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Enemy Overhauls and Tweaks [Mooks, Goons, and Grunts, oh my!]


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So, I have been playing a bunch of other games lately and have been thinking about how to alter enemy behavior so that they're more diverse and interesting to fight. Most of this stems from playing Killing Floor 2 at the higher difficulties, where the low difficulty enemies are pretty predictable, the higher difficulty enemies have lots of attack variation, behavior variation, and such.

Players at high levels in Warframe are already superpowered with their equipment, and can kill and move much faster than the AI.

My goal is to de-emphasize the mundane, boring dynasty-warrior-like massacres and improve the mano-y-mano, one-on-one interactions between player and enemy that this game used to have early on.

I want to increase the variability between enemy types and make sure that encounters are more unique and diverse. Though, this would also come with some changes to the armor mechanics of the Grineer in particular. The more knobs and dials on enemy permutations, the better for combat diversity.

 

One of my major areas of criticism in this game is mechanical diversity vs. damage and health scaling. In my ideal version of the game, there would be less health and damage scaling, and more behavioral diversity to make the game more challenging without being cheesy at high levels.

 

Keep in mind, this is more of a feedback wishlist. Some changes will be far easier to implement than others.

 

Onwards to the meat and potatoes of this thread, though. I will be first addressing the Grineer, as this will be a multi-part thread on each faction and what can be done to improve them. I'm open to feedback. I don't think I'll be touching up on special units or Archwing units today, but will continue to work towards addressing the enemy units once I've gone back and analyzed them more. I will not be addressing corrupted variants, as they're the same as their normal counterparts.

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Grineer Faction

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Armor Rework -- The most important thing to change for the Grineer. All of the following Grineer unit changes are predicated on having this rework.

 

The Grineer (and by extension Corrupted variants) all have very high *percentile-based* damage resistances. It's not like a barrier (shields ala corpus) that you can dismantle. It's just damage resistance that scales dramatically.

Armor should be able to be dismantled by shooting parts of the Grineer. Shooting the torso should reduce the armor on that particular target's torso. Shooting the head should remove their helmets and/or masks (like the Corpus), and if they don't have a helmet, there should be no damage resistance there. The extremities should be less resistant than the torso.

Why should this be done, you ask?

 

To emphasize aiming and shooting smartly instead of spraying everywhere. Armor 2.0 is what it should be. This mechanic has stagnated too long. I will campaign for this until something happens. No shooting game should have requisite gear or 'hard' equipment gates (looking at you, corrosive projection), especially for such a fast-paced game.

Metro: Last Light, and to some extent 2033 had armor bits that could be broken off. Granted, they're separate models from the pawn, but the same concept stands.

Oh, and seeing them take visible damage makes shooting them much more satisfying than seeing a health bar whittle down.

In the Fallout series, enemies could take limb damage, and this would have varying effects on the opponent. Shooting the leg would cripple their movement. Shooting their arms would make it harder for melee enemies to attack, or for ranged opponents to shoot at you.

Additionally, the Mass Effect series had something similar to armored opponents in both 2 and 3, where armor was something that could be destroyed, even though it was a powerful damage mitigator.

I, among many feel that the shooting mechanics could use a bit of a facelift.

Which is why we need more precision-oriented shooting mechanics. The corpus crewmen received a helmet overhaul, as that can be shot off. I don't see why the Grineer should really be any different.

Granted, enemy armor should be tougher, but it should function as a health buffer, not a percentile-based damage resistance mechanic. Old-school shooters had armor parts as a reduction to the damage your health takes, and after it's gone, you take full damage.

If someone has their face exposed to fire, it should take true damage. Grineer that aren't wearing masks should take more damage to their head. Grineer troopers should have their helmets blown off if you shoot them in the head, allowing for successive shots to deal additional damage.

Armor breaks after it's been punished hard enough in any plausible situation. The Grineer armor should be no different. Weapons that hit harder should deal proportionally more damage. Puncture procs should in addition to making enemies deal less damage, shatter enemy armor.

Precision-oriented gameplay is something that they could definitely expand upon.

Melee Units

 

Butchers

The most common and lightly armored of most grineer enemies in early game missions, the butcher pretty much just casually jogs in a straight line towards the player, not really doing all that much to avoid fire. At higher levels (ramping with increasing chance to do so), the Butcher should sprint rapidly towards the player, but also employ dodge rolls and such to avoid the player's aim using some of the animations already in the game's files. They should also try and deflect the player's attacks and shots if possible. Key words: Try. They are the cannon fodder of the game, but should still be able to catch players off guard. They should also swing their weapons faster at higher levels, maybe butcher eximi would have twin Cleavers.

Sawmen

Bring back the sawmen, armed with Ripkas instead of the old spinny-glaive model. High bleed proc chance when attacking, and uses some kind of jet-assisted jump pack to close the gap. Make them scary. Pair them up with eviscerators.

Flameblade

The same improvements to Butchers should apply here, but flameblades should be more adept at blocking shots and have some kind of teleporter module that's attached to their back, which players can shoot. Mid level flameblades should have a chance to spawn with wrist shields or something to deflect more attacks if aimed at the torso. Flameblades should have a berserk mode where everything they do is faster and has a higher chance to inflict a fire proc at high levels as well.

Powerfists

Powerfists should receive the above animation improvements and behavior improvements, but should also be able to jump short distances to close the gap, either to perform their groundslam attack or simply to melee the player. In the chaos of everything, they should pose a different threat than say the flameblade or butcher, capable of stunning or even in some rare cases, knocking down the player. High level powerfists should have a chance to spawn with a helmet (to improve damage resistance on the head) and dual powerfists.

Scorpions

Scorpions are already an interesting enemy to fight when using low-level equipment, and they synergize well with the other grineer units, so the only thing I would say is improve some of their behaviors by adding dodges and such. High level scorpions should have improved movement speed and evasiveness, though. While being dragged around, you should still be able to shoot them.

Shield Lancers

Shield lancers have changed very little since closed beta, the only change being their Sicarus (arguably more powerful than what it is right now) to a Viper. High level shield lancers should have a shield that when they're sitting behind it, should expand sideways to cover a bigger firing lane (but move slower). The shield model is also a direct port from the old game Dark Sector, with a reskin. It could use some love. They used to be much more adept at knocking down players. Some of them should throw electrical traps and maybe carry a stug or a kraken in place of the viper, depending on level. Ultra-high level Shield Lancers should have a different appearance while carrying a Nukor or Atomos. Some should even have a small chance to spawn with an energized shield that cannot be penetrated until the energy field is broken.

Guardsman

I don't have much in the way of ideas for improvements for the guardsman, except that they should try to block some projectiles and move differently. Perhaps engage the players more directly and rapidly, maybe even have personal shields to protect specific body parts.

Medium Units

 

Ballista

The Ballista en masse is quite strong, but in individual fights, doesn't telegraph what they are doing very well. Perhaps, at high levels, they could be more evasive, move faster, and fire more frequently, while using a smokescreen to avoid Tenno closing the distance (infrequent, but can happen/should happen). An alternate high-level behavior that they should implement is a high-powered shot that's well-telegraphed, with a visible, red laser sight pointed at the player that they are targeting (tracking can be avoided by dodging), that goes for players that are generally more stationary. (The laser sight has been implemented in some patch that I must have missed, thanks DE!)

Eviscerator

The Eviscerator was a very frightening enemy to encounter when they were first introduced to the game thanks to their combination of higher armor and more powerful weaponry that fired quite fast (until they got nerfed). The Eviscerator should move towards the player a bit more aggressively and also have a charge-up shot (that deals a lot more damage) that is telegraphed by having the miter saw heat up and send out sparks, while leaving an orange trail for the charged attack. This charged attack should have a guaranteed bleed proc, since it's well telegraphed and highly visible to the player.

Hellion

[Suggestions needed] The Hellion is in an interesting place right now, with a good deal of mobility and firepower. I think they're quite alright for where they're at, but if anyone has suggestions for improving them, please do so. I think that maybe their attacks could be more telegraphed, more mobile, but with less armor.

Lancer

The Lancer is kinda the cannon fodder for the Grineer, but should still be a threat when bolstering other units, such as the Commander. The Commander should amplify their accuracy and strengthen their resolve (i.e. aggressive movements). They should also employ dodge rolls at high levels to evade fire. The grenade that they use isn't telegraphed all that well and isn't particularly visible (last time I played) and should be a lot more apparent. When paired up with Elite Lancers, they should also have some of the buffs that the Commander is going to confer. Lancers should carry different types of weapons

Elite Lancer

The Elite Lancer should be the smarter, more dangerous version of the Lancer, but shouldn't spawn completely in place of the Lancer, employing various tactics (shooting over cover). They should lead squads of Lancers or be in squads of their own at high levels. Depending on the planet and level, they should carry among the following weapons: Buzlok, Hind, Grinlok/Marelok combo, and maybe the Tonkor (grenadier variant with low spawn chance). They should be better at rolling and dodging fire, and throw grenades more frequently at high levels.

Scorch

A dangerous enemy in its own right, the Scorch is very dangerous when paired up with a couple of Scorpions and Rollers. Spawn logic should dictate that they spawn paired up with those two enemy types, as they synergize dangerously well with them. Improvements to dodging while not firing and such should be there. They shouldn't spawn in open maps, though, since that kind of nullifies the point of them working that way.

Seeker

Seekers with just the Kraken alone are quite powerful, but their latcher bombs are pretty much worthless, even though they are telegraphed quite well. The damage dealt by latchers should scale appropriately, as it's basically a grenade that rolls around and seeks out players. At high levels, they could alternately spawn with a Marelok or a Brakk.

Trooper

The Grineer Trooper should be far more dangerous at close range than it currently is. They don't move particularly fast, they're pretty easy to kill, and don't have anything that protects them while they close the distance. The Trooper should be able to sprint, should have more durability, and at high levels, spawn with a Drakgoon, Kohm, or Twin Kohmak. The Twin Kohmak variant should have a jump pack, and probably be renamed to Hellion Trooper.

Heavy Units

 

Bombard

The Bombard is already quite dangerous, but should be dangerous on its own without requiring numerous bombards to spawn at the same time. What I mean is, is that they should have the ability to fire multiple missiles at once, but have it well telegraphed, and with a long cooldown, and function similarly to the hellion missile volley. They don't need to move fast or anything. Their rockets should be a bit slower and have weaker tracking.

Commander

The Grineer Commander hasn't really received any changes since closed beta. It's just some heavier, more annoying lancer instead of being a real threat. Commanders should have the ability to call out a specific player to shoot at, marking them for focus fire by other nearby Grineer units, and the ability to "Inspire" other nearby units, making them move faster, dodge more frequently, and attack more precisely. This "inspire" buff should be well telegraphed so that players know to focus down the Commander first. The Commander should also carry a Buzlok which he marks players with (the tag round should be easy to dodge thanks to its relatively low velocity).

Drahk Master

The Drahk master at low levels isn't particularly dangerous, but the surprise of the halikar's disarming capability can be quite surprising to newer players. They should be more likely to pick up and use the player's weapon after it's been dropped. When throwing the Halikar, however, it could be more well-telegraphed.

Heavy Gunner

[Suggestions Needed] The Heavy Gunner is a pretty common sight on the battlefield, and I feel that they could use some behavior variation, but I'm not sure what.

Napalm

The Napalm is a very dangerous unit and the fire that is left behind by the napalm isn't scaled appropriately to the blast radius. Frequently, this blast radius isn't readily apparent to players, and needs to have its FX revised. Napalms should also throw firebombs, and pair up with Scorches when nearby.

Manic

[Suggestions Needed] I'm not sure what needs to change with them, but I'm sure other people can think of things

Hyekka Masters

[Suggestions Needed] Perhaps deploy a blunt as suggested by another user?

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Corpus Faction

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I feel as if the Corpus faction could use some more variety in capabilities instead of relying on Nullifier spam (which as of late, has become a very noticeable issue on the forums). Some of the propositions are based on the idea that Corpus use appropriated Orokin technology, and by extension, Tenno technology.

Crewmen

 

Crewman

Your standard crewman is generally not a threat to fight. Makes sense, right? Generally, one would assume they have some degree of weapons training, but are simply common working dudes. They should be more likely to retreat than rush at you, and should try to use cover a lot more. Corrupted counterparts should have a greater degree of disregard for self preservation. Higher levels should provide a greater degree of urgency when moving from cover to cover. Low-level crewmen should carry Tetra rifles instead of Dera rifles.

Detron Crewman

The Detron Crewman has the same exact behavioral characteristics of the standard crewman, but he shouldn't. This guy should move a fair bit faster than your regular crewman, since his damage output depends entirely on getting within a certain range. His fanaticism should be coupled with a greater disregard for his own safety. Possibly carrying a tiny personal barrier that projects off of his left forearm, covering the upper body, but not the head, legs or hands.

Sniper Crewman

This guy should be able to use some kind of active camouflage that partially cloaks him, so he's less noticeable with his bright banana suit. You should still be able to see him, but he should be a lot less visible. His shots should be well-telegraphed like the Railgun Moa, but he should be very squirrely.

Elite Crewman

This guy should be elite. He should carry some kind of damage amplifier that links to two other crewmen in his immediate vicinity. This amplifier can be shot and damage the crewman's ability to put out numbers, though, because the damage amp acts as a primary power source for his Flux Rifle. High-level Elite Crewmen should receive the Quanta and Convectrix, but only in limited quantities. The Elite Crewman should move to cover much more rapidly than the lowly regular Crewman. This is all to further expand upon the idea that corpus rely on advanced technologies to bolster their capabilities on the field and provide buffs for each other to work in concert.

Tech

Should be a dude in an exosuit. I know the art asset change probably won't happen because well, uh... it's expensive. There should be a couple variations of the Techs, ones that pop shield ospreys. At high levels, there should be a small number of Techs that use the Penta. These techs should be quite rare. Techs should also repair nearby walkers via an intermittent pulse.

Prod Crewman

These guys should be like security guards. Their prods should have infrequent stun procs. While I don't think they should use the Serro (imagine how hilariously awkward that would be), they should still be the fastest and most mobile of the crewmen because of their need to close the distance. John Prodman forever.

Nullifier Crewman

They are the bane of existence to many, simply because so many of them spawn at once. There should be no more than one or two spawned in at any given time. High-powered single-shot weapons should be able to pierce the shields. Mods should be made for shield penetration of these guys. Sniper rifles and bows should have innate nullifier shield puncture.

Scrambus

[Suggestions needed] I haven't played enough recently since they were introduced to really be able to fully analyze them.

Comba

[Suggestions needed] Same as goes for the Scrambus.

(Below are new crewman permutation ideas)

Riot Crewman

This is an elite crewman that carries an Amprex instead of a Flux Rifle. Instead of a damage amp, though, he'll use a shield pack that provides bonus shields to two other crewman in his vicinity. Some of the Riot Crewmen will carry Glaxions. Increased frequency of Glaxion usage on Europa. Will sometimes throw an absorption grenade to attract fire and detonate after 3 seconds. (works similarly to Nyx's absorb).

Ordnance Crewman

This guy will be the only crewman to make use of the Opticor on a non-Archwing mission. Takes time to set up to fire, crouches while firing, and carries a Cestra as backup before firing. Tries to position himself at a distance.

Construction Crewman

This engineer-type Crewman carries the Spectra, but generally tries to avoid any direct combat. Will set up small projected shield barriers that function similarly to the Nullfiier bubble. Construction crewmen will also deploy repair stations that bolster the durability of nearby walkers.

Walkers

Ospreys

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Infested Faction

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(Content Pending)

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Sentient Faction

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(Content Pending)

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Eximi

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(Content Pending)

Edited by Vaskadar
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Yeah i support this idea because we need more tactical gameplay instead of mindless killing.

Also, only ones that dont need AI reworking are the infested because they are ment to be swarming.

 

Edited by Kanlor
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If bombards are to be boosted thus, I think their rockets need to be modified to have limited turning ability: They can only follow players for so long before they cease to turn and go in a straight line. This can increase with level.

Heavy gunners could be more mobile to complement their long legs, maybe sprinting and jumping the most of the heavy ranged Grineer.

But overall, great ideas.

Edited by Akavakaku
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what I really support about this is weapon variety, i mean, half the Grineer arsenal is unused by the Grineer themselves, somewhat dumb to make weapons for us to use on them...

then comes the maneuvers part, it sure would be cool but I think this has to come with a massive rework to spawns, i mean, imagine a horde of those dodgers, and with their current armor scaling we`d take forever to get a kill, good for normal missions but will screw endless ones over

no for the Hellions I think they should use that jetpack more often, maybe give them the ability to hover? or maybe make them never touch the ground once alerted? i mean if i had a jetpack i`d abuse the crap out of it

manics are particularly fine as they are, quite tactical, somewhat dangerous

as for hyekka masters, I think she should get more tactical with that ignis she has, like for example she can get a deployable shield (immortal version of blunt, u have to walk to it and do a context action where you knock it down yourself), so that encounters with her are as follows:

she sees you, slaps that shield on the ground, sends her kitty cats to fight and hides behind the shield, other enemies can join her, and well u have a hard encounter, u need to attack them from behind or risk getting close and knocking the shield down, when damaged she`ll throw her napalm thingie at you

how the shield looks like is half a hexagon with a reinforced glass bar at the top part of it, u can still break the glass and shoot through it though

Spoiler

totally crappy model of the shield:

Lx1o3DY.png

 

Edited by Bizzaro21
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24 minutes ago, Bizzaro21 said:

then comes the maneuvers part, it sure would be cool but I think this has to come with a massive rework to spawns, i mean, imagine a horde of those dodgers, and with their current armor scaling we`d take forever to get a kill, good for normal missions but will screw endless ones over

as for hyekka masters, I think she should get more tactical with that ignis she has, like for example she can get a deployable shield (immortal version of blunt, u have to walk to it and do a context action where you knock it down yourself), so that encounters with her are as follows:

she sees you, slaps that shield on the ground, sends her kitty cats to fight and hides behind the shield, other enemies can join her, and well u have a hard encounter, u need to attack them from behind or risk getting close and knocking the shield down, when damaged she`ll throw her napalm thingie at you

how the shield looks like is half a hexagon with a reinforced glass bar at the top part of it, u can still break the glass and shoot through it though

  Reveal hidden contents

totally crappy model of the shield:

Lx1o3DY.png

 

It makes sense to have the hellions spam jetpack more frequently, but as for your response to the maneuverability, these changes to the Grineer should be implemented alongside a change to the armor mechanics, a la the armor rework now in the first post.

Edited by Vaskadar
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I think a good number of your suggestions about shield lancers are pretty good. I've been thinking for a while how this unit could be better to force Players to change tactics while at the same time leaving the player with solid counter play options. 

-All versions of the shield lancer will block LoS powers(Radial Blind, Prism) while its shield is in full defensive position. When he's shooting over the shield, its vulnerable at that point. Units directly behind in a cone (1-2 m) will also not be affected by the power.

-Any AoE attack  that directly hits the surfaces of the shield automatically has at least a 50% damage reduction to it and units directly behind it.

-As you suggested, higher level versions of this unit should have better versions of this shield.

  • The "wide" shield
  • Electric shield (like shield dargyns, will shock and stun players during its charge.)
  • Blast shield (knocks tenno down during its charge with blast damage, It will sometimes parry projectiles that have travel time and unleash a shotgun like blast in a cone forward for a few meters)
  • Absorb shield ( Neutralizes all incoming damage in full defensive position. acts like Nyx's absorb and reflects a percentage of the damage back in a cone)
  • Adding a "sword and board" grinner would be nice too
Edited by (PS4)VariantX7
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29 minutes ago, Vaskadar said:

It makes sense to have the hellions spam jetpack more frequently, but as for your response to the maneuverability, these changes to the Grineer should be implemented alongside a change to the armor mechanics, a la the armor rework now in the first post.

ikr? and yes I thought u have that in mind, but what do u mean by "a la the armor rework now in the first post" ?

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13 minutes ago, Bizzaro21 said:

ikr? and yes I thought u have that in mind, but what do u mean by "a la the armor rework now in the first post" ?

Take a quick look at the revised first post. It's wrapped in a spoiler tag.

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46 minutes ago, Vaskadar said:

Take a quick look at the revised first post. It's wrapped in a spoiler tag.

ah now that is what im talking about, but i might wanna add that health scaling is also broken, but well, one thing at a time, if armor is shot down it would be very great, but I think we already do that with corrosive procs?

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2 minutes ago, Vaskadar said:

The armor shouldn't require equipment gating to defeat it, that's the main argument. Corrosive procs should make it easier, but shouldn't be mandatory.

sounds interesting, make them give 5% more armor damage then (<----just an example)? I think that`d make it fair

Edited by Bizzaro21
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(This is going to a train wreck of mishaps, unorganized mess and dumbness and regardless about what you may think after reading this I wish each and every single one of your ideas could be added (they would make those solo sorties so fun!))

Sounds fun but... some enemies are already too tough (like bombards) for lower ability players  if you gave they the ability to roll and dodge it would make them nigh unkillable (or even hit) with a MK1 Paris which many players use until 20+ content Since that is when they damage starts to fall off. (just an example but remember the Devs don't balance around high level they balance at mid level)

As for the shield lancers they are already knock down happy and they shields SHOULD not be indestructible I do like the various ideas for them but the modifications should be limited to 20+ also unless they are eximus they should not have an eximus's ability's.

IF you give the Cat lady a shield you need to tone down her damage (it can one shot less tanky frames Like Loki, Banshee, and Ivara )

Health and damage scaling should also be toned down

The drakk master I think Should not use the weapon after its dropped Why? Because Tonkor = insta death. Opicore= death. Tigris = Death. Dread= Death. Paris prime = death.       Almost any gun you bring to a mission ever = Death

All enemy summoner enemies should only summon once (Drakk master, cat lady, Techs, and others)

As for dodging in General this is a horde game if you cant hit you can't kill (besides the clipping it would look like rolling balls of flesh every where (shudders))

I agree with everything about the commanders except with the increase in dodge chance.

Elite lancers should then count as Heavy's with the appropriate spawn chance (like one in every ten lancers is one elite ) 

Maniacs could be more common and I would like them to dodge

Regular lancers should be just that they should be fodder

the buffs to the scorpions could lead to a never ending stun lock so problemly not.

All grenades in general need to be either fixed damage or scale weaker including the cat lady's

the troopers are supposed to be grunts and fodder not high priority targets

I want the sawmen back I miss them : (  but they should be the Elite Butchers 

All warframes should get up faster I'm only mildly athletic and even after getting thrown across the room it only takes me a second to get up and be ready for a fight (that has happened before at a bar with a drunk hulking dude long story short he was harassing my sister I told him to stop. I get thrown. I kick his &amp;#&#33;                              

( warframes are supposed to be super strong tough and fast so why do they get up as slow as toddlers? )

I would love to be able to shoot a lancers leg off and see him grab the stump and his ally's grab him and take him away from the front lines to a healer

They should add a Grineer healer not an AOE healer but someone who stays away from the front lines and helps the wounded

The reason I'm being so Debby downer is because already so many new players are left feeling weak when the point of the game is to kill hordes and give players a power rush after all aren't we gods? (in a way)

Spoiler

th?&id=OIP.Mcb1eb9095189f1e87520b3ac6821

Spoiler

th?&id=OIP.M496d47b83a1c2787aaee8b5006f7

 

Edited by Rex13568
Because Aleins
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These tweaks are geared towards higher-level play, while having little impact on early-game. The armor scaling is more of an issue than health scaling at the moment, too, but can be modified. Heavy enemies won't receive the same changes that the melee units receive. I didn't realize I needed to clarify that. The Grineer melee units are pretty worthless.

Added portion to the scorpion's dragline that would allow you to shoot back at her.

Edited by Vaskadar
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I don't mean to denigrate your efforts, BUT;

 

I honestly don't understand the effort put into this pie-in-the-sky daydreaming.

 

Unless it's numbers in a database being tweaked, it won't happen.  You're not going to get wholesale ai rewrites and tweaks and across the board.  You can kid yourself all day, but it won't happen.

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I love your ideas, I think they would make the game WAY more fun and engaging. One thing I'm not particularly fond of, and it was very apparent in rathuum, is the enemies having tenno powers. In my opinion, it kills the uniqueness of frames and their abilities if everyone can do it. The cable you listed is that ballista doing a smoke bomb, I do believe they need some sort of evasion/retreat, but I'm not on board with copying Ash's ability. Additionally, I think they should add more field bosses. One of the most fun tactical alerts was the proxy retribution where hyenas spawned in a lot. Bosses definitely need to be buffed, but they should add duller versions of the bosses that are still stronger than the other units. Enemy guns also need to behave the same way they behave when we get them. Bombards in particular have a suped up ogris that homes in on people. I get it if they have to charge the weapon and WE get the homing mechanism on ours, but a dumb fire mechanic needs to be by just pulling the trigger.

I like where this thread is headed and I'll be keeping an eye on it. Keep up the good work.

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/30/2016 at 3:09 PM, Vaskadar said:

So, I have been playing a bunch of other games lately and have been thinking about how to alter enemy behavior so that they're more diverse and interesting to fight. Most of this stems from playing Killing Floor 2 at the higher difficulties, where the low difficulty enemies are pretty predictable, the higher difficulty enemies have lots of attack variation, behavior variation, and such.

Players at high levels in Warframe are already superpowered with their equipment, and can kill and move much faster than the AI.

My goal is to de-emphasize the mundane, boring dynasty-warrior-like massacres and improve the mano-y-mano, one-on-one interactions between player and enemy that this game used to have early on.

I want to increase the variability between enemy types and make sure that encounters are more unique and diverse. Though, this would also come with some changes to the armor mechanics of the Grineer in particular. The more knobs and dials on enemy permutations, the better for combat diversity.

 

One of my major areas of criticism in this game is mechanical diversity vs. damage and health scaling. In my ideal version of the game, there would be less health and damage scaling, and more behavioral diversity to make the game more challenging without being cheesy at high levels.

 

Keep in mind, this is more of a feedback wishlist. Some changes will be far easier to implement than others.

 

Onwards to the meat and potatoes of this thread, though. I will be first addressing the Grineer, as this will be a multi-part thread on each faction and what can be done to improve them. I'm open to feedback. I don't think I'll be touching up on special units or Archwing units today, but will continue to work towards addressing the enemy units once I've gone back and analyzed them more. I will not be addressing corrupted variants, as they're the same as their normal counterparts.

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Grineer Faction

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Armor Rework -- The most important thing to change for the Grineer. All of the following Grineer unit changes are predicated on having this rework.

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The Grineer (and by extension Corrupted variants) all have very high *percentile-based* damage resistances. It's not like a barrier (shields ala corpus) that you can dismantle. It's just damage resistance that scales dramatically.

Armor should be able to be dismantled by shooting parts of the Grineer. Shooting the torso should reduce the armor on that particular target's torso. Shooting the head should remove their helmets and/or masks (like the Corpus), and if they don't have a helmet, there should be no damage resistance there. The extremities should be less resistant than the torso.

Why should this be done, you ask?

 

To emphasize aiming and shooting smartly instead of spraying everywhere. Armor 2.0 is what it should be. This mechanic has stagnated too long. I will campaign for this until something happens. No shooting game should have requisite gear or 'hard' equipment gates (looking at you, corrosive projection), especially for such a fast-paced game.

Metro: Last Light, and to some extent 2033 had armor bits that could be broken off. Granted, they're separate models from the pawn, but the same concept stands.

Oh, and seeing them take visible damage makes shooting them much more satisfying than seeing a health bar whittle down.

In the Fallout series, enemies could take limb damage, and this would have varying effects on the opponent. Shooting the leg would cripple their movement. Shooting their arms would make it harder for melee enemies to attack, or for ranged opponents to shoot at you.

Additionally, the Mass Effect series had something similar to armored opponents in both 2 and 3, where armor was something that could be destroyed, even though it was a powerful damage mitigator.

I, among many feel that the shooting mechanics could use a bit of a facelift.

Which is why we need more precision-oriented shooting mechanics. The corpus crewmen received a helmet overhaul, as that can be shot off. I don't see why the Grineer should really be any different.

Granted, enemy armor should be tougher, but it should function as a health buffer, not a percentile-based damage resistance mechanic. Old-school shooters had armor parts as a reduction to the damage your health takes, and after it's gone, you take full damage.

If someone has their face exposed to fire, it should take true damage. Grineer that aren't wearing masks should take more damage to their head. Grineer troopers should have their helmets blown off if you shoot them in the head, allowing for successive shots to deal additional damage.

Armor breaks after it's been punished hard enough in any plausible situation. The Grineer armor should be no different. Weapons that hit harder should deal proportionally more damage. Puncture procs should in addition to making enemies deal less damage, shatter enemy armor.

Precision-oriented gameplay is something that they could definitely expand upon.

Melee Units

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Butchers

The most common and lightly armored of most grineer enemies in early game missions, the butcher pretty much just casually jogs in a straight line towards the player, not really doing all that much to avoid fire. At higher levels (ramping with increasing chance to do so), the Butcher should sprint rapidly towards the player, but also employ dodge rolls and such to avoid the player's aim using some of the animations already in the game's files. They should also try and deflect the player's attacks and shots if possible. Key words: Try. They are the cannon fodder of the game, but should still be able to catch players off guard. They should also swing their weapons faster at higher levels, maybe butcher eximi would have twin Cleavers.

Sawmen

Bring back the sawmen, armed with Ripkas instead of the old spinny-glaive model. High bleed proc chance when attacking, and uses some kind of jet-assisted jump pack to close the gap. Make them scary. Pair them up with eviscerators.

Flameblade

The same improvements to Butchers should apply here, but flameblades should be more adept at blocking shots and have some kind of teleporter module that's attached to their back, which players can shoot. Mid level flameblades should have a chance to spawn with wrist shields or something to deflect more attacks if aimed at the torso. Flameblades should have a berserk mode where everything they do is faster and has a higher chance to inflict a fire proc at high levels as well.

Powerfists

Powerfists should receive the above animation improvements and behavior improvements, but should also be able to jump short distances to close the gap, either to perform their groundslam attack or simply to melee the player. In the chaos of everything, they should pose a different threat than say the flameblade or butcher, capable of stunning or even in some rare cases, knocking down the player. High level powerfists should have a chance to spawn with a helmet (to improve damage resistance on the head) and dual powerfists.

Scorpions

Scorpions are already an interesting enemy to fight when using low-level equipment, and they synergize well with the other grineer units, so the only thing I would say is improve some of their behaviors by adding dodges and such. High level scorpions should have improved movement speed and evasiveness, though. While being dragged around, you should still be able to shoot them.

Shield Lancers

Shield lancers have changed very little since closed beta, the only change being their Sicarus (arguably more powerful than what it is right now) to a Viper. High level shield lancers should have a shield that when they're sitting behind it, should expand sideways to cover a bigger firing lane (but move slower). The shield model is also a direct port from the old game Dark Sector, with a reskin. It could use some love. They used to be much more adept at knocking down players. Some of them should throw electrical traps and maybe carry a stug or a kraken in place of the viper, depending on level. Ultra-high level Shield Lancers should have a different appearance while carrying a Nukor or Atomos. Some should even have a small chance to spawn with an energized shield that cannot be penetrated until the energy field is broken.

Guardsman

I don't have much in the way of ideas for improvements for the guardsman, except that they should try to block some projectiles and move differently. Perhaps engage the players more directly and rapidly, maybe even have personal shields to protect specific body parts.

Medium Units

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Ballista

The Ballista en masse is quite strong, but in individual fights, doesn't telegraph what they are doing very well. Perhaps, at high levels, they could be more evasive, move faster, and fire more frequently, while using a smokescreen to avoid Tenno closing the distance (infrequent, but can happen/should happen). An alternate high-level behavior that they should implement is a high-powered shot that's well-telegraphed, with a visible, red laser sight pointed at the player that they are targeting (tracking can be avoided by dodging), that goes for players that are generally more stationary. (The laser sight has been implemented in some patch that I must have missed, thanks DE!)

Eviscerator

The Eviscerator was a very frightening enemy to encounter when they were first introduced to the game thanks to their combination of higher armor and more powerful weaponry that fired quite fast (until they got nerfed). The Eviscerator should move towards the player a bit more aggressively and also have a charge-up shot (that deals a lot more damage) that is telegraphed by having the miter saw heat up and send out sparks, while leaving an orange trail for the charged attack. This charged attack should have a guaranteed bleed proc, since it's well telegraphed and highly visible to the player.

Hellion

[Suggestions needed] The Hellion is in an interesting place right now, with a good deal of mobility and firepower. I think they're quite alright for where they're at, but if anyone has suggestions for improving them, please do so. I think that maybe their attacks could be more telegraphed, more mobile, but with less armor.

Lancer

The Lancer is kinda the cannon fodder for the Grineer, but should still be a threat when bolstering other units, such as the Commander. The Commander should amplify their accuracy and strengthen their resolve (i.e. aggressive movements). They should also employ dodge rolls at high levels to evade fire. The grenade that they use isn't telegraphed all that well and isn't particularly visible (last time I played) and should be a lot more apparent. When paired up with Elite Lancers, they should also have some of the buffs that the Commander is going to confer. Lancers should carry different types of weapons

Elite Lancer

The Elite Lancer should be the smarter, more dangerous version of the Lancer, but shouldn't spawn completely in place of the Lancer, employing various tactics (shooting over cover). They should lead squads of Lancers or be in squads of their own at high levels. Depending on the planet and level, they should carry among the following weapons: Buzlok, Hind, Grinlok/Marelok combo, and maybe the Tonkor (grenadier variant with low spawn chance). They should be better at rolling and dodging fire, and throw grenades more frequently at high levels.

Scorch

A dangerous enemy in its own right, the Scorch is very dangerous when paired up with a couple of Scorpions and Rollers. Spawn logic should dictate that they spawn paired up with those two enemy types, as they synergize dangerously well with them. Improvements to dodging while not firing and such should be there. They shouldn't spawn in open maps, though, since that kind of nullifies the point of them working that way.

Seeker

Seekers with just the Kraken alone are quite powerful, but their latcher bombs are pretty much worthless, even though they are telegraphed quite well. The damage dealt by latchers should scale appropriately, as it's basically a grenade that rolls around and seeks out players. At high levels, they could alternately spawn with a Marelok or a Brakk.

Trooper

The Grineer Trooper should be far more dangerous at close range than it currently is. They don't move particularly fast, they're pretty easy to kill, and don't have anything that protects them while they close the distance. The Trooper should be able to sprint, should have more durability, and at high levels, spawn with a Drakgoon, Kohm, or Twin Kohmak. The Twin Kohmak variant should have a jump pack, and probably be renamed to Hellion Trooper.

Heavy Units

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Bombard

The Bombard is already quite dangerous, but should be dangerous on its own without requiring numerous bombards to spawn at the same time. What I mean is, is that they should have the ability to fire multiple missiles at once, but have it well telegraphed, and with a long cooldown, and function similarly to the hellion missile volley. They don't need to move fast or anything. Their rockets should be a bit slower and have weaker tracking.

Commander

The Grineer Commander hasn't really received any changes since closed beta. It's just some heavier, more annoying lancer instead of being a real threat. Commanders should have the ability to call out a specific player to shoot at, marking them for focus fire by other nearby Grineer units, and the ability to "Inspire" other nearby units, making them move faster, dodge more frequently, and attack more precisely. This "inspire" buff should be well telegraphed so that players know to focus down the Commander first. The Commander should also carry a Buzlok which he marks players with (the tag round should be easy to dodge thanks to its relatively low velocity).

Drahk Master

The Drahk master at low levels isn't particularly dangerous, but the surprise of the halikar's disarming capability can be quite surprising to newer players. They should be more likely to pick up and use the player's weapon after it's been dropped. When throwing the Halikar, however, it could be more well-telegraphed.

Heavy Gunner

[Suggestions Needed] The Heavy Gunner is a pretty common sight on the battlefield, and I feel that they could use some behavior variation, but I'm not sure what.

Napalm

The Napalm is a very dangerous unit and the fire that is left behind by the napalm isn't scaled appropriately to the blast radius. Frequently, this blast radius isn't readily apparent to players, and needs to have its FX revised. Napalms should also throw firebombs, and pair up with Scorches when nearby.

Manic

[Suggestions Needed] I'm not sure what needs to change with them, but I'm sure other people can think of things

Hyekka Masters

[Suggestions Needed] Perhaps deploy a blunt as suggested by another user?

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Corpus Faction

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I feel as if the Corpus faction could use some more variety in capabilities instead of relying on Nullifier spam (which as of late, has become a very noticeable issue on the forums). Some of the propositions are based on the idea that Corpus use appropriated Orokin technology, and by extension, Tenno technology.

Crewmen

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Crewman

Your standard crewman is generally not a threat to fight. Makes sense, right? Generally, one would assume they have some degree of weapons training, but are simply common working dudes. They should be more likely to retreat than rush at you, and should try to use cover a lot more. Corrupted counterparts should have a greater degree of disregard for self preservation. Higher levels should provide a greater degree of urgency when moving from cover to cover. Low-level crewmen should carry Tetra rifles instead of Dera rifles.

Detron Crewman

The Detron Crewman has the same exact behavioral characteristics of the standard crewman, but he shouldn't. This guy should move a fair bit faster than your regular crewman, since his damage output depends entirely on getting within a certain range. His fanaticism should be coupled with a greater disregard for his own safety. Possibly carrying a tiny personal barrier that projects off of his left forearm, covering the upper body, but not the head, legs or hands.

Sniper Crewman

This guy should be able to use some kind of active camouflage that partially cloaks him, so he's less noticeable with his bright banana suit. You should still be able to see him, but he should be a lot less visible. His shots should be well-telegraphed like the Railgun Moa, but he should be very squirrely.

Elite Crewman

This guy should be elite. He should carry some kind of damage amplifier that links to two other crewmen in his immediate vicinity. This amplifier can be shot and damage the crewman's ability to put out numbers, though, because the damage amp acts as a primary power source for his Flux Rifle. High-level Elite Crewmen should receive the Quanta and Convectrix, but only in limited quantities. The Elite Crewman should move to cover much more rapidly than the lowly regular Crewman. This is all to further expand upon the idea that corpus rely on advanced technologies to bolster their capabilities on the field and provide buffs for each other to work in concert.

Tech

Should be a dude in an exosuit. I know the art asset change probably won't happen because well, uh... it's expensive. There should be a couple variations of the Techs, ones that pop shield ospreys. At high levels, there should be a small number of Techs that use the Penta. These techs should be quite rare. Techs should also repair nearby walkers via an intermittent pulse.

Prod Crewman

These guys should be like security guards. Their prods should have infrequent stun procs. While I don't think they should use the Serro (imagine how hilariously awkward that would be), they should still be the fastest and most mobile of the crewmen because of their need to close the distance. John Prodman forever.

Nullifier Crewman

They are the bane of existence to many, simply because so many of them spawn at once. There should be no more than one or two spawned in at any given time. High-powered single-shot weapons should be able to pierce the shields. Mods should be made for shield penetration of these guys. Sniper rifles and bows should have innate nullifier shield puncture.

Scrambus

[Suggestions needed] I haven't played enough recently since they were introduced to really be able to fully analyze them.

Comba

[Suggestions needed] Same as goes for the Scrambus.

(Below are new crewman permutation ideas)

Riot Crewman

This is an elite crewman that carries an Amprex instead of a Flux Rifle. Instead of a damage amp, though, he'll use a shield pack that provides bonus shields to two other crewman in his vicinity. Some of the Riot Crewmen will carry Glaxions. Increased frequency of Glaxion usage on Europa. Will sometimes throw an absorption grenade to attract fire and detonate after 3 seconds. (works similarly to Nyx's absorb).

Ordnance Crewman

This guy will be the only crewman to make use of the Opticor on a non-Archwing mission. Takes time to set up to fire, crouches while firing, and carries a Cestra as backup before firing. Tries to position himself at a distance.

Construction Crewman

This engineer-type Crewman carries the Spectra, but generally tries to avoid any direct combat. Will set up small projected shield barriers that function similarly to the Nullfiier bubble. Construction crewmen will also deploy repair stations that bolster the durability of nearby walkers.

Walkers

Ospreys

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Infested Faction

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Sentient Faction

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Eximi

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I like this, I will come back later. Are you open to meaning some ideas in or is this a one person thing, suggestions might be added?

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On 6/30/2016 at 9:26 PM, Rex13568 said:

(This is going to a train wreck of mishaps, unorganized mess and dumbness and regardless about what you may think after reading this I wish each and every single one of your ideas could be added (they would make those solo sorties so fun!))

Sounds fun but... some enemies are already too tough (like bombards) for lower ability players  if you gave they the ability to roll and dodge it would make them nigh unkillable (or even hit) with a MK1 Paris which many players use until 20+ content Since that is when they damage starts to fall off. (just an example but remember the Devs don't balance around high level they balance at mid level)

As for the shield lancers they are already knock down happy and they shields SHOULD not be indestructible I do like the various ideas for them but the modifications should be limited to 20+ also unless they are eximus they should not have an eximus's ability's.

IF you give the Cat lady a shield you need to tone down her damage (it can one shot less tanky frames Like Loki, Banshee, and Ivara )

Health and damage scaling should also be toned down

The drakk master I think Should not use the weapon after its dropped Why? Because Tonkor = insta death. Opicore= death. Tigris = Death. Dread= Death. Paris prime = death.       Almost any gun you bring to a mission ever = Death

All enemy summoner enemies should only summon once (Drakk master, cat lady, Techs, and others)

As for dodging in General this is a horde game if you cant hit you can't kill (besides the clipping it would look like rolling balls of flesh every where (shudders))

I agree with everything about the commanders except with the increase in dodge chance.

Elite lancers should then count as Heavy's with the appropriate spawn chance (like one in every ten lancers is one elite ) 

Maniacs could be more common and I would like them to dodge

Regular lancers should be just that they should be fodder

the buffs to the scorpions could lead to a never ending stun lock so problemly not.

All grenades in general need to be either fixed damage or scale weaker including the cat lady's

the troopers are supposed to be grunts and fodder not high priority targets

I want the sawmen back I miss them : (  but they should be the Elite Butchers 

All warframes should get up faster I'm only mildly athletic and even after getting thrown across the room it only takes me a second to get up and be ready for a fight (that has happened before at a bar with a drunk hulking dude long story short he was harassing my sister I told him to stop. I get thrown. I kick his &amp;#&#33;                              

( warframes are supposed to be super strong tough and fast so why do they get up as slow as toddlers? )

I would love to be able to shoot a lancers leg off and see him grab the stump and his ally's grab him and take him away from the front lines to a healer

They should add a Grineer healer not an AOE healer but someone who stays away from the front lines and helps the wounded

The reason I'm being so Debby downer is because already so many new players are left feeling weak when the point of the game is to kill hordes and give players a power rush after all aren't we gods? (in a way)

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But this is important too

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I don't see how this would change anything, everyone uses AOE or bullet hose weapons with punch through. If they're goign to take advantage of more CPU cycles for enemies I think it should be used for  higher spawn counts. I want to find a room filled with one hundred greneer so I can charge into the middle of them with Rhino and start dismembering them five at a time with a huge glowing axe. Persistent blood and guts decals with a limit I could raise to scale with my hardware would be amazing too; if I go 60 rounds on a defense mission I want that pod to look like something an 80s horror movie villein would scream and run away from :) 

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