Lot's of things I like about it. You need a balanced team, and hey, a real tank is required. Thank you, Cryptic, cruisers still have a purpose. Besides good tanking, coordinated healing/support, and some dps make this very doable...as long as you work together as a team. Charging in with all guns blazing and not noticing what your teammates are doing will definitely get you wiped. Communicate, read the suggested tactics, agree on who will be doing what. Be methodical and follow the lead of the tank instead of being a one ship deathstar, which most people are probably used to because the rest of the game can be played that way.
Originally Posted by skyranger1414
You say all this like its a good thing. In its current state I foresee this STF being less played than Cure. No pugging on this one, and it WILL cause lots of drama when a lot of tank cruiser pilots that "think" they know how to play realize they do not. As soon as its clear the tank(s) and/or sci vessels are not being played right we'll see a lot of warp outs.
Unlike others that love their rose colored glasses, I despise being tied to a specific team composition to get through content so my first impressions may be more negative than most.
What really worries me is that this feels a lot like the Gravitar fight in CO. For those unfamiliar with that fight, its meant to be an extremely challenging encounter. Fair enough I said. But instead of being challenging its a "build check" style of fight. If you can't take a certain amount of damage, you will fail. If you can't deal damage fast enough, you will also fail as people make more and more mistakes. There were some debuff powers the players were using to get through the fight but Cryptic decided that using debuff powers to debuff was just not right and made Gravitar immune to the debuffs. I bring this up because a lot of people are thinking that proper use of sci vessels is the key here, but of those sci powers are found to be effective at all we might just see the Borg NPCs become immune to them.... or worse yet, the sci powers might get nerfed again.
I actually do see this as a good thing. Many of us have been begging for 'balance'. Well here we finally have a mission that requires a semblance of such. One of my Normals didn't have support/healers so a truly balanced set up is not absolutely necessary. My teams were 3/4 fleeties + 2/1 pug, and we just grabbed whomever was available in the fleet. I'm confident that after Cryptic makes some refinements this will be very puggable in Normal even for those, as you say, that only 'think' they know how to play their tank/sci .
I also don't see anything wrong with having an Elite STF that requires a bit of pre-play planning. As long as it's not buggy and tightly time based like IGE or one that demands a solitary highly skilled dps'er like CSE (for Kang), players will want to test their mettle in a fun, non-stop, action filled mission. Will it be as popular as the super easy STFs? Will a lot of players who really don't have much of a clue how to play the game or their character routinely choose to undertake this mission? No, I doubt it, but hey is that really a bad thing?
You have legitimate concerns, however. I am not familiar with Gravitar in CO, but yes, Cryptic has been known to address alleged game playability 'problems' by severly disrupting the status quo and causing new problems. But I say we can't shy away from every situation that raises the bar on this game. Otherwise it will just be another soon-to-be mundane Season/addition. We should have a little more faith in Cryptic. After all, they have recently demonstrated a willingness to listen to player feedback, albeit not completely and certainly very selectively, but the game is improving. Let's give credit where credit is due. And likewise let's give this new STF a chance. Again, I'm not advocating no changes, just please don't nerf it down to the level of ISE/KASE/KAGE.
Aye, i've found how to beat the elite version really easily. With the following tricks it's a walk in the park now.
We had two escorts (one AFK, yes, even on tribble), two carriers (including mine), a chimera and an eng on an oddy witha healer/tank build. PuG group.
I runned the following build: science char, tholian recluse carrier with two wings of advanced peregrine fighers, crowd control build with a feedback pulse 2, TBR 3, gravity well 1, some low level heals, and 1 photonic officer 2. Equipement : polarized disruptor, + 1 plasma dot console from the embassy and a hull regen one (graviton generator and particle generator). Special consoles: graviton pulse generator, tholian web. Frontal DPS (DHCs and turrets). Doffs: 1 SNB.
- Unimatrixes. Everyone at the top of it, firing at very close range. Fighers on interecept mode will take care of the bolts, so everyone can ignore them. When regen probes appear, use TBR 3 or GW1 so that they heal eachother like idiots instead of healing cigares. If a bolt survives, use TBR. Our tank was in from of the unimatrix to do his job and get some aggro. Our team blown up both unimatrixes in less than 1:30 minutes using that strategy.
- The queen: She pops, use the tholian web console. It'll take 15 seconds before she can destroy it (it looks like her dps comes from special abilities only, and she has very few regular attacks, so it's a great glitch), and she'll aggro the nodes in the meantime (they have a very high threat value). Carriers launch their fighters, and fighers will take the iso charges and aoe torps. No one can be blown up. SNB, debuff, snb, debuff, use the tholian web, constantly launch new fighers wings. Fighers will of course torp her to death before they get killed. And she died in less than 2 mins.
Elite? Sorry, cryptic, try again.
How you could improve it: iso charge isn't necessary here. It's very easy to avoid with a proper build. Instead of that the queen could have PDS consoles or 10 or so turrets with CRF III to deal with figher wings and other pets. She sould also be able to select multiple targets instead of just one.
I'd say it is elite, ok maybe queenie should have more standard attacks but as always a good team working together can pull it off easily, I did normal a few minutes ago and found the requirement for a degree of teamwork and strategy gave it some actual difficulty, this is one STF I will happily do again.
Nice work Cryptic, if the NPC firepower is as I expect in elite it could probably use a little tone down but I'll give my verdict on that once I've done it
2. the also mentioned pathfinding of the cubes is messed up.
3. the houston is aggroing everything, but doesnt do anything useful beside looking pretty and avoiding attacks.
4. couple of times the own ship is set to an intercept-course bug. means, no control over the own ship and steering towards the target.
5. sometimes the queens diamond seems acting overpowered on normal, like it is set to elite in some of the hive instances and oneshotting everybody in range. happened like 2 or 3 times in all the runs. slicing through the cubes and spheres pretty easily, defeating both of the unimatrix vessels in like 2 minutes, the queen engaged in combat and boom - whole squad dead, took like half an hour to take her down. all that plus the missing rewards afterwards felt like a big disappointment
Did it earlier today with 3 other fleet mates and one pug on elite. Got through the whole thing, including two optionals.
First part, the Tac Cubes weren't terrible. Honestly, aside from just dealing with several at once, they're just as big, dumb, and slow as they've always been. Spheres tended to be much more annoying because they would focus a lot, or so it seemed. Even with points in Power Insulators, when several spheres hit you with tachyon beam, you're gonna lose a lot of shields.
The Cubes themselves, again, just as big and stupid as ever, no real issue. Honestly, the Houston itself tended to be a problem since it would aggro them before we were ready. The pug did too, but we were expecting that. But one at a time, no trouble.
The V'gers...are annoying. Even focusing fire on one still took awhile, mostly because they spat out Regen probes so fast. Tractor probes and normal probes are a joke and barely even worth a mention. Still managed to get through them though.
Queenie took awhile, but while annoying, her ship itself, even as quick as it was, wasn't the issue. It was all her abilities she kept firing off constantly, same rather applies for the V'gers.
We got the timed optional, and the optional on the queen, since we always kept at least one person alive. Though like others have said, the loot was gotten for only one person.
Now, I feel the main problem here (aside from bugs) is that there is just 'too much'.
There is too much spam from the V'gers, they launch probes at an incredible rate, to the point it's a bit ridiculous. The plasma balls are tolerable, used to those from Red alerts.
There are too many instant-death attacks. We had this same issue with Cure Space, and massive Isometric charges. I want the Borg to hit hard, not an issue, but having SO many 'boom, you die now' attacks isn't hard, it's annoying and un-fun, and will make people just stay away from it in the first place, mitigating the point of having a new STF in the first place.
The Borg Queen has way too many abilities she can seem to use without cooldown, or very short ones. So she was able to use her stuff over and over, again, making her extremely annoying and while tough, not really and truly difficult.
Too many ships in general all at once. Having a lot of ships is fine, it's Unimatrix 01 of all places, but spreading them out wouldn't hurt. Have it go in a much more 'wave' like function:
1. Start MUCH further back than we do now, and the starting respawn point will be here at least. The first wave will consist of all those Borg spheres. Annoying with the dozen or so, but workable, just focus fire, and bring em down.
2. Wave two, the cubes/tac cubes. Instead of that rough diamond shape they were in (which caused a lot of clipping issues btw), have them be in lack a wall, or in rows. Such as a 2 cube tall, by 3 cube wide wall of those 6. It'd look VERY intimidating against such a group, or in rows, something like that.
3. Keep both V'gers, just tone down their insta-death attacks (or at least their lances and number of probes they spawn at once).
4. Borg queen is tough, and needs nothing else, but again, her insta-death is just a bit too high to be challenging without some mild toning down.
I don't think toning the insta-death down would ruin it at all. Hardly so, but if it isn't toned down, the mission will barely be played when it hits Holodeck (past the first week or so it's released).
Also, I feel the rewards (aside from being fixed of course) should at least be double any other STF. This one is longer and much more time-consuming, and the reward should show that as such. If another elite gives 50 marks and one Borg Processor, this should give 100 marks and two Processors, plus optional bonuses on top of that.
If it's meant to be hard and challenging, it is. It's meant to be the real 'end all' of the Borg story, and I like that, but if it's nothing but masses of instant-death, people are simply going to ignore it.
So insta death spam is back again?
man and i thought they learned from the past issues... insta death =! hard, its just annoying and boring especial when you can't avoid them. The big discharges are a good way of insta death because you can counter them and you see them coming, but torp spread for 90k+ dmg -> not.
Step one - Blow something up.
Step two - Blow something up.
Step three - Blow something up.
I'd like to see something other than a dps race in space missions. A shield generator appeared! Two ships break off from the main group to upload a virus into the shield generator, while the other ships have to defend the uploading ships while scanning for weaknesses in the unimatrix. Begin final assault.