When I first started playing Warframe, I thought the game was hard. All I had was an MK1-Paris and a stick to hit endless swarms of enemies with. Energy and health were always at a premium and I’d spend my time never casting abilities, desperately saving my energy for emergencies. 2000 hours later and I can do most missions with ease, cutting through said swarms of enemies with a bigger, pointier stick and an array of nasty weapons. I would even go as far as say that Warframe is a genuinely easy game.
The thing is, Warframe’s difficulty is like a stroll through the Alps. On the way up, it’s a fucking mountain of pain and struggle. On the way down, it’s wonderful and relaxing and you don’t need to worry about anything. In fact, I can tell you pretty much where and when things go from easy to hard, based on my own experiences.
You start off on Earth and things are pretty simple. Enemies die pretty quickly because they’re designed around your weapons and warframes having almost no mods on them. Your first roadblock is probably the Jackal on Venus or surviving ten waves on Tessera, but you can be carried through those missions and not even know it. Mercury is a breeze in comparison because the Infested just run into your sword.
Things get trickier though on Mars, Phobos and Ceres. It takes longer to kill every enemy. If you learn how to mod weapons, then things are definitely tolerable though, you’re just permanently starved for credits and endo.
Jupiter, Europa and Saturn though, things start slowing down. Enemies get stronger and stronger and if you haven’t got your basic mods yet, then all you can do is hope that you get carried. Europa is actually considered, enemy-wise, on par with Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, especially since all fissure missions there are Neo ones.
Uranus is hell. This is where the game starts getting really hard. Sentients are difficult enemies. The quests are difficult and you’re thrown into a new and confusing tileset that requires Archwing, not to mention the fact that the junction to Neptune requires a LOT of hard work.
After Uranus though? Things calm down a little bit. The missions are still difficult but once you’ve done the Second Dream, you start to unlock more and more. Having the Space Kid as your emergency button is a game changer and you are opened up to better weapons, not to mention the fact that you get an AMAZING sword after the Second Dream.
Really though, everything becomes a billion times easier once you find a gun you like and you get access to some way to replenish energy. Normally this comes after the War Within and unlocking Energizing Dash in the Zenurik Focus School, but it could come from playing Trinity or Nekros or Nezha or whatever, using a Rage mod or even just stocking up on energy restore pads. Combined with a gun you have spent effort upgrading and forma’ing, the world is your oyster and you can murder as you please.
Of course, once you reach this point, the star chart seems… kinda easy. Everything does. Once you’ve completed the ‘War Within, you can focus on getting extra frames and finishing quests, building up your armory. It’s easier to do this because you’re no longer scrounging around for energy and feel comfortable with your weapons. In fact, some people might complain that Warframe gets too easy.
When you reach the end of the star chart though, it IS easy. Players want more. And the game gives you more. After clearing the star chart, you can work towards ranking up with Cetus and Fortuna, doing Eidolon hunts that require specific gear or farming for Kuva to get better rolls on rivens to make yourself stronger. Even the Sorties, which looked worrying at first, become nothing more than a small hindrance, especially if it’s an Exterminate or a Mobile Defense or something. In fact, the only trouble I’ve had recently was with an Ambulas sortie, but that was partially because 1. I brought the wrong gear and 2. I was lagging like heck. Once I DID have the right gear, we finished the mission with ease.
There is actually a lot of end-game material once you’ve cleared the star chart. But when you get there, you’ll have perfected your builds, forma’d your weapons and warframes and are strong enough to take on an army.
At some point, people begin to say that Warframe is too easy.
And they’re right. Warframe IS a very easy game. Once you’ve mastered it. Because you’ve done all the work. You’ve suffered through those early days of running out of ammo and breaking boxes in hopes of finding health. That’s all behind you now.
Once you get to the top, Warframe is a really simple game. But there’s a huge mountain of confusion, wiki-searching and trial and error before you get there.