I have a theory: The value of a community is directly proportional to its willingness to rally around and fight nearly to the death for deeply dumb things. Warframe players are doing an excellent job of proving it.
In Warframe, a co-op sci-fi shooter with MMO elements, instances only stick around for as long as there are players to inhabit them. Fortuna 69, which came into being around the time the game’s new Fortuna expansion launched on PC in November, has defied the odds, hanging on in various forms for more than a month. It’s still going as I write this, meaning that it’s now 35 days old—a proper Methuselah in more ways than one, given that Methuselah is said to have lived until he was 969 years old.
How did this happen? The community willed it so. Ever since Fortuna 69 sprang into existence, players have diligently shepherded it through moments when it was on the verge of disappearing for good, though it has briefly dropped into the dark, cold server abyss on a couple occasions. Players have gone all out to get the word out, with some creating inspirational ads, like this one from PsyCoCinematics (via Rock Paper Shotgun):
And whatever this is, from Binary Violence:
Oh, and a bunch of players collaborated to form the number 69 a couple weeks ago, because I mean, of course:
Warframe’s community has even kept Fortuna 69 going during hotfixes that required players to stop playing and download new data. Developer Digital Extremes has grown wise to this, so it now issues in-game warnings ahead of hotfixes.
“Fortuna 69 lives, and here’s how you can keep it alive,” the developer announced three minutes before a hotfix on Monday. “At least one of you has to stay in Fortuna 69 while everyone else downloads. Once people with the Hotfix return, whoever was keeping Fortuna 69 around can safely Hotfix. It is only by your hand that Fortuna 69 will live on—which is true in many ways since it’s likely it is also only by your hand that any kind of 69 will live on.”
Amazing, huh? Warframe really is a game about people coming together. Here’s hoping players can keep Fortuna 69 going until it’s 69 days old. Now that would be nice.