Is it just me or are things a lot more grindy in Warframe lately? More grindy than usual? I say this because a new update, Buried Debts is out and with it comes a new Warframe whose blueprint is locked at at the highest tier of Vox Solaris. Meanwhile, the last Warframe released, Baruuk, also had his components locked away behind Vox Solaris standing.
I’ve talked about Syndicates before and how their standing systems work. You basically have your mastery rank, multiplied by a thousand’s worth of points you can earn per day for a Syndicate, after which you can’t earn any more points. The very last level on all Syndicates requires 99,000 standing to unlock, with previous ranks costing between 22,000 and 70,000 to unlock. That doesn’t sound too difficult until you consider that, most of the time, you can only earn a limited amount of standing a day.
Let’s look at this another way. I’m Mastery Rank 26. Which means I can earn 26,000 standing a day. That means the last rank of a Syndicate (99,000 standing) requires at minimum 4 days, if I earn that guaranteed 26,000 every day. A Mastery Rank 9 player requires 11 days at least. And standing, unlike your mastery rank, doesn’t carry over if you hit the maximum to reach the next rank. That 26,000 a day, if fully used, will mean that I’ll waste some standing.
The thing is though, most of the things behind the older Syndicates tend to be nice things that aren’t required. You don’t need the Capacitance or Shocking Speed augments for Volt but they’re nice to have. There are weapons locked behind Syndicates but the normal versions are fine. Warframes were always instead locked behind quests – for example, Titania was locked behind the Silver Grove quest for New Loka. Whether you were affiliated with New Loka or not didn’t matter, you can always still do the quest.
Other, more recent frames have been locked behind quests as well, just not in their entirety. The Glast Gambit rewards Nidus’s blueprint but his parts are found in Infested Salvage, only if you manage to do 4 waves. The Chains of Harrow quest is available from Red Veil, but completing the quest only gives you Harrow’s blueprint. The rest of Harrow is locked away in three different locations, and Octavia has the same issue.
On the flip side, Gara and Revenant are both locked away behind Cetus bounties. Gara’s parts are uncommon bounty rewards and Revenant’s parts are found in the harder bounties. The grind for these two isn’t too bad, but you need to at least level up a bit with Cetus to buy the blueprints required for the components to build them. Garuda has the exact same issue – you can obtain her part blueprints easily, but you need the 4th rank with Fortuna to actually BUILD Garuda, because you need a gem blueprint off Smokefinger.
And then there’s Baruuk and the newly released Hildryn.
You need to reach max rank with Fortuna, THEN reach the 3rd rank with Vox Solaris for Baruuk and reach the max rank of Vox Solaris to get Hildryn’s blueprint. To put this into perspective, it would require a Mastery Rank 26 player about 20 days of getting maximum standing, first from Fortuna and then from Vox Solaris to obtain Hildryn’s blueprint, assuming they start from the lowest rank of Fortuna. It turns out that enough people complained about Hildryn’s blueprint requiring max rank on two syndicates was enough for Digital Extremes to lower the requirement to rank 2 of Vox Solaris. That’s still a good week long grind though for a MR26 player and much longer for anyone below MR15 or so. I’m not even talking about a new player’s perspective, Hildryn and Baruuk are nigh impossible to obtain if you’re a newbie. I’m just referring to people who can’t get 20k standing per day, i.e. everyone below MR19.
And we don’t even know how to obtain the rest of Hildryn yet.
That’s a lot of work. And a lot of time spent waiting until you can earn more standing. And a huge amount of time stuck in either the Plains of Eidolon or the Orb Vallis. Like, days worth of time.
Compared to farming someone like Frost or even Trinity, it seems like a huge amount of time. Trinity is gated by having to find Animo Beacons, but Ambulas does spawn regularly on Pluto endless missions. The grind might be tedious but you can do it as little or as much time as you want. Or even farming for Octavia, for whom one part requires doing a survival for 20 minutes. You can spend hours farming for other frames, but those locked behind Syndicates? You can only do X amount of farming for them per day, before you HAVE to wait until tomorrow to continue.
I mean, it IS nice that you can just buy all the parts you need to build a new Warframe, the fact that a Warframe is locked behind a time-based grind rather than a work-based grind is a worrying trend. I bet you that the next Warframe, either Wisp or someone before her, will probably be locked behind another Syndicate, and the sad thing is, there are plenty of Syndicates left to lock new frames behind…
In the mean time, I guess I’ll just play Rhino.