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  #151  
Old 09-05-2013, 11:19 PM
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Fantastic game and a fantastic LP. Loved it.
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  #152  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:39 PM
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I finally finished this LP. And I've got to say it was a good read. I heartily support a second runthrough if willcoon wants to do it.
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Fantastic game and a fantastic LP. Loved it.
Thank you! I know I dropped the ball on the continuation of this LP in the midst of a new job, a new apartment, and so forth. But if people are still interested, I would definitely give a shot at the Secret Mission or failing at Normal or something, now that my life's calmed down a bit.
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  #153  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:44 PM
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Yes, do all of this. Please.
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  #154  
Old 11-01-2013, 09:57 PM
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Yes please!
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  #155  
Old 11-06-2013, 12:49 PM
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Por favor.
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  #156  
Old 03-16-2014, 04:16 PM
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But maybe that's not how it happened.

Some say the federation's last hope was a Rock ship, the Bulwark. The ship was participating in an exchange program - when the rebels struck, the Bulwark's crew consisted of a human pilot and a team of highly-trained Rock warriors.

They had managed to evade the rebels for some time, gradually drawing closer to the federation fleet, when they detected a distress signal coming from a nearby asteroid field.



A human ship would have been risking severe damage, but the rock ship was tough enough to respond without any danger.





The unfamiliar technology demanded further study, but they had to make a snap decision.







So, yes. I'm back - with a new mission. This time isn't about showing off the regular workings of the game. I'm trying to get the game's most frustrating achievement, which requires a series of random chances to work out correctly over the course of the run. I've reset a couple times, and I'm overtly screwing with probability here - only to make sure the quest-specific events work out, of course, not to gain an advantage in the game.

(And, yeah, that took longer than I had hoped. Sorry about that. :< But I won't waste your time with such babble, let's just get back into it... )


The first step is to get this weird stasis pod. It requires finding this event, that occurs at random in distress beacon nodes in certain sectors. Then, you need to luck out and actually get the pod - normal ships might get hit by asteroids instead. The rock ship, however, has a special augment, the Rock Plating, which gives a small chance of negating hull damage when hit, as well as granting automatic success in this quest. There's a reason for that... but I'll go into that in a moment.

So let's skip ahead a bit - I didn't take screen shots up until this next event, because I was probably going to have to reset yet again. But then:



Now we're talking. Luckily I hit the right sort of sector, then found this zoltan facility. Let's see what they can do!







Well! So we've found a mysterious alien life form - more alien and mysterious than usual.
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  #157  
Old 03-16-2014, 04:18 PM
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I guess it's as good a time as any to check out our ship!



Here's our crew - Breckon, Magne, and Rafn are our rockmans, each with 150 health, immunity to fire, and a plodding gait. CY Heng is our human, pigeonholed into piloting the ship while the other three teleport out to murder folks.

Hutz is the newcomer - a member of a crystalline race, apparently the ancient ancestors of the rockmans. In terms of health and movement speed, he's partway between a human and a rockman. Instead of fire immunity, he gets resistance to suffocation. And he's also got... "lockdown power"?



Yep. Crystal folk have an activated ability triggered from the crew sidebar. It encrusts whatever room they're in with crystals that prevent anyone, enemy or ally, from entering or exiting the room. They're basically walking super-doors, which we can surmise from our earlier exploration means they're really powerful.

There are tons of great uses for this power. You can use it to isolate weak enemy crewmembers and prevent them from running to the medbay, lock out defenders so your crew can smash a key system (like a medbay, or weapons) uninterrupted, (I think?) stop the spread of fire on your ship while your rockmen put it out, or buy your boarders some breathing room while your teleporter recharges for evac. I'm looking forward to trying it out!

The Bulwark is equipped with a pair of missiles, which work okay for the first few sectors, but you really want to get something else that doesn't use ammo before too long. Luckily I've picked up a teleporter, so our rockmans have been doing most of the killing manually. I also grabbed a fire bomb, which works really well with rockman boarders: it doesn't do any damage to hull or systems directly, but it starts a fire in a specific room. Enemy aliens will take damage, it'll break systems, it'll spread, and it'll prevent them from repairing things while it's burning - and our rockmans don't mind it at all. I don't want to use it too much (still uses ammo), but it's a good thing to have on hand.





I've got more things to do, but along the way I pick up a Burst Laser III and trade in those missiles.





For some reason we don't detect many life signs in this sector.



A bud gives us another fire bomb! That'll be mean / useful.

Now:



So, the next step in our quest is to find the Rock Homeworld. There can only be one per game, and they show up at sector 4 or later. So we might not be able to finish the quest at all! In the meanwhile, we just have to guess - the lower path gives us better odds, so that's the reasonable place to go.
I'm taking the upper path.

See, under normal circumstances I wouldn't do this - and you shouldn't either, if you're trying to find the Rock Homeworld.

But I'm a time and space transcending wizard, so I know it isn't any of those sectors - if it's anywhere, it's past the Slug Nebula. If you want to know how I know this (don't click if you freak out when you learn cheats): The save file for this game is just sitting around in some folder. If you copy the file and rename it, you can later put it back, name it continue.sav, and pick up the game where you left off. I played all the way to sector 7 along the lower path, didn't find the right sector, then reloaded back to this point. Normally I don't do this, for obvious reasons, but this one achievement is just unfair, so I think this is a legit way to save us all a lot of heartache.

One highlight from my mystical spirit adventure:



Woah. That's messed up. (I didn't bomb the innocent settlers, because I expected a greater profit from murdering the pirates and then extorting tribute from the settlers.)

Anyway:



Along the way I pick up a slug for the engine room and a zoltan to run the shields.



Hutz is a big help - here he locks out the defenders while my boarders smash the weapon system.



Yadda yadda, let's skip ahead to:







So! In the current version of the game, there are a bunch of updates I haven't grabbed yet. One of them is that the next step in our quest is marked on the map! Which would be nice. As it stands, I've got to search through this sector until we hit the magic spot. Let's get started!



... Oh. Okay!

So our crystal crew member can reactivate it:







And here we are!



Spooky! SECTOR ? isn't anywhere on the sector map, and I have no idea what's going on. Let's find out!

... Next time!

(And yes, I've got the heavy lifting on the next part done, so the next wait won't be quite so long...)
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  #158  
Old 03-17-2014, 09:24 AM
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I've gotten the Crystal crewmember a few times, but I never made it this far. Looking forward to seeing the conclusion of this quest.
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  #159  
Old 03-17-2014, 09:43 AM
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Do you still get the Rebel pursuit in this sector?
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  #160  
Old 03-17-2014, 02:17 PM
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Ooh, exciting!

Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
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  #161  
Old 03-25-2014, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
I've gotten the Crystal crewmember a few times, but I never made it this far. Looking forward to seeing the conclusion of this quest.
I recommend cheating!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daikaiju View Post
Do you still get the Rebel pursuit in this sector?
Oddly enough, yes. I guess they followed us? So that's what the Crystal Folk get for trusting us, I suppose. Well, we'll free them along with everyone else!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teaspoon View Post
Ooh, exciting!

Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
Yeah... about that...

...it's going to get exciting soon! Unfortunately for me...

Now, where were we.



Ah, yes.

SECTOR ?: HIDDEN CRYSTAL WORLDS


Well, this mystery isn't going to investigate itself!





Hah, repair?! Useless.

But hey, I do have a bunch of scrap rattling around...



Let's shore up that engine.

The Bulwark got pretty nice defenses at this point, as well as a pair of fire bombs and a five-shot burst laser - serviceable, if not spectacular. Probably we'd be fine without any extra equipment, but I'd like to pick something up.





This sector's not so great!

But I know what'll cheer me up...







Solid.





Now we're talking! Crystal research facilities, and they're friendly!

Of course I'll let them run tests on us, I'd have to be an idiot not to let these previously-undiscovered aliens perform undefined procedures on my crew. And since the Rockmans are descended from the crystalfolk, they're probably the most interesting to study.



All right, that didn't suck. But it's time to move on.



Bwahahaha! Yes! Freaky alien shop!

(And, yep, the rebels are still hot on our tail.)





This is a fascinating discovery (that'll arm us with bizarre alien weapons that those damn rebels can't defend against!). Let's check out what they're offering.

They've got the usual fuel, missiles, drones, and repair service, as well as a few drone schematics. I'll grab that nice Defense II drone.

Then there's these Crystal Weapons.







So, these are pretty neat. They're largely similar to lasers, and we've got three different kinds here: 2 1-damage shots, 1 2-damage shot, and 1 4-damage shot. They all also ignore a single level of shields! Basically that means we treat enemy ships as having one level of shields less than they do - so hitting a three-shield ship with two shots from the crystal burst will take it down to one shield, and the two heavy crystal weapons will pass right through that and hit systems.

They're also incredibly cheap, so we might as well buy all of them and try them out!



Luckily, they accept our "currency" and their tech is 100% compatible with our ship.



Yeah, lookin' good.
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  #162  
Old 03-25-2014, 07:36 PM
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Woah! Guess we have no choice but to murder them and salvage their cool alien tech.



They've only got a single layer of shields, so our new weapons will do a real number on them. Meanwhile, they've got only one crystal weapon, so we're safe from that, but those bombs could be trouble.



Oh! I guess they're not. The bombs are crystal lockdown bombs, basically replicating the crystal alien lockdown power. Neat, but pretty much useless in their hands.





They fold faster than superman on laundry day. Now that they're out of the way, we get to see their cool-looking ship:



Not bad! Which reminds me - we're not just sightseeing here. We want to get our hands on one of these. So lets keep our eyes on that one quest node...







Hey, might as well round out our crew with another shanghai'd alien!



Meet Chris Malott, everyone!

That leaves us with a nice selection of crew - a human as a pilot, energon elemental running the shields, a psychic slug handling the engines, plus three rocks and two crystals as boarders. I'll rotate those last five so they all get plenty of experience, I'll want to use them all. The rockmans will be great for fighting alongside those fire bombs, and the crystalfolk will be able to use their powers in succession to keep things locked down for ages.





... I can respect that.



But it looks like they're a little rusty, we have the clear advantage.



Again, they're using crystal lockdown bombs that don't really accomplish anything.





Cool ship, but we still can't take it.





That's unfortunate. Luckily, our defenses are still good enough to deal with this.
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  #163  
Old 03-25-2014, 07:37 PM
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PCHEWW





Time for more mandatory killing!





Another cakewalk. Let's keep going.





Huzzah! We've got the crystal ship!

It starts with a couple of crystal weapons systems, as well as a special "Crystal Vengeance" augment - when the ship takes damage, it has a 10% chance to fire off a shield-piercing crystal shard that deals one damage to a random room.

Not particularly relevant, unfortunately (you don't want to be taking damage in the first place) and a potential liability (it can hit your boarders!).

In any case, let's press on. We still have to take out that mothership.















Multiple lockdowns! Yeah! These guys aren't escaping.



Yeah, great, real useful.





Next, we're headed into a pirate controlled sector! We've still got to finish our mission, and... well, it's going to get a lot more interesting than I'd hope.

Stay tuned!
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  #164  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:44 PM
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Time to roll up our sleeves and close this thing out.

We've emerged from SECTOR ? directly into a pirate-controlled sector 6. We've only got two more sectors before we face the mothership, but we're in a pretty good place, and nothing can - or will! - go wrong.





Let's take a jaunt into this space cloud.



Why would we ever want to stay hidden? We want to share this newly-discovered alien technology with the rebels.



Looks like I accidentally hit the Lockdown power for the wrong crystalfolk. This was probably intentional and is in no way either 1) indicative of me being rusty at FTL after the long break I took after the LP, or 2) portentous in any way.





Randy Walker wants to join our crew, but we just don't have the room. Maybe I could chuck out my pilot and train Randy up as a replacement? But, man, what a hassle. Out the airlock with you, Randy.

(It's a robot or something, it'll understand I'm just being efficient.)













Exciting space battle! I finally get hit with something, and the Bulwark absorbs the hit with its sweet rock plating.









Damn rebels. Luckily I have a team of highly trained minerals to murder them.





NOPE.





Well, great.





We're taking some hits from the sun, but I think it's well enough under control that I can hubristically reject their offer.



Then immediately kill them.



We'll have to do repairs later, but luckily nothing I've actually been using was hit.
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  #165  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:45 PM
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Oh! Another one of these.





But this time we'll take the weapon, we can't get any use out of another crystal stasis chamber.



Ok, some sweet missiles we're not going to use.



Lots of scrap rattling around here. New upgrades are pretty expensive and generally not especially crucial at this point, but it's still worthwhile grabbing extra value. For now we'll pump up those weapons systems.







Heroics!



Crystal weapons work fine on zoltan shields, and we've got enough of them that we get aboard pretty quickly.



Yeouch, they're a bit troublesome. Gotta wrap this up quickly.





And hey, we're rewarded for our heroics with yet another reminder that we're ultimately invincible!







Incidentally, I probably shouldn't have fired that warning shot - it seems that it just gives you a chance to scare them away, which isn't any good unless you're losing resources in a fight.



Which I'm not! Even though I'm a little rusty, we're taking these jerks down without much of a fight.



Yup, these brand-new weapons are helping out nicely as well.



Aaaand... here's where I really screw up.







... whoops.



Uhh... great...



And now, in the quiet, we can survey the desolation.

My powerful new weapons brought the enemy ship down to one hull. The pirates repaired their O2 system, and of course my (loyal, strong, astoundingly brave) boarding team started smashing it, following standard protocol to the letter.

Then, it broke. When a system gets smashed, it deals one hull damage.

That destroyed the ship.

Taking all four of my boarders with it.

...

Don't do this.

BUT! All is not lost! This is what life as a space captain is all about - I need to bravely carry on despite the gruesome death of half my crew due to my own incompetence. It's what they would have wanted.

(If they hadn't died horribly due to my incompetence.)
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  #166  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:47 PM
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First order of business is to boost our weapon system up to max. Looks like I'm going to have to actually use my weapons to destroy enemy ships, deliberately. We're through the looking glass here people.





... I can't risk it.





Ooh!





This was lucky! Let's grab some replacement crew - both of these guys could be useful, I can sell some spare Pegasus missiles to get them. Plus, I'm liking the look of that defense drone.





Here's what we've got - we can toss that new Engi, Valeriya, onto the weapons systems, and we've got a two-rock boarding team we can work with. It's a pretty good rebound from the Disaster, but I'm still concerned about the flagship...











Not taking the chance here either!







We get our first look at the inter-sector map since jumping to SECTOR ?, looks like we just arbitrarily jumped to a random sector in the next bunch. Weird seeing that discontinuity...

Anyway, I'm feeling like another pirate sector right now. One more sector before the boss!









Sorry about all these boring nodes where I just get free stuff...





That's more like it! Time to kill some stuff.





Going to be more careful with my crew this time around... I'm not used to doing this kind of damage with weapons!
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  #167  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:48 PM
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Safe and sound.





Boo. I don't see what you guys expect to accomplish here...





Let's keep moving.











Hecks yeah I'm a hero.







Heroes seriously consider bribes, but eventually reject them.





I did the Right Thing! (By which I mean, I earned more scrap by rejecting the bribe.)







Let's chuck some weapons out...



And buy some sweet new crew members! Let's pick up a third boarder and a new batteryfolk.



And tune up the engines a bit.





Ok.





Here we go! We're properly suited up to give this guy a bad day.
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  #168  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:50 PM
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PCKHWWW





CHAKOWWW









AH NEED A HEEROOO







Ah, the spoils of science.









And it's smooth sailing all the way to sector 8.





Time to steel ourselves for the final confrontation, once again.



First let's grab an extra layer of shields. We'll put them through their paces sure enough.



The flagship's over in the northwest corner. Let's just jump right in!





Boarders add a wrinkle, but we're pretty safe here.



NICE AIMING THERE, NERDS.





No need to drag this out - we can just crush these guys rather than killing the crew one by one.



We haven't needed that Defense II Drone yet, but it'll be handy in the final battle.



Our boarders aren't highly-trained... but I think they can pull this out.
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  #169  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:51 PM
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Nothing else going on here...



Next jump, the flagship'll be right in that adjacent node. If we jump there now we might hit some rebels, but...



... We just wait here for a cycle, and we won't have to bother with them.

BUT FIRST!



Time to get our loadout in order. We don't need much in the way of direct firepower at this point - those firebombs and our fireproof boarders are all we'll need to make that ship a sitting duck.



Let's... do it to it!





For the moment, all our defenses are maxed out, with the rest of our energy in our firebombs. We mostly want to weather the initial assault so we can get into the "fire and murder" phase of the battle.



First, one set of boarders and twp firebombs aimed at three of those weapons...





And we've got those dealt with!

At this point, all they can hit us with is the triple laser, so we don't need those drones anymore - we can focus on killing the crew.

First, we toss a firebomb at the shields and the medbay, and send in our rock crew. Fighting in a medbay isn't pleasant, but that fire'll start sapping it and hurting the crew while our boarders keep them busy (and therefore not putting out fires, and therefore not repairing the medbay).





We have to retreat, but hopefully that fire will keep them busy while we recharge.



Unfortunately, it didn't - they've got those systems repaired. Let's take a different tack - we'll pull the same deal on that damn cloaking device. It'll be easier to smash that, then our boarders can hang out there and keep them from putting it out.



BAM! Like that! They've all retreated - we've got a strong foothold on their ship. Those doors are strong, though, so the fire won't spread.







Until we break into the door system and fix that.



From here we can just let the fire take over the whole ship! The danger's that the O2 system might break (and kill their last gunner, letting the AI take over).



So let's seal the deal.
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  #170  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:52 PM
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Fuck Nick Breckon
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  #171  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:52 PM
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Those last couple of crew fold pretty quickly... but we've got to move fast.







Stay alive, little human!









YEAH!



Let's grab that extra point of sensors... that might have been helpful before.

No change in loadout for now.







Look familiar?

Same plan as before, but with the bonus of some horrible drones harrying us (ones we can't disable).



But it'll help if we smash their normal drones, at least.





(And their defenses. I don't want to hang out with these drones any longer than I absolutely have to - they can actually get a few hits in if they get lucky.)



Now we just unload both barrels!







I probably shoulda swapped out those fire bombs...





Now, we want to get that shield down and take out the missiles. This part is just straightforward blasting!



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  #172  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:53 PM
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We'll be able to handle the super-laser-blast once those missiles are down...



Now it's just a matter of taking down the shields and launching exotic crystals at them 'til they crumble.















Huzzah!

The Bulwark is triumphant! And we're taking home a sweet trophy in that crystal cruiser!



Thanks to our valiant crew! What's left of them, at least.

Here, let's check out the spoils of our efforts:





The Bravais is our new prize. As I mentioned earlier, it starts with a special augment that launches crystal shards at the enemy when it's damaged.

It has a pretty standard array of systems, including some of those neat crystal weapons, plus a pretty good start on a crew - two humans (good filler to start with) plus two crystalfolk (whose value we're familiar with).

We can unlock the alternate version by getting two achievements under our belts: destroy a ship with the crystal shard augmentation, lock four enemies in a single room, and/or destroy 15 rock ships in one run (probably those last two are the ones to go for...

Aaaand that's it! Sorry for all the delays on this one... but I'm glad to have gotten through it!

In the meanwhile, the game's updated with all sorts of new stuff - new events, aliens, weapons, systems... I'm excited to try it all out! Has anyone jumped in yet?
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  #173  
Old 05-04-2014, 02:09 PM
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Sweet.

Thanks for this.
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  #174  
Old 05-04-2014, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willcoon View Post
In the meanwhile, the game's updated with all sorts of new stuff - new events, aliens, weapons, systems... I'm excited to try it all out! Has anyone jumped in yet?
Yep. It's full of fun things that seriously livened up the game, but they didn't change up the flagship in any way that is remotely helpful (it's actually harder now due to the addition of new systems) and rather than renaming the existing difficulties to things that make sense, they added hard mode.

I still prefer it to normal FTL.
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  #175  
Old 05-04-2014, 04:37 PM
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I've been playing the enhanced or advanced edition, whatever they call it, I don't know what of my encounters are new or not. Except of course the ones involving the new race. Normal seems easier than the old normal. Lots of resources to go around it seems...

I especially like how ships can be unlocked by beating the game, much happier not being at the whim of the RNG for unlocking them.
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  #176  
Old 04-02-2015, 10:04 PM
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Hey kids!

Let's play FTL: Faster Than Light!



Okaydokay, right off the bat, we got a ship to choose, and... hang on.



So yeah. Since this LP last updated, FTL released an expansion, Advanced Edition. This expansion addressed many issues that players had with the base game (crew deaths being too powerful, certain augmentations being useless, et cetera), a few issues that game balance had (the first level of Doors now costs a bit more), things that were never an issue to begin with (rather than decreasing difficulty they added Hard Mode), and so forth. The most immediately relevant thing, of course...



Enough new content to make your head spin. We're talking new systems, new encounters, even an entirely new alien species! And what better way to demo it than by hijacking willcoon's completed and excellent FTL LP, Mantis boarder style?

If you aren't familiar with FTL's nonsense as is, go back and read his LP. If you are, then I'm going to start by opening up votes for what ship to take through advanced edition. Of note: I am probably going to play on Normal for the most part, because if I play on Easy, I'll only get one or two runs done before I win (I am fairly good at this game). If it becomes rapidly evident that Normal won't showcase enough because I keep dying, I'll switch to Easy. But enough about technical nonsense, let's have gameplay-relevant technical nonsense!

All ships in FTL have the following systems:

  • Piloting: What makes the spaceboat go swoosh. This station must be crewed to perform FTL jumps or even spin up the reactor. Additionally, if it's not crewed, you only get a fraction of your normal evasion chance depending on the upgrades to the system (anything above level 1 has autopilot, see).
  • Engines: What makes the spaceboat go swoosh, but different. The main difference between this and piloting is that engines do not have to be crewed to provide their full benefit, and engines have a lot more room to upgrade. You can still station crew in the engines room for that extra little bit of oomph.
  • Weapons: Every ship in FTL has this main mode of offense. However, unlike most systems, merely upgrading weapons isn't enough, you also need to install individual weapons on the ship. Each weapon consumes an amount of power, and if your weapons station can't support their power needs, you can't turn that weapon on. This station can be crewed to reduce the charge time of weapons, which applies to every weapon you have powered on.
  • Oxygen: Turns out space isn't well-suited to supporting life. If your oxygen system isn't powered on, the oxygen levels of your ship gradually drop. Once you hit about 20% oxygen levels in a room, most things in the room start taking damage over time. Upgrading oxygen improves the replenishment rate of oxygen, even negating the effect of hull breaches at high levels, but most ships will just throw the one point of power here necessary to not die.


Most ships have the following systems, but a few don't:

  • Shields: Your first line of defense against the myriad threats the game provides. For every two levels of upgrade, your ship will generate one layer of shielding. These layers can be whittled down by most means of attack, and ignored by some others, but they do regenerate over time. Ships that lack shielding usually come with some other method of surviving encounters, because having no shields tends to get you killed. Having a crewmember here reduces the recharge time of shield layers!
  • Sensors: The first level of sensors provides a fulltime view of every room on your ship. Levels beyond the first provide increasing amounts of info on an enemy ship you are facing, making this essential for ships that rely on taking the fight to their crew. Ships that lack sensors usually have some other way of figuring out where the enemy is, or don't especially need the data. Crewing this room provides an additional level, letting you see their power consumption at max level.
  • Medbay: In the highly likely event your crew takes damage, you can send them to the medbay to gradually heal them. The higher your medbay's level, the faster they heal. Medbays make for an excellent spot to hide out in event of boarders. Ships that lack medbays usually have another way to keep their crew alive, such as...
  • Clone Bay: A new twist on the medbay exclusive to Advanced Edition. While you don't have on-demand healing for your crew, should a crewmember die while this system is powered on, they'll come back to life after a short time, although they lose skills in the process. Your crew also gets a small universal recovery whenever you make a jump. Clone bays are incompatible with medbays, although any upgrades carry over between the two if you decide to switch systems.
  • Doors: The humble door system lets you remotely control the doors on your ship, which is most immediately useful for venting sections of the ship into vacuum to extinguish fires and boarders, and to equalize oxygen levels in event of hull breach. Upgrading (or crewing) your doors system turns them into security doors that keep boarders and fires from reaching places you don't want them to.


The rest of the systems are rare, and if you have one to start it's usually the reason you chose that ship:

  • Drone Control: Similar to weapons, this system does nothing by itself, but drone schematics unlock new functionalities with this system. Each drone has power consumption that the control system needs to match, and each one requires a drone part to activate, but once done, they automatically carry out their programmed task with efficiency. Commonly found on Engi ships.
  • Crew Teleporter: If you can't punch through their shields, bypass them entirely and fight the crew head-on! The crew teleporter lets you beam your own crew onto the enemy ship, where they can fight the other crew and sabotage systems. Although it's a somewhat technical and risky system, you get far greater rewards by eliminating the crew without blowing their ship up. Crew teleporters are mostly found on Mantis ships.
  • Cloaking: A very expensive defensive system. While powered on, you can activate the system to gain a 60% bonus to your evasion, while also halting enemy weapon charge in the process. The ideal strategy for this system is to turn it on just as the enemy fires, dodging their shots and delaying them. Stealth ships, obviously, come with Cloaking.
  • Artillery Weapons: Built into ships specifically built to house them, artillery weapons use a separate system from conventional weapons systems. They fire automatically and are usually strong enough to do serious damage to any ship, but they take a very long time to charge. Upgrading the artillery system decreases the charge time, and unlike weapons, if the system takes damage, you don't lose charge unless the entire system is destroyed.
  • Hacking: One of three new systems from Advanced Edition, and the other system that uses drone parts. When deployed, the hacking drone latches onto a room of the enemy ship, giving extensive data on that system and locking its doors to enemies while powered. You can then activate it to initiate a hacking pulse, which screws up that room something fierce.
  • Mind Control: Another Advanced Edition system. Use it to target an enemy crewmember you can sense, temporarily converting them into an ally. You can't directly order them around, but they'll attack the ship and its occupants for a good while, and repair your own systems if on your ship. Higher levels of Mind Control afford health and damage boosts to the controlled crewmember.
  • Backup Battery: A new subsystem from Advanced Edition. When activated, it grants you temporary points of power that you can allocate to your systems freely, making it a popular choice both for surviving ion storms and for captains that have a lot of systems but not enough reactor power to upgrade them all. The battery doesn't last forever, though.


Okay I think that's all. Now then, specific ships. There are 10 ship types in FTL, one new one added in AE. Additionally, every ship type has both A and B layouts, and for eight of the ten ship types, AE added a C layout that does WEIRD STUFF. I'll be grouping these in more spoilerboxes, because guys I love spoilerboxes SO MUCH

Kestrel Cruiser



This is the ship type you start the game with. Lore-wise, the Kestrel was an older Federation model that fell out of service, but as of late has seen numerous retoolings to render it suitable for the mission at hand. So, kind of like the Millenium Falcon, but not exactly. These ships are all-around good choices that don't really have downsides.
  • Type A: The Kestrel is a very standard ship: it has a burst laser, it has a missile, it has a standard three-human crew. It doesn't provide anything out of the ordinary, but what it does provide is enough to carry many players to the end of the game safely.
  • Type B: The Red-Tail comes with incongruous Rebel colors, a slightly more diverse crew than the Kestrel, and a full suite of four Basic Lasers, because it was apparently designed by some kind of witch. Four basic lasers can chew up many ships in the early game, but later on you'll need weapons with a bit more kick.
  • Type C: The Swallow's design has been tweaked by pirates, incorporating some AE nonsense. Like all C type ships, it has a Clone Bay, and it also comes with an Ion Stunner to disable enemy crew and a Lanius crewmember. Has a rockier start than either Kestrel option, but also can become a very powerful boarding ship.


Engi Cruiser



The Engi are basically a benevolent spin on the Borg. Their ships focus on drone systems and ion weapons, preferring to whittle down enemy ships with repeated attacks all around rather than focused fire. Pretty good options, but a tad more technical than the Kestrel, and of course, very reliant on drone parts.
  • Type A: The Torus is the simplest Engi ship. Two Engi and a human make for a very dependable crew for day-to-day survival, and starting with a fast-charging Ion Blast II and an Engi Med-bot Dispersal unit is very strong. However, all you have for offense is a single Combat Drone, so high-defense ships are a threat.
  • Type B: The most heavily-armed Engi ship, packing a Heavy Ion and a Heavy Laser, the Vortex is nonetheless the hardest Engi ship to win with. It has only a single Engi crewmember and no sensors, and all its drones are shipboard ones (albeit faster than usual thanks to the Reactor Booster).
  • Type C: Tetragon is the ship you choose if you like hacking, hacking, and hacking. It starts with a hacking system and a Defense Scrambler, preventing enemy defense drones from targeting your stuff, and it has a Lanius crewmember too! However, the ship layout is godawful and your starting armaments are weak both in drone and weapon departments.


Federation Cruiser



If you want artillery weapons, then you're going to go with the space penis line of ships. Artillery weapons are very strong and very difficult to disable, rendering these ships uniquely resistant to the whim of the RNG. Best suited for defensive players who want to build up to devastating attacks.
  • Type A: The Osprey is the ship to go with if you just hate the RNG to hell. The Artillery Beam functions like a Pike Beam but can punch through shields, and it starts with a Burst Laser Mk II and a crew of one each of human, Mantis, Rockman, and Engi. One of my picks for Best Ship.
  • Type B: Nisos is basically the Osprey but slightly worse. Starts with a crew of human, Slug and Zoltan, and a slightly different weapon layout of a Leto missile and Dual Lasers. The ship layout is strictly worse, but you get an extra point of Artillery Beam right out of the gate, which lets you get up to higher levels faster.
  • Type C: The Fregatidae is hilarious. It starts with only an Artillery Flak as its weapon, dousing an enemy ship in shrapnel. In the meantime, you're expected to board with Mantis and Zoltan (yes, really) and an upgraded Clone Bay, expecting no survival but lots of damage. I have won on Normal with this. Somehow.


Zoltan Cruiser



The signature feature of the Zoltan Cruisers, aside from their crew, is the Zoltan Shield, which blocks literally everything in the game as long as its up. However, once depleted, this shield can only be recharged by an FTL jump, meaning most Zoltan players need to do what damage they can and decide a fight before that shield is gone.
  • Type A: The Adjudicator is the simplest Zoltan ship, boasting upgraded doors to help with boarders and a deliciously strong Halberd Beam. That said, like most Zoltan ships, the layout is terrible, and you only have a Leto missile system aside from the Halberd Beam.
  • Type B: Noether's layout is even worse than the Adjudicator's, its doors begin at level 1, and it doesn't even have a functional normal shield system for when the Zoltan Shield fails. However, its weapon layout of two Ion Blasts and a Pike Beam let it do a number on many ships faster than most weapons charge.
  • Type C: Cerenkov has a full crew of four Zoltan AND a fully upgraded Backup Battery, but with a starting reactor only capable of two bars of output, it kind of needs that. It also has a clone bay, much welcome with a Zoltan crew. The power management isn't what'll cost you, though, it's the reliance on a single Beam Drone and an Ion Charger to do damage.


Stealth Cruiser



Stealth Cruisers are great for players who like the cloaking system, and that's understandable: cloaking is seriously powerful! They also come with Long-Range Scanners, letting them pick their fights. However, none of these ships possesses shielding, so you really need to know what you're doing.
  • Type A: The Nesasio is a simple and straightforward introduction to stealth ships. Level 4 Engines let it run from fights it can't win, the Mini Beam and Dual Lasers charge quickly, and Titanium Systems Casing lets it negate systems (not hull) damage every so often. Of course, it has no shields, and its starting weapons don't last for long.
  • Type B: DA-SR 12 is an infamous ship, and for good reason. It starts with an upgraded cloaking system and a legendarily-powerful Glaive Beam. However, the Glaive Beam consumes your entire weapon system's power and takes a long time to charge, and your engines aren't nearly as good as the Nesasio's.
  • Type C: Simo-H is weird. It doesn't have cloaking OR shields, but it starts with a drone control system, complete with an upgraded Shield Overcharger and an Anti-Combat Drone. This lets it pretend to have a Zoltan Shield that recharges over time, which is AMAZING, but you have worse weapons than the Nesasio. I have no idea how to fly this thing.


Rock Cruiser



Rock ships are known both for their superior construction that lets them negate hull damage occasionally, and for their heavy reliance on missile and bomb weapons. You'll have to carefully ration your missiles when in a fight, and stretch your other resources to their limits.
  • Type A: Bulwark is, oddly enough, probably the worst Rock ship, if only because it has nothing BUT missile weapons. That said, Hull Missiles can ignore shields and deal a potential 4 points of hull damage, and that's nothing to sneeze at. The layout is a bit awkward, moreso because of your slow crew, but the central lane can be vented very quickly.
  • Type B: Shivan is an excellent boarding ship that doesn't start with a crew teleporter, but more critically, it doesn't have a doors system or exterior airlocks. To deal with boarders, you likely have to firebomb your own ship, vent oxygen to extinguish the fire, and have your crew hide in the medbay the whole time. It's one of my favorite ships.
  • Type C: Tektite is probably the most straightforward option of the lot. It's the only non-Crystal ship to come with Crystal weaponry or crew, and it also sports a neat Swarm Missile system and one of the best layouts in the game. Defense Drones basically stop it cold, though.


Slug Cruiser



Slug ships tend to rely on their crews' innate telepathic senses, usually featuring weapons that excel in crew damage. Of course, Slug ships never come with sensors, so you need to be really cautious of fires, and when it comes to a straight fight, they'll usually lose. Slugs never play fair, though. Also they all have upgraded doors specifically to deal with fires!
  • Type A: Man of War features the most interesting weapon loadout, with an Anti-Bio Beam, a Breach Bomb, and Dual Lasers. The strategy is to take down the enemy shields, then just wreck the crew without damaging the ship itself. Like Mantis ships, this is less effective against uncrewed ships.
  • Type B: The Stormwalker is the Slug's attempt to make a boarding ship, and starting with a Healing Burst really helps on that front. However, it doesn't have a medbay or clone bay, so that becomes your only means of healing. And it competes with your Artemis missile for ammo, and that's your sole weapon. Missile consumption AND healing starvation, not fun.
  • Type C: Ariolimax, aka the Banana Slug Cruiser. The Chain Laser it starts with is a solid weapon, and it's only made moreso by the inclusion of both Hacking AND Mind Control systems on the ship. If you really want to play to the Slug archetype of not playing fair, this is the way to go, hands down.


Mantis Cruiser



The infamous Mantis specialize in boarding tactics, with each ship having a crew teleporter, Mantis Pheromones to boost crew speed, and at least two Mantis crew to board with. Relying on this mode of offense usually comes at an expense to actual weapon capabilities, though, so be careful against uncrewed ships.
  • Type A: The Gila Monster is probably the weakest ship for boarding, but as it starts with the most crew and actual weapons, it's a good middle-of-the-road choice for players wanting to ease themselves into boarding. With only one non-Mantis crewmember and no sensors, homebase hazards are the biggest danger here.
  • Type B: The Basilisk is the undisputed king of boarding ships. The name comes from its lack of weapons, upgraded shields, defense drone and four-crew teleporter, letting it win fights just by sitting there and staring while its crew murders the entire enemy ship with ease. Starts with only two crew, so you need to get more crew and fast.
  • Type C: The Theseus is by far the most technical boarding ship. It has access to rare Crystal Lockdown and Stun Bombs, letting you apply precise control to the enemy ship while your crew boards. Unlike the Basilisk, though, it has few defenses, and your starting crew of Engi, Mantis, and Lanius is awkward (but doable) for boarding.


Lanius Cruiser



The species introduced in AE is the Lanius, a metallovoric species that drains oxygen from rooms it inhabits. While somewhat awkward to have as crew, that feature comes in very handy when boarding, and not needing to breathe lets them respond to danger very safely.
  • Type A: Kruos displays a bunch of new features, including Clone Bay, Hacking, Chain Laser, Ion Stunner, and of course, the Lanius themselves. If you can get a crew teleporter, you can send your Lanius into their shield system and just spam the Stunner and kill their crew by asphyxiation.
  • Type B: The Shrike is meant for players who want to start boarding with Lanius from the word go. In addition to the teleporter, it comes with a Mind Control system, useful both for speeding up the demise of the enemy crew and for sending into dangerous areas of your ship to fix things, because hell if you're sending your Engi into repair zones without sensors.


Crystal Cruiser



willcoon ended his LP by reaching the fabled Crystal Sector. Completing the quest there lets you use the Crystal ships for yourself, granting you access to rare and powerful Crystal crewmembers in exchange for completely screwed up ship layouts. Also featured: Crystal Vengeance augmentation, that counterattacks 10% of the time you take hull damage!
  • Type A: Bravais is the straightforward Crystal option, with a crew of two humans and two Crystals, and some nice Crystal weaponry to boot. This sounds like a straight upgrade over the Kestrel until you realize that defense drones shoot down crystal projectiles. Crystal shots DO pierce through weak shields, though...
  • Type B: Carnelian is the Crystal's attempt to bring their strengths to the boarding game, and with a four crew teleporter and three Crystals, plus a cloaking system AND Shields, it certainly does the trick. However, teleporters are its ONLY means of attack, unless you count getting shot to fire off Crystal Vengeance (DO NOT DO THIS).


So yeah. Vote for stuff. Then we're going to space.

Next Time: OHH MY GOD OHMYGOD OMIGOD IM IN

Last edited by Kalir; 04-04-2015 at 01:38 PM.
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  #177  
Old 04-02-2015, 10:10 PM
Trar Trar is offline
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Nice to see you reviving this.

I vote for Zoltan B. It's great but not perfect, and I want to see how you can handle it through Normal.

Feel free to name a crewmember after me as well.
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  #178  
Old 04-02-2015, 10:23 PM
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Gerad Gerad is online now
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Engi B!

I'm terrible at this game. I think I won on Easy once. Looking forward to another guided tour!
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  #179  
Old 04-02-2015, 11:03 PM
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Adam Adam is offline
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Zoltan B because it was just her birthday and it was bugging me trying to figure out why I recognized her name.
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  #180  
Old 04-03-2015, 09:35 AM
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Mogri Mogri is online now
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Rock B, because if you can pull it off, then I need to see how.

I have mastered the Easy game, but I have yet to encounter any success on Normal.
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