Warframe v. Destiny 2 – A Comparative Opinion

So Belghast, Magimos, and I had a few brief words in the discord channel regarding the nature of these two games. In the process, I really felt like I was unwilling to articulate my particular points at length in discord. I could, however, write a blog post about it.

Now, it’s worth mentioning that while I’ve played both games, I’ve invested a much greater amount of time into Warframe. Probably ten hours to every one I’ve spent with Destiny 2, though its rather late appearance on PC is a contributing factor to that.

My sort of working statement was this, “Both are pretty solid games that seem similar on the surface, but have somewhat different core loops. Destiny 2 has a bit more personality to it and Warframe is more mechanically complex.”

Now, it’s important to realize that when I say Destiny 2 has more personality, I’m really speaking about the NPC characters that inhabit the world. I have always found the major D2 NPCs to be more interesting and engaging. I don’t think anything in Warframe has quite had the same impact on me as the D2: Forsaken trailer did. Mainly a sort of “Ohย hell no.” Having said that, Cayde was a particularly strong personality in his own right.

As far as mechanics go, I think I’m specifically speaking to the nuts and bolts of gear stats. While I wouldn’t exactly go as far as saying D2 is simple, Warframe’s gear system is absurdly complicated. Collecting the right mods can often be an ardous and time consuming process in its own right, because there are roughly 1000 of the blasted things these days. Most of the “good ones” are rare drops from rare spawns, and then time and effort must be spent to power them up. In many cases, you not only apply an element but a combination of elements that make a new one. On top of that, you will probably have to level and then reset your weapon several times to alter its slots so that those mods can all be applied at the same time. Assuming that you started with a “good enough” weapon to begin with. Of course, weapon chasing in D2 is also a thing, but it never felt as absurdly time-consuming as making a “proper” end-game weapon for Warframe. Maybe I just didn’t get as deep into D2.

Before I move on, the biggest distinction I’ve had between the two is that when I see something new for Warframe, it’s always about a new activity, new area, or new mechanic that looks interesting. For D2 it always felt like the story was a more critical part of the content that serves the needs of the story instead of the other way around.

Now, I can also see where Belghast is coming from regarding the perspective Warframe uses. I personally got used to it, I guess, though I wasn’t fond of it for a long time. Assuming it doesn’t bug out and stick you into some near-first person perspective that’s even more absurd than the normal one. Combine that with the very fast and active sort of movement Warframes’ space ninjas have and I can see where that would cause issues.

I also feel like these points maybe aren’t the most robust. While I don’t feel as attached to the characters of Warframe, the story itself can be fairly engaging. Especially the lore-related sections focused on the Operator, the Lotus, and/or Ordis. Those bits tend to be fairly far and few between, though I’m probably a bit behind now since I haven’t played in nearly a year.

I’ll give it a rest for today, I guess. Now I want to go play both of them.

Y’all take care, and remember, these opinions are not facts. Both games are great games and we don’t all have to like the same ones.

4 thoughts on “Warframe v. Destiny 2 – A Comparative Opinion

    1. Sure thing. My goal was as much to refine the idea for myself as it was to articulate what I was trying to say. The more I think about it, the more it seems that some of my differences are more perspective than difference though.

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  1. Reblogged this on Indiecator and commented:
    I took part in that discussion and now there’s a whole blog post about it by one and only SDWeasel! If you haven’t already, give this one a read ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Awesome post. I’ve played both too, but probably in a similar position to you SDW where 10:1 hour ratio in favour of Warframe.

    I would agree with most of what you say. Certainly the story is far more pervasive in Destiny 2. It’s everywhere and everything. It’s core to the experience.

    Warframe you could go a pretty dang long time without even really knowing there WAS a story beyond the odd smattering of background lore.

    I wouldn’t say WF has had a turning point exactly, but story is certainly starting to feature more in what they do. The ‘Cinematic Story’ quests they have are excellent with more on the way. But the pacing on these is slow, and like you pointed out, the feature or activity stuff at least historically has taken more centre stage.

    The weaving of the story into the Empyrean (aka Railjack) stuff shown in this year’s Tennocon was interesting though. But still, this was nearer the end. Had a similar reveal been done for Destiny 2, it probably would’ve been woven right throughout.

    Cool discussion in any case. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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