Digital Extremes have been teasing two things for Warframe for ages now: a revamp the star chart, and version 2.0 of the void. Today the game received both of those updates, and a whole lot more in the Specters of the Rail update.
Updates come hard and fast to Warframe. The game has been iterated upon to a ridiculous degree since it came out and hardly resembles its former self. The star chart (i.e. the navigation map where missions are chosen) has been altered multiple times since the game’s inception, but most of the time they’re purely visual. This is the first time Warframe’s mission flow has seen revision.
Now all of the missions flow more linearly, and in order to pass from one planet to another, junctions must be completed. These are a collection of tasks such as slaying 150 Grineer, or sabotaging three toxin injectors while on a specific mission. Once complete, a small mini-mission with a boss fight becomes available. Succeed there and you unlock a few resources, or one of the game’s missions, or various other rewards. Lose, and you can try again until you do win.
The new mission flow suits the game well, although the graphics could be cleaned up a little. Nodes could stand out a bit more than they currently do, but chances are Digital Extremes will change that again in a few more months anyway. The junctions give a tangible goal to each planet, and a few nifty rewards to go along the way. Fortunately, the new system doesn’t punish veteran players. They don’t have to unlock any planets that were previously available, but the junctions must still be completed.
The other major addition in the patch is version 2.0 of the void. Now, instead of venturing into the void in order to farm loot endlessly, the void – in essence – comes to you. Keep an eye on the star chart where temporary void fissure missions pop up. These are normal missions with a fissure somewhere on the level and isn’t normally too hard to find. Open the fissure, kill the void enemies that pop out, close the fissure, and then complete the mission like normal.
Void Keys, which were previously used to open up the void missions, have been converted into void relics. Much like the void keys, relics come in four different tiers to be used in the four different types of void fissures. These are how you get that swanky void loot. At the end of the mission, the void relic you have equipped is consumed and out comes a random piece of loot. Each relic has its own loot table containing items of various rarities. Rare stuff is still, well, rare, but but you get to choose from everyone’s void relic. So if all four people have one equipped, you get to choose one of the four items.
On top of that, a new module in the orbiter exists to upgrade the void relics, which increases the chance at rare stuff and decreases the chance of finding the more common loot. The segment required to unlock this module is a reward from Earth’s juncture, and I only mention this because it took me a fair amount of rooting around the star chart in order to find the correct juncture.
Those are the two biggest additions in the patch, but they’re certainly not all that’s there. Another fairly big change to Warframe comes to the Archwing missions. The physics of that game mode have been completely redone, and there are a couple additional game modes. Plus new weapons and mods. Archwing sat neglected for some time, and it’s nice to see the game mode finally getting some much-needed attention.
The market has also received a facelift to make it easier to navigate and to make sure that new players realize warframes can be crafted as well as bought directly with platinum. A few items have also had their prices adjusted. Loki is now 175 platinum, and Mag is now 75.
A quick rundown of some of the other additions:
- A new companion resembling a space-cat.
- You can also decorate your orbiter with art you’ve created.
- A new item is available in markets that let you tweak the position of melee holsters.
- Items can now be linked in chat.
So yeah, Warframe has evolved dramatically since it originally came out in late 2013. At that time, it was a miniscule little nothing of a game. It’s changed in orders of magnitude since then. Now it’s a giant beast of a game that shows absolutely no signs of slowing.