Jump to content
Temporary sub-forum for Update 30: Call of the Tempestarii ×

What DE doesn't seem to get about the "Guns vs Melee" Balance Issue


Recommended Posts

My 2 credits in all this is that we have collectively gotten lost on a fundamental level in all this. 

People talk like this is a reward issue. That gun-play is not rewarding enough and this is why people go for least-effort melee spam because that somehow creates the game. But that is just one part of the issue. The smallest part, in my opinion. 
At risk of sounding overly naive, I will state that the main goal or drive of playing and making the game should be the gameplay. Meaning the main reward of any given mission is the gameplay, the fighting itself. The interplay between you and your comrades and the shiny pew-stick on screen making other pixels do shinier things. 

The hard "truth" I have ended up with while pondering over this is that the problem is not with the game's reward structure or the mod balance or any of those things in the game, the problem lies between the seat and the screen. The player. 
When the only reason you log into the game is to see a number grow bigger or to get that thingy from a drop table, then you are no longer playing the game but ticking off a checklist as a chore. This is not me talking about Nightwave. This is tied to an inherent desire for people to get something done. To get that fix. For some, it's basically just an excuse to validate some form of sunk-cost fallacy; to justify the time and money spent on the game. Not playing because it's fun, but playing because I spent 4k hours and 300euros over 4 years and by golly I am not stopping or slowing down now!

But you are bored the whole way through and the only thing the reward screen gives is the faintest feeling of accomplishment and to really feel it, you need to rapid-fire them. 

This is not me saying that these people need to quit. Just to maybe get closer to the core with all it's ugly details of how we actually got here. 

Edited by Lakais
  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't so much disagree with your logic, as I think you were looking at the problem from a different direction:

9 hours ago, Roble_Viejo said:

- Enemies killed per Swing/Shot

  This one is pretty simple: Melee will ALWAYS affect more enemies than (non AOE) guns, which means as long you are using a gun
  and actually aiming you are losing time, and there are more enemies spawning than being killed, meaning you are getting closer 
  to be overwhelmed and die. And even if the mission doesn't have quick spawns, you are still playing slower by using a gun, and
  in a looter game, specially with such amount of RNG and mission time adding up to a massive grind, you will ALWAYS want to 
  complete missions as fast as possible. 


- Evolutive Mods: Awful for Build Diversity, Awesome for Gameplay
  Now this what I think DE should address first, because this is the actual reason Melee dominate the meta, not because they
  have INHERETLY better stats, but because they have Evolutive Mods (Blood Rush, Condition Overload) which makes them stronger
  the more you actively use them. And I know what you might be thinking "Just add the corresponding version of each Evolutive mod
  to Guns" and I ask "What will happen? How will builds look like?" the answer is simple, the same copy+paste build on everything.
  So no, Evolutive mods shouldn't be added to Guns, but the Evolutive mechanics should be BASELINE in ALL Weapons. This will require
  some rebalancing across the game, for sure, but making the Weapons get stronger the more you ACTIVELY use them, is fun, rewarding
  and FAIR. Also the removal of Evolutive Mods would make room to actually diverse builds, because currently if you are not using either
  Blood Rush or Condition Overload you are doing it wrong. And this has to do with the Melee Attack Speed which [DE]Geoff listed as 
  a problem, it is not that Melees have too much Attack Speed, is that players build for it so the Evolutive Mods scale faster. 

What you're getting upon is that melee is the Dominant Strategy of Warframe, the tactic that players will move to because it's not only stronger, but easier. A lazy tactic that not only works but works better. Dominant Strategy can be super unhealthy for games and players. Best case scenario you get Half Life where you end the game just puked with ammo you never bothered to use; worst case, the game gets slagged for being boring.

I disagree that Dynasty Warriors is an argument in your favor. In DW, you want to use the right combo for the job. That takes timing and rhythm and tactical awareness. That's active. Warframe melee has none of that, just mash E until everything dies. That's lazy

From the way the devs talked, they don't want to just nerf melee and assume that fixes dominant strategy. They want to tweak melee so that you have less reason to be lazy, which is a combination of attack speed nerf AND adding more reward for the tactics other than mindlessly spamming E. And some of the tactics they mentioned will still involve melee damage

(As one last nitpick, melee actually isn't inherently able to hit more enemies than guns. This only exists because game devs let it exist, in a mechanic DE calls "follow through." Truly realistic melee would almost never let you hit more than one enemy per melee swing)

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not seen anyone mention enemy density yet.  This, imo, is a big factor why melee is dominant. 

Go into a survival mission and try and keep up with enemy spawn rate using a single target primary or secondary.  You can't,  you're just overwhelmed.  All you can do is use aoe attacks, be that wf abilities or weapons.   Melee is the easiest way to aoe and most effective due to scaling mods.

If I'm going to use my guns (which I do, a lot), I have to make sure I'm either using mass cc wf abilities such as chaos or disarm, invisibility, or just tanking.   My ttk is so slow I can't kill an enemy before his 15 buddies kill me.   And as enemies approach from all directions, taking cover is not a reasonable solution as you're always surrounded. 

There are some mission types you can make guns work if you don't mind turning wf into an extreme cover shooter, and of course there are some missions that don't actually require you to kill anything.   But in a hoarde shooter,  you can't really get by with 5+ second ttk per enemy.

To be honest, I don't know how the devs solve this issue.   Players love using guns, but guns can't keep up with enemy spawn rates or enemy scaling.   Players also hate nerfs.   They've painted themselves into a corner its going to be painful to get out of.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
vor 10 Stunden schrieb Roble_Viejo:

In Devstream #152, DE acknowledged the problem of "Guns vs Melee", but they only talked about Damage
(which is just a part of the whole issue), and something that I found personally concerning: They listed Melee
Attack Speed
specifically as a problem, when its not, and in fact is one of the reason some melees are so fun in
the first place. Below I'm gonna list some of the components of Warframe (and any Shooter with Melee for that matter),
how and why they clash in the current state of Warframe's gameplay and how this is an issue which emerged
from the evolution of the game, and not something inherently good/bad about these weapons.
But before I wanna clarify I've been playing for over 6 years, I'm MR 30, +5000hs on Steam, so I've pretty much
experienced every weapon and gamemode in this game.

- Dynasty Warframe: Hordes and Cover
  So in the beginnings, Warframe was a Shooter like any other, couple of shots got you killed, getting in Melee range
  was a risk and using Cover was THE way of killing enemies and staying alive. A slower, more methodical gameplay.
  But because the AI has always been pretty much braindead, DE didn't have a way to scale difficulty but to make MORE
  enemies
, with MORE Stats. Fast forward to today and using Cover is a joke, as enemies spawn constantly and from every
  direction, and for that reason even the act of Aiming puts you in a disadvantage unless you are paying constant attention
  to the minimap so you don't get flanked. This is what is usually known as "Horde Enemies". And of course, the way players
  play the game changed to adapt to this playstyle
: AoE is king, and survivability depends on using abilities non stop, to either nuke, 
  perma cc or tank, because if you don't you will get overwhelmed and killed. As you might have noticed, this lines up 
  with the most used items, which could be considered "meta": Heavy hitting AoE (Bramma, Nukor, Khora), anything 
  that can Tank and/or Buff Itself (Inaros, Nezha, Rhino) and whatever can Perma CC (Vauban, Nova, Khora).
  So naturally the game shifted from a "Slow -Clean rooms shooter" to a "Fast -Stay alive hack and slash", meaning the only 
  missions that can be played purely as a shooter are those that don't spawn enemies constantly (Exterminate) or involve long 
  distances between players-enemies (Open Worlds). Sadly there is probably no way to revert the "Dynasty Warframe" enemy 
  Hordes gamestyle the game has now.

- Enemies killed per Swing/Shot
  This one is pretty simple: Melee will ALWAYS affect more enemies than (non AOE) guns, which means as long you are using a gun
  and actually aiming you are losing time, and there are more enemies spawning than being killed, meaning you are getting closer 
  to be overwhelmed and die. And even if the mission doesn't have quick spawns, you are still playing slower by using a gun, and
  in a looter game, specially with such amount of RNG and mission time adding up to a massive grind, you will ALWAYS want to 
  complete missions as fast as possible. 


- Evolutive Mods: Awful for Build Diversity, Awesome for Gameplay
  Now this what I think DE should address first, because this is the actual reason Melee dominate the meta, not because they
  have INHERETLY better stats, but because they have Evolutive Mods (Blood Rush, Condition Overload) which makes them stronger
  the more you actively use them. And I know what you might be thinking "Just add the corresponding version of each Evolutive mod
  to Guns" and I ask "What will happen? How will builds look like?" the answer is simple, the same copy+paste build on everything.
  So no, Evolutive mods shouldn't be added to Guns, but the Evolutive mechanics should be BASELINE in ALL Weapons. This will require
  some rebalancing across the game, for sure, but making the Weapons get stronger the more you ACTIVELY use them, is fun, rewarding
  and FAIR. Also the removal of Evolutive Mods would make room to actually diverse builds, because currently if you are not using either
  Blood Rush or Condition Overload you are doing it wrong. And this has to do with the Melee Attack Speed which [DE]Geoff listed as 
  a problem, it is not that Melees have too much Attack Speed, is that players build for it so the Evolutive Mods scale faster. 

- Pick Ups and Vacuum, the never ending battle between DE and the Community
  Guns use ammo, some have VERY small ammo pools, to get ammo you need to pick up loot, to pick up loot you need to get in melee range.
  Melees don't use ammo, in melee range you pick up loot instantly, so you get HP/Energy Orbs sooner, which adds to your survivability.
  So: Melees are inherently more convenient to use because of how Pick-Ups work, even if they were equally strong to Guns.

- Difficulty: Mechanical Skill vs Superior Stats
  All of the consecutive changes that led to "Dynasty Warframe", SPECIALLY the lack of ANY AI update whatsoever, made it so the only 
  way DE can ramp up the difficulty is making more enemies, harder to kill, with layers upon layers of Invulnerability Phases or Ability
  Nullification.
Basically in Warframe you don't need to learn attack patterns and aim to weak-spots, you just need to pass the "Stats Check"
  
meaning that Player's Skill and Weapon Mechanics are secondary to Raw Stats, so naturally the meta changed from "Git Gud" to "Git the Items that
  Make you Gud". The best example I can give is Steel Path, Kuva Fortress Disruption: The Demolisher Units have BOTH Ability Nullification and
  Stats Layers (and Invulnerability if you count the shield), so it doesn't matter the frame you have, you need the biggest DPS dispenser in your
  arsenal and you need to find a way to uber your build to not die because otherwise you are not gonna be alive for long enough to even damage
  the Demolishers, which cant be stopped as they are not affected by abilities. 

  Well, this took WAY too long and my time ran out, so I couldn't include everything or grammar check the whole post. 
  Please comment down below your thoughts on this matter. Tomorrow I'm gonna edit the post with anything I missed 
  and with any valid additions from comments. 
  Hopefully this gets traction, because we need to Discuss this before DE starts working on changes, so we have better
  chances of being heard. 

 Thank you VERY much for reading Tenno, have a nice day and take care. 
 Peace. 

hey, great contribution!
you are already ripe for a good blog.

i stay out of the new discussions because exact numbers and facts are missing. and i'm only interested in heavy attack from stropha at the moment.
but otherwise I'm the clear opponent of hammers on buttons several times per second.
... so let's see how the patch will be in the end.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If they bring guns up all they need to do is add just a tad of Risk of Rain. If guns can cause proc chains like that game guns would be godly.

I also like how DE is removing staggering on every hit. I hope they let melee stagger just the 1st mob hit. If not it’ll still makes melee have some risk. Right now melee is safer than range.

 

I would like DE to look at combo. If they could add guns into it. I’m not saying just give everything a combo system what I’m asking for is 1 big combo system all your gear can benefit from. One thing I hate now is how I’m punished for using guns. If I go from melee to gun then back I have to start my melee again. So most players just stick to only melee.

Its strange how we got this fast weapon swapping and at the same time, encountered players not to swap weapons.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lakais said:

My 2 credits in all this is that we have collectively gotten lost on a fundamental level in all this. 

People talk like this is a reward issue. That gun-play is not rewarding enough and this is why people go for least-effort melee spam because that somehow creates the game. But that is just one part of the issue. The smallest part, in my opinion. 
At risk of sounding overly naive, I will state that the main goal or drive of playing and making the game should be the gameplay. Meaning the main reward of any given mission is the gameplay, the fighting itself. The interplay between you and your comrades and the shiny pew-stick on screen making other pixels do shinier things. 

The hard "truth" I have ended up with while pondering over this is that the problem is not with the game's reward structure or the mod balance or any of those things in the game, the problem lies between the seat and the screen. The player. 
When the only reason you log into the game is to see a number grow bigger or to get that thingy from a drop table, then you are no longer playing the game but ticking off a checklist as a chore. This is not me talking about Nightwave. This is tied to an inherent desire for people to get something done. To get that fix. For some, it's basically just an excuse to validate some form of sunk-cost fallacy; to justify the time and money spent on the game. Not playing because it's fun, but playing because I spent 4k hours and 300euros over 4 years and by golly I am not stopping or slowing down now!

But you are bored the whole way through and the only thing the reward screen gives is the faintest feeling of accomplishment and to really feel it, you need to rapid-fire them. 

This is not me saying that these people need to quit. Just to maybe get closer to the core with all it's ugly details of how we actually got here. 

And this seems to sum up "game as a service" games most of the time, or at least the playerbase they create. That's why most people don't actually play those games, they just use the AFKiest way to get to the end, the end goal being rewards. That is also why any time someone suggests "challenging" things being added they also obsess about getting newer, better rewards, or at least something unique you can't get from anywhere else.

Edited by (PSN)Yggranya
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SenorClipClop said:

My initial reaction to this was negative, but the more I'm thinking about the more it sounds like a fine idea. I still feel a bit averse to it from a design perspective,

I think your initial reaction is correct - adding more power to a problem caused by having more power isn't going to solve the underlying problem.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, (XBOX)Hyperion Rexx said:

I've not seen anyone mention enemy density yet.  This, imo, is a big factor why melee is dominant. 

Go into a survival mission and try and keep up with enemy spawn rate using a single target primary or secondary.  You can't,  you're just overwhelmed.  All you can do is use aoe attacks, be that wf abilities or weapons.   Melee is the easiest way to aoe and most effective due to scaling mods.

If I'm going to use my guns (which I do, a lot), I have to make sure I'm either using mass cc wf abilities such as chaos or disarm, invisibility, or just tanking.   My ttk is so slow I can't kill an enemy before his 15 buddies kill me.   And as enemies approach from all directions, taking cover is not a reasonable solution as you're always surrounded. 

There are some mission types you can make guns work if you don't mind turning wf into an extreme cover shooter, and of course there are some missions that don't actually require you to kill anything.   But in a hoarde shooter,  you can't really get by with 5+ second ttk per enemy.

To be honest, I don't know how the devs solve this issue.   Players love using guns, but guns can't keep up with enemy spawn rates or enemy scaling.   Players also hate nerfs.   They've painted themselves into a corner its going to be painful to get out of.

I know people would hate this, but I would prefer less enemies, but make them tougher. 

AoE had become a problem because there are so many spawns on screen.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Roble_Viejo said:

They listed Melee Attack Speed specifically as a problem, when its not, and in fact is one of the reason some melees are so fun in
the first place.

Attack speed is a problem, on several different levels. It scales absurdley well with how combos work, especially on those weapons with forced bleeds. Plus, dont forget that melee has no ammo "punishment" when it comes to increased attack speed, so it is just a no-brain free scaling dps stat on a weapon category with so many other free scaling dps stat options in the modding. It also screws up the aestethics of the game, which I was very glad to here the devs also see the problem in. Honestly, I'm extremely surprised attack speed hasnt gotten nerfed earlier since most games I've played have had smilar changes done to them when something has screwed up the aestethics of the game.

A bonus to them nerfing it or well restricting it is that they can eventually actually fix all issues that come with over the top AS. It will also open up alot more options for frames with attack speed modifiers based in their kit, like valkyr and wisp. Not only will it let them skip some AS mods, it will also let them stack strength without reaching the point where melee gets broken in a negative way.

They've already shown previously that they want to limit attack speed since we've already have a cap on the heavy attack wind up stat.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SneakyErvin said:

Attack speed is a problem, on several different levels. It scales absurdley well with how combos work, especially on those weapons with forced bleeds. Plus, dont forget that melee has no ammo "punishment" when it comes to increased attack speed, so it is just a no-brain free scaling dps stat on a weapon category with so many other free scaling dps stat options in the modding. It also screws up the aestethics of the game, which I was very glad to here the devs also see the problem in. Honestly, I'm extremely surprised attack speed hasnt gotten nerfed earlier since most games I've played have had smilar changes done to them when something has screwed up the aestethics of the game.

A bonus to them nerfing it or well restricting it is that they can eventually actually fix all issues that come with over the top AS. It will also open up alot more options for frames with attack speed modifiers based in their kit, like valkyr and wisp. Not only will it let them skip some AS mods, it will also let them stack strength without reaching the point where melee gets broken in a negative way.

They've already shown previously that they want to limit attack speed since we've already have a cap on the heavy attack wind up stat.

I think follow though is more effective at combo building than attack speed. After all... you can only mash 'e' so fast. But having 6m melee range and swinging a clump of 20 enemies? Seriously, for me anyway, there is such a thing as too much attack speed.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
hace 8 horas, Battle.Mage dijo:

hey, great contribution!
you are already ripe for a good blog.

i stay out of the new discussions because exact numbers and facts are missing. and i'm only interested in heavy attack from stropha at the moment.
but otherwise I'm the clear opponent of hammers on buttons several times per second.
... so let's see how the patch will be in the end.

Id love if some number connoisseur could drop some data. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, nslay said:

Have to be careful about how the math gets standardized. Personally, I think the current math is pretty consistent (it's clear when mods/effects are additive or multiplicative) and still less bad than what D3 did.

Primed Chamber, Faction Damage Mods, and Serration are not consistent despite all saying "+Damage" (or in the case of Lasting Purity, not even telling you what Dead Aim even means). Attack Speed is another one of these stats with this problem (Berserker vs Fury), and these 2 are just examples. There's so many instances of having many multipliers at play when there really shouldn't be any. Multiplication is dangerous as proven with Condition Overload, and it really needs to be standardized in the damage system. Having a few multipliers is okay, but there really needs to be concrete descriptions to let players know when something is additive or multiplicative. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Voltage said:

Primed Chamber, Faction Damage Mods, and Serration are not consistent despite all saying "+Damage" (or in the case of Lasting Purity, not even telling you what Dead Aim even means). Attack Speed is another one of these stats with this problem (Berserker vs Fury), and these 2 are just examples. There's so many instances of having many multipliers at play when there really shouldn't be any. Multiplication is dangerous as proven with Condition Overload, and it really needs to be standardized in the damage system. Having a few multipliers is okay, but there really needs to be concrete descriptions to let players know when something is additive or multiplicative. 

But those are the vast minority of mods (you can count them on one hand). The vast majority of +Damage mods and ability effects are additive with each other. This is largely standard and implicitly understood by experienced players. If you had to guess if a +Damage effect was additive or multiplicative, it would be extremely safe to assume additive, and the vast majority of the time, you would be correct.

Condition Overload is also now additive with other +Damage mods too. That's pretty consistent. I realize it didn't used to be, but they standardized that one to behave like practically all the other +Damage mods and abilities.

Berserker should probably be changed to be additive... but, honestly, how fast can you press 'e' without hurting yourself or breaking your keyboard? There is such a thing as overkill attack speed.

They standardized Blood Rush too... now it's additive with existing critical chance. They removed some of the "flat" increases to status and critical chance too (though I'm not sure why). Arcane Avenger and the cat bonuses are probably some of the few flat increases left.

There is very little in this game that is actually multiplicative (in the sense of introducing new factors).

The irony behind the "problem" mods you state, Primed Chamber, Charged Chamber and Lasting Purity is that they generally underperform for their mod slot cost... compared to other kinds of builds. I mean, I have a cool Vectis Prime build with Primed Chamber as a novelty mod. And I have a cool Vulkar Wraith build with Lasting Purity too! But they're not very good... My Lanka or Rubico Prime without these mods outperform the sniper builds that use these mods (even if Rubico Prime has such pitiful base damage). It's good that DE will reign in on melee and maybe standardize damage in places... these outlier mods are the wrong place to start.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, (PSN)Yggranya said:

And this seems to sum up "game as a service" games most of the time, or at least the playerbase they create. That's why most people don't actually play those games, they just use the AFKiest way to get to the end, the end goal being rewards. That is also why any time someone suggests "challenging" things being added they also obsess about getting newer, better rewards, or at least something unique you can't get from anywhere else.

I chalk that up to the fact that "service" games have to keep players invested for FAR longer then standard types of games. I mean, other then online competitive games, what other type of game product can easily soak up a thousand hours or more of a player's time? Take out the RNG loot grind and we're still looking at a respectable time investment. 
Note that Warframe is a wholly PvE focused with no practical competitive elements. The fact that WF has lasted this long without sequels is frankly astonishing. 

One thing to also consider is the fact that in stat-based difficulty games like Warframe, where modifiers on enemy and player stats determine the challenge, it is fairly easy to reach parity with high tier players. Unlike mechanically challenging games, where twitch skills and game knowledge is needed. Thus there is nothing to really let the advancement minded players stand out over the rest of us plebs. Which is why they want unique rewards or for some counter intuitive reason, easier way to attain the power-building components that they might not really need. Thus exasperating the issue of "no content for vets". A sort of vicious circle of the powerful getting more powerful with the stuff they get from content for the powerful helping them get even more powerful faster thus making the content for the powerful redundant and easy. This also means that the content itself has to be of such challenge that lower tier players can't take part in it. Or the content has to have some kind of a floor that the majority of the playerbase can reach. Which in practice lowers the ceiling. 

Having more difficult content is needed, but tying it to rewards is a short-term as once players have gotten all the rewards, the content is at best underwhelming and at worst seen as tedious. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, nslay said:

I think follow though is more effective at combo building than attack speed. After all... you can only mash 'e' so fast. But having 6m melee range and swinging a clump of 20 enemies? Seriously, for me anyway, there is such a thing as too much attack speed.

Na I mean for combo bonuses, not the counter. Like stacking slash at a far higher rate since you go through a combo faster. And yeah, there is definently such a thing as too much attack power. And I fully support that the artists want it reduced for non-combat reasons aswell cos it isnt exactly fun to watch something you've worked on bringing to life and you arent sure if you are looking at that or a frame having a seizure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For what it's worth, I think:

1. There are a lot of good points here

2. If DE wants to evolve the game - and they don't have to, it'll still function as it is - they're going to have to rip off a bandaid or twelve.

The gun vs melee debate is basically coming from a desire for intrinsic fun / value in gameplay where that value doesn't exist. A lot of things come from that, from power creep to "dumb" AI to "hard" content and difficulty. That's probably why so many different things are touched on in this thread: the titular issue is one symptom, not the underlying disease.

To add onto that with a couple Canadian pennies:

Spoiler

 

One thing slightly touched on is the extrinsic reward structure. Players are encouraged to finish as quickly as possible. That means any change that makes mission completion slower is bad. That makes all sorts of changes, from numbers squishing to more interesting + durable enemies, non-negotiable.

But if you're able to make that a little more time-agnostic - for example, adjusting drop rates based on kills per second so that, on average, 1 minute of gameplay gives 1 reward drop - then there's a some relaxation on how long missions must be. That needn't apply to every drop or resource, but applying it even to the big end of mission drops (and maybe adding similar adjustments to rare drops) means you can have a TTK that isn't instantaneous without head office going up in flames. At least not quite so quickly.

Less of a focus on the end of the mission, more of a focus on what's going on in-between, as it were.

 

Though, ultimately, it isn't like DE really has to do any of that "intrinsic value" stuff. The game functions well enough leaning on extrinsic rewards. It's evidently lacking, but people still play. They probably just have to ask themselves if they're okay with the way things are. And if they aren't, maybe it's time to start ripping into some of the more fundamental things. Little changes like adjusting damage can help, but like others have pointed out, there's a fundamental issue at play.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

the power dynamic in warframe is a complex issue: DE have to try and make it feel fun, even when shooting and stabbing and exploding dozens of enemies all the time is just a means to an end; the end being the reward for doing the mission, or in many cases that chance for a particular reward. once you're in that mindset it can be difficult to escape from it, especially if you keep forcing yourself to play and don't take a break from warframe every now and again. however, if you're someone who is still truly having fun with warframe, doing missions because they're fun, then you probably won't be feeling these issues with power disparity quite as much as someone who just wants missions over with and brings overkill to do it.

that's the main problem really: most people will gladly bring their forma'd, Riven'd weapons to all content just so that they can get through it faster. maybe DE could introduce incentives like offering extra rewadrs for using certain weapon types, bonuses for using weapons the player hasn't touched in a while etc?. hmm... but then players would claim they're being "forced" to use other items... see, told you it was complex!

 

Edited by Haldos
Edited by moderator
Link to post
Share on other sites

First, melee will never be balanced until DE takes a good hard look at the mod system as a whole. Its the core of most of the balance issues in the game, for two major reasons:

  1. The massive difference in power between an unmodded and fully modded item, of any type, is absurd. And the plethora of different ways to increase that power just makes it even worse to balance around.
  2. The disparity between mods that are available on different categories of weapons. There are too many extremely powerful mods that just plain don't have an equivalent counterpart on other weapons. And even when there is a comparable one, like how both primaries and secondaries can have multishot, the effectiveness varies quite a bit from one to the other.

The main thing that causes the massive power difference from unmodded to modded is being able to stack mods that do the same thing. If DE simply made any mods with similar stat changes exclusive, it would go a long way towards fixing things. Then, normalizing mod stats across gear types would also help to bring them all closer together. And, there should be more downsides to mods. A negative stat modifier to offset the positive one, so we would actually have to make more choices to min/max, instead of just maximizing everything all the time.

 

Otherwise, the issue with melee itself is basically just survival of the fittest. AKA, its the most effective tactic available, because it fits the environment of the game better than the alternatives.

Most combat is against large hordes of enemies at close range. AoE guns can deal with the hordes, but not at short range, so melee is optimal. Loot has to be picked up at short range, so again, killing with melee is optimal. Guns have limited ammo, and need to reload. Melee has basically no limitations beyond a hard range cap, so you can swing away for as long as you want. And on top of all that, melee also has several specific advantages as well. Aside from its massive direct damage output, it also has built in super effective CC, and built in guaranteed status procs. So, not only does mele do what guns do, but better, it also does even more. So of course its the most popular option. As I said, its popularity just natural selection.

Its also why a simple damage or speed nerf most likely won't do much to stop melee from being dominant. There will need to be more limitations on using it for anything to really be changed. Because, in most games, the main limitations of melee are its short range, and the high risk of attacking at short range. But those limitations don't really exist in Warframe. We are so agile that we can get into and out of melee whenever we want, no problem. And we can be so tough to kill that being exposed at close range is a non-issue.

So, to properly, balance melee, it will probably actually require changes to other related systems. Like nerfing bullet jumping and aim gliding, since that's one of the main reasons we can get into and out of melee range so fast. And they make the super powerful CC of slam attacks much more effective, and easier to pull off. Or maybe reintroducing stamina, but only have it effect melee. That way, melee would basically have "ammo", like guns. Or, most enemies could have super dangerous counterattacks if you try to melee them too much.

Basically, there needs to be more risk vs. reward across the board, because this game is severely lacking in that department.

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Lakais said:

I chalk that up to the fact that "service" games have to keep players invested for FAR longer then standard types of games. I mean, other then online competitive games, what other type of game product can easily soak up a thousand hours or more of a player's time? Take out the RNG loot grind and we're still looking at a respectable time investment. 
Note that Warframe is a wholly PvE focused with no practical competitive elements. The fact that WF has lasted this long without sequels is frankly astonishing. 

One thing to also consider is the fact that in stat-based difficulty games like Warframe, where modifiers on enemy and player stats determine the challenge, it is fairly easy to reach parity with high tier players. Unlike mechanically challenging games, where twitch skills and game knowledge is needed. Thus there is nothing to really let the advancement minded players stand out over the rest of us plebs. Which is why they want unique rewards or for some counter intuitive reason, easier way to attain the power-building components that they might not really need. Thus exasperating the issue of "no content for vets". A sort of vicious circle of the powerful getting more powerful with the stuff they get from content for the powerful helping them get even more powerful faster thus making the content for the powerful redundant and easy. This also means that the content itself has to be of such challenge that lower tier players can't take part in it. Or the content has to have some kind of a floor that the majority of the playerbase can reach. Which in practice lowers the ceiling. 

Having more difficult content is needed, but tying it to rewards is a short-term as once players have gotten all the rewards, the content is at best underwhelming and at worst seen as tedious. 

You're talking about intrinsic vs. extrinsic rewards. Intrinsic being the fun you have while playing, like shooting Grineer, and parkour-ing around. Extrinsic being the carrot on a stick; the shiny new toy you get after you finish your chores.

"Live Service" games like this always focus way more on extrinsic than intrinsic, because there is absolutely no way the intrinsic rewards will last for the thousands of hours they expect people to play them for. Its much easier to simply keep adding more and more extrinsic rewards to keep people playing, instead. Especially if the grind for each one is as long as it usually is in Warframe.

And yeah, this can cause all kinds of other issues with the game's design, stemming from how people actually play it. Its why, in Warframe, efficiency is the most important factor when determining gear popularity. If it makes grinding faster, its going to be popular. Even if there are other more fun and interesting things to use, the efficient option will always be king, because the entire point of the game is to collect stuff as fast as possible. And right now, melee is the most efficient option on most situations, so its the most popular.

This is also why Warframe will most likely never be truly difficult, or challenging. Difficulty and grinding simply don't mix, because difficulty means there is a decent chance of failure. But, every failure is a missed drop chance. And when drop rates are as low as they are in Warframe, missing even a single one gets really frustrating, really fast. So, the more difficult it becomes, the more frustrating it becomes.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Teljaxx said:

You're talking about intrinsic vs. extrinsic rewards. Intrinsic being the fun you have while playing, like shooting Grineer, and parkour-ing around. Extrinsic being the carrot on a stick; the shiny new toy you get after you finish your chores.

"Live Service" games like this always focus way more on extrinsic than intrinsic, because there is absolutely no way the intrinsic rewards will last for the thousands of hours they expect people to play them for. Its much easier to simply keep adding more and more extrinsic rewards to keep people playing, instead. Especially if the grind for each one is as long as it usually is in Warframe.

And yeah, this can cause all kinds of other issues with the game's design, stemming from how people actually play it. Its why, in Warframe, efficiency is the most important factor when determining gear popularity. If it makes grinding faster, its going to be popular. Even if there are other more fun and interesting things to use, the efficient option will always be king, because the entire point of the game is to collect stuff as fast as possible. And right now, melee is the most efficient option on most situations, so its the most popular.

This is also why Warframe will most likely never be truly difficult, or challenging. Difficulty and grinding simply don't mix, because difficulty means there is a decent chance of failure. But, every failure is a missed drop chance. And when drop rates are as low as they are in Warframe, missing even a single one gets really frustrating, really fast. So, the more difficult it becomes, the more frustrating it becomes.

All true. This is also likely the core reasoning behind DE developing and putting in new systems like Railjack, Necramechs and the "open worlds". Attempts at introducing potential new intrinsic rewards, as you so eloquently put it. 
People rag on the devs as being dumb or out of touch. But I think the opposite is true. They are far more acutely aware if things are not right because this is their baby and their main reason for employment. I also believe that the devs know that the Extrinsic rewards, new gear, is not sustainable and not engaging in the long run.

I also agree with your mod system assessment. The way how some mods work differently to others of similar category is a problem and the stacking of them with no downsides is a far more serious one. 
It is my belief that if DE wants to really reimagine the game, they have two options: full systemic rework and rebalance of the combat system at risk of alienating the community. Or, doing the aforementioned but instead of updating the game, just doing a sequel and keeping the old game around as-is. 

One of the main issues now with reworking core systems of the game is just how much people have invested in the game. They will have a far more visceral reaction to alterations because it's what they have been using and doing all this time. But changes in a new game (even if a sequel wouldn't necessarily be "new") would not be so harshly received. Would not be the least bit surprised if there are quite a few changes DE would like implement but not doing so simply because they don't want to deal with the pitchforks. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Lakais said:

All true. This is also likely the core reasoning behind DE developing and putting in new systems like Railjack, Necramechs and the "open worlds". Attempts at introducing potential new intrinsic rewards, as you so eloquently put it. 
People rag on the devs as being dumb or out of touch. But I think the opposite is true. They are far more acutely aware if things are not right because this is their baby and their main reason for employment. I also believe that the devs know that the Extrinsic rewards, new gear, is not sustainable and not engaging in the long run.

I also agree with your mod system assessment. The way how some mods work differently to others of similar category is a problem and the stacking of them with no downsides is a far more serious one. 
It is my belief that if DE wants to really reimagine the game, they have two options: full systemic rework and rebalance of the combat system at risk of alienating the community. Or, doing the aforementioned but instead of updating the game, just doing a sequel and keeping the old game around as-is. 

One of the main issues now with reworking core systems of the game is just how much people have invested in the game. They will have a far more visceral reaction to alterations because it's what they have been using and doing all this time. But changes in a new game (even if a sequel wouldn't necessarily be "new") would not be so harshly received. Would not be the least bit surprised if there are quite a few changes DE would like implement but not doing so simply because they don't want to deal with the pitchforks. 

I have suggested that the best course of action for DE would be to make a sequel many times. It would give them the chance to hit the big reset button on the whole thing. They could undo all the mistakes, bugs, and other problems that have slowly built up over the past 8 years, instead of just trying to sweep them under the rug and hope no one notices. And it would make it much easier to actually integrate separate systems into each other, instead of ending up with all these separate islands we have now.

Most people seem to be against the idea, though, since that would mean having to abandon all the progress they made here. But, that's kind of a silly fear, since DE basically makes us all do that with each big new update anyway. Every new open world brings a new syndicate ladder or two to climb all over again. Along with another separate economy of mining and fishing resources to collect. Each new thing like Archwings, Necramechs, and pets, brings an entirely new set of mods that only work on them. And of course, Railjack brought several entirely new systems to grind through that have absolutely no connection to any other part of the game. So really, if they had made a sequel for these new things, it wouldn't have been that much different. We all have to start at zero each time one way or another. But, we also don't get any of the advantages that a true fresh start could bring from the way its currently done.

Plus, one of my biggest problems with all "Live Service" games is that they don't preserve anything. When something changes, something is always lost. Even if the new thing is better, someone probably really liked the old thing anyway. But, now they can't use it anymore, and just have to accept the new thing instead. No one gets any choice in the matter, one way or another. Sequential games are nice, because adding new things, and making big changes to the new one, doesn't affect the old ones. So if you liked the old way better, you can simply play the older game. And other people that like the new way can play the newer game.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Teljaxx said:

First, melee will never be balanced until DE takes a good hard look at the mod system as a whole. Its the core of most of the balance issues in the game, for two major reasons:

  1. The massive difference in power between an unmodded and fully modded item, of any type, is absurd. And the plethora of different ways to increase that power just makes it even worse to balance around.
  2. The disparity between mods that are available on different categories of weapons. There are too many extremely powerful mods that just plain don't have an equivalent counterpart on other weapons. And even when there is a comparable one, like how both primaries and secondaries can have multishot, the effectiveness varies quite a bit from one to the other.

The main thing that causes the massive power difference from unmodded to modded is being able to stack mods that do the same thing. If DE simply made any mods with similar stat changes exclusive, it would go a long way towards fixing things. Then, normalizing mod stats across gear types would also help to bring them all closer together. And, there should be more downsides to mods. A negative stat modifier to offset the positive one, so we would actually have to make more choices to min/max, instead of just maximizing everything all the time.

 

Otherwise, the issue with melee itself is basically just survival of the fittest. AKA, its the most effective tactic available, because it fits the environment of the game better than the alternatives.

Most combat is against large hordes of enemies at close range. AoE guns can deal with the hordes, but not at short range, so melee is optimal. Loot has to be picked up at short range, so again, killing with melee is optimal. Guns have limited ammo, and need to reload. Melee has basically no limitations beyond a hard range cap, so you can swing away for as long as you want. And on top of all that, melee also has several specific advantages as well. Aside from its massive direct damage output, it also has built in super effective CC, and built in guaranteed status procs. So, not only does mele do what guns do, but better, it also does even more. So of course its the most popular option. As I said, its popularity just natural selection.

This is exactly what they said they are doing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...