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DrBorris

The Argument in Favor of Self Damage

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TL;DR: Great reward demands great risk in the name of balance.

If a single target damage weapon and a multi-target (AoE) weapon have similar damage outputs, the area of effect weapon is effectively superior due to being able to kill multiple targets. AoE weapons need to have things they do worse than single target weapons or else there would be no reason to use single target. The way DE has gone about balancing this in the past has resulted to them giving AoE weapons a moderate to significantly lower damage often in addition to self damage.

Balancing is lists of pros and cons, if we ever want an explosive weapon to have good damage there must be something that prevents it from completely overtaking the meta. I get the “I don’t like self damage” argument, but that’s the point, if there was nothing you did not like about a weapon that had amazing damage and an area of effect then there wouldn’t be a reason to ever not use it.

 

Now, I am not defending the past state of explosive weapons, for the most part AoE weapons have sub-par damage in addition to self damage. The risk/reward needs to be balanced, and that is where we get to Kuva Bramma. Kuva Bramma and Lenz are the two self damage weapons that hit the risk/reward relationship right. They are both extremely powerful weapons, and to compensate their incredible reward they both have substantial risk.

As for other self damage weapons, many need adjustment. I am not at all saying that self damage in its current state is “fine.” In general many would need their self damage removed/lessened OR have their effectiveness be increased. There is also the possibility for other methods of “punishment” for these explosive weapons besides outright killing the player, many of which have been discussed in other threads. There should be some form of punishment that is potent enough to discourage people from using these weapons in order for them to stay balanced, otherwise we will just get another Tonkor meta.

 

This is a hot take, I know, but it is important to know some of the good self damage offers. Keep in mind I am not dismissing the arguments against self damage, however whenever discussing the topic it is important to look at the arguments of both sides.

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8 minutes ago, DrBorris said:

TL;DR: Great reward demands great risk in the name of balance.

Yeah, let me know when Tonkor is back to wiping maps like it used to, and I'll join your side. Until then, self damage sucks, because the weapons it is attached to suck as well.

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4 minutes ago, Gabbynaru said:

Yeah, let me know when Tonkor is back to wiping maps like it used to, and I'll join your side. Until then, self damage sucks, because the weapons it is attached to suck as well.

Thanks for missing the point and/or only reading the first sentence, have a nice day. Enjoy your reputation for giving a quick sassy response.

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Well, I think self damge is out place, I mean, from the point of view of the lore we are tied with the sentients for the title of the most advanced faction in the entire game and yet we are the only ones that have things like self damge when grineer that are focused in raw power have no self damage (I think that the napalm does take damage of the fire and not from the proyectile itself) and I think that the weapons with self damge in their majority are bad for anything that is not killing the wielder, they have a poor ammo balance, explosive damage is almost useless, punch trough nullifies the damage and in most of the cases they have not enough power to kill anything after level 75. The acceltra is te only weapon I remember that has self damage but is worth to use....

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1 minute ago, ozcg888 said:

I think self damge is out place

Instead of nuking your character, self damage could deal a fixed amount of damage to the player, in percentage of health. That way there would still be a risk in using the weapon, but not to the point when you instantly die, unless you're playing carelessly.

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If we can deal self damage, enemy shall deal self damage too, it's pointless we're the only one how can blow ourself up

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I'm not against some kind of mechanic to punish reckless use of explosives but insta-kill is too much.

IMO the damage should be dealt as a percentage of health, and maybe add a stagger/knockdown depending on the amount of damage.

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4 minutes ago, Genitive said:

Instead of nuking your character, self damage could deal a fixed amount of damage to the player, in percentage of health. That way there would still be a risk in using the weapon, but not to the point when you instantly die, unless you're playing carelessly.

What I worry about with a system like this is that the "risk" would effectively be nullified, we have so much access to fast healing that a little self damage may not be enough of a risk to keep the balance of a high DPS explosive weapon in check. Personally I like the idea of knockdowns/staggers as a punishment, possibly increasing the knockdown duration proportionally with the amount of self damage relative to your health. But then this in itself may be too easy to counter with status resistance abilities or Primed Sure Footed. It is a difficult nut to crack, although in general I would say that I would rather have the punishment for self damage not be immediate death.

 

3 minutes ago, Aisu9 said:

If we can deal self damage, enemy shall deal self damage too, it's pointless we're the only one how can blow ourself up

Well, first of all enemies don't deal enough damage to even tickle other enemies with their damage, so a change like this would be effectively pointless. But if DE did somehow make enemy self damage a thing, it would break the AI of the game. Fodder enemies should be dumb, if they dealt self damage then they would be even less of a threat. And if DE added fancy AI so they try not to hit each other would basically just bring us back to square one.

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Self damage is stupid.

-Tech can be used to create an arming distance where things dont blow up until they are past their AoE to kill you.  

-Tech can control the direction of AoE instead of just a giant sphere.  

-AoE self damage is NOT CONSISTANT across weapons.    Kuva Chakkur causes explosions and can be fired right at your feet and does NOTHING.  And that isnt the only one.  

 

How does Mag's counter pulse kill enemies but heal ally shields???  Thats even more f'ed up logic than self damage lol

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I'm still for replacing it with knockdown. Even if someone's going to the trouble of using Primed Sure Footed, they're losing a slot for it. For everyone else, there's play and counterplay there, because knockdown could very well lead to death in a bad situation, and that means how much caution you'd need to have around your own weapon is similarly situational. And then make Cautious Shot just a 90% chance to resist or whatnot. 

Equally nice are things like the Acceltra, which does have an irrelevant self-damage mechanic, but also has grenades that just fail to explode if you're too close and therefore deal little damage. 

I haven't killed my Bramma lich yet, but the Lenz is entirely fine. It's not a very good weapon in practice, but it's the least random self-damage there is and the most interesting to play around. It's possibly the only case where it's presently actually a fun limitation to work around. It wouldn't be any less fun with knockdown, but.

But the reality is, the Fulmin, Catchmoon, and Ignis exist, melee exists, the Shedu and Staticor and Astilla and Acceltra exist, and there are piles of other ways to deal damage to multiple enemies at a time without the least threat of self-damage. And for some reason we have the Kuva Ogris and Tonkor, where the latter is a better version of the former that deals much more damage, but also has a partial protection against self-damage built in? = / So while it might be beside OP's point, self-damage as it's presently implemented has no bearing on balance whatsoever, and it's only a hypothetical, corrected application of self-damage that could serve that role. 

In total, self-damage is frustrating and not interesting to play around, while also utterly failing to do the one thing it's meant to do in regards to balance. Some people enjoy killing themselves with their Ogrises, and at the moment there aren't enough (any) good weapons with self-damage problems for me to begrudge them that, but it's several layers of bad design, and I'd be happy to see any of them fixed, including the lazy option of removing the mechanic entirely.

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Slightly off topic, but I want to mention an idea I've seen that I think would be an interesting compromise.  

 - Remove self damage from all weapons or make it a tiny, tiny fraction of what it is now.  Flat damage or a percentage of remaining health.

 - Rebalance these explosive weapons as needed around that. (Some of them would need very little adjustment.)

 - Add a mod we'll call Reckless Shot.  This adds the current self damage capability back along with a large damage bonus and maybe an AoE bonus.

Voila, current self damage becomes opt-in rather than kinda-but-not-really opt-out via Cautious Shot.

The biggest problem that I can see is that DE has to do a thorough job assessing these weapons' performance without self damage, and it will inevitably result in some outliers no matter what.

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Again we hit an issue of consistency: Staticor, Shedu, Torid and many other weapons dont deal self damage. Why not? Anyone's guess.

The problem is not self damage as a concept, it's the implementation. Because of how vastly different our EHP levels are to the enemies, anything that will realistically harm them will instagib us. So while Bramma will one shot us (to be fair also the enemies), things like concealed explosives are mostly forgotten against any sort of higher level enemies.

Another game I played a lot that had self damage weapons is Warhammer 40k Space Marine. In that game I actually mained a weapon that had self damage; the plasma cannon. However it worked in that game because my EHP and the opponent's was on the same level. Warframe on the other hand doesnt do that, so it needs to modify self damage if it wants to keep self damage in the game in a meaningful way. Lenz does a good job at showing the explosion area, Bramma however doesnt do that and is quite inaccurate on top of that. Therefore hitting yourself with the Bramma has to be less punishing then hitting yourself with a Lenz.

You argue to keep self damage not in the current way but in some way as risk vs reward, sure but the instant self kill needs to go (and not in the form of another bandaid mod like cautious shot 2: electric bowgaloo)

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there is also the Game Design rule of "without the risk of failure, there is no victory".

 

2 hours ago, Gabbynaru said:

Yeah, let me know when Tonkor is back to wiping maps like it used to, and I'll join your side. Until then, self damage sucks, because the weapons it is attached to suck as well.

seeing as the size of the AoE hasn't changed, it either still does now, or it never did. gotta pick one.

 

42 minutes ago, CopperBezel said:

Even if someone's going to the trouble of using Primed Sure Footed, they're losing a slot for it.

i must always remind, that Knockdown Resist is useless, Handspring is much more effective than Knockdown Resist because unlike Knockdown Resist it doesn't stun you anyways.
(also that Primed Sure Footed isn't actually 100% anyways)

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11 minutes ago, taiiat said:

seeing as the size of the AoE hasn't changed, it either still does now, or it never did. gotta pick one.

It's not the AoE that's the problem. Tonkor lost some it's crit chance, the grenades have a delayed explosion and they have damage fall off.

2 hours ago, DrBorris said:

Thanks for missing the point and/or only reading the first sentence, have a nice day. Enjoy your reputation for giving a quick sassy response.

Didn't miss anything. You're saying Self-damage should be an acceptable trade off for doing ridiculous damage, and I agree. I accept this f*cker killing me, because the power on display is worth the risk of self-sacrifice. I don't except the peas from the Tonkor doing it. And no, I don't see Lenz being acceptable either, especially considering it's limitations.

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I still think that Self damage should have (dev/individual weapon based) 25-75 damage cap VS SHIELDS.

10 minutes ago, taiiat said:

i must always remind, that Knockdown Resist is useless, Handspring is much more effective than Knockdown Resist because unlike Knockdown Resist it doesn't stun you anyways.

(also that Primed Sure Footed isn't actually 100% anyways)

It has been 99% rounded up on stats screen for quite a while, but there is a small chance they made it 100% with melee 3.0. Either way block animation needs to be removed from it.

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6 minutes ago, taiiat said:

there is also the Game Design rule of "without the risk of failure, there is no victory".

I'm sure that's the intended principle, see this thread for all of the ways in which it's not even applicable.

8 minutes ago, taiiat said:

i must always remind, that Knockdown Resist is useless, Handspring is much more effective than Knockdown Resist because unlike Knockdown Resist it doesn't stun you anyways.
(also that Primed Sure Footed isn't actually 100% anyways)

I only mentioned it in reference to the proposition that it would be cheap resistance to self-knockdown. Which, you know, it wouldn't be cheap and as you're saying, wouldn't be full resistance. For general purpose knockdown problems, I just use Constitution myself. (Not every frame benefits from either duration or knockdown resistance, but it's handy for the couple that do both.)

10 minutes ago, taiiat said:

seeing as the size of the AoE hasn't changed, it either still does now, or it never did. gotta pick one.

Not really true. I mean it's the same amount of AoE, which is to say that it's out of date. Mobs are denser now so it's technically probably killing more things, but there are many other AoE options now and all our melees are two or three times as long.

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1 hour ago, DrBorris said:

But then this in itself may be too easy to counter with status resistance abilities or Primed Sure Footed.

Knockdowns caused by self damage could then ignore any mods and apply full duration. Or we can go even further and add a special status effect just for self damage that will debuff us.

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16 minutes ago, Gabbynaru said:

It's not the AoE that's the problem. Tonkor lost some it's crit chance, the grenades have a delayed explosion and they have damage fall off.

Crit Chance i'll go with sure - idk why they even reduced it, that was silly. why make the Crit Explosive Weapon as it was at the time of Release and for a while after..... not even Crit reliably. that's the entire friggin' point of it.
hell, both versions of Tonkor should have a 40% Crit Chance, fullstop. literally no reason for them to have less.

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Remove selfdamge and everybody and their mother will be running around with some kind of AoE explosive weapon, mindlessly killing hordes of enemies with 0 risk while doing it. Everything that is not AoE will not be used at all, forget about other non AoE weapons cause they will be obsolete. Casuals wett dream yes i can imagine such sh/t show. Keep selfdamage there is no point in removing it except your ego got hurt since you killed yourself.

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15 hours ago, DrBorris said:

TL;DR: Great reward demands great risk in the name of balance

I agree, in that we should totally have self damage. Having an element of self damage creates variety in weapons and feels skillful when you manage it.

The problem is that Warframe's damage model means self damage is always fatal, and often random.

The random is a huge problem: self damage from teammates, pets, friendly AI always feels cheap.

But the big problem is the scaling. Look at self damage in any other game - take your pick, none of them have Warframe's instant random death.

Self damage should be on the game, but it should always be either predictable (ie the player made a mistake) or survivable (it hurts, but you go on).

So...

- Explosions from hitting friendly AI/teammates should be harmless.

- Explosions from hitting enemies/walls should have a scaling health gate effect: 1m fatal, 2m you survive with 1 health, past 3m you keep 5%.

- You only get the gate if over 50% health, so if low you have to be more careful until you recover.

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2 hours ago, Masakr said:

Remove selfdamge and everybody and their mother will be running around with some kind of AoE explosive weapon, mindlessly killing hordes of enemies with 0 risk while doing it. Everything that is not AoE will not be used at all, forget about other non AoE weapons cause they will be obsolete. Casuals wett dream yes i can imagine such sh/t show. Keep selfdamage there is no point in removing it except your ego got hurt since you killed yourself.

The same way they run around with S#&$ like Plasmor, Ignis or literally any other weapon that has decent stats. That argument would make sense if every self damaging weapon was actually capable of higher KPS than any good gun or a barbed stick or a #*!%ing warframe.

"Casuals wett dream" - you're playing Warframe lmao, it ain't difficult enough to unironically call anyone a "filthy casul". Casual at what? Reading wiki and repeatedly doing the same mission over and over again? All difficulty simply comes out of broken enemy scaling - add a simple fix for that, or better yet, pick a frame like Inaros/Revenant and any #*!%wit is suddenly capable of pulling pro-gamer-moves.

Is YOUR ego going to get hurt if someone doesn't get obliterated by a gun incapable of killing a level 60 enemy in one shot? Not eleete enough for the turboautism gang? Certainly feels like it. #*!%ing competitive Warframe player, a master of coathanger evasion. 

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I can agree with the very abstract idea that having more power than one's competitors demands some sort of tradeoff to remain balanced. However, I think the argument doesn't at all justify why that tradeoff or risk should take the form of self-damage specifically, and ultimately there are plenty of arguments for why self-damage doesn't work in Warframe, namely that combat is far too quick and unpredictable for self-damage to really be a test of skill. If we want to talk about how to balance explosive weapons, I think the actual tradeoff to go for is slow firing rate: this is already somewhat the case, but if the point to an explosive weapon is that it clears multiple enemies at once, where other weapons would be killing a smaller number, it would only make sense to be a greater delay in-between shots, so that the player has to take greater care in aiming their shot to maximize the number of targets hit. The Tonkor and Lenz do this, and even the Ogris has a charge-up mechanic. This alone I think could be enough in creating a proper tradeoff for explosives, and if that's not enough, there are potentially more avenues to explore: giving shots a health cost could preserve the core intent of self-damage, for example, without the current arbitrary suicides. In no case, however, is the current state of affairs justified in my opinion, as self-damage is largely not considered to be a valid tradeoff for the promised additional power of explosive weapons.

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4 hours ago, Lone_Dude said:

The same way they run around with S#&$ like Plasmor, Ignis or literally any other weapon that has decent stats. That argument would make sense if every self damaging weapon was actually capable of higher KPS than any good gun or a barbed stick or a #*!%ing warframe.

Exactly. A thousand times this, exactly. AFAICT, the only self-damage weapon right now that might be unusually viable without it is the Bramma. Meanwhile we have the damn Shedu. And the Catchmoon, which, you know, complain about the nerfs all day, but it's the best melee-range shotgun in the game by way of being a wave projectile with the option of an obscene amount of crit.

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Il y a 20 heures, Aisu9 a dit :

If we can deal self damage, enemy shall deal self damage too, it's pointless we're the only one how can blow ourself up

Too anecdotal to do the collision calculations. 

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As I usually do I'll bring up the levels, claustrophobic maps and ships don't mix well with high explosive weapons. Small teams raiding buildings and ships don't bring rockets and grenade launchers for a reason. Lenz is about the only explosive weapon I find worth using some times because it at least lets you hold the shot since it's a bow, but even then Scorpions and Ancients are fond of martyring themselves by dragging you into the blast radius just before they explode. 

 

There's a valid reason for self damage and it's as people say, to avoid people running around blowing themselves up with no risk especially in tight corridor maps where they'd never have to aim. Arming distance could work on a couple of weapons, make it tougher to kill yourself but not impossible so you at least have some semblance of safety. Or extensive knockdowns with minimal self damage. 

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