No release date for the free FTL 'Advanced Edition' addon as yet, which makes me an even sadder boy than I already was. Especially in the wake of the new Clone Bay subsystem being revealed.
"The goal of the Clone Bay was to really disrupt the core way you play the game," the devs have explained. "You’ll be able to send crew off into dangerous situations without fear of death. Giant alien spiders will no longer be the terrifying, unstoppable force that you’re used to, since the system can simply revive your crew after the event."
"Giant alien spiders will no longer be... terrifying" is a bold claim, isn't it?
Clones aren't a permanent fix for FTL's ever-looking mortality, however. "If a stray missile takes out the system mid-clone, you’ll find death can still be quite permanent." Erk.
I'm fascinated to see how this plays out in practice - there is a nagging sense of unfairness to losing a crew member in dialogue, as opposed to as a result of your own failure to manage to a battle well, and I like the idea that there's at least a chance to survive some of the Fighting Fantasy-style random fatalities. (As long as you've built a Clone Bay, at least - your ship still only has so many rooms, remember). On the other hand, random acts of cruelty power FTL's engines, so I hope they're not too downplayed. Ooh, ain't I the contrary one?
Also being added is a hacking system. "At the cost of a drone part, the system allows you to launch a hacking drone that attaches to a chosen system on the enemy vessel. As a passive effect, that system’s doors will be blocked (delaying enemy crew) and you’ll be granted detailed vision of that system. You’ll also then be able to initiate a hacking pulse which affects each system slightly differently." Basically it's increasing the range of options for ships which don't carry a wide spread of heavy weapons, which is going to be enormously helpful if either you've got a drone-focused craft or have been deeply unlucky with drops and shops.
Also! Mind control. This requires that one of your crew has line of sight to your intended target, so you can't just cause mutiny on the enemy ship from afar - you'll need to send a crew member over first. If you do, there's some true dastardliness to be done - turning an enemy staffer against his chums, or teleporting him back to your ship to man an empty or system or get himself locked in an airless room. Similar can be done with enemy boarders.
Thoughtful stuff, though we just have to hope it doesn't overcomplicate what's currently a beautiful design.
There are a few other bits and bobs detailed here, but that big shining fact - when - is frustratingly left unanswered.