Advancing to Faster than Light

13 05 2014

So I know I’ve been super quiet again, things have gotten busy with real life which has given me some trouble with working on Shuffle Breaker recently, apart from the video blog i put up a few days ago. But rest assured I am still working on it.

Also taking up my time recently… FTL: Faster Than Light had its Advanced Edition DLC come out earlier this month (for free, even!). FTL was one of my favorite games to play in 2012 and while initially I was a bit burnt out on it, a couple of my friends talking up the new features of Advanced Edition convinced me to dive back in and now I wonder why I ever left. All of the new features are pretty awesome.

First up there are 3 new Systems and 1 new Subsystem. The two new Systems are Hacking, Mind Control, and Cloning Bay. Hacking works a bit like an artificial version of the Crystal race’s “Lockdown” ability in that it completely locks the doors to the room you target, but there’s more to it than that obviously. Costing 1 drone part to use, you select a room with a system or subsystem and fire it at the enemy ship. The hacking drone locks in and you then have the ability (as long as it’s ready since there’s a cooldown) to completely shut down that system for a short period of time (increasing with each level you put into it). Essentially using the hacking drone drains energy from that system, so shields lose power, weapons have to be reloaded again (bar drain) and  Oxygen gets taken out of the ship for example. Since the doors are locked down crewmembers will have to break down the doors to get in (or out) of that room, allowing you to create chokepoints for boarding actions and such. One big limitation though is the fact that you can’t really switch which room you target after the drone is locked in.

Mind Control is a power that essentially allows you to take control of enemy crew members and having them fight for you similar to the way a boarding or anti-personnel drone would (also you have no direct control over their actions when you control them). I haven’t had a lot of chances to mess with this power yet but it seems pretty useful to do things like take a pilot out of their seat or have repair efforts sabotaged. Of course the downside is you can only control one crewmember and also Slugs are immune to it because of psychic powers.

The Cloning Bay is great for people who still fall for the Giant Alien Spider event (among other things). If a crewman dies in combat or in most events, and the cloning bay is powered they will be resurrected with a penalty to their skills. While this is a nice thing to have there are a lot of caveats.  First off, if the power is lost to the bay clones can’t be created so death for them is permanent (though the DNA Bank Backup augmentation will prevent this). Also some events will result in a permanently dead crewmember even with a functioning cloning bay. Lastly you can only have the Cloning Bay or the Medbay but not both. This prevents you from having the ability to heal during battle however the Cloning Bay does passively heal a percentage of health depending on level every time you do an FTL jump which does make up for it a bit.

In addition to the new Subsystem (a backup battery that gives you extra reactor power for a limited time) , the Door and Sensor subsystems have been changed around a bit as well. Manning these subsystems counts as a free (but temporary) upgrade to the next level, allowing you to easily upgrade doors or sensors if you don’t have the scrap to do so. Also a fourth level of doors and sensors has been added that you can only get by having a fully upgraded system that is manned. Again, really neat feature and also gives you a place to put crewmembers when they’re not running around putting out fires or leading boarding actions.

Speaking of crewmembers, now when you hire/save new crewmembers they might already have skills trained up. This is useful in that you no longer have to worry as much about having places to put untrained crewmembers or having to replace a trained one with a rookie should the trained one unfortunately die.

The game has also added new augmentations, such as Reconstructive Teleport (heals your crewmembers through teleporting), and the Zoltan Shield Bypass (finally explaining all those random enemy boarding actions even when being the Zoltan cruiser), as well as new events surrounding things like Hacking and whatnot.

Lastly the game also adds C-variants of all the current ships, and a new race with their own ship to boot. The Lanius are a race of robots that are anaerobic which means they don’t need oxygen or any air at all to breathe. Also for some reason they actively suck the air out of a room that they’re standing in, like a racist uncle at a party. Story-wise the Lanius are a race that tend to lie dormant for a long time before awakening periodically to harvest a lot of metal (being robots, they need that). Which leads to things like attacking ships indiscriminately cause they don’t’ really understand that you probably shouldn’t just take metal from anywhere. The Lanius primarily will appear in the new “Abandoned Sectors” and have events specifically related to them. All of their ships (save the playable one) carry no oxygen which makes boarding them or burning them out a real pain unless you have your own Lanius crew members, but it does make for interesting events and battle strategies. Movement wise the Lanius are slow (80% the speed of a human) but their abilities allow for interesting ways of handling repairs and what not.

All in all this free update of FTL really injected a lot of new life into the game, moreso because it makes unlocking new ships a bit easier, and they track things like victories by type. Although for some reason the game didn’t think I ever had a Kestrel victory (which is odd cause I already unlocked the Osprey the old way which required a Kestrel Victory).

So I went back and did it.

Kestrel Victory

 

But not before I invoked the name of Robocop to get myself a Zoltan victory finally.

 

Space Alex J Murphy

Which unlocked the Mantis Cruiser

dang itStill working on a good build for that though…

I really love this game and I recommend people that like roguelikes, space, or both, to try it if they haven’t already.

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