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Warframe: Why we need damage/reward scaling (not just Armor)

Just in case you’re out of the loop, DE is
currently reworking armor scaling. Better late than never, I know, but it’s still
a good thing. Given that reworked Armor scaling is supposedly
going to top off at round level 75, I’m a bit hopeful that going past level 100 will
no longer demand Corrosive damage on every single weapon taken, and or make enemies significantly
less of bullet sponges. However, although I’m very much hopeful for
the Armor scaling rework, revamping shield capacity has me excited; ….but also very
concerned. Making shields better than ever would mean
that Harrow and Hildryn mains would have even more reason to play their respective frames,
but making shields become basically the Corpus equivalent of Armor would mean that shields
could then become the new meta; replacing Armor and Corrosive damage with shields and
Magnetic damage. That would admittedly be interesting. Magnetic damage finally being relevant in
the game after being basically non-existent for over 6 years would be funny, assuming
it doesn’t outright replace Corrosive as mandatory. But I digress. Now that the Armor scaling rework is on its
way, it’s important to note that there are other things in-game that should also be given
the scaling treatment, namely; rewards and damage. Although I imagine that me simply saying “damage
scaling” makes someone have Vietnam flashbacks to the Oberon rework where his Smite became
unable to kill a level 1 enemy, despite receiving “scaling damage.” Even though that’s a stain on the history
of things scaling in Warframe, at this point in time scaling damage for Warframe is needed;
primarily to prevent Warframes from falling off in higher level content, while at the
same time allowing the damage of players to ramp up somewhat. Take Vauban’s Flechette Orb as an example. On initial release, the Vauban rework was,
well… but a few changes later, and now Vauban is
without a doubt a very good Warframe, minus a few things that still stand to be changed. One of the highlight changes that was added
was allowing Flechette Orb to have scaling damage, which has allowed it to become a significantly
better ability without a doubt. Flat damage values obviously fall off at some
point, because as enemy level increases, so does enemy damage and resistances, most notably
Armor. Allowing player damage to scale up as well
should be considered a reasonable solution to preventing players from becoming peashooters
whereas enemies become able to one-shot with a single projectile. Riven Mods fuck things up when they come into
play, but that’s a different issue to tackle. Warframe abilities being able to scale in
terms of damage means that players can keep up with the game in terms of raw offensive
power, but not in survivability; depending on the Warframe being played. Unless you’re using a Warframe that just laughs
at the prospect of death such as Inaros, having more damage but increased vulnerability to
dying due to enemies also having more damage does provide some kind of challenge to players,
but at the same time, enemies become bullet sponges whereas players do not. That’s an entire debate in and of itself whether
or not allowing enemies to brutalize players by simply turning up the stats can qualify
as “challenging content”, because with scaling damage, DE kind of has no choice but to make
enemies have scaling Armor and resistances as well, otherwise, we’d be doing 5 hour long
Survival missions against enemies with the exact same Armor the entire time. Although it mostly proves its worth against
higher level mobs, scaling damage for Warframes is necessary in order for players to keep
up with killing increasingly tougher enemies at a reasonable pace. Vauban’s Flechette Orb is proof that allowing
a Warframe ability to scale can turn it from dog shit to incredibly potent, which only
serves to highlight the point that flat value stats for Warframe abilities aren’t going
to cut it anymore in the future, because as we get better weapons over time, enemies will
surely get stronger as well, which is why older Warframes such as Nyx don’t really see
much play anymore. Essentially speaking, if a Warframe has no
way to remain relevant in the game or at least keep up against higher level enemies without
an incredibly specific build, then it’s going to be left in the dust for sure. On a secondary but similar note, reward scaling
is also needed. Unlike damage scaling which ensures players
remain relevant, reward scaling ensures that content remains relevant. DE has shown some steps towards reward scaling
with recent patches to Railjack, and although that’s a reasonable start, reward scaling
should be a standard for all other content in Warframe. Being granted a pitiful Credit cache as loot
is nice when you’re a new player, but once you’ve invested hundreds of hours into the
game and acquire better equipment, it becomes a joke to say the least. Warframe already struggles with enticing players
in doing long-duration runs, which you can kind of see with how most players farm ESO
by only going up to round 8 and then extracting. By allowing loot rewards to scale up the longer
a player stays in a mission, the more rewarding the game overall feels, and the more encourages
the player is to not extract right away. Of course this would have to be toned down
for lower levels, because otherwise everyone would be farming resources at easy planets
such as Mars and Jupiter. The point is, loot given in long duration
missions such as Disruption, Survival, and Defense should increase in amount given and
or allow rare resources to have a higher chance of dropping the more time that a player stays
in the mission, which would then be increased based on current enemy level. Allowing loot to scale on enemy level instead
of player level means that Warframe would promise guaranteed better loot to players
who are willing to stay, but that would also bring with it higher level enemies. For further encouragement, going past a certain
threshold should allow players to receive special loot, such as vaulted Relics or multiple
guaranteed Rare resource drops. Players should be rewarded for choosing to
stay and fight for longer than normal periods of time. If nobody wants to stay and play against super
high level enemies in a game where damage is the most important tool of a player’s arsenal,
then something is wrong. Regardless, I still look forward to the Armor
scaling rework, but I pray that Corrosive doesn’t get replaced by Magnetic. Thank you for watching.

Cesar Sullivan

59 thoughts on “Warframe: Why we need damage/reward scaling (not just Armor)

  1. At 0:43 an unauthorized edit (unaware of till now) of an artist's meme is used; artist has requested to at least be mentioned. Find their content here:

  2. Warframe simply is boring because they don't have any good rewards to give us I'm fine with credits being s low tier but wtf ima do with 5k when everyis always 150-1 mill+ for whatever reason they won't give us Ellis adapters forma or anything of that sort in a reward pool which is dumb and they can't make anything else cool to give us they milked arcane till they started to suck ass they didn't new modes for new content they needed some actually damn rewards

  3. I haven't even watched the video yet but I like doing endurance missions, especially survival and with a good squad you can have some good fun but honestly I'd like to see more reward for a 2 hour long session that only ends because your frames start getting one shot or a butcher just tanked a headshot. Sometimes you get utter shit and relics are a decent side grade to keys because you have a bit more influence over what you get but I hate when my trace farming feels wasted with forma number 326

    Yup just watched the video and it's what everyone has been thinking. Also players dropping in survival runs is brutal, and I'm saying when you want to leave and if a squad mate wants to leave before youre done. There's no nice way around it because if I want to leave I lose all my rewards by hitting exit mission and if the other player is host a migration could make me lose my rewards

  4. I'll come back when the enemies are a challenge and the rewards are worth it right now the juice ain't worth the squeeze also planetside 2 is about to get bastions now so yea going to go back to them.

  5. I want to see ONE person who's reached end game (or anyone who actually plays more than 30 min missions) who don't think loot scaling should be added.

  6. Ever since starting the game several years ago when there was a stamina bar and Excal still had High Jump as an ability, I always thought it was just dumb that basic abilities didn't scale. The abilities are quite literally what defines the Warframes; which are in turn what defines the game itself in both namesake and actual play – yet, only about half of them are actually useful at levels above 40 and that's being generous.

    What has had them afraid of making this change all the way until now? Someone with a good Opticor build – by themselves – can make that weapon (with a base damage of 1000) hit in the literal millions on a headshot critical. Nevermind having team-mates further buff their damage, debuff / weaken the enemies, or both. Imagine being able to use Volt as an actual lightning god instead of a speedbot and the occasional shield-spam bot to delete an armor-stacked boss. Chroma as an actual Dragon to truly control territory / literally melt enemies with his flames and pelt instead of a Vex Armor bot. Nekros' 1 as more than a stupid ragdoll that just throws the enemy away, etc. Sadly, I can go on. The frames all have identities… they just don't have the potency to actually play that part. Not in every ability.

  7. I stop warframe for two month now after 2k hours the lack of reward in endless (my favorite gamemod ) i stop the lack of content is really boring

  8. You have a really good point. I'm a Volt main and I can do damage, but sitting behind a shield and not being able to move around like other Warframe's take the fun out of volt, especially when he has a movement speed buff. But I don't need to be a tank to get there. Mobile shield is a great ability but it should instead be a more curved horizontal version of the shield or a throwback look to the way the original shield used to look. Also please remove the knock back it does, if it doesn't work for something like slam attacks it doesn't need to be there. Also why is my primary prohibited, like I can use and archgun, secondary, and melee but not primary????All I need is a comfortable amount of armor, and better CC. Something I'd like to see is an electric damage buff, therefore shock gets better. Speed can stay as it is except make it so that holding it cast out a wave that allows nearby teammates to use it. Make it so that the charged shield does cc damage so instead of an enemy having to walk through it and get temporarily stunned, instead it has a range and enemies with for example 5-10(increases with range mods)meters get stunned. And Discharge needs either a longer duration or initial range(even both). The issue I have with Volt is that they made him cc but not hard cc, then they made him damage but literally only one of his abilities is a damagof ability and discharge is mostly cc unless you're around corpus with only health values. Volt is a walking shield if not spamming 4. If a warframe can survive without certain abilities, what are they there for.

  9. Scaling isn't the answer. I mean that in the sense that "DE adding scaling to enemies to keep things relevant at absurd levels" AND in the sense that "making players scale doesn't keep things engaging or fun either."

    Bigger and bigger numbers were NEVER the answer to keeping Warframe fun for either side. All these niche gimmicky warframes that have interesting and quirky abilities are useless, not because enemies outscale them but because 99% of scenarios STILL boil down to the same victory condition: kill everything. So long as virtually every mission is won or at least EFFECTIVELY won by killing everything as fast as possible, we will continue to run into the "scaling problem" leaning one way or another for all eternity no matter how many innovative scaling rules are introduced.

  10. A really simple way would be to just double the rewards from Rotations on the second runthrough. So like rotation AABC, then x2 AABC. Maybe x3 for the third round? That might be a bit much.

  11. as a player who has moved on to d2 i can concur … scaling damage is great , rewards increase with difficulty as well. Grind is in most cases being rewarded appropriately. There are no time gates , thus kill gates … for example if you want to get a really good weapon , you need to kill x amount of enemies in a specific way. The only thing missing is are dungeons which random generate with a couple objectives depending on the roll. Kinda infinite forest on steroids. As of lately WF has proven itself as of not respecting my time. This is unacceptable , yet the player number drop.

  12. Honestly , i'm not sure about a needed scaling dmg.
    Of course some ability definitely need it but at the same time could we fucking leave the end game to end game player ?

    And also , scalling reward for ressources ?
    The only ressource that actually need to be farm often is the Argon crystal , other you just go in a mission for 30 min and you're done for a while , and most of the ressource you'll have a ton of them without even farming them.

  13. If we want to achieve any semblance of balance, we need to make eHP and DPS for both players and enemies scale at the same rate. There are two ways I can think of doing this. One is what I call the Linear Model and the other is what I call the Four Factor Model.

    In the Linear Model, everything scales linearly. Enemy eHP and DPS scales linearly with level. Armor doesn't provide Damage Reduction, but instead becomes a new Health Class, like Overshields but for Health. Damage mods don't multiply each other. Multishot is unaffected by Damage mods. Critical Hits and Status Effects are completely reworked. In order to parallel the ammo limitations of guns, Stamina for Melee returns.

    In the Linear Model, eHP and DPS have four factors they can scale by. eHP scales with Health, Armor, Shields, and Evasion. In order for Shields to synergize with Health and Armor, Armor's Damage Reduction affects Shields, and Shields grant a short by powerful Damage Reduction buff when they are broken that scales with maximum Shields (kind of like a Shield Gate; I don't think Nidus and Inaros need a Shield Gate because they already have their own ways to cheat death). Evasion was a previously hidden stat that affects the chance for enemies to hit you with certain weapons. In this model, Evasion will scale logarithmically with your tangential velocity relative to your attacker, meaning the faster you move around your opponent the less likely you are to be hit. This will allow Warframe eHP to scale with Movement mods. Now to talk about DPS, which will scale with Base Damage, Critical Damage, Status Strength, and Attackspeed. Base Damage and Elemental Damage mods will stack additively. Multishot mods will be unaffected by Damage mods. There is no more Critical Chance; all Headshots, Stealth Attacks, Melee Finishers, and Melee Heavy Attacks are Critical Hits. There is no more Status Chance; all attacks proc all Status effects on every hit. The effectiveness of a Status Effect scales with Status Strength and the Status Effect's respective Damage Type as a proportion of the Attack's total Damage. Status Effects of the same Damage Type don't stack (except for Damage over Time effects); only the strongest Status Effect of each Damage Type takes effect. As for Warframe abilities, every damage ability needs an infinite-scaling mechanic (e.g. Saryn's Spores, Oberon's Smite, Vauban's Photon Strike) or a way to scale with weapon damage (e.g. Equinox's Maim, Excalibur's Exalted Blade).

    Regardless of which model we choose, any Warframe buff ability whose effectiveness stacks multiplicatively with mods, like the Damage Reduction on Mesa's Shattershield and the Damage Bonus on Rhino's Roar, can't be allowed to scale with Ability Strength.

  14. Things like this is why Warframe needs a better progression system to keep all that shit relative(Damage, Armor, Rewards) to the player doing the particular content.

  15. Just gonna mention, the whole loot scaling thing is already in the game. It is part of the endless Fissure missions. Going for multiple cycles gives scaling modifiers to the loot which accumulate over time.
    It ain't perfect but it exists. Should be easier to refine/expand an existing system than to make a new one.

  16. Reworking reward tables to not be so bloody awful (looking at you, credit caches, Earth Sabotage, relics, relic drop tables, duplicate Warframe parts) would be better than scaling rewards by making it so that rewards feel good to begin with rather than requiring putting in two hours into a single mission to get to the good stuff.

  17. This game has the weirdest rewards in my opinion. It would only seem logical that there would be some slight increase in credit payout as a mission wears on. The rotation system itself seems like it should probably rotate A out as you get to long periods of survival/defense type missions and just bounce between B and C rotations. Possibly even at very high rounds rotating just having C rewards as the enemies are difficult.

    I know I for one find myself only doing more than one round if I'm hunting for B/C specific rewards, otherwise while affinity/resource farming I'm better off just re-running the mission at the end of the first round.

    In terms of damage, I just feel like they should stick to the original scheme and have them matter. Like Corpus with large shields should be weak to magnetic, grineer to corrosive, viral for infested, and have blast/gas/radiation for CC styled benefits, gas seems like the one that needs the largest rework in purpose as it just seems to overlap with magnetic in purpose of being effective against shields (by bypassing them in the case of gas/toxin). My own advice, since blast has added knockdown and radiation causes confusion, you could have gas have a disabling effect as the enemies lose control and choke on it, being temporarily dazed so to speak still moving about but have trouble attacking.

    Giving everything crazy armor as they did had the obvious effect of making corrosive the meta damage type of end game. They could of just had armor be crazy strong on high level grineer, shield pools and recharge very high on high level Corpus, and health pools and regeneration for high level infested. When you abandon your own game design then you are of course going to render certain elements (like using damage types other than corrosive at end game due to armor) obsolete. Why do developers seem to consistently forget the core design philosophies within their game? It reminds me of when 343 Studios made Halo 4 and it was clear that no one on the design team had touched a Halo game from Bungie.

    I forget who this came from, I think it was just a basic principles in game design kind of thing, but there's the idea that all of the elements in your game should serve a purpose or they shouldn't waste space. I can pick on easily in this case gas/toxin and magnetic. If magnetic destroys corpus shields and the corpus have low hp pools, then gas/toxin is competing with the purpose of magnetic. One type will be objectively better than the other, so both types should not be competing for the same space and should either be re purposed or eliminated. This will cause a cascade of needing to re-balance gas/toxin or magnetic warframes/weapons/enemies etc. to fit the new design on gas/toxin or magnetic within the game but the longer it is ignored the larger the cascading effect will grow.

    This game clearly seems to have a toolkit design at heart. You swap around warframes/mods/weapons to bring the right tools to the various content. Players should be encouraged to develop their own strategies for how they will tackle the content effectively. Moves like reducing everything down to corrosive damages the toolkit mentality at the heart of this game.

    DE has obviously overtime had people come and go from the team and the design has gone completely off the rails due to the negligence of a core cohesion between new developments to enrich the game and old consistencies that have collapsed. This happens in every field, but this doesn't mean it needs to continue as a matter of neglectful policy to the point of crashing the product/company. Although this does happen, see Quiznos, Crystal Pepsi, or Gamestop.

  18. Rahetalius … As a Nyx/Oberon Main, I still wish to hear yer' idea in regards to abilities… Replacements or adjustments to Nyx's kit. Including her passive, augments and current actives. Thank you kindly in advance!

  19. Scaling rewards? Ya we wish. Ultimately that will never happen. Vets already have enough of everything to the point that they never have to worry about them. Proper scaling rewards would just make that even more apparent.

    Vaulted relics as rewards would be nice but will never happen. Vaulting literally exists to make DE more money by allowing them to influence the economy. They would never let you obtain vaulted items in any way while they're vaulted (other than from trading other players who got them while they were unvaulted ofc).

  20. Inaros scaling death tomb… even more unkillable. They really just need a revisit to most of the older frames. A lot of newer frames have some form of damage scaling.

  21. I thank god you're not a DE developer because I would hang myself if I felt obligated to do every fucking mission for an hour to get extra special good stuff. Nuts to that, go play a WoW Classic raid.

  22. Also how about letting the player adjust how many enemies spawn. Example: the recent Zombie Army game lets you choose from 1p spawn to 4p spawn. It just makes it more fun for me at least.

  23. This shit would never happen. DE are a greedy AF devs. Why. Look at how they treat rewards. Fuck rewards lets just give them 0.0000000000001% RNG

  24. Flat damage abilities was never acceptable, just tolerated because they could be ignored for other options and standards were overall lower than now.

  25. You are soo damn right. For the longest I've said we need a level system that's like easy medium or hard, that allows players who are willing to take the higher risk level to scale with things like drop chances in resources, mods, and blueprints n stuff. That's harder to implement(because what is easy and what's hard), but with the way you said it and how it should just scale of off the enemy # level, that's easier to get to do. Why haven't they done this yet.

  26. TLDR: Sortie and high count wave missions (survial, e.c.t.) shouldn't give what's the equivalent of 1 credit to a player who's clearly high level – for the simple fact they're doing a sortie/high count wave mission – as even a potential reward.

  27. I doubt very much that corrosive will be replaced by magnetic, I’ve heard their plans in the shield rework and yes it will make shielded enemies tougher but the shields will be on an S curve just like armor now, I think the most likely element to see become meta will be the viral heat combo. It’s already the second strongest and in some weapons cases is stronger than corrosive but with armor not being as big an issue anymore I believe it will take over as the way to go especially if the weapon in question is a slash monster

  28. If they implement scaling rewards, the most vocal will whine "the game's boring now" "where's my grindan gone" "casuals can't put in any effort so they ruin it for everyone else".

    That's why I expect it probably won't happen, no matter how much I believe it should.

  29. Reward scaling only if they fix other scaling first. Scaling rewards in arbitration show that people still don't want to deal with it.

    Damage scaling, the thing is there is always a hard cap in the damage you can do because you're limited by the mod slots you can use to increase damage. Warframe damage scaling sucks for one simple reason, power strength is only a single linear increase. It's like if melee weapons could only scale damage with Pressure Point. Linear scaling just doesn't keep up with exponential scaling of enemy health.

    Enemy scaling, simply put armour does not ever need to scale. The effect of armour on EHP is a linear multiplier versus shields which are a linear addition. This just means that enemies with scaling armour are on a higher exponential level of EHP scaling compared to those without.

    Also there has always existed a mechanic that can scale no matter what level you're playing on. If CC works on a level 1 enemy, it will work on a level 1000 enemy.

  30. Honestly I kinda imagine Rahetalius kinda just yelling akin to "KAAAHHHHNNNN!" except its " DEEEE EEEEEEEEE! " Like its funny to me at this point.

  31. I'm quoting the Vauban portion of my comment from Brozime's roster review:
    "Vauban – The third of 3 frames for long endurance. Perpetual Vortex, though energy hungry, can easily reach 5+ minutes with the proper build AND the range buffs to Vortex make it even more powerful. Tesla Bank is like the Acid Shells type mods on steroids because it works off of damage dealt (so overkill is rewarded) instead of enemy max health. Flechette Orb is actually really good as well now that its damage scales."

    While I know you're adverse to the camping style, it's still the easiest way to perform long endurance runs and Vortex's new range calculation allows it to be VERY effective at truly CCing enemies (not the dead enemy argument that defeats itself). Perpetual Vortex then allows you plenty of time to use Zenurik to refill the energy consumption with decent efficiency (at least 50%).

    tldr: When you properly exploit CC tactics, Vauban is one of the best frames now. Flechette Orb + Tesla Bank also happens to work well should you need to kill the high level enemies.

    Edit: I'm not against the idea of some slight buffs to him as in 2:35.

  32. Ive said this for years if a lvl 30 weapon cant kill a level 30 enemy its pointless to have a level system at all and its only there to make people have to pay for exp boosters your only reward from lvling a gun up is that you get to use it at its full MODDED potential if even the worst guns at lvl 30 could kill lvl 30s with no mods easily then you actually have something to work with and if they wouldnt have made such drastic changes to status and instead tried to bring crit up to where status was already but they nurfed status witch makes the idea of weapons doing okay damage no mods at lvl 30 against lvl 30s pointless.

  33. The more I think about it the more scaling rewards kinda scare me; there's no way to make the credit reward worth it without forsaking the Index. Everything else is a whole 'nother batch of nightmares as things like mods are pitiful at higher levels but things like universal medallions are treasured.
    I'd like to see your ideas, but they'd have to be heavily monitored to make sure it 'feels' right for what you get. You don't need to get 500 endo from a 20th level mission, but that would be insultingly low for a 100+ mission.

  34. No to the special threshold. Rotation C is that threshold on Arbitrations.
    Until AI becomes as difficult as PvP, even lvl9999 enemies will be killable. One mission in one day could secure your supply of Orokin Cells forever. You could get the resources for your Hema research the next day.
    P.S.: If you place vaulted relics in a reward pool, those aren't vaulted relics anymore.

  35. If augmented shields sorties have shown me anything it's that toxin is the king of anti shields, not magnetic, because it straight up bypasses them. I don't mind a future of toxin!

  36. Exactly why I don't go over 1hr in any survival
    Or defense for that matter.

    There's no point if the rewards don't scale ( same with damage )

    The only one I really go over 1hr is prime parts farming That one is worth it for me cuz any prime parts I can get I'll gladly take it plus it is the easiest EASIEST way to gain some decent plat for Warframe slots and weapon slots
    All you have to say is selling prime junk for 1p only
    Although that doesn't sound good I'm your head
    With a ton of prime parts after a long survival you realize it's not that bad
    Also the higher the rarity the more plat that one part Costs.

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