Did you know we had almost 200 days of Nightwave Intermission 2?
I'm not mad or anything, it's not like we had a content drought. I'm just saying it was a long time. I got enough Orokin Catalysts to set me up for a good long while!
But the third proper Nightwave is now up and running. I didn't get much of a chance to participate in the endgame of Nightwave series 2, so I missed out on getting my hands on the pathocyst weapon. But even then, the storyline of The Emissary didn't grab my attention as much as The Wolf Of Saturn Six did. However, I have high hopes for The Glassmaker.
For those of you who don't know, Nightwave is Warframe's answer to the battle pass system we see in just about every other game *cough*Fortnite*cough*. For Warframe we have a series of tasks and challenges that award a certain amount of points when completed, at every 10,000 point interval we get a reward! Mods, cosmetics, or credits to spend on ... um ... mods or cosmetics (or resources, like I said I have a nice cache of Orokin catalysts to supercharge my weapons).
These tasks ("Acts") are divided into three types. A new daily task arrives at the start of each day, you have three days to complete it, and it gives you 1000 points once it's complete. The weekly and elite weekly challenges refresh every week, last a week and award 4500 standing for weekly challenges and a huge 7000 standing for the elite weekly challenges.
Speaking of which, there's a couple of new challenges we haven't seen in the first week of Nightwave. Speedster tasks us with completing a capture mission in 90 seconds, and the Heavy Ordnance act encourages us to kill enemies with an archwing gun. Apparently the Now Boarding act, where you have to do three K-drive races in the Vallis was added in series 2, but I cannot for the life of me remember it.
There's a few other acts that have been added for Series 3, we can look forward to a few new acts related to the railjack missions:
Confiscated: Hijack a crewship from an enemy (weekly).
Elite Explorer: Complete eight railjack missions (elite weekly).
Explorer: Complete three railjack missions (weekly).
Flawless: Fight off a boarding crew without taking damage (Daily).
Friendly Fire: hijack a crewship and destroy 3 enemy fighters (Daily).
Forward Thinking: Destroy a crewship with just your forward weapons, there's one for just hijacking a crewship, there's even some for completing a set amount of missions.
Railjack isn't the only new system that's been integrated into Nightwave, we've got awards related to the Kuva liches too:
Choose Wisely: Kill or convert a Kuva Lich (Elite Weekly).
Hush: Kill a Kuva Thrall (Daily).
Reclaimed: Clear a node of your Kuva Lich's influence (Daily).
A couple related to weapon selections:
Hands Full: Complete a mission with just a primary weapon equipped (Daily).
Heavy Ordnance: Kill 500 enemies with an Archgun (Weekly).
Sidearm: Complete a mission with just a secondary weapon equipped (Daily).
Swordsman: Complete a mission with just a melee weapon equipped (Daily).
And some miscalleneous ones:
Child at heart: Play a game of Wyrmius, Frame Fighter of Happy Zephyr (Daily).
Deep Impact: Suspend five or more enemies at once with a heavy slam attack (Daily).
Doppelganger: Deploy a specter (Daily).
Gatherer: Collect 100 resources (Daily).
Grand: Kill the exploiter orb (Elite weekly).
Just Visiting: Visit a featured dojo (Daily).
Machine Interface: Complete a Spy mission without setting off any alarms, and without using ciphers (Elite weekly).
No Mercy: Mercy kill an enemy (Daily).
Patron: Donate to the Leverian (Daily).
Speedster: Complete a capture mission in 90 seconds (Elite weekly).
I'm honestly excited for some of these! Machine interface and Grand, especially are elite weekly missions that aren't going to be a complete drag like killing profit-taker or some of the "Survival With Friends" type missions they removed after series 1. I'll be a tad frustrated if "Kill a Kuva Lich" comes up some point soon. I've just gotten a new Kuva Lich, so I'll be spending a week just rampaging through the system to find out how I need to kill him.
Every Nightwave has a rotating "store" of sorts. You can use the special creds you earn from Nightwave ("Crystal Creds" this time around) to buy stuff from the store. Among these are Nitain, Orokin Reactors, Orokin Catalysts, Aura Mods, alternate helmets for Warframes, a few weapons, basically all the things that we used to wait for random alerts to get.
This series we also have weapon and warframe augment mods that have previously been Conclave (Player vs. player) only, but are now usable in the main game too! I have a few of them from getting some way through the slog that is levelling up your Conclave standing, and I've always thought they seem like a great addition to playing in PvE. I'm trying to look up some builds for Brain Storm and Skull Shot (which give you a short but glorious window of infinite ammo for the Grakata and Viper), and the mods for Supra (boosting accuracy when zoomed) and Tetra (boosting projectile speed when zoomed) look like they'd work wonderfully with Argon Scope and Bladed Rounds.
In addition to these we've got a few mods for Warframes that really open us up to some interesting new ways to play them. Another support mod for Ember that grants immunity from status effects, and one for Excalibur that removes slash dash are the main ones. But Volt gets one that recharges allied shileds that could be a lifesaver in Eidolon hunts. Nyx and Ivara get a little boost to their offensive capabilities (Ivara can multishot arrows with her first abilitiy, Nyx can drag enemies closer to her while using her fourth), and Loki, Atlas and Mirage get a few mods to help survivability. Loki can transfer damage to his decoy, Mirage can use her Prism as a shield and Atlas can turn into one of his rumblers!
The ... the last one hasn't been met with a lot of applause if we're honest. Warframe YouTubers Quiette Shy and Tactical Potato have both made YouTube videos detailing their disappointment in the mod's capabilities. I'm wondering if the other mods I'm excited for will also prove to be less fun in game.
In addition to the mods we can buy with Nightwave Credits, we get a new mod at ranks 7, 20 and 23. Specifically a Magnus mod (Deadly Maneuvers) that increases critical damage to headshots after you dodge, Dizzying Shots, a Bronco mod that stuns enemies when used up close, leaving them vulnerable to finishers and making me reconsider using the damn thing, and a Tonkor mod named Precision Strike that increases reload speed on a direct hit.
Most everything else new are cosmetics, related around the theme of the mysterious and brutal "glassmaker" an Orokin ... craftsperson? Of some sort with a link to the Cephalon AI programs we know and love. ... tolerate. That we know and tolerate. (Sorry Ordis).
So this means lots of sleek curves and glowy orbs in the middle for syandanas and sugatras, and some glass-looking visors and masks for our operators. Anyone else looking at these and getting the urge to coordinate an Operator look with Gara? No? Just me?
Near the end we also get some beautiful looking shoulder-pads for our Warframe and the last rank reward gives us Nora Night's Nightwave spaceship itself, with a special support drop that creates paralysing soundwaves. Anyone else looking at these and getting the urge to coordinate a dropship look with Banshee? No? Just me?
Nightwave 3 comes with some new gameplay challenges. Like the previous two series we can be attacked in-mission by new enemy types. However, rather than the escaped convicts of the Wolf or the self-infested subjects of the emissary, the "Cephalites" are ... well it's more like a void fissure really.
Almost exactly like a void fissure in fact, there's a flash of light and several nearby enemies will be changed. Their bodies covered in shards and spikes of glass. Destroy this glass and they'll be rendered vulnerable. You get 30 additional Nightwave standing for each one destroyed and a piece of "Cephalite Resonance".
Unlike The Wolf Of Saturn Six and The Emmissary, where the story felt more like background, The Glassmaker replaces the exposition "chapters" with their own little minigame of sorts. Putting you in a crime scene where someone has just been "Glassed". You search for clues, the finer details of which are randomly generated for each player.
And once you've got ten cephalite resonance? You can enter the weave and puzzle out some clues to delve deeper into the story.
This gets ... frustrating. Not because it's difficult (look at the pictures, and any words that are highlighted in the clues, those are the details you want) but because it isn't explained to us. The moment I got into the weave, a time limit popped up. I panicked, saw a platform, jumped on it and ... I'm gone.
I can try again th- oh no ... I need to get ten more pieces of resonance. So I did it again and ... and fell off because I mistimed a jump. You can't aim-glide in the Weave as it happens.
It took my third time before I was able to actually complete the first Nightwave puzzle. It's not too hard, people are calling it a quiz, but it's more of a memory game if we're honest. No questions are really asked, you just have to infer the questions from the answers you were given. Which ones do you recognise from earlier? It's simple, but it's still a nice integration of the players into the storyline whereas in the last two stories we felt more like passive observers.
I'm honestly happy that Nightwave is back. I'm happy that Nora's playing a part in the story more than exposition, I'm happy that we're getting to put our Tenno and our characters into the new story and I'm intrigued by some of the new mods and cosmetics we'll be getting.
But most of all it's the story that's really grabbing me. Twists and turns non-withstanding we knew who the Wolf Of Saturn Six was, and we knew the true nature of Arlo about halfway through the second series of Nightwave. But the Glassmaker? This strange individual who knows the secrets of cephalons? Of the glass? Who is he? A rogue cephalon himself? A surviving orokin? Someone who just pieced all the bits together and unlocked the secrets of the Orokin Empire's greatest sanction?
What's more it's integrated into the already existing lore, whereas the last two series were largely standalone. From the very first simulation where Nora Night mentions "the jade light" tying it into the story of the sentient and Margulis' execution at the hands of the seven, and how the Orokin would punish people by turning them into cephalons, just as Ordin Karris became Ordis.
Both of these haven't really been examined or explored in universe and I'm especially happy that we might get to learn how ...