One of the most popular pastimes for players in Star Trek Online is Queued events in both ground and space. Special Task Forces and other queued events offer a great challenge and reward and are small time commitments as well, meaning that a player with limited time can get one or two queues in and earn some decent loot, as well as collecting Marks towards the various Reputation Systems.
With Delta Rising and the level cap increase, we are taking a moment to re-examine the queued events and make some alterations to how they work. We are also adding new rewards that take advantage of our new Research & Development system.
Normal is as Normal Does
Not many changes have been made to the Normal modes for the queues. These remain as you have always enjoyed them, only now the endgame events have a minimum level requirement of 50. All Captains and critters in Normal mode will be fighting at level 50, and those who enter the queues above that level will have their efficacy lowered to that of level 50. Don’t fret! You’ll still have all your powers and Bridge Officer seats, but the numbers you produce will be scaled appropriately to the level of the event.
Rewards for Normal mode remain as they have been in Season 9.5. You will receive Marks and a Normal Queue R&D Material Reward Package upon completion of the event.
Advanced Mode – Formerly Known as Elite
What you used to refer to as Elite in our queued events and STFs is now known as Advanced. In the new Advanced versions of the queues you will see a similar level of challenge in the enemies that you are used to when the queues were labeled Elite. In addition, players with Captains under max level will find themselves bolstered up to level 60, the same level as their opponents. You won’t gain seats or powers you didn’t have, but your damage and other numerical values for your Captain and ship will be scaled up to match what you would do at this higher level.
Advanced does offer some new challenges as well. Many objectives that were optional in Normal mode are now required in Advanced mode. We hope you were paying attention during your playthroughs of Normal before jumping into Advanced. Beginning with the release of Delta Rising, failure to complete these formerly optional objectives will result in the immediate failure of the mission. Upon failure, you will receive a portion of the rewards that you would have received for completing the mission, so you still are rewarded for your time spent in the event.
Advanced mode also brings with it one or more new optional objectives as well. This may be an objective to complete the mission in set amount of time, or some other goal that can be achieved. Failure to do these optional mission objectives will simply prevent you from getting the bonus rewards for Advanced mode, and will not result in failure of the mission.
Successfully completing an Advanced version of an event will reward you with even more Marks than Normal as well as Dilithium Ore. In addition, you will receive a package of Advanced Queue R&D materials, with a chance at getting some of the highly sought after Very Rare R&D materials.
Elite – The Best of the Best
Warning: The new Elite mode is far and away the hardest content we have put into Star Trek Online. We expect you to not just be outfitted in great gear, but have become proficient in the Normal and Advanced versions of the events as well. You should be a master of your character and your ship, as well as knowing what your teammates are capable of doing. You should also know what to expect from the enemy you will be fighting as well.
If you see an Elite mode on a queued event after Delta Rising has launched, you should know that this is not for the faint of heart. These queues are designed to test our best and most powerful Captains in the game. Players have yearned for a challenge, and this is it. Enemies on Elite will hit significantly harder and be harder to kill, and at the same time, the missions themselves will take clockwork precision to complete.
You need to be level 60 before you even can attempt any Elite mode queued events. You will also want some top-end gear, and for space, the best possible ship. Mission objectives that were optional in Advanced mode are now required. This means failure to abide by those timers or other mission parameters will mean a premature end to your experience. In addition, if all the Captains are “dead” (or their ships destroyed) at the same time, the event automatically fails. If that wasn’t enough challenge for you, there is now another, new, optional objective to complete for a bonus reward.
Success in an Elite mode event means you will earn for yourself more Marks, more Dilithium Ore, and an Elite Queue R&D Material Reward Package for the Research & Development system. This has an even greater chance of getting you those Very Rare R&D materials, and in addition to that, you will receive a Material reward for creating a Superior upgrade for the upgrade system we talked about in an earlier blog.
Many players have been asking for a challenge level beyond what we have given them in the past. The new Elite mode is a response to that. This is not a mode we expect all players to be able to eventually complete. This is a mode that will result in many failed attempts before a successful strategy is struck upon, and even then, that strategy should take practice and precision to pull off on a continual basis. Not every event is getting an Elite mode version for the launch of Delta Rising, but at least one for each Mark type is scheduled to be upgraded before then.
The Difficulty Slider
In addition to Advanced and Elite modes getting changed for the queued events, the Difficulty Slider will be seeing a similar alteration. In Advanced and Elite difficulties, enemies will have more HP and more Shields, so some of the older strategies of “just use area effect powers” won’t be as effective in the higher difficulties. You’ll want to choose your targets more intelligently and take down the highest threats one at a time.
Upping your difficulty in the game has always come with increased rewards in terms of XP and Expertise, as well as increased drop rates on items – you’ll enjoy a much better chance of rare (blue) and very rare (purple) gear items. With Delta Rising and the new changes to the difficulty slider, we will be increasing these even more, giving you even greater chances at higher quality loot drops than before.
The Challenge of the Delta Quadrant
In conclusion, we are proud to offer you these upgrades to the queued events and the difficulty sliders. With Delta Rising, we are taking the game to a whole new level, literally, and we wanted to make sure that the challenge for these new heights was appropriate and what you have been asking for years.
Click here to learn more about Delta Rising, our free-to-play expansion for Star Trek Online. Explore the Delta Quadrant & rediscover the allies & the enemies the Voyager crew made during their exodus from distant space back to Earth & the Federation. Prepare yourself & your crew with an Delta Operations Pack now available for purchase! Click on the logo below to learn more about it.