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DiabolusUrsus

The New Melee Bindings are as Bad as I Expected

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Can we settle on the fact, the new melee system breaks a lot of things?

- You can't scan and melee defend yourself anymore, as you switch back to melee out of the scanner.

- If you switch between melee and gun (or scanner and melee) in some instances, you get stuck in animation, unable to do anything.

The only benefit for now is, you can weave between melee and your gun now, without interrupting the combo.

Spoiler

Example of a weaved combo:

 

Midwhile, I even found it better to remove the stance mod from weapons for the oldschool quick melee .

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2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

This is fair, but then can be said for any combo, including Melee 2.0 combos, as their functional purpose is for the player to go through the motions to eventually achieve some result at the combo string's conclusion. In that sense, getting rid of combo strings altogether would solve the issue.

True, and I think this is where the "Melee 2.0 tried too hard to copy DMC" criticism applies.

In DMC, different combos exist for two major reasons:

1. A large factor in the player's expression of skill is their ability to mix and match combos to exploit special effects tied to specific hits in specific combos (e.g., hitstun, knockback, bonus damage, etc.) in a smooth and varied way.

2. Simple variety. The style meter actively discourages spamming the same "most powerful" combos as a simple means of killing enemies efficiently, so players need lots of options to keep things fresh and satisfy the game's simulated panel of judges.

This fits well in a game where enemies are all reasonably durable punching-bags and style is legitimately more important than simple lethality, but neither of those criteria really match Warframe.

Therefore, I prefer to think of Warframe "combos" as a catchall term for a repeating sequence of attack animations. "Strings" would only exist in the sense that a stance has EEEEE because there are 5 different attack animations, not because the inputs need to be executed in that order.

Quote

I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, and I do think homogeneity among weapons of the same type is a problem as well, because these weapons come attached with stats. It is wasteful to have multiple weapons act the same way in this manner, because melee weapons need to be released with their own stats and mechanics, all of which end up amounting to nought if the most statistically efficient variant prevails. Thus, if homogeneity within grip types is the intent, one may as well simply have only as many melee weapons as there are grip types, turn all different weapons of the same type into skins, and all unique weapon mechanics into mods.

I didn't mean to suggest that they would be mutually exclusive, or even that distinguishing between weapons isn't important, only that distinguishing between grip types would be more immediately important and impactful.

In other words: grips would be archetypes, stances would be mostly aesthetic within each archetype, and individual weapons would have unique bonus effects that further modify their place in relation to similar weapons.

Obvious examples would be a conditional "ignited" state for weapons like heat sword, jet-boosted attacks for the Jat Kittag, or dynamic transitions between grip types for Dark Split Sword... But I would definitely like to carry that sort of differentiation over to all the other weapons wherever possible.

I certainly agree with your notion that duplicate weapons would be preferably released and sold as SKINS rather than entirely new weapons. However, without the ability to retcon specific weapons or staunch the influx of additional fluff, I think it would be wise to focus on making distinctions that benefit all existing and future content first.

Quote

All of these sound excellent. Regardless of our split on individual weapons vs. grip types, the models you are proposing are all good to follow, and fit the weapons they'd apply to.

🙂

To be perfectly clear, I don't even think it's a split of perspectives. If I could start from scratch, I'd go with your approach from the beginning - each NEW weapon has a noticeably unique identity, and anything that would amount to a model swap with altered stats would be a skin instead.

Having multiple interchangeable weapons with minor stat differences doesn't really make sense in a game where players are supposedly allowed to MODIFY those stats.

However, we've already got a very bloated stockpile of weapons to deal with and I would prefer starting with broad strokes for an immediate impact rather than jumping straight into the details.

Quote

Agreed completely, and this I think applies to guns as well. I do not see any value in arbitrarily defining some weapons as stronger or weaker than others based off some arbitrary progression threshold, and I'd rather make all weapons equally powerful, instead establishing MR weapon tiers based on quirkiness, complexity, and difficulty of use (i.e. start with simpler weapons, then introduce weapons with alt-fires, success conditions such as the Dual Toxocyst's headshot bonus, quirky modes of fire or attack, and so on). So far, MR power tiers have only served to further enforce a meta of optimal weapons versus MR fodder, to the detriment of diversity overall.

Agreed, though I'll append that I wouldn't mind vertical progression attached to MR PROVIDED that the player has options for moving specific weapons up the tiers through grind.

Quote

This I can largely agree with, though I also feel the homogeneity of older guns is still an issue that causes specific weapons to dominate over others on pure stats. Thus, while there's not as much of a problem, there's still a problem nonetheless of weapons that are currently redundant or mutually exclusive to each other's viability.

Agreed again.

There's certainly a lot of room for more variety- we could draw along faction lines with Corpus/Grineer/Infested weapons following general design patterns, and weapon classes having specific traits that cross those borders.

For example, an assault rifle is always going to be an automatic weapon for medium-range, but:

A Corpus AR operates on a battery, has unique innate combinations of elemental damage (e.g., Rad+Heat), and low recoil but comparatively slower projectiles.

A Grineer AR uses conventional magazines and has exploding detonite munitions (small added impact AOE) but higher recoil and becomes prone to overheating.

An Infested AR leeches health to reload and launches rather generic projectiles, but its symbiotic relationship with its "host" confers a sort of manual aim-assist (think Nova's Antimatter Drop while in-flight).

Obviously, these are just examples, but I think you get the idea.

Quote

This is fair. I don't think one necessarily has to define every single unique mechanic for every single melee weapon to make the point, but I think we can both agree that some degree of differentiation across melee weapons is needed, whether it be at the level of the grip type or the individual weapon.

Yes, agreed, and more specifically: why not both?

The way I see it, weapon archetype should define how a weapon CAN be wielded (sword vs. hammer vs. scythe) and what its stats will be like (damage/speed balance, slam AOE, etc.).

Weapon stance should define the STYLE in which the player wields a weapon (i.e., the player can pick up any similar weapon and swing it around the same way). For example, stance would control normal vs. reverse grips and overall animation aesthetic.

Weapons themselves should differentiate through unique traits (e.g., self-igniting swords, telescoping spears, transforming gauntlets, etc.)

I still have to sit down and think about how I'd go about the last step for various existing weapons, but that's the direction I'd like to see Warframe go.

Quote

Agreed completely, though I think the more general point still stands that, unless stances only serve a purely aesthetic function, they are likely to favor certain mechanics over others, which introduces a meta-balancing concern and its own degree of complexity. 

True, and I would very much like to have stances be almost purely cosmetic. Were it up to me: they would not apply bonus effects, would have no polarity, neither grant nor cost mod capacity, and the default "empty" stance would have just as many animations as an alternate one.

Quote

Indeed. So long as finishers slow us down and make us less able to do what we'd want to do in combat (including stealth combat, which may include quickly killing a nearby enemy after assassinating the first), they will remain undesirable, so the best course of action should be to either streamline them (in which case they may as well be regular attacks), or remove them outright.

True. I fully agree with your proposal of converting finishers into simple conditional damage multipliers, and granting special death/dismemberment animations for enemies killed with finishers would be the icing on the cake.

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2 hours ago, NoSpax said:

Can we settle on the fact, the new melee system breaks a lot of things?

Yes, absolutely. And it's particularly alarming that we haven't really heard anything from DE with regards to fixing them, or even acknowledging the problems.

2 hours ago, NoSpax said:

- You can't scan and melee defend yourself anymore, as you switch back to melee out of the scanner.

Honestly, I would really rather see scanning get removed altogether. It takes away from the game more than adds to it, IMO.

2 hours ago, NoSpax said:

- If you switch between melee and gun (or scanner and melee) in some instances, you get stuck in animation, unable to do anything.

I haven't actually encountered this one.

2 hours ago, NoSpax said:

The only benefit for now is, you can weave between melee and your gun now, without interrupting the combo.

  Reveal hidden contents

Example of a weaved combo:

 

Midwhile, I even found it better to remove the stance mod from weapons for the oldschool quick melee .

In this case (and especially in the context of the OP) I think the best approach would be to simply address WHY quick-melee is ever preferred over stances:

The smoothness of controls and freedom of movement.

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vor 2 Minuten schrieb DiabolusUrsus:

I haven't actually encountered this one.

Spoiler

 

These aren't still frames:

Warframe0056.jpg

Warframe0057.jpg

Warframe0058.jpg

Warframe0059.jpg

Trinity wants to use the Okina, but fails.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, NoSpax said:

Can we settle on the fact, the new melee system breaks a lot of things?

- You can't scan and melee defend yourself anymore, as you switch back to melee out of the scanner.

- If you switch between melee and gun (or scanner and melee) in some instances, you get stuck in animation, unable to do anything.

The only benefit for now is, you can weave between melee and your gun now, without interrupting the combo.

  Reveal hidden contents

Example of a weaved combo:

 

Midwhile, I even found it better to remove the stance mod from weapons for the oldschool quick melee .

I feel most of these are technical issues, rather than core design issues with the new system. I think there was a point where one could switch to and from the scanner with melee, but that changed recently for whichever reason, so reverting back to that would allow us to alternate between melee and gear once more. Similarly, if we're getting stuck in animations, that obviously needs a fix. As for the desirability of quick-melee, the core problem there comes from our old stances being bad, not from anything in the new system: effectively, the only mistake of the current implementation is that it forces us to deal with crappy stance animations that we were previously able to ignore, and reverting back to old melee wouldn't change these stances. As such, in either case, we'd still need to fix stances, or find some alternative that's not as simplistic and one-note as quick-melee only.

13 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

This fits well in a game where enemies are all reasonably durable punching-bags and style is legitimately more important than simple lethality, but neither of those criteria really match Warframe.

Therefore, I prefer to think of Warframe "combos" as a catchall term for a repeating sequence of attack animations. "Strings" would only exist in the sense that a stance has EEEEE because there are 5 different attack animations, not because the inputs need to be executed in that order.

This is fair, and I can agree with this. Even in an environment where our damage is balanced, most enemies in Warframe are still likely supposed to die extremely quickly, which I think is one of the reasons why current combos tend to feel so awkward (one has to constantly switch targets in a timed attack chain, when said attacks also don't always cooperate with the player's movement). Streamlining that down to cosmetic animations and repeatable attacks would likely work better in this respect.

Quote

I didn't mean to suggest that they would be mutually exclusive, or even that distinguishing between weapons isn't important, only that distinguishing between grip types would be more immediately important and impactful.

This I can very much agree with: more than anything else on the matter, our melee weapon archetypes need to feel different from each other. I shouldn't be able to swing around my greatsword with the same blistering speed as a dagger, nor should combat with both reduce itself to just slashing someone until they keel over, or spin-attacking ad nauseam. In this respect, it might also be useful to establish even more mod separation between grip types, e.g. to make attack speed less accessible to heavy blades, but instead give those weapons better access to range than daggers.

Quote

I certainly agree with your notion that duplicate weapons would be preferably released and sold as SKINS rather than entirely new weapons. However, without the ability to retcon specific weapons or staunch the influx of additional fluff, I think it would be wise to focus on making distinctions that benefit all existing and future content first.

Indeed, though shifting all duplicate weapons to skins would itself be a retcon that could allow for work to be stretched out across a longer pipeline: with every weapon turned into a skin, you could just keep pulling existing skins, and attaching weapon stats and attacks to them, until every skin becomes a bona fide weapon of its own. Thus, the minimum viable product to deliver a melee rework along either of our models would be to just define one weapon per grip type, turn the rest into skins, and then expand from there.

Quote

However, we've already got a very bloated stockpile of weapons to deal with and I would prefer starting with broad strokes for an immediate impact rather than jumping straight into the details.

Agreed completely, trying to rework everything at once is a recipe for disaster, and if there is a way to simplify the workload, at least in the short term, that should be the approach to take. I very much agree that grip types at the very least need to have their differentiation prioritized, if only because they're a prerequisite to differentiating individual weapons within each archetype.

Quote

Agreed, though I'll append that I wouldn't mind vertical progression attached to MR PROVIDED that the player has options for moving specific weapons up the tiers through grind.

This is fair. Personally, I take issue with vertical progression as well because it tends to create a downward-sloping difficulty curve, and thus make older/starter content more trivial, but ultimately allowing every weapon to reach a consistent level of power would already be far better than our current situation.

Quote

There's certainly a lot of room for more variety- we could draw along faction lines with Corpus/Grineer/Infested weapons following general design patterns, and weapon classes having specific traits that cross those borders.

Faction-based weapon differentiation is a brilliant idea, and I'd love to see common themes and lines of design for weapons of the same faction. In general, I think factions are painfully underused and underdeveloped even now in terms of gameplay, to the point where they often blend into each other: if using weapons of different factions conveyed to us the mentality of that faction, so to speak (e.g. Grineer weapons being crude and brutal, Corpus weapons being more complex, Tenno weapons being more old-fashioned, and so on), that would add extra layers not only to our weapons, but to those factions as well. Suddenly, mixing and matching factions and weapon archetypes wouldn't just be a matter of exploring aesthetic themes, but also doing the same for gameplay.

Quote

Yes, agreed, and more specifically: why not both?

The way I see it, weapon archetype should define how a weapon CAN be wielded (sword vs. hammer vs. scythe) and what its stats will be like (damage/speed balance, slam AOE, etc.).

Weapon stance should define the STYLE in which the player wields a weapon (i.e., the player can pick up any similar weapon and swing it around the same way). For example, stance would control normal vs. reverse grips and overall animation aesthetic.

Weapons themselves should differentiate through unique traits (e.g., self-igniting swords, telescoping spears, transforming gauntlets, etc.)

Agreed completely, individual weapons and weapon archetypes can both be differentiated simultaneously. If we're going with common themes across factions and weapon archetypes, this would essentially make every individual weapon the combinatorial product of their respective faction and archetype, plus whichever individual quirk at the individual level (which in many cases would be based off the weapon line it belongs to, e.g. the Soma or Dark weapons), which could make for much richer individual identities, as well as a much more robust system of weapon design. There'd still be the issue of the eleven or so Tenno dual swords we have, but at least there'd be more tools to break those down and find some unique theme out of each.

Quote

True, and I would very much like to have stances be almost purely cosmetic. Were it up to me: they would not apply bonus effects, would have no polarity, neither grant nor cost mod capacity, and the default "empty" stance would have just as many animations as an alternate one.

I actually really like this: if we can have different animation sets for our warframes, we could certainly have different animation sets for our melee weapons, if our melee weapons were to attack in the same way. Coupled with the above, this means the simplest possible transition could be to just start with as many melee weapons as we have grip types, change the rest into skins, and change our stances into animation sets. From there, one could generate new weapons from those skins, and if melee weapons are to use their own attack animations, that too could be fleshed out as well at the individual level.

 

Edited by Teridax68
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7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

This is fair, and I can agree with this. Even in an environment where our damage is balanced, most enemies in Warframe are still likely supposed to die extremely quickly, which I think is one of the reasons why current combos tend to feel so awkward (one has to constantly switch targets in a timed attack chain, when said attacks also don't always cooperate with the player's movement). Streamlining that down to cosmetic animations and repeatable attacks would likely work better in this respect.

One thing that I see come up repeatedly in reference to discussions like this is Warframe as a "horde" game, usually to the tune of justifying the exclusion of individually challenging enemies.

I personally feel that it would not only be possible but PREFERABLE to have the best of both worlds: trivial enemies meant to be swept up like dead leaves and rare stronger enemies requiring more serious commitment to bring down.

The Profit Taker is a great example of this environment missing the mark a bit; it's good that the Terra Mooks are there to counter weapon attrition (dropping energy and ammo), but it's a problem that they actually pose a noticeable threat to the player. In a boss fight, players should be free to focus their attention on the boss while mooks essentially serve as immersive ammo refills and health restores.

This dynamic could largely carry over to normal gameplay, albeit to a less exaggerated extent.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

This I can very much agree with: more than anything else on the matter, our melee weapon archetypes need to feel different from each other. I shouldn't be able to swing around my greatsword with the same blistering speed as a dagger, nor should combat with both reduce itself to just slashing someone until they keel over, or spin-attacking ad nauseam.

Precisely!

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

In this respect, it might also be useful to establish even more mod separation between grip types, e.g. to make attack speed less accessible to heavy blades, but instead give those weapons better access to range than daggers.

I think this can easily be controlled by correctly balancing weapon base stats, shrinking stat benefits from mods, and adding trade-offs (e.g., +speed -damage/-stagger) so that modding serves to specialize builds moreso than make them viable in the first place.

It also wouldn't hurt to consider whether certain bonuses should be fixed or percentage values.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Indeed, though shifting all duplicate weapons to skins would itself be a retcon that could allow for work to be stretched out across a longer pipeline: with every weapon turned into a skin, you could just keep pulling existing skins, and attaching weapon stats and attacks to them, until every skin becomes a bona fide weapon of its own. Thus, the minimum viable product to deliver a melee rework along either of our models would be to just define one weapon per grip type, turn the rest into skins, and then expand from there.

That's a bit drastic, and I'm not sure it's entirely necessary. At least, it would be difficult to define just 1 viable weapon per grip without also overhauling our damage system (players would expect at least 1 crit, status, and hybrid-capable weapon at minimum).

It also raises some questions:

What do you do about the mastery XP provided by weapons which might now be skins?

What happens to polarities, potatoes, and lenses applied to weapons that become skins, and what happens when they get changed back?

How do we pick which weapons are the "originals" or vice-versa?

Again, while I agree that it would be smarter to release weapons with paltry differences as skins rather than new weapons I think the safer option moving forward would be to leave the existing content more or less alone until we get to it. The goal should definitely be to reshape existing weapons into legitimately unique tools rather than generic alternates, but having generic alternates in the meantime doesn't actually break anything or ruffle any feathers unnecessarily.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

This is fair. Personally, I take issue with vertical progression as well because it tends to create a downward-sloping difficulty curve, and thus make older/starter content more trivial, but ultimately allowing every weapon to reach a consistent level of power would already be far better than our current situation.

True, though I think that concern could also be addressed by reshaping earlier content as the player progresses. If an end-game player needs to return to Venus, there should be some mechanism for them to access scaled content in that region without locking them to a few specific missions (e.g., high-tier bounties).

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

In general, I think factions are painfully underused and underdeveloped even now in terms of gameplay, to the point where they often blend into each other: if using weapons of different factions conveyed to us the mentality of that faction, so to speak (e.g. Grineer weapons being crude and brutal, Corpus weapons being more complex, Tenno weapons being more old-fashioned, and so on), that would add extra layers not only to our weapons, but to those factions as well. Suddenly, mixing and matching factions and weapon archetypes wouldn't just be a matter of exploring aesthetic themes, but also doing the same for gameplay.

My thoughts exactly! I've said repeatedly and will continue to say that fighting the Grineer, Corpus, and Corrupted is effectively the same, with an arbitrary color-by-numbers approach used for equipment modding.

Blasting a Heavy Gunner with Corrosive or Viral bullets doesn't actually play any differently than hammering a Tech with Gas or Poison. It's a facade of variety I would very much like to see replaced with something genuine.

This actually relates to your abilities thread, where my biggest criticism of our damage system is that the different types of damage don't actually create noticeably different GAMEPLAY.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Agreed completely, individual weapons and weapon archetypes can both be differentiated simultaneously. If we're going with common themes across factions and weapon archetypes, this would essentially make every individual weapon the combinatorial product of their respective faction and archetype, plus whichever individual quirk at the individual level (which in many cases would be based off the weapon line it belongs to, e.g. the Soma or Dark weapons), which could make for much richer individual identities, as well as a much more robust system of weapon design.

Yep! This would ultimately translate into the player picking a weapon TYPE based on playstyle preference and specific weapon based on the perks and quirks they find interesting.

Something as simple as Dark weapons having innate radiation is fine, I think, but could still use some polish.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

There'd still be the issue of the eleven or so Tenno dual swords we have, but at least there'd be more tools to break those down and find some unique theme out of each.

Dual Swords are one area where I expect to ultimately have a lot of weapons get retconned into skins and others get split into an entirely different weapon class.

Dex Dakra, Dual Keres, and Dual Raza would be prime skin candidates, I think, and the Ichors/Zorens/Kamas/Basolk should split off into a "hatchet/tomahawk" grip type.

Dual Swords would feature fast attacks with good blocking/parrying capabilities, while hatchets would have overall higher damage per strike with the ability to throw one of the paired weapons at a time.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

I actually really like this: if we can have different animation sets for our warframes, we could certainly have different animation sets for our melee weapons, if our melee weapons were to attack in the same way. Coupled with the above, this means the simplest possible transition could be to just start with as many melee weapons as we have grip types, change the rest into skins, and change our stances into animation sets. From there, one could generate new weapons from those skins, and if melee weapons are to use their own attack animations, that too could be fleshed out as well at the individual level.

🙂

Stances effectively already ARE animation sets; we just have to get rid of the silly "guaranteed proc," "triple damage," or "trigger finisher" effects tied to individual hits buried in random combos.

In my mind's eye there is the empty "default" stance representing the fundamental Tenno way of wielding each grip type, and then uniquely stylized stances the player can find and equip.

The default stance would be fairly simple and utilitarian (but still a complete stance with full-size animation sets) and the specialized stances would each fit a themed aesthetic. For example, if a stance is called Carving Mantis I want it to evoke the expected imagery on a lot more than a couple hits on one combo of several.

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7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

This is fair, and I can agree with this. Even in an environment where our damage is balanced, most enemies in Warframe are still likely supposed to die extremely quickly, which I think is one of the reasons why current combos tend to feel so awkward (one has to constantly switch targets in a timed attack chain, when said attacks also don't always cooperate with the player's movement). Streamlining that down to cosmetic animations and repeatable attacks would likely work better in this respect.

One thing that I see come up repeatedly in reference to discussions like this is Warframe as a "horde" game, usually to the tune of justifying the exclusion of individually challenging enemies.

I personally feel that it would not only be possible but PREFERABLE to have the best of both worlds: trivial enemies meant to be swept up like dead leaves and rare stronger enemies requiring more serious commitment to bring down.

The Profit Taker is a great example of this environment missing the mark a bit; it's good that the Terra Mooks are there to counter weapon attrition (dropping energy and ammo), but it's a problem that they actually pose a noticeable threat to the player. In a boss fight, players should be free to focus their attention on the boss while mooks essentially serve as immersive ammo refills and health restores.

This dynamic could largely carry over to normal gameplay, albeit to a less exaggerated extent.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

This I can very much agree with: more than anything else on the matter, our melee weapon archetypes need to feel different from each other. I shouldn't be able to swing around my greatsword with the same blistering speed as a dagger, nor should combat with both reduce itself to just slashing someone until they keel over, or spin-attacking ad nauseam.

Precisely!

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

In this respect, it might also be useful to establish even more mod separation between grip types, e.g. to make attack speed less accessible to heavy blades, but instead give those weapons better access to range than daggers.

I think this can easily be controlled by correctly balancing weapon base stats, shrinking stat benefits from mods, and adding trade-offs (e.g., +speed -damage/-stagger) so that modding serves to specialize builds moreso than make them viable in the first place.

It also wouldn't hurt to consider whether certain bonuses should be fixed or percentage values.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Indeed, though shifting all duplicate weapons to skins would itself be a retcon that could allow for work to be stretched out across a longer pipeline: with every weapon turned into a skin, you could just keep pulling existing skins, and attaching weapon stats and attacks to them, until every skin becomes a bona fide weapon of its own. Thus, the minimum viable product to deliver a melee rework along either of our models would be to just define one weapon per grip type, turn the rest into skins, and then expand from there.

That's a bit drastic, and I'm not sure it's entirely necessary. At least, it would be difficult to define just 1 viable weapon per grip without also overhauling our damage system (players would expect at least 1 crit, status, and hybrid-capable weapon at minimum).

It also raises some questions:

What do you do about the mastery XP provided by weapons which might now be skins?

What happens to polarities, potatoes, and lenses applied to weapons that become skins, and what happens when they get changed back?

How do we pick which weapons are the "originals" or vice-versa?

Again, while I agree that it would be smarter to release weapons with paltry differences as skins rather than new weapons I think the safer option moving forward would be to leave the existing content more or less alone until we get to it. The goal should definitely be to reshape existing weapons into legitimately unique tools rather than generic alternates, but having generic alternates in the meantime doesn't actually break anything or ruffle any feathers unnecessarily.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

This is fair. Personally, I take issue with vertical progression as well because it tends to create a downward-sloping difficulty curve, and thus make older/starter content more trivial, but ultimately allowing every weapon to reach a consistent level of power would already be far better than our current situation.

True, though I think that concern could also be addressed by reshaping earlier content as the player progresses. If an end-game player needs to return to Venus, there should be some mechanism for them to access scaled content in that region without locking them to a few specific missions (e.g., high-tier bounties).

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

In general, I think factions are painfully underused and underdeveloped even now in terms of gameplay, to the point where they often blend into each other: if using weapons of different factions conveyed to us the mentality of that faction, so to speak (e.g. Grineer weapons being crude and brutal, Corpus weapons being more complex, Tenno weapons being more old-fashioned, and so on), that would add extra layers not only to our weapons, but to those factions as well. Suddenly, mixing and matching factions and weapon archetypes wouldn't just be a matter of exploring aesthetic themes, but also doing the same for gameplay.

My thoughts exactly! I've said repeatedly and will continue to say that fighting the Grineer, Corpus, and Corrupted is effectively the same, with an arbitrary color-by-numbers approach used for equipment modding.

Blasting a Heavy Gunner with Corrosive or Viral bullets doesn't actually play any differently than hammering a Tech with Gas or Poison. It's a facade of variety I would very much like to see replaced with something genuine.

This actually relates to your abilities thread, where my biggest criticism of our damage system is that the different types of damage don't actually create noticeably different GAMEPLAY.

7 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Agreed completely, individual weapons and weapon archetypes can both be differentiated simultaneously. If we're going with common themes across factions and weapon archetypes, this would essentially make every individual weapon the combinatorial product of their respective faction and archetype, plus whichever individual quirk at the individual level (which in many cases would be based off the weapon line it belongs to, e.g. the Soma or Dark weapons), which could make for much richer individual identities, as well as a much more robust system of weapon design.

Yep! This would ultimately translate into the player picking a weapon TYPE based on playstyle preference and specific weapon based on the perks and quirks they find interesting.

Something as simple as Dark weapons having innate radiation is fine, I think, but could still use some polish.

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Posted (edited)

I'm all in favor of what's being discussed here...in particular for melee combat to be more satisfying in general.

While I like the idea of stun combos opening enemies to frontal finishers...said finishers shouldn't grant extra loot etc...but rather do massively increased damage with more graphic death fx / anims. Steve's idea of "Loot Pinata" finishers is neither needed (ammo drops are fairly plentiful anyway) or warranted. Granted, tt works for DOOM...but only because DOOM's gameplay is geared toward encouraging those finisher moves.

With regard to making melee more immersive, satisfying, and intuitive, I really think that a general reduction in our overall power level needs to happen first. When your average star chart level mook can die in at least 2-3 hits to most melee weapons (thanks in part to power-creeped mods), damage bonuses from combos are arguably a moot point.

Sadly, I get that people for the most part will be highly unwilling to give up even a little of their power fantasy for the sake of more challenging and satisfying gameplay. However, I strongly feel that a nerf to our capacity to inflict massive damage needs to happen regardless of any opinions and arguments to the contrary.

Edited by MirageKnight
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Posted (edited)

@Teridax68

Welp, no idea what ate the rest of my post, but I'm kinda demotivated from attempting to retype it.

EDIT: Or doublepost, nvm.

Edited by DiabolusUrsus

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Posted (edited)

This is pretty different from what y'all are discussing, but my biggest gripe with the new system is that it's fundamentally incompatible with players who disable "Align melee attacks to camera".

If you're like me and you prefer the freedom of aiming with WASD (which is default behaviour in most melee-centric 3rd-person games, especially the monster-hunting genre), then congratulations, directional-input combos essentially ban you from moving in certain directions while attacking. This already locks away many stances for me, so naturally, I was NOT happy to learn that DE is effectively planning to implement this into every damn stance in the game.

 

Some possible, hopefully-easy-to-implement solutions:

  1. (will annoy many players) Completely replace "Hold W" with some other activator, e.g. "Hold E" or "Pause".
  2. (most robust) Add a page in "Gameplay Settings" that lets players choose each combo's activator individually, from a dropdown list (between "Hold W", "Hold W/A/S/D", "Pause", "Aim + Hold E", etc.).
    All stances after Melee 3.0 will have essentially the same combos, just with different animations, so this setting page should be pretty universal across weapons/stances.
  3. (also robust) Add a line in "Gameplay -> Keybinds" for "Hold for secondary melee combo", set to W by default. 
    All "Hold W" combos will instead activate while this keybind is held, and players can change it at will-- even setting it to W, A, S, D at the same time if that's what their heart desires. (Might be a bit of work introducing "Hold E" or "Pause" as available settings, though...)
  4. (lazy solution) If "Hold W" combos must be a thing, then let them activate when holding A/S/D as well if "align melee attacks to camera" is disabled.
    This turns the combo into "activates while moving", instead of "activates while moving in this oddly specific direction". (Although it'll only affect the tiny handful of players who disable melee-camera alignment.)
Edited by SortaRandom
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Worse are the stance combos using the right-mouse button.

For that short amount of time, the game switches to the visor of your gun, if you happen to wield a sniper... it kinda looks strange

A notable quirk is being able to reload out of Hysteria.. I am used to be locked to Valkyrs Claws. Now, I kinda forget Hysteria is still active while I am running around Hek'ing everything.

"Dude, where is my energy? Parasitic Eximus again? Oh.. *press 4 to disable energy drain* "

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So I'm the only one angry about the "block" combos "marking" you to pull out the rifle as soon as you stop mashing the attack button? 

I think it should not do that after recognizing you attack after that.

It's annoying as hell and makes me not want to use those combos..

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12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

One thing that I see come up repeatedly in reference to discussions like this is Warframe as a "horde" game, usually to the tune of justifying the exclusion of individually challenging enemies.

Agreed, and I also feel the consistent and fundamental problem with that sort of discussion is that there's this complete lack of nuance: tying this back into factions, there's plenty of potential to have a horde mode (Infested), more tactical Payday 2-style combat (Corpus), a mix of the two (Grineer), and so on, all within the same game, and even DE somewhat thinks along those lines sometimes, with the complex design of some Corpus units. There's thus no reason to pigeonhole the entire game into a specific subgenre when we can have much more variety, and I also agree in this respect that we can have both fodder enemies designed for us to flex on them, as well as more challenging enemies to push us to use our tools more intelligently.

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I think this can easily be controlled by correctly balancing weapon base stats, shrinking stat benefits from mods, and adding trade-offs (e.g., +speed -damage/-stagger) so that modding serves to specialize builds moreso than make them viable in the first place.

It also wouldn't hurt to consider whether certain bonuses should be fixed or percentage values.

This is true, though even with bonuses that are currently almost always multiplicative (which preserves or amplifies differences in base stats), you will often end up with slow and fast weapons somewhat blending into each other, in part because extra speed doesn't make too much difference past a threshold, but also because heavy blade builds often tend to feature Berserker, which isn't used on daggers (none of them are crit-based, funnily enough). I also feel grip-specific mods can also go beyond just stats: exceptional bonus damage against unalerted enemies makes sense on daggers, but not necessarily on whips, for example, and whereas a mod that gives some bonus for hitting multiple targets in one swing would work on a heavy blade, it likely wouldn't on a rapier. I fully agree with the principle, however, that mods should serve to specialize our playstyles, rather than simply make us stronger, and that should justify changing many of our stat mods.

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

That's a bit drastic, and I'm not sure it's entirely necessary. At least, it would be difficult to define just 1 viable weapon per grip without also overhauling our damage system (players would expect at least 1 crit, status, and hybrid-capable weapon at minimum).

If we're going along crit, status, etc. as lines of differentiation, then you could expand to also feature those, though even then that may not be necessary (we already have grip types that are all status, like daggers or nunchaku). Beyond that, though, the need for crit weapons, status weapons, etc. along current lines of design I think is questionable, as ultimately those stats don't really differentiate gameplay, so if we're overhauling melee weapons, might as well change how we customize them as well.

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

It also raises some questions:

What do you do about the mastery XP provided by weapons which might now be skins?

Worst case scenario: would it really be that bad to subtract it? It'd be a huge MR drop, and people don't like losing stuff, but ultimately it'd affect everyone in the same manner, and would prevent giving people MR that nobody else would be able to access (unless you attached it to a skin, which would be weird). To some extent, it might even be beneficial to get people to rediscover the new melee weapons once they get reimplemented.

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

What happens to polarities, potatoes, and lenses applied to weapons that become skins, and what happens when they get changed back?

I guess they could always be returned to the user, to be added back once the weapon gets reimplemented, or used elsewhere in the meantime.

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

How do we pick which weapons are the "originals" or vice-versa?

I guess just pick the most basic version of each grip type, e.g. the Bo for staves or Skana for swords. If those can be made into a good enough proof of concept, then the rest can differentiate themselves with more interesting mechanics.

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Again, while I agree that it would be smarter to release weapons with paltry differences as skins rather than new weapons I think the safer option moving forward would be to leave the existing content more or less alone until we get to it. The goal should definitely be to reshape existing weapons into legitimately unique tools rather than generic alternates, but having generic alternates in the meantime doesn't actually break anything or ruffle any feathers unnecessarily.

This is fair, and I guess one could always implement this by stages, a la Melee 3.0 (when it eventually happens... anytime now). I do think there's merit in a clean break, though, as otherwise having to maintain two different systems at once can get confusing, especially when overlapping systems like mods factor in.

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

True, though I think that concern could also be addressed by reshaping earlier content as the player progresses. If an end-game player needs to return to Venus, there should be some mechanism for them to access scaled content in that region without locking them to a few specific missions (e.g., high-tier bounties).

Agreed, all of the game should be interesting to veteran players. With this in mind, though, I also want to avoid fragmenting the playerbase along power levels, which in this case would mean finding a way to let veteran players make beginner-level content more difficult for themselves even in the presence of other beginners. However, this in turn raises the question of why we even need power increases if the end result is that content scales to catch up with us anyway.

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

This actually relates to your abilities thread, where my biggest criticism of our damage system is that the different types of damage don't actually create noticeably different GAMEPLAY.

Agreed completely. Many of the problems with Warframe's systems is that many them lack depth behind the appearances, which makes the game shallower than it deserves to be. Factions in particular have tons of aesthetic, lore, and gameplay potential, and while some of that's been touched upon at times, there's much more to explore.

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Something as simple as Dark weapons having innate radiation is fine, I think, but could still use some polish.

Side note, but what is even supposed to be the point of the Dark weapons anyway? The radiation damage and high status imply they exist to turn enemies to your side, but that works terribly with melee (confused enemies will still likely focus the player), so the end result is that these are just weapons that happen to be good against Grineer, and generally meh otherwise. Food for thought...

12 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Dual Swords would feature fast attacks with good blocking/parrying capabilities, while hatchets would have overall higher damage per strike with the ability to throw one of the paired weapons at a time.

That sounds good, and with this I'd like to see more throwable melee weapons in Warframe, including actual spears: the gun spears we got are alright, but don't really capture the feel of throwable spears due to the base mode being ranged still. Combining block and ADS would be a good opportunity here to implement melee weapons that can be thrown with RMB+E or the console equivalent.

 

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3 hours ago, (XB1)Cubic Clem said:

So I'm the only one angry about the "block" combos "marking" you to pull out the rifle as soon as you stop mashing the attack button? 

Trust me, you're not alone in thinking that. This irritates me to no end. 

Like most things, DE really didn't think through their changes to weapon switching and blocking.

Should we be surprised by this? Not in the slightest.

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Gerade eben schrieb MirageKnight:

Trust me, you're not alone in thinking that. This irritates me to no end. 

Like most things, DE really didn't think through their changes to weapon switching and blocking.

Should we be surprised by this? Not in the slightest.

Okay then i raise my voice that this is a hefty issue that bothers me.. it's literally killing the flow of melee combat.. I was thinking they noticed and fixed it in the last 2 update we got but nope.. wtf. Even I'm not that lazy.. (sorry)

Constantly pulling out the weapon when I switch targets or walk for a bit.. ugh! I hate the block combos because of this.

Fun fact: I used to love those.. DE come on man..

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On 2019-06-27 at 3:51 PM, SortaRandom said:

This is pretty different from what y'all are discussing, but my biggest gripe with the new system is that it's fundamentally incompatible with players who disable "Align melee attacks to camera".

Wow, I wasn't even aware of what that setting really did. That said, this is closely aligned to the issue mentioned in the OP, which is that directional inputs are ultimately obtrusive and shouldn't be used.

On 2019-06-27 at 3:51 PM, SortaRandom said:

Some possible, hopefully-easy-to-implement solutions:

  1. (will annoy many players) Completely replace "Hold W" with some other activator, e.g. "Hold E" or "Pause".
  2. (most robust) Add a page in "Gameplay Settings" that lets players choose each combo's activator individually, from a dropdown list (between "Hold W", "Hold W/A/S/D", "Pause", "Aim + Hold E", etc.).
    All stances after Melee 3.0 will have essentially the same combos, just with different animations, so this setting page should be pretty universal across weapons/stances.

These should ultimately be all that is needed.

Without the inclusion of a precision modifier like lock-on, directional inputs do not belong on combos. By all means let players rebind inputs however they want, but the defaults should not include movement keys.

I'd even take it a bit further and say let players rebind any key they want as a combo modifier (i.e., KEY + MELEE). Stuff like pause and hold inputs should not be needed for differentiating combos in the new system.

On 2019-06-28 at 3:44 AM, (XB1)Cubic Clem said:

So I'm the only one angry about the "block" combos "marking" you to pull out the rifle as soon as you stop mashing the attack button? 

I think it should not do that after recognizing you attack after that.

It's annoying as hell and makes me not want to use those combos..

Nope, you're not alone. Though what pisses me off more is being unable to melee-glide without unequipping guns.

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I dont use E to use melee or 1 to use the first skill, I use the mouse4 and mouse5, that is two buttons on the left of my mouse, it makes it more comfortable when doing combos and keeping the movement

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On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

Stat-homogeneity and grip-specific mods.

I agree that conditional mods have a lot of potential, but I don't think we need to enforce them through strict incompatibilities. To use your multi-target bonus example, that already lends itself to use on polearms/heavy blades/whips; why shouldn't the player be allowed to slot it on a dagger if they're willing to dedicate more mods to expanding range? It would certainly be silly to have a Galatine be out-pacing, say, Ether Daggers, but simply widening the gap in base stats past what mods can overcome should be enough to maintain the distinction.

On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

If we're going along crit, status, etc. as lines of differentiation, then you could expand to also feature those, though even then that may not be necessary (we already have grip types that are all status, like daggers or nunchaku). Beyond that, though, the need for crit weapons, status weapons, etc. along current lines of design I think is questionable, as ultimately those stats don't really differentiate gameplay, so if we're overhauling melee weapons, might as well change how we customize them as well.

Honestly, I was just thinking in terms of Melee 3.0 without considering Damage 3.0. Given the choice, I would want to eliminate things like random crit/status altogether and avoid shoehorning individual weapons into either.

On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

Worst case scenario: would it really be that bad to subtract it? It'd be a huge MR drop, and people don't like losing stuff, but ultimately it'd affect everyone in the same manner, and would prevent giving people MR that nobody else would be able to access (unless you attached it to a skin, which would be weird). To some extent, it might even be beneficial to get people to rediscover the new melee weapons once they get reimplemented.

A few years ago I would have said no, it wouldn't be that bad. But today players would lose:

  • Innate mod capacity.
  • Daily standing caps.
  • Daily trade allowance.
  • Loadout slots.

That's bound to rub a lot of players rather raw, for very little concrete gain. If we're going to go that far, I think the better option would be rebalancing the mastery progression so that the existing Warframes/Weapons equate to a strong surplus of affinity for reaching MR30. This would give players the option of skipping some content they don't like, which would in and of itself alleviate a lot of the inconvenience of having so many "duplicate" weapons.

On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

I guess they could always be returned to the user, to be added back once the weapon gets reimplemented, or used elsewhere in the meantime.

Just make sure the refunded Forma are a non-tradeable special variant that resets rank; undoing that much grind would (rightly, especially if you factor in booster sales) provoke outrage. That said, also avoid announcing that plan ahead of time to prevent a repeat of the Steel Charge/Legendary Core debacle.

On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

I guess just pick the most basic version of each grip type, e.g. the Bo for staves or Skana for swords. If those can be made into a good enough proof of concept, then the rest can differentiate themselves with more interesting mechanics.

Is a proof of concept even needed though? Reworked stances are reworked stances, whether they apply to 1 weapon or 20. If you limit things to 1 weapon, you have to account for players not actually owning that weapon. For example, I have Bo Prime and Prisma Skana, but not the base variant of either.

On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

This is fair, and I guess one could always implement this by stages, a la Melee 3.0 (when it eventually happens... anytime now). I do think there's merit in a clean break, though, as otherwise having to maintain two different systems at once can get confusing, especially when overlapping systems like mods factor in.

I think phasing it in would be the best approach, and I question how much merit a clean break would actually have. Melee isn't especially prone to breaking from patch to patch, so it should require little to no maintenance as it is phased out. DE would just need to address content as it becomes affected. For example:

  1. Do a quick low-effort balance pass to bring underperforming weapons up to viable par (e.g., Fang Prime).
  2. Rework the "default" stance for each grip type, and remove the polarities and capacity bonuses from all stance mods (leaving players free to test out the default stances).
  3. Rework and release stances by grip type.
  4. Rework the combo meter and heavy attacks, and tweak affected mods (e.g., Blood Rush, Weeping Wounds, Drifting Contact, etc.).
  5. Do an in-depth balance pass of all weapons and melee mods to fit the new finished systems.
On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

Agreed, all of the game should be interesting to veteran players. With this in mind, though, I also want to avoid fragmenting the playerbase along power levels, which in this case would mean finding a way to let veteran players make beginner-level content more difficult for themselves even in the presence of other beginners.

I think Warframe is big enough that it shouldn't really need to worry about fragmenting the playerbase too much. The main issue is that only a few nodes are consistently rewarding and worth playing; this could be fixed by reworking regional progression and mission reward distribution to maintain a roughly even spread of activity across each planet/satellite. I think I may have mentioned this to you, but I had a system in mind where players run intelligence missions (e.g., Spy, Interception, Capture) to generate alert-style missions rewarding specific resources and building the F2P economy around a stable amount of grind needed to craft every new item.

On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

However, this in turn raises the question of why we even need power increases if the end result is that content scales to catch up with us anyway.

Fair question, and I personally find the idea of an "unleveled" game quite appealing. However, I don't see a practical way to uproot progression from Warframe's monetization. DE's big-ticket items are all closely related - Forma, potatoes, Rivens, boosters, etc. Sure, maybe they could make just as much money off of cosmetics and such... but do you see them taking a gamble on the viability of their product just to improve the gameplay?

I'd love to do it; I just don't see how.

On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

Side note, but what is even supposed to be the point of the Dark weapons anyway? The radiation damage and high status imply they exist to turn enemies to your side, but that works terribly with melee (confused enemies will still likely focus the player), so the end result is that these are just weapons that happen to be good against Grineer, and generally meh otherwise. Food for thought...

I think this would be best addressed through Damage 3.0, as you mentioned with regards to crit/status. "Innate radiation" is fine as a trait, but it needs polish in the sense that said trait needs to be legitimately useful. All in all I want all elements to be reasonably useful against all factions, but change how the player approaches specific enemies. Small flavor bonuses like heat being strong against Infested are fine, but they should be relatively small and not make or break the element.

On 2019-06-28 at 4:01 AM, Teridax68 said:

That sounds good, and with this I'd like to see more throwable melee weapons in Warframe, including actual spears: the gun spears we got are alright, but don't really capture the feel of throwable spears due to the base mode being ranged still. Combining block and ADS would be a good opportunity here to implement melee weapons that can be thrown with RMB+E or the console equivalent.

+1.

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9 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I agree that conditional mods have a lot of potential, but I don't think we need to enforce them through strict incompatibilities. To use your multi-target bonus example, that already lends itself to use on polearms/heavy blades/whips; why shouldn't the player be allowed to slot it on a dagger if they're willing to dedicate more mods to expanding range?

That example may work because range is not an innate strength of daggers, but that is precisely why the reverse example doesn't work: to go back to the example of exceptional bonus stealth damage on daggers, the mod may be balanced to work on daggers specifically because daggers can only hit a small number of enemies at a time at most. If the mod were made available on weapons capable of affecting crowds of enemies at a time, by contrast, such a limitation would no longer exist, and the result would be an abusive combination. Covert Lethality is currently not exceptionally problematic, for example, because its instant kill is restricted to finishers on daggers, but if it were a generally available mod that applied on any sort of stealth damage, it would likely be even more broken than current Maiming Strike + Blood Rush combos. Thus, I think some exceptionally specific mods are bound to be grip/weapon-specific not because of the grip's strengths, but because of their inherent limitations which allow such power to be equipped.

Quote

It would certainly be silly to have a Galatine be out-pacing, say, Ether Daggers, but simply widening the gap in base stats past what mods can overcome should be enough to maintain the distinction.

Okay, but how much are we talking about? If we radicalize a weapon's base stats every time just to make up for a mod with a stat they're not supposed to benefit from, there's a significant risk of ending up with some very stilted weapons, and at worst you may end up pushing players to equip those "undesirable" mods just for those weapons to feel more functional (e.g. if heavy weapons like the Galatine were massively slowed down). You'd have a much simpler balancing environment, and possibly even more diversity and player choice overall, if mods were made more specific to grips and weapons.

Quote

A few years ago I would have said no, it wouldn't be that bad. But today players would lose:

  • Innate mod capacity.
  • Daily standing caps.
  • Daily trade allowance.
  • Loadout slots.

That's bound to rub a lot of players rather raw, for very little concrete gain. If we're going to go that far, I think the better option would be rebalancing the mastery progression so that the existing Warframes/Weapons equate to a strong surplus of affinity for reaching MR30. This would give players the option of skipping some content they don't like, which would in and of itself alleviate a lot of the inconvenience of having so many "duplicate" weapons.

I think reaching MR 30 with MR to spare should be the ultimate goal for sure, though in the meantime I also feel the benefits tacked onto MR are themselves just arbitrary limitations that we either don't need, or that paper over other systemic problems (e.g. Standing grinding, current modding, etc.). If the threat of losing MR is too severe to consider, then one could simply prevent players from falling down the ranks, even if they'd still have a MR "debt", so to speak.

Quote

Just make sure the refunded Forma are a non-tradeable special variant that resets rank; undoing that much grind would (rightly, especially if you factor in booster sales) provoke outrage. That said, also avoid announcing that plan ahead of time to prevent a repeat of the Steel Charge/Legendary Core debacle.

I mean, we've had a whole bunch of reworks recently where DE's compensation was simply to give us three regular Forma, and that much was received just fine. Similarly, we keep having upsets to the Riven market with every disposition rebalance, which completely screws over some traders who bought overpowered Rivens for thousands of plat, only for them to devalue massively, yet that too doesn't create too many waves. In general, I think outrage over wasted grind is at best an exaggeration, at least in current instances, and at worst an argument primarily used by the devs to avoid reducing grind in the game, e.g. with the Hema ("Think of all the players who spent hours farming Mutagen" and the like). 

Quote

Is a proof of concept even needed though? Reworked stances are reworked stances, whether they apply to 1 weapon or 20. If you limit things to 1 weapon, you have to account for players not actually owning that weapon. For example, I have Bo Prime and Prisma Skana, but not the base variant of either.

Okay, but we're talking about grips here, not stances, and when the baseline weapon is that basic, it would be no problem to just give one to every player. If stances are to be cosmetic, then what matters is the moveset for each grip conveyed in those stances, so proof of concept is indeed needed to make sure those moves are considered good, otherwise you'd be adding tons of content over a fundamentally flawed system... again.

Also, side note, but I also feel that we need to condense variants as skins, regardless of which weapons get filled out. If Prisma, Prime, Vandal, Wraith, etc. variants offered some genuine twist on the original, perhaps there'd be some merit in them existing as separate weapons, but as it stands their consistent line of direction is "like the original, but better", which itself directly contradicts any goal to make all weapons around equally viable.

Quote

I think phasing it in would be the best approach, and I question how much merit a clean break would actually have. Melee isn't especially prone to breaking from patch to patch, so it should require little to no maintenance as it is phased out. DE would just need to address content as it becomes affected. For example:

  1. Do a quick low-effort balance pass to bring underperforming weapons up to viable par (e.g., Fang Prime).
  2. Rework the "default" stance for each grip type, and remove the polarities and capacity bonuses from all stance mods (leaving players free to test out the default stances).
  3. Rework and release stances by grip type.
  4. Rework the combo meter and heavy attacks, and tweak affected mods (e.g., Blood Rush, Weeping Wounds, Drifting Contact, etc.).
  5. Do an in-depth balance pass of all weapons and melee mods to fit the new finished systems.

And at stage 3, you're going to have to take a look at your mods so that they not only accommodate the old moveset, but the new one as well simultaneously. Imagine if autoblock were only released on some weapons, but not others: what exactly would one have to do with block and parry mods? Does one just shift those mods to one side or the other, and accept that they'll break on a large amount of weapons, or does one fill the mod environment with both, even though that'll mean taking the old mods away from players in the future, and generate significant confusion in the meantime? This is the reason I'm suggesting to a) go for a clean break, and b) make mods more specific, because the fewer dependencies you have between your components, the easier it becomes to isolate smaller parts of your system when making changes, and thus avoid unnecessary side-effects or complications.

Quote

I think Warframe is big enough that it shouldn't really need to worry about fragmenting the playerbase too much. The main issue is that only a few nodes are consistently rewarding and worth playing; this could be fixed by reworking regional progression and mission reward distribution to maintain a roughly even spread of activity across each planet/satellite. I think I may have mentioned this to you, but I had a system in mind where players run intelligence missions (e.g., Spy, Interception, Capture) to generate alert-style missions rewarding specific resources and building the F2P economy around a stable amount of grind needed to craft every new item.

I agree with making more of the in-game world consistently desirable, but I don't think any game is ever "big enough" to be able to afford fragmenting its playerbase, and more broadly, "it's not so bad" is not the same as "it's good": if Digital Extremes can make all of their game consistently engaging to all players who've gone through the content, and establish a solid connection between newcomers and the rest of the community, including (and especially) veterans right from the start, then that I think is an opportunity they should take, even if it means sacrificing the raw stat increases that currently trivialize so much of Warframe's content.

Quote

Fair question, and I personally find the idea of an "unleveled" game quite appealing. However, I don't see a practical way to uproot progression from Warframe's monetization. DE's big-ticket items are all closely related - Forma, potatoes, Rivens, boosters, etc. Sure, maybe they could make just as much money off of cosmetics and such... but do you see them taking a gamble on the viability of their product just to improve the gameplay?

I'd love to do it; I just don't see how.

Honestly? I do; I think Warframe's changed significantly and taken great risks for the sake of its gameplay already: many players kept insisting that if DE stopped releasing new content to take the time to improve the existing game, Warframe would die (a mantra DE themselves openly claimed to believe in for a time), but then DE released multiple large updates purely to update or rebalance content, or otherwise not directly contribute to the game's monetization, and those updates turned out to be among the most successful (e.g. Specters of the Rail, the Jovian Concord, that one update that rebalanced 100+ weapons). DE even changed some of their monetary deals, such as the mod pack rework or implementation of Prime Accessory-exclusive packs, in response to player feedback (or probably just Jim Sterling for the latter). For sure, DE is often stubborn when it comes to changing their old ways, especially when it comes to addressing the grind, and they're unlikely to change all of their monetization at once, but I do think there's plenty of precedent of them eventually caving in, or taking leaps of faith of their own accord, to the benefit of all.

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I think this would be best addressed through Damage 3.0, as you mentioned with regards to crit/status. "Innate radiation" is fine as a trait, but it needs polish in the sense that said trait needs to be legitimately useful. All in all I want all elements to be reasonably useful against all factions, but change how the player approaches specific enemies. Small flavor bonuses like heat being strong against Infested are fine, but they should be relatively small and not make or break the element.

Indeed, though for me, what matters more than the elements is what they actually do: I think the current elemental system is far too abstract and symbolic to truly contribute to gameplay, and in some ways limits gameplay when the only pool of effects you can truly choose from is that small, and carries significant side consequences. To some extent, I'd much rather go back to a Damage 1.0-like system where there's this huge list of distinct effects, and weapons can pick and choose which to apply in their gameplay for more nuance and differentiation. Weapons that set enemies on fire need not deal a special kind of Heat damage separate from regular damage, and if we're going to have weapons that turn enemies against each other, that need not be attached to any particular element, particularly when the current implementation leads to some pretty silly thematic dissonance (e.g. Oberon the nature druid/paladin primarily acting through Radiation).

Edited by Teridax68
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1 hour ago, Teridax68 said:

That example may work because range is not an innate strength of daggers, but that is precisely why the reverse example doesn't work: to go back to the example of exceptional bonus stealth damage on daggers, the mod may be balanced to work on daggers specifically because daggers can only hit a small number of enemies at a time at most. If the mod were made available on weapons capable of affecting crowds of enemies at a time, by contrast, such a limitation would no longer exist, and the result would be an abusive combination. Covert Lethality is currently not exceptionally problematic, for example, because its instant kill is restricted to finishers on daggers, but if it were a generally available mod that applied on any sort of stealth damage, it would likely be even more broken than current Maiming Strike + Blood Rush combos. Thus, I think some exceptionally specific mods are bound to be grip/weapon-specific not because of the grip's strengths, but because of their inherent limitations which allow such power to be equipped.

True, but any bonus that needs to be so specific should be a weapon property and not a mod. Covert Lethality is a great example of this; it makes any dagger useful but players widely accept that daggers are mostly useless without it. Why not just make highly damaging stealth finishers innate for daggers?

An alternative mod that would better fit my suggestion would be a stacking bonus applied to consecutive hits on the same target. Great for daggers, less immediately useful on heavy blades, but still compatible.

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Okay, but how much are we talking about? If we radicalize a weapon's base stats every time just to make up for a mod with a stat they're not supposed to benefit from, there's a significant risk of ending up with some very stilted weapons, and at worst you may end up pushing players to equip those "undesirable" mods just for those weapons to feel more functional (e.g. if heavy weapons like the Galatine were massively slowed down). You'd have a much simpler balancing environment, and possibly even more diversity and player choice overall, if mods were made more specific to grips and weapons.

Nothing too crazy, and the radical differences would be mostly between grip types. You're looking at an attack rate floor of ~0.8/s for heavy blades/hammers and ceiling of 2/s for daggers.

Everything in-between is going to start to blend together no matter WHAT you do, so that's where differing movesets and weapon-specific properties come in.

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I think reaching MR 30 with MR to spare should be the ultimate goal for sure, though in the meantime I also feel the benefits tacked onto MR are themselves just arbitrary limitations that we either don't need, or that paper over other systemic problems (e.g. Standing grinding, current modding, etc.). If the threat of losing MR is too severe to consider, then one could simply prevent players from falling down the ranks, even if they'd still have a MR "debt", so to speak.

It's not that the MR itself is the biggest issue; it's the benefits that the community has asked for repeatedly over a long period of time that DE has finally gotten around to adding.

If you want to take aim at those in favor of systemic fixes that make those benefits unneeded I'm totally on board... Just phase them out as they are addressed similarly to rolling out weapon traits.

Got a fix in mind to make standing caps unnecessary? Go for it, but leave the cap bonuses from MR intact until it's ready and THEN take 'em out.

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I mean, we've had a whole bunch of reworks recently where DE's compensation was simply to give us three regular Forma, and that much was received just fine.

True, but none of those have involved fully removing the reworked item in question and replacing it with a skin to MAYBE come back at a later point.

That approach would necessarily wipe existing custom polarities entirely, which is a bit different from applied polarities potentially being undesirable after a change... But perhaps not (in which case yay, free Forma). I'd bet money that the complaints were limited because little to no re-polarizing was needed after those reworks for most players.

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Similarly, we keep having upsets to the Riven market with every disposition rebalance, which completely screws over some traders who bought overpowered Rivens for thousands of plat, only for them to devalue massively, yet that too doesn't create too many waves.

It created noticeable waves when it first started happening, but they didn't really go anywhere precisely because Rivens were SUPPOSED to be that way from the beginning. Changing dispositions were common knowledge for anyone getting that invested in the market; players didn't really have a leg to stand on in that respect.

Considering the pseudo-scandal that popped up regarding the "Riven Mafia" around the same time, I'm also guessing that the players most affected by those changes are disinclined to talk about them and open themselves to public ridicule/persecution.

Something as fundamental as lost "legitimate" progress in terms of polarities, however, would be something players could universally rally behind.

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In general, I think outrage over wasted grind is at best an exaggeration, at least in current instances, and at worst an argument primarily used by the devs to avoid reducing grind in the game, e.g. with the Hema ("Think of all the players who spent hours farming Mutagen" and the like).

This is an apples and oranges example, I think, because rather than use it as an excuse to block changes altogether all I'm saying is to make it as painless as possible.

Sure, maybe you could get away with wiping tons of polarities and leaving players to re-grind them as their weapons reappear. But why would you want to? Just "refund" the time.

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Okay, but we're talking about grips here, not stances, and when the baseline weapon is that basic, it would be no problem to just give one to every player. If stances are to be cosmetic, then what matters is the moveset for each grip conveyed in those stances, so proof of concept is indeed needed to make sure those moves are considered good, otherwise you'd be adding tons of content over a fundamentally flawed system... again.

I think you are misunderstanding the changes I proposed, so I'll try to clarify some definitions here:

Stances ARE movesets, at least when it comes to differentiating between grips. Individual stance MODS are all aesthetic variations of the same basic moveset innate to the compatible grip.

Therefore, reworking the default (empty) stance for all grips IS the "proof of concept" for the new movesets and combo bindings. These changes can be weapon-generic; whether the player tests heavy blades with Galatine, Gram, or Paracesis ultimately doesn't matter in the least, so why are we messing with player inventories at this point?

At the same time, it simply wouldn't be practical to rework all the stances at once. Removing stance bonus capacity and polarities allows players to unequip their Melee 2.0 stance mods at no penalty (freeing them up to use the 3.0 movesets) while keeping them as backups if the new versions are bad.

Assuming the new movesets are good, the "old" stance mods can be progressively brought up to the 3.0 standard by grip type (i.e., phased out). Then, once the moveset foundation is solid we can start further differentiating grips through stat rebalancing and introducing weapon-specific quirks.

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Also, side note, but I also feel that we need to condense variants as skins, regardless of which weapons get filled out. If Prisma, Prime, Vandal, Wraith, etc. variants offered some genuine twist on the original, perhaps there'd be some merit in them existing as separate weapons, but as it stands their consistent line of direction is "like the original, but better", which itself directly contradicts any goal to make all weapons around equally viable.

Agreed, but again we should be approaching this in baby steps. Movesets first, which doesn't necessitate trimming duplicate weapons immediately. They should work across all weapons in the same category.

Once the movesets are solid, THEN you address the individual weapon balance and trim out duplicates. Straight-up variants like Prisma/Prime should DEFINITELY be skins.

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And at stage 3, you're going to have to take a look at your mods so that they not only accommodate the old moveset, but the new one as well simultaneously. Imagine if autoblock were only released on some weapons, but not others: what exactly would one have to do with block and parry mods? Does one just shift those mods to one side or the other, and accept that they'll break on a large amount of weapons, or does one fill the mod environment with both, even though that'll mean taking the old mods away from players in the future, and generate significant confusion in the meantime? This is the reason I'm suggesting to a) go for a clean break, and b) make mods more specific, because the fewer dependencies you have between your components, the easier it becomes to isolate smaller parts of your system when making changes, and thus avoid unnecessary side-effects or complications.

No, just immediately move it to the new system, because the default stances are already updated to the 3.0 standard. If the player wants to use mods that would break under the 2.0 model, they can just unequip their 2.0 stance.

That's the entire benefit of the phasing:

Using the default stances as the test flight makes them universally and immediately available to all players. At the same time, don't bother moving mods to the new system until that new system is solid.

Once the stance mods start transitioning, the assumption is that the new system is solid and it's time to start porting mods over as-needed.

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I agree with making more of the in-game world consistently desirable, but I don't think any game is ever "big enough" to be able to afford fragmenting its playerbase, and more broadly, "it's not so bad" is not the same as "it's good": if Digital Extremes can make all of their game consistently engaging to all players who've gone through the content, and establish a solid connection between newcomers and the rest of the community, including (and especially) veterans right from the start, then that I think is an opportunity they should take, even if it means sacrificing the raw stat increases that currently trivialize so much of Warframe's content.

Fair enough, but this still circles back into the below:

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Honestly? I do; I think Warframe's changed significantly and taken great risks for the sake of its gameplay already: many players kept insisting that if DE stopped releasing new content to take the time to improve the existing game, Warframe would die (a mantra DE themselves openly claimed to believe in for a time), but then DE released multiple large updates purely to update or rebalance content, or otherwise not directly contribute to the game's monetization, and those updates turned out to be among the most successful (e.g. Specters of the Rail, the Jovian Concord, that one update that rebalanced 100+ weapons). DE even changed some of their monetary deals, such as the mod pack rework or implementation of Prime Accessory-exclusive packs, in response to player feedback (or probably just Jim Sterling for the latter). For sure, DE is often stubborn when it comes to changing their old ways, especially when it comes to addressing the grind, and they're unlikely to change all of their monetization at once, but I do think there's plenty of precedent of them eventually caving in, or taking leaps of faith of their own accord, to the benefit of all.

What DE has done and what you are proposing are on entirely different scales; pausing content updates to polish older content and rebalancing stats are not even remotely comparable to fully removing their premium incentives.

DE sells power, and they have primarily gotten big through selling that power. If they can't sell that anymore, what do they sell instead? I sincerely doubt that cosmetic sales alone could make up the difference.

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Indeed, though for me, what matters more than the elements is what they actually do: I think the current elemental system is far too abstract and symbolic to truly contribute to gameplay, and in some ways limits gameplay when the only pool of effects you can truly choose from is that small, and carries significant side consequences. To some extent, I'd much rather go back to a Damage 1.0-like system where there's this huge list of distinct effects, and weapons can pick and choose which to apply in their gameplay for more nuance and differentiation.

Agreed that damage 1.0 was better in the sense that elements felt more distinct and interesting. To that end, I would like guaranteed minor status effects (e.g., burning fire) and accumulative major effects (e.g., burning panic).

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Weapons that set enemies on fire need not deal a special kind of Heat damage separate from regular damage,

Interesting, and it would fit what I had in mind for how to implement weaknesses/resistances without relying directly on multipliers.

For example, Infested might possess very fast health regeneration. Heat would therefore be effective not due to dealing 75% more damage, but by the constant DOT effectively mitigating the regeneration.

Obviously Heat wouldn't be NEEDED to beat the Infested, but it would be a noticeable benefit.

I think it would be nice for every weapon to have a set amount of raw "damage," with a max of 1 physical and 1 elemental modifier applied to it. This would also tie in nicely to my spitball idea for Corpus weapons: they would have get a second elemental modifier in place of a physical one.

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and if we're going to have weapons that turn enemies against each other, that need not be attached to any particular element, particularly when the current implementation leads to some pretty silly thematic dissonance (e.g. Oberon the nature druid/paladin primarily acting through Radiation).

Agreed, though I think this largely translates to a need for redefining and/or expanding the pool. We've touched on this before, but stuff like a water status for Hydroid capable of interacting with other elements (electricity, cold, etc.) could be beneficial.

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6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

True, but any bonus that needs to be so specific should be a weapon property and not a mod. Covert Lethality is a great example of this; it makes any dagger useful but players widely accept that daggers are mostly useless without it. Why not just make highly damaging stealth finishers innate for daggers?

Because this is only a single example being cited, and if you were to insert every single potential idea of a more niche mod into the entire grip class, every weapon would obviously be overloaded with baseline mechanics, and there'd be little to no room for interesting mods. Bonus stealth damage isn't the only thing that daggers can benefit from; you could also incorporate the mechanic of them removing bits of the target's armor that's appeared on some current mods, or another that could let you deal additional damage against enemies staggered by a parry, and so on. Covert Lethality is necessary on daggers simply because it's a mod so much more powerful than the rest that the grip has to be balanced around it, which makes daggers feel currently deficient without it (it doesn't help that Covert Lethality is still a must-pick even when not engaging in stealthy combat, due to its hefty base attack damage increase). In an environment with multiple attractive, yet well-adapted competitors, this would not have to be the case.

I can agree with establishing weapons around unique mechanics, which would likely draw from the above pool, but if we're going to that extreme, that simply raises the question of what purpose mods are meant to serve: if they're meant to fine-tune our weapons, then we might as well give every individual weapon its own pool of tailor-made mods, but if they're meant to add chunks of gameplay to our weapons, then there needs to be room for unique mechanics in mods, even if those mechanics need to be adapted to the weapons they fit onto.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

An alternative mod that would better fit my suggestion would be a stacking bonus applied to consecutive hits on the same target. Great for daggers, less immediately useful on heavy blades, but still compatible.

Okay, but that's the same as the whip example. If you turned the tables, and designed that mod for heavy blades so that players could get rewarded for whaling on single targets, you'd have a balance nightmare if it were to be equipped on daggers. With mods like these you're implicitly restricting them to certain weapon classes already, so you might as well spare the player the illusion of choice.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Nothing too crazy, and the radical differences would be mostly between grip types. You're looking at an attack rate floor of ~0.8/s for heavy blades/hammers and ceiling of 2/s for daggers.

Everything in-between is going to start to blend together no matter WHAT you do, so that's where differing movesets and weapon-specific properties come in.

Okay, but how can you know that'll be the stat spread that actually turns out to be balanced? The Gram Prime is at 0.8, and with just Berserker exceeds the base attack speed of any other weapon. Meanwhile, the Prisma Obex has the fastest base attack speed in the game at 1.33, and falls into similar button-mashing with similar mod setups, because past a certain point it doesn't matter what the minor difference in attack delay is, as you'll still be mashing buttons to attack super fast. The fact that attack speed mods are desirable on even the slowest melee weapons itself suggests that you'd have to go pretty extreme lengths for that to no longer be the case. If weapons blending together through mods is inevitable, all the more reason to make certain mods exclusive to certain weapon types in order to avoid that.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

IGot a fix in mind to make standing caps unnecessary? Go for it, but leave the cap bonuses from MR intact until it's ready and THEN take 'em out.

Sure, which is why leaving players at their current MR level, regardless of how much they've lost, could avoid that problem in the shorter term. I just think that many of the player requests that got tied to MR were requests for general quality of life improvements, not necessarily to make the push towards higher MR any more of a goal than it already was before.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

True, but none of those have involved fully removing the reworked item in question and replacing it with a skin to MAYBE come back at a later point.

But we did get outright removals of several mods, though, such as with the removal of Stamina, and in the case of Riven mods, there's an undeniable monetary loss from devaluation, so I don't think that difference in implementation really captures the fact that players have in fact lost stuff and been fairly okay with it.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

That approach would necessarily wipe existing custom polarities entirely, which is a bit different from applied polarities potentially being undesirable after a change... But perhaps not (in which case yay, free Forma). I'd bet money that the complaints were limited because little to no re-polarizing was needed after those reworks for most players.

But we're talking melee weapons here, where current stance pool bonuses mean that even builds full of Primed mods have to try very hard to make us Forma our weapons more than once, or at all. I also don't think that's really the case, since reworks like Saryn's, Nezha's or even Wukong's shifted the stat focus sometimes significantly relative to previous builds (Saryn builds had to focus more on Power Range, Power Strength Nezha went into full force, and Wukong's Iron Staff is now a Slash status monster).

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Something as fundamental as lost "legitimate" progress in terms of polarities, however, would be something players could universally rally behind.

If so, then why does the inevitable tide of complaints against impending reworks never seem to mention having to re-level the frame or weapon? It's not really a big deal to level a frame to 30, let alone a weapon, and while there is a (small) amount of criticism of how Primes tend to invalidate progress made on non-Primes, there doesn't seem to be any concern of having progress invalidated during reworks or even rebalances. One can conjecure about the Riven Mafia and the like, but the net result is that people affected even harder, sometimes losing hundreds of Forma's worth of plat overnight, are in a general state where even that much doesn't make waves, and more minor losses in progress to warframes and weapons also don't seem to make waves by themselves either.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Sure, maybe you could get away with wiping tons of polarities and leaving players to re-grind them as their weapons reappear. But why would you want to? Just "refund" the time.

If every melee weapon is being reworked into something that plays differently, why wouldn't I want to make them relevel that weapon at least once? It's the perfect opportunity to have that player familiarize themselves with the weapon's mechanics before they bring it into some high-level mission and complain when they start attacking differently. There are a great many instances of players getting their time or commitment "wasted" by unforeseen changes (for example, event-exclusive weapons being made generally available), and the complains that arise from that are tiny.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I think you are misunderstanding the changes I proposed, so I'll try to clarify some definitions here:

Stances ARE movesets, at least when it comes to differentiating between grips. Individual stance MODS are all aesthetic variations of the same basic moveset innate to the compatible grip.

Therefore, reworking the default (empty) stance for all grips IS the "proof of concept" for the new movesets and combo bindings. These changes can be weapon-generic; whether the player tests heavy blades with Galatine, Gram, or Paracesis ultimately doesn't matter in the least, so why are we messing with player inventories at this point?

But then we're back at what we were discussing, because "default stances" are just grips, and unless you have a plan to accommodate every unique mechanic under this new system, or create new ones for those without, boiling down the changes to the minimum needed to be delivered would be the simplest, especially since if you had any of those weapons, you could still make your grip look like it. Messing with the player's inventory here shifts the question of how to implement individual weapons to a later, more manageable date, because your basic versions would not need such consideration (or at least much smaller consideration). 

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

At the same time, it simply wouldn't be practical to rework all the stances at once. Removing stance bonus capacity and polarities allows players to unequip their Melee 2.0 stance mods at no penalty (freeing them up to use the 3.0 movesets) while keeping them as backups if the new versions are bad.

And, in the process, mess up the resulting mod builds for every melee weapon in the game, as happened with Exalted melee weapons whose stances had no pool bonuses. Thus, if you do not make a clean break, you are going to have to straddle two systems at once, and that's going to generate a whole slew of problems of its own, in both the short and long term.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Assuming the new movesets are good, the "old" stance mods can be progressively brought up to the 3.0 standard by grip type (i.e., phased out). Then, once the moveset foundation is solid we can start further differentiating grips through stat rebalancing and introducing weapon-specific quirks.

Stances don't exist in a vacuum, though, and you do have weapons that rely on stance moves in order to function (e.g. gunblades). Making your changes compatible for two radically different systems to coexist with each other is a messy and potentially massive implementation problem of its own, one that doesn't exist in a simplified environment where you just boil everything down to a smaller pool of weapons that can then be expanded and refined, much like you're suggesting here.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Agreed, but again we should be approaching this in baby steps. Movesets first, which doesn't necessitate trimming duplicate weapons immediately. They should work across all weapons in the same category.

If you have all weapons in the same category working the same, then whether those weapons are individual weapons or skins is functionally irrelevant. Again, the fact that certain weapons do in fact depend on specific moves, and that some weapons would in fact interact differently with the new system, means that preserving them does create more overhead.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

No, just immediately move it to the new system, because the default stances are already updated to the 3.0 standard. If the player wants to use mods that would break under the 2.0 model, they can just unequip their 2.0 stance.

... but what about 2.0 mods that would break under 3.0? Your options here are to a) redesign those mods to function under both systems, if that's even possible, b) release a new generation of redundant mods with the aim of removing the older versions, while somehow finding a way to tell players which mod works for which stance, c) compromise on your new stance designs to avoid this, or d) leave players with a melee system that'll be broken for whichever length of time because you have two completely different design philosophies occupying the same space. There's a question of backwards and forwards compatibility here with mods, is my point.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

What DE has done and what you are proposing are on entirely different scales; pausing content updates to polish older content and rebalancing stats are not even remotely comparable to fully removing their premium incentives.

Except I also clearly pointed out to instances where DE did in fact change some of their monetization to be more player-friendly, e.g. by releasing Prime Accessory packs without forcing players to buy the frames and weapons, or reworking their mod packs completely. Thus, there is a precedent for what I'm suggesting, particularly as I also stressed that such a set of changes need not (and likely should not) happen all in one go.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

DE sells power, and they have primarily gotten big through selling that power. If they can't sell that anymore, what do they sell instead? I sincerely doubt that cosmetic sales alone could make up the difference.

Why? Tennogen is massively successful, cosmetics are celebrated in the community, and games like Team Fortress 2 show it's perfectly possible for a developer to make a huge profit by letting dedicated players become content creators. This is also in an environment where not that many developer resources are dedicated towards stimulating Tennogen, so there is significant room for growth there. Furthermore, DE may sell power, but that power is also readily obtainable, as Forma and Exilus Adapters are craftable, and potatoes are frequently given out too. It does not take a player who knows what they're doing very many resources to put the right consumables on the items they want to use frequently, and I think that's something DE actually wants, as otherwise they'd likely get accused of being pay2win. Thus, there is only limited consumption to be had of power, but near-unlimited potential for diverse and interesting cosmetics.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

For example, Infested might possess very fast health regeneration. Heat would therefore be effective not due to dealing 75% more damage, but by the constant DOT effectively mitigating the regeneration.

Indeed, and perhaps even more simply, if fire is contagious upon contact or proximity, you're going to have a much easier time igniting a horde of melee-rushing enemies than a spread-out squad of more defensive units. Plus, if they're squishy, the DoT will kill them all in seconds while one runs away, whereas tougher units may be more able to fight back.

6 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I think it would be nice for every weapon to have a set amount of raw "damage," with a max of 1 physical and 1 elemental modifier applied to it. This would also tie in nicely to my spitball idea for Corpus weapons: they would have get a second elemental modifier in place of a physical one.

That is definitely a good way to differentiate weapons by faction: personally, I think the key defining characteristic to Corpus weapons is that they should be more cerebral in some form or another: the Lenz is a good example, because it requires some amount of positioning and calculation, irrespective of whether its blasts are physical or elemental.

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2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Because this is only a single example being cited, and if you were to insert every single potential idea of a more niche mod into the entire grip class, every weapon would obviously be overloaded with baseline mechanics, and there'd be little to no room for interesting mods.

I think it would be reasonable to expect some degree of moderation when it comes to selecting baseline mechanics; while many different possibilities might exist it wouldn't be necessary to include all of them.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Bonus stealth damage isn't the only thing that daggers can benefit from; you could also incorporate the mechanic of them removing bits of the target's armor that's appeared on some current mods,

Okay, but progressive armor reduction isn't something quite so niche as to warrant being made innate. It would easily be useful to practically any weapon; just don't balance it against attack speed. For example, a corroding armor DOT that refreshes but does not stack or a fixed percentage armor break that scales with heavy attack multiplier (in which case daggers could build a higher multiplier whereas heavy blades could apply it consistently to a larger number of targets).

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

or another that could let you deal additional damage against enemies staggered by a parry, and so on.

This would easily fall outside the scope of the relevant dilemma; it could easily be balanced on a per-grip or per-weapon basis by the generosity of applicable parry frames. Simply making it harder to time a parry with a Hammer would bias the mod's use toward lighter weapons without needing to prohibit it on others. If a player wants to go through the trouble of mastering parries with slow weapons, I say let them.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Covert Lethality is necessary on daggers simply because it's a mod so much more powerful than the rest that the grip has to be balanced around it, which makes daggers feel currently deficient without it (it doesn't help that Covert Lethality is still a must-pick even when not engaging in stealthy combat, due to its hefty base attack damage increase). In an environment with multiple attractive, yet well-adapted competitors, this would not have to be the case.

Covert Lethality was introduced because daggers were considered bad; daggers weren't nerfed because Covert Lethality is too good. It is a textbook example of a band-aid solution, when the better choice would have been to directly address why daggers were considered bad.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

I can agree with establishing weapons around unique mechanics, which would likely draw from the above pool, but if we're going to that extreme, that simply raises the question of what purpose mods are meant to serve: if they're meant to fine-tune our weapons, then we might as well give every individual weapon its own pool of tailor-made mods, but if they're meant to add chunks of gameplay to our weapons, then there needs to be room for unique mechanics in mods, even if those mechanics need to be adapted to the weapons they fit onto.

I look at them as meant to fine-tune our weapons, but I don't think every weapon needs a custom set of mods to accomplish that. I don't even think that would really be practical, considering every new weapon release would require accompanying mods... and if a set of mods is meant to be used with a specific weapon that raises the question of why it's a randomly-acquired mod and not simply a progressive unlock. It really shouldn't be all that difficult to create a decent pool of (mostly) one-size-fits-all building blocks for players to stack on top of their choice weapons to tailor them for a preferred playstyle.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Okay, but that's the same as the whip example. If you turned the tables, and designed that mod for heavy blades so that players could get rewarded for whaling on single targets, you'd have a balance nightmare if it were to be equipped on daggers. With mods like these you're implicitly restricting them to certain weapon classes already, so you might as well spare the player the illusion of choice.

Simple: Don't add a mod with that specific bonus. If heavy blades want to be rewarded for attacking single targets repeatedly, they should equip the mod that stacks damage on repeated hits and build for increased attack speed - at the expense of some range and damage. There's no need to provide an alternate mod better tuned for heavy blades; let the player build against type if that's what they prefer.

For example, if I wanted to use the aforementioned "bonus from hitting multiple targets" mod on a dagger, I might include the following in a build:

  • +Range -Attack Speed
  • +Scaling Range on Heavy Attack (based on meter multiplier).

The rest of the build and exact numbers notwithstanding, this build could allow the dagger to start hitting multiple targets effectively while simultaneously balancing out its attack rate (through decreased base rate and paced heavy attacks). This might not be the numerically optimal build, but shrinking the gap between the meta/non-meta enough such that going one way or the other is no longer a false choice would be essential to any successful mod rework. Simply put, player preference/interest should be able to take priority without significantly inhibiting their performance.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Okay, but how can you know that'll be the stat spread that actually turns out to be balanced? The Gram Prime is at 0.8, and with just Berserker exceeds the base attack speed of any other weapon. Meanwhile, the Prisma Obex has the fastest base attack speed in the game at 1.33, and falls into similar button-mashing with similar mod setups, because past a certain point it doesn't matter what the minor difference in attack delay is, as you'll still be mashing buttons to attack super fast. The fact that attack speed mods are desirable on even the slowest melee weapons itself suggests that you'd have to go pretty extreme lengths for that to no longer be the case. If weapons blending together through mods is inevitable, all the more reason to make certain mods exclusive to certain weapon types in order to avoid that.

I should have been more clear; Berserker needs to be reworked or dumpstered IMO. 90% as a modded bonus is way too high for what I want mods to do. I also noted the attack speed as per secondbecause the existing numbers are modifiers applied to different "base speeds." Therefore, I'd expect something like Prisma Obex to have a much higher true speed when using a universal scale. 2 attacks per second should be noticeably fast while still manageable, and assuming we shrink mod bonuses to something more like 30% at the highest that wouldn't vary too radically.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Sure, which is why leaving players at their current MR level, regardless of how much they've lost, could avoid that problem in the shorter term. I just think that many of the player requests that got tied to MR were requests for general quality of life improvements, not necessarily to make the push towards higher MR any more of a goal than it already was before.

Fair, and that works for me.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

But we did get outright removals of several mods, though, such as with the removal of Stamina, and in the case of Riven mods, there's an undeniable monetary loss from devaluation, so I don't think that difference in implementation really captures the fact that players have in fact lost stuff and been fairly okay with it.

I think you missed my point a bit.

  • It's one thing to remove content when the underlying systems themselves are removed, but you are not proposing we remove polarities. If you're removing weapons that might come back later if you can think up a unique way to set them apart, you may as well just leave the weapons in place until you decide whether or not to permanently make them a skin. It might be tougher to organize from the design side of things, but it'll be a lot less messy to clean up from the PR side of things.
  • Again, Rivens aren't exactly comparable:
    • First, there is palpable antipathy towards players who earn lots of plat from selling Rivens and players who spend lots of plat to acquire them. This antipathy was exacerbated by the seller drama that occurred around the same time DE started adjusting dispositions more consistently, which discourages anyone with complaints from speaking out on the subject.
    • Second, a smaller number of players actually got invested in Rivens to that degree, whereas practically every player has a variety of melee weapons with multiple Forma invested in them. Rivens are relatively hit-or-miss, and the realm of expenses where dispositions equate to significant monetary losses is arcane enough that even fewer players actually break into it.
    • Third, players carry a noteworthy degree of responsibility when it comes to buying or selling Rivens. If the player loses out on 10k plat because they bought a Riven and it subsequently phased into a crap disposition, that's ultimately on them. (Yes, I know that DE should also be held accountable for allowing such transactions to continue unabated for so long - or at all - but my point applies to public perception and not ethics issues in this case.) Players can and will blame other players for making dumb transactions. However, when it comes to selectively - and I would say needlessly, in this case - resetting significant chunks of player progress... that's a very different story.
2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

But we're talking melee weapons here, where current stance pool bonuses mean that even builds full of Primed mods have to try very hard to make us Forma our weapons more than once, or at all.

Remember that I'm proposing we scrap stance pool bonuses and polarities entirely; primarily to let players freely switch between stances but also to remove melee's ridiculous surplus of capacity.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

I also don't think that's really the case, since reworks like Saryn's, Nezha's or even Wukong's shifted the stat focus sometimes significantly relative to previous builds (Saryn builds had to focus more on Power Range, Power Strength Nezha went into full force, and Wukong's Iron Staff is now a Slash status monster).

Sure, but most players would have a handful of applied polarities - probably V or D - on those Frames, none of which would really need to be changed to accommodate new Warframe builds. Players with fully maxed-out polarities requiring multiple changes would be fairly few (and complaints from those players most certainly do crop up), and most of the negative focus would be directed at any perceived nerfs rather than inconvenient grinding.

Also, note the difference in scale. It's one thing to mix up a Warframe or two at a time, and something else entirely to apply a blanket reset to every player's entire arsenal of melee weapons. I dunno about you, but I've personally got 20+ melee weapons kept on-hand and the prospect of re-grinding the Forma I have applied is by no means appealing. And I really like melee. AND I would probably need to apply more Forma overall due to losing the stance capacity bonus.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

If so, then why does the inevitable tide of complaints against impending reworks never seem to mention having to re-level the frame or weapon? It's not really a big deal to level a frame to 30, let alone a weapon, and while there is a (small) amount of criticism of how Primes tend to invalidate progress made on non-Primes, there doesn't seem to be any concern of having progress invalidated during reworks or even rebalances.

I touched on this a bit earlier, but mostly because the negative attention is redirected to other related issues. Feedback also tends toward the extreme, with most critics claiming their favorite item X has been thrown in the "trash" rather than bemoaning the work needed to retool it to their liking.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

One can conjecure about the Riven Mafia and the like, but the net result is that people affected even harder, sometimes losing hundreds of Forma's worth of plat overnight, are in a general state where even that much doesn't make waves, and more minor losses in progress to warframes and weapons also don't seem to make waves by themselves either.

It's not really conjecture, though. Look at any discussion pertaining to the Riven market, and you'll see very clear battle lines drawn in the sand between sellers perceived as racketeering con artists and non-seller plebs who don't have the mad capitalist skillz to break into the market successfully. There also don't seem to be enough players invested to actually make waves in the first place - pick a Tenno at random and chances are they didn't lose hundreds of Forma's worth of plat overnight. Contrastingly, pick a Tenno at random and chances are they did lose multiple Forma's worth of progress on multiple melee weapons all at once.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

If every melee weapon is being reworked into something that plays differently, why wouldn't I want to make them relevel that weapon at least once? It's the perfect opportunity to have that player familiarize themselves with the weapon's mechanics before they bring it into some high-level mission and complain when they start attacking differently.

Because the players who are interested will use the weapon regardless, and those who aren't take them to high-level missions for leveling anyway. I'd also argue that if the weapon's new mechanics prevent the player from intuitively succeeding with it at appropriately-leveled content (high-level content for a fully-built weapon, in this case) then the new mechanics have already failed on a fundamental level.

Weapons should be easier and more consistent to use come 3.0, not the opposite.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

There are a great many instances of players getting their time or commitment "wasted" by unforeseen changes (for example, event-exclusive weapons being made generally available), and the complains that arise from that are tiny.

Again, the perceptions for these changes would differ drastically.

DE making previously exclusive weapons generally available is guaranteed to be seen overall as a benevolent change (the very nature of exclusivity means that players whose time was "wasted" are in the minority) and it's not like the event weapon is taken away from players who already had it. The only thing that is truly "lost" is the exclusivity, and players who care enough about the associated prestige to complain aren't often looked upon sympathetically by their peers.

Arbitrarily removing polarities from entire - often expansive - arsenals, on the other hand, would be seen as entirely unprovoked and self-evidently malignant.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

But then we're back at what we were discussing, because "default stances" are just grips, and unless you have a plan to accommodate every unique mechanic under this new system, or create new ones for those without, boiling down the changes to the minimum needed to be delivered would be the simplest, especially since if you had any of those weapons, you could still make your grip look like it. Messing with the player's inventory here shifts the question of how to implement individual weapons to a later, more manageable date, because your basic versions would not need such consideration (or at least much smaller consideration).

I really just can't seem to wrap my head around the issue here. If the moveset is what is new, and the moveset is shared across equivalent weapons, what difference does it make whether the player has 10 "different" weapons to choose from or 1?

Just leave the duplicate weapons alone, and rework them one (or several, depending on inspiration) at a time. It's not like they're doing any harm by sitting in inventories. If you come to a weapon and truly can't justify it existing as a separate weapon, then convert it into a skin, refund the forma/potato, and be done with it. There's no need to make them all skins first.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

And, in the process, mess up the resulting mod builds for every melee weapon in the game, as happened with Exalted melee weapons whose stances had no pool bonuses. Thus, if you do not make a clean break, you are going to have to straddle two systems at once, and that's going to generate a whole slew of problems of its own, in both the short and long term.

I'm really not seeing where the problems are coming from here. For reference, I'm assuming these immediate systemic changes when the first batch of 3.0 stances is added as defaults:

  • Stance combos simplified into the EEE, RMB+EEE, aerial, slam, and slide inputs as previously discussed.
  • Manual blocking restored and timed parries introduced.
  • Finisher animations removed and replaced with conditional damage multipliers.

The only mods that would not immediately transfer between 2.0 and 3.0 would be:

  • Finishing Touch (Needs rebalancing)
  • Maiming Strike (Slide attacks fundamentally changed to use default combo animations)
  • Parry (Counter chance no longer exists)

Maybe I missed a mod here or there, but that's still hardly a noteworthy amount of complication from the modding side. Some mods, like Guardian Derision, would even return to a higher degree of functionality under the 3.0 system. By saving the more complex systemic changes (e.g., to channeling and the combo meter) for after all the stance mods are updated, it then becomes a simple matter of grafting mods onto the 3.0 system all at once.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Stances don't exist in a vacuum, though, and you do have weapons that rely on stance moves in order to function (e.g. gunblades).

Not really...? Gunblades don't need stances to fire, nor do throwing weapons need stances to be thrown.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Making your changes compatible for two radically different systems to coexist with each other is a messy and potentially massive implementation problem of its own, one that doesn't exist in a simplified environment where you just boil everything down to a smaller pool of weapons that can then be expanded and refined, much like you're suggesting here.

I honestly don't get it. The potential incompatibility between systems stems from the available inputs (e.g., blocking, parrying, channeling), not specific weapons. So how would reducing the available pool of swords down to "Skana" or the pool of polearms down to "Orthos" alleviate any of those issues? The remaining 2.0 stances would still need to be reworked, and reducing the number of compatible weapons to 1 doesn't change the number of legacy stances.

The only situation where your proposal makes a difference is where each individual weapon has a unique moveset, which I really don't agree with. If a cornerstone of Melee 3.0 is simplifying the system so that players don't need to memorize specific movesets to switch between weapons, I think going for "every weapon has its own moveset" is completely counter-productive. By all means, let's have fewer weapons with unique supplementary traits to ensure they feel diverse... but you don't need an entirely separate movset for each weapon to successfully differentiate them in terms of gameplay.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

If you have all weapons in the same category working the same, then whether those weapons are individual weapons or skins is functionally irrelevant.

Well, yes. Again, I'm not against making skins out of superfluous weapons (variants of base weapons being prime - pun not intended - candidates). However, I don't see the sense in making all but a few weapons into skins pre-emptively. Gradually polish individual weapons where possible, and permanently make skins out of duplicates where needed. Don't blindly turn all of them into skins and then switch some of them back a few at a time.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Again, the fact that certain weapons do in fact depend on specific moves, and that some weapons would in fact interact differently with the new system, means that preserving them does create more overhead.

Which weapons specifically do you have in mind? Unless I'm overlooking something Gunblades and "glaives" are the relevant examples here... and I don't think their special moves would really change all that much between systems.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

... but what about 2.0 mods that would break under 3.0? Your options here are to a) redesign those mods to function under both systems, if that's even possible, b) release a new generation of redundant mods with the aim of removing the older versions, while somehow finding a way to tell players which mod works for which stance, c) compromise on your new stance designs to avoid this, or d) leave players with a melee system that'll be broken for whichever length of time because you have two completely different design philosophies occupying the same space. There's a question of backwards and forwards compatibility here with mods, is my point.

I think I addressed this previously, but if you've got other specific mods in mind I'll need some additional details. The way I see it, there's no real need to bother with any backwards compatibility. By the time mod changes become relevant, just rework the broken mods to function in the new system; players will universally have access to it, and it should be an objective upgrade over the old.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Except I also clearly pointed out to instances where DE did in fact change some of their monetization to be more player-friendly, e.g. by releasing Prime Accessory packs without forcing players to buy the frames and weapons, or reworking their mod packs completely.

Separating accessories from Prime Frames/Weapons is not the same thing as changing the Frames/Weapons into skins, nor is reworking mod lootboxes comparable to removing vertical progression (and with it, power creep). The ramifications are entirely different in both cases.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Thus, there is a precedent for what I'm suggesting, particularly as I also stressed that such a set of changes need not (and likely should not) happen all in one go.

What..? How would you go about removing vertical progression other than "all in one go?"

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Why? Tennogen is massively successful, cosmetics are celebrated in the community, and games like Team Fortress 2 show it's perfectly possible for a developer to make a huge profit by letting dedicated players become content creators. This is also in an environment where not that many developer resources are dedicated towards stimulating Tennogen, so there is significant room for growth there.

Sure, but Tennogen is entirely separate from the platinum market on PC. You could make the case that 

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Furthermore, DE may sell power, but that power is also readily obtainable, as Forma and Exilus Adapters are craftable, and potatoes are frequently given out too. It does not take a player who knows what they're doing very many resources to put the right consumables on the items they want to use frequently, and I think that's something DE actually wants, as otherwise they'd likely get accused of being pay2win. Thus, there is only limited consumption to be had of power, but near-unlimited potential for diverse and interesting cosmetics.

I dunno. I think that if power didn't actually play a significant role in DE's successful monetization, we wouldn't see power creep anywhere near the degree we have currently. The ugly truth of the matter seems to be that vertical progression is what keeps players invested, and in turn boosts sales (either directly through pay2skip or indirectly through participation). I'm not defending the practice - I can't say it enough times that I would be totally on board with removing vertical progression - but I don't realistically see it changing anytime soon (if ever).

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

Indeed, and perhaps even more simply, if fire is contagious upon contact or proximity, you're going to have a much easier time igniting a horde of melee-rushing enemies than a spread-out squad of more defensive units. Plus, if they're squishy, the DoT will kill them all in seconds while one runs away, whereas tougher units may be more able to fight back.

Exactly. And having a variety of traits related to status effects would provide plenty of opportunities to attach relevant modifications to fill the gap left by "chance" mods.

2 hours ago, Teridax68 said:

That is definitely a good way to differentiate weapons by faction: personally, I think the key defining characteristic to Corpus weapons is that they should be more cerebral in some form or another: the Lenz is a good example, because it requires some amount of positioning and calculation, irrespective of whether its blasts are physical or elemental.

Sounds good to me, but I'd still want to see things like Dera as a good old-fashioned plasma rifle. Not particularly complicated, but stylish as hell and fun to use.

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3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I think it would be reasonable to expect some degree of moderation when it comes to selecting baseline mechanics; while many different possibilities might exist it wouldn't be necessary to include all of them.

I fully agree; one must indeed exert moderation when it comes to selecting baseline mechanics, which is why I think there's room for mods exclusive to certain grips that needn't be made baseline.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Okay, but progressive armor reduction isn't something quite so niche as to warrant being made innate. It would easily be useful to practically any weapon; just don't balance it against attack speed. For example, a corroding armor DOT that refreshes but does not stack or a fixed percentage armor break that scales with heavy attack multiplier (in which case daggers could build a higher multiplier whereas heavy blades could apply it consistently to a larger number of targets).

Amalgam Argonak Metal Auger does have a dagger-exclusive armor reduction mechanic though: I agree that armor corrosion is currently not a niche mechanic, but an armor removal effect is still likely going to need to be balanced differently on daggers than on heavy blades and the like, as you mentioned. Thus, it would likely be better for balance and diversity overall if we had a dagger-exclusive armor removal mod, even if we let other weapons and mods remove armor in their own way. This is also putting aside how some daggers in Damage 1.0 could ignore armor entirely, which would certainly be a lot more niche.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

This would easily fall outside the scope of the relevant dilemma; it could easily be balanced on a per-grip or per-weapon basis by the generosity of applicable parry frames. Simply making it harder to time a parry with a Hammer would bias the mod's use toward lighter weapons without needing to prohibit it on others. If a player wants to go through the trouble of mastering parries with slow weapons, I say let them.

But I'm not discussing parry times here, I'm talking about specifically modding for counter-strike damage after a parry. Putting aside how I'd rather not fiddle too much with timings on generally-applicable moves such as blocking, I'm not specifically suggesting here to make some weapons better at parrying than others, I'm just saying there are different fantasies to parrying depending on the weapon and grip that could be fleshed out through mods: for example, you could give hammers a mod that would let parries stagger enemies for longer, in keeping with the overall heft of the weapon type, or rapiers a mod that would let parries disarm enemies, and so on.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Covert Lethality was introduced because daggers were considered bad; daggers weren't nerfed because Covert Lethality is too good. It is a textbook example of a band-aid solution, when the better choice would have been to directly address why daggers were considered bad.

Okay, but the net result is the same: daggers are innately deficient, and dependent upon a single overpowered mod to remain relevant. Thus, the solution here shouldn't be to simply infuse Covert Lethality into every dagger, but simply to make daggers good as a baseline, then nerf Covert Lethality appropriately so that it becomes as attractive as other alternatives.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I look at them as meant to fine-tune our weapons, but I don't think every weapon needs a custom set of mods to accomplish that. I don't even think that would really be practical, considering every new weapon release would require accompanying mods... and if a set of mods is meant to be used with a specific weapon that raises the question of why it's a randomly-acquired mod and not simply a progressive unlock.

Because you'd then have a much larger pool of mods to collect, particularly since not every new weapon mod need be especially niche or distinct: having a weapon-exclusive mod that simply adjusts the stats on its unique mechanic (e.g. changing the Caustacyst's projectile length) would already add one more mod to the pool, and even if your weapon had two mods to play with, that could already offer more customization than the game's current state.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

It really shouldn't be all that difficult to create a decent pool of (mostly) one-size-fits-all building blocks for players to stack on top of their choice weapons to tailor them for a preferred playstyle.

It wouldn't be difficult to create those mods, but as the current state of modding shows, one-size-fits-all choices have a tendency to make weapons converge towards a small handful of identical builds. As mentioned above, if a stat like attack speed can be desirable even on weapons who benefit the least from it, it's going to take something radical to avoid running into the same problem of homogeneity.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Simple: Don't add a mod with that specific bonus. If heavy blades want to be rewarded for attacking single targets repeatedly, they should equip the mod that stacks damage on repeated hits and build for increased attack speed - at the expense of some range and damage. There's no need to provide an alternate mod better tuned for heavy blades; let the player build against type if that's what they prefer.

But that just limits both your design and the player's options, since you're not letting yourself implement a better-suited mod, and are instead expecting players to go for builds that basically turn heavy blades into daggers just to accommodate a single mod. If your player can successfully "build against type" and achieve that, then you lose distinction between grip types, and if not, then that potentially interesting build may not be viable. In neither case would such a playstyle work in the way I suggested, which yet again limits design when there's presumably nothing wrong with smashing tough targets with slow, yet powerful attacks.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

For example, if I wanted to use the aforementioned "bonus from hitting multiple targets" mod on a dagger, I might include the following in a build:

  • +Range -Attack Speed
  • +Scaling Range on Heavy Attack (based on meter multiplier).

The rest of the build and exact numbers notwithstanding, this build could allow the dagger to start hitting multiple targets effectively while simultaneously balancing out its attack rate (through decreased base rate and paced heavy attacks). This might not be the numerically optimal build, but shrinking the gap between the meta/non-meta enough such that going one way or the other is no longer a false choice would be essential to any successful mod rework. Simply put, player preference/interest should be able to take priority without significantly inhibiting their performance.

But in doing so your dagger no longer becomes a dagger, and at that point you may as well not even differentiate weapons by grip types. I feel it's wasteful to establish distinctions between weapons and not make use of them, and in this case there are quite possibly better ways of implementing multi-target hits on daggers through tailored dagger mods, instead of expecting the player to turn their dagger into a polearm.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I should have been more clear; Berserker needs to be reworked or dumpstered IMO. 90% as a modded bonus is way too high for what I want mods to do. I also noted the attack speed as per secondbecause the existing numbers are modifiers applied to different "base speeds." Therefore, I'd expect something like Prisma Obex to have a much higher true speed when using a universal scale. 2 attacks per second should be noticeably fast while still manageable, and assuming we shrink mod bonuses to something more like 30% at the highest that wouldn't vary too radically.

But that is my point: the Gram Prime and Prisma Obex have wildly different base speeds, but both blend into each other nonetheless simply because past a certain threshold, proportionality doesn't really matter. Even Fury, which has a +30% attack speed bonus, is desirable on both when no alternatives exist, and ultimately I also think it's a missed opportunity to restrict mods simply for the sake of one weapon type over the other, when one could easily give sparring weapons some insane attack speed mod for that Fist of the North Star feel, and not have that damage the identity of other grips.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I think you missed my point a bit.

  • It's one thing to remove content when the underlying systems themselves are removed, but you are not proposing we remove polarities.

I mean, I do in fact want to rework the modding system, which would include doing away with polarities entirely, but that wasn't directly relevant to the proposal of altering melee weapons, and I don't think it even is here. Again, I think the distinction here is arbitrary, because in the end players still lost content they grinded for, and were mostly fine with it.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:
  • If you're removing weapons that might come back later if you can think up a unique way to set them apart, you may as well just leave the weapons in place until you decide whether or not to permanently make them a skin. It might be tougher to organize from the design side of things, but it'll be a lot less messy to clean up from the PR side of things.

But this misses my own point that if one were to "leave the weapons in place", that is in fact an active work process, rather than a passive decision, because that would mean reimplementing hundreds of weapons under the new system and making sure they all play nice. This would be a major and very real pipeline problem to avoid a hypothetical PR risk unsupported by past events.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:
  • Again, Rivens aren't exactly comparable:
    • First, there is palpable antipathy towards players who earn lots of plat from selling Rivens and players who spend lots of plat to acquire them. This antipathy was exacerbated by the seller drama that occurred around the same time DE started adjusting dispositions more consistently, which discourages anyone with complaints from speaking out on the subject.

But why is this distinction relevant? What about the players who bought those Rivens for themselves and lost out? Clearly, what occurred can't be completely explained by players disliking Riven traders, and not all those who lost from those events were perpetrators.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:
    • Second, a smaller number of players actually got invested in Rivens to that degree, whereas practically every player has a variety of melee weapons with multiple Forma invested in them. Rivens are relatively hit-or-miss, and the realm of expenses where dispositions equate to significant monetary losses is arcane enough that even fewer players actually break into it.

Except Rivens make up a huge portion of the current player economy, so that's not really true, and many players openly disdain melee, more so with the current Melee 3.0 changes. It's not really easy to care that much about any melee weapon in particular when melee weapons are as generic and cookie-cutter as they've been throughout most of Warframe's history.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:
    • Third, players carry a noteworthy degree of responsibility when it comes to buying or selling Rivens. If the player loses out on 10k plat because they bought a Riven and it subsequently phased into a crap disposition, that's ultimately on them. (Yes, I know that DE should also be held accountable for allowing such transactions to continue unabated for so long - or at all - but my point applies to public perception and not ethics issues in this case.) Players can and will blame other players for making dumb transactions. However, when it comes to selectively - and I would say needlessly, in this case - resetting significant chunks of player progress... that's a very different story.

Is it, though? Again, Specters of the Rail also readjusted player progress relative to node Mastery, and once again, players who took the time to complete older events for the promise of exclusive weapons were deceived when those weapons were reintroduced, invalidating their commitment. Parkour 2.0 itself ruined a lot of frames and weapons that depended on Stamina or coptering, and more broadly players have their progress and commitment invalidated all the time with power creep. While power creep may generate complaints, none of those individual events make waves.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Remember that I'm proposing we scrap stance pool bonuses and polarities entirely; primarily to let players freely switch between stances but also to remove melee's ridiculous surplus of capacity.

So, effectively, you're proposing to nerf every single melee weapon in one fell swoop, and force players to put additional Forma into their melee weapons in order to retain the same builds, on the cusp of a melee rework that may also nerf or change those builds, when players already expressed significant discontent at having to sink Forma into Exalted melee weapons with that same model. Do you really think this would go down well? How is this any better than my own suggestion in terms of player backlash?

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Sure, but most players would have a handful of applied polarities - probably V or D - on those Frames, none of which would really need to be changed to accommodate new Warframe builds. Players with fully maxed-out polarities requiring multiple changes would be fairly few (and complaints from those players most certainly do crop up), and most of the negative focus would be directed at any perceived nerfs rather than inconvenient grinding.

But then that answers your own concern as well: if the general player concern is with nerfing and not with inconvenient grinding, then releveling a weapon would be unlikely to be a major source of backlash in itself.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Also, note the difference in scale. It's one thing to mix up a Warframe or two at a time, and something else entirely to apply a blanket reset to every player's entire arsenal of melee weapons. I dunno about you, but I've personally got 20+ melee weapons kept on-hand and the prospect of re-grinding the Forma I have applied is by no means appealing. And I really like melee. AND I would probably need to apply more Forma overall due to losing the stance capacity bonus.

But with the model proposed, only a small number of melee weapons would be "mixed up" at a time, as they'd be re-released progressively, so that concern is moot. If melee mods get rebalanced or reworked to no longer rely on stance drains (and I think that should be the case), then that would in fact be the better way to go relative to simply nerfing all melee weapons and otherwise leaving them as-is.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I touched on this a bit earlier, but mostly because the negative attention is redirected to other related issues. Feedback also tends toward the extreme, with most critics claiming their favorite item X has been thrown in the "trash" rather than bemoaning the work needed to retool it to their liking.

Okay, but that simply says that there are far bigger concerns out there, and that any player annoyance at grinding weapons over again is unlikely to be among them. Concerns about nerfs disappear quickly, but having to relevel a frame stays, yet even now no-one has really complained about that.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

It's not really conjecture, though. Look at any discussion pertaining to the Riven market, and you'll see very clear battle lines drawn in the sand between sellers perceived as racketeering con artists and non-seller plebs who don't have the mad capitalist skillz to break into the market successfully. There also don't seem to be enough players invested to actually make waves in the first place - pick a Tenno at random and chances are they didn't lose hundreds of Forma's worth of plat overnight. Contrastingly, pick a Tenno at random and chances are they did lose multiple Forma's worth of progress on multiple melee weapons all at once.

I'm not saying the Riven Mafia is itself conjectural, I'm just saying that pinning the lack of player backlash against Riven trading squarely upon it, when people who spend large amounts of plat on Rivens aren't just resellers, is. As mentioned above, people who bought those mods for themselves suffer, and even when we're not talking in the thousands, many Riven mods are commonly sold above 100 plat, enough to buy Forma for multiple melee weapons. This is also a straight-up monetary loss, and isn't something that can be made up as easily through in-game play as just ranking up a melee weapon, which can be done from 0 to 30 over the course of a single, brief mission (e.g. practically any Sortie mission).

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Because the players who are interested will use the weapon regardless, and those who aren't take them to high-level missions for leveling anyway. I'd also argue that if the weapon's new mechanics prevent the player from intuitively succeeding with it at appropriately-leveled content (high-level content for a fully-built weapon, in this case) then the new mechanics have already failed on a fundamental level.

Weapons should be easier and more consistent to use come 3.0, not the opposite.

But I'm not saying the weapons would be more obtuse, I'm saying players would need to transition from the current system to the new one, which is going to require some adaptation regardless of how simple or intuitive the new system is. If players who are interested will use the weapon regardless, then there would be even less opposition to making them re-level a weapon they'll be gaining plenty of Affinity with anyway.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

DE making previously exclusive weapons generally available is guaranteed to be seen overall as a benevolent change (the very nature of exclusivity means that players whose time was "wasted" are in the minority) and it's not like the event weapon is taken away from players who already had it. The only thing that is truly "lost" is the exclusivity, and players who care enough about the associated prestige to complain aren't often looked upon sympathetically by their peers.

But that is simply not true, because there is an element of deception in that players were promised that those weapons were to stay event-exclusive, and took time out of their lives specifically because of that promise. That is, for example, an argument even non-founders sympathize with when the subject of Excalibur Prime's exclusivity is discussed. However, that did not stop DE from opening up other event-exclusive weapons to the general public, and the general perception isn't that those who participated in those events are evil, but simply that nobody cares strongly enough, because people who have committed that much to the game know that it changes radically.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Arbitrarily removing polarities from entire - often expansive - arsenals, on the other hand, would be seen as entirely unprovoked and self-evidently malignant.

... why? If the intent is clearly to improve melee as a system, why would that be seen as malignant? What precedent do you have to justify this?

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I really just can't seem to wrap my head around the issue here. If the moveset is what is new, and the moveset is shared across equivalent weapons, what difference does it make whether the player has 10 "different" weapons to choose from or 1?

Because out of those 10 weapons, some of them might need to be reimplemented or redesigned along the new design, because some weapons rely on particular moves to do particular things.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Just leave the duplicate weapons alone, and rework them one (or several, depending on inspiration) at a time. It's not like they're doing any harm by sitting in inventories. If you come to a weapon and truly can't justify it existing as a separate weapon, then convert it into a skin, refund the forma/potato, and be done with it. There's no need to make them all skins first.

... but that's my point, and the distinction you are setting here is arbitrary. With the system we have, our weapons are either identical enough that turning them into skins would produce no tangible difference, or different enough that they would need to be reexamined under the new system, and should be skinned first anyway. In the absolute worst case, you could run a script remembering which polarities a user had, but if mods are being changed as well, it is keeping those polarities that would be malicious, if doing so were to mess up people's builds with no easy option of recovery.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Maybe I missed a mod here or there, but that's still hardly a noteworthy amount of complication from the modding side. Some mods, like Guardian Derision, would even return to a higher degree of functionality under the 3.0 system. By saving the more complex systemic changes (e.g., to channeling and the combo meter) for after all the stance mods are updated, it then becomes a simple matter of grafting mods onto the 3.0 system all at once.

Okay, but Guardian Derision is itself an example of a mod messed up by the new system due to being ignored in the transition, and the fact that you're proposing to nerf literally every single melee weapon, while still intending to keep mods unchanged, will have far worse consequences. Also, what about channelling mods? What about charge attack mods? Or finisher mods? Downplay it all you like, there are nonetheless differences in moves between the two systems, so unless you do the extra work mentioned above, you're going to end up with mods that just won't work with your new system, which itself risks messing up appreciation of your new moveset if it doesn't jive well with current mods.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Not really...? Gunblades don't need stances to fire, nor do throwing weapons need stances to be thrown.

But there is a notable difference in shooting ability due to the stances, which let gunblades fire without charge attacks, so leaving those stances in simply generates an extra layer of complication relative to the new moveset you'd be introducing. In fact, gunblade stances allow for entirely different modes of fire that have gameplay consequences, so leaving those stances in messes with the intent of making stance mods cosmetic.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I honestly don't get it. The potential incompatibility between systems stems from the available inputs (e.g., blocking, parrying, channeling), not specific weapons. So how would reducing the available pool of swords down to "Skana" or the pool of polearms down to "Orthos" alleviate any of those issues? The remaining 2.0 stances would still need to be reworked, and reducing the number of compatible weapons to 1 doesn't change the number of legacy stances.

Except I'm not proposing to keep 2.0 stances, you are the only one making that suggestion, and reducing the pool avoids having to deal with weapons that rely on specific inputs to do certain things, like the Caustacyst, or that have particular considerations for mechanics that would no longer exist, like the Furax Wraith, Fragor Prime or Synoid Heliocor (all three have bonus channelling damage). It's all very easy to not see the problem from a very abstract, high-level perspective, but what you are proposing is to accommodate some monstrous hybrid of two systems, which may as well be a new system in and of itself.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

The only situation where your proposal makes a difference is where each individual weapon has a unique moveset, which I really don't agree with. If a cornerstone of Melee 3.0 is simplifying the system so that players don't need to memorize specific movesets to switch between weapons, I think going for "every weapon has its own moveset" is completely counter-productive. By all means, let's have fewer weapons with unique supplementary traits to ensure they feel diverse... but you don't need an entirely separate movset for each weapon to successfully differentiate them in terms of gameplay.

Except when the differences in moves boil down to two or three attacks, one or two of which are likely to feel similar or identical to alternatives, claiming that it'd be too difficult to factor those in would be saying the same of guns with alt-fires. By contrast, making virtually all weapons do the same thing each time, with the difference lying exclusively in the on-hit effects, is going to restrict and homogenize your design excessively, and make more standout weapons like the Caustacyst more awkward to implement. If the only difference between weapons of the same type is that they apply different effects, then you might as well just forever stay with just one weapon per grip type, implement every trait as a mod, and only release skins.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Well, yes. Again, I'm not against making skins out of superfluous weapons (variants of base weapons being prime - pun not intended - candidates). However, I don't see the sense in making all but a few weapons into skins pre-emptively. Gradually polish individual weapons where possible, and permanently make skins out of duplicates where needed. Don't blindly turn all of them into skins and then switch some of them back a few at a time.

But then who gets to decide which weapon stays a skin and which gets turned back? You outright stated you wanted to turn a whole bunch of Tenno dual swords into skins forever, with no justification, yet here we are deciding how much is too much when there are far more weapons out there that are either superfluous, or would require more work to reimplement properly. A lot of this discussion seems to come back to arbitrary lines drawn in the sand.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Which weapons specifically do you have in mind? Unless I'm overlooking something Gunblades and "glaives" are the relevant examples here... and I don't think their special moves would really change all that much between systems.

As mentioned above, there's the Caustacyst, plus the Twin Basolk's augment, the Cobra & Crane, the Sigma & Octantis, the Tatsu, the Vaykor Sydon, the Dark Split-Sword, the Zenistar, the Sancti Magistar, the Wolf Sledge, the Telos Boltace, Baruuk's Desert Wind, and Excalibur's Exalted Blade. Some of these will need reworking (can't go about disabling exalted weapons), but the rest requires remapping or reimplementation, plus special consideration for some particular moves. Meanwhile, virtually the entirety of the rest of the arsenal plays identically.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I think I addressed this previously, but if you've got other specific mods in mind I'll need some additional details. The way I see it, there's no real need to bother with any backwards compatibility. By the time mod changes become relevant, just rework the broken mods to function in the new system; players will universally have access to it, and it should be an objective upgrade over the old.

I mentioned them above, but again, there's a double standard here where you're super preoccupied with the hypothetical problem of players re-grinding weapons, but don't care at all about the real problem of players having to deal with a broken system, when even now we're seeing plenty of complaints surrounding Melee 3.0 for that very reason. If your system is an "objective upgrade", then there is no need to bend over backwards to implement some halfway stage, you might as well just transition immediately and build off of the new, solid foundation.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Separating accessories from Prime Frames/Weapons is not the same thing as changing the Frames/Weapons into skins, nor is reworking mod lootboxes comparable to removing vertical progression (and with it, power creep). The ramifications are entirely different in both cases.

They're not the literal same, but they incur similar consequences in that DE made player-friendly changes at risk to their own monetization (which apparently wasn't really a risk). Again, the distinctions drawn here are arbitrary and unjustified, when you don't really have a precedent to explain your rationale, other than the fact that DE haven't already removed all their power bonuses (and they did make revives free and per-mission, too).

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

What..? How would you go about removing vertical progression other than "all in one go?"

I'm talking about untying power boosts from monetization, which is what we've been discussing thus far. Changing vertical progression entirely is a separate matter that would become achievable if DE eventually stops selling power increases.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Sure, but Tennogen is entirely separate from the platinum market on PC.

So?

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I dunno. I think that if power didn't actually play a significant role in DE's successful monetization, we wouldn't see power creep anywhere near the degree we have currently. The ugly truth of the matter seems to be that vertical progression is what keeps players invested, and in turn boosts sales (either directly through pay2skip or indirectly through participation). I'm not defending the practice - I can't say it enough times that I would be totally on board with removing vertical progression - but I don't realistically see it changing anytime soon (if ever).

I disagree completely, I think DE has a history of obstinately following directions of balance, design or monetization even when they don't work, such as when they released the Plains of Eidolon in a hyper-grindy state (which they then relaxed), or slapped absurdly high foundry timers onto Gravimags (which are inconsequential in the long term). Sometimes, they also simply don't bother to address issues over a long time, as clearly was the case with mod packs. Given how radically the game has changed, I don't think one can really make the genuine argument that DE won't change in the future, simply because they haven't changed in the present.

3 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Sounds good to me, but I'd still want to see things like Dera as a good old-fashioned plasma rifle. Not particularly complicated, but stylish as hell and fun to use.

But the Dera's an incredibly old weapon, a relic from a time when weapon design was much more basic, and more recent Corpus weapon releases don't follow that same design (the Dera's also largely considered a fairly boring weapon, precisely because it doesn't do much that stands out). "Simple yet stylish", by contrast, would be a perfect descriptor for Tenno weapons.

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On 2019-06-26 at 6:46 PM, NoSpax said:

Midwhile, I even found it better to remove the stance mod from weapons for the oldschool quick melee .

Not for every weapon type. Polearms do not get their free movement back even without a stance.

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vor 4 Stunden schrieb DoomFruit:

Not for every weapon type. Polearms do not get their free movement back even without a stance.

Bye Bye, Orthos Prime. You were awesome with just E.

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