Today, Digital Extremes hosted a completely virtual version of its annual TennoCon event where they fully revealed Warframe‘s Heart of Deimos expansion. The new expansion takes players to an Infested-dominated version of Mars’s 2nd moon, where the Heart that sustains Tenno is in danger of being destroyed.
Earlier this week, DE offered us a peek at the new content, giving us a look at the new map and assocaited systems. There was a bit of story, but we won’t go into that in-depth here. If you’d like an early look you can take a look at the TennoLive VOD.
Deimos is the game’s newest open-world map and it is filled with life of the worst possible kind — pods, tentacles, weird glowing plants, giant insect-like critters, flying fish (of course), and more. It features some of the biggest open world enemies in the game, ones so large that when they’re not moving they look a bit like watchtowers.
Speaking of large monsters. The infested exist in a bit of a cycle controlled by two giant worms locked forever in combat. The worms — a blue one known as the Moon and an orange one, the Sun — “kill” each other over and over again. When one dies and the other takes control and the behavior of the Infested changes. In both cases the Infested are always active, but when the Sun is in control they become even more active and more aggressive. Think of it as a type of day/night cycle.
Progression-wise, the focus on the Infested in this update makes another important change to the game, further awakening the Helminth residing on your ship and introducing the new Helminth Chrysalis system. The Helminth is a living, breathing creature that’s been in-game for about 4 years. Now, in addition to hanging out in his room looking like Audrey II, he offers players a way to modify their Warframes — at a cost.
When the update arrives, players will be able to “borrow” abilities from one Warframe to use on another. By “borrow” we mean you’ll have to feed the Warframe the ability is coming from to the Helminth, who — when the Warframe has been fully digested — will then inject the recieving Warframe with the ability.
It’s important to note a few things here.
- First, the sacrificed Warframe is just that. When the process is over, it will be gone. You can not sacrifice a Prime Warframe.
- Second, the developers have determined a set list of abilities for reach Warframe that can be used on another one, and it will never include Ultimates.
- Third, modified Warframes can only have one Helminth-related ability implemented at a time. The good news is that you can remove these abilities and they’ll still be available for you to use later without needing to consume a duplicate Warframe. They can also be used on as many Warframes in your roster as you like.
In addition, the Helminth has its own ranking system and will eventually offer access to abilities unique to itself. This means there will be some abilities you can acquire without sacrificing other Warframes. You will, however, have to feed him other things. But you’d have to do that anyway. The Helminth has what are known as secretions, and it is up to you to make sure those stay maxed out if you’d like him to do any augmentations. This is done by feeding him various items that fill in the meters associated with each secretion. He’s also a bit picky, so you’ll have to keep an eye on what he does and does not like when you give it to him.
Or course, there are a few other interesting systems that have been added or updated. The Conservation and K Drive systems have both been updated to compliment some of the creatures that exist on Deimos. On the moon, you’ll come across a creature that looks like a giant dragonfly. This big bug is known as the Velocipod and can, in fact, be conserved. However, you can also choose to hop on his back and use him to get around, much like you would with a K Drive.
Since the Velocipod functions like a K Drive, it will be getting the same treatment when it comes to combat. So, players will now be able to use their secondary weapon when mounted on either.
Another interesting feature being added to the game is the Necromech systsem. This system allows players to use their operator to control a powerful mech that may be handy when dealing with the stronger Infested. These mechs can be commandeered on Damios, but players can also obtain one of their own that they can keep in their inventory and summon for use.
Now, at the end of the demo, there was some time for a brief Q&A session. Mike was the one who actually attended so these are his questions.
MMOB: What’s the size comparison for Deimos, both in area size compared to previous open zones and in hours of story content compared to previous open zones?
DE: On paper Deimos is a more dense map, and therefore smaller. It does, however, had a lot more verticality both above ground and below.
MMOB: Any update on cross platform progression?
DE: Nothing yet.
MMOB: Does the ability to summon a Necromech at will include areas outside of HoD zones?
DE: All open worlds will support Necromechs.
And there you have it, a (semi) brief rundown of the things coming in the Heart of Deimos expansion. The new content is slated to release on August 25 on ALL systems. That’s right. Nobody is going to be stuck waiting for the content to come out on their platform of choice while other people are playing it. That’s pretty exciting news.