It’s been nearly two years since I last hopped into Warframe. In that time, developer Digital Extremes has dropped a ton of content into its oddball free-to-play sci-fi looter shooter. There are new frames, new open-world environments, new quests, and a whole new spaceflight simulator game mode. While not costing gamers a cent to access, all that additional content has come with a price: storage. While not yet anywhere close to the utterly ridiculous SSD-destroying antics of Call of Duty – which is now over 220 GB on PC – the install size of Warframe has balooned noticeably. And DE are doing something about it.
Hilariously dubbed “The Great Ensmallening” in a new blog post, a series of three upcoming updates will use a texture compression technology called Oodle Texture to reduce storage requirements. As explained, this tech will roughly half the size of some visual assets on disk, with negligible image quality loss as a trade-off. You can check out a Before and After pic below, and besides for some sliiiiiightly different shadow placements, if you can easily spot a big difference between the two then you officially have superpowered eyes.
The first part of this plan will be a 6.5GB update, but paradoxically once its installed, it will reduce Warframe’s overall install size by 6.6GB. With another two updates to follow, the plan is to eventually reduce the installation by a total of 15GB. Yes, that’s not the world’s biggest saving but when COD is busy gobbling up every gigabyte it sees, then every bit counts. Good guy DE strikes again!
On top of reducing file sizes, these new updates – or “mini-remasters”, as DE calls them – will also “make quality and performance optimizations to formats we have haven’t touched since we launched”. The end result will be a smaller, quicker loading game without sacrificing any visuals. Cool.
Last Updated: September 11, 2020