Long-winded title is long-winded, but bare with me one second. I forget that not everyone’s like me. Not everyone has their beloved Warframe with high mod capacity and a bunch of weapons they like. The Plains of Eidolon is somewhat balanced when it comes to a relatively new player, someone who has made it to Ceres, someone hovering around the MR5 mark and already understands how the basics of Warframe work. Someone who has credits and resources already.
But a lot of people are just wandering around with their MK1-Bratons, their Latos and their Skanas, with a handful of mods and not even enough Endo to put some points in Serration. Some people might have Frost Prime, the Soma Prime and Scindo Prime available from the current Twitch Prime Warframe Promos. But being newbies, most players won’t have many resources at all. Very little credits, almost no Endo and very little of anything else.
At first, that doesn’t really matter. Almost everything in Cetus and on the Plains is set up in a way that it’s all self-contained. Anything you want to buy or do in Cetus,you do by getting resources on the Plains and trading them with the merchants, or you buy blueprints and build them on your ship. Alright, a new player will not be able to deal with the Sentient enemies that spawn at night and will struggle with the higher level enemies if they pick harder bounties, but since you can just run back to Cetus whenever you need to, it’s all fairly neat and balanced.
Of course, before you get to the Plains, you have to complete Vor’s Prize, the tutorial quest (which is also a prerequisite for Sara’s Vigil, the quest for Gara) and that will give you the basics of the game. Maybe you’ll have played a handful of other missions in Vor’s Prize, perhaps gotten a feel for the game, but that’s about it. Once you’ve completed Vor’s Prize, you can go straight to the Plains of Eidolon, and you HAVE to go there if you want to progress to Mars and the rest of the solar system.
My point is, the Plains of Eidolon are very detached from the rest of the game, and I wonder if new players will suffer because of that. If you go to the Plains, it’s not at all obvious where you can get better weapons from, and since the majority of resources needed to build new weapons. Or they’ll not understand that the resources they need are spread across the solar system, not just available on Earth. Worse, I wonder if the Plains will spoil other players. They’ll see the rest of the game and go “oh no that’s boring” and just give up and not play any more.
There’s nothing really connecting the two together. You go from super fast missions and bouncing around in your ship to just lounging around in a marketplace before having a stroll through some fields. The contrast is so extreme, yet newbies will genuinely struggle to get anything done there if they venture too far. Saya’s Sigil does little to help with this, aside from introducing the Codex Scanner and the Nox enemy.
Really, there should be something for newbies to do on the Plains, aside from getting mediocre rewards from bounties they probably spent half an hour on. Maybe they could go there to trade in their damaged mods? Or perhaps do newbie-only missions for Endo. Maybe there could be a weekly bounty for new players only, in which newbies can get things like Streamline and Continuity, Ducats for their first visit to Baro Ki’Teer, or even the odd Forma, Catalyst or Reactor?
As it stands though, nothing you do in the Plains is really relevant to the rest of the game. Very little things acquired in the Plains (outside of Gara) are useful outside of the Plains. You can fish all day and increase your Ostron standing, but you don’t progress towards everything else in the game. It’s silly.
I get that they wanted the Plains to be available early on but for new players, it shouldn’t be part of the progress. You visit once then come back later when you have more stuff. Because a young Excalibur with his MK1-Braton, MK1-Kunai and MK1-Bo are only going to struggle.
Luckily, that Soma Prime and Scindo Prime offer will help a TON of new players. At least it’ll help the ones who have credit/debit cards.
I wish I had a Soma Prime when I was a newbie. But at the same time, I had more resources to go and build my own Soma Prime.