The third-person shooter, Warframe, has quite a following as the 4th most-played free-to-play game on Steam. Not only is there a following for it online, but Warframe also hosts an annual convention for the title in London, Ontario Canada called TennoCon. At the convention this year, the developers announced that there will be an open world update coming to the game in 2017. Fans of the game seem overjoyed by this news, but what can we truly expect from an open world Warframe? And is it really a good idea? This articles aims to talk through these questions and compile as much known information about the Plains of Eidolon open world update as possible.
What is Plains of Eidolon?
First of all, what exactly is Plains of Eidolon? According to a PlayStation blog post from back in July, the update is aims to be a “wide-open environment bustling with life.” It consists of a town, Cetus, which serves as a hub for marketing and quest collecting purposes, and the actual Plains of Eidolon which surround the town and house the actual quests. Within Cetus, players will find “an assortment of questionable vendors, food merchants, opportunists, all working to eke out a living.” The town thrives off an industry built around the harvesting of living biomechanical structures. Outside of town, the Grineer search for artifacts from the old war and mine for resources of their own. Up to 50 players at a time can inhabit this over world and share in their questing adventures.
Story and Lore
From what we have gathered in the months after the initial announcement, there will be a heavy focus on lore and story in the Plains of Eidolon update. As the 17 minute gameplay demo from TennoCon showed us, the developing team over at Digital Extremes has done their best to make the new update as immersive as possible. We will likely be learning more about the people who inhabit the city, the artifacts Grinner are excavating, and the massive Spectral Sentient that roams the Plains at night. Actually, that Spectral Sentient brings us to our next category.
Challenging Bosses: Veteran players are particularly excited about the idea of the Spectral Sentient in the Plains of Eidolon which essentially amounts to a Raid Boss. This is end game content that Warframe desperately needs, and while we don’t know much about it so far, we do know that players will need a team of Tenno to take down a Spectral Sentient and that the hulking beasts only come out at night.
Modular Weapons: In addition to new massive bosses, Plains of Eidolon will also bring modular weapon crafting to the game. This is a long-awaited feature for many hopeful players. Crafters will be able to choose the strike, the grip, and the balance for a weapon which will affect everything from critical chance to what stance your warframe takes when wielding it.
Exploration: The Plains are 3×3 km in size and feature a ton of things to do and places to find. Players will be able to fish in the rivers, explore hidden camps and caves, and collect resources without needed a clear objective to do so. For a previously solely instance-based game, this is huge. And to be able to traverse this massive landscape, Archwing has been implemented into the open world to act as a faster way to travel.
“You guys have been used to running missions like a rat in a maze and this is completely different.” – Digital Extremes Creative Director, Steve Sinclair
Warframes and Other Exclusives: It was recently confirmed that the new “glass frame” will be exclusively acquired through the Plains of Eidolon when it releases. This likely will tie in with all the new resources available in the Plains as well as have some kind of significance to the lore of the area. We don’t know much about the glass frame or her abilities currently, but if she’s exclusive to the Plains then there will likely be other exclusives as well.
What Could Go Wrong?
Bugs: As is with every major update Digital extremes releases to Warframe, there will likely be a number of game-breaking bugs upon the release of Plains of Eidolon. The shift from small mission maps to a living, breathing, open world is not an easy one, therefore there will be plenty of issues at launch.
Cohesive Gameplay: Since this isn’t a full transition but rather just another addition to the game, it might be quite jarring for players to go from the open world of the Plains to a regular mission. Any new players will likely get confused when one planet lets you walk out into an open world while others are strictly mission-based. If the plan is to eventually create mini open worlds for every planet then I welcome that ambition, but if it isn’t, then the cohesion of the game will probably feel pretty off.
An Unfinished Product: The developing team over at Digital Extremes has a lot on their plate, constantly updating the game, fixing bugs, and bringing in new content. However, a major complaint is that when new content comes out it feels unpolished or is just plain buggy. Because the game is in a perpetual state of Beta, things often get pushed to the wayside to make room for other content and there is a very valid fear that parts of Plains of Eidolon could suffer this fate.
While there are definitely reasons to worry about Warframe massive update, the Plains of Eidolon still shows tremendous promise. Overall, the update looks like it could be a huge step forward for the game and bring in a lot of new players who would otherwise have looked the other way.
While there is no official release date of Plains of Eidolon, it is aiming to be put out sometime this year. As more news comes out you can be sure that MMOexaminer will be writing about it so check back every now and then. If you’re excited for the Plains update, let us know in the comments section below.