‘Warframe: The War Within’ Update: Lunaro, Rumors Of Excalibur Umbra, Kavat Companions, The Return Of Solar Rails [Updated,Spoilers]

Warframe; depending on who you are, is either one of your favorite games, or the incredibly popular game you’ve never heard of. In spite of what seems to be relative obscurity, free-to-play, Warframe by Canadian developer Digital Extremes is currently the 14th-most-played game on Steam, and enjoys considerable popularity on PS4 and Xbox One as well, coming in ahead of titles like The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt and Counter Strike. And part of the reason for that is Warframe‘s regular free updates.

Fair warning: from this point on, this article is going to contain spoilers, particularly if you haven’t completed The Second Dream.

Kavats? Excalibur Umbra? Well, Warframe‘s latest update, “The War Within,” is unique in the game’s history, as it’s rolling out in stages. The first stage, “Lunaro,” has already been released and as PC Gamer reports, introduces a new PVP mode to the game: an arena sport called, appropriately, Lunaro.

Lunaro plays out like most ball sports; you’ve got a ball and two goals, and you have to get that ball into the opposing team’s goal; in this case, using something akin to jai alai scoops.

Of course, even without the weapons, it is, being Warframe, still very much of a contact sport.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=88&v=vLG_GgAgNCI

So that’s what has already been released and what we already know. Let’s move on to something a little more interesting; the next two stages of the update.

The official blurb from Digital Extremes gives us a few clues right away.

“Tenno, the next few weeks hold new and exciting changes for the Origin System. Explore new game modes, adventure with new companions, embark on a new cinematic Quest, master a new Warframe and much more!”

The “new game modes” is probably referencing Lunaro, although it suggests that there might be more on the way, so that’s worth keeping an eye out for.

New companions? We know that Digital Extremes has been planning the release of kavats for a while now – the catlike version of the doglike kubrow companions – and that they’ve recently popped up all over the game; Grineer Hyekka Masters have shown up with trained kavats, feral kavats that attack players during the Sands of Inaros quest, and they’ve also been spotted hanging out in the Orokin Derelicts. So it’s a fair bet that kavats are coming soon.

Not to mention that Rebecca is probably going to explode if they're delayed any longer. Not to mention that Rebecca is probably going to explode if they’re delayed any longer. [Image via Digital Extremes]Update no. 1: Kavats have been officially confirmed on the Warframe website! That’s one for three so far.

The two new Kavat varieties will be Mirror and Chesire. Mirror Kavats buff group DPS, while Chesire Kavats are stealth-based. The two new Kavat varieties will be Mirror and Chesire. Mirror Kavats buff group DPS, while Chesire Kavats are stealth-based. [Image via Digital Extremes]The next stage of the update, meanwhile, is called “Specters Of The Rail.” Players who joined Warframe within the last year or so won’t have experienced solar rail gameplay, but it was Warframe‘s original PVP mode, pitting clans against each other for “tribute” from players if they successfully used a solar rail to claim a dark sector. One of the core features was that it used specters – those one-shot autonomous duplicates – to fight for the rail, so that players didn’t need to be online constantly to defend them.

Put in context, it seems obvious that the solar rails are returning, although beyond that, there are no details. But players have been eagerly looking forward to their return for some time now, and hopefully, with the new PVP system in place, better than ever.

Finally, here’s the big one; “The War Within,” which is the core of the update. We know it’s going to feature a new quest and a new warframe. We also know that “The War Within” is a reference to The Lotus’ final comments at the end of the Second Dream cinematics, when the true Tenno are revealed. So that said, let’s take a look at the current launcher splash screen.

The current 'Warframe' launcher splash screen features Excalibur in Lunaro gear. The current ‘Warframe’ launcher splash screen features Excalibur in Lunaro gear. [Image via Warframe/Digital Extremes]And that’s a little odd, isn’t it? Because as far back as I can remember, the splash screen has featured one of the newest Warframes available; the most recent was Vauban Prime.

Not every player knows, though (in fact, most don’t) that Excalibur has a third variant beyond regular and Prime. Of course, that may be due to the fact that it’s only been released in China thus far: Excalibur Umbra.

Warframe China is essentially a completely different game, but Digital Extremes has promised that Excalibur Umbra is coming to the global build by the end of the year. Warframe China is essentially a completely different game, but Digital Extremes has promised that Excalibur Umbra is coming to the global build by the end of the year. [Image via Warframe China/Digital Extremes]We know that a new Warframe is coming with “The War Within,” and that splash screen starts to make a lot more sense when we know that there’s a third variant of Excalibur that is guaranteed to be coming in 2016. We also know, from various DevStreams, that the Umbra frames are an entirely new series like the Primes which will modify existing frames and have a special method of acquisition. We’ve heard that their abilities are intended to be entirely different from their base versions – they’ll essentially be entirely new frames. And we know that they are darker versions of the classic frames; the umbra is the primary part of a shadow.

Again, we don’t know a whole lot more, but we can manage some fairly solid speculation. The Tenno use the powers of the Void to do what they do – something to which the term “umbra” seems rather appropriate. The update itself is called “The War Within,” which seems like an appropriate venue to be introducing what may be a twisted version of regular frames.

We also know, if you’ve been paying attention, that there is an Infestation growing in the player’s landing craft, and that the whole “flesh of our flesh” thing hasn’t exactly been explored yet.

In case you missed it: "That Infestation." In case you missed it: “That Infestation.” [Image via Warframe/Digital Extremes]So, there are my predictions for Warframe: The War Within. Kavats, solar rails, and Excalibur Umbra.

I hope you’ll join me in finding out.

[Image via Warframe/Digital Extremes]

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