Tales from a Newbie: Jumping into Warframe Weeks 1 & 2
I enjoy Destiny 2. This doesn't come as any surprise for anyone that watches the Free to Play Cast with some regularity. That said, that game obviously has some serious issues right now. When a SUPER casual first-person shooter player like myself finds himself only playing the game once a week after each reset (and that's even after the most recent DLC addition), then I can't imagine how frustrating the lack of challenge or longevity in activities must be to more hardcore Destiny fans (which I was not one of during Destiny 1). That's not to bash Destiny 2, however. I've enjoyed it enough to get all three classes to max power prior to the DLC on the PS4 and was almost there on the PC version.
Why do I say all of this? Because in looking for something more in-depth to play between resets, I couldn't help but come across many comments that all went the exact same way: "If you like Destiny 2 but want more depth, play Warframe." It's amazing how many times I've seen that comment on YouTube, forums, Reddit, and many other places. Obviously, working for a free-to-play gaming website, I have clearly heard of Warframe and knew the basics of the well-received title ... or, well, let's say that I thought I did. But we'll get into that in a moment.
Those comments led to me jumping into Warframe on the PS4 Pro about two weeks ago. Prior to that, my previous experience with Warframe could be classified as "not much." A First Look video back in 2013 that's wildly out of date now (so don't bother watching it for anything more than the laughs), articles and interviews here and there over the years, and maybe the occasional stream or two if I remember right. Bottom line? I didn't have much experience at all.
So, seeing all the "play Warframe" comments made me decide to jump in once again. I booted up the PS4 Pro, got the game downloaded, and decided to have at it. Over the coming weeks and months, I'll detail my thoughts on Warframe and what I'm accomplishing in the game. I hope that players thinking about playing Warframe for the first time will find info in these articles that will help them decide if the game is right for them or not. Warframe veterans, feel free to chime in comment-wise and school me.
Remember, I'm writing here as a new Warframe player sharing my thoughts, not as a journalist writing a piece about a game. This means that I'll be sharing both pros and cons from my perspective, and it also means that I may say something about the game or a feature that isn't quite accurate or changes later as I progress and learn. Allow me to grow as a player like you all did. If I get something confused or backwards (not out of malice but out of my current experience at the time), feel free to comment below, just don't blast me unless I make the same mistakes twice.
With that said, let's get started and look at Weeks one and two!
This is fun. Where the hell do I go now?
Upon starting out on my PS4 adventure, I chose the Excalibur frame. This recommendation came from a few videos I had watched for beginners. Special thanks goes to YouTuber iFlynn whose videos are proving more and more valuable as I sink more and more time into the game. I worked my way through the tutorial and got equipped, following up with the game's first real quest, "Vor's Prize," and continued to learn more about controls and have a cool little story to work through as I do so.
Warframe has become a "pick a goal and go for it" game for me.
Then ... I had no idea what to do. Yep, you got it, the game literally sets you loose in its world at that point. That's not to say that there isn't a ton to do, but the game itself is somewhat limited on actual guidance for new players, particularly when it comes to some pretty core systems (mods, I'm looking at you!). You'll be served well by online guides more than any actual in-game guides.
This observation led me to one of the first things I am finding that I love about Warframe, however. Since there isn't a linear story path or anything to follow (if you don't want to), Warframe has become a "pick a goal and go for it" game for me. Today I want to unlock that planet. Look at the requirements and go for it. Today I'm going to make this weapon or Warframe. Look up the materials, what planet has that available, and work at opening it up. I'm kind of choosing my own adventure to a great degree each day and I'm loving that aspect of the game.
I started to focus on just opening up each planet. Moving from Earth to Venus to Mercury gaining ranks and working toward new mastery levels is fun. Yes, the game is highly repetitive. You will grind things and missions over and over. However, the game's vast array of mission types does make this more palatable. That said, if you aren't down with grinding, turn back now. You will either spend a ton of actual cash to avoid the grind or you'll save your money and hate this game because of it.
Also, do not spend platinum (cash shop currency) for a while. You don't have to at all, at least not yet in my own gameplay. In fact, I haven't found anything I felt I even wanted to buy rather than farm up yet. I'm also not really looking at cosmetic things yet, though, which will bring on the plat spending later if I so choose.
In the past two weeks I've put in 20 hours, and I've only scratched the surface of the game. I've unlocked up to Europa, have farmed and built the Rhino frame (he's done in about 20 more hours), reached Mastery Rank 5, have slowly started figuring out the mod system thanks to online videos, and so much more. Just last night I stumbled on the Sanctuary hunts just by doing the various quests in my codex. I had no idea this type of "hunt" was in the game at all. I've also met a number of syndicates but have no idea what they do yet, so that's where I'll be headed in my Warframe searches today.
I love my Boltor!
What have I built? Well, a number of weapons that I haven't even used yet. I hatched a Kubrow, have my first Sentinel at max rank, and am now starting to get various prime part blueprints from relics and questing.
Oh yeah, relics! Now there's a tutorial that sucks. Even reading it in the codex isn't all that helpful. But damn, do I love my Boltor weapon. The first time I plucked a target and saw its arms literally fall off on the ground where he stood and the rest of his body fly 30 yards away I couldn't help but laugh for a good 10 minutes. So awesome.
But where do I go from here? Well, my plan is to keep working my mastery rank through changing weapons and frames once maxed out, continue to unlock the rest of the solar system, and continue on my random progression through my own set goals. All in all, so far I'm very much enjoying Warframe and kind of wishing I put more time into it in the past. I'm excited that I haven't even ventured much into the highly touted Plains of Eidolon expansion (I was there for the Saya's Vigil quest but that's it so far) and it feels great that I sit at work excited that when I get home some things I built will be done. Yeah, sorry, I'm not spending plat on timers either; I like being excited to log in because something is finished!
Here's to my next recap in two weeks! Feel free to recommend a path for me in the comments and recommendations on all fronts, from what to build to what to clear, are always welcome!
About the Author
Mike “Magicman” Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site’s current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.
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