I’ve run the new STF – Assault on Terok Nor enough times in the past week that I feel I can write a rough guide for it. This STF is pretty brutal for PUGs, because it’s very difficult to complete without decent coordination within the team, and can be downright frustrating if you get pugged with someone who has no idea what’s going on. I managed to finish one pugged run the other night in record time, but the individual team members were all pretty clued in as to what they need to be doing; for every run like that, I had three others that took forever. So here’s some tips as to how to go about it, based on my experiences so far.
A word on characters and gear: There are going to be a LOT of Terran enemies. A LOT. A LOT A LOT A LOT. Most of the fighting is at close range. Yes, that means anything that does AOE damage is good. Pulsewave guns are good. Split-beams are good. But I have also slotted in a long-range rifle (the TR-116B is particularly useful here) as the secondary weapon for those pesky grenadiers in the Puzzle phase.
You also need decent armor/personal shields because you’ll be taking LOTS of damage from LOTS of Terrans, especially when you’re trying to attract enemy fire and/or they’re trying to interrupt your mission objectives.
Personally I have had the best results with Engineering toons on this STF. Science toons do okay, but I haven’t found a reliable way to succeed with Tacticals yet in the Specialists Phase. We’ll get to that in a moment.
There are really three main phases to the STF: the Specialists Phase, the Puzzle Phase, and the Leeta Phase. Keep that in mind as we go through each.
Mission Start – You start out in the transporter room, before beaming down to Quark’s bar into a firefight with some Terran mooks. Once you talked to the MACO commander, leave the bar. You’ll fight your way to the Operations room, and need to clear out the two adjoining areas to trigger the Specialists Phase.
Specialists Phase – The goal here is to defend two NPC MACO specialists as they try to deactivate some gooblygock. The two specialists are working in the two adjoining, but separate areas of the Operations room, so the team needs to split up to defend them. The Optional Objectives are to prevent the Specialists’ health from dropping to 25% X number of times (three for one, and four for the other, I think), which is not an easy thing to do. This is also where a clueless PUG will most likely fail; more than once I end up by myself defending one of the Specialists, and try as I might to get another player to help my side, I got no responses.
How best to defend the Specialists? Well, this is why I found Engineers to be the most effective here. An Engineer can put up a Cover Shield right behind the working Specialist, and that alone protects him from the bulk of enemy fire. Do keep in mind the Specialist will relocate a couple of times during the phase, so remember to set up a new Cover Shield when he moves. I also generally set up a Medical Generator next to the guy, so he recovers his health even if he’s hit. In addition, because the Terran mooks spawn at fixed points, an Engineer can set up effective kill zones for incoming Terrans: strategically placed mines can preemptively take out incoming mooks, and turrets are effective in attracting enemy fire.
Science toons are useful here in keeping the Specialists’ health up, especially with AOE heals. In Heidy’s case, she has a variety of AOE kit powers so those can be very useful too, but certainly not nearly as reliable as the Engineer combo I mentioned above.
Unfortunately I haven’t figured out a reliable way for Tactical toons to succeed here. Large Security Teams are effective, but once they go away on their union tea breaks you’re kinda hooped. I tried using Draw/Attract Fire, but if you go this option be prepared to get really pounded on. This last option is probably more viable if you’re running it with a Science friend who can keep you alive, but alone it’s not really recommended unless you have massive DPS.
Puzzle Phase – After clearing out the Operations Room you fight your way down the Promenade into a Terran killzone (a zone where Terrans try to kill you, that is). There are six consoles in the area, five of which you need to activate/bypass in the proper sequence to drop the force field that blocks your way…. hence, the PUZZLE. The Puzzle is also timed; the quicker you complete it, the greater the rewards. In order to prevent you from doing so, Terrans beam in by the dozens, including some really annoying Grenadiers who chuck grenades at you from the upper level of the Promenade.
The first thing to do is to designate one player (or maybe two) as the Puzzle-Solver; the rest of the team needs to shoot the enemy and attract fire away from the Solver. You’d want long-ranged weapons for the Grenadiers on the upper level; they have shields, which is why I recommend TR-116B rifles.
The Puzzle itself actually isn’t that hard, as long as you don’t have everyone doing it at the same time and no one providing cover fire. As you test the consoles, you’ll get two hints: One that tells you which console is not part of the sequence, and another that tells you which console is the third in the sequence. It’s a bit trial-and-error, and as long as you have the health/shield to survive the barrage of enemy fire, you should be able to finish this within the time limit. I’ve found that if I am the Solver, it makes my life a lot simpler if I do not auto-target any enemy or help your teammates whatsoever; just stay focused on the Puzzle and don’t get distracted, and you’ll finish it a lot faster.
Oh, one more thing: the clues you get refer to the consoles by color, but on-screen it’s actually a bit difficult to tell what the console colors are (for instance, the green and yellow consoles look kinda similar, and you might wonder which one is the “pink” console when you’re staring at the red and purple ones — it’s the purple one).
Leeta Phase – In the final room you confront a Pah-Wraith-powered Admiral Leeta (and her Tribble-powered Terran mooks). She is invulnerable to any attacks unless she is lured to one of three pads in the middle of the room, and the corresponding console is activated. Once hit, she will temporarily become vulnerable. Hitting her at least once with each of the three pads is an Optional Objective and gives bonus rewards.
First piece of advice: Since Leeta is invulnerable until she steps on a charged pad, there’s no reason to target her/shoot at her. Concentrate on cleaning out the Terran mooks first.
The trickiest part to this is that Leeta has a serious case of ADD going on and randomly changes her target, making it impossible to have someone effectively aggro and lure her to the pads. The worst runs I experienced had the team scattered to four corners of the room, and Leeta was running all over the place, thus never stepping on the right pad at the right time. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the best run I did was when the entire team stayed near the center, and one fleet-footed player (in this case, me) running around activating consoles. As soon as one console was activated and a pad charged, the entire team rushed to that pad. This is tricky with a PUG because even if one player fails to follow, Leeta could end up running after that player and foil the trap. This is a case where hiding in one corner and not participating can actively harm the team.
Oh yeah, it goes without saying, once Leeta is rendered temporarily vulnerable, pour on the attacks. You don’t want to do the luring more than the 3 times you need to complete Optional Objectives, or you could be doing this all night.
Well that’s all I got. If you have any more insights into making this STF less painful, feel free to chime in!