Warframe ‘The Old Blood’ Update Adds a Nemesis System & Grendel

Plus new gear, mods, finishers, and more in 60 pages of patch notes.

“The Old Blood” sounds like the most ambitious update we’ve had in Warframe for a while. Besides introducing Grendel — a new class that’s basically big, angry Kirby — we also get Kuva Liches. These high-level foes are randomized lieutenants that chase after and adapt to you as you play. It’s a lot like the Nemesis System from Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Except in space. Oh, and you get a cool spike thing for melee finishers now.

It would be absolutely ridiculous to include all the patch notes for The Old Blood (a.k.a. Warframe Update 26). There are 60 dang pages of information to go over. But the biggest information basically breaks down like what you see below:

  • Kuva Liches (the Nemesis System)
  • Grendel (a new Warframe)
  • More melee combat changes
  • Ember and Vauban Reworks
  • The Parazon (a new class of weapon for finishers and hacking)

Kuva Liches – Warframe The Old Blood Update

I’ll try to tackle the most important strokes, but let’s start with the Kuva Liches. They were originally announced as the “Kingpin System” in a previous Warframe devstream. Then at TennoCon 2019, Digital Extremes showed them off as part of the upcoming Empyrean update — which will include the ability for teams to pilot their own ships throughout the solar system.

That changed again, however, with the announcement of The Old Blood: Kuva Liches are now “rising” in Warframe on PC ahead of schedule. Digital Extremes is also holding a somewhat mysterious reveal stream for the creatures on Periscope. Viewers can watch the Liches rise in-game, in real time, from that link. Besides the number, you can also get a snapshot of the randomized enemies as they appear. One of the voice lines refers to a Kuva Lich serving dip — confirming that Grineer have concepts of both dip and chips to serve it on, as well as parties to serve them guests dip in the first place.

Kuva Liches are special, high-level enemies that hunt players. You can kill them, but they will only come back stronger (and with new abilities based on however it was that you iced them last time). Hence the whole “Lich” thing. Although the developer has said you can permanently end them with the Parazon (more on that further down) to steal their weapon. Otherwise, you can even recruit Kuva Liches to your cause as buddies that appear in certain missions.

The Parazon & Requiem Mods – Warframe The Old Blood Update

Speaking of the Parazon… It’s a new style of equipment in Warframe, similar to secondary and primary weapons. And it’s taking a bunch of old mods with it. Specifically, underused mods for melee finishers and hacking will now become Parazon Mods. That should free you up to use the situational upgrades more often, without sacrificing things like damage and survivability.

Here’s a list of the normal Parazon Mods in Warframe as of The Old Blood update:

CIPHER MODS – Think of these as upgrading the tool aspect of ‘hacking’. These make hacking easier or give small benefits when hack is completed successfully!

  • Intruder: + Additional Seconds to hacking. 
  • Live Wire: Shock Enemies within 24 meters while hacking.  
  • Auto Breach: 30% Chance to autohack! 
  • Runtime: +45% Sprint Speed after hack.
  • Master Key: Unlock nearby lockers after hacking
  • Untraceable: Become invisible for 18s after hacking. 
  • Failsafe: 50% Chance to retry a failed hack. 

ASSASSIN MODS – These are for the new PARAZON ‘MERCY’ FINISHERS that can occur at anytime in game on eligible enemies.

  • Blood for Life: 50% chance to create a Health Orb on Mercy.
  • Blood for Energy: 50% chance to create an Energy Orb on Mercy.
  • Blood for Ammo: Mercy refills magazine by 100%
  • Hit and Rune: On Mercy: +60% Parkour speed for 6 seconds
  • Out Of Sight: Blind Enemies with 18 meters on ‘Mercy’ kill. 

There are also now an entirely new class of Warframe mods called Requiem mods. I believe that brings us up to roughly… 387 different kinds of mods. Something like that.

Requiem Mods seem to have less of a direct affect on gameplay, though. They seem more like parts of a code. Equip the correct combination of Requiem Mods to your Parazon, and you can permanently kill a Kuva Lich. Although the combination sounds different for different Liches. You might have to experiment and figure out which ones work. You acquire Requiem Mods from special Relics, which in turn come from Kuva Siphon missions.

On top of that, you can get Riven Slivers via Requiem Mods that can be forged into complete Riven Mods. See what I said about all the different kinds of mods?

Warframe Periscope

Grendel – Warframe The Old Blood Update

Grendel is the 42nd playable Warframe in, well, Warframe. He’s big and hungry. That’s… kind of his whole deal. You consume enemies into his belly to improve your allies’ stats. Otherwise, you can spray them back out to deal area-of-effect damage.

Grendel was also first officially announced at TennoCon 2019 — alongside Gauss. The latter Warframe made it into the game earlier this year, in the Saint of Altra update. But whereas that class was all about speed, Grendel seems to be a slightly slower, more support and crowd control focused character. He can still kick it into overdrive by turning into a ball that bowls through enemies, however.

His passive ability also gives him 50 bonus armor for every enemy Grendel consumes.

Ember & Vauban Rework – Warframe The Old Blood Update

This has been a long time coming. Although it is a little funny, too. Vauban in particular has never quite been able to find its niche within Warframe. The defensive character has had multiple reworks already, only to be instantly overshadowed by other characters and the nonstop speed of the game in 2019. Meanwhile, Ember is a very powerful Warframe… but only in a hyper-specific niche. These reworks seek to change all that.

Ember isn’t that fundamentally different compared to how she ever was. But now gets bonus ability strength for every nearby enemy she lights on fire, can strip armor from foes, and can block incoming damage with a fire shield (as she used to be able to do more than a dozen updates ago). She also has a special heat meter now. The more heat she builds up, the more damage Ember can block and dish out. However, her shield will become more expensive if she overheats. You need to cast her armor-stripping Fire Blast attack to cool off a bit.

More Warframe:

Vauban, on the other hand, is exceptionally different compared to his previous design. Only two of his old skills (Bastille and Vortex) remain and they’ve been combined into a single ability. His ultimate now captures enemies, strips their armor, gives armor to nearby allies, and crunches collected foes into a big ball — all the easier for you and your friends to shoot at the same time.

Meanwhile, Vauban has a completely new attack, Photon Strike, that summons an orbital laser at a targeted location. His Minelayer, while fundamentally similar, also has four completely different types of mines. They can damage, redirect, or tether enemies in place. One of them will also provided a damage boost to you or a nearby ally.

Finally, Vauban’s Tesla Grenades are now these little electrical drones. They will follow him around and shock enemies as you go. This will stun enemies and give you some measure of crowd control while moving and shooting! You can even summon multiple drones at the same time.

Warframe Kuva Liches

Phase 2 Melee Changes – Warframe The Old Blood Update

Most of the rest of this patch is dedicated to melee changes. This is part of an ongoing project in Warframe to make melee a more seamless part of the experience — as well as make more of the massive arsenal of in-game weapons viable. Comparatively, I mostly just equip War these days and hit enemies with melee if they get too close…

The Phase 2 changes are way too much to go into here. If you want the full rundown, go check out those patch notes! But I’ll attempt break these down into even more digestible chunks, like at the beginning of this article. Check them out:

  • Directional slam attacks (to hit people from the air better)
  • Heavy melee attacks (to initiate air juggling)
  • Better blocking (now stops 100 percent of incoming damage in a cone of defense based on the weapon type)
  • Dodge canceling (to exit out of a melee combo mid-animation)
  • Universal combo inputs (the same combinations of button presses will now do more-or-less the same thing, no matter what Stance Mod you’re using, while the Stance alters the effects of the attack)

Everything Else – Warframe The Old Blood Update

The rest of this update is mostly dedicated to the things you would expect: balance changes, new items, and some quality-of-life fixes. Once again, I recommend checking out the official patch notes for the nitty gritty. This is just a broad overview of the most important new features!

That being said, there are a few things worth noting. Weapons can now get their own Exilus Adapters, for instance. That means you have more slots for utility mods that, once again, you probably wouldn’t use if they took up a more important slot. A lot of this update seems based around giving you more reasons to use more, different equipment. I can dig it!

There’s also a new breed of Kavat (the mutant cat companions). These ones can suck out enemy blood and heal themselves with it. That’s good new for anyone that like Kavats, but hates constantly reviving companions in Warframe. Not to mention this Kavat, called the Vasca, can then sacrifice some of its own health to revive you. Finally, they can pay you back for all those hundreds of times you and your squad mates have had to raise them up from the dead. It’s just the thing for a Halloween update.


And that’s that! Thanks for taking the time to read our rundown of Update 26: The Old Blood for Warframe. We’ll have more information on the game, as well as the upcoming Empyrean update, as it becomes available. Stay tuned! Until then, however, stay safe out there. Those Kuva Liches don’t look like they’re messing around.

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Steven Strom

An obsessive writer broadcasting to you live from the middle of nowhere. Thinks cute things are good, actually.

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