Arm Thyself - A Guide to Ground Combat
Since S4 hit I've seen a lot of people saying they're struggling with ground combat, "this is impossible", "the game is unplayable" and so forth. Well I'm Jack Ryder and you.are.wrong! Ok I'm not Jack Ryder (but thumbs up for anyone who got that) however there is a way to get past those enemies causing you trouble and with luck, this thread will be able to help you.
The purpose of this guide isn't to hold your hand through every engagement. What we will be doing is arming you with the knowledge you need to make informed choices and giving you advice on how to overcome the more difficult enemies.
I will concede certain enemies need a balance check, some are definately tougher than they should be but remember this; there is nothing, NOTHING, in this game you cannot beat as it stands now.
2: General Advice
3: Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys? - Devices and Consumables
4: What on Earth are You Wearing? - Ground Equipment
5: Say Hello to my Little Friend! - Weapon Types
6: I Have the POWER! - Energy Types and Weapon Bonuses
7: Know Thy Enemy Part 1
8: Know Thy Enemy Part 2
9: Thats Classy - Career Specific Advice
10: Are You Sitting Comfortably? - Miscellaneous Q&A
If you have helped me make this guide, directly or indirectly, a little or a lot, your name goes here! If you want specific credit for something PM me and I'll sort that out.
What follows are general tips players of all careers should be able to apply to make life easier on the ground.
You Are Not Alone, I am Here With Yoouu
Well not me specifically (though if you see me in game feel free to holler for help) but the point is you have an away team. Obvious, yes, yet too few recognise just how important they can be, despite their questionable AI and turning into five year olds with a new toy every time you give them a device.
Using the right officers with the right skills makes a difference, as does making sure they're well equipped, we'll get to equipment in another section. Just as important as knowing what works with bridge officers is tailoring them to your play style, look at guides, respect their wisdom but they're not gospel, make sure it works for you.
I will say this though; the computer is a better healer than you are, probably. Bad news for Medics, or is it? In solo PVE more often than not it's better to let an away team member handle the healing while you save your healing skills for group play. Look at it as a way to try new things.
Ready, Aim/Press Tab, FIRE!
Shooter mode is not only optional but can be switched in to and out of in an instant. If you're good with this FPS style of play then you'll likely do well with it, if not then stay mostly in RPG control mode. However even if you're not great in shooter mode it can still be useful if something like a thalaron mine needs zapping fast and you shouldn't struggle too much with something like that since they don't move. On a side note I find RPG controls better in PVP since a human opponent can break your target lock pretty easily but I've never been anything but average with FPS's, seriously I can't hit a thing in HALO with a rocket launcher and always end up battering the enemy with the end of it.
Bear in mind, though, that your aim doesn't need to be perfect. Having the target in your reticle will work just as locking a target in RPG mode. A good way to make sure you'll hit something is to look at the surround graphic of the reticle, if the outline bar is red your Primary attack is in range and on target and if the small dots either side are red your Secondary attack is in range and on target. In short, don't shoot 'till you see the red bit which might be either side of their eyes! Also remember you don't do more damage for a head shot or less if you're aiming at an arm or a leg. Oh and as for your Tertiary attack, these are always melee no matter what you are using so you have to be all up in their face.
Another cool thing with Shooter mode is that because you don't have to have target lock to fire you can use AOE weapons with a bit more cunning to hit more targets, so long as the target is within the AOE from where you fired it.
Is That Rock Or A Polystyrene Prop?
Who cares, get behind it! Taking cover is now more important than ever, your shields regenerate after a few seconds of not taking fire and gives you a couple of seconds to use a hypo if needed. If however there is no cover, then fall back out of weapons range (around 45m at most). A stun pistol or other means of slowing your opponent helps greatly doing this, linking nicely to carrying a variety of gear.
The expose/exploit system is still present however using it will be a little different. On weaker enemies it's not usually worth taking advantage of an expose because you can take them down with relative ease anyway, maybe if they are at full health and you have an exploit attack ready it may be worth it but not usually. However on stronger enemies taking advantage of exposes can be a huge help. For this reason you should carry at least one exploit weapon at all times and keep an eye out for exposes on harder enemies.
Crouching Sehlat, Hidden Targ
One thing often overlooked in ground combat are stances. There are two stances (not counting the default standing mode). The first of which is aim mode (default key X), this stance increases your ranged damage by 33% and reduces movement speed and really should be used in most combat situations, though if you need to move quickly hitting the run key (default key SHIFT) will cancel this stance and get you moving. The second is crouching (default key C) and confers a 50% dodge bonus reducing incoming ranged damage but also a 100% resistance penalty to melee attacks. You must also be still, moving will cancel crouching mode and dont use it when facing melee enemies, unless you like respawning. Both stances can be used at the same time so pay attention to the situation and use them as appropriate but beware federation dog, crouching before a mighty Dahar Master will get you a one way ticket to Gre'thor in many small crates!
Lights, CAMT, Action!
CAMT stands for Crew Attack My Target and is the crosshair icon on the Away Team panel when you're on the ground, you can drag this to your power tray or keybind it (default Y). This will order your entire team to attack whatever you are currently targeting and they will continue to do so until the target is defeated. This can be critical in taking down a powerful enemy fast enough to not get wiped out by it and I will be reffering to it in this guide so make sure you remember it!
Pop Quiz! What is CAMT? Just checking...
Now Just You Wait (3/4's of) a Minute!
A very underused function, and I'm guilty of this too, is the pause function. While on the ground you can pause the instance for up to 45 seconds. You can use this time to organise a co-ordinated first strike on an enemy group. Switch to RPG controls, pause then select which powers you and your bridge officers will open with and where those powers will hit. Depending on your away team set up you can use this for an strong alpha attack, set up a defensive position or apply control effects precisely.
You can also pause if things take a sudden turn for a worse and you need a moment to take stock of the situation and counter attack.
Is my Universal Translater Working?
Not sure what I'm going on about? Here I will make a quick list of abbreviations. I have explained some of them in detail but look here for ones I havn't or if you need a quick reference.
RPG: Role Playing Game. In this guide RPG mode refers to the more traditional method of controlling your character on the ground and is the default setting.
FPS: First Person Shooter. FPS or Shooter mode refers to the second control type available which is similar to shooting games in that you aim manually and fire.
DPS: Damage per Second. This refers to the damage sustained use of an attack will do.
DPI: Damage per Impact. The damage a single use of an attack will do. It is important to think of attacks with longer cooldowns in this way as they may hit hard but have low DPS.
CAMT: Crew Attack my Target. Just making sure...
HP: Hit Points. The damage you can take before being knocked out.
NPC: Non Player Character.
AOE: Area of Effect. An attack or power that has an AOE will hit all targets within that area.
Where Does he get Those Wonderful Toys?
These are far more imprtant than many seem to think. Using the right device in the right situation or a well timed hypo can swing combat in your favour. Please note I'm only listing devices that everyone can access.
I know inventory space is limited for most but remember, Bridge Officers not in your away team can be used as storage for devices.
Hypospray: Size matters but only to a point. Obviously Large hypo's are better than small ones but it's not always worth running back to a Starbase to get some, most of the time replicating small ones from your ship will do. In any case you want at least 20 (one stack) on your Captain and each of your away team members, with 20 in your inventory to top up with. For STF's or prolonged missions against an enemy you struggle against keep 100 (five stacks) in your inventory or on unused bridge officers.
Shield Charges: Of limited use now that taking cover is more important, still carry 40 for STF's though or if you just don't have anything else to fill a device slot.
Power Cells: I've never really needed them. Keep 20 handy in your inventory or more on your unused bridge officers just in case you're in a situation where just a little bit more damage will see you through. However they are slightly more important for Tactical Captain's during STF's if you have a dedicated healer in your party.
Tribbles: Always handy, non-consumable and cute. The buff is small but it lasts for an hour, you can even swap it out of a device slot once activated. Make sure you and each away team member has one. C-store tribbles are nice but not necessary, for tribble breeding guides go here or buy them from the Exchange as they're usually pretty cheap. Two tribbles of note are the Triolic Tribble when fighting Devidians and the Cryo Tribble when fighting Breen, bred by feeding a comet cocktail (on sale at Drozona Station after completing "Spin The Wheel) and a Deferi Snow Tuber (reward for completing "Cold Comfort") respectively with any type of tribble.
Attack Horta: ZOMG they are adorable! Helpful too. Again a c-store one isn't necessary, they aren't better, just different in that one has higher attack/lower defence and the other same but reversed. The one you can craft is a balance of attack/defence, playing "Mine Enemy" twice will get you the hatchling pet (even MORE adorable!) and schematic needed to craft, then you just need the appropriate data samples. Not only do they attack but provide an extra target. The long cool down means they are best saved for difficult encounters. Did I mention Horta's are ADORABLE!? I named mine Melty and I feed him rocks but you have to pet him with a special glove...
Triolic Pattern Enhancer: What was once a quite nice device is a little less useful now. This is a reward for the Devidian Episode "What Lies Beneath" and works by setting up a small area in which the occupants take less damage from all energy types except proton, which will do more damage. The only source of proton damage is the secondary fire mode of the Synchronic Proton Distortion Rifle so thats only a problem in PVP if someone happens to be carrying one. The real problem is that it seems ot generate a lot of threat and is very flimsy, it'll probably be destroyed as soon as you set it down. It also has a small chance to spawn an NPC that will either help or attack you.
Frequency Remodulator: This device can be replicated from your ships replicator. This is used to overcome the Borg's new Adaption ability. It does take a while to use and the number of extra shots it gives you varies (by design). Be aware the tooltip is wrong, you can move without cancelling the remodulation which is good because you often need to back off when using it. Give one to yourself and each of your Bridge Officers when fighting the Borg.
Bear in mind your Bridge Officers are children at heart and will play with this little gadget even if you're not fighting the Borg, so it's best to take it away from them for their own good against everything but Borg.
What on Earth are You Wearing?
Seriously. You know you can disable the visuals on ground equipment right?
Anyways, using the right equipment, while obvious, is very important so its a good idea to know whats what.
I want to get a very important idea into your head so read this carefully. You are NOT required to play a certain role. You can vastly change your tactical capability by simply switching kits so don't pidgeon hole yourself into being a "DPS" or "Tank" or whatever. Sometimes using a different kit is exactly what you ned to win.
With this in mind, carry as many kits as you can. You'll likely have a favourite and will want to spend Skill Points for kits you use often or in group play but even without speccing for certain kits you can still use all of them effectively. More is definately more in this case.
The difference maker for these are the bonuses attatched to them. Below Elite difficulty you won't need to carry a wide variety of these so you just need to understand the bonuses and pick what suits you best.
[Pha] [Dis] [Pla] [Tet] [Pol] [Ap]: These bonuses give you a 20% resistance to the relavent energy types (I'm sure you can figure out which is which). This bonus has a decent impact on combat but is really not necessary below Elite difficulty where you might like to change Personal Shields to suit your opponents. Occasionally you will see a single bonus give resistance to two energy types, EG. [PhaDis] but the resistance for the two types will be 10% each.
[Cap]: Increases the maximum capacity of a shield by 10%. This is less important now that shield strengths have been lowered and using cover is more important.
[Reg]: Dramatically increases shield regeneration. All you'll ever need is one of these bonuses and your shields will fully regenerate in most cases when not taking damage for 3 seconds, [Reg]x2 is more than you'll need. Scales with item Mark.
[Ene]: On taking damage has a chance to increase the players damage with energy weapons by 10%. Not bad, not great either you'll likely find other bonuses much more useful.
[PBDmg]; On taking damage has a small chance to trigger a small AOE damage pulse centered on the player scales with item Mark. This can be nice in confined areas but you'll find in most cases when this triggers it hits nothing.
[PBKb]: On taking damage has a small chance to trigger a small AOE knockback pulse centered on the player. Unless you like to get up close and personal you'll have the same problem as with [PBDmg].
[Rev]: On taking damage has a small chance to damage an attacker using energy weapons. The amount is based on the attackers damage so the harder they hit you, the harder they hit themselves. If you defeat a player with this in PVP you are obliged to say "Why are you hitting yourself".
Phase Shifted Personal Shield: This is a reward form the Devidian Feature Episode "Skirmish". It has a [Cap] and [Reg] bonus in addition to a massive resistance to psionic attacks that scales with item Mark peaking at 41% for Mk XI. Most psionic attacks are deadly and this shield is a big help.
All you'll need below Elite difficulty is one all purpose personal shield with the bonuses that work best for you and a Phase Shifted Personal Shield for psionic using enemies but you know what, if you really only want to carry one type of Personal Shield you can get away with just using the Phase Shifted Personal Shield.
Invariably fugly to look at but ever useful. Unlike Personal Shields there are many different types of Body Armour beyond the bonuses attatched to them. All characteristics and bonuses scale with item Mark.
Energy Dampening Armour: Gives more resistance to damage from all energy weapons.
Pollyalloy Weave Armour: Gives more resistance to physical and kinetic damage.
Energy Harness Armour: Increases damage with energy weapons.
Physical Augmentation Armour: Increases damage with melee weapons.
Integrated Targeting Armour: Increases chances of critical hits.
Recoil Compensating Armour: Increases critical hit damage.
[Pha] [Dis] [Pla] [Tet] [Pol] [Ap]: Just like with personal shields, these give resistance to energy types and there are double resistance bonuses too. Unlike personal shields the resistance scales with the item mark and is much smaller.
[Phys]: Increases resistance to physical and kinetic damage.
[HP]: Increases maximum hit points by an amount that will let you take an extra hit or two, 'tis nicer than it sounds.
[HPP]: The description for this bonus is a little unclear. What Adrenal Stimulator basically means is that there is a small chance to heal some HP on taking damage. While small, when activated you'll be able to take an extra hit or two.
[RegSH]: A small but constant bonus to shield regeneration. You really should be using a shield with a [Reg] bonus and taking cover when necessary so this really isn't all that helpful.
[RegHP]: A small but constant bonus to HP regeneration. Not all that spectacular but better than [RegSH].
The bonuses attatched to Body Armour are quite small so what is important here is picking the right type of armour. The more you can carry the better but as a minimum I carry an Energy Dampening and PollyAlloy Weave armour depedning on whether the enemy uses more energy weapons or melee and explosive weapons. If you like to go on the offensive more then you might like an Energy Harness or Physical Augmentation armour (depending on what you attack with) and for crit freaks Integrated Targetiing/Recoild Compensating Armour works very well with Anti-proton weapons with crit bonuses.
Bridge Officers will always do less damage than a player even with the same weapon so what I like to do is use defensive body armours to keep them fighting a little longer, however the Integrated Targeting Armour/Anti-proton crit strategy works well for them too.
Say Hello to my Little Friend!
This is the one you've been looking forward to eh :p how do I put holes in stuff.
I will be listing the weapons Primary and Secondary firing modes with details including range, effects, whther they expose/exploit and so on. It is not always effective to think of everything in terms of DPS so I will be rating Secondary firing modes in terms of Damage Per Impact or DPI.
1: Single target, 25m, high DPS
2: Single target, stuns, 25m, low DPI, EXPOSE
1: Single target, 25m, high DPS
2: Charge up, Single target, knockback, 25m, high DPI, EXPLOIT
Wide Beam Pistol
1: Single target, 25m, high DPS
2: Cone based AOE, 15m, medium DPI, EXPOSE
1: Multiple burst, 25m, high DPS
2: Cone Based AOE sustained burst, 15m, medium DPI, EXPOSE
I love pistols now. Sustained fire from the primary attack of any of these can decimate the enemy. You choice of pistol should depend on what you want from the secondary attack. I wouldnít recommend using the compression pistol as your only exploit weapon though, rifles do that better. Another cool aspect of pistols is that the Primary firing modes are quite fast meaning you can switch targets quickly without slowing the pace of your attacks, this works particularly well with the Compression pistol but I should say its not quite the same as sweep attacks with the Full Auto Assualt Rifle and the Assualt Minigun.
1: Single target, 35m, medium DPS
2: Charge up, Single target, knockback, 45m, highest DPI, EXPLOIT
Split Beam Rifle
1: Single target, 35m, medium DPS
2: Cone based AOE, 35m, high DPI, EXPLOIT
High Density Beam Rifle
1: Single target, 35m, medium DPS
2: Charge up, Line based AOE, knockback, 35m, high DPI, EXPLOIT
Full Auto Assault Rifle
1: 3 shot burst, 30m, high DPS
2: Sustained burst fire, 20m, medium DPI, EXPOSE
Your choice of weapon depends on how you want to take advantage of exposes. The Sniper Rifle will do this better on a single target, while the others will do less damage but potentially on more targets. The High Density Rifle has the knockback effect so itís a good way to maintain distance against multiple enemies in conjunction with control powers or in narrow areas. While the split beam rifle lacks this ability, it is likely to hit more targets. The Full Auto Rifle can produce decent damage by combining the primary and secondary fire modes; it isnít an exploit weapon but can be swept across multiple targets in shooter mode. It may not be the most efficient but it sure is fun.
Assault MinigunÖ Itís Time to Kick Cranial Ridges and Chew Bubble-gum
1: Charge up, Multiple burst, 30m, high DPS
2: Charge up, Sustained burst fire, 20m, medium DPI, walking speed only, EXPOSE
Pulsewave Assault Rifle That Isnít Really A Rifle, itís A Shotgun
1: Cylidrical AOE, 20m, increased DPS at closer range
2: Cylindrical AOE, knockback, 15m, increased DPI at closer range, EXPOSE
Blast Assault Rifle
1: Single target, 30m, medium DPS
2: Charge up, target based AOE, knockback, 30m, medium DPI, EXPOSE
Now if you thought the Full Auto Rifle was fun get ready for the Minigun. In shooter mode you can sweep across multiple targets to deal damage as you please, using a power cell before engaging the secondary fire mode can deal moderate damage to several enemies. Now the shotgun, because it is a shotgun and not a rifle, is quite a pleasant surprise. At point blank range it can tear your enemies apart, seriously even my SCI can one shot weaker enemies but that is also problem, you have to get close. Depending on what youíre fighting this can be quite dangerous but against the right enemy, at point blank the shotgun will own. The Blast Assault Rifle was un-remarkable before and to be frank, still is. Itís not that itís a bad weapon itís just there are many better ones.
Synchronic Proton Rifle
1: Single Target, 30m, low DPS, Anti-proton damage
2 Chain up to 4 targets, 30m, low DPI, Proton damage, EXPLOIT
Generally this weapon is not very good at all. Only when fighting Devidians should you use it. When fighting Devidians however, and when they are out of phase, the secondary firing mode does very good damage. I've heard people say this weapon is weak even on Devidians, invariably they are using the secondary firing mode when the targets are not out of phase.
This weapon is obtained form the Devidian Feature Episode "Spin the Wheel"
1: Single target, 30m, medium DPS, 10% chance to "Chill" (slow), 25% chance to "freeze" (hold) "chilled enemies, Cold damage
2. 4 second Charge up, cone AOE, 15m, high DPI, 50% chance to "Chill, 25% chance to "Freeze", Cold damage, EXPOSE
Woo baby this is a nice gun. In addition to the very nice damage from the secondary firing mode it reliably applies crowd control effects. The problem is that takes a while to charge up and if you've drawn a bit of attention beforehand theres a good chance you'll be face down before firing and if you do fire, you'll attract a lot of attention. For this reason you might like to give it to a Bridge Officer before this becomes a double edged sword for your Captain.
This is a reward for the final Episode in the BReen Feature Episodes, when I remember exactly what its called I'll update this, Cold something or other...
Federation Type 3 Phaser Rifle
1: Single target, 35m, high DPS, Phaser damage
2: Single target, 35m. high DPI, applies Nadion Blast on hit, Phaser damage EXPLOIT
For an antique this sure is a nice weapon. It deals decent damage with both its Primary and Secondary firing modes, most Tactical Captain's should have little trouble one-shotting Ensign level enemies with the Secondary attack.The Nadion Blast effect is an AOE knockback and damage pulse centered on the target that hits every time.
This weapon is a reward for the Devidian Feature Episode "Night of the Comet"
I really need a lot of time ot get to grips with these, sorry, I've let you all down :(
For now I can provide some very general observations but if someone knows of a guide containing melee combos let me know and I'll link it here.
These have a wider attacking arc so you can hit multiple enemies if they are bunched closely together.
Tsunkade Falchion/Nausicaan Tegolar Sword
These have narrower attacking arcs but seem to hit faster allowing you to put the hurt on a single target.
Tertiary Energy Weapon Attacks
The third attacking option for energy weapons. All these deal physical damage.
A 3 hit combo. The first attack can knockback and all attacks have a chance to EXPOSE. If the target is exposed the third attack will become an EXPLOIT dealing decent damage. When weilding a pistol you seem to do a bit less damage but with a rifle you attack slower so DPS between the two is pretty much the same.
Performs a single attack with knockback and a chance to EXPOSE
Quality Over Quantity (of numbers relating to item Mark... too wordy?)
It should be noted that the quality of your weapon, i.e. common, uncommon, rare and very rare, increases the base damage with each level of qulaity. The difference is quite small but, for example, a very rare Mark V weapon will do slightly less damage than a common Mark VI weapon, and I mean slighlty less as in only 1 or 2 fewer points of DPS. However if one of the bonuses on your very rare weapon is [Dmg] that will send the DPS over the common weapon of the next Mark up.
So, if you have a Mark V weapon with, say, [CritH]x3 it will do as near as makes no difference the same damage as a common Mark VI weapon but you'll have that 6% bonus to critical hit chance. If your Mark V weapon has [CritH]x2 and [Dmg] then it will do more damage than the common Mark VI weapon and have a 4% bonus to critical hit chance.
This holds true through all levels of weapons so just grabbing a weapon of a higher Mark when it becomes available may not be the best choice if you currently have a good quality weapon already.
I Have the POWER!
Energy Damage Types
What sets each Energy Type apart is its Proc, a 2.5% chance to apply an effect. While these effects may not have a huge impact on combat when they do activate they can swing a battle in your favour.
Phaser: 2 second hold with -50% run speed. This will have a very small impact in combat, if you need a stun effect to help control the flow of combat use a stun pistol, do not rely on this.
Disruptor: -10% damage resistance. This can be quite helpful, particularly on stronger opponents, even more so when using CAMT.
Plasma: Applies plasma DOT to target. While the damage is nothing special it still isn't bad, can save you a shot on one target.
Tetryon: Drains a small amount from enemy personal shield: Of very limited use, because it activates so infrequently, has such a small drain on shields and the fact not every enemy has a personal shield means this energy type is close to useless.
Polaron: Applies Weapon Malfunction. While preventing an enemy using its energy weapons can be a big help, sometimes you really don't want to encourage certain enemies to melee you. That said the dangerous melee using enemies are likely to do that anyway.
Anti-proton: 20% bonus to critical hit damage. When it comes down to dealing raw damage, this is your friend. Used with an Integrated Targeting body armour this is arguably the best offensive energy type. Also sounds coolest, yes that is important.
If you want to deal damage Anti-proton and Disruptor are the best choices although plasma is also a good option, particularly for non-tactical players that will have to fire more shots in general. Polaron isn't bad on paper but not so good in practise and itís the same story with Phaser. Avoid Tetryon, if you want to take out an enemyís personal shields there are far more reliable ways to do it, like Anti-proton and Disruptor.
Non-Energy Weapon Damage Types
Psionic: Comes from the special abilities of certain enemies and certain Bridge Officers. This damage type hurts and passes through your Personal Shields so be very wary of it.
Physical: Damage dealt by melee attacks, 50% of physical damge passes though your Personal Shield so melee using opponents can be quite dangerous.
Kinetic: Damage dealt by explosives, such as Photon Grenades, Quantum Mortars and the like. Passes through your personal shield and kinetic dealing attacks have been buffed in S4 so be careful.
[Dmg]: Increases damage by all weapon attacks.
[CritD: Increases damage dealt by critical attacks by 20%
[CritH]: Increases chance of critical attacks by 2%
[KB1]: 5% chance to knockback target 5 feet
[KB2]: 10% chance to knockback target 10 feet
[KB3]: AOE [KB2] centered on target.
[DOT1]: AKA Bleeding, Chance of 75 Physical damage over 15 seconds
[DOT2]: Chance of 75 Radiation damage over 15 seconds
[DOT3]: Chance to Apply Radiation Aura, an AOE version of [DOT2] centered on target.
The bonuses on your weapon work best when complimenting the energy type you're using. [CritD] and [CritH] work best with Anti-proton weapons while the various [DOT]'s work best with plasma weapons. The [KB]'s are nice if you like or need to maintain a distance between you and the target. [Dmg] has a fairly small effect that only really becomes aparant over protracted combat.
If you're not matching energy type and weapon bonus and want to do damage you'll generally get more mileage out of [CritD], [CritH] and the [DOT]'s. Control freaks like me will probably prefer to have one of the various [KB]'s on their weapon's.
Know Thy Enemy - Part 1
One of th emost important things to know is what you're fighting. If you have an idea of what to avoid and what to use beforehand you're odds of victory will be so much higher. AT times you may struggle, but I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is nothing that cannot be beaten in the game.
Bosses and Mini-bosses will not be listed as generally they require a specific strategy which can be found elsewhere and you will be able to plan ahead for them. This may change later.
I will not list every enemy, if you're struggling to beat a lone Targ you're doing something seriously wrong and should see the rest of this guide first. What I will list are notable enemies, the strong ones or ones that could give you a hard time. Alnogside their name I will list the damage types you can expect and the level of the enemy expressed as follows:- I - Ensign, II - Lieutenant, III - Commander, IIII - Captain
Combat Medic - Phaser - II
This guy is a real pain. You don't need to fear taking any real damage from one of these but they will not only heal but revive their allies. The last thing you want is for a dangerous enemy to get back up again so if you see one of these they need to go down first. High Priority Target.
Engineer - Phaser - II
Not a real threat on its own but will use a shield recharge on its allies. If you're lacking in raw firpower stronger enemies may survive long enough to cause you trouble with one of these guys in support. Medium Priority Target.
Commander Engineering Officer - Phaser - III
This guy is similar to the Engineer but will also use fabrications on top of shield recharge and, of course, he'll be tougher to take down. However this one still isn't a great threat. Medium to High Priority Target
Commander Science Officer - Phaser - III
Will use control effects to give you a headache and his allies an advantage but won't do much in the way of damage. Medium Priority Target
Commander Tactical Officer - Phaser Kinetic - III
This one is dangerous. In addition to strong energy weapon attacks this enemy will use the now beefed up Photonic Grenade. While other targets in support such as the Combat Medic will need to go down first you'll need to keep one eye on this guy and take him out fast. High Priority Target.
Targ Handler - Disruptor - II
Neither the Handler nor his Targs will pose a great threat however if the Handler is still alive he will keep spawning Targs as you defeat them. This can distract your bridge officers a lot while a more powerful enemy attacks. A medium to high priority target.
Swordmaster - Disruptor Physical - II
For most players the first memory of ground combat defeat will be at the hands of a Klingon Swordmaster and for good reason. This is a very dangerous opponent at close range, using a Pulsewave shotgun and Bat'leth attacks, let him get too close and half an hour later you'll still be trying to find your face and apologise to it. The key here is to keep your distance using stun and any other control effects you have while using CAMT to take him down fast. High priority target.
Dahar Master - Disruptor Physical - IIII
Like a Swordmaster only much, much worse. This enemy doesn't use a Pulsewave instead preffering very strong Dual pistols, meaning he can hurt you at a distance and in melee with his Bat'leth, often stripping your shields away by the time he gets close enough to melee you so its a good idea to employ similar tactics to a swordmaster. VERY high priority target, needs to go down first.
Mortar - Disruptor Kinetic - II
Who named this guy? Oh well this enemy will generate a Mortar that deals the new, more deadly Kinetic damage. That said Mortar attacks (the fabrication not the lizard) are pretty easy to avoid because a big round graphic will appear on the ground well before it lands giving you more than enough time to move. However if you ignore him and your Bridge Officers destroy the Mortars (again fabrication, not lizard) The Mortar (lizard) will spawn another Mortar (fabrication) which might be a bit distracting for them. Low to medium priority target.
Attack Saur Handler - Disruptor - II
See Klingon Targ Handler, exactly the same, medium to high priority target.
Raq'wiq - Physical - IIII
Did I spell that right? Uses strong melee attacks and is very tough, lotsa HP on this chap. I'd dispatch any Saur handlers first then move on to this with CAMT. High Priority target
Enforcer - Disruptor Physical - III
His attacks are about medium in strength but will melee you with control effects to boot, can be a pain. Medium priority target.
Matron - Disruptor - IIII
A real nasty cow this one, will use a confuse attack which although you can work around is quite annoying at best and deadly at worst. However she cannot confuse your entire team at once so use CAMT and take her down first. High priority target.
Elite Raider - Disruptor - III
An Elite Raider can cause you some headaches, before blowing your head off. It uses a strong hold attack which will keep you in place for long enough for it to finish you off and if you survive that, the next hold will be coming mere moments later, there doesn't seem to be an awful lot of time btween the expiration of the effect and the use of it again. Aside from this it features strong Energy weapon attacks so if you're not getting held he'll still be a problem. In all likelyhood you will be getting held so definately use CAMT. High Priority target.
Raid Leader - Disruptor - IIII
You guessed it, a nastier version of an Elite Raider, stronger tougher harder faster longer... wait thats Daft Punk isn't it? You get what I mean. Very High priority target, use CAMT and send him for a dirt nap first.
Centurion Medic - Disruptor - II
Pretty much the same a Federation LT. Medic, heals and rez's, high priority target.
Centurion Engineer - Disruptor - II
Again, very similar to a Federation Engineer, medium priority target
Sub Commander Engineer - Disruptor - III
Doesn't pack too much of a punch but does use thalaron mines, very dangerous if you spot them too late and you may like to take out the mines as they appear. Medium priority target
Commander - Disruptor - IIII
Tougher than a Sub Commander and with a bit more bite this one also uses thalaron mines. However if you can shrug off his normal attacks it is often a better idea to clear away his buddies first so you can finish him off with ease, it may be prudent to get rid of his thalaron mines early if your away team can't be trusted to get out of the area of effect. Medium to high priority target.
Guard Commander - Disruptor Plasma - II
Uses plasma grenades, which hurt, a lot. Other than this he isn't much of a threat, stay mobile and roll when you see him chuck a grenade. Medium priority target.
Shadow Guard Commander - Psionic Disruptor - II
Uses a psionic attack which goes through your shields and as such is very dangerous. High priority target.
Guard Captain - Psionic Disruptor - IIII
Not only uses the shield bypassing psionic attack but with spawn several psionic allies that also use this attack, can take you out in moments. Very High priority target, use CAMT, this one must go down first.
Beta - Tetryon Physical - III
Will use a mix of strong energy and weapon attacks. He also employs an identical hold attack to the Nausicaan Raider enemies so theres plenty of ways this guy can be a problem for you. Use CAMT, High Priority Target.
Alpha - Tetryon Physical - IIII
Just like with the Swordmaster and Dahar Master this is pretty much a bigger, badder version of a Beta. Don't undersell it though, this enemy is very dangerous and should go down first. Very High Priority Target, use CAMT.
Know Thy Enemy - Part 1
All Jem'hadarcan now use the "Shroud" ability, a personal cloak like the one Tactical Captains have access to. This makes them a more difficult enemy to fight, not only in locating them before they can hurt you but with some Jem'hadar able to use it to really bring the pain. Thats not the worst of it though...
An old and terrible weapon from the Dominion War makes a return... Subspace "Houdini" Mines, cloaked explosives which are always planted in pairs. Once set off you will be hit with a powerful kinetic blast with additional aftershock damage and likely set off its twin too, the sum of which can kill you in one go, even on normal difficulty, if your health and shields are anything but full and will almost certainly kill a Boff. The good news is, you have to be really close to set one off, I was able to take them out with my Sci Captain's Sonic Pulse power before setting them off. You will be able to see them when you're close but if you're moving it only means you have a split second to shoot it down. You can also see a "beam in" effect when they are planted so keep your eyes open.
Before I go into individual analysis I want to make one more reccomendation. Careful, organised and fast strikes are key to victory. Because of the risk mines present to mevement and the many ways jem'Hadar can hurt you, knowing what you're going to do before engaging will increase your chances of succes, identify your targets, prioritise them and waste no time bringing them down
Jem'hadar Demolitionist - Polaron Kinetic - I
I know... I am indeed saying an Ensign level enemy is dangerous. His energy attacks aren't anything to worry about but he will use Photonic Grenades and plant Houdini Mines. Medium priority target.
Jem'hadar Shock Trooper - Polaron Kinetic - II
The SHock Trooper employs moderately damaging energy weapon attacks, uses the Rally Cry power to bolster his allies and plants Houdini Mines. Medium to high priority target.
Jem'hadar Veteran - Polaron Physical Kinetic - II
Veteran's use a Polaron Auto Assult Rifle that can put down some moderate damage on you and your group but will also approach under Shroud and use the Lunge attack (like the Tactical Kit power) which actually hurts more than you'd expect, as well as planting Houdini Mines. Medium priority target.
Jem'hadar Assualt Officer - Polaron Kinetic - III
An Assualt Officer seems fairly simple but he's actually quite dangerous. He uses both a Polaron Snioer Rifle and Auto Assualt Rifle and unlees I'm very much mistaken, I saw something resembling an AI that tries to flank you and you Boffs. Will also plant, you guessed it, Houdini Mines. Medium priority target.
Jem'hadar Elder - Polaron Physical Kinetic- III
This enemy will close in on you under its shroud and start dealing strong melee attacks with a very high chance to inflict bleeding, what it lacks in variety it makes up for in damage. Left unchecked they will cause some serious hurt. Oh yeah, plants Houdini Mines, go figure. High priority target.
Changeling - Physical - IIII
Very dangerous, will use strong melee damage attacks AT RANGE that will also hold as well as AOE knockback attacks centered on himself, in addition to his high HP this means you've got a tough enemy on your hands. Put him at the top of your "to zap" list, very high priority target.
Interrogator - Phaser - III
Will use a decent heal with annoying frequency, if you're disorganised he could actually keep the entire mob alive. High priority target.
Gul - Phaser Kinetic - III
Fairly strong attacks and quite tough, also uses grenades which hurt a lot more now. I'd take down an Interrogator first but still a high priority target.
Legate - Phaser - IIII
The cause of much suffering since S4. Will use a holo-generator to spawn photonic Gils which distract much in the way Targ's and Saur's do. If there are any Interrogators present they should still go down first however the holo-generator is squishy and doesn't move so you could take them out as they appear. Otherwise use CAMT and take the Legate out fast. High Priority.
Phantasm - Psionic - IIII
Very deadly, some say impossible (but he so isn't) uses psionic attacks and life draining attacks that will heal itself and its allies. Your strategy for this one is dependent on what he has with him. If they're all Ensign/LT. level enemies you may get better results clearing them away first provided you can do it quickly, if not throw everything you have at the Phantasm and keep an eye on your HP. Very high priority target.
Psi Warrior - Psionic - II
Deadly for the same reasons as every other psionic using enemy. Medium priority target.
Battle Leader - Anti-proton Physical - III
Now don't get scared, he has an Anti-proton weapon attatched to his wrist, he is not a wizard and will not turn you into a frog. Don't be scared of the Anti-proton weapon either, it doesn't hurt too much. Be scared of his hands, since they are sharp, deal quite a bit of damage and this enemy is very good at invading your personal space and staying there. High priority target.
War Master - Psionic Physical - IIII
While this one has a Psionic attack it is actually quite weak and he (he/she/it?) won't use it very often. The problem are his strong melee attacks, this enemy will literally try and tear you apart with its bare hands and is quite good at staying close enough to you to do it. Very High Priority Target, use CAMT and take it down first.
Ak'ched Gaurd - Polaron Cold - II
This nasty bugger will use the dreaded Cryo grenade. Not only does this do a lot of damage but moments after impact it can freeze you too while the AOE left by the grenade continues to damage while you get shot at, if you see it coming roll out of the way, if you're too slow you've got just enough time to be frozen outside of the AOE so roll either way. He also uses a stun rod close up which can be a problem, he'll usually throw the grenade first but he might have friends ready to lob one at you. High priority.
Ak'ched Soldier - Polaron Cold - II
This chap also uses the Cryo grenade so be careful. He doesnt have a stun rod but does decent ranged Polaron damage so be wary. Medium to high priority target.
Vel'sh Scientist - Polaron - III
Despite their higher rank than the Ak'cheds typically I don't find them as much of a threat, mainly because they don't use Cryo grenade. However do not underestimate them, they can still be dangerous. They use Tri-corder scan which will allow him and his fellows to hit you harder. He'll also hit you with a strong Tachyon Harmonic which can wipe out a sizeable chunk of your shields, sometimes completely, in one go in addition to the knockback chance. Medium priority.
Vel'sh Tactician - Polaron - III
They won't use Cryo grenades, or the skills of the Vel'sh Scientist but they do a bit more ranged damage and have a Cryp-eyebeam attack which can freeze you in place. Medium priority target.
The Borg... DUN DUN DUUUUUUN!
The Borg have "Adapted" for S4 and are now more dangerus than ever. All Borg can now Adapt to your energy weapon attacks, once adapted all your energy weapon attacks will do just 1 damage. There are three options once this happens; carry a second energy weapon of a different energy type, although they will eventually adapt to that too when you'll either have to use a Frequancy Remodulator to bypass the Adaption or melee them, the latter option is very risky because of the Borgs other new ability.... All Borg can now Assimilate you or your Bridge Officers. This is bad, very bad, turning allies into enemies and if it happens to your Captain, all you can do is watch as you kill your friends. The Borg are able to do this at close range when your HP is around 20% (more testing needed) so tyr and keep your distance while keeping your HP up.
Since all Borg can Assimilate, the safest option is to reduce the number of enemies as quickly as possible. The good news is that standard Drones are quite squishy once you get around the Adaption so take them out first and do it fast. Any other kinds of Borg won't pose too much of a threat after this. I know the various Tactical drones can be a threat also but you should be able to shrug off their attacks long enough to drop the Drones. I've heard stories of people getting one shot by Elite Tactical Drones but if this is happening to you you're either playing on Elite or there's something wrong with your equipment. You could try and take out Tactical type drones first but if you can't do this quickly enough you may find your Bridge Officers shooting at you or even get surprised by a standard Drone yourself. Expect to encounter Plasma and Physical damage from all Borg enemies.
At the moment I'm missing Terran's and Fek'ihri.
We Make Things Go... BOOM!
Grenades have been given some TLC with S4 and are now much more useful to you. In addition to having their damage vastly improved, in shooter mode you no longer need to keep a target lock to use them. It will take some practice to master but you can now throw them over obstacles allowing you to attack without coming out of cover. Wanna know the best bit? Now plasma grenades no longer hurt allies! Meaning your away team can't set fire to you and vice versa, maybe they didn't want you dead after all...
Buff Up, Take Down
When using weapons with high DDPI, buffing up beforhand as much as possible, using aim mode and getting into a flanking position will often result in one-shotting even tough enemies, or at least decimating their HP considerably. At range, a Sniper Rifle works best but if you can pull all the elements mentioned above off at close range, and you really wanna show off, use the secondary attack of a pulsewave shotgun, there lies some serious damage.
mistformsquirrel not only has a brilliant forum name but also some great information specific to Tactical Captain's, go check out The Tactical Officer's Uplifting Primer for Ground Combat 2.0
It has always been the case that for all but the most skilled medics, the AI was a better healer than you. Now that ground combat is a much quicker affair this is even more of a prominent issue an away team member may well pushing up daisies before you can get a heal off. So, let them do it. It is often a better idea for a Science Captain to use control effects in solo play. Using roots against enemies that like to get all up in yo face like the Borg or Klingons can be a life saver. Using CAMT to focus your team on another target while you apply fragile holds like Anesthazine Gas and Stasis Field to other targets can give you the survivability to get past a difficult mob. If youíre going to do this in group play, make sure your allies know which targets you will be placing holds on.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
If you're going to be a Medic, there are some very useful powers you will eventually have access to that can mitigate the damage you take before you're hit. Nanite Health Moniter provides a buff that will stay on you for a while and heal you as you take damage up to three times and the cool down is as long as the duration so its a good idea to keep this on yourself or a party member in tricky situations. Vascular Regenerator is a Heal over Time power, using it just as you start taking damage will help greatly with cancelling out bleedthrough damage or even weak to moderate attacks when your shields are down. The various Hypospray powers are more useful than they seem, while the debuffs they clear are rarely encountered, the damage resistance buffs they apply are very useful, identify the knid of attacks you'll be facing beforehand and use them as apporpriate.
I'm Not Hiding, I'm Strategically Placed...
The time it takes to place down multiple fabrications means that one is often destroyed before you've finished placing another. Now, fabrications generate quite a bit of threat and will often distract an enemy from firing on you. Two ways around this are to place a cover shield and placing your fabrications behind that (Thanks to Shinkuu_Akagan) or to set a waypoint for your away team behind cover or before engaging the enemy to place your fabrications first, give them a friendly zap and let them come to where you've placed these fabrications.
Oh No You Don't!
Engineers have access to some really useful control powers. Fuse Armour is a fantastic power, applying a slow and/or root ot the target. Weapon Malfunction make s big difference on enemies that typically or exclusively use energy weapons and should be used on the heavy hitter in an enemy mob but be careful some enemies have strong melee attacks that you don't want to encourage them to use. Chroniton Mine Barrier doesn't hit too hard but applies a slow effect, however Transphasic Bomb DOES hit hard, very hard. Clever placing of these, in narrow corridors or in front of a corner you're hiding behind can make the enemy really regret approaching you.
More to come as I practise tactics or they are suggested!
Are You Sitting Comfortably?
Then we shall begin.
If theres anything you want to ask about and its not covered already post a reply or send me a PM. If I don't know the answer I shall find out, either way it goes here.
However, this has just gone up so no ones asked anything yet, I'll just put some sample questions in for now.
Q: Whats with all the bad jokes? Do you think you're funny r something?
A: No, I don't think I'm funny. I think I'm hilarious.
Q: Do you have some sort of Karen Gillan fixation?
A: No not at all, I just have a small shrine, some rope, large sack and a folder I've labelled top secret.
Q: You do realise you're pretty much talking to yourself right now?
A: Yep, its usually the only intelligent conversation I can get *rimshot* :D
This ones a real question!
Q: So am I going to need to reroll my character for ground traits and/or respec?
A: Not likely. Ground traits aren't a deciding factor for ground combat, you're only really going to want to do that for min/maxing for PVP and even then its not that critical. As for Skill Points, you can get by fairly well on Normal or Advanced difficulty without even spending a single point on ground skills. Of course they help and you will perform better in groups but you'll only start to really suffer for not spending SP on ground skills at Elite Difficulty or if you play lots of gorund PVP.
Q: I've heard Pollyalloy Weave armour is best at Endgame but I'm using Energy Dampening, what about the rest of the game?.
A: Generally speaking, yes it is but it really depends on how you're playing. If you're good at keeping your distance then Pollyalloy wont be much use and you'll want that Energy dampening Armour to take the sting out the Tactical Drones attacks. If you're more the up close and personal tupe, or if you're the one tanking Armek, you will want Pollyalloy Weave Armour. More importantly than this choice though is to have Plasma resistance on your Personal Shields and Armour. As for the rest of the game, most of the damage you'll face is from Energy Weapons, while I advocate carrying a variety of gear, from a defensive standpoit you'll get more mileage out of Energy Dampening Armour.
Feedback and constructive criticism is welcome but be gentle, this is my first time (writing a guide that is). A few things are written from memory so feel free to point me to any mistakes.
Got any jokes you think I could crowbar in here? Send them to via PM (don't post them it'll spoil the surprise!) you will of course get credit in the contributors area way up at the top there.
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