Warframe

The Status System // Issues and Fixes

Warframe2 - The Status System // Issues and Fixes
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Hi! Just before the meat of the post, a quick disclaimer. I don't really use reddit as you may've noticed from my account age, however I am absolutely in love with this game. I want to see the game succeed very much. Although I don't normally post about suggestions, recently I've seen DE listenin' and I figured I might as well try my luck with some changes I've been mullin' over for months. There will be a link to the original post on the Warframe forums at the bottom, although I am incredibly hopeful for some of the changes to be seen/hopefully used, so I'll definitely be checking here from time to time and responding. With that out of the way, onto the book report…

Status procs are a wonderful little addition to any loadout. They make fun visual effects, and greatly improve your damage output or versatility in many cases. There are however, some very serious issues with the Status system in it's current iteration. I'll go over the issues with the system as a whole, and then issues with the individual procs/status types, and finally round it off with my suggested changes/fixes to increase the diversity of status types. As it is, in the current meta, we're really only seeing viral slash weapons with say, a magnetic Kuva Nukor to prime the enemies for melee, it lacks diversity which leads to the game feeling stale in many cases.

The Issues:

One of the core issues I, and many other players have with the status system in it's current state is that many of the statuses have just been left behind and their effects are incredibly miniscule. This is evident when looking at a status proc like Blast, the only effect it has is to reduce enemy accuracy. One could argue that this is helpful, but it leaves much to be desired. You have statuses like viral, that are completely dominating the meta as it's ridiculously overpowered, and multiplies your damage output by an absurd amount… and then some statuses that are just lacking what makes a status feel powerful and fun to use.

Another core issue is that many of the procs don't scale beyond 10 stacks, once you reach 10 stacks your extra procs do nothing but refresh the duration. For weapons and builds that have strong status output, once you have 10 stacks of some statuses on the enemy, subsequent stacks aren't as effective, as they only serve to extend the duration. This issue is evident in many statuses, one of the main offenders being corrosive. My suggested change to address this is to give all the status procs that are capped at ten, either an extra effect that will proc when the stacks are capped, or giving a new effect that always applies when procced, like magnetic having a slight pull effect similar to Magus Anomaly that is able to sort of group enemies up a bit more. I will get into all the individual status types and the specifics of their changes below.

So, something that the status system has, is that all of the base elements, all except for cold that is, have some form of damage component to their procs, with a unique little effect.

  • Heat: DoT proc and strips armour.
  • Toxin: DoT proc and ignores shields.
  • Electricity: Stun/DoT proc and is AoE.
  • Cold: Slows enemies.

There should definitely be some uniqueness to status effects, which is very much a healthy thing, but I am of the belief that every status proc should help with damage in some form. Whether that be through de-buffing the enemy, like corrosive with it's armour strip, buffing your damage output against that enemy specifically, like viral, or just being an actual damage proc like slash. Cold and some others are left behind though… only slowing enemies or having other unhelpful or miniscule effects. Cold isn't the only status type with this issue.

The Math:

One final bit to address before we move on to the specific changes… I'll be getting into some math and formulas, so before that I'd like to explain a few things for anyone that isn't aware. All of the elemental DoT procs abide by the first formula shown below. The only DoT proc that currently has a different formula is slash, and it has a lower scaling per tick than the elemental procs at only 35% of it's damage per tick as opposed to 50%.

  • 0.5 × modded base damage, per damage tick, ticking once per second for 6 seconds (modded base damage refers to the weapon's base damage multiplied by any weapon damage bonuses; elemental and ±ips do not affect this)

Another component to all of the damage calculations for the elemental DoT procs (except for gas following the Warframe Revised update) would be the second formula, shown below.

  • (1 – ), this basically means, for procs like heat, electricity, and toxin, the more of that specific element you stack into your build, the more damage your procs will deal (elemental mod scaling refers to the total combined % of the element is added via mods and other buffs)

This second part of the formula applies to heat, electricity, and toxin, the three base elemental procs, however it doesn't apply to slash procs, and no longer applies to gas as it did in the past (which is one reason currently gas feels very underwhelming). After this second part in the calculation, there is also a bit that the damage is multiplied by faction damage mods but that's not really relevant to anything else in this post so we can happily ignore that and finally move on to the suggested fixes!

The Fixes:Gonna start off with the physical damage types, then onto base elements, and finally rounded out with the combined elements.

Physical status types.

  • Impact: this is typically regarded as the meme status, not really contributing in any way, sure it CC's enemies, but in the current meta where CC doesn't really matter and it's all about damage and one-shots, it leaves much to be desired. That said though! This proc is incredibly unique, and I believe the direction of it is good, except the execution was definitely flopped. The main issue with this status as it is has to do with the health threshold associated with the mercy finisher. This status staggers and then builds towards a finisher which is fun and cool, but it can only currently force a finisher on enemies below 5% hp. This is incredibly bad, not only does this mean you're basically never getting them because you're almost always dealing >5% of the enemies max hp in one shot. This also means it would simply be easier to just put one more bullet in them to turn them into a corpse instead of having to run up and hit X on the prompt, since they're already below 5% hp. This could be addressed by removing the hp threshold entirely, and just making it roll for the finisher without the hp threshold as well. This would mean in 10 impact procs you'd have a guaranteed mercy finisher, which is a guaranteed kill, which could definitely be overpowered. To address this you would simply reduce the finisher chance from 10% to ~5%, and prevent it from increasing the finisher chance bonus above about 50%, so subsequent impact procs after capping the ten stacks would have a 50% chance to force a finisher, and the numbers could be more finely tuned from there. These changes would make the finisher from impact procs actually prevalent, and with some of the fancy parazon mods we have these days, could definitely make for some interesting builds and such.tldr; remove finisher threshold but lower finisher chance cap.
  • Puncture: as the name would imply, is meant to puncture armour. As it currently works, it… reduces the enemies damage output? Yeah, not kidding. Sounds quite useless, when we already have a slow proc, that reduces the enemies overall speed, which reduces their damage output, very similar in function. Banshee has a very cool mechanic where she can add small weak-points to enemies, puncture should be similar in function to this. When you proc puncture, the area that you shot should become "punctured", this would add a small circular marker. I believe it should have a few components to the effect, shots that hit a "punctured" spot will always punch through the enemy, they will also have a very slight damage multiplier in the affected area, as well as ignoring a percentage of the enemies total armour when shooting that spot. These weak-points all have their own six second timer, and will fade after that, they can overlap and for each overlapping weak-point, the bonuses will be added. The numbers should be somewhere around 10% armour ignore per weak-spot, allowing you to ignore 100% with 10 overlapping "puncture" spots. For the damage bonus, somewhere around 7.5% damage increase per stack would be quite decent, this number of course would be subject to change most likely depending on how well balanced it all ends up. Hopefully with these changes, puncture damage is not falling into the same pit as impact, where it's procs are regarded as entirely useless, and in most cases players choose to remove impact or puncture via riven (-impact, -puncture, -slash rolls**)**, sacrificing some damage, just for better status proc distribution.tldr; puncture creates weak spots in armour, shots that hit these points will punch through the enemy, ignore a percentage of their armour, and deal bonus damage.
  • Slash: slash is in a good spot at the moment, it has it's niche to ignore armour, however it's scaling is much weaker than the other DoT procs. The main reason slash is regarded as "OP" by players in the current meta is because the prevalence of viral, and how viral and slash work so well together. Slash however on it's own is quite weak, especially when compared to the other procs. My only suggestion to it's current state would be to adjust the scaling to the DoT procs to be the same as the base elements, the formulas mentioned above. It also currently unlike the base elements does not scale with the slash mod bonus like they do with elements, this component should be added to the damage calculation, bringing this more in tune with the other DoT procs. This will be a big buff to slash, which would seem silly to most players, however as mentioned earlier it's mainly regarded as OP due to the over-tuned nature of viral procs.tldr; buff damage to slash procs, bring in-line with the standard DoT proc formulas, make it scale with slash mods.

Now for the base elements.

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  • Heat: keep the same function with a few tweaks, it has a good niche of stripping armour, however the way it goes about this is quite strange. Currently it strips armour, starting at 0% and going up to 50% over the duration of the first two seconds of the proc. This should be changed to instead scale per proc, and be capped at ten procs. The value should be somewhere around 4-5% per proc, scaling up to a total of 40-50% armour strip. This will be much healthier for gameplay, as you're not forced to wait on the armour strip to take effect now, while it's also being an infinitely stacking DoT proc, so it has lots going for it.tldr; change armour strip functionality, keep rest the same.
  • Cold: cold status procs are quite unique in their nature of crowd control, however they are incredibly underpowered and need lots to be considered good and sit among the rest. The slow should to be changed to a 10% slow to enemies, this of course can stack up to 10 times. Once the enemy reaches 10 stacks they will be encased in ice, the next source of damage while they are at 10 stacks will shatter the ice. When the ice shatters the main target will take damage, based on the first and second formulas above, bringing this in-line with the other base element damage scaling. Upon shattering and damaging the main target, they will revert back to 4 cold procs (40% slow), and will shoot out 7 small ice fragments/icicles. On impact these icicles will deal the same damage that the main target takes when the ice shatters, and leave a cold zone with about a 1m radius. These zones will remain for 6 seconds and will apply 1 cold proc to any enemy for every second they spend in the chill zone. Since this proc resets upon 10 stacks, it will never be capped on stacks, meaning consecutive procs are never wasted, which is a healthy mechanic to have and it would put cold procs in a very good spot cementing it among the other base elemental procs.tldr; cold can freeze enemies, has a damage component, and can create icey zones that apply cold procs.
  • Electricity: keep the same, electricity as a proc is already very strong, and as it's an endlessly stacking DoT proc it's in a good place.tldr; electricity is fine.
  • Toxin: keep the same, it has a good niche of bypassing shields, as well as a damage component and can stack endlessly, it's in a healthy spot.tldr; toxin is fine.

Can't forget Void procs…

  • Void: is honestly quite fine in it's current place, the procs are quite strange but it's gotten lots of recent love. Maybe add a component that the bubble multiplies damage on projectiles that enter but other than that I really have nothing to add.tldr; void is fine.

… and finally the combined elements.

  • Gas: needs to have have it's damage output buffed, as it is it's just too weak. Some other issues with it are how the radius of the gas clouds scales, and the fact that they follow around the enemy that it's procced on. As it's a combined element, this does open it up to the potential of having both toxin scaling and heat scaling, which allows for many neat things to be done. The radius of the gas could be reliant on the heat mod scaling, while the damage of the procs would have the toxin scaling added back in like gas had before. This would increase the damage output of the status, making it much more useful, as it's current version is vastly out damaged by every other damage proc in the game. If gas had the damage component scaling with elemental mods again, then it would be a fantastic status already. The proc radius scaling with stacks is not great, it punishes you on weapons that only apply a single high damage proc. This should be removed in favour of the radius scaling off of your heat mods, adding an interesting new component to this combined element. The lingering gas clouds should also be set in place where they are spawned, as opposed to following the enemy around. Then as enemies step into or out of clouds their UI will reflect how many clouds are currently affecting them.tldr; make gas clouds stationary, remove radius scaling with stacks, add toxin and heat scaling, toxin increases dot heat increases radius.
  • Magnetic: needs to have an extra component added, for when it's capped, as subsequent procs serve no use. There is also to think about, the fact that magnetic procs serve no use at all on enemies that have no shields. It should have an additional component added that it slightly pulls enemies together, similar to Magus Anomaly or Mag's Magnetize bubble, but much weaker. This would address the issue with magnetic, that issue being that a vast majority or the enemies in the game have no shields, and well, magnetic procs currently have no effect at all if an enemy has no shields, so the procs end up being entirely useless in most cases. There is also worth mentioning, the issue of the proc scaling. Much like viral, magnetic has non-linear scaling, in that with a single proc on an enemy, you deal +100% damage against shields, add a second proc, now you only deal +125%. I believe the scaling for the procs should be nerfed, as the 325% value is incredibly high, and to do this I would simply lower the first proc bonus from +100% to +25% to be in line with the rest. This would change the scaling from 325% at max stacks, to 250%, which is a much more reasonable value. With these suggested changes magnetic damage would have a more niche use and versatility, rendering it more useful in a number of situations and making it more enjoyable to use.tldr; slight value tweaks, along with added "pull" effect to enemies.
  • Corrosive: the main issue with corrosive is that it simply doesn't strip enough amour. The procs for corrosive currently reduce the armour by 26% on the first proc, and 6% on subsequent procs, up to a cap of 80%. Something unique to Warframe is that you can fully strip an enemies armour, which reverts their amour type to health, thus negating the damage bonus against that armour that you have likely built for. This used to be an issue with pre-Warframe Revised, as if you fully stripped an enemies armour, you suddenly started dealing less damage than a moment before. Following all of this, corrosive's armour strip should be made to scale linearly, similar to cold, at 10% per proc, capping at 100% armour removal on the enemy, the unique bit, is that I believe corrosive's armour strip should not revert the enemies armour type to health when fully stripped. The enemy would have 0 armour for the purposes of damage reduction calculations, but retain their armour type for the damage bonuses against it. This would allow corrosive to retain it's effectiveness at higher levels, as in it's current state even with the 80% armour strip, at higher levels the armour scaling is still so incredibly high that you are not able to deal damage, even via stripping armour, and the current meta is to just ignore the armour entirely via slash to ignore this issue.tldr; change values, 10% per stack, fully strip at 10 stacks, doesn't revert armour to health type when fully stripped.
  • Viral: is currently the be all end all in the meta. Despite having the same scaling as magnetic procs do for increasing damage, magnetic procs only apply to shields, which only a small chunk of the enemies in the game even have. Every enemy has health, but few have shields, this makes viral much more prevalent for use, and is the main reason it's so incredibly popular. Along with magnetic, the scaling of this proc should be adjusted to be linear, giving the same damage bonus for each consecutive proc, up to it's cap of 10. This would be done, like above, by lowering the single proc damage bonus from 100% to 25%, shifting to 10 stack bonus to 250% and bringing this status more in-line with the rest in terms of balance. Even with the numbers changed, however, there is still one glaring issue with this status proc, it can't stack beyond 10. I believe it should have a component added, it's name is viral, and viruses spread, so my suggestion is to make it while the status is capped, each subsequent proc will spread one random status proc to from the host to a nearby enemy, afflicting them with the same. These changes would be very healthy, allowing viral procs to not be capped in their effectiveness, while also making it much more balanced with the rest of the damage system.tldr; nerf values, added effect for spreading status procs to nearby enemies.
  • Blast: blast procs should trigger an immediate damage instance in a radius from the hit position. Now if we are to compare it to the damage over time elements, with total damage per proc of 3.0x your weapons modded base damage, contrasting their damage over time nature this would be an instantaneous damage instance, so the numbers should definitely be lower to make up for that as you don't have to wait. In addition to this, blast would be made to scale with elemental mods of both cold and heat, cold would affect the radius of the explosion, and heat would increase the damage scaling with the standard elemental formula mentioned above. The numbers I feel should be somewhere right around 0.125x your weapon's modded base damage. DoT procs deal 16.7% of their total damage in the first tick, so in contrast to this, blast should be above the single tick damage, but below the second tick damage, to have a finely balanced damage output. Based on all of this I believe somewhere around 25% of the total damage of the damage over time procs.tldr; completely changed, blast is now an instant damage proc, dot damage scales with heat, radius scales with cold.
  • Radiation: the first issue I would address with radiation, is making the damage bonus scaling for enemies linear, this would reduce it from 550% to a 500% damage increase total, which is a very small change. Moving on from that, radiation is a strong element, have a fun and unique effect, but it's capped by 10 stacks, as some others are. I believe to address this, the radiation procs could serve as a form of "link", binding hapless enemies, and causing them to project the damage they themselves take, outward to all nearby enemies also afflicted by radiation. This link will only form when two enemies are within a small range of each other, are both affected by radiation, and will cause 100% of incoming damage to be redirected to all linked enemies. The radius for this could either be set to a static value, like 10 meters, or made similar to gas and the like mentioned above, to scale off of one element for it's radius. With the scaling in question, it could also have the other element of the combination worked into the damage redirection mechanic, where the redirected damage is multiplied by the standard elemental formula above. This slight tweak should make stacking radiation feel much more rewarding.tldr; number tweak, radiation links enemies, linked enemies share all (or a percentage, this is of course subject to change) incoming damage.

I appreciate anyone that's made it to the end. As I've posted on the forums as well, you can find the original post here.Thank you so much for any and all support, I'd love nothing more than to help get some nice changes that help the build and status diversity, which the game severely lacks right now.

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