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(PS4)LoisGordils

Reasons Why Ember Absolutely and Undeniably Needs a Rework

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Good afternoon, Tenno!

More or less a week ago I made a thread discussing Chroma, his design flaws and potential rework ideas. The discussion was very much fruitful with several great ideas brought on by fellow Tenno. As such, I have decided to create a thread that highlights Ember's current issues and will propose some rework ideas/concepts. 

Ember's current issues:

1. Mediocre offense: Ember has always been marketed as a hyper-offensive Warframe that sacrifices all defense for sheer offensive capabilities. Everyone except the newest of players knows this is, unfortunately not true. Fireball is a generic, flat damage dealing ability that sees little-to-no use; Fireblast follows along a similar path and we all know about World On Fire's infamous damage potential at higher levels.

2. Heat damage: A huge part of why Ember suffers so much in higher-level content is because Heat damage itself is lackluster. While devastating to Infested (no impressive feat given how weak they already are), and effective against Cloned Flesh, Heat lacks effectiveness against armor, cannot bypass and deals -50% less damage to shields. The proc is good for mild crowd control, but is completely overshadowed by Toxin/Gas and Slash in terms of damage potential. I feel a revision of this element in particular would greatly benefit her.

3. Poor survivability: As a Warframe tailored towards sheer offensive prowess (which she does poorly), Ember lacks in the defensive department. Now this would not be an issue per se if her offensive capabilities were such that her offense would be her best defense. Sadly, this is not the case in her current state.

4. Passive and clunky first: I always found Ember's passive to be somewhat interesting, albeit not rewarding enough, plus you seldom get to use it without some niche build (Javlok, Napalm Penta, etc). Moreover, the charge up mechanic on her first ability (and any other ability that requires you to both charge and aim) is obscenely uncomfortable to use, especially for controller users! 

5. Bad ultimate: You can give World On Fire 300m range and 1000000 Heat damage per second and it will still be a bad ability because it is a set-and-forget ultimate! Not only is it mind-numbingly boring, it's overall bad design that requires no strategy or thought processing. Furthermore, the overwhelmingly underwhelming "rework" given to this ability more than a year ago did absolutely nothing to address the main issue of Ember wiping low-level maps; you can simply toggle the skill on and off to reset the range! Unfortunately, an overhaul of WoF seems to be the most viable course.

Goals of this rework:

1. Bolster Ember's offensive capabilities to warrant her lack of defensive measures.

2. Propose a possible mechanic change to Heat damage's status effect.

3. Redesign her ultimate to incentivize both active gameplay and provide great damage potential.

4. Change her passive to something more reliable.

5. Provide more synergy between her abilities, while also introducing ways that could aid Ember in higher level play.

Abilities:

Heat damage: Heat's status proc has the benefit of being refreshable. As such, it now increases in damage by X% (50%?) of its current damage per tick for as long as it is active (if it dealt 100 damage the first tick, the next one will deal 150; the one after that would deal 225 etc). Additionally, enemy armor is temporarily weakened by X% per second for as long as the enemy is set ablaze. All values reset if flames become extinguished. It's interaction with Shields should remain as is, since there are myriad ways to bypass them. Armor is Heat's worst enemy.

Passive: Ember's passive has two aspects now:

     a. Core temperature: The more Ember deals/takes Heat damage, the hotter she gets. This in turn influences her abilities by bolstering their default stats (more damage). Receiving Heat damage doubles the rate at which her core temperature heats up (keep the energy regen and strength bonus while ablaze wouldn't hurt, right?), while Cold damage (naturally) reduces it back to the normal value (not instantly, but steadily).

     b. Heatwave: Ember is constantly emanating blistering heat that burns enemies close to her (melee range). This Heat damage is constant and instantly causes melee assailants to burst into flames; preventing them from attacking due to the panic effect. A higher Core temperature means the range (from 2m to 4m?) and damage are increased. The damage is in no way meant to be game-changing, but rather a nuisance towards would-be melee attackers.

1. Fireball: Fireball now marks enemies that are directly struck by the projectile. Marked enemies that are killed by Ember burst into flames: causing an AoE Heat explosion that scales in relation to enemy health. If it strikes terrain, the napalm-like effect now has a pushes enemies away. Effectively giving Ember the ability to set up choke points. For the charge up mechanic:

     a. Remove it: In what scenario would I NOT want to charge up Fireball for more damage and higher range? It seems a bit unnecessary to me.

     b. Different effect: If charging the ability altered how it worked (akin to Shattered Lash), I wouldn't mind. For example: Charging Fireball now launches five smaller balls that proc Blast on hit. This would add some flavor to the skill. Do I want to mark an enemy and use it as a makeshift bomb or do I want some quick CC?

     c. Charge mechanic itself: Change it. Anyone with a controller knows how uncomfortable trying to charge and aim at the same time is. It would be eons better if holding it initiated the charge, but releasing it doesn't use the skill automatically. Meaning you have to tap the skill button again to use your charged shot.

2. Accelerant: Easily Ember's best ability, particularly with the augment! I propose two things:

     a. Conflagaration: If used on an enemy that is suffering from a Heat proc, Accelerant procs Blast (no damage, just the knockdown).

     b. Synergy: Higher Core Temperature increases the Heat sensitizing effect of Accelerant. Additionally, if used inside Fireblast's ring, Accelerant causes the ring to explode. Dealing the remainder of its damage as equal parts Heat and Blast. That is to say, if Fireblast deals 100 damage per second and has a duration of twenty seconds (100 x 20 = 2,000) and Accelerant is used to detonate it, the damage dealt would be 1,000 Heat and 1,000 Blast.

3. Fireblast: Enemies take damage if inside the ring too. However, to facilitate scaling, attacking the ring with Heat damage now ramps up the damage over time. Fireball can now be used to refresh the duration of the ring. This change would create a zone that, when bolstered through Heat damage, ends up providing Ember with her own little, personal Hell: incinerating enemies that walk in while providing her with a type of safe-zone that both deters enemies and increases Core Temperature. 

4. World On Fire: Now for the big, controversial one. In its current state, the ability doesn't do the name justice. It's more like Personal Space On Fire. For the changes, her ultimate would use her current Core Temperature to massively amplify the effects of her passive Heat aura (temperature has to be at a minimal level for activation). The ability has three main aspects to it:

     a. Heatwave: Ember starts releasing blistering amounts of Heat to her environment. Damage taken during the first few seconds is converted into damage for the aura. The longer it is active, the higher the damage ramps and the further away her heatwave can expand ( range has a cap), but energy drain increases. Damage is stronger the closer foes are to Ember. The higher Ember's Core Temperature was before activation, the quicker the expansion is. Ember can use any active Fireblast rings to further bolster her aura's damage (she consumes them. Thus, you gain damage, but lose a valuable safe-zone). All attacks now proc Heat, enemy armor is progressively lowered within the searing aura (thanks to the changes to Heat's proc) and taking Cold damage weakens the aura's effects. Too much Cold exposure and the ability is cancelled.

     b. Detonation: Accelerant now causes an explosion in Ember's immediate location that deals the aura's current damage as Heat/Blast (10,000 aura damage = 5,000 Heat and 5,000 Blast). For balancing reasons, while in this state, Accelerant can't be used to sensitize enemies to Heat damage (which would require you to preemptively set up Accelerant and then activate WoF)

     c. Aftermath: When WoF is deactivated, Ember begins to rapidly cool down. As she does so, she gains a temporary status chance and movement speed buff that cap out once Core Temperature is back to normal.

 

Thoughts? I would love to have thorough feedback. I am aware the rework may not be everyone's cup of tea, let's discuss it! 😄

Chroma thread: 

 

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