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Our first Devstream Overview of the year is all about quality; and not just in the way we break down our developer livestreams. This year marks a major advancement for Warframe in terms of mechanical depth and lore, and although we aren't quite ready to reveal the fine details, this Devstream was about sharing the overall plan.
Like all things in game development, the content below is subject to change. Warframe is a game we’re constantly revising and improving. The following topics are just a quick look at we’re currently taking into consideration. If you haven't had a chance to watch Devstream 44 you can view it, and any of our previous livestreams, over here.
Quality of Life Improvements:
These past few months have seen some major overhauls to Warframe's structure, from the implementation of Syndicates to the arrival of Relays. It's hard to believe how much has changed, but it's important to know we're not content with pushing forward without making sure older elements of the game are up to par as well.
Producing a 'high quality' game means stepping away from new content and revisiting elements that are showing their age or have become problematic. Parkour 2.0, updated Missions, and improved drop tables are just a few key points of Warframe that need to be revisited.
Players can expect many major Updates directed at reworking these portions of the game alongside introducing new content.
Other examples of small improvements falling under this category include:
• Adding rewards to each successful Mastery rank.
• The possibility of another account migration for XB1 and PS4 Tenno (note: nothing final yet, just being discussed!)
• Improved facial animations and lip syncing on NPC transmissions.
• Fixes to Lotus VO and Mission Broadcast repetition.
• Clan downsizing.
• Dojo obstacle course adjustments.
• Multiple Missions on planetary nodes.
• Expanded enemies for existing factions.
Where do the Tenno come from? What lies within the Void? What is the connection between the Tenno and Warframes?
These are some of the questions that our community has pondered since launch, and we're happy to report that 2015 will see further elaboration of the lore that drives Warframe. In addition to lore revelations, we've also made no secret that both the Lotus and the Grineer Queens will make full appearances in-game.
*Devstream Overview's previous assertion that the Lotus has the body of a giant mechanical spider still stands until disproven.
Enemies, Weapons, and Damage
Power creep is a delicate subject, but it's one we're discussing.
One of the problems with looking at damage in Warframe (both for Tenno and enemies) is that there is no single change that can be made to easily 'fix' inconsistencies. Mods like Serration are obvious flaws in a system designed to be as customizable as possible, and we're not happy with forcing any players to build their Warframe in a particular fashion.
Although Serration is a great example of a Mod with too much strength, there's still no benefit to simply removing it. To do so would disrupt the balance of Tenno damage to favor the opposition, and we recognize that some higher level areas of Warframe would be inaccessible without the advantage Serration brings.
Respecting the time and investment every player has put into their Warframes and Loadouts is important to us. Rest assured, when the time comes to make adjustments to damage output it will be more than just a small tweak. Enemy damage, health, armor, and even damage types may be questioned.
We've begun experimenting with new cloth physics that help improve existing cloth in-game (including Syandana ). Unfortunately, Frost, Trinity and Volt are more complex than a comparatively simple cloth physics adjustment can handle. While many pieces of cloth are scheduled to receive a visual boost, take comfort in knowing that we also haven't forgotten about our cloth-wearing Warframes.
All three Warframes are scheduled to receive a character model update in 2015 to help show off stylish futuristic combat fashion.
Falling under one of our major 2015 Quality of Life improvements are Relays, and we're very excited for what's in store for Tenno in the wake of Eyes of Blight on PC (coming to console soon!).
Our goal is to make different version of Relays, each with visual differences that reflect their unique purpose across the Solar System. Making each Relay its own unique location is important to giving our lore that much more flavor, on top of making each Relay's purpose more clear. Building these new Relays will be a player-driven operation.
Adding Clan presence to Relays is also a big goal for this year, and ensuring that active Clans get first dibs on Relay real estate is our current project. Our plan is to measure Clan activity based upon a wide range of factors - from killing bosses and running missions to trading and chatting in open channels. 'Tracked activity' is measured and made visible to Clans. Each Clan is then weighed against others in discernible Tiers.
Clans with the highest participation receive their own room on a Relay to meet with other Clan members, help with recruitment, and show off some of the cool rewards they may have earned in the past. How long Clans will be able to enjoy this prestige is still in development --' expect more details as we near implementation.
While we intend to move trading posts from their isolation in Clan Dojos to something more open like the Relays, this isn't the only update to player trading in 2015. Expect to see an overhaul to player trading as a whole, including improvements to our current Trade Chat channel.
We're also taking a look at creating a consignment system that allows players to auction goods. This system works similar to an auction house , and would likely be visited after we focus on making trading easier for players.
Missions and Drop Tables
Our current End of Mission rewards currently favor 'endless' Mission types like Defense and Survival. That is changing. Having one Mission more enjoyable due to personal preference is fine, but these mission types have been dominant largely because their stacking drop tables and tiered rewards benefit players that commit to long time investments.
Instead of making 'endless' Missions less glamorous 'we are improving End of Mission rewards for every game mode. This change means shaking up the amount of weight put on a single Void Key. Expect loot rotations on current drops to be shuffled around as well.
Console Tenno can look forward to playing our Eyes of Blight Update! Build submission should be made by the end of January for both Xbox One and Playstation 4. Keep an eye out for more information on our official forums as approach release.
Devstream 44 covered a lot of other smaller topics and revisions scheduled for 2015, but weren't quite robust enough to thoroughly discuss. So, enjoy this handy bulleted list of what's in Warframe's future until we can share even more details':
• Limbo Ability tweaks.
• Archwing fixes, and the J3 Golem.
• Strict NAT fixed!
• Dark Sector Conflict Mission update and rebalancing.
• Darvo Deals, limited time offers and limited inventory items.
• The Grineer Manic.
• Tenno Missions requiring 8 players!
There's a lot to look forward to in 2015, and we certainly hope that you've enjoyed this small glimpse of what's to come. Be sure to let us know what you're most looking forward to in the comments!