A big part of the Buried Debts update was the appearance of Melee 2.9. Basically, for the last year or so, there have been plans to rework the melee system in Warframe. This rework though was so big that the developers decided to split the rework into parts, with the first part being a general update of melee and weapon switching.
It’s all very simple. You want to shoot something, you shoot them. You want to hit something with your sword? You press your melee key (E by default) and you immediately switch to your sword and hit said something. You can keep on hitting things until you want to go back to your gun, at which point you can just shoot (or aim at) something and you’ll automatically switch back to the gun you were holding. You effortlessly go from shooting things to slicing things up with your fancy melee combos.
This means there’s a very quick, very fluid flow between using guns and using melee. It all happens nigh instantly. There’s no more fumbling around waiting to swap weapons, you just thwack away, leaping from your cool melee combos into rapid gunfire and back again. But in doing so, we kinda lost something – quick melee attacks.
Before Melee 2.9, if you pressed E, you would only ever just do a quick swing of your weapon before switching back to your gun. The swap wasn’t quite as instantaneous as it is now, but no matter what, unless you specifically switched to your melee weapon, you would always just do this quick swing.
It sounds like a weird thing to miss, but I do miss that quick melee swing. It was just so much… faster than what we have now. Before Melee 2.9, you only ever did that quick swing, a very fast animation, and it would just be that one animation repeated every time you pressed E. But with Melee 2.9, when you spam your E key, you do your normal melee combos, based on whatever melee weapon you are using. The animations for these combos are nice but they don’t have the same… flow as quick melee spam.
It does very much depend on the weapon type as well. Staffs aren’t too bad because their combos and attack animations are all very straight forward. Cleaving Whirlwind, my favourite of the Heavy Blade stances, works quite nicely because the “spam E” combo keeps your forward momentum nicely. But a lot of stances and combos have you twirling around and being all fancy. Simply put, it looks weird when combined with holding forwards, and even weirder when you are using a movement speed boost like Speed, Warcry or Loki in general.
But also, the dedicated press E to melee and stay in melee thing just annoys me. Sure, there’s a nigh instant switch back to guns when I shoot at something, but sometimes I really just want to quickly hit something and return to my gun. Sometimes I just want to thwack something without having to waste ammo or hit zoom (right click) to go back to my gun. I kinda like having melee and shooting as their own separate things. It’s a personal taste thing.
The old quick melee though isn’t coming back. It’s a persistent switch to and from melee from now on. Because that’s how it is. Everyone wanted for switching between melee and guns to be easy, so that’s how it is. Losing quick melee was just part of the sacrifice we had to make.
But it is worth it. If only because the new aimed melee ground slams are so fucking cool…