Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 How 12th Fleet Smashed the CE!
02-04-2012, 07:16 PM
Today 12th Fleet officers launched four successful operations against the infamous Crystalline Entity in the Alpha Centauri sector block. Each time destroying the creature in fleet actions recorded at under 4-5 minutes in total duration. (See our record breaking time of 3 minutes 11 seconds of gameplay on Yutube at http://youtu.be/2xEhs5ZG4AM.)

So how did we do it in so little time? Well, we did not use Scatter Volley. We did not kite fragments. We did not prohibit kinetic weapons. Nor did we yell at people in local.

The important factors in the smashing victory were as follows: (1) we had 15 ships concentrating DPS solely on the CE; (2) in addition to the 15 DPS ships, we had at least 3 (preferably 5) science ships, equipped with 2-3 repulsors each, chain firing tractor beam repulsors to keep the fragments away from the DPS teams, especially during Stage III of the Entity's hull points; (3) we banned all targetable weapons/abilities (e.g., mines, tricobalt devices/torpedoes, boarding parties, photonic fleet, fleet support, etc.); and (4) we tried to keep everyone in a small group at a distance of more than 5km from the CE (preferably 7km to 9km). I believe that having our few science ships concentrating on killing fragments using mass kill/area of effect weapons (especially gravity well) in Stage I and Stage II was somewhat helpful; as was banning all mass kill/area of effect weapons within 10km of the CE in Stage III. Everyone in the expedition did come equipped with their own copy of tractor beam repulsors, but that precaution turned out to have been unnecessary as long as we had three science ships chain firing repulsors (nonetheless I would recommend the procedure for PUGs, since they are more difficult to organize).

PS For those looking for briefer (no intro/less music) demonstrations of the same method (though not record breaking) see:
Jupiter and 12th Take Down the CE , or
12th & Pandas Smash CE
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-04-2012, 07:20 PM
The following is to provide context for the above to people who may have little, or wrong, information about the CE.

What you need to know about the Crystalline Entity in brief:
The CE has over 2 million hull points (no shields). It heals naturally (without assistance from Small Crystalline Fragments) about 1% of its hull points every 10 seconds (or 2k per second) and it has a damage resistance of 73%. In addition to is natural healing, Small Crystalline Fragments heal it for 1% each when they reach it.

There are three stages to a battle against the CE which are based on the percentage of hull points the CE has left.

Stage I 100%-67% - Each time the CE is hit by weapons fire it spawns "Crystalline Fragments" (20k hull points each) at a distance of up to 4 km. The Crystalline Fragments track down players and will explode (Physical Damage [not the same as kinetic], c. 25000 damage straight to your hull) if they get within 1km of you or any other targetable object. It is possible that they will detonate simply from being in close proximity to another detonating fragment (this needs confirmation). They will agro on ships that shoot at them or get within about 3k of them. Shields are useless against Crystalline Fragments. It is safe to shoot crystalline fragments. They can also be kited indefinitely if your engines are fast or at higher power. Under the current version fragments do not like to wander far from the CE, and agroed fragments will break off pursuit if you fly too far away (c. >25km) from the CE. In Stage I the CE also shoots a Matter Conversion Beam (Antiproton Damage). Shields work against the Matter Conversion Beam as with normal weapons fire, but in our experience a VA can tank the beam even without any shield heals.
Stage II 66%-33% - The CE will stop firing its Matter Conversion Beam and only spawn the Crystalline Fragments, but they spawn at an increased rate.
Stage III 32% - 1% - In addition to the normal Crystalline Fragments, The CE now spawns "Large Crystalline Fragments" (40k hp each, about a dozen at a time). The Large Fragments are functionally similar to the normal fragments, except: they are faster (even 100% engine power might not be enough to kite them depending on your build); they do roughly 50000 hull points damage when they detonate; and if they detonate within c. 20km of the CE then they spawn three "Small Crystalline Fragments" (3k hp) which immediately attempt to fly back to the CE and heal it. Small Crystalline Fragments that reach the CE, will heal the CE for 1% each (this is how the CE can go rapidly from 10% to 90% hit points). Small Crystalline Fragments can (and should) be shot down (they are much easier to kill than regular fragments, the problem is targeting them in the mass of fragments out there).

If a Large Crystalline Fragment is destroyed by weapons fire or abilities, it will spawn three short-lived Small Crystalline Fragments ("temporary fragments"). These temporary fragments show up within seven seconds after you destroy a Large fragment. The temporary small fragments can be targeted and destroyed like other small fragments. It has been said that the temporary fragments dissipate harmlessly on their own within a few seconds. However, our experience has shown that if the temporary fragments are close enough to reach the CE before they dissipate, then they heal it just like normal small fragments. The healing ability of the temporary fragments can be observed most easily by using gravity well to kill concentrations of Large fragments next to the CE. Some have suggested that even temporary fragments that appear to dissipate at a great distance from the CE may actually heal it -- this would be very contrary to old forum posts by others on the CE. Nonetheless, it is generally safer to avoid killing large fragments except as part of a total group effort to clear out all fragments when the fragments are at a distance of more than 5km from the CE (recommended distance is 10-15 km).]

Neither the CE nor the fragments have any shields, power levels, or subsystems. Only the CE has damage resistance (albeit humongous at 73%).

Note that the stat.s listed above for the CE and fragments are based on a level 41 instance.

Reference material see:
http://www.stowiki.org/Mission:_Crys...he/Walkthrough
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=119521
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=148543
Lt. Commander
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Posts: 120
# 3
02-05-2012, 05:39 PM
Epic. Was honored to be a part of this on the 3 min 11 sec run.

Thanks to everyone for inviting people, and kudos to spontaneously organizing a great event. I was very impressed by the level of clarity, conciseness and friendliness by the event organizers.

Great work to all involved!
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# 4
02-05-2012, 07:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by congested View Post
Epic.. . . I was very impressed by the level of . . conciseness . . . .
LOL You were lucky Duhram! You missed the 1.5 hour organizing session that preceded our first run yesterday. By your run we had figured out that we did not need to bring the kitchen sink after all. Thanks for taking the time to be a part of the spectacular occasion and for helping to prove that a group with two members under level 40 could still do this at level 51 in record time.
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# 5 Wow! Amazing time!
02-05-2012, 08:03 PM
FIrst, congratulations to the 12th Fleet!! That is a record time. Secondly, I wish I could have been a part of it. Two nights ago I was on until the wee hours as usual before the server came down for maintenence. There was a Fleet Action for the Crystalline Entity. When I joined in, it had been running for 8 hours! Of course the first thing I see, in a cluster of to the right of my screen, was every single mine in the game! Well almost, lol. I was like...wow...here we go again. I do feel bad because I did type in Local for players to stop using Ramming Speed and running into Large Fragments and the other mistakes we all once made. I feel like Tom Cruise near the end of Top Gun when he takes his break from fighting and says, "It's no good." and bugs out! However in the same fashion I always return to spread more Holy Tetryon goodness at the CE.

I would love to be a part of another run with you all if you'll have me. SSJBart2003@EnsignSayers. Oh and I can be one of your 5-7k distance DPS guys. My Odyssey can simply fly circles and lash some beams!

Lastly...I couldn't find any info on here, but I tried logging in at 230pm Eastern time today and I was the 1,486th person waiting for a spot on the server. What was going on? Happy Hunting Captains!

Bart Sayers
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-06-2012, 02:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Folcwin View Post
Today 12th Fleet officers launched four successful operations against the infamous Crystalline Entity in the Alpha Centauri sector block. Each time destroying the creature in fleet actions recorded at under 4-5 minutes in total duration. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuBO1qLpZiU.)

So how did we do it in so little time? Well, we did not use Scatter Volley. We did not kite fragments. We did not prohibit kinetic weapons. Nor did we yell at people in local.

The important factors in the smashing victory were as follows: (1) we had 15 ships concentrating DPS solely on the CE; (2) in addition to the 15 DPS ships, we had at least 2 (preferably 3 and no more than 5) science ships, equipped with 2-3 repulsors each, chain firing tractor beam repulsors to keep the fragments away from the DPS teams, especially during Stage III of the Entity's hull points; (3) we banned all targetable weapons/abilities (e.g., mines, tricobalt devices/torpedoes, boarding parties, photonic fleet, fleet support, etc.); and (4) we tried to keep everyone in a small group at a distance of more than 5km from the CE (preferably 7km to 9km). I believe that having our few science ships concentrating on killing fragments using mass kill/area of effect weapons (especially gravity well) in Stage I and Stage II was somewhat helpful; as was banning all mass kill/area of effect weapons within 10km of the CE in Stage III. Everyone in the expedition did come equipped with their own copy of tractor beam repulsors, but that precaution turned out to have been unnecessary as long as we had three science ships chain firing repulsors (nonetheless I would recommend the procedure for PUGs, since they are more difficult to organize).
I think another good tactic is having 2 ships which use "beam fire at will" in order to get the attention of the fragments... so that the other ships can fire the CE. When I use that tactic I am followed by so many fragments and since I am faster, they do not hit me. The only problem is that people think I am in difficult so they help me instead firing the CE.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-06-2012, 03:03 AM
Great work guys!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-06-2012, 09:34 AM
Congrats on the epic victory.
I have been trying with no success to convence people that this tatic is the funest one. I cant seam to convence any one that its doable.
http://infinity-fleet.shivtr.com/vb_threads/950472

May be I can do a run with ya all?

It has allwys seamed to me that if a large shard hits a physical object it spans the heal shards, I've shot those things many times with energy weapons (only) and never had heal shards pop out.

May be its the new change?
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-06-2012, 10:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurga
It has allwys seamed to me that if a large shard hits a physical object it spans the heal shards, I've shot those things many times with energy weapons (only) and never had heal shards pop out.

May be its the new change?
As far as I know, it has always been possible to kill Small fragments before they make it back to the CE -- just very difficult to target them quick enough when they are surrounded by other fragments. If you click on a Small fragment and get Info you will see that they only have 3000 hull points (at lvl 41). If you want to experiment: kite a large fragment more than 10km from the CE and detonate it with mines, you should have enough time to destroy at least one of the Small fragments that spawn. I believe your problem is likely that your beam(s) are not doing enough damage to kill the Small fragment before it can make it back to the CE. Note just in case, there is no reason to avoid all torpedoes when going up against the CE (that is a misconception); but a torpedo might be too slow to catch a Small fragment.
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# 10
02-06-2012, 10:09 AM
Folcwin why isn't the video up?
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