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Early Focus Suggestion: Rage Mode


Azimbee
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JSH recently released a video regarding player retention after 2 hours of gameplay being rather low. Only 40% of players continue to play the game after starting. I have an idea on how to address some of the grievances presented in an earlier video by them, and a subject covered in their more recent one. For context, here is the video I'm hoping to address with my suggestion.

 

I actually agree with some of his points. Not all, but some. Most relevant between his two videos is poorly explained systems, and late introduction of systems. I don't think just explaining things is enough to hook players in, I know this because I know people that dropped warframe even after being explained how modding works. It's a combination of several factors, the rate at which you gain gameplay-changing mods and new frames and weapons. Lastly, how long it takes to get to The Second Dream.

I fully agree that this quest is amazing and a master stroke of game design, as mentioned in early reviews by people like Skill-up. I don't think it should be moved to be sooner, instead, aspects of it fed to players early. The gameplay altering, loadout affecting, aspects of what that quest modifies. When I got to that point in the game, I felt extremely invested. I began looking at frames and weapons differently. Mods do something similar, but you have to get the mods themselves as drops, so it can be a while before you start to feel this with Mods and Arcanes. The freedom of building yourself the way you want needs to happen earlier, so that it can hook people sooner, not just the systems that already exist being explained better. Something you immediately have access to that gives you as taste of customizeability before you get all the 'necessary' mods and arcanes. A way to introduce you to the concept of building synergy, without having access to the thousands of mods, arcanes, and focus nodes. Something that ties it all together as well.

My proposal is revisiting the Rage Mode introduced in melee 3.0 as a potential change to chanelling. Partially inspired by Teshin's segment at tennocon live with the installs on the melee, but it affected other things he did too.

Rage Mode as Early Focus Taste Test
The Second Dream and War Within quests provide gameplay content that allows for some great buildcraft and theory, on its own adding quite a bit of depth to a loadout. I'm not in favor of making The Second Dream happen sooner, but I do like the idea of some of the mechanics of it being introduced sooner. Particularly, Focus Schools. Not the lenses and operators, but the idea behind what you do with Focus Schools. Without Lenses and Focus School Nodes we can represent the idea behind focus another way. A new gameplay mechanic to be expanded upon later. Rage Mode. We were presented in a previous devstream Rage Mode for melee as part of the melee but I don't think it should be for melee as a replacement for channelling. Rather than idea of channeling itself be revisited as a bigger thing that ties more aspects of the game together.

My vision and suggestion is Rage Mode would work off of the meter that powers Void based operator abilities after The Second Dream quest, but activate a slew of effects on toggle for the frame. You toggle it, and doing so bathes your warframe in energy, giving you passive bonuses while it's on. It would drain the Focus Meter rather than energy meter. For the 5 schools, here's an example of what these bonuses could be like.

  1. Madurai - Increased global damage dealing. Visible energy effects on weapon gunfire and melee swings, general fiery and flashy to go with the flavor of madurai.
  2. Naramon - Increased elemental damage effectiveness (elemental weakness is more relevant), headshot damage, decreased enemy visibility on player/increase grace period before reacting to your presence to be alerted and uncloaking from invisibility. Faster parazon mercy and finisher animations. Weapons are wreathed in wispy energy that makes it harder to see, subtle, and gentle.
  3. Zenurik - Increased Ability efficiency, Animation extension on crowd control status effects like Impact, Heat, and Electricity, Initiating Shield Regen upon casting an ability. 'Old' electricity channeling effect on melee and guns.
  4. Vazarin - Increased effectiveness of aura mods including those of squadmates within Affinity Range. Decreased Shield Regen delay and passively heal health slowly as long as enemies are being dealt damage to. Void-Water effect on melee and gunfire trails.
  5. Unairu - Armor increase and increased parry angle while toggled on. All damage instances remove flat armor from the enemies, as well as disabling shield regen/shield gate from corpus units, and disability Infested auras. Rock effects/heavy impact on melee and gunfire impacts similar to the Lich Impact Ephemara for grineer.

The effects need to be meaningful and worth building around. Keep in mind that this is a toggle and the resource won't always be a available in this vision of rage mode, so their effects should be akin to "On Demand" Arcanes. Rather than having conditions be met to get this boost in power that can turn things around, it's a resource you have to manage and it can add additional flavor to any frame played, or weapon used, even early on. Players should be encouraged to try each school out with every frame and weapon to see what's most fun, not just effective, and the effects need to be as meaningful as they look cool.

Because it's tied to the 5 button, rage mode can be toggled in Archwing or a Necramech. Even Railjack as a gunner or pilot. Just a neat way to unify the system into everything else.


Rage Mode Expanded Upon in Second Dream

Once a focus school is chosen and you can start unlocking nodes in a focus tree, Rage Mode should have nodes dedicated to it and the passive effects associated with them while it's toggled on, improving their effects or expanding upon what you can do with them. Now you actually are "honing in" on a focus. Something you might have fallen in love with within the first hour of gameplay. Similar to the initial passives the trees have, like Power Spike on Naramon or Inner Might on Zenurik. I think these changes fundamentally change how you approach building your loadouts and it's things like these that make focus meaningful in constructing what you go into a mission with.

I think it's so cool players should get to play with it sooner in some way, hence the Rage Mode being accessible in some way earlier. I also think the grind actually should be cut down so people can enjoy it sooner when they do find things they like. At least for early passives.


Rage Mode Expanded Upon in War Within
As of right now, the 1-4 buttons on the operator do not do anything. I think these 'abilities' should allow the operators to be viable at solo completing missions, but also ways to improve performance of your guns and weapons further. The abilities should instead be 'lesser toggles' that do various things, at the cost of reducing the rate at which your Focus Gauge recharges. Having all 4 on makes it so that the gauge barely regenerates, increasing the time it takes to get Rage Mode going again, but also improving how strong it is. They apply to the operator as well, giving them their own, controlled, 'rage mode' to make use of their Amps and active abilities like Void Dash and Void Cloak. This would also work with things like Necramechs, dovetailing a design choice introduced early on and expanded upon later in various ways.

 

Conclusion
I think Warframe has a lot of cool systems that are enjoyable, but are a little too separated or introduced poorly. Then there are amazing ideas that would be amazing if we could dip our toes in them sooner. I think one of my favorite words is "design cohesion". I like the idea of something unifying ideas together, in this case weapons, focus, warframes, and even necramechs and archwing. I also don't know if Rage Mode is the best name for it, but maybe something like Void Trigger? No, maybe... Void Install? I think the idea of making gameplay altering things, like Helminth, veteran only actually hurts the game rather than helping it. I know it's a popular bandwagon but the data shows otherwise.

People start having fun when they get to use these systems, so the sooner people can have that fun the better. Expanding upon them over time after being introduced earlier is what I think is the best way to go, what do you think? When did you get hooked on warframe?

Edited by Azimbee
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10 hours ago, Tsoe said:

cool... but we barely know anything about rage mode yet -_-

 

you wanna revisit something that doesnt exist at all...

More like I want it to exist at all. I thought it was a neat idea from the little shown. I always thought channeling was cool, just impractical for the energy drain when energy competes with ability casts. It also competed for mod space on melee. I vaguely recall melee channel efficiency being what Zenurik was for before heavy attack efficiency. Maybe Rage Mode can be a return to form? With the energy cost moved to focus gauge instead, and no mod space competition via nodes.

Edited by Azimbee
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