Ninja Bots Are Big: Warframe Is Surprisingly Huge

By Craig Pearson on July 15th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Nice frame you've got there.
Just like The Rock, it looks like the free-to-play shooter Warframe has millions of fans. Unlike The Rock, who vaguely claims “millions and millions“, Warframe has a number for us. Three million. That is a big number, particularly when you realise they grabbed over a million in the last eight weeks. It’s a claim that’s substantiated by Warframe’s continual presence in the top twenty most populated games on Steam. I have occasionally spotted it popping into the top ten as well. To celebrate this fact, though I’d imagine it was more of a coincidence, there’s a new update out.

I’m downloading it right now, but I have to admit Warframe has flown under my radar. The hokey design, ninja-bots fighting aliens while kitting out their own dojo, is silly enough to gain my interest, so I’m not sure why I haven’t popped in until now. And with the update’s new content I’ll have plenty to grind through.

I am told there will be a new Warframe: the Nova frame. She was designed in conjunction with the community, so that means she can teleport. That was always going to happen when you ask the community to design a class. No new maps this time, but current maps Orkin Void and Grineer Galleon will be updated with new mission styles, and Orkin Void will have updated loot drops as well. New weapons include a rapid firing shotgun, throwing stars, and a pistol. But the most important addition will be new helmets. Helmets are like angry hats.

Here, have an update video.

It’s out for free on Steam. Who’s playing it? Are you enjoying it? Are you happy to spend a few pennies?

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49 Comments »

Top comments

  1. PatrickSwayze says:

    HEY CRAIG and anyone else that is curious about their spaceninja-aity:

    RPS actually has a clan for this game, called Rock Paper Skana.

    We are in the region of 20 – 30 players and encompass a whole swathe of the globe and have players on at all times of day.

    Feel free to join us.

    We operate out of the RPS social forum so feel free to come by and ask for an invite or message somebody.

    We’ve been building a dojo recently in the game which allows us to access new weapons and we have rocket launchers in the works and have labs in progress to allows energy pew pews and acid-poison spitty spits.

    Eventually we’ll have a PvP room too so people can prove who is the most spacey ninjarery of us all.

    If anyone has been curious or turned off in the past, now is a good time to try Warframe.

    There is so so much to do in the game.

    From hunting down rare weapons in and creating new Warframes to fighting rare boss bottles or simpy refining your Warframes, there is always something new to grab your attention.

    The Devs are probably one of my favrourite teams to and are absolute bros to their community, constantly interacting and most importantly, THEY LISTEN to their fans.

    Anyone who plays MechWarrior Online will tell you what its like when you have dev who simply won’t listen or a best ignores you, it spoils a game. It sucks.

    The makers of Warframe are the complete opposite.

    Digital Extreme even work hand in hand with the hardcore “Founders” members of its community to name new Warframes, create new powers and weapons. They’re never aloof or unapproachable and will take any criticism right on the chin.

    If there’s ever a major problem they are fast to fix it and I’ve seen them posting on twitter at 4am there time to keep people updated.

    D.E might have even taken over from my other favourite devs Bungie, although they are still in stealth mode somewhat.

    They also do a bi-weekly livestream, one of which is this week, where they answer questions live and give us sneak peaks into the future of Warframe and just chit chat. They give prizes away too, another awesome reason for tuning in!

    TL;DR? Play Warframe. It’s free and fun.

  1. Mstrymt says:

    Good game, they switched the upgrade system earlier to something a bit more cash money centric.
    Not bad mind you just slightly more cashy.

    Overall the game is great, I had more success with a controller but precise aiming is still the domain of the mouse.
    My first week or so of soloing was incredibly frustrating until I realised i had it on private group mode so everything was scaled up for a group of people and I was trying to solo it.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I absolutely loved it until the upgrade change. New things scare me, and I was surprisingly attached to my carefully upgraded Excalibur.

    • Dominic White says:

      I really like the new upgrade system. It’s far more interesting – you actually come up with your own personal builds of perks and powers over time, rather than just rushing for the biggest stat boosts.

      Multi-elemental shotgun that electrocutes, freezes and burns enemies all at once? Don’t mind if I do. Plus, the new card system means you can transplant upgrades from one weapon to another.

    • Serpok says:

      Does it still take ~20+ hours of grind to unlock any new warframe?

    • Flopper says:

      Gameplay feels like shit to me. Wall jumping is buggy as hell. I’ll pass. Feels like a student project more than a real game.

      • Jim Power says:

        Are you sure you didn’t call it buggy just because you can’t do it? I haven’t heard much mentions about the wall running being buggy.

  2. Iskariot says:

    I am not surprised. The concept design is extremely appealing. To me at least.
    If this featured an off-line single player campaign it would have been a first day buy for me. No question about it.
    As I am not interested in multi player I will sadly have to skip it.

    • Dominic White says:

      You can choose to play the game entirely solo/local. In fact, you’re far more likely to get away with a stealthy playstyle if you do.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Oi M8 U CAN PLAY SINGLEPLAYER!!!

      As long as you log in you can play singleplayer, pause the game, change options and all that kind of malarkey.

      So you know, free game, right? About Space Ninjas. DATS A GOOD TING YEH?

      Edit: To mention I got space ninja’d

  3. Shezo says:

    Too bad is still the game where any real content is mind-numbling grind and the most effective farm tactic is running solo past all enemies, killing boss and if he drops nothing, exit mission, rinse and repeat.
    difficulty is still non-existent, lore is nowhere to be found and balance is out of whack.
    And i’m regretting supporting this game.
    Sorry for the rant.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Come back! Things have changed!

      There is a new nightmare mode which is utterly ass kicking.

      Feel free to join ROCK PAPER SKANA if you wish also.

      We have player of all skill levels so you might find people to go around kicking ass on pluto with you!

    • Dominic White says:

      It’s almost as if the game is still in beta and under heavy development, with large chunks of content and features still not implemented!

      Seriously, the game is still in beta and each major update adds a ton of stuff or massively reworks a feature or two. It’ll likely stay in beta until the PS4 version launches – it’ll be fully cross-platform, so PC and PS4 players can fight together. Gut feeling tells me that’ll also be V1.0

      • Shezo says:

        Nope, i don’t buy this bullshit, beta or not, they are already monetizing this game.
        “But it’s beta” stuff leave to someone gullible or fanboyish.
        And overall disappointment steams from the way how the handle updates starting from U6 or U7 — they are not improving core of the game, just sprinkles of the top the i don’t know what.
        Adding more grind and not a more challenging and interesting content is not the way to go.

        • Dominic White says:

          Given that they just added a new difficulty setting, reworked all the map interface stuff and (one thing you specifically singled out) added a Lore page where you can get more in-depth info on every faction/character… Yes, they’re bloody well making huge changes to the game, which does imply that the game is heavily in development! Yes, they’re also letting people pay money now, but aren’t forcing anyone to.

          Some sites have given the game final (and likely permanent) review scores already, despite vast chunks of the game not being done yet or being reworked right at this moment. That’s hugely unprofessional, far moreso than letting people buy an unfinished game advertised as such.

          • Skull says:

            Not at all, if they are charging real money, they are open to professional criticism.

          • Shezo says:

            Nightmare is not difficulty setting, just some sort of random mutator from unreal series, doesn’t make game more difficult.
            New map interface got worse, missions are cluttered, you can’t see how many squads are on mission until you hover over it, you can’t see what mission your squadmates have chosen etc.
            Lore page with few paragraphs of text, my my, lore guy must’ve strained himself to death writing all this stuff.
            You also forgot about new aura system that borked a lot of ppl, new void mission with shit drops rates (thank again, mister dataminer), new warfame for 25 bucks or from insane grind (made 50 runs on raptor, got only 2/3 of blueprints), nightmare mission randomness that can block new player progression, new crating ui that was reverted etc etc etc.

          • YogSo says:

            Edit: Meh, you wrote while I was typing this. It invalidates my comment about obsolete information, but the rest is just having different opinions about the same matter, so I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

            Original message:

            Shezo, the problem I have with your comments is that you use the present tense (“Too bad is still the game where any real content is mind-numbling grind”) while talking about things that happened 3 or 4 months ago (“And overall disappointment steams from the way how the handle updates starting from U6 or U7“). The game is not perfect, far from it, but your opinion of it seems to be based on obsolete information. As other people have already said: The difficulty has been ramped up as of last week’s update (U9) and they have started introducing lore. Not sure about your balance comment, since this is basically a PvE game and all warframes are viable. The core of the game is being a coop third-person-shooter-with-a-sprink-of-melee-and-magic-powers, and they are constantly tuning animations, movement, pace, adjusting powers, adding new weapons, adding enemies, adding new tile locations… Sometimes they make missteps, and there are still lots of annoying bugs, but they are still improving the game constantly. I’m not saying you have to like it, and if you got bored of it no one is forcing you to go back to it, but at least take into account that since the game is still being developed things may have changed since you last played it.

          • darkChozo says:

            I would just like to note that in today’s world of Kickstarters and F2Ps and Founder’s Packs and Early Accesseses, “you can spend money on it” is an absolutely terrible metric for when a game is ready to be subjected to final criticism. There are plenty of games sitting on my magical Internet pseudo-hard drive that would be absolutely torn apart if that were a valid judgement.

            Criticism of anything is always valid, but when we’re talking games that are in active development (regardless if the devs are calling it Alpha or Beta or Post-Release Support or Banana Activism) the discussion should be “is this game worth playing/spending money on given its current state and the always-risky supposition that the devs are currently working on it and may fix any present issues”, not “is this game good”?

          • Contrafibularity says:

            Yes, they’re also letting people pay money now, but aren’t forcing anyone to.

            ~Accurate yet misleading description of every money game on the internet.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Nope, i don’t buy this bullshit, beta or not, they are already monetizing this game.

          Dingdingdingdingding.

          Once you’re taking money for your product, you’re released. No excuses.

          (In before pedantic argument about pre-orders/Kickstarting.)

  4. Mbaya says:

    Warframe was a huge surprise for me, wasn’t really following it after watching a few of the teasers, but I gave it a try when it popped onto Steam and really enjoyed it.

    Solid design, great controls and interesting mechanics (I rather like the card based looting and the crafting is simple enough to give something to work towards). Combat feedback is really fun too, especially using the bow, stapling enemies to walls and sending them hurling everywhichway ;)

    I actually feel guilty I’ve played for about 24 hours and not spent any money on it…I’ve spent much more on worse things in the past.

  5. Dominic White says:

    A general warning – the prices for 98% of stuff in the cash-shop store are insane. You can also get 99% of that stuff just through regular play.

    That elusive 1% are Orokin Reactors and Catalysts, which are pretty cheap (20 platinum each) and double the max level and rank of equippable cards on whatever Warframe or Weapon they’re attached to.

    Next best thing to spend real money on are the little helper-bot things. Shade and Dethcube are the only two decent ones. 75 plat each. That’s pretty affordable, and the alternative is buying them in-game which costs a ridiculous number of credits.

    If you’re playing on the cheap, just put £5 down and use it to put reactors/catalysts on whatever gear you use. Get your personal helper-bot second. Personally, I spent £10 on the game after getting a 50% off token. That got me equivalent to £20 of NinjaBux. I spent it on the full Stealth Weapons pack (bow, kunai, glaive from Dark Sector) and the Shade bot, and had a bit left over for future Reactors/Catalysts.

    Seriously though, don’t even try to buy characters outright. They’re hilariously expensive. You can unlock them over time just by playing.

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      The game is designed so you can get everything without spending a penny, the longer you play without getting something you want, the odds increase that you’ll get it!

    • sasayan says:

      Buying a Sentinel with platinum is actually a steal considering it comes already upgraded with a Catalyst and a Reactor (40 plat) so the bot itself is only 35 platinum.

      The only things that are absolutely impossible to obtain without paying are colors and little doodads to spiff up you sentinel. Everything else can be either built from blueprints and materials or looted in missions.

      • YogSo says:

        Actually, there are 2 other things that are impossible to get in-game, and imo are the number one priority to spend real money on: warframe slots (you start with two, but one of them is already used by your starting warframe) and weapon slots (iirc, you start with 4 free slots, plus the 3 already used by your starting weapons). Warframe slots cost 20 Platinum each, and a couple of weapon slots cost 12 Platinum (can’t be purchased individually). The game grants you 50 free Platinum at the beginning, so you can get 2 more warframe slots while you are still deciding if the game is for you or not.

        • Dominic White says:

          It’s pretty notable that the few things that you might seriously want to spend money on are only equivalent a dollar or two, but everything that lets you skip normal game progression costs a ridonkulous amount of cash.

  6. PatrickSwayze says:

    HEY CRAIG and anyone else that is curious about their spaceninja-aity:

    RPS actually has a clan for this game, called Rock Paper Skana.

    We are in the region of 20 – 30 players and encompass a whole swathe of the globe and have players on at all times of day.

    Feel free to join us.

    We operate out of the RPS social forum so feel free to come by and ask for an invite or message somebody.

    We’ve been building a dojo recently in the game which allows us to access new weapons and we have rocket launchers in the works and have labs in progress to allows energy pew pews and acid-poison spitty spits.

    Eventually we’ll have a PvP room too so people can prove who is the most spacey ninjarery of us all.

    If anyone has been curious or turned off in the past, now is a good time to try Warframe.

    There is so so much to do in the game.

    From hunting down rare weapons in and creating new Warframes to fighting rare boss bottles or simpy refining your Warframes, there is always something new to grab your attention.

    The Devs are probably one of my favrourite teams to and are absolute bros to their community, constantly interacting and most importantly, THEY LISTEN to their fans.

    Anyone who plays MechWarrior Online will tell you what its like when you have dev who simply won’t listen or a best ignores you, it spoils a game. It sucks.

    The makers of Warframe are the complete opposite.

    Digital Extreme even work hand in hand with the hardcore “Founders” members of its community to name new Warframes, create new powers and weapons. They’re never aloof or unapproachable and will take any criticism right on the chin.

    If there’s ever a major problem they are fast to fix it and I’ve seen them posting on twitter at 4am there time to keep people updated.

    D.E might have even taken over from my other favourite devs Bungie, although they are still in stealth mode somewhat.

    They also do a bi-weekly livestream, one of which is this week, where they answer questions live and give us sneak peaks into the future of Warframe and just chit chat. They give prizes away too, another awesome reason for tuning in!

    TL;DR? Play Warframe. It’s free and fun.

    • roulex says:

      Why that sounds quite lovely–I’ve been meaning to come back, haven’t played since the Dojo update (8.0) since it was just me and two friends at the time, we pretty much had everything maxed and from what I heard the Dojo system isn’t the friendliest to very small clans. When I get back home later tonight I’ll patch it up and see if I can’t snag myself an invite :)

    • Newbunctious says:

      I haven’t played in a while, guess it would be good to get intoa clan, I’ll have to try and get an invite

  7. Njordsk says:

    frameface?

  8. trjp says:

    I tried this and it seemed awfully repetitive and dull – has something changed or is it just “NOT FOR ME”

    • Kaira- says:

      Pretty much this. It’s been a month or two since I last played but there was no variation – move forwards, shoot and slash and maybe use a special ability every now and then. Also, farming bosses until your brains fried of boredom. And the fact that every single location looked exactly the same (with the exception being those snowy areas).

    • sasayan says:

      Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve played, they’ve added many more rooms to each tileset to increase variation as well as multiple entirely new tile sets. A lot more acrobatics needed now. The new nightmare mode provides increased challenges (for example: constantly depleting health that’s restored by killing enemies) and considerably higher drop rates for rare materials eliminating one aspect of the grind.

  9. aliksy says:

    Played it a bit, didn’t like it. Was some sort of lightning dude, but I couldn’t use my power very often. Gunplay was kind of meh. Might give it another try one day, but probably not.

  10. Felix says:

    Really? That many, huh? Then why can’t I ever find a group? I spent weeks expending two nodes on the map because soloing that crap is insanely hard when shit is spawning literally right next to you all the time when clearing a room. Stealth is also weirdly difficult, because the cameras sound the alarm and destroying cameras sounds the alarm and being spotted once means you are spotted forever.

  11. solymer89 says:

    Tried this a couple months ago and was very impressed with the overall feel of the controls, you really can be a ninja with a gun in this game. This biggest issue which drove me off was when looking for a group and realizing they are only running one of the missions, the boss mission, and they are hauling ass all through the level just to get to the boss and kill him then run back. It took me a couple times to realize what was going on and I didn’t like it at all. Couple times I was half through the missions, by myself and clearing shit, while the rest of the group jumped ahead, killed the boss, then headed back. I was like wtf? Then I started to run to the boss just like them, and it’s just not for me. There has to be some incentive to clear the levels then kill the boss then clear on the way back.

    I will give this game the benefit of the doubt only because of smooth controls and new frames. I won’t likely be spending money on it though as there are far too many nickle and dime stuff throughout every fucking game nowadays.

  12. derbefrier says:

    maybe its because I didn’t play it too much but it seemed incredibly bland and dull to me. I didn’t like the controls and the one level i played had to be the most boring level in all of video games.

  13. Shooop says:

    Tried it, uninstalled it after 30 minutes.

    The enemies were bland and the combat itself lacking any “Oomph”. You just shoot at something until its health bar depletes which takes a while only because your guns are insanely inaccurate, and every now and then melee something with a sword.

    But worst of all was the level design. It is some of the worst I’ve ever seen in all my years of gaming.

    • malkav11 says:

      It’s not designed. It’s procedurally generated. There’s a reason I’m always skeptical when games include procedural content as a selling point.

      • Shooop says:

        Really?

        Then on one hand, I’m impressed they managed to use procedural generation with environments that complex.

        But actually playing it… Errrrrrrgh.

  14. Christo4 says:

    Are you sure there are 3 million fans or only 3 million accounts? because i think there are the latter. I at least have 2 accounts and an account on almost every other F2P game, but now i’m not playing any.

    Also I don’t really like the fact that you have to spend over 50$ or euros just to be able to farm hundreds of hours for everything.

    • Craig Pearson says:

      At no point did I say they had 3 million players. I cleverly said “fans”.

      • Christo4 says:

        Ah ok then, my bad, but i also made accounts on several other games but that doesn’t mean that i’m a fan.

        Just saying, devs usually say that they have millions of accounts but not actual recurring players.

        • Transmetro says:

          “Christo4 says:

          Ah ok then, my bad, but i also made accounts on several other games but that doesn’t mean that i’m a fan.
          Just saying, devs usually say that they have millions of accounts but not actual recurring players.”

          That is probably because they banned quite a few accounts lately.

  15. immaxx says:

    hi i just bought this starter pack after reading the article/comments here. i’d like to join up with and get shown the ropes. send me a pm of who to reach out to on steam or what to do next and i will.

    thanks!

    • PatrickSwayze says:

      Immaxx, come into the RPS forums and post your in game name!

  16. tmtheme says:

    If you need a helpful guide on getting more platinum to be able to buy more warframes and mods and such on Warframe then check out this blog http://warframeplatinumhack.com

    It has some key info on getting platinum with minimal spending and has helped me to get a lot of sentinels and weapons. Enjoy