Crystalline Entity FAQ
Although there have been many insights and strategies written about the CE, I still consistently see people running around throwing out random Do's and Don'ts in zone chat. Rather than re-inventing the wheel here, I thought I'd address as many of these as I can in a short and simple format:
Assertion 1: CE cannot be pugged.
Reality: Theoretically it can be, but anyone who has been around the MMO block knows that strategy based encounters in any format usually can't be pugged until the average overall (firepower, in this case) far exceeds the amount of healing the CE will obtain from mistakes. When that point will come is up for anyone's guess. Until it does, I would not recommend trying to pug the CE at all.
Assertion 2: Don't use torpedos or mines, they heal the CE!
Reality: Mines and torpedos do NOT heal the CE. The CE has a base amount of healing over time that cannot be surpressed. During the low 30% of its health, the CE will release LARGE fragments that when destroyed by weapons fire or ship impact will spawn three SMALL fragments. These small frags are what travel back to the CE and heal it for a percentage of its health.
So in other words, torpedos and mines can be used all day, if used properly. You run the risk of premature collisions with any type of fragment when using mines, so unless you are professional with your team's strategy, I would advise against it when large/small fragments appear.
Assertion 3: Less people is more.
Reality: This assertion that less ships in combat are better off than a larger fleet is situational. The factors to consider is how many pugs (who you have to assume do not know what they are doing) you have vs the maximum amount of firepower your fleet can dish out. Keep in mind that the CE does have a base amount of healing that needs substantially more than 5 ships, assuming an average of commander level rank to punch through. Also keep in mind that the less people you have, the more shards you'll likely have chasing each person.
Assertion 4: Kite all the fragments.
Reality: Generally speaking, this is a good idea but is dependent on what everyone else is doing. For slower ships (cruisers mainly), often times you'll have to devote more power to your engines at the cost of your other systems, namely weapons. Keep in mind shields are largely useless except during the top third percentile of his health in which you could be targeted by the CE's energy beam. After that phase, if you want to cut most power to your shields, it shouldn't be a problem.
Given that you'll likely have pugs in your group at some point, I'd recommend assigning at least a few people that you can control to specifically focus on small fragments during the bottom 3rd of his health, assuming of course people will be making some mistakes with large/small frags.
That last line will probably make or break your attempt at the CE if you have pugs flying around in the same instance. You must assume they will be making mistakes and plan accordingly.
Assertion 5: Keep at least 5km away from the CE at all times.
Reality: This is also a good idea. If you plan on firing torpedo volleys, I'd fly out to at least 8-9km away so you have a little room to turn, fire and run away before immediately running into a wall of fragments.
For additional insight, please visit the link below:
CE Facts and strategies
There is some misinformation in the above posts, what I copy and paste from my previous comments in other threads has been proven, time and again.
Here it is:
Crystalline Entity has a natural regen rate of about 3% every 30 seconds. DPS has to be more than this to win.
100% - 67%
Entity will shoot crystalline fragments. Above poster is correct about them. They do only hull damage to you, they can be outrun, they do NOT heal the entity when they are killed. Kite or kill the fragments, damage the entity down to 33%. Entity will fire a energy beam at highest threat target. Beam does massive shield damage, does very little hull damage.
67% - 33%
Entity will shoot crystalline fragments as above. Entity stops shooting beam at highest threat.
33% - 0%
Entity begins shooting large crystalline fragments. Large fragments do 2 - 3 times more damage than crystalline fragments. They typically will 1 shot a T2 escort. ANY destructable (anything that can be targetted, mine, heavy plasma torpedo, tricobalt device, boarding party) will break a large crystal into small crystalline fragments. These small fragments have little health, but will fly back to the CE and heal it for about 1% a piece. Each large can break into 3 - 4 small fragments. BTW do NOT use boarding parties, they do nothing to the CE and only serve to reduce your crew and break large crystals.
Large crystalline fragments will NOT produce small fragments that fly to the CE if they are blown up with beams, cannons or regular torpedoes (NOT heavy plasma or tri-cobalt). If you watch closely when you kill a large, it WILL produce smalls, but they WILL despawn after a couple seconds AND the CE will NOT gain health from the despawning smalls.
Please re-read the previous two paragraphs and allow that information to sink in.
Mines, and heavy torpedoes CAN and SHOULD be used when the CE is over 40%, but NEVER below, to allow time for them to despawn or blow up before larges are produced.
Shooting crystals is OK to do with beams and normal torpedoes, HOWEVER this is DPS that is removed from the CE, and maximum DPS should be on the CE to keep the fight as short as possible due to the natural regen rate.
There is a method of controlling fragments by using Scramble Sensors (NOT Jam Targetting Sensors) on the CE. This causes all fragments to become harmless, and not explode. HOWEVER, larges WILL still break into smalls if they hit a destructable object OTHER than your ship. That is why mines and heavy torpedoes should NEVER be used under 40% no matter what strategy is being followed.
The fragments can be permanently locked down using Scramble Sensors by either a group of 3 - 4 LTC captains in science ships, with their Sci BO LT skill Scramble Sensors I, rotated every 15 - 20 seconds, then fired on cooldown expiration until the CE dies, OR by a CPT or RADM captain in a sci vessel with 3 Sensor Scrambles trained, and rotated through their cooldowns.
If you're lucky to be in a lockdown instance, get close to the CE to maximize energy weapon damage (under 2km), max power to weapons, and burn it down. Ignore all the fragments. If they're locked down properly, they will not hurt you.
When i scramble lock the CE, i post the 5 rule strategy:
1) Max power to weapons
2) Get close to the CE (inside 3km)
3) FULL DPS on entity
4) IGNORE all fragments, I will control them
5) NO MINES
rule 2 is important for 2 reasons, 1) it increases energy weapon DPS and 2) with a lot of fragments flying around, sometimes the CE will disappear, this alleviates the problem
As I stated above, mines are ok above 40%, but in order to keep it simple and avoid confusion, NO MINES suffices.
This strategy also works with 4 LTC captains in sci ships with scramble sensors I, they just have to establish a reliable rotation with MAX trained BO Skill (rank9) to have the 1 min CD.
Bumping this, cause it needs to be done. Too many people thinking they can out-damage the CE's regen rate, including the Small Fragments.
EZ-Mode option - get a rear admiral who can chain scramble sensors.
In a full room it drops in 3-5 minutes if I have photonic fleet charged.
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