Warframe Devstream 114 recap: Melee 3.0, Corpus Gas City rework, and more

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As promised a couple weeks back, this weekend past’s Devstream 114 saw Warframe developers Digital Extremes reveal more about their massive new Melee 3.0 rework. Melee combat is currently the most potentially powerful combat system in the game, so fans have been eyeing any changes to it with trepidation as they’re afraid all their work will go to waste. Well, as revealed in the Devstream, melee combat is definitely going to be very different but also incredibly cool and intuitive.

As demonstrated by Community Director Rebecca, gone are the days of memorising tricky combo button combinations for every melee stance. Now just pressing the melee key repeatedly activates the combo – where the skill comes in is that it’s now context sensitive based on your movement. Don’t hold the movement in any direction while meleeing and you’ll get a string of broad sweeping attacks, but moving forward while doing so gives you quicker attacks that cover more ground, for example. Holding block and then attacking will give you everything from a distance-closing lunge to a flurry of close quarter strikes, while the new heavy attacks dish out singular bursts of big damage. You also have new aerial options as you can combo while airborne in the same way you do on the ground, while the new ground slam heavy attack allows you to aim your slams for devastating effect.

All of this interruptible, so you can chain standard attacks into heavy attacks into lunging attacks and back again with serious fluidity to keep that combo counter going. About that combo counter though… Currently, as your combo counter climbs, so does your crit damage multiplier, which is how you can scale your attacks to push out crazy high numbers with certain weapons against end-game level enemies. In Melee 3.0, the combo counter stacks are only applicable to your heavy attack and all get used up instantly on use. This makes things a bit more tactical as you need to time when to use that big heavy attack for maximum damage. It still looks pretty damn great though.

To use your heavy attack, you will press the button that was previously used for channelling, but that doesn’t mean that channelling is going away though. Although it wasn’t shown exactly how you would implement channelling now, it was revealed that it will no longer consume energy. And instead of giving you a damage buff while holding the channelling button as it currently works, you will instead charge yourself up with an animation beforehand. This new channelling mechanic is still very early in development though, but the team did show off some early animations for various melee weapons.

Speaking of them, all melee weapons in the game – including all melee mods – are getting reworked so that everything is still functional, with the weapons getting a bit of buff to compensate for that lack of combo counter damage stacking on normal attacks. DE will also look at changing the game’s mobility slightly when using melee weapons, so you may have better evasion mechanics when blocking or do damage to enemies if you bullet jump into them while holding a certain melee weapon, for example. They also spoke about the mechanic of dual-wielding a sidearm and single-handed melee weapon, which can be done in the game currently but only in a very limited fashion. The new system will allow you to do it with any two compatible weapons, which could see the rise of a new meta as people figure out which sidearms and melee weapons compliment each other the best. At the very least, it will kind of make you feel like you’re playing a Devil May Cry game.

It wasn’t all Melee 3.0 on the Devstream though. If you follow DE Creative Director Steve Sinclair on Twitter then you would have seen him teasing before the Devstream that they were looking to rework the Corpus faction a bit, specifically how their Gas City map tilesets – which had been around from the earlier stages of the game – look and function. Besides for being gorgeous with some stunning volumetric effect, the new Gas City is also sure to churn some stomachs as the map design will now require lots more vertical mobility and some hair-raising parkour to get around.

The team also showed off upcoming new Warframe Revenant again, who has seen a couple tweaks to his abilities that will see his mist form get more speed and the ability to be cancelled, while killing enemies with his ultimate who are already under his control will see them dropping pickups that give him overshields. All in all, Revenant is looking incredibly powerful and that has left Nyx players worried as their mind-control powersets are very similar, but the new guy just does it better. DE has recognised this and is looking at revamping Nyx. Plans are not finalised but the rather lame Psychic Bolts ability appears to definitely be gone as Chaos takes its slot and will also be getting some kind of debuffing mechanic. She will have to get a new third ability, while her Absorb will just get some new math. Nyx isn’t the only Warframe that was mentioned that is getting a tweaking though, as Vauban will also see his trap mechanics changed slightly, although DE is asking for any more radical ideas on how to change him.

Other minor things shown on the Devstream include some new artwork for some of the wildlife we’ll be capturing in the upcoming Venus open world area, restoratives (i.e. health/ammo “pizzas”) will now be redesigned so that you can know what they are just from looking at them. The team also spoke about possible changes to wall-hopping/running, tweaking Titania’s Razorwing, and the new anti-aliasing system that will make for even better graphics.

Last Updated: August 6, 2018

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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