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Ash: Reconstructed!


Kobalt
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All of us have thoughts and ideas on how to change a lot of the frames in this game. I decided to make this topic to throw out some changes that would probably never happen. Kind of an "if I could wave a magic wand" scenario. It is more of a rework of his entire kit to make him work more than to fix what he is now.

TL;DR - Bolded text! [Reading is good for you!]

Notes - Italic ext!

1. Bladeshift - 25 energy: Ash teleports to target enemy dealing damage on arrival [bladestorm animations], damage is increased 50% if the target is not alerted. Enemies not killed are knocked down. Leveling the skill increases it's damage and the number of strikes. At max level it will hit one additional nearby enemy for 1,000 damage each.

Power Strength - Increases the damage.

Power Duration - increases the number of nearby targets it can jump to.

Power Range - Increases the distants between targets it can hit.

Replaces Shuriken as his opening skill and combines the functionality of Teleport and Bladestorm into one skill. This will become more relevant later on. Added intensive for stealth play and utility of knockdown to make the skill work as a stealth tool late game. Ash would arrive at the location of the initially selected target.

2. Smoke Screen - 35 energy: Functions almost exactly as it does now. Only, it adds a hightened crit rate against unalerted Targets.

Power Strength - Increases the effectiveness of the crit rate boost.

Power Duration - increases the duration of stealth.

Power Range - Increases the area of the initial stagger.

Not much changes here, once again added incentive for stealth play. Gives incentive to use silent weapons or silence mods on them. Not sure how big the bonus on this should be! Though it's not on here because it would be too much, I thought it granting addition melee reach enhanceable by Power Range would've been cool!

3. Shuriken Arc - 50 energy: Ash throws an arc of guided shurikens at his enemies dealing damage. Leveling the skill increases the number of shurikens in the arc, say five at it's base and seven at it's max. 400 damage per shuriken.

Power Strength - Increases the damage.

Power Duration - increases the number of shurikens thrown.

Power Range - Increases the how far the shurikens track.

Shuriken as it is now is kind of dinky! Throwing weapons have a similar feel to them, if not better for no energy. This skill needs to be set apart and raising the cost and making it and actual fan I think does just that. More of an open combat tool than a stealth tool now.

4. After Image - 75 energy: Ash creates a smoke duplicate of himself that mirror's his very action half a second later. During which his power efficiency is greatly increased [50%]! Leveling the ability increases duration of the effect and the percentage of damage your clone does, 15 seconds and 77% at max level respectively.

Power Strength - Increases the % of damage your clone does.

Power Duration - increases the duration of the effect.

This skill is what makes the concept work on the whole. With the right mod investment it becomes very powerful. This needs a way better name, suggestions welcome...Not that anything will come of it.

In summary, the move switch from bladestorm to bladeshift breaks down the inefficiency of the skill and keeps you from getting locked in it. With the power efficiency and damage boost you get pretty close to bladestorm as it is now, but with more control/options [iE: you pay for closer to the number of targets killed instead of always paying for 13 and usually getting far less]. With mod investment [Focus on duration can increase bladeshift to 3 targets and after image to 100% damage with power strength] it becomes better than bladestorm is now. You get a more iconic form to shuriken as well. I think rewarding stealth play is also important in his kit as it doesn't happen nearly as much as it should for a "stealth frame." After image is a supercharging ability that basically doubles all of Ash's damage and duplicates the effects of certain skills on enemies. It is a combo skill which the power efficiency bonus and sub-100 cost speaks to, which can be stacked with streamline up to 80%. Even when no used efficiently to combo with skills it functions as a solid damage buff. Probably a little OP in the numbers, but I think the feel of play would be much closer to what one would expect!

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I disagree with this. It's over-the-top and unnecessary. As was said earlier, Ash doesn't need a full rework.

Shuriken - If the skill isn't useful, make it useful. There's no need to replace it outright. Sticking to his original format, just up the number of Shuriken to say, 10 instead of 2, make them deal 50 damage each (500 total, down from 1,000) and add a chance for stagger and guaranteed speed reduction. This turns Shuriken from flat damage into CC utility. Way more interesting.

Smoke Screen - Fine as is, the biggest change I'd consider suggesting is allow the lingering smoke cloud to serve as a small ranged damage reduction buff for teammates standing in it, on account of shots being easier to miss.

Teleport - Remove its need for a target, keep the flipping animation, and make it so that if you key for a melee attack during Ash's flip, he performs an area-of-effect knockdown that deals decent damage. This means teleport can remain a utility/stealth tool, or it can function as an offensive maneuver.

Bladestorm - Why are people so keen on changing this? It's fine the way it is. If it were to say... aggro enemies to Ash for the duration of the ability as he teleports around, that'd add a ton more team utility. It kills a good number of enemies, and distracts the rest, which lifts some of the pressure off of teammates.

As it stands now, Ash is one of the less generic Warframes available. I'd rather see other burst-damage ultimates get reworked in place of Bladestorm, and Teleport really only needs a minimal fix.

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Except maybe make it so Blade Shift goes for 3 targets at a time at max lvl. (I think you stated it just not specific)

The kit is geared towards power duration being a central stat, So I figured people would want to run both Continuity and Constitution. At two targets max I could say that the damage is balanced and with both mods he would get three targets instead. I was just afraid that by increasing the number to 3 at it's base it would be innately OP for it's damage and the fact that stacking duration would jump it to five targets. Three would be good at the base, but only if it was not increased by power duration.

 

And I can't begin to express how broken 1k damage is for a 25 energy skill.

Play on Saryn, Vauban, Mag or Excalibur are all easily capable of similar damage at the same slot right now. Technically Saryn is capable of far greater numbers.
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I wanted to use the word twin and incorporate smoke, but I couldn't make it not sound corny doing that!

Thanks to anyone who liked the concept ant to anyone who disagrees with it and took the time to say why. As I said the changes are probably way too big to ever happen regardless, I made the post more for fun than anything!

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1. Bladeshift - 25 energy: Ash teleports to target enemy dealing damage on arrival [bladestorm animations], damage is increased 50% if the target is not alerted. Enemies not killed are knocked down. Leveling the skill increases it's damage and the number of strikes. At max level it will hit one additional nearby enemy for 1,000 damage each.

That looks really great, but high damage AND several targets is too badass. I think it should be limited to only one target. Then it would make extremely good skill for 25 energy.

 

4. After Image - 75 energy: Ash creates a smoke duplicate of himself that mirror's his very action half a second later. During which his power efficiency is greatly increased [50%]! Leveling the ability increases duration of the effect and the percentage of damage your clone does, 15 seconds and 77% at max level respectively.

So, it's basically big self-buff. I think it's a great idea, but I think it should not buff power efficiency, but instead just double all damage, that Ash deals - I mean it's a duplicate and it copies all your moves, so it would make sense for duplacate to deal the same damage to enemies.

Edited by AlienOvermind
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That looks really great, but high damage AND several targets is too badass. I think it should be limited to only one target. Then it would make extremely good skill for 25 energy.

 

So, it's basically big self-buff. I think it's a great idea, but I think it should not buff power efficiency, but instead just double all damage, that Ash deals - I mean it's a duplicate and it copies all your moves, so it would make sense for duplacate to deal the same damage to enemies.

I think 2 Targets is fine, It was OP's idea. If you think about it Mag's pull is still waaaay better then Bladeshift.

Edited by NBlitZ
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What I like about this new concept is that Now that we have a Change to blade storm (Smaller cost and duration)

 

We can act more actively, instead of sitting there waiting for bladestorm to end.

Then add a re-cast interrupt and partial cost refund on ability cancel. And do that for every single ultimate that has a longer-than-instant cast duration. Merging Blade Storm and Teleport takes away the one thing that makes Bladestorm really useful as an ultimate, which is that it can be used to deal damage from a relatively safe position. Sure, you have to sit through it, but you can end up right back where you started - conveniently outside of enemy range. If Bladestorm left people standing in groups of enemies, it'd get them killed so often it wouldn't be worth the energy spent on it.

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Then add a re-cast interrupt and partial cost refund on ability cancel. And do that for every single ultimate that has a longer-than-instant cast duration. Merging Blade Storm and Teleport takes away the one thing that makes Bladestorm really useful as an ultimate, which is that it can be used to deal damage from a relatively safe position. Sure, you have to sit through it, but you can end up right back where you started - conveniently outside of enemy range. If Bladestorm left people standing in groups of enemies, it'd get them killed so often it wouldn't be worth the energy spent on it.

 

I think Smoke screen has that covered, come on man don't start bringing up an argument.

 

I doubt DE will make cast interruption in this game even I think it's lame and very unreliable.

Edited by NBlitZ
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I think Smoke screen has that covered, come on man don't start bringing up an argument.

No, you're missing the point. Smoke Screen keeps you safe, sure, but it's a utility ability before anything else. Blade Storm is a straight up 'damage and kill things' ability. What sets it apart is that you can cast it  from several rooms away if you have line of sight. Pretty much every other ultimate in the game requires your Warframe to be right in the thick of everything to be effective.

I'm bringing up an argument because I think the changes suggested in the OP are, though creative and interesting, ultimately poorly designed changes. Ash is in a pretty good place right now, he really only needs better mobility utility. I can understand that a lengthy cast time on an ability is problematic for gameplay flow and cooperation. That problem isn't restricted only to Ash, though, which is why I suggested an ability interrupt.

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I disagree with this. It's over-the-top and unnecessary. As was said earlier, Ash doesn't need a full rework.

Shuriken - If the skill isn't useful, make it useful. There's no need to replace it outright. Sticking to his original format, just up the number of Shuriken to say, 10 instead of 2, make them deal 50 damage each (500 total, down from 1,000) and add a chance for stagger and guaranteed speed reduction. This turns Shuriken from flat damage into CC utility. Way more interesting.

Smoke Screen - Fine as is, the biggest change I'd consider suggesting is allow the lingering smoke cloud to serve as a small ranged damage reduction buff for teammates standing in it, on account of shots being easier to miss.

Teleport - Remove its need for a target, keep the flipping animation, and make it so that if you key for a melee attack during Ash's flip, he performs an area-of-effect knockdown that deals decent damage. This means teleport can remain a utility/stealth tool, or it can function as an offensive maneuver.

Bladestorm - Why are people so keen on changing this? It's fine the way it is. If it were to say... aggro enemies to Ash for the duration of the ability as he teleports around, that'd add a ton more team utility. It kills a good number of enemies, and distracts the rest, which lifts some of the pressure off of teammates.

As it stands now, Ash is one of the less generic Warframes available. I'd rather see other burst-damage ultimates get reworked in place of Bladestorm, and Teleport really only needs a minimal fix.

I disagree with you in a sense, I think Ash does need major work. Like I said at the start though, this is my magic wand solution for reorganizing his kit to make the play feel a bit more like it looks in that awesome trailer. That aside as a stealth frame he has absolutely zero skills that reward stealth play, instead he has 2 that facilitate it, that is just outright silly!

Shuriken is a subpar skill/damage dealer period. People want the arc, but it's too powerful at 25 energy unless you split the damage like you did. At which point I would think the damage wouldn't be as gratifying to most players. Honestly though, I like the slow Idea and would be down for something like this. I happen to be one of the mag players who understood that pull was way better for it's utility the way it was before it got damage and ragdoll.

Smoke screen honestly needs nothing, I boosted it in this for theme and to add some of the power back I was taking away from an unmodded Ash [current Ash is way better than mine at it's base and mine does better with them]. It is super efficient as it is at 35 energy instead of 50 like Loki's!

Teleport is pretty bad with it's flip and landing in front of people. It is counter stealth as it is now. Some people like me just want it to be a mini 1 target bladestorm like in the trailers. There are a whole lot better mobility skills for your energy. They would have to fix the flip and positioning along with it's cost inefficiency to make this worth using.

Bladestorm is a special skill. People like me love it for it's finesse and style. It is unique in how it functions, but it functions at a detriment. It is often a complete waste of your energy. You always pay for 13 targets and seldom get them. It doesn't feel rewarding to use. The only solutions I've found for it are having it choose victims on the fly instead of all at the start and refunding energy for any targets it can't get to. Those are sub-par solutions as is! Starting it at the same time as a burst frame's uber and wasting your energy is outright crushing. Not to mention the number of times I have started a bladestorm at the exact moment someone went down! It's duration while nice for invulnerability is restrictive for team play. I like what it does and how it looks, it is just clunky. It would be fantastic if it gave you charges and you could choose on a target to target basis for yourself!

With the amount of work that Ash needs I think it'll take a fairly long time for them to flush him out regardless, especially with how incremental their steps usually are.

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I disagree with you in a sense, I think Ash does need major work. Like I said at the start though, this is my magic wand solution for reorganizing his kit to make the play feel a bit more like it looks in that awesome trailer. That aside as a stealth frame he has absolutely zero skills that reward stealth play, instead he has 2 that facilitate it, that is just outright silly!

Shuriken is a subpar skill/damage dealer period. People want the arc, but it's too powerful at 25 energy unless you split the damage like you did. At which point I would think the damage wouldn't be as gratifying to most players. Honestly though, I like the slow Idea and would be down for something like this. I happen to be one of the mag players who understood that pull was way better for it's utility the way it was before it got damage and ragdoll.

Smoke screen honestly needs nothing, I boosted it in this for theme and to add some of the power back I was taking away from an unmodded Ash [current Ash is way better than mine at it's base and mine does better with them]. It is super efficient as it is at 35 energy instead of 50 like Loki's!

Teleport is pretty bad with it's flip and landing in front of people. It is counter stealth as it is now. Some people like me just want it to be a mini 1 target bladestorm like in the trailers. There are a whole lot better mobility skills for your energy. They would have to fix the flip and positioning along with it's cost inefficiency to make this worth using.

Bladestorm is a special skill. People like me love it for it's finesse and style. It is unique in how it functions, but it functions at a detriment. It is often a complete waste of your energy. You always pay for 13 targets and seldom get them. It doesn't feel rewarding to use. The only solutions I've found for it are having it choose victims on the fly instead of all at the start and refunding energy for any targets it can't get to. Those are sub-par solutions as is! Starting it at the same time as a burst frame's uber and wasting your energy is outright crushing. Not to mention the number of times I have started a bladestorm at the exact moment someone went down! It's duration while nice for invulnerability is restrictive for team play. I like what it does and how it looks, it is just clunky. It would be fantastic if it gave you charges and you could choose on a target to target basis for yourself!

With the amount of work that Ash needs I think it'll take a fairly long time for them to flush him out regardless, especially with how incremental their steps usually are.

I can understand everything you've said. We're on the same page with Shuriken and Smokescreen.

Teleport - Remove the need for an enemy or objective as a target, and suddenly its utility shoots through the roof. However, Ash isn't pure stealth, and I think adding an optional close-combat utility (none of that automatically forced attack crap) will provide him with a wider array of playstyle options. If you're playing alone for a stealth run? Great, teleport works for you now. Playing in a group where stealth flies out the window the second you exit the spawn room? Teleport is still useful. Making it a small AOE knockdown solves the problem of enemies punching you in the face right off othe bat, too.

Bladestorm - Recast interrupt with energy refund based on how many enemies you haven't hit when you cancel.

1. Solves the waste of energy when other teammates kill the enemies you're targeting.

2. Solves the problem of being unable to assist teammates who go down the minute you cast it.

3. My suggestion of aggro on enemies for its duration adds minimalist team utility for those that want it, but doesn't range any further than a flavor boost.

I don't think that qualifies as in need of a huge rework. Three minor changes to existing abilities, really, and his ultimate interrupt would be really useful on Warframes like Volt who are sitting ducks during their ultimates.

 

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I think 2 Targets is fine, It was OP's idea. If you think about it Mag's pull is still waaaay better then Bladeshift.

Well, 2 or even 3 targets are fine, yes. But I don't think you need to compare it to most OP 1st skills. First, Bladeshift with one target would be still better than, for example, FIreball. Or current Shuriken. Second, it would be teleporting chaos - you aim an enemy at some certain place, but end up in completely another place (after hitting second or third target). Third, same problems as with Bladestorm - random targets, long animation.

As for me, it would be best to make it 1 target skill, but with fast cast time, so we can recast is quickly to deal with certain strong enemies, like Ancients or Heavy Gunners.

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I can understand everything you've said. We're on the same page with Shuriken and Smokescreen.

Teleport - Remove the need for an enemy or objective as a target, and suddenly its utility shoots through the roof. However, Ash isn't pure stealth, and I think adding an optional close-combat utility (none of that automatically forced attack crap) will provide him with a wider array of playstyle options. If you're playing alone for a stealth run? Great, teleport works for you now. Playing in a group where stealth flies out the window the second you exit the spawn room? Teleport is still useful. Making it a small AOE knockdown solves the problem of enemies punching you in the face right off othe bat, too.

Bladestorm - Recast interrupt with energy refund based on how many enemies you haven't hit when you cancel.

1. Solves the waste of energy when other teammates kill the enemies you're targeting.

2. Solves the problem of being unable to assist teammates who go down the minute you cast it.

3. My suggestion of aggro on enemies for its duration adds minimalist team utility for those that want it, but doesn't range any further than a flavor boost.

I don't think that qualifies as in need of a huge rework. Three minor changes to existing abilities, really, and his ultimate interrupt would be really useful on Warframes like Volt who are sitting ducks during their ultimates.

Teleport going to anywhere is a whole nother can of worms, but I can see the fact that DE opened that can with Nova and Worm Hole! I can see what you are getting at with this change, but I've just personally never been a fan of the idea. I think it would be too strong a gateway into rush/avoidance strategy at that price. Nova's may do just that, but it is far more expensive to pull off for one distance. I honestly don't think DE would make this change without at least doubling the cost, which I guess wouldn't be too bad.

As for Bladestorm, they are poor solutions for several reasons. The recast mechanic does not fit into the current framework in the game. Developers generally like to keep things simple, the chances they'd be willing to have it be cast cancellable are slim. People have wanted toggles and passive abilities forever, yet they do not come...There is a reason for this. In their eyes a simple solution involves with working with what they have instead of writing in new functionality. While some people see this as lazy, people who code are smart enough to see this as pragmatism. You can see this pragmatism throughout the game in the behaviors of skills as a lot of them share functionality [iE: Bullet Attractor, Psychic Shards, Null Star and Shuriken all seem you use the exact same auto-targeting functionality...Though the projectiles have different properties]!

Energy return for the skill CANNOT be made efficient! Doing so relegates Shuriken as a damage dealing skill. So if there are 13 possible targets and it gave back the exact amount back for how many you don't get, it would always be better [2,000 single target damage for 8 energy] to use Bladestorm and cancel instead of using Shuriken [unless you didn't have energy for the initial Bladestorm]. If you make it so that finishing the Bladestorm before cancelling out consumes the energy you just have the same problem, you may not be fast enough to cancel before that burst executes! The best solution I came up with was (energy cost / number of targets executed on) / 2 or half the energy back on the ones you missed. While it would prevent true misuse, the edge case of getting your ult canceled early by another burst ult is still bad. Sure you'd get half of it back, but you'd still be out an ult having spent half of it on doing nothing.

I see your points for the most part, but this post was just about how I would like to play Ash if I had the control to. You don't have to worry about it, way to big a change for DE to ever try at even if they liked the idea...Which I honestly doubt! X0D

Edited by Kobalt
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Well, 2 or even 3 targets are fine, yes. But I don't think you need to compare it to most OP 1st skills. First, Bladeshift with one target would be still better than, for example, FIreball. Or current Shuriken. Second, it would be teleporting chaos - you aim an enemy at some certain place, but end up in completely another place (after hitting second or third target). Third, same problems as with Bladestorm - random targets, long animation.

As for me, it would be best to make it 1 target skill, but with fast cast time, so we can recast is quickly to deal with certain strong enemies, like Ancients or Heavy Gunners.

I see how you could say that, while you could say that it would be better than fireball...Most would say that fireball is simply not worth casting as it is now. Most people don't bother casting it because you can do more in a single shot of a weapon for no energy in an instant instead of over time! I would argue that the initial blast on Ember's Fireball should be made larger with the DoT effect dealing more damage to a single target than it does now. Then it too would be comparable and worth casting Armor 2.0 incoming!

That aside, if it were single target the ability to create Bladestorm as it stands now with my Ash and your suggestions is too costly. If you take out the power efficiency like you suggested before and make Bladeshift single target it would require 400 energy to cast After Image to equal out the old damage and 13 casts of shift.

The point of my rebuild was to make Bladestorm as it is now a possibility in a new way. At 2 Targets with over 50% power duration you get 3 targets per cast. With power efficiency of 30%, you get a 52.5 cost to cast After Image...With the power efficiency you gain from that each subsequent Bladeshift would cost 5. With 4 casts you would land 12 targets at the damage Ash has now for 72.5 energy, which is an increase of 2.5 [with Streamline] for one less target...After which it becomes more efficient than recasting another Bladestorm for more targets. This requires a lot more investment than Ash does now to get the same thing, but you get control along with it! If you are going in groups of three you control yourself better during the time, because you aren't locked into the entire animation. It could also be tweaked in it's growth so that it hits max damage at rank 2 with one target and only gains an additional target at rank 3, that way you would have a choice.

I also stated in the notes for Blade shift that Ashe will always come out of the attacks at the location of the first person he targeted!

Edited by Kobalt
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