Seeking Warframe & Fortune (Part 3)

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Posted by Mento (4229 posts) -

One robot ninja's noble journey to see how far they can travel across this great cosmos of ours without spending any money or exerting too much effort.

Part 3: Warframe for the Stars, and Even If You Miss You'll Land on a Planet Full of Loot

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Well, we're still on Venus, moving our way through the nodes. This process of playing through random missions and unlocking more planets is, I've been reliably informed, the best course of action for the early game. I've also learned that if you post anything about Warframe as a newcomer, a lot of friendly faces will pop out of the woodwork to tell you what you're doing wrong.

At first, I was a little resistant to this sort of advice as someone who wanted to craft a narrative of a neophyte learning the ropes of this game nigh-bereft of direction to see how accommodating Warframe truly was to outsiders after so many system iterations and content packs, but I've softened on that stance since. Truth is, the game is built to be a co-operative experience and is meant to be - to an extent - hostile to a player going it alone (much like real life, even). Thus, veterans of the game have long since been conditioned to regularly accept help and then dispense it in turn to those further behind the curve than themselves.

As someone who missed the first six years of Warframe's development, I've yet to determine if it's a failure on the part of the game designers to make their game so oblique that an external community of information gathering is necessary and assisting newbies is encouraged, or if the game simply evolved in this fashion in response to how its community preferred to devour and disseminate new updates and discoveries. Some real chicken or the egg business. But I'll have a lot more to say on failures in due time, because now it's time for...

New Developments!

Taxon My Patience

As you might recall from the previous update, I left my foundry cooking up a little friend that I could take into battle. Turns out the Taxon companion isn't really there to make the game easier, but instead serves to hypothetically demonstrate the possibilities of a companion that doesn't suck (specifically, the many you can buy with real money). The Taxon floats around targeting enemies that are close by and have detected you - so thankfully no startling oblivious foes before you're close enough for a stealth kill - with a slow-firing ice laser beam that can occasionally inflict them with a frosty status effect. However, it does so little damage to be as equivalent to a stiff breeze on a chilly winter's morn, and will quickly explode in terror if an enemy so much as looks at it funny.

Companions, like almost everything else in the game, will level up over time through gathering "affinity" (really just XP) and I'm hoping the Taxon will become halfway effective once it has a few more levels under its belt. I suspect, however, that the relative ease in which I acquired its blueprint and building materials means that it's really just here to fill an otherwise empty slot, like the lackluster "MK-1" weapon variants that a warframe starts with before they have the resources and mastery rank to acquire the real McCoys.

Mastery Even Faster(y)

I achieved Mastery Rank 2 shortly into this session, after another relatively simple "test" of my current martial abilities. The perks of MR2 include a new selection of weapons that can now be purchased - almost all of which available on the store are locked behind even higher ranks - as well as an additional loadout slot and the brand new privilege of being able to trade with other players.

Of course, to effectively trade with other players, I would need to A) know where to do that, B) have any idea which of my items are worth anything to anyone (rare mods seem to be recommended, but while I have a few of those I've no idea if any are actually rare or just branded that way by the game's arbitrary bronze/silver/gold rating system), and C) not be so socially anxious that the thought of joining strangers in any activity, let alone prompt a pointless transaction that may anger or annoy them, chills me to the core.

So instead, I'll just appreciate the fact that I could trade with other players at any point if I wanted to and keep on playing the game solo. It's not like I need any platinum for additional warframe slots if I'm still unable to build just one.

One of the requisites to move onto to Mercury was ten rounds on defending some dude's ice coffin. A great reward would be if that thing opens and I get a new warframe out of it.
One of the requisites to move onto to Mercury was ten rounds on defending some dude's ice coffin. A great reward would be if that thing opens and I get a new warframe out of it.

The Lotus-Cheaters

There's a sixth anniversary event going on right now! Apparently some no-good-niks have stolen Lotus's precious birthday gifts, and it's up to her favorite warframe-wielder (no, shut up, it's me) to recover them. These are all slightly tougher variants than I'm used to, including a few that seem impossible for my level and/or a single player - Defense, where you stand your ground against waves or enemies, or Interception, where you have to conquer and hold control points against a throng of respawning enemies. Still, I got a few free weapons out of the ones I could do, so I'd argue it was time well spent.

The event ends in nine days and I still can't access a couple of them - one's on Mars, the other's in "the Void" - but maybe if I keep completing nodes I can access Mars before the event ends. At the very least it means I can break up the game's grind of random node missions with... slightly tougher random node missions.

Spending Sprees (and Other Sprees of a More Murdery Nature)

Worth mentioning now that I've splurged in-game currency in the store and got myself a few other weapons to play with. I now have a set of Furis pistols (secondary weapon), the regular Braton rifle (primary weapon), an MK-1 Paris stealth bow (primary), and the special event Dex Furis pistols (same as the other Furis, though the game tracks their levels separately with regards to earning points towards mastery ranks) and Dex Darra twinblades (melee).

The thing with this game's weapon upgrade system is that all weapons start at level one and are fairly weak because you can't effectively mod them with damage boosts and the like. That means it seems inadvisable to change my entire gear loadout at the same time, especially as I've been meaning to hit the max rank with what I have before moving on. I replaced the old and busted MK-1 Braton with the new standard Braton, because it's a straight up promotion in every sense, but I might dither on trying the bow, the other secondary weapons, or the new melee weapon until I've mastered what I'm using in those slots currently.

At the same time, I'm also tempted to keep switching around just to see what these new weapon types are like. I think I'll take advantage of the game's alternative loadouts and base my weapon selection on the mission type from here on out: for example, the stealthier bow for missions like Spy and Extermination where I can afford to be more quiet, and the faster Braton for ones like Defense and Excavation where the enemy's always alerted to my presence and I need to mow down fools quickly. Maybe that'll alleviate some of the repetition-based boredom already setting in.

A valuable lesson learned this session: don't neglect your mods! Just one or two inexpensive upgrades will make them twice or thrice as effective.
A valuable lesson learned this session: don't neglect your mods! Just one or two inexpensive upgrades will make them twice or thrice as effective.

Welcome to Nightwave

I was advised to check in with the Nightwave event, which seems to be far more long-term (if not permanent) in comparison with the Lotus gifts thing above, because you can complete its various daily and weekly targets and earn points towards rewards without even realising it. The Nightwave event has a brief story about some insane escaped convicts of the Grineer, including their boss The Wolf, and players are advised to work towards unlocking various reward tiers by rounding up criminals - who are these overpowered jerks who just wander into random missions, usually when you're too busy to deal with them - and completing randomized milestones like number of stealth kills, power usage, using waypoints to mark valuable minerals, and so on.

I don't think I was in much danger of hitting a reward tier without realising it: the basic goals, which one might feasibly stumble into, only give 1000 points when you need 10,000 to unlock a single reward. It's more the case that you have to go out of your way to earn anything of higher value, including taking on multiple specific mission types - sabotage, assassination (i.e. bosses), spy, etc. - or selecting harder difficulties. Still, it never hurts to have more options to choose between, and the buttery-smooth voice of Nora "radio lady" Night praising you after completing one of these objectives is the sort of positive reinforcement that can go a long way.

Slay of the Jackal

Like Earth, Venus had its own boss fight also, though it didn't have the accompanying quest chain that lead up to it. Rather, I was just thrown into an arena with an enormous quadruped robot called the Jackal. The Corpus faction are these astronaut-looking dudes surrounded by mechs that either look like drones or gun turrets with digitigrade legs, so a mech boss was germane enough. What I didn't like so much is that it took a lot of gunfire just to knock it down for a brief period of vulnerability, all the while more drones would show up dropping mines around the arena while I was trying to focus on the spider robot trying to turn me into Swiss cheese. It was an unpleasant fight, all told, though I can't help but feel like I was let down by my own gear to some extent. Maybe I'll try again when I have some more levels or punchier weapons.

But hey, at least I earned a part for the Rhino warframe, as promised. Most of the components I need to make it I have on-hand already, thanks to spending a lot of time robbing resource crates across Earth and Venus. To construct the part I just found - its "systems" - I need credits (check), salvage (check), a single control module and morphics (check and check, but no idea where I found them), and... 600 plastids? Wait, what are plastids? I better check the Warframe wikia...

..."Mostly found on Saturn and Uranus"?!

Hey Warframe, You Know What Else You Can Find In Uranus?

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I really don't know, you guys. My goal was to keep playing this game until I procured at least one other warframe, but I'm having a hard time imagining when that will ever happen. I've played this game for about 10-15 hours now and crossed the circumferences of two whole planets, but it's going to take that amount of time again to complete Mercury and Mars, after which I might be in visual range of the materials I need. It's not that I have anything against my old buddy Excalibur, but he's almost at max rank and I anticipated a replacement would be on the cards by now. Instead, playing this game like a cheapskate is like refusing to pay for a train ticket: hope you like spending a week walking to the same destination instead, bucko.

Fortunately, for as much as I don't care to play Warframe right now, things might change by this time next week. The shooting and movement is still a lot of fun, even if I happen to be fighting the same enemies with the same abilities over and over, instead of something more entertaining like that puddle guy or the walking synthesizer. Maybe next Monday I'll stumble onto another event where they're just giving warframes away, or maybe I'll find other pieces that are within my means to construct, or maybe I'll just find a batch of plastids as a void fissure reward, or maybe I'll stop dithering on every level looking for loot and instead run directly to the mission objective to move this whole shebang along faster. The game's unpredictability is one of its strengths, after all, and Mercury appears to have a lot going on despite its size.

On the next episode of Seeking Warframe & Fortune: Or I could just try to figure out DOTA 2 instead...

Moderator
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#1 Edited by Gundato (168 posts) -

Yeah, I think you hit the early game wall. You're maxing out everything you have and you don't have the resources to grind the resources you need for new stuff.

I personally can't think of a solution other than "spend money" or hope that some subscription service you have does a deal. Both of which kind of suck and are known problems.

But if you do manage to get past that early game wall it stays pretty open after the fact. These days the barrier to new frames is more about the few days it takes to build than the resources or blueprints. And for Reasons there are plenty of reasons to just keep rocking a max rank warframe.

-----

It might be worth trying to do more of the quests. I forget what order they are in but a lot of the early ones are gated by needing to build warframe components. So when the quest is done you just need to go buy a blueprint (for credits) to assemble it and you have the frame. I think DE migrated away from that around the time of The Second Dream, but I think you can grab a Chroma and Loki that way

Which I guess might be another tip. Start focusing more on unlocking the junctions and less on map completion. You'll eventually want map completion (if only for harvesters), but unlocking those new planets gets you those new resources.

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#2 Posted by rapid (1802 posts) -

Yeah you hit a spot where it is difficult to grind on your own as a solo new player. Your right in your assessment that interception and defense missions are extremely difficult solo and at your level. You may want to look for groups to do it with.

As for the two levels you have not unlocked there's a work around which is to find

a player that has a mission or planet unlocked can form a group with a player that does not and allow them to participate the mission and get the awards. This is called Taxing. This may be viable option for you complete some of the special limited time lotus missions.

As you said the difficult of the game has had the effect where generally veteran players are typically friendly and will be willing to help new players out. You may find some random strangers willing to help you complete the mission in even something like recruiting chat.

"New player, LF help with Anniversary Gift of the Lotus Alerts"

Giant Bomb Heavy INC (PC Clan)
Giant Bomb Heavy INC (PC Clan)

To my knowledge there's a newly formed GB PS4 Clan. https://www.giantbomb.com/warframe/3030-38788/forums/the-beastcoast-shlooters-new-ps4-clan-1864389/ to see if you can get a few duders to help you grind and farm for some of those resources and that rhino blueprint.

Companions like any other gear only get better through mods. Companions have what are called Precepts that give them abilities. Taxon has the ability to convert its damage to shields. There's also a plethora of sentinel mods that will increase its survivability. More heath more shields more armor. Vaccum is a really useful mod that picks up loot around you automatically within a 10 foot radius.

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Note: Companions precept can be prioritized (Increasing the likelyhood they will use their precept) based on how you have them laid out, where the top left slot of is the highest priority and the bottom right slot is the lowest.

Ex. my Taxon will prioritize activating Vaccum the most, then mocular conversion, then re target etc.

(and no I don't expect you to have these mods just an example!)

Good luck duder!

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#3 Edited by BlackLagoon (2097 posts) -

On the Noclip documentary about Warframe, Creative Director Steve Sinclair relayed a story about how the Star Wars Galaxies dev team realized they were loosing the majority of their new players very shortly into the game. So they sat down and redesigned the introductory part of the game into something they felt was much more new player friendly. And it didn't help. But they kept at it, spending years and a lot of resources trying to increase new player retention... And it did't help. They were still loosing a majority of new players.

So Steve's kinda made his peace with it. They've done some things, like adding the opening quest. But in the end, Warframe is a giant, complicated, obtuse mess, and while that pushes a lot of players away, it's as you surmised... Digging into that mess is what keeps a lot of us coming back.

As for the rest, yeah, you've hit the initial hump. My immediate thought was to mention a few helpful items available through Nightwave, or give you a primer on trading. But as the previous posters noted, what you probably need is a veteran player to help you save some time. As Rapid suggested you could try hooking up with the guys in the PS4 clan. Or if you want more personal experience, give me your PSN id and I'll give you any level you want, from quickly pushing through missions to simply following you around with a Nekros (which aids in farming due to making enemies drop loot twice.)

Oh, yeah, you haven't written much about quests. I would have thought you'd have access to some more by now. They can be found on the Codex console, across from the Market one in the Orbiter. Some of them are actually pretty neat, and are definitely good for breaking up the monotony of regular missions. (EDIT: It looks like the next quest you'd get is Once Awake, which is awarded once you complete junction that leads to Mercury.)

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#4 Posted by PlasmaSTi (38 posts) -

Brand new player here! I was/am very much in the same spot as you duder. In addition to great detail above, I just wanted to throw in a tip that has helped me get close to getting over sais hump. That tip is to more focus on getting to each planet and junction vice clearing every single node in a planet. Getting to other planets and clearing those junctions will unlock some other blueprints for you and help to freshen some things up as your start to get to max level on your first frame. I am currently building my second frame and eager for him to get done to start exploring more now. So I think really getting to other planets and gathering the materials unique to the first 5 planets can really help open up your options. Finishing up those initial planets will happen in time but then you will have much more gear to build and tinker with to help make those known environments a little more interesting to handle again.

Hope this can help lend some foods for thought for a fellow duder!

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#5 Posted by the_hiro_abides (1320 posts) -

I'm at 100 hours in...

At that particular hump I just started playing with randos for most missions. For boss levels and interceptions initially. While playing in a group you'll earn xp from other people's kills. Also I find most missions are usually quick in the 5-10 minute range in a party.

Apparently they recently added the ability for players to leave a level by themselves without losing rewards. As long as you wait at the exit for 30 seconds. That's been great for survival missions and others of course.

Personally, I leveled gear faster by playing a lot of survival missions. There's 2 on venus I think. The infested faction is overall easier then corpus. At the moment I still find it one of the best ways to farm credits, endo, and mods.

Hopefully at least some of that is helpful.

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#6 Posted by Gundato (168 posts) -

Relative difficulty of (most of) the factions is really based on your mods. I've been doing the battle pass stuff that is forcing me to more regularly swap out my elemental damage and Corpus melt like butter when you are doing magnetic damage.

At low level it is generally harder to pick the "right" kind of damage, but just using a high level generic damage mod (whatever makes the most sense for your weapon) and even an unleveled primary elemental makes a huge difference.

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#7 Posted by SomeguyJohnson (167 posts) -

Hit me up if you want in on the PS4 clan at any point! Myself and my brother are playing pretty regularly right now and we have a few others who have started to play again too. We'll be happy to help you out with the event if you want, or just be there if you want someone more reliable to run those harder missions!.

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