Critique of Cure
I have been playing MMOís for over 10 years now, including EQ1 and 2, Dark Age of Camelot, Age of Conan, Lord of the Rings, to name a few. I must say that the Cure quest is by far the worst designed quest out of all the games I have played.
I know many of you are able to complete it, I am talking about design. What is expected to complete the ground portion is ridiculous. One might just as well go to a casino and throw dice as expect to unlock the gates, and having worked at a casino I understand just how stupid a move that is.
To be fair, this is the only quest in STO I have found to be bad, even counting its prequel, but it is so badly done I felt I had to say something.
Ok, I have had a chance to cool down a little and want to actually make a point about the quest. The biggest complaint is that this quest is designed for uber fleets. I am not, nor will I ever be, a L33t player. I am a casual player, in a fleet with friends from real life who are even more casual than me. I, and I am sure others, are not interested in joining one of the uber fleets. If this quest is designed for ONLY those types of players, it is poorly designed. The two most common ways of completing this quest posted here are: A) to join one of the uber guilds, B) dump any player who isnít playing with perfect gear and spec.
Personally I play a game to have fun, and having to spend every waking minute perfecting my spec. or my gear so I might have a chance to complete a quest is not my idea of fun. If another person does enjoy that, fine, let them use the difficulty slider provided to make the level of difficulty more to their liking.
I have been told by others who have grouped with me that I am a good team player, and I have completed too many large raids in other games to NOT be a team player. I use vent to communicate, I always try and make sure I and my whole team knows what is expected from them. In other words, I am an experienced gamer if not a L33t gamer, but a quest should be designed for PUG groups to be able to complete it, and this one is not. If a company is going to design quests for this section of its players, please have the courtesy to label it so people like me donít waste our time and effort.
Ha worst bit was probably anarchy online and their map coordinate system that would make descartes tear his eyes out in rage if he were alive to see it..also their random mission generator generatine rat mazes constantly.
But the past asidethe first 4 transmitter gate on cure is a stretch, not cause of the layout but because the spawn for node 1 is so erratic, sometimes 2 workers sometimes 4...not much sense in it.
Way around it is to try to brute force the gate, take two teams, one team consisting of two people will sit between transmitters 1 and 2, while the other team of everyone else will activate 2, 3, and 4.
On activating transmitter 1, have both teams kill the workers and most of the group leaving the elite alive, once only the elite is left the three man group activates 2 and then 3 and 4 as fast as possiible while the two man team keeps the workers off of 1 and 2.
There should be 1 person covering transmitter 1, two people at transmitter 2 and one at 3 and 4 just keeping the workers off of the transmitters for the minute and a half it takes for the circuit to complete and drop the shield.
Then run for the down shield and clear out the last group of two if need be.
The Cure is a painful mission to do, and as part of the STF series it is aimed at a 'regular team player' audience.
STFs - contrary to popular belief - do not require amazing gear, skill point allocation or even skill. What they do require is a good idea of how to overcome the challenges.
The STF content is primarily aimed at groups who want to 'crack' the puzzle of how to overcome a certain challenge. Once overcome, these challenges become trivial - it is knowing how to do them that makes it work. A brute-force approach is not going to do that, and is primarily going to end in frustration.
The Cure has a couple of nasty issues that will ruin your run. The first is the respawns and the work required to re-attempt the puzzles is terrible. The second is the puzzles themselves are very unclear. There is little or no 'clues' in the context as to how to overcome the challenges, and the challenges themselves require more of a 'metagame' thinking to best than application of any kind of star-trek lore. In fact, the best way to resolve the puzzle relies on the borg being unintelligent mobs with agro conditions rather than a unified collective...
STO does not 'lead' players into the STF content. It dumps them unceremoniously in this 'high end' content in which you have to approach the game and its puzzles in quite a different way. It is my opinion that the STFs require a considerable overhaul (all of them), and I'm happy to note that the senior developers of the game agree. As such, the STFs are in the process of being reworked and remastered, ideally better versions of these will be available - although probably not before Season 4 hits.
In the meantime: if you want to complete these, go hunting for some strategy guides, try and find players who can show you how to overcome these challenges and make sure you are with a team who is capable of following orders. These are entirely PUG-able without needing amazing-cool gear, but not -all- PUGs can finish them. I find I get about a 90% hit rate with these: for every 9 PUG teams that breeze through, I end up on one team that is comprised of moronic monkeys.
I have completed it with countless pugs.... the key is knowing what to do and having a strategy. Also, having someone who has completed it before lead the team is a good idea. The strategy we use isn't the normal ones posted here on the forums but it works like a charm. That being said, all it takes is one lousy non team player to screw it up generally. You don't have to be leet to beat it, but it does help if your team is competent. If you are having tons of trouble go take 5 minutes to replay cold call with your stf group and get freezie grenades for everyone and then try it again. Those little suckers can make a world of difference.
You also need people who can follow the lead of the leader. Spent 4hrs helping newbies and did everything like pming each one so no screw ups. TIme came where I said to the guy on 4 to go to 4 and he ran back in to 1-2 when it was all under control and left me soloing 3 and 4....we failed. If it wasn't one failing it was another and had to give up in the end wasting 4hrs precious hours. I've lead before so I know it's not my leadership and really tried everything to make it work. Some people just can't do stfs for the life of them. If they are so bad that you have to give them robot like instructions and then when things don't happen exactly as planned they can't cope there are just some people you can't lead, no one can.
I actually think the cure is the best of the STF's. Infected can be powered through, KA is not difficult just tedious and Terradome is difficult for even the best of players. The Cure takes thought and teamwork but it is very winnable. I have taken numerous people through it and have yet to not be able to complete it. A couple of easy things that can help you are knockback shields and make sure you have an engineer.
1) As mentioned - you do not need "uber l337 gearz" to do this mission. We do it now at VA rank, but ran it at RA, and was able to complete it as well. VA just makes it a touch easier.
The only gear "requirement" (ie, seriously - do not be "That Guy" - carry this stuff on STFs)
60 LARGE hypos (everyone !!)
60 LARGE shield charges (Engies may skip, you have a shield heal anyway, everyone else - have it)
60 LARGE Power Cells (Tac and Engies should be popping these like M&Ms)
Sci - One healer - Physicians Kit - everyone else - Geo kit
Eng - toys toys toys. Carry Fab or Bunker (yes, the dome is useful for a quick push-back)
Tac - Your best friends are the Tac Initiative and Security Teams. Bring lots of friends.
2) Coordination - you DO need a high degree of coordination !! Yes, having an experienced person be the group leader will help, but EVERYONE needs to follow directions. It only takes one knucklehead to go from a nice breezy 2 hour run (or less) to a 4 hour + nightmare. So, while YOU may be a good team player, is EVERYONE on that PUG a team player ?
3) Look in the other threads -- If you come on here AGAIN whining about how hard it is, how you hate it, etc etc etc etc -- sure, you will get some help, but really -- probably not the help you might really want.
So how about a different tactic ?? How about coming on here, stating "I am having problems with <insert area>" . Can one of you fleetie types help? Several have done so, and EVERY ONE OF THEM has gotten an invite to run with an experienced fleet !! EVERY ONE OF THEM !! Most got more than one invite, and if you look, there are TWO FLEETS who are offering open invites !!! 'ell -- I run it routinely with my group, I am considering running with them, just to compare notes !!!
Yes..they are hard. They should be. I do not even favor the "difficulty slider" that is going to be introduced, although I understand the business purpose behind it. (Although, the special gear should be limited to elite setting only -- you should have to *work* for it !)
You dont have to be in a leet fleet to run these, but it helps. Befriend leet fleets or members in them. Then when you need an stf done contact them and ask when the next run is on and if there are any openings. We take members of other fleets thru all the time. We even get pugged into other fleets runs to show them how to get it done with their fleets.
Seriously, if people are having trouble or getting frustrated then take a step back and evaluate your approach. In most situations I am finding its not the individual, its their team. Or lack of team work to be more presice.
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