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Gaming

I Have Questions About Railjack (Warframe)

I watched the last Warframe Dev Stream live. It was fun to watch but later, after the excitement was over, I thought about the game mechanics.

I have questions.

DE recently had a DevStream and they did a demo of Railjack. Watching the game play…I’m looking forward to soloing it with archwing and playing with my friends but I have questions. My issue is with game play. There is no way I’d play this with randoms.

** If you prefer to listen to the video…**

They were not prepared in this demo and I’m glad the demo played out this way because, IMO, this is how it will be for most people day one. Players won’t know what they are doing, they will be disorganized, might not have everything they need…yet, as we see in the demo, if the right decisions are made (on the fly), the mission can be successful. I’m glad their demo wasn’t polished because (IMO), polished is one step away from being scripted.

Let’s back up a bit. Initially, they announced that Railjack would be multiplayer and soloable, using AI to fill in for the missing team mates. In the DevStream, they announced solo AI would not be included in the initial launch. It’s coming, but not at launch. The missions can still be done solo, but they will be challenging. Sheldon mentioned he made the Railjack stealth and used his archwing to accomplish goals. They explained they made a commitment to a true multiplayer co-op game play for Railjack.

I find this interesting because, they know from experience, players do not necessarily like playing together (depending on what the goal is). For example, they added multiplayer aspects to Nightwave and the players made it clear they did not want to play together as much as was offered in Nightwave, so they scaled it back. Players expressed displeasure in being dependent on others for progression. It’s a bold move, knowing this, to push multiplayer game play in Railjack (with no optimal solo option).

Now, back to the demo. To accomplish goals in the mission, resources are needed, which you can receive while doing the mission. For missiles, health packs, etc. you need to build them. That would be someone’s role, to craft. While I like crafting, do I like doing it in the middle of a fight (ie: when I could be destroying the enemy)? No. Who’s going to do that and come away from it thinking, “That was fun!” I realize, in the demo, they were not prepared, it’s not balanced, etc. so the amount of time putting out fires or crafting is not accurate, I have a hard time seeing people going from “space ninja smacking all the things” to “newbie crafter praying for resources”. To me, this is the equivalent to changing the Disruption mode to having to farm resources to craft the key (eight times) instead of the key dropping from mobs. Would that be fun? Why introduce crafting in the middle of “exciting” game play?

Will Railjack be newbie friendly? How do you deal with an incompetent player? What if a player is “assigned” the task of repairing the ship but instead, they hop off in their archwing? What if you aren’t in a clan? What if you’re in a clan with a bunch of inactive members? Since this is clan based, the amount of resources needed scales with clan size. I suppose one goal would be to farm for resources to ensure there are plenty…oh wait, did you see the cargohold size limitation? Is that expandable with platinum? How is DE making money with this new game mode because, they are a business and devs have to eat. Is that what the grind is about? I mean, even if they allowed resources to be bought with plat, buying the resources to do the mission has nothing to do with successfully completing the mission.

I’m blessed to have a group of friends to play with. You’ll see me playing with Nyth, Jesse and Paige – I’ve played ARK with them. When it comes to farming and roles, we’ll do what we need to do because we’ve been playing together a long time. Jesse won’t care if, for example, we use my Railjack and we farm a bunch of resources and that goes to my clan because he knows we’ll run it again and next time, use his Railjack so he and Paige can benefit from getting resources. We’ll also be on Discord verbally communicating with each other. When we screw up we don’t get mad at each other, we laugh it off. I can see similar experiences in clans. The demo was a similar experience as they were able to easily communicate with each other and they like each other.

At first, I thought a simple solution would be to have the resources farmed before accepting the mission. If I donate the resources for the mission, shouldn’t I receive a higher reward? Shouldn’t the person using their Railjack get a higher reward? It becomes complicated. This is the only game mode where there is this level of micromanagement during game play.

One of my issues with Warframe, that I’ve mentioned before, is that I sometimes feel the reward doesn’t match the time invested to complete the task or mission. Railjack is falling in this category. Final rewards have not been mentioned but it would have to be something considerable for me to play this with randoms because I think most people would want to leave the ship vs. craft. They might start off with roles, but continue them through the mission when they can leave and have more fun? Again, I realize that the demo was unbalanced and will be modified but that doesn’t change the chaos that will happen when this is first released and during harder missions. It’s an adrenaline rush for sure. They did not show mobs invading the ship in this demo. That’s another problem that will have to be dealt with (that is avoidable when the ship is in stealth mode).

Time will tell how this plays out. I hope this launches successfully. I wouldn’t be surprised if people waited for the solo AI to launch before playing, especially if they aren’t in a clan or don’t have friends to play with. I know one thing…it is going to be hilarious seeing people play this with randoms!

Let the good times roll!