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Covert Lethality, Stealth gameplay nerfed hard


Inutaicho
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I find that nerfs come and go in Warframe, and they are as varied as the people who play this game.

 

Some nerfs are justified, a certain build proves too much to balance without some serious mechanical changes,.

 

Others feel like you guys are taking a step backwards.

 

This feels like one of these times.

Covert Lethality

At it's core it's an insane concept. The idea that you can outfit any dagger into a destroyer of worlds weapon. And i agree that it's Lethal damage, which was unique in all the game, meant that it was in it's own little cattegory.

 

But the fact you guys took off this niche because other non stealth elements were using it is outright banana's.

 

If Covert lethality was designed to be a stealth oriented mod that rewards the player for playing stealth game play, why apply a blanket nerf to the mechanic because the original scope had expanded?

A simple solution to this would be to classify stealth kills as their own category of finisher, and apply covert lethality to that one specific type of finisher. In fact, this is roughly what you guys had developed.

In it's current form, covert lethality is useless, both for it's original purpose and as a general use mod, this also made any dagger completely useless in any form of high lvl game play.

 

This could of been a simple fix, a nerf that made covert lethality return to the niche it was, now it is just a wasted mod in a library of wasted mods and potentials

 

If there is anything that could be gleamed from this rambling it is this.

 

Please restore this mod to what it was, but alter it to only effect the niche that it was originally for. This wouldn't even be OP as most meta builds can do the job of this mod much faster and more efficiently.

But to those who enjoyed the gameplay this mod brought (stealth oriented gameplay) this was the one thing we could depend on to get the job done

Edited by Inutaicho
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realistically, the only way Daggers for Finishers and Covert Lethality would remain useful, would be if nothing changed about Covert Lethality. Daggers are some of the worst Melee Weapons in the game for Finishers, being made into a Script Kill is the only way Daggers were ever going to compete for Finishers in the first place.

soooo we'll just use one of the many other Weapon Classes that deal massively higher Finisher Damage instead.

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I think the solution here is to buff the Daggers that deserve it, not to restore Covert Lethality. Melee already has enough variance between stances and such that it's not a big deal for a particular class to exist without niches, as long as they aren't entirely populated by bad weapons.

Covert Lethality is nice, but it didn't enrich Daggers as a class; it was essentially a bandaid mod that only increased Dagger usage because it couldn't be used anywhere else. Bandaid mods aren't a good way to balance things.

Besides all that, I don't really see the need for Covert Lethality on its own. Most decently-built melee weapons can already instantly kill on a finisher, except maybe against Noxes. In their case, I'd argue that they're special enemies that shouldn't be able to just be instakilled like every other enemy, and leaving them until last (or avoiding them entirely) adds another layer to stealth gameplay.

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6 hours ago, YUNoJump said:

I think the solution here is to buff the Daggers that deserve it, not to restore Covert Lethality. Melee already has enough variance between stances and such that it's not a big deal for a particular class to exist without niches, as long as they aren't entirely populated by bad weapons.

Covert Lethality is nice, but it didn't enrich Daggers as a class; it was essentially a bandaid mod that only increased Dagger usage because it couldn't be used anywhere else. Bandaid mods aren't a good way to balance things.

Besides all that, I don't really see the need for Covert Lethality on its own. Most decently-built melee weapons can already instantly kill on a finisher, except maybe against Noxes. In their case, I'd argue that they're special enemies that shouldn't be able to just be instakilled like every other enemy, and leaving them until last (or avoiding them entirely) adds another layer to stealth gameplay.

How do you buff daggers in a way that makes sense, though? They'd have shorter range than anything except fists/feet, they won't have the mass behind them that heavy blades would and they don't have any kind of shield or other blocking function.

Their original niche of backstab stealth weapons worked pretty well. Previously, they were useful for precisely one thing. Now they're useful for precisely zero things. At least that one thing allowed players to base a unique build around it.

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37 minutes ago, DoomFruit said:

How do you buff daggers in a way that makes sense, though? They'd have shorter range than anything except fists/feet, they won't have the mass behind them that heavy blades would and they don't have any kind of shield or other blocking function.

Their original niche of backstab stealth weapons worked pretty well. Previously, they were useful for precisely one thing. Now they're useful for precisely zero things. At least that one thing allowed players to base a unique build around it.

Giving daggers the  highest stealth finisher multipliers in the game rather than the lowest would help a lot.

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So, I don't know if anybody has really checked the wiki info about finishers since melee 3.0 hit, so I went back and did a little testing with heavy corrupted gunners...

Weapon // Damage // Finisher Damage // Highest Level 100% Kill

Sheev // 270 // 864 // 35

Cronus // 106 // 848 // 32

D.Raza // 110 // 880 // 34

Weapons were unmodded other than Prime Fury, and I did 5 kills at each level until I got 100% success.  "Finisher Damage" is based on the wiki info about stealth multipliers -- 3.2x for daggers and 8x for swords -- and I just multiplied the expected base damage directly. 

So I don't know what the total ehp for those targets is, and maybe somebody more knowledgeable can chime in there, But for a ballpark test, if the wiki multiplier info is correct I'd expect these to perform -roughly- equal.  Which they do.  It is odd that the Dual Raza didn't do quite as well as the Sheev, so something is a little off. 

And giant two-handed hammers, incongruously,  still appear to be awesome covert weapons, by the way:

Sibear // 270 // 6480 // 57  🙃

But long story short, daggers do appear to still have a very poor multiplier based on a limited test.

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3 hours ago, Tiltskillet said:

Giving daggers the  highest stealth finisher multipliers in the game rather than the lowest would help a lot.

Should dual daggers be on par or above that.. since it's two daggers?
Would swords be more so because they're Big daggers?
I think i see how this whole thing got so messed up.

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4 hours ago, DoomFruit said:

Previously, they were useful for precisely one thing. Now they're useful for precisely zero things.

absolute nonsense. previously Daggers were very capable Weapons for actual Combat too, my preferred Dagger was a competent Weapon vs any Enemy i ever played against, without doing a single Finisher.

that's kinda dead now since ofcourse as a non 'meta' Weapon Daggers were relying on how powerful Blood Rush and/or Condition Overload were in order to compete, but Digital Extremes kneejerk nerfed stuff so all of the non 'meta' Weapons got significantly nerfed.

1 hour ago, Tiltskillet said:

So I don't know what the total ehp for those targets is, and maybe somebody more knowledgeable can chime in there, But for a ballpark test, if the wiki multiplier info is correct I'd expect these to perform -roughly- equal.  Which they do.  It is odd that the Dual Raza didn't do quite as well as the Sheev, so something is a little off.

were all of the Weapons at their Max Level? Finisher Multipliers is for some ungodly reason modified by the Level of the Weapon.
the Damage Types of the Weapon may also shift the results a bit from what's expected.

Edited by taiiat
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Just now, taiiat said:

were all of the Weapons at their Max Level?

Yeah.

Just now, taiiat said:

the Damage Types of the Weapon may also shift the results a bit from what's expected.

Well, the wiki says it's all converted to True damage for what that's worth.

 

Just now, kapn655321 said:

Should dual daggers be on par or above that.. since it's two daggers?
Would swords be more so because they're Big daggers?
I think i see how this whole thing got so messed up.

While I see what you're saying, in this case I don't believe things need to be overthought too much.   Daggers being great for stealth kills is an expected trope in gaming.  DE acknowledged this with single daggers via the old version of Covert Lethality, even though stealth multipliers don't do so.   They should get that niche back afaic, whether it's by changing the multipliers, giving CL (something like) its old functionality, or some other way.

 

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1 minute ago, Tiltskillet said:

Daggers being great for stealth kills is an expected trope in gaming.

Agreed.

What if daggers were given more finisher chances, and a multiplier at least on par with hammers?

Like Vaykor Sydon has a blind charge up.. something of that sort.
Maybe some stealth type mechanics like Skiajati.

While out and out damage is one way to do it, there may be comparable ways that make it work.
Since they wouldn't do more Damage than swords (without covert lethality) perhaps they can
just be dramatically better at opening finishers. ..thus achieving higher finisher damage per game.
Blind, sleep, deafen, whatever it takes.. throw them into almost all dagger combos, with each
dagger doing them slightly differently.

Any thoughts?

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11 minutes ago, Tiltskillet said:

Well, the wiki says it's all converted to True damage for what that's worth.

Combat Finishers i believe it is/was, yeah. Stealth Finishers didn't do as such, though. maybe they do now but i doubt anything changed about Finishers, they probably don't remember that they have Finisher Multipliers for Weapon Classes.

5 minutes ago, kapn655321 said:

perhaps they can just be dramatically better at opening finishers. ..thus achieving higher finisher damage per game.

hmm, perhaps. their Finisher performance should still be somewhat competitive atleast, so rather than being bad, being atleast around the middle of the pack.

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1 hour ago, Tiltskillet said:

Sheev // 270 // 864 // 35

Cronus // 106 // 848 // 32

D.Raza // 110 // 880 // 34

Sibear // 270 // 6480 // 57 

Okina // 140 // 840 // 32

Added Okina.  I was curious about dual dagger vs single dagger finisher animation speed, and figured I might as well look at damage too.  Again, going by the wiki, roughly where expected.  Ordering them by effectiveness...

Sibear // 270 // 6480 // 57 

Sheev // 270 // 864 // 35

D.Raza // 110 // 880 // 34

Cronus // 106 // 848 // 32  tie

Okina // 140 // 840 // 32 tie

So the Dual Raza are the only anomaly so far, and a very minor one.

As far as animation speed goes, I'd heard that dual daggers were the fastest weapon class, but single dagger appears a bit quicker to me. I'm just eyeballing not counting frames though, so it could be I'm being misled by the dual doing it in two hits.   If so, I wouldn't say it's a significant advantage.  

 

 

 

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Ok, something obvious I should have done earlier.  Covert Lethality, though greatly diminished, still does exist, and still adds finisher damage.  So how does it affect things?  The number is still the max Corrupted HG I can kill 100% of the time, just adding CL to Primed Fury on an otherwise empty weapon.

Sheev w/o CL:  35

Sheev with CL: 47

Big improvement.  Supposedly finisher damage is multiplicative, so I wanted to add Covert to a decked out dagger.  Unfortunately my Sheev doesn't have the capacity, so I used Rakta for this...

RDD with CL: 45

Lower than Sheev.  Not surprising because of the difference in base damage.  246 vs 270.

RDD + "the works": 117

Same with Finishing Touch:  126

"The works" is CL, Primed Fury, PPP, PFS, and 60/60s.  (I can't fit all 90s.)  Finishing Touch replaces one of the 60/60s, and is a clear improvement.

Anyway, way better in both cases.  But how does that compare with the 24x multiplier weapons?  None of my hammers are forma'd up enough to really test, but I can use the Endura.  Much lower base damage, but same  multiplier.  Same build as the RDD, but replacing Covert with a 90.

Endura + "the works" + Finishing Touch: 136

And any of the better base damage hammers properly modded should blow that out of the water.

 * * *

One side-note:  I wanted to stay away from crits as much as possible in all these tests, since I'm not sure how they fit into finisher damage and I wanted to keep everything on an equal-ish footing. 
 

Spoiler

 

But I'll just mention here that my Destreza Prime with a +finisher damage riven kills the max level Corrupted Heavy Gunners I can generate 100% of the time. 

Spoiler

(With three empty slots.  🙃 )

 

 

Edited by Tiltskillet
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9 hours ago, DoomFruit said:

How do you buff daggers in a way that makes sense, though? They'd have shorter range than anything except fists/feet, they won't have the mass behind them that heavy blades would and they don't have any kind of shield or other blocking function.

Their original niche of backstab stealth weapons worked pretty well. Previously, they were useful for precisely one thing. Now they're useful for precisely zero things. At least that one thing allowed players to base a unique build around it.

Melee stats already aren't rooted in any form of realism. Heavy weapons like hammers end up with the highest crit stats in the game, despite the idea of a "crit" generally being a hit on a precise, vulnerable location; something that's generally not doable with a giant hunk of metal with no precision at all. They might as well just give Daggers general damage and crit/status buffs without worrying about whether it makes technical sense.

The problem I see with balancing something around finishers is that finishers don't involve 90% of the gameplay behind melee; you just press a button either when you're behind the enemy, or when you've used an ability that enables finishers. With that in mind, as long as the weapon you're using kills the enemy, no other stats matter at all. This means that instead of the weapon class being good, it's just the single dagger with the highest raw damage. In the case of Covert Lethality even damage doesn't matter, you're guaranteed to get a kill no matter what. It doesn't solve the problem of Daggers being bad because 9/10 Daggers are still going to be ignored.

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9 hours ago, YUNoJump said:

Melee stats already aren't rooted in any form of realism. Heavy weapons like hammers end up with the highest crit stats in the game, despite the idea of a "crit" generally being a hit on a precise, vulnerable location; something that's generally not doable with a giant hunk of metal with no precision at all.

Yeah. And honestly, it's a real shame that it happened this way. It would add some lovely flavour if each weapon class actually had real differences between them, with some variations inside the class for weapon tiers (I do not expect a Skana to be competitive with a Dakra Prime or Broken War) and damage spread (where plausible, I don't expect impact daggers or a puncture whip) to suit people's tastes.

This would have been more feasible under melee 1.0, to be honest. Without stances, each weapon could have its own moveset - another point by which weapons could be made different from one another.

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On 2019-12-29 at 3:35 PM, Tiltskillet said:

One side-note:  I wanted to stay away from crits as much as possible in all these tests, since I'm not sure how they fit into finisher damage and I wanted to keep everything on an equal-ish footing.

They stack additively to finisher damage. If a weapon deals 8x damage on a back finisher, has a 2.2x multi, and manages to crit it will multiply the damage by 10.2x.

Hammers are indeed the new "stealth" weapon, however for as decently fast as they are (in the animation) they're significantly slower on quadrupeds.

Edited by SpringRocker
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Also, if anyone cares about my input, I feel daggers should deal atleast around 18x-24x damage on both front/back finishers.

Basically as it stands now an unalerted/opened-for-finisher target receives 8x damage from a regular attack, the heavy attack deals the normal damage twice, the first hit in a heavy attack opens enemies to finishers, and also forces bleed procs (which ignore armor).

So (Rank-30):

  • 8x normal damage first hit.
  • Since enemy is opened again, 8x on second hit.
  • Bleed procs are forced.
  • Both attacks are multipled by 2.5x (heavy attack is "butterfly slash" which does 250% damage).

So this means a whooping 24x damage multiplier across multiple possible targets along with force bleed procs.

I know that armor mitigates this damage as it's not true damage, but when it's faster to deal 24x multiple targets already open to finishers than it is to deal 3.2x in a finisher something is wrong.

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3 hours ago, SpringRocker said:
  • Since enemy is opened again, 8x on second hit.
  • Bleed procs are forced.
  • Both attacks are multipled by 2.5x (heavy attack is "butterfly slash" which does 250% damage).

DE specifically stopped this very interaction that you're suggesting.  They made it so stealth multipliers only count on the first hit.  

They say it was done because of how damage over time procs like Bleed, Toxin, and Gas were scaling.  Especially gas. 

This change DE made happened to effect everything in regards to stealth multipliers.  

Interestingly, this doesn't effect Stealth Finishers that much if at all.  

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1 hour ago, DatDarkOne said:

DE specifically stopped this very interaction that you're suggesting.  They made it so stealth multipliers only count on the first hit.  

They say it was done because of how damage over time procs like Bleed, Toxin, and Gas were scaling.  Especially gas. 

This change DE made happened to effect everything in regards to stealth multipliers.  

Interestingly, this doesn't effect Stealth Finishers that much if at all.  

Normally yes, with the exception of the weird Zenistar interaction when you launch the disc while invised you're right (not that it has any bearing in this, it doesn't).

However, unless they changed it I thought enemies hit by openen-to-finisher were subject to stealth damage on the next hit if a finisher wasn't performed (assuming they were still "open" to finishers).

EDIT: I guess what I'm genuinely asking is, did they remove stealth damage for enemies open to finishers?

Edited by SpringRocker
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Actual Stealth Finishers have been dead since the Focus system came out and DE attacked Stealth repeatedly to stop Focus farming.

The only thing after that point from 3 years ago were non-stealth forced Finishers so CL lost it's "stealth play style" a long time ago.

You want a mod that makes Dagger Finishers potent. I get it but Stealth was beaten to death and CL's intended purpose died along with it.

At this point in the game Stealth Finishers don't even make sense anymore.

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4 hours ago, SpringRocker said:

However, unless they changed it I thought enemies hit by openen-to-finisher were subject to stealth damage on the next hit if a finisher wasn't performed (assuming they were still "open" to finishers).

EDIT: I guess what I'm genuinely asking is, did they remove stealth damage for enemies open to finishers?

technically, we no longer receive stealth damage on any attacks after the first hit.  So finishers that are part of a combo shouldn't be receiving stealth damage.  

Stealth finisher kills on the other hand would receive stealth finisher damage bonus as the whole attack is usually happening in one hit.  

I'm not sure if ground finishers receive stealth damage or not, but i kinda doubt they do.  

1 hour ago, Xzorn said:

At this point in the game Stealth Finishers don't even make sense anymore.

Not quite fellow Tenno.  There are still a few frames who can use stealth finishers to take out tougher targets faster.  Two that come to mind are Ash and Ivara.  There is also the Savage Silence Banshee playstyle that uses it.  

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17 minutes ago, DatDarkOne said:

Not quite fellow Tenno.  There are still a few frames who can use stealth finishers to take out tougher targets faster.  Two that come to mind are Ash and Ivara.  There is also the Savage Silence Banshee playstyle that uses it.  

 

They aren't "Stealth" Finishers though. They're forced executes.

If you legit stealth kill something the whole room knows about it along with the next room over and floor above it.

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