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[Discussion] Cooldowns Vs. Energy Orbs (Again)


rhoenix
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Auxy's thread about game design got me thinking about this idea, and how this concept variates across several games I've played.

 

Many people have pointed out already that Warframe once used cooldowns, but replaced them in favor of the energy orb system due to people sticking around and waiting for their cooldowns to finish - considering this game is nearly all movement, that tended to slow down gameplay.

 

Auxy pointed out, however, that the energy orb system makes abilities feel unreliable due to the varying amounts of energy one has and the amount of energy orbs randomly dropped by enemies, and makes those Warframe abilities only to be used as a supplement to guns and melee weapons, regardless of their utility in specific times.

 

Several players have mentioned that in games such as ME3's multiplayer, it was in fact quite possible to play as a caster type, rarely firing a gun at all with some character classes in favor of constant use of abilities.  Because of the awesome factor of the abilities in Warframe currently, I think that both playstyles should be possible for any Warframe.

 

My thoughts on this are that with the Mod system currently in place, cooldown times could in fact be managed very easily. Mods such as Flow and Streamline could help customize a Warframe's loadout to be biased toward the use of abilities, reducing total cooldown times and increasing the raw power behind abilities at the expensive of boosting shields or armor.  Flow in this case would be used to reduce total cooldown times for abilities, while Streamline would be removed, or changed to allow more rapid casting of abilities.

 

If the cooldowns decreased with increasing levels of a Warframe's abilities, then this coupled with Mods would make cooldowns completely viable for use, and would therefore require a re-examination of Warframes' abilities for balance. Of course, this would mean Flow & Streamline should then become uncommons instead of rares due to their utility. 

 

For instance, an Excalibur's Slash Dash could take 5 seconds to finish cooldown at rank 1, but at the maximum rank of 4, the cooldown would be reduced to a base of 2 seconds.  Mods such as Flow & Streamline could then be used to reduce it further, allowing a player to bias a Warframe's setup to either focus on damage & survivability or ability power & speed.  Being able to choose to use guns/melee first and abilities second, or abilities first and guns/melee second would add some definite dimensions to Warframe gameplay.

 

In conclusion, with the Mod system now in place, a cooldown system for abilities is quite viable.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

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I dislike the idea of CD, even though I thought alot about this subject.

Thing is, I like the resouce management, with the energy system. The reason why some abilities aren't used, isn't because they are useless, but because they are not up to standard, of other methods of playing, and people want to min/max their stuff...

so no to CD based abilities, this should not be downgraded to a less deep/complex game, by just giving Cooldown to everything...

one note though, if you where mag and could equip pull... would you do it? or spend those precious points on more survival?

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I prefer the energy orbs. It makes this game standout a little more amongst conventional rpg's, plus it works well with the idea that the warframes are pieces of equipment that need a fuel source to function as opposed to just waiting to recharge. It also makes the player strategize on how to use their abilities at the right time which adds depth to the game play.

Edited by GIMO
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Retroperspect, on 22 Apr 2013 - 4:09 PM, said:

I dislike the idea of CD, even though I thought alot about this subject. Thing is, I like the resouce management, with the energy system. The reason why some abilities aren't used, isn't because they are useless, but because they are not up to standard, of other methods of playing, and people want to min/max their stuff... so no to CD based abilities, this should not be downgraded to a less deep/complex game, by just giving Cooldown to everything... one note though, if you where mag and could equip pull... would you do it? or spend those precious points on more survival?

This is actually a perfect example. If I were playing on the Mag and the cooldown system were in place, I'd use Pull all the time. All The Time.

It's extraordinarily useful, but I only use it as often as I do now because I have both Streamline and Flow at impressive levels.

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You don't address the original problem of people waiting around. Nukes will still have to have long cooldowns, even with reduction mods, and will still cause small delays in gameplay.

 

Its fine for small skills, but I imagine it was never a problem for those skills in the beginning.

 

So I vote no, sorry.

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screw cool down screw blue orbs

 

 

Give us energy syphon with a slightly better rate (Since we allmost allways have  energy syphon on)+give us the possibility to send energy to a mate to rise the coop game...

 

Ninja on the batle field should not run after stupid balls

Edited by Tsoe
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Why are cooldowns and energy always mutually exclusive?

 

Why not moderate cooldowns, and an energy pool?

 

Mods effecting energy wouldn't need much tweaking and then the devs could easily make mods that effect cooldowns.  Rare or beyond rare mods could effect both.

 

I'd really like to see a passive energy regen for every frame, but at a different rate for each frame.

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You don't address the original problem of people waiting around. Nukes will still have to have long cooldowns, even with reduction mods, and will still cause small delays in gameplay.

 

Its fine for small skills, but I imagine it was never a problem for those skills in the beginning.

 

So I vote no, sorry.

 

Fair enough, but I would point out again that even in the case of Ultimates, once the ultimate skill itself is at a sufficient level, the cooldown would be reduced down to the point where it would be if you were on the energy orb system.  With Flow and Streamline, the cooldown would be reduced down to a few seconds, enough to approximate letting off your Ult, grabbing a single orb, and then immediately using your Ult. again.

 

Meanwhile, while the Ult. is recharging, you'd still have your other abilities to use.  This would actually encourage the use of lower level skills more, exactly for this reason.

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Why are cooldowns and energy always mutually exclusive?

 

Why not moderate cooldowns, and an energy pool?

 

Mods effecting energy wouldn't need much tweaking and then the devs could easily make mods that effect cooldowns.  Rare or beyond rare mods could effect both.

 

I'd really like to see a passive energy regen for every frame, but at a different rate for each frame.

 

An interesting idea, but how would the idea of cooldowns be incorporated with the energy system?  In this case, the utility of one system seems to preclude the utility of the other.

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The only frame I have is Mag, and I haven't found Streamline or Flow yet.  The only power I use is Crush, pretty much.  I'd love to use Pull more, but doing so means I probably won't be able to use Crush when I need to, and the guns do plenty of work without abilities being necessary.

 

I'm guessing I won't feel as hampered by the current system once I've played more and gotten the cards I need (such as Flow) to a decent level, but unfortunately this hampers the game's accessibility, as far as different playstyles are concerned.  

 

Guns, for now, are the way to play, it seems. I'm excited to see what else the beta brings!

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I see no reason to change from the model that works, quite well, currently.

 

Like the ammunition system, which I also support in its current implementation, the Orbs are 'power ammunition'.  The big difference is we can leverage that power in several channels of expenditure which makes it inherently more flexible a resource.  

 

I use all the abilities on my frames now, generally speaking, trying to optimally use the most result for least power.  While I used to save it only for the big panic button attack, the fact is I found this was just inefficient and getting me killed more than helping me succeed.

 

I have zero interest in, nor do I see any compelling case to, changing the model as it stands towards a more Mass Effect or cool down style of implementation.

 

If you want more energy use more dependably, slot the Energy Siphon Artifact or team up with a support frame like Trinity.  As with the ammunition debate, we have numerous tools available to us to help tailor our field battle options appropriately and stay resupplied.  

 

Now, if you want to advocate having an inventory item that is essentially a 'power batter' that gives us regen while in the field, I can see that argument as it's not currently available as a resource for us while we have health and ammo replenishment.

 

But as for moving to a cool down system diluting the value of tactical selection and the working with the resources at hand at the time?

 

No thanks.

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The way I see it, abilities having a pool and not a cooldown prevents abilities from being nerfed and as long as you put a tiny amount of effort into managing your energy pool properly you'll have these abilities when you need them. I would much prefer to have my abilities when I need them with a minor amount of management on my part than if I could always use my abilities while being required to wait X seconds until my cooldown is complete.

 

Here are examples as a loki player.

 

Sometimes when things get heated, you may have to drop a decoy for yourself or your team. This by itself is not an issue, but the fact that the decoy is more than likely going to get the snot beaten out of it fairly quickly requires me to throw another decoy out depending on the situation. Here is the issue, if the cooldown is too short then you have a pretty nifty permanent aggro and if its too long then im stuck not being able to use my ability which is pretty necessary for a frame like loki like no offensive abilities to speak of. (Not counting radial disarms damage to infested)

 

Now if it is a global cooldown like ME3, let's say for ease of thought here that I want to use radial disarm and then decoy so I can pull the newly formed melee mob to a focal point, then I would be forced to wait either for the global cooldown (if it's one lump time) or for the radial disarms cooldown (if it's based on ability used) before I could effectively use my decoy.

 

As it is, as long as I have managed my energy decently I should have the 125 to pull off the disarm/decoy whenever I actually need it and immediately when I need it without a gap inbetween to wait for a cooldown.

 

I know what they say about assuming, "when you assume, you make an &#!.....out of yourself." but I feel they hit the sweet spot with the energy orbs, and I would assume that if it went back to a cooldown, abilities would get nerfed for cooldown spamming, or the cooldowns would be too long to be practical in combat more than once or twice but would guarantee that you could use them at the start of any new engagement.

 

Either way the current system seems to encourage minor exploration and resource/material gathering while simultaneously allowing you to use your abilities when you need them, which I approve of. Often times I find myself with more than enough of my 300 energy to use as loki anyway, although I can't tell you how sad it is to drop below 50 while playing trinity because I missmanaged my energy during a boss. I suppose take it with a grain of salt because there are advantages and disadvantages to both a pool and a cooldown.

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You'd destroy the endgame. I was doing defense earlier with a friend, corpus on pluto. It was frost, volt, banshee, and mag. If we had ultimates with cooldowns approaching a duration of a few seconds we would endlessly ult, one after another. The only way to prevent that would be to increase cooldown times...which would lead back to the problem of delays in gameplay.

 

Also, if the ultimate takes a few seconds to cooldown, do the first few skill take fractions of a second? If so, someone like saryn could stack far too many venoms on boss fights, rhino would never die, volt could create his own frost bubble, but made of shields, loki would never show his face again, nor would ash, excalibur would blind the entire grineer race...

 

The double ult that is made possible by streamline is a one off, you can't keep doing it.

 

I know you're trying to say that there is a balance that can be had that doesn't cause players to occasionally wait  for a recharge, but honestly, there is not.

 

Cooldowns combined with an energy system can be workable, simply because thats a lot of variables to play with, but whats the point? You'll still be tied to sustain drops. And passive energy regen would defeat the point of energy siphon.

 

Btw, I'm playing off aizeol's idea, there could be a different rate multiplier for energy regen, something that would only apply to energy siphon. Yea? I like that idea, it gets what you want (frames more devoted to casting) without overturning the system

Fair enough, but I would point out again that even in the case of Ultimates, once the ultimate skill itself is at a sufficient level, the cooldown would be reduced down to the point where it would be if you were on the energy orb system.  With Flow and Streamline, the cooldown would be reduced down to a few seconds, enough to approximate letting off your Ult, grabbing a single orb, and then immediately using your Ult. again.

 

Meanwhile, while the Ult. is recharging, you'd still have your other abilities to use.  This would actually encourage the use of lower level skills more, exactly for this reason.

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The difference between ME3MP and Warframe's power design is a factor that CD works in ME3MP but probably not going to work well in Warframe.

 

ME3MP powers are largely buff/debuff/utility-oriented. Direct damage type isn't the kind of power that dominate the playing field. While some powers are oriented toward this type of design, they are assigned to character with low durability/high mobility to compensate the excess of power with higher skill ceiling. CD also has limitation due to weight of your equipment, the more weight you carry, the slower your CD becomes.

 

It requires player's decision to make the build oriented toward shooter, caster, or balance of both.

 

However, Warframe allows greater customization option in both frame and weapon. Power design is also more direct damage oriented than ME3MP. Spammable direct damage power is hard to balance due to the fact that it has to be able to kill as fast as weapon and that's borderlinely impossible because of greater range of customization that weapon offers.

 

With the current approach in power design, I believe that energy system is still a better option for Warframe. Moving toward CD will create severe backlash from the community since it's going to be implemented with limitation if DE are going to imitate ME3's approach.

 

I think that another option is to going toward fighting game 'meter' system. Make power 1-3 rely on CD while AOE ultimates rely on meter system. The more you kill, the more powerful your AOE will be. It require some balance, mostly in number of damage dealt required to increase the meter and how much damage the AOE can dish out in certain level.     

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rhino actually never die with the orb system....

 

--------------------

 

 

actually the orb system is just mehh and limit any alternate energy source

(who need mods to gain energy when you can just refill full energy after 1 ultimate)

 

mods like "vampire blade(each hit drain a bit of energy)"  "carnage (10 kill =30 energy)"

 

stuff like that have no point  with current blue orbs system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

you guys love it just cause it allow to spam skills brainlessly

--------------------

 

 

Alternate system is a mix between cool down and energy syphon:

 

 

the first 50 energy point regenerate pretty fast (in order to maximize low energy skills use)

 

after 50 it start to rise slower (actual energy syphon rate)

Edited by Tsoe
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So basically you want to go through the entire game spamming high level abilities non-stop with no end?

That's all this system would boil down to. With ults going off every few seconds there would be zero difficulty left. There would have to be so many nerfs that the abilities would end up so much weaker as to not be that cool/fund to use anymore.

Under the system that you are asking for a loki would be invisible through an entire match, a rhino would be invulnerable, excalibur would be slash dashing everything non stop and abusing the invulnerability frames it grants, ash would bladestorm every single last room in a level.

There would be no point in playing the game at that point as you would be able to simply god-mode through everything unleashing all of your abilities without a care in the world. It would ruin the fun of the game.

A cooldown system would either require cooldowns on abilities so long that useful combos wouldn't be nearly as useful, or the ability itself could only be used so rarely as it make it near worthless, or make the warframes so op that it would cease to be fun or funny.

Edited by Tsukinoki
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An interesting idea, but how would the idea of cooldowns be incorporated with the energy system?  In this case, the utility of one system seems to preclude the utility of the other.

 

Here's basically what I'm imagining:

 

The cooldown is more or less used to stop constant spamming (6 sec max or something) but the energy cost would be reduced to 10 for the first skill and 50 for the ult.

 

Ult's will have dynamic cooldowns, basically because some clear rooms and others have a utility.  None of them will be higher than 45-60 seconds at the lowest level and possibly 30 sec at max without any other mods.

 

On top of this, there would be a constant energy regen that is different for every frame.  "Caster" frames regen faster than "Tank":frames.

 

This would encourage the use of utility powers and would stop ult spamming.

 

Basically what I want is for powers to be something more than a last-ditch or constantly spammed.

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I have two problems with energy (orbs):

 

1. Running around like an idiot trying to collect them when I need them and not focusing on combat.

2. Disruptors. F***ing disruptors.

 

I really like the ME3 system of cooldowns because it makes both your powers and weapons seem equally useful. In Warframe, I tend to save my powers for when my guns don't do the job or if I randomly get mobbed by a bunch of enemies. Also, not EVERY power on a Warframe is useful all the time, which leads to less dependency on them.

 

On the flip side, it's really nice to spam abilities or chain them if you have enough energy do to so.

 

 

Please make disruptors do fixed or % energy drain or something... T_T

Edited by Ailith
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The difference between ME3MP and Warframe's power design is a factor that CD works in ME3MP but probably not going to work well in Warframe.

 

ME3MP powers are largely buff/debuff/utility-oriented. Direct damage type isn't the kind of power that dominate the playing field. While some powers are oriented toward this type of design, they are assigned to character with low durability/high mobility to compensate the excess of power with higher skill ceiling. CD also has limitation due to weight of your equipment, the more weight you carry, the slower your CD becomes.

 

It requires player's decision to make the build oriented toward shooter, caster, or balance of both.

 

However, Warframe allows greater customization option in both frame and weapon. Power design is also more direct damage oriented than ME3MP. Spammable direct damage power is hard to balance due to the fact that it has to be able to kill as fast as weapon and that's borderlinely impossible because of greater range of customization that weapon offers.

 

With the current approach in power design, I believe that energy system is still a better option for Warframe. Moving toward CD will create severe backlash from the community since it's going to be implemented with limitation if DE are going to imitate ME3's approach.

 

I think that another option is to going toward fighting game 'meter' system. Make power 1-3 rely on CD while AOE ultimates rely on meter system. The more you kill, the more powerful your AOE will be. It require some balance, mostly in number of damage dealt required to increase the meter and how much damage the AOE can dish out in certain level.     

 

Hmm.  That's one of the best-reasoned arguments against cooldowns I've seen so far. Or, rather, why the system from Mass Effect 3 wouldn't translate over to Warframe very well.

 

I don't think the ultimates should be on a cooldown, definitely, but the more minor powers that kind of "define" a class--I feel like those should be a little more accessible, and without having to resort to finding rare mods to do so.

Edited by Beelzebubbles
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So basically you want to go through the entire game spamming high level abilities non-stop with no end?

That's all this system would boil down to. With ults going off every few seconds there would be zero difficulty left. There would have to be so many nerfs that the abilities would end up so much weaker as to not be that cool/fund to use anymore.

Under the system that you are asking for a loki would be invisible through an entire match, a rhino would be invulnerable, excalibur would be slash dashing everything non stop and abusing the invulnerability frames it grants, ash would bladestorm every single last room in a level.

There would be no point in playing the game at that point as you would be able to simply god-mode through everything unleashing all of your abilities without a care in the world. It would ruin the fun of the game.

A cooldown system would either require cooldowns on abilities so long that useful combos wouldn't be nearly as useful, or the ability itself could only be used so rarely as it make it near worthless, or make the warframes so op that it would cease to be fun or funny.

 

Calm down.  The system of cooldowns shouldn't be separate from energy.

 

Plus, there could be a dyanmic system to the cooldown that would cause the cooldown to increase if constantly used.

 

Again, enough to stop spamming but not enough to be just another hinderance.

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Hmm, after reading another thread, I think having a regenerating energy meter like the stamina bar might be the best option here (with each frame having a different base regen speed). This would add a bit of a cooldown effect while also keeping energy as a mechanic (and getting rid of orbs). Flow could still add max energy and Streamline could either stay the same or make the energy regen speed faster. Thoughts?

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Here's basically what I'm imagining:

 

The cooldown is more or less used to stop constant spamming (6 sec max or something) but the energy cost would be reduced to 10 for the first skill and 50 for the ult.

 

Ult's will have dynamic cooldowns, basically because some clear rooms and others have a utility.  None of them will be higher than 45-60 seconds at the lowest level and possibly 30 sec at max without any other mods.

 

On top of this, there would be a constant energy regen that is different for every frame.  "Caster" frames regen faster than "Tank":frames.

 

This would encourage the use of utility powers and would stop ult spamming.

 

Basically what I want is for powers to be something more than a last-ditch or constantly spammed.

 

I see your idea, but this I think would restrict ability use even more rather than encourage it.  When circumstances get really bad, sometimes completely emptying your Energy meter to set loose two Ults in a row is the best option, and the downside to doing so is not being able to use any more abilities until you get more energy.

 

With your idea, one wouldn't be able to set off the second Ultimate, but one could use the other abilities - and this adds additional complication to restrict use unnecessarily, with this mechanism.

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