It’s only taken me four years, but here I am, a True Master in Warframe. After so long farming and grinding, I’ve mastered literally every single item in the game. As of writing, I have mastered all in-game items aside from Founders Gear, including the newly released Nezha Prime and the Vitrica, a new Orokin sword.
After mastering those few items, I was then tasked with one more trial: the test for Mastery Rank 30.
It didn’t cost me too much.
After I hit Mastery Rank 29, I basically caught up with everything. I finished off my Intrinsics using a double affinity weekend. After that, I used my large supply of Platinum (accumulated over many tiny trades over 3 years) to help me finish up things I needed. Honestly, it all got easier. With the majority of hard weapons out of the way, I had new focus. There was no need to look for vaulted items. I didn’t need to worry too much about events. Instead, I could just do new content as it came out, and still be on top.
The same applied to the last few items needed for Mastery Rank 30. I actually got pretty lucky there. Mostly because Kaiga gifted me the Nezha parts I didn’t have, only for me to suddenly get all the Nezha parts later on from relics. There’s even more luck involved though as I managed to get the rare Axi part on my second attempt, and clan mate Inquizitor and I farmed a lot of the new stuff together.
Once we’d run out of relics, I realised I had some duplicates. So I traded those for platinum and traded the platinum for the bits I didn’t have.
Gonna be honest, I rushed some stuff.
I only rushed two things though: the Vitrica and Nezha Prime himself. Let’s be frank here, waiting 3 days to build a Warframe is stupid. And I wanted the cool new sword right now. The Zakti and Guandao Prime though, as well as Nezha Prime’s components were all built with the standard times. But even after building these items, I still needed to level them all up.
That didn’t take too long though. I mostly did all of it through Sanctuary Onslaught. Nezha Prime and the Vitrica were done in the normal version in the hopes for Khora parts. The weapons were done in Elite Sanctuary Onslaught, although with some trial and error because I carried every game. And whoever gets the most kills tends to get the least overall affinity if you’re using Warframe abilities. But I swiftly finished them and prepared for my final test.
The Mastery Rank 30 test is, on the surface, relatively easy. You kill enemies until boss enemies appear. Then you kill the boss enemies and grab the life support tower to move on to the next wave. Life support capsules drop from every 10 enemies you kill.
I didn’t want to go in blind for this one. I took my beloved normal Volt, complete with Primed Sure Footed. My arsenal consisted of a spore-spitting Vulpaphylla, the Kuva Bramma, Kuva Nukor and the Pride of the Flamebearer, my polearm Plague Kripath Zaw. I did two practice runs and completed them both, finishing with about 20% Life Support left.
So I moved on to the MR30 test itself… and failed.
I hadn’t been so tilted in years.
I was so damn close. I’d just defeated the last 10 bosses. But I was far away from the life support I needed to finish. So I used my Operator to void-dash over… and I missed the platform. By the time I had reset, I had run out of life support and failed the test.
In my anger, I went back to practicing. I spent 4 hours constantly redoing the test, failing it every time. After some more failures, I stopped using Volt and used new tactics. I tried different Warframes, I tried different loadouts, I tried everything. There were even some stupid attempts, like me using Void Dash to knock enemies over the ledges rather than killing them. Every single time, I would fuck up at the last moment. The only luck I’d had was with Ash and Wukong, but even then, I was still failing the test, screwing up at the last moment.
It didn’t help that the enemy spawns weren’t random. The bosses were mostly the same every time (including a level 140 Arctic Eximus Nox right at the end) but they’d be in random positions. If I was unlucky, they’d spawn on the complete opposite side of the map. But my biggest problem was overshooting the platforms with the life support towers on them.
The next day, I changed tactics.
After some theory-crafting with Kaiga and a LOT of relaxing music, I was ready to try again. I went with the build I had used the day prior that had gotten me the closest. Wukong Prime, with the Kuva Bramma, Nukor and Pride of the Flamebearer. Only this time, I had switched my Arcanes. Instead of Arcane Energize and Guardian, I was using Arcane Warmth and Arcane Resistance.
I did a practice test. Passed with 40% life support left. Another test. 45% life support. A third test. Somehow, I passed with 50% life support remaining. Since I was on a roll, I decided to jump straight in for the qualifying test…
Six minutes later, I was a True Master.
With 65% life support remaining.
Somehow, for some reason, I did the test easily. Clearly, I was just so angry the day prior that it was messing with my head. After all, I hadn’t failed a MR test in about a year, so that was quite a shock. All of the previous day struggles had melted away, leaving me… well, also shocked. A different kind of shock.
In just 2 days of MR30 being available, I had managed to obtain it. I was a True Master, the top 1% of Warframe players. Using a Wukong that had no forma in it. Immediately after I finished the test, I got several inbox messages, congratulating me for my achievement. Teshin called me his equal, telling me of the True Master Font, with which I can give small buffs to people in relays.
The other message was from the Lotus. Lotus said she was proud of me. That kinda hurt because, well, the Lotus hasn’t been around for a while. She left us in Apostasy Prologue. She never got to see her strongest Tenno become True Masters, because Ballas and Erra took her away. There Lotus was though, telling me she was proud, that it was an honor to see me come this far. A lot of conflicting emotions.
Once I’d settled down, I went around doing two things: Firstly, I bragged to everyone I knew that I was now a True Master. And secondly… well, I made a promise to myself once, that, should I ever become MR30, I’d switch my colour scheme out from “Arkay Yellow” to “Retvik’s true colours”.
So that’s what I did. I switched to my new look, bathed in red and gold. The colours of a True Master…
Editor’s note: I actually hit MR30 on October 30th 2020, just under two days after it became available. This article was written on October 31st, but was published after aabicus’s Halloween article series.