A) pewpew tholians
B) pewpew entity
C) absorption phase, stop pewpew and move out of AoE range.
D) Absorption ends, tholians respawn, start again at A.
It's sadly entirely too trivial.
So true. I just tried it out this morning and it was ridiculously easy. Its "regeneration" effects have been nerfed to oblivion. I didn't even find the need to dodge those crystal shards. Although I never agreed with the idea that it could regenerate from large shards hitting small craft/mines, the fact that they removed this feature gave rise to all these carrier pet spam and mine spam that pretty much clears out all the crystal shards.
I also noticed that the CE's beams now fires regardless of it's health at multiple targets. While that's a nice change, I also noticed that it's beams just doesn't hurt like it used to. Aside from the shards and tholians, the CE has no killing power.
If it's fun, then I'd consider the re-design a success.
For this limited-time event, we didn't want to set the bar too high. All players should have a chance to succeed. Maybe we erred too far on the side of caution, but I'd much rather have tipped the scales to that end than to the opposite.
When the Crystalline Entity returns in the future, well after this limited-time Event has run its course, we fully intend to offer an Elite version for players that wish to have a greater challenge.
Also: We're currently investigating the bug related to the Matter Conversion Beam. Getting that to reliably deal its intended damage will raise the difficulty of the encounter a bit.
Cryptic - Systems Design