Monday, March 8, 2010

STO First Admiral Raid - "Infection"

From my other blog: Deflector Shields.

Star Trek Online (STO) just last week added their first of several to come called "Special Task Force" (STF) Raids for Admirals at endgame. First up is "Infection". Starfleet has lost all contact with Starbase 82 located in the Sibiran System. The Borg has now taken control of the Sibiran System and Starbase 82 while Infecting and assimilating everyone that's resisting them there. You are tasked with investigating reason for loss communications.

Due to the time I heard it took to complete the entire raid I put it off till the weekend since I wanted to have enough time to see the whole thing. In the Gamma Orionis zone I almost though I was playing WoW with all the LFG Tac/Sci/Eng for Infection, LFG Fed Tac/Cruiser/Escort/Science for Infection. Or even better yet "LFG for Infection have all Epic Gear, must have Experience" and LFG for Infection must have X Kit gear, Experience and must have Vent. Until that raid was added you didn't see any zone chat like that at all. But did remind me somewhat of another game I play...... WoW.

Not many Admirals was on in my Fleet at the Admiral lvl at the time so just went and PuG it. It actually took me a while to get into a PuG group but eventually did and we had a 5 man team of 2 Cruiser, 2 Escort, 1 Science Vessel. As far as Admiral Officer makeup I can't for sure remember exactly. But I think we had 2 Science Officers, 2 Tactical and 1 Engineer. Myself being a Tactical Officer (Rear Admiral 5).

The Raid started off having a Space phase where you had to try and destroy a large Transwarp Conduit that the Borg uses to Transwarp to the Star System and while at it engaging many Borg Spheres and several Borg Tactical Cubes. The space fight was really awesome. But engaging the Borg was not easy as I can't remember just how many time I lost my Star Cruiser. Shields against the Borg just doesn't seem to work! You will lose then instantly! Having Engineering Team and other ship Hull repair and regen ability really helps for hull repairs to be able to sustain damage and not loose your ship.

Overall the space part was fun and you also picked up a lot of green gear as well. At times it can get really annoying to try to loot gear while trying desperately to survive a Tactical Cube and all you can do fast is just hit greed on gear whatever it may be. I remember a Blue gear dropped and barely even had time to see what it was and one person only needed it the team leader. But I'm sure it was usable by everyone. That Phase lasted about 10-15 mins or so of the Raid then you had to beam down to Starbase 82.

The ground phase was immediate with some resistance of space station crew putting up resistance to the Borg and having to beat the Borg back. And I mean they were ALLOT of Borg Drones: Tactical Borg, Heavy Tactical Drones, Medical Drones. Though we didn't wipe as a 5 man team we died ALLOT! More deaths than I can remember doing anything in STO up to Admiral lvl. As a matter of fact I probably died more in that raid than I did in all of STO leveling together. If you had to count how many times we each died that in itself was just FUTILE!

There were Borg Drones Everywhere! They can be in front of you advancing as well as materialize right behind you to flank you. It was nuts! We figured out eventually that we needed to find and take out the Interlink Distribution Nodes that keep resupplying new Borg Drones. That helped allot, but trying to find them wasn't as easy either as the Interlink Distribution Nodes were well hidden from plain view and you almost probably aggro the Borg Drones before you can spot the Interlink Distribution Nodes.

So our PuG ground phase kinda went like this: We advance, retreat, advance hallways, kill Interlink Nodes, advance, retreat, lots of death in between, but as long as everyone don't die and one person still alive it's not a wipe. Lots of and retreating taking corridors of the Starbase but when we couldn't find the Interlink Nodes we got too over run with Borg Drones and had to do a lot of retreating due to just too many Borg Drones that keep spawning. Borg Drones even had resistance to certain weapon damage or adapted and used shields which I fount totally amusing.

Key was finding the well hidden Interlink Distribution Nodes and take them out quick and fast, that's if you can spot the Nodes before you aggro the Borg Drones. I can tell you on my first Raid here we really died allot, that was no joke! Currently there is no Death Penalty in STO, but soon their will be. If there was one in-game it would be rough depending on the penalty. If this was a WoW repair bill it would be brutal on your gold chest.

We only made it to through maybe up to the first half of retaking the Starbase as in the map above where it shows the red dots for the Borg Drones in the next section. One guy the group leader who formed the group kept asking how long it's going to take. I couldn't help but start laughing based on our current progress and knowing how raids go. But on very the next death of the group leader bailed! Not too soon after that other person in the group of remaining 4 quit. Why do people always quit a group like that as a excuse? His was had to go help a friend lvl. Lamest excuse I hear all the time even in WoW. Just quit and say I don't have any more guts to continue. Now that I can respect for someone quitting. But don't give a lame ass excuse.

We were left with just 3 in group including the one person that was there before who kinda knew what to do and the one finding all the Interlink Distribution Nodes. We figured with lots of common sense there was no way we were going to advance with just 3 people in group. The 3 of us just kinda chatted briefly before the 2 of them left. We were at it for about two hours or so at this point in the Infection Raid.

There is something about quitting that I just can't take that other people find easier to do. I fight, I learn and I adapt. That's what I do once I figure out something. But anyway at a certain point resistance can be futile too with any PuG group. So I just kinda stuck around on Starbase 82 alone just checking thing out to see if I can learn something for the next time I'm there for a raid and that I know something to my advantage. Figured out you can use the Star Map with the area map of base to spot all the Borg location as well spot the Interlink Distribution Nodes. Once you have a rough idea where and how many of the Nodes there are it's easier to look for them in that vicinity as they are well hidden from plain view. They spawn ALLOT of Borg Drones so take them out fast. Which is good to know on your next visit to Starbase 82 on the Infection Raid.

But that's how my first Raid went in STO as a Admiral. It was fun, we got our ass kicked good. We didn't make it to the end. We had a few quitters that killed any further progress but it was still fun. Balanced raid Borg Drones vs us? I can't say it really even was. It was like fighting overwhelming force.

For a game that's overwhelming easy to level up from Ensign to Rear Admiral its finally good to get a fairly good amount of difficulty that's everyone playing the game has been asking for. Not allot of endgame as yet, but this one delivers allot of ass kicking. "Infection" Raid is for the most part mostly Ground Combat and the most difficult. It just takes good coordination I would say. But with the "Cure" Raid coming in next 2 weeks we may have a little bit to keep Admirals busy at the end of the game.

What's new in WoW these days? Haven't kept up with too many of the changes I see being posted and other people writing about scanning my RSS Feeder.