It’s very easy to write Warframe off as a free-to-play game and ignore it (like I did up until this year).
Having said that, it’s also very easy to get lost and confused by the depth and quantity of systems in-game. Multiple currencies, planets, alerts, different Warframes, quests, Archwings, Kubrows, Sentinels, mods, statues, stars…….There’s so much going on!
You quickly forget that it’s free because you’re engrossed in this complex ecosystem and starting to grind-out the levels of your first weapons and Warframe.
A Warframe is essentially a space-ninja. An agile, bullet-jumping, wire-sliding badass that carries a melee weapon, primary and secondary gun.
Each frame has 4 unique abilities, ranging from healing and helping allies, to dealing out mega damage, or performing area of affect attacks to clear out busy areas. Along with the abilities, each Warframe has different specs for health and shields.
Basically, you are very easily catered for, regardless of your play-style.
I have 9 Warframes (I finished farming and building Valkyr AND Limbo in the time it took me to write this!) and I know ways to at get the parts for at least two more. There are 35 in total (this is ever-increasing) and that doesn’t include the “prime” frames.
You have plenty to work towards and level up, you have variety coming out the wazoo, and they look cool as hell.
Mods in Warframe are actually a very complex feature, with a very basic starting point.
Basically, each Warframe, weapon or AI-controlled support (Kubrow/Sentinel) can have mods applied to them. These mods come from a very large pool of random drops, that provide you with a massive range of tweaks and adjustments/improvements.
Having good “builds” is a big part of the serious Warframe player. To me, as it stands I don’t have great mods, but I work towards improving things like reload speeds, damage output, increasing health and shields and adding things like burn damage to weapons.
The potential here is phenomenal. With the time and attention, and a collection of good mods, you can turn your frames and weapons into beasts that operate well beyond the initial spec.
The depth and opportunity here is a massive highlight of the game. Dropping mods in missions all the time, means you’re never short of them. Although repeat drops and low-level mods are standard fare for a long time.
Again, customisation and being given the opportunity to play and operate to your preferred style.
One thing that really stood-out to me, was the slickness and pace of movement. With a few minutes of practice, you can find yourself sliding and jumping from point A to B in no time.
On top of that, slowing down time when you aim in mid-air, giving you this Stranglehold-esque shooting mechanic, is excellent.
Everything is very smooth, and in fact over the past few months I’ve seen some really impressive improvements to framerates, too.
Getting overwhelmed with enemies on a defense mission is easily done, and when the screen is filled with enemies and you dashing around, using abilities. It isn’t unreasonable to expect a bit of a slow-down. I mean, it’s intense! Recently though, I’ve seen really solid performance even on my original Xbox One. Excellent stuff!
So much to do!
Between unlocking planets, completing the various quests on each planet. Farming for materials and blueprints, then running through alerts for better rewards than normal. You’re never stuck for something to do.
Slick matchmaking means you’re able to join others on the same mission with ease, and others can drop in to help you, if they so choose. You’re never alone.
Maps are mostly randomly generated, using themed tile sets, based on planet or enemy, so no encounter is ever the same.
Archwing = Flying out in space, with a big-ass blade and machine gun. It’s a completely different set of movements and skills to become proficient, than the normal missions.
Non-stop updates with new content, new frames, mastery rank levelling and gear unlocks. There’s so much to do.
It never seems impossible though. You can dip in to any mission for a few minutes here, a few minutes there. Set some items off to build, and come back in 12 hours or so.
Clans can build their own dojo, which can be these huge bases with exclusive gear to be built and people building assault courses and monuments. It’s incredible!!
Never bored, never stuck for something to do. Always progressing and getting new bits. All free!
One thing that really strikes me, is the fact the most Warframe players are not only passionate, but happy to help, willing to share knowledge and on occasion, to trade items to give you better gear.
I was a little nervous about asking for help. I’ve read loads on Reddit, I’ve watched some great streamers, and some great YouTube videos, all very helpful. However, sometimes, you just need help getting through a mission…..
I’ve entered the recruitment channel on chat, asked for help, and have 100% of the time had someone jump in and help out. Often then giving me tips and having a quick chat in the squad channel.
Trading has been a little hit and miss, with people trying to scam for platinum, often. At the same time, though, I’ve had people be really helpful, explaining what I have, what it’s worth etc.
Considering I play on console, I had low expectations of the in-game community. However, I’d say this is easily the best gaming community I’ve ever come across and interacted with. A real credit to the creators, Digital Extremes.
Free to play, done right
One of the best things in Warframe is the balance it strikes between being free to play, and requiring you to invest a few quid here and there.
For the most part, you never need to buy anything if you don’t want to. But if you do, the platinum costs are a little steep.
That’s ok though, because you don’t need to buy it. Although I definitely have on occasion. Buying that weapon, or some slots for more gear. It makes life easier, and these bits aren’t expensive.
Colour palettes and Warframes are steep, but that’s ok. They’re not required, and you can unlock the frames with a bit of work anyway.
Digital Extremes need to make money to support the studio and
It just is….
Warframe is excellent for so many individual reasons. Everything is executed wonderfully, and beyond the surface of being a space ninja, the depth that you can go to in crafting, modding and trading. It’s bloody impressive.
A slick exterior with a depth that recent MMO-style games just can’t seem to find. This is a game that knows what it is, and does it excellently. Supported by a team of devs that are very clearly passionate about it (watch their weekly streams!).
I’m really deep into Warframe again at the moment, and I’d urge anyone who played it at release then forgot about it, or those that haven’t played it, to give it a go.
Getting into Warframe isn’t easy. There’s a huge amount to learn, and I’m practically a beginner still. That depth, though is what helps set it apart. There’s so much! I always understood that mods were important, but it’s only recently dawned upon me just exactly how important they are. I really need to up my mod game.
I’m always asking on forums, reddit, twitter, twitch etc, trying to learn, and there is always someone willing to help.
Get stuck-in, Tenno! It’s totally worth the time.
PS: Ash is easily my favourite frame, but I’m learning Limbo at the minute and I think he’s a real contender!