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Omega Force STF Ground Guides

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#1 Clearbeard

Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:13 PM

Browsing through older forum posts, I noticed Tyrion44's STF guides. While they're all well and good, they're only HALF COMPLETE!

Yes folks, it's time for a quick primer (in text form) for running ground STF's.

Some of you may have run these enjoyable missions with me on occasion. Others of you may shudder at the thought of any ground missions and want nothing to do with sniper rifles and pulsewave assault shotguns. For those in the middle, read on! When you're done, feel free to look me up in game or on Teamspeak with additional questions.

First, some general tips:

Get at minimum a stack of 20 each of the minor and major regenerators, either in your inventory or stored in your bank. As with space ship damage, you shouldn't need critical regenerators as long as you heal damage you take as soon as you fall in combat. But having some anyway is never a bad idea.

Do yourself and your team a favor and get at least one complete set of ground Omega, MACO (Fed), or Honor Guard (KDF) gear. Generally this means grinding the space battles until you're tier 5 in the reputation and can get the Mark XII set(s), though if you're raring to go you can pick up a Mk X or XI set earlier. While the missions aren't really that hard and experienced players don't have any problems bringing in newer toons without the best gear, elite runs (and in particular Infected Elite) go much smoother if you're properly outfitted.

The following posts will go into some detail on each of the ground missions. Descriptions will be for the Elite versions of the missions, but hold just fine for the Normals. Everything will just be, well, easier.

Stay tuned...

#2 Clearbeard

Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:19 PM

Khitomer is Stasis

This is the easiest of the missions to learn and succeed in the optional. Khitomer Accord Ground (Elite), KAGE (or KAGN for the normal version) is mostly just a "move forward and kill anything in your path" mission. The optional timer (15 minutes) begins as soon as the first team member steps out of the initial spawn room. Your optional goal is to destroy a pair of Borg Isolinear Molecular Reconverters (IMRs) near the very end of the mission before the timer expires. After that, you will have a final boss fight against Tosk of Borg and his henchmen to win the mission.

The first stage has your team progressing down ramps, deeper into the base and killing everything in your path. At the end of this part, there is a doorway with a force field, which will drop when a certain percentage of the Borg have been killed. This prevents you from just sprinting past the guards in a "the gate is down" scenario. There's nothing too special to keep in mind here, other than making sure to kill enough on the way down so you don't have to backtrack to find more targets.

*Pro tip: there are three Elite Tactical Drones you will meet along the way. One is shortly after you leave the spawn point, one starts on a balcony in the first room you come to on the way down, and the third is in the final room before the aforementioned force field. To progress past this stage you only have to kill two of the three, and can bypass the third and it's escort group. Most teams will choose to just sprint through that first room and avoid Elite #2, though turning right and jumping off the balcony to skip #3 instead is perfectly viable. The latter option is my personal favorite, as you will be fighting the last Borg you need to kill in sight of the force field, yet still have some nearby targets in case you skipped too many and have to go back a bit.*

After the force field you take a short trip down a hallway. As you reach the corner, look behind the force field to your right. This is one of the two IMR's you are here to destroy, though you cannot reach it yet. Around the corner and through a group of drones, and you enter "The Big Room." As you enter the room, you'll notice a console on the first platform that can be interacted with. This takes you to a separate area we will need later in stage three, but for now stay with the group. Stage two involves clearing all of the enemies in this room. It's best to start with the ones in the middle area, then go up to clear the upper platforms, and finish off at the bottom. If you keep an ear out through these battles, you will hear a female Borg saying things like "Enemies detected near node Alpha Two." This comes in handy in stage three.

Stage three is the only place in the mission where there's a real method to what you need to do. There are six nodes protected by force fields that need to be destroyed in sequence. This drops the shields on the two IMR's, allowing them to be overloaded and destroyed. One team member needs to return to the console mentioned above and teleport to the control room. Ideally they'll leave while the last few Borg are being slaughtered to save time. The rest of the group gathers first at node Beta Three, at the bottom right of the area. Nodes alpha and beta three are on the bottom, with beta on the right when standing at the room's entrance and alpha to the left. Twos are in the middle, and ones are at the top. The controller activates his console, triggers three and beta. This drops the force field around the node. Everyone else needs to focus on destroying that node, ignoring all the Borg who spawn. Mines and transphasic bombs are handy for this. The controller has to contend with a few old model Borg spawns. If necessary, when the node hits 50% health the controller has the option of activating the appropriate pillar (the glowing one where the Borg spawned) to give more time, but this should not be necessary. When the first node is down, continue to ignore the Borg and run to Alpha Three. Repeat, go up the ramp, and turn left at the top to do Beta Two. Go to the other side for Alpha Two, up the ramp for Beta One, then across the way to Alpha One.

When all six nodes are destroyed, one person needs to run up the ramps to the now unprotected IMR at the tip top of the Big Room and trigger the overload sequence. The controller needs to use the central console to exit their little room and run back out the way you came to destroy the other IMR that you passed on the way in. Everyone leave the area, back out the hallway you came in (past the IMR). When the IMR overload sequences are done, they will blow up and you will (hopefully) have completed the optional.

The final stage of the mission is a fairly straightforward battle against Tosk of Borg. Kill him and all his minions and victory is yours!

For a real bit of fun, team with an Orion female character. Before entering Tosk's room, she can use her seduce ability causing Tosk to go on a little rampage, killing many of his friends so long as everyone stays away and doesn't aggravate him.

#3 Clearbeard

Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:45 PM

The Cure Applied

Cure Ground (Elite), CGE (or CGN for the normal version) is a somewhat more difficult affair. There are no fewer than three spots during the mission where a band of stumble-bum noobs (or a PUG that doesn't listen to voices of experience) where progress can become nigh impossible, prompting whiners, quitters, and sundry other examples of juvenile behavior. With that introduction, it's also quite straightforward for a reasonably equipped team led by at least one experienced member to succeed without too much difficulty, even on Elite.

The mission starts off slowly, conveniently introducing all of the challenges and hazards you will encounter over the course of the adventure. Your team beams in to a ravine, with your forward progress blocked by a Borg force field. There is a device attached to the force field that a team member needs to run forward and investigate. You learn that to drop the barrier you need to overload a sequence of Borg devices conveniently placed in front of it. Start by activating the one furthest away, moving to the next in sequence when a beam of light jumps between them. You will notice a slow moving progress bar on the first Borg device. If this bar expires before the last beam hits the force field device, the system will shut down and you'll have to start over. For this first array this is not a problem, but the following two times you meet it you'll be under fire and trying to accomplish other tasks, making it a bit more challenging. While these devices are charging up and doing their thing, the team should assign roles to be followed along the way. These roles will be outlined as we go.

The overall objectives for this mission are to investigate Klingon life signs along a winding ravine. There are Klingons trapped in force fields who must be freed, as well as Klingon corpses that need to be investigated. Shortly after the first force field, you will find the first of each of these. The trapped Klingons should be freed as quickly as possible, as they will jump into the fray with a bat'leth to help dispatch the nearby drones. The corpse investigations offer no such benefit, but do your best not to miss them, it's a long walk back if you forget any!

The optional objective for this mission involves destroying six Borg defense turrets. After freeing the first Klingon and investigating the corpse of his crew mate you encounter the first of these, and your optional timer starts. Initially, these turrets are protected by a force dome that prevents physical proximity. When the turret is sufficiently damaged, the turret goes into a shutdown/regen mode and the dome is replaced by a shifting ring of barrier shields (like the Engineer Captain skill) and three small plasma turrets. At this point, the main turret can be approached and an explosive planted to destroy it. One person's job (here and throughout the mission) should be planting the explosives, while everyone else nearby takes aggro from and destroys the plasma turrets. The main turret can also continue to be damaged by normal weapon fire but never actually destroyed. If the explosives aren't planted quickly enough, the regen sequence completes, the force dome reappears, and you have to start over. If possible, the "planter" should be a Caitian or Ferasan, as they can easily hop over the barrier shields instead of having to run around them.

Progressing past this turret and several roving bands of Borg drones (kill them!), you come upon the second of the three device arrays and corresponding force barrier. The four team members not responsible for planting explosives will establish a zone defense here. Each array consists of four of the sequential devices, with a Borg defense turret between device #1 and #2, and between #2 and #3. One person's job will be to activate and defend the first of the Borg devices as the array charges up ("I'll cover #1"). Throughout the charge-up sequence, drones will spawn and attempt to attack and deactivate the active devices. If they succeed on any of them, the array from that point forward shuts down and you have to start again.

As soon as the first device is activated, the first turret also activates and must be destroyed as outlined above. The whole team should focus on taking it down as fast as possible, but stick to your assigned roles with #1 guardian leaving to handle any drones that spawn, the planter doing his thing when the dome drops, and the other three taking out the plasma turrets as fast as possible. The next team member will be responsible for activating and covering the second Borg device as soon as it is enabled by the beam from #1. This activates the second defense turret, which should be dispatched in the same manner as the first. At this point, you have 3 unassigned team members. One person should stay and float between the first two devices to help with drone spawns (this can be the planter). The second person should float between #2 and #3 (focusing the most attention on #3) doing the same, while the last person activates #3 and immediately runs toward #4. When #4 is enabled and activated, this last person becomes primarily responsible for the defense of #3 while the second floater goes where most needed. Make sure you talk among yourselves and call for help before it becomes critical, if you feel like you're going to be overrun. When the fourth device shoots its beam and takes down the barrier, all the devices will deactivate and you can all ignore the remaining Borg and charge forward down the canyon. If the timer expires or any of the devices are disabled by drones, the beams will still turn off BUT the turrets you previously destroyed will reappear. If this happens, just calmly start again and try not to mess up a second time.

After taking down this second force barrier, channel Juggernaut and charge on down the canyon, killing everything in your path. Don't forget to free the Klingons and investigate the corpses you come across. After a few battles you'll come to the third and final barrier. This one works exactly the same as the previous one, so you should all be pros at it by now.

After taking down the barrier, charge forward to meet one final defense turret and its accompanying group of drones. Destroy that and your optional objective is complete. If you have less than 90 seconds or so on the timer on dropping the last barrier, try and ignore the drones and charge straight for the turret. Otherwise, take your time and kill the drones first, before ganging up on the poor, overmatched turret.

Now that the optional is complete and the time pressure is off, turn left, and jog on down the way. After dispatching a cluster of Borg, the path will open up into a power plant area, guarded by a significant number of drones. A favorite tactic here is to all climb the hill to the left, staying together, and use sniper rifles (like the MACO phaser battle rifle) to pick off the clumsy drones from long range. Try and focus your fire to not draw too much aggro at once, as it is quite possible to become overwhelmed here. Once everything is dead, kill the backup generators that power the forcfield around the primary generator, then take out the primary. This will open the path (back the way you came, then straight where you killed the last defense turret) to the boss fight: Armek.

The final battle with Armek takes place in a "cube of doom" deathmatch. If you fall and respawn, you will be outside this cube and unable to rejoin the fight. Regroup inside the clearing but not too close to Armek before proceeding. The battle with Armek takes place in three stages. First you just wail on him and soak up his attacks while his little buddy the untargettable drone beams in and starts calling down orbital strikes on you. When he takes enough damage, he'll walk back to the center and surround himself with a shifting wall of barrier shields for phase two. Phase three is more of the same with force domes popping up in the area to hinder movement.

There are two common tactics for handling this fight. A prior favorite that has been somewhat nerfed in recent seasons involves everyone standing directly on top of Armek armed with pulsewave assault guns. While this can still work, particularly with very high dps teams, Armek has been granted a devastating close range, area of effect attack that has been known to wipe out entire squads when he uses it twice in rapid succession, or timed to coincide with an orbital strike. A more successful variant on this has one person, ideally a sci-tank with a melee weapon, in melee range while the rest of the team stays close by but too close, shooting with pulsewaves and ready to have someone step in to distract Armek and/or revive the tank if he falls.

The other, slightly slower but somewhat more reliable method sends one team member to each corner of the cube armed with sniper rifles with the fifth person acting as a tank, as above. I have heard about other, slightly exploit-y methods for dealing with this battle, but have not run with any of them consistently or recently to know if they're still viable.

A few tips:
-It's more difficult without a sci/tank healer on the team. If possible, make sure to bring one along.
-In addition to medic for tanking Armek, science captains can use the physicist abilities to great effect on the turrets, with exothermic induction and hyperonic radiation's damage over time hindering the regeneration cycle and giving more time to plant the explosives.
-Armek has a chain lightning ability that can refract through pets, turrets, drones, security teams, etc. Use of such summonables in the final battle is not recommended.

#4 Clearbeard

Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:48 PM

Infected: Manus

-- In Progress --

#5 Clearbeard

Posted 25 August 2013 - 09:50 PM

Into the Hive

I am sorry to say I have never actually run this mission. If some hardy souls would like to try it out with me sometime I'd be delighted to update this post with some actual, useful information!

Edit: Had a delightful romp this evening Into the Hive on normal. More info to follow!

#6 Enforcer

Posted 26 August 2013 - 10:48 AM

Sweet write ups. I look forward to the other ones because I have not done too much STF Elite ground either and since I have the MACO gear, would be properly equipped. Oh, and I have a bird.

#7 Clearbeard

Posted 26 August 2013 - 07:14 PM

Sweet write ups. I look forward to the other ones because I have not done too much STF Elite ground either and since I have the MACO gear, would be properly equipped. Oh, and I have a bird.

Ahh yes, how could I forget about the awe-inspiring, all-powerful, slightly-mighty Bird! I shall ponder how to properly include tips for its use in future write-ups.

Cure is up, check it out and see what you think. Infected to follow soon ™.

#8 Enforcer

Posted 27 August 2013 - 12:16 PM

I like that write up. The part about if you die and respawn you are OUT of the battle should be highlighted. Nothing more fun than having a PUG respawn in Self Destruct or Transdimensional and be a team of four now.

#9 Merrak

Posted 30 August 2013 - 12:19 PM

Thanks CB awsome guide

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