Tennocon 2019 recap: Warframe content updates and more

Digital Extremes
Digital Extremes /

New concept art, 3D renders, trailers, gameplay footage, and updates were announced for Warframe at Tennocon.

Tennocon 2019 is just about wrapping up, and the gaming sphere is still taking in the previews, trailers, and new updates for Warframe. Being the fourth Tennocon so far, it was bigger than the last with more cosplaying, an evergrowing community and an overall appreciation for the game.

Before the main event (TennoLive), we did see many new 3D renderings and concept art for upcoming weapons, Warframes, and skins. They’re looking more individualistic and fitting the themes of the forthcoming updates, and I cannot wait to grind the materials and platinum needed to acquire them.

Excalibur Deluxe concept by Liger Inuzuka

Harrow Deluxe skin concept by Samuel Compain-Eglin

Ash Deluxe concept by Arsen Asyrankulov

Ivara Deluxe skin concept by Mike Skyers

Nova Deluxe II by Pete Venters

At last, we are getting more weapon variety other than Orokin, Grineer, infested, or Corpus weapons and cosmetics. We’re getting more sentient items now, and that only means more gimmicks, different builds, and of course building up to the New War coming soon™.

Railjack Modular Archwing concept by Kaz Adams

Sapient Warframe bundle concept by Liger Inuzuka, 3D artist Mike Leatham

Sentient Arm Weapon concept by Michael J. Brennan, 3D artist Lucas Hug

Grendel Warframe Bundle by Tim Bergholz, Keith Thompson, Lucas Hug

Railjack Bundle by Mike Leatham, Enciro Santi, Tim Bergholz, Sean Bigham, Lucas Hug

Duviri Bundle (WIP) by Tim Bergholz, Kaz Adams, Keith Thompson, Lucas Hug

Kicking off the main event, Dan Trachtenberg joined the DevStream team on stage to showcase Warframe’s CGI introduction. Being a veteran who started this game in 2014 and seeing this now, it is mindblowing and sentimental to see how far this game has evolved. This game was never big on CGI cutscenes, to begin with, so it is much appreciated not only for veterans but for new players coming into the game.

Weirdly enough, the audience in person and on the streaming platforms were blindsided in a rather exciting way. From now until December 31, one lucky person playing the game will be able to receive a $250,000 trip to space. Yes, the actual final frontier.

“Become the first real Space Ninja.” This is the most interesting kind of contest or promotion ever. The more days you play Warframe, the better your chances are at winning. I wonder if whoever is selected will be brave enough to see it through.

New Grendel Warframe teased during the art panel

Wukong and his prime accessories

Gauss, the new ‘runner’ frame

Following that, Nightwave Series 2: The Emissary is available now on all platforms. It’s much like the first Nightwave where you have daily and weekly tasks in the form of a non-intrusive battle pass. Complete the tasks and level up your tiers to earn rewards. This time, however, it’s infested themed.

Along with Nightwave S2, Wukong Prime and his arsenal are coming along with this update. What a more perfect time for Wukong’s prime variant to come out given the recent rework to the melee system and his abilities.

Next, we got a further glimpse into the New War. It’s looking even more visually stunning than it did last year and looks much closer to completion. Coming Christmas 2019 (probably just on PC, consoles a month later).

Steve Sinclair, Warframe’s creative director also showed some updated dynamic lighting, better shadows, and renderings not only in your orbiter but everywhere else in the game. It’s nice to add a fresh coat of paint to keep the game looking crisp now and then, though people will weaker gaming rigs may be at a loss.

Digital Extremes
Digital Extremes /

The meat of the presentation was in showing Empyrean— formerly known as Railjack. Create a ship from your dojo and customize the interior and exterior with different colors, glyphs and modules. There may finally be an incentive to play co-op with some friends.

One person mans the ship; the others control turrets, interior systems, and looting. Roles can be swapped depending on who wants to do what. At some points, maybe the better shot of the team can operate the turrets, and those good at ground combat can infiltrate galleons and clear the enemies within and commandeer enemy ships to turn the tide in battle.

The ship UI with different modules

The hangar bay of where the ship will be

Manning the main turret and piloting the ship

Then something interesting happened. A new mechanic called Squad Link was shown. Help other friends and clan mates out in their missions in real time in different game sessions. The showcasing player, Drew, in the Plains of Eidolon was just fishing but decided to halt his fishing session and help assist fellow players Rebecca and her squad in their railjacking. He set up a link in which he is remotely in her session and arms some sort of beacon to help turn the tide in her battle.

This whole Empyrean expansion has so much depth and different ways to approach your missions. I’m hoping it releases soon because what was shown seemed to be only the tip of the iceberg. Especially with this new ‘Kingpin’ system being added. It seems to be like a personalized Stalker system in the sense that this enemy adapts to your abilities.

To finish off the reveals, we got a rather ominous trailer for the upcoming third open world expansion— The Duviri Paradox. While very early in development, it seems like it’ll be based on sentients and more focused on operator combat. What will it contain, though? Hopefully, more depth and less of a tedious grind as the past two free roam areas.

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While there weren’t many brand new premieres or anything causing so much surprise and hype as last year’s Tennocon, this one had a sizeable amount of detail and appealed to new and old fans of the game. Here’s to hoping that someday, there will be some cross-platform or cross save feature in this game, especially with next-gen consoles being on the horizon.