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Melee: Present and Future goals!

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7 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

Maybe DE should look into the fact that melee is the only thing that scales it's damage (combo multiplier). Without it, even S2W would have it's damage capped to mods. Perhaps, as a suggestion, maybe DE should look into other forms of damage scaling in a similar way. 

No.

DE should step back and examine why they would want damage to scale in the first place.

Enemy scaling was never supposed to be at the forefront of gameplay to begin with, and the whole point of enemy scaling is to let enemies out-scale players and force them out of endless missions.

Players should not scale at all (beyond simply leveling up/equipping mods). DE needs to sit down and define a concrete "maximum" balanced level and balance player arsenals so that they are reasonably equipped to beat that maximum level. Then they should make it so that above maximum level, players start to lose effectiveness. Trying to make damage scale like CC was a mistake; DE should have simply stopped CC from scaling infinitely.

The fact that players need any scaling at all to keep up with existing content is a sign that balance is broken.

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1 hour ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

No.

DE should step back and examine why they would want damage to scale in the first place.

Enemy scaling was never supposed to be at the forefront of gameplay to begin with, and the whole point of enemy scaling is to let enemies out-scale players and force them out of endless missions.

Players should not scale at all (beyond simply leveling up/equipping mods). DE needs to sit down and define a concrete "maximum" balanced level and balance player arsenals so that they are reasonably equipped to beat that maximum level. Then they should make it so that above maximum level, players start to lose effectiveness. Trying to make damage scale like CC was a mistake; DE should have simply stopped CC from scaling infinitely.

The fact that players need any scaling at all to keep up with existing content is a sign that balance is broken.

The problem with this is, players dont level. Mods are the only way to reach peak performance, not even so much the weapon, as the mods in it. DMG scaling is the ONLY  reason why melee is as powerful as it is. But to a point you're right, they have to take one angle or the other: remove the need for dmg scaling, or have all wpns scale similar to melee. Also, that a players peak damage be confirmed and established.

But adding/increasing the ability to scale your wpns, rather than overhauling the ENTIRE damage and armor system is a far more prudent idea. Removing CC is foolish, that's their golden unique system. And it's not easy to reach and maintain a high combo counter WITHOUT S2W. It's a good system, S2W just broke it. Then, however they decide to do that, it needs to be DIFFICULT to obtain that power, and NO ONE should be able to trade or buy into it. I hate the fact anyone can spend their money on plat n just BUY S2W without ever needing to learn how to play at high levels. They just buy into it.

 

So yeah, essentially, until a balance point has been established with mobs vs players, changing Melee at ALL before then is incredibly ill-advised. A side must be chosen first: make players stronger, or make mobs weaker. and making mobs weaker will gut the "endless" factor.

 

 

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4 hours ago, RhythmScript said:

So really, the only choices are to embrace spin2win as Melee’s Role In Warframe (by leaving melee as a means of oneshotting),

They could also put a cooldown timer on maiming strike while still keeping the 'horde shooter/smasher' feel

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8 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

The problem with this is, players dont level. Mods are the only way to reach peak performance, not even so much the weapon, as the mods in it. DMG scaling is the ONLY  reason why melee is as powerful as it is. But to a point you're right, they have to take one angle or the other: remove the need for dmg scaling, or have all wpns scale similar to melee. Also, that a players peak damage be confirmed and established.

That's the point, though. Players shouldn't scale, or else scaling enemies is redundant. Endless missions are supposed to out-scale players and make continuing impossible. Player scaling allows them to continue indefinitely until they get bored.

8 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

But adding/increasing the ability to scale your wpns, rather than overhauling the ENTIRE damage and armor system is a far more prudent idea.

No it isn't. There's no need to overhaul damage and armor. Most types of damage already don't scale, so only a few types need nerfs to prevent scaling. All DE needs to do with armor is to remove its quantity scaling for enemies and rely solely on health scaling.

8 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

Removing CC is foolish, that's their golden unique system.

Did I say remove CC? No. CC should still function normally up to the MAXIMUM enemy level.

Let's use L150 as an example. Up to 150, everything works normally.

From L151 onward, enemies start gaining scaling resistance to CC (reduced magnitude/duration) to stop it from scaling infinitely.

8 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

And it's not easy to reach and maintain a high combo counter WITHOUT S2W.

Yes it is. I never use spin 2 win; melee combo is only a function of mission duration.

8 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

It's a good system, S2W just broke it.

I disagree. The combo meter in its current iteration requires over-commitment to melee, to the point that it excludes using guns. Players should be able to switch weapons without penalty.

8 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

Then, however they decide to do that, it needs to be DIFFICULT to obtain that power, and NO ONE should be able to trade or buy into it. I hate the fact anyone can spend their money on plat n just BUY S2W without ever needing to learn how to play at high levels. They just buy into it.

This won't change as long as mods are power-ups and CC locking is possible.

8 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

So yeah, essentially, until a balance point has been established with mobs vs players, changing Melee at ALL before then is incredibly ill-advised. A side must be chosen first: make players stronger, or make mobs weaker. and making mobs weaker will gut the "endless" factor.

There is no endless factor to gut. The game is just as simple at level 3000 as it is at 300. High levels are meaningless until players can no longer cheese them.

Doing endurance runs is only a matter of attention span and tolerance for repeating the same optimal routines over and over and over. By stopping player scaling, reaching higher levels would actually mean something.

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46 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

That's the point, though. Players shouldn't scale, or else scaling enemies is redundant. Endless missions are supposed to out-scale players and make continuing impossible. Player scaling allows them to continue indefinitely until they get bored.

In the current system, players need to scale, or players wouldnt be flocking to S2W as the ONLY damage-scaling means of dealing with high level mobs. You're wrong.

46 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

No it isn't. There's no need to overhaul damage and armor. Most types of damage already don't scale, so only a few types need nerfs to prevent scaling. All DE needs to do with armor is to remove its quantity scaling for enemies and rely solely on health scaling.

There are only 2 options here: 1) Remove broken ability, understand reason for needing broken ability, polish system and expand on broken abilities niche, or 2) Understand that the entire way the game is made, is why the need for the broken ability is necessary, and completely overhaul the game and rebalance the relationship with damage and armor so it's no longer necessary. That's it. 2 options. Increase health is a band-aid on the situation, simply making them damage sponges and not solving the problem whatsoever.

46 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Did I say remove CC? No. CC should still function normally up to the MAXIMUM enemy level.

Let's use L150 as an example. Up to 150, everything works normally.

From L151 onward, enemies start gaining scaling resistance to CC (reduced magnitude/duration) to stop it from scaling infinitely.

Some people called for the removal of CC. Not all my posts and it's content is directed to you. However, this may be a reasonable/possible fix, if all weapons/skills get the same or similar function as CC. Melee cant be the only means to deal with high-level mobs. We cant be having classes completely useless at high levels (Ember IMMEDIATELY comes to mind)

 

46 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Yes it is. I never use spin 2 win; melee combo is only a function of mission duration.

Yes. It's called endless. The "end-game" we've been discussing this entire time. The only time where an infinite CC could be meaningful and worth discussion. S2w is completely unnecessary in any other part of the game and is ONLY necessary once skills and wpns damage falls off. That's why they took a nerf canon to T boltace.

46 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I disagree. The combo meter in its current iteration requires over-commitment to melee, to the point that it excludes using guns. Players should be able to switch weapons without penalty.

You are incredibly correct here, but................................you know......that's not a horrible idea.....allow melee CC to apply to wpns and skills (maybe a fixed percentage of the buff after looking at balance?)as long as its up and running. the penalty then would be constantly switching to keep the buff going, and that in itself would take a fair amount of attention and timing worthy of high-level reward. That's a GREAT idea actually. The removal of maim strike and its variants, coupled with this, i think would solve a MYRIAD of problems. You could then safely increase the difficulty of lower level mobs to match the new abilities of players (were it necessary). Quick melee could/would be a thing to put major consideration in. it would give dual wielding a new use. Obviously im coming up with all this as im typing, but honestly i think with some tweaking, that could turn out amazingly for all of us. We'd all be able to enjoy high level content, we'd have tons of fun using ALL abilities and weapons at our disposal, more builds would pop up. More mods for DE to create to make it happen, a whole new level of synergy for "masters of the gun and blade". Maybe at that point, removing S2W wouldnt even be necessary.

 

But again I'll say, it's a great point that you mentioned the over-commitment to melee as a source of advanced power. That in itself may be the second-most underlying cause of the entire balancing problem: Versatility. Even right out of the gate, melee is ur best option, only to hit end game and you end up going right back to it. Mid game is the only fun there is to have, n iits not much fun cuz we completely destroy everything mid game, but thats the only point in the game we can effectively use ALL our wpns and skills together, we just dont.

Edited by AresTheLegendary

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3 hours ago, AresTheLegendary said:

The reason people use spin to win is because they find it difficult to deal with said mobs by any other means. And while most of the time it's against enemies that just require a little skill, at the extreme side of this, spin-to-win would definitely be the endgame as it's the only thing reliable enough to keep pace at extreme levels where one-shotting OTHER than S2W is impossible. Which is the problem: we have (or rather, dont have) end game where the best option for survival is a broken mechanic that takes zero skill or effort. The fact that S2W exists is a glaring beacon on the fact that we need proper endgame, and proper balancing of armor and damage scaling.



 Maybe DE should look into the fact that melee is the only thing that scales it's damage (combo multiplier). Without it, even S2W would have it's damage capped to mods. Perhaps, as a suggestion, maybe DE should look into other forms of damage scaling in a similar way. But no, we need to get rid of S2W completely. People need to learn how to play properly. At the same time, that kinda also needs to be possible.

I'll follow up here with 2 thoughts.

1) If it's true that S2W's dominance is entirely because it represents "Peak Brokeness", fixing it won't change anything because, to your point, the real problem is scaling. Suppose, momentarily, that Maiming Strike is removed or fixed or whatever and ridiculous crit abuse with slide attacks specifically becomes impossible. Until and unless the level infinity+ enemies start spawning, 90% of what you're going to kill is going to die in one hit. If it doesn't, then you'll never survive to the point that "Peak Brokenness" was necessary, because that's how the scaling works. That means that for a melee player, your playstyle will still revolve around S2W 90% of the time you spend in any mission; it just won't be your primary means of dealing with the ultra-high-level content that may appear toward the very end of the very hardest of those missions. In other words, melee will be your choice (via the big dumb AoE hitbox) as long as it can one-shot and/or two-shot, and once it stops being able to do that, you'll just stop using it. It will never reach a point where you, as a player, say "okay, the big dumb slide attack AoE is no longer the correct approach for melee, I'll switch to combos". Because there's too much wrong with combos in a game where your gun, or your 4, or whatever, is still going to two-shot the enemies that would require dozens and dozens of melee strikes.

2) If the problem is that melee scaling is inconsistent with the rest of the game's scaling, that might represent a fix all on its own: using melee as a MEANS to scaling.

Say, for instance, that you make the combo counter begin to DECAY after a period of not melee striking, rather than instantly resetting. That would mean that maintaining the combo counter without constantly meleeing would be viable. Now suppose, in addition, that the melee combo counter multiplier applied to ALL of the damage your frame put out; abilities, primary, secondary, and melee. Now, suddenly, melee isn't trying to figure out how to compete in endgame-scaled content, it is the KEY to endgame scaled content, because maintaining your melee multiplier lets you double, triple, etc., your total damage output with whatever you use as your primary means of offense.

Stack on top of this the channeling mods rework to allow the multiplier to be "channeled" into other attributes; 50% channeling of melee to Primary Critical Chance would mean at a 4x multiplier, you do 4x the damage with 2x the critical chance. Something like that. You can balance melee combat in that case in the way you would in a more traditional action game, where it's not necessary (or even desirable) for your melee to one-shot everything, because even in a 4-person death-spray fray you can isolate enemies one at a time and juggle them, using that to build the multiplier that will scale all of your raw damage output. If you spend too much time "spending" that multiplier using your guns or abilities, you will have to switch back to melee to refresh or maintain the multiplier.

Something in that neighborhood would encourage the use of melee interwoven with guns and abilities, and make it at least OKAY for DE to balance melee around something other than the current maximized-DPS oneshot meta, since its real function wouldn't be the dealing of damage, but the buildup of damage potential.

I'm not saying that's the correct solution but even outside the specific context of Warframe's existing meta, there's a real disconnect between what makes for fun and satisfying shooter combat (where many things die in a few hits) and fun and satisfying melee-action combat (where few things die in more than a few combo strings while playing defensively), and if you don't find some way to distinguish the two in terms of function, you'll either have bullet-sponge feather-touch gunplay that nobody will enjoy, or one-shot E spam melee where finishing a combo is so pointless you just recycle the fastest single-strike attack available (in this case, probably your spin).

EDIT: Read your last post and see you stumbled upon the same idea; as a player who enjoys Warframe solo, I can say that it would be really refreshing to be able to directly translate skill into DPS, instead of hitting gear/mod brick walls where no amount of evasiveness, accuracy, or general play level will do anything to stop an enemy from rebuilding its shield or just facetanking you until you are out of ammo and energy. Modding and weapon choice as a way of getting "scaled faster" rather than being a sheer cliff beyond which it is literally impossible to kill high-level targets (enjoy running Tyl Regor solo with the gear you've naturally acquired by that point to see what I mean). Not only because it improves the new player experience, but also because it provides a not-Riven-based means for making otherwise-suboptimal weapon choices or builds viable. Which, in turn, would promote more build diversity.

It might create some serious social friction in pub groups when people are trying to build or maintain their mult while someone else is just 4-clearing whole rooms, though.

Edited by RhythmScript

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53 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

In the current system, players need to scale, or players wouldnt be flocking to S2W as the ONLY damage-scaling means of dealing with high level mobs. You're wrong.

Nope. Spin 2 Win is entirely a function of player laziness seeking maximum reward for minimum effort.

Do you think high-level content was impossible before Maiming Strike was added? Maiming Strike (or an equivalent Riven) is not required to deal reasonable damage to high-level mods. It only accelerates the scaling provided by Blood Rush because it calculates before the Blood Rush bonus.

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There are only 2 options here: 1) Remove broken ability,

Which abilities?

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understand reason for needing broken ability,

Why are they needed?

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polish system and expand on broken abilities niche,

What niche?

Quote

or 2) Understand that the entire way the game is made, is why the need for the broken ability is necessary, and completely overhaul the game and rebalance the relationship with damage and armor so it's no longer necessary. That's it. 2 options.

Nonsense. Scaling powers are only needed at excessively high levels like 150+.

Except you have to remember that 150+ was never supposed to be fair or balanced in the first place. Thus, scaling powers aren't needed at all.

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Increase health is a band-aid on the situation, simply making them damage sponges and not solving the problem whatsoever.

... But enemy health already increases. That's part of enemy scaling. The only thing I suggested is stopping armor scaling (making armor the same regardless of level) to offer a fixed damage reduction and prevent armored enemies from getting exponential effective health bonuses.

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Some people called for the removal of CC. Not all my posts and it's content is directed to you.

Okay, so then quote them when you say that. Otherwise it seems like you're talking to me.

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However, this may be a reasonable/possible fix, if all weapons/skills get the same or similar function as CC. Melee cant be the only means to deal with high-level mobs.

Melee already isn't the only means of dealing with high-level mobs. There are multiple videos available of endurance runs where players are using guns and not melee.

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We cant be having classes completely useless at high levels (Ember IMMEDIATELY comes to mind)

I agree, but only because all Warframes should be equally (approximately) powerful.

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Yes. It's called endless. The "end-game" we've been discussing this entire time. The only time where an infinite CC could be meaningful and worth discussion.

Nope.

Endless modes are a player-defined end-game and not officially endorsed by DE. They have said repeatedly that endless modes are not supposed to be balanced.

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S2w is completely unnecessary in any other part of the game and is ONLY necessary once skills and wpns damage falls off.

Spin 2 Win is never necessary. Falloff can be effectively negated through the use of finisher damage and Warframe powers.

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That's why they took a nerf canon to T boltace.

No, they nerfed Telos Boltace because it stopped other players from participating. The wide AOE on a spammable attack was more of a problem than the damage.

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You are incredibly correct here, but................................you know......that's not a horrible idea.....allow melee CC to apply to wpns and skills (maybe a fixed percentage of the buff after looking at balance?)as long as its up and running. the penalty then would be constantly switching to keep the buff going, and that in itself would take a fair amount of attention and timing worthy of high-level reward. That's a GREAT idea actually. The removal of maim strike and its variants, coupled with this, i think would solve a MYRIAD of problems. You could then safely increase the difficulty of lower level mobs to match the new abilities of players (were it necessary). Quick melee could/would be a thing to put major consideration in. it would give dual wielding a new use. Obviously im coming up with all this as im typing, but honestly i think with some tweaking, that could turn out amazingly for all of us. We'd all be able to enjoy high level content, we'd have tons of fun using ALL abilities and weapons at our disposal, more builds would pop up. More mods for DE to create to make it happen, a whole new level of synergy for "masters of the gun and blade". Maybe at that point, removing S2W wouldnt even be necessary.

 

But again I'll say, it's a great point that you mentioned the over-commitment to melee as a source of advanced power. That in itself may be the second-most underlying cause of the entire balancing problem: Versatility. Even right out of the gate, melee is ur best option, only to hit end game and you end up going right back to it. Mid game is the only fun there is to have, n iits not much fun cuz we completely destroy everything mid game, but thats the only point in the game we can effectively use ALL our wpns and skills together, we just dont.

That's fair and potentially workable, but you're still missing the point.

Why are we scaling at all? Enemy scaling is SUPPOSED to eventually beat players. Endless missions are SUPPOSED to eventually become unbeatable.

There should be an official "max" level. Let's use 100 as an example. Up to level 100, players are guaranteed a fair shot at winning. Based on gear and skill, some players can go beyond that. For example, a strong coordinated group might be able to handle up to level 200.

The game is supposed to eventually become impossible for even them. Yet it doesn't. Players can beat enemies all the way up to level 9999+ if they really want to, because scaling powers enable them to cheese. All DE needs to do is take out those scaling powers. Then, suddenly, enemy scaling works like it's supposed to. Getting to level 150+ becomes an actual accomplishment instead of a menial chore that only requires a group of cheesy Frames with cheesy weapons. Then it MEANS something.

There should be no need for guns or melee to scale in the first place. The only reason players want scaling weapons is because scaling Warframe powers allow them to beat over-scaled enemies that were never intended to be beatable in the first place.

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14 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Endless modes are a player-defined end-game and not officially endorsed by DE. They have said repeatedly that endless modes are not supposed to be balanced.

This makes sense, realistically the rewards stop scaling past a certain point and from there continuation is just about whether or not you feel like bothering.

14 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

All DE needs to do is take out those scaling powers. Then, suddenly, enemy scaling works like it's supposed to. Getting to level 150+ becomes an actual accomplishment instead of a menial chore that only requires a group of cheesy Frames with cheesy weapons. Then it MEANS something.

But then why bother doing that? If the whole point is that surviving past X point is not a part of the game design, why bother trying to balance anything once that point is reached? If the Endless Endgame isn't "endorsed by DE" why bother making gameplay changes that add to the challenge of participating in it? Why not just focus on making engaging content up to level 100 and then not caring about players who get beyond that?

If we're stepping back to that degree on Warframe balance, the real problem isn't the ability of players to survive to level 900 enemies with ease on certain endless missions by exploiting math quirks and building super-focused builds with ridiculous mods, it's the fact that most of what players are actually DOING when they play Warframe is running missions well below that point over and over to collect stuff. The fact that the daily gameplay loop for the average endgame player is "Speedrun Sortie for Riven > Cheese unveil > Speedrun Kuva Flood for Rerolls > Flip Riven for Plat" is the real brokenness. That players can survive for 4 hours in T4 survival instead of only 1 hour isn't what's broken, about anything in Warframe. It's that the builds that scale to that point are also builds that make microwaved paste of any content BALANCED for "challenge".

Melee 3.0, from what they've shown, seems to be more about making melee more engaging when faced with enemies that pose an actual challenge to kill, when the real problem with Warframe is (new players excluded) until you've scaled past the point of ridiculousness on endless missions, nothing is challenging to kill. Fixing Maiming Strike/S2W isn't going to fix that, it's just going to make melee something you don't use in your daily Sortie Speedrun. Yes, it would make melee more enjoyable for players who are either new or intentionally play the game handicapped because they find the challenge more engaging, but when it comes time to load out for whatever constitutes your current endless, mindless grind, nobody is going to pick something that doesn't kill as much as possible as fast as possible while allowing them to get from start to extraction in a minimum amount of time. Fixing the way level 800 enemies scale relative to Warframe powers or melee weapons or anything else won't have an appreciable impact on the daily level 80 slaughterhouse.

I'm not saying there aren't problems with the way enemy scaling is implemented, and I'm not saying the divergence of stat scaling in particular isn't responsible for centralizing the meta around corrosive/crit/slash the way it has, but I feel like we're preoccupied with poor balance in content meant to be impossible while turning a blind eye to equally poor balance in content just meant to be hard. So the real question is, what is DE's concern with "Spin 2 Win"? Is it that it can be abused against ultra-high level content to pass what should be impassable, or that it can be by players in a grind-hurry to melt content meant to sustain long-term interest in the game?

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Between the 3 of us, I can tell we are after the same goal. Me and Rhythm want to make us more powerful, and yet with a tweak in balance, where as Ursus is of the opinion we turn DOWN our capabilities in an effort to balance, for concern of making us too powerful for endless.

 

Now, where I think we can agree here, is, according to lore, we are SUPPOSED to be that much more powerful than our enemies. If we were to somehow incorporate the scaling of melee CC into the rest of our dps, and perhaps maybe lower the strength of the buff itself as it approaches infinity (omg calculus has just found its usefulness outside of school), we would be able to at least feign the display of more power by using all of our means to deal damage in fluidity, without breaking the mechanics of endless. But as Ursus mentioned earlier, an established peak of player damage output would need to be established first. Then you can apply caps and nerfs as necessary. Or, increase the scaling multiplier of enemies to correspond. In my head, if this were done properly, there would/should be no possible way for S2W to outdmg someone whos using all of their wpns, therefore, we'd be able to keep that mechanic (this is the 'ability' i was referring to), as it is STILL a decent means of survival.

 

Again, as Im typing this, I feel like there would be no other way than to increase the scaling multiplier of enemies, to match the increased dmg capabilities of players in this way. It would be difficult to add CC buff to the rest of player dps without increasing avg player dps at the same time. However, that wuold be an easy fix as well. At the end of all this, we want the difficulty of endless to remain the same, but without over-commitment to melee, but have the REST of our dps, scale WITH it, if for no other reason than fun-factor and diversity.

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1 hour ago, RhythmScript said:

But then why bother doing that? If the whole point is that surviving past X point is not a part of the game design, why bother trying to balance anything once that point is reached? If the Endless Endgame isn't "endorsed by DE" why bother making gameplay changes that add to the challenge of participating in it? Why not just focus on making engaging content up to level 100 and then not caring about players who get beyond that?

I 100% agree that the focus should be on content that is max level (in this case 100, though that can be changed) and below. However, endless modes themselves do exist and are legitimate content. The only problem is that the distinction between "officially balanced" and "all bets are off; you're on your own" is not clearly maintained. Endless modes would be absolutely no fun if they became simply impossible as soon as they exceeded maximum level, but balance should never be changed for the express purpose of extending how long players can push past the limit.

For example, Level 0-100 DE guarantees you have a fair shot at winning. Level 100-150 the difficulty starts to ramp-up past what players can handle very quickly. Level 150+ become exceedingly difficult and pushing further comes down to bragging rights... if it's possible at all.

If there's no 100-150 cushion, it'd be better to just have the mission end automatically once 100 is exceeded.

1 hour ago, RhythmScript said:

If we're stepping back to that degree on Warframe balance, the real problem isn't the ability of players to survive to level 900 enemies with ease on certain endless missions by exploiting math quirks and building super-focused builds with ridiculous mods, it's the fact that most of what players are actually DOING when they play Warframe is running missions well below that point over and over to collect stuff. The fact that the daily gameplay loop for the average endgame player is "Speedrun Sortie for Riven > Cheese unveil > Speedrun Kuva Flood for Rerolls > Flip Riven for Plat" is the real brokenness. That players can survive for 4 hours in T4 survival instead of only 1 hour isn't what's broken, about anything in Warframe. It's that the builds that scale to that point are also builds that make microwaved paste of any content BALANCED for "challenge".

Yes, I agree with this. However what I'm saying is that the 4-hour endurance runs are regularly used to justify the existence of builds that make microwaved paste out of balanced content. If you remove the players' ability to scale damage, that's the first step toward allowing a reasonable balance to be achieved.

The biggest issue with challenge is actually energy economy, or rather the effective lack thereof. The spam needs to stop so that enemies have the opportunity to fight back fairly.

1 hour ago, RhythmScript said:

Melee 3.0, from what they've shown, seems to be more about making melee more engaging when faced with enemies that pose an actual challenge to kill, when the real problem with Warframe is (new players excluded) until you've scaled past the point of ridiculousness on endless missions, nothing is challenging to kill. Fixing Maiming Strike/S2W isn't going to fix that, it's just going to make melee something you don't use in your daily Sortie Speedrun. Yes, it would make melee more enjoyable for players who are either new or intentionally play the game handicapped because they find the challenge more engaging, but when it comes time to load out for whatever constitutes your current endless, mindless grind, nobody is going to pick something that doesn't kill as much as possible as fast as possible while allowing them to get from start to extraction in a minimum amount of time. Fixing the way level 800 enemies scale relative to Warframe powers or melee weapons or anything else won't have an appreciable impact on the daily level 80 slaughterhouse.

I agree, to an extent. Melee 3.0 is largely about streamlining the combo inputs into a more usable state (though I believe the W+E input to be a bad idea that will prevent easy use of the standard E input), and making melee less intrusive to use. If the combo meter is treated as disposable and ramps up more quickly, it is easier to switch between melee and guns without any real penalty to melee effectiveness.

Most people are concerned about the DPS loss from the changes to the combo meter, but my point is that the meter scaling should be completely unnecessary. Just give melee adequate damage from the beginning, like guns have. Ideally, the next step would be to balance level 80 such that it isn't a simple slaughterhouse.

I would go as far as to argue that balancing for endless runs (through scaling) is precisely what has allowed us to turn normal content into microwaved paste.

1 hour ago, RhythmScript said:

I'm not saying there aren't problems with the way enemy scaling is implemented, and I'm not saying the divergence of stat scaling in particular isn't responsible for centralizing the meta around corrosive/crit/slash the way it has, but I feel like we're preoccupied with poor balance in content meant to be impossible while turning a blind eye to equally poor balance in content just meant to be hard. So the real question is, what is DE's concern with "Spin 2 Win"? Is it that it can be abused against ultra-high level content to pass what should be impassable, or that it can be by players in a grind-hurry to melt content meant to sustain long-term interest in the game?

I agree with you 100% here. I just see cutting off easy access to the ultra-high level content by removing scaling effects as an important first step. Spin 2 Win can be fixed by simply moving the bonus to apply only on heavy attacks. Dealing massive damage isn't actually a problem by itself; dealing massive damage on spammable attacks is when it becomes problematic (sort of like how a rifle that deals 1,000,000,000 damage per shot would have limited use against the Grineer if it has 1 shot per reload and the reload takes 10 seconds).

38 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

Between the 3 of us, I can tell we are after the same goal. Me and Rhythm want to make us more powerful, and yet with a tweak in balance, where as Ursus is of the opinion we turn DOWN our capabilities in an effort to balance, for concern of making us too powerful for endless.

I agree, though allow me to specify that I only want to limit our capabilities to take endless content out of the equation. In my eyes, endless content is meaningless when players can ignore the scaling. I don't think running a 4 hour survival is all that impressive when you only managed it by breaking the game mechanics (e.g., shutting down enemy AI with CC and stacking damage multipliers with damage that ignores enemy defenses).

Endurance runs can only be impressive and meaningful (again, IMO) when players have limited toolsets that put the enemy at an eventual advantage.

38 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

Now, where I think we can agree here, is, according to lore, we are SUPPOSED to be that much more powerful than our enemies. If we were to somehow incorporate the scaling of melee CC into the rest of our dps, and perhaps maybe lower the strength of the buff itself as it approaches infinity (omg calculus has just found its usefulness outside of school), we would be able to at least feign the display of more power by using all of our means to deal damage in fluidity, without breaking the mechanics of endless. But as Ursus mentioned earlier, an established peak of player damage output would need to be established first. Then you can apply caps and nerfs as necessary. Or, increase the scaling multiplier of enemies to correspond. In my head, if this were done properly, there would/should be no possible way for S2W to outdmg someone whos using all of their wpns, therefore, we'd be able to keep that mechanic (this is the 'ability' i was referring to), as it is STILL a decent means of survival.

This I can agree with, and for this reason I would actually support the more radical rework of removing enemy levels altogether and implementing difficulty through a combination of variants, numbers, and objectives. IMO allowing enemies to out-scale players in terms of health/damage is immersion-breaking.

For example, a lowly Butcher is always a lowly Butcher... but a Drekar Butcher or Kuva Butcher would be noticeably more powerful. (e.g., Standard > Frontier/Arid > Tusk > Drekar > Nightwatch > Kuva). Instead of having a Survival mission continually scale the levels of the extant enemies, it might start skewing spawn ratios away from Butchers and toward Bombards... in addition to Life Support starting to deplete faster over time.

Thus players must choose to extract when Life Support becomes unsustainable rather than when enemies themselves become unbeatable.

In order to help missions maintain their challenge as a player progresses, reaching specific junction milestones should unlock new node difficulties. For example, when first navigating the solar map players have access to "Normal," where the default enemies appear. However, revisiting Mars on "Hard" might replace the Arid Grineer with Nightwatch variants, or Kuva variants on "Very Hard."

38 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

Again, as Im typing this, I feel like there would be no other way than to increase the scaling multiplier of enemies, to match the increased dmg capabilities of players in this way. It would be difficult to add CC buff to the rest of player dps without increasing avg player dps at the same time. However, that wuold be an easy fix as well. At the end of all this, we want the difficulty of endless to remain the same, but without over-commitment to melee, but have the REST of our dps, scale WITH it, if for no other reason than fun-factor and diversity.

As an alternative to the above, your suggestion here could also work. For example, the player arsenal might be balanced around dealing enough damage up to mid-level enemies on their own (preserving some measure of challenge at low-mid levels) with the synergy-based scaling mechanics being what allow them to up their game for high-level enemies. This would also help contribute to higher levels requiring more skill development from players rather than depending strictly on accumulated upgrades.

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3 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

As an alternative to the above, your suggestion here could also work. For example, the player arsenal might be balanced around dealing enough damage up to mid-level enemies on their own (preserving some measure of challenge at low-mid levels) with the synergy-based scaling mechanics being what allow them to up their game for high-level enemies. This would also help contribute to higher levels requiring more skill development from players rather than depending strictly on accumulated upgrades.

Bullseye. That is the idea: the synergy based scaling mechanics is THE KEY to high-level content. I bet if some thought went into this it would work out nicely, while completely enhancing the way we play altogether.

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1 minute ago, AresTheLegendary said:

Bullseye. That is the idea: the synergy based scaling mechanics is THE KEY to high-level content. I bet if some thought went into this it would work out nicely, while completely enhancing the way we play altogether.

I could certainly get behind this, though I'm still personally leaning towards a more "unleveled" experience.

My dream for Warframe would be having the enemy factions polished and diversified to provide a combination of horde-annihilating satsifaction and actual combat engagement by implementing enemy classes.

For example:

  • Butchers, Lancers, Troopers, etc. would fit into a "trash mob" class, with players being able to slaughter them en-masse and shrug off most attacks with impunity.
  • "Champion" variants would fit into an "elite" class, and require players to put more effort into bringing them down. A "Champion Butcher" might have an Atterax or Sydon instead of Dual Cleavers, and block player attacks by default. Players might then need to block/dodge its telegraphed attacks in order to find attack openings.
  • Special units like Manics, Prosecutors, etc. would fit into a "miniboss" class requiring players to field more advanced counterplay like hitting weakpoints or exploiting environmental conditions to stun them before dealing damage.

Following this class system, players would use trash mobs to combat attrition (e.g., recover health, energy, ammunition, etc.) while fighting more advanced enemies (which would drop better loot). The idea here is that it preserves the power fantasy of slaughtering hapless mooks while simultaneously offering more complex and challenging content to keep players engaged.

Hm... this could even fit nicely into your proposal of "scaling as progression" where players could use trash mobs to build up multipliers for tackling the stronger enemies!

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5 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:
  • Butchers, Lancers, Troopers, etc. would fit into a "trash mob" class, with players being able to slaughter them en-masse and shrug off most attacks with impunity.
  • "Champion" variants would fit into an "elite" class, and require players to put more effort into bringing them down. A "Champion Butcher" might have an Atterax or Sydon instead of Dual Cleavers, and block player attacks by default. Players might then need to block/dodge its telegraphed attacks in order to find attack openings.
  • Special units like Manics, Prosecutors, etc. would fit into a "miniboss" class requiring players to field more advanced counterplay like hitting weakpoints or exploiting environmental conditions to stun them before dealing damage.

Following this class system, players would use trash mobs to combat attrition (e.g., recover health, energy, ammunition, etc.) while fighting more advanced enemies (which would drop better loot). The idea here is that it preserves the power fantasy of slaughtering hapless mooks while simultaneously offering more complex and challenging content to keep players engaged.

Hm... this could even fit nicely into your proposal of "scaling as progression" where players could use trash mobs to build up multipliers for tackling the stronger enemies!

 

I like your class system idea, i think it's a necessary addition to gameplay right about now. We definitely need more -reasons- to be switching types of DPS constantly to warrant it's implementation. Some anti-warframe ish like having some unique high-level mini-boss type mobs (like a bursa, but not necessarily A bursa) able to see invis, or disable corpus-type wpns, a shockwave that reduces all warframe damage in an area, all kinds of annoying things you could do with that idea,

 

With that, would bring mods that would make that offensive synergy click more efficiently (faster switching, buff for using diff type of dps in succession), or buffs for using repeated use of diff types of heal skills or support skills if that wouldnt already be implemented in the main system, im sure DE and the rest of the community could think up something creative where that's concerned, were they to consider this approach.

Also, we DEFINITELY need the ability for our operators to RETURN to our frames, when leaving transference, without having to die. That right away adds a new dimension of gameplay, and infact should be the initial ability of transference in the first place, with the mechanic we have now (calling our frame to our operators location) as the secondary/advanced function.

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2 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

I like your class system idea, i think it's a necessary addition to gameplay right about now. We definitely need more -reasons- to be switching types of DPS constantly to warrant it's implementation. Some anti-warframe ish like having some unique high-level mini-boss type mobs (like a bursa, but not necessarily A bursa) able to see invis, or disable corpus-type wpns, a shockwave that reduces all warframe damage in an area, all kinds of annoying things you could do with that idea,

Indeed. In my mind's eye, Sentients should enforce varied loadouts used in a complementary fashion. For example, as a Sentient gains resistance to Slash it becomes vulnerable to Puncture, then vulnerable to Impact as it starts to resist Puncture (forcing players to swap weapons dynamically). Players could also implement this type of combination play by stripping armor with one weapon and obliterating health with another.

2 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

With that, would bring mods that would make that offensive synergy click more efficiently (faster switching, buff for using diff type of dps in succession), or buffs for using repeated use of diff types of heal skills or support skills if that wouldnt already be implemented in the main system, im sure DE and the rest of the community could think up something creative where that's concerned, were they to consider this approach.

+1

2 minutes ago, AresTheLegendary said:

Also, we DEFINITELY need the ability for our operators to RETURN to our frames, when leaving transference, without having to die. That right away adds a new dimension of gameplay, and infact should be the initial ability of transference in the first place, with the mechanic we have now (calling our frame to our operators location) as the secondary/advanced function.

Not sure I quite understand what you mean here. Would you be planning to use this mechanic to flank a singular enemy?

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Good stuff, gentlemen. I enjoy hearing your points, counterpoints and distilling the issues facing the game and providing meaningful proposed solutions. I must say, perhaps an additional aspect is that the game's balancing for enemies is set at too low of a level for the current state of the game?

18 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

The biggest issue with challenge is actually energy economy, or rather the effective lack thereof. The spam needs to stop so that enemies have the opportunity to fight back fairly.

This is the crux of the issue - energy economy, this is what's throwing balance way off, or is at least a hugely significant part of it. Take away the obscene energy resources and the like and really make players earn their bread, then we'll see how good they really are. I guarantee those 4 hour endurance runs will evaporate into thin air.

18 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

I agree, though allow me to specify that I only want to limit our capabilities to take endless content out of the equation. In my eyes, endless content is meaningless when players can ignore the scaling. I don't think running a 4 hour survival is all that impressive when you only managed it by breaking the game mechanics (e.g., shutting down enemy AI with CC and stacking damage multipliers with damage that ignores enemy defenses).

I have to wonder, is this what is meant by frames supposing to be super-powerful tools? Is this intended by the developers to reach their vision of how warframes are supposed to fight and win against all odds - powers that lock down and annihilate enemy forces, or is this a fluke? We need clarity from the developers about how exactly things are supposed to work in their universe. I was under the impression suit powers were supposed to give you the edge against the adversary with your skill with gun, blade and mobility as the main thrust of your attack, as the game states, "Warriors of blade and gun" since the Orokin had to revert to more earlier forms of damage against the Sentients.

 

17 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Indeed. In my mind's eye, Sentients should enforce varied loadouts used in a complementary fashion. For example, as a Sentient gains resistance to Slash it becomes vulnerable to Puncture, then vulnerable to Impact as it starts to resist Puncture (forcing players to swap weapons dynamically). Players could also implement this type of combination play by stripping armor with one weapon and obliterating health with another.

That seems to be such a basic design idea, I almost thought that was already implemented, like trying to make a strawberry shortcake using strawberries and flour.

Anyway, don't mean to derail the conversation here, please do continue.

Edited by Mach25
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Warframe is many genres of game in one; it is a shooter, it is (theoretically) a melee action game, it is a speedy platformer, it is a looter RPG.

Me, I came to Warframe because it was the closest thing to Vanquish since Vanquish, and it had “actual” melee combat to boot. I have more hours logged in Transformers Devastation than Warframe. I like speeding around shooting things and using melee combos and dodge rolls and stuff. I like soloing Void Exterminates just for the exploration and hoping to find the obstacle course. If I had a menu option to disable waypoints (like the Doom reboot) I’d never turn them on except when grinding alerts.

But I hate RPGs. That’s me personally, but it’s NOT Warframe. People who like RPGs don’t enjoy having to run and aim and jump and combo; they like picking through gear to find unique loadout synergies and developing builds that obliterate the challenge that once stopped them. That IS the gameplay to them, that’s the fun. It’s easy for those of us who are primarily into Warframe as an action game to forget the people who would be bored to the point of quitting by the game if all of the mod stuff was rebalanced to “fix” trick builds.

I think it’s wrong to think of stuff like S2W as an “exploit”; there are a lot of players for whom discovering and experimenting with unexpected mod/ability synergies is literally the whole point of Warframe, its entire appeal. And for them especially, the “endlessly scaled endgame” is especially fun, because it means there never comes a point (theoretically) where their ability to develop synergies has reached the apex of its usefulness. Is it a good idea to treat them as a disposable/unwanted part of the playerbase? Or is it a better idea to approach things like melee combos (or headshots, aerial kills, other “stylish” high speed weapon combat) with an eye to making them ALSO a gateway to endless scalability, to help remove that disconnect between “playing off reflexes” and “playing off planning”?

I don’t know. I know if I could get away with not stacking builds with damage buffs just to have a shot at survival, I’d probably only use mods that had unique playstyle attributes and treat “higher level” content as simply more challenging content, because again I hate RPGs. But Warframe balanced to my tastes would be no longer Warframe 

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47 minutes ago, RhythmScript said:

Warframe is many genres of game in one; it is a shooter, it is (theoretically) a melee action game, it is a speedy platformer, it is a looter RPG.

Me, I came to Warframe because it was the closest thing to Vanquish since Vanquish, and it had “actual” melee combat to boot. I have more hours logged in Transformers Devastation than Warframe. I like speeding around shooting things and using melee combos and dodge rolls and stuff. I like soloing Void Exterminates just for the exploration and hoping to find the obstacle course. If I had a menu option to disable waypoints (like the Doom reboot) I’d never turn them on except when grinding alerts.

But I hate RPGs. That’s me personally, but it’s NOT Warframe. People who like RPGs don’t enjoy having to run and aim and jump and combo; they like picking through gear to find unique loadout synergies and developing builds that obliterate the challenge that once stopped them. That IS the gameplay to them, that’s the fun. It’s easy for those of us who are primarily into Warframe as an action game to forget the people who would be bored to the point of quitting by the game if all of the mod stuff was rebalanced to “fix” trick builds.

This is fair, and the only real problem I have with the "trick" builds is the extent to which they can arbitrarily succeed, and the fact that MANY players (RPG-fans or not) regularly ask for balance changes based on their endurance runs... When endurance runs are not supposed to be balanced.

Attempting to balance against endless is an exercise in futility; one player will tell you that L150 qualifies as high-level whereas the next will thump their chest and tell you that 150 is child's play - you gotta hit level 250 before it's "high level."

Everyone moves the goalposts and changes the frame of reference. Consistency is practically impossible.

That's why I want DE to set a max balanced level, NOT simply remove endless gameplay.

Quote

I think it’s wrong to think of stuff like S2W as an “exploit”; there are a lot of players for whom discovering and experimenting with unexpected mod/ability synergies is literally the whole point of Warframe, its entire appeal. And for them especially, the “endlessly scaled endgame” is especially fun, because it means there never comes a point (theoretically) where their ability to develop synergies has reached the apex of its usefulness. Is it a good idea to treat them as a disposable/unwanted part of the playerbase? Or is it a better idea to approach things like melee combos (or headshots, aerial kills, other “stylish” high speed weapon combat) with an eye to making them ALSO a gateway to endless scalability, to help remove that disconnect between “playing off reflexes” and “playing off planning”?

I don’t know. I know if I could get away with not stacking builds with damage buffs just to have a shot at survival, I’d probably only use mods that had unique playstyle attributes and treat “higher level” content as simply more challenging content, because again I hate RPGs. But Warframe balanced to my tastes would be no longer Warframe 

I disagree.

Look at Path of Exile; that game is a build-monger's dream, and there are a number of lengthy youtube build guides for those who would rather just play.

Yet it doesn't allow players to flat-out break the game the way Warframe does. Sure, those builds pop up on occasion, but in my experience they inevitably get balanced.

In other words, it should definitely be possible to allow useful tinkering and experimentation without relying on cheese incentivize it.

IMO the only reason players try to create cheese builds is that endurance runs are the only things that even remotely approach challenging.

If we snip out the worst cheese - CC spam, perma-invis, nuke spam, etc. - the game can actually evolve into something challenging without requiring players to wander 4 hours into a Survival to find that challenge. Players can design "trick" builds around beating or soloing the Sorties/Arbitrations instead.

A lot of endurance runners tend to ask for faster access to high-level content (so that they don't have to wait as long), so nerfing cheese and rebalancing the game around content that is available directly from the solar map is actually probably exactly what they want - whether or not they realize it.

In summary: yes, I agree that endurance runners matter, but I don't think balancing the game actually marginalizes them at all.

Edited by DiabolusUrsus
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13 hours ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Not sure I quite understand what you mean here. Would you be planning to use this mechanic to flank a singular enemy?

Let's see if I can simplify. as it stands, our operators can leave their frames through transference, be an operator, and do operator things, while lets say, my equinox is in a particular spot. If I go too far as an operator, Id like to be able to RETURN to where my frame IS, as that could potentially be a safer position (maybe i purposely left it in a safer position). The Idea, is defence. When we leave transference, we essentially summon our frame to our position so we can go offensive. I particularly, would like some defensive use as well. Then i can go BACK to said safe zone where my equinox is, and APPROACH the danger, rather than just being caught in the middle of it summoning my frame to my operators location in the MIDDLE of the danger. Positioning is definitely the aim here. It would give frames like with AoE and specifically Umbra, much more control and use. Maybe i wanna leave my umbra in one area, and fight with my operator in another (interception?) only to find out umbra is about to lose his capture point, in a click, Id be right back to him.

 

The reason why I say this shoulda been the initial ability, is cuz I imagine it's alot more difficult (lore wise) to summon a mass of biomechnics, then just materializing yourself back to said heap. Why not both? I literally see no reason why we cant have both, we have the more powerful version of the 2 already. gimme dat defence!!

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1 hour ago, AresTheLegendary said:

Let's see if I can simplify. as it stands, our operators can leave their frames through transference, be an operator, and do operator things, while lets say, my equinox is in a particular spot. If I go too far as an operator, Id like to be able to RETURN to where my frame IS, as that could potentially be a safer position (maybe i purposely left it in a safer position). The Idea, is defence. When we leave transference, we essentially summon our frame to our position so we can go offensive. I particularly, would like some defensive use as well. Then i can go BACK to said safe zone where my equinox is, and APPROACH the danger, rather than just being caught in the middle of it summoning my frame to my operators location in the MIDDLE of the danger. Positioning is definitely the aim here. It would give frames like with AoE and specifically Umbra, much more control and use. Maybe i wanna leave my umbra in one area, and fight with my operator in another (interception?) only to find out umbra is about to lose his capture point, in a click, Id be right back to him.

 

The reason why I say this shoulda been the initial ability, is cuz I imagine it's alot more difficult (lore wise) to summon a mass of biomechnics, then just materializing yourself back to said heap. Why not both? I literally see no reason why we cant have both, we have the more powerful version of the 2 already. gimme dat defence!!

Ah, okay.

Tap 5 to summon your 'Frame. Hold 5 to return to 'Frame. Seems reasonable?

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14 hours ago, Mach25 said:

This is the crux of the issue - energy economy, this is what's throwing balance way off, or is at least a hugely significant part of it. Take away the obscene energy resources and the like and really make players earn their bread, then we'll see how good they really are. I guarantee those 4 hour endurance runs will evaporate into thin air.

In a way that's also a terrible idea, though. Again, reflect on the playerbase and the implications. You already have major balance issues such that even extremely heavily used frames are basically just 4 factories, with all of the other abilities being disregarded as suboptimal due to energy costs. Valkyr's Rip Line is a really fun traversal and combat mechanic (who doesn't love a grappling hook in a game? It's like JustCauseFrame) that nobody ever uses because it's a waste of energy; you want to make energy even MORE scarce? Yes, it guarantees fewer 4s overall, but it also guarantees that any non-nuke ability is relegated to the "absolutely do not use under any circumstances" pile as it is. Heck, that was the reason that Channeling saw such inconsequential use; outside of Life Strike it was pure energy drain you couldn't justify.

If energy becomes even harder to come by, then it needs to come with a SERIOUS reconsideration of energy cost; a lot of abilities honestly need to become free to have any value, and more than a few frames need to have their total numeric energy cost AND the size of their energy pool increased (so the ability still uses 60% of the bar or whatever, but it takes 3x as much energy replenishment to get it back) instead of this static 25/50/75/100-or-channeled thing.

But none of that solves the real issue that melee 3.0 will face, which is no matter how you balance player against enemy, you still have to balance guns against melee. Enemy level scaling changes and mod reworks and energy economy adjusts won't do anything for that.

Ultimately, this is the problem: if I am standing 1m away from an enemy, I can attack him with a melee combo, or I can shoot him with my shotgun

If the shotgun takes more than 2-3 pulls MAXIMUM to kill the enemy, then I won't be having fun using it. I'll come online and complain that Warframe gunplay sucks and is full of bullet sponge enemies and unsatisfying tissue paper weapons.

If the melee weapon takes fewer than about 10-12 strikes MINIMUM to kill the enemy, then there's no point in having a combo system at all, because I barely have time to even finish a combo before the enemy is dead. I'll come online and complain that Warframe melee sucks and is just mindless button-mashing.

If the shotgun takes fewer than 2-3 pulls, and the melee weapon takes more than about 10-12 strikes, both systems will be SATISFYING, but I'll only ever use the shotgun, because it's faster and this is the 700th time I've run this mission node and this is the 312,252nd time I've fought this enemy and I just want my friggin' Nitain Extract and I've got Argon Crystals decaying in my oven and I don't particularly feel like spending any amount of time or effort on the fight right now.

Where we are now is that Warframe is balanced around satisfying gunplay, and so for viability reasons melee weapons have been ramped up to match that level of damage output. And the reason there's so much frustration around melee 3.0 (and the reason I believe S2W is really prominent and bothers DE so much) is that DE is envisioning melee combat as being something like Bayonetta, where you combo enemies and dodge and parry and stuff, but the playerbase can't figure out why anyone would want or need a 15-hit combo that locks their character in place when they can already kill enemies by the dozens with each quick-melee swing of their sword while running at top speed. And everyone is worried that the "spam E to mass-murder" playstyle will be nerfed, not because they want to cheese, but because if they can't even do THAT, there's literally no reason to use melee unless their ammo pool is depleted, because their guns and/or abilities will do the same job faster every single time.

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On 2018-11-02 at 1:11 PM, DiabolusUrsus said:

No.

DE should step back and examine why they would want damage to scale in the first place.

Enemy scaling was never supposed to be at the forefront of gameplay to begin with, and the whole point of enemy scaling is to let enemies out-scale players and force them out of endless missions.

Players should not scale at all (beyond simply leveling up/equipping mods). DE needs to sit down and define a concrete "maximum" balanced level and balance player arsenals so that they are reasonably equipped to beat that maximum level. Then they should make it so that above maximum level, players start to lose effectiveness. Trying to make damage scale like CC was a mistake; DE should have simply stopped CC from scaling infinitely.

The fact that players need any scaling at all to keep up with existing content is a sign that balance is broken.

I disagree, scaling for players is what is called as Progression in games; it is core to the concept of pretending we have some rpg like growth. Compare this to Tenno mode for instance right now; no mods. Instead we still have limited progression, but it is relegated to the weapons themselves (amps) and a mod like conditional that can be attached (Virtuos) and for the Tenno mode itself, Waybounds and Magus enhancements. The issue with enemy scaling is using the enemies in a manner that the should not; as DE Steve has stated, in-universe; all enemies are growing in stats due to mod use as are the players. This could be made functionally true by making it so like players, there is a power plateau; where getting new progression is meaningless without removing previous ones due to limited mod slots, points, or availability. The problem is that different rules are managing both sides not that either is inherently more powerful.

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21 minutes ago, RhythmScript said:

But none of that solves the real issue that melee 3.0 will face, which is no matter how you balance player against enemy, you still have to balance guns against melee. Enemy level scaling changes and mod reworks and energy economy adjusts won't do anything for that.

Ultimately, this is the problem: if I am standing 1m away from an enemy, I can attack him with a melee combo, or I can shoot him with my shotgun

If the shotgun takes more than 2-3 pulls MAXIMUM to kill the enemy, then I won't be having fun using it. I'll come online and complain that Warframe gunplay sucks and is full of bullet sponge enemies and unsatisfying tissue paper weapons.

If the melee weapon takes fewer than about 10-12 strikes MINIMUM to kill the enemy, then there's no point in having a combo system at all, because I barely have time to even finish a combo before the enemy is dead. I'll come online and complain that Warframe melee sucks and is just mindless button-mashing.

If the shotgun takes fewer than 2-3 pulls, and the melee weapon takes more than about 10-12 strikes, both systems will be SATISFYING, but I'll only ever use the shotgun, because it's faster and this is the 700th time I've run this mission node and this is the 312,252nd time I've fought this enemy and I just want my friggin' Nitain Extract and I've got Argon Crystals decaying in my oven and I don't particularly feel like spending any amount of time or effort on the fight right now.

Very good point here.

But, imo, there are a few things they could do to make both of those satisfying systems work, or at least alter their systems:

1) Make combos short and quick, but still let each combo have significant differences (like AoE combo, lifesteal combo, gapclosing attack, finishers/single target massive damage) combo). Long and overly complex acrobatics combos should be long gone, imo. Most fighting games don't have NEARLY as long combos as some of the ones that can be found in Warframe, even though they are often slower paced than Warframe...

2) Make new non-trash enemies who are variably resistant to melee / guns and CC of abilities. For example; If there are enemies who are very spongy for general reasons, like a big and brute melee unit who blocks gunshots well from most of its angles (but won't maybe block shots in a small gap at the head, good for a skilled sniper) and who has quite high ability/CC-resistance, but melee can kill them quicker (especially with single target combos + blocking/dodging would possibly be more necessary for fighting them more smoothly), then there is a more clear reason to vary the weapon useage (and also to not be overly reliant on abilities). You still CAN go full melee or full shooty shooty, but if you vary your weapon useage for the specialized enemies, you'll perform better.

The Guardsmen and Bailiffs (faster+weaker and slower+stronger versions, respectively) could be reworked to function as the big and hulking melee units who resist gunshots better. Currently, both of these are a massive failure for that specialization at the moment.

Further, by having these kind of enemies, abilities like Ash's Teleport suddenly has the potential to become a whole bunch more valuable for general gameplay.

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31 minutes ago, Urlan said:

I disagree, scaling for players is what is called as Progression in games; it is core to the concept of pretending we have some rpg like growth. Compare this to Tenno mode for instance right now; no mods. Instead we still have limited progression, but it is relegated to the weapons themselves (amps) and a mod like conditional that can be attached (Virtuos) and for the Tenno mode itself, Waybounds and Magus enhancements. The issue with enemy scaling is using the enemies in a manner that the should not; as DE Steve has stated, in-universe; all enemies are growing in stats due to mod use as are the players. This could be made functionally true by making it so like players, there is a power plateau; where getting new progression is meaningless without removing previous ones due to limited mod slots, points, or availability. The problem is that different rules are managing both sides not that either is inherently more powerful.

This is true, and I can agree with it.

My biggest issue is not that there is any scaling at all so much how that scaling is implemented. I certainly agree that the situation would be much improved by adding a scaling plateau for enemies, with additional endless scaling beyond the standard balance limits handled through scaling the objective (e.g., increasing life support drain or cutting off defense target recovery).

What I meant in the passage you quoted is that players should not be given tools that scale infinitely (like how Slash ignores armor and CC never loses effectiveness). It's fine to scale up their power as they progress, but there should be no reason to give them infinite scaling because players are never supposed to be equipped to beat infinite scaling. Otherwise there's no point to infinite scaling in the first place. Enemy level 300 is functionally the same as level 3,000; both will 1-shot you and the approach to beating them is the same. The only thing that changes is how long it takes.

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10 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

This is true, and I can agree with it.

My biggest issue is not that there is any scaling at all so much how that scaling is implemented. I certainly agree that the situation would be much improved by adding a scaling plateau for enemies, with additional endless scaling beyond the standard balance limits handled through scaling the objective (e.g., increasing life support drain or cutting off defense target recovery).

What I meant in the passage you quoted is that players should not be given tools that scale infinitely (like how Slash ignores armor and CC never loses effectiveness). It's fine to scale up their power as they progress, but there should be no reason to give them infinite scaling because players are never supposed to be equipped to beat infinite scaling. Otherwise there's no point to infinite scaling in the first place. Enemy level 300 is functionally the same as level 3,000; both will 1-shot you and the approach to beating them is the same. The only thing that changes is how long it takes.

I can certainly agree that infinite scaling is difficult to balance for either players or computer controlled resources. Ideally it should be avoided for other options that are more clean to balance thematically and mechanically. Having the current situation where a player must focus on one-shot kills or instant death is never a good one.

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17 minutes ago, Azamagon said:

1) Make combos short and quick, but still let each combo have significant differences (like AoE combo, lifesteal combo, gapclosing attack, finishers/single target massive damage) combo). Long and overly complex acrobatics combos should be long gone, imo. Most fighting games don't have NEARLY as long combos as some of the ones that can be found in Warframe, even though they are often slower paced than Warframe...

Warframe is not a fighting game though, it's a PVE action game. We have one melee button, having it churn out just 3-4 three-hitters is the quickest gateway to stale movesets.

Just for comparison, the DMC games have probably the least-involved combo sequences of any action game anyone has ever liked, and you still end up with stuff like this as canned combo strings:

 

Which you can tell is in no small part what the litmus test for Warframe's developers was (what with the pause-input stuff).

Also, I'd like to point out that putting stattributes on combos (lifesteal as an inherent combo property?) really defeats the whole point of a combo system in the first place, which is that attacks have certain influence on your position and the enemy's position and how you combine them is based on managing that. Does the attack knock the enemy down? Away? Upward? Does it move you forward, or backward, or into the air? Will it turn the enemy around, or put you behind them? Will it daze the enemy and/or leave them vulnerable for a period of time? And, of course, does it hit the enemy in front, or all enemies around you? Will it affect enemies behind you? Above you? Etc.

As it stands in Warframe, melee combos can barely even be counted on to lock enemies down for the duration of the combo; if you're going to focus on making melee viable, it should probably start there, so at least it can be a way of interrupting enemy behaviors. I think Melee 3.0, whatever it is, should start with a serious look at how to make melee fun on its own, by examining other action games, and then trying to figure out how to make that gameplay RELEVANT to the overall gameplay of Warframe, rather than trying to find a way to make melee viable first and then reverse-engineering combo system components onto it. If melee's general function in Warframe is going to continue as it is now (a way of attacking enemies alternatively to shooting them) they may as well just remove the combo system entirely and go back to quick-melee/charge-melee and take away melee "equipping" altogether.

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