Questions By Michael Sagoe (Mikedot)
Answers by Julie Stanley, PR for Digital Extremes
Warframe, the co-op focused third person shooter with space ninjas is a game that keeps on growing and expanding. While the game has had a few bumpy turns here and there, players cannot deny how much support and care that Digital Extremes gives towards this popular F2P title. With the highly anticipated update, War Within, only a few days away from now, I was given the opportunity to chat with Julie from Digital Extremes to learn more about the update. Interestingly enough, their responses on some of their questions were very simple and tight lipped, obviously as not to spoil what’s to come with their new update. I suppose it isn’t too surprising considering how tight lipped they were regarding the Second Dream update, as well.
But regardless, here are the answers that I received:
Mikedot: So it’s been a long time coming but the War Within update is almost here. How is the team at Digital Extremes feeling right about now that this highly anticipated update is finally getting across the finish line?
Julie: A mix of pure relief and absolute terror. We’ve spent the better part of a year working tirelessly on this quest to make it the best that it can be, and we’re excited to finally share it with the players.
The reception of The Second Dream was really eye-opening for us. We knew players were interested in more lore-focused content for Warframe, and we were interested in pushing our boundaries to create it, but it we didn’t realize the magnitude of the emotional impact it would have for people which was truly heartening for the Dev team to see.
As with any follow-up, expectations are high and we’ve been killing ourselves to meet them which ultimately is the reason for the delays.
Mikedot: Following the amazing conclusion of the Second Dream quest, we will finally get to learn more about the Grineer Queens. While these two queens have been mentioned in the lore for quite some time, what made you guys feel that now was the right time for them to make their grand appearance?
Julie: Who doesn’t want to learn more about the women pulling all the strings? Everything within Warframe is connected, so it’s their turn to be in the spotlight. For the Grineer Queens in particular it is all about their motivation, which couldn’t have been understood by players before The Second Dream. Captain Vor has been trying to secure a Warframe and Tenno for the Queens since the very first scene in the opening tutorial… but now we’ll know why.
Mikedot: Now while a lot of fans were pleased with the ending to the Second Dream quest, it also upset a few fans as well as it placed an end to several fan theories regarding the distinction between a Warframe, a Tenno and the Operator, and overall the quest seemed to raise some eyebrows for those that haven’t been keeping up with the Warframe lore as a whole. With the new War Within Quest, do you feel that its story and dialog will invoke the same amount of interest as the Second Dream quest did?
Julie: We certainly hope so! We’ve done a lot to build upon what we started within The Second Dream, and to take our players deeper into the universe that we’ve created for them. Some of that involves answering the lingering questions from our first cinematic quest, as well as bringing up new ones they didn’t even think to ask.
Mikedot: Quest line aside: Tell us a bit more about the new tileset (which I believe you folks have been calling the “Grineer Fortress” correct me if I’m wrong). What planet will it be located on? What kind of gameplay opportunities will this tileset achieve compared to older ones?
Julie: The new tileset will be different in how it’s accessed… and it’s only available to people who have completed The War Within. It will be its own region in the Solar Map entirely. Those who dare to explore it risk coming across increased Grineer defenses, twisted beasts, and strange devices holding an ancient power.
Mikedot: So originally, the War Within was supposed to be a three-part update that was split into several smaller pieces in order to keep players occupied. But then that three part updated turned into a four part and after that, you guys decided to just throw the update plan out the window and release the War Within as its own major update once more. So with all that being said: What made you guys decide that the War Within needed to be released on its own?
Julie: The War Within, being our next big cinematic quest, was always going to be released on its own.
Splitting up the update was more so a casualty of our eagerness to share our own hype with our fans, while vastly underestimating what needed to happen to make our vision for this quest a reality. It has been an experiment to be certain. We’ve actually had our community tell us in the past to split things up instead of doing huge releases at once, and we followed this over the past few months. It’s had its pros and cons, but ultimately the wait for the War Within has been the name of the game this entire time which means our players have learned a thing or two about patience and its limits.
Mikedot: So as mentioned at PAX West 2016 and in past devstreams, there’s a new bard/music themed warframe currently in development. Will this new warframe be included in the War Within update? If so, could you tell us more about this warframe’s abilities and if it is more tailored to solo play or team play?
Julie: I don’t want to give too much away, mostly because she’s not ready yet. Our Bard-themed Warframe won’t be releasing with The War Within, but players can expect the creation of melodies to be a huge defining characteristic of her moveset. We’re actually really running wild with the idea and want to make sure it’s as polished as possible, so we may be revealing and releasing another new Warframe before the Bard!
Mikedot: Also mentioned in Devstream 71: New sound systems were being worked on that allows gunfire to sound differently from a distance or from behind obstructions. Will the new sound system be included with the new update? (Seem like a really good idea to pair it up with the new visual effects)
Julie: A large part of that system has already been implemented, actually. Enemies obstruction sounds are in! We are planning on building upon this small change in the future with environment sounds too, but that’s something that will come after The War Within.
Mikedot: On a more personal note: What kind of new mods will be released with the update? Or perhaps will the update be reintroducing older mods that players have been hoping to collect? (*cough cough* Primed Chamber *cough*)
Julie: If I answered this question completely honestly I’d be in a lot of trouble, but you should absolutely play through The War Within to find out.
Mikedot: Will there be anything new for PvP fans of warframe such as even more maps to compete in? (Grineer Fortress tileset PvP map, perhaps?)
Julie: We just released a few new Conclave (our version of PvP) maps at the end of October, so there are no planned Conclave additions coming with The War Within beyond polishing the Dedicated Server setup we have with players.
Mikedot: While I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here, once the War Within update is all said and done, what’s left on the plate for Warframe by the end of 2016?
Julie: There’s still a ton that players on PC (and consoles!) can look forward to, some of which I don’t want to spoil just yet. A Prime Access release is at the top of that list, as well as the finished The Index Operation, and a few Warframes. We also have a charity initiative planned for Christmas time, more details on which will be released at a later date.
Mikedot: Is there any other details regarding the War Witihn that you would like to share with us?
Julie: Make sure to complete your Sedna Junctions!
Mikedot: Thank you for your time!
Julie: Thank you for having me! It was my pleasure!
And that’s all I got from the interview! While I wish that there was a few more things I could have asked, such as the return of Dark Sector missions, the upcoming Ash Premium skin, the new bounty missions and more, I can only assume that I would have gotten the same kind of responses as before… Still, I am looking forward to seeing how everything turns out and my anticipation levels for this new update are at a sky high peek.
For more information on the War Within update, check out their official teaser page here: https://warframe.com/thewarwithin