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The problem with guns: DE's design breaks them.


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Posted (edited)

Still remember the "melee good - guns bad" debate? DE stated their intention to improve guns, and assuming that hasn't been forgotten we should be expecting changes anytime now. But does DE even understand the underlying issues? Let me explain 2 issues guns have, that directly result from DE's design of the game: Status immunity (full or semi), and DPS "normalization".

  1. Status immunity. You are probably aware that many enemies are immune to certain status effects. Others are effectively immune to damage over time status via specific, close to 100% DR. Others are only mildly affected by status in general, and have a cap of 4 per status effect.
  2. DPS "normalization". There are various kinds of this in the game, but as a simple example, you might have noticed dealing less damage per shot after triggering your fire-rate Arcane. DE has essentially given up on balancing players DPS at the source (balancing weapons, mods, and abilities), and instead takes a shortcut by giving relevant enemies diminishing returns on the damage they can receive.

I'll explain why these disproportionally affect guns, but first a visual aid I'll be referencing:

Kuva Tonkor:                                                 Catabolyst explosion:                                    Catabolyst beam:

ShuXaUD.pngh1McXZx.png5l2nSVs.png

So, status immunity: A lot of guns rely on their status chance to deal damage. The Catabolyst's heat procs deal monstrous amounts of damage - except any enemy where these aren't complete overkill is essentially immune to them. A limit of 4 status effects might not seem so bad at first glance, but there is functionally no difference to complete immunity in this case. A single target gun, where every single target is actually immune to the vast majority of it's damage...

Melee by comparison never relies on status chance to deal damage, they have forced procs and every single status effect is worth much more, especially when it comes to heavy attacks.

Next damage "normalisation": This is completely whacky, looking at the visual aid, you might already see what I mean. The Tonkor clearly outdamages the Catabolyst, but looking at the damage numbers and keeping the fire rate and status effects in mind (and 100% headshots with the Catabolyst, which are 4x damage) that should not be the case at all! The Catabolst's grenades in particular deal next to no damage (2x the amount of a single beam hit) for some reason. Simply put, DE's formula for their hidden DPS diminishing returns is completely busted, and ends up disproportionally nerfing a lot of guns.

One known issue with this hidden DR is, that critical hits are (for the most part) unaffected! Adding fire-rate will reduce your damage per hit, but adding crit directly increases damage as normal. Another advantage for melee, having access to much higher crit chances via vastly superior mods - and no need to consider status thanks to forced procs.

Time will tell, whether DE will make appropriate changes, whether they will apply a band-aid as usual, or whether nothing will happen at all. I am expecting a band-aid, personally.

Edit: Since a lot of people didn't seem to know about the DPS "normalization", I'd like to demonstrate it properly. In the following video I used the exact same setup to the previous one, with one exception: I removed Arcane Acceleration / Arcane Velocity (which previously increased my fire-rate). You'd expect I would deal less damage per second, but I actually deal more instead (easier to notice with the Catabolyst, as the other fight wasn't as clean as I would have liked)!

 

Edited by Traumtulpe
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1 hour ago, Traumtulpe said:

 

Melee by comparison never relies on status chance to deal damage, they have forced procs and every single status effect is worth much more, especially when it comes to heavy attacks.

 

I agree with what you're saying throughout your post but, this isn't entirely true. The current combo based condition overload, blood rush, weeping wounds melee meta relies almost entirely on status procs for it's damage. Slash based melee weapons are also entirely reliant on the slash status effect and not the initial damage. 

There are exceptions like glaives but the vast majority of melee weapons are still dependent on procing status effects. 

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4 minutes ago, Berzerkules said:

There are exceptions like glaives but the vast majority of melee weapons are still dependent on procing status effects.

No they are not, Weeping Wounds is a luxury. I use it on my Skiajati, for example, but it still kills Acolytes in seconds with raw damage and forced slash procs alone.

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Yeah this is why bosses like Eidolons and Orb Mothers have extreme resistance to normal damage but critical hits bypasses it. It seems the math priority is

Formula one : modded damage x DR multiplier.

Formula two if it’s a critical hit : Reduced damage x Crit multiplier.

 

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Just now, Traumtulpe said:

No they are not, Weeping Wounds is a luxury. I use it on my Skiajati, for example, but it still kills Acolytes in seconds with raw damage and forced SLASH PROCS alone.

Slash procs, even forced ones from stances still proc a status effect. The majority of the damage you are doing is not from hitting the enemy but the slash status effect.

 fckl8HW.jpg

Condition Overload is the base of pretty much every meta melee build. You can run Pressure Point/Primed but it will not compare to Condition Overload in potential damage output. Saying that melee never relies on status chance to deal damage is wrong. 

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2 hours ago, Traumtulpe said:

Still remember the "melee good - guns bad" debate? DE stated their intention to improve guns, and assuming that hasn't been forgotten we should be expecting changes anytime now. But does DE even understand the underlying issues? Let me explain 2 issues guns have, that directly result from DE's design of the game: Status immunity (full or semi), and DPS "normalization".

I still think you need to go deeper. Guns aren't bad just because DE is making more and more enemies immune to procs and giving everything DPS falloff. Guns are bad because DE have designed a game entirely around gear checks

In most games you can take the weakest weapons to the final boss and still win. People do silly stuff like that all the time. Warframe is not most games. If you do not take something stronger than the enemies, you will lose. Guaranteed. If you cannot kill the enemies quickly, or stun the enemies constantly, or just heal faster than the enemies can damage you, they WILL kill you and they WILL make you fail the mission. You can't outsmart them because they just spawn in packs with hitscan guns all pointed at you

And guns simply aren't up to this task. Guns in general are designed for skill-based games, where proper aim and ammo management are the key (well, two of several keys) to success. Not in Warframe. All Warframe cares about is how much damage you are putting downrange. Guns have to stop to reload and need to shoot the head for maximum damage. Melee just presses E forever without pause, and is balanced for more damage because you can't hit the head reliably.

Melee is the lazier solution, in a game where skill is actively punished and laziness is rewarded 100% of the time (technically preparation is rewarded, but laziness is still a key factor in that)

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2 hours ago, Traumtulpe said:

Melee by comparison never relies on status chance to deal damage, they have forced procs and every single status effect is worth much more, especially when it comes to heavy attacks.

11 minutes ago, Berzerkules said:

Slash procs, even forced ones from stances still proc a status effect. The majority of the damage you are doing is not from hitting the enemy but the slash status effect.

I don't think we disagree, the procs are importent, but the status chance isn't since you get procs for free from various stances.

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8 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

Melee is the lazier solution, in a game where skill is actively punished and laziness is rewarded 100% of the time

I'm not sure I agree. See these two videos, I'd say I play more "lazy" with the sniper. Sure, I have to aim for the heads, but that isn't harder than moving your Warframe around, is it?

https://youtu.be/0UWbTWjhv2Q https://youtu.be/JEfkHueDhr4

 

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5 minutes ago, Traumtulpe said:

I'm not sure I agree. See these two videos, I'd say I play more "lazy" with the sniper. Sure, I have to aim for the heads, but that isn't harder than moving your Warframe around, is it?

https://youtu.be/0UWbTWjhv2Q https://youtu.be/JEfkHueDhr4

 

You're missing my point. You came into that mission with billions of damage per second, killing enemies the instant they spawn. And on top of that you're busing Mesa's 2 for free CC

You came into the mission with instant win buttons. My point was, Warframe is a game where you can only decide those before a mission. Not during a mission, not substituted for with skill. You either have it before the mission, or you lose

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17 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

I still think you need to go deeper. Guns aren't bad just because DE is making more and more enemies immune to procs and giving everything DPS falloff. Guns are bad because DE have designed a game entirely around gear checks

In most games you can take the weakest weapons to the final boss and still win. People do silly stuff like that all the time. Warframe is not most games. If you do not take something stronger than the enemies, you will lose. Guaranteed. If you cannot kill the enemies quickly, or stun the enemies constantly, or just heal faster than the enemies can damage you, they WILL kill you and they WILL make you fail the mission. You can't outsmart them because they just spawn in packs with hitscan guns all pointed at you

And guns simply aren't up to this task. Guns in general are designed for skill-based games, where proper aim and ammo management are the key (well, two of several keys) to success. Not in Warframe. All Warframe cares about is how much damage you are putting downrange. Guns have to stop to reload and need to shoot the head for maximum damage. Melee just presses E forever without pause, and is balanced for more damage because you can't hit the head reliably.

Melee is the lazier solution, in a game where skill is actively punished and laziness is rewarded 100% of the time (technically preparation is rewarded, but laziness is still a key factor in that)

"Guns aren't bad just because DE is making more and more enemies immune to procs and giving everything DPS falloff. Guns are bad because DE have designed a game entirely around gear checks

In most games you can take the weakest weapons to the final boss and still win. People do silly stuff like that all the time. Warframe is not most games. If you do not take something stronger than the enemies, you will lose. Guaranteed."

I think that's not close to being true until you access Steel Path...which is supposed to be a gear check mode. Minus the stug and base karak, Warframe's mod system turns every weapon into a monster capable of reaching high level play. Honestly, I think you're the first person I've ever heard say this about Warframe.

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35 minutes ago, (PSN)GEN-Son_17 said:

I think that's not close to being true until you access Steel Path

Go into a sortie with MK1 weapons and no mods on anything. No items either, no Amp. Just try to play without getting really annoyed

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24 minutes ago, Traumtulpe said:

I don't think we disagree, the procs are importent, but the status chance isn't since you get procs for free from various stances.

You're right, we don't completely disagree with each other on the subject but, I rely heavily on status chance for damage on my melee builds. You only get forced ips procs from stances, this completely ignores the innate or modded damage types on your melee.

Building for status chance with weeping wounds is a huge dps increase if your melee has even decent status chance. With a status chance of more than 100% you have a chance to do multiple instances of damage on a single hit and each of them proc a status effect. 

I run a lot of Void endurance so I regularly build toxin/slash melee so I can bypass shields and armor. Without decent status chance I wouldn't proc the dot toxin or slash status effects nearly as often. I would do a single instance of toxin damage instead of quickly stacking multiple dot toxin procs. I'm also getting multiple instances of one or several damage types from a single attack because my status chance is greater than 100%. I can proc more than one slash proc or a slash and toxin proc in a single swing. This is a huge dps increase, especially when you consider the way faction mods double dip on dots like slash and toxin. 

Then there are people that build for viral or viral/heat on melee. Without status chance they won't proc viral and will take a huge dps loss. 

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4 hours ago, Traumtulpe said:

Adding fire-rate will reduce your damage per hit <...>.

And that's precisely why I wil never pay a dime for playing this game.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TARINunit9 said:

Go into a sortie with MK1 weapons and no mods on anything. No items either, no Amp. Just try to play without getting really annoyed

Didn’t they say that it was the mod system that made weapons capable, though? When I read it I didn’t read it as “Any weapon without mods”, but I can understand individual interpretations

Although I guess technically the mod system itself could be the gear that’s being checked 🤔 

Edited by (NSW)Greybones
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24 minutes ago, (NSW)Greybones said:

Didn’t they say that it was the mod system that made weapons capable, though? When I read it I didn’t read it as “Any weapon without mods”, but I can understand individual interpretations

Although I guess technically the mod system itself could be the gear that’s being checked 🤔 

Yes, that was what I meant in an earlier post about preparation. Either your mods are enough to cheese the mission, or you have failed before you even finish loading in

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2 minutes ago, TARINunit9 said:

Yes, that was what I meant in an earlier post about preparation. Either your mods are enough to cheese the mission, or you have failed before you even finish loading in

Mods aren't cheese....they're normal tools of progression used in the game. 

Would you consider using a warframe cheese? 

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17 minutes ago, (PSN)Madurai-Prime said:

Mods aren't cheese....they're normal tools of progression used in the game. 

Would you consider using a warframe cheese? 

Yes. Because as I said, that's how the game is designed. You do not win by skillfully using the right tool for the right job like in Doom Eternal. You win by brainlessly bringing weapons that are so obscenely overpowered compared to the level of the mission, they kill everything in one hit. Alternatively you can win by bringing CC powers that are so obscenely overpowered they prevent enemies from ever shooting you back, but this just extends your leeway from "kill enemies in one hit or die", to "kill enemies in two hits or die"

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DE: Creates adaptive mechanisms to limit player power,

Also DE: Allows other mechanics to bypass said limitations with no noticeable drawbacks,

Players: Use tools that include the bypass mechanics,

DE: Confused why some things are more popular than others.

 

Seriously , DE gives players the means to bypass most of their game and then wonder why players don't actually play as they want. One of the many things i dislike.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

Yes. Because as I said, that's how the game is designed. You do not win by skillfully using the right tool for the right job like in Doom Eternal. You win by brainlessly bringing weapons that are so obscenely overpowered compared to the level of the mission, they kill everything in one hit. Alternatively you can win by bringing CC powers that are so obscenely overpowered they prevent enemies from ever shooting you back, but this just extends your leeway from "kill enemies in one hit or die", to "kill enemies in two hits or die"

Isn't this assuming that the win condition for every player is the same?

Sure the game may define a win condition, but don't players also define their own? And aren't player-defined win conditions stronger than anything a game will tell us?

The game may tell us "You need 6 players for this raid", but we'll do it with 3. It'll tell us "You gotta gear up with the best equipment" and we'll run nude into the fight. It'll tell us "You have died", and we'll be like "No you!", and proceed to learn the tells of a monster or the weaknesses of a boss until we bend the game to our will.

Some of us may crack open a console and god-mode their way through, and the game's like "Well... dammit." and we'll be like "You let this happen!" and the game'll be like "Yeah, okay. Long as you're having fun". Not all, mind. Some are perfectly willing to be entertained by what the developers intended

Edited by (NSW)Greybones
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7 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

 

In most games you can take the weakest weapons to the final boss and still win. People do silly stuff like that all the time. Warframe is not most games. If you do not take something stronger than the enemies, you will lose. Guaranteed. If you cannot kill the enemies quickly, or stun the enemies constantly, or just heal faster than the enemies can damage you, they WILL kill you and they WILL make you fail the mission. You can't outsmart them because they just spawn in packs with hitscan guns all pointed at you

 

This is just wrong though. Most game that relies on loot and levels will not allow you to do this. Just for comparison sakes we'll consider the games that's in pretty much the same category as Warframe that are

1. Destiny

2. Borderlands

3. Outriders

4. Anthem

and so on and so forth. None of these games are going to allow you to do their more difficult activities without the right gear for it. Destiny in particular if you come in without the right weapons you're just going to wipe repeatedly. The rest of them get progressively more difficult to downright impossible if you do not consistently upgrade your weapons. Funnily enough Warframe has more weapon variety than all of the games mentioned because you can complete pretty much any activity in game with pretty much any weapon in the game as long as you've upgraded it enough.

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6 hours ago, TARINunit9 said:

Yes. Because as I said, that's how the game is designed. You do not win by skillfully using the right tool for the right job like in Doom Eternal. You win by brainlessly bringing weapons that are so obscenely overpowered compared to the level of the mission, they kill everything in one hit. Alternatively you can win by bringing CC powers that are so obscenely overpowered they prevent enemies from ever shooting you back, but this just extends your leeway from "kill enemies in one hit or die", to "kill enemies in two hits or die"

Choosing to intentionally deconstruct an aspect of the game to make a point doesn't make it so. I have failed a mission because i didn't bring the right tool. Doom is a different game so I'm not sure why that matters. And nothing of a meaningful level is dying in one hit. The starchart is for everyone, including less experienced players, so it has to be easy because it's used to progress further into the game.

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