After years of TennoCons, people can see that Digital Extremes is no stranger to introducing new concepts war frame, from fishing to flying to what’s behind the frames. However, The Duviri Paradox surpasses all previous updates: it literally changes the way players can launch and play the game. First off, it takes the Warframes straight out war frame! (Temporarily, of course.) But that’s just the beginning. The Duviri paradox is also the first Roguelike-inspired expansion for the shooter. Add to that some very colorful – and colorless – characters, flying mounts, and pre-built loadouts, and you’ve got a fresh experience for new and veteran players alike.
Ahead of today’s release, I had the opportunity to sit down with Creative Director Rebecca Ford and Community Director Megan Everett for a live preview of the content and a discussion of the changes. As Everett put it, “The Duviri paradox will be The most accessible update in war frame.” These changes make this update a great opportunity for new players to try out the game and for old players to return.
A new beginning
First teased in 2019 and then highlighted even more at TennoCon 2022, the Duviri Paradox has been awaited by fans for quite some time. But this update isn’t just for seasoned space ninjas. not how Warframes previous expansions, this ensures that new players interested in the content can access it immediately after logging in.
One of the things that makes The Duviri Paradox so accessible is that fresh installs of the game can choose which launch route to take, either the old school war frame Beginning or the new paradox intro. That’s not to say that experienced players are left out and need to create a new account (although I’m tempted!). Former account holders can also access Duviri instantly without worrying about completing specific tasks. Just like the new players, logging in is the only requirement to start the new content.
Ford and Everett point out that whichever path they choose, players will inevitably connect. Ford stated that players will “never be deprived of an experience, they will team up no matter what.” And she stressed that that time isn’t 10 hours in the future: “It’s not like they’re stuck in the paradox path for 25 hours.” The movie-heavy Duviri quest itself, which gives players the characters involved and the story introduces, lasts about 90 minutes.
Of course like other missions and open world areas everywhere war frame, players can continue playing in Paradox after the story is completed. Once the questline is complete, new players who have chosen the Paradox path can also choose to awaken on the Warframe page and then progress through all the questlines and stories there.
Since players do not have an orbiter as their home base during the Duviri content, a new dorm zone will be introduced. This is where players running the paradoxical content log into the game and have their own area. Ford quipped, “Realistically, this update fulfills all the fantasies that gamers have these days of being in control of their emotions and owning a home.” She laughed, “At least that’s my fantasy!”
The villainous experience
You may be wondering what exactly are the roguelike elements in The Duviri Paradox. For one thing, each gaming session is a microcosm in itself; When you start, you start a new procedurally generated game session. Each session is literally and thematically colored by one of five specific emotions. These sessions, called Spirals, let the player reset their instance-based mods called Decrees (40 will be available at launch and future updates will add more) and restart the game from the beginning. Each mood spiral lasts two hours before transitioning to another, with Ford noting that playing through all six chapters of each spiral’s content and the final boss fight would take between 25 and 35 minutes.
During surface play, Drifters choose between three Decrees at various times to build their power and skills. Note: these decrees are only available to the vagabond in the paradox and not to the one present in other parts of the game. However, the quirks players choose for their Drifter and the perks they can choose are permanent and will not reset.
Another roguelike element is the way players choose their gear. The tutorial aspect at the beginning lets players select the gear they will use as both Drifters and Warframes in this area. Everything is basically borrowed for each game session. The Warframes will also have preset loadouts, rather than the ability to modify individual pieces of gear to optimize play. This will help new players get acquainted with the frames without having to immediately learn the ins and outs of the entire modding system in the main game. Ford stated
“We really limited the amount of gear in this update because we wanted to [it] more on the gameplay and decree side, so all the things you would use in gear were kind of pushed into the decree and intrinsic line of mechanics.
Speaking of gear, it’s exciting that the Drifter in Duviri Paradox will now also have melee weapons, allowing players to face enemies and smash/slash them instead of just fighting from afar.
The lol in the war frame
Ford called Duviri Paradox sort of a mishmash of all the things developers love about games they wanted to see in war frame. Ford shared that this update was inspired by their game League of Legends during Covid, particularly in relation to the construction of the loaner. She stated that she really liked playing with the Loan Masters in ARAMs. “I don’t have to own every champion to play league with my friends,” she said. “We can just do ARAMs and I can dip my toes into different characters.” In Duviri, players get a taste of different Warframes even if they don’t own them in the base game. Ford called the Duviri paradox Warframes version of ARAMs “because you get rental gear, you can just play characters, and you can have this crazy co-op experience with this incredible open world and go.”
I personally think this is an amazing and much needed addition. I really got into the game myself when I found a Warframe that I enjoyed playing. By then it was more meh. However, once I played my Frost Prime, I just couldn’t put the game down, even if I wasn’t proficient. I got lucky: new players have never had a chance to test the feel of frames, and if they didn’t like what they picked, it’s easy to think the game just isn’t for them. Now they can meet Duviri and test all possible frames, possibly fall in love with some and move on.
With a side of Warframes
Wait, did I just say Warframes? Yes! While playing in the Duviri Paradox, players will adventure as Drifters; That doesn’t mean there aren’t any Warframes, though. While frames aren’t possible on the Spiral’s surface, there is a special location called Undercroft where players will use a Warframe to travel and fight. This area will have the same game modes that current players are familiar with, such as defense, survival, etc. Familiar faces will also be a part of the Undercroft: there is a mix of Grineer (new players will surely learn the war cry “Hol Clem!” ) and Corpus enemies along with the Dax of Paradox.
Of course there are a few big differences. As previously mentioned, these frames have preset loadouts rather than the ability to modify individual pieces of gear. The builds are all pre-made by developers and cannot be modified. The good news is that the mods that reside on gear have been exhausted! Also, a whole new Warframe will be introduced in Duviri Paradox. This frame called Stalker is only available during Duviri content and cannot be accessed in the rest war frame.
One thing that changes throughout each play session is that the Drifter’s Decrees will stack on top of the Warframe’s loadout as you play through the Undercroft. This will no doubt come in handy during the epic boss fights involving the different orowyrms at the end of each spiral (each emotion spiral has a different orowyrm).
But the update isn’t all about random fun or pixel-killing spree (as funny as they are). The Duviri paradox has a deeper meaning. Ford stated
“We really wanted to tell a story about giving up as a person, as an adult, as someone [who] feels that they have been living in someone else’s world and don’t really have their own agency. So basically our story kickoff is about processing emotions – processing feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and then getting to a point where the world somehow becomes different because you’ve made a choice to either accept help or yourself to change in other ways.”
During the story, players only experience three of the five available emotion spirals while an ambiguous narrator executes them. To play the others, players must continue to play through the paradox; The five emotion spirals cycle through a daily cycle and change every two hours.
Just because The Duviri Paradox struggles through the emotions of the great despot doesn’t mean that only combat is available. Like the other open-world areas, Duviri also features resource gathering as well as Maw fishing and even the ability to play music. Everett also spoke about how gardening is being introduced.
In other news, this update was jokingly referred to as the hair update during the preview. In addition to new hair shaders in the game, beards have also been introduced. (Not for the Warframes, sorry.) Drifters can also add face tattoos. Warframe versions of the Drifter melee weapons will also be available on the game’s frames page.
With the launch of The Duviri Paradox, war frame looks more tempting. Whether you’ve played before or not, this expansion seems like a good place to jump in. It’s the perfect time for me to introduce the game to friends who weren’t sure at first. And I look forward to playing it with them.