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Improving the New Player Experience


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As cool as it would be to see this in the game for new players, it would be way too much work for DE and I'm sure this is not a priority. I think the most beautiful thing about Warframe is the fact that you have to figure out the things yourself. The game doesn't hold your hands all the time, which is a good thing in my opinion so you're not bombarded with everything the game has to offer in the first 5 minutes. Thanks to this, Warframe has one of the most friendly and helpful communities out there. Also no pvp. That's how you turn new players away from the game instantly. 

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If you're wondering what I'm talking about, it's the beginning of the game. The introductions. And I feel I must once again bring attention to this. Since I've talked about this before, I'll keep it brief and to the point.

Whats happening here is that, while the introductions and tutorials are much better than they where in 2013, the beginning of the game is discouraging new players. I get that the game doesn't hold you hand, and I support that, but Warframe as of now straight up abandons you in regards to the simplest of mechanics. It keeps people from entering and enjoying a brilliant game. This has been a huge problem since the birth of Warframe, and it needs to be fixed. 

My previous post detailing all the problems: 

 

 

Tactical Potato's video that prompted this page: 

 

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I would have to agree. For the longest time Warframe has relied on older players to teach the newer players, which isn't a good system. The new player experience shouldn't be reliant on other people. (With the exception of playing with friends, I am talking about needing to talk to random people just to find out basic information.) Honestly, this could be fixed by simply adding more codex entries about the base mechanics, and then leading new players there at the start of the game. It wouldn't force players to look at these, but they are there if you want them.

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So, what would you suggest be looked at or done? Like maybe a new default keybind setup? Movement tutorials & more Codex? More Mission stages added to the early content, to give more rigid parameters for newer players to build into existing quests and Junctions? Evolving Quick Melee into an actually complementary system?

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Before I begin, let me clarify. I'm not arguing for no improvements to new player experience, I'm just examining one side effect of the current one.

 

People I get into warframe typically mention how hard it is to figure out the game, be it mods, powers, or progression. They then go into how they ended up having to ask 101 questions in general chat, and someone spent the time to walk them through every question they had, and show them the ropes. Those who keep playing the game months later, usually remark that the community in warframe is, across the board, far more friendly and helpful than other games. Not saying players are without the toxicity (Lord knows how many times i've gotten cursed out because my offer on WF.market was the lowest, but I refused to lower farther); rather, I'm saying that there is something in warframe that causes players to go out of their way to help newcomers and veterans alike. Is it because every player is reliant on more experienced players early on?

If DE wants to change the new player experience, they will need to consider how much information is hidden from new players, and how much is obfuscated in order to allow veterans to guide the new players. Just my two cents.

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9 minutes ago, Magnar21 said:

If DE wants to change the new player experience, they will need to consider how much information is hidden from new players, and how much is obfuscated in order to allow veterans to guide the new players. Just my two cents.

ideally then, they should get new players into relay in a way they get hooked up. first thing that needs esplainin is the chat system, at least on ps4. its a little opaque v what ive seen

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2 hours ago, (Xbox One)RabidGoldfish J said:

I wonder if Simaris might be helpful in this regard.  New players could be directed to him and he might have a handful of tutorial missions available.  He already has his tutorial for synthesis.

From a tutorial standpoint? Absolutely. They could make anything they want in a Cephalon Training room. The only problem is that it creates a false illusion that they'll be interacting with Simaris more than once or twice a week given that person is playing more than 3 to 4 hours a day.

Edited by Teoarrk
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You guys did a horrible job of introducing NPC allies and enemies in game. Every boss never gets a proper introduction, save for Vor. But even Vor is fought thrice and unless you listen to Lotus' droning, or ante up on your wiki reading, or watch one of the old trailers for Warframe, you'll have no clue how or why you are fighting these bosses. I remember when beating Kela De Thayme on Sedna, I got a freaking transmission from the head of Steel Meridian thanking me for what I did, even though she was literally never established when I got to Sedna. And I get that by this time, we'll have interacted with her via syndicates, but that isn't good enough if you're a player who never got involved with the syndicates at this point (that in and of itself leads to another issue in the game which I'll address soon). The same goes for the head of the Perrin Sequence when you fight Ambulas. You get literally no introduction on who or what these people are past in game droning via lotus or last minute transmissions during the boss battle mission (which doesn't work out, since most players are focused on rushing to the boss room to get the fight over with).

There needs to be introductions not just to the planet itself, but to the characters and factions you interact with on your trek through the solar system. I think I may actually have a solution to this issue. Add cutscenes. I know that's a scary word, especially in an MMO style game so far in development, but I'm dead serious. Add cinematic cutscenes, like at the beginning of questlines that establish who these enemies are and why they are doing what they are doing. No more droning from the lost in-mission. That doesn't work at all, and it only serves to distract players who are otherwise talking with each other in game, or focused on the rush of the mission. Have these cutscenes play out after you complete junctions (or unlock the first node in the case of the void and the derelict), and make these cutscenes and junctions replayable (or playable/witnessable for older players). Extend that replayability to older quests and potential cutscenes for older quests if the devs decide to take on my next issue/solution.

There is another glaring issue that was actually brought up by the Beautiful Fecking Irish Potato in his recent video. That issue is of new player accessibility. Not only are characters never introduced properly, but in game mechanics are not introduced well enough either. Take for instance, The New Strange; This is easily one of the worst quests I have ever played, and I've played old Artix Entertainment games (fite me on dis). You're doing a mission, then you go back and forth to relays, other missions, rooms within relays, you get the point. The structure of the mission is disjointed, the introduction to new game mechanics like the scanner feel forced and put a stick in the gears of the flow of the game as a whole. This, and other missions like this, feel bland and pointless, and are only played because we have to play them to understand what is going on. There are times when players are given no hint, no clue as to what to do or where to go, and it's off-putting as heck and it needs to be addressed.

(Another thing related to the New Strange: Get rid of regular scanners, and just have the simaris scanners be available to the players. There's no reason for us to have the original scanners anymore, when we have an adjustable scanner that can be modded and used for everything the regular scanner does and then some. The original scanner doesn't need to exist, it's presence and importance to the early game is miniscule, and players only end up getting the simaris ones instead after they beat the New Strange early on.)

The first questline is actually really well done. You have intrusive aspects in game that surprisingly set it apart from the rest. But after the first quest, what do you get? You get to hop from planet to planet until you figure out what to do next, either via the codex, wiki, other players, etc. But I've already covered those issues, and I'd rather focus on the problems with the first few quests themselves. They're repetitive. Some quests are literally just the same mission on a restructured map. I get that this is early game content, back when resources and experience was limited, but it's no longer that era of Warframe. As I said earlier, missions need variety not only in the mission types used, but in the missions themselves as you go about them. More effort needs to be put into them, and the content/characters introduced through them so that they can feel like questlines and not just another series of repetitive, boring, MMO missions you find in literally every other game. Maybe add cutscenes that better establish the characters, or take a few notes from Rebecca's Mission Suggestions board that she put up recently. Anything beats what we have now, and it turns players off both in the early game, and leading up to the Second Dream and The War Within.

Think about it this way: New players already run the rat mazes in their spare time in game. They do the same types of missions and objectives over and over again, but on a new tileset for each planet they go to. The questlines need to deviate from that, they need to set themselves apart from that, and while later questlines manage to do that quite well, the early and mid tier questlines completely fail to do that. Even the warframe collect-o-thon missions like the Limbo Theorem and the Hidden Messages ones are just the same two or three mission types with little to no variation. The only deviation they have can either be found in other parts of the game (in the case of limbo), or they can be wiki'd through (in the case of Mirage), and that spoils a lot of potential fun in playing these quests. The early quests need a complete and total restructure, or else players will get turned off before you can even get the chance to turn them on to what the rest of the game has to offer.

The first part of the game is the game's worst enemy, and things shouldn't have to be that way. With the increased dynamics in quest-types, and Rebecca's recent post on the forums asking players for input on what new quest types should exist, I feel like this is a perfect time to go back to step 1 and look at what can be done to really boost the experiences of new players when they are undergoing the first few stretches of the game. And I'm glad you guys are doing that finally, and I hope you implement some awesome stuff in the process, that even old vets can come back to enjoy.

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DE's dev team are among the most passionate and hard-working devs in this industry, however the lack of tutorials shows a lack of care to all the content they produce.  If DE want new and returning players to love the game then they have to leave a good impression.  Throwing these players into the wild with little sense of where to go, what to learn, and how to learn it gives the impression that the game doesn't want new players.  Yeah, there is the community to help out new players but then it makes it feel like the community wants new players and not the devs.   And yeah, there are sources outside the game but this doesn't guarantee that every new player will access it or want to access it.  There is also the issue of current tutorials being outdated and hidden in the game (the training tab in the codex is like an object in that's always in the peripheral view but usually goes unnoticed), Vor's Prize is doesn't even mention what bullet jumping is.

There is the counter argument that self learning teaches better and grants a level of satisfaction.  This is true for the more complex systems in the game like modding, but modding is shown to the player from the get go.  There are mechanics in the game that require players to come across by luck or are forced to figure out in the game's progression.  Cephalon fragments is one such example as they are required to complete a junction.

Sure there are other things in the game that bogs down the new player experience, such as the early game grind.  However these issues are amplified when the first twenty-four hours of the game feels both overwhelming and uninviting.

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i have a different view on this. I feel like introducing tutorials in a game like this will just become hand holding. warframe is just that kind of game and yes i know it makes it harder for newer players to get into the game but think about it. how would it be if a menu popped up while you're playing telling you "HERES HOW XXXX WORKS" or " DO XXXX FOR XXX". it would take you out of the flow of the game . that being said, i think the semi tutorials in the codex should be updated and maybe have a message tell you where to look for it the first time to get onto your ship. 
tldr; full on tutorials would be hand holdy and the reason warframe has a much better community than other games in the same or similar genres is because of the lack of tutorials allowing players to interact more 

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46 minutes ago, (Xbox One)DeluxeKnight831 said:

i have a different view on this. I feel like introducing tutorials in a game like this will just become hand holding. warframe is just that kind of game and yes i know it makes it harder for newer players to get into the game but think about it. how would it be if a menu popped up while you're playing telling you "HERES HOW XXXX WORKS" or " DO XXXX FOR XXX". it would take you out of the flow of the game . that being said, i think the semi tutorials in the codex should be updated and maybe have a message tell you where to look for it the first time to get onto your ship. 
tldr; full on tutorials would be hand holdy and the reason warframe has a much better community than other games in the same or similar genres is because of the lack of tutorials allowing players to interact more 

I'm on the boat of more streamlined tutorials. Things like, explaining that your Foundry can build an unlimited number of items at once (instead of the initial 6 that I used to think, due to the menu's size). Or, playing longer in Survival gives you better rewards because I'm sure a number of us first played Survival as a 10 min alert, which doesn't give more rewards for staying in the mission for longer. Another useful one is, you keep relics you don't open. These things need to be made clear to every new player in a F2P game because we know how scummy they can get sometimes.

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Considering how much of the game involves the market, a lot of new people avoid it because they assume it's an attempt to bait them into an MTX store. Since they're used to a lot of games doing that - especially f2p ones.

This is long term, but I would suggest perhaps renaming the market and laying it out more like a level up tree for skills so it's clear what the game is about. Keep the search functionality, but make the root UI more about goals to strive for on ranking up. Right now it's more of a big pile of things that you may or may not have access to, rather than a road map.

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sorry for the late reply, but a proper TUTORIAL should be a priority in this game. when even one of the biggest youtube content creator for warframe makes a video after this post about this problem. :P I don't even care about if they implement something from my ideas or not, I had my friend after a long time telling him about warframe to check out the game, and he stopped playing saying its not his kind of game after seeing like 1% of the game cause it was too daunting for him to chew through the early stage. It was too easy after I told him some of the systems even is solo play, plains was cool but ultimatly pointless for a complete beginner who just started to build up a basic array of tools (weapons, frames, etc). I told him to ask me anything and I'll help, but he is the kind of person who dont want help most of the time, it kills the point he sais (and he has a point there too sadly)

 

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As a new player, platinum seemed to be the only way to get things.  A few changes:

  1. Arsenal needs to have blueprint costs in credits first, platinum as an option.
    1. Weapons
    2. Warframes
    3. Catalyst
    4. Reactor
    5. Exilus adapter
  2. Quest to reward and teach players about said items above.
    1. Add a mods quest
    2. Add a load out quest
    3. Etc.
  3. Players want to spend platinum on
    1. Convince, other gear, otherwise seems pay to win.
    2. Cosmetics
    3. Slots for warframes, weapons, etc.
  4. Average or casual player
    1. Provide a five buck package they can buy every month
    2. 8.99 package for those who buy every two months.
    3. More people buying equals more money in.
  5. People hate buying something with platinum when there was a credit way.
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3 hours ago, (Xbox One)DeluxeKnight831 said:

i have a different view on this. I feel like introducing tutorials in a game like this will just become hand holding. warframe is just that kind of game and yes i know it makes it harder for newer players to get into the game but think about it. how would it be if a menu popped up while you're playing telling you "HERES HOW XXXX WORKS" or " DO XXXX FOR XXX". it would take you out of the flow of the game . that being said, i think the semi tutorials in the codex should be updated and maybe have a message tell you where to look for it the first time to get onto your ship. 
tldr; full on tutorials would be hand holdy and the reason warframe has a much better community than other games in the same or similar genres is because of the lack of tutorials allowing players to interact more 

A good compromise I think would be Riven style missions for new players.  The Junction system is meant to solve these issues without feeling like hand-holding and accomplishes its goal to some extent, but needs expanded upon and improved.

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Honestly I think Teshin giving a tutorial is just as important to the story as it is for the new player experience. Most players I feel have little idea who Teshin is, it would add a lot more weight to Natah and TWW if new players were actually exposed to Teshin.

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I just think the codex should have tutorials that are opened when the players has the first chance to do a mission type.

You can access your first Fissure. Game doesn't explain what it is and how it is done, but a codex entry is made available, so the player can check the codex instead of going to wikia. And when the codex entry is available, you have a BIG pop up on the screen.

The player can choose if doing the mission with or without handhold, simple as that.

If DE manages to address a way to make his game understandable for anyone without hand holding and manages to make the lore appreciable bringing back pieces of story they left out of the game after the events...they have a game that no other game can compete with.

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I dont think we need literal hand holding "To build an item press the build button here" type of stuff here but we need basic tutorials and hints on the load screen rotating and giving out basic info.

For example most people find out how to do a bullet jump by asking someone, looking for info on google or pure luck.

A basic mission where Ordis teleports the player to an obstacle course area where on the walls there are pictures on what buttons do what would be good.

Same goes for the very basics of modding, Ordis could get us to a simulation where he says our enemy is an X and you need to defeat it in Y time. Theres are some mods and a weapon on the table, try to do it. It could be made in a puzzle type of mission where the proper mod settings will destroy the target just in time while everything else fail. After you win you could ask ordis some questions on the mods or the enemy like in a proper rpg.

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1 hour ago, (PS4)big_eviljak said:

It took me a whole total of a week to figure this out... and only that long because i work. DE doesn't need to hold hands. The tutorial we get now is well enough.

Man, sometimes I think that veterans forget that they had the chance to learn the game bit by bit as it was evolving and changing.

It's not the same for newcomers that find themselves flooded with mechanics and unexplained things.

I followed the game through youtubers from the moment PS4 was announced, but I purchased a PS4 November 2016, so I started playing and I knew what the mechanics were, but it took long anyway to get into them.

Yeah, everyone can figure out things with time but, the fact that the game is F2P, so you don't pay money, doesn't give to all players the feeling of "I paid, so I must try to find a way to enjoy this", so many players just drop the game, which is a shame.

More active players potentially means more purchases and better resources for DE to make the game better and faster both for old and new players.

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