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Scarlet Spear is Scarlet Here

My first thoughts on Warframe's current event

By MaxPublished 4 years ago 7 min read
The New War begins ...

I'm stuck in the house, nothing to do, slowly going mad from essays when Warframe's first major event of 2020 arrives! The New War begins as the Sentient launch fleet upon fleet of Murex warships towards the Earth! And it's up to us (and Little Duck, apparently?) to fight them off before the Sentient attack the Earth! It's Operation: Scarlet Spear!

Scarlet Spear is different from previous Warframe events, multiple squads are working together in tandem to complete the mission objective. One crew heads to Earth, fighting Sentient dropships to obtain "kill codes", twisted and stressed cognitive data from the Sentient's hive-mind. These codes get beamed up in-real time to a railjack crew inside an outer space Murex warship who use their own oplinks to beam the kill codes into the heads of the Murex and force them to retreat.

Sounds simple? Right?

The Oplink was something mentioned during the Empyrean demo at Tennocon 2019. By the sounds of it intended to be a major piece of tech that allowed squads to collaborate in all sorts of missions. It seems to be being tested in this event for practicality terms. It's an interesting tool that could allow for some really unique missions and creation of internal player-driven challenges and stories.

It is off to a slightly shaky start. The first few space missions I did we ended up waiting for ten or fifteen minutes to receive a kill-code from a ground team. This turned out to be a bug that got rectified in a recent hotfix, but the problem still persists. If there aren't enough ground teams to be sending kill codes in at a steady stream it's slow going. Most people seem to have figured that out, a handful of people on space missions while most go to ground. But even with an even, or relatively even, amount of ground crews and railjack crews the codes start taking a slow time to get up there.

I'm not a huge fan of railjack missions. I like the individual elements, but I find the weapon system complicated and I'm not entirely sure why it can't just be mods. I remember a few years back when they introduced Endo to avoid having a cluttered inventory ("You have 1000 Endo," is easier than saying, "You have seventeen red cores, ten silver cores, one gold core, and forty duplicate mods"). I barely use my Railjack (The HMS Savage Chicken) with it's different way of levelling up weapons and skills from the usual system. Admittedly doing a few Murex missions has given me enough Intrinsics to gain a few more features on my ship.

There's some other disparities between the stages aside from space and ground. A full "Wave" in Railjack mode involves defeating five Murex ships, each one requiring nine kill codes beamed up from Earth. You can leave after five if you want, obviously. On the ground levels that number is 17. Aside from being an oddly arbitrary number, this means ground missions tend to run a lot longer than space missions. Unless you've brought a really good team with you (This means have someone playing as Limbo in your squad) it's going to get gruelling around the midpoint, and downright horrible during the last three or four Condrix dropships you have to scan on Earth.

Dropship? Drop pod? Drop tentacle monster?

Some of the enemies are especially annoying. The first time I had to fight a Sentient Battalyst near the end of the Second Dream quest, I ragequit. But now they're everyday bullet sponges you just have to switch damage to deal with effectively. The problem is when you have two of them activating their personal bloody discoball of death and firing lasers at you while you have to avoid the Brachiolyst units (new Sentient enemies that are one part ranged air-support and one-part ground based melee) and the Aerolysts.

Oh God, the Aerolysts. These new Sentient monstrosities are as the name suggests airborne, and this means they'll occasionally clip into walls and ceilings making them harder to shoot. Invulnerable until the weak spot running along them is destroyed and then they'll be vulnerable for as long as they are constantly taking damage. The second they aren't their weak-point regenerates and they're back to being airborne damage-spewing b******s. I honestly wouldn't mind as much if you didn't get a positively measly amount affinity for killing one.

Little Duck is running this event from a relay station over Earth. If you come and visit her she's got some rewards for you that you can trade your points in for. At first it seems a bit intimidating. 20,000 points for the new weapons, but you only got 125 points on your last mission? Yikes. The points add up quickly though, if you and the rest of the players in your relay collaboratively defeat 100 Murex then you get some bonus points. It shouldn't take too long to get them. Shouldn't. Don't quote me on that.

The other rewards include a fancy new simulacrum scene, a few decorations for your Orbiter (I just spent an hour last night redecorating mine so I'm very, very happy I'll have new stuff to play with), Arcanes (mostly ones that drop from the Eidolon bosses, but I'm not complaining since I hate running those boss fights), some new sigil's allowing you to wear your clan emblem on your chest or back (REALLY happy about this one).

A stance forma exists as a reward too, an offshoot of the aura forma that proved so popular when it was released with the second Nightwave season. I'm wary that this isn't going to be as useful or as interesting. Many weapons share the same polarity slot for all of their stances, and the few that don't there's usually one stance that's miles above the rest in terms of ability. In my case I'm worried because all I do is mash the attack button and I don't worry about combos!

The weapons, which I haven't got yet, are a new version of the Lacera, which sports a much higher critical chance and attack speed at the expense of a teeny-tiny reduction to status chance. And the Basmu, a Sentient assault rifle that boasts high critical damage with a low critical chance, electricity damage, exploding fire damage, an alt-fire electricity beam and a radial pulse that's emitted when it's out of ammunition (wow).

A few other emblems are given out, it wouldn't be a Warframe event without them. Three for overall progression in Scarlet Spear (that you receive for getting 10,000, 30,000 and 50,000 points respectively), three specific to getting a certain amount of points in ground missions in one wave, and three specific to the same in space missions in one wave.

From a storyline point of view this quest is the first few steps into the New War arc that's been touted for a couple of years now. Starting with a full Sentient attack on Earth. It reveals a little more of Little Duck's character, previously things that have only been alluded to, and confirms that she is an expert of sorts on Sentient comings and goings. I am a little put out that Sargas Ruk is leading the Grineer forces out of paranoia and rage, I'd feel that Grineer intrusions would be better served being led by Vay Hek, who's previously shown an interest in Sentient biotechnology and is the main boss of Earth, where the mission takes place. Sargas to me is best personified by his incredibly twisted sense of honour, something that isn't on show here.

I'm excited to see what the New War brings next, especially in regards to Lotus. The Erra quest released just before Scarlet Spear went live seems to be implying what I've been hoping. That Lotus hasn't so much been "unbrainwashed" as the other Sentients claim, but that she's being manipulated by her family into coming back into the fold. I was disappointed at the "twist" that Lotus never had a change of heart, and did in fact just get brainwashed by the Orokin as it seemed a little lazy to me. But I'm holding out hope that the New War is going to be something great.


Operation: Scarlet Spear is live on Warframe until April 21st 2020!

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About the Creator


My name is Max, English teacher in Japan, lover of video games, RPGs and miniature painting.

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