Have you run the new PvEvP queues yet? Currently there are two of these “Wargame Scenarios”, one Ground queue called Binary Circuit, and a space one called Core Assault. Fungi-skully wrangled me into trying both this past weekend, and it’s been an interesting experience. I thought I’d post about the space queue, and offer a little bit of a guide to anyone who’s not yet experienced with it.
Why the space queue and not the ground one? Chalk it up to simple bias; STO ground combat has always felt like filler material to me, and I’m sure it didn’t help that our PUG team failed spectacularly during my one and only run of Binary Circuit.
I do like the concept of these wargame scenarios – the teams are mainly racing against each other, and real hardcore PvP only happens at the final point of the mission… if it happens at all. The end goal of Core Assault is to get to the final room as quickly as you can, and destroy the opposing team’s Regulator Core — fighting the opposing team is incidental to the goal. The fact that killing each other is explicitly NOT the goal here, the mission introduces some interesting options — if the opposing team has a headstart on your Regulator Core, your team can choose to engage the other team in hopes of stopping their progress, or go for their core and hope your DPS can catch you up, or split the team up, etc.
There are reports of trolls camping at the opposing team’s spawn point and insta-killing respawning players, which is definitely an A-Hole thing to do because THAT IS NOT THE GOAL OF THE GAME. Yeah, they’re just out to ruin people’s fun and enjoyment, hence, TROLLS. I’ve run this queue about seven or eight times this past weekend and was fortunate enough not to run into this situation, but Cryptic definitely needs to fix this problem before it kills off player interest.
Since I haven’t personally encountered this, the queue has been mostly fun for me. I don’t like PvP, but this queue is as close to PvP as it can without making me hate it; I think one of the big reasons is the puzzle stages discourage going into the queue with strictly PvP builds (unless it’s a premade team, but that’s a different story). In fact, I found that the biggest roadblock to a successful run is not the imbalance of PvP combat, but clueless PUGs on YOUR TEAM who won’t listen (remember that run, Jay?). I know others have already written up guides for this STF, but here’s another one just in case.
Quick Guide to Core Assault
The STF itself really isn’t that complicated. It consists of two opposing teams of 5 players, and each team needs to unlock three doors consecutively to enter the final Core Room. Once in the Core Room, each team tries to take out the opposing team’s Regulator Core, so the sooner you can there the better.
There are five possible “puzzles” that are randomly chosen for each of the three doors.
Swarm – This is the simplest “puzzle”, because it’s really not a puzzle. It’s just a swarm of enemy ships that you need to destroy ASAP to unlock the door. Very straight forward.
Jack in a Box – Almost as simple as Swarm, the only thing you do different is you want to stay within the big white box while killing enemies. The door unlocks quicker if more of your team stays within the box… and it’s amazing how some PUGs don’t grasp something this simple.
Combination Lock – This is arguably the most annoying puzzle. It’s essentially “Match the Symbol” – the team has to fly around the room and trigger the next consequential symbol that matches what’s displayed on the door. Each consequential string is 5 symbols long and there are 3 strings in total, which means this puzzle usually takes the longest to complete. Small, maneuverable ships are best suited here to hit the triggers.
The biggest issue with this puzzle for me is that it can be difficult to see the randomly located triggers, especially when there is a lot of pew-pewing and explosions going on.
Relay – This is where things start to get real hairy for PUGs. In a Relay run your team has to pick up a Charge at the starting Relay point (the big green thing pulsing on the left wall as you enter the room) and deliver it at the door. You’ll know you have a Charge on you because your ship gets this weird static-charged look on your hull. I think the team needs to complete a delivery run 5 times for the door to unlock?
The biggest problem with this puzzle is if someone picks up a Charge and doesn’t know to deliver it to the door, or purposefully trolling, then your team is hooped.
Tractor Pull – Supposedly simple — there are 2 to 4 big honking slider knobs around the door. All the team needs to do is to park one ship at each knob, a tractor beam will trigger automatically to slide the knob down to open position. Wait for the progress bar to complete, and you’re through.
Except… obviously that’s too difficult for some PUGs. Jay and I had a run that had 4 knobs, and 2 PUGGers who were clueless and not listening to chat. Yeah, I don’t need to do the math for you.
WHAT TO DO/NOT TO DO – A couple of quick advice.
- If you don’t know what’s going on, ask. Or at the very least, read the chatbox.
- If you can’t read, observe what the others are doing.
- Don’t try to heal your team’s core — trust me, I tried, it’s pointless. That thing has a crap-ton of hit points and your heals are teeny in comparison.
- Until this is fixed, don’t be a jackass and spawn-camp the opposing team. It pisses off other players and ruins their fun. And Heidy will judge you.
The best part about this queue is that the rewards for winning and losing aren’t that big of a difference, maybe in the neighborhood of 18-25 marks on Advanced. A clueless PUG or a troll on your team will cost you more than the opposing team winning!
P.S. This is also a message for Jay — last night a newbie player PM’d me out of the blues, wanting to join Cong’s fleet. Instead I pointed her to your fleet, after spending half an hour helping her out with advice. So if you or your other officers are around tonight, maybe send her a fleet invite if you’re okay with it?