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Star Days: Hotfix 29.8.1


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9 hours ago, master_of_destiny said:

1) A challenging mode for veteran players has been requested for literal years.  Note, devoid of the caveat about "rewards not mattering."  If you want proof, go back to the youtube channels of creators that were purged due to inactivity in the culling.  You can see people in 2015 generating the "fashion frame is endgame" meme.  To be abundantly clear, this is people saying there is no endgame, and they want it. 

Sure people have been asking for that but that doesn't mean Steel Path was supposed to address that.  I'd say Elite Sanctuary Onslaught and the Liches were more inline with offering new challenges for veterans.  Note that I'm not saying whether or not they were successful in that goal, only that their addition was intended as veteran targetted content.

9 hours ago, master_of_destiny said:

2) Steel Path was not a direct response to a challenge mode request.  It was a direct response to the testing chamber for Simaris.

3) The testing chamber?  Yes.  I did not misspeak.  Read back through the commentary, and you'll find that a DE developer was angry that people on youtube always tested new gear in the chamber, rather than on missions.  They got angry that this was "misrepresenting the content of warframe."  To "fix" this problem the Steel Path was introduced.

And what does the testing chamber offer?  High level enemies that they can show weapon performance against without having to spend time in a Survival waiting for the levels to rise so they can get a few minutes of footage.  What does it not offer?  Rewards, at all.  So yeah, as I said "it was a response to the player-feedback asking for the option to start missions at a higher enemy level."  Bearing in mind a) Youtubers are players too, and b) other players had also been asking for higher levels without extra reward.

9 hours ago, master_of_destiny said:

5) It's kind of funny, going back to the rewards, that you'd rest your hat on that argument.  Before release people were questioning why in Hades we'd want to do a mission with level 102+ enemies for Lith relics.  DE responded on stream basically throwing their hands in the air, and saying it was too hard and the mode was just for fun.  That argument was viable, again only until Steel Essence became required to get large scale rewards.  To be abundantly clear, I define large scale only by the fact that you need 30 nightwave ranks to get an umbral forma otherwise.  I personally believe the mod selection is still too limited to make these expensive mods worth the effort, but Umbral Inaros is a huge HP meme.

6) I'll end here, as a packaging of the other points.  Your quotation is "...but the original 'design brief' was just higher levels so we can skip the first few rounds of waiting for enemies to rank up."  This indicates to me you understand this was not about the challenge of the mode, only the rank of enemies associated and how much of a sponge they were.  See point 2 and 3.  If your goal is simply to do this, add one node.  Give players access to choose enemy levels, and give a band of levels to start with.  Bam.  Rewards scale with initial band, and you get to skip starting levels.  Instead DE just added a whole new level to the star chart, and forced us to complete it all again.  When the inevitable happened, and only a few nodes were ever replayed, they got angry.  See the Khora nerf.  They then reintroduced Steel Path, as something entirely different.  At this point the Steel Path was not for fun, through you may have fun with it.  Steel Path was about earning essence, to accumulate and horde until you can buy a high level reward.

This is just an example of how the community rarely has a homogenised idea of what the game needs.  People asked for higher levels and said they didn't need better rewards, other people then complained that it would be pointless without better rewards, other people then complain that with such good rewards it's no longer something that can be viewed as optional.  And so the cycle continues.  I'd say DE has to deal with shifting goalposts if it wasn't for the fact that it's different people planting those goals each time.  The community is a hydra and every time they deal with one head two more will grow.

9 hours ago, master_of_destiny said:

Your argument is that, being fair, DE started with a civic so we should judge it as such.  It's pretty unfair, unless you're similarly willing to jettison everything not "space ninjas."

No, my argument was that we shouldn't judge DE for giving some players exactly what they asked for just because it doesn't fit other players' ideas of what the game needs, that we shouldn't say they don't understand what "Hard Mode" means just because they went by someone else's given definition of "Hard Mode".  I'm not suggesting jettisoning anything so I'm not sure where that's even coming from.

 

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29 minutes ago, Katinka said:

Sure people have been asking for that but that doesn't mean Steel Path was supposed to address that.  I'd say Elite Sanctuary Onslaught and the Liches were more inline with offering new challenges for veterans.  Note that I'm not saying whether or not they were successful in that goal, only that their addition was intended as veteran targetted content.

And what does the testing chamber offer?  High level enemies that they can show weapon performance against without having to spend time in a Survival waiting for the levels to rise so they can get a few minutes of footage.  What does it not offer?  Rewards, at all.  So yeah, as I said "it was a response to the player-feedback asking for the option to start missions at a higher enemy level."  Bearing in mind a) Youtubers are players too, and b) other players had also been asking for higher levels without extra reward.

This is just an example of how the community rarely has a homogenised idea of what the game needs.  People asked for higher levels and said they didn't need better rewards, other people then complained that it would be pointless without better rewards, other people then complain that with such good rewards it's no longer something that can be viewed as optional.  And so the cycle continues.  I'd say DE has to deal with shifting goalposts if it wasn't for the fact that it's different people planting those goals each time.  The community is a hydra and every time they deal with one head two more will grow.

No, my argument was that we shouldn't judge DE for giving some players exactly what they asked for just because it doesn't fit other players' ideas of what the game needs, that we shouldn't say they don't understand what "Hard Mode" means just because they went by someone else's given definition of "Hard Mode".  I'm not suggesting jettisoning anything so I'm not sure where that's even coming from.

 

Finally someone who understands that we are just as much involved in the descision making process as DE is

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5 hours ago, Katinka said:

Sure people have been asking for that but that doesn't mean Steel Path was supposed to address that.  I'd say Elite Sanctuary Onslaught and the Liches were more inline with offering new challenges for veterans.  Note that I'm not saying whether or not they were successful in that goal, only that their addition was intended as veteran targetted content.

And what does the testing chamber offer?  High level enemies that they can show weapon performance against without having to spend time in a Survival waiting for the levels to rise so they can get a few minutes of footage.  What does it not offer?  Rewards, at all.  So yeah, as I said "it was a response to the player-feedback asking for the option to start missions at a higher enemy level."  Bearing in mind a) Youtubers are players too, and b) other players had also been asking for higher levels without extra reward.

This is just an example of how the community rarely has a homogenised idea of what the game needs.  People asked for higher levels and said they didn't need better rewards, other people then complained that it would be pointless without better rewards, other people then complain that with such good rewards it's no longer something that can be viewed as optional.  And so the cycle continues.  I'd say DE has to deal with shifting goalposts if it wasn't for the fact that it's different people planting those goals each time.  The community is a hydra and every time they deal with one head two more will grow.

No, my argument was that we shouldn't judge DE for giving some players exactly what they asked for just because it doesn't fit other players' ideas of what the game needs, that we shouldn't say they don't understand what "Hard Mode" means just because they went by someone else's given definition of "Hard Mode".  I'm not suggesting jettisoning anything so I'm not sure where that's even coming from.

 

 

Are you for real?  I'm really asking this, because you've managed to move all of the targets, then claim that your position wins....because.  Let's do a refresher, and remind the people at home what statement you made.  

 

"In DE's defence, it was a response to the player-feedback asking for the option to start missions at a higher enemy level.  The repeated request on these forums was for endless runs to be able to skip the first few rounds and go straight to a higher level (and the repeated request often came with the statement that rewards would not need to change as it was a 'for fun' option and AI didn't need changed, just simply change starting enemy level).  Of course, once implemented it the calls for better rewards and even tougher enemies came in, but the original 'design brief' was just higher levels so we can skip the first few rounds of waiting for enemies to rank up."

 

 

 

Let's now dissect the backwards logic you've used to say my point is inaccurate.  

"In DE's defence, it was a response to the player-feedback asking for the option to start missions at a higher enemy level..."

Retort: No.  DE has been asked for a hard mode for years, and they never provided it.  Your response was then to highlight ESO and Liches....because.  You still have not addressed the root cause.  Let me refresh you, because you seem to not have the attention span to answer only that one question.  What, exactly, was the incident that made Steel Path a viable option for DE to pursue?  It was not years of asking for a hard mode.  It was one developer salty over the representation of the game, as they saw it.  Instead of asking why, they squeezed out a "hard mode" that was "just for fun."  This was not DE reacting to years of requests, but one person angry about something and willing to do something about it.

 

"...The repeated request on these forums was for endless runs to be able to skip the first few rounds and go straight to a higher level (and the repeated request often came with the statement that rewards would not need to change as it was a 'for fun' option and AI didn't need changed, just simply change starting enemy level)...."

Retort: No citation, no value.  The request from people was equally as valid that we get scaling rewards with difficulty, to make long runs viable.  It was also equally as viable to state that people were requesting something to be endgame....because literal years of the fashion frame meme was getting old.  You want to know why people wanted higher levels, but might not care about rewards?  Well, the clue is above, with the simulacrum.  Oh boy, people wanted a way to demonstrate and test endurance builds.  They then requested scaling rewards.  It's almost like they wanted to be rewarded for challenge....like basic psych 101 tells us.

 

"... Of course, once implemented it the calls for better rewards and even tougher enemies came in, but the original 'design brief' was just higher levels so we can skip the first few rounds of waiting for enemies to rank up."

Retort: Again, no citations.  I'd be angry, but you then use the same backwards logic in your further retort to me, citing that the community isn't one thing, so you can't be held responsible, but I have to be bound by that.  Let's play a game.  Assume I don't really want to talk with you, but I want to talk at you in the same self serving logic on display here.  I'm not going to explain the above, and why your logic is internally inconsistent.  I only need a sentence to utterly gut the sentiment on display.  Let me demonstrate.

"If you're playing a game, and there's no reward, then your life means nothing because your time means nothing."

 

 

I hope this clarifies.  Your argument is that a disambiguous "people" or "the community" wanted something with no citation.  That would be acceptable if it was in someone's interest, or you could explain the logic.  Unfortunately, you cannot.  The closest explanation you come to is that DE decided one day to suddenly listen to years of feedback and requests.  Just ignore the relevant event where a developer got angry about the Simulacrum.  Ignore that people fundamentally crave rewards for challenges, because dopamine is so very good.  You just need to ignore all logic and physics.

 

I especially like your end argument.  Quote a different discussion, without context, and claim that my point is somehow wrong.  Let's clarify.  Hard mode is not an enemy with bigger numbers.  That's simply putting a larger wait between you and the reward condition.  That's how mobile games work, to get you to spend money.  My actual point is that Steel Path is exactly that.  Nothing new, just bigger numbers.  No new rewards, no rewards to match challenge.  No continuing rewards, beyond the artificial wait timer for those blue prints, with a two layer wait timer, to get an Umbral Forma....a piece of content literally without development for years.  You see, that seems like a tangent but it comes back to the start state.  DE's hard mode has added not a new challenge, but a spongey wall between me and a reward.  Oh joy...more grind.  If they wanted hard mode they could take any one of a dozen suggestions from the last year from youtube content partners.  Instead it's just more smashing of the melee button....because that's what I wanted from my space ninjas....a cookie clicker.  That cookie might be huge, but hammer that button long enough and the thing disappears.

 

You want a hard mode?  Let's look back at Blood.  The difficulties introduced different reaction times, different kill conditions, different enemy behavior, and different enemy composition to introduce difficulty.  That was a game from the 90's...but in 2020 what we need if eHP+1000 to make things a "hard mode."  Oh goody....Blood 2...and the bile in my mouth is already choking me.

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В 18.02.2021 в 17:57, [DE]Rebecca сказал:

For those who did not originally fight Nihil during Glassmaker, using this Key route will grant you the Vitrica heavy blade. Tenno who have already acquired the Vitrica can enjoy an End of Mission Riven Mod reward! 

Give me two and ill write a review why Nihil was the most awful experience in the game and why I wont replay this fight... *flashbacks intensifying*

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Am 21.2.2021 um 21:22 schrieb master_of_destiny:

 

So, help me understand here.  There are a number of statements that DE has made over the nearly decade of this game.  They include:

1) bite-sized

2) Warframe is a game about player choice, and supporting that.

3) Warframe will cater to both new players and casual players with content.

 

I have to provide the above, so you understand where I am coming from.  Now, let me explain what I know the endurance runners almost always focused on.  At one point it was crowd control, until those powers ate a general nerf.  They then focused on game breaking cheese.  Remember that at one point in the past melee combat was only slightly less effective than guns.  After that, people focused on cheese.  Covert Lethality was a thing.

 

Now, DE shifted the balance a lot.  Arcanes ate a nerf, but might be slightly buffed.  Shields matter now.  Melee combat got a complete rework.  Certain mods ate a huge nerf, while others have been restructured to compete.  Etc....etc....etc...

The result is that right now the game is much friendlier to newer players.  There's no less challenge, only that you no longer need to use cheese to do the job.  I won't dignify the comment that it's skill based, because you cannot identify any instance where enemy AI or response has been improved.  Additionally, it's not a greater challenge when you make a pinata with two feet of paper mache, it just means you've got to hit the thing more to get to the candy inside it.  That's a fine point people miss when showing the eHP calculations comparing level 9999 versus 500, or whatever insanity people want to compare with today.  

 

 

 

TL;DR

For those with no attention span, the changes to the game didn't remove challenge.  They removed bullet sponges.  To remove challenge they'd have to make things actually require a brain.  People complaining that the current build is bad generally are trying to high-road against new players....and those that don't understand that are depressing.  If you hate newer players, fine.  That's stupid, but at least you're not trying to pretend Warframe was ever meant to be a challenge based game.  If it was, the starting 3 points here would be silly for the developer to have made.

 

Alternatively, DE doesn't know the definition of words.  The "thousands of registered losers" thing was accurate.  On top of all this, my thick sarcasm dripped over this last paragraph is not actually sarcasm.  I'm trying to cap this off with a laugh because otherwise it's depressing.  I'm not sure how I can get that across.

My general idea(this is personal) is that even if the enemies dodge,jump,hide,go invisible whatever the hell you can imagine it does not matter. Challenge cannot be achieved if they die by hitting E two times,that was NOT the case in the old times. You mentioned covert,yes,that is indeed a mod that got nerfed,and for what reason? it was able to one hit anything and everyone at high level. So now i ll give you a real insight,that was actually  true but also had its limits,enemies that you couldnt finish, often times drones in void/corpus started to pile up,which you could not finish and therefore not kill because the drones had more HP on level 2k than current Steel Path enemies on level 9999. Furthermore covert was literally used with a single frame (ivara,maybe ash too) that made the game easier. So there we have a synergie with a mod and two frames being able to deal with level 9999 enemies relatively easy. What do we have now?= Any frame with pretty much 90% of the melee weapons are able to kill level 9999 enemies pressing E and using nukor sometimes while being close to immortal with shieldgate. 

I d call that massively more braindead than before if you ask me.

Furthermore how come i almost never saw 5h+ survivals in leaderboards years ago and suddenly everyone and their mother does 2 days survival(overexaggerating obviously) 

right,because its much,much easier than before.

bite-sized -> would imply that endurance players actually get something....which we did not.

Actually the fun (high level enemies,with high HP) was taken away from us for no fuking reason other than the casuals complaining that their Boltor prime cannot deal with a level 250 armored gunner......which it is obviously not intended to do.

 

 

In other words why we cannot have a single place, that wont affect ANYONE that does not choose to do so, where we have actual enemies with actual HP bars that we can not slice trough like a knife trough butter?

 

I fundamentally do not understand the resentment against implementing something that will not be noticed by casuals even unless they try and suck at it and complain ....

 

i literally wrote in earlier comments i do not care if i go out with legitemately no ressources,credits whatsoever. Hell i would PAY credits or ressources to play this mode if DE wants to....

 

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32 minutes ago, master_of_destiny said:

No citation, no value.

That seems somewhat ironic given your post has no citation either.  I don't plan on trawling through the whole forum looking for people to quote as saying they just want higher level enemies and don't need rewards but I guess I could refer you to the last three paragraphs of FSK41's post just above.

32 minutes ago, master_of_destiny said:

It was not years of asking for a hard mode.  It was one developer salty over the representation of the game, as they saw it.  Instead of asking why, they squeezed out a "hard mode" that was "just for fun."  This was not DE reacting to years of requests, but one person angry about something and willing to do something about it.

In this video Scott says the idea of letting people go through a higher level version of the star chart after completing the normal version is something they'd been considering for about 5 years.  But I guess you are referring to this video in which Scott discusses disliking the Simulacrum with Tactical Potato and Frozenballs and they, as a group, say an acceptable alternative would be having an option to add 100 levels to the Star Chart for Youtubers to jump straight into to showcase new stuff.  I wouldn't call him angry in that though.  The discussion remained amicable and he expressed that he understood why they use the Simulacrum and it was the optics of seeing the same test room everytime that he disliked, which they then seemed to all agree adding 100 levels to Sedna would solve.  So the Simulacrum was a catalyst but the idea had been around for a while and had been requested by some of the community.  Again, I'm not going to trawl through old threads for people to quote but FSK41 has provided a handy example along with those involved in both the videos mentioned.

1 hour ago, master_of_destiny said:

"If you're playing a game, and there's no reward, then your life means nothing because your time means nothing."

I guess you aren't a fan of Patience, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, Rubic's Cube or any other game that is played for the sake of completing the game and nothing more.

1 hour ago, master_of_destiny said:

Your argument is that a disambiguous "people" or "the community" wanted something with no citation.  That would be acceptable if it was in someone's interest, or you could explain the logic.  Unfortunately, you cannot.

I'll try again then, but I'd appreciate it if you stopped trying to tell me what my argument is.  I jumped into this with an off the cuff remark that I didn't intend to lead to me being so dragged into this.  You had said "It's an experiment DE did to offer a "Hard" mode without understanding what that meant.".  I felt that wasn't very fair on DE when "Hard Mode" can mean different things to different people.  For some people all that was wanted was tougher enemies, higher level but nothing more.  For others it's a whole rework of the AI and combat systems.  For others it might be something I can't even imagine right now.  DE implemented something that would fit what some people (by no means all people) had asked for and also, as a bonus, tackled a personal beef regarding Youtube/streamer content.  Unfortunately that clearly didn't fit other peoples' ideas of "Hard Mode" leading to all the feedback about the rewards not being good enough for it to be worth doing or the challenge not being high enough for it to achieve it's purpose.  All I'm trying to say is different people have different ideas about what "Hard Mode" should be, so maybe we should understand why DE have trouble understanding what it means?

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15 hours ago, Katinka said:

That seems somewhat ironic given your post has no citation either.  I don't plan on trawling through the whole forum looking for people to quote as saying they just want higher level enemies and don't need rewards but I guess I could refer you to the last three paragraphs of FSK41's post just above.

In this video Scott says the idea of letting people go through a higher level version of the star chart after completing the normal version is something they'd been considering for about 5 years.  But I guess you are referring to this video in which Scott discusses disliking the Simulacrum with Tactical Potato and Frozenballs and they, as a group, say an acceptable alternative would be having an option to add 100 levels to the Star Chart for Youtubers to jump straight into to showcase new stuff.  I wouldn't call him angry in that though.  The discussion remained amicable and he expressed that he understood why they use the Simulacrum and it was the optics of seeing the same test room everytime that he disliked, which they then seemed to all agree adding 100 levels to Sedna would solve.  So the Simulacrum was a catalyst but the idea had been around for a while and had been requested by some of the community.  Again, I'm not going to trawl through old threads for people to quote but FSK41 has provided a handy example along with those involved in both the videos mentioned.

I guess you aren't a fan of Patience, Sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, Rubic's Cube or any other game that is played for the sake of completing the game and nothing more.

I'll try again then, but I'd appreciate it if you stopped trying to tell me what my argument is.  I jumped into this with an off the cuff remark that I didn't intend to lead to me being so dragged into this.  You had said "It's an experiment DE did to offer a "Hard" mode without understanding what that meant.".  I felt that wasn't very fair on DE when "Hard Mode" can mean different things to different people.  For some people all that was wanted was tougher enemies, higher level but nothing more.  For others it's a whole rework of the AI and combat systems.  For others it might be something I can't even imagine right now.  DE implemented something that would fit what some people (by no means all people) had asked for and also, as a bonus, tackled a personal beef regarding Youtube/streamer content.  Unfortunately that clearly didn't fit other peoples' ideas of "Hard Mode" leading to all the feedback about the rewards not being good enough for it to be worth doing or the challenge not being high enough for it to achieve it's purpose.  All I'm trying to say is different people have different ideas about what "Hard Mode" should be, so maybe we should understand why DE have trouble understanding what it means?

 

You failed to read about the citation....but I'll explain.  A citation is required when you're stating something that has no reasonable factual basis.  I would not need to cite that people are asking for more or larger rewards.  This is basic human nature, and wanting more is a function of the desire for the dopamine hit of getting those rewards.  Likewise, I don't have to explain the concept of bigger rewards for bigger challenge.  If rewards flatline but challenge increases you incentivize people not playing.  This is why you get things like everyone leaving a survival or defense after 20 minutes/20 rounds, because the added difficulty is then not paid off.  It's why more recent game modes do A-A-B-C-C-C.... instead of A-A-B-C-A-A-B-C-A-....  The C reward rotation is where the good stuff is.

 

This is why I have no problem stating that people have wanted more rewards for more challenge.  It's also why a citation is needed for people stating that they want more challenge, but are good without any rewards.  

Regarding your other arguments....let's talk about reality.  There are no random drops in ESO, but it rewards affinity and a drop every two rounds.  As such, stating that there are no rewards is not honest.  Regarding the Simulcrum, people generally go there to test builds against enemies...the reward is not getting to a mission and getting curb stomped because you've decided to choose the wrong element.  The reward here is not about challenge, nor is it about tangible items.  The reward is knowledge, and testing without any potential loss.

 

 

It's funny that I have to clarify all of this.  It's also funny that you're going to go back and actually do the citations.  Kudos on putting forward the work here.  Now, let me explain why words mean nothing.  I've been thinking about cleaning my kitchen for the last five years.  The reason this week I decided to scrub and disinfect everything is because I saw a cockroach skitter across the floor when I turned on the lights.  This is basic human nature again.  DE "was thinking about this" for five years.  They've been thinking about it for as long as they had archwing in the game.

People don't just wake up one day, and decide to put forward the fiscal effort to do something for giggles.  It's not a coincidence that after years of "thinking about" a high level enemy situation that DE never implemented things.  Let's be blunt, no major change has ever come without an event pushing it.  DE prevented melee weapons from going through walls, nerfing the potential for a stealth kill bonus build that was favored for some affinity grinds.  Their response to the backlash was to introduce SO/ESO as a means to power through affinity.  DE gets flak for the simulacrum, and they introduce the Steel Path.  Levels+100 and double the eHP.  DE fights the community about universal vacuum....and years later organic pets suddenly become useful when without fanfare they introduce the fetch mod.  That very same mod coming on the back of a data pull indicating that organic pets were never used...and leading to the decay timer basically being abolished.  I'd like to continue, but at this point I could simply state that DE has been reactionary from day one, and virtually everything since the second dream has been driven by feedback rather than a vision.  That, to be clear, is not criticism.  It's DE trying to optimize the experience to customer demand.  It's also another basic reason that Steel Path was not just something pulled from the ether, and not a five year flight of fancy that suddenly saw realization.

 

 

Regarding your examples of games...are you sure you want to die on that hill?  A Rubik's cube is not a puzzle, it's a device with a set pattern that will always be able to be solved based on some defined inputs.  If it wasn't, then the machines solving them in seconds would not be possible.  Sudoku is a puzzle with a strict set of rules, and the reward is a dopamine hit when you solve the problem.  Please note that the same dopamine hit is not experienced with every number you input.  This mirrors the dopamine hit from a missions reward screen, and the lack of the same whilst killing enemies and having random drops pop up (and why DE took to the large pop-up for "rare" material drops).  Jigsaw puzzles are the same as Sudoku.  Hmmm....are we seeing a theme yet?  It's almost like my consistent answer is that bigger rewards, more rewards, and specifically solved problems are a source of pleasure.  Extending the cycle between rewards doesn't make them better.  Oooh.  A thesis underlying the entire statement.  More=better.  Bigger=better.  More often=better.  

 

 

If you don't want me to misinterpret, then maybe give me some boundaries.  You've given DE the ability to offer anything and claim that it's a hard mode, because they can alter the definition to tailor things.  Taking an extreme example (that you may or may not agree with), if the mission is regularly levels 10-15, the hard mode could be 16-20.  Technically this is hard mode.

Now...let's frame the discussion with some of the other changes which have forced their hand.  DE used to scale enemies with a power function.  This meant the delta in power from 1-11 was significantly smaller than 110-111.  Yes, only one level would be more than the delta for 10 early levels.  This meant that there was effectively a cap on endurance runs without running cheese tactics, which veterans developed after having this for years.  The result was a veteran group angry that things were "suddenly focused more on casuals" when they put enemies on an S curve.  DE then changed the balance of the game by reworking status, removing some rather broken mods, and starting the melee rework.  Again, this lowered the barrier to entry for endurance runs.  Finally, with melee fully reworked the game is now effectively a melee to win game.  No huge skill barrier, and veterans continue to bemoan "the challenge" being lost from the game.  What you don't see anywhere in this list is improving rewards, which means that the already minimal reason to do a long run evaporate.

So....what is the response?  Well, introduce a "just for fun" challenge mode.  Shift the curves up back into the "requiring cheese" territory, by simply doubling enemy numbers.  Do nothing to offer good rewards, but introduce a new currency to have another resource to grind for.  Oh joy.  This means, in defense of DE, that they have basically back-slid into something akin to the old model, but at least it's optional.  Fine.  Then it wasn't.  It's now a requisite.  Your hard mode isn't something to do as a thing for bragging rights, it's required for both MR points and to get tangible rewards.  Yep, rivens and Umbral forma.  It's at this point it ceases to be a hard mode, and becomes the next required grind for power.

All that said, why am I butt hurt about it?  Let's give DE the five years of thought...and be immediately depressed with the outcome.  Let's then give them a short implementation time, assuming they responded to a developer's issues.  I'll further reinforce this conclusion, as the implementation was announced as a trial and required huge amounts of balancing (along with a permanent nerf to Khora).  Let me then suggest that the test server was actually used, so this was at one point even rougher.  That all screams to me that nothing was planned here.  This was not a hard mode, and definitely not planned.  That's not a bad thing, where it becomes a bad thing is locking away real rewards.

 

 

Let's envision a better world.  Steel Path gets to be hard mode, and there's no reason to complain.  What needs to change?  Baro gets an Inaros beacon and Umbral forma every two weeks.  You get to buy one of each, and it's 1000 ducats and 1 million credits each time.  Teshin retains his weekly offerings, but there are two items.  Each item is a cosmetic from an old set, or from somewhere else (alleviating the need for DE to make new stuff every week).  This means there's be new stuff occasionally, and alternative means to earn things like conclave exclusive cosmetics.  In this way the "hard mode" would be rewarding, but not a thing you're forced to engage with.  DE doesn't have to make things better, just to slap on more levels because the rewards are all optional.  Unfortunately, what we got was a mandatory "hard" mode that differentiated itself by undoing the changes of old...which is where the definition of a hard mode breaks down.

Here's the next ask.  When was the last time a hard mode gave you nothing beyond the basic rewards?  Not in the last decade....because you get a trophy or the like for doing a harder playthrough.  Not in the 90's...because harder difficulties generally changed the experience (see: Doom and Blood).  You know...I can't think of a game that changed literally nothing for a hard mode except enemy stat values since the janky late 90's early 2000 shooters that flooded store shelves and were immediately sent to the bargain bin because there was no love in them.  So...Steel Essence...  Yeah...

My point here is that you followed up the original statement of a level choice with after implementation it became obvious additional rewards were needed.  That's a bit of a stretch, unless you assume that the gameplay was enough of a dopamine hit, but if it was there's no reward provided better than the much easier hit from the standard missions.  So, why?  If you've following, the answer is that there is no why.  DE pushed this out and it needed another 3 months in prenatal care before it was ready to go.

 

 

 

Let's TL:DR

I give DE the benefit of doubt when I can ascribe human actions and motivations to them.  Event, response, action, and new stability point.  Five years of "thinking about" a thing doesn't lead to a response, it's the event of one person hating how his work is perceived.

Likewise, it's not necessary to provide citation for basic assumptions.  Gravity will continue to work, time flows linearly from my perspective, and people seek out rewards for their behavior.  You have to cite when these basic assumptions are violated, like people asking for more difficulty without any rewards (as a hint, the people asking for this were asking for level choice....which influences rewards... or for alternative usage, like partners wanting to test items and the reward there was saleable content).  Likewise, one person cited is not people.  That seems unfair, but it's really easy to justify when the alternative is unreasonable.  Unreasonable like requesting more challenge, but no rewards, when in the introduction for Steel Path DE cited that the rewards were a concern, and that it was too much work to make them different from the default star chart node.  Similarly, conflating the desire of being able to test builds, with tangible gameplay, is somewhat of a backwards justification for things.

Finally, hard mode is not a generic term that you can define as anything.  You can get difficulty in a number of ways, but this difficulty has to stem from extrinsic or intrinsic desire.  Extrinsic desire is higher difficulty for higher rewards.  Intrinsic is demonstration of mastery of skill.  The Steel Path is neither.  Extrinsic value means nothing, as Steel Essence is not a guarantee and is not based upon the scaling (level 102 and 150 both reward the same).  Intrinsic value is negligible, because the only difference is how many times you have to hit the pinata and how few weapons can actually deliver on that.  It's not more difficult to hit it, only requiring more time between your input and the pleasurable output.

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