Ever since the Operator turned out to be an actual thing you can use and control, it was guaranteed that one day you’d get weapons for your miniature Spoiler Mode things to use. Amps are the weapons of choice for Operators, built from… uh… um… fish, gems and bits of Sentient enemies. Yeah.
I would say Spoiler Alert, but considering the War Within and Plains of Eidolon have Space Kids all over their loading screens, it’s kinda moot now.
Okay, so Amps are a weird thing. They’re not guns at all, they’re actually strange contraptions wrapped around the right arm of every Operator who has one. By default, you don’t get one when you unlock Transferance, you have to complete the quest Saya’s Vigil and speak to that sneaky bastard Onkko, who will give you a Mote amp. The Mote Amp is a particularly odd contraption around, glued to your arm and just sort of messing around with your normal Space Kid’s space laser beam. Other amps can be bought in parts and put together in Onkko’s little hidden workshop.
Problem is, the Mote Amp is fucking awful. Not only does it only tickle normal, non-Sentient enemies, but it does fuck all to the Eidolons as well. It barely scratches the surface of the Teralyst, let alone his massive counterparts. All the Mote Amp is good for is killing Shadow Stalker and removing resistances on Lua Sentient. You can get 100 Mastery Rank affinity from it, but you have to get it to level 30, take it to Onkko to gild it then level it up again to get that mastery.
You see, Amps are like Zaws. Except uglier, more niche, less visible and way, way more expensive to build. While Zaws tend to use a mixture of common Cetus resources and low amounts of somewhat rare resources, as well as one or two parts from Bounties, Amps require a literal fuckton of rare fish parts and fucking Cetus wisps – the one material you can’t easily earn. The base, tier 1 Amp parts require 10 Cetus Wisps each. The tier 3 Amp parts require 20. That’s 60 of a hard-to-see, non-vacuum-able, rare-spawning, easily destroyed resource that requires you to repeatedly leave and re-enter Cetus once you’ve collected the handful of wisps available.
And just like Zaws, Amps have shitty base stats and remain like that until you max them then gild them and max them again. But you can’t put mods or forma into your Amp like a Zaw, you just get to name it.
All so you can shoot different beams from your hand. The beam effects are alright, but there’s already a pretty strict meta on what’s best. Although to be honest, an Amp made of only tier 1 parts, even ungilded, is way, way better than the Mote Amp. The best Amp is a combination of tier 2 and 3 parts depending on what you are playing as, costing you a minimum of 45 Cetus Wisps. But really, all Amps are generally not so great until you’ve maxed them and gilded them. And some of them do self-damage, which isn’t great if you don’t have the right Focus school or the insanely expensive Space Kid Arcanes, known as Magus.
It’s a bit of a vicious circle though. To build an Amp, you need to level up with the Quills, and to do that you need to kill Eidolons and other Sentients. But the amount of standing you get with the Quills is pretty small unless you can kill Eidolons on a regular basis, and you need a good Amp to do so. And at the same time you need to gild your Amps, which requires being the third tier (adherent) and requires 44,000 standing.
What makes Amps even worse though is that you HAVE to be in Operator Mode to level them up. Even the worst weapons in Warframe can be leveled up somewhat easily just by equipping it alongside better weapons and playing normally, but you have no choice to at the very least leave your Warframe. Sure, there are ways of leveling up items fast, but even if you’re doing Adaro (using stealth kills) or Hydron (defense or leveling), you have the choice between leveling up a multitude of items (a Warframe, 3 weapons, a pet or a sentinel and their weapon) or… sit there like a fool while you just level your Amp. Then you have to do it again after you’ve gilded your Amp.
Sure, Amps are supposed to be a sort of end-game piece of content, like Arcanes, but considering you can complete the War Within somewhat fast, needing only Mastery Rank 6-7, is it really end-game content? This becomes even more of an issue since the Plains of Eidolon are on Earth, easily accessible by anyone.
And to make matters worse, Void, the unique damage type for Amps, IS WEAK AGAINST GRINEER CLONED FLESH AND HEAVY INFESTED ENEMIES. It ONLY does extra effects – not extra damage – to Sentient enemies. Void Damage is only good for removing shields and damage resistances against Sentients.
What’s the fucking point?
Oh. Yeah. You NEED Amps to be able to properly fight Eidolons.
Welp, off to farm more fucking Cetus Wisps…