Warframe

Weak-point mechanics, Glassmaker / Orphix edition

Warframe15 - Weak-point mechanics, Glassmaker / Orphix edition
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Nightwave Series 3 has just ended, and with that we are now free from Nihil’s goddamn glass infections. The idea of random enemies getting glassed in normal missions was fun and interesting at first, but by the end I was well and truly tired of it, as I think most of the community was.

One of the biggest irritations to the glassed enemies was their mechanics – specifically, the way they would ignore all damage from attacks which do not hit them directly in their glass weak spots. * It’s frustrating to have such limited areas of vulnerability on enemies who might be moving rapidly or turning suddenly. * It’s more frustrating to try to solve this challenge with a punch-through weapon like the Arca Plasmor, and then discover that punch-through doesn’t help at all; if the first part of the enemy touched by your shot isn’t a weak point, then the attack deals no damage, even if the shot does strike a weak point later it it’s flight. * It’s more frustrating to try to solve this challenge with an area effect weapons such as the Staticor, and then discover that area damage doesn’t help at all; if the projectile does not directly strike the weak point, then the area damage caused by that projectile is ignored. * However, melee attacks do work as long as the weak point is within the area of your attack. This makes no sense given how punch-through and area attacks don’t work, but this is also the only thing preventing these enemies from being absolutely maddening to fight.

An enemy with a weak point is a puzzle wrapped up inside of a fight. Creative approaches to solving that puzzle should be rewarded, not punished.

This weak point mechanic is a source of frustration for numerous other enemies. For example: Aerolysts, Condrixes, the Gantulyst, Hemocytes, the Hydrolyst, Lephantis, enemy Necramechs, Orphixes, the Ropalolyst, the Teralyst, Tusk Thumpers, and Vay Hek. < gasp > All of these enemies share this mechanic, and most of them are less fun as a result.

Also, the behavior of weak points is inconsistent between these enemies. For example, area attacks work on Vay Hek, and punch-through attacks work on enemy Necramechs. Having a mechanic like this, which works differently every time it shows up, makes this game less friendly to new players.

Also, some of these weak point problems are made worse by enemy AI, which can make the enemy move and turn too quickly to allow us to aim at their weak point. This is especially frustrating with enemy Necramechs, which have a weak point on their back but which always turn to face you, and with Thumpers, which have weak points on all four legs but still have a “front” for some reason and which always turn rapidly to “face” their target, making it almost impossible to target their back legs without using a Warframe ability to slow them down.

The Juggernaut and the Nox also have weak points, but are far less frustrating. They take much less damage if not struck in a weak point but still take some damage from every attack, so if you go into a mission without a precision weapon, you can still kill them with sustained fire.

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However, despite the fact that DE has this better weak point mechanic available, they still keep using the more-frustrating total-immunity weak point approach. This problem is evident as recently as the Orphix Venom event. Orphixes have this same weak point mechanic – attacks which don’t directly strike their “eye” do no damage.

Consequently, the Voidrig Necramech’s Guard Mode ability can do literal millions of damage in a broad area without even a full build, but it struggles to kill an Orphix unless very close and / or aimed very precisely, because shots which do not strike this eye directly do nothing.

Meanwhile, the Bonewidow Necramech’s Exalted Ironbride weapon does far less damage in a much smaller area, but it can kill Orphixes much more quickly and reliably, simply because it is a melee weapon and therefore inflicts damage with each swing as long as the weak point is within its area.

Please DE, fix this. The problems are obvious, and the solutions are equally so. * Every enemy which has weak points should use the same system, so that new players don’t have to learn specific mechanics for each enemy. The only variation should be between boss and non-boss enemies. * If an enemy has weak points and isn’t a boss, then their weak points should never close, and they should still take significant damage from shots which don’t hit a weak point. * If a boss has weak points, it’s OK for their weak points to close, and it’s OK for them to be totally immune when their weak points are closed. But when their weak points are open, they should still take significant damage from shots that don’t hit a weak point. * If an enemy has weak points, they shouldn’t be able to turn on a dime and whip those weak points around faster than we can aim. Every enemy with weak points should have limits on how often it changes targets, and on how fast it can move and turn. * It’s OK for punch-through attacks to not affect closed weak points, but if a weak point is open, and a shot has enough punch-through distance to reach that weak point, then that shot should damage the weak point even if it touches a different part of the enemy first. * It’s OK for area attacks to not affect closed weak points, but in every other situation, area attacks should always deal the appropriate amount of damage to weak points within their radius, regardless of where the related projectile strikes.

Lastly, I want to make a point of saying: I am not here to just complain. I mention all this because I love Warframe. DE, you all do a great job overall. I love playing your game, and I want to continue playing and enjoying it for years to come. Please, take the time to refine and improve old systems, such as this one.

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