When we got the Saryn relics for the Anniversary weekend wars back in February, I've noticed one specific thing that these relics shine on the system as a whole: The relic system is a complete mess organization wise, and this really bothers me.
How are the relics messy?
Each new Prime Access introduces upwards of 12 new, individual relics that each only contain one new prime part. This leads to dilution of drop tables due to how many relics are available
If each Prime Warframe part had its own unique relic that it didn't share with other frames, there would be a total of 268 relics. 272 if we separated the Weekend War relics up based on Saryn's parts. Obviously, this isn't the case, but seeing as we now have 10 Neo S variants, we could reach those numbers fairly fast.
Speaking of relic variants, the letters coincide typically coincide with the rare part (unless its like Axi N1). This can cause a lot of confusion as we can't really tell if that Neo S7 relic is has Saryn, Spira, Soma, Sicarus, Sybaris, or Silva & Aegis as its rare part unless we commit the contents to memory. hint: it's a Silva & Aegis relic
Unlike any of the standard unvaulting relics standard relics rarely, if ever, have parts from the same Prime Access family within them. This is of course to make the newer parts harder to get, but as a result a good chunk of the newly released relics will become vaulted when the PA cycle shifts.
Out of Mesa's relics, 5 of her 11 relics (Lith M3, Meso M2/A1/Z2, Neo S9) will be vaulted soon because they contain Oberon Prime Access parts. That's nearly half of all her relics that are currently available, and she's only been around for 3 months. I've been around since before the relic system was adopted, so I know very well that those Mesa parts won't become vaulted themselves. However, I have seen an endless cycle of chasing prime parts from relic to relic each Prime Access because their new relic contained a part that will be vaulted soon.
The fact that it looks like someone pulled a slots lever in order to fill the relics, evergreen Primes and Forma took a hit in reliably farming them for Ducats/Forma. Don't forget that Braton Prime Receiver was accidentally vaulted back with Banshee because of this.
This also brings up the fact that once pulled from the drop tables it is impossible for an existing relic to return because it most likely contains other parts that are still vaulted at that given time. This forces DE to generate and introduce new relics when a Prime unvaults, making a feed-forward loop of my first bullet point. Depending n the Prime's Vault partner, its possible that those relics may also not come back due to a new partner. For example: Mag Prime was originally partnered with Rhino, but the past year they were not together in the same unvaulting, forcing more Mag and Rhino relics to be made. The only exception to this is the recent Frost/Ember unvault, which brought back their relics from their winter 2016 unvaulting.
These new Vault relics also have to be placed somewhere within the game for farming, but since the normal mission drop tables are already pretty diluted, Vaults are usually found within the Bounties. However, the bounties are a surefire way to also specifically acquire a new Prime's relics. Mesa Prime's relics will never be seen in Cetus or Fortuna bounties because of the back to back unvaultings. Chroma's relics were only in the bounties for about a month iirc before the Mag/Nova unvault was released.
How can these issues be resolved? By organizing a relic's contents by Prime Access.
I made a mock up of what these organized relics could look like, spanning from Ash Prime to Loki Prime alphabetically so far.
Basically, each prime access introduces 4 new relics instead of 10-12, with one relic in each era. Each relic can contain upwards of 3 new prime parts, 2 evergreen parts, and a forma blueprint. Based on current rarity spread, the value of parts would stay the same in most cases, though some would have to change to ensure all the relics are even parts-wise.
What does this solve?
Table Dilution: Assuming all frames were unvaulted, 22 Primes multiplied by 4 relics per Prime Access grouping is 88 relics and counting. The reduction in the number of relics can be compensated by either making them drop more often or have other rewards take their places. No more looking at Rotation C of ESO and thinking "ew".
Streamlined Naming: The letter of each relic corresponds to the Warframe the relic was introduced for. So one would know that Meso C1 is a Chroma Prime Relic. The only time the letters would double up would be in the case of the frames having the same starting letter (see in the sheet Limbo is an L2 series of relics, Loki is an older prime, so he gets the L1 series).
Easy Vaulting and Unvaulting: When the Prime's time is up in the regular rotation, the relics can be pulled out. When they come back, those same relics can be reintroduced because they only contain parts of that Prime Access along with evergreen parts. New relics wouldn't be necessary. Also, the evergreen parts within relics that are to be vaulted can be transferred to new relics to avoid being vaulted accidentally.
Unvaulting events won't get in the way of farming newer Primes in bounties: There are 3 rotations of bounty rewards. Ideally, rotation A would have the unvaulted relics, B has the current PA relics, and maybe rotation C has the relics of the previous PA in case you still need to farm those relics as well. Of course the regular drop tables (missions and SO/ESO) would be unaffected.
Easier Ducat and Forma farming: A forma BP would be in each relic, which is helpful for those who need them. At the same time, if the evergreen parts are spread out randomly, they should all cost 25 Ducats each, which makes them more worth picking up for when you need to prepare for Baro's next disappointing visit. No more having to run the Meso D2 relic for Forma and Ducats (because.... its a vaulted relic anyway.)
The biggest question that would come from this new organization of the relics would be what happens to the relics we already own? My best answer would be that depending on the number of relics we own for a rare part in a new relic, we get that many of said relic. For example: If those 124 Neo B2 relics shown above were all my relics for Banshee Chassis, then I would have 124 of the new relic that contains it.
TL;DR-- Relics are a mess organization-wise. Organizing them by Prime Access would reduce the clutter and confusion the current system has.
This is an issue that has been festering in the back of my head for a while now. I'd love to hear what you guys think about how the relics are organized!
This is a cross-post of my original post on r/Warframe