This preview was originally published in PC Gamer UK Magazine Issue 365, which is Now on sale.
It feels like just yesterday, Warframe is just a weird little free game to play with space ninjas. It is now a huge science fiction epic, containing everything from open world mech combat to ship-to-ship space combat. Tomorrow’s Warframe update, The New War, is not just an explosion of more content, the purpose is to fill the treadmill serving the game with new chores. This is a grand battle of stories: the latest chapter of the luxurious legend about the solar system protecting the Tenno and the return of the old enemy. One has been a long time.
“For many years, the new war has been a grand vision,” Rebecca Ford, director of field operations and community, told me. As a staunch supporter of Warframe, Rebecca has worked at Digital Extremes for nine years, helping build and guide its story while managing the community. She is even the voice of Lotus, the player’s guide and mentor. “I think since it was announced in 2018, there has not been a period of time when anyone didn’t think about how to start making it great, start testing it, start building assets, concepts, everything is part of it.”
For anyone who has played Warframe, they are no stranger to the talent for story-driven content, but New Warfare has moved the focus back to the center. “Last year we gave up that open world, the Heart of Deimos. It has a story mission and it promotes the story… The players looking for the story are happy, but this is different from the taste of the new war. It is comprehensive, Movies, about your relationship with the main characters in the game.” This is the kind of content that Digital Extremes is happy to share. “For us, because this is the most personalized content we produce, we see it as our banner content type. We invested a lot. This is really a single player campaign, right? You can see When the player reaches a certain point, the developer’s reaction is in God of War or those very narrative [focused] Experience. For us, that’s it. “
This is also the biggest activity they have done so far. “This is definitely longer than any task we have done.” But the players should cheer up. “The new war will take several hours-please prepare accordingly, because you will not be able to conduct normal Warframe activities.”
The scope of the new war is also greater than ever. As Sentient’s new villain reaches the solar system, players will step out of Tenno shoes and take control of the characters in the faction that were your enemies before.
Seeing the universe through the eyes of all time, for players, cannon fodder should give it a new sense of scale. With the rise of attributes such as sand dunes, Warframe feels ready to take advantage of audiences who desire dense political world construction and strange sci-fi concepts. However, even if this is a dark, dramatic beat in the story, Warframe is not afraid to have fun. The cloned infantry in the Grineer army you control is commanded by a ridiculously superior sergeant, while the weak robot commander of the super-capitalist Corpus faction is following the instructions of a reckless, self-centered corporate overlord. His disregard is too great. It’s ridiculous. It is this level of personality that helps Warframe stay away from being a serious sci-fi game that is too obsessed with its own legends. Even if the new war escalates things, it leaves enough time for the stupid and distinctive elements that make the game so pleasing.
Although don’t expect to spend the whole new war on this pair of shoes. “You definitely need a preferred Warframe and your operator as the main playable mission content. The system is in a state of war, and our goal is to do in the first action of the new war. This is what we showed at TennoCon , It just shows the system’s view of war, and then it will immediately become a personal story.”
For those who invested in the twists and turns (the mission before the new war brought a lot of personal benefits to the player), this new battle will become an exciting chapter. “I think this story will make people emotional… I didn’t cry and finish the script. This is a very personal work for us.”
For those who are already fascinated, this sounds great, but what about those who have never tried Warframe? Well, this may be the best time to join yet, because Digital Extremes has released a new onboarding update. “The purpose of this is to make people’s journey from starting the game to entering the new war not so bad.” Although rebalancing the early parts of the game is not a simple matter, some aspects are not difficult to achieve. “Fortunately, there are several very simple ways to do this by reducing the resources required… It’s very simple.”
All this proves Digital Extremes’ care and responsibility for its community, but it is not always easy, especially during the global pandemic, your game suddenly becomes the lifeline of some viewers. “This is surreal. I chose a game myself and used it as my digital healer to deal with lock-in. I know that Warframe has become a game for many people. It brings a series of problems that need to be solved because No one is really happy. Now, we are just trying our best not to increase unhappiness.”
So what is the best way? “We just want to be cautious about everything we do so that we don’t do some negative things in Warframe to make people’s lives worse. Sometimes it’s a kind of undercut, right? I’m not saying that the design philosophy is blocking because people Frustrated, but this is not a mutually exclusive concept. You need to understand how the player base invests in the world you build, and for us, this has brought challenges because we have encountered several fires and pandemics. In the process, we released a very wrong update, or we might weaken something, but we just adopted an approach, we tried to over-transmit the truth through all our decisions to reduce any misunderstandings.”
The arrival of the new war represents more than just a new story. This is the result of very difficult years for the team. “We only really got together once this year, and that was for TennoCon, including all the developer livestreaming staff. So when it comes to work, that’s it, now we are all away. I hope we are together because I think this will change … the feeling that we are actually doing this, it’s a year, now is the time. But we’re making it work remotely. There are more remote challenges, this is the basic fact, but we’re doing our best We can solve these challenges. “
For Rebecca, New War is more than just the next update. “This mission is like… Warframe’s “Half-Life 3”, did you know? Because we have been discussing for so long, it finally came. I am proud that despite the many difficulties, we have come this far… …I hope people “I think it’s worth the wait. Most importantly, I want people to realize that the next year of Warframe is about what happened after the new war. “
So what will happen to the future of Warframe? What about the elusive Duviri Paradox that was ridiculed in 2019? “This is the strangest thing we have ever shown. Fans should wait for our news to know when to set their expectations accordingly. The truth is that now we are about to release “New War”, and that’s how our next update will be. There are some interesting things going on there, and I won’t say it is directly related, because the new war is its own thing, but one or two players have seen some connections in the TennoCon trailer. One of ours has one A very interesting TennoCon video… the world is always connected.”
You can find these connections on your own, and maybe you will even have tears in your eyes when “New War” is released tomorrow.