The Riven Mafia? Or A Pay to Win System?

The Riven Mafia? Or A Pay to Win System?

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?Psst?hey kid, I?ve got something that will make that Rubico kick ass?interested??

I know I?ve been sounding like a Warframe skeptic as of late, and that?s partly true and partly not. I like the game a lot. I wish I could get my friend in Seattle to get back into it, but he can?t tolerate the grind of this MMO. I have another friend who will play with me from time to time, but he?s in school so there?s that.

Now the idea there?s a gaming mafia out there shaking down Warframe players is a scary proposition. Especially when you consider the fact the Warframe community prides itself on being friendly and helpful. I?d have to say my interactions with Warframe veterans has been friendly. They will gladly give you pointers.

But Tactical Potato back in March 2019 posted a YouTube about this very topic. This may explain why back in May 2019 they now require 2FA for all trades.

If you ever played the game Warframe long enough to get to Maroo?s Bazaar at Mars, you quickly notice that practically everyone is trading Riven mods.

This is because Riven mods are one of the few mods that can turn a crap ass weapon into something incredible. When originally introduced there was little thought given to game balance, so you ended up with powerful weapons becoming even more powerful. Then Digital Extremes adjusted things and now Riven mods are balanced.

Well, not exactly.

Here?s the thing, Riven mods can have their effects re-rolled. So, given enough rolls you can come up with something you like as a player for a weapon. This takes kuva. Which is why kuva missions are so popular with some players. In theory, Riven mods give weapons not used as much by the playing community better modifiers than weapons constantly used. But even a small percentage increase in a great weapon build can make a serious difference depending upon what?s being increased.

What Digital Extremes created with the introduction of Riven mods was a reason for the player to player trading market. This despite the fact you can trade prime warframe blueprints, prime weapon parts, any mod (there are a few non-tradeable mods), void relics, alternate arcane warframe helmets, companion imprints, special weapons and even platinum. It?s the last item that everyone demands for a Riven mod.

Why platinum for a Riven mod?

Because there?s no farming source of platinum in the game except to buy it from Digital Extremes. It?s a game currency that requires real money to buy. So as new players or not-so-skilled players want to up their game fast they dump real cash into platinum then trade it to another player who spent hours gathering and then unveiling that Riven mod.

How much cash are we talking about here?

As high as 99,999 plat to as low as 5 plat according to the Riven Market site. Another site that keeps track of Riven trade values shows that disposition has no rhyme or reason to market pricing. Disposition is supposed to show player usage popularity and how restrained the adjustment effects will be for that Riven mod. The smaller the disposition number, the more frequently its usage and lower the effect values. For example, the Rubico has a current disposition of 0.65 compared to the Acceltra which has a disposition of 1.00. So, the Rubico has a worse disposition than the Acceltra. And yet the current Rubico Riven average asking price is 1595 plat, and the Acceltra Riven has an average asking price of 1550 plat. Why? Because the playing community considers the Rubico Prime to be a boss weapon in the game and you can use the Rubico Riven mod on it. Thus, the trading market is responding to weapon game demand more than actual disposition. You can almost use the disposition as a judge that a popular weapon and thus low disposition will cost a heck of a lot on the Riven mod market.

What?s all this plat in terms of real cash?

Well, if the average plat is valued at 6.7 cents USD, then we are looking 6,699.93 USD to 0.35 USD. That?s a big range. The modal cost from the list that comes up on is 105 plat or 7.04 USD. It also has a positive skew of 3.97 showing to me that the market is truly plat starved. This makes sense when you consider this is a free-to-play MMO. Players don?t want to dump any more cash into a game then they must, otherwise it defeats the whole reason it?s free-to-play.

What are these Riven traders really selling players?

Merlin?in Kazan? of Turkey said in his review, ?With the lack of a Pay to Win system and easy engagement for new players, Warframe offers some quality time.?

While Warframe has no obvious Pay to Win system like other MMOs, it has one. I call them Riven mods, and players trade them unless you want to grind for them.

Riven mods are the same thing that other MMO sell to players through microtransactions. A way to gain instant power in the game and one shot that monster fast. The only difference here is you are not buying it from the game publisher directly. No, you are buying it from another player which is supposed to make you feel better. You are helping or rewarding that player for all their hard work and effort. You are technically, but you are also giving Digital Extremes real cash because that other player demands from you the in-game currency of plat. Something that you can only get from DE. The only other choice you have as a new player is to grind like hell for several years to get cool Riven mods.

My Final Thoughts

I don?t really care about owning a lot of Riven mods. I have two. One that?s veiled and one not. I might trade the veiled one away for something else I want. I?ve already traded one away that was veiled because I didn?t want to do the horrible task to unveil it. I know veterans out there may think I?m a fool, but I don?t care. When I think about Riven mods being introduced into the game, they changed how player to player trading was supposed to be and added to the main complaint of most veterans: ?the enemies aren?t strong enough.?

My friend who?s in school will routinely go back and play old video games by restarting them from the beginning just for the thrill of the challenge. If a veteran Warframe player wants a real challenge, try stripping out all those Riven mods from your weapons and play with normal mods again. Recall what a challenge the game was before the introduction of Riven mods.


Riven mod trading and disposition values were gathered effective October 3rd, 2019. Values maybe different depending upon the time you are reading this.


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