Devstream #39 started on October 17th, 2014, @ 2 PM EST
New Syndicates, Archwing details, dramatic changes to the Mod system and a surprise bucket of chicken were the hot topics of Devstream 39. Except the chicken probably got a little cold over the hour long gameplay reveals and new feature announcements, so we won’t focus on that part too much. Let’s just say it was tasty enough that some people didn’t even share.
We’ve got a lot of ground to cover this Overview, so let’s start things off by looking at the most recent developments with Update 15’s space ninja flight simulator: Archwing!
Much of the Devstream was dedicated to showing not only where our progress was in Archwing’s development, but giving you guys a sneak peek at some new mechanics we’ve been working on for Archwing gameplay. Previously the Odonata Archwing had been shown in a much earlier state, but with the introduction of a brand new Archwing some abilities had to be shifted around.
The biggest change was the addition of an ‘EMP Blast’, which radiates out from the Archwing to leave nearby enemies floating and helpless.
The Odonata’s portable shield, flares, and missile volley have all been left relatively unchanged, but its previous ‘Stasis Field’ has now moved over to our brand new Archwing. Boasting heavy concentrated firepower over smaller payloads this new Archwing uses remotely detonated missiles to do the bulk of its primary damage. By trapping enemies within a stasis remote detonation becomes that much easier, and a deployable smokescreen lets Tenno avoid incoming homing projectiles that may be close behind.
Its fourth ability is pretty much long range devastation compacted into a single deadly missile. It’s also a great conversation ender.
For as radical Archwing’s gameplay is when compared Warframe’s usual pace it’s important to remember that we still want to make the transition from one type of gameplay to another relatively smooth. A Warframe with an Archwing may not be able to access their normal array of powers, but they can still do their general array of skills. Sometimes with a unique twist.
While in Archwing mode you’ll still be able to block attacks with melee, change between a primary and secondary, channel, channel and use attacks while sprinting. Players will still be able to revive in space and energy/health orbs will still function as they always have, with the exception that they’ll have a greater pickup range than normal.
Although we cannot say how many Mods will come with the Archwing, we can let you know that there will be a separate set of Mods for Archwing that do not cross over with Warframe Mods. Archwing primary and secondary weapons will also be seeing their own set of unique Mods.
Finally we unveiled our second Archwing game mode, Trench Run. Players will be able to soar through the inside of enemy ships at high speeds, avoiding sharp turns and narrow corridors. Finally, a game mode that will literally make you a hallway hero.
For quite a long time the process of customizing your Warframe has brought up an interesting question: What Ability Mods will you equip?
It may not seem like it, but such a relatively small decision has always had a profound impact on the way players create their own game experiences. A Nova devoted entirely to Molecular Prime doesn’t play the same way as one that would mix in Worm Hole or Null Star for additional utility. But each one of those Abilities goes a long way in defining both the personality and playstyle of each Warframe; and after much deliberation we’ve come to the conclusion that a system where we force players to be denied the full spectrum of a Warframe’s power isn’t right.
Starting with Update 15.0 all Ability Mod cards will be removed from each Warframe, instead becoming available to each Warframe as they level. We’re still fine-tuning the unlock system, but by the time you reach Rank 15 with a Warframe you should have all of its skills available for use. Warframe Abilities will now increase in rank as you rank up your Warframe.
Each Warframe will also be losing two Mod Slots in exchange for receiving these powers by default, and any player who used a Forma to change the polarity of the Slot removed will be refunded Forma as appropriate.
Ability Mods will be removed from all drop tables as a result, and any Warframe Ability Mods players may have in their collection will be exchanged for Fusion Cores; although it’s important to note that exactly how much will be given back per rank is still under review at this time. We’ve also got a new addition to UI that will show more detailed information on Warframe powers. Power strength, duration, and length will all be detailed to make it easier to see what exactly your Warframe is capable of.
We’re also adding Mod searching to let players quickly filter through their list of Mods through a new handy feature called the Search Bar. Many thought the Search Bar was lost to the Void at the collapse of the Orokin Empire, but through months of precarious data mining Ordis was able to rediscover the feature buried underneath some old code. Thanks Ordis!
There have always been forces at odds with one another in Warframe, and until now picking a side has always been a simple matter. Are the Grineer looking to blow up a small moon? Should probably stop them. Will the Corpus’ latest investment grind Tenno into dust for profit? Not awesome. Warriors of the Lotus strive to bring balance to the Solar System, which is what makes Syndicates so interesting.
With Syndicates there is no right or wrong, not black and white line that makes picking a side a simple matter. Syndicates have their own motivations for what they believe is the greater good. A set of values and goals shaped by the ongoing conflicts that occur in every corner of the Solar System. For anyone that’s been looking for more Warframe lore, Syndicates represent a massive influx of depth to Warframe’s smaller scale conflicts.
In fact, there’s so much information we could share on Syndicates we could probably write a whole new primer about it. With its own pictures, snippets of lore, maybe even an easy-to-read breakdown of what values a Syndicate holds dear.
Oh well. Until then, why don’t we all enjoy the unrestrained power of this helpful bulleted list:
- Each Syndicate can be joined by making a sacrifice and every Syndicate has their own motivations that may put them at odds with a rival Syndicate.
- Sacrifices will be in the form of valuable in game goods, earning Tenno unique sigils and prestigious titles within the Syndicate of their choice. A sacrifice may even include a completed piece of Prime gear.
- Earning rep with a Syndicate will serve as a form of currency, enabling the purchase of unique Mods and faction-specific rewards like Spectres or Warframe powers.
- Mods earned through this form of purchase can be traded freely with other Tenno. There are no Syndicate-locked requirements for Mods acquired this way.
- Earning rep with a Syndicate will lower your rep with that Syndicates rival. This rep decrease can enter a negative value, although is capped at a certain level.
- Special Syndicate alerts will be added that have no time restriction and help earn additional rep with your chosen Syndicate.
In addition, a special Syndicate reputation tab is going to be added to the in-game UI. Players that join a Syndicate will also had a new tab at the End of Mission screen that will show adjustments to your various reputations.
It’s also critically important that you all know Cephalon Suda is the coolest Syndicate, and choosing any other Syndicate may single you out as ‘uncool’. Be warned.
There is definitely a new Warframe in the next Update, although the details we can share on him are a little slim at this time. Consider him a Void Wizard of sorts. Able to influence the battlefield using mysterious powers the Void Wizard (name pending) channels his unusual abilities through the power of his fancy top hat.
One small tidbit we did reveal is that the Void Wizard’s ultimate power creates a partial reality state, unable to be influenced by those on the outside. Removing enemies within from the battlefield for an extended period of time allows this Warframe a level of control quite unlike any other Warframe we’ve developed so far. Just like Mirage this new Warframe will be available through a brand new quest.
Between our extensive conversations and community Q&A there were plenty of other small subjects that came up, and while they don’t quite fit into the theme of these other three bigger points it would be a shame not to mention them!
The Underwater tileset mentioned in previous streams will not be making it in Update 15, and is still a work in progress at this time. Also not planned for Update 15 is the Void Trader, an individual who will trade high quality items (such as rare Mods or Prime parts) for his own personal selection of unique goods.
Player Hubs will find their way into a future update, but the Liset may see a few customization options during the launch of Update 15. Directional melee attacks should also find their way into Update 15, although on the chance that the feature isn’t quite ready in time it’s safe to expect the gravity-defying aerial attacks will find their way into Warframe shortly after.