Warframe

A MR29’s in depth breakdown of the Helminth data

Warframe6 - A MR29's in depth breakdown of the Helminth data
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Yesterday we were provided with this data regarding the Helminth. Let's break it down a bit.

Starting with the first chart, this is in part a list of the difficulty of farming each frame with a few notable exceptions such as Khora's placement being artificially inflated by being in twitch drops leading up to the Helminth's release. This holds true as Xaku, Grendel, and Harrow start the chart off, followed largely by frames you need to re-farm with Simaris standing. Loki jumps out as the first significant departure from this, a result of having arguably the least useful subsumed ability which corresponds to the second chart. A few frames such as Rhino also get bumps that correspond with the second chart with Nidus getting a particularly massive boost.

Charts 2 and 3 are where the discussion really matters. Starting with 2, we see a bunch of nearly indistiguishable bars of skills that aren't being utilized at all. Some of these abilities are the same abilities we're seeing get replaced in chart 3 so there should be no confusion as to why they're being replaced. They're bad. I don't want to be that blunt about it, but seriously some of them just have no utility whatsoever. We'll dig into that a bit more in chart 3. Others, like Harrow's Condemn, may not be the best available option but aren't bad either and are simply pushed down a bit because of the difficulty of farming for Harrow. The easy takeaway that most people will see is that the abilities at the top of the chart need buffs. Historically, the takeaway that DE has seen from information like this is that the abilities at the bottom of the chart need nerfs. If something has insane usage relative to the alternatives, DE is right to see that as a problem. Nerfs are sometimes part of that solution, but most of the time buffs need to be part of that solution as well. We've seen this time and time again and we even saw it here before the new Helminth system even launched. I was immediately reminded of the Catchmoon nerf which was entirely justified as I was one of many who used that weapon almost exclusively. After the nerf, I started looking at alternative secondaries to play around with and tried experimenting with rivens and found just how wildly non-viable a huge portion of the game's secondaries were. The Catchmoon's strength was a problem that was rightly addressed, but the non-viability of the alternatives (not saying every single weapon needs high level utility, but I think more do than there currently are) wasn't. I see the same happening here. Conversely there is some precedent for DE getting this kind of thing right. Fixing Itzal's overwhelming usage by putting Blink on everything was a great decision imo.

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Sticking with chart 2 and moving to the other end, we start with Helminth abilities. There's a few reasons for this such as universal availability regardless of which frames you chose to subsume, people wanting to experiment and experience the new abilities, and most importantly the extremely low resource costs relative to the subsumed abilities. I want to focus on that word experiment because a major part of what I was excited for with the Helminth system was just that. Unfortunately, as has been discussed quite a bit already, the system heavily discourages you from experimenting. It isn't just that the abilities at the top of the list are bad, although some certainly are if we're being honest about it, it's that the resource costs, Bile in particular, are just too restrictive to make experimentation something most players can even consider. Personally, and I may be in the minority here, I have no issue at all with the costs of subsuming a frame or the costs of base game resource feeding. The railjack resources are obviously absurd, but I've just taken that as a de facto time gate although I don't really see the benefit since it's not a gate we can pay to pass nor is it one that causes us to spend more time on the game. To me, the cost issue is mainly about putting new abilities onto frames. After I got my first handful of what I regarded to be important subsumes, I just didn't want to continue to spend the resources even as a MR29 and especially if it costs Bile.

The takeaway from chart 3 should be fairly obvious. While not every ability on this list is bad (anyone getting rid of Nova's 2 is a heathen), there's a reason why people are so overwhelmingly getting rid of some of these abilities. My first thought when the system was announced was excitement about getting rid of Mesa's 1 and Ivara's 2. I didn't even care what I was replacing them with, I just knew there was a possibility of replacing skills I never activate under any circustances with skills that might have some slight utility. I actually expected to get every frame's worst ability in the Helminth system and was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of skills like Roar and Larva even after the nerfs. Roar could be nerfed to 10% and I'd still pick it every time over Navigator if those were my only options. In fact even if we did get every frame's worst ability, I'd have easily found 40 options to replace Navigator. The reality is that for many of us being able to put skill X on frame Y wasn't the exciting part of this system, it was just getting rid of skills that we didn't utilize even before considering the replacement. Too many frames have at least one skill that desperately needs a buff or a rework. I'd guess that these skills get glossed over because of the frame's overall usage rate. Nekros' 3 will always give him a key niche no matter how ineffective or ill-fitting his 1 and his 2 are so he gets neglected when it comes to reworks. Mesa and Chroma's other skills are so powerful that it isn't viewed as a priority if nobody ever uses their 1 under any circumstances. Sometimes a skill scales best off of range and you've chosen to build your frame for duration so the skill doesn't fit well with that particular build but isn't actually a bad skill. That's totally fine and in my opinion is why the Helminth system should be really cool as a way to help your Frame fit your preferred builds a bit better. Not every skill has to be elite, but every skill should be more than a waste of energy.

tl;dr buff bad abilities, reduce cost to put abilities on frames, everything else is mostly fine and DE generally does a better job than we give them credit for but there's also room for improvement and we can't improve problems if we can't properly identify the problems. things being too bad is just as much (if not more) of a problem as things being too good

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