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PVP - Is it for Warframe?


CrownOfShadows
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CAUTION: This is a discussion about possible PvP in Warframe with no mention of Conclave at all. The goal here is to discuss PvP possibilities completely free of Conclave and its state. Are you interested in WF PvP in some form? What would you like to see in WF PvP, and why?

Why we need PvP:

Boredom & Interaction. Content drops are great, but they bloom and then fade fast. PvP is the ultimate solution to the content drought since it can create infinite content. The other reason is that many people like the challenge that other players present compared the predictability of AI.

Why we might not:

Extended PvE content. Getting enough long-term engaging content like Lichs and Sisters, that can span the entire time between content drops, may make one of the main reasons for wanting PvP obsolete. In addition, as I suggested in another post, if DE developed other engaging activities that are repeatable outside of gear & faction rewards, that would alleviate this need to some extent as well. One final note, I sometimes hear the argument that WF players don't want PvP, they only enjoy PvE. I honestly don't know how true this is, or how connected it is the the current state. It's certainly true that the vast majority of WF players enjoy WF for what it is: PvE, but that fact doesn't naturally exclude a desire for PvP. One other point to consider I suppose; PvP inevitably brings with it some level of toxicity, there's almost no way around that, and perhaps safeguarding WF's fairly congenial community is in itself worth the price of not developing PvP.

Why we still might:

However, I doubt the viability of the Lich/Sister method, as well as related content (quests/events) mostly because DE would have to release such long-term content on pretty much EVERY release, which seems unlikely and perhaps not even for the best. Can they make enough content to keep us busy without sending us to a grind mill? After almost 10 years of WF, that hasn't been the case yet - it's just a reality of development.

What are Warframe's PvP Possibilities? And What are their Pros and Cons?

  • Corpus vs Grineer: often called the 'battlefront solution', this pitches Grineer vs Corpus, or Corpus vs Corpus, or Grineer vs Grineer. The New War in particular has spawned much speculation about this, as it was a solid proof of concept, and DE's upcoming expansion of it lends further weight. This has several benefits: it uses existing assets, it's available to all MR without bias, it avoids warframe balance problems, it should be straightforward to implement, it ties in nicely with lore. Another massive benefit is that it solves the mobility problem: these units are slower and thus more suited to PvP. It has several drawbacks though: it would likely require a close inspection and special implementation of the factions, as Corpus are likely to be superior, in addition to special implementations of their respective weapons and abilities, if used. Keep in mind that even though it avoids warframe balance problems, it still suffers from weapon balance issues, as these enemies currently wield copies of weapons from our current arsenal. Another drawback is tedium. Without any customization or differences, such battles would become stale repetitions without much tactical appeal, although sufficient weapon diversity, sufficient character diversity and mission diversity can mitigate this to some extent. Limited options combined with lackluster rewards though would likely see greatly reduced interest, though I doubt it would ever become obsolete and would anticipate a steady following.
  • Necramechs: the introduction of necramechs have likewise spawned much speculation regarding their use as PvP vessels. The benefits are again that they utilize existing art assets, and it should be straightforward to implement. The drawbacks are slightly more complicated here though: they would be MR limited, they would require extensive balancing, as the sheer DPS of arquebex alone would render Bonewidow meaningless, and even other Voidrigs as they aren't likely to possess sufficient DR to mitigate that. Additionally, we would also have to balance all Archguns for PvP - things like the Larkspur would likely dominate simply because they can track enemies to some degree, and while necramechs aren't super mobile they can move in fast bursts which would likely be the instant meta, and likely we would also want yet another Archmelee overhaul (since current necramech native melee is pathetic in the extreme). I am here assuming that fully modded necramechs are permitted, but keep in mind that necramechs are painful to level and fully modded necramechs are likely to create a steep XP cliff, where only the maxed out meta builds are competitive. Further, we currently only have 2 necramechs, and would need several more to make PvP sustainable, and if mods are allowed a more robust mod set as well. It has potential, but I also feel like it could become stale pretty quickly without a more robust roster.
  • Railjacks: similar to necramechs, Railjacks are often mentioned as possible PvP vehicles. These have many of the same benefits as Necramechs: they're fun, use existing art and should be easy to implement. In regards to drawbacks, they also would be MR limited, require a PvP pass and possible special implementation, and likely mod pass - especially for the tactical mods (don't forget RJs can actually become invisible), and the same argument regarding XP cliffs can apply. Railjacks also suffer from many additional problems though. Railjacks are fast (when maxed) and have great mobility - they're even faster than archwings. This is awesome for PvE, but terrible for PvP, as hitting them would be impossible either on the turret, with warheads, and especially not with artillery, which would be completely useless. Then there's the issue of hull breaches - does enemy fire cause them? For a beginner this would be devastating, and if outmatched it would be devastating even for an experienced crew. Then there's the issue of boarding. If Tenno can board other RJ, then that's straight up hardcore PvP and I can guarantee the meta would instantly devolve into boarding. In addition to this how shall we handle auto-crew, including Lich's and Sisters, if not enough players join? Finally there's the issue of engineering. How can we balance engineering - should we disable Lavos, dispensary etc? Without spoofing it, constant RJ fighting would require constant forge use. Nobody is going to want to spend the whole PvP match forging. Keep in mind too that forging is based off farming - if you're not farming anything you can't forge anything, and if there are no enemy NPC fighters, then you're not farming anything. For all of these reasons, I believe when most people suggest RJ PvP, they are envisioning a single player per ship and no boarding mechanics or even any ship level really. While I think RJ PvE combat is intrinsically fun, my gut instinct is that they move too fast to make it viable for PvP, and there are too many clamps that would have to be put on it, creating too much backlash.
  • K-Drive Races: this is an oft-raised suggestion. It benefits again from using existing art and mechanics, and would probably be one of the easiest things to implement because it doesn't involve teams or differentiating between friendly and enemy fire. Rather it simply sets up a race with multiple racers, and offers rewards based on finishing placement. This is perfectly fine and certainly easily possible. The only major drawback here is again the staleness factor - racing is fairly niche PvP and unlike other PvP doesn't directly pit you against other players - it's more like you vs the environment with some other players around. Even so, similar to Corpus vs Grineer, I believe this would always have a devoted niche following, though less so than something like Corpus vs Grineer, which I think would have wider appeal.
  • PvEvPvE (aka Indirect PvP/iPvP): this is pitching players against an environment and coordinating that run with another set of players vs their respective environments, preventing the two teams from directly interacting but maintaining some semblance of competition by allowing players to see the other team's progress and perhaps interact with it. This has the benefit of keeping all current warframes and weapons with no alteration or balance concerns, which is quite attractive. It has several drawbacks too though. First of all, depending on implementation, it may not be any more engaging than running regular missions. If, for example, we were just given a Saturn map and had a dull indicator somewhere regarding the other team, that's an awful implementation and no better than running it regular. If teams have interesting ways of slowing down the opposing team though, then this might be mitigated, as it creates diversity and tactics. A larger problem is the XP cliff. Warframes suffer from a larger XP cliff than even necramechs and railjacks, and some sort of balancing based at a minimum on MR would likely be necessary. An L1 or L2 can likely complete an entire mission before an entire team of MR5's can even get halfway, but even MR isn't all that great an indicator, and you would need smart matchmaking. In combination with this is enemy scaling - to be fair the two teams would likely want to face off against enemies of equal level, and this would in turn have to balanced against the team comps, and doing that in a fair way is extremely complicated. For this to succeed, it would require special levels and special mechanics, ideally with the two teams able to track each other's progress, perhaps passively encounter each other, and also indirectly interact with each other by triggering things in their opponent's environments. This is probably one of the most difficult to pull off well, but if done with TLC, it could result in a much more engaging way to run content and perhaps even become the preferred way of running it, although this factors heavily with reward structures and many other variables. One technical drawback is that a lot of things would have to be cut out (stalker, faction spawns, liches, etc).
  • 10k Direct (Moshpit PvP): a more infrequently suggested possibility is the so called 10k method, where we allow full use of mods and abilities, everything that warframe currently is, but we multiply all warframe hp (and most likely armor and shields) by 10,000, resulting in warframes with close to a million hp on average, without adjusting abilities or weapons. This is interesting, and nobody really knows what it would look like - we just let people run rampant and see what happens. In raw benefit, it requires almost nothing to implement, although some abilities might need attention for just exactly how they scale and interact with other warframes, as well as any mods or arcanes that deal with hp/shield/ armor percentages. In detriment, it is likely to rapidly polarize around certain frames. Limbo, Wisp, Rhino and Mesa would likely be staples, as would Inaros, who could achieve 100 million hp. A benefit of this mode is that the HP buffer should be sufficient enough to allow for extensive experimentation, and some have suggested 20k instead of 10k, to make sure people can run around the battlefield without much fear of being insta-killed from target fire, indeed, to engage in repeated close combat with enemies. In combination with objectives other than annihilating the enemy, this could result in some interesting, if chaotic, play, but it remains difficult to judge as being highly theoretical. In all likelihood though, the meta would be so specific and demanding that it would squash diversity and create strong elitism. Further exacerbating this is the extreme XP cliff and mod cliff inherent in mod configs & arcanes. Even so, I personally would be very intrigued to see how this plays out.
  • Fresh Frame PvP: another possibility, and one I myself have advocated for, is to create entirely new frames or vehicles specially designed for PvP. The major drawback to this is dev time, it would require all new art and mechanics. Because of this, it seems the least likely of all possibilities. The benefits, however, are numerous - it ensures quality PvP by designing for it from the ground up (at least in theory), and this includes balance items like mobility, abilities, weapons, and mods, which should create engaging diversity and elevate it above such things as Corpus+Grineer. Another drawback here is maintenance: unlike some of these other methods which rotate around pre-existing and mainstream future content that can also be used in PvE, this requires good upkeep and consistent dedicated content to remain fresh, not only in PvP frame/vehicle releases but also in rewards. It would be very much like a content island of its own, but one that may not sit well with being ignored for long periods, which DE would be likely to do to it.
  • Archwing: is sometimes suggested. This uses existing art and mechanics, but suffers extensively from mobility issues. Archwings, even if you were to disable blink, are incredibly fast. I think no other possible mode suffers from the mobility issue as much as archwing (RJ's are faster, but archwings are more agile and smaller) - I can't imagine EVER hitting anything, much less even finding anything to begin with. In addition, there's a steep XP cliff with a lot of archwing mods that are hard to get. We would also have to make a balance pass not only on all archwings, but also on archguns and archmelee. For these reasons, I anticipate this would be poorly received and have a negligible following.
  • Operator PvP: there've been some suggestions to use the Operators in PvP. One possible benefit of this is that they aren't yet fully realized in the form of abilities yet and might be converted to this cause. A negative though is that the skill trees would surely favor Madurai above all else, and anyone not using it would surely meet a swift end. Operators also suffer from incredible mobility and also invisibility, things that would make locating and hitting them exceedingly difficult. Arcanes are especially powerful on operators as well, and if allowed, would create an XP cliff that would need to be dealt with somehow. A final note is that this would require access to operators, which is an XP gate. I also anticipate that this would be poorly received and have a negligible following.
  • Stalker PvP: in case you weren't aware, the Stalker has sometimes been controlled by devs. This creates an interesting asymmetrical 1v4 dynamic, similar to Evolve's gameplay in design. There's some potential to create a full mode out of it, with freshly designed 'bosses' which one player would wield against a team of tenno. The advantages here are that we can create special bosses specifically designed to scale against tenno, and don't have to balance all the warframes, weapons, mods, etc, which is a major plus. The disadvantages are that the balance will need to be refined to a high level, that they'd be basically invulnerable to all abilities, and that we'd have to worry about xp diversity among the tenno squad. All that said, I think this has potential (indeed, it's already play tested to some extent) and even though it's not top of my list I'd still personally be interested to see it, even as an experimental mode.

Those are all of the main suggestions for PvP that I'm aware of. There's also clan PvP, clan battles, but that's just warframe pvp by another name.

Let me know if I missed any, what your favorites are and why, or if you think WF is better off without PvP in any form.

P.S. Please don't bring Conclave into this discussion. If you want to discuss Conclave, there's a whole forum for it, thanks ---

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i think Conclave is pretty cool, so, sure?
other Asymmetric forms of competition could be just fine too. doesn't have to only be Symmetric (i.e. shooting directly at each other).

oh, as always, there has to be a reason to play it though. Warframe is inherently the sort of game that has relatively high time requirements in order "to really play", so any sort of competitive forms can't be completely at odds with that. you need to be able to get PvE stuff in any type of PvP in order for it to be possible to be more than hyperniche. it doesn't have to be high efficiency compared to some PvE content, and perhaps even shouldn't be, but it needs to be enough so that it doesn't feel like playing is a waste of time. 

Edited by taiiat
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One of the interesting development angles to PvP is how seriously it should be presented to the players. There's a super strong case to try to make PvP a relaxed and not-serious endeavor, something to just go and do for fun, and despite a lot of people taking it super serious no matter what form it takes I think this is an achievable goal. To that end, i think frame PvP is the least conducive, whereas something like Stalker PvP or necramechs or corpus vs grineer would be more suited. I feel like people are more likely to just jump into those for the fun of it rather than for the competition, but idk. This might be related to depth, warframes are super in depth and a lot of passion and pride goes into their builds, whereas grineer vs corpus would be pretty shallow by comparison.

I'm not sure which design approach would be better for warframe, in the end.

 

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Competition is one of the many ways to do endgame content, so sure.

One thing to add to the OP is expanding the game's existing leaderboards to give PvE players a way to indirectly compete. It could be as simple as making them easier to come across or more complex like awarding a flair or some other piece of bragging rights. There's a lot of untapped potential for non-gear customization like titles, kill-cards, etc. like you'd find in so many other games.

There's plenty of room for this kind of content and almost all of the work needed to support it has already been done. We've already got the capability for dedicated servers, 8 player matches, separate balancing, separate loadouts, capability for bots, Stalker Mode already works it's just unreleased, the mechanics for races are already there, TNW added separate Grineer and Corpus and Dax playable characters with their own unique UIs, and a customizable Kahl is coming Soon™ with Veilbreaker. PvP is also part of the studio's pedigree: DE did five different Unreal Tournament games, Bioshock 2's multiplayer, Homefront's multiplayer, and tried making Keystone/Amazing Eternals on their own which was only five years ago. DE also has different teams working on many updates at once and always has, so it's not like the game's progress would grind to a halt, and for those concerned that PvP "isn't Warframe", you can say the same thing about literally any piece of content in the game and you need only look at the game's history, from event leaderboards and trophies to the dueling room to Solar Rail Conflicts to Conclave to Lunaro to Frame Fighter to see that this kind of content has always been a minor part of the game.

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+1. These are all super interesting ideas and I like your exploration of their pros and cons!

I think Grineer vs Corpus PVP would work the best. It shouldn't be too hard to make a variety of team-based game modes, like:

  • The existing ones (Team Annihilation, Cephalon Capture, Lunaro-except-murdering-each-other-is-possible-since-grineer-and-corpus-are-not-known-for-their-sportsmanlike-conduct, etc)
  • Control point (i.e. one team pushes forward to "capture" 3-5ish key locations in sequence, and other team tries to stop them)
  • Symmetrical control point (i.e. both teams start with the same number of controlled points, and must capture those of the opposing team)
  • King-of-the-hill (i.e. there's only one control point, and each team has a timer that ticks down when they're the ones controlling it; winner ticks down to zero first)
  • Payload (i.e. Hijack, except the vehicle cannot be destroyed; the goal is to simply prevent the attacking team from pushing the vehicle to the end)
  • Yes I am just repeating existing game modes in Team Fortress 2 (i.e. there are many reasons that the game is still alive today, and one of them is having a variety of engaging game modes)

An absolute requirement for keeping team-based PVP interesting in each of these modes is having a variety of "classes" with fundamentally different roles. Grineer and Corpus already have enough existing units that some of these classes already exist, e.g.

  • Butcher/Prodman
  • Lancer/Crewman (maybe merged with Butcher/Prodman, since pure-melee classes with no special functionality wouldn't really work here)
  • Ballista/SniperCrewman
  • Hellion/Ranger
  • Heavy Gunner/Tech
  • Hell, even RollerSentry/Ratel for speedy "nuisance" classes

New classes could be made using existing assets, e.g.

  • An "engineer" class that can summon summon Carabus/Ospreys and provide health/ammo stations for teammates
  • A "healer" class that can provide AoE healing pulses and/or a healing beam that latches onto one teammate at a time
  • Yes I am just repeating TF2 stuff again it's a good game ok

Just spitballing here. Of all the PVP possibilities, GrineerVCorpus stands out as one that would work really damn well because of the framework that WF already has for it. No movement problem, no PVE counterpart to worry about balance-wise... just a totally fresh new game mode made out of existing assets.

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I think variant modes got missed. Kind of minigame modes, like if Dog Days was PvP. There's a handful of those sorts, hidden in the source code or DE's repositories somewhere.

One caveat is along with what taiiat brought up regarding "a reason to play". A reason to play is both kind of necessary and potentially detrimental, as players might feel they have to engage in this kind of content that is very much not their thing. Fishing alone puts a sour taste in some mouths. The competitive nature of PvP, of any sort, would make the sourness of fishing taste like a five course buffet by comparison.

29 minutes ago, CrownOfShadows said:

One of the interesting development angles to PvP is how seriously it should be presented to the players.

This is kind of an aside but I've always felt good chunks of Warframe are presented a touch too seriously. Like, we're supposed to take a bunch of cloned soldiers that fall over from a stiff breeze and led by immature immortals as seriously as self-replicating, rapidly adapting war machines from an entirely different solar system? They're such different scales of gravitas but the narrative tone implies, yes, these are equitable threats.

Edited by Tyreaus
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PVP will not work because:

  • it will effectively kill the whole "power fantasy"-thing
  • 99% of the content (warframes, weapons, mods) will be "practically ineligible", in other words all the gear for which there is something a little bit "better"
  • it would need a total re-balance/re-design of "damage output" vs "durability"
  • it will (very) quickly get a strong "pay to win"-flavor
  • giving extra/special loot usable in the core game to PVP-players will piss the rest of the community off (big time)
  • it would either make "META-focused" players ignore large parts of the game, especially collecting gear and reaching higher MR OR it would piss them off if the PVP-entry level was set to a "minimum Legendary"-endgame gate (the complaining about having to grind to reach PVP-eligibility would be legendary in itself 🤪)
  • killing other Tenno goes against the core of the game, it simply doesn't fit

The alternative (that you also mention) is a completely separate design, where everything functions and is balanced differently. But that is also the basic concept for the Conclave, which (as we all know) just doesn't "click" with the rest of the game and with the absolute majority of all players. It just "doesn't work".

Philosophically speaking "the need" for PVP arises out of a narrow META-view of the game, in an "all dressed up and nowhere to go"-form. Having focused on and reached META and being able to beat all enemies and with no "power fantasy increase" left to achieve, a PVP-Warframe seems to be the logical next step for some sort of "end-game content". But it really isn't. Going solely for "peak power" is worthwhile pursuit only if it isn't based on simply copying concepts and solutions from the internet, but even so it is, in itself, a "game killer". Because once you have reached (or copied and bought yourself to) such a "power fantasy"-level there is nothing left for you to do actually do, unless you can leave all that behind and re-focus on the "sandbox diversity" instead.

Generalizing a bit and speaking philosophically Warframe is either a triangle standing on it's base or a triangle standing on it's head. The first case  (standing on the base, like the real pyramids in Egypt) is the "META-view": all content mainly exists as a support to allow you to reach your "peak", and as you progress your options (both gear- and "worthwhile missions"-wise) continuously narrow. When you have reached the peak, well, there you are. You have the best of best, there are only a small segment of the game that is "worth playing" and all new stuff will be evaluated against the peak (it is either "even better", raising the peak a bit further, or "substandard MR-fodder"). The second case, with the triangle standing on it's head/peak is the "sandbox diversity"-view: as you progress and get more gear and knowledge the game opens up more and more, and when you have and know "everything" the whole game is your oyster (so to speak). This means that you still use all kinds of gear, still play "low-level" missions and still tinker around with "sub-META" stuff (which even logically is 99.9% of the game content).

The core problem in the first case is that it is logically impossible for DE to produce new "endgame"-content at the same pace players are reaching their peak, so there never will be any real "endgame"-option available. The only way to produce such an endgame would be to pull the plug on the power fantasy. A 50:50 success ratio for missions would be a fair "modern balancing", but which "power fantasy"-engaged Tenno could handle failing half of the missions? An "oldskool" success-fail-ratio (10:90 or lower) would be mentally impossible.

The core problem with the second case is that DE focuses (and has to focus) on the player contingents that bring in real money. Several solutions increase the width/diversity of the game, some are sort of built in (new warframes, weapons and mods), some are universe-related (new nodes, enemies, missions) and some are built around existing mechanisms (multi-polarity forma, the Helminth, weapon-specific "special" mods, augments). However, there are still unnecessary blocks that could be removed, adding "lots of content" fairly easily. Things like either allowing the multi-forma'ing of all slots (adding a new polarity wouldn't remove the existing one) or adding multi-forma for all mod slots. Adding extra infusable augment-only slot(s) for warframes (without adding extra mod capacity). Turning weapon-specific mods into "weapon augments" with the same kind of extra "augment-only" slot. Adding riven slot-capacity (probably the easiest solution for removing such "endgame content blocking").

However, if you look at this from a PVP-viewpoint, the first case both supports and negates more PVP. On one hand PVP would create an automatically re-balancing "endgame" peak point (all players continuously striving for the most effective/"best" gear) that everyone could test themselves against, but on the other hand the built-in 50:50 "win rate" would mean a large increase in "failed missions" (which would be even larger for some). And from the "diversity"-viewpoint such an endgame PVP would make no sense at all, since it by default focuses on a minuscule part of the game instead of exploring all the sandbox possibilities.

And as for a an internal total re-balancing of "everything" (warframes, weapons, mods, functionality), who in their right mind would want to engage with something like that when only very few players are able to manage the current "base system" in all it's complexity/glory.

So while it is easy to imagine a PVP-universe where we can turn all destructive potential and skills against each other, it is also a fantasy of sorts. I can't see PVP ever working in Warframe, in practice.

Edited by Graavarg
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No. None of them will work except k-drive thing. 

Any PvE focus game that tried to ride the PvP wagon failed. What makes you think Warframe would be an exception? Beside, tons of tons of Tenno have already expressed their concern that "if the game continuously forces me to NOT use my well-built killing machine to kill things, I will not be playing at all."

The appeal of Warframe is being a super power space ninja and killing stuff while breaking the sonic barrier. It was never about PvP.

OK you don't want to talk about conclave. How about Lunaro? Anyone playing Lunaro? None. Virtually zero. 

K-drive score board can be interesting if K-drive is implemented properly. Out of all syndicates, Ventkid is the lowest among players, even lower than conclave. Imagine that. 

The only PvP I can tolerate is racing and time attack. When Duviri Paradox comes with void horse derby, that would be great. 

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When I saw they had added 'playable NPCs' story missions, first thing I thought, they should use all that work on player models, animations etc etc etc. for something more than a short mission.

Second thing that happened, I started laughing knowing they wouldn't have done that.

Third thing I thought of, was either PVP or PVE, or both, as grineer soldiers, corpus and so on.

 

I imagine quite a few players wouldn't mind playing as "legendary" characters, concept taken from DCUO 2011.

Lotus vs teshin in a PVP match, maybe throw in cosmetics people can invest in their 'playable NPC', legendary character.

Reason why it might be good for PVP, is fewer and simpler abilties, that you can balance from the start - in contrast to warframe itself, that never had any balance or concept.

 

I also wouldn't care at all, if people play regular warframe as some damned infested NPC, corpus or a kavat, or whatever, the more options for gameplay the better.

 

All that aside, anything and everything in warframe comes down to the rewards, at the end of the day, minus of course the 'completionists', who will grind everything no questions asked.

 

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When I want [not need] to pvp, I play a game that has an actual focus on providing a proper pvp experience. I also strongly disagree with the notion that pvp is 'infinite content'. It gets just as repetitive as pve does, which is where the 'need' for alternate maps and game modes come in. Or how some games change almost everything on a seasonal basis for the sake of making the game 'feel' different. Doesn't sound like 'infinite content' to me.

Without MMR based matches [which is most of pvp in pve games] the majority of matches are won before a game starts.

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I am 100% against any form of PvP in Warframe, that will never change, I do not enjoy interpersonal conflict I take no pleasure is beating another person nor being beaten in games of skill, I prefer to play cooperatively if the game is amenable to it and people I know like the game, that is why I'm here.

Simply put, I find that the degree to which people can tolerate artificial tribalism (Which is inherent in all forms of adversarial game) to correlate with their ambient level of interpersonal toxicity, an increase in the average level the first follows a increase in the second, along with an increase in blindness to toxicity in the name of "banter". I want as little of that in Warframe as there can be.

Also I absolutely disagree with the idea that PvP is needed in general, it is a nothing more than one of many forms of player-created content that could fill-in for developer-created-content, contrary to popular belief, it is not cheap to implement, while it can require few-if-any new art assets it is massively intensive in game design terms and those design goals are often totally contrary to the design goals of a persistent PvE game.

DE have tried with Duels, Conclave 1.0, Dark Sectors, Conclave 2.0 and Lunaro, there are various things you could identify as technical failures in each implementation, but broadly they all consist of attempts at PvP that have attracted very few players and thus had low to negative ROI. I think there should be no more.

Edited by SilentMobius
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PvP gaming is one of the most if not the most toxic space in the gaming world. Bringing it here would taint Warframe's reputation of being a peaceful space. PvP is not that easy to maintain as people think. The upkeep is MASSIVE. First, there will always be constant balance reviews that always change the way players play. Second, DE also needs to invest in dedicated servers if they want PvP to be playable. There's many more that I can list here, but you get the point.

DE has a track record of failing every major PvP addition to Warframe.  Those failures cost big money. From previous experience, it doesn't seem to worth their time and money to develop another one.

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vor 8 Stunden schrieb CrownOfShadows:

CAUTION: This is a discussion about possible PvP in Warframe with no mention of Conclave at all. The goal here is to discuss PvP possibilities completely free of Conclave and its state. Are you interested in WF PvP in some form? What would you like to see in WF PvP, and why?

Why we need PvP:

Boredom & Interaction. Content drops are great, but they bloom and then fade fast. PvP is the ultimate solution to the content drought since it can create infinite content. The other reason is that many people like the challenge that other players present compared the predictability of AI.

Why we might not:

Extended PvE content. Getting enough long-term engaging content like Lichs and Sisters, that can span the entire time between content drops, may make one of the main reasons for wanting PvP obsolete. In addition, as I suggested in another post, if DE developed other engaging activities that are repeatable outside of gear & faction rewards, that would alleviate this need to some extent as well. One final note, I sometimes hear the argument that WF players don't want PvP, they only enjoy PvE. I honestly don't know how true this is, or how connected it is the the current state. It's certainly true that the vast majority of WF players enjoy WF for what it is: PvE, but that fact doesn't naturally exclude a desire for PvP. One other point to consider I suppose; PvP inevitably brings with it some level of toxicity, there's almost no way around that, and perhaps safeguarding WF's fairly congenial community is in itself worth the price of not developing PvP.

Why we still might:

However, I doubt the viability of the Lich/Sister method, as well as related content (quests/events) mostly because DE would have to release such long-term content on pretty much EVERY release, which seems unlikely and perhaps not even for the best. Can they make enough content to keep us busy without sending us to a grind mill? After almost 10 years of WF, that hasn't been the case yet - it's just a reality of development.

What are Warframe's PvP Possibilities? And What are their Pros and Cons?

  • Corpus vs Grineer: often called the 'battlefront solution', this pitches Grineer vs Corpus, or Corpus vs Corpus, or Grineer vs Grineer. The New War in particular has spawned much speculation about this, as it was a solid proof of concept, and DE's upcoming expansion of it lends further weight. This has several benefits: it uses existing assets, it's available to all MR without bias, it avoids warframe balance problems, it should be straightforward to implement, it ties in nicely with lore. Another massive benefit is that it solves the mobility problem: these units are slower and thus more suited to PvP. It has several drawbacks though: it would likely require a close inspection and special implementation of the factions, as Corpus are likely to be superior, in addition to special implementations of their respective weapons and abilities, if used. Keep in mind that even though it avoids warframe balance problems, it still suffers from weapon balance issues, as these enemies currently wield copies of weapons from our current arsenal. Another drawback is tedium. Without any customization or differences, such battles would become stale repetitions without much tactical appeal, although sufficient weapon diversity, sufficient character diversity and mission diversity can mitigate this to some extent. Limited options combined with lackluster rewards though would likely see greatly reduced interest, though I doubt it would ever become obsolete and would anticipate a steady following.
  • Necramechs: the introduction of necramechs have likewise spawned much speculation regarding their use as PvP vessels. The benefits are again that they utilize existing art assets, and it should be straightforward to implement. The drawbacks are slightly more complicated here though: they would be MR limited, they would require extensive balancing, as the sheer DPS of arquebex alone would render Bonewidow meaningless, and even other Voidrigs as they aren't likely to possess sufficient DR to mitigate that. Additionally, we would also have to balance all Archguns for PvP - things like the Larkspur would likely dominate simply because they can track enemies to some degree, and while necramechs aren't super mobile they can move in fast bursts which would likely be the instant meta, and likely we would also want yet another Archmelee overhaul (since current necramech native melee is pathetic in the extreme). I am here assuming that fully modded necramechs are permitted, but keep in mind that necramechs are painful to level and fully modded necramechs are likely to create a steep XP cliff, where only the maxed out meta builds are competitive. Further, we currently only have 2 necramechs, and would need several more to make PvP sustainable, and if mods are allowed a more robust mod set as well. It has potential, but I also feel like it could become stale pretty quickly without a more robust roster.
  • Railjacks: similar to necramechs, Railjacks are often mentioned as possible PvP vehicles. These have many of the same benefits as Necramechs: they're fun, use existing art and should be easy to implement. In regards to drawbacks, they also would be MR limited, require a PvP pass and possible special implementation, and likely mod pass - especially for the tactical mods (don't forget RJs can actually become invisible), and the same argument regarding XP cliffs can apply. Railjacks also suffer from many additional problems though. Railjacks are fast (when maxed) and have great mobility - they're even faster than archwings. This is awesome for PvE, but terrible for PvP, as hitting them would be impossible either on the turret, with warheads, and especially not with artillery, which would be completely useless. Then there's the issue of hull breaches - does enemy fire cause them? For a beginner this would be devastating, and if outmatched it would be devastating even for an experienced crew. Then there's the issue of boarding. If Tenno can board other RJ, then that's straight up hardcore PvP and I can guarantee the meta would instantly devolve into boarding. In addition to this how shall we handle auto-crew, including Lich's and Sisters, if not enough players join? Finally there's the issue of engineering. How can we balance engineering - should we disable Lavos, dispensary etc? Without spoofing it, constant RJ fighting would require constant forge use. Nobody is going to want to spend the whole PvP match forging. Keep in mind too that forging is based off farming - if you're not farming anything you can't forge anything, and if there are no enemy NPC fighters, then you're not farming anything. For all of these reasons, I believe when most people suggest RJ PvP, they are envisioning a single player per ship and no boarding mechanics or even any ship level really. While I think RJ PvE combat is intrinsically fun, my gut instinct is that they move too fast to make it viable for PvP, and there are too many clamps that would have to be put on it, creating too much backlash.
  • K-Drive Races: this is an oft-raised suggestion. It benefits again from using existing art and mechanics, and would probably be one of the easiest things to implement because it doesn't involve teams or differentiating between friendly and enemy fire. Rather it simply sets up a race with multiple racers, and offers rewards based on finishing placement. This is perfectly fine and certainly easily possible. The only major drawback here is again the staleness factor - racing is fairly niche PvP and unlike other PvP doesn't directly pit you against other players - it's more like you vs the environment with some other players around. Even so, similar to Corpus vs Grineer, I believe this would always have a devoted niche following, though less so than something like Corpus vs Grineer, which I think would have wider appeal.
  • PvEvPvE (aka Indirect PvP/iPvP): this is pitching players against an environment and coordinating that run with another set of players vs their respective environments, preventing the two teams from directly interacting but maintaining some semblance of competition by allowing players to see the other team's progress and perhaps interact with it. This has the benefit of keeping all current warframes and weapons with no alteration or balance concerns, which is quite attractive. It has several drawbacks too though. First of all, depending on implementation, it may not be any more engaging than running regular missions. If, for example, we were just given a Saturn map and had a dull indicator somewhere regarding the other team, that's an awful implementation and no better than running it regular. If teams have interesting ways of slowing down the opposing team though, then this might be mitigated, as it creates diversity and tactics. A larger problem is the XP cliff. Warframes suffer from a larger XP cliff than even necramechs and railjacks, and some sort of balancing based at a minimum on MR would likely be necessary. An L1 or L2 can likely complete an entire mission before an entire team of MR5's can even get halfway, but even MR isn't all that great an indicator, and you would need smart matchmaking. In combination with this is enemy scaling - to be fair the two teams would likely want to face off against enemies of equal level, and this would in turn have to balanced against the team comps, and doing that in a fair way is extremely complicated. For this to succeed, it would require special levels and special mechanics, ideally with the two teams able to track each other's progress, perhaps passively encounter each other, and also indirectly interact with each other by triggering things in their opponent's environments. This is probably one of the most difficult to pull off well, but if done with TLC, it could result in a much more engaging way to run content and perhaps even become the preferred way of running it, although this factors heavily with reward structures and many other variables. One technical drawback is that a lot of things would have to be cut out (stalker, faction spawns, liches, etc).
  • 10k Direct (Moshpit PvP): a more infrequently suggested possibility is the so called 10k method, where we allow full use of mods and abilities, everything that warframe currently is, but we multiply all warframe hp (and most likely armor and shields) by 10,000, resulting in warframes with close to a million hp on average, without adjusting abilities or weapons. This is interesting, and nobody really knows what it would look like - we just let people run rampant and see what happens. In raw benefit, it requires almost nothing to implement, although some abilities might need attention for just exactly how they scale and interact with other warframes, as well as any mods or arcanes that deal with hp/shield/ armor percentages. In detriment, it is likely to rapidly polarize around certain frames. Limbo, Wisp, Rhino and Mesa would likely be staples, as would Inaros, who could achieve 100 million hp. A benefit of this mode is that the HP buffer should be sufficient enough to allow for extensive experimentation, and some have suggested 20k instead of 10k, to make sure people can run around the battlefield without much fear of being insta-killed from target fire, indeed, to engage in repeated close combat with enemies. In combination with objectives other than annihilating the enemy, this could result in some interesting, if chaotic, play, but it remains difficult to judge as being highly theoretical. In all likelihood though, the meta would be so specific and demanding that it would squash diversity and create strong elitism. Further exacerbating this is the extreme XP cliff and mod cliff inherent in mod configs & arcanes. Even so, I personally would be very intrigued to see how this plays out.
  • Fresh Frame PvP: another possibility, and one I myself have advocated for, is to create entirely new frames or vehicles specially designed for PvP. The major drawback to this is dev time, it would require all new art and mechanics. Because of this, it seems the least likely of all possibilities. The benefits, however, are numerous - it ensures quality PvP by designing for it from the ground up (at least in theory), and this includes balance items like mobility, abilities, weapons, and mods, which should create engaging diversity and elevate it above such things as Corpus+Grineer. Another drawback here is maintenance: unlike some of these other methods which rotate around pre-existing and mainstream future content that can also be used in PvE, this requires good upkeep and consistent dedicated content to remain fresh, not only in PvP frame/vehicle releases but also in rewards. It would be very much like a content island of its own, but one that may not sit well with being ignored for long periods, which DE would be likely to do to it.
  • Archwing: is sometimes suggested. This uses existing art and mechanics, but suffers extensively from mobility issues. Archwings, even if you were to disable blink, are incredibly fast. I think no other possible mode suffers from the mobility issue as much as archwing (RJ's are faster, but archwings are more agile and smaller) - I can't imagine EVER hitting anything, much less even finding anything to begin with. In addition, there's a steep XP cliff with a lot of archwing mods that are hard to get. We would also have to make a balance pass not only on all archwings, but also on archguns and archmelee. For these reasons, I anticipate this would be poorly received and have a negligible following.
  • Operator PvP: there've been some suggestions to use the Operators in PvP. One possible benefit of this is that they aren't yet fully realized in the form of abilities yet and might be converted to this cause. A negative though is that the skill trees would surely favor Madurai above all else, and anyone not using it would surely meet a swift end. Operators also suffer from incredible mobility and also invisibility, things that would make locating and hitting them exceedingly difficult. Arcanes are especially powerful on operators as well, and if allowed, would create an XP cliff that would need to be dealt with somehow. A final note is that this would require access to operators, which is an XP gate. I also anticipate that this would be poorly received and have a negligible following.
  • Stalker PvP: in case you weren't aware, the Stalker has sometimes been controlled by devs. This creates an interesting asymmetrical 1v4 dynamic, similar to Evolve's gameplay in design. There's some potential to create a full mode out of it, with freshly designed 'bosses' which one player would wield against a team of tenno. The advantages here are that we can create special bosses specifically designed to scale against tenno, and don't have to balance all the warframes, weapons, mods, etc, which is a major plus. The disadvantages are that the balance will need to be refined to a high level, that they'd be basically invulnerable to all abilities, and that we'd have to worry about xp diversity among the tenno squad. All that said, I think this has potential (indeed, it's already play tested to some extent) and even though it's not top of my list I'd still personally be interested to see it, even as an experimental mode.

Those are all of the main suggestions for PvP that I'm aware of. There's also clan PvP, clan battles, but that's just warframe pvp by another name.

Let me know if I missed any, what your favorites are and why, or if you think WF is better off without PvP in any form.

P.S. Please don't bring Conclave into this discussion. If you want to discuss Conclave, there's a whole forum for it, thanks ---

unfortunately it doesn't work here. because here the game has to be severely restricted and the reward has to fit. both are not available!

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PvE and PvP are entirely different types of experiences that cater to different tastes.

PvP will never be the "ultimate solution to the content drought" because the overwhelming majority of players are here for PvE.

For people who want PvP content, there are already plenty of games that have dumped millions of dollars into creating successful and enjoyable PvP games.  If you are bored of Warframe's PvE content and want PvP content, all you need to do is turn off Warframe and go play those games.  Warframe will be waiting for you with open arms when you come back, whether you're gone for an hour or gone for a year.

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Reading some of the people replies really makes me shake my head pvp can work but it doesn’t need to the main Focus of the game . Destiny did fine with that they’re pvp and pve sides are at a good level of players .

I can never understand why people say  the PvP Community is the most toxic community honestly the PVE side is no better. 

A guy on Facebook literally doxxed a another person over a Paris prime build he disagreed with during this year.
And it got so bad for the dude he had to private everything he had to safely  graduate.

It’s slightly of topic but what I’m saying is that we shouldn’t complain about the other side if our side ain’t any better. 
 

 

 
 

 

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Just now, (PSN)Chayy800 said:

Reading some of the people replies really makes me shake my head pvp can work but it doesn’t need to the main Focus of the game . Destiny did fine with that they’re pvp and pve sides are at a good level of players .

I can never understand why people say  the PvP Community is the most toxic community honestly the PVE side is no better. 

A guy on Facebook literally doxxed a another person over a Paris prime build he disagreed with during this year.
And it got so bad for the dude he had to private everything he had to safely  graduate.

It’s slightly of topic but what I’m saying is that we shouldn’t complain about the other side if our side ain’t any better. 
 

 

 
 

 

We can’t the warframe player base accept change for the better? If this keeps Up the game won’t last another 10 years 

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16 minutes ago, (PSN)Chayy800 said:

We can’t the warframe player base accept change for the better? If this keeps Up the game won’t last another 10 years 

Fix the spaghetti code and get real dedicated servers, then we can look at discussing pvp. As it stands now the game has a hard enough time handling 4 player pve depending on where you're at in the world.

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Feel like pvp will always be stuck a small mini game gimmick for warframe like frame fighter. Any serious pvp just doesn't fit the game style and and will the development take away from the pve side. I don't want a destiny situation where pvp affect game balance when it doesn't make sense where guns are nerf in pve cause pvp performance

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16 minutes ago, (PSN)Chayy800 said:

If this keeps Up the game won’t last another 10 years

Words that I recall being spoken all the way back in 2013. And the devs can point to instances of major publishers saying the same even before then, when all Warframe had was a pitch and (maybe) a demo.

In short, try not to doomsay when the current formula is clearly working just fine.

27 minutes ago, (PSN)Chayy800 said:

Destiny did fine with that they’re pvp and pve sides are at a good level of players .

Destiny also 1: Had a significantly higher budget to start off with, as well as a more aggressive monetisation strategy.

2: Had the backing of one of the industry's biggest publishers (Activision-Blizzard) for the first 5 years of its operation as a franchise, often getting development support from two entirely separate subsidiaries (Vicarious Visions and High Moon).

3: Had a massive headstart in player counts thanks to Bungie's pedigree from prior games, whereas DE has had to take the grassroots approach to building Warframe's fanbase.

Even with these advantages, Destiny still has players on both sides of the PvP/PvE divide (as well as players who enjoy both) complaining about content droughts, with fanatics on each side arguing that the other game mode should be removed so development efforts can be focused on their respective preference. As it is, pretty much all PvE content outside of main expansions has been some form of Horde mode event, and last time I checked PvP hasn't had any new maps in years (In fact, more maps have been removed than added).

Oh, and Bungie have recently had to scale back their community interactions on account of receiving death threats from some of the more extreme members of said community.

All told, I don't think Destiny is the example you want to look to.

1 minute ago, (XBOX)Skippy575 said:

Fix the spaghetti code

Just going to point out that this isn't really a thing that can happen. People refer to Spaghetti code as if it's a problem, or a failure on the part of the coders. In reality it's simply the inevitable consequence of a game passing a certain threshold of complexity, even if said code is literally 100% optimised and streamlined. The best you can hope for is occasional optimisations to bring it closer to that ideal, which DE already does.

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1 hour ago, (XBOX)Skippy575 said:

Fix the spaghetti code and get real dedicated servers, then we can look at discussing pvp. As it stands now the game has a hard enough time handling 4 player pve depending on where you're at in the world.

We've had dedicated Conclave servers since 2016: https://www.warframe.com/news/player-dedicated-servers

There's nothing stopping DE from running official dedicated servers, either. They could at any time spin up as many official dedicated servers they wanted if it were ever necessary.

1 hour ago, (XBOX)The Neko Otaku said:

Feel like pvp will always be stuck a small mini game gimmick for warframe like frame fighter. Any serious pvp just doesn't fit the game style and and will the development take away from the pve side. I don't want a destiny situation where pvp affect game balance when it doesn't make sense where guns are nerf in pve cause pvp performance

You can say the same things about "not fitting the game's style" about anything, though. Railjack doesn't fit the game's style, Necramechs don't fit the game's style, the Operator doesn't fit the game's style, open worlds don't fit the game's style, Ikeaframe doesn't fit the game's style... And yet the next major updates are going to feature Kahl missions and then a Drifter rogue-like. According to some people that doesn't fit the game's style, either, but guess what we're getting anyways?

You can say the same things about "taking away development" about anything as well. Duviri will take development away, Railjack will take development away, Soulframe will take development away, Keystone will take development away... And yet DE has always worked on many things at once. Not to mention that all of the big development has already been done years ago, like dedicated servers or the "Destiny situation" you mention. Conclave already has separate balancing. It's already got separate stats and loadouts and mods and even separate Warframe abilities. There's no reason PvP balancing in a Grineer vs Corpus mode would need to carry over to PvE balancing when PvP balancing in Conclave doesn't. These kinds of technical and design questions have already been solved for over half a decade.

Edited by PublikDomain
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8 minutes ago, (XBOX)The Neko Otaku said:

 An entire new team is being made for soul frame, steve and few others move to to that team but the WF dev team is the same. 

Now replace "Soulframe" with "PvP" and you can see why this is a non-issue. It wasn't the case with Keystone, isn't the case with Soulframe, and wouldn't be the case with PvP.

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