The other day, I checked my Warframe profile and was amazed to see that Ivara has sneaked her way into being my third most played Warframe, after Volt and Volt Prime. Wasn’t really that much of a surprise because Ivara is insanely useful in Spy missions, but she also comes in very handy for a large number of smaller tasks, such as quick alert missions, looking for and scanning enemies with her larger Enemy Sense, completing Riven mods and general roaming the plains. In fact, after Volt, Ivara is a really good Warframe on the Plains of Eidolon, as she can fish and mine without being bothered by angry Grineer.
The problem is, I didn’t obtain Ivara by farming for her. I bought her. With platinum.
You see, Ivara can only be obtained by perfectly doing Spy missions, with parts of her dropping at different difficulties. But Spy missions also have somewhat large loot pools, making her parts incredibly awkward to obtain. Matters are made worse by the fact that you can’t buy her blueprint, it’s locked away behind even more unalarmed spy vaults. There’s only so many damn Spy missions you can do before giving in and buying her with platinum. What made my attempts to farm Ivara even worse is the fact that it takes me a long time to do Spy vaults, so you’re looking at 10 minutes just to do one mission. In that time, I could have opened a couple of relics or something.
There are only two other frames I’ve purchased.
Harrow was a somewhat desperate purchase for me. You see, after getting his blueprint from the Chains of Harrow quest (like most newer frames), you can get his Chassis from corrupted enemies in Void Fissure missions. They are as common as Oberon parts, perhaps even more common. The other two parts, the Neuroptics and Systems? Well, one’s locked away in Spy vaults on Pago in the Kuva Fortress, the other is locked away in Defection missions. You know, that horrible mission where you escort really slow Grineer to an extraction point, while fighting off Infested. The one I did two hours of in the Pacifism Defect. After about 4-5 hours of running this mission in all three planetary nodes of this mission (Phobos, Saturn, Neptune), I caved and started opening relics to sell for Platinum. I actually got lucky and managed to sell a Soma riven for 300 platinum, mostly covering Harrow’s cost.
Harrow was the only frame I bought when he wasn’t on sale though. Ivara, I patiently waited until a Christmas sale and bought her then, because she’s an expensive frame to buy.
The last frame is Mesa.
I never really liked Mesa. She’s always been the cowgirl gunslinger frame, which kinda never made much sense to me because we’re all kinda gunslingers, considering how many dual pistol weapons there are. You get her blueprint from a quest with Alad V, who’s gone all Infested and you need to stop him. At the end of the quest, you kill an Infested Mesa, being controlled by Alad V… and that’s it. You get the blueprint.
The rest of Mesa’s parts are locked away behind the Mutalist Alad V boss fight. But to get to the boss fight, you need Mutalist Alad V keys. But to make these keys, you need to get Mutalist Alad V Nav Coordinates. And you need three of them to make a key. But these coordinates are only available as rewards in Infested Invasions against the Corpus, and you only get one at a time.
This isn’t a new thing, you need Lephantis Nav Coordinates to make a key to fight Lephantis for Nekros parts, but the coordinates for that monster drop all over the place in Orokin Derelict missions, and although you need keys to visit the Derelict, the keys are cheap to make and you can most likely get enough coordinates in a single Exterminate by breaking every crate you find.
For Mutalist Alad V though, you need to do 3 missions per invasion to get one coordinate, meaning you need to do 9 missions to make a single key, plus one mission to attempt to get one Mesa part. At minimum, you require 30 missions to obtain Mesa.
At the time, I’d just given up farming for Hydroid and had FINALLY obtained Nidus. Mesa was on sale for 25% off, so I decided to buy her. I don’t use her much though.
As for other Warframes? I’ve been tempted. It eventually took 39 attempts fighting Vay Hek to get the entirety of Hydroid (BEFORE they reduced Vay Hek’s invulnerability times), and about 20 attempts to get Nova. Saryn was another hard farm. But all these frames have prime versions, and I obtained the prime versions before the normal versions, so there was no point even considering a platinum purchase.
I have however bought Warframes for other people. After the Ambulas Reborn update, Excalibur became almost impossible to obtain, because you’d have to fight Ambulas on random missions on Pluto anywhere between seven and ten times to get Animo Nav beacons, and then spend 40 beacons at a time to do the Ambulas boss fight for real, just for Excalibur parts. The Ambulas fight isn’t an easy one either. So I decided to buy a couple of guys an Excalibur each. Excalibur only costs 75 platinum, a third or less than the price of many other frames. Unfortunately Excalibur got replaced by Trinity on Pluto, and she costs a lot more platinum to buy.
If you want to buy a Warframe with Platinum, there’s only several frames you should consider. Mesa, Ivara and Harrow are probably the biggest offenders, but Khora is proving to be a tedious pain in the ass and so is Equinox. You shouldn’t ever buy frames that have prime versions though. Trinity may seem tempting, but for the 200ish platinum it costs to buy her, you could probably trade your platinum for a Trinity Prime.
At the end of the day, you either spend time farming for frames or you spend money to skip the grind. Really, that’s how things should be in a free to play game, but sometimes the grind can be too much…