Jump to content
Jade Shadows: Share Bug Reports and Feedback Here! ×

Is "open Beta" The Best Way To Describe Warframe?


Licter
 Share

Recommended Posts

Summary: I love Warframe, but it is a game in development process, not a completed game in Beta test.  This is good and bad.

 

I'm going to make the argument that Warframe is not really an open beta project.  I don't believe that most people would classify the game, as it stands, as being a complete and fleshed-out game.  Basically, it has a (basic) UI, player avatars, playable environments (with little variation), NPCs (again, with little variation), and an engine that all those things run on.

Well how could that not be a complete game?  Because it lacks any substance.  There is a shortage of weapons/equipment, enemy variation, environment variation, UI features (better chat; trade or market; mod management), end-game content, and (most of all) plot and lore.

Now before I sound like I'm bashing Warframe or DE, let me say that I love the game.  I'm simply making the argument that Warframe should not be considered to be an "open beta" because the game was not 'feature complete' before it entered this state.  So then what is it?

I argue that Waframe is a collaborative development project.  The developers are working closely with the community while they add features to the game, fleshing it out as they go.  I love the idea of being a player working with developers, but I want to point out some benefits and drawbacks that seem to be affecting the process.

 

We'll start with DE Benefits:

     1) They can draw on the feedback from the players on what to focus their efforts on, ensuring that they aren't wasting time developing content that won't be used or wanted. 

     2) They can develop the game using incoming revenue, rather than venture credit; this allows them to have a leaner business plan with less up-front capital requirements.  Last time they worked on this game universe (Dark Sector) they had to bend the game away from their vision because they were beholden to an investor, who provided capital. Now, they can pilot the boat because we (the players) are the 'investors' funding the game development.

     3) They have thousands of players acting as a creative think-tank on improvements and content, at no cost.

Now DE Drawbacks:

     1) They suffer from higher expectations and frustration from the player community.

     2) Because they have to simultaneously develop new content, address existing bugs, and support current play, their resources are divided, and development of the game is slowed down.

     3) They lose the anticipation and optimism of release day. When the game is officially 'released' it will still suffer from the concerns and pessimism expressed by the community because of drawbacks one and two.

 

So, player Benefits:

     1) We get to have our hands in shaping this game, and have a close interaction with the developers.  This is pretty unique, at least to me, and I suspect to most everyone else as well.

     2) We get exclusive content (Vandal gear, Snipetron, possibly Lato Prime and Skana Prime)

     3) We get to exploit oversights and balance issues during development (no judgment on whether or not we should), such as "buy stuff for Dojo, then reset my account and have everything back and a nice Dojo."

 

And player Drawbacks:

     1) Like DE's drawback number one above, we expect more.  We tend to get frustrated easier because we expect the game to be further along than it is, and we tend to get a bit irate about it at times.

     2) Same as DE's number two drawback, we have to wait in extended anticipation for new content and features.

     3) We have to consider whether spending money on Warframe is an investment or a gamble, because we can't be sure what the game will be when it is "done."

 

My final thoughts, what can we do?

DE:  1) Focus on levels, enemies, bosses, UI, and lore.  I have a Gorgon, and don't care about the Grakata.  I have a Snipetron and don't care about the Vulkar.  The same is mostly true for Warframes.  I'm going to get far more mileage from having new maps and enemies, than from having a new (slightly different) weapon to use on the same maps and enemies as the last 100 hours of play.

        2) Try to focus new equipment on things that change gameplay.  The Glaive and Kunai are good examples, they change the way you use melee or secondary weapons.  Otherwise, focus on easy changes like Prime models of frames and weapons; they don't take much to develop and are still quite wanted by players.

        3) Consider putting your cards on the table (to some degree).  Lay out a description of what you see as being the "complete" release version of the game.  Then we have something to look forward to, and some idea of a timeline until we reach that point.

 

Players: 1) Focus more on what feedback can help DE make our game better, rather than wasting time griping about how their game sucks.

              2) Try to revise your view of the game from something that is complete and finished, to something that is a work in progress.  Make suggestions, and give useful criticism (preferably with suggestion on what would be better).

              3) Have fun!  And if you aren't having fun, then why bother to share that with anyone on a forum? (unless you are doing one or two above).

 

Wow, is that a wall of text.  Thanks for reading!  Disagree?  Things that I've missed? (I'm sure there are plenty)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"OPEN BETA" as in "Letting more people play to test the stuff we wanna put in before we actually release it"?

 

I dunno what you're on about, but this is the Dev's way (or anyone who makes games) to test random crap before putting it in. The only difference between Closed and Open betas is the number of people being let in. Who honestly cares what the "content" is. That has different context depending on the person who thinks it. Wha tyou think as content ISN'T the same as others. DE's concept is different. They call this "Open Beta" because they want MORE people to test things they WANT to put in. 

 

YES this is an OPEN Beta. They're completing their objective. Stop complaining about it.

 

(inb4 anyone says this isn't a complaint thread)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beta just means it's not ready for release, I'm pretty sure, before open beta became a popular system, beta testers were NOT testing completed games for bugs, they were testing new content as it was added so bugs could be stamped out before they were cemented in. In that regard, this is a beta.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Perpetual Beta."  I could go with this idea, though it seems like a bit of a blurry line.

 

And I'm mostly asking if people feel like this is a 'complete' game as it stands.  If it is, then being in Beta makes sense, otherwise no.

 

And this isn't a complaint thread, it is a call to re-evaluate how the development of the game is taking place.  It may be that reconsidering what the status of the game is may help communication, expectations, and overall perceptions of the games progress.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The following little rant is not aimed solely at warframe or DE in particular but is a general view on the digital games-market as a whole nowadays.

And F2p practices in particular...

 

 

Sadly, the instant-gratification crowd coupled with the money-grubbing nature of the games industry these days have allowed things like Betas that people pay to test, and other even more unsavory practices.. To become the norm.

 

There simply exists no reason for anyone who distributes their software digitally to ever proclaim a product as "released" other than to print physical copies to reach the last 0,1 percent of gamers that do not have an internet connection.

 

Especially not when people are willing to swallow issues with the product easier with a flat mantra "its beta!", when devs STILL use the product as if it was released. (ie paid services being online despite the so called testing phase)

 

 

"but but but, the devs get more people to test the game, so it must be a good thing!!"

 

Damn right, skippy.

However, there are clear trends showing that OPEN BETA is NOT being used as a service towards the developers of software in order to finalise a product.

It is being used and considered by all parties as a released product, and very few players of open betas actually TEST, send detailed bug reports, and spend hours upon hours of collating data to offer the devs out of the goodness of their hearts.

which is the whole point.

 

So, quite to the contrary to popular belief (by some) Open beta testing is not a positive thing for most software, all it generally does is stain the image of the envisioned final product in the eyes of the consumers who participate in the beta.

(which also happens to be a big portion of all the people who would have bought the final product in the first place)

 

which in turn corelates closely to the recent trend of Release-level profits in beta stage, and then a sharp decrease in sales post-release.

 

Which also is why we have so many new games being made F2P from the beginning, and then staying in "open beta" for as long as possible.

 

One could only hope, that the recent trends would evolve into more healthy and sustainable business practices in the future.

But that would require mindfullness from gamers not to swallow every spindoctors pathetic attempts at apologetisism..

So we're screwed..

 

 

The current market is a result of the consumer's actions (that's YOU) .. Nothing more.

In todays market DE has the moral highground and are good guys.. But that is only relative to todays market.

If any of the modern F2p extortion-schemes had been tried ten years ago, they would have been lynched by every gamers-mag on the planet and labeled The devil, and rightly so.

 

My personal view on things, such as they are.

Hopefully it provides some modicum of perspective in those that need it.

/rant

 

Tldr: No, read the whole thing or skip it entirely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I give up.  There seems to be two schools of thought here.  One is: this game is legitimate Beta, and anyone who disagrees that this game is fully developed or feature-complete is just complaining or doesn't understand the modern gaming/ modern video game business.  The other school of thought seems to be that the modern gaming/ modern video game business is exploitative and 'evil.'

 

I was hoping that there was an audience for genuine consideration of how Warfame's development style may vary from traditional notions of "beta testing," and how we may utilize the benefits of this process while mitigating the negatives.  Instead, the notion is attacked by polarized opinions of how smart developers are compared to gamers, or how evil developers are in exploiting ignorant and gullible gamers.

 

So no option to discuss how we can best coordinate with development and positively improve both the game creation process and business performance of developing F2P games seems to exist.

 

My lesson: don't bother to post on the forums unless I compose a short, shallow, and instantly provocative fluff post that feeds on divisive and simplistic pandering to polar opposites in reason.  In other words, attempts to seek the center (moderate) view on any subject will never garner positive consideration, and will only invite the most vile vitriol of both extremes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...