As a long-time player of Warframe, I have seen the game go through multiple phases. Whether that is the yearly cinematic quest to progress the main story of the game or a focus on consistent open-world releases. I could always expect certain things from the game overall.
But every now and then, there would be these crazy new ideas like Railjack. Where Warframe would go into space for ship-to-ship combat and crazy new missions and mechanics tied to it. As well as The Duviri Paradox, the recently released rogue-like mode where you would play in an open world as a human being instead of a warframe and take down giant metal serpents known as Orowyrms. While also doing random activities on horseback or taking down skeletal knights.
Warframe has these awesome ideas every now and then that spice up the gameplay variety. While also having their own dedicated stories and reasons to exist in the overall framework of the game. But that being said, Railjack and The Duviri Paradox are their own isolated things. They have their own stories but they more or less just complement the game while adding a lot more context to the main story. Back in the tail end of 2021 the main story of Warframe, however, crescendoed.
The New War was a nearly six-hour-long cinematic quest that wrapped up so much of where the game’s story was leading up to. But afterward, there have only been a few updates that offer some insight into the effects of The New War, and The Duviri Paradox was telling a story that felt like the counterpart of The New War. As we approach Tennocon 2023, I have no idea where the story in Warframe is going and I want to look at where it could go.
Who is the Next Antagonist to Focus On After The New War?
Despite the former main antagonist being out of the picture. There have been a few antagonists lurking in the background. I want to start with the most recent one and where his story could lead. Pazuul was introduced in Veilbreaker, a fantastic update that started a new focus on Warframe’s endgame. With the new Archons and the Archon Shard upgrade system. But in this update, they reintroduced both Kahl and Pazuul from The New War. Kahl’s place after that story is to try and save as many people as he can while sabotaging the new Narmer faction.
But his story is limited to three weekly missions that repeat themselves. They are fun to do but feel like a cycle that does not progress much. Especially when it comes to Pazuul specifically. He is a remnant of The New War and banters to the Tenno in Archon hunts. But he feels so minimal for such a major return and heartfelt dialogue. He speaks of the Tau System and how the Narmer can truly be set free by it while wallowing in sorrow from the betrayals he endured. But will there be new activities where we take on more of Narmer? Will more Archons rise up with more lore to learn of their origins? Will we go to a new location like Tau itself as a result? I am not sure, but I would also love to see more of what Kahl can do in the story moving forward.
While Narmer, Kahl, and Pazuul are interesting new additions that can lead to something, there are also some antagonists that have been sidelined. For instance the remaining Grineer Queen, and Alad V.
Leaders of Current Factions?
Obviously, when it comes to Alad V, he is a bit of a wildcard. He was a boss on Jupiter, then a friend in The Second Dream then an infested foe on Eris. His place in the main story and he feels like a neutral person overall. But, that being said, in The New War he went missing. Whether he is dead or was captured has yet to be confirmed by Digital Extremes. I would like to see what they could do with him and where his story ultimately ends. But unlike Alad V, the remaining Grineer Queen, Worm, has a lot more potential.
Before last year ended, Warframe had its Lua’s Prey update. This was a small yet lasting update on the game to tide over players until Citrine’s Last Wish and The Duviri Paradox. Despite it not having a story component, it did have a cinematic trailer explaining why the Tenno would need to return to Lua. Worm is still devastated by the loss of her sister and issuing an order to go to Lua is confusing. Not only because Lua feels like a graveyard for so many heavy lore stories. But due to the fact, there is a whole new room that added some perspective on the game’s most mysterious location, the Void.
The Yuvarium room has this rotating mirror that shows the locations around it in the void. For example, when it swings over Earth, you can see a giant blue wormhole instead of the planet. Confirming that the void is not a small place in Warframe, but an alternate reality. Worm could be looking for clues on how to use the Void moving forward, but to what end is still up in the air. Maybe to revive her sister? Or maybe something worse.
The Man in the Wall?
A character heavily referenced in so much of the later story content in Warframe is still so mysterious. The Man in the Wall is a being that in every bit of lore he is involved in becomes a horror story. Even one quest in the game that he is a part of is Warframe’s first foray into psychological horror territory. He is involved in so much of the game, even The Duviri Paradox. Where he has stolen entire portions of Duviri and is being warded off by Dominus Thrax. The newest antagonist that was introduced in Duviri.
From what is known about him, he is a being that resides in the Void and his origins are still unknown. Sythel in Duviri does state that “The First Scholar” spawned him from his fear of death. But he can sometimes appear as a child with lidless empty eyes and a creepy grin. That being said, what would Digital Extremes do with this story? Would he become the main threat after so many years of references? Does he become involved with Duviri and possibly Tau? Or does he remain just pulling strings in the background for more years to come?
I have no idea what his story would even be like. But I do want to see his story more than anyone else’s, sorry Pazuul.
A Mish-Mash of All Moving Forward in Warframe?
I do think since Angels of the Zariman is involved with The Man in the Wall. As well as Veilbreaker bringing Pazuul and Lua’s Prey bringing back Worm. They could start telling a singular narrative that involves everyone, including Alad V. I am very excited for the future of Warframe on the gameplay front. But when it comes to the story front, I have no idea what to expect and I do not know if I am excited either. All of the antagonists of Warframe that remain could have years of stories added to them. Even Thrax and he was just introduced.
But I hope they pick one and stick to them until their stories are over. The Man in the Wall has been referenced for so long, but we have a more direct presence from Thrax, Pazuul, and Worm. Introducing new factions like Narmer is great but so little has been done with them as they focus on Duviri. Will they drop Duviri and go back to Narmer? Will they drop both and focus on The Man in the Wall? I do not know, but I can be very optimistic that what stories they do tell with this cast, will be great nonetheless. I just hope that Tennocon 2023 gives me some much-needed clarity.