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Vasca Kavat's synergy with squishier frames


0verridden
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[As per the wiki]

Adarza Kavat which gives a crit buff has 120 Health, 210 Shields, 50 Armour.

Smeeta kavat which provides a list of buffs (drop rate buff, quick reload etc) has 150 Health, 180 Shields, 50 Armour.

Given the skills they have and bring to the table, it makes sense to me that they are something rather squishy, and their kits are mostly to support the player.

 

In contrast, the Vasca Kavat's signature skills are Transfusion and Draining Bite. Transfusion revives you when the player is down with a cooldown, while Draining Bite allows the cat to deal 400 damage to restore 10% of the cat's health. These skills imply that the cat would regularly be in situations where it outlives the player, and be self sufficient at defending itself and replenishing its health. From my testing, it still gets lost while you're traversing maps and gets shot down by regular mobs, just as any other cat typically does once they are lost. I'm sure many players have mentioned how pets in general tend to stray from their owners quite frequently.

Upon looking at the stats of the Vasca Kavat I realised that it has 237 Health , 210 Shields, 50 Armour. 

While indeed there appears to be a greater amount of health and shields on the kavat, I don't find it very helpful for its survivability. A common counterargument to this would be to play a frame that is tanky. However, I fail to think of a situation where a tank frame player would ever think of running a cat to revive them, seeing as they tend to tank.

 

My suggestion would be to make the Vasca kavat have a baseline of even higher health, shields and most importantly armour. Secondly, I think the skill Draining Bite, should not be a skill that they activate intermittently, but just a side effect of every attack they do, and perhaps be affected by the amount of damage they do, something like Life strike on a melee weapon.

 

Finally, I am sure people have said this countless times when it comes to pets, but I am going to repeat this just in case DE happens to have forgotten about this, but hopefully pets will get a bit of a rework in terms of pathing and general behaviour?

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Can't say I disagree. I always avoid taking pets with squishier frames because their survivability is pretty much void or rng-based... I'm not saying they all should be like an Inaros-powered God Kitty, but that they should be more squishy frame friendly.

Namely Vasca, per OP's very accurate words.

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Honestly? I always found the survivability of pets, all of them, to be absolutely fine as long as you know how to strategize with their abilities and those of your 'frame, regardless of squishiness. Their damage output is also mostly fine.

What is not fine is their tendency to run into walls and get stuck, or to stand there doing nothing because they have two potential targets within range and the AI can't decide which one to go for, or to wander off and get themselves surrounded and gunned down.

In short: IMO most or all of the problems pets have could be fixed just by making them smarter: DE did get a summoned AI right with the Wukong rework, so hopefully similar reworks will be brought to pets too in the future.

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All cats should be tanky af, fite me. The non-link health/shields mods should be boosted like tenfold. I guess that DPS things in games are always squishy, but usually you control them. You don't really control pets, they do wth they want, and often die because of them being blocked somewhere.

So, as long as Pets are dumb as a rock, buff them. If their AI ever becomes bearable, bring that down.

Ah, and add revive to pets in Arbitrations instead of instakill as for frames, if that's still not done.

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Yeah I kinda feel you on that one chief. Pets profit most from the link mods like Link Health or Link Armor which a squishy frame usually does not have alot of to begin with and tankier frames who do have these values, are not in need of a kitty to revive them.
I use the vampire cat with my Excalibur Umbra, all umbral mods installed and exhalted blade build (with Pack Leader on my cat) and the only situations I get downed in is where the cat does not have enough HP to revive me either (and is just standing next to my downed excal dumbfounded) or is downed itself.

30 minutes ago, 0verridden said:

Finally, I am sure people have said this countless times when it comes to pets, but I am going to repeat this just in case DE happens to have forgotten about this, but hopefully pets will get a bit of a rework in terms of pathing and general behaviour?

Not sure if this wouldn't require a general rework of AI. But yeah, pets need to be touched upon. Especially the incubation system. I would like to freely switch between my Smeeta and my Vasca depending on loadout as you can do with sentinels rather than having to get my other cat from statis every time. Putting them into statis and getting them out of statis happens instantly anyways if you have all modules installed so I don't see why this can't be a thing. 

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@TearsOfTomorrow Could you elaborate on the strategize part? Personally, I have done that a little bit with my MOAs and sentinels. A radiation Cryotra that is 100% status, makes killing a MOA very difficult for the enemies since they keep confusing them. Is that what you're referring to? I find it difficult to do so with animals generally since they don't appear to be heavy on the status ends of things. But yes, I agree with your comment on the Wukong AI. That clone could probably complete entire missions for some honestly. Here's to hoping that they consider making our pets a little better at surviving with the less tanky frames.

Just to add to this, I have been testing the Vasca kavat with Gauss. Gauss isn't technically a tank, but killing him is rather difficult despite him not having much armour or health. Having a vasca kavat was my idea of circumventing some of the one-shot phenomena (apparently that was acknowledged by a DE staff member or 2 as being a current bug on reddit) that was happening on certain maps for whatever reason. Currently as it stands, it made me realise that kavats in general don't survive very well. I could see a point being made about Adarzas or Smeetas, but Vascas really should be given a better system to survive, seeing as that's their entire selling point.

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22 minutes ago, 0verridden said:

Could you elaborate on the strategize part?

Well for example, (Primed) Pack Leader heals your pet with each of your melee attacks, right? And the Vasca already has its own vampiric attack, right? So you could combine the two forms of healing with a lot of Hunter mods (I mean, many 'frames benefit from Adrenaline, Recovery/Command/Synergy should definitely be on your pet, and Munitions is something you'd want to run on most primaries anyway), and then equip a high status melee which is focused on Slash and adopt a "hit and run" tactic: go in, hit an enemy (which will heal your pet), the enemy is now bleeding, the bleeding will trigger Hunter Command causing your pet to go finish off the enemy (which will heal you), so in the meantime you can go do the same to another enemy... And if the attack used by the pet to finish off the enemy is the Vasca's vampirism, that's even more healing. Stay mobile, roll, jump around, use abilities that are about creating chaos/decoys/misdirection (Nyx's Chaos, Ash's invisibility, Loki's Irradiating Disarm, Ivara's entire kit) and you can easily survive despite being squishy.

Of course, there are two issues with this: for one, the way melee weapons currently work discourages such a strategy (simply because most such weapons nowadays are perfectly capable of killing the target outright in one/two hits, making a strategy like this unnecessary), and then there is the biggest issue which is, once again, the pet's AI. Your Kavat might decide to not use the vampiric attack even if it's low on health. Or it might get stuck into a wall on its way to attacking the target you "marked". Or it might decide not to stay mobile and make itself a ifficult target to hit, but rather to enter its "cat stalking prey" animation, which will make it super easy to gun down if it decides to do so in the middle of a group of enemies.

But as you can see, the issue lies not in the pet's stats nor in its abilities. Rather, it lies in the way combat is designed nowadays, and even more so in the way the pet's AI works: those are the aspects that need fixing IMO.

Edited by TearsOfTomorrow
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Lets try for the 100th time request to finally make all pets stick to the player instead of being hopelessly suicidal and running into enemies all the time. Either with taking off attack precept or via in-mission command (like you already can give order to specters, why cant you implement it for pets?).

Of course DE will never read this and even if they do they keep on ignoring it for years. But no harm in making another post.

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So much of the delay in AI executing things comes back to pathing getting borked (like your Moa getting stuck on/in a doorway and not entering the spy vault you brought it for).  I feel like adding some measures to "unstuck" your pet or warp them to you after awhile + reset/restart behavior would probably help as they get more bugged out over the course of some missions.

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On 2020-01-20 at 7:05 AM, 0verridden said:

 

Finally, I am sure people have said this countless times when it comes to pets, but I am going to repeat this just in case DE happens to have forgotten about this, but hopefully pets will get a bit of a rework in terms of pathing and general behaviour?

I don't disagree with any of your feedback.  However, none of this matters to players like me (maybe not majority, but certainly numerous).  

We don't change pets.  

I don't care how good vasca is, it will always be situational and less that potential x2 XP or x2 resource.  Until DE allows us to save pets to frames / configurations, I'll never swap from smeeta.  

All of the pets have niche qualities, but spending 2-3 minutes between each mission to change pets is not acceptable.  I have kuvrows that have been on ice for years (literally).  

As far as I'm concerned, there is one pet that you have to occasionally swap out and watch freeze animations for MR when a new one comes around.  

DE killed thier own creation.

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@Educated_Beast Very likely playstyle. However, you imply an interesting point that pets perhaps need to fulfill better, more pertinent roles. For you, RNG, loot drop rates etc matter the most and I understand that. For me, after getting the smeeta kavat, I realised that i personally disliked undergoing an RNG process (rotating between buffs, when I want the drop rate buff for instance) to improve my experience with RNG, so my smeeta unfortunately now remains frozen forever. I just go with a booster if I really need more of something. 

However, pets like the kubrow I find very useful thanks to the mecha set. While situational, it performs phenomenally on railjack. Shooting one marked enemy essentially assures the death of all surrounding enemies within 30m, which works so well against boarders.

I like the Huras for their invisibility ability. On that subject, I'd actually think it would be preferable for the Shade to actually have a a Cloak ability that is comparable to the Huras's, since as of right now, it is a world of a difference between the 2.

 

But the Vasca kavat would definitely not matter to you, if you do not foresee yourself dying to a stray bullet perhaps. I assume you are playing one of the tankier frames? If that is the case that is my point really. The Vasca kavat could easily be a great pet for frameplay that involves the squishy frames in situations such as in a bossfight. It can still kind of fulfill the resurrecting role, but not reliably in the high level areas.

Personally, I think this becomes more relevant with time since this is where newer content from DE is going anyway (liches and railjack's veil enemies). 

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1 hour ago, 0verridden said:

@Educated_Beast

Personally, I think this becomes more relevant with time since this is where newer content from DE is going anyway (liches and railjack's veil enemies). 

I would love to play around with different builds.  I have all of the pets, most of them completely forma (7-9 each), the ardaza is excellent for boss fights, the infested kuvrow fun to play with nidus, some of the kubrows look amazing, but none of that matters because I cannot (easily) access them.  

I find it infuriating when I pull out a pet, save it to pet slot on my desired frame, then use another pet, I lose all settings.  When I go back to that frame and jump into a mission, now I'm without a pet because it removes all saved pets when it gets frozen.  

Smeeta also has damage buffs in addition to everything else.  While Mecha may be nice for boarders, so is smeeta with x2 XP for intrisnics or extra crit chance, etc.  I'm not arguing with you the best pet, I want to have a choice, but DE keeps that locked behind a wall.  

We have all these cool configuration features where we can quickly jump into the next mission with a saved character, except for pets.  Sentinals yes, weapons yes, weapon configuration yes, frame configuration yes, and even operator school can be saved.  But pets require going through 2-3 minutes of goofy animations and remembering pet name before they can be used.  Then do it all again to set things back to the original pet.   

It is not fun, DE doesn't even make platinum off it (anymore), and it's not lore that can't be easily changed.  DE could have used the vasca virus and say some dojo research to provide a cure to the degradation.  I don't care if we still keep them in freezer, but let us save them to configurations and use immediately without interacting with a pet console / watching 30 second animation.  Treat them exactly like sentinals and robots.  They just appear from the back room where they all live happily....

Until that is fixed, DE may as well just stop producing new pets.  Their in-game boosts compared to sentinals or having smeeta always available (or your desired #1 pet), is not worth the trouble of playing pet simulator.  

I do agree with your vasca comments, my point is, pets are to broken to use in a fast paced game like Warframe.  Other players don't want to wait for you to swap pets, most can't be bothered to wait while you click from a to b configuration....

Edited by Educated_Beast
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It's definitely an issue. I end up never switching from my Adarza even when my Smeeta would be a better pick for farming, and meanwhile all the squishy frames who can't do pets have their own assigned sentinels, so it's not as if I wouldn't be fussing with the option when I had it. And there are definitely at least a couple of frames I'd consider at least trying my Vasca with. Poor dear's been frozen nearly since she was born.

The thread topic one is an issue as well, though. Like, again, those squishy frames have sentinels right now with Sacrifice and Primed Regen, so it's not like they're locked out of companion revives, but it puts the Vasca itself in a place of questionable relevance. 

Thanks to the way Link mods work, the base stats of a pet have no bearing on its survivability, part of why Moas with their customizable bases were kind of a gag gift from DE from go. But if you wanted to make a pet viable for squishy frames, a little base armor would go a long way. Squishy casters have that 15, 50, or 65 armor that isn't enough to mean much with Link Armor, and now that pets can use Metal Fiber, pets with a bit of base armor can do better on their own. Starting the Vasca at a base of 200 instead of 50 would make at least some difference.

Edited by CopperBezel
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On 2020-01-20 at 1:05 PM, 0verridden said:

Upon looking at the stats of the Vasca Kavat I realised that it has 237 Health , 210 Shields, 50 Armour. 

While indeed there appears to be a greater amount of health and shields on the kavat, I don't find it very helpful for its survivability. A common counterargument to this would be to play a frame that is tanky. However, I fail to think of a situation where a tank frame player would ever think of running a cat to revive them, seeing as they tend to tank

This is my problem with the Vasca too - it feels like it should be insurance with a glass cannon frame like Mag, but then the Vasca's dead before you are. Or you could bring it with a tank, but then you don't need it and the Vasca's still dead before you are.

But, I don't think tankyness is the way to go.

Instead if give the Vasca passive invisibility that doesn't break with their precept, but does with other attacks.

Then they're going to be a sneaky vampire kitty that steals health and gives it back in revives, and only really takes damage from AoE attacks.

Alternatively that precept could become invisibility when not attacking, and regular life-steal when they do.

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Depending on content, almost all the pets are walking death magnets in certain scenarios.  Moas/Kavata will get stuck pathing into a hazard on some level, and then it doesn't matter if you walk over and revive them 30 times.  The AI's ability to remember to move, to follow you, to do basically *anything* promptly is busted... so the Kavat stands up, then dies again, stands up, immediately dies, etc. 

 

Your ability to tank the hazard doesn't matter.  The time/fact you've decided to stop mid-level, and jog back to revive a pet is mostly wasted -- possibly inconveniencing your party in the process.  It's the exact sort of lesson that teaches you not to bring your cat/moa to a mission in favor of a "pet" that floats next to you, doesn't get lost, and has stock auto-revive options.

 

This is to say nothing of survivabilty outside pathing mishaps... how quickly your cat/moa, briefly locked in an animation or stopping to attack, gets insta-killed in Arbitrations/Sorties/etc.

 

There's a combination of AI, lag in AI, pathing, and tankiness (or lack thereof) involved here I think.  I don't think you can fix just one part.  Mind you, Sentinels are hit by some of these issues too, but being glued to you and hovering fixes some of them.

Edited by (PS4)Zeylon
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Sometimes it is better to just treat them like stat sticks, vacuums, radars and boosters you need to keep alive. Zero expectations on defensive or offensive capabilities 

At least my Smeeta might still give me the max 4 shards for anomalies and occasional crits.

My Vasca consistently revives me after 6 formas. Enough space for all the link mods. But it still needs support, like share invisibility with Ash's smoke shadow. Luckily, it gets automatically revived whenever i switch ships in RJ mode.

I really gave up on kubrows a long time ago so i just rotate with my kavats with the Adarza at the forefront for Eidolon hunting.

Disappointing i know, but there is passable consistency.

For now, I hope DE improves the AI of Liches instead. I can live with the mediocrity of pets, but the investment on converted Liches demands more than dialogues and rare appearances at the end of missions with zero impact at all. 

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