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Shadowh4nd

Energy, Zenzurik, Arcane Energize

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In the title, I named the largest sources of power creep. Energy regen is so fundamentally broken (or "disorganized" in its current form) that ANY warframe's true potential is gated behind mandatory "choices". First is Zenzurik Dash, which is then replaced by extremely pricey and rare arcanes. I think WF's original design did not compensate for the energy generation tools that we have now, but new content requires it. Really, we need to refocus how energy works in Warframe to a system that generates frame power without doing arbitrary movements like zenzurik dashes (I call these void dances), throwing pizzas, or putting together 2000p worth of equipment.

Don't tell me "that's why it's gated, for balance lol" because that's a lazy answer to a system with a poor choice for customization. Energy could be redone to allow other schools and arcanes to be viable in a method that is fun or intuitive. One that does not require cookie-cutter builds. Zenzurik is overpowered. I consider anything overpowered that absolutely outshines and reduces the other options to "stupid".

Just some thoughts on a redesign:

  • Energy refills at 2% per second on ALL warframes.
  • All warframes have their energy bar replaced with an activity bar.
  • This bar functions like a combo bar, it builds with activity, then degrades over time.
  • This bar increases when you damage or debuff a number of enemies, or buff/heal allies.
  • Damaging any enemy counts as one. Headshots count as 1.5. They do not count again.
  • Buffing or healing any ally counts as 20.
  • ** See footnote. All activity bars begin generation upon an ability cast that damages/debuffs enemies or buffs/heals allies.
  • After this initial cast, you can use weapons to generate points as well.
  • At a full (4/4) bar, your energy rate is 3x, or 6% per second.
  • This degrades back to 1/4 or 2% after 20 seconds.
  • Nullifiers, parasitic infested, and energy leeches no longer cause energy drain. 
  • Instead, they pause energy generation. This changes end game a lot, I think, because they are massively strong compared to other eximus units.

** You cannot simply start building an activity bar by shooting. There is no point for weapon-only, no ability use players (madlads) to build a high energy regeneration rate when they're not using energy anyway. If they want any generation, they can cast a single ability and start firing from there.

Changes on current mods, focus, etc:

  • Zenzurik Void Dash functionality changed: With Zenzurik, your dash creates a buff that temporarily doubles the points you gain from enemy/ally hits. 
  • Energy Siphon: Largely useless in its current form. Replaced, it counts as .6% increased regen to team before the activity bar multiplier is considered.
  • Therefore, a team of four using energy siphon would have 4.4% base energy regeneration, and 13.2% regeneration per second with full activity.
  • Arcane Energize: Chance on energy pickup to temporarily double your base energy regeneration, before multiplication.
  • Range unchanged, this affects allies within 10m but does not count as an ally "hit".

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27 minutes ago, Shadowh4nd said:

Energy regen is so fundamentally broken (or "disorganized" in its current form) that ANY warframe's true potential is gated behind mandatory "choices".

Well no, because every single player in the game can buy Team Energy Restores and spam the ever living heck out of them, which I do. 

Zenurik and Arcane Energize imo are actually redundant if you only use them to restore Energy and nothing else.  The only thing about them that's really different is once you have Zenurik or Energize, it's permanent, wheras you have to keep crafting restores.  But come on, I can slap down 5 pads in 5 seconds and start generating 2000 energy over 30 seconds, not just for me, but anybody near me, that outperforms both the aforementioned methods.  I'm actually surprised how many people gloss over these Restores, because they're absurdly broken and not at all that hard/expensive to maintain a consistent supply of.  They are highly abusable.  People using Zenurik and Energize purely for energy recovery are playing themselves without knowing it.

Realistically the energy system was broken long before those 2 were added and you don't really have to play by the "mandatory choices" to achieve the same results on any build, school or arcane.  I've used Unairu and Arcane Guardians for the last 3 years and never had an energy woe in that time because of the Restores.  I've also made a pretty penny selling every Energize I get to people who don't know better 😉 

Think about it - one Team Restore is 400 over 30 seconds... Zenurik is a 40% chance to give 100 extra every orb you pickup - so it's not only reliant on RNG, but also drops - AND is far less potent than a single restore.  The only way Energize could outperform is if you picked up some 10-20 energy orbs in a matter of seconds.

Energizing Dash? That can generate 150 over 30 seconds... nuff said.  Also it requires you to go to operator mode and dash, which is always longer than dropping a consumable.  400, and faster, is better every time.

None of that is to mention Restores have 0 cooldown and can be spammed and stacked indefinitely.  

Tl;dr Energy Restores are better and so the idea that there are mandatory build choices is fundamentally incorrect.    

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20 minutes ago, (PS4)Zuzu_with_a_Z said:

Energy Restores are better

You're kind of restating just how broken the system is, and my point was that the system should be redesigned around a FUN one that does not require arbitrary movements, like slapping pizzas down. Surely you do not find this to be the most engaging part during a mission. My issue is with gameplay design, around what is considered "fun" and what is "arbitrary".

Trying to further debate whether zen, energize is more valid than energy restores is missing the point.

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The change it so big that I think it should be in the fan concept more (kind of understandable to see it posted here tho, considering there's rarely any sign of DE paying attention to that section)

On the subject, If I understood it right (correct me if im wrong, and I'll edit), then I'm not sure if your footnote part would work for every warframe (" You cannot simply start building an activity bar by shooting "), maybe a better way to measure 'activivity' could be used. Since it's kind of weird having to use an ability even tho when the situation doesn't call for it, just to boost generating energy, say Chroma who usually have 2&3 up at all time would require him to cough with 1 before start gaining activity-points, so it can be pretty awkward when you cast in burst with high cost but have slow generation due to playstyle etc.

But I fully agree with what you've said about energy -

Quote

WF's original design did not compensate for the energy generation tools that we have now, but new content requires it.

and as you said, it's exactly why Arcane Energize and Zenurik is so desirable since it ties directly to our ability in dealing with any content. And in summary, Zenurik is pretty much what coptering was for bullet jump.

 

" Zenzurik Void Dash functionality changed: With Zenzurik, your dash creates a buff that temporarily doubles the points you gain from enemy/ally hits " - I worry this might still make Zenurik the go-to meta focus tho. I know most numeric values should be viewed as a placeholder, but if the default regen is to be balanced, then no doubt player would want/desire more than that for more power, which goes back to the initial problem. EDIT: rework other focus to reward energy differently based on thematic playstyle might better encourage variety.

 

I feel like there are definitely more room for ideas, one thing I really like about this is how Energy gaining is more controlled and proportional to effort. but I doubt if this will be taken much by the dev, outside of "System outdated. Need to rework energy" But considering how impactful the rest of the focus tree is, they might just have players living with zenurik for now, and fix it much much later, if not after m3.0,damage3.0,parkour(wall run I think?).

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11 minutes ago, Shadowh4nd said:

You're kind of restating just how broken the system is, and my point was that the system should be redesigned around a FUN one that does not require arbitrary movements, like slapping pizzas down. Surely you do not find this to be the most engaging part during a mission. My issue is with gameplay design, around what is considered "fun" and what is "arbitrary".

Trying to further debate whether zen, energize is more valid than energy restores is missing the point.

 I get your point, I was never debating that energy system was bad, or that if it is engaging.  I was only pointing out your statements about mandatory build choices is incorrect.

I actually agree with pretty much everything else you put forward. 

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12 minutes ago, Showerwalker said:

The change it so big that I think it should be in the fan concept more (kind of understandable to see it posted here tho, considering there's rarely any sign of DE paying attention to that section)

The majority of my posts here would probably be reserved for that section. I try to tow my suggestions in line with "balancing ideas" rather than just adding new content, so it can fit here albeit being a little conceptual. I think DE checks Reddit more than their own forums, honestly.

12 minutes ago, Showerwalker said:

Chroma who usually have 2&3 up at all time would require him to cough with 1 before start gaining activity-points,

You are kind of correct here and I see your point. My thoughts were this: Any ability that affected enemies or allies would start to the multiplier. Chroma recasts 2/3 and this hits allies, doesn't necessarily require usage of his 1 or 4 (though that'd mean they were useful for once). The mentality behind this was to encourage team play and ability use. It is not overly restrictive, as if you were not using abilities to begin with, you would also not require the fast regen rate.

Footnote: How would this be managed for solo play? Would self-buffing start the bar? If so, how could we stop players from just recasting on themselves to get to 3x?

12 minutes ago, Showerwalker said:

" Zenzurik Void Dash functionality changed: With Zenzurik, your dash creates a buff that temporarily doubles the points you gain from enemy/ally hits " - I worry this might still make Zenurik the go-to meta focus tho.

You're right, and perhaps my creativity is starting to really run out here on the individual changes around this system. It definitely is, and maybe we could change that. I'd like to see it a passive ability if I had more time to draw it out, which further employs the "lack of arbitrary movements" design I'd like to see

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59 minutes ago, Shadowh4nd said:

Footnote: How would this be managed for solo play? Would self-buffing start the bar? If so, how could we stop players from just recasting on themselves to get to 3x?

I actually didn't think of that hahaha, I guess 1 way is to expand the activity bar mechanic? doing actions give a 'mood' buff, have some non-stackable and refresh the duration when you repeat the action to prevent exploit, and reward variety over monotonous play. say headshots, excute, cc give "Fury"/"Insidious"/"Poised" and Buffs would give "Grace" or something outside of my tiny vocabulary, while aggressive actions are generally stackable, but last shorter, and passive actions would last longer but not stackable (I might be going off to far here), the problem would be lore, UI clutter, and conveying the actual effect (you could show the effect along with the 'mood' buffs but.. UI clutter)

 

On the topic of focus and energy regen (I'm kind of dry on ideas too, someone wrote a megathread on focus rework tho), I kind of like the idea of unlocking the 'true potential' of your warframe by unlocking your operator, it feels right in terms of progression and lore, the issue is the current focus tree is still largely a placeholder, I feel like it's hard to rework it into something useful while avoid feeding more power into this already unbalanced game, maybe waiting for damage to be reworked would make balancing everything else easier. Tho similar to energy regen, I do hope they're more merit based, in that you can rank them up faster by performing actions that fit the style, just to break up the monotonous Adaro, ESO and Eidolon grind.

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I do wonder if they should just do away with Energy and attempt to moderate power usage within the individual Warframe's kit, kinda like how Nidus uses mutation stacks for two of his abilities, and just build incentives into everything they want players to be doing, like party buffs that boost you the more people the buff hits and stuff.

Like if Ember and Frost had to maintain their Warframe's heat level in order to continue operating at peak efficiency, and various stuff boosted or reduced the heat level; sort of like their ability use is never prevented, it's just more efficient/effective to use them in certain ways.

Or Valkyr had a Rage meter, could either use it as a resource or as a damage/damage reduction modifier, like if she gets too angry she becomes immune to damage and hits like a truck, but her health rapidly degenerates, fun stuff like that.

Limbo get a Rift Stability thing?  I unno, I'm sure there's all kinds of more creative gimmicks to moderate power use that fit Warframe themes.

I feel like powers are too fun to be hard-limited by if you've got energy available or not, I reckon we need something that lets us go ham on abilities without having to jump through hoops first.  Warframe without abilities is kinda not Warframe at all.

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16 hours ago, Shadowh4nd said:
  • Energy refills at 2% per second on ALL warframes.
  • All warframes have their energy bar replaced with an activity bar

So I'm a tad confused here.  We still have Energy but now Energy is no longer collected by Orbs anymore for a flat rate?  And now the collection is based on a per second generator that is active ALL the time and that can increase or decrease based on level of activity?

EDIT:  For example:  I still have a max of 150 energy, but now I generate energy at a 3 Energy/Sec increment vs a flat 25 energy with orbs.

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13 hours ago, blazinvire said:

I do wonder if they should just do away with Energy and attempt to moderate power usage within the individual Warframe's kit, kinda like how Nidus uses mutation stacks for two of his abilities, and just build incentives into everything they want players to be doing, like party buffs that boost you the more people the buff hits and stuff.

Like if Ember and Frost had to maintain their Warframe's heat level in order to continue operating at peak efficiency, and various stuff boosted or reduced the heat level; sort of like their ability use is never prevented, it's just more efficient/effective to use them in certain ways.

Or Valkyr had a Rage meter, could either use it as a resource or as a damage/damage reduction modifier, like if she gets too angry she becomes immune to damage and hits like a truck, but her health rapidly degenerates, fun stuff like that.

Limbo get a Rift Stability thing?  I unno, I'm sure there's all kinds of more creative gimmicks to moderate power use that fit Warframe themes.

I feel like powers are too fun to be hard-limited by if you've got energy available or not, I reckon we need something that lets us go ham on abilities without having to jump through hoops first.  Warframe without abilities is kinda not Warframe at all.

This is pretty much the entire idea, I like where you're going with this also. The themes would be quite nice, but hopefully not confusing, as they'd do exactly the same. 

3 hours ago, (PS4)BJwobbleDix said:

So I'm a tad confused here.  We still have Energy but now Energy is no longer collected by Orbs anymore for a flat rate?

In my original post I hadn't forgotten or removed energy orbs. This is mainly a replacement for the stock-energy regen rate (which is abysmal). I thought changing this to not only be noticeable, but improving with activity, would allow some freedom from spamming zen dash, arcanes, so forth. 

Edit, clarity: The amount of energy you would have remains unchanged, even with the bar "replaced". This makes running flow even more powerful as the % regen per second would be increased, also. 

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hmm.  So first off, your idea actually takes from a very old concept of MMORPGs.  Usually there were 3 main resources to use for casting spells:  Mana, your own HP, or Energy.  Mana is typically a slow generating resource with a larger pool to work with while Energy was a smaller pool with faster regen potential and based around dealing damage or 'activity' (as you so call it) to replenish.  Usually, I remember seeing Energy used with classes that derive around faster playstyles and spammable abilities.

Now I do think it could work well in Warframe.  I've always pondered on the idea of outright having a base regen of Energy at 1/second. My main problem with your current implementation of it is the fact that the game's mechanics would need TREMENDOUS amount of rebalancing and I don't think it would be worth the time.  For one, you just gave a ton of extra energy to units and they will be unbeatable if there are no enemies to counter this.  The game is already easy enough.  Don't need it to be easier.  Consider this:  Nova Prime with 600 Energy pool.  At base, she is getting 12 energy/sec.  You bet I'm spamming abilities haha. To have Trinity level of energy regen GUARANTEED for every unit would be beyond busted.  You also nearly destroy any point of having a support frame and everybody becomes more self sustainable.  Granted any frame that can then produce their own energy without killing enemies, becomes less reliant on supports. Which is where I could kinda agree on Zenzurik--plus Zen can be a bit tedious but part of me kinda enjoys it at the same time.  But then again, when I have a good team comp, I don't use Zenzurik.  I focus on more offensive schools, my favorite being melee focused with Naramon cuz I can get ridiculously high combo counts without worry of losing it.  I believe Zenzurik is only a decent solo or poor team comp school.  So yeah, I use it a decent amount unless I'm with my friends lol.  When I'm playing Frames like Garuda, Hildryn (her 4 generates Energy at super high rates and synergizes INCREDIBLY well with Arcane Energize), Nekros, or some other self sustainable Frame, I don't touch Zenzurik.  I find it to be a major waste since I don't need that much energy to survive and spam abilities.  Plus there are Energy Restores if I do need some in a pinch.

But I guess this leads to another question:  Are Frames meant to be self sustainable?  Or should gameplay incorporate a level of team composition?  If we wanted to make every frame have a level of self sustainability, then I would say "yes" to your idea except with some tweaks for balancing.  But then, we may have to go back and look at the individual roles of support frames.

Personally, I think the current mechanic is fine as the game has always been built around having a 4 man team composition.  I would like to see more Frames have unique energy pools like blazinvire mentioned.  But I don't think Energy itself needs a complete rework.  I just think it needs balanced.  That being said, I also don't think Energy itself is the core issue to power creep.  For one, it's proven that enemy and mod scaling has massive issues--part of this may fall in mods that benefit energy as well.  Fixing these (properly) should undoubtedly change builds with weapons and even some frames if elements were altered.  Also, enemy design needs a much needed overhaul.  ESPECIALLY Eximus.  I know they can be improved in a way that may make "choices" with ability use a little more sensible and less spammable.  These are areas that can indirectly effect and balance how Energy works.

 

EDIT:

The one thing I would like to see changed is having energy and health restores to have a cooldown so they cant be spammed.  Such as only able to drop 1 every 10 or 15 minutes (depending on use as a team). 

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