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Power Creep Is Not An Issue: Please Read, De.


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So I have heard people lately, and now even the devs, worry about power creep. That is, people are concerned that some weapons are becoming too powerful. As I see it, this is just ridiculous. Before anyone gets upset, hear me out. Also, I hope DE is listening.

Firstly, I can promise you that if you feel your weapons are overpowered, it has more to do with where you are. It is the same thing I said long ago when people were complaining about powers being overpowered. If you feel overpowered, you are probably on to low a level. Warframe is designed with numerous levels that scale infinitely. I promise you, of you stay long enough into a T4 Endless mission of any kind, you won't feel overpowered. Challenge yourself with more difficult enemies.

Secondly, Warframe allows complete customization of almost every aspect of your suit and weapons. If you think you are too powerful, take off some of your augments. Why would you ask the devs to handicap you, when it is completely under your own control exactly how much power you carry into a mission? You can set yourself up for a challenge whenever you like, along the same vein as the Tactical Alerts. You always control your own power.

And lastly, what is wrong with being overpowered? I have put a massive amount of effort into building and rweapons and powerful weapons and suits. I play games to become good, and become powerful. It is a fantasy setting, and I want to become as powerful as possible. I want to see my skill and my power leave the enemies farther and farther behind. What is the point of all the work if it doesn't lead to more powerful. If I want a challenge, I will leave something unequipped, or go after a new, challenging enemy or mission, and I thank DE for always evolving these things.

In the end, I still have to say, why are we asking the devs to handicap our power, when we are always in control of it ourselves. Let's handle our own power, Tenno!

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I agree with OP.

We can be called 'overpowered' aka op if there was a limit to enemy levels. But....

Also, ever tried above 70mins of t4 sur? Those boltors you say op are pew pew bratons aI that time (ofc if you are not using tricks like corosive projection etc).

Point is, you have control over your power. Feel too op? Remove mods and take mk1 weaps.

Once DE decides to remove this so called overpowerdness which isnt overpowered at all, I bet it would be one of you kiddos who'll cry and say 'why u do that DE'.

Stop, let the control be in your hands. They are already thinking about removing serration. Even if they remove it and scale damage in weapon itself, we still have 1 extra slot. Get it? Now dont call that op because you were able to survive 20mins of t4.

Call yourself op when you can solo and reach one hour of infested ODS survival.

If enemy has no power limits why should we?

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Sorry but it is like this.


If' CS would decrease recoil to all weapons and remove spray patterns, does it have to be by my hand to make the game more challenging? Am I seriously supposed to move my mouse up after every shot to make it more challenging? No.


I'll be honest, in WF I tend to move mouse after shots with things like snipers or whatever because most weapons are so boring without any kick added behind them :/

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If you feel overpowered, you are probably on to low a level. Warframe is designed with numerous levels that scale infinitely. I promise you, of you stay long enough into a T4 Endless mission of any kind, you won't feel overpowered. Challenge yourself with more difficult enemies.




You lost your credibility there. There is no balance in using endless battles as a means of balance as as you increase in level the only thing that increase are enemy health, armour,shield and damage. No more. NoA.I change what so ever, they're the same at 200 as they are at 20.


If you stay long enough in survival you won't feel overpowered because the mobs will be doing enough damage to onehsot you if a single hitpoint of damage is taken.


How do you balance towards something with no theoretical end? It does not make any sense.


And your point only matters to 3 modes: Interception, survival and defence.


Forgetting spy,mobile defence,exterminate,deception and sabotage.


So you're ignoring more than half of the available game mods to state your opinion based on 3.

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The problem isn't that we are getting too powerful, it is that damage far outscales tankiness. Any mid-tier weapon will make killing level 40 enemies a joke and any high-tier weapon will make killing level 60 enemies a joke, but even at level 40 most frames start getting downed nearly instantly.

As long as we are oneshotting with automatic rifles the only way DE can add challenge is by stopping us from killing entirely, such as the Mutalist Moa with all their CC or the Nullifiers with their shields. DE can't make interesting enemies because the only way to stop them from dying the moment they walk in the room is for the player to be locked down constantly.


I wouldn't ask for power to be handicapped, I would ask for all systems to be balanced at once.

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DE balances around the Starmap levels, not endless missions types. If something is only not very powerful against stupidly strong enemies late T4, it is 'overpowered' on the standard starmap. If it's overpowered on the standard starmap, a low level player can grab it and breeze through everything, that would be a problem. Power creep IS an issue...

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The only reason you don't think Powercreep exists by staying 40+ minutes into a T4 Survival is because there's endlessly scaling armor/health and damage for enemies. They talked about this before as well.


Powercreep is most certainly an issue that exists. Take a fully built Boltor Prime into any high level mission like Ceres and laugh. You're trying to leave 2 problems that exist. Endless scaling that's not real difficulty, and Powercreep that makes it so difficulty doesn't even exist.


Minor Edit as I wrote this: In fact, I took it with me just to test it. Coincidentally, the first enemy that I encountered was a Heavy Bombard. Guess how long it took me to take him down? 0.3 seconds.

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DE balances around the Starmap levels, not endless missions types. If something is only not very powerful against stupidly strong enemies late T4, it is 'overpowered' on the standard starmap. If it's overpowered on the standard starmap, a low level player can grab it and breeze through everything, that would be a problem. Power creep IS an issue...

Seems pretty stupid to balance stuff around the easy content when it's not where you need it.

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We owerpowered beyond any reason.


Balanced part of this game it's 50 lvl. Within this part we can wipe the floor with maxed guns like Boltor P.

But we can counter even infinity content up to level 100 and beyond, with wise usage of powers like "Radial Disarm".



We are OP in "balanced" part and we are OP in "imbalanced infinty" part of the game. There is no enemy, who can seriously stand in our way and justify our might.


Great Dragon of Calamity can be worthy opponent even for "Weapon of the Gods  +10". Even with this sword you need skill and teamwork for victory. But we alredy have "Weapon of the Gods +99", and there is no signs of endgame on the horizon.

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I am not trying to say that the whole game should be balanced around endless missions, and you guys are right to point that out. On the other hand, you cannot argue that for a lot of people, endless missions are right now considered the end-game, and those players, myself inclided, need the power we have to stick it out in those levels.

I also agree that standard enemies go down a bit too fast. However, handicapping players isn't the solution. What would help balance is to have less mob in higher levels, and balance it more toward fewer, more powerful enemies, with better AI. Leave the mobs to say, the first third or half of the Star Chart, and then start phasing out mobs more and more in favor of comparatively smaller amounts of smarter, better armored enemies.

Additionaly, while I agree that handicapping yourself isn't the best solution, it is an option, and it is better than having the power we have worked for taken away.

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Why would you ask the devs to handicap you, when it is completely under your own control exactly how much power you carry into a mission?

Because it's their work and their income.


If you can be overpowered, you can breeze through missions and take everything.

If you can breeze through everything without a hinch, game becomes boring.

If game are boring and beaten, people will leave.

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I may as well quote myself.



Whatever they decide to do with straight-up damage mods (like Serration), it will definitely incorporate a healthy look at how damage scales and how enemies scale so as not to have changes break the current system.  I'm all for a removal of Serration and stacking base damage increases on rank, but they haven't set anything in stone just yet.



As for the rest of our little back and forth, most of us are just miffed at the fact that it has gotten so out of hand.  I think the biggest culprit is the augments that allow skills to do extra damage.  I didn't beef my xcal's damage at all and I was in a Draco PUG with some Oberon who used the Smite Infusion augment.  Man I could wail on their junk like no tomorrow.  We got up to round 4 and stopped at the key but we could have kept going.  There was no signs of a slowdown.


I think its safe to say that DE should balance the damage output around what they consider to be balanced content.  If they want decked-out frames to be able to nuke rooms until level 40, they're going to have to consider balancing content beyond that point.  The simple fact that your can press a button and clear everything demands that players seek a greater challenge for greater rewards.  And they do.  But they seek it in what isn't considered balanced content.



The team synergy augments are neither a problem nor are they necessary--this kind of killing spree was possible before syndicate mods. I can stack three power strength mods alongside Corrosive Projection to gain the desired effect. What's really the problem is the amount of damage enemies can take before they die versus the amount we can dish out, as well as how we dish out damage.


We can gain a level of power on our weapons and abilities most things in the solar system are not able to handle. Let's look at a few quickly thrown together builds to understand the problem.


Experiment Section


The Weapon Conundrum

Balance between new players, old players, and the effect of base damage + multishot

I will only be comparing burst DPS


Mk-1 Braton with no mods: http://goo.gl/TVJdVx ; 140.40

Mk-1 Braton with ideal mods: http://goo.gl/ay8UlQ ; 8442.60

Mk-1 Braton missing base damage and multishot mods: http://goo.gl/1S1y4N ; 1033.44

Boltor Prime with no mods: http://goo.gl/pqtu05 ; 577.60

Boltor Prime with ideal mods: http://goo.gl/aQlOYw ; 34725.60

Boltor Prime missing base damage and multishot mods: http://goo.gl/kIRuK4 ; 4250.56


I only used the Boltor Prime as an example of a decent "end game" weapon that mods similarly to the Mk-1 Braton. It is by no means the best or worst example, simply the easiest to translate. I made three builds for each: no mods, ideal mods, and the same "ideal" set, with the core cookie cutter mods removed.


The result: the full kit of mods we can apply to a generic non-crit damage gun will multiply damage output by 60x. However, if the base damage and multishot mods were removed as developers were intending--being cookie-cutter mods with no variety--the damage multiple would only be increased 7x. Clearly, our mods are an amazing factor in the damage dealt between players using the same weapon. As for "bad gun" compared to "good gun", the Boltor Prime is 4x better in dealing burst DPS than the Mk-1 Braton. Overall, when comparing a min-maxed Boltor Prime to a new Mk-1 Braton, experienced players tend to deal around 247x as much damage as a fresh beginner.


Despite being a shooter game, Warframe balances like an MMO. The trouble with Warframe is, while MMOs tend to separate players heavily across different world regions and only entice them back to farm craft materials they could buy from other players on the market, Warframe throws all kinds of players together into alerts and missions. The solar system has some sort of separation, but it can easily be defeated by taxi'ing players past it all. Alerts also host a wide range of players, and are also susceptible to the taxi. This means Warframe has to struggle to accommodate so many ranges of player strength per mission. In general, it just means letting highly powered veterans stomp content without any difficulty+reward scaling.


Radial Conundrum

For our nuke ability, I will propose Excalibur's Radial Javelin. One calculation with Overextended, and one without. Both are assumed to use Stretch.  I will apply Intensify, Transient Fortitude, and Blind Rage rank 2 into the calculation. Unless specified, assume all mods are maxed.

The below are simply damage calculations. I will also use the radial circular area expression area = pi*r^2 to give an idea of the relative theoretical killing capacity of each configuration. This area will be multiplied by damage.


With Overextended: 1520 damage in 58.75 meters ; 16.48 million damage capacity

Without: 2120 damage in 36.25 meters ; 8.75 million damage capacity


It's a no-brainer that despite the damage disadvantage given by Overextended, it's practically an auto-include into nuke builds because it increases damage potential by nearly double. This is simply because range is an exponentially important component to a nuke. The damage is secondary. There's currently no penalty for spamming radials through walls with infinite punchthrough.



Enemy Durability

For our test subject, I will propose a Grineer Bombard unit. It will start at level 40.


I will calculate its stats using this figure: http://imgur.com/gt3Tjc0


Health: 5832

Armor: 1322.72


Using the equation here http://warframe.wikia.com/wiki/Armor

Effective health = nominal health * ( 1 + net armor / 300 )


Effective Health: 31545.68


The below comparisons are not factoring Damage 2.0 modifiers.


At maximum effective health, the heavy unit would not even last against one whole second of damage from an optimized Boltor Prime. This "high level" enemy is fodder to us veterans.


The same Bombard would last less than 4 seconds against a maximized Mk-1 Braton. It goes in line that the Boltor Prime is 4 times as good as the Mk-1 Braton. The enemy is still barely noticeable though, and this is a heavy unit of a level you'd find on planet Ceres.


Against an unmodded Boltor Prime, said enemy would last 64.6 seconds. Far too long. However, just removing the base damage and multishot from the ideal build, the enemy would last against gunfire for 7.4 seconds. Maybe the developers have a point about Serration and Split Chamber. This is long enough to experience the enemy. Maybe even long enough to see it do something. The Mk-1 Braton would probably take 4 times longer to be around 30 seconds of shooting. Pretty long time. In general, new player weapons are perhaps too weak compared to the usual weapons. I mean, the Lato is terrible. Perhaps alongside the mod and damage tweaks, bad weapons can be brought within a closer margin of good weapons. So I don't need to feel like I've betrayed someone every time I try to invite a friend to this game.


Now for abilities. Let's assume Overextended is being used on the Radial Javelin build I mentioned.

Since the enemy at level 40 has an EHP of 31.5k, it would take quite a few Radial Javelins to down it. Twenty one of them. That doesn't seem like the "Press 4 to win" I was talking about. However, what about Corrosive Projection. Four of them. Well, now the enemy has no armor. The Bombard's EHP is only it's calculated HP on its level now. That's just less than 6k HP. This only requires 4 Overextended Radial Javelins to kill. This is the strongest enemy that will spawn on non-scaling missions on the highest planet node.


What does this mean though? Considering we generally run maximum efficiency to carry around 6 canned nukes without the need to refill on Warframes not using Flow as well, we can easily clear a room with no trouble regardless of how many enemies are in it on the highest non-infinitely scaling node in the solar system. If we kill anything at all (which we will), and pick up any energy orbs we see (which we will--or not with energy packs and syndicate buffs), we can clear maps forever. In any non-scaling mission, even on the "hardest" difficulty.


At least, that's how it is for grineer, the durable enemy in the solar system. We used to farm Corpus on Viver before those pesky nullifiers came along. They didn't have armor. Just apply the no-armor logic in our grineer experience and it's easy to see how trivial the corpus were.




With the above summed up, we understand the game is not challenging for veterans even on the highest level nodes in the solar system and void, provided infinite scaling is not in action. We also know how much the "cookie cutter" core mods of the weapon contribute to our imbalance between new and old players and make balance difficult. Radial damage nukes really do win everywhere except infinite content. Grineer are indeed insanely Ruk'ing durable compared to everything else, but we can still trivialize them. What are possible solutions?


Well, change is possible, so many solutions can be considered. Devstream #44 looked promising, as did the overview.


Well, assuming the speculated damage, enemy, status, and weapon rebalances take everything into account with precision we can only dream about until we see it, player weapons and mods should first be balanced to have less of a gap between their ability, with more viability in choice between everything; weapons, mods, elements, anything you can remember. Next, use this standardized expectation of applied power to balance the durability of enemies across the solar system. Current Grineer armor scaling needs to be scrapped, it's pure madness. Once these elements are targeted, gameplay can start taking a form where we actually do feel more challenge across the solar system's many planets. Also, rewards need to be scaled upwards for challenge. There is seriously no incentive for going to higher level planets--we're practically making easy mode the best option unless the dropped void keys differ between nodes.


What about abilities? This is an abilities thread, and one of the game's largest facets are abilities. Our concern is mostly behind radial (spherical) damage abilities, especially "ultimates", usually ability #4. There are many ways to solve that situation. Considering how similar most instant-damage radial abilities are in comparison to each other, they could be made more unique by trading a portion of damage for unique custom statuses and effects (offensive/defensive/supportive). As powerful as Nova is, her participation in the game is no longer as game-breakingly destructive as it once was. Alternatively, abilities can keep their original stats, and be balanced more closely to the game by tweaking the values of abilities mods which work with said abilities. Yet another choice is to just balance ability stats along with the rest of the heap, while making a choice as to whether they are powerful yet limited, or more average within the kit and just as unlimited as before. Even better, bump all #4 abilities to #5 abilities, and implement something balanced for the new #4. Make now ability #5 run off something that is not energy. A completely different limitation that is more suitable to an epic room-clearing mega ability.


In short, level 40 heavy grineer units (Bombards) typically die within less than a second of gunfire from a decent weapon. If you're using the same build on an Mk-1 Braton, it will only take 4 seconds. Radial Javelin and other nukes can still clear any and every non-endless mission with max range and max efficiency.


The issue is either powercreep, imbalance, or the game isn't big enough to accommodate veterans and needs an expansion. Even then, veterans are constantly going to run missions in low level content, so implementing only an expansion is not the solution.

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Self limiting one's power is considered not acceptable, yet, spoiling everybody elses' fun and wasting their money is somehow the right thing to do.  That's like saying that difficulty settings are wrong, which is what a level system is, especially if it's just a magnitude scaling system like in Warframe.  But, somehow screwing people over, yeah, that's totally legit.


The fact of the matter is that more Damage Per Second means more Kills Per Second.  It's totally legit game play no matter what extra credits says.  Some people have great fun blasting hordes into pieces and mist at a furious pace, and they'll pay money for it.  So, nerfing that is not game design.  It's just bias and a rip off once money has been spent.


I'm waiting to see if this year, DE stops flirting with the disaster and farce that are nerfs, the fighting over the toy box, and make believe game design that passes itself for feedback in these forums, or if they finally design a game for people to play and enjoy, and invest in.


And what will that game be once and for all?  Will it be for people with fast reaction speeds or slow reaction speeds?  For people who want to watch paint dry or for fast visceral furious action? 


These are not mythical qualities.  Human Reaction Speed and Attention Span are well studied.  There are averages, minimums, and maximums for them.   It shouldn't be impossible to design a mechanism where a player can push themselves to the limits of their reactions and attention.  After all, it's some of what experimental and cognitive psychology does all day.  Mental Chronometry.

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First off, take the time to watch this:



A lot of the conclusions are hard to apply to warframe but it's still worth watching




Power Creep in Warframe is a fact. Soma Prime and Boltor Prime are better than their earlier versions, that is powercreep.


That's not necessarily bad though, a lot of the weapons in warframe are there to earn you mastery points and give a small boost during the beginning, being easy and cheap to make and letting you try different types of weapons.


Other weapons cater to a different play style. Few people would argue that snipers are powerful, but some people like them and get enough out of them to benefit any endless run.


That's diversity for you.


The problem is that the end game content, the thing that keeps us playing is having trouble keeping up, hence the introduction of nullifiers and infected MOAs, wether you like them or not they are a stop gap thrown in to give some challenge while DE can find a way to balance end game content. 


As is stands right now, De can't keep up with the power system they've created and a rethinking is in order. Sure your weapons might be useless after 60+ min in T4, but there isn't really a lot of ways to play around it. 


Auras are a good example, they've been reduced to one aura that's really viable for truly long runs. The problem is that removing enemy armour entirely removes a third of the scaling making the run boringly easy for the first 40 min


So while I'd argue that nerfing yourself is never a good solution, no good game should ask players not to bring their best, I'll also agree that a rebalancing of the scaling system is in order.


Things like the Vay hek prosecuters are, I feel, a great addition, forcing players to bring different tools to tackle different enemies, instead of straight damage scaling. Same thing can be said for adding Vor to T4 (only greater variety of bosses that can spawn is needed).


EDIT: gramma, and poster above already mentioned EC

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Totally agree with the original post. If you feel like you are too powerful you are not in a high enough mission. Also, void keys are what they are, and if you are complaining about the enemies in a t4 anything after 60-90 minutes you've stayed too long. They are not truly meant to be "endless", DE would like you to use more than 1 key every 5 hours of game play.

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well we are supposed to be tenno, powerful warriors that are able to beat an unbeatable race of sentients. keep in mind the sentients where beating the orokin and the orokin were very powerful and yet they were beaten by the sentients and so they developed the tenno and warframes and we beat an unbeatable foe, of course we are overpowered because if not then how would we beat the sentients. to put things in simple terms think of us, the tenno, as humans and then the corpus and the grineer are ants or insects, then the corrupted are like wolves or a powerful animal that isn't so easy to kill, then you have the sentients they are like cyborgs unable to be defeated unless you have a certain something to beat them and that certain something was us tenno. now i know this is a game and balance should be a part of it but if you think about it the tenno would be overpowered to these races in the first place and the sentients would be our equals and we wanted lore and if this game can tie lore into the gameplay (i bolded that to show its gameplay not something else) to show how powerful we are then that is awesome, and even further more the sentients are coming and more than likely they are going to be hard to fight. that's really all i have to say so yeah. but if it didnt make any sense than im sorry i just felt like i should put that out there to help with the power creep idea.

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I just don't see how the game will have its difficulty balanced if there's constantly stuff being released that nullifies any difficulty had.


I'd rather they release cruddy weapons that get buffed later on to appropriate levels than ridiculously powerful weapons that need to get balanced.

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