Warframe

Old player, new game: the good and the bad

Warframe4 - Old player, new game: the good and the bad
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So, after a LONG time away from this game yesterday I finally started a fresh new account, to rediscover Warframe from the ground up. After 24 hours spent playing almost non-stop, here is a list of things that impressed me positively, and also a list of things that impressed me negatively. Both lists are jotted down from the top of my head, they're in no particular order.

THE GOOD

  1. The reworked tutorial: I just love that they actually made it directly continue from last year's cinematic trailer. The new environments are stunningly beautiful, and the basics are explained to the new player a lot better than they were before. I also love that they went to great lengths to integrate into the tutorial the newer elements of Earth as a planet, such as the Ostrons, the new plants, and the PoE fauna, so as to create a sense of familiarity from the get go.
  2. The new Corpus Ship tileset: it looks AMAZING. And I'm happy that we finally see the Corpus openly display religious overtones outside of Nef Anyo's antics, thus at last characterizing them as a cult: before, them being a cult was kind of an informed attribute, in that everyone called them a cult but, outside of Nef calling himself a prophet (which the other Corpus didn't even buy), we never really saw them do anything openly cult-like. So yeah, I'm glad the Corpus are much better characterized now.
  3. The reworked UI: it looks a lot cleaner and more informative than before. A couple confusing aspects were removed as well. Overall, a big improvement compared to what I had to put up with during my first run.
  4. The Jackal fight: this is such a great boss now. Challenging but not frustrating, interesting in its patterns, miles better than its old self. Plus, I love that its new gimmick is used as a tutorial to teach people the mechanics they'll need later on, in the Kuva Lich fights.
  5. The music that plays when you complete a MR test or other such task: they rearranged it so that, when Lotus says "a formidable performance", you hear a simplified version of the This is what you are leitmotif. I was completely blindsided by that and, I'm not gonna lie, it brought tears to my eyes. The people who're playing this for the first time have no idea just how significant that handful of notes are.

THE BAD

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  1. Mastery requirements for weapons: these are still all over the place in relation to the necessary materials, and honestly I find it really disappointing to see that, after all this time, this aspect still hasn't been fixed. The Sobek, allegedly a MR 7 weapon, can be built with materials you'll have in great quantities before you even get to Mercury: meanwhile the Latron (ostensibly available as one of the first rifles, meaning you'd actually WANT it by the time you get to Mercury) requires Plastids, which cannot be obtained until much later. And this was just one example: there are so many more among primaries and secondaries, and melee weapons arguably have it even worse. If the intent of MR requirements is to make it so that the ceiling of the power level you can attain by making new weapons will grow with you, then the materials required need to be reworked in such a way, that you'll be able to access new planets with the materials for a weapon of a certain MR just as you're unlocking that MR. Otherwise the whole deal makes no sense, and encourages an environment where players will be speeding through early on then going back later to grind. Good game design should encourage a more natural, gradual, "grow as you go so that you won't even need to go back and grind" kind of approach instead.
  2. The way the current Nightwave season is framed and presented: I just don't like the whole deal about there being an investigation. In terms of lore it doesn't make sense for Nora, a radio host, to be conducting police-like investigations on what is essentially a serial killer case. And gameplay-wise I'm just not fond of the CSI-esque "interact with clues" thing. Not to mention, the whole deal goes out of its way to establish that the vitrified people are the victims… Meaning that the special enemies who run in on his missions, whom we invariably end up beating the crap out of, are victims, not baddies. I'm not sure this constitutes good storytelling.
  3. Corpus toughness: the way shields work now, they make Corpus units an absolute nightmare to deal with when you're still stuck with MK1 weapons… But as soon as you get your hands on decent weapons with decent mods the Corpus go back to being the pushovers they always were. So yeah, if the goal was making them a threat on par with the Grineer at all levels, I'm not sure this accomplishes it. You've made them a much more problematic obstacle for low-level players, while still not addressing the instances of high-level players: what kind of players are supposed to be happy about this change?

So yeah, this is how an old veteran feels replaying the game from scratch. I sure would love to hear how new players, who are playing the game without the benefit of hindsight, feel about these very same aspects I brought up.

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