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Fundamental Problems (and suggested Solutions) regarding Warframe Specialization and Power Usage


TheRealTuna
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Hey everyone,

I am positive that I am not the first to cite these issues and suggest these solutions, but I felt like I should make a thread dedicated purely to this subject. I feel that once these issues are amended, WARFRAME will become exponentially more interesting and enjoyable for everyone.

Issue #1: Powers are not a significant enough element of WARFRAME currently

As we all know, WARFRAME is a F2P TPS that allows players to shoot, slash, and use distinctive powers to eliminate enemies and complete missions. While some warframes are meant to excel either in range, melee, or power usage, there exists a fundamental flaw in the design for power usage as the game currently stands. Consider the Volt waframe. It is ADVERTISED in its description as being an alternative to typical run and shoot gameplay for those who are more interested in relying on playing the game using powers.

Unfortunately, though, regardless of the warframe, players will necessarily end up shooting or slashing through most of the levels. The warframe powers, which are currently the only differentiating factors among the warframes, are used rarely. There won't always be power orbs lying around for players to spam abilities; players need to save their power for when they encounter rough situations or risk mission failure. Some might assert that warframe powers SHOULD serve as a failsafe in the event of being pinned down or forced into a corner, but I fiercly disagree with that. If a player picks volt or ember, that player is clearly more interested in utilizing powers than in running around shooting and slashing (not that he is completely uninterested in shooting and slashing, just that picking one of these two warframes indicates a general interest in powers). Why not instead allow volt and ember players to use their abilities regularly as they indicated that they wanted to from the outset?

This, of course, doesn't ONLY apply to volt and ember players. I personally play Loki, and I can say with confidence that if I could regularly use swap teleport or invisibility, the game would be that much more fun, dynamic, and varied (the ability to regularly use powers would also allow Loki players the option to play the game stealthily as the lore intended for tenno to be, but that is another story :3). Although I haven't yet played as any other warframes, I can say with confidence that regular abilitiy use would be more fun as ANY warframe.

Having said all of this, ability use should certainly not remain completely unrestricted. How absurd would it be if players could just spam their 100 power abilities and blow up everything on the screen continuously. My suggestion for altering the current power usage system is as follows:

Remove Power Orbs, Add a Power Regeneration Stat, Add Skill Cooldowns, Alter Power Numbers/Damage if Required

What would these changes accomplish? Removing Power Orbs altogether and instead adding in a Power Regeneration stat would allow for regular use of abilities. Adding skill cooldowns would prevent players from relying fully on powers and from spamming abilities that might be considered too powerful when spammed. If powers are currently perceived as being too strong to use without power restriction, adjust the damage on those powers to make them reasonably balanced.

Issue #2: There is not enough variability among playable warframes

Another major issue that I've seen in this game is that there is simply not enough diversity among the playable warframes. The only difference among the frames so far is their abilities (which are currently only very rarely used during missions, as I explained above); from what I have been able to tell, the upgrade trees for the warframes are the same (correct me if I am wrong here). I just read in another post that the Rhino has the same amount of shield/health upgrades available as any other warframe...that, in my opinion, clearly should not be. The Rhino warframe, clearly intended to be a tanky, melee-oriented warframe, should have more defensive upgrade stats available than Volt or Ember, for example. I read another post recently in which the original poster asked what class is best for specializing in melee abilities; the resounding community response was that there is literally almost NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL between the playable warframes in this regard, which is silly! The ability to play and build unique characters has always been crucial to games and is what keeps them fun and fresh.

With that said, I posit the following with the aim of significantly differentiating the warframes:

Modify Upgrade Paths to be Unique for Each Warframe, Add New Stats to Warframe Upgrade Paths, Make Upgrade Paths NON-MAXABLE for both Warframes and Weapons

How would these changes differentiate Warframes and allow for more diverisified gameplay? Modifying upgrade paths to be unique for each warframe would allow each warframe to fall into its intended "role". As mentioned above, the Rhino has to have been intended as a tanky front-liner; the Rhino should be capable of the highest shield capacity and health in the game, with perhaps reduced damage. Similarly, Volt and Ember should be capable of the highest power damage in the game, perhaps accompanied by the lowest shield capacity and health in the game. Adding new stats to warframe upgrade paths would also help tremendously in differentiating warframes from one another in that each warframe would be able to further specialize into a particular role. Adding in a general damage stat to the warframe upgrade tree would allow players to specialize more heavily in damage output. Adding in a general power regeneration stat, similarly, would allow players to focus more intently on skill use. This particular suggested change goes hand in hand with the suggestion that upgrade trees, both for warframes and weapons, be LIMITED and NON-MAXABLE. In WARFRAME currently, once a player's warframe or weapon hits Level 30, it becomes maxed out. There is almost no variability whatsoever from player to player; two players who both use a Level 30 Excalibur warframe will be upgraded in exactly the same way because there is only ONE path for upgrading. A Level 30 Excalibur warframe will always be the same as another Level 30 Excalibur warframe. The only saving grace here are Mods, which offer some degree of variability from player to player, but not much, and not enough. That said, if there were MULTIPLE upgrading paths available, WITHOUT being able to invest a point into EVERY SINGLE ATTRIBUTE on a warframe or weapon's upgrade tree, players would be forced to choose how they want to optimize. Do I want more damage, or do I want more survivability? Should I invest more points into power regeneration, or should I instead focus on power potency? The same idea, as I stated, applies for weapons: do I want a higher critical chance, or should I opt for a faster rate of fire? Should I invest more into raw damage, or do I need that extra reload time? Maybe I should specialize this weapon as a critical weapon -- high critical chance and high critical damage -- but would that ultimately be more or less effective than investing my points into raw damage and rate of fire? It is THIS KIND OF CHOICE that WARFRAME is missing, and it has ALWAYS been those choices that keep games fresh, varied, interesting and, most of all, FUN!

I conclude my analysis and resulting suggestions by maintaining the following:

WARFRAME is simply AMAZING, especially for being in such an early stage of its life cycle. There is so much potential for this game to grow, and I believe strongly that this can be one of the best and most successful F2P games in history. I am very strongly considering buying the Master founder's pack to support WARFRAME and have a hand in shaping this phenomenal game :)

-TheRealTuna

Edited by TheRealTuna
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Agree on all of those ideas, especially the power changes would be great. For now as Loki i only use invis once someone is downed and surrounded, besides that, it´s rare i can use my abilities because i almost always lack Energy. Maybe a "Shield to Energy - Transfer" would also work.

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@AmmokK: Exactly. Imagine how fun it would be if we could actually USE Swap Teleport REGULARLY. As the system exists currently, it's honestly just a complete waste to use it unless you want to troll someone at the extraction point and swap them away from it. I basically use Invisibility exclusively along with the Radial Disarm during certain boss fights. I think shield to energy transfer concept could be viable, but the mechanics of shield regeneration would have to be redone. Shields recharge too fast for it to be balanced to be able to convert shields into power.

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I agree with this.

That is perhaps my biggest gripe with the Volt frame at the moment. Because the abilities are not all that impressive, flashy(lightning bolt) , useful(sprint, and shield), and being only able to use them occasionally. So, the frame loses that element of satisfaction that would come from power use.

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Issue #1: Powers are not a significant enough element of WARFRAME currently

Agreed. They need to be used more often as they really change the gameplay when they are.

Remove Power Orbs, Add a Power Regeneration Stat, Add Skill Cooldowns, Alter Power Numbers/Damage if Required

Power does need some work but Cooldowns only restrict the way they are used.

If I want to rely on more often using smaller powers or savinge energy for big powers that should be up to me.

As for power regen, right direction.

Specifically power should regen from effective use of weapons, abilities and action in general so it keeps people playing instead of regen over time which would let some folks to just hide nehind other players as their power regens.

Issue #2: There is not enough variability among playable warframes

More variable would be great.

Just be careful on HOW they do this or we will be putting our personal ability to customize frames in the back ground and putting this into developers hands.

Devs are great but no one can create what you want like you can.

Customizable options should be along the lines of some special, frame specific mod you get to start with that is removabale if you so choose.

Modify Upgrade Paths to be Unique for Each Warframe, Add New Stats to Warframe Upgrade Paths, Make Upgrade Paths NON-MAXABLE for both Warframes and Weapons

Upgrade paths follow the basic needs of increased function generally required to deal with harder and harder encounters.

That is to say- just about every game gives every class more health, energy and damage as they level up.

The mods you choose are intended to offer variation for specialization.

Taht is to say-if you want to be tanky, more spell oriented or better at guns the moids should give you all of that potential.

This can be expanded upon without creating the kind of pigeon hole design that generally comes from character specific trees.

EVERYBODY wants more variation between frames.

But what isnt so obvious is that we can do that WITHOUT giving up our freedom to customize.

Edited by Ronyn
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/agree

Issue #2: There is not enough variability among playable warframes

Maybe each warframe could have a passive/mastery that sets them apart so you could feel the difference without having to get into the later levels and maybe boost them with mods. (ie: Ember-when being melee'd will set nearby foes ablaze on a 15 sec cd or attacks have a chance to add fire effects, Rhino - takes less damage from certain/all attacks or becaomes invulnerable for 5 sec at 10% health)

Edited by Vashramire
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I am glad you took the time to write this all out and with a lot of thought put into it. Everything you said reflects my own feelings on the subject.

Please take all this information to heart and change the power, skills, and energy system. Now is the time you can overhaul things for the better!

Edited by GenericBadGuy
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At low levels everyone pretty much just runs around shooting, im level 5 and as a Loki i am the constant person with the most abilities used which usually consist of a couple. I think at low levels you are just learning how to play the game so they dont dump everything on you and since the game isnt that difficult people just rush through stages without feeling the need to use anything but your normal weapons. I dont know how it is at higher levels but i am hoping that with all abilities available and playing with some more skilled player abilities become more of a normal part of the session.

I dont use decoy unless there are a good number of enemies coming or a special enemy running around so i never really had a problem with running out of energy. And i never use invis because people just rush.

Edited by Mak_Gohae
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Actually with current system i can use stealth almost whenever i want to. Few more + duration abilities and ability effectininess modes and it will be possible to solo any mission out there without even leaving stealth and using gun.

THIS RIGHT HERE!

The reality is that to acheive the unique gameplay styles in this game we have to built them ourselves.

perhaps we gamers have become too use to the developers handing us the the answers instead of creating them.

Warframe it really needs to give the player the right tool to get into this at level 1....

but once youve really got into the the higher levels and started moding yoruself as you see fit...

there is a whole lot of variance that we can build into our frames if we just take the initiative.

Sure, game needs some work and more tools would be great but if we arent using the ones availible to use now we cant blame anyone but ourselves.

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THIS RIGHT HERE!

The reality is that to acheive the unique gameplay styles in this game we have to built them ourselves.

perhaps we gamers have become too use to the developers handing us the the answers instead of creating them.

Warframe it really needs to give the player the right tool to get into this at level 1....

but once youve really got into the the higher levels and started moding yoruself as you see fit...

there is a whole lot of variance that we can build into our frames if we just take the initiative.

Sure, game needs some work and more tools would be great but if we arent using the ones availible to use now we cant blame anyone but ourselves.

What the OP is suggesting gives you the tools to create your own unique gameplay style, he isn't suggesting the devs do it for you at all. It also isn't the case that later levels let you do your own thing - every warframe pretty much uses their one particular ability with an energy siphon card in play (that trvializes the energy system anyway). Sure players are using the tools given to them, but those tools are currently too limited, similar, and restrictive.

Actually with current system i can use stealth almost whenever i want to. Few more + duration abilities and ability effectininess modes and it will be possible to solo any mission out there without even leaving stealth and using gun.

Naturally what the OP is suggesting would come with balance changes to the abilities themselves, or the abilities might and probably would change.

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THIS RIGHT HERE!

The reality is that to acheive the unique gameplay styles in this game we have to built them ourselves.

perhaps we gamers have become too use to the developers handing us the the answers instead of creating them.

Warframe it really needs to give the player the right tool to get into this at level 1....

but once youve really got into the the higher levels and started moding yoruself as you see fit...

there is a whole lot of variance that we can build into our frames if we just take the initiative.

Sure, game needs some work and more tools would be great but if we arent using the ones availible to use now we cant blame anyone but ourselves.

I didn't mean i like it. I think it's rediciously OP (not as OP as Volt wiping out 3 rooms with 1 ability). It why it would be better to have Energy that replenishes fast and abilities that correspond with this system (Low cooldowns and lower abilities damage would do good).

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What the OP is suggesting gives you the tools to create your own unique gameplay style, he isn't suggesting the devs do it for you at all.

That is not entirely accurate.

If the rhino has inherent bonuses to defense that no other frame can have then he will always retain the highest potential defensive capability.

All I suggested was that whatever bonus the rhino can have initially be able to be removed and given to another frame of my choosing.

I'm not rejecting the OP's statements at all I'm just offering a slight modification to avoid loosing as much we gain.

It also isn't the case that later levels let you do your own thing - every warframe pretty much uses their one particular ability with an energy siphon card in play (that trvializes the energy system anyway).

My point was that the player CAN, by choice in mods, vary their gameplay style and ability use.

That is not to say that Warframe has hit the right balance among the powers and energy cost.

Sure players are using the tools given to them, but those tools are currently too limited, similar, and restrictive.

Whish is why I said yes to expanding them.

I didn't mean i like it. I think it's rediciously OP (not as OP as Volt wiping out 3 rooms with 1 ability). It why it would be better to have Energy that replenishes fast and abilities that correspond with this system (Low cooldowns and lower abilities damage would do good).

Again..the point is that you CAN play differently (ie stealthy) than other characters through the use of your invisibility (an ability not shared by all frames).

I didnts ay it was balanced yet.

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That is not entirely accurate.

If the rhino has inherent bonuses to defense that no other frame can have then he will always retain the highest potential defensive capability.

All I suggested was that whatever bonus the rhino can have initially be able to be removed and given to another frame of my choosing.

I'm not rejecting the OP's statements at all I'm just offering a slight modification to avoid loosing as much we gain.

Wouldn't the purpose of playing as the Rhino Warframe be to be a tanky frontliner, generally? He SHOULD have the highest potential defensive capability. That does not mean, though, that if you WANTED to build him more damage oriented or in some other hybrid way, you woulnd't be able to with my posited upgrade tree alterations. The same would apply for any other warframe; Volt and Ember SHOULD have the highest potential power damage capabilities, but if you wanted to forego some power potency for some survivability, you would be completely able to do that.

My point was that the player CAN, by choice in mods, vary their gameplay style and ability use.

That is not to say that Warframe has hit the right balance among the powers and energy cost.

Like I said, I definitely think that Mods are a good start to the diversification of warframes, but are not enough by themselves. And of course, in light of my original post, I definitely agree with the notion that Warframe has not yet reached the right balance between powers and energy cost.

Whish is why I said yes to expanding them.

:D

Thanks all for your support and constructive criticism in this thread! I truly believe that these changes would make WARFRAME so unbelievably fun, and hope that Dev's seriously consider these alterations. I would be honored if a Dev were to swing through and offer some input regarding these ideas :D!

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Thank you for your ideas and respectful debate. :)

Wouldn't the purpose of playing as the Rhino Warframe be to be a tanky frontliner, generally? He SHOULD have the highest potential defensive capability.

maybe it is for me but not for another guy.

Different people want different things out of the same class.

These are the kind of descisions I dont want made for me.

That does not mean, though, that if you WANTED to build him more damage oriented or in some other hybrid way, you woulnd't be able to with my posited upgrade tree alterations.

certainly but it would always be lesser in that realm than another frame that had more inherent bosunes to damage.

this is why I say we could loose as much as we gain if we arent careful

My point centers around a basic concept.

What happens when the devs pick a direction for a frame that you dont like?

You can slide it more towards your liking with whatever customization is availible but it will always be behind another frame.

my idea.....

When you start the game you automatically get a "special mod", unigue to each frame that grants inherent bonuses just like youre talking about.

The difference is that it would be removable.

Like I said, I definitely think that Mods are a good start to the diversification of warframes, but are not enough by themselves. And of course, in light of my original post, I definitely agree with the notion that Warframe has not yet reached the right balance between powers and energy cost.

Whether or not mods are enough to create major variance depends greatly on the nature of the mods.

I do agree that currently they are lacking. well, best i can tell from what I have found.

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Wholeheartedly agree. This game has made itself too much of a generic shooter. Making powers work on a cool down system (With hopefully 1 skill on a 1-3 second CD for a alternate to run and gun gameplay) would IMMENSELY improve gameplay and make the game itself stand out much more. This would require some enemy hp/skill damage rebalancing and possibly some AI changes but.....the game already needs to do that with the current guns and abilities.

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Marry me OP!

I posted a similar idea somewhere about this topic a few days ago. Frankly, I do enjoy having a 'role' to play in the game. However, as Ronyn suggested, the Dev's direction and your direction might collide somewhere in the future but generally I don't worry about it that much since we still have mods to modify our frames to suit our purposes.

I like the non-maxable idea since it force players to make a choice about how to build their frames to suit their playstyle with a limited resource. A good example that use this method is our neighbor ME3 multiplayer. However, it's really hard to make a frame extremely flexible this allowing lots of 'builds' around a single frame. There'll definitely be a cookie-cutter build for some warframes. Moreover, players will want to know what skill their teammates bring to the table and that's fine since we have textchat.

I support your idea, 100%.

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It's inevitably true that "cookie cutter" builds would emerge for each warframe, but it would still be up to the player as to whether he wants to follow that build or experiment on his own so I don't think that would be too much of an issue. But yes, I think the most important element regarding the warframe diversity issue is the extreme lack of choice in the current system. Diversity and fun happens when players are forced to choose between different gear, skills, and attributes...as I keep saying, mods are a great start, but do not offer enough diversity on their onw.

Keep the opinions comin! :D

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I like almost everything in this thread sofar, especially the passives. I will say that this is something to implement towards the end of the beta, when more people can be dedicated to working ut the balancing kinks. Being able to switch out passives while giving frames specific stats through their skill trees seems kind off weird. Save that for later. I'd like 3 trees focusing on 2 skills each and one tree that focusses on the passive and more specific stats.

Also if you're going to use (skill) trees wouldn't it be better to allocate mod slots seperately from them, maybe based on level? Because mods seem to become rather more powerfull than regular slots later in the game. I'm still debating this myself so please, opinions!

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