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Minimal quick-fix to make controller k-drive much better


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K-drive has been on my mind a lot, because I want it to be great and really add to the game, and I realized a much easier path to the most important things needed for controller.  After some testing k-driving with my controller while holding W down with a pinky (ouch -- I suffer for the sake of improving your game), I can confirm this is a low dev effort, very big payoff upgrade that will work:

  • Add a separate "move forward" mapping that we can use in addition to the analog stick.  Forward should ideally keep its analog properties, because we'll map it to the right trigger, but we can make do if analog forward is a "later" thing.
  • Add separate control config tabs for k-drive and for archwing.  Archwing has long been overdue, but this is even more necessary with the k-drive.  While you are at it, let us configure the N/As on the ability menu if we want.  Being able to map d-pad to gear hotkeys there would be a huge QoL upgrade.
  • Grabs should hold while the grab button is held, locking their grab-direction until release.

Now, we can simply swap camera to left stick and movement to right stick, with the right trigger for "move forward", and boom, we've got steering and driving and the camera following the rider! This isn't as good as proper driving controller/camera support, but it gets the job done with almost no effort and works a LOT better from my brief testing.  Would be good to have different look-speed (and dead zone) settings for the different modes, but it'll do without.  Probably more important to add toggles for some things (like toggle sprint) to the individual config tabs, because these really need to work differently for different modes.  You can look over what controller setups PC players use for the rest and make the best like ideas the defaults for console player to enjoy.

I also strongly suggest these general k-drive changes to significantly improve the whole experience and integration:

  • Add a separate jump input which does a typical warframe jump from the k-drive.  As soon as this jump starts, we should be in full warframe control mode (so we can use powers or melee slam).  The k-drive should keep its momentum and if we land (approximately) back on it we should stick and switch back into k-drive mode without needing to hit anything to re-mount.  Default mapping for "frame jump" can use weapon-switch since that doesn't do anything on k-drive.
  • Quick-melee should do the board-pushing dismount AND it should quick melee strike with the dismount momentum.  This just makes sense, and it plus the frame-jump will let us turn three useless dismount buttons into two great functions and a spare button for remapping (on controller, X is definitely going to end up as either flip or grind--probably grind).
  • K-drive launch in air (or while moving at all, really) should be faster and keep momentum.  I suggest shooting the board out in front, grabbing it and spiral-rolling into position, slowing the board's apparent momentum to the frame's initial momentum.  The current slam-stop then flip onto board then fall dorkily does not look cool, to say the least.  We should WANT to air-launch.  You know it in your deep down Warframey hearts.
  • Grind spins on the ground but grinds in the air.  It should always do the spin, but lock on for grinding at the same time and be holdable same as grind.  Saves having separate inputs for two things that are already related (spin-grind and jump-spin), and gives more intuitive control.
  • Jumping in air should flip instead of spin because that makes way more intuitive sense.  Ideally, you'd want to separate the input config meaning of "jump-in-air" from "jump", so we can set what it does, since some controller players may prefer another config for easier direction-plus-flip inputs, but we'll manage.  Sensible controls are important to things feeling good.
  • K-drive should not cancel warframe powers/buffs.  Integration!  It's not just important because it's the only way that makes any sense at all: lots of frames need their effects to stick around, and resetting them makes k-drive unavailable for a lot of situations that other frames would get to enjoy.  Really, we should be able to use abilities (and fish) from the k-drive, but at least don't screw up our frame state just because we're standing on something that moves.

Think about it.  This is not a lot of change, but it is a big, big upgrade on play.  Please, controls are not one-size-fits-all.  Driving is conceptually different and needs a different control focus that we just cannot achieve with the current overlapping config (which is also painful in archwing).  You can't be just holding up mindlessly on the main stick while the all-important steering gets shunted to the secondary stick that you share with other key inputs (like holding down the jump key--keyboard players are allowed to turn while jump-charging, but controller players have to do it without the camera).  This will work right now.  You can (and really should) do better later, but this makes a lot of positive difference. that we can use (and test).

Also, get those grind/jump/spin/flip changes in early because people are never thrilled about re-learning, and the longer it goes, the worse the fix feels even though it actually makes more sense and is better for newcomers.

Edited by TyrianMollusk
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