Roulette: Randomized endless missions for better player fun AND efficiency

Warframe1 - Roulette: Randomized endless missions for better player fun AND efficiency


Endless mission with quick rounds. Start the mission with five selected loadouts (no frame or weapon overlap). Each round, mission type and location are randomly picked. Each round, player loadouts are randomly picked from their five selections. Endgame level enemies.


Player efficiency vs player fun

One obstacle that many grind-based games face is the choice of player efficiency vs player fun. In WF, efficiency is measured in time. A player is most efficient by obtaining the most loot/kuva/affinity/shop-points/etc. per minute in mission. Players that are primarily motivated to increase their power level or farm plat will play efficiently.

In my experience, most players want to be efficient more than they want to have fun. It sounds weird, but players will pick the mission that gives them more per minute than the one that is more fun. Furthermore, players will spam efficient missions (e.g. exterminate fissure) and completely disregard inefficient missions (e.g. mobile defense fissure). In order to trick players to have fun, you need to make fun experiences efficient.

Meta slaves

An extension of being efficient is being a meta slave. Players tend to pick strong and effective loadouts and team comps for specific missions. At best, this behavior is just dry and repetitive, but at worst, meta team comps can cause the mission to be totally braindead. Being a meta slave is great for efficiency but doesn't make the game more fun. An important note is that this can be out of an individual's control. Even just one or two meta slave teammates can cause an individual's contribution to be meaningless. Furthermore, players may be pressured to meta slave to appease teammates (recruit chat for Eidolons, Scarlet Spear, etc.).

The motivation is to create a mission/event that gratifies both fun seekers and efficiency grinders.

Description: Roulette

Before the mission start, select five loadouts. These loadouts cannot have any overlapping frames or weapons. The mission is endless with randomly selected tiles and objectives each round (e.g. sabotage on venus). Map size and objective are adjusted for ~2-5 minute rounds. Each player starts the round with one of their five loadouts randomly equipped. Loadouts and mission types aren't repeated twice in a row. Enemy level starts high (~80) and increases each round. Rewards slowly scale similar to endless fissures.

Why Roulette would be fun

Avoids meta slaving

To be effective, players would build well rounded loadouts instead of hyper-specialized ones. The OP builds and team comps that exist in the game will likely not be as good if you can't predict the mission or your team comp.



WF is a relatively easy game. Since players aren't locked into a class or role, an experienced player will have a loadout for any regular mission that they can play without any difficulty. Challenge in WF is largely self imposed (e.g. lets see if I can solo John Prodman). Roulette would flip that by making experienced players use a loadout and team comp that may not be ideal for the situation.


If you were to run Scarlet Spear at maximum efficiency, you would play the same team comp on the same tileset for tens of hours until you bought everything you want at the shop. This is bad game design. Players shouldn't be forced to choose between efficiency and fun. With Roulette, a player can min-max their builds as far as they want, but they would still encounter and adapt to novel situations every mission.

Why Roulette can add variety and also let players be efficient

There are mission types in WF that are simply not efficient as others. If DE makes the average reward/min of Roulette good enough, players will happily play these less efficient mission types because their overall reward won't change much. As a player, it feels bad to have to choose between variety and efficiency, but Roulette could allow for both without forcing a choice.

Why DE would want to add Roulette

DE wants players to build and forma lots of weapons and frames. A mission that encourages lots of build variety would help the WF economy.

DE also wants to increase players' motivation to improve without introducing damage inflation. If the best possible loadout suite for Roulette is 5 fully built frames and 15 fully built weapons, it gives up-and-coming players a larger goal to reach without DE having to increasing weapon dmg and enemy ehp.

Finally, DE could make this update with far less effort than their previous ones. Sanctuary onslaught already has changing tilesets and enemies. Players can already use 4 distinct tenno-specter loadouts, so having the 5 loadouts in memory isn't an issue. No new assets would be necessary. Just make the lore about a syndicate, Teshin, a cephalon, or a sentient with a name ending with -x, it doesn't really matter.


I put a lot of thought into this and would love to hear feedback. I like Warframe, but I've been having less fun with it recently and hope I can contribute to its improvement.

For reference, I'm an MR23 player with 1,250 in-mission hours. I started WF during Fall 2015.

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