It’s been… a while since Fortuna released. Has the hype died down? Probably not. Is everyone still singing “We all lift together?” Oh yes. Is Fortuna 69 still alive? Totally. Is there anything special going on in Fortuna? Not really. So what HAS been going on in Fortuna and the Orb Vallis?
Honestly? Not that much.
There have been two major Fortuna updates so far. The initial update and the first Heist update in which we took on the Profit-Taker Orb. MOA companions and Kitguns were introduced, as were K-Drives and two whole new Warframes, as well as some nice new Corpus-themed weapons and some more bloody Amps.
As it stands though, I am currently at max rank with the Solaris United Syndicate, I’m at rank 3 with Vox Solaris, the Plains of Eidolon equivalent of the Quills and I’m still at rank 1 with the Vent Kids. I’ve collected a few of the little lore tidbits hidden around on the Orb Vallis, but since I normally use Carrier over Helios, I have missed most of them. I’ve killed two Profit-Taker Orbs and am already tired of killing them. I’ve purchased, built and mastered all three types of MOA and all the different Kitgun types. So really, I’ve done most of what Fortuna has to offer me. In fact, I kinda haven’t really done much in Fortuna for ages, not since I finished leveling up Baruuk.
You could argue that, because I’m Mastery Rank 26 now, I have it easier, being able to get 26k standing a day. All that really does though is speed up the grind. Most people now, most veterans at least, are making their way up to max rank with Solaris United. Most people are probably a higher rank than me with the Vent Kids as well. The grind for Vox Solaris is gated by a handful of missions and requires more luck than it does skill.
So far, really, the Orb Vallis has turned out to be a bigger Plains of Eidolon.
It did take a few steps forward. At first. Grinding for standing with Solaris United is a LOT easier than Cetus, since you don’t have to actually return to Fortuna, you can grab more bounties while in the Orb Vallis. That’s not really true about Vox Solaris standing. In fact, it takes like seven steps back, as you have to sit through a ton of cut scenes and chatter between EVERY SINGLE BOUNTY. Vent Kids standing is frankly tedious to earn – you either grind around the same place over and over or do races, otherwise you don’t really get that much standing.
Even the Warframes are less fleshed out. While Gara and Revenant weren’t the best, gameplay-wise on release, they were both buffed to usability and both have their own little lore tidbits about them. Garuda and Baruuk were just shoved into Solaris United Bounties and Vox Solaris syndicate offerings with no story at all behind them. And honestly Baruuk and Garuda both seem to prefer style over substance anyway.
Of course, new players might not see any of this. The Corpus Terra enemies are far, far stronger than normal Corpus units. Even if Jackals are no longer being dropped in by the dozen at level 30, all the Corpus Terra units seem to do way more damage, have way more crowd control and, annoyingly, seem to ignore a lot of things, like knockdown resistance and our own crowd control. This does give the Orb Vallis some challenge, but it’s not the fun sort of challenge. Luckily, just like the Plains, you can kinda just run away if you run into any problems.
Aside from the larger landscape, the much deeper character and the more annoying enemies, the Orb Vallis really just is Plains of Eidolon 2.0. And it’s just as grindy and inaccessible to newer players.
I don’t want to sound mean though. Fortuna and the Orb Vallis both look awesome. The characters are great. The setting is amazing. But already I’m seeing a trend with these open world areas. Pretty scenery and interesting stories tied up in huge amounts of grind.
On the flip side, we have no idea what the next big open world area will be. And on top of that, we’ll have Railjack one day…