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Drinking the Kuva: An Analysis of Player-Choice Significance (SPOILERS)


Ceadeus
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Any player who's been around for a while will remember the end of the War Within questline.  After all the confusion and revelations and bombshells being dropped, we're presented with one final choice: Drink the Kuva or not.  Logically one would think that this choice should be some significant act with long-term ramifications and heavy implications on what players are capable of depending on said choice.  Afterall, this stuff is supposedly the difference between life and death for a lot of different entities, the difference between being one of countless grunts to get slaughtered in the waves of flesh being thrown at us, and some genuinely comparable foe capable of taking on (and even defeating) our Warframes.  But... It's not.

Drinking the Kuva or not winds up being one of the most inconsequential choices you can make throughout the entire game, literally amounting to nothing more than a small UI element that only appears if you examine someone's profile and whether or not that icon is white or black or somewhere in between.  That's it.  That is literally the only implication we've seen from this choice.  Sure players get a little spooky ghost voiceline in the quest cinematic but then everyone winds up hearing these lines and seeing their operator popping up around the ship anyway, so ultimately we can call that a wash as well.


If we really boil it down to a "lore" or "in-universe" effect, all we can assume to have come from the Kuva is a divide of players.  One camp of players who didn't drink the Kuva and ultimately became as strong as the ones who did anyway (since again, no actual tangible effect on gameplay or anything) presumably out of training and discipline and whatever, and the other camp of players who did and all we can assume it did is detract from the validity of their in-universe power supposedly being supplemented by said Kuva.  To put this another way, it's effectively the same as looking at two bodybuilders, one who got big through hard work, training, etc and one who just took steroids and got just as big (obviously this is ignoring the negative impacts of steroids for the sake of the analogy).  One of those is clearly going to be more impressive than the other.  This turns our final actual implication of the Kuva - the alignment indicator - into more lore-wise a "*@##$ Badge", excuse the French.  A seeming lack of any direction or real intent for this choice to affect anything has inadvertently done nothing more than imply certain players are "less than" from a lore perspective.

I don't really know if DE has any plans as far as this or if they even remember that this choice was ever even made to begin with at this point, but I've got to say I'm personally much more invested in seeing this storyline through than I am with the Sentients and the whole New War deal.  I doubt it will get much traction, but if anybody with DE has any insight at all they can share with us, I'd sure love to know if this is ever going to go anywhere or if this will forever just be a relic of abandoned plans that quietly undermines the accomplishments of any players who made the wrong choice.

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I had thought that maybe there would be more of these choices in following quests. IIRC only the Harrow quest used more of these systems which was nice but yea ultimately its just what you wrote. Its possible it will be important in the duviri quest when ever that arrives and it having an impact on how the story is written but i suspect itll just continue to be an artifact from a past quest.

At the very least it would be nice if it had some small impact on how certain NPCs respond/interact with the player.

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6 minutes ago, Zhoyzu said:

At the very least it would be nice if it had some small impact on how certain NPCs respond/interact with the player.

The helminth notes your alignment when the operator enters the helminth room, with voice lines.

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Just now, Kaiga said:

The helminth notes your alignment when the operator enters the helminth room, with voice lines.

does it really? i thought everyone was considered a void demon. Or does it mention something else? 

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hace 1 hora, Ceadeus dijo:

A lot of things hehe...

While we know that Warframe is a multiplayer game and is mostly oriented to COOP, there is nothing on the lore saying that other players are canon and it may suggest that this is the story of only one tenno.

Now, let me explain, I said players since we know that we werent the only tenno on the universe but its pretty much obvious that there shouldnt exist more than 2 queens meaning that if the players are canon then only one had the opportunity to choose.

Anyways, I dont think the Kuva would do something to the operator since its an entity from the void, we can manifestate the void by ourselves, never get older and even when Stalker almost killed us by choking we dont know if the Tenno can really die. Drinking the Kuva would've been like "I already have the power but what about more?", the thing is that maybe there is no "more" meaning that we made that decision for pure greed.

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7 hours ago, Zhoyzu said:

does it really? i thought everyone was considered a void demon. Or does it mention something else? 

I have gotten a voice line that is "this one walks on the shadows edge" , I know others that have gotten something that's " this one is bright" and "this one is engulfed in shadow" if I remember correctly. I may be wrong though.

To the main topic:

 the game never does have us make any meaningful choices outside of flavor text/dialogue as consequence.

I really hoped that the "morality compass" would give some subtle but noticeable effects in gameplay and NPC interactions , like a fear aura that slows or a shining aura that blinds enemies on transference out.

I have given up hope for that though.

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Should "drinking the kuva" have a big impact on tenno?

In terms of story, yes, that is a significant plot point.

In terms of gameplay, no. Imagine your warframe experience is irreversibly affected by one multiple choice question you answered 4 years ago! Heresy!

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1 hour ago, RichardKam said:

Should "drinking the kuva" have a big impact on tenno?

In terms of story, yes, that is a significant plot point.

In terms of gameplay, no. Imagine your warframe experience is irreversibly affected by one multiple choice question you answered 4 years ago! Heresy!

Just replay the quest to change the choice, then.

(I know, currently replaying the quest and changing the choice does not affect the alignment, but it could easily be changed.)

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I mentioned this to the creative director right after they released TWW, saying that the choice should've mattered. It should've had some kind of an impact, even if it was changing the visual effect of your Tenno powers. Even getting some different cosmetic outfits or something would've been better than just some lines of dialogue and a useless glyph on your profile screen.

17 hours ago, RichardKam said:

Should "drinking the kuva" have a big impact on tenno?

In terms of story, yes, that is a significant plot point.

In terms of gameplay, no. Imagine your warframe experience is irreversibly affected by one multiple choice question you answered 4 years ago! Heresy!

You can go back and change your choice by replaying the Quest. It should either affect gameplay or shouldn't be in the game at all. I said that when the quest released and I stand by it now. Why? Because the current system has no impact, on story or gameplay. The story doesn't change depending on your choice. It's just a dialogue and animation change, but it has no impact beyond the ending scene of TWW.

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10 hours ago, Ceadeus said:

I don't really know if DE has any plans as far as this or if they even remember that this choice was ever even made to begin with at this point, but I've got to say I'm personally much more invested in seeing this storyline through than I am with the Sentients and the whole New War deal.

If it has any effect at all, it will only be personal.  It's been my experience that MMOs with player choice never truly lead to an individual having any impact on the world at large.  I've seen events where players sort themselves into teams to affect a change to the world.  It's not likely that the choice made in War Within will have any impact on the story, and that the New War is going to conclude in a way that DE already intends.  We might get some special dialogue about our choice, but that's about it. 

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aside from slightly different dialogues, I don't think much will change: Sun-aligned Tenno will talk like righteous white knights, balanced Tenno will talk like normal people and Moon-aligned Tenno will say more edgy things. that's about the extent of the choice I can see happening anyway.

inb4 Duviri allows players who drank the Kuva to get a sweet-a$$ Orokin body, so we can see what all this immortal golden god fuss is about lol.

 

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From Wiki:

"It also has other properties; it is mentioned by Teshin that the Kuva Guardian's weapon, Kesheg, is imbued with Kuva which supposedly makes them immune to Warframe powers. This is also alluded to in the braids surrounding the Queens' throne: they are immune to all attacks except for the Operator's Void Beam, suggesting they were also made with Kuva."

Those who drank kuva will have their Warframe powers nerfed, lol!

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Well I doubt our choices will ever alter gameplay.  I would love for it to matter. Link it to our doppelganger wally. Our inner demon a hallow self that wants to be the king and make us the horse.

Perhaps duviri could use it as a boss fight.

Remember our void powers are a double edged sword.

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I think DE had some idea in their head with the Alignment system, leading to the choice to drink the kuva or throw it away.

I think they changed their mind, because creating branching story based on choices is harder for evolving multiplayer games.

Alignment will likely never venture past some arbitrary flavor text like the one sentence from helminth or the man in the Wall.

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Yeah DE cannot "held us responsible" for a vague choice that people made 4 years ago. And they know it. 

If they somehow gonna make our choices matter in the future, imagine the hell that warframe support will have to deal with players wanting to change their morality compass.

 

If I'm in DE's position, the best thing i can do for the morality compass right now is make replaying quests counts towards the scale again. So at the very least people can choose if they want a sun or moon icon, or gray. And idk... probably have one of Pablo's guy to design a sigil that you can wear that represents your morality compass, so it won't look like we entirely forget about it.

Edited by Soy77
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Systems being abandoned is basically the story of Warframe's development. Anyway, I would enjoy if the story acknowledged our actions through occasional voice lines. Like how during Kuva syphon missions it would occasionally point out if you decided to kill or spare the elder queen. 

Maybe during the New War have Ballas tell that he remembered what we did and have him react appropriately. The furthest the alignment system should go is to maybe give the player some unique cosmetics upon completing the quest or maybe a glyph with the alignment. 

Also, the light/dark system seemed a bit confusing. What I got is that dark was the romantic option. Dark options show compassion towards allies and cruelty towards your enemies. Light options are the enlightened option that tries to go with the most pragmatic approach to the situation, prioritizing level-headedness and acting like a professional warrior. The equinox option is somewhere in-between. 

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On 2021-08-10 at 7:31 PM, Ceadeus said:

Any player who's been around for a while will remember the end of the War Within questline.  After all the confusion and revelations and bombshells being dropped, we're presented with one final choice: Drink the Kuva or not.  Logically one would think that this choice should be some significant act with long-term ramifications and heavy implications on what players are capable of depending on said choice.  Afterall, this stuff is supposedly the difference between life and death for a lot of different entities, the difference between being one of countless grunts to get slaughtered in the waves of flesh being thrown at us, and some genuinely comparable foe capable of taking on (and even defeating) our Warframes.  But... It's not.

Drinking the Kuva or not winds up being one of the most inconsequential choices you can make throughout the entire game, literally amounting to nothing more than a small UI element that only appears if you examine someone's profile and whether or not that icon is white or black or somewhere in between.  That's it.  That is literally the only implication we've seen from this choice.  Sure players get a little spooky ghost voiceline in the quest cinematic but then everyone winds up hearing these lines and seeing their operator popping up around the ship anyway, so ultimately we can call that a wash as well.


If we really boil it down to a "lore" or "in-universe" effect, all we can assume to have come from the Kuva is a divide of players.  One camp of players who didn't drink the Kuva and ultimately became as strong as the ones who did anyway (since again, no actual tangible effect on gameplay or anything) presumably out of training and discipline and whatever, and the other camp of players who did and all we can assume it did is detract from the validity of their in-universe power supposedly being supplemented by said Kuva.  To put this another way, it's effectively the same as looking at two bodybuilders, one who got big through hard work, training, etc and one who just took steroids and got just as big (obviously this is ignoring the negative impacts of steroids for the sake of the analogy).  One of those is clearly going to be more impressive than the other.  This turns our final actual implication of the Kuva - the alignment indicator - into more lore-wise a "*@##$ Badge", excuse the French.  A seeming lack of any direction or real intent for this choice to affect anything has inadvertently done nothing more than imply certain players are "less than" from a lore perspective.

I don't really know if DE has any plans as far as this or if they even remember that this choice was ever even made to begin with at this point, but I've got to say I'm personally much more invested in seeing this storyline through than I am with the Sentients and the whole New War deal.  I doubt it will get much traction, but if anybody with DE has any insight at all they can share with us, I'd sure love to know if this is ever going to go anywhere or if this will forever just be a relic of abandoned plans that quietly undermines the accomplishments of any players who made the wrong choice.

Personal opinion what I always thought they should give us weapons that can only be found if your the right alignment, like the syndicate system. 

Light  weapons  have to deal with buffing allies

neutral weapons have to deal with buffing your operator

Dark weapons have to deal with debuffing enemies. 

Works the same way as syndicate weapons where you have to build a charge for them.

 

 

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As has already been mentioned, it'd be a royal clusterf&#% to try to accommodate for the various choices made across various players and the results of them. If they even tried I'd imagine the memory & comp processing needed would rise as a needed byproduct. Also if they were to try this it wouldn't just be the Kuva drinking, but instead be an entire chain of things including The War Within choices. Some of those leading to particular operators being broken animal-istic types that couldn't interact with too many NPC's, thus hampering that avenue of interaction with the world. This sort of programming is what I'd wager is one of many factors that makes it so hard to try to incorporate older events where people chose a side into the game, though in those cases the "choice" factor honestly should be removed as the results are already decided now. I'd love to have the choices make a difference in the story, however I also fully acknowledge the gargantuan task it'd be to try to program, optimize, and even write story going forward that worked with that.

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I drank the Kuva, not for the power it would inevitably grant at some great expense to my sense of self as I give into the addiction of said power, but to test my will against its corrupting influence, and shatter whatever the corruption is as I choose for myself what I will do afterwards.

Went down like water. Didn’t feel all that different. Some sort of voice and that was all. 2 stars out of 5 (nice taste), can’t really recommend.

I just hope the future game doesn’t see my decision and think “This one drank the Kuva for these (incorrect) reasons” 😋

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Maybe it's actually the most important decision presented to you, because it teaches you that none of the choices in this game really matter.

 

Call me any time for more secret forbidden Warframe deep lore.

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