Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
04-08-2010, 03:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combadge
Too many people are trying exactly this and causing one failure after another. I always see a number of ships parked and firing directly at the Entity, cannons and torpedoes blazing, only to have a half dozen Large Crystalline Fragments slam into them, exploding into three times as many Small Crystalline Fragments, and then successfully return to the Entity and restore nearly 20% of it's health.

Tier 2 is where you first get the Entity mission, actually. It's a level 17 mission.
Only reason Large fragments are exploding is because scramble sensors isn't up on the CE. If it was the fragments bump into you and push you around instead of exploding (unless someone drops mines on them).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
04-08-2010, 03:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Legatus
Only reason Large fragments are exploding is because scramble sensors isn't up on the CE. If it was the fragments bump into you and push you around instead of exploding (unless someone drops mines on them).
Well, that's not the only reason. Allowing the Large Crystalline Fragments to get within 1 km of an object that can be collided with is every much the reason as well. Yes, Scramble Sensors stops the Large Crystalline Fragments from colliding with objects, but unless you're the one bringing the ability along you can't count on it being up 100% of the time. People have to make an effort to get out of the fragment's way - which means not sitting stationary during phase 3. And yet I can't believe how many ships do exactly that. I suspect some people just park, turn on autofire and go AFK.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
04-08-2010, 05:51 PM
Not getting killed is fairly easy especially as RA5 I rarely getting killed by the entity in my cruiser and I can stay within weapons range.. The issue is the fact that its called a fleet action and as your picture illustrated.. 5-6 ships is not a fleet. I don't care if it can be solo'd. The way it is now it should just be called a patrol mission above captain.

It is more difficult to run separate instances than it is just to separate prizes based on rank. Hell I didn't play the fleet actions for the prizes I played them because they were fun.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I honestly think the Crystalline Entity mission isn't terrible. It' difficult and takes some thought to figure out how to beat it. That's what I was hoping for in a Star Trek game: problem solving.

But the small fragments that appear towards the end are terrible. It makes it completely impossible to win because there are never enough people and after it regenerates more quit. I'd be okay with the mission if it weren't for those. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get rid of the little twist at the end with those small shards that makes it so impossible.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
04-08-2010, 10:35 PM
From the comments in this thread it's pretty clear that the difficulty factor of the Entity at the Admiral ranks isn't even remotely on par with the difficulty at the lower tiers. Solo'ing the Entity, while apparently possible as an Admiral, isn't even a remote possibility as a Lt. Commander or Commander. As I recommended before, you need close to a dozen ships at the lower tiers to wear the CE down.

So either the higher tier CE is too easy, or the lower tier CE is too hard, or something in between. I dare say most long time Admirals probably don't even know what the difficulty of the CE encounter is like at the lower ranks since people were one-shoting it with their ramming speed combo back then. That wasn't exactly challenging.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oslo5 View Post
I honestly think the Crystalline Entity mission isn't terrible. It' difficult and takes some thought to figure out how to beat it. That's what I was hoping for in a Star Trek game: problem solving.

But the small fragments that appear towards the end are terrible. It makes it completely impossible to win because there are never enough people and after it regenerates more quit. I'd be okay with the mission if it weren't for those. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get rid of the little twist at the end with those small shards that makes it so impossible.
But that "twist" during phase 3 is the only difficult element of the entire fight. Tanking the Entity is fairly easy for the right ships (although not effortless). Wearing him down isn't a huge problem with enough ships. Avoiding the fragments during the first two phases is simple enough. Outside of phase 3 there are no real gimmicks. It's at the end where the real (and only challenge) comes into play. If they remove that we'll be killing the CE in our sleep. I can see tweaking elements of the final phase - maybe adjusting the speed of the small fragments to give the group more time to recover from someone's mistake, but I really don't want them to remove the entire gimmick.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
04-09-2010, 01:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combadge
From the comments in this thread it's pretty clear that the difficulty factor of the Entity at the Admiral ranks isn't even remotely on par with the difficulty at the lower tiers. Solo'ing the Entity, while apparently possible as an Admiral, isn't even a remote possibility as a Lt. Commander or Commander. As I recommended before, you need close to a dozen ships at the lower tiers to wear the CE down.

So either the higher tier CE is too easy, or the lower tier CE is too hard, or something in between. I dare say most long time Admirals probably don't even know what the difficulty of the CE encounter is like at the lower ranks since people were one-shoting it with their ramming speed combo back then. That wasn't exactly challenging.




But that "twist" during phase 3 is the only difficult element of the entire fight. Tanking the Entity is fairly easy for the right ships (although not effortless). Wearing him down isn't a huge problem with enough ships. Avoiding the fragments during the first two phases is simple enough. Outside of phase 3 there are no real gimmicks. It's at the end where the real (and only challenge) comes into play. If they remove that we'll be killing the CE in our sleep. I can see tweaking elements of the final phase - maybe adjusting the speed of the small fragments to give the group more time to recover from someone's mistake, but I really don't want them to remove the entire gimmick.
My suggestion would be that the shards don't heal it up beyond 33%. Because that's the extremely frustrating thing about it. You believed you got close, and suddenly someone makes an error and you're back to square one.

Maybe it should start firing again (maybe triggered by the small fragments returning in some way?)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 27
04-09-2010, 11:41 AM
Not a bad idea, I'd say maybe once it gets to 40% have the large fragments despawn and enter back into phase one. One reason folks leave the instance is that after a more of less failed attempt, the CE becomes even more difficult with the lingering large and normal fragments flying around.

The last thing I'd suggest is making sure the CE has a a programmed boundary such that it stays at least 15km away from the spawn point, nothing quite feels like adding insult to injury than to respawn in and having the CE 5km away, with fragments all around ya.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
04-10-2010, 10:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
My suggestion would be that the shards don't heal it up beyond 33%. Because that's the extremely frustrating thing about it. You believed you got close, and suddenly someone makes an error and you're back to square one.

Maybe it should start firing again (maybe triggered by the small fragments returning in some way?)
Good idea. Also with a big fleet and two friends, capable RAs as support, it was not possible to keep the CE < 33% for more than 5-10 sec. I was LC 8 at that time, did not complete the mission up to now. Small frags repeatedly healed it back to 50% or more. Because you cannot do much about the so-called "noobs" flying 1 km to CE and getting hit by large shards each time

It is always the same. You read my experience now from a frustrated science captain trying to kill the CE: I enter the CE mission, some guys "scream" in the chat that people should focus on CE and not frags, keep distance, not lay mines, use all (de)buffs they can a.s.o.
Nobody listens...
Sometimes they also tell some crap about "normal" shards being fired on would heal it. Or that torps would be bad. Or that people should try to split large frags!

Oh, and I saw people firing for 1:30 h at the CE and (of course) frags, with the CE always between 98% and 100%, but not less. I finally left then. But I am sure they continued for another x hours... Ridiculous. And sad that it can be so hard and time-wasting.

Last time I say the CE killed was when I was still Lt. (as "spectator" if you want) and before Common Ground. A guy called "Wookie" with a nice Galaxy class ship had an impressive technique. Just stood there face to face with the CE, fired buffs and debuffs I couldn't determine at that time, and in a way accumulated ALL fragments around his ship, without impact or ???. Somehow reminded of flies smashed and sticking to a windscreen... (He also received CE's beam patiently...)

Maybe s.o. can explain his special technique to me? Wookie is like a legend to me now...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
04-10-2010, 12:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdei View Post
I enter the CE mission, some guys "scream" in the chat that people should focus on CE and not frags, keep distance, not lay mines, use all (de)buffs they can a.s.o.
Nobody listens...
Sometimes they also tell some crap about "normal" shards being fired on would heal it. Or that torps would be bad. Or that people should try to split large frags!

Oh, and I saw people firing for 1:30 h at the CE and (of course) frags, with the CE always between 98% and 100%, but not less. I finally left then. But I am sure they continued for another x hours... Ridiculous. And sad that it can be so hard and time-wasting.
But what is the real problem here? The fact that people refuse to follow a mix of mostly bad advice peppered with the occasional good piece of intel, or the fact that someone is giving bad advice to begin with? I'm pretty weary of people trying to condense their CE briefings down to 10 words or less; it often does more harm than good.

Don't shoot the Fragments? Bad advice. Particularly during phase 3 when killing Small Crystalline Fragments (SCF) should be everyone's number one priority. Aside from that, there's nothing wrong with killing the other normal Crystalline Fragments with any kind of weapon and Large Crystalline Fragments (LCF) with certain types of weapons. Shooting fragments doesn't heal the Entity. *Colliding* with LCFs produces several SCFs, which in turn return to the Entity and heal it. So if someone is orbiting the Entity and broadsiding it with beam weaponry while launching normal torpedoes out your otherwise dormant aft launcher to destroy packs of crystals following you.. awesome. Yet these people get yelled at by the ignorant.

Don't use mines? Bad advice. Avoid using mines during phase 3, but in the first two phases mines are probably one of the greatest tools available for keeping the Crystalline Fragment population under control, for the reason I listed above. However, you don't want to use them during phase 3 because mines (and high yield plasma torps, and tricobalt devices) are objects that can targeted. And if it can be targeted, then a LCF can collide with it - which is bad because LCF collisions create SCFs (the actual (and only) healing shards).

Focus on the CE? Not always the best advice. It should be the focus during the first two phases but your primary focus during phase three needs to be the SCF. You pumping 2k of damage into the Entity over the few seconds it would otherwise take to kill an SCF is not as important as killing the SCF that is about to heal the Entity for 10k+ health. This should be common sense. Also, "focus" does not mean "avoid multitasking". I can and do keep my beam weapons and forward torpedo launcher trained on the Entity while launching torpedoes or mines towards any crystals pursuing me, as should everyone else.

Keep distant? Great advice during phase 3 where the extra space gives us room to avoid new LCFs (and makes the SCFs have to travel a greater distance to return to the Entity), but not so hot advice in the earlier phases. The closer you can get to the Entity during phase 1 and 2, the more damage your weapons will be doing and the faster we get him out of phase 1 and 2. Advising people to get closer to the Entity during phase 1 and 2 and expand out to nearly 10 km as you approach phase 3 is more helpful advice, and not difficult instructions to follow.

All of this information is vital for the lower ranked tiers (frankly, if Admirals can simply solo the CE then the encounter is broken at that tier - one of the points of level banding the Fleet Actions is so they could remain challenging for a fleet at any rank. One ship should not be able to solo the CE encounter unless something is very wrong balance wise). Anyway, as I was saying.. this information is vital for the lower ranked tiers, and yet all too often it's mangled and condensed down to "shoot the entity only/don't shoot shards/don't use mines" - completely useless (and wrong, and even harmful) instructions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdei View Post
Last time I say the CE killed was when I was still Lt. (as "spectator" if you want) and before Common Ground. A guy called "Wookie" with a nice Galaxy class ship had an impressive technique. Just stood there face to face with the CE, fired buffs and debuffs I couldn't determine at that time, and in a way accumulated ALL fragments around his ship, without impact or ???. Somehow reminded of flies smashed and sticking to a windscreen... (He also received CE's beam patiently...)

Maybe s.o. can explain his special technique to me? Wookie is like a legend to me now...
This only works when someone (or several ships) are locking down the Entity with Scramble Sensors 100% of the time. It takes a rotation of 3 Scramble Sensor if timed perfectly, more otherwise. When the Entity is debuffed with Scramble Sensors, it temporarily removes the collision element from the various types of crystalline fragments. That would allow this person to sit in a nest of CF's and LCF's and not cause them to explode due to collision.

And yet, in the scenario you described.. if for any reason someone failed to keep the Scramble Sensor rotation up, this fellow would have instantly died and every LCF in his nest would have exploded from collision proximity with his ship, which would have produced enough SCF to heal most of the Entity's health.

It was, frankly, a senseless gamble and a bad example to set. Because far too often this is where most of the SCFs come from - LCF collisions with ships parked so they can fire their forward arsenal at the Entity during phase 3. That is absolutely the wrong thing to do; everyone needs to put full power to their engines during phase 3 and move as quickly as possible at a maximum distance around the Entity. The LCFs travel faster than the normal fragments from the first two phases. 75% engine power won't cut it after phase 3. Not moving certainly won't cut it. People park 5 km out from the Entity and ignore the LCFs that slam into their ship, destroying their vessel, and somehow expect everyone else to be able to intercept the resulting numerous SCFs that are making the short return trip to the Entity. It's ridiculous.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
04-10-2010, 01:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combadge
But what is the real problem here? The fact that people refuse to follow a mix of mostly bad advice peppered with the occasional good piece of intel, or the fact that someone is giving bad advice to begin with? I'm pretty weary of people trying to condense their CE briefings down to 10 words or less; it often does more harm than good.

(...)
Ah, I remember reading your guide in another post on CE. Very good, and I think even better and more detailed than other famous ones found on the net.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Combadge
And yet, in the scenario you described.. if for any reason someone failed to keep the Scramble Sensor rotation up, (Wookie) would have instantly died and every LCF in his nest would have exploded from collision proximity with his ship, which would have produced enough SCF to heal most of the Entity's health.

It was, frankly, a senseless gamble and a bad example to set. Because far too often this is where most of the SCFs come from - LCF collisions with ships parked so they can fire their forward arsenal at the Entity during phase 3. That is absolutely the wrong thing to do; everyone needs to put full power to their engines during phase 3 and move as quickly as possible at a maximum distance around the Entity. The LCFs travel faster than the normal fragments from the first two phases. 75% engine power won't cut it after phase 3. Not moving certainly won't cut it. People park 5 km out from the Entity and ignore the LCFs that slam into their ship, destroying their vessel, and somehow expect everyone else to be able to intercept the resulting numerous SCFs that are making the short return trip to the Entity. It's ridiculous.
You are right. But would it be possible, theoretically, that someone like Wookie installed 3 science BOs and continously fired "Scramble Sensors", thus being a single hero completely blocking the CE frags?

Could be an enjoyable task to create a char, a "prototype", exclusively suited to fight against CE, with perfect weapons, abilities, BOs a.s.o.
What would be the perfect choice for ship class (with respect to BO slots, hull strength, ...), char class, BOs (abilities...), weapons (read about disruptors as suitable for CE somewhere), shields (must withstand "the beam")...? A "CE solo fighter" role, similar to the ones buzzworded as "damage", "healing", ...

My thought: Having such a solo CE fighter with you could enable all other ships to in fact concentrate on the entity itself. "Noobs" would be irrelevant as frags would be mostly harmless.
And making so many many people happy to finally complete the CE mission

Possible?
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