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Devil's Advocate: Why De's Handling Of The Lore Is Brilliant.


Tesseract_The_Pariah
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It &!$$es people off. 

 

It gets people to argue over what few scraps of lore they present.  It makes those scraps all the sweeter. 

 

It makes narrative sense that we know very little of the old war or Orokin times - amnesia after all. 

 

It's like Dark Souls, where most of it is merely inferred through item(or in this case Codex) flavor text.

 

They have very little lore, but it's better that way since it garners interest in conversations.  The way people bicker.  Surely you can see the value in that, right?  We can already infer a great many things by drawing upon the likes of Dark Sector and Pariah(though Pariah is unrelated it shares thematics with most of DE's work.)

All of this, it adds more meaning that simply vomiting lore onto a page would.  We grow attached to our characters as a result and it adds a sense of mystery.  All recursively garnering interest and inciting arguments that go deeper and deeper as to why the Warframe universe is the way it is, if it's connected to Dark Sector(My opinion: Yes.) and the true nature of the Tenno and Orokin. 

And I hope it stays that way because they handle it brilliantly.

Edited by Gaminus
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Maybe for you, but in general we need more lore for purpose. i.e in Skyrim you want to kill Alduin and dragons because you are given that purpose, every bit of lore leads to your existence in purpose making you feel important. In Warframe it isn't like that, we don't know why we do what we do, without that it feels like our efforts and existence is less important

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Maybe for you, but in general we need more lore for purpose. i.e in Skyrim you want to kill Alduin and dragons because you are given that purpose, every bit of lore leads to your existence in purpose making you feel important. In Warframe it isn't like that, we don't know why we do what we do, without that it feels like our efforts and existence is less important

I am a great expert on TES Lore.  The ending of Skyrim leaves a lot of questions regarding the deeper metaphysics and obscure lore.

If Alduin's dead, what happens to this Kalpa?  What does that mean for Akavir?  What IS Akavir?

What are the Thalmor Planning, and how do they bring about Landfall?

Has Snow-Throat been deactivated?  Was Alduin it's stone?   Have you damned the world to destruction through preventing it?

 

Amongst many others.  This is to incite interest.  It's a valid form of writing.  And honestly, your existence in Warframe is very, very important because you can actually impact events within the universe, unlike in TES where both development and story arcs take place beyond player choice. 

 

That and metaphysically in TES you are always a prisoner.  Literally.  You are stuck within the limits of that game and it reflects quite a bit, as prisoners in the lore of TES are always the most powerful.  They have no past, and no future.  They are liberated from risk...  Ah, but I ramble.  I'm a bit of an Elder Scrolls lore buff and I don't often get to indulge.

But you can hopefully see where I'm going with this.

Edited by Gaminus
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It &!$$es people off. 

 

It gets people to argue over what few scraps of lore they present.  It makes those scraps all the sweeter. 

 

It makes narrative sense that we know very little of the old war or Orokin times - amnesia after all. 

 

It's like Dark Souls, where most of it is merely inferred through item(or in this case Codex) flavor text.

 

They have very little lore, but it's better that way since it garners interest in conversations.  The way people bicker.  Surely you can see the value in that, right?  We can already infer a great many things by drawing upon the likes of Dark Sector and Pariah(though Pariah is unrelated it shares thematics with most of DE's work.)

All of this, it adds more meaning that simply vomiting lore onto a page would.  We grow attached to our characters as a result and it adds a sense of mystery.  All recursively garnering interest and inciting arguments that go deeper and deeper as to why the Warframe universe is the way it is, if it's connected to Dark Sector(My opinion: Yes.) and the true nature of the Tenno and Orokin. 

And I hope it stays that way because they handle it brilliantly.

 

Yes and no.

 

There are three types of "lore"

 

1. Things your character _does_ know fresh out of the intro.

2. Things your character implicitly learns as they progress.

3. Things explicitly presented as and in-game progression mechanic.

 

Sure, we should find out about the Orokin and the Old War slowly, no one disagrees with that. Should we be getting that information from Orokin Void missions rather then the Codex entries for Warframes though? maybe.

 

What about things like "How does a Tenno change Warframe" verses "Tenno being bound into a single Warframe" (as some believe) _every_ Tenno should know how that works regardless of cryo-amnesia.

 

Who are the people in the "Warframe cryopods"? Are they Tenno without Warframes,? Orokin Era humans? Why are some in Corpus cryo-pods and some in Orokin cryo-pods? Our character should know that information immediately after rescuing them. 

 

Hell it took a _livestream_ for the devs to tell us that there were people in the solar system that weren't Tenno/Corpus/Grineer. Information that should be in the tutorial intro or at least in the codex by default.

Edited by SilentMobius
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It would be easy for DE to spout bad lore and call it a day, the fact that they're releasing it slowly reveals how thoughtful they are over it.  It is a major focus in warframe which is why there is so little of it.  Like the gameplay, the lore of warframe is endless.

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None other than DE_Steve himself has gone on record to say that the story in Warframe is intentionally sparse so that the players can write "their own stories" 

For a continuous serial as Warframe intends to be, there can be no denouement - secrets - important secrets - must remain in place

 

Personally, I prefer to read a novel or a shortstory or watch a movie or live theater or opera that leaves you guessing a bit - that's the fine art of fiction

That is an experience that keeps on giving ... rather like chewing an Everlasting Gobstopper rather than trying to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop

There is no reason why a video game can't pull off this fairly universal narrative contrivance

 

However:

1. Rather than healthy banter, most Lore threads degenerate into a bashfest between strict constructionists who don't permit embellishment beyond The Codex and in game NPC messages and free thinkers who yearn to fill in the tremendous gaps

2. Inconsistency is worse than paucity and between prior game versions and Dev Streams there is loads of "this then that"

 

Bottom line - does a fully-detailed-but-never-to-be-totally-revealed storyline actually EXIST

 

If it does, well and good ... but most people seem to think not and that is not good for customer confidence

If it does NOT ... well no matter how ingenious it may appear, it's all smoke and mirrors and the emperor has no clothes

 

In the end, Warframe is more than an arcade shoot'em up - it is an action RPG

As such, ROLES need to be given some clarity otherwise the "Ooh!  Shiney!" effect of new content will loose its luster ...

Edited by ElHefe
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I'm quite fond of the minimal lore style that this game use. It gives a lot of breathing room for roleplaying (yes, I have no life, but it's fun), and having this much be up for interpretation is arguably the point.

 

We must remember, after all, that the Tenno are a relic. We are a holdover from an ancient era returning to a universe that largely doesn't remember us as anything more than fairy tales. The reason it took as long as it did for the non G/C/I factions to make themselves known to us may be because they couldn't believe we still existed.

 

Of course, it goes the other way. From the moment you emerge from the cryopod, you are under attack from an unfamiliar foe on an unfamiliar world. It would be hard to re-establish your memories and perception of yourself under such conditions.

Edited by Corvid
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I'm quite fond of the minimal lore style that this game use. It gives a lot of breathing room for roleplaying (yes, I have no life, but it's fun), and having this much be up for interpretation is arguably the point.

 

We must remember, after all, that the Tenno are a relic. We are a holdover from an ancient era returning to a universe that largely doesn't remember us as anything more than fairy tales. The reason it took as long as it did for the non G/C/I factions to make themselves known to us may be because they couldn't believe we still existed.

 

Of course, it goes the other way. From the moment you emerge from the cryopod, you are under attack from an unfamiliar foe on an unfamiliar world. It would be hard to re-establish your memories and perception of yourself under such conditions.

 

Absolutely in agreement with your first point and like the way you use the term "relic" in the second

 

But, what's stopping a Tenno from taking a nice little planetoid after an extermination mission, park it somewhere nice and cozy out of sight and just take a long think to sort it out?

Instead, we run back to momma so that we just do it all over again ...

 

How did that Steely Dan song go?  "Go back Jack, do it again ... Wheels turnin' 'roun' an 'roun' again"

Part of the Tenno mystique and code is taken from bushido which was based upon Buddhism

 

The repetition of Samsara - the empty pursuit of earthly things and the self - is NOT the goal

It would seem that the Tenno are broken to their core ...

 

Edited by ElHefe
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ElHefe, on 01 Sept 2014 - 10:40 AM, said:

Absolutely in agreement with your first point and like the way you use the term "relic" in the second

 

But, what's stopping a Tenno from taking a nice little planetoid after an extermination mission, park it somewhere nice and cozy out of sight and just take a long think to sort it out?

Instead, we run back to momma so that we just do it all over again ...

 

How did that Steely Dan song go?  "Go back Jack, do it again ... Wheels turnin' 'roun' an 'roun' again"

Part of the Tenno mystique and code is taken from bushido which was based upon Buddhism

 

The repetition of Samsara - the empty pursuit of earthly things and the self - is NOT the goal

It would seem that the Tenno are broken to their core ...

 

 

Exactly, and the catalyst that broke them (from my perspective anyway) was the Ascaris. If your character didn't have a parasite designed specifically to change the way they think inserted into them right after the amnesia-inducing cryosleep, they likely would have been able to do what you described.

 

Ever woken up in a panic and had a hard time remembering what you ate the night before? Now compare that to waking up peacefully and recalling the same thing.

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Exactly, and the catalyst that broke them (from my perspective anyway) was the Ascaris. If your character didn't have a parasite designed specifically to change the way they think inserted into them right after the amnesia-inducing cryosleep, they likely would have been able to do what you described.

 

Ever woken up in a panic and had a hard time remembering what you ate the night before? Now compare that to waking up peacefully and recalling the same thing.

 

And so ... that's the way it is to remain?  Broken?  What would be the point?  Existence for existence sake? 

It would be like on life support while in a persistent vegetative state

 

To never know what you were all about is equivalent to never having a story ... sure, it works but only on a subsistence level

 

I hadn't figured out what residual effects the Ascaris might leave as I don't recall there being it specifically mentioned in the game

Did I miss something or are you speculating?

 

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ElHefe, on 01 Sept 2014 - 11:31 AM, said:

And so ... that's the way it is to remain?  Broken?  What would be the point?  Existence for existence sake? 

It would be like on life support while in a persistent vegetative state

 

To never know what you were all about is equivalent to never having a story ... sure, it works but only on a subsistence level

 

I hadn't figured out what residual effects the Ascaris might leave as I don't recall there being it specifically mentioned in the game

Did I miss something or are you speculating?

 

 

I am speculating, but it is described as physically burrowing through you to reach your spine in the game. I can't imagine that such a process would leave everything intact.

 

Besides, it simply means that we are no longer defined by our past. As we heal, we will remember more, but we won't be tied to these memories anymore.

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I agree with SilentMobius, I was on phone when I wrote that so probably phrased what I wanted to say wrongly.

 

Lots of media have unanswered questions and the mystery behind is amazing at times. I know that because I worked on a mod that answered the questions regarding the disappearance of the dwemer and what happened with the heart of lorkhan, mind you I didn't finish it but my research on lore was quite extended.

 

That said, the mystery is very very awesome. It lets you make your own story to a side, let you speculate, predict and engage in discussions with others; a lot of detective work goes into it.

 

However, Warframe is in a much different place because we are not given a reason for what we do which is what really annoys me.

Ok I saved the Cryopod, why? Who is this? Why should I care? I shouldn't because all I am told is that it is important, that's it. TES at least puts you in a spot, they say ok you are here, get to here. How you do that is up to you

 

Warframe needs to have foundations built first:

 

Lore:

This is how I would divide the lore types for making a game/story

 

Foundation

These are the basic stories told, something that gives you a reason to meddle with the main story. Why do I care if dragons attack? I am the dragonborn meant to stop these once and for all. Why should I care if the cryopod gets destroyed? Potential answer: there is another Tenno inside, like I have been saved, somebody saves me. Or: they could be an important engineer, maybe a new weapon or frame is engineered by them.

 

Who are we? We are genderless people put inside symbiotic suits that provide us with knowledge, energy and whatnot to carry out our tasks etc.

 

This is what every game needs if it wants to have a story.

 

Level 1

Stuff you discover yourself, how you kill the dragon. 

 

Level 2

End-game/harder to find stories and information. Stuff given to the player but not easily found to the unsuspecting eye, these are meant to lead onto level 3 as well as give back stories to other things, sometimes even ending ties for level 1.

 

Level 3

Speculations, predictions are all on level 3.

Developer/writer should leave hints as to what happens next but with so many ties open there are hundreds of possibilities. Causing many people to do extensive searches, pay attention to detail, read every text given etc.

TES does a great job here keeping the games very much alive years after they have been published. (i.e Skyrim is still actively modded)

 

 

Warframe needs foundations built first, once we have that I am a happy puppy about lore, I just want to know what/who I am. The gameplay is very strong in warframe, lore however lets it down a lot (along with the obvious elephant: RNG).

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I am speculating, but it is described as physically burrowing through you to reach your spine in the game. I can't imagine that such a process would leave everything intact.

 

Besides, it simply means that we are no longer defined by our past. As we heal, we will remember more, but we won't be tied to these memories anymore.

 

OK, I think I get where you are going with this ... for the Tenno who may be burdened with a tortured past - perhaps to the point of being incapacitated by it (guilt, childhood and wartime trauma) - to wipe the slate ... a fresh start

From this "reset" point, the Tenno are free to choose their path

 

I can dig that ... however, at present the Tenno are NOT free to choose - they follow The Lotus completely and she, unlike our newborn babes, does have a history

 

Which means that it all loops back on itself ... no reset button, just a relay switch

 

One of the reasons that anthropology, archeology and even cosmology are so ardently pursed is that they provide a relevance of the present based upon the past

To be washed of one's sins is fine, but to not know them is to repeat them

 

Consequently, I don't ascribe to your view of an uncoupled past ... the past exists whether we know it or not

What is at the core of self-determination and free will is to be able to make different choices knowing the consequences of prior ones, not to be able to blissfully go through life with a Forest Gump like mentality

 

I won't speak for you or for others, but my kind of Tenno is a National Inquirer reader ...

He/she has an inquiring mind and will never stop looking until they know

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None other than DE_Steve himself has gone on record to say that the story in Warframe is intentionally sparse so that the players can write "their own stories" 

For a continuous serial as Warframe intends to be, there can be no denouement - secrets - important secrets - must remain in place

 

But here's the problem, I think we all want story-driven content akin to the Mirage missions yes? IMHO most of the really good settings have a nice solid base and a line beyond which "there be dragons" so if you like to produce fiction you have a good change of being able to come up with fiction that won't be made into nonsense in the next update.

 

I mean I see stories here where in-character the Tenno are referring to each other as "Ember" "Mag" etc. Does that ever happen? Was "Ember" ever the call-sign for a single Tenno or was it only ever the name for a piece of equipment? The Stalker and the bosses use our account name as a call-sign regardless of Warframe..

 

These aren't great mysteries of the setting, they are fundamental parts of imagining the life of a character in this story.

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And so ... that's the way it is to remain?  Broken?  What would be the point?  Existence for existence sake? 

It would be like on life support while in a persistent vegetative state

 

To never know what you were all about is equivalent to never having a story ... sure, it works but only on a subsistence level

 

I hadn't figured out what residual effects the Ascaris might leave as I don't recall there being it specifically mentioned in the game

Did I miss something or are you speculating?

 

 

If I recall tutorial correcly at some point ascaris was nearly in full power over warframe and f.e. at some point it manifested its power by cutting our shields by half.

 

also Vor stated that "ascaris is burning into your warframe and when it will reach your spin you will be mine" so I suppose it was able after attaching to spin actually turn tenno into mindless killing machine listening only to Vor....

 

so by this "hints" his theory makes sense....

 

about lore itself - in case of memories I thought that Lotus stated clearly that "You slept for so long that your memories faded - I hope you still remember how to run on walls?"

 

so basicly our lack of memories of life past is indicated to be somekind of "side-effect" of extremely long stasis

 

EDIT: forum refresh rate is amasing - neraly as amazing as ingame profile refresh rate :P

 

EDIT2: as for me we should remember about difference between "Tenno" and "warframe" bosses talking to us uses our "tenno" name (In this matter callsign) but for example once G3 said to me "Elenortirie Your Mag is undeliberatelly squishy" or sth like that - so by this I think that "lorewisely" warframe names are just name of "an armour" that tenno is "packed in"

 

and the part when stuff start to be messed is mechanical stuff that as I heard was chosen to use because of cost-reducements of game - that each warframe have its own separate look - I've heard that once time ago there was an idea to make frames in that game having possibliy of male/female and all other "customisation" stuff implemented basing on "tenno" the player resembles [so it would be greatly seen that no matter the frame tenno is always the same] but it came out to be too expensive so atm each frame have "own" unique looking.

 

now the question is how it implements to lore behind the game :/

Edited by Elenortirie
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I agree with your point, but there is huge scope for more. Sure you can keep aspects of the big overarching story obscur, and that is fine.

But that doesn't mean that you can't fill the game with lore.

Things like random drops of corpus datapads giving us a glimpse of their letters home.

Prison manifests of the Grineer giving us some insight into their brutality

A scrawled note in the void from a Tenno who did not make it.

The list goes on. This sort of stufg still leaves the narrative open to interpretation, hell it expedites this buy showing us everything in shades of grey, but the biggest thing it would do is add a degree of life to this game.

When I play this game enemies are just targets, I shoot them because the game tells me to, no other reason. It feels sterile, which is sad because it could be so much more.

Getting all the snippets wouldn't even be that hard. Hold a contest and ask the community to submit 100 word or less entries and stick the best ones into the game as objects in the map, as enemy drops or even writing on the walls.

Sure the stance on lore is fine, but it does not mean there is no room for improvement

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But here's the problem, I think we all want story-driven content akin to the Mirage missions yes? IMHO most of the really good settings have a nice solid base and a line beyond which "there be dragons" so if you like to produce fiction you have a good change of being able to come up with fiction that won't be made into nonsense in the next update.

 

I mean I see stories here where in-character the Tenno are referring to each other as "Ember" "Mag" etc. Does that ever happen? Was "Ember" ever the call-sign for a single Tenno or was it only ever the name for a piece of equipment? The Stalker and the bosses use our account name as a call-sign regardless of Warframe..

 

These aren't great mysteries of the setting, they are fundamental parts of imagining the life of a character in this story.

 

OK, a clarification ...

I am not making the case that all answers will be provided nor for action to be driven by a third party (DE narrative)

 

The point that I am arguing for is that we should have the expectation that we can make reliable inferences from the story

After all, that is all that history does ...

Information is collected, evaluated for veracity and then integrated into preexisting framework or used to make new propositions

 

To reiterate, I agree with the thread author and you about the value of leaving a story slightly vague

The only time that formula is not acceptable would be in a didactic text where factual or theoretical information must be communicated as unerringly as possible

Personally, in the main DE has been successful in that regard but endanger it with inconsistency

 

What I was trying to get at was the implied "Well, we don't know - so don't bother asking" sentiment in other posts

 

ADDENDUM:  When I referred to "keeping secrets secret" I did not mean to imply never knowable, just not explicitly and in black and white stated - keep the gamer thinking

For instance, in the first installment of Halo it was reasonably clear that the human race was probably much older than expected based upon Earth history alone.  But it wasn't until Halo 4 that it was spelled out.  In my opinion the mystery could have been carried a bit longer as it is unclear whether Halo 5 will have any earth shattering revelations.  As a consequence, my interest in that continuing franchise is less than it could have been.  Up to that point, Halo followed the formula you suggest for Warframe - and it was a very effective formula. 

In that regard, I agree with you that Warframe could and should provide more story content which is gained with gameplay instead of being backstrapped upon a Codex entry of an object that is obtained.  That cheapens the story experience.

Edited by ElHefe
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OK, a clarification ...

I am not making the case that all answers will be provided nor for action to be driven by a third party (DE narrative)

 

I wasn't suggesting you were. I'm stating my opinion that DE has failed to give us what is IMHO the most critical "lore" and that is "what our character knows"

 

I'm fine with being an amnesiac, with the Old War being a mystery, With the Sentients being half remembered.

But if our Tenno knows it, then we should, explicitly.

 

And that bugs the _hell_ out of me

Edited by SilentMobius
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I have to diagree with the OP, big time.

Ambiguity is good, yes, it leaves things open to interpretation and this is an interesting mechanic when there is a basis, which is what warframe currently lacks.

Right now there is literally no basis on what we do, there is no information of how our universe works, who the enemy factions are, we bassically only know 'these are the bad guys, kill them' and that's it. As other have said ambiguity is good but only when there is a solid basis to make speculations upon which is nearly nonextistant in this game.

Oh and let's not forget DE's tendency to relese bits of lore, particularly important ones, behind limited time events and alerts never to be seen again or stored anywhere.

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This isnt true, simply because DE doesnt think that lore is that important. Lore isnt worked on either becasue they dont have enough time for it, or becasue they dont bother with lore.

 

 

When was the last time we had Prime frame lore? Ember Prime? And how much time did pass since then?

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You know why i **** love Warframe Lore? Its because it reminds me of Dark souls and Demon souls lore. ^.^

 

In Dark souls you have such little tiny bits of lore, and you have to read every item description or talk to every NCP to get even a scrap of lore, even then its not super clear lore so their are many variations. ^.^

 

 

Warframe Lore is almost as good as Dark souls lore IMO.

Edited by Feallike
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Guest Tehnoobshow

I'm not pissed off, I'm just disappointed and confused. So, I no longer pay any attention to the lore in this game. How is that good lore?

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I hate it when people compare warframe's lore to dark souls because it's completely different. Dark souls had a brilliantly thought out lore, warframe is random scraps pieced together as the devs think of it. It's clear that they *wish* They were dark souls, but the comparison is insulting. It's just a front for them to not have to face any real lore based decisions.

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The thing is, the lore that is for what is is what it is. We have become a part of the lore, we are not chaning the outcome per say. We are merely giving a piece of ourselfes to this lore. As we are, and have become. A part of it. From the Old war, to the new area of guardians. We are, a part of it. 

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