Similar to quest The Silver Grove, players are formally introduced to another syndicate faction. The quest gives more insight puts a face on the leader of Perrin Sequence Ergo Glast.
Although I was pleasantly surprised that we would be getting a new quest not alone a new update hot off the heels of War Within, the concessions that Digital Extremes (DE) made to release this before the end of 2016 for the PC players are quite apparent.
The quest is only available after completing the War Within, upon speaking to Glast we learn of his concern for the people of Mycona, a colony whose inhabitants apparently earn a living by harvesting material from the Infested. Curious and skeptical as to how anyone could survive not alone sustain themselves on the infested the Lotus asks the Tenno to investigate the mysteries of the Myconian people. Glast presents The Tenno a recording of one of the Myconian children that Nef Anyo has kidnapped, named Neewa. The player will then receive an Inbox transmission from Glast containing a recording of Neewa and a crayon-made illustration from her, which can hung on the walls of the player's Landing Craft / Orbiter.
To me, the premise with Neewa and her messages, and illustrations felt a little heavy handed. DE attempting to introduce a new character and immediately try to pull on the player's heart strings in order to bestow player urgrency in the quest. My biggest criticism of the Glast Gambit was how it felt rushed out, there's a great premise that had the potential to be fleshed out. Instead, the whole exposition feels rushed. We are meant to quickly feel for the plight of this colony and sympathy for this little girl Neewa, which we just learn about off hand. The transmissions with Neewa seem artificial. In the way that those commercials to "save a sick child, or feed a poor child" are.
The first mission the Tenno is instructed to carry out is to ensure the safety of the remaining colonist on Mycona. Upon boarding an infested ship, as the player traverses the ship, the Tenno are greeted with great admiration by the Myconians.
Exploring the space was neat slightly immersive experience, There are not many instances of "regular" non-combative NPCs in Warframe. This was a neat touch of world crafting by Digitial Extremes not often presented in the game.
Ergo Glast explains that Anyo has left the colonist defenseless on the ship. The Tenno must secure the ship by dealing with the infestation, destroying the Infested Tumors and closing a set of blast doors. Each of the gates where these doors are found is defended by armed Myconian colonist. The Tenno must keep at least 6 of them alive while they work with the Tenno to seal the door. Upon sealing three gates, and clearing the Infestation. Glast informs the Tenno that the colonist are safe as of now, and the Tenno should now focus on rescuing the kidnapped children from Anyo.
The interaction with the group of NPCs felt interesting, and immersive only because we are not used to seeing non-designated NPCs fighting alongside the player in Warframe. The first mission of the Glast Gambit made a great first impression in terms of story-telling. In many ways it showed some of the story-telling potential DE has if they just put more time into the quest and explored more of the storytelling and world building. However, what seemed initially to be the beginnings of an interesting narrative quest soon became a letdown as we entered "The Index" portion of the quest.
Once back on Orbiter, Glast further explains that Nef Anyo has refused to pay a ransom offered by the Perrin Sequence for the children. Furthermore, Nef Anyo has also in stolen possession, a Myconian artifact known as the Triuna that is very precious to the people. Glast explains that the only way for Nef Anyo to be willing to offer up the Myconian people and the Triuna is to gamble for them in the corpus arena based sport of "The Index".
What follows after, are series of tedious and monotonous "The Index" missions. A game mode recycled from a community event (earlier this year) of the same name which I personally did not enjoy all that much. Players need to wager their actual in-game credits and complete a series of consecutive Index matches each match itself consists of 3 rounds of which the player must win all 3 rounds or face immediate mission failure and loss of their waged credits. (Hope players have farmed their credits)
The First Index on Pluto (100,000 credits), then the 2nd Index (requiring 140,000 credits), on Neptune, then again (requiring 160,000 credits) but also requires players to remain within a 10-point Victory Margin between rounds, which is the gap in accumulated points their team and the Nef Anyo's team or face mission failure. The margin is to hustle Nef Anyo in order to lure him to sense of close-tight match and for him to not back out of the Index and up-ing his wagers. After consecutive Tenno wins The fourth Index mission, this time Anyo finally wagers Neewa's freedom. On the Orbiter another Inbox transmission containing a recording of Neewa reveals that the Triuna is not an artifact object, but that she is in fact, the Triuna. Neewa contains within herself, a secret ability to keep her people safe from the Infestation.
The Index mission for Neewa (requiring 180,000 credits), Glast himself also wagering his entire holdings and titles. This time, however, the player quickly discovers, that Nef Anyo has rigged the match, in that whenever the player attempts to deposit their index points will suddenly fall into ansus death trap. Anyo denies all accusations from Glast (and The Lotus suspicions) of foul play, but it is clear that the game is unwinnable. Because the player has no way to score points, the match will end inevitable defeat and mission failure even if the match becomes a deadlock 0 - 0 draw.
On the Obiter the Lotus will confirm that Nef Anyo has indeed rigged the last Index match but, she has found the source of Anyo's traps. The Lotus sends the Tenno on a (SPY) mission to secretly recover the control codes for Anyo's death trap in order to render them useless.
After hacking into the three data vaults and obtaining the codes, Lotus discovered that one of the data vault's actually contained an encrypted message from Neewa. The message reveals a ritual called "The Passing" which involves transferring the Triuna to another person, When pressured by The Lotus, Glast finally divulges that the Triuna is a genetic strain passed from generations to generations of Myconians, that grants immunity to the Infestation. This is what has allowed the Myconians to harvest resources from the Infestation without being infected. However, it is also revealed that in enacting "The Passing" the person bearing the Triuna must sacrifice his or her life.
If it is not blatantly clear, the whole situation with Neewa, "The Passing" and the Myconians mirror directly that of the Tenno, "The Continuity" as explored in the prior quest, "War Within" and the Orokin. DE presents some symbology in this quest, but it feels a bit too on the nose.
Once again, Glast challenges Anyo to the Index, a rematch this time offering a rare War Relic, explaining it to be a product of the Void thus catching Nef Anyo's interest. Nerf Anyo accepts, himself wagering (150,000 credits) and Neewa.
Without the death traps, the Tenno are able to sweep the rounds to their heart's content in rematch. Upon realizing he has lost, Nef Anyo attempts to persuade Ergo Glast to continue to wager in another round the Index. Glast refuses, and the Tenno return to their ship.
Back on the Orbiter, the player is then presented with three choices which will decide Neewa's fate.
Lotus offers the (Sun) opportunity to cure Neewa, wary of returning her to her people wherein the ritual will inevitably be carried forth and Neewa will lose her life.
Ergo Glast argues, that although curing Neewa will prolong the life of an individual girl. Curing the strain, will forever, and forcibly change the Myconian way life for all Myconians. Since the Myconians would no longer be able to harvest the infestation and their way of life would be forced to change by an outsider. Returning Neewa home (Moon opportunity) would allow her people to continue with their traditions.
In which Lotus refutes exclaiming that the Myconians will learn to adapt and find a new way of life.
The player also has the (neutral) opportunity to allow Neewa to decide for herself.
Each one of these options corresponding to alignment (Sun, Moon, Neutral) introduced in the War Within.
After deciding the player will receive an Inbox Message depending on what choice they made. The player is then rewarded with the Old War Relic, Glast had promised which turns out to be a Blueprint for the Nidus Warframe.
Overall the quest gives us the players more insight a universe in Warframe is set in. I am a player who always enjoys more great narrative in games. The Second Dream, the War Within are good examples of a lot of work put into narrative and lore building. Digital Extremes did a great job in creating a good self-contained story with the Sand of Inaros, and Silver Grove quests. The Grass Gambit feels like it fell short in delivery in comparison.
As stated before, the quest was off to a strong start but quickly was undermined by the repetitiveness of the Index Missions. I felt that DE had a great narrative framework they created and then squandered with poor delivery. The pacing of the quest felt off. As quickly as we were introduced to the Myconians and the Triuna the story was wrapped up. I felt the same way with the War Within with the introduction of Queens this year. DE seems to be just tossing lore ideas in and not really crafting and molding these ideas as a foundation for something that potentially could be greater.
The one thing not mentioned, is after crafting Nidus and the new developments (lore and story wise) with that Warframe which I will detail more in the future when they more fully revealed. I will just leave this video here for now: