How do you setup the mission difficulty when 2 players team up and are different ranks?
I'm a returning player teaming up with a friend just starting out. He's a Lieutenant and I'm Rear Admiral, lower half. We would like to team up together without the lower rank getting ganked by the NPCs.
Here is what we do when we team up. The Lieutenant invites the Rear Admiral, who selects "Yes" to use team captain’s mission level. All mission levels start out at the lieutenant level, but when we enter into the 2nd space map of the mission, the difficulty level jumps up the Rear Admiral. i.e. the Lieutenant ship is instantly destroyed my the NPCs.
We are working on the mission chain from Admiral Quinn, “Stranded In Space”, “Diplomatic Orders”, “Hide and Seek”, and “Outreach”.
Are the mission difficulty based on ranks or ship class?
Difficulty is based on the team leader's settings.
The other question: Any time you make a map transition when level matching, make sure the low level goes first. The level matching system is wonky in a lot of ways, but something I learned the very hard way doing the Pi Canis sorties on my Klingon: If the high level goes in first, then level matches down, the NPCs will spawn at his original level, and then may or may not level match down themselves... if they do they'll still be more powerful than an NPC spawned at the lower level, much like the rear admiral will still be much stronger than the lieutenant, even when he's matched to the lower level.
Edit: Also missed the last question: missions scale by your level/rank, not your ship class. The game doesn't go easy on people who want to try out their Miranda class ship on tier 5.
Make sure you are level matching at all times. If you get out of range for too long, you will stop level matching.
First, make sure the lower level player is squad leader, which by default is also the team leader.
Whoever the team leader is, can make someone else the squad leader by right clicking their portrait and setting them to squad leader.
Note that while by default, the person that creates the group is both, they are actually two separate things. You can create the group with your Admiral, and just make the other person squad leader without giving up team leader abilities.
When you are NOT the squad leader, you'll see just to the left of their portrait an icon that tells you if you are currently level matching or not. I think it looks like parallel or crossed swords, but I don't remember for sure - I haven't really looked closely at the icon, but you can click that to toggle on or off level matching to the squad leader.
I find the feature works quite well. As long as you're level matching, it doesn't matter if you zone in first or not, since you're treated as the squad leader's level if you are.