Authorization to board the skipper
Warframe dropped its Empyrean update, first for PC during The Game Awards, then a week later for PS4 and Xbox One. Like many of my experiences with new Warframe content, it's buggy as hell, but it hit the promised December 2022 release on time as something of a Christmas present for Tenno players. Although it could have been released in the new year after a little more time in the oven, the Railjack experience is a fun and hot mess right now. There are a lot of technical issues with Empyrean, but damn it if I don't want to come back as a skipper and shoot down spacefighters.
This is an introduction to start your railjack experience in the first area, Earth Proxima. There's a lot to wade through in terms of mechanics and menus, but learning the new lexicon and UI is a regular process compared to being thrown into the fire that handles a jack intended for four. For now, this introduction is primarily meant to guide your first experience inside a railjack and completing missions without blowing it up.
Building a railjack is a series of quests called rising tide. Only players who have completed The second dream The quest can reach this part of the game and start the process of building their ship. If you just want to participate in the Empyrean expansion without owning a railjack, you just need to complete an earlier quest, L'Archwing. With an archwing, you can join another railjack team from the new star map.
A railjack's crew in its most effective form consists of three positions: the pilot, avant-garde, and the ship hand. This comes from my personal experience, both positive and negative. Two ship hands do nothing but repair dead ship in water. If everyone goes ahead, the ship will be raked over the coals with the pilot alone in the ship.
The pilot flies the ship. They are responsible for keeping it moving because, despite heavy enemy fire, a moving target always outperforms a stationary target. In my experience, the pilot used offensive firepower first, like using flux energy for a seeker volley or using ammo for ordinance. Unless the situation is serious, the pilot should not be expected to constantly come out of his seat to help him. The railjack is also your home base, as enemy flak is powerful and shreds arcs quickly. You not only pilot to avoid enemy fire, but also move the ship into position so that boarding parties can safely infiltrate bases and use the slingshot to attack crew ships.
Vanguard is my special name for the boarding party. A mission in Empyrean is not just on the railjack, but throughout the expanse of space. Sometimes you'll need to don your wing to sabotage firing platforms, disable antenna arrays, and more often than not, board heavily armored crew ships to destroy them from within. The forefront is a bending position that will likely take a shooter headquarters to thin out the snub fighters until the time comes they must fly away and do their job.
The hand of the ship is the catch-all term for the person who does not pilot the ship but takes care of it. While you can tell it's the engineer, fixing hull breaches and fixing the ship, they should also be on the guns when everything is in working order. They should repel boarding parties when they crash into your ship. They should be at your forge to craft more consumables. The crew trusts a capable ship's hand to keep the ship afloat while they focus on their own work. Unless the pilot parks the railjack behind an asteroid for cover and help, the safety and upkeep of the ship will depend on that person.
Speaking of the engineer, each time you join a railjack, you'll find a new tool in your cogwheel, l'omni. This device is your versatile jack repair device for sealing breaks and breaches, putting out fires and repairing broken wires. Breaks in the hull are corrected by tracing the line of the break, sealing it. Fires and live wires are attached by filling a gauge and stopping on the marked supports. Each repair job costs 10 revolite, except for hull breaches marked for catastrophic failure, which cost 30. It's important to keep track of your revolite, because you don't want to run out when you have the most. Not needed anymore.
You have 60 seconds to stop the catastrophic failure, otherwise your ship will explode in mission failure. The more time left on the clock when you stop a catastrophic failure, the longer the invulnerability period will be. A ship hand will have a lot on its plate if you have to repair the ship and push back a boarding party at the same time, but the priority Fallen should be catastrophic failure, boarding parties, breaks, then breaks. fires and wires. Ideally, you should be playing as a Warframe that can control boarding parts enough to neutralize them while you repair, or can deal a ton of damage while you repair.
The typical railjack mission is to pilot the ship as dog hunters to begin with. Once more fighters and crew ships are jumping, it's time to start kiting enemies around asteroids and other cover to reduce the number of angles of fire on the ship. Gunners should be present to help thin out the herd until the crew ships start approaching you. Then it's time for the vanguard to go in search of crew ships. They must board the crew ships from behind and destroy their reactor, then escape and return to the railjack before it blows. In an ideal situation, a boarder focuses on destroying crew ships one at a time so everyone doesn't have to worry about the heavy artillery those ships bring to the table. The pilot may also need to divert some speed to pick up lost enemy loot, as you will need some of the loot to fuel your engineer resources to craft more consumables like revolite. Vanguards can also help collect loot, as drops are collected as a team, but they just have to be careful not to be thrown from the sky.
It is common, at the end of each mission, for the crew to scour the surrounding area for any missing loot. The last thing that needs to happen before officially skipping the mission ship via navigation is to complete the ship's consumables, then hit the refine button to remove the materials from the ship and into your mission rewards. Depending on your posting experience, you may play with people who want to drop the level for more material, but I find that annoying and tedious and just politely ask in chat if what we picked up is enough for us can move to drydock.
Later in mission nodes you will get additional objectives besides skirmishes with fighters and crew ships. These objectives almost exclusively tend to involve flying arcs aboard space stations and other enemy platforms for acts of sabotage which usually involve weakening it so the goon can attack it from the outside, requiring good co-ordination. Once you get to this point, the most effective method is two people on the jack, one person doing tricks destroying crews, and one person lining up the lens because lenses almost always have an extra wrinkle like polishing enemy ships or powerful artillery fire at you.
These are the basic ideas behind railjack missions, but there's one last thing to cover: intrinsic, or player-specific skills that let you unlock the full potential of your railjack, unrelated to your chosen Warframe. Intrinsic skills are tactics, piloting, artillery and engineering currently, with requisition coming in 2022. Intrinsics are earned the same way you earn affinity normally, just specifically for railjack missions, and it takes twice as many points to reach the next level. So level one takes one intrinsic point, level two takes two, and the next is four, and so on. There's a wide range of skills to learn, but there are a few that are pretty essential to making your railjacking experience smoother and easier. I think there is also an upgrade path that you need to follow before you consider specializing your points in any given area.
Your first concern is all your intrinsics at level 1, because the point cost is cheap and unlocks a lot of basic features. Tactic 1 lets you bring up the tactical menu (the default binding for consoles is the leftmost ability button on the d-pad). At level 1 it doesn't contain much, but it does allow you to use tactical avionics abilities like fire suppression. It also lets you see what roles your crew members fill to help you better decide where to put your talents. The menu also lets you tell Cephalon Cy to relay orders to context-aware crew members, such as repair the ship, wield the guns, or scuttle an enemy crew ship.
Then it's artillery at level 3. Tier 1 gives you a primary target reticle, which helps turrets with travel time direct their shots. Level 2 transforms your gunner's seat from a window view to a full 360 degree view. This is important because it allows a gunner to be more effective in assisting the pilot in shooting down enemies. Level 3 gives you access to the slingshot, located at the top of the railjack. The slingshot is key to making most boarding attempts safer, as it propels you towards your targets quickly and makes it harder to injure yourself in flight. He can shoot you in crew ships, or you can charge fire into space and aim for the entrance of a mission objective.
After reaching Artillery at level 3, you should become tactical up to level 4. Level 2 allows you to deploy ranged Warframe abilities on the railjack to aid you. Level 3 allows you to fast travel on the railjack, which is especially useful for reaching the forge quickly. Level 4 allows you to recall the railjack, teleporting from anywhere outside the ship to it. Once you have this skill, you can then perform any of the basic tasks I described above and take on any role depending on the situation. Now that you can perform one of the basic tasks, you can choose to specialize your intrinsic points in an area that interests you. Want to be a pilot? Pilot Intrinsics will unlock more maneuvers like boost, vector and drift. Want to be the ship's engineer? Additional ranks in engineering allow you to craft specialized consumables during combat, including dome charges for your powerful forward artillery.
For most of your time on Earth, you'll get by with the simplest gear. You'll probably spend more time on Earth farming materials until you have some decent upgrades and avionics to really break into the next node, Saturn Proxima, where things get exponentially more difficult. When you leave for Saturn, you can explore additional information shared by Tenno such as the most efficient turrets to use and good Warframes with abilities that help you during railjack missions. But for now, this can help guide you when starting Empyrean.
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