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Anyone else think it is time for "Enemy Damage 2.0"?


Aldain
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I do.

My sentiment from this comes from the Sisters of Parvos (and Kuva Liches as well I suppose) simply because we're reaching a point where enemy damage is just becoming absolutely insane.

Yes, yes, I'm aware of Arcane Grace, Adaptation and the myriad options to permanently stunlock enemies so they can't shoot in the first place, but the question I have in mind is more "is this a good state of affairs for Warframe to be in?", and personally I don't think so. When enemies deal so much damage that the best route to deal with them is to well...not deal with them, I think something has gone horribly wrong in the fundamental game design.

Constantly having to be on the move to dodge bullets is all well and good, but this winds up at odds with some parts of the game, namely precise aiming for most ranged weapons, I don't care how good you are, landing headshots while bouncing around the room like a pinball to avoid is something most human beings can not do. This is likely why people tend towards the (still) insanely powerful Melee or AoE weapons that can be shot in the general direction of things and still kill half a room.

So overall I'd just like to see the opinions on enemy damage and possible methods and suggestions to make things more reasonable. Any ideas?

Spoiler

...Of course I fully expect some people to just run in here and spam "git gud" and avoid the topic altogether, but that's the internet for you.

 

Edited by Aldain
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Just now, Redfeather75 said:

I wish the enemies were better at damaging each other. Maybe it has gotten better. I haven't tried mind control in months.

I can assure you it has not.

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12 minutes ago, Aldain said:

So overall I'd just like to see the opinions on enemy damage and possible methods and suggestions to make things more reasonable. Any ideas?

Realistically there is only one real way to achieve this:
Massive stat crunch on player EHP.

The biggest problem with the entire situation is that you have frames with tens of thousands EHP compared to frames with only a few thousand EHP.  How do you balance enemy damage at all so that both sides are equally threatened?
And that is ignoring certain loadouts which make you basically invulnerable against the majority of enemies in the game (Hildryn shield gate abuse, or Zephyr against non-infested).

You need to massively cut player EHP to a reasonable level and start from there and balance enemy damage around a sane range.
It's just not possible to do when you have some frames that have hundreds time more EHP than others.

 

Once you get to that point there would still need to be a ton more work done to balance out everything else in the game...but it would help to make enemy damage more equal across the frames so you can have enemies that are dangerous to every frame without just being one-shot to anything but the tankiest.  I mean if we do this we might reach a point where an Inaros can't just sit in front of a max level sister/lich and mash melee for a few minutes and just win without taking any noticeable damage while that same enemy can one-shot half the frames in the game....

Edited by Tsukinoki
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It's time for a them to follow through on the Damage 3.0 overhaul that was discussed years ago, not just enemy damage. Especially if they get rid of certain mandatory mods...

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1 minute ago, Tsukinoki said:

Realistically there is only one real way to achieve this:
Massive stat crunch on player EHP.

The biggest problem with the entire situation is that you have frames with tens of thousands EHP compared to frames with only a few thousand EHP.  How do you balance enemy damage at all so that both sides are equally threatened?
And that is ignoring certain loadouts which make you basically invulnerable against the majority of enemies in the game (Hildryn shield gate abuse, or Zephyr against non-infested).

You need to massively cut player EHP to a reasonable level and start from there and balance enemy damage around a sane range.
It's just not possible to do when you have some frames that have hundreds time more EHP than others.

That's an idea I've been tossing around, but more of a general across-the-board stat squish of everything.

You're right that it would be a massive undertaking though, personally I'd at least like DE to take the first step as related to enemy damage though, like making grunt enemies deal less than "heavy" units at the very least.

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1 minute ago, Aldain said:

That's an idea I've been tossing around, but more of a general across-the-board stat squish of everything.

You're right that it would be a massive undertaking though, personally I'd at least like DE to take the first step as related to enemy damage though, like making grunt enemies deal less than "heavy" units at the very least.

Enemy damage and player health/armor/shields/dr/invulnerability should be the first step honestly.

 

DE needs to:
-Determine a "sane" upper and lower limit for player EHP
-Reconsider things that grant invulnerability and rework them to either not be complete invulnerability or make it fairly difficult to hit complete invulnerability (this includes Hildryn Shield Gating with the dragon key among other interactions)
-Reconsider how DR stacking works.  DE already took a step towards this by making DR granting mods multiplicative instead of additive but more work needs to be done with this
-Rebalance enemy damage around this much smaller and saner EHP range.  Make is so that enemies on the high end threaten frames without one-shotting the squishier ones (outside of maybe special cases and considerations) and align the enemy damage better with their classification (grunt vs heavy vs special and so on)
There is one small issue here that DE can handle two ways: Either they eventually "cap" the enemy damage (soft or hard) so that all levels are playable....or let the "extreme" ranges of enemy levels just deal insane levels of damage as that is well beyond the intended engagement level (for instance extra long survival/disruption runs)

 

AFTER that is done then we can look into rebalancing player damage and enemy EHP and so forth.....
But one thing at a time.
And honestly if we get a sane EHP range for players I think that would go a long way to addressing quite a few complaints in the game....both on the "Its too easy" and on the "its no fair enemies one-shot me" side.

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I don't agree. Just lowering enemy damage without touching players power will just make the game even more trivial and mind numbing easy than it already is. There's soooo many options to build tanky and not get one shot by enemies. Adaptation + guardian or hp + armor mods; shield gating + shield mods/arcanes, even invisibility is a survivability option. You're basically saying you want to be tanky without having to build for tankiness. Either revamp and rework everything so that it all works well together or accept the "nuke or be nuked" meta, which isn't even so true tbh, since as I already said you can just build tanky. In the vast majority of frames just slapping HP mod + adaptation + arcane guardian is already enough to survive most one shots. But people don't want to change their builds to include a few survivability options. Shield gating is another incredibly strong option nowadays that will carry as far as enemy level cap and is even "cheaper" to build for. Brief respite + rolling guard is usually enough, and an arcane aegis will make it even better. 

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I'm not sure to what extent this is a problem that needs to be addressed, but I think that Warframe has sort of painted itself into a corner by presenting players with such drastically different options to play with.  How do you make content that feels dangerous to both Chroma and Banshee?  There's a vast gulf between the defensive capabilities of these frames.  If the DPS output can challenge Chroma, then there's nothing Banshee can do short of shield-gate shenanigans that allow her to entirely avoid damage.

So if we did want this to be fixed, my suggestion would be to reduce all the damage numbers and instead have these fights you want to be "challenging" negate Warframe powers instead.  And yeah, I'll be the first one to say that this solution is not fun and is a total bummer, but short of re-balancing defensive Warframe abilities I'm not sure if there's any other realistic solution.

Edited by (PSN)Unstar
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But what if, like me, you find the damage output of lichs (both kuva and corpus) to not really be that big of a deal?

And what about the quite sizeable chunk of players that I keep reading comments from that want more challenge, ie, bigger badder more dangerous enemies?

In a game with almost 50 playable characters and several hundred weapons, who fight against 5 different factions made up of god knows how many different enemy types, where the idea of nerfing anything is enough to start ww3, with thousands of mods designed to fundamentally change how myriad various aspects of the game function, and a bloody helminth system to top it all off....balance is nigh on impossible.   Lets just face up to that.

Enemies should be able to kill you, sometimes rather easily if you don't have appropriate gear.   Warframe is a game of chaos that seems to be designed around imbalance.  Its literally impossible at this stage to create the balance you're looking for (and, as always, lots of players will have a drastically different opinion to what you personally consider "balanced").

What you're looking for is pretty much the entire game to be re-structured/redesigned from the ground up.   While that may certainly have attractive aspects to it, it ain't gonna happen and for good reason.   Well, three reasons actually.   Way too much work.   Negligible return on investment for that gargantuan amount of work.   And a playerbase screaming for blood cos literally everything is nerfed.

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There does need to be some sort of normalisation between player damage and enemy health and it cannot be done independently.

I blame power bloat cycle (A step ahead of powercreep as it impacts power of everything in the game not just players) and the very steep grind.

over the years players have gotten so much more powerful that they can wipe out entire floors with the press of a button , while the enemies have remained mostly the same (until recently) and in an attempt to extend the gametime the Devs keep making rewards rare and rarer and more diluted cause there are only so many nodes , and then ocassionally sprinkle enemies that simply do not follow the rules anymore.

if everyone followed the same (kinda ) rules like say ... Enemies don't gain more health or damage after a certain point , but they can take advantage of similar mods like we do with their own ranking then there would be some semblance of balance on both sides. 

The outliers would be ones with even more unique mods , difficult but within the same ruleset and so manageable  

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2 hours ago, Aldain said:

possible methods and suggestions to make things more reasonable. Any ideas?

enemy_damage = min((playerEHP * 0.2), scaledDamage)

Or whatever factor of the player's end HP.

Basically, cap enemy damage to a portion of the player's total health. Alternatively, take DPS-cap tools applied to bosses and rework those for players. Either way, one ends up approaching an identical TTK across all Warframes, with tankier Warframes taking their time to get to that point compared to the weaker ones (so the difference does still matter).

That isn't a permanent solution - I think the permanent solution is to do away with enemy scaling altogether and have more meaningful, less programmatic choices in many aspects of Warframe, to the point that RNG is reserved for loot tables - but does provide a stint around which one could start to balance other things to more reasonable levels.

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EHP variance is pretty big among warframes. Using Triple Umbral mods as a baseline (+770% Health, +192.5% armor), and counting DR abilities (no augments, Health/Armor/Shield/DR ability buffs at 177% strength) and Arcane Guardian, you have a massive variance in EHP.

E08SQPg.png

And you know who it is to blame? The DR frames. Baruuk, Mesa, Trinity, etc.
The top 10% of frames have roughly at least 10x the EHP of the median.

Edited by (XBOX)TheWayOfWisdom
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Stat squishes won't fix existing mechanical overrides placed to ensure scalability.

Reducing enemy damage won't impact all frames equally because all frames aren't comparatively equal to begin with.

This isn't to even touch on the invariable aspect of attrition due to large mechanical changes in older games...

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4 hours ago, Aldain said:

I do.

My sentiment from this comes from the Sisters of Parvos (and Kuva Liches as well I suppose) simply because we're reaching a point where enemy damage is just becoming absolutely insane.

Yes, yes, I'm aware of Arcane Grace, Adaptation and the myriad options to permanently stunlock enemies so they can't shoot in the first place, but the question I have in mind is more "is this a good state of affairs for Warframe to be in?", and personally I don't think so. When enemies deal so much damage that the best route to deal with them is to well...not deal with them, I think something has gone horribly wrong in the fundamental game design.

Constantly having to be on the move to dodge bullets is all well and good, but this winds up at odds with some parts of the game, namely precise aiming for most ranged weapons, I don't care how good you are, landing headshots while bouncing around the room like a pinball to avoid is something most human beings can not do. This is likely why people tend towards the (still) insanely powerful Melee or AoE weapons that can be shot in the general direction of things and still kill half a room.

So overall I'd just like to see the opinions on enemy damage and possible methods and suggestions to make things more reasonable. Any ideas?

  Reveal hidden contents

...Of course I fully expect some people to just run in here and spam "git gud" and avoid the topic altogether, but that's the internet for you.

 

This thread--and those like it--only really serve to perpetuate a couple game development "death spirals" that devs always find themselves in.

Path of Exile is going through something similar. Players whine about power creep, then devs buff enemies, then players ask for new tools, players get them, players say it's too easy, devs nerf player power, now enemies are too strong, etc...

PvP games go through this in a different form, but usually results in endless nerf cycles that make everything feel like crap to play. This is really bad in PvP shooters, mobas, some RTS games, etc.

This perpetual chasing of this elusive notion of "balance" only ever ends up destroying the game. Warframe made it this far because it tries to create "fun" instead. Sure, it's been a bit hit and miss for different content and different people, but the bigger picture I see here is that the community is usually divided on all these things. As soon as one camp gets what they want, they go quiet and the opposite camp takes up arms. I don't see these things going anywhere, so I can't support these kinds of threads. It's just pointless.

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3 hours ago, (XBOX)TyeGoo said:

I'd love if they cut enemy damage down and in return remove invulnerability from players entirely. 

But that requires nerfing, and we all do sure know how players react to that. 

Well if they did that then they'd have to get rid of Shield Gating, and that's honestly one of the best things they've ever added to the game and makes certain Warframes with literally no defense skills (like Banshee or Octavia) actually playable at higher levels without abusing other mechanics.

As for the topic, I think the only way you could possible handle the damage issue anymore than we already have (for higher levels, you abandon defense and focus on refreshing your Shield Gates) is to actually change how Warframe abilities that involve defense function. Pretty much every ability in the game has the potential to keep scaling, but abilities that involve protecting the Warframe directly (so Shatter Shield or Iron Skin) have two main ways they function; Flat and Scaling.

Flat abilities are most abilities in this category and usually apply to Casterframes (Mag), wherein spamming their abilities is the name of the game or DPSframes (Saryn) who rely on their powers to kill en masse. These abilities have a hard cap to their effects but require far less effort to Mod in order to be effective, and because of this extra Power options will not really scale these abilities up much. These Warframes usually rely on outside forces like Ancient Healther Specters or Trinity to help buff their EHP due to their high initial stats but nigh non-existent scaling.

Scaling abilities work as the name implies, with some form of scaling mixed into it to help the Warframe survive higher levels. Warframes like Rhino and Nezha are prime examples of this, wherein their defense can be boosted via enemy damage. Other Warframes like Frost or Gara do this as well with major area-wide abilities that can help out the entire team, and these abilities are usually found on Warframes with lower need for consistent casting outside of their defense, as they rely more on their EHP to keep them alive vs CC or ability damage. The problem with these abilities is that their scaling is quite honestly not that good and it forces them to use the same options the Flat abilities use, and outside of a few exceptions this means Flat abilities will generally outperform Scaling ones.

DE would need to find a way to buff Scaling abilities so that taking enemy damage while their "starting up" is far more important to your survivability, and make it so these abilities actually take the Warframes current EHP into account. Nezha is a pretty good example of what DE should do going forward for the tankier Warframes, an ability that adds an initially high amount of DR on top of your EHP from Armor, Shield Gating and Health while doing something to protect you once it deactivates so you can cast it again (in this case it's a radial Heat proc). Rhino's Iron Skin is a terrible way to go about a scaling ability, it relies far too much on multiple Augments to scale into higher levels when most of that should be inherent and it has no synergy with the Warframes' current EHP, meaning most ways of protecting the Warframe simply don't apply.

So as an example;

Chroma now has Vex Armor's defense scale up in effect based on the damage you're taking. As long as you keep the ability active, this means enemy damage will be continually reduced as you get more and more Armor to compensate for the increase in level and your static amount of defense. This armor will continue to scale until you reach your previous threshold of defense (so say enemies can only deal 100 Health damage to you per hit at max stacks, the ability scaling would make sure that continues to happen even as the levels rise). This scaling is progressive though, meaning you don't just receive the proper reduction immediately in order to add some risk.

Atlas would have it so the Armor effect for Rubble no longer has a cap, but the obvious downside here is that you have to rely on Landslide's invulnerability and your DPS in order to kill enemies en masse so that your Armor can continue protecting you at the level it currently was. Armor also has diminishing returns, meaning that this will get harder and harder to do as the mission continues. 

Rhino now has Iron Skin apply directly to him as extra Health, meaning that he can receive the benefits from Shield Gating and other defense Mods like Adaptation, as well as the DR from his current Armor value. Enemies that damage Iron Skin during the prep phase now deal increased damage to Rhino while the charge-up is occurring, with this amount being multiplied by Rhino's current Power (enemies still can't damage Rhino at all during this phase, but it makes it so the Armor received is multiplied heavily if you invest into more Power Strength).

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1 minute ago, FrostDragoon said:

This perpetual chasing of this elusive notion of "balance" only ever ends up destroying the game.

I think the imbalance is destroying the game far more personally.

"Enemies deal too much damage? Just turn off the A.I. or become invisible/invincible to make the enemies unable to do anything to you"

Sounds fun to me, I welcome the new standard of turning off half of the game to pump numbers into massive DR or stunning all the enemies infinitely to wait for a timer to tick down to complete a mission. Who needs good movement mechanics, well designed enemies, unique/new mission objectives, or worthwhile weapons? Just press the "I win" button and turn all that off.

Every game dies eventually, the question is will it die trying or just give up and let the gameplay devolve into 1-button nonsense?

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proposed enemy damage 2.0.

- upon damaging a warframe, enemies must submit a DPS form in to the nearest relay, with the type and amount of damage requested, and wait 2-4 working days for it to be processed, before it determines whether or not the Tenno should indeed have taken damage. 

- damage is completely randomized: they might hit you and do nothing, or they might immediately kill you/activate shield gating.

- enemies who successfully down a warframe must then attend a 1-on-1 mediation session, in which the two parties meet under the supervision of a licensed therapist, and are encouraged to talk out their differences and find a more proactive, peaceful solution. 

- each time you kill an enemy, you are whisked out of the game and forced to sit a mandatory 20 minute seminar on why killing is wrong, and the effects it will have on the family and friends of the person you just killed.

Spoiler

these ludicrous idea are more likely to appear in the game than an actual balance rework.

 

Edited by (PSN)robotwars7
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1 minute ago, (PSN)robotwars7 said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

these ludicrous idea are more likely to appear in the game than an actual balance rework.

 

Spoiler

Sad but true...

 

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36 minutes ago, Aldain said:

I think the imbalance is destroying the game far more personally.

"Enemies deal too much damage? Just turn off the A.I. or become invisible/invincible to make the enemies unable to do anything to you"

Sounds fun to me, I welcome the new standard of turning off half of the game to pump numbers into massive DR or stunning all the enemies infinitely to wait for a timer to tick down to complete a mission. Who needs good movement mechanics, well designed enemies, unique/new mission objectives, or worthwhile weapons? Just press the "I win" button and turn all that off.

Every game dies eventually, the question is will it die trying or just give up and let the gameplay devolve into 1-button nonsense?

People complained the game was too easy and asked for Steel Path. They got it. Now they complain it's too hard so they have to resort to cheese mechanics. Then if/when something gets done to make it so your average player can clear Steel Path without learning the game (like all the other content), they will complain it's too easy again. You're on step 2.

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22 minutes ago, FrostDragoon said:

People complained the game was too easy and asked for Steel Path. They got it. Now they complain it's too hard so they have to resort to cheese mechanics. Then if/when something gets done to make it so your average player can clear Steel Path without learning the game (like all the other content), they will complain it's too easy again. You're on step 2.

No one (at least not many) was complaining about pre-SP levels of enemy damage being too easy though.

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