Warframe’s Christmas event is impressively un-festive

Warframe Ghouls

Update: To clarify, there is an actual festive event running in-game at the moment – Tennobaum, as mentioned after the jump. It just seems to have been somewhat sidelined by the ghoul uprising.

While every other online game worth mentioning is packing its world to the gills with seasonal cliches – snowball fights, gingerbread cookies, gaudily wrapped presents and the like – Warframe is bucking the trend and giving you a big ol’ mess of angry cyborg zombie mutant clones to murder across the increasingly toxic and inhospitable plains of Cetus.

Santa Claus may want to just tick off this whole region as Too Naughty To Bother, unless the Tenno can’t clean thing up over the next few weeks.

I am being at least a little bit glib. Warframe players are being given a variety of Christmas-themed goodies upon login during the season, among a few other festive bits and bobs, but the arrival of the ghouls seems rather more grim and apocalyptic than you’d expect for December. Hunting these new Ghoul enemies (Grineer clone soldiers, seemingly mutated by the toxic plains) will be the focus of the event, with NPCs around Cetus town offering contracts to stem the pseudo-undead horde, and presumably paying out some interesting new goodies.

The Ghouls themselves fall into four main categories, familiar enough to anyone who’s played a zombie survival shooter – you’ve got the fast melee one, the sticky tongue one, the digs-under-the-ground one, and the suicidal exploding one, but given the melee-focused nature of these enemies, it might go a long way to mix up the variety of combat across the plains, which has up til’ now been very ranged-oriented.

Fighting the new enemy group aside, there are some nice extra features to look forward to with this update, including a new wing opening up on your personal spacecraft; your personal quarters, customizable and free for you to decorate as you see fit with a variety of amusing space-gubbins. Presumably many of them are lurking behind in the cash shop, but considering the entirely optional nature of the chamber, that’s not too big of a deal, at least in my eyes.

There are also a few new weapons to play around with, such as the Corinth shotgun. A five round magazine and solid base stats make this one look like a reliable enough weapon, although I don’t see anything dethroning the double-barreled, hellaciously-powerful Tigris any time soon. For the more space ninjas looking to spice up their melee, there’s the Gunsen bladed fan, attacking in graceful arcs and chargeable to do extra melee damage, a trait more commonly associated with heavier weapons.

There are also a pair of new Grineer-themed guns. The bizarrely arranged Quartakk, a quad-barreled rifle, and the Stubba machine-pistol. Unsubtle, but one thing I’ve always appreciated about Warframe is that each villain group is well defined by their weapons. The Grineer in particular do things loud and gracelessly, usually by throwing as much lead as possible at a problem in the shortest possible time.

You can read a bit more about the update here, which includes a short comic detailing how the incredibly shouty Vay Hek changed from being a generic NPC villain into the cyborg monstrosity he is now.


  1. po says:

    Er no. Warframe is doing it’s usual /seasonal/ event, Tennobaum:

    link to warframe.com

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      I know, hence my mention that there is actual Christmas-themed stuff going on. It’s just an odd decision to have ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE take the lead, content-wise.

      I’ve not had a chance to dig too deep into it, but I hear there’s some new story stuff hidden away in the personal quarters, too.

      • rook37 says:

        I’m sorry, but the fact that you haven’t dug too deep is evident. The ghouls and personal quarters update came out the day Tennobaum ended. i.e. /after/ the holiday event. Just saying “Zombie apocalypse instead of Christmas? WACKY!” belies your familiarity with the subject more than anything :/

        All last week, Warframe players were giving each other gifts and raising a community counter towards community-wide gifts from the devs and matching tiers of charitable donations. That was the holiday event, and it ended on friday – after which, the ghouls and personal quarters update came out. I just started playing Warframe recently, and I thought it was one of the nicer holiday events I’ve seen from an MMO. My whole ship is currently Christmas-themed, it seems kind of festive to me. When you describe that event as simply log-in rewards, it does sort of make it sound like you haven’t read up on it.

        Also, if you read the update you’re criticizing carefully, it says “holiday-timed update”. It’s not claiming to be a holiday event because, as I’ve explained, the holiday event just had the spotlight for the last week.

        So yeah, when the holiday event was on, it did take the lead …and the fact that all of its details are in the comments rather than the article does make this seem poorly researched.

        Honestly, criticizing them for ending it before Christmas would have made way more sense.

        • rook37 says:

          It’s too late to edit, but pretend I said “update you’re covering” because “criticizing” doesn’t seem fair considering the facetious nature of the critique. It’s just misinformed, not malicious.

  2. Nelyeth says:

    This is not a Christmas event at all. The Christmas event is Tennobaum (as mentioned above by po), during which Digital Extremes gave $100,000 to the Children’s Health Foundation. The ghoul thing is just a quick (read “one-hour-and-you’re-done” quick) event that’s released at the same period.

    One of these two events sound more important than the other, but hey, at least it’s more Warframe coverage. And I can’t really blame RPS since I don’t think you have any regular Warframe players, so you’re bound to miss a few things.

  3. KiroBaudoin says:

    I would like to say this article is pure crap. For one there is an event going on its just not a matter of playing but a matter of giving. For every gift given the community meets milestones. Each milestone gives the community free gifts from DE as well as money is donated to Children’s Health Foundation.
    Ontop of this the ghoul event is shadowed by the acolytes. If you actualy played the game you would know how much more important hunting Stalker’s Acolytes is.

    I believe your next article should be an appology to DE and the community of Warframe.

    • Sandepande says:


      • dan! says:

        It seems in today’s climate of toxic fandoms, even Warframe has rabid, foaming at the mouth lunatics taking offence at any perceived slight.

        • Wolvz says:

          This is not taken slight to everything, this article just doesn’t bring correct information. The Ghoul purge event is for introducing a new enemy type to the game. It’s sad to see game reporters seeking fault with this event for being not christmas enough while it was not even intended as a christmas themed event. It just coincided with the date of christmas.

        • KiroBaudoin says:

          How is this even toxic? Over dramatic sure, but far from toxic.

          “Santa Claus may want to just tick off this whole region as Too Naughty To Bother, unless the Tenno can’t clean thing up over the next few weeks.”
          In the spirit of christmas this is possibly alot more toxic then what I have said.

          • KidWithKnife says:

            You do realize Santa isn’t real, right? And that the RPS staff also know this? And therefore that any comment pertaining to Santa just might not be 100% serious?

          • dan! says:

            Yeah, you’re right, I’m sorry. It’s perfectly reasonable to demand an apology for a news post about a Christmas event in a videogame.

            Merry Christmas.

          • Linebreaker13 says:

            It’s like sarcasm is totally lost on you. The imagery of Santa is always that ‘naughty’ people get coal, and the Plains is currently being infested by bloody ghouls, which top the list as they’re pretty much singularily about murder. Hence, the ‘why bother even going here to drop off coal’ jab.

            You took sarcasm and thought it was toxicity. Learn from you error, lest you kick the fun out of things your friends do or something.

        • KidWithKnife says:

          They’re not as dominant as in some other game communities I’ve seen, but sadly even Warframe has it’s crazies.

        • rook37 says:

          It doesn’t seem rabid or toxic to point out misinformation stemming from a lack of research.

          Asking for an apology is a bit silly, but newspapers do print retractions when they’ve printed an error.

    • Stargazer86 says:

      Well, no. Tennobaum isn’t exactly featured in the same way the ghoul event is. When you’re logging in, the launcher has a specific mention of the ghouls and is promoting them along with the personal quarters and weapons. Tennobaum is nowhere to be seen until you’re in the game. I’d say that’s DE pushing them up in importance.

      • rook37 says:

        >When you’re logging in, the launcher has a specific mention of the ghouls and is promoting them along with the personal quarters and weapons. Tennobaum is nowhere to be seen until you’re in the game. I’d say that’s DE pushing them up in importance.

        dude, the personal quarters update came out the day Tennobaum ended and DE had their charitable donation total set. your comment kind of demonstrates why this is poorly researched. Tennobaum was front and centre for the last two weeks

      • po says:

        DE’s entire staff are on holiday until the new year, and the Warfame launcher requires updates to be released to change what information it shows. With no-one available to make that change, it makes more sense not to show anything about Tennobaum, than to keep showing it well after it’s over.

        They also like to keep their staff available to fix any bugs that might show up in the last game update before the holidays, so we aren’t stuck with a broken game while there’s no-one to fix it. To that end, they make sure that there’s nothing else that needs doing over that period, most importantly, not releasing launcher updates at the last minute, that may themselves need a bugfix.

    • Chromatose says:

      As a card-carrying member of the Warframe community, I don’t really need an apology. Mention of Tennobaum would have been cool, but, y’know, the money all went to charity, so it’s all gravy.

  4. Premium User Badge

    subdog says:

    Sheesh, tough crowd.

    • Aetylus says:

      Yes. Just so, so angry. Angry at Christmastime, about Christmas.

  5. Abaddon2020 says:

    The Ghoul Purge is NOT a Christmas event. It’s a content update to the main game and will be a regular occurrence after the holidays are gone.

    As others have said, Tennobaum was the Holiday event.

  6. Erinduck says:

    Just reading the comments here and making a slow jerking off motion with my hand.

  7. Buuurr says:

    Whoa! Even RPS is fake news?! I never would have thought.

  8. CytheGuy says:

    I understand what you’re saying, and I understand why you think this. DE, in an effort to not favor one audience over another, advertises their winter holiday event to celebrate the Winter Solstice (that’s the shortest day of the year for anyone who doesn’t know, and yes 1 day is always about 24 hours. I mean the sun is up for the shortest amount of time), thus the “Solstice” skins and the Solstice Ivara Syndana everyone recieved. It’s a little early for christmas because Solstice comes before Christmas, however it is also EARLY for Hanukkah and late again for Kwanzaa and Boxing Day.

  9. tekker2234 says:

    so i would like to say that
    1. the plains are not toxic we just cleared out the infestation and also the mutations of the ghouls is because they are rushed through the clone generation process at an alarming rate causing many deformations
    2. we do have a holiday event called Tennobaum that has many rewards for gifting milestones that de will match the amount of money that is spent on gifting with a donation to a charity as well as giving out rewards to all players for each gifting milestone we hit (we have already surpassed the donation goal)
    also you get the ability to buy all winter legacy items from the shop including some things such as the ringers, candy cane scythe skins and the festive liset decorations for 1 credit each
    3. the main features of the quarters are not locked behind a paywall; the music you can acquire by scanning song fragments scattered across each system (find them in missions like cephalon fragments) and the fish tank only needs you to get the fish via fishing although most decorations are indeed “locked behind a paywall” if you really want them you can trade with other players for the game’s premium currency; platinum

  10. Maxheadroom says:

    Jesus some of these comments..

    I’d see less hostility if I went over to IGN and posted “Call of Duty sucks!”

  11. Tremidine says:

    Holy fuck, thats because Warframe donated $100,000 to charity for kids who couldn’t have a christmas, and theres over a hundred christmas themed items in the market and we got tons of free shit. You clearly have not looked at this game, at all.