About the Proposed Warframe Login Reward Changes

There is a hot topic going on in Warframe right now. Digital Extremes (DE) has proposed a change to the Daily Tribute System. I talked about this in the video below. However, if you prefer to read or scan articles, please continue reading.

Before I get started, I know what it is like to be a long-term player in a game. As an example, I was in World of Warcraft (WoW) for their vanilla beta, the game officially launched in 2004. I have the achievement, when they first implemented the achievement system, for their 4th anniversary. I am currently playing the game. I’ve been playing WoW, for the most part, for over 10 years. That’s just one game, it’s twice as long as anyone playing Warframe, and it requires a subscription to play, which Warframe doesn’t.

I also know what it is like to walk away from a game because I no longer feel I am their target audience. WoW is one of those games. I put my foot down with the Legion expansion. The only reason why I’m playing the new expansion Battle for Azeroth (BfA), which is supposed to be better – time will tell – is because there was a deal where Legion was free if you pre-ordered BfA. I received two expansions for the price of one. I also walked away from EVE Online. The only reason why I log in to ARK is because of my friends because the devs…remember when I spent 36 hours logging in every 30-45 minutes to raise my Quetzal (so I could do a video), and I documented the stupidity of that entire process, only for the devs to nerf it? People on live servers had to babysit pixels for 7 days! Don’t get me started.

I also know what it is like to be to a queen of logging in. Everyday, I login to Guild Wars 2 (GW2) for the login reward, specifically to progress (it resets every 28 days) so I can receive Tomes of Knowledge (which boost a toon a level) and to ensure I don’t miss the story content (which is free if you login), but I don’t play the game. You can see here how much I’ve accumulated over the months. I don’t know how much time this is…but I can level three toons. ArenaNet has got me to login, but not to play.

There is a difference between someone doing something “wrong” and someone doing something you don’t like.

So let me be clear about my position: I believe the humans behind companies, the ones making the decisions, have a right to make their decisions as long as they are willing to accept to the consequences for their actions. I believe this for all people. Outside of doing something illegal, when it comes to decisions, there is a difference between someone doing something “wrong” and someone doing something you don’t like. Inherently, people have the right to make mistakes…that is how many people learn.

That said, let’s tackle the login rewards. Currently, there are two types of rewards. The first is the day to day rewards, which scaled on Mastery Rank (that’s news to me). The more mastery rank you have, the better odds you have to be guaranteed to receive the higher reward. With the new system, it would be based on login days. Their goal is to scale the rewards. There is a drop table for the rewards ranging from credits, endo, boosters, mats, discounts for platinum, etc. What I think they are trying to say is that from days 1-199 (excluding days 50, 100, and 150), for example, instead of it being based on mastery rank, you’ll get a set resource like 50 endo. It increases 25% every 50 days so the 201-399 (excluding 250, 300, and 350) days logged in would receive 150 when that reward dropped…period. This chart is unclear because there are milestone rewards on the days they have listed here.

The next part of the change is for the milestone rewards, days 100, 150, 200, 250, etc. The change is that players will be able to chose their rewards on their milestone days instead of them being assigned to a specific milestone. For example, on day 100 players will be able to chose items from the login rewards table for this day. This is what is making long-term players mad because instead of waiting 300 days for the Zenistar (which is the best weapon within the drop table from what I am told), the change allows a player to pick it at 100 days. Under the old system, at a 1000 days logged in, the upcoming Lodestar Armor set would be available. Under the new system, players would have access to it much sooner. Some long-term players are upset because players can pick the “best” items very early on, when they had to wait for those items. Their recognition is being taken away and they feel DE is catering too much to new players.

Side note: There are some long-term players that agree with the changes. They want weapons, armor, etc. to be in the game so players can have fun using them. They feel other rewards should be given for login, not something that stops progression.

Let me be clear: I already have the Zenistar (it’s the weapon shown in the image above), which is supposed to be a good weapon. May I make a suggestion? Show the stats of the weapon on the screen when an item is awarded so the player knows it’s a good weapon? I had no idea. I also didn’t know that the login weapons were the only place to get them. I saw posts on the forum where people deleted them, to free up a weapon slot, not realizing they could not be replaced.

Let’s get to the heart of the problem. IMO, from a business standpoint (a dollar and cents standpoint), weapons and armor (unless it’s cosmetic) shouldn’t be locked behind a login system. It doesn’t make sense to have items like that, and stop progression, behind a time-gated system. The entire point is for players to have fun playing the game. Paying employees to make a weapon or armor that few people will use, is not a wise business decision. Especially when there are other more optimal ways to reward long-term players.

The draw should be the fun experienced in game, not the login rewards. The things earned playing the game, not logging in. Inherently, login rewards work best when they have items that will help players progress in the game. Boosters, mats, coupons for discounts on platinum; those are good rewards as they benefit both the long-term and short-term players. Guild Wars 2’s login system works well because it rewards the player with boosts to help them level their characters and story content which gives players something to do, and it resets every 28 days so no player is over and above anyone else in that area and they are not punished if life gets in the way and they cannot login. Something like that would be great for Warframe. For example, busy people would be able to schedule when to login to receive a booster so they’d actually have time to use it (I wish those were able to be accumulated like I accumulate tomes in GW2. I’ve earned it, let me decide when to use a booster). This type of login system ensures the current problem DE has never happens so focus can be put on the real problem.

Long-term players don’t have anything to do. That’s the real problem. Let me break it down for you: after a player hits Mastery Rank 25 (the maximum in game), there is nothing to do. It’s worse players who are also Twitch streamers, because they go through the content even faster than regular players.

An example, I watched CohhCarnage progress as a new player alarmingly fast. I stopped watching because, at the time, I hadn’t completed Chains of Harrow or Sacrifice, so I predicted when I thought (at his current pace), he’d have completed those quests. I nailed it, because next time I watched, he had Umbra and to top it off, he was a Warframe partner. I’m using Cohh as an example because he actually enjoys the grind so no one can accurately say he’s a whiny new player wanting things early. However, as a Warframe partner (if he opted in to receive it), day one, he receives everything when new items are released. I understand having the perk of the items given to partners so they can show it off quicker in streams and videos, but that takes a huge part of the grind away…the RNG in obtaining the item in the first place! After they level up the new items or complete the new quest, there’s nothing to do because there is no end game. That’s an inherent problem within sandbox games. And we’re not going to talk about the argument that some of the players complaining about the change receive new game items, for no effort, while complaining about new players receiving game items early. Ssshhhh….

People that stream Warframe – some of them are partnered through Twitch. They are business owners because they receive money for what they do. To get off the ground, they had people who put their faith in them and started watching them, getting their numbers up so they could be partnered. Then, some of those people, subscribed to them which helped them on the road to be a successful business. At that point, they still needed to:

  • Retain the viewers who did not subscribe so they stay high enough on the directory page to be seen.
  • Retain the people who are paying them.
  • Entice new viewers to increase the growth of their channel.

Honestly, as a newer player, I’ve been trying to figure out what the end game is in Warframe. That in itself is a problem. Is it to collect all the things? If so, then having weapons and armor locked as a long-term login reward makes no sense, from a business perspective. It is to be the most powerful player? Well, once that is achieved (to the style of the player), what is the player supposed to do?

I thought Plains of Eidolon (and upcoming outdoor areas) was their end game because the area was advertised to be accessible for all players but new players couldn’t survive there when it was launched. I had no problem with that. I mentioned in a video, I went there, died, and I took my butt back to the star chart to level because I didn’t feel it was a viable place for a new player to level. The way I viewed it, that’s fine, because it gives me something to work towards. Guess what happened?! I got to the point where I could play there and the cool kids aren’t there anymore. I’m being facetious because I usually play solo but I was shocked to see long-term players back in the star chart. So that blew my idea of the new outdoor areas being end-game because it’s not.

I also originally thought that the outdoor zones would incorporate the normal areas. For example, when I need to hunt for Kubrow eggs (you know, when Kubrows are viable to use over a Sentinel) I could go in the Plains and hunt them down. If I wanted to do a Survival mission, it would send me to a place on the Plains, and I get “better” rewards for traveling to the mission area in the Plains, fighting the mobs on the way, etc. As much as I hate Stalker how cool would it be if he found me in the Plains? Or the other annoying bosses? The new grind complimenting the old grind. Does that make sense? There is no point in making these new areas if they aren’t going to be consistently used. Unless they change things, the same thing will happen to Venus. In two months, long-term players will be bored.

Can I make a suggestion? The next planet worked on, make it Sedna, Kuva Fortress, Uranus or Saturn…one of the later zones. Make it nice and hard, very challenging with lots of fun stuff to do. Short-term players cannot access it without dying very quickly. Integrate the old system with the new so the outdoor areas are needed for other than a rep grind. Do this so that, while the other outdoor zones are being created, which will have challenging content to do as well, people have something fun to do. New players don’t need to access that zone as they have enough to do or, they can quickly scale (as I mentioned Cohh did) and join the long-term players out there. Especially since DE is giving many of the long-term players day-one content as a Warframe partner perk, this makes the problem of having nothing to do worse.

I want to be another thing: Even though I would be considered a veteran player in many games, I don’t give a damn about recognition. Personally, I have no desire to split a player base unnecessarily. I suppose I am old school in that I feel skill and knowledge differentiates a long-term player from a new player. Or having items that had to be earned in the game and are retired. Let me put this into perspective for you. What goes up will come down. The expectation to be over and above everyone else, long-term, is an unrealistic expectation.

So my question is: what are these streamers who are complaining about these changes giving their veteran viewers? Long-term subscribers get recognition with an icon in chat but that is not given to them by the streamer, other than emotes. Twitch provides the API and the incentive to keep a subscription by displaying that information. That’s a Twitch thing, not a partner thing. What about the people that faithfully watch the streamer but does not subscribe? Their views matter. Their ad views matter. What about them? Essentially, some of the people complaining about what DE is doing to long-term players, they are doing to their long-term viewers (not appreciating them). Ironic, isn’t it? There is a word for that.

 

Don’t get mad at me if your actions match a definition of an already established word. 😂😂

Because I actively play other games and work with other devs, I can honestly say that DE does a lot more than many companies. TennoCon just ended, and some players were flown out by DE to attend, which was a wonderful opportunity (for free) for streamers and YouTubers to meet with their viewers, bond with viewers, and create new viewers. DE also has item drop campaigns, via Twitch and Twitch Prime, and I distinctly remember some channels blowing up with subscribers. We’re talking thousands of dollars. DE allows players to earn an income off of their IP and helps them do it. They also allow artists to earn money from their Warframe art. But there’s all this drama over pixels received over a login system.

Truth: you might have been there everyday, during the hard times, but that’s exactly what happens when you build a business. And that’s what many of these people did. Without Warframe, they wouldn’t have a business. It’s a two way street. Let me throw another word at you:

 

Mmmhhhmmm…..

May I make a suggestion? Instead of complaining about what DE is doing wrong, why don’t you learn from what you feel is their “mistake” and improve your business? And since, all of you are doing the same thing, perhaps everyone can leave the emotion and drama at the door, and work together to come up with a real solution to make everyone happy.

And if that is not a viable option…then maybe it’s time to accept that those people who are not happy with the decisions DE makes needs to move on to something that makes them happy. The irony here: content creators, especially streamers, often say, “If you don’t like X, leave! Go! There are other channels that offer what you are looking for. I hope you find happiness with them.” Maybe someone should make a compilation video of streamers saying this, standing up for their beliefs…just like DE has the right to do.

Maybe it’s time you took your own advice.

For those that are long-term players but not content creators, resolving the issue for the loud vocal minority funnels down to everyone else. I’m sure DE is listening to all feedback and will make a decision they feel is best for the long-term health of the game.