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Golden Tears; A Proposal to Repurpose "Echoes of Umbra"


CoconutFella

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Spoiler Warning

Echoes of Umbra is a seemingly shelved idea to give more warframes the passive ability modifier of Excalibur Umbra; essentially turning more frames into a specter when you are in operator form. While the ability is interesting, it is under utilized in-game, and the community response has been lackluster to the idea of giving other frames the "Echoes of Umbra". A potential solution would be to introduce a new, Mod-utilizing form of this ability, allowing users to dictate their frame's behavior in the same way done with companions. It would allow greater control of your loadout on the battle-field, provide intriguing lore opportunities, and create synergy with the introduction of Voidrigs.

Implanting a copy of a tortured mind into a new body is not exactly new to warframe. Ordis and the Cephalons, the Continuity of the Grineer Queens, whatever fragments of Nataah and Margullis constitute the Lotus; all are examples of this recurring theme. Excalibur Umbra is our most personal experience with this theme. We felt for him and his guilt during the events recalled in "The Sacrifice" quest. To repurpose his mind into a resource would feel far too similar to Ballas's cruel reduction of Umbra to a tool. Rather than reduce the impact of Umbra's quest story by duplicating/implanting him into new body after new body, building on the origin of the warframes through new stories would deepen our connection to our frames.

At this point in the lore of Warframe, players would be aware of how Warframes are made; through controlled infestation of remarkable individuals. Many players wonder what stories can be unearthed regarding their frame's, questioning their own use of the frames. Introduction of a system that allows players to uncover the last remnants of a frame's memories through a process similar to the cephalon fragments would allow an Operator to initiate continuity for the frame. Awakened in a controlled environment allows the operator to calm the frame back into a bare sense of self, while also linking them permanently to the hive mind of Helminth. A frame's Golden Tears can be instilled and retracted back into the Helminth, allowing for frame subsuming without any additional guilt.

Functionally, a frame's Tears could be modded through a sub-screen of a frame's mod screen. Whether these are mods, arcanes, or some new form of item, that can be determined still. Possible mod functions could be similar to a basic programming configuration; if A then B, unless C, or a more simple interface using precepts like "prioritize 1st ability" or "attack marked targets". Obviously, this would be the most difficult to implement aspect of the Tears, so simplification is viable.

The most important use of a specter frame would be support while using the Voidrigs. Swapping back and forth to keep warframe buffs/abilities active or use some aspect of their kit while trying to use the Voidrigs can be very disruptive. At the very least, giving a specter AI to a frame would be a fun way to make a player feel even more like a one-man army.

Those are all the thoughts I have regarding this. Thank you for reading.

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10 minutes ago, CoconutFella said:

I wrote this late at night and it feels way more disjointed and confusing than it did to me at the time. Whoops!

The idea is still understandable and I fully support it! It could be tied to the Leverians, as those museum backstories could be your first lead to going down short rabbit-holes (because full-blown Quests would be far too much) and unlocking Tears.

I really wish Precepts were used more not just in this supposed scenario, but to control existing Companion AI.

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On 2020-10-12 at 11:11 AM, IgnisWings said:

The idea is still understandable and I fully support it! It could be tied to the Leverians, as those museum backstories could be your first lead to going down short rabbit-holes (because full-blown Quests would be far too much) and unlocking Tears.

I really wish Precepts were used more not just in this supposed scenario, but to control existing Companion AI.

Aye, well thanks, man. I appreciate it. :)

If the game itself could get that same rabbit-hole feeling that happens when you go into the wiki, that would be pretty fantastic.

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