Friday, July 25, 2014

Warframe (Part Five)

Editor's Note:
During the course of featuring this game, Warframe, there has been an unfortunate incident of a "Version Update" by the game devs. Whilst the majority of the gameplay has been left untouched and somewhat the same, a radical change has been made to the game's interface or hud display.

As such, I have chosen to keep the previously written articles intact and without any changes made to them. But from here onwards, the continuing articles will be made/written using screenshots in the new interface.

But a word of warning...

While the new interface does give an intriguing dash of sci-fi, futuristic feel to the game, it is in my opinion a little bit too tacky and hard to get accustomed to (in comparison to the old one).

Mods
Do you still remember in the previous article, when I was talking about Ranks, that I mentioned about "Mod Points" and its purpose being for installing of "Mods"? Well...here is where we will be touching upon it, so look no further.

What are mods and what do they do?

Warframe - Unmodded Rank 30 KunaiWarframe - Modded Rank 30 Kunai
To state it quite simply, mods are something that you install onto an item, be it a weapon, a warframe or a sentinel, to alter its parameters (stats) and make it better.

In other words, it will make an inferior weapon...better, but can also make a good weapon into a killing machine. It all depends on how you mod it and the purpose your modding it for.

The Basics of a Mod
The below shows a typical mod that you can pick up during the course of playing the game. And for your convenience-sake, I've highlighted the important aspects found on the mod so that you can know and understand what each of them means...
Warframe - Mod Incendiary Coat
  • Name
    This tells you the name of the mod.
  • Power
    This tells you the power of the mod.

    Without an "arrow" pointing upwards (beside the number), this depicts the amount of mod points needed to install the mod onto the item. But with the "arrow", instead of "consuming" mod points upon installation, it would free up mod points on the item...giving you points to install more mods (if you have the space for them that is).

    Mods with this "arrow" are typically "Aura" or "Stance" mods. These can only be installed in limited special slots separate from the others. "Aura" mods can only be installed on warframes whilst "Stance" mods can only be installed on melee weapons.
  • Polarity
    This tells you the polarity of the mod.

    If the polarity of the mod matches the polarity of the slot its installed in, it would reduce the amount of mod points consumed or increase the amount of mod points it frees up. (Power Number and Polarity would be shown in "Cyan".)

    Conversely, if the polarity of the mod does not match the polarity of the slot its installed in, it would increase the amount of mod points consumed or reduce the amount of mod points it frees up. (Power Number and Polarity would be shown in "Red".)

    If the slot does not have any polarity, then there will not be any mod point penalty or bonus applied to the mod installed. (Power Number and Polarity would be shown in "White".)
  • Rank
    This tells you the rank of the mod.

    Each box represents one rank and if filled, turns white, will increase the effects of the mod.
  • Rarity
    This tells you the rarity of the mod.

    From Common to Legendary, this is a measure of how hard or rare to obtain the mod is. (The number at the end, I believe, reflects the current numerical rank of the mod. It does not have anything to do with the rarity.)
  • Type
    This tells you the type of the mod.

    It mostly affects where and on what you can install the mod.
  • Conclave
    This tells you the conclave rating of the mod.

    When installed, your overall "Conclave Rating" will increase by the numerical value indicated.

    The "Conclave Rating" is a score system used in PVP-matchmaking to ensure that fights are "fair". PVP arenas are restricted by a conclave rating value whereby players will not be allowed admittance if their overall conclave ratings are above the restriction.
  • Effect
    This tells you the effect of the mod.

Fusion and Transmutation
Warframe - Mod Station
There are two things that you can do to a mod. One, fuse them and two, transmute them.
Warframe - Fusing With DuplicatesWarframe - Fusing With Everything Else
When fusing, what you do is to take mods that you don't want or need (in "Red"), be it junk or duplicate mods, and fuse them into the mods that you wish to keep (in "Blue").

And the purpose of doing this? Why...to rank up the mods that you wish to keep of course (so as to increase the effects of those mods).

Just note that it is generally faster to rank up mods (you'll need to fuse less of them) if you use duplicates of the mod (as in fusing the same mods) rather than junk mods in the fusion process.

Additionally, the higher the rank of the mod, the harder it is to continue ranking it. For instance, it is very easy to rank an "Unranked" mod to Rank 1, but much harder to rank it from say...Rank 4 to Rank 5. (Let alone max it.)

Some mods only have three ranks to max, some may have five while others can have up to ten ranks. (Refer to the number of empty boxes at the side of the mod.)

Warframe - Fusing With Fusion Cores
Alternatively, if you do run out of duplicates or junk mods, you can also substitute them with "fusion cores" (such as the ones shown above) instead. But I'll highly recommend that you keep these for the ranking up of those rare mods rather than waste them in the fusion of some easily found in abundance ones.
Warframe - Transmute Same ModsWarframe - Transmute Different Mods
When transmuting, what you do is to take ANY four "Unranked" mods and combine them into a new RANDOM mod.

Now what your doing here is entirely a gamble, so I would suggest that you do these not too often and only when you have spare credits / mods to burn and is feeling lucky for the day.

Other than that...there isn't much else to say about transmutation. There's no formula to it as far as I know.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Warframe (Part Four)

Weapons and Sentinels
Warframe - Weapons and Sentinels
Regardless of the warframe your using, you can bring along with you three weapons and one sentinel, of your choice, into a mission...any mission. And as each of them have their own characteristics, stats, functions and power, what you choose to bring is entirely down to your personal preference and how you like to deal with things (blow 'em all up, quick and silent or one shot one kill).

But frankly speaking, because of the way missions are made (and perhaps friendly competition between team-mates for kills), a fair deal of them involve you needing to kill mobs after mobs after mobs...as fast as you can, as hard as possible and with as little time to aim as humanly achievable, therefore it is in my opinion that your weapon of choice be something with a fairly reasonable magazine size, allows for full auto if necessary or at least deals area damage or affects multiple mobs per fired shot.

However, due to "ammo scarcity", there is also a need to conserve ammunition and not make too many wasted shots. Hence, it is also advisable that your weapon be something that kills fast and in as little shots as possible.

But that's just my opinion of course.

Primary, Secondary and Melee
Anyway, weapons found within the game are classified into three specific categories, Primary, Secondary and Melee. (Your limit of three weapons is actually derived from these three categories, namely you can only equip one from each.)
  • Primary - Rifles, Shotguns, Sniper Rifles, Bows, Launchers, etc
  • Secondary - Pistols, Dual Pistols, Throwing Knives, etc
  • Melee - Blades, Daggers, Giant Hammers, Heavy Swords, Polearms, Fists, Whips, Boomerangs, etc
But even though there may be plenty of different types to choose from, what you must understand is that...like warframes...they will have to be built as well (or purchased using "Plats").
Warframe - Weapons MarketWarframe - Primary Weapons Blueprints
First, you must obtain the appropriate blueprint necessary to make the weapon. These can be either purchased from the "Weapons Market" or they can be found as loot during your mission runs.
Warframe - Melee Weapon Blueprint HateWarframe - Switching Melee Weapons
Then you must source for the appropriate resources to build them, wait for them to finish, claim and then equip them as you would with your warframes.
Warframe - Weapon Switching
During a mission, you may switch to the different weapons by pressing "F" (to alternate between your primary and secondary weapons) or by pressing "E" to temporarily use your melee weapon (good for when you've just emptied your clip but the enemy is still standing).
Warframe - Melee Weapon Usage
Holding on to "F" will allow you to holster your primary/secondary weapon and switch to your melee weapon (instead of just using it temporarily). And when using your melee weapon this way, you will gain a bonus "damage multiplier" that multiplies your melee weapon's damage for consecutive strikes. (Attacks will still need to be performed through pressing "E".)

Additionally, you will also gain the ability to block attacks by holding on to your right mouse button (attacks blocked will consume your stamina instead of HP or shield) as well as a "charge" function (hold your left mouse button to charge) that trades off your warframe's energy in exchange for dealing additional damage on landed attacks.

Sentinels
You can think of them as your "pets", "companions", "equipment" or even "sidekicks" for all that matters. Just note that, apart from being an extra "gun" (helper in dealing damage), these ultimately aid you in some special way during missions depending on their type.
Warframe - Sentinel Shade Cloak
For instance, some of them may function as a cannon fodder (to lure enemies into attacking them when your overwhelmed), some may act as a crowd control (stuns enemies that are close to you), some cloaks you when enemies are nearby while others help you loot stuff by vacuuming and dropping them at your feet.

In my opinion, just try them all out. Then pick one that suits your playing style the best.

Warframe - Equipment MarketWarframe - Dethcube Blueprint
However (once again), sentinels will have to be built or bought as well. Just head to the "Equipment" section in the "Market" like as shown.

If your planning on making it yourself, then as per normal, you'll need to buy the blueprint (of the sentinel), gather the required resources, build and then claim it to use it.

Note: Although a sentinel may be killed within a mission, they cannot be destroyed permanently and will simply rejoin you for your next mission, alive and well.

Slot Limitations
Warframe - Weapon Slot LimitWarframe - Sentinel Slot Limit
Sad to say though, much like warframe slots, weapons and sentinels also have their own slot limitations.

Each weapon you own will occupy one weapon slot while each sentinel you have will occupy two sentinel slots (one for its weapon and one for itself).

If you've run out of slots, then you will either be forced to sell your existing ones to make space or buy more slots using "Platinum".


Ranks, Ranks and More Ranks???
Now that you've already been introduced to warframes, weapons and sentinels, let me bring your attention onto something called "Ranks".

In this game we call "Warframe", your warframes have ranks, your weapons have ranks too, as do the sentinels you own. Heck...even your account has a rank as well, called the "Mastery Rank".

So what do all these ranks do?

Warframe, Weapon and Sentinel Ranks
Warframe - Mission CompleteWarframe - Affinity EXP
Whenever you kill monsters or complete random tasks within a mission (like as shown above), you will gain these so called "Affinity EXP".

These EXP allows your warframes, weapons and sentinels to rank up, gradually, starting from "Unranked" to the maximum of "Rank 30".

However, apart from your warframe's rank affecting its Maximum HP and Shield Points, ranking up doesn't seem to do much of anything else (to their stats). In fact, from a strict point of view, a "Rank 30" is no different in comparison to an "Unranked", stats-wise of course.

So what's the deal with it then? For modding purposes, actually.
Warframe - Rank 30 Kunai
Starting from 0, each increase in rank will give the item (warframe, weapon or sentinel) 1 "mod point". And with these mod points, you can then install all sorts of various "mods" into the item to help boost its performance.

But for now, let's just leave it at this. I will explain further when I touch on the topic, "Mods".

Mastery Rank
Warframe - Profile Mastery Rank
If you look at your profile (can be accessed by clicking on the interactive bar showing your "Name", "Credits" and "Platinum" amounts), you will be able to see your current "Mastery Rank" and how much "Mastery Points" you'll need to get to the next rank.

In my case, my current mastery rank is "Silver Novice" or Mastery Rank 5 (if you look at the number). To get to my next rank, Gold Novice (Mastery Rank 6), I will need to get another 14,290 mastery points.

However, these Mastery Points aren't as easily acquired as Affinity EXP though. They are in limited amounts and cannot be obtained via simply killing monsters. Instead, one will need to rank up items in order to get them.

For every "UNIQUE" item (warframe, weapon or sentinel) that you rank up, you will get a certain fixed amount of mastery points per rank, but only up till its maximum of Rank 30.

And by "UNIQUE", what I'm saying is that each item that you rank up will only give you its mastery points ONCE. Therefore it is not possible for you to do something like purchase Item A, rank it up to 30, sell it, buy Item A again and rank it up to 30 once more to "farm" for mastery points. It doesn't work that way.

So ultimately, in order to increase your mastery rank, you will need to acquire and use as many items (warframe, weapon or sentinel) as you can. You will also need to rank them all up to Rank 30, at least once, in order to maximize the amount of mastery points that you can get from them.

Clear so far? Good. So let's move on...
Warframe - View Profile and StatisticsWarframe - Mastery Rank Test
Upon gaining sufficient mastery points to move on to your next rank, you will need to pass some "simple" test. You can start the test by clicking on the same interactive bar as when checking your profile. You will then be spawned into the special test rooms after accepting it.

These "simple" tests may include stuff like killing waves of monsters (in a limited amount of time) using only your primary, secondary or melee weapon, hack a designated number of terminal consoles (within the time limit) or perform stealth assassinations.

Basically, each Mastery Rank has its own unique test to perform and these tests are merely a way to show and teach you the "Ways of the Warframe". Well...to get you accustomed to the gameplay and game features actually.

However, do note that if you fail the test, you will have to wait for a day (24 hours) before you may be allowed to re-take the test. So only attempt them once you are sure you can pass them.

Mastery Points accrued, when your items rank up, do not get lost even if you are stuck on a mastery rank test (failed to pass it).

The point of raising your mastery rank, you ask? Well...as far as I know, these mastery ranks don't mean much, nor do they affect your casual enjoyment of the game in any way...even if you ignore them.

They do, however, come with certain "benefits" if you do decide to raise them.
Warframe - Penta BlueprintWarframe - Dragon Nikana Blueprint
Like for example, you will need to be at a certain mastery rank level before you are allowed access to purchase the blueprints of certain weapons.

Apart from that, raising it also increases the amount of times that you may trade with other players per day (will require at least one of you to be in a clan, "guild" in regular MMO terms, with a functioning "Trading Post"), as well as affecting the number of "Titan Extractors" that you may deploy simultaneously.



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