Warframe on how studios should ‘learn to fight superficial microtransaction integration’

Warframe has become aggressively popular according to Digital Extremes’ own metrics, and our own readers back that up. Part of the reason is the game’s business model, which as DE VP of Publishing Meridith Braun tells GIbiz this week that the studio has been working hard on its monetization over the last several years since the game soft launched open beta. (Yes, it’s still technically in open beta.)

“[Players] say they are blown away by the fact that we aren’t a full retail game with paid DLC, and that the monetization we have integrated is more than fair. We’re looking to redefine what free-to-play means to gamers,” Braun argues. That means making almost everything in the game earnable inside the game, downing content progression walls, allowing players to freely trade within the microtransaction system, and respecting the new reality that “a games service is always on and needs constant attention.”

“Those are significant choices that, from a business sense, can seem very risky. We realized early on that players hate being boxed in. They value and champion fairness and transparency — which seems like common sense. But building that common sense into your game is much more difficult than it seems. In my opinion, the industry must learn to fight superficial MTX integration into their business models that ultimately destroy a player’s sense of choice within the game and their perception of what is fair. Earning players’ respect and respecting their interests will reflect in the bottom line.”

It’s almost as if players like to support solid games whose devs aren’t trying to fleece them.

Source: GI.biz
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Blop Pie

You cannot login to WarFrame unless you enable SMB Protocol through the WorkStation service. Anyone doing this on anything that isn’t Windows 10 is exposing their computer to malware and exploits.

Even the Win10 version has some major (unpublished) exploits because the protocol is NOT intended for use over the unencrypted internet but is meant to be used exclusively in a corporate environment (intranet) rather than anywhere else. Remote encrypted VPNs are typically used by traveling workers to access their intranet over the internet.

DE has outright ignored this issue for well over a month, claimed it was fixed when it has NOT been fixed, and seems to employ complete idiots that don’t know how computers work. Don’t you dare change ANY settings on your computer from the default (not even the wallpaper!) or they refuse to help you with anything. :P

There’s a saying about pots, kettles, and the color black. Maybe DE should take a page from it.
I’m disappointed that this website seems to enjoy reposting PR-spew that misleads and outright lies to their readers.

“You can earn everything just by playing the game”. Technically yes, but with major caveats. The biggest one being that there are certain warframes and content that can only be done in a group and only if you know what to do and how to do it. The WarFrame wiki is absolutely essential because the game itself tells you almost nothing.

People had to resort to data-mining the game and posting droprates because DE outright refused to release them, then did some half-assed color coding scheme that caused further confusion.

There’s also years of backlogged exclusive items (mostly mods) that can only have ever been obtained if you were around for those events. Good luck trying to find them in player to player trade.

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Nathan Aldana

warfraes model is one of the major reasons I love it.

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rafael12104

Well, Warframe is moving up my list of “must” play games. I’ve seen enough now, and it is worth a shot.

And, MTX stuff isn’t perfect in general. There is always going to be a little give and take there. But Warframes version is a far cry from what I’ve seen in many f2p not to mention, ok I’ll mention them, EA’s bullshit.

Reward Warframe for saying the right things and trying to deliver. Plus from what I’ve seen for Rees Racer, our resident Kiwi, I’d say jumping in this game sooner rather than later is the plan.

Targeter
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Targeter

I really do recommend it. I play on XB1 and it’s super smooth and fun to play. It also doesn’t *feel* pay-to-win to me, though I’m sure there will be some detractors at the highest level of play that may disagree. The bulk of the game can be done without spending a penny, though some may have a problem with grinding up materials for different warframes (basically, your power suits). I get why it’d be annoying for some who are cash-strapped, but I’ve never been shy to throw some cash at a development team that puts out a quality product and does it pretty fairly in my opinion. It’s not perfect, and it’s definitely not Path of Exile (which is alllll cosmetic), but it’s probably one of the best systems out there and the aesthetic is just jaw-dropping.

Edited for typo :(

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yoh_sl

Warfames MTX systems is pretty good, not the best, I would have to give that to Path of Exile.
But still far in away better then the vast majority of the industry.
Even was compelled to throw a little money their way when last I played.

Veldan
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Veldan

It sucks that no MMO is trying a PoE-like model. Just sell cosmetics and convenience and put some cool stuff in a pack whenever a new expansion or big content pack releases. The game then doesn’t have any P2W while whales can still throw tons of money at the game and show off their flashy stuff. What’s not to like?

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Arktouros

That’s because you can’t point a game and say “Use that business model, it works!” and it’ll work. There’s an essay’s worth of reasons of why one business model works and one doesn’t. A simple thought experiment on how WOW, the biggest and most populated MMO, is one of the last few subscription games left because all the others that followed it’s model largely failed to the point they had to switch business models just to keep operating.

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yoh_sl

Ikr? POE even does whales right (god I hate that term).
Being able to buy permanent additions to the game (uniques) that anybody can use, thus adding content for everybody while also giving bragging rights to the whale, as well as allow them to leave their mark on the game and it’s community, without giving them any advantage at all since they still have to earn the item like everyone else.

It’s fucking genius.

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Bryan Turner

Watched part of a video by Lazy Peon and while it looks fun it seems way way too fast paced for me and PVP oriented at that.

With that said are there any lumbering tanky Warframes that you just smash crap with and face tank everything?

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Jack Kerras

Warframe is 95% PvE.

I have never even zoned into its PvP mode, not one time, and I have played thousands of hours.

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Alex Willis

Some have suggested Atlas, Wukong, Chroma, and Rhino. All good calls. For my money? You want Inaros. Total face tank. Biggest health pool in the game by a HUGE margin, and multiple abilities for health restore. When properly armored, he’s pretty unstoppable.

http://warframe.wikia.com/wiki/Inaros

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Bryan Turner

Sounds like that’s right up my alley.

Targeter
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Targeter

For lumbering, tank warframes, can’t go wrong with the Atlus. Big, knight-lookin’ bastard that uses earth powers and stuff. Really like him (even though I’ve switched to Hydroid Prime recently).

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Bryan Turner

Another fine suggestion, sounds like a good aesthetic for people used to heavy armor classes in typical MMOs.

fallwind
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fallwind

uh… not sure what LP is on, but warframe is 99.9% pve. I’ve played for years and never once even played a pvp match.

As for lumbering tanks, there are a few. Rhino is likely the first you will earn and can be quite strong. Chroma is a “quest frame” that requires quite a bit of work to unlock, but has *insane* tanking abilities that can basically render it unkillable with the right mod and arcane setups (the more you invest into that frame, the better it becomes).

But for true unkillability… Wukong + a rage mod. No expensive arcanes, no farming for rare mods, just remember to toggle your second ability once in a while and there is nothing in the game that can kill you (assuming you aren’t completely braindead and know how to kill enemies that turn off your powers or sap your energy faster than you can generate it)

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Bryan Turner

I’ll research on this one as well.

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Tithian

Side note: LazyPeon is a huge tosser, avoid at all costs.

Targeter
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Targeter

I enjoy his videos, but he does have a certain style he prefers (PVP-heavy). His Warframe video was actually pretty darn fair and he was very impressed with the game. I also think that was before they changed a few things about how you start.

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Boom

Very much this.

Dantos
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Dantos

warframe is almost entirely pve focused, they have 1 pvp mode that no one plays. But it is fairly fast paced, the movement is part of its feature set, but you dont need to play it like a bunny on crack though. You can play a frame like Rhino, who can put an extra armor skin on to absorb damage, or mesa who can put on a 90% projectile damage reduction shield, you could play a CC frost, who slows enemies and puts up a protective bubble that he can shoot out, but blocks shots coming in. Lots of options

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Bryan Turner

Good I’m to old for that shit

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ZMe Ul

oh yeah, do it like Warframe where they sell power and hinders player’s ability to progress unless he finds a way to make platinum or invest cash

((Edited by mod. Please review the commenting rules.))

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kgptzac

They sell what?

Not sure how you define power, but both prime frames and weapons have parts that can be farmed, like, you aren’t obligated to buy them with plat. Please stop masturbating with your prejudice of all forms of microtransaction.

Dantos
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Dantos

There is a pretty healthy trading market in game, prime parts for plat. I think over the last year or so, ive made $100 in currency by just trading, although prices have deflated since the removal of void keys and replacement by relics (parts being easier to get, therefore increased supply).

The only power they sell are the catalysts and reactors that double your mod power capacity on a weapon and frame respectively at like $2 a pop maybe? with at least an alert a week to get one. Maybe forma too, but ive gotten 100+ of those blueprints just by farming relics for prime pieces.

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ZMe Ul

that plat isn’t spawning out of thin air, someone has to invest real money for that platinum to exist in the 1st place

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Bruno Brito

So? Are YOU the one spending? No. So, yeah. No.

Dantos
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Dantos

well, yea, but you arent.

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Anthony Dixon

You are aware that you can make plat by doing simple things like opening relics, then selling the rewards? Do a couple of rounds of Hieracon on Pluto, get some relics, open them up on a void fissure mission, sell ’em on warframe.market, easy.

((Edited by mod. Please review the commenting rules.))

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Bryan Turner

Sounds like a bunch of complex gibberish to me.

((Edited by mod. Please review the commenting rules.))

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Nothing about what he said was complex, it’s basic stuff anyone can do if they don’t want to spend any real money on the free game.

((Edited by mod. Please review the commenting rules.))

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ZMe Ul

I suggest you read your own comment again
platinum isn’t growing on trees, someone has to spend cash

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

It’s a video game. SOMEONE has to spend cash, or they shut down. You do understand that, right? If the studio doesn’t get paid, the game doesn’t get made. It’s already free to play, now you’re complaining at the mere ability to spend money on it?

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Bruno Brito

Some people want everything for free.

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NeoWolf

Personally I wouldn’t sayWarframe is in a position to give advice their platinum and what you spend it on is overpriced and does not go far at ALL. And I haven’t noticed any discount sales etc.. so far but then I dont play it every day, only occasionally so I could have missed them.

fallwind
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fallwind

discount sales are in the form of login discounts on buying plat. I got their 180€ pack for only 45€ and have been slowly getting things since at a 75% off sale (over and above any regular discounts like their Black Friday sale)

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NeoWolf

Nice , good to know they do have them

ihatevnecks
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ihatevnecks

Black Friday weekend saw a sale, random login awards can can give you up to 75% discounts on either platinum or items in the market.

I think their store is well priced, actually. If you build a warframe, you’re still not getting the orokin reactor with it or the inventory slot for it. If you buy that same frame you’re getting the frame, the additional slot, and it’s automatically given the reactor. Bundles are even better since you get the same deal for the frame and the weapons they come with.

Dantos
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Dantos

if you are outright buying frames and weapons I agree, they are overpriced, but to me, the main point of the game is to get those things through gameplay, I play it as a “collect the things” game, so I dont bother with that part of the shop. That may be just me though, ive known people who just buy the weapon for $10 that would have taken 30 mins to farm for enough materials to build it.

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Armsbend

It often isn’t the gun but the mods attached that are hard to get.

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sophiskiai

They do sometimes have sales (they had a big one over the Thanksgiving weekend) and sometimes even give them a lore justification (via a merchant NPC named Darvo), but the main way to get a discount is by waiting for one of the 25%-75% discounts on platinum purchases you can get as a random daily login reward. Which is kinda sneaky, as it’s an incentive to either login every day (and then spend a lot in one go due to the artificial scarcity of the discount) or pay high prices if you don’t want to wait.

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sophiskiai

Started playing around March of this year. There aren’t many games where I drop money in the cash shop, but Warframe is one of them – and what they all have in common is being F2P or B2P and giving me dozens of hours of really fun and engaging gameplay where I don’t feel the need to spend anything. The more a game demands my money, the more I resent the idea of giving any to it, but the more generous the game is with giving me enjoyment the more I’ll eventually decide I want to financially reward the devs for making and running it.

Warframe can demand a lot of farming and grinding if you don’t pay to by pass that, but with so many missions available (over 200, not counting Alert and Nightmare and Syndicate and Invasion and Kuva variants) all on procedurally generated maps with a bunch of different tilesets, and the ability to instantly change your playstyle by switching your frame and weapons, I feel I can farm and grind for ages without it ever getting dull or repetitive!

Also, while you can buy frames and weapons in the cash-shop what they mainly provide is versatility rather than power, since the majority of an item’s power comes from its mods and those have to be earned (or bought from other players) and then levelled up with farmed resources.

My main criticism (besides it having so many complex systems with little or no in-game explanation, requiring frequent trips to the wiki and YouTube) is that while you can trade in-game there’s no in-game Auction House, so you have to either go to a trade hub and spam the chat or organise trades via a third-party website, which with all the other systems they’re always putting in the game feels like a glaring oversight.

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Alex Willis

I agree, the trade component needs a total and complete overhaul. But it has the interest from the community to be very exciting, so I hope they do give it the attention it deserves.

DeadlyAccurate
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DeadlyAccurate

I just started playing last week. So far I’m enjoying it. I missed the Steam sales, so I’m waiting on a deal to spend money, but I probably will. My only real complaint is that they have a lot of confusing terminology they don’t bother to explain, so I still don’t understand a lot of the game. It took me three videos to kinda-sorta understand what Lith Fissures were, and I’m still not sure I understand them.

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Scott McCool

There’s definitely a learning curve. Having logged over 200 hours with the game and unlocking most of the system map, I’m still running into things that take research to understand. Don’t let that stop you, though!

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Denice J. Cook

Wow, I will have to try this game now!

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yoh_sl

It’s a pretty good romp.