Home Gaming Warframe Whispers in the Walls (and beyond) Q&A with Creative Director Rebecca Ford

Warframe Whispers in the Walls (and beyond) Q&A with Creative Director Rebecca Ford

by Contributor

At The Game Awards 2023, Digital Extremes confirmed the final release date for Warframe’s Whispers in the Walls update. Players will get the free patch on Wednesday, December 13, and it’ll also mark the start of the long-awaited cross-save rollout.

At the event, we also learned that Best Performance winner Neil Newbon (Astarion in Baldur’s Gate 3) and nominee Ben Starr (Clive Rosfield in Final Fantasy XVI) will join the voice cast with Whispers in the Walls, with Starr coming back for next year’s Warframe 1999.

Digital Extremes also took the opportunity to confirm the official dates for TennoCon 2024, which takes place next July 19-20 at the RBC Place in London, Ontario, Canada. The studio promised further expansion to the fan event with two days of activities, signings, panels, and lots of surprises.

Just before TGA 2023, we met up with Warframe Creative Director Rebecca Ford to talk about Whispers in the Walls and beyond.

Tell me a little bit about the new Warframe expansion that you’ve shown here at The Game Awards,

We are announcing the launch date of Whispers in the Walls. This is our next kickoff of our cinematic arc. This is where we’re going to be taking the game in the next 5 to 10 years, and it all starts next week.

For players who want to get a quick refresher so they don’t go into this blind, what would you recommend to get them started?

Definitely study up on the lore, but we will give them a cheat sheet. But honestly, hop in and play at your own pace. The update’s not going anywhere, and it’s always going to be there. You can just jump in and enjoy the Warframe you know at the pace you want to play it. We’ll always have more content for you all the time.

Can you talk a little bit about the Primes that you are launching with the new expansion?

We actually had to make a business decision to move the Prime, so Gauss has moved to January. That was just a business decision. We didn’t want to do too much at the end of the year because we have a supporter pack and other packs coming, so we wanted to phase out just how much we had.

Are there any Prime reworks on the horizon?

For Prime reworks, we have no hard plans. Well, we have some plans, but we’re not ready to talk about them yet. We want to be very strategic with who we rework next year.

Is there a list that Warframe fans are talking about when it comes to the Primes most in need of rework?

Yes. I know what we’re doing, I’ve talked about it but we’re not ready to say exactly under what update or how we’re going to approach it but we absolutely will be doing one next year.

One of our readers wanted to ask about Duviri. Right now, the base Duviri does save progress after every wave or round, so they are curious if endless missions in the Duviri circuit would do this thing.

Right now, Circuit is an all-or-nothing gamble. We don’t love that. We do intend to investigate sometime next year how quickly we could release progress saving. Honestly, it’s on our to-do list. It’s just a matter of when.

Wonderful. With the addition of the new Archon Shards, I believe you’re bringing up the total to six if I’m not mistaken. Are there any plans to rebalance bile for shard removal?

Yeah. Actually, in the Whispers in the Walls update, we’re reducing the amount of bile needed. So yes, absolutely.

Will you be increasing the amount of bile that you get as well, or is it just the reduction?

I think we’ve just reduced the cost right now. I think we’re giving you more things that give you bile as well as we’re reducing the amount required.

Are there any plans for more Incarnon adapters?

Yes, there are. We intend to ship five next year; we just don’t know when.

In your personal opinion, have there been any games really this year that could inspire mechanics for Warframe?

Baldur’s Gate 3. No further comments!

All right. This is a very specific one for a very specific character. Is there any chance of Yareli being able to cast Helminth’s abilities while riding Merulina?

No, we’ve decided not to do that, so we’re not going to support it.

Is there any possibility of having her collision box adjusted so that she doesn’t bang her head on doorways?

That is more likely than the other thing.

Another one about Helminth’s abilities. Would you ever consider allowing Grendel to cast the abilities while in ball form?

That’s probably easier than the Yareli one, but probably still no.

Can you talk anything about the Third Orb Mother? Are you planning to revisit that at all?

Well, that’s a tricky one. I would love to answer it today, but I’ll say ask me next year.

What about modular Archwings?

We have no vision for that. It’s a shame that all that content was made. We would love to do something with it but we have zero designs to support it.

Any plans to add Railjack to the open world of Warframe?

Kind of. We’ve done prototypes of how can you fly it around above the open world. It feels cool, but from an actual update where that happens, there’s no plan yet. Prototype only.

As far as weapons go, are there any plans to add in more sparring weapons because it’s one of the more neglected types?

Yes, actually, we have one coming top secret. We’ll show you in January. Oh wait, it’s actually a fist weapon, it’s not sparring.

Okay. Is that going to be associated with a very specific Warframe?

No.

Going back to the Duviri decrees, there’s been a lot of positive reception around the persistent attrition, for example. Is there any possibility of seeing some more of them reintroduced into the mainline content?

I would say no unless there’s a reason. Right now, Duviri is Duviri, and there’s not going to be a stream cross anytime soon.

When will the Nikana weapon get some love?

People hate the stance. Maybe we’ll take a look next year, but no promises.

Any fixes you can talk about that are in the works for Duviri host migrations?

Well, if we let you save all your progress, the host migrations become a lot less lethal, so let’s do that first. I would say we have some housekeeping to do.

Are the community Warframes going to become a yearly thing that the community can vote on or is it more of like spur of the moment?

Spur of the moment, for sure. We actually have a pretty robust plan of what Warframes we’re going to make, so no voting next year.

Every time a new expansion comes out, you always have a dearth of new players coming on board. Is there any sort of new player experience overhaul in the pipeline?

Yes, we have one coming with Whispers in the Walls with just a more streamlined quest. When this update launches, you’ll be able to get to the new stuff faster.

The core missions, be it exterminate or defense, do you think that they’re in a good place right now? Could they also get a rework?

It would be a very strategic choice to touch those right now, they’re so ubiquitous in the game. We probably won’t. We intend to release an exterminate mission with Whispers in the Walls.
Some people want a very easy game mode, and we’re not going to take that away from them.

What are the odds that players would ever get Liches or Corpus sisters as companions to take into the missions instead of the animals and robots?

Zero. That’s a direct answer!

Can you talk a little bit about the story of Warframe 1999?

Noooo. Watch TennoCon next year!

Are there any plans to give Voruna’s fourth ability walking or running animations?

Kind of. We have an augment that we could do, but it’s a design question now. Honestly, that’s a hard maybe. I mean, I designed her, she’s my baby. So, I get it, but I also am in charge of everyone’s time, so I also get that.

Any plans to rebalance old weapons or at least add in new Incarnon adapters?

Yeah. We would probably go the Incarnon route, and we do plan on doing that.

Do you have a time frame for adding in new weapon augments similar to the Syndicate’s or Nightwave’s?

We do plan on putting out Nightwave mostly. A Nightwave just launched last week, there’s weapons in there and there will be more of that.

It seems like it has a really good cadence. Right now it has about one or two augments coming every season.

Absolutely, and that’s the general idea. If there’s a weapon you love, maybe it’ll get an augment.

And if there’s a weapon you love, having alternate ways to kind of build that weapon would also be fantastic.

Exactly. It’s like a little skill tree for the weapon in mods.

Are you going to make Stalker accessible in the arsenal and playable everywhere like other Warframes?

We do have plans for the Stalker for the next year and we will be sharing those plans within the next three to four months. But not that specifically, but there will be things.

With all the animals that are available in conservation, will more be added as companions?

Probably not. Maybe as a cosmetic.

Will players get a form of Focus schools for companions?

No, we have no plans for that. But we do have another big part of our companion rework.

Any plans or suggestions for more broken weapons, like how the broken Incarnon changes its type like a dagger and so forth?

No, we’re focusing more on the Incarnon, I think.

A few questions about yourselves. Since you’ve taken up the role of being the lead on Warframe, what aspect of the new job and role has surprised you the most?

How much pressure there is. I don’t think I get a good night’s sleep anymore because I feel like I’m responsible as a team lead but also as someone that loves the game. I don’t want to disappoint anyone, least of all myself, so it’s just very emotionally different.

Has Scott (McGregor, former Warframe director) had enough time to step away from the project and finish rebuilding his truck?

Yes! It’s done. He sent me a video of his family driving it. It’s amazing.

Awesome. Has Digital Extremes ever considered branding out to other merchandise like food and drinks, such as say lotus tea?

I wish. We actually have like a weird tea here, but yeah, no. Maybe. I would ask someone to do that and hope that they did it.

Little Duck, who was originally from the Warframe: Ghouls graphics novel, debuted along with Mitsuki and others. Is there any chance to see Mitsuki appear in the game, like Little Duck?

Unfortunately for the Mitsuki fans, probably not. But you never know. Right now, there’s no plans.

Are there any plans for exploring the Warframe setting in more external media, such as delving into comics again?

I would love that and yes. We’re not working with a comic house, but I really want to do a webcomic next year to get that back.

Is there a specific easter egg or something that you’re so passionate about you want fans to look forward to in Whispers in the Walls?

We kind of treated it very much in the series update, so there’s not a lot of hints, but there are a couple of lines that some of the characters say. So, listen to the characters.

Lastly, will we get another musical number?

Yes! I hope so. I have plans and part of being in LA is like, how can we do something wild for Warframe 1999. I would hope that if everything goes according to plan, music is the soul of next year.

Thank you so much for your time.

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