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Ability efficiency percent is wrong and it bugs me. Bad math and bad civilization.


CopperBezel
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So, there's a certain thread on about math and it makes me think it's a good time to bring this up.

TL;DR: Ability efficiency mods are % cost reductions, but the Ability Efficiency stat in the arsenal does not reflect this, adding those reductions as positive numbers on top of a base of 100%. Everything is fine except for this number - there's no gameplay issue, just a painfully wrong number in just one place. 

The ability efficiency percentage shown in the Arsenal for frames and archwings is confusingly wrong. It's not that the mods do something other than what is intended, or that the gameplay results are somehow unfair, or that how the scaling works is poorly designed - all of that is fine. It's just that how it's described on the face of the cards and how it's summed in the Ability Efficiency percentage is confusingly incorrect. 

The word "efficiency" and what it represents mathematically is used in three different places in mods in Warframe, and how it's represented numerically is different in each. "Efficiency" is used in health-energy conversion in Rage, Hunter Adrenaline, Quick Thinking, and Gladiator Finesse to represent a conversion percentage. The term is also used in melee weapons to represent the cost of heavy attacks as a percentage of the combo counter stack, in the mods Focus Energy and Reflex Coil and the Inner Might focus passive. Finally, it's used in Ability energy costs, both on-cast and channeled, where overall cost is affected by Streamline, Fleeting Expertise, and Blind Rage, and channeling energy is further modified by all ability duration mods. Only one of these is entirely wrong as represented in the arsenal.

Health-energy conversion mods use "efficiency" the way the term is generally used. Converting energy to health damage soak at 60% efficiency means one unit of energy is worth .6 health, while at 240% it's worth 2.4 health. If my apple juicing machine extracts one half of the juice from an apple and destroys the rest, it's 50% efficient; if it extracts twice as much juice as is in the apple to begin with, then it's 200% efficient and also magic. "Efficiency" here is simply the output value divided by the input value, as it is in engineering. No problems here. 

Then there are combo efficiency mods. If a mod "adds" 60% combo efficiency, it doesn't result in 160% efficiency and produce 1.6x the apple sauce. It actually removes 60% of the total cost. That means that if I have a combo stack of 220 and drop a heavy slam, I lose only 88 hits instead of 220%, which is 40% of the cost. If I increase my efficiency all the way to the cap of 90%, a heavy now costs just 22 hits, 10% of the normal cost. So 90% efficiency really means -90% cost, and I'm getting 10x as much apple juice as I expect, not 1.9x. This is fine. Combo efficiency starts at 0 and can be as high as 90%, and represents how much of the cost is being waived, like a coupon. If it were possible to reach 100% efficiency, the full cost would be waived and no combo stack would be lost. The word "efficiency" isn't the one I'd use and the mods could just say -60% cost, but it's unambiguous in practice.

But then ... then we have ability efficiency. And I'm going to ignore channeling here, because it just adds a layer of complication and the math for how it works is simple and right, double duration costs half as much until you reach the cap etc.

We have three mods - +30% efficiency, +60% efficiency, and -55% efficiency - and an overall cap at +75% efficiency. The math on these mods works exactly like the melee combo mods do, and unlike the conversion mods. You don't need 200% efficiency to get two points out for one point in, I.e. 50% cost. Instead, to get to 50% cost, you would just need +50% efficiency. Frame builds normally have no efficiency mods for no bonus efficiency, one mod for +30% efficiency, one mod and a duration penalty for +60% efficiency, or two mods and a duration penalty for +75% efficiency. An ult costs 70 energy to cost instead of 100 with the +30% efficiency Streamline, and 25 energy with the +75% set. This is still fine. What these things really mean is -30% and -75% casting cost. A frame can also have negative ability casting efficiency, up to -55%, and that's exactly the "bonus" cost you get, spending 155 energy for an ult. All of this is fine.

However.

In the arsenal, ability efficiency is represented, like other ability-related stats, as 100% unmodified. It's not like combo counter efficiency that starts at 0. That means that +75% efficiency in mods results in 175% ability efficiency. Likewise, -55% efficiency in mods results in 45% ability efficiency. 

These are entirely mythical numbers that correspond to nothing. Think of the first sense of efficiency I mentioned, the most common one outside of Warframe, as a conversion rate. For something to be 175% efficient, it would only need to produce 1.75 units for every 1 unit input. To get to 100 output, you'd need a little over 57 input, not 25. But in the system for combo efficiency, where it's a coupon rather than a conversion rate, and 90% efficiency means 10% cost, 100% efficiency would mean no cost, and 175% efficiency makes no sense whatsoever, as if you were spending negative 75% of the cost and just getting free energy for casting. And 45% ability efficiency means nothing either - since -55% efficiency is really just a negative coupon, a "+55% on" deal where you get one for the price of 1.55. That's very different from reading it as a conversion rate, where one point in would be worth .45 out, and an ult would cost 222.22 energy. There's just no meaningful interpretation of the ability efficiency number in the Arsenal. Efficiency starts at 100% to match strength, duration, and range, and unlike how combo count efficiency starts at 0. This is fine by itself; the number could start at 100% if it represented casting cost, and was reduced by those "coupons". But instead of representing 100% cost and going down as cost reductions are applied, or up as penalties are, resulting in 25%, 70%, or 155% casting cost, the cost reduction is just sort of tacked on top of the 100% and we call it a day. 

The resulting number just doesn't represent anything. It's not a % cost, it's not a % actual efficiency, it's not the raw % reduction that combo efficiency is. It's just the modifier arbitrarily added to 100.

Now, in practice, it still works exactly like the coupon system, and in gameplay and in build crafting it's perfectly fine. But the number used to represent ability efficiency in the Arsenal is entirely misleading and actually put me off efficiency builds for a long time because I thought it meant what it said and 175% efficiency was going to be short of even halving my casting cost. More importantly, there's a system for this now in combo counter efficiency that unambiguously represents the thing this system is actually doing, while ability efficiency is still written wrong. I get that the stat is very old, and existing players are so used to it looking this way that changing it would confuse a lot of people. It's not possible that no one at DE has noticed, after all. It's an embarrassing old mistake that stuck and is hard to get rid of.

But it is just,  just so very cringe-inducingly embarrassing to look at. X / It would be really, really nice to adopt the melee combo count system here, and just start at 0. It'd be even better if the mod were phrased as minus cost, rather than plus efficiency, since that's what they are. But that's only dreaming....

Edited by CopperBezel
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yes, Ability Efficiency is nonsensically good compared to most Mod effected mechanics.

it wasn't always that way, in the early years Efficiency was an Additive Bonus just like almost any other Stat. but it was made straight Multiplicative somewhere along the line (i don't remember where anymore so i'm going to ballpark early 2014). that ofcourse meant that everybody could Cast a lot more Abilities, since for the same number of Mod Slots worth of Efficiency as anyone had before, they could now usually cast 2-3x as many Abilities.

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Easy formula for you:

200% - ability efficiency% = base cost%

People tend to look for higher numbers as better, even though it doesn't always make sense at first from a mathematical perspective. The name efficiency is perfectly fine as you can cast the same amount of abilities at a lower cost, which is usually considered more efficient.

If you use energy less efficiently, you use more energy. The current naming fits the numbers being displayed.

Your combocounter math isn't correct by the way. A combocounter starts at 1, e.g. 1 combo per hit. It could in theory (and perhaps rivens can have this stat already) go below 1. Resulting in each hit to have a chance to up the combo counter.

I think the reasoning for making it a positive number is quite simple: something that benefits the player should have positive numbers. This isn't done consistently since but it could've been the reason we ended up with these weird numbers.

Edited by Quimoth
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Yeah, that's a separate issue but true, taiiat. Full efficiency builds are insanely powerful and are what make Mesa, Khora, and Saryn so absurdly deadly, and I tend to use Streamline / Fleeting / Primed Continuity on every frame until I have a reason not to. And the bad representation in the arsenal has consequences by making it opaque to players what the actual return on those mods is.

But I just really want the number in the arsenal to correspond to the thing it's representing. You could call the efficiency at cap "+75%",  "-75% cost", "25% cost", or "400% efficiency", but there's no mathematical meaning to the "175%" used now.

Edited by CopperBezel
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OP do you have an idea on how to accurately implement it when taking into consideration power duration affects the energy cost of toggle-drain abilities? Saying "25% cost for single cast but 35% for toggle-drain abilities" in the UI would be pretty messy.

Also having "- x% Cost" wouldn't work for a mod when that wouldn't be true for a toggle-drain ability with very low duration.

I do agree that it could be done in a better way, but personally I don't think it is completely incorrect or hard to understand in its current format. I also think that the ability stat UI is just incapable of displaying a - value.

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It's simply incorrect as is, yes. Again, there's no mathematical way in which 175% efficiency corresponds to 1/4 cost or 400% conversion. Like Quimoth said, you have to subtract the whole thing from 200% to get the real cost, because the base 100% of the stat has no meaning, and the modifiers added to it are actually reductions in cost from the actual 100% cost of the unmodded ability. 

Channeled abilities ("toggle drain") I left out as I said, because their cost is modified by duration separate from ability efficiency. Neither the mods nor the efficiency stat mention this, nor do they need to; that's true whether the mods were written as - % cost or as they are now, it's just a separate factor. The only special consideration in building is that the 75% cap is separately applied for channeling, so you can have less than full efficiency and make up the difference in duration, or have full efficiency and increase duration but see no further change for channeled abilities - the most efficient you can get is still capped at that reduction to 25% cost.

The ideal representation would really be to just call the ability efficiency stat Ability Cost, and reverse the signs on the mods. Then full efficiency would be 25% cost and so on. 

Edited by CopperBezel
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1 час назад, CopperBezel сказал:
Channeled abilities ("toggle drain") I left out as I said, because their cost is modified by duration separate from ability efficiency. Neither the mods nor the efficiency stat mention this, nor do they need to; that's true whether the mods were written as - % cost or as they are now, it's just a separate factor. The only special consideration in building is that the 75% cap is separately applied for channeling, so you can have less than full efficiency and make up the difference in duration, or have full efficiency and increase duration but see no further change for channeled abilities - the most efficient you can get is still capped at that reduction to 25% cost.

The problem is that with energy efficiency beyond measure, I get very small values of the cost of energy drain ability, while I need an insane amount of duration to somehow get close to this value. This is far from equivalent.

 

Another point is to simply replace the energy efficiency with a simple energy recovery and make sure that the energy drain abilities did not disable this recovery. This will be easy to understand and more efficient than the current system.

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4 hours ago, CopperBezel said:

Full efficiency builds are insanely powerful and are what make Mesa, Khora, and Saryn so absurdly deadly,

You left out a few frames in that list.  There's also Ivara, Mag, Titania, and now Ember again since her rework.  

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e32.gif

Yep efficiency is a weird stat in warframe.

6 hours ago, taiiat said:

yes, Ability Efficiency is nonsensically good compared to most Mod effected mechanics.

it wasn't always that way, in the early years Efficiency was an Additive Bonus just like almost any other Stat. but it was made straight Multiplicative somewhere along the line (i don't remember where anymore so i'm going to ballpark early 2014). that ofcourse meant that everybody could Cast a lot more Abilities, since for the same number of Mod Slots worth of Efficiency as anyone had before, they could now usually cast 2-3x as many Abilities.

People were confused by the original formula , even dought the original formula was easyer to understand and was easyer to balance due to its linear nature. People complained about it being a useless stat that was hard to comprehend. So DE changed the formula without changing the mods. Efficiency is the bane of warframe energy system because 1 energy is worth efectivily somethere in between 0.5 and 4 energy. I even made an entire post about that but It did not fly well.

 

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8 hours ago, DatDarkOne said:

You left out a few frames in that list.  There's also Ivara, Mag, Titania, and now Ember again since her rework.  

No one complains about them though, so they didn't seem as immediately obvious to mention. (No one complains about Khora either, but they haven't met mine.)

10 hours ago, zhellon said:

The problem is that with energy efficiency beyond measure, I get very small values of the cost of energy drain ability, while I need an insane amount of duration to somehow get close to this value. This is far from equivalent.

Duration has other benefits like avoiding time consuming recasts, which themselves might drop stacks and the like. It's not good for getting channeling efficiency by itself because you'd need 400% duration for full efficiency, and that doesn't exist.

Quite a lot of stats either go up linearly toward diminishing returns, or do the opposite and have a higher % benefit for each point right up to the cap. Anything that scales DR abilities is always the later,  for instance, like efficiency. Armor, like duration, works the other way.

I'm not deeply bothered by the balance of it. Fleeting Expertise is just a mandatory mod except for those funky builds that have to give it up for something else. I like my Nova an awful lot, and she needs max duration, so no Fleeting for her.

DE could always introduction Primed Streamline to watch the world burn.

But yeah, the thing that does bother me and led to starting this thread is just the wrong numbers in the Arsenal, not the actual calculation and gameplay impact. If they could even just not add the mythical 100% base, it'd be okay-ish.

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8 hours ago, keikogi said:

Efficiency is the bane of warframe energy system because 1 energy is worth efectivily somethere in between 0.5 and 4 energy. I even made an entire post about that but It did not fly well.

in a way it's kinda good sortof - by virtue that before then, Abilities were something you saved for the rainy day that never comes, because the Energy was so valuable. always keeping it incase of an Emergency.

granted since then Energy availability, regen, Et Cetera has gone way up so now it's a mess but at the time, it could have even been considered a good thing.

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I like the pace as it is now, with abilities as a dominant combat mechanic. There are plenty of other games for running around and shooting things, and I don't play them - I'm here for the mobility and powers. At low MR levels, energy is still scarce and casting inefficient, easing players into managing abilities while it isn't a constant and necessary part of play yet. That's a track that makes sense for increasing the complexity and speed of play while feeling like a big buff, but geez was it ever a slog early on. = /

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7 hours ago, taiiat said:

in a way it's kinda good sortof - by virtue that before then, Abilities were something you saved for the rainy day that never comes, because the Energy was so valuable. always keeping it incase of an Emergency

People saving energy had more to do with the arcane nature of warframe energy system. By default, the player has no way to predict his energy income because no one knows the drop rate of energy orb. Combine a unpredictable system with scarcity and you have people saving every once of it. 

 

7 hours ago, taiiat said:

granted since then Energy availability, regen, Et Cetera has gone way up so now it's a mess but at the time, it could have even been considered a good thing.

At the time it was a good idea but bad one In the long run. But With a bit of foresight they would know that creating a efficiency stat would make any future source of energy harder to balance.

At the time it would have been wiser creating a mod that increases the energy income of a energy orb by 300%. At the time it would achive the same level of ability spam but would not screw the future of other sources od energy nor devalue energy pool increases like flow. Aditionaly it would have the benefits of using simple math( just a linear multiplication of base like most warframe stats ) and being easyer to balance due to the linear nature of the new stat.

Edited by keikogi
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9 часов назад, taiiat сказал:

in a way it's kinda good sortof - by virtue that before then, Abilities were something you saved for the rainy day that never comes, because the Energy was so valuable. always keeping it incase of an Emergency.

granted since then Energy availability, regen, Et Cetera has gone way up so now it's a mess but at the time, it could have even been considered a good thing.

Nothing much has changed since then, except that Trinity has ceased to be necessary. The energy system has always been a problem and we always needed to have patches to do this. Trinity used to be such a patch, now it's arcanes energize, rage and zenuric. And people played Trinity because it was the fattest EHP frame. Now people are playing Inaros.

And, when Arcanes energize didn't exist, energy orbs were useless garbage that just dropped out as a bonus. Frames that weren't Trinity used an energy recovery aura, because 4 auras is 3 energy/s, which was similar to zenuric. But the easiest option was to invite Trinity. This directly proves that the energy system was bad all the time.

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1 hour ago, zhellon said:

Nothing much has changed since then

k

what changed since that long ago was more ways to manufacture Energy and Warframes able to manufacture or collect Energy themselves were created. lots more things that can give you Energy, so we needn't rely on just Efficiency + Energy Orbs thesedays, infact Players are willing to hide from Enemies until they passively regen enough Energy to do __, even if it means Killing the Enemies slower.

ways to get Energy, that's what changed.

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40 минут назад, taiiat сказал:

what changed since that long ago was more ways to manufacture Energy and Warframes able to manufacture or collect Energy themselves were created. lots more things that can give you Energy, so we needn't rely on just Efficiency + Energy Orbs thesedays, infact Players are willing to hide from Enemies until they passively regen enough Energy to do __, even if it means Killing the Enemies slower.

The problem is that you can't rely on energy orbs unless you're nuck frame or other people are killing a lot of enemies for you. It's very much like Trinity just replaced nuck frames. That is all. Zenuric is just a stronger version of aura. That is all. All that has changed is that nuck frame and some strong frames that are based on duration have started to feel much stronger, while other frames have been trampled into the mud.

Look at the Valkyrie. Hysteria used to be a duration ability, which meant you could endlessly recast the ability when you had enough auras in your team. Right now it's an energy drain ability, which means you need a nuck frame in the team to make Hysteria just work. You can't rely on Hysteria in solo, because you can't kill a lot of enemies and the RNG will play you a cruel trick sooner or later. You can't restore through zenuric because, you know, DE likes balance... The only way for Valkyrie is rage, which also requires protection, although this was not required before "rework". In fact, the energy system destroys Valkyrie's gameplay and you need crutches to just play as a Valkyrie.

On the other hand, saryn can stand still and spam abilities because she doesn't have energy drain and zenuric works. At the same time, she can play without zenuric, because saryn has a lot of protection for rage and is a nuck for energy orbs.

And this is what I want to say:

40 минут назад, taiiat сказал:

ways to get Energy, that's what changed.

This is true only for a small number of frames. For most, nothing has changed. You still need a Trinity or nuck frame to just work. That is, there are strong frames that have become even stronger and there are trash frames that have just become a little stronger, but still trash.

 

Edited by zhellon
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2 minutes ago, zhellon said:

The problem is that you can't rely on energy orbs unless you're nuck frame or other people are killing a lot of enemies for you.

Uhhh, Solo Ivara players kinda debunk this statement to a degree.  

3 minutes ago, zhellon said:

For most, nothing has changed. You still need a Trinity or nuck frame to just work. 

Again, Ivara players never could depend on a Trinity as the channeled Prowl blocked this.  Same with any other channeled ability frame.  

Not trying to be an arse.  Just making sure that you don't forget the whole picture while you're theory crafting.  

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With full efficiency, Energizing Dash, and Rage or Hunter Adrenaline, it's very hard to have persistent energy problems. And things like Life Strike and Magus Repair mean that getting back health spent to gain energy can be done with any frame.

Also, you're correct that Energizing Dash is "only" twice what a coordinated squad willing to devote their auras to energy regen could get without it - now just think about that for a second....

Edited by CopperBezel
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@DatDarkOne Small energy drain + you can steal faster than kill. Sonic arrow, which many players consider a waste of energy, is very good at collecting enemies at one point. On the other hand, it makes you have at least 1 arcanes energize anyway, which is a crutch.

3 минуты назад, CopperBezel сказал:

Also, you're correct that Energizing Dash is "only" twice what a coordinated squad willing to devote their auras to energy regen could get without it - now just think about that for a second....

You can achieve 9 e/s, but it doesn't matter if you get 0 e/s because energy drain.

5 минут назад, CopperBezel сказал:
With full efficiency, Energizing Dash and Rage / Hunter Adrenaline, it's very hard to have persistent energy problems. And things like Life Strike and Magus Repair mean that getting back health spent to gain energy can be done with any frame.

Yes, that's why I left rage on my Titania and removed arcanes energize, because AE works poorly if the team kills slowly. And in principle, you can make air builds for any frame, but this does not eliminate the fact that it is only crutches for a bad system.

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1 minute ago, zhellon said:

@DatDarkOne Small energy drain + you can steal faster than kill.

Seriously?  Steal faster than kill?  I'm oneshotting enemies with a Daikyu.  Even the best Prowl Steal build isn't faster than that.  The energy drops from killing the enemies is faster than trying to depend on the steal of Prowl.  What you said above is only true at extremely high enemy levels.  Only then will Steal outpace killing.  

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29 минут назад, DatDarkOne сказал:

Seriously? Steal faster than kill? I'm oneshotting enemies with a Daikyu. Even the best Prowl Steal build isn't faster than that. The energy drops from killing the enemies is faster than trying to depend on the steal of Prowl. What you said above is only true at extremely high enemy levels. Only then will Steal outpace killing.

In any case, this is an extra loot. And according to my observations, the drop energy orb in the theft is higher. But this is about feelings, because no one can prove or disprove it. And I remind you, this is 1 e/s. 0.25 e / s with full energy efficiency. At a maximum of 850 energy, it is 3400 seconds. 57 minutes. About 1 hour. Heh, no wonder you don't have energy problems. You don't need this on weak levels, because you can be invisible until the big levels come.

Titania, for example, has 540 energy (as far as I remember, I'm just trying another build now and don't have the maximum rank). At maximum energy efficiency, it is 1.25 e/s, which gives 432 seconds, 7.2 minutes. Feel the difference.

 

Edited by zhellon
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36 minutes ago, zhellon said:

At a maximum of 850 energy, it is 3400 seconds. 57 minutes. About 1 hour. Heh, no wonder you don't have energy problems. You don't need this on weak levels, because you can be invisible until the big levels come.

I'm not gonna lie.  I actually smiled when I read this.  I love it when fellow Tenno investigate and figure out things for themselves.   

Oh on Titania the energy drain is REAL.  Which is why I was very happy when DE finally allowed her to have vacuum while in RW mode.  It helped tremendously with keeping her energy up.  

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8 минут назад, DatDarkOne сказал:
Oh on Titania the energy drain is REAL. Which is why I was very happy when DE finally allowed her to have vacuum while in RW mode. It helped tremendously with keeping her energy up.

Razorwing already has a vacuum. Some people think this is a problem because you can't use energy orbs effectively because, you know, you spend 1.25 energy and absorb an Orb of energy, getting 1.25 energy instead of 25 or 125.

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