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Why DE should consider updating their content release strategy


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Preface/Warning: As per forum guidelines please respond with constructive and respectful criticism only and stay on topic. I welcome thoughtful discussion and differing perspectives. Trolls will be ignored and reported.

THE NEW WAR

WHAT I LIKED

  • Gameplay was fairly solid for the most part. I especially enjoyed playing as different characters each with their own feel. I think more of that would have been really great as it's something new for warframe. It was somewhat challenging and fun to have a limited set of abilities, limited health, etc... the forced handicap actually felt natural and appropriate. The grineer portion felt particular atmospheric and real to me and also very different from typical warframe gameplay.
  • New locations. Unum's tower (really cool and the air balloon flight was great) The Zariman was really creepy and awesome. Would have liked to do more there.
  • Storytelling was pretty good although confusing at points. I think there were definitely missed opportunities. Story felt a bit rushed toward the end.
  • Archons were some of the best bosses I've fought in a long time in Warframe. It made me wish those enemies were mini bosses in the regular game somehow. It brings me back to my early days of playing warframe where I actually died once in a while. The snake archon was especially terrifying although I saved it for last and it died in two hits from my normal warframe lol.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE

  • It FELT like it went by too quickly. I actually think the number of quest hours were fine. A lot happened and there was actually a lot of new content. We had to just kind of blaze through it because we never got access to the normal game until we were done with the quest. Also, for comparison, how many hours do you spend just grinding for warframe parts? I probably put 20hrs or more just into trying to get Equinox. Gauss, a similar story.

    I should also mention that the New War quest was announced in 2019. That's like 3 years of wait for what was officially stated to be a 4hr experience.

  • I am disappointed that it was a completely solo experience. I would have liked to have some operations where I can team up with other tenno for different quest related content such as Scarlet Spear or Orphix Venom. Scarlet Spear I think was especially a success and in my memory the best operation to date. I wanted an opportunity use my railjack, warframes, and gear to fight the full on sentient invasion.
  • I think there was a lot of missed opportunity for satisfying player progression. Even very simple things could have been done like the Paracesis gaining a sentient kill counter that cause it to evolve and deal more damage to sentients. The Naturak bow could have had bonus damage against Narmer units and evove ina similar way.
  • Erra's betrayal of Ballas was definitely predictable and a bit disappointing. I guess I would have appreciated a boss fight with him first at the very least.
  • Teshin's death seemed unnecessary. He's one of my favorite characters. There's a part of me that hopes he survived somehow.
  • Narmer Bounties were really dissapointing. While I was at first elated that we got access to the archon's weapons, the fact that we had to grind the same old open world missions AGAIN to aquire them was pretty soul crushing. Rehashed content in this way is never a good thing and this felt like the most rushed aspect of the New War. Just slapping on Narmer details to existing assets felt really cheap. And the grind is pretty bad on this.



My feedback for the new war is largely a critique of warframes content release strategy in general, as well as some other thoughts about challenging gameplay and worthwhile rewards.

 "Content Economy". This term refers to the number of development hours that go into content vs the number of hours an average player spends experiencing that content. The devs put countless hours into The New War and here we are hungry for more content yet again. Something that took DE 3 years to put together we experienced in a matter of 4-8hrs on average. Pandemic aside I think DE can put their content to more efficient use by the players because I've seen a pattern here. As long as DE continues to employ inefficient content economy practices, players will always complain that they don't have enough content and devs will always say they are working hard to bring us that content. Both statements are true, but the result is likely that DE feels overworked and players weather content droughts.

 Challenging content and end game. I think this one boils down to unique gameplay mechanics and more challenging game modes such as steel path variants. You can also accomplish challenging gameplay by limiting player resources. For example playing with limited gear as a different character in the case of the new war, or fighting unique bosses with mechanics that circumvent damage reduction or our damage output.

Worthwhile rewards and player progession. This is why we all play right? That feeling of having accomplished something. Leveling up weapons, gaining access to new areas. What games are all about.

 

THE NEW WAR AND PLAYER ENGAGEMENT

 

warframe-chart.png

I'm not claiming any exact numbers here as I don't know how many players play waframe through steam vs other platforms. But I do think this chart is at least somewhat representative of general player engagement with the game.

That second peak is the New War release date in mid december. Following release, we saw a fairly immediate and steady decline in active players to a point in March where it was lowest it's been in a while. If DE's content release strategy was working, I believe this would not be the case. Instead of a short lived spike, we would see a longer and more steady curve ending a bit higher than it began.

I think what DE should aim for is sustained engagment from their player base and stay away from the short lived spikes.

In theory, these big releases should be bringing more people into the game for the long haul, but they are definitely NOT. Or at least as many people are leaving the game as are coming in. Owning a clan, I can tell you from experience that a great deal of new players don't stick with the game for the long haul. It's VERY difficult to maintain an active clan.

I think most of the older players only play during big releases. When they've done everything there is to do, they go away until the next one. And that's perfectly logical.



DE HAS THE TOOLS FOR SUCCESS!

I think warframe has a lot going for it, I've been playing the game for nearly 5 years now and I'm not planning on quitting. Yes I take breaks, but something always brings me back. This topic is an attempt to utilize all the TOOLS of unique gameplay/storytelling we have in warframe and see if there is some kind of synthesis possible. Currently it feels pretty haphazard and disjointed. I believe nightwave, operations, and quests could all be rolled into a more seamless experience that works to address some of the major complaints I hear a lot about the game as described above AND create that sustained enagement all while steadily growing the player base.

True innovation requires thinking outside the box. In the case of the devs, I hope they can listen to player feedback or even implement some more effective ways to gain and utilize that feedback. How about a "player idea board"? Or just hosting more surveys.

New quests come and go so easily and we are back to the same ole grind. I really want to take my time with the lore and merge my experiences of story and gameplay. I think what the players want more than anything and gamers in general is not new weapons, new cosmetics, new warframes, but NEW EXPERIENCES. Content that can hold our sustained interest for long periods of time. Think about some of the old classic games. The gameplay was engaging, varied, and challenging enough that we still play those games decades after their original release.

My proposal is a half baked attempt at that possibility through the lens of my experience with the New War and what I wished was different about it. I will edit it as a gain feedback/think more on it.

 

ECONOMY OF DEV HOURS TO PLAYER HOURS

DE could get a lot more mileage out of their content if they did things a bit differently.

For example, how many developement hours went into Unum's tower mission? 100s probably? This is a mission that probably took most people maybe 20-30minutes for us to complete just ONCE unless you replay it. I belive this to be just one example of a wasted opportunity for more efficient use of dev assets in terms of the number of player hours invested in that conent. Unum's tower could have been a setting for a new mission type or operation where we could spend more time with those assets. Fighting to the top of the tower in cooperation with other tenno to maybe defeat a boss or transport to a murex to destroy it. It could have been a fun and engaging mission that players would spent a lot more hours on. Possibly 20-30hrs instead of just 30 minutes. There's a lot of variation in what this mission could look like. It could be a time limited operation or it could be a permanent new mission type.

I can hear you asking: "So big deal, same mission assets, you just think we should do it 30 times instead of once?" And to that I answer yes, yes I do because that is good Content Economy.

The big question is how do you make repetive experiences feel worthwhile? I think it should be pretty easy to answer for anyone who's played warframe a long time. Worthwhile rewards and a feeling of player progression. I get satisfaction from mastering a task and getting rewarded for it. Also, variatinon within the same mission is certainly possible. Different enemies, different objections. We've seen it before.

Eidolon hunts again are a great example of something I think DE did correctly in this regard. It's a pretty fun battle. You get to rank up your standing with the Quills, get new arcanes, etc... It takes some skill and dedicated warframe setups to accomplish.
 

CHALLENGING CONTENT AND END GAME

I think the New War did a lot to show me what is lacking in normal warframe gameplay. And that is a challenging gameplay experience for older players. Granted, most missions weren't that difficult but I did struggle a bit with the archons and certain missions with a lot of the Narmer Bombards that could one shot the Drifter out of nowhere. Additionally, playing as a grineer or corpus soldier was somewhat challenging in that I had to manage my resources. I actually had to look for health orbs and ammo. I couldn't just one shot everything or negate 99% of damage coming at me.

I do think that Steel Path could be a good opportunity for true end game content. But that is a whole 'nother topic. As it pertains to my proposal here, the operations could have a steel path variant with better rewards and more challenging mechanics. I think the Archons could have been another avenue for this, being a challenging boss fight with unique mechanics that circuvement our normal defenses and damage dealing methods. The Archons would be present in an operation where you work together as a team to take them down. Repeat as many times as you want for the rewards.

Another idea I had: For the New War we could have had an operation during the Invasion episode where we play as grineer or corpus units defending their terriorty. Just like in the main quest, you are limited by your resources, abilities, and weapons. You have to work together as a team to accomplish different objectives. This would be challenging and fun. Rewards could be new Vandal and Wraith variants of existing weapons. How about Amprex Vandal or Atterax Wraith? A steel path variant could exist with harder and more numerous enemies and you have even less health/resources to work with.

Another realization came to me. Why don't we have operator only missions? A chance to really rely on our operator equipment and focus schools? This could simply be another operation or unique mission type.

 

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SATISFYING PLAYER PROGRESSION

It's satisfying to upgrade things. I like getting new guns and frames, sinking forma into them. Learning how to mod things properly, etc... I would have liked to see more of this during the New War.

For example what if we could upgrade the Paracesis' damage against sentients by investing special sentient cores from sentient bosses found in the operations? I know it already has 100% bonus damage but in warframe that doesn't amount to much. Especially against steel path sentients. I think it would be neat to upgrade other stats like crit chance/damage, status, or even upgrade a unique proc against sentients that actually made them weaker to say void damage. Lots of options here I think.

We could even get a separate ugrade UI where you invest different resources and killcounts to upgrade the weapon. Sentient cores of different rarities, overall killcount, headshot kills, finishers, etc... It could even have its own separate upgrade UI, maybe in the Helminth? Think of some of these uprades like perks.

Upgrading the Paracesis would evolve the appearance of the sword. As we progressed through the quest and subsequent operations we could upgrade the Paracesis to be more effective in it's role.

Same could be done with the Archon's weapons. These could have been rank 40 weapons. Kills made with the weapon cause them to evolve and deal more damage, crit chance, status chance, range etc... These could have had significant bonus damage against Narmer units.

The Naturak bow could have had the same mechanic. But this is just one example of a missed opportunity for satisfying player progression throughout the experience of the new war.

 

MY PROPOSAL FOR EPISODIC STORYTELLING AND GAMEPLAY

So that brings me to my big proposal for combining quests, operations, and nightwave. This would actually look very similar to Nightwave in it's early days with the Wolf of Saturn Six and Arlo. Although it had its issues, I think this was a decent model for engaging storytelling overall. I felt excited about the gameplay progression, new rewards, new characters, etc... But I think we can do better and let this evolve into something new that brings all the elements together.

In general my goals with the proposal are:

  • provide a seamless experience between storytelling and gameplay through nightwave, quests, and operations.
  • provide engaging and challenging content with worthwhile rewards
  • give DE and players time to sink into their story and gameplay with each episode while at the same time sticking to a specific content release schedule.
  • improve economy of dev hours to player hours. Effectively, we spend more time with new content

My proposed model basically is this: a cinematic solo quest with tangential gameplay experience of operations, nightwave, and permanent changes to the game. This experiences lasts in 30 day increments or 90 days for larger quest lines.

Episodes consist of 4 parts:

1. Quests - the Core storytelling element around which the other three components revolve.

A. Nightwave - Source of cosmetic rewards, additional lore and commentary about current events from Nora

B. Operations - repeatable cooperative gameplay. This is what makes it feel like we had "content" Could be as many as DE felt like implementing. I'd say 2-3 different operations are possible per episode without diluting the player pool too much.

C. Permanent new locations and mission types - How the world has been affected by new events or "the main quest"

 

I think it would benefit DE to have a system like this where they can spend more time on each "episode" while simultaneously giving them a more concrete deadline for new content.

From now on, all new quests would be considered episodes. They could be stand alone episodes, or a multi episode series in the case of the new war and other large major quests. New frames, new open worlds, etc would all have associated quests with time limited nightwaves, and operations.

The glassmaker, wolf of saturn six, and arlo would all be considered episodes and could be replayed as normal quests with whatever specific quest rewards they had even if their associated nightwaves and operations were long over.

I think the key here is defining the roles of each of the gameplay experiences associated with the quests which together form the "episode"

The Role of Nightwave

I like the idea of Nora having a commentary on the existing story and questline and even certain parts of the story being told through her voice. There might be some tangential lore available through nightwave if you are keen eyed and can find it (hidden lore items). Perhaps even a few mini side quests.

I think there is a possibility of mini Nightwaves of 30day duration for stand alone episodes with a third of the rewards. Unique rewards would of course be on rotation on the intermissions after that so no FOMO would take place!

New lines of dialogue would always be added for each unique nightwave relevant to the current quest. Nightwave rewards could still be largely what they are (weapon slots, kuva, nightwave credits, etc) but anything related to the current quest would be cosmetic. Armor sets, syandanas, ephemeras, etc... And I really don't understand why nightwave credits can't be universal between nightwaves.

Of note: If you missed out, all new rewards are possible to get via "Nora's Mix" or Nora's Intermission: a 90 day Nightwave where old rewards are on rotation. A new nightwave intermission or mix would always start every 90 days regardless if there is a new quest/episode.

The Role of Operations and Raids

This is really the meat and potatoes of gameplay. It in involves one or more unique mission types with new locations, enemies, and mechanics. This is your opportunity to team up with other tenno and really put your skills and gear to the test in a quest relevant setting.

Operations always have a steel path variant with better rewards and maybe different mechanics or enemies. The normal variant can be completed by new players so they don't miss out either.

Operations don't have direct quest related spoilers. They are relevant and tangential to the main story but don't actually spoil major plot points or details. They can be undertaken by everyone. They are a reason to martial your clan together for good loot and fun competitive experiences.

Rewards most often come in the form of a unique store from a certain character new or old where you spend a currency to purchase items.. Rewards include unique or rare resources, weapons, some cosmetics, maybe an alternative means of acquiring a new warframe, etc. All rewards here might be available from another source at another time in addition to always being tradable between players. All drops have reasonable RNG. All rewards can be acquired in 8-12hrs of gameplay, or purchased with plat from other players.

Operations reward unique badges and trophies for your warframe and clan. Badges and trophies would be the only thing never available again and not purchasable with plat afterward.

The Role of Quests

This is the unique SOLO storytelling experience with cut scenes and all that good stuff. Main quests remain as they are but may be released in parts if the story is large enough.

Quests are separate in terms of rewards and content from nightwaves and operations. They can be completed and replayed at any time as long as you meet the requirements.

Quest specific rewards are one-ofs such as Naturak or the decorations we got with the new war.

The Role of Permanent Mission Types

New episodes have the possibility of bringing along a permanet new mission type. In the case of the new war it's the Namer Bounties. This is an important piece to the puzzle and the lasting effect that quest had on the world. These new missions become available upon completion of the main quest.

 

Main mechanical points:

  • If you missed the entire sequence, The New War quests would still be available in parts 1,2, and 3 for completion in succession just like any other quest but would not include the operation or the nightwave obviously.
  • Tying operations, nightwave, and main quests needs to be done carefully since not all players are able to participate or meet requirements. I don't have alll the answers here, but I believe it can be done in an elegant way without spoilers and without players missing out on content.
  • All unique non-quest rewards would still rotate back at some point and/or be tradable between players. NO FOMO.
  • A Nightwave spans the length of parts 1, 2, and 3 and always lasts for exactly 90 days no matter what.
  • "Operations" are distinct from "Events" Operations are always quest relevant and coincide with whatever is happening in the game right now. They don't usually repeat. Events are on yearly or biannual rotation and include holiday events and other non-quest related content.
  • The main quest might require completion of at least one operation run for continuity purposes.

 

A SAMPLE SEQUENCE

using the new war as an example

Nightwave - "The New War" runs throughout a 90day period. Nora's dialogue is relevant to whatever point you are at in the quest line.

 

The New War Part 1 - the Invasion - 30 days

Operation: Scarlet Spear or Orphix Venom return for the last time with some new rewards (and the old of course too) The arcanes would probably be specific to one event though if both operations were simultaneous.

Operation: Grineer and Corpus battles - Defend your territory as a team of corpus or grineer units against the sentient invasion with unique HUDs and limited weaponry. Each player can select a unique unit type with its own strengths and weakness. Rewards: Wraith and Vandal variants of existing weapons and a few new ones too. Perhaps unique mods for those weapons, or just some grineer or corpus related cosmetics.

 

The New War Part 2 - Narmer - 30 days

Operation: Narmer Insurgence - Stealth/spy oriented missions to gain intelligence on the enemy. Don't get seen by the deacons! Each mission has 4 objectives and must be completed in a time limit. If you get muzzled by a deacon your teammate can save you. Deacons can be killed by good marksmanship and timing.

Operation: The Wild Hunt - Fight your way through Narmer and Sentient Forces to face your choice of each archon. Boss fights are very challenging even with full gear and four tenno - think similar to eidolon hunts. Rewards include each of their three weapons and mod sets (buff them please!).

 

The New War Part 3 - Defeating Ballas - 30 days

Operation: Liberation of Cetus - Liberate Cetus from Narmer control by storming the Tower of Unum and destroying the Murex siphoning power there. Liberate individual villagers to gain extra points.

Operation: Stardust - Railjack oriented missions. Fight sentients in space and board the murex, disabling energy nodes etc... fighting sentient bosses, ultimately destroying a murex. Rewards: sentient related weapons and cosmetics

 

NARMER BOUNTIES

Narmer bounties are the only permanent content we got from the New War, and I see them as pretty much an utter failure. This is the best example of why I feel the way I do about everything I've talked about. This was the most rushed content we got from the New War hands down and it's what we are left with after the 4-8hrs of quest time. No new transmissions, no new enemies. Just a new "skin" for the same old content we've been grinding for years.

Instead of rehashing old content in the way that we got it, I think these bounties could have been MUCH more interesting and relevant story-wise. I see these missions as being more like sorties where you have 3 separate mission nodes to complete with some variation in those mission types.

REWARDS

Set mods
 

Spoiler

This is a whole 'nother discussion. What we got in terms of set mods is severely lacking. Flat damage bonuses don't do much in this game for higher level content. DE should know this by now. Set mods especially need to be better than the options we already have at least in certain scenarios or on certain builds. I think instead of these, we could maybe have gotten some weapon specific mods similar to the amalgam mods. Another option would be weapon-type specific mods, like we got but with better stats.

Nira's Contempt (Reach)

+2.75 range

+60% status chance

Set bonus: Slide attacks multiply existing status procs on enemies by 2x.

 

Narmer Isolplasts WOULD DROP FROM ENEMIES in the mission. They are way too many of these required for builds. A similar drop rate to argon or orokin cells would be fine. Give us a reason to use our loot frames.

The three Archon weapons could have been evolving weapons with bonus damage against factions. Infested, Corpus, and Grineer with a set of unique perks unlocked with killcounts and different resources collected in these hypothetical bounties.

 

I envision myself more as a bounty hunter in this scenario, tracking down high profile targets. They could have been the Archon's themselves, if we had just wounded them in the main quest. Perhaps they we able to find another power source. I think it would make sense that even though Ballas is gone, Perhaps the Archons were able to get some hand-me-down power to control their subjects.

Perhaps the archons have a chance to spawn during a mission just like Liches. When you knock off a bar of their boss health, they retreat.

How about some of those unique enemies we fight in Rathuum or the Index? These characters would have been high profile targets for Narmer Control. Fighting these guys in a different setting would have been different.

We would get three different mission types. Corpus, Grineer, and Sentient. The units could have been the narmer variants of existing enemies for the most part, but with some new units thrown in. More boss level enemies would be neat: Narmer Nox or Ghouls, Narmer Bursa, and whatever heavy sentient unit. Perhaps if you are able to break Narmer control somehow, those enemies would become neutral at least or even fight alongside you.

As for the actual missions, I think it would be possible to do something unique here rather than just rehash the old mission modes. Something to do with the Narmer mirrors (destroying them one at a time). Assassinating some kind of modified deacon before he can control you.

 

 

Edited by TenTonneSkeleton
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1 hour ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:
  • It went too fast. I think it took me 6-8hrs to complete. Not 100% sure as I wasn't keeping track. I guess somehow I was expecting more. Looking back there was a lot of content but I just blazed through it.

Yeah, while the amount of content I think was good - It felt short, and then you're left with the "Now I have nothing to do again" feeling,  because you had to play it in one go (well, you could play it over days if you wanted to, but since you can't get back to the game until it's done, you kinda have to do it in one sitting if you don't want to miss out on crafting/invasions/nightwave etc.).

Maybe it's because I'm of an older generation who was used to having to wait each week for the next episode of a TV show :P  But I feel sometimes that anticipation of what is next is a good thing to keep you interested and excited.

Had it been released in multi-episode chapters (Which it basically already is, it's just you play through it all as one), then they could have spanned the same amount of content over several months, making it seem like a lot more content.
(And it would have been easier to re-play, since you could then re-do just the chapters you liked) [And the whole quit button thing :D]

It definitely could have been bulked up with more "war".  When I saw the Star Chart when we picked which Archons to fight first, I was expecting we'd have several mission nodes around the star chart.  They could have reskinned a lot of normal Grineer mission nodes into Narmer ones (like they did for bounties), more Drifter stealth/rescue missions.

 

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12 hours ago, 0bsi said:

Yeah, while the amount of content I think was good - It felt short, and then you're left with the "Now I have nothing to do again" feeling,  because you had to play it in one go (well, you could play it over days if you wanted to, but since you can't get back to the game until it's done, you kinda have to do it in one sitting if you don't want to miss out on crafting/invasions/nightwave etc.).

I think you hit the nail on the head here.

There WAS a lot of "content" but we were basically forced to blaze through it to get back to the normal game. Which is a shame because I wanted to spend more time in those new settings with new mechanics, enemies etc... In a way, DE could have gotten a lot more mileage with their new assets with the proposal I'm making. Instead of fighting an awesome boss like the archon once, we'd get to do it plenty of times with a group for good rewards.

The change I'm proposing would be fairly easy for DE to accomplish since like you said, most of the elements already exist. It's just a question of integration and sticking to that release schedule.

The two biggest gripes I hear from older player is:

1. Not enough content. Or content droughts. (6 month nightwaves should NOT be a thing)
2. Not enough challenging content. End game.

And I certainly agree. I think sticking to a strict 30day or 90day release schedule would do wonders for the game. Even if there was no new content per se, we would still get a Nora's Mix or a Nora's Intermission. Perhaps the "Mix" would be a 30day cycling of old rewards, and the "Intermission" would be a 90day one. That would give DE a chance to work on new quests, content, and operations, etc...

I think it's really important to combine all the elements I identified: operations, quests, permanent content, and nightwave. I think they are all important pieces to the puzzle of gameplay experience where we feel like we get content and also get to enrich the lore and world.

With smaller quests, it's possible we wouldn't always get an operation per se, but just the permanent mission types and locations.

As for challenging content. I think steel path could be made to be what we are wanting but currently the rewards just really aren't there and neither is the difficulty. I think steel path variants of missions should always have unique mechanics (read more difficult) and far better rewards. For example void fissure missions could require more reactant to open relics, but at the same time have a slightly greater chance for higher rarities and more void trace reward amounts. Defense objectives have less health, survival missions need more life support, etc etc...

I think bosses like the archons could be made to be really challenging with unique mechanics that circumvented the tankiness and damage output of our frames. We would be forced to rely on actual skill and knowledge to defeat certain enemies, not how many layers of damage reduction we can slap on our frames.

How does this tie into the new war and my proposal for episodic storytelling? I think quest related operations are a prime opportunity for what I just discussed. Difficult cooperative gameplay where we can really put our skills and gear to the test. The steel path variant would be truly difficult with appropriately juicy rewards.

 

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14 hours ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

It went too fast. I think it took me 6-8hrs to complete

 

14 hours ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

it took me 6-8hrs to complete

 

14 hours ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

6-8hrs

 

14 hours ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

It went too fast.

-_-

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4 minutes ago, (XBOX)Shodian said:

-_-

I think it's not so much that it actually went too fast but more like I didn't feel like i really got to sink into the experience. We had to just kind of blaze through it because we never got access to the normal game until we were done with the quest. Also, for comparison, how many hours do you spend just grinding for warframe parts? I probably put 20hrs or more just into trying to get Equinox.

I should also mention that the New War quest was announced in 2019. That's like 3 years of wait for what was officially stated to be a 4hr experience.

If it were episodic but with the same actual hours of quest time, I wouldn't be saying it was too fast.

I guess I will amend the op to say as much.

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5 minutes ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

We had to just kind of blaze through it because we never got access to the normal game until we were done with the quest

I didn't blaze through it though. I knew that I wasn't going to access the rest of the game till I was done but I didn't let it worry me. I took it all in.

6 minutes ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

Also, for comparison, how many hours do you spend just grinding for warframe parts? I probably put 20hrs or more just into trying to get Equinox

I'm not quite sure what you are asking here..

7 minutes ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

I should also mention that the New War quest was announced in 2019. That's like 3 years of wait for what was officially stated to be a 4hr experience

Two things, one, warframe quests are usually not very long but they are impacted. Also there was a pandemic that slowed things down 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, (XBOX)Shodian said:

I'm not quite sure what you are asking here..

I'm just pointing out that we put tons of hours into things that content wise are extremely lacking. DE could get a lot more mileage out of their content if they did things differently.

The devs put countless hours into the new war and here we are hungry for more content yet again. Something that took DE 3 years to put together we experienced in a matter of a few hours. 4-8 on average probably. How does that work in DE's favor exactly? Or ours for that matter?

How many developement hours went into Unum's tower mission? Something that took maybe 20-30minutes for us to complete once. This could have been a setting for a new mission type where we could spend more time with those assets with other players. Fighting to the top of the tower to maybe defeat a boss or got on a murex to destroy or something.

Think of it as an economy of devoper hours vs player hours. 100s of dev hours for 30min of player hours just don't make economic sense. We will always complain that we don't have enough content and devs will always say they are working hard to bring us that content. Both statements are true.

I just see a missed opportunity.

 

Edited by TenTonneSkeleton
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  • TenTonneSkeleton changed the title to A Case for Episodic Storytelling through the lens of the New War - Economy of dev hours vs player hours
Posted (edited)

warframe-chart.png

That second peak is the New War release date in mid december. Following release, we saw a fairly immediate and steady decline in active players to a point in March where it was lowest it's been in a while. If DE's strategy was working this would not be the case.

I think what DE should aim for is sustained engagment from their player base and stay away from the short lived spikes.

In theory, these big releases should be bringing more people into the game, but they are definitely NOT. Or at least as many people are leaving the game as are coming in. Owning a clan, I can tell you from experience that a great deal of new players don't stick with the game for the long haul. It's VERY difficult to maintain an active clan.

I think most of the older players only play during big releases, then go away until the next one. And that's perfectly logical.

Edited by TenTonneSkeleton
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10 hours ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

The devs put countless hours into the new war and here we are hungry for more content yet again. Something that took DE 3 years to put together we experienced in a matter of a few hours. 4-8 on average probably. How does that work in DE's favor exactly? Or ours for that matter?

How many developement hours went into Unum's tower mission? Something that took maybe 20-30minutes for us to complete once. This could have been a setting for a new mission type where we could spend more time with those assets with other players. Fighting to the top of the tower to maybe defeat a boss or got on a murex to destroy or something.

Think of it as an economy of devoper hours vs player hours. 100s of dev hours for 30min of player hours just don't make economic sense. We will always complain that we don't have enough content and devs will always say they are working hard to bring us that content. Both statements are true.

I just see a missed opportunity.

 

Yeah that's how I feel.  It's not that I expect more content or are unhappy with what we got.  I just feel almost guilty that all that work went in for one quest that I won't replay (only because I don't want to do the whole thing again, but I'd replay it if it was in chapters)

I tried to take time and explore and enjoy everything, but if I'd had more time I'd have liked to explore more and appreciate it more.

It's kinda like when someone takes hours to elaborately decorate a cake, and then it's carved up and eaten in a few moments :D

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  • TenTonneSkeleton changed the title to Why DE needs to change their content release strategy

We are in content drought at the moment which is reason for low player count , New War hasn't brought anything in terms of end game and we haven't had anything substantial for over 4 months .

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On 2022-04-02 at 5:36 AM, bad4youLT said:

We are in content drought at the moment which is reason for low player count , New War hasn't brought anything in terms of end game and we haven't had anything substantial for over 4 months .

Yeah, i know my op is long winded, but that's exactly my point. If the New War was released in a way that created sustained engagment with players, we'd still be busy playing it. Episodes, operations, etc...

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I disagree in particular with:

"OPPORTUNITIES FOR SATISFYING PLAYER PROGRESSION"

=> I found the quest satisfying on its own. Some choices left me frustrated or bewildered but overall I liked it.


Multiplayer in story quest

=>I like that I can take my time in story quests. Multiplayer would inevitably lead to frustration for either my teammates or me. 


"provide a seamless experience between storytelling and gameplay through nightwave, quests, and operations."

=> I think this would break immersion and probably would make me feel like I am wasting my time with fillers just to get to the parts I want to play. You liked Nightwave - I did not. I liked the concept of mini-story missions but because they were so short I felt like I was reading a chapter of a book over weeks - page by page - or in other words: it was tedious.

What I agree with:

Archon fights were fun and similar missions would be appreciated.

Operations and raids should make a comeback.

My take:
Missions where we were limited should get a rework (nightmare missions).

The New War had no measurable impact on the gameplay loop. After every quest I internally lament that nothing changed. It almost feels like the story is a fanfiction.

Warframe is a looter-shooter but what if you improve the enemies and reduce quantity? Just increasing the starting level was a nice touch but it would be nice if there was more to the Steel Path. Make different mechanics to get loot. Maybe challenge-based but each challenge has a cooldown on completion as to not overwhelm the market.

Focus on the fun-factor instead of the loot. There is enough to be looted.

 

Edited by Biosko
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I've been playing FF14 lately and the way it reuses its Main Scenario Quest content is really nice. I've only finished ARR so far, so I can only comment on this, but:

All Dungeons have a Hard Mode after you reach Level 50 (Level Cap). They are remixes of their original versions, with new Enemies, new Layouts, tweaked aesthetic/lighting and a continuation to their normal counterparts' stories. It might sound like lots has changed, but it's mostly reused Assets all around, except for Bosses.

Boss Fights, like the Primals, are piss-easy while in the MSQ, but you can then unlock Hard variants which are more complex but still easy enough, and Extreme variants which demand a lot more from the Players.

I want that from Warframe. Give me Vor's Prize (Hard), a 4 Player series of Missions, with higher Level Enemies, a much more complex Vor Fight, design that demands 4 Player Squads and some new rewards, even cosmetics only would suffice. It would reuse existing content, give a dose of nostalgia, act as a primer to what Raids could be and you could then reuse that Vor Fight for his Steel Path Node.

Hard Mode 4-Player New War? Sentients that aren't Level 10-20? The third Archon not getting absolutely thrashed by our regular Gear? A Ballas Fight that has actual mechanics and difficulty instead of being an introductory Nintendo Boss Fight? Yes please.

The game would benefit tons if DE looked at all of it, top to bottom, including content lost to time like Trials, OG Dark Sectors, Operations and past Nightwave Series, and considered "how can we make this more alluring and how can we reuse this". For some it could be as simple as "fix the drop tables" coughorphixcough.

Edited by Petroklos
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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Biosko said:

I disagree in particular with:

"OPPORTUNITIES FOR SATISFYING PLAYER PROGRESSION"

=> I found the quest satisfying on its own. Some choices left me frustrated or bewildered but overall I liked it.

I guess I feel a bit frustrated. I type a lot trying to explain a vision and people still don't get what I'm trying to say.

So, I actually agree with you that the quest itself was fine. It was satisfying although like I said, to me, it felt short. I wouldn't change much about the actual solo quest itself. Everything I'm proposing is actually tangental and separate from the solo quest. The only thing I'm really changing abou the quest itself is releasing it in 3 parts.

When I talk about progression I am referring more to the actual gameplay but especially the gameplay around some of these larger quests. I see a lot of missed opportunities for simple progression. Knocking about a quest in 4hrs and going back to the regular game without feeling like much has changed or you actually accomplished much doesn't feel like like satisfying gameplay progression. Instead of 4hrs with the New War we could have spent 4months. That's all I'm trying to say.

Did you read what I proposed about the Paracesis?

The reason I think we need to look at progression is that graph I posted. We have very short lived engagement with these big releases. We need more reasons to keep playing the game and keep engaged. Otherwise we will be forever lamenting "content doughts" and feeling like DE isn't doing enough to keep us entertained.

Even though something like evolving the Paracesis would be very simple it would be another thing that would reward game-time. You kill lots of sentients in the operations and get to upgrade the sword. Simple and satisfying IMO.

Other examples would be the current Riven system (we should be able to increase percentage chance for certain stats over time). Spending thousands and thousands of kuva for what amounts to just rolling the dice is ludicrous. An item that allows you to lean the chance for stats in your favor over time would be A VERY worthwhile reward and suddenly the kuva grind would actual feel like it was worth your time.

Or augments - I think these should be able to be infused onto frames with the helminth thereby not taking a mod slot. It would be end game progression. It could use up a ton of resources that we have no other use for. Giving us the ability to further min-max our frames would be a good thing for the game, especially if there was content that actually required that level of power from our frames.

 

22 hours ago, Biosko said:


Multiplayer in story quest

=>I like that I can take my time in story quests. Multiplayer would inevitably lead to frustration for either my teammates or me. 

 

Multiplayer would NOT be a part of the main story quests. That remains the same in my proposal. The multiplayer would come in the form of associated operations. Multiplayer repeatable content in a quest relevant setting. It's different.

 

22 hours ago, Biosko said:

"provide a seamless experience between storytelling and gameplay through nightwave, quests, and operations."

=> I think this would break immersion and probably would make me feel like I am wasting my time with fillers just to get to the parts I want to play. You liked Nightwave - I did not. I liked the concept of mini-story missions but because they were so short I felt like I was reading a chapter of a book over weeks - page by page - or in other words: it was tedious.

I'm NOT proposing we go back to the way things were with Nightwave. Like I said, the old model had issues. But like it or not, I think Nightwave is here to stay. I just think it should actually feel relevant to the current game state. A lot of cool cosmetic rewards could have been earned through nightwave tangential to the main New War quest.

I guess I don't see why nightwave would break immersion. The whole point in my mind is immersion. Nora is a radio personality that makes a commentary on current affairs. It's added lore. And it would ONLY happen outside of the main quest when you are engaged in the normal game content. It's not like Nora would be popping up on your screen while you are skulking around the abandoned Zariman or something.

For example, in the New War we could learn about how the different syndicates like Arbiters of Hexis responded to the invasion. This was never mentioned in the quest. These are supposed to be powerful organizations. Seems like some of them would have formed an underground resistance or even joined the enemy. This is info that would have been overwhelming in the main quest, but could be discovered during regular game-play at a more appropriate time in between episodes of the New War quest.

 

22 hours ago, Biosko said:

The New War had no measurable impact on the gameplay loop. After every quest I internally lament that nothing changed. It almost feels like the story is a fanfiction.

 

Yeah, i think this could have been done a bit better as well. It's hard to pull off in a multiplayer game though where everyone is on different pages of the story. But yes, the Narmer bounties could have been greatly improved.

Edited by TenTonneSkeleton
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20 hours ago, Petroklos said:

I want that from Warframe. Give me Vor's Prize (Hard), a 4 Player series of Missions, with higher Level Enemies, a much more complex Vor Fight, design that demands 4 Player Squads and some new rewards, even cosmetics only would suffice. It would reuse existing content, give a dose of nostalgia, act as a primer to what Raids could be and you could then reuse that Vor Fight for his Steel Path Node.

Hard Mode 4-Player New War? Sentients that aren't Level 10-20? The third Archon not getting absolutely thrashed by our regular Gear? A Ballas Fight that has actual mechanics and difficulty instead of being an introductory Nintendo Boss Fight? Yes please.

The game would benefit tons if DE looked at all of it, top to bottom, including content lost to time like Trials, OG Dark Sectors, Operations and past Nightwave Series, and considered "how can we make this more alluring and how can we reuse this". For some it could be as simple as "fix the drop tables" coughorphixcough.

Yes! This is exactly what I'm proposing.

Disruption should be the premier loot game mode IMO. The drops here should be MUCH more rewarding. There could be added mechanics for the different missions on each planet with their own set of unique rewards.

Every Steel Path node should have different mechanics from the usual to make it more difficult but also much more rewarding. Double drops for warframe parts in the boss nodes for example for people that sold all their non-prime variants. >.>

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1 hour ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

Disruption should be the premier loot game mode IMO. The drops here should be MUCH more rewarding. There could be added mechanics for the different missions on each planet with their own set of unique rewards.

Yeah, lots of people really dislike Disruption, probably due to its difficulty, but I think it's peak Warframe gameplay. Good rewards, drop tables that reward playing well and staying for longer, mission design that can be significantly sped-up when in Squads, specific modifiers and enemies that change how you play and mod, and most important of all, some of the best Ordis lines.

1 hour ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

Every Steel Path node should have different mechanics from the usual to make it more difficult but also much more rewarding. Double drops for warframe parts in the boss nodes for example for people that sold all their non-prime variants. >.>

Different mechanics for every Node would be way too much work, but some risk-reward Mechanic for every Gamemode should be more doable and super dope. Tbh, the combination of Steel Path's existing modifiers paired with the Acolytes are enough to satisfy me but I wouldn't complain if we got more, and when talking Boss Fights specifically, they really need some help. Some of them need help even in the regular Star Chart coughsergeantcough.

Fittingly enough for this Thread, I think that Steel Path is one of the best examples of reusing old content in Warframe. Especially ever since they added the Acolytes and Incursions. Like, I've probably played more Archwing Missions via Steel Path Incursions for the Steel Essence, than I had played during my 4 prior years of Warframe.

As for Rewards, I just want simple changes. All Credit, Endo and other Resource Rewards should be the highest regular Star Chart Rewards times two, Relic Rewards should be Exceptional (saving us 25 Traces per), Bosses should drop Riven Slivers (like the Jackal does!) or maybe Steel Essence, some super-heavy Units like the Juggernaut should drop Riven Slivers (like the Eximus Units do!), some Assassin Units like the Stalker should drop Steel Essence (like the Acolytes do!), etc.

Edited by Petroklos
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"Did you read what I proposed about the Paracesis?" Yes. I would have looked at this feature as an annoying distraction or a chore.


"Multiplayer would NOT be a part of the main story quests." I guess if the operations were just themed and not important to the story per se that would be a good addition.


"I think Nightwave is here to stay. I just think it should actually feel relevant to the current game state. A lot of cool cosmetic rewards could have been earned through nightwave tangential to the main New War quest."

=> I do not care about cosmetics. I do not enjoy the way "Nora" speaks and her voice lines are bland propaganda (at least they sound like that to me). I would have found it more immersive to hear a mission report in a soldiers voice. It is "The New War" not "have you heard the newest single?".  But where I am from radio does not talk on serious matters apart from an hourly (if that) world news report of 1 or 2 minutes that are usually unimportant - mostly sh*tty music and white noise.

"we could learn about how the different syndicates like Arbiters of Hexis responded to the invasion. This was never mentioned in the quest." That is an interesting proposal. If the quest was affecting game-play that could have been one of the ways to do it.

Edited by Biosko
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8 hours ago, Petroklos said:

Yeah, lots of people really dislike Disruption, probably due to its difficulty, but I think it's peak Warframe gameplay. Good rewards, drop tables that reward playing well and staying for longer, mission design that can be significantly sped-up when in Squads, specific modifiers and enemies that change how you play and mod, and most important of all, some of the best Ordis lines.

I think disruption has a ton of potential. I agree with everything you said, but i maintain that the rewards could be better. At least for me, relics aren't that interesting. They are rewarded almost everywhere else.

I am actually working on proposed overhaul for all disruption nodes mainly focused on the rewards. How about a 5x resource drop chance modifier? Or 5x affinity modifier? But besides that, i think each node needs to feel unique and have unique rewards. How about some new Wraith weapon variants and new "wraith mods" from the Sedna disruption? Positive modifer would be: wraith weapons have 500% damage and enemies killed with wraith weapons drup kuva... or something like that.
 

8 hours ago, Petroklos said:

Different mechanics for every Node would be way too much work, but some risk-reward Mechanic for every Gamemode should be more doable and super dope. Tbh, the combination of Steel Path's existing modifiers paired with the Acolytes are enough to satisfy me but I wouldn't complain if we got more, and when talking Boss Fights specifically, they really need some help. Some of them need help even in the regular Star Chart coughsergeantcough.

Yes sorry, I meant each gamemode, not each node For void fissure missions, more void trace drops would be fantastic. Or slightly better chances for rare drops from relics. I want a reason to play the steel path variant over the normal variant for ALL gamemodes. I don't think the steel essence drop is really worth it for a lot of content. Usually if I want steel essence I will specically go to a survival mission and farm for it.


 

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On 2022-03-29 at 1:03 PM, TenTonneSkeleton said:

awesome boss

Nightwave also had a lot of cool stuff that I guess never gonna get a rerun... or even events that are simple disposable in DE's eyes, since they never rerun those too.

This is a big waste of time and money DE. Good content in the garbage can instead of being used in live servers.

  

On 2022-04-03 at 3:50 PM, Petroklos said:

Fight that has actual mechanics and difficulty

Read just a bit of the feedback about new war... 'hard' boss fight is the top1 reason crybabies curse DE in there.

I mean there is a lot of topics about 'boss too hard I wanna quit new war', 'new war is garbage I can't finish', 'I wanna quit warframe because I am too stupid to read the warning about not being able to leave the quest once it is started'.

lol

Edited by DarkSkysz
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5 hours ago, DarkSkysz said:

Read just a bit of the feedback about new war... 'hard' boss fight is the top1 reason crybabies curse DE in there.

I have. And even though I passionately disagree with them, I would also not call them crybabies for it. For some, Warframe is an extremely casual experience and that is perfectly valid. Debatably more valid than asking for any challenge in modern Warframe, but lets not get me ranting.

This is exactly why I would want actually complex and harder Bossfights in gamemodes that are by design aimed to those looking for something more intense. Steel Path, Quest Hard Modes, Raids, etc. This also why moving Disruption to "optional" Nodes, that won't block Star Chart progression, was a great move on DE's part.

We can have trivially easy Quests, if there's is an optional variant that will make them rise up to what they could be. An indirect difficulty setting.

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3 hours ago, Petroklos said:

This is exactly why I would want actually complex and harder Bossfights in gamemodes that are by design aimed to those looking for something more intense. Steel Path, Quest Hard Modes, Raids, etc. This also why moving Disruption to "optional" Nodes, that won't block Star Chart progression, was a great move on DE's part.

For me, Archons were a highlight of the New War and a memory that will stick with me. That's why I wish that we could fight them again in another setting and have them be difficult enough for our normal warframes to struggle with.

 

9 hours ago, DarkSkysz said:

Read just a bit of the feedback about new war... 'hard' boss fight is the top1 reason crybabies curse DE in there.

I mean there is a lot of topics about 'boss too hard I wanna quit new war', 'new war is garbage I can't finish', 'I wanna quit warframe because I am too stupid to read the warning about not being able to leave the quest once it is started'.



Warframe already has a ton of difficult boss fights. Eidolons, Orb Mothers,, star chart bosses. This has been a part of warframe for a LONG time. So it surprises me that people complain about bosses in the new war that are arguably less difficult than ones that we already have.

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9 hours ago, DarkSkysz said:

Read just a bit of the feedback about new war... 'hard' boss fight is the top1 reason crybabies curse DE in there.

I mean there is a lot of topics about 'boss too hard I wanna quit new war', 'new war is garbage I can't finish', 'I wanna quit warframe because I am too stupid to read the warning about not being able to leave the quest once it is started'.

Your comments are offensive and you are misrepresenting the players that truly did struggle with the New War quest for a variety of reasons, most have nothing to do with your opinionated and rude "cry-baby" descriptions.  It is getting really tiresome to read such insensitive comments calling players "stupid" for starting the New War Quest despite the obligatory standard warning message from DE.  Speaking from my personal experience, I felt the Quest was misrepresented in the concept of "Prepare for the New War" on many levels; Lack of meaningful usage of Necramechs, Railjacks, and most importantly, the most minute usage of what the game concept is all about... Warframes!  I don't think its fair to belittle and demean players that felt they were "prepared" to begin the New War Quest only to discover it would mean completing it without utilizing a Warframe for the majority of the quest.  Do you think the majority of players who struggled with the New War foolishly disregarded the Warning message?  It just is callous and ignorant to make blanket statements about players that posted their frustration and struggles with the Quest just because you and others might not have had the same experience. 

 

1 hour ago, TenTonneSkeleton said:

Warframe already has a ton of difficult boss fights. Eidolons, Orb Mothers,, star chart bosses. This has been a part of warframe for a LONG time. So it surprises me that people complain about bosses in the new war that are arguably less difficult than ones that we already have.

Of these "difficult boss fights" that you mention, what is the key element that is common amongst them all? Hmmm I'll give you a hint, it's the title of the game you are playing.  Unfortunately the New War Quest had minimal usage of what is the majority of game-play and is the title of the game itself, Warframe.  This alone was a big factor in why I did not enjoy the Archon Boss fights, because of the forced clunky mechanics of the Drifter as opposed to the quick and agile Warframes that I have been grown fond of over the years. 

With that said, I do like the concepts of better rewards for some missions, especially any that are Steel Path.  I think the Disruption mission is one of the better game modes as it encourages player awareness of the enemy location as opposed to blindly spamming an Ogris into a mindless blob of infested.  I like the concept of the inclusion of the Syndicates in the New War Quest and would be interested learning what role they played during the New War.  I appreciate your desire and eagerness to make the game even better so keep the ideas flowing!

Have a pleasant tomorrow!

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On 2022-03-30 at 1:07 AM, TenTonneSkeleton said:

warframe-chart.png

... I'll only start to attempt at taking Steam Charts even remotely seriously when they start including everyone that isn't using Steam... Until then, I can only see it as "toxic" propaganda, out of respect for the .:Edit:.political.:EndOfEdit:. impartiality rule of the forum.

Edited by Uhkretor
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  • TenTonneSkeleton changed the title to Why DE should consider updating their content release strategy

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