This is a quick post about three “End-Game” projects we have in the works for 2014. I will be brief because U12 is looming… Before we begin, Caveats:
- “Always in motion is the future.” (Yoda voice) We are pushing to get these out Soon™ but there are always problems, failures and mutations. Names are placeholder, idealism is rampant!
- “That’s not End Game, jerkface!” End Game is ethereal and hand-wavy. For me it’s a combination of ‘what happens when you hit level cap. What things exist that add systemic replay?’
- “But you haven’t fixed Volt!” The post is future-facing only. We are continuing, in parallel, to address on-going issues. Technical, balance, lore, new-user experience, UI, enemy diversity, mission depth, conclaves… these things are set aside to simplify.
When a piece of gear hits rank cap you start earning points to unlock player abilities that they can activate as a form of ‘avatar state’ / ‘demon mode’.
- Focus is classified – currently we have Warrior, Guardian, Tactician, Ward, Elemental and Channeling. You install a ‘Warrior Lens’ on your maxed Rhino to start earning Warrior Focus. Maybe you put a Warrior Lens on your other maxed gear to really ‘focus’.
- All XP on a Focused item that goes above Rank 30 goes toward earning a Focus Point.
- You spent your Warrior points to unlock things from a tree-like set of skills. Example is, you buy ‘Taunt’ for 3 points which makes all enemies focus on you.
- Every Mastery Rank gives you a slot. Mastery Rank 4? You can install 4 Focus Powers.
- All of these Focus Powers add up to the cool-down cost. Later on I can spend Focus to reduce it, but out of the gate my Focus can only be activated every hour.
- Just before my team faces Vay Hek, I kneel and focus. I hear my Void-twisted heart beating. I prepare to unleash.
Factions and secret organization emerge. Working for them earns ranking within their organization and unique benefits.
- Expanding on the Gradivus Dilemma, we track player choices. XP earned on behalf of a specific faction is accumulated into a Mastery Rank-style progression for each group.
- Working for one side may impact the attitude of another… that said we don’t want you to dig too big a hole so we may soften this affect.
- Secret Organizations exist that Tenno can embrace or reject – performing missions, special alerts, small quests allow you to rise through their ranks. The Red Veil assassins, the Oracles of Saturn… Proxy War grows the lore as well.
- Sacrifices must be made – similar to how Mastery Rank is increased through tests, rising through Orders requires sacrifices to be made. The Veil may want a Bane mod, the Oracles may want Orokin technology. Earning favor will not be easy.
- When your sacrifice is met and your standing increased you’ll be granted exclusive benefits… the Grineer may share Grenade designs, the Oracles have Mod designs unheard of.
- If you’re in a Clan, the Clan becomes the sum of its parts. An organized Clan may concentrate their players to earn favors from some factions and organizations.
Clans and Alliances own parts of the Solar System. They construct a Solar Rail then deploy to an open (or contested) area allowing everyone to play… but they set taxes on missions run there. Monopolies rise and fall. Territorial battles break out for honor… and profit.
- New locations are discovered in the Solar Map, with rarer resources, harder bosses, better loot… but they are unreachable .
- A Clan (or Alliance) can collaborate on building Tower to connect it to the Solar Rail network. When it is build and deployed all Tenno can now run missions there. In essence, they’ve built a solar toll-highway.
- All missions run there have taxes applied to them – resources and credits – this rate is set by the Clan who build the Tower.
- Competing clans can build their own tower (maybe in secret) to challenge the area. When this happens, the area is locked into Tower Sabotage mode (against Orokin defenders, not PvP) – the Clans (and all players they convince to help) chose a side and try to destroy the opposing Tower (like a player-driven Invasion).
- If a clan has built up Favor with a faction they can call them in – making their Tower more difficult to destroy as Grineer Elites are brought in to help.
- Political intrigue grows, towers are built in secret, counter-attacks sprung, and rousing pleas for support play out over days of bloody conflict.
Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to share more surprises coming that go beyond these new systems. As it stands Focus is the furthest along right now, and I’m hoping a preliminary version rolls out shortly after U12. This year we intend to annihilate expectations with Warframe. We’re taking this foundation and rapidly growing into our ultimate game. A Space Ninja sim. An MMO-lite set atop of Science Fantasy. A player-driven looty-adventure sandbox. A rusty, bladed, cold-fusion, orbital Gamer-Joylaser… aimed directly at your head. Thank you for supporting us!