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Improving the New Player Experience


DeckardPain
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At the start, I thought the Market only offered the items from the start page (the featured ones). I never knew that you could click on "Categories" or that buying blueprints from the market for credits (even some of the weapons like Lex and the MK1 stuff). A simple VO line from Lotus "Tenno, you can buy additional weapons from the market by selecting an appropriate category. A small selection of weapons is available for direct purchase with credits." would have sufficed,

Edited by Darillian
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I started playing sometime before U17. I could ramble about it for a long time, but here's the problem in short:

There is just more and more you need to learn with each update. An experienced player has no problem with it, but when you're starting,
you get introduced to everything at the same time.

People will obviously feel overwhelmed by it, and as the updates keep piling up, it will be harder and harder to "get into it."

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19 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 

I actually agree with you here.  Learning content on you own will always feel better than being babied into content, I just wish though that DE would make this learning process easier and less frustrating.  I also think that there's always a way to reach medium of good tutorial without hand holding.  A way of introducing people in to the game that doesn't make people whelmed and allow new players to start the game with momentum rather than be confused as what to do after Vor's Prize.

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20 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.

Hand holding and a lack of information on basic things is not the same thing. New players feeling lost and not knowing the importance of systems such as modding is an issue.

This isnt like Dark Souls where all you really need to know are the basic controls.

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Learning by handholding is one thing but having to find out things via wiki is quite another when it's necessary info. For example.. i know its a simple thing but what exactly do eximus units auras do? What exactly is a sanguine eximus? Or a blitz eximus? Why not simply call them what they are rather than confusing names?

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Warframe obscurity is to drip feed information slowly preventing people from learning the flaws in the game too fast. 

If new players reach snoozefest meta loot cave or come to the conclusion that it's inevitable in less than ten hours, it will be the problem for sunk cost build up, conditioning and indoctrination. 

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As a dedicated Warframe player, I've made my fair share of attempts to get friends to play the game. Initially they are starstruck by the graphics, the fast, fluid movement, and the slick, stylish gameplay, but they always run into the same questions, which halt their progression and take them out of their immersion. These questions are things like "What are Credits used for?", "What is Affinity(Referring to the yellow triangle that popped out of a crate)?", "What are mods?", "What's a detonite ampule?", and other questions in the same vein. The lack of explanation for things of this nature doesn't cause an issue immediately, but instead leaves players with a lot of questions and frustration that may cause them not to pick the game up again once they put that controller down. 

The majority of these can be fixed pretty easily. With the first mission being a solo mission, the easiest solution for credits, resources, and Affinity, would be to have the reward pools for the crates and enemies altered, so that the first couple of crates can come with a pop-up explaining how each of these things work. Normally this would rip players out of the game, but if it were presented as a diorama, similar to the old tutorials, then I believe it might work just fine. Better yet would be to have The Lotus explain it, but that may be a bit time-consuming. 

For Credits and Mods, I think there would need to be some additional changes made. When the Market or "Communication" module is first obtained, it should bring the player to a stripped-down, credit-only version of the shop, rather than drop them into the full Platinum shop. The reason I find this necessary is to prevent people from turning away the game for what may at first appear to be a pay-to-win model, rather than the "Everything non-cosmetic is free" model that the game is loved for. Perhaps also introducing new players to their first credit goal in the form of purchasing a new weapon blueprint from a selected range of blueprints with parts available in the first three worlds would also highlight how quickly new gear can be acquired. After which having the Lotus introduce the to the first cash shop and gifting them enough Platinum to purchase the full standard color palette, and then explaining to them that upon reaching MR 2 they can gain more plat by farming relics and selling them to other players would help people put a lot of faith in Warframe as a whole. After all, it is something special that this game does with its premium currency. I've yet to see another game do it the same way. 

For Mods and resources, I think the first step should be removing all mods as drops within the first few missions until the Mod Workbench is unlocked. After which, another mission should introduce them to it and give them a starter pack containing the necessities as an end-of-mission reward. During this mission, it should be explained to them how mods work in-universe, their significance, and they should be shown how to install them. Even after years of playing, I didnt know until reading the Wiki that Mod Cores are Orokin Artifacts, and I'm sure that there are still hundreds if not thousands of players who never even gave that a thought. For new players, Warframe and weapon modding is only briefly explained by Ordis, and doesn't delve into the process of using Oro to upgrade them, where to look in order to begin the hunt for new, un-damaged ones, or how IPS and elemental combos work against the different factions.Giving Ordis additional lines, a tutorial for the Codex, and further helping new players get a proper start, would certainly make the first day of playing Warframe more enjoyable. This Codex Tutorial would also allow players to see where to find resources, their uses, and potentially which weapons they could build with them. 

If anyone else has additional ideas on how to improve the new player experience, I'd be more than happy to hear them. Warframe is great, but there's no better experience than playing Warframe with a few good friends. Improving the new player experience would make it much easier for each of us to get friends involved without the early-game hand-holding that new players complain about when playing with friends. 
 

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1 hour ago, KyoBladezen said:

so that the first couple of crates can come with a pop-up explaining how each of these things work. Normally this would rip players out of the game, but if it were presented as a diorama, similar to the old tutorials, then I believe it might work just fine. Better yet would be to have The Lotus explain it, but that may be a bit time-consuming. 

Don't get me wrong.  The new player experience needs some attention, but I don't think Roll popping out screaming "Megaman Megaman!" is the answer.  The Junctions and introductory quest are actually a pretty quality way to do it, but need updated and expanded.

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As someone who has been playing for just under the 6 month mark, there was a lot of general confusion.

To be fair - the first 2 hours of the game are fairly solid. You get walked through this interesting dynamic where youre winning your freedom, getting your ship put back together, and feeling like a badass space ninja while doing so.

The game has a really basic tutorial - but doesn't really put much on the line. When youre selecting a Warframe, maybe little movies of the abilities should play. I find too often people will pick a frame after just reading text and maybe not like the frame they thought they would. This leads to frustration and abandonment, because you cant really even delete your data from that email and start anew. Perhaps even allowing for a short dream sequence where you can test a starter frame for what feels best. Something like the simulacrum but more stripped down and foggy.

Otherwise, it is when you get outside of the first set of missions that you lose your way. After the first very directed missions, you are opened up to a game that explains very little until planet Europa. Why do I go to venus first? What are these junctions? Why am I fighting other frames at the junctions? Why do I need to assassinate these bosses. There is much to be desired in the "story area" of the first 4-6 planets. Considering the wealth of lore in warframe - seeing it not implemented is rough.

When I first started the game, it was fun to run maybe 10 missions, but after a bit - I questioned the *why* am I running these missions. Sure, I need to get to this planet. But *why* do I need to get there. Without the why, I didn't care about much else.

A big issue WF has is motivation. Having Lotus explain why we need to make it to Venus to assassinate the Jackals, and even see some of those reminders in the missions leading up. Sure, she tells you that the Jackals are bad, but only if you work hard enough and self motivate to get that far in the game.

My first time playing on PS4 in 2015 - I did not make it to the Jackals.

It feels disjointed in a way when you run excavation, capture, rescue, in a seemingly unrelated way - and then assassinate a boss. There feels like no story progress, and that it is going through the motions. For example, to run a rescue mission, get the hostage but then be "hunted" by jackal minions as you try to escape and leave would make me have more personal motivation. There is conflict between the Jackal and I now. More of a reason to assassinate him than "Lotus says he is bad".

The other hurdle I see with the game is the ability to become stronger. While you can see where some mods drop via the codex, this isn't information that is communicated to the player. And having mods that just show as a "?" is frustrating. Why must this information be secret. If there are mods that can only be found on a certain mission or planet, tell me. Again, this is motivation to progress and put in time.

There are a lot of barriers in the beginning of the game, but the biggest one is having too much freedom and not enough of a "why"

Last minor gripe is Cetus and the Plains. The fact that youre forced to go to Cetus, run one mission, see a gorgeous world and experience what that feels like, only to be kicked out because youre too weak is a huge oversight. Couple that with not even knowing how to get stronger and increase MR - I think this could hurt player retention as well.

I know there is a lot of extra information here, but I think the first 2 hours is fairly solid. But after that, the game opens up to nothing but confusion and emptiness.

I hope this helped!

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I actually started a new account specifically because this thread popped up. I’ll put all of my notes on a single post on this thread once I finish the war within.

Rules I am following

1: No interaction with my main account (duh)

2: Leave platinum trading to a minimum

3: Try to attempt any routes that are clearly explained. If none, follow the starchart.

Edited by ljmadruga
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Not exactly a two-hour experience but I felt the game did a poor job of explaining just how critical mods were to the progression aspect of Warframes and weapons.

Edit: Currently the text-tutorial for mods and modding seems rather lackluster for something that is so important. This may just be a design aspect of inspiring players to reach out and learn from other more experienced users but it feels off to me.

Edited by (XB1)RPColten
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I just spent an hour answering a new player’s questions. The game needs introductions for everything. 

This includes syndicates, how the relic system works. Crafting requirements. Relic refinement. How to get a clan key.

“I’m at level 30 why am I still weak?” This question told me a few things. He did not understand the importance of reactors catalysts or mods. He knew of them but not their value/necessity. He was at MR 3. He must have been lost for weeks.

Explaining focus, affinity, and mr is a nightmare. I just think the game needs more clarity in the beginning. 

Ive been wanting to play through the game from the beginning but I need a good computer to leave better feedback. 

I love this game. The new player although completely overwhelmed recognized the depth of the game and is now on the right track. I did this to help out not just a new player but for myself because someone did the same for me. 

I think the time has come for a better introduction to how things work in the Warframe universe.

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sometimes i think, one of the reason people has few in-game hours but a really huge number of hours in steam is because they playing while reading wiki/forum. i agree with you tho, but i dont think they will change this in the near future.

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Well the YouTube channel Jim Sterling has said he would start talking about problems warframe has and his first video on the issues was directly responsible (as stated by multiple de staff members) for the seperation of Prime Access accessories and regularl prime access for unvaulted primes so if he talks about the new player experience then maybe we'll get that change. 

It's sad though that we'd have to rely on a YouTuber for that. In any case Thank God for Jim @(*()$ Sterling.

Edited by (PS4)Chris_Robet
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2 hours ago, (PS4)BY-51 said:

I just spent an hour answering a new player’s questions. The game needs introductions for everything. 

This includes syndicates, how the relic system works. Crafting requirements. Relic refinement. How to get a clan key.

“I’m at level 30 why am I still weak?” This question told me a few things. He did not understand the importance of reactors catalysts or mods. He knew of them but not their value/necessity. He was at MR 3. He must have been lost for weeks.

Explaining focus, affinity, and mr is a nightmare. I just think the game needs more clarity in the beginning. 

Ive been wanting to play through the game from the beginning but I need a good computer to leave better feedback. 

I love this game. The new player although completely overwhelmed recognized the depth of the game and is now on the right track. I did this to help out not just a new player but for myself because someone did the same for me. 

I think the time has come for a better introduction to how things work in the Warframe universe.

I cant even count it anymore how many times i did the same.

New player comes in with a bunch of questions and somehow these are always here:

  1. Is my mastery rank the same as enemy levels
  2. Im lv30 does that mean i cant go to lv30+ nodes
  3. What are relics
  4. I reached mercury but cant go forward, what do i do now
  5. Where do i use mods
  6. What are these cards i get
  7. How do you bullet jump

I could go on with these its really tiring and these are the freakin basics.

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I introduced my brothers to the game a few months back, and it was astonishing how many things I had to explain because there are simply no indications otherwise (essentially, you have to explain everything to a new player, and even the minimal instructions in the Codex are insufficient).

Hell, one of my bros thought because he was below Mastery 3, he couldn't run any missions higher than level 1-3. 

I mean, I'm all for putting theorycrafting stuff in a wiki, but it might be nice, for instance, when you see "Forma" being discussed, there was a little FAQ that answered questions like "What is the benefit of using forma?"

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I agree that the game should have more introduction for new players, although i would like to point out that personally i believe the game becomes a lot more interesting when you slowly start discovering things on your own and even more when you start reading on warframe.wiki. I fill new players only care about progression other than exploring and discovering things about the game on their own. at the same time i could say that for most new players that could be very discouraging.

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10 hours ago, (PS4)BY-51 said:

He was at MR 3. He must have been lost for weeks.

Considering how fast you level up at the low levels that will have been about 3 days for most players....

Don't get me wrong though, the game could really do with some 'pointers' for newbies about key mechanics and even include some recommendations (like get all syndicate sigils because you can't get them when negative, sure that hasn't changed since I did it)

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It doesn't have to be a massive, explicit infodump like the Wiki. But things like:

  • "What's the difference between mastery and affinity?"
  • "What does enemy level mean?"
  • "Why would I use a forma?"
  • "What should I spend my starting platinum on?"
  • "Why is mastery important?"

That kind of thing could be explained better. I thought PoE having the introduction to Codex Scanning was (albeit tiny) a neat thing, because I was mastery 7 or something before I knew about Codex scanning. 

Edited by Ham_Grenabe
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It's not that Warframe tutorials and pointers don't exist (though I would argue that they are still subpar as they currently stand) but that the game doesn't even really let you know that they exist. Plus, good game design is weaving tutorials into the game at appropriate times. How many games have you played where you come to a low hanging object and it says "Press [button] to crouch"? Warframe doesn't have anything like that for most of its systems.

When you first enter the mod screen, there should be a little pop-up window that explains how slotting mods works, their benefit and importance, how energy capacity works, and possibly also introduce the concept of Forma. Ideally, these would be accompanied by a little video showing the various systems in action, possibly with a Lotus or Ordis voiceover. Use a fade transition between a lv0 and lv30 weapon and show the energy capacity increasing, then show another short video of slotting a reactor into a lv30 weapon, again focusing on the energy capacity doubling. Another video could show a couple mods being slotted in, focusing on the damage numbers going up. A similar tutorial should pop up the first time a player caps out their mastery XP and is ready for their first test, as it's the perfect time to explain how they were earning mastery XP (which tells them how to do it going forwards) and also the benefits of increasing their mastery rank. Also, instead of hiding this stuff away in the Codex afterwards, maybe have a Tutorials section in the menu screen so they're quickly and easily accessible should you need to go back and review.

That's just for your gear. Everything should have comprehensive tutorials like this when the player is introduced to a new facet of the game for the first time. The Wiki is great and all, but a new player should not have to resort to it just to grasp core concepts.

Edited by NovusNova
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3 hours ago, Ham_Grenabe said:

It doesn't have to be a massive, explicit infodump like the Wiki. But things like:

  • "What's the difference between mastery and affinity?"
  • "What does enemy level mean?"
  • "Why would I use a forma?"
  • "What should I spend my starting platinum on?"
  • "Why is mastery important?"

That kind of thing could be explained better. I thought PoE having the introduction to Codex Scanning was (albeit tiny) a neat thing, because I was mastery 7 or something before I knew about Codex scanning. 

I am currently helping new players and having to repeat the same things over and over again because they are the same things that are not explained.

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9 hours ago, LSG501 said:

Considering how fast you level up at the low levels that will have been about 3 days for most players....

Don't get me wrong though, the game could really do with some 'pointers' for newbies about key mechanics and even include some recommendations (like get all syndicate sigils because you can't get them when negative, sure that hasn't changed since I did it)

Consider that he had no idea how to use mods and reactors and I’m pretty sure you’re back at 3 weeks.

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