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Post by DogManDan on Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:26 am

Friends & Warframers -

Thank you all for being here and supporting Warframe. We have been very busy on hot fixes, nerfing everyone's favorite stuff and preparing for Update 7. Please keep in mind these are not promises. Do not crucify us when some of these things slip or get cut. I will do my best to keep you aware about changes as it evolves!

We are targeting mid-March for most of this stuff. There are aspects of this update that will probably be the most disruptive thing we have ever done (the replacement of Upgrade system). I will be happy to answer questions in this thread but I want to avoid going overlong on the explanations or talking about stuff that has uncertainty clouding it. I may frustrate with answers like "Can't talk about it yet" which is a face-saving way of saying "I have no idea!"

! = High confidence and/or ahead of schedule.
?= Behind schedule and/or uncertainty.

FIXES (!): Bug fixes still take about 50% of our programming time. I know there are many people (rightfully) crying 'fix the problems first' and I want to assure them that it remains a top priority for us. Keep in mind growth is painful so we definitely have an attitude of 'let's get feature X in early' vs. waiting until magical zero-bugs and then breaking it all over again with new features.

NEW WARFRAMES (!): New ones are in development, but I will save that when they are more locked down. There are currently two in development. More later, sorry!

NEW WEAPONS (!): One of them is really weird and cool. Again, more on this later...

DEFENSE MISSION IMPROVEMENTS(!): The defense mission type has been rewritten. It has (potentially) infinite escalation built in. After an interval you can choose to abandon the mission and keep your soils or push your luck as the enemies reinforce with higher and higher level opponents.

NEW ENVIRONMENT (!): This is our first foray into a more open environment. Keep this in mind: we are still a procedural-level game. You will not see one-off Planetside sprawling terrain in Warframe. It will be a ground-based location of an Orokin Terra-formed planet. Because the Orokin have long since disappeared, the environment is cold and desolate. The weather is very Canadian!

STEAM (!): You will be able to download, install, update and launch through Steam. The backend is shared, so if you have an existing account (duh, you are reading this), you are already good to go. This will bring in a lot more players (and more problems), so I really appreciate your tolerance and welcoming of this new community. You people are the elders and we will do our best to make sure things remain civil and constructive here on the forums and within the game. Speaking of which:

GLOBAL CHAT (?): This is contentious but we are going to try it. It will be language/region centric. It will have a clan channel. Version 1.0 will be, at the very least, an improvement on our existing chat tools. This will be an opt-in system and will have some crude moderation and grievance features. We want Warframe to be a place to hang out and this is one-step toward the eventual end-goal of a virtual hub where everyone hangs out. Full disclosure: it is IRC and a bit of junk bolted on top.

SENTINELS (?): These are the Orokin hovering drones that the Tenno have managed to rebuild. They are the 'Pets' of Warframe. You will be able to purchase/craft these and customize them. They are compact and hovering only (so we don't need to handle the myriad of navigation issues). The coolest part of them, in my opinion, is the PRECEPTS you collect for them. Precepts are like AI routines that control how your Sentinel behaves. The Update 7 version will be crude, so set your expectations accordingly, but the customization of their behaviors is going to let you create a Sentinel that is saving your ass or being aggressive or performing menial collection tasks.

LORE SYSTEM (?): Another collectible, in the context of the region you are playing in. This system is lagging (due to UI resources) but I am hoping we get the basics in so we can flesh out the Warframe lore in-game. Still needs more design work.

STEALTH KILLS/FINISHERS (!): Enemies will have a context vulnerable state (they are unaware of you / they have been knocked down) that lets you perform a quick contextual animation and deliver an uber damaging attack.

BLOCKING (!): You will be able to block damage with your melee weapon in exchange for stamina. This lets your trade stamina for damage resistance. Holding block slowly drains, parrying a bullet drains lots. This will be an attribute per-melee weapon. For instance: a dagger will consume a lot of stamina to deflect damage. A larger weapon might be able to deflect a rocket if you upgraded it and had full stamina. Out of stamina? No blocking.

PLAYER ACTIVE/PASSIVE (?): Mastery level (ranking up in the White Tower) is weaksauce right now merely granting access to certain weapons. We are expanding this to include abilities at the Player scope. You will be able to earn and collect active abilities (limited 'casts' per day) and passive abilities (which will supersede the existing Artifact system). Expect the first version to be cool but very limited; the idea is to set the stage for it. Even in a simple form, I think it is badass.

And that's pretty much it. I hope you've made it this far and are as excited about the future of Warframe as I am. Thanks for reading!


Oh, wait. I may have forgotten something. Maybe I should mention this this small thing:

NUKED (?): Upgrade Trees and Mods.

CARD ARTIFACTS AS UPGRADES/PRECEPTS/PASSIVES/ACTIVES (?): Yes, so we're doing a gigantic smash. No, you won't like it. I hope that you will love it.

Story time...
-Tried 'card' metaphor for missions. Stupid designer (me), people don't want to collect 'jobs', they want to collect 'power'. Rip it out.
-Upgrade trees are full of crappy filler. Path solving problem in trees is fine for 6-hour game. Not 600-hour game. Anytime we change it or add to it, we have to force a respec? Burn with fire.
-Mods are the only part worth saving...
-Make a tree with just mods? Let's make the slot counts uniform, let's make them larger, more attractive to collect. Let's cater the UI to them. Let's make them combinable. Work in the Foundry so duplicates aren't just disappointments and credits, but potentially empowering!
-Oh hey, mission Artifacts are being made combinable, the UI sucks, it feels weird.
-The player mastery is meaningless... we should get the passive and active abilities working. Would be cool if they are slotted and customizable.
-It'll be cool to collect the Sentinel's Precepts but they should be combinable and integrated in the Foundry.
-All of this is starting to sound chaotic. We need to unify this... remember that failed Mission Card experiment? Where you could combine the cards? Where you collected them?

Therefore, we are in the process of unifying all of the ideas that share the common theme of collection/combining/specing into a unified presentation format that (shamelessly) rips off collectible card games...
You will collect card ('Artifacts') of varying types: Player Passives/Actives, Upgrading Warframes/Weapons and Sentinel Precepts. There will be two aspects you must balance: Slots and Energy Drain. Drain is a cost factor and goes up with Fusion (along with its power). When specing you are weighing slot constraints with drain. As you level you get more energy. If you have a Super-Charged item, your energy available is doubled. Duplicates can be fused in the Foundry up to a maximum level (default is 5 fusions). Fused cards have higher drain, better stats but only consume one slot.

(Deep breath) I think that's a good look at the major systems we are working on. We have our work cut out for us. It is ambitious and terrifying. I better get back to it! Looking forward to getting these systems in your hands and refining them with your guidance!


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