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Please arrange Xaku's abilities for actual play


TyrianMollusk
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I spent some time with Xaku and it's definitely got some fun and interesting things to its kit that I'd like to spend more time with, but it's impossible to ignore just how willfully awkward it is for actual play.

Thinking about it a bit, this is incredibly fixable with zero changes to what abilities do.  Basically, you've got three duration abilities that are untargeted and don't really matter on their precise casting, and then you've got three targeted abilities that need to be quick and precise, and are kind of your bread-and-butter things you actually do playing the frame.

The problem is that the casting-doesn't-matter abilities get 1,2, and 4, while the things you actually want to do a lot and quickly are all stacked on 3 with that awkward cycle system completely gumming up the play.  It takes excessive player attention, excessive button management, and all the actual casting is hold-to-cast, which stinks for aiming, especially on controller.

The beauty is how simple the solution is: Deny, Accuse, and Gaze should be split out to cast-on-tap at 1,2, and 3 respectively, with the current 1 and 2 abilities kept where they are but made hold-to-cast, reflecting their infrequent use and their lack of a need to be timely or aimed.

These even nicely align, as 1 and Deny are both damagers, 2 and Accuse are both manipulation, and Gaze is really enough to be its own 3 ability, with all its nuances.  You could hold off Deny and Accuse until the 1/2 rank up if you don't want those available at low levels, but leveling is a trivial and short process that should never take priority over how a frame plays at max, where it will spend all its actual play time.  You could also adjust the cast times to shorten the hold-cast abilities and lengthen the tap-cast abilities, so everything stays effectively the same press-to-effect time as it now.  It will still improve play a ton and make the frame feel much more fun.

A little change and the frame becomes properly fun to play, with everything properly accessible and still making sense.  Xaku is a neat frame.  Please consider making it enjoyable to play.

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Honestly this isn't a terrible idea. The only real gripe I have with Xaku is the 3 and rotating abilities. As with all other frames that have rotating abilities assigned to one button I only really use one of the three because rotating is a PITA.

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7 minutes ago, TyrianMollusk said:

Why?  It's exactly the same except the buttons work better.

I frequently spam 2 to gather an army of guns on Xaku, if I had to hold it for every cast, this would take much longer.

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6 minutes ago, TyrianMollusk said:

Why?  It's exactly the same except the buttons work better.

Thought it through. It isn't terrible idea. But they wouldn't do it, because of first - thematically, it's a single ability, and second - coding is expensive and time consuming.

Anyway, in The Lost rotation, Gaze is only one good ability, since Accuse is a gimmick and Deny is weak. And you know how DE deals with useless abilities - they leave it like that for years to come.

Sorry if i sound mean spirited, it was not my intention.

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This issue only exists by having a pigeonholed UI design. It might make sense on consoles/controllers, but on PC we should have the ability to rebind each ability individually and use modifiers to cast them. Instead of the completely inane design The Lost (and any ability involving cycling for that matter) has right now, what if we could just have its three components on individual binds and use, say, Shift/Ctrl/Alt/(insert any key) + 1/2/3/(insert any key). There, "problem" solved - a problem that any MMO solved two decades ago, yet we still have do deal with this terrible functionality.

Not to mention that Xaku's 3 is a prime target for the Helminth system, to be replaced by something more useful and functional.

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1 hour ago, XAN3MK said:

It might make sense on consoles/controllers

I can assure you it's awful on consoles/controllers.

No, here's how I'd solve it. On these rotating abilities there's never more than 4 options, and usually exactly 4. Make casting them a combo instead of a hold. Let's use Vauban's Minelayer for an example, just because I'm the most familiar with it:

  • Press 2, then 2 again -> Tether coil. Default action.
  • 2, 1 -> Flechette Orb
  • 2, 3 -> Damage buff thingy
  • 2, 4 -> Meme pad

Alternate, much preferred solution:

  • Remove Vector Pad.
  • Press 2 to swap 1, 3, and 4 with Coil, Orb, and Damage buff.
  • Press 2 to swap back.
Edited by Zeddypanda
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Just gonna copy/paste my thoughts from a previous topic:

I still think those "cycles" should just be removed or at least streamlined where possible. Examples:

Xaku could split up "The Lost" over both their 2 and 3, like this:

2 - Tap for Accuse, Hold for Grasp (both are AoE enemy manipulation that add firepower to your side)
3 - Tap for Deny, Hold for Gaze (both are enemy-targeted and can remove defensive capabilities)

For Booben, something like this would allow much more fluid ability usage I think:

1 - Tether Coil / Tesla Nervos (you always charge Tesla to full anyways, the Augment working on tethered enemies seems fine)
2 - Overdriver / Vector Pad (now VP is out of the way until it's buffed / replaced lol)
3 - Flechette Orb / Orbital Strike (BTW, if used while aiming, give the OS throw a bit more oomph so it can reach further)
4 - Bastille / Vortex (same enhanced range / speed while aiming might be nice here ... or Hek, just give that to everything, actually)

Limited CC, buffs, damage, mass CC, all grouped together and overall more easily accessible, just seems so much neater.

Wisp, instead of going Hold - Tap - Hold - Tap - Hold to deploy all the Motes one after another
could have that happen a bit more smoothly, like, if you keep holding 1 for a certain amount of time (like, 0.5 seconds)
after deploying a Mote, it automatically switches to and deploys the next Mote, and repeat.

This would be especially useful / convenient for more mobile missions, i.e. casting while on the move.

Ivara I guess makes thematic sense enough, it's a quiver of trick arrows you're cycling through
3LTEFGI.gif
... but still, further customization options of any kind would be nice.

BTW, I have similar thoughts on weapon firing modes:

  Hide contents

Customization for the order, as well as method of activation, of firing modes would be great.

Let me choose in which order I cycle through my Hystrix quills, and which I start the mission with.

Let me use the Barrage mode on Zarr via Secondary Fire rather than needing to clunkily cycle through modes first.

Let me configure my Corinth Prime so it shoots and detonates Airbursts on Primary Fire, and only does "regular" shots while aiming.

Let me do stuff like putting the 3 firing modes of Tiberon Prime / Kuva Hind on Primary, Secondary, and "While Aimed" Fire.

Let console players who right now need to hold down R3 (lol wut) for the saw blade mode on Panthera finally catch a break, for Stug's sake :P

The cycle must be broken!

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On 2021-03-10 at 8:04 AM, NinjaZeku said:

I still think those "cycles" should just be removed or at least streamlined where possible.

Yes yes yes. I hate them so much. 😣

I haven't used Xaku enough to have opinion there, except that the cycle thing is a PITA in general, so in principle I'm with the author.

On 2021-03-10 at 8:04 AM, NinjaZeku said:

Wisp, instead of going Hold - Tap - Hold - Tap - Hold to deploy all the Motes one after another [...] keep holding 1 for a certain amount of time (like, 0.5 seconds)
after deploying a Mote, it automatically switches to and deploys the next Mote

^This. This this this this this. I liek Wisp, but don't hardly use her because I got so sick of fiddling with the 1 button all the time. 🙁

I think switching to the next Reservoir should just be for the next cast...

...like if you're set to Vitality and you hold for two casts you get the Vitality and Haste Reservoirs. Then if a bit later you again hold for two casts you get Vitality and Haste again. That makes it easier to avoid dropping the Shock Reservoir if you don't want Shock Motes...

...or if you wanted Shock and Vitality but not Haste, you'd tap 'til it was set on Shock, then hold for two casts.

And if the player has tap/hold functions inverted in their Options Menu, then tapping to cast and tapping again within 0.5s would drop the next Reservoir in the sequence. That makes sense, because it wouldn't be useful to drop two of the same reservoir right next to each other.

This would make Wisp very lovely to use.

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Regarding the Lost, I hope they revisit the cycling function eventually and expand on a different type of ability selection/casting.

For example, a suggestion - Smart Cast & Selection, default behavior using The Lost:

  • The Lost's Tap-cast now immediately casts the last selected ability (so normally, Accuse is priority when you first load into a mission).
  • Hold down 3 to temporarily change hotkey inputs of [1], [2], and [3] buttons into a selection menu. Press a hotkey to select Accuse, Gaze, or Deny in that order. Once selected, the ability will cast and The Lost's normal tap-cast will remember which ability you recently used.
  • How does it work if you're looking at the HUD in-game?
    • Using the cycle wheel UI element for example:
      • By default, Accuse's icon is enlarged and on the left of the wheel, letting you know what you will cast.
      • Tap-cast casts Accuse like normal.
      • After holding down 3, the hotkeys appear below the three icons for Accuse (1), Gaze (2), Deny (3). Once you press a hotkey, the wheel shifts to the selected sub-ability.

In this system, Xata's Whisper and Grasp of Lohk won't have their hold-functions (jf DE ever decides to add some) interfered by The Lost.

 

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Drop-down style selection will always get my preference. Press [key assigned to cycle ability] to replace your 1, 2, 3 and 4 with the cycle abilities. This lasts for 1.5 seconds, or until one is cast, after which everything reverts to normal. If the UI can be made responsive enough, this should allow you much quicker and much more precise access to all of your sub-abilities.

On 2021-03-09 at 11:16 PM, TyrianMollusk said:

The beauty is how simple the solution is: Deny, Accuse, and Gaze should be split out to cast-on-tap at 1,2, and 3 respectively, with the current 1 and 2 abilities kept where they are but made hold-to-cast, reflecting their infrequent use and their lack of a need to be timely or aimed.

The problem with this solution is that you are giving double occupancy to those slots, meaning that it's harder to modify Xaku via Helminth. Right now, I've taken out Xata's Whisper, and I'm happy with that, as Xata's Whisper is an ability I'm not interested in. But if Gaze or Accuse were to be slotted onto the 1 as well, I'd lose that, too. And Gaze is an integral part of Xaku's kit.

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2 hours ago, PsiWarp said:
  •  
  • After holding down 3, the hotkeys appear below the three icons for Accuse (1), Gaze (2), Deny (3). Once you press a hotkey, the wheel shifts to the selected sub-ability.

That wouldn't change problem with fast-casting abilities. It had to be tapping only (tap 3 -> tap 1-3 keys). It's kind of Lavos elemental imbuing. Tap once or twice to select an element. That's very fast.

On 2021-03-10 at 9:04 AM, NinjaZeku said:

Xaku could split up "The Lost" over both their 2 and 3, like this:

2 - Tap for Accuse, Hold for Grasp (both are AoE enemy manipulation that add firepower to your side)
3 - Tap for Deny, Hold for Gaze (both are enemy-targeted and can remove defensive capabilities)

On 2021-03-09 at 11:16 PM, TyrianMollusk said:

The beauty is how simple the solution is: Deny, Accuse, and Gaze should be split out to cast-on-tap at 1,2, and 3 respectively, with the current 1 and 2 abilities kept where they are but made hold-to-cast, reflecting their infrequent use and their lack of a need to be timely or aimed.

First we need to think about few things:

  1. whenever it's spammable ability or can be cast-and-forget
  2. energy usage

1. "Spammability":

Gaze & Xata's whisper are cast-and-forget.

Grasp of Lohk & Accuse are in the middle. GoL is spammable if you take short duration. As for Accuse, if you kill enemies.

Deny, in my opinion, should be spammable. It's allowed you to be mobile so you need fast tapping.

2. Energy usage:

Only Accuse & Deny cost too much. If we can get something from Accused enemies then 50 energy is fine. Deny should be much cheaper. If you can kill enemies with Deny then you could with your weapons. For tougher enemies, levitating is nice so 50 energy would ok. Adding this 2 together I would go with 25 energy.

 

With some subjectivity (especially in section 2.) I think it should be:

1. tap = Deny || hold = Xata's whisper

2. Grasp of Lohk

3. tap = Accuse || hold = Gaze

On 2021-03-10 at 2:58 AM, OniGrimm said:

Thought it through. It isn't terrible idea. But they wouldn't do it, because of first - thematically, it's a single ability, and second - coding is expensive and time consuming.

Sadly I agree.

Post about the Lost (or cycle'able abilities) were posted but nothing have been done. Now I wonder if Lavos will get "turn off sprint" change with "maneuverability" change.

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Many players finally got used to cycle abilities on multiple frames. Unless they add this as "optional" where players can toggle on/off(which I doubt). This change will mess up things even further. Really not worth the headche imo.

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On 2021-03-11 at 4:09 AM, Colyeses said:

But if Gaze or Accuse were to be slotted onto the 1 as well, I'd lose that, too. And Gaze is an integral part of Xaku's kit.

I suggested Deny for the 1, so no problem there.  Yes, Helminth swapping is an issue, but frames should be designed to play as well as possible as they are, not designed to play really badly but convenient for Helminth replacement.  I'd agree 1 is probably most likely to get replaced with or without Deny, which seems fine.

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