Okay, so 3 of us banded together to try the hard Tholian ground missions. Here's what happened.
First up was the Tholian leader. We tried my plan of crowding the platform, shoving the boss off and spamming security escorts and Shard of Possibilities (decoys, yo), which worked fine until something unexpected happened. The boss started counterattacking! He never did that when I soloed him earlier! And then he disappeared, leaving a bunch of portals which we had to go close up. While this was not difficult in the least, it did have the effect of scattering the NPC summons (lol DnD term). They walked through the chemical pools, dying like flies. Then the boss came back and attacked with a vengeance. With only three captains and most summons dead, I couldn't distract the boss long enough to revive my fallen comrades. We all died. MISSION FAILED
1. Summons are critical to whittle down the boss and act as decoys.
2. Spreading out like in Infected Ground's last room is probably not a good idea. Bunching up is not necessarily bad.
3. Consider holding off on the summons until the first set of portals is closed.
4. Boss seems to reappear after last portal is closed, so reassemble all but one person on the platform before destroying the last portal. Last person should use a sniper rifle or other long range weapon so they don't have to run so far.
5. Boss regenerates health at times, but it's not particularly annoying.
6. You will need five people, preferably 2-3 tactical captains. This is because of the extra firepower summons and team DPS buffs.
7. You will need Shard of Possibilites, and possibly Triolic Pattern Enhancer (if you're used to the visual distortion).
8. If you have MACO set, bring the shield and weapon so you can recharge your shield when needed (which is often).
9. Stick blue and purple doffs in your active ground slots that give bonuses to Security Escort, Quantum Mortar, turrets, shield/health boosters, etc.
Second up was the self-destruct mission. This one is set up in a somewhat small area. It's basically castle defense. Actual battle footage of our attempt:
We tried 2-3 times with three people. We failed miserably because the cannon fodder prevented us from storming the actual threat: the "artillery", i.e. the Tholian Commanders that seemed to launch rockets at the computer core.
1. BRING MORE FIREPOWER. Summons, turrets, orbital strikes. Whatever you got, bring it.
2. Medical/shield generators will make a huge difference, especially when placed right behind walls near ramps where Tholians can't shoot them, but players/summons can use the wall as cover.
3. All science/engineer captains should have sniper rifles to take out commanders on the high ledges. Use Orbital Strikes.
4. Stage 3 and 4 is where the shit hits the fan. KEEP FIRING.
5. Lessons 6-9 above. Triolic Pattern Enhancer makes sense in such a small defense area, but the large number of hostiles makes it unwise.