Warframe has had some very silly names for things over the years, but the new updated titled “Corpus Proxima & The New Railjack” is the biggest mouthful I’ve yet found. The title does get the point across, though (if you know your Warframe jargon). The somewhat maligned Railjack system is getting a major overhaul, new enemies, and unique missions. Overall it’s designed to make the mode more rewarding and less dependent on other players. It looks cool as hell, too.
Railjack, for the uninitiated, is the name of player owned and operated spaceships in Warframe. Their missions play a bit like Sea of Thieves, with up to four players piloting the star-boats through enemy armadas, manning guns, and boarding A.I. ships to destroy them from within. Also like Sea of Thieves, Railjack content was a bit barebones at launch. The grind surrounding it was a bit tedious and disconnected from the rest of the game. This can be a problem with a lot of Warframe content, but Railjack also had an extremely steep barrier to entry in the form of actually constructing the ships.
Developer Digital Extremes rarely lets systems sit idle for long, though. Railjacks have been heavily massaged since they first appeared. Now, with Corpus Proxima & The New Railjack (still a mouthful), they’re getting a complete rework. One big, obvious change is to the ship itself. Its interior has been rebuilt to make moving from, say, the cargo bay to the forward guns much faster. And once you actually operate the guns (or the helm, or the jetpack cannon that launches you at enemy frigates) you bring all your own upgrades with you. A new “harness” system means player abilities always trigger no matter what Railjack you use. Previously you were at the mercy of the host player’s ship and upgrades.
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Meanwhile “Corpus Proxima” refers to the new areas and quests you can explore. Warframe previously only featured Grineer — a super-militant space clone faction — in regular Railjack content. Now the ultra-capitalist Corpus will pop up to get murdered by your cosmic ninja. Eventually this will also include the “Queenpins.” These Corpus super-soldiers have long been teased as an expansion to the Warframe “nemesis system,” but are still a few patches away according to Digital Extremes.
In many ways this update does feel like new bones meant to support future growth. But it’s a sturdy little skeleton. Existing Warframe stuff is now more interwoven between space combat. For instance, you can upgrade your Railjack suite to summon mechs from open-world gameplay to help with recognizable objectives. I’m particularly happy to hear the rewards will include “Arcanes” — those deeply endgame augments for Warframes you already control. They’ve always been a bit prickly to pick up elsewhere.
If you’re really jonesing for new material, though, the update also adds “Volatile.” This is an entire Railjack quest type built around boarding enemy ships “to create a Reactor failure while fighting off enemy engineers bent on your destruction.”
This might be a prelude to Warframe Update 30: Call of the Tempestarii. The upcoming, more evenly numbered patch is the next full-sized expansion for the free-to-play game. It will also be Railjack themed, so it’s good to know the studio has time to iron out the bugs before then. The patch will also be a ghostly adventure designed to introduce a new grim reaper Warframe called Sevagoth — which altogether gives me some Flying Dutchman vibes.
In the meantime, other changes include NPC allies to make solo play more viable, a simplified mod system, easier Railjack repair, and a lot of other small details. You can see a much denser breakdown of it all in the Dev Workshop on the official Warframe website.
I’ve fallen off Warframe myself lately. That’s not an indictment of the game, though. I always play it in long, intermittent bursts. But honestly all these changes are pushing my favorite buttons. It looks like I had many of the same complaints about Railjack as the rest of the community. But having mastery of my own assault craft — a mobile fortress to take the fight to the villains — is just the thing to drag me back for another couple hundred hours. By plugging most of the leaks in this old tub, “Corpus Proxima & The New Railjack” has me happy and willing to lose all that time again.
Just don’t make me type that name out in full anymore…