Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,301
# 1 Death of the Alpha Strike!
12-28-2012, 07:16 AM
Wow now there's a news flash. I mean the Alpha died with the change to TT didn't it? So this isn't news. Or is it? And if it died, how did that really happen anyways?

A friend of mine in game (I'll call him friend, he likely doesn't need the tarnish to his reputation that associating with me can bring but he owes me some cake so he can consider this his comeuppance) was once a bit curious about what certain words in game meant. It seems different people had different definitions. As you can imagine this can cause a bit of confusion. No meaningful dialogue can happen until terms are defined.

Alpha strike wasn't on that list that day. It is today. It's on there because I'm a betting man and what I'm going to bet is that a good chunk of folks are going to have VERY different ideas of what an Alpha is or isn't. I'll start off by saying that engineers and science captains can't make them. Ever. See? I bet I already have a bunch of people ready to explain how wrong I am.

Anyway I bring this up because I see in game a distressingly large number of players sorta pulling up thier ship in the general vicinity of combat, and firing away all willy nilly. Pretty to look at, not very effective. And then I see on the forums complaints about things like just plain not dying like they should. "Healing is to strong" That's a good one. Just saying that may indicate that you don't really know what's going on.

If you're actually doing Alphas, you'd never be saying something like that. If your spamming some sort of cycle gimmick into hardened targets ok you're on your own there.

As the Sooper Svelte Cappy Horizon has mentioned (he's just one, there are others, but NO WAY imma say anything nice about DDIS, he hurt me) it takes teamwork for tacticals to work thier magic. It doesn't just happen.

I have pics. Here they are.

OK. Kidding. It is a video. Shot in dramatic slow motion! Of what I think an Alpha is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMqbpi2rDPg

So what do YOU consider an alpha to be? And once you're done defining it show how it works. Honestly show how it works. You don't have to make a video. Just clearly explain the working parts and how it is effective in gameplay.

For example I might say that a proactive defense is one that I have running BEFORE I even go to red alert. And then I would say that chaining Tact Teams using doffs is such a defense and that it works by redistributing ALL my shield strength to the shield under attack without my intervention, therefore saving my bacon. Bacon saving is effective!

OK now go define alpha. Just do it that way.

GOGOGO!
If I don't respond to posts on this forum don't be offended. I don't sub or follow any of them.

Last edited by thissler; 12-28-2012 at 09:37 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 638
# 2
12-28-2012, 07:53 AM
For me, alpha strikes died with S2 and the introduction of the field generator.

Prior to S2, I could prebuff my BO3 and HY3, activate APA and APO (and maybe GDF? not sure anymore), decloak, fire my torpedoes, wait for them to be nearly at the target, fire the BO3 and see my enemy explode.

After S2, this would occasionally work when using APA, GDF (preferably at low hull) and TacFleet all at the same time, but even then not reliably.


There have been other kinds of alphastrikes since then. Like QEW's TacBop+SciBop PSW/SNB-supported attacks. But for me, alpha strikes died with S2 and the field generator.
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,301
# 3
12-28-2012, 08:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mancom View Post
For me, alpha strikes died with S2 and the introduction of the field generator.

Prior to S2, I could prebuff my BO3 and HY3, activate APA and APO (and maybe GDF? not sure anymore), decloak, fire my torpedoes, wait for them to be nearly at the target, fire the BO3 and see my enemy explode.

After S2, this would occasionally work when using APA, GDF (preferably at low hull) and TacFleet all at the same time, but even then not reliably.


There have been other kinds of alphastrikes since then. Like QEW's TacBop+SciBop PSW/SNB-supported attacks. But for me, alpha strikes died with S2 and the field generator.
That so wierd. Once in a while that still works for me.

Remember when you could do CRF3 and THY3 from five k out and make it work? TT kicked that in the nuts. Oh well!
If I don't respond to posts on this forum don't be offended. I don't sub or follow any of them.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 453
# 4
12-28-2012, 08:22 AM
Alpha strike (noun, verb). Softbuff pressuring the healer to draw Extends or RSP, simultaneous superbuff, switch to focus target, sensor scan(s) on focus target, Subnuc at the beginning of EPTS, tractor beam, coordinated simultaneous superbuff on focus target. Boopidoopidoopidoop boopboopbadoop.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,301
# 5
12-28-2012, 08:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by guriphu View Post
Alpha strike (noun, verb). Softbuff pressuring the healer to draw Extends or RSP, simultaneous superbuff, switch to focus target, sensor scan(s) on focus target, Subnuc at the beginning of EPTS, tractor beam, coordinated simultaneous superbuff on focus target. Boopidoopidoopidoop boopboopbadoop.


I'm not sure what ANY of this means, but I love the ending!

Its got rhythm!
If I don't respond to posts on this forum don't be offended. I don't sub or follow any of them.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 453
# 6
12-28-2012, 09:05 AM
Softbuff: using buffs with short cooldowns to make yourself better than your base rate, without putting your big buffs on cooldown. For example: Tactical team, Attack Pattern Beta, and Rapid Fire 1.

Pressure: doing enough damage or debuffs to make the other team or members of the other team use their healing or resistance powers, but not enough to try to punch through those healing or resistance powers.

Healer: usually an engineer, sometimes a sci, usually a cruiser, sometimes a sci ship. The healer role is the one whose job it is to keep people alive with resists and heals, and only contribute a little bit to damage and debuffing the enemy. In particular, the healer's job is to directly counter a...

Superbuff: Loading up all your biggest dps powers at the same time, in an attempt to burst through an enemy's heal-over-times and resistances and do a bunch of damage all at once. For instance: attack pattern alpha, attack pattern omega 3, rapid fire 2, tactical fleet, tactical team, Fire on my Mark, and possibly Go Down Fighting. One tac doing this is dangerous. Three tacs doing this simultaneously on the same target is devastating.

Extends: Extend Shields. This power provides a small heal over time and a huge shield resist to one friendly target within range, making it very hard to damage their shields. Once it is put on somebody, you can't move it, so if you can make the healer put Extends on a target, then switch to a different target, the healer can't use Extends on the new target.

RSP: Reverse Shield Polarity. This power makes you almost invulnerable to damage by making incoming damage heal your shields for 10 seconds. It shares a cooldown with Extends, so if you can force a cruiser to use RSP, he won't be able to put Extends on somebody.

Focus target: the guy your team is concentrating fire on at the moment.

Sensor Scan: science captain power that does a big hull damage resistance debuff on a target.

Subnuc: Subnucleonic Beam. This power strips off all currently applied buffs and doubles all cooldowns on the enemy target.

EPTS: Emergency Power to Shields. This power provides a big boost to shield damage resistance. Subnucing the target right after they start EPTS means that they won't have another one ready for 30 seconds, which will make them very fragile.

Tractor Beam: locks the target in place, keeping them from running away, making it easy to keep them in the tactical officers' sights, and decreasing their Defense score, which makes it more likely that attacks will hit them and increases the amount of critical damage you do with critical hits.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,301
# 7
12-28-2012, 09:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by guriphu View Post
Softbuff: using buffs with short cooldowns to make yourself better than your base rate, without putting your big buffs on cooldown. For example: Tactical team, Attack Pattern Beta, and Rapid Fire 1.

Pressure: doing enough damage or debuffs to make the other team or members of the other team use their healing or resistance powers, but not enough to try to punch through those healing or resistance powers.

Healer: usually an engineer, sometimes a sci, usually a cruiser, sometimes a sci ship. The healer role is the one whose job it is to keep people alive with resists and heals, and only contribute a little bit to damage and debuffing the enemy. In particular, the healer's job is to directly counter a...

Superbuff: Loading up all your biggest dps powers at the same time, in an attempt to burst through an enemy's heal-over-times and resistances and do a bunch of damage all at once. For instance: attack pattern alpha, attack pattern omega 3, rapid fire 2, tactical fleet, tactical team, Fire on my Mark, and possibly Go Down Fighting. One tac doing this is dangerous. Three tacs doing this simultaneously on the same target is devastating.

Extends: Extend Shields. This power provides a small heal over time and a huge shield resist to one friendly target within range, making it very hard to damage their shields. Once it is put on somebody, you can't move it, so if you can make the healer put Extends on a target, then switch to a different target, the healer can't use Extends on the new target.

RSP: Reverse Shield Polarity. This power makes you almost invulnerable to damage by making incoming damage heal your shields for 10 seconds. It shares a cooldown with Extends, so if you can force a cruiser to use RSP, he won't be able to put Extends on somebody.

Focus target: the guy your team is concentrating fire on at the moment.

Sensor Scan: science captain power that does a big hull damage resistance debuff on a target.

Subnuc: Subnucleonic Beam. This power strips off all currently applied buffs and doubles all cooldowns on the enemy target.

EPTS: Emergency Power to Shields. This power provides a big boost to shield damage resistance. Subnucing the target right after they start EPTS means that they won't have another one ready for 30 seconds, which will make them very fragile.

Tractor Beam: locks the target in place, keeping them from running away, making it easy to keep them in the tactical officers' sights, and decreasing their Defense score, which makes it more likely that attacks will hit them and increases the amount of critical damage you do with critical hits.
Ahhh ok ty for the clearing up. I don't see Alpha Strike in there though. Superbuff looks like it may be a stab at it, but butting heads with a hard target is sorta the opposite of an alpha, and the teaming up well that's focus fire I would guess. And a healer would have a really hard time countering an alpha strike. Remember countering and preventing aren't the same thing. There's not a lot of time AFTER an alpha is initiated to counter it and if you launched an alpha into a situation where it was easily countered that's not an alpha. That's a boo boo.
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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,052
# 8
12-28-2012, 10:01 AM
i'll chime in here....

pugging is different from being part of a team with a coordinated kill cycle, so i wont go in depth there, as your team's kill cycle could involve many different powers and timing that depend on your layouts, and the competency of the opposing team to counter them....

as for pugging....and mind you i have not been part of a premade team for quite some time now, so i spend 99% of my time in game doing just this....

the one thing i have found that i am pretty decent at in this game, is finding the opposing pug team's tac team and RSP cycles....i will bounce from target to target, usually only spending about 7-10 seconds on each...taking stock of who is running what, and when...

if i find a certain target is hitting RSP every time i target him, while running only CRF....i know i have found possible dead guy #1...but i will leave him alone for a second and see if anyone is going to back him up....that guy is usually wasting his heals on the guy who just RSP'd... then i target the would be healer....to see what he's got.....

and then the fun begins.... because in the back of my head i now have 2/5 of the opposing team pinned down to when and where i will bring the hurt. on to possible target #3...and from there....you kind of just rinse and repeat.

mind you, that in this game, as a tac captain....you cannot afford in 1 match to waste NOT 1 FOMM, or TAC Fleet, or GDF. these powers, stacked on top of your APA, greatly increase your damage potential. and conversely, some targets may not require all of those stacked for you to turn their hull into a burning pile of rubble. and stacking them at the wrong time, when several targets are in their hull hardening or shield distribution cycles, greatly reduce your damage potential.

Thissler is right on with this one, the "true" alpha may have left us long ago....the time when you could stack these powers and run rampant for 30 seconds.... really does not exist any longer. a true STO escort pilot in the current environment evaluates the battlesphere, sets his cadence, and executes at the most opportune time to do so. and will also adjust those windows when needed.

have fun kill bad guys

-thrusters on full-

Last edited by thishorizon; 12-28-2012 at 10:04 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 371
# 9
12-28-2012, 12:34 PM
The 3 piece omega shield/eng/def set bonus can be an addition (defence debuff), as also the klink knockback/disable console.....
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,425
# 10
12-28-2012, 08:54 PM
The Tactical "Alpha" strike, is one that gets used both solo, and with a team..
Where (s)he uses Attack Pattern Alpha, Along side Various other weapon buffs such as, but not exclusive to: Beam Overload, Torpedo: High Yield, Torpedo: Spread, Cannon: Rapid Fire, Cannon: Scatter Volley.

Then the Tac officer pretty much fires away at the target. If he's with a team, he relies on his team mates to be joined in on the attack against a single target, de-buff his target, heal himself and his team mates that come under fire, and move swiftly enough onto the next target while his buffs are still up, if any, or support the remaining tacticals on the team for their alpha strike runs, if any.

There is another Alpha strike how ever that doesn't rely on Tacticals, but relies on Science Officers..

The Results are similar to the Tactical, except the Tactical can provide more damage then the Sci.

A science officer, in a ship that can provide an Alpha Strike, which is typically an Escort, usually uses the same weapon based buffs as a tactical, how ever instead of having Attack Pattern Alpha, Go Down Fighting, Tactical Fleet, and Fire on my Mark, the Sci Alpha Strike can instead rely on a De-buff and Destroy Strategy.

One where the Sci deploys an Aux Battery, if not already at near max Aux, uses Sensor Scan on the target, uses Sub Nucleonic Beam on the target to strip away their existing defenses, and then Deploy similar attacks that a Tactical officer would use in the same ship. But again, this strategy only works in an Escort more often then other ships since Escorts bring more forward firepower then other ships.

An example of a Sci Alpha strike in an Escort could look like, from a Bird of Prey for example:
Aux Battery/Weapon Battery + Exocomp based Doff for Weapon damage buff, Tactical Team (With Doffs for Weapon buffs), HY 3 + Beam Overload 3 + Omega 3 +De-cloak for Weapon damage buff + Tractor Beam 1 + Sensor Scan, (Optional) Sub Nuc, Fire Weapons.

The above of course is only basic, it does not include things such as Critical hit chance/Severities, Weapon Quality, Consoles or other toys increasing damage, etc.
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