Warframe of Mind: The New War demo highlights story, playable NPCs, Caliban frame, and Harrow Prime


The New War is almost upon us: After a long wait  – and we do mean long, as Tenno have been looking forward to The New War since it was first teased back at TennoCon 2018 – Warframe’s next big story is ready to launch December 15th. But it looks to be worth the wait!

Ahead of this release, Digital Extreme offered a demo to show off the upcoming content. Rebecca Ford, Director of Community and Live Operations (as well as the voice of The Lotus), walked us through snippets of Act 1 of this three-part story arc, while sharing tidbits about what players can look forward to. Warning: If you haven’t made it through the main story lines in Warframe, there are spoilers ahead.

Locked when loaded

Before delving into the story, let me note one warning players need to take notice of: Once they begin The New War, there’s no stopping. Ford emphasized that players will want to be sure they have the Warframe and loadout they want to use when the click start because there will be no opportunity to change until it is complete. She quipped that there’s no swapping out for a better frame in cutscenes! On a more serious note, she also emphasize that there is no wrong warframe as it’s all down to just player choice and all frames can complete the mission.

In addition to not being able to change frames, players also can’t stop mission progress to go do other things in game. While this can seem odd or restrictive (I was taken by surprise when I personally experienced this in a previous mission; this time I will be prepared!), it’s part of the intensive nature of the story that one must work through all together. When you start, this adventure is locked in until your finish. And Ford emphasized it is a very long quest (all three acts are being released together), so only enter when ready! Oh, and it is exclusively solo, so keep that in mind as you prepare.

How long is The New War? Ford told me that it is longer than the sum of its prewar predecessors. She said she spent four hours on the prewar quests combined, and four hours on The New War. Before starting, players will have to have completed The New War prelude as well as have a Necomech or a Railjack.

Warframe without ‘Frames

While Warframe is known for its warframes, The New War is letting players experience gameplay in a new way. We’ve come to know Tenshin, but in this mission players get chance to play as both a Grineer and a Corpus, Khal 175 and Veso respectively. Ford noted that folks may not have realized in the gameplay reveal of TennoCon 2021 that players are actually playing as the other factions. This really brings together the feeling that the stakes of the war truly are all-or-nothing, with the other factions all fighting against the sentients.

Part of the gameplay Ford showed off was the middle of battle aboard your railjack. Although you don’t have other players there to assist you, Tenshin is accompanying you; Tenshin will help and will be the character you play as you board the enemy ship.

Return to your roots

Besides having the chance to play as other factions and get a deeper understanding of them, one of the most exciting parts I am looking forward to is the opportunity to learn more of your personal Warframe story. Even more enticing is that parts of The New War are not combat related. “The New War isn’t all about combat,” Ford stated. “It’s about as much of your story as it is the story of the war itself.” She then shared a video of part of Act 2m, which just so happens to highlight a snippet of life aboard the colony ship Zeramin 10-0. Pay attention, there is a test at the end! (Seriously.)

Ford continued by sharing that there will be a very robust cast coming to The New War, and that Act 2 is the longest part of the story arc. “[It] will include many, many twits and turns, surprises, and characters that perhaps we already know and fear, or know and love — depending on whom you ask,” she said.

Calling on Caliban

In the process of completing The New War, players can earn a new frame, Caliban. As Ford puts it, “You have to free him from the aberrant path he was consigned to by his creator Erra.” She described Caliban as having a very unique flair as he’s Sentient based. She also shared this: “Caliban is pretty exciting for me because I think the sound, art, and design team just crisped up al their executions in terms of building content around a Warframe.” Caliban will have his own animations, too; he will be the first male frame with a floating animation.

For a glimpse of Calibans abilities, check out the video below. His passive is adaptation (like sentients), and his active skills are Razor Gyre, Sentient Wrath (the Helminth ability), Lethal Progeny, and Fusion Strike.

Primes, skins, and other tidbits

What is a big update without a new Prime frame? The next frame to get prime treatment is Harrow. Harrow Prime brings Scourge Prime for a primary weapon, Knell Prime for a secondary, and the Nave Prime syandana. There is also a prime operator cosmetic that comes with Harrow Prime access; called Templar Prime, it is a full suit for the operator that Ford noted resembles priestly vestments. It thematically matches with Harrow Prime.

More deluxe skins that follow The New World’s theme are coming; Mesa gets the projectilyst skin and Volt gets the electrolyst skin. Both skins are very sentient-themed, but Volt’s has an added flair of a hollow frame that is filled with channeled electricity.

In other tidbits, Ford offered an insight to the moon and sun choices that players have been making throughout their Warframe experience. When asked whether these choices will have an impact in The New War, Ford explained, “The way that the sun moon choices have played out has been over time, and we don’t necessarily want someone to be locked let’s say into a decision they made in 2016 here in 2021.” Remember, those choices were a long time ago and cannot be remade.

“So what we’ve done is we have the sun and moon elements present in The New War in a way that the choices you make at this point are effectively for the quest built on everything you have learned about the son and moon up until now,” Ford said. “You are not locked into anything kiddos, but there is a role that sun and moon plays.”

Additionally, Ford answered the question of whether or not The New War will have any complex group content. Simply put, no. After all, it is an exclusively solo mission. However, how things play out in The New War should give players an idea of what’s to come. “It should be pretty clear once you play through the quest where we intend to go with boss fight-like content in a post New War world in 2022,” Ford shared.

Finally, for those who want the best experience, Ford recommends players use the enhanced renderer if they can. “The New War has some content that’s tailored to the enhanced renderer only in regards to lighting,” she said.

Pick a ‘Frame, any ‘Frame! The Warframe galaxy is in danger, Tenno, and Space Mom needs help to combat it. Are you in the right Warframe of Mind to join in? MJ Guthrie has enlisted; she suits up in her favorite ‘Frames biweekly to fight the good fight, blasting the Grineer and Infected into smithereens.
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