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Madotsuki's Concept Diary - Grineer Units Overhaul


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Out of sheer boredom, I decided to write some overhaul concepts for Warframe's mechanics. This is going to be an ongoing series of entries, in each of which I’ll write down related concept ideas, either be it overhauling existing content or adding new content, plus some scribbles, because plain text is too dull nowadays.
For the first three entries, I’m going to start with the 3 enemy factions in the game, first of which is the Grineers, the space marine clone army. Their technology seems to revolve around bullets (hitscan, impact-based), explosives, fire and teleportation. They also rely on various “human” soldiers as units, with very simple drones as support.
But before going into detail, I’m going to sum up my method of unit classification.
Units are classified into one of 3 categories:
Basic: Typical cannon fodder, such as Lancers.
Advanced: Tougher and less common enemies, such as Shield Lancers.
Elite: Toughest of mooks, few but powerful, such as Heavies.
The spawnrate ratio of each class is about 14:4:1. In other words, for every 100 units, you get about 70 basic mooks, 20 advanced units and 5 elites.
Also I’m going under the assumption that counters to the existing stunlock have already been implemented. Rolling out of staggers, quick recovery from knockdowns, etc, to balance out certain movement-interrupting attacks that enemies have.
As for elements, each unit only gets one of the three damage types (impact, pierce, slash), and thus can only proc one of them. They can have additional elements however.
One additional adjustment: Armor becomes its own seperate health bar, akin to a non-regenerating shield over Flesh. All Grineers have Armor as well as Flesh, though some advanced units have shields above their armor. Unless otherwise specified, all units below are armored but not shielded.
Now let’s begin~
(If a unit’s name is colored red, that means a major re-work of mechanics is required. A green name means a new unit. If a unit is not on the list, that means no overhauling is necessary.)
General changes:
Ø  Change grenades from existing plasma grenades to frag grenades. Orange-red explosion, deals 0.75x damage to shields and 1.25x to health. Impact damage. (While we’re at it, make grenades more visible and increase explosion delay by one second. This applies to both Grineer and Corpus grenades)
Ø  Make them aim at a player’s location 0.3 seconds previously (slower reaction time basically), making it possible to dodge bullets through parkour despite them being hitscan.

Ø  Advanced, Slash
Ø  Uses the Grineer Tensarg, a chainsaw.
Ø  Chainsaws release a constant moderately loud whirring noise, notifying players of their presence.
Ø  Upon sight of a Tenno, they will sprint towards them with their chainsaw held out, dealing continuous contact damage if they successfully run into their target. While sprinting, they have max Loki speed. Can sprint for 10 straight seconds before requiring a 3 second break, during which they move slower and attempt to swing their chainsaws like normal blades.
Ø  Medium shields, medium health, low armor, fast and heavily damaging.
Ø  The chainsaw will be available as clantech, but we won’t go into detail here.
Ø  Starts appearing from Level 10+.
Ø  Basic, Slash
Ø  Replace single cleaver with dual cleavers. Double attack rate.
Ø  Advanced, Slash + Heat
Ø  Red armor
Ø  Replace out-of-place stunstick with dual flaming cleavers (i.e. cleavers with fire mod effects).  FlameBLADES with corpus stunsticks, wut. Actually, giving them a new blade weapon would be better, since Butchers have cleavers already. Maybe overhaul the Heat Sword into a Grineer weapon.
Ø  Teleporting behavior does not need changing.
Ø  Has a chance of igniting players.
Ø  Advanced, Impact + Shock
Ø  Speed up their charge speed significantly (i.e. 1.5 second charge time, excluding swing). They are the equivalent of a joke right now.
Ø  When charging up their “powerfists”, the fist will light up from electricity effects and release a crackling sound.
Ø  A successful hit will knock down the victim. Always inflicts shock.
Ø  Advanced melee, Impact + Shock
Ø  Dark Violet-armored female Grineers
Ø  Wields the Amphis. Shielded.
Ø  Upon spotting a Tenno, they can cast Volt’s Speed on themselves (not to other units) and rush the target in a zig-zag pattern. The Speed boost lasts for 15 seconds, doubling movement speed and attack speed.
Ø  Has a longer range than other melee units due to their weapon. Can jump and use ground pounds with the Amphis to make lightning shockwaves (staggers and induces shock, jumpable). Always starts a fight with the ground pound, 7 second recharge time.
Ø  Starts appearing from level 20+.
Ø  Elite, Slash
Ø  Re-work appearance, mostly the “helmet”. Also add a visable hook cannon to their arm.
Ø  New hook behavior: On successful hit, the hook knocks down the victim and drags them to her. The hook DOES NOT release unless 1. Scorpion is dead, or 2. Hooked target has not reached Scorpion in 5 seconds (i.e. stuck on terrain). While hooked and on the ground, the victim Tenno can use their sidearm to continue fighting, akin to being downed. (If out of pistol ammo, flailing with melee by mashing the melee button works, though not very effectively) When victim reaches the Scorpion, she will slash madly at the target in a killing frenzy dealing quick damage until killed, either by a teammate or by the victim. It’s like the Smoker from L4D except you can actually fight back while smoked.
Ø  If hook misses, same behavior as current (faster recovery from a missed hook shot of course).
Ø  Due to upgrade to Elite status, lower spawnrate but higher health + armor. Still no shields.
Non-heavy Ranged


Elite Lancers
Ø  Basic, Impact
Ø  Does NOT completely replace normal Lancers upon high enough level. Instead, starting from level 5, 10% of normal Lancers will spawn as Elite Lancers. Percentage increases by 2 as level increases by one, up to a cap of 90%.
Shield Lancers
Ø  Uncommon, Impact
Ø  Make the shield slightly larger, enough to cover the tip of the head from a completely horizontal angle, not enough to cover the feet.
Ø  Fix the goddamn hitbox on the shield bash.
Ø  AI upgrade: Stop moving their shields aside to shoot when another unit is taking cover behind them.
Ø  Uncommon, Impact
Ø  Give them teleportation powers: Will teleport away from Tenno if one is within a certain distance. Due to imperfect mass-produced technology, they can only teleport once every 20 seconds.
Seekers + Rollers
Ø  Uncommon, Impact (Seeker) Slash (Rollers) Blast (Latchers)
Ø  Rollers no longer spawn naturally on their own. Instead, each Seeker comes equipped with one Roller that they will deploy on sight of a Tenno. (Solves: Rollers ruining stealth runs with their 360 degree vision, roller spam resulting in stunlocks, Seekers being a one-trick pony)
Ø  Rollers will be destroyed if respective Seekers are killed before deploying them.
Ø  Rollers take damage as well upon impacting a player. 10% health per hit, meaning they will self-destruct (explodes for bonus damage) after 10 hits.
Ø  Seeker AI upgrade: Will attempt to hide in cover while continuously deploying Latchers, only resorting to the Kraken if found (i.e. took damage from a player or line of sight to one within a certain distance). Tenno have to hunt him down.
Ø  Latcher damage increase.
Ø  Uncommon, Heat
Ø  Add 1 second warm-up period before their Ignis can fire. Ignis nozzle lights up and releases unique hissing noises during period. This gives time for players to react, solving the issue of players getting insta-gibbed by ambushes.
Ø  Slight decrease to their damage scaling on higher levels.
Ø  Helmet change (Gas mask is more fitting).
Ø  Uncommon, Impact (Gun) Blast (rockets)
Ø  Remove guided feature to missile barrage, making the barrage akin to a shotgun rocket launcher instead of 12 Bombards firing in unison, and thus dodgable without forcing players to cower behind cover or die instantly.
Ø  Make their jetpacks explode when shot, damaging the Hellion (and potentially players) and staggering them instead of fizzling away anti-climatically. Jetpacks destroyed mid-flight results in a ragdoll instead of a stagger.
Ø  When the jetpack flies off after Hellion death, give them a delay of 2 seconds after impacting a surface before exploding (will be stuck onto said surface unless it’s a player/enemy), so players can actually avoid them.
Ø  Elite, Impact
Ø  Remove Switch Teleport ability
Ø  Allow Commanders to shout orders to nearby Grineers, i.e. COMMAND them. Orders are classified into two types, Random-triggered and Ability-triggered.
Ø  Random-triggered: Randomly shouted orders. Examples: THROW GRENADE (all affected Grineers throw grenades in unison, not necessarily at the same target), CHARGE (all affected Grineers ignore cover and zerg rush the Tenno). These orders will provide some variety to enemy behavior, forcing players to react accordingly. Particularly effective at flushing Tenno out of cover.
Ø  Ability-triggered: Triggered when a player uses an ability. Commanders only register said abilities if they can see them. Examples: THAT’S A FAKE YOU DIMWITS (response to Decoy/Moults. Grineers will ignore said Decoy after command), KEEP YOUR DISTANCE (response to traps such as Vauban skills. Grineers will attempt to stay away from said traps instead of rushing in like lemmings.), CEASE FIRE/TAKE COVER (response to defensive skills like Snow Globe/Absorb. Grineers will stop shooting and take cover, thus not feeding an Absorb/making it harder to shoot them from within a snow globe.)
Ø  Give them a different gun maybe?
Ø  Elite, Slash
Ø  Give them two firing modes, a reverse to our Miters.
Ø  Normal mode: Fires blades at half the current fire rate. Blades do not bounce.
Ø  Charged mode: 2 second charge time (makes clanging sounds of blades being loaded up). Upon fire, releases 6 consecutive blades at twice current fire rate. Blades bounce, but have halved damage per blade.
Ø  Due to upgrading to elite status, reduce spawn rate but up health + shields.
Ø  Elites
Ø  Make shockwaves jumpable, like that of Shockwave Moas.
Ø  CC resistant: Immune to stagger attacks. Knockdown attacks are reduced to staggers.
Ø  Blast
Ø  Reduce rocket homing capabilities (seriously, those things can do friggin’ u-turns right now).
Ø  Increase rocket flight speed.
Ø  Heat
Ø  Fix the goddamn hitboxes.
Ø  Decrease explosive range of napalm shots.
Ø  Knockdown shockwave replaced with a Ring of Fire (same method of trigger).
Ø  Blast
Ø  Wields a pipebomb launcher (will be available as clantech). Pipebombs differ from normal grenades in that they can bounce off surfaces instead of sticking to them, and can roll slightly on the ground from momentum.
Ø  Bombs activate after impacting a surface. 3 second count down before explosion after activation. Exception when bombs directly impact a Tenno, then they explode instantly. High damage explosions (i.e. 250 damage per bomb by level 20).
Ø  3 shots per clip, Lex firerate.
Ø  Role: Flush players out of cover, arcing and bouncing grenades mean less hiding places for the Tenno and more for the Grenadier.
Ø  Starts appearing from level 20+.
That’s about it for now, it’s not like the Grineers are in need of a lot of new units considering they kinda have double the unit variety of the other factions right now, it’s just that their existing units aren’t very good. There ARE other units I have in mind, but those are tileset-specific, so they’ll be in a later chapter dedicated to planet-specific tilesets.
That’s it for Chapter 1. Any comments? Write them down below and let's get some discussions going :o I’ll start writing Chapter 2 for the Corpus some other day.
Until then I’m going back to bed.

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Wow... lots of great ideas in here that will definately improve the 'fun' factor of the game, by removing a lot of those stupid insta-death moments, and making the enemies more intuitive and not so monotonous to kill.

I especially like the changes you suggested for the commanders:


Ø Remove Switch Teleport ability

Ø Allow Commanders to shout orders to nearby Grineers, i.e. COMMAND them. Orders are classified into two types, Random-triggered and Ability-triggered."

At the moment commanders are just annoying to the player. They aren't hard to deal with, and they are just tedious. With these changes I would find myself enjoying seeing a commander, especially in a mission like a survival, where continuous chaotic slaughtering of 'sheep' charging in one at a time to be massacred could be changed into an interesting and exciting battle, with an organised enemy and a target to take out in order to make them less efficient (although i'd consider leaving them alive to make it more fun).

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