Marked For Death: Where We’ve Been, and Changes to Come

Warframe6 - Marked For Death: Where We’ve Been, and Changes to Come

As many of you have likely been following, one of the most intensely discussed Helminth abilities has been Marked for Death. Upon releasing the Helminth, we knew that it would be a system that had the potential to shift strategies in Warframe drastically. Helminth is a system in the vein of what we find most exciting about creating a game like Warframe, which is to design something that feels truly exciting to us as Devs, and hopefully to you Tenno as players.

With the Helminth System, we knew that abilities/systems may need to be tweaked back and forth to help prevent anyone from feeling as though there was only one ‘good way’ to use the Helminth System. We’re still tweaking resource costs as we speak! A key part is ensuring the Helminth System aligns with how it should fit into the overall ecosystem of Warframe instead of dictating the ecosystem.

Enter Marked for Death. When we discovered the several unintentional effects that Marked for Death was occurring we knew we had to act efficiently before more resources went into Tenno carving out a build for it, and for how this unintentionally insanely powerful synergizing ability may fit into a new niche meta. Marked for Death had several problems which added up to an ability that had a large AOE range, had mods stacking twice (yikes!), which led to distributing millions of unintentional damage.

The spirit of Marked for Death was to only consider the effective damage on the targeted enemy. It was intended that if you took out a heavy unit, enough damage could be dealt to units with lower health around to kill them (or come very, very close). It was not intended to use finishers that overkilled a unit with lower health that had enough MFD power to kill much larger and heavier units around it.

Enter last Thursdays re-balancing effort.

Fixed Mods applying twice to the Marked for Death Damage portion dealt in the AOE.

Fixed base Damage using the Health/Shield Damage dealt and not capped at the Health+Shield the target had prior (e.g. enemy with 5 Health gets hit by 100 damage, and 100 damage is shared in AOE. It should just be the 5).


Radial damage was never meant to exceed the target’s Health and this was our bad. The desired strategy we wanted was players prioritizing tank units like Heavy Gunners to do AOE clears since heavy units have more Health than normal, thus the radial AOE would likely be lethal, not just normal units. This issue combined with numerous bugs of Mods stacking meant this was way over powered. A key part of reviewing these changes will be ensuring that players understand the best case scenario we envision for the power is targeting high-Health enemies to do radial damage to weaker enemies.

Removed Critical Chance from Marked for Death radial AOE.

Capped Damage multiplier stat to 75% and normalized Damage type mults.

Here’s an example of normalized Damage type: if the Damage you deal is 0.5 Impact, 0.4 Slash, 0.3 Heat that sums to 1.2x but after normalizing they become 0.42 Impact, 0.33 Slash, 0.25 Heat.

Fixed Marked for Death with Arcane Trickery equipped triggering invisibility almost every time, because each enemy hit by the AoE has its own 15% chance to activate Arcane Trickery.”

Our team made the decision to change Marked for Death, but based on community feedback and our own testing, the hammer was swung too hard on the changes – (compounded by the major fixes). The scenario we had re-balanced Marked For Death around was too rare to be useful and satisfying. We knew that the conversation was not over on Marked For Death, and we committed to taking another look to hopefully restore balance to this ability. Now that the facts have been laid out, here’s where that conversation continues today:

We are changing Marked for Death to start its base damage at 65%, which will cap at 150% with Mods. Since the ‘Damage Type In = Damage Type Out’, this will scale well with certain damage types, specifically ones with DOTS s which is what we envision.

Simply put: We’re bringing the damage back up!

The Dev work behind the scenes has already been completed, so we are now looking to submit the changes in a HF that will hopefully be going out next week with Helminth Bile changes as well!

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