Warframe, the free-to-play loot shooter about robots killing clones, got a pretty major expansion recently. The Fortuna update added a snowy realm on Venus as a playable open-world zone—similar to the Plains of Eidolon on Earth.
But despite being a multiplayer game with millions of users, not everyone gets to hang out together all the time. Warframe splits its social areas into instances. These instances are then numbered accordingly. As more players fill out the servers, the numbers get higher and higher, until… You wind up with a number like 69.
Typically, Warframe servers open and close as players enter and exit more instances. Not so with this server—known only as Fortuna 69—thanks to its perpetually high player count. It’s remained very busy (if you know what I mean) ever since it spawned. It’s proven so popular, in fact, that you can’t always see it. Available slots just fill up too fast.
But rest assured that some very nice folks are keeping the dream alive. You can even see them online. A fairly active subreddit, r/Fortuna69, is chronicling the community’s antics inside the server. Players have struck some interesting poses and lined up for photo ops. The developers at Digital Extremes are even getting in on the fun.
Tragedy nearly struck Fortuna 69 earlier today, however. See, Warframe is an awfully ambitious game with its fair share of bugs to match. Luckily, Digital Extremes is usually quick to address those problems in “hotfix” updates. The problem is that such hotfixes require players to stop whatever they’re doing, exit the game, install the patch, and log back in. So there’s a tendency for players to exit and enter again en masse.
That could have killed Fortuna 69 forever. At the very least, it would have erased this particular version of the server. And anything else just wouldn’t be the same. So it was just downright heartwarming to see the Warframe community cooperate to keep it alive. They coordinated a sort of bug fixing relay race—keeping just enough players online to keep the server open—while others patched and returned to their chosen home instance.
The developers, now clearly all the way in on this dankest of memes, even helped the cause. They dedicated the in-game hotfix warning to tell players to save Fortuna 69.
“Hotfix 24.1.2 is coming in 2 minutes,” the red text advised. “Plan, coordinate. Commit! The will of the Tenno is unmatched – Fortuna 69 can only survive through your hands!” Tenno is the in-universe name for player characters. And in this case, the players did commit, because Fortuna 69 is alive and well.
It’s unclear how long this spirited gag can or will last. Warframe always sees massive player spikes around major expansions, but dips back down over time. How long can the truly dedicated—those who are even in on the joke—keep things going? Past experience tells us dedicated fans can keep things going for a long time, actually, barring any insurmountable technical hurdles. Not to mention, Warframers are petitioning Digital Extremes to leave the server open permanently.
Regardless of how long it lasts, Fortuna 69 is a brilliant showcase of the Warframe community at its best. The incredibly complicated game is also largely cooperative. So the player base is awfully friendly for an online game. Expert players mostly just want to help newbies survive the learning curve.
Here’s hoping some part of that spirit lives on, even after the server is gone.