Xaku is intended to be this strange, broken Warframe made out of bits and pieces. It’s a cool concept, definitely. But I never felt that, aside from appearances, Xaku was really that broken. After all, having three abilities in one isn’t new. Ivara and Vauban have had that for years. Heck, even the stripping of armour isn’t new! Chroma has been doing that since his release, and Xaku had to have an infinite duration gimmick slapped on to make its version worthwhile.
But, more importantly, Xaku’s theme could have been better used as part of the Helminth system. Xaku is ‘designed by the players’ but really isn’t. It’s just a few concepts picked out by DE themselves. It’s not REALLY created by the players. However, thanks to the new Helminth suggestion, I have an idea. A Build Your own Warframe. A Helminth Frame.
The concept is simple – Helminth makes a Warframe.
We already have the ability to mix and match one ability on one Warframe. But how about we make a Warframe using ONLY Helminth abilities and Subsumed abilities?
All you do is take a blank slate of a Warframe, feed it to Helminth, inject a bunch of abilities into it and then have Helminth spit out your own custom Warframe! You choose what abilities this Helminth frame has, picking from all the abilities that you currently have subsumed, as well as the weird Helminth abilities. If you want to have both Shock, Smite and Fire Blast on one Warframe? Go ahead!
What would this frame look like?
Honestly, I was considering actually making the Helminth Frame look like a literal combination of Warframes, changing based on what Warframe abilities you have. But frankly that would look absolutely hideous. And it would be a pain in the ass to set up, due to different Warframe sizes. A smaller, easier to do version of this would be to have one arm that’s based off whatever Warframe ability is being cast, but this could cause problems later on as more Warframes are added.
So the Helminth frame would have to have its own, default, unique look. And it’d probably have an Infested feel to it, perhaps mixed with a hint of Sentient. But I do think it should at least be able to use the animation sets of any Warframe used to make the Helminth frame, as well as get a weakened version of any unique Warframe weapons. For example, the Helminth Frame would get the extra ammo from the Larkspurr if it has Hildryn’s Pillage ability, or get the flaming skulls on the Tatsu if it has Revenant’s Reave.
Because you’re creating a Warframe basically from scratch, things would work a bit differently, compared to just adding one ability to a Warframe. The restrictions on Helminth stuff would be removed from the Helminth frame. If you want to, you can put Roar, Warcry AND Dispensary on your Helminth Frame, and you wouldn’t have any of the downsides. But there’d be other benefits too – adding new abilities would be free
As for health, shields and armour values? This would be calculated based on the base health, shields and armour values of the Warframes which you took abilities from, ignoring Helminth abilities. So if you gave your custom Warframe just abilities from Inaros and Nidus, you’d have no shields, and more health than Nidus but less than Inaros. but if you used Inaros, Hildryn and Valkyr for example, you’d get an average of the three. The same would apply for Sprint Speed and Energy, which means you have to put some thought into what frames you take abilities from.
You get four Default Abilities.
To stop yourself from going out with a Warframe with no abilities, this Helminth Warframe would come with 4 pre-installed abilities abilities, which you can switch out later on. While three of these would be randomly chosen Helminth abilities, your first slot would be unique to the Helminth Frame.
You know those infested tendril things that infest the Cambion Drift? The screeching little tentacle things? Well, your first and default ability would be to throw those bastards at your enemies. Partially for thematic reasons, but mostly to give the Infested a taste of their own medicine. This would probably deal a combination of Impact and Magnetic damage, and stun enemies hit. Because the normal tendrils nullify abilities and stagger you.
The Helminth Frame’s passive would be simple: massively reduced (maybe even free) costs when changing or adding abilities.
There will need to be some drawbacks.
While it would be amazing to shove Roar, Warcry and all the damage stuff onto one Warframe, I think we need to have some semblance of balance. But my proposal for balance is pretty simple, and I think you only need two drawbacks. The first is that there should be one damage buff maximum. Because stacking all the damage buffs onto one frame might be a bit silly, especially since this Helminth frame gets access to the standard abilities, rather than the altered ones. But really, aside from that, the sky is the limit.
The other drawback would be that you have to have ONE Helminth ability. Just to tie everything together and make it clear that this is a Helminth frame. Before this happens though, we’d need way more Helminth abilities. Because currently only Infested Mobility, Empower and maybe Marked for Death are good.
Finally, you’d be locked into your default first ability until you max out the frame. After you’ve reached level 30 with the Helminth frame, you’ll be able to alter abilities as you please, and when you forma this frame, you’ll keep the abilities you’ve chosen.
No gilding though!
Unlike other DIY weapons, like Kitguns and Zaws, there won’t be any gilding. Gilding is bad enough on weapons and it’s godawful on pets. So there’s no way I’d want to level up a Warframe twice. You level up your Helminth once, that’s it, unless you want to forma it.
Of course, this idea is all very pie in the sky. So I doubt anything like this would actually happen. But one can dream…