One important aspect of a review is knowing who the reviewer is and what experience they have with the product they are reviewing. I’ve held off my review for Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon because I wanted to see what other reviews were like and get a sense of how the community was taking the extensive patch. See, I had been playing Warframe off and on since its release on PC back in 2013. I would not say I am a hardcore fan, but I do get caught up in anything Digital Extremes might say about Warframe.
You could say I am like a football fan that has never gone to a live game. I enjoy Warframe, but I can’t be bothered to become fanatical about it. Warframe will always hold a place in my heart as one of the best games ever made right next to World of Warcraft (which I haven’t played in over a year, but I probably should because BlizzCon is coming). My review of Plains of Eidolon is partly fanatical because I got to see it for the first time at TennoCon17, but it is mostly unbiased in what I have experienced. Plains of Eidolon is a massive redirection in thinking for Digital Extremes that pushed the studio into a very scary direction for the game. I applaud them for constantly asking the question, “What can we do to make our game better than it has ever been?” Seriously, just keep asking that question and making it happen.
The first thing you see before you go to the Plains of Eidolon is Cetus. If you are a new player, you need to get your feet wet with a couple of missions and kill Vor before you can go to Cetus, but once you get there, it will be full of people and NPCs. It feels very alive even though there are not very many NPCs you can talk to. The ones you can talk to either give you missions or sell you goods from gaining reputation from the missions.
If you have some extra Platinum you bought with real money, I would suggest not buying anything right away as a new player. Most if not all weapons in Warframe are good at low levels by themselves, but once you start getting mods that are when your weapons start to feel powerful and unique. Personally, I love most of the weapons that have been in the game for several years over a lot of the new ones. My mods are what makes my weapons. So, if you are new to Warframe, just do some window shopping before you go out on the Plains to gain reputation. For the veteran players, I would buy the style of weapon you feel fits your play style. I like the Volnus the best.
I did not spend much time in Cetus because I wanted to get out on the Plains and start my rep grind and gather materials for things like the vulture pet. What surprised me the most about Cetus was a number of quests Konzu had right away. I thought there was going to be one or two bounties and a quest, but Konzu had a plethora of things for me to do. Another surprising aspect of Plains of Eidolon I was not expecting was the automatic grouping function when I took a quest and tried to enter the Plains. When I initially interviewed Sheldon Carter, that was not implemented yet, but from TennoCon to launch they made it happen flawlessly. Normally, I do random matchmaking whenever I play Warframe, and I felt a little disappointed at TennoCon I might have to really socialize to get a group in the Plains. Luckily for me, I could stay a hermit and play with other people. It was a nice surprise for me. It showed me the developers did not stop simply with their idea of Plains of Eidolon launch and pushed forward to please me… kind of.
Initially, I did not like the Plains because of all the foliage in my field of view, and it seemed like my Tenno was closer to my screen blocking my view. I had a hard time focusing on what I was shooting because there was too much going on in my field of view. After spending a few hours in the Plains, I got used to the camera angle and the plants around me. I started to feel more and more like a ninja. I started getting the hang of the Plains and found myself sliding down the side of hills shooting everything I could.
It was like going to a waterpark and splashing all the old people trying to sunbathe. The Plains felt very alive to me, and there was plenty to do. I had my bounty to do, I had materials to gather, and I had random people out on the plains I could help shoot things. I had a difficult time staying alive during the day and completing bounties, even though I have about 12 Warframes at max level and three times that in weapons. Most of the time when I failed a bounty it was because I was unfamiliar with what to do or what I was supposed not to do. After spending years in a hallway shooter, I was a bit lost in an open zone. I started getting used to it until night came.
At night, I was not prepared for the mechanics and grueling battle with the Eidolon Teralyst. It is defiantly something that is for veteran players because you will need to beat The Second Dream and The War Within quests to have the full functionality of your Operator during the phases of the fight. I still have not killed a Teralyst even though I have done all the required questlines to get to be able to kill one. It is still on my Bucket List to do, but I will need to farm a little bit more and get some better mods to do more damage.
The night is survivable at low levels though. That is something I did not expect and to be frank, I was a little disappointed I could survive the night just by avoiding enemies. That was my own personal vision of the night and not anything the developers guaranteed I would experience. I just assumed I would die a lot at night. The Plains offers a great amount of new content for Warframe, but it might not be apparent to new players. Warframe, in general, has a lot of content, but it is hidden behind a wall of experiences.
New with the Plains of Eidolon
The Plains of Eidolon have a lot of new things to offer to players from new to old. The expansion has new weapons, factions, fishing, mining, bounties, mod sets, flying, raid difficult Teralysts, pets, and a new Warframe. Not to mention the revamp of the Focus system that is more focused. These are all things that veteran players are excited about as they should be. For a new player, they just add more confusion on top of many more systems they are not familiar with in the game. The Plains and the new features of the Plains is not a place to start for a new player trying to see the joy of what Warframe has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Plains and everything is changed about the game, but it is not how you discover Warframe. Warframe is a game you experience over time to grow to understand the amazing systems it has to offer.
At the surface, Warframe has been an easy game to pick up and shoot something, but it requires a bit of time spent in the game before you really discover what it has to offer. Some call this grinding; others consider it is experiencing a game. I prefer the later. I’ve read a lot of reviews that have suggested Plains of Eidolon is not for new players and it is not a reason to get into the game. I agree and disagree at the same time. Yes, Plains of Eidolon is still Warframe and diving into the game in hopes you can spend 8-10 hours just in the new content is foolish. My time in the Plains only nagged at me wanting to go farm Hydroid Prime because that is what I have done for the past four years in Warframe. I would play the game to get the new Prime Warframes and weapons.
Hydroid is and always has been my favorite Warframe. Having Hydroid Prime is a massive goal of mine, and the Plains takes that away from me. As a new player, you are going to want to play the whole game to comprehend what the game has to offer fully. A person that expects the Plains to be the only place they are going to play is going to be extremely disappointed. There is a lack of mods, weapons, and group dynamics you cannot get out on the Plains. At this point, the hallway shooting is still the meat and potatoes of Warframe. My suggestion to new players would be to not go to the Plains until you have at least a full loadout of max level weapons, mods and a Warframe. I would suggest doing The Second Dream and The War Within because they are both some of the best quests in any game I have ever played. I got chills doing those quests.
On the other hand, Plains of Eidolon is for new players because it is something they should be dabbling and looking forward to playing more as they get to know Warframe the game as a whole. Even after 1000+ hours in Warframe I still have not experienced everything Warframe has to offer. If you ask me what the Arcane system is and what it does, I would just shrug because I have not experienced that system even though it has been in the game for years. I have not experienced anything beyond the normal planet shooting and the quests that have come out. I am still struggling with the Inaros, Limo, and Harrow quests. I love doing the quests for Warframes, but the prospect of getting Hydroid Prime is my main focus now. That is what makes Warframe exciting for new players, having the options. Plains of Eidolon adds another option to new a new player’s plate. It is daunting at times to have that many options and not know where to start, but that is what makes any living game exciting.
Final Score: 8.5
- Beautiful New World!
- Giant change in Warframes direction
- New Focus System is more focused
- Gara Quest great incentive for new players
- New Weapons, mods, pets, and stuff!
- Lack of direction for new players
- Confusing NPC interaction in Cetus
- Hidden perquisites for full experience
- Not much to offer for new players