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The Defender role needs a buff. Liches even more so.


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(Edit: I missed that we had a Command Intrinsics megathread when making this post, sorry about that! I don't know how to delete this topic though, thus making an edit and redirecting attention to the proper place.)

Summary
Crew members act like Defenders and perform all their functions when not doing their assigned tasks (most notably Engineers whenever they're not repairing). As for Liches, their downsides (being locked to the (currently superfluous) Defender role and being unable to revive crew members) outweigh their upsides (high survivability and damage, ability to cast abilities). My suggested fixes for this is giving Defenders something other roles can't do, and giving Liches features that support the rest of the crew.

Introduction
Having played with a full crew for a handful of days, I've noticed that not only are Defenders not needed as the other roles automatically fill that role when they're not doing their own, but Liches have their pros outweighed by their cons. Thus, I want to share my experience, as well as some ideas on how to fix this.

The issues with Defenders and Liches
In order to add some weight to my feedback, I performed a couple of tests. Using an invisible Loki, I confirmed that every role fulfills the Defender's job (killing enemies) while they're not doing their own - Pilots defend while someone else pilots, Gunners while both guns are occupied, and Engineers while they're not fixing a hazard. Even while running towards a hazard, Engineers take the opportunity to kill nearby enemies, as far as I've seen.

When a crew member (and presumably a player) goes into bleedout, both Defenders and Engineers (and presumably jobless Gunners and Pilots) will attempt to revive them unless they're occupied with enemies. My initial assumption was that this would be something that only Defenders could do. However:

Liches can't/won't revive crew members, even when there's no enemies onboard. This is one of the main ways the Liches fail in their role, and something that really needs to be fixed to keep them relevant.

Finally, while Liches have superior health to normal crew members, the ability to cast their Lich abilities, and maybe higher damage output, those upsides are neglectable since one Engineer with a good enough weapon is strong enough to handle the toughest of boarding parties without ever taking health damage. (Mine has 4 Repair, 4 Combat, 3 Endurance, and uses a Kuva Nukor for its high damage, AoE potential, and crowd control through Heat and Radiation.) It might not even be the case that a Lich's weapon does more damage than a crew member wielding the same since the latter's can be modded.

Fixes - Defender
Currently, the Defender role has no upside over any other jobless crew member - most notably Engineers. I do not think the ability of the jobless to default back into patrolling and killing enemies should be nerfed, as it brings a lot of quality-of-life. Rather, the Defender role needs something only it can do, and if not, get removed. While it would be a nerf to the other roles, you could make the ability to revive exclusive to Defenders, but beyond that, I think some sort of tanking and/or crew healing abilities are needed for the role.

Fixes - Liches
First off, Liches need the ability to revive crew members. Secondly, if their weapon damage is lower than that of the same (modded) weapon wielded by a crew member, I suggest letting players swap the Lich's weapon to a modded one, but only to other Kuva weapons. Not only would this solve the damage problem, if it exists, but it would also give players some customization if their favorite Lich is not using the player's preferred weapon.

Thirdly, while I do not think Liches should be granted the ability to switch roles, they need something extra to make up for their lack of versatility. Building upon their nature, I think they should be changed from Defenders to Commanders - a role unique to them that comes with two features on top of doing everything a Defender does (whether that role is removed or not).

The first feature is a competency aura of sorts that provides two competency points to each non-Lich crew member based on their role - +1 to Piloting/Gunnery/Repair/Combat for Pilots/Gunners/Engineers/Defenders respectively, and +1 to Endurance for all roles. These bonus points can raise a crew member above the 5/5 maximum. If this bonus is deemed too weak or strong, the number of points granted can simply be altered.

The second feature is the ability to assign non-Lich crew members new roles as needed, based on player-assigned roles and within the following limitations:

  • If there are no hazards or boarders, Engineers and Defenders are assigned the Gunner role. In the events of hazards or boarders, their return to those role is prioritized.
  • If there's a hazard and no Engineers, one crew member is assigned the Engineer role. After it is fixed, they are reassigned their previous role.
    (The selected crew member is prioritized based on (1) the rule above, (2) highest Repair skill, and (3) in case of a skill tie, their role (Defender/Pilot/Gunner).)
  • If there are boarders, the Lich will only reassign crew members as Defenders if that was their player-assigned role. Otherwise, the Lich will deal with the enemies themselves.
  • The Lich will never assign a crew member the Pilot role, but may temporarily reassign a Pilot as Engineer based on the second point above.

The motivation for these two features is that regardless of how good the Lich could otherwise be, their lack of role variability makes players unable to use stable "formations" like Pilot/Gunner/Engineer, Gunner/Gunner/Engineer, or Pilot/Gunner/Gunner. The competency aura alleviates this by making the roles more quality over quantity, while the role assignment gives the crew more autonomy as a trade-off for less stability (and more need for micro-management).

Edited by Perfectly_Framed_Waifu
Missed that there was a relevant megathread.
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IMO, I think you're overthinking it.

If you have three normal RJ crew and one lich, you can practically let the ship run itself (one pilot, one repairman, one gunner, and one marine/artillerist) while your Tenno / Warframe acts like a boarding party.

The lich "thinking" for itself robs you (the player) of commanding your crew (which I prefer).

How about this"

  • Engineers & Defenders are the same role (repair and repel as needed, with Catastrophic Hull Breaches taking priority over enemy boarders, and enemies on the railjack superseding all other repairs)
  • Pilots and Gunners remain unchanged, but could use some logic updates — for example, they need to be able to take out enemy spacecraft and crewships (with the artillerist) over time.
  • Defender/Marine/Artillerist should fire Forward Artillery if there are no enemy boarders on the railjack - but should be smart enough to let allied gunnery stations take out the enemy shields (Corpus and Skold crewships) before firing the main cannon.

Yes, I know this basically lets Warframe take care of itself (meaning leechplay), but the equipment takes time to build up, and most players shouldn't be able to AFK using this technique.

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6 minutes ago, UUDDLRLRBA_START said:

IMO, I think you're overthinking it.

If you have three normal RJ crew and one lich, you can practically let the ship run itself (one pilot, one repairman, one gunner, and one marine/artillerist) while your Tenno / Warframe acts like a boarding party.

The lich "thinking" for itself robs you (the player) of commanding your crew (which I prefer).

How about this"

  • Engineers & Defenders are the same role (repair and repel as needed, with Catastrophic Hull Breaches taking priority over enemy boarders, and enemies on the railjack superseding all other repairs)
  • Pilots and Gunners remain unchanged, but could use some logic updates — for example, they need to be able to take out enemy spacecraft and crewships (with the artillerist) over time.
  • Defender/Marine/Artillerist should fire Forward Artillery if there are no enemy boarders on the railjack - but should be smart enough to let allied gunnery stations take out the enemy shields (Corpus and Skold crewships) before firing the main cannon.

Yes, I know this basically lets Warframe take care of itself (meaning leechplay), but the equipment takes time to build up, and most players shouldn't be able to AFK using this technique.

I would like the lich to come along as boarding member for the ground missions if they ever choose to fix the force all tennos to go do mission because RJ=taxi now.

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28 minutes ago, emperor_kk said:

 

 

I would like the lich to come along as boarding member for the ground missions if they ever choose to fix the force all tennos to go do mission because RJ=taxi now.

The oncall crew is also weird IMO

Doesnt work on RJ missions, LOL

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The big problem with defenders is how insignificant they are to a gunner. "The best defense is a good offense" holds true here, because ramsleds need to reach the ship in order to put enemies inside. Two gunners with the right turret will invalidate any need for defense.

If anything, I want the defender role merged into the rest as a optional response to invaders. If someone gets in, maybe a gunner could respond, eliminate the threat, and then go back to the turret. Same thing for engineer.

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8 hours ago, UUDDLRLRBA_START said:

If you have three normal RJ crew and one lich

Thing is, you can't have that. You're limited to three crew members total. You can have two normal and one lich, but that leaves you unable to complete any of the Pilot/Gunner/Engineer, Gunner/Gunner/Engineer, or Pilot/Gunner/Gunner formations, so best practice is to ditch the lich for a third normal crew member. Seeing as you've based your comment on us having more crew members than we actually have, I have a hard time taking the criticism about me overthinking this. Sorry.

I'm not exactly sold on your idea about an Artillerist role either. While having someone to man the artillery would be nice, I believe that's a role most efficiently left for the Engineer when there's no hazards.

@DeminisisYeah, the Defender really is insignificant to all roles, particularly the Engineer. When there's no hazards, the Engineer patrols the ship much like a Defender, and as soon as boarders cause any problem, the Engineer goes there anyway and takes down the enemies en route. The Defender is basically an Engineer that refuses to repair.

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On 2021-03-24 at 1:07 AM, Deminisis said:

The big problem with defenders is how insignificant they are to a gunner. "The best defense is a good offense" holds true here, because ramsleds need to reach the ship in order to put enemies inside. Two gunners with the right turret will invalidate any need for defense.

If anything, I want the defender role merged into the rest as a optional response to invaders. If someone gets in, maybe a gunner could respond, eliminate the threat, and then go back to the turret. Same thing for engineer.

So basically, Onslaught Matrix, Predator, Protective Fire, and Fortifying Fire (assuming those mods work) and some Zekti Apocs or that new one that's the Corpus Cryophon

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On 2021-03-24 at 8:24 AM, Perfectly_Framed_Waifu said:

Thing is, you can't have that. You're limited to three crew members total. You can have two normal and one lich, but that leaves you unable to complete any of the Pilot/Gunner/Engineer, Gunner/Gunner/Engineer, or Pilot/Gunner/Gunner formations, so best practice is to ditch the lich for a third normal crew member. Seeing as you've based your comment on us having more crew members than we actually have, I have a hard time taking the criticism about me overthinking this. Sorry.

I'm not exactly sold on your idea about an Artillerist role either. While having someone to man the artillery would be nice, I believe that's a role most efficiently left for the Engineer when there's no hazards.

@DeminisisYeah, the Defender really is insignificant to all roles, particularly the Engineer. When there's no hazards, the Engineer patrols the ship much like a Defender, and as soon as boarders cause any problem, the Engineer goes there anyway and takes down the enemies en route. The Defender is basically an Engineer that refuses to repair.

There's always a possibility DE can change the crew make up or crew cap.

Artillery, IMO, is kinda redundant since it;s really just to down crewships (as objectives) or to do the Corpus Volatile missions.

I'm willing to wait and see HTF DE will screw up Command Tier 10 tho 👍

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