I posted this in another thread, but I figure I'll post it here as well since there's probably a marginally better chance of DE eyes landing on it here, and I do think this could help them a bit.
Having put a few hours in with Newkong now, doing a broad range of content, I feel like I've got a fairly decent grasp on the rework, both the highs and the low, and I'm gonna lay out my feedback for DE here. Sorry if I end up word-vomiting a bit. To start off, I think this rework is largely quite well done. It's created a cohesive, synergistic kit out of a single button and a couple of half-baked ideas, while also staying true to the themes of the Warframe. That isn't easy, and DE (and, to my understanding, especially Pablo) should be lauded for pulling it off. But not all of it came out quite the way they wanted, methinks, and there's some rough edges that could do with sanding down. I hope my feedback here could be of use to them in that endeavor.
Now, let's get right into it. I'm going to go through each individual ability, starting with his passive, and lay out my thoughts, along with suggestions for improvements:
5 Levels of Immortality High-Level Feedback: From a purely mechanical perspective, this is absolutely fine. Passives, as a general rule, are not hugely impactful, and this one fits right in, power-level wise, with most; 97% of the time it won't proc even once, let alone 3 times, but when it does, it's generally modestly helpful. Better yet, that moment when it procs, when you go "I just died! But I live!" is quite solid, it feels very much like Nidus' and that's a high compliment. However, at the same time, it just doesn't feel very good.
What comes next is just... awkward. The few seconds after that moment are either you being an unstoppable god or feeling screwed because you're not an unstoppable god, and giving RNJesus the power to determine that never feels good. It feels like a punishment half the time, not a reward, as all your abilities should, and the disconnect makes it less than enjoyable. Similarly, running out of charges on it and finally dying just ends up feeling frustrating, because your passive is just gone entirely. This can create a negative feedback loop where, for whatever reason, you screwed up and died a few times, and then suddenly you don't have any of your passive's effects at all. In essence, you get punished for using your passive, and that doesn't feel great, no matter which way you slice it.
Surviving when you were supposed to die feels great
Power level is in-line with other passives, on average
Strong thematic tie to Sun Wukong and the Journey to the West
Heavily random effects hamper enjoyment a fair amount
Limited charges can create a negative feedback loop
Suggestions: 5 Levels of Immortality has some problems, but nothing conceptual or deep-seated mechanically. It just needs to dial down the RNG and, like Nidus', have some means of regaining charges during a mission, and in my view, both of these can be solved by embracing the "trickster" element of Sun Wukong. I would take this passive and change it to:
With this change, the core functionality is entirely intact, Wukong gets to show off his immortal bonafides, but the RNG elements are removed, both the lows and the highs, and the arbitrary limit of 3 is removed in favor of "if you can kill fast enough, you can use your passive infinitely", which replaces the existing negative feedback loop and failure spiral with a positive feedback loop.
Conclusions: On the whole, I think this passive is very good, and a huge improvement over Wukong's original. It just needs some minor cleanup and it'll be fantastic.
Celestial Twin High-Level Feedback: This ability is really neat conceptually, and again fits really well with Wukong's theme. In addition, the way Wuclone uses the opposite weapon type Wukong does is a truly inspired idea that has a lot of potential for builds (the low-hanging fruit here is a high-status gun with a bunch of damage types paired with Condition Overload on a melee weapon). It really is an excellent idea and in my experience it even tends to work fairly well. The clone does some serious work, especially if you kit him out appropriately, more than enough so to make up for the fairly derpy AI managing it, and if the player micromanages it as well, then it really wrecks face.
Unfortunately, there's some niggling annoyances, and bugs, that tarnish the experience somewhat. There's no real mechanical or conceptual issues with it, just rough edges that need polishing before it really shines. For example, Wukong activating Primal Fury causes both Wukong and Wuclone to be running around with a melee weapon. This breaks the fundamental promise made by the opposite-weapon-type functionality, and means you can't take advantage of one of the basic design pillars of this Warframe while using the other pillar. It limits the player's creative space for no real reason, and it hurts me in my soul to see. There's also a number of bugs regarding weapon selection, I've seen Wuclone stuck on using a gun even while I have a gun out, or using melee at the same time as me, or Wuclone only ever using my primary weapon instead of the secondary I had out a second ago, etc, but I'm sure those'll get fixed in the coming weeks.
Extremely good concept with lots of potential for build diversity and depth
Powerful enough to overcome AI deficiencies
Buggy, though far from game-breakingly so
Aforementioned build diversity potential nearly totally eliminated while Primal Fury is active
Suggestions: Celestial Twin is actually in a pretty good spot right now. All it needs is for Wuclone to stick to its core mechanics when Primal Fury is activated. Allow Wuclone to use guns while Wukong is beating people with Ruyi Jingu Bang, and be able to pull out its own Iron Staff if Wukong starts shooting baddies without deactivating Primal Fury (or in other words, treat Primal Fury the same as Wukong's normal melee weapon) and fix the bugs and this ability will be basically perfect (with its only remaining flaw being a need for spectre AI improvements).
Conclusions: So close to being great that it physically pains me that it stumbled as hard as it did right at the end. A single fairly minor tweak would make this ability amazing.
Cloudwalker High-Level Feedback: This ability is awesome. It's a fantastic tool for both movement and survival that, while not nearly as flashy as the rest of Wukong's new kit, is the workhorse that quietly allows serious work to be done. It's the real meat and potatoes of Wukong's survivability, as well as an excellent movement and CC ability. It can take a bit of getting used to, and I still occasionally end up getting trapped on random decorations/map elements because of how fast Wukong moves as a cloud, but once you get used to it, it's pretty excellent all around.
The only real issue with it is that it's buggy, especially with regards to attacking while it's active. I've seen everything from randomly teleporting 40+m laterally to the game refusing to attack at all, and pretty much everything in between. I'm only able to successfully attack out of the cloud without major issue maybe once in every 5-6 tries, and I don't think I've ever managed it without any issue at all. It's fairly reliable when used purely for movement, but attacking out of it definitely has some issues.
Excellent workhorse ability that drives the bulk of Wukong's survivability
Extremely good mobility
Has a small learning curve, as the raw speed can cause collision issues until you learn to adjust
Very buggy with regards to attacking out, to the point I don't even bother trying anymore
Suggestions: Just fix the bugs, that's really it. Maybe also consider adding a "slow" mode to it somehow (a sprint toggle is the first thing to come to mind) to allow for more precise maneuvering, but that's far from necessary, player skill will accommodate it soon enough.
Conclusions: Excellent ability all around, good job DE.
Defy High-Level Feedback: This is another awesome ability. There's very little bad about it and a lot of really good things. It's a pretty decent thematic tie to Sun Wukong, as "Whatcha got bro?! Come at me!" basically defines him for much of the Journey to the West, and is excellent mechanically. It's a perfect "oh-S#&$" button, that does respectable damage and synergizes with Celestial Twin extremely well. On the whole, I think this is very well done all around. My only meaningful complaint is that it's a bit too easy to misread incoming damage (or, more often, a party member comes swooping in and murders the dudes you were about to taunt) and overwrite a fairly new really high armor buff with a super low armor buff.
Extremely strong thematic link to Sun Wukong
Very well-designed ability that synergizes well with Celestial Twin
Rapid changes during battle can neuter the ability to a sometimes extreme degree
Suggestions: What I'd like to see for Defy is a change so that if you recast it while the armor buff is up, it will only overwrite your armor buff if the new one is equal-to-or-better. For example, if I dive into a group of enemies and Defy and get a 1500 armor stack and wipe them out, then 4 seconds later try to do it again, but right as I hit Defy, the Rhino in the party hits stomp and I take zero damage, I should still have my 1500 armor buff for another 21 seconds, instead of a 50 armor buff for 25. And then, if I hit Defy a third time 10 seconds after that and take enough damage for 1500 armor again, I should emerge with a 1500 armor buff for 25 seconds.
I'm fully in agreement that Wukong shouldn't be able to refresh the duration of an existing buff, but it's simply too easy for teammates to (accidentally or otherwise) screw Wukong out of his buff, and that buff is a pretty big chunk of his ability to not be one-shot, so a change like this would be very much appreciated.
Conclusions: Excellent ability, but a bit too dependent on your team not using crowd-control or overwhelming amounts of murder to be truly effective. It could do with being a bit less reliant on Wukong's team catering to him.
Primal Fury High-Level Feedback: This is a really fun ability; the exalted weapon has roughly the same reach as God and the combos are a lot of fun, both to play and watch. It's a treat all around, not to mention that it can be quite effective as well with the right build. There's a good mix of damage and reach combos and, aside from a couple small niggles, the new combo system plays really well. The rework has really brought it up to, well, par. It's not an exceptional exalted weapon, but it's a solid B+, and I'm quite fond of it.
That said, Primal Fury is hampered somewhat by its anti-synergy with Celestial Twin, where Wuclone is rendered incapable of using guns while this is active. In addition, there's a minor niggling annoyance with the right-click combos, as those always end with Wukong pulling his gun out, because you're aiming, and it just doesn't feel all that great. It's not a huge problem or anything, but it's constant and that makes it an annoyance. It will become something of a problem, however, if Celestial Twin is ever fixed, as that would change Wuclone's weapon unintentionally, and that could potentially cause problems, depending on the build.
Powerful exalted weapon that's been brought up to in-line with most other exalted weapons. It's no Excalibur, but it's very solid and a good central pillar for the Warframe to rely on
New combo system is well-implemented and it's quite satisfying to use
Visually very nice, though it can be a bit spastic with a Volt or Wisp speed buff
Anti-synergizes with Celestial Twin, which discourages melee-focused builds from using it
New combo system has some minor QOL issues
Suggestions: Fix Celestial Twin to treat Primal Fury properly as a melee weapon and have Wuclone use guns while Wukong hits people with his big stick. Primal Fury really needs to have that synergy and build-design space, as it's a big part of Wukong's new kit and it's endlessly frustrating to not have it on Wukong's defining weapon.
I'd also suggest an across-the-board change to the current melee system, where right-click/ADS while melee is out does not pull out your gun, and instead just zooms slightly with your melee weapon still out, while left-click/fire while melee is out behaves the way it currently does, and in addition, hitting F with your melee out will switch back to the gun you were using before entering melee, not switch to the other gun you weren't using. It's not a huge problem, but melee as a whole, and with Primal Fury in particular, would feel a lot better with a change like this.
Conclusions: Very good rework on the whole. It's great as a stand-alone ability, but is held back by anti-synergy with the other core element of Wukong's new kit. Patching that hole would make it truly fantastic.
So there we are, my review after probably about 8-10 hours playing the new Wukong. I think this was a really good rework that doesn't really have any foundational issues, but there are still a couple pretty big holes in the framework. If DE can fill those in, Wukong will likely be by far my favorite Warframe, finally dethroning Nidus. I hope this was helpful toward that end, if anyone from DE ever reads this.