FTL

I think crew only learn skills through actual use, so weapon skill goes up when guns are fired,

Oh, yes, it seems to be a per-use skill gain. I savescummed and repeated my run with the two Ion Cannon IIs, and by the time I got to the end boss, only my gunner was two-starred, because enemies just weren't shooting at us enough for shields, pilot, and engine to gain skills. All four of the manned stations developed a two-star skill level (the max, I think) from Phase 1 of that fight... there's so many things going on that their skills went through the roof in just one fight.

Weapons definitely increases when guns are fired. I got a new High score for myself using the Kestrel at 4142. Love that ship! So for a change I've been using the Red Tail instead. It comes with 4 basic lasers and skill levels just ZOOOOOM upwards. Whoever mans the station always gets full yellow skill before anyone else on the ship even reaches half of green.

There's no variation in leveling between putting, say, an engi vs. a human on weapons though, right? Or human A vs. human B.

Mr DanB bought this for me on the principle that I Had To Play It. He was right. Hey thanks Mr DanB!

First game I made it through 18 nodes:

First node, no one died.
Second node, no one died.
Third node, no one died.
Fourth node, no one died.
Fifth node, no-one died.
Sixth node... someone died.
Seventh node, no one died.
Eighth node there was the incident with the pigeon.
Ninth node, no one died. In 1984, no one died.
Tenth node, no one died.
Eleventh node... I mean, I could go on....

There's no variation in leveling between putting, say, an engi vs. a human on weapons though, right?

I'm not certain, but I think profession skills all accumulate at the same speed. Engis repair faster, so presumably they can accumulate repair skill twice as fast if the work is available, and I think mantises may gain combat skill faster than other races, for the same reason. But the four main profession skills seem to all be the same for all the species, at least the ones I've seen. (I've only had a Slug once, and I guess there's a hidden race as well.)

This is such a good game... at least if you don't mind the brick wall at the end.

Have made it to the boss a couple of times, need to actually start using the pause button during fights.

Tamren wrote:

All of the difficulties I have with the game come down to crew control. Unless something crazy is going on and you need to jump out in the middle of combat. There is ALWAYS a checklist of pre-jump things to do, and it gets VERY VERY tedious to repeatedly do everything with the mouse alone. So here is what I would like:

- The ability to save a set of crew names instead of entering them every time.
- Hitting the rename button blanks out the existing name so that you don't have to clear it with backspace .

- The ability to group crewmembers together RTS style so that clicking on one will select them all and linking them to a hotkey to select them faster.
- The ability to reorganize the list of crewmembers.
- The ability to assign a crewmember to a "duty station". A specific room of the ship that they will return to if you hit a "crew man stations" button. This makes it less tedious to return all crew to their positions before each jump. This would also give them a title if the room can be manned. Helmsman, Chief Enginner, Weapons officer etc.
- When clicking on a room to direct a single crewman around, the specific tile you click on is where he will stand. If someone is occupying that tile they will move and allow the new man to replace them.
- Crewmen who are NOT assigned to a specific station in this way are more likely to die in away missions.
- Assigned crew get priority for the control consoles. If your chief engineer enters the engine room and another crewman is manning the station. That crewman will GET OFF the station and allow the chief to replace him.
- A "heal crew" button that sends all wounded crew to the medbay. If the medbay is full they will wait outside. Once healed the crew will go back to wherever they were when the order was given.

Another thing I would like to see is a ring drawn around any system you hover over on the jump map. This rings shows all of the systems you can reach if you were in that system. The game REALLY needs this because it's almost impossible to plan out future jumps if you don't know what connects to what. I've gotten stuck in corners more than once.

EDIT: Also when doors are orange and an enemy crewmember stands under one. their red health bar is impossible to read.

+1 to almost all of these suggestions. Although I quite like the risks involved in having to eyeball all jump distances. Also you could streamline any assigned Duty stations mechanics by just having a "man stations" button which sends crew to stations based on their highest skill levels. Then all the logic about crew priority at various stations could be rolled in to that one button press.

Michael Zenke wrote:

I can't fathom why you would play a game like this on Easy. I'm normally all about 'get what you want out of a game', but it's a Roguelike.

What's the point of an easy Roguelike?

Because easy ain't easy. And I didn't want to get too frustrated by the game before I learn enough to feel I can progress on to Normal.

Tamren wrote:

- The ability to save a set of crew names instead of entering them every time.

If you hit "restart" instead of hangar or main menu, the game will go back to the beginning with the same ship and crew names.

MannishBoy wrote:

Another note, strangely, this thing runs pretty well on my wife's 5 year old laptop with no special gaming graphics chips.

Well, well until it overheats, but that happens anyway sometimes. It's on it's last legs and needs to be replaced. But general framerate and interface responsiveness while it's playing is fine.

I was surprised at this after hearing people complain up thread of performance issues with relatively recent AMD hardware.

Drives the fans on my Macbook Air crazy. Sounds like a really pretentious jet engine.

Demiurge wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Another note, strangely, this thing runs pretty well on my wife's 5 year old laptop with no special gaming graphics chips.

Well, well until it overheats, but that happens anyway sometimes. It's on it's last legs and needs to be replaced. But general framerate and interface responsiveness while it's playing is fine.

I was surprised at this after hearing people complain up thread of performance issues with relatively recent AMD hardware.

Drives the fans on my Macbook Air crazy. Sounds like a really pretentious jet engine. :)

Just pretend it's your oxygen systems keeping you alive.

I guess I went into this knowing that me beating the game will be very rare, so normal is kind of what I expected. I don't get stressed when I lose, as sometimes it's even funny how things go to hell so quickly.

So I'm sticking to normal for now.

-----

Another note, strangely, this thing runs pretty well on my wife's 5 year old laptop with no special gaming graphics chips.

Well, until it overheats, but that happens anyway sometimes. It's on it's last legs and needs to be replaced. But general framerate and interface responsiveness while it's playing is fine.

I was surprised at this after hearing people complain up thread of performance issues with relatively recent AMD hardware.

Okay I think I just found the STUPIDEST way to lose a game. I was on the final map in the Fed Cruiser... and I accidentally clicked on the WAIT button because the damn thing is gigantic.

So, about the Great Eye event in Zoltan space.

Spoiler:

What is the good event that happens, is there one? I approached three times in a row and each time lost a crew member.

AFAIK all events in the game have a good/bad result. You are only guaranteed a good result if you use a blue option. The only exception is allowing people to surrender, I haven't seen any "bad" outcomes for that yet.

Tamren wrote:

AFAIK all events in the game have a good/bad result. You are only guaranteed a good result if you use a blue option. The only exception is allowing people to surrender, I haven't seen any "bad" outcomes for that yet.

Still not guaranteed there. I've taken the blue option a few times and had it turn out neutral (i.e. cloaking to get around people, and still having them attack me)

Don't, by the way, shoot your elite boarding party.

edit: oh, to Yonder's question:

Spoiler:

I don't think that one is random. If you're doing well, it eats a crewmember. If your ship is badly damaged, it gives you scrap. The response when you approach while badly damaged is something like "You carefully guide your damaged ship to the Eye, trying to keep it in one piece. It knows what you need, and provides a great deal of scrap to assist in repairs". Something vaguely like that. It seems to take your condition into account.

Tanglebones wrote:
Tamren wrote:

AFAIK all events in the game have a good/bad result. You are only guaranteed a good result if you use a blue option. The only exception is allowing people to surrender, I haven't seen any "bad" outcomes for that yet.

Still not guaranteed there. I've taken the blue option a few times and had it turn out neutral (i.e. cloaking to get around people, and still having them attack me)

In addition,

Spoiler:

there is an encounter with a Mantis ship that has been hunting and attacking Rock crews. If you have a Rock crewmember, you have a blue option that goes something like: "Put your Rock crewmember on comms and growl, Come and get me!" Needless to say this results in combat.

That sounds like a good outcome to me!

Had a blue event this morning that well... Lets just say it started and ended with MIND BULLETS

I think I've found my box quote for this game. "It fills me with joyful rage when the inevitable brick wall kills me and I get to start again."

Well I made it TO the end game boss on Normal using a Kestrel. I'm making progress! Didn't actually face the boss, spent too much time trying to get to repair stations because I knew I had zero chance of beating it without any missiles anyway.

I retract my earlier statement. It's not... impossible. Normal is certainly VERY hard but with a little luck you can maintain your progress all the way up to the end. You have to play smart though. For instance always accept a surrender if dragging out the fight means taking more hull damage. Never risk crewmembers on risky away missions. These are things you can get away with on Easy because it's more forgiving, but on Normal you have to be much more careful.

Also if you reach the point where you are about to jump into system 3. Take stock of your situation. Do you have fuel? Ammo? A hull in good shape? Enough crew? If the answer to any of these things is no, then you might as well restart now instead of wasting time with dead men on a dead ship. The first two zones will shape your entire playthrough on Normal, if you don't get off to a good start you might as well go back and try again. Just like any other roguelike really. You won't get far into Nethack if your Tourist eats the poisoned meat on level two.

MannishBoy wrote:
Demiurge wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Another note, strangely, this thing runs pretty well on my wife's 5 year old laptop with no special gaming graphics chips.

Well, well until it overheats, but that happens anyway sometimes. It's on it's last legs and needs to be replaced. But general framerate and interface responsiveness while it's playing is fine.

I was surprised at this after hearing people complain up thread of performance issues with relatively recent AMD hardware.

Drives the fans on my Macbook Air crazy. Sounds like a really pretentious jet engine. :)

Just pretend it's your oxygen systems keeping you alive.

Heh. Yeah, the game seems to use a LOT of CPU even when frame limited.

Tamren wrote:
Certis wrote:

I can consistently get close to the end on Normal at this point. I don't want to finish it on Normal any time soon. Once I do that, I might feel done with the game. To me FTL isn't really about finishing per say.

With what ships? Maybe it's just the Kestrel that I'm having trouble with. The other other one I have tried in the Engi variants and the Red Tail.

I tend toward the Alternate Kestrel variant. You really gotta reach for some missle weapons by sector 4 or so.

Malor wrote:

edit: oh, and since I'm a jerk, that's "per se".

Jerk.

Weapon experience is gained when you actually fire, so if you have nothing but slow firing weapons, your operator will take many, many fights to level up all the way.

If you ever happen to find an ion weapon, one easy trick is to wait until you find a fight where you're invulnerable to enemy fire due to your shielding (or can achieve near-invulnerability by relying on your ion shots to disable one of their weapon systems). Then turn on autofire on the ion beam and go do something else for ten minutes. When you come back you'll be full yellow on your weapons operator.

You can do the same thing with piloting and engine operation by idling until you've dodged enough shots/recharged enough shields, but I imagine this takes quite a bit longer against an enemy with few enough weapons that you can't be harmed by them.

Weird Worlds. That is the vibe this game gives me and it is a very very VERY good vibe!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weird_W...

Mr Crinkle wrote:

You can do the same thing with piloting and engine operation by idling until you've dodged enough shots/recharged enough shields, but I imagine this takes quite a bit longer against an enemy with few enough weapons that you can't be harmed by them.

It takes a bit longer, but it is relatively quick once your engines are upgraded to dodge 25. Shields and piloting/engine train at the same time. If the shot hits, shields get trained, otherwise the dodge skills gain XP.

Cutting power to engines is useful if you want the enemy to get a few more hits in to train shields faster.

Also, the most powerful combo I've found so far is the Engi ship with two ion cannons and one other weapon, high shields and engines and a two boarding teams of mantis and rocks. Boarding ships gives a solid scrap bonus and it's easy to get started once you have a few extra crew and a teleporter. It's hard to think of a reason not a get a teleporter if shows up a a store.

Mr Crinkle wrote:

Weapon experience is gained when you actually fire, so if you have nothing but slow firing weapons, your operator will take many, many fights to level up all the way.

If you ever happen to find an ion weapon, one easy trick is to wait until you find a fight where you're invulnerable to enemy fire due to your shielding (or can achieve near-invulnerability by relying on your ion shots to disable one of their weapon systems). Then turn on autofire on the ion beam and go do something else for ten minutes. When you come back you'll be full yellow on your weapons operator.

You can do the same thing with piloting and engine operation by idling until you've dodged enough shots/recharged enough shields, but I imagine this takes quite a bit longer against an enemy with few enough weapons that you can't be harmed by them.

So I'm guessing you could park in an asteroid field and take shield hits for 10 mins and achieve the same results for shields?

Asteroid fields don't work for me. I'm guessing you have to actually be in combat to train skills.

hannibals wrote:

Asteroid fields don't work for me. I'm guessing you have to actually be in combat to train skills.

I believe the developers set some sort of hard limit per encounter of how much you can train a skill. I remember a lot of people exploiting these kinds of things to powerlevel their crews and then it was changed.

After a quick 5-day trip to Columbus to watch my Golden Bears fight the good fight I'm finally back and ready to give this game a whirl. Can't wait to dive in!