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MBaldelli

Some thoughts prior to the War Within release w/ suggestions along the way

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Just a little thought before getting into the suggestions. I've added the thinking process as a spoiler for those that have a TL;DR approach to everything.   I admit, I ramble.  It's an occupational hazard that comes from ADD coupled with trying to decompress four years of history into something digestible to the masses.  

Spoiler

I don't remember what it was that I watched (or read) that attracted to the game, I do remember what it was that did attract me:  Ninjas play Free.  Like all potential for MMO gaming, I tended to research it as well and remember coming across the Crash Course in Warframe series from akamikeb and seeing "magical"/shinobi-like abilities said, "yes, please…"  So downloading it on Steam, it's been a staple of my PC games since April 2013. 

 

Gaming went well for almost a year and while I tend to be a solo player mostly, I did enjoy what missions I had access to from Saturn, through Mercury, Venus and some of Earth.  Yeah -- the maps were different back then and insertion back to home system only made sense to the developers at the time.  However a couple of the niggling problems I was having with the game were two-fold.  First was that the wallet warriors and those that have 40 - 60 hours a week to play the game burned through the content faster than I ever would and were demanding from the developers more challenge for the money (and time) they were throwing into the game.  Second was that the developers knowing they had a gold mine in their control of Warframe and were patronizing those players however they could. 

 

My enjoyment of the game quickly became annoyance and then later disgust as fighting a mission with the Infested (some alert somewhere I think), I found my Warframe stun-locked by a swarm of Chargers to death.  Not once, not twice, but every time I ran into Infested on any mission.   I tried doing normal missions and watched low level Grineer and Corpus not only being able to 100% accurately hit me no matter my trajectory or abilities to evade and run to the alarms before any attack/counter-attack could be performed.   Space Ninja was burned and in its place was just another space-shoot-em-up.  

 

I attempted to bring up my consternation to the forums about the lack of the "ninja" feel that this was producing within the game and felt that Warframe was transforming into just another sci-fi shoot-em-up.  And the market has plenty of them out there. 

 

I was met with some fairly negative messages. 

 

I was met with "...this game is not for you." 

 

I was met with the sort of environment I didn't want any part of way back when, when I used to discuss shows I used to watch on Usenet. 

 

So I decided quickly it was time to walk away for a bit.  If the game improved, so much the better.  If it didn't, I had other games to play.  

 

In that hiatus, I hear I missed Vivergate.

 

I also missed some of the revamping for the game that brought the Ninja back to Warframe. 

 

In fact it was well into Update 16.11 that news had reached me in Star Trek Online of all places, where my fleet mates were touting the ease for getting all the materials for building an upgrading  the Tenno-controlled Warframes and that the game had opened up Potatoes which used to be platinum only purchases that brought me back to the game.  I admit that I liked it once again.  Grineer & Corpus weren't able to automatically hit me even when evading.  Sometimes it takes time for them to sound alarms as well -- and I get plenty of time to act against the target.  Infested weren't stun-locking me to death.  I was able to act (and figuratively breath) in the game without frustration. 

 

Then it seems to be happening all over again.  Nullifiers were introduced.  The Orokin Derelict/Key System was revamped (now called Space Cabbages).  Overall, some good, some not so much…. 

 

I'm also starting to see a trend in the update system particularly since update 18.  It seems for every update there are also a gaggle of hotfixes that are pushed out as well.  Way too many when you compare 18 and 19 to 17 and before.  And with all these hotfixes, there seems to be a growing amount of friction from the community.   Friction means frustration, confusion, bad design implementation.  It also means more dissatisfaction along the way.  

 

This isn't the noise that comes from humanities inherent dislike of change (though that is indeed contributing to that noise).  No, this is the sort of friction I remember that pushed me into taking my hiatus before.  It feels as though this game and its developers are once again coming full circle to the very problems I recall prior to that hiatus:  once again the development team is attempting to patronize the wallet warriors by making it "more challenging". 

 

However, instead of giving them more power to deal with the threats, the developers are nerfing things more to hobble the players into working through the challenges they face.

 

This sounds good on paper, the problem is however, that human nature abhors having power taken away from them once it's been given.   Humans will pitch a fit when you give them one thing and then take it away the week afterward.  

 

So where am I going with this?  Since seeing this video, it's really got me thinking.

 

There seems to three major problems that have developed from the time this game went from closed to open beta, that is causing more problems for the continued success of this game:

 

  1. Power Creep

 

When I joined this game after it going open beta, there were 2 Prime Warframes released to the gaming public 3 years ago.  Fast forward to today and almost 50% of the created warframes are now primed (14).  Out of the 30 Warframes created that's pretty staggering especially when you consider there's been discussions of the potential for Umbra frames (in response to the loyalty to those that had originally purchased the Founder's Pack). 

 

Prime weapons (Primary, Secondary, Archwing, and Melee) and Companions comes up to 37 prime variants. 

 

Pretty damned staggering when you consider that the game is only 4 years old.  And while I shouldn't compare games like this and Star Trek Online when it comes to game content, I can compare the time it's taken Star Trek to build its lore up:  50 years this month.  It raises the sort of question, how is Warframe going to last if it's handing out more powerful arms, mods and Warframes with each update hand over fist?  How long is it going to take before the player base gets frustrated, sick and tired of the power-creep grind that's being generated in less than 5 years?  And ultimately, how long will it be before the mass migration away from the game going to start? 

 

  1. An alarming amount of hotfixes in the last two years and lessons to be learned from the Knee-Jerk response during Vivergate*.

 

It's hard for me to imagine that this game is coming up on being 4 years old.  It's harder for me to imagine that I've been on this ride for a great majority of it.  As a beta tester (and general all around Technomage), I find myself divided between relishing my occasional volunteering in the clean-up of the issues I come across and seriously frustrated by being part of the guinea pig farm controlled by the will and whims of the developers.   It is in my estimation that at this point, I'm rather surprised by this operation whose net worth is $73 million (American) is not converting to a two-step process of test server/live server as so many MMOs tend to do nowadays.  This two-step testing/go live has its benefits -- from the discovery of things like Viver during the introduction of the Syndicates, through to the Franken-Tenno Kubrow/Kavat hybrids recently to all the various bugs that get re-introduced with every update and even hotfixes. 

 

If this two-step system exists, then I would strongly suggest it needs to be expanded upon beyond the small circle that it currently is.  If experience has shown me anything -- if you, the developers -- are keeping your cards close to your chest as seems to be the case because of potential leakage for new content; the amount of noise that's generated with this current system coupled with the loss at least two notable content providers of the Warframe Channel indicate….  It's no longer working efficiently and needs to be improved upon.  There are methods for this expansion that will assist in preventing the bleed-out of information to the masses (through NDA and a more rigorous extended beta-test team among the player-base) and could even give the data miners a pause from their scouring for the esoteric information they're always seeking.  

 

* For the record, don't think because I didn't experience the issue firsthand during Vivergate; means my opinion on this can be negated.  I read the forum posts of what was done during update 15.2.0.  At the time I was only running with Excalibur and I hadn't reached Eris at the time.  I guarantee based on my internal reactions when I read that post, I would've launched into the forum like a supernova. 

 

  1. What kind of game are you making? 

 

Having watched StallordD's speculative video series, I have to say that this game has incredible potential for creating the sort of lore that some players can imagine and expound upon.  It also has the sort of elements that allow players, wanting to ignore the story and backstory can pick up their weapons of choice and blast any number of enemies from the three factions (Grineer, Corpus or Infested), going at them like mercenaries out for commission.  The problem is -- with the amount of tchotchke I've been seeing introduced to the game in the Liset market to Baro Ki'teer (earrings for the Tenno operators) recently -- it's seriously beginning to give me pause and ask, "do you (Developers) really know what you want to do with this game?" 

 

The more ominous thoughts that I have is that all this tchotchke that's been added to the game -- from Syandanas to auxiliary Cosmetics --  is being done to give shiny baubles to those players that are creating the loudest noise.  Allow me to point something;  shiny baubles serves the same purpose as the use of %$# and &#! in television.  That is, they might give a brief spike in ratings, but like all rating flashes in the pan -- the audience will look at any further attempts at their use incredulously, skeptically and even eventually will turn on your product faster than you can say, "knee-jerk response". 

 

The bottom line is -- like it or not -- make people work for that item.  They tend to value it more when they work for it.  If you're just giving it to them without second thought, taking it away when it seems to be breaking the mechanics of the game and repeating this cycle over and over again...  It's only going to create Spoiled Child Syndrome.  

 

In Conclusion

 

I admit I find myself rather disappointed with what I've been seeing of this game since the rushed update just prior to TennoCon (Update: Specters of the Rail) and all the hotfixes that had to come out during that convention and since…  I find myself rather tired of the he said/she said/knee-jerk responses between the developers and player-base often forgetting this simple quote when programming and immediately releasing anything directly to the wilds (of a live server):

 

"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools…" 

 

 And while I relish some challenges when it comes to changes in something (Warframe, mod, companion, etc.), I'm seriously exhausted of those changes being done as a knee-jerk response to when developers discover people have performed better beta testing that should have been performed prior to release. 

 

Thanks for listening… 

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im not shure what a lot of you "thinkers" are on

warframe is never a 100 % 8 hours daily or more issue at DE, cant be, its a nisheproduct and started at this, even that the "communication" was and is different

so, warframe is/was/is a cashcow and same time not their main creativity or job they have to do, there is nothing wrong in it as well as stop caring about, dude, you get a headache because you and many more miss horribly here, i dont say DE is fooling you/us as well as you will never be able to get the truth about this game

if i miss here DE can anytime give a fact or proof that i miss with a realtime video - lets say over a minimum of 2 hours - or a few about time and development and technical basics for somebody which have a basic understanding for this area ... which they will never do ... ^^)

and finally, i d c ... dont waste your time, enjoy warframe or go for another game, even that the story and the artwork of frames etc. is touching ... and be shure, warframe will not reach the ground again ... this is done (^^

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I don't ever get the point of these posts.

Have you ever tried to develop anything? How about have that thing explode in popularity? Ever gave someone a deadline where you have two options: Finish it but poorly, or put it off? There is no winning in that situation.

They know what they're doing.

My suggestion is to stop watching youtubers who have as much insight to the game's development as any other player and taking their opinions and ideas as truth.

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Very complete analysis, truth indeed,Tww have the longest waiting period (ignoring umbra) but we need to get pacient and calm not pushing and opressing DE, just take a breath and think.

 

 

 

DE make and espectacular game and making it totally FREE(you will never see a pay Adventure in this game) all content of game experience is released for eveyone, is a free full game they need time indeed but see the game, is fine at today.

There's not need to be rude and sad, etc. With a team(little team) who was created a big game.

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