Warframe shares how its business model keeps players happy and giving

One of the reasons we and our readers admire Warframe is that this title hasn’t descended into the questionable, aggressive, and despised business tactics that are being used in many online games. Developer Digital Extremes said that this was very intentional and helped by the fact that Warframe is primarily a PvE game with no direct competition between players.

Another factor that helps with keeping players happy and generous is that Digital Extremes removes as much of the RNG as possible in attaining desirable gear and offers the full play experience for free players without harsh restrictions.

“One of the big advantages is that we’re a PvE game, we’re a co-op game,” Studio Manager Sheldon Carter said to Polygon. “You want to work with other players to advance, you’re not against someone. So the feeling that someone has something that looks different than you, there’s no sting to that. Our community turns into people who want to help each other achieve those goals. It really lends itself well to the type of monetization we do.”

Warframe won Massively OP’s Best Not-So-Massively Game of 2017, and the readers agree with us, with 49% voting the title as their favorite of last year.

Source: Polygon
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31 Comments on "Warframe shares how its business model keeps players happy and giving"

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kjempff
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kjempff

Yeah well except for the RNG part. Warframe is heavily based on RNG, just try to farm a Harrow, Ivara or Condition Overload or any other rare mods and you will see. I love RNG based games because I think it adds excitement that flat loot systems don’t, but I just wanted to say that the statement about them having removed much RNG is not really true.

Also Warframe does linger a bit into dark f2p territory with the vaulting system for example, but in general it is possible to grind your way to almost everything, it just require knowledge to know how and what to do. I feel they are just on the right side of the acceptable f2p line, and also that the game is just freaking fun and there is always something relevant to do, makes up for the few flaws.

Warframe is not really f2p, at least not for very long. You WILL need to get your hands on platinum currency to buy (many) extra slots for your warframes and weapons, and even though it theoretically is possible to farm stuff in game and trade with other players for platinum (which they bought in the shop), obtaining the knowledge and progression to do so in reality require buying slots before you get to that point – Meaning if an experienced player started from scratch they could do it, but a new player wouldn’t know how to as there is so much to learn in Warframe. Personally I have spend 1000 platinum on slots so far, which can be bought for 12$? when you get a 75% off from daily login reward.

One thing that really draws me in is the depth of Warframe mechanics. It just keep expanding the more you learn, the more details are revealed which again triggers more stuff you want to know. 95% of the game mechanics are hidden from you and ONLY the wiki will tell you, there is NO WAY to learn these things in game.. strangely enough that is something that triggers my curiosity instead of turning me off, I can’t explain why because you could very well argue that it is bad game design to frustrate your players that way. The only downside is at some point the progression stops and it becomes a matter of obtaining every warframe and weapon and look good, because there is no extra rewards for playing endurance or harder stuff past a certain point – as the word goes “the true endgame is fashion frame”.

Whoa that was way more than I intended to write … I just wanted to say Warframe is an amazing game if you like RNG and a deep deep mechanics that rewards you for playing well and knowing stuff.

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Bryan Gregory

Played this game for a few minutes 3 years ago. Didn’t feel it was my thing. Several weeks ago, some friends tried to get me to play, saying the game had changed a lot and that it was a pretty cool game.

It’s not a “cool” game. It’s a freaking amazing game. I’m totally addicted and so glad I gave the game a try. There is so much to do and so much to work towards, I always feel busy and that I’m progressing towards something daily.

And this is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in a game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXX9mhI4PR8

arandomusertoo
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arandomusertoo

Ever since I found out that the company behind Warframe threatened legal action against a 17 year old data-miner (from an officially released client), I can’t justify playing the game…

Which sucks, because with the fiasco that Destiny 2 has become, a bunch of people have been recommending Warframe as an alternative.

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

An interesting perspective. Is it the age of the accused that you object to, or the charge?

arandomusertoo
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arandomusertoo

Both

Grave Knight
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Grave Knight

Citation. You can’t just say something like that without a citation.

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sophiskiai

https://www.pcgamesn.com/warframe/warframe-close-voidglitch-repository

The ongoing saga of what happened to Void_Glitch, the largest datamining source for ever-popular shooter Warframe, continues. In a new statement, live ops and community producer for Digital Extremes Rebecca Ford explains that the way the data was being used became the problem.

“Unfortunately, recently, this data-mining operation colluded with other parties to reverse engineer the game with the intent to scam trade, forge items, and create third-party servers. Players were about to get caught in the crossfire of tolerated data-mining and malicious use of data-mined information.”

Also, see the comments on http://massivelyop.com/2017/07/04/warframe-posts-drop-rates-for-all-its-loot-hoping-to-start-a-trend/

Grave Knight
Reader
Grave Knight

Ah, thank you. I figured it was something more complicated than “DE threatens legal action against underage dataminer”.

arandomusertoo
Reader
arandomusertoo

You have to read the DE statement very carefully, because it’s worded in a way to make you think that the data miner was working with other parties to do the bad stuff that actually happened, which was absolutely not the case.

The best information about all of this came from the subreddit for Warframe: if you search for his name within the last year there, you can find out just how necessary what he did was (from a gameplay perspective), how DE just went after low hanging fruit because they fucked up (being able to see the data mining info should never enable you to inject items into your account).

Some threads to read if you want:

VoiD_Glitch Interview: The Truth on Digital Extremes’ C&D Response from Warframe

VoiD_Glitch Interview Part 2: On Communication with Digital Extremes, the Umbra Leak, and the Legal Letter from Warframe

With the current state of fishing, I wish we would still have VoiD_glitch doing gods work and giving us transparency on how that thing actually works. from Warframe

Silence from DE about fishing and bait mechanics are exactly why datamining was a thing. from Warframe

DE, I honestly think the entire debacle over Primed Streamline and to a lesser extent Excal Umbra has a much more dangerous side to it…one I haven’t seen anybody really discussing. from Warframe

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sophiskiai

I’ll admit DE handled things badly. But having looked at some of those links, even if we assume the kid is being 100% honest about his side of things he still admits to not only datamining the client side information but also accessing data on the company’s servers, which sounds plenty dodgy to me. And if I’m reading it right, VoiD_Glitch knew about the security vulnerability used in the hack (by a member of his team) but didn’t tell support about it because he’d had a falling out with DE staff in the past? My take on things is that both sides messed up, and it’s certainly not as one-sided as “DE threatens legal action against teenage dataminer” makes it sound.

arandomusertoo
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arandomusertoo

Regarding him accessing the server data, from what I understand it’s kinda like using Blizzard’s WoW API, but without the published official API nature.

It wasn’t like he was hacking their server or anything…

DE certainly didn’t treat it like something worth changing, as they knew he was doing it when they removed him from their Design Council for datamining.

Regarding the security vulnerability, he thought it could be related to something he noticed, but he didn’t tell his team about the one he found in the first place… in the second place, it’s not his job or responsibility to go out of the way to report security issues to a company that’s gone out of their way to ban him from the game and ignore him.

You could say it would have been a nice thing for him to do, but you can’t hold it against him.

He also says that he doesn’t think that it was necessarily the security vulnerability he found that the other guy (who was on his team, but kicked off a while before this) used.

It’s still pretty one sided, and I don’t see where you can come to the conclusion that both sides messed up… from what I can see, you’re putting unreasonable expectations on someone who isn’t employed by DE or otherwise incentivized to help them out.

Only DE messed up.

Estranged
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Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Even though most companies look the other way, data mining is very sketchy. Especially in this situation.

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

One of the things Warframe does extremely well is pacing your progress in such a way that does not make you feel like you’re in a “F2P stall”: there is a ton of content available for purchase using in-game credit that is actually quite competitive at endgame. Once I got over my distaste at the thought of so much stuff being on sale for IRL money, it became obvious that these purchases were simply fast-tracks, not barriers. As long as DE keeps the balance between reasonable grind (and I think it is in a reasonable spot right now) and fast-tracked store purchases, I’ll continue to support them.

Reader
Jeff

How does this play with just two people? I know groups are easy to get but my friend and I kind of screw around and chat about non-game stuff while we play. So hoping we can do a lot of it with just the two of us and just do a bigger group occasionally.

Mitzruti
Reader
Mitzruti

the ovewhelming majority of the game is soloable, provided you and your gear are good enough. more people makes things easier (exception: spy missions), but aren’t generally necessary to win.

CapnLan
Reader
CapnLan

It’s perfectly fine for 2 people. You can do around 99% of the game. The only thing you won’t be able to do is the raids, which not many do anyway. There’s only 2 of those and they aren’t making any more. Sorties are high end content that are balanced to be done with 4 players but many you could probably do with 2. The rest of the game you can do solo so having your friend come with you will make it all much easier. Do note that some of the story quests can only be done solo. So you and you’re buddy will have to complete them separately but can then team up for the rest.

Reader
Jeff

is it going to matter what warframes we choose to make duo work? or since it sounds fairly soloable we should pick whatever?

ernost
Reader
ernost

Whichever frames you eventually use, make sure to pick Excalibur as your starter frame as the other two starter frames can be easily acquired later, but Excalibur is very difficult to acquire later.

Reader
sophiskiai

As other people have said, find one you enjoy and it’ll do okay in most situations! Especially as a lot depends on not just the frame you use but what mods you put in it.

Though even when you have a favourite, once you’ve got a decent selection to choose from it’s often useful to switch to different frames depending on the mission type (a tanky frame like Rhino or a healing frame like Trinity for survival missions, a sneaky frame like Ivara or Banshee for stealth missions, a crowd-control frame like Frost or Vauban for defence missions), or just when you feel like a change of playstyle for a bit :)

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Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

As others are saying, it doesn’t matter very much as long as you have the frames themselves leveled and have a few decent mods and auras on them. And don’t worry too much about the Prime/Not Prime versions of each: some of the strongest frames in the game right now (Nidus, Inaros, Chroma, Ivara) have no Prime versions.

And duo will work just great. The mob spawns in all non-Cetus locations scale depending on how many players are on the map. On Cetus itself, I think there’s a different formula or static placement.

I think you’ll find that you’ll be open to open-grouping in the game. I am a little group-shy but within an hour of playing I haven’t looked back.

Reader
Brother Maynard

It doesn’t – unless you’re attempting some specific tactics, like the best and fastest credit or endo farming that you can possibly achieve, in which case group composition may have an impact.

But for any standard play, just pick whichever warframe you like (or the one you want to level up) and have fun.

CapnLan
Reader
CapnLan

Pick whatever you think looks the coolest and run with that. That’s the best advice I can give you on frame selection. All of them can be used in the vast majority of content. Only in a few select cases do you need to worry about which frame to pick and by the time you reach those cases you will have a better understanding of the game.

Also note that you can freely swap between frames at any time. So if you end up not liking the frames you start with, there’s no need to make a new account and start over. You can build ALL of them in game as you progress. I will say though that Excalibur is the hardest of the first selection frames to get later on so many start off with him. Volt and Mag are easy to get later on. Of course if you don’t like Excalibur then you don’t have to pick him. Go with whatever frame looks the coolest to you.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

seriously, 90% of what makes warframe fun is its co-op that makes it easy to get group to do just about whatever, too. Its group finder just drops you in, no fuss, no rigamarole.

Reader
wonderrat

Not to mention that when you don’t have to pay 60 bucks for a game upfront, mircotransations don’t feel so greedy.

Reader
Chris Moss

This right here

Reader
FG3000

Warframe gets away with its system because “most” of its player base dont care about PVP.

Also even though the grinds are LONG, you know for a 100% fact at the end of the grind you are getting exactly what you want.

Reader
Sorenthaz

And tbh if you play long enough there hits a point where the grind isn’t even that bad, it’s just the waiting time for stuff (especially Warframes) to craft.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

“One of the big advantages is that we’re a PvE game, we’re a co-op game,”

I wish more games would have co-op as an option. I would have loved playing Skyrim, Fallout, Dragon Age, etc, through with my son. Its certainly one of the main appeals of warframe for both of us.

Reader
Sorenthaz

I’ll be very surprised if Bethesda doesn’t make Elder Scrolls 6 have some form of online multiplayer/co-op.

Reader
mechageist

Only if they switch to a new engine. Which seems long overdue in my opinion.

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Loyal Patron
Armsbend

The only thing Bethesda care about concerning the next TES is charging for mods.