Not everything you see on the market in your ship can be bought from the market. You can’t buy everything with platinum, there’s some things you can only obtain by *gasp* socializing with others! A good chunk of the weapons and a grand total of five Warframes are locked away behind Clan Research, requiring one to join a clan and buy the blueprints from there. But clans are a pretty cool thing as well, so let’s discuss those.
First off, joining a clan. If all you want to do is get these blueprints and get out, then the best place to find a clan is recruitment chat, there’s always a couple of clans advertising. There are different sizes of clans, and many clans will tel you whether they have all the Clan Research blueprints available to buy. Generally, the clans advertising are those with all their research done and everything available to them, using that as the main reason to join. Once you’ve been invited to a clan, you need to craft a Clan Key to access the Dojo, your clan’s headquarters (which takes 24 hours to build). When the key’s built and claimed, you’re free to visit the Research Labs in the Dojo and grab what you want. You’ll also have access to Clan Chat, so you can talk to fellow Tenno in the clan, and if your clan is in an Alliance with other clans, you’ll have a separate chat for that too. Clans are also the best places to do trades, as you can avoid the 10% credit tax in Maroo’s Bazaar for all trades since most clans set credit tax to 0.
But before you do that, let’s take a moment to think about how much work a clan will put into this. You see, any blueprints obtained in the dojo have to be researched beforehand. That means that people in the clan have to contribute resources for everything, from the spawn room you appear in, to the blueprints in the labs to the dojo labs themselves.
For example, if you want your clan to research the blueprint for the Ignis, you need to have a Chemical Lab to do the research. But you need to build a Chemical Lab first. But you also need to research that Chemical Lab by building an Oracle. But you also need energy to build these things in the first place, so you need to build Reactors to power your Dojo. According to the Warframe Wiki, the minimum components needed just to build the labs required to do research are 7,150 Salvage, 2,800 Circuits, 2,100 Polymer Bundles, 4,800 Nano Spores, 2,000 Ferrite, 300 Alloy Plate, 12 Forma and 9,000 Credits.
Those costs though depend on the size of a clan. If you have a Ghost Clan of 1-10 people, then those costs seem about right. But if you have a Shadow Clan (with a maximum of 30 people) then the costs of ANY research are doubled. If you have a Storm Clan (30-100 people) then the costs are multiplied by 10. Mountain Clans (up to 300 people) have costs multiplied by 30 while Moon Clans (1,000 people) have everything multiplied by 100.
The reason for this is to make sure that clans with high numbers of users can’t outpace small clans with only a few people. But it’s worth thinking about, especially when not everyone in a clan will contribute to research.
Costs aside, there is quite a bit of customization done with clans. Clans can have custom hierarchies with custom titles, and you can even have your own custom Clan Emblem. Clan Emblems are uploaded by a Clan’s Warlord (i.e. owner) with a 150 platinum fee, and once they’re approved by DE, you get a custom icon for yourselves in-game AND your icon can be worn on your shoulders as Regalia, if you purchase it for 30 platinum.
Dojos are customizable too. Rooms can be built pretty much wherever you want, assuming there is space for everything and assuming that you have enough Reactors to power them all. Every room can also have decorations and teleporters placed in side, with those decorations capable of being rotated or made bigger and smaller. If you want to, you can have multiple floors or add rooms like an obstacle course or dueling rooms. Dojo rooms can also be coloured, but the colours need to be researched first by killing specific enemies.
Clans also have ‘mastery ranks’ a bit like normal players. Every time a clan reaches a new rank, you need to perform an Ascension Ceremony. This basically involves 4 people standing around the Ascension Alter (an item you can place in your Dojo) and activating it together. The activated alter will give any members of the clan a hefty amount of endo (the clan’s new rank multiplied by a thousand) over the next 72 hours. So there’s more benefits to clans than just research, although currently the maximum rank is rank 10.
There are also occasionally clan-based events. The Pacifism Defect, Ambulas Reborn and Plague Star all had clan-based parts as well, with the top 10% of clans in the Pacifism Defect getting the Ignis Wraith as clan research. The biggest ‘event’ was the Dark Sector, which was basically a somewhat PvP kind of thing where clans would build armies of Specters and battle for control of specific nodes on each planet, although this did end up with a massive monopoly on the majority of nodes. These days, Dark Sector missions are just normal missions which give you extra credits, but there’s rumours that Dark Sectors will be re-added as a sort of challenge mode or something.
Of course, with all this customization, that means the player has a lot of choice. Want to join a small, friendly clan of about 10 people? Sure. Looking for an active clan with people chatting all the time? Sure. Want to just blend into the crowd and ignore everyone unless you need something? Sure, there’s clans like that too. You just need to ask around.