It is no secret how much I love Halloween, horror, and all things eerie and spooky, so learning about Warframe’s next update Abyss of Dagath both before and at TennoCon 2023 really hit the spot. Conveniently launching in October, it’s going to be an update I thoroughly relish during the perfect season. This update is part of a double dose of spooky goodness when coupled with the reveal of Whispers in the Walls, and combined with that, it cemented 2023 as what Creative Director Rebb Ford and I joked was Warframe’s “Year of Creep.”
Beyond the creepy elements of Abyss of Dagath, which include a themed dojo room and the new Dagath warframe itself, Tenno will discover a number of QoL improvements and a much-desired Hydroid rework. Also arriving near that time will be Grendel Prime.
D is for Dagath
First up to discuss in the Abyss of Dagath is the namesake herself, Dagath. She will be the 54th warframe in the game, and as Ford noted at TennoLive, she finally brings the letter D to the lineup. (Now we just need J,Q, and U to fill up the alphabet; I mean, even X has a ‘frame!) Of course, she is much more than just a letter! Dagath’s concept was originally designed by Keith Thompson. She is a mystery that Tenno will learn about from Grandmother Entrati through a new Naberus tale that will weave together deep lore on how she came to be and what she signifies.
Unlike her concept sketch, Dagath will (sadly) not come with an executioner’s axe; her melee weapon will be a blade and a whip. That said, while that axe did look pretty cool and I would love to see it (perhaps not in Warframe as DE Video Game Director Steve Sinclair asked for it jokingly for Soulframe during the press preview!), I also love whips: I will happily play Indiana Jones in space. Whips as a weapon are infrequent enough in games, and I am very interested in using it and seeing how the combo plays together in Warframe. Who knows, I may even become more of a melee monger with it!
Another spooky aspect of the update is the introduction of the very first horror-themed dojo room. Ford said that this room will be where Dagath’s soul will reside, and players will essentially get to build her crypt. This sounds like an addition of creepy decorations to really bring out the theme could be included. I hope so! I’d love to make a very Halloween-esque room that does not depend on infected pustules for the gore factor.
The treats of Abyss of Dagath
Handing out Halloween treats is a holiday tradition, and Abyss of Dagath will be giving some to players as well. It is, in Ford’s words, “the biggest quality-of-life update this year”
First off is what Ford called “a very comprehensive and thorough companion rework”:
“The main objectives for this rework really come down to the way you interact with them at a mission level: to no longer have permadeath, and no longer have bleeder states that take over your UI.”
Ford noted that instead of permadeath, companions will have a cool-down state, so players will no longer have to dread going in and losing their sentinels permanently. Everything for companions is being looked at and rebalanced, including mods. Points that were also emphasized at TennoLive include upping the companion’s health by about 50% and that the player’s gameplay will impact the companions’ return to battle. There will be a focus on interacting and cooperating more with your companion and basically building your bond.
For those who find enemies hard to see in battle, Warfame’s Design Director Pablo Alonzo shared that the team is increasing accessibility by adding several visibility options. These will give players a way to highlight or otherwise visually define enemies better and see things like footprints. The refresh includes the options to add outlines, change colors, change light/color intensity, and so forth.
Other incoming QoL changes include auto melee (no more spamming E!), a focus acquisition rework, and the removal of flawed mods and MK-1 weapons. Folks will learn more about all these in the September devstream.
A final component of the update announced is that Abyss of Dagath will include some under-the-hood prep work for the upcoming cross-save release.
Happy for Hydroid rework
When Ford mentioned that the community was really wanting a Hydroid rework, she wasn’t kidding. When the rework was announced at TennoLive, the room erupted with possibly the loudest cheers and applause for the night! Ford said there was much discussion back and forth on how to make his kit more competitive in current Warframe meta. Alonzo shared that the rework will include streamlining as well as a new skill and changing a passive. I just really, really hope DE doesn’t get rid of my puddle ability because puddling is the best gameplay! I just find way too much fun in drowning all the nearby enemies. For the deeper dive on Hydroid changes, Tenno will need to watch for the September devstream.