Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

MechaKnight

Warframe Development: Difficulty Expansion

Recommended Posts

In one of the other threads, I came up with a motivating solution to the lack of challenge and endgame in Warframe. Here's one of my earlier posts. Let's expand upon the idea.

 

In various threads, players show lack of motivation to play due to lack of challenge and endgame in Warframe. Earlier I decided to put together some difficulty mode ideas with reward persistent reward incentive to play. Below are a few draft suggestions to implement difficulty into the game in exchange for reward mechanics.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Draft Concept 01: Gate Crash Scaling

 

 

The Short Story for those who don't like to read.

 

Add difficulty settings. The challenge: lower our limits Gate Crash style! Make the risk and limits worthwhile in the long run to players who are always playing and have every mod and weapon ever released.

 

I think I've found the solution. With it comes a story and very simple points.

 

To begin, Warframe is still in beta.

 

What does that mean? It's incomplete. What is an incomplete game? What is a game?

 

A video game is a piece of interactive media designed to entertain us. It begins with a blank page of script and evolves into heaps and heaps of said scripts. In the beginning, it is limitless. The code can do anything, as can the world and models in it. Attempt to implement a player character (probably a literal box in an XYZ plane), and attempt to move it. Congrats, you can move in all direction with no gravity!

 

Later with more refinement, our characters have bodies. We can walk around in the world, but then we find  hole in the map. We fall and... do NOT die. There's no HP yet. We can't die.

 

We then add the limitation of HP. Now we can die. But we don't have health rejuvenating pickups yet. So we add a feature. Now we have HP orbs with refill our health. We still don't want to take health damage so quickly however, so then we add shields. It's another feature that also has limitations. Shields regenerate but the rate at which they do and delay with which they do are limitations. Now we're getting somewhere.

 

What is a superhero movie game if the hero has zero villains and is perfectly safe in a perfect world? We add bad guys. Now there are obstacles. The experience is shaping up. Most games have some shape of this form. However, gameplay as is possible, we need goals.

 

Equipment can be earned. This is a goal. The goal is in the earning portion of it. I mean, what's a goal if it was instantly granted to you? What's a superhero movie if he just wished it done and it was so? It wouldn't be an adventure. It'd be a passing scene.

 

Well, it would be rather cheap if the hero just snapped his fingers to get what they want. Except we do that with our abilities quite often. Now, the only obstacle is fate. It's Random number gambles. Sure, it's okay to have an obstacle to make the goal more satisfying, but gambling and losing to forces you can't control always feels bad.

 

As of currently, we're heroes who fight against an enemy that can't be defeated. RNG is limitless, except for when it chooses to yield to us and grants us what we want. We are also nearly limitless in gameplay, which by what developers think, needs to be challenged. It just feels painful to know the challenge they give us is RNG. They are right to challenge us, but  we would not like RNG to greater extents. See, we keep getting more powerful with every content expansion, and our goals need to be hidden behind an obstacle. Because of our nearly limitless power, we need a foe this power can't touch. Hence RNG and it's prevalence.

 

Have there been games that once had no obstacles? Many, especially in beta phase. Beta phase is a test area where we want people to test things. However, in order to allow them to test adequately in a quick enough time, they need to be granted resources ahead of schedule. It wouldn't be right to keep getting broken, untested content because our testers had to fight the same obstacles we do in normal gameplay. They are granted it without limitation. This is not a game, this is testing. At least, it's partly a game, and partly testing. This game is in beta, and while we have some limits, we don't have anywhere near the full limits we will have on release.

 

Now I know how irritated people become, but it's the truth. Limitations will be here on release, that's a given. However, what strategies did other game developers use to expand upon unfinished games?

 

Minecraft was a good example. It's gone so far it's intimidating to remember what it was, and you can compare an early in-development build on their website at one point. It was limitless and boring, with no goals or obstacles. it was a sandbox. It did not remain a sandbox completely.

The game expanded to evolve from a live-action test to a possible game with obstacles and goals. Minecraft even has an end, although it's pretty weird.

 

Challenge was added with survival mode. Later, it was given further challenge with all kinds of other things as time went on, like more human survival limitations, difficulty settings, goals behind obstacles. As time went on, various features were added. However... it also preserved something like a sandbox. There was a cop-out for challenge that could be enjoyed with almost no reward. Creative mode.You can fly around (coptering) with unlimited resources (we have gained many), with no limitations to do anything we wanted. In this game, one can say we've broken and shattered our limitations with the power spam we are capable of producing using corrupted and primed mods. Our abilities are far more tremendously effective than they were in closed beta. With the mods we have now, we have crushed our limits. We can easily overcome any obstacle. Only RNG is an obstacle. After that, we earn our goal.

 

There are alternatives. Some games show valid paths for the future of Warframe. So I've given Minecraft as an example of what an empty creation can expand into. It has gone through a crazy amount of stages, like in-dev, infinite-dev, alpha, beta, and too many beta iterations to count. Challenge has been added but there was one little bastion preserved just to be limitless. Then again, remember said game mode had no reward or purpose other than to showcase the game.

 

We understand there's a problem: Warframe is resembling less of a game and more of a showcase display. This is normal because we're in beta.

 

We are in beta. There are ways to expand this showcase into a game. The most valid one...

 

 


I've been keeping an eye on this thread for a while, and I must admit. I do feel changes are needed in warframe to enrich our experiences here.

 

When I first played this game, way back over a year ago, with the old star chart, UI, etc. In my FIRST mission. I stealthed, and took things at a slow pace. I enjoyed it. I LOVED it. Save for the fact that I was playing solo and I had to be more cautious, I still loved the experience of getting through areas through my own understanding of the game. To me, this was fun. Overcoming a challenge, was fun.

 

and this is where things get.. complicated.

 

What. IS. Fun?

 

Fun for me? Well. Fun for me is going on a mass killing spree. NOT a press nuke to kill everything in the vicinity kind of mass killing spree, but a stealthy, assassin like kill spree, where I enjoy running around with melee in hand, bow in back, and silently taking enemies down, throwing a smokescreen to avoid inevitable detection (because 7 grineer in a tight hallway is so fair for stealth).

 

Fun for me, is being challenge as a PLAYER, which is why I enjoy things like.. Dark Souls. Not everyone likes the difficulty of the game, or how punishing it was, but I actually LOVED, that there was actually a game out there, that had some pretty challenging elements to it. Fun for me, maybe not too much fun for the next guy.

 

So that brings us to the next part of the question. What is, your version of Fun?

 

It could be.. being an overpowered demi-god ninja in space spamming that nuclear ability. It could be overcoming challenges too great to be completed by the average player. It could even be as simple as just chilling out in region chat, or even the new Relays and just socializing.

 

What could be fun for me, probably wont be fun for everyone, and that is a difficult thing to not only grasp, but to program into a game.

 

There are many 'flavors' of fun that can be seen in Warframe, but if we're going to see all of them become accessible, to us, it's going to take a very long time.

 

 

Now, I've been giving some of my own thought how we could possibly add in more difficulty, or flavor into the game, WITHOUT even changing the current warframe, and then it hit me. There was a specific series that, I loved to play years ago, and yet another game that I recently played that had the same feature.

 

Halo, and Sanctum.

 

Now, what did these two had in common? The ability to change the difficulty of the game, NOT ONLY, through the difficulty setting, but by adding in Skulls/Feats of strength.

 

By enabling these, the game would change entirely.

 

No Hud. Stronger enemies, heal and recover shields only when you melee. That kind of difficulty.

 

This would bring the option for more difficult gameplay, something that could be enable and disabled before entering a match. We could call these, Lotus marks, or Feats of Tenno, I don't know, horrible at making names, but you get the idea.

 

This image comes to mind, which can also be found on DevStream 43:

 

Warframe_select_dificulty_Vega.png

 

Imagine the ability to customize our matches to match our own liking of difficulty. Making matches harder could prove to.. increase drop rate? Increase affinity gained? Make rares drop more frequently. There are many options that could possibly await us.

 

It could even be possible to add in those diminishing returns to powers that MechaKnight had previously mentioned, which, I do think is a great idea. I was going to post a similar idea, since it revolved around the same concept in another game. Other abilities become stronger than others depending on play style, rewarding players for using more skill diversity instead of mindlessly droning away at ult ult ult.

 

 

We could essentially keep the warframe we have now, as the 'normal' mode of the game, and yet, be able to tweak it to our own difficulty curve through difficulty settings and Feats of Tenno/Lotus marks.

 

The way I see it, like this, we'd have our cake, and we could eat it too, without bickering about how that guys cake looks better than mine, because we all have our own flavor of cake.

 

 

The difficulty setting.

 

The difficulty setting will give us the challenge we want. It will give us a greater obstacle, but it should also come with additional limitations and goals.

 

Let's talk about limitations. So players don't want them in the base game, but the game is expanding. When a game is expanded, limitations are added. It is added to give us an obstacle.

 

The relationship is becoming clear. Rectangles are squares, but squares are not always rectangles. Limitations are obstacles, but obstacles are not limitations. Or rather, the obstacle has a limitation built into it.

 

So... how does one make an obstacle into a limitation?

Nullifiers.

 

These nullifiers are enemies which emit a shield which acts as a limitation to our problem-solving capacity. This shield blocks our bullets, and all things within it are guarded from our abilities. This obstacle is emitting a limitation, and is therefore emulating one. However, once we solve the obstacle, we remove the limitation.

 

This is a major problem in the long run. If obstacles are posing as limitations, we will eventually shed our limitations as we destroy obstacles. Limitations are forever, but obstacles are fleeting. We bypass obstacles, but limitations are something that is inherent to all we do. Gravity is a limit. The need to eat is a limit. Our movement speed.... or is it. I mean, if we drive a car, we move faster. If we copter in this game, we move faster. Limits are there, but can be extended. At least, the limitation is no longer in our legs, it's in the car. Or in whatever weapon speed and animation inertia you can generate to copter successfully. Or wall vault.

 

When we gained corrupted mods, we extended a limit. Our maximum efficiency, range, strength, duration. We extended all of our limits. However, when we did that, we flattened our obstacles to nearly nothing. That's quite pointless. A hero with no obstacles. If we could instantly bypass RNG, we have no goals. So if we have no goals, we have no game.

 

Warframe's decline may be in the fact that without limitations, we have no obstacles, and therefore no goals. Other games have expanded however.

 

I remember Digital Extremes mention on a devstream another game for its internal systems. Vindictus. Although it was a hard game, I was motivated to reach the then level cap of level 80. I experienced most of its content, obstacles, limitations, and goals. Difficulty setting was probably the most important feature. How? It provided different obstacles, different limitation, and different goals.

 

So what does this mean, piece by piece? For example, that game had three difficulty settings per mission: easy, normal, and hard (hero). Depending on the difficulty setting, the resources and items that dropped varied. Resources and items are goals. In higher modes, there were many special enemies with different behaviors--they were nearly identical to our eximus enemies. However, because our power in Warframe is nearly limitless, eximus enemies failed to really make an impact at all. At least, due to corrupted mods and our expanded limitations.

 

Every game has limitations to a degree, but some are worth investigating more than others. In Vindictus, enemies moved faster and hit much harder as the game went on. In warframe, they don't move faster but they do hit harder. Still, what works for one game is not enough. The limitations in Vindictus were stamina, movement in travel and dodging, and ability energy meter and cost. The abilities were quite limited.

 

You would say Warframe has these elements as well, but it mostly no longer does. Stamina 2.0 was extremely short-lived. Coptering has trivialized movement and tilesets, hence why the developers wanted to get rid of it at some point. Our possible efficiency has trivialized energy limitations. We no longer care since everything costs one energy orb or fewer, and they are everywhere. Our abilities are too effective for their own good, the entire game is now trivialized.

 

However, there is a solution: difficulty setting.

 

We need a legitimate difficulty setting. Scaling enemies to become lethal adamantine walls isn't a fun way to create a stronger obstacle. Additionally, the obstacles created by scaling don't feel rewarding. That's the major problem right there. What we need is difficulty settings independent of scaling. We need selectable difficulty.

 

This was emulated once before, but quite poorly. It was implemented in the form of various levels of void tower key. We have Tower keys 1, 2, 3, and now 4. The reason why this difficulty setting was not appreciated was because it imposed no new limits.

 

We need a difficulty setting that is optional which imposes more limits in exchange for significantly greater reward. Let's face it, survival in Minecraft isn't for everyone. Hero mode in Vindictus isn't for everyone. Apparently, not have power spam 24/7 all the time isn't for everyone. Make challenge for those who want and deserve it, but reward them for it.

 

You may think back, didn't DE want a hardcore mode? The idea wasn't stated correctly. The only challenge behind hardcore mode was in the loss of your gear permanently, but it did not actually lower our limits to a respectable level. It was a pseudo-challenge. There is no challenge in losing gear, unless you think RNG is a worthy challenge.

 

RNG is not a worthy challenge. Stop suggesting it. Hardcore mode as it was suggested wasn't well conceived. Losing that piece of gear only means you have to grind RNG to get it back. Grinding is not a satisfying thing. RNG is not a satisfying obstacle. What we need is legitimate challenge, and the only way is through optional limitations with significant cause.

 

Hold on, doesn't dynamic enemy scaling make our power less potent, to give us greater challenge? Yes, but it's not rewarding.

There's a major problem with enemy scaling, and it's easily seen in how people treat void keys. If it wasn't for the RNG required to gain void keys, we would not honor infinite scaling as much as we do. Our only obstacle is RNG. The key itself was gained through RNG. When we get into the orokin void towers, we battle more RNG. We only worship infinite scaling because it allows us more chances to reroll RNG. The experience itself is not rewarding, only the prize rolls.

 

The rewards we want--our goal--is hidden behind RNG--our obstacle. Perhaps we would have fewer obstacles if we had greater limitations. Creating obstacles with attached limitations--nullifiers--only works until we kill the obstacle. Our limitations are not there in the current state of mods and powers, and we don't want limits unless we get rewards. We deserve a suitable goal for our limitation.

 

Here is what I propose: A difficulty system with limitations and rewards, along with enhanced obstacles.

Now, let's imagine a parallel universe in development of Warframe: what if we always had difficulty settings, and nullifiers only appeared in hard mode? Well, you'd avoid hard mode. But what if hard mode dropped blueprints, materials, and mods not found elsewhere? Vindictus did that. You'd want to play it.

 

Let's refine further. So we expect different enemies in hard mode. Both literally new enemies, and those familiar variants that eximus provide us. In Warframe as in Vindictus, enemies did drop unique enhancements. Mods here, scrolls there. However, we could also do with a boss enemy with different mechanics. I mean, look at MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV. Bosses can have unique mechanics. Additionally, selecting a different difficulty mode would make the boss battle gain additional mechanics. Translated to this game... do you remember Corrupted Captain Vor on release? He used to perform a very potent thunderstorm around himself that remained for prolonged period of time on the field. It was quite deadly. Normal mode would treat him just the same. Hard mode would bring this mechanic back.

 

Also, stage hazards. Let's bring those back. Do you remember broken lights on grineer ships? Do not tantrum out, try to remember them for their concept. They were pretty damn cool even if intensely deadly and stealthy. Now, we have arc traps. In easy mode, there are no traps. In normal mode, arc traps exist. In hard mode, the broken lights come back.

 

We failed at it already, but it's not too late. Nightmare mode was this promise. Literally nobody plays it except desperate new players who can't wait for the nightmare mode alert which gives you a specific mod. We run it like any other mission except with extreme caution. Nightmare would have been enough, but it's not rewarding in the long run besides filling your mod kit once. Additionally, we still have nearly no limits on powers, so guess what we do? Smash it with powers.

 

It's a recurring pattern, we simply have no limits. At least, we really expanded them to be severely thinned out thanks to corrupt mods. However, I have an excuse to keep them in game with my new proposal.

 

Add difficulty settings. The challenge: lower our limits Gate Crash style! Make the risk and limits worthwhile in the long run to players who are always playing and have every mod and weapon ever released.

 

This is a big thing. Huge. We need a way for our old players to feel challenged. We need limitations imposed on us to stop breaking the game. It should be optional, but it should be totally worthwhile for everyone who chooses it to be. We need it so old players can play alongside new players for a reason. We need a reason to revisit early planets like Mercury and Venus. We need it so we have a reason to be endlessly powerful.

 

It needs rewards though. Rewards for the new and old to keep us coming and keep the system alive. We need special blueprints, miscellaneous rewards like syandanas and attachments, we need increased collection of syndicate points, experience points, resources, mods, fusion cores. We could multiply every fusion core found.

 

I mean it. This system needs huge rewards. If we are going to limit ourselves it needs to be worthwhile. Best of all: it tones down the grind... kinda. I mean, technically all of the grind is RNG but some of it is generous and continuous in ways that feel guarantied and normal. Picking up resources and such. I'm surprised for this long, fusion cores have not been treated as a resource. The difficulty settings could aid this tremendously. A reason to play and tone down the grind. Also: increased prize-pool luck on end-mission prize tables and the prize tables in infinite content. Better prizes for cycles A, B, and C. The prizes have to be separated into common, uncommon, rare, and legendary, but overall...

 

This difficulty selection could be the key to solving drop-table dilution. Really. It was a strategy meta players had in Vindictus, it can work here. You are already looking for mods from specific enemies, some of which are found more commonly in lower levels. However, what if we could determine which mods were dropped from these enemies more frequently, which blueprint/part dropped from a boss mission, and which prize dropped out of a void prize table rotation. Clearly, common parts drop from easier content, and rare or legendary parts drop from hard content. You can scale yourself down to get rare and legendary content if you're strong enough. You can stay at low difficulty and stay strong to get those more common drops, or not play with difficulty.

 

Remember: it has rewards, but it needs to have limits in exchange. It's the reason "press 4 to win" is killing this game. It's the reason this thread exists. We've broken our limits, and the entire game is rendered trivially useless because of it. The only obstacle is RNG and it hurts. If we expand gameplay with difficulty settings, we trade easy-mode for a better game. That's the best way to say it, and it's an awesome prospect. Less rep farming, less void grinding. Less boss farming to assemble the Miter. A chance at cool and interesting prizes. An easier time ranking up mods, and an easier time ranking up that newly forma'ed weapon you're dragging around but not using because you're just leveling it. We need a difficulty system that imposes limits on our abilities in exchange for a better game. And it will be epic.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Expanded Feedback Sections

 

01

 

 

Remember that this solution, in your mind, may be the way to make the game "epic", but its not for everyone. I feel we don't need something like that, but you do. If it was optional, sure, then people can go die hard style for all I care. It's when you force that on me that I start getting ticked off. Our difficulty and rewards system comes from the progression of the Star Map and the Hell we have to endure in Void missions, especially T4. If you lock rewards behind whatever Gate Crash system you surmised, in other words moved rewards from the void to there, you're forcing it on to players to play that way. That isn't how it should be. If it were optional, sure, go for it. If not, hell no.

 

It's completely optional. Playing on a higher difficulty would simply grant rarer rewards, more XP/syndicate reputation, more materials, more fusion cores. It can also do things like create new missions/scenarios if everyone in the squad was marked for high difficulty when they started the mission. The void rewards would be on the same list as they are now, but players on higher difficulty influence the drop chance/survival+defense rotation chance to spawn rare rewards more often than before. You can still get the same rewards, but you will only benefit from greater drop chance if a player in the squad was marked for more difficulty. You get even more prize chance for rare prizes if more players are marked, and even more for higher difficulty. Players who play on low difficulty forever will always get the chance to get rare drops. Player on high difficulty simply have a higher chance, and in general get more rewards regardless of what mission type it was, because the rewards of materials, fusion cores, XP, and syndicate reputation are multiplied upon completion.

 

It makes the game better for everyone. Players who like to spam powers do not lose any of their ability. Players who want to be more fair within the game in turn have the game be more fair to them. All players can get all rewards, but those playing with more difficulty get a better chance at them. Also, hidden rewards like special blueprints, bosses, and aesthetics to be found while playing with difficulty.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

This I can get behind.

 

In terms of theorycrafting the concepts of limitations, obstacles, and rewards, though...  I'm almost sure this can be put into a mathematic equation.

 

Perhaps...  Limitation +/x Obstacles = Challenge

 

Challenge + Reward = Felt Value; if Challenge increases but Reward is constant, Felt Value decreases

 

If limitations stay the same, and obstacles are increased, there is greater challenge.  If both obstacles and limitation increases, challenge increases massively, too.  Whether limitation and obstacle should be additive or multiplicative, I'm not entirely sure.

 

If a greater challenge is met with a greater reward, there is greater felt value.

 

So, at the moment, vault runs have no limitation beyond a slightly hindering Dragon Key, of which the obstacles aren't any greater.  Thus, challenge is not much more than normal missions.  Only other obstacle is finding that vault.  At the end of the mission, if RNG isn't favorable, the Felt Value is worse than if RNG gives a valuable reward.  Thus, for the Challenge, vault runs feel grindy and boring (if the game play isn't enjoyed).

 

Nightmare mode: increased limitations (though, low grav, health vampire, energy drain, nor lethal exploding barrels are really that heavy of limitations) along with increased obstacles (in the form of just higher level, greater damage enemies, which is a bit dry), does not make much of a challenge, especially to players that can revert to just using good gaming marksmanship.  The challenge isn't always greater than regular missions, and the reward is behind RNG, of which even if RNG is favorable, the Felt Value isn't as high as it could be.  At the same time, if the challenge is constant, but RNG isn't favorable, Felt Value can be worse than that of playing a normal mission.

 

If we were introduced to a way to set increased limitations for any mission we're playing (where the limitations were on warframe powers and perhaps the way some weapons handle, like slower melee swing speed, lower fire rate, or higher reload time) and increased obstacles (given that the obstacle increase wasn't just higher level enemies, but enemies with creative and unique mechanics, such as immunity to CC or nukes), and was met with definite rewards not hidden behind an RNG wall, the equations basically point to a much greater Felt Value each time the game mode is run (such as increased credit and resource drops, increased affinity gain, and with completion of the mission given mini-objectives, getting a specific guaranteed reward, much like getting a Force vs Cosmic Specter in rescue missions).

 

This I am entirely for.  It doesn't change normal game play, and gives veterans and other players the option to easily play any mission in a way that increases challenge and maybe even emphasizes teamwork.  In fact, I would LOVE to see something like that.  It takes the best parts of some of the other missions, like Dark Sectors and Rescue, and puts them into one package as an option.  In fact, I have been kinda waiting for another even like Gate Crash, but maybe even increases the limitation of weapon handling...or even the limitation of increased gravity.

 

What's even better with this idea is that it takes things the developers have already implemented.  It's optional, can be entirely implemented, and would challenge players to change the way they play the game for unique rewards...perhaps rewards that can be traded with additional value for those that risked the limitations and obstacles...for a reward that does not decrease Felt Value at any point due to RNG.  Corrupted mods and Nightmare mods kind of have this value, but the Felt Reward isn't there.  And if some of the rewards are trade-able, people who don't want to run those missions can still get those items of value, just like it currently is with vault and nightmare.

 

Psh, if there's a petition on something like that, I'll put my name on it.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Sounds interesting. Depends on what they come out with if they make a hardcore mode. Special blueprints?

Yes. Like an epic level Captain Vor who drops a variation of Seeker worth using. He'll be a much better battle. It's not about making him a bullet sponge, it's about making him more complicated. If 4 players queue in a squad with the same difficulty, the mission is started on that difficulty and therefore variations happen on what enemies spawn, what kind of eximus, how strong/fast enemies are, special invasions, and new boss/behavior that drops parts to a new weapon. It'll be like a 24/7 event with no expiration date. There's a special prize for fighting the boss in a squad when all 4 of you are on hard difficulty.

 

If not all 4 players are marked for the same difficulty, the mission is started at the difficulty of the lowest rating in the squad. As said, difficulty still acts as a passive multiplier for all things we like, such as materials, fusion cores, and XP/syndicate reputation.

 

However, just to make it clear: it's going to scale the player down using Gate Crash mechanics. All attributes of all abilities will be lowered optionally by the player as the difficulty setting indicates. Gate Crash also reduced health and shields per run too. I suppose this is a given that must be done since it would be unfair to win hardcore mode by using a warframe geared around not using abilities. It's optional per individual to nerf themselves in exchange for reward multipliers.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Haha, sounds like something that could be very fun if implemented correctly. We shouldn't just limit it to nerfing powers and frames though, limitations should be also on guns, maybe lower fire rate, higher reload times, slower attack rate for melee, or a combination of limitations. If we could choose what limitations were placed on our frames it would be cool, but I can see that being exploited quickly. Players would choose to either nerf their reload/fire rate to keep their high damage weapons online, or abilities as well. So yes, a combination of detriments would be interesting to implement, and it could help to justify the hell we go through to get those rewards. Not to mention it whacks the RNG completely, that helps out a lot too.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Oh, and increased drop rates for increased difficulty sounds good, too.  Getting kinda tired of that seemingly 0.1% chance High Noon is going to drop from a Brood Mother.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Mighty walls of text what am i missing here

A grand conclusion to what might just hopefully be the next step in Warframe's evolution.

 

 

 

Draft Concept 02: Notch Selection per Mission

 

I've been thinking over the difficulty system's implementation. It will not exactly resemble the dynamic scaling of Operation: Gate Crash. It will have fine-tuned settings per notch of difficulty.

 

To the point: Gate Crash may have made the game feel less trivial, but we still spammed our abilities through gate crash even when they reached a point where they resembled nothing meaningful. A difficulty setting should make the game feel challenging in ways that don't just feel watered down. Think about the difficulty settings in Unreal Tournament, where the bots simply got smarter.

 

Firstly, abilities will be limited in exchange for reward, that's the point of the difficulty system. Certain attributes are more the cause of the problem than others--efficiency helps us spam constantly without spending energy restores, and range helps us hit many enemies through many walls. Duration-based abilities tend to be more balanced than abilities without duration, and the key component in nuke farming is range, not necessarily damage done. Additionally, certain abilities like Shadows of the Dead and Shatter Shield use strength in other ways besides adding more damage.

 

Regardless, what would be the appropriate reward scaling if any ability attributes were touched? Consider the following.

 

- Radial nukes have the capacity to hit X amount of enemies generally based around the simple geometry concept of Circle Area = pi*r^2 . That said, any change to the range attribute would affect your efficiency of farming enemies by that much.

- "Radial" nukes are in fact spherical nukes. It is not often we are playing on a map with multiple vertical tiers so often, but anyone who remember that map on Viver knows of all the distance we covered on the walkways all the way up to the ceiling.

- The range of enemies we hit is having the damage applied from the strength attribute. That's another multiplicative right there.

 

So let's run a quick experiment: using no fine-tuned adjustments, what if the first notch of difficulty only decreased all ability attributes by 10%? The situation is that this 10% reduction in attributes is going to have a cubic effect on the end result--twice multiplied in the area of the nuke, and once more in the damage applied to the area. This is not even considering the fact that our nukes are spherical, which would mean the difference in effect would be multiplied to the power of 4.

 

What would the rewards be? I would think it proper that for every increment our abilities are dropped downwards by an expression of (1-X), our rewards would be scaled upwards by (1+X). However, considering the popularity of nukes, I will cube the results of both expressions to yield the true end result of how badly our performance would be expected by the down-scaling, and the appropriate reward of compensation.

 

If our ability attributes were lowered by 10% from 100%, our farming efficiency would be lowered to 72.9%, which is a loss of efficiency in farming by 27.1% Therefore our rewards should be scaled up per person by 27.1%, and this is not even considering any possible scaling the mission would gain if there was an additional scaling for how unanimously scaled your squad was before you entered the mission. For the extra difficulty, it would be proper to round up a bit. That said, the end of a small 10% reduction in our ability capacity would boost rewards for all players involved by 30%.

 

So that sounds rather high doesn't it? It only seems so by how massively overpowered we were in the first place, and the fact that the difficulty system has to compensate for that. If weapons were scaled downwards similarly, the reward for a 10% reduction would have to be at least + 35%, and if the spherical nature of our nukes was accounted for, the resulting reward would be a whopping 41%.

 

So does it sound practical to reward players an additional 41% in prizes for only taking a 10% penalty? It sounds excessive but is required. If we applied the same universal adjustment with a 40% penalty, the rewards would jump to nearly double of the original mission reward. It simply must be because you're running at a very low ability capacity compared to how we normally play in the base game.

 

An alternative would simply be to manage ability use by a cooldown timer. We could even use the one I presented in an earlier draft using a charging meter--earlier abilities would recharge faster than later ones (especially #4), penalties would only be acquired when an ability is spent while you have no charge remaining for that ability, and any and every ability you have can overcharge to 200% provided you allow them to charge over 100% charge at a reduced charge rate without using them. The only penalty you would have on a radial nuke would be after casting said nuke 6 times over, once every 1.5 seconds, without pausing even once. The penalty would only be 20%, and would be completely gone if the player waited 8 seconds.

 

Some players thought an 8 second cooldown alongside 200% stronger abilities #1, #2, and #3 was too much of a limitation to them. So I decided to think up a difficulty scaling system.

 

The key to scaling difficulty in this game is perhaps not to drop the effectiveness of abilities, but give them care in their use. Hence why a dynamic set of cooldowns across all abilities with an overcharge mechanic would be something useful to implement within a difficulty mode. The system can be slanted depending on the difficulty to make ability #4 much harder to cast, but the numbers for recharge rate would shift to earlier abilities so spamming option #1 was much more feasible of an option than spamming option #4.

 

Also, what of weapon scaling? I considered it and discovered another option.

 

For the most part, the only reason I'd want to scale down weapon attributes is to limit coptering within the difficulty mode, which serves to both trivialize whole maps (tilesets), as well as serve as an enabler to "press 4 to win" spam. It's essentially a decrease in swing speed on melee weapons in exchange for higher damage per hit. However, it would be much more helpful if the developers isolated the element responsible for coptering, removed it, and re-implemented it as a number value that is unique scaled per melee item or game mode.

 

As for gun weapons in the primary and secondary slot, it would not be useful to limit their damage because the game would just be simulating bullet sponges again. Instead, consider other weapon attributes such as projectile speed, blast radius, status chance, status duration, and the effects of statuses in damage 2.0.

 

For higher difficulty settings, lets tweak the behavior of statuses, staggers, and knockdown. Statuses across all weapons and abilities on higher difficulties would have shortened duration. Absolute statuses such as viral, corrosive, and magnetic would have the amount of their effect lowered per difficulty level. Staggers and knockdown from impact and blast status along with melee attacking and ground slams would also be less likely to take effect on enemies depending on the difficulty mode.

 

With the above, weapon damage can stay the same. The only change in weapons is the effectiveness of coptering, and our reliability to make prevent enemies from attacking with certain effects.

 

So it will not be implemented to the same effect that Gate Crash implemented difficulty. Although it made missions more difficult, it did not change the way we played. Also, per-individual scaling may not be possible. It may be that a vote has to be agreed on, and it will be started as its own separate mission.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Feedback Drafting

 

Concept 01: Gate Crash

 

 

The difficulty system, how it works, and the balance it brings.

 

With greater risks and balance comes great, compelling rewards!

 

Each player is able to mark up a difficulty setting per individual. Doing so increments up a Gate Crash style mechanic that lowers all attributes of all abilities and your warframe, as well as your weapons. Similar to the Gate Crash event itself. In exchange for lowering your effectiveness, players will gain a multiplier on all XP, syndicate reputation, resources, and even a multiplier on all fusion cores found in the level, granting you quite a few more. All of these bonuses will be calculated at the end of the level.

 

The difficulty of the mission will begin at base difficulty as is implemented in the game now. This difficulty will come with a rating of 1.0 multiplier, and any player not using any difficulty slider on themselves will only get a stacking multiplier of 1.0. Simply put, if nobody on your team is lowering their own attributes and making the mission harder for themselves, no bonuses at all will be gained compared to normal gameplay. If any one player applies the difficulty scaling mechanic to themselves, their own personal reward multiplier will go up, but the mission itself will scale off the lowest difficulty in the squad and therefore no bonuses will be received from the mission multiplier. If all players in the squad have scaled themselves downwards by the same difficulty, the mission itself will take that into account and multiply all its rewards alongside the individual reward multiplier. This will allow us to revisit earlier regions under a self-imposed handicap and receive a larger reward than usual for doing so.

 

Doing this will revitalize early planets like Mercury while giving us reason to play alongside new players at a level of power more similar to their own. New players in general won't be scaling themselves down so they would not get the bonus for using a handicap setting. Additionally, because the reward for self-handicapping scales both as an individual and within the mission for whether or not everyone in the mission is handicapped, the mechanic thwarts those squads who only handicap one person per run to juggle rewards for cheap hyper-farming. It's simply a mechanic used to give veteran players more life and appreciate from the game as a whole. The difficulty scaling mechanic can be applied to any mission in the solar system, and void as well.

 

If all players within the mission have scaled themselves downwards with this difficulty scaling, and it is a full squad of four tenno, the game may produce special events, such as unique enemies per faction for the increased difficulty, and unique bosses/behavior to enrich boss battles. There may even be a new blueprint to find off a difficulty-enhanced boss. For example, going back to Mercury with a squad under handicap will enhance the Captain Vor battle giving him more mobility, tactics, and abilities to use against you. He may drop a special improved version of the Seeker pistol upon defeat. Alternatively, unique aesthetics such as a syandana or badge. However, the purpose of implementing this feature is to satisfy challenge-seekers 24/7 persistently, simply by giving them a boost in the syndicate reputation, XP, resources, and fusion cores they always need... in exchange for scaling themselves downward for that mission.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Within the community, there's been some talk about what makes a Mission more or less difficult. One suggestion has been to bring back the Mission Difficulty Slider. This short-lived feature once enabled players to adjust how hard a Mission would be, but was replaced by the multitude of planets, nodes, and game types spread across the Solar System.

 
Having the feature return is something we considered before, but one of the complexities associated with letting players adjust difficulty is finding a way to group everyone with disparate settings. The last thing we want is to make finding a group more difficult. That doesn't mean we're simply going to let increased difficulty fall to the wayside.
 
Finding the correct implementation has been a challenge, but we've been experimenting with what makes a mission 'hard' in our Tactical Alerts."
 
So maybe, one day for difficultly selection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think you needed 8 pages of text, personally.

 

Games create their own player base based on who likes the existing content and who does not. You won't play Borderlands for 500 hours if you don't like it. You already know that a sequel will involve almost exactly the same stuff. Do you seriously think people would buy a Borderland 3 or 4 and then complain that it's more of the same?

 

We are going to get "more Warframe" or at least only small variations. We are not going to magically get massive surprises. I fail to see why DE would change the reward model as long as the current one is working (for them).

 

If you seriously think that will happen, perhaps a new game is in order.

 

New players will not view the game like you do. They might play 40 hours, spend $10, play some mixed things, and go find a new game. That could be all DE needs to keep going. Many games on Steam already can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I added more to the opening post. Currently collapsed in "Expanded Feedback" was a strand of conversation that led to the proposal of this idea.

 

Here's my inspiration for this idea: ability spam is running rampant and the game is becoming trivialized for it everywhere. Although a game is generally about heroes overcoming obstacles and limitations to achieve their goals, the capacity of mods and equipment in this game has made us overpowered everywhere. I did draft up a variety of limiting scenarios but the community was divided. Although some of us said we were too powerful and the game really is becoming damaged from us breaking the limits of the game, others advocated to keep our power usage the same and being overpowered an individual choice.

 

From this, I understood the situation: many players feel completely unchallenged by this game, and our ability spam just destroys everything effortlessly. There's no reason to not use corrupted and primed mods since we're trying to be well equipped. However, many people like myself are generally quite ashamed we're absolutely annihilating levels doing over 85% damage and getting nearly all the kills on every team we're on. Some people feel their experience ruined, and I don't feel proud rushing through the game like this but want a compelling reason not to do so.

 

So I devised a solution in a quick moment: what if there was a reasonable incentive to penalize ourselves Operation: Gate Crash style? A decent reward multiplier for making a choice to nerf our Warframe and power attributes universally across the board in exchange for a significant reward. Better yet, what if this was a permanent additional (and always optional) mechanic so instead of doing this briefly for an event, we could get a decent perk for equalizing ourselves with the rest of the game? Perhaps even with additional game content if an entire squad decides to take on challenges with everyone playing down-scaled for greater difficulty?

 

Hence the thread. I'll refine and add things to the opening post. This system will satisfy veteran players across the whole solar system, and will go great with the upcoming mentor program. We get to run through levels with new players nearer to their level of ability and power, while being significantly enough rewarded for it that it is worth the effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not just add new content instead of trying to recycle old content with a difficulty slider? I'd much rather have more complex enemies than more bullet sponges tbh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not just add new content instead of trying to recycle old content with a difficulty slider? I'd much rather have more complex enemies than more bullet sponges tbh.

Oh, that's what I want to avoid. As of currently, the only difficulty in this game to veterans is bullet sponges and RNG. We only see challenge within an hour into T4 Survival, and it isn't so much that the enemy became more evasive, quicker, and capable as much as they become obscenely powerful adamantine walls that spew lethal bullets. They just become walking brick walls with bullet hoses of doom.

 

I simply feel extremely overpowered across the entire game, and attempting to tackle the situation with "press 4 to win" hasn't been successful on either end, be it DE or players attempting to find a solution. The developers have tried constantly over the months to implement player limitations with cooldown timers, stamina 2.0, attempting to fix/remove coptering and wall vaulting, line-of-sight, and of course those dreaded Trinity nerfs. Many players feel the game really isn't at all balanced towards our abilities once we get corrupted mods, max them, and forma everything to fit them all in.

 

However, another population says that it is worth allowing players to preserve their agency of ability in using as much powerful ability spam as they could. They do not want cooldowns, or limits, or diminishing attributes and efficiencies. They see it as a choice they're entitled to.

 

So what about the growing veteran population who wants a reason to enjoy the game as we did when we started, before we trivialized it all to oblivion, and feel rewarded for doing so? The best I could come up with was individual scaling. Finally, a way to justify how powerful we are, getting rewarded for it, and giving the game more life by giving ourselves limits. It's a penalty we take on purpose in exchange for rewards that matter all the time. It's purely voluntary and can be enabled/disabled any time we're not in mission. It gives us a reason to limit our abilities and other strengths during a mission, and be rewarded for doing so as an individual and as a group.

 

When all players are scaled down in a mission (regardless what number), the mission can adapt new behavior like spawning unique enemies/eximus units, and enemies can take on a behavior more well-suited to veteran players who are looking for a challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hm, I get your point, but I think a difficulty slider is just adding to the symptoms. WF lacks structure. The anarchy DE praises as freedom of choosing your own endgame is what's making balancing a b'tch and frustrating veteran players. I think DE simply should add the next tier of (gameplay) difficulty. I mean, you can't tell me being one shot from one of thousands of bullet sponges is tickling your fancy, can you? :o  That is artificial difficulty and is rather frustrating for a huge player base. I'd rather have smarter mobs, who use different strategies and need different strategies to be taken down, but maybe that's just difference in taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

+ over 9000 Mecha! I was hoping for just this kind of an idea to spawn from the topic I started and am glad to see someone came up with a solution that can benefit the community as a whole without utterly shafting players that WANT to do things the p42w way.

 

I believe this idea would allow more skilled players to enjoy their time in WF and also provide us a valid reason to not just p42w. Thus allowing the devs to keep their hard work intact and allowing them further places to expand our rich gaming universe.

 

Additionally as a byproduct of this new system they would have a place they can test out new enemy types on the more skilled players to assess their overall possible impact on normal gameplay. Plus how cool would it bee to just run into WIP enemies without knowing anything about them to begin with. Or maybe having a certain number of enemy types that can be added to further the random mutations that already exist in our eximus units.

 

The sheer volume of different types of encounters and the different strategies we could evolve to handle these different situations literally has me SALIVATING! There is hope for WF folks, if only the devs will pay attention to players with the insight to help in this games evolution.

 

If 2 heads are better than one, then is it not better to have millions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hm, I get your point, but I think a difficulty slider is just adding to the symptoms. WF lacks structure. The anarchy DE praises as freedom of choosing your own endgame is what's making balancing a b'tch and frustrating veteran players. I think DE simply should add the next tier of (gameplay) difficulty. I mean, you can't tell me being one shot from one of thousands of bullet sponges is tickling your fancy, can you? :o  That is artificial difficulty and is rather frustrating for a huge player base. I'd rather have smarter mobs, who use different strategies and need different strategies to be taken down, but maybe that's just difference in taste.

Well, yeah. However the community becomes extremely loud when it comes to "spam to win" ability gameplay--they either want it dead or praise it to be the reason they're playing. It really does add a massive roadblock to development as far as coming up with balance is concerned since DE touching anything usually gets a lot of response, but the community is definitely louder about nerfs than they are about buffs.

 

Yes, the next tier of gameplay is fine but it will probably just be another void key. Or hopefully another solar system, but that's a huge addition to expect. The personal difficulty scaling will be a very good way to have players control their own ability across the solar system, so long as the rewards are good enough. If the rewards are not justifiably good enough, this control solution may not be used to the degree it should. It should also reduce our stats considerably, at least enough where "spam 4 to win" is less of a problem. Giving yourself a difficulty scaling downwards in random missions may still leave you surrounded by nukers, so it would also be helpful to crate a difficulty-based matchmaking influence. However perhaps the reward incentive enough can encourage players to step down and be okay with being surrounded by spam occasionally.

 

Yes I'd rather have smarter enemies, less power spam, and less bullet sponges. However the community doesn't agree on this issue uniformly. That said, a good solution is for player to take the agency into their own hands, which could hopefully be enough to give both sides what they want. So long as the challenge seekers get decent enough reward and gameplay incentive to separate from the usual spam gameplay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Additionally as a byproduct of this new system they would have a place they can test out new enemy types on the more skilled players to assess their overall possible impact on normal gameplay. Plus how cool would it bee to just run into WIP enemies without knowing anything about them to begin with. Or maybe having a certain number of enemy types that can be added to further the random mutations that already exist in our eximus units.

 

The sheer volume of different types of encounters and the different strategies we could evolve to handle these different situations literally has me SALIVATING! There is hope for WF folks, if only the devs will pay attention to players with the insight to help in this games evolution.

 

That's actually a pretty good idea. Work-in-progress difficult enemies can be welcomed by hard-mode squads before they get delivered to the population at large. At least it can be a secondary step in the process.

 

1) Add enemy to game in difficulty balanced squads. 2) After a while, implement a variation of it into the main game for everyone.

 

Depending on feedback after introduction, some enemies may just spawn for hard-mode players. That may be a very interesting addition to gameplay. It can also be a way to test advanced enemy AI first so long as said AI isn't applied to bullet sponge enemies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's actually a pretty good idea. Work-in-progress difficult enemies can be welcomed by hard-mode squads before they get delivered to the population at large. At least it can be a secondary step in the process.

 

1) Add enemy to game in difficulty balanced squads. 2) After a while, implement a variation of it into the main game for everyone.

 

Depending on feedback after introduction, some enemies may just spawn for hard-mode players. That may be a very interesting addition to gameplay. It can also be a way to test advanced enemy AI first so long as said AI isn't applied to bullet sponge enemies.

Exactly what I was thinking. By giving more experienced and skillful players a chance to combat the enemies first, the devs could also provide feedback thread specifically for the newer challenges in Difficult modes to gauge what sort of impact they have on gameplay and can scale that accordingly into the general community.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the idea proposed would be a difficulty slider?  As oppose to 3 or 4 well-defined difficulty levels?

 

One thing I'd like to suggest is a check box next to the slider that, if checked, avoids teaming with anyone of lesser difficulty settings.  That way, someone looking to team with others of equal or higher difficulty settings doesn't get paired with anyone who is at base difficulty...and uses a nuke build.

 

I really like this idea for the mentoring aspect, too.  It helps veterans to want to run those early missions at self-imposed limitations that might make them comparable to newbies, but for greater reward than just helping newbies.

 

It would be nice for there to be more level response to player difficulty choices, too.  For instance, more trap-engaged doors, more explosive/ice barrels, greater chance of the level being an ice level or a fire zone level.  Maybe even some things like scanners that can still pickup invisible warframes, even if the average enemies can't.  Or even MOAs and rollers equipped with remote alarm activators so it's not always just the humanoid element you've got to keep from setting off the alarms.  Tactical Alerts are a good step towards players handicapping themselves, but it would be cool if the levels, themselves, were more hazardous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only other thing I can think of that anyone would have any objections to are unique rewards.  Personally, I would use the difficulty slider just for fun and have no issue maxing difficulty to get that special unique shiny.  However, in order to fight power creep, any BPs for unique special weapons must not be much more powerful than its predecessor, at least in terms of damage.  A cool badge or syandana for defeating the Vay Hek on max Gate Crash difficulty limits would be something cool.  A unique Hek BP dropped from Vay Hek that goes too far in stats would defeat the purpose of self-imposed difficulty.

 

This could even be a new way to get some of those event mods back in circulation.

 

I just hope no one is going to try to argue that they should be able to get those shinies at any difficulty setting, because greater challenge should yield greater rewards.  Even though I like using nuke builds, I'd have to admit, myself, that it's easier than the limits Gate Crash imposed upon players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the idea proposed would be a difficulty slider?  As oppose to 3 or 4 well-defined difficulty levels?

 

One thing I'd like to suggest is a check box next to the slider that, if checked, avoids teaming with anyone of lesser difficulty settings.  That way, someone looking to team with others of equal or higher difficulty settings doesn't get paired with anyone who is at base difficulty...and uses a nuke build.

 

I really like this idea for the mentoring aspect, too.  It helps veterans to want to run those early missions at self-imposed limitations that might make them comparable to newbies, but for greater reward than just helping newbies.

 

It would be nice for there to be more level response to player difficulty choices, too.  For instance, more trap-engaged doors, more explosive/ice barrels, greater chance of the level being an ice level or a fire zone level.  Maybe even some things like scanners that can still pickup invisible warframes, even if the average enemies can't.  Or even MOAs and rollers equipped with remote alarm activators so it's not always just the humanoid element you've got to keep from setting off the alarms.  Tactical Alerts are a good step towards players handicapping themselves, but it would be cool if the levels, themselves, were more hazardous.

IDK I personally would like to see some well defined options rather than a slider, mistakes could be made with a slider. If it had a snap to function associated with it that set it to the nearest corresponding difficulty level based on where the slider is released but at that point it would be better to just use a number of clearly defined difficulty settings.

 

Honestly though, would it not be better to overall variety of gameplay if they let us set specific mutators such as massively reduced energy, no energy restore use or pickup(start at full BASE energy and only get that ONE bar for the whole mission), Low health, low shields, weapon damage reducer, and anything else they can imagine to be a difficulty increase for players. Then simply give rewards bonuses once certain amounts of mutators have been put into effect.

 

The reason I state the above is this, there is a certain amount of skill involved in how SOME p42w strategies are implemented and if a team actually works together in an effort to combine all said skills effectively, should they not be allowed to try to find ways to play it their way as a coordinated group effort? 

 

Otherwise are we not doing precisely to p42w players that they do do others now? Preventing them from participating.

 

With my added suggestion groups could still obtain good rewards by choosing enough mutators that will force them to use a certain amount of skill rather than stand there and press 4. Also the mutators could be a group vote thing so that majority rules, for what mutators are chosen. 

Additionally this system would need some way to apply exclusions to their mutator choices prior to queueing for missions so that they are not stuck in groups that already voted to disallow various energy traits to prevent spammers from joining.

 

All in all to make this thing fair to everyone invloved. Power spammers must be given a  place that is equal to other players not above as they are currently in efficiency and overall effectiveness through the majority of content.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-snip-

 

You'd have to assign different mutators difficulty points, then, because not all mutators will nerf on the same difficulty scale.  For example, a weapon damage nerf isn't the same as a power strength nerf.  At the same time, difficulty changes in perspective from person to person.  Some may think a power strength nerf should be less than a power duration nerf, etc.

 

P42W is supposed to be easy mode, isn't it?  Isn't the next difficulty level is supposed to move on from easy mode?  It's not about preventing anyone from participating, it's about challenge.  If people don't want to be challenged, then they shouldn't be rewarded.  You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

 

All in all to make this thing fair to everyone invloved. Power spammers must be given a  place that is equal to other players not above as they are currently in efficiency and overall effectiveness through the majority of content.

 

Power spammers would not be power spammers if they don't have their efficiency and effectiveness.  As a power spammer, I can attest to the fact that I would stop spamming powers of all kinds if it stopped being efficient and/or effective.  You can't take a coffee addict's coffee away and expect them to function as they would with coffee.

 

If Blade Storm was as effective as someone just shooting, then there's no reason to Blade Storm, except laziness.  Laziness is nothing to support, unless the game really wants to start going downhill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting read.

 

I have mixed feelings about difficulty slider. On paper it seems pretty idealistic, old timers playing alongside newbies on equal footing, but in reality this would only lead to emergence of new farming tactics. One nuke build frame on easy mode would carry 3 other frames on hard difficulty, speedrunning the mission. Probably something akin to a keyshare, where they get to switch roles between missions.

 

This focus on difficulty may also lead to the rise of elitism, toxic behavior and even split of community. 

Currently Warframe is almost a party game and it's community is relatively lighthearted. Tensions between player levels can still occur, such as when weaker players are underperforming in long endless modes, or when stronger players rush and nuke all the rooms in easier missions. But those complaints are pretty timid. After all, many missions are soloable, so having bad teammates is no big deal.

If difficulty rises substantially, with strict failure conditions requiring real teamwork, where actions of an individual will decide the outcome for a whole squad, you can expect a steady rise of toxic behavior. Maybe not to MOBA levels, but toxicity in any form is never welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked through all the topics and ended up here, i was taken in with the intersesting notes left here and there.

 

I am not an old veteran, but not a new player either. and i have seen enough things and event to say that i agree completely. RNG is our obstacle and the reason we ended up this way.

 

RNG is the reason for rep farming (or was maybe? t4 key will return someday)

But we are not stupid, like the AI, we chose the shortest route to it: AKA the viver incident

 

RNG is the reason for us grinding and droning mindlessly

But we are not stupid, like the AI, we chose the shortest route to it: AKA the t4 sabotage incident

 

RNG is the reason for us spamming abilities, because we need void key, event rewards and to obtain them we need grind.

But we are not stupid like the AI, we also chose the shortest way, AKA the mutalist incursion, and the formorian event incident

 

All of this happened because we had the choice to do so, to choose the shortest route. I also walked those routes, and one thing came up: it was ungrateful, unrewarding. it's just a cycle where you end up at the same place either with what you wanted, or without it.

 

The adamantium wall with hoses of bullets of doom. That was a funny way to describe high level ennemies and so accurate too.

But here too, RNG is at fault, and in particular rotation reward pool it have to say.

 

Every 20 mn/waves you get a shot at the "awesome" rewards, and retry your chance every rotation, the more rotation, the harder the ennemies. I was fine with wave 15+ reawards from the defense mission rewards, the longer we fight, the more rare parts we get.

And that was something i painfully remember when they implemented the rotation system in defense missions.

 

 

To "fight" RNG this was the solution: stay looped in the "rare" parts rotation after a set number of waves. the more chances you get a shot a it the less you need to grind, simple enough right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

unfortunately I will not upvote your thread due to it's nebulous nature, but I'd like difficulty scaling so have a bump.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have mixed feelings about difficulty slider. On paper it seems pretty idealistic, old timers playing alongside newbies on equal footing, but in reality this would only lead to emergence of new farming tactics. One nuke build frame on easy mode would carry 3 other frames on hard difficulty, speedrunning the mission. Probably something akin to a keyshare, where they get to switch roles between missions.

 

 

Whoa, good point +1  This is why I love sharing things on forums.  Some people bring something to the table others wouldn't have thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 With the difficulty slider with teams I figure what could be done was that the leader of the group could set the difficulty and everyone else could vote on it.  As for higher difficulties maybe instead of bullet sponge death squads its just enemies with a bit more health and defense. Nothing to the point of wasting a third of your ammo to kill it but just a slight bump for each notch on the difficulty scale.  Also I figure add a variety of  different enemies to the pool as you go up.  Let's say we take a Rank 5 Everest mission on Earth, (Rank 5 being the second to last highest difficulty) instead of having enemies with awfully large amounts of HP let's just say they'd get a 30% increase of HP from the base value (Which would be Rank 3 or Normal mode) along with a 15% increase in defense from the base value.  You'd have a bit challenge at least as they have a quicker rate of fire and higher accuracy stat and various forms of positioning and formations.  But thats not just it.  You'd have other enemy types, such as bombadiers and hellions, enemy types that you don't see until later on, into the fray mixing everything up.  Combine that with more Axion (Exium? Exion?  The ones with the red auras) and you get the gist of it.

 

   However!  Fighting on higher difficulties also yields a higher chance to get uncommon and rare mods. Rank 5 (Which I would call the Ultra-Violent mode) and Rank 6 (Lovingly called "Hope you sacrificed that virgin before starting this!" mode) has you seeing uncommon and rare mods more frequently, but not to the point where you would be maxing out your rare and uncommon mods within a few runs.  Along with that credits are also increased as well...and affinity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking over the difficulty system's implementation. It will not exactly resemble the dynamic scaling of Operation: Gate Crash. It will have fine-tuned settings per notch of difficulty.

 

To the point: Gate Crash may have made the game feel less trivial, but we still spammed our abilities through gate crash even when they reached a point where they resembled nothing meaningful. A difficulty setting should make the game feel challenging in ways that don't just feel watered down. Think about the difficulty settings in Unreal Tournament, where the bots simply got smarter.

 

Firstly, abilities will be limited in exchange for reward, that's the point of the difficulty system. Certain attributes are more the cause of the problem than others--efficiency helps us spam constantly without spending energy restores, and range helps us hit many enemies through many walls. Duration-based abilities tend to be more balanced than abilities without duration, and the key component in nuke farming is range, not necessarily damage done. Additionally, certain abilities like Shadows of the Dead and Shatter Shield use strength in other ways besides adding more damage.

 

Regardless, what would be the appropriate reward scaling if any ability attributes were touched? Consider the following.

 

- Radial nukes have the capacity to hit X amount of enemies generally based around the simple geometry concept of Circle Area = pi*r^2 . That said, any change to the range attribute would affect your efficiency of farming enemies by that much.

- "Radial" nukes are in fact spherical nukes. It is not often we are playing on a map with multiple vertical tiers so often, but anyone who remember that map on Viver knows of all the distance we covered on the walkways all the way up to the ceiling.

- The range of enemies we hit is having the damage applied from the strength attribute. That's another multiplicative right there.

 

So let's run a quick experiment: using no fine-tuned adjustments, what if the first notch of difficulty only decreased all ability attributes by 10%? The situation is that this 10% reduction in attributes is going to have a cubic effect on the end result--twice multiplied in the area of the nuke, and once more in the damage applied to the area. This is not even considering the fact that our nukes are spherical, which would mean the difference in effect would be multiplied to the power of 4.

 

What would the rewards be? I would think it proper that for every increment our abilities are dropped downwards by an expression of (1-X), our rewards would be scaled upwards by (1+X). However, considering the popularity of nukes, I will cube the results of both expressions to yield the true end result of how badly our performance would be expected by the down-scaling, and the appropriate reward of compensation.

 

If our ability attributes were lowered by 10% from 100%, our farming efficiency would be lowered to 72.9%, which is a loss of efficiency in farming by 27.1% Therefore our rewards should be scaled up per person by 27.1%, and this is not even considering any possible scaling the mission would gain if there was an additional scaling for how unanimously scaled your squad was before you entered the mission. For the extra difficulty, it would be proper to round up a bit. That said, the end of a small 10% reduction in our ability capacity would boost rewards for all players involved by 30%.

 

So that sounds rather high doesn't it? It only seems so by how massively overpowered we were in the first place, and the fact that the difficulty system has to compensate for that. If weapons were scaled downwards similarly, the reward for a 10% reduction would have to be at least + 35%, and if the spherical nature of our nukes was accounted for, the resulting reward would be a whopping 41%.

 

So does it sound practical to reward players an additional 41% in prizes for only taking a 10% penalty? It sounds excessive but is required. If we applied the same universal adjustment with a 40% penalty, the rewards would jump to nearly double of the original mission reward. It simply must be because you're running at a very low ability capacity compared to how we normally play in the base game.

 

An alternative would simply be to manage ability use by a cooldown timer. We could even use the one I presented in an earlier draft using a charging meter--earlier abilities would recharge faster than later ones (especially #4), penalties would only be acquired when an ability is spent while you have no charge remaining for that ability, and any and every ability you have can overcharge to 200% provided you allow them to charge over 100% charge at a reduced charge rate without using them. The only penalty you would have on a radial nuke would be after casting said nuke 6 times over, once every 1.5 seconds, without pausing even once. The penalty would only be 20%, and would be completely gone if the player waited 8 seconds.

 

Some players thought an 8 second cooldown alongside 200% stronger abilities #1, #2, and #3 was too much of a limitation to them. So I decided to think up a difficulty scaling system.

 

The key to scaling difficulty in this game is perhaps not to drop the effectiveness of abilities, but give them care in their use. Hence why a dynamic set of cooldowns across all abilities with an overcharge mechanic would be something useful to implement within a difficulty mode. The system can be slanted depending on the difficulty to make ability #4 much harder to cast, but the numbers for recharge rate would shift to earlier abilities so spamming option #1 was much more feasible of an option than spamming option #4.

 

Also, what of weapon scaling? I considered it and discovered another option.

 

For the most part, the only reason I'd want to scale down weapon attributes is to limit coptering within the difficulty mode, which serves to both trivialize whole maps (tilesets), as well as serve as an enabler to "press 4 to win" spam. It's essentially a decrease in swing speed on melee weapons in exchange for higher damage per hit. However, it would be much more helpful if the developers isolated the element responsible for coptering, removed it, and re-implemented it as a number value that is unique scaled per melee item or game mode.

 

As for gun weapons in the primary and secondary slot, it would not be useful to limit their damage because the game would just be simulating bullet sponges again. Instead, consider other weapon attributes such as projectile speed, blast radius, status chance, status duration, and the effects of statuses in damage 2.0.

 

For higher difficulty settings, lets tweak the behavior of statuses, staggers, and knockdown. Statuses across all weapons and abilities on higher difficulties would have shortened duration. Absolute statuses such as viral, corrosive, and magnetic would have the amount of their effect lowered per difficulty level. Staggers and knockdown from impact and blast status along with melee attacking and ground slams would also be less likely to take effect on enemies depending on the difficulty mode.

 

With the above, weapon damage can stay the same. The only change in weapons is the effectiveness of coptering, and our reliability to prevent enemies from attacking with certain effects.

 

So it will not be implemented to the same effect that Gate Crash implemented difficulty. Although it made missions more difficult, it did not change the way we played. Also, per-individual scaling may not be possible. It may be that a vote has to be agreed on, and it will be started as its own separate mission.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the idea but honestly I am in no way a math oriented person so I feel any feedback regarding said calculations would be beyond me +1 for the effort though Mecha keep it up !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-snip-

 

Good thoughts, especially in that the radial nukes are spherical in application.

 

Instead of scaling rewards in direct relation to ability debuffs, why not just scale rewards on its own?  Even if ability debuffs decrease farming efficiency just using nuke abilities, players could probably make up for that with a good gun/melee and pet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Instead of scaling rewards in direct relation to ability debuffs, why not just scale rewards on its own?  Even if ability debuffs decrease farming efficiency just using nuke abilities, players could probably make up for that with a good gun/melee and pet.

Well, my calculations seem skewed anyway. I had a good set that worked but forgot to write them down. That's why paper is important. Another attempt could be done later but the developers have professionals on their side who could come up with some better numbers.

 

I'm mostly scaling them off ability debuffs because abilities are usually what either mows down easy content, or keeps us alive against hard content. I am resisting the urge to give arbitrary rewards at the end because that's what Nightmare Mode did, and despite its challenge the only significant thing there to gain was the nightmare mods.

 

Okay, so alternative reward systems. I was originally thinking scaling credits, XP, syndicate reputation, and found fusion cores. I did not consider scaling mods because our trade economy is partly based around them. Another possible reward to be implemented alongside scaled rewards are one-time big drops of things you can always find in the game, but are tedious to find. Packs of fusion cores in 5x to 10x depending on the node where the difficulty is applied, forma blueprints, and premade forma. Maybe on extremely hard content, catalysts and reactors.

 

Still, the content for those bigger rewards needs to be decently hard already even without difficulty applied. I also don't think credits are a good option because their importance is diluted by how many credits we receive, and the various ways we get them.

 

I'm considering gun scaling but I know decreasing damage on anything isn't really changing the way we play, just making it more tedious. Perhaps ability damage scaling can be done like how an extinguished key scales us. Kind of like an inverted Rhino Roar--it will do less damage, but the strength attribute won't get touched. The nukes which trivialize the game are mostly doing so by range and efficiency. Damage isn't really the problem, and may not necessarily need to be touched for abilities. There are just different ways of toning down abilities.

 

For weapons, I think the best way to scale them is reducing status effects from weapons. Limited staggers, knockdowns, shorter status durations, and lower status magnitudes for those statuses that deal % based scaling. Flight speed and blast radius can also be considered--it isn't the damage of the penta which is making enemies easy, but the range at which it explodes. Of course that still means hitscan weapons are relatively untouched, but this can be covered whenever the difficulty setting is applied to an infinite mission, at which point enemy armor and health already rises very quickly.

 

For non-endless missions, maybe enemies should be more resistant to damage. Less about crushing armies of trash, and more about making each enemy more significant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-snip-

 

It would be nice to have some sort of performance reward.  Not the simple side objectives to get extra affinity...not sure how that would be implemented.  However, performing something like 50 ground melee finishers might be a something to add as a bonus, with a solid reward like a health restore or omni ammo box.  Basically challenges that require a player to do more than just defeat things normally or hack a terminal.

 

Why not also scale resource drops and chance to drop?  Those already exist in dark sectors, which makes those missions attractive.  Since that already exists, too, there isn't much of an argument against doing so.

 

Perhaps, in order to increase challenge, the mechanics of the abilities and weapon handling could be altered.  Increased casting times and slower rates of effect could be implemented.  If it took that much longer to push out a Rhino Stomp or Miasma, I'm sure it'd challenge players to consider how and when they use those powers.  As well, increased reload speed and slower rate of fire would make players reconsider their weapon build.  Decreased melee swing speed would also change its spammy use of just berserker'ing through enemies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...