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DukeAshura

In the Fires of Ignition: Suggestions as to how to Rework Ember

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=Introduction=

So, I'm sure it's no secret that Ember's not that good.

She's squishy, meaning she dies to stray bullets in Sortie 1, and has no way of scaling up her damage, and thus she can't even kill anything beyond the Starchart quickly with her abilities. This is only compounded by the fact that, as they're currently designed, Ember's abilities are difficult to buff to be on par with meta giants like Saryn or Mesa without turning her into an boring map-nuker capable of going completely afk on Starchart content.

Even Pablo, who's made some of the most engaging and well-designed Warframes such as Nidus and Harrow, admitted to having no idea how to rework her on his livestream:

"So.. when was this? Like a month and a half ago, I literally woke up at 4/5 AM, I woke up, and I was like ‘Oh! I know how to rework Ember!’. And then like, an hour and a half later, I went to bed and I was like "No, okay, I don't know". It's hard to fix her. It's hard to fix her because she has, uhh... some interesting things."

So, naturally, she's in a pretty tough spot. However, after several commutes of nothing better to do than brainstorm things, I feel like I may have an idea of how to redesign Ember's abilities and passive in a way that makes her a strong nuking warframe with a level of survivability, but also far more engaging to play. And to do that, I've tossed a good chunk of her kit into the fire, and let something new rise from the ashes.

Without further ado, let's get started:

 

=NEW PASSIVE=

Thermodynamics

"A walking inferno, Ember's temperature rises as she and her allies set enemies alight, making her abilities even hotter to handle."

Similar to Nidus, Ember now has an additional UI element and resource; a thermometer above her energy gauge that indicates her current "temperature" in Degrees Kelvin. By default, it starts at, and cannot drop below 300K, and can be increased by dealing heat damage to enemies with her weapons, rising by an amount equal to the damage dealt. It can also be raised by standing close (lets say, 7-10 meters) to enemies when they take heat damage from allies attacks.

It's also possible to raise Ember's temperature by using her abilities, and by extension raise the strength of her abilities by raising her temperature, which we'll now delve into...

 

=First Ability=

Firebolt

"Launches a potent flaming projectile that leaves a trail of fire in its wake."

Cost: 45 Energy

 

Fireball now works similar to Nidus' Virulence; while holding the ability, the path it will travel is highlighted on the ground. Upon releasing, Ember will launch a fireball that wraps around enemies and explodes when it either hits a wall or travels it's maximum distance of  9 / 11 / 13 / 15 m. In addition, it sets the ground alight as it travels, leaving flames on the ground for a base duration of 10 seconds.

The projectile, the explosion, and the flames on the ground all have a 100% chance to inflict Ignite on enemies. The projectile and explosion deal 25 / 50 / 75 / 100 base heat damage, and the flames on the ground deal 50 / 100 / 125 / 150 heat damage. Furthermore, the damage of the explosion and projectile is increased by an amount equal to her current temperature; before finally being multiplied by her ability strength %. However, for the purpose of making sure she doesn't scale *too* quickly, Ember's current temperature isn't taken into account for how much the heat damage from the ability raises her temperature; only the base damage and ability strength.

Ability Range increases the distance the fireball will travel before exploding, and Efficiency will lower the cost to use the ability. Ability Duration raises the duration the duration of time the flames on the floor will remain. Casting speed reduces the time between releasing the ability use button and Ember hurling the projectile. Tapping the ability use button to quickly use the ability counts as a 1-handed action; but holding down the button to aim is considered a 2-handed action.

Finally, Fireball Frenzy now adds the bonus Heat Damage to allies if they stand in the flames left on the floor. Similar to Energizing Dash, the abilities duration wont start to count down until they leave the fire, and refreshes if they enter it again. It still scales with power strength and duration as normal. Ember herself can now stand in the fire to reap the rewards of this ability as well.

Firebolt is now a useful tool for raising Ember's temperature and providing a soft form of CC; functioning as a fusion of her old Fireball and Fire Blast abilities.

 

=Second Ability=

Accelerant

"Stun nearby enemies, and make them more vulnerable to fire damage as you raise your fire rate and attack speed."

Cost: 25 Energy

 

Accelerant largely remains the same as normal; multiplying heat damage dealt by 1.5x / 1.75x / 2x / 2.5x, scaling with ability strength, lasting 30 seconds, and having a radius of 8 / 12 / 15 / 20 m. However, instead of increasing Ember's casting speed, Accelerant now raises her fire rate and melee attack speed by 10% / 20% / 30% / 40% + (Current Temperature / 200)%.

This ability still scales with ability strength, duration, range and efficiency as normal. Ability Strength also now multiplies the effectiveness of the fire rate and attack speed buff.

Flash Accelerant functions as it normally does; except it will give allies the increased attack speed and fire rate instead of casting speed.

Accelerant serves as a useful way to speed up Ember's temperature scaling as well as her damage. As it was basically Ember's only good ability, not much needs to be changed for it to be effective.

 

=Third Ability=

Overdrive

"Drain your temperature to restore your energy."

Cost: 0 Energy

 

Replacing Fire Blast, Overdrive is the first of Ember's two completely new abilities. By pressing the ability use button, the ability will be toggled on and Ember will clench her fist and drain away her temperature to restore her energy reserves; consuming 200k per second and restoring 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 * (ability efficiency %) energy per second. Pressing the ability use button again will toggle this ability off. This ability doesn't lock Ember in place and can be used 1-handed.

This ability scales with ability efficiency; which multiplies the amount of energy generated per second.

Fire Fright adds an additional effect to the ability; adding 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 * (ability strength %) % Heat Damage to Ember's weapon attacks while the ability is active.

Overdrive gives Ember a reliable way to regenerate her energy similar to Nidus or Garuda, and an effective way to utilize her generated heat. It also incentives Ember players to get into the thick of the fight and rage like an inferno!

 

=Fourth Ability=

Meltdown

"Consume your gathered Temperature to surround Ember in a flaming barrier that melts away projectiles, which can then be unleashed as an all-consuming wall of fire."

Cost: 50 Energy to activate, and another 50 Energy to unleash the Wall of Fire.

 

This ability is going to take a while to explain.

Firstly, upon pressing the ability use button for the first time, Ember will come to a stop and coat herself in flames. While these flames surround her, all incoming damage reduces her Temperature instead of her health or shields; essentially, the ability makes Ember's Temperature function as an Iron Skin. This initial use costs 50 energy, which can be reduced by ability efficiency.

Tapping the ability use button again will toggle the ability off, allowing Ember to conserve her Temperature when necessary.

 

Hold down the ability use button while this is active though, and Ember will stop and slam her fist into the ground,  reducing her temperature all the way back down to 300K as she unleashes a radial wall of fire that travels in all directions around her; similar to an Arson Eximus' attack. This wall of fire deals Heat Damage equal to (150 / 200 / 250 / 300 + Temperature prior to slam) * Ability Strength, has a status chance of 10 / 20 / 25 / 30 %, and has a range of 7 / 10 / 12 / 15 * (ability range %). Most importantly, the ability requires line-of-sight to damage enemies, stopping the issue of Ember nuking maps from several rooms away. Unleashing the wall of fire will also cost another 50 Energy. Finally, damage dealt by this ability will not raise Ember's temperature.

Firequake now gives this ability a chance to knock surviving enemies down, similar to how an Arson Eximus' attack can knock down Warframes that don't roll into it.

Meltdown gives Ember two essentials and is effectively the crux of her kit; it's first use, the fire armor, gives Ember some much needed survivability and also incentives her, once again, to get into the line of fire to attack enemies head on. Meanwhile, the wall of fire functions as a revival of Ember's nuking ability; but in a way that wont allow players to go AFK on a defense mission, and with the addition of a line-of-sight requisite, stops Ember from blowing up entire maps.

 

=Conclusion=

In today's meta of Elite Sanctuary Onslaught, Arbitrations, Sorties, and hour-long endless missions, the matter of fact is that damage-focused Warframes simply need to have a way of scaling-up their damage in order to keep up. Without *any* form of scaling, Ember simply lacks the tools necessary to be effective in any mission beyond the Starchart; and even then, she starts to struggle near the end.

I believe my suggestions as to how to rework her would give her a strong, but simple form of scaling damage that would be easy to grasp for new and returning players. Furthermore, I've tried my hardest to minimize the amount of new art assets that would need to be made; Firebolt can reuse Fireball's animation, Accelerant is essentially the same, Overdrive can reuse some of its animation from Mag's Crush, and Meltdown can use animations from World of Fire for the fire armor, and Fire Blast for the wall of fire.

In addition, while these abilities are strong, I don't believe they'd power-creep todays meta giants, thanks to the requirement of needing to build up temperature. Mesa still would clear rooms faster, Rhino can create his iron-skin armor much earlier in the mission, and Chroma's Vex Armor would grant a far higher, and by extension universal damage boost to all damage types.

I would be completely honored if Digital Extremes were to look at, and consider my suggestions. I'm more than willing to adjust my suggestions according to the feedback of both fellow players as well as the developers.

Ember is a Warframe with an excellent appearance and strong-but-simple theme weighed down by a weak kit, and I believe it's time for her to rise from the ashes, and let her flames rage on.


 

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1 hour ago, DukeAshura said:

Flash Accelerant functions as it normally does; except it will give allies the increased attack speed and fire rate instead of casting speed.

Fire Fright adds an additional effect to the ability; adding 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 * (ability strength %) % Heat Damage to Ember's weapon attacks while the ability is active.

but... why? the benefits that Allies get in Casting Speed makes sense for the Ability. and aren't completely different effects than from what Ember gets (like something from a completely different Warframe).

yikes, now a Support Ember needs 3 Augments? that's uh... getting really expensive. it's already pretty expensive to ask for using two Augments and still making a useful Loadout as it is.

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1 minute ago, taiiat said:

but... why? the benefits that Allies get in Casting Speed makes sense for the Ability. and aren't completely different effects than from what Ember gets (like something from a completely different Warframe).

yikes, now a Support Ember needs 3 Augments? that's uh... getting really expensive. it's already pretty expensive to ask for using two Augments and still making a useful Loadout as it is.

Casting Speed, while a nice little bonus, is never really needed on any frame except say, Garuda and Nekros; and they can get the same effect from equipping natural talent. No Warframes, to my knowledge, have a way to boost Fire Rate, which, while still a little niche, does provide a boost to burst damage and is generally more effective. Also, both Ember and her allies would get the Fire Rate + Weapon Attack Speed; Accelerant would no longer give increased casting speed, period.

Also, Fire Fright would have little use on a support Ember; unlike Accelerate or Fireball Frenzy it doesn't affect allies. The main goal of the Augment is to further boost Ember's own damage output by a moderate amount; not quite as strong as Accelerant or Fireball Frenzy, but enough to make the player consider using it in place of another mod.

Still, you raise some very valid points. After I get some more feedback, I'll revise this to make some of Ember's augments more sidegrades than prerequisites.

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18 minutes ago, DukeAshura said:

Casting Speed, while a nice little bonus, is never really needed on any frame except say, Garuda and Nekros; and they can get the same effect from equipping natural talent

 No Warframes, to my knowledge, have a way to boost Fire Rate, which, while still a little niche, does provide a boost to burst damage and is generally more effective. Also, both Ember and her allies would get the Fire Rate + Weapon Attack Speed; Accelerant would no longer give increased casting speed, period.

Also, Fire Fright would have little use on a support Ember; unlike Accelerate or Fireball Frenzy it doesn't affect allies.

a benefit is a benefit, whether you felt it something important enough to make you Equip a Mod to absolve it or not. because if Casting was so slow as to make you always desire Casting Speed, you'd Equip a Mod for it because without it you'd subjectively be in pain.

Penance (Harrow) increases Fire Rate.
oh, Accelerant not having Cast Speed at all. kind've... a nerf to what Ember is originally intended for, Casting a lot of Abilities?

oh. well then not only does it make Ember have to fit 3 Augments, the Support Ember that currently exists is also nerfed even though <1% of the Playerbase even recognizes how massively powerful it is.

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4 minutes ago, taiiat said:

Penance (Harrow) increases Fire Rate.
oh, Accelerant not having Cast Speed at all. kind've... a nerf to what Ember is originally intended for, Casting a lot of Abilities?

oh. well then not only does it make Ember have to fit 3 Augments, the Support Ember that currently exists is also nerfed even though <1% of the Playerbase even recognizes how massively powerful it is.

Someone on the subreddit raised the same point. Come revision 2, I'm probably going to just return Accelerant to normal. Maybe add something a little extra, but without getting rid of the casting speed or damage boosts.

Also, why would support Ember be nerfed? Fireball Frenzy is more economical, as you only have to cast it once and have everyone stand in it to benefit, instead of on each ally individually, and Accelerant still gives it's large damage boosts. As it stands, you could run the same support build you have now and be just as useful to your allies, and reap the benefits from non-support abilities that aren't weak in high-level content.

And by the way, I don't disagree with your point on support Ember; I've heard she's pretty effective a few times myself.

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12 minutes ago, DukeAshura said:

Someone on the subreddit raised the same point. Come revision 2, I'm probably going to just return Accelerant to normal. Maybe add something a little extra, but without getting rid of the casting speed or damage boosts.

Also, why would support Ember be nerfed? Fireball Frenzy is more economical, as you only have to cast it once and have everyone stand in it to benefit, instead of on each ally individually, and Accelerant still gives it's large damage boosts. As it stands, you could run the same support build you have now and be just as useful to your allies, and reap the benefits from non-support abilities that aren't weak in high-level content.

And by the way, I don't disagree with your point on support Ember; I've heard she's pretty effective a few times myself.

while Fire Rate or Attack Speed don't really make sense to me for Ember, i'm mostly just concerned about Cast Speed being a great natural fit for a Warframe that is centralized around spamming Abilities. :)

well, Fire Blast has the capability to increase Damage currently, and you'd use it in addition to Fireball Frenzy and Flash Accelerant :p because more is more!

(yaboi, strongest overall Damage Buffing in the game(Banshee never counts, otherwise there's no competition), when Enemies aren't immune to Game Mechanics - it's actually technically still capable of hitting #1 even when they're partially immune like Eidolons)

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7 minutes ago, taiiat said:

well, Fire Blast has the capability to increase Damage currently, and you'd use it in addition to Fireball Frenzy and Flash Accelerant 😛 because more is more!

Oops, my b; just looked it up and missed the fact that Fire Blast's rings work like Volt's Shield; minus the critical damage boost. Now that you've mentioned it, I feel a little dumb.

If it make's you feel better, I've been thinking about giving Ember the ability to strip armor using her 4; but this wouldn't be of much use on say, an Eidolon. Maybe I'll integrate the damage bonus given by her 3 into to the flames created by her new 1; on top of the damage boost of the augment; as her new 1 is supposed to be a fusion of Fire Blast and Fire Ball.

Thanks for the heads up.

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