Hey folks! I haven’t posted about Warframe before, so lemme preface this post by saying I’ve spent over 1000 hours being a fabulous space ninja, murdering the same enemies over and over while praying to RNGesus for drops. It’s a game I love, despite its many flaws, and I would implore all of you to give it a try if you haven’t already. With that out of the way, on with the post!
Warframe’s undisputably largest update launched a few days ago: “The War Within”. It had been dangled in front of us since June, with so many delays that people instead referred to it as “The Wait Within”. Still makes me laugh.
Some of its advertised features were: a new quest of a similar scale to The Second Dream (previously and arguably still the most impactful quest in the game, both gameplay- and story-wise), a new “gameplay feature”, new weapons, a new tileset, new enemies… essentially a whole bunch of new things.
Before I address each of those, I’d like to point out that the patch notes (available here) contained quite a sizable bugfix list! No matter what the verdict on the added content, it’s incredible to see a company’s dedication to debugging. DE should be commended for that, if nothing else.
Since this is undoubtedly the most exciting part of the update, let’s talk about the various New Things™.
BUT BEFORE WE DO, MASSIVE SPOILER ALERT! NEW SCARY CONTENT AHEAD, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
The Quest Within
The quest. The main focus of the update. I was impressed! It was shorter than I expected, and I suspect a lot of people probably feel this way. That said, each of the stages were enjoyable – the quest started off fairly close to home (two capture missions), then jumped straight into a puzzle-esque Archwing mission involving hiding behind a moving ship to avoid laser barriers. I was fairly unimpressed with this stage (see: my general feelings on the current state of Archwing), but FWIW it did convey a sense of inflitration and deception with Archwing, and for that it earns points.
After the sneaky flying segment, you enter the Kuva Fortress, and things quickly get veeeery interesting. There’s a lot of plot to cover here, so I won’t discuss it all, but I loved how they made Teshin a far more interesting character through uncovering his primary flaw. The Queens were bland evilbadguys with barely present 1D personalities, but somehow that didn’t bother me at the time. In comparison to the main “character” of this quest, though, nothing really compares.
YOU! Your Operator finally gets off their lazy butt and does things! I was so pleasantly surprised by this. It’s awesome to see DE expanding the lore like this. I think the Operator lore development has been one of the strongest points of this update, and I’d love to see more of it in the future. Even the little interactions between us and Teshin (“Don’t call me that!” after being called a child) displayed a level of insight into the Tenno that I haven’t really seen before.
As for the spooky light/neutral/dark morality thing, it shows up on players’ profiles, but doesn’t seem to do anything yet. It seems future content holds the answers…
All in all, while the quest was short and the Queens were uninteresting, I loved the quest and I’m impressed with where the story is going. Sign me up for more!
The Transference Within
Let’s talk about Transference, the new gameplay element! It allows you to become your Operator self mid-mission, using Void powers to fight enemies and tackle obstacles. Your Operator form is much weaker and far less versatile than your Warframe, but it has its uses, and I suspect we will see more added to this ability.
Thematically, it’s awesome. Operators can now personally murder their enemies rather than relying on overpowered war surrogates to do their dirty work. Both the offensive powers have their uses; Void Beam is a moderately strong ranged attack that might come in handy for Melee Only missions, while Void Blast ragdolls regular enemies and staggers Kuva Guardians, opening them up to be disarmed.
As for the other powers, Void Dash is fun to use, disarms Kuva Guardians and is required for completing Kuva Siphon objectives. Additionally, given the nature of Transference in that casting it while it’s active teleports your frame to your Operator’s location (not the other way around, surprisingly!), it can be used for rapid relocation or to bypass lasers. Void Mode’s invisibility seems most useful for Spy missions, which will hopefully alleviate the overabundance of Lokis and Ivaras present in public Spy missions.
I’m a little confused as to how it fits into regular combat, as Transference’s 100 health is too low to survive in high-level combat for longer than a few seconds, and when you die in Transference
you die in real life you lose all your energy (both your frame’s and the Void energy used by Transference). This seems like a massive punishment for what doesn’t seem like a very beneficial risk.
Nevertheless it’s awesome being able to properly fight as an Operator. The Focus system still exists and has not been modified (much to my surprise), so between the two abilities it really feels like we (the Operators) are becoming stronger over time.
The Kuva Within
Kuva, the new resource, is a pain in the ass and probably my least favourite addition to the game with this update. It can only be obtained after completing the quest, and is awarded in quantities of ~600 per drop by successfully destroying Kuva Siphons. They show up in Grineer missions on Uranus, Sedna and the Kuva Fortress on level 30 missions or higher, and only sometimes spawn.
Actually completing the objective is a bit tricky, since you need to survive respawning Kuva Guardians that guard the siphon, while waiting for the siphon to draw Kuva from the environment, then intercept the incoming Kuva cloud by Void Dashing into it using Transference. You need to do this four times, but thankfully the siphon “wins” once it receives eight Kuva clouds.
In a sense it’s quite forgiving, but the Guardians are so demanding to fight when there’s other level 30+ enemies around, and you’re so vulnerable when blast-dashing them to disarm them. I find it much easier to simply ignore them, but even then I’ve had trouble.
My biggest problem with Kuva is that it’s required in quantities of up to 4000 per weapon, and in addition to the 4 new weapons each requiring it, it’s needed in relation to Riven mods, which I’ll explain in a separate post because they’re awesome.
The Weapons Within
There’s five new weapons. Here’s what I think of each:
- Zarr – no idea, haven’t crafted it yet.
- Twin Rogga – haven’t crafted them yet, but they look cool! I’ve been looking forward to a new secondary for a while.
- Kesheg – haven’t crafted it yet, but I hear it’s a stronger Orthos, and people love the Orthos, so I imagine people will love this too.
- Broken Scepter – I have this! It’s a bit goofy; staves have never been a favourite of mine, but it does have a cool mechanic where you wield it then hit X over a corpse to produce a health orb (organics) or an energy orb (robotics). This has potential against Corpus, but the animation takes too long for it to feel fluid, so I’m not a fan.
- Orvius – It costs 4000 Kuva, requires drops from Kuva Guardians and is a glavie. 0/10.
I’m sure I’ll have more to say once I’ve used the rest.
The Fortress Within
The new tileset is quite exciting; I’m a fan of the sweeping Grineer sensor-camera things, but some of the traps are waaay too strong. The flow of the levels is nice, DE obviously gave some thought into alternate paths and sightlines. The base feels like a Grineer fortress, as it should!
I don’t have any major issues with the tileset, and given that I dislike half the tilesets in the game, I guess that means it did well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The Enemies Within
Kuva Guardians are a pain to fight in the context of siphons, but other than that I love their design. Figuring out how to kill them (blast -> dash -> damage) was tricky at first, but it’s the kind of combat Warframe could benefit from including.
The little jester things are cute and easy to kill, so they get a thumbs up from me! Additionally, I think either the jesters or the guardians drop elemental bullet jump mods (Lightning Dash, most notably), and thanks to that I now own all four of them, so I’m happy!
The Conclusion Within
I’m really happy with this update. I wanna talk more about Riven mods in another post, since they are quite involved and they’re far more interesting to me than any of the other content. The Transference ability is super cool, the quest was a lot of fun, and I’m now excited for what the future holds. It’s been a while since I’ve been engaged with Warframe, but this update did the impossible – it gave me a reason to be interested again 🙂
Some last-minute things I’ve just noticed: they added Decorator Mode!! Now we can finally place decorations without navigating menu hell. They also changed how the “Most Used” weapons part of player profiles looks! It now shows Frame, Primary, Secondary, Melee and a few more behinds a scrollbar, rather than Frame, Weapon, Sentinel, Sentinel Weapon. It now looks like this:
I’m ashamed of that Tonkor :'(
Anyways, stay tuned for that Riven post! Until next time.