Operation: Shadow Debt

Operation: Shadow Debt splash

25 January 2016 – 03 February 2016


Operation

On Monday (25 January), the event began with the release of Hotfix 18.4.1 and was set to run for an indeterminate amount of time. Upon logging in, the Tenno received an inbox message from Alad V.

Inbox message:
Shadow Debt

It’s time for you to pay back your favour.

Alad V (video message): “Bad news, Tenno. The Stalker has found others as twisted as himself. He calls them his Acolytes and he’s sent them after… me?! Shhh! I have to be very quiet. They cloak; they could be hiding anywhere… even listening to this. I’m calling in my favour, yes. Break into Corpus and Grineer installations and steal their security data. With enough data, I can determine their cloaking patterns and turn the tables on these… betrayers.”

—Alad V

There was an event window on the Navigation Console that showed the various stages of the event as they became available.


Mechanics and Missions

Stage 1: Recover cloaking data from enemy vaults

First, the Tenno had to complete four missions: a Grineer Galleon Spy mission on Mercury, a Corpus Ship Spy mission on Venus with a cryogenic leak, a Grineer Forest Mobile Defence mission on Earth with heavy fog, and a Corpus Gas City Mobile Defence mission on Jupiter with a radiation hazard. While the Lotus acted as standard mission control, Alad V would also send transmissions to the Tenno.

(during mission, variant) Alad V: “Those Acolytes have been through here. I can just feel it. Find the security data.”

(during mission, variant) Alad V: “Tenno, I’m glad you didn’t ‘forget’ the favour I’m owed. Looks like your ‘virtuous nature’ has its benefits… for me.”

(during mission, variant) Alad V: “I know you’ll find me that data because it’s in your best interest. If these Acolytes get me, you’ll be next.”

(during mission, variant) Alad V: “Don’t just stand there, find me that security data.”

(after objectives are complete, variant) Alad V: “Ah, yes, exactly what I’m looking for. Now, if I cross-reference the signal inversions from this stream with the… wait, why am I telling you this? Tenno, get to extraction.”

(after objectives are complete, variant) Alad V: “Yes. This is exactly what I wanted…. Tenno, make your way to extraction, but watch out for those pesky Acolytes.”

(after objectives are complete, variant) Alad V: “That’s what we’re looking for. Why do these Acolytes come for me? I’ve done nothing to them! But don’t worry… I will. Get to extraction, Tenno.”

(after objectives are complete, variant) Alad V: “You know these Acolytes won’t be easy marks. No one-shot kills here. It’s going to take an army of you to dispose of just one. Tenno, get to extraction.”

During these missions, new units called Artificers and Datalysts appeared inside data vaults or attacking Mobile Defence computer terminals. Artificers were Grineer specialist units similar to Drudges or Empyrean Raiders, wielding Stugs, and could summon Carabus drones. Datalysts were variants of the Slo Scrambus, and could summon Nemes drones. Bailiffs also appeared during the Grineer missions.

Once these missions were completed, the Tenno received an inbox message from Alad V containing an Orokin Catalyst and an Acolyte sigil.

Inbox message:
SHADOW DEBT: The Hunt is On

Tenno,

I’ve cracked it. Hunhow was using a tricky frequency, but not tricky enough.

Now it’s time to stalk them. Search nodes throughout the solar system. If an Acolyte is present, I’ll decode its signal and then you can teach it a lesson. Once one is found, I’ll blow the whistle so that we can take the fight to them.

Careful, though, Tenno. These Acolytes have a thick skin. It’s going to take a significant force to take one down for good.

—Alad V


Stage 2: Hunt down and defeat the Acolytes

After these missions were completed, the Tenno were able to begin tracking the Acolytes themselves. Three of them showed up on the Navigation Console: Angst, Mania, and Torment. Their locations were initially unknown. Tenno had to play mission nodes all across the System in order to find them. Once they had been found, the node would be listed under their names on the event window, and all Tenno were able to fight them (if they had completed the Stage 1 missions).

To battle an Acolyte, the Tenno had to enter the listed mission and search for it. The Acolyte would be hidden in a specific room, chosen at random, and this could either be a room on the main mission path or a dead-end side room. Thus, the map would need to be explored thoroughly. Once it spawned, the Tenno had to fight against it until they had inflicted enough damage to cause it to flee, whereupon it would drop a single mod from its drop table. The Tenno were still responsible for completing the mission as normal; if the Tenno took too long to kill the Acolyte and a Capture target escaped or life support ran out, the mission would fail and the Tenno would not get the Acolyte’s mod drop. Alad V had dialogue lines during these missions.

(upon mission start, variant) Alad V: “I know that an Acolyte is here somewhere. Keep poking around until it tries to, hrm, kill you.”

(upon finding the Acolyte for the first time) Alad V: “There! An Acolyte! Do you see it? Do what you can and I’ll call in your shiny friends.”

(upon entering the room with the Acolyte, variant) Alad V: “It’s here. Find it and hurt it.”

(upon entering the room with the Acolyte, variant) Alad V: “Feel that? One of them is here. They won’t stay hidden for long.”

(upon entering the room with the Acolyte, variant) Alad V: “Acolyte! We know you’re here. Show yourself.”

(if the Tenno take too long and the Acolyte flees) Alad V: “It’s going to make us do this the hard way, isn’t it? Heh, and by ‘us’, Tenno, I mean you.”

(when the Acolyte flees, variant) Alad V: “Sneaky betrayer; won’t stay around until the bitter end. You’ll find it again, I know you will.”

(when the Acolyte flees, variant) Alad V: “Was that all? Do me a favour: find it again and give it another drubbing.”

(when the Acolyte is killed) Alad V: “Haha! That’s what happens when you mess with Alad V! Heh, yes!”

The Acolytes took the form of warframes with the Stalker’s red, black, and gray colour scheme, and they all wore the Stalker’s helmet. They also had various syandanas and other customisations, some unique. They had high survivability and were able to cast some warframe abilities and use parkour. They also had their own dialogue lines.


Angst

Agile and ferocious.

Angst was a Valkyr warframe using the Immortal skin, the Vanquished syandana, and the Stalker’s helmet. She used Valkyr’s Hysteria claws as her main weapon, and could use Ash’s Teleport and Phorid’s Sonic Scream.

Angst: “[name], you are beyond repair.”

Angst: “It is not time for your trial yet.”

Angst: “Virtue gives us the strength of a thousand Tenno.”

(when fleeing) Angst: “We will yet find a way.”

Malice

Disciplined and accurate.

Malice was a Frost warframe using the Prime skin, the Stalker’s helmet, and unique attachments resembling machinery on his back, shoulders, arms, and torso (replacing the standard Frost shoulder armour). He wielded an Opticor and a Heat Dagger. He could cast Mag’s Magnetise and could summon Nemes drones.

Malice: “We will not tolerate this disturbance.”

Malice: “We will not abide this insurrection.”

(when fleeing) Malice: “Do not rest, Tenno. You are not safe.”

Mania

Elusive and deadly.

Mania was a Loki warframe wearing the Immortal skin, a single Daedalus shoulder plate, and the Stalker’s helmet. He wielded the Lacera with the Scorn skin (rewarded at the end of this event), and could cast Loki’s Switch Teleport and Zephyr’s Turbulence.

Mania: “Our fight is not with you, Tenno.”

Mania: “I see you are still their servants.”

Mania: “Who do you hunt?”

(when fleeing) Mania: “We will return. We will complete this judgement.”

Torment

Arrogant and calculating.

Torment was a Mesa warframe with the Stalker’s helmet, the Eos spurs, a single Naberus, and some various other cosmetics in non-standard positions. She wielded the Akvasto and could cast Hydroid’s Tempest Barrage and Tidal Surge.

Torment: “You have lost your way, Tenno. I will help you find it.”

Torment: “Alad V only wants profit. He is the enemy.”

Torment: “This one has caused much suffering, and yet you protect him… why?”

(when fleeing) Torment: “I am not defeated.”

Violence

Fast and vicious.

Violence was a Limbo warframe with the Hulta shoulder armour and the Stalker’s helmet. He wielded a Destreza in his right hand and a single Venka on his left hand. He could cast Excalibur’s Slash Dash, Frost’s Ice Wave, and the Conclave-modified version of Banshee’s Silence (which prevents Tenno from casting abilities within 20 metres of Violence).

Violence: “[name], your arrogance will be your demise.”

Violence: “[name], your Lotus will watch you perish.”

(when fleeing) Violence: “We will persist.”


After the Tenno community had inflicted 50.000 damage to an Acolyte globally, it would hide and move to another location, and it would need to be tracked down again. Each Acolyte had a global health bar that represented the damage done by all Tenno during the event. Once a specific Acolyte’s health dropped to 0%, it died and would no longer appear. After the first two Acolytes died, they were replaced in turn by Torment and Malice, such that there were never more than three Acolytes active at a time. Once the Tenno successfully fought an Acolyte 10 times (any combination of the Acolytes), they received an inbox message from Alad V containing an Orokin Reactor and an Acolyte badge.

Inbox message:
SHADOW DEBT: Keep Up the Hunt

You’re making progress, Tenno. But… now that you’ve witnessed the supernatural fortitude these creatures possess, you must realise that you have inflicted a mere scratch.

Take these items and continue the hunt. The Acolytes are still out there, hiding, waiting for their chance to dispatch me. It will surely take the combined force of all your brethren to put an end to them.

—Alad V

This phase was slated to go on for as long as needed for the community to kill all five Acolytes (which ended up being about 6 days).


Stage 3: Defend Alad V from Acolyte attack

After all five Acolytes were dead, the Tenno received another inbox message from Alad V.

Inbox message:
SHADOW DEBT: Outstanding Payment

It seems you have filed a fraudulent report regarding the death of all Acolytes….

Alad V (video message): “‘By the stars, I am relieved! I feel like I have a whole new life ahead of me! All thanks to you, you glorious Tenno!’ That’s what I would have said if you’d actually taken care of all those blood-hungry Acolytes. But no. I can’t say that because the last Acolyte, the worst one of the bunch, is on his way right now! He’s after the one thing I love more than profit. My precious life! Finish what you started, Tenno. I’ll even sweeten the deal if moral obligation isn’t enough incentive….”

—Alad V

This unlocked the third stage of the event, which was a Defence mission on Europa. This mission was available for 72 hours after the last Acolyte (Violence) was killed, at which point the entire event would end. This stage was available to all Tenno, regardless of whether or not they had participated in Stage 2.

The mission took place on the Corpus Outpost tileset. Alad V himself was the defence target, and had to be protected from 10 waves of shadow Corpus enemies. Misery, the final Acolyte, presumably raised them using his Nekros Shadow of the Dead ability. There were also multiple enemies named Shadow of Angst, Shadow of Mania, and Shadow of Torment. These had all the same weapons and abilities of their more substantial counterparts, but died much more easily. Alad V had no weapons and no abilities, and mostly just wandered around the map, saying his dialogue lines.

(upon mission start) Alad V: “Perhaps I got a little too confident. Help me out, why don’t you? Then we’ll call it even. Hmm… fine print.”

Alad V (random idle dialogue): “Back off!”

Alad V (random idle dialogue): “You murderers!”

Alad V (random idle dialogue): “Stay back! Get away from me!”

Alad V (random idle dialogue): “Little help, Tenno?”

Alad V (random idle dialogue): “I knew I should’ve got insurance.”

Alad V (random idle dialogue): “Sweet Profit! That hurts!”

Alad V (random idle dialogue): “Tenno, you’re having too much fun!”

Alad V (random idle dialogue): “Don’t you know who I am?”

Alad V (random idle dialogue): “My death was not in the contract, Tenno.”

Every two waves, Misery would send an ominous transmission.

(variant) Misery: “We asked… what is thy will, Shadow? Punishment was his call.”

(variant) Misery: “Those who oppose will be consumed. Emotion drives us. Blood divides us.”

(variant) Misery: “We serve the Shadow, the Stalker, the truth.”

(variant) Misery: “The Shadow is pure, undreaming, untainted.”

(variant) Misery: “The Shadow commands us. Betrayers will die. Orokin blood will dry.”

(variant) Misery: “These children will not stop us from punishing you. The Shadow commands it.”

(after the last wave) Alad V: “All these shadows. Those Acolytes don’t have the guts to come fight me themselves!”

Misery: “Enough! You will regret your past crimes….”

Alad V: “I may have spoken too soon, yes….”

At this point Misery would appear. He was a Nekros warframe with the Immortal skin, Kyroptera syandana, the Stalker’s helmet, and other miscellaneous nonstandard cosmetics, wielding an Ether Reaper. He arrived with a squad of Void Shades – spectral Infested Crawlers. When he lost a third of his health, he summoned another wave of Void Shades, and when he lost another third of his health, he summoned Shadows of Angst and Violence.

After Misery was killed, the mission was complete, and the Tenno received an inbox message from Alad V containing a Vulkar Wraith, with pre-installed Orokin Catalyst and weapon slot.

Inbox message:
SHADOW DEBT: Now We’re Even

Our contract is complete.

Alad V (video message): “Haha, maybe next time the Stalker will think twice before messing with Alad V! Okay, I’ll admit it, you got me out of a sticky situation back there, so let’s just call it even, shall we? Well, I guess I should give you some sort of reward or something – just don’t tell anyone. Even though I’m in no way obliged to do so. Take this. Just don’t point it at me, got it?”

—Alad V


Stage 4: Hold out against endless waves of Acolyte forces

The fourth and final stage of the event was an Endurance version of the same Defence mission. It was available for the same 72-hour window as the last mission. This was an endless Defence mission, and was identical to the Stage 3 mission, except that the Tenno’s shields were reduced by 50%, their energy was capped at 50, and Misery would spawn every 5 waves. If the Tenno successfully completed the Defence after at least 15 waves, they received another inbox message from Alad V containing the new Scorn skin for the Lacera weapon.

Inbox message:
SHADOW DEBT: Now We’re Even

I’ll admit it, you got me out of a sticky situation back there, so let’s just call it even, shall we?

—Alad V


Rewards

Rewards were distributed throughout the course of the event as the Tenno completed the various stages. Arguably the greatest rewards were the Acolytes’ mod drops, which consisted of brand-new, powerful mods with unique stats.

AcolyteMods
(common, uncommon, uncommon, rare)
AngstBody Count
Spring-Loaded Chamber
Repeater Clip
Pressurised Magazine
ManiaCatalyser Link
Embedded Catalyser
Weeping Wounds
Nano-Applicator
TormentHydraulic Crosshairs
Laser Sight
Blood Rush
Argon Scope
MaliceFocused Defence
Guided Ordnance
Targeting Subsystem
Narrow Barrel
ViolenceShrapnel Shot
Bladed Rounds
Sharpened Bullets
Maiming Strike

Misery, the last Acolyte, could drop any of the twenty mods upon his death in Stage 3. The mission itself also awarded one of the mods. In Stage 4, every wave in which Misery appeared (every fifth wave) awarded an Acolyte mod.

Trophies for clan Dojos were awarded based on the combined best scores of all clan members in the Endurance Defence mission. The quality of the trophy was determined according to the table below:

Clan tierTerracottaBronzeSilverGold
Ghost25 waves50 waves75 waves100 waves
Shadow75 waves150 waves225 waves300 waves
Storm250 waves500 waves750 waves1000 waves
Mountain750 waves1500 waves2250 waves3000 waves
Moon2500 waves5000 waves7500 waves10000 waves

Aftermath

This event was unique in that it did not have a defined end date. It lasted as long as it took the community to kill the five Acolytes, plus an additional 3 days for Stage 3/4. There was a countdown displayed on Navigation, however; it is unknown if it actually would have taken effect.

The Acolytes have returned roughly every 8 months, although these reappearances are completely devoid of the original context with Alad V. These reappearances resemble Stage 2 of the event only, and are lacking Alad V’s dialogue during the missions. As Stage 3 and 4 do not reoccur, Misery has not been seen since the original event.

Focused Defence, Catalyser Link, Hydraulic Crosshairs, Shrapnel Shot, and Blood Rush were later added as rewards for Spy missions on Lua (Pavlov). The rest of the Acolyte mods are completely unavailable except during the Acolytes’ sporadic reappearances.


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