Digital Extremes (DE) recently demonstrated Railjack, an upcoming content release, during a DevStream. From watching the gameplay, I am excited to solo the missions with my archwing and play with friends, but I have some concerns about the gameplay. In my opinion, it would not be enjoyable to play Railjack with random players because, as seen in the demo, players may not be prepared or organized, which could hinder the success of the mission. However, I appreciate that the demo was not polished, as it gives a more realistic portrayal of how the game may play out for many players on the first day.
Additionally, DE initially announced that Railjack would be multiplayer and soloable, with AI filling in for missing team members. However, during the DevStream, it was announced that solo AI will not be available at launch, although it is planned for a later release. While the missions can still be completed solo, they will likely be challenging. DE emphasized their commitment to true multiplayer co-op gameplay for Railjack.
Is DE Listening?
I find it interesting that DE is pushing for multiplayer gameplay in Railjack, given that players have previously expressed a preference for not playing together as much as was offered in Nightwave. As a result, DE scaled back the multiplayer aspects in Nightwave. Players have also shown a dislike for being dependent on others for progression. It seems risky for DE to prioritize multiplayer gameplay in Railjack without a fully developed solo option.
During the Railjack demo, resources were needed to accomplish goals in the mission, which could be obtained while completing the mission. However, these resources, such as missiles and health packs, had to be crafted by a designated team member. While I enjoy crafting, I do not think it would be enjoyable to do so in the middle of a fight when I could be focusing on defeating the enemy. It is also unclear if players would enjoy switching between being a “space ninja” and a “newbie crafter” in the midst of exciting gameplay. This mechanic is reminiscent of the Disruption mode, in which players had to farm resources to craft a key, rather than having the key drop from mobs. This change might not be well received by players. Overall, I am curious as to why DE decided to introduce crafting during exciting gameplay.
It is unclear if Railjack will be newbie-friendly. In the event of an incompetent player, it is uncertain how the team would deal with the situation. If a player is assigned to repair the ship but instead decides to use their archwing, it could hinder the success of the mission. Additionally, if a player is not in a clan or is in a clan with inactive members, it could affect the amount of resources available for the mission. The resource requirements may scale with the size of the clan, meaning that it may be necessary to farm for resources to ensure there are enough. However, it is worth noting that there is a cargo hold size limitation, which may not be expandable with platinum.
It is also worth considering how DE plans to monetize Railjack. As a business, DE needs to generate revenue to sustain its operations and support its developers. It is possible that the grind for resources in Railjack is intended to generate revenue, potentially through the sale of resources for platinum. However, it is worth noting that buying resources with platinum may not necessarily lead to success in the mission, as there are other factors that contribute to mission completion.
Overall, it seems that playing Railjack with friends who have a long history of playing together, and good communication skills may lead to a more enjoyable experience. In the demo, the team was able to easily communicate with each other and seemed to have a good rapport, which likely contributed to their success.
Time vs Reward
At first, I thought that a simple solution to the resource management in Railjack would be to have the resources farmed before accepting the mission. However, this becomes complicated when considering that the person who donates resources for the mission or the person using their Railjack should receive a higher reward. It is unclear if the final rewards for Railjack will be sufficient to justify playing the game mode with random players, given the potential chaos and micromanagement that may be required during gameplay.
One of my previous concerns with Warframe was that the reward did not always seem to match the time invested to complete a mission. Railjack seems to be following a similar pattern, as the final rewards have not yet been announced. It is possible that players may choose to wait for the solo AI option to be released before playing Railjack, particularly if they are not in a clan or do not have friends to play with.
It will be interesting to see how the game mode is received upon its release and how players adapt to the challenges and micromanagement required during gameplay, including dealing with mobs invading the ship and managing resources.