Operation: Buried Debts

Operation: Buried Debts event splash

07 March 2019 – 25 March 2019


Foreshadowing

Thursday (07 March 2019), several Warframe Partners received URLs to hidden minigames that revealed maps of the Orb Vallis. Four minigames were distributed, each with one quadrant of the entire Orb Vallis map. The puzzles, once solved, revealed several locations of interest on the Vallis.

The puzzle URLs are:

The solved map is below:


Operation

On Thursday (07 March 2019), the event began with the release of Update 24.4 and was set to run for two weeks (later extended by 4 more days because of matchmaking issues). The forum post gave more background on the event:

This Operation begins with a Community Goal – the hunt is on, Tenno. Can you unlock the secrets of the dead? If you’ve been paying attention to DevStreams, you may already know where to start looking….

You can receive Operation-specific rewards by participating in parts of this event.

The first reward is more abstract – you can expand the Orb Vallis by solving a puzzle… together.

Thermia fractures are cracking open the surface of Venus, a consequence of Nef Anyo’s unrelenting greed. He’s willing to do whatever it takes for a quick profit, including putting the whole Orb Vallis at risk. By figuring out how to stop the Thermia fractures, you’re able to earn these rewards:

  • Operation Emblem
  • Amalgam mods x4
  • Operation Sigil
  • Opticor Vandal

You get 1 point for each Thermia fracture you close – if you close 4 fractures with 1 Coolant canister, you get 3 bonus points (7 total)!

And eventually, an incredible new boss fight will unlock where you can earn Hildryn! We are expecting this to take approximately a week with the estimated pacing of this Operation. Free players – we appreciate your patience; rest assured, Hildryn is a completely free warframe for you to earn as the Operation unfolds!

Good luck, Tenno. You can all help each other if you know where to look.

Upon entering Fortuna, Eudico’s greeting lines would be replaced with event-specific dialogue.

Eudico: “Quick geology lesson: thermal fractures are what you get when you pump too much coolant into the ground too fast. Displaced Thermia has to go somewhere. Now we’ve got Thermia fractures threatening to roast Fortuna. Nef can fix this, but he won’t… instead, he’s got that mucking Exploiter Orb harvesting the surface Thermia for quick profit. Get out there, locate a fracture, and I’ll help you seal it. Oh, and Sparky: you run into that Exploiter Orb out there, you leg it. Once she ices up, nothing can touch her.”

For the duration of the event, a global resource booster was active on the Orb Vallis, doubling any resources gathered, even for activities unrelated to the event.


Mechanics and Missions, Phase One: Data-hashes

On the Orb Vallis, Tenno could travel to the locations marked on the solved map and find “data-hashes”, small scannable objects. The event tracked community progress in scanning the data-hashes, meaning a set number of the Tenno had to scan the data-hashes in order to advance the event to the next stage; a single Tenno who had scanned all the fragments had to wait for the community to reach the goal. Scanning them would trigger transmissions from Rude Zuud and Eudico.

(upon scanning the 3rd data-hash) Rude Zuud: “Yes, Eudico showed me your little discovery. To find meaning in this garbage you do not need a craftsperson; you need a fortune-teller. [chatter] I will not! [sigh] Fine. [chatter] Fine! I will examine your treasure once I have nothing better to do. Which will be never!”

(upon scanning the 5th data-hash) Rude Zuud: “What? More? Whatever. Put it with the rest.”

(upon scanning the 7th data-hash) Rude Zuud: “More? Why do you bother me with more? [chatter] I do not…. [insistent chatter] There is no…. [very insistent chatter] FINE! Chatter thinks… believes… these are glyphs. Part of a… part of a passphrase.”

Eudico: “Passphrase? For what? How’d these get out here?”

(upon scanning the 10th data-hash) Rude Zuud: “No. [chatter] No. [insistent chatter] No. [frantic chatter] No. [comforting chatter][sad chatter]

(upon scanning the 13th data-hash) Eudico: “Sparky, you’ve nearly uncovered the full set. Zuud? Could really use your help right now. What exactly does the passphrase open?”

Zuud: “You can never go home. We should never go home.”

(upon scanning the last data-hash) Eudico: “Sparky. I think I know what that passphrase opens, and it’s not a place I thought I ever could, or would, want to return to. Look for a gateway in the caves northeast of Harindi Crater… you’ll know what you’re looking for when you find it.”

Northeast of Harindi Crater is a small plain between a rocky mountain range to the west and a sloping rise to the east. At the top of that rise, at the eastern-most edge of the map, is a structure similar to the Fortuna elevator. The storm at the edge of the map will prevent the Tenno from actually reaching it, but in front of the entrance are several bodies, fleeing the structure, frozen in the snow.

To the southwest of the elevator entrance, in the mountains bordering the plain, is a cave entrance. Just inside is a platform with the Solaris United symbol, a console, and a sealed gate.

(upon arriving at the gate) Rude Zuud: “Nnnng… Chatter… Chatter says we must pass through… through that… gateway. NnnnngAAH! NO!”

Eudico: “I was afraid of this.”

Rude Zuud: “The words open this gateway. This gateway leads to… nnnnnno. They wait for us. Some debts can never be paid. Some debts, we are too small to collect.”

Eudico: “Zuud? Zuud? Sparky – those glyphs you uncovered are the key to opening this gateway.”

The console had a 16-digit passcode, but while the community goal was still unreached, the glyphs were scrambled and the passcode could not be entered.


Mechanics and Missions, Phase Two: Thermia fractures

In various places around the Vallis, Thermia fractures could be seen. At these locations, the icy crust of the terrain was ruptured and a plume of orange flame would rise out of the ground.

(upon approaching a Thermia fracture, variant) Eudico: “Exploiter loads her Raknoids with refined coolant. They need the thermal regulation when harvesting Thermia. We can use that coolant to dilute the Thermia and seal these fractures. Go crack open a Coolant Raknoid and use its canister on this fracture.”

(upon approaching a Thermia fracture, variant) Eudico: “We need refined coolant to close the fracture. Find a Coolant Raknoid.”

The Exploiter Orb, which can be found near the Temple of Profit in the northwest, is followed by 5 Coolant Raknoids. These Raknoids can be killed, dropping a coolant canister. If Coolant Raknoids are killed, more will be spawned by the Exploiter Orb to keep the number at 5. The Exploiter Orb, and her Coolant Raknoids, will attack any Tenno who venture close (though the Orb Mother herself will not stop or deviate from her path). Once a coolant canister has been obtained, the Tenno must find a Thermia fracture on the landscape and place the canister on it.

(upon approaching a Thermia fracture with a coolant canister, variant) Eudico: “If Nef won’t do anything about these fractures, we’ll do it for him. Let’s get this fracture sealed.”

(upon approaching a Thermia fracture with a coolant canister, variant) Eudico: “You ready? Drop that refined coolant into that fracture to get the party started.”

(upon placing a coolant canister on a Thermia fracture, variant) Eudico: “Incoming forces. Protect the canister!”

(upon placing a coolant canister on a Thermia fracture, variant) Eudico: “Defensive positions. Do not let them destroy the canister.”

(upon placing a coolant canister on a Thermia fracture, variant) Eudico: “Keep ’em off the canister while it does its thing.”

Once the canister is placed, the alert level will immediately rise to 3 stars, though it will decay if no alert beacons are placed and allowed to stay up. Corpus forces will begin to arrive from all directions, by dropship and warp-in, to attack the canister. The canister must be protected as it seals the fracture (a process that takes roughly 3:30 minutes).

(if the coolant canister is destroyed) Eudico: “Mission’s a wash. We’re done here.”

(upon sealing a Thermia fracture, variant) Eudico: “Done, but there’s still coolant in the canister. Grab it and let’s find another fracture. This diluted Thermia could come in handy.”

(upon sealing a Thermia fracture, variant) Eudico: “Fracture sealed. Let’s do it again.”

(upon sealing a Thermia fracture, variant) Eudico: “Grab the canister and get to another fracture.”

The sealing process could be repeated up to 4 times with a single coolant canister. If a canister was used to seal 4 fractures, it would disappear when picked up and add a Diluted Thermia to the inventory of all Tenno in the squad. Diluted Thermia was a resource described as: “A magma-like liquid that is diluted with coolant during the extraction process. Thermia can be found fracturing the surface of the Orb Vallis during thermal flare-ups. Could this be the key to weakening the Exploiter Orb’s defenses?”

Each Thermia fracture sealed rewarded a point. If 4 fractures were sealed with a single coolant canister, then 3 additional points would be awarded – thus, a Tenno could earn 7 points from a single canister, defending it 4 times.

Once the Tenno achieved 5 points, they would receive an inbox message from Eudico containing an Operation: Buried Debts emblem.

Inbox message:
VALLIS FRACTURES: A Token of Appreciation

You’re getting the hang of it. We just wanted to send you a little something by way of encouragement. Don’t let up.

—Eudico

Once the Tenno achieved 25 points, they would receive an inbox message from Eudico containing the Amalgam Serration and Amalgam Shotgun Spazz mods.

Inbox message:
VALLIS FRACTURES: I Think It’s Working

You’re doing good work, Sparky. At the current rate, Smokefinger charts a plateau in seismic activity before long. That’s good news for Fortuna. Keep it up.

—Eudico

Once the Tenno achieved 50 points, they would receive an inbox message from Eudico containing the Amalgam Barrel Diffusion and Amalgam Organ Shatter mods.

Inbox message:
VALLIS FRACTURES: Looking Good!

The Vallis is more stable these days, thanks to the work you’re doing. But we’ve still got fractures erupting every day, and until Nef concedes the threat, we have to take care of ourselves. Find them. Seal them. We’re counting on you.

—Eudico

Once the Tenno achieved 75 points, they would receive an inbox message from Eudico containing an Operation: Buried Debts sigil.

Inbox message:
VALLIS FRACTURES: Real Progress

I clock 75-plus fractures sealed. I shudder to think what state we’d be in if we didn’t have you helping us out like this. Kids are shutting down sound in their racks, knowing you’re out there. Thank you.

—Eudico

Once the Tenno achieved 100 points, they would receive an inbox message from Eudico containing an Opticor Vandal, with a pre-installed Orokin Catalyst and free weapon slot.

Inbox message:
VALLIS FRACTURES: Thank You

Sparky, what can I say? You’re doing singly what none of us could have done together. Fortuna still lives, thanks you your efforts in sealing those fractures. But we’re not resting. Not ’til Nef shuts down Thermia extraction entirely.

Thank you. From every rig jockey in the place. We owe you.

—Eudico


Mechanics and Missions, Phase Three: Escalation

On Thursday (14 March 2019), the community goal was reached. The Exploiter Orb now had voice lines that she would shout while patrolling the Temple of Profit:

“As Nef Anyo sows, so do we reap.”

“Learn from what I am, children. Destroy our past to build our future.””

“Obedience is efficient. Efficiency brings Profit. An obedient child profits all.

“The disobedient shall not be spared the rod. Solaris United, value the punishment I provide!”

“The unruly require instruction, not sympathy.”

“Thermia, children. To me. Better out than in.”

“Those who intrude at unwanted hours are never welcome.”

“To keep your feet upon the ground, I place burdens upon your shoulders.”

“We protect our virtue. We safeguard against the rogue.”

The 16 data-hashes were revealed to be glyphs in the Corpus language, which could be rearranged to form the passphrase “THE DEAD HAVE DEBTS”. Upon accessing the console in the cave revealed in Phase 1, the passcode would already be entered and the gate would open on approach. After a short passageway and another gate, a set of mournful voices could be heard solemnly humming “We All Lift Together” as the Tenno emerged into an underground Solaris base.

Eudico: “Home again. Deck 12. Most of the old SU… never made it out. Legs’ folks. And Zuud’s sisters. It broke her, you know? We’ve all tried getting through to her, but… she insists they never existed. Zuud?”

Rude Zuud: “I hear them. My sisters. Everything they hear… echoes from my sisters’ ears to my… mind. One by one, I remember them saying… goodbye.”

The Solaris city is an exact replica of Fortuna in layout, but it has been damaged by rockfalls and overgrown with giant fungi. There is a giant hole ripped in the ceiling by the elevator shaft, and light shines down from the Venusian surface.

(upon approaching The Business’ stall, seeing many burnt bodies) Rude Zuud: “We never thought Nef would trigger fractures here, in Deck 12. They huddle together. Thermia… everywhere. My sisters….”

(upon approaching the Thermia condenser near the Ventkids’ vent) Rude Zuud: “This is… the last thing… we made together. Seven minds. All thoughts communal. Before we were reduced to one. A thermic condenser…. Wait… condensed Thermia… volatile. Like, melt-Exploiter’s-defences volatile. Finish what we started.”

(upon activating Thermia condenser) Rude Zuud: “Why can’t I remember their names?” [loud mechanical roar] “What was that?”

A large Raknoid creature – the Exploiter Orb – will appear in the hole in the cavern ceiling, and will climb down the shaft, stopping halfway down to prop herself up on some rock ledges and fire at the Tenno below.

Exploiter Orb: “Solaris United! You shall not be spared the rod, as those who came before you were not spared!”

Rude Zuud: “HEY! I remember you. Word of advice: run, while you still got legs.”

Rude Zuud (variant): “Oh no you don’t! Get down here and take what’s comin’ to you. Blow out her footholds!”

Rude Zuud (variant): “Hey! We wanna talk to you! Sparky, be a love and potshot her footing?”

The Exploiter Orb is invulnerable to all damage. The Tenno must shoot at the ledges the Orb Mother is standing on. Once they are destroyed, she will fall to the cavern floor, level with the Tenno. Once on the floor, her four ventilation shafts will be exposed to fire.

Rude Zuud (variant): “Take out her ventilation.”

Rude Zuud (variant): “Her vents! Bust ’em.”

The Tenno must destroy one of the protruding ventilation shafts, while avoiding the fire from her under-mounted turret.

(upon destroying a vent) Exploiter Orb: “Children, the winter chill invigorates our character and fortifies our bodies.”

The Exploiter Orb will encase the remaining three vents in ice and move to the opposite side of the chamber, deploying dozens of Mite Raknoids and creating an ice storm around her that repels all enemies.

(upon reaching the other end of the cave) Exploiter Orb: “Solaris United! You must be taught what to think, not how to think. Look at me when I’m speaking to you!”

Rude Zuud: “Iced her vents? Thinks she’s indestructible. Not today. Purging the condenser. How’s your throwing arm, Tenno?”

Three machines on the ground floor of Deck 12 (corresponding roughly to the Fortuna positions of The Business, Legs, and Rude Zuud) will light up and begin dispensing canisters of condensed Thermia on the ground. These can be picked up and thrown at the Exploiter Orb’s iced-over vents to thaw them and expose them to fire. Each vent needs to be hit with three canisters of condensed Thermia before it can be damaged.

(when the Tenno is carrying a canister, variant) Rude Zuud: “Lob the canister at her vents. Don’t miss.”

(when the Tenno is carrying a canister, variant) Rude Zuud: “Toss that Thermia onto her frozen vents.”

(upon thawing the ice on a vent) Rude Zuud: “Shields down. Do your thing.”

(upon destroying two more vents) Rude Zuud: “Oh yeah! Now she’s sweating! Now she’s sweating!”

Exploiter Orb: “Hardship builds character. Children: Mother requests the pleasure of your company.”

After two of the remaining vents have been thawed and destroyed, the Orb Mother will move to the centre of the cavern and prop herself up on the second level, deploying several Coolant Raknoids, which must be destroyed.

(upon killing a Coolant Raknoid) Exploiter Orb: “NO! Monsters! You kill children?!”

(upon killing a second Coolant Raknoid) Exploiter Orb: “Bullies! Bullies are not tolerated in my presence!”

(upon killing a third Coolant Raknoid) Exploiter Orb: “AAAAH… unkind… unkind….”

After all the Coolant Raknoids have been destroyed, the Exploiter Orb will move to the far side of the cavern, where she came in.

Exploiter Orb: “You will not have me so easily. MY fangs… are fully grown.”

The Tenno will have to thaw and destroy her remaining vent.

(upon destroying the last vent) Exploiter Orb: “My chiiiildrennnn. They did NOTHING to you.”

Rude Zuud: “My sisters! TELL ME THEIR NAMES!”

The Exploiter Orb will climb back up the shaft and onto the surface.

Exploiter Orb: “Come, children. It is a fine day to visit the city. Burn. Them. All.”

Eudico: “Fortuna. She’s going to attack Fortuna! Her mind has snapped. Get out there and stop her!”

The Tenno must exit Deck 12 the way they came in, emerging from the cave onto the snowy plain. The Exploiter Orb will be waiting for them there. Her attacks in this phase are more fire-based than ice-based, since her cooling apparatus has been damaged.

Exploiter Orb: “Some fresh, cooling… air… I think… shall do me good….”

The Orb Mother is still invulnerable to damage, but her attacks on the Tenno will heat her up, depicted by a gauge on the HUD. Once her gauge reaches around 25%, she will begin summoning Coolant Raknoids from all directions.

Exploiter Orb: “Attentive children are a joy to all. Attend me, little ones.”

Rude Zuud: “Call them. Call them, and know what it means to feel them die.”

Eudico: “Don’t let those Raknoids cool her off. Keep the heat on.”

If the Coolant Raknoids reach the Exploiter Orb, they will break their coolant canister and spit the coolant onto the Orb Mother, cooling her off by about 5% each. If they are destroyed before deploying their coolant, they will drop the coolant cylinder on the ground.

Once the heat gauge reaches around 45%, Exploiter Orb will begin slamming her body onto the terrain, cooling herself off significantly upon the icy ground and causing multiple Thermia fractures to break out in the vicinity.

(when causing fractures) Exploiter Orb: “DIE!”

Eudico: “Watch it! She’s fracturing the terrain!”

Rude Zuud: “Tell me and we’ll make it quick. What were their names?!”

The coolant cylinders dropped by the Coolant Raknoids can be picked up and taken to a Thermia fracture, where they will instantly seal the fracture (without having to defend it) and result in a canister of concentrated Thermia. This canister can then be thrown at the main body of the Exploiter Orb, which will increase the rate of overheat. Once the Orb Mother has reached full overheat, she will stop moving and attacking and stand dormant.

Exploiter Orb: “There is…. We shall…. Those who….”

Eudico: “She’s rattled. Quickly: rip off that hatch!”

The Tenno must go near the Orb, which will trigger a brief cutscene wherein the warframe leaps onto the Orb’s body, rips out a chunk of the hull, and smashes it off to expose a gout of flame from the Orb’s interior cognition engine before jumping off and landing on the ground.

(after the cutscene) Eudico: “Her cognition engine is exposed! Shred it!”

Once the cognition engine is exposed, the Tenno can finally damage the Orb directly by shooting the flaming port and targeting the cognition engine. 

Exploiter Orb: “We are not at home to visitors!”

Once a third of her health has been depleted, the port will cease being vulnerable and the whole process of overheating and throwing concentrated Thermia must be repeated.

(when summoning Coolant Raknoids) Exploiter Orb: “Medicine, children. Mother needs her medicine.”

Eudico: “Stop those spiders!”

(when causing Thermia fractures) Exploiter Orb: “If you will not be a model, you shall be an example.”

Eudico: “Gonna need more Thermia!”

(upon overheating) Exploiter Orb: “Mother needs to rest her eyes… just… for a moment….”

Rude Zuud: “Rip that panel! Before she comes to!”

Once again, the Tenno will leap onto the Orb and rip off a piece of the hull to expose another flaming port, which must be damaged, depleting another third of the Orb’s health before overheating her one more time.

(when summoning Coolant Raknoids) Exploiter Orb: “Nothing shall replace a child’s love for their Mother.”

Eudico: “Raknoids! Bringing in refined coolant. Don’t let them reach the Orb.”

(when causing Thermia fractures) Exploiter Orb: “Division.”

Rude Zuud: “More Thermia! More Thermia!”

(upon overheating) Exploiter Orb: “If…. When…. I….”

Rude Zuud: “Kill her.”

For the third time, the Tenno will tear off a piece of the Orb’s carapace, this time the frontal horn on the Orb’s “face”.

(during cutscene) Rude Zuud: “She’s exposed. Shut her down.”

Exploiter Orb: “We shall not suffer disrespect!”

Rude Zuud: “Ssh. That’s enough.”

Depleting the rest of the Exploiter Orb’s health will cause her to collapse spastically on the ground, flames erupting from every part of her body.

Exploiter Orb: “And… so I turn from the tumult of the world… toward home… that sweetest spot… ‘neath the circuit… of the sun….”

Eudico: “Sparky, get in there! Grab what you can before she goes critical!”

Within a few seconds, the Exploiter Orb’s body will detonate, dealing massive and generally lethal damage to everything within 500 metres.

(after detonation) Eudico: “She… she’s down. Zuud? You did it! Zuud? Zuud, you okay?”

Rude Zuud: “Score’s paid. Debt’s settled. Slate’s clear.”

Eudico: “You remember them. That’s all that matters.”

Rude Zuud: “I remember us. You knew us. You know… our name.”

Eudico: “We’ve never forgotten. Me, Biz, Smokefinger… any of us.”

Rude Zuud: “We had a name. Our name was… our name was Zuud. [soft chatter] The Zuud. Thank you. [sweet chatter] Yeah? Don’t get used to it! The lot of ya.”

The Tenno would be free to return to Fortuna, remain out on the Vallis, or enter Deck 12 to re-initiate the fight again.


Rewards

The points earned from sealing Thermia fractures were tallied and Tenno were rewarded for hitting certain benchmarks.

  • 5 points: Operation: Buried Debts emblem
  • 25 points: Amalgam Serration and Amalgam Shotgun Spazz mods
  • 50 points: Amalgam Barrel Diffusion and Amalgam Organ Shatter mods
  • 75 points: Operation: Buried Debts sigil
  • 100 points: Opticor Vandal (with weapon slot and installed Orokin Catalyst)

The Exploiter Orb fight also yielded plentiful rewards, including Lazulite toroids, component blueprints for the Hildryn warframe, the Shocking Step and Freezing Step Ephemera, an articula, the Deck 12 Captura scene, and large amounts of rare Vallis resources. All resources earned during the event were doubled by a global resource booster on the Orb Vallis.

After the event was over, the Thermia fractures stopped occurring. The Exploiter Orb fight could still be done if the Tenno had leftover Diluted Thermia from the event. Thermia fractures would periodically break out across the Orb Vallis, allowing Tenno to collect Diluted Thermia to engage the Exploiter Orb.


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