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We need to talk about Rift Surge (Limbo's third ability, the one you forgot existed)


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Before I start, I know the Rift Surge augment is a number-go-up meme. I know the purpose of the augment and how to use it, but using the Rift Surge augment does not mean you are taking advantage of what Rift Surge does. The augment does work with the mechanics of Rift Surge if you are big brain enough, but I very much doubt that people using Rift Surge's augment are simultaneously using Rift Surge's mechanics given using Rift Surge's mechanics means reducing the augment's multiplier before killing enemies.

 

Rift Surge is one of the greatest enigmas in Warframe. Most people seem to accept its existence, but I haven't met anyone who really understands it. Banish makes sense (but has its issues), Stasis makes sense (but has its issues), and Cataclysm makes sense (but has its issues). I knew Rift Surge did... something, like many I assumed it was useful but beyond my small brain. I'm going to take you all through my journey of research, hope, discovery, and utter confusion.

Rift Surge's in-game description.

Quote

Surges nearby Rift-bound enemies with Rift energy. When killed the Rift Surge is transferred to nearby enemies outside the rift. Surged enemies that leave the Rift perform a radial banish.

Rift Surge's Wiki description

Quote

Limbo produces a surge of Rift energy in a 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 meters radius around him, charging all Rift-bound enemies in range for 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 seconds. Surged enemies that leave the Rift plane will discharge their Rift energy, ending their surge and resulting in a radial banishment; the enemy whose surge is discharged from and any material-bound enemies within 3 / 4 / 4 / 5 meters are forced into the Rift plane for 6 / 10 / 14 / 18 seconds.

Killing a surged enemy will transfer its charge to a nearby enemy within 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 meters in the material plane. Enemies banished by the effect of Rift Surge will be knocked-down and take 300 Impact transitional damage upon entering or leaving the Rift plane.

What this made me assume was the proper way to use Rift Surge

  1. Banish a group of enemies
  2. Use Rift Surge
  3. Killing a surged enemy in the Rift will banish nearby enemies that were not in the Rift and apply the Surged status.
  4. Just keep killing Surged enemies until no enemies remain.

This... sounded really good actually. Basically it would let Limbo only have to cast Banish once, enter the Rift, and as long as there was a constant supply of enemies Limbo could perpetually bring enemies into the Rift by killing. I should have known better... if the ability did this then people would have been using it,

 

After too much testing, how to actually use Rift Surge.

  1. Banish a group of enemies.
  2. Use Rift Surge
  3. While in the Rift, cast Banish on Surged enemies.
    1. This removes the Rift surge status from affected enemies but does NOT un-banish them.
    2. Banishes enemies near the targets you casted Banish on.
  4. Completely ignore the Surge status transferring to other enemies when a Surged enemy is killed.
    1. The Surge status is transferred to a single random enemy within 25m (no, not the closest, its random. Good luck with your high range build). This does NOT Banish the enemy, they only have the Surge effect, they have to be Banished then Banished again for this to do anything.
  5. Recast Rift Surge and repeat.

What blows my mind is that this works. It makes sense. It isn't at all what I expected but this does allow Limbo to stay in the Rift forever by doing some weird alternated castings of Banish and Rift Surge. It has an active gameplay rhythm that makes sense(ish) and has a substantial skill curve that would reward a tactical player. It even works well with the augment. But my god it is too big brain for me to actually use in mission.

Part of me wants to keep it. I will never be competent enough to be a Rift Surge Limbo, but knowing it exists in Warframe brings me an odd satisfaction. The more rational part of me wants to see it go away. In the solo environment this is the tool for Limbo to kill large groups of enemies without being bounded to Cataclysm, in the co-op environment the amount of setup required to get going means everything will be dead before you finish or you are just slowing down your party. Even in the solo environment it can be a huge burden to keep track of Surged/Banished/Un-Banished enemies when you start, ya know, killing things.

I have often wondered why Banish hasn't been allowed to be casted on enemies outside the Rift while you are inside the Rift as that was something he was able to do pre-rework iirc. Would it really be that OP for limbo to not have to risk getting his rear blasted in order to banish a small group of enemies? He can already use Cataclysm while in the Rift, why add this restriction? I think I know the answer now... some DE employee has a hard-on for the complex mechanics of Rift Surge and if Banish could be casted on enemies outside the Rift then Rift Surge would be redundant. To whatever DE designer thinks this, arbitrarily nerfing one ability in order to make another ability arbitrarily useful isn't good design.

 

Final thoughts? Make Rift Surge work how I initially thought it worked and get rid of Banish's arbitrary limitation.

  • Rift Surge: Surges nearby Rift-bound enemies with Rift energy. When killed nearby enemies are banished and inflicted with Rift Surge.
  • Banish: Tap to Banish enemies in range. Hold to remove enemies from the Rift. Either action can be performed regardless of if you are in the Rift or not.

Oh, and either remove Cataclysm's range diminishing over time or inverse it because it makes for clunky anti-synergy with Stasis.

inb4 a Limbo main tells me I am stupid and Rift Surge is the best ability in the game. I would love to see someone properly use Rift Surge in mission where they are actively using its effects for more than five minutes. I too can make myself look smart in the Simulacrum, turning knowledge into practical skill is another thing.

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Rift Surge + stasis combo is probably one of the most cheesiest tactic in the game. I am surprised DE hasn’t take notice. I can literally banish every spawned enemy in interception halting future enemy spawns and keeping them in INDEFINITELY because Rift Surge’s radial banish refreshes banish duration.

 

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The original rift surge was supposed to help Limbo clean up the rift faster. Even without its augment, the original surge gave Limbo a weapon damage boost. This reworked rift surge takes the place of old banish so Limbo doesn't need to leave the rift to abduct enemies. With recent changes to warframe like shield gating, rolling guard, primed sure footed, etc, Limbo doesn't need what current rift surge offers. He can do it with Cataclysm and Banish especially since DE added holding down Banish to dispel it.

Screenshot-2020-11-17-12-17-17.png

This was reworked Rift Surge's original in game text I screen capped from one of Triburo's videos. You'll notice something very strange that never made it into the game. Even if it doesn't pull enemies into the rift anymore, at least give it that chain reaction effect.

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  • 2 months later...

You're right Limbo is a hard frame to play. I started playing a while ago, long before his rework. People said he was the hardest frame to play so I decided that I would become a Limbo expert. Rift Surge has always given me a little bit of trouble however once I figured out what you have, it took a little time and I use rift surge all the time. There is a little bit of managment involved but that just takes time, like learning the controls when you first start playing.

I agree that making his rift surge work differently would make it easier to play, however I believe it would make him kinda like all of the other frames and take away from his kit's individuality. Using the Helminth system I have tried a lot of different combonations and most of them end up making 2 or more of his abilities irrelevent. I really like the idea of the original rift surge dealing damage to all of those who are surged, that could be something interesting that would give him some (maybe too much) nuke power.

DrBorris, your research is very thorough and you bring up a good conversation about Limbo. One thing I would suggest if in a group, use Cataclysm in place of banish with your step by step process while your time stop is on. This will give your squad the chance to deal their own weapon damage as the catacysm is easier for them to deal with then trying to sort out which enemies are banished and which ones aren't. Also keep in mind that all abilities transend the rift including pet abilities, that will also help you and others cope with the seperation of bad guys :D.

Cheers :D

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I havent play Limbo very much, maybe I 'm wrong.

If he is allowed to cast Banish from the Rift, he never stop gaining energy (2 per second?) and, except for picking loot/key, he never have to be outside of his "confort zone" (aka Stasis) which let him shoot only on static target for more bonus energy (10 per kill?). It seem really overpowered to me. I think, the Rift as it exist (with energy regeneration) have to be changed for this tweak. Unless DE make Banish cost as much as Cataclysm 😑

 

PS I don't have any opinion on those points. Limbo is a mystery for me, an enjoyable one, a mistery anyway :D

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On 2021-03-18 at 11:10 PM, DrBorris said:

 

  1. Banish a group of enemies
  2. Use Rift Surge
  3. Killing a surged enemy in the Rift will banish nearby enemies that were not in the Rift and apply the Surged status.
  4. Just keep killing Surged enemies until no enemies remain.

Well there's your Problem.... The moment you start killing things with Limbo is when things start to Fall Apart... 😁.

On 2021-03-18 at 11:10 PM, DrBorris said:

This... sounded really good actually. Basically it would let Limbo only have to cast Banish once, enter the Rift, and as long as there was a constant supply of enemies Limbo could perpetually bring enemies into the Rift by killing. I should have known better... if the ability did this then people would have been using it,

Unlikely.... There actually are some Ability Combos capable of this level of power but just aren't used because they are just as Complicated.... 

On 2021-03-18 at 11:10 PM, DrBorris said:

 

  1. Banish a group of enemies.
  2. Use Rift Surge
  3. While in the Rift, cast Banish on Surged enemies.
    1. This removes the Rift surge status from affected enemies but does NOT un-banish them.
    2. Banishes enemies near the targets you casted Banish on.
  4. Completely ignore the Surge status transferring to other enemies when a Surged enemy is killed.
    1. The Surge status is transferred to a single random enemy within 25m (no, not the closest, its random. Good luck with your high range build). This does NOT Banish the enemy, they only have the Surge effect, they have to be Banished then Banished again for this to do anything.
  5. Recast Rift Surge and repeat.

Oh wow.... Even I didn't know this 😳 !!!! But then again It never really mattered to me.... I don't kill with Limbo....😛

On 2021-03-18 at 11:10 PM, DrBorris said:
  1.  

What blows my mind is that this works. It makes sense. It isn't at all what I expected but this does allow Limbo to stay in the Rift forever by doing some weird alternated castings of Banish and Rift Surge. It has an active gameplay rhythm that makes sense(ish) and has a substantial skill curve that would reward a tactical player. It even works well with the augment. But my god it is too big brain for me to actually use in mission.

You could probably make it work.... You merely need to be a Dedicated Limbo Main to pull it off.... 

On 2021-03-18 at 11:10 PM, DrBorris said:

Would it really be that OP for limbo to not have to risk getting his rear blasted in order to banish a small group of enemies?

Sort of....

Perhaps it wouldn't be OP but it would definitely be Degenerative. Atleast being OP is actually fun.... Being Degenerative is just worse because you get a pretty decent amount of power but absolutely 0 fun factor out of the experience. And this is the Situation Octavia is in Right now doing 20 Hour Survival Missions just by Staring at Ability Timers.... Its why Wukong got a Rework.... Technically old Wukong wasn't really immortal.... He could actually be killed within Expected High Level Mission Parameters since the Health you get back from defy gets less and meaning the energy you get in return from Rage eventually would not be enough to Proc Defy again if you die enough times....you could probably fix that with Arcane Grace but I never tried that.... In any case.... My point is that method of playing was removed for being too Degenerative not for Actually being too Powerful....

So in Limbo's case DE avoided that by not allowing you to Banish enemies if you're not in the same plane as them..... Except Cataclysm bypasses this Limitation 🤔.... Thankfully Nullifiers can stop you from actually doing that... There's no way to crossed plane Banish in the presence of Nullifiers..... But that's what Rift Surge is For 😝 !!!! The whole thing is just Convoluted....

On 2021-03-18 at 11:10 PM, DrBorris said:

To whatever DE designer thinks this, arbitrarily nerfing one ability in order to make another ability arbitrarily useful isn't good design.

Pretty Much....

But in this case it's not a huge Deal.... It's not like Limbo is in the same state as Banshee or Trinity.... 

If you want to see really bad Design I would start with Octavia.... 

On 2021-03-18 at 11:10 PM, DrBorris said:
  •  

Oh, and either remove Cataclysm's range diminishing over time or inverse it because it makes for clunky anti-synergy with Stasis.

To Be Fair.... Stasis is the Ability that has to go.... That's the one that's getting in the way of the fun....

On 2021-03-18 at 11:10 PM, DrBorris said:

inb4 a Limbo main tells me I am stupid and Rift Surge is the best ability in the game. I would love to see someone properly use Rift Surge in mission where they are actively using its effects for more than five minutes. I too can make myself look smart in the Simulacrum, turning knowledge into practical skill is another thing.

I mean... I use it Extensively in Defection, Excavator and Interception missions.... Because those play right into Limbo's Strength.... Trolling Enemies instead of Killing them....

But to use it in Survival, Exterminate and Defense..... Yeah... I would love to see the effectiveness of Rift Surge/Torrent there aswell.... because As soon as you ask me to Kill something then I don't use Limbo anymore.... He's a Gentle soul.... He doesn't commit mass genocide 😝.

On 2021-03-19 at 12:03 AM, DrivaMain said:

Rift Surge + stasis combo is probably one of the most cheesiest tactic in the game. I am surprised DE hasn’t take notice.

They did.... But as you saw with Scarlet Spear as soon as The Cheese starts to become popular then they will bring out the Nerf Hammer....

This is why Octavia The Destroyer hasn't been Nerfed yet.... Because not enough people are Abusing the cheese to affect overall player progression Metrics....

Basically DE nerfs Warframe's the same way they do with Riven Mods.... It's not about Actual Performance.... It's about Popularity.... Except for Ember and Mag.... They got Nerfed purely out of Spite 😝 !!!

On 2021-03-19 at 1:38 AM, (PSN)mahoshonenfox said:

 

Screenshot-2020-11-17-12-17-17.png

This was reworked Rift Surge's original in game text I screen capped from one of Triburo's videos. You'll notice something very strange that never made it into the game. Even if it doesn't pull enemies into the rift anymore, at least give it that chain reaction effect.

That's very curious... 🤔 Why on earth did they Removed that 🤔 ?

On 2021-06-11 at 7:17 AM, KuraiYuki said:

 

I agree that making his rift surge work differently would make it easier to play, however I believe it would make him kinda like all of the other frames and take away from his kit's individuality.

Alot of Proposed Changes for Limbo ignore this Aspect and it's why they encounter so much Resistance from Limbo Mains....

While it's not something that cannot be Quantified... Limbo is actually Warframe's most unique Warframe.... So much so that his old Rift Mechanic frequently broke the Engine.... A feature that only made Limbo players love him even even more.... Because nobody can do what he does the exact way that he does it... Not even close.....

I suspect another reason why Limbo hasnt been changed all that much is because some members of DE are aware of this fact and they too love the the Lil monster they created because of it.... 

Hence this is why We don't see a Limbo Rework similar to the one that was given Booben a while back..... 

Booben is much much stronger than he used to be since his rework and he is now compatible in more mission types.... His kit his been Altered and now is able functions in the recent DPS meta.... But unfortunately he feels alil more Homogenized because of all these changes.... Just alil bit....

And you know.... One of these days the same thing is going to happen to Loki aswell.... Better Defense and Crowd Clearing capabilities at the cost of his well Established Master Race meme that we all love him for.

I'm not even a Limbo main but even when a Limbo trolls by slowing down Defense Missions I still don't want to remove the thing that makes him unique in favour of something that makes him better in the Current Meta the way Booben is.

What we need is a Limbo Rework that reduces his Disruptive Traits... But allows him to keep his God Hood.... 😝 !!! 

14 hours ago, (PSN)FromOtherSpace said:

I havent play Limbo very much, maybe I 'm wrong.

If he is allowed to cast Banish from the Rift, he never stop gaining energy (2 per second?) and, except for picking loot/key, he never have to be outside of his "confort zone" (aka Stasis) which let him shoot only on static target for more bonus energy (10 per kill?). It seem really overpowered to me.

No you're right... Those stats are Correct....

But is it over powered ? Not in this Current Meta.... In the Old Meta.... Yes.... But in the Current one all this does is it allows Limbo to keep up with everyone else in a ways that Trinity and Loki just can't.

 

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On 2021-03-18 at 9:10 PM, DrBorris said:

Final thoughts? Make Rift Surge work how I initially thought it worked and get rid of Banish's arbitrary limitation.

  • Rift Surge: Surges nearby Rift-bound enemies with Rift energy. When killed nearby enemies are banished and inflicted with Rift Surge.
  • Banish: Tap to Banish enemies in range. Hold to remove enemies from the Rift. Either action can be performed regardless of if you are in the Rift or not.

I'm not the foremost expert on Limbo, but this sounds like a much cleaner implementation of his current kit. I very much agree that Rift Surge is confusing even after reading its description, and from the looks of it its only real utility comes from cheesing specific missions in specific ways. With the above setup, Banish would be useful even beyond the initial cast to toggle the Rift off, and Rift Surge would help capture more enemies after the first cast.

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I use Rift Surge simply for team-friendly mass CC.

Stasis + Cataclysm. press 3, press 4. *all enemies are frozen.* all consoles, loot, etc, is not in stasis and can be freely interacted with.

 

on missions like Spy, Capture, and even boss encounters, and EVEN lich hunting, it is incredibly helpful. I keep the cataclysm advantage of locking down an area, but without the disadvantages. and long as you do so with a modicum of care (i.e. don't use it when your team has to kill enemies, like excavators) it helps.

 

I also sometimes use it with the augment and a bulky Larkspur to gently incinerate everything under 200 heat procs. Steel Path grineer hate it when I do that.

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