Hi, at first i think i should give a little introduction to myself and what excactly gives me the right to talk about the issue of powercreep in Warframe.
I'm Vampiri and this is my 1st Blog. My english is mainly selftought so forgive me, if i make a few (or tons) of mistakes. Im not a game designer myself, but im a player(suprise), that loves to disect games and play them in an anlytic way thous gaining a bit of knowledge about gamedesign. If games are art, then i would be something akin to an art enthousiast. I have clocked 670 hours in Warframe, playing since U7. Im not an expert by any means, but maybe my 50ct can be helpfull.
Powercreep.. We all know it's there, but i think this term powercreep' is thrown around a bit to often. We have all read those comments DE does nothing to stop Powercreep and it is going to completly destroy Warframe' becouse a new weapon was released that performed like 3% better then their favourite.
So the very 1st question we have to ask is:
What is powercreep?
Powercreep is a growth in strength of - for example - weapons or amor in games, by a Numerical Value. just to clarify. Imagine a game in wich you hunt me. Youre equipped with a Cross and some holy water and have to find me- the monster, the horror - in my dark castle while the rain falls on the roof of the Turrets and only lighting and your trusty candle iluminate the dark Corridors. You got that Picture in your mind? Good. Now imagine the devs would add a Giant Battlemech with the ability to shoot sunrays out of its chest, completly obliterating every Vampiri in the vacinity. This is NOT powercreep. Its horribly unfair and poor little me would be crying in a corner for the rest of my unlive, but it would be a natural evolution of a perpetual game. The longer the Devs work on the game the more adapt they become at Coding and the more diffrent things they can do, A real example for powercreep would be, if they added a Candel that would last double the time or iluminate double the space. The new candle is in every sense shape or form better. (that mech could have weaknesses, similar to shadow of the colossus). So now that this is clear we can look at Excalibur.
The Old Excal was the 1st Warframe created and thous probably also the one the game was tested with in pre-alpha. Thus his stats were average und his abilitys were easy to code. Old Slashdash was nothing but moving the player at a set speed for a set distance, while creating a Hitbox with a diameter X around him. Even i could code that. not in 3D and not in Warframe, but in 2D, thats maybe 1h of work, if the procedures, that allow basic moving in the X achsis and Collision detection already exist, it can be done in 20 min.
Super jump was basicly nothing but a Slash dash upwards minus hitbox.
Radial Blind applies a Status effect to every enemy in a radius centered around Excal. The hardest thing to code here defenetly is the state of beeing blinded.
I don't really know how Radial Javelin worked, im sorry about that but if someone know, just tell me in the comments.
This Skillset was basic, but functional with not too much room for coding errors. But the more the DE developed their beloved game the better, and the more daring they got. They saw what they could do in their new Engine and experimented with new abilitys, wich naturally became more complex as the game grew. Because why would you want to dig in the mud if you could shoot for the stars. So more frames where added and DE decided that Exals skillset became to outdated for what they envisioned when they thought of his concept. So they updatet him with their new capabilitys. Now we have an autotargeting Slash Dash, a more complex Radial blind and javelin (the new targeting is really hard to code) and a Completly new ultimate with the ability to Autoparry (there was mod for that if im not wrong, so not to much work here) abd the ability to shoot freaking lasors. If you remeber the many bugs that pleagued Hysteria then you know, that this is a really complex ability, that DE simply couldn't build back in the days of pre-alpha or even the early open Beta. So the Excal rework has nothing to do with powercreep, but is simply an Update to bring him closer to what De wanted him to be in 1st place, with state of the art technology.
one last note on the Issue of powercreep in weapons. Even here DE is trying to fight it. Instead of releasing more hitscan rifles like the Braton and the Soma, where one is simply by Numbers better, than the other - i leave it to you to guess wich one - we're seeing an increase of incomprables. What is an Incomprable? it the diffrence between using a granade in order to jump higher or shooting a rocket straight at your enemys dealing massive damage. (you know what weapons im talking about?) Yes one deals more damage then the other, but at the same time both have their pros and cons, wich in essence makes it impossible to compare them, as they play differently and offer Utility in group destrouction vs mobility. Or the ability to shoot radiating cubes that enhance your dmg, vs the ability to shoot exploding cubes that deal a moderate amount of damage vs the ability to hook an enemy scorpion style. None of these is inherently better then the other and all of them find their uses. So the next time when you complain about powercreep stop a second and think 'is it really powercreep or the eveloution of the game.
P.S.: yes i know, that powercreep is an issue, but i wanted to point out, that De is trying to fight it. The world can't always be black (as much as i'd love it to be)