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Excalibur Radial Javelin Rework


Yunjuwo
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So I've been playing Excalibur / Excalibur Umbra everyday for almost a year now and before I say anything I gotta point out that I love the frame. His Slash Dash, Radial Blind, and Exalted Blade all work really well with each other to give Excalibur a very balanced and fun-to-play feel, especially if you love melee. However, I've noticed that this all come together to make Excalibur sort of 'locked' in his 4 if he wishes to function as best as he can. While I haven't let this bother me too much in the past and I tried to balance my gameplay with Exalted Blade both on and off, the recent addition of Arbitrations to the game has brought to light just how easily Excalibur can be shut down.

Arbitration Shield Drones making fellow enemies immune to warframe abilities and weapons' damage as well as being immune to being immune to warframe abilities themselves, makes all of Excalibur's abilities completely useless the moment one of these pesky drones appear. Meanwhile, I can safely say that the entire warframe community will agree that Radial Javelin is one of the most useless abilities in the game. It's only good for clearing through T1 Exterminate missions (just maybe T2), and even with its Furious Javelin Augment at max Strength and all 12 Javelins hitting a target the bonus damage gained from this pales in comparison to a simple cast of Radial Blind which does so much more at its base, unmodded value.

I've noticed that Excalibur's only weakpoint is his defense and because Melee 3.0 is on the horizon I was going to hold off on this until after that, but with Arbitrations now on the table it can not be ignored. Excalibur's Radial Javelin must be reworked.

With that said, I've had my own spin on how this would go about with each version being influenced by certain warframes.

Radial Javelin

Excalibur summons an arsenal of javelins that defends and assists him in battle.

Energy cost: 75

Radius: 15 / 18 / 22 / 25 m

Health per javelin: 50 / 65 / 80 / 100

Misc: 5 / 7 / 10 / 12 javelins

  • Excalibur summons 5 / 7 / 10 / 12 javelins that revolve around him and protect him from damage, each absorbing 50 / 65 / 80 / 100 damage before they are destroyed.
    • Health per javelin is affected by Ability Strength and armor mods.
      • At max rank, with a maxed Steel Fiber and Intensify, the health per javelin would be: Modified Health = 100 x (1 + 1.1) x (1 + 0.3) = 273
    • Each javelin's health is independent of the rest, and Excalibur himself must be visually hit by an attack for a javelin to absorb damage. e.g. If each javelin has 100 health and a Bombard's rocket hits Excalibur for 500 damage only the first javelin will break, leaving the remaining 11 javelins and Excalibur's shields and health undamaged.
    • Does not make Excalibur immune to status effects, knockdowns, staggers, and the auras of eximus units.
    • Excalibur is immune to knockdowns and staggers during the casting animation.
  • Pressing the ability button while Radial Javelin is active will launch the javelins still revolving around Excalibur at the nearest enemies within 15 / 18 / 22 / 25 m, one per enemy, with each javelin temporarily stunning its target. If there are more javelins than there are enemies within range, each unused javelin restores 25 health
    • Radius is affected by Ability Range.
    • Unless an enemy is aware of Excalibur within a short time or Excalibur has line of sight, Radial Javelin will not target enemies.
    • The temporary stun is unaffected by Ability Duration.
    • The 25 restored health is unaffected by Ability Strength.
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Seems pretty well thought out, but I have a question and a thought.

Question:
What do you mean by this?

13 hours ago, Kyu-- said:

Excalibur himself must be visually hit by an attack for a javelin to absorb damage.

Will attacks that have a blast will ignore the javelin shield?

Thought:
12 javelins is too many if they work like this.  Having 12 javelins would make Excalibur not only one of the best tank frames, but as he's already very good at dealing damage, this would make him too much of an "all-arounder" frame with no drawbacks.  He can already deal damage, has crowd control, and he's fairly tanky.  Making him a tank rivaling Rhino would be too much, and then you also want to give him healing?
Another thing to mention, the "javelin-gating" where only one javelin can be destroyed per shot is unprecedented in the game.  Sure, Rhino can get ridiculous numbers for his Iron Skin, bu against an enemy with enough power, it all comes off in one hit.  Your idea would make Excalibur take at least 12 hits from an enemy that can one-hit the best tank in the game.

Thank you for the time you put into this, and hopefully this is what gets Radial Javelins reworked in some way.

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On 2018-10-13 at 5:30 PM, AnomaLhii said:

Seems pretty well thought out, but I have a question and a thought.

Question:
What do you mean by this?

Will attacks that have a blast will ignore the javelin shield?

The javelins themselves would not need to be hit by an attack to absorb damage. Excalibur's hitbox would remain as it is. So if a projectile comes his way, the bullet needs to hit Excalibur for the javelins to take damage. If it looked like the projectile hit a javelin but didn't collide into Excalibur, then no damage would be taken to the javelins. The javelins would just be a visual effect to show how many you have left and wouldn't have their own hitboxes because in that case the ability would quite literally have holes in its defense and wouldn't be reliable. As for blast-esque attacks, they would not ignore the javelins and still be absorbed. But stuff like gas clouds or magnetic barriers or etc will still have an effect.

 

And yeah I thought this seemed a bit too tanky too when compared against enemies' dmg scaling in the game. It's just that revenant can build his gates with strength so I thought having a set number of javelins with minimal hp would be fair. In which case, I also thought about reducing the number of javelins to 6. Or there's also having each javelin serve as a percentage of dmg reduction affected by power strength with a dmg reduction cap.

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Not that familiar with god of war but I think having another exalted ability would be kinda excessive since excal already has one (his 1 also counting as a pseudo exalted ability). But for extra firepower to keep excal's theme as a mobile, high dmg, slightly squishy frame, it would be really good if he got something like Saryn. Make his Furious Javelin augment built into the ability so that it actually does something, make the dmg boost also applicable to guns (maybe slash focused), and double for melee. And then an augment to make that buff able to be shared among your team. This promotes excal a little more for gunplay so you don't feel locked in melee, and allows him to contribute to the team.

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I too play excalibur umbra a lot he is my main and i agree that javlin needs a rework, but not to the point where he becomes a freaking tank if anything radial javelin should get increased piercing effect and damage, but not to the point where it one shots everything

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Not that I'm against changing Radial Javelin, but Excalibur is more than viable in Arbitrations, you just need to invest in survivability. Upgrade your health and armor mods to maximum, get Primed Flow with Quick Thinking and use Hunter Adrenaline with Life Strike. And after you get Adaptation, you will be able to facetank enemies easily even with Exalted Blade turned off. For damage, use Chromatic Blade and Condition Overload.

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this is well thought. i wouldn't be against excal getting and iron skin like ability. though i don't get why not making him immune to knockdowns and status affects, if it's a 3rd ability it should be a higher tier than iron skin which is a 2nd ability....
well either way i do agree that they need to either change this ability or remove it and give excal something new...
there r a lot of frames which r very good but has that 1 useless ability DE really needs to do something about it.

also

7 hours ago, Kyu-- said:

If RJ is kept as a dmg ability, I wish it's functionality resembles something similar to that glaive bug

 

  • Fixed the Glaive consistently circling around the player. Sorry we know it was cool but not intended!

that'd be cool :)

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It's understandable if a defensive ability for excal does less but cost more than say rhino's Iron Skin. Rhino's more tank-themed so of course he'll have a more efficient tanking ability. That being said, I think at this point that anything else for excal's 3 would be good. Preferably, something that has synergy with the rest of his kit, and promotes him more into gun-play to steer us away a little bit from that "why would I ever not use Exalted Blade?" feeling (I mean his revisited trailer even says master of gun and blade lol).

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On 2018-10-13 at 11:17 AM, Kyu-- said:

However, I've noticed that this all come together to make Excalibur sort of 'locked' in his 4 if he wishes to function as best as he can.

I think this is a common misconception. When I started building with Surging Dash I realized just how good he can be played with pretty much every melee weapon. Especially those that struggle to get combo multi fast. I built his EB to actually have negative attack speed (no fury, but spoiled strike), because Slash Dash doesn't really care about attack speed and the combo timer is dependant on the melee weapon equipped. I use his 4 only when I am in a pickle or see a large group with alot of 'healers'. I then slash dash into these enemies with my EB drawn and tickle this 1 button until the group is dead, which is usually REALLY fast because the combo multi increases the damage (which I get from surging dash) and the waves from his 4 proc off of his 1.
And you're invulnerable during slash dash. Building around Slash Dash also enables you to use your primary or secondary more (combo multi stays active even without your melee weapon drawn btw).

 

Radial Javelin is very useless at higher levels though, I agree. I don't like floating swords protecting me though, sry. =/

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I dont think excal should get a defense ability that powerful. Hes already a really good cc and damage frame.

I had a rework thread i wanted to link here bit cant find it for some reason.

The idea i had in mind was a large range one time vortex (like nidus 2) centered on excal, sucking enemies into melee range.

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so like Noctis's abilities from FFXV? i dig that.

personally, i just think Excalibur just needs a self heal ability rather than a resistance based ability.

the ability would be called "Scabbard" and it would heal him and as well as giving him immunity to status affects (like bleeding damage) for energy per second, but any attack would cancel the ability.

but what concerns me is that they pretty much hyped Radial Javalin in one of their earliest and most known cinematics. maybe keep radial javalin, but replace "scabbard" with radial javalin while exalted blade is active.

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A healing ability would be greatly appreciated on a melee frame, especially with Excalibur's abilities having him fight mostly at close-range so he usually takes quite a bit of damage. Although a healing for energy per second ability is already taken by Oberon, and also having two channeling abilities sounds a little excessive.

If DE wanted to keep the animation of Radial Javelin, another idea could be Excalibur performing the same stab-the-ground animation for Radial Javelin but maybe surround him in a pillar of light instead of shooting javelins at enemies. Upon activation, the ability would create a pool of hp in reserve (with the amount shown next to his shield/health bar). If Excalibur isn't at max hp, the pool automatically drains some of its hp until either Excal gets back up to max or the hp pool runs out. The initial amount of hp generated upon cast would scale off of Ability Strength, while that pillar of light could surround Excal with a 2m radius--scaling off of Ability Range--as an invincible barrier that would absorb any outside attack for 3 seconds before fading away, storing the absorbed damage towards his hp pool.

This way he has a scaling restoration ability and gets two benefits. One, he gets invested more into gun-play since with only 300 shields to protect him and no damage reduction (not counting Exalted Blade), he is usually forced to switch to melee for Life Strike the moment he takes damage which can be tedious with the constant gun-to-sword switching. Two, you could take off Life Strike with Excalibur on his melee weapons, freeing up a mod slot to add more damage, speed, range, whatever, on your melee weapons, something he'd very much appreciate as a melee frame I'm sure.

The only issue would be the speed of the healing being able to sustain Excalibur while he's under heavy damage, preferably on par with that of Life Strike, or at least close to that of Life Strike since you are using 75 energy at base for this. If the speed of healing was at least 100% healed within 2 seconds, that would be suitable considering the heavy gunfire you'll usually suffer when melee'ing, especially when surrounded.

Edited by Kyu--
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One thing that keeps on bugging me since I picked Excalibur as starter is, why is it called "JAVELIN" when Excalibur doesn't even throw it? sure he sticks his sword on the ground and launches some useless javelins all around him.

I'm pretty sure they can rework this, maybe throw a HUGE javelin made up off energy that pierces all enemies until it hits the wall or nullifier
(maybe the animation is like how athletes throw javelins, or something like the lightning spear from dark souls)

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When reworking warframe abilities, DE doesn't like to completely replace abilities. Take Nyx; a couple months ago she was announced to get her Psychic Bolts removed for a new ability. Now they're just going to give her Psychic Bolts a new function and redo the math on her Mind Control and Absorb. Since Excalibur already traded Super Jump for Exalted Blade, in the event that Radial Javelin does get a rework, it's unlikely that DE will want to completely change up its animation/function.

But we can only hope.

Edited by Kyu--
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  • 3 weeks later...

I think we can all agree that Radial Javelin is almost never worth using. And after thinking over everyone's inputs I agree that giving Excalibur a "Mesmer Skin" like ability would effectively make him way too tanky so I would like to retract my original post. I'd personally love to get a dmg reduction aura buff where strength boosts the dmg reduction, duration boosts the buff time, and range boosts the radius where any ally inside will also get affected by the ability (like Chroma's Elemental Ward) so that Excalibur can effectively protect his team as his name alludes to. This encourages him more into gun-play since he can take more punishment now without using his 4's auto block, and allows him to offer something in a squad setting. As for an augment, I think that adding a chance for proc negation based on strength would be a nice little touch.

In the case that Radial Javelin does get reworked, what would you rather have for Excalibur? A dmg reduction ability, healing, a dmg ability that actually does dmg, or something else entirely? Would it synergize with the rest of his kit? Would it offer some support to the squad to promote him more on teamplay or focus more on himself to keep him in his role of a solo dps? How would the ability work? I'd love to get some more inputs on what you guys would like from a possible new 3 for Excalibur.

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vor 12 Stunden schrieb Foroeight:

In the case that Radial Javelin does get reworked, what would you rather have for Excalibur?

"A singularity like nidus larva, but centered on excalibur. Shouldnt have a limit of enemies it can effect like RJ. Radius as large as radial blinds. Enemies sucked in are stunned for at least 2 seconds, but not open to finishers."

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been rewatching devstream 114 (specifically the part with melee 3.0) and I noticed that while blocking, the visual, audio, and HUD cues are the same as channel blocking but there was no energy drain at all while bullets were being blocked. There was even a small part where two butchers were parried and opened to finishers without any energy being used. And then there's this quote from 

"Channeling is blocking, blocking is channeling! Normal blocking now performs like channeled blocking currently does. Experiments such as constant energy drain or a separate resource, blocked hits adding to Combo Counter are ongoing."

If in the end product we really do get 100% damage reduction while blocking and there is no cost for doing so (or if at the very least the cost is changed so that it isn't damning like how it currently is) then it would be a pretty nice boost in survivability for all warframes in general and especially Excalibur since he already auto-blocks all attacks from the front even while doing other actions. I believe the 100% dmg reduction from blocking, at the cost of stamina however that worked, is how it used to be in the older days of warframe so it'll be nice to go back to that I guess since even at 99% reduction one shot deaths are inevitably possible due to enemy level scaling in the game.

In which case, another rework idea for Excalibur's Radial Javelin is giving him a small bit of dmg reduction (maybe capped at 50%) in a radius so that he can protect squadmates as his name suggests, and also give a small weapon dmg buff let's say 25% building off of strength, and changing the cost from 75 base energy to hits from your combo counter. Devstream 114 showed the combo multiplier rising by 0.5x for every 15 hits so having the ability cost 30 hits sounds good to me if the buff duration is around 20-30 seconds.

I personally think this would be great for Excalibur because 1) with his description in the warframe selection screen reading "an ideal warframe for new players" chances are he's the one most players will pick and this new 3 can teach them about dmg reduction, bonus dmg, combo counter, and building abilities (since how this ability scales off of strength/range/duration is so straightforward and easy to learn) 2) it gives Excalibur an all around ability that isn't overwhelming so that he can provide support in a squad while frames with buffing abilities like rhino, gara, or trinity still have their place at giving more specific yet stronger buffs 3) having the ability cost hits from the combo counter will encourage diverse gameplay between gun and blade, as his profile suggests.

This is Excalibur, a master of gun and blade.

No matter your style, Tenno, the Excalibur Warframe is a formidable choice.

Edited by Foroeight
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On 2018-11-11 at 7:42 PM, Foroeight said:

n the case that Radial Javelin does get reworked, what would you rather have for Excalibur? A dmg reduction ability, healing, a dmg ability that actually does dmg, or something else entirely?

Slash dash is already invulnerability. Javelin could do a reaping chakram thing, marking enemies for energy drops or get a refund on energy with kills like ash. It would work best with SD, as you could dash into the fray, pop javelin and then kill everything to get your energy back.

I’d also like to see his 4 invoke slightly faster.

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