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Improving the New Player Experience


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8 hours ago, JalakBali said:

Back then my nephew tried Warframe and picked Loki because he could stealth. He almost quit the game because of how weak he felt with crappy weapons and being unable to kill anything. I helped him build a Galatine and he was happy then.

yeah lol i got into the most stupid argument with a clan mate because he thinks loki is the god frame for new players and that he was picked the most ..... most frustrating thing ever because i watch dev streams and know thats absolutely false... and ive had people play the game and against my advice they'd always pick loki even after the excal rework lol and then stop playing because they couldnt go beyond level 10 because they didnt have mods. im glad they took him out of the starters that drove so many players away

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For me it was the little things like the tedium of the creature scans for Natah with so little in game explanation and the ease of them fleeing, or the initial scans of Grineer for Simaris, where we easily could have been told that you'll be notified at the start if there's a target and that it's one per run. Why we need to grind the same map multiple times just for those scans when we're still progressing story, I don't know, but there could have been more clarity. There's introducing people to a system and letting them know that it requires skill and time, and then there's just poor polish.

Hire one person to clean it all up. I get that it doesn't need to be brain dead easy and that's not what I want, just don't add in frustration in a game where the nature of it means we're already going to deal with glitches and other issues in the normal course of play.

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10 hours ago, (XB1)Evilpricetag said:

Quests may have to alter to get your Operator/Tenno sooner, it was customary to keep the secret aka refrain from spoiling it, but with Prime accessories holding clothing, if a new player were to buy it, they'd be like wtf is this, where is it, why did I buy this?

Counter point: if they spent that much money already, they're already committed for the long run.

 

It's the little things that would have turned off a new player due to misunderstanding (like the pay2 win aspect like thinking you can only get new frames and guns with real money) that should be improved. But I am on board with Steve's thinking that if a new player already complained about the grind or how complex the mod system appeared then there is nothing to keep that player playing. At the very least DE is committed to their systems instead of always simplifying everything.

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I started leveling a family member's account for them and reading through the suggestions I'm right there on endo and damage mods. The market really does need better separation of the progression new players need to follow...

Personally I'd give new players the basic mandatory mods like Serration, Hornet Strike, Pressure Point, and most importantly Rush and Mobile...I feel they need to experience the speed and agility of the starter frame early on. Toss the MK-1 weapons right out.

 

Lastly they need watering holes made out of mission types that require a squad of four to complete like interception..high reward, Xp gain, special drops...whatever...so long as it draws the population to it so they can match make and open it so they can progress...sitting there waiting on a PUG group that might never show due to it being unpopular is a pain the rear for a under powered player with the side troll of locking them out of progressing. 

Edited by (PS4)FriendSharkey
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2 hours ago, (PS4)FriendSharkey said:

I started leveling a family member's account for them and reading through the suggestions I'm right there on endo and damage mods. The market really does need better separation of the progression new players need to follow...

Personally I'd give new players the basic mandatory mods like Serration, Hornet Strike, Pressure Point, and most importantly Rush and Mobile...I feel they need to experience the speed and agility of the starter frame early on. Toss the MK-1 weapons right out.

 

Lastly they need watering holes made out of mission types that require a squad of four to complete like interception..high reward, Xp gain, special drops...whatever...so long as it draws the population to it so they can match make and open it so they can progress...sitting there waiting on a PUG group that might never show due to it being unpopular is a pain the rear for a under powered player with the side troll of locking them out of progressing. 

So um I'm not exactly sure if it's against the rules to share an account and directly play it, or create one and give it to anyone, it's yours or theirs, luckily PS4 has this weird 'take control of their game' feature and could claim that excuse. Some hybrid streaming or something. Just warning you not to be so open about it.

Anyway I kinda agree, I wish they would get rid of trash mods or make them useful like parry mods, I've really tried to make it work on Inaros, it's a no go. I've been forced to play PC lately, and I found as an experienced player Plains is a great place for new players, set mods, which are impossible to get the good ones, but streamline and intensify are relatively common rewards on the easy bounty.

The worst thing was needing to get to Uranus early in the game for resources, farmed every frame & weapon to Mars and noticed you can't build them until later without help from another player.

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On ‎2018‎/‎03‎/‎22 at 8:42 AM, JalakBali said:
  1. I got Serration and Pressure Point no problem, which is better than when I first started when I didn't have Serration for a month. But Hornet Strike is still not seen. This is a problem since these mods play such a pivotal role in increasing your killing power.

Lol, I feel the pain ... Hornet Strike drops very infrequently early on.

I have to admit from being a new player my self, you have a good point in what you say.  There's a fine line between making a game challenging in respect of finding out about things your self and frustrating a player due to a lack of information.  The Wiki has become my best friend :P

Initially I didn't understand the progression needed with mods and wanted to kick my self for some mods that I had ranked up pre-maturely and still can't find more of ( Though I didn't fall into the damaged mod "trap" ).  Now I can see the benefit of having multiple mods with progressive ranks so I can tailor my mod setup by mixing and matching them.  A large portion of my Endo comes from farming trash mods and some missions I didn't even realize was "psudo endless".  For example, I was confused as to the purpose of Capture missions as they were over so quickly till I found out about the fact that missions like that just has a endless stream of mobs due to, essentially, the alarms being on all the time.

I did get a initial feeling of "How the heck will I ever farm enough of this resource" but it's very short lived as I quickly discovered it's more gated rather than the resource being rare all the way through the game, so yeah from your accounts the resources does seem a lot more accessible than back when you started.

Archwing was a bit confusing in regards to progression and it pushes players into Cetus far too soon as you think the launcher and the resources needed to craft it is part of the progression.  In my opinion there should be a better introduction to both Cetus and Archwing with propper gating on Cetus as you stand no chance in hell to even survive, let alone deal any significant damage on the plains when you just got woken up by Lotus :P

I find it a lot in games though that the starting point seem to get lost along the way.  More often than not the bugs that outlives games the most are at the starting point as it's the least revisited in my experience ( Though can't recall seeing any of those in Warframe, so Kudos on that lol )

Edit:  On the subject of Taxon ... still confused as to why you can slot mod's that does nothing when added to a Taxon

Edited by Baerath
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23 hours ago, (XB1)Evilpricetag said:

So um I'm not exactly sure if it's against the rules to share an account and directly play it, or create one and give it to anyone, it's yours or theirs, luckily PS4 has this weird 'take control of their game' feature and could claim that excuse. Some hybrid streaming or something. Just warning you not to be so open about it.

Anyway I kinda agree, I wish they would get rid of trash mods or make them useful like parry mods, I've really tried to make it work on Inaros, it's a no go. I've been forced to play PC lately, and I found as an experienced player Plains is a great place for new players, set mods, which are impossible to get the good ones, but streamline and intensify are relatively common rewards on the easy bounty.

The worst thing was needing to get to Uranus early in the game for resources, farmed every frame & weapon to Mars and noticed you can't build them until later without help from another player.

I have their permission since its on the same console system. It's basically...you playing on a couch with your brother and they toss you the controller while they scream at AT&T. Family is hilarious at times. 

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On 3/24/2018 at 6:51 PM, (PS4)FriendSharkey said:

Lastly they need watering holes made out of mission types that require a squad of four to complete like interception..high reward, Xp gain, special drops...whatever...so long as it draws the population to it so they can match make and open it so they can progress...sitting there waiting on a PUG group that might never show due to it being unpopular is a pain the rear for a under powered player with the side troll of locking them out of progressing. 

I never experienced Interception as a low level since by the time that mission type got implemented, I was already a comfortable OP space ninja. So yesterday was the first time I played Interception with a team of newbies, against enemies level 15+, Infested, while only using a Strun and Sicarus.

 

It was painful and not fun. Not in the sense I died (I didn't) but the gameplay felt like a futile attempt at swatting (very beefy) flies from your food. Or like a little child trying to pull off their golden retriever from eating the cake. The damn enemies just mobbed the consoles and your puny weapons are not strong enough to kill all of them in a short time. It takes too short of time for the enemy to take over the tower and trying to peel them off the consoles, especially with multiple Ancient Healers around, is frustrating without good weapons. No skill or tactics can win this, only mass murder weapons.

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21 hours ago, JalakBali said:

No skill or tactics can win this, only mass murder weapons.

I mostly agree with you, mostly because  you can  proc a knockdown by bullet jumping really close to the enemy trying  to  recapture the point so there is a tactic, not that  it is stated anywhere, which would help a lot, but  it can be done

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2 hours ago, Huanthus said:

I mostly agree with you, mostly because  you can  proc a knockdown by bullet jumping really close to the enemy trying  to  recapture the point so there is a tactic, not that  it is stated anywhere, which would help a lot, but  it can be done

I forgot to take screenshots but the problem was not single enemies rushing to a console. There were literally half a dozen infested mobbing each console that in order to kill the one "hacking" it, I had to peel off layers of other infested. Compound this with Ancient Healers buffing them. Even Radial Blind doesn't seem to work since the "hacking" is still counted as long as the enemy is still standing there (or even if they got knocked down). A fix for this could be by making it easier to stop the hacking. Like, if the enemies were hit by any weapon damage, they should've have reset the hacking process. Then it's less emphasize on killing the ones hacking and more on stopping them from continuing. This would have helped new players tremendously as they could incorporate "interrupting" the hacking process into their strategy.

 

In other game modes, you could take your time or use stealth or use crafty powers to deal with the enemies. Even in Defense types of missions, the enemies don't just mob the defensive objective and pummel it while ignoring the players. Defense missions would be impossible to win without some OP power like Snowglobe or Cataclysm if the enemies' AI were like in Interception.

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13 minutes ago, bnightm said:

They can't use a fully upgraded version of the mod in a specific build, so they need to keep a less upgraded version around "just in case".
Recommended fix: Add an option to equip a mod using a lower rank than what it has been upgraded to. In effect "underclocking" the mod. Eg. you want to use a 5/5 Heated Charge (drains: 11), in a weapon that only has 7 remaining capacity, by "underclocking" it to 1/5 it would only drain 7 and fit on the weapon.

Has been desired for some time.

Unfortunately, a past devstream had this question brought up, and if I remember correctly, the game simply couldn't feasibly attempt to store all of that mod-data in a given loadout.

The situation may have changed, and/or I could just be remembering wrong. But if not, then this very likely won't happen.

 

13 minutes ago, bnightm said:

Riven mods, Arcanes, Focus, Sorties & Eidolons
None of these systems really work for me in their current state, but fortunately Warframe is a huge game even without them so I don't think those are issues with regard to new player retention!

Personally, I think Riven mods are too random to be fun and should be removed / phased out of the game.
As for Arcanes and obtaining Focus: I think they should be made more solo/PUG friendly. Doesn't have to be easily obtainable, but there's no clear path to it.
I don't mind Sorties and Eidolons, but it's not content for me, since I never play in premade groups except for when I'm introducing friends to Warframe.

As long as you understand that it's your opinion.

Personally, I find Rivens to be one of the only late-game motivators left for me. To re-roll my riven until I get fun, powerful, or bizzare stats, and test just how far I can push the weapon, is one of the few things I can semi-infinitely grind for.

To be honest though, I mostly only have fun when I can fiddle around with Negative stats. So if the game had a better, more fleshed out Corrupted Mod system, I'd be just as happy.

Edited by chainchompguy3
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One thing I would like to add to the topic is that we need a decent introduction to bosses. I remember going to, say, Jupiter and having to kill Alad V. I was like "ok, who is this guy?" I had no idea of his importance to the game's story. I just knew that he was another one of those dudes we have to kill and the only reason for that is 3 or 4 sentences the Lotus tells us. To make it worse, while doing TSD I see Salad V... Alive? Like, what? Didn't I just kill the guy a couple planets ago? And then he is covered by infestation and to make it worse he is still alive and needs to be killed  again in Eris. He is just one of many other bosses where you just parachute in the middle of an ongoing story with no idea as to why we need to kill them or who even are those characters. DE locked a ton of content regarding their story behind one-time only events so if anyone wants to have an idea of who Salad or Tyl Reggor or Nef Anyo is he would have to read tons of pages on the Wiki and get disappointed that there is a whole questline detailing their story.

Why not take all of that content that is never expected to make a comeback and add them as mini-quests requirements before defeating the bosses? So far there isn't much difference from the absolute barebones bosses we had way back in time when bosses were just bigger versions of other enemies with different colors.

Another problem is Teshin. Doing TSD he appears and behaves like if he was a great mentor or our best friend and all I could think of was "who is this guy again? Isn't he the dude that stays in the relays and do absolutely nothing in the game besides hosting that game mode no one plays?".

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21 minutes ago, bnightm said:

Material locations
"Where can I get Salvage? How do I get Neurodes?" The icon on the star chart that shows which materials drop in the various systems is not intuitive for new players. I suggest showing the materials that can drop in a system by default, and give people a button to collapse/hide that information. Showing the materials on mouse-over in the zoomed-out view of the entire Origin system would also be nice so you don't have to repeatedly zoom in/out.

If I remember correctly we actually used to be able to see a planets resources with a mouse over of it on the zoomed out view... someone somehow thought it was a good idea to need you to zoom in and hit the extractor button with the latest star map update.

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I created a new account for a do over back when U18 dropped, and I agree with much of what you've said. New Player Experience is much improved, but still could use a lot of loving.

One of my favorite YouTube Let's Players recently started playing and while I'm thrilled, I get a lot of his frustration of not knowing where to go, what to do, or what's going on.

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1 hour ago, DaftMeat said:

I created a new account for a do over back when U18 dropped, and I agree with much of what you've said. New Player Experience is much improved, but still could use a lot of loving.

One of my favorite YouTube Let's Players recently started playing and while I'm thrilled, I get a lot of his frustration of not knowing where to go, what to do, or what's going on.

All the while DE blindly believes that making "new player friendly content" is making PoE with lvl 10 enemy mobs... :facepalm:

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23 minutes ago, Nitro747 said:

All the while DE blindly believes that making "new player friendly content" is making PoE with lvl 10 enemy mobs... :facepalm:

I believe the rationale behind this was to make it a zone for both new players and veterans to play and explore together, instead of just new endgame content that new players wouldn't have access to for a long time to come. While that's commendable, the reality is that there are still functional problems brought about by large disparities in equipment and skill levels. I've heard reports that some PUB Eidolon teams end up with members who don't have access to Operator mode, which can be a huge headache...

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6 hours ago, bnightm said:

Ascaris Negator
This item cannot be sold and will forever clutter the inventory of new players. I suggest making it sellable. Alternatively consume the blueprint and the item it creates on use.

 

Stopped reading here.  This is the biggest non-issue of all time and does not in any way, shape or form affect player retention lol.  Most people don't actually have a reason to go into their inventory screen in the first place, unless it's to sell stuff - in which case the sorting by sell price exists for a reason... this one was seriously grasping at straws and I can't take your post seriously now.  

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14 hours ago, bnightm said:

Clan key

Not really an issue, very new players don't have to worry about clans and by the time they do they should already have the required materials.

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Ascaris Negator

As stated by another user, this is the biggest non-issue ever. I mean sure, let it be able to be sold but there is noone realistically upset this is "clogging" up their inventory.

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Tricked by "Damaged" Mods

Absolutely not, damaged mods are very important for early game development. They introduce new players to modding and are objectively better for new players without much access to catalysts/reactors. They are stronger than regular mods at the same level, and take up less of their already few mod points. I would much rather have newer players be given access to broken variations of mods on earth than regular ones since it does a good job at teaching them the system while also letting them fit more of them. Players who try to be altruistic and give new players a "starting mod set" are doing them a disservice since it hinders this learning route and makes them feel weak when they can only fit a few of the higher cost mods.

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Difficult mod management 

This is a system and route best served to just let the player learn themselves and choose how they want to approach it. Yes this means screwing up once in awhile.

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Foundry crafting times

Players late into the game are less likely to rush items or more likely to use platinum obtained from trades to rush them. Having this system introduced to players from the beginning makes DE money and get's them used to the system warframe monetizes.

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Market Filters

Items that are MR locked are clearly defined as such, and I agree they should make the credit cost more obvious, but more filters aren't necessary. It's easily navigable in it's current form.

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Material Locations

Not intuitive? It's a giant section of the screen whenever viewing a specific planet. If anyone misses this, they didn't even bother looking.

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Matchmaking modes

All are self-explanatory and you find out you can pause in solo the first time you ever press escape in a solo mission. Really doesn't need any further explanation.

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Silent weapons/Alerted enemies

Again, self-explanatory. 

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Relics/Void fissures/Prime items

The RNG is intended. I heavily doubt players are quitting over this. Burn out is expected.

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Riven mods, Arcanes, Focus, Sorties & Eidolons

Riven mods are fine as they are. Arcanes as well, although that's slightly contentious since some people can't understand a basic UI and require arcane degrading to fix their mistakes. 

Focus could use some work but it's skeleton is their and works well. Just needs to be fledged out a bit more and flow better as a whole system.

Sorties are perfectly fine.

Eidolons are perfectly fine.

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OK, so I've played a couple more of Interceptions from alerts and with other low rank players. Now I have some ideas to improve the experience without making it any easier or simpler. The problem with Interception where the players are evenly matched with the enemies and not OP like us in high ranks is that communication is super important. Enemies would swarm certain towers without rhyme or reason and no one would know this until the horde flooded the tower. A player holding a tower might have trouble holding off the swarm so they would not have time to type, while not everyone can employ voice chat especially since all the other missions doesn't require voice chat to be successful. The facts are: fighting an overwhelming force with your buddies is fun, while sitting on a tower doing nothing in case some lone enemy show up to steal the tower is anything but fun.

 

This problem can be fixed with just a UI update.

 

The info players needed are simple: players need to know when enemies are trying to take over the tower and it needs a better indicator than blinking tower light and icon and alarm sounds. Players also need info whenever a tower is being swarmed. So let's set it up like this:

  • If an enemy is within the range of a tower, a pathfinding icon will appear on the map with the color yellow (maybe a ! icon). This would show the player quickly that an enemy might be interested on that tower.
  • If more than 5 enemies are within the range of the tower, the ! icon grows bigger and blinks orange. This shows the player that that area is a hotspot for fighting and if a teammate is there, they might be overwhelmed.
  • If an enemy is hacking the tower, the ! icon blinks red and turns more urgent. The icon is even pointing at which console is being hacked once the player gets within range.

With those in place, it shouldn't make Interception any easier but the players would have more info on where to go to get to the action without hopping all over the place from tower to tower while some lone enemy might ninja-steal the tower they originally were holding.

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One of the most important thing for a game is how completely new player is introduced to a game. And we would all agree that Warframe is still doing a bad job for it.
(most of things i mention here are my observations based on the most frequently asked questions in region chat)

Tutorial is OK-ish, but player is till getting only minimum information of how to move, act and etcetera. Biggest problem is that it allows player to bluntly go past it (or get help from outside).
Player have to be taught the basics before he will be able to go to the "real game". I believe that sometime the game need to "take the player by the hand" and show how to do things and force him to do the same (best example is teach them how to increase a mod rank by mod fusion).

Let Players who barely ended the Vor's prize serve as an example ask how to change weapons in region chat.

One of the Proposed solution is to rework the Vor's prize missions as they have to be a introduction to those type of missions. AND turning off the chat till he end the quest.
As for standard controls it should be also implemented as a pop out here and there (during tutorial quest) or as a F1 button with basic hints and tutorials that can be accessed on mission.
Stolen Dreams quest is a nice introduction to spy quest but ... players have problems even with those...
We had a Events like introduction to reworked bosses - those should stay/ be reintroduced.

Codex and its functions aren't mentioned in anyway in the game.
Since i have proposed a change to the introduction mission - change them in a way that it will hint a usage of the codex - it can also be a way of introducing it on New Strange or Once Awake as a hint to finding enemy weakness/ info about the target.

One of the most common request of new players is to give them a taxi to a planet node where they can find X resource and/or where to find X resource.
Solution for this would be completely block the ability of entering nodes that a player don't have access to.
And since we are at it. Each planet have a extractor icon. Hovering over it with an mouse cursor will reveal the resources of the planet - this mechanic is so unintuitive for new players and is as good as a hidden feature. The basic available (excluding pegmatites) resources should be visible - ALWAYS.

One of the main reasons mentioned in the conversations is how unfriendly is Warframe to new players and how overwhelming number of information a player is bombarded with.
My solution for it to... cut the feed. If a player don't have access to a planet/haven't ended a essential quest - why would he need a information of what Alerts / conflicts happens on it?
At the same time - introduce each mechanic separately. Or even block them by restriction to MR (in similar manner how Konzus Bounties are restricted).

Give a player a reason to increase their Mastery rank - and tell them what it IS how to increase it. New players are essentially missing a straight road sigh that will tell them to what to do next.
As we don't necessarily want to see each time a opening scene from 100 days of Warframe. Lock the advanced movement behind MR 1 and as a test for that rank lets make the tutorial of advanced movement with a decent repeats- it will be something much cooler that a simple mockup of a timed extermination mission.

I also think that giving players a starter 50 plat is sometimes confusing and or counterproductive. I agree for not letting players earn plat just by playing(trading is OK) but cant tell what philosophy is for letting player chose of what to do with it. Inventory slots for weapons and frames - at least the first two/few (equivalent of those 50 plats)- could be available from a quest or a one of the first Mastery ranks. If you need to introduce the Market - do it by showing it how to buy blueprint of Incubator Power Core schematics for Howl of Kubrow quest (and change the need of argon crystal to build it - its unavailable for players that just got access to Venus). Show them that stuff they need have a "free to play" alternative.

The game could be more forgiving / friendly in the aspect of the player progression. At least in the very beginning of the game.

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Hi, I have a new-player buddy. He recently picked up the game no more than a week ago as of writing this. He's in love with the game!

Even though I told him a couple things just to make the transition around certain game systems easier, most of which you just explained he just figured out on his own. He finds it rewarding to even explore the systems and actually likes that there isn't a lot of mandatory hand-holding. I tried not to spoil him on a lot, but gave him nudges and let him do all the junctions and bosses and such all by himself while I play something supportive like Banshee or Hydroid or such to help him out with farming materials.

And honestly, much of what he's experiencing right now was a similar mindset to one of my own way back when I was just starting off 3 years ago, only now he's graced with far more depth and content than I even had from the beginning, and I had even less help.

I think anybody that doesn't have the inspiration or drive to learn an easy game like this isn't somebody suitable for the game anyway. We have more than enough inbred monkies plaguing pub queue. They can go back to playing the next annual Battlefront or FIFA installment for all I care.

Warframe is not going to be a home run for every single person that picks it up, and I'm glad it's not. I don't want to get even more intermingled with more of the lowest common denominators. It's really not a hard game or set of systems to understand if you like 5 minutes to just play around with things and experiment; that's half the fun anyway.

Edited by Xaxma
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One thing I encountered a few days ago was a player having issues with Mobile Defense objective markers. I explain it more in this other forum post, but tl;dr is that it would be quite useful to not have the objective markers appear for MD targets until the datamass is picked up. This would ensure players pick up the datamass and deliver it instead of sitting at the MD target wondering why the objective is not progressing (totally unaware that they need to carry the datamass).

 

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