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Saturn_VII

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  1. Many self damaging weapons are very powerful in terms of their ability to do a lot of damage to a relatively large number of enemies. While they are not unique in their ability to do this, each offers something different. To say these weapons are simply "no better than" to other non self damaging weapons is an oversimplification. Different weapons offer different strengths and weakness. Sure, weapons can vary in terms of viability, but that is weapon specific and is due to either other weapons doing exactly what the weapon does only in a strictly better fashion (eg. rubico vs rubico prime) or the specific niche a weapon holds isn't particularly useful for anything (eg. hema) That said, all of your other points are quite valid. They point to systemic problem with how self damage works. It feels unfair and is generally unfun to be one-shot by something that seems to be often be beyond the player's control. I agree with you that Cautious Shot does not directly address these issues and the role of mods in the game should not be to fix systemic issues (I'm looking at you vacuum). That said, adding a mod to the game that addresses this complaint does have its advantages. The first being that the change is entirely optional to the player. This mod is interesting because if balanced well, it offers the player a choice: would you rather deal more damage but have to deal with potentially large quantities of self damage or would you rather deal less damage and mitigate the hazard presented by self damage? The key thing here is the mod needs to be balanced well for this player choice to actually be a choice and resigning this mod to either be a "must-include" or too bad to be viable. As Captain JLP mentions above, there appears to be a bug with the mod, so we may need to reserve judgement until that is addressed. In the OP I briefly mention my thoughts on the additional costs of using this mod: the 15% damage reduction and taking of a mod slot. The point is that while damage is important, it is not the only thing that is important. If damage were truly the only thing important in warframe mods like overextended or anemic agility would see no play. The potential utility a mod like Cautious Shot brings may in fact be worth the reduction in overall damage both in terms of the built in -15% and the indirect effect taking up a mod slot. Again this is dependent on the mod being balanced well.
  2. Good catch. We should definitely wait and see what DE does regarding this bug. I do hope that if it is hotfixed, people find the amount of self damage mitigation to be fair given the context. As I state in the OP, I think that some of the tankier warframes should be able to use self damaging weapons with Cautious Shot in order to reasonably mitigate the damage they receive. That said, I certainly do not think it is appropriate for all warframes, regardless of durability, to be able to use this mod and be able ignore the consequences of self damage entirely.
  3. The purpose of my post is to discuss the merits of Cautious Shot without delving into arguments of player skill or determination of probabilistic likelihoods of instances of self damage. It is my opinion the all or none nature of self damage greatly restricts the viable use cases of self damaging weapons and a mod that mitigates those restrictions is ultimately good for the game, despite my comment earlier about the current systemic problems with self damage. Having a mod like Cautious Shot is good because it expands the use case of these weapons, but is problematic in how it can so easily be seen as necessary. We don't want a mod that is another must-include. At the same time the game can feel very punishing when you die instantly from something that may or may not have been in your control. This mod attempts to bridge that gap by having enough downside to discourage ubiquitous use while still acting to remove what is ultimately an unfun interaction from a select number of cases. Is this a job best suited to a weapon mod only accessible to endgame players? Probably not.
  4. The whole point of reducing self damage from 10% to 1% was because 10% damage on a fully modded weapon was still enough to kill most warframes regardless of durability. I agree with you in that Cautious Shot is quite problematic in how it will be either seen as a "required" mod (like serration or vacuum) or be completely "useless" (like fetch). Similar to vacuum vs fetch, these mods seem like a band-aid solution to fix what really is an issue with the underlying mechanics of the game. The damage warframes can take is much less than the damage and their weapons can dish out. Having unscaled self-damage in the game is highly problematic at a systemic level and this mod only provides a quick fix for some of its use cases.
  5. Cautious Shot, due to its recent buff, has come under player scrutiny. Looking at past discussions of this mod, complaints fall into two main categories: 1) the mod is too hard to access/too expensive to implement 2) The mod does not accomplish its understood intention: allowing players to reduce the "risk" of player self-damage by reducing the potential "reward" in terms of dps Objection 1: Given the potential of this mod to greatly increase ease of use of all self damaging weapons, I think it is appropriate to restrict access of this mod to high level play. Most will agree that the weapons that this mod enable are very powerful in terms of their ability to do a lot of damage to a relatively large number of enemies. The degree to which this has the potential to trivialize a lot of the game should not be understated. Before the tonkor was nerfed to deal self damage, it was meta defining. I can understand why DE took a very conservative (cautious) approach when implementing this mod. Restricting access of this mod to endgame play removes the potential risk of trivializing new content for beginning players. The tonkor is MR 5 restricted. Allowing players to trivialize content they have already experienced is part of the player's growth into the game and is a natural part of progression. Despite some of its flaws, an excellent example of this working somewhat well is how arcanes are situated into the game. Placing them behind eidolon/orb mother fights, where they are debatable the most useful, allows players to experience their power growth as they continue to farm those fights. Similarly, placing cautious shot in arbitrations has a similar effect. I do not think it was an accident that mods that increase survivability in high level environments like cautious shot, adaptation, and rolling guard are rewards in a game mode centered around exactly that. That said, the potential for power is not the same as actual viability and power. Just like all arcanes are not of the same power level, not all arbitration mods are the same either. I will talk more about the balancing of cautious shot in the next section. In terms of the cost of the mod: it is quite expensive. A rank 10 rare mod requires a lot of credits and endo to max out. It should be noted that this expense is not an anomaly among powerful mods (eg. primed mods and rivens). While I do certainly think it is valid to challenge DE's general attitude toward requiring large quantities of resources (and consequently grind time) to use these mods, recognize that this is complaint is not particular to cautious shot, but a systemic issue. Objection 2: Many of the previous discussions of this topic have framed their analysis of the mod as a risk/reward relation. I argue that approach is ill posed to provide a good assessment of the value of this mod. Originally a term used in finance, the paradigm of risk and reward is inherently a probabilistic one. With it, there is an implied chance of success or failure. Using this approach allows different observers to estimate their own values based on their own experience. This method is particularly poor at handling situations like these where use of a self damaging weapon is very all or none. Thus the primary supporting argument for supporters of a stronger Cautious Shot point to the severity consequence of a misplaced shot: an instant an seemingly unfair death, while those against the strengthening of the mod point to the likelihood of the consequence: if you are careful/skillful, you will likely never get killed with the self damage (the probability is 0). It has been shown that humans are particularly bad at assessing risk in low likelihood/high severity events (eg. comparing peoples relative fear of shark attacks compared to car accidents). With this consideration I propose a different approach to assessing the strength of the mod: looking in particular use cases of the mod and discussing what the outcome of each would be. Case 1: A tanky warframe using cautious shot The change from 90% to 99% reduction in self damage only really effects the tankiest of warframes (rhino, inaros, etc.). With this change, the mod allows these warframes to survive through an accidental instance of self damage. This means that while using this mod with these frames, the player can be more cavalier when firing these weapons. The removal of the threat of an instant death actually increases the overall dps of the weapon, by allowing the user to fire much more rapidly instead of carefully aiming each shot (ironic for a mod called cautious shot). These warframes spend much of their power budget in increasing their own survivability both in their abilities and in how they are typically modded. In addition to paying the cost of the -15% damage and the mod slot, there is an added "cost" associated with choosing this warframe over squishier counterparts that might offer utility or additional dps. Case 2: A squishy warframe using cautious shot These warframes will not benefit from cautious shot as they will die regardless of whether or not the mod is equip. As result, they are better off investing in more damage and accepting the fatal consequences of a misplaced shot. Conclusions: Thus to assess the balance of this mod, cutoffs should be established for the use case of this mod. Two questions arise from this: How much should a player have to invest in the durability of their warframe to gain advantage from this mod? How much additional cost must the player take (in terms of -X% damage/the mod slot) to balance the situations where the mod is viable? Based on this assessment, it is clear why DE chose to buff the mod in the way that they did. They found that no one was using this mod because the use case was so narrow due to having an overly large requirement for player investment into warframe durability. By making this change, they hoped that it would expand the use case for this mod without actually changing the other costs associated with this mods use. Whether or not this buff was effective in doing specifically that thus should be how this mod is assessed. While I do not have a definitive answer on this, I believe the buff was heading in the right direction. I think that some of the tankier warframes can use these weapons non-abusively and ought to have viability with them. That said, I certainly do not think it is appropriate for all warframes, regardless of durability, to have access to the benefits this mod might provide. And finally a note about the other costs associated with cautious shot use: both a -15% reduction in damage and a mod slot is a very steep price to pay. It speaks volumes that despite these high costs players are still looking at this mod's viability. To understand this, one only needs to look at the typical usage of one of these powerful launcher weapons. Even with the -15% damage, these weapons can still one shot most enemies in standard play. Aside from high durability bosses and high level enemies in long duration endless missions, the reduction in damage is not felt. The additional cost to using this mod thus acts to discourage this mods usage in these particular instances. Thus we can again separate our analysis into two use cases. Establishing a cutoff for where these weapons should or should not one shot all enemies is again provides a metric for balance of this mod. TLDR: The price and ease of access of Cautious Shot is comparable to other mods with similar power levels, so a pricing/access issue would be a systemic problem not specific to this mod. Instead of assigning arbitrary probabilistic values to assess the worth of Cautious Shot, we should look at the potential viability of the mod based on the range of its use case (where unused and ubiquitous use are non-ideal balance-wise) and power of the mod based on the effect of the reduction in dps (in terms of ability of the weapons to one shot enemies).
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