so this newest melee rework phase just hit my platform (PS4), since there's no dedicated thread for this topic for console i'm just going to ignore the now then outdated "PC" tag to this thread and dump my feedback here (and suggest to the mods to either change the tag or to create a new sticky for feedback on the newest melee rework phase on console).
and boy do we have much negative to talk about unfortunately, first let's start off by pointing out that the appreciated select melee as dedicated current weapon function (by holding the weapon switch button) is back, thank you. with phase 1 i had complained about how getting rid of it unnecessarily made the game more poor in terms of depth and style choice - and here we are and it's back in! but so is the design oversight that switching back to anything else unfortunately pulls always only the so called "primary" firearm instead of the firearm that was wielded last.
listen, it disrupts gameflow, it breaks style - and it's entirely unnecessary at that. i for example shoot my extremely versatile pistol build most of the time when shooting a firearm - my so called "primary" weapon is in reality just a heavy specialist weapon that i use the utmost least of the three ("primary"/ "secondary"/ melee), so almost every time i switch back from my melee i have to continue to cycle through weapons and therefore perform an unnecessary and unwanted (gameflow disrupting and derpy looking) double weapon swap instead of a single swapping of one weapon for the other. DE, could you please finally get rid of that and replace it with swapping back to the of the up to two firearms we wielded before switching to melee - after all these years and after all these countless complaints from me on this subject that this forum must have seen by now? with the whole melee rework thing now is the time maybe? it would be just splendid! ;)
but there's of course much, much bigger issues at hand now. namely, umm, i don't know - THE DEATH OF VARIETY AND INSTEAD HIGHLY ACCELERATED UNIFICATION TO THE ALREADY ESTABLISHED META - THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT THIS WORK WAS ALLEGEDLY SET OUT TO ACHIEVE??? yes, yes - i know, it sounds all snarky, grumpy and most of all highly overdramatized, doesn't it? oh, i whish - but unfortunately in at least my case this is 100% exactly what happened to me with this update, so please hear me out when i first lengthily explain where exactly i'm coming from in terms of loadout building preferences and how the changes affected these builds (i really can't think of how to shorten this, it means just too much to me) - and you'll see that ridiculouslywise exactly what my yelling in all-caps described is what happened to me: the death of variety and instead highly accelerated unification to the already established meta - the exact opposite of what this work was allegedly set out to achieve.
so i of course also have a few Arcane Vanguard Rhino Prime loadouts wielding Heavy Blades, it's quite fun and i use them often - but that's neither the end of it nor what i RP-wise consider to be my "main" frame. nah, i've got many dedicated farm and team roles filling specialist frames too (like my Nekros Prime loadouts for example), and i consider myself to be an Ash Prime mainer - you know: "the stealthy, shadow-stepping, yet not at all squishy assassin" and all that. so i did find myself using on most of my frames a Covert Lethality (mod that greatly increased base melee damage and allowed for guaranteed kills on forced (standing) finishers, exclusive to Daggers) Dagger with Stinging Thorn stance (Dagger stance that depending on attack angle a bit lot of unreliably, but nevertheless not super-rarely allowed to force standing melee finishers).
it was total niche on farm specialist loadouts and the likes, but i thought like: you know, since i rarely use melee over firearms on these loadouts - at least i wouldn't have to wind-up the combo counter if i sometimes decide to kill something tough rather with melee after an hour in endless missions... . truth to be told though - any REALLY high DpS melee weapon (so definitely not Daggers unfortunately...) would have been the meta choice there too, and even before the update already as well. but i decided to rather spice things up with a rather niche, yet decently viable still option there.
and it's obvious why i used a Covert Lethality Dagger on my Ash Prime (the only Warframe in the game without a 4 - as his 4 is just a more time and energy consuming, yet still less damage dealing version of one of his other abilities in augmented ...): Fatal Teleport (Ash's Teleport + the Augment Mod for it, which allows to decently reliably force standing melee finishers on hostiles Ash teleports to - a.k.a. "Shadow Step"). it was literally the only thing he had since ever his 4 was "reworked" into just a worse in every way version of Fatal Teleport spam.
the rest to Ash is just basics really: less speed and cloak duration than Loki - but more tank and less cloak activation animation clumsiness in turn. a passive that (despite being really good - as little far as passives go) didn't really matter for this playstyle, and a 1 that is quite lethal as far as 1's go - which is very little, so it is nothing more than a little attack one can perform while reloading a weapon. especially so as the chance to make this, his built-in and silent range attack, a greatly in-theme such by enabling it to disable destroyable traps and cameras silently was unfortunately completely missed by making these throwing knifes (that his 1 casts) completely ignore said destroyable traps/ sensors perfectly under crosshair from even very close in if any enemy is still alive like anywhere on the map, because then they instead desperately try to seek out foes by doing everything to fly towards any forever far away enemy behind multiple walls, bouncing off said walls and alerting foes by it - or hitting these foes and alerting them through that. so: yup, his Covert Lethality Fatal Teleport was the only thing Ash really had left.
and while this seemed really powerful - it was not really. why waste time with stealthily assassinating each foe one by one with a Dagger, if you can just equip a tanky Warframe which can cast loads of damage on themselves and strike down 10 over level 200 enemies with one blow with an actually high damage melee weapon? the answer was: style, valid gameplay style diversity, swimming against the meta with one's one little niche thing but still be decently viable overall with it. and what do you know? in some super-high level situations where for example a Corrupted Ancient casts his insane damage reduction aura on a Corrupted Bombard Eximus, or a super-high level Nox Eximus is in the way, etc. - that niche sorta melee attack even reliably, and from the very relative safety of under a cloak with decent base tank on out, proved to be slightly superior in terms of TTK to the meta - for a second, until the special threat was swiftly dealt with. you know, assassin stuff, what a Ninja, the folks who i believe inspired Warframe ages ago, would be especially good for i imagine.
and there's no doubt that Covert Lethality was the only thing Daggers had going for them too, otherwise they're all just trashier versions of other melee weapons unfortunately. heck, i even pushed the build further by equipping 1x R3 Arcane Trickery (grants low chance of cloaking on performing melee standing finishers, a cloaking that doesn't get disrupted by anti-Warframe stuff like Nullifier Bubbles), just to be able to even sneak into Nullifier Bubbles to assassinate them in CQC stealthed - as my on top of everything else 1x R3 Arcane Strike (grants low chance of increasing melee attack speed on dealing damage) was enough to keep me about viable enough melee-wise like this overall. all very niche, gimmicky, non-meta, fun - yet decently viable enough in the hands of a very experienced Warframe player with dedication to the chosen playstyle, well - and ownership of the best gear and the likes available for it.
but today that all changed.
Stinging Thorn can no longer force standing finishers, Covert Lethality no longer increases Dagger damage (making Daggers worse at regular melee combat) - and no longer grants kills on standing finishers (to be fair it already failed to do so on those Nightwave event dudes from the Wolf of Saturn Six and the Infested prophet boy, but those were extreme exceptions that were understandable since they were special event targets that received boss-treatment in this regard then, no biggie), but instead Covert Lethality now provides an amount of extra damage on standing finishers so low that there's barely any difference between the damage produced by a standing finisher with Covert Lethality on or just another +90% elemental damage mod instead (at least on my build with maxed Primed Pressure Point and a Riven that gives extra base melee damage). result for my loadouts:
Daggers are completely dead again, another weapon, style, playstyle, skin category/ subcategory in the trashbin again. my farm specialist and team role based frames now all have to go with meta melee weapons again, increasing their effectiveness to more than what they had beforehand with the Daggers before even the update. my main is completely destroyed - the sneaky Ninja-Assassin has to go with an absurdly huge meta melee weapon fantasy greatsword and the likes now for maximum effectiveness at standing finishers, i even would have to carve out the Platinum to buy in the trade chat 10x Arcane Fury (melee-meta Arcane Enhancement that provides high chance to increase melee damage on critical hit) to replace my niche Arcane Enhancement of Arcane Trickery on him with, as he desperately needs everything he could get in terms of melee effectiveness to have any chance of not falling too over-the-top much behind meta frames who can just slay away continuously at the very-high endgame too (especially since they're also much better at weapon damage dealing in any game stage, and mostly also much better at ability damage dealing to potentially make lower-end game runs more efficient, while Ash already has absolutely NOTHING to offer to make any lower-end game runs any tiniest bit more efficient whatsoever...).
but you know what? i'm really strongly thinking about abandoning the game for a year or so instead, not as a kind of sassy statement or anything - i just really wonder if i will be able to manage to come up with the motivation required to just go on after this really devastating blow to my game in Warframe now. please turn the boat around 180 degrees swiftly DE!