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Why the the frames from POE and beyond are underwhelming


Gandergear
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Almost all the prior frames are based on a clear archetype that allowed for a decisive kit that made the frame unique, you'll notice that some of the most recognizable and important frames to the game are based on D&D classes, which allowed the frames to fill various niches and explore new ones. There are also a good amount that rely solely on a gimmick. While some people might be against gimmicks for whatever reason, gimmicks allow for individuality once a game reaches the 37 characters that warframe allows you to play

Strongly Established Archetypes

Spoiler

Ash - Ninja 

Atlas - Boxer 

Banshee - Sound 

Chroma - Dragon (D&D Style)

Ember - Fire Mage

Equinox - Day/Night Duality - Eastern yin-yang spiritualism

Excalibur - Fighter

Frost - Ice Mage

Harrow - Dark Cleric

Hydroid - Pirate Mage after ye booty

Inaros - The Mummy with Brendan Fraser

Ivara - Robin Hood Thief

Limbo - Neckbeard  Magician

Loki - Illusionist

Mag - Magnet lady

Mesa - Dschingis Khan's Pistolero

Mirage - Mirrors/Prisms/Light

Nekros - Crimes against humanity, I mean necromancer

Nezha - Trickster

Nidus - Papa Nurgle

Nova - Antimatter

Nyx - Mind Games

Oberon - Paladin

Octavia - Band

Rhino - Buff but a double entendre

Saryn - Venom/Poison

Titania - Archwing but viable  Fairy/Fae

Trinity - [REDACTED] Cleric

Valkyr - Barbarian

Vauban - Trap Maker

Volt - Storm Mage

Wukong - OK I lied about Nezha we both know these two are basically ripped from Chinese legend

Zephyr - Air Mage

Poorly Established Archetypes

Spoiler

Gara - Glass would imply transparency, but the archetype has an offensive 1, a defensive 2/4, and a 3 that sort of reflects attacks, her kit would have been better suited as a pseudo stealth frame that utilized misdirection (A directional invisibility perhaps, enemies in a cone in front of you can't see you as an ability)

Garuda - Blood Mage or Blood Reaver, either way her kit is underutilized for the brutality that her posistion would entail, none of her abilities reflect that you're more of less causing a blood bath, nor does her kit benefit from you causing one

Khora - BDSM crazy cat lady?

Revenant - Eidolon? I mean sentients aren't even a very consistent archetype to begin with

I'm not saying that these frames are useless, i'm just saying that if you had to choose a frame for a job, the frames that don't specialize in anything aren't going to be picked as often, it'd be nice if new frames tried to explore untouched niches, rather than trying to overlap with several old ones

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Agreed. Rev especially to me is a big "why" as to me it makes no sense overall.

Baruuk looks like a good return to form though.

A monk mostly based on pacifism and discipline with 3 skills that follow that direction and a ult where all the energy is released with martial arts with different paths that have different effects.

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Just now, Airwolfen said:

Agreed. Rev especially to me is a big "why" as to me it makes no sense overall.

Baruuk looks like a good return to form though.

A monk mostly based on pacifism and discipline with 3 skills that follow that direction and a ult where all the energy is released with martial arts with different paths that have different effects.

Because Rebecca loves vampires and instead of putting that love into a proper vampire frame she decided it needed to be shoehorned into an Eidolon frame

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23 minutes ago, (XB1)GearsMatrix301 said:

You know glass can actually be very hard. Just look at Rupert’s drop. Tho replacing her 3 with invis would be cool.

 Prince Rupert's drop is quite strong, however you should also know that the reason why it's so strong is because it's so small (And the resulting crystal structure) it has almost no defects, the larger a single object is, the chance of it having a defect is exponentially increased, Just look at your windshield after a semi kicked up a small rock and now you've got a big ol' crack in it. Ergo it doesn't make sense to have a giant glass wall. The other problem with Gara that's more glaring is that she apparently defeated the eidolons. With her kit. That's useless against eidolons.

2 minutes ago, Rawbeard said:

let me stop you right there, Reb is not a Dev.

Well Nova was made by the community so it's not like DE's entirely shut off from suggestions

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17 minutes ago, Gandergear said:

 Prince Rupert's drop is quite strong, however you should also know that the reason why it's so strong is because it's so small (And the resulting crystal structure) it has almost no defects, the larger a single object is, the chance of it having a defect is exponentially increased, Just look at your windshield after a semi kicked up a small rock and now you've got a big ol' crack in it. Ergo it doesn't make sense to have a giant glass wall. The other problem with Gara that's more glaring is that she apparently defeated the eidolons. With her kit. That's useless against eidolons.

Ok fine. I should’ve said this earlier. Bullet proof and bullet resistant glass exists in real life.

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I don't see a problem here. I balked at the prospect of a glass Warframe and was certain that nobody would use her, and yet she's become a widely-used 'frame that has distinct specialties in a squad. Strangely enough, though, her abilities don't synchronize very well... The Garas I've seen typically only use their fourth and first abilities.

My former clan leader had a similar issue where he collected every Warframe but didn't take the time to learn where different ones would be appropriate. So no Volts/Excaliburs for Captures, no Nekros/Pilfering Hydroid for loot hunting, and not a single Warframe choice to best disrupt the abilities of a boss. He could only guess based on their THEME what Warframe to use, and not their actual utility.

As an example, Hydroid may be simultaneously water- and pirate-themed, but his actual abilities translate into knocking around enemies and holding objectives as crowd control. So if we examine Khora, her theme is whips and cats(?) and yet her actual kit involves trapping and holding enemies in her snare traps. Thinking of D&D archetypes is a good place to start, but Warframe doesn't play like D&D or even something like WoW. The abilities of new Warframes are going to be based on this game, where there are only a certain handful of mission types and endless mobs of enemies attacking you at once. Different mod layouts can also make two of the same Warframe suited for completely different things. There are Warframes that I have that are really only useful to me in certain situations (like to complete certain Riven challenges) and still others that I've worked out how to use as general-purpose, everyday 'frames. I understand your point about finding new niches to fill, but I think the game itself needs to broaden a bit to create new niches to fill!

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So you want DE to go the easy way and not try to innovate with themes? Gara did a pretty awesome job at representing her theme and does it justice

 

   Let’s get this straight, no new frame will ever change the current meta, DE is trying to avoid this like the plague. How they do that? By creating specific-themed frame with a different play style than the current ones, these frames do work and offer something different. Perspective and comparisons kill that however. These are perfectly functional frame who does their jobs well enough, just not as good as the meta thus they’re bad it seems 

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3 minutes ago, (XB1)GearsMatrix301 said:

You know if you’re gonna complain about certain materials being unrealistically strong in this game then idk why you aren’t also targeting Frosts snow globe.

Not my point regardless, the point was that that the concept of the frame doesn't mesh well with the kit, not to say the kit's bad, but when I think of Gara it's hard to find what the point of her is, and part of this stems from Gara's archetype is already encroached on by Mirage thematically and Frost, vauban, atlas, etc mechanically, she feels like she mixes playstyles where it'd be preferable to facilitate new playstyles

11 minutes ago, GinKenshin said:

So you want DE to go the easy way and not try to innovate with themes? Gara did a pretty awesome job at representing her theme and does it justice

 

   Let’s get this straight, no new frame will ever change the current meta, DE is trying to avoid this like the plague. How they do that? By creating specific-themed frame with a different play style than the current ones, these frames do work and offer something different. Perspective and comparisons kill that however. These are perfectly functional frame who does their jobs well enough, just not as good as the meta thus they’re bad it seems 

I never said they couldn't innovate with themes, however having a continuous string of subjectively lame warframes isn't innovative, there's nothing innovative about supporting a stagnant meta either, Harrow changed the meta for healing classes in JV (Hallowed be thy name), however there's no objective problem to this. It's not even that they're perfectly functional or do their job well enough, it's that it's not innovating how the game is played in any way.

Nidus, Octavia, and Harrow are all highly-gimmicky warframes, they offered heavy ability usage/upkeep as their main selling point, and it worked great, they all had a unique counter-mechanic that ended up being applied to Atlas, innovating how that frame played as well

I mean, thematically try and tell me the difference between Baruuk and Wukong on a conceptual level, both are monks that will use one of their powers to avoid damage entirely, one thats tied directly to the damage you take, and the last one you go bonkers and start being people up with your exalted weapon, and both are based on the Monk archetype, or rather are based on the progenitors to what the monk archetype is based on, one being literally Sun-Wukong and the other taking inspiration from Indian Sikh tradition.

Too long started rambling: The themes are getting less defined as they begin to overlap, or the theme they choose in general isn't very strong in general.

 

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34 minutes ago, Gandergear said:

Not my point regardless, the point was that that the concept of the frame doesn't mesh well with the kit, not to say the kit's bad, but when I think of Gara it's hard to find what the point of her is, and part of this stems from Gara's archetype is already encroached on by Mirage thematically and Frost, vauban, atlas, etc mechanically, she feels like she mixes playstyles where it'd be preferable to facilitate new playstyles

I never said they couldn't innovate with themes, however having a continuous string of subjectively lame warframes isn't innovative, there's nothing innovative about supporting a stagnant meta either, Harrow changed the meta for healing classes in JV (Hallowed be thy name), however there's no objective problem to this. It's not even that they're perfectly functional or do their job well enough, it's that it's not innovating how the game is played in any way.

Nidus, Octavia, and Harrow are all highly-gimmicky warframes, they offered heavy ability usage/upkeep as their main selling point, and it worked great, they all had a unique counter-mechanic that ended up being applied to Atlas, innovating how that frame played as well

I mean, thematically try and tell me the difference between Baruuk and Wukong on a conceptual level, both are monks that will use one of their powers to avoid damage entirely, one thats tied directly to the damage you take, and the last one you go bonkers and start being people up with your exalted weapon, and both are based on the Monk archetype, or rather are based on the progenitors to what the monk archetype is based on, one being literally Sun-Wukong and the other taking inspiration from Indian Sikh tradition.

Too long started rambling: The themes are getting less defined as they begin to overlap, or the theme they choose in general isn't very strong in general.

 

Sorry to break this to you but that's just how things will be from now on. The time for general and broad themes is long gone, there's 30+ frames atm, there's going to be some frame that'll derive from specific themes at some point, the challenge is how innovative you can get with this theme. So far they're doing a decent job making this happen 

There will also going to be similarities, both in themes and abilities, that's also how things will go and there's nothing to do about it, it's a given since more and more frames will be added. The difference would be how you personally like and connect with the frame, and whether it's ability kit suits your playstyle. There's also things like appearance, looks, backstory and lore (though DE is laying off on the latter it seems) which influence this 

Similarities and inter-connected specific themes will happen to matter what, that's the way it is 

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Gara isn't "underwhelming" though. At least not in the Meta of the game. She's quite powerful. I would agree with you when you say Revenant's kit and character don't/didn't mesh giving him an ambiguous role at a glance but in practice, he is clearly a damage dealer with minor tanking ability and CC ability. But this is the part of your point I don't get. If you play a Warframe long enough, there role become clear. We can argue all day about whether or not their look should instantly reflect their role or not, but game play wise most Warframes have clear roles gameplay.

Khora is clearly CC. Her 2 and 4 are great CC while Venari can tie down a single target. She has one damage ability, albeit a good one. Gara is clearly defensive. She can tank. She can protect an objective. She can distract enemies with her least useful ability. She can double as a walking death ball, yeah, but her 4 a great defensive skill about tied with Snow Globe and only really beat out by Cataclysm.

There is only so many archetypes before some start clashing. You can have a pure DPS (Saryn, Mirage) Or you have a DPS/Tank (Mesa, Chroma) Or a DPS/CC (Excalibur, Volt) or Tank/CC/DPS (Nidus) or Healer/Tank (Oberon, Trinity) Or a Tank/Buffer-Debuffer/CC (Nezha, Rhino), ad infinum. As for actual themes Khora and Gara have pretty clear themes; or at least I think their obvious. Khora has a whip and controls a Kavat. Using her whip she controls the naughty little boys that dare to speak with out saying "Master"" first. Gara uses molten glass to "glass" enemies and hard glass shards to cut your eye out and tank damage. Honestly Gara is very creative because I am sure most would have used glass to bend light, instead DE focused on other the other properties of glass. Garuda's theme is blood, or elegant blood as the said one dev stream, and her kit reflects. There is a skill that uses blood for damage, one that uses enemy blood to heal, one where her blood gives energy, and one that makes enemies severely bleed. Khora is a dominatrix with a Kavat, her kit reflects. Gara uses glass for defense and some damage. Her kit reflects. (Ha ha) Garuda uses blood so...

Revenant is a different case. We all know the story on how the person working on that Warframe wanted a Vampire themed one that was also Sentinent and it just wasn't meshing well. As such, Revenant had a clashing design with his kit from the start.

Garuda's theme is blood. She uses blood to attack and she makes enemies bleed. She seems are more consistent than Revenant, to me at least.

Sun-Wukong was a mischievous monkey turned, not a monk. He traveled with a monk, in legend, to retrieve a stone. Part of his legend is about unleashing holy horses and wreaking havoc in heaven...not really things associated with being a monk.

I mean, DE still has areas to explore they haven't touched yet: Mech summoner, Arch Mage, Dark Knight, Gravity Mage maybe? Plant Warframe? Lycanthrope Warframe. Ghost/Sprit Frame. ACTUALLY Vampire frame? Regardless of the "theme" their "archetype" of DPS or burst damage or Healer or Tank or Summoner or Debuffer or Buffer is going to clash because we have plenty of each of those. Except Summoner. We really only have Nekros and maybe Nyx and Revenant but that's more mind control then summing. I guess Khora and Titania depending how you look at it. Speaking of which, I hope the Wukong rework removes Cloud Walker and replaces it with a skill where he summons his clones.

But yeah, thematically the cast of Warframes are very diverse. Would really only say Nezha's fire theme is copying Ember's but their actual combat roles are different enough. It's really only the roles that have been heavily overlapping. Not themes.

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I think you're giving previous frames far too much credit.

Oberon has lead a very confused life, so has Ash and Octavia is possibly the worse representation of a Bard I've seen.

The conceptual nature of a frame esp trying to cross reference to D&D can be very broad. Take Nekros for example. A D&D Necromancer doesn't always have hordes of undead. Nor are they always inherently Evil. Taboo perhaps but Necromancy itself isn't evil magic. The spell Gentle Repose or Spare the Dying are good examples of this. The commonality of an undead army Necromancer most likely stemmed from games like Diablo 2 rather than D&D.

Warframe is hardly a game that promotes the holy trinity but it is indeed a game that rewards specialization over generalization though that's not really conceptual design. That's just straight up best tool for the job and can often be based on a single ability the frame has. I do agree DE has been making more generalized frames but that's been going on far longer than your list would suggest with mixed results.

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The problem with Khoras concept is that they changed it just before release. It actually turned out pretty good, but I guess many people were confused about the change, as it also didn't make much sense to change her Abilities in the first place and lead to a more or less useless 3rd Ability.

The rest of the Frames have mostly good themes, but I wish they would think a little longer over the names, so that they will actually fit the theme of the frame, unlike Garuda for example.

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4 hours ago, GinKenshin said:

So you want DE to go the easy way and not try to innovate with themes? Gara did a pretty awesome job at representing her theme and does it justice

 

   Let’s get this straight, no new frame will ever change the current meta, DE is trying to avoid this like the plague. How they do that? By creating specific-themed frame with a different play style than the current ones, these frames do work and offer something different. Perspective and comparisons kill that however. These are perfectly functional frame who does their jobs well enough, just not as good as the meta thus they’re bad it seems 

The problem is not the meta, nor the innovation but the lack of clear direction and imagination.

Gara while doesnt really look like the "glass" frame, her theme is more or less on spot thought.

Khora is a mess, started as a spider frame idea, reworked into an exalted whip user based on damage switch to finally getting us the crazy cat lady.

Revenant looks like some failed hybrid experiment, the vampire-eidolon frame who started with 3 lackluster skills and now has 3 lackluster skill plus one what eats up energy faster than chrome eats ramp. A thematical disaster.

Garuda the gore frame started with a clear idea and ended up massacred. The whole blood theme feels weak to the point that hacking up enemies with a basic staff feels more bloody than what her abilities do. Honestly i would rather call her Vlad and say shes a vampire frame it would be much more fitting.

Edited by Fallen_Echo
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1 hour ago, Xzorn said:

Oberon has lead a very confused life, so has Ash and Octavia is possibly the worse representation of a Bard I've seen.

Oberon was always confused because some people wanted a paladin while others wanted a druid out of him when he was simply a nature king.

Ash is a ninja, i dont think i ever seen anybody who was confused about this.

Octavia was never a bard, shes a sound frame just like banshee.

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My two cents on the subject:

- Gara: nice synergy with her abilities. Thematically good, but not reach the levels of excellence of other frames which had strong gameplay design and great characterization.

- Khora: a complete disaster, to me; she needs some kind of rework that would make her fun and useful to play. 

- Revenant: well, at first I was disappointed, but he grew on me over time, expecially when you realize that his most interesting ability is his first (and not his fourth), when you spam it at your "tactical" advantage. His third is totally crap though.

- Garuda: haven't used her that much tbh, but to me she seems a better designed frame than the previous two for sure. Interesting mechanics and visually she's kinda original.

 

That said, as someone said, even in the past we had frames with a confused life (Oberon, Ash, ...) so I am confident that DE will adjust the weakpoints of these frames in the future. Also I'd like to remember that even some widely used and loved  frames from the past lack some sinergy or simply have unuseful abilities in their set.

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10 minutes ago, Fallen_Echo said:

Oberon was always confused because some people wanted a paladin while others wanted a druid out of him when he was simply a nature king.

Ash is a ninja, i dont think i ever seen anybody who was confused about this.

Octavia was never a bard, shes a sound frame just like banshee.

 

Oberon was defined as a Paladin by DE.

Octavia is called Bard frame by DE.

I don't really consider what the community thinks of a frame thematically because they're not the ones who made the frame.

Referring to Octavia as Bard frame aka Maestro

Referring to Oberon as The Paladin

Ash is a long history. Ninja, sure but there was a long period when Loki could kill better, deceive better, stealth better and misdirect better. While his thematic concept was defined; his actual performance was not. Which leads back to OP giving too much credit to an established archetype. It took 4 years, multiple reworks and a few nerfs to get Ash his own place in the game.

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4 hours ago, Fallen_Echo said:

Revenant looks like some failed hybrid experiment, the vampire-eidolon frame who started with 3 lackluster skills and now has 3 lackluster skill plus one what eats up energy faster than chrome eats ramp. A thematical disaster.

I have to disagree here. Sentients are known for their abilities to corrupt and take control of technology so it's not so far off either. It's, however, weird how he is refered mostly as an spirit but it doesn't quite have the feel of one in some cases, specially with its ultimate.

As for the skills they are not lacking by any means. As per usual you have two valid strategies, one of pure crowd control, by making everyone your servant so you can literally sit still completing missions much easier, and one of damage, on which the ultimate and the dash make a pretty good job. It is not hard to mod them to nost cost that much. 

There are old Warframes struggling as well. Mirage was always in a weird spot for me, since it's meant to be this sort of glass canon half trickster, half weapon buffer, when there are plentiful of other Warframes that can buff weapon damage much more reliably (even Saryn can do it right now). On other hand there is Nyx whose ability to make everyone fight each other used to be pretty useful, but nowadays is outdated as there are plentiful of other manners to do the same but better. One example is Oberon, since all it takes is a cast of the ultimate with a good enough range to add a radiation proc on everyone and it adds a strong crowd control on top of it without the danger of dieing. 

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9 hours ago, (PS4)nating51 said:

Revenant: well, at first I was disappointed, but he grew on me over time, expecially when you realize that his most interesting ability is his first (and not his fourth), when you spam it at your "tactical" advantage. His third is totally crap though.

Eh, it’s good mobility, like slash dash.

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Too be honest I just feel that some on the art team are struggling with the new frames and anatomy...something about the proportions are off,...compared to the earlier frames they come off too thin and overly busy losing the cleaner aesthetics from year 1 and year 2...They are doing fine on the Prime Versions...but from Gara up they really need to go back and fix them as well as the ember deluxe skin....

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