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Stamina Is Akin To Hunger Systems, Extraneous. Together We Can Do Better.


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< Caution long post ahead >

 

For those who or are unfamiliar with hunger systems:

Hunger systems were a semi common part of old RPG's where you would suffer stat impairment and ultimately health drain resulting in death if you did not keep your Hunger bar topped up by using  a "food" consumable. In most games it seemed the intent was to add a touch a realism. What it mostly accomplished was an extra stat that needed to be managed that didn't really offer anything really interesting mechanically (there are a few exceptions however). It has mostly vanished from the modern RPG, although it lives on in survival type games where it fits nicely.

 

Why I personally don't like Stamina Systems in General and in Warframe specifically:

 

The stamina system that sticks most in my mind is the stamina bar in Diablo 2. This is not because it was a well handled mechanic but more because it  was (to me) executed really poorly. In early game it is a constant hindrance and in late game it barely bothers you at all. This was my first real experience with a stamina bar and it did not set the bar high. Every other time I ran into stamina it either irritatingly slowed down game play or didn't really affect it at all making it unnecessary. In  a couple of games it worked well with the game play and ended up enhancing the experience (shadow of the colossus is a good example of this), but I couldn't tell you if it was because the developers found the perfect stamina balance or the style of game play better fit a stamina system.

 

Warframes Stamina system reminds me of Diablo 2's. It hinders you until you learn to work around it. You probably know what I am referring to, sliding to regain stamina while you run or zoren/fangcoptering to pretty much bypass it. If you really want to you can add a stamina mod to make your life easier, but it's still not really necessary even with the recent stamina tweaks.

 

My Crazy yet potentially interesting suggestion:

 

I propose to remove the stamina system all together and replace it with a Noise system. At face value this might seem like an immediate and stupid buff to rushers and a bad thing for the game because everyone will be running everywhere, but if you take a minute to think about it and remember that Stealth is still a mechanic that is mostly missing/not working well yet you'll see it's merit. I also want you to know I recognize this system is probably a lot of work to implement. But you know what they say; shoot for the moon and even if you miss you'll probably land amongst the stars.

 

Basic overview of how a Noise system would work:

 

Right now aside from non silent primaries and secondaries we are ninja silent which is awesome, but not a necessarily a good thing for stealth. Our detection depends almost entirely on sight. I want to take the system of alerting enemies with sound that guns bring to the game and expand on it. Every action that would take stamina will instead add Noise. When it reaches a certain threshold enemies in the same room can easily detect you. If you do actions that are silent or don't add to your Noise level it will drain back to zero.

 

Noise System Broken down by current stamina use:

 

Standing still: No addition to Noise and slightly/greatly increases that rate of Noise drain. Stillness is the essence of silence.

 

Walking: No addition to Noise level.  Which means walking will actually have a purpose instead of just being the thing you do when you run out of stamina.

 

Running: Running is louder than walking adds Noise (probably at the current rate it drains stamina)  This would mean that we could run forever, which most verteran players have figured how to pretty much do with the current system. It also means that if you want to be stealthy you won't be doing a lot of running.

 

Sliding: No addition to Noise level. Leaving sliding silent opens the option to do short dashes followed by quiet slides to slip past enemies which I think has potential to be cool.

 

Jumping: Only the landing would add Noise.

 

Dodging: Hurling your body out of the way, and rolls are all louder than walking. Probably have them add the same amount of Noise that they drain stamina, but only at the end like jumping.

 

Meleeing: Stealth attacks would give no noise, while standard and charge attacks would give additional Noise with every strike. swinging a bloody great hammer or cutting up a person are not quiet activities.

 

Wall Running: No addition to noise level or a very  minor one per second spent wall running. To make this work in a system without stamina I suggest making it so all warframes have the same set distance they can wall run before they start experiencing the current effects of running out of stamina while wall running.  It's fairly easy to get the feel for how far you can wall run without looking at the stamina bar currently so I don't see it being an issue for newer players to learn.

 

Edit:

Blocking: I'm tempted to say just get rid of blocking all together because it's not really working well right now but that feels like a cop out. Instead I'm going to suggest to make it like how it appears in a lot of other action/platformy style games. When you block have it reduce you to the a speed slightly below walking. Make it slow so if the character wants to close the distance just holding block isn't the best idea.  Have the block do a moderate to fairly large damage reduction of oncoming projectiles. This makes it worth taking the hit to your speed to block something that could kill you in a bad situation. Have the block not work for melee unless you time your block to coincide with a certain window of the enemies attack animation. If you successfully block, it also staggers the enemy for second. Standard stuff to prevent block spamming and introduce some skill into the block mechanic. Have it so elemental/special effects still bypass block. Block a shot of napalm? you're still going to be on fire. This keeps speciality enemies dangerous. As for noise, well I feel that if you are having to use block you're already been discovered by someone so I want to say no Noise, although alternatively you could have a small addition to Noise level on a successful block.

/Edit

 

How this would affect Stamina Mods:

 

They would need to all be converted to noise reduction mods and probably renamed. My suggestions are below. I'm not going to bother creating new names because I'm bad at that.

 

Acrobat: Currently reduces the stamina cost of wall runs. Change it to either increase the distance of wallruns or reduce noice of wall runs by x% per rank if wallruns add Noise.

 

Marathon: Currently increases the maximum stamina of warframes. Change it to reduce all noise gained by x% per rank.

 

Quick Rest: Currently increases the rate at which you regain stamina. Change it to increase the rate at which your Noise level decreases by x% per level when you are doing silent actions or ones that don't increase Noise.

 

Rush: Currently increases the speed at which a warframe runs. I see no reason to change this. Although an addition mod could be added to increase the speed you walk.

 

Second Wind: Currently give you additional stamina with each melee kill. Change it to reduce your Noise by -x per melee kill or per melee strike.

 

What this would mean for stealth:

 

This would be a core system for stealth game play. If you want to go undetected you have to monitor how much noise you are making. It also has the bonus of not hindering run and gun play if that is how you want to complete missions. The changes to the stamina mods into noise reduction mods means that they will be wanted for stealth setups while the Noise system itself allows you to do without them if you play with greater skill and patience.

 

 

In conclusion:

 

If you made it this far thank you for reading through all of it. I feel that unlike a stamina system that doesn't really add anything except an extra resource to manage a Noise system would not only be a system to manage but also one that enhances game play. That said, I do realise that until there is an overhaul to the stealth system (or rather lack thereof) this change would be detrimental and useless. Bear that in mind when commenting please. :)

 

Please let me know what you think I'm interested in getting the communities feedback on this.

Edited by Drasiel
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alot of work for DE but it might work.

I don't see it happening, not after the last Livestream where Scott or Steve complained that before U10, Stamina wasn't relevant, and they seem to have their heels dug in like a kid on the issue.
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Pretty sure it was scott.

It was hard to tell for me, the quality was really crappy and choppy for whatever reason, even though my rig can handle most newer games and such just fine. I eventually closed the livestream because well, I didn't like what I was seeing and hearing, to put it mildly.
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i will give you a +1 just for your constructive, Co-operative title. 

 

and now i'll read the post.

 

 

i like this. the only reason is, Scott tried to make Stamina a more important thing, but honestly, Stamina in a fast paced game like Warframe just presents itself as an excuse to give Melee weapons 'ammo'. and to reduce the amount of quick movement a player can do at one time, without standing around doing nothing for upwards of 10 seconds. 

Melee is already inferior to guns, so why also tell players that standing in front of an enemy getting shot at(probably) isn't enough, but you also need to run away and hide for upwards of 10 seconds after attacking ~10 times before you can melee again.

 

the problem i see with Stamina systems in every game (except hardcore RPG games), is that all it ends up doing is saying you can only do X so often, instead of just not quite as effectively, but anytime you want. 

 

ex - if a game has a Stamina system for Sprinting, i'd rather get not as much benefit from sprinting and be able to sprint whenever i need it, than need to worry about it running out and not having it when i need it. 

 

 

edit: and Warframe being a fast paced game, why is there an issue with moving around quickly in order to avoid gunfire to get an advantage on our enemies?

that's EXACTLY what Digital Extremes wants the players to do, be ninjas, but then we're told, at the same time, that doing that isn't good. >.>

Edited by taiiat
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It was hard to tell for me, the quality was really crappy and choppy for whatever reason, even though my rig can handle most newer games and such just fine. I eventually closed the livestream because well, I didn't like what I was seeing and hearing, to put it mildly.

Yeah, I agree, don't get me wrong, they seemed to kinda gloss over a lot of stuff (and made a joke of not remembering their next chapter in lore. It's not funny guys well, it's kinda funny, I see the humor, but still, it says something.)

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Thanks for the positive feedback guys :)

 

I know Scott or Steve (now you've got me second guessing that) Had said they really want to the stamina system to be meaningful, but I'm not sure that idea is compatible with the kind of fast paced action game Warframe seems to want to be.

 

It's also come to my attention that I forgot about blocking, which is hopefully forgiveable because blocking is a depressingly underused mechanic. I'll lay out my ideas here then edit them into the main post after.

 

Blocking: I'm tempted to say just get rid of blocking all together because it's not really working well right now but that feels like a cop out. Instead I'm going to suggest to make it like how it appears in a lot of other action/platformy style games. When you block have it reduce you to the a speed slightly below walking. Make it slow so if the character wants to close the distance just holding block isn't the best idea. Have the block do a moderate to fairly large damage reduction of oncoming projectiles. This makes it worth taking the hit to your speed to block something that could kill you in a bad situation. Have the block not work for melee unless you time your block to coincide with a certain window of the enemies attack animation. If you successfully block, it also staggers the enemy for second. Standard stuff to prevent block spamming and introduce some skill into the block mechanic. Have it so elemental/special effects still bypass block. Block a shot of napalm? you're still going to be on fire. This keeps speciality enemies dangerous. As for noise, well I feel that if you are having to use block you're already been discovered by someone so I want to say no Noise, although alternatively you could have a small addition to Noise level on a successful block.

Edited by Drasiel
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I think Stamina is a very workable system if you hit on the right balance of costs versus regeneration rate.  Did anyone play Vindictus?  It's has a quite a bit in common with Warframe, and it had a *fantastic* Stamina and melee combat system.  *Everything* in Vindictus cost stamina (sprinting, swing your weapon, blocking, rolling/dodging, basically anything that was normal run-speed movement) but the costs and regen rate were fairly reasonable (and upgradable).  The system was enough to make you watch yourself and think strategically, but not be a hindrance unless you were careless.     

 

I think the real problem with Warframe is that Stamina is primarily melee combat mechanic. Outside of melee combat, you only use stamina to sprint, wallrun, and roll (2/3rds of which you only need occasionally).   The last thing that melee needs right now is another drawback compared to ranged, so I feel like the "proper" stamina implementation should come as part of a larger melee overhaul.

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It'd invalidate a fair number of mods but meh.  

mods can change at any time, it's a quick change. but issues with the core mechanics only get harder to change the longer we wait. 

it's better to atleast try it now, and see if it feels better, than to not and later find out it is a good idea, when the game is twice as complicated programming wise and has presumably 2 or 3 times as many players to update to. 

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mods can change at any time, it's a quick change. but issues with the core mechanics only get harder to change the longer we wait. 

it's better to atleast try it now, and see if it feels better, than to not and later find out it is a good idea, when the game is twice as complicated programming wise and has presumably 2 or 3 times as many players to update to.

This is something Extra Credits touched upon. The earlier in your development/testing you make big changes like this, the easier it is.
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I think Stamina is a very workable system if you hit on the right balance of costs versus regeneration rate.  Did anyone play Vindictus?  It's has a quite a bit in common with Warframe, and it had a *fantastic* Stamina and melee combat system.  *Everything* in Vindictus cost stamina (sprinting, swing your weapon, blocking, rolling/dodging, basically anything that was normal run-speed movement) but the costs and regen rate were fairly reasonable (and upgradable).  The system was enough to make you watch yourself and think strategically, but not be a hindrance unless you were careless.     

 

I think the real problem with Warframe is that Stamina is primarily melee combat mechanic. Outside of melee combat, you only use stamina to sprint, wallrun, and roll (2/3rds of which you only need occasionally).   The last thing that melee needs right now is another drawback compared to ranged, so I feel like the "proper" stamina implementation should come as part of a larger melee overhaul.

 

Not having played Vindictus I can't really comment too much on it. But after taking a quick perusal of their website, I'm going to assume two things about it (please correct me if I'm wrong).

 

1) That you can level up stamina through the level up system they have.

2) That items can also positively or adversely effect your stamina.

 

This is where Warframe runs into a problem as far as stamina systems go. We can most definitely level up our stamina through the mod interface, although it's a tough thing to do arguable because other defensive or offensive warframe mods feel like they are a better option to go with and we have such limited space. What we cannot do is equip gear to also effect our stamina. There are no +x boots of speed or what have you. Yes there are the helmets, but in the livestreams there was talk of no more stat modifiers on helmets and it's only a flat progression. Helmets don't upgrade past purchase and once you've got the helmet you can't just find a replacement helmet with more speed or stamina on it.

 

I'm going to agree that melee is punished by our current stamina system because currently it does feel like is. Upon further examination, what I thought was lack of stamina preventing me from meleeing turned out to be input lag due to a bad host. The only thing stamina currently effects if you run out of it seems to be running/wallrunning, you can melee to your hearts content as long as you don't mind walking.

Edited by Drasiel
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1) That you can level up stamina through the level up system they have.

2) That items can also positively or adversely effect your stamina.

 

 

Sort of... it's been awhile for me too, but IIRC, Stamina did *not* change with level, but you could upgrade the Stamina regeneration rate.  I don't believe items effected stamina much, with the exception that different weapons took different amounts of stamina to swing (IE heavy weapons cost more). Obviously Vindictus was very melee focused, so it had very solid melee mechanics.  It had a combo system where you combined basic attacks with "power" attacks in chains, such that 1 basic attack followed by a power attack would give you one finishing move type, but 3 basic attacks followed by a power attack would give you a different (better) finishing move.  As such, melee combat centered around judging how much time you had to work in an attack chain, IE "boss is stunned, do I have time for a full 5 hit combo, or should I do a 4-hit combo and back off to be sure I don't get interrupted?"  This rewarded you for knowing things like your enemy's attack patterns, your own attack speed, ect.  It also had a fantasic block/dodge system that awarded you (usually with stamina cost discounts and/or stuns/knockdowns) for proper timing.

 

This is part of why I said that a Stamina rework should be part of a melee rework.  I think that both of the above systems (or similar) would fit quite well in Warframe with a few tweaks, but without rewarding/engaging actions to spend stamina on, the whole system is just an obstacle. 

 

As for your comments on problems with the stamina system in Warframe, it seems to echo a lot of other complaints I've heard on the forums about the mod system in general:  You don't want to spend precious mod points/slots to make this better.  I do have to agree with you there.  There are a lot of very edge-case and underperforming mods that no one really wants to give a slot to when it could be used for something better.  I think this is a separate and much larger problem though, and the only real solutions I can think of are:

 

1. Give us more mod slots on all gear, but give mod slots types that only accept a certain category of mod IE: Damage, Defense, Mobility, ect. 

2. Move "basic" stats onto the gear itself and have it increase with rank.  Warframes already get Shields and Energy as they rank up, but they could also gradually gain stamina, sprint speed, ect, or maybe we could even choose stats as we rank up (with Forma then serving as both a polarity change, and a stat respec). 

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<snip>

 

With the current AI it might be hard to work in a combo system. The enemies don't exactly leave themselves open, what with running madly at you or hiding behind cover and bosses tend to rely heavily on the use of guns to kill them. Plus there is the whole mob (as in a large dissordly group not as in a bad guy) spawn and attack thing enemies have going on. I'm not saying it's impossible just that AI is one the harder things rework as far as I know.

 

The mod system can be... restricting...at times, which is a good thing it forces us to make hard choices. But when there is a system that isn't adding anything or making us rethink our game play, its mods don't feel important or useful, sadly. One worry I have about DE implementing specific groups of mod slots is that it will end up restricting clever combinations that are easier to make within the current system.

 

As for putting more stats onto the gear themselves in some cases (like raw damage mods for weapons, but lets not argue about that here) I'm in favour of it and It might be good but if we do too much of that it will gradually pull us back to the pre U7 level up system that was chucked out in favour of the mods one.

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well, i would like to see some kind of melee combat rework (at least for me it doesn´t feel good) and then see if the stamina stays or leaves

 

I think a melee rework is probably needed regardless of what happens with stamina. There is too much disparity between the usefulness of charge attacks versus normal attacks and melee in general versus gun play.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I feel positive about some aspects of this idea, but then right after I see the major problem in it, "stealth" its the big elephant in the room with this game, everybody talks about it, and even devs say they want to progress on it. But Im simple skeptical about it, because if u look ate the type of maps they are building, and the way the enemies go around the map, ull see none of this was made to ever be played with stealth. Cause theres simple no place were u can hide, or move within the shadows.

As an example, look ate the splinter cell maps, they are bigger, and have more spaces were u can hide, or go around to stealth kill, in WF ur stuck in little corridors... just saying that "stealth" is a big lie in this game.

 

About blocking, I also agree with get rid of it, or don't, I don't care, cause I don't ever use it, I pushed the button twice just to see the animation, and that all I ever used it. So yah, needs to be changed as something usable.

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I can't really say anything on the Stamina system, it doesn't hinder me in any way and can't really see a difference between the new and old system, some people go overboard and QQ left and right about it and I don't know why. I'm still sprinting, jumping, sliding, wallrunning just as well as pre U.10 without being slowed down and this is that I'm not using stamina mods either.

 

In short, you need to learn to work with what you have, not what you need or want because you claim your "slowed down".

Edited by __Kanade__
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I feel positive about some aspects of this idea, but then right after I see the major problem in it, "stealth" its the big elephant in the room with this game, everybody talks about it, and even devs say they want to progress on it. But Im simple skeptical about it, because if u look ate the type of maps they are building, and the way the enemies go around the map, ull see none of this was made to ever be played with stealth. Cause theres simple no place were u can hide, or move within the shadows.

As an example, look ate the splinter cell maps, they are bigger, and have more spaces were u can hide, or go around to stealth kill, in WF ur stuck in little corridors... just saying that "stealth" is a big lie in this game.

 

About blocking, I also agree with get rid of it, or don't, I don't care, cause I don't ever use it, I pushed the button twice just to see the animation, and that all I ever used it. So yah, needs to be changed as something usable.

 

Yeah Stealth is quite the elephant and I fully admit that without a hefty stealth rework my idea falls flat on it's face. I also have deep concerns at the way the maps are laid out with only a single entrance and exit. It's hard to be stealthy when everyone has to use the same doors.The newer maps (ignoring their doors) do have a more rooms with much more open areas spattered with cover but they do suffer from some very open small hallways still.

 

 

I can't really say anything on the Stamina system, it doesn't hinder me in any way and can't really see a difference between the new and old system, some people go overboard and QQ left and right about it and I don't know why. I'm still sprinting, jumping, sliding, wallrunning just as well as pre U.10 without being slowed down and this is that I'm not using stamina mods either.

 

In short, you need to learn to work with what you have, not what you need or want because you claim your "slowed down".

 

That is basically what I am saying is wrong with the stamina system. It adds nothing, and I even say in my opening post that it's easy to work around without mods. I don't want to get rid of stamina because it's slowing us down, I can already navigate around it's minor encumbrance, I want to get rid of stamina because it isn't adding anything to gameplay or making us feel we need to take the system into consideration when setting up builds.

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