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[DE]Danielle

Melee Revisit: Phase 1 Feedback Megathread

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5 hours ago, vaarnaaarne said:

Ooooo we starting with some unbearable puns now?

Actually DE Bear started it himself. But you have to read carefully or you'll miss it lol.

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On 2019-03-07 at 9:03 PM, [DE]Danielle said:

This thread will be used to house your feedback on Phase 1 of the Melee Revisit! No one knows the power of their Arsenal better than the Tenno - your adaptability and skill with the blade will be tested, and as we continue these changes, we rely on your feedback! 

Here’s what has changed:

Let The Gun & Blade Flow
Swap between your gun and melee at the press of a button, no holstering required! Combos can be executed and resumed between movement and more. Blocking is now automatic in melee mode when aiming at an attacking enemy. Your stance combos may have changed, check out the Stance interface!

 

I almost can't believe this nightmare has come to pass. I hope it never returns. Thanks again DE BEAR. Eagerly await to return to WF.

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6 hours ago, YourFriendlyNoggin said:

Strike that, it's almost cookie time, next week is the patch! 

How did you know? I wish it was this week lol. I am happy all the same, next week is way better than what was endured for the past eyons of months.

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I'm glad Sword Alone and manual blocking are returning with The Old Blood, but I am not turning back now. Those weren't my only two issues with Phase 1, and I'm not confident about Phase 2. I'm still gonna post what I've got, and with all fair warning to you guys, it's about 11,700 words plus screenshots. I had to be thorough; and a lot of things are still broken or visually annoying.

I appreciate that those two major concerns were at least adressed, but they weren't the only ones. Keep up the hard work, Digital Extremes; and for the record, the next time something proves massively controversial and less fun to use, respond faster than after more than eight months.

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11 minutes ago, Maxim_M_Payne said:

I'm glad Sword Alone and manual blocking are returning with The Old Blood, but I am not turning back now. Those weren't my only two issues with Phase 1, and I'm not confident about Phase 2. I'm still gonna post what I've got, and with all fair warning to you guys, it's about 11,700 words plus screenshots. I had to be thorough; and a lot of things are still broken or visually annoying.

I appreciate that those two major concerns were at least adressed, but they weren't the only ones. Keep up the hard work, Digital Extremes; and for the record, the next time something proves massively controversial and less fun to use, respond faster than after more than eight months.

Been looking out for you M. Wondering when you were gonna poke up your head.

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Why I Haven’t Enjoyed Melee Combat or Warframe Ever Since Buried Debts

Quick Disclaimer: I love the setting and music of this game, and I refuse to give up hope you guys are still ultimately great developers. The teasers for The Duviri Paradox, Empyrean, and The New War look a teensy bit intriguing. All this said, it is extremely hard to be excited for the game’s wealth of future content when you haven’t even fixed the problems with the graphical and melee combat changes introduced in February during Buried Debts; despite months of player feedback asking for the restoration of melee toggle and block control. The Melee 2.9 feedback mega-thread has stretched beyond 50 pages; and yet no sign whatsoever has been given that any of our feedback is being addressed.

It’s even harder to have hype for any new melee weapons that get added; even now, with the formidable-looking Ninkondi Prime being added in alongside Wukong Prime. I can’t enjoy using the weapon, or looking at its otherwise stellar design, as long as the 2.9 elemental effects remain painfully bright and quick-flashing to look at; and as long as we are stuck with melee controls that, while faster to activate, nevertheless are a flailing, awkward, un-steerable downgrade from the prior system.

I am running out of ways to re-hash describing the same set of issues repeatedly. This isn’t fun to use, and melee combat was changed by 2.9 in a way that added more fundamental problems than it did benefits.

I fully believe that Digital Extremes is a fine developer, and that the whole crew in your several hundred individuals works tirelessly, but please address a long-standing set of frustrations. It’s been six months now; and now that my own birthday has come and passed, I wish all the more that melee was actually fun again. I know from previous pages of the feedback mega-thread I am not the only player sharing this sentiment. It’s been over half a year. Please. Just. Listen.

To wit, though, operating under the principle, “the unvoiced complaint is never heard”; I’m once again doing my best to politely list the problems inherent in the alleged upgrade to melee.

 

Mechanical and Gameplay Issues with Melee 2.9

The Problems with Automatic Blocking:

  • Automatic block keeps you from using gunblades’ ranged attacks if more than five opponents shoot at you; and also halts you if you are shot mid-charge. The AI traps the player in a loop of attempting to “save” them from the onslaught of bullets, ironically preventing them from firing the gun component of weapons like Redeemer or Sarpa. Rather than increasing their longevity, the removal of player-controlled block is intrusive and inconvenient; and it can guarantee their death in situations like this. This issue was allegedly patched with the August 29, 2019 hotfix; but that hotfix was also supposed to fix our metallics becoming matte plastic; and since it failed to make even a slight change to that, I remain doubtful that it correctly resolved this issue, either. Pictured: My Valkyr halfway through getting annihilated trying to fight Terra Corpus units with Redeemer Prime at the Enrichment Labs in the Orb Vallis.

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  • Automatic block also keeps you from firing your actual guns and bows if too many projectiles are hitting you simultaneously. As a result, swarms of enemies like Moas keep you from shooting back by the sheer number of their continuously-firing plasma bolts; and the player is going to be melted the same way as if they were trying to use their gunblades to fight. Pictured: The aforementioned problem in a different and equally obnoxious form; still at the Enrichment Labs. I sure “love” getting killed by glorified chicken robots just because the brainless AI block thinks it’s helping me. They kept shooting me, and there was no way to escape from the soft-lock of my Wolf Sledge’s feebly-twirling animations before their onslaught.

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  • Automatic block was just plain unwanted. In general, it is an INDESCRIBABLY frustrating example of trying to make the game play itself; and it ultimately amounts to nothing more than taking control out of the players’ hands. If a player does not get to control as basic and frequent of an action as simply guarding themselves, are they really in control of anything? Self-performing simulations that don’t qualify as real games make up the overwhelming majority of so-called “mobile games”; and I find this apparent attempt to introduce the same type of programming into Warframe alarming. The player should always be in control. If our Warframes and weapons begin performing actions without our personal input, it comes across as an attempt to turn the game into the same sort of passively-watched money-vacuuming self-run simulation as those that already infest cell phones by the hundreds.
  • The removal of player-controlled block destroyed the ability to easily and consistently perform RMB-involving combos for Stances; and it outright removed the capability to aim-glide with melee. This not only lessened the flow of parkour and removed a handy, awesome-feeling way to halt a Stance combo or reverse direction mid-air; it simultaneously made the Exodia Contagion Zaw Arcane completely impossible to trigger. In the same vein, the block-related passives of the different X-and-Shield melee weapons no longer correctly function; and Guardian Derision/Electromagnetic Shielding are mods that fail to ever activate at all for some players (among those players, me). There is simply no conceivable reason control over block was removed, and it ought to be re-implemented; and quite specifically it should be added back in as it was, using hold-and-release to perform melee RMB combos and blocking.
  • As an addition to the above, please do not, under any circumstances, keep blocking under the control of the clumsy toggle that was implemented supposedly to “fix” the above issues. RMB still doesn’t work 95% of the time. Don’t try to polish a diamond; and please, simply give back the objectively smoother old way of blocking and melee aim-gliding. This whole affair is a mess, and the AI couldn’t be a soccer goalie if you turned it into a brick wall and placed it in front of the net. It isn’t capable of guarding anyone; save for how it excels at guarding against my possession of a low blood pressure and calm disposition.
  • In direct counterpoint to the asinine way it interrupts nearly ALL actions the players are doing, in order to force us into guard so it can “save” us from scratch damage; auto-block simultaneously fails to block any attacks that pose a genuine annoyance and/or serious threat to the player. Pictured: My Valkyr eating dirt at the all-too-familiar tendrils of a Parasitic Eximus Infested Ancient. I used to be able to block that drag attack, and it was back when I controlled my own block.

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The Problems with Having No Separate-from-Guns Melee Mode to Toggle Into Anymore:

  • It doesn’t feel like I am actually wielding or holding anything anymore. A vital component of player immersion in any game is presenting the illusion of solidity for objects in-game. Back when players still actually drew our swords/axes/machetes/maces/nunchaku/etc. from their holsters, this illusion of physicality was still satisfied, and the leaden THUD of hammers or the metallic SHINK of Heavy Blades made sure that our brains actually believed that our Warframes were holding a weapon. Now that melee weapons magically twinkle into our hands with a minimum of sound, and an irritating flash of energy; they accordingly feel as insubstantial and un-real as fairy dust. I might as well be trying to cut Grineer apart with a rainbow, or a small child’s sneeze. Pictured: The aforementioned twinkle of energy, which I am getting very sick of seeing and suffering eye fatigue because of. I miss just plain drawing my weapons.

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  • Melee weapons can no longer be kept drawn without interruption, as they used to be able, in any easy fashion. It is an inevitable waiting game for players, betting to see which of several factors will interrupt our blades first. Will we be hit by an attack that the auto-block deflects, but then also inexplicably puts us back into gun aim once it has blocked that singular attack? Will we attempt to aim-glide with our Galatine or Fragor, only to remember, far too late, that melee glide no longer exists; and thus as we hit right-click we simply whip our Primary weapon back out? Will a Bursa’s knockdown or Stalker’s stagger inexplicably put us back in ranged mode? I’ve had all of these circumstances happen. And since the only way to re-enter melee combat, under the current system, after such interruptions is for me to tap the E key again; I ironically spend far more time mashing E than I ever did prior to Buried Debts, just so I can stay in melee. As 90% of my combat prior to that dreaded Tactical Alert’s “improvements” was gleeful hack-and-slash; I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still infuriated with the inconvenience and clumsiness of this all, more than eight months later.
  •  It just plain isn’t fun; and it’s even less fun to effectively lose all illusion that I’m actually holding something. Going back to my first point in this sub-section; the simple fact of the matter is that any weapon that feels non-solid is a weapon that feels pointless to wield. Melee now feels like an intangible, indirect, pixie-dust side-dish; in contrast to its former status as my gameplay’s “main course”. Without anything to trick my brain into believing I chopped a dude in half, I have no immersion or feeling of power. Without the simple and basic pleasure of getting to tangibly hold and holster my own melee weapons, and to keep wielding them as long as I choose to do so; I don’t feel like my weapons are even there anymore. Melee combat used to be the most fun part of the game to me; it was the very mechanic that sold me on keeping my Warframe account in the first place. Without genuinely fun melee combat to make me feel like the advertised “space ninja”, I just don’t have any motivation to play; or a full sense of excitement for future updates. Anticipating the future is difficult when you can no longer have fun in the present.
  • For one reason or another, something in the coding of the allegedly “better” melee combat also seems to have scrambled accurate steering of melee, and turned Stance combo distances utterly haywire. Swirling Tiger and Crushing Ruin, for example, now fling the wielder wildly about the map; all the while missing with nearly all of their previously-precise flurries of attacks. Conversely, fairly short-range stances like Carving Mantis are now almost glacial in their momentum; and all Stances now have mouse sensitivity so absurdly high that the slightest minuscule twitch of a pinky can twist you abruptly to the right and fling you off-target. It’s getting pretty annoying to miss the majority of my attacks on things unless I just resort to plain old shooting.
  • All of the above problems actually made spin-attack spam far more present, far more frequent, and far, far worse. By making melee combat so indirect, these changes made our community’s infamous Atterax/Maiming Strike human windmills feel validated about their endless twirling. I have seen far more obnoxiously constant “Spin2Win” this year than I ever did prior to Buried Debts; and thanks to the painful brightness of weapon trails/melee elemental effects since that update, every public mission rapidly becomes another affront to the visual cortex. My eyes are melting nearly as fast as my ability to have fun playing the game. More on that aforementioned visual-fatigue-inducing VFX trouble later; right now it feels like enough of a gut-punch as a (former) melee-weapon main to have them twirling like solar-infused tops all around me.
  • The removals of genuine weapon holstering and directly-used melee combat are the latest expressions of a deep-rooted and years-old problem with Warframe’s combat: the continual invalidation of player equipment and gameplay styles; in order to force us into how the developers view as the “correct” way of fighting enemies. This forceful shunting of players into “correct” gameplay, rather than allowing us to fight and explore how we choose to do so, has taken many forms over time:

Invulnerability to all attacks, except to attacks made by a single weapon that requires a significant amount of resources that are specific only to the same open-world area to craft (Eidolons; Amps).

Invulnerability to all attacks, except attacks from an upgrade to an existing Arch-gun. An upgrade that, yet again, is open-world-area-dependent; and acquiring it involves grinding the bounties in that location. If you want to melee-attack either of these “Grand Boss” foes, and thus feel like you’re in Shadow of the Colossus, you are out of luck; since apparently getting to cut, stab, and bludgeon the annoying things would be too cathartic. (I speak of Profit-Taker, whom I truly wish I could slice up with Venka Prime for describing me as “salty-squishy”; and like the Eidolons, the Orb mothers can’t be damaged by melee either.).

- Stupidly high Damage Resistance, coupled with using the same health type for both the health and armor of the enemy; even more aggravatingly compounded with the practice of giving that enemy one specific group of weak spots that SHARE THAT DAMAGE RESISTANCE. This leads to any and all methods of attack necessitating a group effort; and if you aggro the foe in question while trying to fish, mine, or do conservation; be prepared to waste nearly all your ammo on killing the horrible thing to get a moment’s peace (Our LOVELY friends, the Tusk Thumpers).

- The same double-health-type damage resistance shenanigans as described above, coupled with inexplicable random periods of full invulnerability to make the fight even more of a marathon; all without the battle actually being any more dangerous or challenging, merely tediously longer than other Bosses and Assassins (That vast walking concrete block, our very own Wolf of Saturn Six).

What I’m Getting At When I Say “The Invalidation of Equipment and Gameplay Styles”:

  • Basically, can we please, please, PLEASE stop being funneled down a set path in this fashion as Tenno? You are acting, as the developers, under the sadly erroneous assumption that all the melee-favoring players wanted our melee weapons to become nothing more than a set dressing; a decoration used to launch our foes up in the air to be shot at(?!) with our plain old guns; since clearly, we’re star-cowboys instead of the supposed space-ninjas that are the supposed appeal of the game. We did not ask for that. We NEVER, at any point, asked for that. Players should be allowed to fight foes in any fashion that they want, and find their different methods to be equally viable approaches to battle. These changes are the precise inverse of giving players more choice and combat diversity; and they frustrate and annoy us in the exact same way the fake durability of the aforementioned enemies does.
  • Every change made with Buried Debts seems, quite frankly, to have been designed to force us into what you are telling us is the “real fun” with melee combat. For the record, it is not more fun to use in any fashion, nor indeed much fun at all to use now; and I’m just as bored, frustrated, and angry as I was in February. This is the longest Digital Extremes has ever ignored a substantial group of issues; one that prevents a sizable number of us from having fun in Warframe.

The Problems with the Removal of Quick Attacks:

  • With all due respect, some Stances still remain objectively awkward; and are quite clumsy to try and fight anything with. Combine this with one of the very few melee weapon categories that have only clumsy Stances (such as Sparring) and it is nigh impossible to fight with any degree of accuracy. Unless, of course, one has “melee auto-targeting” enabled; and as I mentioned under the blocking section of this post, most of us don’t want our games to play themselves and remove all control and input from our hands. As a lovely result, any players attempting to use Obex, Korrudo, Kogake, or Hirudo now have a choice between two evils. Do they use Grim Fury to punch foes alongside the odd kick, sliding as though on ice skates, and only landing a hit at ludicrously short range? Or do they try their luck with Brutal Tide, knowing full well that its break-dancing spin-lunges will miss the target by a mile; and simultaneously propel them to the opposite side of the room at a hundred miles an hour? Oddly enough, Sparring weapons could actually hit enemies with some consistency when it was still possible to toggle in and out of melee mode, which allowed players to use the less wildly-flailing kick-boxing of the quick attacks.
  • Quick attacks made stealth easier. A single button tap would perform a basic, fast attack; and we’d slip into the vents behind a now-smashed grate with the Grineer and/or Corpus none the wiser. In the same vein, they allowed us to kill the humanoid enemies in a Spy vault without drawing the attention of the machinery (i.e., Regulators and Cameras) by overshooting our mark. Neither of these things is convenient or simple any more, since all melee weapons now default into the full combos of the equipped Stance. Unless we are literally so close to the back of an enemy that our Warframe’s model is practically touching it, players now find their intended stealth-kill becoming the first swing of an entire melee combo; rather than the desired finisher. Goodbye finisher damage, hello now-alerted Spy vault enemy, who will promptly trip the alarms unless they are killed quickly. This may not be so disastrous when doing a level 12-14 Spy mission on Mercury; but killing an alerted Bombard on Sedna during a level 60+ Nightmare Spy mission, using weapons you just put Forma on and are trying to level using the phenomenal XP bonus of a clean data extraction, within the space of the five seconds needed for him to trip the alarm, is going to be a taller order. And let me tell you, it gets very, very, VERY annoying; very fast.
  • Gear items now have to be manually re-equipped after EVERY. SINGLE. MELEE. ATTACK. Back when quick attacks still existed, players would take our swipe with our equipped melee weapons; and then we would still be able to defend ourselves without ever un-equipping our Mining Drills, Fishing Spears, Scanners, Kinetic Siphon Traps, Restores, etc. Now that quick attacks have been gutted, the game interprets each melee swing as changing “weapon” from the equipped gear item, and takes us out of it, forcing us to re-equip that gear following every fight with something that attacked us while Fishing, Mining, or Scanning. Random Mites slashing me in the Orb Vallis mid-spelunk, and random Grineer shooting me as I tried to catch Mawfish was annoying to deal with before; and the patching-in of the ability to make melee quick attacks with our gear items equipped somewhat rectified that. Now that quick attacks have been ripped out of the game altogether, for absolutely no sane or good reason, what was tedious before has now become absolutely insufferable. Filling out weekly Nightwave challenges for Fisher, Miner, and Conservation is now an abjectly miserable and clumsy experience; and the problem wasn’t half as bad when we could still make quick attacks. Why, why, WHY were they ever removed; and for that matter, who thought it was in any way a good idea to take them out? Pictured: (1) Aiming with my Scanner equipped, so as to locate the map’s Synthesis Target. (2) Attempting to go back into Scanner scope, except OH WAIT, MY BAD, I MADE A MELEE ATTACK, and thus aiming just brings me into scope for my Opticor. Now I have to re-equip the Scanner, cursing at the wind; repeat ad infinitum for EVERY. SINGLE. MISSION. To say this is enraging and tedious to do endlessly would be an understatement toward both boredom and anger.

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The Problems with the New and “Better” Slams (And Why Ragdoll is Unhelpful):

  • The addition of the capacity to actually aim our melee slam attacks does not, sadly, change the fact that under the current changes, slam attacks are next to useless for actually fighting, if not an outright hindrance to melee altogether. As to why they don’t help anymore:
  • Before 2.9, slam attacks caused knockdown and/or stagger on foes, which was genuinely helpful. The knockdown left grounded enemies open to finishers, and knocked airborne nuisances like Grineer Drones and Corpus Ospreys out of the air; allowing us to similarly take them out of the picture with our Finishers, or simply hack them to bits before they regained flight. It made sense, it was fun, and it felt like being a “space ninja”; a sensation that is, after all, still one of Warframe’s major marketing points. It felt a lot like being a Jedi, in the exact fashion I had always been wishing a Star Wars game would allow me to do. And then. this all went away with Buried Debts, and the sensation of being Obi-Wan’s homeboy died with it.
  • Since February’s changes, melee slam attacks now cause ragdoll on enemies while they are still alive, which has created the exact opposite of benefit to melee combat. Every single Stance that exists has at least one kind of slam in at least one of its combos, and as our foes get sent careening away from us in all directions with each ground impact, our hits aren’t connecting, and damage is going to waste; just as the feeling of fun I used to have in utilizing those Stances is wasting away under such a constant frustration. Pictured: The useless, useless, USELESS, un-needed, pre-mortem ragdoll that launched away the Grineer Lancer I WAS STILL TRYING TO KILL. He survived this, ran to a Rampart, and promptly shredded me. Thanks for that. Also shown is a follow-up pic, demonstrating the same problem with a barely-in-camera-frame Corrupted Crewman.

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  • The above issue also means that any Finishers that aren’t performed on a stunned or blinded opponent effectively can’t be used at all anymore. Because any foe hit with a slam gets sent so ludicrously far away from where our Melee weapon impacted, the player can’t use a ground finisher on that enemy before they manage to get back to their feet. Our opportunity to devastate them is gone, and under the current system, the opportunity to use that ground finisher technically never existed in the first place. Ragdoll is only fun when it applies to an in-game creature that is already dead, and NOT when it constantly flings away the living foes we are trying to damage. Most of the truly awesome and devastating Stance combos contain, or end in, a slam attack; and now some of the most enjoyable Stance combos consists 78% of me flailing at thin air, rather than foe’s bodies. Crushing Ruin’s Shattered Village, Swirling Tiger’s Winding Claws, Tempo Royale’s August Mesto, and all of the other greats of Melee Combos have gone from being one of the most formerly awesome parts of the game to being one of the most ineffectual. To say I’m bummed out doesn’t really cover it; I miss Winding Claws chopping apart who was standing in front of me, instead of tossing them across the room and wasting two-thirds of my hits. To reiterate: Ragdoll should never apply to any enemy that isn’t dead; only knockdown or stagger should result from slam-attacking them.

The Problems with Melee Exalted Weapons No Longer Overriding “Normal” Weapons:

  • As discussed previously about the removal of a dedicated melee mode, it just isn’t fun to use Exalteds when they always get interrupted; and the constant interruption also removes any feeling of solidity or power to them. Exalted Weapons are, by definition, insanely awesome and fun mega-weapons that are inherent to the select few Warframes blessed to have them; and causing them to pause without our input when we still have the energy to keep channeling those weapons defeats their entire purpose in the first place, and also takes away that fun. When I feel like Spider-Man and The Wolverine had a love child, I am frankly having a pretty awesome time; and conversely, I would deeply appreciate that I do not suddenly stop those fun times to fire a normal, boring gun in the midst of my Valkyr frenzy. I love my Aksomati, make no mistake. However, I love Hysteria far, far more; and I want to stay in Hysteria when I am in a rampaging mood; and even more so, I would like to perform the Madness combo without Mouse2 making me aim my dual pistols instead of beginning a wild tsunami of sharp-clawed pain. This lack of override would be just as annoying if it applied to the ranged Exalted Weapons. Imagine how you would feel if you activated Peacemaker, and your Mesa was armed with Akvasto instead of Regulators; or if you whipped out Artemis Bow as Ivara, only to find it replaced with Daikyu. It’s like giving Hildryn the Staticor in place of her Balefire Charger. They’re good weapons, yes; but they aren’t awesome in the fashion that the Exalted Weapon is; and in a choice between good and awesome, the emphasis should always be on using what is awesome first. The Valkyr/Excalibur/Wukong/Baruuk train is not meant to have brakes. Let me maul, slice, pummel, and punch with wild abandon again.
  • Alongside losing their fun as a result of being constantly interrupted by Secondary and Primary weapons, when we are trying to do the right-click combos of our Exalted Stances; the lack of override also adds a further insult to injury: Energy is still drained, by an ability that we aren’t even currently using because of these same, aforementioned interruptions; and so it effectively goes to waste. Having our Energy be drained by abilities that poorly-tested changes ensured are constantly interrupted feels rather like being charged fifty dollars for a large LEGO set that you never even get to open, build, or have any fun with. We are being told the cost for a toy we no longer get to properly play with; and a toy we likely never will be capable of playing with the same way again; unless these changes are reverted. That’s rather asinine.
  • Ever since Buried Debts, Exalted Melees occasionally become “jammed” after they are put away; even if the ending animation for putting them away successfully completes itself. The bizarre end result of this bug is a stiffened, marionette-like Warframe that can only run around and jump; suffering from an utterly frozen upper body. Weaponry and button inputs fail to respond altogether while in this state. Occasionally, trying to use abilities will bring the player out of this state; but often not even the number keys are responsive, and the player remains “jammed” until either death occurs or their squad-mates complete the objective. When this bug occurs in solo play, there’s no option but to abort and restart. Pictured: (1) My Valkyr clenching her entire body as she staggers around the revamped Gas City tileset’s Interception map with a floating Mutalist Quanta at her hip. (2) My Wukong Prime desperately hopping around the Heiracon node on Pluto; unable to help guard the Excavators, because his broken wrist is locked in place holding Strun, his other arm equally frozen. (3) Your guess is sincerely as good as mine what happened to poor Valkyr as I was doing Sedna Disruption. I remained contorted into this pretzel with an Akbolto impaling one hip for a sizable period of time.

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Visual and HUD-Clarity Issues with Melee 2.9

My Eyes, the Goggles, They Do Nothing:

  • There is no nice way to say this: ever since Buried Debts, melee trails have been too freaking bright. We went from having genuinely cool, subtle, thin-but-glowing lines trailing at the business end of the melee weapon; to a hyper-saturated, utterly opaque smear of molten paint, which trails from seemingly half of the weapon and burns as brightly as ten thousand suns, cackling maniacally as it screams “BE STRUCK BLIND, MORTAL; SUFFER!” and plunges directly into our corneas. When every single swing of an axe, sword, nunchaku, or other melee weapon results in eye fatigue and huge portions of my screen being obscured; it is not a good artistic choice. Bring back small and translucent weapon trails. This shouldn’t have to be explained. Pictured: The retina-searing hemi-circle resulting from swinging Gram Prime with Tempo Royale; and in case you mistakenly believe that this issue is in any way unique only to Heavy Blades, have the molten vortex resulting from using Kronen Prime with Sovereign Outcast; followed by the volcanic energy lines that emerge when throwing Nami Skyla Prime using Carving Mantis. You may notice that the energy effect is so needlessly, stupidly bright that it actually obscures the majority of Nami’s model altogether. This is the sort of thing I’m talking about when I say that genuinely good weapon and Warframe designs are getting swallowed by overabundant, jammed-in particle effects and energy flashes. This is the polar opposite of both prettiness and visual clarity.

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Confetti Elemental Effects and Particle Overload:

  • While we’re on the topic of particles being in far too many places and in far too great of abundance, to the point the UI drowns in neon bubbles, I’d like to bring up my next point. Just as melee trails have become tools of visual torture since Buried Debts first arrived; so too have nearly all elemental effects become angry, unappealing, writhing swarms of sparks and fuzzy bits. Melee does not “look as good as it feels” with 2.9; in fact, it’s quite the inverse of that claim; on both accounts. Elemental effects finally matching our weapons’ energy color does not redeem their current motion-sickness-inducing and eye-melting state.
  •  Brace yourselves, for in much the same fashion that all elements but Cold currently have far too much visually going on, in addition to their plague of bubbles and sparkles; this is very likely to be the longest part of the post; and naturally presenting my evidence means yet more images. For visual emphasis on how much needless fluff is going on with the majority of elemental effects, I used a Valkyr Prime and Scindo Prime with all color channels but Melee Emissive and Melee Energy set to jet-black; and took screen-caps in the cave of the Grineer Forest Industry Captura Scene.  

Pictured:

(1A) Blast damage’s effects. There’s only a relatively faint glow around the edges of the Scindo’s blade, which would be tolerable on its own. Unfortunately, the constantly flickering and puffing of smoke, sparks, and strange metallic clumps off the weapon nullifies the previous subtlety, and the visuals circle back fully into eye fatigue territory.

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(1B) Blast damage’s trail. The glowing edges of the Scindo inexplicably become brighter than when the weapon is at rest. Sparks and bigger metal clumps than are found on the still weapon fly off in the wake of each swing. The smoke continues to puff out of the blade; leaving one more tiny and fast-moving detail, which adds a dash of motion sickness to effects that are already major graphics overkill. Also note the already-searing, needlessly opaque-and-bright melee weapon trails added earlier this year by Buried Debts; and marvel at the small miracle of how they seem to become even more obnoxiously bright with the majority of “improved” Elemental Damage visuals. I have christened this ungodly, screen-obscuring smear, in a truly scientific and objective fashion, the SATANIC TURBO INFERNO LASER TRAIL. For the sake of convenience, as SATANIC TURBO INFERNO LASER TRAIL is a bit long and dramatic to keep typing, it will henceforth be called the STILT for short.

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(2A) Cold damage’s effects. Cold is in a bizarre spot: it is among the few elements that the updates actually made become rather boring to look upon the VFX for; as if compensating for the eye-violation of its own siblings. There is little more happening on the Scindo’s model than a few randomly growing-and-shrinking ice lumps; alongside a faintly glowing, blurred edge. Unfortunately, I must still count Cold damage as being obnoxious in its own fashion; for the same as all its elemental siblings, it has yet more needless, constantly emitted bubbles. There are plenty of ways to convince the players that something is icy; ones which don’t involve a constant confetti storm of alleged snowflakes.

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(2B) Cold damage’s trail. There isn’t much more to be said than what was stated above; Cold is almost boring compared to the rest; but it remains firmly in annoying territory because of its endless snowflake bubbles, which are more obvious in the trail of a swung melee weapon. Snow-globe Scindo is not scary Scindo. Ice can do far gnarlier of things than this, and assume far more jagged, creepy shapes. There’s also this weird lens-flare that comes out of the weapon’s hilt once swung.

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(3A) Corrosive damage’s effects. I must be honest, and say that Corrosive is one of the absolutely agonizing “improved” elements; and it is the textbook example of how the new effects have simply too blasted much jammed in all at once. Not only is there an oily sheen on the glowing weapon edge; not only is there a constantly spurting, flickering spray of liquid off the edges; not only does it make a portion of both the Warframe and our surroundings glow; but on top of all this, it has constant lightning flickers the same as Electric damage. Mercifully, the flickering isn’t as fast; but having lightning that flickers at all, as opposed to being a continuous plasma arc on the melee weapons, is still a problem. And all of the aforementioned effects are happening simultaneously. Think of the melee attack speeds that players are capable of reaching with the (Primed) Fury, Gladiator Vice, Berserker, and Quickening mods; now stack that on top of the effects of abilities like Warcry, Speed, and Redline. If you think it isn’t going to tire out your visual cortex or give you nausea to witness all this visual fluff at such ludicrous speeds, then lucky you. I think I speak for most players when I honestly state that I do not have any job experience as a laser tag emergency repair technician. Why not just throw in some black-lights, too, if you want to melt our eyes so fervently?

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(3B) Corrosive damage’s trail. The STILT makes its ugly reappearance. The liquid giblets spray everywhere, adding to the inability to see the screen; and as if adding insult to injury, they start to glow as well. A strange heat/motion blur appears inconsistently, in only some parts of the weapon trail. Lightning shoots out in the wake of the swing; and the closer the bolts are to the camera, the more horrifically bright, enlarged, and STILT-like they become. I don’t really see how any of this equals “acidic”; but it does make an excellent simulation of having venom spat in my eyes by some utterly terrifying, electricity-controlling viper. And again, a lens-flare; with no explanation as to where the wee little fellow appeared from.

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(4A) Electric damage’s effects. This still screenshot, sadly, cannot accurately convey just how painfully quick tiny arcs of electricity flicker randomly over the weapon’s entire model; but it can at least show you how horrifyingly bright they are, and why the speed of such flickering is a problem. Just as with Corrosive damage, notice how Electric also causes the glow in a faint orb around the player. And again, much akin to Corrosive, combine this effect with the speed boosts of multiple mods and abilities; and what seems minor becomes seizure-worthy in only about five minutes.

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(4B) Electric damage’s trail. This screenshot, on the other hand, DOES convey the visual pain brought by using Electric damage on weapons. The STILT reappears, with the added “bonus” of simultaneously glowing with electrical arcs ON TOP OF the already searing melee weapon trail. Bolts of lightning shoot radially outward, like the spoke threads of a spider-web. When the lightning bolts end, they in turn sputter out into their own small clusters of yet more sparks; because nothing says “elemental fury” like bubble-bath and splatters. Too. Many. Particles. Too blasted bright, for that matter. Oh, and did I mention? LENS-FLARE!

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(5A) Gas damage’s effects. Like Cold damage, Gas damage isn’t all that visually obnoxious, barring even more perpetually emitted bubbles; it is, however, kind of boring. A thin, watercolor-paint like sheen coats the weapon edges, and we get a few small cartoon-fart-esque clouds.

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(5B) Gas damage’s trail. There isn’t much else to be said about Gas damage’s visuals while in motion. Yet again, the STILT appears and rips the retinas out of the players’ eyes. The fart-like clouds trail behind, and they get slightly larger than when the melee weapon is at rest. Even more pointless sparks shoot out in the wake of the swing. As with Blast, Cold, Corrosive, and Electric damage; a lens-flare shoots out from the hilt for absolutely no conceivable reason.

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(6A) Heat damage’s effects. The post-Buried Debts changes to Heat damage are, quite sincerely, one of the most saddening VFX side-grades to me. Instead of gaining more realistic and intimidating of flame VFX; we instead received a fuzzy, rather goofy bubble-bath cloud, which floats in weird clumps along the edges of the weapon. A few feeble tongues of what looks fire-like occasionally rise off the edge, but they get utterly swallowed up by the bubbles and sparks. This doesn’t make me feel like the Soul of Cinder, or like the Balrog of Moria; this makes me feel like I swung my axe at a demon in his personal laundry room, and then accidentally got it jammed in some of Hell’s molten dryer lint. Molten dryer lint that, regrettably, I cannot shake my axe repeatedly to remove.

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(6B) Heat damage’s trail. Yet more of the STILT! Secondary, equally bright, white-hot lines that don’t even match the color of rest of the energy! Smears of what looks suspiciously like Orange Jell-O in the wake of the weapon swing! EVEN MORE SPARKS AND BUBBLES! And yet another inexplicable lens-flare coming from the hilt! God, my eyes are so tired. Take it from a melee player, this sincerely does not look even remotely cool.

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(7A) Magnetic damage’s effects. The same as Cold and Gas, Magnetic damage possesses VFX that are simultaneously visually obnoxious, due to the perpetual and over-abundant particles; yet also seem downright boring and barely visible otherwise. A faint spilled-paint effect on the weapon edges is about all that can be made out, other than wispy clouds and the bubbles.

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(7B) Magnetic damage’s trail. We are “gifted” with yet more of the STILT; although this time, it seems oddly oily and thick. More bubbles spurting out all over, and still another lens-flare coming out of the hilt. As if in counterpoint to the likes of Corrosive damage, revised-VFX Magnetic damage seems determined to not really be readable as any element at all. Nothing sticks out, other than the same un-needed particles and glow as all the rest. This could be anything. Nothing tells me, “This is magnetized with a lethally strong EM field that they Corpus’s shields will positively hate”.

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(8A) Radiation damage’s effects. Yet more, always blasted more, of those accursed constantly-shed bubbles are present. A “hot car roof on a summer day” type of heat-shimmer emerges from the edges of the Scindo. So long as the player’s melee weapon is held still, at least, the most annoying thing about revamped Radiation damage is probably its sheer brightness. Just look at that bloom.

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(8B) Radiation damage’s trail. Once swung, however, Radiation damage is just as visually clogged and enraging to look at as Corrosive. The STILT is back again, baby; and this time it opts to add insult to ocular injury by combining the aforementioned heat-shimmer with its already blinding swing trail. Did I mention bubbles? Because the same as with Gas and Heat damage, those hideous Orokin soap suds are spraying everywhere. Shocking absolutely no one, there’s yet another needless lens-flare. The wispy, oily secondary trail that seems to come and go between elemental damage types returns; forming a smeared corona that recalls a car with oil issues. Finally, the heat-shimmer refracts and duplicates part of the melee weapon’s model; adding double-vision to what is already an absolute headache. Lovely.

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(9A) Toxic damage’s effects. When the melee weapon is held still, Toxic damage is literally nothing but even more of the constant bubbles; Void decimate us, I am so, so, so tired of these accursed bubbles. There’s nothing else to it. No glowing edges, no weird clouds, nothing. Just the bubbles are there; taunting me by being on the weapon in even higher numbers and possessing even faster of emission than with any other “updated” Elemental visuals.

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(9B) Toxic damage’s trail. Unfortunately, Toxic is not one to be left behind by its sibling damage types; and so, once it is in motion, it puts on a show to rival Corrosive, Heat, and Electric. There’s even more of the STILT; and this time, it forms dripples of slime at the end of its glowing arc. Clots of goop fly everywhere, and the bubbles gleefully join them. The smoky/oily “second trail” reappears; reinforcing the inconsistency of its presence on different elemental types. And, yet again (noticing a pattern, here?); there’s another obnoxiously huge lens-flare. As discussed under the Corrosive sub-section; all of this mess happens EVERY SINGLE TIME WE TAKE A SWING, TYPICALLY AT VERY HIGH SPEEDS. Oh, the visual violation! Here’s a novel idea: one distinct visual effect per element; not three to five, which in no way visually complement each other.

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(10A) Viral damage’s effects. There is virtually no visual distinction between Viral and Toxic damage; another big no-no for visual clarity. The bubbles are smaller and less numerous; and Viral has an oily edge to the melee weapon that Toxic lacks; but when at rest, one is hard-pressed to tell them apart at a glance. The bubbles are still there, and it still looks bad; with no favors done to Viral damage at all by resembling another elemental type, to boot.

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(10B) Viral damage’s trail. We’ve finally arrived at our last weapon trail with an elemental damage type installed. Regrettably, I can’t say it looks any better than the rest. The STILT makes its final performance; becoming strange streaks and droplets at the end of its arc. Bubbles spray in all directions just like all the rest. The secondary weapon trail and/or oily corona reappears; and it seems to be sizably larger with Viral damage than it is with the other elements. And naturally, one final, obnoxious time; yet another unwanted lens-flare radiates out. My eyes are exhausted.

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Ways of Depicting Elemental Damage That Won’t Hurt Our Eyes or Involve Bubbles:

  • Blast: As there’s no real-world way to hold an explosion in place, seeing as it’s a physical process, I’m not really sure how to change Blast damage visually myself. For lack of a definite way to define “Explosion” as an element, my suggestion is to go with the look of the initial rivulets of a lava flow; since Heat is one of the pre-requisite damage types to create Blast in Warframe. This 1983 photo of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone of Mt. Kīlauea erupting is a good example of what I’m talking about. As a quick disclaimer, my condolences to anybody who might be Hawaiian and potentially lost their property or loved ones to volcanic activity; flows can be surprisingly fast, and molten rock is… well, molten rock. Pretty destructive stuff, but fitting for an element that supposedly makes our weapons into a controlled explosion.

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  • Cold: Hoarfrost is jagged, more erratic, and far creepier than most other ice formations; and the fact it only occurs as a result of rapid changes in pressure and temperature, such as those of a dangerous flash-freeze, lends it a suitable air of ominousness. Instead of making our weapons spew yet more annoying specks, and trying to sell us on the idea that those are “snowflakes”; why not make our weapons awesomely gnarly and White-Walker-esque? A jagged coating of curved ices spikes like this would be far cooler than either the original Cold damage effects or the current VFX. When I hear “weapon imbued with frost”, I picture and frankly would strongly prefer that these frigid, heavy-metal-type spikes to be what I see as a result.

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  • Corrosive: Most of the truly scary, unstable, and dangerous corrosive chemicals, such as hydrofluoric acid, tend to make the unlucky substance or organism affected “steam” with chemical vapors from such a forceful reaction. They also, obviously, tend to cause horrible death from organ failure, necrosis, and worse; which might explain why there’s always a shortage of chemists in the work field; but back to my original point. Contrary to the impression that movies and other video games than Warframe might give you, the few dangerously reactive compounds that qualify as harmful acids (as opposed to fairly unreactive acid, such as your DNA) don’t actually “burn” away anything; the smoking and horrific eating-away of materials and/or tissues is actually caused by the breakdown of existing chemical bonds. This chain reaction of compounds’ atoms literally breaking apart from their previous stable state is so violent it actually causes sublimation; the instantaneous alteration of solid or plastic states of matter into a gaseous form. In laymen’s terms, if our weapons really are using “acid” when we apply Corrosive damage, then they should be smoking like Stalker at all times. Have this smoke be colored by our chosen Energy color, the same way as the Smoking Body Ephemera, and Voilà; you have an effect that is more realistic, and far less of an affront to the eyes. Beats the heck out of the current booger-lightning we have. And since acid isn’t half as cool or scary to have a sword imbued with if it doesn’t slightly warp and distort materials; accompany the smoke with some eaten-away denting and fracturing of weapon metallic textures (if any are present on the weapon in the first place); as in the example image of the “broken” weapon textures of Dark Souls 3; such as this Lothric Knight Straight Sword, which I murdered by slamming into a wall, just to screenshot this.

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  • Electric: Not that much needs to be altered with Electric; just change the rapid-fire, flickering, tiny arcs of electricity into a few large, slow, and continuous arcs that gently wriggle on the blade/edge/knuckles/business-end of the melee weapon instead. Remove the random, blinding lightning bolts from the melee trail; take out all the sparking and sputtering; and then BEHOLD! You’ve now got Electric effects that are still clearly Electric damage without being complete agony to the eyes. Aim for something closer to the big arc touching this lady’s fingertip, in this stock photo of a novelty plasma globe.

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  • Gas: This is another simple fix as far as elements go. Instead of rather flatulent-looking puffs of smoke, change the vapor effect of Gas damage into something wispy, cirrus-cloud-like, and mystical looking. This would add a degree of visual elegance, still clearly be understandable as being “something gaseous”; and would be far easier to take seriously. See the example image for a general idea. If our blades are like the wind; let’s make them show it with Gas damage installed.

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  • Heat: This screenshot is from my own Dark Souls III save-file, and I truly feel that it is the current gold standard for fire effects on a melee weapon in games. The flame has the subtle transparency of the real deal, instead of a noxiously bright and opaque smear; the tongues of fire are all relatively near the source of their ignition (the enchantment on the blade) instead of weirdly floating in fuzzy clumps an inch off its surface; it isn’t covered in, nor spreading around, a constant swarm of particles; and when swung, the fire stays in the same area around and upon the weapon’s blade, as opposed to obscuring half the screen with a chunk of star-matter. This is how heat damage should look. Give us some plain old tongues of flame, and keep it color-customizable. This actually looks like fire.

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  • Magnetic: Since Magnetic damage is supposed to represent, you know, a strong magnetic field; why not go for something more intimidating than just sparks and a few snowflakes? Ferrofluids are pretty wicked-looking once a magnetic field is induced over, under, or around them; and creating a translucent, longer-spiked version of this effect that matches players’ chosen Energy color would nicely convey that this is a damage type that will mess with force fields. I must maintain that is should be translucent first and foremost, though; an opaque Energy effect on melee weapons would keep us from seeing the cool details of our chosen weapons’ models while using Magnetic damage. This way, there’s the best of both worlds: gnarly magnetic spikes that are very synthetic looking and thus aren’t just a re-hash my suggestion for giving Cold damage subtler VFX (as you’ve seen prior, hoarfrost is twisting, curved, and rather tooth-like); and simultaneously, making the VFX see-through will keep the opacity of real ferrofluids from obscuring the weapon’s model.

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  •  Radiation: Fiction actually wasn’t completely misleading toward any of you guys and gals reading this: sufficient radioactivity levels really do cause glowing; especially Cherenkov radiation. With that in mind, it’s time to simplify the effect; the same as the example image of a power plant’s reactor pool, change melee weapons’ Radiation damage VFX into a soft glow across the entire blade/strike of the chosen weapon. It would let players enjoy that legally-safe “this-is-technically not a lightsaber” feeling; it would be fitting, since light is also a form of radiation; and it would remain glowing and shiny, but without being horrifically opaque and shimmering like the current heat-wave effect. Let’s go for a soft glow.

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  • Toxic: Strictly speaking, a toxin is a chemical or organism that is inherently poisonous to ingest or touch. However, since Toxic damage works more like a venom, in that it has to be “injected” into our foes by our ranged shots and melee attacks; my suggestion is to change Toxic’s VFX into flat-out venom that matches our Energy customization. Ever since the rework, and the altered ability visuals for both his default and Prime forms, Hydroid has stood as a stellar example that you guys can render phenomenal low-viscosity fluids, such as water. And if Hydroid’s powers can be color customized by energy, it shouldn’t be too hard to create a similar effect so our weapons can ominously drip with venom, like the fang of this little fella in my example image (SNAKE WARNING, to players and developers that might be Ophidophobic). If we’re going to strike like the viper, let us rip off his looks too.

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  • Viral: I’ve honestly known exactly what would better fit Viral damage visually since I first started typing this. Along with Toxic, Viral damage is more or less the go-to enemy-inflicted element of the Infestation. Just as infested biomass and Technocyte spores spread like a fungal growth, and presumably infect unlucky victims the same way; so too should Viral damage give our weapons a corrupted and sickly look. Energy covering our melee weapons in a latticework, branching patterns, or both, much like these examples, would look pretty cool. It would also make it obvious that this is an element that is extremely detrimental to HP, and give melee weapons a delightful “corrupted by an evil force” feeling. I would be so very, very happy to have glowing tendrils imbedded in my greatswords’ blades, as long as they’re still and motionless. I must vehemently emphasize that this would be a static effect, the same as my other suggestions (with the exception of Corrosive and Gas); too much motion is the current problem with most of the current VFX. As I’ve prior pointed out, smoke only really makes sense on Corrosive and Gas damage; both tend to cause a lot of fumes, whereas things like fire only become more smoke and embers than they are flame when they’ve nearly run out of fuel to combust.

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Come On and Slam, Mother of God I Can’t Find My Hands:

  • Slam attacks’ VFX were once simple and aesthetically pleasing; a simple circular wave of energy that faded out in a ring horizontally. Quite honestly, nothing more was ever needed, let alone necessary. Unfortunately, the same thinking that led to equally visually-clogged elements and melee trails has replaced our once genuinely good-looking slams with a horrific clot of unwanted particle effects and visual excess. Let’s go through the eye pain step by step, shall we? Pictured: (1) For literally no reason that makes any logical sense, a violent blob of searing-bright sparks appears in the air, nowhere near where the melee weapon struck; and take note of how, as the sparks shoot down in all directions, there’s yet more of the obnoxious energy bubbles. Always. More. Stupid. Bubbles. (2) As the melee weapon actually strikes the ground, a player’s Warframe is almost entirely obscured by a horrifically bright glorified nuclear explosion of particles. A vast dome of sparks, bubbles, heat-shimmers, and rock chunks expands outward; and our player-model is swallowed up in the process. Remember what I said about visual clarity and an unobscured model/HUD? This is the exact reverse of that. Adding insult to injury, there’s also these randomly shooting out columns of light. Far, far, far too much is going on here. Slams should NOT have all this visual filler crammed onto them. (3) The screen darkens and desaturates for several seconds after this flash (and in fact, all flashes or bright lights cause this to happen since Buried Debts, the glitch is universal and in no way unique to just melee VFX). Yet more sparks, and yet more bubbles, all shoot out in a ring; as if seeking to spitefully remind the player of the formerly-pretty and far simpler energy wave that was once emitted in a circle. A few random crescents of heat-shimmer head outward, as do random wedges of smoke. Some of the sparks don’t even assume the players’ energy colors; and this causes even more eye fatigue. (4) For almost eight seconds after all other visual effects have faded away, the energy bubbles linger like flicked boogers on the ground. God, I miss the ring/wave of energy; especially in place of this clogged mess. (5 and 6) As an added “bonus”, here’s further proof of how the black-out effect results from all flashes and glow effects in-game. And it’s done so for over eight months.

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Constant Melee Trails Set To Off. I SAID SET TO OFF. WTF, Options:

  • For some asinine reason, Buried Debts added another visual eyesore to a truly alarming amount of melee weapons. Prime or otherwise; from Hammers to Fists to Sparring weapons to some Heavy Blades; a constant rectangular streak is emitted from the grip of numerous weapons. Worse still, this streak is just as awfully bright and overtly-opaque as the STILT and our “improved” melee weapon trails are. Perhaps the most egregious detail, however, is how the trail is emitted continuously with, and only with, the motion of the weapon and the Warframe alike. The players are quite literally incapable of escaping this irritating smear; the perpetual trail follows our movements. There’s a reason I haven’t touched my Venka Prime or Kogake Prime in months. It’s honestly and unfathomably annoying to be pursued by this effect, which can’t be disabled, all from the simple act of walking. And finally, as well as most unforgivably; the endless streak utilizes the energy color of the Warframe, not the melee weapon, and we don’t always use the same color for both; which, you guessed it folks, further worsens eye fatigue. I have no way to phrase this nicely; it’s unbearably ugly and I want it gone. I had constant melee trails disabled from day one, when I first made a Warframe account in 2014; my tastes have not changed in the slightest since then. Picutred: My aforementioned Kogake and Venka Prime, hounded by irritating laser-paint-trails with each and every movement of the weapons and my Valkyr Warframe; no matter how minuscule the motion is. Horrible. If you remain skeptical, have a third image from this very October; and observe the rectangular light-smear caused by the Galatine Prime on my Excalibur Umbra’s back as I slide around at the Cetus docks.

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No, I Don’t Want Your Lens-Flares to Constantly Touch My Fists Either, For God’s Sake:

  • Regrettably, another, equally annoying addition was also tacked onto nearly all Prime melee weapons; and like the perpetual rectangle-streak, it was unwanted in the first place and doesn’t improve the look of anything. A continuous, flickering clot of sparks and bubbles rests upon the hilt or knuckles of virtually any melee weapon you can name; flashing and blurring there like an irritating swarm of laser earthworms. What is with the endless sparks, flickers, and bubbles in your (far too) shiny new “improved” art direction, DE? Why does the game have to be a Micheal Bay film? I find this effect as appealing to have jammed onto near-all of my melee weapons as I find shaky cam appealing in a fight scene; which is to say, with all due respect, THAT I DON’T FIND IT VISUALLY APPEALING IN THE ABSOLUTE SLIGHTEST, and at the bare minimum, we should have an option to toggle off this ugly, sparky mess. I’m trying to be polite in this mega-post to the thread, but there’s no nice way to put it when it comes to this issue. The same as the constant rectangle-trails, and the flash-bang grenade effects that Saint of Altra jammed onto every single bolt and arrow, I didn’t want this. The majority of players I’ve pointed it out too find it just as annoying. This is an “improvement” that was demanded by NO ONE; much like the removal of our self-controlled block and a proper segregated melee mode. Pictured: Venka Prime held in a guard position, showing this indescribably annoying constant star-burst of particles quite plainly. It will still be there on the boots of my Kogake, the basket-hilt of my Destreza, the pommel of my Galatine, the spinning wheel part of my Gram, and boomerang-thingies of my Ankyros. No matter what Prime melee I use, I can’t escape the awful thing. I want it gone.

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Let Me Rephrase That, I Don’t Want ANY Lens-Flare:

  • As one final visual intrusion that is just as tiresome as the rest, I don’t even need a Prime melee weapon or any elements installed on a weapon for the lens-flare to appear yet again. It radiates out from the grip of all weapons with each swing; and since I only noticed it due to the numerous issues in lighting, coloring, and shadow consistency caused by Saint of Altra, this eternal lens-flare may have already been added in for some time; and it took literally a plethora of bugs with another supposed “upgrade” to the game’s look to draw it to my attention. Presumably, it was the same folks under the misguided conception that we wanted perpetual bubble-bath, the aforementioned starburst-flicker, and the endless melee trails who added it in. I’m not angry, and I’m not going to developer-bash; but I am visually fatigued, and I would like to sincerely answer that this isn’t needed or wanted in any graphical sense. This flare is just one more visual bell-and-whistle that’s all flash, but zero substance. It visually clogs the design direction and the genuinely gorgeous models/environments of Waframe; without actually doing anything to improve the look of things. Much like the design of Michael Bay’s alleged Transformers, or worse yet, his Ginsu-Knife-set “Shredder”, sometimes less is more; and I hope all the talented people in the design, VFX, and animation departments at Digital Extremes understand the reasoning behind my feelings on this. Pictured: My Valkyr Prime, wielding Venka Prime, and doing so within a glitched-into-darkness part of the Void Tower tileset (I did mention graphics bugs post-Saint of Altra, didn’t I?); clearly highlighting the perpetual flare. I’d prefer not to feel like I have Jubilee’s powers, especially when Wolverine was always the X-Man I thought was the coolest. Venka are pretty blatantly a nod to his claws; with relatively little resemblance to the actual claw-like equipment of historical shinobi. Most of these tools were actually used to help climb trees and walls during assassinations. See? Even in a tirade, I share something fun. Well, I suppose it was less fun if you were the guy the ninja had been hired to murder…

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Tenno, Your Weapons are Leaking:

  • Scroll back to the weapon trail screenshots, and you will notice another (literally) glaring problem that has contributed to Warframe’s ever-increasing eye fatigue over the past few years. Every swing of a melee weapon, or even simply moving around with a melee equipped, even on non-Primes; results in yet more blasted glowing particles, even with absolutely zero element mods on the weapon. Unwanted, unneeded sparks buzz around our otherwise lovely weapons like intoxicated fireflies; consistently making everything look like a cheap 80s fantasy film using dangerously fast twinkles and sparks to compensate for its non-existent budget. These random pseudo-embers don’t make anything prettier; they simply further clog the screen and obscure the models and landscapes that I would much rather have a clear look at when I’m wielding my melee weapons. A message to take to directly to Steve Sinclair, if you all have to: no more bubbles. No more specks, sparks, twinkles, flashes, or other photosensitivity death bullets. My eyes are melting, and it isn’t “cinematic” to have these effects jammed on every single ranged and melee weapon; it is visually obnoxious, and nothing more than clutter that improves nothing. These effects merely hurt my eyes and head, and that’s as a player without any neurological or photosensitive conditions; what on Earth do you all think they’re like for a player who is genuinely epileptic? How accessible are you, as the developers, making the game, for new players that are otherwise interested; but have convulsive disorders that can be triggered by all this needless glitz? It isn’t just annoying; this sort of visual fluff is unsafe. And it’s gotten far, far, far too much out of hand

 

Miscellaneous Problems with Melee, Pre- and Post-2.9

I Must Confess That I Am Not Left-Handed. No, Really, I’m Glitched:

  • Forgive my butchery of that The Princess Bride quote, first of all. This error was very clearly unintended by you guys, and it’s actually pretty funny to see. Though I’m not exactly sure what triggers it, occasionally melee weapons will swap into the opposite hand from the one that’s supposed to be holding them. They can even swap between which hand is the “dominant” one on a two-handed weapon like Tatsu, Fragor, or Galatine; and hilarity ensues as the weapon floats an inch from the left-hand knuckles of a Warframe, or clips through our models so we’re left impaled on it. For all my frustrations with melee this year, this continuing bug still gives me an incongruous fit of giggles whenever it happens. It’s been a small catharsis, though it is still a bug. Pictured: (1) Feeling a sudden sense of vertigo and social apprehension, my Valkyr Prime enters introvert mode by levitating Tatsu from her left-hand knuckles. Is this bizarre sleight of hand an attempt to impress her peers? Did she clench her muscles with such a sudden alarm she warped space-time? Few can say what the truth really is, folks! (2) Suddenly stuck by crippling tendonitis while on Ceres, Loki Prime attempts to give his right wrist a break by resting Destreza Prime across his forearm. His friends do not have the heart to tell him he could simply rest it in the notch of his little elbow spike; he seems so proud of himself for his ergonomically sound solution.

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The Unalterable LED Light of Ballas’s Heavy Blade:

  • If you have not played The Sacrifice or The Chimera Prologue, please stop reading here. I do my best to avoid spoiling other players. The Paracesis is a formidable Heavy Blade with a unique design, but Ballas’s huge scimitar-cleaver has one (literally) glaring problem. Regardless of the customization, the bright ovular light in the hollowed-out ring section of Parcesis’s hilt remains an indigo color; which really throws off the look when you’re trying to use Oberon to cosplay Yhorm the Giant, since Paracesis looks so meat-cleaver-like. It’s a simple issue, but it’s there. Pictured: The aforementioned customization problem. The hideously garish clown colors I put in every other color region are accepted, but the ovular light stays blue. This is all the more jarring, since the similar gleam on War is able to be customized, albeit using Attachments colors.

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The Wrong Type of “Gunblade”:

  • As a result of the removal of genuine weapon holstering, sometimes the game engine forgets to do the annoying “sheath” flicker in the first place at all; resulting in the only other major bug besides hand-swapping that I’ve consistently found pretty funny. Deciding that, clearly, the only logical answer is to display both the Primary/Secondary weapon and the equipped Melee in the same hand(s); it combines their models into one. Pictured: Behold the fearsome (and aim-inhibiting) power of BUZLOKSTREZA and DESTRATTLEGUTS. Sure, recoil will cause a nasty self-impalement, but we all take risks in life!

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You Can Dash and Dine, but Not Dash and Dice:

  • So many others have gone into detail about the persistent momentum issues with melee through the years that I’m not going to open that can of worms; but instead, I will point out a similar issue. For whatever reason, despite our ability to wall-cling and then slice, do slide attacks mid-air, plummet hundreds of feet sword-first without injury, and deflect bullets; the simple capacity to make melee attacks while simultaneously running evades the Tenno. We can sprint with melee weapons in our hands, but once we start sprinting it will halt whatever combo we were doing, even when still pressing E. I ask for the simple ability to both merrily run around and also chop unlucky Grineer to bits.

Players are TOTALLY Capable of Going Two Directions at Once:

  • This one is simple, and I’ll get immediately to the point: some Stances involve combos that require using the downward arrow key/S key/downward joystick; and whether a player is on consoles or PC, this is inherently awkward to use and denies most of us a chance to use a fairly neat combo in those same Stances. The Bold Reprise Combo of Tempo Royale is pretty cool; but next to nobody, including myself, actually uses it; since at present it can only be successfully pulled off by walking behind a foe, walking backward toward them as you hit the keys, and then hoping your backflip actually connects and bisects them. Change these kinds of Combos into ones with the standard pauses, holds, or rapid tapping, please; it would let us actually use them, and use them in any direction as a nice bonus. Awkward controls shouldn’t lock us out of successfully striking a foe with a whole combo.

 

Planned Additions with “Phase Two” that Sincerely Sound Like Bad News

“Cinematic” Finishers, or: How Killing a Room Full of Goons took me Two Years:

  • There isn’t really any need to elaborate too far on this one; the problem should be obvious. I only want a cinematic to play if finishing off and/or slowly dismantling a truly titanic foe like a Grand Boss (i.e., Exploiter Orb). With such a foe, an actual small cinematic makes sense, feels appropriately grandiose, and is genuinely satisfying. A cinematic finisher applying to normal foes, however, is utterly unnecessary and unwanted. I emphatically and vehemently would prefer that stealth and finisher attacks on Grineer Butchers, Infested Ancients, etc. remain the same quick and efficient impalements/neck-snaps/head-crushing/chops/backstabs that they have always been. Stealth kills should not be turned into a chore out of a misguided belief in adding more “cinematic” flair.

“Juggling”, The Thing I’ve Already Been Doing Since February and I Don’t Want Any Blasted More Of:

  • As I previously mentioned, ragdoll applying to anything still alive is obnoxious. Launching my foes into the air is still something that I don’t want to do, unless it’s from the deathblow; and I’d strongly prefer that Warframe’s melee combat return to making me feel like a Dark Souls boss, as opposed to a Tekken villain. “Juggling” attacks are the sort of thing you do with a foe in a side-stepping fighting game like Soul Calibur, Street Fighter, or Skullgirls; and Warframe is none of these. It is a 3-dimensional, high-speed, third-person, shooter/hack-and-slash hybrid; one where we routinely fight hordes of enemies. Juggling makes sense in a one-on-one duel in a fighting game, but it has no place in a game as multi-genre as Warframe, especially when the game’s major selling point is being a ninja that regularly butchers hundreds of enemies; with or without a team to back us up. While that one dude the player “juggled” is up in the air to be “put in a world of hurt” as you phrased it; I can assure you that his thirty friends will continue shooting at us. It’s an awkward pause, it breaks the flow of combat, and the already established AI of enemies isn’t going to be polite enough to pause so we can murder Sergeant Jimmy mid-air.

Will “Aerial Combos” Help or Hurt Parkour? I Need to Know:

  • This planned addition, however, might actually work; and it would be sweet, sweet revenge on annoying aerial nuisances like Sapper Ospreys. However, its implementation, hopefully, will not mean that slam attacks no longer knock aerial foes to the ground; and we had better still be capable of using a mid-air slice to increase the distance of a jump, which is frankly very fun to do. As a side note, several melee weapons don’t actually cause any forward momentum at all upon using a jump attack, presumably due to bugs; among these are Iron Staff and Tatsu. Kindly fix that.

I’ve Had It With These Murder-Flingin’ Dual Blades in this Monkey-Fightin’ Arsenal:

  • Let’s be honest: a couple of weapon categories are too big and have far too loose of a definition; resulting in Stances like Swirling Tiger (though they may be awesome) appearing highly unfitting. Dual Blades are the number one offender; the categorization worked fine when every weapon in the category was actually a pair of more or less matching swords, or a sword and a dagger; you do, after all, expect a bunch of swoops, swishes, and twirls when fighting using swords or daggers. Weapons like Dual Raza, Dual Zoren, and Twin Basolk, on the other hand, aren’t half as dainty enough for it to look appropriate or feel right. All three of them are more accurately Dual Axes; and they frankly would seem less jarring if in their own separate Dual Axe category, with suitably brutal, chopping-and-hacking Stances for their attacks. Something like, say, a Stance called Rampaging Bear (due to the etymological root of “berserk” as “bear shirt”); and its Combos would naturally follow a similar theme name-wise; you can’t deny it would be fun to chop Grineer to bits using Grizzly Revenge, Kodiak Retaliation, Polar Retribution, and Sun’s Vengeance (all four of those are based on a real species of bear, and continue the theme of angry payback). Understand that I say all this as someone who has loved Dual Raza as long as I’ve loved Valkyr; they are and always will be my favorite melee, and I was smitten with both their aesthetic and their critical multiplier at first sight. Even so, I really do think they should be Dual Axes; they, Zoren, and Basolk just don’t fit Swirling Tiger and Carving Mantis. Notice that I did not include Crossing Snakes; because Crossing Snakes is sad, slow, floppy, and used by next to no-one. If it’s possible to rework a Stance, it could use love.
  • Similarly, if Hammers are treated as a separate weapon category from Heavy Blades; it would also be more fitting if Scindo and its Prime were reclassified as Heavy Axes; with their own two-handed and similarly brutal new Stances. Tempo Royale, Cleaving Whirlwind, and even Rending Crane (despite it showing a Scindo being used) have too much of a nobleman’s attitude to their animations, and not enough of a headsman. Since I can’t resist further synonym abuse for a hypothetical name and Combos; excuse my Heavy Axe stance for being a blatant Horseman of the Apocalypse/“Legend of Sleepy Hollow” joke. It would fit the Armageddon theme that Four Riders has going on; just as one is a chopping Claw stance for the only claw weapon to have blades on the sides instead of arranged vertically; this would be a chopping, utter-madman stance for giant axes. I therefore humbly suggest Infernal Cavalier; with the Combos Warmonger’s Blow, Pestilent Judgement, Deadly Cleave, and Conqueror’s Fury. It should go without saying that, if such a change is implemented, I really hope that you actually design more Great Axes. So far, Scindo is literally the only two-handed weapon that’s an axe. Vauban Citadel’s Mortier does not count, it’s just a skin. Design more weapons that make us feel like an executioner, albeit (somehow?) a heroic one.

You Can Stance If You Want To (And I Want To):

  • The wiki has long mentioned “rework/removal of the Stance system” as a change; and I must say, it had better be rework, because nothing on Earth will end my fury if it’s removal. Stances are fun, they make us feel like ninjas, and they’re pretty great in their majority all around; its reworking they need, love and care for the ones that are genuinely bad and clumsy to use. Instead of ripping out one of the best parts of melee combat, in the exact same way that Phase 1 ripped out Sword Alone and manual blocking; instead fix the ones that are no good or have broken momentum. Crossing Snakes, Grim Fury, Brutal Tide, and Sundering Weave are some of the Stances I’m talking about. They have the potential to be good; it’s just that at the present time, they either have awkward combo timing, uselessly slow or short-range attacks, uncontrollable, high-momentum twitchiness, or little visual interest. Improve the Stances that are bad, add in new ones for new weapon categories that have been divided out of prior types (Dual Blades having weapons described as hatchets or axes changed to Dual Axes, as I previously mentioned), and don’t touch a single thing else. A world without Malicious Raptor is a world that I, my Valkyr, and her Venka now lack the capacity to forgive for its sins.

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Terrifying, isn't it, folks? You now know the rage that has quietly, if courteously phrased, steamed inside of me, and now it's time for the pictures.

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3 minutes ago, Maxim_M_Payne said:

Terrifying, isn't it, folks? You now know the rage that has quietly, if courteously phrased, steamed inside of me, and now it's time for the pictures.

It needs "more".

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Personally I don't mind the new swing particle effects (though for whatever reason they aren't particularly bright for me; then again I tend to fiddle with Bloom a lot because Bloom in general can irritate me), aside from that I just turn elemental FX off because they always look silly on muzzle flashes and because my melee uses Toxin 99% of the time (because I am too lazy nowadays to swap elements for faction-specific damage bonuses) and the one I feel looks the "yea I could like that" way of nice is Electric anyway and why on earth would I use that.

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8 hours ago, Maxim_M_Payne said:

Confetti Elemental Effects and Particle Overload:

 

  • Melee does not “look as good as it feels” with 2.9; in fact, it’s quite the inverse of that claim; on both accounts.

Actually, I'd say that melee looks exactly as good as it feels - pointlessly flashy, clunky, obnoxious, intrusive and far worse than what we had before.

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I never had a problem with the flashy special effects. I even liked the weapons teleporting into our hands (it IS a sci-fi game, and we teleport entire capture targets, so having our weapons stowed away in some "materialize when I need you" system was very cool to me - lets a ninja stay all stealthy and mobile without a whole arsenal hanging off their body.)

I didn't even have a problem with auto-blocking in theory, and even in practice when it blocked walls of fire and knockdown punches/tethers... but when it over-rode what I wanted to do is when it started to cause issues. Forcing me into block-glide was the worst offender for me, and that seems to be going away.

Forced gun mode on aim is also going away, when you enter focused melee mode, which fixes Valkyr, Excalibur, and Ivara's exalted weapons' issues with the "quick switch" system in place either continuing to drain energy when providing you no benefit, and/or stripping you of invincibility in Valkyr's case, just for aim gliding.

Groundslams ragdolling enemies is also going away, which makes me very happy. It never made sense to send your melee targets flying way out of your range so they could get back up and shoot you from a safe distance. They're going back to staggering or opening enemies to finishers or knocking them down and open to ground attacks, as it should be.

It sounds like they're bringing back "quick attacks", which brings me great relief and hope that I'll be able to enjoy combo-less precise combat wherein I can control exactly where I want to move, and where I want my slashes to go (as per DEbear's short video with the cassowar - not per an actual announcement beyond "new quick melee", which confused me, as it's really bringing back old quick melee - color me confused).

In addition, we're getting tool priority back when mining/fishing/etc, and we quick-attack to deal with pests that interrupt our quiet time - a major issue that should have been (thought it was) fixed long long long ago.

 

Overall, very good changes on the way. Just wish they were made more incrementally as the outcry was made, rather than after several months, as if we needed this long to "get used to it" before taking any of the feedback seriously. (my interpretation of the delay)

 

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17 hours ago, Maxim_M_Payne said:

Terrifying, isn't it, folks? You now know the rage that has quietly, if courteously phrased, steamed inside of me, and now it's time for the pictures.

I'm not bothered about elemental stuff myself since I have had that turned off ever since it was an option, and quick melee I basically only used on the rare occasions I was out of melee mode and needed to pop a crate, but other than that your rage is totally acceptable and you make very good points. 

HOWEVER, they are bringing back melee mode, exalted melee mode and removing autoblock, which is like the most important things that was gutted out of melee with 2.9, which you already knew but it's still a relief to see.
Oh also the ragdolling is going away too(thank god). 

Took WAY too long though, jesus, if I didn't semi-regularly check this thread I might not have come back to warframe for a long time.

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On 2019-10-24 at 11:14 PM, SilviaS12 said:

How did you know? I wish it was this week lol. I am happy all the same, next week is way better than what was endured for the past eyons of months.

It used to say next week in this thread 

But now it says "we're close", I guess they weren't as close as they thought. 4

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5 hours ago, YourFriendlyNoggin said:

It used to say next week in this thread 

But now it says "we're close", I guess they weren't as close as they thought. 4

Oh my word.....another wait for a new season all over again, I get the feeling this will be like GOT finale.*cries in fear for what is to come for melee*

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13 hours ago, (PS4)AyinDygra said:

I even liked the weapons teleporting into our hands (it IS a sci-fi game, and we teleport entire capture targets, so having our weapons stowed away in some "materialize when I need you" system was very cool to me - lets a ninja stay all stealthy and mobile without a whole arsenal hanging off their body.)

So much with you on this.

I always keep my weapons hidden in the options (with the sole exception of nikanas due to them having a sheath, and even then sometimes), because I don't think a game has ever succesfully managed to make carrying multiple weapons on the character's person look good. It looks downright silly in MGSV and RDR2 for example (and these are a good example because they go just too far with this stuff), and even worse in Warframe since you don't even have straps or holsters for any of them. I very much prefer a teleporting arsenal over looking like an overburdened (and sticky, ew) clown.

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8 hours ago, SilviaS12 said:

Oh my word.....another wait for a new season all over again, I get the feeling this will be like GOT finale.*cries in fear for what is to come for melee*

Good god, you're scaring me! Put that feeling away before we all have nightmares 😧

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Maxim_M_Payne

Thanks,

Thanks so much for putting all that up. So much of it points out all the things that has ruined my melee experience. I don't like using guns. I only started equipping them for stats for my Companions. Now I rarely use my melee and I MISS IT.

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@Maxim_M_Payne

Great post it covers a good amount of my personal complaints with changes. I'm apprehensive to say the least about the proposed changes coming, it reminds of the old failed charge/heavy attacks from the past. Juggling just looks out of place all together, but I hear the Twin Queens are hiring Court Jesters.

Only time will tell, but my gut is telling me things are about to get ugly.

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On 2019-10-25 at 1:29 PM, (PS4)AyinDygra said:

I never had a problem with the flashy special effects. I even liked the weapons teleporting into our hands (it IS a sci-fi game, and we teleport entire capture targets, so having our weapons stowed away in some "materialize when I need you" system was very cool to me - lets a ninja stay all stealthy and mobile without a whole arsenal hanging off their body.)

 

No. Just horribly no. I like my weapons how i like my car, manual transmission. oh yeeeeah! The special effects are actually pretty decent to be honest, presumably as time progresses they will be tweaked to look more realistic or appealing or however suits them best, but we need to see those weapons being drawn out all drastic it's showtime! lol

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9 hours ago, YourFriendlyNoggin said:

Good god, you're scaring me! Put that feeling away before we all have nightmares 😧

I really don't want the nightmare to come back, it has been so so sooooo long already, I am hoping update 26 is indeed the light at the end of the tunnel that has finally become visible. To hear that "we'll reach the tunnels end by next week" change to "ok not next week but we are close!" is definitely a cause for concern.

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On 2019-08-26 at 4:46 PM, [DE]Bear said:

Greetings Tenno!

In brief, we owe you an update on Melee changes. Last Devstream had one remark about something maybe making it into Gauss’s Mainline, but this is no longer the case. You can see the clip here: as stated by Steve on Devstream #130.

We wanted to give you some insight into our process and why this decision was made.

The melee “beast” is a large one to tackle, and while we could add in some minor changes, the knock-on effects to other aspects of melee (such as Stances, blocking, Mods, Augments) may cause more issues than improvements. Frankly, we need to look at the system more holistically and make decisions based on thorough testing, and re-works of the varying components involved.

Those reworks are not going to make it into the system before our up and coming mainline update, and while we would have loved for these changes to make it sooner rather than later, we simply need more time to implement these changes to the expansive collection of melee systems in place.

What we can say with certainty is that your concerns have been heard, and they are at the forefront of our minds when we consider alterations. The changes to quick-melee, how channeling and blocking are affected all the way to how Valkyr’s power set has felt the knock-on effects of blocking changes. As we are sure you can understand, this transition will be much more complicated than the transition from Melee 1.0 to 2.0, and we want it to be the best that it can be.

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy all that the Mainline Update has to offer when it reaches you at supersonic speeds!
 

The glimmer of hope.... the last 2 words though, lol such great sarcasm implemented, please bear that in mind. On a serious note, Thank you for the response. My thanks was delayed but not as much of finally a response to this mess. 

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