Operation: Plague Star

Operation: Plague Star event splash

15 November 2017 – 27 November 2017

A mysterious meteorite has crashed just outside of Cetus, revealing a horrific boil. The boil is growing and the Ostrons have sighted Infested lifeforms emerging from it. We need to act now before they make their way to Cetus.

Konzu has received reports that Vay Hek possesses a toxin that can destroy the boil. But Vay Hek won’t help; he sees this Infested boil as a means to rid the Plains of Cetus and the Ostrons.

We need to get ahold of the toxin and destroy the boil before it becomes unstoppable. Visit Konzu in Cetus to learn his plan for retrieving the toxin from Vay Hek.


Foreshadowing

On 27 October 2017 (Friday), Tenno received the following transmission when they logged in:

Lotus: “Tenno, a meteoroid is on an impact trajectory with Earth. Ordis’ calculations have it making planetfall just beyond Cetus. More troubling still, it appears to be alive. Stay vigilant. I will update you as I learn more.”

In Cetus and the Plains of Eidolon, small meteor fragments were visible burning up in the atmosphere, appearing to travel north across the sky. Around 02 or 03 November, a large meteor could be seen in the sky, glowing with orange energy. This meteor was clearly heading towards Earth, but remained stationary in the skybox.

On 03 November 2017 (Friday), at 15h00 EST (19h00 UTC), DevStream 100 (which was ongoing) was interrupted by a cinematic of a massive meteor approaching Earth, punching through the atmosphere, and impacting on the Plains. After the cinematic, Tenno received the following transmission when they logged in:

Lotus: “The meteoroid has crashed down outside Cetus! Konzu reports that it is indeed some kind of Infested boil. At the moment it poses no direct threat, but I need you to be ready to act at a moment’s notice.”

After the cinematic, the crashed meteor was visible on the Plains of Eidolon as a large, Infested mass in a small impact crater in the middle of the Plains. Approaching the boil would inflict massive toxin damage.

On 06 November 2017 (Monday), Konzu in Cetus had a new dialogue prompt.

Tenno: “Infestation?”

Konzu: “Infestation. My uncle, Hinmun, sold minerals aboard a market near Eris. Quite popular with deep-system traders. At least it was. They were broadsided by one of these boils. It spread fast. They could have run, risked taking it with them. Instead, they turned off life support and blew out escape pods. Decades later, it still orbits Eris. Writhing. One voice repeating the same message over and over: ‘We are death. Leave us, and do not look back.’ My uncle’s voice. Fail here, Tenno, and that will be the fate of Cetus: to be a warning for the living, from a place where none may tread.”

After this time, Konzu had a few lines he would speak if the Tenno was idling near him:

Konzu: “When the sun is low, scouts report seeing things – shadows – moving inside the boil. Stay close, Tenno. Stay close.”

Konzu: “First the stars went wrong… and now the air. Can you smell it? Master Teasonai… his animals… they smell it too. Sweet, like a wound gone bad. These days, none of us sleep easy.”


Operation

On 15 November 2017 (Wednesday), the event went live with the release of Update 22.3.0 and was set to run for 12 days, until 27 November 2017. Upon logging in, Tenno received the following transmission:

Lotus: “Tenno, Konzu needs your help! The Ostrons have sighted Infested lifeforms emerging from the boil. We need to deal with this thing immediately. Report to Konzu in Cetus.”

The operation tab in the World State Window said: “Steal Vay Hek’s Thrax Toxin, mix it, and poison the Infested Boil growing in the centre of the Plains.”

A new bounty was added to Konzu’s bounty board in Cetus, labelled “Plague Star”. Running this bounty was the main way to participate in the event, and would reward Standing in the Operational Supply syndicate. During the operation, Konzu’s usual bounties were still offered.

In the Infested Lab of clan Dojos, a new research project was available: the Infested Catalyst, described as “This refined toxin catalyst has been formulated to reinforce the Thrax Toxin and maximise damage to the Infested boil.” The Infested Catalyst was a consumable used in the event, but it took 24 hours to research, so it was not utilised for the first day.

Nakak, the masks and oddities vendor in Cetus, had a new dialogue option, allowing the Tenno to interface with the Operational Standing Syndicate. This new Syndicate was the main avenue of redeeming rewards from the event, and Standing with the Syndicate was earned by completing the bounty. The Operational Supply rewards included several event-specific and non-specific items, but also included the blueprint for a gear item called Eidolon Phylaxis, with the description: “Sentient immunity to the Infestation is exploited with this refined phylaxis. Formulated specifically to combat Infested boils.” The Eidolon Phylaxis was a consumable used in the event, but was only redeemable at the Collaborator tier, so it was not utilised for the first few runs (as no player had any Standing or rank in the Operational Supply Syndicate at first).

Konzu had new lines when interacting with him for the duration of the event.

Konzu (initiating conversation, variant): “Dark times, killer. In times past we’ve lost entire markets – entire clades – to the Infestation. That cannot happen here. Cetus must survive.”

Konzu (initiating conversation, variant): “Vay Hek! He has toxin enough to destroy the boil, but no! He wants it to flourish. To see the Infested succeed where he has failed: to see them destroy Cetus.”

The Plague Star bounty was called “Plague Star”, and was set at level 15-25. This bounty was not randomly generated like other Cetus bounties, but had the same four stages every time it was run (although the locations for the first three stages were random). During the bounty, Konzu and Lotus would give directions, while Vay Hek would berate the Tenno.

(upon accepting bounty) Konzu: “The Infestation… I was beginning to think it would never touch us here. That it was a thing that happened ‘out there’. To others. [sigh] Naïve. I need you to take Vay Hek’s toxin and kill the boil.”

(upon entering the Plains) Konzu: “First Vay Hek thinks, ‘I will let this plague run wild over Cetus.’ Then he thinks, ‘I will use poison to exterminate the Infestation once its work is done.’ The Quills see doom in his plan, for Grineer and Ostron alike. The boil needs to be destroyed now, before it becomes unstoppable. We know Vay Hek has Thrax Toxin stored deep underground. We’ll use that. One ill to cure another, eh?”

The first stage of the bounty involved entering a cave (chosen at random) to retrieve a toxin canister from a Grineer machine.

(upon entering cave, variant) Vay Hek: “Of course, MAGGOTS seek to BURROW! Away from my caves, MAGGOTS! Lest you be CRUSHED!”

(upon entering cave, variant) Vay Hek: “The Thrax Toxin! The Tenno MAGGOTS want my TOXIN! Stop them!”

The toxin canister would be located a ways inside the cave, past the Grineer doors that usually bar progress, and would be guarded by Grineer troops. Interacting with the machine would dispense the canister, which could then be picked up, restricting the carrying Tenno to sidearms or melee.

(upon acquiring the toxin) Konzu: “Vay Hek. A two-bit despot with a mind half an inch wide and a face like a rejected skin graft. Konzu would like you to make his life miserable. Well— more miserable.”

Lotus: “Toxin secured. Be prepared. Vay Hek knows what we’re up to now.”

The second stage involved bringing the toxin to a chemical mixer, located inside an armoured vault, and guarding the mixer from both Grineer and Infested while it refined the Thrax toxin – a process lasting 3 minutes. This stage was very similar to the “Resource Theft” stage found in traditional Cetus bounties.

Lotus: “I am directing you to the location of a Grineer chemical mixer. Use it to prepare the toxin.”

(upon arriving at waypoint) Lotus: “The mixer is inside that vault. Clear out the area so we can use it.”

(upon inserting toxin) Konzu: “Keep them away, killer. That machine must finish its work.”

(if a Tenno has Eidolon Phylaxes in their inventory) Konzu: “The Quills speak of Sentient immunity to the Infestation. If you have a vial of Eidolon Phylaxis, consider adding it to the mix now.”

(if a Tenno has Infested Catalysts in their inventory) Lotus: “I see your clan created the Infested Catalyst. This is your chance; add it to the mixture now.”

(if the toxin mixer is destroyed and the bounty fails) Vay Hek: “Keep trying to cleanse these Plains; you’ll only die in a SHOWER of FECULENT DEFEAT!”

(at 2:10 minutes remaining, variant) Vay Hek: “Grineer! Soon the Ostron rats of Cetus will flee in panic. And when they do, we’ll hunt them for sport!”

(at 2:10 minutes remaining, variant) Vay Hek: “This boil will cleanse Cetus of the filthy Ostron rats that infest her walls!”

(at 1:25 minutes remaining) Lotus: “The Grineer will do anything to destroy the mixer. Stop them.”

(at 0:45 minutes remaining) Lotus: “The mixer needs more time. Keep the Grineer at bay.”

(upon picking up the refined toxin, variant) Konzu: “Ai yo, my eyebrows are singeing just looking at that stuff. Go shove it into the boil.”

(upon picking up the refined toxin, variant) Konzu: “It’s ready. Now make that boil hurt. Doh-ga!”

The third stage involved bringing the toxin to an inert Grineer drone. Bringing the toxin near the drone would activate the drone and remove the toxin from the Tenno, and the drone would move towards the boil (although the HUD objective directed the Tenno to hack the drone, no hacking was actually required – the drone activated automatically). While the spawn location of the drone was random, its destination was always the same fixed location: the southern side of the Infested boil.

Lotus: “A Grineer drone will serve as an optimal delivery system. I’ve marked one on your map.”

(upon arriving at the drone) Lotus: “Drone located. Hack in, and insert the Thrax Toxin. I’ll steer it toward the boil.”

Once the drone arrived at the delivery site, it ascended into the air as a Grineer squad was dropped in from orbit.

(upon delivery of the drone) Lotus: “The toxin has triggered peristalsis. Antibody production has escalated. Prepare for a massive immune response.”

The fourth and last stage involved killing Infested as they emerged from Infested spawn pods shot out from the boil. These spawn pods also created clouds of green gas that dealt heavy toxin damage. A meter on the HUD tracked the required number of Infested kills from 0% to 100%, at which point the bounty was complete. Use of Eidolon Phylaxes during the toxin mixing stage would increase the level of Infested enemies spawned during this stage, to a maximum of 30.

Vay Hek (variant): “Tenno maggots! You try to protect these rats, but you will fail and fail!”

Vay Hek (variant): “Fools! You tried to POP its GLISTENING MAGNIFICENCE, but you just made it angry!”

If the Tenno used Infested Catalysts during the toxin mixing stage, then a Hemocyte would appear at regular intervals, with the number of Hemocyte appearances equal to the number of Infested Catalysts added (for a maximum of 4 per bounty). The Infested extermination meter would not progress until the Hemocyte died, no matter how many Infested were killed; thus, killing the Hemocyte was necessary to complete the bounty. Each Hemocyte was a higher level than the preceding appearance, and was also affected by the Eidolon Phylaxis, such that the final appearance could spawn at level 48. Upon death, the Hemocyte would drop a Hemocyte Cystolith and a Hunter set mod.

(upon Hemocyte spawning, variant) Lotus: “A Hemocyte: the product of the boil attempting to fight off the toxin. Kill it to weaken the Infestation further.”

(upon Hemocyte spawning, variant) Lotus: “The boil’s immune system has manufactured a Hemocyte to deal with the toxin threat. Destroy it.”

(upon Hemocyte spawning, variant replacing Lotus’ line) Konzu: “Well, you got a reaction. Big as a house and half as smart. Knock it on the head, eh?”

(upon bounty completion, variant) Konzu: “You are not welcome on Konzu’s Plains, snot-thing. Nice work, Number One Gun. We’re breathing easier back here.”

(upon bounty completion, variant) Konzu: “Top-shelf work, surah. But it was not enough. Not yet. Hit it again, and keep hitting it til there’s nothing but a hole in the ground.”

(upon bounty completion if a Hemocyte spawned, variant replacing previous line) Konzu: “That, uh… that was some allergic reaction you kicked off. Quite a sight, Tenno. Well done.”

Konzu (variant): “I’ve put Nakak in charge of supply distribution, until this strangeness is at an end. See what she has for you. We’re all in this one together, Tenno.”

Konzu (variant): “During these dark nights Cetus is grateful for your help. Nakak will keep you supplied until we beat this. Go see her.”

Vay Hek (variant): “No. NO. NOOOOO!!!”

Vay Hek (variant): “You have NOT WON, MAGGOTS! YOU HAVE NOT WON!!!”


Rewards

Each bounty completed awarded 1.000 – 3.000 Standing for Operational Supply, depending on the usage of Eidolon Phylaxes and Infested Catalysts. This Standing was used to purchase event rewards from Operational Supply, run by Nakak. The Operational Supply rewards included Fosfor blueprints (otherwise purchasable from Nakak), a Plague Star emblem, high-level Plains resources such as Cetus wisps and Eidolon gems, blueprints for the discontinued weapons Snipetron and Ether Daggers, the Fulmination and Sacrifice mods (not otherwise obtainable), built Forma, the Eidolon Phylaxis blueprint, Infested Exodia Arcanes, and Infested Zaw part blueprints.

Dojo statues were not distributed by Konzu or Nakak, but instead could be built by any clan at any time during or following the event, in four levels of quality: Terracotta, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The statues required Hemocyte Cystoliths to construct, with the amount of Cystoliths varying on the quality of the statue and the size of the clan. The Cystoliths served no other purpose.


Aftermath

After the event concluded on 27 November 2017, Tenno would receive a transmission from Konzu upon logging in:

Inbox message:
Cetus Is Safe

There’s something I need to tell you, Tenno.

Konzu (video message): “You know, Konzu doesn’t get emotional. But this place? Cetus is more than our home, Tenno. It is the centre of our universe. My uncle, he died protecting his. And you, you fought to protect ours. My uncle’s voice still echoes a warning. But this place? our voice? will echo forever. As a welcome. A beacon to anyone who needs a home. Okay, a little emotional, maybe. The Unum chose well when she sent you to us. Dah-dap! Now, get back to work.”


Recurrence

On Thursday, 05 April 2018 (4 months and 9 days after the initial event ended), Operation: Plague Star returned with Hotfix 22.17.1 and was slated to run until 17 April 2018. The operation was identical to its previous iteration, including in mechanics and rewards, with two exceptions: the Hemocyte encounter was buffed significantly in level, such that the final appearance could be level 84; and the Lotus’ initial transmission upon the Tenno logging in was different:

Lotus: “I have received word from Konzu. The Infested boil that once threatened the Plains of Eidolon? It has grown back, uglier and more putrid than ever. Remain on standby; I may need you at a moment’s notice.”

Operation: Plague Star has recurred infrequently since then.


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