Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Warframe - A Christmas Present...

It's Christmas! So, merry, merry, and all that.

Seriously, though. Merry Christmas to all that celebrate, and Happy Holidays to all, like me, that simply enjoy a few free days. I'm trying to be nice here, don't spoil it...

Anyway, since it's Christmas, I thought I'd bring you a little present. Thus, let me introduce you to...

WARFRAME

Fine, okay, I didn't make it. But it's free, so it counts as a present. Because I said so.

Warframe is a Free-to-Play, Sci-Fi Co-Op Heavy 3rd-Person Shooter, and it's available on PS4 to EVERYONE. Yes, no PS-Plus needed. Interested? You should be. Read on and watch the vids to get set with all of the info you need to start out. Because, while Warframe is quite a good game, it sadly does almost nothing to explain how things work. I will try to change that, but, as I've been told, I am not always right. I'm sure that violates a law of nature somewhere, but it is the truth. There's also still stuff I don't know or haven`t seen yet, but since this article is mainly to provide people with a place to put their feet and not be swept away, it should suffice. If you want, head over to the Warframe Wiki, but be warned, the Wiki is mostly for the PC version, which is usually a bit ahead of the PS4 when it comes to fixes, events, balancing and stats. Finally, this is my personal impression and my personal opinion. Nothing more. Maybe, arguably, significantly less, but it is what it is.

What's it about?
I'm not quite sure. You play as a Tenno, which I guess means "Space Ninja" in a language yet to be made. Your goal is to fight back against Evil. Space Evil. Ninja-Style. It all happens in our familiar solar system, but presumably far, far into the future. You shoot and kill baddies. What more do you need to know? Also, there's an in-game codex with lots of answers, if you really want to know...
The Tenno-You wears a Warframe, an exoskeleton. It looks pretty sleek. It also has powers.

There are many different Warframes with many different abilities (four to each) available, but you only get one of three for free. You can choose which at the end of the tutorial mission, so choose wisely. Actually, choose either Excalibur or Mag. Probably Mag. Loki might sound cool, but where almost every other Warframe has a devastating Area of Effect Attack, killing lots of enemies, Loki's "Ultimate" makes all the guns in his vicinity jam. Yeah.
Don't get me wrong. As I have been told by more experienced members of the Warframe Community, Loki is amazing, especially when complementing a steady crew, and even more so in the later, harder missions, but I did choose him, and I mostly felt like that guy that always comes late to the party. So, I'd advise you to choose either Mag - because it is the most expensive to buy if you don't choose it for free - or Excalibur, which is apparently the hardest of the three to get through the game without paying. Of course, all of this becomes moot, if you don't mind spending a few bucks, and in that regard, Loki, Excalibur and Volt are the three cheapest to get.
The Three Choices - well, actually, Volt has been Replaced by Mag, so...

How does it play?
Well. It's a 3rd-Person Shooter. It comes with a primary weapon (mostly a Rifle), a secondary weapon (mostly a pistol) and a melee weapon (you start with a sword). You can aim-down-the-sights, you can jump, dodge, crouch, sprint, slide, grab ledges, wall run and do some nice combo moves. You can use your Warframe powers.
Every Planet of the System has missions, and missions range from Killing all Enemies in a certain level, to assassinating a Boss.
It's best to be played with up to three friends, since the missions, even early on, can get pretty hard. If you want to see some Solo Gameplay, scroll down to the last three videos for a taste of gameplay with horrible commentary. By me.

What's the Premium/Paying Aspect?
It`s not that bad, actually. You can buy Platinum with real money, and use that Platinum to buy new weapons, Warframes, a Robo-Buddy called a Sentinel, new Skins and Resources. You can speed up the building time for stuff that you will eventually build with resources. You can do a lot. And I won't lie to you, it's not cheap. Then again, there are people that threw hundreds of dollars into that Simpsons Build-a-City F2P mobile game, so the audience is there I guess. When you start you get a small amount of Platinum for free (more if you're a US PS+ member), but, sadly, not enough to really buy something good. It's a free taste, and it's useful especially early on for some small stuff, like weapon slots.
BUT, you can get pretty much all of the stuff you can buy by simply playing the game. It will take a while, though. To build stuff, you need blueprints and resources and credits. All of those can be earned and bought without ever spending a dime. But it will take some time to get them. Well, quite a lot of time. Yes, it's a grind, quite literally, but if you have a few friends to play with, it's a FUN-grind. No, I'm serious. This is not a pay-to-win game, but the incentives to buy with Platinum (a free equipment slot and a supercharge to your purchase) are there - and for such a fun game, the devs do deserve something, right?

How do you get to kill stuff?
Anxious, are we? Alright. First, you download Warframe, then go through the update process. As with many F2P games, content is constantly added, so there are mandatory updates.
Then you play the tutorial, choose your Warframe (don't choose Loki unless you're planning on running with a crew, did your Warframe research far beyond what this article provides, plan on playing Warframe for quite some time and really like being stealthy with a rather steeper and less immediately rewarding learning curve), and then you can go on missions. There's only one mission on one Planet available at the start, so once you enter the Main Menu and select "Play", you choose Mercury, Mission 1 and you can start.

There are a few things to be looked at before, though:

First, default setup is to automatically look online for people to play with. You can change that in the lobby by pressing "Triangle" and selecting options from open matchmaking to playing solo. Enemy Strength scales with player numbers, so if you have friends to play with, set your Online Connectability to Private or Invite Only. Having buddies is not only good for fun, buddies can also revive you if you die. If there`s people with you, once your health reaches zero, you bleed out. During bleed-out, your buddies can revive you, while you can still use your pistol to keep the baddies of their backs.
If they don't make it, well, you can revive yourself. You get 4 free revives a day, reset at 0:00 GMT, but if you run out, you can spend a small amount of Platinum to recharge. Since you have a bit of free Platinum already, it's not that big of a deal at first. But it's good to know, especially since if you die and forfeit the mission, you ONLY get experience. Resources, Weapon and Warframe Mods, anything else you picked up will be gone.

Second, there are a few options you might want to look at: Specifically the control options, for inverted y-axis for camera movement (if you're so inclined), and something very, very useful for pulling off advanced wall-running maneuvers. The Video later on will show this more clearly, but in short, if you like to be able to aim while wall running, you need to set "Hold Jump/X to wall run" to OFF.
One more option of interest is the Maximum Ping for open matchmaking. We all hate laggers, and setting this option to a lower value than the default 300ms will alleviate that somewhat. But it will also limit your matchmaking pool, so be aware.
And lastly, the way to activate your powers: either via the touchpad - which requires a certain dexterity if you want to keep moving and aiming while swiping in a direction; or via the D-Pad and then activate it with L1. Both have disadvantages, but you'll have to try them for a bit to really see what they are. Okay, fine, the touchpad can sometimes choose the wrong power to go off, and it's kinda hard to swipe with your index fingers, while the D-Pad and L1 option makes it really hard to slide and adjust your aim. But that's just me.

What now?

Now that you've been through a mission or two, it's time to look a bit more closely at what this game and its features have to offer. But don't worry, enough with the reading, here come my personal intro videos, with horrible commentary. By Me.

First off, is a look into the menus, the Arsenal where you choose your loadouts and the markets:


WARFRAME - AN INTRO VIDEO - THINGS TO KNOW - The Menus and Stuff


Second, here's a look at the Play Screen, the Mission Selection, Mission Types and the different Resources of different Planets:

WARFRAME - MORE THINGS TO KNOW - Missions and Resources


Finally, here's a how-to on doing some of the more Advanced Moves in Warframe. This is especially useful, since the game does nothing to explain all those. This is also where the option change concerning wall-running comes into play.

WARFRAME - MORE THINGS TO KNOW - Advanced Maneuvers



A few Tips:

Of course, this is not all, and there's still so much I don't know about. Like Clan stuff, the Clan Dojo (where you can apparently spar against other clan members, and even do some research for new weapons). Or the freshly introduced Conclave system, allowing you to fight 1v1 or 2v2 PVP. Mod Fusion and Mod Transmutation. Maximization, special builds for special missions. And more.
Still, I know more than SOMEone, so let me leave you with a few tips:

If you like Warframe, log in every single day. EVERY single day, even if all you do is log-in. Why? Because every day you log in, you enter the log-in-lottery. And the more consecutive days you log in, the better the prices get. I once got a Weapon Blueprint for logging in the fourth consecutive day. It's free stuff for a log in. Just do it.

Buy the Blueprints for Team Heal and Team Ammo, and if you can, build a few and carry them around with you on missions. You equip stuff like that in your Arsenal/Gear by selecting an empty slot and choosing the item you want. You use it by holding "down" on the D-Pad, selecting it with the Right Stick and pressing X.

Buy a Codex Scanner from the Market/Gear and scan enemies for some free XP and info on their abilities, resistances, and possible drops, to be perused in the Codex. You need to equip the scanner in the Arsenal, then use it as you use all gear, and scan enemies during missions (for all the info you need to scan the same enemy type multiple times). When used, the scanner is held instead of a weapon, so you aim with L2 and scan with R2 - but you also need to press "Triangle" to change back to a weapon that can actually shoot. The Scanner not only scans, but it also shows you un-scanned enemies and un-scanned storage containers through walls!

Don't play a Rescue Mission Solo unless it's really far below your current level, or you really, really know what you're doing. Also, don't try a Capture Mission Solo with a slow Warframe. Just trust me on this.

Invest some Money in Platinum. Support the people who made this. I'm not talking about hundreds of dollars, but you get a great game to play with friends. And it's Christmas. Let's show some love.


WARFRAME GAMEPLAY - with horrible commentary. By Me.

This is a three-parter of me playing a Solo Capture Mission. It should give you an idea of what to expect. Of course, this is just me playing an early mission Solo. Things get exponentially crazier the more you progress and the more people are involved.

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


Enjoy! And for more info and more gameplay of Warframe, visit: Warframe - More info, more Gameplay - Yeah. Subtle, I know.


For all your PS4 needs, especially the European needs, head over to Amazon UK - best deals in Europe (mostly). For TV or Movie Streaming needs, as well. Yes, I do buy there myself. Exclusively. Unless I find a better deal, elsewhere...

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