Empyrean is coming soon to Warframe, and now is the perfect time to get ready for it. Empyrean is not supposed to be an update to add more places to go; it is a foundation to bring players closer together. For beginners or people that have only played Warframe on and off over the years, Empyrean is just going to add to the confusion. It will just bring them closer to staring at the star map with no clue as what to do next. The new systems implemented with Empyrean might help bring the existing players closer together, but for a casual player that does not have a clan or has not opened half the star map, the new system might as well be a spicy Popeyes chicken sandwich.
Warframe is an extremely fun game, but it takes a lot of the player’s willpower to overcome the dead zones in the game progression system. From my experience playing the game for six years and on four different platforms, I’ve become friends with Warframe burnout in the early game. When you first start the game, the new player tutorial (not the new, new, new one that is coming in the future), you get introduced to the game with the quest Vor’s Prize. Vor’s Prize will take you to three planets and several different mission types to help you understand the basic mechanics of the game. Once you complete Vor’s Prize the game dumps you into the unforgiving grind. At this point, a lot of new players stare at the star map for hours, not knowing what to do next. The game does give the player several options as to what they can do next, but it all becomes overwhelming. This is the point where there is a large falloff of new players in Warframe.
One of the biggest flaws with Warframe now is keeping the momentum of engaging players in the story of the game. There are over a dozen voiced quests in the game that are amazing to play, but finding out how to get to them and play them is the hard part. Warframe is a free to play game, so it has to be designed with some roadblocks in the content to make a player want to get weapons, warframes, cosmetics, and materials through the marketplace. When I first started playing the game, I spent most of my money thinking a new warframe was going to solve the problem of my lack of progression. I believe most new players still think that a different warframe will help them get past the dead spots in the game so they can continue the story. The truth is, all the starter warframes are more than capable of playing all the way through the whole game. It is the expectation that a new warframe or new weapons will magically propel the player’s game forward that makes them stop playing. I have a few simple tips to help new or on-off players to get ready for Empyrean.
- Forget about buying anything from the marketplace and build the weapons and warframes you got for free. It is not your warframe or your weapons holding you back; it is the mods. Even in the early parts of the game, there are essential mods you can get. The common mods in the game are great to use and will build your power the more you “level” them up. I built my Excalibur with only common and uncommon mods and was able to play in mission with enemy levels of 30-50 with no problem. No, the mods are not end-game or the best to min/max build, but I can play the game and survive almost all the mission in the star map.
- Do the quests and complete one planet at a time. Unfortunately, there are some annoying roadblocks in being able to start some quests. One of the most annoying systems that are currently in place is, completing planet nodes to get to the junction points to do a checklist of items. Once you complete Vor’s Prize you want to move on to the next quest to keep the excitement of playing the game going, not a “honey-to-do” list for Lotus. It becomes frustrating when you have to open up specific mission nodes that are not played very often, to get to progress in your story. Even though the game has 100’s of thousands of players playing most of the time, some mission nodes are dead and avoided. Low-level Interception missions are the worst to find groups to complete. The Archwing missions are even worse. Personally, I wish all the mission nodes were open to players if they have completed the junction missions for that planet. The junction missions themselves will keep players from quickly completing the star map and going into missions that they could be useless in. The problem is having to trudge through each node just to have to grind a checklist of items on dead nodes. The best way to quickly open up the star map is to find the fastest route to the next junction point that does not involve missions that require a full group like Interception, Spy, or Rescue missions. If you can, stick to the popular mission nodes like Defense, Mobile Defense, Sabotage, and Assassinations, you will open the junctions faster. Most of the time those mission types will have players farming them.
- Whenever possible, do Relic (Void Fissures), Invasion, and Alerts, and special timed alert mission. The great thing about these special missions are, they always have people doing them, and they give rewards that will help you. Even if you do not have the mission node opened, look on the star map and figure out a way to get there. A lot of the time other new players are doing the same thing, and even underpopulated nodes become hotspots for groups. Before you know it, you will have the whole star map opened and a whole bunch of weapons, warframes, and sentinels to build in your Foundry.
Empyrean is going to bring players closer together, but before that happens, players need to be in a comfortable place with their game progression. Warframe takes planning to get through the star map and build a strong loadout to take on the toughest enemies. If you hit a roadblock in your game, take a step back from the way you were going and have fun just killing everything you can.
If you are a veteran of Warframe, what are some tips you have to keep new players progressing through the dead spots of the game?