After some scanning and some fudging of numbers and some collecting of diluted thermia from a boring Mobile Defense clone, the Exploiter Orb is now available to fight. By “available to fight”, I mean “available to throw stuff at”.
Yep, most of the Exploiter Orb fight consists of you throwing canisters of ‘thermia’ at a massive spider-like robot.
The fight starts off with everyone entering the remains of Deck 12. Eudico and Zuud remember what happened and you sort of just wander around until someone pulls a leaver (which costs everyone 1 diluted thermia). You hear a scream and the Exploiter Orb appears, firing missiles at you.
The first thing you have to do is shoot her off her perch, by shooting the rocky nodules the Exploiter Orb is standing on. She then crashes down to your level and you have to shoot the vents on her sides, which make her ice up. Exploiter will then stomp to the other side of the room, spawning a ton of little green bastards who do little aside from annoy you.
After some talking, Zuud will start the machines that spawn canisters of diluted thermia and you have to chuck them at the Orbmother’s frozen vents. Annoyingly, you need to ignore the prompt that says to “shoot the canisters” before they hit the Exploiter Orb. That comes later. When all but one of the vents have been de-iced, the Exploiter Orb will climb up to the middle of the room, spawn some enemies then leap back down to the other side of the room so you can de-ice her last vent.
Once she’s been de-iced, the Exploiter Orb will scream that her children did nothing to us (well actually they repeatedly tried to kill us…) and she’ll climb out of Deck 12.
Unfortunately, you can’t follow her. You’ve got to leave the way you came and fight the Exploiter Orb outside.
Now, the Orbmother has a meter of sorts. The trick is to get her to overheat, but there is a constant swarm of Coolant Raknoids around, firing coolant at her. You need to kill the Raknoids before they can cool their mother off. Exploiter Orb will also cause fractures, which can be instantly sealed up by putting Raknoid coolant canisters on them. These give you back diluted thermia which you can then throw at the Exploiter Orb. Only this time you have to shoot them just before the canisters hit her.
When Exploiter starts to overheat, you can then run up to her you get a cool-looking cut-scene where you rip a part out of her. With a weak point exposed, you can start shooting at her.
You repeat this two more times, making Exploiter overheat then ripping a piece out of her and shooting her in the fiery hole you made. After the third ripped-out part, the Orbmother will struggle, whine and cry, drop her loot then explode in a ball of fire, far quicker than Profit-taker does.
This fight though is more about tactics than pure damage. You’ll want to bring a frame with some damage resistance, as the inside area is pretty dangerous. Exploiter will pepper you with high damage missiles. But once you’re outside, it’s all pretty easy. You just need to keep tabs on any incoming coolant raknoids, and having two people focus them while others focus on filling and throwing thermia canisters seems like the best strategy. Everything in the fight is immune to abilities so really, all you want is damage resistance or mitigation.
It IS doable solo but it’s a huge amount of work. You just have to sort of patiently wait for Exploiter to slowly burn up on her own.
While you fight and throw things at the Exploiter Orb, you’ll hear Eudico and Zuud talking. Actually, most of the time you’ll hear Zuud screaming that we need to throw more thermia at the Exploiter Orb, or Eudico telling you there are more coolant raknoids on their way, but there IS some lore in there. Really though, it’s stuff we kinda already knew. Zuud repeatedly screams about asking for her sisters’ names but never actually gets an answer to that question. Everything else is either something we already knew (e.g. Zuud was part of a group of sisters who worked together with some sort of telepathic connection) or ignored completely (what did Exploiter Orb have to do with Deck 12? Did she destroy it? Who knows?). What’s particularly weird is how Exploiter talks like a stern, angry mother, while Profit-taker talks in cryptic, broken sentences. Why? Who knows. She just does.
Heck, there’s no reason for Exploiter to snap and suddenly try and attack Fortuna of all places, but she does.
Then again, Exploiter rarely makes it out of the initial valley you start in.
At least the loot is insanely nice. Not only do you get a Hildryn part (which STILL needs max rank with Fortuna and second rank with Vox Solaris to obtain the blueprint for) but you also get a brand new Toroid, which gives you 12,000 standing when handed to Little Duck. But this particular orb also spews out a TON of Orb Vallis resources, everything from rare gems to servofish parts to unrefined minerals. As part of the buried debts event, Toroid earnings are currently doubled, meaning you can get 24,000 standing from one dead spiderbot.
The downside to all of this? It looks like Exploiter Orb, or at least parts of the Buried Debts event, will be time-based. You need diluted thermia to start the fight, which only comes from the fractures, which are a temporary thing. And it takes about 8 minutes to get one single diluted Thermia. The Exploiter fight itself is pretty good, but everything around it is tedious to say the least.
At least farming for Vox Solaris standing is much easier now…