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Why Warframe Does Microtransactions Correctly.


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I've been met with many arguments lately as to why people should even play Warframe being its f2p and you can buy pretty much everything in the shop without even playing the game. I respond to this simply as, "If you got the money, go for it, but I doubt you have that much to spend".

When I first joined, my thoughts on the shop were that the prices on platinum were ridiculous and I began to assume it impossible to collect everything before I knew about BPs. That is when I saw how brilliant DE truly is. With Microtransactions, you get 2 people. Those who will pay, no matter the cost, and those who will play in order to avoid the shop. This game gives you both worlds, with minor exceptions (colors), but the way they did it, they make a lot of money for every customer that is willing to pay, and here is why.

Players who have no interest in investing time and effort to get things are going to just buy it all, but its practically 30 bucks every time just to get things. Its expensive, and while you end up on top in terms of gear, you kill part of the game for you. People who pay a lot walk away anyways, because they killed the game for themselves, there isn't anything to do because they unlocked it all already. DE gets a good amount of money, and that customer learns to not pay for everything hopefully.

Players who want to avoid the shop though, they are the long term investments. These players are given everything, and more, and are only asked to play the game, which they wanted to in the first place. These players only have to really grind to get BPs for warframes and materials. They actually play and experience the game. They don't become bored with ranking up equipment they just earned, because they went through everything to earn it in the first place and didn't drop a load of money for it. So where does it come down to these players becoming the long term investments? Inventory slots. These players will have to drop $5 here and there for inventory slots, and it gets them quite a few slots. Sure, it seems a bit picky to force player to pay for something, but if you look at it, you get this whole game for free, there has to be some sort of catch. So you pay for inventory slots, then maybe you want some other stuff. You could invest into some catalysts and reactors, or maybe in the color packs. You eventually warm up to spending money on this game, because its given you so much in the first place.

So, players who just outright pay will drop maybe $100 before they are done, because their impatience causes them to pay. Players who don't want to pay could drop 5x that, but over a longer period, because they want to keep collecting things. DE makes a lot of money per player in the end, and both players are technically satisfied.

I personally, find this to be genius, but it does have one huge cost. Its borderline impossible to make PVP off of this without overbalancing everything. I'm not entirely interested in PVP, though I wouldn't mind a setup much like SMNC, but still, the setup seems to push off PVP quite a bit, cause then paying players would always defeat playing players because they could buy the best equipment.

Either way, this setup gets DE a lot of money, and makes fans generally happy.

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agree, most haters complaining about "pay to win" have no clue how expensive is to create and mantain a game, hosting, paying for employee, and everything else ...

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I'll be honest, I have to disagree. The friends that I'm currently playing with, almost completely dropped this game when they learned how long it would take them to make a new frame, if they didn't want to spend their money. I'm not talking competitive CoD gamers either, I'm talking about friends that I play RPGs with where we'll grind for hours to get what their looking for.

The difference? In the other games they have a much larger choice of what they can start as. In my opinion, if you had the option to pick from ANY of the warframes in the beginning, part of the problem would be alleviated. At this point, they're playing the game for the game, to find mods, and blueprints for better weapons, not to just rush to zones that they're not leveled for to try and farm blue prints for the frame they actually want.

Instead, what this game does is gives you the option of three frames, if you don't like them you're either forced to wait quite a while to actually get a different frame, or pay the hefty price of roughly 15 dollars for the frame you actually want. Even the starting amount of 50 platinum you get isn't enough to buy you Volt, the frame that you could start with before Mag. I'd also be willing to wager the number of weapon and frame slots you can have for free is enough to drive players away as well. They might not realize it at first because they dont have that many frames or weapons, but once they do, they might feel ripped off that they're FORCED to spend money to be able to get more weapons and armor.

Obviously the game has to make money some how, but in the end almost forcing players to do it, IMO, is not the way to go.

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about the pvp, i have been arround enought games to know pvp can totaly work on this, it just need deep research and testing, could have stats reduced for characters & skills as long as you enter a pvp room, check & revise alot of skill content and balancing effects of skills in players, making some skills have more penetration than others, or some skills that arent THAT good have effects like for example, radial disarm from loki, have an deduce def rate ???% for...???seconds (depending on the skill lv ), or besides forcing players to go melee, also preventing them from using any skills, and stuffs like that, but it would surely revitalize the game, bringing an alternative to just dashin & slashing all arround

Edited by V101
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I'll be honest, I have to disagree. The friends that I'm currently playing with, almost completely dropped this game when they learned how long it would take them to make a new frame, if they didn't want to spend their money. I'm not talking competitive CoD gamers either, I'm talking about friends that I play RPGs with where we'll grind for hours to get what their looking for.

The difference? In the other games they have a much larger choice of what they can start as. In my opinion, if you had the option to pick from ANY of the warframes in the beginning, part of the problem would be alleviated. At this point, they're playing the game for the game, to find mods, and blueprints for better weapons, not to just rush to zones that they're not leveled for to try and farm blue prints for the frame they actually want.

Instead, what this game does is gives you the option of three frames, if you don't like them you're either forced to wait quite a while to actually get a different frame, or pay the hefty price of roughly 15 dollars for the frame you actually want. Even the starting amount of 50 platinum you get isn't enough to buy you Volt, the frame that you could start with before Mag. I'd also be willing to wager the number of weapon and frame slots you can have for free is enough to drive players away as well. They might not realize it at first because they dont have that many frames or weapons, but once they do, they might feel ripped off that they're FORCED to spend money to be able to get more weapons and armor.

Obviously the game has to make money some how, but in the end almost forcing players to do it, IMO, is not the way to go.

I see what you're saying, and this is why we are all here to discuss this beta. Hopefully the devs will read this and understand better.

I do agree, we should be allowed to choose any warframe from the start. It took forever for me to get Ash, just to find out I didn't like him. Either full options, or a rent system as has been suggested before.

And for collectors, the limited inventory may be a bit painful, but for people who just like what they got and prefer to invest in mods, its not that bad. So it can drive away one community, but not the other.

I can agree though, having to wait to play the frame you wanted to play in the first place is a bit painful, and honestly, I think it would help balancing a lot if players had full option cause then more people can say what is wrong with certain frames. Maybe a tier list kinda, like some basic frames are free at first choice, but more powerful and advanced ones aren't (banshee, Nyx, etc.)

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Thing is, some frames are just better choices than others. Trust me, all you'll see is either Rhino or Saryn due to their invincibility skills for farming, if not Ash for teleport, stealth and running speed for clearing.

At the current moment, this isn't the case, but if given for free...

Besides, I think the current starting frames introduce the Melee, Stealth and Mage Archtypes.

Edited by Shaftronics
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Some f2pers feel the materials are to few and far inbetween for farming also (i rush my warframe building, but they cant afford it atm) (ie they spend a day to three more farming rubedo, make a weapon/frame, then immediately get discouraged to farm more for the next thing in line) I know personally the game is ment to "farm" materials, and that currently that is 90% of the incentive to play. But with my friends list dropping like flies in activity (im basicly making 3-6 friends a day just to keep a steady supply of contacts to play with when my clans offline). but this is kinda irrelevant, and sorry for derailing from topic. But back on topic. 4.99 for a colour pallete is pretty steep. I'm currently attempting to talk friends into founder pack owners while they last, but some peeps just don't have the money to put down on it atm, (understandable, its a harsh capitalist society out there atm, even more so fire giant/known businesses). so i can understand the need. I guess what im trying to say, is the amount you can buy in plat vs the amount of things you'll spend it on are outbalanced imho. And i know reworking that system would cause an uproar from the current plat owners/buyers. So this is something that is near impossible to change now. (im 100% happy with the amount of plat + a unique suit i got for 49.99)

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Thing is, some frames are just better choices than others. Trust me, all you'll see is either Rhino or Saryn due to their invincibility skills for farming, if not Ash for teleport, stealth and running speed for clearing.

At the current moment, this isn't the case, but if give. out for free...

Besides, I think the current starting frames introduce the Melee, Stealth and Mage Archtypes.

I love my Saryn, I got it jjust for the abilities which sounded great. Then I found out that venom is almost absolutely worthless, Contagion is good for the invincibility, that's it. Moult is ok I suppose, and Miasma is pretty sweet. But I didn't expect her to be nearly as tanky as she is.

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I love my Saryn, I got it jjust for the abilities which sounded great. Then I found out that venom is almost absolutely worthless, Contagion is good for the invincibility, that's it. Moult is ok I suppose, and Miasma is pretty sweet. But I didn't expect her to be nearly as tanky as she is.

<3 saryn, first warframe i put plat onto and baught outright. but she put my 100% farmed rhino outta biz (due to his sprint speed) maybe rhino could get a rework on sprint speed? (0.5 compaired to saryns 1.0 makes him subpar imo)

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It seems like you just glorified anyone who doesn't pay.

"Two people.. no matter what the cost"

Thats so ignorant. I know no one on the forums who said they got it bought grand master spent 300 extra dollars and then bought everything. Pricing for free to play games is the same as every other company. How can they as the company make the most money. If thats high prices but small purchasers then fine ( ducati , rolex ect. ). Small prices but alot of purchasers then fine ( oranges , bread , milk ).

"You avoid part of the gameplay"

You avoid the credit grinding , the resources grinding but you still progress through all the planets. To craft a reasonable number of warframes and weapons you have to go back an repeat. Not exactly missing the gameplay. The gear you get has to be leveled. Why not level on different planets against different enemies.

"Players who want to avoid the shop though, they are the long term investments"

Probably true but still people get burned out grinding. I dropped 100 dollars on guildwars two in the cash shop. I played almost every day for multiple hours for an entire 8 months. I got 3 characters from the starting level to max level with 12 hours a piece. What did i do then? played the missions , did pvp , high content ect. I just skipped a big part of the grind.

"They actually play and experience the game. They don't become bored with ranking up equipment they just earned, because they went through everything to earn it in the first place and didn't drop a load of money for it."

People who buy still have to level ( see above ). Also who didnt make a gun and then hate it and not use it again. To me it just seems like your glorifying people who don't spend money.

It is smart how they make the non "out right droppers" pay money beacuse thats where the majority of players will be. I still think the price is high for games your dollar doesn't stretch very far but they make it easy to earn things in game which is nice. I also don't know if you understand how far your money stretchs. For 100 dollars on founder packs i will have gotten. 7 Warframes , a sentinel , 3 helmets , paris , scindo and then either nyx + color pack + ghost or various waepons. Either way i cleary haven't unlocked everything. There is still tons of stuff to earn.

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I'll be honest, I have to disagree. The friends that I'm currently playing with, almost completely dropped this game when they learned how long it would take them to make a new frame, if they didn't want to spend their money. I'm not talking competitive CoD gamers either, I'm talking about friends that I play RPGs with where we'll grind for hours to get what their looking for.

Do your friends have ADHD? It takes a day or so to farm everything you need, after that, yes it takes 12h for the individual parts and then 3 days to build the frame, but it's not like that requires any effort from you at all. You don't even have to be playing the game in that time frame and then can come back and play with your new toys.

Compared to a popular game like League of Legends, it takes WAY longer to farm up the IP to unlock new champions, runes, all that stuff. This game is so much easier in comparison.

Edited by Ajido
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The only games to ever truly do microtransactions right are Valve's TF2 and DotA2 setup followed up in short order by League of Legends.

The success of these games, from both a financial AND a popularity perspective, speaks chapters about just how good they set themselves up.

For example - have you ever seen anyone who seems to have a single clue what they are talking about say 'League of Legends is P2W'? That kind of thing doesn't come up. Even when it does it is always from some moron too.

They have a cash shop that makes them scores and everyone is totally, 100% cool with it playing the game. In fact - there are people regularly complaining about Riot not giving them enough to spend money on.

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