Warframe of Mind: The wonders of Whispers in the Walls, launching December 13


It’s almost here! Warframe’s anticipated Whispers in the Walls is launching tomorrow, and I’ll finally get to delve in. After learning more about it this past August at TennoCon 2023, then recently getting a deeper preview with Creative Director Rebb Ford and Community Director and Live Ops Megan Everett, I couldn’t help but look forward to checking it all out. Give me good atmosphere and I am a pretty happy camper, and Whispers in the Walls has that; this update caters to two of my favorite aesthetics, horror and gothic.

Ford described Whispers in the Walls thus: “It’s a very high contrast between the ornate gothic romantic labs of Albrect Entrati to the bleak vast eldritch Man in the Walls areas. The duality, the contrast, is key to the themes of the update.” How does this not just scream MJ?!

Showcasing these dual themes are the two new tilesets; I am eager to explore the labs tainted with glowing toxic goo as well as venture through the breakout areas where the Man in the Walls is vying for control. I look forward to trying out the two new mission types, alchemy and netracells, as well as the new grimoire secondary weapon. I am, however, undecided on what I think of the new radioactive concrete behemoth Qorvex. I’ll just have to try him out to see.

Obviously, as a story fanatic, I also want to dig into the narrative that explains what Entrati was doing creating those massive vessels and (humanoid) Loid’s part in everything, even as I know I am sure to be a bit frustrated in this endeavor, as Ford cautioned me that for every question that is answered, we’ll want to ask three more.

Getting a grimoire

Secondary weapons in Warframe have never been very interesting to me. Other than the flamethrower, they have basically just been a fallback for when my primary runs out of ammo. I’ve even turned to melee when I am carrying an object instead of using a secondary. However, I suspect that might change with the grimoire. One, I just love books. Two, it looks really cool. Silly reasoning I know, but hey, you play what you like, right? It also lends a more magic, romantic (era, not genre) feel to an otherwise very sci-fi game. Of course I’ll have to see how it feels during play, but it definitely holds the record as my most anticipated weapon to try out.

Everett touched a bit on the method for getting the book: There is a quest to discover it. She also noted that through the quest, we may notice that the book appears to be missing pages. Why is that, and where are they? I am intrigued to have story tied to the weapon, which also makes it more enticing to me.

Q is for Qookie, no, Qorvex

What’s a secret underground lab without a guard? Qorvex also joins the lineup as the 55th Warframe in Whispers in the Walls. His angle is unique: He’s a radioactive concrete behemoth who, as Everett explained it, was created by Entrati to protect the chosen Operator in the labs. His active radiation comes from his crucible core but is kept at bay by his concrete encasing. His powers include unleashing this radiation on foes as well as smashing them.

First, he can drop two concrete pillars that pulse, slowing enemies and inundating all within that radius with radiation damage. Second, his containment wall summons two massive concrete walls that slam together to squish everything in between as well as add radiation damage. Now that looks like fun! Additionally, if players squish the pillars, they will increase their damage pulse. Qorvex’s third skill is a buff for him and his allies that prevents status effects, and his fourth is the crucible blast — a frontal blast of radiation. This attack also works in tandem with the pillars: If the pillar is hit with the blast, it also increases the damage pulse.

Qorvex’s blueprint will be obtained as a reward when players finish Whispers in the Walls, which Ford estimates will take about an hour of play time. The resources to build the form will come from playing through the Entrati labs. He also comes with a heavy arc gun, the Mandonel. Here, Everett mentioned that archguns have been rebalanced a bit across the board; when players summon an arc gun as their heavy weapon, they will be granted the buff overguard instantly.

Life after the story

As exciting as new story is, it only can go so far. So what is there to do after completing the narrative of Whisper in the Walls? Well, we;re also getting two new mission types, the swarm assassination mission, the expanded archon shard system, more melee power, the tennokai technique, clan operation, and arcane distillation.

Everett explained the new alchemy mission, saying player will use the crucible to fuse elements, basically carrying on the experiments of Albrect Entrati while the Murmur try to stop it. Ford described it succinctly as an “elemental soup mission.” The netracells missions involve a maze where players need to get the key glyphs to open the vault. Ford noted that players will get an intro to this type in the quest, and then the plan is for the mission itself to be available to run once a week for some really rare rewards. Although players can do it solo, it is made to work with a group as each person on the squad chooses one of the four specific burdens/debuffs upon entering; a solo player must take all those debuffs alone.

The swarm boss assassination mode is the one where the many appendages come together to make the creepy boss. Ford said that the mode is actually a combination of two modes where players must first find the boss before defeating it. As she put it, “There’s a bit of a search and destroy flavor to it rather than just go to the waypoint and kill the boss.”

Another system players can delve more into is the archon shard system. Thank to knowledge gleaned from Entrati, players will be able to mix the base colors of shards to create entirely new colors of shards.

Although I wasn’t initially a fan of melee combat, Warframe has converted me. And Ford said that Whispers in the Walls improves on melee, making it more interesting. She explained, “You’ll be able to go deeper into melee after you play Whispers in the Walls.” It introduces both the the tennokai technique as well as adds new mods slots for the exilus melee mods and melee arcanes. The tennokai technique is a lost technique achieved with mods that allows players to use a heavy attack without spending their heavy combo counter whenever tennokai procs. Players will get one tennokai mod as a quest reward, while others are available by playing through the update after. A good candidate for the tennokai technique is the new Loid’s hammer weapon that players can earn in the update.

Although it will launch after Whispers in the Walls (Ford said DE wanted to give players time to complete the story), there will eventually be a new clan operation called Gargoyles Cry. Ford described it as “a way to provide some of the world’s reaction to everything that’s going on,” saying it’s “more of a lore and gear operation than a competitive one.” In fact, there will not be a competitive leaderboard in this event because of the holidays. Instead, players will meet new characters and learn what they think should happen next. There will also be a clan shop, which includes items like the first clan signa, a glowing laurel wreath.

And finally, arcane distillation will be introduced in the labs. Players who have arcanes that they don’t us can grind them down into dust and spend that dust on random arcane packs. There are six different packs, including Duviri and Eidolon.

A new year brings Gauss Prime

Although DE had hoped that it would happen with this update, Gauss Prime won’t be available until January. I can wait a bit more for the speedster to arrive, but once Everett announced the Gauss floof coming in the prime pack, I became impatient. Sorry, I am a sucker for floofs! This will be the first — and I certainly hope not the last — prime floof.

The speedster’s prime kit includes a full set of armor that reflects a lightning theme. Lightning bolts and sharp lines define the set. His alt helmet is even razor sharp, but in the form of a golden mustache. Gauss Prime’s weaponry includes the acceltra prime for primary and the akarius prime pistols for secondary.

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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