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Giving new players a break.


MissAuffy

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I recently saw a couple videos about Warframe from youtuber Josh Strife Hayes, who reviews MMOs and similar games on his channel. He made note that Warframe is really good at making you feel very cool, and the space ninja theme is awesome. Josh also made note that the early experience is not what it could be. In a follow-up video, Josh points out that only 40% of players have the "Hooked" achievement, for playing for 2 hours. 

I've put a load of time and energy into Warframe as a dedicated player, and I'm always going out of my way to help new players, trying to engage and guide them. I'm more than happy to help bring in new faces and new players to the game I love. I want to do my part to bring people in, and I feel that my path has led me to this post. 

DE, can we work on improving the early game to better envelop our new players? Josh pointed out in his video that the cinematic intro was so well done he didn't even take notes on it. He loved the early plot, the Ascaris and Vor, The Lotus guiding you, etc. He referenced The Jackal fight, saying "The Jackal fight is fantastic..." Calling the music and lighting and mechanics fantastic as well. "...This is the ramping up in difficulty we needed" I love that he enjoyed The Jackal so much, and it got me thinking. 

There must be a way to carry the engaging theme of the intro and early Guided sort of quests through the rest of the early-game to bring people closer to the meat of the game. I love the new intro, and I love the early guidance, but dumping players into an open do-as-you-will game right after such a good intro is very jarring. Josh mentioned that the mod system is very complex, but doesn't have much of an explanation. Maybe we can work on a visual guide, or a more elaborate tutorial. Bringing players into all of the brand new systems that Warframe has developed over years of uptime can be very overwhelming, and most new players have to seek a veteran to even have a chance at keeping their head straight.

I want nothing more than a prospering playerbase in Warframe. I would even be happy to have a main update postponed to bring a more concise introduction to the midgame to Warframe. Those of us at the end game have waited for new content before, but I genuinely think bringing a slower introduction to the midgame that can engage your new p-layers will bolster the playerbase and invite n influx of Tenno to The Origin System.

TL:DR
The early game could do with a bit more guidance and story to bring our newest Tenno to the midgame, seeing people lost interest early on is a sad sight, and I know there must be a way to work on that.

Thanks for making Warframe my favorite game and thank you, Tenno, for reading.

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Josh quickly notes that "Worst MMO Ever" has become the MMO review series title, and that Warframe certainly doesn't fit that description.

(17) Worst MMO Ever? - Warframe - YouTube

In his follow-up video, Josh tackles the "It gets good 100 hours in" comment that he receives from a lot of fans of MMOs he reviews.

(17) It Gets Better After 100 Hours... - YouTube

 

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 When I started this game I also stopped it because I got trashed in PoE by some huge trunk, I had to pay cash to get nano spores to build a bow and I needed to pay for inventory space for every weapon and new "character" I made. MY first impression of warframe was that is as a p2w unballanced trash game.  It was only latter, thanks to a friend, that I came back and discovered the awsome, unlike anyother, game that Warframe is.

This post(it is not mine) was made 3 yeras ago and to this day no change was been made.

 

 

Since no change are made after 3 years I believe that either DE does not care or the current influx of newplayers suits well its needs.

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They have been working on changes and things that help guide new players, albeit slowly. The first mission does more to guide players that didn't pick up on things on their own. There is work to be done for sure, but using that 2 hour achievement as a benchmark is not good. A lot of people don't play games they didn't pay for that long. Heck, a lot of people (like myself) with backlogs on Steam have lots of games we've played for 5 minutes or not at all. Maybe because we've gotten too many games cheap, maybe because we looked at something and said "interesting, I'll get back to that later" and later hasn't happened yet.

As for PoE, it is not for new players. It is a place to see when you have recently started and go "Man, that looks nice, but it's a bit difficult yet. I'll come back once I've checked out the next planet and powered up some more." It is no different than a fantasy RPG where you exit the starter sewers or whatever and leave the first town or castle. You head west to the cool looking forest and get your ass handed to you by a giant bear. So you instead go east into the field and fight some wolves instead which you can manage and vow to come back to the forest once you've leveled up and gotten some stronger gear.

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Yeah... 100 hours is usually the point where you've accumulated enough in-game tat and experience to have figured out all the systems and are finally able to play the game properly.
Kinda ridiculous.

No coherent story guiding you or providing a direction/goal, so you're dropped in the deep end.
Could easily have a series of quests guiding you from planet to planet, giving you a quick rundown of the situation and where to go, like dealing with junctions or aiming for the boss for reasons, quick rundown of the fact the boss drops parts for a new warframe; properly lead up to or foreshadow each of the main quests like Second Dream.

Mod system is crucial to progression but is utterly unintuitive; no idea what anything means, why you need stuff, what the limitations are, where to get the mods you need.
If there was something intuitive about which enemies dropped which mods, or where you could find new mods, and some UI improvements to make mod slots, reactors/catalysts and polarities make a bit more sense without having a 5-page tutorial explaining it.

Binary energy system problem that has been around for years, means new players rarely get to cast powers, veterans spam the ever-living-hell out of them, makes it an entirely different game, requiring entirely different balance and expectations.  Means the difficulty curve gets utterly erratic for no conceivable reason, difference in power levels between players gets absurd, game balance goes out the window.
You and enemies end up in a binary flux state of either Invincible or Dead.

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It's been so long since I was a new player I'd have to start a new account to judge the new player experience. But, I can see how there might be some areas that need improvement. 

In saying that I only have some questions for now:

What should new players be directed to that they aren't already? 

Where are players getting stuck in their progression before reaching the main chunk of the game?

What is currently done well for the new player experience? 

When does one finish the new player experience and move on to the bigger chunk of the game?

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4 minutes ago, NecroPed said:

It's been so long since I was a new player I'd have to start a new account to judge the new player experience. But, I can see how there might be some areas that need improvement. 

In saying that I only have some questions for now:

What should new players be directed to that they aren't already? 

Where are players getting stuck in their progression before reaching the main chunk of the game?

What is currently done well for the new player experience? 

When does one finish the new player experience and move on to the bigger chunk of the game?

I think new players should be directed toward things more gradually, instead of being given a handful of things at once. Maybe start with building up to getting your first warframe, a little UI window to help you choose which one, and guide you to that planet.

I think players get stuck when they lose guidance. If I was a new player now, I would be excited to continue the early story, but you kind of get off that bus in a big city with few road signs.

The early intro and The Jackal are great, I think junctions are the right idea, but they aren't very fun or intuitive. I think we should have a more driving force pushing us forward other than "Lets get this all out of the way so I can get to the real game"

I think the real new player experience probably ends with the jackal, or maybe even after Vor right now, that's where the guidance ends at least. It shyouild be further developed to guide people through the codex quests, and maybe give us an order to do those in with little things linking them together

 

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18 minutes ago, MissAuffy said:

I think new players should be directed toward things more gradually, instead of being given a handful of things at once. Maybe start with building up to getting your first warframe, a little UI window to help you choose which one, and guide you to that planet.

I think players get stuck when they lose guidance. If I was a new player now, I would be excited to continue the early story, but you kind of get off that bus in a big city with few road signs.

The early intro and The Jackal are great, I think junctions are the right idea, but they aren't very fun or intuitive. I think we should have a more driving force pushing us forward other than "Lets get this all out of the way so I can get to the real game"

I think the real new player experience probably ends with the jackal, or maybe even after Vor right now, that's where the guidance ends at least. It shyouild be further developed to guide people through the codex quests, and maybe give us an order to do those in with little things linking them together

 

Cheers for that. I've been planning to do a new account for a while and it'll be good to keep this into consideration when I do it. 

One thing I thought of immediately without playing a new account was a guided warframe grind being included in the new player experience. 

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I think DE put much work in all this points, with reworks like this one from jackal and adding new quests and more story, but its much work and needs time. 

I like it that there was no driving force thats forces you to do this now and more like you can do what you want. I think there is to much to learn and know to put all in a straight storyline. But i know too the strugel with all this and dont know where to start with all and maybe this is one reason why the warframe community is so nice, becouse everyone know this problems and helps other players. I would like it when there was ingame players helps players system. Most time i dont know what to do ingame becouse i have everything, but i like it to finde new players and help them, but i have some problems to find new players to help and most time when i found somone i strugel to much with english and its very difficult to find someone with my language

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From those video's that 2hr stat was the most telling for me.  As I don't think Warframe really falls into those other pitfalls, the core gameplay mechanics don't change, the systems dont really evolve, the story maybe but I think it's more there's a really cool bit of the story at around that time, rather than the story only starts to gel after 100h. 

For those first 2 hours, based on what I remember of starting, which was I think the previous iteration.

I think DE should condense the ship bit finding mission into 1 mission, as doing it multiple times doesn't teach you anything you need later, maybe if there's some systems that can be left (pets and relics maybe) then have those as codex missions.

After you've got that one part that they should explicitly mention and direct players to the codex for where to find more stuff to do, as this such a key system for 'what the hell do i do' issue.

I'd then present them with 4 missions in the codex and suggest they do these:

1) Go gather and build the parts for a weapon, so similar, but shows a key part of end game (the collecting), and can also show that the marketplace is for blueprints, not just real money stuff.

2) Go gather and build the parts for another Warframe, as this is never explained that you can even do this or how.  This should also cover that weird-ass ABCD rotation thing.  I know that they wouldn't have maxed their starter frame, but I feel the game needs to show that one of its core points is that there's a ton of different playing frames and that you do want them all.

3) Go get a 'decent' mod and the endo to upgrade it and use it...probably one of the biggest areas that needs more help in game.  Maybe 2, and have the 2nd be a status effect one, which is another core feature that's just not obvious in game.

4) And the finally a mission to 'unlock the nodes', as that's the key gatekeeper of the story and the rest of the progression

And that should fit within those 2 precious hours.   Hopefully they now know where to go for stuff to do, and that a big part of warframe is getting more frames and weapons.

I'd also consider that the open world zones are locked too, Cetus is just too much of a departure and confusion for new players to stumble on early, I think both should be locked behind junctions, maybe Mars-Demios, that kinda area.

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9 hours ago, MissAuffy said:

I think new players should be directed toward things more gradually, instead of being given a handful of things at once. Maybe start with building up to getting your first warframe, a little UI window to help you choose which one, and guide you to that planet.

I think players get stuck when they lose guidance. If I was a new player now, I would be excited to continue the early story, but you kind of get off that bus in a big city with few road signs.

The early intro and The Jackal are great, I think junctions are the right idea, but they aren't very fun or intuitive. I think we should have a more driving force pushing us forward other than "Lets get this all out of the way so I can get to the real game"

I think the real new player experience probably ends with the jackal, or maybe even after Vor right now, that's where the guidance ends at least. It shyouild be further developed to guide people through the codex quests, and maybe give us an order to do those in with little things linking them together

 

I agree with you that it could be alot better but it has also gotten alot better. When the game first came out all you got in the beginning was how to move and shoot and you got to use your 1st ability. Can't really judge the current start though since i have not made a new account to try it but iv watched a video of it and it seems like the only thing really missing is a dotted line showing you possible future paths to take.

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The game as a whole needs a big simplification outside the missions to make the systems less obtuse. What we really need is a damage rework that also comes with a modding 2.0 that makes things much less confusing and maybe simplifies it down from the 12 damage types since. Would also be nice if the missions were actually like the tutorials in that you get a choice to do the secondary objective rather than an annoying lotus changing her mind after an objectives completed

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15 hours ago, MissAuffy said:

DE, can we work on improving the early game to better envelop our new players?

Simple answer. No matter how good a game is... if the player hate 'crafting timers' that are over 12h+ for weapons, they will quit.

Imo... thats the biggest issue with warframe right now. Looks way too pay to win when you just start and don't know the basics.

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I don't think it's just the lack of tutorial throughout the game, but the sheer time investment it can take  just for what can feel like an unsatisfying result at times, and for the complexities of the game.

WF is far from anything casual, unless you don't plan on finishing the star chart or main quest lines for a couple years, then I reckon playing on a lower tier difficulty for a while can be enjoyable given your gear stays on par with the enemy level. But people like to be challenged, and the biggest hurdle early on is the challenge of acquiring the necessary resources and items to equip themselves out with a good strong build that can carry them to harder more challenging content. The model of WF just doesn't support casuals IMO, and I haven't even talked about the wonderful RNG system. 

In short to me WF is not a sprint, it's an adventure.

For others it may be something else, but it drew me right from the start and has kept me playing for almost 7 years now. 

 

 

 

 

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I mean we’ve been asking for a better new player experience for years. And what we thought was finally going to be that it was just the implementation of the cinematic and a reworking of the opening mission.

Like it’s no secret that DE continues to favor new players when it comes where to focus new content, so why are they so hesitant on the biggest thing for new players which is establishing a loose narrative along the missions on earth to guide the player along until the Jackal fight. Ordis could tell the player about the foundry when you get the Boltor BP from the Venus junction. There needs to be something that directly guides the player along for a while so they can get hooked on the game. Instead of just giving them an intro then throwing them into the cast open sea of Warframe without any guidance.

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On 2021-08-05 at 2:59 AM, MissAuffy said:

TL:DR
The early game could do with a bit more guidance and story to bring our newest Tenno to the midgame, seeing people lost interest early on is a sad sight, and I know there must be a way to work on that

I agree entirely. 

I'd suggest going straight from cinematic quest to quest - completing Vor's Prize should kick you straight into Once Awake, which should lead directly to Archwing, and completing that should take you straight to Natah.

Yes Natah. Then Second Dream, then War Within.

We shouldn't expect new players to grind 20 hours of star chart to get to Neptune and keep playing until an Oculyst spawns and they scan it.

New players should get a load of narrative content - get them to around 10 hours in with quests the game already has and leave them with an archwing and and operator before they go to the open worlds.

 

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7 часов назад, (XBOX)KayAitch сказал:

which should lead directly to Archwing, and completing that should take you straight to Natah.

So like move Uranus closer to Mars? There should be at least a couple of quests that say: go to that planet over there, so people will grind a bit before jumping into the grand story. They'll need time to at least build something before being dropped into "defend the moon" thing. Cause doing the with mk-1 braton and mk-1 bo will be so out of the difficulty curve, people will feel more like "they making me buy gear". Also I would be like "who is this noname black/red dude is?" if Second Dream was dropped on me before I new who Stalker is.

Or at least some masked handholding like Darvo needing our help finding some of his merch he put on a randon Corpus freighter on Phobos that will somehow end up in the void. In ideal world every planet should have a small storyline of sorts, that will lead the player to the next planet. Introducing some stuff. Like who would know the heck rathuum is and what's going on on Sedna if they were not around for the event? Same goes for Ambulas. Ideally player should be able to have multiple active quests at a time.

Also avoiding open worlds before operator... you know that tier 1 and 2 bounties are basically meant for new players in terms of difficulty and rewards? The problem with free roams imo is yet again in not explaining things. Like new player go to Cetus, take bounty or the intro quest, goes out of the gate... into the f***ing night with no idea what horrors are running around unchecked. There should at least be a line from Konzu like "Tenno, you sure your gear is fit for this? Nights on Planes are dangerous. How about you give it another try after lunch?"

В 05.08.2021 в 14:59, (XBOX)cjb110 сказал:

1) Go gather and build the parts for a weapon, so similar, but shows a key part of end game (the collecting), and can also show that the marketplace is for blueprints, not just real money stuff.

2) Go gather and build the parts for another Warframe, as this is never explained that you can even do this or how.  This should also cover that weird-ass ABCD rotation thing.  I know that they wouldn't have maxed their starter frame, but I feel the game needs to show that one of its core points is that there's a ton of different playing frames and that you do want them all.

Yup. Blueprint button is below "buy with plat" button so people see that first. And I've seen my share of players calling p2w after not finding blueprints. Things are not as bad as with the old marketplace design.

 

Also for the love of the Void DE should do something about their love to put stuff new players would love to have and oldies don't have use for in the content they can't do without said oldies to help. Prime example - Vasca Kavat. This breed's abilities is what a new player would have a use for, yet they first need to somehow get kavat incubator segment, grow one (oh, the fun of genocode farming), then venture into the sentient infested night on planes get theirs kavat biten and somehow get out alive. Then more genocode farming to incubate their own vampire. So easy, much fun, wow.

Nautilus - Neptune Proxima. This thing is useful for people starting their railjack, not the ones probably having 10 in engineering before they get it. 

Stahlta/Stropha - why exactly we get blueprints for stuff farmed all the way down on Neptune/Pluto (where you get crowns for that void level) form the damn JACKAL on the damn VENUS of all places?

 

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17 hours ago, Darth_Predator said:

There should at least be a line from Konzu like "Tenno, you sure your gear is fit for this? Nights on Planes are dangerous. How about you give it another try after lunch?"

Onkko does warn you if you're out at dusk, at least post Second Dream. I have no idea if that's there before you do the quest since PoE was added after I was well past it. Otherwise, like my fantasy RPG example above which I doubt many people would question, the echoing screams and thundering stomps coming from this giant lumbering monster should clue players in that it's dangerous out there at night, don't you think?

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1 hour ago, Hobie-wan said:

Onkko does warn you if you're out at dusk, at least post Second Dream. I have no idea if that's there before you do the quest since PoE was added after I was well past it. Otherwise, like my fantasy RPG example above which I doubt many people would question, the echoing screams and thundering stomps coming from this giant lumbering monster should clue players in that it's dangerous out there at night, don't you think?

That's still gamer logic though. A non gamer would just see it as stumbling into an event hoping to see if there's someone around to help out. Hell, my first time playing the game was Plains launch. Even I saw it as an ingame event suppose to happen with NPC or other players tackling the encounter. Having some of those devstream info and warnings would be useful.

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What Josh said was that once the tutorial quest was over, that was it. No more handholding at all, he was dropped in the orbiter with a "what do I do now" question mark over his head.

 

Its easy to fix: we know the things to do in WF, unlock mission nodes, grind, sorry, farm for warframes, acquire resources to get new weapons fromt he market, join a clan, buy stuff from the dojo, do the quests, grind missions for more weapons, run standing for the syndicates, and so on.

The troubel is, new players do not know this. They have done the stuff the tutorial told them, but there isn't much of a "now do it again, but on your own destination choices" afterwards, so they feel lost. All it take sis more voice lines from Ordis - tell therm about the training on the codex, tell them "operator, you knwo your warframe is a kicckk ass murder mach... very efficient at its task, but I have discovered there are more like it, would you like to try some" or "I know there are other tenno in the system that have banded togetehr to form clans, should I contact one to see if they;d like you to join them" or whatever. I remember never being in a clan for ages - until I had to be to get the archwing launcher, simply because I thought they were social things that had nothing to do with the game. Clans at least could add themselves to a list of "newbie friendly" ones that Ordis could even apply for membership to, or maybe even a set of DE-run newbie-clans that are solely designed to include new players until they get experience enough to leave for a different one.

As for PoE, gawd - go out there and wonder what's going on as you are dumped into public matches 2 kilometeres away with no hope of you ever running there (no AW at this point remember).

 

Ordis is the key to the next-steps for the new player, they really need to get him to nudge the player into doing all the stuff that's available.

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6 hours ago, (PSN)jaggerwanderer said:

That's still gamer logic though. A non gamer would just see it as stumbling into an event hoping to see if there's someone around to help out. Hell, my first time playing the game was Plains launch. Even I saw it as an ingame event suppose to happen with NPC or other players tackling the encounter. Having some of those devstream info and warnings would be useful.

What you're saying doesn't even make sense. "Gamer logic?" I mean if you're out in an unfamiliar place in real life and hear ominous loud noises in the distance, do you just wander around without at least paying a bit more attention? Even if you thought some NPCs might show up, after getting your butt kicked once that should clue you in that you need to be stronger to be in that area. It's the same reaction one should have in the real world as much as a game. Just that in a game you're much more likely to return once prepared and powered up.

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12 часов назад, Hobie-wan сказал:

I have no idea if that's there before you do the quest since PoE

Nope, because you are not supposed to meet Onko before that quest is complete. Also people like don't give a nanosized f about Terry's yelling and stomping. "It moves? Shoot it!" Then they run back to forums/chat and complain about unkillable enemies (Vomvalysts and Terry), plains being too hard and all that nonsense. Considering how early this happens it is sometimes hard to convince them that this game is not p2w bs.

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On 2021-08-07 at 5:04 AM, Darth_Predator said:

So like move Uranus closer to Mars?

Or just taxi straight there for the quest, yeah. It doesn't matter, the exact same tileset can be found on Earth, it works there too.

On 2021-08-07 at 5:04 AM, Darth_Predator said:

There should be at least a couple of quests that say: go to that planet over there, so people will grind a bit before jumping into the grand story

Yes, a whole bunch of new quest to take you there would be good, but that's a ton of dev time, and honestly they probably shouldn't focus on a ton of quests for new players when they need to be finishing the New War.

This is a pragmatic solution: move the quests they already have up so that players get to them sooner.

On 2021-08-07 at 5:04 AM, Darth_Predator said:

you know that tier 1 and 2 bounties are basically meant for new players in terms of difficulty and rewards?

Yes, but new players are given no reason to go there. They get a quest with nighttime missions (lots of Vomvalyst enemies they can't hurt) to get a Gara blueprint (they can't get the parts or resources for a looong time though).

They can't do Eidolons, or Orb Mothers, or Isolation Vaults (or anything much on Deimos). 

If you don't have Operators the plains are a half finished mess of broken mechanics. DE don't need to fix that (all the long term players have operators) they just need to drive players to get Operators sooner.

On 2021-08-07 at 5:04 AM, Darth_Predator said:

Also I would be like "who is this noname black/red dude is?" if Second Dream was dropped on me before I new who Stalker is.

I got that anyway - you don't get Stalker much in normal progression, as you've only killed each boss once.

Even if you have had a couple of Stalker invasions he's just random. I don't think I'd even figured out he's triggered by grinding assassinations by then.

On 2021-08-07 at 5:04 AM, Darth_Predator said:

Yup. Blueprint button is below "buy with plat" button so people see that first. And I've seen my share of players calling p2w after not finding blueprints. Things are not as bad as with the old marketplace design.

Part of the tutorial should make you first buy one of the other MK1 guns for creds (maybe the MK1 Strun), then buy a blueprint (maybe the basic Bo) and get the resources to build it.

The first time I didn't even look at any items in the market. I was just: free game, check, market, check, play to win, check, walked away. It was random chance that 2 years later I gave it another punt and got hooked.

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