@_Flux_ said in If you could, what would you add to NGS?:
@Yggranya People use non-meta warframes and items all of the time in Warframe. Because the progression is not vertical, it allows non-meta stuff to remain viable, and gives purpose to farming it. Unlike PSO2, where content demands better and better gear, and progression resets make you have to move on to new content that drops better stuff, wihle invalidating what came before.
People use Zephyr and Zephyr Prime to success in Warframe, and that's considered one of the worst in the game. Meanwhile, 14 star uniques like Elder Pain Omega and Spread Needle are being ignored in favor of 15 star powercreep weapons and they are arguably still current content. Next episode they will be nonexistent; nobody will be actively farming them.
WF does have its issues, because balance is not perfect and some content still goes abandoned due to the rewards being niche (archwings are a big one), but it can be a good blueprint to follow. Especially since they're making bank.
One of the issues with those special fourteen star weapons was the fact that they did directly interfere with Sega's intention on making "new" equipment to replace them. It tended up turning out that that once you had weapons like Jupiter Tullus there was absolutely no reason to ever touch the Attlas EX Dual Blades or to even consider a Lightstream version and the same could be argued for weapons like Spread Needle, Lavis Cannon, Dual Bird, Gear Experience, Gilhess Weihen, Rykross Staff, and more. These weapons introduced functional changes the classes never had before that significantly impacted their gameplay where not having those effects were noticeable and as a result the Liberate series of weapons were meant to outright destroy these special fourteen star weapons. Instead of baking these mechanics into the classes or making it as a potential twist to gameplay quirks that players can opt into (imagine being able to equip these as a passive skill to help support the class rather than being tied to equipment similarly to arcanes in Warframe) Sega simply power-creeps their older equipment to try and push players into going for the newest things.
At the same time, this results in a large number of other issues as Sega has also attempted tackling players relying too much on singular gear they did not intend on such as completely destroying Divine Raikou (back then its potential resulted in a much shorter cooldown for the Bow-Braver's Rapid Shoot which completely destroyed the use for any other bow because this potential was simply too good for what it was) or trying to continuously hammer the Gunner into the ground because it consistently hit too hard and in the hands of the skilled players was consistently "too good" at most content that would have been challenging to everyone else.
And to go off with what you said about Warframe, there is absolutely no shame being had in walking around seeing someone who decides to be "new" to the game with an Excalibur, an MK1-Braton, Lato, and Skana, who decides to wreck shop on the game's "harder" content just because they could. You typically don't get to see the mods other players have but there's something immensely fun (even if it's immensely underpowered to newer equipment) about utilizing starting equipment and being a Space Ninja that can still wreck things. I do not consider Warframe to be that difficult of a game and when you do get to the point where you decide you want to engage in the harder content there is a very clear divide of the level of devotion and grinding you have to do to get there (such as if you wanted to specifically solo the Eidolons). If we are talking Eidolons and the likes then I would not argue that there definitely is a "meta" to be had in what you would want other players to have. But for the rest of the game where you get to be a Space Ninja I absolutely love Warframe's freedom of allowing players to walk in with any combination of equipment whether or not it is "meta" or not and still have a chance to win. I would absolutely love to see Phantasy Star Online 2 adopt a much more horizontal level of equipment so we don't end up with Episode 6's "here's the weapons with an S5 slot that will destroy your fourteen star weapons" mentality or the "we heard your complaints about your class not being viable enough for end-game content so we took your considerations and applied them into this new class instead." In games like Warframe I feel the vertical progression is noticeable (when you get your "Spoiler Mode" kitted out and can use them interchangeably with your Warframe and become fully self-sustainable with waybounds as well for further quality-of-life) but it doesn't ruin the game for players who haven't invested that much or gotten that far. This is a very farm cry from Phantasy Star Online 2 where a player with Darkbanisher Ayer/Lightweaver Cras opening their potential is noticeable to everyone in the area and you can definitely tell when those high-end affixed weapons will obliterating just about everything that isn't the relevant end-game content has such a substantial level of power that the next biggest show of power is to run solo content without units, without rings, and with only starting weapons just to match that level of "hardcore." For a new player most of that equipment will never be obtainable during its hype but will eventually be handed out via campaigns and events when Sega likely has the next big thing meant to kill and overwrite everything from the past.
I would love to see the variety of weapons the Japanese version got in both Old-Type and New-Type weapon but at the same time I want to see them all being viable in some way rather than through a pure "this has more stars and should be better" sort of mentality. If we were getting special weapons already that had potentials unique to them that altered gameplay I would love to have seen that being applied to other weapons to make more situational circumstances that benefit players and not just in ways that inconvenience the players as a way of deterring them from all jumping on board. For instance, I feel the Bullet Kunai and the Dual Bird for the Hero both have different enough potentials that it definitely makes sense to me that these features really could have been built into the class as an actual mechanic (Bullet Kunai attacks enemies with a kunai explosion as you perform a perfect-dodge but it does not count as a counter-attack so you can still followup with one, whereas Dual Bird puts the player into an empowered state where they restore 30 PP per perfect-dodge and will regenerate photon points over time). I can't imagine how you would have hundreds of weapons with different potentials that alter gameplay one way or another and can stay balanced with each other because Warframe has a similar issue where some weapons simply end up being too unique and stand out as a result (for example to me, the Sonicor, the Lenz, the Kuva Bramma, the Glaive, the Redeemer, and the Drakgoon). While many of the faction-oriented weapons can be type-cast and predictable I like that Warframe still tries to diversify its equipment and provides viable options for the player to utilize even if it isn't the meta.
My personal stance on a game's "meta" would be that it should be something that never is able to persist in all forms of the content of a game that is playable and at the same time it should not overshadow the opportunity for the players to find other options and alternatives for clearing that content. To me, the Gunner/Fighter is the most glaring case of this in Phantasy Star Online 2 where this marriage between skill, adhering to the game's mechanics, and content being created for classes that don't reach their potential end up getting shredded and destroyed because it is too easy for these players but then can be too hard for others. You get fights like Omega Masquerade that really put the Gunners down a notch due to their rotations no longer working for long due to his damage resistance mechanics and you also end up with situations where a class like a Force and Ranger really have to cripple their playstyle just to keep up to speed because they were never made or balanced to handle that kind of content so it ends up being that those players have an extra crutch they need to carry around because it was "their fault" for playing those classes in content not made for them. If all classes had a core gameplay like Warframe did between all of its Warframes I would imagine you can argue that the classes would lose a lot of identity and uniqueness to them but games like Dragon's Dogma Online and Monster Hunter were definitely capable of settling on a core gameplay between all classes that was universal that still gave everyone a chance - or at least when it would come around to it would help push others into having more of a chance while adjusting content accordingly to maintain its integrity as a challenge.
SEGA has been buffing the basic classes and still continue to do so till this day while I agree on the potential and unique 14* things the one thing I cannot agree on is the last part well Idk about Dragon's Dogma Online since I never played it but with Monster Hunter World Fatalis and Alatreon were made to completely destroy anyone using a Great Sword since if you don't do enough elemental DPS on Alatreon he nova kills you and with Fatalis that fight is pure hurt which a Great Sword user will struggle with.