Elite Tactical Reports - A Guide to STFs on Elite Difficulty
Note: This guide is intended to assist players attempting to complete the optional objectives on Elite difficulty. The strategies outlined here will work on normal difficulty as well, though they are perhaps more nuanced and complex than may be necessary for runs on the normal difficulty setting.
So, you completed the story missions, maybe tried an STF or two on normal difficulty, and now want to take on the nastiest, toughest PvE missions that Star Trek Online has to offer. Think you're ready? Think again! The Elite STFs are the most challenging PvE content in the game, and you can't charge into them without proper planning, a fine team of your fellow captains, and a properly-equipped ship.
If you're new to STFs, this probably isn't the thread for you. I suggest that you take a look at the following excellent threads for an introduction to STFs.
A primer on the Loot System
Additionally, if you think that a video walkthrough of these strategies would be helpful, please check out these excellent videos put together by the STF Raiders, these are the guys I run with when I want to know that we'll beat the mission.
I'm going to outline some general guidelines for the Elite STFs, then present detailed mission briefings for each of the six Special Task Force missions.
Ground Weapon Selection: For these missions, it is very useful (though not required) to have one of the STF ground sets when trying for the optional objectives. Time is very tight on these missions when trying for the optional objective, and the instant remodulation is invaluable when you consider how many times you will need to remodulate even at three seconds per remodulate. You are also highly recommended to carry a pulsewave assault weapon, as there are numerous groups of tightly packed Borg, and the area-of-effect damage allows you to get far more damage in. Your other weapon should often consist of a second pulsewave (Khitomer Accord) or a sniper rifle (Infected & Cure) so that you have flexibility in engagement ranges. On Infected especially, there are times when long-range damage is needed and a pulsewave doesn’t have the range. If playing a federation character, the MACO rifle and pulsewave assault would be recommended. For a KDF character, use a sniper rifle of your choice and the Honour Guard pulsewave.
Space Weapon Selection: As a general guideline on gear quality, the crafted mk 11 purple items or the mk 11 purple anti-borg weapons are a good starting point. Escorts should probably be running dual heavy cannons and quantum torpedoes, science vessels do well with dual beam banks and torpedoes, cruisers generally work well as beam boat unless you have an Excelsior or Negh’var cannon build. There are far more possible and reasonably effective space builds than would be convenient to discuss here, but by the time you’re ready for elite STFs, you should have figured out what works for your character.
Kit Selection: On the matter of kits, there are a few that stand out as being particularly useful for elite STF runs, which are discussed below:
Injuries and Ship Damage - Your Enemy: One of the biggest problems that people have when entering Elite STF missions for the first time is the injury system. When you (or your ship) are killed / destroyed, there is a significant chance that you will receive an injury. Injuries come in three levels of severity: Minor, Major, and Critical. Minor injuries are generally things that have little effect on your combat capabilities, so many players ignore them. Do not fall into this trap. Major injuries result in penalties that are quite noticeable, and critical injuries involve things like -10% to all damage dealt; a couple of those will completely cripple your ability to fight effectively. And guess what results in higher chances of major and critical injuries? Unhealed minor ones. The more injuries you have, the higher the chance that you'll get a crippling one. Remember that teams rely on each member effectively contributing, and you can't do that with a crippled ship. So please be sure to keep a well-stocked bank full of components and regenerators. As a rule of thumb I keep 40 major & minor versions of each healing item, alongside a couple critical ones. Happily, I almost never have to use the critical ones because I keep even minor injuries at bay. Players that don't heal their injuries is the first sign that someone doesn't know what they're doing in Elite STF runs, don't be one of those people. ;)
Tactical briefs for individual missions follow in storyline order according to the pre-season five progression.
Infected Space Briefing
Note: I copied this from the wiki article which I wrote, so this is not a case of plagiarism.
Tactical Walkthrough & Optional Strategy:
Infected Ground Briefing
This is the single hardest of the optional objectives in the entire game. It requires the entire team working in close coordination, and there is less than a minute margin for error. For this mission, the group should be broken up into two teams, one two-man team which is responsible for rescuing the Starbase personnel (rescue team) and a three-man team which is responsible for distracting the rest of the drones and killing them (distraction team).
Class Specific Notes:
Engineers should use the Enemy Neutralization Kit, since Weapon Malfunction on Heavy Tactical Drones is essential to surviving with a very aggressive strategy, and the explosives do wonderful damage against closely packed groups; Tactical Officers should use the Fire Team Kit, since you need as much DPS as you can possibly get. For Science Officers, since tachyon harmonic is extremely useful against Heavy Tactical drones, one should use the Borg Medical Analyzer or the Analyst Kit.
Team Composition & Gear Load out:
Standard recommendations about gear apply, with one change; switch out the Borg Tribble for Collective Static Grenades. These are extremely useful as they buy a few seconds for the distraction team to close with the tactical drones and unleash pulsewave attacks. When dividing up into teams, the first science officer should always go with the distraction team, along with one engineer officer, if present. The last slot on the distraction team should be filled by a tactical officer, though two tactical officers on the distraction team also works nicely. the rescue team does not need to be heavily DPS-focused, and any classes may fulfill this role adequately. Pulsewave assault weapons are considered mandatory for this mission because they are simply the most effective way to attack closely packed groups of Borg.
Mission Map: The rest of the walkthrough will reference the below map extensively. It is recommended that all team members memorize this map, paying special attention to trigger lines.
Link to the Mission Map
At mission start, do not talk to the NPC until the team is in position at the force field. One team member should stay back to talk to the NPC and start the mission timer once the other four are stacked up. From henceforth, the walkthrough will proceed with room-by-room breakdowns. NOTE: For the entire run, the distraction team should run in first to draw the Borg’s attention before the rescue team goes in to rescue the hostages.
TRIGGER LINES: DO NOT CROSS TRIGGER LINES UNTIL THE PREVIOUS ROOM IS CLEAR AND THE ENTIRE TEAM IS READY TO PROCEED. CROSSING THEM WILL BEGIN THE 15-SECOND ASSIMILATION PROCESS IN THE NEXT ROOM!
Room 1A: After clearing the hallway leading to 1A, the distraction team runs in, with the heavy tactical in the centre as priority target. Throw a collective static grenade at the centre group surrounding the heavy tac, and engage the Borg, taking care to not cross the trigger line during the clear, don’t advance past the furthest bench. After the initial clear is done, wait for the heavy tactical patrol to enter the room and engage; taking care not to use excessive knockback attacks. Let it be noted that the NPC hostages should be beamed up only after the room is clear so that the rescue team can assist the distraction team in clearing the room sooner.
Room 1B: After clearing room 1A, the group should move over the right side of the room and hide behind the potted plant while one team member ‘pulls’ the heavy tactical team from near the threshold between 1A and 1B, while taking care to not pass the trigger line. That person then retreats near the plant and hides with the rest of the team until the heavy tactical group is within the room, then engage with weapons that have low knockback. After the pull has been completed, storm the room, snatching the hostages on the left and dropping a collective static grenade on the centre heavy tactical group. Clear the hallway leading up to room two and wait behind the trigger line.
Room 2A: Repeat of room 1A tactics, with a helpful addition. Since there is a heavy tac group very near the entrance, it is possible and highly recommended to pull this group into the hallway (without crossing the trigger line of course) and destroy this group in isolation, which makes clearing 2A much easier.
Room 2B:The difference between 1B & 2B is that instead of being on the centre-left of the room as you enter it, the hostages are on the back right of the room, so the rescue team will have to be extremely quick, and the pull is even more important so that flanking attacks don’t kill the rescue team as they run in to rescue the hostages.
Room 3: In the hallway between room 2B and 3, clear the Borg normally until you reach the ramp leading to room 3. From the top of the ramp, snipe out the four normal drones in front of the door to room 3. You are now ready to storm room 3, the most difficult portion of the mission. the distraction team will stick along the left wall, and either have an engineer use the cover shield or throw a static grenade to distract the heavy tactical for a few seconds while the rest of the team snipes the workers. An alternative is to have a science character tank the heavy tactical while the remaining two members of the distraction team snipe the workers from the sniper locations marked on the map. The rescue team can simply advance to the marked sniper spots from behind the knee-high barrier and take out the workers. Do NOT advance past the sniper spots, since that will cause the Elite Tactical Drone to attack. It will ignore the team until the team advances past halfway through the room or attacks the elite. The room is much easer to clear if the Elite Drone does not immediately attack. Please note that shooting or destroying the nodes in room 3 can aggro the Elite, which you don't want.
Alternate Strategy: As a safer though perhaps slightly slower method, pull the Heavy Tac group on the left side of room 3 into the hallway, sniping it as it comes. This makes rushing the room far safer and is recommended if the party is engineer-light and thus can't knock it out with Weapons Malfunction.
Captain Ogen:In Captain Ogen’s room, the fight is quite straightforward, with the caveat that engineers should not use cover shields to trap him into his regeneration alcove, since this simply slows the fight down. Simply use a lot of team buffs and debuffs on Ogen and the fight should go quickly. Ignore the drones that spawn in halfway through the fight, since they transport in away from the platform with Ogen on it. After Ogen is dead and the drones are dispatched, have three people lower the force field.
Room 4: Run up to the area behind the trigger line and snipe the group of Borg in the entrance to the room using low-knockback weapons so that it doesn’t take too long to kill them all. Ensure that any engineers save their orbital strikes for this room, since one of the workers in each room (the super-worker) has extremely strong shields and is as hard to kill as a heavy tactical drone. The rescue team should attack the group on the left, while the distraction team attacks the left side group. Do not engage the heavy tactical and its group at the back of the room; they may be safely bypassed. After clearing the workers (focus on the super-worker first! It looks like a Heavy and is far harder to kill than a normal worker) and immediately beaming up the hostages, advance down the hallways towards room 5. On your way out of room four, any engineers present should put up a cover shield to block the exit from room 4, so that the heavy patrol which you did not engage is unable to pursue you.
Room 5:Before reaching room five, ensure that the team stops at the top of the ramp and snipes the drones (including the heavy tactical) before the team crosses the trigger line. The strategy for clearing room five is similar to room four, with the additional note that no one should attack the elite drone until the workers have been killed and the hostages beamed out.
Manus of Borg: Clear the center platform, and then move to the platform immediately to your right when you enter the room. Make sure that you don’t fall into the plasma soup. Proceed around the room in a clockwise manner, knocking tactical drones into the soup to kill them using knockback attacks such as sniper fire and sonic pulse. After the central generator is down, there are two possible strategies. Firstly, you can simply have the entire group huddling behind a cover shield put up by an engineer and shoot Becky. Make sure that whoever is targeted by her blue circle gets behind the cover shield immediately. Alternatively, the team can spread out and simply snipe Rebecca. If team spreads out, it should be noted that you can actually climb up onto Rebecca’s platform and use the two pillars on either side to take cover from her attacks. Once she’s dead, go pick up the loot drops from the central platform and pat yourself on the back for beating the hardest optional objective in the game!
Cure Ground BriefingIntroduction:
This mission consists of several distinct portions. Firstly, there are two different shield puzzles where transformers must be activated in sequence to lower barriers preventing further advance. Along the way, the team must free four captured Klingons which the Borg have captured for later assimilation and collect genetic samples from the Klingons which have died as a result of the assimilation plague. After both gates are brought down, the shield protecting the orbiting shipyards must be destroyed, after which the team must defeat Armek of Borg.
Class Specific Notes: Tactical captains should stick with the Fire Team Kit, Engineers are recommended to use the Enemy Neutralization Kit, since they can use the knockback from transphasic bombs to defend transformers, or use those same bombs, pre-positioned before the repulsor fields go up, to damage turrets. Engineers should also bring along the Fabrication Specialist kit since Quantum Mortars are highly effective against Armek of Borg in certain circumstances. Science officers, and the mission REQUIRES at least one science officer, MUST bring a medic kit or Borg medic kit for the Armek fight. For the rest of the mission, Science officers may use the Analyst or Physicist kits for crowd control and ranged damage, respectively. These two kits are highly recommended because they contain the Sonic Pulse ability, which is extremely useful when defending transformers.
General Strategy: When engaging groups of Borg, focus-fire on the Heavy Tactical Drones first, use area-of-effect attacks like Pulsewaves and Transphasic Bombs to quickly take down the Borg groups before freeing the Klingon prisoners and collecting the genetic samples.
Turret Takedown Strategy: People attacking the turrets (it is recommended that at least four players take down any turret) must bring the turret’s health down to slightly below half before the repulsor field goes down and the turret can be destroyed by planting a bomb on it. Once the field is down, the designated bomb planter must run in and set the bomb while the other team members shoot the small plasma turrets that transport in so that they don’t shoot the bomb-planter and disrupt the demolition process.
Transformer Puzzle Strategy: The transformer puzzles require that four transformers be activated in sequence and then defended until the beam brings down the gate. The first transformer is generally attacked by the largest number of drones, and thus should have the player best equipped with knockbacks and crowd control assigned to it. Generally, one person is assigned to generators one through three (generator four shouldn’t need a person defending it), another is assigned as a ‘floater’ roaming between generator one and two and assisting as needed, with the last person assigned as the runner who will activate the transformers and plant bombs on the turrets. After clearing out the Borg near the transformers, activate the first transformer. All five team members should attack the first turret, then the person assigned to guard generator one should peel off and keep the workers off the generator. The other four team members should move forward and take down the second turret. Once the second turret is down, the remaining team members should split up and assume assigned duties until the gate goes down. Once the gate is down, ignore the workers and simply rush forward to the next part of the mission. There is no reason to kill the remaining worker drones; that is simply a waste of time.
Shield Generator Strategy: There are a large number of Drones, including several Heavy Tactical Drones surrounding the shield generators. It is not advised that the team attempt to engage the entire mass of drones simultaneously. Rather, right around the group of drones between the shield generators and the final gate, the team should stop and take up sniper positions while one member goes forward and shoots one drone, then retreats to the rest of the team. The team is thus able to snipe one group at a time as this process is repeated until the number of drones is manageable. After the Borg are all killed, destroy the shield generators protecting the Borg Shipyards so that after defeating Armek you can beam up to your ship for the space portion of the mission.
Armek Strategy: Armek, the most difficult boss fight in Star Trek Online if you don’t know what you’re doing. Let me make this very clear: a Science Officer with a healing kit is absolutely required for this fight. There are a number of different variations on the basic strategy of distracting Armek in melee while the rest of the team kills him. Note that Pollyalloy Armor is highly recommended to grant physical resistance to the tank. Also note that Immunosuppressant hypos boost both melee damage and provide immunity to the assimilate attacks that Armek likes to use.
Things to avoid: Pets such as Horta and Security Escorts are absolutely forbidden in this fight, as are plasma grenades and multiple people engaging in melee with Armek. There can only be one tank at a time, and the medic should keep at least five to ten meters distance from Armek at all times.
The Tank: Any class can tank Armek effectively if they have healing support. Engineers can kill Armek quickly with the Enemy Neutralization Kit, Tactical Officers can stay alive a long while with Overwatch and apply damage resist debuffs to Armek, and Science Officers can simply stand there and keep themselves alive indefinitely.
The Kill: Again, there are a number of ways to effectively kill Armek, which depend on team composition.
Mortars: If the team has a large number of engineers, the engineers can camp outside the force field area and keep mortars deployed around the perimeter. In this strategy the tank can simply hold Armek’s attention while mortars do most of the damage.
Engineer Tank: As previously mentioned, Engineers with the Enemy Neutralization kit can manage the kill more or less solo with a medic healing. Other team members should simply stay around the perimeter of the combat area so as to avoid orbital strikes and snipe at Armek, applying debuffs as is practical.
Sniper Method: The fall-back strategy that works with any class mix: either have the medic tank or heal the designated tactical officer (since you aren’t using the above Engineer tank strategy) while the rest of the team spreads out and snipes, debuffs and calls in orbital strikes against Armek.
Pulsewave Method:This is a variant of the Medic Tank which can result in 30-second kills. Quite simply the medic stands in front of Armek, engaging him in melee while the other four team members stand about two or three meters behind Armek and bombard him with pulsewave assault weapons. When the cover shields pop up, everyone should be within the perimeter of the cover shield area, the medic in melee and the rest with their backs to the cover shields. Fastest known method.
Cure Space Briefing
Note: I copied this from the wiki article which I wrote, so this is not a case of plagiarism.
1. The first part of the mission consists of defending the I.K.S. Kang form waves of assimilated Klingon ships spawned by the shipyards and associated Borg Cubes while simultaneously destroying said Cubes
2. The Captains then hail the I.K.S. Kang after all three Cubes are destroyed; it then warps out.
3. All Captains proceed to mop-up surviving Borg vessels.
4. An Assimilated Carrier warps in, which must be destroyed.
In order to destroy the Cubes, you must destroy first the lower nanite probes (the ones closest to the shipyard) then the upper nanite probes in order to make the Cube vulnerable.
After three lower probes and one upper probe are destroyed, one Borg Negh’var and one Borg Raptor decloak at the shipyard and move to attack the Kang. It is recommended that they be destroyed immediately.
Once the first Cube is destroyed, the ships spawned at the other two locations change to Raptors. Once two Cubes are destroyed, the final one spawns waves of Negh’var battle cruisers.
Player Captains are able to use healing abilities on the I.K.S. Kang. Tactical team in particular is recommended as the Kang will not mange its own shields.
Destroy all three cubes in under fifteen (15) minutes while not permitting the health of the I.K.S. Kang to drop below 75%
Khitomer Accord Space
Khitomer Accord Space Briefing
1. Destroy the Tactical Cube
2. Deploy ships to control probes warping in and defend the Time Vortex
3. Bring the left gate to 10%
4. Bring the right gate to 10%
5. Kill both gates simultaneously
6. Kill Donatra
General Information & Tactics:
When the mission begins, there is a single tactical cube which must be destroyed to begin the countdown timer on the optional objective. This tactical cube is far weaker than the one in Infected; no special strategies should be needed to combat it.
After the tactical cube is destroyed, the two people on probe duty should assume positions between the time vortex and the gates which the probes come out of. The other three should move towards the left gate and begin attacking generators. Once two generators are down, a cube will warp in, and the team (assisted by the person on probe duty if possible) should focus all available fire on the cube to bring it down quickly.
It should also be noted that the person on right gate duty (since fewer probes come out of right gate) can bring down generators on right side so long as they are careful not to attack the Cubes which warp in. This makes the job of the assault team significantly easier.
Once both transformers on left are eliminated, the left gate should be brought down to 10% health, no lower. By doing this the mission becomes significantly easier, since both gates will continue to spawn only probes, which are far easier to kill than the Spheres which would warp in if one gate gets destroyed. It is recommended that one ship be left behind on the wounded gate to stop the probes that continue to warp in if this method is used.
When the above process has been repeated on the right side and both gates are down to 10%, the two gates should be killed simultaneously. It may be necessary for a second person to come back to the left gate and assist in destroying it.
Once both gates are destroyed Donatra will warp in. Us the same tactics that function against tactical cubes and Donatra should go down without too much difficulty.
Khitomer Accord Ground
Khitomer Accord Ground Briefing
Khitomer Accord Ground is perhaps the easiest of the elite STF missions, with highly skilled groups completing the optional objective with seven (my personal record) or even eight minutes remaining on the optional objective timer. In this mission, which takes place in the past during the tutorial mission preceding the Borg attack on Vega colony, the team must stop the Borg from ‘upgrading’ a large number of old Borg that have been in hibernation through the use of the Isolinear Molecular Reconverters. The IMRs must be destroyed after eliminating the six shield generators protecting them, and then an easy boss fight and the mission is done.
Class Specific Notes: When taking care of the control room, Science Officers benefit from a kit which grants the Sonic Pulse ability, and Engineers can use the Forcefield Dome from the Bunker Fabrication kit to push back drones around the consoles which permit the shield power transfer to be extended, giving the rest of the team a longer time to destroy the generator. Tactical characters should simply stick with the Fire Team kit for DPS.
Remember, as always, to kill Heavy Tactical Drones first, even before Elite Tactical Drones. They do almost as much damage, and die far faster. After the first few corridors when the party reaches the main room, it should be cleared of all drones, and then the generators destroyed. When destroying generators, remember to NOT engage the Borg that transport in, simply run to the next generator in the sequence so that you can complete the mission as quickly as possible.
At the beginning of the mission, there is an elite tactical drone immediately to your right down the ramp. There are a few others, but the elite tactical should be your primary target. After that, there are a couple of groups before another room with a single elite tactical drone. Taking that down shouldn’t be hard at this point for you, proceed down another couple series of ramps, clearing Borg groups along the way.
At the end of the series of stone ramps, you enter another room that looks like the inside of a Borg vessel, with an elite tactical drone on a raised platform to the left of where you enter. It is possible to bypass this elite drone and the couple at the bottom of the ramp by simply turning sharply to your right when you enter and jumping down a level. There will be a heavy tac and a few regular tactical drones that you need to dispatch. After this room is a long corridor. To your left entering it is the boss chamber, to the right the rest of the hallway, with one of the IMR controllers ahead and to the right, protected by a force field. Approximately halfway through this long corridor, the timer will start for the optional objective, which gives you fifteen minutes to destroy both IMR controllers.
After the long corridor, you enter the primary generator room at the bottom of a ramp guarded by a medium-sized group of drones. In this generator room there are six generators and three levels two on each level. The generators on the right as you enter are the beta group, the generators on the left as alpha group. Right when you enter the generator room, behind the tactical drone is a console which, when interacted with, will transport the user to the generator control room. Within the control room is a centre console used to lower the shields on the generators and six smaller consoles around the perimeter which can be used to extend the time for which the shields are lowered. When a generator has its shields lowered, lightning will shoot from the ceiling to the console which you need to interact with to extend the shield transfer. As mentioned, science officers and engineers often have the easiest time managing to knock down the Borg which transport in around the shield extension console.
In order to clear the generator room, you need to clear all the Borg from the room, then send the designated person to the control room.
The top floor is designated as 1, the middle as 2, the bottom as 3. When clearing the room, it is recommended that you begin clearing from generator 1A, move to 1B, jump down to 2B, run over to 2A and clear it, then jump down from 2A to 3A and clear it. There is a heavy tactical drone in the middle of the room and an elite tactical drone near 3B. The control room is then staffed, and the team destroys generators in the reverse order in which they were cleared, communicating with the person in the control room to lower the appropriate shield. You then need only to run to each of the two IMR controllers and interact with them to start the destruction process. If you need the accolade to get the Borg Science Officer, simply walk into one of the IMR controllers and let yourself die.
After destroying the two IMR controllers, move to the previously inaccessible end of the long corridor and clear the room full of Borg. There is no particular strategy for this room aside from not rushing in and drawing the agro of the entire room. Pets shouldn’t be used for this reason, simply stand outside and draw the boss and one side of the room towards you before clearing the remainder of the room.
Acknowledgments & Situational Awareness Guide
This concludes the Elite Tactical Briefing; I hope this helps other folks get the MACO Commander accolade. I would like to thank the members of the STFRaiders channel for all the many missions that they've run with me while I've learned and honed these strategies. Additionally, I’d like to give personal thanks to StarFleetCommander, Meynolt and Mistriever for all the STFs that they've run with me and advice given.
Credit for creating the "Felczer Maneuver" which describes the pulling of heavy tactical groups from rooms 1B & 2B into the preceding rooms goes to Brandon, who came up with the trick while several of us were helping him get the optional objective on Elite Infected Ground.
The below guide to situation awareness is very good, and was written by Phasecloaker and reproduced here with his permission:
SA is an over-used, under-appreciated term. It describes your mindset when you do things, not equipment, tactical procedures, or chain of command. With good SA, you’ll be able to do well in any mission, any team, at any stage of the fight. You don’t need a mk xii set to play like a pro, all you need is to know what’s going on. Lastly, it is important to know the difference between a poorly executed success, and a well-executed failure. It is natural to not learn from a success, and even worse, not appreciate the good lessons from a good failure.
Always gang on the heavy/elite first. The reason is that heavy and elite can kill you, others cannot. You don’t get candies for single handedly wiping all the drones early, but you get killed and injured if you don’t kill the heavy hitters asap. Most groups come with a heavy, shoot them first. Rank targets in descending order, most powerful first, less drones last. Also, this way will make sure the whole team shoots the same dude, making the fastest kill. You can learn this in 3 seconds, yet most people in EliteSTF still plays like a noob.
Aggro is a two-sided coin, both sides are gold if you do it right. This is one of the most important part in ground STFs.
It is important not to aggro a group that your team is not really to fight. Groups usually come with a heavy, if you touch a drone, the heavy will come after your team. Having to fight two heavies is difficult even for the best of teams, especially when the other team members are not aware of the fact that there is a double aggro. Split-beams and full-autos are okay, just keep the right distance. Also, there are many places (in KA) where you can simply skip entire groups, simply skip those.
There are other times when you actually want to aggro a group, like in time constrained mission, infected. It is beneficial for the most experienced player be a pacer, pre-pulling the next group before the current group is cleared. This saves valuable time while not endangering the team with two heavies.
(at this time, plasma grenades are bugged and has an aggro range of about 50m)
Use your skills to maximize the combat effectiveness of your team at the right time. Unfortunately, pros don’t get a flashing flag when they do the right thing here. For example, a sci should lead with tachyon harmonics, followed by the team killing a heavy in 5 sec; an eng would also lead with weapons malfunction to protect the approach of the rest of the team; a tac would save the tactical initiative and tactical team for an expected long-difficult fight ahead. Tactical placements like cover shields are just as important; place it up front, at a bottleneck. Skills are less visible because there is no huge FX coming out at the end of a barrel, but it makes good team a great team.
You want to keep your shield at max most of the time, otherwise a heavy drone can one-shot you. Find physical obstacles and cover shields for recharge. Pop out to shoot, hide if you get too much aggro. If you aggro the whole group, hide to spread aggro around. It is important here, to read the borg and see which of your teammates it is targeting, that determines where you would go next. Some players naturally generates more threat than others, they keep aggro longer, which can leave more margin for lower threat teammates.
A special little piece for dealing with elite. If you have elite’s attention, you probably want to limit your exposure to less than 1 shot at a time. Kite it around corners, obstacles and cover shields. It will follow you while the rest of the team shoots it in the back. When it turns around, you pop out and shoot it in the back. Cover shields are great, if you make one when you have aggro, it will start hitting the shield. It’s as much skill as it is art, to handle an elite.
In the simplest case, you can simply melee it and have the team shoot it in the back.
Positioning – Drones
Cash in the flanking bonus! In general, you’d only worry about this with heavy and elite. The simplest case is to have a 2/3 split, in front and in the back. Following a tachyon harmonic shield disable, you can kill a tac with 2-3 shots in the back, which takes 1-2 sec.
Positioning – Turret in Cure
The bomb planting part fails, even in good teams, for two reasons: 1) planter getting shot, or 2) planter getting stuck in cover shields. The key is to have the team spread out surrounding the turret, each coving a 72-deg arc. Shoot the little turrets as soon as they pop so the planter doesn’t get shot. If you see the planter getting stuck around shields, destroy the little turret, then step in and shoot at the turret. There is no need to change roles, just help your planter buy more time.
Positioning – Armek in Cure
Following the well-trusted “shotgun” method, here’s what the shotgunners should be aware of. Armek has this nova aoe attack that take everybody from full shield to half health. This attack is triggered whenever two or more players are within 2m radius of his center, which is different from the damage range of the attack, about 5m. The solution is to stay away just enough. At the beginning of phase 2, move in a little bit, when the cover shields pop, back up against the shields. This way, you will be just far enough to not trigger the aoe attack, but still be inside the shields to do damage. You can kill Armek even if he fires the aoe attack multiple times, but you’d know somebody’s position is off if he even fired it once, and that should be corrected.
Learn on the Fly
The best way to learn is to watch your teammates during the mission. If you’re learning, or not sure what to do, simply wait in the back. Watch what your teammates are doing, and know why they are doing what, then join them. If you get mixed up in the fight early, you can’t watch, and you can’t learn. Nobody is going to know if you stay back for 5 sec and watch your team kick ***, everybody will notice if you make a mistake and the team spends 40 sec to clean up.
Be Supremely Confident of What You Do/Not Do
Be confident of what to do and not to do because you know exactly why. Over time, you will get familiar with the individual pieces of the mission and learn to gel with any team. You will naturally know what to do, because you know what should be done next. You can confidently proceed because you know your team is ready, and you know the next move, not because commands from Teamspeak. If you are a sci, go ahead and lead with tachyon harmonics; if you are an eng, go ahead and apply weapons malfunction, plant bombs; if you know you should wait, then stand there and do nothing. Know the missions, know the team, and the current situation, and the next step would become clear.
I tried to make this as generally as possible, but some less-aware details are important too. With a good mindset going into STF, you can do well in any team, any mission, and learn faster than the holding-hands approach. You don’t need mk xii set or Teamspeak to play like a pro; a good player can make the best decision even in the absence of perfect information.
• Lack of SA or SA degradation is the main cause of transportation accidents and deaths. People generally don’t die if they lack the skills to parallel park; accidents occur when people don’t know what they are doing, but proceed anyways without corrective actions, and finally beyond their limits.
Reserved for the space portion of "Into the Hive"
Reserved for the ground portion of "Into the Hive"
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