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Improving the New Player Experience


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It's been awhile since I was a beginner in Warframe, and while I've been meaning to make a new account to experience how the new player experience is right now I haven't got around to doing it. That said there are some things that come up quite regularly with the new players I do help. I'll add to it or make a new post if I think of anything else.

  • More obvious listings of what drops on each planet. This is THE most common set of questions in PC NA Region chat, and is so numerous that the chat bot has been programmed to field the questions. Yes, there is a UI element that tells you when you hover over it what drops on a planet, but most people don't know it exists within that first two hours of play. This needs to be an obvious element of the UI that can't be missed and doesn't need any interaction to see. Especially since there's nowhere else in the game to look up resources, clicking or hovering over a planet on the star chart should tell you what's there effortlessly. Since Warframe is a looter, the search for new components to make more things is the driving force for players, and not being able to easily find where they need to work towards to get those resources is a huge turn off. Please give some relief to our poor kickbot and make this information more readily available!
  • Movement is a big issue. There's a tutorial for it, but it shouldn't be buried. Ideally I feel like that Tutorial should be within the first hour of game play. I think I would go as far as saying it should be almost immediate, sometime in or around when your Warframe first drops from the Cryopod. Crouching, sprinting, and jumping are all common movements you get in most games, but bullet jumps and aim gliding are all Warframe and don't come intuitively if you don't know to look for them. Since on squishy frames movement is direct survivablilty, teaching movement sooner rather than later is needed. Especially since the starters Mag and Volt are squishy as well.
  • Mods. Mods, mods, mods. This is probably the hardest thing to explain concisely, because modding can be such an in-depth thing depending on how knowledgeable you are and how much you want to min-max. The basics should be explained though, along with the fact that "damaged" mods are just placeholders to get people started. Since even damaged mods can be RNG based to acquire, new players who bother modding at all tend to just slap everything they currently have available into their gear with the mindset of learning how it all works later. This leads to people hitting walls where they can't progress any farther since they don't know how to mod well enough to deal enough damage to move forwards. They keep trying to run the same level/area missions, and fail repeatedly since their damage is insufficient and the frustration sets in really, really quickly. I can't tell you the number of times I've heard "Why can't I get past X planet!" or "...X level!". This is also built into the mindset people have coming from other shooters where if you can't kill things your first question is, "Where do I go to find a better gun?!" Warframe doesn't tell you that that doesn't work here since modding is 90% of your damage, leading to more frustration when they invest needed resources into new weapons that still seem to "suck". Modding just isn't intuitive to most people from standard shooter backgrounds, at the very least not to the same degree that Warframe expects you to customize. Adding a level to Vor's Prize that gives access to some basic mods and a quick voice over explanation would do wonders. Perhaps before you go to confront Vor Ordis speaks up, "Operator, Vor will be a difficult enemy to defeat. Have you modded your weapons yet?" with the Lotus sending the player out to find a cache of damaged mods, which might also contain a Catalyst and/or Reactor. She can explain that while they're damaged, the mods will still be useful for the fight and that the Catalyst/Reactors are a rare prize. Then, she sends the player to the Arsenal to upgrade. Even just highlighting the new mods in the Upgrade Menu to show how they drag and drop into matching slots would go a long way towards a basic understanding of them. Also highlighting the button that installs a Catalyst/Reactor would be a great help too, since it's never explained either. Any explanation would help to relieve the frustration of getting stuck later on because something basic like adding a Catalyst and modding wasn't explained early.
  • Cetus and the Plains are a really big draw right now, but they're also pretty isolated. Having some introduction to this place and how it fits into the larger picture of the game would be nice. Quite a few people are jumping into the plains really, really early. Maybe not within the first two hours, but well before they progress much at all. Most don't understand how the Plains fit into the game, and right now nothing is explained. It's not really helped that, unless I misunderstand something somewhere, new players have to do at least one mission on the Plains to get to the nearby Junction. That might be a requirement that needs looked at, since Cetus and the Plains really don't mean anything in the overall game play as a new player. They're sort of their own ecosystem.
  • More direction after Vor's Prize. Where to go, what there is to do, and things to look forward to once they move past the first planet.
  • Show what weapons are locked to which Mastery Rank, even once you've passed that Mastery Rank.
  • Make which weapons have Blueprints available for credits more obvious in the Market. Many people glance at the market and assume it all requires platinum to buy.
Edited by Jeahanne
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16 minutes ago, Jeahanne said:
  • unless I misunderstand something somewhere, new players have to do at least one mission on the Plains to get to the nearby Junction.

Just to confirm you're right here, you have to do the Plains to access most of Earth (which a new player will want to do) and access the Mars junction (which you'll want to do after you've plowed through Earth, Venus and Mercury, all of which are trivial).

Edited by Vimescarrot
messed up formatting
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My experience for my first 2 hours was roughly the same as the next 50. I cleared out every planet with just the Skana until Kepler, Phobos, an Archwing Rush mission which frustrated me so much, I stopped playing until my friends got off Overwatch to properly teach me Warframe

  • Never understood what crafting and leveling up weapons was for
  • What Mastery rank was and how you get it
  • Wall jumping and wall running, still don't know how it exactly works
  • The early levels (Earth, Venus, Mercury and Mars) are too easy
  • That your melee can be held out, instead of just mashing E with your primary or secondary out
  • What melee channeling is, at first I thought it just made my Skana look cooler
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Give new players a free Forma and Catalyst just so new players understand what they're for, and force them to use it on their MK1 weapons so you can teach them what they do.

As a new player, the Uranus and Mars relays were exceedingly difficult because of how few players knew about minimap mods to make locating the Cephalon Fragments and Caches easier, this is especially true for Mars where players might not even have the resources to upgrade Mods. Maybe add a one-time reward for the Assassination mission or a quest located on Mars that rewards the player with a fully upgraded Thief's Wit? Same idea for Uranus, with a Loot Detector/Animal Instinct mod.

I think the way Lua Challenge rooms are designed are kind of unfriendly to new players. It's not immediately obvious at all to any player I've encountered and I constantly find myself comparing rooms to an Imgur album just to make sure I'm not missing one, possibly add a pop-up (similar in style to the focus earned pop-up) alerting you when someone in the party finds a challenge room? I understand that it might've been made the way it was for mystery, but in the age of the internet its just really inconvenient.

Materials are very confusing as well too for new players. You can look across the star chart to see which materials a planet drops but there's no easy way to look-up where to get the materials from. If possible, from the forging interface, hovering over materials should tell the player which planets the material can be acquired from.

The Codex is kind of counterintuitive, it doesn't tell you anything until you unlock it. I don't think there's any harm in just telling the players what the mods do instead of a bunch of ??????????????? Additionally, the undiscovered thing is pretty useless. IMO it should just tell you the area you unlock it from but just grey it out and add UNDISCOVERED: to it, showing new players the area would give them a known goal to work towards. Otherwise it's really helpful and I'd also like if you the Weapons/Warframes/Companions section told you about how to acquire the blueprints and each part, the information is already out there so there's not really any reason other than dev time to not put it in the game too.

Objectives and the layout of the Relays/Bazaar is VERY confusing, and I had to use a YouTube video to look up everything pretty much. There should be a comprehensive map of the area for new players, tagging where all the NPCs are located. Maybe even a teleporter like the ones the Clan Dojos have? But that might be pushing it.

I'm still kind of new to the game but these were the main things that stuck out to me while I was playing. As for some more personal complaints: I'm not really fond of the Pursue Teshin section of The War Within because it's very unclear how the ship blocking the lasers works, I can do it perfectly fine following a YouTube video, but I always seem to fail randomly trying it on my own. I guess it's a cool concept having Lua Challenge Rooms that require teamwork, but I also find it incredibly annoying that you can't really do it solo as any Warframe, could using Spectres as substitutes for other players be an option? In any case, thanks for reading my feedback!

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Been playing this game for far too long but...

  • After Vor's Prize, you are literally left without any sort of direction.
     
  • After a certain mastery rank or entering Mercury, we should get a transmission from the relay which then introduces the syndicates.
    Tenshin could have his own quest, teaching advance movements and introducing Conclave.
    Simaris, explaining enemy weaknesses through the codex (Scanners)
    The other Syndicates could talk about their philosophies and reasons to join them.
    What happened to Darvo? Oh look he's hiding in the relays. 
    Reaching Mars and Maroo should say "Hi, Let's talk trading."
     
  • Mods? What are thoooose?
     
  • Cetus is still a big enigma, go in, see cut scene, spawn, confused.
     
  • Night time Cetus is a no no.
     
  • Quests/Side Quests: Have quest givers like Darvo (A Man of Few words) sent a mail saying "Hey tenno~ I got a problem hoping you can fix it."

And that's probably the first few hours/days.

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A friend of mine spent an hour listening to Ordis repeat the same line over and over because he couldn't work out how to install the first ship segment. A waypoint or something explaining what each segment does in better detail would be handy.

My only other recommendation is a few more weapon/Warframe slots, unlocked by doing MR tests. As it stands, new players can't trade until MR2 and don't have access to anything worth trading until they unlock Mars, and by then you'll already have crafted a few weapons.

Also, what everyone else said. Make Excalibur easier to get or make it so you can change your mind on your frame before finishing Vor's Prize. You could start them off at level 30, then say that the Ascaris has forced a reboot on your Warframe, so you need to level it up again.

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The biggest thing I wish I knew in the first two hours of my play time with Warframe (this is going to be a long time ago as I started playing around U8) is the movement options and the ways they can recombined togother. Back when I joined you could slide + melee to spin attack; you could do this in the air to copter. Now the biggest unknown is the way you can jump, jump again, slide, aim glide, etc. There is a lot of complexity in the movement system and they way it can be combined. This is currently in the game but buried in the codex and out of date.

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I started in November and I had to wiki a LOT of things. Here's probably my biggest list of frustrations.  

  1. Modding is incredibly poorly explained. There's 2 leveling systems but it's poorly explained that you ONLY get stronger primarily through modding and not really all that much through leveling up your frames/weapons. The polarities are not clearly explained, how do I get mods, what's the different between a damaged mod and an undamaged mod and why are there damaged mods in the first place if I can only get them from Vor? What is the difference between rarities? 
  2. I don't think it's ever clearly explained what your mastery rank is and how to increase it. I had to look that up like 5 times. I don't think it tells you that you only get one try per day, when the resets are, and there's definitely no where to check when the reset is going to happen that's "official." I didn't even know what mastery rank did until I was like.....MR6......
  3. Please remind new players to check the Codex more often, or force them to go through it in a tutorial. It has a lot of information in it that is incredibly useful but I was never once directed there. 
  4. I had no idea I was supposed to biueprints from the Market to make new Weapons. I thought I could only use Platinum in the market. There needs to be a tutorial on how to use credits to buy Blueprints from the market.
  5. The game just sort of throws you to the wolves as soon as you complete Vor's Prize. It doesn't even really tell you to get to the junction except in occasional dialogue pop-ups from the Lotus or if you do a LOT of clicking around on the UI.
  6. You have to go through the Codex and go to the "Advanced Movement" tutorial and click "Repeat" to learn how to do any sort of bullet jumping and wall running and etc. which is confusing because.....you've never done that tutorial before and you've never been directed to the codex so how would you know to go there and how would you know you haven't done it before? IT SHOULD BE A FORCED TUTORIAL.
  7. There is almost no story to the game that you are required to complete before The Second Dream. I had like........no clue what was going on in the game world before that. And I didn't reach The Second Dream until I poured 150 hours into this game. That is a huge problem. Even in Vor's Prize there is nothing much that you are given. I am a Warframe and I am woken up. So what's a Warframe? Who is the Lotus? None of that is really expanded upon until 150 hours later.
  8. Please include some sort of tutorial on the damage types, the armor types, and the elements with damage 3.0 somewhere. I still don't know how it all works because it is ridiculously overcomplicated. We should at least have a shortcut somewhere in the modding menu that pops up and shows a weakness chart or something.
Edited by PeachPlumPair
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2 minutes ago, Vimescarrot said:

Wait, mastery rank does something? Other than just letting you use mastery-locked weapons?

You get more standing per day, you start with more mod capacity on unranked frames/weapons/companions, you get more void trace capacity, and some other stuff I don't remember.

EDIT: More daily trades, more extractors.

Edited by PeachPlumPair
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Slots, slots, slots, and slots. 

The limited slots was back in the day when the only plat sinks where taters and slots. This was before forma the many other plat dumps now (vast amount of cosmetics, trading with other players, Riven slots, pet slots, ect.). The limited slots is too much for a new player unwilling to go to trade chat off the bat and new players have nothing worthwhile to sell. The ultra limited slots in the beginning is a dinosaur mechanic from 2013. Heck even back then it made a lot people leave because you couldn't trade anything back in those days for plat.

The limited slots applies vast pressure to new players who don't want to spend money as it also provides a progression stop for new players.No slots = no more new things = no more mastery= nothing to do in a collection based game. I'm no marketing expert but I have been educated in it and a hard stop in progression turns people off of games as a lot of other things. Players need to feel constant progression to keep playing and a hard stop on acquiring new things is probably one of the highest causes of dropping the game if you ever polled people who quit between MR1-2. Around 6-10 starter frame slots and 12-20 weapon slots (Pretty sure you can refine these numbers using internal data) should be enough for players to get on their own feet and earn plat themselves or rather get them stuck in time sunk investment and make them more likely to purchase plat. Ask any anyone on your marketing team and they'll tell you this is true. You will make more back from more players rather than attempting to gouge a MR0 player who has next to no investment in the game as of yet to cough up money to buy plat for slots. Hopefully this wont fall on deaf ears.

TL:DR: Increase starter slots for frame and guns. 

Edited by Sea_Wall
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Haven't seen this thought here, but another important thing in new player experience is what you SHOULDN'T tell them, not just what you should.

Too much information for a short period of time is bad too. For example - new players on Earth and Venus doesn't need to know about Relic system. They have a lot of other mechanics and Relics isn't important one.

But explaining to new players about Relics is pretty hard: How you get them? How you can find Relic mission? How you get things from Relics? How to upgrade them? How to get Traces? And so on.

Completely hide Relics and Relic missions until player complete Mars Junction and get Relic Segment for Orbiter, it would be easier for them to get information with time, not get everything in first 2 hours.

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9 hours ago, [DE]DeckardPain said:

Any other obstacles that stood out to you at the beginning of your Warframe experience, or any particular items you feel a new player would benefit from.

- Here's you sword, there are bad guys, go hit them with that sword.

Run up to bad guys, start mashing left mouse button.

My sword glows brightly when I do so!.. Wait, it's not a rhythm game, is it? How do I actually hit bad guys with my sword?

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to me the thing that i wish i knew most within the first two hours was that you could buy blueprints for credits in the market and build weapons instead of needing to buy them via plat

its pretty bad that this isnt explained considering it leads new players to think the game is p2w if they dont give the game a chance beyond that misunderstanding.

 

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Warframe player since the beta days, but recently had 2 friends who wanted to give the game a try on the PS4. So I started playing with them a bit. I did not enjoy the first 2 hours, and I don't think they did either.


Potential reasons:

The first 2 hours doesn't really incorporate the best Warframe has to offer. If there's anything DE got right is the sound of looting resources/mods. There's a certain satisfying feel to them that strikes the inner looter of most gamers. Give the players taste of a loot "rain". Have the tutorial raid a vault or something, there there are a ton of containers with mods/resources. Show them what the end game looks like after a tough defense wave and then running around the room/map looting.


I felt extremely starved on mods, not to mention how the UI wasn't exactly intuitive. I found myself a mod, asked me friend to come over to get it (I didn't know how to mark stuff on PS4). He asked me "what do they look like?" Make a mandatory mod loot in the tutorial. Have the Lotus say something like, "thats a mod, that will help upgrade your weapons, etc". Shower the player with some basic mods so they can play around with combos, especially some elementals. Expose players early to the variety of customizations that are available.


The power fantasy wasn't really there. Most of the exciting parts of the game to me was being able to use the full extent of my warframe abilities. It is difficult for any new player to experience that especially when most of them don't even unlock the fourth ability of the warframe until about 2 hours in maybe? And that is with grinding in the right mission types/know what you are doing. I don't know what the solution to this is, seems a bit extreme to give a new player a level 30 starting frame, but at the same time if the new player gives up before they get to the point of experiencing that, they may not stick. Maybe have the warframe temporarily unleash its full potential in a horde mode story mission.


Drop a few early blueprints for weapons. I felt like as soon as I unlocked the foundry I was told to craft quest items. My first thought was "oh man, does this mean I'm just spending resources I gather on quest items over and over?" It set an expectation that I wasn't going to be rewarded for the resources I gathered. Sprinkle some early blue prints for the player. Maybe the BPs for the weapons they didn't choose at the start, like the Paris or Braton. Let them know they can still get it, and not regret that first decision.


These are just some thoughts I had when I played though the start again, and they weren't parts of the game I loved.

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I can't really answer from when I started playing as it was closed beta but all the years gave me an overall idea seeing new friends join the game.

 

  • What were some things you wish Warframe taught you in the first 2 hours?
    • That I need to look things up in the wiki for the game does not help explain 90% of things.
  • Were there some things that were too overwhelming or confusing during these first 2 hours?
    • Mods. Normal mods and broken mods. Damage combinations with mods to output proper damage.
    • How to level up mastery rank properly (how much each weapon and frame gives me, numbers needed!)
  • Can you recall any points in which you or a friend weren't sure what they were supposed to be doing during the first 2 hours?
    • Most people don't know where to find information for their answers until the community clarifies that 90% of it needs to be looked up in the wiki.
    • Most people are not warned that primes are pseudo-end-game and try to go after them at the start of the game, neglecting the non-primed weapons.
    • There are no public, view-able  lists of items (mods, weapons, frames etc) in the game, you have to go to the wiki if you want to see lists of mods and dropping locations properly. Codex doesn't unlock them right away so it's useless.
  • Any other obstacles that stood out to you at the beginning of your Warframe experience, or any particular items you feel a new player would benefit from.
    • Not knowing how a MR2 player can do so much more damage than me, then being explained the staple mods needed to output damage.
    • The abysmal bullet-sponginess of armored enemies.
    • Nullfiers don't let me do my cool warframe powers. why do the corpus not cover their ships on that technology if they can use it?
    • No proper and clean explanation of lore. I wanted to know a reason for the cause. Why am I killing thousands?
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Codex, codex, codex! The biggest issue I had within the first couple hours of playing was a sense of direction. There are many many quests but being able to distinguish which quests are part of the main storyline and which ones are optional should be made clear. Having the quests show up in the Navigation pane is confusing when it should be useful because it doesn't provide enough information. I've had to check the Wikia page constantly because I'm not exactly sure what I need to do for the quest beforehand without just clicking it and being thrown into a mission. I recommend a separate quest interface or updating the Quest section in the Codex that should show more detailed information on what to expect and exactly what the objectives will be, even if they're sometimes reiterated by the NPC's voice lines during a mission.

Another issue I had was not knowing how to obtain new Warframes and weapons outside of the Marketplace. Players should be able to view the drop locations of all items, especially Warframes within the game and the Codex would be a great place to put this information. I understand that adding tooltips or captions with extra information may clutter the UI but I feel it is necessary to at least give players a better understanding of where to obtain parts, blueprints, etc., and if the Warframes drop from quests. Perhaps "detailed tooltips" could be enabled or disabled at the discretion of the player? This also extends to Warframe abilities that do a lot more than what is shown in the Ability window. Clicking on an ability could open a new window that explains in detail how they work or they can be added to the Codex. Many of these issues can be fixed just by updating the Codex.

A third issue I had was the difficulty in choosing a new Warframe. We need to be able to test them out, even if it's limited. For example, I have all but two Prime Warframes. I purchased all of them through trading because many of them were cheaper than buying their non-Prime versions from the Marketplace. Of all those I traded for, I've only enjoyed playing maybe 4 or 5 of them. The rest truly felt like a waste of Platinum. New players should be able to try out new frames and even weapons so they can make an informed decision as to whether they match their playstyle or not. Youtube videos, Twitch streams and guides really cannot simulate what it feels like to use a Warframe or weapon first-hand in the game. A special Simulcrum for new players would be a very good addition to the game. You could add a Try button to the Arsenal.

The biggest issue I had as a new player was understanding the trade system. The first time I decided I would trade with another player was horrible, I felt so bad for them because I didn't know how it worked. I spent more than an hour reading the Wikia, watching Youtube videos, asking in Clan chat and still there were little things that confused me. Does the mastery limit mean I can only trade that many items or just overall trades? Does the trade tax change based on the item type, quality, etc? How do I check how many trades I have before initiating one without having to go to a trade post? Where are trade posts? Why are they not given a special icon on the clan dojo map? Finding the answers to these questions drove me insane, especially in a game where trading plays an essential part. Perhaps add a tutorial video that shows an example trade that also explains these little details that are a big deal. 

 

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9 hours ago, [DE]DeckardPain said:

With that in mind, we would love to hear more about your experience (if you can remember that far back, for some of you); for example:

  • What were some things you wish Warframe taught you in the first 2 hours?
  • Were there some things that were too overwhelming or confusing during these first 2 hours?
  • Can you recall any points in which you or a friend weren't sure what they were supposed to be doing during the first 2 hours?
  • Any other obstacles that stood out to you at the beginning of your Warframe experience, or any particular items you feel a new player would benefit from.

 

The first two hours were already too full of stuff. I didn't even remember how to change weapons after the tutorial anymore, I was bombarded with so much information in so small a timeframe and no chance to really get acquainted with the systems. The game opens up fast after the tutorial and you're free to do whatever afterwards.

I flat out ignored 80% of what I could do and touch for the first five hours or so and just focused on movement and combat. The tutorial shows you things like wall running, but completely ignores the practical thing that is the bullet jump-slide, which is how everyone moves around. I don't think I've used the wall running more than once in the game, and that was by accident. But there hasn't been a time when I stopped with the bullet jumping.

After the tutorial mission quest was done I used auto-mod to put in mods, bought a few blueprints and started building those, but generally just stuck to fighting through missions and farming materials. It was only after I reached almost max level on my starter warframe that I even begun to look at modding closer. At this point I already had Rhino and Frost blueprints ready to go, except I was missing materials to finish them.

I'm still unsure about half the stuff available. There's factions I could be farming with, dailies on the Plains, etc. But now I know where to look for that information. And it's not the in-game codex, but newbie tutorial videos on YT.

And I don't think it would be prudent to put this in. It's basically all the things you CAN grind. That's something the more experienced players can tell the starting players, but if we're told everything by the tutorial, it's just as overwhelming and bad. If not more so. The feeling of being overwhelmed goes away after 10+ hours and you figure out a simple flow you follow, and you integrate daily grinds into that as you go along and realize you need something from a faction.

All friends who've started the game have the same feeling of overwhelming: There's too much stuff to do. Not that you need to: Because you can, it feels like you SHOULD. Do I need to complete a planet? Is there something to gain from that? I've just told everyone to ignore everything else, focus the first two weeks on just going through the Junctions. You'll pick up more things to learn and look up by trying to do that, you can ignore it until then.

 

The first real obstacle that I think is really hindering the experience overall, is that you need to go all the way to Jupiter to be able to craft your second warframe. By then you have blueprints for Rhino, Mag and Frost. Valkyr too, if you're lucky. But since all these frames require Control Modules, you are stuck with your starter frame until you reach Jupiter, or you can get someone to taxi you there, and until you farm Plastids from Phobos. Everyone wants to start collecting stuff and trying out new weapons and frames as soon as they are able, but the current early game forces you to spend at least that 30 first hours doing quests in the same, first frame you pick.

If that pick turns out to be a frame/weapon you dislike, that's a long 20 hours of grinding with things you dislike. Weapons tend to need the same Plastids, so you're pretty limited for your first week of game play. Perhaps have the low level bosses drop those control modules and plastids, or remove the plastids from the requirements so that you can actually build a new warframe before you've maxed out the starter one.

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It's really nice to see you guys taking some time to clean up the new player experience a bit, thank you for that. I posted a thread about the same thing a while back when I had to walk a couple of friends through the early hours of the game, so I figured I'll just c/p that here and update it a little bit.

Market

A rather common misconception among new players is that getting any frames, weapons and equipment apart from the starter kit requires platinum. This is quite visible among the latest influx of Youtuber reviews and letsplays since the PoE reveal. Of course in case of a Youtuber, people immediately correct them in the comment section, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of solo players who just happened to come across the game on Steam and whatnot decide to try the game, reach the same false conclusion soon as they unlock the market segment and never touch the game again, thinking it's "Pay to win".

One possible solution to solve the "first impression" problem would be to set the main purchase option to the blueprint (if available through the market) with the alternative being purchasing the equipment pre-build and pre-potatoed for plat. This would also display the credits price tag for the blueprint in arsenal, rather than the plat price and as a result, provides new players a proper outlook on how the game and market work.

Furthermore, most newer players have no idea that they'd need warframe and weapon slots because purchasing slots is buried deep in the inventory. Having a more visible indicator for the slots or having them somewhere closer to the front page of the market (and maybe a slightly higher number of starter slots, if you guys are feeling generous) would really help with that, because some people do find this rather off-putting and a newer player who still doesn't have a clear idea of how the market works would naturally get a P2W vibe out of it.

Additionally, another thing I've noticed a lot of newer players end up quite unhappy with is that they can't possibly look even half as good as everyone else without actually purchasing some platinum (since making plat in trade chat is simply not an option for a new player), mostly due to the rather limited choice of colors they start with. If having the starter "Classic" color palette fully unlocked from the start is not an option, it would at least be nice to have its cost reduced to 50p so newer players can choose to spend their starter plat on that if they prefer to prioritize fashionframe from the get go (After all, that'd make the game more enjoyable and engaging for them and increase the chances of them sticking around long enough to actually start spending money on it).

Tutorials

The first mission does a decent enough job at explaining the very basics of the game, but the points explained during that mission happen to be what Warframe has more or less in common with most other games, while the actual gameplay systems that make Warframe unique - such as Mod fusion & transmutation, Relic refinement and even game mechanics such as synthesis and Kuva siphons - only get a passing mention during the often cryptic Ordis or Lotus voice lines or just a couple of paragraphs of written tutorial, which to be frank, aren't really tutorials but rather simple descriptions of what the systems are, instead of how they can be used and what effects they could have on gameplay.

There are already a couple of interactive tutorials ingame for movement system, and accessing arsenal and mods segment through Simulacrum and Captura are already coded into the game, so adding an interactive tutorial for things such as mod fusion, relic refinement, damage types and so on would greatly help the new player experience and make the game much less confusing for newer players who may not have a background in any game with RPG elements or complicated mechanics.

If more interactive tutorials are added for the basics, it would be nice to see a second "quest" added which would trigger after completing the Vor's Prize quest, where each player has to complete all the codex tutorials before they can progress to the later planets in the game. This way, new players would at least have a list of features and systems they'd know they have to look into more as they progress through the early planets.

Damaged Mods

Speaking of mods, giving new players "damaged" version of existing mods through the early missions is a nice touch, but new players probably won't even get what it means until after they get the proper version of the same mod later on. This simply means the only practical effect damaged mods have on new player experience is that they waste the very little Endo new players might have gotten up to that point. Farming endo later on is not much of a challenge, but even the 70 endo needed to level up a damaged mod would feel like a lot of farming for a player who's still in the early game - Now imagine the discouragement when the player has finally managed to rank up their Damaged Vitality, spending 3k credits and 70 endo to get it to rank 3 for +120% health, just to get their first proper Vitality a few missions later and suddenly realize they could've gotten +160% health for the exact same cost, all that while they've spent all their endo on the damaged version and don't have enough left to actually level up the proper one.

So in my opinion, Damaged mods are a nice concept and an interesting flavor for that game mechanic, but in practice, they only end up unnecessarily wasting the hard earned and very limited resources new players have and possibly discouraging them before even getting to the actual proper missions, and so I'd suggest either removing those mods altogether, or greatly reducing their fusion cost (both endo and credits) or capacity requirements to actually let the damaged mods fit with the rate at which new players come across required resources in the early missions and allow them some flexibility in playing around with different early-game builds to get a better sense of the mod system.

Codex

Having the basic information for all the frames, weapons and gear accessible through the codex is quite handy, and it is also nice to have collectibles such as Kurias or Cephalon fragments which unlock additional info through codex once collected, however, other sections of the codex needing scans (in case of enemies and objects) or actual acquisition of the item (in case of mods) to display even the basic information about them, while that magical thing called the Wiki exists, only reduces the accessibility of gameplay info than anything else. I'm all for having to scan this or gather that to unlock additional lore in the codex, but in my opinion the basic gameplay information such as description of the mods or where a particular enemy can be found should be readily available from the start.

All such information is already available on the Wiki and some of it is even accessible through item linking in chat, so new players starting with a codex that shows no useful practical gameplay information (keeping in mind that most newer players don't know about the Wiki) only adds to the confusion of early game. In my opinion, mod descriptions and drop points as well as enemy stats and spawn locations should be accessible in the codex from get go, and completing the scans should only unlock more lore snippets rather than any gameplay-related information.

Mastery Tests

A lot of people don't know they can actually practice mastery tests, mostly because it's hidden in a tight corridor in a deadend room at an isolated corner of the relays. You'd be surprised how many MR15+ I've come across who resorted to watching youtube videos as their only means of knowing what to actually expect on their next test. Right now, going to Simaris when one's already got enough exp to rank up provides the option to either "Practice" the test or "Qualify" for it. Adding this same option to the mastery test prompt accessible through the main menu would solve this problem altogether and allow everyone to practice the test without having to had discovered that precious secret corridor at Simaris room.

This would especially help newer players, since they have a rather limited gear set and are also not quite used to the way this game works yet, and not knowing about Simaris room, they end up going in blind and not knowing what to expect. Considering some of the earlier junctions are also mastery locked, this effectively stops their progress if they fail the test as they'd have to wait for 24h before going for the test again, which would add to their frustration caused by trying to learn how the game works and also progress to later planets with better loot, more players, cinematic quests, and generally more fun gameplay.

Immersion and Lore

This point isn't really an overnight fix, or within the "first 2 hours" of the new player experience, but still it's something I've been noticing more and more since the release of Second Dream, and could really use some love:

Back when Second Dream came out, most players were already fully invested in the base game and so that quest was a major turning point in the story and lore of the Warframe universe for them. That's while most newer players who've joined after that point don't take the same approach, as they've likely heard all the hype about Second Dream and War Within, and they set the goal to rush to those two as fast as possible without giving themselves a chance to get fully immersed in the universe first - to the point where I've seen more than a few newer players who didn't even know who Stalker was (and actually thought it's a new character added with that quest) when they got to Second Dream.

Adding small lore snippets here and there on the earlier planets (be it in form of voice lines when a player enters a certain tile, encounters a certain enemy or completes a certain task for the first time) or adding a couple of shorter and lighter quests to the earlier planets solely aimed at increasing the immersion of the universe and letting the new players get more familiar with the basic lore of Warframe before reaching Second Dream could really help with letting newer players experience something closer to the "veteran reaction" to that quest.

Even if making new quests just for this purpose is not an option, reusing older lore assets (like the older operations) and turning them into playable mini-quests (and adding some of them like Darvo's "What Stalker?" event and Mutalist Incursion to the Junction requirements before Second Dream) to make sure newer players are already familiar with the established characters featured in the cinematic quests could really help and make them more invested in the really nice story they're being presented.

Starter Kit

This last point isn't really UI/UX related as it leans more toward balance of the early game, but I guess it's still worth a mention: Two of the starter gear, specifically Mk1-Paris and Mag are pretty decent and with proper modding won't have any trouble clearing the starchart, but that's the key point - New players don't have proper mods.

Mk1-Paris is fun and all, until the player encounters their first ever Corpus enemy, and then they'll seriously regret picking that over the Braton, mostly because even with headshots the very basic Corpus units still need 2 hits to die. That's a decent enough challenge... except, every other starter weapon can deal with early level Grineer and Corpus more or less the same, while the Mk1-Paris becomes suddenly half as effective against Corpus. In my opinion tweaking the stats on only the Mk1 Paris so it can have same effectiveness against early Grineer and Corpus would help newer players go through the early planets (and early mastery tests) easier.

Mag, on the other hand, is one of those frames that simply isn't viable for new players, even through the lvl1 tutorial missions, so while people who pick Excalibur end up with slash dash, blind and later Exalted Blade, and those who pick Volt get Shock, Speed and Electric Shield, those who go with Mag end up with a skillset too complicated for new players and also (since they can't mod it or use the synergy between the powers properly) considerably sub-par to the other two choices. My suggestion would be replacing Mag with another female CC frame for the starter option - Either Nyx or Nova, both of which provide some nice "first look" into range of abilities and also simple and viable enough to use in early game.

There's also the acquisition inconsistency when it comes to the starter gear, specifically Excalibur and Skana - Skana is the only starter weapon not available for credits, and Excalibur is the hardest starter frame to farm if the player had picked another frame, which effectively prevents new players from trying those out in early game. Possibly adding a Mk1 Skana and moving Excal to one of the earlier planets can easily fix that.

Edited by aerelm
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10 hours ago, [DE]DeckardPain said:

I am [DE]DeckardPain. My background is in UX/UI Design but also in Warframe.

My current focus is specifically taking a deeper look into pain points in the New Player Experience, specifically within the first 2 hours of gameplay.

Hi Deckard,

Since you're in both the UI and UX teams, I hope - really hope - you can at least do something to fix or bring attention to the following issues, as they affect both areas:

1) UI for Controller users on PC is extremely needed, Steve and others at DE have said many times this would happen soon - recent examples are both in late 2016 and again in early 2017, yet we will reach 2018 without it actually happening. It's something that is already implemented in both the PS4 and Xbox One versions - so from Art, Design, Texturing and Placement points of view, the work has already been done. So why the delay in implementing an UI interface for Controllers on the PC version?

It's really annoying having to change from controller to a mouse to do even the most basic of things like selecting, changing or upgrading a mod, selecting a Relic, inviting Friends, customizing certain items, etc. It's impossible without a mouse.

The game already has about 70% of the functionality already done, but no UI buttons to show what button does what. The other 30% are missing functionality for basic things like:

- Selecting, upgrading, selling a mod;
- Selecting Relics for Void Fissures, Invasions, The Index wagers, etc. Basically any mission that requires additional input after selecting the mission itself;
- Inviting Friends, configuring Dojo options;
- Customizing Interiors of Liset, Dojo, etc.

It's really annoying having to change from controller to a mouse to do even the most basic of things like selecting, changing or upgrading a mod, selecting a Relic, inviting Friends, customizing certain items, etc. Which is impossible without a mouse. I've been playing Warframe for over 4 years - since November 2013 - and just 2 days ago I discovered by accident that if you press the "X" button (X360/Xbox One) or "Square" button (PS4) while applying a Forma, you change the Polarity of the slot you're modding. But this only happens to the mod slot in which the mouse cursor is pointing at, there's no way to select the slot with a controller. Which is both hilarious and ridiculous at the same time, since why are you even able to change the polarity with a controller when you can't select the mod slot? Why even have that if the mouse is necessary and you can just left-click with it?

There's plenty of examples like that which shows the PC version of Warframe already has most of the functionality for controllers implemented, but not all of it and no UI buttons for the controller you're using. This will help both veterans and new players, because if a new player starts playing the game with a controller, he will be even more confused than if he started playing it with keyboard + mouse.

Can you please explain how hard and time consuming is to implement this change if most of the work is already done and even implemented? And also why it's taking over a year to do the rest - if the work has even started at all?

2) Showing the Total amount of resources you have with the amount you gained in the End of Mission screen? This would help veterans and specially new players, without needing to check the Inventory or Foundry after every mission - the same way we can check how much standing we have with both Focus Schools and Syndicates. This should also take into account unique resources like Void Traces, Eidolon Shards, Sentient Cores, Color Pigments, etc.

3) About Stats, it would be incredibly helpful if the Warframes, Weapons, Sentinels and Companions' Upgrade screens and Warframes' Abilities screens showed potential gains from mods in (Parenthesis). This could be added to the right of the Stat(s) that could be affected, or the right in the empty space besides the stats where the Warframes' Rank Bonuses are shown.

For example: if I add Energy Conversion to a Warframe, it doesn't show the increased 50% Strength in the Total Strength stat in the Upgrade screen nor the altered damage in the Abilities screen. Right now you need to calculate it in your head and remember, or write it down in a notepad, smarthphone or paper.

The same applies to Weapon mods like Sharpened Bullets and Blood Rush (could show the first increase that happens at 1.5x Combo Multiplier). This already happens with a few Melee Channeling mods like Corrupt Charge, which shows both the increased 40% Channeling Cost and 100% Channeling Damage.

While other Melee Channeling mods only show the increased Channeling Cost and nothing else, like Quickening, which doesn't show the increased 20% Attack Speed, only the increased 80% Channeling Cost. So it would also be great from a "consistent standard" point of view, having for all of them instead of just one or two.

4) Having the "Gear Wheel" screen show a description for what each of the UI icons for Abilities and Buffs mean. Even after playing for over 4 years and always reading Warframe Forums, Wikia and Reddit threads everyday, most of these UI icons for Abilities and specially Buffs are still a mystery to me. I can only imagine how extremely confusing it will be for a new player to see all these unknown symbols and not know what any of them mean and where to look for their meaning.

This currently can only be done outside of the game and completely breaks the flow of the game, exposes you to enemy fire and also stops you from helping your team mates since you need to stop playing, Alt + Tab, open or select your internet browser, search and/or open the site, click on the Icons section, read what the Icon means, Alt + Tab again to the game, and then resume playing.

This could be done in one or even both of of two ways: using the empty space in the Gear Wheel menu to show the current Ability(ies) and Buff(s) you have to the right, left, upper or below space; or having a button that will take you to a screen similar to the Abilities or Melee Combos screens while in-mission with a description of the current Buffs or them all (you could scroll down).

5) Optional quick Simulacrum Tutorial for each Warframe, after you acquire it - could be added retroactively for people who already use them. The tutorial would go through phases and each phase teaches both the Abilities, Passives and their nuances, like Frost's Globe absorbing other Globes and stacking it's health in the process. A much more detailed explanation with many examples is on this post by a Warframe Reddit user called "WatchingRomeBurn" (all credits go to him/her):

https://www.reddit.com/r/Warframe/comments/7h5glj/you_can_shoot_through_garas_glas_wall_from_the/dqp2oov/

I understand that you're new at DE and that changes take time, but I realy hope you can address some of these issues or at least bring them to the attention of people higher up at DE. Specially the lack of UI and missing functionality for controllers on the PC version.

I and many friends use controllers, as I'm sure it's the case for thousands and thoussands of other players, and it's really annoying not being able to use just the controller for most things, specially basic ones which you do constantly.

Please, please do anything you can to bring more attention to these issues. Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays.

PS. Sorry for the long comments, but I wanted to give as much details as possible.

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