The New War is arguably the most anticipated story expansion to ever hit Warframe. It was first announced at TennoCon 2019, over two years ago, and it's coming out on December 15th across all platforms at long last.
During a recent preview event organized for the press, we had a chance to learn more about it. The first big difference is that these missions, which will take you through the longest cinematic quest ever produced by Digital Extremes, feature other playable characters in addition to your Tenno, such as Kahl-175, the Grineer trooper; Veso, a Corpus Tech; and Teshin, a skilled Dax soldier. Each character comes with different abilities and playstyles. Obviously, the goal here is to provide different perspectives on the unfolding story.
In The New War, the Sentients have returned and they seek to claim the Origin System as their own domain. Sentient leader Erra is set to bring the full might of his forces into the fight, including some brand new and very dangerous foes.
Over the course of the plot, divided into three arcs and composed of some non-combat sections for the first time in Warframe history, fans will enter legendary places like Zariman Ten Zero and meet again with characters like Lotus, also known as Natha, and Orokin Executor Ballas. Stalker and Hunhow are also confirmed to play a role in the second act.
Of course, The New War wouldn't be a major update if it didn't bring another playable Warframe, the so-called Caliban. The game's 48th unique playable Warframe, Caliban is a Sentient-Warframe hybrid described as Erra's twisted masterpiece.
Players will be able to purchase it from the in-game market with Platinum currency. They can also earn the blueprint upon completion of The New War quest, which will allow them to build Caliban (after farming enough parts) in the Orbiter Armory. Here's a detailed description of Caliban's abilities.
PASSIVE: ADAPTIVE ARMOR
Allies within Affinity range gain increased resistance to the types of damage they are currently taking.
Become a spinning vortex of death. Hold Fire to accelerate the maelstrom, increasing damage, then target an enemy to dash toward them. Hitting enemies inflicted with Sentient Wrath creates a destructive blast.
Smash the ground sending out a wave of destruction. Those not killed by the initial blast are helplessly lifted into the air where they continue to suffer damage for a short time.
Call on Caliban's Sentient aspect to produce up to three Conculyst comrades to fight by his side, and repair shields when not in combat.
Converge three streams of raw energy upon a single point, causing a massive reactive blast. The fallout from the blast will strip the armor from all enemies that touch it.
This will lead into Warframe's 2022 offering, which will see the introduction of major features such as cross-play and cross-progression, not to mention the launch of Warframe Mobile.
Following the presentation, Digital Extremes Live Operations and Community Director Rebecca Ford answered some questions in a roundtable Q&A.
- For new Warframe players, Digital Extremes expects there to be around thirty hours of story content they'll have to go through before reaching The New War.
- No updates on the RTX and DLSS additions that were teased last year. However, there will be lighting improvements to the enhanced renderer.
- Inspiration for the non-combat parts of The New War, specifically the classroom, came from the Persona franchise.
- There are 'absolutely' plans to add another open world zone in the future.
- The quest will be touching delicate themes and, as a result, the developers felt the need to add warnings at certain points.
- The full The New War experience will be released on December 15th, as opposed to episodic releases.
- The quest's length will depend on the player's playstyle and skill level. That said, Rebecca completed The New War on her first playthrough in around 4h and 45 minutes.
- The New War is an entirely solo experience with no co-op.
- After playing through it, players will be able to figure out where they'll be going next in Warframe's 2022 post-New War world.
- Scarlet Spear won't be a part of the new questline.
- There have been some voice actor changes. There are two male and two female Operators to choose from in The New War and they are 'reflective of your existing choices'.
- Necramechs will play an important role to progress in the story at one point.
- Alignment choices will play a role in the quest, but no one will be locked out of options because of something they picked years ago.
- There are no Operator balance tweaks here, those will come next year.