There are a lot of things people gripe about in gaming: day-one DLC, micro-transactions, digital verifications, etc. It is always easier to find someone shouting from the mountaintop about everything that’s wrong as opposed to anything that’s right. Well, after a long and arduous climb, I kindly asked that guy to sit down for a bit and let me shout a little positivity from his precious mountaintop.
Digital Extremes, the company that brought us Warframe, has and continues to provide the console world with a perfect example of how well free-to-play gaming can work. Though, many complain about “free-to-play” and “pay-to-win” games, Warframe finds the perfect balance. Any warframe, weapon, sentinel or kubrow can be assembled, found or purchased all in game. There is a fair amount of grinding required for particular items, but if you really want it, you’ll never have to worry about seeing another player with an amazing weapon that you don’t have access to. In a stroke of genius, the only things you actually HAVE to pay for are cosmetic. Purchasing new paint colors, ceremonial armor, weapon patterns and the like, which have nothing to do with battle capabilities, require players to purchase platinum with actual money. You would be surprised how difficult it can be to resist the urge to pimp your ninja. I’ve spent well over $100 over time and I’m probably in the low end of purchasing.
As far as DLC goes, everything is free. Well, i suppose to be more accurate, the updates are all free. It is to be noted that these updates are always game changing. With no cost, Digital Extremes has added new warframes, new weapons, new mission types, updated maps, new events and a slew of visual and audio upgrades. Other free-to-play titles such as DC Universe Online and Blacklight Retribution can and do nickel and dime you for all their additional content. Warframe is up to version 15.5 (PS4 and Xbox One) and 15.8.1 (PC) and they’re consistently giving their community reason after reason to never put the controller down.
Finally, the work that Digital Extremes puts into working with their community is beyond impressive. Its DevStream gives gamers a chance to see the inner workings of their favorite title, new insights into how to use available weapons and warframes and show glimpses into the future of the franchise. The website also has tools for fans to create channels and fansites. It’s even possible to be featured on the site to generate more traffic.
I stand and salute Digital Extremes for its work with a free title. It has managed to build a game that expands from PC to the console world and stands as a prime example of how free-to-play can not only work, but can flourish. Thank you Digital Extremes. May you inspire others to not drop the ball in the future.
PS: Have you guys see the Archwing missions they added!?! Someone get these guys a license to make Gundam Wing games. Can’t you just see the same gameplay working for the Wing Zero!?!? OK, I’m done now. Enjoy your day.