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Expectations of K-Drive usage


auxy
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TL;DR there is no reason to use K-Drives as much as we seem to be expected to.

I was playing around looking for caves in Orb Vallis yesterday and I decided to use my K-Drive since the novelty hasn't worn off yet and it's a little faster than traveling on foot. As I was surfing along, a challenge progress notification came up noting that I had ridden some 10,000 meters (10 kilometers) toward achieving the K-Driven achievement. Neat! However, the achievement apparently expects us to accrue 1,000,000 meters of K-Drive use. A thousand kilometers?!

Along similar lines, I did a few tricks while I was out. As a veteran player of skating games I can say with confidence that the K-Drive is nowhere near as deep as a game like, say, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, but some of the tricks I did were quite fancy - hop, grab, spin, grind-while-grabbing, hop, spin, flip, land on another rail, get a booster, hop, flip, grab, spin, smooth landing. Did that a number of times. Came back in and I'd earned 4,000 Ventkids standing. 4,000 in two hours? Assuming the Ventkids are like other syndicates, you're going to need 132,000 standing to max out their top rank. 132,000 standing! That's 528,000 points in tricks!

Most tricks will earn you between 60 and ~300-400 points. I know that you can game the system to reliably and easily earn 3000 points per trick, but even doing that you will have to do it 176 times to reach that standing cap. Nevermind that there's a daily standing cap that artificially prevents you from doing that, but even taking that into account you have to do the same boring exploit 35 times to max out your daily standing. Isn't this a bit much?

At the crux of my argument is basically this thread. I haven't posted in it, and if you haven't read it, you don't need to because I'm about to restate its points here -- I just wanted to show that I'm not the only one with this opinion. The thing is, there's no reason to use the K-Drive other than the novelty of it. Once the novelty wears off, it's going to simply be another inferior way to travel. Archwing is faster, Zephyr is faster, Nezha is about the same speed. Nova is faster. You can't do anything on a K-Drive that you can't do on an Archwing, and there's no use to Ventkids standing besides K-Drive parts. If Ventkids standing had some other use, or we could, say, fish or fight (even with secondaries only!) from the K-Drive, that would be another story entirely.

Don't mistake me. I LIKE the K-Drives. That's why I wish I had more reason to use them besides simple completionism.

Edited by auxy
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By the way, I had an idea in the shower for how you could implement fighting from the K-Drive. Make the K-Drive itself selected as if it were a weapon. While riding it, tap the weapon select key to shift from "trick mode" to "combat mode" and have it pull out your secondary, or even your melee weapon. (Fighting from vehicles is awesome, play Saints Row 2 and use the Katana.) Just a thought -- I'd love to run some drive-bys on these Corpus dweebs. (*'▽')

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That about sums it up. They are interesting and fun to use, but there isn't really much of a point to using them.

Im sure they are plenty fast with all the mods and everything, but I don't think that's really going to hold up against any archwing, especially something like the iztal.

 

(unless you plan on releasing primed k-drive mods, but seriously, please don't. At least for a while)

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4 hours ago, auxy said:

If Ventkids standing had some other use, or we could, say, fish or fight (even with secondaries only!) from the K-Drive, that would be another story entirely.

This too, I think combat could be really interesting with the K-Drives, and seeing as how you can already use whatever weapons you want with the archwings (in the open world areas) it shouldn't be unbalanced in any way as far as I can see.

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In the short-term, buffing their speed and seriously buffing the speed mods would help. Not a complete solution by a long shot, but it'd at least help.

More adjustments would be the ever-requested momentum on activation, and some more momentum when going down slopes would help replicate the snowboard feeling they seem intended to evoke.

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On 2018-11-11 at 7:15 AM, auxy said:

Most tricks will earn you between 60 and ~300-400 points. I know that you can game the system to reliably and easily earn 3000 points per trick, but even doing that you will have to do it 176 times to reach that standing cap.

This is incorrect. 3000 pts = 750 rep. 26k/750 rep (max trick) = 34.6666 or 35 3k tricks for max rep. I do agree with your post in its entirety, just wanted to clear up the math.

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1 hour ago, Skaleek said:

This is incorrect. 3000 pts = 750 rep. 26k/750 rep (max trick) = 34.6666 or 35 3k tricks for max rep. I do agree with your post in its entirety, just wanted to clear up the math.

Read the rest of the paragraph before that. I was talking about the total 132K standing cap at max rank, not the daily standing cap. I clarified that in the next sentence.

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En 11/11/2018 a las 15:42, Kobrakai85 dijo:

I can hit 3000 scores without using any kind of "exploit". It's not that hard, just find somewhere with 2-3 rails close to each other and jump + spam shift to copter between them. You can hit 3000 in about 20 seconds but it takes some practice.

dont confuse make 3000 points from trick-combo  and rep u get..i do around 12 k points by trick then when go back to fortuna see only get near 7 k rep..

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I have to agree with this. On one hand, I absolutely love K-Drives already. The vehicle's a joy to use, tricks are fun, there's a built-in learning curve that's fun to practice, and at the core of it is this immense potential to enhance traversal over long distances. DE really delivered on the core of a solid feature here, and I feel deserves significant praise for capturing the fantasy so well, in addition to the great work they've put into Fortuna. With that said, I also have a fair share of criticisms regarding K-Drives, namely with some aspects of their implementation:

  • The balancing on trick scores, experience and standing gains is totally off: This has been said many times already, but the gains from tricks are currently far too low. Even when using cheese methods like Pearl grinding to get 3000-point tricks in very quick succession, it takes about a half hour of farming in that manner to cap out on standing, and after several days of doing this, even with Affinity boosters, I still haven't maxed out my first K-Drive. There are some adjustments to be made here.
  • K-Drive mods come at the expense of base functionality and quality of usage: During my very first few minutes with the K-Drive, some parts of it felt a little off: it was too easy to slide off of rails when grinding, and even now I feel like boosting doesn't actually increase my speed by all that much. Once I started to equip mods, which offer very little choice in practice due to there currently being 12 mods for an 8-slot mod page, I started getting the "proper" K-Drive experience, where controls started feeling properly responsive and less floaty.
  • There is no reason to use K-Drives over Archwing: Currently, Archwing is significantly faster than K-Drives in every way, travelling at faster speeds while going far more easily over terrain. The consequence to this has been that essentially nobody uses K-Drives in multiplayer bounties, and the players who do get berated for taking too long to get to an objective when everyone else travelled by Archwing.
  • Tricks are currently shallower than they could be: Right now, there are a lot of different moves assigned to tricks (the fire button pulls, the aim button spins vertically, the jump button spins laterally, the crouch flips the board), but ultimately they don't really do anything distinct from each other in terms of outputs, besides look different. You could currently condense the entire set of K-Drive inputs to WASD movement, jumping, boosting, grinding, and some nonspecific trick button, and the net output would be the same for the range of movement offered to the player, as well as trick scores. There's more depth to be extracted than that from K-Drives, particularly since all of these movement options are coming at a cost to weapon and ability usage.

Stuff I think could improve the current situations:

  • Increase point generation on tricks: This I think is the most basic improvement that could be done to reduce the currently excessive amount of grinding. The cap per trick wouldn't even need to be raised; simply increasing baseline point generation on tricks could improve ranking up with the Vent Kids significantly.
  • Integrate current stat buff mods into K-Drives, add more imaginative mods instead: By stat buff mods I mean stuff like increased grind magnetism, grind velocity, movement speed, boost speed, jump height, and so on. Damage mods don't need to be integrated, and in fact it might be interesting to have the player configure their K-Drive primarily to do combat stuff, instead of simply upgrading their traversal (which everyone will want to do).
  • Significantly increase boost speed on K-Drives: Normal movement should likely remain the same, because that's what players will be using especially for tricks, but boosted movement is what players are going to be using to get from A to B. So long as travelling by K-Drive remains slower than Archwing, people will continue to go by Archwing exclusively, so increasing boost speeds so that K-Drives are the fastest vehicles for sheer movement would help in this respect. If the buff needed to achieve this makes K-Drives too unwieldy to boost with, then it may help to reduce Archwing speeds in open worlds to compensate.
  • Integrate weapon usage on K-Drives and emulate basic movement more closely: By this I mean that the controls for K-Drives should mimic parkour closer in function, and combining moves designed to each facilitate traversal in a certain way should perform tricks. Here's an example of what this could entail:
    • Directional buttons: move the player as normal.
    • Fire button: simply fires the weapon you have equipped, without performing any trick. Because the weapon switch button is currently not in use, it could be reintegrated to switch weapons.
    • Secondary fire button: performs the weapon's secondary fire.
    • Aim button: aims the player's weapon/blocks while in melee. When in the air, this also performs a pull (which is currently mapped to the fire button).
    • Sprint button: boosts the player as normal.
    • Jump button: jumps instantly from the ground, and can perform a double jump with increased height. Jumps from the air, including double jumps, also spin the player in the direction marked by the directional button they're pressing, performing a lateral spin if no direction is selected (so it would combine the current aim button spin and .jump button spin).
    • Crouch button: performs a hard brake when on the ground. When in the air, latches onto a nearby surface to grind, and maintains a grind when held.
    • Ability buttons: Uses abilities/Transference as normal, the latter of which could perhaps even just automatically replace the player's warframe with their Operator on the K-Drive. This I imagine would be a lot more technical than the rest, so it may not be quite as feasible.

The general idea here being that K-Drives would be a high-speed augmentation to the player's movement, without impeding their weapon or ability usage, rather than the current version, which limits options without offering enough speed to warrant usage over an existing vehicle. Tricks would still be performed by chaining together the above moves, and should function pretty much in the same way as they do now, though current dedicated trick buttons would also have other uses.

Edited by Teridax68
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