FTL

I'm going to spoiler this because maybe some people don't even want to know. It can break the game if you use it for the wrong reasons.

Savescumming:

Spoiler:

Traditional saves, in a permadeath game. That's why it's scummy.

If you hit 'Save & Quit' there'll be a continue.sav in My Documents\My Games\fasterthanlight that usually gets wiped when you lose.

So just 'Save & Quit' when you're at a bit where you want to save, back up the continue.sav to your desktop, and then load up the game. If you lose then just straight up 'Quit' - replace the continue.sav to the fasterthanlight folder and you'll get another shot.

Again, you really really shouldn't do this beyond maybe helping yourself game the system to get the Crystal ship to clean up your unlocks at the end because that can just turn in to a massively frustrating (for me, but ymmv) grind for the right sector generation luck.

Ah! Clever. Deviously clever. I can see how that would be useful.

So, I bought this game a while back, based on what I'd read about it and what I'd heard on the GWJ podcast.

I've played about 17 hours, and I have reached the end once. My experience there was pretty well described by the "B-Team" guys on last week's podcast.

Spoiler:

I actually did fairly well on the first boss encounter, and thought I was close to victory. Then I got a case of the stupids, and chased it down after it warped away, without bothering to hit a station or anything. In the second boss encounter, my ship was quickly taken apart because I was so completely unprepared.

I was actually angry after that, and put the game away for a while to go back to Crusader Kings II. I'll be back to FTL soon enough, though.

Yeah, the flagship fight is a nasty surprise if you aren't expecting a three-stage boss. Also, I personally think that the second stage is the most difficult of the three.

Itsatrap wrote:

Yeah, the flagship fight is a nasty surprise if you aren't expecting a three-stage boss. Also, I personally think that the second stage is the most difficult of the three.

I agree, definitely. I try not to go up against the boss without a cloaking device, even though I find micro-managing the cloak annoying. And I agree with what was said on the podcast: FTL sells itself as a space race/exploration, but it's really a military build-up to face the boss. I still enjoy the game, and it needs some kind of end condition, but it's really a jarring transition.

BeriAlpha wrote:

I agree, definitely. I try not to go up against the boss without a cloaking device, even though I find micro-managing the cloak annoying. And I agree with what was said on the podcast: FTL sells itself as a space race/exploration, but it's really a military build-up to face the boss. I still enjoy the game, and it needs some kind of end condition, but it's really a jarring transition.

Agree 100%, and it was a big shock for me the first time. I absolutely did not expect the big showdown, and would've been perfectly content just exploring and continuing on my merry way. There's a mod that lets you do that, one of the previous posters mentioned it. Then again, without a definite end, I could be playing forever, and ever, and ever, and ever... =D

I beat the boss on Easy with the Engi ship on my third or fourth encounter with the boss. Having a Hull Repair drone in my inventory made a big difference. After each stage, I could swap the Hull Repair drone with another drone, repair my hull to full, and then swap the Hull Repair drone back to my inventory. No need to hope for a repair station in range when your ship is in need of a quick fix.

I also used a Defense II drone and took less damage during the second stage fight than I did using Defense I drones.

On sale again. Those two guys should be buying yachts by now, thanks to all us geeks.

mortalgroove wrote:

On sale again. Those two guys should be buying yachts by now, thanks to all us geeks. :)

And when they release it on iOs, they'll be able to buy a jet to go with that yacht.

mortalgroove wrote:

On sale again. Those two guys should be buying yachts by now, thanks to all us geeks. :)

I sure hope so. More indie game success stories, please.

Indeed. Especially when the games are this good.

So on Easy I've been able to consistently get to the last sector but keep getting crushed by the second stage of the boss. My last loss was particularly disheartening. I thought I had it in the bag... I had maxed out on power, 3 shields, 46% evade , a boarding drone and 8 shots of burst laser available but a couple "power surges" later and my hull was toast. I can't seem to figure out how to outlast those drone surges.

One thing I don't quite understand is the movement of the flagship on the map. At one point I jumped into its sector but it was actually jumping to the one I just came from, so I presume I should have waited. Can anyone give me a breakdown of how to tell where the ship is moving and when to jump, or wait? Also, does waiting cause events to occur? Is there a lower risk of something bad happening if you wait rather than jump to a new sector?

imbiginjapan wrote:

So on Easy I've been able to consistently get to the last sector but keep getting crushed by the second stage of the boss. My last loss was particularly disheartening. I thought I had it in the bag... I had maxed out on power, 3 shields, 46% evade , a boarding drone and 8 shots of burst laser available but a couple "power surges" later and my hull was toast. I can't seem to figure out how to outlast those drone surges.

Pretty sure it's somewhat essential to disable the boss ships drone control then that section is plain sailing.

imbiginjapan wrote:

So on Easy I've been able to consistently get to the last sector but keep getting crushed by the second stage of the boss. My last loss was particularly disheartening. I thought I had it in the bag... I had maxed out on power, 3 shields, 46% evade , a boarding drone and 8 shots of burst laser available but a couple "power surges" later and my hull was toast. I can't seem to figure out how to outlast those drone surges.

One thing I don't quite understand is the movement of the flagship on the map. At one point I jumped into its sector but it was actually jumping to the one I just came from, so I presume I should have waited. Can anyone give me a breakdown of how to tell where the ship is moving and when to jump, or wait? Also, does waiting cause events to occur? Is there a lower risk of something bad happening if you wait rather than jump to a new sector?

I think dotted red line is the projected route, but it isn't moving yet.

If it's a thick red beam like below it's going to be at the other end by the time you jump:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/9AlKa.png)

So the ship in this screenshot just finished one stage of the boss and should now jump to the beacon at 2o'clock and that will trigger an automatic boss fight.

imbiginjapan wrote:

So on Easy I've been able to consistently get to the last sector but keep getting crushed by the second stage of the boss. My last loss was particularly disheartening. I thought I had it in the bag... I had maxed out on power, 3 shields, 46% evade , a boarding drone and 8 shots of burst laser available but a couple "power surges" later and my hull was toast. I can't seem to figure out how to outlast those drone surges.

One thing I don't quite understand is the movement of the flagship on the map. At one point I jumped into its sector but it was actually jumping to the one I just came from, so I presume I should have waited. Can anyone give me a breakdown of how to tell where the ship is moving and when to jump, or wait? Also, does waiting cause events to occur? Is there a lower risk of something bad happening if you wait rather than jump to a new sector?

For the 2nd stage of the final boss, ideally you'd have a maxed out cloak, good evasion and a defensive drone (to deal with boarding drones and missiles). You do not all of these things if you have a strong offense, but if you are only barely getting through his shields with your weapons volleys, you will need all of the defensive abilities you can get since you will be spending a lot of time picking away at him. Also, you should try to take out the boss' drone control system if you can. That will not stop the drone swarm, but the boss does have a couple always on drones that it will take out. This is especially important if you have a missile heavy strategy, because the boss' defense drones in the second stage will shoot down almost every missile you shoot off.

If you are relying on missiles to get past his shields on the second stage, you should try to launch off multiple missiles at the same time since the drone will only be able to take out one of them.

Also, while boarding drones seem really cool, I've not found them to be very effective. I would much rather just use a defensive drone or attack drone. That said, if you're going for style points, go all out with them

As for the boss' movement, he will take two turns to travel between sectors. If you see a red line between him and a star, he is going to that star and will arrive on the next turn. If you are already at that star, you should just wait (provided you want to attack him).

EriktheRed wrote:

For the 2nd stage of the final boss, ideally you'd have a maxed out cloak

You don't need maxed out cloak for any stage of the final boss. And if you do have maxed out cloak, it's actually better to put only 1 power into it when fighting the boss in order to synchronize the timing of your cloak recharge with the boss' super attack recharge.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
EriktheRed wrote:

For the 2nd stage of the final boss, ideally you'd have a maxed out cloak

You don't need maxed out cloak for any stage of the final boss. And if you do have maxed out cloak, it's actually better to put only 1 power into it when fighting the boss in order to synchronize the timing of your cloak recharge with the boss' super attack recharge.

I didn't say you "needed" it, but it is best if you can remain cloaked throughout the duration of the drone swarm to negate its damage. For the other stages where you just need to avoid missiles or the big heavy laser attack, I agree with you, you should just leave it at 1 power to try to keep things synced up.

This is especially important if you have a missile heavy strategy, because the boss' defense drones in the second stage will shoot down almost every missile you shoot off.

If you are relying on missiles to get past his shields on the second stage, you should try to launch off multiple missiles at the same time since the drone will only be able to take out one of them.

Yeah after a few boss fights I don't ever use missiles anymore if I can help it. I always try to get bombs somewhere along the way instead.

EriktheRed wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
EriktheRed wrote:

For the 2nd stage of the final boss, ideally you'd have a maxed out cloak

You don't need maxed out cloak for any stage of the final boss. And if you do have maxed out cloak, it's actually better to put only 1 power into it when fighting the boss in order to synchronize the timing of your cloak recharge with the boss' super attack recharge.

I didn't say you "needed" it, but it is best if you can remain cloaked throughout the duration of the drone swarm to negate its damage. For the other stages where you just need to avoid missiles or the big heavy laser attack, I agree with you, you should just leave it at 1 power to try to keep things synced up.

If you have more than 1 power in your cloak, your cloak will not recharge by the time the next drone swarm hits. Level 1 cloak is enough to remain cloaked through the entire drone swarm if you activate it at the right time.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
EriktheRed wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
EriktheRed wrote:

For the 2nd stage of the final boss, ideally you'd have a maxed out cloak

You don't need maxed out cloak for any stage of the final boss. And if you do have maxed out cloak, it's actually better to put only 1 power into it when fighting the boss in order to synchronize the timing of your cloak recharge with the boss' super attack recharge.

I didn't say you "needed" it, but it is best if you can remain cloaked throughout the duration of the drone swarm to negate its damage. For the other stages where you just need to avoid missiles or the big heavy laser attack, I agree with you, you should just leave it at 1 power to try to keep things synced up.

If you have more than 1 power in your cloak, your cloak will not recharge by the time the next drone swarm hits. Level 1 cloak is enough to remain cloaked through the entire drone swarm if you activate it at the right time.

Exactly. Having 2 or 3 power on your cloaking makes you stay cloaked longer, which means your cloaking will still be recharging when the next drone power surge happens. Level 1 cloaking is the way to go to avoid the power surges in stage 2 of the flagship.

I've beaten the boss several times and I've never disabled its drone control. Just take out its weapons, missile bay first, then minimize your damage through cloaking and/or defense drones and/or evasion and/or repair bots as you then hull it out.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
EriktheRed wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
EriktheRed wrote:

For the 2nd stage of the final boss, ideally you'd have a maxed out cloak

You don't need maxed out cloak for any stage of the final boss. And if you do have maxed out cloak, it's actually better to put only 1 power into it when fighting the boss in order to synchronize the timing of your cloak recharge with the boss' super attack recharge.

I didn't say you "needed" it, but it is best if you can remain cloaked throughout the duration of the drone swarm to negate its damage. For the other stages where you just need to avoid missiles or the big heavy laser attack, I agree with you, you should just leave it at 1 power to try to keep things synced up.

If you have more than 1 power in your cloak, your cloak will not recharge by the time the next drone swarm hits. Level 1 cloak is enough to remain cloaked through the entire drone swarm if you activate it at the right time.

Well I've not timed it before, but it always felt like the swarm lasted longer than 5 seconds. I may be mistaken however.

MeatMan wrote:

Exactly. Having 2 or 3 power on your cloaking makes you stay cloaked longer, which means your cloaking will still be recharging when the next drone power surge happens. Level 1 cloaking is the way to go to avoid the power surges in stage 2 of the flagship.

This is definitely the best strategy, but I feel like it's a design flaw, and it also makes the cloak probably too valuable in the fight. The boss superweapons should be on the same lockdown timer during cloak as everything else IMO and should probably recur in more frequent, less powerful bursts.

I definitely would not call that particular strategy a design flaw. There are multiple strategies that I'm sure can beat the flagship, but as always, some are more effective than others.

Yeah cloak 1 is perfect. You have to do it during the warning message of the ship's super-weapon. If you wait until it's fired off the drones, you might still be recharging for the next wave. But fire it off at the very start of the warning and you'll take damage before the first wave is done. It's a very delicate window there, maybe 1-2 seconds where you can avoid both waves.

And hopefully you've taken the ship down before a 3rd or 4th wave because your timing will eventually be off.

You still want to upgrade your cloak to level 2, like we've mentioned several times in this thread, so that when it takes damage it doesn't go completely offline, but only need 1 bar of power in it.

Not every ship can even have a cloak, and those that can't can still beat the boss with other valid strats. With maxed shields, the drones aren't debilitating if you can manage to neutralize the boss' other weapons.

MeatMan wrote:

I definitely would not call that particular strategy a design flaw. There are multiple strategies that I'm sure can beat the flagship, but as always, some are more effective than others.

The problem with this specifically is that this is literally the only thing that works this way, and it actively penalizes you for using higher levels of cloak (which do have a benefit against all other enemies).

There are a lot of strategies to beat the boss, but I can't think of any other strategy where adding a power bar to a system actually makes that system worse. The opportunity cost of losing power to something else should be enough...

I disagree that the player is penalized or that the cloaking system is "worse" by using a particular amount of power to execute a particular strategy.

FTL is all about choices and strategies, such as how to spend your scrap on ship upgrades, weapons, augments, crew, etc., as well as how to manage the distribution of your ship's power during battles.

MeatMan wrote:

I disagree that the player is penalized or that the cloaking system is "worse" by using a particular amount of power to execute a particular strategy.

FTL is all about choices and strategies, such as how to spend your scrap on ship upgrades, weapons, augments, crew, etc., as well as how to manage the distribution of your ship's power during battles.

Everything else you mentioned is about learning general mechanics that are applicable in more than one specific situation.

EDIT:

To compare this to something else, it reminds me of the boss battles in Deus Ex HR. There, as with FTL, you learn how to use certain tools - only the rules of the game and how those tools work change when you reach a boss.

DE:HR is worse in this respect than FTL, but I just find this kind of inconsistency frustrating generally, especially when it's working specifically against what you've learned, which is what FTL's "turn the power off to make the thing better" situation does.

I think the big difference between this and your Deus Ex:HR analogue is that in FTL, getting two bars of cloak doesn't preclude you from de-powering one bar to sync the cloak effect to the drone attacks. In DX:HR, you can literally find yourself with a build that is completely viable within the rules of the game at large, but almost unusable in the boss fight "arenas".

That said I see where you're going in terms of being consistent about the rules the game tries to set up, and how this case is an exception that is not altogether intuitive and could therefore be considered exploitative. I doubt the loophole is intended, but I don't think it can necessarily be considered to hurt the game as much as you argue. This kind of debate comes in up the boardgame world a lot when anomolies in the rules are discovered, and in many ways FTL plays like a boardgame. In the case of a boardgame people "house rule" stuff like that if it bugs them, but here a change would require a patch or mod.

Of course in the boardgame world, sometimes I think people are willing to nerd-fight to the death over stuff like this. I hope that's not the case here