I’m in a similar place on the standing grind—closing in on the annoying final ranks. Wearing Arbiters and Perrin sigils also levels Suda and New Loka without having to do anything extra, so that’s the path I took.
I’m in a good place credits-wise, though; I got a three-hour credit booster for a login reward a few days ago and ran a bunch of the Index.
Credits I find fairly simple to get, just do 5 levels on Ceres, Seimeni. Dark Sector defense, you get 20K credits for a few minutes, 40K if it’s the first mission of the day. Do it a bunch of times whenever you get a credit booster on login or as a reward.
It’s not a huge amount, but it’s so easy and fast to do that the credits start piling up…
But doesn’t wearing those two sigils de-level the others? I’ve got Suda and Meridian to the top, and I wear the latter 15% sigil and run their missions to get Veil up- they’re now at the threshold to the top, I just need the 500k and to build the Saryn chassis (need one more Nitain). Until then I’m running Suda missions, which subtract a little Veil, but add to Arbiters, which are about halfway to the top tier now. Do some Meridian to top Veil back up, and then cash the points in for mods/gear to sell on the plat market. Just a little dance I do to push them all up.
My warframe conundrum. I find myself in this constant loop of not liking how the leveling system works in this game. The problem being, that in order to further your mastery, you have to be continually leveling new weapons and frames. That sounds great on the surface, but the reality of it is for me, that just when my warframe is starting to feel pretty good, I have to change out for weapons/frames that have no mod room capability, and my relative power in the game is greatly diminished.
I have one particular loadout that I really like right now, but playing it is really completely pointless, because if I’m not leveling my mastery, what am I even doing? When I have weapons equipped that I like, and feel powerful, I dread seeing them tick over to fully leveled. That seems like such a counterproductive loop to me, and I find it really kills a lot of motivation to keep playing the game. I feel like I’m on this endless treadmill, where I’m going to suck about 80% of the time.
I totally get you, and felt similarly for a while, but it went away once I started leveling stuff exclusively on defense missions.
Want to level a Warframe? Equip survivability mods and at least one good ranged weapon. Go do defense missions, the highest you can, stay within affinity range of the rest of the players. Want to level weapons? Equip as few weapons as possible, ideally just the one assuming your Frame is useful by itself (spy missions are also decent for weapon leveling, apparently).
You’re going to need to open relics, do it on defense missions and level stuff up then. Just make sure you stay within affinity range of the rest of the people.
But you’re right, the loop is weird, at least before you start getting enough MR that weapons are decent from the start…
MR isn’t the only goal in the game- in fact I barely pay attention to it. Mostly, I play for faction rep (for those sweet, sweet frame-specific mods), unlocking new frames, and getting focus- one of the things I like best about PoE is being able to get lenses without running sorties or buying them for plat. That said, I do like having my MR up to 12 so I can start new stuff off not-completely-gimped, so I guess you should pay some attention to it.
You can also level your MR from finishing spots on the star map, and you can take your fully-leveled gear to run through those like butter.
I like unlocking new things, I like trying different combos, it’s just a weird loop to be caught in. In just about every other game I can think of, unlocking something new adds to your existing power profile, not completely replace it. It’s a very odd mechanic choice. You could easily fix that, by allowing more inherent mod slots once you have mastered that class of weapon. I have no problem equipping a new weapon and leveling it, heck that’s 99% of the game is trying to new combos, I just think there is a better way they could have implemented it.
When you equip an unranked weapon, it’s true that you may be temporarily degrading your build. Likewise, when you fine tune your build by using forma, you are temporarily weaker. These things happen over and over in the game.
At first I thought it was weird, coming from a game (GW2) where progression is always a one-way road upwards. But now I think there is a method to the madness. It addresses a problem common to most RPGs: at a certain point, you are too strong to enjoy lower-level zones. In GW2, high-level characters in low-level zones are artificially weakened in order to increase the challenge. In Warframe, you weaken yourself with unranked gear as part of a long-term strategy. And the more unranked gear you are using, the faster you’ll achieve your goal.
All this means that sometimes there is a very good reason to revisit the low-level zones where all the newbies are playing. And I think this makes the game healthier in the long run.
For warframes, your starting mod capacity does increase with mastery rank. But your health/shield and abilities are not affected by mastery rank. They start improving the moment you start using the warframe.
For weapons, nothing changes as you level up except for mod capacity. A weapon with a mod capacity of ten is identical to a level ten weapon. So I don’t think it would be a good idea to change the starting mod capacity, because that means you see no benefit from early leveling.
The thing is, you do eventually settle on preferred loadouts and warframes, because there’s quite a high ceiling in terms of how much you can boost things with mods, so you tend to lavish the most forma on things you like using, and you tend to use them the most.
So basically you get into a kind of rhythm where sometimes you’re just building and trying new things out, and levelling them for the mastery, but then when you’re doing something “serious” you use your most-loved, most-forma-ed loadouts.
Essentially, weapon and warframe choice is down to personal gameplay preference, but the power of those weapons is down to modding and forma-ing. There are some exceptions in that some weapons (crit/slash/status hybrids) are kind of intrinsically OP and better suited to the ultra-high-end enthusiast “endless” gameplay (high level survivals and defences past an hour or so), but for the bulk of play, all the warframes and weapons are viable up to 3rd sortie, if they have like 4, 5 or 6 forma in them, and the right mods with all pips filled, so it really is about finding the combination of warframe and weapons that fits your playstyle preferences like a glove, and you’ll be doing most of your grinding using those.
The grinding comes in terms of the fact that you start to gradually expand your arsenal of loved things (and obviously new things crop up constantly to try out) so there’s always something new to forma up, new things to grind for, etc.
Also, I’d recommend not selling weapons or warframes, because I’ve found that quite often you might read about a strat with something, and revisit it, and find that after grinding up the forma for it, you love using it after all. That’s happened to me a few times, with warframes in particular - I didn’t enjoy using it at first, then some strat piqued my interest, I tried it out, and changed my opinion of the warframe.
I get what you guys are saying, and I appreciate the intelligent feedback. I understand all of this about the game, I just don’t like it lol. It’s not really trying to convince anyone else, as much as it is me coming to understand what de-motivates me in this game. I’m usually a sucker for trying different builds/items etc, so this game should really be right up my alley, but for some reason I always end up feeling really let down as I’m approaching maxing out a particular weapon or warframe. The idea of “starting over” gets tougher to deal with every time for me. Going back to earth, or some other early planet, to grind spy missions yet again …yah…no thanks, it’s just me.
WF is one of those games to me, that’s really really close to hooking me in long term. I like the moment to moment gameplay, and I think it’s an amazing game, especially for a FTP game. My only problem is that my motivation tends to get clobbered every time I have to go back to ground zero. I guess for me, it’s a balance of how engaging the moment to moment gameplay is, vs the time I’m going to have to spend doing “busy work”. This game is almost all busy work. It’s a pretty treadmill, but boy is it a treadmill, with really nothing else that I can figure out to be involved in.
All in all a great game, and I’d certainly recommend that people play it. The older I get, the lower my tolerance gets for treadmills, and I’m quite sure that’s a big part of the picture when it comes to my opinions on stuff like this.
This shouldn’t ever be happening, though, unless you’re making a conscious decision to do so (and if so… why?). If you’re farming Mastery rank, just equip one low-level weapon and keep the rest of your kit the same. Then just don’t use that weapon. No ground zero, no going back to Earth. Just keep playing what it is you want to play. Play around with the weapon once you’ve gotten some levels on it.
I know you say you understand all this, but… if you do, then the situations you just describe shouldn’t be happening. :)
Ah, then maybe you should join PUGs for Hydron (a Grineer defense on Sedna) and/or Akkad (an infested defense on Eris) to speed level things up.
Might take a few tries (because sometimes people do only like 5 or 10 quick waves for credits), but sooner or later you’ll autojoin an efficient PUG that’ll have tooled-up players who want to go on for longer, which will be enable you to level up any weapon or frame quite quickly, pretty much to max level if the team goes to 40 waves. It’s fast and relatively painless.
People advertise for these in Recruitment too, which would be a better bet for immediately being in a dedicated team that knows what it’s doing.
Just always remember to have at least one weapon that’s fully effective up to 40 waves, because obviously the weapon you’re levelling will only be useful for the first few waves; and put max possible tank on your frame if you’re levelling a frame.
Other than that, KevinC’s advice is good: just play normally at your level but “carry” one thing you’re levelling up and have your other weapons be your best/fave weapons.
If you have that armor-reduction mod, you can probably join as a Corrosive Projection XP “slack” and just stay in the mission for XP without contributing (due to low level). A lot of people do that.
When I get a new frame I tend to do level 10-20 missions for a bit. Since I’m MR22 I have a bit of extra flexibility with mods from the get go though. Usually take one maxed weapon and one “fresh” one to level.
So, after an hour of trying I had to abandon the sortie today. The ambulas mission is intense, and we could get it figured out as a pub group.
Closest I got was 5 down, but then the team ran out of revives. I was running as Trinity Prime, and I was spamming EV, Link and Bless constantly… and that went well until the scrambus arrived and ruined all of us.
Also tried running it in my valkyr prime with the primary goal of killing all the adds - but my group couldn’t get organized with that either.
Speaking of Mesa, I bought her today with plat. The only other frame I’ve bought was Excalibur on sale a few weeks back, as I’m generally against ‘paying to skip the content’. But today I got a 75% off coupon as my login reward, I’m sitting on a small pile of plat due to some nice sales (syndicate weapons and mods, mostly) and the VGA sale last week (I spent $7 real-world money!)), so I looked at the handful of frames I haven’t got yet and she seemed the most annoying- the 82p, minus the 20 for the slot and the 20 for the reactor, and she was worth far more than my time trying to grind for just the ability to fight the boss, in the hopes the proper parts would drop. Meh.
I’m currently leveling up Gara, I have Nezha and Wukong in the hopper when I get the mats (Nitain, mostly, but a few more, I think). Then it’s mostly just RNG frames- Nidus, Octavia, Harrow, Ivarra etc.- running the proper missions when you’ve nothing else to do and hoping you get lucky. I’m also not trying for Primes, unless I just stumble on the parts in a fissure with others.
I also just bred my first Infested doggo. Such a cute little tentacle-covered beastie!