This weekend was TennoCon, the annual Warframe fan event, and as is tradition Digital Extremes showed swathes of new updates coming to their free-to-play space ninja game. Matthew was there and has already written his impressions of Warframe Empyrean, which is adding spaceship combat to the game, but there were other announcements, reveals and releases. Those include: a new Warframe Prime release, a trailer for the second season of the game’s free Battle Pass equivalent called Nightwave, a cinematic trailer from the director of 10 Cloverfield Lane, and some other things.
All the trailers are below, and I’ll try to explain what those proper nouns mean.
*45 minutes of reading what the proper nouns mean later*
Warframe Empyrean: multi-crew spaceship battles
Warframe started life as a relatively straightforward third-person cooperative shooter, albeit with a complex progression system wrapped around it. Since then its developers have regularly updated the game, including with major new features like open world areas. The big new addition coming next is spaceship battles, and a feature Digital Extremes call Squad Link, which lets you call in support on the ground from other groups of players in their own session. The example given at TennoCon is the Battle of Endor setup from Return Of The Jedi: a group of players are fighting a space battle in orbit against a ship protected by a shield, the power source of which is on the planet of surface and can be disabled by that other group of players. I didn’t see any Ewok-like creatures though, more’s the shame.
Read Matthew’s preview for more, or you can watch the full demo played on stage during the show here:
There’s no release date on Empyrean yet.
Wukong Prime released
The game’s latest prime is out now, however. The latest is the Wukong Prime, a “trickster-warrior”.
Warframes are the suits that players wear in-game, and essentially operate like character classes, while “Prime” is just an in-fiction word for a certain strand of technology. Gaining access to it isn’t cheap though: you either need to spend real money on Platinum, or you need to craft it in-game using rarely dropped blueprints and currency earned through play. Access to the Wukong Prime, alongside a couple of others, will set you back £52.49. That’s more money than you’ll find in my bank account, but there are a lot of cheaper Warframes for newer players and the game is reportedly generous overall.
The Wukong Prime is added as part of update 25.3.0, for which you can read the update notes here.
Nightwave: Series 2 – The Emissary
The same update also includes the launch of the second series of Nightwave, called The Emissary.
Nightwave is a set of daily and weekly challenges, unlocked over time, through which players can earn specific rewards – event-specific items, cosmetics, upgrades – by completing missions. It’s called Nightwave because that’s the name of an in-world pirate radio broadcast hosted by Nora Night, who talks over the trailer above. Series 2 will run for 10 weeks, and the resources you gather (but not the items) reset at the end of the series.
The Duviri Paradox: New open world area
Next, there was a cinematic trailer for the game’s next open world area, called The Duviri Paradox.
Warframe was originally set almost entirely in corridors, but it introduced open world areas a couple of years ago. This is the third, it introduces a new enemy faction, and it does some other things I don’t understand which are apparently spoilers and so I won’t repeat them here. The announcement was just that this area was “now in development”, so there’s no suggested release date yet.
The New War cinematic quest
Warframe’s next big quest line is The New War, which was first announced at last year’s TennoCon and this year got a fancy cinematic trailer. It’s scheduled for release around Christmas.
Fancy new opening cinematic
Lastly, Digital Extremes showed a new cinematic intro trailer for the game, directed by Dan Trachtenberg. Trachtenberg previously directed the movie 10 Cloverfield Lane and some Black Mirror episodes, and is currently signed on to direct the Uncharted movie adaptation. The cinematic is six minutes of scene-setting, partly designed to set up the game’s backstory and character classes, and partly designed as an aspirational advert to attract new players.
And with that, I have reached the limits of what I can explain about what was announced at TennoCon based on wikis. Read Matthew’s preview of the Empyrean update for more detail on the most exciting reveal from someone who knows what they’re talking about. Or if you’re as clueless as I am, hit up our regularly updated Warframe guide for help with getting into the game.