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Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 321
# 31
06-30-2012, 05:20 PM
(snip, thought you'd already done KAGE)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 146
# 32
06-30-2012, 05:21 PM
Khitomer Accord Ground

This is the most straightforward ground mission, and like Cure Space, fairly easy to turn into a headache.

Also like Cure Space, the optional timer begins relatively immediately. Once you pass through the first door, you have 15 minutes to make it down through the complex, bring down and destroy 6 shield generators protecting two IMRs, automatic assimilation devices.

Contrary to the purpose of the update Cryptic did to the STF, you can still skip groups of drones. In total, two are possible to walk right by. As you walk out of the starting room, you have a choice of proceeding either left or right after the first group of borg is dead. Either way you go, you do not have to go back and kill the other one. Normally, people proceed right.

The typical route is:
  1. Kill first pack out side starting room.
  2. Turn right, kill roving pack on ramp.
  3. Kill the elite and all drones in the second room.
  4. Head out down the tunnel and turn right again, kill the pack of drones at the bottom.
    Turn Right again and deal with both the group in the center right before the door, and the one situated just up the far side ramp. Make sure to look around the corner as well as you need to kill this entire group.
  5. Once all three groups at the bottom have expired, go in the two story room. DO NOT attack the elite, or any of the drones in the group on the stairs. Simply turn to your right and jump right off the platform. Kill the pack under the stairs and go through the door.

If you screwed up, and left a drone alive, the door will not open, and youll have to go back up the stairs and kill the elite group to open the shield.

After this, everything needs to die. Turn right, yet again, and head down the hallway. The device at the end of the hall before it turns left is one of the IMRs you are working to destroy.

The hallway ultimately ends in a very large, 3 story room. Stay together as a group for this and attack only one group at a time. This kills them faster (concentrates your fire) and makes it less dangerous. Try to avoid knocking borg off of platforms or firing random shots into packs you havent aggro'd yet. The idea is controlled destruction. Usually, people clear the middle, then the top, then jump down and work on the bottom, ending at Beta 3.

The right side of the room as you enter is the Beta side, the left is Alpha. The overall goal in this room is to destroy each and every shield node. Once all six have been destroyed, the shields in the rest of the map go down allowing you to destroy the IMRs (for the optional) and access to the boss.

To do this, someone has to use the transport device, located immediately after the door into the three story room, to go to a "power control station" of sorts. In there, they can transfer power around from the console in the center to take down the shields protecting the nodes in the three-story room, at which point the main group can attack and destroy them.

The best order to do this is B3, A3, B2, A2, B1, A1. In the three story room, this translates to right to left, bottom to top. The reason its the best route has to deal with what happens when you bring down one of the shields protecting a node. Immediately, a group of drones spawn, both in the three story and in the power control station. For the most part, these need to be ignored, especially by the main group attacking the nodes. The person in the power control station can kill theirs (they are weak and they dont adapt to weapons) if they feel like it, but its not necessary, and part of the fun is playing tag with them.

Once all the nodes have been destroyed, each of the IMRs have to be destroyed by overloading a control device to the left of the IMR.

If all of that is accomplished within 15 minutes, you get the optional loot.

Tips for 'The Room'
If the rest of your group has poor burst damage, you may be required to extend the time the shield stays down for. To do this, you have to run to the individual nodes in the room that correspond to those outside in the 3-story main area and interact with them. There are two caveats. First, you can only start extending the shields if your team is able to bring the node down to half health. Second, the group of drones that spawn around each node will attack you and any damage you take will interrupt the shield extension.

There are several ways around this. First, if you are a sci or eng, you have kit abilities that can knock back the drones (Sonic Pulse and the Force Field dome, respectively). Otherwise, you have to 'juke' the drones. Run up to them, stop just out of range and wait for them to start walking towards you. Once they move, run past them around to the other side of the device and do the extend process. You should have plenty of time before they get back in melee range.

How to not turn this into a massive headache

Simply: dont use pets. They create too much chaos in this mission. Security escorts are notoriously stupid and can run off the wrong way, aggro a group of borg, die, and then bring them down on you, forcing you to either kill extra borg or straight up killing you with flanking attacks. Or, even worse, moving them around so that you miss borg and end up facing a rather solid shield impeding your path.

Also, pets can be absolutely catastrophic in the three story room, especially quantum mortars, as they will aggro pretty much everything there. You do not want to be fighting the group of drones at B1 and then take a 850 flanking crit from the elite from B3 because some dumb engineer's mortar woke it up and dragged it up the stairs.

In other words, save your pets for the boss.

Tosk, aka 'The Boss'

There are several ways to do this, probably the most fun is the most chaotic, any engineers there are set up mortars and med generators to either side of the door and turrets in the doorway (possibly even swapping to the Bunker kit to put up a shield generator, just for kicks, this is the only time I ever use Bunker on my engineers. Ever.) before swapping back to Enemy Neutralization to lay bombs and mines and disable the heavy tacticals. After that, you can either sit back, spam your pets and shoot into the room, or charge in, whatever. There will be so much going on that the connection may get laggy and someone might die, but whatever.

This is basically a loot pinata like the Assimilated Carrier in CSE. You really cant fail. Just focus down Tosk and remember that there are Heavy Tacs on either side and it will be peachy.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 321
# 33
06-30-2012, 05:24 PM
Quote:
The fastest, and dirtiest, is for everyone to get right on Armek's toes and pulsewave his face off. A couple people will likely die doing this, but thats not a big deal. This is probably the fastest way of doing it, and the easiest. And, by far the typical favourite.

The other way involves using some kind of tank who stays in melee range
I find it best to combine the two of these. Use a melee tank to keep him facing forward with the other 4 Pulsewaving at the back from about 2.5-3 metres distance. You make up the damage loss from one player not Pulsewaving from the flank bonus, and if you position correctly (ie. directly behind him, not slightly to the left or right) he can't chain the team, so it's less messy.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 194
# 34
06-30-2012, 05:26 PM
Pulsewave tank works too. Either way, 4 directly behind rather than to the sides is much less messy.
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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 146
# 35
06-30-2012, 05:28 PM
If either of you have found some magic way to explain that to people in a way they will actually understand and then go *do* please lemme know.

I gave up trying to get people to do that. Id say close but a couple meters off and there would still be some other jerk standing in front between my sci's batleth and Armek.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 321
# 36
06-30-2012, 05:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drasketo View Post
If either of you have found some magic way to explain that to people in a way they will actually understand and then go *do* please lemme know.

I gave up trying to get people to do that. Id say close but a couple meters off and there would still be some other jerk standing in front between my sci's batleth and Armek.
Ha. Fair enough.

Haven't got time to read through these thoroughly, atm, but with the pull in Infected Ground it only takes one guy with a sniper rifle and a happy secondary trigger finger to seriously slow down each pull. Not only will he knock a drone out of range once (likely the Heavy Tac that'll absorb a bit of damage too), but he'll quite possibly do it again when it lumbers back into 45 metres range. You should add that in situations where the team leader doesn't have complete control over the group - ie. a PuG, or a channel group where you haven't played with everyone before - the team leader should be ready to give a rush order once some of the Drones are down if someone's doing this and doesn't comprehend and act on "no knockbacks" in Team chat. Main reason I see people fail the Infected Ground optional.

And I've never seen 30m assimilation before. Gotten about 10 or 12 when I was running away from the spawnees in KAGE, but that's it.

Last edited by skhc; 06-30-2012 at 05:54 PM.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 146
# 37
06-30-2012, 07:47 PM
Yeah, the 30m one is very rare. I have not actually seen one at that specific distance, only heard about it. I have been nailed by it from beyond sniper range, but I didnt think anyone would believe me. In fact, I pretty much dont myself. Honestly, Id like to just chalk it up to lag.... or space monkeys.

As for the knock back: yeah, I agree, its a problem, or was when I was still using the EliteSTF channel sporadically. (Somehow or other, I was kicked from it a while ago, I have no idea how or even what day it happened. I hadnt even used it for about a week before I noticed I wasnt getting the customary amount of stupid in the chat box.)

Normally then Id say something to the effect of "no knock backs" in the Team chat before we started the optional timer. But, as with Cubes in Cure Space, the likelihood that anyone will listen was minimal. Getting people from that channel is only marginally more effective than grabbing them from zone (in which case you might as well just queue). Its probably about the same population; only difference is it happens faster because at least in there they are looking for it as opposed to being focused on gorn and tribble jokes.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 194
# 38
06-30-2012, 08:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drasketo View Post
If either of you have found some magic way to explain that to people in a way they will actually understand and then go *do* please lemme know.

I gave up trying to get people to do that. Id say close but a couple meters off and there would still be some other jerk standing in front between my sci's batleth and Armek.
if I'm not in a group where I know everyone, my usual method is to say 'form up on x' when I know there's someone in the run who knows what they are doing or pray. Praying is often followed by yelling.
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Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 346
# 39
07-01-2012, 10:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drasketo View Post
Khitomer Accord Space

This is a relatively slow-paced mission with a lot of waiting or flying back and forth.

The objective is to prevent any ships from reaching the temporal gate in the center of the map. This is accomplished by bringing down each of the two transwarp gates that are off to either side. Each gate spawns probes periodically (and more as the transformers to either side (just like in Infected Space) are destroyed.

When you first warp in, there is a Tactical cube guarding the system, destroying it begins the optional countdown. This ship isnt quite as easy as the Assimilated Carrier, but it is close.

After the cube is destroyed, the shields on the gates go down and they start spawning probes. From there, the group is split up into Gate guards and attackers.

Attackers simply work on destroying the Gates exactly the way it is done in infected. Kill all the generators to make the transformer vulnerable. Kill both transformers to make the gate vulnerable. Then kill the gate. Destroying two of the generators on a transformer spawns a cube similar to the two spheres that warp in in Infected.

The Gate guards are concerned with killing the probes that come through the gates and try and get to the time portal. Believe it or not, it is perfectly possible for one single person to guard both gates. They should use the exact same set up as the Kang Guardian in Cure. Three purple Conn Officers improving Evasive Manuevers and hyperimpulse engines (a bonus, not even a necessity). A lot of people tend to treat someone doing this like a rock star until they try it themselves and realise that "Oh ... its easy .."

As for the actual correlation of forces:

1 Gate guard, 3 Attackers on Left, 1 attacker on Right:

This is my favourite, but it requires the solo person going right to be mildly insane. Their goal is to have both transformers destroyed or nearly so by the time the 3 on the Left make it over to the Right. A Torp boat carrier works very well for this, but so does an escort with slightly absurd DPS. Obviously, the three on the left blow up that gate as soon as humanly possible and then burn over to the right, kill the sphere group that spawns, and then the gate. With the right people, you will not see a second sphere group. This has the advantage of getting all 5 people attacking the same thing.

1 Gate guard, 4 attackers:

Again, a super fast escort to guard, this time, the 4 attackers leave the left gate at 10% or so before moving right. It becomes the gate guard's job to blow the left gate when the right is nearly done. Timed properly, a sphere group may not even spawn. (difficult to do without a voice program, so dont worry if it doesnt happen)

2 Gate Guards, 3 attackers:

Same as 1/4, just with two guards in the event no one can handle both gates.

I could go on, but they would jsut be variants of the above. Some group or person to guard the gate, and some way to destroy the gates.

Donatra, aka 'Glitchy Space Ninja'

This fight can be difficult or easy, depending on how screwy the system gets. Here, same with the Infected Tactical cube, energy drains or disabling attacks make everything simpler, however, they merely make her easier to kill, not more docile.

Save Evasive Maneuvers for every time she decloaks to fire the thalaron blast (which on Elite difficulty is almost certainly going to kill you. A very tough tank cruiser running a lot of resists could probably survive it, I think Ive done it a couple times myself, I honestly dont remember, but its not worth trying.)

The main tactic is to try and keep behind her, she has some very powerful fore facing weapons, mostly in the form of very damaging torpedo spread attacks that will drop a shield facing and take a hunk out of the hull of even a very tough tank cruiser.

Also, be careful with repulse abilities as you can kill people by pushing her and her
thalaron attack back into range of someone who just evasived to get out of it. They can sometimes be helpful, but its pretty rare, especially since people hardly ever plan their own safety around someone pushing her in a particular direction.

Tips:

Occasionally, she will fire her thalaron pulse instantly, if it gets you, its not your fault.

Usually, its a good idea to save your cool downs till after she decloaks the first time (some teams can take her out before she cloaks even once, this has a large luck component to it though) as she will sit there, still charging up the gun. This give you a decent amount of time to pound her into oblivion.

Lastly, you can 'kite-tank' her by flying out of range (> 10 km). This usually extends the amount of time she stays uncloaked and can be useful if your team .. sucks.

I found your CSE walkthrough a lot more accurate than the OP's, but this is still inefficient.
The best approach is 0 Gate guards, 5 attackers, preferably in a 3/2 split.
A manoeuverable attacker (an Escort, BoP or SV; Cruisers&Carriers should stay on the big targets) can easily handle its side's probes and move back onto its prior target with very little waste of time; whereas 2 Gate guards spend 70%+ of the time twiddling their thumbs and a single Gate guard spends 70%+ of its time flying back and forth.
By far the most common cause of optional failure is time, not probes and that mostly occurs due to Gate guardians.
As I've said on the wiki: as an Escort, it's very easy to kill the first wave of probes, kill the front generators, kill a cube, kill the second wave of probes, kill the back generators, start working on the Transformer: if you've got help, you can kill it before the 3rd wave otherwise you'll have to break off for said 3rd wave and come back afterwards; repeat on the other Transformer.


On Donatra: I've been hit by Torp Spread from the sides or rear before, albeit infrequently. Might be a latency issue.
One thing is for certain, though: the urban myth that she loses Torp Spread under 50% is incorrect. Just have to guess when she'll use it and BFI at the right moment.

And yes, I did survive her Thalaron pulse in Bortie. It's amazing how careless you can afford to be when you fly Bortie, especially with KHG12 Shields.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 146
# 40
07-01-2012, 11:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by quiscustodiet View Post
I found your CSE walkthrough a lot more accurate than the OP's, but this is still inefficient.
The best approach is 0 Gate guards, 5 attackers, preferably in a 3/2 split.
A manoeuverable attacker (an Escort, BoP or SV; Cruisers&Carriers should stay on the big targets) can easily handle its side's probes and move back onto its prior target with very little waste of time; whereas 2 Gate guards spend 70%+ of the time twiddling their thumbs and a single Gate guard spends 70%+ of its time flying back and forth.
By far the most common cause of optional failure is time, not probes and that mostly occurs due to Gate guardians.
As I've said on the wiki: as an Escort, it's very easy to kill the first wave of probes, kill the front generators, kill a cube, kill the second wave of probes, kill the back generators, start working on the Transformer: if you've got help, you can kill it before the 3rd wave otherwise you'll have to break off for said 3rd wave and come back afterwards; repeat on the other Transformer.


On Donatra: I've been hit by Torp Spread from the sides or rear before, albeit infrequently. Might be a latency issue.
One thing is for certain, though: the urban myth that she loses Torp Spread under 50% is incorrect. Just have to guess when she'll use it and BFI at the right moment.

And yes, I did survive her Thalaron pulse in Bortie. It's amazing how careless you can afford to be when you fly Bortie, especially with KHG12 Shields.
In the absence of "hard" data, Id say this is a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other.

However, the main attraction I see in the 3 left, 1 right, 1 guard is that the 4 attackers spend all their time attacking. They never stop. This means they get full use of their buffs (alphas, betas, sensor scans, whatever) and better rotation of those abilities. As opposed to two people being forced to switch off every 15 seconds or so to kill probes, then come back.

Plus, the person detailed to kill probes in each of your sub groups is either going to have to evasive out wide or spend a fair amount of time in range of and taking fire from the gate, which can one shot people or similarly ruin their day.

As far as efficiency goes, 1 person detailed moving back and forth and spending the majority of their time attacking (done correctly you will spend about 6 seconds traveling out of every 22, the rest of the time spent dps'ing [I can average 4k dps just doing probes over the course of a KASE, and this does not include the Donatra fight]) sounds far more efficient than two people having to break off periodically, avoid the gate, avoid getting snared by tractor beams, have the appropriate skills off CD to take down the probes in a timely fashion, etc etc etc.

It might be worthwhile to try and test each way, same people running both multiple times each. But personally, Im going to bet on the method that keeps as more people on target, longer.

-----

Now, as for Donatra and her spreads ... I have a theory about this. Ive noticed that when firing torpedoes of my own that if you target something at the extreme edge of the 90 degree firing arc, it will spread to other targets on a 90 degree arc centered on the original target. IE, the Torpedo Spread skill seems to have a real effective fire arc of 180 degrees (45 off of each side). That is probably what is happening with Donatra seemingly kicking in peoples teeth from the sides or rear.

Couple in lag, and the way the game calculates position, plus the time it takes torpedoes to hit their targets, and you can be well out of her forward arc before they even get near you.

Last edited by drasketo; 07-01-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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