I don’t normally have a lot of major complaints about Warframe, but with the current Unvaulting of Frost, Loki and Ember Prime, I feel this needs to be said. Prime Access is way too fucking expensive.
As it stands right now, there are four Prime Access packs available. The first three contain a Primed Warframe, a couple of Primed weapons and a handful of Primed Accessories, the accessories only being available from these Prime Access packs. You also get 90 day boosters of some sort and a handful of Platinum to spend on what you want. The last pack contains two Primed Warframes and their cosmetics. The former cost €37 a pop. The latter costs €55.
That’s not a lot of content. This is a flat amount of money, with no ability to be discounted. The accessories are ONLY available in this pack. And these packs are only ever available for 1-2 months. The items can then no longer be obtained, except by relics that haven’t been opened yet or trading parts that haven’t been built yet. People say “yeah but it’s a free to play game, there has to be something to make people money!” but for €37, I could buy hours of content in other games. The content you get isn’t that much when you think about it, especially when compared to the in-game work of earning the new items.
Normally, I’d say “screw it, farm the bastard Prime game-affecting items!” but this time round, it’s a bit harder than usual. Normally the relics containing these new Prime parts are scattered among normal drop tables, but as it stands you can ONLY get the new relics by buying randomized Relic packs for standing from Syndicates, or by playing bounties on the Plains of Eidolon. This is really a much longer and much steeper climb than every other unvaulting so far, and many people with not-amazing computers can hardly even get into the plains. Mostly because of the transition between Cetus and the Plains themselves, not because their computers can’t run the Plains of Eidolon.
But even then, Prime Access can put players off. I actually have all three Primed Warframes – Ember, Frost and Loki, and I only need the weapons. I don’t get any discounts from Prime Access for already owning the frames, so there’s far less incentive for me to actually want to buy them. The Frost Prime pack especially, which I have almost all of.
Thing is, Primed Access is a cool idea. It’s a nice reward for those who want to give back to the developers. But it’s off-putting, I feel, to a LOT of potential players.
I’m not saying drop the price and make it super cheap. I think €25 would be the perfect price for a Primed Warframe, their weapons, weapon and Warframe slots, cosmetics and a booster of some sort maybe. Don’t need to include the Platinum, but perhaps put something else in there, like a couple of glyphs for the player to use, maybe some loadout slots too and some ship cosmetics perhaps? Or perhaps access to a Prime Access-only relay, like they did for Tennocon? Maybe.
But more importantly, Primed Access needs to be way more dynamic. A good idea might be to give a discount for the items you already own. But in my opinion, it would be better to turn Prime Access into a pick-a-mix sort of thing. You pick the items you want and pay for those. If someone wants to get just the Warframes, they pay for the Warframes. If someone just wants the weapons, they get the weapons. If someone just wants a single cosmetic, they get that. The pricing for each item could be based on Tennogen prices, at around €5-8 per item.
And if you want incentive for ‘whales’ to buy everything in one go, then the Prime Access exclusive items can make a comeback. It doesn’t have to be a cosmetic, it could be anything from platinum to a unique glyph to ship decorations to changing one’s in-game chat text to gold for a few months. Perhaps it could include Platinum Discount tokens, redeemable whenever the user wants. Heck, it could be in-game content, like free standing for Syndicates and Conclave. You’d be paying for ease.
Sadly, as it stands, I’d never buy any Prime Access, not in their current state. It’s too much money for not enough content, especially when one already has half the content of a Prime Access pack anyway. I do get it that Prime Access is the sort of thing aimed at whales and super devoted players, but still.
Then again, I have no idea how much money DE makes off these packs.