The Problem With Primes

The other day, while doing fissures, I got lucky, and thanks to someone else’s relic, I managed to get the last part of Equinox Prime, her main blueprint. As I rushed back to my ship though, I realised something strange. I managed to get Equinox Prime really, really easily.

Like, really easily. All I did were some basic Capture, Exterminate and Survival missions to get these Equinox Prime parts. None of those missions were particularly hard. The average Warframe player would have been able to do them, even the 30 minute survival we did. The relics used were obtained by doing bounties and normal missions, but some relics were obtained by trading Syndicate Standing for relic packs, which might be out of reach for some players. Getting the relics wasn’t hard and opening the relics wasn’t hard either.

Chroma Prime, standing proud.
Chroma Prime, standing proud.

Once I got Equinox Prime in the foundry, I looked back to Chroma Prime. Chroma Prime had been a bit tricky for me to farm, simply because I was struggling to get the part I needed from an Axi relic. But I just farmed more and more Axi relics until I got the part I needed. The same thing happened with Mesa Prime, although I bought the last part I needed with Platinum. With Mirage Prime, I obtained all her parts from other people’s relics while just opening random relics of my own.

The cost to build these Prime frames though weren’t too much either. Sure, older frames like Vauban Prime and Trinity Prime need a ton of Nitain Extract and Oxium, but more recent frames aren’t nearly as expensive to build. Heck, Vauban Prime is intentionally expensive because Vauban is (or rather, was…) intentionally hard to obtain. Most modern Primed Warframes are much easier to build, and in some cases, much, much easier to obtain, as long as you do relic missions occasionally.

Part of it is to do with chance. When you, for example, fight Vay Hek, you’ve got about a 30% chance to get each Hydroid part. But unless you have a specific build for it, the Vay Hek fight is long and tedious and filled with invulnerability stages. Even if you skip each of the three preceding fights by running to the end of the map where the large, last stage of the Vay Hek fight is, it’s still slow and tedious. But because it’s a 30% chance on each part on each run, you can end up doing that fight over and over trying to get the last part you need.

The chances on relics aren’t much better. But because you are playing with 3 other people and you all have relics, you’re rolling for 4 different rewards and you can pick which one you want.

But also, sometimes it IS just easier! Chroma for example requires parts from 4 different Warframes, and while Volt’s Neuroptics can be bought from a clan dojo, the other parts all drop from other bosses. The Saryn part in particular requires you to do another mission before you can do the Kela De Thayme boss fight. Saryn Prime may be vaulted right now but relics with her parts in them were recently released in bulk, and back when Saryn Prime was released, she was FAR easier to get than normal Saryn simply because you needed 100 points JUST TO FIGHT Kela De Thayme!

The same can’t really be said for every Prime frame. Limbo and Mirage for example are somewhat easy to get, since their parts are guaranteed via quests, but those quests are slow and tedious and time-gated, while one could accidentally get all the parts for Mirage just by opening relics. Banshee and Zephyr are both Warframes available in dojos, so they’re nice and easy. And some Primed Warframes are vaulted right now, making them very hard to get – Volt is a dojo frame but Volt Prime has been vaulted for a very long time, his only appearance being in expensive relics that Baro hasn’t brought back in ages.

But newer frames though? Getting the Primed version is easy, as long as you crack open relics. Chroma, Mesa and Equinox are all a breeze in comparison to their normal selves.

Is this a bad thing? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s particularly bad, but it IS pretty weird. Mesa requires getting all the way to Eris, but you can easily unlock Mesa Prime without unlocking Eris at all, simply by getting Axi relics from bounties and opening them on Pluto.

Still, the idea that Primed Warframes are somewhat available to everyone is great, since it gives a player more options when it comes to obtaining their next frame, than if they just followed the star chart.


Medic, also known as Phovos (or occasionally Dr Retvik Von Scribblesalot), writes 50% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF since she doesn't have anything better to do. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Phovos has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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