I'm going to have a tangental rant, because I'm on my man period.
Of course CE is too easy. The bulk of PvE in this game is too easy. If you have enough DPS (and DPS Escorts are the easiest thing to take from a cookie cutter build and make work in this game) you can be more tactically inept than Roy Hodgson and get away with it in nearly everything in this game.
Starbase Missions? Zergable. And even if you don't do well, you still get enough FMs out of them. Now Starbase Missions being easy wouldn't bother me since they are designed for lower rank players to be able to play them with their damage boosted to VA level (doesn't add weapons slots to their ships or unlock VA abilities for them though), except nearly everything else is easy too.
Normal STFs? Zergable.
Elite STFs? Starting to become zergable due to the power creep, although you do actually need tactics if you want the optionals, but you can still implement those tactics very sloppily and get away with it.
Defera Hards? Lol. Can be done by 3 people instead of 5.
Nukura? Looks cool and is harder than Defera, but not exactly difficult either.
Crystalline Entity? Zergable. In 15 attempts at this, I've had one group stall around the 35% mark once for about 2 minutes. And that's it. Yes, I get there's a challenge in coming first, but that challenge is being provided by other players, not by the content itself. You'd need 7 or 8 players to be clueless in order to fail or get stuck on the mission itself.
Other Fleet Actions? Do people play these? Also, generally zergable. The only way I've failed one of these is simply not having enough people, or when they were broken with obnoxiously close mobs.
That's pretty much the bulk of group PvE content. C'mon Cryptic, give us something else. Rethink and rebalance the STFs, or make new ones. Just give us something please. You can leave some of the conent zergable if you want to, but not all of it.
And yes we can always play Terradome and NWS that pose a challenge, but that's it. Two missions. And to be honest, if you're fully geared, Terradome is just longer than the other STFs rather than more difficult. And NWS is miles above the next hardest thing in the game, there needs to be something between NWS and Elite STFs in terms of difficulty.
And I'm not a super elite super player either. I have about 40 names on my friends list, and at least 25 of them are better than me at STO. I'm almost exactly average at this game.
Its not the pink beam that is deadly, its the shards. They are hard to see and hard to target, and they really hurt even trough full shields.
Hard to see and hard to target?
Me, I only really have trouble when I'm under 1 kilometers of the thing - because then the shards spawn before I can react to them, and there's a chance that several of them will go after me, blowing me up before I can bring my heals to bear.
Oh, lovely, I can't even requote the Douglas Adams quote I used to have here I WANT IT BACK!!!!
The challenge is to get first place. I personally find that more challenging then anything else in the game. I have gotten first place on a few characters but now I seem to be getting 3rd place a lot.
I haven't come lower than 3rd place; I'm not sure how well self-healing/tanking counts, but I can easily survive anything the entity throws out while still dealing strong damage in return. I pretty much just take up position and pour firepower into it, and only manoeuvre or change targets if it's in absorb mode or I've strayed close enough that the fragments are coming at me. There's no dynamism to it at all, and the Tholians are, as usual, more of an annoyance than a real threat.
I'd much rather than the entity's absorb mode's duration was based on the lifetime of a Tholian reinforcement group, so you have to destroy it as quickly as possible while baiting any crystal fragments to reduce how much the entity can heal by in that time. Have the absorb mode tied to the Tholians with the entity draining power from them (visually) or something. Currently the absorb mode just delays victory, rather than adding a new dynamic to the battle. An alternative would be for the Tholians to produce a web around the entity, making it invulnerable until the Tholians are destroyed, allowing the web to be targeted to get access to the entity again.
I'd also rather see the fragments be removed entirely in favour of just making the main entity more powerful and threatening on its own, as the fragments just produce spam and cause the game engine to start hiding things; for 90% of the mission I can't actually see the main entity on my current graphics settings, which is a bit silly as they're not that low. They also don't really add anything to the confrontation that the entity's main attacks should be doing; an alternative would be to make the fragments function more like torpedoes, with the larger ones being heavy but small ones non-targetable, which would actually make them more dangerous.
I actually quite like it, especially since it acknowledges those of us who put a great deal of effort into healing our team-mates. Managed 2nd place, with my sci in my Vesta, doing mostly healing with the odd hit-and-run and one or two blasts from my Quantum focused phaser.
However, though I have posted this elsewhere, it bears repeating here- I really don't know what some don't understand about "cease fire"! I mean, the message usually pops up on screen, and yet on quite a few teams I've been on, the idiots have continued to shoot at it - and subsequently cried about being one-shotted by the resulting shockwave.
I like the new reworked CE, I agree its very easy, but not everything needs to be super hard. You could always make it hard by going in there with only a couple of friends, try to beat it with 3 or 4 people.
What I don't particularly like are the Tholian ships accompanying it, they don't really add anything to the encounter besides being a slight nuisance. And the CE's beam attack should be way more damaging. Atm when it focuses on you, simply popping an EptS is enough to survive unscathed. Ideally you should have friendly support to survive it imho, which would also make going healer a bit more rewarding in the encounter instead of being a deadweight.
If it's fun, then I'd consider the re-design a success.
For this limited-time event, we didn't want to set the bar too high. All players should have a chance to succeed. Maybe we erred too far on the side of caution, but I'd much rather have tipped the scales to that end than to the opposite.
When the Crystalline Entity returns in the future, well after this limited-time Event has run its course, we fully intend to offer an Elite version for players that wish to have a greater challenge.
Also: We're currently investigating the bug related to the Matter Conversion Beam. Getting that to reliably deal its intended damage will raise the difficulty of the encounter a bit.
It isn't fun it is boring. I only am doing it myself for the 14 shards, after that I will never touch it again and I'm sure that's the same for a great many other players that don't touch Klingon Scout Force or Gorn Minefield (outside of the daily).
Seriously when you design something a player in even just decent equipment can sit 5km away from spamming the space bar and tactical abilities and get 1st place every damn time with a tactical character in an escort and not even bother to move or stop firing and not even lose shield on the energy absorption burst how is that fun? In fact a great many decently geared players DELIBERATELY keep firing on the entity during the absorption because they know they will survive it and the casuals that aren't paying attention will get wiped out on the burst thereby widening their dps points lead as the other respawn.
When are you going to stop screwing over Engineers, Cruisers, Science characters, and science ships and actually give them a place and equal rewards in this game? Every damn thing you do is a DPS race and reward, the easiest and laziest thing to design. (8 year encounter and map designer.)
I remember the old one, THAT was a challenge, I spent upwards of an hour trying (in the end gave up trying) to kill that one
Clearly that wasn't a challenge, because a challenge implies that you have a chance of winning. An event that people spend an hour + and 90% of the time still can't win is not a challenge, it's a pointless waste of resources, because no one will bother with that content.
The current CE is IMO on the easy side, but at least it's content that people are actually playing. Plus they said that after the event they would be releasing a elite version.
One that will cause nearly constant complaints here, because you'll have all the same issues you currently do with STF's.