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Shards and the widening of the power disparity


(PSN)Unstar

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From reading the forums and playing with a variety of different players, I think that Warframe is one of two different games depending on who you are.  There are some players that see Warframe as an easy game, where no matter the challenge you're faced with, you have an arsenal of tools to trivialize it.  I'd guess that most of the Tenno who have frequented the forums for years fall into that category..

But the other group of players sees Warframe as an often opaque and challenging game, a game where they struggle to complete star chart and quest missions, or where they struggle to know what they should be doing to get stronger or what methods they should be using to effectively farm and obtain their goals.  There are a lot of reasons, sometimes overlapping, that players can end up in this camp, but broadly it seems to be that while the game provides the tools, it doesn't do a good job at instructing players on how to use these often complex systems successfully.  DE seems to be aware of this, and has been working towards bridging this gap, but at present that's still the state of things.

And what then widens the disparity between these two groups is that if you aren't able to succeed at content, then you're not getting the associated rewards, and thus your power level isn't growing.  So the strong get stronger, and the weak generally remain weak.  My concern is that having these Shards be late-game rewards (post New-War) that aren't simply new tools in existing categories (as get released every update) but a whole new buffing system, that this will exacerbate the disparity between the strong and the weak.

To be clear, I don't have anything against the system itself; I suppose I just wish it was something that was more accessible to players earlier on in their Warframe journey.   I actually think it would be beneficial for players who are struggling in the game to have a bit more of an edge until they've played enough that they've come to better understand all the systems the game throws at them.

I understand that given the narrative that's been tied to the Shards there's not really a way to make these pre-New War content, so that ship has likely sailed.  But I am curious to hear the thoughts of my fellow Tenno on the issue, or non-issue, depending on your thoughts on the matter.

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I dont think there are only the strong and the weak ,

There are gradual steps from going from one to the other - the problem arises when they wish to skip the pre requisite steps and just dive into the deep end of the pool and start drowning.

those that are starting off do not need that level of power, and you can get to that level of power relatively quickly too.

 

While i do think power creep is an issue, i think getting power at levels its not required is the actual problem.

So no , i am against making it easier to acquire.

 

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I don't know if I agree with that.  The Shards are definitely powercreep, and will make end-game players even stronger.  But I get the distinct feeling that they simply are not meant for earlier players (as evidenced by the Helminth and New War requirements), and the mistake is instead something like enabling the Lich system too early and allowing early players to be carried and obtain tools too quickly to trivialize content.

Now don't get me wrong.  I still remember the challenges and speedbumps as a mid-game player.  But IMO those had more to do with having insufficient mods, resources and game knowledge because of how convoluted things were.  New(er) players should get more support in the form of pointers about where to go next, and not just given access to the ultimate powerups early in their journey so they can skip everything.

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I can't see why it'll turn out any differently than Galvanized mods. The players that use this will see significant increases in power and capability compared to those that don't, and the strategies that can most benefit from these increases will skyrocket in usage even further than less effective strategies. Elective vertical power is a bad thing that should be avoided.

They didn't show the red (offensive) or yellow (utility) options are, but this:

liZDjVd.png

Is already kinda worrisome. You can pick one from the list, and add up to 5 per frame. So I can add +250 energy to any frame? +25 hp/s regen? +750 HP/Shields/Armor? Permanently and with no activation requirements?

And then there are Tauforged shards, which blow the regular ones out of the water:

U6yNGjK.png

A permanent +1,125 HP/Armor/Shields, +375 Energy Max, or +37.5 hp/s regen... That's not nothing, and no matter how this is calculated (likely added after mods) there's going to be quite a big difference between someone who uses these and someone who doesn't.

Not to mention, it's just plain unnecessary. We have nowhere in the game to use the power we've got now, and this is just going to make peak player power that much more powerful.

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Thats another topic, but I hope under new leadership they will look into new player issues and showstopper moments and provide more step-by-step guidance tutorial missions to teach new players core mechanics and give them some basic weaker versions of buffs ei health and energy regen is a problem for beginners - they dont yet have focus or arcanes, or dont even know you can buy auras from NW or the syndicate augs that heal you etc.

As for the Shards - its just more progress for the 'end game' players which to me even feels redundant since we dont have demanding missions and for super-high level stuff most of these are a non-factor (ie those defense buffs are no use for shieldgating high-level meta).

We can only hope that Archon 'sorties' themselves will be demanding enough to make these buffs practically useful and not just bigger numbers for psychological effect.  Personally I would add new stats for endgame to open another avenue of progress (like they seemingly planned to do with 'Tau resistance' vs Sentients for the big war with them, but sadly it all went nowhere.)

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I'm just gonna say:
Stop looking at the game like it's a competition, there's no PVP.

Blue shards can give a major survivability buff to casual-and-below level players. Elite try-hards are already most likely running immortal or cheese builds with maxed arcanes, you can't be more survivable than immortal/untouchable, if anything it'll actually lessen the gap between players.

Red shards - energy regen shards will lessen the gap between players that have energize and maxed out zenurik, and those who don't
it'll also make other focus schools more viable.
And again, lower-skill players will be able to slot those in, and put survivability mods in place of ability mods, while "top-dogs" will just get another batch of meme builds.

Yellow shards - depending on what "utility" is for DE, it probably won't change much, but hopefully they'll will finally bring us universall vacuum - i.e. make more companions viable, outside of just forcing everyone to use Djinn or Vuplaphylas.

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1 minute ago, Rantear said:

Stop looking at the game like it's a competition, there's no PVP.

Just to be clear that wasn't my intention; I don't think that this is a competition in any way.  Rather, I think that the game of Warframe becomes better when everyone is playing the same game, instead of two camps of people who think they're playing very different games.  The closer those two camps get, the better shape the game is in.

Also, I'm enjoying what everyone is writing in response, some very thoughtful and compelling takes; I appreciate everyone sharing them.

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1 минуту назад, (PSN)Unstar сказал:

Rather, I think that the game of Warframe becomes better when everyone is playing the same game, instead of two camps of people who think they're playing very different games.  The closer those two camps get, the better shape the game is in.

Oh yeah, I can agree with that, I absolutely hate when people complain that the game is too easy. I was especially angry when DE nerfed melee, when it was pretty much my only usable weapon type. Oh and when I just started playing there were those immortal zealots running around, I almost quit the game back then, lol, more people complaining about them being difficult would've certaintly helped.

Despite now having almost all equipment and being able to carry Steel Path. I still consider myself in to be in the "weaker" camp, as I don't run overly-optimized meta builds, (hell, 2k hours under the belt, and a lot of mods are still not maxed, just to avoid restricting myself with forma polarities), so I only saw those shards as an improvement to my preferred casual style of play, and I think it'll overall do more good.
(However farming those does seem like it'll be a daunting experience, those levels are looking very scary for bosses who could be mechanically difficult)

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Some games now are just for long term players. 

If someone starts playing now or last week, they're gonna have to do the time just like everyone else.

If I start playing World of Warcraft now, regardless of how great I am at videogames, I'm gonna have some trenches to slog through: taking some level 1 wooden sword and farming rabbit pelts etc. 

You have to work your way up to use Firaga 6 spells that wipe mobs in a raid. 

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Personally, I think it would be better if the shard system was unlockable much earlier in the game so newer players have another way to give their frames that slight bump in power or quality of life changes. Though to balance it out, as well as giving those players more to look forward to, I think once the shard system is unlocked, you only have access to 1 shard slot upon unlocking the system. The other shard slots become unlockable through completing key points within the game "The Second Dream," "The War Within", "The New War", and the 5th shard slot being available at the same point you unlock Arbitrations. 

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7 minutes ago, (XBOX)l Saminator l said:

I think it would be better if the shard system was unlockable much earlier in the game so newer players have another way to give their frames that slight bump in power or quality of life changes.

... They're called "Archon shards" for a reason... I don't know, it feels like its a dead giveaway that there's no prior knowledge of their existence until The New War actually happens...

I believe DE is avoiding the mistakes, and the obvious results of said mistakes, of opening access to that element of the game for newer players.

 

There are mods. Maybe its a good idea for people to actually advocate, and do it, cleaning up missions properly to new players instead of carrying them for less than 3 seconds in missions because, apparently, they can't handle IRL RNG or some ****... But I digress.

 

Besides, considering how fast new players reach & complete The Second Dream, they can very well do the same for The New War if they want to access the shards...

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1 minute ago, Uhkretor said:

... They're called "Archon shards" for a reason... I don't know, it feels like its a dead giveaway that there's no prior knowledge of their existence until The New War actually happens...

I believe DE is avoiding the mistakes, and the obvious results of said mistakes, of opening access to that element of the game for newer players.

 

There are mods. Maybe its a good idea for people to actually advocate, and do it, cleaning up missions properly to new players instead of carrying them for less than 3 seconds in missions because, apparently, they can't handle IRL RNG or some ****... But I digress.

I didn't mention "Archon"  because naturally if this system was moved into an earlier stage of the game, they would no longer be archon since you wouldn't be fighting them to get your shards. I'm not sure where I'd like the shards to be farmed from, I just have an idea of where it would be neat for the actual slots to be unlocked. If it were to be released at an earlier part of the game, I'd imagine unlocking the slot would also give the player 1-2 free shards for the slot that's just been unlocked.

The upgrade options would be more limited than the ones you'd farm later into the game, which I guess could be the archon shards at that point. 

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16 minutes ago, (PSN)Madurai-Prime said:

Some games now are just for long term players. 

If someone starts playing now or last week, they're gonna have to do the time just like everyone else.

If I start playing World of Warcraft now, regardless of how great I am at videogames, I'm gonna have some trenches to slog through: taking some level 1 wooden sword and farming rabbit pelts etc. 

You have to work your way up to use Firaga 6 spells that wipe mobs in a raid. 

To clarify, I'm not talking about people who haven't played the game enough, I'm talking about people who are hitting roadblocks.

I think the key difference between a game like WoW and a game like Warframe is that it's rare for someone in WoW to reach level 20 and say "I have no idea how to get stronger".  That's because until endgame, getting stronger in WoW is as simple as leveling up and periodically replacing your gear with higher level gear for your class.

Whereas in Warframe, just making your numbers bigger isn't good enough.  You also have to know which numbers to make bigger, and in what coordination.  And you can't just make those numbers bigger, you need specific mods and endo to fuel them.  And even if you figure out what numbers to focus on, how do you know what mods you need to raise those numbers?  And then where do you get those mods?  Compared to getting stronger in WoW, it's incredibly unintuitive, and without a sherpa to guide them most players are going to have a rough time, and many will get stuck and either stagnate or quit.  And that's a bummer for everyone.

But yeah, I'm not opposed to players earning their buffs; I was mainly just wondering if throwing them some bones early on might help them overcome the hurdles that many of them face.  Though many in this thread have offered compelling reasons that may not be the best way forward.

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vor 1 Stunde schrieb PublikDomain:

I can't see why it'll turn out any differently than Galvanized mods. The players that use this will see significant increases in power and capability compared to those that don't, and the strategies that can most benefit from these increases will skyrocket in usage even further than less effective strategies. Elective vertical power is a bad thing that should be avoided.

They didn't show the red (offensive) or yellow (utility) options are, but this:

liZDjVd.png

Is already kinda worrisome. You can pick one from the list, and add up to 5 per frame. So I can add +250 energy to any frame? +25 hp/s regen? +750 HP/Shields/Armor? Permanently and with no activation requirements?

And then there are Tauforged shards, which blow the regular ones out of the water:

U6yNGjK.png

A permanent +1,125 HP/Armor/Shields, +375 Energy Max, or +37.5 hp/s regen... That's not nothing, and no matter how this is calculated (likely added after mods) there's going to be quite a big difference between someone who uses these and someone who doesn't.

Not to mention, it's just plain unnecessary. We have nowhere in the game to use the power we've got now, and this is just going to make peak player power that much more powerful.

If the content is high enough level, none of those added bonuses will mater that much. I think it is designed around freeing up one slot for a Warframe. So will one added slot make or break the game? I don't think so.

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2 minutes ago, (PSN)Unstar said:

To clarify, I'm not talking about people who haven't played the game enough, I'm talking about people who are hitting roadblocks.

I think the key difference between a game like WoW and a game like Warframe is that it's rare for someone in WoW to reach level 20 and say "I have no idea how to get stronger".  That's because until endgame, getting stronger in WoW is as simple as leveling up and periodically replacing your gear with higher level gear for your class.

Whereas in Warframe, just making your numbers bigger isn't good enough.  You also have to know which numbers to make bigger, and in what coordination.  And you can't just make those numbers bigger, you need specific mods and endo to fuel them.  And even if you figure out what numbers to focus on, how do you know what mods you need to raise those numbers?  And then where do you get those mods?  Compared to getting stronger in WoW, it's incredibly unintuitive, and without a sherpa to guide them most players are going to have a rough time, and many will get stuck and either stagnate or quit.  And that's a bummer for everyone.

But yeah, I'm not opposed to players earning their buffs; I was mainly just wondering if throwing them some bones early on might help them overcome the hurdles that many of them face.  Though many in this thread have offered compelling reasons that may not be the best way forward.

Warframe isn't the only game with multiple factions and 

Every game has a situation where some Ice boss is weak to fire, lightning weak to water etc. 

Faction information is in-game so you don't need a wiki to find out Toxin is for corpus, and basically fire, corrosive, or viral is completely fine for 90% of the game. 

I think Q&A is turned on automatically. Pretty easy questions can be answered in 3 seconds. 

All the game actually has you do is progress to get endo, which is a decent wall to overcome, but you still don't need primed mods for most content. 

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17 minutes ago, (XBOX)YoungGunn82 said:

Even more evidence this game is 100% solo with a multiplayer option. This game can never be a co-op game. I welcome this as a solo player, it creates some more good build diversity.

Warframe's modern success is largely due to their great multiplayer coop experience at the beginning. Forgetting that is how you lose your foundation, where you came from, and why Warframe sometimes struggles when they develop things like Railjack and forget their roots. I absolutely love how Rebecca jumped right into "we disabled self revives for Archons".

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18 minutes ago, (PSN)Unstar said:

To clarify, I'm not talking about people who haven't played the game enough, I'm talking about people who are hitting roadblocks.

I think the key difference between a game like WoW and a game like Warframe is that it's rare for someone in WoW to reach level 20 and say "I have no idea how to get stronger".  That's because until endgame, getting stronger in WoW is as simple as leveling up and periodically replacing your gear with higher level gear for your class.

Whereas in Warframe, just making your numbers bigger isn't good enough.  You also have to know which numbers to make bigger, and in what coordination.  And you can't just make those numbers bigger, you need specific mods and endo to fuel them.  And even if you figure out what numbers to focus on, how do you know what mods you need to raise those numbers?  And then where do you get those mods?  Compared to getting stronger in WoW, it's incredibly unintuitive, and without a sherpa to guide them most players are going to have a rough time, and many will get stuck and either stagnate or quit.  And that's a bummer for everyone.

But yeah, I'm not opposed to players earning their buffs; I was mainly just wondering if throwing them some bones early on might help them overcome the hurdles that many of them face.  Though many in this thread have offered compelling reasons that may not be the best way forward.

One good way to know is using a Wiki. Tells everything from damage formulas to where stuff drops, at what percent and how long the mission needs to be run to get said drop.

Also doing scans of enemies unlocks all their information to the codex. So you can check what is weak to what and what to use.

Information is all out there, but players dont use it to their advantage.

This archon shard system is great addition and something for old players to spend their time on, as the missions are steel path difficulty. Hence it makes no sense to allow access to them earlier than after new war. You need to complete whole starmap already for sorties and steel path, these are missions for that to wait.

They already messed up a bit by allowing players to be taxied to liches before they are strong enough to even kill them and with those weapons trivializing early content. Which is not good for player retention as players tend to get bored when things are too easy.

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6 minutes ago, Dunkelheit said:

If the content is high enough level, none of those added bonuses will mater that much. I think it is designed around freeing up one slot for a Warframe. So will one added slot make or break the game? I don't think so.

There's already no level high enough for our current bonuses to matter, let alone with these stuck on top. I'm less concerned with that situation, which won't be changed by this new mechanic, and more concerned with the ever-widening power gap between players. This is just more energy, more speed, more power, and more optimization between players at the top and players in the middle or at the bottom. And we've only seen the defensive stats, not the offensive and QoL stats!

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12 минут назад, Voltage сказал:

I absolutely love how Rebecca jumped right into "we disabled self revives for Archons".

Any idea what that even means?
It does say that Last Gasp still works there, but nerfed. But outside of that I know only of Inaros' and Sevagoth's self-revives, and it's really weird to single those two out, considering first one doesn't even work after like level 20.

I really hope it isn't like Arbitrations.
But then that would help newbies find someone to get carried, if vets would also need someone to revive them in case mission goes south.

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2 hours ago, PublikDomain said:

it's just plain unnecessary. We have nowhere in the game to use the power we've got now, and this is just going to make peak player power that much more powerful.

My thoughts exactly tbh. Will definitely be nice for the more weaker, squishier frames I suppose, but even then. Where will we ever use such power? I have mixed feelings about it.

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vor 16 Minuten schrieb PublikDomain:

There's already no level high enough for our current bonuses to matter, let alone with these stuck on top. I'm less concerned with that situation, which won't be changed by this new mechanic, and more concerned with the ever-widening power gap between players. This is just more energy, more speed, more power, and more optimization between players at the top and players in the middle or at the bottom. And we've only seen the defensive stats, not the offensive and QoL stats!

How many players do you think have or see no challenge in the game at all? My guess is 1% and lower....  only because some dudes run the game at lvl 9999 does not mean that everyone can. I restrain myself by not abusing shield gating with a dragon key, because it feels like a cheat. And hey, suddenly going SP Void Cascade for an hour is certainly a challenge for me. And even using shield gating is not as easy as everyone thinks.

But let us say you are right and this change is not needed at all: this is even better, you get something to do without changing anything in the game.... And what is so wrong about giving veteran players something to do which in result feels like getting more power when actually you get nothing in return, like you said?

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