Sitchrea Posted October 12, 2014 Share Posted October 12, 2014 (edited) I love Warframe. It is my go-to game for when I am tired after a long day, and I have sunk a significant wad of cash into it since first enlisting with the Tenno during U7. The combat is very satisfying and the aesthetic is one of the most recognizable I have ever seen. U14 brought with it an incredible menu system, giving us the Liset and our Tsundere Cephalon, Ordis. This, coupled with the incredible skyboxes (Which I hope to see more of) made me love this game more than I have loved any other game since Mass Effect 3. However... Throughout my year-and-a-half of playing Warframe a problem has always been stored in the back of my mind; this quandry has been the issue of innocence in the universe. Before I begin, I would like to inform the public that I am a writer of Science Fiction stories myself, and have had a fair bit of experience in story composition. I love Warframe and would love it even more if this issue could be addressed in even the slightest way. Now, I have stated that my issue is of "Innocence" in the narrative - This is the element of a story (not a plot, a story) that all other elements made in the story's composition are reflected against. Examples of narrative innocence include: - Colonial citizens in the Mass Effect series, going about their daily lives wanting nothing to do with Cerberus, the Citadel, etc. - Primrose Everdeen and the inhabitants of District 12 in the Hunger Games series, wishing only to shy away from the government of Panem to preserve their safety. - Lucy Manette in Charles $&*^ens' A Tale of Two Cities, desiring to live in peace with her husband despite the horrors of the French revolution. Notice a reoccurring device in all of these characters: the want of peace, the abjection of conflict, and the concerned yet aloof attention they show to all parties in the story. They wish only to be left alone to go about the things they have always done, and to do so in peace. Not only is this sensical for a real, normal human to do, it is also natural, as stated in the American Declaration of Independence: "...Men are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." These characters are crucial in a story - they can be either stagnant or dynamic, but are always the background to the scene a story shows, sometimes even woven into the plot itself. These elements are the true neutral factors in a story, allowing the reader, observer, or (in Warframe's case) the player to judge all other elements (Reapers/Cerberus, Panem/District 13, England/France, Grineer/Corpus/Tenno) against, determining for themselves which to be the good and bad. Now this is essential for making plot twists - having the reader's predispositions be shaken by a sudden change in their perspective. This predisposition was created by their observing the elements of a story against the neutral element, and choosing their side. With careful planning, the composer of the story can guide a reader to believing something completely wrong, yet still following it. (I.E. District 13's philosophy of oppression in The Hunger Games, England's poverty over France's Anarchy in A Tale of Two Cities, etc.) As for Warframe... Let us list the story elements presented to us with three defining adjectives each: Grineer: Oppressive, Malevolent, Empirical. Corpus: Greedy, Manipulative, Hyper-Capitalist. Tenno: Guided, Powerful, Amnesiac. Infested: All-Consuming, Intelligent, Malicious. Orokin: Ancient, Mysterious, Precursors. Red Veil: Assumed to be Freedom-Fighters, Underpowered, Outgunned Arbiters: (Yet to be seen) These are our factions. Which of them seem to fit the role of innocent bystanders? It is easy to see that none of them are without blame. Now, there is the supposed Civilian population of the Origin system that is mentioned in the Tutorial Quest-line. In this mission, the Tenno arrives at an asteroid mining colony to find that the Grineer have slaughtered the civilian population there for harboring technology/information which the civilians themselves did not know the significance of. ^This is what needs to be seen. This is what the game needs more of. After this simple event, the player now has a REASON to fight the Grineer. ^ A lot of this comes down to the difference between Active and Passive Voice. To put it simply, Passive Voice tells the reader something, but does not show him. Whereas Active Voice directly shows something occurring. In story composition, Passive Voice is to be avoided with great priority, for it in essence communicates nothing to the reader. A good example of Passive Voice in Story Composition can be seen in the 2011 game RAGE by id Software. In the story, the main antagonists of the games were not shown until halfway through the story, and, while certainly looking the part of villains, they were never actually seen doing anything bad. However through the player's journey he was incessantly bombarded by people explaining how terrible the antagonist was. As such, the player grew annoyed with both parties, and RAGE's reviews were left to suffer as such. The game's mechanics were solid, the explosions were pretty, and the player felt very powerful; but with no real REASON to fight the supposed antagonists, there was little the player wanted to do other than kill mutants all day, which most players found themselves doing. Now let's apply this same critique to Warframe's Factions. The Grineer have been said to be the awful terrible antagonists of Warframe; they have been said to melt themselves down to make more of themselves, they almost destroyed a hostile jungle to expand their civilization in the Cicero Crisis, and they impose harsh regulations on interplanetary travel. The only time we see them tested against a neutral backdrop is in one simple line by the Lotus in the aforementioned tutorial quest. The Corpus have been said to sell themselves out for money and power, and consider warframes as valuable commodities to fill their pockets with $$$. Have they ever been tested against a neutral backdrop? At this point one could argue that this could be seen with the Gradivus Dilemma; However this event merely accentuated the problem of there being no innocence to be tested against. Yes, there were Tenno in Cryopods ready to be woken up, but they are still Tenno - the Faction that massacres both the Grineer and the Corpus. As such, they were not an innocent element, and with no innocent element, players were more inclined to listen to the sound of loot than their personal convictions. And here we see the point of this problem, and it's resulting effects: With no innocent party, players have nothing to judge their predispositions of good and evil against. As such, they have no convictions and merely listen to the jingling sound of the loot in their target's pocket, which never serves in the favor of a game's longevity. In conclusion, it is necessary for Warframe to have an innocent party in order to truely have an immersive story. DESteve has said during Devstreams that he wants no "Boy with a teddy bear" character, and I am by no means implying that this is a crucial element. The element of innocence can be anything, so long as it creates a backdrop for the player to form the dispositions against. TL;DR: it is necessary for Warframe to have an innocent party in order to truely have an immersive story. DESteve has said during Devstreams that he wants no "Boy with a teddy bear" character, and I am by no means implying that this is a crucial element. The element of innocence can be anything, so long as it creates a backdrop for the player to form the dispositions against. Edited October 12, 2014 by Sitchrea Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now