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NightmareT12

Prime Acces & Accessories: A comprehensive guide to value from a longstanding fan

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It's been a while now since there's a been an ongoing feeling that Prime Access has been losing a bit of punch, pretty much since Hydroid missed his trailer and slowly the trend disappeared, releases started feeling less and less special. But there's another topic to be talked about, and that is the Prime Accessories.

The issue is simple: We went from coolio Accessory packs in the beginning (anyone here remembers the day Misa Prime released and how special it felt?), and quickly went above and beyond (Targis and Edo Prime armor sets). Mesa's pack last Christmas put a very touchy subject in the table though: What is the actual perceived value of the playerbase VS what DE tells is? This is something I wanted to tackle when I had free time, but seeing the current pack, I think the time to write about it is now.

As someone that uses almost exclusively the Prime items, has virtually all of them (sans two, damn unvaultings! :P), and loves the art of the game (heck, I run defaults), I wanted to share some extensive thoughts on this. So, let's go.

I will split this unto various categories:

1. What makes it Prime?

2. The value of the packs: Per item basis

3. Are Sugatras really that bad?

4. The overall look: A compatibility warning

5. Conclusions

1. What makes it Prime?

Simply put, I believe most of us here have come to the expectation that Prime Accessories are items that don’t only follow the Prime aesthetic, but also have something special added to them that goes outside the norm of other items: The very first Accessory, the Misa Prime, relies on its emissive, animated textures for the visual impact, and so did many items that came after like the Daman Prime Sugatra or the Targis Prime Armor.

It’s very evident from some time ago (roughly Mirage’s Access) that this feeling has started fading off. Items release mainly relying on the fact that it’s gold and loses the special feel. Of course, that doesn’t mean EVERY SINGLE ONE needs to have said feel, because there’s some good ones that have gone to many of my frames without a need of one (Yamako Prime for instance), but certainly there’s lately less than what maybe we all expected.

2. The value of the packs: Per item basis

Mesa’s Prime Accessories brought an interesting topic to the table: When is $50 (or 45€, or whatever currency anyone else uses) really $50?

Clearly on that instance the Sugatra was perhaps the item that was bringing the value down (we’ll get to this later in point 4), so an alt helmet was added and brought the value up. Which made me realize the playerbase had been for a long time stating their thoughts on various packs and their perceived value. To put it simply, if I am not mistaken due reactions, I believe it goes like:

  • Armor set + Syandana: Ultracombo, usually the most bang for your buck, where Armor sets are what usually sells
  • Syandana + Suagtra: The deciding factor is the Syandana.
  • Syandana + Sigil: Sigils are not generally looked down upon, so it has more value than a Sugatra, but the Syandana is still the major factor
  • Operator suit pieces: Usually has value, also because there’s currently only 2 available
  • Companion skins + Armor: Usually has value due the unique look it gives to our space pets (plus it’s applicable to every single one).
  • Sentinel Accessories: Have less value but completes the look (which we’ll get to in point 4).
  • Landing Craft skins: Only one has been released, but I think that after so many years people have started valuing more the Liset Prime look. However, this one is directly tied to any related gameplay mechanic of these (if we could fly in our ships directly, obviously people would be more enticed to buy a skin for their landing craft).

So, generally, it goes like:

Armor > Syandana > Operator suit = Companion skins > Sigils > Sentinel Accessories > Sugatras.

(Not included in the tiers are the Landing Crafts, Ephemeras and Operator facial accessories, as we have had only one so far of each (but I’m certain Operator Accessories are close to the suits)).

Why is this? It’s because all our armors (save possibly one, again point 4) go into ALL Warframes, most Syandanas go into ALL Warframes. Everyone has their own operator and everyone has a single species for Kubrows and Kavats, so that also makes them universal in a different way.

However Sigils depend mainly on the Warframe itself (not all frames have a good enough surface for a Sigil to display), and at the end of the day they’re also capability limited (it’s simply a 2D texture).

Meanwhile Sentinel Accessories have an issue I’ve been noticing: They simply complete the look for a given Sentinel. This is an interesting thing to talk about now that Dethcube Prime is here, as the Orcus Prime is literally designed to go only on him given his unique rectangular shape. It’s not like Helios’ Ictus Prime is really that different, or the Wyrm Prime Summus, that simply go well on Wyrm even if they’re designed to be more general Orokin looking due the shape of the other Sentinels. Interestingly I think the most compatible set is the Carrier Prime set, and even then it was clearly designed for Carrier.

This takes away value as it makes mix matching these pieces hard for the very simple reason that the very basic geometry on every Sentinel is different. And this wouldn’t be an issue if said Accessories had a bit more oomph to them, like special VFX, because then it would be something more special than the feel of “Well, we chopped the Sentinel, here’s the body and pay if you want his own wings”.

As for Sugatras…

3. Are Sugatras really that bad?

Since I feel Mesa’s Access sent a message that somehow lost a bit of meaning, I need to talk about this.

Short answer: No. Long answer: Sugatras have two inherent issues: One is they only go into melee (so you won’t necessarily see them), two is that not all melee hold sugatras that well (try putting them on a Glaive, or fists or the Ninkondi).

But on top of this there’s another issue that stems from the art design: There’s two classes of Sugatras: Interestingly designed ones (basically Daman Prime, Kazeru Prime and Navigo Prime) and literally everything else that’s just a flappy infested piece, with the worst exponent being Vauban’s Cateno Prime, which is simply a small cloth. Like, it has absolutely NOTHING going for it. It’s just there. A Cloth.

Obviously the first type of Sugatras are not looked down upon, and the second class is what frustrates the playerbase: The ones that have special VFX simply look cooler. The other ones are bland and are simply there, dangling or even sometimes behaving like jelly.

Sugatras can be worth to Prime Access, but they need to feel more special than the last batch we got the last couple years starting with Oberon, because they all felt the same.

And good thing to talk about Oberon…

4. The overall look: A compatibility warning

Well, I avoid to make personal comparisions because things are highly subjective and there’s a saying in my country that goes “las comparaciones son odiosas” (comparisions are hateful), but I gotta say it: Although the program had started shifting there slowly a bit earlier, since Mynki left, the whole Prime Access program feels less “general” and more “personal”.

Mynki (although he also approved the opposite :p) was very smart into fusing the theme of the Warframe and keeping a general look: Edo Prime is using Volt’s electricity theme, but no one would question it looks good on all frames. Daman Prime Sugatra literally is designed to have a Loki Prime helmet silhouette, but it looks general enough it goes well into all weapons and with all frames.

What I mean is Accessories lose value the more personal they feel for their Prime: Citadella Prime does only look good on Vauban Prime, because it’s literally his theme. The Acanthus Prime armor set looks literally like it would be in-built in Nekros and is hard to use on others.

Surika Prime does literally only look good on Oberon because it’s LITERALLY his theme: Has horns, long like cape like a king that could be held by his servants. But this only works on Oberon, it won’t work on Excalibur or Nyx. Limbo’s magician cape, etc.

Sometimes the designs are good enough that it can be used elsewhere without looking bad: Banshee’s Capella Prime, which are mainly designed to look like moth/butterfly wings, look good on more frames because it respects the tint distribution and uses materials don’t look off. Or Imugi/Impetus Prime, which use Chroma’s color set but was smartly fit into a more “Roman Empire” aesthetic that doesn’t look too out of place.

Another case would be Equinox’s Isabeu Prime and Narvarr Armors, where the thematic is duality and not necessarily light/dark or day/night, so it goes well with Limbo or Mirage. However, it was far more personal, sharing even the default colors, and with the lack of special effects it loses compatibility and therefore people are less likely to want it.

However as I said everything is lately far more personal: Not only the accessories, out of which these past 3 Accesses clearly were, but to the point even the weapons don’t look good on the fly on other Warframes: Rubico is literally Chroma’s color scheme; Zephyr’s Kronen, even though it was meant to be white and gold; Equinox’s Tipedo ad Stradavar… EVERYTHING is using their own Prime color scheme instead of the general look of older weapons, and I literally feel like LEGO is selling me a BIONICLE set (these pieces are bundled with Tahu, so they’re all red and orange! Buy another set for same looking pieces with different colors) instead of entering the Orokin armory and choosing the weapon I feel more like it.

Banshee Prime was marketed with the Euphona as her signature weapon and it used the standard white and gold scheme, and it didn’t look off. Why are you treating Primes like toys? They’re not supposed to be, that’s not what the Orokin art style has been established to be!

Remember: It’s not simply about the theme of that particular Prime, there’s another 17 or 20 that already define the art style from before.

Vauban uses a generic looking Fragor Prime and it looks good on everyone, it feels cohesive with the overall Prime aesthetic. Tipedo Prime seems like Ballas gifted Equinox her own toy because he loves her special little girl.

And this is important, because materials and tint masks will be adjusted to the default colors, so me changing the values does not guarantee it will look good, when it’s the the other way around it usually does.

(A different case is Tekko Prime or Nami Skyla, as these ARE signature weapons, so it makes sense to make them look cohesive with their Warframe.)

5. Conclusions

TL;DR: Because this way longer than I predicted (sorry):

  • Prime Accessories need to regain the special feel and oomph they had with the likes of Targis and Misa Prime.
    • Suggestion: There used to be thematic sets (Targis + Pyra + Vala Prime; Edo + Yamako + Kazeru Prime). You could explore Poison and Ice item sets, the two other elements we haven’t seen yet.
  • Items are looking too personal lately (Equinox has her own accessories, Wukong too), it would be good to go a bit back when items felt more “general Orokin”. Exceptions are signature weapons (Tekko; Nami Skyla).
    • Related to above, accessories that feel too personal can exist but ensure they look cool at least. Make sure to pump out more general looking accessories please (suggestion: Look again at our standard Tenno wardrobe like Uru > Uru Prime or Yamako > Yamako Prime).
  • Sugatras need to have more going for them than the ones released since 2016. Explore where else to add them.
  • Sentinel Accessories need to be more carefully designed because they don’t currently mix match well.

As for the current ongoing pack… Yes, it needs more punch. Whether you like it or not, the current pack is not positively perceived because there’s not enough going on. I’m sorry to say this because there’s people that has worked on it and well, it’s never easy to read this kind of stuff -- I'm not saying the art is bad... I'm saying the value of the Accessories Pack (real money, incentive to purchase) is not there with the current offering.

Lastly, something important I want to note: I am aware this is coming in a time where the studio is absolutely busy, there’s probably a lot of pressure because everything is coming late, people are getting impatient, there’s a lot of negativity… But I write this in hopes the message taken will be positive: Prime Access is your main source of income, and it’s also obviously something we like. It needs to be taken care of properly.

Thanks for your time, and if you have read this fully, thanks twice ❤️

Edited by NightmareT12
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IMO syandanas are not that appealing anymore since there are tons of them already.

And to me personally they've completely lost their value because DE decided to not separate Umbra's scarf from other attachments. Clipping is horrible.

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On 2019-10-02 at 6:34 AM, NightmareT12 said:

One is they only go into melee (so you won’t necessarily see them)

Them being on Melee weapons is the only opportunity you would have to see them. They would be invisible to you if they were on any of the Primary or Secondary weapons.

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37 minutes ago, peterc3 said:

Them being on Melee weapons is the only opportunity you would have to see them. They would be invisible to you if they were on any of the Primary or Secondary weapons.

This is true, but there has to be other items where they can go (although I admittedly can't think of any right now, but I am sure there was a talk once of having them elsewhere).

But I think the biggest issue or gripe with Sugatras is that they've abused the cloth/infested piece look too much on recent years instead of having some coolio effects thrown into the mix. Literally all of the Sugatras released between 2016 and 2019 have been mainly the cloth ones: Cateno, Aroka, Sardin, while Mesa's was a bit more Keychainy, but not too much. They could have made a Pyra Prime Sugatra or thrown other ideas in there (and again, Prime sets (armors, Syandanas, Sugatras, etc) based on Poison and Ice elements could have and could be a thing).

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9 minutes ago, NightmareT12 said:

but there has to be other items where they can go

Then make the argument when you have actual evidence to present. Otherwise, it is just throwing things at the wall and getting snippy at DE for things they cannot do and you can't even back it up or explain how they could do something differently.

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1 minute ago, peterc3 said:

Then make the argument when you have actual evidence to present. Otherwise, it is just throwing things at the wall and getting snippy at DE for things they cannot do and you can't even back it up or explain how they could do something differently.

I'm not getting snippy at anyone though.

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Monster Hunter recently introduced cosmetic pendants for weapons, and they fit on bowguns just fine. 

Lol capcom beat you to it, and warframe is all about fashion today.

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On 2019-10-02 at 7:34 AM, NightmareT12 said:

Items are looking too personal lately (Equinox has her own accessories, Wukong too),

Oberon's accesories SUCK, mostly because his shoulders are embed on him and, without them, he looks like an horrendous orokin mistake.

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5 hours ago, el_chanis said:

Oberon's accesories SUCK, mostly because his shoulders are embed on him and, without them, he looks like an horrendous orokin mistake.

Oberon shoulders aren't an accessory though, the Surika Syandana and Aroka Sugatra are.

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4 hours ago, NightmareT12 said:

Oberon shoulders aren't an accessory though, the Surika Syandana and Aroka Sugatra are.

and those are made exclusively for him, they don't match with anything else.

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2 minutes ago, el_chanis said:

and those are made exclusively for him, they don't match with anything else.

That was my point yeah (maybe I got confused because you talked about the armor pads :p)

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10 minutes ago, NightmareT12 said:

That was my point yeah (maybe I got confused because you talked about the armor pads :p)

My point was that it was a double failure, because not only the armor is doubly exclusive (only for him, and only with his shoulders), but oberon prime itself is an abomination.

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3 minutes ago, el_chanis said:

My point was that it was a double failure, because not only the armor is doubly exclusive (only for him, and only with his shoulders), but oberon prime itself is an abomination.

Eh... No.

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Was gonna make a post covering this but it looks like you hit it on the nose. 

And I didn't realize Daman Prime looked like Loki Prime. Thanks for pointing it out because now I love Daman Prime even more.

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On 2019-10-05 at 4:13 AM, NightmareT12 said:

Oberon shoulders aren't an accessory though, the Surika Syandana and Aroka Sugatra are.

Technically they are. They take up the shoulder slot for armors. if you equip different shoulderpads, the prime ones he has by default dissapear. same thing is the case for mag prime's little floating things by her shoulders, or ember prime's little shoulder spikes. they take up the shoulder armor slot. theyre accessories. theyre just locked to the frame theyre made for and cant be used by anyone else. 

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6 hours ago, Alexis_Walker said:

Technically they are. They take up the shoulder slot for armors. if you equip different shoulderpads, the prime ones he has by default dissapear. same thing is the case for mag prime's little floating things by her shoulders, or ember prime's little shoulder spikes. they take up the shoulder armor slot. theyre accessories. theyre just locked to the frame theyre made for and cant be used by anyone else. 

No, Accessories (and more specifically, what the topic is referring to) are what's sold in Prime Accessories packs. The default shoulder pads are core parts of the design of a Warframe that, given the system the game uses, are counted as separate mesh to avoid conflict with these extra accessories. Which is why the team had to go and cut the meshes and textures to ship them as separate pieces (and why the Primes of Volt, Oberon and Hydroid were shipped with them in such way from the get go).

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