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How to Farm, Basic/Advanced Player Progression
With the release of Update 7, and the Steam release, Warframe's player progression is more reliant than ever on you having a good selection of mods at your disposal. With this guide, I'll show you how to maximize your mod earnings per mission, as well as foundry crafting items and how to determine what alerts are really worth your time.
This is super out of date, and probably will remain so. A lot of these core ideas still work and will continue to, I just don't have the time to continue keeping up with the changes to the game that may occur. Sorry!
It all comes down to the changes made with Update 7.
While farming for foundry supplies was somewhat worthwhile before, it wasn't needed, and mods weren't your only means of building your character. During the closed beta, levelling your frame and your weapons actually DID something. Each piece of equipment had an RPG-like levelling-tree, which could be expanded dramatically by installing an Orokin Reactor or Core. Now, levelling your gear simply increases how many mods you can fit on your gear, and the Reactor/Core increases that number significantly.
Whereas before, I earned bonus damage, rate of fire, and such from a tree for my Burston rifle, now I have to have the associated mods. No longer can I save my mod slots for more interesting mods, like burstshot or fire damage, though they still exist if I so desire.
What the hell is a mod?
That's a mod.
Enemies are the only way you will get a mod to drop, so you want to kill as many enemies as possible to maximize your potential earnings.
As I stated in the first section, these mods are extremely important as of Update 7, as they now grant your gear all of their buffs. Any damage increases, rate of fire increases, and so on, to the more interesting mods like burstshot and elemental damage, come directly from an associated mod.
Each mod is worth so many points, and your items level determines its mod capacity. If you try to equip more than you have the capacity to afford, well, it won't work. Orokin Catalysts can be used to DOUBLE your mod capacity.
To upgrade a mod, you must use the fusion process. While you can use a fusion core to do this, the return on your investment makes it hard to recommend. You will be spending around four times as many credits to fuse a mod with several fusion cores in order to level it up, whereas fusing that same mod with a duplicate would cost you only 500 credits and level it up faster than the cores would. If possible, only fuse using duplicates. You should keep in mind that the cost will increase as the mod levels, so even with duplicate mods, you will start paying more eventually. By level 4 or 5, you'll see too little return on your investment to make it worthwhile anymore.
Finally, some mods have an icon in the top left corner (Thank you for bringing this to my attention, docmatthews180!) of their card. As you may have noticed, your mod slots may also have icons in the top left corner. If a mod with a matching icon is placed in these slots, it will take up less points, allowing you to put more powerful/expensive mods overall on your gear. The reverse is also true, so try not to mismatch icons. This really can make a difference: I've gone from having 5 free points to 26, just from rearranging my mods!
The Foundry, and Foundry Supplies
Following closely behind mods, Foundry Supplies allow you to create items from blueprints found during various missions.
Some items are exclusive to blueprints, with the developers saying that the best gear is only possible to attain via crafting in the Foundry. Clearly, you'll want to have your hands on these supplies.
Thankfully, Warframe makes it fairly easy to farm for supplies.
At the Planet Select screen, place your cursor over a planet. A box with various bits of information will appear, including three supplies that can drop in that planets missions. If you need Rubedo, you go to a planet that has the chance to drop Rubedo. If you need Polymer Bundles, you go to a planet that has a chance to drop Polymer Bundles. You should know that often, one of the supplies is typically a rare drop that only higher level enemies in the area will be kind enough to toss your way, but this is not always the case, and recent updates have made these items, such as Morphics, substantially more common. Your experience may vary, at this point in time.
The supplies themselves appear in-game as cog-shaped objects. they stand out pretty well thanks to the orange coloring on the edges and sides, so you should be able to recognize them clearly, as opposed to their old model, which blended in with the health orbs in some unfortunate circumstances.
When you are farming, these supplies are the reason you are breaking open containers and opening closets. Enemies may drop them as well, but you will drastically increase your output by emptying every possible container.
Where should I farm?
Honestly, wherever you want. There's no shortage of choices, and I can tell you from experience that areas that work well some times might work poorly another.
There are some guidelines to remember, however.
You don't want a time limit. You're there for farming, not making progress on your galactic map. Anything that is going to end the mission without you personally walking into the extraction point is bad, and ugly, and gross.
Enemies shouldn't stop coming. While Extermination missions are fun, they aren't good for farming. Enemies are the only way you'll get mods to drop, and you want as many mods as you can get. Once you've killed every enemy in an Extermination mission, there won't be anymore coming. With the other types, they may very well send in reinforcements.
Defending a farm isn't fun. Don't try and farm on Defense missions, either. Unless you have a full team, all geared beyond what the mission is going to be throwing at you, you will be too busy fighting off enemies to run through the corpses grabbing any drops.
Defending being a bad idea was an old suggestion from the closed beta days. Extensive play time in the open beta has made it pretty clear that the old defense mission model is either really well hidden, or it got cut completely. I'm going to assume it's the latter. As long as it's not Mobile Defense, all defense missions have potential to be FANTASTIC farming opportunities. You just need to have some teammates with you, otherwise you won't make the most of it, and above all else, you should be striving for efficiency in your farming. So, you know, have teammates.
This all said, an area that I've had the most consistent luck in finding basic level mods is the Assassination mission on Mercury, so if you are really lost on where to go, try that out.
Once you've gained some experience, and a relatively solid collection of mods, you might want to check out Kiliken in Venus for a good early Defense farm.
Credit to Sovn in the comments for this: Eligor in Europa is another good Endless Defense mission worth checking out. Thanks, Sovn!
What's up with these Alerts?
Alerts are Warframe's way of giving you exponentially more credits than usual for completing a mission. That said, Alerts can also reward you with all kinds of great loot!
In general, I suggest taking any alert you find. The extra credits are always handy, especially when you are just starting out. For reference, I like to have no less than 50,000 credits in my inventory at any given time. Of course, if you are just starting out, that numbers not exactly realistic, but alerts can help you reach that safety net number much faster.
The best part about Alerts is when you find one that offers loot. You can determine if an Alert offers loot by the Rewards screen that is displayed before you accept the mission. If a "?" is displayed, you will earn something cool. These are ALWAYS worth taking early on, however after some time you will want to coordinate with other players to determine which of these is truly worthwhile.
Luckily for you, the Warframe community has already created a few resources for you to use.
Warframe Alerts is a very helpful Steam group that posts events whenever a loot-rewarding Alert opens up. If you get serious about Warframe, this group is an incredibly useful assistant in your gameplay experience.
Alert Notifications on Warframe Forums[forums.warframe.com] is also really handy, and is part of the Warframe official forums. Pretty much the same idea as the Steam group, without the Steam integration.
Being a Gentlemen and a Scholar
Before you even load up a mission, set your squad to Private or Solo. If you don't know how to do this, simply click on where it says "Online" at the top of the screen at the main menu, and select one of the other options.
This is done for your benefit, and out of courtesy to the general player base. On one hand, you don't want to have random people coming in and bumrushing the extraction point, especially with the chat server being as unreliable as it has been (Seriously, what's up with that?).
On the other, you wouldn't want to finally find a game for a mission you need to complete, only to discover the other player isn't even bothering with the objective.
This is a co-op game, think of it as such when you are planning your missions, not just when you are playing them.
You should play with the Squad set to Online if you are playing one of the Endless Defense missions, however.
The Actual Act of Farming
You've trained your whole life for this. Well, actually you probably haven't, but that's not the point. It's time to get busy.
Ignore the objective. Warframe randomly generates each level using a variety of rooms for each tileset, and as such the path to the actual objective often has plenty of side passages that split off into other passages, until the whole thing is one crazy labyrinth. Normally, you'd be trying to get from the start to the finish with as little detour as possible, but this isn't a normal run. The objective can wait.
Go exploring. Leave no stone unturned. Any doorway that opens up, you see what's on the other side. You'll be amazed at just how HUGE some of these levels can be, with most of the area never actually in the path to the objective. These are the areas you want to be in, these are the areas you will thrive in.
Learn things. The more you play, and I mean regular play and farming, the more you will recognize some of the areas the game likes to use in its level generation. Some areas will start to bring a smile to your face akin to the ballpit at Chuck E Cheeses, once you start to recognize them. To be blunt, some places have a lot of potential for loot, and some rooms are just going to be empty every damn time.
Break stuff. Containers come in different shapes and sizes, most of which don't vomit their contents upon you when you press X. Some common shapes are the "Green Treasure Chest" and the "Metal Tube". They break with any kind of attack, though why you would waste ammo is beyond me. Just hit em with your melee.
Mark things like it's going out of style. It's not. By pressing G, you can put up a pretty hard to miss orange marker on your allies HUD wherever you are currently aiming. This is context sensitive, so if you aim at a mod, the marker will be labelled as "Module" rather than just "Waypoint", and you can also point out high priority enemies using this, which I'd like to take this moment to ask all of you to please use wisely, and not on the low level infantry. That guy with the rocket launcher? I need to know about him. Guy with saw hands? I can deal with him whenever he ends up running my way. Thanks. As a side note on the context sensitive functionality, the detection can be a little rough to get used too, but once you use it regularly you should have no problem getting your waypoints to mark with the proper titles, rather than everything simply being "Waypoint".
Building Your New Warframe: Finding Blueprints
Before I get ahead of myself, you should know that blueprints can cover more than just Warframes. However, I'd rather not spread this guide across more than I already have, and you are probably more interested in the frames anyways.
The various bosses you will encounter during your time with Warframe follow the example set by any good boss, and have the chance to drop goodies for you upon their demise. In a rather MMO like fashion, certain bosses drop certain blueprints, so if you want to make Rhino, there's one place to go.
One last note before I get to each frame and their respective boss/location, buying a Blueprint in the Market does NOT act as a shortcut. In fact, the blueprints in the market are required when finally forging your new Frame. To elaborate, the bosses will drop prints for things like "Rhino Chasis" and "Ember Systems". The formula to make a Frame that is listed on one of the Market blueprints is, if you haven't figured it out yet, all of those boss items. So once you have built each individual piece of your frame, you then have to have the final blueprint to actually forge it all together. If someone gets the final frame print to drop, please let me know, but as far as I can tell they must be bought with credits in the market.
Rhino Rhino prints have a chance of dropping off of Jackal, the boss for Venus. You can find Jackal in the area "Fossa", specifically.
Mag Mag prints have a chance of dropping off of Nef Anyo, the boss for Mars. You can find Anyo at "War". Sounds pleasant.
Volt Volt prints have a chance of dropping off Golem, the boss for Jupiter. You can find "it" at "Themisto".
Ash Ash prints have a chance to drop off Tyl Regor, the boss for Uranus. He hangs out at "Titania".
Trinity Trinity prints drop off of Vay Hek, the boss of Earth. He likes to spend his time at "Everest".
Frost Frost prints fall from the cold, dead fingers of Lech Kril, whose name is fun to say out loud. He's the boss for Ceres, and you can track him down to "Exta".
Ember Ember prints drop off Sargas Ruk, and I have nothing witty to say here. He's the boss for Saturn, and he can be found at "Tethys".
Loki Loki prints drop from Hyena, Jackal's seperated at birth twin. He is the boss for Neptune, and you'll find him at "Psamathe".
Nyx Nyx prints drop from Phorid, the boss of Eris. It is located at "Naeglar".
Excalibur Excalibur prints drop from Ambulas, the boss of Pluto. He is found at "Hades".
Saryn Saryn prints drop from Kela De Thaym, the crazy lady boss of Sedna. She is known to be found on "Merrow", but has been seen on random missions on Sedna as well.
Banshee No one seems to know if there is a specific spot, but these prints seem to have a chance of dropping on any mission, most commonly on the planet Europa. Europa's boss spawns randomly, making it impossible to give you a location to check out over the others. Sorry.
I've got some mods, are there any builds I should use for farming?
For your frame, put on some armor, shield, and health buffs, as well as some sprint bonuses. Of course, you will also want loot radar, so that you can see nearby containers on your mini-map.
Weapon wise, that's your call. I like to use my Burston for just about everything mid to far range, and I carry Afuris for my pistols to quickly deal with anything that closes that distance.
A set up that I've heard good results from are the Strum shotgun and the pistol-class shotgun thats name escapes me at the moment, with heavy sprint bonuses and loot radar bonuses on the frame. This would leave your defenses lowered, but you'd be moving quickly enough and putting out enough damage to hopefully negate that.
If you want me to be honest, outside of loot radar mods there really isn't much need for a farming build. Odds are, whatever you use for regular play will work fine here.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I'll be happy to answer them. You can reach me in game at "Sdoots" if you need any further assistance, as well.