FTL: The Fatal Frontier, Sector 2

By Alec Meer on September 21st, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

Continuing my imperilled escapades in spaceship sim/roguelike FTL: Faster Than Light. With a crew named after cats I have know, I’ve survived the first sector but at the expense of 50% of my starship’s hull and I have no meaningful upgrades. No-one is dead, though. Repeat: no-one is dead. I’m going to keep on saying that, because it’s the only thing I’ve possibly got to brag about here.

Jump 1

We limp into the next sector, with half our hull in tatters and an air-sucking breach in an empty room that I’d only just noticed. Whoops. First priority is to find repairs, but there’s no sign of a store out there. So this is what they mean when they say online is killing retail. All we can do is jump into the unknown, again. Maybe this time there’ll be jelly and donuts instead of a heavily armed and murderous spaceship.

Jump 2

Oh look, it’s a heavily armed and murderous spaceship. Though, for a change, it’s taking a pop at someone other than me. There’s a civilian outpost being harrassed by a rebel ship, and they’re dead spacemeat unless some manner of intergalactic good samaritan intervenes.

Godammit, being a nice guy sucks. OK, OK! What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger, right? Actually, in FTL that’s not at all true – what doesn’t kill me leaves me crippled, wounded, terrified and easy prey for the next passing bastard to pick off without raising a sweat. Fortunately, this turns out to be an easy fight, and one which results in two lots of scrap and fuel – one from the down rebel, one from the grateful outpost. My hull’s still got more holes in it than Alex Murphy but, as is now my mantra, at least everyone’s still alive.

Jump 3

Oh look, it’s another heavily armed and murderous spaceship. And this one also has the temerity to beam an invader straight into my medbay. A double-whammy from Tacky and Bonz sorts that out quickly enough, and once again the fight proves surprisingly easy – even though I still don’t have a proper gun. Its engine flashing blood-red, its shield generator near-permanently deactivated by my Ion Blast, the rebel ship begs for mercy, offering a few goodies if I’ll let it live.

I’m not always a nice guy, it transpires.

Jump 4

Asteroids! And that’s it. Waste of fuel, still not found a store to fix my hull. I am one grumpy starship captain right now.

Jump 5

A distress beacon? A trap? No, not a trap, just some poor lost schmoes who want protection as they head to their nearby destination. Where I come from, we call that a quest. So questin’ it is. Maybe we’ll find a shop on the way. My need to shop burns hotter than a thousand suns right now.

Jump 6

OH MY GOD IT’S A BLOODY SHOP AN ACTUAL BLOODY SHOP.

I should fix our hull – after all, it’s all I’ve been banging on about for the last seven jumps. But look at those goodies! Extra crew, new weapons, a teleporter… We will be crowned this galaxy’s kings. Or better than kings – gods.

Sigh. No, we’d better fix the hull. Boring. But we do have enough left over to buy a Shield Recharge augmentation. No, you don’t get a prize for working out what that does.

I need a gun. I really, really need a gun.

Jump 7

OK, let’s get these schmoes we’re escorting to their destination. There will almost certainly be a glorious reward for doing so. Maybe a gun!

Goddammit.

That shield recharger comes good – our newly-restored hull only takes a couple of hits before the rebels pathetically offer surrender. Word to the wise: if you are inclined to surrender, you probably shouldn’t randomly attack whatever spacecraft you encounter, should you?

I kill them to teach them a lesson. Don’t look at me like that: It’s a moral statement, not cold-blooded execution. That, and I hope there’s a gun in the wreckage.

There is not a gun in the wreckage. Of course there isn’t. I might sound like I’m doing well here, but all the fights I’ve had in this sector are against weeny ships with only one level of shielding. If I encounter anything with less pitiful defences, I’m going to have an exceptionally hard time taking them down, as a lone attack drone is my only damage-dealing armament. PROPHETIC.

Jump 8

Another distress beacon. Well, even a grump like me doesn’t expect two traps in a row, so let’s give it a shot.

Ew, plague. I’m keeping the hell clear of that mess. Oh, wait, my Engi crew are apparently disease-immune. Off you go to this sick colony then, Bonz and Ripley. Bring back a gun or two, won’t you?

No gun. But they do bring back an auto-repair drone. Hooray! This is why you should always be kind to sick people. Go visit your local hospital right now and see if anyone needs a hand – you never know, they might reward you with some advance starship technology.

Jump 9

I’ve ended up out on a dead-end, so I jump back to the store. Our purse remains near-empty, so after staring longingly at the array of expensive weapons and crew, I buy a couple of fuel units for luck and move on. My expression looks a lot like this right now:

Only while wearing a spacesuit, probably.

Jump 10

Heavily armed, murderous spaceship, redux. This one’s weirdly apologetic about attacking me, however. Like us, it’s dependent on a drone for its attacks, so I target my Ion Blast at its drone control center. It doesn’t last long. Feel a bit sorry for it, to be honest. Then I feel grumpy again, because it doesn’t drop anything useful.

Jump 11

Rebels are pursuing a fleeing civilian ship. Once again, my moral compass gets the better of me, so I decide to intervene. What’s the worst that could happen, eh?

Pretty much what happened, that’s what.

This was a gruelling, near-fatal fight. As prophesied, we encounter a foe with two tiers of shield, which consistently manages to regenerate one level before my attack drone can let off the second shot necessary to damage its hull.

It’s a long, punishing war of attrition, the enemy’s Hull Beam meaning it’s able to dish out small amounts of ongoing damage while I pray for my drone to consistently target my rival’s shield generator rather than whatever part of the ship it bloody well feels like. It’s not long before I have to Christen my new repair drone, as I’ve got fires all over my ship, Bonz is halfway dead and my weapon room’s out of action. As I’m frantically fixing holes and putting out fires, my attack drone is nobbled. Once again I reach into our diminishing supply of drone parts to launch another, but my hull’s now taking a load of hits and, for the first time, we need to consider abject cowardice.

Thank grud, the second drone proves to have a few more smarts than its predecessor, and manages a direct hit on the enemy shield generator while its forcefield is down. This one lucky shot was all I needed, and from thereon in this fight becomes as perfunctory as the last three. But, once again, we’ve reached the exit point of a sector with half our hull shredded like so much Peking duck. We can’t go backwards without encountering the rebel fleet, we still don’t have a better gun, and steeper challenges lie ahead.

Fortunately, the civilians we rescue hail us with thanks – an offer to repair some hull damage. Phew! It’s not much, but it helps. My determination to be the saviour of universe remains intact.

Jump 12

This is it, then. Hauntingly familiar. On to the next sector. 75% hull, could be outgunned by a stoned moth, barely any ship upgrades, still only three crew.

But no-one’s dead. That’s what it’s about. I haven’t yet had to face the trauma of seeing a crew member named after one of my past or present pets die horribly. Whatever happens next, I’m calling this sector a win. Now, on to Zoltan space. I really, really hope they have guns there. Really, really cheap guns.

To be continued.

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75 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Ah, the good old Torus.

    Devastating if you happen to find another gun (particularly if it’s another ion weapon) or offensive drone, disaster waiting to happen come sector 3/4 if you don’t! Half the fun is in trying to avert that disaster though.

    I hope Alec doesn’t encounter a solar flare, then his poor cat based crew’s demise will be the end of this fine yarn.

    • KDR_11k says:

      Really? The Ion Blast II is one of the few weapons that can cope even with 4x shields.

      Let’s put it like this: 1 ion damage per 4 seconds. Ion damage takes 5 seconds per damage to wear off. Each ion damage point that a system takes drops its power by one and none of that power comes back until the entire ion damage has worn off. In other words it can stunlock the shield generator. Takes up to 8 shots to drop a level 4 shield (yes, enemies can get more than 8 points in shielding) but then it’s smooth sailing. Well, as long as you don’t miss.

      • jalf says:

        except that your sole gun is then disabling nothing *other* than shields. And, as you yourself pointed out, it only wears the shield down gradually and slowly. Which means that until it has finally got through the last layer of shield, you’re doing zero damage, and their drones, boarders and weapons are free to cause trouble.

        Most other weapons can get through a medium-sized shield fairly quickly so you can do some damage. They can’t keep the shield permanently off, like the ion burst can, sure, but they can get through it quickly, and then even though it regenerates, get through it quickly *again*.

        So yeah, useful to have, but not something I want to rely on as my sole gun.

        • UmmonTL says:

          Also you just need to miss once and suddenly the shields are back in full. One of the bigger problems I have with FTL is that there seems to be no way to increase your accuracy while the evasion levels increase with better crew and engine. I’m sure it is designed to be that way as it forces you to diversify a bit before you reach the later levels but it also seems to turn some fights into the kind of RNG reliant coin-toss matches that I personally dislike.

          • delialli says:

            Yeah, the accuracy of your weapons doesn’t increase as your crew get better, it just speeds up firing. The chance to hit is entirely based on the other ship’s evade % chance. This has led me to switch strategies slightly. Usually I use whatever missiles, bombs or ion weapons I have to get the shield down, then hit the weapons. If you hit the pilot’s room ASAP, it knocks their evade down to 0% until they can fix it, during which time you cannot miss (and neither can asteroids). Added to this, the maximum upgrade for the pilot system is 3 bars, so it’s easier to knock out than other systems which can have higher health.

          • sinister agent says:

            Yeah, I found the same thing out right towards the end of my last game. Either disabling the cockpit or forcing the enemy to abandon it makes them a sitting duck, and at higher levels is sometimes a better tactic than going after their shields.

        • KDR_11k says:

          You need 8 seconds per shield layer to drop it, after that your drone gets free reign. Yes, single layer shields won’t stop most guns but very few guns can deal with 3 layers of shielding alone. The Ion II doesn’t win battles by itself but it’s just a gun, not a miracle machine. It does about as much as you can demand from a single weapon. If I’m in sector 5 or so I’d rather have the Torus’s starting gear than the Kestrel’s because that burst laser just isn’t going to do much at that point and if you encounter an enemy with a defense drone you’re screwed.

  2. Dick_Sweat says:

    Actually, I got to the boss with only the starting weapons, the ion+droid ones. Oh how the game trolled me that run. It must’ve been the weakest ship to ever face the boss.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      I once frivolously tried to get to the boss using the stealth ship without killing anyone. I actually managed to get pretty far (all the way to sector 7 if I recall) before I ended up in a battle that I couldn’t escape from (got hit by a breach missile to the engine room early on). If that ship had reached the boss it wouldn’t have been able to do any damage in the slightest.

      • ZeroByte says:

        I completed that pacifist run just now. Got my stealth ship all the way to sector 8 without shooting anything and faced off with the boss. Since I had sold off all my weapons, the best I could do was tell it its mother smells of elder berries before jumping away. My personal goal for that encounter was just to sod off and let the flagship destroy the Federation. I like to think that me and my crew got away in our stealth ship to vacation on a nice sunny beach somewhere.

        • TNG says:

          Probably staying at that tourist resort back in the Zoltan sector.

      • Premium User Badge

        BubuIIC says:

        What do you need to do to get the stealth ship? I only got the Torus and the starting ship yet.

        • Premium User Badge

          Malkara says:

          Pretty much all of the new ships come about from random events you can bump into in certain sectors of space. If you hit list on the hangar, you can hover and get hints about where you might find these events.

        • PacketOfCrisps says:

          Check this link for a fairly good guide on how to unlock the ships.

        • sinister agent says:

          I can’t remember how I did it, but I had to jump through a series of hoops, each of which might not generate (or be reachable, or give you the option you need to complete it, based on what equipment/crew you have at the time), and I read reliably that some of the other ships are the same. There’s no easy way to do it, really, just try to visit loads of jumps, and complete any ‘quest’ you’re given.

          Also pay attention to what people say. Sometimes you need to pay attention, annoyingly.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            After a couple play throughs it is really rather obvious which quests unlock ships and which don’t. You do need to head to the right sectors, but the tool tips in the hangars give you a pretty good idea.

            A lot of players won’t make it that far though as the game is hard, and your choices actually have consequences, like real life. Too many gamers are coddled with a diet of “press X for +10 and y for +11, and wilt at a realistic challenge.

          • sinister agent says:

            …and you still have to rely on the completely random decisions of the game in order to even encounter the beginning and end events of those missions. If the right one doesn’t spawn, you’re boned. The only way to get them is to keep replaying and waiting for the random numbers to work in your favour. Glorified grinding, basically.

            That really has nothing to do with what “too many gamers” have been “coddled” with.

          • KDR_11k says:

            The stealth ship doesn’t require a chain of random events, just one trigger event. After that you get quest markers. You might be thinking of the “unknown” ship which does require multiple random events in a row.

          • DarkFenix says:

            Christ, try unlocking the Crystalline ship. You require three completely random occurrances popping up through the run. If you’re in, say, sector 6 by the time you find the first? Oh well, sucks to be you. Oh, you also require a specific sector to be in your path, if it isn’t, no unlock for you.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Relying that heavily on die rolls is pretty iffy game design, even for a “you’re going to re-roll this a thousand times” roguelikeism. :/

          • Joshua Northey says:

            It is only “iffy game design” if you think every game must cater to a broad audience,, and that specifically it should cater to the “completest crowd” who get all pissy if every piece of content isn’t somehow super accessible.

            None of the extra ships are required to beat the game, and if you do play it enough times to have “mastered it” you will almost certainly have unlocked a few additional ships.

          • Saskwach says:

            I really quite like the random nature of the unlocks. It makes unlocking them that much more special to me, and IMO fits with the RNG nature of the game. If every ship was definitely unlockable on every – or most – runs it’d just make the ‘galaxy’ feel smaller.

            Plus I like the feel of just naturally unlocking my own incomplete list of ships over knowing that I just have to do this here and that there to get all the options and then I can start playing normally again. I’m a grudging completionist.

          • KDR_11k says:

            Funnily I managed to get the crystal ship on my second attempt (that didn’t end with me dying first) at it, after knowing the trigger event (I got as far as opening the pod on my first try so I knew to follow a sector path that has as much red on it as possible).

          • ax23000 says:

            @Joshua Northey

            I actually like the random nature of the game, but not when it comes to unlocking ships. It’s not even really that I’m a completionist (I’m not), it’s that one of the coolest facets of this game is that each ship plays so differently and provides different challenges and considerations.

            I think it would be neat if all (or maybe just most) of the ships were just unlocked from the start. That gives you lots of options and choices before you’ve even started the game and I think that would be cool. It would also allow some adjustment for different play styles.

            Imagine an RPG that FORCED you to play as a Magic user until you’d randomly unlocked the other classes…what if you hate playing magic based characters? You’d basically be forced to slog through something you didn’t like just to eventually get to the class you did like.

    • Premium User Badge

      liquidsoap89 says:

      I got to the boss on my second round of playing yesterday, with everything before it being more or less a cakewalk. I had the 3 shot laser, more powerful missiles, a repair droid and an attack droid. Unfortunately I ran out of missiles, and my lasers/ attack droid couldn’t get through the boss’ shields to do damage to anything.

      And of course I didn’t know you could run away from the fight to resupply.

      • UmmonTL says:

        Well running away also completely heals the boss doesn’t it?

        I noticed that one of the most effective weapons against the final boss is the crew teleporter. His main weapons are in completely seperate compartments with only one human inside. That means no backup so the fistfight is zero risk, your crew can keep damaging the weapon while the boss is stealthed and no one can go there and repair it.
        Only the first time I ever got to the boss, my away team consisting of a combat hardened mantis and rockguy was lost in one of the last fights in the previous sector because the ship exploded from fire damage before I could beam them out. I managed to not only get to the boss but defeat him with one of my crew still aboard only to realize there was a second phase. Naturally my crewmember did not survive the ride on the enemy flagship so I was down 3 guys at that point.

  3. zebramatt says:

    Bit late now but if you target their shields with your ion cannon, man the weapon system and make sure you hit the shield when it’s up (as opposed to just after your drone has taken it down) then you SHOULD be able to disable aforementioned enemy shields before they have a chance to recharge. Then just let your drone do its stuff.

    Oh, and: absolutely cracking read, this!

  4. MrLebanon says:

    losing crew members is both heartbreaking and brutal…

    I sent my super crystal man alongside a mantis on an easy boarding mission…. I didnt realize how to bring them back when the going got tough

    it was downhill (and down galaxy) from then on

    • DarkFenix says:

      The normal way I lose crew is beaming them aboard an enemy ship then not paying attention to its health as I continue to shoot it. Boom, enemy ship dead, away team with it. Whoops.

      • Premium User Badge

        AmateurScience says:

        Hilariously, my first attempt at boarding was going swimmingly until the enemy ship jumped out with both members of my boarding party aboard.

        I cried for weeks.

        • Tacroy says:

          When that happens I like to imagine that my wayward redshirts somehow manage to wrest control of the enemy ship without my supervision, and bravely continue the mission after my sudden yet inevitable demise.

      • KDR_11k says:

        I usually don’t shoot when boarding a ship because I plan to take the ship whole (more loot that way). Of course when I want to play with boarding crews I pick the “unknown” ship in the B layout, that thing’s all about boarding and crystalmen with their lockdown ability are plain awesome for boarding (and their asphyxiation resistance makes boarding automated drones a cinch too, unfortunately can’t defeat those without some other weapon).

    • Chickenfeed says:

      I once performed my Super Boarding Attack plan against a rebel ship. After a minute or so I remembered that I was fighting an automated spaceship, after another few seconds I realised automated spaceships don’t require life support. It was already too late.

      • sinister agent says:

        I lost two rockmen that way. Then about half an hour later, I lost another one and a human to a well-timed enemy cloak. Bastards.

        • Mr. Mister says:

          I discovered the hard way that although a human can’t resist enough without oxygen until a level 1 teleporter recharges, its fellow rockmate has just the necessary amount of health to damage a system and get the hell out of there right when said level 1 teleporter has recharged. Proved very useful against a level-2 shielded and cloaking drone with ridicolous weaponry.

          • sinister agent says:

            Yeah, I now make an upgraded teleporter quite high priority, and use rockmen almost exclusively for boarding if I can get them. Had three on a ship once, with a slug to spot/cover their retreat. Then someone gave me a fire bomb, and the rest of the game became an excercise in delicious cruelty.

          • Tacroy says:

            I prefer Mantises over Rockmen in most situations, though if you’ve got fire weapons the rockers are a clear winner.

  5. MythArcana says:

    Great game and I hope it gets larger over time. Also, of no related news, Cryptic Comet is having a 50% off sale right now. Use coupon code OCCULT to get half off on anything there except the bundle.

    http://www.crypticcomet.com

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I deplore your off-topic comment.

      On the other hand, I now own Solium Infernum for cheapz, so on balance… You live.

      • MythArcana says:

        Well, don’t hurt yourself too much over there; sounds like a real conflict in effect. :) Anyway, don’t feel bad ’cause I just bought Solium Infernum 3 weeks ago after waiting all year for a sale which never came, but it all balances out, so Vic gets to live. lol

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      Hmm, Armageddon Empires it is then!

    • Unaco says:

      C’mon MythArcana! You can do better than that. FTL is on Steam for goodness sake. You’re not going to say anything about that? I am disappointed. I expected better of you.

      • caddyB says:

        I even had to unblock him for a bit to see why nobody was responding to his anti-steam rants.

  6. sinister agent says:

    Ah, the weapon pre-igniter. Easily the most devastatingly powerful item in the game. It’s a wonderful feeling when your opening gambit is to unload four weapons that normally take 15-22 seconds to warm up, then just watch the panic spread.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      I once got it in my first jump, in an event for free. Was playing Red Tail, but ended up dead anyway.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Early Red tail is one of the ships it is least useful for because its starting weapons have such a fast cooldown anyway. You are typically already shooting first.

    • mouton says:

      Weapon pre-igniter+cloak=two salvoes before the enemy can do anything. Yes.

    • Jehuty says:

      In one playthrough, I managed to buy a pre-igniter in the first sector a few jumps after being given a halberd beam by an event. Combined with the basic missile launcher that comes with the kestrel, I think I got to about sector 5 or 6 before hostiles even had a chance to return fire.

      • sinister agent says:

        On my last go I had a hull breach missile (4 damage, causes a breach), a five shot laser, a three shot laser, and a fire bomb. And three rockmen with a teleporter.

        It was devastating. I was untouchable for many fights – missile in the cockpit and nothing can miss. Follow it up with a firebomb in the shield room, and let rip with the lasers, then send the rockmen in just to rub it in. Wonderful.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Clavus says:

    Note that your priority isn’t necessarily staying in front of the pursuing rebel fleet, but to visit as many systems as you can within a sector (so go to as many systems that are about to be taken into the rebel fleet as possible).

    Even if you work yourself into a corner and the sector exit is overtaken by the rebels, it’s not that hard to wade back there. Just don’t bother defeating the ships: put all your power in defence and jump away once FTL is charged.

  8. mouton says:

    For anyone craving more challenge, go play the Stealth Ship (unlockable in engie homeworlds). Basic cloak, weak weapons, no shields at all. Fun times. It did teach me very precise beam use, though.

    • KDR_11k says:

      On the opposite end of the scale there’s the “unknown” ship’s B layout which is completely awesome. I usually end up with a few hundred surplus scrap (i.e. scrap left over after I’ve already upgraded everything I care to) by the time I get to Sector 8.

      • TNG says:

        oh man that unknown ship… I’m still trying to unlock it but every single time I manage to get the event that would initiate the process (trying to avoid spoilers here), I never get the whole sequence before reaching the last stand!

        • UmmonTL says:

          I was lucky to stumble upon the starting event without knowing anything about it, I just thought that this couldn’t just be a random piece of junk so lets take it along. Even though it meant dropping one of my useful subsystems. Then I got the second part and was excited with them mentioning the secret sector. And then nothing happened, I got to the final sector and got my ass handed to me without even seeing the boss. *sigh*

  9. Premium User Badge

    Thermal Ions says:

    ” First priority is to find repairs, but there’s no sign of a store out there. So this is what they mean when they say online is killing retail.”

    Priceless line.

  10. benjamin says:

    Am I the only one to get really excited about seeing a picture of Picard?

    • Joshua Northey says:

      No. TNG was my after school entertainment in 93-95.

      Snack, TNG, Dinner, Go play with friends.

  11. bakaohki says:

    In my opinion the game is still severely unbalanced – and I’m saying it after hundreds of hours spent with roguelikes (and with at least 30 gameplays of FTL). Luck is everything – and the three round boss fight is just as cheap as it gets :(

    • TechnicalBen says:

      Max engines practically dodge every attack that the boss has. With only cloak/defense drones needed for the missiles.

      On easy at least, the game is rather a cakewalk. But like Dwarf Fortress, a single badguy/event can kill you or damage your ship. However, you can avoid 90% of the trouble, by choosing the correct options.

      • bakaohki says:

        I am unconvincable :) I do play on easy, I have played with lots of games in my life (so assuming that with 30+ plays in FTL I don’t know about dodge values or cloak timing effectively renders me an imbecile) but this one doesn’t seem to be “fun” – even on easy there were cases when on my very first jump the ship burnt to cinder (enemy+noshield solar flare). But even on the steam forum, there are two types of people: one, who thinks the games is a bit unbalanced (I tend to exaggerate, I know) and the ones who think they are just smarter than the others.

        I won’t say it’s the case here, I just say, I don’t find the game fun – unlike Dungeons of Dredmor for example (where the developer constantly rebalanced things in several patches).

        • UmmonTL says:

          There are some unbalanced elements however most of them are so by design I’d guess. I never even tried to play on easy and I see most games follow a basic three-phase structure which seems to mostly depend on enemy shield level. Before I get into those let me just say that while there are events or systems that can instantly cripple you for the rest of the game there are also ways to avoid those even if you might not be lucky enough to have them early on when you really need them. Some of the unlockable ships are much better equipped to deal with the early game than others so getting those is much more the goal of the first playthroughs than actually beating the boss. And in comparison to Dredmor I think that it is very clear whether you are doing good in your run or not. FTL is certainly harder than Dredmor but being killed in an unfair random event every now and then is much more fun to me than the constant slight increase in challenge I see in Dredmor

          Now my three phases of an FTL game:
          1.) Buildup phase
          This is mostly in Sectors 1 and 2, the enemies all have shield 1 or less with the few exceptions being so poorly armed that they pose no threats. In this phase I basically take no damage except for the occasional missile, only the special systems (asteroids, sun, ion storm) can be a problem. I try to reach as many systems per sector as possible to get better equipmen/crew and can start to build a strategy around what I get from there.
          2.) The struggle
          From sector 3 onwards, most enemies have shield 2 or more with enough weapons to blow through yours if you aren’t careful. And in this phase you almost never have the means to deal with every kind of weapon so an enemy ship that exploits your weaknesses can wreck you quickly, especially in the special systems. Around here I generally have a standard strategy to deal with enemy ships with some variations for different types so I focus on getting counters to the things that hurt me the most. By the end of sector 4 or 5 I can usually tell whether I even have a chance to get to the boss so I might just restart.
          4.) The final stretch
          This phase starts once you can easily deal with any kind of weapon on its own and the only things that get to you are once again the special sectors, some of the meaner events and just very mean enemy weapon combinations. Reaching the final sector is no longer an issue so the focus is maximizing scrap income, upgrading your ship and training your crew. You want a two star crewmember on every position and a way to kill the enemy crew without destroying their ship to get better loot. This usually means a good combat crew or combat drones although if you get some fire weapons or the bio-beam you might be able to do it at a distance. Sensors 2 helps immensely as it lets you see enemy health and focus fire their crew.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          You do realize that every situation is not salvageable. I see it as a virtue that you can lose through no fault of your own. It makes it a stronger game.

          I hate hate hate games/movies/TV shows where there are never any consequences. Hero tries insane improbably plan A, and look it all works out with no real consequences. What fun is that? It removes and drama or tension from anything.

          FTL has lots of drama and tension even with such a sparse story because there are actual consequences.

          Bakaohki-

          I don’t think it has to do with being smarter, I think it has to do with being an adult (in outlook if not age) and realizing that sometimes things can go wrong through no fault of your own.

          • bakaohki says:

            Things do go wrong on a daily basis, things end up being terribly random, things end up mightily uninspiring – that’s a so called “job”; that’s not a game, though I’m sure Raph Koster said it much much nicer in his book which you might try to read on your quite tallish horse sir.

          • Ateius says:

            Two things that need to be said here.

            “Consequences” is defined as “The effect or result of an action or condition.” Making poor upgrade choices and getting into a fight you can’t win because you don’t have enough shields/guns is consequences. Jumping into a system and getting your entire crew killed because a random event instantly spawns 6 pirates on your ship and you’ve had no opportunity to buy drones or extra crew is not consequences.

            People are not complaining about the deaths that come about as consequences to their actions, they are complaining about the random game-overs they have no chance to try and prevent. Not automatically win, but have a chance. There is a difference.

            Me, I’ve beaten the game already (on easy) and made several further attempts (on normal), only reaching sector 7 with them. I greatly enjoy making crucial decisions with my limited resources and seeing the consequences of those play out in front of me, even when (at times) it results in my death.

            I do not enjoy getting all the way to the end of a sector only to discover that none of the systems within four jumps actually link up with the exit, which I couldn’t possibly know to start with, and then dying because the rebel fleet is everywhere. That’s not a consequence, as I made no informed decision. It’s just the game being capricious.

            I’m not even going to address the “adults/children” thing. That is beneath comment.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            I said early on that there are different games for different people. This game isn’t for everyone. But some people like more realistic games like this, games where random events (almost all of which ARE influenced by your decisions) have an effect.

            Sure you might not have known that line of stars was a dead end, but that IS a consequence of always absolutely maximizing each trip instead of leaving yourself allowances.

            That si sort of the point of rougelikes. In real life you don’t leave for a meeting 17minutes beforehand if you NEED to be there in 17 minutes because you know crap happens. Likewise in FTL. People try to play it like some standard perfect information game like chess and then are frustrated when they find their typical habits are a disaster.

            Sure its possible this is some huge flaw with the game, but as many many people are enjoying it I am more inclined to thin it just isn’t the game for you. Not every game needs to be “solvable”. This is why most games are so tame these days, you make things hard or tricky and people just cry.

  12. aircool says:

    Burnt to death.
    Exploded.
    Exploded.
    Didn’t notice the O2 plant was broken.

    Great fun. Can’t wait to make it into the second map ¬_¬

    Oh, I’m playing on easy ><

  13. Aankhen says:

    I have nothing much to say except that I love these diaries. Been hoping for them since the game launched.

  14. LionsPhil says:

    Hunh. Looks like I dilly-dallied long enough that the sale just ended.

    …still no demo.

  15. Cooper says:

    One of the videos that pop up after that Ackbar clip is “HEYEYAAEYAAAYEYAA”

    Which has lead me to spend more time this morning than I can reasonably excuse listening to 4 Non Blondes.

    I hate YouTube.

  16. running fungus says:

    Getting slightly annoyed by my inability to get ship achievements. I figure the 6 species achievement for the kestrel will be easier starting off with floor plan B’s starter crew, so I’m aiming for the other two, and though I’ve fully healed from 1 hull (twice in my last game alone) it’s not giving me the achievement. Argh.

    • Aankhen says:

      In case it helps, it seems to be necessary to use ‘FIX ALL’ rather than repeatedly tapping ‘FIX 1’. (Obviously, this means you need to heal it all at a single store without any interruptions.)

      • running fungus says:

        Indeed. In past attempts, I think I healed in two clumps due to initial lack of scrap. Once I ensured I had enough scrap for the full heal, I got the achievement, no problem.

  17. Joshua Northey says:

    I haven’t found any problem with the achievements, but IME you cannot unlock them with the second layout.