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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
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.

Greetings Captains!

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.

Newbie Guide

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 doesnít 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 Neghívar cannon build. There are far more possible and reasonably effective space builds than would be convenient to discuss here, but by the time youíre 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:
  • For tactical officers, the Fire Team kit is what I generally stick with unless my character is trying to tank Armek, in which case I switch to the Security Protocol kit for Overwatch and Draw fire. Supressing Fire against heavy and elite tactical drones combined with DPS-boosters are always good choices.
  • For science officers, the Analyst kit is quite popular since it includes Tachyon Harmonic and Sonic pulse for crowd control and shield-stripping to take down heavy tactical drones. I will also use the Physicist Kit for some nice ranged damage. When tanking Armek, or running Infected Ground, I will also frequently switch to the Borg Medical Analyzer for the Tachyon Harmonic and healing support. The Medic kit can substitute for that if you never fought Armek before Season 5.
  • For engineering officers, the Enemy Neutralization kit is highly recommended, as the explosives do excellent damage to enemy groups, and Weapon Malfunction is key to staying alive against heavy and elite tactical drones. The Fabrication Specialist kit has uses in the Armek fight, permitting quantum mortars to bombard him from range. Bunker Fabrication is an option when guarding transformers in Cure, though the transphasic bombs from Enemy neutralization are generally superior due to their knockback effect.
Ground Equipment Selection: Youíve got four slots for items, and gear for each slot must be carefully selected. One of the things that you should always, always have is a ready stock of hypos. I routinely carry eighty large hypos on my STF characters. If you donít have the MACO set, large shield charges are also worth considering. If you have a Tribble of Borg, the damage resist buff is very handy. The Ophidian Cane is another noteworthy item, and is highly recommended for guarding the transformers in Cure Ground, as it is guaranteed to stop the workers from interfering with the transformer. It goes without saying that a remodulator is essential. If you donít have a remodulator, you have no business in even a normal STF. Fractal Remodulators from the Defera invasion crafting are worth the effort of collecting crafting materials.

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.