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FTL |OT| Stories of the Space Oregon Trail

Majukun

Member
Jun 19, 2009
11,746
78
830
Well, I guess it's time to go look for more ships. Only got the Kestrel, the Engi, and the Federation Cruiser still... Any suggestions on what to look for first?
all the ships unlocks with random events,so you just ned to be lucky ,and probably play on easy,because many of these random events need specific improvement to the ship,that you might not have on normal,where the scarce resources force you to choose between the various system upgrades.
 

zkylon

zkylewd
Feb 25, 2010
44,776
0
720
zkylon.tumblr.com
It's no shame to just hit the FTL button as soon as it lights up when dealing with solar flares. I take it you're venting the rooms with the fire in to space?
Yeah I've had pretty bad luck since I next flight I landed on an asteroid belt lol. The second time I got to safety but got yet another solar flare on the next flight...

Roguelikes, eh?

Oh and venting the rooms is alright but my doors system died on both accounts :/
 

j_k_redtail

Member
Dec 28, 2008
2,935
21
775
Same rules as any other fight. Live long enough and the Jump button lights up. Of course, the Flagship will move towards the base while you jump around looking for a Repair or Store location, but it's a calculated risk.
Remember - if you have Adv FTL Navigation you can jump to any previously visitd beacon. It's indispensible for getting repairs during The Last Stand.

*

IGN Names FTL Best PC Strategy Game of 2012. Other noms included X-COM, Endless Space, Civ V: Gods and Kings, and Crusader Kings II.

Well deserved - congrats to the team!
 

DY_nasty

NeoGAF's official "was this shooting justified" consultant
Feb 27, 2007
59,671
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0
slaent
Finally beat the last boss!

Also, life in general is easier when you have teleporters
 

Strummerjones

Member
Oct 22, 2009
584
0
0
moburma.wordpress.com
After an embarrassing 120 attempts, I finally beat this game on normal. Funnily enough the very next game, I beat it again! Both times the clincher for me was cloaking. I usually went heavy on teleporting, but in both these attempts I didn't even bother getting one (well first attempt I did but lost my boarding crew in a moment of stupidity 2 jumps before the end). First time round I had 2x burst lasers and ion bombs. It was actually a complete disaster - I finished the second round with about half my health left and in desperation flew to a nearby unknown area in the hope it would be a shop or something good. Instead it was a regular enemy encounter and I nearly died completely on it, wasting my last few missiles and losing all my health until I had only 5 bars of hull left. I beat the boss with 3 ion bombs (of which I only used two) and didn't lose a single point of health due to canny use of the cloaking device. The same game I also unlocked Kestrel B by finally getting every race onboard ship, so it was an amazing run.

Second time was the engi ship and a combo of 2 x ion blast 2s, an ion bomb and 2 x attack drones. Even easier this time as I only lost 3 health blocks. A combination of cloak/overwhelming force seems the best approach to me. I've got incredibly close with other builds many many times but I just lose that war of attrition if I have to rely on teleporters taking out the missile defences etc.
 

Snuggles

erotic butter maelstrom
Dec 15, 2008
39,516
0
0
33
nowhere
www.neogaf.com
I'm glad I finally got around to playing this.

I'm on my third and longest run. Things were going well until I was engaged by a rebel ship while a flying little to close to a sun. My crew was too small to deal with one threat or the other. Now I have only one dude left, trapped in the cockpit, while the massive fire in the ship (which has consumed my med bay and door control) slowly creeps towards him. The kicker is that my ship is in great shape, it's just that the fire is beyond my control. Death is inevitable, but at least I made it to the fifth sector.

EDIT - oh shit I managed to stomp out the fire in room control just in time to open all other doors and kill the fire. And I had to run through a few flaming rooms just to get there. I'M ALIVE.
 

McNum

Member
Jul 6, 2009
8,127
1
0
Get the level 2 doors to avoid that from happening again. They hinder fire from spreading. Not "prevent", but it gives you a lot more time to react.

I downloaded the beta patch, by the way, and the colorblind mode is awesome. Everything is so much easier to see for me now. I had no idea that there were two levels of XP for crew, but now that the second bar is blue instead of green, it's easy to see. Enemy crew HP is also a blue bar instead of red, which vastly improves readability and the colors for systems online, dmaged, disabled, destroyed and off have all been changed to allow for more contrast as well as having an extra icon next to them. Likewise low O2 rooms have a full hazard stripe pattern in the entire room now.

If you're colorblind and play FTL, the next patch is going to be awesome.
 

Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Apr 9, 2009
29,200
5,350
1,285
Got FTL a few days ago, did my sixth run today. Got 2902 score! Lost to the second form of the final boss. Geez that was rough, but extremely exciting.

I thought for sure Burst Lasers + Fire Bomb + Hull Beam + Maxed Out Camoflauge + a modest attack drone + 3 shields would do the trick.

I know where I fucked up though. Right before the final boss I got my robot killed who I would use to fight boarding parties. He would've really helped. Also I activated my camo right off the bat but even though it's a full 15 second duration I should've waited until the drones started really attacking. I sold a repair drone earlier that could've helped as well (I had reactor power to spare even -_-) For the final fight I only had three party members too, so...yea. No bueno.

Remember that, especially after you've defeated the ship (if there is one) you can retreat and heal your entire party unless the bad guys are in the medical room. I have the bad habit of cycling party members to fight but that's really only necessary if it's an absolutely vital part of the ship and they need to be defeated ASAP.
 

Snuggles

erotic butter maelstrom
Dec 15, 2008
39,516
0
0
33
nowhere
www.neogaf.com
I managed to survive quite a bit longer in the run mentioned above, even recruited a few new crew members. But then before I stopped by a node instead of traveling to a next sector. A innocent ship was under attack and I decided to intervene rather then turn away unharmed. We did not last long, but at least we died as heroes.
 

zkylon

zkylewd
Feb 25, 2010
44,776
0
720
zkylon.tumblr.com
After a couple more failures in Normal, I set it back to Easy to get a chance to actually try stuff up.

I think my current priorities are getting a secondary weapon and two barriers, plus blast doors, which are pretty great.

Drones would probably be alright, but as the missiles, I don't like them being an expendable resource.

Easy is too easy, though, like I have a billion credits and I just breeze through the first levels. I guess that's kind of the point, to learn the ropes, etc., to prepare you for the real thing.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
1
460
Madrid, Spain
I finally got this! First game I've bought on GOG.com, along with Witcher 2 and Planescape Torment. I've had it on my Steam wishlist for a few months, though.

I've only played a couple of games yet on Easy, and it's every bit as awesome as I expected. Off to play some more right now, in fact. :)

Thank you based GAF for not letting gems like this fall off my radar.
 

Woorloog

Banned
Apr 18, 2010
19,089
0
0
Same rules as any other fight. Live long enough and the Jump button lights up. Of course, the Flagship will move towards the base while you jump around looking for a Repair or Store location, but it's a calculated risk.
Wait, what? If i flee from a battle, i can come back to finish it?
 

didamangi

Member
Dec 19, 2010
2,624
0
490
steamcommunity.com
Patch Notes.

Changes:

-Colorblind mode (available in options) makes many color pallette changes and adds additional symbols to help out our colorblind players. I apologize for the delay in getting this into the game!
-Hotkeys added for many actions in the game, customizable from within the Options menu
-Indicator for when the enemy is attempting to jump away (and if it's able to)
-Cloaking will automatically cooldown in non-danger situations
-You can now pause using the middle mouse button (one handed gaming for those of you who need to hold your child in the other!)
-Orange room borders for very low O2 have been replaced with hazard stripes on the floor (should be more obvious for everyone)
-Ctrl+click (customizable in Options) when aiming will allow you to specify a single weapon to auto-fire (or not auto-fire if auto-fire button is toggled)
-Minor balance change: System Repair drones power requirement reduced to 1

Major Bugs:

-Cloaking will provide the +60 evasion even if you don't have a pilot
-Beams will correctly damage crew (and start fires if the Fire Beam)
-Odd numbered Shield Systems will now properly repower after ionization
-Tough Little Ship, Astronomically Low Odds, and all of the Crystal Cruiser achievements fixed
-Repair/Anti-Personel Drones will always properly disappear whenever unequipped (or sold) - this will let you unequip them to make room for repair men if you system is destroyed
-Potential fix for rare crash when selecting weapons

Minor Bugs:

-Fixed: Zoltan Bonus power wouldn't update while paused for drones
-Federation Cruiser Artillery cooldown imagery properly updates during pause
-Fixed: Sometimes incorrectly displays the teleporter/shuttle text when your crew dies after battle
-All enemies (including boarders) will now have names
-Tooltips will properly clear when events/sub-windows open
-System limits/effects caused by events (or nebulas) update upon arrival, not after the event
-Cloaking system glow fixed
-Zoltan Trade hub event fixed - blue option will actually do something now
-Fixed: Quest beacon tooltips were sometimes inaccurate
-More Typos/Grammar Fixes
 

sangreal

Member
May 19, 2005
36,226
0
1,365
35
Changes:
-Indicator for when the enemy is attempting to jump away (and if it's able to)
-Ctrl+click (customizable in Options) when aiming will allow you to specify a single weapon to auto-fire (or not auto-fire if auto-fire button is toggled)
awesome

-Tough Little Ship, Astronomically Low Odds, and all of the Crystal Cruiser achievements fixed
what was broken about them?
 

Mindlog

Member
Aug 31, 2007
21,002
0
0
www.youtube.com
EDIT - oh shit I managed to stomp out the fire in room control just in time to open all other doors and kill the fire. And I had to run through a few flaming rooms just to get there. I'M ALIVE.
Yeah, that guy is immune to fire damage. I try to always keep them as fighters and increase their repair skills.

All the new hotkeys have me interested in doing another speed-run. Some nice little fixes in that patch.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
1
460
Madrid, Spain
Yeah, the patch is awesome. It might be a silly thing, but I really love the new "oxygen low" visual, it's much more obvious now.
Was the option to show star lanes on star mouseover before? I found it as an option and it should REALLY be on by default, it's really bothersome to measure distances "at a glance" to see if two strs connect or not.

Additionally, I just finished the game today. On Normal, to boot; I hadn't finished on Easy yet, so I got both achievements at once. All three of the original crew survived. I used the Kestrel Cruised A, and no particularly weird tactics. Sure felt good. :) Sorry, had to brag a bit. :D

Gallery for the bored.
 

O.DOGG

Member
Apr 1, 2009
2,247
0
660
Yeah, the patch is awesome. It might be a silly thing, but I really love the new "oxygen low" visual, it's much more obvious now.
Was the option to show star lanes on star mouseover before? I found it as an option and it should REALLY be on by default, it's really bothersome to measure distances "at a glance" to see if two strs connect or not.

Additionally, I just finished the game today. On Normal, to boot; I hadn't finished on Easy yet, so I got both achievements at once. All three of the original crew survived. I used the Kestrel Cruised A, and no particularly weird tactics. Sure felt good. :) Sorry, had to brag a bit. :D

Gallery for the bored.
Yeah, the option has been there from the start, I think. I never play without it, it's a life saver, and I agree it should always be on.
Also congrats on your successful Normal run. I should try it myself one of these days.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
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Yeah, the option has been there from the start, I think. I never play without it, it's a life saver, and I agree it should always be on.
Also congrats on your successful Normal run. I should try it myself one of these days.
Thanks! It didn't really feel much harder, especially towards the end (it's at the beginning when you're most starved). Ironically, I think Easy mode makes the game appear much more intimidating than it really is, as people play on Easy and get murdered, not realizing that a) Normal isn't much worse, and b) you're supposed to get murdered until you learn the ropes, same as any other roguelike.

The thing is that the balance of the game is so delicately tuned in Normal, that it's almost impossible to make large adjustments without completelly breaking the game either way. I was thinking that I now need a Hard mode, but I have no clue how that could be made without breaking the game. Simply reducing Scrap rewards won't do, as any less than that and you simply could not possibly be strong enough to beat the boss in time. Conversely, tweaking any of those parameters further in the opposite direction than what's set in Easy would make the game trivial.

As another idea to add even more to the game's longevity (not that I'm complaining, I have like half of the ships to unlock), what would you guys think of online versus? The game's format (1-on-1 duels) could lend itself well for it, although obviously pausing would be disabled, so perhaps micromanagement skills would become more important than strategy... :/
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
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Madrid, Spain
Any word on extra content? Thinking along the lines of Binding of Isaac.
While there is no new content yet, there is quite a large modding community that has made everything from new ships (there's even a ship editor, and someone made every ship from Starcraft 2), events, to something I believe ESSENTIAL: graphical improvements. In particular, there is a couple of mods I'd say are absolutely a must to get the most out of FTL. Seriously, the game looks amazing with them.

The most important one is Better Planet Graphics, which replaces the pixelated, aliased planets with beautiful, smooth ones plus adds several types:
http://www.moddb.com/mods/better-planets-and-backgrounds/images/better-planets-and-backgrounds7#imagebox
Seriusly, the screens don't do justice to it, it must be seen in-game with the zoom effects and such. And nebulas no longer look terrible!
The other is DiversityMod, a mod that replaces the graphics of some of the weapons, particularly several ones that have the same graphic in-game, with individual graphics for all weapons and missiles. The best part is that the author completely nailed the graphic style used in the original ones, to the point that I simply can't tell them apart.
http://www.ftlgame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3363

There's a master list of all mods, including the mod manager (very easy to use), here:
http://www.ftlgame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2645
 

Celegus

Member
Jun 29, 2012
9,846
0
0
Pittsburgh PA
Argh so close to finally beating it with the Engi ship! Only had 5 health bars left on the
3rd form of the boss
. I went into the fight too banged up though, since there was no way I could make it to a repair station. Thought for sure I had it that time.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
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You will excuse me if I insist on the Better Planets mod, but with it the game becomes straight up scenery porn. Feast your eyes on these (shame I can't show you the cool zoom effect, which I hadn't even noticed until I installed this mod):

Even the nebula look good (much better in movement)!
More here:
http://minus.com/mble9WUarjHjL0

It's awesome how planets and backgrounds are independently selected, and yet they merge so amazingly well. Ex: same background as first shot, different planet with a space station:
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
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Madrid, Spain
Just unlocked the "Super Secret" ship (the ??? in the lower right of the ship selection screen). The process to unlock it and the entire sector you go to is all shades of awesome. :)

Highlights from that one game:
1) I was playing on Easy with the Stealth Cruiser. There might be more difference than I remembered between Easy and Normal because by the end I was steamrolling everything, including the boss. And this is supposed to be a hard ship to play as! I didn't even get the shields until sector 5-6 and it was smooth sailing. Cloaking is amazing if you know how to use it right.
2) I was very curious regarding what would happen if I killed the entire crew of the final boss (which is very easy to do with something you get in the process of getting the ??? ship). It turns out the developer not only thought of everything, you even get a message event saying that the ship even seems to have an AI system that takes control now that all crew is dead. From then on it behaves exactly as an AI ship (systems auto-repair automatically), but it still has air within (since it has no airlocks). The uptake is that if you go this route, it is far preferable to leave one of the crew alive (probably one manning one of the least threatening weapons, to limit his movement).
3) I also got my original target, the achievement involving reaching sector 8 without hitting a single hazard. Which, of course, is possible thanks to the Stealth Cruiser's Long Ranged Scanners, as long as you don't get trapped with only hazardous planets to go to.
 

O.DOGG

Member
Apr 1, 2009
2,247
0
660
Just unlocked the "Super Secret" ship (the ??? in the lower right of the ship selection screen). The process to unlock it and the entire sector you go to is all shades of awesome. :)

Highlights from that one game:
1) I was playing on Easy with the Stealth Cruiser. There might be more difference than I remembered between Easy and Normal because by the end I was steamrolling everything, including the boss. And this is supposed to be a hard ship to play as! I didn't even get the shields until sector 5-6 and it was smooth sailing. Cloaking is amazing if you know how to use it right.
2) I was very curious regarding what would happen if I killed the entire crew of the final boss (which is very easy to do with something you get in the process of getting the ??? ship). It turns out the developer not only thought of everything, you even get a message event saying that the ship even seems to have an AI system that takes control now that all crew is dead. From then on it behaves exactly as an AI ship (systems auto-repair automatically), but it still has air within (since it has no airlocks). The uptake is that if you go this route, it is far preferable to leave one of the crew alive (probably one manning one of the least threatening weapons, to limit his movement).
3) I also got my original target, the achievement involving reaching sector 8 without hitting a single hazard. Which, of course, is possible thanks to the Stealth Cruiser's Long Ranged Scanners, as long as you don't get trapped with only hazardous planets to go to.
Yes, I've beaten the game twice now with the Stealth cruiser. It's my favorite ship, I love it.
I also got the AI message a couple of times. Bad idea to kill all the crew of the rebel supership but it's pretty much the only option if you play with the Mantis cruiser and have no good weapons. This one time with the Mantis ship I spent about 20 minutes trying to destroy the second form of the ship with boarding drones and party only to get stuck and promptly destroyed by its third shape - there was nothing I had that could breach the super shield. That run sucked.
And the secret ship is the only one I'm missing. I got the capsule - two of them actually on one of my runs but I never reached a research station. Will keep trying.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
1
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Madrid, Spain
Merry Christmas everyone!

I kind of hate that I lost the original game release buzz and the discussion surrounding it. I guess by now pretty much everyone has moved on, which is logical, I guess. I just wanted to add my two cents regarding the "this game is too random!" discussion" and side with those that say that if you find yourself dying because of random stuff happening, you were making gambles you should't have. If you find a station overrun with space spiders or whatever at the beginning of the game and you have none of the upgrades/crew to get a blue option, you have no damn business going in there. It's your damn fault if you lose a crew member to that.

Also, I don't understand why people rely on missile weapons (it was kind of shocking to see Jackson complaining about the lack of those). Perhaps it's because I generally hate consumables, but I virtually never shoot a missile until deep unto the second half of the game, if ever. Heck, I got the Ballistophobia achievement yesterday without aiming for it, right before going on to finish the game. I typically finish the game with 30+ in my cargo bay. You just need good firepower, good synching skills with your weapons and/or a teleporter.

On the flip side, it was fun seeing comments about "I need to stop saying to myself 'I'll just play a quick game' at night". The day I discovered addons I went to sleep at 5 AM; thank god I didn't have work the next day.
 

j_k_redtail

Member
Dec 28, 2008
2,935
21
775
Merry Christmas everyone!

I kind of hate that I lost the original game release buzz and the discussion surrounding it. I guess by now pretty much everyone has moved on, which is logical, I guess. I just wanted to add my two cents regarding the "this game is too random!" discussion" and side with those that say that if you find yourself dying because of random stuff happening, you were making gambles you should't have. If you find a station overrun with space spiders or whatever at the beginning of the game and you have none of the upgrades/crew to get a blue option, you have no damn business going in there. It's your damn fault if you lose a crew member to that.
Pretty much. It took me a while to realize it, but you really need to do a cost-benefit when you make such decisions.

Also, I don't understand why people rely on missile weapons (it was kind of shocking to see Jackson complaining about the lack of those). Perhaps it's because I generally hate consumables, but I virtually never shoot a missile until deep unto the second half of the game, if ever. Heck, I got the Ballistophobia achievement yesterday without aiming for it, right before going on to finish the game. I typically finish the game with 30+ in my cargo bay. You just need good firepower, good synching skills with your weapons and/or a teleporter.
I rarely use missiles either, but the nice thing about them is the ability to pierce the shields. You can use them to knock out the Shield room and then hit the hull with lasers.

Though I do prefer to use teleporting weapons by Sector 8, just because missiles can get knocked out by drones.
 

j_k_redtail

Member
Dec 28, 2008
2,935
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775
So how many tries is it taking people to get their first victory on easy? I'm trying to figure out how terrible I am at this game (I suspect "very").
I... don't recall. But you'll get there.

Watch Kikosika's walkthrough. He beats it on Normal in about 1.5 hours. He gets lucky, but I learned a lot from him.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
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GENERAL

Always expect to die. Always. No matter if it's your first run, or your 30th after having completed the game several times on Normal, expect that you'll die and you'll have a better time. Make it a challenge of "how long can I last" rather than getting frustrated when you die. Dying is part of the experience of a roguelike; if you can accept that, you're set. Of course, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't plan ahead, especially for the boss fight.

NAVIGATION

Delay jumping to the next sector as much as you can. Each one is progressively harder, so by squeezing everything you can out of each sector, you'll become better and better prepared to face each subsequent one. Some tips regarding that:
- Try to stay as close to the Rebel fleet edge as you can.
- If you have long-range scanners or have otherwise scouted the sector, priorize ships. You're guaranteed to get an event and in most cases, a ship fight (as opposed to risking having nothing at all and losing one turn and one fuel).
- Then, priorize distress beacons; same rationale as above, you get a guaranteed event.
- After that, priorize beacons with lots of connections. This is essential if you have long-range scanner, as it maximizes the number of beacons you will scan for ships, but also even if you don't, as you'll still be able to see shops and distress calls.
- Via any scouting method, you should consider carefuly if you want to jump into any of the hazards (asteroids/solar flares/ion storms). You're always guaranteed an event; in the case of asteroids, it seems to be a guaranteed ship fight (however, flares and ion storms sometimes have boarders, netting you little aside from melee experience). It may be worth your while if the hazard is something you're prepared to deal with (ex. if your shields are above what's expected for this sector, the asteroid field may even work in your favor).
- Lastly, priorize nebulae, since the fleet advances less there (but you might get no event at all, therefore priorize them last).
- Avoid shops if you don't have any scrap nor anything you can sell. Again, it's a waste of a turn and fuel. Otherwise, use your best judgement and planning; if you're looking for a specific, non-system piece of equipment, you need to visit more of them; however, if you're saving for something, skip them.

It is absolutely imperative that you turn on the "Show Beacon Paths on Hover" option. This will let you see all beacons connected to any one beacon in the map, not just the one you're currently on. This is essential for even the most basic planning of your route.

Your planned route should include alternate paths in case the fleet advances faster/slower than you estimated (i.e. if two possible main routes exist, take the one that has the most surrounding beacons you can jump to, especially if they're all interconnected like a web). This will also eliminate the chance of getting stranded in a dead end and having to backtrack through the Rebel fleet, losing fuel in the best case and hull/crew/dying in the worst (remember that fleet fights give no rewards).

EVENTS

In general, it is in your best interest to avoid away missions (alien spiders, disease outbreaks and such) unless you have an equipment/crew that gives you a blue option. For the regular, white "I'll go" choices, the "bad" result is usually crippling and can bring down an entire run. You might want to experiment at first to learn the possible outcomes of each (and, well, to sate your curiosity).

Events in general give a good idea of what you can lose if you gamble with them; sending someone to put out fires may get them killed, cruising through an asteroid field may damage your hull, etc. You should consider the deadlier ones only if you're so far ahead that you can afford to lose a crew member or hull (and remember it can be ANY crew member, even that master pilot you've had from the start), or so desperate that you will probably die anyway if you don't get a lucky shot; this is pretty rare.

UPGRADING

If you're new to the game, you might be wondering how does one cloak, board the enemy ship, or use drones. The answer is that most ships have to find and buy those specific systems in shops. A few of the unlockable ships start with one of those upgrades, to the detriment of something else (ex. both variants of the Stealth Cruiser, as the name might imply, have cloaking, but they don't have shields; others lack sensors, or door control systems). For the ships that are missing systems, you can always buy them at shops at varying prices (shields are 150 scrap, for example, while sensors are only 40). The single exception (that I know of), is the Federation Cruiser, who cannot equip the cloaking system, in exchange for the artillery gun it comes equipped with (admittedly, using both at once would be a game breaker).

Do not make the mistake of excessively priorizing offense to the detraction of defense. Particularly, try to get the engines up to five at least, i.e. the point of diminishing returns (where each additional upgrade gives you less than 5% dodge). This will save you when you're up against ships with shield-bypassing weapons like missiles and bombs, or simply overwhelming your shields; it will also speed up your FTL charging speed, which can save your life when you find yourself into an encounter you really want to get out of.

Upgrading systems is usually less of a waste than it seems. They not only provide enhanced performance (which you might live without in systems like O2 generation or the medbay), but additional DURABILITY. A level 2 O2 system can take one point of damage without risking suffocating your entire crew (or forcing you to go repair it in the heat of battle).

WEAPONS

The first thing you need to know is that there are several types of weapons types (damage delivery), and also several types of damage they can inflict. These appear in different combinations, some being more frequent than others; in fact, some combinations don't actually exist.

Weapon types

- Lasers - These typically shoot in salvos. They are stopped by shields, but "stun" one level of the shield for a second or two per shot (independent of individual shot base damage), allowing coordinated attacks to eventually penetrate the shield. Each shot can be individually dodged.
- Beams - These are targetted in a special way, letting you draw a line that crosses several rooms; the beam will then trace that line, dealing its damage to every room it passes (even if it only touched a pixel of it; good use of this can let you hit four rooms even with the mini beam). These are stopped by normal shields and do NO damage to them, being useless except if the base bean damage is superior to the current shield level (which is rare), in which case they'll deal the difference in damage to each room. This makes them the last weapon you want to use in a salvo, when the shields are down. They CANNOT be dodged, making them really good against ships with high engines/evade (you might want to attack the cockpit or engines with these, in fact).
- Missiles - These consume one missile each time you fire them (even if they actually fire several missiles per activation). Missiles bypass normal shields, making them mostly used to target shield rooms and take them down. The can be dodged and also shot down by defensive drones. As will be mentioned later on, you should avoid abusing those, especially early in the game.
- Bombs - These also consume one missile per use, and can also be dodged (the bomb will harmlessly teleport into space). Bombs are teleported into the enemy ship, which is the source of their two main differences with missiles: they cannot be shot down by any defensive drones, and they don't cause hull damage. Like with missiles, avoid abuse; more below.

Weapon damage types:

- Normal - Normal damage usually damages the hull, the system in the room, and personnel if present. Exceptions may apply depending on the delivery system; for example, all bombs do no hull damage.
- Ion - Ion damage works very differently to all other forms of damage. Ion damage is not permament; instead, the system affected will be ionized and act as if was normally damaged. Ion damage wears off one point at a time, meaning a more powerful ion weapon will partially disable systems for longer. The other remarkable characteristic of ion damage is that, if it's stopped by normal shields, it will do its damage directly to the shield system, making it a great way to take down shields. Also, ionized systems can't have power redirected to/from them, and, unlike normal damage, unused power is NOT returned to the system, which depending on the situation can be pretty crippling.
- Hull - Hull damaging weapons do double damage to rooms that don't have any systems on them. They can still be used to damage systems and will do normal damage to them.
- Breach - Breach damage has a very high chance (usually 100%) of causing a hull breach, which leaks oxygen from the room until it is repaired. It typically does severe damage as well to hull, systems and personnel.
- Fire - Fire damage usually does no damage at all to hull, systems or personnel, but has a high chance (usually 100%) of igniting fires in the affected rooms.
- Anti-biological - Anti-bio damage does no damage to anything but personnel. It is very useful to kill all the crew of a ship without destroying it.

The one thing to understand is that these are not "hard" categories (for example, many weapons have a smaller chance to cause fires and breaches), and exceptions/nuances abound. Always check carefully all your weapons' properties, detailed in its tooltip.

SHIP TO SHIP COMBAT

Avoid using missiles (and bombs) unless absolutely necessary (or in the boss battle). If you find yourself using more than one missile on average per fight, you're actually in bad shape and in a downward spiral. This might be unavoidable if you've had bad luck (or started with one of the more challenging ships), but typically you should not fire a missile until well into sector 5 or so. Rather...

Try to develop strategies to pierce shields without using missiles; the most important thing is that you should always, ALWAYS, fire your weapons in coordinated salvos. It does no good to shoot a laser burst, bringing down the shields, then having them regenerate by the time the next weapon is ready. In the most basic case this means waiting for them all to charge, then pausing and firing them, but remember that some weapons (like ion guns)'s shots travel more slowly. If you fire an ion gun at the same time as a laser gun, the laser shots will hit the shield first. This is usually (although not always) the opposite of what you want!

The optimal order and timing in which to fire is not always obvious; for example, you might actually want to fire the ion gun last if you know the other weapons will bring down the shield and you want to ionize a system rather than damage it. Beams should obviously be fired last of all (as they suffer the most from shields and do no damage to them); weapons that pierce one level of shields would typically be fired next to last (probably at the shields if you have a beam). Hitting a shield with a heavy laser is usually a waste, as it'll cause the same effect as a normal laser blast.

Zoltan super shields change all that; you want to bring them down as quickly as possible and timing has no effect, so you might as well queue autofire on all weapons. Remember that even beam weapons DO damage the Zoltan shield (twice their base damage, i.e. as if two rooms were hit), and heavy lasers do full damage to them as well.

If you're outmatched, JUMP AWAY! It's easy to forget this is an option in the heat of battle, but a retreat may be less costly than a bloody victory (to say nothing of a defeat!). If you're badly damaged, priorize repairing the cockpit and the engines so you can keep charging the FTL.

You can set a weapon to do the opposite of what the current autofire setting is (i.e. to fire one shot if it's on, or to autofire if it's off) by holding a specific key when clicking its target. This key is configurable. I recommend having autofire off at all times, and use this key when you want to autofire particular weapons (at the begining when you might only have one weapon, when dealing with Zoltan shields, when the enemy has no shields, etc.). For me it's much less confusing than switching between both modes, then having to remember which mode are you in to use reverse logic for the shift key. :)

REWARDS

There's three victory outcomes when fighting a ship: they surrender (and you accept it), the ship is destroyed, or the enemy crew dies. They typically yield increasing rewards in that order; particularly, killing the crew via fire/boarding/etc. is always by far the most rewarding outcome. Keep in mind that boarding is also very risky if you're not very careful (don't destroy the ship or let it FTL with your crew inside!).

Generally, destroying tends to yield more scrap, and surrender yields more fuel/missiles/drones, but usually destroying is the better deal unless they offer a piece of equipment as well. With some experience, you should be able to tell when you're being shortchanged by a surrender offer depending on the sector/difficulty you're playing.

There are exceptions to this, though; slaver ships usually yield a slave on surrender (which you then free and joins your crew), which may be much better than any reward from destroying them (which kills everyone) depending on your situation. However, killing the crew sometimes leads to you freeing all slaves and choosing one of them to join your crew (so as usual, it's the best outcome).

FIRE

Venting air into space is by far the most efficient way to deal with fires. Turning off O2 generation will speed up this process considerably, so always do so.

Reinforced doors (system level 2) will prevent fire from spreading to adjacent rooms. If the room on fire does not house any system and is not in a heavy transit zone, you can simply let the fire consume all the oxygen in the room, which will in turn eventually extinguish it. Again, turning off O2 will speed this up. Remember, however, that a damaged door control will make doors revert to level 1, allowing fire to propagate again!

Remember that a system completely destroyed by fire will deduct one hull point.

Only try to extinguish them manually if you have no choice (like if the door control is busted), and even then, put all the crew you can into the room to extinguish it as soon as possible before it spreads or damages your crew. Extinguishing a fire with a lone crew member is usually suicide unless it just started in a 2x1 room. Obviously rock crew are ideal for suffocating fires.

BEING BOARDED

Depending on where they land and whether you have reinforced doors, venting air can be a very good way to deal with enemy boarders too. If nothing else, it can weaken them enough to be picked off by your crew. Again, turn off oxygen generation.

Having a couple mantises around the center of the ship can make for a great security team; rocks are good as well, but they move much more slowly, which is usually a hindrance when moving from the boarders to the medbay, etc.

Boarders will always try to flee a room if it has no oxygen, and will always head for the closest room that has oxygen (the computer seems to cheat a bit there and always know where that is, even if the enemy has no sensor vision of your ship). You can actually use this to your advantage, venting air from all rooms except for the one you want them to go to (unless of course you need those rooms manned because a ship battle is ongoing).

However, opening all those doors will make boarders be able to travel your ship more easily, which can be dangerous, even outside ship-to-ship combat, as they can stupidly destroy the O2 generator or the door controls, and also every system they destroy will deduct a hull point.

Obviously, always try to herd enemy boarders to your medbay, as the healing provided is a huge advantage (you basically can't lose there unless you're severely outnumber and/or facing mantises). If you're in a hurry, to kill the boarders, you can even vent the air from the medbay; your team will take damage from both oxygen deprivation and the fight, but even level 1 medbay healing will make them survive for quite a bit, while the enemy boarders drop like flies.

You can split enemy boarding parties by remotely opening a door, then closing it when one of them crosses it. You can then send crew to fight each half of the boarding party before they break open the door and reunite.

BOARDING THE ENEMY

A common beginner mistake is not knowing how to recall your boarding crew. You have to click the "teleport back" button on your cloaking system, then click the room in the enemy ship where they are currently in (NOT where you want them to teleport; they will always come back to the teleport room). This means that you must have all your crew in a single room to teleport them all back. A nice feature, however, is that if you have four crew in a large room, you can recall them back all at once; they will be ported back to adjacent rooms to your teleporter.

This might be obvious, but Sensors Level 2 are a must if using boarding as a strategy. It is imperative to know at all times the enemy crew's numbers, locations and race composition.

Boarding ships with a medbay can be a dangerous proposition; try disabling it first. Almost NEVER board an automated ship, they have no air and the base teleporter cooldown won't be up in the time your crew takes to suffocate. You CAN board them with Rockmen and an upgraded teleporter, though, but use caution.

In general, the biggest challenge when boarding ships is to keep their systems disabled (particularly, weapons and the medbay) without eventually destroying the ship. Ion guns can go a very long way towards that goal. Lacking those, the best boarding opportunities would be targetting ships with neither a medbay nor weapons that can get past through your defenses (this usually means missiles/bombs).

Fire weapons make a great combo with boarding. In fact, fire weapons can take out the enemy crew by themselves if they don't have a medbay; just keep setting rooms on fire, they'll keep losing health putting them out with no chance to recover it. Even if they do have one, sometimes they won't be able to keep the fire from destroying it. As a side note, the fire beam lights on fire each square it hits, meaning that unlike other beams, you want to have it run across as many squares, not rooms, as possible.

However, be aware that, like yours, enemy ships lose a hull point when a system is completely destroyed, including by fire; this CAN result in the ship's destruction if it has very few hull points left, potentially with your boarding crew inside! Similarly, working towards killing the enemy crew by fire (and possibly taking several shots from them when you could have finished them early) only to see the ship literally go down in flames can be pretty frustrating.

DRONES

An integral part of drone strategy is knowing when the drone part used to build a drone will be recovered, and when it won't.

Drones for use within your ship (repair, antipersonnel) will stay with you even after you depower them or jump, making them extremelly cheap to use. The only case when you'll lose the drone is when it is physically destroyed by boarders or otherwise. Further, if the Drone Bay is powering any drones, it will slowly repair all drones stationed in it, even if they're not the ones being powered.

Drones for space use (anti-ship, beam, defense) will be lost when you jump away. An exception to this is when you have the Drone Recovery Arm augment, which will return the drone part to you when you jump, making them essentially free unless they're hit by enemy fire (uncommon, but can happen with both offensive and defenive drones), so you should definitely make a priority to get this augment if you already have these kinds of drones.

Drones for use within the enemy ship (boarding) will be lost after jumping, no matter what. Also, boarding drones can be shot out of the air (if the enemy has a defense drone, or, uncommonly, by simultaneous enemy fire, just like other weapons shots), AND will do nothing (and be lost) against a Zoltan shield.

CLOAKING

Cloaking is very useful if used right, because aside from the huge evade bonus, the enemy ship can't charge their weapons when you're using it. You can use it right at the start of a battle for a huge tactical advantage, as you'll fire your weapons while theirs are at zero charge. Alternatively (or complementarily), you can time it to use just as the enemy launches a barrage at you, to make most if not all shots miss.

Upgrade the cloak as much as you can, ideally to level 3. A 5 seconds cloak won't do a lot in a battle aside from evading occasional barrages; a 15 seconds cloak is almost a game-breaker. Remember that cloak cooldown is the same no matter what level it is. However, also remember that the cloaking system is ionized during cooldown, meaning you can't use whatever power you allocate to it in the meantime.

Firing your own weapons when cloaked will deplete its timer very quickly, usually taking you out of cloak, so again, fire in salvos when all weapons are ready. It can also be extremely useful to deal with things like fires, boarders, etc. in relative peace. Using your beam weapons do NOT reduce cloak timer, however: thanks to BKT from the FTL official boards for this tip.

There is, however, an augment, Cloaking Weapons, which makes it so that you can use ANY weapon and not detract from the cloak timer, letting you fire at will from cloak. Needless to say, this augment is really useful for ships that have cloaking, especially if the cloak is fully upgraded and/or your weapons have short charges.

Remember that the enemy can repair, etc. when you're cloaked, so if you've damaged them and all your weapons are ready, there's no reason to wait for the cloak to wear off.

POWER

A good player will do things like turning off O2 generation during a fight to squeeze some more power for the other systems; you can always depower the engines a bit in between enemy salvos to power the O2 generation back. You can also depower shields to power engines when fighting a missile-equipped ship, or viceversa when they have only laser/ion/beam weaponry.

GAME ENHANCEMENTS

See here.

LAST SECTOR

See here.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thanks to the people at both the NeoGAF forums and the official FTL forums.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
1
460
Madrid, Spain
Upon editing my original tips post, it turned bigger than NeoGAF's limit (wow!) so I decided to split off the "Game enhancements" section and move it to this post.

GAME ENHANCEMENT

There is a healthy modding community for this game. I particularly recommend two aesthetic mods.

One is "Better Planets and Backgrounds", by Sanmonku:
http://www.ftlgame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=9241
I personally much prefer version 1.2 of this mod to 1.3:
http://www.moddb.com/mods/better-planets-and-backgrounds/downloads/better-planets-and-backgrounds-12
It turns the game into this (it looks even better in movement).
http://minus.com/mble9WUarjHjL0

The other is DiversityMod by Liakad. It gives unique graphics to each and every weapon, with the most outstanding feature that it mimicks the game's original style with 100% accuracy. The original mod also adds several weapons and balance changes; I personally only use the visual improvements, provided in this page of the thread by Istarune:
http://www.ftlgame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3363&start=30

For both of those, you also need Grognak's Mod Manager:
http://www.ftlgame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=2464
 

McNum

Member
Jul 6, 2009
8,127
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0
What achievements did you go for with getting Kestrel B? I got the one needing you to have all the systems installed, but the other two seems rather luck-based. Unless there's a silly way to game the "Get reduced to 1 hull and repair" one. Like firebombing your own ship down to 1 Hull in a controlled burn, or something.

I am having bad luck in finding the other ships, too. But that's just a matter of going for it again.
 

Mindlog

Member
Aug 31, 2007
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What achievements did you go for with getting Kestrel B? I got the one needing you to have all the systems installed, but the other two seems rather luck-based. Unless there's a silly way to game the "Get reduced to 1 hull and repair" one. Like firebombing your own ship down to 1 Hull in a controlled burn, or something.

I am having bad luck in finding the other ships, too. But that's just a matter of going for it again.
Find a fight next to a store or use an asteroid field. Lower your shield then jump when you are at 1 health.
 

Weltall Zero

Member
Mar 11, 2012
10,279
1
460
Madrid, Spain
Thanks guys! I'll try to post more. As I play I think of others, but then I forget about them. :D

Played twice today, fruitful runs in both cases. I played the Stealth Cruiser on Easy and unlocked layout B and the Zoltan ship, dying at the boss. Then I played the Kestrel on Easy and unlocked its layout B and the Mantis ship. I also went on to win the game, pretty much steamrolling the final boss. The Kestrel seems almost overpowered compared to the other ships, with its starting burst laser.

In any case, having to get all systems (to get the achievement to unlock layout B) meant I could board the boss, take out the guns and kill most of its crew in phase 1 while I cloaked, then use the defense drone II (amazing stuff BTW; I got it in an event). Even when the power surges caught me off-cloak, I could evade/absorb/defense drone them easily. I suspect you're meant to get every system by the time you reach the boss, because with them all on, it's almost a joke, at least on easy. In any case, I suspect it is no coincidence the one time I finished the game on Normal I was using the Kestrel Cruiser as well.

My current plan is to unlock everything, then try finishing the game on Normal with every ship/layout. That'll get me a lot of mileage out of the game, that's for sure. :D

What achievements did you go for with getting Kestrel B? I got the one needing you to have all the systems installed, but the other two seems rather luck-based. Unless there's a silly way to game the "Get reduced to 1 hull and repair" one. Like firebombing your own ship down to 1 Hull in a controlled burn, or something.

I am having bad luck in finding the other ships, too. But that's just a matter of going for it again.
Like Mindlog mentioned, it's actually quite easy to game it; an asteroid field is one of the easiest ways, as asteroids never hit twice in a row. You can lower your shields and let yourself be hit by them.

I actually simply fought a ship with a single two-shot laser; lowering my shield to 1 (and engines to 0), it did one damage per salvo; when I hit one, I destroyed it (I needed the scrap for the repair itself :D).

You don't need to be right next to a shop, either; as long as there's a path from one to the other that's made of explored beacons (and you can cover it before the Rebel Fleet reaches you), you're good.

In general, this is most easily done in sector 1; also, that way, if something goes wrong, you'll lose little progress.

The "have all six alien races" achievement seems insanely hard; there are exactly six alien races and one of them is the secret one; I've managed to have one in my crew exactly once (in 20 playthroughs or more).
 
May 12, 2008
8,702
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Bay Area, CA
So I cheesed the 1 hull/full repair and all subsystems purchased achievements to get Kestrel B and got my first (Easy) victory on my first try with it! 1 for 36 ain't bad T.T

Also here's my hilarious final state:



You should have seen the state of my ship after the drone phase. I lost my Zoltan engine operator AFTER that phase, in a mad scramble to put out fires, repair breaches, and restore oxygen and med bay. I had good/bad luck. Good luck in general, but I also got the Astronomically Low achievement (take 5 hits in a row with max/fully powered engine, let alone the 2 star operator, I find it hilarious that his replacement got a star from just that phase).

I also think I let my bloodlust screw me out of getting the slug ship >.>