By PWE_BranFlakes @ August 19, 2013 at 12:00pm
Ever since you were placed in command of your first starship, you have proven yourself a worthy officer and risen through the ranks. Your crew has served with you to overcome many challenges… but have you ever faced a no-win scenario? In Star Trek Online, characters who reach level 50 have the chance to take on a variant of the original no win scenario simulation, made famous in Star Trek lore by the one captain known to have beaten it.
"I don't believe in the no-win scenario, I don't like to lose." – Captain James T. Kirk
The No Win Scenario event was launched in July 2012 as part of STO's Season 6 update. Designed to be a true No Win Scenario, it was stated at the time that players were not expected to progress much further than wave 6 or 7. The mission was not artificially gated, capable of being completed if a team beat all 10 waves. Each wave is progressively more difficult than the last, rewarded by ever-increasing fleet marks for completing each. This can be very profitable way to earn fleet marks for your fleet, if your teammates and you are coordinated enough to conquer the later waves.
In addition to the fleet mark reward, there are six accolades and four titles for players that are able to complete the later waves. Those who are able to beat the final three waves are also rewarded with a server announcement that is broadcast to all the other players playing STO at the time.
The objective of the simulation is for a team of five players to protect a civilian transport for as long as they can from a randomly selected enemy race, which attacks from multiple flanks and multiple waves. As the difficulty level increases, the team also faces a custom-crafted threat for this scenario: Bio-Neural Warhead Platforms. These armed turrets are not only capable of self-repair, but also of firing salvos of armed and highly-damaging Bio-Neural Warheads.
The first team was relieved and excited to beat the No Win Scenario at the end of 2012. A walkthrough was later made available for the community, resulting in the small community of No Win Scenario strategists expanding to take in those interested in defying the odds.
Strategy in a Nutshell
One of the greatest strengths to have for a player entering the No Win Scenario is the ability to reliably communicate and cooperate with fellow teammates. As the scenario progresses, a repeating pattern emerges of the Civilian Transport being attacked from four directions. By extension, each of these four directions should be protected by at least one player, leaving the fifth free to provide support and additional firepower. After numerous tests, another pattern emerged: if at least one enemy ship remained alive from a given wave, that wave would not complete, and a new wave would not warp in to attack the transport. The ability to prepare for the next wave led to an evolution of the role of the fifth player. Named “the floater” for the role of providing support to other players, this player became responsible for saving an enemy ship from destruction until the team was ready to progress to the next wave. This tactic of saving a ship before progressing to the next wave proved to be key in progressing through the later waves, as well as for preparing for and subsequently beating the final wave.
A Crew Working Together
Another key to success is that each team member plays a dedicated role. Each player attacking a flank of enemy ships is responsible for informing the floater of any changes to their situation. Important information would include how prepared they are for the next wave, if they are in need of assistance, or if (in the event of a destroyed player starship) a flank requires the floater to provide backup until they return. A flank player should also inform the floater which direction that player is protecting the Civilian Transport, as it can be difficult for the floater to recall which player is covering which flank mid-battle. It is important for the floater to make sure that the team is ready to proceed before destroying the last ship or providing assistance where it is needed. Likewise, the team as a whole is responsible for healing the transport as well as their own starships.
What Makes a Good ‘No Win Scenario’ Build?
There are two important factors to take into consideration: area-of-effect damage and crowd control. The final No Win Scenario wave consists of four flanks of 15 ships, making area-of-effect damage more advantageous than attacking single targets. This favors ships focused on tactical, cannon based powers, with builds taking advantage of abilities such as Cannon Scatter Volley, Torpedo Spread, and various Attack Patterns being more effective.
It is also important not only to keep enemies away from the transport but to prevent enemies from spreading out. The further enemies are from each other, the more difficult it becomes to target multiple enemy ships simultaneously. Ideal to this task is Gravity Well (a Lt. Commander Science ability), capable of pulling enemy ships together for increased proximity damage. In addition, any defeated vessels become kinetic area-of-effect explosions, able to inflict massive damage to unshielded vessels near the Gravity Well's singularity.
Tractor Beam Repulsors becomes a multifaceted tool, capable of inflicting direct-to-hull damage in addition to keeping enemies away from the transport. By effectively using Tractor Beam Repulsors, you can not only harm the incoming Bio-Neural Warheads through their shielding but also keep enemies within the firing arc of your forward weapons.
Players will need to survive the combined assaults of both enemy ships and Bio-Neural Warheads; having the means to withstand this combined assault is crucial. Each player should prioritize on healing themselves before healing others or the transport while utilizing equipment that specializes in strong defense and resistances.
Example Build: Fleet Advanced Escort
- Forward Weapons: Dual/Dual Heavy Cannons and one Torpedo (Romulan Hyper-Plasma Torpedo, Romulan Reputation, is ideal as it draws attention of the warheads).
- Rear Weapons: Turrets (Kinetic Cutting Beam optional).
- Engineering Consoles: Any resistance or universal consoles (e.g. Assimilated console).
- Science Consoles: Any Romulan Science consoles which provide multiple benefits (from the Fleet Embassy holding).
- Tactical Consoles: Energy weapon damage consoles.
- Ship Equipment: M.A.C.O. Shield/Deflector/Engines (Omega Reputation, an ideal defensive set which also provides the player with a Heavy Graviton Beam which is excellent for saving a single ship).
*This setup can be closely applied to other ships such as the Romulan Dhelan Warbird and the Klingon Birds-of-Prey.
Conclusion and Final Words
When this event first launched, few ever believed that it was beatable. It is a really awesome feeling to beat your first No Win Scenario, an event that continues to be a challenge requiring good teamwork and organization. I hope that this blog has encouraged many more of you to take up the challenge with your friends or fleet mates. Patience and perseverance will be tested but don't give up and finally don't believe in a No Win Scenario!
For detailed information on how to deal with the No Win Scenario, I highly recommend reading the walkthrough (http://sto.gamepedia.com/Mission:_No_Win_Scenario/Walkthrough) which has helped teams progress further and even beat the event. Thank you to the people whose contributions and support helped beat the No Win Scenario, with a special thank you to The_Epsilonian for his collaboration in writing this blog.
I wish you the best of luck!
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