Cole Shoemaker ’20, Opinion Editor
For those of you that may not know, Warframe is a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game that was first released as a demo in 2013 by Canadian studio, Digital Extremes. In fact, the game is still in free-to-play demo today. But despite that, it has gained a huge following. Multiple events and special-edition items have been released, and overall story beats have occured that those waiting for the full release will never get to experience.
In a nutshell, Warframe is a game that has the player run around as a space-robot-ninja (called a warframe as well) piloted by a person known as a Tenno. Lead by the mysterious Lotus, players complete objectives and explore the solar system, while discovering secrets about their own past and the collapsed Orokin Empire that once spanned the entire system. While the past few updates have been all about improving the combat and adding more of a narrative, the next ones to be slated are about exploration.
Until now, Warframe only had one truly open-world area called the Plains of Eidolon that is located on Earth. However, this new update adds an all-new open-world location on Venus known as the Orb Vallis, with its one and only city deep underground dubbed Fortuna. This update is, of course, called the Fortuna update, and includes new creatures and factions to join (called syndicates in-game). It is also many times larger than the Plains of Eidolon.
While Venus in our world today is far hotter than Earth and therefore completely inhospitable, all planets in Warframe (including Earth) have been terraformed to become hospitable. As such, Venus has gone from a burning hot sphere, to one covered in snow and ice. The Orb Vallis exists in the eye of a constant blizzard, and Fortuna deep below that, where the Solaris keep Venus from returning to its natural state.
Within the neon glow of Fortuna exist the Solaris, a race of mechanically augmented people who live in indentured servitude (wage slavery) to a merchant cult known as the Corpus, who believe that anything can be bought and sold for the right price. However, away from watchful eyes, the Solaris grow stronger. The newest joinable syndicate will be Solaris United, a growing group of laborers seek to overthrow their Corpus overlords and restore order to Fortuna and Venus at large. Players will be able to perform bounties for Eudico, the leader of Solaris United, in order to gain standing and rank up in the resistance force.
But a new syndicate is far from all Fortuna has to offer; ever since the Plains of Eidolon was released Warframe has started a deadly habit of giving players the option of crafting custom weaponry that is tailored to their own specific playstyle. Before, players could only create custom melee weapons and special weapons, but with the launch of Fortuna, players can now make custom secondary weapons and robot pets called MOAs (theorized to stand for Mobile Offensive Automaton). While all these items are very resource-intensive, they also tend to be far superior to any of the stock weapons Warframe has to offer.
Out in the fields of the Orb Vallis, the player can do numerous things such as mine for minerals and gems or spear-hunt for fish, but all new to Fortuna is wildlife preservation. With the Corpus tramping about everywhere with their huge machines, the already-endangered animals that live on Venus are under further threat. The newly reformed Solaris United has tasked players with tracking these animals down and tranquilizing them, so that they may be sent to a wildlife preserve kept safe from Corpus eyes.
Also out in the Orb Vallis itself, an entirely new mode of transportation will be available. One that allows you to move faster, jump higher, and perform radical tricks. The K-Drive hoverboard is obtained in the opening quest in Fortuna, Vox Solaris, and lends itself incredibly well to the landscape of Venus. Warframe’s already incredible movement engine is pushed to its limits by this swift jet-propelled skateboard. Performing tricks will earn you reputation with a local group of children called the Ventkids, which can be used to create and customize your own K-Drive to ride around in the Orb Vallis.
Clearly the Fortuna update is rather large. It was released only Thursday, Nov. 8, so there is still quite a lot of it that is unexplored and thus unknown. The newest warframe, Garuda, and the several new weapons and enemies are still to be catalogued. And that is not even the end of the content Digital Extremes intend to add in Fortuna, the Orb Vallis, and Warframe itself. Being released on Nov. 20 is a version of the game for the Nintendo Switch. Coming soon to the PC version is melee 3.0, which revamps melee combat for the third time. And being released in 2019, also for PC, is the Railjack update, which will see players take to the sky in massive ships controlled by a single player alone, or a full squad of four, to take down enemy capital ships.
Needless to say, Warframe is a very ambitious title. With bug fixes being released at least every week and the developers taking on larger and larger goals, this once-small game needs all the help it can get. So, come and join the fun. From the Plains of Eidolon to the Orb Vallis, from Earth to the distant asteroid of Eris, from rank one to rank 30, join over 30-million other Tenno in discovering the secrets behind the fall of the Orokin Empire.
Photo courtesy of wccftech