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Valkyr Tuneup


(PSN)digitalgabeg
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Given today's announcement of the upcoming deluxe skin for Valkyr from Liger, I would like to suggest a few small-to-moderate tweaks to Valkyr's kit. She's not in a bad place overall, but her abilities feel a bit outdated and a bit clumsy, and could benefit from some minor improvements. I tried to make suggestions here that are mostly simple numerical changes or copies of existing effects, in hopes that they would not require a lot of development time to implement.

  1. Her passive, 50% faster knockdown recovery and immunity to hard landings, is not actively bad, but it is far weaker than most other warframe passives and does not significantly affect her playstyle.

    I suggest adjusting her passive to also include an effect similar to that of the Rage mod, so that when she takes damage to her health she gains energy equal to 25% of the damage taken. This is less than the benefit of the Rage and Hunter Adrenaline mods, but would still be a large benefit for her, and would both fit her theme and synergize well with her abilities.
     
  2. Her Rip Line ability is great as a grappling hook mobility tool, but is poor at its other use - pulling creatures towards her. Successfully hooking a creature requires precise aiming - if the pinpoint-center of your reticule is not on your intended target, you miss. And the cost of missing is high - usually when you want to pull a creature in, you very much do not want to be pulled to that creature.

    I suggest altering Rip Line so that it has different tap / hold functionality, as other warframe abilities do. A tap should pull a target in, and a hold should pull Valkyr to the point she is aiming at.

    I also suggest adding a small amount of aim assist to Rip Line when it is used to pull a target in, so that we don't need to be quite so precise.
     
  3. Also, pulling an enemy in with Rip Line is not as useful as it could be. Enemies pulled with Rip Line are impelled towards Valkyr, but the force of the pull varies and the victim usually either doesn't get all the way to Valkyr or else flies past her. Nidus' Larva ability and Vauban's Vortex both have the ability to pull enemies to a specific point and stop them there, which makes them much more useful.

    I suggest altering Rip Line to employ the tech used by Larva, so that if an enemy within 15 meters is pulled by Rip Line then it will consistently arrive at Valkyr's location. Enemies beyond this 15 meter limit would just be impelled towards her, as they are currently. This 15 meter limit should be affected by increases to power range. Enemies which are pulled this way should also be knocked down. To balance these improvements, the damage dealt by Rip Line should be reduced to match the damage inflicted by Excalibur's Slash Dash ability. (250 at max rank)

    It would also be fun to alter the animation for Rip Line to match this functionality. When an enemy within 15 meters is pulled to Valkyr's location, she should strike the victim as it arrives, to visually justify their sudden stop. This would be a bare-handed strike or a strike with one of her claws, not a hit with her equipped melee weapon, so that the animation would be consistent regardless of the melee weapon she is using. If used in mid-air, this animation could resemble a volleyball spike, smashing the victim down toward the ground.
     
  4. Valkyr's Warcry ability is excellent overall, but does have a few points where it could be improved.

    Its cast speed is slow, and you cannot move while casting it. Since the ability is also expensive to cast, doesn't last very long, and can't be recast until it ends, this extended cast animation feels bad. I suggest increasing cast speed by 20%, altering the animation so that we can continue moving while casting it, and allowing us to recast it before it expires.

    Also, the armor bonus provided by Warcry is percentage-based, which makes it insignificant in all cases. Warframes which don't have much armor to begin with get a proportionally small (and therefore irrelevant) armor boost from Warcry, and warframes which already have high armor get a larger numerical boost but still don't get much benefit due to the diminishing returns on high armor values. Examples: Banshee has 100 base armor (25% DR) and Warcry takes her up to 150 armor. (33% DR) Excalibur has 300 base armor (50% DR) and Warcry takes him up to 450 armor. (60% DR) Valkyr has 600 base armor (66.6% DR) and Warcry takes her up to 900 armor. (75% DR)

    By comparison, Wukong's Defy ability provides flat armor, and can take his armor from its base value of 250 (45% DR) up to 1750 armor (85% DR) without any mods. This is a far more useful bonus.

    I therefore suggest changing the armor bonus provided by Warcry to a flat 500 point armor increase, still affected by power strength. This will be much more beneficial for low-armor allies (Banshee goes to 66% DR, Excalibur goes to 72% DR) and slightly better for Valkyr herself. (she goes to 78% DR)
     
  5. Valkyr's Paralysis ability is outdated and irrelevant. The core idea, sacrificing shields to damage nearby enemies, is interesting, but is out-of-place on Valkyr - her low shield value makes her poorly-equipped to inflict damage with it, her tendency to be close to enemies means that she often doesn't have shields on-hand to power it, and she has no innate way to acquire overshields. The stun which the ability causes is occasionally useful to set up finishers, but just attacking enemies directly will usually kill them faster. And Paralysis doesn't match her theme or synergize with her other abilities - a build for Valkyr which maximizes Paralysis does not play towards Valkyr's other strengths.

    To reshape this ability into something more relevant without completely changing it, I suggest this: Remove the ability's connection to Valkyr's shields, so that casting Paralysis does not deplete her shields and the damage Paralysis deals does not depend on her shield value. Instead, alter Paralysis so that it deals 500 base damage at max rank, but multiplies that damage by both her power strength and her current melee combo multiplier, and consumes the melee combo counter when cast as if Valkyr had used a heavy attack. Casting this ability should not consume the melee combo counter if it doesn't damage any enemies, but it should also ignore heavy attack efficiency - when it does hit an enemy, it should always consume the entire melee combo counter. Have the type of damage dealt by Paralysis match the types of damage dealt by her equipped melee weapon. The proportions of those types should also match, so if you're using a weapon that deals 45% slash damage, then Paralysis should also deal 45% slash damage. Instead of a stun, make the ability inflict a stagger on affected enemies, but also allow it to inflict status effects based on the types of damage it is dealing. Give it a give it a base 25% status chance, and multiply that status chance by both power strength and Valkyr's melee combo multiplier.

    These changes would fit Valkyr's theme better, and would make Paralysis more powerful and much more useful, but the need to build up the melee combo counter each time would balance the power increase.
     
  6. Hysteria is a good ability with a lot of unnecessary complications. The escalating energy cost is irritating - Hysteria's damage output is similar to Excalibur's Exalted Blade, but it is far less sustainable. The way that Hysteria stores damage and may return that damage later is non-obvious and frustrating. I understand that these mechanics are meant to balance out the invulnerability which Hysteria provides, but it doesn't need to provide full invulnerability.

    Nezha's Warding Halo originally provided full invulnerability, but it was changed to instead provide 90% DR and status immunity. I suggest that Hysteria be changed in a similar way - instead of full immunity, change Hysteria to provide 90% damage reduction and status immunity while active. Don't change the ability's lifesteal or its 25 energy activation cost, but get rid of the escalating energy cost - it should just cost 2.5 energy per second without any increase. And get rid of the damage storing effect also. This change synergizes with the change I suggested for her passive ability, allowing her to recover energy and sustain Hysteria by taking damage, and then heal that damage with Hysteria.

    Also, activating or deactivating Hysteria resets Valkyr's melee combo counter. This reset is unnecessary, and would interfere with the changes I'm suggesting for Paralysis. Hysteria should not reset the melee combo counter at all, either when it is activated or when it is deactivated.

    EDIT: I was mistaken about Hysteria dropping your combo. What actually happens is that Hysteria and your melee weapon have separate, independent combo counters. I suggest that this be changed - have Hysteria and your melee weapon share the same combo counter, so that the combo you have built up is still available to Paralyze if you activate Hysteria.
Edited by (PSN)digitalgabeg
Description of combo behavior was wrong
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... wow... such dedication...

Spoiler

Nope

... Direct connection of your tuneup to the nearest power plant isn't exactly the way of getting a tuneup...

... What I got from this was, and this just from the passive, "I want my Valkyr to have infinite energy."... I'm not even going to touch on the Ripline because I took it out from my Valkyr, that's how useful it really is,..

... And that Hysteria... It was changed to 90% DR some time ago and then switched back to full invulnerability due to snowflakes... Unfortunately, Valkyr snowflakes aren't exactly a "handful of snowflakes"... They're an angry mob avalanche so~, to avoid having them bite your rear...

Spoiler

Just

Spoiler

Nope

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Honestly the only thing about Valk that i dont understand kit wise both in style and substance is rip line. It seems they went with a catlike look and beserker esc gameplay. This is weird cause they got the so called cat lady frame khora who is more and more about her whips n chains now a days and Garuda who is much more beserker/blood. Valk identy should be her agileness and raw fury. Buddy of mine suggested making her a "meter" frame that builds with melee kills or taking damage (tho this treads on baruuks gimmick). My idea is just to give venari to valk (not that khora users rly care about venari) and just say she the angry cat frame. Warcry would help venari out and you can have venari follow valk during hysteria swiping along with valk. Seems dumb but imo better than ripline lol. 

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6 hours ago, (PSN)digitalgabeg said:

Her Rip Line ability is great as a grappling hook mobility tool, but is poor at its other use - pulling creatures towards her.

Agree with the latter, not so much with the former.

Both as an attack and as a mobility tool, Ripline needs to be a lot snappier,
it's especially noticable on a high-Range build how the self-pull is so meager, sometimes just dragging you across the floor a bit,
and generally just stopping about halfway through before getting anywhere near your hook's impact point.

A cost reduction when used for mobility (say, 10 Energy, BTW screw that "Augment") also wouldn't be too much, IMO.

I do like your pull-then-attack feature for the offensive version ... I in fact suggested similar functionality in previous topics lol,
where I envisioned that part being triggered by a hold function that gives a Blade Storm-esque targeting mode,
allowing multiple enemies (for ... let's say again 10 Energy each) to get pulled in and (claw) clothesline'd at the same time :D

7 hours ago, (PSN)digitalgabeg said:

changing the armor bonus provided by Warcry to a flat 500 point armor increase

Would be nice.

Though there also needs to be something done about recastability as well as the Augment,
missing Squad members with the (initial) cast, or them losing the buff via Nullifiers / pits / whatnot,
then having no way to (re)apply the buff on them (with the Augment, potentially for the rest of the mission),
is just really irksome to me.

Plus not least, I also wouldn't mind being able to refresh the slowdown enemy debuff.

Maybe the Augment could send out pulses on enemy death / every X seconds that dish out both buff and debuff effects.

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So... some good starts, but not a lot of balance here.

How's about we fit more utility into her kit, try and fit her 'berserker' theme a little more and also achieve DE's (originally stated) goals when they added some of her changes, but with a twist?

The passive is weak, but I think it's fine if it's not changed. A bit of sure footing is fine.

Ripline lacks application and utility. Single target in this game needs to be powerful, while weak effects need to be multi-target, it's the balance games really need to run. It's also a first ability, so it needs to be an effect that sets up the rest of her kit.

A good function would be to make it the tap/hold as you've pointed out, because that means you can leave the Hold for the mobility part, and the tap can become a non-targeted function. How about a cone-of-effect that grabs enemies and pulls them in similar to Sevagoth's Embrace. This presents all enemies it captures at melee range for a melee-ability frame.

An awesome function would be if enemies that have been Riplined are marked for something else, such as pecentage-to-guarantee Status effects of one kind or another. The obvious one would be that marked enemies take Bleed from Melee attacks, and the chance of this increases with Strength (so 200% gives you your guaranteed effects).

Warcry is incredibly powerful, with the Attack Speed and bonus Armour, but it has one bonus effect that is rarely modded for or used; Enemy Slow. This is a relatively weak effect, capping out at 75% compared to other frames able to slow around 85-95% or even completely Freeze/Petrify enemies. With that, the only improvement I'd make is to take this effect and make it an Aura and make the range of that Aura relatively small at base.

When modded for enough range to affect a room, it would be weaker, and so would be all her other abilities overall, which is a good balance to modding when you consider that a lot of Valkyr's modding includes negative Range. It encourages not doing negative Range builds and makes less possibility of dump-stats.

Paralysis on the other hand... this is one that's supposed to be part of her Berserker theme too. The myths around Berserkers have some historical facts and one of them is that warriors would go to battle fully armoured and protected, but as they entered their 'frenzy' they would tear off their protection and fling it at their opponents in order to stun them and close the distance. So this is thematically sound, but you're absolutely right that it's outdated.

There are parts of this ability, though, that are quite relevant: The shield reduction on command, the enemy stun for CC, and the way it functions as a Primer (in this case it opens enemies to Finishers, but this is something to change for more thematic aspects).

Berserkers were said to get more frenzied as they stripped, so why don't we make that a whole thing to play around? Strip Valkyr's shields completely for a Duration (as in, shields to not restore for longer than usual) based on what Percentage of her shields was sacrificed, to radially stun enemies and mark them for a bonus to Valkyr. All enemies affected by Paralysis' Stun give Valkyr a stacking bonus to melee Critical Damage on kill. (Why Damage? Because unlike Crit Chance, Crit Damage has almost no mods to boost it up.)

So you cast, you have no shields to allow us to exploit the Rage mechanic (as players like) for a limited duration. If you have low shields, the duration is a few seconds, if it's full shields you have the longest duration, but the duration cannot drop below a certain number of seconds, just like a couple of other abilities. While you are now more vulnerable, in theory, you then kill enemies to gain a stacking bonus that can last until you recharge enough shields to stun again. The duration of marking enemies is independent of how long your Shields are down, though, to make it fair.

And Hysteria... just needs a tweak. Sort of.

The first thing to do is make Hysteria's Stance have a lot more flow to it. Berserkers are chaotic, but they aren't manic, wild swings and frenzied flurries, yes, but the animations on them make the ability really, really frustrating.

The next thing is to completely remove that Energy Drain. How? Make it a Health Drain instead while keeping the Invulnerability and the self-damage aura if you don't kill all enemies in range.

Berserkers ignored pain in order to keep fighting, fuelling their strength with anger and emotion. They fought until they died, or their enemies died. So a Health drain is actually a really good balance compared to her Health Steal on her Claws. You have to fight in order to survive as the Health Drain is proportional to the Self Damage Aura's growth. Fighting and attacking sustains the ability and also reduces the Self Damage aura, meaning that engaging the enemy is directly encouraged and avoiding the enemy is punished.

If you get to 1 Health, the ability deactivates. If the ability deactivates, the same rules apply as now; if there are enemies in line-of-sight within the Aura, Valkyr takes damage. Without her Shields, that's lethal. (And, of course, Valkyr has an ability that leaves her without Shields for a duration...)

But Birdframe! (I pretend to hear you say) Wouldn't draining Health always leave her with less than max Health when she finishes, because of the de-cast time? It would! Which is why the final tweak is a form of over-heal.

While in Hysteria, Valkyr's Health gains a secondary cap, like Gauss' Battery. You can 'overheal' yourself to gain bonus 'duration' on the ability, and also ensure that when you deactivate the ability you are only losing over-heal, not your base Health.

Conclusion:

Valkyr would now have multiple forms of self-buffing, can buff allies within range too if she chooses. She would have a cone-of-effect CC cast that will boost her Melee and is also capable of movement, she has a Radial shorter-term CC that will boost her Melee with stacking buffs. She has instant access to regaining energy via the Rage mechanic. And her 4 is now a self-sustain that doesn't drain Energy so she'll have that Energy for the other casts, similar to when you put Despoil on Nekros. Also we get them to fix Hysteria's melee animations so it's better to use.

What do you think?

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1 hour ago, JackMidnight said:

Honestly the only thing about Valk that i dont understand kit wise both in style and substance is rip line. It seems they went with a catlike look and beserker esc gameplay. This is weird cause they got the so called cat lady frame khora who is more and more about her whips n chains now a days and Garuda who is much more beserker/blood. Valk identy should be her agileness and raw fury. Buddy of mine suggested making her a "meter" frame that builds with melee kills or taking damage (tho this treads on baruuks gimmick). My idea is just to give venari to valk (not that khora users rly care about venari) and just say she the angry cat frame. Warcry would help venari out and you can have venari follow valk during hysteria swiping along with valk. Seems dumb but imo better than ripline lol. 

To back up my previous comment about Ripline Versus Paralysis

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20 minutes ago, TechNoLoGic__ said:

To back up my previous comment about Ripline Versus Paralysis

Fair, but my statement was more on her thematically than balance. Paralysis has somewhat to do with beserker elements atleast more than ripline imo. But i will agree it does need a change in effect 

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Alternatively:
Make Ripline this (proper momentum retention, partial/45 degree keyboard steering like melee dashes used to have, add sevagoth claw pull ragdoll block that moves with valkyr/pulls enemy always into melee),
And Hysteria this (claws withfull invul and lifesteal kept, but los cowardice bs encouragement removed, energy cost changed to hp drain, stored damage leaks over time increasing drain while decreasing stored value, kills pause drain, finishers remove a big chunk or all stored damage AKA let the berserker berserk).


Also why do people keep wanting to change a decent passive?

Edited by Andele3025
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you can go a looong way by merging Prolonged Paralysis right into Paralysis. it's simply a more useful set of features for how the game works, tbh.
and Prolonged Paralysis is already pretty good, a good fit for a Melee Warframe.

 

and also Ripline is kinda okay but could use some polishing to the way it animates and also solve everything with it super easy by giving it two modes. Tap to pull the nearest Enemy to the aim point towards you(or if no nearby Enemy there, do nothing), Hold to pull yourself to the targeted location.
and then reduce the Energy Cost to like, 5. now delete the Ripline Augment because it's useless.

Edited by taiiat
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6 hours ago, taiiat said:

you can go a looong way by merging Prolonged Paralysis right into Paralysis.

Agreed. It'd probably also help if they finally fixed the fact that recasting Paralysis on an enemy while said enemy is already suffering the effects of Prolonged Paralysis, simply removes the effect entirely instead of either leaving the current duration and dealing damage or even refreshing the vulnerability window+slow+pull. @Darthmufin has shown this to be the case relatively recently on his Youtube channel via the community tab and as a long time Valkyr fanboy, I would adore seeing that fixed.

Now though, onto the real meat and potatoes. 
Passive: Her passive I feel is not bad, it definitely fits closer to the berserker theme than many seem to give it credit for - as berserkers definitely would have been knocked down at times but they would very understandable recover from said knockdowns quite fast. The immunity to hard landings is a nice addition, though when you can completely avoid those by simply holding slide at any time before you hit the ground until after you make contact, it does seem a little redundant. I am a fan of the idea where she has a weaker Rage of sorts built in, as that feels like it would synergize with her kit and theme extremely well.

Ripline: This one I'm a little torn on. I regularly use Ripline as a mobility tool instead of simply relying on my Operator's Void Dash, as well as a helpful tool when other players in the squad encounter a void-out loop due to some wonky respawn locations (and thus forever falling, voiding out, respawning, falling, voiding out, etc). As an enemy puller, I do use it but rarely - it's good for separating individual high value enemies from a pack but does suffer from very precise aim being required, as well as many of the enemies you would want to pull being immune to that, some even being untargetable by it so they can't even suffer it as a damage dealer. One way to easily improve the ability is to liken its scaling to abilities like Shattered Lash or Landslide, or even Slash Dash - letting some or most melee mods affect the damage. I also wouldn't be averse to the idea of a hold-cast pulling you to enemies, as that would allow you to both deal damage and close the distance in one fell swoop. As said above it would also be very nice if the augment was a little more useful in the current day and age of Warframe - by incorporating the current augment change into Ripline by default and having a reworked augment that could, say; "When an enemy is hooked, also grabs x enemies within y meters of the enemy hit and pulls them too." It wouldn't have to be many enemies, nor would it have to have excessive range, or even mod scaling of any kind. 1-4 enemies for x, 1-5m for y (closer to the floor value there if range scaling was applied). I feel like a change like that would drastically improve the utility of Ripline, while also allowing it to remain a fun and useful mobility tool.

Warcry: My bread and butter. This is by far the ability I use most on Valkyr, probably because I use it in many different scenarios. I don't always use Eternal War, as sometimes it's more prudent to use Warcry as an allied attack speed buffer while also slowing down heavy enemies or bosses - it's far easier to time and recast Warcry in those cases as you might not always get all allies within your cast range, thus buffing them and yourself. The armor scaling becomes far more apparent as well when you buff either yourself or others when you're already modded for high armor - be that through Arcane Guardian/Ultimatum, through Umbral mods, or even just through Steel Fiber and the like. The idea of it giving say 500 flat armor (or more when Valk uses it with the amount scaled down to 500 or so when infused through Helminth) with that amount scaling through strength mods sounds very appealing, regardless of whether the armor calculation applied that armor before or after any armor-increasing mods. I would also not be averse to the idea of it simply being a multiplier on modded armor, or even a small flat armor bonus with a multiplier as well (though far lower than it currently sits at) - this would allow it to be usable on squishier frames without necessarily having to dedicate an Arcane slot or Mod slot (Health Conversion etc) to increase that stat. The slow percentage being capped at 75% strikes me as a little odd, but it's workable. I wouldn't mind an increase to the cap there, even by only 5-15%.

Paralysis: One of the abilities I rarely see used by other Valkyr players use even if they do understand how it works, along with the fact that Prolonged Paralysis is unique in that its slow duration scales with Valkyr's Strength instead of Duration, vastly improving its synergy with her standard build meta. I don't mind so much the idea that it drains shields and uses them as the scalar for both damage and knockback strength - even without full shields it tends to function perfectly fine for how the ability describes itself: as a paralyzing tool (opening enemies to finishers, etc), however I would welcome the scaling factor being changed to modded armor instead of shields. As mentioned above, it would be nice if Prolonged Paralysis didn't practically lose all effectiveness on an enemy already suffering from its debuff if a recast hits them, but I have very little problem with the ability or the augment otherwise.

Hysteria: Now we come to the pièce de résistance. I mostly see two camps with this one - people who pretty much exclusively use Hysteria (and sometimes Warcry to augment the attacking speed) and people who rarely/tactically use Hysteria (such as using it for burst damage on a heavy target, or as an emergency heal/escape tool while also being capable of clearing the area near you). I fall into the secondary group there and have done for a good five years now - using exclusively Hysteria isn't as bad as it used to be in one way as now you can simply swap to a ranged weapon without deactivating it (while losing the invulnerability and sustaining the energy drain) thus saving time if you need to prime enemies or something along those lines - however as has been said it's not without its drawbacks. The scaling energy cost seems a little too aggressive realistically, how many other Exalted Weapons end up with a drain of 15 energy/s? It's understandable that with the invulnerability the cost should be higher than the norm, but this much higher seems excessive - maybe have it so it's affected in a similar way to the damage storage aura range, in that each kill will scale the cost down by a small amount (eg, how the aura has a maximum size of 20m from a base of 5m, with each kill reducing that range by 1m down to a minimum of the 5m base - we could have it so that Hysteria's max base energy drain is lowered to 10/s so it more closely resembles the scaling of the aura, in that 4x base is the max, while having each kill reduce the percentage by approximately 6.67% per kill down to the same minimum of 0). I personally have no issue with the attack range, combos or the idea that it drains energy instead of health, just this one tweak would really serve to improve the experience all around.

 

Alrighty, wall over. Been a long time since I've shared my thoughts on her kit and synergy, but hopefully this gives a little insight into how I'd see her improved.

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2 hours ago, iPathos said:

Agreed. It'd probably also help if they finally fixed the fact that recasting Paralysis on an enemy while said enemy is already suffering the effects of Prolonged Paralysis, simply removes the effect entirely instead of either leaving the current duration and dealing damage or even refreshing the vulnerability window+slow+pull.

eeeeh

i like being able to drag piles of Enemies around with me by Casting it numerous times. i like the Augment as it is, shrug.

 

 

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55 minutes ago, taiiat said:

eeeeh

i like being able to drag piles of Enemies around with me by Casting it numerous times. i like the Augment as it is, shrug.

 

 

No, I'm saying it already removes the effect. It being fixed would be making the pull per cast and slowdown+vulnerability to finishers both work.

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5 hours ago, iPathos said:

No, I'm saying it already removes the effect. It being fixed would be making the pull per cast and slowdown+vulnerability to finishers both work.

oh, i see. i haven't used Valkyr in a while. yeah they broke that. Casting didn't use to cancel and throw Enemies into the stratosphere before, it would just reapply it.

bugfreegame

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