Image Credit: kedemel – DeviantArt
The Orokin are an ancient, forgotten race of people who’s civilisation crumbled in the wake of The Old War (set long before players enter the Warframe universe). Evidence of their ancient palace-like buildings can be found throughout the solar system. Although it is theorised that the Orokin were originally humans that achieved a second renaissance after the singularity, merging with technology. Whatever the real story, what little is known about the Orokin is that they are responsible for the current state of the solar system, now known as the Origin System. In their wealth of knowledge and technological achievements, they left behind ancient relics capable of enhancing a tomb robber’s life. Be it massive wealth from selling artefacts or a more mechanical practical purpose. The Orokin’s legacy, in any way shape or form, is highly sought after by ambitious members of any faction within the Origin System.
Warframe / Operator
Warframes come in many shapes and sizes, offering equally varied powers to bring tactical clout to the battlefield. Of course, players are more than aware of this. What’s important to remember is that these walking humanoid super-weapons are not living things themselves. They are only ever as effective as the Operator that controls them. Using a highly advanced technology called transference, Operators are able to project themselves into their Warframes and become one with the killing machines. There is currently a total of 57 Warframes to find and or build.
Tenno is the name for the faction that your Operator and the Lotus are a part of. Feared across the Origin System, the Tenno are a recognised force to be reckoned with. While they have many allies, the question remains whether alliances are formed more through a desire to be safe. Mercantile characters like Maroo or Konzu would be well served to help out the Tenno, as their Warframes are among the very few that can gain access to ancient Orokin areas, find artefacts and return alive. More importantly, the Tenno are descendants of a cast of Orokin warriors. Awakening from a long and deep cryosleep, the Grineer will no longer go unchecked. While the Tenno know very little of themselves, or the Old War for which they were previously made, they have one guiding light to give them direction – The Lotus.
The Lotus is affectionately self-named the mother of the Tenno, and rightly so. While, for the most part her intentions seem benevolent, players will often encounter instances that could suggest otherwise in Warframe’s story quests. While the Tenno absolutely need her for direction, they know very little of her true origin and what her motivations truly are. When players eventually learn that she had a hand in the fall of the Orokin Empire, in order to save her Tenno children, the waters surrounding The Lotus begin to get a little murky.
On first impressions, players may think the Orbiter’s on-board Cephalon named Ordis is simply there for a little comic relief. He occasionally “thinks” freely, giving to emotions like anger and sadness, correcting himself at the last minute every time. This damage to his circuitry is what makes Ordis different from the other calmer Cephalons players will encounter. In actual fact, there is a darker story behind Ordis. He is unwaveringly loyal to the Operator, managing the Orbiter’s many functions and collecting Warframes from battle zone extraction points. Although, he is of Orokin origin and was designed before the Old War, he has no memory of the events. If a player inspects concept art in the Codex onboard, they may find unlockable parts of images that reveal Ordis’ memories from the Old War, giving way to a darker past and time before he became Cephalon.
The Sentients are an artificial race of beings that were the sworn enemy of the Orokin Empire during the Old War. A war that they won. They were originally designed by the Orokin as terraforming drones until eventually, they were upgraded with better adaptability and inadvertently achieved sentience. Ultimately, they would become the one true threat of the Orokin and ultimately, their down fall. Sentients largely remain on Lua (the moon) where the largest battles between Orokin Sentient took place. Warframes heading there should be all the more prepared for these formidable foes that adapt to weaponry, taking less damage the more it is used.
Hunhow is a massive sentient, laying under the waters of Uranus and professes to be The Lotus’ father. His driving goal is to eliminate the Tenno once and for all. A thing The Lotus could never do. Hunhow is what The Lotus fears most and although his physical form is long dead, his consciousness lives on and is able to communicate with others when nearby.
The Corpus are a race of humans originating from Earth that value capitalism above all else. This relentless desire for enterprise has made the Corpus what they are today. A conglomeration of commercial and industrial interests, built upon salvaged technology of the past. While their attack methods and combat units are similar to that of the Grineer, the Corpus pose a greater threat as they supplement soldiers with bipedal MOAs and attack drones called Ospreys. This is due their experimentation with Warframe and Orokin technology. This hunger to take what belongs to the Tenno makes them a dangerous faction in the Origin System.
The Grineer are best known for their savagery and this is reflected in the weapons they use, often blunt instruments of high damage. The Grineer are also clones – every last one of them. Desperate for survival, their genetically deficient bodies fuel their hunger for upgrades and any ancient Orokin technologies that might help them continue their conquest across the Origin System. Their homeworld is Earth and while they try to pollute it to suit their vile needs, some places like Cetus on the Plains of Eidolon, cannot be overthrown.
The Ostron are one of the few truly good factions remaining in Warframe. A mercantile people living off the land and off a waning living tissue Orokin tower, Unum, the Ostron’s time on Earth seems to be coming to a close. Not only is their main source of food running out but Grineer forces terrorize the Plains daily, encroaching on Cetus. The arrival of Warframes to the Plains is a boon of hope to the people of Cetus, as Konzu arranges as best he can, to turn the tables against the Grineer.
Konzu is an elderly character and the chief of Cetus. Thankfully, for the Ostron people, Konzu wastes no time in speaking to Warframes and ensuring the defense of his home. Now an alliance has been made and Konzu, being a part of a faction within Warframe, is able to offer rare materials, found only on the Plains of Eidolon. Unlike the Warframes, however, Konzu and his people dare not venture outside of Cetus during the night when dangerous Eidolons awaken.
Eidolons are broken fragments of Sentients left on Earth after the Old War. It’s important to remember that the term does not simply refer to the massive bipedal creatures that rise from the waters of the Plains. Vomvalyst are small hovering creatures that take on a ghostly spectral for when taking too much damage. Teralysts are massive bipedal creatures mindlessly searching the plains for their brethren and anything that can make them whole again which is why we see them covered in tree branches. Gauntalysts are much larger and redder in colour. They are also more commonly sighted on the Plains, only this type prefers to use an elongated boulder to replace its arm. Finally, the Hydrolyst is the rarest of all Eidolon that can only be summoned at night with a specific ritual. Bear in mind, to defeat any of these creatures, players will need to have completed The War WIthin quest.
Captain Vor is a Grineer Officer responsible for your awakening at the start of the game. He is particularly important to the Grineer given his affinity for understanding ancient Orokin technology. As a result, he carries a void key with him, allowing him extra abilities in combat that wouldn’t normally be expected from the Grineer. Vor was tasked by the Grineer Queens to hunt down Warframe cryopods and eliminate them. In defiance, Vor prefered to attempt capturing Warframes for his own ends, ultimately getting him demoted from Admiral to Captain. Vor is driven by a hunger to take Warframe technology for himself, often taunting the Tenno that he will take their technology as his trophy. Really, he seeks to understand the technology so he can use it for his own ends, much like Alad V
An influential figure among the Corpus, Alad V was solely responsible for the Zanuka Project, melding Warframe technology with robotics. This would lead to the bipedal and quadrupedal foes we face today. After somehow being considered a failure by the Corpus board of directors, Alad V became newly obsessed with the Technocyte Infestation. A biomechanical virus that offered a similar project to Alad V – that of melding biomass with technology to create more effective weaponry.
The Infested are typically found as Corpus or Grineer units that have fallen victim to the spread of the virus. It typically wipes out entire ships. The Infested originate from the Orokin’s experiments during the Old War. Given the infestation penchant for merging with all thing mechanical, this is how we see much of the Corpus inventions corrupted as well. Foul as the Infestation may be, it doesn’t stop the likes of Alad V experimenting with it and even the Tenno. Infestation can be leveraged to create devastating living weaponry.
The final entry to this list may seem a little too obvious. Perhaps patronising to some. However, mods, in all their variety offer incredibly deep tactical options to the Tenno. Not only do we have typical mods found on the battlefield, but also special mods. Some can only be acquired from certain factions or if we’re lucky, at Maroo’s Bazaar. Others will only be found after completing Nightmare Missions, going to the Orokin Derelict or bought from Baro Ki’Teer on a realy. Be sure to expose yourself to as much as Warframe has to offer, and it will return the rewards in kind!