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The Leverian Archives 001: Polarity

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"Welcome to the collection's archives. Here you will find records detailing things which you might be familiar with. Hmm... It appears that records on polarity aren't historically accurate. I wonder why that is? A portent of things to come perhaps? But no matter! Do enjoy your stay." -Drusus

The Leverian Archives are a series of posts where I talk about how I'd adjust different aspects of Warframe. It could be mechanics, systems, or even frames. This is not to be an example of the best way to improve something, just my thoughts on the subject. I'd like to treat these as a place for others to discuss the topic as well. What you agree with, what you don't, and your own ideas. So, without any further ado...



Modding is something Warframe offers that not many other games can really compete with. The potential for creating crazy and outlandish builds is one of the community's favorite aspects of this game. Polarity is just one sub-section of the modding system, but I think an overhaul of how it works is due. The goal of my redesign is to give players more freedom in creating builds, create more goals for players, and give DE more space in creating and adjusting mods.


Multi-Forma Slots:

The core change I'd implement in this overhaul is being able to add additional polarities to slots. This is not a new suggestion by any means, but I'd like to flesh it out a bit here. As it currently stands, when you use Forma to add a polarity to a slot, it is singular. You either add one polarity to a slot without one, or you change one that is already there. This system comes with some issues:

Every time you invest this resource, the potential power gain is offset by the limitation you are forcing on your builds

Adding a polarity to your Warframes, weapons, etc. is great for allowing you to increase the strength of your builds as well as giving you more space to include more mods. However, this also ends up limiting you on which mods you can install. You become more locked in to certain builds as you invest more.

There is potential for the invested time and resource to not actual benefit you

Installing forma in a slot currently makes mods worse off when they don't match the polarity you made. If you installed without knowing ahead of time what mod you were wanting to put there, you could make your build actively harder to mod for. Even if you don't make it worse, that polarity might not be a useful one for any of your builds. To fix that, you will need to invest again simply to undo your polarity change.

Benefits from multi-forma

Being able to have polarity simply be additive would alleviate both of these issues a bit. You wouldn't have to invest purely for the meta-build. You would have room to experiment and make build that are more creative and fun, without hampering your ability to build those really strong end-game builds.

You also wouldn't run into the issue of wasting a forma. Even if you put on a polarity that doesn't really benefit you, it wouldn't be a complete waste. Installing a new forma on that slot wouldn't be you wanting to undo previous mistakes, it is simply making you stronger.

It is also important to note that this system would work best if it used regular forma to increase polarity options. With Umbral and Aura formas both making their appearance, I'd rather that not be the standard for this kind of system. Those are fine to work for the way they currently do, but it would be best if regular forma was additive for all the other slots.

Example of what this could look like

This is a mockup of what the symbol for what mod slots could look like. It uses the same universal polarity from the Aura Forma. For slots that just have multiple, they could potentially stack the symbols or have a pull out menu showing all of the ones applied. Ignore the sloppy editing work.



Remove increased drain:

In addition to multi-forma, it would be good to remove the increased drain from installing a mod that isn't the same polarity as the slot. I touched on earlier how this system makes formaing a slot potentially worse off since you become more locked in to only using mods that match. Though multi-forma does minimize this problem, removing that negative attribute in the first place would help immensely.

The benefit from lining up the same polarity as a slot would still be there and entice players to build towards that, but you would feel less locked in if the detriment of installing an unmatched polarity was no longer present.


How this would affect the player:

Increased freedom in builds

There are so many specific mods out there that could make some very interesting builds, but they are ignored because you should only really be investing in the most universally-strong builds. Having the ability to have more viable mods to install without hurting your meta-builds, allows way more room for experimentation. You will be able increase diversity between your three different configurations rather than only really having one or two mods different.

More goals for players

By having the ability to essentially "max out" a weapon or frame, players will have more goals to set. For your favorites, you'll want to invest more forma in them rather than just stopping once you have hit a pretty strong build. This also benefits DE since Warframe is such a player goal-driven game.

Less hesitation about investing

With having fewer negative elements behind polarity, you'll feel a little more okay with investing forma in one of your items. You won't need to resort to finding whatever other people use or testing builds on third-party websites just to see if the polarity you want to add will actually help you.

New players and veterans alike benefit

Since there are now more reasons to continually invest in the same weapons and frames, long-time players will have more to do. In addition to this, new players won't be so intimidated by the forma system since there is less room for them to make a mistake.

Affinity farming will increase

With the need to continually rank up your gear more often, farming for affinity will be happening more often too. This is a bit of a downside to these changes being implemented. As long as the affinity system remains the way it is right now, places like Hydron and Sanctuary Onslaught are going to become more busy.

u/Forma_Addict will be sad

Sorry about this one. Since forma would be purely additive, people who like to have their numbers in the hundreds for the MK1-Bratton will not really be able to with this new system. It is a tough blow but I think the overall benefit is worth it.


How this would affect DE:

More room for balancing

Currently, DE doesn't do balance passes on mods very often. I'm not privy to why they don't, but I think this system might contribute a little to it. Since people have invested time and, potentially, real-life money into making their builds match certain mods, there is less of a desire to change stats on mods, potentially messing that up. However, if the system was more flexible for players, there would be more room to make stat changes without messing up very specific builds. Players can pivot their builds more easily.

More very specific mods

This is something I'm personally really excited about the prospect of. With players being more able to experiment on their builds, DE would be more encouraged to make really specific mods. Many of the more specific mods in the game right now just don't see much use. If players had that build variety freedom, DE could make some really interesting mods to match. This would just be fun for both devs and players.

Increased player spending

This one is a bit of an odd one, but since players will be able to invest more in their builds, forma will be more in demand. As a result, I would guess that purchases of the forma bundles in the market would also go up. Likely more plat would be bought and circulated in trades.



The forma system has remained unchanged for a long time and I think it should be brought up to where the rest of the game now is. Making these changes increases player freedom in a game all about that and simply would be so much fun. There are many benefits to these kind of changes being implemented with only a couple downsides. New players and veterans have things to gain out of this overhaul and, lets be honest, isn't that the best 2.0 you could ask for?


Tldr: Make investing forma purely increase polarity and remove increased drain when polarity doesn't match. Player build diversity increases and DE has more room to play with mods.


Thanks for reading my (long) first post of this series! I hope you enjoyed reading! I've been meaning to write up these kinds of posts for a while now and with the Leverian having just launched, felt like I had a cool lore thing to tie it in with. Let me know if there are any issues formatting, grammar, or things of the sort so that I can make fixes. And feel free to use this post as a launching point for discussing your ideas on the system as well or other things you want me to do a write up on! I have many more of these planned (there is not going to be a consistent time-frame of them releasing though), so look forward to them.

Reddit Post: https://www.reddit.com/r/Warframe/comments/cxlu2l/the_leverian_archives_001_polarity/

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As crazy as it sounds , I started agreeing more and more as I read the topic. Well composed and explained , but I personally think as good as the idea is , making an overhaul of a system as old as the game would be very hard and take a lot of time , which affects us , content receivers.  DE already have this system that they know and are familiar with , and have been updating with that system ever since the creation of the game. They can't just change it like that without consequences. It is a really good idea and I would like it in the game , but quite far fetched.

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Actually... the Mod system has changed at least once since the game's inception... in fairly big ways. So this isn't so far fetched.

This is comparably minor, and as I've suggested this before, has no real downsides (except to masochistic people who think there need to be downsides to everything to make choices hurt to matter. Hint: no, they don't. This is an overall win-win for the game, from time played to money and plat invested in a person's favorite frame to min-max and experiment and have fun, instead of being locked in at a certain point, where using a forma would hurt rather than help you along.)

(I still don't know why they created a whole new forma for Aura Forma, instead of just implementing this, and making everyone spend a forma for each polarity they want in the aura slot... I mean, I guess it created a compelling reward for Arbitrations... like the Universal Syndicate Medallion will be for Disruption, but an overall system upgrade like being able to add multiple polarities to each slot is an overall great idea, even with the existence of the Aura Forma - which is still a shortcut for the Aura slot.)


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27 minutes ago, Lorengorm said:

Every time you invest this resource, the potential power gain is offset by the limitation you are forcing on your builds

This is explicitly the trade off you make to use Forma. It working the way it was designed to is not a reason to change it. More power for a more focused build.

You've merely dressed up the same thread that gets posted nearly every week.

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