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EmptyDevil

Forma changes for build flexibility

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The goal of this feedback/suggestion is to retain build flexibility when using Forma. This would prevent players from locking themselves into a set build when using many Forma. It'll also prevent the use of Forma from feeling like a waste when mod/equipment-specific changes are made.

 

This will not diminish the value of Forma, It will increase the value of them.

 

Details

- Forma still resets weapon rank and changes the slot to the selected polarity.

- The Forma unlocks the selected polarity for that individual slot AND keeps any overwritten polarities.

- Tenno are able to freely change between unlocked polarities on that slot now.

- Tenno may increase the available polarities on an individual slot by using more Forma on the slot.
 

For example, a Tenno changing polarities on a slot that unlocked all of them would look something like the following:

Spoiler

wN4rIvi.png

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I feel like resetting weapon rank is not even necessary. As I saw suggested elsewhere (I forget by who), why not just make it so that another Forma can't be applied until the weapon gains enough affinity to hit 30 again? 

The process of leveling up weapons and Warframes is needlessly dull, and a large part of why power-farming is so prevalent. If DE were to sort weapons into different tiers denoted by Mastery Rank, and finish up tying weapon damage to weapon rank... imagine this:

  • Adding polarities to weapons does not reset weapon rank, but a certain amount of affinity must be gained in order to apply another Forma.
  • Alternatively, Forma may be used to increase a weapon's tier rating by 1 (increasing base stats), resetting its rank to 0.

When mods are used for customization instead of damage progression, there's no reason to limit improving customization so aggressively. Adding in the ability to use Forma to improve weapon tier will preserve loadout variety alongside a sense of gear progression, so that players may choose weapons based on how they handle and look rather than how objectively powerful they are. It will still be easier to pick a higher-tier gun, but enough commitment will see your starter gear serving you throughout the game if you see fit. 

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1 minute ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I feel like resetting weapon rank is not even necessary. As I saw suggested elsewhere (I forget by who), why not just make it so that another Forma can't be applied until the weapon gains enough affinity to hit 30 again? 

The process of leveling up weapons and Warframes is needlessly dull, and a large part of why power-farming is so prevalent. If DE were to sort weapons into different tiers denoted by Mastery Rank, and finish up tying weapon damage to weapon rank... imagine this:

  • Adding polarities to weapons does not reset weapon rank, but a certain amount of affinity must be gained in order to apply another Forma.
  • Alternatively, Forma may be used to increase a weapon's tier rating by 1 (increasing base stats), resetting its rank to 0.

When mods are used for customization instead of damage progression, there's no reason to limit improving customization so aggressively. Adding in the ability to use Forma to improve weapon tier will preserve loadout variety alongside a sense of gear progression, so that players may choose weapons based on how they handle and look rather than how objectively powerful they are. It will still be easier to pick a higher-tier gun, but enough commitment will see your starter gear serving you throughout the game if you see fit. 

These sound like issues for another thread but it is interesting. I'm more focused on maintaining build flexibility in this thread. I may still update the OP if i feel like those ideas belong in it.

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Just now, EmptyDevil said:

These sound like issues for another thread but it is interesting. I'm more focused on maintaining build flexibility in this thread. I may still update the OP if i feel like those ideas belong in it.

The thing is, as it stands now the lack of build flexibility is the only thing that (poorly) balances out Forma. You have to consider whether you really want those extra levels of power or if you want to be able to switch between different builds and try out new things. 

I'm not saying that's a great system that I support, but it is strongly linked to the fact that mods are everything to a weapon's performance. My point is that build flexibility will be more acceptable when builds are more a matter of preference than performance, and I'm hoping that if we're talking a second iteration of Forma we can try to cram as many features and refinements in there as possible. 

That said, I'm not trying to derail your thread, so if you feel that's what I'm doing I apologize. 

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1 minute ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

The thing is, as it stands now the lack of build flexibility is the only thing that (poorly) balances out Forma. You have to consider whether you really want those extra levels of power or if you want to be able to switch between different builds and try out new things. 

I'm not saying that's a great system that I support, but it is strongly linked to the fact that mods are everything to a weapon's performance. My point is that build flexibility will be more acceptable when builds are more a matter of preference than performance, and I'm hoping that if we're talking a second iteration of Forma we can try to cram as many features and refinements in there as possible. 

That said, I'm not trying to derail your thread, so if you feel that's what I'm doing I apologize. 

I'm pretty iffy on the ideas because the devs are looking into changing mandatory mods and builds with damage 3.0 to my knowledge. I still think flexibility regardless of the current state would be welcomed. No worries, i know you're just expressing your concern.

I'll change the title of the thread for clarity.

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Something nags me...
Weren't formas doing that in u16? I do remember that I did not need to forma every time for already polarized slot...

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Just now, phoenix1992 said:

Something nags me...
Weren't formas doing that in u16? I do remember that I did not need to forma every time for already polarized slot...

I don't recall that being a thing to be honest.

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3 minutes ago, EmptyDevil said:

I'm pretty iffy on the ideas because the devs are looking into changing mandatory mods and builds with damage 3.0 to my knowledge. I still think flexibility regardless of the current state would be welcomed. No worries, i know you're just expressing your concern.

I'll change the title of the thread for clarity.

Still standing by my secondhand suggestion of Forma not resetting weapon rank just to add a polarity - especially with the coming "Damage 3.0" changes.

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So how exactly do you work this in with the ability for switching polarity order, as was given players to avoid weapon element combos being unreasonably restricted?

My earlier proposition adds all the flexiblities of your system while also retaining the freedom of ordering polarities. There's no good reason to strongly tie polarities that have been earned to individual slots at all any more.

Just tie polarities as number*type to the object itself.

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Bad idea. It would remove the only part about using forma that requires a little planing and thought. "What polarities do I add in order to be able to use as many different builds as possible?"

Your idea would dumb that down to "just mindlessly forma all slots".

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4 minutes ago, EDYinnit said:

So how exactly do you work this in with the ability for switching polarity order, as was given players to avoid weapon element combos being unreasonably restricted?

My earlier proposition adds all the flexiblities of your system while also retaining the freedom of ordering polarities. There's no good reason to strongly tie polarities that have been earned to individual slots at all any more.

Just tie polarities as number*type to the object itself.

This would be an additional option. Not sure where you got the idea of this replacing the ability to switch polarity order from.

I want to keep things simple in this idea.

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1 minute ago, ----Fenrir---- said:

Bad idea. It would remove the only part about using forma that requires a little planing and thought. "What polarities do I add in order to be able to use as many different builds as possible?"

Your idea would dumb that down to "just mindlessly forma all slots".

The only planning and thought that should be required, is in what mods you want to be using on your weapon. Using a Forma on a weapon shouldn't be perceived as a mini-game - you don't get anything substantial from the way it is now.

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1 minute ago, EmptyDevil said:

This would be an additional option. Not sure where you got the idea of this replacing the ability to switch polarity order from.

I want to keep things simple in this idea.

Given the likelihood of someone multi-polarising a single slot instead of just adding their first polarity to an unpolarised slot, having your 'extra option' polarities tied to a given slot isn't actually adding much flexibility besides saving the previous polarity that was on that slot they eventually added to. We're suggesting mostly the same things in the end, but our approaches just have that little key difference here and there.

 

The path of least resistance if you're going to add any 'overflow' to the concept of polarities (i.e. any information beyond the polarities in each slot Right Now) is to decouple them from the slots completely. I go over the data footprint in one of the replies on my thread there - essentially all that would be needed is a simple bitmask of a slot's current polarity (which is probably what DE already use in their overwriting paradigm at the moment) and a couple extra bytes to store the number of each polarity that has been 'earned'.

Your slot-coupled solution would require 'substantially' more load as each slot requires a record of available and currently used polarities. In reality it's a handful of bytes over storing it on the item itself (essentially, what I expect would be done for the un-mixable slots in mine is what would be present on every slot in yours), but adding 3-5 bytes of data per item per player versus adding 8-10 bytes per item per player can add up a lot faster.

 

18 minutes ago, ----Fenrir---- said:

Bad idea. It would remove the only part about using forma that requires a little planing and thought. "What polarities do I add in order to be able to use as many different builds as possible?"

Your idea would dumb that down to "just mindlessly forma all slots".

Are you happy to have to re-forma everything and waste that previous planning and thought just because a balance change or new mod required different polarities on your tight fit builds?

We want to enhance flexibility and remove unnecessary frustrations like these that can happen (Melee polarity preferences changing to account for Body Count and Blood Rush recently, for example). There's no power creep involved - the upper limit is the same, and if you want to "oh just forma all the slots with everything" for the absolute flexibility, you've thrown some 40+ forma at a single item. That much investment makes it fair to be at peak flexibility with all your builds, doesn't it? Especially with the need to level it up over again each time, Draco notwithstanding...

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I like the OP's idea. It is a simple concept and fix that doesn't require reworking a large part of the system we already have. Heck, they could even do without the additional menu and just allow us to rightclick on an empty slot to cycle between the unlocked polarities. This would be especially useful on Warframe Aura slots, and would likely encourage a lot more Aura diversity as you wouldn't be completely locked to a small few. +1 and I hope DE actually looks at and considers this.

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FOrma need to be made more available.  I understand people dont want Forma dropping when they are farming prime parts or w/e. Sooo, honestly, DE should make the Forma available on Baro Kiteer for starts.  Then, also put Forma BP on the less popular void missions.  Maybe put Forma in the Void I missions, since not alot of useful stuff drops in those.

 

BUt for such an essential part of this game, its annoying how rare forma are...ofc, rare until your farming for something, then its 6 forma in 11 runs.....

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18 minutes ago, EDYinnit said:

*snip*

To double-check my understanding... what you are proposing is that Forma adds to the total polarities available to the weapon/Warframe, instead of the polarity available to the slot? For example, if you can have a max of 6 V polarities and 3 - polarities, it doesn't matter where you put them but you can only have that many at any given time. Thus, 8 copies of a given polarity is all you'll need for a weapon? 

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Instead of earning affinity for the next forma, just apply a time lock. Like if you forma-ed a gun, then it will need 3 more days before you can forma it again, whether you use it or not, as a time sink. The problem with requiring affinity is that it is trivial for vets who could Draco it up or got a buddy who would run 40 waves of Akkad for him to soak up affinity. While it is punishing for newbies. I can understand why Forma works the way it is back when weapons were not as plenty as today. It gives players more reason to play and earn affinity, especially the mid-rank ones. But now they have way more weapons and warframes to level.

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8 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

To double-check my understanding... what you are proposing is that Forma adds to the total polarities available to the weapon/Warframe, instead of the polarity available to the slot? For example, if you can have a max of 6 V polarities and 3 - polarities, it doesn't matter where you put them but you can only have that many at any given time. Thus, 8 copies of a given polarity is all you'll need for a weapon? 

Essentially yes. At the absolute maximum point this becomes indistinguishable from OP's version of the suggestion (any slot : any polarity) but the different mechanisms streamline the storage required on DE's part and the actual process of polarising itself. However, 'special' slots can retain their unmixable property by using more or less OP's suggestion on an individual case (where the "X available polarities of type Y" for 'normal' slots saves some data load); this brings it up to 10 instances of each polarity (warframe aura+exilus) or 9 (melees, stance slot).

Let me post in my professional mockup of the UI as I suggested it:

209k6yw.png

Here you see an Ivara (that should have four Forma stars, not two - forgot to add those on) that has the following:

- Two unlocked Aura polarities (base Naramon and forma-unlocked Madurai) with the Naramon highlighted as in use.

- An unlocked Naramon Exilus polarity, unused as it currently holds a Madurai polarity mod.

- One unlocked polarity of each type excepting Unairu for regular mods (innate Naramon and Vazarin, Forma unlocked Zenurik and Madurai; no Unairu warframe mods exist yet), with the Zenurik slot currently not applied (1/1 available).

 

Our suggestions do remove the concept of extra drain for cross-polarity mod slotting but the question is whether that is really necessary to keep. Personally I don't forma much because I'd rather be fully flexible with 90% of theoretical maximisation than achieve that power peak but have no freedom to play around with builds without redoing a bunch of slots and wasting Forma, time and effort.

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I'd honestly suggest that Formas just work for all polarities. The benefits DE would get from being able to change mods without destroying half  players' builds would be worth it IMO.

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While the above system relies on a new "bank of polarities", the following example, while more work for the player, only takes 1 additional stat added to each mod slot which is if it is "unlocked" or not (only 1 bit required). Also, never need more than 8 forma on a weapon again. 

On 2/13/2016 at 2:34 PM, SaucyTuckermax said:

Like you said doing this would probably destroy the servers I'm sure. My solution is far more simple. after changing the polarity of a slot, you re-lvl to max rank (exactly how it is now) but then, you can now switch polarties only on the one slot you changed (or however many slots you changed) but can do as many slots as you have forma'd without having to re-lvl Here's example to make this easier to understand:

 

put 1 forma on a slot that hasn't been forma'd: Re-lvl to 30

put 1 forma on a different slot: Re-lvl to 30

 

Then you decide you want those 2 slots to be something different then what you forma'd them to be: Simple click and change, doesn't reset weapon to unranked. (Note: This will only work on slots you have applied a forma to. Not slots on weapons that came with a certain polarity on them)

 

This idea will make basically make it so once you change 1 slots polarity and re-lvl 1 time, it can then be changed to any polarity without having to re-lvl again.

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3 minutes ago, JoeLorodeath said:

While the above system relies on a new "bank of polarities", the following example, while more work for the player, only takes 1 additional stat added to each mod slot which is if it is "unlocked" or not (only 1 bit required). Also, never need more than 8 forma on a weapon again. 

Okay, that's true enough - you need 2 new bytes per item to store that information (bitmask locked/unlocked for each of 8 general slots for one byte, and an additional byte on top to mask any additional 'special' slots such as auras) versus 3 to 5 in my suggestion.

 

The question is whether DE thinks it's acceptable to reduce the polarity burden that far.

My suggestion and OP's suggestion (sorry, I'm pushing my thread in yours, because I'd be repeatedly bumping mine without actual responses otherwise) already reduces the burden, with almost no more worries about detrimental cross-polarity drain. However, each individual Forma is worth the exact same as it is now, with the added benefit that there is no longer a downside to Polarising if you're willing to do the relevelling legwork.

This would improve Forma usage (and potentially sales of prebuilt Forma) with a functional cap of some 40+ Forma on any given item that only ever increases a player's options.

Your suggestion makes Forma five or six times more valuable than it is now, and instantiates a functional cap of 10 Forma on a warframe, 9 on a melee and 8 on a primary/secondary.

People with a lot of Forma available at the moment could pretty much cap half the game. I have 200 lying around myself between built and BPs, that's 20 Warframes polarised to the absolute maximum in your suggestion - a majority of those available. That might not account for weapons, but still. We're talking about systems to make items never need to be improved again, only modded and used. I don't regularly use 20 different warframes. Doesn't that take a little away from the prestige feeling for people who do main some of the ones I utterly maxed out just because I could with my 'spares'?

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29 minutes ago, EDYinnit said:

- snip -

People with a lot of Forma available at the moment could pretty much cap half the game. I have 200 lying around myself between built and BPs, that's 20 Warframes polarised to the absolute maximum in your suggestion - a majority of those available. That might not account for weapons, but still. We're talking about systems to make items never need to be improved again, only modded and used. I don't regularly use 20 different warframes. Doesn't that take a little away from the prestige feeling for people who do main some of the ones I utterly maxed out just because I could with my 'spares'?

I don't think it's wise to balance the game around people who already have every conceivable item and a forma stash from back when the void was utterly cluttered with them. Going forward, where I've already noticed less bps, with new players and ever more weapons and frames (which all need 2-5 forma and may need more for the right elemental combinations with my suggestion) will quickly eat through that backlog you have and discourage the kind of variety we are both after.

Also, as a side note, the UI to do the polarity bank would have to be developed and the system to move those objects back and forth from the weapon to the bank, but I'm sure that wouldn't be too complicated even if it's slightly more work and memory load than mine. The only reason I bring this up is because recently DE Reb stated that they weren't concidering mod rank customization (the ability to reduce the rank of fully ranked mods temporarily) because it would be "too big a burden" on their servers. I'm sure this is a bigger issue with each player having 1000s of mods, but good to consider anyway. 

Long story short, any of these systems would be better than what we have now. I hope this thread can get DE's attention, maybe we can all send this question in for the next devstream. 

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4 minutes ago, JoeLorodeath said:

I don't think it's wise to balance the game around people who already have every conceivable item and a forma stash from back when the void was utterly cluttered with them. Going forward, where I've already noticed less bps, with new players and ever more weapons and frames (which all need 2-5 forma and may need more for the right elemental combinations with my suggestion) will quickly eat through that backlog you have and discourage the kind of variety we are both after.

Also, as a side note, the UI to do the polarity bank would have to be developed and the system to move those objects back and forth from the weapon to the bank, but I'm sure that wouldn't be too complicated even if it's slightly more work and memory load than mine. The only reason I bring this up is because recently DE Reb stated that they weren't concidering mod rank customization (the ability to reduce the rank of fully ranked mods temporarily) because it would be "too big a burden" on their servers. I'm sure this is a bigger issue with each player having 1000s of mods, but good to consider anyway. 

Long story short, any of these systems would be better than what we have now. I hope this thread can get DE's attention, maybe we can all send this question in for the next devstream. 

To be fair, I did play for a while in the infamous Age of Jigsaws, when literally every drop from the void was bugged into being a Forma BP. A couple of endless missions before they fixed it may have bloated my reserves a little. That's why I said it depends on what DE is willing to do with Polarising as a system. Yours is better if the increased value of Forma is acceptable, absolute minimal storage added, but if they want to maintain the status quo of Forma value then something like mine would be the best path.

 

With regard to server load, there's not really any at all involved in my suggestion - no more so than switching around existing polarities already does. The client side could handle the calculations for displaying X / Y on the information stored on the object - those 3 to 5 extra bytes along with the existing (assumed) bitmasked 8-10 that identify what polarity a slot currently is. Once you know what polarities are used and how many of each are available, the maths can be done client-side to allow tinkering around, which will be validated just as simply server-side when a polarity loadout is saved. No exploits from bad data there - server knows what polarities are available, so if there's an overflow of a loadout using more than it's earned of a given polarity, it can be rejected.

 

Yes, any improvements are good improvements. But if we stop debating the finer details, then the thread does the same as mine did, a moment's interest followed by falling off the board's first page(s). I would've sent the question in last Devstream with my thread, if the forums hadn't been down at the time!

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