TennoCon 2017 Interview - Sheldon Carter on Eidolon
During TennoCon 2017, I had an opportunity to sit down with one of the developers of Warframe to ask a few questions. My fist question I asked about the size of the map. During the interview, he stated the map was about 3 square kilometers, but since then the map has grown to 9 square kilometers. The game Warframe is constantly growing and the developers pride themselves on thinking of new ways to prevent stagnation in their game. Plains of Eidolon (PoE) is the next evolution in how we will play the game. I sat down with Sheldon Carter to get an idea of what PoE was going to bring to Warframe in the future.
MMORPG: Do you plan on expanding the PoE or adding more maps to Warframe like PoE?
Sheldon Carter: This is Warframe. It depends on what we and the fans think of the new map. In time, we might look at each planet throughout the solar system and find ways for the player to have a way to have free roam exploration elements. There are a lot of new systems coming with Plains and we are hoping to discover new ways to bring new and exciting things to the players.
MMORPG: Seeing Archwing played in the demo was very exciting to me, is there any plans to have under water elements to the new map?
Sheldon: You mean add elements like Sharkwing to Plains? Technically I cannot think of any reason why we could not do anything like that, but right now we do not have anything like that right now for it.
MMORPG: When we were watching the press demo, Rebecca said she did not want to hit the water. Is there something about the water in PoE?
Sheldon: Yes, there are things about the water in the Plains. That is where all the ancient sentients are, but I am not sure how far we are going to go with things like that. She was more worried about what she was going to do from a combat perspective not really the water itself. These are things we are thinking about, but like we say on our Devstream, “Please do not hold us to the fire.” They are just ideas and nothing definite right now. Right now, in theory, we love the idea of these things coming up out of the water and we like the idea the water is dangerous. But we have not have done enough game testing ourselves to see what the debuffing is for water right now. For example, we showed Hydroid Prime, and he is centered around water. Should there really be something like that for him? You brought up the Sharkwing too. Shouldn’t you be ok in the water that way too? Right now, there are still a lot of questions about that and we are still looking into it, but the goal right now in PoE is the waters should be dangerous.
MMORPG: You showed plans for customizable weapons, are there any plans for Archwing weapons to be customizable too?
Sheldon: Right now, we are only prototyping melee weapons. We wanted to see how we could mix and match with a modular weapon system, but our goal would be to take that system to all the weapons eventually. I do not see any reason why it would not apply to Archwing weapons too.
MMORPG: I have always been interested in Archwing and the possibility of secondary weapons on the Archwing like grappling hooks, harpoons, or some type of weapons to pull enemies towards you while in Archwing. In Plains, the enemies might be spread out, and you might want to pull a guy off the ground to you. Have you thought of anything like that for Archwing?
Sheldon: Right now, we want to see the current possibilities Plains is going to bring to Archwing. People are going to be playing with Archwing a lot more, which I think is going to be great. I think the byproduct of them playing it a lot more is going to change how we go forward with Archwing.
MMORPG: How many NPC quests are planned with the launch of PoE right now?
Sheldon: That is a good question. There is a number, but I do not want to pull a random number out of my ass. I can get with Doug or Meredith, and they can answer it for real. There is a number though. Currently, off the top of my head, I can think of at least three different quest givers, but organically I can think of several other quest types we are known for. For example, the modular weapons; the quest giver might want you to bring him a fish or other materials. There is that layer, and then there is the layer more like the quest you saw in the demo.
MMORPG: Are these quests going to be like the normal Warframe quests like defense, spy, mobile defense, or rescue? Or is it going to be more along the lines of adventure games like Zelda or Horizon Zero Dawn?
Sheldon: I think it is going to be more natural. We might lift some of the ideas from our current systems, but we are putting them more in places like sub-stations. But at the same time, you are in a large space and the player doesn’t have to be as linear. They can go to one point and defend it a little bit, but then quickly transition to something else if they want to. I think our initial offerings will be more along the lines of the adventure games you mentioned.
MMORPG: Is the matchmaking for the quests going to be like they currently are in the game or something different? For example, can I accept a quest and have random people automatically join me before I go out on the Plains?
Sheldon: Right now, you can accept a quest, but you would have to tell people in chat or people you choose, if they wanted to go with you. You have to squad up before you go out, but there is no reason why we could not expand on something like you mentioned. I have been focusing on other aspects of the patch, but the great thing about Warframe is, the system exists and I see no reason why we could not have random matchmaking for quests.
MMORPG: How hard are those sentient beings that come out at night?
Sheldon: They are hard. Right now, I am worried they are too hard, but then again we will have to see and tune them accordingly. We want new players to play on PoE and see those opportunities. We want them to think about how they are going to survive at night. The night content is going to be more the end game content. I hope that younger players aspire to do that stuff at night. It will make them want to go out and complete Second Dream, The War Within, and another quest. They will want to go get the gear to help them survive the night in PoE.
I wanted to thank Sheldon for taking the time to answer my questions during TennoCon. Currently, Plains of Eidolon is projected for a mid to late September according to Devestream #96. If you haven’t watched it yet, you should. The Devstreams are a great source of information and they will be showing more and more of PoE as we get closer to the release date.