Devstream 38 started on October 3, 2014, @ at 2PM EST
Each Devstream takes a glimpse into the future of Warframe, but today we’re starting things off by taking a look at the past. That’s because many of the questions we receive are tough to give an easy answer to, particularly the more in-depth breakdowns of mechanics or ability rebalances. If you’ve been following our bi-weekly Devstreams this particular Overview will help lay to rest some of the bigger questions our community has been asking.
Let’s dive into things this week picking up where Primetime left off, taking a look at our upcoming mechanics for entering a mission with only your melee weapon and your wits!
Melee Only MissionsEdit
Going ‘sword alone’ into combat is a request that’s come up frequently since Melee 2.0 was launched, and frankly I can understand why. Running through hordes of enemies with nothing more than your Warframe’s skills and a katana is the dream of every space ninja. Well, except for those who prefer the whip. Or Polearm. Or axe.
The point is that doing so in a mission has been pretty difficult so far, and to that effect we’ve been working on a more versatile movement system that gives Sword Alone style gameplay the edge it needs to be viable. Directional midair attacks is the first huge step in the right direction. Being able to pick an angle and dive will enable players to deal not only with enemies in the air, but traps that were previously out of the range of most melee swings.
Another change we’re considering for directional travel is having channeling improve the distance travelled during a midair directional attack, almost doubling the distance of the dive. There’s still a lot of testing that needs to be done for us to determine whether or not every Warframe will travel the same distance, or how much energy this sort of channeling will consume.
A final point of consideration is how this will work with each individual weapon, and whether or not heavy weapons will have unique distances compared to smaller blades. Geoff is doing a bit of testing on windup speed to see if that makes using a heavier weapon more worthwhile. Coincidentally it would also bring to life any fantasies you would have of being Space Ninja Thor, blasting through enemies with the incredible force of your Jat Kittag.
Directional attacks should be coming with Update 15 giving you a double whammy of Bird Lifters and Sword Lifters! In case you haven’t heard, Lifter is the word.
It hasn’t been too long since Cryotic was available in game but we’re happy to announce that Excavation should be back in game as a regular game mode within the next few weeks on PC. Outside of a few balance tweaks Excavation should be just as fun as you remember it, which is good because Crytoic Front just so happened to be one of our most exciting and well received events!
You can find Excavation taking the place of most terrestrial Survival nodes, once the change goes live.
Heavy Tenno WeaponsEdit
Heavy, recoil-intensive feeling rifles require a lot of different animations. We need to make sure it fits on the character’s back easily, that a Warframe would recoil properly during each shot, and that the extra weight was maybe even reflected in the enemies it hit. We would like to have a new grip type introduced, but designing the weapon to fold away into convenience would be a higher priority.
Our original plan for the diorama was to have a bit of cohesion before a mission started. Something that not only displayed the objective but showed the team working as a unit. That all kind of got replaced with the new Liset intro, where we could not only see the team flying together but soaring into a mission one after the other.
That being said, we know they were totally awesome and we do want to see them make a return. There’s just something about seeing your actual Warframe with its unique details that really makes the experience personal, and for now our eyes are set on seeing the diorama make a return in the Codex.
Soon your dreams shall come true! Dojo room colors are currently in testing, although we can’t promise that every single room you design will look as naturally stylish as this one. It should give you a good idea of what kind of changes you’ll be able to make within your dojo and how deep color customization will go. We’re not sure when this feature will go live as it’s still under development, but we can say that dojo custom colors will not work the same was as purchased color palettes.
The reason for some gaps in the Codex was largely due to the way our Codex pulled its information, searching for entries based upon what enemies dropped what items. If there were items that simply weren’t dropped by an enemy then the Codex never pulled it, an oversight that’s made us take a good hard look at the way Warframe abilities tend to dilute drop tables. Fortunately, we’ve come up with a good fix.
To start with, we’re going to pull all of Warframe abilities out of the drop tables. Your days of seeing Slash Dash and Tailwind are indeed numbered. U15 will also see an update to the Codex that will now include the previously missing Mods and Powers.
As a quick aside, we are looking at the concern of players being able to use lower ranked Mods in their Warframe builds. Having that level of customization is definitely valuable but the full fix for Mod ranking is something we’re looking at on the horizon. The horizon of, say, U16.
It wasn’t too long ago since we announced new stances for the Venka and Nikana and the good news is we’re almost done. Both are still in development, but thanks to high pressure Lotus birthday decisions we’ll be releasing the Nikana stance sooner than later!
Although our changes to Excalibur were not planned for release we’ve gone over his powers a lot more, and have since made a few other adjustments. Radial Blind’s changes are coming back, but his rays of light will no longer mysteriously penetrate through all solid objects. Instead they’ll be blocked by...well...anything that light normally couldn’t pass through.
We’ve also made given Super Jump a small radial stun, plus mid-air invisibility. Radial Javelin will now spawn closer to its targets instead of permeating out from Excalibur, and has also had its target limit removed. As with any work in project these adjustments are definitely still subject to change, but we’ll make sure to give you the full breakdown as we get closer to seeing his new and improved attacks go live.
J3 Golem is just getting bigger and better every time we come back to him. Right now we’re working hard to integrate J3 into the Archwing fights, with the scale of the boss sitting somewhere around three stories tall. He’s definitely our biggest boss to date, larger than Lephantis, and we can’t wait to see how the final battle against him plays out.
Although we don’t have any news on the Manic Grineer or Riot Moa, there’s been a lot of progress made on the Infested Juggernaut. Since we last spoke the hulking Infested has received a full working prototype, though he’s still a work in progress at this time.
Liset Pleasure CruiseEdit
Warfarme has definitely added some relaxing visuals with the Liset, and while our level design team would probably love the idea of making a free roam level for the Liset the open exploration is much more suited towards Archwing. With Archwing growing in so many directions the potential is certainly there for a free-roam mode that lets you search for resources and Orokin artifacts. So much potential, we’re already looking at it!
Physically Based Rendering!?Edit
Ok, this wasn’t a question either, but we promise you’re going to love it!
Physically Based Rendering is something we want to explore to make every element in game really shine. Explaining it can be a little rough, but it basically alters the way each texture takes in and reflects light sources. This makes individual materials that could make up a single object (such as chrome, metal, or plastic) have their own unique interaction with light and therefore each give their own unique sheen.
We’ve done some extensive testing with PBR to see if it works well on older PCs and are really excited with how well it holds up across a variety of specs. Due to the fact that each individual texture needs to be updated you can all expect that a PBR related Update probably won’t be coming. Instead we’ll be rolling out smaller updates that target individual items, enemies, textures and Warframes and pull them into this new style of texture lighting.
What do we consider to be endgame content?Edit
One of the problems in defining endgame is how accessible Warframe is across the board. Players that are Mastery 4 compared to a player who is Mastery 17 may have different tools at their disposal, but the experience you’ll have entering a Void Defense or even special Event or Alert is largely going to be shared. We never want to make a game that punishes you for not sinking X amount of hours into the gameplay, which makes this such a difficult question to answer.
Many players have focused on how Void content is Warframe’s endgame by virtue of being some of the most difficult content available, but the reality is that it’s only another way to play and enjoy the game. We understand that tiered gameplay locked away by progressive power creep grinds are largely the norm for many other multiplayer games. But that experience is only what facet of what endgame can be, and it’s our long-term goal to have Warframe’s endgame be just as varied as the progression it takes to reach that ‘higher tier’ level of play.
The inclusion of Archwing is a fantastic example of this, sitting outside the realm of everything implemented in Warframe yet. Having an ever-increasing range of choice is, at this time, Warframe’s most important feature to us. It’s the difference between building Warframe’s content high like a single tower or spread vast across a horizontal plane like an emerging metropolis. One option is simply more rewarding for our community to engage in, both in substance and content.
The Focus System has long been a talking point for us on this subject. Having a way to feel progression past a maxed rank gives both short term goals for those who are already at max rank with their favorite Warframe, but also a long term goal for anyone just picking up the game for the first time.
Ultimately the search for Warframe’s endgame is still ongoing. We want to create something unique and interesting within the world we’ve built rather than copy what seems to work for another game. We know the question at the end of the day is ‘what do we do when everything is maxed?’ We’re trying to find the answer definitive answer, and to that effect...
What’s a Sigil?Edit
Sigils are the next form of customization that are visible directly on the Warframe, rather than an add-on that stick off of frame like our vanity items. Each Sigil has its own unique design, can be colored and placed on a Warframe where you please.
Sigils will be unlocked through completing quests that will require a specific kind of gameplay, such as defeating an enemy with only melee weapons equipped. Each of these quests will provide players with a unique Sigil that can be placed, resized, and uniquely colored on any Warframe. Sigils act as a rite of passage in a way, identifying players who have completed difficult content without needing to pigeonhole content into any kind of power creep.
We hope this has given you all a better idea of what we have in store for not only our latest Update but the overall future of Warframe’s endgame content. Remember that you can always watch the full Devstream at our official YouTube channel, and be sure to check out our next Devstream on October 17!