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Warframe Concept: Shadow Manipulator


(PSN)CrysJaL
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So I had this totally original and not completely overdone frame theme in my head for a while. A few weeks ago I finished the concept and posted it on FANDOM so here it is now on Forums.

A Warframe which draws their power from angsty teenagers manipulates shadows to terrorise enemies.

Passive: Natural Terrain

Spoiler

Gain additional movement speed when in dark areas, also procced by Blanket of Shadows.

1: Hostile Shadow

Spoiler

 

The shadow of a targeted enemy rises to attack them. The enemy is dealt Slash Damage.

Shadows are levelled according to the enemy cast upon.

Enemies attacked by their own shadow are periodically staggered and may be knocked down.

Augment: Lash Out

Hostile Shadows now have a small radius of 4m (affected by ranged mods) where they will deal 50% of their normal damage to nearby enemies.

 

2: Meld (channeled)

Spoiler

 

Meld with your own shadow, becoming invisible on the floor and gaining 20% additional movement speed (stacks with Passive).

Can perform stealth finishers from the shadow state with double damage.

Augment: Shadow Travel

Activate the ability again to jump to the nearest enemy within 30m, not affected by line of sight (affected by ranged mods)

 

3: Shadow’s Hunger (channeled)

Spoiler

 

The Warframe’s own Shadow comes to life, dealing percent health damage to a single nearby enemy and restoring a portion of damage dealt to the player as health.

This ability continues to operate while in Shadow state but at 50% range.

Augment: Split Shadow

The ability now affects up to three enemies in exchange for having say 20% reduced range and damage to each target.

 

4: Blanket of Shadows / Twilight

Spoiler

 

The area around the Warframe is covered in Darkness. Enemies have severely reduced targeting/vision range (affected by power strength). Enemies cannot see inside the blanket to target allies inside it and must enter it in order to target them. Having said that they could accidentally still fire into the blanket and missed shots could still enter and damage allies. it is by no means a perfect defence.

Recast the ability to restore its uptime (and coverage, depending on if you want it to have a reducing radius like Limbo's ultimate)

Shadows from enemies killed inside the ability remain for the duration of the Blanket ability and become Lesser Shadows. Lesser Shadows move to new enemies and attacking them if they enter the Blanket’s radius similarly to Hostile Shadows. Shadows are spread evenly among all enemies inside the Blanket. These shadows deal a fraction of the damage the shadows active on enemies would deal, (I'm gonig to say it should be something very low, like 15% on account of the effective infinite scaling of this ability).

For ease of programming and reducing lag the mechanism of the shadows is that Lesser shadows are not counted individually. Instead they are just considered a number with total effective level of all Lesser Shadows and therefore their damage determined by the last enemy to have Hostile Shadow’s cast on them.

Other synergies:

When inside the Blanket, Shadow’s Hunger has 100% additional range on enemies also inside the Blanket not affected by the Meld reduction (so 150% base range when in Meld and also inside the Blanket).

When in the Blanket Meld has half energy costs.

Augment: Inescapable Night

Enemies that enter the range of Blanket of Shadows cannot leave it unless they are CCed or pulled by ally abilities.

 

*

This was a theme I had in mind for a while now. In the past I have generally concentrated on making Frames with high tank and or CC potential like my "Yet Another Treeframe" or "Atona Guide of the Penitent" concepts. This frame is not tanky at all and is instead built more for damage with a scaling damaging effect similarly to Saryn’s spores when used properly.

Saryn’s immense range is avoided here as you’re limited to Blanket’s coverage to abuse your Shadows which individually might be weak but which can stack up quickly as more and more enemies are killed inside the Blanket.

 

The Passive is pretty basic and technically situational. However Blanket of Shadows allows the player to proc it so it's not completely situational thanks to that. it's not special, but to be honest most passives aren't.

Meld was the original idea I had when I first thought of this theme and I was desperate to incorporate it here. It was the first time I thought of an ability similar to Hydroid’s puddle and a fairly obvious one for a Shadow themed Warframe to have. I’m not sure it fits the overall play style of the final product but it works as a defensive tool and panic button and gives you an alternative stealthy way to play the Warframe. It's ultimately just a stealth mechanic with added finisher damage which in the current meta and now with everyone's favourite Dagger mod nerfed into the ground (goodbye Fatal Teleport Ash in Index, you lasted me an hour solo to get a poster and will never be forgotten) it's not a massively powerful system. Like puddle you'd have to leave Meld to do anything but use stealth finishers so even with the channelled effect its not as powerful as Ivara's Prowl in terms of damage dealing. Although you might be able to reach Loki like speeds using it unlikethe trickster frame you'd also have to leave the ability if you wanted to jump anywhere so again it's not exactly perfect. The augment just seemed cool. limiting it to the nearest enemy also prevented it being too similar to Ash's teleportation ability. I ought to say aswell that part of the work on this ability is already done. if you stripped away the latching/eating mechanic, removed the invincibility and increased the speed of Hydroid's puddle you would have this ability minus the stealth finishers already made.

Shadow's Maw is the percentage health damaging portion of the ability which allows players something like scaling damage in the event they fail to restore Blanket of Shadows and lose their stacked up Lesser Shadows. The interaction with Meld is to prevent the abilities together being abused too badly while also allowing them to be simultaneously cast which also makes sense thematically as the shadow cast by the player is effectively smaller. Conversely there is alot more shadow to work with when inside the Blanket of Shadows.

Blanket of Shadows / Twilight Is a lesser Crowd Control effect at face value, offering something like Cataclysms defensive properties from the outside but which does not fully protect against enemies that enter the zone. it allows for defence of objectives much like Limbo's Cataclysm in that enemies must get close to damage it but also doesn't stop stray bullets so Blanket of Shadows is far from perfect by comparison. The reduced targetting range while inside the ability was to reflect the reduced vision caused by the perpetual darkness created by the ability. The Lesser Shadows side of things allowed for the Warframe to truly shine and makes the ability worthy of being called an ultimate while also fostering synergies with the other abilities.

I have an alternate idea to how Lesser Shadows might work. Instead of shadows being produced on enemy deaths instead Hostile Shadows would be kept from enemies that die inside the ability's range with a maximum number of shadows "stored" (of say 30) which then attack enemies inside the blanket as you would expect. You would be incentivised to keep casting Hostile Shadows on enemies inside the ability to replace lower level shadows from earlier with higher ones to maintain damage output. Perhaps with that system you could receive a buff or effect of some sort when you kick out the weakest Shadow so to speak. Perhaps that could be a temporary increase in the range of the ability, allowing it to grow or something or perhaps something more exotic (perhaps simply maintain its range if you give it a shrinking effect like Cataclysm). If you went with this version of the ability then you might choose for the Augment to alter the ability to what I described in the concept itself while Hostile Shadows served to only proc whatever special effect you would normally get from the ability.

I was also thinking of some sort of synergy between Lesser Shadows from the Blanket and Meld. Perhaps if you are in Shadow state and let blanket expire then the shadows join you in the meld and you can then move around with shadows attacking nearby enemies. That would be an interesting mechanic but seems like alot of extra work for what doesn't feel necessary for this idea to work well anyway.

 

The concept theme is pretty generic I'll admit and I had left it untouched because of that for a good while. this is my version of a Shadow using Warframe concept. I really liked the idea of maknig enemies be attacked by their own shadows, it seemed pretty cool. I generally don't like to include numbers because not only is it alot of additional work it doesn't necessarily add much to the idea and I'm probably not as good at balancing that side of things as the devs themselves are anyway. Constructive criticism is always appreciated.

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