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Enjin3

Design intent for pet death

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I'd like to understand (and contest) the game play rationale for pets/sentinels/companions of whatever kind being so fragile, or even why they should be subject to death at all.

Their deaths are frequently random and they're generally guaranteed to die on every mission, by design. Compounding that, some opponents seem designed specifically to destroy them with surprise attacks. I can't think of a way that this is entertaining, offers any kind of challenge or choice.

Said another way, the game play design around pets/companions/sentinels seems extremely under-developed and poorly considered.

 

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4 minutes ago, Enjin3 said:

I'd like to understand (and contest) the game play rationale for pets/sentinels/companions of whatever kind being so fragile, or even why they should be subject to death at all.

Their deaths are frequently random and they're generally guaranteed to die on every mission, by design. Compounding that, some opponents seem designed specifically to destroy them with surprise attacks. I can't think of a way that this is entertaining, offers any kind of challenge or choice.

Said another way, the game play design around pets/companions/sentinels seems extremely under-developed and poorly considered.

 

There's quite a few survivability mods for beast pets, that you may have not been aware of.

 

The link health/armor/shields ones for one, or whichever Tek set mod for Kavats has the quick thinking esque mod.

 

You can even use sentinel health/armor/shield mods but I wouldn't recommend it.

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My best guess at the rationale is that death is meant to be a drawback to balance the extra damage and functionality that pets bring.  For example, you can choose to put radar on your pet so that you can put more powerful mods on your Warframe instead, but the risk you take is that the pet might die and you lose access to that utility.  With non-sentinel companions you have the further risk vs reward dynamic of reviving them and leaving yourself potentially vulnerable while doing so, or letting them die to keep yourself safe but losing the functionality they bring.  Plus, without death, there's the probably potential to use a warframe geared to be functionally immortal and then going AFK and letting them just whittle enemies to death for you.

Whether that risk of death vs reward of functionality has struck a good balance or not... well, I certainly haven't ever felt like it was worth it to use a non-sentinel companion outside of getting mastery points for them.  There are mods like link-health but those only help if RNG consents to smile upon you and actually give you one.  In the absence of having them, I personally just stick with sentinels.  They're going to die anyway, and reviving a pet over and over and over is not my idea of a good time.  It's like turning every single mission in the game into an escort mission with an incredibly brain-dead AI to babysit.  So, yeah, I think I get why it's a thing, but I don't enjoy it at all.

 

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Probably so you don't use them as free utility slots. 

Also depending on your loadout the pets can be pretty survivable outside of certain idiot AI instances (staying in a hazard, attacking an eximus bombard that hasn't noticed you, sitting in the middle of enemies while you are zooming away) 

Pets get downed at sufficiently high levels, sentinels get frequently blown up as well.

Thats what happens to anything with health and no means to mitigate the damage or heal itself. 

I don't mind the mechanics, but I do want some better control over pets and a repair kit to bring back dead sentinels. 

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7 minutes ago, 0_The_F00l said:

Probably so you don't use them as free utility slots. 

Also depending on your loadout the pets can be pretty survivable outside of certain idiot AI instances (staying in a hazard, attacking an eximus bombard that hasn't noticed you, sitting in the middle of enemies while you are zooming away) 

Pets get downed at sufficiently high levels, sentinels get frequently blown up as well.

Thats what happens to anything with health and no means to mitigate the damage or heal itself. 

I don't mind the mechanics, but I do want some better control over pets and a repair kit to bring back dead sentinels. 

They can heal themselves though, just not as quickly. (and you can use health pads to heal them quickly in a tight spot.)

Medi-Pet Kit for beast pets and Repair Kit for the more mechanized pets.

 

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1 minute ago, SpicyDinosaur said:

They can heal themselves though, just not as quickly. (and you can use health pads to heal them quickly in a tight spot.)

Medi-Pet Kit for beast pets and Repair Kit for the more mechanized pets.

 

That's what I meant, if the loadout does not have these things (frame abilities or pet mods) then the frequency of pets being down is higher. 

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15 minutes ago, 0_The_F00l said:

That's what I meant, if the loadout does not have these things (frame abilities or pet mods) then the frequency of pets being down is higher. 

I may have quoted you by accident instead of the OP. Sorry about that.

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currently why they can get obliterated floating drone or fleshbag, is because their Health Types did not get converted over with Warframes, and they also don't have Shield Gating.
also because fleshbags get permanently stunlocked by Fire Status.

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Pet death exist because they don't want to give you a free DPS / loot boost. 
Otherwise use this.

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The rationale is: Your pet is dying frequently or dead? Time to extract, you've been playing too long.

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32 minutes ago, taiiat said:

currently why they can get obliterated floating drone or fleshbag, is because their Health Types did not get converted over with Warframes, and they also don't have Shield Gating.
also because fleshbags get permanently stunlocked by Fire Status.

First bold line, what do you mean they don't get converted? Link augments a based around your warframe's current health or whatever stat is listed.

Second bold line, Do you have anything detailing this? I had not heard of it.

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11 minutes ago, SpicyDinosaur said:

First bold line, what do you mean they don't get converted? Link augments a based around your warframe's current health or whatever stat is listed.

Second bold line, Do you have anything detailing this? I had not heard of it.

what? Companions are still using the pre-existing Flesh, Shield, Ferrite Armor, Et Cetera - Warframes had Weaknesses and Resistances removed, but Companions still have them.

plenty of my own experiences. if say, a Napalm shoots at my Dog, or a Scorch/Hyekka Master shoots at it, it'll be stunlocked permanently since the Fire Status will get re-applied before the like 5+ seconds it takes the fleshbag to stand back up, and start the Animation all over again.

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You can give them plenty of survivability if you make your build around them with things like Shepard, Arcane Bodyguard, and/or healing abilities/Protective Dash.

Also they're 100% passive and offer not just an additional damage source but a ridiculous amount and variety of utility effects. Really with how much they can do it should be expected that we need to put more effort in to keeping them alive rather than expecting them to survive through everything passively.

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9 minutes ago, taiiat said:

what? Companions are still using the pre-existing Flesh, Shield, Ferrite Armor, Et Cetera - Warframes had Weaknesses and Resistances removed, but Companions still have them.

plenty of my own experiences. if say, a Napalm shoots at my Dog, or a Scorch/Hyekka Master shoots at it, it'll be stunlocked permanently since the Fire Status will get re-applied before the like 5+ seconds it takes the fleshbag to stand back up, and start the Animation all over again.

I thought you meant the scaling bonus was applied incorrectly in some way, not that they had specific weaknesses and resistances per what they are. Which is interesting in and of itself, as I had never thought about if or what they had as weaknesses and resistances. I am not much of a numbers person.

 

That bug is interested. I've been avoiding putting bugs in my guide as it gets difficult to remember what I put where and track it down if it changes, assuming they even announce the fix. I'd be keen to see a video clip I could use of it tho.

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I know it's a band-aid but for those who like playing Wisp, her health onions now affect companions increasing their health and regening it. Such a nice QoL for Wisp.

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Most of the problem come from the dumb AI and they are easy to be staggered or stunlocked. At the very least, we should be able to force our pet to come to us if they on low health so we can revive or heal them. 
 

Here is hoping pets 2.0 will bring such feature.

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Pets can be made quite resilient when modded right. Of course, it's a great time/forma investment - they need a forma on most, if not all mod slots. Plus, because of the link mods, their stats vary depending on which warframe are they equipped with. If the circumstances are right, they can stay alive for quite a long time without needing a revive. 

Sentinels are a whole different story, they're much more squishy. With the necessary precautions they can be kept alive for a longer time though: don't run into aoe, take care not to get downed (your sentinel becomes a priority target if you're in bleedout). 

Needless to say, it's ideal if you have any passive or (even better) active strategies to heal your companion.

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You need to get your kitty on a high forma diet. Makes them grow big and strong

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5 hours ago, Enjin3 said:

Said another way, the game play design around pets/companions/sentinels seems extremely under-developed and poorly considered.

It's also old. Seven years old. A LOT of power creep happens in seven years

Such as Link Health and Pack Leader. Those mods are pretty good at keeping pets alive

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2 hours ago, Berzerkules said:

You need to get your kitty on a high forma diet. Makes them grow big and strong

My cat has 9 Forma and even with the heavy-sustainability build (with Tek, health/armor, Primed Pack Leader and the evade-thing), he still dies. Sometimes really early. Which sometimes sucks like in Arbi where one death = the end. Of course, on several missions, Kavats will die even with Pack Leader because you made a 2-second pause of Spam-E and that's the exact moment the Tek mod decided not to proc.

The problem is, Pets are now linked to so many QoL features (Vacuum, Damage, Control, Extra Loots, Damage Buffs, Gameplay buffs, Radar, Healing, Scan, ...) that losing them is an hindrance big enough for you to abort the mission entirely. Add to that, it's not even a challenge to keep your pets alive. They'll die because they're stupid (except sentinels which follow you) and there is nothing you can do against that.

As a consequence, as long as the AI suck, Pet death should be removed entirely. Replace it with Djinn's Reawakened-like functionality, where your Sentinel/Moa will be de-activated (Pets will be exhausted, I guess) for some time (30-45sec ?), during which you will just lose ACTIVE stuff (active buffs such as Charm, damage) while keeping PASSIVE (vacuum, radar), and after this period it comes back into fighting.

latest?cb=20180519050717

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I play with a Kavat in kinda lengthy solo Arbitration runs (hour plus). U need to be constantly pulling ur kavat in and out of danger by running around a lot in loops. This stops enemies from ganging up on the cat. Keep a close eye on its health and drop a health pizza if needed. Wukong seems to keep Kavats alive for long periods with his armor boost. My only real complaint is the grenades now. U can do everything right and a random grenade will take out the kavat. Wish the AI would handle that better.  But with focus and positioning u can keep a kavat alive for a long time.  Take Khora find a long hallway. Put out cages on either end then move back and forth taking the kavat in and out of danger. It will survive a long time or just be ready to leg it if u takes serious damage. The kavat will fly a hundred yards in the air to follow u 🙂

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7 hours ago, DrivaMain said:

Most of the problem come from the dumb AI and they are easy to be staggered or stunlocked. At the very least, we should be able to force our pet to come to us if they on low health so we can revive or heal them. 
 

Here is hoping pets 2.0 will bring such feature.

Can't wait for pets 2.0 with the command feature they have been talking about on streams (in the past). Would love to have my sahasa to dig up some energy orbs mid fight on command.

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I am okay with the pets having death mechanics because it gives me a partner I can worry about that isn't another player that'd moan about my weapon choices, or frame choice, or build being wrong. Plus, seeing as I play Oberon a lot, I have no worries because my pet is pretty tanky, and has a free revive. I'm quite okay with pets dying in mission. I build mine for utility and survival, allowing myself to build to dish out some hurt without needing utility to get in the way of that. Granted, losing loot and enemy radar is a sad thing when my pet dies, but I do very much pay attention to my cat. And in the case that I go public, if my cat and the three other players go down, the cat comes back first. I'll get you guys up later. I got time as Oberon. 50 seconds is plenty of time for me to revive you. And if you revive yourself, wasting that revive, well, you do you. But if you burn all your revives when I could've come and got you, and when you are on your last down and are begging for a revive, well, long live the king, I say.

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I got no problem with pets dying but what is frustrating is that you need to use sentinals versus corpus because pets are to stupid to move out of the blue ring of death / mines.  

Better AI is drastically needed so they have some brains in regards to thier own survivability.  Yes I use survivability mods but if I have to revive my pet more than once, I'm letting it bleed out and die because some missions have more pet killing abilities than others.  

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