FTL: The Fatal Frontier, Sector 7

By Alec Meer on October 2nd, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

Captain as of Star Trek Nemesis I THINK YOU'LL FIND

And so my FTL campaign, the flight of the starship Moggy, limps to the game’s penultimate sector. It seems impossible that we’re still alive at this point – let alone that we now have seven crew, three guns and NO-ONE IS DEAD. The looming question is whether or not we’re anything like equipped for the final showdown in Sector 8 – but then again it’s foolish to go asking that before we’ve survived Sector 7.

Ah, we’re in the Engi sector. Home, in a sense. I have four Engi on my crew, we’re in an Engi ship and we’re attacked by roaming Engi a whole lot less than by any other species. Home. But better not get too comfortable.

Jump 1

A distress call beckons. I could not forsake my Engi chums, so I head straight over.

We find a floating wreck, devoid of life Engi or otherwise. We can loot but one thing from it before having to depart – with a choice of damaged stasis pod with mystery contents, or a mystery weapon and some scrap.

CHEAT ALERT CHEAT ALERT CHEAT ALERT CHEAT ALERT

Allow me to lower this fourth wall for a second. I – that is to say Alec Meer, player of games, rather than the unseen and increasingly terrified captain of The Moggy – know from past experience in FTL that damaged stasis pod is equipped as an augment. All three of my augment slots are already occupied, and I’m not willing to part with any of my augments for the uncertain benefit of the stasis pod. I won’t do spoilers and say what the stasis pod results in (I have experienced that in a previous campaign) but I do know that the situation I am currently in means I will not be able to usefully avail myself of the pod’s contents. Thus, I choose the weapon. Fourth wall rebuilt.

CHEAT ALERT ENDS

For some strange reason, I have an overwhelming urge to take the weapon and scrap. It’s a fire beam, which does no hull or shield damage but does start fires in any enemy rooms it scores a hit on. That sounds marvellously brutal – though actually I’m more interested in the scrap that comes with it.

Jump 2

We jump into a zone occupied by a Mantis ship. Nasty Mantisses. If only they were friendly Engis. Fortunately, the insect people haven’t spotted us yet. We could just piss of out of here in complete safety…

Nah.

Man, I wish we’d pissed off out of here in complete safety. The hull’s down to 45% again, and poor old Security Chief Dengler was moments from death. We may have that handy ship-wide healing effect, but it can’t keep up with the sheer damage output of two invading Mantis. Judicious use of reinforcements (Weston didn’t have a whole lot else to do) saved Dengler’s green carapace. We’re hurt, but we’re not crippled. WAZZZZZUMP-blink

Jump 3

It’s a Rebel ship, already powering up its engine to flee and tell on me to the rest of its fleet. Well, we’ll just see about that. ATTACK DRONE II! BEAM DRONE I! ION BLAST II! HULL BEAM! We are INVINCIBLE!

We most certainly are not invincible. The rebel ship seems to be, though. Whatever I try, we just can’t get through its shield, and manage to score precisely zero damage before it leaps away. It scored precisely shitloads of damage to us, however. And now the rebel fleet is right on my ass, hounding me across the sector, affording me precious little time and space to find repairs, find loot, find breathing space.

This is a disaster.

I spend the scrap we’ve accrued in this sector on another engine upgrade, boosting our evasion incrementally. You can’t hurt what you can’t catch, or at least that’s the plan. ‘Plan’ is very much overselling my thought processes here.

Jump 4

Nothing. There’s a mention of merchants having passed through this part of space, but the bastards have long gone, just when I urgently need to buy repairs for the four billionth time. I hope their businesses fail and their children starve.

Jump 5

A distress call. Engi in need! It is my duty to help them.

These particular Engi are being harrassed by some giant spiders. I eat giant spiders for breakfast, or at least I would if they weren’t so terrifying. I’m pretty sure my crew are made of sterner stuff though, so I send an away team to help out.

Not everyone comes back alive.
Not everyone comes back at all, in fact.

Someone got left behind.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Who is it? WHO IS IT? I can’t abide the thought of losing Tacky, or Ripley, or Bonz, or Steven, or Dengler, or Ohm, or Weston…

Oh, Weston. Weston! We barely knew ye. We barely even noticed you coming aboard, in fact. And now you are gone, and a spider’s lunch. I’m so, so sorry Weston. You did an amazing job of hanging around the middle of the ship not really doing anything. I… I loved you. Sleep the eternal sleep, sweet, silent prince. We shall from this day forward fight in your name.

Now we are six. Sniff.

Jump 6

Hey, forget about the West-whatever guy, we’ve found ourselves a mother-lovin’ store. Let’s go shopping!

I’m about to spunk everything in the bank on repairs when I spot something very shiny in the shop window. It’s a Defence Drone. A Defence Drone II, no less. That stout laddie could fend off any number of incoming lasers and missiles. I want it I want it I want it I want it.

It’s 75 scrap. I have 30 scrap. And I need to repair everything.

Fortunately, I have two weapons I’m not using in storage, and it’s unlikely I’ll earn enough scrap in my remaining time on this voyage to upgrade my weapons system and reactor to the point that I coudl actually use them. So farewell then, firebeam and hull laser. In another life you’d have been of use to me, but for now it’s all about Defensor here.

Now I have 30 scrap left to divide between crucial repairs and crucial fuel. It doesn’t get me far.

Also, a shortage of drone chamber and reactor upgrades means I could only run the Defense Drone instead of, rather than as well as, my existing attack drones. Not ideal. Not ideal at all.

Jump 7

More Engi in trouble. I’m starting to get sick of these weak-ass idiots, forever needing to be bailed out. No offence to your memory, Weston. These ones are being harrassed by Mantis – I’m happy to help, but impressed that the Engi take advantage of our arrive on the scene to flee rather than pitch in. Gee, thanks guys!

Two enemy Mantis beam aboard, and once again they quickly overwhelm to the Dengler/Steven combo. We manage to kite them to the nearby Weapons room, where Ohm joins the fight. Back in control, but the cheeky Mantis sods beam away just before they die. Well, they’re only delaying the inevitable. Gogogogadget Hull Beam.

We take a few semi-serious hits, but nothing to cry over this time. However, it does necessitate being a little boring.

Jump 8

So, back to the store for more hull repairs and fuel. What an epic saga of slow-motion shopping this is.

Jump 9

We find some friendly Engi wondering what to do with a cache of assorted loot they’ve found. Allow me to help. We’ve the choice of raiding it for goodies ourselves, or booby-trapping it to distract the Rebels, who are now just one jump behind me. I do like loot, but I also like not being shot at. It’ll cost me missiles to booby trap the cache, but I have no guns that use missiles, nor am I likely to any time soon. This should buy us a little time – a little time that will most likely be spent shopping. You never saw Captain bloody Kirk in Walmart, did you?

Jump 10

More Mantis, chasing more Engi. They have a transporter. They beam two invaders aboard. We’d done tihs dance before, guys.

Mercifully, the idiot Mantis elect to assault our medbay first. There, Dengler and Steven are basically gods, healing far faster than the boarders can damage them. You go, guys.

This was an easy fight. I’m feeling on top of the world again, in control of my destiny, relatively well-armed and still with 6/7ths of my crew left. Everything’s going to be just fine.

Jump 11

OH NO

Oh no.

What have I done?

The next jump, or what I had intended to be the next jump, is too far away to, er, jump to from this point. To reach it, we have to go backwards, and loop back around to it. In fact, there is only one direction we can go from here, and that is backwards.

Back to where the Rebels now are. And by the time we’ve jumped there, the rebels will have move forwards again. I do a quick calculation. I don’t like maths at the best of time, but this is as terrifying as maths gets.

It will take me a minimum of four jumps to get the exit and leave the sector. The route I have to take and the speed the rebels are advancing at means I will encounter them on each and every one of those jumps. I will not be able to avail myself of whatever goodies those jumps once held – all I can do is either destroy the Rebel ships I encounter or hold out until our FTL drive recharges. We will gain no loot, but we will fight a heavily-armed foe four times, burning fuel and most likely losing hull all the way.

This was a critical error on my part. I mean, the least a captain can do is check the map properly before he tells his crew to sail ahead.

So, grimly, we return to the previous jump. Call me Captain Stupid.

Jump 12

The first of our pointless, fruitless Rebel engagements. I elect to go all out defence, hoping to minimise damage until the engine comes online, so I put out that shiny new Defence Drone II instead of my usual two attack drones. Meanwhile, the Ion Blast and Hull beam are primarily pointed at the enemy’s weapons. I don’t need to kill them, I just need to restrict their damage output as much as I can. Go full turtle, team.

It works! We take a couple of hull hits while we’re busy fending off a boarding party, but the Defence Drone knows what it’s doing. WAZZUMP-blink, so long suckers.

Jump 13

See above, basically. This jump was a distress beacon before the Rebels reached it, but I’ll never know what it held.

WAZZUMP-blink. Buying that defence drone might just have been the smartest thing I ever did. Mostly because everything else I ever did was incredibly dumb.

Jump 14

I’m not feeling good about this cowardly tactic and… well, it’s risky, but it does seem as though the Defence Drone, coupled with my tier 3 shield, is pretty much holding the damage these ships can dish out at bay. I’m burning fuel with every jump, so I elect to stick out this fight, knowing that while there won’t be any meanginful loot I will at least salvage some fuel should I down this enemy.

And, whaddayknow, it works. Engi smash puny rebel.

Jump 15

And, at last, we’re at the sector exit. Though we have to fight one more Rebel before we can leave. There’s only 4 fuel left in our tank, so I repeat Jump 14′s formula.

Again, we pretty much hold our own, though the hull takes a hit I could do without. I get my precious fuel unit and we get out of there. Out of here to Sector 8. To the last stand. Oh Lord.

OK, team, gather around. I have some words for you.

Let’s do this.

(You’re all going to die).

TO BE CONCLUDED

Belated editor’s note – people keep asking, because I should have said this from the off, but I am playing this campaign on Normal rather than Easy difficulty. It is the furthest I have got on Normal to date (by contrast, I’ve completed it a couple of times on Easy).

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85 Comments »

  1. zind says:

    I have never putzed around in a sector long enough to have to worry about jumping into the rebel chase onslaught. Maybe that means I’m doing it wrong? I usually am just forging ahead, with the occasional one or two extra jumps for a store or distress beacon. Maybe I should explore more….

    • JamesCoombs says:

      I normally try to visit the as many beacons as possible before rebels catch up to me, to get the most stuff before moving on. I’ve miscalculated like this a few times, and had to take a couple of spacepunches to the face.

    • omgitsgene says:

      It is almost never worth it to fight in rebel occupied sectors. You can do it reliably if you have pretty stellar defense, but I wouldn’t go into it without a buttload of shields and something to repel missiles. Stealth level 3 made this fairly easy, but it’s pointless to do. You’re best off trying to maximize non-occupied jumps as best you can.

    • orionsmasta says:

      Naw… it’s not a matter of putzing. Its happened a few times to me before… sometimes you just kinda get trapped since two places look like they should be jumpable… but turn out to be very very much so not.

      This has happened to me twice… fortunately they happened in lower sectors so it sucked significantly less when I was slaughtered lol

      • Mr. Mister says:

        I’ve read in the forums that the steam users have had a beta patch for a while, which includes an optional display of the avaliable destinations when you hover the mouse over a beacon you can jump to. It’s neat, but I’d probably turn it off, since I like the challange of deciding wether or not two beacons are connected by looking at their separation.

        Kinda like what Warhammer does with charge distances, you declare it before measuring the distance.

        • Ritashi says:

          Heh, off topic, but Warhammer now allows premeasuring of any distance at any time for any reason. Charge ranges include a random component these days, and guess range weaponry now just has you choose a pre-scatter position. Crazy, eh?

          Oh, and FTL is pretty cool.

          • phuzz says:

            That’s how it works now?
            I hate to be That Old Guy but, things were better in my day lad, we even had Squats!
            You try telling that to these kids nowadays and they won’t believe you. “So basically just Dwarfs in Space then?”, they’ll say. Kids nowadays, I ask you.

          • Kaira- says:

            There have never been Squats in WH40k. To speak otherwise is heresy and may result in death sentence.

        • Tacroy says:

          The problem with that is that wherther or not the distance between two nodes is jumpable is not at all consistent, and whatever algorithm they’re using is difficult to understand intuitively (it seems like some sort of distance-budget thing).

          • Ateius says:

            Indeed. My best Engi run came to a premature end because the systems in a sector had, evidently, forked into two separate paths four or five jumps back, and the one I had chosen did not link to the exit, despite appearing to be quite close to it.

          • Malibu Stacey says:

            3D space, 2D representation.

            Deal with it.

  2. Ansob says:

    Alec, do you not know the trick to defeating borders? They will flee decompressed areas, so just move everyone in your ship into the medbay, then decompress the room they’re in and every room leading to the medbay – they’ll take the shortest route to the nearest oxygenated room.

    This lets you shunt them into the medbay to die very easily and saves you the bother of dealing with them on their own terms.

    • pupsikaso says:

      You’re doing it wrong. That takes valuable man-power off shields/weapons/navigation/engines.
      The correct tactic of dealing with invaders is to play the marry-go-round with them by switching out damaged troops with fresh ones, then sending the damaged troop back in so it can shoot from a distance without taking damage.

      • Mr. Mister says:

        Depending on the ship layout, I usually have time to toy around with the doors to suck air into both their room, and the room they’re trying to get to, while at the same time redirecting them to either the medbay or some manned system, since by that time they’ll be at health low enough for a single guy to take care of them.

      • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

        I agree, It is usually not a problem when some crewmembers get hurt a little, so rotating in between the scene of the fight, medbay, and manning stations is the best way to minimise hull/system damage. depressurising rooms should only be done very selectively. Even with that tactic, I have sometimes succeeded in tricking invaders onto the medbay.

        • KDR_11k says:

          My favorite ship, Unknown B, has a series of rooms that include the weapons and cloaking systems and two well placed airlocks, the medbay (which is adjacent to the crew teleport, i.e. within arms reach of your boarding specialists) is the only connection from those rooms to the rest of the ship. Since it’s a boarding ship I often have weapons unmanned (because I’m not firing) so that whole branch of the ship can be vented at will, easily baiting enemies into the medbay (or using lockdown to make them frantically wail at the blockaded door until they die of suffocation). I’m more wary of venting the other two “branches” but invaders tend to go for the weapons branch. Of course if you cloak at the start of the battle and teleport your boarders onto their ship before you uncloak you can usually prevent them from teleporting at all because they’ll be too busy dealing with your guys.

          • greedow says:

            “unknown B”…where do you get this Unknown ship? I’m trying to get them all but it’s hard…(only have 3 so far…XD)

    • Mr. Mister says:

      It’s a bit more complex than that: If you move your pilot, then your uncloacked evasion will be zero; if you stop manning shields, that could mark the difference between taking a beam hit after that dual laser or not; not maning weapons means the enemy will take another shot just before you take their weapons system down; if your oxygen support is destroyed, then that is the worst idea ever. And crewbay can only hold up to 3 crew members.

      Plus, depending on the ship layout, it’s possible that the boarders can take down/damage something before the room they’re in gets vacuued, so you have no choice but to have someone entertain them otherwise.

    • Baardago says:

      Guess some people like to play like suicidal maniacs.

      Seriously, that tactic is a quick recipe for an early and humiliating death in FTL.

    • Lev Astov says:

      I usually, like to upgrade my ship hatches all the way pretty early on then just trap and suffocate them. I’ll do that unless they board my weapon or shield rooms. They’ll usually break through to the next room and sometimes a third before suffocating, but on my last outing I think I only actually fought them once before I died on the boss.

    • yurusei says:

      Doesn’t work when you have a full complement of crew, the medbay only fits 3, and 2 in one of the engi ships.

      What irks me is that the boarders seem to have more HP and more Damage than my crew, even with two elite mantises it’s a tough gamble.

  3. Lolmasaurus says:

    I forge ahead, to almost certain death every time because my ship isn’t upgraded enough. I am bad and I should feel bad. On a side note, that video is awesome. Great series, Alec.

  4. hypercrisis says:

    precisely why i favour advanced ftl navigation

    • iniudan says:

      Yup, go directly to the exit (except if shop, distress and quest are along the way =p), then explore the hell out of the sector.

    • dontnormally says:

      *The latest update adds a feature that allows you to see which systems are reachable*

      Which solves the problem Alec encountered, which is awesome, because that was by-far the worst thing I’d run into in this game.

    • Baardago says:

      I somehow always manage to get that really early when playing with the stealth ship. It feels nice leaving the first sector with that augment already in place.

      Running into a dead end with the rebs already owning half the sector really is very, very painful, though.

      Only thing worse than that is forgetting to beam your boarders back before accidentally blowing up the enemy ship (damn autofire!), or before the ship manages to jump away. (Fuuuuuuuuuuu-!). I lost two ass-kicking rockmen in my last game this way. I had a fire beam and a bomb, too! Those + rockmen boarders = so cruel and awesome.

      • Bobby Oxygen says:

        Or boarding a rebel auto-drone, only to find out that machines don’t need oxygen and your boarding party will suffocate before you can beam them back. Lesson learned.

        • Kizor says:

          Or boarding an auto-drone with the ingenious plan of following up with a healbomb, thus keeping the boarders alive as they maul the drone, only to find that the drone has a cloaking device.

          Or putting the healbomb in the rightmost weapon slot, where it’s the first to lose power.

          Or having the drone jump away.

          Or having the drone get lucky with missiles just as the boarders are rushing to the medbay.

          The teleporter had me worried that it might make combat useless, but it seems that high stakes, a fast pace and the multitude of things that go wrong make the teleporter a recipe for hilarity and death.

  5. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    Yesterday I beat the boss on normal with an Engi ship much like yours (well, I was lucky enough to have found Mark II Defensive AND Offensive Drones and to be able to sustain them simultaneously). It was sort of anti-climactic, as I only took 2 hull damage across all three stages.

    This game is still best when you lose.

    Today I set up a Stealth ship called the Batwing just to see Captain Wayne and his officers Grayson and Gordon fail, as they do so well, but – as always – they didn’t. B-type Layout it is!

    • Mr. Mister says:

      My first Normal victory was on te Kestrel, and the anti-climax was due to me being able to use a def-I and a def-II at the same time, as well as maxed shields, cloack and teleport. Had two fucking Ion Bombs, the initial burst laser II, and a fire beam, all of which could be powered at the same time.
      I got all these upgrades by taking over almost every single ship, thanks to my Crystenant and his squad of three Commantis.
      Long story short: took like four damage across the three phases, got the “some people just like to see ships burn” achievemnt with the third phase, and didn’t need to fire a single fucking Ion bomb. I replaced my defense-I with an anti-ship-II when for the third phase though, since I saw I could evade most of the missiles.

      • Ateius says:

        How do you avoid massive damage from the drones in the second stage? That’s always the killer for me (if not literally, it does enough damage that I can’t survive stage 3). Especially when it repeatedly launches huge swarms. Am I just unlucky enough in not getting any burst lasers to burn through shields and take out drone control?

        • sinister agent says:

          Possibly SPOILER: I’m sure there are a few ways to do it, but I found that the best way to deal with the drone phase is to spend the first phase disabling their weapons, then use boarders (and fire/bio weapons if you can spare them) to kill all but a couple of the enemy crew. This makes the second phase much easier, as you can then board their drone room and disable it much faster.

          Also, careful use of the cloak (note that upgrading/fully powering it means it’ll last longer, which means it’ll alter the rythmn that dictates when it becomes available again – sometimes it’s better not to fully power it, as you might only need to be cloaked for a few seconds rather then 15) is so useful in the drone phase that I don’t even know how I’d cope without it.

        • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

          In my case, the shields just kind of held. I don’t usually go into the boss fight without maxed out shields, not even with stealth. The boss’ drone rush contains mostly beam drones, so you’re fine if your shields hold. If not, you’re very much sitting duck with your pants down.

          The boarding drones are more of a psychological horror because they fight in the vacuum of breached rooms, but if you manage to make them change rooms, they are only equivalent to one invading rockman.

    • UmmonTL says:

      I really dislike the Mark II Defense Drone. Having it shoot at lasers indiscriminately pretty much negates the advantage of its faster firing rate. Against ships with any type of burst laser combined with a rocket the latter gets through half the time while the former had no chance of getting through the shields. I always use Mark I over Mark II because they only target missiles and the only time the Mark II might be better is in an asteroid field.

  6. mondomau says:

    I love this series, it actually made me buy the game.

    Off-Topic – I can’t help but feel that the effect of inspirational speeches would be dampened by how many of them were from god awful movies or delivered by truly terrible actors.

  7. Zogtee says:

    Alec, you’re so screwed. :D

  8. Lamb Chop says:

    Lost in the most frustrating of all possible ways last night. I had basically the best of all possible runs, with A layout stealth ship. By the final sector, I had level 3 shields, full cloaking, mark II defense drone, upgraded engines, maxed out power, level 2 teleporter, 2 mark II burst lasers and a hull laser, and 7 crew with a mantis for boarding. Managed to lose two of my crew by turning off one of my lasers a half second two late and it fired anyway and took them out, but I still had more than enough to crush the boss. Took like 4 damage in the first phase of the battle and decided to head back to a repair station before engaging again, since I’ve lost to the drone phase before. While doing this, I learned that the flagship doesn’t actually have to get to the base, it just has to get one star system away from it.

    I lost to a simple text box. Fuuuudge.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      Need to get at 2-beacon distance initially, and a jump closer for each phase you’ve beaten. Last night I beat it with the Nesasio precisely at the base, where I expected some repairs to be offered (spoiler: damn federals didn’t give me a single candy), and since I was out of fuel, I waited the jump and the flagship came.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      Yeah the best ship I ever had and the ship that is still my high score never fought the boss at all because I was mucking about going to repair stations, and ended up stuck.

  9. JoeGuy says:

    Riker only became Captain in the movies(+books) though, I want a silly image of Captain Archer!

    • Asurmen says:

      Not quite true. In the alternate future presented in the last episode of TNG I believe he was an admiral which means he must have been a captain at some point.

    • hjd_uk says:

      Yep, isnt that Parallel Dimension / Alternative Future Riker where he is Captain? ( The badge gives it away )

    • JoeGuy says:

      I do know that. Its parallel Riker or fake Romulan trick Riker that was Captain both times. But he was never actually Captain Riker in the TV cannon as you know, the actual Riker. I want Mr. Archer and a funny quip lol.

    • Bluerps says:

      He also was a captain in a fake-future hallucination, that some alien kid conjured up when it met him (because it was lonely, and wanted to keep him from leaving). Actually, I think that is where the picture is from (they had different comm badges in the fake future).

      God, I’m such a nerd.
      (also, apparently I failed to see the three comments above mine for some reason :( )

      • JoeGuy says:

        I have friends who watch every episode of Xfactor, those Modelling shows etc. They cannot judge about watching a cult classic Sci-Fi show like Star Trek. It’s not nerdy to like it!

        • Bluerps says:

          I disagree – I think it’s very nerdy.
          But! I also think that being a nerd is a good thing! :)

    • Yodas_Brother says:

      Actually, he was battlefield-promoted (at least on a provisional basis) to Captain of the Enterprise by Admiral Whatshisname after the abduction of Picard by the Borg.
      It happened in the episode Best of Both Worlds II — which incidentally is referenced in Rikers Text blurb in the post header image — coincidence?! ;)

      • JoeGuy says:

        Yeah he really tried to blow it up as soon as he got it didn’t he lol? Is a field commission the same thing? I’d hate to think he got demoted for not offing Locutus tbh.

        • Yodas_Brother says:

          No I guess not, it was just a provisional thing. Interesting thing is that the writers at the end of the season 3 apparrrently didn’t know for sure if Patrick Stewart would renew his contract – so they kept the possibility open in the plot that Picard would die and Riker stay Captain and that Shelby chick as first mate…)

          (Riker sure did his best in trying to kill him haha)

          • JoeGuy says:

            Did not know that! I was wondering why she was just tossed aside pretty quickly the next season. Yeah he had the Enterprise 1 day and almost blew it up and was pretty determined to kill Patrick too lol.

  10. mouton says:

    Since they are going to patch/add content to the game, I sure hope they will nerf medbay – at least make it not work when hostiles are inside, it makes it way too easy to defeat almost any boarding party. That would make investing in door subsystem much more important.

    • DJ Madeira says:

      That would make it virtually impossible for a crew with anything less than a mantis or 2 to actually beat boarders. I think it works the way it is much better.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Meh you would still have venting them kiting them and juggling them, but yes boarders would be harder.

  11. jezmabez says:

    The first time I got to the boss in the Kestral, I fired everything I had, I had 2 missiles after the encounter. I also didn’t know the repair stations could be reused. Needless to say, when I realized there was stage 2 of the boss, I survived for 20 seconds before succumbing to the 3 missile barrage and the anti-personnel drone.

    Second time around in an Engi Ship, I managed to get the starting ion cannon, heavy ion, heavy laser and 2 anti-ship drones up at the same time. 3 shield bars. I managed to take him down. It was unbelievable. I never thought the Engi Ship of all vessels could take down the boss. Mind you, it was on easy, which, is you know, easy. So much scrap, it’s like the universe is one big scrap heap.

  12. Baardago says:

    I’m saving my popcorn for when the final boss fight comes (assuming Alec will get that far).

    It’s gonna be fun to watch (well, read).

  13. Lambchops says:

    Wow, that’s impressive battling through so many rebel contolled sectors on normal.

    I also like how you’ve not employed prior knowledge with regards to fuel like you did with the stasis pod (you get a fuel refill on reaching the final sector so don’t have to worry about low reserves at the end of sector 7).

    Hope you manage to hold out and reach the boss, I really want to see the tale of what will be a futile but epic encounter. Would be a shame to be killed by a rebel scout along the way.

  14. hjd_uk says:

    Regarding FTL vs Star Trek, the Episode where all possible alternative universes merge and hundreds of Enterprises appear, a Hermit-bearded Riker and Wharf appear as the last survivors on a all-but destroyed ship with explosions and smoke everywhere on the bridge – reminds me of most of my FTL playthroughs. “Hi, this is you in the playthough you didnt find a teleporter/gun/more crew/enough scrap”

  15. DrScuttles says:

    Giant spiders always seem to kill my crew. Almost every bloody time giant spiders are involved, someone doesn’t make it back.
    Now, when answering a distress beacon only to realise giant spiders are involved, I try to block out the screams as my FTL drive WAZZUMP-blinks my precious crew out of that death trap.
    Maybe I have Spacearachnophobia.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      There’s blue options for an Assault drone, an AP drone and a Bio-Beam, in ascendent order of reward.

      Probably the most useful thing to happen to the AP drone.

    • KDR_11k says:

      The funny thing for me was that it took me quite a few tries to get a bad result out of the spiders scenario. I beat it like 4 times before it went bad once.

  16. jkz says:

    At least the game has supplied you with names for any future cats you may own.

  17. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    know from past experience in FTL that damaged stasis pod is equipped as an augment

    Does that mean then that the outcomes for the scripted choices are always the same? I’d assumed there was a certain amount of randomness to the outcomes, and that’s a real shame if it’s not the case.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      There is a lot of randomness generally, but a few of the decisions (say 10%) have only one outcome because they are part of a quest chain.

    • jalf says:

      It varies. Some events have fixed outcomes, some are completely unpredictable, and some have a high likelihood of one outcome, but others may still occur.

  18. Joshua Northey says:

    I knew from episode one that a NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO was coming at some point. Glad you didn’t disappoint.

  19. edwardoka says:

    Needs “Staring Eyes” tag.

    Or potentially a new “Beard of Awesome” tag.

  20. greedow says:

    I encountered a similar situation today…but it wasn’t 4 jumps until the exit…it were 6(only 1 without the rebels…but it was no picnic)
    and I didn’t even had the drone SYSTEM on, or the cloaking one…and only lvl 2 shields…I only had my weapons…and I had nothing but the stock items for the kestrel… meaning I had a 3-shot laser and a missile launcher….oh yea…I had also found a ion weapon
    You may think “It’s manageable, you aim laser+missiles+ion for the weapons and get away when the ftl charges…” and you would be right…but I only had 6 missiles left…and apparently…the kestrel can’t aim those damn things properly when you need them to…
    but I decided to try anyway…(not really “decided” more like “was forced to”)
    I pointed my guns to their weapons and the ion to their med-bay…since my main strategy was boarding them with my mantis and human and killing them…
    on the 1st jump it worked just fine…no one died, killed them all…only a couple shots managed to hit my hull…

    on the 2nd jump their ship also had an teleporter…and they used it to board one guy in…I decided to send my 2 guys in their ship anyways…and deal with the invader with the rest of the crew… I received a couple more shots than on the first jump but managed to keep going…

    on the 3rd jump…I was’t able to keep their med-bay off long enough for my 2 “invaders” to kill them…and had to use my last missile to disable it…(remember when I said kestrel can’t aim? well…I had 3 missiles at the beginning of this fight…and only the 3rd one landed…awesome…)
    and…this time the missile were useless…since the ftl charged before I killed them…great…

    right now my hull was still good…around 75%, I had no more missiles but there was just 3 jumps left…and one of them without the rebels “I can do this!!!”

    the 4th jump was the “easy one”, this particular place was just a little more to the right…meaning I managed to evade the rebels by just an inch \o/
    but them I find some pirates…of the worst kind…it was the “2 mantis invading + 1 engi and 1 other mantis on board with missiles and lots of ions/fire bombs + lvl 2 shields” kind
    and I was equipped only with the stock laser and an ion canon…I’m so luck…
    I didn’t kill them…I only survived cause the ftl charged…
    lost 2 of my crew to this(the mantis and a human…)and suddenly my 6-men crew was a 4-men crew meaning my #1 strategy to win (boarding them) was not good anymore, since it would mean not manning something that needed to be manned…and the crew was 2 engis,1 human and 1 zoltan … so even if I wanted to…. it would be catastrophic to use it
    my hull was around 40% at the end of the fight
    and there was no way to repair it…I did found a hull repair drone…but I had no drone system…

    5th jump…the rebels reached me again…and I was in no fighting condition for it…
    I was totally owned by them on that jump…everyone died
    only 1 jump and 1 fight away from the exit…

    Not making this up as I go…it actually happened…(wish I filmed it…I would show my grandsons and say “See…when I was young I managed to survive 4 deadly encounters on FTL…only using stock guns and with no drone or cloaking system” and they would be like “WOW…”)

    FTL is awesome ^^

  21. JFS says:

    Normal is the only difficutly to play this on. I feel somewhat smug that Alec hasn’t been able to win yet. Well. Maybe has to do with him *not* spending hours upon hours of his life on this space baby.

  22. elvencode says:

    I don’t know why i usually play until the sector before the last or the one before that with little problems happening (some fire, one person dead for some random kill quest, some damage around 50%) than, even being with 100% hull, 2 extra crew more than needed for the systems, 2/3 weapons or 1/2 weapon and 1-2 drones, 3 levels of shields, full upgraded doors and people there’s suddently a enemy ship with the same level of shields that fires like crazy, then start fires, invade with 3 people at minimum and with time the hull go below 0%, even more people die, and explode. I tried to focus with both the fires and attack, or invasion and attack but no fires AND attack AND invasion.
    There’s very little strategy to use also because you have little resources at that time to upgrade even more the ship.
    Any ideas? I should you more the “jump away when the engine is ready” strategy?

  23. mwoody says:

    Three questions I’ve been unable to determine in my playthroughs:
    1) Time only passes when you move, right? I get paranoid, sitting there slowly repairing everything after the fight.
    2) Do improved engines decrease the speed with which the rebels catch up?
    3) Does it “remember” how far the rebels are when you switch sectors? I.e. would it be a reasonable strategy to rush through un-profitable sectors to completely explore later ones?

    • greedow says:

      1)Probably…since one time i only managed to keep 1 guy alive…and he alone have to repair around 12 things…4 on shield,2 on doors,1 on med-bay…and so go on…and they didn’t catch up…
      2)No…just make you evade more attacks
      3)Seems to…when I was trying to get the type B zoltan ship…I rushed until sector 5 always taking the shortest way…sometimes they were at the beginning of the map when I changed sectors….but maybe they reset everytime and I just were going to fast to notice…

    • LTK says:

      I’m pretty sure that the rebels start at the same point regardless of where they were in the last sector. I’ve made inter-sector jumps with the rebels one jump behind me, exactly at my position, and two jumps ahead of me, and when I arrived at the next sector I would always have the opportunity for about four jumps before the advancing red line of doom actually became visible.

  24. crinkles esq. says:

    I’ve really thinking of picking this game up, but your 4th wall aside about already getting the damaged space pod in another game worries me — are the random drops and encounters really that sparse?

    • jalf says:

      What do you mean? He’s saying that he’s encountered this particular event before. Not that there are few other events.

      • crinkles esq. says:

        Yes, that’s what I meant. Alec has only played the game a couple times and he’s already run into the same special event and knows what to expect. That strikes me as not being too favorable for replayability.

        • JuJuCam says:

          I really think you’re underestimating the number of times Alec has played the game. I myself have only encountered that particular special event once in 33 runs. And anyone with experience with anything vaguely defined as “roguelike” knows that the random number gods are fickle and cruel – I’m actually looking for special events in Engi space so that I can unlock a new ship, but about half of my runs don’t actually make it into Engi space, and those that do don’t give me the event I need for the unlock.

          And with the promise of new content on the way, you really can’t regret the purchase. Give it a go!

        • greedow says:

          There’s just one thing you can be certain about this game…it has a really good replayability…more than most games…
          everything is random…meaning you may see a certain event more often than some other event… I’m trying to find a particular event to unlock a ship…but I haven’t…so far…
          I played this about 20/30 times now…and I only run trough that event 3 times…and I never saw the end of it…
          that event takes an augment…and you need to be able to hit 3 certain events to make it work…

          game SPOILER of how the pod works

          on the first you get the damaged stasis pod
          Then you need to find a zoltan research colony…so they can repair it (this was as far as I got…)
          Then you find out that the pod is actually a new alien
          Then you must take this guy to the Rock homeworlds…and in there you must find that particular event (no “quest” marks…you gotta be luck) where the new alien takes you to a whole new sector…and in there you find his ship(there’s a quest mark this time)

          end of SPOILER

          If you read the spoiler…you noticed that is impossible to do what you need to do with the pod in 1 sector…and he was already near the end…so it would be to stupid to get it…you know? if he found the pod around sector 2 or 3…it would pay off to get it…but not in sector 7

  25. Dark Nexus says:

    Can’t wait for the… *ahem*… explosive finale.