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Feedback regarding tech-rolls


Steel_Rook
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Warframe Revised removed self-damage from AoE weapons and replaced it with self-stagger. With this came a new knockdown system which allows players to perform a "tech-roll" (knockdown recovery, getting back on our feet) by hitting their "jump" key at just the right moment. That was in the patch notes, I'm sure we've all seen it. What wasn't mentioned in the patch notes are two other changes, however. When knocked down, our Warframes no longer get back up on their own. We need to press a movement direction in order to get up. Additionally, holding a movement direction when knocked down will now cause our Warframes to roll while getting up, covering distance and I believe returning to their feet faster. I'd like to comment on each of these changes and a few more, as well.

 

The tech-roll:

I've been asking for a mechanic like this for some time, and it's finally here. To the extent I've played around with this mechanic, I REALLY like the way it feels. Knockdowns are never fun, but a large part of my personal aggravation with them was just how clumsy they made me feel. My Warframe flops on his back like a fish, then has slooowly clamber up to his feet like he's trying to sell a Big Boot from Hulk Hogan. Now I have the option to hit Jump and - if I do it correctly - spring back to my feet. It's hard to describe just how empowering that feels. I still don't like being knocked down, but I'm already developing a secondary reflex to try and get out of it. Giving me agency in the soft control used against me feels a lot less like control is being taken away from me.

With that said, it feels like the window of opportunity to tech-roll is REALLY tiny. It's not impossible to hit, but it seems to require the sort of exacting precision that very little else in the game really requires. It wouldn't hurt to make the window a bit larger. Granted, not TOO large else the skill element is lost, but maybe something on the order of 200-400 ms, maybe? Wouldn't hurt to give it a sound cue, as well. The time window is too small to actually respond to either the visual or audio cue (for my reaction time anyway), but clear cues can still help give us a sense of the timing so we can learn to respond to the animation, rather than the actual start of the time window. I've already had at least one friend comment that he simply cannot see the visual cue, and I'll admit that I've barely ever seen it, myself. A bit more leeway and a bit more feedback would be nice.

 

The rolling recovery:

I personally like the rolling recovery. It's a nice way to avoid taking additional damage or eating a Lich grab if I fail my tech roll, plus it gives me extra mobility on demand. It's a good way to chase enemies who knock you back to keep range, it's a good way to pull back from enemies with CQC attacks and it feels "gamey" in a way I feel Warframe lacked previous. I mean, RPG mechanics aside, this is still an action game so mechanics like this make sense.

However, the rolling recovery seems to have come at the cost of automatic recovery. While this may not affect ME, having our Warframes get back up on their own using the slow and clunky "clamber up to your feet" animation if the player does nothing to tech-roll or roll-recover would have been nice. There's really no benefit to leaving our Warframes lying spreadeagled on the floor waiting for us to hit a button (a MOVEMENT button, specifically, not any of the others). In fact, being forced into a slow recovery if you fail your tech-roll and miss your roll-recovery window sounds like a better system than what we have right now. Yes, for those of us mostly on the move, it doesn't make much difference but there are a fair few people who don't stay on their feet nearly as much.

 

The Operator:

I think the most disappointing aspect of the new knockback system is that it feels like NONE of it applies to Operators. Sure, my Operator will do an automatic tech-roll if I knock myself down with my own AoE (because we have that on Amps now...), but that's it. If my Operator gets knocked down by an enemy, I can't tech-roll. Maybe I just suck, but I've tried this a lot to no avail. I see no flash of light indicating an opportunity to tech-roll and it doesn't seem to matter when I press Jump. My operator ends up flat on her back every time. Worse - once my Operator is flat on her back, I can't do a roll-recovery. I'm mashing jump, I'm holding directions - nothing. All she can do is slowly clamber up to her feet and probably eat another knockdown in the process.

Now... I know Operators aren't Warframes. They don't do Parkour, they don't run on walls, etc. But the new knockdown system ALREADY HAS recovery animations for them. I just can't actually use them manually. I'd argue that sometimes, in some cases, gameplay ought to inform theme and story to at least some extent. Having a way to tech-roll and roll-recover out of knockdown is one of these things which I personally find "feels good" regardless of context. As such, I "feel" that Operators ought to be able to do at least that much Parkour, for the sake of gameplay if nothing else. And if it looks too "athletic" visually, you can always give them alternate animations where they use Void Mode to teleport themselves back upright. Pretty sure that's what Shuma Gorath and Blackheart used to get back up back in Marvel vs. Capcom 🙂

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I noticed the I've fallen and can't get up Warframe, but missed the tech-roll all together.  I'll kept that in mind.  

I also noticed the stagger is gone for primed sure footed.  You can fire area damage weapons with no negative consequences what-so-ever.  I remember using it before and still got a small stun lock when activated, making handspring (especially with builds using constituition) a better choice.  Now, putting a D in eximus slot (can swap with ice spring if need speed) is great survival tool.  

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My feedback for the tech-roll echoes some of yours:

1. I’ve never even seen the supposed indicator for the jump, but I’ve heard that it’s 167 milliseconds long—and I’m just not that fast. The window needs to be at least a half-second and the indicator needs to be something unmistakable, like a giant arrow or the word JUMP flashing on screen.

2. Auto-recovery needs to be restored. With the issue in #1, I have to use handspring or just not play. I’m not sure what justification they had for removing it; skilled and quick players will still be faster to their feet while slow old guys like me can just have the status quo.

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1 minute ago, Educated_Beast said:

I noticed the I've fallen and can't get up Warframe, but missed the tech-roll all together.  I'll kept that in mind.  

Well, DE did a piss-poor job of communicating this. It's buried in the Rework patch notes in the category on Self-Damage, with a minor foot note that "Oh, by the way - this also applies to ALL knockback now!" I had no fewer than three arguments on the subject with a friend of mine until he got fed up, dug up the patch notes and we went through them with a fine-tooth comb, then spent like half an hour getting bashed around by Grineer Shields trying it out. That should have been in my OP, actually, but this is yet another example of a cool mechanic buried in patch notes and ensuring next to nobody will know about it, unless people hear of it from word-of-mouth. At least there's an "advanced movement tutorial" to teach players that they can Bullet Jump straight up and at an angle - something that took me several months, a Mastery Rank test and a bunch of Googling to figure out.

 

4 minutes ago, Ham_Grenabe said:

1. I’ve never even seen the supposed indicator for the jump, but I’ve heard that it’s 167 milliseconds long—and I’m just not that fast. The window needs to be at least a half-second and the indicator needs to be something unmistakable, like a giant arrow or the word JUMP flashing on screen.

That sounds about right. Judging by the visual indicator (I have seen it a few times), your window of opportunity is effectively a snap of the fingers. It actually reminds me of trying to do Parry challenges in Onimusha 3 back in the day, before I gave up entirely. Half a second might be a bit on the long side, but as I said - 200-400 milliseconds sounds good, which is close to what you're proposing here. Warframe is not Dark Souls or Street Fighter. We shouldn't need frame-perfect timing to pull off a knockdown recovery. I'm not expecting it to be guaranteed, but a bit more leeway would be nice.

As to player feedback - I feel a sound indicator on top of the visual one would be nice. Some kind of chime or beep indicating the start of the window of opportunity would be very helpful, since that's independent of our eyeline. That might take a bit of tweaking to avoid it being irritating while still being audible over the din of combat. That said, I also wouldn't be opposed to a "vignette flash" effect similar to losing your shields and taking health damage. That's unobtrusive enough to not stand out while still being visible enough for those looking for it.

Overall, though, I feel that extending the window of opportunity would be enough even with no real indication. At the end of the day, you're supposed to anticipate your tech-roll timing, not respond to it. I've been fairly successful in pulling it off not by looking for the "flash," but rather by trying to hit Jump JUST as my Warframe's shoulders hit the ground. Seems like around there is where the window of opportunity is. Our reflexes will always be better on 3, 2, 1 GO! than on just GO!

 

11 minutes ago, Ham_Grenabe said:

2. Auto-recovery needs to be restored. With the issue in #1, I have to use handspring or just not play. I’m not sure what justification they had for removing it; skilled and quick players will still be faster to their feet while slow old guys like me can just have the status quo.

The "justification" seems to be "technical issues." In order to implement the new system for recovery, DE seem to have broken the old one. Just today, I realised this affects more than just players. I was doing the Index for the Nightwave Challenge, and noticed one of the Brokers flat on her back for a good two minutes. Eventually I walked up to her, ground-executed her, then got the option to stealth-kill her. Seems like it's not just our Warframes - enemies too sometimes fail to get up. It may be something in the mechanics, it could also be something in their animation sequencer.

Out of spite, a friend of mine lay there on his back for 15 seconds, and THEN his Warframe got up on its own. So it still happens, just on a serious delay. This tells me it's more likely we're looking at a bug than a feature. All we can do is raise awareness and hope for a Hotfix on Thursday, or at least some official response. Because yeah - I don't really see the design goal of a change like that, if it's intentional.

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15 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

The "justification" seems to be "technical issues." In order to implement the new system for recovery, DE seem to have broken the old one. Just today, I realised this affects more than just players. I was doing the Index for the Nightwave Challenge, and noticed one of the Brokers flat on her back for a good two minutes. Eventually I walked up to her, ground-executed her, then got the option to stealth-kill her. Seems like it's not just our Warframes - enemies too sometimes fail to get up. It may be something in the mechanics, it could also be something in their animation sequencer.

Out of spite, a friend of mine lay there on his back for 15 seconds, and THEN his Warframe got up on its own. So it still happens, just on a serious delay. This tells me it's more likely we're looking at a bug than a feature. All we can do is raise awareness and hope for a Hotfix on Thursday, or at least some official response. Because yeah - I don't really see the design goal of a change like that, if it's intentional.

Fifteen seconds, wow. However, that explains why Handspring still works (I was wondering, when I equipped it, whether it would even work -- if the frame can't get up on their own, then getting up 160% faster means nothing). So it sounds like the frame is supposed to get up on its own, but they've just put it on a "go get a snack" delay. Weird.

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20 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

The tech-roll

You mean it's not bugged, and they didn't forget to add it? I've been deliberately blowing myself up to try to practice it, but couldn't see any indication at all that I could do any such thing. Good to know it's actually in the game, at least.

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50 minutes ago, Ham_Grenabe said:

Fifteen seconds, wow. However, that explains why Handspring still works (I was wondering, when I equipped it, whether it would even work -- if the frame can't get up on their own, then getting up 160% faster means nothing). So it sounds like the frame is supposed to get up on its own, but they've just put it on a "go get a snack" delay. Weird.

Yes, I'm convinced our Warframes are supposed to get up on their own just like they used do, but something in the codebase is screwing up. I doubt it's as simple as someone putting a decimal point in the wrong place (15 vs 1.5), though that has happened before. Again, my suspicion is this is a bug in their animation sequencer, especially since enemies who suffer from this bug NEVER get up. Years ago, XCOM 2 was very prone to animation bugs. When the sequencer failed to run the animation it was trying to for the state of the character, it would essentially hang for a good 10 seconds. After that, a fallback system would just FORCE the characters into the state they were supposed to be in with no transition - better to have janky animations than a soft-locked game, after all. This typically happened when a Ranger automatically used Bladestorm on a Viper trying to Strangle them.

DE have had a LOT of issues with Warframe soft-locking on people recently, mostly around Liches and Railjack. In fact, as we speak, Liches have been breaking my Warframe's ability to interact with anything or pick up items - just yesterday that happened. As such, it wouldn't surprise me if they've baked a few fallbacks into their animation sequencer, just to ensure that Warframes return to a usable state if they end up locked waiting for an animation which fails to trigger, is missing or whatever. A delay of 15 seconds seems consistent with a fallback like that. It's about how long Assassin's Creed games will wait for you to fall in place if you get stuck between physics objects before just killing you so you can keep playing.

This made me think, though - have we actually reported this as a bug? There's been very little talk about this, even here in Feedback. I should probably go do that just in case.

 

51 minutes ago, Iamabearlulz said:

You mean it's not bugged, and they didn't forget to add it? I've been deliberately blowing myself up to try to practice it, but couldn't see any indication at all that I could do any such thing. Good to know it's actually in the game, at least.

Here's the funny thing - I don't know if it actually works on blowing yourself up 🙂 My experience is with being knocked down by enemies. The flash which occurs is VERY brief and in your Warframe's aura colour, I believe. It happens around their chest. I should grab an Ogris and practice this in the Simulacrum, myself - see if there's anything different about self-damage knockback. For the time being, I'd recommend getting yourself a Shield Trooper, getting shield-bashed in the face and see if you can come edge up on some kind of proper timing.

I'm also testing this with no knockback prevention mods, either, just for the record. Standard knockback from the front still puts me flat on my back. Right as my shoulders hit the ground is the timing I've been able to find, which causes my warframe to do sort of a backwards kip-up and spring to their feet. If I miss that window, THEN I have the option of holding a direction triggering a roll recovery. To be perfectly honest... The tech-roll doesn't feel substantially faster than the roll recovery. They're both roughly the same animation length, with the latter just triggering some ~200ms later since you need to be fully on your back to trigger it.

I should go mess around with this and report back.

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So, slight update having played with the system. Here's what I found:

1. The signal to hit jump is a flash seemingly on the chest, upper arms and upper legs of your warframe, in your chosen aura colour. Pick an aura colour which doesn't match your base Warframe colours. And maybe thing about colour contrast a bit while you're at it 🙂 It's VERY brief and VERY easy to miss if you're not looking for it. I wouldn't bother trying to respond to the flash - the time window is too short for at least my reaction time. The only way I was able to react to it was to pin down where in the knockback animation it happens and try to anticipate.

2. Self-knockdown from AoE weapons has a COMPLETELY different animation, timing and result as compared to regular knockdown. I'll discuss animations separately, but do note being knocked down by enemies operates on almost entirely unrelated rules as compared to knocking yourself down with your own guns.

3. Operators use the same animations as Warframes for both enemy- and self-knockdown. Operators ARE able to do a recovery from self-knockdown if you can nail the timing. I don't think they're able to do a kip-up from enemy-knockdown, but it may just be that I'm consistently failing the QTE because... Operators have NO signal for when to press the button. At all, of any kind. The only way I was able to do self-knockdown recovery was by practicing it on a Warframe and then going through the motions on an Operator.

 

Enemy-knockdown:

When you're knocked down by an enemy, 9 times out of 10 you're going to be knocked over backwards. Even if you get hit from the side and often if you get hit from behind but not EXACTLY from behind, your Warframe or Operator (your "character") will spin around and flop over backwards.

During a backwards flop, your character will essentially fly backwards, land on their shoulders, then their hands and feet will slam down after them. This leads to the static "flat on your back waiting to get up" position. From this position, your Warframe no longer animates. If you wait on the order of 15-ish seconds (or more likely, until you get staggered), your Warframe will get up. If you press a movement direction in this state, you will trigger a roll recovery, causing your Warframe to roll in the selected direction and get up in the process. It's the equivalent of a dodge. There are four of these animations (possibly three with left and right mirrored) depending on the direction you roll relative to your Warframe's position where it lies.

The time window for doing a tech-roll is JUST after your Warframe's shoulders hit the ground, but JUST before your Warframe's heels hit the ground. It's A VERY short time window so trying to react to the coloured light is a bad idea. I was able to perform it fairly reliably under controlled circumstances by doing exactly what I said - hit Jump as my Warframe's feet are coming down. Even then, I was only able to pull it off 9 out of 10 times, on average. As soon as I made this a less controlled environment (by being knocked down from the side), my precision dropped to below 5 out of 10 if I was lucky.

The form tech-roll takes during enemy-knockdown is quite literally a kip-up. It's fairly fast and gets you up and in control about by the time your knockdown animation would have otherwise finished and transitioned into you getting up. There seems to be some system in place to prevent button spam, since hitting Jump too early seems to block you from doing your kip-up.

 

Self-knockdown

So far, the only animation I've seen for self-knockdown is the one which sends you flying backwards. I'm not sure if it's even possible to knock yourself sideways with your own fire, since we can't fire sideways of where we're aiming. May be possible, I've no means of recreating it.

When you knock yourself back with your own gun will send your Warframe tumbling backwards ass over tea kettle, landing seemingly on its head and elbows, legs swinging above and eventually landing on its feet again. Your Warframe will then proceed to grab the ground in an attempt to stop itself from sliding back - essentially the standard anime backslide. Your Warframe will hold this pose for quite a while, then stand up and give you control back. ALL of this happens automatically, you don't need to input any commands to do so. Knocking yourself back with your own gun will NEVER put you on your ass. You'll always auto-recover. However, there IS a tech-roll here, as well.

The time window for doing a tech roll is JUST as your Warframe bringing their left hand down to grab the ground, ideally shortly before the animation even starts and definitely before hand touches ground. What happens if you nail it is a bit funny, however - you do a double jump. You know that spinning backflip you do if you jump and then jump again? That's what you do. You don't get up or roll, you simply double-jump out of the self-stagger. All jump rules apply - you have full directional control over your Warframe, you can glide and you can latch, if you so choose. It's a very LOW jump, however, so you're not going to get any air unless you're standing next to a drop.

My personal guess here is DE intended for self-knockback to put you on your ass and that anime slide to be your recovery. Worried that people would complain, however, they made the recovery animation into the automatic animation. This left them with no recovery animation, so they just threw in a double jump which honestly doesn't really speed things up much.

Oh, and while writing the above description and retrying animations so I could describe them, I DID manage to knock myself sideways with my Ogris. Shot a wall and turned away from it. There IS an animation for it, as well. I can't reproduce it easily so I can't describe it well, but it's about the same - send yourself flying sideways, land on your neck, flip back to your feet, grab the ground. I'm not sure why DE created this, unless they actually meant for this knockdown system to replace our existing knockback system altogether, or unless I'm missing something important.

 

Summary:

Enemy- and self-knockdown use different systems, Warframes can do tech-roll out of both and have an aura-coloured flash on the body to indicate timing. Operators can only do self-knockdown recovery and have no indication of any sort. The window of opportunity for tech-rolls needs to be made a lot longer and QTE indication a LOT more explicit.

Edited by Steel_Rook
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2 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

The signal to hit jump is a flash seemingly on the chest, upper arms and upper legs of your warframe, in your chosen aura colour. Pick an aura colour which doesn't match your base Warframe colours. 

Another realization I just had - I may not have noticed the tech-roll indicator because I'm usually not looking at my warframe - I look at the enemies and the environment; the warframe is kind of "there" in my peripheral vision but it's not what I'm concentrating on.  

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27 minutes ago, Ham_Grenabe said:

Another realization I just had - I may not have noticed the tech-roll indicator because I'm usually not looking at my warframe - I look at the enemies and the environment; the warframe is kind of "there" in my peripheral vision but it's not what I'm concentrating on.  

That's what my friend does, as well. It's why he was complaining about not realising he was knocked down over and over again. He doesn't look at his own Warframe, and so kept wondering why he couldn't shoot. Me, I kind of grew up on fast-paced action games back in the day, I've had to train my peripheral vision quite a bit. I still can't see the golden flash indicating a tech roll unless I'm looking for it, but at least I can see myself getting knocked down 🙂

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