Warframe

Little and big problems of Warframe – Difficulty, Liches, Railjack and Presentation

Warframe14 - Little and big problems of Warframe - Difficulty, Liches, Railjack and Presentation
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I've been spamming those notes in every update thread, because usually threads in the general feedback drown too fast, so, I'll do it again here, but also will try to adress things that I don't like about the direction the game took, specifically how Liches and Railjack were implemented and also how Scarlet Spear and Sentient invasion plays out.

First I will start with more minor problems that I think could be easily fixed:

MODDING AND ABILITIES SCREEN

I think everyone already talked about this, but I'll just tell what I think: yeah, the old abilities screen was a lot better. We've got some compensation in the abilities on the modding screen, but the thing is, you still have to fly the mouse over all the abilities to check out how one mod affected all the abilities – and I think we should see the changes immediately. Like a little table that shows all the abilities right there, on the modding screen itself. And when you put a mod that changes the stats, you can see everything right from the get-go.

ARSENAL, INVENTORY

Right now it's a great pain in the butt when you literally can't just see what weapons in your arsenal have a potato.

Also, it would be great if we could just access inventory with one button, because it really gets old when you can't just sell trash blueprints from the foundry or mastered weapons from the arsenal. Or just give us the ability to sell stuff from the foundry and arsenal. And why can't we see how much slots do we have in the arsenal itself? That's just too much, man.

MASTERY RANK TEST

When game proposes us to take a test for the mastery rank, the button that proposes to practice should be right below "the test" button – and it should be a lot bigger. Also, it's really, really annoying that we have fail-states in the practice modes. Mastery rank test, where I had to rescue a hostage and kill a lot of guards with just melee just made me tear out my hair in frustration. Figuratively, of course, but still. Why just not make the practice mode infinite, but if the player passes the test, you just show a prompt, if the player wants to leave practice? It would a lot more practical. Just look at Hotline Miami. You're killed dozens of times, but all it takes to reset you is just one press of a button. No awful loading times and screens.

SIMULACRUM

I don't actually use it at all, but I've seen from the videos that there is still no dedicated button just to reset all enemies, so everyone has to waste time to go back to the console and reset them manually. And yeah, it's already year 2020, and we still can't test the modular weapons. Why? I can't just decide if I want this combination from the sheer number, I need to feel it! Allow us to build kitguns, zaws and amps in Simulacrum to test them out, I beg you.

As we talk about combinations, we don't have a market mode, where we can just try out everything we want. It could be tied to Simulacrum, actually, and really would improve a lot of things – for example, I want to try out different combinations of cosmetics, but I have to buy everything separately and I don't know if it will look good.

MARKET, CODEX, INSTRUCTIONS

Why we still have this annoying ???? in the Codex for mods? I want to know what every mod does and I will – I'll just have to link it in the chat, and yeah, it will waste my time, so why do we still have it? It does absolutely nothing? And it would be really, really good if you could select the mod and then click on the names of the enemies and modes below, just to check out where should we farm this mod. And drop chance with actual numbers instead of just color – I mean, "Bite" drops from Kubrow really rarely, but I have to go to the Wiki just to realize it's 0,01% drop chance. I need those numbers to realize, should I invest in the grind or not. Also, to have some system to sort mods out would be great – for example, I don't want to see the augments at all, because I just to want to check out mods that are only farmable from the enemies. And can we have the separation of enemies in the Codex? Keep usual ones and the ones from Railjack separate.

FOUNDRY

Talking about clickable, this shoud apply to the foundry to. Sometimes you don't even know where resources that we need come from – and it would be really great if we could click on them and get the information, where or from whom they drop. When I was building Gauss, two of his parts require materials from the Venus, but the third one needs stuff from Cetus. And I really didn't know that and I went to Fortuna just to realize that I had to go to Cetus.

Yeah, you could just say 'read the Wiki!', but come on, everything should be in the game and it should be transparent, so everyone can understand how to get things they want.

FISSURES SCREEN

It would be actually great to see how much parts from the set you have – so there won't be situations, when you need two parts for something, but the screen just shows you that you already own the thing. Just make it like a little window, where under or above every prime part you see information, from what set this part is, how much parts do you have, etc.

MINIMAP REWORK

When will we get a proper minimap rework? At this point it's really annoying that you have to waste so much time to look for things you really want to pick up. I understand that if we get different icons for every resource minimap will get cluttered. But can you at least implement different icons for Syndicate medallions and Ayatan Sculptures? We already have different icons for Cephalon and Somachord fragments. Nothing is more annoying when you understand how much Ayatans you just passed by in some fast mission, because everyone rushes to the exit.

While we're at it, maybe all Warframes should have loot and enemy radar from the get-go? I mean, really, what's the point in having TWO different exilus mods and another companion mod, when we should have had those things in the first place? For example, my friend started playing the game and it's really annoying how much time it takes to get a companion and when you just start the game you still don't have enough endo or warframe capacity to fit radar mods, when you really want to have something more valuable there. It's just old busted mechanic that should have been gone long time ago.

ESSENTIAL MODS REWORK

Cause we already started talking about loot and enemy radars, maybe you should think about a system of essential things for every frame? Or just give us additional cells just for mods, that don't take any capacity. Like, for example, we have three or four additional cells in every frame, where we can install loot and enemy radars, some resistance mods and sprintparkour mods? Even healtharmor maybe? Because everyone already have talked about Serration-like mods being essential in every weapon. Maybe we should get something like this for everything, including Warframes? Just to incentivize further variation in builds and at last have some space for quality of life stuff.

***

That's all for the little problems, now my grievances about the big ones.

Ok, here it goes.

THE DIFFICULTY ISN'T A PROBLEM

The problem is that to make the game difficult, you have to make a lot of self restrictions, like not using mods, powers, weapons or really strong DPS frames. The game isn't skill-based. My friend started playing not so long ago and I realized by watching gameplay that a game is harder in the beginning just because you don't have good frames, weapons and mods. After you drop some credits and endo into Serration and some prime mods for shotguns, the game gets really easy. So, as I said, you can go through difficult content if you restrain yourself from using strong equipment, the problem is why would you do that if Warframe isn't a skill-based game? Moreover, even if you try so called "difficult" content, the rewards are just useless most of the time.

The problem is that there is no actually challenging content that stays challenging, but also gives some meaningful rewards. And this content should be self-sustained. Even Arbitrations are easy and you don't play them anymore, after you get all the things you want.

DE, you shot yourselves in the foot with the mod system, because most of the time it's all about the mods. But after you get a few, you just don't have anything to do, you just go through everything like a knife through the butter.

You can't make a better PvP just because making good PvP means getting rid of bullet-jumping and we can't have that. That's like cornerstone mechanic of the game. But PvP would be something self-sustaining. That's exactly what people mean when they say "there is no content". There is. But it's not self-sustaining, you can breeze through it in a matter of days, hours maybe. But if you made a game mode that is fun to play and difficult and also gave out good, meaningful rewards for playing, I would totally be onboard.

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So, conclusion to this paragraph – THE DIFFICULTY ISN'T A PROBLEM – LACK OF SKILL-BASED SELF-SUSTAINING CONTENT WITH GOOD REWARDS IS

Naturally, we came to the problem of Liches and Railjack. Oh. and also Operators.

LICHES, RAILJACK, OPERATORS: PROBLEM OF CONTENT ISLANDS AND PRESENTATION

I really don't have to say that we didn't get what we were promised at TennoCon. You know what really bugged me from the TennoCon'18 footage? I didn't understand why would we need Railjack in the first place. And I still don't know why we need it now. Basically, we play Railjack to be good at Railjack. The same way we were hunting Eidolons just to be good at hunting Eidolons- what else Operators are needed for? We don't really need Railjack or even Operators. Just not in the way you think.

For me, the main reason I play strong frames and try out strong weapons – because it's just that satisfying. Operators and Railjack gameplay should be satisfying in itself, but the problem is, in both cases we have numbers game in play. If you ever played War Thunder, you would understand the point I'm trying to make. You don't shoot down fighters in Railjack because you hit its pilot or its engines started burning because of precision shot. No, you just get better weapons to hit harder. That's the way the game plays everywhere. Look at Corpus nullifiers – instead of being able to one-shot them through different weakpoints, we have inconsistent drone that gets stuck in the walls or in the ceiling. And in this matter damage does nothing – you have to get fast-firing weapons and it kills a whole type of guns that we could use. The same for the Operators – we don't use them because it's fun, we use them because it's necessary.

But what is Railjack, exactly? It's the same type of exterminate mission with little-side objectives to accompany the same act of killing of 90 fighters and 6 crewships. Doesn't it bother you that we can't have a lot of creativity here? No spy missions, no defense missions, no raid-type assaults where you have to quickly disable galleon with convoy type of guards? It might sound strange to you, but I'm still bothered by the fact that we have Sentient invasion – and we don't have anyone to protect from it. Apart from Cetus and Fortuna – and really, I don't care about those guys at all, because the universe itself feels dead. We don't ever see colonists, smugglers, pirates, cops, little Corpus contractors that try to make their little business here and there – just everyday people that we would care about to protect them from Tau Ceti AI, coming back to kill or enslave everyone. If you played Star Conflict (the same developers as War Thunder), you would know that it has it's own kind of space open world, where you have little locations, that you traven between using space gates – in Warframe we have Railjack map to do that. The thing is, every location has it's own ecosystem. As I said, pirates, cops, little corporate shmucks, guarding stations, etc.

Why we don't have something like this in Railjack? Just imagine, that in every location that you travel in you could have it's own ecosystem. Sometimes Grineer stations are raided by Corpus fighters and it just becomes free-for-all. Some locations are populated by colonists, that can help you in your fights against Grineer empire. And if you want, you can have little escort missions with the colonist ships, that can stand on their own and help you more than you can help them. Sometimes you might have little Corpus patrol that just asks you to take down infested ships, before they reach habitable space or some little Corpus traders that ask you to aid them in their little operations against big Directors Board. The potential is limitless – if you make every scenario unique. That's what made Shadow of War and it's bosses unique – and that's why Liches failed.

LICHES FAILED BECAUSE THEIR VALUE WAS ONLY IN WEAPONS AND THE GRIND WAS TEDIOUS. THERE WERE NO FUN IN TAKING THEM DOWN OR RECRUITING THEM. So how do you fix this?

Instead of generating Liches by killing larvas, there will be about 15-20 Liches all the time, like in Shadow of War, some are in alliances, some are in rivalries with each other. This system becomes available after War Within, just like now.
Liches have their own spheres of influence, but they operate like lieutenants to the actual bosses of the planets. They can take some of your loot if you die at least two times in their nodes, but if you are doing missions without any problems, they just become more and more enraged. They can spawn in your missions if they are properly enraged and be killed right there or recruited. Either way, you and your squadmates get the blueprint for the weapon. But if you kill it, you also get some kind of artefact that acts like arcanes (I mean that it doesn't take a mod slot and is equipped separately): increasing health, shields, durationefficiencystrengthrange, sprint speed, parkour speed, affinity bonus (like in endless fissures), credit bonus, augments to your powers, straight up damage bonuses. Artifacts are limited: they go on only for several dozen of missions. And also, like in S.T.A.L.K.E.R., you have a limit. For example, you can't equip more than four. But duplicates are melted together, so if you get a health booster twice, they add to each other. It creates an incentive to continue killing Liches, because the effects are temporary, but you still want to be on the top of your game. And if you are out of the game for some time, you still can get back pretty quickly, because artifacts decay only in missions.

Even if you decide to recruit your Lich, everyone gets a splinter of artifact. Combine four or five – and you get a full one, so there is a really good incentive for players to help each other. Even if the guy decides to recruit the Lich and not to kill it, everyone still gets rewards for participation. So there is more point to hunting Liches together. Also, you can turn down difficulty for solo players, so taking down a Lich won't feel like a pain in the butt.

The main point I want to talk about: you don't have to have any Requiem mods to kill a Lich. You can take it down any time you want. But they are very tough, they have immunities, resistances and weaknesses. If you really want to prepare for the battle, you can kill three lieutenants of the Lich to learn about Lich's properties and powers. Sometimes even a group of 4 players can't take a buffed Lich down. And if you torture the Thralls for information, you can get a specific node just for killing Lich, where it's weaker than in usual missions – it also will mitigate a problem of Lich not spawning for players in missions.

You might be asking, what's the point in recruiting Liches, when they drop good artifacts. Well, you get a management system of your Liches, like in Shadow of War. You send them after each other in a special screen. They can steal resources, they can make reconnaissances to figure out enemy Lich's weaknesses or straight up challenge other Lich for battle. The same thing happens in "open world"-invasion style, where you can aid one of the sides of the conflict – or just try to kill two birds with one stone, betraying everyone.
If you send your Lich after the other without knowing its weaknesses, the battle will be severely harder and your Lich might die. But there is a chance of winning, so you can just do other stuff, while your Liches clean up the starchart of enemy influence for you. Or you can appoint them as your bodyguards, so they help you in your missions, when you press a specific button. They are really good as a supports, they have powers, they draw enemy's fire – so they can save your butt when you really need their help. But you can call for them only once in three-four missions, so you have to choose wisely. Also, they can passively collect resources while you are away from the game. Still, you have to decide very carefully when to call for them, because if they sustain too much damage and you abandon them in a mission, they can turn on you. But if you do the mission buddy-cop style, killing everything in your way, Lich can grow more fond of you. You will always have kind of a relationship bar with your Lich, where it is indicated how they think of you. The more you spend time with them, the more powerful they become, the more effective they start to do their missions. But you have to be on a lookout, because you don't want your powerful Lich to betray you, because it will be very hard to take it down in the future.

That's my takes on the problems the game has right now. I understand that it sounds too ambitious for DE to take, but Railjack itself was already a big ambitious project and it feels like it was put into constraints, instead of giving it room to breathe. And, for me, the biggest problem of Warframe is that it's universe doesn't feel alive. But if you make it feel so, the players might return just to experience unique situations again and again. That's what made Shadow of War good and can save Warframe for me.

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