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The Solar Threat (New Region Concept- The Sun/sol)


Earthflame
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First time posting on the forum, but I've been playing Warframe for a good while and this idea has been bouncing around in my head for much of that time, slowly taking shape. I may well end up using it for something tangentially related, such as a roleplaying game (the old school tabletop kind) in the Warframe universe, but I thought it'd be fun to share it with the community, see what people thought of it and see if there were any ideas to build upon it. It’s an odd combination of location and event/story arc which ties the various stages together.

‘Under the guidance of the Lotus, the Tenno’s righteous cause has carried them from Mercury to Pluto, bringing blades of justice and bullets of vengeance to those who deserve them most. Now, a new threat emerges. Outer Terminus is still sealed... But the most insidious threats arise from within.’

The Solar Periphery-

‘A fast if risky route for goods transit and military movements is to skim across the outer edges of Sol. The chances of radiation surges or a solar flare are relatively minimal, but are not generally risked unless they must be. Tenno Agents are beginning to intercept more frequent shipments. Cargo manifests suggest that there is some greater scheme afoot, closer to the Sun...’

An outer ring of missions would be the first footsteps into the Sol system. They could use the normal Grineer Galleon and Corpus Ship tilesets, with the possible addition of The Sun in the space around the ship, visible through windows and the opening cinematic. Completing these missions would slowly unlock the secondary missions, through some form of drop or completion bar.

The Solar Surface-

‘Dyson Platforms are a lost mastery of technology. Once common in the Orokin Era, the vast majority were lost to disrepair or damage in the Old War. Both the Corpus and the Grineer are attempting to recover, maintain and exploit some of the surviving platforms. They must be stopped.’

These would be more unique and challenging maps to make, requiring heavy modification of existing tilesets or entirely new ones. The fundamental idea is a combination of indoor and outdoor regions, with the possibility of vastly different conditions in the ‘Outside’ sections. Starting in a barren desert with the blazing sun above, before transitioning through a series of tunnels and finding yourselves in a frozen wasteland where the cryo systems have gone into overload. The sheer potential for variety of environments and conditions throughout the level, as well as having them dynamically change, could be an incredibly fun play experience, but also very challenging. Would also be an ideal fit for Survival missions, with deactivation of life support potentially triggering other environmental conditions as the platforms climate control systems shut down.

The Solar Citadels-

‘We have found it, Tenno. The true secrets of The Sun. The Void was not the only place The Orokin hid. We have detected dimensional shells within the solar plasma, still stable after so long. We are currently searching for safe transit to them. Be careful, Tenno- Any secrets the Orokin deemed to hide within the sun itself may be dangerous indeed.’

These would be easier to do than the Dyson Platforms, or at least they would seem to be. A combination of the Void and the Derelict set with a different view from the windows, the roiling heat of the solar interior rather than the pure white of the void or the black of space. The basic idea is that the Solar Citadels are the Orokin’s laboratories, where they built the weapons with which they fought the Old War- Including the Infested. The Citadels have defence systems, designed to control and lock down the Technocyte Virus, with the ability to self destruct, incinerating the Citadel if the Infestation gets out of control. Unfortunately, the insidious machinations of the Virus are not always so easily destroyed.

Most, if not all Solar Citadel missions would have a time limit, either absolute or triggering after you completed the objective, being the time you have left before the defence systems self destruct the building and leave you burning in solar flames.

The Solar Threat-

Up until now, I’ve just painted with broad strokes, rather than being specific. I have a certain idea as to how the solar ‘Story’ would go, but the ideas aren’t bound to the specific lore I have in mind for them. Still, as above, I feel like it would be fun to discuss.

My core conjecture is that the Solar Citadels are the source, or at least one source, of the Infestation. Facilities where the Technocyte Virus was created, developed and tested, or stored for future deployment. Naturally, this makes them both incredibly valuable and incredibly dangerous. Tenno teams invading Solar Citadels have to counter Orokin defence systems, parties of Grineer or Corpus trying to steal the secrets of Orokin technology or the unleashed Infestation itself, desperate to break free into the Solar System proper.

The latter could also form a really cool kind of irregular mini-event. An Infested Solar Citadel comes close to breaching the surface of the sun, becoming available to players as an Alert. If it’s not completed enough times within a certain period, it breaches the solar surface and floats free, the alert ‘drifting’ down the mission map. While the Alert is in a region, all Infested missions are increased difficulty and Infested may randomly invade other missions, representing the surge of the Technocyte Virus pouring out from the Citadel. The only way to clear the Alert is for players to beat it down enough times.

Rewards is an ephemeral topic. Ember Prime could fit, but she’s already been mentioned by the DE staff as upcoming, so probably not available. Saryn Prime would also be an option, given the Infested link, or something else which fits the various themes. Still, there’s always plenty of cool stuff coming into the game, so it could act as a vector for pretty much any of it.

Legends of the Tenno-

Just a small extra thing, adding to the mention I made at the start of roleplaying games. I’ve been planning for a while to try and run an RPG based on the Warframe universe, adapting Eos Press’s Legends of the Wulin system for the mechanics. While it’s designed for Wuxia (with a side order in shonen anime) style stories, I think it’d be very appropriate for Warframe. It’s the best tabletop system I’ve ever played for high action combat, and well caters to having a variety of weapons and special powers. The way I’d run the game would be more based on the lore and the cinematics than the actual gameplay, but IMO adaptations should seek to capture the feel rather than the details of an IP. If I ever get around to coming up with a definitive adaptation guide, I might post it up. If I ever do run The Solar Threat as a campaign, I might post up an Actual Play report to let people know how it went.

And... That’s what I’ve got, for now. Any thoughts, Tenno?

Edited by Earthflame
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Dyson Platforms are more limited variations on Dyson Spheres. Space stations that orbit the sun, using it as a source of heat, light and energy. They're mostly third law tech (Indistinguishable from magic), but I like the idea and there are a lot of advantages to it. They can be virtually self sustaining, easy to maintain and build (with the right tech) and can create huge areas of 'natural' landmass. A true Dyson Sphere is even better, but from the sound of it that's beyond even the Orokin.

Edited by Earthflame
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Adding a few things, that I forgot to mention or which came to mind since writing the initial post.

 

The Solar Beacons

 

I'd put some thought into how the solar region would be unlocked. Up until now, new regions are either conventional additions to the solar map (such as Phobos) or only accessible through items (The Void and The Orokin Derelicts). I had the idea of a hybrid approach for The Solar Citadels.

 

Sol's region would have two stages. An outer area of normally accessible missions, where completion opens connections to new missions. Some of these missions would also have connections to Citadel missions, but they wouldn't be accessible without use of a Solar Beacon, the Void/Derelict Key equivalent for the Citadels. You could also have Citadel missions occasionally come up as Alerts, allowing players who have unlocked access to them to have a 'free' dip into Sol if they're lucky enough to be around at the right time.

 

I've also considered using a different model from the single use Void Key/Derelict Key formula. A clan based approach is one of the most interesting, where you build a Dojo Room and contribute Solar Beacons to unlock the internal Solar map for your Clan. This could also be part of a hybrid with the standard version, where a single Solar Beacon unlocks a single mission for an ordinary group of players, but a Clan working together can gain reliable access to the Citadels, albeit for a much greater initial investment, and possibly some kind of upkeep.

 

The Solar Core

 

It's always nice to have a boss fight, and Sol would be no exception. There's a hell of a lot of options, of course. From some new variation of giant Infested monstrosity to an Orokin war machine, the premise gives a lot of options. My favorite, however, and the one I think that would be most original and interesting is a fight against an Infested Citadel itself. A level where every room is out to get you, where the entire structure is alive and hostile, forcing Tenno to fight their way through guillotine doorways, tunnels that try to crush them and intentional breaches of Solar plasma in an attempt to destroy the corrupted heart of the Citadel. 

 

Again, there's a huge amount of options here, and the Sun being so unimaginably huge it'd be pretty easy to add new content if you wanted. Sol could keep on expanding, with new discoveries of even greater treasures hidden deep within the roiling tumult of our native star.

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