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Warframe Mobility Critique.


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Tl;Dr: Warframe's mobility is good, great even, but there's several problems ranging from the major to the minor holding it back.

 

 

One of the thing's Warframe is most famous for is its mobility, and certainly not without reason. Make no mistake, Warframe is fast and fluid. But I'm not sure parkour in it's current iteration is truly living up to the standards set by other games that advertise 'high mobility', although that's not entirely its own fault. I'm not saying that Parkour 1.0 was any better (quite the opposite) but 2.0 is starting to show its seams for me after playing other games with emphasis placed on mobility mechanics.

For illustration purposes:

Spoiler

https://old.reddit.com/r/MonsterHunter/comments/j60ios/new_video_shows_how_you_can_fast_travel_with_the/

(Granted this one hasn't come out yet, but it's a good indicator high mobility in third person also works well.)

I've distilled my arguments down to three categories for ease of reading.

 

Environment: I don't believe Warframe's tilesets are well-designed for Parkour-based movement. Most are quite large (which is good) but also quite open, lacking in obstacles and terrain variation. For every Gas City open-floor tile or Corpus Cruiser hanger, there's a dozen corridors or halls with basically flat ground. I recently tested as such (three playthroughs of Gas City exterminate) and I found that over half of the rooms (18/32) I came across were almost entirely devoid of any benefit from 'Enhanced Mobility' gameplay, which is to say they had minimal if any obstacles in the environment or advanced mobility shortcuts. This is a major contributing factor to the 'bullet jump spam' complaint. Advanced jumping mechanics are toothless without something to jump onto, over or to. Wall-running (or, hopping as the case may be) lacks purpose when travelling over the floor or a straight jump can cross the space in the same amount of time, or only slightly more. And if primarily horizontal areas are the main combat space, would it not be better to take a more 'classic' approach to mobility, and just speed up grounded movement like the Boomer Shooter glory days, letting players have full combat control rather than putting weapons down whilst moving at top speed?

I'm aware this issue is very hard and time-consuming to fix retroactively, so I'm not really asking for such fixes. This is more something I'd like to see improved going forward. More rooms that where using Warframe's mobility mechanics to the fullest is useful, if not outright necessary.

 

Enemy design: Before reading this, I'd like to recommend that if you haven't already, watch the DOOM Eternal video in the spoiler section above, because it illustrates my point fantastically. Warframe's enemy design does not suit high-mobility Gameplay, in particular the Grineer. Grineer primarily make use of hitscan weapons over projectiles, and the most notable exception to this, Bombards utilise homing projectiles. One of the main appeals of high-mobility gameplay is the potential to dodge and to overcome impossible odds through sheer skill alone, and being able to reliably evade enemy attacks contributes hugely. Hitscan, however, is antithetical to this for two reasons. For one, it's invisible. Aside from the fact that you can't see the attack to dodge it in the first place, it robs the player of the satisfaction of scraping past by the skin of their teeth. The other reason is that, because hitscan travels instantly (or rather, doesn't travel at all), it cannot be 'dodged' in the conventional sense. As I understand it, evading hitscan attacks is a case of the game checking if the attack hit, rather than the enemy firing and you moving out of the way. My main evidence for this belief is this video:

Spoiler

 

Another way to put it is like this - at launch, Xaku's 'evasion' was heavily criticised because it was inconsistent against enemies - even if 75% of the time you took no damage at all, it doesn't matter if 25% of the time you take full damage and die. Mobility-based evasion is like this when against hitscan - it's not truly dodging, and so it's unsatisfying to do, as well as being inconsistent and lacking the ability to scale meaningfully, which makes it a poor choice in comparison to less-engaging playstyles such as taking hits through a high-durability Warframe. It's an example of low-effort playstyles in Warframe outperforming more engaging ones, which is a topic for another day. Homing projectiles have a similar problem, at least with how Warframe handles them. The projectiles can be difficult to see, and are usually a little opaque as to whether or not they are currently tracking you. Sometimes, you can soar right past a Bombard's rocket and it'll circle back around and hit you from behind.

Corpus are much better about this, fortunately, although especially recently they've gained weapons that can fire full-auto for several consecutive seconds and have a blast radius, which means that even if you dodge a Juno Crewman's shot, if you're near a wall or if the crewman has the high ground you can take damage anyway. This matters a great deal more when multiple Crewmen are firing at once in full auto, meaning this can potentially occur several dozen times a second.

My suggestions for this seem fairly self-explanatory. Moving away from hitscan and replacing it with projectiles would be ideal to help foster an experience more focused on mobility by rewarding said mobility in a more tangible way in combat.

 

Momentum and Tools: This is the only section I have about the actual mobility system itself, since honestly, it's still  great at the end of the day. My main gripe with it is the lack of momentum. Wall-hopping, and especially Bullet Jumping seem to reset the momentum of a player if performed over their set speed, which in my opinion reduces the skill ceiling. Could this possibly be changed in future? I understand why they shouldn't increase momentum ad infinitum, but could they perhaps be coded in a way that maintains player momentum if they're used in the same direction as said momentum? Momentum manipulation is a classic of high-mobility games, and it's a little disappointing that it can be so difficult to maintain speed in Warframe. Lastly, and I'll admit this part is mostly a selfish request, but I was quite disappointed at the selection of Mobility powers in the Helminth System - or rather, the lack thereof. Flame Walker and Infested Mobility are fun, but they aren't adding to the toolkit as much as they are simply buffing it. In my opinion, mobility powers are a perfect fit for the system - powers such as Ripline or even the much memed Super Jump would be fun additions that broaden the potential mobility skill curve for frames which have solid kits already. Even if we assume that Ripline is off the table as Valkyr has a power, a Helminth's own version (similar to how Infested Mobility is very similar mechanically to Volt's speed) would go a long way.

 

 

Update: I've written a new thread over in fan concepts detailing some more thorough suggestions I've had to resolve some of these issues. 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by Loza03
Concept thread link.
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13 minutes ago, Loza03 said:

Enemy design: Before reading this, I'd like to recommend that if you haven't already, watch the DOOM Eternal video in the spoiler section above, because it illustrates my point fantastically. Warframe's enemy design does not suit high-mobility Gameplay, in particular the Grineer. Grineer primarily make use of hitscan weapons over projectiles, and the most notable exception to this, Bombards utilise homing projectiles. One of the main appeals of high-mobility gameplay is the potential to dodge and to overcome impossible odds through sheer skill alone, and being able to reliably evade enemy attacks contributes hugely. Hitscan, however, is antithetical to this for two reasons. For one, it's invisible. Aside from the fact that you can't see the attack to dodge it in the first place, it robs the player of the satisfaction of scraping past by the skin of their teeth. The other reason is that, because hitscan travels instantly (or rather, doesn't travel at all), it cannot be 'dodged' in the conventional sense. As I understand it, evading hitscan attacks is a case of the game checking if the attack hit, rather than the enemy firing and you moving out of the way.

Keep in mind that mobiliy actions such as bullet jumping or rolling grant DR which means that while you may not "dodge" the hitscan attack, you would take reduced damage which could be enough to save your life

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the Terrain is years and years behind the Gameplay Mechanics, mmm....
Landscapes being the biggest offenders there, since they're open flat boxes for the most part, but plenty of Tiles in each Tileset are 'eh' in that regard.

that being said, the flexibility of Parkour can let you function to some degree in almost any scenario, except for Landscapes since you're generally just devoid of anything to Parkour off of.
but even in the totally barren Landscapes, you can still do stuff via our flexibility of movement in the air, so we do still have something, even there.

 

certain Enemies like Bombards, i argue are almost perfect for Parkour in a way, because our flexible tools let us dodge the Homing Missiles. the only problem is that the Missiles effectively never run out of Fuel, other than that they're a great addition in variety.

Ray Trace Weapons isn't my most favorite thing, but Parkour reducing Accuracy the more you're stringing Parkour together, does still work, mostly. it's just not very visually exciting to do versus other types of Ranged attacks.

 

Wall Jumps and Bullet Jumps are a little bit of a letdown with overriding Velocity, certainly. the Wall Jumps from the early years were really a sight to see, and it would be nice if Parkour tools Multiplied your Velocity exclusively, possibly adding a flat value and Multiplying, so that it always goes a minimum speed but reaches that advertised goal of stringing Parkour to be of great benefit and excitement. which it still is for the most part, just not as much as it could otherwise be. :)

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2 minutes ago, Miser_able said:

Keep in mind that mobiliy actions such as bullet jumping or rolling grant DR which means that while you may not "dodge" the hitscan attack, you would take reduced damage which could be enough to save your life

This is true for dodge rolling (75% reduction), but not for bullet jump according to the Wiki. Additionally, evasion through movement accounts for far more than simply one maneuver. It encompasses everything from the dedicated dodge to strafing or (by a broad definition) tactical positioning.

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Yeah about the terrain topic I wholeheartedly agree, especially things like CORPUS ICE PLANET with its needlessly clunky geometry and overly tight corridors.

As for the enemy design I think we're at this awkward point where nothing short of Hyper-homing missiles, massive AoE blasts or auto-lock hitscan can hit us half the time.

On an unrelated note however I'd like to state my undying hatred of wall-hops and my desperate desire for actual running instead, I can't count the number of times I've been trying to wall-hop one way only for the game to shoot me off the wall entirely.

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12 minutes ago, Loza03 said:

This is true for dodge rolling (75% reduction), but not for bullet jump according to the Wiki. Additionally, evasion through movement accounts for far more than simply one maneuver. It encompasses everything from the dedicated dodge to strafing or (by a broad definition) tactical positioning.

side spring and backflip also because they count as rolling.

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1 minute ago, taiiat said:

the Terrain is years and years behind the Gameplay Mechanics, mmm....
Landscapes being the biggest offenders there, since they're open flat boxes for the most part, but plenty of Tiles in each Tileset are 'eh' in that regard.

that being said, the flexibility of Parkour can let you function to some degree in almost any scenario, except for Landscapes since you're generally just devoid of anything to Parkour off of.
but even in the totally barren Landscapes, you can still do stuff via our flexibility of movement in the air, so we do still have something, even there.

The flexibility of Warframe parkour is definitely commendable. I learned that the hard way in the Conclave. There's definitely depth in there waiting to be plumbed, but it's unrealised or even discouraged in certain areas.

I can certainly forgive older tilesets, but the newer ones are a big disappointment. What baffles me most is the Open worlds - they often do have areas where Parkour would seem invaluable, but the mission design and location never capitalises on it. Orb Vallis is probably the biggest offender, as PoE has several large valleys and buildings, and the Cambion Drift does have plenty of obstacles and layers, although none are that great. I would kill for a city skyline Open World, with objectives plastered around the sides of buildings and on opposite sides of vast metropolitan streets.

6 minutes ago, taiiat said:

certain Enemies like Bombards, i argue are almost perfect for Parkour in a way, because our flexible tools let us dodge the Homing Missiles. the only problem is that the Missiles effectively never run out of Fuel, other than that they're a great addition in variety.

Homing attacks do have a place, but better conveyance would go a long way. I used to stress-test weapons against groups of bombards and the number of times I've been blindsided by rockets that I swear did a full 180 after passing me...

7 minutes ago, taiiat said:

Ray Trace Weapons isn't my most favorite thing, but Parkour reducing Accuracy the more you're stringing Parkour together, does still work, mostly. it's just not very visually exciting to do versus other types of Ranged attacks.

I suppose it does work, but as well as being less visually exciting it's also a lot less deliberate in many cases.

8 minutes ago, taiiat said:

Wall Jumps and Bullet Jumps are a little bit of a letdown with overriding Velocity, certainly. the Wall Jumps from the early years were really a sight to see, and it would be nice if Parkour tools Multiplied your Velocity exclusively, possibly adding a flat value and Multiplying, so that it always goes a minimum speed but reaches that advertised goal of stringing Parkour to be of great benefit and excitement. which it still is for the most part, just not as much as it could otherwise be. :)

I'd not be opposed to this. There'd probably have to be a cap as well due to the limits of technology (and sanity), but I would not complain about a momentum-based parkour system.

6 minutes ago, Aldain said:

As for the enemy design I think we're at this awkward point where nothing short of Hyper-homing missiles, massive AoE blasts or auto-lock hitscan can hit us half the time.

I mean, that is kind of the point.

A lot of games with high mobility really lean into this. Ghostrunner being a recent (future?) example. The idea being that it being so hard to hit the player is counterbalanced by one-shots and vice versa. Granted, Warframe can't really get away with this due to the being an action RPG rather than a pure action game, but a lot of the joy of high-mobility games comes from them being 3D bullet hells.

3 minutes ago, Miser_able said:

side spring and backflip also because they count as rolling.

I'm counting them as 'dodge rolls' since they're the same input, just a different animation.

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53 minutes ago, Loza03 said:

I'd not be opposed to this.

i wouldn't either, especially since that's what Parkour is already supposed to do - and it does, sorta.
but not quite to the level that it was marketed to us originally. but i guess that's a common status quo for the game.

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2 hours ago, Loza03 said:

would kill for a city skyline Open World, with objectives plastered around the sides of buildings and on opposite sides of vast metropolitan streets.

This!

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I'd just like to suggest one mod that could be tried out, it obviously does not fix all the issues if any that you brought up, but it can bring parkour to many more dull tiles. 

Proton pulse.

If I understood correctly you are somewhat disappointed in the amount of tiles that have interesting parkour areas. Proton pulse can help with that specific issue, but only if you are willing to put in a bit more effort than usual. This sadly can't help on areas barren of any walls or objects that you can wall run on. 

So if you are not familiar with Proton pulse, it is a warframe mod that gives +100% bulletjump speed after a wall run until you touch the floor.

Now that you know what the mod is, you still need a reason to use it. I'm assuming you would like to go fast and reach objectives quicker.  This mod gives a massive boost to that with the added twist that you have to find a suitable wall to bounce off of that will give you a good line toward your objective. It's a good risk-reward type of mod that spices up many tile sets that might not be as parkour intensive. 

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47 minutes ago, PhiThagRaid said:

I'd just like to suggest one mod that could be tried out, it obviously does not fix all the issues if any that you brought up, but it can bring parkour to many more dull tiles. 

Proton pulse.

If I understood correctly you are somewhat disappointed in the amount of tiles that have interesting parkour areas. Proton pulse can help with that specific issue, but only if you are willing to put in a bit more effort than usual. This sadly can't help on areas barren of any walls or objects that you can wall run on. 

So if you are not familiar with Proton pulse, it is a warframe mod that gives +100% bulletjump speed after a wall run until you touch the floor.

Now that you know what the mod is, you still need a reason to use it. I'm assuming you would like to go fast and reach objectives quicker.  This mod gives a massive boost to that with the added twist that you have to find a suitable wall to bounce off of that will give you a good line toward your objective. It's a good risk-reward type of mod that spices up many tile sets that might not be as parkour intensive. 

I'm afraid that's an incomplete assessment.

I'm not merely interested in reaching objectives quicker (if I was, I would be much harsher since movement needs to be dead on for platforming), but it's also largely how parkour ties into completing that objective and killing the enemies in between. In a mobility-focused game, it should be found everywhere.

Proton Pulse might be interesting (although I already use Arcane Consequence and Reave on my low-duration Limbo, since the latter gives a big speed boost in very large areas) but as you say it's not going to change that enemies have hitscan, that bullet jumps lock me to a specific speed, and it's only going to change high speed travel from bullet jump-roll-bullet jump to wall hop - bullet jump - roll - wall hop. It is, as people say, a 'band-aid solution.

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Now that I watched the linked video of parkour 1.0, I want the old wall running animation. The running part looks so much better than the wall hopping. Interesting enough the video seems to show a sort of precursor to Proton Pulse, given that in the video it seems the only way a "bullet jump"(without the spinning) occurs was after a wall run. Thus Parkour 2.0 has sort of become Parkour 1.0, but everything just at a larger scale. Bullet jumps became a replacement for normal jumps (even though both obviously still exist).

Relating to the titanfall video, there are 3 major things that I can see you pointing toward: Terrain, Grappling hook and the one explosive section. The terrain will definitely be the most difficult to implement, since that would be designing/redesigning a lot of tilesets. That does sound nice, since I liked the addition of parkour tiles to the new Gas City rework, but I believe it will quite a lot of work to do this. On the grappling hook, a suggestion could be made to add such a feature to the parazon, but I think it would make the most sense as a QoL update to Valkyr. This could give her ripline a lot more dynamic interaction with the environment as currently it forces you to go in a straight line toward where you aimed. Lastly explosive stunts, this could be an interesting addition. Currently explosive weapons have a self stagger effect, perhaps this could be updated to be directionally sensitive. So, when taking the blast from the front it would impede movement, as it would be counter to where you are moving. Whereas when you take the blast from behind it can serve as a propellant. This would be a way to improve self-stagger such that it can be a positive and a negative depending on how effective you use it. The wallrunning in the video is also a lot more like the Parkour 1.0 video you showed, not sure if it should be implemented exactly like that, though.

Now the Doom video seems to have some similarities that you might be drawn to. Again a grappling hook exists, but I think it is more what the grappling hook represents in this situation: Momentum. In both the videos the players were bunny hopping to keep momentum which is great when you have that grappling hook to get you the speed you need for it to be effective. Warframe sort of has the bunny hop to keep momentum, but sadly it only kicks in when you are going insane speeds, such as a max speed Gauss on Mach Rush.

So the MHW video seems to be a bug, but lets roll with it. Again grappling hooks make an appearance, interesting. This time however it seems very similar to Ripline, so I do not really see how this can be an improvement to what we already have. The only thing I would possibly see would be the ability to perform more in air maneuvers, which could be done with the Aerial Ace mod.(but I guess that's just another band aid)

I think the environment issue is already somewhat underway, as the most recent tileset changes have increased the amount of parkour you use, such as in some Gas City tiles. One issue I see with increasing the amount of tiles that are this way is that enemies do not have our abilities. So they will either be lacking in those tiles, they will have to do those weird 15m high jumps that make no sense or there will have to be a lot more flying enemies. The last option could be the best in terms of gameplay and "lore".

In regards to enemy design, I do not think as much emphasis should be put on hitscan vs projectile, but obviously if it is not already in the game hitscan hitchance should decrease as the players speed increases, just logical. The issue I can see with this is that if everything is just converted to projectiles it might encourage more parkour, but I think it will just turn into more of a bullet jump fest. Just like in conclave, if you are just bullet jumping around, you wont get much damage, but you will also be doing only that. It's definitely challenging to make a good enemy for a player that is able to move at insane speeds. I'd rather say that other enemy design choices can help make mobility useful. Any enemy that does a knockdown stomp or slam encourages you to be in the air. There are enemies like the Juggernaut that allow you to dodge a charging attack.  Never used this tactic, but Ambulus might be encouraging you to duck to avoid his lazer spin. So I think making the player's positioning matter could add to the mobility-combat integration. Have some enemies penalize you for being far away from them, have others penalize you for being close, have some penalize you for being on the ground standing, have some penalize you for crouching, have some penalize you for being in the air. We do have some of these I listed, such as: Frost eximi, Energy leeches, enemies that stomp/slam. But those are about it, and frost eximi and energy leeches are eximus units and are thus supposed to be rare. I know I'm talking about penalizing certain positions, the opposite can also be done, but is indirectly done already through penalization. 

I was thinking more air based units could add a reason to get to a higher point in a level, but then the user would just shoot them down as that would be the easiest, adding some gun immunity could encourage bulletjumping up to melee them.

I see you did touch on momentum in your last point, if Ripline were a helminth ability instead and it was improved to be more swingy that would've meant they didn't need to nerf subsumed warcry and it would make that mobility option available to all frames if people wanted it.

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7 hours ago, PhiThagRaid said:

Now that I watched the linked video of parkour 1.0, I want the old wall running animation. The running part looks so much better than the wall hopping. Interesting enough the video seems to show a sort of precursor to Proton Pulse, given that in the video it seems the only way a "bullet jump"(without the spinning) occurs was after a wall run. Thus Parkour 2.0 has sort of become Parkour 1.0, but everything just at a larger scale. Bullet jumps became a replacement for normal jumps (even though both obviously still exist).

Relating to the titanfall video, there are 3 major things that I can see you pointing toward: Terrain, Grappling hook and the one explosive section. The terrain will definitely be the most difficult to implement, since that would be designing/redesigning a lot of tilesets. That does sound nice, since I liked the addition of parkour tiles to the new Gas City rework, but I believe it will quite a lot of work to do this. On the grappling hook, a suggestion could be made to add such a feature to the parazon, but I think it would make the most sense as a QoL update to Valkyr. This could give her ripline a lot more dynamic interaction with the environment as currently it forces you to go in a straight line toward where you aimed. Lastly explosive stunts, this could be an interesting addition. Currently explosive weapons have a self stagger effect, perhaps this could be updated to be directionally sensitive. So, when taking the blast from the front it would impede movement, as it would be counter to where you are moving. Whereas when you take the blast from behind it can serve as a propellant. This would be a way to improve self-stagger such that it can be a positive and a negative depending on how effective you use it. The wallrunning in the video is also a lot more like the Parkour 1.0 video you showed, not sure if it should be implemented exactly like that, though.

Now the Doom video seems to have some similarities that you might be drawn to. Again a grappling hook exists, but I think it is more what the grappling hook represents in this situation: Momentum. In both the videos the players were bunny hopping to keep momentum which is great when you have that grappling hook to get you the speed you need for it to be effective. Warframe sort of has the bunny hop to keep momentum, but sadly it only kicks in when you are going insane speeds, such as a max speed Gauss on Mach Rush.

So the MHW video seems to be a bug, but lets roll with it. Again grappling hooks make an appearance, interesting. This time however it seems very similar to Ripline, so I do not really see how this can be an improvement to what we already have. The only thing I would possibly see would be the ability to perform more in air maneuvers, which could be done with the Aerial Ace mod.(but I guess that's just another band aid)

Indeed. If I had to boil my issues with the actual movement system itself down into one word, it would be 'momentum'. If the joy of Parkour is getting from point A to point B, then Bullet Jump simply setting momentum to a specific amount robs a lot of the joy out of that. There's no run up, no way to get extra 'oomph' out of your moves - as soon as you make that input, you're set to the pre-existing 'this is your parkour speed'.

(also, it's not a bug - it's a new game in development called 'Monster Hunter Rise')

7 hours ago, PhiThagRaid said:

I think the environment issue is already somewhat underway, as the most recent tileset changes have increased the amount of parkour you use, such as in some Gas City tiles.

My biggest concern is that it's not. DE are making new tilesets bigger, which necessitates higher speed, but it's not more interesting. Most areas are large, but devoid of obstacles. It reminds me of Homestead from Titanfall 2. If you're unfamilar, Homestead is distinct from a lot of Titanfall maps by virtue of primarily being an open area field, with minimal cover. This makes the map slow and unbalanced - with nothing to use the parkour system on, the pilots go from hyper-mobile death machines on-par with the Titans themselves through mobility and areas they can access to sitting ducks. It's very campy towards the two base areas and the tower. Warframe doesn't have the problem with being slow (since Bullet Jump lets you progress as fast regardless) but is still dull. You're not parkouring on anything.

Being large is not the same thing as being good for parkour. As I say in the OP:

21 hours ago, Loza03 said:

For every Gas City open-floor tile or Corpus Cruiser hanger, there's a dozen corridors or halls with basically flat ground.

The open worlds, with somewhat of an exception in Deimos, are the worst offenders. Large areas with few, if any obstacles, and with objectives usually placed in the most flat area possible.

7 hours ago, PhiThagRaid said:

One issue I see with increasing the amount of tiles that are this way is that enemies do not have our abilities. So they will either be lacking in those tiles, they will have to do those weird 15m high jumps that make no sense or there will have to be a lot more flying enemies. The last option could be the best in terms of gameplay and "lore

The areas don't necessarily have to require advanced movement to reach. It being a shortcut can be enough. On a recent tour throughout, I was surprised at how well the Grineer Asteroid does this, of all tilesets - catwalks and alternate levels are all over the place, usually accessed primarily through stairways, which gives a mobile player a natural advantage over Grineer. Besides, there's other options - more infested could get the ability to wall-crawl like the Carnis (somewhat) can in order to swarm up ledges to face you, or improved spawning behaviour could place snipers in ideal nests right out the gate.

7 hours ago, PhiThagRaid said:

In regards to enemy design, I do not think as much emphasis should be put on hitscan vs projectile, but obviously if it is not already in the game hitscan hitchance should decrease as the players speed increases, just logical. The issue I can see with this is that if everything is just converted to projectiles it might encourage more parkour, but I think it will just turn into more of a bullet jump fest. Just like in conclave, if you are just bullet jumping around, you wont get much damage, but you will also be doing only that. It's definitely challenging to make a good enemy for a player that is able to move at insane speeds

As I've said earlier, that's kind of the idea.

Being able to juggle fast movement and combat is the whole point of a movement shooter. You should be able to dodge basically everything if you're skilled enough, but doing so and being able to fight back is where true mastery lies. A high skill ceiling is a very effective way to keep players coming back long term without needing to keep up content. I've personally managed to get two and a half hours out of the Ghostrunner Demo for this reason, despite the fact that I exclusively play only half of it (a half that takes me about two minutes to play through now). Even counting that I used to suck at it (i.e. about 5-ish minutes)... that's still a lot of playtime for basically no content. I enjoy playing that content and feel that I can still improve at that content, and that keeps me playing and is what is most likely going to get me to buy the full game. Also consider how many people still play Halo, Titanfall 2 or Team Fortress 2 - they're PvP games to be sure, but it's the same motivator, just with a challenge that increases in difficulty with you.

8 hours ago, PhiThagRaid said:

. I'd rather say that other enemy design choices can help make mobility useful. Any enemy that does a knockdown stomp or slam encourages you to be in the air. There are enemies like the Juggernaut that allow you to dodge a charging attack.  Never used this tactic, but Ambulus might be encouraging you to duck to avoid his lazer spin. So I think making the player's positioning matter could add to the mobility-combat integration. Have some enemies penalize you for being far away from them, have others penalize you for being close, have some penalize you for being on the ground standing, have some penalize you for crouching, have some penalize you for being in the air. We do have some of these I listed, such as: Frost eximi, Energy leeches, enemies that stomp/slam. But those are about it, and frost eximi and energy leeches are eximus units and are thus supposed to be rare. I know I'm talking about penalizing certain positions, the opposite can also be done, but is indirectly done already through penalization. 

There's some enemies that do encourage movement sure (although Energy Leeches are definitely not amongst them), but there's also ways to encourage the player to get close. Shield Lancers, for example, would be a great deal more interesting if they didn't turn around so fast. That'd make the process of getting behind them more rewarding, since you get free damage on them.

At the end of the day though, that's what the Projectiles are for - punishing you for staying still. Warframe's enemy damage output doesn't really do this, and that's not entirely because it's hitscan (extreme variation in player EHP is a factor as well) but it's the core of why a lot of excellent gameplay loops are referred to as a 'Dance'. You must move in step with the enemy, lest you be punished. Halo has it's 'Covenant Dance', DOOM has been referred to with a 'DOOM Dance', Hollow Knight's Grimm is famously (within the community) compared to one, and I've personally referred to Monster Hunter as such. With or without advanced movement mechanics, these games use proper conveyance, telegraphing and a reasonable ability to dodge to lull the player into a rhythmic series of motions, dodge and riposte. Be that a methodical, deliberate Waltz, a kinetic Ballet or a breakdance-off filled with murder.

Hitscan fails at this - if it's down to RNG whether the player's actions are rewarded, then this entire delicate balance is thrown out, because the player can do things, perform at the level expected, and fail nonetheless. Picard might point out that is merely life, but in games it is unacceptable.

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Without trying to sound like a white-knight here, I do want to point out that DE are actually experimenting with this to see what their engine can do.

The newest enemies in the game so far are infested units that can crawl up walls and hang on ceilings, for example, and those enemies are projectile based when they do so, but melee based when engaged closer. There are also units that are stationary, but telegraph projectile attacks, melee attacks, and even have full animation with telegraphed responses for 'underground' spike attacks to promote movement to evade.

(I definitely agree that the Elite Crewmen's weapons with the explosive auto-fire need to be shifted to the Techs or similar less-common units, because I (shocking to look at my name) play a lot of Zephyr and so have a very hate-hate relationship with those crewmen thanks to the fact that Turbulence will deflect the shots.... And due to the way the high rate of fire spreads the shots, always some of them will deflect to the floor or nearby walls, meaning that you die to the AoE anyway.)

New environments in the game have been given more and more vertical movement or, in the case of the Corpus Ship rework, multi-level tiles with more intricate access to the areas and more geometry-based line-of-sight blockers, possible chokes, crowd dispersion points and so on.

And through multiple DevStreams the subject of the actual parkour movement has come up with them wanting to remove the wall hopping style of movement, since it's animation-based (which is what resets your momentum and slows you down most times) and they want to use the same wall-tracking system to give us more fluid wall running and jumping speeds.

While I agree that this all does need to be worked on, I do think they actually are working on it. So... yeah, question has been asked, question is in the process of being answered? I guess?

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I've long wanted the game to have 2 things related to this:  More parkour required areas like the gas city tileset, and more optional paths/bypasses that require parkour to get past.  The perfect example of the latter is in the game already and I've never seen anyone use it, and normally get questions in chat when I use it.  In the invasion tileset where you're moving from grineer to corpus and there's a large room with a shield wall that you have to deactivate via hack panel, there's a cliff off to the side with a large chasm you can cross via a bullet jump/air roll/aim glide combo.  It straight skips the shield wall.  I've been asked many times how I got to the other side without deactivating the shield first (many times they're salty I was ahead of the group and didn't deactivate the wall for the squad.  Not my fault you haven't explored the map.) and have had to stop to explain where the bypass is.

Parkour required areas, whether optional or not would be good for the game, imo.  Easing players into the concept by having the areas get harder to get through progressively would help new players get faster, as well as being more fun and engaging for your average mission.  Embracing how we already play the game (skipping most of the enemies we don't have to kill.) is actually on theme with ninjas, so providing alternate routes that require parkour to stealth past an area fits so perfectly it's kind of weird that it's not already in the game.

As far as the mechanics themselves, several things actually bother me: 

A dozen other games I could play right now have collision set so that if you're walking past a corner and you collide with it, you just move past.  Certain places in this game do that as well, but there are still so many things in the terrain where you can seemingly get caught on absolutely nothing and it drives me crazy.

Ledge grabbing is the wrong direction, momentum wise.  The old game Prototype actually got it right, and it came out in 2009.  I feel like no matter what direction you come at a ledge, the animation always makes it look like you're grabbing it from falling, and the momentum carries you downward, slowing you.  Ledge grabbing should increase your forward/upward speed, rather than breaking your momentum. 

Wall running should be actual running, and it should just happen if you head toward a wall while running.  It should just automatically start running up the wall and then go the direction you want it to.  This would actually have made the old wall attacks a viable thing to use in combat.

There is far too much emphasis on animated stops.  Heavy landings, or the exaggerated animation you get when you stop boosting in a mech, where it comes to a full stop and does a hard landing animation even if you're still trying to move forward.  We shouldn't have a heavy landing animation, imo.  It serves no purpose and places a hard break in momentum and again:  we are bio-engineered war platforms for highly mobile combat, and referred to by the devs as "ninjas".  We should not have this many hard breaks in momentum.  If the heavy landing has to stay, you should be able to jump out of it immediately.  I can normally roll to avoid one of these, but you sometimes get them from a relatively short fall and it always feels bad, gameplay-wise.  The fact that there are literally mods to fix some of these issues, like Kavat's Grace, is more annoying to me than helpful.  I don't want bandaids that take up mod slots.  I want more fluid gameplay.

In a game where you're supposed to be a ninja (I'm not going to stop harping on this.) and supposed to be super strong and agile and there's a heavy emphasis on speed throughout the community and general playstyle, we move kind of slow on the ground.  Literally try following a capture target with just running.  Even with sprint speed mods on, we're still kind of slow, unless you're stacking all of them or using mobility powers.  Walking doesn't even feel like a thing that we should be doing.  I don't even know why there's a walk option.  Sprint speed could be default and they could put in a much faster option to replace current sprint and it would feel a lot better.

And on that note:  Where is my "prefer sprint" option, DE?  I am tired of having to toggle it on every single mission and re-toggle it after deactivating certain powers.  It should just be on.  I don't want to walk everywhere.

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Old enemies and tile sets are as outdated as some old Warframes. Warframe used to be slower game with limited stamina, but instead of reworking old enemies, spawn rates were simply increased.

The Grineer are clearly designed for a cover shooter. Butchers rush Tenno out of cover if they try to hang back to recover shields, Lancers take cover and Heavy Units are priority threats with big damage that ignore Tenno cover through AOE.

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Keep in mind that a LOT of these tilesets were designed before the modern parkour systems.

This is why they redesigned the Corpus ships, which was the oldest of all the tilesets. These maps are much more conducive to our mobility mechanics.

And unfortunately, the ice moon tilesets are based on those old Corpus ships.

7 hours ago, (XB1)TehChubbyDugan said:

Wall running should be actual running, and it should just happen if you head toward a wall while running.  It should just automatically start running up the wall and then go the direction you want it to.  This would actually have made the old wall attacks a viable thing to use in combat.

  I really don't know why they changed from the old wall running to the current wall "hopping" design. It makes no sense to me.

 

Edited by DrakeWurrum
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Just now, DrakeWurrum said:

Keep in mind that a LOT of these tilesets were designed before the modern parkour systems.

This is why they redesigned the Corpus ships, which was the oldest of all the tilesets. These maps are much more conducive to our mobility mechanics.

And unfortunately, the ice moon tilesets are based on those old Corpus ships.

I know, but I also don't necessarily agree. As I said in the OP a lot of the new 'good for parkour' tilesets achieve this just by being big and not being cluttered like the Ice Moon. But that's not enough to create a 'parkour' environment. If anything, some of the other oldest tilesets are just as good, if not better for creating an interesting movement experience - Grineer Asteroid has tons of catwalks, crevasses and other obstacles, which you need to jump on, over or to. Most rooms have two levels one way or another, be it high up ledges, catwalks inexplicably over a normal floor or some kind of platform, and that gives you something to jump up onto. The new Corpus ships, though... they're just big. Most of the rooms are just corridors with flat ground (and not even a particularly high ceiling), and whilst there's some fun tiles they're the minority. 

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55 minutes ago, Loza03 said:

I know, but I also don't necessarily agree. As I said in the OP a lot of the new 'good for parkour' tilesets achieve this just by being big and not being cluttered like the Ice Moon. But that's not enough to create a 'parkour' environment. If anything, some of the other oldest tilesets are just as good, if not better for creating an interesting movement experience - Grineer Asteroid has tons of catwalks, crevasses and other obstacles, which you need to jump on, over or to. Most rooms have two levels one way or another, be it high up ledges, catwalks inexplicably over a normal floor or some kind of platform, and that gives you something to jump up onto. The new Corpus ships, though... they're just big. Most of the rooms are just corridors with flat ground (and not even a particularly high ceiling), and whilst there's some fun tiles they're the minority. 

I never suggested they couldn't improve. It's just the older tilesets predate modern parkour, so of course they won't necessarily work.

You're right about the Grineer Asteroid design being almost perfect for it, though. They're definitely the most enjoyable when it comes to parkour and moving around the map.

I still make good use of it on the new Corpus ships, mind you. Some of the rooms are too big, while others force us to really make use of parkour to get through them quickly and efficiently. I don't mind that some rooms are really only good to sprint through. I shouldn't have to ninja-move everywhere - it's nice to know that I can actually still run on the ground somewhere.

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5 minutes ago, (XB1)YoungGunn82 said:

Needs to be outright deleted 

As of a recent playthrough of 'Vanquish' (which unless the time-slow mechanic is very good at lying, appears to have no enemy hitscan whatsoever, despite them primarily firing bullets) I'm entirely convinced of this as far as enemies are concerned. For players, the argument can be made for hitscan, but it's a PvE game - the players and what they're playing against do not need to follow identical rules and already don't (Juno Techs have full-auto Exergis for pete's sake). The enemies should play by the rules that provide the most fun and depth for the player, and hitscan ain't much fun in a mobility shooter.

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On 2020-10-23 at 1:13 AM, Loza03 said:

This is a major contributing factor to the 'bullet jump spam' complaint. Advanced jumping mechanics are toothless without something to jump onto, over or to.

For a while now, I've maintained that we need to improve Sprint. In fact, Necramechs have done so already. My proposal is this: Increase base Walk speed to Sprint speed. Replace Sprint with a stripped-down version of Gauss' Mag Rush - high-speed straight-line movement with a limited turning radius. This gives us a tool with which to cross flat open ground without salmon-flopping the entire way (and getting caught on ceilings and door frames) while Bullet Jumps an Wall Runs remain a good fit for navigating vertical terrain. I personally don't see the point in trying to make all locations vertical, because you end up with the Jump King problem of having nearly no reason to use any horizontal mobility. Warframe isn't Mirror's Edge - there's nothing wrong with having flat ground to traverse. We simply lack decent tools to traverse it beyond trying to adapt our verticality navigation tools.

What's even better here is you can then back-fill this into Gauss and Rhino. If everyone has a Mag Rush style sprint, then Gauss' Sprint could additionally knock people over and produce an explosion on impact with the environment and generate Battery charge for him, similar to how Volt's movement on the ground generates a damage bonus to Volt. Rhino could have a modification to his Sprint where he rams and ragdolls enemies he Sprints past. Both of those characters can then get another ability in their 1 slot, all the while moving their actual movement mechanics into the less clumsy-to-use ability keys. But that's going off-topic now.

 

On 2020-10-23 at 1:13 AM, Loza03 said:

One of the main appeals of high-mobility gameplay is the potential to dodge and to overcome impossible odds through sheer skill alone, and being able to reliably evade enemy attacks contributes hugely.

Strong disagreement there, in that this reads like personal preference. For me, dodging enemy fire holds nearly no value as a gameplay mechanic. One of the main appeals of high-mobility gameplay TO ME is scaling verticality and reaching out-of-the-way places. Certain, mobility in combat is not unwelcome but I strongly dislike video games which out-and-out REQUIRE high mobility in combat as a primary means of survival. You've cited Doom Eternal a few times, but I personally happen to find both of the new Doom games clumsy to play for this precise reason. An overly significant emphasis on mobility in combat de-emphasises stable, sustained fire as the player is constantly forced to break an attack in order to reposition or dodge. This works fine for competitive PvP shooters like the old 90s arena games, but I don't find that it works well in PvE shooters where it gets stale pretty quickly. Obviously, not everyone thinks that else the new Doom games wouldn't have been as popular. However, Doom is not the end-all-be-all of FPS games, nor high-mobility FPS games.

Turning Warframe into Doom is not the answer, as far as I'm concerned. As I've said elsewhere - simply borrowing mechanics from other games just because they seemed cool in those games is a major contributing factor to the poor state that Warframe is in right now. All too often DE will try to replicate mechanics outside of their intended context, produce a clumsy lesser imitation and then not bother to fix that for a few years. This is precisely what happened to Melee 2.0. Look at how good Devil May Cry is! Why can't we have combat like that in here? Well, because this game doesn't really work well with this style of combat, it turns out. It doesn't mesh well with the gunplay focus, it doesn't mesh well with the RPG mechanics and not a lot of people bother to explore its complexity.

I'm not opposed to turning enemy weapons into projectiles, mind you - this isn't a straight-up disagreement. Especially when it comes to tracking projectiles, I definitely feel that this game shouldn't have any. The design of Tusk Bombards is far superior to that of any other Bombard in the game, because they fire a fast-moving dumb-fire rocket as opposed to many slow-moving tracking ones. My point is more one of game design paradigm. If you create a game in which the player is required to constantly be on the move during combat, you're instantly alienating a large portion of what in Warframe is an established player base. You're also failing to account for all the ways in which we can simply trade with the enemy. The likes of Rhino, Inaros, Atlas, Nidus, etc. - they can simply eat damage and trade with even high-level foes. Do you propose to nerf them? What about the likes of Frost, Gara and Limbo? Their playstyle revolves around hiding inside protective structures, blocking enemy fire with barriers. Do you alter them?

Optionally, having some Warframes be able to dodge enemy fire reliably is not a bad thing. Mandatorily, having ALL players need to always be on the move is a major step down from the status quo and one which would severely degrade my personal experience of the game.

 

On 2020-10-23 at 1:13 AM, Loza03 said:

Wall-hopping, and especially Bullet Jumping seem to reset the momentum of a player if performed over their set speed, which in my opinion reduces the skill ceiling.

Again, strong disagreement here - with the premise, not necessarily this exact statement. Yes, resetting momentum on parkour manoeuvres reduces the skill ceiling, and that's a GOOD thing. Warframe doesn't just have one of the better movement systems out there - it also has a very accessible, approachable movement system. You cite Titanfall 2 as an example of good movement, but that game is very difficult to get any real movement out of. I've never even seen anyone pull off anything like what's in your video, and my own gameplay consists of roughly 50% falling off of walls because I botched a wall run. Warframe is not a speedrun game, nor is parkour competitive. I see no reason to HAVE a "high skill ceiling" on it. What would that even accomplish, outside of making it even more difficulty for people to parkour without falling off the map or getting stuck on geometry?

I like the fact that a Bullet Jump will cancel momentum, because it means I can fall any distance and still elevate a bullet jump straight up afterwards, despite falling at terminal velocity. I like being able to bullet jump out of being flung by an explosion or sliding off a ledge and instantly reverse direction. By and large, I despise movement systems with a heavy emphasis on momentum. Yes, it allows a minority of players to do some amazing things, but it makes control a lot more difficulty for a majority of players. I would always rather have more control and more separation between individual moves than a heavy dependence between them. While that might limit my speed, it increases my control and widens my reaction time window.

Warframe barely has any "jumping puzzles." Most of our mobility is used to get from one place to another. Making that more difficult does not seem like a good decision regardless of the trade-off. I've never been a believer in "skill-based movement" in general. Yes, it has its uses in speed runs and highlight reels, but games which rely on it heavily just end up being frustrating in the long run. Right now, Parkour works just fine from a standing start. I absolutely DO NOT WANT to move any closer to Titanfall 2, where my movement is slow as molasses most of the time, unless I'm chaining some high-skill wall run. This goes back to my initial proposal of just giving people a meaningful Mag Rush style sprint ability - that would further simplify movement across flat ground and further de-emphasise the need for momentum. Whenever possible, I'll always prefer "running fast" to jumping if terrain permits it. Far as I'm concerned, parkour should only be used when terrain does NOT permit straight-line movement.

 

To make a long story short: I don't want Warframe to be more like Titanfall or Doom. While those games have their merits, I don't feel they're objectively superior to what we have here. I certainly don't see any need to increase the skill ceiling for Parkour in Warframe, nor do I feel the need to massively increase the NEED for parkour in combat. I want players to still be able to play and enjoy Warframe without HAVING to master Parkour or use it constantly. There's more to Warframe than Bullet Jumps.

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9 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

For a while now, I've maintained that we need to improve Sprint. In fact, Necramechs have done so already. My proposal is this: Increase base Walk speed to Sprint speed. Replace Sprint with a stripped-down version of Gauss' Mag Rush - high-speed straight-line movement with a limited turning radius. This gives us a tool with which to cross flat open ground without salmon-flopping the entire way (and getting caught on ceilings and door frames) while Bullet Jumps an Wall Runs remain a good fit for navigating vertical terrain. I personally don't see the point in trying to make all locations vertical, because you end up with the Jump King problem of having nearly no reason to use any horizontal mobility. Warframe isn't Mirror's Edge - there's nothing wrong with having flat ground to traverse. We simply lack decent tools to traverse it beyond trying to adapt our verticality navigation tools.

What's even better here is you can then back-fill this into Gauss and Rhino. If everyone has a Mag Rush style sprint, then Gauss' Sprint could additionally knock people over and produce an explosion on impact with the environment and generate Battery charge for him, similar to how Volt's movement on the ground generates a damage bonus to Volt. Rhino could have a modification to his Sprint where he rams and ragdolls enemies he Sprints past. Both of those characters can then get another ability in their 1 slot, all the while moving their actual movement mechanics into the less clumsy-to-use ability keys. But that's going off-topic now.

TBH, having played Vanquish, I'm not even that certain that a limited turning radius is that necessary. At the very least, a decently fast sprint or ground speed would be miles better, and it'd certainly be better than the fish flopping. As I've said elsewhere, raw speed isn't the only thing I'm interested in, interesting maneuverability is too.

 

9 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

Optionally, having some Warframes be able to dodge enemy fire reliably is not a bad thing. Mandatorily, having ALL players need to always be on the move is a major step down from the status quo and one which would severely degrade my personal experience of the game.

I want to focus on this because, because I never envisioned this being mandatory. It's pretty much impossible to make it that way without dramatically altering how the game's designed from the ground up - we have abilities, crowd control, tanking powers and so forth. I've not even suggested removing the bullet jump or copy-pasting the movement system from these games, if you've noticed - the actual core movement system is the same, albeit with more momentum if that part is addressed. Consider it this way - I'm suggesting a buff to the 'default' Warframe gameplay that literally everyone has access to no matter what their loadout is, because if that's engaging, then that provides a much stronger baseline after you factor the abilities in. Again, talking about Vanquish, Platinum made sure that the cover shooter part of it was still fun in its own right (for a cover shooter, of course) with interesting cover mechanics and aggressive enemies, so when you do run out of boost gauge, get low on health or just plain caught in crossfire and are stripped back to that gameplay until the danger passes, you're still having a good time, even though it's not really the same good time as the hyper-fast mobility shooter you were playing three seconds ago and will be in a few seconds time.

In other words, my goal with this critique is to foster a game where everyone can dodge enemy fire reliably (with skill) but not everyone has to. This, in theory, opens up more loadout and playstyle options, because you can forgo defensive aspects to your kit if you're confident in your abilities.

This thread might be focusing on the 'Action', but I'm not forgetting the 'RPG'.

9 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

What would that even accomplish, outside of making it even more difficulty for people to parkour without falling off the map or getting stuck on geometry?

In a word, longevity.

A high skill ceiling might not completely fill in for regular content updates, but having something intangible to work towards fills the gap for many players. I would hazard a guess that the long-debated aspects of 'veterans aren't respected' and 'no endgame' ultimately boil down to this. If new 'hard' content is just the exact same gameplay but longer, then there's little to aspire to. It dulls the intrinsic feelings of achievement, of pride, if things are handed to you because you happened to have the right thing rather than actually playing well. If every challenge is not doable in a passive, low-effort manner, but in many cases best done in that way, then where's the drive to be a better player? There's a reason why speedrunning exists, after all. Even if parkour isn't competitive against other players, offering a higher skill ceiling means you can compete against yourself.

A high skill ceiling can therefore foster what's called the 'core' audience of a game. A core playerbase supports the casual playerbase by providing aspirational play - players can look at the core playerbase and think 'wow, I want to be that good', even if it's not in terms of direct competition. Even if they never are, it gives casual players a reason to play and some will inevitably cross the threshold of a 'core' audience, replacing any older players who drift away over time. This can be seen with the Waxing and Waning of Minecraft's popularity. It never truly goes away, because there's a wealth of content both to play and to watch, and even as some parts of the Core audience give way (Mindcrack, the Yogscast), new ones rise to take their place because the core audience helps sustain the casual audience, which will eventually sprout more of a core audience.

Remember - the skill ceiling is just how high you can climb to. The skill foor is what must be done. I feel like you're conflating the two.

9 hours ago, Steel_Rook said:

I like the fact that a Bullet Jump will cancel momentum, because it means I can fall any distance and still elevate a bullet jump straight up afterwards, despite falling at terminal velocity. I like being able to bullet jump out of being flung by an explosion or sliding off a ledge and instantly reverse direction. By and large, I despise movement systems with a heavy emphasis on momentum. Yes, it allows a minority of players to do some amazing things, but it makes control a lot more difficulty for a majority of players. I would always rather have more control and more separation between individual moves than a heavy dependence between them. While that might limit my speed, it increases my control and widens my reaction time window.

I mean, I do mention here:

On 2020-10-22 at 11:13 PM, Loza03 said:

but could they perhaps be coded in a way that maintains player momentum if they're used in the same direction as said momentum?

It's entirely possible to suggest that Bullet Jump works as-is from a standing start or if aimed in a different direction, whilst still suggesting that it works in a way to raise the skill ceiling. I can say this with confidence because something like this exists in the game - the slide gives a burst of a momentum if you're not going very fast when it activates, but only when you're below a certain threshold, or that seems to be the case from all the testing I've done goofing around the Orbiter. Bullet Jump could be programmed work in a similar fashion. It's not like we're leaning into realism in any way shape or form.

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