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    dkirschner's Faster Than Light (PC)

    [January 23, 2014 02:02:43 PM]
    I'm going to retire this one. I still haven't beaten the damn Rebel Flagship. I've sunk over 20 hours into FTL. I have been trying to unlock more ships, but I am just getting seriously unlucky or something. Sitting here with the Wiki open for how to unlock them all, and I still can't do it.

    Despite the many ways that FTL is fun and exciting, randomness plays too big a part in how well you do. Take these quests and whatnot that I have to find to unlock ships. First I need to get to specific worlds or have specific crew members on board, then satisfying these requirements, many ships can only be gotten after random events. I haven't gotten any of them, so I just play over and over with the Kestrel and the Engi Cruiser. I've played them like every way I could figure, with missiles, with lasers and other guns, with ion cannons, with drones, teleporting, stealthing, upgrading all systems...but I keep getting slaughtered by the Rebel Flagship. I've figured out how to quell fires, repel intruders, use defensive drones, all this tricks for surviving. But to no avail!

    I know it's not *all* me getting un-awesome dice rolls, but man it feels like FTL is working against me. I've been frustrated playing it more lately, just doing the same thing over and over, not getting any farther.

    Maybe I'll open it up again in the future. It IS fun in its ways...the battles, the tough decisions...but the feeling that I've been stagnating is overwhelming.
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    [December 5, 2013 11:05:47 AM]
    Real proud of myself! My "how far did I get tally" (if I were keeping one) would now look something like this:

    1 - III
    2 - IIII
    3 - IIIII
    4 - IIIIII
    5 - IIIII
    6 - I
    8 - I (!!!!!)

    I made it ALL THE WAY to the final boss yesterday. I was SO nervous once I got into Sector 6 because I'd only made it there once and had gotten obliterated. But I didn't have much trouble there, then nail-biting in Sector 7 got me through without much of a problem. Sector 8 is set up a bit differently. There are still all the random nodes, but the Rebel Mothership (or whatever it's called) is in the sector and you have to intercept it before it gets within range of the Federation base. There are a few free repair stations near the Federation base and the Rebels take one node every couple turns, which limits your options on where you can (relatively safely) go.

    The Rebel ship would get within range of the Federation base in 5 jumps. It seemed to take 1 jump for every 2 of mine. But the Rebels also occupied nodes every couple of my jumps too, so if I had dallied, I would have been cut off from intercepting, or would have had to go into Rebel controlled areas, super dangerous. I went more or less straight for the Mothership and intercepted it when it still had 2-3 jumps left.

    The Mothership is a beast. It has (or at least this one had -- is there a range of values?) four weapons EACH under a different system! So I couldn't just knock out their weapons system and disable the guns because it had 4 systems too. Lame. It also had four shields, like 8 crew members, and I think every system installed. I don't remember drones, but it probably had them. It had a teleporter, but its crew never teleported. I did okay against it I think, survived and knocked a little bit of health off, but eventually I it hit me so much, the fires were spreading too fast, the oxygen was draining too fast, and it destroyed my hull after a couple minutes. Wasn't really a close fight. One thing that I think would have definitely helped is if I'd had defense drones. I had 3 shields, which is good I think, but the missiles penetrate shields, and that's what tears me up if I don't have defense drones to shoot down some of the missiles.

    I had an awesome crew and setup going though. I had a full 8 crew, like 5 engi to super repair things, a rockman to put out fires, a mantis for some combat. Ideally I would have maybe 2-3 engi, 2-3 rockmen, a mantis or two, and the zoltan are neat because they power systems of rooms they are in, freeing up a power bar for you to use elsewhere. I was trying to get that achievement to have 6 unique crew members, but I only had 5! I've never seen the 6th and have no idea what it is. I need that or to "repair the Kestrel from 1 hull to full" to get my second Kestrel achievement to unlock its alternate layout. I had thought I would get to the end with the main Engi layout because it had gotten me into Sector 5 a lot and into Sector 6, but the Kestrel proved a beast. I had a really nice weapons setup going on and 3 shields, so I could more or less obliterate the enemy's hull before it did much to me. And I had so many crew members, being boarded was never a problem.

    Anyway, I feel very accomplished. I'm going to tone down how often I get a game of FTL in since I know what the end looks like. I want to try and unlock some of the other ships. I've still only got 2, out of however many...6? 7? I guess they come from quests and events and things that I just have to get lucky and find. I got that Engi ship like my 5th game from something, before I knew what I was doing, so I wasn't paying attention to how I got it.
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    [December 3, 2013 12:54:37 PM]
    Been meaning to write about this for a while. I think I've been screwing around with it for a month at least. FTL is my first "roguelike." I'm no expert on the genre, so I can't say what is or isn't a defining feature. I would describe FTL as a dungeon crawler in space. Your goal is to make it alive from the beginning (Sector 1) to the end (Sector 8). Each sector of space has a bunch of randomly located points of interest you can jump to and I guess each point of interest has any number of things you may find there. It might be nothing, or an enemy ship, or a store, or a wreck, or whatever. There are tons of little events and variations of them that I've found. So you jump from point to point, trying to get safely through each sector. At the end of each sector, you get a choice of which sector to enter next. There are a few sectors to choose from each time you jump sectors, and you can see the path to Sector 8 and attempt to plan accordingly. There are Green (controlled by friendlies), Red (controlled by hostiles) and Purple (nebulae) sectors. I have so far tried to plot a course through greens wherever possible! Reds are ok if you're prepared for heavy fighting. Purples are straight up mixed bags because in a nebula, your scanners are disabled. You can't see the interior of your ship unless you have a crew member there, and so you don't know if there's a fire or breach unless you see the oxygen going down or systems starting to go red. In nebula, there are also sometimes ion storms, which cut your energy in half. You assign energy to power your various systems, so that is BAD because you operate at 1/2 capacity. Disable your shields to power your weapons? Hmm. Nebulae, not my favorite thing.

    You start with a basic ship and can unlock more by (I think) happening upon quests or schematics or something throughout your games. I've found one other ship. Then you can unlock different configurations of each ship by getting a couple achievements with that ship. Each ship comes equipped with a specific number and type of crew members, weapons, enhancements and attributes. So for example, the Kestrel, the basic ship, has 3 humans manning it and comes with a missile weapon and a burst laser mark II. The Engi, the other ship I unlocked, comes with two Engi crew members and one human, an ion cannon, a drone bay and a couple drones. The other configuration of that Engi ship I unlocked comes with only one Engi crew member, and different weapons and drones and enhancements. So each ship/configuration you play is going to have different innate strengths and weaknesses. I've found the Kestrel is good for trying to get a lot of weapon firepower since you start with 2 good ones. The Engi are masters of drones, so I never use missiles on an Engi ship.

    There are I think 6 different aliens too, and they also have different attributes. Humans have nothing special. Engi move slowly, do 1/2 damage in combat, and repair damaged systems very quickly. Mantis move quickly and do extra damage in combat. Rockmen are immune to fire and have extra health.

    There are a variety of systems onboard your ships, like the engines, the piloting, the weapon systems, drone systems, doors, med bay, and so on. You can upgrade them all for improved functionality. Doing so requires you spend "scrap," which is the game's main currency. There are 3 other resources too (fuel, missiles and drones) that get expended when you jump or fire weapons or use drones. But scrap upgrades stuff and purchases stuff from stores. Anyway, for some of the systems, you can also put a crew member in the room containing the system and the crew member will boost its efficiency. So manning the weapons makes them recharge faster.

    The game is REALLY varied! Writing all this out, I'm like wow. There are hundreds of crucial decisions to make every single game. Scrap is always scarce, enemies are everywhere, everything seems a gamble or a tradeoff. I could use another crew member for 50 scrap, but I could also use a laser weapon for 50. Which to buy? I would love to spend my 200 scrap to upgrade my shields, but there also might be a store nearby that has any number of wonderful things for me to buy. But the store might also have nothing I want. And I might encounter a Mantis ship with a teleportation system on the way. In which case, maybe I should go on and upgrade my doors so their boarding crew can't move through my ship. But if I upgrade the doors, I won't have enough to buy the cloaking system at the store, if they have one. And I've only got 3 fuel left. I can't really afford to detour to the store anyway because they might only have 1 or 2 fuel for sale, and then I won't be able to make it to the exit...It's craziness!

    Two things have remained constant through every game. First, I learn something important. I've played 15 or 20 times and I learn something awesome every time, a rule or a lesson or a priority hierarchy. I've been learning how to prioritize weapons firing on the Kestrel. I learned that unlocking a new layout for a ship gives you different starting weapons. The last game I played I learned to repair my hull strength to full EVERY TIME I have the option. I am trying to learn other things, like memorizing the visuals of different weapon types so that I can assess enemy threat at a glance by being able to tell if they have missiles or lasers or ion cannons or what. The second constant is that I will die. Every time I will die. I have no idea how many games I will play before I make it alive through Sector 8, but so far I've made it to Sector 6 once and Sector 5 a handful of times. The last time I played, I died from a solar flare. I only had like 5 hull left and the solar flare melted it. I had passed up repairing to save some money, but in the end that decision killed me.

    The battles are real-time and there is so much to manage when it gets hectic. Firing up to 4 weapons, maintaining up to 4 drones, moving up to 6 crew members about the ship, watching all the enemy's weapon fire, trying to fight off enemy boarding crews, make sure systems are powered, fighting fires, and on and on. Here's to me getting better and slowly being able to make it farther! OH, and I'm playing on EASY!
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    dkirschner's Faster Than Light (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Saturday 12 October, 2013

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 23 January, 2014

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    My first roguelike. It's neat, tough, random, exciting. Fires are the death of me so far. --------- Random chance plays perhaps too large a role. Fun, but becoming frustrating because I don't feel I'm advancing anymore.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See dkirschner's page

    See info on Faster Than Light

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Faster Than Light (PC) by CosmonauticJoe (rating: 5)
    2 : Faster Than Light (PC) by fishspit (rating: 5)


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