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Warframe's foundational mechanics are broken.


Loza03

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Foundational mechanics are exactly what it sounds like - they are the systems that aspects of the game are built upon. These are mechanics that the entire game touches. And it is my opinion that several are mechanically broken. This stands in the way of Warframe being the best game that it can be, no matter how cool or how much thought is put into other aspects of content.

 

1: The damage system.

The damage system is broken in two main ways: the first is status effects vs damage types, the second is armour vs everything else.

Damage types are a time-honoured system in RPG's, going waaay back to Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. They serve a simple, but elegant purpose - they're an intuitive way of making different weapons more or less effective against different things. If a weapon deals piercing damage, and a monster is vulnerable against piercing damage, then double the damage numbers. Warframe, however, has noticable extra element - all of the game's 15 damage types, minus true damage, has a specific status effect associated with it. This poses the issues that a damage type's status effect might overshadow it's actual damage output, or more alarmingly, even completely contradict it's intended role. For example, if a damage type intended to be more effective against unarmoured enemies had a status effect that completely bypassed armour. This isn't a hypothetical, mind you, this is Slash Damage. These takes a simple and elegant system, and makes it muddied and unintuitive.  This alone does not entirely break it, but it does exacerbate the second issue.

Armour is also a time-honoured system, as it is simply damage reduction. In Warframe, due to how scaling works, armoured enemies have a mechanic where not only do they gain more health as they become more powerful, but also take less damage. This is as compared to unarmoured enemies, which merely gain more health. In other words, armoured enemies scale faster than unarmoured enemies, and this in turn means that, sooner or later, armoured enemies are on an entirely different scale of effective hit points than everything else. Which just incentivises players to only pursue weapons that can deal with armoured enemies, and incentivises the developers, who want to release weapons that players will pursue, to release weapons designed around the power scale of armour.

This has resulted in the damage system being startlingly inelegant, and lacking in depth. Not only is only a fraction of its possible design space being practically used, but it's utterly incomprehensible to newcomers because how that design space is being used is counter-intuitive. If the job of a damage type system is to be an elegant way of producing roles for different weapons, it has failed entirely.

 

2: The Modding System.

This one's simple - the multiplicative system that Warframe uses is the core reason why, no matter how hard DE tries, there is always so much imbalance between damage-dealing sources.

Warframe's mod system effectively works by stacking multipliers. All weapons go through at least two layers of damage multiplication, by a large degree - first the initial damage mods which regularly doubles or triples damage, and then multishot which doubles or triples this already multiplied number. In other words, a weapon that starts by doing 100 damage will probably wind up dealing 500-1800 damage, depending on the exact arrangement of multishot and damage modifiers. After that, things get more complicated based on crit chance, status chance and so forth, but each individually could wind up doubling, tripling or even quadrupling this already multiplied damage - hybrid weapons good at both can look to be double-dipping and getting even higher multipliers, leading to weapons having vastly more power after modding. This itself is not the issue - the numbers are not the issue.

To illustrate the issue, lets make these numbers less abstract. Everyone knows that 2X2 is 4 and 3X2 is 6. But consider - although these have the same modifier (doubled), 2 once doubled increases by, well, 2. But 3 increases by a larger margin, of 3. Even though they went through the same modification, 3 got a larger increase.

For a practical example, I used the in-game mod screen and synchronised two weapons to have the same modifier to base damage (one multishot mod and one damage mod). Specifically for this test, I went with a base damage increase of +120% and +60% multishot - I was using a primary and secondary for ease of comparison, hence the odd numbers. The only difference was that one weapon had a base damage of 225, and the other a base damage of 50, a difference of 175. However, after modification, the 225 damage weapon had 792 damage, whereas the 50 damage weapon had 176. Even though they had functionally identical mods, the difference between the two weapons was now 616. If I understand this corrrectly, that means that the stronger weapon gained around three times the benefit of the weaker one.

 

This is an unsustainable situation. It means that power creep, which is a somewhat unfortunate but inevitable aspect of a game like this becomes faster the more it progresses, rather than increasing in a controllable manner. In turn, this also further exacerbates problems like Melee vs Gunplay and Status vs Crit. The older the game is, the harder it becomes for these problems to be resolved or managed, because the less precise the developers can be. Buffing things ad infinitum is already a recipe for more work, but when you consider that every buff you make make causes every future buff to be bigger and every future nerf to be more seriously negative. That maybe puts DE's recent behaviour into perspective, doesn't it?

 

3: The energy/ability system.

Compared to the others, this is probably less broken, but it can be just as impactful. There's a lot of ability-based games out there these days, and it makes sense, especially for an RPG. However, Warframe's abilities cause a problem for the game as it is currently played.

Warframe's abilities are not designed in a coherent manner with the rest of the game. Warframe's abilities are hugely impactful ones - many abilities are capable of fundamentally altering the way the game is played, specifically by completely bypassing certain game systems. For example, Ash's old Covert Lethality could (thanks to Fatal Teleport), completely bypass the above two systems entirely by one-shotting any enemy in the game, regardless of level. Limbo's Stasis completely bypasses enemy interaction by virtue of disabling enemy AI for the duration of it's effect. Nova's Portals completely bypass interaction with the environment. They are not alone in this, but these are the three I want to highlight. This, alone, isn't necessarily an issue - a hell of a lot of games have exactly the same kind of abilities around.

The issue is that, due to how the energy system works, they don't add any further interaction themselves. Since energy is typically generated either by RNG loot drops the player has no ability to effect, or by external supplements or passive regeneration, abilities which bypass gameplay become reductive. You don't need to engage with the game's systems anymore once you unlock these abilities. There is, functionally speaking, less game once you activate one of these powers. You have fewer meaningful choices to make in moment-to-moment gameplay. The role of abilities is to increase the player's available options and tactical decisions available, but these abilities do not do that. Yes, you can choose not to use these abilities, but bear in mind - that goes against the purpose of a game like this. Warframe is a looter. It is about collecting loot and new gameplay possibilities. Some of that loot removes more possibilities and gameplay than it adds.

 

This, of course, is before you consider that Warframe is a multiplayer game. You can play with other people. There's apparently some degree of discourse about whether this is the 'intended' way to play the game, whether the game is multiplayer first or singleplayer first, but it is ultimately irrelevant. Multiplayer is in the game, and specifically, the vast majority of content can be experienced with one or more other people. Once again, a large part of the point of multiplayer is to add gameplay possibilities, combining tools in ways no single player could do on their own. And, under this context, these abilities remove gameplay and therefore affect other player's experience in a negative way.

 

 

Why you, the reader, should care.

A lot of the time when seeing stuff like this, there's a prevailing theme in the rest of the threads along the lines of 'I don't think this is important for the game'. Usually because fixing this would take time away from developing new content, because this game's supposed to be grinding simulator RPG, or because the game's supposed to be easy. And all of these things are true, don't get me wrong. However, there are good reasons that people should have a vested interest in this.

If you like new content being varied and interesting or want game modes like raids being re-implemented, you have a vested interest in abilities and energy being fixed. Because these aspects reduce the number of gameplay possibilities, not expanding them, this in turn reduces the scope of content on the moment-to-moment scale. Nobody really likes having all their abilities taken away or doing a mobile defence mission reflavoured again, or having to abandon the core gameplay that they love because DE is floundering for a way to make this content distinct when they know that if they let players have full access to their kits, enough of them will pull out the tired and true gameplay-removing options and recognise that there's absolutely nothing that sets this new content apart. More often then not, in attempting to diversify the game like this, DE just winds up making things more repetitive, because new content doesn't have the same amount of stuff that older content has once you remove the reductive abilities from the equation.

If you like grinding for new and interesting stuff to use, then you have a vested interest in the mod system being fixed. It's no fun to get a new item that ultimately has nothing special about it, or despite how interesting its mechanics are, it can't compete with a more mundane weapon that just has bigger numbers, because unlike some other games where off-meta weapons are oftentimes not so dramatically less capable than meta picks, due to how the mod system works as described, the gulfs between the effectiveness of different weapons is often vast, often bridged only by the fact that in many cases, meta builds are just about what overkills things more. Which means that when DE brings enemies up for new content, off-meta stuff which was overkilling less severely is no longer doing that, meaning less loot becomes viable

If you like buildcraft, then you've probably drawn some form of these conclusions already, but you have a vested interest in the damage system being fixed because... well, buildcraft is more interesting if it's not always the same cookie-cutter builds, or an old problem being solved in a new way for the hundredth time.

 

And, if you just like the game because it's easy and relaxing, whilst you don't necessarily have a vested interest in any of this, you also don't have any reason to not want this to happen. Because, at the end of the day, none of this means that Warframe needs to get 'harder' or 'more designed for the veteran elites'. Although these issues may be more prominently felt at higher levels of understanding, they effect all levels, but more importantly, don't have an impact on the game's difficulty. It's possible to fix all of these issues, and for DE to make the conscious choice to keep the game at an easy, casual-friendly level of difficulty. It is arguably in their best interests to do so. But what it would do is expand what Warframe can be. It wouldn't have to stop being a fun, easy experience, but it could also provide other experiences. 

And isn't that what we all want? For us and other people to enjoy this game?

 

Tl;Dr Damage works against itself, modding becomes worse the older the game is, abilities as-they-are take more than they give.

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Good luck bringing that proposal to the "MuH cASuaL PoWer FanTaSy" crowd. I don't disagree on what you all say, but getting the larger part of the warframe player base to agree that player power needs some huge nerfing is another feat.

We can already see them creeping in the dev workshop. Dropping their frustations and the usual "No Nerf, Just buff" response.

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I´ve been saying this for a while no matter what DE does it wont fix anything because off the multiplier mess on the damage system and no diversity can emerge from the damage soup because only armor mattes because it better on a fundamental mechanical level.

About energy, been saying this for a while to but I am ever rasher. The energy system only exists to stop new players from having fun because its surely not stopping a veteran from casting whenever he wants regardless off condition.

What bothers me about the way DE tried to address this issue is the “solution” always is more mods , more convoluted nonsense and even more exceptions. Energy is the premier system to fall on the more mods to the point the core functionality off the system ( rng energy drops ) are entirely irrelevant for a build. The premier example off unnecessary complexity is the 17 damage types that were originally like 7, adding more damage types did nothing it just changed the meta from serrate blade damage to slash procs because the problem was the armor players were bypassing. The best example off more exceptions jus the new batch off enemies that quite literally enforce their ttk with scaling DR and ignore status ( despite DE literally stating that status would just work going forward)

 

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1 hour ago, Loza03 said:

The issue is that, due to how the energy system works, they don't add any further interaction themselves. Since energy is typically generated either by RNG loot drops the player has no ability to effect, or by external supplements or passive regeneration, abilities which bypass gameplay become reductive. You don't need to engage with the game's systems anymore once you unlock these abilities. There is, functionally speaking, less game once you activate one of these powers. You have fewer meaningful choices to make in moment-to-moment gameplay. The role of abilities is to increase the player's available options and tactical decisions available, but these abilities do not do that. Yes, you can choose not to use these abilities, but bear in mind - that goes against the purpose of a game like this. Warframe is a looter. It is about collecting loot and new gameplay possibilities. Some of that loot removes more possibilities and gameplay than it adds.

You make some fair points across your post.

Regarding this quoted bit; you make it sound like at some point in time, abilities inevitably become so broken that the choice to not use them is raised as an alternative if the player wants to engage with the game.

Isn't it more that mods and equipment choice are what make an ability lessen game engagement?  A player can equip all the ability mods and energy whatevers, but if they choose to equip something else, then abilities have actual cost and the player would have to decide when to use them versus when to not, right? Which can create more engagement (assuming I've understood what you mean by engaging with the game's systems)

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29 minutes ago, DrivaMain said:

Good luck bringing that proposal to the "MuH cASuaL PoWer FanTaSy" crowd.

Dropping their frustations and the usual "No Nerf, Just buff" response.

It's what's hurting the game in both ways by DE and parts of the community like that. DE let the power fantasy explode, and coupled with the grind, this led to people changing and resorting to meta builds just to get the grind over with. Meta builds are monotone, but efficient. Doing this repeatedly in a grind makes the players think the grind is more of a chore than actual fun.

It's the reason why I stayed away from popular meta builds/loadouts; it made the grind bearable and actually fun for me rather than me complaining about how much of a "chore" it is. I am aware that some part of the grind should be still readjusted (Khora, Nidus, Harrow, etc.).

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I also find it telling, the amount of "Oh-Sh*t" moments whenever DE adds new content, be it large expansions or just a small update. It seems like they have little feeling with game mechanics before implementation, and any control is reactionary.

I think DE needs number crunchers and theoreticians. Just throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks won't hold for much longer.

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7 hours ago, Yrkul said:

I also find it telling, the amount of "Oh-Sh*t" moments whenever DE adds new content, be it large expansions or just a small update. It seems like they have little feeling with game mechanics before implementation, and any control is reactionary.

I think DE needs number crunchers and theoreticians. Just throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks won't hold for much longer.

I kind off feel like DE sufers from dominance from the artist team. It´s baffling that warframes  are aproved on visuals alone and their abilities are tacked on later. That overall desing carries over to the rest off the game and the rule off looking cool or souding cool is seeminly more important than such nonsense as balance , diversity off builds and play styles. The best example right now is DE obesseion with melee atack speed when it´s not really the culprit for the isane dps off melee weapons. Another mildy one is the weapon swithc speed existing because that one animator does not want to see his work go to waste 

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I was close to making a post like this of my own lol. I've still never put my full ideas down in a proper OP...

14 hours ago, Loza03 said:

To illustrate the issue, lets make these numbers less abstract. Everyone knows that 2X2 is 4 and 3X2 is 6. But consider - although these have the same modifier (doubled), 2 once doubled increases by, well, 2. But 3 increases by a larger margin, of 3. Even though they went through the same modification, 3 got a larger increase.

This shouldn't actually a problem as it's stated. If you multiply both by 2, the relative power is still the same: the first is still 2/3rds as strong as the second and will kill in 1.5x the time. No matter what the multiplier is, they'll stay the same relative effectiveness compared to each other and as long as everything else in the game scales appropriately there shouldn't really be a problem. Where Warframe goes astray is that this linear scaling isn't actually the case for all stats! A weapon's base crit stats actually affect the multiplicative effect of crit mods. In other words, the better your base crit stats the more benefit crit mods will provide to the multiplier for that weapon. (ETA:) Additionally, crit mods affect other crit mods and improve their overall effect! Vital Sense by itself gives you one multiplier, but paired with Point Strike gives you more.

In your comparison, 225 / 50 = 4.5, and 792 / 176 = 4.5 as well. The first weapon's base damage is 4.5x larger with the same set of mods, because Damage and Multishot are both simple multpliers that always increase damage the same amount on any weapon. The real difference comes from adding crit mods, where the one that has better base crit stats will get a larger relative modding multiplier. So it's not that you're comparing 2X to 3X, you're really comparing 2X to something more like 2X. It's the same with Armor, in that the same level difference gives Armor much more of an EHP benefit compared to shields even though they use basically the same formula.

This is what leads to the paper DPS increases that send "good" weapons so much further ahead than "bad" weapons. When weapons start off unmodded they all sit within a ~200-500 DPS kind of range (~2.5x difference), but once fully modded that range jumps from ~50k-300k (~6x difference) or more. Good weapons benefit more from the same mods as bad weapons, causing the power gap's inconsistent growth.

To compound that issue, not everyone mods optimally. Every damage mod you leave out to fit a QoL mod is another giant chunk of DPS you're losing compared to the next guy or the content you're playing. This makes the difference between "good" and "bad" weapons even worse, because "bad" weapons that have issues to be addressed through modding like a bad reload or bad ammo economy simply don't have the room to do that and take the mandatory set of DPS mods.

Together this means that players and their gear scales inconsistently and unpredictably which makes placing content downright impossible. Hence how many times DE had to monkey around with the Wolf's EHP, or why the Nihil and Exploiter fights strip away the need for gear, or why Deimos enemies have so many immunities. DE can't build good content when the player is so inconsistent.

This is all solvable, but not when DE keeps buffing the S#&$ out of everything. The U30.5 changes are, at least at a baseline, +360% Damage and +80-110% Multishot for every primary and secondary. It's going to double, triple, or quadruple every gun in the game. This might help narrow the gap between melee and guns in SP, but it's going to balloon AoE weapons like Kuva Bramma, Kuva Nukor, and Ignis Wraith on the starchart and make guns outperform melee in all other content. Which is why melee was buffed so hard in the first place... 🤔

14 hours ago, Loza03 said:

And, if you just like the game because it's easy and relaxing, whilst you don't necessarily have a vested interest in any of this, you also don't have any reason to not want this to happen.

You do have a vested interest, actually, because addressing these systems means more content becomes more viable throughout the whole game. If you just like putzing around and having fun with goofy weapons and builds, then fixing these systems gives you more gear to play around with while still being effective.

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Very well articulated @Loza03. I think that everything you brought up has been in tune with the discordance I have had with actually playing Warframe for a long time. The hope is whenever these threads come up that a DE employee comes in and a change is put into the pipeline. There is a genuine need for change. The damage systems of the game have run away from the devs and the number of abilities that are around that trivialise the game are many. 

It might be naive to say, but I hope this gets seen by someone that can effect change.

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Good post.

 

I'd add to the following section:

11 hours ago, Loza03 said:

Why you, the reader, should care.

....

The way things are now is also not in the interest of general gameplay. It's advertised as mainly a cooperative looter shooter.

But due to some questionable design decisions, dumbing things down, and constant power creep over the years we're at a stage where if you bring the equipment you like and don't want to feel like a fifth wheel, then you're better off just playing solo.

I think Railjack was supposed to bring people more together again. But myself, after the latest changes, I am really glad they also finally introduced Command, so I don't have to play publicly. That should be something to worry about for the devs, but I don't have the impression they think it's a problem.

 

(Case in point: Saryn thread with 11 pages just over there.)

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All weapons have access to generic damage multipliers like Base Damage, Elemental Damage and Multi-shot/Stance Multipliers.

Then we have the meta weapons that have extra exclusive multipliers they sit on top of as they look down on the crit-pples.

The meta weapons enjoy Critical Damage and AOE as well as partake in the exclusive armor bypassing proc known as Bleed.

These extra multipliers form a tower the Grineer meta queens sit on top of as they scoff at the lowly protein Fodder paste with a glass of Kuva in hand.

For weapons to have parity, these exclusive multipliers need to be toned down. 

I'm a broken record, but the solution is simple, but not easy.

1. No enemy armor scaling. Bleed will be in line with the rest of the DOTs with the anti-armor meta gone. Gas + Electric will naturally become viable AOE options for the AOE challenged.

2. Viral procs and Critical Damage additive with Base Damage. The multiplier tower must come down closer to ground level so the crit-pples can actually knaw at the heels.

3. +100% Flat Critical Chance on head-shot instead of a separate multiplier. Do away with another multiplier and allow precision weapons to forego Critical Chance.

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The types of damage and their respective multipliers is way too cluttered for sure. Just look at how many different types of finisher there are (front, back, ground, stealth, there's probably more) all with their own types of damage multiplier. Just, why...? Why make it sooo complicated?

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It's a great post, but we've seen these threads and comments for half a decade at this point in pieces here or there.

The truth of the matter is I don't think DE wants to address this stuff. For example, DE had the perfect opportunity with Warframe Revised and the following hotfixes to address these core issues, atleast partially. However this was not the outcome. Instead, the core problems were not touched and instead bandaids were added and the bar was lowered for players of all capacities. 

I really want Warframe to bring depth and meaning into the core game with better game rules that aren't littered with inconsistencies and exceptions, but it's just not in the realm of possibility after years (6 for me; upwards of 8 for others) of running in circles with developers who are dramatically disconnected with their product and the playerbase. The latest example of this disconnection is their bright idea of Warframe Riven Mods disguised as a Helminth expansion. 

DE has created a backlog that is unfixable at this point, and instead of slowly trying to regain traction on the right track, they've completely gone off the ridge and doubled down.

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1 hour ago, Voltage said:

It's a great post, but we've seen these threads and comments for half a decade at this point in pieces here or there.

The truth of the matter is I don't think DE wants to address this stuff. For example, DE had the perfect opportunity with Warframe Revised and the following hotfixes to address these core issues, atleast partially. However this was not the outcome. Instead, the core problems were not touched and instead bandaids were added and the bar was lowered for players of all capacities.

I'm not entirely sure that's the case. These upcoming changes to guns are specifically because of community (or more likely visible content creator) outcry regarding the balance in SP. DE could very well have ignored those concerns completely and done nothing, but as faulty as their approach is they are trying to fix it in their own misguided way. Or from a pessimistic viewpoint, at least trying to appease and silence the people speaking out about it. Discussions about the importance of game balance are getting more and more popular, and the idea that it's due to ballooning player power is getting more and more steam. Unfortunately with the way DE seems to run feedback it's just a matter of luck that someone on the community team sees these threads and actually reports them to the design team accurately.

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I agree with everything in the OP, it's very well written and on the mark. But as someone who's mostly an outside observer by now (I only play for a couple months every year or so to catch up), I just think this ship has sailed many years ago already. We've been discussing these issues in these forums for at least four years now that I can remember. 

I honestly don't think these core issues can be salvaged anymore. It'd be such a deep restructuring of everything that at that point they might as well just make Warframe 2 from scratch (I honestly hope they do that someday and learn from their mistakes, it worked well for the Division 2 to fix their own armor and spongy enemies issues from the first game). Because once damage/modding and energy issues are fixed, a ton of other stuff that evolved and revolves around that would start to fall apart and need fixing as well. 

Also just to touch on something that's a pet peeve of mine, but armor isn't nearly the issue people make it out to be. Mostly because by now there's like dozens and dozens of powers, abilities and ways to completely strip armor from the enemy. I mean yea, it's a clunky and broken system, but even before the armor/ehp nerf, it was still somewhat trivial to completely strip it, just took a little more effort than just mindlessly spamming ignis wraith into the hordes while you speedrun missions. For example:

5 hours ago, DealerOfAbsolutes said:

1. No enemy armor scaling. Bleed will be in line with the rest of the DOTs with the anti-armor meta gone. Gas + Electric will naturally become viable AOE options for the AOE challenged.

Before the armor nerf, corrosive was considered this ultimate meta, but it was soooo suboptimal to run corrosive. There just wasn't enough hard content in the game to show how limited and weak corrosive was. Viral/bleed was already a much better way to deal with armor, it just wasn't used as widely as corrosive. And even better than viral/bleed was gas. Gas was a boss AoE dps status, just never used by anyone, cause it required you to use other abilities to strip armor first. Right now gas is horrible because it doesn't scale with elemental mods anymore, but electricity is basically the new gas. It's extremely strong if you can strip armor through other means, yet it's very rare to see someone using it. 

I mean, I get it, bleed (+viral) is the best weapon solution to deal with high armor enemies, but it isn't even that great against corpus, specially the very high end ones with tons of shields. You'd want toxin for that. And if you can bypass enemy defenses (there's dozens of powers that can do that), electricity (+viral) will give you the highest AoE dps. 

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15 hours ago, Loza03 said:

This has resulted in the damage system being startlingly inelegant, and lacking in depth.

My favorite example of this is how damage resistances interact with armor.

Damage resistances seem simple enough. An enemy takes 50% more damage from Impact than your Impact damage is increased by 50%. Armored enemies have two resistances, one for health and one for armor. So for those enemies it would follow that you multiply both of values by the damage. This does happen, but that's not all.

In addition to being a flat damage multiplier the armor resistance multiplier also reduces the armor value used in the armor damage reduction formula. This means damage types that have a bonus against armor specifically have an innate baby corrosive proc built in. This sounds cool on paper, I can imagine some math nerds loving this interaction, but what the actual fudge...

Why in Lotus's name do we need an armor ignoring mechanic tacked on to a damage resistance system that also has status effects that reduce armor? In a game about killing hordes of enemies with reckless abandon... It is such an absurdly niche and complex mechanic that has a not-insignificant impact on the damage you deal to heavily armored enemies, it is effectively a status effect that is untied from the status system.

 

16 hours ago, Loza03 said:

This is an unsustainable situation.

To be fair this has been an "unsustainable situation" for the last five years. The points being made have been made countless times, clearly the doom-saying did not hold any weight. DE has managed to ride the "it works I guess" wave for this long and to be honest I don't see why they couldn't continue to do so. While I am inclined to think that the next straw will break the camel's back I thought the last ten would have.

Warframe would be a better game with a ground-up rework to damage and scaling that makes for a balanced and more consistent power fantasy. But I have been ranting on the Forums for *checks Forum join date* an oof amount of years now and nothing has gone anywhere. The status rework actually worsened problems I perceived status to have before yet the community has taken it as a systemic improvement.  Maybe a layer cake of band-aids is good enough for Warframe to continue being fun. I am sad that it isn't living up to what it could be but I am content that it is at least still good.

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49 minutes ago, DrBorris said:

Why in Lotus's name do we need an armor ignoring mechanic tacked on to a damage resistance system that also has status effects that reduce armor?

Functionally, I believe it was on paper, DE's way of making Viral a compromise between Corrosive and Radiation.

Viral gives +75% against all Grineer, while Corrosive and Radiation are more specialized against different armor types the Grineer use, but that got thrown out the window due to armor scaling.

Even though Radiation has +75% against Alloy and mitigates 75% of the armor value in damage calculations, the Old Corrosive would still down Alloy armored enemies faster due to the ability to fully strip the ridiculous scaling armor. 

DE tried addressing the Corrosive > Radiation with the cap on Corrosive to 80% strip and the changes to armor scaling.

New Corrosive at max stacks allows it to effectively bypass 95% of Ferrite armor, (80% Strip + 75% Bypass) with an additional 1.75x multiplier.

1-1/1.75=0.429 or 42.9% DR is required to negate the 1.75x multiplier which is afforded by 225 net armor, or 4500 initial armor.

New Corrosive breaks even with Old Corrosive at 4500 initial armor and gets worse as armor gets higher. Still, ~4500 armor is not coincidentally what a level 74ish Heavy Gunner sports which is roughly when the new lower S curve armor scaling kicks in.

All this careful tuning was wasted when Steel Path released with armor multipliers though.

I imagine their are people in DE that know numbers and try to balance the game, but Warframe has to keep moving goal posts to keep up the illusion of progression.

Players chase more multipliers to fight exponentially scaling enemies. It's a hamster wheel.

Enemies on the star chart cap out at level 45 and after that, the math for the damage system just breaks down. 

There is a reason why endurance runners get slapped with Trade Bans and why enemy drops don't scale. DE never intended endurance running to be a thing, but their are lots of things they didn't intend, but continued to roll with it to please the player base short term.

Warframe started out as a tactical co-op shooter with stamina. Butchers were originally designed to rush players out of cover back when melee weapons were things of last resort. Nowadays, Butchers exist just to fuel ON KILL effects, A lot of enemies players consider dumb were designed for a game that no longer exists and instead of reworking them to fit the new system, DE just cranked up spawns and beefed up stats.

 

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4 hours ago, DealerOfAbsolutes said:

Warframe started out as a tactical co-op shooter with stamina. Butchers were originally designed to rush players out of cover back when melee weapons were things of last resort. Nowadays, Butchers exist just to fuel ON KILL effects, A lot of enemies players consider dumb were designed for a game that no longer exists and instead of reworking them to fit the new system, DE just cranked up spawns and beefed up stats.

 

I think one of the better examples of this is the Shield Lancer. At least Butchers provide a classic part of the traditional horde shooter experience, whereas Shield Lancers don't so well. One thing that's always surreptitiously bugged me is how well enemies can track you. Like if you hide behind cover or zip past an enemy at warp 10, they're still shooting at you by the time you have a chance to re-orient yourself - in Shield Lancer's case, this somewhat prevents the obvious tactic of flanking enemies. Some enemies just keep trying to shoot the walls. This kind of makes sense for a stealth hybrid tactical shooter, where being spotted was sub-optimal strategy. But it's very much not fitting in a horde game. Consider how, in Halo, which also blends tactical shooter and horde gameplay, there's several ways to deal with Jackal shields, including flanking them but usually involving shooting their weak points to reveal them, hitting them with plasma-based weaponry (a really, really good example of strong damage types working to expand the experience as well, by the way) and, of course, smacking them with an AoE weapon.

Warframe doesn't really offer those options outside of AoE/Punch Through weapons, which for a loot-based tactical shooter, makes sense (build for the occasion, sure), but for a horde-based game an enemy which only really exists to slow down progress and be a nuisance from long range isn't very fun.

 

The problem isn't just that Warframe's a horde game now, it's that it kind of botched the transition into it.

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6 hours ago, PublikDomain said:

I'm not entirely sure that's the case. These upcoming changes to guns are specifically because of community (or more likely visible content creator) outcry regarding the balance in SP. DE could very well have ignored those concerns completely and done nothing, but as faulty as their approach is they are trying to fix it in their own misguided way.

But thats how they always do it. There was a devstream where Steve or Scott said "Players are good at identifying problems but terrible at identifying solutions to those problems. So what we do is listen to the problems and fix them our own way.".

The problem here is that their own way is fundamentally misguided and haphazard. They just keep slapping layers on top of a foundation that is made of popsicle sticks and elmer's school glue. Their solution to a player problem is almost always "grind a new mod or thing to fix what we messed up".

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2 minutes ago, Skaleek said:

But thats how they always do it. There was a devstream where Steve or Scott said "Players are good at identifying problems but terrible at identifying solutions to those problems. So what we do is listen to the problems and fix them our own way.".

The problem here is that their own way is fundamentally misguided and haphazard. They just keep slapping layers on top of a foundation that is made of popsicle sticks and elmer's school glue. Their solution to a player problem is almost always "grind a new mod or thing to fix what we messed up".

That adage is generally true, but he's wrong in one aspect: players aren't always terrible at identifying solutions. When your playerbase outnumbers your developers 100,000 to 1 they're bound to have a few good ideas among them. It's hard not to when people are spending 5,000hrs+ ingame. But DE filters everything through their community team to cut through the noise, and this no doubt results in a giant game of telephone where the well-thought-out, actionable ideas get boiled down to just the general sentiment. Everything sounds like a terrible solution when you don't even read them. Like I could write essays on how the game's balance is broken and which parts are the best to fix and how with pictures and diagrams and video, and I have, but all that the community team would forward along is "some players don't like the balance". This is kind of unavoidable, so I get it, but it's still disappointing. Maybe a collaborative post or signed open letter kind of thing could get some traction, idk. DE's certainly not gonna figure it out on their own when they keep tying their shoelaces together.

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Space ninjas? What are those? We're clearly Dynasty Warrior-esque power armor slaughterhouses!

It's all too apparent that this game is held together by duct tape, staples & wishful thinking. It's a monster & DE is going all Dr. Frankenstein on us. They continue to ignore feedback, letting the beast's gristle seep out through the scars. So I continue to ignore Warframe. I don't like to disregard things I care about, but I've been having a blast elsewhere, in the land of Lords, where the flame dwindles & undead flock towards it's ephemeral presence.

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