Warframe 2019 Roadmap Announced

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#1 Edited by rapid (1802 posts) -

In their first bi-weekly Devstream of 2019 Digital Extremes laid out what their overall plans are for Warframe for this year:

Warframes

DE announced three warframes are in the works. Two has been already revealed:

Wisp (left) and Hyldren (right)
Wisp (left) and Hyldren (right)

First is Hyldren a Warframe that is reminiscence of Zaraya from Overwatch in physical appearance (muscular build) and also weilds a large heavy weapon exclusive to Hyldren (Exalted Gun). Unlike other Warframes, Hyldren's abilities won't consume energy, but instead draw from her shields. So when casting her abilities effectively depleted her shields. Her abilities will also revolve buffing squadmates, as well as damaging enemies.

The other Warframe is Wisp, not much details on her abilities yet. Only that she is depicted on the left of Hyldren.

These are Warframes thus announced in the pipleline. With more details and potential of more frames to be announced in a later dev stream.

DECK 12 EXPLOITER

Fortuna released last year, PC already has had the the Heist Mission update to Fortuna in the "Profit Taker". That update is currently in cert for consoles.

On PC, players can expect a new update to Fortuna called Deck 12 - Exploiter. According to warframe's creative director Steve Sinclar, Deck 12 update is brand new community event that will feature new "a boss, and big lore bomb all together." This means the event will likely reveal something weird about nature of Fortuna to what is already strange and weird in Warframe's lore.

Gas City Rework

Top
Top "Before" / Bottom - "After"

One of Warframe's oldest tilsets the "Corpus" and "Jupiter gas city" is getting a complete face lift (see image)

This comes with the announcement that Warframe will no longer support Windows XP, and 32-bit systems with DirectX9 as of Feb.

The rework while a nice overhaul visually will also include a unannounced new game mode.

Wolf of Saturn Six

In addition to the tilset rework, Steve announced that will be overhauling how Alerts and Daily Challenges "Dailies" work in Warframe.

Right now Alerts at appear random hours and are active about 1-2 hours.

The new system is will be more daily and weekly orientated. Steve mentioned they are trying to do away with the idea of "pay to sleep"

That players would not miss important alerts just because of the alert happening around a time not convenient in their timezone.

Players of Bungie's Destiny might be familiar how this overhaul might be similar to how it works in Destiny 2.

The Wolf of Saturn Six will also allow players to participate or DE to revive old events that players might have missed or not been there for originally.

"It's taking a bunch of systems that we've created over the years and pulling them all together," explains design director Scott McGregor.

The New War

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Announced back in TennoCon 2018, the New War is the next big cinematic story quest in Warframe. For those who don't know these quests are quest that propels the story forward in Warframe. Following the Chimera Prologue, the New War sets the stage for the biggest expansion they announced last year that caught everyon's attention called Railjack, which was the ship combat expanion they demoed. The New War tells of the Sentient Mother, and hints at the return of Sentients and Natah in full force to the solar system. None of what I just said will make sense to anyone but Warframe players. Trust me, this is a big deal to Warframe players.

Warframe Empyrean - Railjack

Railjack is the ship combat game mode shown at TennoCon last year. The multiplayer FTL (game) style ship combat in Warframe.

Not much more information was given about it only that Steve has this to say:

"It's not just a quest that's above Venus," "Our ambitions for it are for every location in the solar map that you have now and beyond—possibly connected to the image that you just saw. (The New War concept art)

WarframePlanes of Duviri

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While players expected the bulk of 2019 to be the New War & Railjack. DE did tease the Planes of Duviri. Probably an outcome of those two updates Steve teased with no further comment a concept art of a new Faction coming to Warframe.

Not All Folks (On-going projects)

Alongside all these planned expansions the Dev also laid out some on-going projects that would be working on and releasing incrementally throughout the year.

TECH SPEC Upgrade:

One being a tech upgrade for Warframe, with also means Warframe will be dropping Directx 9, 32-bit support and Windows XP as of February.

Melee 3.0

They also be release their Melee System rework called Melee 3.0 throughout the year. The idea is to revamp redo the melee combat and combo system in Warframe. But because of the sheer amount of weapons in the game they will be releasing the redo piece by piece.

As Rebecca their community manager puts it:

"We're doing it piece by piece," "Instead of doing a full systemic change where there's no turning back, we'll do it per weapon school per time, so your feedback loop is a little more smooth instead of 'Here's everything at once!' It's a lot more difficult to manage that."

image via bobthememeslayer on reddit
image via bobthememeslayer on reddit

New Player Experience

If you are reading this and being like "This sounds all cool but I have hard time getting into Warframe because it has a big barrier to entry" (poor on-boarding)

Steve has said, they have a small team working on redoing the new player experience. The new player experience also has a new CG intro. A screenshot of it can be seen below:

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They said they will be putting some investment into reworking the beginning of the game (new player experience) and showed this teaser art. This CG intro might be use to tease new players about the deeper true nature of the Warframe universe earlier in the game, than what is currently presented. Hinting at the Operator (before The Second Dream), and with the starter Warframes looking petrified after not being in use for a long time.

If you don't know anything about Warframe past 30 hours, what I just said above is jibberish to you. That's ok. Hopefully you will be more incline to check it out after these reworks!

Steve Sinclar the creative director on the dev stream laid out the road map on a nice white board list:

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Other Items:

TennoCon the annual Warframe Fan Convention is scheduled for July 6, 2019.

Steve generally stated that players should not expect as big of a reveal as it was last year. Last year to maintain the "surprise" of Fortuna they held development in secrecy. This year they are being up front and wanting their community to know what is coming.

In a year 2018, where Warframe had its biggest expansion to date with Fortuna. It was also a year when they had to also issue an apology to their community for the lack of updates leading up to Fortuna. Since Fortuna had taken most of their development resources and effort to release there were also complaints about "content drought". Best anology I can make is like very much Giant Bomb Game Of the Year time. As all resources are put into GOTY for GB, and we saw a lack of regular content over Dec. usually. Understandably so. This is situation Warframe found itself in.

Steve admits, since Warframe is a free to play game they need to keep it regularly updated in order to survive. Fortuna posed a big challenge to their production pipeline and hope they will return to a more regularly output of releases and updates seen in past years of Warframe. (Warframe will be 6 years old this year)

Steve ended with a note about the possibility Cross Play

His answer summed up:

Is DE planning on cross-platform play in the future? As a player, Steve would love it; as a developer, it's one of the highest risks they could possibly take. Steve would like it but really can't promise it. A smaller part of it would be sharing progress between platforms- that's a lot more doable than total crossplay. Probably a bit more of a gradual step than an overnight switch.

You can listen to what he said here:

Warframe constant patches and frequent release cycle makes it very difficult to have the platforms "in sync"

Example: PC is a typically a couple to few weeks ahead of Console (PS4/ Xbox One) while The Switch Version is 1 month behind the Consoles.

Warframe's development on PC is nearly constant. Patches and hotfixes are rolled out on PC at a almost weekly basis. While these updates are then aggregated to a single larger update for consoles which has to go through the 3rd Party publisher certification. (Ie. Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo Cert).

Not only is this a technical hurdle but it is a logistical challenge for DE.

With competition soon coming with Anthem coming soon. DE seems to be not slowing down, yet still keeping their own vision of the game. Looking at the Anthem's subreddit there is a lot of cross over between Destiny players and Warframe players looking at Anthem.

Furthermore, Anthem is a new game has chance to bridge the gap between the two games. People not satisfied by Destiny's offering, but also unable to get through the barrier of entry (bad on-boarding) or not satisfied with Warframe either.

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#2 Posted by nateandrews (68 posts) -

Thanks for this writeup! The timing of Fortuna's release unfortunately lined up with me burning out a bit on the game, but I've been thinking here and there of getting back in. It's such an overwhelming game to come back to, and even after putting probably close to 100 hours in last year I still barely felt like I had a grasp on a lot of it. Has Fortuna been well received?

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#3 Edited by rapid (1802 posts) -

@nateandrews: The general consensus seems to be much better received than that of Plains of Eidolon their first open world expansion. The Orb Vallias is more interesting and a lot of quality of life improvements made this time around. The things to grind for resources and rep in Fortuna are much more fair. The Hoverboad you get in Fortuna is great. You get a rent-able stock Hoverboard after the completion of the introductory quest to Fortuna so the barrier of entry to Fortuna is much more relaxed than PoE. (although you will still need grind standing with the "Vent Kids" Faction to be able to craft your own customize-able and mod-able hoverboard).

One antidote I forgot to add in the summary:

With competition soon coming with Anthem coming soon. DE seems to be not slowing down, yet still keeping their own vision of the game. Looking at the Anthem's subreddit there is a lot of cross over between Destiny players and Warframe players looking at Anthem.

Furthermore, Anthem is a new game has chance to bridge the gap between the two games. People not satisfied by Destiny's offering, but also unable to get through the barrier of entry or not satisfied with Warframe either.

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#4 Posted by ripelivejam (13137 posts) -

Started playing this on Switch, impressed by how good the game looks and it feels like a good sorta mindless destiny like so far. Just puts a sour taste in my mouth that the "git gud" mentality has overtaken co-op games as well. Then again nothing's really fun with randos for me and my possible social anxiety would be a roadblock anyway. Suppose I'll lone wolf it for a while at least as long as it's fun. Do wish more co-op games had AI companions for those of us without a crew/friends/social skills. Also maybe I should stop playing games like this that are deep endless rabbit holes that I end up not having the patience or energy for (more my fault I suppose).

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#5 Edited by rapid (1802 posts) -

@ripelivejam:While I don't know your situation. I will share some "experiences" I have

In my experience talking to people in the GB community on PC there are a lot of players have gotten into Warframe that your stated sentiment. Was talking to a few people and something interesting a few of them said:

"Online games are not really my thing Despite playing a million hours of Warframe"

"Luckily, [in] Warframe you don't really need much communication" ...most online games are too competitive or require too much communication.

Maybe by its nature of repeating set mission types. Although it doesn't explain itself, once you DO learn what the game expects from you it is pretty simple. Follow the objective. Some missions maybe more confusing than others.

80% of the time Warframe everyone is working towards the same mission objective. If you run into a toxic player you can always endure the mission and then leave the squad.

I feel for you on the finding people to play with. I can't imagine I would ever have stuck with the game if I wasn't part of the PC Clan. At least we have one thing in common in that we all enjoy and are fans of Giant Bomb and there is a base expectation to act with manners and respect. My understanding is there is a small number of duders playing on switch but no official Switch Clan.

Fortunately generally the greater Warframe Community a pretty welcoming, Veterans of Warframe are usually pretty open to helping new players get into the game. The passionate players typically also recognize how difficult the game is to parse will be and offer advice. Few people have had success with recruiting chat to ask for help or to form a squad to tackle difficult missions. It is important to say you are trying to learn though, most of the time a lot of experienced players will just end up beating the mission for you because they are so powerful.

Warframe is a game that can be solo'd but it is much more difficult to do that in early game. In the early game you will need tanky Warframes like Rhino to be able to solo. Later Inaros is a great solo frame.

You also probably will run into situations where it is more efficient to play with a team either way. A lot of Warframes are designed to synergize with a team.

Anyway, I don't know if any of that helped.

Good Luck.

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#6 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3802 posts) -

@rapid: I've played this since it was on Early Access on Steam, I honestly never got the "content drought" complaint from people. Maybe it's because I've played other games, but it being a free to play game with plenty to do compared to basically the last 6 months of every WoW expansion ever puts things into perspective for me.

I'm looking forward to the next year and the stuff they're bringing in.

Also I will say that the community, at least on PC - which a few people migrated from to go play on Switch - is almost overwhelmingly helpful and positive to play with, at least in my experience since the start of the game. I've rarely if ever come across anyone saying anything like "git gud" or insulting anyone else when playing together.

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#7 Edited by rapid (1802 posts) -

@jesus_phish: Yeah I also feel the "content drought" thing is overblown as well.

I only mentioned in my post because Steve brought it up. At most there was 4 month lull waiting for Fortuna. That is not very long when I compare it to other games. DE was literally all hands on deck making the ambitious expansion ever and there was part of community complaining about lack of content.

That's why I try to rationale it with that Giant Bomb GOTY analogy. Everyone on staff working on GOTY, sure Dec. is a bit lean on regular Quick Looks, and features etc. But they are literally making a weeks worth of 9 hours podcasts, and special features. I still saw some posts about lack of GB content then.

The only reasonable feedback I read regarding the "content drought feedback" discussion are from players who like to see smaller more frequent updates.

Instead of grandiose tent pole expansions that are made to wow the player base like Fortuna they would like to see updates broken up to more smaller, steady constant updates. (The drip feed style).

I think I share your same sentiment, like I don't mind the lull between updates because having played since Open Beta myself I am use to it, and use it to play other games as well. The lulls between major releases is not long compare to other games' dlc release schedule.

As for the toxicity in the PUBs like you in my experience it does exist but is rare.

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#8 Posted by geirr (3752 posts) -

Good times! You didn't mention the part where they're renaming Warframes to Javelins however.
Renaming Warframes to Javelins was obviously the creative director's joke at Anthem's expense and was quickly taken off the roadmap whiteboard during the livestream.

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#9 Edited by rapid (1802 posts) -

@geirr: Correction: JAVELINES (totally not a trademark violation)

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