OK, you’ll need to bear with me, because from here on out, things start to get COMPLICATED. Everything that you can equip in the game (from warframe to weapon, to companion, to Archwing and its individual components) can be levelled, up to a maximum of 30 levels. As you progress through the game, you will be awarded Affinity, which is essentially XP. This is shared across your devices, depending on how the Affinity is won (for example, a Melee kill will split the Affinity between the Warframe and the Melee weapon, while a companion kill will all be applied to the companion only). Each progressive level requires more and more Affinity, but levelling your equipment does not increase stats. This seems counter-intuitive (as compared to other RPGs), but levelling does have other effects – namely, it increases your mod capacity (more on that later) and it directly influences your Mastery Rank (… more on that later too). The bottom line is that if you want to progress in the game, you NEED to level your equipment, but levelling your equipment does not itself increase your effectiveness.
So what does? Progression in Warframe
is fairly simple, but it does take time to understand – at least without a little help (so hopefully this article will clear it up for you). All of your equipment has base stats, and these don’t change as you increase its level (there is some slight change as you level a Warframe – unlocking abilities, for example, and some very small stat increases, but no major increase in power). The stats also don’t change much as you increase your Mastery Level. The ONLY way to increase your stats is to apply mods. Every piece of equipment has a number of mod slots and a certain capacity for mods. As you progress through the game, you will find mods (which drop from enemies, bosses, and so on) – and there are hundreds of them, each of which affects your stats in some specific way (for example, the Vitality mod will increase the base health of your Warframe by 20% at its base level). Realistically, this means that mods are the primary method of progression…
In essence, progression in Warframe
requires three things – levelling your gear (to increase Mastery), increasing your Mastery level (to get access to better weapons and mods), and applying mods with increasing power. This will then allow you to take on missions with higher and higher Enemy Level. To some degree, this is oversimplifying, but to a new player, this will definitely help. To put this in perspective, after 25 hours in the game, I’m now MR4, and I am comfortable against enemies up to around level 20. Considering end game content can include Enemy Level 80-100, I still have a way to go!
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