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Defining Imbalance in Conclave


IApollyonI
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Fellow Tenno,

As we all know Conclave is broken in certain regards. Complaints on this topic have been numerous and the response by DE has been minimal.

The best thing we can do as a community is to try and describe the problem as accurately as possible, and this is my goal with this post.

What defines 'imba' in Conclave? Here's an attempt to unravel this mystery:

Let's start with the basics:

Conclave is a game of killing and being killed. Or more precisely, killing the other guy and not being killed ourselves. What keeps us alive? Unlike many other games, in Warframe the player's most important defensive tool is speed and manoeuvre. Shields and health play a relatively minor role. They won't keep you alive for more than a second if you aren't protecting yourself with speed. Why speed helps us stay alive is self-explanatory. It makes it much, much harder for the other guy to hit us.

This brings us to the first culprit;

Weapons or abilities that take away speed:

Abilities like Slash Dash and Petrify, or weapons like Glaxion; these are generally considered powerful, too powerful. Why? Because they take away an enemy's primary line of defense; his speed. Without speed an enemy simply becomes a sitting duck and any form of follow-up attack has a very high chance of killing him.

Perhaps effects like Impair and Freeze are fundamentally too powerful in a game in which the players rely so much on speed to stay alive. Perhaps not.

However, one other trait that all these abilities and weapons share brings me to the second culprit;

Weapons or abilities that make speed irrelevant:

The abilities that I just named don't just take away the target's speed, but also have certain traits which make them specifically effective against speedy targets. Slash Dash has a form of auto-targeting, Petrify is AoE and Glaxion is a beam-weapon. More weapons and abilities would fit into this category. Wolf Sledge's throwing ability, the melee spinning move, Mesa's Regulators, Mag's Crush, to name a few.

These constitute perhaps the most broken category of weapons and abilities, because their traits don't take away the target's speed, but make it almost irrelevant! This is usually due to them being AoE attacks, having large hitboxes or featuring a form of auto-aiming.

One of the most important skills to have in Conclave is accuracy, and these weapons and moves require it in low quantities, while still yielding high rewards.

Though both categories require serious rework, I believe the second category of weapons and abilities is fundamentally problematic in Conclave. A PvP scenario should always seek to reward those with the most skill. When we get headshot by someone that is using a bow, we understand that the person firing the bow deserves the kill, because it was a difficult shot. It makes no sense that a person who uses an ability or weapon that requires little to no aiming should reap the same reward.

 

So what is imbalanced in Conclave? Weapons and abilities that 1). require little skill to use, 2). take away the opponent's ability to use their skill (speed/manoeuvre) and 3). yield very high rewards.

Players who are caught by these sorts of abilities and weapons will very quickly come to the (correct) conclusion that they are at a large disadvantage if they do not use the same tricks; thus we arrive at the negative spiral that currently defines Conclave.

Thank you for reading, please share your thoughts.

Edited by IApollyonI
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I have to disagree there, partly. You seem to be looking mainly at effects, rather than the application of those effects. With Glaxion, for example, it's relatively easy to avoid. Arguably less dangerous than something like a Flux Rifle or a Karak. It's one of the easier weapons to deal damage with if you're close enough, but then you still lose out on a little DPS. It's definitely strong weapon, but I think it has enough drawbacks to not be OP.

As a side note, speed isn't as important as people tend to think. There are many players, myself included, who have a tendency to use low mobility builds. One of my best builds even for the current meta is a Zephyr with +shields and 2 damage resistance mods, My movement is still important, but my raw speed is actually highly comparable to a high mobility having a constant cold proc.

There are some examples you gave, which I do agree are OP, but those isolated reasons just aren't enough. Having AOE, tracking, or speed debuff isn't enough to make something overpowered. Kulstar, Sigma and Octantis, and Lenz are all good examples of that, which are all weapons I find to be very good, but hardly anyone considers the, to be OP. With maybe the exception of S&O specifically for its combos rather than the throw attack, people actually tend to consider those to be bad weapons.

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On 2020-02-02 at 5:37 PM, (PS4)Darth-Escar said:

I have to disagree there, partly. You seem to be looking mainly at effects, rather than the application of those effects. With Glaxion, for example, it's relatively easy to avoid. Arguably less dangerous than something like a Flux Rifle or a Karak. It's one of the easier weapons to deal damage with if you're close enough, but then you still lose out on a little DPS. It's definitely strong weapon, but I think it has enough drawbacks to not be OP.

As a side note, speed isn't as important as people tend to think. There are many players, myself included, who have a tendency to use low mobility builds. One of my best builds even for the current meta is a Zephyr with +shields and 2 damage resistance mods, My movement is still important, but my raw speed is actually highly comparable to a high mobility having a constant cold proc.

There are some examples you gave, which I do agree are OP, but those isolated reasons just aren't enough. Having AOE, tracking, or speed debuff isn't enough to make something overpowered. Kulstar, Sigma and Octantis, and Lenz are all good examples of that, which are all weapons I find to be very good, but hardly anyone considers the, to be OP. With maybe the exception of S&O specifically for its combos rather than the throw attack, people actually tend to consider those to be bad weapons.

 I agree whole-heartedly.
Conclave balance is based around more than just cold procs or raw damage.

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On 2020-02-03 at 12:37 AM, (PS4)Darth-Escar said:

I have to disagree there, partly. You seem to be looking mainly at effects, rather than the application of those effects. With Glaxion, for example, it's relatively easy to avoid. Arguably less dangerous than something like a Flux Rifle or a Karak. It's one of the easier weapons to deal damage with if you're close enough, but then you still lose out on a little DPS. It's definitely strong weapon, but I think it has enough drawbacks to not be OP.

As a side note, speed isn't as important as people tend to think. There are many players, myself included, who have a tendency to use low mobility builds. One of my best builds even for the current meta is a Zephyr with +shields and 2 damage resistance mods, My movement is still important, but my raw speed is actually highly comparable to a high mobility having a constant cold proc.

There are some examples you gave, which I do agree are OP, but those isolated reasons just aren't enough. Having AOE, tracking, or speed debuff isn't enough to make something overpowered. Kulstar, Sigma and Octantis, and Lenz are all good examples of that, which are all weapons I find to be very good, but hardly anyone considers the, to be OP. With maybe the exception of S&O specifically for its combos rather than the throw attack, people actually tend to consider those to be bad weapons.

Individual examples aren't really the focus of my post. If you disagree with one that I put on the list that's fine, but please focus on the broader theme of my post.

I listed a set of three criteria that make weapons OP in Conclave, and I stand by those criteria.

To reiterate, that means a weapon is OP when it:

1) Requires little skill to use, because for example, it has a large AoE radius or has auto-aim.

and

2) Takes away the target's skill factor, for example, by having a large AoE radius (making it impossible/very difficult to avoid) or taking away their mobility (thus taking away the target's ability to avoid).

and

3) Deals very high damage, either through burst damage, dps, or due to a combination of criteria 1 and 2.

So a weapon like Lenz may fit criteria 3, but it doesn't fit criteria 1 and 2, because its AoE radius isn't large enough to consider it easy to aim or impossible to avoid.

Edited by IApollyonI
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6 hours ago, IApollyonI said:

because its AoE radius isn't large enough to consider it easy to aim or impossible to avoid.

Important to point out that the Lenz has a "warning" bubble, as well. It isn't just the AoE size, but the AoE 'speed'. Staticor could have its current AoE if, for example, it dealt self-damage (or otherwise made players use it from some semblance of range) and had projectiles that puttered along, as players then have the time to react to it.

I also think criteria #2 should be taken a little more literally. There's a substantial difference between a cold proc, which hampers player skill factor, and impair procs, which restrict player skill factor. Players can still do all of their usual techniques under a cold proc. Impair takes it away outright.

The thing about those criteria is that they interplay. Speed is important against easy-AoE weapons like Staticor, as it gets players out of range. But if you fix up Staticor in some way as to not be quite the same easy-AoE, as per criteria 1, and do that for all the other easy-AoE weapons, then speed stops being as important. Agility - mixing up movements - becomes more important. And in that scene, working with criteria 2, cold procs are probably fine (they don't really hamper player skill all that much, because it's agility over speed) but impair procs remain major (since they hamper agility).

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