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Some Feedback About Skills, Ai, Enemies...


SabreUr
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This was sitting on my HDD for quite some time, might as well leave it here.

I will try to keep it short in order to minimise casualties.

There is a influx of people complaining about problems with AI, how game is unchallenging, difficulty introduced by DE is artificial and more annoying than challenging etc. This is not only problem of AI - it's a problem with 3 main elements  that create great part of Warframe - game that we play for hundreds of hours and then we hate. Those three elements are AI, Enemy design and Warframe skills. For the purpose of this feedback I will use Grineer as the most developed faction with variety of enemies.

1. Enemy design and AI

a). Various classes are not complementing, nor supporting each other.

Let's take Shield Lancers as an example - they sometimes provide cover to ally, but more often then not they would say "Screw you Frank, I'll bash this fraker with my shield!". And then they die. And Frank dies right after them.  So, until Frank is dead, Shield lancer should stick to him and give him additional protection.
Another example would be AI of Lancers and shotgunners - Lancers should keep their distance, Shotgunners should rush Tenno and blast them to oblivion in close range, not shooting from the far end of the room. And mentioned Shield Lancers should go with them, providing support until shotgunners are in range that would guarantee that rush will make sense.

b) Various designs of enemies are half-arsed.

Let's take Grineer Ballista. It's a Scorpion that stole Vulkar from my Foundry and thinks that she is a sharpshooter now. But no skill nor her AI shows that.  She is not running away when she sees that Tenno is coming. She has no relevant skill that would actually make her a threat - why not alow her to cloak and teleport to short distances? Why not make her Vulkar powerful enough to actually do some damage to me, instead of grazing my 75 Pt custom paint job? Give her special charged shot that will bypass my shield, but I will get warning in form of her laser sight flashing around me second before she shoots?


Now, Grineer close combat units. They are cannon fodder and laughing stock of whole Grineer army. They are this squad from military movies about unit of crocks and morons, that get Clint Eastwood assigned to them and at the end of a movie they kick &#!. But here they won't get Clint, they will just die because this is not movie, but grim future of war (Please GW, don't sue me). Why not allow them to go invisible, to jump, roll, run with speed of tenno (they have augmentations! they can get some that would amplify their skills, not only ones that make them look like Strogg army rejects), pack massive punch, use decoys and so on. I would like to point to Cerberus Phantoms in ME3 multi, who were arguably most terryfying enemies in this faction (and maybe even in whole game), to the point that me and my friends preferred to waste missile on them instead of mechs. Allow them to hide in the corner and wait for us to pass them, don't let them utilize tactics that would make even Leeroy J. facepalm.


Various units could use some more advanced actions like blindfiring from cover and actually using this cover to hide - not like now - Grineer hides for a few seconds, Grineer leaves cover and starts shooting, Grineer ends up in three rooms at the same time.  Not to mention avoiding obvious traps, like clouds of Torid poison and not rushing into Bastille. On top of that obvious bugs, like Heavy Gunner standing still and doing nothing.

c) Units' composition

This one I'll keep short. What enemies are spawned against us can't be based on D&D Random Encounter Handbook Tenno Edition (RNGods roll dice, you meet 1D6+2 Lancers), these must have sense - for example:

Crack Assault Squad - Mixed Shield lancers and shotgun guys with some Heavy Gunner for good measure. Shield Lancers maintaining phalanx formation with shotgunners following.

Combat Squad - Mixed composition of Lancers, Elite Lancers and Grineer Commander (more about him in next part) and some heavy support

Shadow Ops - Ballistas and close combat units. Deployed only in large areas that allows Ballista to keep long range and remain hidden, while Edwards Scissorhands wreck our asses in CC.


And so on, these are only few examples. Of course some stragglers and easy prey should stay, but if I hear "unit approaching" i want to know that it is military unit, not one unit whole (Grineer) blood.

d) Special units

I will focus on my favourite one - Grineer Commander. He is just annoying suicide maniac, because he teleports in the middle of Tenno squad and I end up in perfect spot to launch Radial Javelin. He could do so much more! To name only few:
- provide bonus to Grineer stats
- deploy some kind of smoke screen (this is annoying when fellow tenno obsures your sights with his Torid - but it would make perfect sense to deploy some kind of cover for Grineer)
- counter some more drastic tenno skills (more about it later)

e) Unit's traits

Simple - if it is riot troop (shotgun, shield, flamer) it should have fuckton of armour in front, and his briefs on his back. And maybe T-Shirt with "I love captain Vor". If it is mid-range troop, it should be well armoured on all sides, but not to withstand nuclear missile to the face. If it is melee, it should be light armoured. If it is Long range sniper, no armour, only cloak and camouflage, heavy units are mini bosses, so fuckton of amour on all sides + weakspots?

2. Skills and AI

AIs literary don't see skills. If you think about it, there is not a single line of code saying "this is bastille, don't charge into it moron" or "This looks like World on Fire, run you fools!". That's it. Infested should stay as they are, but Grineer have something between ears that should allow them to recognize that they are going to take a dump in the middle of minefield.  If someone suddenly cloaks, closest area should immediately be saturated with lead in degree that would put your local shooting range to shame - not "Oh, he is gone. Bugger".

3. Skills and Enemy Design

In reference to previous point - if AI can recognize and avoid dangers created by Tenno, they should be able to do something about it.

 

Anyone who played Magic the Gathering vs Blue deck learned to fear these words - "hang on, I tap these lands aaaand counterspell. You may throw this 20dmg Blaze away".

Such "counters" could be special units that can negate certain frames - counterweights. Grineer Corpseman  could counter some of Saryn's abilities and limit effects of others. Grineer Commander could enforce his authority and take back control of his troops from Nyx, deploy mentioned smokescreen that would make Banshee's Sonar pretty useless (or more useful), reveal that this pale Loki is in fact a hologram, not Tenno scared of Grineer might. Grineer Engineer could sap power from Vaubans "constructs" and power his own ('What is this junk he is powering with my bastille?' 'I don't know, but I can bet Ember's &#! that this ain't Twin Queens's TeVo'). Grineer Maid to clean Molecular Prime from flat surfaces...

And so on, and so on...

Maybe I am suggesting too much radical changes, but if enemies are turning into mobile annoyances instead of threats, then something is awry.

Edited by SabreUr
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