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Hammerhead_FireCaste

The (Possible) Long Road Away from a Damage Meta

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With the Weapon Exilus slot in the recent Devstream, it seems like the damage vs QoL debate, while existing for a long time, is now coming to a header.

When I first started playing in 2013, I saw the mod system as a way of kitting out weapons and frames to one's liking. The concept of a "meta" didn't really exist for me as I was happy to just kill enemies. I think it's time we went back to that perspective of the mod system, and put choice back into players' hands.

The following suggestions are based on the assumption that one of the factors affecting the balance of enemies and the game itself are balanced around the damage output of weapons and warframes. It's not a perfect assumption, but you get the rough idea of it.

So, here it is, the possible suggestions for moving away from a damage meta, towards a quality-of-life meta.

Stage 1: Removing Must-pick Parameters

1. Remove the following parameters from the mod system and Riven dispositions:

- Damage (Serration, Hornet Strike, Augur Pact, Heavy Caliber, etc).

- Ability Strength (Intensity, Blind Rage, Transient Fortitude, Overextended etc).

- Multishot mods (Hell's Chamber, Vigilante Armaments).

Focus nodes like Madurai's Phoenix Talons & Phoenix Spirit will probably need to be changed to something else as well.

Regardless, at this point, weapon damage and ability strength will be capped at 100%. No more, no less. We're not talking DPS, we're just talking about alpha damage.

Will damage builds still be a thing?

Of course. There will definitely be indirect builds to increase DPS output via Fire Rate/Reload Speed/Ability Duration/etc, but the absence of the above parameters will free up space for other mods to take their place. The main aim at this point is to remove parameters that become must-picks. There are probably players who don't even use Damage, Ability Strength, and Multishot mods, but the majority of players will have at least one of these parameters in their build.

Stage 2: Tweaking Elemental Mods

1. Instead of adding elemental damage to a weapon, elemental mods will convert a portion of the weapon's damage into that element.

- For physical weapons, a 20% Heat mod will mean the weapon deals 20% Heat damage and 80% physical damage (a combination of Slash/Impact/Puncture).

- For elemental weapons, let's say, a Cold weapon, a 20% Heat mod will mean the weapon deals 20% Blast Damage, and 80% Cold damage. This can follow the existing Load Order, but you get the idea. They change the percentages, but don't add damage.

2. Instead of adding physical damage to a weapon, physical damage mods will convert a portion of the weapon's physical damage into more of that type (Slash/Impact/Proc). This will allow physical status mods to shift a weapon's predominant physical type in a certain direction.

At this point, weapon damage is still at 100%, but can possibly proc multiple status effects.

Stage 3: Scaling Enemies or Weapons accordingly

1. DE probably has historical data or they can crunch numbers on nerfing enemies accordingly to the new changes. The reverse can also be done, i.e bump up all weapon damage as if they have an innate Serration buff to them.

Notes

1. Status Chance, Critical Chance, and Critical Damage mods will be left as is.

2. Ability Range, Duration, and Efficiency mods will also be left as is.

Will these changes make certain weapons obsolete?

Probably, which will warrant reworks. We may see more weapons getting additional gimmicks outside of the mod system (such as the Ocucor's energy tendril, or the Quatz's electrical discharge on reload).

These suggestions can be a start. While the removal of certain things from the game after so long may be a radical thing, it's necessary, especially the must-picks. Once the gist of it is set in motion, other changes can come into play gradually.

Did you have similar sentiments as me? Got a suggestion to polish up these points? Let me know in the replies. Cheers.

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There is no debate for Damage vs QoL. You will always have mandatory mods and you will always want to strive for the best DPS. Weapons are designed to kill something. There is no scenario where there are no mandatory mods and people don't build weapons for damage unless you start making missions even more CC focused than the Law of Retribution. As long as a mission has at some point a requirement to kill something, you will want to build weapons for that purpose. The only thing something like this accomplishes is throwing a wrench in hundreds (if not thousands for some like myself) of Forma investment "because diversity".

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13 minutes ago, Hammerhead_FireCaste said:

1. Remove the following parameters from the mod system and Riven dispositions:

- Damage (Serration, Hornet Strike, Augur Pact, Heavy Caliber, etc).

 

(...)

 

1. DE probably has historical data or they can crunch numbers on nerfing enemies accordingly to the new changes. The reverse can also be done, i.e bump up all weapon damage as if they have an innate Serration buff to them.

This is why you aren't a game designer lol.

"Let's remove serration and put it back in again, just without it taking up a slot"

And then there is everything else. You really didn't think much about the topic before posting this, huh?

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And nothing will change , we all will still cater to damage , damage will always be meta and what we will do next ? remove next set of mods wich provide us best and when agian and agian untill we left with out mods at all ?

Cant people see this is a pointless argument .

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21 minutes ago, Hammerhead_FireCaste said:
Spoiler

With the Weapon Exilus slot in the recent Devstream, it seems like the damage vs QoL debate, while existing for a long time, is now coming to a header.

When I first started playing in 2013, I saw the mod system as a way of kitting out weapons and frames to one's liking. The concept of a "meta" didn't really exist for me as I was happy to just kill enemies. I think it's time we went back to that perspective of the mod system, and put choice back into players' hands.

The following suggestions are based on the assumption that one of the factors affecting the balance of enemies and the game itself are balanced around the damage output of weapons and warframes. It's not a perfect assumption, but you get the rough idea of it.

So, here it is, the possible suggestions for moving away from a damage meta, towards a quality-of-life meta.

Stage 1: Removing Must-pick Parameters

1. Remove the following parameters from the mod system and Riven dispositions:

- Damage (Serration, Hornet Strike, Augur Pact, Heavy Caliber, etc).

- Ability Strength (Intensity, Blind Rage, Transient Fortitude, Overextended etc).

- Multishot mods (Hell's Chamber, Vigilante Armaments).

Focus nodes like Madurai's Phoenix Talons & Phoenix Spirit will probably need to be changed to something else as well.

Regardless, at this point, weapon damage and ability strength will be capped at 100%. No more, no less. We're not talking DPS, we're just talking about alpha damage.

Will damage builds still be a thing?

Of course. There will definitely be indirect builds to increase DPS output via Fire Rate/Reload Speed/Ability Duration/etc, but the absence of the above parameters will free up space for other mods to take their place. The main aim at this point is to remove parameters that become must-picks. There are probably players who don't even use Damage, Ability Strength, and Multishot mods, but the majority of players will have at least one of these parameters in their build.

Stage 2: Tweaking Elemental Mods

1. Instead of adding elemental damage to a weapon, elemental mods will convert a portion of the weapon's damage into that element.

- For physical weapons, a 20% Heat mod will mean the weapon deals 20% Heat damage and 80% physical damage (a combination of Slash/Impact/Puncture).

- For elemental weapons, let's say, a Cold weapon, a 20% Heat mod will mean the weapon deals 20% Blast Damage, and 80% Cold damage. This can follow the existing Load Order, but you get the idea. They change the percentages, but don't add damage.

2. Instead of adding physical damage to a weapon, physical damage mods will convert a portion of the weapon's physical damage into more of that type (Slash/Impact/Proc). This will allow physical status mods to shift a weapon's predominant physical type in a certain direction.

At this point, weapon damage is still at 100%, but can possibly proc multiple status effects.

Stage 3: Scaling Enemies or Weapons accordingly

1. DE probably has historical data or they can crunch numbers on nerfing enemies accordingly to the new changes. The reverse can also be done, i.e bump up all weapon damage as if they have an innate Serration buff to them.

Notes

1. Status Chance, Critical Chance, and Critical Damage mods will be left as is.

2. Ability Range, Duration, and Efficiency mods will also be left as is.

Will these changes make certain weapons obsolete?

Probably, which will warrant reworks. We may see more weapons getting additional gimmicks outside of the mod system (such as the Ocucor's energy tendril, or the Quatz's electrical discharge on reload).

These suggestions can be a start. While the removal of certain things from the game after so long may be a radical thing, it's necessary, especially the must-picks. Once the gist of it is set in motion, other changes can come into play gradually.

Did you have similar sentiments as me? Got a suggestion to polish up these points? Let me know in the replies. Cheers.

 

... I think you're mixing "mandatory" with "meta"...

"Mandatory" is self-explanatory, its what allows a player to push forward, without breaking a weapon's and/or Warframe's nature.

"Meta" is a disease that a small minority always finds a way to infect a game with.

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27 minutes ago, Uhkretor said:

... I think you're mixing "mandatory" with "meta"...

"Mandatory" is self-explanatory, its what allows a player to push forward, without breaking a weapon's and/or Warframe's nature.

"Meta" is a disease that a small minority always finds a way to infect a game with.

Meta is called effective and efficient, and all human society the world over tends to strive for it.  Being better, being more effective, is integral.  The lack of will to this outcome is a personal failure on a core level.

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25 minutes ago, Formous said:

Meta is called effective and efficient, and all human society the world over tends to strive for it.  Being better, being more effective, is integral.  The lack of will to this outcome is a personal failure on a core level.

You know how it is...

... best to have a personal failure at a core level, than crying later because the Meta isn't working as intended by the player that chose to be infected with it.

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There very much was a meta back in the damage 1.0 days, it was called rainbow builds and puncture weapons. Not much has even changed from the early days of damage 2.0 to now besides there being more powercreep mods and weapons.

There will also always be a meta and min-maxing so long as there is a single choice players can make regarding their build. You could reduce the entire modding system down to choosing between firerate or reload speed and people would determine which is objectively better for what situations.

 

Beyond all that the entire idea of removing the "mandatory" mods from the game either outright or by adding their effects to base stats would remove one of the game's primary progression systems. Maxing out mods is arguably more important to a players progression than getting weapons and frames are as each mod makes your entire current and future arsenal more powerful. This isn't a bad thing as some people seem to believe, it's the thing that make Warframe's progression stand out from similar games.

Plus mandatory mods are only mandatory if one is going into the content that requires said mods. If you want to use a gimmick build then don't go expecting it to work in Arbitrations or an hour long Mot run. You don't see players running gimmick builds in the end-game of Destiny, WoW, or Diablo because they either don't work or take far more effort to utilize. The exact same situation applies to Warframe as well and no amount of removing build options is going to change that.

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1 hour ago, Hammerhead_FireCaste said:

-snip-

I am ready to support all those changes, except everything under Step 3. If you remove raw damage mods and rework enemies as well as some weapons, there is absolutely no need to add "lost" Serration damage again. Furthermore, the way crit mods work makes them mandatory, as they are nothing more than a more fancy damage mods. I would suggest to turn crit damage into "extra damage on weak spots, and only weak spots"; crit chance could be a mod that highlights those weak spotss while zooming, a utility mod with aim assist. Without crit stat revisit, this would obviously not work.

 

1 hour ago, Voltage said:

There is no debate for Damage vs QoL. You will always have mandatory mods and you will always want to strive for the best DPS. Weapons are designed to kill something. There is no scenario where there are no mandatory mods and people don't build weapons for damage

This is so not correct. Even if the end goal is to deal more damage, there are several ways to achieve it, depending on a weapon. E.g Grakata's DPS can be improved with -recoil, while a Burston does not need better recoil, but more fire rate. While each weapon might end with only one "meta build", under the condition of no raw damage mods, those meta builds will vary from weapon to weapon. Those builds would be build upon innate weapon strengths as well as weaknesses, not after a cooky-cutter dmg+ms+crit+status recipe.
Then you can add some interesting mods to cater to specific playstyles, like +%damage against burning or frozen enemies. How high should a +% damage agaist frozen enemies be today to replace Serration and its permanent bonus? Mandatory mods, while incredibly convenient, block interesting ideas as early as concept stage.

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1 hour ago, Hammerhead_FireCaste said:

Status Chance, Critical Chance, and Critical Damage mods will be left as is.

Those would just become the next "must-pick" parameters.  After all if I can proc a DOT more often thats a DPS increase.
Same thing with crits and crit damage.

Basically every weapon would just have critical chance and status chance mods because that would increase damage.  Even if a weapon had a 10% crit chance a critical mod and critical damage mod would still offer more DPS than not including them.

And what about Punch-through?  That would be the next damage increase (and a sizeable one at that) when dealing with groups (which is 99% of content in Warframe)

And then what about Reload Speed or Fire Rate?
Those both are direct DPS increasers, followed closed by magazine size.

Your idea wouldn't really change anything.  People would still build towards damage and nothing else.

1 hour ago, Hammerhead_FireCaste said:

1. Instead of adding elemental damage to a weapon, elemental mods will convert a portion of the weapon's damage into that element.

So what happens if I go build for more than 100% elemental damage?  That sort of case would need to be figured out.

After all if I have 4 elemental mods each with 30% damage on them that's 120% damage...what happens with the extra 20% damage?

EDIT:

1 hour ago, Hammerhead_FireCaste said:

For elemental weapons, let's say, a Cold weapon, a 20% Heat mod will mean the weapon deals 20% Blast Damage, and 80% Cold damage. This can follow the existing Load Order, but you get the idea. They change the percentages, but don't add damage.

This creates a small problem:
Say I want viral damage on my Glaxion along with other elements.  I need to add a cold mod (which does literally nothing) just so that I can make sure the elements combine correctly.
This makes dealing with the innate element on weapons....annoying to say the least.
Also it removes the option to just have a pure elemental weapon, instead your proc chances are going to be diluted and your damage against the enemies weakened for absolutely no benefit...

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6 minutes ago, Tsukinoki said:

So what happens if I go build for more than 100% elemental damage?  That sort of case would need to be figured out.

Suggestion: 60/60 and 90 elemental mods cannot be used simultaneuosly; 60/60 mods convert less damge, but add status chance; 90 mods convert more damage; 4x90 mods do not exceed 100%. Done.

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13 minutes ago, Tsukinoki said:

This creates a small problem:
Say I want viral damage on my Glaxion along with other elements.  I need to add a cold mod (which does literally nothing) just so that I can make sure the elements combine correctly.

Not really, as the load order is still active, it would work just like it is working today, only that not all damage is combined into a new element. The first 2 elemental mods would create the element you want, and cold is just added last.

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I do not mind removal of serration (and its equivalent for other weapons) and having it be innate to a weapon on leveling (+0% damage at rank 0 , + 55% damage at R10 , + 110% damage at R20 and +165% damage at R30) would free up some space for diversity.

and any damage mods like spoiled strike , rivens, augments etc. would base their damage on R0 values just like Frame mods do.

But Capping of frame strength is skewed and impractical -  its not balancing it is straight up neutering of builds, completely against that suggestion.

And Multi shot should not be removed , it should take bullets from the max ammo pool or reduce base damage by a small percentage (maybe both).It Should have a clear advantage but needs to have some cost involved.

The DPS rise should be equivalent to a fire rate mod of same rank.

Eg:

Lets take a

New split chamber:

Multishot: 90%

Damage: - 25%

Uses ammo from ammo pool for each successful multi shot so needs less reloads. but does less damage per bullet.

Speed trigger: 60% fire rate 

increases fire rate at same per bullet damage , but also causes frequent reloads,

Both of them are functionally the same and roughly have the same sustained DPS, but have subtle enough difference where some weapons would take advantage of one while some would be better with the other.

I do not mind the elemental damage thing ,

but it should not be equal damage reduction ,

it should be less than half or equal to half ,Eg:  -20% base IPS damage , + 40% elemental damage.

This is my personal opinion , and i know not everyone will agree .

 

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2 hours ago, Hammerhead_FireCaste said:

indirect builds to increase DPS output via Fire Rate/Reload Speed/Ability Duration/etc

Those are not indirect DPS increases. Damage Per Second. Armchair quarterbacking is the absolute worst plague on gaming.

Did you consider, at all, that you might not have all the info? That if this was so obvious to you, you might not have thought it all the way through?

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5 hours ago, ShortCat said:

This is so not correct.

There are really only 2 scenarios where you are dealing below maximum DPS with a specific weapon:

1) The weapon has a specific utility you are using (Strun Wraith to deal Status Procs on Demolysts, Miter to pop Nullifiers, etc)

2) You are using the wrong build.

Anything else I would classify as purposefully/unknowingly gimping DPS because you want to add utility at the cost of DPS because you are comfortable with the speed you deal damage.

5 hours ago, ShortCat said:

E.g Grakata's DPS can be improved with -recoil, while a Burston does not need better recoil, but more fire rate. While each weapon might end with only one "meta build", under the condition of no raw damage mods, those meta builds will vary from weapon to weapon. Those builds would be build upon innate weapon strengths as well as weaknesses, not after a cooky-cutter dmg+ms+crit+status recipe.
Then you can add some interesting mods to cater to specific playstyles, like +%damage against burning or frozen enemies. How high should a +% damage agaist frozen enemies be today to replace Serration and its permanent bonus? Mandatory mods, while incredibly convenient, block interesting ideas as early as concept stage.

Recoil management mods are never worth the slot if you are aiming for "the best build" on a given weapon, even on Grakata or Pyrana Prime. Situational Mods already exist, and just like Bladed Rounds, they are hardly worth using. There will always be mandatory mods. Remove +Damage and +Multishot? Just slot the next best DPS mod depending on the weapon (Fire Rate, Primed Bane Mod, Elemental).

It's impossible to have a scenario where there are no mandatory mods. Even Hallowed Nightmares has mandatory mods, and you are unarmed with absolutely no abilities or weapons. In this case you want to use Mobility Mods.

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I get the desire to make more variety in weapon builds, however, there will always be optimal builds.  Regardless of if they include serration or not.  

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Also, people don't quite understand what "meta" is. It is the metagame, the game outside the game. Dump everything into a spreadsheet and determine what is the best within a given metric. There is no defeating it because it isn't something that can be blocked. Have a slot where something goes? There is a best choice. Remove that first choice and the second is now the best choice.

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So basically what you are asking for is a huge nerf to damage across the board which would also require a complete rework of content as well due to the lower damage output. Also several warframes/weapons that depend on those mods will also suffer tremendously unless a content rework is done.

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2 hours ago, Voltage said:

There are really only 2 scenarios where you are dealing below maximum DPS with a specific weapon:

1) The weapon has a specific utility you are using (Strun Wraith to deal Status Procs on Demolysts, Miter to pop Nullifiers, etc)

2) You are using the wrong build.

Anything else I would classify as purposefully/unknowingly gimping DPS because you want to add utility at the cost of DPS because you are comfortable with the speed you deal damage.

Recoil management mods are never worth the slot if you are aiming for "the best build" on a given weapon, even on Grakata or Pyrana Prime.

This examples are 100% true, in case there are direct DPS boosts available. The model presented in this topic revolves around (almost) no direct DPS boosts, so that recoil reduction would be a valid way to improve weapon's performace. You argue from the standpoint of the current mod system, not from the standpoint suggested by OP. Your arguments show exactly why utility mods are valued so little in presence of plenty direct damage options.

2 hours ago, Voltage said:

Situational Mods already exist, and just like Bladed Rounds, they are hardly worth using.

Yea, I already mentioned it with an example and presented one reason why those mods do not work, right here...

4 hours ago, ShortCat said:

How high should a +% damage agaist frozen enemies be today to replace Serration and its permanent bonus? Mandatory mods, while incredibly convenient, block interesting ideas as early as concept stage.

 

2 hours ago, Voltage said:

Just slot the next best DPS mod depending on the weapon (Fire Rate, Primed Bane Mod, Elemental).

It's impossible to have a scenario where there are no mandatory mods. Even Hallowed Nightmares has mandatory mods, and you are unarmed with absolutely no abilities or weapons and there are still mandatory mods: Mobility Mods.

4 hours ago, ShortCat said:

While each weapon might end with only one "meta build", under the condition of no raw damage mods, those meta builds will vary from weapon to weapon. Those builds would be build upon innate weapon strengths as well as weaknesses, not after a cooky-cutter dmg+ms+crit+status recipe.

It is obvious, that you cannot remove mandatory mods entirely. However, if each piece of gear has its own set of mandatory mods, which vary from each other, as a result total number of used and valued mods should rise. Build diversity should rise.

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6 hours ago, Uhkretor said:

You know how it is...

... best to have a personal failure at a core level, than crying later because the Meta isn't working as intended by the player that chose to be infected with it.

I fundamentally reject that prospect.

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1 minute ago, Formous said:

I fundamentally reject that prospect.

And no one cares so~...

... To each, their own and everyone goes on with their lives.

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Just now, Uhkretor said:

And no one cares so~...

... To each, their own and everyone goes on with their lives.

I just prefer to set myself a standard to live by.  If i examine my life as just a big failure and never try, then life isn't worth living to me.  

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1 minute ago, Formous said:

I just prefer to set myself a standard to live by.  If i examine my life as just a big failure and never try, then life isn't worth living to me.  

2 minutes ago, Uhkretor said:

And no one cares so~...

... To each, their own and everyone goes on with their lives.

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You ever had an idea that sounded really good to you but the moment you tell someone else they immediately can tell how your idea is bad in every conceivable way possible?

That's about what this thread feels like.

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