- Combat & Group Play
- Diversity in Play Styles
- Mastery Tests & Archwing
Warframe Review 2018 Introduction
Warframe is a sci-fi hybrid MMO/TPS (third-person shooter) gem. It’s extremely large and complex, yet very rewarding to play. Is has some of the best gameplay/combat I’ve seen, and the graphics are beautiful. More than that, the automatic “matching” system for bringing players together is very well designed and integrated into the game, allowing for both solo and team adventures.
The game is nearly five years old, and in this case, that is a positive thing because Warframe has been greatly refined across the board (instead of becoming stagnant like so many games do), and the difference between launch and the current release is astounding; a testament to a very well supported and evolved product by a dedicated team of developers. Warframe has become a work of art.
Created by: Digital Extremes (DE), Est. 1993
Release Dates: PC (March, 2013), PS4 (Nov 2013), XBox One (Sep 2014)
Release Reviewed: 22.13.x
Player Base: More than 30 million accounts.
There is so much to this game, even those who have been playing for months (or years) may find the information within this review insightful and even helpful. With so many variations of play style, modding, and customization, Warframe really offers an endless sea of chaotic fun for those willing to dive in and enjoy.
Content & Warframes
First, a player must forget everything they think they know about other games when it comes to UI, play style, and the traditional TPS and/or MMOG experience. Warframe is truly a unique product; there’s nothing else like it. Patience is required to learn the UI, mechanics, and how all of the game features work. Warframe is complex and takes time to master.
One of the most important factors with Warframe is to understand players have just one character, and it’s always growing and can never be reset. Players don’t really “level their character”, instead they progress through the game by completing quests, level equipment (Warframes and weapons), and unlock planets and regions. The game really is all about farming; acquiring new frames, weapons, mods, companions, and more. It often takes weeks for new players to grasp the depth of the game, but for those who are willing to keep playing and learning, the reward is great. Diving into Warframe does remind me of diving into EVE Online for the first time. It’s going to be a long journey.
Contrary to popular belief, there really aren’t any aliens in Warframe. The Story revolves around an undisclosed future where technology and space travel paired with bio, energy, void, and other research has created this unique universe the player experiences through numerous avenues. The Orokin time is held as the “historic era” prior to the “warframe era”, which the player is now a part of. The game does an excellent job at explaining much about the universe of Warframe while still keeping numerous secrets, which will hopefully be exposed as the game continues to evolve. While the core storyline (through quests) does explain quite a bit, there is more mystery to the universe of this game than answers.
Everything revolves around Warframes, the biotech engineered “fighting suits” a player uses to blast through the content. There are currently 34 frames available in the game, and many of them come in both vanilla and “prime” versions (which technically makes the count higher than 34 when it comes to leveling them up). Frames can be acquired by gathering and crafting all of the pieces, or purchased in the Market for “Plat” (which is the RMT currency). Players can switch between frames within their orbiter (ship) and define “loadouts” allows for differing variations of builds. The reason for this is one mission may require a frame that can stealth through certain areas where another requires a frame that provides more crowd control. There is no “master of all” Warframe. Some of the Warframes are impressive due to how unique they truly are, such as Octavia, which allows the player to create their own music-emanating disco ball which everyone in the squad can hear. It’s awesome. Each Warframe has 4 unique abilities unlocked as the frame gains levels (max level being 30). Veteran players have a collection of numerous buildouts ready to go for different mission types.
The Warframe loadout section is referred to as a Arsenal. From here, players can select their frame, primary, secondary, melee, companion, and gear configurations. A Loadout is the configuration of an Arsenal buildout, so if a player has a Rhino and Saryn frame, but both use completely different mods and weapons, the player can create a Loadout titled “Rhino” which has all the weapons, selected companion and gear they want to use with the Rhino. And when the player wants to switch to their Saryn build (which will have different primary, secondary, and melee weapons), they just select the saved Saryn loadout. Within each loadout, the player can define up to three Configurations of the frame. This is customization of the mods, supporting different gameplay (a configuration only impacts the mod layout of a Frame, but not the weapons). New players will only use the default “Config A”, but once a player becomes more familiar with the game and wants to create different play styles for a single frame, they will start building out new configurations to switch between. For example, a player may create a “Spore Build” configuration for their Saryn, and also a “Toxic Lash” build; each having a different mod setup supporting gameplay that focuses on the use of one ability more than another. I’ll dive into mods shortly since the mod system is quite complex and often overwhelming to new players.
DE kept the Ability Stats associated with frames fairly simple, which I think is a good design. Each Warframe has Armor, Energy, Health, Shield, and Spring Speed. The second set of stats are Duration, Efficiency, Range, and Strength. Unfortunately, the game does not provide a mouse-over explanation of these core stats, requiring players to look up exactly what Efficiency means (note it affects the energy cost of Warframe abilities). DE really needs to add this.
Weapons is where the game begins to get a bit more complex. Each Warframe setup has a Primary, Secondary and Melee weapon slot. While most players run all 3, some players prefer to run just 1 (because the others just don’t serve any purpose depending on the build). The current Primary and Secondary weapon types are: Rifles, Shotguns, Snipers, Bows and Launchers. Melee weapons include Blades, Claws, Polearms and Whips. Many weapons behave differently and there’s such a wide variety that the exploration of equipment to kill your targets is part of the fun of Warframe. Some players prefer burst rifles while others like toxic gas bows. With the combination of weapon types, behavior, and special passives, there’s something for everyone.
There are three core weapon damage types: Physical (Impact, Puncture, Slash), Elemental (Cold, Electricity, Heat, Toxin), and Combined (Blast, Corrosive, Gas, Magnetic, Radiation, Viral). There is also Void damage, but that’s for end-game players. The complexity comes when we start mixing elemental and combined damage types with Status Effects, of which there are many. This includes Impact (Knockback), Puncture (Weaken), Slash (Bleed), Cold (Freeze), Electricity (Chain Lightning), Heat (Ignite), Toxin (Poison), Blast (Knockdown), Corrosive (Corrode Armor), Gas (Poison Cloud), Magnetic (Disrupt), Radiation (Confusion), Viral (Virus – reduces max health). Weapons can also have a Multishot modifier added to them to fire more than one round at a time. Certain factions are more susceptible to one damage type over another; for example, Toxin does +50% more damage to Corpus, while Gas does -25% damage to Corpus, but +75% damage to Infested. A complete overview of damage and status can be found on the warframe wiki. At this time, Slash damage seems to be king, having the best impact on the widest variety of enemies.
Primary and Secondary weapon stats are: Accuracy, Critical (Chance/Multiplier), Fire Rate, Magazine, Noise, Punch Through, Reload, Status and Trigger. Augmenting weapons with Mods (covered below) can dramatically change the behavior and efficiency of a weapon, especially when it comes to critical and punch through. Trigger is how the weapon fires for each shot (single, semi, automatic, etc.). As with many games, Critical damage is usually king, delivering a devastating punch; but some weapons have great AoE with status effects, which can make up for not having crit. It all depends on the play style the player wants to embrace. I’ve been in games where a sniper was 1-shotting enemies left and right, but another player with an AoE melee weapon got more than double the kills by the end of the mission.
Melee weapon stats are: Attack Speed, Channeling Cost/Damage, Crit Chance/Mult, Damage Block, Leap/Spin Attack, Status, and Wall Attack (damage while jumping off a wall). Melee weapons also have combination moves (depending on the installed mod). This can change the play style quite a bit, enticing the player to leap into the air or slide on the ground. While the game really does empower players to engage in ranged combat with their primary and secondary weapons, melee can be the most devastating. A long-range crit Atterax build can clear an entire room before any ranged weapon can when it’s in the hands of the right player and frame.
There are two Level systems in Warframe. The first is that of Mastery Rank, which represent the overall progress level of your “account” and is directly related to unlocking and leveling new equipment (warframes, weapons, companions, archwings, etc). Mastery Rank affinity (experience) is provided as the player levels most any type of new equipment. This system is designed to entice players to try every weapon and Warframe in the game, and affinity for mastery is only rewarded when you level new equipment to 30 for the first time. If you forma/reset your equipment and re-level it, the affinity does not count towards your mastery. Once you’ve gained enough affinity to raise your Mastery level, you must pass a Mastery test. There are currently a total of 25 Mastery tests, and many of them are quite difficult (and hated by the community). If you fail a mastery test, you cannot take it again for 24 hours. If you pass a mastery test, you cannot pursue the next rank for 24 hours (even if you have the affinity). I am personally not a fan of this system as the game forces you to engage in very specific play styles (often puzzle jumping, etc.) that go far beyond what you would require to actually play the game; and if you cannot pass the test, you cannot access certain weapons and mods. At this time, no mods or items in the game require a mastery beyond 16, which is good; but getting to 16 is still an arduous task for most players. The good news is if you appear maxed on your Mastery Rank and fail your test, you still acquire affinity, so while a player feels stuck if they can’t pass a test, don’t worry – your affinity is still building, and once a test is completed, all of the affinity earned while “maxed” will continue to grow.
New players are unaware there is a way to practice mastery tests; just quick travel to Cephalon Simaris on any relay, turn right and you’ll see a wall lined with mastery test practice nodes. This is invaluable and once a player gets beyond Mastery 5, they should run the practice test prior to qualifying.
Equipment Rank is the other leveling system of the game. All equipment can be leveled from 0-30; this includes Warframes, weapons, companions (and support equipment), and archwings (including support equipment such as gun, etc.). The nice part about this system is you can use level 30 fully modded weapons on a level 0 frame to help powerlevel. Experienced players will often throw on a modded level 30 melee AoE weapon with a brand new warframe, primary and secondary weapon, and just run through a mission using their AoE melee (melting all of the enemies).
The Focus system is the final and end-game “alternative advancement” system available to players after they complete The Second Dream quest. There are five schools available for the player to pursue, each offering benefits to the Warframe, but mainly to the Operator. There’s Madurai (Offensive), Vazarin (Healer), Naramon (Melee), Unairu (Defensive), and Zenurik (Caster). Focus points are acquired by installing Focus Lenses specific to the schools on your equipment. For example, a player can put a Madurai lens on their Warframe, a Vazarin lens on their Primary, a Unairu on their Secondary, and a Zenurik on their Melee; this allows the player to farm focus for multiple schools at once. But focus can only be farmed when a player activates a focus node (which lasts for 60 seconds). While the focus node is active, kills by the player (not squad shared kills) will build focus and be awarded at the end of the 60-second window. I actually do not like the Focus system and think it’s poorly designed. DE has made a mistake by limiting the benefits provided to the Warframe and limited focus farming with the current node-based activation mechanic. It needs a complete overhaul.
The Orbiter is the player’s ship, central hub, and where everything operates from. The player will slowly build out their Orbiter as they complete quests in the game, adding new Segments, which include: Arsenal, Communications, Mods, Foundry, Landing Craft, Archwing, Kavat Incubator, Nutrio Incubator, Void Relic, and Personal Quarters. Players can also decorate/customize their orbiter and build/purchase new dropships (covered below).
The Operator is your Avatar outside of your Warframe, and the Operator “feature” isn’t unlocked until the player completes the Second Dream quest. Once unlocked, the player can move between Operator and Warframe mode, and the Operator is capable of dealing damage (and in some instances is required to kill certain enemies, such as Eidolons). Players can outfit the Operator and provide them with equipment to make them stronger and look different. This include Transference Suits, Armor, and Masks. Operators have the following skills: Void Beam, Void Blast, Void Dash, and Void Mode. Due to the unique nature of “jumping out of your warframe”, use of the Operator in most circumstances is solely strategic. For example a player can jump out of their Warframe and quickly void dash to a focus activation node, then jump back into their warframe, allowing for a much quicker action than if they were only using their frame. The game does a very good job of introducing the player to the Operator and its ability through the quest line, and by the time the Operator is made a viable option of gameplay, most players understand and know how/when to use him. The downside is most players just don’t use the Operator or its abilities; they want to focus solely on wreaking havoc with their Warframe.
Mods, Polarization & Endo
Now we get to the heart and soul of Warframe. Mods. I am creating this section solely to cover this core feature because of how in-depth, complex and confusing the system can be to new players. Mods are what you use to augment all of your equipment. They provide benefits in key areas such as increased health and power (for warframes), or increased slash damage (for weapons), or the ability for your companion to scoop up loot for you. The most confusing part about mods to new players is understanding they exist in a “repository” and are usable on any applicable target. For example, if you have a Vitality mod that you’ve increased the rank of, that single mod can be placed in multiple warframe loadouts. You do not need a different mod for each loadout; you just need one. This is a bit confusing because new players think when they “socket” a mod in a warframe or weapon, it’s “in there” and can’t be used elsewhere. What’s more confusing is the duplicate mod mechanism. For example, you could have 43 “vitality” mods that are rank 0, but only one that’s rank 3. When this happens, two vitality mods will show in inventory; one that’s level 3 and 42 (as seen by the stack number in the upper left) that are rank 0. Players sell duplicate mods for Endo (covered below), which is used to rank up the one mod that the player uses.
There are currently 842 mods in the game, not counting the unlimited variation of Riven mods. Mods have 9 attributes: Name, Drain/Polarity, Rank, Compatibility, Conclave Rating, Stack Count (how many you have), Aura/Stance indicator, and Rarity (Bronze: Common, Silver: Uncommon, Gold: Rare, Platinum: Legendary, and Crystal (Purple): Riven. Equipment has “mod slots” and “mod capacity”. The slots define the number of mods that can be installed. The capacity is the “total power limit” of the combined mods that are installed. Companions have 10 mod slots, Warframes have 10 (including an Exilus and aura slot), Melee weapons have 9 (including a stance slot), and every other weapon has 8 slots. By default, Warframes, companions and mods have a max capacity equivalent to their level (thus 30 being the max). However, the use of an Orokin Reactor or Orokin Catalyst (known as potatoes in the Warframe community) can double the mod capacity to 60. A player’s Mastery rank will also define the capacity of a starting mod, so if a new rifle in the hands of mastery rank 12 player would have 12 capacity available at rank 0. A rank 0 mod has a capacity based on its type. For example a Vitality mod is Vazarin (D) polarity, and at Rank 0 takes 2 capacity; however it can be raised to rank 10 which means a fully ranked Vitality will take 12 capacity. Now imagine needing to slot 8 of these. That would require a capacity of 96, which is un-achievable… without Polarity; which is how we fit high ranked high capacity mods in our equipment.
Understanding polarity is very important; this system allows players to customize their equipment to receive mods at half of the capacity cost. There are six polarity types, but only the first four are really used. They are: Madurai (V), Vazarin (D), Naramon (-), Zenurik (=), Unairu (R for certain melee stance mods) and Penjaga (Y for companion abilities). Most mod slots are unpolarized (meaning they are neutral and you receive no benefit or determent from putting a mod in the slot). However if you polarize a mod (for example, to Madurai – V) and then put a Madurai mod that has a capacity requirement of 16 into that slot, it now only takes 8. This is how you stack and ultimately double the capacity of your equipment. But it requires a forma to polarize, and each time you polarize a mod slot, your equipment reverts to a rank of 0. This means the player must re-level their warframe or weapon back to rank 30 in order to get back to max power. If you have to forma an item 4-5 times, that means you have to re-level it from 0-30 4-5 times. This is a huge time sink and requires the player to plan and know what they’re doing. Accidentally choosing the wrong polarity could prevent a specific build from being played, requiring the player to re-level just to change one polarization to meet a mod setup’s requirements. Forma can be crafted our purchased on the market for 35 plat for x3.
Aura mods raise the capacity of the frame, so where a potatoed warframe has a max capacity of 60, throwing in a max rank aura (Steel charge, for example) can raise that number to 78. This is how you build the most powerful warframes and weapons. Aura mods also provide great benefit to the frame with effects such as lowering the armor of nearby energy or increasing health regeneration.
Exilus mod slots are only available on Warframes and must be unlocked using an Exilus Adapter, which can be purchased from the market for 20p. They are also provided as a reward for certain quests and meeting the 150 and 450 daily tribute (play) milestones. The player can also buy the Adapter blueprints from Cephalon Simaris and Teshin. The blueprint can also be obtained from Invasions and Sorties (covered below). Rule of thumb is only Exilus a warframe you plan on playing for awhile.
There are also numerous mods that are only for specific Warframes, such as Larva Burst for Nidus, and Chilling Globe for Frost. These mods can completely change the overall play of a Warframe. Another great example is Iron Shrapnel for Rhino; it allows the player to explode their Iron Skin to inflict massive AoE knockdown and damage to those enemies unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity.
Details on polarity including a list of innately polarized weapons can be found here.
Endo is the mod leveling currency required for ranking up a mod. The first few ranks of any mod are quite cheap, but some mods are quite expensive to max out; for example, maxing Steel Fiber (an armor mod) to rank 10 is 38,400 endo, whereas maxing Augur Secrets (which can only go to Rank 5) only costs 930 Endo. Part of the gameplay of Warframe is collecting Endo throughout your adventures and slowly ranking up the mods you use the most. While Endo is provided as a reward for many missions, the most common way of obtaining it is to sell duplicate mods. This is covered in more detail below under Economy.
Mods also serve as the heart and soul of trading for the game. All mods are tradeable except those acquired through login reward (Primed Fury, Primed Vigor, Primed Shred). Selling and trading mods is also covered below under Economy.
Riven mods are the end-game and can be the most powerful mods available, each being specific for a particular weapon (e.g. you can only use a Latron mod in a Latron, not any other weapon). They are very hard to obtain, have random rolls (which can sometimes be detrimental), and the best ones can sell for as much as 15,000 plat, which translates to nearly $700 in USD – and yes, people buy them! A player can see how rare a Riven mod is by installing it in the proper weapon and looking at the “Riven Disposition” value, which ranks from 1-5. The higher the value, the rarer and more powerful the mod. At this time, Riven mods are only obtainable through trading and the final phase of Sortie missions.
Players can also Transmute mods, which combines 4 unranked mods for a chance of a rare mod. Players can guarantee the resulting mod is of a specific polarity by using Transmutation Cores, which are acquired by raising standing with Cephalon Simaris (covered below).
Because of the beautiful graphics, Cosmetics are one of the most beloved features of Warframe; the underlying system allows for the application of multiple colors, attachments, skins, ship variations, and more. Most players are blown away when they go to Cetus for the first time and see dozens of other Warframes, many customized by people who have been playing the game for years – and some of them are quite impressive looking. Adjusting the appearance (or Physique) of a Warframe allows for custom colors (you can purchase additional palettes), helmet, skin, animation set, attachments, Syandana (cloak), and Regalia (insignia). Equipment has 5 color settings: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Accents and Energy. Energy is the most interesting because it changes the look of your frame’s main abilities; for example, having a blue color vs. red color can create a completely different visual result of a large AoE ability. Much like warframe configurations, the player can define 3 color/physique schemes per frame.
The game also features a Captura system, where players can acquire unique backgrounds and take beautifully processed scenes, some so good they can be made into wallpaper. Note the default key for screen capture is F6 and the images are stored under Pictures\Warframe.
The Cosmetics aspect of Warframe includes Decorations for the inside of the orbiter and the clan Dojo (covered below). Many players acquire and place pets, posters, sculptures and even sealed bio “segments” from different planets inside their orbiter. This includes custom event items such as glowing hearts for Valentine’s day or Christmas lights.
Warframe takes place within the Earth Solar System, starting the player with missions on our homeworld, albeit in the distant future. As the player progresses, they unlock junctions which connect planets and other locations within our solar system, venturing to Mars, Venus, Pluto, and other “new” discoveries such as the moving Kuva Fortress and Void Space. Players can also deploy extractors on fully-explored planets to engage passive resource collection.
The heart of the game revolves around adventuring through Missions spread throughout the solar system. PvE mission types are: Arena, Assassination, Assault, Capture, Defection, Defense, Excavation, Exterminate, Hijack, Infested Salvage, Interception, Junction, Mobile Defense, Pursuit, Recovery, Rescue, Rush, Sabotage, Spy, Survival and Trial. PvP mission types are: Duel, Solar Rail Conflict, Cephalon Capture, Annihilation, Team Annihilation, Lunaro. Each of these mission types have different requirements and overall play styles. Assassination requires the player to kill a specific target (a boss), which can often be quite difficult (depending on the level), while Interception requires the player (or squad) to capture and hold multiple communication relays at once. There is quite a bit of variation to the missions, with Survival and Defense being the most popular at leveling up equipment (note survival missions can technically go on forever, yet scale greatly). Many missions (that are a large area you must traverse) use a “segmented generation algorithm” for each area, causing a slight random variation for each location, which can be refreshing to ensure the player isn’t running the exact same level layout again and again; however some missions (such as Survival and Defense) often have the same layout each time.
Every mission has a Destination Icon system that shows up in the main window and the minimap; these yellow, red and green icons lead players to points of interest, helping them navigate complex layouts or large mission areas. For the most part, the system works well, but there are issues with some icons showing, namely the extraction point (green) icon with a mission is complete. It is often covered by a yellow icon or simply does not show up. DE needs to refine this system further, especially focusing on the extraction icon, to make completing missions easier for players.
Relays are space stations located throughout the system and orbiting planets. They can be accessed like any mission, and are shared instances with other players, allowing for trade (for those who do not have access to a Dojo). There are very specific NPCs that can be found in relays, including all the major factions, where players can turn in objects for standing (varying depending on the faction) along with seeing the visual style of each factione (which is actually very cool to see). Players can also find Darvo’s Market here, a merchant that sells items at a discounted price (for plat). Cephalon Simaris is also located in relays and has Synthesis missions, allowing a player to build their standing and acquire blueprints and items only available from Simaris. The Simulacrum is also located in Relays; a virtual Arena where players can test buildouts by spawning numerous enemies of a specific level to see how they perform. This is a very cool feature allowing one to see if (for example) a corrosive build is more viable against one enemy type than, say, viral. It can also be used to test survivability of a frame build (by spawning high level monsters) without having to find out the hard way in missions. As mentioned above, players can practice Mastery Tests on a Relay as well.
Within the System Map, in addition to Missions (progressing through the planets), players have access to Quests, Alerts, Invasions, Syndicate Missions, Fissures and Sorties.
Quests truly serve as the heart of Warframe, guiding the player through the solar system, introducing them to new items, factions, and exploring what it means to be Tenno; and I will say, The Dream Within, The Second Dream and The War Within are exceptional quests complete with beautifully choreographed cinematics, explaining why the player is using a Warframe, who they are, and where they came from. It took me roughly 100 hours to unlock The Second Dream, which is the quest that opens the Focus system (explained below), and The War Within unlocks Sorties and the ability to acquire Riven Mods (which can be the most powerful mods in the game). There are also numerous other quests that provide access to other game mechanics, such as the Plains of Eidolon (bounties), or the Octavia Warframe.
Alerts are very important because they are the only missions that drop Nitain Extract, a key resource used in crafting warframes, weapons and other equipment. Alerts will also drop other important resources as well as skin blueprints and other rare items. For those who are serious about gathering resources in Warframe, it’s important to keep an eye on the Alert tracking website.
Invasions are augmented missions where you team up with either the Grineer or Corpus to work against a common enemy. The player must run at least 3 missions in an invasion (with the same side) to gain the rewards if their side wins.
Void Fissure Missions are required to open Void Relics, which are used to farm specific blueprints and other valuable gear. Think of a Void Relic as a locked treasure chest with a static loot table. Players can refine void relics (Exceptional, Flawless and Radiant) by spending Void Traces. Refining a relic increases the chance for the more rare drops from the relic to be rolled from the loot table. When in a Void Fissure mission, an item called reactant drops; players must pick up 10 of these to “crack” the relic open. Void Traces are rewarded when a relic is cracked open (6-30), and there is a limit on how many traces a character can stockpile (based on mastery rank). The requires players to spend their Void Traces or lose out on continuing to acquire them. This system is designed to be a restricting factor on refining relics, enticing players to go back to “low level” relics (for which the may already have all drops from) solely to acquire traces so they can refine a late-game relic for a chance at, for example, a rare blueprint. Void Relics come in four tiers: Lith (1), Meso (2), Neo (3), and Axi (4). The higher the tier, the rarer the relic. There are multiple variations of each tier, for example Lith A2, which rolls Forma, Paris Prime Lower Limb, Tigris Prime Stock, Braton Prime Receiver, Orthos Pime Blade, and Ballistica Prime Blueprint. Unrefined, the chance of getting the Blueprint is roughly 5%, but refined to exceptional, the chance raises to around 40%. So if a player wants to farm Galatine Prime (one of the best melee weapons in the game), they must farm Mesa G1 or Axi G1 relics to obtain the blueprint, and other relics for the blade and handle. This system is one of the key end-game farming mechanics of Warframe, and it’s fairly well designed.
Sorties are once a day end-game (and very difficult) multi-step missions, and the only way to acquire Riven Mods and Legendary Fusion Cores outside of trading. They only become available after the player has completed The War Within quest. The first phase is level 50-60 enemies, the second 65-80 and the third 80-100. Only built-out Warframes are capable of surviving all three phases (even with a squad) as the final phase enemies can easily one-shot many of the frames.
The Faction system of Warframe includes 5 core groups: Grineer, Corpus, Infested, Sentient and Orokin. There is also a subfaction system called Syndicates, which are similar to “grand companies” a player can side with and earn affinity (and title) for, which unlocks specific items/blueprints/gear. Each core syndicate has “friendly” standing with some, and is “hostile” to others. So if a player gains affinity with one syndicate, they may also gain positive affinity with that syndicate’s “friends” but also lose affinity with that syndicate’s enemies. It’s a connected web. Players gain value in Standing not only by completing Syndicate missions, but by also wearing the respective Sigil of a syndicate on their warframe. Once enough standing has been achieved, players can “offer” a collection of resources to achieve the next title, which unlocks rewards including blueprints and other items. When a player engages a Syndicate Alert (mission), there is the chance for up to 8 Medallions for that syndicate to drop in the area. These can be turned in for additional affinity. When a player becomes hostile with a Syndicate, Death Squads will often be sent out to interrupt otherwise normal missions (and if you’re in a squad with another player you will engage their death squad as well). Killing these squads gives the chance of dropping a specter blueprint of that respective type. Helping other party members kill Death Squads will not impact your standing with the originating Syndicate. A detailed overview of the Syndicates can be found here.
The Quills is an end-game faction system that requires the player to kill Eidolons. It’s the only way to unlock and use the Arcane Manager, which allows the crafting and registration of Arcane items to enhance a character.
Crafting is often overwhelming to new players because of the sheer volume of blueprints, resources and complexity of the Foundry. Players are also unaware of just what they can craft because there is so much. The core crafting categories are: Warframe, Primary, Secondary, Melee, Sentinel, Landing Craft, Appearance, Gear, Keys and Miscellaneous. The orbiter also has an Incubator, which is used to “grow” biological pets. Players can also craft new landing Craft: Liset, Mantis, Scimitar, and Xiphos. Crafting anything takes time; weapons usually take 12-24 hours, and warframes take 36 hours to complete (with the components taking 12h). While one can purchase many of the craftable Warframes and weapons from the market, many players opt to patiently gather the materials and wait to get that next great weapon or Warframe without spending real money.
A general consensus is: never spend plat to rush construction!
Your Landing Craft is really only a visual representation as you descend to a mission, however each landing craft has something called Air Support. These can be used during most missions, and are as follows: Liset – Override (Overrides Security), Mantis (Med Tower) – Health Regen, Scimitar (Carpet Bomb) – Air Strike, Xiphos (Sentry Turret) – Damage. People find the Liset to be the most useful; the damage and regen from the others just doesn’t really help much. However in the long run, players generally don’t use any Air Support. DE needs redesign landing craft features to make them more useful.
Companions are buddies that join you during your missions. Sentinels (which are robotic), Kubrows (dog-like creatures) and Kavats (lemur-like creatures) can be chosen, equipped with weapons and such, and can provide support in many different ways. Each companion type has their own set of mods; Sentinels are good at sucking up loot and freezing enemies, while Kubrows and Kavats are more fighting-centric animals. As a whole, Companions don’t do much damage; they provide more of a support role and can be modded to do things like unlock red chests and detect loot from a longer distance. They can be customized, and the biological companions require maintenance whereas the Sentinels do not.
Specters are a more robust and useful form of companion, allowing the player to summon them during a mission and define their Warframe and equipment layout. These guys can be very useful as a player can define a Specter that is perfect in supporting the play style they prefer. For example, the player can build out a Nidus specter that uses its Larva ability to execute crowd control (an excellent option for a player frame that’s melee). Specters are usually used when a player prefers to run solo, have another target that can distract enemies, and execute actions that help the player and their current frame’s style. The AI of Specters is also very good.
Gear is very important, especially for end-game. Players can equip health and energy regeneration items, mining lasers, fishing poles, specters and other useful components. One can also acquire an archwing segment allowing the build of archwing gear to use to fly around the Plains of Eidolon. This feature only uses the wings and not the weapons, but it makes all the difference in quickly navigating the plains.
Archwings are a different game mechanic, allowing the player to participate in 3D space and underwater combat. While this system is well-implemented in Warframe, it’s one of the least liked by the player base. People simply prefer being on the ground in their Warframe rather than flying around in space shooting in all directions. But Archwings are required for many missions in order to progress. An Archwing equipment buildout has Wings, a Ranged Weapon and a Melee weapon. They are leveled just like Warframe weapons, and the player can buy and craft different variations.
Travel throughout the solar system is very well-done. It’s easy to go anywhere, start a mission, team with other players, and jump straight into the game.
Players can define a Profile Glyph that is a little icon graphic (or avatar) representing them throughout the game. Some glyphs have even been created by players and implemented by DE. Many are unlocked by completing missions, others by redeeming codes, and the rest through purchase. Some are serious and dark looking while others are fun and comical. A complete overview of available Glyphs can be found here.
The Codex is an in-game database located in the player’s Orbiter containing information on nearly all aspects of the game. The player can also “build out” content in the Codex by scanning Enemies and Objects throughout the game. There is currently no reward for building out the codex; it’s just something players can enjoy or set personal goals for, but there is very useful information in the Codex that new players can study.
As you travel between planets and complete missions, you will come across Statues. Ever wonder what the red and blue “stars” you find are for? You can actually socket these stars in the statues to activate them for placement in your ship, or to sell for endo. To socket statues, go to the Mods interface and select Ayatan Treasures. Rotate the statute with the mouse and click on the empty sockets to place the stars.
Plains of Eidolon
The Plains of Eidolon (PoE) was released in October of 2017 as the first open world and expansive static map for the game. Cetus is the city hub located on Earth connected to PoE where players can initiate quests, take on bounties, purchase fishing and mining gear, and work on their faction standing (Ostron). PoE features day and night cycles, weather (rain), and while the map itself is static, the enemies that inhabit it are somewhat randomized each time the player enters the area. Night time is the most dangerous as the Goliath Eidolons are freely roaming, and there is no mistaking when they are near, their mechanical screeches filling the air with a terrifying echo. Fishing, Mining and Hunting were also introduced with PoE. Ultimately, the plains introduced a new play style to the game, giving the player much more of a real MMO feeling as they enter Cetus and see dozens (or more) of other players; it truly feels like a busy hub. The player can access PoE either by going through the double gates from Cetus, or directly selecting PoE from their orbiter. Much like missions, PoE is an open instance ripe for a squad.
Fishing is done with a spear where the player must first visually find the fish, aim, and launch their spear to hit and retrieve their prey. There are 13 types of fish of varying sizes, some only appearing in lakes and others in the ocean, and some require bait to draw out. Players can take caught fish back to Cetus to turn in for either standing or to be “cut up” for resource materials, which are required to build many PoE items (such as the Archwings for flying around PoE). Fishing in Warframe is much more fun and engaging than I’ve seen with most other games. While the quality of the spear influences the results of fishing, Resource Boosters will influence the number of fish that spawn in an area. However, the spear type does affect the damage to a target, some requiring more than one throw to retrieve.
Players can also engage in Mining, which requires finding ore (Red) or crystal (Blue) veins and then using a cutter to “draw” around the vein to extract the ore. The better the cutter, the more stable it is to draw and extract. An Advanced Nosam Cutter is also required to extract Sentirum and Nyth. All minerals can be refined and turned in for standing with Cetus, while other are required to build certain items. Some of the minerals are also required to create equipment for your Operator. While veins can be found randomly spread throughout the Plains, caves are often the best source of veins. It’s easiest to spot veins from a distance at night.
Bounties are really the bread and butter of PoE and the best way to gain standing with Ostron (the Cetus faction). Bounties are available through Konzu, come in different level difficulties with different loot reward tables, and can be run an unlimited number of times. The highest bounties currently have level 40-60 enemies and award more than 4,000 standing, while the entry-level bounties are level 5-15 and award roughly 1,000 standing. Bounties have phases, with the low level bounties having 3 and the high level bounties having 5. All phases must be completed in order for the bounty to be completed (for the final reward). Many of the phases have time limitations, others require defending specific points, and if the team doesn’t work together, the bounty can quickly fail. In addition to faction standing, Grinding bounties is a good way to get Kuva, Endo and other blueprints/item parts.
Incursions are random missions that occur during the daytime in PoE and can pop up at any time. This system is really designed to give those who are running around fishing and mining an occasional distraction of exterminating enemies or recovering a cache.
Numerous Caves are scattered throughout PoE; some contain items that can be logged in the Codex while others spawn good amounts of Ore and Crystals for mining. Some caves only open when a specific Incursion or Bounty is active. Once cave has been explored, it will show on the PoE Map for the player.
Eidolon Sentients are the monstrous and dangerous machines that roam PoE at night. There is no mistaking them, and taking them down usually requires a squad of end-game equipped players. The main Sentients are Teralysts, and players must use both their Warframe and Operator abilities to down them through four different phases. When a Teralyst is defeated, it drops Eidolon Shards and a mod. Players can also use Eidolon Lures to obtain additional Intact Sentient Cores and other high-level rewards. Some of these items can be converted to focus while others are traded for standing in Cetus. Killing Eidolons is the only way to obtain Sentient Cores, which are the only way to raise standing with The Quills.
Warframe is all about Combat, and to say it is very good is an understatement: the combat is fantastic. I would say it’s some of the most fun and engaging combat I’ve played in a FPS/TPS/MMO style game. Ranged with sniper rifles, close combat with large AoE melee, Warframe abilities, and the line of sight and distance capabilities of specific builds provides a wide variety of death dealing chaos at the player’s disposal. Strategy is a very important part as well – lining up enemies for the punchthrough, executing specific melee attacks, going stealth and placing that gaseous arrow shot in the right location; all of it counts, especially in higher level and more difficult missions. Add that to group play with completely different styles and what appears to be a simple battle can quickly grow out of control. It’s very difficult to go back to any MMO after playing Warframe because they are just so slow and cumbersome in comparison. Warframe is definitely in a league of its own when it comes to combat.
All Movement (non-archwing) is parkour in nature, allowing the player to bounce off walls, quickly leap between points, and scale vertical challenges that would otherwise be impossible. There are many locations in missions and the PoE where jumping into a specific area is “instant death” or “falling off” to an area that cannot be traversed. Instead of killing the player, the game just phases the player back to the point before they jumped into the wrong area. This is a very nice design, allowing for quick and crazy play while not caring if you miss a jump and fly down into an bottomless canyon. It’s fun, and that’s what counts.
When a player is killed, the Death system provides a 30 second window (if one is in a squad) where another squad member can revive them with no penalty. But if the player is not revived or playing solo, they will lose bonus affinity and be given the chance to revive with a small window of invulnerability. A player can only revive a limited number of times (~4) before the mission they are on is considered failed. This system is nice because it never takes from the player, it only limits the bonus affinity that can be earned.
Warframe features nearly 300 different Enemies, some being faction specific, others bosses, and even wildlife or robots; and there are multiple variations of these enemies, bringing the projected count in variation probably closer to 500-750. As mentioned above, the main enemy factions are Corpus, Grineer, and Infested. The player will encounter numerous variations of these core factions including more powerful versions of the low level nuisances, some with shields, others with rocket launchers, and the most annoying gigantic fireball knockback attacks. Enemies do have a “level”, which can be confusing since it’s separate from the mastery and equipment ranking system. At this time, the max level of enemies one can encounter in the game is 100.
The Reward system depends on what the player is doing. There is general looting from enemies which provides currency, resources, endo, mods, and the occasional blueprint. But if a player is running a specific mission, alert, sortie, or fissure, the rewards also come from the completion bonus for the mission.
The game currently features roughly 185 Achievements (called Challenges). Unfortunately, there is no real reward other than saying “cool! I did that!”. There are console and steam-specific achievements (which may have other rewards) but I only play the PC version (not on Steam) so I’m unfamiliar with any rewards that may be provided for, example, defeating an Eidolon Teralyst.
PvP is the only feature in Warframe that I have not played, so I can’t really comment on it.
This brings us to the different types of Currency in the game. Credits are the generic currency that drop in-game and are awarded for the completion of missions, etc. Players must spend credits to buy some items from the Market or blueprints from the Clan Energy Labs. Credits are also a money sink when trading items, some mods costing as much as $1,000,000 as a “trade fee” in addition to plat. While Warframe is free to play, and technically one is able to play the game in full without spending a penny of real money, many items require Platinum (plat) to obtain. Plat is most easily acquired by spending real money, but players can trade valuable items (mods, blueprints, etc.) for plat. Endo is the core currency for leveling up mods, and is acquired as mission/bounty rewards, drops from enemies and selling duplicate mods. Void Traces are another currency that are required to refine Void Relics. They are awarded upon completing Void Relic missions. We also have Orokin Ducats, which are used to trade with Baro Ki’Teer, a Void Trader that appears every two weeks for a 48 hour window in the Concourse section of Relays. Players can acquire Ducats by selling Prime blueprints and weapon parts. So, if one has an extra Akbolto Prime Receiver, they can sell it to Baro for 100 ducats. Baro sells rare items and mods, such as Primed Continuity (for 100k credits and 350 Ducats), or augmented weapons such as a Primsa Gorgon (for 50k credits and 600 Ducats). This system allows players to offload extra prime parts and blueprints for the chance to acquire other end-game items and cosmetics they may be looking for.
New players ask what should they spend plat on? This depends on how much money one is willing to spend. It’s commonly agreed within the community that plat should first be spent on Orokin Catalysts (to increase the mod capacity of warframes and equipment) and then Forma (to polarize mod slots). I personally like purchasing the Prime Packs because they provide a Prime Warframe, Weapons, and Plat for what I consider to be a good deal. Many players make the mistake of purchasing a Warframe through the Market when they could buy the complete set for cheaper from Players and just wait the 48 hours (12 hours for components, then 36 for the frame) to craft it (as long as they have the materials). One rule of thumb is always check the player market for an expensive item you are considering buying for Plat on the Market to ensure you can’t get it cheaper from other players (often you can). Another standard is to wait for the plat discounts. Every 24 hours (4pm daily PST), when the player logs in, they can roll their Daily Tribute. This is a click to open random reward that’s provided, enticing people to log in. Every once and awhile plat discounts are provided, and can be 25%, 50% and 75%. Many players wait until the 75% discount and then purchase the $200 pack of 4300 plat for $50. Ultimately, I like to financially support companies like DE. Spending real money supports the game to make it better, and DE is doing a great job.
Trading is an important part of the game as many specific mods are required for certain Warframe and weapon builds. Many mods can be difficult (or nearly impossible) to acquire by simply playing and farming. Unfortunately, Warframe does not include an in-game Auction House (which I believe is a mistake and one of the game’s weaknesses). Instead, players use a 3rd party website called the Warframe Market to buy and sell mods. You can find most any tradeable item on this site except for Riven Mods. If you want to trade Riven Mods, you must use another website called Warframe Trader. Whey there are two sites for handling what should only be one is unknown, but the real issue is that DE is failing to implement a real and useful auction system within the game. Yes, players can set up trading “stores” at relays, but nobody really uses that. It’s a poor and dated design that’s really useless. When a player uses one of the 3rd party trading sites, it’s easy to contact the seller, and trading is usually executed through the Dojo (the seller invites the buyer) and the actual trade itself (UI included) is pretty easy to use.
The in-game Market is where a player can browse and buy most anything, mainly for Plat. There are some items that sell solely for credits, but those are usually low-level new player weapons just so a player can learn the basics of using the market. Warframes, Weapons, Equipment, Companions, Bundles, are available, and nearly every Warframe can be purchased on the market with Plat. There are also Warframe and Weapon packs; some of which are pretty cool. While the Market has hundreds of items to choose from, many end-game items are not available through the market (such as a Soma Prime automatic rifle). Don’t want to do the crazy and mind-numbing puzzle missions to acquire the Octavia Warframe blueprints? Just buy Octavia from the Market for 225 plat (or ~$11.25 USD). The current ratio of Plat to Real Money (USD) is 1 plat = $0.05. Orokin Reactors (Potatoes) are 20p and Forma (used for Polarization) cost 35p (for 3) and are held as the most common (and useful) things to spend plat on. There are color packs, cosmetic bundles and other enticing things for those who have the money to spend, and also many blueprints available that can be purchased for either Credits or Plat, such as the landing craft blueprints; but the player must then acquire the support pieces (through farming in-game). So a player could spend 150p to get a new Mantis Landing Craft, or buy the Blueprint for 35k credits, and then try to farm the components; however they are very difficult to find.
Players can also purchase and Gift items from the market. So if you have a friend you want to give a Warframe, bundle, companion or weapon to, you can purchase it from the Market for plat and send it to their account as a gift.
The market also sells TennoGen items. These are community-created skins (from Steam) for weapons that players can buy, and the proceeds of these purchases are split between the creator and DE. There’s some pretty cool designs.
This brings us to the question of whether or not Warframe is Pay to Win. No, it is not, but buying plat makes a huge difference in how quickly you can progress through the game, unlock new content, and participate in end-game missions. I personally have no problem purchasing Prime Packs and some Warframes that are very difficult to farm.
Warframe is a very technically complex game, not only relative to content and mechanics, but relative to the client, patching system, servers and hosting, connectivity, and data. Gamers who have not been involved in large scale game development simply do not understand what it takes to create, produce, maintain and evolve a product like this. Having said that, my hat is off to DE. I think they have done a fantastic job of evolving the game, working with the community, and steering Warframe in the right direction. It is a technical masterpiece they should be proud of, even with the limited issues players have encountered.
The games uses hybrid client/server hosting mechanism that links players sharing the same mission in a squad together through a chosen host. Only the relays and Cetus use dedicated hosted servers. Because of this hybrid client-hosting infrastructure, desynchronization can be an issue. When a host’s connection turns poor (bad ping or packet loss) it can cause the group to experience difficulties and even result in the loss of a host and migration. The auto-migration system works fairly well, and has saved numerous missions when the hosting member times out or loses connection. Because the game uses client-based hosting, Lag and Latency are common, which can cause the enemies to bug out. There is a “Matchmaking Ping Limit” value that can be set under Gameplay Options, but I’ve found even with setting that value to (for example) 100, the latency issues still happen just as often. My guess is this issue is associated with packet loss rather than ping; so if the hosting player has bad internet with packet loss, the ping could be (for example) ~90, but 20% dropped packets will ensure everyone in the party has issues. DE really needs to add a “Matchmaking Acceptable Packet Loss” value (of say 0%, 5% and 10%) to compensate for this issue. Ultimately, the game plays very well and the majority of my missions (90%) experience no lag or latency issues whatsoever.
The Graphics of Warframe are stunning and beautiful. Cloth mechanics, vibrant colors, volumetric & diffused lighting, crisp and efficient rendering, especially in PoE where the distance rendering is excellently done. Particle effects, ragdoll physics. You name it. Top notch work here.
The User Interface is unique to Warframe. It’s well-designed and while it takes some time to learn, it’s easy to navigate and works great for both the PC and Console platforms.
The Music is fairly passive and not very memorable, but represents the missions and environments nicely. Where the game really shines is with the Sound FX, which are excellent; each shot from your weapon, the screams of enemies, generalized sounds of equipment use and other audibles bring the world to life. My personal favorite is the terrifying screech of Eidolons during night time on the Plains.
The Options settings are well-designed, allowing the player to customize their client experience as best as possible; this includes Display, Audio, Interface, Chat, Gameplay and Controls.
There are Bugs; the game occasionally hangs, the PoE door has disappeared and caused my Warframe to fall into a world of nothing, latency can cause the enemies to behave in a twitchy and sporadic fashion, and there have been random disconnects, but for the most part, the game is solid and DE often provides daily updates and bug fixes.
The Warframe community is very good; people are helpful in-game, patient with new players, and almost always willing to help. I remember watching my wife play the game and she had issues making a hard jump; another member of her squad (mastery 23 or so) was patient and gave her advice on how to do it. When you die in a squad, other squad members almost always rush to revive you. This is the culture of Warframe: to work together and support each other, and it’s a good thing.
Clans are the guilds of Warframe, and not only do they function as a mechanism to bring people together, they are also the only way to gain access to labs, where members can purchase blueprints and other unique items. Dojos function as the headquarters for the clan, can be decorated and used as a central hub for trading with other players. Clans can also claim and provide access to Dark Sectors, which are missions that provide buffs (such as better drops or experience); however I believe next to the community, the most important feature of Clans are the Labs, where unique blueprints (only found via Clans) can be researched and made available to members. There are 5 tiers of Clan (with member capacity): Ghost (10), Shadow (30), Storm (100), Mountain (300) and Moon (1,000). A clan can upgrade their tier by building Barracks (and expanding). Clans can also form Alliances, which shares a chat channel and can support up to 4,000 members (or 4 Moon Clans) total. The Alliance channel is great, as any questions are quickly answered by other experienced players, and players can quickly form squads of friends and allies. There are well over 1,000,000 Clans in Warframe, so finding one can be a bit of a search (to meet the type of people you want to play with). Reddit’s Warframe Clan Finder is a good place to start.
Squads are the player formed parties and can have a maximum of 4 members total. Most squads are auto-created through public set matchmaking, but players can also form squads with their clanmates and friends. The squad system is very well designed, quickly bringing players together to annihilate enemies and complete missions.
One feature many people seem unaware of is Warframe has a built-in squad voice chat system. Simply hold down the C key and talk, and if you have a mic, everyone in the squad can hear you!
The Chat system is fairly standard: Squad, Clan, Alliance, Region, Recruiting and Trading. As mentioned, the community is usually very helpful, and new players can ask questions and for help in the Recruiting channel if they are not a member of a Clan.
There is currently no Ticketing or bug-reporting system built into the client (which is unfortunate). Players must go to the DE ZenDesk support Ticketing system via the website to submit a ticket.
Warframe did have Raids in the game, but they were removed for various reasons. DE has stated they are working on a new version of raids, which will allow 8-member squads, and expect to release the new raiding system sometime this year (2018).
The end-game of Warframe is all about Grinding. This includes farming blueprints, raising faction, leveling equipment to raise mastery, polarizing equipment, and gathering resources to build items to level up. The variation in gameplay for each frame and the different weapons entices players to pursue trying everything they can. A Sybaris Prime behaves completely differently than, say, a Soma Prime; and each has a completely different mod loadout. To properly “fully” load just one weapon or Warframe can often require 4-5 formas; and that doesn’t even include maxing the rank of end-game mods (which costs a ton of endo and takes a lot of time). This means a player will need to re-level a single weapon multiple times just to get to the polarity layout they need to maximize its efficiency – and then, that weapon may work exceptionally for 80% of the missions, but the other 20% of the missions may require another weapon – or frame – altogether. I’ve played and maxed out 21 frames, and so far my favorite “go to” frame for nearly all missions is Nidus. I use Sybaris Prime as primary, Pox as secondary, and Hirudo as the melee with the 60% melee Aura. I can solo every mission I’ve come across, except the last phase Sortie is tough because of the 1-shot mechanics and it’s hard to get a life link or undying up in time to survive. For the last Sortie (level 80-100), Rhino is an excellent option due to its Iron Skin. But what it comes down to is no one frame or buildout works for everything. I’ll get a bit tired of Nidus and switch over to my Mesa build; while it doesn’t have the survivability, it kills faster than anything else and is simply a “blast” to play.
Survival and Defense missions are the most popular for leveling up equipment. Players seem to prefer Akkad (Survival) on Eris, and Hydron (Defense) on Sedna as the top two leveling locations, but re-running these missions again and again can become quite tedious, causing players to take a break and do Bounties, Fissures, or just help friends out. People will also run missions in the Void to obtain Argon Crystals, which are required to craft numerous weapons.
Relic Farming is the most popular activity second to running Survival missions solely for the purpose of collecting blueprints and weapon components. Players will also run generic fissures to build up their Void currency so they can refine their higher level relics for a chance at a better drop. Here is a link to the list of Rewards and their associated Relics, and a list of Relic Drop Locations. First, look at the reward list and determine what items you want to farm, and then look up which relics they require and where you can get them.
Bounties in the PoE are probably the third most popular activity. I personally enjoy PoE; it’s refreshing to be outside rather than stuck in ships and close quarter outdoor maps all the time. However, PoE brings its own challenges with ships and other flying enemies targeting you and attacking not only from the ground, but the sky. A bounty can also quickly go wrong (at the high levels) if the squad doesn’t work together. There’s nothing worse than failing the final phase of a bounty because the squad can’t find all of the stashes.
Focus Farming is also popular. Running Equinox solo with a sleep build and a long-range Melee weapon (such as Atterax) is currently the best way to farm focus. Here is a video covering Focus Farming with Equinox.
I believe the strongest points of Warframe are:
- The Combat is the best feature of Warframe. If you love to shoot, slice and kill things with numerous unique abilities, this game is for you. And the volume of enemies one can kill in short order is quite satisfying paired with the screams of ones victims. Another point is Warframe empowers you; a player feels very strong and shreds enemies left and right – unlike other games where survival is a difficult task, in Warframe, you are the threat and you are the dangerous one. Players love that.
- The diversity in play style through different frame, weapon and mod combinations is fantastic and fun.
- The Quests are very well designed and can be very immersive.
- The Graphics are stunning and beautiful, and yes; this impacts the overall enjoyment of the game.
- Customization of a Warframe, Lander and Orbiter’s appearance (as well as decorating the interior of the Orbiter) is very well-done and allows players to express the way they want to look.
- The Community and automatic pairing with other players in Squads is fantastic. You can start Warframe and be playing within 30 seconds with a full squad doing pretty much whatever you would like. It’s also very easy to make new friends and keep in touch with them.
- You can play this game solo, if you want. And there is no forced PvP. By default, Warframe is a collaborative game.
While I would recommend Warframe to most gamers, there are a few issues that impact enjoyment of the game:
- The Complexity of Warframe is the biggest turn off to new players; but it’s hard to avoid given the scope and scale of the game. I only list this as a factual hurdle that new people must clear in order to really enjoy the game – but once they do, it’s worth the time!
- Repetition is a factor for those who have been playing awhile and are engaged in daily routines. Even with the best of games, it can become mind-numbing to constantly run survival missions, bounties, and others in order to level up gear. After awhile the repetition of these actions can become boring and tedious.
- I personally detest Mastery Tests. They aren’t fun at all. Forcing players to engage in jumping puzzles and other tests that have nothing to do with how they will play the game is wholly unnecessary; and it does block players from acquiring end-game weapons and mods unless they are able to master these things they would rather soon forget entirely.
- Archwing missions are a cool feature to be considered on their own, but the reality is most players do not want to engage in 3D space battle or fly underwater. Warframe is a ground-based fighting game. Using the wings in PoE is great, but there’s a reason almost all the Archwing missions are very difficult for player to find squads to do. People just don’t like doing them.
- There’s just something that doesn’t settle right with me regarding the Focus system. The majority of Focus features are related to Operator abilities, and this game is about playing as a Warframe, not an Operator. I think DE needs to execute a redux of the Focus system to provide not only a slightly different experience for gathering focus, but also providing rewards that make the Warframe the main benefactor rather than the Operator, which is almost never used.
- This brings us to the Operator system. It’s another feature of the game the majority of players really don’t care about. Sure, operator mechanics are necessary to take down certain bosses, and some players enjoy using them in combat, but like the Archwing, most want to focus on Warframe combat, not jumping out of their Warframe and hitting targets with bursts of energy.
- Warframe really needs an in-game Auction House system. Relying on 3rd party trading sites is problematic, takes players out of the game, and is wholly unnecessary. DE needs to add this feature.
Warframe is one of the best games I’ve played in a long time. It has evolved into a technical work of art, and for those of you itching to play something that’s sci-fi themed, TPS and hybrid MMO-based where you annihilate enemies and truly feel powerful, there’s no better choice. On top of that, the future of Warframe looks great; DE is constantly enhancing and adjusting the game, fixing problems, and adding new content. With more than 30 million player accounts created since its launch, there’s no question Warframe will be around and continue to grow for years to come. What are you waiting for, Tenno?