Ok so first up it's time to take a look at Terradome and see if we can fix the problems with it. Since I had virtually nothing to do with this STF, I don't really know what is wrong with it. I can play thorugh it , but that will only give me so much information on it
Are there any big bugs that your having to work around to complete it?
What parts of it do you find particularly "grindy"?
Well I have to say I haven't done it since it was released so I don't know if anything has actually changed about it. But the reason I quit bothering with it was simply the ending. Getting there was a little frustrating at times, since it was mostly a grind, however it was entirely doable with enough deterimination. But finding Sulu (or even worse J'Vek) before the real one was killed could be entirely random, even though we knew what to look for. And even if we could find them, there isn't a whole lot we could do to keep them alive.
The end battle seemed to rely entirely on luck and exploiting game mechanics to keep Sulu or J'Vek alive. And the KDF version is utterly insane, because they all use bat'leths, so the real J'Vek would literally sometimes be killed before the whole team was even in the room after opening the door.
I really thought the concept of the end battle was really cool, but the execution was just terrible.
There were also just too many Undine throughout the mission, especially with the cocoons or whatever that keep spawning them. And this goes for the end battle too, they just need to be thinned out significantly.
But again, I haven't done this since the first incarnation, so I don't know if any of that has changed.
Welcome back, and thanks for being willing to take a crack at this...
When you fail the "protect the engineers" part, the npcs spawn in duplicate on subsequent attempts --, both the engineers that you have to protect, as well as the attacking mobs. The same apparently goes for the Sulus in the boss room.
Also, if you kill the final boss before killing the fake sulus, and the real sulu dies before you kill the fake sulus -- when the instance resets (as a fail), the sulus that respawn are all invulnerable, making the mission unfinishable.
The grindy part is the part beginning with the Trials of Janus, leading up to the boss room. This is the part where you may want to consider removing mobs.
Also, the restart/continue point for Trials of Janus and Where's Sulu are exactly the same. So if you were to fail on the boss and have to try again the next day, you have to start again from the same spot as Trials of Janus. If the Where's Sulu start point was just before the boss room (or somewhere else closer) that would help. (It's a bit odd having the same start point.)
There are a few things that come to mind for me with this one:
1. At the beginning you're asked to watch for people flipping coins. All well and good. The problem is, with a well organized team you can usually find all but the last few coin flippers pretty quickly, and then you stand around for 10 minutes waiting for those last few ones. The frequency of the coin flipping should be shorter. It feels like a few of them are set to a reasonable level, but one of two of the coin flippers are set for very long intervals between coin flips, which basically means everyone is just standing around waiting for them - rather boring.
2. When the resistance 'clickers' come out to use the stations around the promenade, they are often standing with the backs to the Undine that appear. What seems to happen next is that the boss Undine get nice critical 'instant kill' flanking shots on them before the players can do anything, and the mission fails. As a result this part of the mission can also be a total random crap shoot. (Not sure if its the flanking that's the issue, but I have seen them one kill the console users before).
There is a method to use engineering shields to succeed at this part of the mission btw (I described it the other day to Chad if you want to talk to him about it), but it basically requires two engineers and a bit of clever shield placing to stop the npc resistance guys from reaching their destination. I'm not sure how feasible it is to finish this mission without two engineers however, as I've failed every time I've tried without them. (This makes me wonder how much your 'success rate' is being skewed by this clever use of shielding).
3. As mentioned above, the ending part of this mission before reaching Sulu does feel pretty grindy. Having something in there to break up the monotony would be good (or just shorten the mission if that's your preference - I do think its a bit long).
4. Finding Sulu in time does seem to be a crap shoot (as previously mentioned).
In conclusion, I do think this is the hardest of the STFs, and I've seen more then one PUG give up and say 'never again'. In one way this is good (Undine are suppose to be tougher then Borg and it doesn't always feel that way). Its also nice to have something 'hard core' for players to strive for as well. However I recommend that if you're going this route, make Terradome either a 'second level' STF after something else (we would love another STF!), or offer bigger 'rewards' (perhaps more emblems and/or other goodies?!).
I'd like to add one more 'bug'... well not really a bug, but something that makes the mission extremely hard to complete. REALLY hard as in 'so close to impossible as makes no difference'
In the 'Protect the Engineers' part, the Undine have started one-shotting engineers from time to time... In earlier times this part was nicely balanced, but now it's close to imposible to get past... Everything is going according to plan, and then suddenly a perfectly healthy engineer falls over dead... I do not really know if it is a one-shot or a bug, but this point has become a showstopper for almost everyone...
IMO, that part and the bossroom lockup with invincible Sulus is what is making this mission unplayable...
Funny thing: When it was released, it was working ok... bugs came later... a shame, I really enjoyed playing Terradome...
Goz, I've taken some of my best fleeties through Terradome a dozen or so times pre-season 2. With the same groups, we can not get past the "protect the engineer" section post-season 2.
What used to happen was if you discovered all the correct coin flippers without mistake, each engineer console would get 2-3 Undine in the initial wave and then another beamed in every 30 sec or so. If you messed up at the coin flipping section and identified a non-coin flipper, you would get much more Undine at the consoles and it would almost be impossible. Now, you get the giant groups even if you didn't mess up on the coin flippers, including a battle leader; at this point you are doing protecting of the console by yourself. It is impossible to grab the agro of the battle leader, kill 5-6 undine and have your engineer survive
Other than this part, I honestly think the rest of the mission is perfect. The end boss fight could use some reworking as no one ever uses the consoles around the room and usually just unloads everything they have to get the boss from the 20K health to 0 in the allotted 30 seconds before the Death Wave.
Everything is good up until the part with the Engineers. Each station seems to get 2 engineers. We had one run where both engineers tried working the consoles at once and the progress bar would never "progress". The whole time Psi Warriors (I think, they are the 'middle' enemy) would keep spawning, 2 of them and one big guy about ever 30 seconds. I assume that was due to the bug but if they're going to spawn at that rate, it'd be best to leave it as just the low level guys. Those bigger guys can sometimes one-shot an engineer when they do direct health damage.
Everything else seems good up until the Trial of Janus. Literally, there are so many spawns they end up standing on each others shoulders because they simply can't fit in the space allotted. There needs to be a limit to how many enemies spawn in the map.
The boss fight needs to be broke up into two parts. First you can find Sulu and then after that work on taking down the boss. Currently when you complete the trial of janus and fail on the boss it puts you at the start of the trial of janus... that needs to be fixed. Leave the "gas" in the pit for AFTER Sulu is found, I can't remember how many times he would spawn down there or fall in there. If there "needs" to be gas down there let it spawn after sulu has been saved.
Personally the thing i hate the most about all the STFs just going through wave after wave after wave of enemies.
P.S. If you would like to do a run w/ me and maybe some of the other posters in here that are experienced, I would be up to getting an experienced group together so we can show you what the actual players are seeing while running through I sent you a PM the other day if you want to just respond in there