The Gradivus Dilemma

Gradivus Dilemma event splash

23 October 2013 – 30 October 2013


Foreshadowing

On Tuesday (22 October 2013), a thread was posted on the forums, containing a series of messages from Alad V, Sargas Ruk, and the Lotus.

Members of the Board,

I am close. Along the dark coast of Sedna, we have detected numerous Tenno still in stasis. Even the Lotus herself is unaware of this. Our scouts are closing in on the Tenno cryopods now. They will soon be in our inventory. When the Betrayers awake, they will find themselves a part of our Zanuka Project.

My operation must remain a secret. The Grineer dogs will want this for themselves. I have prepared a surprise for them should they bite.

How long have our profits been hostage to Grineer protection? Too long.

—Alad V

Alad V,

Tell me you haven’t found a cache of Tenno. That you aren’t planning on keeping them for yourself. That you’re not violating the terms of our contract and signing your own termination order.

I don’t know what Zanuka is and I don’t care. I want those Tenno or your severed, greed-ridden head.

Your choice….

—Sargas Ruk

Members of the Board,

I understand your reluctance in this matter, but you must admit the Grineer partnership is a farce. We need to change the terms. My agents have strengthened the Mars resistance.

They are ready to fight on my command. If the Grineer move against us, the rebels will strike. Let’s see how they handle war on two fronts.

Once my new Zanuka products come off the assembly line, the Grineer will work for us.

Gentlemen, this is the beginning of higher margins.

—Alad V

Alad V,

So, a little taste of power was all it took to make you forget your place? Now, you think you’re bigger than the Grineer? That you can call the shots? You must know how this will end. That little thing you’ve pulled with the resistance on Mars – cute, but nothing more than a nuisance. It won’t stop me from making your head an ornament on my capital ship.

Too bad, really, I thought our deal worked well. Now it’s more clear to me than ever. The people of this system are here only to serve the Grineer. We have no need for partners.

Effective immediately, all your territory is now property of the Grineer. Prepare for boarding.

—Sargas Ruk

Tenno,

We have a situation developing. Alad V and his Corpus troops were on the verge of capturing a long-lost group of Tenno still locked in cryostasis. Things escalated quickly when Sargas Ruk of the Grineer discovered the plan and demanded the frames for himself. Alad V refused, so Ruk ordered his territory confiscated. Fighting broke out a short time ago. At this point either side could win, and only we can tip the balance.

Tenno, I cannot in good conscience tell you who to support in this conflict. Fight for the Corpus and we stop the Grineer from grabbing even more power. If we fight for the Grineer, our fellow Tenno fall to the mercy of Alad V.

Choose wisely.

—The Lotus


On Wednesday, 23 October, less than an hour before the operation went live, Sargas Ruk posted to the forums directly. Alad V responded, and the two slung insults at each other until the event launched.

Sargas Ruk: “So you Tenno want an Update? Well, Alad V is late to negotiate but I assure you, when he shows himself, we will strike. Stand by. Prepare the troops. I suspect we will battle and slay Corpus late into the evening! Soon we will unleash!”

Alad V: “Sargas, your helmet will fetch a fair price, although I fear it is riddled with fleas. My pet is also hungry for a new toy, and your Rollers are a perfect choice. Be wise with your words, Ruk.”

Sargas Ruk: “HA! My Rollers can take out not only your ‘pet’, but your pathetic Moa army. We are bred for victory, while you exist to be defeated and crushed by the Grineer!”

Alad V: “I will display trophies made from melted Rollers when we’re done with you. Your army is barely worth my time. It will cost more to kill you than you’re worth.”

Sargas Ruk: “Oh, Alad, I couldn’t hear you over the thousands of Moas that just met their doom by brute Grineer force. Crushed. Scrapped. Cutting costs by manufacturing with paper? HA!”

Alad V: “I could use some scrap metal for the floors of my gas city; at least it would come cheap. You’re stumbling on thin glass, Ruk; take your cowardly men back to your pile of sand.”

Sargas Ruk: “The cowardly man is the one who buys his armies, not breeds them. I’ve crushed more skulls with my bare hands than you have credits in your bank, and your skull is next.”

Alad V: “You underestimate my credits in the bank then. As you know, my gas city is growing bigger than your little planets of sand. I will obtain the Tenno cryopods and you will not stop me. Any attempt will end in your little army begging for my mercy. I’m surprised you can communicate beyond grunting, honestly.”

Sargas Ruk: “HA! You should be surprised I can do anything but LAUGH at your weakness. Grineer dominance will thrive; all will be subject to the rule of force and pain, and bow to the Grineer! No amount of credits in the world can save you from a Grineer soldier!”

Alad V: “Grunt and foam at the mouth all you want. This will end with you taking a dirt nap like the dog you are.”

Sargas Ruk: “THIS MEANS WAR, ALAD! Good luck talking without a lower jaw!”


Operation

On Wednesday (23 October 2013), the event began with the release of Update 10.5 and was set to run for a week. Upon logging in, Tenno would see a list of operation-specific Alert-style missions on the Starchart. These missions were nodes on the Corpus-controlled Mars that were being attacked by the Grineer. The forum post gave more background on the event:

Intel shows a growing conflict that will begin on Gradivus in Mars. Expect it to spread. The Grineer are planning an operation against the Corpus, led by Sargas Ruk. Alad V of the Corpus has discovered a cache of Tenno in cryosleep and intends on exploiting them for his secret weapons project. The Grineer are outraged at this contract violation. They are using this as an excuse to invade Corpus space, enslave the local population, and grow their power. The Lotus is your guide but not your conscience. You will have to choose which side to support:

Choose Loyalty, and side with the Grineer to destroy Corpus forces and free your kin. Choose Sacrifice, siding with Corpus to halt the Grineer conquest and enslavement of colonies.

Both sides have reached out to the Lotus with reward offers for each contested location, as well as rewards for the conflict as a whole.

On 25 October, Alad V posted a message on the forums asking for help.

Alad V: “Tenno, I see it is difficult to persuade you. You are smart, I know this. Help me take back Quirinus from the oppressive Grineer, for there is no telling what horrors they’ve done to the innocent!”


Mechanics and Missions

Starting with Gradivus, every node on Mars came under attack by the Grineer over the course of the event, with the exception of War, the boss fight for the Sergeant. Some locations that had previously been decided would come under attack again later in the week. Selecting a contested node would bring up an interface where both the Grineer and the Corpus would offer the Tenno battle pay for supporting their side in the conflict. The Grineer message that accompanied their offer was: “Those that stand in our way will be crushed. Fight with us or perish as vermin.” The Corpus counteroffer was: “Assist us and we will see that you are well rewarded for your efforts.” The interface would also show how many times the Tenno had run that mission for their side.

Battle pay was only awarded if the Tenno proved themselves by playing the mission five times for the same side. Switching sides would erode their gains with the opposing faction, and the Tenno would have to play more missions to secure their battle pay – thus, it was not possible for a Tenno to obtain both sides’ battle pay for a single node. Tenno were free to fight for different sides for each node as they wished, although some of the rewards for the operation as a whole depended on how many missions the Tenno did for each side. Each contested node had a meter on the Starchart that started at 50% Corpus and 50% Grineer, and the meter would get pushed to one side or the other based on how many Tenno fought on each side. Once a node fully reached one side or the other, the conflict would end and the winning side would occupy that node from that point on. Battle pay was awarded via inbox message once the location was decided, although the Tenno was awarded their battle pay whether they supported the victorious faction or not.

The actual missions themselves consisted of Exterminate missions. The Tenno would load into a mission aboard a ship of their chosen faction, along with allied units of that faction. The Tenno would be directed to eliminate the opposing force invading the ship, and would be assisted by the units on their team. Along the way, the ship would open into an asteroid base with a force field that prevented progress. A panel would need to be hacked to proceed, or the force field could be bypassed with parkour through hidden side passages. On the other side, the asteroid base would transition via boarding tunnel into a ship of the opposing faction. The Tenno would continue to fight through the ship until all enemies had been eliminated, and would extract from the enemy ship.

During the missions, the Tenno would receive instructions from the Lotus, a grateful message from their ally, and a taunt from their enemy.

When supporting the Grineer

Lotus (at the beginning of the mission, variant): “Make sure the Grineer win this battle. Leave no Corpus functioning.”

Lotus (at the beginning of the mission, variant): “You have chosen to support the Grineer in this fight. Eliminate all Corpus.”

Lotus (at the beginning of the mission, variant): “You are fighting alongside the Grineer in this mission. Destroy all Corpus.”

Sargas Ruk (variant): “Rraahudd Tenno! Now we fight together! Now we crush the greedy milk from their skulls. The Corpus will pay for their crimes with their useless lives.”

Sargas Ruk (variant): “You shoot well. You cut well. You serve me well, Tenno.”

Sargas Ruk (variant): “Tenno, of course you side with us. Of course the Grineer are your best option. We share your joy in Corpus death.”

Alad V (when the Tenno cross into the Corpus ship, variant): “So, the Betrayers are fighting for the dogs now? Why am I not surprised? The sooner my Zanuka Project is completed, the better. The System must be ridden of your hypocrisy.”

Alad V (when the Tenno cross into the Corpus ship, variant): “What’s that test tube dog giving you to fight for him? Whatever it is, I’ll double it!”

Alad V (when the Tenno cross into the Corpus ship, variant): “Why, Tenno, what an intriguing warframe you have. I look forward to adding it to my inventory.”

Alad V (when the Tenno cross into the Corpus ship, variant): “Do you really think you’re saving your comrades by supporting the dogs? What do you think happens if you allow Sargas to win? Do you think you’ll be safe when you’re all his slaves?”

(objective complete, variant) Lotus: “The Corpus have been eliminated. Time to head home.”

(objective complete, variant) Lotus: “That’s it, I am detecting no functioning Corpus. Get to extraction.”

When supporting the Corpus

Lotus (at the beginning of the mission, variant): “You are fighting with the Corpus in this battle. No Grineer can be left alive.”

Lotus (at the beginning of the mission, variant): “The situation forces you to help the Corpus in this mission. Kill all Grineer.”

Lotus (at the beginning of the mission, variant): “Your sense of duty compels you to help the Corpus today. Destroy all Grineer forces.”

Alad V (variant): “Tenno, you know, we may not always see eye-to-eye… well, you don’t have eyes, but I’m pleased to see we’ve found common ground in our fight with these Grineer dogs.”

Alad V (variant): “Hmm, yes, you’ve made the smart choice, Tenno. When the dogs fall, there will be profit for all of us.”

Alad V (variant): “You and I are not so different, Tenno. We both know those dogs need to be put down, yes… I sense we are at the beginning of a beautiful new partnership.”

Alad V (variant): “Tenno, this was the only rational choice. And please don’t worry about your friends – I have grand plans for them.”

Alad V (variant): “So, we agree. The Grineer are too powerful, too arrogant. They must be put in their place. I’m glad you won’t let our… differences get in the way of our… common interests… yes.”

Alad V (variant): “Nobody wants to be a slave. You understand that. These dogs aren’t our masters. We won’t follow their orders any longer!”

Sargas Ruk (when the Tenno cross into the Grineer ship, variant): “Rraaahudd Tenno! So willing to sacrifice your own. So willing to help these greedy worms. So willing to die for worthless cause.”

Sargas Ruk (when the Tenno cross into the Grineer ship, variant): “Aattenthoun Tenno: It’s not too late to change sides. Not too late to reject the Corpus lies. Not too late to save your kind.”

Sargas Ruk (when the Tenno cross into the Grineer ship, variant): “Tenno, Alad will betray you. Alad will defile your kind. Alad will bleed from his selfish eyes as I crush him with your metal corpse.”

(objective complete, variant) Lotus: “That was the last Grineer. Get out of there.”

(objective complete, variant) Lotus: “All the Grineer are dead. Proceed to extraction.”


Rewards

The battle pay for each node is listed below, with the Grineer battle pay first.

Gradivus: Orokin Catalyst blueprint vs 100.000 cr (Grineer victory)
Spear: 3x Orokin Cell vs 125.000 cr (Grineer victory)
Quirinus: 3x Mutagen Mass vs 200.000 cr (Grineer victory)
Ultor: 3x Morphics vs 150.000 cr (Corpus victory)
Martialis: Orokin Reactor blueprint vs Orokin Catalyst blueprint (Corpus victory)
Augustus: 5x Fieldron vs 100.000 cr (Grineer victory)
Olympus: 4x Mutagen Mass vs 100.000 cr (Grineer victory)
Silvanus: 150.000 cr vs 3x Neurodes (Grineer victory)
Vallis: 150.000 cr vs Vauban neuroptics blueprint (Grineer victory)
Arval: Forma blueprint vs Forma blueprint (Grineer victory)
Alator: 3x Detonite Injector vs 3x Fieldron (Grineer victory)
Quirinus (2nd battle): 150.000 cr vs Orokin Reactor blueprint (Corpus victory)
Ara: 150.000 cr vs Orokin Reactor blueprint (Corpus victory)
Hellas: 3x Mutagen Mass vs 3x Fieldron (Grineer victory)
Ares: 125.000 cr vs 5x Orokin Cell (Grineer victory)
Olympus (2nd battle): Rhino Vanguard helmet blueprint vs Rhino Thrak helmet blueprint (Grineer victory)
Arcadia: 10x Team Ammo Restore blueprint (single use) vs 10x Team Health Restore blueprint (single use) (Grineer victory)
Spear (2nd battle): 100.000 cr vs 5x Fieldron (Grineer victory)
Tharsis: Vauban chassis blueprint vs Vauban systems blueprint (Corpus victory)
Martialis (2nd battle): Flux Rifle clan research vs Ignis clan research (Corpus victory)
Augustus (2nd battle): 3x Gallium vs 3x Orokin Cell (Corpus victory)
Ultor (2nd battle): Forma blueprint vs Orokin Catalyst blueprint (Corpus victory)
Arval (2nd battle): Orokin Reactor blueprint vs Orokin Reactor blueprint (Grineer victory)
Quirinus (3rd battle): Mag Coil helmet blueprint vs Mag Gauss helmet blueprint (Grineer victory)
Silvanus (2nd battle): 3x Detonite Injector vs 3x Fieldron (Grineer victory)
Alator (2nd battle): Orokin Catalyst blueprint vs Orokin Catalyst blueprint (Grineer victory)

The struck-through nodes above were determined by DE to have been manually altered by a user as detailed in a forum post, and their results were excluded from the total score at the end of the event, although they still counted for individual players’ total mission score for the event, and battle pay was still distributed.

Excluding the nodes that were externally influenced, there were 22 battles fought during the Gradivus Dilemma, of which the Grineer won 17, making them the victors.

Battle pay was delivered by inbox message after the specific conflict was resolved. Grineer battle pay was sent by Sargas Ruk, with the message differing if the prize was credits…

Inbox message:
Grineer Battle Pay…

Here is [credit reward] from our war reserves. Continue fighting for us – there is plenty more where that came from.

—Sargas Ruk

…or something else.

Inbox message:
Grineer Battle Pay…

I see you have fought for us. I see your skill. I see our futures intertwined. Enjoy this token of my appreciation.

—Sargas Ruk

Corpus battle pay was delivered by Alad V, with the message differing if the prize was credits…

Inbox message:
Corpus Battle Pay…

I’ve transferred [credit reward] into your account. Parting with money is difficult, but I must acknowledge your assistance against the dogs.

—Alad V

…or something else.

Inbox message:
Corpus Battle Pay…

It pains me to reward a Betrayer in this way, but I will honour your contribution. Perhaps we are more alike than I imagined?

—Alad V

There were 3 tiers of player rewards for the operation, determined by how many missions each Tenno ran during the event and who they supported. The total number of missions run did not depend on faction, so switching sides mid-operation did not degrade the mission count. The faction for whom the player ran the most missions is the faction that player was ultimately designated as supporting.

  • Tier 1 rewards required the player to complete 5 missions for any side, and consisted of either the Gradivus: Loyalty emblem or the Gradivus: Sacrifice emblem, depending on whether the player supported the Grineer or the Corpus, respectively.
  • Tier 2 rewards required the player to complete 25 missions, and were dependent on the winner: if the Grineer were victorious, a Machete Wraith; but if the Corpus were victorious, a Prova Vandal. As the Grineer ultimately prevailed, each qualifying player received a Machete Wraith, with an installed Orokin Catalyst and weapon slot. The Prova Vandal would later be offered during Operation: Breeding Grounds.
  • Tier 3 rewards required the player to complete 100 missions, and were dependent on the winner: if the Grineer were victorious, the Brakk; but if the Corpus were victorious, the Detron. The reward was also dependent on the player’s chosen faction: if they supported the winning side, the weapon would come fully built, with an installed Orokin Catalyst and weapon slot; but if the player supported the other side, they would receive only the blueprint for the weapon, and would have to construct it in the Foundry, as well as obtain a weapon slot and Orokin Catalyst if needed. As the Grineer ultimately prevailed, each qualifying player received either the Brakk or a Brakk blueprint. The Detron would later drop from the Zanuka Hunter field boss.

The top 3 clans in each tier, on each side, received a gold, silver, or bronze faction-specific trophy for the Dojo. The mission count for the clan trophies was dependent on faction, and represented the net number of missions run for the chosen faction, requiring coordination among clan members, as missions run for the opposing side would subtract from the mission total.


Aftermath

After the event, a lore entry was added to the player profile (later moved to the Codex) with the following text:

Gravidus Decided

Tenno,

I have intercepted a message from the Corpus Board to Alad V. They have grown tired of bankrolling Alad V’s war effort and have withdrawn their funding. This has left Alad with no other option than retreat. Sargas Ruk is already readying his victory speech. This battle is over.

You have all done well. Those of you who supported the Grineer have given me the time I needed to locate our sleeping comrades. A recovery team is already travelling to retrieve their cryopods. Those that supported the Corpus have slowed Grineer aggression. Though the Grineer ultimately emerged victorious, they did so at great cost.

The time for partnerships with these warlords has ended. We are no longer forced to support them in their petty conflicts. We must return to our stated goal of bringing balance to the solar system.

—The Lotus

Rewards were distributed via inbox messages. Tenno who completed 5 missions for the Grineer received an inbox message from Sargas Ruk containing the Gradivus: Loyalty emblem.

Inbox message:
Our Victory at Gradivus

He runs like a coward. He watches his profits crumble. Grineer feast atop the broken heaps of his defeated children. There was never any other fate. There was only ever one outcome. He knows what comes next.

You made the right choice. You became Grineer. You have earned your rewards.

And I, I will remember how you have served me.

—Sargas Ruk

Tenno who completed 5 missions for the Corpus received an inbox message from Alad V containing the Gradivus: Sacrifice emblem.

Inbox message:
The Battle versus the War

The dogs claim victory. Do they really think I am defeated? They are nothing more than squatters on my property. Let them get comfortable. Let them be distracted by the disgusting needs of their replicated flesh. Meanwhile, my forces get ever closer to perfection. Arrogance and complacency will be their downfall.

Tenno, know that your support in this fight will ensure my eventual victory. It is only a matter of time. I have awarded you a bonus commensurate with your effort. I will not forget what you have done for me.

—Alad V

Tenno who completed 25 missions for either side received the Machete Wraith from Sargas Ruk.

Inbox message:
A Token

You did not have to fight like you did. You chose to support us. You chose to serve us. Take this weapon. It will make you strong like us.

—Sargas Ruk

Tenno who completed 100 missions for the Grineer received a Brakk from Sargas Ruk.

Inbox message:
Above and Beyond

The way you fight, we cannot grow this in a test tube. You are a true warrior. I need more warriors like you. Continue to fight for me. There is more where this came from.

—Sargas Ruk

Tenno who completed 100 missions for the Corpus received a Brakk blueprint from the Lotus.

Inbox message:
Sacrifice Rewarded

Tenno, the Grineer have crushed the Corpus resistance and Sargas Ruk’s units are now occupying positions on Mars. Your choice to allow the sacrifice of fellow Tenno must not have been easy. Fortunately, it never came to that, and I have dispatched a team to recover our sleeping comrades. Though they are still a threat, take comfort in the fact that your efforts have slowed the pace of Grineer progress.

You shall be rewarded for your fortitude. During the invasion, Tenno agents recovered Brakk weapon blueprints, which I am delivering to you now.

—The Lotus

The warlord of a participating clan received a Gradivus Dilemma trophy from Sargas Ruk, with its quality dependant on the achievements of the clan members.

Inbox message:
A Symbol of Our Glory

I know the Tenno of [clan] – you seek glory, not riches. You live and die for victory.

Take this statue. It celebrates your glory. It honours your victory.

—Sargas Ruk

On 12 November 2013, the following message was posted to the Warframe forum.

Members of the Board,

Despite your funding withdrawal, I have made the desired acquisitions. The Betrayers’ senile mouthpiece was not able to recover all the sleeping Tenno and now the Zanuka Project has begun full production.

Our initial yields will be small, but I will leverage the output towards the capture of more raw material. Active specimens are now within our reach. Watch as our biggest nuisance is transformed into the heart of our profit machine.

In closing, it is my sincere hope the coming auction will mend our partnership and harmonise our collective resolve against the dogs.

—Alad V


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