Warframe

Upgrading Defense Missions

Warframe8 - Upgrading Defense Missions
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Since the new Corpus Railjack has had myself and my friends playing a fair bit of Defense Missions in Railjack I've had some discussions on how to upgrade the Defense Mission type to the more modern style of Warframe gameplay.

Three items came up in these discussions routinely that I'd like to bring up and suggest how to address them. We also discussed some additional ideas to add some flare to the Defense Mission type that could be integrated as well but are not essential to this particular discussion. That would be the bonus part and so I'll leave that to the end of this opening post.

  1. Down Time. There is a lot of waiting for enemies in the Defense Mission type either at the start or looking for them at the end of a mission. A solution to would waves upon waves. Allowing waves of enemies to spawn directly after each other would keep the pressure up and the excitement high. Take a look at Sanctuary Onslaught for example. It keeps the tension up high with its high enemy spawn rate. Inserting the break every 5 waves would make the breaks feel not only more meaningful and allow a brief release of tension on top of allowing the players to decide to extract or not.
    Additional Considerations: Playing with the increment of the rest period after x amount of waves can have drastic effects on the difficulty of the mission but I would strongly recommend not reducing the waves to breaks value below 5 but of course experimentation would yield actual data rather than estimations so maybe something to play around with?
  2. Lack of Variety. This came up almost always right after the discussions about Down Time, and that was the lack of variety in the defense areas themselves as well as the objects players are defending. The only solution this I can see is a two fold one so I'll split my answer up for ease of reading.
    A. Defense Room Variety 3-5 different rooms per tileset that can be used for a Defense Area would help deal with the "sameness" not only myself but others experience with defense missions themselves on a purely gameplay feel level. Now this doesn't have to be elaborate chambers never seen anywhere else. It can be a combination of other spaces that fit with the requirements of a Defense Area. Some of these could be advantages to the Defenders and others could favor the Attackers. This point, of favoring either the Defenders or Attackers in layout, could even be a factor in the difficulty of the Defense itself. Lower level defense missions are more easily defendable while higher level missions feature rooms that favor the attacking enemy more.
    B. Defense Objective Variety 3-5 different kinds of defense objectives, maybe (or probably) tied to the tile set itself. Defending the same Warframe Cryopod has grown rather dull I must admit and I've talked with folks about this subject and some pointed to there being other types of defense objectives in some very specific defense missions typically tied to events or quests but players don't generally encounter those except once in a long while. The Kuva Fortress and Undersea Lab being the most prominent examples of a difference in kind to defense objectives.
  3. Surprise. This is true for almost any Endless Mission type but is more so for Defense Missions than any other where identical waves of enemies and the need to remain in the same space makes the entire experience blend together into a blur where time seems to stretch out into infinity. We'd come to a conclusion that something shake up the "formula" would help deal with this. Now this can take several forms not limited to what we could come up with.
    A. Mutators Borrowing something from the Conduits in Disruption missions, the Mutators you'd get when you insert a key always makes the defense of a Conduit a lively experience. Sometimes helpful and sometimes a complication this makes players actively deal with something new every few minutes and it can change the situation in a dynamic way which the Defense Mission type can definitely use.
    B. Minibosses One of my friends is a big tower defense enthusiast so I had to bring up his idea because it is a concept that works for a good reason but can be abstracted into more than just a bullet sponge with a big stick. This would be any kind of obstacle that would pose a direct threat to your Defense Objective. Say the enemies a bringing in a big bomb and you need to take it out before it gets too close or something is malfunctioning in the room and causing dangerous area effects. I've seen things like this elsewhere in Warframe in a few maps but they are seldom employed beyond the broad categories of traps and honestly a few of these that could pop up every few waves would wonders for keeping players alert and on their toes. Though this does tie in strongly with point 2.

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    And those are the majority of my suggestions. I can imagine the community can come up with more but please I ask that you try and be constructive and not just negative. Helpful suggestions and examinations of what I've suggested above or what others do post in this thread would be welcome. Anger, bile and negativity has no place here. Lets work together to make something better and not split apart and make things worse.

    Here's my little bonus idea that didn't quiet fit because it was a subject that we couldn't get a consensus on when discussing upgrading Defense Missions.
    Secondary or Bonus Objectives – I'd suggested maybe having Bounty style objectives added to the waves of a Defense Mission could help relieve a fair number of the problems above or play into part of them at least. And these could be small side missions related to the defense itself or could feature as something that is done in between the Waves Upon Waves as a change in the tension flow of the mission.

    Thankyou for your time!

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