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The New Player Experience


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Hello folks!


I was brought into warframe a few weeks ago by a small group of friends. Initially, the style of the game and the behaviors of some early weapons had me a little leery, but I stuck with it and quickly found the action/shooter aspect quite enjoyable! Since I've been a fairly avid player, working my way through the starmap and slowly trying out a good number of frames and weapons. That said: Something of late has been bothering me about Warframe. I have see quite a few threads mention it, but I've seen no real discussion on the manner or many solid ideas discussed to adress it.


The one thing is the "New Player Experience"


I'm certain more than a few of the players in Warframe have at one time or another tried to recruit a friend to join. While it's fairly common to see a new player join up to try Warframe out (It's free, after all) I've seen and heard quite a few of my friends not making it much past Venus or Earth. Perhaps one in three even get themselves a new weapon, and even fewer stick around much to get into the void, derelict missions, or get themselves a catalyst or reactor.


This is, of course, a problem. Warframe isn't retaining players very well! While yes, a good number have stayed with it! All in all, I would estimate at least half the people I've worked on recruiting (Both people who have played MMOs and Action games) simply haven't been able to stand what I like to call "The new player wall"


Let's look at a new player, and a few possible reasons why. Note, all of these players are real people that I have tried to persuade to give Warframe a second chance.



Conversation 1

Player A is the new player

Player B is another experienced player who was in on the conversation

Me is me


A: "I can't get back into it"
B: Yeah, one of my friends loves Nova but he's one of those min/max types that goes all the way to "If the internet says it has one really good use it's alright, anything less is useless and you're bad at this game if you have it."
Me: Eh
Me: Nova isn't really good for a min-maxer
A: They took away cover. And now my sneaky Loki is #*($%%@. Because everyone else runs and guns.
A: And I just ..
B:  Oh yeah, just tried out Mag and Volt recently, they're pretty damn fun once you put some mods on for their first ability
Me: Mag.equals("Corpus Rape")
A: "I have a stealth suit in a game where everyone runs and shoots everything."
Me: Hawk: Loki is fantastic in a full group.
Me: The ability to revive people in the middle of an enemy group is amazing
Me: Radial disarm is also fantastic :/
A: Games too hard solo and I can't keep up in a group
Me: How far did you get?
A: "What's the, oh you've shot everything. Good plan. I'll just amble behind."
B: That's the part that used to upset me A. I took Loki as my starter frame and everybody used to pick on me. Granted, I didn't have the mods to make him worth it yet. Got Rhino ASAP, eventually dropped Loki for Ash and never looked back. Made a pact with myself to keep a stealth frame and Ash was much more fun for me.
Me: Aaaaa!
Me: how far have you gotten?
Me: 'cause those complaints can be fiiiiixed :P
A: L18 suit.
Me: I mean what planet?
B: I still get picked on, and actual stealth is even harder now, but you still don't get tankier than invisibility.
A:  Far enough to first meet corpus and the infected one's. (Note: Venus)
Me: Oh, so not far at all
Me: Do you wanna stay as a stealth frame?
A: Don't really care. I have the double xp everything's
A: And it's still too Grundy.
A: Grindy

A: I have time in a day for maybe two missions.
A: Guess what all the friends I try and play with have?

A: Oh, yeah. Triple my level everything.


Once again, this is a real conversation with the participants edited out. You'll note, Player A didn't even make it to Jackel! The main source of his complaints were, however, the fact that even when he played with friends he would end up getting left really far behind (in both a damage and literal sense!)


The most likely culprit for this, I feel, is likely the state of the Branton MK1, the Lato, and the Skana. To understand how a new player feels... go buy a starter weapon. Unequip all of your mods except a base-level redirection, a base level vitality, one base-level elemental mods of your choice and some an ammo increase on your gun. Then go and run an early mission with a friend.


To put it bluntly, the starter weapons are trash. The lato and branton Mk-1 are hands-down the worst guns in the game, and the Skana is hardly better without a lot of love from harder-to-get mods! If you couple that with a complete lack of any "basic" mods, such as Serration, Hornet Sting, and Point Blank, it becomes readily apparant why newbies feel pretty damn weak and powerless when compared to most of the rest of the warframe population. Hell, until I got my own Serration and Hornet Sting mods, I primarily used my melee (an Obex, because i happen to like the asthetics of the weapon.) because it was flat-out better than shooting an unmodded branton mk-1 or lato! I recall the first time I used a Lex, on suggestion of an experience friend, and the difference was not just noticable... it was like night and day.


Player effectiveness, or the preception thearof, is really important. Especially when it comes to hooking and keeping newbies!



Conversation 2

-This conversation is with an entirely different player, one who I had convinced to give Warframe a second try. Earlier in the week I had offered/helped him aquire the blueprints for a Rhino, as it was a frame he had really wanted, and this conversation occurred after he, myself, and a third friend had done a survival to help him get some components for the frame.



Player A - The new player who was trying to get his Rhino

Player B - A player I play with regularily. We normally run 1-3 missions together or so a day and split up to solo when our schedules don't coincide.

Me is still me.


A: I'm too excited for sunday
A: Sytop exciting me
Me: Morning!
Me: Later today!
Me:  I'm going to have a new frame and THREE NEW WEAPONS to play with
Me: What do you say to you, me, and B all going and playing spess ninjas? :D
A: If I don't get roped into something, okay I guess
Me: Okay! :D
A: It's not really a super exciting game for me
A: Because I got in on it later, stuck playing the grind
Me: I got in on it later too A :/
Me: I just enjoy it for what it is and try and stick to people around my power level


[An hour later]

Me: So
Me: Wanna play warframe for like an hour or two?
Me: I have my new S#&$ to level
Me: QWERTY wants in too
A: I got 45 minutes
A: that acceptable?
Me: Sure. What's yer plan in 45 minutes?
Me is curious
A : Starwars EoTE
A: Playing a Dug
Me: Ah
Me: Okay!
Me: Let's do this then
Me: We can fit in a few games[sic] in that time
*** Me created a group conversation with B(B).
Show group conversation ***


[The other chat was voice, so I can't copy logs. We did three missions, ending with a survival for 20 minutes on Mercury]


Me: <3
Me: You had fun you said?
A: Because I got materials I need/was actual use
Me :P
Me: You do get a lot of materials by just going through the starmap
Me: Valkyr is fun, you would probably like her lots

Me: With a bigass sword or axe



The second new player here mostly participates because his friend(s) want him too. He really doesn't have a lot of interest in progressing on the starmap, but is instead interested in playing with the people that got him in. A goodly part of the reason he had fun was because I had deliberately reduced my own power (by running an entirely new frame and unranked weapons. Only my carrier was leveled.) Player B had done likewise, bringing several unranked weapons and holding back so that our mututal friend could participate.


Part of A's issues with playing stemmed from material drops. You will note he specifically is looking for materials for a favored frame. Unlike the first example, he doesn't really care much about starmap progression. The entire point for this player is to be able to play with his friends and feel he is contributing. Of course, in doing this he hasn't gotten even enough plastids to build a rhino. Much less the rarer components!


My main point with this conversation is this. RNG drops, while very easy to implement, do not do well for keeping new players. While some variation is good, a means for a player to get specifically what they need (such as Neurodes for a new weapon, or Morphics for a new frame) is something that Warframe sorely lacks. A means to gather rare components in a gaurenteed manner is sorely lacking, and this can create an artificial wall that a new player or casual player may not be able to surmount in a ready manner.


While I do not feel every item needs a gaurenteed aquisition method. (Prestige items, like prime frames, should definitely not!) I do feel that basic rare materials and mods SHOULD have a means for a player that needs them to aquire them that is not RNG-based. Farming Four Neurodes for your first Boltor isn't fun for anyone. If you compound that with the fact that players are only likely to see one or two at most when passing earth? It's no wonder that quite a few players don't get far enough into Warframe to really respect how varied the later frames get!




All in all, I feel that things should be tweaked to help keep lower-level players from abandoning Warframe before the game really picks up. What are your thoughts? Do you have your own "friend won't play/quite playing" story? Do you have an idea for a solution? Your opinions and stories on the subject manner are welcome!

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It is being improved on. As fair as everyone else rushing ahead and one shotting everything, all I can recommend is play with a organised group of friends or play solo. Rushers are a pretty big issue a lot of people, even verterans have with the game.

Its why I'm mostly a solo player myself.

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I have friends that stop playing for a month or three and then return to it when their burnout fades or new content brings them back.


I also have friends that tried it months after i gave them the referral codes to play it, and didn't get credit cuz they "just downloaded it off steam" later instead. I wish i could still claim credit for getting them into the game through the referral system after the fact like in other games.


Being able to generate promo codes as referrers to get friends to return to the game would be nice, too.


The people that tend to leave by once reaching the Venus & Earth phase tend to miss out on the bonding experience that hooks them up with a good group of friends, make new friends, or join a clan they can run missions with. Hopefully, U14 will help to make that grouping & bonding mechanic more fluid.

Edited by DietEbolaCola
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I installed and deleted it 3 separate times before I learned how to do it out of sheer willpower and spite. 


Once you get over that rollercoaster hill, it becomes a pretty fun game. But that is a big ole first hill.


As mentioned, with the new U14 release, it seems the New Player play is a focus and hopefully will be forgiving. With Warframe coming to Xbox, you can bet DE is motivated to get some of that new player plat. They learned the porting from PS4, now they will tweak the experience away from PC gaming (in which players tend to enjoy more complicated games), learning from PS4, into what should be a good new player experience. 

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when they first made the damage, difficulty and total overhaul of the game i made a new account took a loki and tried the game again from scratch me as a decent veteran player had great difficulty with a frame that is by all technicality the best choice for starters due to invisibility.

when i voiced my opinions way back then i made a consideration that i as a veteran player even starting over from scratch will perform better due to my knowledge of the game. regardless of this assumption i still suffered going down and losing the mission. i will reiterate my views from back then


The game is far to harsh in the starting planets and gets harsher even faster then it should the frames are not bad either being a starter or an end game the weapons are lacking greatly and the game teaching new players what to do was almost absent focus needs to be spent on overhauling just this part of the game the difficulty curve shouldn't start so early 

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Heres how it usually go down, we think of what we know and we go all crazy about it. The next big update adresses this issue on mind. 


And I ensure you, u14 will give more of first player experience. Aswell as a Veteran joy for a long time. 

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