Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 The Ground Playbook 2.0
07-07-2011, 04:21 AM
Post 1: Introduction

Rules:
Don't talk about The Ground Playbook.
Away teams consisting of one player-controlled captain and four bridge officers are on this thread's topic.
STFs are off this thread's topic. Violators will be reported to the moderators.
Ground PvP is off this thread's topic. Violators will be reported to the moderators.
Anyone on this thread found attempting to restrict the number of BOs available to players in missions shall be booed loudly.
Foundry authors who fail to add sufficient respawn points in their ground combat maps shall be booed loudly.

Table of Contents:
Post 1: Introduction [YOU ARE HERE]
Post 2: Outline of Ground 2.0 Changes
Post 3: BO Management
Post 4: Borg Tactics
Post 5: Tactical Admiral's Playbook
Post 6: Engineer Admiral's Playbook
Post 7: Science Admiral's Playbook
Post 8: Tactical Captain's Playbook
Post 9: Engineer Captain's Playbook
Post 10: Science Captain's Playbook
Post 11: Tactical Commander's Playbook
Post 12: Engineer Commander's Playbook
Post 13: Science Commander's Playbook
Post 14: Tactical Lieutenant Commander's Playbook
Post 15: Engineer Lieutenant Commander's Playbook
Post 16: Science Lieutenant Commander's Playbook
Post 17: Tactical Lieutenant's Playbook
Post 18: Engineer Lieutenant's Playbook
Post 19: Science Lieutenant's Playbook
Post 20: Battle Control
Post 21: Ground Skills to Spec Into
Post 22-29: Reserves
Post 31-40: Ground Playbook 1.0
Post 40+: Reader's Remarks
Lt. Commander
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Posts: 120
# 2 Outline of Ground 2.0 Changes
07-07-2011, 04:22 AM
Nerfs! Nerfs for all! PWI isn't buying Cryptic out! Hasbro is!

Hitpoints? Nerfed!

Shields? Nerfed!

Crowd control? Nerfed!

Turrets? Nerfed!

Cooldowns? Nerfed!

OMG AA. They nerfed everyone! Why would I still want to play?

Because ground weapons are OP now! All weapons are more powerful than in ground 1.0.

However, your question is still a fair one, especially if you're in need of help on the ground; due to the poor judgment of the badly misguided Tribble test community, most ground mobs are overpowered on all difficulties, including Normal. Being a member of the Tribble test community requires that a player download a second client. This alone requires a level of technical expertise beyond the abilities of the typical player.

Naturally, such accomplished players have expectations beyond that of the typical first-time MMOer whom I believe consist a majority of STO's population. These players have no compunction against difficulty, so the mobs are overtuned. Mobs are overpowered across the board.

You can die on Normal now despite good planning, even to low ranked mobs. This is a terrible change in philosophy. The player used to have control over difficulty via the difficulty slider. Now the developer has been given more control over difficulty, regardless of the player's difficulty slider. The increased pace of combat is also unfavorable to older players who can't react that fast. Normal should never demand perfect play (but it does in this case). Ever.

As such, this thread is now more important than ever.

OMG AA. That sounds terribad! Give me some good news before I /RAGEQUIT!!!!

I'm sorry, I can't help you there. The only good news is that the guns in your hands are buffed. That's where the good news ends. Almost every fight can kill you now, even if you didn't sign up for Advanced/Elite hard modes. Some people like facing death with every single encounter. I'm not one of those people, and I don't feel that all players should be subject to such difficulty, especially in a game with a difficulty slider. This sudden change in Cryptic philosophy has weakened my support for Cryptic.

Ground Combat 1.0 was a very fun game of whack-a-mole Team Snipers where you didn't have to worry if there was no cover so long as you had good medics and shields to help you out. Ground Combat 2.0 is nothing more that a overly-fast paced game of Shotty Snipers, but it's not quite a FPS, either. You now have to whack all the moles at once in the shortest time possible.

I humbly request that the readership now observe a moment of silence in loving memory of Ground Combat 1.0.

But I really hated Ground Combat 1.0!

Silence.

~~ In Loving Memory ~~
~~ Of Ground Combat 1.0 ~~
~~ February 2, 2010 - ~~
~~ July 7, 2011 ~~
~~ "Expose & Exploit" ~~
Lt. Commander
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Posts: 120
# 3 BO (Bridge Officer) Management
07-07-2011, 04:23 AM
In the current high-damage environment, the best racials for any BO are Resilient and Peak Health.

Proper training and equipping of your BOs is now more important than ever. Make sure all BOs have a stack of [Large Hypo]. [Large Shield Charge] is helpful as well if you can afford them. The majority of BO powers can be found at the Power Store. However, there are a number of notable exceptions among rank 3 skills.

The lamentable addition of shared cooldowns in Ground 2.0 works like this: If a BO has two copies of the same power, then the shared cooldown between them is roughly half the cooldown of what the cooldown is for a single copy of that power. Having three copies of any power (except fabrications) is pointless.

Guardian:
Photon Grenade 1, Photon Grenade 2, Draw Fire 3, Suppressing Fire 3
Weapon: Wide Beam Pistol
Armor: Polyalloy Weave
Tribble: zin
This BO's very existence is the child of Ground 2.0. Attempts to draw fire away from your healers. Requires a great deal of micromanagement and pauses to use effectively. Have this BO attack mobs going after healers via the Guardian's personal CAMT button (crosshairs left of the guardian's face). Plays that include a Guardian BO are Coin plays.

Medic:
Dylovene 1, Medical Tricorder 2, Medical Tricorder 3, Vascular Regenerator 3
Weapon: Sniper Rifle
Armor: Polyalloy Weave
Tribble: zin
This BO got nerfed hard. Dylovene was supposed to be buffed, but there was some strange AI behavior given the nature of the buff, so it wound up nerfed instead. Worse, Dylovene no longer offers melee damage resistance. The heals are also nerfed because of shared cooldowns. Healing generates a lot of agro, so this BO will need to be watched. Plays that include a Medic BO are Safety plays.

Shield:
Weapon Malfunction 1, Shield Recharge 2, Shield Recharge 3, Reroute Power to Shields 3
Weapon: Pulsewave Assault
Armor: Polyalloy Weave
Tribble: zin
This BO got nerfed via shared cooldowns. Healing generates a lot of agro, so this BO will definitely need RPtS3. Unfortunately, RPtS3's uptime was nerfed from 80% (12s/15s) to 33% (8s/24s). Plays that include a Shield BO are Snow plays.

Exposer:
Tachyon Harmonic 1, Stasis Field 1, Electro-Gravitic Field 3, Tricorder Scan 3
Weapon: Sniper Rifle
Armor: Polyalloy Weave
Tribble: zin
Something about Ground 2.0 has greatly reduced the number of exposes available in a battle, even if you have several of these BOs. Electro-Gravitic Field 3 is the renamed Gravimetric Shift 3, and it also got nerfed. Plays that use a lot of Exposer BOs are Fire plays.

Turret:
Shield Recharge 1, Turret Fabrication 1, Turret Fabrication 2, Turret Fabrication 3
Weapon: Minigun
Armor: Polyalloy Weave
Tribble: zin
The updated graphics given to turrets was just a sugarcoat for yet another nerf. Deploying a BO's turrets now takes about 25 seconds because of shared cooldown. The grenade buff also means that turrets need to be spread out somewhat. Turrets should still be deployed from 31 to 40 meters away from enemies to avoid premature pulls. Plays that use a lot of Turret BOs are Tree plays.
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Posts: 120
# 4 Borg Tactics
07-07-2011, 04:25 AM
OMG! BORG! PANICCCCCC!!!! /FLEE

No. Don't flee. Retreat in an orderly manner.

Everyone on your away team has to have a [Frequency Remodulator]. This non-consumable device may be replicated in space. If you beam down to a Borg map without at least five of them, you're screwed. If you're a Rear Admiral or higher and you don't know who the enemy is before beaming down, have [Frequency Remodulator]s in your inventory and ready to equip on BOs.

Borg now have an adaptation mechanism; after a player shoots them about 4 times (it's random, so maybe sooner, maybe later), further shots will have no effect. AoE weapon attacks that hit multiple drones will count as multiple shots in this counter. Borg adaptation also affects turrets, so no Turret BOs. Borg drones walk slowly, so there is also no need for a Guardian BO.

Worst of all, Borg now have a full-blown assimilate power. You have to be in melee range to have this cast on you... so put down the Lirpa and DON'T STAND IN MELEE RANGE! If left unchecked, whatever character is afflicted by Assimilate will eventually become hostile to the player and the player's BOs. The only counter is on a very long cooldown: Nanite Health Monitor.

It is best to commission a second medic with the following powers just for Borg ground combat:
Anti-Borg Medic
Medical Tricorder 1, Medical Tricorder 2, Vascular Regenerator 2, Nanite Health Monitor 1.

Now, as for actually fighting Borg:
Since each shot is precious, you need a Sniper Rifle. You'll get about 4 shots off. Then run away (40 meters away) and use the [Frequency Remodulator] to dispel the not-so-obvious 60 minute Adaptation debuff from yourself. Then move back into firing range, and you'll get about 4 shots off...

And then what?

Then run away (40 meters away) and use the [Frequency Remodulator] to dispel the not-so-obvious 60 minute Adaptation debuff from yourself.

And then?

Then move back into firing range, and you'll get about 4 shots off.

And then?

Then run away (40 meters away) and use the [Frequency Remodulator] to dispel the not-so-obvious 60 minute Adaptation debuff from yourself.

And then?

...I hate you.
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Posts: 120
# 5 Tactical Admiral's Playbook
07-07-2011, 04:26 AM
Use your superior damage and the Security Protocol kit to defend your healers. Strike Team is a long-duration, long-cooldown damage buff that should be used just before a fight starts.

Whiteout
Kit: Security Protocol
Medic x2
Shield x2

In the high-damage environment, a high-healing away team offers the best chance of survival.

Snow Ember:
Kit: Security Protocol
Exposer x2
Medic
Shield
Currently the best Fire play for tacticians since this play has more shield healing than Safety Fire and exposes are less valuable in Ground 2.0.

Safety Fire:
Kit: Security Protocol
Exposer x3
Medic
In Ground 1.0, this was the best Fire play available to tacticians. Now this play is a little lacking in healing, but still has a chance.

Inferno:
Kit: Security Protocol
Exposer x4
An all out offensive, with only your [Large Hypo] to save you. Not recommended due to lack of healing.

Snow Willow:
Kit: Security Protocol
Turret x2
Medic
Shield
Currently the best Tree play for tacticians since this play has more shield healing than Safety Pine and exposes are less valuable in Ground 2.0. Do not use against Borg.

Safety Pine:
Kit: Security Protocol
Turret x3
Medic
In Ground 1.0, this was the best Tree play available to tacticians. Now this play is a little lacking in healing, but still has a chance. Do not use against Borg.

Redwood:
Kit: Security Protocol
Turret x4
An all out defensive, with only your [Large Hypo] to save you. Not recommended due to lack of healing. Do not use against Borg.
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# 6 Engineer Admiral's Playbook
07-07-2011, 04:26 AM
Engineering Proficiency is a long-cooldown, long-duration shield HoT. Pull with Orbital Strike and then lure enemies into ambushes of Transphasic Bombs and Chroniton Mines for your alpha strike.

Whiteout
Kit: Enemy Neutralization
Medic x2
Shield x2

In the high-damage environment, a high-healing away team offers the best chance of survival. Do what you can to draw agro away from your BOs.

Nickel Snow:
Kit: Enemy Neutralization
Guardian x2
Medic
Shield
This play is reliant on baseline weapon damage because there are no exposes nor turrets available.

Penny Snow Ember:
Kit: Enemy Neutralization
Guardian
Medic
Shield
Exposer
A little bit of everything brings hope.

Snow Ember:
Kit: Enemy Neutralization
Exposer x2
Medic
Shield

Safety Fire:
Kit: Enemy Neutralization
Exposer x3
Medic
Running a little thin on healing.

Eng Inferno:
Kit: Enemy Neutralization
Exposer x4
An all out offensive, with only your [Large Hypo] to save you. Not recommended due to lack of healing.

Snow Willow:
Kit: Bunker Fabrication
Turret x2
Medic
Shield
Do not use against Borg.

Safety Pine:
Kit: Bunker Fabrication
Turret x3
Medic
This play is running short on healing. Do not use against Borg.

Redwood:
Kit: Bunker Fabrication
Turret x4
Not recommended due to lack of healing. Do not use against Borg.
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Posts: 120
# 7 Last Reply
07-13-2011, 09:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealthrider View Post
This is why I believe the strategies in this thread are pretty outdated. Balance is the key now, IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AzureAlliance View Post
Penny Snow Ember:
Kit: Enemy Neutralization
Guardian
Medic
Shield
Exposer
A little bit of everything brings hope.
###

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blayyde
For that matter, why not lay down a Turret and a Mortar?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagorak View Post
It [Quantum Mortar] only works against some enemies (those that don't try to melee)
###

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealthrider View Post
Everything is far too easy
There is much dissent against that badly flawed statement. Perhaps you or one of the other players who's good at Ground 2.0 can write Ground Playbook 2.1 after I'm gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyagercrewman
For me, I am disappointed and very frustrated at not being able to get through the missions.
+ 1

###

Quote:
Originally Posted by ObiWanJabroni View Post
My biggest complaint is that the combination of reduced shields/hp and the increase in damage output of non-trash enemies is way too painful. I like the idea of harder group captains or lieutenants or whatever, but they dish out way too much damage for us to take, and it seriously outpaces any sort of healing ability. Please raise our shields and hit points back up a bit.
+ 1

-AA
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Posts: 120
# 8
07-14-2011, 01:59 AM
The reason people are struggling is because they are using old strats for a new system. Turret spam is no longer effective, neither is mass healing. Mass AoE is no longer the de facto damage option.

Frankly, I probably will write the 2.1 playbook, because this one will not help people succeed. The builds are outdated and the strategies the same.

Will likely end up as a rehash of my earlier posts, though. Balance is the name of the game, as I've said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AzureAlliance View Post
Penny Snow Ember:
Kit: Enemy Neutralization
Guardian
Medic
Shield
Exposer
A little bit of everything brings hope.
This is not balanced.

The Tac has a redundant skill in Photon Grenade 2. It should also not be tanking for you. You should be tanking for it, while it deals as much damage as it can. The only redundant skill a Tac should use is Lunge, as a melee tac has no better options.

The Sci, again, has a redundant skill. If you're an Engi, you only need one Tricorder and one Regenerator. You'll be relying on Shields for most of your survivability.

Again, your Engi has a redundant skill. For an Engi captain, having two Shield Recharges is great--if they're on two different Engis.

Your second Sci has an ok setup...but you're not a Sci captain. You don't need two Scis. Bring a second Engi instead.

Finally, Enemy Neutralization is not a good kit, even with the buff to mines. You need a Shield Recharge of your own. Use Equipment Technician, as it not only has Shield Recharge, it has Fuse Armor/Weapons Malfunction to boot.

My Engi captain's loadout is a couple of pages back. THAT is a balanced build; this is an outdated one.
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Posts: 120
# 9
07-16-2011, 04:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealthrider View Post
Frankly, I probably will write the 2.1 playbook, because this one will not help people succeed. The builds are outdated and the strategies the same.

Will likely end up as a rehash of my earlier posts, though. Balance is the name of the game, as I've said.
Frankly, given the tone of some of your previous posts (which sounds eerily like Nelson from the Simpsons), I'm not going to hold my breath. You seem pretty dismissive of people who have what is seemingly the polar opposite playstyle as yours. That's okay. There are entire TV networks full of people who make a lot of money doing the same thing. The problem lies when you put forth your playstyle as the only "right" one. For example, jpb explains his issues and you immediately jump in and dismiss his concerns with some meaningless "I'm not optimized" spiel. (That wasn't the point of contention, y'see. Read it again.)

Many people who play on Normal do so for a reason. The fact that that option has been largely removed for them, is an issue that speaks to that old dirty word in MMOs nowadays: accessibility. For the record, I don't have a single problem with 2.0 but I can see how it can be a shock to the system for someone who doesn't have extensive experience with fast-twitch (or even 'faster than slow"- twitch) gameplay models. There are many people playing this MMO solely due to the IP, who haven't played MMOs before. Telling them to 'adapt or die' is likely to hit someone in the pocketbook (hint: it won't be you).

The system needs to be tweaked. Dismissing that in offhand fashion doesn't fix the problem and it doesn't address the issues at hand. As I've said in another thread, Normal should be the closest thing to faceroll difficulty that exists in this game. It's your baseline. The point that the widest swath of players are comfortable with and capable of handling. THEN you can ramp things up for Advanced and Elite. The fact that you and a handful of others find it "too easy" is a good start. Now get it to the point where people like jpb are challenged but not regularly obliterated (which probably means even easier, by current standards), and you'll be close to the sweet spot.

Again, "Post your build!" isn't addressing the problem that people are expressing. Read the posts again. Changing a build isn't going to change the PACE of combat, you see. You'll find that if you gloss over words and phrases like "I'm old and slow" and "slow and deliberate", you miss that.


Oh and kudos to AA for updating this. I may not agree with everything contained here but actually making the effort to do the update while presenting views in a humorous (if biting) fashion is worthy of acclaim, in my view.
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Posts: 120
# 10
07-16-2011, 07:10 PM
You seem to be the one glossing over things.

People in this thread haven't been complaining about the pace, they've been complaining that their builds are not doing as well as they used to. Read the most recent post I responded to, for example. He claims that one requires a perfect build to succeed right now, and I'm telling him that is not the case. Hence I asked him to post his build, so I could see if he is using redundant skills like the builds in the OP or if there is a different problem he's experiencing.

It didn't sound much like pacing was the problem there, though. Unless he neglected to mention something.

Also, the OP left the game after making this post. Or so he claims, at least. Not surprising, seeing as the entire 'guide' is one giant complaint.

Pre-post edit: I went throguh all of my replies and the posts they responded to, and there was not one mention of pacing being a problem. In fact, the majority of posters seem to be enjoying the new pacing. Where are you getting this idea from? I certainly haven't seen it in this thread.
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