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Reworking Sub-Par Frames


Sixty5
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For a long time damage dealing frames have received the short end of the stick in regards to late game use. Their abilities scale into baby scratches and any buffs they receive give utility, which is fine, but for many it compromises what they are about.


Hence I've been playing the hell out of 3 of the Frames that really have fallen off in use, or only find use through roles that don't fit the rest of their kit. Specifically, I will be looking at Excalibur, Ember and Saryn.


(Note, these analyses were done before 14.6 and the recent discussions about Excalibur, so bear that in mind)


 


Excalibur



To start we need to look at the problems with his kit. Two of his abilities deal direct damage, one putting him into danger and the other taking half a year to cast for mediocre damage output. In addition another of his abilities only adds a small degree of mobility to his kit.


Historically I have always looked at Excal as a very mobile frame, indeed, I'd have put him at the top of the list for mobility. However with the release of Zephyr Excal has lost a lot of his usefulness in terms of mobility, since her first ability does a better job than his two mobility powers combined.


However, early game Excal is great, as his abilities are good teachers about how to react to situations, and help newer players pick up skills, hence compromising on this early game play is something that any balance changes should avoid.


 


So what Excalibur needs is the ability to dish out the damage later on, a bit more safety and a reason to use his mobility later on.


With that in mind I propose these changes.


(Any aspect not mentioned here can be assumed to stay the same)


 


Slash Dash:


Ability will initially deal 30% of the targets CURRENT health in direct damage, if this is less than the regular damage number, additional damage will be dealt up until this point.


Direct damage is not boosted by power strength and ignores 90% of an enemy's damage reduction.


In addition all other abilities can be cast whilst dashing without animation. Radial Blind and Javelin will not interrupt the dash, Super Jump however will.


 


Radial Blind: (Post U14.6)


Requires line of sight, though at a lower degree than in the 14.6 changes. Enemies will not block LOS. Blinded enemies will take 50% additional damage from his abilities.


 


Super Jump:


Now damages nearby enemies upon landing.


Deals 150/200/250/300 Blast Damage in a 3/4/4/5m radius upon landing. Additionally enemies hit with the blast will be knocked down.


This effect will occur regardless of the height reached by your jump.


In addition all other abilities can be cast whilst using Super Jump.


 


Radial Javelin:


Damage reduced to 750 per Javelin.


Javelins hitting targets will deal their regular damage , followed up by additional damage equal to 50% of the targets missing health in direct damage.


Targets struck with multiple javelins will take an additional 10% extra direct damage for each additional javelin, as well as the initial damage


Direct damage is not boosted by power strength and ignores 90% of an enemy's damage reduction.


Javelins gain 0.5/0.6/0.8/1m of Punch Through


Javelins will now target enemies in line of sight. If the number of javelins created is greater than the number of targets present, multiple will target each enemy prioritising enemies nearest to Excalibur.


 


 


So why these changes? To start it doesn't stop Excal from doing anything he is doing already. Initially I had planned to leave radial blind blank, since it was doing alight as it was, though after 14.6 and 14.6.1 it is assumed that the LOS change will be happening.


The biggest changes are to his first and final abilities, giving them both direct damage means that both will remain relevant right up into the endgame.


Slash dash dealing damage based on current health means that it works best as an initiation tool, encouraging the player to charge in with it to get as much damage in as possible. Subsequent strikes will deal less damage, so picking your targets becomes much more important.


Radial Javelin will now deal additional damage based on how weakened a target is. A single javelin for instance will always kill a target on 30% health of less, regardless of what level they are or how much armour they are wearing. The reduced damage on it was added to keep its base damage on about the same level as it is now. Additionally it becomes incredibly potent when facing smaller groups of enemies, as all Javelins will now target something.


The second big change is the freedom to use abilities at any point. Being able to hit blind while dashing means that you can freely charge in, knowing that any enemy who might want to shoot at you is now looking for a guide dog instead of firing their gin.


Finally the changes to super jump give Excal a tad more utility and encourages players to use it as an initiation tool.


 


Overall these changes have little impact on Excalibur earlygame, yet later on they mean that he can deal significant damage through his powers  and encourage greater use of his mobility while rewarding good timing of power use.



 


Saryn



Saryn is a rather interesting frame, she is poison/toxin theme, but her powers don't really gel together. She was good in the past, but that was because of the relative strength of her powers particularly Miasma.


The only consistent theme that she has is killing targets in unpleasant ways, hence my goal was to improve Saryns killpower in the late game, as well as making her abilities work together.


 


Venom:


Name changed to Contagion (Seriously)


Spores that are popped now create 2/4/6/8 additional spores.


Applying a new spore to a target will refresh the duration of all spores


Hitting a target with a spore will apply a Seeping Poison DOT that deals 0.25% damage per second for 4 seconds


 


Molt:


Hitting a target will apply a Seeping Poison DOT that deals 0.5% damage per second for 4 seconds


 


Contagion:


Name changed to Venom


While active all melee hits will return 5% of damage done as Health


Hitting a target will apply a Seeping Poison DOT that deals 0.25% damage per second for 4 seconds


 


Miasma:


Ability now is centred on Saryn, dealing damage in a radius around her.


Similar to how Banshee's Silence works


Hitting a target will apply a Seeping Poison DOT that deals 1% damage per second for 4 seconds


 


Unique Passive: Seeping Toxin


Hitting an enemy with damage from any ability will deal 1/2/1/4% (in order of respective ability) max health damage in 4 ticks over 4 seconds. Hitting an enemy with additional power damage will refresh the duration and stack the dot damage.


For venom this only applies on an enemy being hit with an additional spores


To explain, an enemy hit with miasma will start taking 1% of their health in damage each second for 4 seconds, on being hit with the next tick the duration will reset and the damage will increase to 2% per tick, on the third it will increase to 3% and so on.


A Miasma cast with no duration mods will deal 1/2/3/4/4/4/4% of a targets Health in additional direct damage totalling 22% of a targets health in additional damage extra damage if all 4 ticks hit an enemy.


Damage dealt is rounded down, if the DOT would be lower than 1hp it would deal no damage.


DOT is capped at 10% per tick.


 


Wow a unique passive!


What these changes aim to do is to give Saryn back some of her old face-melting power without making her overly oppressive at lower levels.


The changes to her first ability bring back a bit of its old nastiness while keeping it a tad more tame. The Passive damage it gets may well be a tad too high, though that shouldn't be too hard to rebalance.


The changes to her third ability are a bit more dramatic as they give her a tad more survivability with some innate lifesteal, it doesn't fit her theme as such but it makes her work better gameplay wise, again the passive damage would need a bit of a look


Miasma gets the brunt of the effect, without any mods it will deal at least 22% of a targets health. The passive also means that increasing the duration on Miasma has a real positive effect on the skill, letting it build up the DOT a bit more and allowing more focus on its stun effect as well.


Not really much more to say, I'd really like to be able to playtest these changes to see their actual effects in order to scale them correctly.



 


Ember



Ember is meant to be a frame that slings off constant fireballs and burns everything in her path to a fine ash. She doesn't do that at all. Her entire kit is based on damage, and yet as soon as she starts moving into the late game she simply lacks the damage that she needs to kill things, reducing her in effect to a poor-mans Nova or Banshee.


Simply giving Ember utility in the same way that Oberon did would turn her from a blazing inferno to an oil lamp, useful, but not nearly as much fun.


With that in mind Fire Blast is a rather outdated skill, it worked alright back in the days of overheat when ember could sit in her ring of fire sponging damage and burning everything to death with her 2, 3 and 4 all up at once.


Really what Ember needs is a rework of her third skill and the ability to do a lot more damage later on.


 


Fire Blast:


Replace that lame ring of fire with the massive blast that Eximus Units get.


New Fire Blast:


Cost: 75 Energy


Creates an expanding wall of fire that damages and knocks down any enemy in its path.


Deals 100/150/200/300 Fire damage in a 10/13/17/20m Radius. Wall expands out at 4m/s


Power is boosted by Strength and Range mods.


 


Unique Passive:


Intense Flames


Damaging an enemy with an ability grants Ember 10% additional power damage for 10 seconds. This effect can be stacked and has its duration refreshed any time Ember casts a power.


This effect can only be applied once per cast of a power.


The timer for this passive shown on the bottom right of your screen, just above the other stats, and is paused during the intermissions of Defence and Interception missions.


 


Unique passive number two!


Changing Fire Blast to what the Eximus Units use gives Ember some much needed CC, without compromising what she does.


The real change comes with her new passive mechanics. Allowing Ember to stack up power damage means that she scales extremely well in long games, and is able to stay relevant as a source of damage.


With her passive, Ember play would become a lot about energy management in order to keep her stacks up.



 


Anyways, that is all I have for now, feel free to ask any questions that you have and all feedback is welcome.


Cheers 


Edited by Sixty5
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I agree with this topic.

This and increasing the Ember armor from 15 to 65 and the speed from 1 to something like 1.2/1.25 , cause I think it's the ONLY warframe  that has that low armor and it makes her fall down pretty fast even on low level missions when under fire, plus the added speed can make her become pretty squishy compared as she is right now, trading shields and health for nothing at all.

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I agree with this topic.

This and increasing the Ember armor from 15 to 65 and the speed from 1 to something like 1.2/1.25 , cause I think it's the ONLY warframe  that has that low armor and it makes her fall down pretty fast even on low level missions when under fire, plus the added speed can make her become pretty squishy compared as she is right now, trading shields and health for nothing at all.

15 -> 65 armor doesn't make much difference, and Ember doesn't fit the speed. She isn't exactly a frame that needs to go fast either. I'd rather just let her scale into a blazing inferno

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I'm on board with a lot of the ideas mentioned here. With Excalibur I would like to add, as he's largely considered a melee-type frame, to increase his stamina pool to 150 (same as Valkyr and Hydroid), and his sprint speed to, I don't know... 1.15, 1.2 maybe? Also Radial Javelin desperately, desperately needs innate punch through. Not Lanka-extreme, but enough to go through at least one enemy or door.

 

Saryn... I really don't know how she's been left in the state she is in for this long. Sounds silly but probably the biggest niggle with me is the naming of her first and third abilities - the names should clearly be switched, as you pointed out.

 

Ember's third ability being akin to the arson eximus' AoE effect would be sweet! That silly ring it has at the moment... it just serves no purpose. The 100% proc on the initial cast is really useful though.

 

The passives are a cool idea, and something I've toyed with, but if you give them to these guys that means all the frames should have them, and keeping them balanced, lore-friendly, and intrinsic to the frame's nature... that'd be quite an undertaking!

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Guest Tehnoobshow

What? I like this variant of it.

Pure damage abilities are useless. Excalibur doesn't need more CC, he already has Radial Blind. People are going to complain about the knockdown radius ruining stealth. Making Super Jump a reskin of Dive Bomb is rather uninnovative. Why not make Super Jump a defensive ability? Excal doesn't have any of those.

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Pure damage abilities are useless. Excalibur doesn't need more CC, he already has Radial Blind. People are going to complain about the knockdown radius ruining stealth. Making Super Jump a reskin of Dive Bomb is rather uninnovative. Why not make Super Jump a defensive ability? Excal doesn't have any of those.

It is already about as defensive as it is going to get in terms of jumping away.

Giving it innate knockdown is the main focus. It means that Excal can jump right into the middle of a group of enemies, stunning them and giving you a window to hit Radial Javelin.

Plus at 10 energy a pop it is a bargin.

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I'm on board with a lot of the ideas mentioned here. With Excalibur I would like to add, as he's largely considered a melee-type frame, to increase his stamina pool to 150 (same as Valkyr and Hydroid), and his sprint speed to, I don't know... 1.15, 1.2 maybe? Also Radial Javelin desperately, desperately needs innate punch through. Not Lanka-extreme, but enough to go through at least one enemy or door.

 

Saryn... I really don't know how she's been left in the state she is in for this long. Sounds silly but probably the biggest niggle with me is the naming of her first and third abilities - the names should clearly be switched, as you pointed out.

 

Ember's third ability being akin to the arson eximus' AoE effect would be sweet! That silly ring it has at the moment... it just serves no purpose. The 100% proc on the initial cast is really useful though.

 

The passives are a cool idea, and something I've toyed with, but if you give them to these guys that means all the frames should have them, and keeping them balanced, lore-friendly, and intrinsic to the frame's nature... that'd be quite an undertaking!

I did include punch through in my RJ description.

 

Also the passive thing is something I've wanted for a long time, I'd have added more here but I'm only concerned with the three frames in question for now.

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Excalibro I retired a long time ago and haven't really used him since other than for lulz. I liked the Ember changes, but would like to see her armor and speed increased (at least on Ember prime, I mean come on wtf worst prime upgrade ever, no extra polarities or benefits at all) as well. The Saryn changes seem good, but in fact are a massive nerf. My Miasma lasts a solid amount of time before the damage falls off (level 60+), and Venom (though I totally agree with your name switching, referring to current 1 skill) procs viral almost every time I use it. If they just changed the proc chance to 100% on all spores it would be the single best damage ability in late game as a viral proc means -50% HP and isn't a direct damage skill at all.

 

My main concerns are Ember would still be too squishy and slow to use compared to my Ash and your proposed Saryn changes are such a massive nerf I'd probably forma her last ability slot off and just run a full set of survivability mods instead lol. I didn't play this game back during the Overheat days, but there is no way I'd bring a 740 shield/hp frame with no armor and snail speed into a long T4 or any other long mission where enemies have guns at all for that matter. She needs more speed and either a sizable armor buff or some version of Overheat returned. Getting 1-2 shot by random mobs 30m in doesn't cut it, especially since World on Fire isn't a toggle yet and therefore requires a group of corrupted mods instead of the usual 2 (BR and FE). Excalibur changes are still a flat nerf, if I have to sit through a full 3-5s radial javelin cast and it isn't doing at least maxed out Miasma level damage with the same mods there is no point in running it. Super Jump damage is irrelevant, Slash dash sounds borderline OP but since that is all he would have left worth taking probably not so bad.

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I'm thinking that with fire blast the ring of fire should stay, but also add the eximus fire storm. Or for a more powerful effect, have the area denial of fire blast spread over the distance that the eximus blast covers, making this ability less like a little fire ring and more like a large (and filled in, unlike how it is now) circle of fire.

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Excalibro I retired a long time ago and haven't really used him since other than for lulz. I liked the Ember changes, but would like to see her armor and speed increased (at least on Ember prime, I mean come on wtf worst prime upgrade ever, no extra polarities or benefits at all) as well. The Saryn changes seem good, but in fact are a massive nerf. My Miasma lasts a solid amount of time before the damage falls off (level 60+), and Venom (though I totally agree with your name switching, referring to current 1 skill) procs viral almost every time I use it. If they just changed the proc chance to 100% on all spores it would be the single best damage ability in late game as a viral proc means -50% HP and isn't a direct damage skill at all.

 

My main concerns are Ember would still be too squishy and slow to use compared to my Ash and your proposed Saryn changes are such a massive nerf I'd probably forma her last ability slot off and just run a full set of survivability mods instead lol. I didn't play this game back during the Overheat days, but there is no way I'd bring a 740 shield/hp frame with no armor and snail speed into a long T4 or any other long mission where enemies have guns at all for that matter. She needs more speed and either a sizable armor buff or some version of Overheat returned. Getting 1-2 shot by random mobs 30m in doesn't cut it, especially since World on Fire isn't a toggle yet and therefore requires a group of corrupted mods instead of the usual 2 (BR and FE). Excalibur changes are still a flat nerf, if I have to sit through a full 3-5s radial javelin cast and it isn't doing at least maxed out Miasma level damage with the same mods there is no point in running it. Super Jump damage is irrelevant, Slash dash sounds borderline OP but since that is all he would have left worth taking probably not so bad.

To start, the Saryn, and all the other changes would be in addition to current skills. If I did not explicitly mention a change that part of the ability would still operate the same. Miasma would still put out the same damage that it does now, as would the rest of her skills. 

 

As for Ember, I have no problems with running Banshee in T4 and she is just as squishy. The new fire blast and Accelerant would be more than enough to keep most enemies locked down.

 

To Excal, I can't see how it would be a nerf. He isn't losing anything that he already has.

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I see. Saryn changes make more sense now. Was sitting here like... wat. lol

 

I don't personally run a Banshee but I have run sound quake comps before. Banshee stayed in the bubble (+ trinity but was post nerf so reactive blessings) and had no problems but that was defense. Survival would be a different story imo. Radial Javelin does more damage currently then you had suggested (maybe substantially more, can't recall offhand but IIRC it's ~330 I/P/S. Unless you mean 50% of remaining and not 50% of missing, 750 isn't even a drop in a bucket HP wise late game.

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I just cant take this seriously without Nekros

I haven't got to looking at nekros yet. These proposed changes are the result of a lot of playtime and thought. 

I'll get to Nekros at some point, but I have to get into that mindset.

 

I see. Saryn changes make more sense now. Was sitting here like... wat. lol

 

I don't personally run a Banshee but I have run sound quake comps before. Banshee stayed in the bubble (+ trinity but was post nerf so reactive blessings) and had no problems but that was defense. Survival would be a different story imo. Radial Javelin does more damage currently then you had suggested (maybe substantially more, can't recall offhand but IIRC it's ~330 I/P/S. Unless you mean 50% of remaining and not 50% of missing, 750 isn't even a drop in a bucket HP wise late game.

Miasma being centered around saryn is a small change, it just means that +duration builds work a tad differently.

As for radial Javelin it would dish out more damage than it does now.The damage per health missing makes it work better if enemies have been hit already. A slash dash + Radial Javelin will do ~45% of any targets health in damage 

Furthermore the %Damage is applied after the initial 750 damage, so in a sense it is self buffing. You will deal 750 + (750 * 0.5) damage to a target will full HP, that 1125 damage base, 125 more than it currently deals. 

The big buff to it is the targeting and the puncture, set up a Vortex full of enemies and fire off a RJ and the damage you'll throw out is insane.

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I like the idea with Ember. 

 

Can't say i'm onboard with the othertwo as I don't play them much and Don't feel I have a right to comment on your change ideas.

Indeed. Playing the frames and getting a feel for them is rather important for figuring out what tgey need.

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Why is it that no one on the forums can think of a way to make Super Jump useful?

 

"All Slam attacks initiated by the Excalibur Warframe gain a damage multiplier and radius that scales with the distance fallen."

 

Excalibur players will suddenly start looking at maps in a whole new light.

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Thank you for your feedback it is valuable and in depth.

 

I shall take it to heart.

 

"Late game" is at most level 40 enemies. If you are aiming any higher you are missing the point. End Game is not wave 50 Endless. We don't need to make frames able to kill level 100 enemies, we need to balance them to get decent challenge up to level 30, with tougher enemies being at most lev 60 when we get "specials".

 

You are trying to balance "endless". It is NOT what this game is about. Stop scaling abilities to match "infinity".

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Guest Tehnoobshow

"All Slam attacks initiated by the Excalibur Warframe gain a damage multiplier and radius that scales with the distance fallen."

 

Excalibur players will suddenly start looking at maps in a whole new light.

Unless it deals damage comparable to the old Heavy Impact, I highly doubt that most people are still going to use it, considering that I have never seen a Zephyr use Dive Bomb.
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