At Tennocon this weekend, Digital Extreme’s yearly Warframe convention, developers announced the game’s most radical update yet: a change to the base game which would turn it into the open world MMO players (like myself, at first) have always wanted.
Steve Sinclair (@sj_sinclair on Twitter) shared that the game would first reveal a 9-square-kilometer area known as the Cetus relay:
Plains of Eidolon is finally revealed – 3 months of work to reset the bones of Warframe. 3x3km to start, seamless from Cetus relay and back.
Later on, he shared severalvideos of earlydevelopmentfootage of the update, which reminds me a bit of the look that Horizon: Zero Dawn had. The Cetus relay, a common area for up to 50 players, boasts a large map, trading posts, and a new alien race.
Rebecca Ford, in an interview with PCGamesN, stated that “We think, hope, and strongly believe that this is what players have wanted the whole time.”
Given the fact that Warframe was, in the past, confined to narrow hallways instead of open areas, it made it difficult to see why there was such a robust movement system in place after the game’s 17th major update. Flying around down corridors was amazingly fun, but quickly wore off. With Plains of Eidolon coming (hopefully) soon, it may be enough to draw me back into Warframe for a while.
That, and we finally will be able to squad up in groups of more than four. Eventually.
Until the update launches later this summer, we’ve been given a 17-minute look at what the new update brings:
Following Nintendo’s Splatoon 2 Direct yesterday, we were introduced to the new duo that hosts Splatfests, Marina and Pearl.
The successors to Callie and Marie form the duo band Off the Hook. In addition, Nintendo announced that the first Splatfest for Splatoon 2 would be July 15th. Released as a free demo the week before Splatoon 2 comes out, Nintendo is giving those with a Switch to try the game before its official release.
Pearl, the inkling of the dynamic duo, is rooting for cake, and Marina, an octoling, sides with ice cream. This is the first we’ve seen of octolings in Inkopolis. Further, it raises the question: are there more octolings afoot in Inkopolis? Only time will tell.
Our runners find out what’s wrong with Rizzo and ask the technicians to run some tests on Tablespoon, Teaspoon’s lost brother.
It’s a new episode of our Shadowrun series, The Coda Conlfict! You’ll notice we have a new cover image, courtesy of our own Kennedy. It features myself, as GM, the characters I’ve created for the show, and everyone’s player character as well. It was an absolute monster of a commission and I’m really happy with how it turned out.
Sorry it’s a short one! Oddly enough the length was a lot more manageable so we’ll try and keep these to an hour or so from now on. If you’d like more, or if you want to get interactive with the story, hop into our suggestions channel in our Discord server.
We’ve been busy this week working on things behind the scenes once again. The weekly installment of our podcast will be out at 2PM today, and on YouTube at 11AM tomorrow.
For now, I’ll leave you with a teaser of our upcoming podcast, Encryptid. Featuring Deanna and Kennedy, Encryptid is a show about conspiracy theories and things like Bigfoot. The audio comes out normally, as a podcast would, and the video is the prize of the whole ordeal. It’s like a scavenger hunt and a short TV show rolled into one.
We are also bringing you the first episode of our D&D series as soon as we can. Greg’s working on the story and getting a good backlog of episodes. As one can imagine, it’s difficult to get eight people together for an extended period of time since we’re all pretty busy.
Episode six of The Coda Conflict is out, and things really start to pick up plot-wise. A new cover image for The Coda Conflict is in the works, from our very own Kennedy. Hopefully that’ll come around with the next episode. Not this Sunday, but the one after.
As always, you can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Follow us on all of those channels to get updates as soon as they happen.
We’ll leave you, though, with the cover image for this podcast:
Join our runners as they dabble in biotech, drag, and get a speedy escort to the Godless Republic after meeting with a familiar face.
From now on, we will be highlighting our tabletop videos on the site, but they come out on YouTube first. You probably know it already, but subscribe if you want new episodes as soon as we release them.
PAX East Highlights – Dipped in Neon and Bleeding Synth
There was a trend in the things displayed at PAX East this year, and it’s one I’m happy is making its way into the mainstream. That’s right, folks, we’re getting cyberpunk, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. Welcome to the world of neon lighting, driving synth-based music, and themes of grappling with the big bads in charge of corporations. Buckle up.
As many of you know by this point, a whole slew of us, dare I say all of us, were at PAX East this past weekend. We walked the show floor, touted a really cool geofilter on Snapchat, and had a good time. A lot of time was spent in the Twitch Prime Lounge, and the few of us that had energy abounding got to play nearly every game we wanted. But more on that later, in our upcoming PAX recaps! They’ll be out over the next week or so.
In addition to our individual recaps, we have a yearly tradition of doing one final show floor walk on Sunday. We recorded the footage and are currently putting it together. Again, it’ll be out sometime next week and we will cross-post it basically everywhere.
In the vein of video features…
We’re doing our best to work on a lot more of them! There are a lot of things happening behind the scenes, and we’ve been saying that for a while, but this time it’s true! In addition to our weekly Twitch streams (we were on hiatus this week because of PAX), we’re planning more. Several of us are working on putting together something for our YouTube channel, and those will be coming in the next several weeks.
We’re also working on extracting highlights from our streams and our podcasts. It’s for anyone who misses it, as it can sometimes be hidden in our main content.
And that’s it, folks. That’s what we’re up to and what we’re planning. There will be more of these weekly updates in the future– ideally weekly, but definitely after larger events like PAX East and other conventions around town.
I’m going to start out being completely honest. I did not play many games that came out this year, but I do have a clear pick for game of the year. Things like Stardew Valley and Dark Souls III didn’t catch my interest enough to continue past the first little while. I bought games that turned out to be complete flops, but for some ungodly reason I still enjoy. There are games that I had never even heard of that I ended up loving. Though I say I didn’t play many games this year, I can certainly fill out a list of five (well, four plus one update) that I enjoyed more than others, and I daresay I thought were better.
Or, the Foundation Update to this past summer’s smash hit. We’ve heard a lot about No Man’s Sky in the three months that it’s been out, and most of it was that it was pretty lacking. And chances are, if you’re reading this, you know exactly what was missing. Since then, Hello Games has been on a bit of a trip. Out of the office, off of social media, and even into territory some (most) would call a PR Nightmare.
The tweet in question, albeit proven fake, was a distinct look into how much of a mess No Man’s Sky came to be. Initially, I wrote about how No Man’s Sky was a pretty relaxing game if taken at face value.
I still stand by that. No Man’s Sky can be pretty relaxing if you forget all of the hate that the Internet’s thrown at it. Some of it, like the mild distaste with the release of an objectively bad game, is justified. The threats, the call for the ASA investigation for false advertising… as a whole it definitely went too far.
That being said, I did return to No Man’s Sky after the Foundation Update was released. If you listened to our podcast this week then you’ll understand some of my feelings on it as a whole. I did say in the podcast that I hadn’t found a base yet, and that was quickly remedied after I got home and played for a total of 10 minutes. If you’re stuck on PC, press Z and build a signal booster. You’ll find a base much, much faster than just walking around aimlessly.
Please note that for the rest of this article, I’ll be talking about Creative mode. I haven’t had the chance to play the Foundation update in either Survival or Normal modes. If you’d like to hear me actually process thoughts on the update, that can be found in episode 42 of our podcast (linked above).
And now, on with it.
If you’re here for a short sentence: I like it.
What the Foundation Update did for No Man’s Sky was, at first glance, make it a lot like Minecraft. This was my original gripe with the update, and that’s what the patch notes sounded like. You can build things, you can craft things, and most importantly, manage your inventory. No shame in trying to reinvent the wheel unless you’ve got bad PR to work with.
What burnt me out entirely on Minecraft, though, was that it all seemed very finite. Farming, redstone crafting, and other “advanced” techniques didn’t appeal to me and produced little gain since, surprise, I played in Creative mode 90% of the time. I didn’t want to fight and kill countless enemies to get hundreds of one item that leads to the “final boss” when thrown. Minecraft got really boring if you weren’t into both crafting and mining, and I didn’t (still don’t) have the patience to build massive structures block-by-block, even though I appreciate what people can do in the game.
What burnt me out on No Man’s Sky initially was, honestly, all the negativity surrounding it. I’m pretty easily influenced, so even though I liked the game, I didn’t want to say I was playing it. After all, it’s a bad game, and Hello Games is a bad company for publishing the game and stringing its fanbase along for the ride, right?
Improvements and Additions
The update brought on a bunch of things that the game was missing. A home base, arguably something that every space explorer needs, is the most obvious addition. Finally, in this massive expanse of space, there’s a place to call home. That’s huge. Among other things, it offers access to better technology for the ship, mining laser, and exosuit, a way to fast travel to space stations, a place to trade rare materials directly from your base, and interaction with other beings. You can now hire aliens to work on new blueprints for you.
If I recall correctly, there are new elements and blueprints for crafting, though maybe I hadn’t reached that point in Survival mode, even after twelve hours in. Farming provides constant access to rare materials, provided you have enough for the plant in the first place. Upgrading ships and the multitool is far easier in Creative mode: there’s no cost associated with the trade. This goes for drop pods as well for extra suit inventory.
Control-wise, ships still sail like boats. It’s something we just have to get used to at this point.
As far as diverse environments go, I think there’s a lot more variety in how planets are generated and the flora and fauna they contain, too. Creative mode lacks combat and I think I’ll stick to it for a while, and the one thing I really want is a toggle for combat in Normal mode as well. At this point it’s the one thing keeping me from going back.
I look forward to playing No Man’s Sky for a while to come. The first and foremost thing that the update did was demonstrate that Hello Games is actually interested in making the game better. That alone says that there’s something there, despite their obvious blunders.
I’m still pretty hesitant to say that I like No Man’s Sky without any justification, but here I am. I do like it, for the most part. Like anything, it has its flaws and it’s not perfect. But it’s better, and it’s getting better. I look forward to a time where people really overlook the flaws it has and take it at face value. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen, but hey, I can dream.
All screenshots of No Man’s Sky in this post were taken by Deanna Minasian.