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Nekros: Changes Coming For 15.12

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So, having run Nekros a few times today, my results thus far:


Soul Punch, while slightly easier to use on-the-run, is still frustrating to have to target (but then, so are Smite, Venom, EV, MC, etc.); admittedly, I was deceived early on with the ease of casts almost leading me to believe it was totally free-aim, but that was in the middle of a consistent stream of enemies, and still had a hidden cooldown slowing me down between casts. 

The big issue it still has is that its AoE is inconsistent - when activated, there were several scenarios where casting it would result in an enemy to either side of my target being ragdolled with them, but just as many without any incident beyond the first target regardless of how tightly packed a group was, and rarely any dealing damage to foes behind the first target.

There was precisely one scenario (on an Infested defense) where casting Soul Punch caused damage numbers to jump around for about 5 seconds. I'll consider this a freak occurrence, and an extreme outlier to my results.


Terrify feels much better to wield, but I had at least one suspicious scenario where it appeared to wear off about 20 seconds early. Another freak occurrence, I suppose, since I was never able to reproduce it.

The issue remains of enemy speed while affected, however. With melee assist enabled (this may be the main culprit, given Nekros' slightly increased speed), I found myself chasing after a lone Scorpion who was literally running in circles from its effects for nearly 10 seconds whilst swinging away the whole time (before I headed her off and she ran into my sword, of course).


Shadows needs more testing - I've never really had an issue with their tangibility before, which is the main new feature for them. Problem with running public matches is that there's always someone there to steal their kills, so it's hard to measure their output.

I've still noticed the AI being precisely the same, however. Patrolling one area, unable to spot enemies merely 10 feet away. Trying to melee enemies off to the side from the top of the ramp. Trying to hide in the middle of a firefight.


All in all, the changes were mostly just quality of life, while still doing very little to the issues that have actually been plaguing Nekros.

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He feels better, but he still could be more than this!


These changes won't make people ask me to press 3 only...


-Terrify is better,way better imo.

- If we could lead our enemies ourselves(waypoints or something),SotD AI wouldn't be a problem anymore! Furthermore,I watched some AI fights : the undead barely win over the enemies.Barely.

- If Soul Punch had more utility (even adding victims to SotD pool) it'd be a less forgettable first power.


Ash & Broberon got a correct rework. C'mon D.E. , you can do it!

Edited by unknow99
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My feedback on the current Nekros changes can be summed up by this perspective:


If you had never mentioned Nekros getting changes in the changelog or here, I honestly would not have noticed that you changed anything about Nekros at all.


Soul Punch being slightly less annoying to use is great, but it doesn't change that it's simply an underwhelming ability not worth wasting energy on, so I haven't really had much time to notice how much easier it is to cast.


The Terrify changes are interesting, but I never really had much need to recast Terrify to begin with.  It's an ability I'll cast if I need breathing room (it worked for that before and now (I use power strength for more shadows, so the number isn't very relevant to me)), but that's all.  It still makes the enemies obnoxious to the point where I'd rather they'd just be standing still shooting me instead of me having to spray an automatic weapon hoping I hit one as they enact a carnival shooting game for me with them as the targets.


Shadows of the Dead could have 10x damage and 10x health, and I wouldn't be able to notice anything, because heavies still have a habit of ignoring enemies while running to me like lost puppies and regular shadows find the closest cover to make out with.  Sometimes they remember to attack, but I feel very much at the whim of what the AI feels like doing on any given mission.  The extra damage is not noticed, and I never minded their health to begin with because they're just corpses.  It'd still be nice if I could pick and choose corpses as well; so I don't have to resurrect my entire pool hoping to get something, anything useful to me.


Nekros still requires much work to salvage from the 3 macro.  A first pass this may be, but if no second pass came, I honestly would rather him have been forgotten than to be left in this sorry state and called buffed.

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Shadows of the Dead is still extremely lackluster. Currently even though the damage has been scaled dramatically it falls exceedingly short of the mark for a useful ability. Unfortunately due to the health levels inherent in enemies there is no way that the Shadows can actually be useful. They are currently nothing more than a distraction with a lacking AI.


I would suggest providing the shadows with a x3 multiplier in a subsequent balance pass to ensure that an army of the dead is able to serve more purpose than being bullet sponges.


Additionally the AI should be upgraded in SotD to fit the mold of the infested style aggression, constantly seeking out targets and never hiding. They are already dead and enslaved by Nekros after all.


Lastly, Mirage's mechanic for Hall of Mirrors needs to be implemented for all of the shadows allowing players to both see through and shoot through them.


Desecrate honestly needs to have LS as well as mods removed from it's list of possibilities or changed to a durational aoe. Currently these are the only things that draw a player to using Nekros at all. To be absolutely crystal clear here. No frame should be relegated to the role of a farmer.


Soul Punch needs to be a 1 handed action which does not interrupt reloads. This was talked about in a previous developer post and is a good idea. Many other frames now have a 1 that does not interrupt reload, make it equal.


Terrify is FANTASTIC IMO atm and there is no criticism from me in it's current iteration.

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Shadows of the Dead isn't that bad, atually with the damage boost I even saw it killing stuff.. The only thing that's missing is making the AI more reckless and aggressive, removing the  covering and "self-conservatory" attitude. Or eventually giving us the ability to guide their aggro with Soul Punch.

Soul Punch is failing with the thematic, but atm is not bad at all. Just the damage and the ragdoll projectile mechanic would need to be replaced. They don't really achieve anything, they just add to shot smaller enemies and knockdown others.

Terrify isn't bad, anyway I felt the range reduction. It's counterproductive with mid to high-ranged enemies.

Desecrate should have been nerfed removing Mods and Blueprints from the loot tables. Thinking to it, by a fantasy logic point of view, it's even unrealistic that a corpse won't release drops unless forced with a manipulation Spell... Also credits, ammos and Life Support should have been removed.

What NOW Nekros lacks is an autonomous defensive mechanic, let's hope new augments would provide it.

Edited by Burnthesteak87
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I really wish we had a proper necromancer in Warframe, as it stands, we only have a spud farmer who yells at people that trample on his lawn. This is a more accurate photo of Nekros:




Not a very exciting frame, now is it? 


A Necromancer should be able to summon an unstoppable and badass horde of armies, yet that's not even remotely the case for Nekros. His army consists of bland looking and annoying nanomachine clones that generally consists of 4 or 5 minions because of Overextended. I'd hardly consider that an army. 


The only reason anybody will ever want to use Nekros is because of Desecrate. And as long as the drop tables continue to be as diluted as they are, Desecrate will still be the boring but necessary skill that draws player to Nekros.


So, what should we do about Nekros? One solution is to remove Desecrate, but that doesn't fix any of his underlying issues or any of the underlying issues with the drop tables. 


Another one would be to allow all of his skills to create clones in some way, but without proper minion control (or at least hyper aggressive AI), all he has is a frenzied mob. 


The only "proper" solution that I can think of is to rework all of Nekros' abilities to synergize around the concept of creating an undead army (preferably with unique minions and not nanomachine clones) that he can control and exploit to his advantage. But even then, we still run into the risk of having an underpowered or underutilized frame. 


So I ask you, how can we get the spud farmer to have a career change?


Some temporary ideas that I can throw about are:


Soul Punch places a 3 second long debuff on an enemy. If the targeted enemy die under the effect of the debuff, a weaker clone is created in its place. These clones serve as the grunts and cannon fodder of Nekros' army. Lasts 2/4/6/8 seconds or until they die, whichever occurs first. These clones would have a different color to differentiate them from regular clones. 


Terrify places the Soul Punch debuff on affected enemies (not too keen on this, but I can't think of many other reworks at the moment). 


Desecrate is now a toggled aura that drains a constant amount of energy/health from Nekros (toggles off if he is at a critical health threshold). While a short fix for Desecrate, it would allow him to perform other actions outside of mashing 3). 


Shadows of The Dead has a shorter cast animation, for starters. You can shoot through clones as well . In addition, enemies attacked by the clones have the Soul Punch debuff placed on them. Pressing the ability key again would toggle the AI of the clones from Seek (actively hunts other units) to Regroup (groups up near Nekros to draw aggro from him). A potential augment mod for SoTD would be giving the clones a short range (5m or so) Terrify aura, causing even more chaos on the battlefield. 

Edited by SquidTheSid
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I'd like Soul Punch and Terrify to add their targets into Nekros' Soul Cache for Shadows of the Dead. A punch so powerful it rips the soul out of an enemy, and fear so gripping it fractures the mind and the soul.


This ensures Nekros' ultimate can still be used well into the endgame, where most weapons simply put small dents in enemies rather than kill.

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  • 2 weeks later...
This week's By the Numbers unsurprisingly confirmed a suspicion that many players have had about standard Nekros behavior since his release: Desecrate was the most-used ability in the game, but Nekros was utilized a mere 3% of the time by active players within the sample. In short, the skill is spammed to a high degree; we knew this from experience, but seeing the sheer scale at which this has held true is astounding.


Even more astounding is that Desecrate has survived for a year and a half, and this hasn't been seen as odd behavior by DE. Scott and Sheldon make jokes about it on camera.

You just got validation that your game is in such a state players find it optimal to spam one button over playing. What's so funny? 


"But why is it odd? It's common for players to spam one skill (usually 4) the whole mission!"

First, I'd like to start by noting that I'm not condoning that either. Warframe isn't a rhythm game, it utilizes fast-paced combat. A lot of "spam one skill" builds do so to counteract the sheer ineffectiveness of flat-damage skills and attempt to chain together the one scaling effect they bring (staggers) - quantity over quality. Those that don't are typically Duration-based utilities, safely tapped on intervals of 10-30 seconds and allowing for players to play between casts; I wouldn't call that spam.


The principle behind Desecrate spam may not be different, it's just worse.


It isn't spammed because it's effective - it's spammed to counter how ineffective and unreliable it is. It isn't spammed for contribution to the mission at hand (if you wanted to heal, you'd take Trinity) - it's a crutch to increase the value of the mission.

Desecrate distills "gameplay" down to one meta-function. It's not bad that the skill rewards players (all skills should feel rewarding to use - otherwise you wouldn't be willing to use them), it's bad that it uses the conventional "reward" that the game programs players to latch onto, unwittingly bribing them into unintended behavior.


Ask yourself: Why should games provide virtual rewards at all? After all, mods and credits don't give you any real-life benefits. If it was about customization, you could just have the stat buffs baked in at the start, maybe swap them on the fly in the loadout. Why mods you pick up?

The answer is, to give you focus (oh no, you accidentally played the game as you work toward a goal) and gratification (this is what your love for unnecessary challenge pays off to - a way to do that same challenge differently). Desecrate's implementation removes the aspects of "playing the game" and "challenging yourself", and the "Feed Me Rewards" easy button encourages the ideal that the reward system is less about gratification as "(I'm being cheated out of) Something I feel that I'm owed".


What's the point of having rewards, challenge, gameplay, etc. at all, if the next time you strive for something you'll just start with the shortcut?

It's the same reason why Snow Globe and Absorb were nerfed: Players found an easy button to fast-track their way to rewards for minimal effort. Why stop that behavior then, but not now?

Edited by Archwizard
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Hm. Reading the fact Archwizard is bad at math. Let me restate it here too:


According to steam(which is only a small part of the population, less than 25%), there's 10k players daily(usually closer to 20k). Which means 300 nekros per day.


If you have a constant of nekros players, you have 12 on at any one time.


The 320k skill uses over the course of 2 weeks is the equivalent of 952 uses per hour. With 12 nekros on per hour, that equates to 76 uses per hour.

That equates to one use, per nekros, every 47 seconds. One skill use every 47 seconds is, first and foremost, hardly "skill spamming".


Secondly, a player who merely has a high efficiency build, like myself, can easily average north of 10 skill uses per minute.


Desecrate is rather unique in 2 facets--firstly, the intended effect only takes place 60% of the time, and secondly it can be modified to be absolutely free(costing no energy at all!).


As a player who does not use the "free" option, but does use the high efficiency build, I will sometimes spam desecrate 4 times in 4 seconds after a slaughter fest to ensure I've desecrated all of the nearby corpses, and I *actually play the frame*, rather than just sitting back and pressing 3 as much as possible.


Several people on the forums have admitted to doing just that--sitting back and pressing 3 as much as possible. I know some players who recruit a nekros specifically to do just that "stand there and just press 3". With players able to  cast it for free, and admitting openly that they do NOTHING but spam it constantly, Their usage rate for a single dese spammer nekros should be a dozen, if not several dozen, times a minute.


If that was NORMAL, we would expect the number of desecrates to be averaged close to 144 uses per minute, or around 8,640 uses per hour. Instead it's just 952.


Now, if 10%(a minority) of nekros players (that's roughly 1 person logged in at any given time, using the lowball of steam) did this, we could then expect 864 uses per hour from them, and the remaining 90% of nekros players would be sharing 88 uses per hour, or roughly 8 uses per hour per nekros... roughly every 7 minutes.


That seems absurd, though, as players would certainly use desecrate more than once every 7 minutes. So we have to assume the number of desecrate spammers is less than 10% of all players. If we reduce that number to, say, 2%(one every 4 hours), we get 172 uses per hour average from spammers, and 736 uses per hour average from regular players. That averages out to about 66 uses per hour for each average player... a little over once per minute. THAT sound sane and expectable for skill use.


That also means desecrate spammers are a minority of a minority of a minority(and this is using the steam minority, so it realistically has to be an even smaller group than that!)


Now, let's take this a step further, and look at that 2%--they would account for over 240,000 skill uses... from 2% of the population. If we take away that miniscule minority, there's only around 80k skill uses per 2 weeks amongst the rest of the population. That falls well in line with all other skills.


So, the proposal is that desecrate needs a VAST REVAMP because 2% of nekros users spam the skill endlessly. Think about that.

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So, the proposal is that desecrate needs a VAST REVAMP because 2% of nekros users spam the skill endlessly. Think about that.


Good post. Good math.


Only problem... It's logical.


This is the internet. Logic has nothing to do with it when people get excited. Sad but true.


I play Nekros a bit myself and I also do not spam '3' unless asked specifically to do so. I DO NOT enjoy being an ability spammer. I enjoy moving, shooting and slicing bad guys to ribbons, not being a bot.




TL:DR? I agree with Lyssa. Desecrate is fine.

Edited by Kalenath
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Lyssa, thank you for your analysis. I like to number crunch too! I think the argument you presented is flawed though.


If this argument was valid, it could also be applied to any other skill and complaint, and "nothing would ever need to be changed". 


Desecrate is the most used skill in the game. It has a very wide gap between skill casts versus number of Nekros players the widest of such in the game. 


This number is not even higher because Nekros is such a chore. People complain about it because its powers are designed in a way which is perceived as flawed and not fun.



Having a vast imbalance between time spent across frames should be perceived as a problem. People who understand and like Nekros, like me complain because it is not as fun to play as it should be. Desecrate is part of this problem. SotD is another part. 


Every underused frame is a problem, because effort was put into it to enrich the  game; but it is not being used by the players. An underused frame is a "wasted effort", but can be fixed to enrich the game. 


An underused frame which has a single skill which is the most used in game is an anomaly, and a quick number mashing to dismiss the problem at hand - glossing over the details - is a wasted opportunity to improve the experience. 


Desecrate is NOT FUN. (my opinion)

SotD is NOT FUN. (my opinion)


The fact that Desecrate only works 60% of the time is part of its flawed design. If a player wants to take the most out of it, it will spam it 2 to 10 times in a row. The player may not spam it *all the time*, but the skill MUST be spammed *by design*. Compounded with the fact that the player must stand still to Desecrate, thus not killing (in a very fast-paced game), and becoming vulnerable; and the still-existing aimbotting problem in the game, causes players to quickly burn out of Nekros. 


SotD has its share of problems too, but I'll keep it short, there are plenty of threads detailing the problems and proposed solutions.


Nekros is not nearly as interesting as it should be gameplay-wise, and that's why we complain. It's not just about numbers.

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According to steam(which is only a small part of the population, less than 25%), there's 10k players daily(usually closer to 20k). Which means 300 nekros per day.

etc. etc.

Where did you get that statistic?

The pie chart in the By The Numbers isn't 'Total Equip Time'.

It's "Highest Equip Time / EXP Gained, Jan 25th - Feb 7th (PC, XB1, PS4)"

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It's interesting how your math has changed. Your original argument was that you could make up 1/14th of the total casts on your own, and that Nekros wasn't even a minority.

It's good to see your corrections for flaws in your logic


First thing though, Steam isn't required to play Warframe.

There are several countries that don't even use Steam. And there are two consoles.


Also, your argument focuses on the thought that 3% of players spend all their time on Nekros (your total 300 Nekros per day).

This is not what the chart showed - which was that, within the total manhours in missions (from which Warframes collect affinity) during the sampled time period, Nekros collected 3% of affinity (which could mean anything up to all active players using Nekros 3% of the day and getting exactly average affinity gains - which while theoretically possible, is logically improbable, and likely averages out somewhere in the middle). 

Note that the exclusions mentioned innately account for dilution of players who spend their time in their Lisets, Dojos or Relays, rather than in combat scenarios. I would assume it also accounts for players who spend their time on Archwing missions, as their Warframes don't collect affinity during this time. The game has transcended X0000 players chaining from mission to mission, making the actual number of missions in-progress comparatively smaller.

Your argument ignores that players use other frames for most missions, and jump onto Nekros for a very select number of missions (such as when they need to farm mods or rare resources, or Survival). The fact that any successful Desecrate on any corpse can lock out all Desecrates upon that corpse means that any farming group only has one Nekros to cast at a time (and not all of them are good at resource conservation, in spite of Desecrate).

Keeping in mind, the fact that Desecrate does not cause any kills from which to give affinity to Nekros - only collecting a small sum for the cast itself, sometimes bugging to give nothing at all - could wildly skew this in either direction.


Realistically, there are simply too many variables for anybody to make a guess, and we can only pull from what little info DE has validated. However, that's a discussion for another thread.

All I have to say is that the By the Numbers data is, at its most basic, visibly consistent with the behavior of a Nekros staying a room behind his allies in Survivals to mop up. It is apparently a common enough occurrence that many, many players within this very forum have professed a conception that it's all Nekros does (rather than, oversimply, "all he's good for").


In short, the math needs to account for a range from the high number of players who use Nekros infrequently and near-exclusively for Desecrate's looting functions (the problematic category from my hypothesis and personal experiences), and the smaller number of players who use Nekros frequently who see the merits in his other abilities (which is where, I might presume, your personal experiences would fit).

Edited by Archwizard
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  • 2 weeks later...

Something must be done about Desecrate. Now that this problem has been expanded to Hydroid, it seems there will be less chances that it will be changed.

The more further "we" go down this path, the bigger will be the loss and the effort to recover when the issue will be faced.

Edited by Burnthesteak87
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  • 2 months later...

Nekros Augment (preffered as rework 4th) of shadow of the death
being nekros let you in a awkward spot for high level enemies, the new augment solve in part that feeling but the fact that you have to reap off some enemies in order to gain some "shadows" to launch and then that long animation.. ive thought this

what if nekros has some kind of offensive area (30m or so)and some normal damge like 800 of impact/puncture; he could suck out enemies souls (avoiding the killing part tedious) and then have them for casting shadow of the dead easily (and cooler)

long time ago i imagined some kind of golem summoned with those souls ( but a hard rework is needed so i discharted it) with pieces of those enemies attached that were affected in range

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Nekros Augment (preffered as rework 4th) of shadow of the death

being nekros let you in a awkward spot for high level enemies, the new augment solve in part that feeling but the fact that you have to reap off some enemies in order to gain some "shadows" to launch and then that long animation.. ive thought this

what if nekros has some kind of offensive area (30m or so)and some normal damge like 800 of impact/puncture; he could suck out enemies souls (avoiding the killing part tedious) and then have them for casting shadow of the dead easily (and cooler)

long time ago i imagined some kind of golem summoned with those souls ( but a hard rework is needed so i discharted it) with pieces of those enemies attached that were affected in range


Wow, you just Nekro'd the Nekros thread... :p


He still needs some little tweaks,so it's ok.

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