After completing all the STFs currently out, I decided to make a write up details what I found good, bad, goofy, etc. for the sake of improvement if someone at Cryptic chances to read this.
This went extremely well, I loved the hidden complexity of the nodes supporting the gate, and the different loot levels if you had destroyed them or not. The freedom to choose multiple ways to complete a mission is what can make a game great, so I recommend this happens more, and in more complex ways.
The ground assault on the starbase turned out to be extremely bland. It all boiled down to just chewing through waves and waves of drones with little strategy other than find node, kill node, kill mob. There was missed potential with the ultra high ceilings in the first part, a walkway (such as the ones on Starbase 1 and DS9) could have allowed a splinter of the team use height to drop EPS conduits, defective Borg plasma torpedoes lodged in the hull or other parts of the damaged station onto the Borg, allowing for a much more dynamic event.
Another missed potential was the assimilated crewmembers. If there was a scanner that would recover their personality; after the node controlling has been destroyed; a sizable army of Starfleet crew members could be at your back, helping you push farther into the starbase.
The fight with Rebecca was well done, it required a team to communicate and do multiple times at once. The only complaint could be that the arena is rather cramped, making it improbable to ever set up a team's placement that can avoid her chain attack. An unavoidable attack is not strategy, it is simply a hurdle that is not conducive to thoughtful gameplay.
Freeing the I.K.S. Kang never really felt like an accomplishment, it was a short kill everything on the grid moment, and then we're already transporting down. A way to improve the segment might be to rescue some crewman of the Kang from Borg wreckage/escape pods or some such from the recently killed Cube, so that you know they have the personnel to repair the ship.
Vietnam: Borg Edition. The generators gauntlet was a good idea, and a step in the right direction. It just wasn't that sure of a step. The propensity for generators to have different timing and schedules didn't make much sense when they all look like they were produced on the same day. Also, the mission only served to highlight "How to Manage Aggro". It stopped feeling like Star Trek and felt closer to a simulator of how to manage numbers. Yet again, the large scenery could have been used for the mission rather than to frame the mission. Walkways made of giant leaves mixed with Borg tech could have been an amazing trip.
-Boss Phase One:
This stage had its good and bad points. The good was the spacious battlefield that allowed for strategic movements and planning. Also, the Boss had a variety of attacks and defenses that could be avoided and exploited with proper tactics. The bad point was the support node groups which would respawn, so most groups would just lure the boss away. Yet again, it broke the immersion seeing the Boss lumber away from his support while they don't bat an eyelash.
-Boss Phase Two:
This phase brought back horrible memories of the days when the Crystalline Entity had a mountain of HP and a mountain range of HP recovery. This was an uninteresting slog which felt like a time sink for the sake of a time sink. An alternative way for the boss fight to progress would be shooting off pieces of Borg tech from the carrier. This would change its abilities over time, making it a much more interesting firefight. The only bright spot was the "Free the Ships" objective, which felt like a natural order and extension of story.
A great example of how a mission can rely on the team splitting up. It just doesn't do enough of it. If the gates had support nodes, which would allow the team to lessen the flood of Spheres, the mission could be done several different ways. I list Spheres specifically because the a damaged gate would have more trouble with the more massive ships, thus the probes would be fine, but spheres would be limited.
The second stage of this space phase was also very well done, I loved seeing the Vega Colony again and seeing how much worse the beginning of the game could have been! Also, it showed that our heroes aren't always perfect, many ships had gone through the gate beforehand, and the team is just catching up to the Borg's shenanigans.
This was a slog again, but a very nicely presented one. the cave walls and vast Borg amphitheatre made it truly feel like a vast Borg hive. The need for a second team comes up again, this time story related and completely natural for the mission. A little detail overlooked can be the mix of TNG style Drones and STO style anorexic Drones. This was a great touch and made it feel like a meeting of two eras. There was the potential for a massive Borg Queen Boss battle that would need the multi-level stage for double pronged attacks on her tendrils which would be used to move her around, ending up leaving her crawling on the floor whipping people with the bloody tubes and tendrils, shooting gas and acid and anyone far away. Then she could beam out just in time for the next Phase.
It must be said that having a way to earn a Borg boff in this STF is amazing and has not gone unnoticed. Moving on...
I 'm going to break my serious demeanor for a second and say I absolutely adored this boss to no end, I really can't think of much criticism other than the extra time portals. If the Boss's ship is creating them, there should be some change to show the strain, such an attack of shrapnel from the ship's wings coming off due to the spatial distortions.
Sulu was a great cameo, although the voice acting could have used a few touch ups. Although considering he was an Undine, it could be regarded as bad translation. A disappointment was the support stations near the dome. They did absolutely nothing but stand there. A possible function could have been spawn pads or long range artillery that would snap at ships that got too close.
A great segment that rewarded vigilance and punished laziness or uncommunicative teams. Missed potential could have been shops that had Undine constructed ultra-rare items. Also, the upper level of the Promenade could have housed some of the officer groups, using the otherwise dead space. The trip to Ops was a treat, although a miniboss that busted down and out of the Captain's room into the room would have been a fun surprise.
Being inside an Undine base was a great setting, and the poisonous pustules were a clever obstacle. However to make them more interesting, make it a random chance of poison or healing gas. Considering they're transforming themselves into human forms, there must be some sort of restorative gases stored on the base.
Going back to Khitomer Accord, an Undine boff who remembers the Treaty of Janeway would have been the best thing in the game. Considering how stubborn they are, there must be some isolationists who would help fight their war-hawk brethren back into Fluidic Space.
There is something profoundly wrong when a strategy includes, "And then we keep dying until we get lucky". A room should be able to be completed in one go by a team that knows what it's doing, not a room where we make inches of headway, then reset, then make a few more, reset, etc. Also, the insta-kill-everything attack by the Undine Boss is not good gameplay. Something unavoidable and lethal does not cause strategic thinking to be used, just kill kill kill.
I hope you all think my feedback was productive. Seey'all out there!