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Devstream 30 Overview Part 1, Infested

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Anyone who has tuned into our http://youtu.be/fLKzn3WBIjk'>Devstream 30 will know all about some of the new additions we have coming to Warframe’s enemy repertoire, designed to both expand our current roster of enemies while at the same time revisit and update our classic bosses as well.  Loads of new information on the J3 Golem’s design progress, an expansive look newly evolved Infested and details to the improved Tyl Regor were just some of the exciting changes we have in store for you, and it’s really just the tip of the iceberg.


If you haven’t had a chance to check out our latest Devstream, or are just looking to get a quick review of what was revealed for the Infested without all that fancy video-watching, here’s a look at what’s new baddies we have in store:




Our first Infested reveal came in the form of the J3 Golem, who has made a dramatic leap in design since we initially teased the changes (the first teaser can be seen above).  A massively hulking Infested that has merged with part of a Corpus ship, the J3 Golem is the (one of the) larger enemies in game with the average Tenno standing at only a third of his size.  The new artistic development for the J3 Golem makes him far more warped an intimidating, a trait it was lacking with its old Infested concept.





Though no details were given as to what the fight against him would specifically entail, we do know that another new Infested will likely be making an appearance during the encounter...






Part of the infested ship, the Devourer will take up residence inside the ventilation system, snapping out to grab unsuspecting Tenno to drag them to...well, anywhere!  Players grabbed by the tentacle whip will have a brief opportunity to shoot their way free of its grasp before being sucked into its maw and spit out somewhere else within the spacecraft.


The details are still rough, but one possibility for the Devourer would be to make an appearance during the boss fight itself, forcing Tenno to watch not only the deadly attacks of the J3 Golem but to keep an eye out for a Devourer ambush that could not only take their attention away from the boss but possibly separate them from their team; forcing players to either fight on with divided numbers or fall back to make a strategic regroup.




Of course boss fights and disgusting traps are not the only thing on our mind.  A lot of attention these past few months has gone into the expansion of the Infested faction as a whole, expanding on the melee-oriented faction in more ways than filling the gap with ranged units.  Concepts and prototypes like the Infested Drone (placeholder name) exist to fill in these weaknesses, spewing out crawlers as it flies overhead while leaving a toxic cloud in its wake. 




Another complementary unit are the bipedal Infested MOAs’ who are a twisted reflection of the loyal Corpus proxies in design and purpose.  Lumbering forward with unbalanced limbs these enemies spit a corrosive toxin from a distance, damaging their enemies both on contact and through a lingering ground puddle.  Contrary to their appearance the MOA is also surprisingly agile, able to leap great distances with little effort despite their uneasy staggered walk.




MOA concepts also include the Nanite MOA, a living hive of nanotechnology able to send black swarms of nanomachines that latch onto players to reduce armor and impair vision.  Those same nanomachines can also latch onto enemies, increasing their armor to make them more difficult to kill.  Another work in progress is a MOA with the ability to spit out an adhesive goo that dramatically reduces player speed, avoidable with a quick jump or dispatched with a well placed shot.


Taking existing Corpus units and twisting them into familiar but altogether different creations is the goal of our design time, and though all of these concepts may see further changes we’re certain the final release will radically change the way players interact with Infested across all gametypes.






Bolstering the ranks of hard-hitting Infested are two new Ancients in development, both with their own unique ways to force players to quickly adapt their play style.  The Puss Ancient is a moving breeding ground for Infested, spitting out globs of rapidly evolving material as it takes fire from Tenno weaponry.  Simply shooting it at range will cause more enemies to spawn, though there’s an opportunity for players to destroy the cocoons before they hatch into new enemies. 




Similar to the Nanite MOA the Diseased Ancient tries to hinder players, setting loose small but quick moving critters that will latch on and slow players down.  Just like other enemies it’s not a particularly large threat by itself, but in tandem this broad new range of opponents it’s our hope that the Infested are not only able to weather the most aggressive Tenno assaults but alter the battlefield in a way that suits their need to get up close and personal with any Warframe.


Keep in mind that any (and all) of these enemies may be subject to further change, and nothing has been firmly decided when it comes to the range, damage, or scaling of any ability. 


Stay tuned for Part 2 of our preview of Devstream 30 where we take a look at some of the changes coming for the rest of the factions; including a closer look at some of the updates to Corpus and Grineer bosses.

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As I read these absolutely beautiful ideas that I would adore to play against, all I can think is "each and every one of these will die to someone's Penta faster than I can truly enjoy them". Even in the demo video of the Pus, it died far to fast. New enemies are great, but unless they have some way to survive the massively powerful weapons that can one-shot bullet sponges like Vay Hek, then we have a demotivating process (That being said, I will try to only find people who actually like fighting the enemies, with weapons that aren't able to one-hit everything).

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As I read these absolutely beautiful ideas that I would adore to play against, all I can think is "each and every one of these will die to someone's Penta faster than I can truly enjoy them". Even in the demo video of the Pus, it died far to fast. New enemies are great, but unless they have some way to survive the massively powerful weapons that can one-shot bullet sponges like Vay Hek, then we have a demotivating process (That being said, I will try to only find people who actually like fighting the enemies, with weapons that aren't able to one-hit everything).



But you have to remember, that room he showcased those enemies in is purely for testing their behavior and abilities.  It is by no means representative of the final product.  He wanted to show off what happens when it dies, not how hard it is to kill.


edit: if you're looking to play with people who don't just one-shot everything, I personally enjoy taking what would be considered a sub-par weapon into a match for the fun and enjoyment of it, even if it means more of a challenge and sub-optimal match in terms of how many waves of defense or how many minutes in survival I can last.  I play for fun, not to faceroll everything and anything in a match.

Edited by Undead_Zeratul
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As I read these absolutely beautiful ideas that I would adore to play against, all I can think is "each and every one of these will die to someone's Penta faster than I can truly enjoy them". Even in the demo video of the Pus, it died far to fast. New enemies are great, but unless they have some way to survive the massively powerful weapons that can one-shot bullet sponges like Vay Hek, then we have a demotivating process (That being said, I will try to only find people who actually like fighting the enemies, with weapons that aren't able to one-hit everything).

I hear you, but keep in mind those were from mechanic mock ups, that hadn't been balanced yet.  The dev who was running that video said in the dev stream that he hadn't touched the values for health or armor or anything yet, so expect it to be different from that.


That said I totally agree, I'm hoping he can take a punch before popping.


Edit... tenno'd by the undead!

Edited by Rajko
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Thank you very much for this post. I'm glad to see more Infested units! However, not really a complain but a little share of thoughts, I was wondering if there's any plans for future Grineer Infested.


If you look at the Infested, all units, including the new ones but excluding the Ancients, are all and always Corpus. The only Grineer infested we've ever seen is the Charger and Phorid (but he's only a placeholder). I assume the Juggernaut may be made of Grineer, but you never know if it will be called "Ancient Juggernaut" instead. Grineer may be clones, but clearly they showed that their cloning isn't perfect. Thoughts on that?


Lastly, any plans to polish Lephantis' design? Right now, its scale clearly doesn't match its model, since what you guys did was simply scale up its first model size into a colossal level without changing the level of details. This can be seen very obviously, and I've discussed about it in a separate topic, but I can put it in spoilers here for your convenience, if you're interested.


Note: Very long post ahead. There will be no TL;DR.


Note 2: Many assumptions that I may be making without saying "in my opinion" still is. However, I try to put things together with logic and information we currently have. Feel free to correct me if I got some lore/info wrong from its source.




The topic will focus on certain aspects of Lephantis design that simply don't work for its scale and its lore, at least in terms of creativity and originality, in my opinion.



Overview of Lephantis's design and lore


- It's huge (duh)

- It's color scheme seems to match more like the fleshy design seen in certain regular infested units and infestation roots on surfaces.

- Its lore indicates that it's been created by the Orokin long ago, meaning it's technically one of the oldest, if not the oldest, infested monster of this technocyte strain

- It's been consuming and and growing for centuries, which lead it to become much more than a typical infested (surpassing Ancients, which seems to be the "omega" of regular infestation).

- It has 3 parts. One being the Ancient Infested (suggesting that it may have been an Ancient before, maybe even the first Ancient ever), and the other two representing the current major factions (Grineer and Corpus).

-- All three heads are very different from each other as a result



A closer look at Lephantis' body


In battle these aspects may not be as noticeable due to the saturated red overlay in the phase 2 arena. However, the Codex removes all of that, allowing certain details to show up clearly.


Look closely at the "body" of the two faction-heads:










Do you see it now? You can see it very well; the Corpus head actually has a Corpus body and SUIT attached to the main body, with its head having stretched into the box head (also clearly a Corpus helmet shape).


For the Grineer, you can also notice the arms of a Ballista unit coming out of it, as if it was mutated from this single body (note that there's also a humanoid face under the main head).



What problems I see from it


This wouldn't have been that bad if it was a regular Ancient that has absorbed a few Crewmen and Ballista, with rapid and violent mutation taking place so that you still see some semblance of its source materials. However, that is not the case with Lephantis.


1) The scale is completely wrong

If it was actually a giant organic and deformed body and arms that show growth and complete mutation, suggesting the whole "centuries of absorbtion", it would have fit better. Instead, we have an oversized Corpus suit and Ballista armor, with both elements actually looking almost completely intact from the technocyte itself.


The suit's way too clean and blue instead of being fused with the monster like the "helmet/head" does while showing age. The same goes for the Ballista's armor plating. It literally looks like it's a giant Corpus Elite and giant Ballista that got shoved in and velcro-ed into it in a certain sense.


Why did they do it like this? The answer is simple, and it's in the image below.




The developpers had expressed their desire to scale Lephantis into a colossal being instead of the size shown in its concept. However, the scale in the concept was the design in mind, so in that sense, the scale of the Ballista + Crewmen body were accurate. The problem stems from the fact that they literally just made the mesh bigger to fit what the devs wanted, without changing Lephantis' design at all to fit the new scale. As a result, it doesn't make any sense.



2) The source materials (Grineer and Corpus) for Lephantis' centuries of growth are way too evident

As mentioned multiple times, Lephantis' very old, likely the oldest and the first infested creature made by the Orokin (the name Golem was fitting in that sense).


This means that each body that it consumes at this point, especially for its current scale, is nothing more than a mass of organic matter to be merged to Lephantis' own mass. The DNA and such may affect the monster's appearance a bit, but from this point of view, but since it will be totally consumed into a much grander being, the little mass shouldn't affect the whole being, which may be why Ancients look the least twisted of all.




This doesn't look like it's the case for Lephantis' current design. It almost look like a regular infested who grew a bit further towards a different path, but hasn't nearly reached another level like Ancients seem to be (even though Lephantis should have surpassed that stage long ago, in theory). That's because its source are too recognizable.


You can clearly see that the arms of the Ballista are there for the Grineer, still almost intact as if not completely consumed, and only mutated recently in a violent fashion, much like Chargers and Runners. For the Corpus, it clearly looks like a single body (again almost intact; it has all 4 limbs and such) that has been attached and partially fused with the larger being, and then the head of this single Corpus has stretched out.


The location of the body, limbs and where the head sprouts out is still simple and clear. It doesn't seem to be twisted in a way that shows a prolonged evolution that's still ongoing and fleshing out to become an actual infested "individual" like Ancients seem to be. From a design standpoint. By consequence, even if Lephantis was scaled down, it STILL wouldn't fit the idea of centuries of consumption.



3) How does Lephantis manage to pop out of the ground from 3 different, very distanced spots during phase one if they're all attached to a single body that's not even taller than the stage of phase 2?


This is less important but still something to think about. Seriously, unless each Lephantis heads can somehow stretch itself at least two or three times its length, there's no way for that to happen.



Certain arguments against my points

1) ~Who's to say that Ancients are the "omega stage" of Infestation?~


No one, especially not me, except DE themselves. However, we DO know how an infested organic looks like when they've recently been transformed (Infested light units). If we compare them to Ancients and Lephantis, what we notice is that they're much closer to Lephantis instead of Ancients, so the latter seems to be of an evolutionary stage way further than any infested.


This is wrong for Lephantis' lore of possibly being the most ancient of the Ancients, which is even suggested by the fact that one of the heads IS called "Ancient Infested," and shows traits from said creature.



2) ~Lephantis' growth is still ongoing, and has been consuming Grineer/Corpus while the Tenno were asleep.

It may explain why it parts of it look like that~


That's fair except that this argument doesn't stand. From what I understand, technocyte infestation is rapid and violent, and this is put more in evidence with the latest event where Alad used infestation to attack Fhrod's ship, with at least half of it almost consumed by the technocyte (and large infested roots spreading from the guts of the ship!). This seems more related to the early stages of mutations though since it's rapidly mutating the body and destroying it.


If Lephantis has been consuming Grineer and Corpus for centuries, do you really believe that a blue jumpsuit would still show up, especially on this scale, and some Ballista arms of that size popping out while showing no sign of consumption of her armor?


Why would the Corpus head take such a close resemblance to Corpus box helmets if the victims it consumes may just be regarded as flesh for growth? The last bit would have made sense only if Lephantis was still small like in the concept and only consumed a single Corpus crewman, so the infestation would mutate around him, but if it's consumed many of them for a long time,


Like I argued, at this point, any other organic being is just a mass of flesh for Lephantis to be consumed into its greater being. If infestation is violent and consumes rapidly, a single Ballista and Corpus crewmen can't change the look of Lephantis drastically now since it's already reached high mutation, and therefore the body of these victims will only help the current mutation grow further, by my logic.



3) ~Maybe some parts of it looks like that because the technocyte virus can't consume non-organic materials?~


That's one of the arguments I had against myself at first, but this seems to be quite wrong.

Lephantis' Corpus head's clearly taken the likeness of an actual Corpus helmet and mutated it into a seemingly organic part of itself; last time I checked Corpus helmets aren't organic.


Also, during "The hunt for Alad V", there's infestation growing out exponentially out of the ship's vents, walls and ceilings. Where did that come from? Surely these couldn't have grown in such a way if it couldn't actually consume non-organic materials. Additionally, concept arts show Grineer and Corpus ships that have been heavily infested to the points of looking like the trees in the Orokin Derelicts in size and shape. Maybe it's like moss, barnacles, and mold, or even like the Necromorph tissues seen in Dead Space.


That would make sense, but it still doesn't explain how the Corpus head happened like it did.





Personal Suggestions


In my ideal world, the current Lephantis' design would be rescaled down to its concept art size and given to J3-Golem, so they can actually rework a design that makes more sense but that won't happen, so here's a few simple things that can be done in my opinion.



1) Polish Lephantis' mesh and design to fit its new scale instead of a rescaled model


Very straight forward. Those things like the ballista arms and the corpus suits don't fit and just has to go to be honest, in my opinion. In fact, if the Corpus suit and Ballista parts (arms and maybe the face too), were simply removed, Lephantis' whole design may actually be more solid.


Does that mean I want suggestions of its source materials/origins to be completely erased? Not necessarily, especially if DE's very inclined to use them as nightmare fuel.


But if they want to do it, they have to do it right while considering everything in place. That includes technocyte's mutation at early and later stage, the scale of Lephantis, how it compares to other infestation that also show their source materials (light units), and how it compares to those who don't do it as straightforward (Ancients).



2) If sources are to be kept, SUGGEST them cleverly


A clear Grineer arm poping out and an almost unaffected body with a long box head isn't suggesting it in a way to make us look at the detail and realize how clever it's been implemented. It's good to be grotesque and putting details facefront, but it's all about what kind of details you decide to chose and to hide.


For example, the place where a humanoid arm should be won't be there due to all the mutation and flesh consumed that helped other parts of it grow. However, if you look somewhere you won't expect an arm to be, there'll be a fleshy protrusion that looks like an arm. Little details like that can be much more grotesque if done right, and adds depth to the design.



3) Combine both the idea of age-old consumptions/mutations with recent ones showing


Along with that idea, one can use the idea masses of bodies in numbers while deforming them in order to show bodies that have been consumed evidently (could be recently absorbed).


Think of Lephantis as a fossil of flesh, or a huge flesh mural with carvings showing representation of human history... except that those carvings are actual human beings. I'll use images from Final Fantasy X as an example to give the idea:






This can be horrifying to see, especially if they're still moving or at least dangling (ha ha! dangly parts!), like they just recently died and will soon be completely eaten Lephantis' body.





Last Thoughts


I really appreciate the effort given by the art team at DE, I really do. In fact, I look up to them a lot.

The art style of the Warframes, weapons and such was what drew me in the most to join in June 2013. That's also why I get extremely picky when such things happen in relation to the art.


As an artist myself, I can understand the idea of not liking certain outside minds to enter in conflict with your vision of things, but as an artist I also know that this is a constrain we put in ourselves that can unintentionally narrow our vision to make things possibly better.


So please, I hope you do consider a few things. Lephantis and the Infestation deserves more attention.


Edited by Casardis
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all i can read is poison, flying poison, shields are getting even more useless, time to widely sell qt, rage, life strike, and life packs. on the plus side, the art look great.


i love how you managed the article, it look nice, and digest to read :) it sad that we cannot make column and such directly in the interface, we could have a good use of a bbcode panel with [] and paging tools :)

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Yay, more enemy diversity.

I'll just leve this here, to make sure you take a look at this interesting feedback :




(More & better AI behaviour is welcomed too, that gives more playstyle and less feeling of repetitivity.)


Corrupted enemies need some luv too...

Edited by unknow99
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While I like more enemy variety I can't help but feel adding versions of already existing enemies like the shield moa, infested drone is a bit lazy, we already have 3 kinds of moa not counting the corrupted one, it's getting kinda tricky to figure out which you're facing, drone is a bit less agregius because while we already have a ton of them none of them are infested.


Gist of what I'm trying to say: variety isn't just what they do, it's how they look and behave, doesn't corpus and grineer still share most of their animations? which is pretty weird considering how different they are physically and how their tactics/training differ.

Edited by KriLL3
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