look. If you do, someone will put together a 20-minute "All collectables in X" video and post that.

It's not merely a matter of "a Wiki exists." Rather, it's the nature of Live Services. The business model itself requires that we play the same content over and over and and over again. Exploration is impossible in this sort of setting. What you're describing works in a single-player game where you're going to explore an area once, maybe go back to it a few times. I've been to the Plains of Eidolon literally hundreds of times. Sure, there are probably places I haven't visited because nothing of interest happens there, but I know the majority of the area by heart - enough to find my way around without a map. Trying to create "exploration" in an environment like that is like trying to have me explore my living room - I already have.

While some people will start with "the wiki," even explorer types will eventually resport to it once they've explored most everything but the last few tidbits remain undiscovered. Or maybe THEY won't, but most players will. That's the nature of repetitive gameplay. This is why I asked for specifics. Actually, let me move on, because this has to do with:

 

6 hours ago, DrakeWurrum said:

Honestly, the way they handled the "secret" rooms in the Sentient ships comes pretty close to it. You had to specifically use your Operator to open those doors, and boom... reward for exploration with a specific type of interaction. Puzzles can be that simple, or maybe take a couple extra steps.
In the Sacrifice, we found that fancy lock that required us to find the glyphs on the wall (I think we had to scan them?). Maybe we find a cipher out in the world that unlocks some sort of reward cache if we find the glyphs in the nearby vicinity.
Or the whole "finding clues" bit from the Glassmaker.  Maybe we could just find memory puzzles out in the open world maps. I don't see why you look down on that idea or think it wouldn't be fun to have such puzzles out in the open worlds on a smaller scale.

All of that's fine and good, but these are all setpieces. They don't really change. Sure, the locations of things move around, but the "puzzles" only need to be solved once. The Sentient rooms in particular are a good example of the problem. Do YOU still bother to open them every time? I'm the sort of player who opens every locker and breaks every container and I've long since stopped opening those. There's nothing in them and they're a pain in the ass to get to. Sure, they were cool as a novelty while I was still exploring the Gas City tileset, but that novelty wore off last year. Tileset's still cool, but the hidden Sentient rooms aren't worth exploring any more.

And like I said with random events - I'm not opposed to having random loot crates in open-world maps that requiring finding things in order to unlock, but do you honestly think that people would bother with those more than once or twice? I mean... Maybe, if you make the puzzle quick and simple enough that the opportunity cost of opening them is low, but at that point you may as well just put a hack minigame onto them. Would be pretty much the same experience. I don't see how you can put meaningful exploration in a Live Service that remains meaningful after the first time. This whole genre is built on replay and repetition. Again - these sorts of secrets and puzzles aren't a PROBLEM per se. I just don't think they'd be as popular as you might suspect, since I don't see much in the way of replay value.

 

6 hours ago, DrakeWurrum said:

Eh, as I said above, it's definitely a larger issue in Warframe that a lot of the game's rewards just are unwanted by players right up to the point of actively needing it. We could have things reward large piles of endo, and people would decide that it's not worth their time. And then later, some content creator shares his "trade secret" that this a great way to farm endo! With tons of players suddenly sharing this secret around, and getting people who need it suddenly excited about a fun way to grind the endo they've decided they need. It's not like endo isn't a valuable resource. It's just that veterans end up not needing it anymore, and for those who do still need it, the actual amount can feel daunting, if they even ever decided they need it.

See, I don't think the problem with rewards is the lack of compelling ones. On the contrary - I'd argue it's quite the opposite. Warframe players, by and large, are motivated by rewards and will run whatever content has the best, newest or most exclusive ones. This is a point I've been trying to drive across in nearly the entire time I've posted on these forums. Rewards aren't a thing the game gives to players after they've run a specific bit of content. Rewards are a thing the game PROMISES to players BEFORE they run a specific bit of content. The term "reward" is generally inaccurate and exists through a combination of traditional vernacular and Live Service shenanigans. The proper term is "incentive." When you want players to run a specific bit of content rather than running past and ignoring it, you place incentive on it. However, a player's play time is a zero sum game. Playing more Plains of Eidolon, for instance, inherently means playing less Deimos. There's a finite amount of time any of us could possibly devote to the game, and content with greater incentives tends to crowd out everything else.

If you put enough incentive on your random encounters, you're going to end up with people seeking them out specifically. Because people care about the incentive, they're going to look for the fastest way to find and repeat these random encounters, which leads us to "the Wiki" and beyond. Look at Tusk Thumpers. The goal apparent in their design is for Thumpers to be a random boss fight that players just sort of run into as they do other things. In practice, players complain when Thumpers show up in the middle of other missions, then at other times will do runs across all possible Thumper spawn points and leave to reset the map if dropships spawn instead, aka the "Cetus Wisp route." By the nature of modern Live Services, I don't think a middle point exists. Not outside of extreme outliers, such as veterans who already have everything and play the game purely for fun. Yes, there's exploration of the game's content. Once. How much of a player's total playtime do you feel this represents? I'm sitting on 3200 hours in Warframe. How much of that do you figure was me exploring portions of the game I hadn't experienced before? Because I don't think it's collectively more than 100 hours, at best. Warframe is a huge game, but it's not the largest game in the world. I have 173 hours in Ghost Recon: Wildlands and I'd argue that includes a lot more open-world exploration, not to mention I've wasted dozens of hours doing nothing there. Still nowhere close.

The problem with "rewards" is that they're a binary state. Either the reward is so good that players will grind content while entirely undermining the intended experience, or the reward isn't good enough and players will just ignore it. "Edge of the coin" cases do exist here and there, but I sincerely doubt you're going to balance that coin with Free Roam maps in Warframe. That's why DE ostensibly gave up on creating compelling content when they admitted they're going primarily for "extrinsic rewards." Look at pretty much any piece of content in the last couple of years and you'll see this precise thing. There's maybe enough compelling gameplay for 10-20 hours of gameplay, and the rest of it is grinding for RNG drops. If ever there was doubt about this, Deimos pretty much gave us the answer.

 

6 hours ago, DrakeWurrum said:

I'm not sure why you're hitting on me to provide more specifics. I'm not gonna write up a detailed design document as if I work for DE and am presenting my idea for a new content update. If they even deign to consider my suggestion, I provided enough of an idea on the matter that they could run with it if they wanted and come up with something far more detailed and involved than I could imagine.

A couple of reasons. The more basic one is because suggesting "Just do better. Look at game X." is kind of a hollow suggestion. It means nothing and thus gives neither players responding nor developers reading anything to work with. Developers get "Fix X!" comments all of the time, and I'll bet real money they ignore most of them for pretty much this exact reason.

A more specific reason why I push you for details, however, is because what you're proposing is dangerous. This is DE's primary and most crippling weakness. They have repeatedly attempted to recreate entire chunks of other games within Warframe with seemingly no regard for what people liked about them or why, and they don't seem to be learning from the experience. Best case scenario, they go back a few weeks/months/years later and adapt the plagiarism to something more unique and better-suited to THIS game, but that doesn't always happen. Proposing they just "look at this game I like, do it like that" is asking for disaster. It's asking for another Railjack. You shouldn't encourage DE to senselessly copy games any more, because it never turns out well.

Want to encourage them to take good ideas from other games? Sure, I go for it, I approve. But make sure you understand WHAT specifically you want to bring across, WHY you like it in the first place and HOW it could be retrofitted into Warframe's existing implementation. These are not trivial questions. I dare say these are the most important parts of any suggestion and the place where you - or I or whoever is making this suggestion - need to put in the most work. Simply asking for features from another game to be put into this one is wishing on a monkey's paw. Be careful what you wish for, because you might get LITERALLY what you said, rather than what you actually wanted.

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