Warframe and change go together like Inaros and Vitality. Without change in Warframe we'd still have Stamina Bars, Nekros would still have to hit '3' every time he wanted to Desecrate, and bullet jumping wouldn't exist. In fact, without change, Warframe melee would only consist of quick attacks.
Melee changes are coming – and they'll be rolling out in Phases. Starting with this ‘Phase 1’ overview, we hope to give you some insight as to what you can expect coming down the road – starting with the following goals:
1) Uninterrupted Combat – firearm to equipped melee (and vice versa) states are instant.
Bonus 1.a) Combo Resume
2) Ground Slams are more controllable, cleaner, and simpler.
3) Visual FX: 2019 style!
5) Change & Methodology.
Our original "Sword Alone" melee update inspirations came from a lot of '1 player vs. 1 enemy' materials, which over the years has not kept up with Warframe's combat pace. To benefit from blocking, combos, channeling, and more you had to hold a key and lock yourself into melee mode entirely. This had huge appeal in 2014 because everything was new, but now it is time to bring back fast and distinctly Warframe combat.
With the instant firearm to equipped melee (and vice versa) states, you can immediately engage in all things melee – Combos, blocking, and more. No more interruptions between firearm and melee!
When interrupting a melee combo with gunfire, dodging, bullet jumping, or any parkour, your next melee attack will resume the combo where it left off (within a window). This simply means taking brief and tactical actions between combo executions is now a valid strategy.
Combo Resuming is something we are trying for Phase 1 – at least as a prototype. This is the most subject to 'too volatile to ship in Phase 1', so we'll keep you posted.
Aerial dominance is a key part of Warframe – you have full freedom to not only weave in and out of combat on the ground, but bullet jumping and aim gliding from above is one of a Warframe's most lethal advantages. Current ground slams instantly interrupt all momentum, direction, and cancel any aiming to slam you down right where you are. We are going to make Melee ground slams aimed, and as a result more controllable. You will be able to use your aerial advantage to aim, and then target the Ground Slam to more tactical end results.
Our FX art team will be updating all things Melee FX. Expect a beautifully redone FX pass with all this change in Phase 1!
Our FX Team says:
'We're replacing all Melee FX with the new clean basic ones!' You can see what that looks like here:
Because this is Phase 1, it 'means all the unique weapons will have new generic FX for a little while (Jat Kittag etc.) until we can get through them all and make new clean variants'.
New and cleaner FX have been created with the idea of beautifully short, highly detailed lifespans. Not infinite – meaning the 'Constant Weapon Trail' option will be removed as a result of this change (at least for Phase 1, we really do think it looks better removed).
Things are changing. This may lead to keybindings from our old Melee system becoming obsolete.
Notable Keybind changes:
Blocking with a melee weapon is no longer keybound, it is automatic when facing enemies who are dealing damage to you in melee mode. Your Reticle determines all!
Channeling is now a toggle set to your alt-fire button when in melee mode.
Your 'F' button now exclusively swaps between Primary and Secondary weapons with a tap.
Your left mouse button is gun fire, always, instantly.
Your right mouse button is now aim, always, instantly.
We are adding a toggle to preserve one aspect of the older melee system. You will be able to toggle an option, allowing you to continue melee attacks with the left mouse button once in melee mode.
CHANGE& CHANGE METHODOLOGY:
We have been discussing Melee over the course of many Devstreams – at one point planning to release it one weapon class at a time. This is no longer a wise case for any practical development to be made, so instead we are releasing in Phases. Instead of doing all the changes to one weapon, we are doing smaller phases of changes to all weapons. That way you'll be able to experience batches of changes across all you weapons – what is good for a Dagger may not be good for a Hammer, and as each Phase rolls out, you'll be able to compare and contrast!
We cannot make innovative change when trying to preserve the status quo from 2014. What this means more broadly is that melee habits will change, not just keybindings. Keybindings are just a facet of the current combat systems – however, we are confident that the changes being made will increase the fluidity of melee combat, and that new smoother feeling will outweigh the old, clunker need for different keybindings. We cannot upgrade the melee system to 3.0 without refactoring what exists.
- Updated Reticles: Melee mode has received its own reticle!
- Archwing: Arch-Melee & Arch-Gun now also use the 'instant swap' behaviour.
- Dual Wield (i.e Glaive & Single Secondary) is still supported!
- Exalted weapons will also benefit from the uninterrupted swaps!
- AI hit reacts are getting updated! Enemies will have a more visceral/realistic response to the various hits you dish out. It'll look a little something like this:
We don't want to repeat 2018's Melee discussion where we show, go dark, and the year passes. We'll live through this evolution in phases together and adjust the sails along the way. We are confident the change is needed, and we've started charting the course.
We'll let you know when release week comes for PC. Once we've made progress, we'll start writing about Phase 2 which will talk all things MODS and CHANNELING. We are not touching any of your upgrades or gear until you've been able to try out Phase 1.
It feels incredibly refreshing to play missions on the Dev build with Phase 1 so far. We hope you enjoy a new spark of action coming to your Arsenals soon!
P.S. we're going live 45 minutes from now
twitch.tv/warframe to read this with you all and demo it.. if you want to see your favourite frame/melee demo'd, reply here with details!
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