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Grendel - Giant wall-of-text rework suggestions


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I went through the challenge of doing his part-locator missions, and decided to give him a shot after braving the challenges. I wasn't expecting much - I knew that Grendel isn't exactly close to having a running in any kind of meta in Warframe. After giving him a shot, though, I gained insight to exactly why he doesn't really work in his current state, and what he tries to accomplish.

Boiling it down? Minus his Pulverize ability, Grendel is basically an obese Chroma - A sturdy, heavy martial class that emphasizes providing buffs to weapon damage, high health, and armor. Compared to Chroma, however, it's a lot more work for way less payoff, and it's even much more difficult to maintain the benefits provided by his mechanics as well. Only saving graces and reason why I consider having him around is that Pulverize is just a fun ability. It's just heartbreaking to see it placed on a frame that's otherwise unusable in every other way.

Base Stats:

Grendel's got one thing and only one thing going for him: HP. The shield's a really nice thought, since having any amount of shield still provides the grace invulnerability, but it's not something he can really exploit in any outstanding propensity. His energy reserves are only slightly above average, which is not good considering just how much energy Grendel can expend in attempting to be effective, and his armor is decent. Funnily enough, after reflecting on this and starting with the Chroma comparisons, his Armor and Energy values are identical to those of Chroma even. The big difference? Chroma works marvelously off of bolstering his strong armor, using mechanics that scale up way better (as to be discussed in the Passive section) and with abilities that can more carefully and selectively utilize his energy.
Suggestions?: Honestly, none in this section. All the issues with Grendel really boil down to just how poorly he uses what he's given with the rest of his kit.

Passive:

Here's one of the largest issues I have with Grendel, and it's that this passive does just does NOT keep pace with anything else that happens as you upgrade, mod, and access high-level Warframe content (especially ironic considering both the arbitrations and missions you went through to even get him in the first place). To put this all in perspective, it's time for a bunch of mumbo-jumbo math, and EVEN MORE Chroma comparisons:

Spoiler

 

So very conveniently, Grendel and Chroma, without any setup, start at the exact same armor value of 350, which is already cutting damage in half. Let's look at Grendel first. During my runs of using Grendel, I often was able to keep around 8-9 enemies in my stomach comfortably - this was a level of enemies stored that cut a good balance between survivability in a Steel Path survival, and energy economy (though also considering that I had Hunter Adrenaline on, so incoming damage was also counteracting that drain). This would've ended up adding 450 armor points on top of the existing armor, resulting in a total of 800, granting (based on the wiki's math) 72% damage reduction overall. Theoretically this can get even higher: I think the highest number of people I've managed to eat is like 24, which would give me 1550 armor points. About 10% less damage taken - 83% damage reduction overall. Pair that with your energy depleting extremely fast in this state, and it's simply a mechanic that isn't worth trying to exploit directly, nor something that can even be practically maintained for that long.

Meanwhile, Chroma's Vex Armor, leveraging Scorn, grants a 350% increase in armor at its max rank. Already before you've done any explicit building on Chroma for either Armor rating or Ability Strength (which of course both contribute to the strength of this armor) this is granting you 1225 armor rating, or around 80% less damage taken. That's higher than my personally sustainable experience of utilizing Grendel's passive, on an ability that has a much less constant energy burden (which also allows for other effects such as Zenurik's stuff and Squad Energy Restores to still proc). If one IS building chroma properly, even slightly, however, that 350% increase raises up to around 900-1000%, and now you're getting around 3500 armor points for 92% less damage taken, with no extra energy-cost imposed versus base strength. There's a reason this guy can withstand Profit-Taker's onslaught so well.

Grendel offers a linear increase in Armor for a linear increase of energy cost.
Chroma offers a multiplicative increase in Armor for a constant energy cost.

 

In almost all other cases of mechanics like this existing, however, this kind of effect wouldn't even be a passive. Consider Atlas, who's actual passive is to resist all knockdown so long as he's on the ground, and his armor increases from rubble just exists implicitly as part of his abilities. Consider Nidus, who's actual passive is the ability to revive himself if he's mutated enough. The mechanic of mutation in-of itself is part of his Virulence ability. If we were to apply rules like this to Grendel, His armor increase would just be a part of his Feast ability.
Suggestion: Grendel gains twice as much health and energy from orbs. This is both in-character, and extremely useful to Grendel, who A: has heavy and consistent usage of his energy when used as intended, and B: has large health reserves that would necessitate larger health restores for them to be impactful.

Feast:

Fun and satisfying move to use (also really funny, because wildly flailing my mouse around to make myself spin in a circle does seem to help allow me to swallow enemies at all angles around me!) But not feasible to use, especially on effective teams. This is mainly a problem because Feast is the ability upon which the entirety of Grendel's set hinges on. If he can't feast, he cannot do anything else. Garuda also faces this problem in attempts to activate either her Dread Mirror, Blood Altar, or even leverage usage of her extremely powerful passive consistently on teams that have healing. The linking factor here is also how the power is used, and its animation, and it's arguably worse for Grendel than it is for Garuda, because at least with her, spamming 1 will eventually maybe lock-on to an unlucky target to activate Dread Mirror. Grendel's Feast has a very real chance of whiffing entirely, and he cannot move at all once he activates it.

The most obvious stopgap fix to this would be to just make the rest of his abilities still usable even when he's not feasting on someone, but in weakened forms. Naturally, though, the best approach would be to tie in more benefits for utilizing the mechanic, as well as making the process of feasting more capable of capturing targets.
Suggestions:

  • The old effects of Grendel's passive are now baked in to this ability, and they scale with Ability Strength. Don't try and fix what isn't broken. We're taking the lessons learnt from Chroma Math here and applying them to make it stronger.
  • Aerial execution will cause Grendel to do a melee-styled bodyslam/big splash, that swallows enemies he hits. Rapid approach tactic that lets the fat, armored boy dive in to a fight immediately and gain a big armor boost.
  • Hold while empty perhaps makes a continuous effect? Maybe allow an empty Grendel to voraciously and continuously suck in enemies in while still moving. I hate to sound like a broken record and make even more chroma analogies, but this perhaps would end up feeling like using Spectral Scream, but not a strange toggle.
  • Completely left-field concept/nitpicking: shouldn't most of Grendel's effects deal Corrosive damage rather than Toxic? Really, think about it: Toxic is already an element that's pretty widely used by other frames. Corrosive, in addition to being... Somewhat close to the meta, at least in some way, I guess? It also makes a whole lot more sense, because Stomach Acid is, in fact, acid.

Nourish:

Awkward to use, and adds more layers of complexity to a frame that's already pretty complex to manage. This could use a Vex Armor or Roar treatment where the benefits it supplies are just a consistent package of buffs rather than something you have to cycle through and figure out.

This really comes through in spades if you consider some similar effects and mechanics on other frames, like Wisp - If you're going to place down a Health Mote on top of a defensive point, there really isn't much reason you wouldn't slam down a Haste Mote immediately afterwards. At least in Wisp's case, there's very valid reasons as to why you wouldn't want Shock Motes, and would also perhaps want to spread out motes to provide Wisp with a bit more area coverage. Chroma's elemental buffs are at least justified (and also reined in a bit) by the fact he can only have one active at a time. Grendel, however? He can trigger each effect sequentially and have them all going on at once, but it just is something that takes 3 key presses and 3 key holds instead of just one activation.

Pair this with the fact that all three effects are, while useful, also subtle buffs that are simultaneously misleading: Energy buff relies on enemies dropping orbs, and there's a bunch of other energy restore mechanics and alternatives that are much more reliable (but also Grendel can't use because he has constant energy drain going on whoops). Armor buff... Actually isn't armor at all, it's a toxic aura and doesn't reduce damage taken so why is it even called armor? Strike is just Rhino's Roar that requires more babysitting to activate, adds a specific damage type, and doesn't apply to all attacks or abilities like Roar does.

The self-heal mechanics are also really mediocre - never seems to recover nearly enough to counteract the amount of damage you might have taken due to your armor, and of course, because executing Nourish deals damage to your eaten enemies, there's a real chance that they could die and using the Nourish ends up increasing the damage you're taking afterwards, while then also reducing the energy you have available to maintain your feast. The effect of Nourish really has to justify the amount of energy and risk spent to use it because of this.
Suggestions:

  • Nourish will buff all damage of Grendel and his allies. Basically simplify this to Strike's effects, which are then globalized to apply to all sources and types of damage.
  • Killing a feasted target with Nourish will cause 4 universal orbs to erupt from Grendel. This provides much-needed extra healing and energy, to both Grendel and his allies, and even allows his passive to come into play more often.
  • Having more feasted enemies will extend the range of the effect, with enough enemies allowing Nourish to generate a shockwave that causes enemies to fall down. Given the animation of the attack, I think it'd make sense, give the ability some extra capability as a close-quarters control ability, and provide incentive to maintain higher numbers of eaten people.

Regurgitate:

Kind of redundant in a sense to use when the held activation of Feast exists - Cases where I need to barf a wide cone of damage is high, whereas a precision strike at range is not as often a use case. I can see why it's there though, it's meant to be a mechanic by which Grendel can more closely regulate his energy usage while also maintaining some feasted people. In practice? It has a real possibility to both miss, and not kill the regurgitated target, an adjustment of one person usually isn't enough to counteract the speed at which the Grendel might be losing energy, and again, the aforementioned redundancy of just using a held Feast to blast out a massive burst of enemies. I will give it these two things: it does good damage when it's used right, and its complete discount of energy does point to its intended use for regulation.
Suggestions:

  • Give a held activation mode that just lets me machine-gun fire out people. This would allow for much more responsive energy-use control and potentially lots of racked-up damage from regurgitated people hitting eachother in the process.
  • Maybe a small compromise that makes energy management easier? Give Regurgitate a 25 energy point cost, but have it pause Feast's energy drain. This would make it especially useful at high feast stacks, and good use of it could allow a Grendel to maintain very high armor levels without draining their energy too fast.

Pulverize:

This is basically the whole reason I love Grendel now, because turning your Warframe Game into an impromptu Katamari Damacy level is just so ridiculous and fun that it works. Managing to pull Pulverize off at really high Feast levels makes you MASSIVE and destroys things really quickly. But good luck getting there, and also several other factors make its actual implementation... Confusing? Hard to use? Prone to mistakes? A variety of things.

So, to the best of my understanding, enemies you've feasted on are also taking damage whilst you are rolling around crashing into things. This can end up killing them in the process, during which this both lowers the energy cost of using Pulverize while still maintaining your massive size. Doing this also seems to heal you, and... Might maintain the armor level you had when you activated the ability? Then this is counteracted by some kind of mechanic that proceeds to exponentially increase the energy drain of the ability as you keep it on, meaning you can't keep Pulverizing forever. Fair enough, this is quite similar to how Valkyr's Hysteria works. But now here's the big difference:

Whereas with most other stance toggles like this, where you can at least maintain a pretty good level of control (either by just having normal controls but faster, i.e. Valkyr or Gauss, or by using a different game mode like Titania), Grendel's Pulverize, despite being viscerally fun, is extremely prone to getting stuck. Sure, you might have your double-jump to generate quick damage, and yes you might be huge, but if you don't have any enemies left in your gut, and you're stuck at the bottom of a ramp, you're basically done. The mighty Grendel is defeated by stairs.

Once again, more parallels can be drawn between this and Chroma's Effigy: it's a form that provides tradeoffs. Chroma gains speed but loses armor, while Grendel essentially is losing speed to gain armor and damage. The problem is, Chroma's pretty free to activate and deactivate effigy whenever he needs to; there's no build-up or prep work for using that. Grendel basically will need to stick in his form to make the most of the people he's eaten. Otherwise the next time he uses Pulverize without eating people, it'll be smaller and weaker.
Suggestions:

  • Pulverize becomes Pulverize Armor: Essentially the aesthetic of Pulverize's sphere applies to Grendel, but he can still move normally as he starts digesting his victims to generate self-healing and armor. He generates shockwaves while landing, can no longer be staggered or knocked down, and maintains the armor level he had at the time of activating the ability. 
    • HOWEVER, If the user attempts to slide, they will enter his Ball Form, and can proceed to do destructive maneuvers as before. In this case, the Pulverize Ball acts as a toggle, and can be deactivated (without losing the bonuses or spending extra energy) by double-tapping crouch to uncurl.
    • He can use most of his kit while standing, but he cannot use Feast until he turns Pulverize Armor off: the armor seals his gut shut.
  • Improved Sphere Maneuvers: Take some steps from fellow ball-rolling games:
    • Use the bullet-jump input combination to do a spinning dash, rolling in place rapidly and then releasing to fling Grendel in the aimed direction.
    • Move directly towards a wall to roll up it a limited distance.
    • Crouch in midair to rocket down towards the ground, creating an expanded shockwave and immediately bouncing back up, dribbling yourself like a basketball for an energy cost.

 

The TLDR summary of the suggestions:

  • Move his armor-mechanic passive to where it belongs, just as a part of Feast's description, and instead let him get increased benefits from health/energy orbs.
  • Give Grendel more ways to activate Feast so that he can get the food he needs to use the rest of his kit on fast teams.
  • Simplify Nourish, and have it provide extra benefits for finishing an enemy by producing orbs that synergize with his passive.
  • Let Regurgitate be used more rapidly with a held activation, and perhaps even incur an energy cost in exchange for temporarily freezing his energy drain from Feast.
  • Turn his Pulverize into a more stance-based toggle, and have the ability to roll up into a ball be attached to his Parkour Slide.
Edited by -Bluhman-
Highlighting in math.
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46 minutes ago, -Bluhman- said:

This is basically the whole reason I love Grendel now

My friend, i went over some of these texts, and not going to lie, i was immediately sold after i read this, you truly care about grendel, and appreciate his immense fun factor.

They called me a madman, but i have a 16 forma grendel pulverizing everyone in it's path

So give me some time to fully read that text so i can discuss it well with you, brb 

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56 minutes ago, -Bluhman- said:

Suggestion: Grendel gains twice as much health and energy from orbs. This is both in-character, and extremely useful to Grendel, who A: has heavy and consistent usage of his energy when used as intended, and B: has large health reserves that would necessitate larger health restores for them to be impactful.

Neat, as the warframe incarnation of gluttony, it fits his theme. Wonder what you'll do with his old passive though...

58 minutes ago, -Bluhman- said:

The old effects of Grendel's passive are now baked in to this ability, and they scale with Ability Strength. Don't try and fix what isn't broken. We're taking the lessons learnt from Chroma Math here and applying them to make it stronger.

Great, i second this, as grendel, you don't even have enough time to benefit from the increased armor, having it scale with mods is great, hope it gets a lingering duration as well when you puke all enemies at once, so you get the armor buff after you killed all enemies inside his gut

1 hour ago, -Bluhman- said:

Aerial execution will cause Grendel to do a melee-styled bodyslam/big splash, that swallows enemies

Nice added benefit, although i have pulverize for that.

1 hour ago, -Bluhman- said:

Hold while empty perhaps makes a continuous effect? 

I love the swiping style, and we don't want another toggle on an already expensive ability

1 hour ago, -Bluhman- said:

Nourish will buff all damage of Grendel and his allies. Basically simplify this to Strike's effects, which are then globalized to apply to all sources and types of damage.

The thing is, it's supposed to do that, it buffs all damage output of grendel's weapons and abilities as an added toxic damage, but it's really broken and doesn't work as it should.

1 hour ago, -Bluhman- said:

Killing a feasted target with Nourish will cause 4 universal orbs to erupt from Grendel. This provides much-needed extra healing and energy, to both Grendel and his allies, and even allows his passive to come into play more often.

Make it 2, since he gets double the effect anyway, and universal orbs are Lavos' thing don't take that away from him.

1 hour ago, -Bluhman- said:

Give a held activation mode that just lets me machine-gun fire out people.

Hilarious, i always say feast is the shotgun and Regurgitate is the semi automatic rifle, but this would significantly increase the DPS of Regurgitate and make it fun to use.

1 hour ago, -Bluhman- said:

Maybe a small compromise that makes energy management easier? Give Regurgitate a 25 energy point cost, but have it pause Feast's energy drain. 

Pause it for how long? Isn't Regurgitate a tap ability?

1 hour ago, -Bluhman- said:

Pulverize becomes Pulverize Armor: Essentially the aesthetic of Pulverize's sphere applies to Grendel, but he can still move normally as he starts digesting his victims to generate self-healing and armor. He generates shockwaves while landing, can no longer be staggered or knocked down, and maintains the armor level he had at the time of activating the ability. 

  • HOWEVER, If the user attempts to slide, they will enter his Ball Form, and can proceed to do destructive maneuvers as before. In this case, the Pulverize Ball acts as a toggle, and can be deactivated (without losing the bonuses or spending extra energy) by double-tapping crouch to uncurl.
  • He can use most of his kit while standing, but he cannot use Feast until he turns Pulverize Armor off: the armor seals his gut shut.

Ok this is getting interesting, so it's more or less like how melee switching works for exalted weapons

My grendel uses fireblast to strip armor and destory them with pulverize i would really use a faster way to go in and out of pulverize. Double neat

1 hour ago, -Bluhman- said:

Improved Sphere Maneuvers: Take some steps from fellow ball-rolling games:

  • Use the bullet-jump input combination to do a spinning dash, rolling in place rapidly and then releasing to fling Grendel in the aimed direction.
  • Move directly towards a wall to roll up it a limited distance.
  • Crouch in midair to rocket down towards the ground, creating an expanded shockwave and immediately bouncing back up, dribbling yourself like a basketball for an energy cost

The thing is, all this is good, but it exists already, catapult can provide all the mobility you need, either jumping very high into the air, or dropping down like kamikaze, and all for 10 energy and a lot less button inputs.

If only DE actually put that augment in the ability and change it to something else 

 

I Hope DE considers this, your grendel suggestions are an A to me 

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13 hours ago, -Bluhman- said:

Pulverize
Suggestions:

I agree that the exponential energy drain, while kind of a brutish design decision, can actually be pretty fair. however right now it is not, because of the sole fact that pulverize has a 10 enemy limit that caps its damage. I'd be willing to accept grendel as a whole as he is now if atleast that 10 enemy cap was removed. if we barely get to enjoy it because our energy will run out within seconds, atleast make it really worth using it in the first place.

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Some good suggestions for sure, I love the big guy myself.

Pretty much all of the feedback I've ever had about him is covered in here in one way or another.  That and I wish his ball had a little more control, it can get a a little rough on some tiles. I don't know if adding an aim-glide to his ball form would work but being able to slow down and have a second of hangtime while rolling would help prevent me from falling or getting stuck in geometry.

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On 2021-02-27 at 10:07 PM, (PSN)Hopper_Orouk said:

I love the swiping style, and we don't want another toggle on an already expensive ability

The intent for that change isn't really a toggle, more like a maintained hold on the ability button. The feasting stops as soon as you release the button in this case, the only real difference is that you can still run around whilst doing it.

On 2021-02-27 at 10:07 PM, (PSN)Hopper_Orouk said:

Pause it for how long? Isn't Regurgitate a tap ability?

At least 1 second? Also yes, if this was combined with the machine-gun firing thing, that would probably require a bit more detail with how that interacts.

My thought immediately would probably be: have a constant energy cost while using the hold activation, and pause the Feast drain while it's being used. The key element here, I believe, would be to bolster its elements of energy management to a big degree, and make it a lot easier to use to that regard.

On 2021-02-27 at 10:07 PM, (PSN)Hopper_Orouk said:

The thing is, all this is good, but it exists already, catapult can provide all the mobility you need, either jumping very high into the air, or dropping down like kamikaze, and all for 10 energy and a lot less button inputs.

If only DE actually put that augment in the ability and change it to something else 

Right, this really should be just a part of the ability. Haven't tried using the Catapult augment due to not having much room in my build for it (as it turns out, Grendel requires a lot of mods to keep energized and alive.) Considering that utilizing the existing Nourish activation providing a speed buff already exists it seemed frivolous, but of course, that existing synergy costs a lot more energy for not much alteration in Grendel's inertia.

Long story short, and the common theme to notice between the suggestions made here: Grendel could really use a couple of moves to rapidly change his direction when needed.

 

21 hours ago, cococciolo said:

I agree that the exponential energy drain, while kind of a brutish design decision, can actually be pretty fair. however right now it is not, because of the sole fact that pulverize has a 10 enemy limit that caps its damage. I'd be willing to accept grendel as a whole as he is now if atleast that 10 enemy cap was removed. if we barely get to enjoy it because our energy will run out within seconds, atleast make it really worth using it in the first place.

From what I can understand, then, the only reason to exceed 10 eaten enemies is to retain Pulverize form for a longer period at max size. Theoretically of course, provided one can somehow keep making energy orbs spawn by killing, because I want to reiterate that every other source of energy restoration (especially those generated by the user themselves) doesn't work while constant-drain effects are in action.

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2 hours ago, -Bluhman- said:

From what I can understand, then, the only reason to exceed 10 eaten enemies is to retain Pulverize form for a longer period at max size. Theoretically of course

not even then because the energy drain also increases with more enemies eaten, and unlike the damage it isn't capped at 10 enemies.

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This is quite possibly the most thorough and well-reasoned critique of Grendel that I've seen. The OP clearly cares very much about the frame and knows their stuff, and the post itself is formatted in such a way that it's still easy to read even with its length. I agree very much with the critique, and can get behind pretty much every single suggestion: Grendel suffers from poor quality of life on his abilities relative to many other frames, along with a non-passive that is basically just an extra mechanic for his 1, and so could benefit significantly from streamlining some of his mechanics and giving him some more unique flavor by having him make more use of orbs.

If I were to add one thing, it could be to possibly have health and Energy orbs give Grendel decaying bonus health and Energy respectively when doing over the maximum: it would fit his theme of gluttony, but also potentially create a loop of its own where Grendel would want to constantly generate as many orbs as possible to raise his stats.

Edited by Teridax68
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I don’t see how any of this actually improves Grendel. Everything you’ve suggested are gimmicks, QoL changes, and a new passive that relies on Nourish to actually kill the enemies. When the parts of Grendel that kill are his 1 vomiting out all the enemies, or his 4.

Why not do something like having all of Grendels abilities scale in both damage and effect for the number of enemies he eats?

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3 hours ago, (XBOX)GearsMatrix301 said:

Why not do something like having all of Grendels abilities scale in both damage and effect for the number of enemies he eats?

because they already do that? 

it seems you don't know a lot about the frame, i don't blame you though.

his feast' damage scales both with unlimited amounts of enemies inside his gut, and with nourish strike AND with enemy level

his nourish's damage and healing scale with enemy level

his regurgitate scale with enemy level 

his pulverize scale both with enemy level and with enemies inside his gut up to 10 times, the shockwave from jumping scales with enemy level inside his gut, the collision damage from hitting enemies with the ball scales with enemy level that you hit with it, BOTH scale with amount of enemies inside up to 10

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41 minutes ago, (PSN)Hopper_Orouk said:

because they already do that? 

it seems you don't know a lot about the frame, i don't blame you though.

his feast' damage scales both with unlimited amounts of enemies inside his gut, and with nourish strike AND with enemy level

his nourish's damage and healing scale with enemy level

his regurgitate scale with enemy level 

his pulverize scale both with enemy level and with enemies inside his gut up to 10 times, the shockwave from jumping scales with enemy level inside his gut, the collision damage from hitting enemies with the ball scales with enemy level that you hit with it, BOTH scale with amount of enemies inside up to 10

I know his 1 scales.

His 2’s buffs should also scale with enemy level, not just the healing.

The fact that I didn’t even know regurgitate had scaling with level just goes to prove how little it’s actually doing for Grendel. Why not give the ability an Armor strip that scales with the number of enemies eaten?

And yeah his 4 scales as well, and ultimately does just need QoL.
 

So Grendels only noticeable scaling points affect him and enemies he’s eaten, not his allies or the enemies he hasn’t eaten. That’s not great. He should be able to still significant stuff outside of comboing feast and pulverize all mission long.

Edited by (XBOX)GearsMatrix301
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Grendel probably still tanks more than Chroma. Because he has 350 base health. With an Umbral set, Grendel would have 3745 and 1924 armor with Arcane Guardian, he'd have around 27k EHP (of health, didn't count shields), and that's without counting the skill you've mentioned that enables even higher armor ratings. 

An Umbral Chroma with 300% strenght has 1070 health and an armor bonus of 1242,5% (because Vex Armor doesn't increase total armor, but only base armor, like mods), resulting in a total of: (425+1242,5%)+900 = 6606 armor (rounded up). His total EHP is 24'598k. 

So, Grendel is better. And before you mention Elemental Ward, again, Grendel isn't even using his armor stacking mechanic.

Edit (also tl;dr): base Grendel tanks more than Chroma Prime. So your point doesn't make sense, just create another argument.

 

 

Edited by (XBOX)GodMasterTP
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Loving these suggestions and great to see our gluttonous gent hasn't been entirely forgotten.

I really enjoy Grendel, he's something completely different to other frames and is just good ol' fashioned silly fun, but is in dire need of some tweaks in this humble Tenno's opinion.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2021-03-02 at 1:37 PM, (XBOX)GodMasterTP said:

Grendel probably still tanks more than Chroma. Because he has 350 base health. With an Umbral set, Grendel would have 3745 and 1924 armor with Arcane Guardian, he'd have around 27k EHP (of health, didn't count shields), and that's without counting the skill you've mentioned that enables even higher armor ratings. 

An Umbral Chroma with 300% strenght has 1070 health and an armor bonus of 1242,5% (because Vex Armor doesn't increase total armor, but only base armor, like mods), resulting in a total of: (425+1242,5%)+900 = 6606 armor (rounded up). His total EHP is 24'598k. 

So, Grendel is better. And before you mention Elemental Ward, again, Grendel isn't even using his armor stacking mechanic.

Edit (also tl;dr): base Grendel tanks more than Chroma Prime. So your point doesn't make sense, just create another argument.

 

 

Using a full umbral set would facilitate the usage of mods that stack ability strength, health, and armor. Armor's the big factor here, because stacking it on Grendel would have a big effect for his survivability with that massive health pool (not to mention the self-buffing nature of the Umbral set) but that's mod-slots that are being taken up that aren't granting him any kind of benefit to his other abilities - those could've been used for perhaps extra duration to let his buffs last longer from Nourish, or more energy to maintain feasted enemies (for just a bit longer - I just noticed that the rate at which energy drains increases exponentially for every second spent with an enemy eaten). Contrast this to Rhino, Gara, Nezha - these are all Warframes that have abilities that scale in some part with the amount of Armor they have for at least one of their abilities. Grendel just happens to be survivable with this setup by virtue of his base stats, but they don't synergize with his kit at all. Grendel is better at taking damage, and... That's about it.

For a variety of reasons, Chroma meanwhile doesn't gain as much benefit from using Armor mods, including the reason mentioned up there. But that also leaves him free to stack more Ability Strength or Duration - which isn't only boosting his armor, but also the damage he deals, the amount of health he heals with Elemental Ward (I mentioned it again sorry.) And theoretically also the damage he'd be dealing with his Spectral Scream and Effigy if they were worth using as attacks (or heck, the damage of an attack that could potentially be subsumed in place of those?)

It does bring up some interesting ideas about how to expand Grendel from that, though - what if he'd be the first Warframe to actually utilize an Armor stat for an offensive purpose, perhaps like the damage on his Pulverize? While I did bring up the other Warframes the utilize Armor as a scaling factor for their abilities, they globally are all for reinforcing the health of a defense mechanic they use. Perhaps a Grendel rework could find a way to, in fact, make the best offense be a good defense?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2021-02-28 at 5:47 AM, -Bluhman- said:

I went through the challenge of doing his part-locator missions, and decided to give him a shot after braving the challenges. I wasn't expecting much - I knew that Grendel isn't exactly close to having a running in any kind of meta in Warframe. After giving him a shot, though, I gained insight to exactly why he doesn't really work in his current state, and what he tries to accomplish.

Boiling it down? Minus his Pulverize ability, Grendel is basically an obese Chroma - A sturdy, heavy martial class that emphasizes providing buffs to weapon damage, high health, and armor. Compared to Chroma, however, it's a lot more work for way less payoff, and it's even much more difficult to maintain the benefits provided by his mechanics as well. Only saving graces and reason why I consider having him around is that Pulverize is just a fun ability. It's just heartbreaking to see it placed on a frame that's otherwise unusable in every other way.

Base Stats:

Grendel's got one thing and only one thing going for him: HP. The shield's a really nice thought, since having any amount of shield still provides the grace invulnerability, but it's not something he can really exploit in any outstanding propensity. His energy reserves are only slightly above average, which is not good considering just how much energy Grendel can expend in attempting to be effective, and his armor is decent. Funnily enough, after reflecting on this and starting with the Chroma comparisons, his Armor and Energy values are identical to those of Chroma even. The big difference? Chroma works marvelously off of bolstering his strong armor, using mechanics that scale up way better (as to be discussed in the Passive section) and with abilities that can more carefully and selectively utilize his energy.
Suggestions?: Honestly, none in this section. All the issues with Grendel really boil down to just how poorly he uses what he's given with the rest of his kit.

Passive:

Here's one of the largest issues I have with Grendel, and it's that this passive does just does NOT keep pace with anything else that happens as you upgrade, mod, and access high-level Warframe content (especially ironic considering both the arbitrations and missions you went through to even get him in the first place). To put this all in perspective, it's time for a bunch of mumbo-jumbo math, and EVEN MORE Chroma comparisons:

  Hide contents

 

So very conveniently, Grendel and Chroma, without any setup, start at the exact same armor value of 350, which is already cutting damage in half. Let's look at Grendel first. During my runs of using Grendel, I often was able to keep around 8-9 enemies in my stomach comfortably - this was a level of enemies stored that cut a good balance between survivability in a Steel Path survival, and energy economy (though also considering that I had Hunter Adrenaline on, so incoming damage was also counteracting that drain). This would've ended up adding 450 armor points on top of the existing armor, resulting in a total of 800, granting (based on the wiki's math) 72% damage reduction overall. Theoretically this can get even higher: I think the highest number of people I've managed to eat is like 24, which would give me 1550 armor points. About 10% less damage taken - 83% damage reduction overall. Pair that with your energy depleting extremely fast in this state, and it's simply a mechanic that isn't worth trying to exploit directly, nor something that can even be practically maintained for that long.

Meanwhile, Chroma's Vex Armor, leveraging Scorn, grants a 350% increase in armor at its max rank. Already before you've done any explicit building on Chroma for either Armor rating or Ability Strength (which of course both contribute to the strength of this armor) this is granting you 1225 armor rating, or around 80% less damage taken. That's higher than my personally sustainable experience of utilizing Grendel's passive, on an ability that has a much less constant energy burden (which also allows for other effects such as Zenurik's stuff and Squad Energy Restores to still proc). If one IS building chroma properly, even slightly, however, that 350% increase raises up to around 900-1000%, and now you're getting around 3500 armor points for 92% less damage taken, with no extra energy-cost imposed versus base strength. There's a reason this guy can withstand Profit-Taker's onslaught so well.

Grendel offers a linear increase in Armor for a linear increase of energy cost.
Chroma offers a multiplicative increase in Armor for a constant energy cost.

 

In almost all other cases of mechanics like this existing, however, this kind of effect wouldn't even be a passive. Consider Atlas, who's actual passive is to resist all knockdown so long as he's on the ground, and his armor increases from rubble just exists implicitly as part of his abilities. Consider Nidus, who's actual passive is the ability to revive himself if he's mutated enough. The mechanic of mutation in-of itself is part of his Virulence ability. If we were to apply rules like this to Grendel, His armor increase would just be a part of his Feast ability.
Suggestion: Grendel gains twice as much health and energy from orbs. This is both in-character, and extremely useful to Grendel, who A: has heavy and consistent usage of his energy when used as intended, and B: has large health reserves that would necessitate larger health restores for them to be impactful.

Feast:

Fun and satisfying move to use (also really funny, because wildly flailing my mouse around to make myself spin in a circle does seem to help allow me to swallow enemies at all angles around me!) But not feasible to use, especially on effective teams. This is mainly a problem because Feast is the ability upon which the entirety of Grendel's set hinges on. If he can't feast, he cannot do anything else. Garuda also faces this problem in attempts to activate either her Dread Mirror, Blood Altar, or even leverage usage of her extremely powerful passive consistently on teams that have healing. The linking factor here is also how the power is used, and its animation, and it's arguably worse for Grendel than it is for Garuda, because at least with her, spamming 1 will eventually maybe lock-on to an unlucky target to activate Dread Mirror. Grendel's Feast has a very real chance of whiffing entirely, and he cannot move at all once he activates it.

The most obvious stopgap fix to this would be to just make the rest of his abilities still usable even when he's not feasting on someone, but in weakened forms. Naturally, though, the best approach would be to tie in more benefits for utilizing the mechanic, as well as making the process of feasting more capable of capturing targets.
Suggestions:

  • The old effects of Grendel's passive are now baked in to this ability, and they scale with Ability Strength. Don't try and fix what isn't broken. We're taking the lessons learnt from Chroma Math here and applying them to make it stronger.
  • Aerial execution will cause Grendel to do a melee-styled bodyslam/big splash, that swallows enemies he hits. Rapid approach tactic that lets the fat, armored boy dive in to a fight immediately and gain a big armor boost.
  • Hold while empty perhaps makes a continuous effect? Maybe allow an empty Grendel to voraciously and continuously suck in enemies in while still moving. I hate to sound like a broken record and make even more chroma analogies, but this perhaps would end up feeling like using Spectral Scream, but not a strange toggle.
  • Completely left-field concept/nitpicking: shouldn't most of Grendel's effects deal Corrosive damage rather than Toxic? Really, think about it: Toxic is already an element that's pretty widely used by other frames. Corrosive, in addition to being... Somewhat close to the meta, at least in some way, I guess? It also makes a whole lot more sense, because Stomach Acid is, in fact, acid.

Nourish:

Awkward to use, and adds more layers of complexity to a frame that's already pretty complex to manage. This could use a Vex Armor or Roar treatment where the benefits it supplies are just a consistent package of buffs rather than something you have to cycle through and figure out.

This really comes through in spades if you consider some similar effects and mechanics on other frames, like Wisp - If you're going to place down a Health Mote on top of a defensive point, there really isn't much reason you wouldn't slam down a Haste Mote immediately afterwards. At least in Wisp's case, there's very valid reasons as to why you wouldn't want Shock Motes, and would also perhaps want to spread out motes to provide Wisp with a bit more area coverage. Chroma's elemental buffs are at least justified (and also reined in a bit) by the fact he can only have one active at a time. Grendel, however? He can trigger each effect sequentially and have them all going on at once, but it just is something that takes 3 key presses and 3 key holds instead of just one activation.

Pair this with the fact that all three effects are, while useful, also subtle buffs that are simultaneously misleading: Energy buff relies on enemies dropping orbs, and there's a bunch of other energy restore mechanics and alternatives that are much more reliable (but also Grendel can't use because he has constant energy drain going on whoops). Armor buff... Actually isn't armor at all, it's a toxic aura and doesn't reduce damage taken so why is it even called armor? Strike is just Rhino's Roar that requires more babysitting to activate, adds a specific damage type, and doesn't apply to all attacks or abilities like Roar does.

The self-heal mechanics are also really mediocre - never seems to recover nearly enough to counteract the amount of damage you might have taken due to your armor, and of course, because executing Nourish deals damage to your eaten enemies, there's a real chance that they could die and using the Nourish ends up increasing the damage you're taking afterwards, while then also reducing the energy you have available to maintain your feast. The effect of Nourish really has to justify the amount of energy and risk spent to use it because of this.
Suggestions:

  • Nourish will buff all damage of Grendel and his allies. Basically simplify this to Strike's effects, which are then globalized to apply to all sources and types of damage.
  • Killing a feasted target with Nourish will cause 4 universal orbs to erupt from Grendel. This provides much-needed extra healing and energy, to both Grendel and his allies, and even allows his passive to come into play more often.
  • Having more feasted enemies will extend the range of the effect, with enough enemies allowing Nourish to generate a shockwave that causes enemies to fall down. Given the animation of the attack, I think it'd make sense, give the ability some extra capability as a close-quarters control ability, and provide incentive to maintain higher numbers of eaten people.

Regurgitate:

Kind of redundant in a sense to use when the held activation of Feast exists - Cases where I need to barf a wide cone of damage is high, whereas a precision strike at range is not as often a use case. I can see why it's there though, it's meant to be a mechanic by which Grendel can more closely regulate his energy usage while also maintaining some feasted people. In practice? It has a real possibility to both miss, and not kill the regurgitated target, an adjustment of one person usually isn't enough to counteract the speed at which the Grendel might be losing energy, and again, the aforementioned redundancy of just using a held Feast to blast out a massive burst of enemies. I will give it these two things: it does good damage when it's used right, and its complete discount of energy does point to its intended use for regulation.
Suggestions:

  • Give a held activation mode that just lets me machine-gun fire out people. This would allow for much more responsive energy-use control and potentially lots of racked-up damage from regurgitated people hitting eachother in the process.
  • Maybe a small compromise that makes energy management easier? Give Regurgitate a 25 energy point cost, but have it pause Feast's energy drain. This would make it especially useful at high feast stacks, and good use of it could allow a Grendel to maintain very high armor levels without draining their energy too fast.

Pulverize:

This is basically the whole reason I love Grendel now, because turning your Warframe Game into an impromptu Katamari Damacy level is just so ridiculous and fun that it works. Managing to pull Pulverize off at really high Feast levels makes you MASSIVE and destroys things really quickly. But good luck getting there, and also several other factors make its actual implementation... Confusing? Hard to use? Prone to mistakes? A variety of things.

So, to the best of my understanding, enemies you've feasted on are also taking damage whilst you are rolling around crashing into things. This can end up killing them in the process, during which this both lowers the energy cost of using Pulverize while still maintaining your massive size. Doing this also seems to heal you, and... Might maintain the armor level you had when you activated the ability? Then this is counteracted by some kind of mechanic that proceeds to exponentially increase the energy drain of the ability as you keep it on, meaning you can't keep Pulverizing forever. Fair enough, this is quite similar to how Valkyr's Hysteria works. But now here's the big difference:

Whereas with most other stance toggles like this, where you can at least maintain a pretty good level of control (either by just having normal controls but faster, i.e. Valkyr or Gauss, or by using a different game mode like Titania), Grendel's Pulverize, despite being viscerally fun, is extremely prone to getting stuck. Sure, you might have your double-jump to generate quick damage, and yes you might be huge, but if you don't have any enemies left in your gut, and you're stuck at the bottom of a ramp, you're basically done. The mighty Grendel is defeated by stairs.

Once again, more parallels can be drawn between this and Chroma's Effigy: it's a form that provides tradeoffs. Chroma gains speed but loses armor, while Grendel essentially is losing speed to gain armor and damage. The problem is, Chroma's pretty free to activate and deactivate effigy whenever he needs to; there's no build-up or prep work for using that. Grendel basically will need to stick in his form to make the most of the people he's eaten. Otherwise the next time he uses Pulverize without eating people, it'll be smaller and weaker.
Suggestions:

  • Pulverize becomes Pulverize Armor: Essentially the aesthetic of Pulverize's sphere applies to Grendel, but he can still move normally as he starts digesting his victims to generate self-healing and armor. He generates shockwaves while landing, can no longer be staggered or knocked down, and maintains the armor level he had at the time of activating the ability. 
    • HOWEVER, If the user attempts to slide, they will enter his Ball Form, and can proceed to do destructive maneuvers as before. In this case, the Pulverize Ball acts as a toggle, and can be deactivated (without losing the bonuses or spending extra energy) by double-tapping crouch to uncurl.
    • He can use most of his kit while standing, but he cannot use Feast until he turns Pulverize Armor off: the armor seals his gut shut.
  • Improved Sphere Maneuvers: Take some steps from fellow ball-rolling games:
    • Use the bullet-jump input combination to do a spinning dash, rolling in place rapidly and then releasing to fling Grendel in the aimed direction.
    • Move directly towards a wall to roll up it a limited distance.
    • Crouch in midair to rocket down towards the ground, creating an expanded shockwave and immediately bouncing back up, dribbling yourself like a basketball for an energy cost.

 

The TLDR summary of the suggestions:

  • Move his armor-mechanic passive to where it belongs, just as a part of Feast's description, and instead let him get increased benefits from health/energy orbs.
  • Give Grendel more ways to activate Feast so that he can get the food he needs to use the rest of his kit on fast teams.
  • Simplify Nourish, and have it provide extra benefits for finishing an enemy by producing orbs that synergize with his passive.
  • Let Regurgitate be used more rapidly with a held activation, and perhaps even incur an energy cost in exchange for temporarily freezing his energy drain from Feast.
  • Turn his Pulverize into a more stance-based toggle, and have the ability to roll up into a ball be attached to his Parkour Slide.

As a man who will love playing grendel THIS is what this warframe needs to become better but I saw other topic with grendel tweaks with good changes to grendels abilities and most good change  with his third ability. When the grendels belly is empty he can use energy to spit a toxic/corrosive projectile

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I forget where, but I once recommended that Regurgitate be replaced with an all new ability I thought up. I like what you wrote here so I'd like your feedback on it:

 

~~~~~BELCH~~~~~ (25 Energy)
Grendel lets out bone-rattling belch of such magnitude that nearby enemies flinch and become temporarily open to finishers. In addition, Belching allows Grendel to make more room in his gut, temporarily halting the energy drain he suffers from swallowed enemies. The range of enemy flinching and duration of the energy buff are enhanced depending on the number of enemies Grendel has in his gut. When Grendel's gut is empty, this ability just makes Grendel's stomach gurgle sadly at him.

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