Warframe’s Dante Unbound update is a hoot – with new reworks, tennogen cosmetics, and new “page master” frame

By admin Feb28,2024

As you may know, Warframe is soon due it’s next major update: Dante Unbound. Coming sometime in March, it’s set to act as an echo patch for the excellent Whispers in the Walls patch in December – a narrative bombshell that set the stage for where Warframe will be going narratively in the coming years.

But can Dante Unbound entice in the shadow of such an update? To find out more about what we can expect, I sat down and had a quick chat with creative director Rebecca Ford and community director Megan Everett to find out a little more about what we can expect to see.

Let’s first address the obvious. Dante, whoever he is, this bookworm does indeed seem to be unbound and thriving. As the game’s 56th warframe (feeling old yet), he’ll also be able to do wonderful things with the brand-new tome weapon type added in Whispers in the Walls.

“I don’t know if we’re too soon to do a book warframe after the book weapon, but to be honest, the concept of Dante and doing this ‘page master’ warframe is something I’ve always wanted to do” states Ford, speaking on how long this concept has been in the oven at Digital Extremes. “I was very opportunistic. I put this kit together and asked Pablo (design director) if it was okay that I take this one with the team – I knew exactly the fantasy we were going for […] As a concept level we were working on him as early as last year.

Ford continues, “I knew I wanted a story-based frame, who could cast spells to tell the chapters with this custom UI so it feels that certain way. Since then, the design and implementation team have been nailing it.”

There’s not so much an elephant in the room with Dante as there is an owl, an animal that is clearly a major inspiration for the frame’s look and core design. Aside from Ford, a lot of the credit for Dante’s distinct look compared to the cast comes down to Vadim Sverdlov. The concept artist behind Guass Prime, Dante was his first original frame.

“I wanted Dante to feel like a classic god of knowledge! A lot of us really wanted this pointy wizard hat, so we’ve done that with the alternative helmet. I emphasized a lot on physique, power, and casting. Vadim took that and went all in on the owl as a reflection of knowledge, and turned it into that shape and silhouette that you can see today.” To go alongside this look, Dante is the first frame to have a male floating movement set, further pushing the magical aura around the frame.

Dante Unbound concept art
Even among Warframe’s colourful collection of exotic frames, Dante looks especially out there. | Image credit: Digital Extremes

There’s more on offer than a new warframe, obviously. Inaros, a fan favourite tank warframe is getting a much-needed touch up. When asked how the team decides which frame is in need of such treatment, Ford tells me in this case, it came down to a good ol’ fashioned lightbulb moment from members of the team. “Credit to some of my co-workers, but they were just playing it and went ‘I think I’ve got some quick fixes that will really freshen things up’. It’s not a major surgery, it’s very much a routine positive refresh. It’s a lift, not an amputation! (laughs).

Cosmetics can be an eye-roller, especially for the spending-averse. But when it comes to Tennogen – fan-created items that can be bought in-game, with profits shared between Digital Extremes and those creators – the cool factor goes up significantly. Enter Everett, who was all-too happy to explain why Tennogen was making its grand return with Dante Unbound.

“Tennogen is so special to us, and it was one of the most important things that we prioritized when we were doing our development of cross save specifically. We wanted to make sure that we maintained the safety of our artists. The difference between Tennogen on PC is bought through Steam, and on console it’s bought with Platinum. So we didn’t want people abusing that.”

With Dante Unbound, a new wave of Tennogen cosmetics are coming to the game. Each of them has been created with assistance from Digital Extremes staff, who apparently give 1-1 advice sessions to community artists.

To hear more about Dante Unbound, you can check out the last Digital Extremes devstream. If you’re keen to try it out yourself this March!

By admin

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