Jump to content

An Enemy Interaction/variety Solution... From Planet Pandora.


Recommended Posts

Preface: If nobody here has heard of me, that is fine. I've lurked the Warframe forums- at most- primarily to dodge the rather crazy crossfire that can happen in these places.

After witnessing the slow and gradual burnout going on for the more veteran Warframe players, I (as a sort of vet from CBT times) decided it was for the better if I also took some break from the game. I decided to get back into Borderlands 2... which began to spark some ideas in my mind. Despite the rather homogenous amount of true interaction in BL2 (compounded by the disappointing lack of insane permutations for Active Abilities), I have to admit that Gearbox may have already solved the same enemy design problems that are plaguing Warframe as of today. Many of BL2's enemies (including some of the more basic Bandit types) have unique survival tools that extends their lives past a couple bullets and gives them more ways to fight back against the powerful player characters, which ends up turning many enemy types into genuinely interesting & memorable encounters (although Black Hole Threshers be damned). I would love to see how applying some of BL2's solutions can alleviate Warframe's enemy variety issues. Heck, may of BL2's enemies solved this very problem WITHOUT resorting to instant stuns!
(Yes I know that I'm referencing to an FPSRPG and not a third-person space-ninja action game, but even with the different set of challenges that designing a not-F2P FPS entails, GBX could have easily chosen to give +50% of their enemy types a stun attack of some sort... and they did not.)

Given how malleable Warframe's development is right now (plus the major features that are certainly taking the most dev time at the moment), I'd like to start with a more basic type of interaction that would spice up fights with enemies and open up to further levels of enemy interaction variety:

Limb damage. Yes, I went there.

Now let's start with legs. Most enemies (except for flying ones, of course!) run on legs. In Borderlands 2, you can specifically damage human enemies' legs to slow them down to a crawl and/or even reduce their accuracy. Now apply this to Warframe- What if you could shoot a Grineer's [or Crewman's] leg to make him limp, or even force him to miss his critical shots due to that leg damage? What if you can remove the legs of a bipedal Infested enemy to slow them down anywhere from 90% run speed to Crawler speeds? How would you think enemy swarms at both high and low levels would perform and feel when their legs can be disabled?

Let's talk arm damage in Borderlands 2 now. Many humanoid enemies (primarily Bandits and Hyperion soldiers) wield a gun of some sort, and their arms could be shot to *reduce* their accuracy or even interrupt their attacks. Now we could apply arm (and even gun) damage to Warframe's current stock of humanoid enemies. Again, let's start with the almighty Grineer. Most (or all?) of the Grineer foot-soldiers hold weapons by hand. If you were able to disable a Grineer's wielding hand, then s/he would suffer from either an accuracy, reload speed, or even reliability penalty. You missed a Lancer's head but shot his right hand and Grakata? Now his gun is jammed and he is forced to un-jam it with a reload, giving you a chance to exploit. I would assume that Heavy enemies are more resilient to this sort of effect, but they should *not* in any circumstance be 100% immune to such an interaction. We could take it even further with Heavies- What if disabling a Heavy's left arm *disabled* their Slam until their normal cooldown expires? They could still shoot you up badly but now they're unable to cop you out with their usual stun for some time.
Now let's apply arm damage to Infested. Say you disabled a Charger's front leg with a Boltor shot, and it tried to attack you with its disabled leg. Its damage potential (or even its attack speed) could be reduced by a feasible amount. Ancients? Say its arm is outstretched and it missed you. If you shot up its attacking arm enough, then that arm would stop working altogether.

The Corpus rely heavily on robot proxies to help fight their wars (and make sales as a primary means of income, I would assume), and the Hyperion corporation of BL2 makes unusually similar employments. Their robot Loader units have heavy armor (and some may even have similar energy Shields, but I can't remember right now) but they can be countered by dealing damage to their limbs. (Those Loaders are actually how I got the idea for how Infested would behave with limb damage!) How about Corpus flyers, especially those rather annoying Ospreys? What if you could *literally* bring them down to your level by damaging their wings? If you shot up a Drone's wing to uselessness, then it would lose both altitude and flying speed, allowing you more chances to shoot it up even further. Even better, what if applying Electric/Radiation damage to its main body stunned it for a tiny moment?

Why would I start with bodily damage effects? I feel that this sort of interaction would be easier to implement compared to more complex systems that I have yet to flesh out, plus it would help out players of ALL levels- from the 1000+ hour veterans taking on high-end Void, Survival, and Defense missions, to the brand-new players.

Now imagine this- a Grineer Bombard is about to one-shot a veteran rank 30 6-Forma'd Rhino Prime... but the Bombard staggers, and finds he can't fire for several seconds. How? A rather low-level Excalibur stunned the Bombard's right arm and Ogris with a couple well-placed shots from his Braton. The tides turned from "Everybody will 100% die" to "A second chance." How would this work out? I would suggest that the Proc Chance stat be put to good use here! Higher Proc Chance could equate to less shots needed to stun an enemy's limb. (Emphasizing higher Proc Chance in this manner would *maybe* lead to a buff for the Proc Chance mods as well... Hopefully.)

Limb damage on the Tenno, you may ask? Sadly I haven't thought that far with my current ideas, and I seriously do not want to compound players with yet more agency-removing knockdowns than what already exists. (Grenades, Heavy Shockwaves, Ogris, Mines, Ancient attacks, Leaper lunges, Hellion rockets, Grineer Leader teleports, Scorpions, Shield Lancers, Snipers, Rollers, Laser traps, Caustic Eximi, Shockwave Moas, Anti-Moas, Zanuka's slowdown, Lephantis, what else...)

One final advice that I want to hand out when it comes to all this, specifically aimed at DE: When you have free time away from work/Warframe, play Borderlands 2. Closely observe how each enemy type deals with your characters and how those enemies' tools could be applied or re-purposed in Warframe... WITHOUT resorting to a Tenno stun.


So, how does my suggestion feel in relation to the rest of Warframe? Would this extra form of interaction put in a bit more of that much-needed spice for Warframe's combat variety? Why or why not? What would YOU suggest to further improve on this suggestion, or how would you make it fit better in the in-game universe?
(And please do not answer with "One more way to stun stagger knock disable remove agency from Tenno." I'm watching out for that.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may be a minority, but you know what I actually sort of miss? That brief period of time at the start of Damage 2.0 when the Corpus Crewmen were immune to headshot damage. Unlike every other enemy in the game that falls under the "aim for the face 'til it dies" strategy, we actually had an enemy that discouraged that monotonous strategy, and combined with their tendency to hide their bodies behind cover, the Crewmen actually become rather durable enemies despite being one of the squishiest ones in the game. If you ask me it was an enemy done right, even if it was unintentional.


I bring this up because I agree that adding different ways to kill an enemy besides pouring ammo in their face is an easy way for the Devs to add some long needed variety and change up the way we engage them without having to do any extensive AI overhauls. While it would probably be useless for fodder enemies like Lancers (which is arguably okay since both the players and devs want their target dummies anyway) it would definitely be interesting to see Heavies and maybe even Mini-boss enemies that are highly resilient to the traditional tactic of "point Soma at it until it's dead" but can still be dealt it quickly if you take a more precise and strategic approach to killing them. Right now the MOA is the only enemy that really encourages a different approach (their ammo-pack on their back takes x3 damage) but even they still take headshot damage anyway so it's a bit superfluous.


In addition to injuring enemies' limbs, the old idea of destroyable armor is always an option as well. We already have it in the form of Crewmen's helmets being breakable, so why not Grineer plating? So as not to make Corrosive damage obsolete, Corrosive weaponry could possibly accelerate the rate at which a specific piece of armor becomes frail and breaks completely as you pour damage into that spot. For the Infested they could bring back the ability to dismember them; I particularly like the idea of blasting off an Ancient Disruptor's arm so as to prevent it from siphoning your energy.

Edited by Paradoxbomb
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...