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The Real Fix to Mandatory Modding, Modding Metas, and Non-Scaling Content/Abilities/Mods/Weapons


Grav_Starstrider
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We all each have a million examples of tools in the game that were only (debatably) useful on Earth, Venus, and Mars-level missions, useless mods, useless abilities, useless companions, and useless MR fodder weapons.

They aren't what all need buffs.

Hold your hornet's nest of knee-jerk ire and indignation in reserve for a minute, and consider this: we should consider nerfing Enemy Effective Health Pools (EHP, encompasses Armor and Shields and Damage Reductions [DR]), and the primary ways that we deal damage to them, to bring that primary method of damage back in line with all of the things the metas have left behind.

If we switch Warframe's melee and gun modding systems to scale the mods only off of the base damage of the weaponry (Base X #ofDPSmods= MultiplicativeWeaponDPS) rather than the ludicrously exponential doubling-or-more per DPS per mod in the current system (Base X 2#ofDPSmods = ExponentialWeaponDPS), we would see a drastically less severe and enormous a range of DPS from our weapons, and instead see a far more reliable, smaller range of damage, something like a 2-16 scale instead of a 2-256 scale, based on some quick and dirty math, which seems to check out when I look at the pre- and post-modded DPS of some meta weapons.
DE could adjust enemy EHP scaling/values down proportionately.
Suddenly, by simply pointing the mods at the base damage rather than multiplying each other and making enemy EHP lower to match, all of the "flat value" DPS mods and abilities with little-to-no scaling potential become much more valid, compelling, competitive options, and on top of that, because each DPS mod only scaled off of the base damage, you're only losing out on something like 1/8th of your potential DPS if you drop a mandatory mod in exchange for a QoL mod, rather than losing 1/2 of your DPS.

Modding and Weapon diversity would skyrocket, and suddenly frames that currently feel like garbage because of their lack of scaling mechanics would feel competitive across the star-chart. A few Warframe's numerical values on their abilities would need to be tweaked down, but I genuinely think that's called for, with how we have ubiquitous stand-out Warframes that are seen constantly across all mission types (cough, Saryn and Wukong are really popular AF after reworks, Pablo, cough), as compared to the Warframes nobody is ever seen playing, or is only used for the memes or because players are willing to stay within the low Level range they scale to (Hydroid/Yareli are crying). Imagine Banshee's Sonic Boom not being useless outside of a temporary ragdoll, or armor stripping via an augment, but instead having it's DPS be a genuinely compelling option under the right circumstances. It only makes sense for the more limited resource in the game, Energy, that our enemies have counterplay against in the form of Nullifier bubbles, Energy Leeches, and Magnetic procs, that Warframe Abilities should be good options compared to guns, and that guns with their ammo constraints and often single-target limitations should be more potent weaponry choices than infinitely spammable melee, which hits multiple enemies per swing and has built-in scaling mechanics via the combo counter, which most guns have no parallel for.

I genuinely don't think DE has found, or ever will find themselves with, the time or bandwidth to sort out a system or set of guidelines to figure out a way of having Warframe abilities perform reliably or consistently across the "2-256" range of effectiveness without semi-infinitely scaling mechanics like Spore, or level-based mechanics, that they've seemed too shy to spread across more than an extremely small percentage of the Warframe ability roster.

I think we need the game to be less severe of a "gear check" and at high levels being a "cheese fest" or "mechanics abuse". "Compressing" the numbers of our DPS and our enemy's EHP to a much more compressed scale (like "2-16", or at least a happy medium of something like 10-100, with baseline universal buffs across certain weapon types) would help DE make a far more reliable, balanced system. I think that's why we need to very seriously consider this option/approach. Dismantle the steady power creep at it's core, the modding system, and rebuild a more firm foundation for a more easily parsable and balanceable system.

Obviously there's no way they'd remotely think about doing this until after they've done the New War. It'd need to be put into the pipe. But let me know your (hopefully constructive) criticisms or support or thoughts! I think it'll be a lot easier for them to adjust some other things like the physical and elemental proc's disparities alongside or after these changes as well, since the outcomes would be more consistent.

Edited by Grav_Starstrider
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tldr; instead of weapon modding looking like (BaseDmg8mods), DE could make it look like BaseDmg(8mods), and adjust enemy EHP down proportionally.

This instantly adds value to all non-multiplicative values in the game (from currently-useless-for-DPS Warframe Abilities like Banshee's SonicBoom, to the various mods/precept that "do 100 of X type of damage under Y condition/actions", and interestingly, base-damage-reliant weapons as compared to status/crit/hybrid-dependent ones), and reduces the punishment for deviation from the meta modding by an absurd amount (1/8th-ish DPS loss per non-meta mod equipped, rather than 1/2-ish DPS lost per every dropped meta mod).

Obviously there would be a LOT of ripple effects to chase down, but I really think it'd be worth it. I'd play a public test server for months on my own time chasing down items that need modified numbers on account of these tweaks.

Edited by Grav_Starstrider
acknowledgement of sheer developer/playtesting labor needed for this lift
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The problem with changing how mods combine is that it wouldn't likely change how people actually mod. Assuming that these changes really do reduce the final build multiplier from your 2-256x figure to your 2-16x figure, a build that uses nothing but damage mods would still be 8x stronger than one that doesn't. You still get more power from stacking more damage mods, and people will continue only using damage mods to achieve that. So while it would narrow player power to more manageable ranges and give us all of those benefits you mention, it isn't likely that modding or weapon diversity would actually change. There'd still be a "best" combination of damage mods, and weapons that don't need to give up any of those mods to fix inherent downsides will still scale farther.

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Why is it, that whenever i see a genuine and well thought out post, it barely get's ANY traffic..? If implemented properly, this will feel just as good as the whole weapon number rebalancing update. It made me dust off a lot of my fodders and they felt something that worth putting forma into.

So yes, you have all my kudos and this would certainly alleviate many of the single choice power creep weapons. Sure, the vocal minority will cry as always, but screw them! Even i invested a few formas here and there in meta weapons and i am starting to get bored of them. But i don't care about 'losing' their edge to other contenders. I wholeheartedly wish something like this, or exactly this getting implemented, because i never enjoyed shooting bullet sponges.

 

Side idea, since we are looking for reforming damage dealing, we may have the chance to get a more refined AI. Not sure how would that turn out, but since you are clearly better with math than me, i feel safe that your suggestions would be applicable and enjoyable.

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Agreed. DE needs to reduce the multiplier bloat because they can't keep track of them nor even have unique terminology for them, which is why every iteration of their new damage attenuation feels off. We have "+165% Damage" being multiplicative with "+55% Damage to Grineer". If something has to remain a multiplier because it can't be implemented another way, then it must come with a hefty caveat that entices players to use a QoL mod.

Multi-shot is just free damage. Fire Rate on the other hand has legitimate drawbacks such as ammo economy and recoil.

My suggestions:

  • Critical Multiplier additive with Base Damage, a 4.4x Multiplier would be equal to +340% Damage
  • Viral Procs additive with Base Damage, +325% Base Damage at max stacks
  • All multi-Shot mods having equivocal -% Accuracy for every +% Multi-shot ala Split Flights
  • Headshot Multiplier removed, replaced with +100% Flat Critical Chance on Headshot
  • +30%/55% Faction Damage mods replaced with "+30%/55% Combined Elemental mods" 
  • All +75% resistance bonuses of Combined Elementals be reduced to +25%
  • All +15% resistance bonuses of IPS increased to +25%
  • Enemy armor shouldn't scale, enemy eHP should escalate linearly along with player damage
Edited by DealerOfAbsolutes
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11 hours ago, Laveillon said:

Why is it, that whenever i see a genuine and well thought out post, it barely get's ANY traffic..? If implemented properly, this will feel just as good as the whole weapon number rebalancing update. It made me dust off a lot of my fodders and they felt something that worth putting forma into.

So yes, you have all my kudos and this would certainly alleviate many of the single choice power creep weapons. Sure, the vocal minority will cry as always, but screw them! Even i invested a few formas here and there in meta weapons and i am starting to get bored of them. But i don't care about 'losing' their edge to other contenders. I wholeheartedly wish something like this, or exactly this getting implemented, because i never enjoyed shooting bullet sponges.

 

Side idea, since we are looking for reforming damage dealing, we may have the chance to get a more refined AI. Not sure how would that turn out, but since you are clearly better with math than me, i feel safe that your suggestions would be applicable and enjoyable.

Dawww, thank you! The math isn't very solid, I just know the gist of how modding (damage, multishot, crit chance + damage, elemental damage, bane-type mods, and the new Condition-overload-like mod, etc) each can do something in the neighborhood of doubling the base weapon's damage output. Remove any of the meta DPS mods on your melee/guns that actually change the crit or damage numbers outright, and you can see it approximately halve with each removal (or replacement with QoL mods). And yeah, we could see a lot more variety of weapon usage (not overwhelmingly just status-chance and crit-chance/damage-heavy monsters). If nothing else, I would love for them to run the PTS with the non-exponential-modding setup and scaled down enemy health for a week or two, for players and devs to experiment and see what it feels like.
(give players 200 forma on just the PTS so that they can shuffle mods around like mad, or temporarily omni-polarize all weapon mod slots, so that they can try it out without being constrained by their previous meta-modding polarizations?)

I feel like enemy AI, Stealth, Aggro, and "Formations and Reinforcements" and Reward Structure mechanics/updates would definitely be its own big chunk(s) of updates. It'd also be it's own post, and now I feel like going ahead and making it, so keep an eye out for it (unless I get busy with work).

1 hour ago, DealerOfAbsolutes said:

Agreed. DE needs to reduce the multiplier bloat because they can't keep track of them nor even have unique terminology for them, which is why every iteration of their new damage attenuation feels off. We have "+165% Damage" being multiplicative with "+55% Damage to Grineer". If something has to remain a multiplier because it can't be implemented another way, then it must come with a hefty caveat that entices players to use a QoL mod.

Multi-shot is just free damage. Fire Rate on the other hand has legitimate drawbacks such as ammo economy and recoil.

I'm actually not that against multipliers being present in general, it just becomes a problem when MANY things are multiplying each other in a super-stacking exponential sort of way. But it is definitely a guessing/memorization game to know what mods give flat % boosts/chances to things, vs multiplicative boosts/chances to things, and whether it only scales off of base weapon stats, base weapon stats + "Damage" mods (e.g. Serration/PressurePoint), or multiplying based on literally everything else modded onto the weapons.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind if stupidly-dedicated-to-a-specific-playstyle-or-faction mods, like Bane mods or Headshot(Kill)-dependent mods or the Proton/Motus modsets remained more effective by being cumulatively multiplicative, because it has the drawback of being more fiddly and specialized.
The problem lies with the mods that almost literally everyone uses almost literally 100% of the time being the ones that are so ludicrously multiplicative.

I've made arguments for Multishot needing to have altered functionality as well, I definitely agree that it's absurd for it to be free exponentially multiplying damage. Things like introducing substantial spread or -accuracy or additional ammo consumption as the drawback for the bonus damage, or reworking Multishot entirely to simply be a status/crit proc average-er and into a "make this a shotgun" mod that has more pellets at the expense of reduced damage. Removing Multishot from being a universal DPS meta mod would also help make certain other issues substantially lessened, such as Ivara's Navigator only controlling one projectile out of the multishot group, and a host of multishot-ruining-stealth-kills issues I've heard of, and single-damage-instance-reliant things like Marked for Death only accounting for 1 out of any multishot pellets. Because unless you specifically want to make something not single-target-oriented (or to make a spread of bullets with more reliable DPS or less emphasis on pinpoint aim), you would avoid the Multishot.

Theoretically, reworking Multishot to more effectively shotgun-ify weapons would also help reduce the monopoly AoE weapons have on doing multi-enemy damage.

I'm struggling to math/process most of your additional recommendations atm, but maybe someone else can more easily see what you're going for and agree or critique it.

My thoughts on Elemental/Physical procs and vulnerabilities and resistances below, should (and probably will) make another post on this in more detail.

Spoiler

I do know that I think increasing enemy vulnerabilities and resistances to be more severe, especially on Heavy/Miniboss/Boss enemies, would actually help shift the game back towards a decisions-matter focus, rather than having players use Corrosive or Radiation or Viral or Heat nigh-universally because it's procs make it effective, or because the things vulnerable to the actual damage far outweigh the enemies that resists it. I think that practically all of the elemental and physical procs should have 1 main effect that's extremely effective against specific target types (Gas punishing Infested extra hard for rushing into/through the same space, Magnetic obliterating Shields, Slash removing limbs/protrusions/tubing on applicable enemies) and a secondary, weaker but more universal effect (Gas being an AoE status good for groups or chokepoints in general, Magnetic could/should temporarily jam "special abilities" and/or projectile weapons or perform smaller versions of Void/Mag/Scourge's bullet attraction, Slash doing it's current thing where it just does Armor-ignoring damage). I don't particularly see the point in reducing elemental damage vulnerabilities, as it's already something most weapons can be modded to avoid (and you shouldn't be bringing a weak-against-faction elemental weapon in the first place).

If DE makes resistances and vulnerabilities and procs matter more though, I want a revamp of the Loadouts system too, allowing players to toggle between configs for the items equipped in the Loadout (so that you can switch your Slow-Nova with Anti-Grineer config'd guns and melee to your Speedy-Nova with Anti-Infested gun and melee configs without going to your Arsenal).

As always, let me know your guy's thoughts!

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1 hour ago, Grav_Starstrider said:

My thoughts on Elemental/Physical procs and vulnerabilities and resistances below, should (and probably will) make another post on this in more detail.

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I do know that I think increasing enemy vulnerabilities and resistances to be more severe, especially on Heavy/Miniboss/Boss enemies, would actually help shift the game back towards a decisions-matter focus, rather than having players use Corrosive or Radiation or Viral or Heat nigh-universally because it's procs make it effective, or because the things vulnerable to the actual damage far outweigh the enemies that resists it. I think that practically all of the elemental and physical procs should have 1 main effect that's extremely effective against specific target types (Gas punishing Infested extra hard for rushing into/through the same space, Magnetic obliterating Shields, Slash removing limbs/protrusions/tubing on applicable enemies) and a secondary, weaker but more universal effect (Gas being an AoE status good for groups or chokepoints in general, Magnetic could/should temporarily jam "special abilities" and/or projectile weapons or perform smaller versions of Void/Mag/Scourge's bullet attraction, Slash doing it's current thing where it just does Armor-ignoring damage). I don't particularly see the point in reducing elemental damage vulnerabilities, as it's already something most weapons can be modded to avoid (and you shouldn't be bringing a weak-against-faction elemental weapon in the first place).

If DE makes resistances and vulnerabilities and procs matter more though, I want a revamp of the Loadouts system too, allowing players to toggle between configs for the items equipped in the Loadout (so that you can switch your Slow-Nova with Anti-Grineer config'd guns and melee to your Speedy-Nova with Anti-Infested gun and melee configs without going to your Arsenal).

 

I always thought that the combined elements having the highest bonuses was weird as it basically invalidated the point of weapons having an IPS spread in the first place.

Have one +90% elemental and it has a +25% Bonus.

Have two +90% elementals combine into a +180% element with a +75% bonus? They tend to have better procs to boot?

For example, take a Sortie level Heavy Gunner with 6000 Ferrite armor which provides 95% Damage Reduction, reducing neutral damage types to 5% of its value.

Imagine weapon that's 90% Puncture, 10% Impact, modded for 180% Corrosive.

Puncture has a +25% bonus to Ferrite, Corrosive has a +75% bonus to Ferrite and Impact has a -25% to Cloned Flesh.

Due to how armor class modifiers double dip, boosting damage by % and mitigating armor by %.

  • Puncture deals 13.5% of its value of 90%, or 12.15% Base Damage as effective Damage.
  • Impact deals 3.75% of its value of 10%, or 0.375% Base Damage as effective Damage.
  • Corrosive deals 29% of its value of 180%, or 52.2% Base Damage as effective Damage

In this case, the Corrosive portion (which is 64.2% of your real damage) constitutes 80.6% of your effective damage before bringing up Corrosive procs to the table. Corrosive strips 80% of armor at max stacks, reducing 6000 Ferrite armor to 1200, from 95% DR to 80% DR, which is another 4X Damage Boost. 

Base IPS spread on a weapon is basically irrelevant in Warframe unless you want to build for Slash procs.

If the weapon in question was 100% Impact, +180% Corrosive.

  • Impact deals 3.75% of its value of 100% or 3.75% Base Damage as effective damage.
  • Corrosive deals 29% of its value of 180%, or 52.2% Base Damage as effective Damage

In this case, Corrosive constituting 64.2% of your real damage is contributing 93.3% of your effective damage.

Compared to this 100% Impact weapon with +180% Corrosive, the 90% Puncture/10% Impact only deals 15.6% more damage with the same build. The IPS distinctions might as well be flavor text because of the difference they make.

If Corrosive had a +25% Bonus against Ferrite:

  • Corrosive deals 7.8% of its value of 180%, or 14.04% Base Damage as effective Damage

180% Corrosive would constitute 53% of effective damage on the same weapon, but the 90% Puncture would contribute a significant 46.3% before Corrosive procs are brought to the table. 

I'm of the opinion that the Elements with the best procs (which are usually the combined elements) shouldn't have the best modifiers too as it just adds oil to the multiplier problem Warframe has. 

Edited by DealerOfAbsolutes
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1 minute ago, DealerOfAbsolutes said:

I always thought that the combined elements having the highest bonuses was weird as it basically invalidated the point of weapons having an IPS spread in the first place.

Have one +90% elemental and it has a +25% Bonus.

Have two +90% elementals combine into a +180% element with a +75% bonus? They tend to have better procs to boot?

For example, take a Sortie level Heavy Gunner with 6000 Ferrite armor which provides 95% Damage Reduction, reducing neutral damage types to 5% of its value.

Imagine weapon that's 90% Puncture, 10% Impact, modded for 180% Corrosive.

Puncture has a +25% bonus to Ferrite, Corrosive has a +75% bonus to Ferrite and Impact has a -25% to Cloned Flesh.

Due to how armor class modifiers double dip, boosting damage by % and mitigating armor by %.

  • Puncture deals 13.5% of its value of 90%, or 12.15% Base Damage as effective Damage.
  • Impact deals 3.75% of its value of 10%, or 0.375% Base Damage as effective Damage.
  • Corrosive deals 29% of its value of 180%, or 52.2% Base Damage as effective Damage

In this case, the Corrosive portion (which is 64.2% of your real damage) constitutes 80.6% of your effective damage before brining up Corrosive procs to the table. Corrosive strips 80% of armor at max stacks, reducing 6000 Ferrite armor to 1200, from 95% DR to 80% DR, which is another 4X Damage Boost. 

Base IPS spread on a weapon is basically irrelevant in Warframe unless you want to build for Slash procs.

If Corrosive had a +25% Bonus against Ferrite:

  • Corrosive deals 7.8% of its value of 180%, or 14.04% Base Damage as effective Damage

180% Corrosive would constitute 53% of effective damage on the same weapon, but the 90% Puncture would contribute a significant 46.3% before Corrosive procs are brought to the table. 

 

I feel like Elemental damage weapons existing kinda invalidates the concept of IPS being the "Standard" as well, but can I take this to mean you agree that the elemental damage should only scale off of the base weapon damage, rather than base weapon damage AND multishot AND +Damage mods?

If DE considered doing this decoupling idea, so that they all only scale off of the base weapon damage rather than also off of each other, then yeah, modding wouldn't result in ridiculous Elemental weighting being absurd compared to the base damage if the player utilized the normal damage mods and/or crit mods to affect the base weapon's damage output.

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22 minutes ago, Grav_Starstrider said:

I feel like Elemental damage weapons existing kinda invalidates the concept of IPS being the "Standard" as well, but can I take this to mean you agree that the elemental damage should only scale off of the base weapon damage, rather than base weapon damage AND multishot AND +Damage mods?

If DE considered doing this decoupling idea, so that they all only scale off of the base weapon damage rather than also off of each other, then yeah, modding wouldn't result in ridiculous Elemental weighting being absurd compared to the base damage if the player utilized the normal damage mods and/or crit mods to affect the base weapon's damage output.

Only issue is how elementals would be decoupled with everything else. Elementals not scaling with Crit, multi-shot and +Damage mods would mean that Crit, multi-shot and +Damage mods only add more of a weapon's base element, where additional elements would be diluted to non-existence. It would create a true dichotomy, where weapons built for Crit would be actively terrible at applying elemental procs due to all the damage dilution.

My take is DE condenses all the multipliers into 2 distinct layers:

  1. Base Damage: Viral procs, Critical Multipliers, Base Damage mods, Arcanes.
  2. Elements: IPS mods, Elements, reworked Faction mods.

Indirect multipliers like Multi-shot should be given an accuracy penalty so it's more even with Fire Rate which has the innate penalty of ammo economy + recoil. 

Stealth Damage Multiplier, Headshot Multiplier and the rest should be replaced with flat +100% Critical Chance, which would result in additive additions to Base Damage.

Combined elements should be given the lowest bonuses to create diminishing returns for stacking elements. Combined Elements should be built for their proc, not upfront damage.

Right now, stacking two 90% elements which individually have vulnerability bonuses of +25%, results in a 180% element with vulnerability bonus of +75%, literally increasing returns.

 

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16 hours ago, PublikDomain said:

The problem with changing how mods combine is that it wouldn't likely change how people actually mod. Assuming that these changes really do reduce the final build multiplier from your 2-256x figure to your 2-16x figure, a build that uses nothing but damage mods would still be 8x stronger than one that doesn't. You still get more power from stacking more damage mods, and people will continue only using damage mods to achieve that. So while it would narrow player power to more manageable ranges and give us all of those benefits you mention, it isn't likely that modding or weapon diversity would actually change. There'd still be a "best" combination of damage mods, and weapons that don't need to give up any of those mods to fix inherent downsides will still scale farther.

I don't know how else to tell you this, but weapons being 8x stronger when modded in a meta fashion is a less punishing/restrictive meta than weapons being 128x as effective when modding by the meta.

People who rankle at the fact that the QoL mods or fun gimmick playstyle mods effectively halve and then quarter your DPS when you use 1 or 2 of them respectively, will be willing to take that reduction down to 7/8ths or 3/4s of their potential DPS. Making Base Damage a more fundamental factor to modding a weapon (as the mods would scale off of base stats, not each other) would decrease the synergies between these meta modding builds that currently cause so much content to be trivialized in Warframe.

Players will always find a new meta, if this change doesn't make the current meta outright obsolete. But there's a thing called Strategic Dominance, where there's a strategy that always wins if it's used. In Warframe, that's stacking Damage, Crit Chance/Damage, Multishot (or melee Attack Speed/Range), and elemental damage (among a variety of other additional mods) onto a crit or hybrid weapon... They nearly always perform leagues better than their less-critty/statty peers that rely upon raw base damage, as long as you follow this fundamental meta, even moreso now that additional crit/status galvanized mods (and of course their predecessors, CO and BR on melee) are a thing.

I think there's a strong case to be argued that if this was implemented correctly/smartly, we actually really would see the meta shift, as the decreased synergies mean the mods themselves see less universally superior benefits to their peers in the mod pool. And we've been discussing as well, how Multishot is kinda just silly amounts of free damage. If nothing else, bumping Multishot off of the list of Meta DPS Mods would open up space for the next-most-meta mod options, which are likely far more evenly matched/viable/varied options than the current meta options. Are you really saying that right now, if Multishot currently only takes up one mod slot (or one of your Riven's stats) on several of your favorite weapon's builds, that the mod (or stat) you'd replace it with is really such an obvious, overwhelming no-brainer to choose? Would it make the amount of difference in DPS that Multishot makes currently? Is that an opinion that you're confident lots of people would share?

Obviously I have no statistics or anecdotes for this not-yet-existing change, so this is all hypothetical and I don't want you to feel like I'm attacking you and demanding hard statistics when I don't have them myself, but I personally find ideological resistance to "reducing how mandatory some of the current meta mods are" to be a weird hill to stand (and die?) on. Is your reasoning that they should be spending effort elsewhere, like Pablo justified no frame reworks this year, or is there an actual modding/gameplay-specific reason why it would make more sense to just resign ourselves to Dominant Metas remaining (even if, in my opinion, said metas make the gameplay stale)?

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2 minutes ago, DealerOfAbsolutes said:

Only issue is how elementals would be decoupled with everything else. Elementals not scaling with Crit, multi-shot and +Damage mods would mean that Crit, multi-shot and +Damage mods only add more of a weapon's base element, where additional elements would be diluted to non-existence. It would create a true dichotomy, where weapons built for Crit would be actively terrible at applying elemental procs due to all the damage dilution.

My take is DE condenses all the multipliers into 2 distinct layers:

  1. Base Damage: Viral procs, Critical Multipliers, Base Damage mods, Arcanes.
  2. Elements: IPS mods, Elements, reworked Faction mods.

Indirect multipliers like Multi-shot should be given an accuracy penalty so it's more even with Fire Rate which has the innate penalty of ammo economy + recoil. 

Stealth Damage Multiplier, Headshot Multiplier and the rest should be replaced with flat +100% Critical Chance, which would result in additive additions to Base Damage.

Combined elements should be given the lowest bonuses to create diminishing returns for stacking elements. Combined Elements should be built for their proc, not upfront damage.

Right now, stacking two 90% elements which individually have vulnerability bonuses of +25%, results in a 180% element with vulnerability bonus of +75%, literally increasing returns.

 

Hmm. Would it be so terrible for there to be a stronger dichotomy between crit and status weapons, with hybrid weapons being a lot more fiddly, as opposed to hybrid weapons currently being one of the more universally potent options with their ability to put out big numbers and status procs that the big numbers take advantage of?

I feel like opening the door up to anything stacking together, especially as we're discussing removing a bunch of the other thing's abilities to stack, starts getting really dangerously close to just making a new Dominant Strategy or Meta for modding. If the IPS mods, elemental mods, and faction-bane mods all scale off of post-Damage/Crit/Multishot damage, the current meta of going all-in on base damage and elemental damage and faction mods would just continue, or potentially be even further cemented. I really think it's important to have all areas of damage-boosting base themselves on the weapon's base damage, so that there's no explicitly potent multiplicative synergy between damage source/improvement types, only additive synergies.

I could definitely agree with stealth and headshots being more universally potent regardless of weapon stats. A backstab to an unaware opponent, or a bullet-to-face, should be pretty universally lethal, but doesn't have to be multiplicative. Something resembling flat additive damage, such as your suggestion of rolling precision and stealth-based damage modifiers into the same category as criticals, where they each add damage scaling off of base damage, would honestly compliment the gameplay design. After all, lots of status procs are for your wars of attrition, crit damage is up-front right-now damage, that's exactly what you want for stealth or headshot-oneshot approaches to the game.

My additional thoughts (and general ramblings) on the elements

Spoiler

I personally don't like the thought of explicitly decreasing returns on using elemental damage/status mods, we're already "nerfing" them by making them not scale off of Damage and Multishot mods in my suggestion. Hard to tell without being able to actually just test the system with the adjusted calculations and values. But I do agree and think that when you go all-in to using two elemental mods, it should be because you are specializing further and further into a specific niche (as you said, with their procs), and that specialized niche shouldn't be a universally-abuseable meta, so I'd propose that the elemental rework just get finished up in such a way that combo elements are more impressively good at some specific tasks to single elements, and absolutely annihilate that specific target/faction/task, but have more fringe use elsewhere. One of the ways you proposed was to simply reduce their bonus damage or lack of resistances against various enemy types, since that's being taken care of by the proc. Another way is to make 2 effects the standard for most elements, where single element's 2 effects are a bit more generic and consistently useful, while the faction-specific combos have 1 effect that crushes their faction, and their second effect is generically good.

With the 6 combo elements I think it's fine for Radiation to be single-target, not-faction-specific CC, Blast to be unspecialized AoE CC, for Gas to be unspecialized AoE damage, and for the other three to be faction-specific damage, but all of these combo elements should be better than the single-elemental equivalents in my personal opinion. Corrosive should be way better than Heat is at dealing damage to armored targets and reducing armor, more quickly and up-front, considering it doesn't benefit from having the CC components of Heat. Gas should be a potent, AoE improvement to Toxin, and Viral should be a potent single-target improvement over toxin. For CC, Blast should be better than Electricity procs, and Radiation should be superior to Cold procs. Of course, each of the single and combo elements can have their own unique flavor and benefits, and opting into using any given element or combo should have comparable rewards to the alternate element/combo options available.

tl;dr, combo elements should be better than single-elements, whether better at a specialized, faction/unit-specific counterplay, or generically against most units, as compared to single-elements that do the same or similar tasks, because you're having to choose the weapon or use the mod slots/capacity to implement it.

Currently they aren't substantially so. But I still don't think we should let them continue to scale off of base damage and damage mods and multishot and crit, we should just buff what they do, in order to make up for the decoupling. Especially buffing the combos so that they're worth using over their non-combo equivalents (especially the faction-specific combos), and making the CC combo and single elements potent enough that they're worth choosing over their DPS-centric competitors.

So, yes to your assertion of combos not being innately better as far as damage resistances/bonuses go, but imo a no to making them explicitly weaker. If after modding for everything non-elemental, we have two slots left over, we shouldn't feel like it's worse to choose one of the non-faction-specific combo elements (Radiation/Gas/Blast) compared to their single-element equivalents (Cold, Toxin, Electric).

I think I'm talking in circles so I'ma stop.

 

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3 hours ago, Grav_Starstrider said:

I don't know how else to tell you this, but weapons being 8x stronger when modded in a meta fashion is a less punishing/restrictive meta than weapons being 128x as effective when modding by the meta.

People who rankle at the fact that the QoL mods or fun gimmick playstyle mods effectively halve and then quarter your DPS when you use 1 or 2 of them respectively, will be willing to take that reduction down to 7/8ths or 3/4s of their potential DPS. Making Base Damage a more fundamental factor to modding a weapon (as the mods would scale off of base stats, not each other) would decrease the synergies between these meta modding builds that currently cause so much content to be trivialized in Warframe.

Players will always find a new meta, if this change doesn't make the current meta outright obsolete. But there's a thing called Strategic Dominance, where there's a strategy that always wins if it's used. In Warframe, that's stacking Damage, Crit Chance/Damage, Multishot (or melee Attack Speed/Range), and elemental damage (among a variety of other additional mods) onto a crit or hybrid weapon... They nearly always perform leagues better than their less-critty/statty peers that rely upon raw base damage, as long as you follow this fundamental meta, even moreso now that additional crit/status galvanized mods (and of course their predecessors, CO and BR on melee) are a thing.

I think there's a strong case to be argued that if this was implemented correctly/smartly, we actually really would see the meta shift, as the decreased synergies mean the mods themselves see less universally superior benefits to their peers in the mod pool. And we've been discussing as well, how Multishot is kinda just silly amounts of free damage. If nothing else, bumping Multishot off of the list of Meta DPS Mods would open up space for the next-most-meta mod options, which are likely far more evenly matched/viable/varied options than the current meta options. Are you really saying that right now, if Multishot currently only takes up one mod slot (or one of your Riven's stats) on several of your favorite weapon's builds, that the mod (or stat) you'd replace it with is really such an obvious, overwhelming no-brainer to choose? Would it make the amount of difference in DPS that Multishot makes currently? Is that an opinion that you're confident lots of people would share?

Obviously I have no statistics or anecdotes for this not-yet-existing change, so this is all hypothetical and I don't want you to feel like I'm attacking you and demanding hard statistics when I don't have them myself, but I personally find ideological resistance to "reducing how mandatory some of the current meta mods are" to be a weird hill to stand (and die?) on. Is your reasoning that they should be spending effort elsewhere, like Pablo justified no frame reworks this year, or is there an actual modding/gameplay-specific reason why it would make more sense to just resign ourselves to Dominant Metas remaining (even if, in my opinion, said metas make the gameplay stale)?

I think you've maybe misunderstood me? Or maybe I just wasn't clear about my stance - if so then my bad.

I agree with your goals. I have no resistance to reducing mandatory mods, I want them dead and gone. I don't want strategic dominance, I want it dead and gone. I agree with the goal of reducing player power to more manageable levels. I agree that this would be less restrictive and make content less trivial, and also that players would still find a meta.

But it's the method I don't really agree with. While reducing power by changing the math or mods would have a number of benefits, it also has downsides like changing or removing the player's collected "stuff" which both DE and the playerbase aren't likely to accept. For example, changing something like Multishot to no longer provide damage only upsets players who just got the new Galvanized Multishot mods and players who have Multishot in their Riven. Many players have paid for these things with their time or money which is why it won't fly with DE, either, because they want to avoid taking the player's stuff away if they have to. Pablo, for example:

Spoiler

 

Though YMMV on whether you believe him or not.

And while there will always be a meta regardless of what the system looks like, in this case it'd be the same meta we have now: a bunch of damage and power mods. A player would still have to choose between power and QoL, and weapons that don't need any extra QoL to begin with would retain their large advantage over others. So it's a solution and it'd likely be better than what we have, but I don't think it's the best solution.

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1 hour ago, Grav_Starstrider said:

Hmm. Would it be so terrible for there to be a stronger dichotomy between crit and status weapons, with hybrid weapons being a lot more fiddly, as opposed to hybrid weapons currently being one of the more universally potent options with their ability to put out big numbers and status procs that the big numbers take advantage of?

I feel like opening the door up to anything stacking together, especially as we're discussing removing a bunch of the other thing's abilities to stack, starts getting really dangerously close to just making a new Dominant Strategy or Meta for modding. If the IPS mods, elemental mods, and faction-bane mods all scale off of post-Damage/Crit/Multishot damage, the current meta of going all-in on base damage and elemental damage and faction mods would just continue, or potentially be even further cemented. I really think it's important to have all areas of damage-boosting base themselves on the weapon's base damage, so that there's no explicitly potent multiplicative synergy between damage source/improvement types, only additive synergies.

I could definitely agree with stealth and headshots being more universally potent regardless of weapon stats. A backstab to an unaware opponent, or a bullet-to-face, should be pretty universally lethal, but doesn't have to be multiplicative. Something resembling flat additive damage, such as your suggestion of rolling precision and stealth-based damage modifiers into the same category as criticals, where they each add damage scaling off of base damage, would honestly compliment the gameplay design. After all, lots of status procs are for your wars of attrition, crit damage is up-front right-now damage, that's exactly what you want for stealth or headshot-oneshot approaches to the game.

My additional thoughts (and general ramblings) on the elements

  Hide contents

I personally don't like the thought of explicitly decreasing returns on using elemental damage/status mods, we're already "nerfing" them by making them not scale off of Damage and Multishot mods in my suggestion. Hard to tell without being able to actually just test the system with the adjusted calculations and values. But I do agree and think that when you go all-in to using two elemental mods, it should be because you are specializing further and further into a specific niche (as you said, with their procs), and that specialized niche shouldn't be a universally-abuseable meta, so I'd propose that the elemental rework just get finished up in such a way that combo elements are more impressively good at some specific tasks to single elements, and absolutely annihilate that specific target/faction/task, but have more fringe use elsewhere. One of the ways you proposed was to simply reduce their bonus damage or lack of resistances against various enemy types, since that's being taken care of by the proc. Another way is to make 2 effects the standard for most elements, where single element's 2 effects are a bit more generic and consistently useful, while the fa

 

I'm in favor of keeping Elements as its own multiplier, only to avoid headaches down the line when it comes to weapons with innate single elements which combo up with Elemental mods. 

For example, the gimmick of the Amprex is that it deals pure Electric damage. Throw on a single toxin mod and it combines into Corrosive. How would Base Damage factor into things if Elements were decoupled? More electric damage that the Amprex no longer has?

Having an innate single element is also one of the benefits of Kuva weapons where players get away with running 1 less Element mod to get their desired combo.

Besides, a lot of the Elemental combos were designed to have a conflict of interest with its diametrically opposed counterpart to dissuade you from throwing all 4 elemental mods:

  • Corrosive + Blast
  • Viral + Radiation
  • Magnetic + Gas

Blast is CC and getting Blast procs instead of Corrosive increased TTK. Radiation+Viral may be better against Alloy targets as Radiation's bonus gets to piggy back off of Viral's proc, but worse than pure Viral against a Ferrite unit due to the slower ramp up for Viral. Back when Gas dealt Toxin procs that bypassed Shields, building for Magnetic was a waste as there was no point in shredding Shields you were already ignoring. It's the same logic as to why Viral/Slash builds don't run Heat.

Why Corrosive + Blast was dumb?

Spoiler

We were all new players once. Early on we had no potatoes, so we had to use our mod capacity sparingly.
Serration was a must and so were the elements.

Then we got a potato, but we didn't have much in the way of mods.

Thus we slotted in all 4 of the +90% elemental mods which was usually, +180% Corrosive, +180% Blast.

But if we actually dug into the math, fitting both combined elements is a mistake. DE designed elements that way.

At our First Sortie, we meet Miss Heavy Gunner and she has 6000 Ferrite armor which gives her 95% DR.

Remember kids, armor modifiers double dip, boosting damage and mitigating armor value by same percentage in damage calculations.
Corrosive has +75% against Ferrite.
Blast has -25% against Ferrite.

In front of 6000 Ferrite armor with 95% DR:
100% Neutral deals 5%.
100% Corrosive deals 29.1%.
100% Blast deals 2.88%.

Blast literally deals less than 10% than Corrosive point for point.

Assuming your weapon had 100 Base Neutral Damage modded with +180% Corrosive and +180% Blast.

Base deals 5.
Corrosive deals 52.4
Blast deals 5.1.

Total Damage = 62.5

The +180% Blast component was only worth 8% of your DPS at the cost of 2 slots while +180% Corrosive was worth 83%.

Instead of 2 slots for Blast, 1 slot with +30% Damage to Faction would net you more damage.

Problem was that Bane of Corrupted didn't exist when the Void was considered endgame.

The jist is that you could have slotted in Accelerated Blast or Tactical Reload into your Hek instead of +180% Blast for better sustained DPS.
 

If you are so against Elements being its own multiplier, same type Elemental mods could be made mutually exclusive with each other just like how the game doesn't let you put Point Strike and Critical Delay on the same build. 

For example, you woudn't be able to put a +90% Toxin mod with a +60/60 Toxin/Status mod

Edited by DealerOfAbsolutes
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1 minute ago, DealerOfAbsolutes said:

I'm in favor of keeping Elements as its own multiplier, only to avoid headaches down the line when it comes to weapons with innate single elements which combo up with Elemental mods. 

For example, the gimmick of the Amprex is that it deals pure Electric damage. Throw on a single toxin mod and it combines into Corrosive. How would Base Damage factor into things if Elements were decoupled? More electric damage that the Amprex no longer has?

Having an innate single element is also one of the benefits of Kuva weapons where players get away with running 1 less Element mod to get their desired combo.

Besides, a lot of the Elemental combos were designed to have a conflict of interest with its diametrically opposed counterpart to dissuade you from throwing all 4 elemental mods:

  • Corrosive + Blast
  • Viral + Radiation
  • Magnetic + Gas

Blast is CC and getting Blast procs instead of Corrosive increased TTK. Radiation+Viral may be better against Alloy targets as Radiation's bonus gets to piggy back off of Viral's proc, but worse than pure Viral against a Ferrite unit due to the slower ramp up for Corrosive. Back when Gas dealt Toxin procs that bypassed Shields, building for Magnetic was a waste.

Of course, Heat getting the ability to strip armor ruined this philosophy somewhat.

Why Corrosive + Blast was dumb?

  Hide contents

We were all new players once. Early on we had no potatoes, so we had to use our mod capacity sparingly.
Serration was a must and so were the elements.

Then we got a potato, but we didn't have much in the way of mods.

Thus we slotted in all 4 of the +90% elemental mods which was usually, +180% Corrosive, +180% Blast.

But if we actually dug into the math, fitting both combined elements is a mistake. DE designed elements that way.

At our First Sortie, we meet Miss Heavy Gunner and she has 6000 Ferrite armor which gives her 95% DR.

Remember kids, armor modifiers double dip, boosting damage and mitigating armor value by same percentage in damage calculations.
Corrosive has +75% against Ferrite.
Blast has -25% against Ferrite.

In front of 6000 Ferrite armor with 95% DR:
100% Neutral deals 5%.
100% Corrosive deals 29.1%.
100% Blast deals 2.88%.

Blast literally deals less than 10% than Corrosive point for point.

Assuming your weapon had 100 Base Neutral Damage modded with +180% Corrosive and +180% Blast.

Base deals 5.
Corrosive deals 52.4
Blast deals 5.1.

Total Damage = 62.5

The +180% Blast component was only worth 8% of your DPS at the cost of 2 slots while +180% Corrosive was worth 83%.

Instead of 2 slots for Blast, 1 slot with +30% Damage to Faction would net you more damage.

Problem was that Bane of Corrupted didn't exist when the Void was considered endgame.

The jist is that you could have slotted in Accelerated Blast or Tactical Reload into your Hek instead of +180% Blast for better sustained DPS.
 

If you are so against Elements being its own multiplier, same type Elemental mods could be made mutually exclusive with each other just like how the game doesn't let you put Point Strike and Critical Delay on the same build. 

For example, you woudn't be able to put a +90% Toxin mod with a +60/60 Toxin/Status mod

 

I'll acknowledge the fact that using all 4 elements shouldn't be consistently better than carefully picking just 3, or even just 2 or 1. I feel like you're missing the part where IPS is no longer the universal default for all weapons. We need a system that approximately treats IPS and Elements the same. They can both do status procs. They can each (or both) be the primary damage type(s) on a weapon by default. Amprex's baseline Electric Damage can be improved via Serration, just like Grakata's Impact can be. I think +%SlashDamage and +%HeatDamage mods should both scale off of whatever the baseline damage values of the weapon were. The only difference is, as you mentioned, that I failed to address, is how adding an element, like Heat onto an Amprex, needs to be addressed. I'd say it basically continues to work the same way as it does now. We currently cannot ever get 2 singular elements on normal modding/weapon setups. If for simplicity's sake the Amprex had 100 base Electric damage, and if Serration did a flat +200% addition to the base damage, and the 90% heat damage mod was also installed, you would see 90 points of heat added to the weapon, and 200 points of electric added, resulting in 390 points of Radiation damage. Add a 120% Fanged Fusillade to add 120 slash damage. Add High Voltage for a mere 60 points more (using a +%Damage Riven would be better at that point). All of these mods would just scale off of the base weapon damage, elements would just combine as usual. (I don't see why we can't add physical damage types to weapons but not every element under the sun can be added, tbh). Adding another element like 90% cold would combine with the added heat, resulting in 300 electricity and and 180 Blast.

This would increase/preserve the value of the innate elements on weapons by making them consistently capable of shining via Damage mods, unless you specifically intentionally combine it with only 1 element, which already changes the element of the weapon in the current system.

Like in the current system, already-combo'd elements would stay un-altered and un-added to by additional single element's presence on the weapon.

I'm okay with DE keeping the majority of the current design philosophy with the elements. Just think they need a few tuneups so that no one or two elements/combos are consistently the best and worst respectively.

Those are my thoughts, anyways.

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Warframe really needs a stat squish at this point. While many players raised similar concerns over the years, today the game is reaching the breaking point. Number bloat has to stop so that our arsenal as well as enemies get to operate in a sane and controllable environment.

As for concrete suggestions, which also avert moding from just stacking +damage:

  • Multishot does not create extra bullets, but pellets. With this change multishot is not a damage multiplier anymore, yet it remains relevant for "on hit effects" and some other applications. It would become a conscious choice and not a mandatory one.
  • Critical chance is removed from the game. Critical damage is converted into weakpoint damage and weapons score a guaranteed "critical hit" on every weakpoint hit. This would make "critical stats" 100% player choice, tied to player's ability to hit weakpoints, rather than a mandatory one.
  • Elemental mods should grant less damage. With just 2 elemental mods every weapons deals 2x more elemental damage than base damage. On top of that, elements, especailly combined ones, usually enjoy better health type multipliers - this makes weapon's innate damage destribution mostly irrelevant.
    • Element mods could convert a portion of base damge into a selected element, rather than adding more on top.
      • A damage type rework would be really nice. IPS + Cold/Electricity/Fire/Toxin (CEFT) would reduce feature bloat as well as make each element proficient in its own field; not irrelevant or overlapping in fnuctionality.
  • Regular +damage mods could get a revisit. +165% is such a random number; make it +100%.
    • Furthermore, simple +damage mods are boring and a no brainer. An elegant solution are mods, which work like Corrupted Mods with a bonus & a malus. Now, you can create any number of mods with different malus and by doing so expand horizontal progression. Just don't forgett to restrict stacking for obvious reasons. Players would have to make a conscious choice suited to weapon as well as their own preference, rather than a mandatory one.
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9 hours ago, Grav_Starstrider said:
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I'll acknowledge the fact that using all 4 elements shouldn't be consistently better than carefully picking just 3, or even just 2 or 1. I feel like you're missing the part where IPS is no longer the universal default for all weapons. We need a system that approximately treats IPS and Elements the same. They can both do status procs. They can each (or both) be the primary damage type(s) on a weapon by default. Amprex's baseline Electric Damage can be improved via Serration, just like Grakata's Impact can be. I think +%SlashDamage and +%HeatDamage mods should both scale off of whatever the baseline damage values of the weapon were. The only difference is, as you mentioned, that I failed to address, is how adding an element, like Heat onto an Amprex, needs to be addressed. I'd say it basically continues to work the same way as it does now. We currently cannot ever get 2 singular elements on normal modding/weapon setups. If for simplicity's sake the Amprex had 100 base Electric damage, and if Serration did a flat +200% addition to the base damage, and the 90% heat damage mod was also installed, you would see 90 points of heat added to the weapon, and 200 points of electric added, resulting in 390 points of Radiation damage. Add a 120% Fanged Fusillade to add 120 slash damage. Add High Voltage for a mere 60 points more (using a +%Damage Riven would be better at that point). All of these mods would just scale off of the base weapon damage, elements would just combine as usual. (I don't see why we can't add physical damage types to weapons but not every element under the sun can be added, tbh). Adding another element like 90% cold would combine with the added heat, resulting in 300 electricity and and 180 Blast.

This would increase/preserve the value of the innate elements on weapons by making them consistently capable of shining via Damage mods, unless you specifically intentionally combine it with only 1 element, which already changes the element of the weapon in the current system.

Like in the current system, already-combo'd elements would stay un-altered and un-added to by additional single element's presence on the weapon.

I'm okay with DE keeping the majority of the current design philosophy with the elements. Just think they need a few tuneups so that no one or two elements/combos are consistently the best and worst respectively.

Those are my thoughts, anyways.

I just worry that this would create an innate element or slash meta and status weapons that use IP will be strictly inferior. Base damage, Crit only adding more of the base damage type would make elemental procs harder to proc on non-elemental weapons, which is the same issue as the old 4xIPS weighting unless you ditch all the Base damage mods to prevent the proc pool being diluted with IPS.

This would hurt Puncture and Impact weapons while giving Slash and pure element weapons a comparative boon, unless armor scaling is removed.

That's why I'm in favor of keeping the elements as a separate multiplier and lowering the bonuses of combined elementals. As I said, stacking all 4 elements is already suboptimal as diametrically opposed elements don't have synergy with each other. Elements already accrue opportunity costs after stacking 3.

100%+90%+90%+90%=370%

90/370=24%

The third elemental mod only worth 24% in raw damage.

To compare:

+30% reload speed decreases shooting down time by 23%.

In a sense, what we consider QoL mods are in fact DPS multipliers, but usually don't have the overtly huge numbers compared to what we consider mandatory.

For example, Primed Tactical Reload or Ammo Stock is basically mandatory on the Exergis.

 

 

Edited by DealerOfAbsolutes
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15 hours ago, PublikDomain said:

I think you've maybe misunderstood me? Or maybe I just wasn't clear about my stance - if so then my bad.

I agree with your goals. I have no resistance to reducing mandatory mods, I want them dead and gone. I don't want strategic dominance, I want it dead and gone. I agree with the goal of reducing player power to more manageable levels. I agree that this would be less restrictive and make content less trivial, and also that players would still find a meta.

But it's the method I don't really agree with. While reducing power by changing the math or mods would have a number of benefits, it also has downsides like changing or removing the player's collected "stuff" which both DE and the playerbase aren't likely to accept. For example, changing something like Multishot to no longer provide damage only upsets players who just got the new Galvanized Multishot mods and players who have Multishot in their Riven. Many players have paid for these things with their time or money which is why it won't fly with DE, either, because they want to avoid taking the player's stuff away if they have to. Pablo, for example:

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Though YMMV on whether you believe him or not.

And while there will always be a meta regardless of what the system looks like, in this case it'd be the same meta we have now: a bunch of damage and power mods. A player would still have to choose between power and QoL, and weapons that don't need any extra QoL to begin with would retain their large advantage over others. So it's a solution and it'd likely be better than what we have, but I don't think it's the best solution.

Hmmm...... Sounds like a good reason to just.... Also scale Multishot off of base damage only, the same way we're suggesting the other damage types should. So it'd split the modded damage up into pellets, but also increase the overall damage by a value scaling off of the base damage, not the modded damage. That could work, best of both worlds?

Yes, metas will always be found, I think eventually there will be a point where it's diminishing returns in efforts to alleviate metas. I don't mind people finding some unique synergies that are somewhat more optimal/effective in specific circumstances as long as specific types of weapons and gameplay styles are utilized, and I don't want to overly burden DE with micromanaging a whole bunch of complicated un-Meta-fication tweaking. So I just think simplifying damage back down to be reliant on the base damage, for all of the multiplicative-oriented mods, would be the simplest way of decreasing the gap between meta and non-meta far more.

Again, my objective wouldn't be to remove meta, as that's barely a possible-to-achieve objective. I'm settling for making deviations from the meta  only reducing your damage by 1/8th per meta-mods removed, as opposed to halving it per meta-mod removed.

8 hours ago, ShortCat said:

Warframe really needs a stat squish at this point. While many players raised similar concerns over the years, today the game is reaching the breaking point. Number bloat has to stop so that our arsenal as well as enemies get to operate in a sane and controllable environment.

As for concrete suggestions, which also avert moding from just stacking +damage:

  • Multishot does not create extra bullets, but pellets. With this change multishot is not a damage multiplier anymore, yet it remains relevant for "on hit effects" and some other applications. It would become a conscious choice and not a mandatory one.
  • Critical chance is removed from the game. Critical damage is converted into weakpoint damage and weapons score a guaranteed "critical hit" on every weakpoint hit. This would make "critical stats" 100% player choice, tied to player's ability to hit weakpoints, rather than a mandatory one.
  • Elemental mods should grant less damage. With just 2 elemental mods every weapons deals 2x more elemental damage than base damage. On top of that, elements, especailly combined ones, usually enjoy better health type multipliers - this makes weapon's innate damage destribution mostly irrelevant.
    • Element mods could convert a portion of base damge into a selected element, rather than adding more on top.
      • A damage type rework would be really nice. IPS + Cold/Electricity/Fire/Toxin (CEFT) would reduce feature bloat as well as make each element proficient in its own field; not irrelevant or overlapping in fnuctionality.
  • Regular +damage mods could get a revisit. +165% is such a random number; make it +100%.
    • Furthermore, simple +damage mods are boring and a no brainer. An elegant solution are mods, which work like Corrupted Mods with a bonus & a malus. Now, you can create any number of mods with different malus and by doing so expand horizontal progression. Just don't forgett to restrict stacking for obvious reasons. Players would have to make a conscious choice suited to weapon as well as their own preference, rather than a mandatory one.

Per Publik's comment above, I don't think Critical Chance could be removed outright from the game without MASSIVE backlash, and I modified my suggestion for multishot to take the best of all of our comments: Not only a shotgun-ify mod that averages out the chance of crits/procs via sheer pellet count (dice rolls), but one that scales off of base damage, as we're already discussing tweaking other things to do.

Regarding elements, as I've covered in the next section and to some degree in other comments, we're talking about elements only scaling off of base damage, so assuming players were using any critical, multishot, or base damage mods, in this case, the Elements would stop overshadowing everything else damage-wise. Unless you SPECIFICALLY choose elemental weapons or hone exclusively into elements in your modding approach.

I personally like the slight overlaps and redundancies with the various damage types, it's better than something being the ONLY option to do a certain thing. I do agree that the elements need continuing rework though, to make each one fill it's own niche more competitively.

And for sure, there's a possibility that a lot of the numbers might need to be tweaked to make things relevant, or not-OP, if they did this decoupling. You seem to get the spirit though, pointing out how you want things to not stack like crazy. It'd be ideal for as few things as possible to stack, and you're right that just additive damage is both boring and a no-brainer, but I don't see them removing it outright, there's too many many people that have polarized for that main mod, and too many primed versions of some of these "+Damage" mods or Rivens that people have sunk too much kuva into, to remove them from the game outright. They can be the boring version, and part of the DPS "meta", just without being the first out of several exponentially stacking mods, and with excluding it being a valid option.

6 hours ago, DealerOfAbsolutes said:

I just worry that this would create an innate element or slash meta and status weapons that use IP will be strictly inferior. Base damage, Crit only adding more of the base damage type would make elemental procs harder to proc on non-elemental weapons, which is the same issue as the old 4xIPS weighting unless you ditch all the Base damage mods to prevent the proc pool being diluted with IPS.

This would hurt Puncture and Impact weapons while giving Slash and pure element weapons a comparative boon, unless armor scaling is removed.

That's why I'm in favor of keeping the elements as a separate multiplier and lowering the bonuses of combined elementals.

I personally feel like it'd be fitting that innately elemental weapons would be best at proc'ing their base (or combined) element, just like IPS weapons would innately be best at proc'ing their IPS procs.

IPS procs/balance, Armor scaling

Spoiler

And let's not kid ourselves, IPS procs are still far from balanced, so they could use more updates to keep them balanced anyways. Impact is only good for brief staggers and making Mercy finishers easier to do against Eximi/Heavy units (I still routinely even with Impact procs see these units get whittled down to near-death while I'm trying to wait for them to recover from staggers and let me Mercy them), and Puncture's attack reduction is weak and lame. Slash already got its nerfs, with it no longer ignoring shields. If DE calculated a threshold for big Impact procs or multiple small ones to trigger a proper longer-lasting stun/blind (concussion, maybe finisher-exposure?) and big DPS vs shields, and for Puncture procs to innately have punchthrough and also decrease armor (permanently, because ya penetrated the armor), you'd have a more compelling choice across the IPS types. You'd use slash to ignore armor or just do more raw damage, you'd use Impact for anti-shield raw damage or for its CC, you'd use Puncture to mitigate armor or deal with hordes better.

And we were already talking about reducing EHP (which includes armor) to compensate for the reduced numerical damage that this decoupling/base-damage-centric adjustment would call for. This would be a soft nerf to the still-amazing or really-solid-compared-to-alternatives Slash, Heat, and Corrosive.

I think we need to treat and balance IPS to be the same (comparatively) as Elements (aside from the elemental combining aspect), or else there blatantly would be IPS or Elemental metas. If they behave approximately the same, then it only matters when someone specifically wants to nigh-exclusively proc elemental procs, where they'd go to an elemental weapon to do so, which is as it should be, otherwise you just have the current meta where you stack a ridiculous amount of elemental damage to overshadow the baseline elements/IPS on a weapon.

Effectiveness of Combined vs Single-Elements

Spoiler

As far as whether combined elements are/should-be better or worse than single elements per mod/capacity being used, I firmly believe that for their specific specialization, they should range between 1.8-2.2x as effective as a comparative single element. If they're the multi-purpose ones that are generically good against a lot of things, they should be on the low side. But DE definitely shouldn't actively punish players for simply choosing a fitting dual-element for the task they're setting out to accomplish.

QoL and Metas

Spoiler

On your note about QoL mods actually providing DPS, I'm aware of it, and I'd be glad for this decoupling to occur without seeing nerfs to many of them, as they currently mostly only see value after many many other mods have been chosen (or if you're willing to sacrifice half of your damage for mostly just a QoL change). But I don't wanna swing the other way where you should never choose a dual-element on a weapon, and that the strong meta would be 1 element and 1 fire-rate/reload/flight-speed/mag-capacity/etc depending on the weapon. I know a meta will be determined, where 1 is semi-consistently better than the other, but player choice and preference shouldn't be significantly punished so badly that it outweighs the player's preferences.

If I'm incapable of seeing the merits of your suggestion, or you're convinced my way is an inferior solution, we may have to agree to disagree about some of those generalities 😅, and narrow down on the specifics of how to mitigate problems in my suggestions, or else we'll just be arguing in circles.

What DE could easily test now, and melee balance thoughts

Spoiler

Honestly though, there's a few things here that DE could definitely near-immediately implement in the pursuit of balance. Multishot could get decoupled on it's own and turned into the "shotgunify" mod whose purpose is to add spread and average out the crits/procs to become more likely collectively across the pellet-group, but weaker. They could also update Puncture to do Punchthrough and minor Armor Reduction, and instead of mathing out thresholds for Impact's improved proc, they could just make X number of impact procs in Y seconds, or an impact proc whose base+modded impact damage exceeds Z, concuss (blind/finisher-exposure) for a few seconds.
No substantial reason why they can't figure out new non-numerical-based improvements/modifications to the game before doing the math shakeup via decoupling the not-base-damages from each other. On average, a given gun gets about double the DPS by adding one of the main multishot mods available for it, so DE could run this as an experiment in the PTS, and just outright-double all of the gun's base damage to compensate for the loss in DPS and ensure that it doesn't cause melee to become too comparatively strong again.

This decoupling idea in general could/should apply to weapons as well though. In my opinion, melee range and speed should be preferences first, DPS improvements second. You should pick a range mod because you don't want to have to have to hug the enemy in order to kill them, not because you want to hug the enemy to kill them and kill their whole squad behind/through them as well. Melee currently overshadow single-target-oriented guns because it's a horde shooter and because they have this AoE-ifier mod. Granted, I don't know if all of the meta-min-maxers use range. I consider Attack Speed to be in the same category of "Free bonus damage" as Range and with gun's Multishot though, and clearly DE agreed since they nerfed several of the speed mods and made them block each other from being simultaneously installed. It's worse than gun fire rate, and worse than gun multishot, because guns can run out of bullets with either of those stats, but melee can be swung indefinitely, just racking up the combo counter to the benefit of BR/WW/Gladiator-set, with Range and Speed allowing you to stack more combos faster/more-reliably.

 

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22 minutes ago, Grav_Starstrider said:

Hmmm...... Sounds like a good reason to just.... Also scale Multishot off of base damage only, the same way we're suggesting the other damage types should. So it'd split the modded damage up into pellets, but also increase the overall damage by a value scaling off of the base damage, not the modded damage. That could work, best of both worlds?

Could you provide a mathematical explanation or example for how this would work? Maybe I'm just not understanding. If Multishot split damage between pellets but also increased overall damage by some amount, then how is it any different than just reducing the values of the mods?

Say you have a gun with a fire rate of 5 and 20 base damage and 1 pellet, 100 damage per second. Adding +100% Damage makes it deal 5 × 40 = 200 damage per second. Adding +100% Multishot makes it deal 5 × 20 × 2 = 200 damage per second. The effect of both of these together is multiplicative, with both you'd deal 5 × 40 × 2 = 400 damage per second - a 4x overall damage increase. Adding +100% Fire Rate makes it deal 10 × 20 = 200 damage per second. That too is multiplicative with the others, and with all three you'd deal 10 × 40 × 2 = 800 damage per second, an 8x overall damage increase.

With those numbers, how do you change that math to produce a 4x overall multiplier where each one adds +100% DPS?

In regards to metas, again I'm not disagreeing. There will always be a meta, and that's unavoidable, and it doesn't matter if it shifts. No problems there. But if a rework produces the same style of meta we already have with all the same downsides - that is, where you can only deal the best damage by not engaging with anything but damage mods - then it's still not a healthy meta.

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I agree and support this. I'm not gonna go into the smaller details, but I 100% think this is the type of rework the game needs. A major stats crunch and normalization of damage with an ehp adjustment to suit it. At some point DE just needs to rip off the piles of bandaid they keep stacking on the game. If the code doesn't allow DE to do this for some reason, then we need Warframe 2, that's about it. 

I keep seeing threads pop up trying to justify that the problem is armor and slash, and suggesting even more nerfs to armor, but quite frankly I think that won't solve the core issues and will just trivialize the combat even more. 

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Yup. Tldr the number bloat is way too out of control and they've never done a consistent pass over everything (mods, companions, primaries vs secondaries vs melee, operator abilities and weapons, Warframe abilities) and so many things outside of a core 6ish mods per weapon type are currently useless because they don't multiply damage exponentially like the core 6ish mods/stats do. Cut to the root of the problem and normalize and compress the values so that everything is more easily comparable and capable of being balanced against each other, and reducing the meta, mostly by just making 99% of weapon modding switch to scaling individually off of base damage in isolation, not multiplying together exponentially.

I'd love to lose only 1/8th of my DPS by dropping a meta mod for a QoL mod, rather than losing 1/2 per each, and being able to tell the damage I'm doing to enemies at a glance rather than struggling to quickly determine whether I saw a 6 or 7 digit damage number, and having a more generally reliable sense of enemy EHP and my own DPS. I'd like to see the flat damage number output on things like sentinel precepts be more competitive and worth using. I'd love to see less gear-check content with arbitrary invincibility phases to pad the fight length, and more easily tunable and achievable sense of fair challenge from boss fights, as it's currently nearly impossible to find a boss that doesn't either shred instantly, or takes forever. Compressing the numbers, especially back down to more human-comprehensible values, will help all these sorts of things.

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So, when are we going to excplicitly quote someone from DE? I'll gladly be a scapegoat, just to get the required attention and maybe something in the lines of; "We'll look into it."

I'm on a semi-break for about three years, doing only daily logins and this-and-that missions, but i get bored pretty quickly. Yet up to this day it's still the first game i launch. Having hope, that the damage system get's a revisit similar to this is already making me anxiously excited. Maybe that way i can bring back a few of my friends...

I would be lying, if i were to say that i understood every last word of this brainstorm, but the core concept is clear as crystal. And i love it.

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9 hours ago, Grav_Starstrider said:

I don't think Critical Chance could be removed outright from the game without MASSIVE backlash

Your suggestion would also cause a massive backlash; children throwing tantrum is not a convincing counterargument.
Furthermore, critical chance is not removed, but rather reimagined. I argue - player controlled crits is a superior design, because it promotes conscious player choice, additional engagement as well as more overall design options.

9 hours ago, Grav_Starstrider said:

Not only a shotgun-ify mod that averages out the chance of crits/procs via sheer pellet count (dice rolls), but one that scales off of base damage, as we're already discussing tweaking other things to do.

Low damage means less pellets or vica versa?

10 hours ago, Grav_Starstrider said:

Regarding elements, as I've covered in the next section and to some degree in other comments, we're talking about elements only scaling off of base damage, so assuming players were using any critical, multishot, or base damage mods, in this case, the Elements would stop overshadowing everything else damage-wise.

It is going in a right direction, as long as moded elements deal less damage in the end. Whether you restrict them from scaling with other mods/multipliers, or just lower the mod values themselves is a zero-sum-game.

10 hours ago, Grav_Starstrider said:

I don't see them removing it outright, there's too many many people that have polarized for that main mod, and too many primed versions of some of these "+Damage" mods or Rivens that people have sunk too much kuva into, to remove them from the game outright.

You wouldn't have to remove even one mod though. Serration would become one of the "+damage/-something" mods, while you can add more mods with different "/-something" and the same polarity.
Rivens are a plague. Yet, you still can salvage them:

  • Remove disposition (without it there is less workload on developers side as well as no tantrums in a 3 month cycle)...
    • Instead Rivens roll the same values as base mods of the same type (if a Riven has /-something buffs are still higher)...
      • However, Rivens cannot be stacked with the base mod anymore.

This would fix Rivens, by removing a great portion of RNG as well as pseudo ballance called desposition. In the end Rivens would become "combined mods", which feature more advantages than a regular mod in a single slot. As such their main purpose would be to free slots for other mods. Furthermore, since Rivens do not stack with base mods anymore, more stats become valuable: imagine an ultra utility Riven with "+firerate/reload/improved recoil" taking up 1 mod slot instead of 3, without any regret that you missed extra damage.
This design would also preserve all farmed Kuva as well as all rolled Rivens. "Grolls" would drop in value, but why should anybody care about those in the first place, since people created their own demise with those price spirals.

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13 hours ago, PublikDomain said:

Could you provide a mathematical explanation or example for how this would work? Maybe I'm just not understanding. If Multishot split damage between pellets but also increased overall damage by some amount, then how is it any different than just reducing the values of the mods?

Say you have a gun with a fire rate of 5 and 20 base damage and 1 pellet, 100 damage per second. Adding +100% Damage makes it deal 5 × 40 = 200 damage per second. Adding +100% Multishot makes it deal 5 × 20 × 2 = 200 damage per second. The effect of both of these together is multiplicative, with both you'd deal 5 × 40 × 2 = 400 damage per second - a 4x overall damage increase. Adding +100% Fire Rate makes it deal 10 × 20 = 200 damage per second. That too is multiplicative with the others, and with all three you'd deal 10 × 40 × 2 = 800 damage per second, an 8x overall damage increase.

With those numbers, how do you change that math to produce a 4x overall multiplier where each one adds +100% DPS?

In regards to metas, again I'm not disagreeing. There will always be a meta, and that's unavoidable, and it doesn't matter if it shifts. No problems there. But if a rework produces the same style of meta we already have with all the same downsides - that is, where you can only deal the best damage by not engaging with anything but damage mods - then it's still not a healthy meta.

I feel like the damage meta is a can of worms that DE will barely be able to put back in the box, but you've missed the parts where I've been saying that all of the mods would add damage only scaling off of the base damage of the weapon. So 100% multishot only adds an additional 100% of the weapon's base damage (and then will split the total weapon's damage apart into smaller and weaker pellets), as Elemental 90%'s only add 90% of the weapon's base damage, so after 8 meta damage mods you'd still only end up with something like a weapon that does a total of 900% damage (100% base + 8 x base). This would not eliminate the meta in its entirety, I think the sheer degree to which DE has made mods that add damage instead of modifying playstyle has them a bit stuck with the system, and honestly a lot of players like optimizing for damage, and might have the wind taken out of their sails by switching the system entirely away from being able to add DPS. I might get so used to this modification that I'll get dissatisfied all over again, and push for removing the DPS-stacking meta all over again, but at least for now, I'd be happy to see only a loss in like, 1/8th or 1/9th of my potential DPS lost by trading out a DPS/meta mod for a QoL mod.

2 hours ago, ShortCat said:

Your suggestion would also cause a massive backlash; children throwing tantrum is not a convincing counterargument.
Furthermore, critical chance is not removed, but rather reimagined. I argue - player controlled crits is a superior design, because it promotes conscious player choice, additional engagement as well as more overall design options.

Low damage means less pellets or vica versa?

It is going in a right direction, as long as moded elements deal less damage in the end. Whether you restrict them from scaling with other mods/multipliers, or just lower the mod values themselves is a zero-sum-game.

You wouldn't have to remove even one mod though. Serration would become one of the "+damage/-something" mods, while you can add more mods with different "/-something" and the same polarity.
Rivens are a plague. Yet, you still can salvage them:

  • Remove disposition (without it there is less workload on developers side as well as no tantrums in a 3 month cycle)...
    • Instead Rivens roll the same values as base mods of the same type (if a Riven has /-something buffs are still higher)...
      • However, Rivens cannot be stacked with the base mod anymore.

This would fix Rivens, by removing a great portion of RNG as well as pseudo ballance called desposition. In the end Rivens would become "combined mods", which feature more advantages than a regular mod in a single slot. As such their main purpose would be to free slots for other mods. Furthermore, since Rivens do not stack with base mods anymore, more stats become valuable: imagine an ultra utility Riven with "+firerate/reload/improved recoil" taking up 1 mod slot instead of 3, without any regret that you missed extra damage.
This design would also preserve all farmed Kuva as well as all rolled Rivens. "Grolls" would drop in value, but why should anybody care about those in the first place, since people created their own demise with those price spirals.

Children throwing a tantrum isn't a good argument, no, but it's quite arguably a playerbase-wide expectation that at this point modding is meant to improve damage, not just modify gunplay/melee approaches. If the decoupling and restructuring to make things only scale off of the base damage was well-received, they could always just nerf all of the explicitly DPS-additive/multiplicative further, to make non-DPS/meta mods even less punishing to use instead. (Of course, nerf enemy health down accordingly)

Less pellets? What? Please see my above response to the other poster, I think it answers this question, lemme know if not.

I was referring to Primed Point Blank, Primed Pressure Point, among other primed mods that currently are used to majorly amp up the damage output per bullet/swing. And we already have malus-mods, they're called corrupted mods, it'd be redundant. I currently don't want to have to radically change the majority of mod's values or add/subtract features from them on the front end, as napkin math may be a waste of everybody's time compared to just, trying this tweak on a PTS month and seeing what would need tweaks down away from being meta. Again, I'd personally be happy enough to see their effectiveness reduced by making them not stack on each other. May not be a eliminated meta, but it'd still be a reduced meta, and reduced number bloat.

Riven's effectiveness will already be nerfed by having their stats decoupled from each other like everything else, I think it's fun and compelling to be able to double up on specific stats you want, to a greater degree than standard mods allow, for high-disposition weapons. Currently, they already more or less function as you say, providing the benefit of 3 (or 4 if you like the malus) mods in one slot. The godroll pricing and benefit will lower substantially just by decoupling, I really don't see the need for further nerfs, as that may only harm the non-meta weapon's high-disposition outcomes more than the meta ones would be hurt by it. If anything, I'd just lower the base values per disposition for some of the meta stats, if we want to ensure they aren't used near-exclusively as damage-boosters on meta weaponry.

 

Note: If my suggestion is for things like Crit to no longer stack with everything, but only the base damage, than what would have to happen for arsenal modding clarity is for the base critical damage to decrease as other mods are adding non-base damage to the weapon.

As always, I welcome any thoughts! I might not agree with them, but it's an open forum for exploring potentially game-bettering ideas ^-^

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12 hours ago, --END--Rikutatis said:

I agree and support this. I'm not gonna go into the smaller details, but I 100% think this is the type of rework the game needs. A major stats crunch and normalization of damage with an ehp adjustment to suit it. At some point DE just needs to rip off the piles of bandaid they keep stacking on the game. If the code doesn't allow DE to do this for some reason, then we need Warframe 2, that's about it. 

I keep seeing threads pop up trying to justify that the problem is armor and slash, and suggesting even more nerfs to armor, but quite frankly I think that won't solve the core issues and will just trivialize the combat even more. 

DE knows armor is broken and that they shouldn't have scaled armor exponentially, but at the same time it was the only thing that kept broken player power in check so they kept it in.

Combined elements were created to destroy the Rainbow Build meta. Combined elements were designed to have conflict of interest with their diametrically opposed counterpart.

The new Acolyte Arcanes are just a bandaid to cover the hole they dug with the 2.5x health, armor and shields tacked on last minute that made guns feel weak in SP.

Edited by DealerOfAbsolutes
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14 hours ago, DealerOfAbsolutes said:

DE knows armor is broken and that they shouldn't have scaled armor exponentially, but at the same time it was the only thing that kept broken player power in check so they kept it in.

Combined elements were created to destroy the Rainbow Build meta. Combined elements were designed to have conflict of interest with their diametrically opposed counterpart.

The new Acolyte Arcanes are just a bandaid to cover the hole they dug with the 2.5x health, armor and shields tacked on last minute that made guns feel weak in SP.

An exponential curve almost guarantees that content is either trivial or ludicrous to face, and we 100% see that in Steel Path, even after melee nerfs and gun Arcanes and Galvanized mods, the strongest melee modding setups still trump most guns, and the meta guns are even moreso the meta because they take better advantage of the Arcanes and Galvanized mods than the non-meta weapons do.

I'll repeat that there would be ripple effects, and a lot of mods/arcanes/abilities that would need to have their numbers looked at, but as soon as you rip of the bloaty bandaid, it'll be easier to balance everything from there on out.

I'd love to see wider swathes of enemy levels actually feel challenging with my "fun" non-meta Warframe and weapon builds, or even my meta builds, but without them feeling unfairly like they're one-shotting me and being bullet sponges, outside of a specific, miniscule 5-10 level range that changes so drastically depending on weapon and frame and modding choices.

Edited by Grav_Starstrider
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