I know I am writing this article just as an update comes but there has been a content drought in Warframe this year. There have been very few updates with any actual substance. Most of this year’s updates have been pretty localized into one little area, and there haven’t been that many of them in general. Compared to previous years, by now we would have at least had a cinematic quest or something.
What have we had? A remake of the Gas City tile set, with some new enemies and a new boss, a new game mode, a ton of tweaks to Arbitrations and that’s mostly it. There have been two new Warframes so far, Wisp and Gauss, who are both pretty cool and are only a little bit tricky to obtain but neither of them have quests. Aside from that, most of the main updates have been for regular new Prime Warframes or unvaultings (which happen all the time anyway) or have been focused on one new game mode: Disruption. Which is fine because it’s a new endless mode with some actually good rewards, but it’s not that amazing.
Oh and we had the Plains of Eidolon updates as well, which brought mechanics from Fortuna into Cetus and the Plains, as well as giving the Plains themselves a small graphical overhaul – mostly by adding some more rocks and trees.
To be somewhat fair, we have had Nightwave to fill in the gaps, but even Nightwave has been lacking in content. The Wolf of Saturn Six was great because it was new and fresh. There was a small gap before the first Intermission, which was short but sweet. But the Emissary was more of the same, and ended on a frankly more inconclusive story than I would have liked. And now we have another intermission that is as long as an entire normal act, which has its own problems, mostly due it being more of the same and having rewards from Wolf of Saturn Six and the first intermission.
But even The Old Blood is somewhat weird. Aside from the Kuva Liches and Grendel, most of the content is the Melee rework that was supposed to have been done earlier this year. A lot of the content are changes and updates rather than completely new content. I’m really excited to get Grendel and see all the new melee animations an feel for how they work now, although the excitement for both of these has definitely dwindled because everyone’s waited so long for them.
So really, there has been content, but none of it feels particularly… new.
Why is this though? It’s simple: the developers are slaving away over Rail Jack, now called Empyrean. The massive open space flight simulator hijack system that threatens to completely overhaul Warframe. I mean, the more you look at the whole premise, the ability to create and customize your own ship, leave it to fly through space and then attack other ships and destroy them, that’s bloody insane.
And this is in a game where normally you bounce around, murdering hordes of enemies.
No wonder everything else has pretty much ended up on the back burner, because Empyrean threatens basically everything and requires an absolutely huge amount of work.
But it’s scarier for another reason, because no one has any idea what will really happen or how it will come out or anything like that. Sure, we’ve seen developer streams and things like that, but there are still a lot of unknowns. And it’s even scarier for the developers themselves, who are working on what is basically a complete overhaul of how Warframe works and feels and don’t really know how their players and customers will react.
So on the one hand we’ve had not that much content. But on the other, it’s all a tentative wait until an absolutely huge amount of content comes out…