STOked s02e06: Crystalline Catastrophe

STOked s02e06: Crystalline Catastrophe

STOked Season 2 Episode 6: We take it easy this week and invite you over to our STO party, we join up with Jupiter Force in our not-so-awesome attempt to take on the big bad Crystalline Entity. We discuss the new Engineering Reports, The Infected mission, some new tease screen shots of future ships, Cryptic’s new release calendar, and so much more!

PLUS – Our suggested DOs and DON’Ts for taking on Crystalline Entity!

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NEWS:
“The Infected” — released!! http://www.startrekonline.com/node/1239
Skipped the Test Server, and it shows (very glitchy)
Primary bugs include — untargetable borg, UI lock-out, movement control issues.
The STF instance is very, very difficult. Watch for a more thorough review, including Tips & Tricks, on next week’s STOked!
Also includes a cross-faction team mechanism for Borg DSE fights in Gamma Orionis. Feds can fight alongside KDF in a tentative alliance.
“Engineering Reports” — new feature on Cryptic’s Forums http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?t=132122
Basically a status report on the Behind-the-Scenes work going on at Cryptic.
Separate into categories: In Development, In Testing, and Under Investigation
The most recent report includes features we didn’t know about!
Changing your @ name, “Romulan Temple” fleet action, Off-duty outfits, Neutral-faction social areas
Teaser screenshots from DStahl: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showpost.php?p=2290118&postcount=181
New PvP ground map, new Fed ship (science?), new Klingon cruiser
Billing Issues being addressed: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=2311163#post2311163
$30 charges have been refunded.
12-month charges are being fixed on a case-by-case basis.
Cryptic admits, billing server just couldn’t handle the Day 1 rush and these subs were the lucky ones that got screwed up.
Release Calendar Now Available: http://startrekonline.com/calendar
Tentative schedule — per Rekhan: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=2311880#post2311880
Ask Cryptic — MORE KLINGONS! http://www.startrekonline.com/node/1275
More customization of avatars and ships is on the way. (but no Gorn females)
Possibility of “High-End” (T5?) ships being based on Gorn/Orion/Naussican designs, but nothing in the low/mid range.
New Klingon computer voice & music coming soon.
More melee weapons in “an upcoming update”: More bat’leth variants, mek’leth, Andorian Ushaan, katana, and more. Also the “Nausiccan Energy Lance”
3-sided PvP maps! And another mention of neutral-faction social areas.
Confirmation of “Unique Episodes” … but timeline is “down the road” which is pretty distant. This is in addition to Fleet Actions, Star Clusters and STFs for Klingon players.


MATH / MEDIA – Combined!

Taking Down the Crystalline Entity — Tips, Tactics and a Walkthru

Preparation Suggestions:
Disruptors and Plasma are the best energy types (the CE and its shards have no shields and no subsystems)
Do not use Mines or Boarding Parties. Do not use Heavy Plasma/Tricobalt torpedoes once the entity is at 30% (explanation below)
Beam Weapons are superior to cannons due to the amount of maneuvering required for this fight.
Set your energy settings to: Weapon 50 / Shield 25 / Engine 100 / Aux 25
This will usually allow you to outrun the Fragments, in case they cannot be killed quickly enough. Always remain at full speed.
Shields are useless against the Fragments, and the CE’s beams do not hit hard enough to generally worry about.

Do NOT use the following abilities:
Any “Dispersal Patterns”
Mines are a very bad idea against the CE (explanation below)
Boarding Parties
For the same reasons as Mines (explanation below), in addition to the fact that the CE has no subsystems.
Any ability that provides buffs against incoming damage
The damage dealt by Fragments is huge, and should simply be outright avoided. Use these ability slots to better control the battle, and deal damage.
Any ability that targets/disables a subsystem, shield, or special ability on the enemy (e.g. Charged Particle Burst)
Holds — the CE seems to be immune to Viral Matrix, and there are too many targets for Tractor Beam or Viral to generally be useful vs. Fragments.
Ramming Speed
If you impact a Fragment on the way inbound, you will die and deal zero damage against the CE. The damage is very low even if you do manage to impact the CE itself.

DO use the following abilities:
Scramble Sensors
This causes all Fragments affected to hold still for the duration. They will not target eachother, but they will also not target YOU and not move.
Gravity Well, Tractor Repulsors, Photonic Shockwave
All of these abilities will slow or prevent the movement of Fragments toward your ship.

Battle Walkthrough

Upon entering a new instance, proceed forward AS A FLEET toward the Crystalline Entity.

Positioning is important!
Try to remain as close to 10km away from the CE at all times.
Agree upon a direction to circle the entity
(clockwise or counter-clockwise)
Stay at the midpoint so you can see all incoming shards
(not above or below the CE)

Situational Awareness is important!
If a fleetmate is being followed by a cluster of shards and gets killed, those will switch to the nearest target which COULD BE YOU. Stay alert!

Now that the battle is joined, it’s a fairly straight-forward conflict until the CE reaches 30-32% hull. Up until that point, he will only employ two basic abilities:

1) Crystalline Beam — inflicts heavy beam-based damage on a random high-threat target, every few seconds.
2) Spawn Shards — spawns 3-5 “Crystalline Fragments” which will spread out from the CE and begin following nearby enemies. These follow basic threat principles, and will change targets if you shoot at them.

Upon reaching 30-32% hull, the Crystalline Entity goes into “Survival Mode” and stops spawning normal Fragments. In their place, it will begin spawning “Large Crystalline Fragments” which follow a few special rules.

They are faster than the previous basic fragments.
They deal much more damage than basic fragments.
…but most importantly!
If they impact
any object (ship, mine, shuttle, heavy plasma, or tricobalt) they will destroy themselves and turn into 3 “Small Crystalline Fragments”

If these Small Crystalline Fragments spawn, they will immediately fly back toward the CE. Upon reaching it, they are devoured and heal the CE for 1% of its total hullpoints.

The ideal strategy is (roughly) as follows:

Split your team’s efforts between damaging the CE, and killing Fragments.
Most of your party should be focused on Fragments. There’s no rush to down the CE quickly.
It is acceptable to use Heavy Plasma and Tricobalt torpedoes against the CE until it reaches about 40% hullpoints, but Mines should always be avoided as they cannot be “undeployed” and are a very large hazard once the CE goes into Survival Mode, due to the risk of impact against rouge Large Crystalline Fragments.
Small Crystalline Fragments and Large Crystalline Fragments are always high priority targets, in that order of importance.
Though it IS possible to drag along a cloud of Fragments behind you and not kill them, this tactic generally results in an excessive number of uncontrolled Fragments.
Keep moving, but clean up your Fragments along the way.

Step 3) Profit!

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