Warframe ticks nearly all of the boxes next to today’s trend of turning games into services. Of which we, needless to say, disapprove.
All of these, what one may call games-as-a-service, have one thing in common. You see other, ‘old-fashioned’ games reward play with just that, you know, play. But games-as-a-service, in attempt to last as long as possible, most of the time over the line of remaining actually fun, have to incentivize your time with them. We are, of course, talking about loot.
Coupled with ‘rarities’, the ruthless rule of RNG over much of all its acquisition, and the fact that it usually comes with player performance advantages, loot has basically mandated grind in these games. Well, until some clever fuck comes around and charges you real-world money to skip the… effort.
Warframe does grind, a lot of it. And I don’t mind.
Cosmetic loot is one thing. Loot that provides aforementioned in-game ‘performance advantage’ is another. One has to design their way around performance loot and the most obvious in shooters is making enemies sponge bullets.
Let alone the fact that seeing a dude take ten shotgun blasts straight into their ugly face and still stand is immersion-breaking. It’s how stupid and arbitrary it feels. I really, more often than not, tend to feel like a moron being taken for a ride.
Warframe does bullet sponging, a lot of it. And I don’t mind.
I understand and appreciate that there’s got to be some trade-off in free-to-play games. And, frankly, I don’t have an issue with something like waiting or paying in general. It’s the tie-ins to real time that hack me off to no end. Companions’ stat decay, the Void Trader appearances, the always-online requirement and even, to an extent, Alerts.
When I first discovered this built into Warframe, I immediately recalled State of Decay. I loved State of Decay. Until I found that time in the game passes along with the real-world one, even if you’re not playing. Much like no video game ever should ever see you idling, no video game should ever be passing time when you’re not playing. Never. Ever.
You see, something like Elite: Dangerous does all of the above and I absolutely detest it for it. Warframe does it too. And, surprise surprise, I don’t mind. Not one bit. I’ll see you where I tell you why in a bit.