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The "Hrmm that has become the META ... lets break it!" mentality of Devs and how did you come to that?


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On 2021-03-14 at 12:15 PM, Dhrekr said:

I mean, sure, DE can elevate all guns and pistols to the point that they clear rooms filled with level 200 enemies within a second. And you know what you get with that? A game that is mindnumbingly boring and easy.

Warframe is a game about farming. And the main goal of every player after first 50 hours is to optimize farming.

You want to make this game challenging by nerfing stuff to oblivion so that every mission takes longer to complete — then remove dull redundant and neverending farming.

You want to keep farming — make it freaking rewarding. After farming dozens if not hundreds of hours to complete build with umbral formas, perfect rivens, arcanes and so on I actually expect to be able to clear the room within a second. And if I don't, I probably would not have invested all this time and effort in that S#&$. I would probably go play some raid in Destiny with its complex mechanics.

 

I like warframe mainly because of how rewarding farming in this game is. To me it's one of the single games where power-creep is actually a fundamental feature. Maybe the way to fix the problem is not to nerf guns or buff enemies, but add some complexity in overall game mechanics, that would actually require team-work and thinking?

 

 

Edited by TeaHawk
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8 hours ago, Dunkelheit said:

 

You need to ask yourself: What is Warframe and do I fit in?

Warframe is going strong for 8 years now, so believe it or not, but they have done something right along the path. I have come back after a very long break. I took the break, because I felt like you do now. And I was absolutely marvelled by the experience: Open World, Mechs, Railjack, Quests with actual lore and so much more. And I know that if I put another 1k-2k hours in the game, it will feel stale at one point again. But once I reach that point, I can still see Warframe for what it is: A looter shooter for a very broad playerbase. It will never have the difficulty of Ninja Gaiden or Dark Souls, like others are demanding. It won't happen, ever, period. If you wait for that, you are doing it wrong.
It will never have the balance of chess.
It will never have as many ghosts as PacMan.
And every single internet game has a "meta". And you won't ever have balance over all weapons of an 8 year old game.

Warframe is a game that gives challenges which are overcome with gear. Same as Diablo, same as World of Warcraft, two other super famous games. Are you demanding more difficulty in Diablo as well? Then you are in the wrong game again.

But to be honest and this was the point when you really lost me, if you honestly compare Warframe with Doom, Amid Evil (lol), Anthem (lolol) or No Man's Sky, I don't know what to say to you. I have stalked your profile as well: You have put 1,7k hours into the game. How many other games have interested you for that long? I personally love Witcher 3, but I have no more than 100 hours in the game.

Please put 1700 hours into No Man's Sky or Anthem or Avengers and then come back and tell me how they compete with Warframe.

 

 

You have made the mistake of assuming that playing a single game for thousands of hours is a good thing. Its not. Because the only way to get to that point is to basically become addicted. To start treating it more like a drug, than a hobby. Something that you HAVE to get your daily hit from, or else.

This is why the only way games like Warframe get people to play for so long is to use all kinds of psychological manipulation, like FOMO, Pavlovian conditioning, and Skinner Boxes, to keep people going long after they stopped actually having fun with the game. And yeah, I admit, I fell for it too for a while. But that's why I am so critical of Warframe at this point. I know first hand how horrible this manipulative crap feels, and yet how subtle and sneaky it can be, too.

The entire reason I can come back to a game like Doom over and over again for 25 years, despite doing the same things every single time, is because I don't ever get burnt out on it. I can simply play it when I want to, and not play it when I don't want to. The Id Devs accepted that their game is finite, and that trying to force people to play it forever will only cause more problems, and piss people off.

Same with No Man's Sky, despite also being a "live service" like Warframe. I have played it for a couple hundred hours over the last year or so, and that's perfectly fine. I have done what I wanted to, at my own pace, and can come and go whenever I want. So I have never gotten burnt out on any of it, and still enjoy playing it from time to time. Because it doesn't have all the Necessary Evils that microtransactions always bring, they don't actually need to keep people playing forever to survive. The one time entrance fee (which is regularly half off) is plenty.

Meanwhile, I have basically not played Warframe at all since Railjack first came out about two years ago. And only now am I actually starting to finally feel like maybe I want to try again. I'll probably wait for the next big Railjack update first, so there is actually some (hopefully) worthwhile new stuff to try.

Steel_Rook said it quite well:

5 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

This is an issue specific to the Live Service game model. Like the MMOs of old, Live Services have a concurrent operational cost, which requires them to keep players paying concurrently, as well. Subscription fees are no longer tennable, so publishers need to monetise in other ways. What they seem to have settled on is... Well, it's a hugely self-defeating system. Basically, they're designing their games to appeal almost exclusively to burnt-out players. The expectation is that most players will burn out on a game within 30-60 hours, or within a few weeks. Ideally they'd have spent this time with the initial progression system - story mode, star chart, theme park content, etc. Past this point, a number of habit-forming mechanics are used to keep players playing despite being "done" with the game. The idea isn't to make the game fun, but to force it into that player's daily schedule. A player "hooked" on a Live Service may finish with their chores and then find themselves having no idea what to do with their spare time outside of the game they play habitually, so they log into the game and potentially spend more money.

To me, this model is ultimately highly self-defeating. I have a history of video game compulsion, I've played a fair number of MMOs and Live Services, I'm ostensibly a whale (probably €600-700+ into Warframe at time of writing). I can tell you one thing for a fact - I'm much more likely to spend money on a video game I'm enjoying and want more of than on a video game I resent and want to make go away. What happens when I want to make a game go away is I don't play it. This is what caused me to bail on Warframe over the winter. Trying to hold onto burnt-out players is not good. You're generating a fundamentally unpleasable fanbase (because they're burnt out and not having fun), you're stressing players out and you risk them rage-quitting forever. It's so much easier to let players leave the game when they've had enough, then call them back in with the next major content release. A player who left satisfied feeling they've gotten their money's worth is much more likely to come back and spend more money than a player who reached their breaking point and rage-quit, swearing to never do business with the development studio again. SOME of these players will come back, but many won't.

I don't know if it's DE upper management or Leyou interference or just bad judgement, but Warframe's approach to player retention is just... Toxic. The game doesn't want you to play it for hours and hours, even if it seems that way sometimes. No, it wants you to play it a little bit every day until it becomes part of your routine the same as breakfast, brushing your teeth or hugging your family and pets. The game would rather you go through the motions of playing it than actually engage you with content. Honestly, it makes no sense to me. This might be anecdotal, but I personally feel a lot better-disposed towards Warframe after a long break than I've had for over a year.

Live services are built around sucking players dry of their will to go on. It seems to me that letting players leave and come back is the healthier option.

For an example of this, lets examine the process of acquiring and fully upgrading a weapon in Warframe. I put it in a spoiler tag, because this is stupidly long:

Spoiler

First, you need the blueprint to build the weapon. This either means farming credits to buy the blueprint, or farming the blueprint drop itself. The latter also means having to first unlock the area or game mode that the blueprint drops from.

Then, you need the resources to actually build the weapon. So again, you need to unlock the areas that the specific resources you need drop from.

Then, you have to wait 12 or 24 hours for the weapon to build.

Once its built, you now need to level it up. So you bring it into missions and get affinity. But, simply maxing out its rank doesn't actually do anything for you by itself. So now you also need mods.

You probably collected a few mods while doing the rest of this stuff. But they were most likely just the basic, and not very useful, common ones. To get the actually useful, rare ones, you need to go find the specific places with the specific enemies that drop the specific mods you want, and then farm them until you get that 0.2% drop chance to finally happen.

But, simply collecting the mods you want to use still isn't enough. Now you need to level the mods up, too, if you want to get any actually useful stat bonuses out of them. So now you need Endo, and more credits. So you go hunting for Ayatans, and convert all the copies of mods you have collected into Endo. And once your mods are all fully ranked up, you will now realize that you can only fit like three of them on your weapon. Because now you need a Catalyst.

So, you either farm Nightwave standing to buy one with Creds. Or, you hope a blueprint shows up as an invasion reward, which means unlocking where the invasion is even happening first. And if you get the blueprint, that means farming even more resources, and then waiting 24 hours for it to build.

And again, the Catalyst alone isn't enough. Now you also need Forma to polarize your mod slots.  So now you need void relics. So you either farm open world bounties, which of course means unlocking the open world areas in the first place. Or you farm syndicate standing until you can buy void relic bundles. Then once you have some relics, you need to open them. So you have to unlock enough of the star chart to access the nodes the fissure missions are on, and play those until you get enough Forma from the relics. And, if you end up getting any Forma blueprints, you have to build them as well. Which means more resource farming, and an entire 24 hour wait for every single one you need to build.

Now you can apply a Forma to your weapon to add a polarity. But, you can only do so after getting the weapon to max rank. And every time you add a polarity, it resets it to zero, so you have to level it all over again each time. And since you'll probably need anywhere from 1~5 extra polarities to get a full build, this can take a while.

Now, finally, you can go for the final step to fully maximize your weapon: Getting a Riven mod. First, you need to get a Riven, which again, means unlocking one of the places they can drop from. Or, waiting for DE to hand one out after a Devstream or something.

But again, simply getting one isn't enough. First, it has to be the right weapon category for whatever you want to put it on. Then, once you get that, you have to unveil it by completing the challenge. Then you have to hope its actually for the specific weapon you want it for. This can take many, MANY, tries before you even find one that is useable.

Then, once you finally get one for the specific weapon you want, you have to get stats that are useful. That means farming Kuva. So you either play Kuva Survival, which means playing all the quests and everything to unlock the Kuva Fortress. Or, you grind more Nightwave standing to buy it from the Cred shop. And again, this can take many tries before you get a good roll.

And finally, after all that, you have successfully fully upgrades a single one of the almost a thousand weapons in the game! Now do it again. And again. And do it for all the Warframes. And all the Companions. And your Necramechs. And your Railjack.

And this doesn't even include all the extra steps for special weapons. Kitguns also require extra steps to build, and gild, them. And Kuva weapons require extra Forma to reach their maximum capacity. And if its a primary weapon, you'll also want an Exilus Adaptor, which means fighting Sentients, and yet another Forma.

Sure, you don't need to do every single one of those steps every single time. You will eventually get a nice stockpile of resources, and mods only need to be found and ranked up once to be used on every weapon you have. But its still pretty absurd. Especially when you compare it to any of those other games I mentioned. You know how you get a new gun in Doom, or Dusk? You pick it up in a level, and use it.

But, the absurdity of it all is really the entire point. It serves two purposes. It keeps people playing, by dangling an endless stream of carrots on sticks in front of them that they can never realistically hope to reach. That way, there is always some next goal to work towards, even if its just one tiny step at a time. Or it makes them find ways to skip parts of it. And that's where the monetization comes in. Almost every single one of those steps has a way to use Platinum to skip it, or make it go faster.

Even when there isn't an officially DE sanctioned method to speed things up, players will still find other ways. Like passively turbo leveling on Hydron, or Draco, or whatever the current META spot is.

But that shows the problem with this whole system. The simple fact that there is so much value in skipping it shows that it isn't really fun. Because why would any sane person ever pay to do less of something that was fun?

And that's why it causes burnout. Its the equivalent of having to do chores before your Mom will let you go outside and play. It turns a huge portion of the game from being entertainment, into work. Because really, the entire concept of getting burnt out on a video game, aka, something you play 100% voluntarily because you enjoy it, is absurd as well. It should actually be impossible, unless you actually do suffer from a serious addictive personality disorder or something. And yet here we are, in the middle of a market saturated with games that are designed to cause something that should be impossible.

There is also another side effect from all this, that is particularly relevant to this thread. Because of how much time, effort, and money you have to put into getting every new piece of equipment, it better not disappoint. Its not worth it to go through all this for something that just ends up being inferior to what you already have. This is what created that binary attitude that every new weapon DE adds to the game is only worth keeping if its the new META. Otherwise its just mastery fodder, and not worth putting more than bare minimum effort into.

So this whole overly complicated, and massively drawn out system is a big part of what has caused powercreep to become such a problem, while also turning so many people against ever actually fixing it. Again, its a self defeating system.

Edited by Teljaxx
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4 minutes ago, TeaHawk said:

You want to make this game challenging by nerfing stuff to oblivion so that every mission takes longer to complete — then remove dull redundant and neverending farming.

Well, since the dull farming and lack of scaling rewards is a direct result of challenge being non existent, one would hope that the two would go hand in hand. More challenge, more pinnacle activities, less RNG fueled grind hellscapes. But you need to start somewhere, and reworking numbers and systems so that they at least make sense with one another would be the best way to do so. 

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8 minutes ago, (XBOX)ShonFr0st said:

Well, since the dull farming and lack of scaling rewards is a direct result of challenge being non existent, one would hope that the two would go hand in hand. More challenge, more pinnacle activities, less RNG fueled grind hellscapes. But you need to start somewhere, and reworking numbers and systems so that they at least make sense with one another would be the best way to do so. 

In other words struggling in level 30 survival or defense to get 2500 credits and some resources would be a good start? I think most of the players will drop this game straight away.

Did steel path being presumed "harder" with all these buffed enemies change anything? Well, not for me. It is still same gameplay with stupid repetitive missions and bullet-spnges, that you can still kill easily with good build or some exploit.

 

To fix power creep you need to stop tweaking an actually working combat, but rather invest in complexity of game mechanics.

 

Also how do you explain the statement bellow? In what way is dull farming a result of challenge being non existent? Considering warframe game as a service model the neverending farm is self-explanatory.

8 minutes ago, (XBOX)ShonFr0st said:

Well, since the dull farming and lack of scaling rewards is a direct result of challenge being non existent.

Edited by TeaHawk
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4 minutes ago, (XBOX)ShonFr0st said:

Well, since the dull farming and lack of scaling rewards is a direct result of challenge being non existent, one would hope that the two would go hand in hand. More challenge, more pinnacle activities, less RNG fueled grind hellscapes. But you need to start somewhere, and reworking numbers and systems so that they at least make sense with one another would be the best way to do so. 

I'd like to point out that DE probably can't do anything other than RNG fuelled dull grinding. 

My evidence? Look at every single content island they've released. Oh sure, there's always a glimmer of greatness in there, a 'it has potential', but...

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3 minutes ago, TeaHawk said:

In other words struggling in level 30 survival or defense to get 2500 credits and some resources would be a good start? I think most of the players will drop this game straight away.

And of course you start with a ridiculous strawman right out of the gate, yeah I'm not gonna bother

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1 minute ago, (XBOX)ShonFr0st said:

And of course you start with a ridiculous strawman right out of the gate, yeah I'm not gonna bother

Well, I won't either, since as always you don't seem to have an answer to this.

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2 minutes ago, TeaHawk said:

Well, I won't either, since as always you don't seem to have an answer to this.

The answer is quite straightforward. As you state, this is a live service game, so it needs measures in order to avoid scenarios in which players finish content one day after release. If success is guaranteed, and after certain gear steps it does not matter if you are fighting lvl 50 enemies or lvl 500 enemies because numbers are so absurdly high and systems so ridiculously broken, the only way to pad out acquisition times is through dull grinding and repetition. The same goes for mission design: you can't have structured encounters as long as you can skip all enemies and terrain, nor can you have bosses that do not forcefully render combat mechanics pointless through gimmicks and invulnerability phases, because the damage gap between "good" and "meta" loadouts can be of several orders of magnitude. Therefore, you can't deliver meaningful rewards that match difficulty, neither can you pad out acquisition with the natural length of a structured, dungeon-style encounter, because both systems would be rendered obsolete in an instant. 

First you need to make numbers manageable and reduce the effectiveness of strategies that completely trivialize content, reworking enemy stats accordingly. And you should imagine this not as "struggling in level 30 survival", but as "there's no longer a 100x factor between the dps of this sharp stick and that of a sniper rifle". Only then can you add the much needed mechanical complexity, otherwise the only mechanics you can add are the umpteenth invulnerable enemy that instantly dies the moment its defenses are down, or gimmicks that do not rely on combat, such as standing on pressure plates or pressing buttons in a certain order. Don't get me wrong, these last two examples have their place in a shooter, but only if base combat mechanics can make them exciting. Standing on a zone can be fun, if the enemies have the power to kick you out of it. Frantically going for the correct interaction, while under a failure timer in a combat arena can be adrenaline inducing, if there's a chance that enemies can prevent you from doing so. Imagine those mechanics with the power we have. You'd be standing on a plate as limbo, with enemies physically unable to move around it, tediously waiting for the time to tick down. You'd casually stroll to the button with an immortal Inaros and primed sure footed, with no chance of being stopped. You end up not playing Warframe, but Random Mechanic #8921, because the "Warframe" part is solved entirely through the gear you bring. You can already see this in action with bosses like Exploiter, in which you fight canisters, not a big Orb Mother, or Nihil, which doesn't even allow you to use weapons.  

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31 minutes ago, Paradoxity said:

I'd like to point out that DE probably can't do anything other than RNG fuelled dull grinding. 

My evidence? Look at every single content island they've released. Oh sure, there's always a glimmer of greatness in there, a 'it has potential', but...

What else can they do? They can't do skill-based content, because skill is unnecessary when you can one-shot everything. They can't do challenge-based content, because it's impossible to define what challenge should mean when players are so inconsistent. All that's left is making time-based content: if everything is Mobile Defense and runs on a timer it doesn't matter how overpowered or inconsistent a player is. Warframe is boring and grindy because DE's hands are tied: they're unable or unwilling to actively balance the game as a whole, and as a result the game has gotten away from them and they can't rely on anything but grind. But if DE took charge and toned down player power and made it more consistent then content based on skill or overcoming a challenge could actually be created and we could have content gated behind things other than the same tedious grind.

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24 minutes ago, (XBOX)ShonFr0st said:

The answer is quite straightforward. As you state, this is a live service game, so it needs measures in order to avoid scenarios in which players finish content one day after release. If success is guaranteed, and after certain gear steps it does not matter if you are fighting lvl 50 enemies or lvl 500 enemies because numbers are so absurdly high and systems so ridiculously broken, the only way to pad out acquisition times is through dull grinding and repetition. The same goes for mission design: you can't have structured encounters as long as you can skip all enemies and terrain, nor can you have bosses that do not forcefully render combat mechanics pointless through gimmicks and invulnerability phases, because the damage gap between "good" and "meta" loadouts can be of several orders of magnitude. Therefore, you can't deliver meaningful rewards that match difficulty, neither can you pad out acquisition with the natural length of a structured, dungeon-style encounter, because both systems would be rendered obsolete in an instant. 

First you need to make numbers manageable and reduce the effectiveness of strategies that completely trivialize content, reworking enemy stats accordingly. And you should imagine this not as "struggling in level 30 survival", but as "there's no longer a 100x factor between the dps of this sharp stick and that of a sniper rifle". Only then can you add the much needed mechanical complexity, otherwise the only mechanics you can add are the umpteenth invulnerable enemy that instantly dies the moment its defenses are down, or gimmicks that do not rely on combat, such as standing on pressure plates or pressing buttons in a certain order. Don't get me wrong, these last two examples have their place in a shooter, but only if base combat mechanics can make them exciting. Standing on a zone can be fun, if the enemies have the power to kick you out of it. Frantically going for the correct interaction, while under a failure timer in a combat arena can be adrenaline inducing, if there's a chance that enemies can prevent you from doing so. Imagine those mechanics with the power we have. You'd be standing on a plate as limbo, with enemies physically unable to move around it, tediously waiting for the time to tick down. You'd casually stroll to the button with an immortal Inaros and primed sure footed, with no chance of being stopped. You end up not playing Warframe, but Random Mechanic #8921, because the "Warframe" part is solved entirely through the gear you bring. You can already see this in action with bosses like Exploiter, in which you fight canisters, not a big Orb Mother, or Nihil, which doesn't even allow you to use weapons.  

Good point. However, the problem comes from the fact that in order to achieve the goal in that case you'd need not simply nerf weapon stats, but completly rethink warframe ablilities. And that in return seems impossible. Firstly, many warframe are played simply because they are good at some role, as limbo in your example. You remove this ability — they become pointless. Then, what will you do with players who suffered to get their builds? How do you recompense, what will you grant them in exchange for drastic nerfs? Because, as we can see both the problem is more substantial than simple meta-nerf/power-creep.

 

Personally, I can't seem to find an escape from current situation. Maybe you can.

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Also, why did DE democratize Arbitration? Why now you can die as many times as you want in it? At the beginning it worked well. It actually required some proper building and skill to be efficient and stay for long.

I remember playing it with my friend on release. I can say it was challenging and rewarding. And I've seen a lot of players breaking their neck with Saryn nukes, Mesas, Inaroses and so on. But they killed it for some reason.

They simply destroyed it by simplifying it. Now they are simplifying railjack. Why?
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Also, you all seem to forget that building your equipment is a consistent part of the gameplay. Warframe is about using proper tools for competing the tasks. By removing useful and by this sometimes game-breaking abilities you will make a lot of frame downright redundant and useless.

Edited by TeaHawk
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1 hour ago, Teljaxx said:

But, the absurdity of it all is really the entire point. It serves two purposes. It keeps people playing, by dangling an endless stream of carrots on sticks in front of them that they can never realistically hope to reach. That way, there is always some next goal to work towards, even if its just one tiny step at a time. Or it makes them find ways to skip parts of it. And that's where the monetization comes in. Almost every single one of those steps has a way to use Platinum to skip it, or make it go faster.

I agree :) Just so we're on the same page - I wasn't trying to justify the Live Service grind. Rather, I was trying to explain why so many modern Live Services seem to go for the same unhealthy business model of burning their players out (more on that in a bit) and replacing them with new whales. It's A way to pull recurring monetisation out of a non-expanding player base, and the video game industry has proven that it will not innovate unless forced to by circumstances. It took how many years to get rid of lootboxes? And it only took a massive community-wide backlash backed up with government legislation to do it. Then everyone saw how much money Fortnite was making, so now everything has to have a Battle Pass. The video game market is one never-ending boom-and-bust cycle, with innovation quickly being buried under formulaic copycats swelling the market, until derivative saturation leads to a bust and we move onto the next model dejour.

Right now, Live Services are fixated on "habit forming" as a monetisation strategy. It's stable, it's consistent, it works... For now. Give it a few more years as people grow up with these models before it stops being effective exactly like subscription MMOs did, when someone comes up with something new that still works. Hell, the Battle Pass is basically an MMO subscription by another name. I'm the sort of whale who paid that back in the day :)

The only reason I bring this up is for context - an attempt to share my own introspection on the subject. It took me a couple of years, but Warframe finally clicked with me. It's not a "free" game with an option to buy time savers. It's a paid game with a free demo. No, you don't have to pay a dime if you really don't want to, but paying very quickly reveals how DE want us to engage with the game. You listed a long sequence of events for levelling up weapons there, and you're absolutely right. As a whale, the last few weapons I levelled up I got off the Market and Polarised with Forma purchased with Platinum. It still took time because I'm an inefficient leveller, but the game made the process so much easier for me - not because I'm special, but because I'm irresponsible with my money. Still won't pay to rush the Forge, though...

Point being - I think we agree on the matter.

 

1 hour ago, Teljaxx said:

The entire concept of getting burnt out on a video game, aka, something you play 100% voluntarily because you enjoy it, is absurd as well. It should actually be impossible, unless you actually do suffer from a serious addictive personality disorder or something.

Bit of a sidetrack but I wanted to address this. While burnout is often used to describe psychological exhaustion brought about from work stress, it has colloquially been used in a much broader context. Granted, I'm not a native speaker so I may miss some of the nuance, but the way I typically use the word more broadly refers to losing the will, desire and motivation for an activity. One can be creatively burnt out, like a writer who spends too long on the same story and no longer has any passion to it. You can be burnt out on a hobby, no longer finding joy in it but not knowing what else to do with your time. It's why I'm careful to use the word "compulsion" when talking about video games, rather than "addiction." Compulsion creates habits which are difficult to break from inside, but which then proceed to seem simple with the distance of time.

Especially when it comes to video games, many players' habits have substantial momentum. We pick a game, we get into the habit of playing it, we learn it intuitively and so we keep doing it long after it stops being fun. It turns into a ritual, a part of our daily life. To NOT play that game leads to the question of "OK, then what?" It creates a tremendous amount of overhead as we search for a new game, perhaps re-learn an old game, have to settle into a new and potentially more hostile community, etc. It's so much easier to just keep doing what we're doing and look for some way - ANY way - to make it fun. That's burnout right there, and the worst part is it's nearly impossible to spot from inside of it. Only when circumstances (or ragequit) make us stop and do something else for a while - when we break the habit - do we realise just how hollow it had become.

I tend to be melodramatic on the subject only because I'm approaching two decades of playing various MMOs and Live Services, having to deal with a lot of this stuff. Eventually, I had to learn to become a sort of transient player, moving from game to game and always looking for something new because nothing lasts forever. Warframe's been around for 8 years and it seems like it'll never end, but it will. I thought the same thing about City of Heroes after eight years and that just stopped one day. Trying to find a "forevergame" is how Live Services get us. It helps to always have fallback options.

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On 2021-03-16 at 12:59 PM, Teljaxx said:

I did the same thing a while ago. A little after PoE came out, I stopped playing Warframe for nearly a year straight. And during that time, I caught up on many other games that I had completely ignored while playing Warframe almost exclusively for the preceding couple years. And once I did that, it felt like a veil had been lifted from my eyes. I had quite literally forgotten what it was like to play a game with actual well designed mechanics because I had played nothing but Warframe for so long.

This is also why I always use Dark Souls as my "anti-Warframe" example. Its almost exactly the opposite in terms of stats vs. skill. In Warframe, there is basically no challenge that cannot be overcome by simply bringing bigger numbers, no matter how bad you are at actually playing the game. But in Dark Souls, every new challenge can really only be overcome by actually becoming a better player. Sure, you can potentially grind souls and titanite for a long time and boost your stats to help out, but pure stats can only take you so far.

But whenever I mention Dark Souls, the assumption is always that I just want Warframe to be super hard. But the difficulty is not what makes Dark Souls so much fun. There is a difference between difficulty and challenge. Warframe already has plenty of difficulty, but there is rarely any challenge to actually make it interesting. For example: Rolling a D20, and calling out the number you think it will land on is difficult. There is only a 5% chance you'll be right. But it isn't challenging, because simply saying a number and rolling a die isn't exactly complicated. The determining factor between success or failure is never your skill at executing the actions, its just pure mathematics.

And that's basically all there is to make Warframe "challenging". Its just numbers vs. numbers, and player input barely matters. By comparison, Dark Souls is more like throwing the die into a shot glass on the other side of the room while doing a backflip. Instead of just relying purely on math to determine success or failure, its entirely your skill at executing the necessary actions that determines the outcome. This makes it challenging, and that challenge is what makes it so much fun to play, despite its difficulty sometimes feeling like you're slamming your face into a brick wall repeatedly.

This is why the suggestion I see so often that simply nerfing yourself, by bringing less mods or weaker weapons, or whatever, doesn't actually make Warframe more fun. Simply lowering your stats doesn't do anything to make the gameplay more engaging. It just makes fights take longer, which can make it more difficult, but not more challenging. You still have to do exactly the same simple things, you just have to do them for a bit longer. Hitting an enemy with your sword four times isn't much more exciting than hitting them twice.

This is the main problem I have with pretty much all "AAA" games these days. Along with any other game that has a heavy focus on grinding, microtransactions, loot boxes, battlepasses, limited time events, or any other similar mechanics. All those things transform an otherwise fun piece of entertainment into nothing more than a product. A soulless means for the creator to make money. Because there are far too many ways that they have to intentionally remove some of the fun from the game in order to make it profitable. They quite literally give you less fun up front, just so that they can sell it to you later for even more profit.

Warframe may be one of the least egregious examples of all this, but its still far from innocent. Its over reliance on extrinsic carrots on sticks, and endless treadmills of grinding as the only encouragement to keep you playing being one of the worst parts. Its the main reason I basically never play anymore. The intrinsic rewards all either simply wore out their welcome a thousand hours ago, or have been ruined by some change over time. And the extrinsic ones are simply not worth spending time to get, because they will either be statistically inferior to something I already have, or so overpowered they break the game even further. So what's the point?

Especially because there are still so many other games out there that don't have these "necessary evils" built into their systems.

Dark Souls should never, ever, be in the same conversation as Warframe though. DS is incredibly slow, clunky, less graphical design less of an ability pool, less interaction, significantly less entertaining, less appealing and has less content in all of its sequels combined than Warframe. This is why people keep shooting any type of comparison down easily. Simply placing DS's main character in Warframe immediately would make Warframe the most difficult game on the planet. Excal in DS instantly trivializes it. It's that simple.

I do understand what you're trying to say but please understand what you're asking. Most players aren't blazing through Warframe like some suggests and dudes on youtube are showing players how to breeze through DS. 

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2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Point being - I think we agree on the matter.

Oh definitely. I was quoting you because you had made basically the same point I wanted to make against Dunkelheit. And you said it very well.

2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Bit of a sidetrack but I wanted to address this. While burnout is often used to describe psychological exhaustion brought about from work stress, it has colloquially been used in a much broader context. Granted, I'm not a native speaker so I may miss some of the nuance, but the way I typically use the word more broadly refers to losing the will, desire and motivation for an activity. One can be creatively burnt out, like a writer who spends too long on the same story and no longer has any passion to it. You can be burnt out on a hobby, no longer finding joy in it but not knowing what else to do with your time. It's why I'm careful to use the word "compulsion" when talking about video games, rather than "addiction." Compulsion creates habits which are difficult to break from inside, but which then proceed to seem simple with the distance of time.

Especially when it comes to video games, many players' habits have substantial momentum. We pick a game, we get into the habit of playing it, we learn it intuitively and so we keep doing it long after it stops being fun. It turns into a ritual, a part of our daily life. To NOT play that game leads to the question of "OK, then what?" It creates a tremendous amount of overhead as we search for a new game, perhaps re-learn an old game, have to settle into a new and potentially more hostile community, etc. It's so much easier to just keep doing what we're doing and look for some way - ANY way - to make it fun. That's burnout right there, and the worst part is it's nearly impossible to spot from inside of it. Only when circumstances (or ragequit) make us stop and do something else for a while - when we break the habit - do we realise just how hollow it had become.

I tend to be melodramatic on the subject only because I'm approaching two decades of playing various MMOs and Live Services, having to deal with a lot of this stuff. Eventually, I had to learn to become a sort of transient player, moving from game to game and always looking for something new because nothing lasts forever. Warframe's been around for 8 years and it seems like it'll never end, but it will. I thought the same thing about City of Heroes after eight years and that just stopped one day. Trying to find a "forevergame" is how Live Services get us. It helps to always have fallback options.

This isn't really off topic. As always, the main issue is complicated, and connects to many other issues.

Personally, the way I have always defined burnout is doing something to the point where you start to hate it, and can't even stand to think about it anymore. Which is why it really shouldn't be possible to get burnt out on a game. If you can simply stop playing whenever you want, your feelings on the matter should never get to that point. The only way that could happen is if there is some sort of compulsion that keeps you chained to it. Sometimes that can be self inflicted, like a speedrunner practicing for a competition or something. But for the average player, just playing for fun, it should never happen.

Basically, when I call burnout, most people would call ragequitting. Even though that also has different connotations than what I really mean.

Either way, the saddest part of this whole thing is that the "AAA" and F2P markets are perfectly fine with causing those feelings in their players. They don't care if they drive away big chunks of their players, because there are always more to take their place. Player counts getting low? Just start a new ad campaign, and put out a flashy new update, and you'll have a whole fresh crowd of paying customers before you know it. And as an added bonus, all your past sins will be forgiven, because the majority of your players weren't around to see them.

This is why, if we ever want anything to actually change for the better, we have to actually convince the players themselves that this kind of thing shouldn't be acceptable. Because really, in most situations, the entire reason the game creators do these things is purely for profit, not for survival. They don't need the massive amounts of income that their monetization systems create, they just want it. Plus, barely any of it actually goes to the developers anyway. It pretty much all just disappears into the already overstuffed pockets of the top executives.

And, unfortunately, none of this is actually all that new, either. As you said, subscription MMOs were the first attempt at getting more money out of a game than just the base price. They were also the first attempt at making games that last forever. And the way they accomplished that is by normalizing grinding as the primary progression system. Which is the same problem we have in Warframe. The primary motivation to keep playing is simply to grind for stuff. Not for the story. Not for the challenge. Not even to unlock new areas or anything. Its just to get more stuff for the sake of having more stuff.

I still very clearly remember the exact moment I realized that grinding is intentionally designed to be BS. It was during the short time I played WoW. There was a quest where I needed to collect 10 zebra hooves. I figured it would be super quick and easy, because every zebra has 4 hooves, right? Nope! Each zebra only had a 15% CHANCE to drop ONE hoof each. So where I should have only had to kill three zebras to get what I needed, I actually had to kill 36 of them. How fun...

And ever since then, I have only become more and more aware of just how often game designers are intentionally wasting my time, just to keep me around for as long as possible. And at this point, my tolerance for pointless grinding is extremely low. Which sucks, because it means there are very few new games for me to play anymore. I feel like I'm burnt out on them before I have even started playing. Though, its also why I appreciate the recent wave of retro FPS so much.

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1 minute ago, GEN-Son_17 said:

Dark Souls should never, ever, be in the same conversation as Warframe though. DS is incredibly slow, clunky, less graphical design less of an ability pool, less interaction, significantly less entertaining, less appealing and has less content in all of its sequels combined than Warframe. This is why people keep shooting any type of comparison down easily. Simply placing DS's main character in Warframe immediately would make Warframe the most difficult game on the planet. Excal in DS instantly trivializes it. It's that simple.

I do understand what you're trying to say but please understand what you're asking. Most players aren't blazing through Warframe like some suggests and dudes on youtube are showing players how to breeze through DS. 

You're only comparing the superficial parts of the games. Obviously Dark Souls and Warframe are nothing like each other if you only compare specifics like this.

The point I was making is how differently they handle more general things. Like how much of an impact player skill and character stats have on your success in each case. The specific method each game uses might be incompatible with each other, but the overall concept could be transferred from one to another.

Dark Souls could easily be tweaked to have the same kind of balancing as Warframe, where its super easy to simply level up your character and upgrade your gear to obliterate any challenge you face without ever needing any skill. And Warframe could also be redesigned so that player skill is the primary deciding factor in most situations, instead of just what gear you have equipped. The specific changes would be different in each game, but the results would be similar.

You don't have to make Warframes move like the Chosen Undead to make Warframe more engaging. And you don't have to let the Chosen Undead bullet jump and sprint all over the place to make Dark Souls super easy.

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29 minutes ago, Teljaxx said:

And you don't have to let the Chosen Undead bullet jump and sprint all over the place to make Dark Souls super easy.

Honestly Dark Souls is already pretty easy, except for things like Blighttown and other such "death by environment" nonsense.

I find myself fighting the movement options of Dark Souls more than the actual enemies, hell the vast majority of times I ever died back when I did play it were the level design more than the enemies. Dark Souls likely wouldn't have been nearly as synonymous with "difficult" were it not for so many instances of it more being "Slip and Die Souls" instead.

I know it is an unpopular opinion but I actually preferred Dark Souls 2's level design, something I'm sure I'd be burned at the stake for even saying because as far as my memory recalls there was less slipping and dying in DS2, though that may well be false memories, it has been years after all.

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16 hours ago, Soy77 said:

META stands for Most Efficient Tactics Available.

You should probably know that that's a backronym. The term actually derives from "Metagame", which can refer to either the evolving strategies that emerge from gameplay as new counters to old tactics are discovered (most usually in competitive games), or (in more traditional tabletop RPGs) the generally frowned upon practice of using external knowledge to have your character make decisions that they typically wouldn't in-character.

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2 hours ago, GEN-Son_17 said:

Dark Souls should never, ever, be in the same conversation as Warframe though. DS is incredibly slow, clunky, less graphical design less of an ability pool, less interaction, significantly less entertaining, less appealing and has less content in all of its sequels combined than Warframe. This is why people keep shooting any type of comparison down easily. Simply placing DS's main character in Warframe immediately would make Warframe the most difficult game on the planet. Excal in DS instantly trivializes it. It's that simple.

I do understand what you're trying to say but please understand what you're asking. Most players aren't blazing through Warframe like some suggests and dudes on youtube are showing players how to breeze through DS. 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHA!!!

Dark Souls is immensely more entertaining than Warframe ever, EVER will be. Dark Souls has better graphical design, better designed bosses and the gameplay is more engaging than Warframe.

I don't care about the bosses or anything in this game. Other than Ballas and Lotus, no other character in Warframe has any lasting impact on me. In contrast, Dark Souls 3 has The Nameless King, The Dance of The Boreal Valley, the story of Yhorm and Siegward, the character and fantastic boss fight with Gael Aldritch, the Abyss Watchers who hearken back to Artorias, heck Sif is better than anything we have in Warframe by miles...and I could go on and on when it comes to Demon's Souls and Bloodborne. Oh how I love Bloodborne, the game I still consider to be the best Playstation exclusive released this generation.

1 hour ago, Teljaxx said:

You're only comparing the superficial parts of the games. Obviously Dark Souls and Warframe are nothing like each other if you only compare specifics like this.

The point I was making is how differently they handle more general things. Like how much of an impact player skill and character stats have on your success in each case. The specific method each game uses might be incompatible with each other, but the overall concept could be transferred from one to another.

Dark Souls could easily be tweaked to have the same kind of balancing as Warframe, where its super easy to simply level up your character and upgrade your gear to obliterate any challenge you face without ever needing any skill. And Warframe could also be redesigned so that player skill is the primary deciding factor in most situations, instead of just what gear you have equipped. The specific changes would be different in each game, but the results would be similar.

You don't have to make Warframes move like the Chosen Undead to make Warframe more engaging. And you don't have to let the Chosen Undead bullet jump and sprint all over the place to make Dark Souls super easy.

At the same time in Dark Souls/Demon's Souls/Bloodborne when you kill a boss you get the means to buy what is associated with that boss. So, if I want to get the Farron Greatsword I know I have to kill the Abyss Watchers, and do it once for the character I am playing as. I don't have to do it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again just for the hope that I might get the part I need to build the weapon. I can build it right away after going to my hub and interacting with the associated vendor(s). In Warframe we hope to get the piece we need to build what we want and when we get it, we justify the amount of time expended by saying we "earned" the piece through "hard work" and "effort". Furthermore, in Dark Souls we expend souls (or blood echoes in the case of Bloodborne) to build and buy things. Players know this and accept this and are open to the most efficient farming methods because we know we want to move and play the game, and use our new toys. In Warframe, players end up calling for things to be nerfed because they see other people having fun, and when people devise new efficient farming methods it gets castigated for ruining the game.

EDIT: Clarification: I mean Dark Souls 3, Demon's Souls and Bloodborne. Have not played Dark Souls 1, and only bits of Dark Souls 2 when my PS3 was operational.

Edited by (PSN)DoctorWho_90250
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6 hours ago, TeaHawk said:

Warframe is a game about farming. And the main goal of every player after first 50 hours is to optimize farming.

You want to make this game challenging by nerfing stuff to oblivion so that every mission takes longer to complete — then remove dull redundant and neverending farming.

You want to keep farming — make it freaking rewarding. After farming dozens if not hundreds of hours to complete build with umbral formas, perfect rivens, arcanes and so on I actually expect to be able to clear the room within a second. And if I don't, I probably would not have invested all this time and effort in that S#&$. I would probably go play some raid in Destiny with its complex mechanics.

 

I like warframe mainly because of how rewarding farming in this game is. To me it's one of the single games where power-creep is actually a fundamental feature. Maybe the way to fix the problem is not to nerf guns or buff enemies, but add some complexity in overall game mechanics, that would actually require team-work and thinking?

 

 

it is in DE's financial interests to make farming Less rewarding. The motivation behind nerfing is not to make the game 'challenging' but to increase grind.

Because doing this incentivizes players to Bypass the farming and the grind by Buying things like Access Packs, and Boosters.

 

Instead of being "pay to win" DE uses "pay to skip grind" as their income.

Therefore DE must always preserve some form of grind. Stuff like Meta weapons/builds that make grind easier, they will want to nerf.

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5 hours ago, Corvid said:

You should probably know that that's a backronym. The term actually derives from "Metagame", which can refer to either the evolving strategies that emerge from gameplay as new counters to old tactics are discovered (most usually in competitive games), or (in more traditional tabletop RPGs) the generally frowned upon practice of using external knowledge to have your character make decisions that they typically wouldn't in-character.

Yeah I've seen that argument before. But as of now, the term has evolved and it's pretty much open for debate.

The meta definition you're explaining is indeed older, and more commonly used in tabletop or role playing games.

They picked it up from an english scholar named Nigel Howard who created it around 1960s based on strategic games and war. I know these stuff because i had this conversation before.

Then the videogame community picked it up and start using it, especially the competitive scene. But they also screwed up the original meaning as well.

As of now, most of us call something "meta" in videogames if it's really effective or efficient. Not because it's out of character, an odd pick that turns out to be really good, or 4th wall breaking by knowing facts that the players know but the character they're playing shouldn't.

So you're right. But the term has evolved. If we want to blame anyone, probably blame some competitive esport casters who randomly used it without knowing the original meaning and accidentally derived it.

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1 hour ago, Soy77 said:

Yeah I've seen that argument before. But as of now, the term has evolved and it's pretty much open for debate.

The meta definition you're explaining is indeed older, and more commonly used in tabletop or role playing games.

They picked it up from an english scholar named Nigel Howard who created it around 1960s based on strategic games and war. I know these stuff because i had this conversation before.

Then the videogame community picked it up and start using it, especially the competitive scene. But they also screwed up the original meaning as well.

As of now, most of us call something "meta" in videogames if it's really effective or efficient. Not because it's out of character, an odd pick that turns out to be really good, or 4th wall breaking by knowing facts that the players know but the character they're playing shouldn't.

So you're right. But the term has evolved. If we want to blame anyone, probably blame some competitive esport casters who randomly used it without knowing the original meaning and accidentally derived it.

I'm aware that it has evolved (you will note that one of the definitions I provided fits its current use), I'm just pointing out that saying that meta refers to a retroactively-added acronym is mistaken.

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30 minutes ago, Corvid said:

I'm aware that it has evolved (you will note that one of the definitions I provided fits its current use), I'm just pointing out that saying that meta refers to a retroactively-added acronym is mistaken.

It's always been 'metagame' for me

when higher level optimization and strategies becomes a game in itself, hence 'metagame'

 

side note, its always been 'freestyle running' to me as well, not 'parkour'

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Tbh, if you dont nerf something while balancing and only buff the weaker one you will end up where Diablo 3 is now.

Just look at some of the set item bonuses :

  • Impale deals an additional 75,000% damage to the first enemy hit
  • After casting Rain of Vengeance, deal 14000% increased damage and take 60% reduced damage for 10 seconds
  • Spirit Generators increase the weapon damage of Dashing Strike to 60,000% for 6 seconds, and Dashing Strike increases damage of Spirit Generators by 6000% for 6 seconds

That is insane power creep.

Warframe is (for me at least) always about testing and discovering new powerful things, not to just stick to one thing.

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Reminder that everything points towards DE does not caring about how powerful this or that weapon is at all - the only factor in nerfing meta weapons is absolutely overwhelming usage ratios, and honestly, at that point it is mostly warranted. There are plenty of stupid powerful weapons in Warframe and if everyone is converging to a single one it is very unhealthy for the game. Yes, players will ignore all the fun options and converge to a generally agreed upon meta (which is not even always accurate in its choice of what is the best) - at this point it becomes the developer's job to protect players from themselves.

 

On 2021-03-14 at 8:01 AM, Narcissa said:

I would think logic would be to elevate the things that are hot garbage to the level of the things people enjoy would be the more logical route, yes?

Your "logic" has been suggested three billion times across every game that exists out there and it is just as stupid now as it was the first time someone said it. Next you're going to tell me that PVE doesn't need balance, I guess?

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9 hours ago, (PSN)haphazardlynamed said:

Therefore DE must always preserve some form of grind. Stuff like Meta weapons/builds that make grind easier, they will want to nerf.

Close but no cigar - the impact of meta weapons and builds on making grinding easier is irrelevant, because any other half decent setup will do just as well. The real impact is players who have acquired meta gear feeling like they don't have a reason to grind for anything else ever again, and you can't tell me that this is healthy for the game, even before considering how it is obviously unhealthy for DE's business.

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The answer is simple, when something becomes so good none of the other items feel "viable" - it means it is too overtuned.

But the answer is a 2 way street, because a lot of undertuned things desperately need help which are ignored like Convectrix which I have not seen a single person use in 4 years. 

 

Edited by xxswatelitexx
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