The Sacrifice is a solo-only main quest that follows the Operator's search for the Lotus, who has been taken by Ballas for unknown reasons. The Operator is aided by a new Warframe, Excalibur Umbra, who possesses unusual anti-Sentient abilities and abnormal memories linked to Ballas and the origin of the Warframes.
The quest was first teased at TennoCon 2017 and was teased on the WARFRAME site. The Sacrifice was released on PC June 14, 2018 with Update 23.0. PS4 and Xbox One received it 3 weeks later, on July 5, 2018.
“You're not supposed to be in here! You're going to ruin the surprise!”The following section contains spoilers. Please finish the quest before proceeding.
On starting the quest, the Lotus's whisper can be heard, calling for the Tenno. The player is prompted to examine her helmet in the Orbiter's Personal Quarters. The Operator touches the helmet and sees a vision of a black and gold Warframe being subdued and obliterated on Earth by Ballas and Sentients.
Investigate Sentient Energy: Lith, EarthEdit
On landing, Grineer Ghouls lie in wait. Follow the waypoint, leading to an Orokin door covered in vines which must be destroyed. As the door mechanism slowly opens, swarms of Ghouls appear and attack. Behind the door leads to a large courtyard, the same one shown in the Operator's vision. Equip the Codex Scanner or Synthesis Scanner (Helios will work as well) and search around for traces of the Warframe (looking back towards the entrance from the cherry blossom tree):
- The Skiajati nikana - embedded right next to the tree
- The shawl cloth - hanging from a stone surface to the rear-left side of the graveyard
- The helmet - directly to the right besides a rock, near the nikana
- Remains - besides a grave stone in the middle-right side of the graveyard
- A Somachord fragment can be found under the walkway's right side at the courtyard's entrance
Once this is accomplished, extraction awaits, with Ghouls preparing for another ambush.
Ordis has synthesized the discovered traces in the Foundry as a new Warframe: Excalibur Umbra. However, the data to build this Warframe is insufficient. Remembering that Ordis detected trace minerals from Lua on the nikana, the Operator suggests searching there.
Explore Lua: Pavlov, LuaEdit
The Operator tells Ordis that the Excalibur Umbra tried to attack Ballas, surprising Ordis as Warframes were supposed to be controlled through Transference. The waypoint leads to a unique Orokin Memory Cipher terminal that cannot be bypassed, so Ordis suggests searching the area for clues. As it is a memory cipher, that is it requires the correct sequence as a genuine memory from the user, it cannot be brute-forced even with the correct sequence until all parts have been memorized by the Operator. There are two blue symbol pairs around the area; to solve the Cipher, players must match the cipher to the order of the symbol pairs discovered. Beyond the unlocked door, Sentient Mimics lie in ambush; these Old War Sentients carry beam rifles and have the same damage resistances as Battalysts and Conculysts do.
Up ahead is yet another Orokin Cipher, with four symbol pairs nearby. Also in the room with the cipher is a Somachord fragment high up on the rafters. This cipher is more complex, as the discovered symbols will rearrange themselves above the cipher rings. Should the player take too long with the sequence, Ordis will help solve the puzzle automatically. The cipher unlocks a dome that Ordis believes to have contained Excalibur Umbra. Somewhere inside the dome is an Orokin tablet, containing a spiraling series of recurring glyphs, with the single one interactable highlighted blue: "Enemy". This entry, a recording by Ballas, states the codices within reveal a hidden weakness to the Warframes. Ordis identifies the tablet as a Vitruvian and suggests destroying it, but the Operator decides to take it back to extraction for analysis.
In the midsection of the Orbiter is an area where the Vitruvian can be inserted. When the Vitruvian is inserted Ordis expresses his regret at not being more forceful in rejecting the Operator's orders, before the Orbiter tilts and all its lights turn off momentarily. Ordis regains control, but his "vestigial" precepts regulating his ability to "care" about things have been knocked offline, causing him to display a new, emotionless personality, and he calls the Operator "Star-Child." He tells the operator to check the Foundry again, where Excalibur Umbra can now be built.
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When the Operator attempts to equip Excalibur Umbra in the Arsenal, he unexpectedly rejects the Transference, displaying sentience as he lashes out against the Operator. During the struggle, the Operator manages to perform Transference on Excalibur Umbra and accesses a memory.
The memory is of a man lying in a hospital bed who has fallen ill and is unable to speak, with Ballas and a Dax soldier - who turns out to be the man's son called Isaah - by his bedside, with Ballas telepathically conversing with the man and threatens to kill his son. Excalibur Umbra escapes, but this act unlocks a symbol within the Vitruvian, "Blasphemy", where Ballas curses the Sentients for their betrayal and starting the Old War.
Search for Umbra: Nuovo, CeresEdit
Realizing the Vitruvian codes are locked within Excalibur Umbra's memories, the Operator proceeds to track him down. On Ceres, Excalibur Umbra is engaged in battle with the Grineer, having left a trail of bodies in its path. While en route, a Somachord fragment can be found on the scaffolding of a large crane. When confronted, Excalibur Umbra is already battling the Grineer and is impervious to all damage, while his attacks ignore the Void Mode's immunity. Using Void Blast will stun Excalibur Umbra, allowing Transference to be used on him.
In this memory, the man and Ballas are playing a game of Komi. After a few rounds, Ballas commends the man's heroism and points out a commissioned portrait of his servitude as a Dax. Looking at the portrait unlocks another Vitruvian symbol; as Ballas asks Isaah if he will follow his father's footsteps, Ballas telepathically threatens the figure stating that the "game" of Komi represents Ballas culling the figure's bloodline for attempting to interfere with Ballas's defection.
Excalibur Umbra escapes again, and the Operator returns to the Orbiter. On the way to extraction, Sentient Conculysts appear on the scene. The next Vitruvian symbol, "Warframes", has Ballas reveal that the Warframes were created from human subjects as Infested-hybrids converted by the Helminth as a means to fight against the Sentients led by Hunhow. However, Ballas calls the Warframes a failure as they turned on their creators, but there lies a secret hidden within the Void.
Ordis reboots out of his new personality and tries to get the Operator to stop due to potential dangers. However, the Operator is undeterred, believing that Excalibur Umbra is leading to something.
Pursue Umbra: Triton, NeptuneEdit
Many dead Corpus lie ahead. Excalibur Umbra kills all the Sentients within his vicinity and uses Radial Howl to escape, leaving the Operator trapped by Mimics. A Somachord fragment appears in the lockdown room, on a bridge to the left of the entrance. When Excalibur Umbra is confronted again, he is once again invulnerable to Warframe attacks, and now has shields that prevent him from being affected by Void Blast. During this fight, Umbra’s attacks will also be able to damage the Operator even when they are in Void Mode. Shooting down the shields with the Void Beam and stunning Excalibur Umbra with the Void Blast leaves him open for Transference and allows the Operator to go into another memory.
In this memory, the man has difficulty breathing with Infested growth appearing in his vision as he is losing to Ballas at Komi. Isaah then points to the man's Shawzin instrument, unlocking another Vitruvian symbol, as the game of Komi resumes. Ballas telepathically monologues that he betrayed the Orokin after they had killed Margulis, and informs the man that the Infested cultivates within him, slowly transforming him into a Warframe, a miracle that requires a sacrifice. Hearing this, the man mistakenly places his Komi stone into a trap.
Through the memories the Operator realizes that Ballas intends to kill Isaah, confusing Ordis as these are just memories. The next Vitruvian symbol, "Tenno", tells of how the Orokin kept the survivors of the Zariman in the Reservoir, using Transference to merge Tenno's minds into the bodies of the Warframes. This entry also reveals that Ballas had sent coordinates to the Reservoir to Hunhow, but warns him not to underestimate the Tenno "monsters."
Unwilling to hear the rest of the recording, the Operator abruptly cuts off the Vitruvian and uses Transference to appear at the Navigation console, intending to confront Excalibur Umbra alone.
Confront Umbra: Tycho, LuaEdit
The Operator appears in this mission alone, telling Ordis that Excalibur Umbra is there and needs to be found. Excalibur Umbra once again must have his shields shot down with Void Beam, stunned with Void Blast, and his mind entered with Transference.
This time, the Operator appears in Excalibur Umbra's final memory as he is instructed by Ballas to kill Isaah. The Operator tells Umbra that Ballas is at fault and they will fight him together. After the memory, the Operator appears within Umbra's mind. Following the path, the Operator hears Isaah's voice from the memories. At the end of the path, the Operator finds Excalibur Umbra crying, and kneels. Excalibur Umbra eventually becomes at ease with the Operator's presence and finally accepts Transference, as the cut-off Vitruvian recording monologues that the Orokin broke the minds of the Warframes, but the Tenno, through their experience on the Zariman, were somehow able to see inside the broken creature and take away their pain. A dialogue choice is prompted to the player:
- [Sun] Wrath.
- "We use this memory. It fuels our wrath."
- [Neutral] Acceptance.
- "We accept this memory, and move beyond its reach."
- [Moon] Emptiness.
- "We return this memory to the Void and find peace in our emptiness."
The player now has complete control over Excalibur Umbra, who is automatically at level 30 and armed with the Skiajati nikana and pre-installed with the mods Umbral Intensify, Umbral Fiber, Umbral Vitality, Sacrificial Steel and Sacrificial Pressure. In addition to having Excalibur's powers, Radial Blind is upgraded into Radial Howl which removes Sentient resistances, and Excalibur Umbra's sentience allows him to fight on his own when not piloted by the Operator. Sentients arrive and must be dealt with before heading to extraction, impeded by more Sentients as well as Corrupted. A Somachord fragment can be found in a cave in the room where Excalibur Umbra is fought.
At the Orbiter, the Operator now seeks to hunt down Ballas, but tells Ordis to play a recording of the Lotus's voice. Ordis asks what recording he should play:
- [Sun] The war...
- "Now we fight on two fronts, my child. The war without... and the war within."
- [Neutral] Dream...
- "Dream, not of what you are, but of what you want to be."
- [Moon] My child...
- "My child... so beautiful to behold. How do you feel?"
Return to Earth: Lith, EarthEdit
The Operator and Excalibur Umbra return to the courtyard on Earth to confront Ballas. Surprised at the turn of events, Ballas declares both will burn and sets a tree ablaze while projecting a shield around him as Sentients arrive to fight. After disposing the Sentients, Ballas commands Excalibur Umbra to stop, forcefully halting his movements. Ballas boasts and approaches the paralyzed Warframe, only to discover the Skiajati impaling him. Excalibur Umbra momentarily hesitates and tries to release his grip before being stopped by the Operator, who drives the blade in and proceeds to taunt Ballas with the following options:
- [Sun] Squirm like the maggot you are.
- "I... I am just the stone... she is the hand."
- [Neutral] This was inevitable.
- "Yes... yes... she has foreseen it."
- [Moon] The cycle is broken.
- "Now I know... what she sees in you."
Ballas seemingly succumbs from his wounds as more Sentients arrive. As the Operator demands the Lotus's whereabouts from Ballas, a much larger Sentient drops in: Natah – the Lotus's true form. She claims that Ballas had done nothing to her and that this is what she is. The surrounding Sentients open fire on the Operator, but is taken to safety by Excalibur Umbra. Natah picks up Ballas's body before leaving a cryptic warning: "Mother... I am coming home". She then flies off and disappears.
Back on the Orbiter, Ordis and the Operator are confused and in disbelief at the sudden turn of events, and the Operator then expresses resolve in finding out the truth.
A new inbox message will be given upon completion of the quest, giving players the Excalibur Umbra Sunder Helmet, the Umbra's Courtyard Scene for Captura, and Excalibur Umbra Agile and Noble animation sets.
Following completion of quest, if the player encounters The Man in The Wall, they will ask the Operator if they are "feeling better, kiddo?" The Operator responds "I killed him... Isaah." After confirming that that is how the Operator remembers it, the Man in The Wall simply acknowledges and vanishes.
- On replaying the quest:
- During all cinematics except for the last mission, Excalibur Umbra will appear in his default appearance and coloration while lacking any cosmetics.
- After the missions "Investigate Sentient Energy: Lith, Earth" and "Explore Lua: Pavlov, Lua", a second Excalibur Umbra blueprint will not be given. The objective "Build Umbra" will be skipped over.
- After the cinematic for "Equip Umbra", the Warframe will remain in the player's inventory.
- After synchronizing with Excalibur Umbra during "Confront Umbra: Tycho, Lua", the Warframe and Skiajati will be automatically equipped while carrying over any installed mods and altered appearances. A second Skiajati and set of Umbra Mods will not be given.
- Somachord Fragments can be found in each mission except for the last, with predetermined positions. The fragments must be scanned in mission order; if players miss a fragment, they are required to replay the quest. Your Creator requires two scans from the first two missions, while To Take Its Pain Away requires three scans from the third, fourth, and fifth missions.
- Investigate Sentient Energy: Lith, Earth - to the right side of the entrance of the courtyard, under a walkway.
- Explore Lua: Pavlov, Lua - in the room with the second Orokin Cipher, high up on the rafters near the room's entrance.
- Search for Umbra: Nuovo, Ceres - two rooms before confronting Excalibur Umbra, on the scaffolding of a large crane.
- Pursue Umbra: Triton, Neptune - in the lockdown room with the Mimics, to the left of the entrance on a high bridge.
- Confront Umbra: Tycho, Lua - in a cave in the room where Excalibur Umbra is fought.
- During Devstream 110 the teaser art for The Sacrifice quest was released, which contained a small bit of Orokin script in the top left quadrant. This script is a literal spelling of the word three; i.e. "T-H-R-E-E-." It's unknown what this means, nor what the Lambda-like symbol above the period is at this time.
- It was confirmed in Devstream 112 that The Sacrifice quest was scheduled to be released before Tennocon 2018.
- Because of this, the Lambda sign, top left corner, was likely referring to the Sacrifice being the eleventh quest to complete.
- There are two Easter Eggs when clicking on Lua and Ballas's face in the Teaser Site:
|Main Quests||Vor's Prize • Once Awake • The Archwing • Stolen Dreams • The New Strange • Natah • The Second Dream • The War Within • Chains of Harrow • Apostasy Prologue • The Sacrifice • Chimera Prologue|
|Side Quests||Howl of the Kubrow • A Man of Few Words|
|Warframe Quests||Hidden Messages (Mirage) • The Limbo Theorem (Limbo) • Patient Zero (Mesa) • The Jordas Precept (Atlas) • Sands of Inaros (Inaros) • The Silver Grove (Titania) • The Glast Gambit (Nidus) • Octavia's Anthem (Octavia) • Saya's Vigil (Gara) • Mask of the Revenant (Revenant) • Vox Solaris (Garuda)|