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The Growing Power Creep of Warframe


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I feel like the start of this power creep will have to start with shield-gating. This is one of the best survivability tool in the game as it completely negate damage. There is some drawback as this survivability is reliant on the energy cost of your ability so more efficiency can be detrimental as you sometimes can't regain all your shields with one cast and less efficiency make it hard to sustain energy. Also, frames with huge shield pools are at a disadvantage as they have to rely more on the expensive abilities, have run blind rage, or have to waste more mod slots for augur mods so they can get all their shields back for full shield-gating 

The second start of power creep will have to be helminth. Some Warframes' best ability was put into helminth such as Warcry, Roar, Eclipse, and Gloom. There is more good abilities but these are some of the go to picks. With gloom and warcry can be on other frames that have more better abilities, sevagoth and valkyr are use less. 

The third would have to be weapon arcanes with AoE guns. This is getting nerf but I personally do not think the first round of nerf going to affect much. If they really want to go the ammo route I feel like AoE should use heavy ammo or have their own ammo type that is a lower chance of dropping over rifle and pistol ammo. Also, other option can be AoE weapons should not be able to use ammo mutation.  

With the upcoming nerf to AoE we will also be getting a change to armor stripping abilities making almost every weapon viable now. Being able to have access to Pillage or Terrify on every frame there will be almost no excuse for a player to complain an enemy is too bulky. 

I personally would disagree that Archon Crystal going be even more power creep because 1 Archon Crystal buff is barely or not even close to replace an Arcane or mod. Pablo even state that you will need 5 amber archon crystal (discounting the tauforged one) to almost be a replacement for Arcane energize. At most you will only be able to replace 2 mods/arcanes. For some frames it may be possible to do 3 but that is a slim chance and I can't think of one on top of my head. In my opinion this is the most balanced new system we have got these past years and it also the most interesting on what people will or could do for each frame.

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Growing? Grown. GROWN.

Nerf all of this stuff though? I honestly do not feel like it's necessary..

The important thing is for the developers to start with some content creep, bringing gameplay options up closer to the players. They are starting on the right path with expanding steel path and adding new Sortie content.

The issue to me isn't really that they add new stuff for us to use, it's that they rarely add new stuff for our opponents to use, and very rarely ever offer level appropriate encounters for what we are actually able to do.

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12 minutes ago, (XBOX)UltraMagnus5000 said:

I personally would disagree that Archon Crystal going be even more power creep because 1 Archon Crystal buff is barely or not even close to replace an Arcane or mod.

More stats = more power

It is called power CREEP not power LEAP

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4 minutes ago, cute_moth.npc said:

Growing? Grown. GROWN.

Nerf all of this stuff though? I honestly do not feel like it's necessary..

The important thing is for the developers to start with some content creep, bringing gameplay options up closer to the players. They are starting on the right path with expanding steel path and adding new Sortie content.

The issue to me isn't really that they add new stuff for us to use, it's that they rarely add new stuff for our opponents to use, and very rarely ever offer level appropriate encounters for what we are actually able to do.

I do agree with you that enemies should have new stuff but the problem will be skilled players will find a way to bypass it or less skilled players will complain that the new enemies are too difficult. Most of the players are part of the less skilled range that is why the Angel of Zariman quest was nerf to be easier because a lot of people apparently complain it was too difficult. The reason Warframe progress for difficulty is difficult is of the wide range of skills in their player base.

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7 minutes ago, Leqesai said:

More stats = more power

It is called power CREEP not power LEAP

I still somewhat disagree because the buffs we have seen are just mediocre and feel like the other buff are going to be like mods/arcanes but slightly worse or better than what the arcane/mod they are based on. When talking about the regular Archon crystal it take 3 to 5 of them to have the same value of the mod/arcane that it have the same stats as. Tauforged Archon crystal I do agree can cause power creep but they are a 1/5 chance every week. You basically only have one slight chance every week to get them so getting a full set of Crimson Tauforged for example will take months or a little over a year because I do not thin Kahl will sell the Tauforged, like he does for the regular Archon crystal.

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My apologies, but I am not really sure I understand what you are saying? Are you just bringing up certain ways power creep has happened? 

Power creep in a game like Warframe happens a lot, to varying degrees. The game often gives us new and better tools, as a literal cycle. Better weapons will push power creep, getting another Arcane slot for Amps, some of the new abilities in Focus schools. Even often weapons, that may not be meta on their own, can contribute, like certain status primers or certain weapons with certain interactions. Even Styanax's new spear gun has properties that'll be able to buff, and open up more power. So lots of subtle and small instances of power creep alongside larger and more obvious instances. 

Archon Crystals are totally going to be power creep, but the way you word your discussion of it, implies that power creep is inherently negatively, and it can have a negative connotation, its not inherently negative. What I am trying to say, is that you don't need to preemptively defend it or try to excuse it as "not being power creep", by making comparisons to Arcanes, with a very specific example... especially since they are in addition to Arcanes, not exclusive or replacing. 

There can be positive and negative aspects of power creep, so you often need to establish context. For example, making some content redundant, creating imbalance in shared experiences, splitting fan base and attempting to accomodate around those players, creating certain incentives, and so on. Then each of those having solutions or specific issues that need to be considered/accomodating, often to different success and reception. 

Its worth noting that the Archon Shards are coming with new content that seems like it will be relatively harder/more challenging that most of Warframe in general, we'll also be getting Steel Path Relic missions, so reasonable arguments can be put forward that DE is giving us power creep but being mindful as well. We are also getting new harder challenges, some nerfs (AOE) and some buffs (head shot damage), a bit of a meta shake up. 

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35 minutes ago, (XBOX)UltraMagnus5000 said:

I do agree with you that enemies should have new stuff but the problem will be skilled players will find a way to bypass it or less skilled players will complain that the new enemies are too difficult. Most of the players are part of the less skilled range that is why the Angel of Zariman quest was nerf to be easier because a lot of people apparently complain it was too difficult. The reason Warframe progress for difficulty is difficult is of the wide range of skills in their player base.

I agree with that partially for sure - the developers for a long time made so many "turn off the game" skills that the players have a billion ways to basically nullify any content they're presented with.

At the same time, at least if I have an option to play a level 150 mission then I can go and play it without the "turn off the game skills" and be content that the play experience will at least be a LOT better. Stuff will be able to aim at me and do significant damage, I won't be able to just topple them all with Pull or watch as the whole map dies to some DoT people use to farm relics.

Then if they can eventually learn to fix these skills, outlier equipment as well and avoid adding them in the future, the content will feel much healthier.

I think it's too late to make Warframe into some tightly controlled PvE experience and I also don't think that's what Warframe should be - it should just have engaging fights available to those who want them, along with the same facemelting stuff we can currently gorge on because like 90% of the game is level 50 and under.

I personally think it's a mistake to constantly try and tailor a universal game experience for everyone because just like you pointed out, the wide discrepancy in skill levels AND the clear split of players between "I love this power fantasy make everything explode" and "I want to play the ninja parkour game and feel challenged" means some very different things.

It doesn't really matter whether it's pro power like when Arbitrations got nerfed or Steel Path got severely reduced by weapon arcanes, or if it's on the other side of the spectrum with stuff like Eximus units getting upgraded and AoE getting nerfed,

It's always going to make basically half of their playerbase unhappy as long as they push it down everyone's throats at once ^^

They need to expand the content to the point where the power creep does not feel egregious, and then NOT CAVE AND WRECK IT AFTER.

It's literally okay to make stuff that's not for everyone.

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29 minutes ago, cute_moth.npc said:

The important thing is for the developers to start with some content creep, bringing gameplay options up closer to the players. They are starting on the right path with expanding steel path and adding new Sortie content.

This.

Power increases come in two flavours. The creepy kind, which makes previous investments worthless, and the growing kind, where player power overall just gets better. So, for example, shield gating is of the growing kind. Archon shards, too. The Helminth system gets a bit more on the creepy kind with Valkyr and a few others, though that's a bit debatable. Weapon arcanes are a bit closer to the creepy kind as they can make some weapons better than some melee weapons. But that's not super universal.

It's the creepy kind that is the bad one. Power growth isn't necessarily bad, if it's just part of the intended progression. What's missing, of course, is a framework for that progression. Right now, our best avenue is pushing Steel Path endurance. DE has stated the game isn't balanced for that and, moreover, we aren't exactly full of reasons to go for those endurance runs. Never really have been and DE hasn't been interested in it either.

That's where I would say DE needs a more algorithmic approach. Take Steel Path, for example: it's, what, a 250% health, shield, and armour boost? With some boosts to resource and mod drops? Cycle it: SP+, which adds 100 to all the modifiers, from enemy level to armour to resources and mods, available once you clear all Steel Path nodes. Then SP++, adding another 100 once you clear all SP+ nodes. And another 100. And so on and so forth forever. Tada, you have a framework - a rudimentary one, but one nevertheless - that can accommodate pretty much any damage value, all without manual developer intervention. Now your challenge is to go as far into Steel Path modes as possible, pushing it higher and higher.

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11 minutes ago, Tyreaus said:

It's the creepy kind that is the bad one. Power growth isn't necessarily bad, if it's just part of the intended progression.

This is an excellent way to distinguish "the good, the bad, and the ugly" types of power creep.

I don't agree on your Steel Path stuff, but it is still an interesting idea. Good work 👍

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1 hour ago, (XBOX)UltraMagnus5000 said:

I still somewhat disagree because the buffs we have seen are just mediocre and feel like the other buff are going to be like mods/arcanes but slightly worse or better than what the arcane/mod they are based on. When talking about the regular Archon crystal it take 3 to 5 of them to have the same value of the mod/arcane that it have the same stats as. Tauforged Archon crystal I do agree can cause power creep but they are a 1/5 chance every week. You basically only have one slight chance every week to get them so getting a full set of Crimson Tauforged for example will take months or a little over a year because I do not thin Kahl will sell the Tauforged, like he does for the regular Archon crystal.

It is irrelevant whether or not you think the stats are good, bad or mediocre.

More stats is more power to the player. It doesn't matter if the increase is 0.000001% it is still an increase.

By definition of power CREEP the increases in power are expectedly small so as to not immediately invalidate swathes of content while the developers slowly trickle new content that is balanced for the incremental increases of power creep.

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1 hour ago, (XBOX)UltraMagnus5000 said:

If they really want to go the ammo route I feel like AoE should use heavy ammo or have their own ammo type that is a lower chance of dropping over rifle and pistol ammo. Also, other option can be AoE weapons should not be able to use ammo mutation. 

This really doesn't work. Because weapons with small aoes to the point of them not even really being aoe weapons exist. or weapons that have aoe as a secondary firing mode. These weapons would get a huge nerf because of a feature they barely even have, or is only half of the weapon. DE would ether blanket nerf the whole aoe category destroying several sub categories of aoe weapons in the process, or would need to define at what point an aoe wepon counts enough for heavy ammo. which still leaves multi firing mode weapons in a really awkward position.

I really think singularly the best way to deal with aoe is self damage. All DE needed to do was fix self damage by making it deal %health true damage as it's own independent stat, Instead of removing it, and this never ever would have been an issue.

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I get the concern but at the same time, look at the levels of new archon content. Base 130 level is higher than basically anything we've ever had, I think that archon shards will instead be there to boost us up to the next content they release, because under Reb it looks like the content is only getting harder.

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53 minutes ago, Tyreaus said:

This.

Power increases come in two flavours. The creepy kind, which makes previous investments worthless, and the growing kind, where player power overall just gets better. So, for example, shield gating is of the growing kind. Archon shards, too. The Helminth system gets a bit more on the creepy kind with Valkyr and a few others, though that's a bit debatable. Weapon arcanes are a bit closer to the creepy kind as they can make some weapons better than some melee weapons. But that's not super universal.

It's the creepy kind that is the bad one. Power growth isn't necessarily bad, if it's just part of the intended progression. What's missing, of course, is a framework for that progression. Right now, our best avenue is pushing Steel Path endurance. DE has stated the game isn't balanced for that and, moreover, we aren't exactly full of reasons to go for those endurance runs. Never really have been and DE hasn't been interested in it either.

That's where I would say DE needs a more algorithmic approach. Take Steel Path, for example: it's, what, a 250% health, shield, and armour boost? With some boosts to resource and mod drops? Cycle it: SP+, which adds 100 to all the modifiers, from enemy level to armour to resources and mods, available once you clear all Steel Path nodes. Then SP++, adding another 100 once you clear all SP+ nodes. And another 100. And so on and so forth forever. Tada, you have a framework - a rudimentary one, but one nevertheless - that can accommodate pretty much any damage value, all without manual developer intervention. Now your challenge is to go as far into Steel Path modes as possible, pushing it higher and higher.

I think that would be neat as an avenue they can go down.

A part of the problem with matchmaking is that if you split it up too much it starts to make it seem like a lot of the tiers are just empty unless the playerbase is massive enough to support it, I think Diablo 3 struggles with that a lot? Obviously it would work fine for a solo player or a group, but as a public option it could be trouble.

I sort of like Steel Path because it's a lot better than um.. Level 20 mobs, where you can't make ANY builds completed that make them anything other than dull to fight, enemies don't even aim properly against a moving Tenno at that level lol.. But Steel Path also kills a lot of variety because the targets are too hardened for a lot of stuff to work against.

I'm really into what they did with Zariman! There are new enemies that have some more effective abilities, it isn't scaled so insanely high that diversity starts to suffer and the game modes are putting more pressure on the player to stay active. It was a good design direction to me and I hope they keep working on that sort of thing with new releases.

I like what the new team is doing though, a lot. I was more on the bored of Warframe / quit Warframe side of things at the start of the year but they are telegraphing some pretty sweet changes in strategy to me and I want to see the new stuff now.

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As already highlighted in this thread , 

Power creep is not the same as power progression.

One invalidates past play investments and builds without actually having the actual content to apply it in.

The other builds on top of previous play and is a gradual expansion to the content.

Power progression is good , power creep is definitely bad.

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10 hours ago, (XBOX)UltraMagnus5000 said:

I do agree with you that enemies should have new stuff but the problem will be skilled players will find a way to bypass it or less skilled players will complain that the new enemies are too difficult. Most of the players are part of the less skilled range that is why the Angel of Zariman quest was nerf to be easier because a lot of people apparently complain it was too difficult. The reason Warframe progress for difficulty is difficult is of the wide range of skills in their player base.

I actually found it to be very easy despite not running any overpowered builds. No seriously, I ran the mission and was like "this isn't a mission I should shield gate on" and then just did it with Wukong, so I'm confused none of those players used anyone like Nezha, Inaros, Wukong, etc.

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14 hours ago, Josh486 said:

I get the concern but at the same time, look at the levels of new archon content. Base 130 level is higher than basically anything we've ever had, I think that archon shards will instead be there to boost us up to the next content they release, because under Reb it looks like the content is only getting harder.

I do not know how hard the new content going to be because again DE may favored the less skilled player again if there are more them struggling then people who are not. 

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15 hours ago, cute_moth.npc said:

The important thing is for the developers to start with some content creep, bringing gameplay options up closer to the players. They are starting on the right path with expanding steel path and adding new Sortie content.

But how far should they creep content? The further they creep the content and the more gear and numbers checks they add, the fewer options players have to meet those requirements. If DE added some Ultra-Hard Diamond Path+++: The Reckoning x2 game mode, how much of the game's content would be useful there? How many gameplay options would still be viable? If they meet powercreep with content creep then all that will happen is a narrower, more entrenched meta available to fewer and fewer people.

Warframe's mechanics and balancing are perfectly happy letting players on one end of the spectrum be so absolutely weak and inconsequential compared to what's possible on the other end, so catering to the top - even just a little bit - only serves to alienate people. And quickly, too, just look at Angels of the Zariman needing the quest level to be dropped on day one. There were enough players that found that quest hard that it had to be nerfed. How much further can you creep the content when even this tiny amount of creep already causes problems?

But if the powercreep is addressed and reined in so players are always roughly equally powerful, and nothing is allowed to suck so much compared to anything else, then figuring out how far to creep content becomes a lot easier. For example, say that all players can be expected to deal 100-150k DPS and you want an enemy that dies in 12 seconds when fought by 3 players. Well, you can just give the enemy 4.5M EHP. But when players can deal anywhere from 1k-15,000k DPS or more or less? What number do you pick? There is no answer that will work, every answer will be wrong. And we've seen this play out ingame time and time again, from the Wolf to SP to AotZ and so many other examples. Content creep can't succeed until there's some semblance of balance to creep it against.

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15 minutes ago, PublikDomain said:

There is no answer that will work, every answer will be wrong. And we've seen this play out ingame time and time again, from the Wolf to SP to AotZ and so many other examples. Content creep can't succeed until there's some semblance of balance to creep it against.

I agree 100% for OG Wolf, less for the AotZ enemies. The art of modding certainly does pick up some of the slack (I mean for non-meta builds).

What key points do you think are important/relevant to establishing a framework for balanced content creep?

The only thing I do not want to see is the disingenuine content creep employed by Destiny 2. No matter how much you get better weapons and armor, the enemy was always stronger unless you had the pay-to-win meta-weapons.

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38 minutes ago, LillyRaccune said:

The only thing I do not want to see is the disingenuine content creep employed by Destiny 2. No matter how much you get better weapons and armor, the enemy was always stronger unless you had the pay-to-win meta-weapons.

I mean, that's kinda what we're already heading towards. The stronger the content gets, the stronger the equipment you'll need to defeat them. Just mathematically, as the number you need to overcome gets larger there will be fewer and fewer things capable of overcoming it. That will mean more reliance on top weapons and frames, which we've already seen happening over time in DE's published usage stats. We've also seen DE relying on the kind of "disingenuous" content creep you mention in the form of enemy survival mechanics like damage attenuation, gear restrictions/replacement/forced usage, proc resistance/immunity, etc. It already doesn't matter how much better your gear gets when talking about content when DE is forced to average it away, or outright remove it like they did in TNW or next month's Veilbreaker or later in Duviri.

46 minutes ago, LillyRaccune said:

What key points do you think are important/relevant to establishing a framework for balanced content creep?

Picking a number - literally any number, it doesn't matter what it is - for player and enemy damage and survivability standards, and then actively and proactively holding mechanics to close to that standard. If something is too strong, nerf it. If something is too weak, buff it. There is no way to creep the content in a way that doesn't do the things you're concerned about without first having some maintained standard to measure it against.

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19 hours ago, LillyRaccune said:

This is an excellent way to distinguish "the good, the bad, and the ugly" types of power creep.

I don't agree on your Steel Path stuff, but it is still an interesting idea. Good work 👍

Thank you. :) And the Steel Path concept is just an example of an algorithmic approach to content scaling, contrast to always coming up with new content to tie in with difficulty increases. See, e.g., the new Archon System having "NG Sorties", but with a number of additional things like the Archon shards. Not to say that addition is bad, just that relying on that methodology alone means the "content creep" is slow and struggles to get on par, let alone keep up with, player power increases.

19 hours ago, cute_moth.npc said:

A part of the problem with matchmaking is that if you split it up too much it starts to make it seem like a lot of the tiers are just empty unless the playerbase is massive enough to support it, I think Diablo 3 struggles with that a lot? Obviously it would work fine for a solo player or a group, but as a public option it could be trouble.

I think there may be some tricks to help matchmaking, specifically in getting modifiers client-side. So if you run a SP5 node, you can run into someone in SP2, but while they're seeing enemies at level 200, you're seeing those same enemies at level 500. And resources picked up and affinity can have their own separate, client multipliers. If drop rates don't or can't work that way, I don't think it a major issue if the SP2 player gets the SP5 drop bonus for that mission - i.e., taking whoever has the bigger drop multiplier and applying it to the mission.

That's just spitballing on what could be done. Like I said to Lilly, leveraging Steel Path is a concept, and there's probably a thousand different ways to pull off something of that sort.

19 hours ago, cute_moth.npc said:

I sort of like Steel Path because it's a lot better than um.. Level 20 mobs, where you can't make ANY builds completed that make them anything other than dull to fight, enemies don't even aim properly against a moving Tenno at that level lol.. But Steel Path also kills a lot of variety because the targets are too hardened for a lot of stuff to work against.

I feel like it's an armour thing that makes builds feel more mundane. Shielded enemies can feel tough but not unmanageable with most, if not any, build. Armoured ones, unless you bring an armour strip build, can turn into an unmanagable slog. There are reasons calls for an armour rework have seldom ceased.

19 hours ago, cute_moth.npc said:

I'm really into what they did with Zariman! There are new enemies that have some more effective abilities, it isn't scaled so insanely high that diversity starts to suffer and the game modes are putting more pressure on the player to stay active. It was a good design direction to me and I hope they keep working on that sort of thing with new releases.

The problem with missions like the Zariman is that they're future-leaning, but a lot of things we do on the regular are past-leaning. For example, I have pretty much everything I want from the Zariman. What I don't have are prime parts for ducats and profile completion. The sort of "evergreen" tasks. That leaves me with little reason to go back to the Zariman, and to stay in the same old missions I've always done. 

Thankfully, SP fissures rectify this for Steel Path - but with Steel Essence being a thing, it didn't really need it in the first place, and doesn't really solve the issue from a content perspective. I don't think SP fissures will be popping up on the Zariman any time soon. Or Deimos.

EDIT:

  

2 hours ago, PublikDomain said:

I mean, that's kinda what we're already heading towards. The stronger the content gets, the stronger the equipment you'll need to defeat them. Just mathematically, as the number you need to overcome gets larger there will be fewer and fewer things capable of overcoming it. That will mean more reliance on top weapons and frames, which we've already seen happening over time in DE's published usage stats. We've also seen DE relying on the kind of "disingenuous" content creep you mention in the form of enemy survival mechanics like damage attenuation, gear restrictions/replacement/forced usage, proc resistance/immunity, etc. It already doesn't matter how much better your gear gets when talking about content when DE is forced to average it away, or outright remove it like they did in TNW or next month's Veilbreaker or later in Duviri.

I just want to say, though it's a little aside:

We have the modding system for stat increases, we have mechanically distinct weapons, WTF is happening that we end up with increasingly powerful distinct weapons on the regular?

DE has all but stated they want equipment to find fair use, not having one thing dominating the landscape or other things end up forgotten. Then why do we keep getting new, more powerful weapons on the regular instead of mods? Of course people are going to go toward the more powerful weapons and forget the weaker ones, they're literally more powerful.

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4 hours ago, (XBOX)UltraMagnus5000 said:

I do not know how hard the new content going to be because again DE may favored the less skilled player again if there are more them struggling then people who are not. 

Heavily doubt, content under Reb, both this update and last update have steadily upped the levels

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