I've successfully completed this raid twice now, both times with pick-up groups. The first group was super-slick, and we beat it in approximately 2 hours. The second was a little bumpier, but we pulled it off in about 3. I believe the difficulty level is just right. There are a couple of essential rules to follow when attempting this raid, and they will make things much, much easier:
Rule #1: You must have a balanced team.
Simply put, 5 tac officers trying this together are probably going to get wiped. You need a scientist (with a healing kit) and an engineer on your team. I'm a tac officer, and I haven't yet had any trouble finding a balanced group; however, this is something worth spending 15 to 20 min on if necessary (you'll save yourself hours of grief later on).
Rule #2: Make sure you don't have any "weenies" on your team.
Make sure you don't have any rage quitters, people with extremely negative attitudes, or even people who can't commit to as much as 4 hours of gameplay on your team. Decide upon the loot rules for need/greed early on to avoid team-killing arguments. Hopefully you'll figure out if anyone could be trouble during the space-based portion of the mission. Don't be afraid to give to give weenies the boot! If you're not too far into the mission you can always find a replacement and start over; this is much, much better then spending 3 to 4 hours with a rude and/or immature and/or unreliable person.
Rule #3: Somebody needs to step up and be the leader.
Preferably someone who has successfully completed the raid before. In both of my groups there were individuals who stepped up and took charge. They clearly explained what needed to done, and -- just as importantly -- everybody followed them.
Rule #4: Don't just charge in -- develop a strategy.
As you approach each new room/area of Borg, take a moment to get the lay of the land. Find out where the nodes are, and wait for any roaming patrols to leave the area. Then attack the nodes and pull the Borg in the room a safe distance away to where the roaming patrol won't be aggro'd when it returns. In addition, setting up choke points around corners, getting your turrets/generators up in advance, and carefully using your security teams (to avoid unnecessary aggro) all help considerably. Bottom line: put a plan together. If your current tactics aren't working, briefly discuss the situation with your team to come up with a new idea. The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!
Important note here: I am not a super experienced, hard-core MMO player. I have been putting in plenty of hours with this game, but most of what I do is solo play. I consider myself to be a fairly average player. You don't need to be an MMO raid veteran to complete this mission; however, you do need to work together with your group and approach each situation with a little thought and strategy. So far, my only complaint is with some frame-rate issues when the action gets a little intense, but those haven't been game-killing yet.
I won't pretend to be the most knowledgeable expert on this raid, but I have completed it twice and I'm happy to answer any specific questions you may have. If you like. Or, if your true purpose in writing this thread wasn't to engage in a discussion, but to simply to flame Cryptic, I guess you can always flame away. If that's the case I'll simply add an opposing viewpoint that I don't believe this raid is as bad as the C.E., and my experience with it so far has been very positive. For me, personally, the difficulty and challenge level are "just right". Good luck to you and happy hunting!
That's going to **** a lot of so called 'casuals' way off.
Yeah, it might. Truth be told, I haven't yet needed the 4 hours; the teams I've been on have completed it in 2 hours and 3 hours. 3 hours is "probably" a safe estimate -- I wouldn't go lower unless you're with a really good team. As someone with a full-time job and a family I obviously can't do this mission whenever I want, but I can still find a few hours on the weekend to pull-it-off, so I don't think it's a wash for all casual players. In a game that is designed almost entirely around a casual experience I actually like having a few things that require a little more commitment/effort; they provide a greater sense of reward and accomplishment, and then I can go back to doing the casual stuff.
I am sorry ... but this mission is not hard at all.
I have never failed this mission, not once. We did have one time (on the first day) when someone was bugged, intentionally killed himself, and when he respawned, he was out of the system and it wouldn't let him back in.
But the other 30+ times we've run it (yes, right now you can run it more than once a day) we have beat it. Our record is 52m.
I've beaten it with:
5 tactical officers
1 Eng / 4 tact
2 Eng / 3 tact
1 Eng / 1 sci / 3 tact
3 Eng / 2 tact
Never, not once, has it taken us more than 90m.
Is it hard, yes. Is it supposed to be hard? Yes. This instance was never intended to be for the casual player, or even for PUGs ... although I've been in pugs that have done it no problem.
And you guys that want to QQ about it being hard, and not for PUGs, just need to get over yourself ... there's more PvE content coming out for you, there's more things that you can solo coming out ... this is the content for the hard-core players that want it.
agree with the OP this mission is insane I still have yet to beat it and i've tried with many teams, now Cryptic has moved the valor marks from the cube to the end boss so I have no chance of getting any of these at all.
I'm happy to run this with you and show you some tips. Send me a private message and we'll set up a time.