Warframe

Lifting the Whole – Connecting the Islands

Warframe6 - Lifting the Whole - Connecting the Islands
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The Context:

The way I see most people defining "Content Island" is when there is a gameplay loop that is isolated from the rest of the game.

People point to examples such as Cetus and the Plains of Eidolon and the Quills having all new resources and standing, where you have to play Cetus/Plains/Quills content in order to get access to more of their content, which rarely has any additional connection to the rest of the game.

Repeated in Fortuna and the Orb Vallis and Solaris United. Mostly content that requires you to exclusively engage in that one location in order to progress in it, and offering little to no incentives or pushes to engage in the content, until you realize you want a specific thing, and then you're presented with a massive wall of grind.

And then there was Railjack. Which was supposed to connect the open worlds to space missions and normal missions, and… Didn't. They're specifically indicating that they're working on improving the base gameplay quality of Railjack now, along with a bunch of other things.

They have more or less said that they understand a bunch of the player backlash at this point, such as by how Rebecca apologized for "lackluster" content. But I'd personally like to go over some of the thoughts I've had on resolving the "Content Island" issues we've observed.

The Suggestions:

I've already made a post detailing where I feel DE's overall "project" and "main" focus should lie in the near future, that they should start by actually more or less finish their planned "New Player Experience", alongside more "Warframe Revised" gameplay passes to ensure that the game is being developed on a more solid foundation of the gameplay loops and features we enjoy and appreciate. This base-game fixing, and the creation of the new First Quest/Mission for the game sets the stage for DE to do a more comprehensive pass on getting the various parts and pieces of their game, Warframe, to fit together more nicely.

One of the things I find missing from the game, is a bunch of the lore of long-gone events. It's rather immersion-breaking, and is something of a lost content island in Warframe. Half of the quests reference one-time events that new players will never experience. This leaves many of the quests raising more questions than answers, for those that weren't around when the events occurred, really separating parts of the game from itself. If we want all of Warframe to be a cohesive "continent" that you fluidly drift through, there shouldn't be massive gaping holes in the continent where we don't know what happened. Reintroducing the events as quests, and making the whole storyline replayable in a type of dedicated Replay-Mode will go a fair ways towards making Warframe feel more connected, rather than it feeling like we're being handed individual chunks of content islands.

Another early-game item that causes a disconnect for many players, is the (subjectively) sudden appearance of Teshin in the main quest-lines, supposedly being important to our character without having much of any previous interaction. Because nobody plays Conclave. I've seen many repeated sentiments that Teshin is grossly underutilized as a character, and I think a solution would be to integrate him into the Mastery Rank tests, where currently the Lotus just states the objective, and has pass/fail lines. The Lotus introducing Teshin to us, the master of Conclave, where we can hone our skills against other Tenno, who co-approves or co-administrates the MR tests (just a few added voicelines, some of which may be able to be pulled from Conclave dialogues), would help tie his character into the overall game much more early on, where we'll feel that he's "overseen our training" for at least our first 5 Mastery Ranks (the MR lock for The War Within, where he becomes substantially more relevant).

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This would also add legitimacy to our Mastery Rank-ups while Lotus is Natah and AWOL, and would also likely bolster the amount of activity in Conclave. To that end, they could also add Conclave Training modes, where we fight against specters, and make participation in each of the modes (either Training or PVP) junction requirements, so that there's an in-game introduction to the mode.

Tenno love to multitask. Ranking up Warframes or Weapons while farming Kuva or Kuva Liches comes to mind. I know I've always been mildly irked that I could only ever engage with a singular variant of a mission at a time, and always found the fact that the Acolyte events happen alongside whatever other mission you're playing on the node, to be quite a cool addition to the base mission. Making any of the current "Islands" of Kuva Lich Territories, Kuva Siphons, Nightmare Alerts, Fissures, Syndicate Missions, etc, into toggle-able conditions (Must Be, Can't Be, and Either), along with a difficulty level or two to be chosen from, would allow people to mix and match their favored types of content, and choose to engage with them how they wish, or not at all, and can reward veterans with higher quantities or qualities (or speeds) of rewards from missions with multiple criteria or events. The Devs have expressed interest in difficulty sliders or preset ranges already, this is just a little addition that would allow people to not feel as locked into islands, where they can only choose one type of mission to advance in at a time.

This could be coupled with a rewards-balance pass that helps ensure that once people have started to exhaust the full spread and variety of the game, that they can ensure they get a more tailored and specialized set of rewards. Super well-outfitted, skillful, advanced, tactical players should be able to have their skills rewarded with a higher likelihood of rare one-time-needed-only drops, and more instances of consumable resource drops. We don't need to get more ammo drums and other common mods by the hundreds, these retooled mission reward balances could replace all or a majority of the super-common mod drops with more endo, stars, or statues littering the tileset. Common weapon part pieces that we'd sell anyways could be replaced by more rewarding chunks of credits instead. There are options. This would also be a place where more rare objects with highly limited drop locations could happen across a wider range. Such as the Carbides dropping from Grineer Shipyard Eximi expanding to more, if not all, of the harder tiers of Grineer tiles.

Lastly, my only remaining major request for DE would be to make good on the promise for Railjack to tie things together in a satisfying way. Make new Raid-equivalents, and/or Railjack-Sorties. Make missions and the open-worlds interconnected in a meaningful way by our Railjacks.

Love hearing your guys' feedback and suggestions!

Edit – added suggestion for additional rewards-pass.

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