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Warframe Gameplay And General Feedback


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Disclaimer: I'm relatively invested in this game, and the potential of what it could be. This OP may turn into a wall o' text, and as such, if you aren't going to take the time to read through it like I took the time to construct it, don't expect me or anyone else to put any weight behind an opinion prefaced with "I didn't really read your whole post".


Also, I'm totally gonna plug this thread here: https://forums.warframe.com/index.php?/topic/315648-3d-mod-system-expansion-and-fusion-3d0/ because it's absolutley epic and addresses a fair portion of mod 2.0's issues.


And lastly, I'd appreciate that if a DE Rep/Dev/[insert title here] actually reads this, that they respond directly to this thread in whatever capacity they are able as I understand they are limited in both time and ability to divulge goings on 'behind the scenes'. I do however think there is a distinct lack of developer presence, attention, and acknowledgement in the feedback forums, and frankly, it doesn't feel like you value or pay mind to feedback on serious issues. Really it seems as though your consumer base and thier needs/wants are regularly ignored in favour of what I call 'lipstick fixes' the Dev's seem more interested or passionate about.


Now, there are a few core systems and aspects of the game suffering from malaise. The mod system is buckling under the strain of attempting to support many of the bits of Warframe that are either unfinished or unupdated, for instance. No matter how we hash it, the game has a long way to go, and it's going to be a lot of work. As in, if the team just dropped all the new shiny stuff they're making now to address things like Melee, Mods, Mobility, Combat, AI, [farming intensifies] and roughly 6 other things I can't even bother to mention, it would probably take at the least a year and a sum of money that would put a significant dent in the mortage for my dream mansion.


But thank god they have a veritable army of thousands of people just waiting to be tapped for ideas, feedback, and dare I say it; Help. I understand there are... legal issues that could crop up. But take the weapons skin contest, that is a step in the right direction. Fan generated content taking the heat off the Devs for more shiny stuff, more player involvment in a game they want to be engaged in. Everybody wins. We need more of this.


Anyway, I want to focus on enemy AI, and how that system is conducive to gameplay, or in this instance, not conducive. At all.


At present, gameplay consists of running through proceduraly generated tilesets assigned to a mix of enemy factions and game modes. While I could go on for a few thousand words about how game modes as they are outlined now are as repetitive and exhausting as actual gameplay, I'll simply say this; Random events. Objective changes, more stuff like The Stalker and the Grustag Three. I've seen someone mention 'Cataclysms' before, where the map is horrendously changed by a shattering (you guessed it) cataclysm like a ship attack, or a collision etcetera. Look into that.


Now, we have enemy types as a subset of enemy factions, such as the Grinner have Heavy Gunners, Lancers, Butchers and so on. I propose DE makes use of this, as opposed to how AI currently functions by running headlong into my wonderfully lethal killbox like a spastic. Tuning AI to function on concepts like squads, ambushes and the like would add strategy and tactics to gameplay, as well as addressing [farming intensifies] and the ever present 'level rush' that is always talked about, ineffectually addressed by the mechanics seen on Sargas Ruk, but never fixed.


Farming for my items is honestly fine, so long as it's fun. Standing on a crate and oscillating between emptying my guns into a meatwall and spamming my Warframe Ultimate so I can get Fusion Cores and Orokin Cells isn't fun. It's meh at first and after a year of it, it's "I need to find a new game because this is balls." No amount of Prime Access packs, no amount of events (Which are also grindy and not very fun), no amount of shiny new boom boom sticks will address the fact that your game is lipstick pretty with the soul of Satan. Much like my last girlfriend.


More on the idea of squad tactics (Which you can find many an example in Digital Extremes own Dark Sector, awesome game); The Grineer military functions by 'meatwall' attrition and ambush tactics. In game, we see the meatwall, across all enemy factions, and that's it. I have both seen proposed and propse myself that AI be tweaked to do things such as gather near things like choke points and other strategic points in the battlefield, as well as utilize units such as Lancers in a tactical fashion. Shield Lancers front, stacked 4 wide with two lancers and an elite taking up the middle and sides, and a heavy unit at the back with a command unit for a breaching squad. This would require more to deal with than 'pew pew steamroll', and it would add some fun, and tactics.


Likewise, entering an occupied room, there is a squad of grineer covering the hallway leading to the doorway you've just stepped through. On each side of the hall there are Shield lancers providing corner cover for squadmates to lay overlapping arcs of fire on your at-present vulnerable @$$. These are shallow examples, but this would encourage creative use and a more in depth involvement of gameplay mechanics to the player, and I think it would be fun.


There you have it, my opinion, and my feedback. Feel free to discuss, and hold back the urge to S#&$-fling at eachother. That doesn't help make the game better, and it sure as hell won't help the Devs make it better.

Edited by Sylaenius
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I think your idea is fine in terms of improving the AI to utilize squad tactics. As someone who has worked on video game AI before let me just tell you it's hard! It's really hard to have the AI do the simple things they already do. Adding more enviornmental elements that they can take advantage of like cover makes it even harder. What you propose is great but here are the challenges for the coder.


1 - Identify a choke point. How do they do this?

a) Dynamically - write a code that when a map is loaded would scan it and identify narrow corridors - THIS IS A NIGHTMARE

b) Statically - map creators will put flags in choke points on maps themselves - This is really easy but is A LOT OF work because each map or map section has to be revisited and now tagged with this choke point. Either way that's a lot of work.


Just going with the squad tactic you mentioned,


1) Shield lancers providing a front line with gunners behind them

a) First we must identify that here are x amount of shield lancers in the vicinity, let's make it 2. So if two or more shield lancers are in a given proximity they will group up to make something akin of a spartan shield wall formation


b) Now that we identified they are nearby, we need to position them. This isn't easy because of terrain nightmares. We can't just make a wall because what if one member of the wall reaches an obstruction? Now we must write code that syncs their movment properly - really hard mate. You have to do some magic pathfinding and this problems scales with each additional lancer in the wall. At 4 walls if this is a dynamic system (which is ideal) this eats up computation. You may as well run monte-carlo to find the optimal path for these guys.


c) You want all the shield lancers facing the same way - but players move fast and can easily jump over them - this is a nightmare to deal with


d) Now that we have established this wall you want other attacking units to actually stand behind them, not to the side, not in front of them, but behind them.



I'll just stop here. To do this dynamically you're looking for an incredible computational resource just to have all of this done. Writing AI is hard, newsflash every @(*()$ game has a dumb AI. EVERY GAME!!!!!!!!!!!! The solution people come up with is giving the AI cheats. They give them abilities beyond what a player can do, or they give them cheap shots (knockdowns/grapples). They give them OP abilities to compensate for their stupidity - helion auto-aim missile launcher.



Your idea about a beter AI utilising squad tactics is great, but it is extremely hard to do well. There's a reason why every game's AI is just bad, because good AI is a huge CPU hog. I have personally tried writing squad tactics for about 100 enemies on screen, MY god it crippled the computers. I'm not a fancy programmer by any means, it's a hobby for me, and I'm sure DE devs are 1000000 times better at it than I am. But dynamically smart AI is not easy, video games have been around for 30 years now and to this day no one has managed to make good on the AI problem. In fact it is one of the modern video game progression thingies.


Before it used to be just graphics let's face it. Games got better graphics, but that's about it. Better graphics and 3D environments allowed for more interesting gameplay. More recently now that the graphics are at a point where we don't really care to make them much better looking, video games are moving towards better physics. Realistic physics and world simulations. Only after this physics stuff is done, will game developers finally move to the hardest challenge of all. Making a good AI, that doesn't utilize cheap shots or overpowered abilities, but attempts to outsmart its opponent.


Bottom line, you're asking too much here.

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