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Suggestion: Merulina/K-Drive control scheme revision for navigating Interiors


Soundloss
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Hello folks, this is my first feedback, but I've been playing off and on for years.
I'm not quite sure if I'm doing this right, but, I'd like to put forward a suggestion to tweak Merulina's and/or K-Drive's control scheme to better suit interiors more or less based on existing features and animations.

TLDR: It more or less boils down to: stepping on the 'gas' with Sprint to dash through cluttered hallways, holding the 'brakes' with Crouch to take tight turns or duck doorways, and having the collision logic revisited on Jump to remove the 'floaty'-ness.

 

Sprint 

There's an existing feature that automatically climbs Merulina over geometry while you're on the ground, it just isn't responsive and generous enough to encompass all the clutter on the floor. 

This existing Auto-climb relies on Speed, and at max Speed you can auto-climb over Destructible Objects (ex: Explosive Barrels), but not the deprecated Cover that clutters hallways (ex: Boxes). I'd prefer removing the Speed requirement entirely, and simply allow pressing Direction buttons to auto-climb over Destructibles, while pressing the Sprint button allows auto-climbing over the rest. 

I get that suddenly snapping from ground height to cover height is maybe not the most aesthetically appealing choice. But aesthetic awkwardness is only awkward until you pillage tricks for in-between frames, mechanical awkwardness is awkward forever.


Crouch

There's an existing crouch feature on Merulina, but if you're moving or pressing any Direction buttons, crouch turns into the Copter spinning animation which is glitchy on collision and problematic on turns.

The Real Crouch keeps your collision pointed forward and noticeably lowers it closer to the floor. So much so, you can un-stick a camera that's been bugged-into-geometry by a low hanging doorway. This seems like a good candidate for a 'maneuverability state'  because it more closely approximates the standard Warframe size levels were designed around. I'd prefer removing the Copter functionality and allowing the Real Crouch to be omnidirectional and inertia-friendly, adding on a quicker/tighter turn, and maybe some speed and/or inertia dampening.

I think Crouch's awkward tap-hold ground slam functionality Shockwave Slam and the Copter functionality could be moved to the Melee button, to get a much needed accessible/intuitive way to destroy Destructibles, leaving Crouch with a purity of purpose as granular movement. Like; Crouch is to K-drive movement, what a Scope is to a Sniper Rifle's aim.


Jump

There is an existing logic that governs how Merulina's Jumps are handled in tight quarters, but in practice it feels like you're simultaneously a balloon and a ping pong ball, floating with your head in the rafters and bouncing off Walls with near cartoonish force. 
If I had to guess:
- Jump bounces off a Wall because colliding forcibly moves you in the opposite direction respective to your speed
- Jump hangs on Ceilings because for lack of any collision forcibly moving you; jump is time-based and you're waiting out your remaining airtime.  

Honestly, I think this logic should be reversed.
The thing I want forcibly moving me is the Ceiling, and the thing I want to spend my remaining airtime on is the Wall. 

I want the Ceiling to force me back down to the ground immediately, because that's where all the action is. If possible, applied along a reflection vector (basically bouncing off of it the way a skipped stone bounces off of water). So if I hit the ceiling while moving forward, I would be sent to the ground at an angle that still keeps me moving forward. 

I want Walls to burn my remaining airtime with the Wallride trick from the world of Skateboarding. Automatically riding Merulina on the wall for whatever length of time is left in the Jump in the direction of the Jump; essentially Wall Dash mechanically. Because if I can't have precision, extremely forgiving failure is a close second.  At worst it's a moment to re-orient and course-correct with another Jump, and at best it can help me get the rest of the way to where I'd intended to land because I chose to segue into Wall Dash controls to extend it. 

 

 


Control Layout More Specifically:
New Things
Things that already happen and I'm not suggesting any changes

Crouch: 

  • On the Ground, if you press the Crouch button under any circumstances you'll duck to the point your k-drive will be nearly on the floor. If you have inertia or press any direction, you'll move in that direction while crouched. While holding the Crouch button speed will build up slower, inertia will fall off faster, and turning will become tighter/faster. 
  • On the Ground, if you hold the Crouch button and then press the Jump button, you'll perform a jump while crouched. This will have half the height of whatever the jump would be normally. (Right now it's the same height).
  • On the Ground, if you hold the Crouch button and then hold the Jump button, when you release Jump you'll perform a larger jump while crouched. This will be 3/4ths of whatever height the jump would be normally. (Right now it's the same height).
  • In the Air, if you press or hold the Crouch button you'll attempt to Grind. 

Sprint / Direction Buttons: 

  • On the Ground, if you press a Direction button, you should Auto-climb objects the size of Destructibles (ex: 'Exploding Barrel').  
  • On the Ground, If you press the Sprint button while pressing a Direction button you should Auto-climb objects the size of Cover (ex: Boxes in the middle of hallways). 
  • In the Air, if you have no inertia and press a direction button, you should move the same distance no matter which direction you press.(Currently pressing the Left Direction button results in more distance than Up/Down/Right. Makes it tricky to wrap your head around air control). 
  • Bonus: Any kind of interaction if you Auto-Climb an enemy while sprinting. Because if you allow Auto-climbing of geometry that was meant to act as cover for a Warframe, similarly sized enemies might now be Auto-climb-able. (Maybe Stagger the poor bastards?)

Jump:

  • On the Ground, If you press the Jump button you jump a little bit if you tap the button, and a lot if you hold it down for a second.
  • On the Ground, If you hold the Jump button you go into a lowered 'tensed up' position. When you release it you jump much higher, dependent on how long you held down the button. 
  • In the Air, If you press the Jump button, you Jump again slightly higher the first time and subsequently repeat the animation with no height change. Repurpose the Frontside Rollout flip animation instead of Copter, so it can't be confused with Melee below.  
  • If you Jump Into a Ceiling, a physics force repels you in the direction of a reflection vector based on the angle of how you approached the ceiling and applying a force relative to your speed. (ex: If you entered very fast at a 45 Degree angle, you're repelled very fast at a 135 Degree angle, so that you continue to move forward.)  
  • If you Jump Into a Wall, you continue to experience the duration of your jump as a Wallride.  If you tap the Jump button and a Direction button, Wall Dash rules apply. (Maybe require a certain threshold to activate, ala' Wall Dash. But inability to meet that threshold should yield the same consequence it does on a Warframe- sliding down the wall instead of bouncing off of it).
  • If you Jump Into a Zipline, you can engage with it by pressing the Interact button or holding the Crouch button. Zipline rules apply mechanically using the Grinding Animation aesthetically. 

Melee: 

  • On the Ground and In the Air, If you press the Melee button you'll perform the Copter animation and Merulina's tail will count as a wide frontal cone-based AOE attack.  
  • On the Ground, If you hold the Melee button you'll continue to repeat the above.
  • In the Air, If you hold the Melee button you'll perform Shockwave Slam.
     
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As someone who has actually enjoyed Yareli despite the numerous flaws, I was definitely hoping prior to release they would either revise all K-drive (sort of a, K-Drive 2.0 type of deal) or at the very least, give Yareli a unique set of K-Drive controls exclusive to Merulina. I knew, just watching the dev stream that she was going to be a nuisance to control in certain tilesets, and of course on her release, I was right about her being a nuisance.

So, with that said; Yeah, I absolutely agree with everything you said. One thing I would like to see and...I think you kind of mentioned this in the thread (it's early for me, so maybe I just didn't understand what you are saying) is a more traditional skateboard control for the jump.
For example, in the Tony Hawk games (and, actually, many platformer games too) The jump height is dictated by how long you hold the jump button *AFTER* pressing the button. (On button press) With K-Drives it's sort of the opposite and leads to really awkward and unreliable jumps. Your jump height IS dictated by how long you hold the jump button, but only once you have released the jump button. This is awkward because it's hard to gauge how high you are jumping.
So in short, what I am saying, change the jump behavior from "On button release" to "On button press"

(there was also a number of times while grinding vent kid standing that I thought I had been charging up a big jump, but because either I pressed jump too early or there was imperceptible drop when I pressed the button, it resulted in a whiffed jump. At least if we switched the jump behavior a whiffed jump would be easier to notice and therefore easier to recover from)

edit:

I'd also argue that the existing tapped jump is already more than enough height for 90% of the situations. It would be better if the adjusted the lower limit of your jump (the simple tap). Maximum height can remain the same, but reducing the lower limit of the jump height might make the more frequent edge cases seen in your standard tile sets more manageable.

Edited by Yuzuki-Prime
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On 2021-08-25 at 11:25 PM, Soundloss said:

Shockwave Slam

I agree this move has bad controls. Having to tap and hold key to slam attack is BAD. However having to hold melee is not much better. 

I've bought Tenet Exec that after performing slam attacks it "shoots schockwaves" (heavy attack shoots 3 instead of 1). It's nice to (bullet) jump, aim at some position and (heavy) slam attack. You can join those attacks by rolling after slam attack. Whoever has done those stuffs should be proud of themselves. It's better than probably 90% of stances.

That being said, if you want use & mimic melees then you should go deeper:

- aiming down + "degree of freedom" should perform slam attack - think about melee slam attacks aiming

- not aiming down should perform some aerial attack; this could like you mentioned copter animation + AOE attack however I would like to differentiate between ground & aerial attacks... still having at least one attack would be good enough

 

On 2021-08-25 at 11:25 PM, Soundloss said:

While holding the Crouch button speed will build up slower, inertia will fall off faster, and turning will become tighter/faster. 

This could be applied to slam attack as well.

- tap slam attack (tap the key) -> you perform, let's say, 25m wide slam with increased falling down (it should be FAST).

- hold it -> you hover in the air, every second (or part of seconds) you will increase slam attack range, up to 40; think about Glaives throws by tapping & holding

Of course width of those attacks should be changed to "good" values however slam radius HAVE to be increased. It's so slow & small that it doesn't matter in actual gameplay.

 

ps. Having Ctrl to slam AND grind would have some nice feeling to it.

On 2021-08-25 at 11:25 PM, Soundloss said:
  • On the Ground, if you hold the Crouch button and then press the Jump button, you'll perform a jump while crouched. This will have half the height of whatever the jump would be normally. (Right now it's the same height).
  • On the Ground, if you hold the Crouch button and then hold the Jump button, when you release Jump you'll perform a larger jump while crouched. This will be 3/4ths of whatever height the jump would be normally. (Right now it's the same height).

I don't if holding two buttons to make jump farther is good. I like frame version:

- roll & jumps are for short distances but they are very precise

- bullet jump for longer but not very precise (jump distance)

On 2021-08-25 at 11:25 PM, Soundloss said:

 

  • On the Ground, if you press a Direction button, you should Auto-climb objects the size of Destructibles (ex: 'Exploding Barrel').  

To be honest I don't exactly know how it would be. I think it would make gameplay better but It's one of those things that should be tested.

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38 minutes ago, quxier said:

[truncated] the whole post

Really in general I wish they would have done (and here's hoping there will in the future) do a K-Drive 2.0 update because even though this would primarily be a buff for Yareli, I don't think it's something that should be exclusive to Yareli. It's likely a lot of work they have to do, so why limit it to just one niche frame?

When K-Drives were first announced I was actually pretty excited about it. But the finished result was and has been...not great. It's something I wish I could enjoy, but frankly, the control's feel unresponsive, it's like there is a lack of feedback (especially when executing tricks), and...well...yeah, it just feels unresponsive, like I am never fully in control.
So revising Merulina hopefully will also revise K-Drives as a whole and make it a fun little past time in game (and maybe more people will want to max Vent Kid standing. I know I ignored Ventkids entirely up until I heard that the "upcoming frame Yareli" would be tied to them. I grinded out their standing before her release just in case it was necessary - haven't touched Ventkids stuff since acquiring Yareli's gun and doing Yareli's quest)

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29 minutes ago, Yuzuki-Prime said:

Really in general I wish they would have done (and here's hoping there will in the future) do a K-Drive 2.0 update because even though this would primarily be a buff for Yareli, I don't think it's something that should be exclusive to Yareli. It's likely a lot of work they have to do, so why limit it to just one niche frame?

To be honest I don't think it will be changed. "Recently" I think they have been more into shooting/boring content. We have RJ and Mechs which are just nothing interesting. Kahl of Duty is just a shooter. Void storm is just more chaotic RJ/void-fissure. Sevagoth's melee is boring. I feel like they are going more into "cinematic" feeling.

Plus they are now creating new quest + trying to improve limits of RJ.

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1 hour ago, quxier said:

To be honest I don't think it will be changed. "Recently" I think they have been more into shooting/boring content. We have RJ and Mechs which are just nothing interesting. Kahl of Duty is just a shooter. Void storm is just more chaotic RJ/void-fissure. Sevagoth's melee is boring. I feel like they are going more into "cinematic" feeling.

Plus they are now creating new quest + trying to improve limits of RJ.

Oh yeah, I know, no chance. If they don't say anything about it in this upcoming dev stream (considering it's the first since Yareli's release) then I'm certain it's never gonna happen.

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