Content of the article: "We need a heart-to-heart conversation with DE."
(TLDR at bottom)
I'm not angry, I'm just sad with the lack of trust between us and the Dev Team that we were so close to a year ago. I'm sort of a vet a this point, I've been playing on and off for the past slightly more than a year and have reached MR27. My Warframe/Steam profile is soncScoot if you care to fact check this. I haven't seen everything this game has been through, but can tell it has been rather rough recently. Especially given the recent Devstream.
I know the community team at DE do lurk on the Warframe Forums and Reddit and can see what we are angry/frustrated/anxious/excited about whether or not you choose to comment on criticism and rather choose to comment on the amazing art (I don't blame you all, but at the same time it makes us feel like our feedback is specifically being ignored). I appreciate that we are listened to in some capacity but it feels increasingly like what I left in the Team Fortress 2 community. These days, it feels like the Dev Team is growing further and further from the community. The older Devstreams felt like a conversation between the players and the Dev Team. Now, it feels like we're given a presentation so that people know there is content coming so they aren't as angry in the meantime. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to know that the Dev Team actually exists and are working but an honest conversation is needed. It honestly feels like the team are stepping on eggshells every stream and the shells have now broken. Even in Quiet Shy's usually comedic Devstream recaps, you can feel the tension between the Devs and general community at the end of the recap. While it's funny on the Dev Team's end to be like, "Haha, should we nerf it? XD" it's worrying on our end based on recent changes that feel rather out of touch with what players have fun with. It feels very vague when our feedback is received with phrases such as, "We've been hearing lots of discussion based on the recent changes, but…" We want to know what has been heard, otherwise we are left in the dark and the community doesn't know how to provide further feedback.
I used to play lots of Team Fortress 2. Those Devs so rarely spoke, but they did lurk. Most of the player base was talking at a wall that didn't respond and most of us were just used to the fact that the Dev Team was basically nonexistent. The TF2 team did exist and read feedback (at least at the time), but it really didn't feel like it. I really don't want this to become the case with DE but it feels like this is becoming the case rather quickly. When I burnt out on TF2 after many years of enjoying the game, I was recommended Warframe by a friend. A little before the Plains of Eidolon Remaster, I joined because of a friend's recommendation. They sent me a video of the "We Lift Together" trailer for Fortuna, but that wasn't what hooked me on trying the game (to be honest, I didn't really get it at the time). It was to play with my friend, and then I really loved how the movement and gun-play felt. That's why I stayed even after my friend stopped playing, not because of the new grand things that were Fortuna and Plains of Eidolon. Just the base game was intriguing enough. I was excited, I was happy that the game actually had a stable team working on it that listened to player feedback. Now, it's starting to feel like what I felt when playing TF2 with nobody listening to the community's pleas.
I want to hear from you DE. We want to hear from you DE. We want to see promises kept. Transparency and honesty in feedback taken, received, and acted upon would be something I would like to see. I am certain the community team at DE lurks around here, but probably don't respond because they either feel threatened by the community or would prefer to silently note it and pass it along to the team. For example, I'm almost certain that when the Xoris nerf occurred the team heard people mentioning that it was just a matter of convenience and that it did not provide extra damage beyond what we already have. I know you've heard about the riven interactions with pseudo-exalted weapons, but it was never even mentioned in the Xoris nerf. Even letting us know that you've heard it would go miles for player trust. We've had time to "cool down" over the Xoris nerfs and we still want it restored to its former convenience, but we haven't heard anything for what feels like a long time. It feels like lots of the valid feedback is being dismissed as: "REEEE, my favorite thing got nerfed". I'm not going to spend a whole week being fuming over a nerf to a point where my thoughts aren't coherent. I'll be angry for maybe 5 minutes, then I'll just be mildly disappointed.
By the way, when are we going to hear about Universal Medallions for Conclave? Please? 🙂
I saw how feedback was taken, the NoClip documentary, and the design philosophy at the time. The Warframe team saw that people liked things like Dual Zoren Coptering and the movement it granted. Instead of just patching it out, they saw what we liked about it and gave us a new tool that moved the game forward. Bullet jumping. DE at that time seemed to understand what makes players tick. These days, the general community doesn't trust the Dev Team because they nerf stuff due to it being used a lot.
Why are some things used more than others? They are either more powerful, more fun, or a combination of the two. Most of the time, it's the combination of the two. I feel like DE has been looking too much at the numbers recently and basing their decisions based off of that. Maybe this problem goes back even further. For example, think about at the concept of Rivens. The design is that they are nerfed based on popularity, not power.
Why don't I see an Octavia in every single survival mission despite the infinite scaling damage that you can just slap down? Lots of people don't really enjoy spamming the shit out of the crouch button. Some people enjoy it and more credit to them, but lots of people don't. That's why Octavia hasn't been nerfed after all this time. These days, it feels like stuff is getting nerfed because something is fun & powerful which causes people to use it.
We are scared to share stuff because we are having fun with it. Whenever a Youtuber shows off a build that's really powerful and fun to pull off, most of the comments are the following, "DE: Fun Detected". Why has this become the case? When things get popular, it often gets nerfed whether it deserved it or not. I know the Dev Team doesn't hate fun, otherwise you all wouldn't have made this game. We want fun and powerful tools to play with. Vector Pad may be fun for some people (which is rather debatable because of its finicky nature), but it does not have any power to go with it. So, most train mains just wish it were gone so they can cycle between the other two useful mines faster.
Let me be brave and show this. It may or may not get patched out soon. You know what is great about this? It actually made me do something other than put more survivability or damage on Volt. That fun "diversity" word the team has been throwing around recently, it applies here. It's a fun extra tool in the toolbox for players to use. A large amount of mobility is more worth it to me rather than increasing my damage by 100%. How about that? Build diversity mama mia. Chances are if everybody used this and a Youtuber with a large following were to show this interaction off and lots of people used it, it would just get patched out and never touched again.
We are afraid to invest into fun and powerful things because we realize that if something is fun and powerful for many people, it will get nerfed without question. I genuinely thought Marked For Death wasn't going to get nerfed after seeing this leaked footage and how in development Marked For Death was changed so that Ash's Fatal Teleport would work with it which means that this specific combo was tested that so many Youtubers showed off.
I understand the bug fixes that made damage higher than expected, but not the intentional nerfs. What happens to people who no longer want Marked for Death on their Warframes? They just wasted a crap ton of resources, that's what happened. I personally didn't invest into this specific combo, but I did invest a bunch of Bile to take Fire Walker off, then put it back on after seeing this post. What is going to happen when this most likely gets patched out? I guess I wasted my resources because I saw something really fun and I wanted to try it.
It is not bad to have lots of good things in this game. For example, it should be really obvious what the better option is when Rebecca (no hate, we love you space mom but c'mon) says, "I don't know whether or not I like it more when one power is skewed towards aggressively, or equally distributed?" It's better to have it be equally distributed. The stats aren't always reliable as players aren't always going to be smart with what they pick (look at the stats for Grendel lol, which one of you fools replaced feast lmao) but that's why we have the forums and reddit for feedback. A very heavy skew towards certain abilities in the chart means they most of the time need a buff.
For example, Chroma. It's extremely obvious that people will replace his Spectral Scream because it is not useful for the energy cost or in the context of the rest of his kit. Yes, fart cloud/fire/angry pikachu/water vapor breathing dragon is funny thematically but it serves no purpose as utility or damage. However, please just ask for player feedback and not base changes off of only looking at the charts. Ask us. Lots of us could spend hours typing up feedback and would love to do so, if it is heard. For example, I just recently spend two nights worth of time making a post to suggest easy buffs for all Warframes. Nobody really read it and that kinda sucked, but I still enjoyed thinking about it regardless of whether people read it. I know the team can't read everything, but more people are willing to give meaningful feedback if they know it will be heard and even possibly considered.
The "fun police" that DE is perceived to be most recently is not helped when on the most recent Devstream, it is posed as almost a bad thing when Rebecca says (somewhat jokingly), "If every ability becomes useful, then Helminth… what do you do?" Yes, what do we do? We fucking celebrate because that would be amazing. Replacing abilities actually becomes a difficult choice that isn't so obvious as "replace Chroma/Mesa/Nekros' 1, it's not that useful" Having more good toys to play with is not a bad thing. There may be some people who choose not to replace an ability if all the abilities are useful, and that's fine. For example, currently I'm guessing there's a bunch of people who play Nidus who specifically chose not to replace anything because they think Nidus works the best as is and doesn't have any ability that is significantly worse than the rest. Then Helminth becomes a way for players to better express their own playstyles rather than just use it as a means to make their frame more powerful by exchanging an underpowered ability.
Just please stop looking at graphs and instead talk with your players. Lots of us have nothing better to do, which is why we have stuck around for so long. So please DE, we all want to make this game the best it can be. Angry feedback is frustration, they want the game to be better because they know it can be and are frustrated it isn't.
TLDR: Let us have fun things. Things that are fun and powerful are used a lot unless something is abnormally powerful. Don't base nerfs off of these statistics, give us fun and effective tools to use. Ask the playerbase for feedback, we'd love to be heard and acknowledged. It feels like our feedback falls on deaf ears and is ignored for feedback that is selectively chosen. We want transparency and honesty with the feedback taken.
- Dear Digital Extremes: You are making it hard for me to really enjoy this game.
- Two handed weapon feeling!
- Should developers listen to their most loyal fans? Or the entire audience? (a roguelike problem)
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