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Dev Workshop - Melee Rework Phase 2: TECHNIQUE

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tl;dr: Melee 3.0 mockup

All in all this rework looks pretty f**king incredible I must say.  As someone I think at least slightly influenced Melee 2.x,There is only one core suggestion I have:

Block Anytime, Anywhere. The Tenno either can execute a single command (single key or multi key press)  to block. Allow most actions to be cancelled into blocks. Blocking always should have been a fallback action for when a Tenno finds themselves in trouble regardless of what they are doing. This is a clear example how dedicated firearm/melee modes hold back Warframe's potential. Also I can't mention blocking in a serious manner without referencing this. 


Imagine a combat scenario where a Tenno is highly engaged with the enemy.  Suddenly, a huge attack suddenly comes barrelling towards them and they do not have time to dodge.  Only block.  What sounds more fun and natural to you:

A) At the last moment the Tenno stops firing his/her gun and brings up their arms in the nick of time to block the attack.  Perhaps timing the block could lead to parries.

B) The Tenno has to stop firing their weapon, put it away, wait for their melee weapon to get pulled out, and then block.  If they have the time to do this you know what they could have also done?  Just about anything else in the game including moving out of the way thereby defeating the point of blocking.

Being able to seamlessly use block at any time adds an amazing amount of utility to a player's toolkit. If DE did decide to implment an 'anytime, anywhere' block I would hope they reconsider blocking not always negating 100% of the damage in all cases (maybe except for parries?).  A weapon having variable block cones, block %, and possibly even parry windows gives DE more stats to experiment with that make sense.  Why throw this design space away needlessly?

Again the rework looks f**king AMAZING.  It does truly.  However, until DE discards the notion of dedicated firearms/melee modes completely Warframe will always be playing 2nd fiddle to its own 1st rate potential. I say this because action legends such as Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, Nier: Automota, etc, have shown such an incredible path forward by having one unified 'action combat' mode.  This doesn't mean there can't be an other way but Warframe's firearm/melee modes do not seem to be an improvement over what those legends have done.

Also it's worth really driving home DE could literally create the most incredible combat system known to man. However, if the enemies remain stuck as ants we crush with hammers, all this work to make combat more engaging becomes a somewhat moot point.  We are still hammers crushing ants and combos and in depth combat is a distant option to nuking dumb, enfeebled enemies that literally run to their slaughter.

Love you guys, the game you make, and the work you do. 🙂

Update 10/31/2019: The Old Blood

Can confirm that dedicated melee and firearm modes/focus on holstering are still indeed holding Warframe's combat back.  Dual wielding a glaive and a single hand sidearm exemplify this the most.  As in can not use heavy attack while dual wielding because heavy attacks are gated behind their own mode.

Can not use heavy attacks directly from firearms.  Player has to go firearms > quick melee attack to enable heavy attacks.  Which again... is awkward as it sounds.

Also very questionable why heavy attack needs its own key when it simply can be a charged attack.

Combos sort of have universal mapping.

Not all combos represent single attack focus OR AoE focus OR travel

Wall attacks had their travel distance nerfed into the absolute ground.

Heavy Slam Attacks FEEL very and look very good.

Combo counter as a resource is very interesting and opens up opportunities for 'combo efficiency build'.  However, Blood Rush + Body Count still supersedes most case uses of heavy attacks.


Edited by lihimsidhe
Wanted to add more context because I want this game to wildly succeed to the point where we get Warframe anime, books, movies, etc. Warframe world domination basically.
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Awesome, thanks. Time to read all this!

EDIT: So I don't see anything involving Riven Mods which I am going to assume is a different thread, but with what we have, here are my concerns:

  • Range will remain the most powercreep stat after these changes as it has for years and be reinforced even heavier. Even if "normalized", the most effective method of killing will be around weapons with the largest range.
    • Riven Mod range values also seem concerning as this might reinforce getting high Disposition range weapons. "The Scoliac Problem" could be spreading to other weapons.
  • Condition Overload and Maiming Strike are being toned down. Now, I don't have a huge problem with this given how many buffs are also coming to the system, but this will heavily reinforce my first bullet: range. For example, Ninkondi Prime. Ninkondi Prime is quite a good weapon because of the IPS and Electricity. Even with the buffs it receives, the loss of applying more than 3 Condition Overload procs will have it lose out to something with a larger range. Since we don't have concrete numbers on what "normalization" on range looks like, I'm going to assume a polearm is still longer than a nunchuck by a visual amount. This change also cements Plague Kripath as the hands down best melee as you will be unable to get around the lack of innate Viral on a melee by utilizing more status procs than the Kripath. While the CO + Maiming combo is a huge outlier in terms of melee DPS, it's the only thing that saves sad weapons like the Machete. Hopefully those kinds of melee get a buff that is enough to outweigh this loss.
  • Slowing down the player. The fluidity of the combos on streams and in demos are really cool, however they look flashy and slower compared to current melee quick attacking + sliding. This may result in death compared to a slide attack. I am unsure how this plays in an Arbitration or higher level missions, so I will wait more to see if what I said holds true.
  • Knocking enemies. Stormpath on Telos Boltace highlights this immensely. If an enemy is knocked but not killed, you have failed to do what a weapon is designed to do. CC can be left to Warframe abilities and Magus Lockdown, but knocking enemies away from the player and not killing them will be counter-productive to striking the enemy in the first place. The way this can be addressed is to give something similar to Frost's Snowglobe ragdoll damage to ragdolled enemies from heavy attacks. This gives reason to slamming an enemy into a wall as it would do more considerable damage.

I just hope there is more competition in the melee category when this launches without heavily nerfing the player.

That's all I have to say at this time. Thank you for the workshop!

Edited by Voltage
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Yeah, changes to Melee. Took some time.

Because some things are not totally finalized, I will wait for the final changes in the update. For example:

Condition Overload - Now stacks at a maximum of 3 Status Effects, however damage is being increased from 60% to a higher percent to balance the change. Final % to come. 

I hope it's a lot of damage at least. ^__^

Can't wait to see what will happen to my Kripath... I will judge when I played the upcoming update.

If the Machete will get extremely powerful with the update, I think someone will be really angry. Imagine not having a Machete after 1000+ logins... ^__^   

Edited by Afterburner_X
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Thanks for the book! Gonna have to see how it plays ingame.

Not really sure what this means. Guessing meant "provide" stacks.

1 hour ago, [DE]Bear said:

Spring-Loaded Blade - Will now proved a maximum of 3 additional stacks of Melee Range.

Also incoming panic sell.

1 hour ago, [DE]Bear said:

Maiming Strike - Changes from an additive buff to a stacking buff, but base functionality increased to a Significant % of the old version to balance the change. Final % to come soon.

Edited by Revanx
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So to begin with, the return of equipped melee and manual blocking is a big deal for me, both in terms of immersing myself in the feeling of piloting a Warframe, but also for the comfort of my play-style, so big thank you there. I know some of my friends will greatly appreciate this as well. I really can't stress enough how good [DE] is at correctly sorting through feedback and integrating change appropriately (rather than reverting) into existing systems.

Reviewing other peoples posts, I feel the need to point this out-


On 2019-10-18 at 1:09 PM, lihimsidhe said:

B) The Tenno has to stop firing their weapon, put it away, wait for their melee weapon to get pulled out, and then block.  If they have the time to do this you know what they could have also done?  Just about anything else in the game including moving out of the way thereby defeating the point of blocking.

If the idea is to allow the block key to be engaged while holding a braton or primary ranged weapon, I'm all for that as well so long as it's drawing the melee weapon for the duration of the block key being pressed. So I like that idea.

In the case that it's not and I'm mistaken, here's a response to both that and the comments I saw both on the Devstream, region chat etc. It's pretty convoluted but I guess you can just ignore the post and leave me to this catharsis.

The Points of View: Melee blocking is pointless, should stay automatic, and melee mode shouldn't exist.

This point of view requires you to disregard the option of blocking as a key part of the identity and power of melee weapons. Having that strength be a personality trait of the fully dedicated usage of melee weapons is a defining trade-off to highlight advantages over larger ranged weapons like rifles and shotguns. This also highlights a strength of Skana & Sidearm should the melee system finally see implementation (hopefully with easy access to manual blocking) with Phase 3. Personally, I don't want to be capable of blocking 100% of the time at all times. I like the automatic blocking from Phase 1 as an option alongside manual blocking, but why even have a health bar or armour stat if I'm so easily capable of blocking everything mindlessly? Why wouldn't I want to be rewarded for my premeditated usage of my melee weapon to have the stronger manual block (assuming auto block in non-melee mod is still around and isn't 100% damage reduction)

The point of view also has to believe that choosing to not be mindful of your environment, and then leaving yourself no time to dodge is not the game successfully punishing you for failing to budget your timings. That doesn't sound like a dedicated mode failing you, that sounds more like no plan and poor reaction time failed you. If you can't find time to dodge in the first place, which in nearly every virtual and real world example is a sort of knee-jerk thing you do to respond to a situation that requires reaction, then there's probably no way to use blocking as a replacement, which in most virtual/real world environments is a premeditated action that you plan for, as failing to move out of the way of something is typically a safer failure than failing to stop the strike to hit it's target. I don't have any form of degree or anything that makes me confident enough to say I have the qualifications to make these statements, I'm just applying what I know from a few years of studying & practising Fencing technique and some HEMA training.

To add to this, blocking peppered gunfire or simple strikes makes sense when they're effortless or you're just plowing through hordes of normal enemies, while dodging large hulking strikes instead of blocking makes sense, less risk, more efficient action-wise, of course you'd dodge instead of block, even if you had your melee weapon already out. Suggesting that you should be able to instantly block a heavy attack while using a ranged weapon like a Braton or Rubico is a little strange, a defining vulnerability (or perhaps the better phrase is lack of opportunity) of a ranged play-style is a lack of ease-of-access to that sort of tactic (blocking).  Why not just dodge everything anyway? Why even have melee weapons? If dodging everything is how you do, then do, but I don't feel the need to catapult myself around the room when I could just have my Silva and Aegis out and work my way through the horde. I'll catapult myself around the room when I feel blocking or melee isn't the tool that needs to be applied in that moment

If the idea that there is no ranged specific play-style and all forms of combat are THE play-style (hence Gun & Blade), then even still, the block feature and dedicated melee or ranged modes makes sense as an option, as a part of a tool-set. Because, to be frank, manual blocking and dedicated melee mode is still only an option, all of these features and actions are just tools to solve problems, and that variety is refreshing. Because of that, I can't see how dedicated optional modes would be the "primary obstacle holding Warframe's combat back."

That's not to say that any given system can't be improved upon, I'm sure there's an amazing system that wraps everything up into one solid mode, but that would likely require more buttons than they (they being anyone, player or dev) would want to force you to map out

That's pretty much all I want to say about that, and isn't the reason for my post.


Dodge cancelling is wonderful and will hopefully add greater depth to the system. I foresee some skill (read as: Foresight) differentiating moments going away in favour of rewarding reactionary (read as: skilful)  play, which sounds like a good trade for this new action.

Rewarding blocking with 100% damage reduction was a boon I didn't expect to receive, so thank you for that.

Mod changes are welcome and the load-out screen looks great and very clean. Nice job!

Now for the actual reason for my post:

I'm curious about lifting, hover air combos, and throw-able melee's, especially one series in particular. I actually lost my list I made last spring after testing all the special weapons in the simulacrum, and I'm sorry I can't report all the interference's found.

Sigma and Octantis' special throw mechanic does not play well with directional slam attacks, and interfere with each other to a frustrating degree. Is there any way to separate them so I can use the throw in mid-air without interfering with intentions to slam attack, or vice versa? I'm sure Glaive Users understand as well, I love this weapon and have used it for around 1000-1200 hours, and I just really want to have access to the throw and slam attacks.

That's all.

Thank you so so much for bringing back melee aim-gliding and blocking, I'm so incredibly excited for melee mode and can't wait to have it back.

Edited by Nathren
Editted because I need to learn to proof-read my stuff and write when I've gotten good sleep.
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Any chance Umbra losing buffs/invulnerability when using Transference will finally get fixed correctly?

Also, Exalted Blade used to be able to block automatically even while attacking in the past, but this has no longer been the case for the longest time. Fix for this too?

Edited by Yun_Woo-Seok
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I dig it - it's looking good


(Finally got time to write my response)

Heavy attacks as a resource is quite an interesting idea - particularly the ebb and flow of combat, especially with the heavier/specialist units we face. It and the coming rage mode have piqued my interest as I very much enjoyed channel builds back when melee 2.0 was released.

Though, perhaps a little counterintuitive - mods or arcanes to play into the heavy attack/rage mode playstyle as a main focus would certainly be interesting.

Also the manner of differentiation between weapons and allowing their passives/part in the story/stance play out.

Eg. Nikana.

With Decisive judgement (using it without the sheath) gains additional damage without sheathing

The other stances could benefit with the strike/sheath playstyle that could be based around a single strike heavy attack.

Then you have something like the Broken Sceptre - gaining its beam attack from the story rather than physically striking a foe

I am very much looking forward to the last part of this melee update!

Edited by Phyrak
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vor einer Stunde schrieb [DE]Bear:

Reach / Primed Reach - Will now increase range in a way that has been normalized. In the previous incarnation, long-range weapons were getting too much of a benefit, while short-range weapons were barely seeing any increase at all.

Please please please tell us your intention with this. Do you want to nerf the range on our long weapons like whips, dokram zaws and polearms? Do you want them to retain their current range? I'm not asking for hard numbers because they are up to testing but you'll have to know your intention already so please tell us.

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Not sure how I feel about adding juggles or the changes to the combo meter, but the reintroduction of the “sword alone” melee mode with manual blocking is a welcome addition. I’ll wait until I get my hands on the update before I jump to conclusions.

I appreciate the improvements to the clarity of the melee arsenal stats as well.


For those of you who may have missed it, Wukong’s Exalted Iron Staff has already had this functionality implemented (with the exception of the new Heavy Attacks and changes to the Slam Attacks), so if you want a preview of the Combo system, you should check out the Monkey King!

Hopefully this is implying that Exalted weapons get their own unique Heavy Attacks in the future!

Edited by ExcaliburUmbra
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The Mod rebalances are nice, but please don't forget about Power Spike in Naramon.

These changes have significantly decreased the utility that ability provides.

Edit: Actually, both Naramon and Zenurik have abilities affected by this.

Edited by Endurlay
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