Warframe

What’s Changed? A story and critique.

Warframe3 - What's Changed? A story and critique.
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Now, before we begin I realise these stories are dime a dozen here on this page, so I'm not here for upvotes or anything. Its more to just get a story off my chest.

I began playing Warframe in I think the second half of 2015, roughly it felt about a month or three before the Second Dream came out on Xbox One. (All I remember is that the Orbiter didn't yet have the three back rooms) I had begun playing the game because at the time I had just gotten out of a long term relationship, and was broke. So, browsing free games I downloaded Warframe and I was off and running. Of course, I played the game for the next half decade. I played the Second Dream and had my ears pinned back by the reveal.

After some life stuff in 2016 I had dropped off completely because I sold my Xbox, but eventually got myself a PS4 early 2017 and began anew therein. I brought my best friend into the game, and we began running missions together pretty meticulously. He actually had a knack for finding Ayatan statues in just about every mission we played, earning him the nickname "The Ayatan Man". Well, we make our way around the starchart (me following the unspoken rule of WF and not spoiling Second Dream for him) and all the way to the War Within. Cue another ears pinned back moment!

I was easily a whale, in this time. Life had at that time become a bit better and I was buying skins, forma, weapons, potatoes, even for frames I didn't necessarily like or main per se, but on one hand I wanted to support DE and the other, the artists who designed these awesome skins. I was a Rhino main, and then an Inaros main. I brought in another good friend of mine, and we started a small clan of only 3-5 members, slowly building out and decorating our Dojo.

It was fun, just simple fun. I had a job at the time where I was able to watch devstreams at work if I chose to, and I watched a great many of them, I helped new players once I found myself somewhere near the universe of the so-called "veteran" power band, ran relics with people who called it out in chat at Maroo's Bazaar. I watched many of the mainstream YouTubers for the game, Brozime, Shy, Potato, Rahetallius, etc. My first friend left the game to deal with his own life stuff, but me and the other guy stayed put and continued to grow in strength together. When the Plains of Eidolon came out, I loved it. The idea of an open world Warframe just sparked my imagination, from a story perspective. The idea of the Grineer just running themselves into that wall over and over, the Eidolons, the story of Gara and all those people huddling behind the wall trying to make ends meet, etc.

I was, of course, waiting for another big Quest. See, like many players the absolute pinnacle of my experience in WF was the Second Dream. And, I think many would agree, it would be hard to reach that same level of gobsmacked out-of-left-field surprise that SD gave all of us, but I still had hope and faith in DE. Of course, rumblings in the community at the time had me take notice of Umbra, and then the Tennocon reveal of The Sacrifice had me even more excited.

Because, after a while the luster of the Plains faded, like I have heard it did for many people. (I am not saying folks don't still like it and stuff) And the main interest for me in the game was the core conflict. The story of the Lotus and our Tenno, the Sentients and Hunhow, the Stalker, the many factions and their leaders, the Queen/s, Ballas and the twisted history of our frames. I was so caught up in the story of all of these things that I even dabbled in some fanfiction fake Prime Trailer scripts which can be found here in my reddit history, one for Atlas and one for Mesa.

My friend and I played religiously throughout 2017-19, taking various breaks to play other games during a lull, but we always came back. "Dude, did you see the Tennocon announcements?" My friend wasn't really one of those folks tapped into the zeitgeist of online Warframe like I was, but he still was excited about the reveals of Fortuna and Railjack. By this time we had shed our "meta" frames of Saryn and Nidus, and were primarily using the duo of Oberon and Mag (back in the times when most folks thought of them as bottom tier frames) and…all we basically did at that point was play Hydron. We fell victim to the allure of the MR grind, of getting different frames or weapons, putting wacky builds on them with like 5+ forma, so on and so forth. We played Fortuna a decent amount, never fought the Orbs (until I did way later when the ChromaP solo build first got popular), and generally just putzed around the game.

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I, was waiting. See, we had gotten the Apostasy Prologue and all that sort of stuff. Lotus's helmet was now on our Orbiter and things had changed. The main story now took a backseat to the new Nightwave system. DE made a valiant attempt to try and keep the story alive with their new systems and new updates. But I personally had begun to feel a disconnect from the thing which had brought me joy; the mystery. And I'm not saying I needed to find out way later about the connection to the Sentients or anything, but I wanted to be more connected to that main story. The story of my character, my Tenno, and the relationship they had with the Lotus.

The next time I felt that connection was with the Jupiter update when Wisp came out. Of course, Wisp is awesome and the Jupiter revamp – beautiful, but the highlight for me was a few lines of dialogue during the hunt for that flying Eidolon. Can't remember it's name! All's I know is it's the one where you fight a big camera tripod by walking it into giant bugzappers. Cool! But, the real meat was what the Lotus, or now, Natah, was saying to us.

And that's the last time I felt that before we quit playing about 3 months after Railjack came out. Even though the game was grindy in the hey-day (probably have solid days worth of hours in Hydron alone), I didn't mind that because after the Sacrifice, I was hopeful for a continuation of that intimate storytelling that hooked me in with Second Dream. But with the absence of that, the addition of Nightwave (FOMO), and the looming of yet another open world (which to me nowadays looks only like a series of treadmills) instead of the New War which, when announced, got me re-excited for the game during a time where I had just lost someone close to me.

I pop in sometimes and take a peek at how the game is doing, like I'll watch a video somewhere or something (Shys most recent devstreams abridged) and it's just like looking at somebody you used to love who you don't recognize anymore. Between the issues with their moderation team, the lack of focus on the real story in favor of open worlds designed to make you pay, STANDING, the way DE takes criticism and throws it under the rug and hides from it, the way they consistently simply just nerf things that are fun (no, not infinite stagger melee, I mean frames in general), the artificial difficulty, the amount of grind, (had the pleasure of solo funding my Dojo's only Railjack at release), the fact that grind seems to be the point of the game now with Nightwave…it is just a disappointment.

Now, as I said at the jump, I know you folks probably see posts here like this all the time, and I'm happy to be just another tale in a river of complaints/stories that just washes on by. I'm not trying to change any minds or pull people away, and I'm not even upset about the money/time I spent. It was some of the most well spent time and money of the last five years of any game I've played.

As stated, I'm just here to get this off my chest because it is something I think about. My friend and I do miss Warframe, but every time we joke about downloading it, it's like…to grind standing?

Im sorry if you find the end here too negative. I am simply being as honest as I can about my perspective as a person who played this game since before Second Dream. I don't blame those those of you who keep that fire lit who still love the game, I am happy for all of you. In some ways, I wish I was still there with you, waiting to find out what it all means. But, with the way things were set up when I left, and seem to still be set up now, I can't find a reason to.

Enjoy yourselves, and thanks for reading!

Edited for Formatting and Clarification

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