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Too Much Too Soon: (Long) Response To "update 15: Malaise And Cure"


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This is transfered from the Wiki in the hope of catching a few more eyes, and possibly being brought to DE's attention.  If you want to make a comment, I'd be more likely to see it and respond on the wiki.  Many points have been made on there as well; I'll transfer a few along with my responses to illustrate.


In response to Fadeinlight's "Update 15: Malaise and Cure".

"There was a moment in Devstream #39 (?) where the developers where asked if they felt that they'd made any mistakes in the past, and what they had learned (to paraphrase).  Their answer was that they regretted giving too much too soon--in other words, they probably felt that the mods that were made available were powerful enough that there was little to look forward to.  The implication was that it was better to give items and mods that were too weak, because any change would be an improvement over what the player already had--players will almost always be happy to receive that change, as opposed to a nerf.  I think that sentiment goes a long way towards explaining a lot of things in Update 15:  in particular, the anemic benefits that come with most of the Archwing mods, and the Syndicate mods as well. "


The Syndicate mods are rather unimpressive.  But this is nothing new.  I want you to look through all of your mods and see the numerous mods you will never use.  How many of you use Diamond Skin?  Maglev?  Intruder?  Provoked?  Reflex Guard?  Warm Coat?  These will be on no-one's build suggestion list.  They are extremely niche at best and necessitate the removal of one of the handful of mods used all the time.


Adding more mods to the small handful that's actually used isn't the answer to the problem.  The problem is that DE has made no real attempt to balance the usefulness of the mods at all, resulting in four mods most warframes will always use (Redirection, Flow, Streamline, Intesify) and then maybe four others used left often (Vitality, Vigor, Marathon, Continuity).  Not counting the corrupted mods.


This is the problem I have with DE.  They've dug themselves into a pit by doing just what they said--  Giving players too much too fast.  What angers me the most is that their attempt to fix this is by throwing more insignificant stuff into the pool as if that will change it.  The problem is that there is a pool of worthless content.  Crappy weapons nobody uses and similar mods filling up most of it.  Adding to that pile is NOT the answer.  Go back and actually change stuff to make it worth using, instead of hoping you can add more shiny stuff to please the players like they're a bunch of toddlers.


Their most recent large updates really bother me with this.  U14 had The Liset--  A giant update that took a lot of time to do...  But was almost entirely cosmetic.  It was, in essence, a big User Interface update.  It gave you a ship to wander around it, added some fancy new animations to accessing menus, made each menu its own little station...  But ultimately did nearly nothing to the core gameplay of the game.  That is, playing missions and fighting.  Sure, the update added some other nice things, which although I was not the biggest fan of, were most certainly content updates (Mirage and two weapons) but the meat, the bread-and-butter, the thing they had a whole week-long teaser for, was a giant UI update.  Yawn.


Kubrow, however poorly implemented (the expensive upkeep and having to rely on the RNG for eggs bothered a lot of people on the forums, among other things), were a solid idea as to how to improve the game.  It added something new that you could spend a lot of time on (actual play time, not just waiting) once it hatched and matured, and most importantly affected the main gameplay.  By growing and ranking a Kubrow, you got something that you could use through the entire game.


Then U15 happens.  I come back after a month or two of not playing, hoping the disgruntled mood I found myself in with the development would just go away after I calmed down.  I see even more UI improvement (not a bad thing, on its own) and a big new update with a new game mode...  And very little rebalancing.  The Archwing stuff is cool (though navigating is frustrating, and I find it difficult to tell where enemies are) but irrelevant to most of the gameplay.


It's one level on each planet, from what I can tell, but the rewards and experience you get are either nothing you can't get at least as easily elsewhere, or it's rewards exclusively useful for more Archwing stuff.  Some of the stats of my Warframe matter (I only ever use my Frost when I do Archwing) but I'm not using powers, so caster frames are mostly worthless.  I don't use any of my normal equipment, so my weapons and mods are all useless too.  The game mode is decently fun, but...  Why should I work to essentially build a new character from scratch when I have the rest of the solar system, void keys, derelict keys, and even conclave to do that are all related to the effort I've put in to tune and rank my frames and weapons?


My point is, DE keeps adding irrelevant things to the game.  If the game has a problem, which it does, you do not solve the problem by trying to bury it in a pile of drivel.  New mods no one will use, more weapons added to the pile that aren't better than the Soma or whatever crazy strong weapons are considered top-tier, more game modes that add nothing to the parts of the game people spend hours and hours on...


I may not sound like it, but I really like Warframe.  Why else would I spend time writing all this if I didn't care?  I'm majorly invested in this game.  I've spent hours playing it, and try to follow every patch and update and hotfix as it comes out.  The reason why I'm so bothered by all of this is because it seems like a terrible path that could spell doom for the game, and I don't want to see that.  I don't want it to get so extreme as to be that each new update seems bland and uninteresting because it continues to introduce things that are so minor as to be never used.  But!  I certainly do not want to see the opposite happen, where each new update trumps the last, making older content become more and more obsolete until it feels like it's questionable to put much effort into something, lest it be replaced by something better in every way in a few weeks.


It's not an easy problem to solve, and every game made these days struggles with trying to balance updates while adding more content.  I just know that what DE is doing right now, is not the answer.  They are trying to recover from giving too much too soon by giving too little too late.  In my mind, the answer requires, yes, going back and changing some established content.  It may mean nerfs!  The community has to accept that.  But it also may mean buffs to some of the otherwise ignored content.


I'm no game designer.  I'm just speaking from what I've experienced from games I've played and what I know of the history of the videogame industry.  However, if I were to make a suggestion, a way to make some of the "less impressive" content relevant would be this:  For mods, give frames another layer of mods.  Maybe three or four slots, not too many, that can only be filled with "minor" mods.  These would be things like Maglev or Insulation or Undying Will.  Very niche things that will not have a major impact on gameplay.  Could there be powerful implications on some frames?  Perhaps, but they'd require specific builds and would likely only effective against a single aspect of the game.  For weapons, they really need to do a whole rebalance.  They seem to be working towards this...  Taking many less impressive weapons and boosting their power.  This is fine, as long as they 1) reach a stopping point and don't just buff everything to infinity, and 2) also make sure the enemies stay challenging after making every weapon more powerful.  If the end result is just making every weapon blow enemies aside like paper dolls, that's no good.  But it'd be better than it is now, where there's a minority of the weapons used regularly to do that, while the blueprints for the rest sit around catching dust in the Market.



(by Heptimus)

"I think you do have a few points here and there, but some of it also feels wrong. IMO, the Archwing stuff is mostly great. Sure, it needs some polishing and balancing, but it's a whole new arena to grind on. The main problem is caster frames being near useless compared to tanks, but some map Upgrades (3D map) would be nice too.


I Guess the Liset will play a bigger role in the future, and as you said "giving too much too soon" is not the best idea. Therefore they waited a bit With the hubs to finish them, instead of just throwing them out there so the Liset will actually fulfill a role (other than updated UI).


The Kubrow is more expensive to upkeep for a reason, as they have much more HP and Shields than a sentinel, and deals much more damage (if you compare a fully modded sentinel and a fully modded kubrow). I agree that the eggs have a bit too low drop chance, but so does a lot of other thing in this game.


For the mods, I do not believe adding 3-4 new slots reserved for niche is the best option. The thing about our current mod system is that you can specialize towards something, or just be like a "Jack of all trades". If you give many mod slots for mods like Diamond Skin, Marathon, Rush, Maglev, Intuder etc. you will kind of ruin that "specialization", as everyone will carry most of these mods at all times. This will again lead to underpowered enemies (Detron Crewman does no damage because of Diamond Skin, Napalms and Schorches deals no dmg. because of Flame Repellent) and more crying from the community. As you mentioned, buffing these mods is probably the best solution. The other solution is to heavily increase the number of certain enemies on the expense of others (enemies with elemental damage like napalms, detron crewmen etc.) Some mods however, like Provoked, just feels useless to me. Why would you want to make a build where you concentrate on getting downed to do damage instead of just making a normal build to stay alive and be usefull?


I'm also starting to feel the powercreep. Opticor deals S#&$tons of damage, you almost don't have to mod it with anything else than firerate and reload speed. Still it shreks lvl 25 enemies, where even a Boltor Prime (not too well modded) starts to meet some resistance"


I'm very willing to give the Archwing stuff time to grow since it's very, very new.  What's there is fun, but I'm already feeling a bit bummed by the limited selection.  Also, I have so much difficulty shooting moving targets that most of the time I'm just dashing around meleeing stuff.  Which doesn't get me wrong, looks totally badass and is fun, but get repetitive very fast.  Maybe it's different on other mission types; I have mainly been doing Earth Interception.


The other person who responded did a good job of explaining my feelings on the mods as you brought up.  There's already a severe lack of specialization from what I've seen because of the First Order Optimal Strategies present in the modding system.  You absolutely need to mod for shields and/or health, then the rest of your points is often spent on ability-related mods--  After all, often before all other reasons, the abilities are why you've picked the frame, and so they receive a heavy focus.  My suggestion actually is for adding a level of specialization without a total revamp of the system (which could work, but would also require a huge amount of effort) by giving the usual space for the "core" mods that boost your overall power level, and then a small extra space for the smaller things that really allow you that specialization.  If we consider Marathon and Rush as "side-mods", then someone with Marathon, Rush, Maglev, and Quick Rest has a clear added specialization, and would be very different from someone who spent those slots on Reflection, Sure-Footed, Fortitude, and Handspring.


Also, the number of enemies who deal elemental damage is fairly small, to be honest.  Detron Crewmen being half as effective won't be a huge deal, which is why Diamond Skin is not often used.  Scorches and Napalms are a bigger deal, but I don't think it will cause a huge issue.  And the Toxic resistance is actually the least effective, despite being arguably one of the most useful and being encountered most often.  It would have an effect though, and I'd suggest a slight scaling in enemy power levels to match.  Nothing big, but a small amount so people might really feel like the elemental resistances are a good choice.  I want the specialization to come up.  The guy who's got a loadout to fight Grineer with knockdown resistance and fire resistance should feel like he's in his element, and the person who's all about speed and stamina should feel like they're the master of mobility.


These would allow a more noticable difference between players using the same frame, too, beyond their weapon loadout or specific play style.



(by Anonymous)

"Frames need mod slots split into two groups, one for power/energy related mods, and another for defensive mods like Maglev, Vitality, Redirection, etc. Add more slots for the defensive mods and you'll begin to see people use things like Marathon.


I will disagree with your assement that Syndicate mods are poor; the weapon mods from Cephalon Suda and Red Veil are extremely overpowered. I honestly feel bad for anyone who's dedicated time to other Syndicates unless they absolutely had to have a specific Warframe mod from them."


I admit I didn't really look into the Syndicate weapon mods, since they require weapons that I won't ever use.  If the mods end up being honestly that impressive I might, which is a big deal, if they are worthwhile enough to make me use a weapon that's otherwise a bit lame.  Mainly I was thinking of the power mods.  Some I'll use, but more for cool points than effectiveness.  Again it comes down to "I'd have to sacrifice a much more useful mod to make room".

I've always wanted an excuse to use a Burston Prime.  I know it's not a terrible weapon, but I have weapons arguably just always better to use.  If Gilded Truth is good, it could be fun to use it on my tank-built Frost to give him a solid (hopefully) way to regain health.

Edited by EllieGray
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Great post. I absolutely agree with you when you say give warframes more mod slots for "minor" mods. I always felt like some of these things (movement speed, slide, hacking terminals, etc...) should be customizable/upgradeable in other ways, not by taking up precious mod slots used for actual power progression. I didn't know how they could possibly do this because they already gave us the ability to customize our frames and weapons (we just choose not to use these more niche mods), but the more minor stuff I definitely think should have their own slots after you mention it.


I don't think simply buffing them, even if it's by a lot, will get people to sacrifice one of their slots to use something like fire resistance because that's a very specific thing. Maybe if there's a mission where everything deals fire damage people would gear up for it by using that mod, but it would likely not be used  anywhere else despite maybe running into napalms and scorchers. All the mods we typically have on our frame are necessary and we can't afford to replace them with something similar to a novelty item.


Splitting it into defensive and offensive mods like someone else mentioned might also be the way to go.

Edited by Seraphyx
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I agree. 

But more mod slots isnt a good solution. First we need to rebalance enemies. It would be AWESOME If enemies also used MODS! Just like we are! Same amount of slots! We will be equal statwise...kinda. And on higher lvls they really should get smarter (Use more abilities and unexpected tactics like gathering and throwing grenades simultaneously....Or making a "turtle" of shield lancers to get close. Corpus guys should be able to repair moas. And there must be less "living" Corpus than robotics.

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My solution to the niche mods would be to add additional weaker version effects of the regularly used mods. For example, Flame Repellent could be a combo of health and fire resistance. Diamond Skin could be a hybrid between Flow and radiation resistance. Optimally speaking though, I would love to just specialize rather than hybridizing all niche mods but it seriously needs a lot of work to do to make it all work properly. One additional idea that came into my mind now is that should there be damage reduction mods to specific sort of physical damage? Tanks could be rally tanky and casters could then less focus on shield and health mods.

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My solution to the niche mods would be to add additional weaker version effects of the regularly used mods. For example, Flame Repellent could be a combo of health and fire resistance. Diamond Skin could be a hybrid between Flow and radiation resistance.


This wouldn't fix anything. People would be using whatever hybrid mod came with Streamline, Stretch, Continuity, or Intensify, rather than using it for the minor mod itself.


There absolutely needs to be slots dedicated to mods not affecting power or energy. I'd say strip two from the current set (sorry glass cannon players) and return the two removed with Ability 2.0. Make those four "Minor" (including Redirection and Vigor) mods only, and the remaining six for Power, Energy and the Syndicate Power-altering mods. This would heavily affect a lot of my builds, as well as anyone playing a glass-cannon-like build, but it honestly needs to be done, otherwise over half of Warframe mods will continue to be unused, and players will continue to use nonsensically powered-up CC abilities.

Slightly off-topic, but mods like Serration, Hornet Strike, and Pressure Point need to be tossed out too. Every single build includes them, they add nothing to the game, and they stifle specialization. Weapons should increase damage with their level.This bonus, along with Warframe's abilities, should not be lowered to 1 when a forma is applied.

Edited by CHunterX
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