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We’re back with another Devstream, offering a sneak peek at Whispers in the Walls, as well as a retrospective of our work with Abyss of Dagath. This month we were joined by Megan (Community Director), Rebecca (Creative Director), Pablo (Design Director), Erich (Lead Sound Designer), and Grant (Programmer, aka the guy who worked on our Companion rework!).
You can watch the full Devstream on our YouTube channel, or keep reading below for the highlights!
- Baro Ki’Teer is bringing Gotva Prime back to the Origin System on November 4th!
- The Warframe Community has raised over $100k for our Quest to Conquer Cancer this year. To continue the Quest, check out our official website at warframe.com/qtcc.
- Don’t miss the usual Gift of the Lotus Alerts, live for 24 hours after the stream! Log in and play to grab your Orokin Reactor and Orokin Catalyst.
- Plague Star is coming on November 7th!
We’ve made some changes to Plague Star for its official return since it was last available in 2021.
First, we are removing the requirement to contribute Infested Catalyst and Eidolon Phalayxis from your gear wheel. Instead, these items will be auto-applied to your mission depending on which of the three new bounty tiers are selected:
Tier 1 - Plague Star
Plague Star as you know it, no Eidolon Phalayxis or Infested Catalyst required (and therefore their effects are not applied to the mission).
Tier 2 - Plague Star - Advanced
To select this Bounty Tier, players are required to have both Eidolon Phalayxis and Infested Catalyst in their Inventory. The effects of both of these items are applied to this mission.
Tier 3 - Plague Star - Steel Path
A Steel Path variant for those looking for extra difficulty, and extra rewards -- featuring bonuses to earned Kuva and Endo. To select this Bounty Tier, players are required to have both Eidolon Phalayxis and Infested Catalyst in their Inventory. The effects of both of these items are applied to this mission.
With these changes, we hope to address the concerns of player leeching with the previous gear items, and also offer players an easier way to determine the mission difficulty straight from the Bounty selection screen.
If you missed it this week, we launched Cross-Save Clans and Friends in preparation for the larger Cross-Save release later this year. You can learn all about how to engage with Cross-Save Clans in our official forum post.
An important part of implementing Cross-Save is having parity across all platforms, and that includes paid pack offerings. As we get closer to the full launch, we wanted to make players aware of some changes coming to our Prime Access Packs.
For context, currently, PC Players have 4 Prime Access Packs available to them: 3 tiers with various Prime content available and a separate Accessories Pack.
Console Players currently have 2 Prime Access Packs to purchase: 1 pack with all Prime Equipment (Warframe and Weapons), and 1 pack with the Prime Accessories.
Our plan, detailed below, is for PC to adopt the Console 2-Pack structure with the addition of a 3rd Pack that encompasses everything, also reflected on Console.
With our next Prime Access Pack, players on all platforms can expect a new 3 Pack Structure:
- 1 Pack with all the Prime Equipment (Warframe, Weapons and Platinum)
- 1 Pack with the Prime Accessories (plus Platinum and additional content that is being added to all Prime Accessories packs moving forward)
- 1 Complete Pack with both the Prime Equipment and Prime Accessories
Important note: This brief overview of offerings does not include specific details about the Platinum amounts, Boosters, and other items that come with Prime Access. We will have these details provided in our next Devstream in November. Please know that we’re committed to providing you with the best Pack structure we can while adhering to Cross-Save requirements.
Full transparency, our November Devstream will be diving deeper into our Whispers in the Walls update, but we still had some things to share and discuss! The image above outlines Story Skip, a Clan Event, our next Warframe (Qorvex?!), Sevagoth Deluxe, Skin Shader Tech, Classic Renderer Retirement, new Fog Tech, and more -- while we didn’t go into detail on everything listed, let’s dive deeper into what was shown.
We first showcased Sevagoth’s deluxe skin at TennoCon, designed by the incredible Liger Inuzuka. Players can look forward to this incredible skin with Whispers in the Walls, and can expect some amazing extras:
Rebecca mentioned that Sevagoth’s deluxe Tombstone may also be added as an Orbiter Decoration as a way to admire this amazing piece, since we know that Sevagoth players never actually die.
Gillychap Shoulder Armor
Sevagoth is not only getting a Deluxe Skin, but also a best friend. Introducing Gillychap, to quote Rebecca, “one of the best things we’ve ever added to the game”. Players can equip this shoulder armor on their Warframe and bring Gillychap with them wherever they go.
For those not able to watch the clip, this Customization features a fish that will actually detach from the armor piece and float around the players’ shoulder.
Sleeping in the Cold Below Remix
As if this wasn’t already a top-tier Deluxe Collection, Sevagoth Glaukus is also coming with his very own theme song. This Skin will unlock a pirate-themed redux of the classic “Sleeping in the Cold Below” song in your Somachord, and will also feature the track as custom background music while in Sevagoth’s Shadow.
Epitaph Cirriped Skin
With this collection, the Epitaph is getting its own skin worthy of all seafaring Tenno.
Whispers in the Walls comes with a prerequisite of completing The New War Quest, and we hope to explore ways of giving players faster access to this content via a Story Skip system. Newcomers to Warframe have 10 years of content to complete before they can engage in our major content releases, and we have worked to address this issue in multiple ways -- grind reduction, Quest improvements, etc.
With that said, we want to explore avenues for players to skip to the newest content, should they choose to, via a Story Skip system.
We are bringing this idea to the community now to gather feedback and sentiments, so for full context on this discussion please visit our official feedback thread.
For those wanting to get a full overview of how this system would work, we will update you all on the status of this in our November Devstream once we have had time to hear from the community, so look for that then.
Some of the concept art below is from our Quest to Conquer Cancer donation incentives, and some from our TennoVIP event. Let’s take a look at what was shown:
The inspiration behind this image was “What would Frankenstein’s Lab look like in Warframe?” In the image above you can see the Entrati architecture, a tiny Excalibur for scale, and a Vessel.
What is a Vessel exactly? We’ll have to wait until Whispers in the Walls to learn more.
A look at early concepts for an important figure in the Warframe story -- Albrecht Entrati. Rebecca mentioned that the Entrati were meant to be Italian, I won’t speak to what that means to the canon. (something something Mother’s Spaghetti)
The enemy above is more for Warframe 1999 than Whispers in the Walls, but we included it anyway. This concept is an exploration of what the Infestation would do if it infected the technology in 1999 instead. Discussion was had about having actual commercials play on the CRT screens, so keep an eye out for that detail when Warframe 1999 releases.
Affectionately named “Slinky”, this is a new VIP foe within the Murmur faction. Pablo indicated that this enemy was meant to move around like an actual Slinky, but the movement was too slow, so now it moves “like a wheel”.
Consider this your advanced notice to rally your Clans. Whispers in the Walls is coming with a Clan Event, our first since Orphix Venom. Our plans are not to launch this with leaderboards, as the goal of this event is for your Clan to come together towards a common goal. As always, the Ghost Tier will be balanced for Solo Clan completion, but events are always easier to complete with friends.
With our deferred renderer, we wanted to update our Skin Shader to work better with deeper skin tones. This updated skin shader may not make it in time for Whispers in the Walls, but we hope to get it in players’ hands soon nonetheless:
We’re releasing new real-time Fog tech, allowing for FX to work better with this environmental effect. This Enhanced Fog was developed for Soulframe, and we are applying it to Warframe as well. In terms of performance, our hope is that this will perform the same (if not better) than the current Fog players are used to.
With the launch of Enhanced Fog with Whispers in the Wall we are officially retiring our Classic Renderer for PC. Abyss of Dagath saw the retirement of this renderer for Consoles earlier this month.
For those with less powerful set-ups, know that we are still committed to making Warframe work at lower specs however we can!
At the time of writing, Abyss of Dagath has been out for just over a week, so we do not have much to share on any further adjustments to come. What we do have is some Behind the Scenes on sound design, and some words from Grant, who worked on the Companion Rework!
Before we dive into the BTS video, a few notes on the music in this update:
- Dagath’s song features our first ever prominent use of woodwinds in Warframe (a very controversial statement by Erich, we look forward to the community’s expert takes on this)
- Our goal was to evoke the sounds of a theremin, but with woodwinds
- Danny Elfman was mentioned as an inspiration!
Additionally, the soundtrack for this update featured the use of a “Horror Machine”, straight from Italy. Here it is in action:
The video above features a behind the scenes look at the sound design of the Rakhali's Cavalry ability. Thanks, Paul!
Grant joined us to speak about his goals with the Companion Rework. Part 1 released with Abyss of Dagath, featuring two facets of design: Pet Survivability and Bond Mods.
For Pet Survivability, we saw that one of the biggest complaints was that your Companion died in high level content, and that just felt bad. So, they no longer permanently die. Huzzah!
For Bond Mods, the goal was to add freshness to your Pet Modding Arsenal. These Mods are designed to make you feel more connected to your Companion in-mission, where your actions benefit them, and vice versa.
As this is only Part 1 of the rework, look forward to Part 2 next year, which precept and weapon changes. The guiding principle behind our future changes will be to incentivize build diversity for your Companions and bring overall Precept and Weapon value into better balance.
Finally, a note on Key Sharing! Abyss of Dagath features the first key-access mission in a while, requiring players to coordinate squads beforehand. Like with many things we do in Warframe, this was an experiment to see how this type of mission works within 2023 Warframe, and what iteration is needed for player experience improvement.
It was acknowledged on-stream that the current implementation can be confusing to players, leading them to believe that the actual node is broken. They had no other concrete details to share beyond that!