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What is the gameplay purpose of forma polarity?


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Posted (edited)

TLDR: AFAICT the only thing forma polarization does is promote build lock in, which is, IMO, a Bad Game Mechanic.

I'm sure forma polarization has been discussed before, but I feel strongly enough about it I want to add my $0.02 to the probably enormous pile.

I don't understand why forma polarization is in the game. To the best of my ability to tell, the only purpose it serves is to lock in builds and prevent build experimentation and build flexibility. For instance, I have a Frost build that maximizes armor for high HP bubbles. I can't swap Chilling Globe for an armor mod without reformaing a slot. Why should I need to do that? I understand not wanting to allow swapping builds during a mission, but preventing build modification between missions doesn't seem like a good game mechanic.

This type of issue has been around forever - OG WOW priests and warriors can tell you all about it because group builds and solo builds were completely different and respeccing over and over got really expensive. It was anti player fun then and it still is now.

Possible alternatives (ordered by my personal preference):

Note: Due to their relative scarcity, umbra formas are different beasts and should keep the current system. The alternatives below shouldn't affect umbra formas IMO.

1) Get rid of polarity altogether.
This seems extreme at first glance, but really it's not a big deal in the long run. It doesn't enable any new builds and it still requires the same number of forma for any given build. It just means that it's easy to experiment with builds and you can optimize multiple builds in different configuration slots, whereas currently you can often only optimize one build and other builds are gimped or outright impossible.

2) Add Universal Forma to the game
Universal Forma would be basically the same thing as Aura forma, except they work for any slot other than the aura slot. IMO they'd be easier to get and cheaper to make than Aura forma - maybe 2 forma for one universal forma.

3) Allow forma to apply to individual configurations
In other words, when you apply a forma you should be able to choose which configurations the forma alters, just like applying a Helminth power to a warframe.

EDIT: 4) Stack forma instead of replace

E.g. If you forma a slot with D and then reforma with -, the slot now fits both D and - polarity. Credit goes to @quxier for this option.

To sum up, I'd really like to see the removal of build lock in from the game, and I think the options given above are all all feasible means of doing so. Thanks for your consideration.

Edited by (PSN)PreeminentPants
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There are some universal forma but not in the 'main' slots. 
The primary purpose of the forma is to reduce the cost of mods by half rounded up. The pros here vastly out weigh the cons. But yes youre partially right on locking in builds.

However its not as big an issue as it seems considering a lot of mods share a thematic polarity allocation. So for weapons you can forma them 7 times and run 3 different builds. You can also have more than one of each frame if you wish to polarize differently for Fringe or Min Maxing differently. I used to own 5 or 6 Frost warframes because the loadout system didnt exist and you only had the one option. The one issue is cold mods are on the D polarity rather than the bar polarity which makes going for magnetic damage difficult.

 

Removing polarities from the game at this point doesnt make sense.
What would be nice, and as you pointed out, an option to allow forma to affect all loadout slots or just the one for individual configs.

 

Depending on the build, and frame, mod capacity needs can exceed 80, and with a potato all max capacities are 60. This is why polarization is important.

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1 hour ago, (PSN)PreeminentPants said:

2) Add Universal Forma to the game
Universal Forma would be basically the same thing as Aura forma, except they work for any slot other than the aura slot. IMO they'd be easier to get and cheaper to make than Aura forma - maybe 2 forma for one universal forma.

Another spin on it is you forma slot for some polarity (e.g. Zenurik & Vazarin) and you can swap those polarities in this slot (like in any Builder).

1 hour ago, (PSN)PreeminentPants said:

3) Allow forma to apply to individual configurations
In other words, when you apply a forma you should be able to choose which configurations the forma alters, just like applying a Helminth power to a warframe.

That would be good for Helminth.

 

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1 hour ago, (PSN)PreeminentPants said:

TLDR: AFAICT the only thing forma polarization does is promote build lock in, which is, IMO, a Bad Game Mechanic.

 

It is a great game mechanic when you consider Warframe needs to make money. Forma, though available for free, are a hot commodity for plat purchases (I purchase probably 100-200 forma a year with plat). If there were no polarity then I'd probably cut my yearly spending by 30-40%. 

 

Having said that, Forma polarity is also an important aspect to the game because it encourages build complexity. Having to specify which type of mod fits in which slot may be a little annoying but it also encourages players to plan ahead a bit more than would otherwise be asked of them. 

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1 hour ago, Leqesai said:

Having said that, Forma polarity is also an important aspect to the game because it encourages build complexity. Having to specify which type of mod fits in which slot may be a little annoying but it also encourages players to plan ahead a bit more than would otherwise be asked of them. 

It's just annoying. It's artificially lengthen a game. What happens when there is some thing you either don't know or some change? You just forma it into right slot.

Your builds are not compatible (e.g. with Helminth)? Buy another frame/weapon and forma it again.

Unless you are into Knapsack problem it's just a job. Nothing interesting. Complexity should be used when dealing per mission based. Doing defense - bring Frost. Doing spy - bring Ivara. And so on so on. Formaing is like playing Open wolrd (and maybe RJ). You bring 1 frame that deal with the "hardest" challenge. They could test your knowledge (about complexity) and let have fun... but fun is not allowed in Open world.

 

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19 minutes ago, quxier said:

It's just annoying. It's artificially lengthen a game. What happens when there is some thing you either don't know or some change? You just forma it into right slot.

Your builds are not compatible (e.g. with Helminth)? Buy another frame/weapon and forma it again.

Unless you are into Knapsack problem it's just a job. Nothing interesting. Complexity should be used when dealing per mission based. Doing defense - bring Frost. Doing spy - bring Ivara. And so on so on. Formaing is like playing Open wolrd (and maybe RJ). You bring 1 frame that deal with the "hardest" challenge. They could test your knowledge (about complexity) and let have fun... but fun is not allowed in Open world.

 

Hey, I don't disagree with you but I don't really think DE is going to change anything anytime soon.

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Posted (edited)

The unflexible forma system is one of the reason why people are leaning towards “cookie cutter” builds. Players do not want to waste their time re-formaing their setups every time they want to try out a new build. So, they just google up some meta build and stick it and then never bother with it. With it, meta users spikes up and DE them starts to wonder why they always stick to one build or setup then started nerfing. The forma system punishes flexibility, this should not be the case. 
 

If DE included a universal forma or adding more forma into a slot gives you more polarity, we wouldn’t be in the state where players are parroting towards “Warframetubers” for braindead meta builds. Experimenting with builds are currently not worth the effort and not a pleasant experience.

Edited by DrivaMain
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27 minutes ago, Leqesai said:

Hey, I don't disagree with you but I don't really think DE is going to change anything anytime soon.

Yeah. Universal forma or buying abilities for Helminth... things like this seems to be not good enough.

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2 minutes ago, quxier said:

Yeah. Universal forma or buying abilities for Helminth... things like this seems to be not good enough.

Sometimes the easiest solutions are the hardest. lol

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, (PSN)PreeminentPants said:

2) Add Universal Forma to the game
Universal Forma would be basically the same thing as Aura forma, except they work for any slot other than the aura slot. IMO they'd be easier to get and cheaper to make than Aura forma - maybe 2 forma for one universal forma.

I still expect a multipolarity system at some point, but I think your proposed effort/cost is unrealistic.  I think  it will be closer to that of our -current- multipolarity system:  building and forma-ing duplicate frames.

Probably somewhat less than that, probably a lot more streamlined.  But also very likely involving some time-limiting as a highly sought-after carrot item.  (See: umbra forma)

 

Edited by Tiltskillet
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5 hours ago, quxier said:

Another spin on it is you forma slot for some polarity (e.g. Zenurik & Vazarin) and you can swap those polarities in this slot (like in any Builder).

Yeah I like this idea too. Added it to the OP.

5 hours ago, quxier said:

That would be good for Helminth.

As long as Helminth can do per config slot formaing for weapons / companions / archwings / mechs / etc

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7 hours ago, (PSN)PreeminentPants said:

As long as Helminth can do per config slot formaing for weapons / companions / archwings / mechs / etc

I meant that when you infuse (put abilities into frame) you may get builds (with different abilities) that conflicts each other. Allowing forma'ing per config would fix it.

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Well, to throw my 35 Plat in...

I'm a fan of both universal forma and of stacking polarities. I'm not that put off by having to re-forma my weapons by this point - MR30 makes this trivial. However, being locked into a single build with a steep grind cost to change much of anything is annoying. It makes experimentation harder, it makes makes cookie-cutter builds more attractive and it generally reduces variety. If a player is forced to choose only one of a multitude of builds, most players will pick what they perceive as "the best" and not bother trying anything else.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that polarisation should give us a number of "points" for us to freely distribute and redistribute as we choose, especially between builds. That would still encourage players to forma multiple times since you need enough polarised slots, but it would also let us experiment freely between multiple builds.

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On 2021-06-02 at 5:51 AM, (PSN)PreeminentPants said:

EDIT: 4) Stack forma instead of replace

E.g. If you forma a slot with D and then reforma with -, the slot now fits both D and - polarity. Credit goes to @quxier for this option.

100% with this option, it keeps the exiting mechanics and adds the additional grind to have the option which is good. I like to see more effort = more reward.  

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В 01.06.2021 в 22:51, (PSN)PreeminentPants сказал:

4) Stack forma instead of replace

E.g. If you forma a slot with D and then reforma with -, the slot now fits both D and - polarity. Credit goes to @quxier for this option.

To sum up, I'd really like to see the removal of build lock in from the game, and I think the options given above are all all feasible means of doing so. Thanks for your consideration.

This is great. It both increases the Forma Demand for DE to make money, and also encourages build flexibility and non-meta builds for the players. 100% win/win.

Counting I myself am constantly annoyed by metaists who try to force me into their builds while I want to meme-firerate my Kuva Drakgoon. This idea is literally a gamechanger.

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I'm completely with the OP, Forma is one of those paid mechanics in Warframe that never existed to our benefit, but instead is there so that players can purchase power in a manner that requires further purchases in the event one wants to change builds. Trouble is, we don't change builds unless it's to switch to a new dominant build on a frame, which limits our ability to experiment and switch things up. This only exacerbates the rigidity of building of Warframe and the differences between meta and non-meta builds, because players tend to only go for safe and optimal solution when there's a resource commitment and lock-out involved. This needs to change if we are to have more freedom to our modding.

Personally, my favorite solution would be #1 and to remove Forma altogether, along with catalysts and reactors, and reduce mod drains, as those items are all just paid power boosts balanced around inflated mod capacity costs. However, that may be too idealistic given that these items are likely an important revenue source for DE, so I think the next best thing might be to remove the downsides to polarity (mods wouldn't cost extra while in the "wrong" slot), and let polarities stack: not only would this prevent Forma from having a detrimental effect on our builds, it could potentially incentivize the purchase of much more Forma, as players would be able to put dozens of it into the same frame or the like to max it out. I'm actually surprised DE hasn't attempted this, as it could not only give them much more revenue, but could also easily be dressed up as an opportunity for players to show how committed they are to a frame or weapon by slotting in ridiculous amounts of Forma.

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Posted (edited)

Soft build locking is good tho. It makes your choice matter, cuts the chaff, extends gameplay time of everyone who is into RPGs and dungeon crawlers with time to optimize mod choice. Not to mention the case of stacking forma might seem like a increase in demand for forma, but thats just raw untrue as the same end amount of forma will be initially consumed and less over time if one is changing builds or making extra frames thus padding out the potential plat worth resources in circulation.

Exilus could use being able to be swapped with main slots or given its own universal polarity like stances and auras since that is a bit that really by intent (of being minor utility effects) already screams hotswapping.

Edited by Andele3025
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4 hours ago, Andele3025 said:

Soft build locking is good tho.

No it is not. This system is one of the major reasons why we have people parroting towards braindead META builds. They don’t want to waste their time building more frames or weapons which cost weapon slots or change forma polarities if they want to switch up builds. It’s pretty ironic for a game that screams “Variety“ includes a system that goes against that. How are you gonna have variety when one of the core gameplay systems are designed against that? 

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18 minutes ago, DrivaMain said:

No it is not. This system is one of the major reasons why we have people parroting towards braindead META builds. They don’t want to waste their time building more frames or weapons which cost weapon slots or change forma polarities if they want to switch up builds. It’s pretty ironic for a game that screams “Variety“ includes a system that goes against that. How are you gonna have variety when one of the core gameplay systems are designed against that? 

Except it is good and you're wrong. META exists because META (most effective tactic available) and will always exist. Removing choice(s) one does when polarizing for a build is one of the very few things that keep it from being entirely same.

Restriction breeds creativity.

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8 hours ago, Andele3025 said:

Except it is good and you're wrong

That’s one way to start argument with people. Telling people outright that “I am right and you’re wrong” only makes people shut you off. 
 

 

8 hours ago, Andele3025 said:

Removing choice(s) one does when polarizing for a build is one of the very few things that keep it from being entirely same.

Restriction breeds creativity.

Removing choice is why people are stuck using CO/BR/WW in their melee builds. Most if not all of the off meta gimmicky mods have different polarities. If I say I have a meta build with 5 V polarities, I cannot switch to a meme build that has 4 Dash polarity because of the polarity system I am stuck with it. If I want to I have to re-forma my slots all over again or build another equipment which cost me another equipment slot.

Why are you against this really? Isn’t investing more into your equipment for more flexibility a GOOD thing? You are like one of those people who thinks Univac is bad.

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15 minutes ago, DrivaMain said:

That’s one way to start argument with people.

Doesnt matter, doesnt change the point.

15 minutes ago, DrivaMain said:

Removing choice is why people are stuck using CO/BR/WW in their melee builds. Most if not all of the off meta gimmicky mods have different polarities. If I say I have a meta build with 5 V polarities, I cannot switch to a meme build that has 4 Dash polarity because of the polarity system I am stuck with it. If I want to I have to re-forma my slots all over again or build another equipment which cost me another equipment slot.

Why are you against this really? Isn’t investing more into your equipment for more flexibility a GOOD thing? You are like one of those people who thinks Univac is bad.

No. People use (what is technically situational) META melee because its META (or well, are convinced its the best in all situations even if in most of the base gameplay and even shorted SP a no-CO melee can kill faster).

And you arent investing more into your equipment. And no, univac should be a thing, im a person who thinks making all pets worthless and/or making a non-stattable univac (preferably via choice of rankup bonuses thus sacrificing hp or shields or energy for a actually notable on frame univac) would be derp and a demerit to the game long term.

Also nothing is stopping you from a trash 4 naramon setup, it will be trash tho because the mods avaliable for it are at that amount significantly suboptimal even on a impact based melee weapon (or maybe slash tho the impact idea at least has partial merit as a atlas stat stick while stacking more than 2 slash mods and RC is just degrading your potential damage by over 1/4th of what you could have had or by circa 16% in best case scenario of a heavy attack hybrid build with coil and no guaranteed slash proc). For that complain at DE why there arent more mods with different sub effect like Dispatch Overdrive or Relentless for naramon or even on a warframe why there arent more Mecha Pulse like ones as other than it only Rage/HA, Continuity and Provoke (a prep for loss thus automatically discarded from modding thus far) are non-strength madurai mods?

Stacking polarities on what arent by coop design/party setup flex slots (aura as they in the end are to help the entire team and exilus as supposedly pure utility even if some utility mods still arent in it), you are killing big bit what in MTG is called the entire "Johnny" section of the playerbases retention quality of the game is in skipping the build tweaking.

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Posted (edited)

I think Slot Polarity serves the purpose of adding complexity and engagement to the Forma System.

 

Consider: if we were to make slots have a Universal Polarity; then the system becomes too shallow, the mix+match 'customization' minigame is gone and all that is left is that you're just grinding the same weapon 5x over to increase drain capacity.

Without that Pretense, I think too many players would catch on to the true slog the weapon modding capacity system really is, and we'd get more complaints overall.

 

IE, if you make it Too Easy, people find flaws and become dissatisifed, a little bit of annoyance keeps people grounded.

Laymans terms: The Matrix: scene where Agent Smith explains how the previous Matrix was a utopia but people rebelled, thus they made the next one crappy intentionally.

There's actual psychology studies that support this, google the 'mouse utopia' experiment.

 

But Yeah, that's why Slot Polarity has an important Purpose. Gotta think outside the [Skinner] box to realize it.

Edited by (PSN)haphazardlynamed
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Stacking is a compromise that could happen really. It will promote more exp grinding and forma purchase. 

More playtime and more plat spent, win-win for DE really.

 

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I just had a concrete example of this happen. I wanted to make a "just for fun" experimental build for Inaros that includes Negation Swarm, which has the = polarity. Literally the only way I can fit that mod into my current build is either swapping out an umbral mod, which makes testing the build pointless because it's gimped, or leaving 2 mod slots empty, which, again, makes testing the build pointless because it's gimped.

My only choices are reformaing a mod slot, which I'm not going to do because it'll break the build I, y'know, actually use, or farming another inaros and dumping a bunch of forma into it, which I'm not going to do for an experimental / just for fun build.

So here's a concrete instance of the restrictive build system discouraging experimentation and non-meta builds, decreasing the number of forma I spend, and leaving me feeling annoyed with the build system and reducing my enthusiasm for playing warframe.

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