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What do we think so far about STO: Delta Rising
I have only played the Mindscape mission and so far Delta Rising looks to be successful!
10-20-2014, 04:32 AM
Since the launch, as best as time permitted, I've been playing through the new story content on Elite, dabbling a little in the new PvE queues at normal and advanced level, helping my wife through the older story content, and doing a bit of power-leveling on the side for specializion points. I haven't completed the story, but I'm a couple of episodes away from doing so.
Elite mode at levels higher than 50 is grueling. Even though I have a new build with a T5u ship that gets a bit north of 10k, space combat enemy hit points get astronomical. We're talking around 350k for smaller ships, north of 800k for the big ships. I think I had the most problems with them in the mid to high '50's range. Things seem to be going better as I get more specialization points, and as I learn proper tactics against the NPC enemies. It just takes forever to kill things.
Most of what you will be fighting is Vaadwaur, and that is both a blessing and a curse. The Vaadwaur have some tactics that you need to adjust to: their ships have a 'space anchor' device, like a tractor mine but tougher and more effective. Not that hard to deal with, really, but annoying. They have a space artillery. This forces you to stay on the move in a fight, no more parking and blasting. When you see the little target symbols filling the space you are in trouble, and need to move. Even with Brace for Impact up, they can still eat your shields and do critical or fatal damage to your hull if you are in the vicinity of enough of them. The sneakiest Vaadwaur attack is their mines, which also do lethal amounts of kinetic damage if you run into them. That is probably what has killed me the most. Their heavy artillery ships will do some sensor mojo, to an extent even more annoying than Hirogen Apex Battleships.
I think the worst thing I've fought so far is a level 60 Elite Voth Bulwark battleship, as a hologram summoned by the Hierarchy in one late story mission. The transphasic-chroniton torpedoes fired by that thing at Elite were able to nearly one-shot me, and I've got 3 Fleet neutronium consoles. Ouch. After screwing that mission up on elite, I went back and did it on normal.
The Kobali ground adventure zone is interesting. The story here is fairly fun to uncover. As a ground adventure zone, its different from both Defera and the Dyson ground combat. It's not as lucrative as the Dyson zone, either in terms of dilithium, marks, or Ancient Power Cores, unless there's something I'm missing. It feels more like running around on a sci-fi version of a World War I era trench zone. There are a number of 'open mission' areas that become available either randomly or on an unpublished schedule. If you can complete these missions with a time limit, usually 5 minutes, which requires the assistance of other people in the zone, the mission will escalate to a related scenario. Unfortunately, the reward seems to be limited to 60 dilithium and one Delta mark reward box, which only contains 5 marks on average (although I've received from 1 to 7 marks).
Probably the greatest concern is the difficulty of the PvE queues. I've played some normal and some advanced now. The advanced has gotten tough enough that people who could previously do elite queues now have a substantial chance of failure in an advanced queue. I've tried the Crystalline Entity event several times, with no success. People just allow too many small crystal to get back to the entity, to the point that it does enough damage to one-shot players in the last third of the scenario. I've done a failed ISA and a successful ISA. Even the successful one took longer than usual, over the optional time limit. This was with a group from the Public Elite STF channel. It was notable that there is a greater need for crowd control to manage all the spheres that show up, as well as having high DPS output to finish those spheres off.
Borg Disconnected is a fun mission on Normal, have not tried it on Advanced. You do need to have a plan to accomplish it effectively, even on Normal. Now that people are actually reaching 60 and putting in additional specialization points in their trees, it will probably get easier.
Apart from some persistent bugs and some ongoing balance issues, it has been a lot of fun. The voice acting is great, the story is really interesting too. I'm a bit surprised, because I really hate Voyager as a show. Overall I would give it a thumbs up. Not way up, there are too many issues to be 100% enthusiastic, but definitely up.
Sorry for the text wall! I just felt chatty tonight.
10-20-2014, 11:04 AM
Over all I like the changes DR has brought to the game. While I've seen allot of complaints regarding Advanced and Elite STFs they seem to be tapering out a bit as folks re-approach the level cap. The three difficulty levels seem to take into account the past few years worth of power creep fairly well with normal being what we're used to, Advanced requiring more than just generic gear, and Elite actually requiring a bit of strategy.
Another thing I like about the new difficulty settings is that it breathed a bit of life back into builds that aren't all about dps. In CCA ( Crystal Catastrophe Advanced ) you'll almost need a science captain running crowd control and clearing the Entities small crystal buff. Similarly in ISA having someone hold the nanite spheres out of the way and clearing buffs off the tactical cube makes things head and shoulders easier.
You can still brute force your way through these STFs but personally I'd trade a 25k dps ship for a 5k crowd control / support boat without batting a lash.