Monday, October 22, 2012

Target Their Life Support......

Damn you #tweetfleet, damn you! Technically a non-Eve blog post, but one that will be of interest to many Eve players as it was other Eve players got me into this!

Over the last few weeks I've been noticing some mentions of FTL on Twitter. It would appear to be a very popular game with Eve players. So I paid the princely sum of $9 (or about £7 in the Queen's money) on Steam. I needed something other than Eve to keep me going until XCom: Enemy Unknown was released.

What is FTL? Well it's a FTL is a "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" apparently from the the official blurb. But to me its a bloody addictive game! The graphics are straight out of the 1990's but as Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress taught us, brilliant gameplay makes a brilliant game.

The premise of the game is that your Federation just got trashed by the rebels. Your cruiser is carrying vital data that you need to get to the remnants of the Federation seven systems away. You're low on fuel, your ship is underpowered and you are in a universe as cruel and nasty as they come (well may be not as cruel and nasty as New Eden)! Oh yeah, and a massive rebel fleet is right behind you and if they catch up with you you'll find your goolies displayed on the front of their ship!

So you use your jump drive to jump to beacons, making your way across each solar system until you reach the other side and then can use your FTL drive to jump to the next solar system. Each hop you make gives the chance of an encounter. Sometimes you'll have a pirate attack you, there may be a ship in need of your help, there might be a planet, asteroid field, nebula, sun or plasma storm. You never know what you'll find as you hop around the solar system heading to the exit beacon.

The view is a top-down of your ship showing the various rooms. You have rooms for each of your primary and secondary systems - life-support (O2), engines, weapons, shields, sensors, cockpit, medi-bay, door control plus a few empty rooms.

Door control? Yes doors are important in FTL!

Each of the above mentioned systems and subsystems can be damaged. They may be shot by spaceships belonging to pirates rebels/unfriendly aliens, they may be hit by solar flares or asteroids or may get kicked in by a boarding party (I fecking HATE transporters). You also need to manage your reactor. Sometimes you need to divert power from one system to another! It is your job to keep everything running and whilst it doesn't have the ridiculous level of micro-management that Dwarf Fortress does, FTL can be a hectic game to play.

In the battles you get a top-down view of both yours and the enemy's ship. Each of your weapons can be targeted at a specific system (room). I find the best way is first attack their shields and get those down. Next disable their weapons. Finally finish them off before they repair! Whilst you are doing this the enemy is trying to do something very similar to you. So as well as firing a shield-penetrating missile at their shield control and standing by with the pulse laser to hit the weapons control, you need to be moving crew members about to fight fires, repair systems, patch up hull-breaches, shoot boarding parties with phasers set to kill and the like.

Any Sci-Fi geek cannot help but have fun in this game. You are Captain Jayneway on Voyager. You are Mal Reynolds aboard Serenity.

Power up the weapons!
Target their engines!
Intruder alert!

Your ship, reactor and all primary and secondary systems are upgradable, there are weapons to find/buy, drones, new crew members. You salvage, steal and loot.

The game is very unforgiving and death ends the game. No multiple lives, no respawn, just game over! This can be very annoying when a superior ship is kicking the seven shades of crap out of you whilst their boarding party are urinating on the controls in the weapons room! You need to fire back at that ship and micro-manage your crew members who all appear to be as skilled in combat as your average Star Trek Red-Shirt, i.e. bad.

There are tactics you can use. Remember those door controls I mentioned? Well fire and lifeforms need air to survive. If you are having trouble with either raging fires or boarding parties just open doors and one of the outer airlocks. You need to have upgraded your doors to blast doors so that the boarding party cannot just walk through them tho'. 

Another tactic is to move your guys into the med bay then de-pressurise rooms to channel the boarding party there. Your guys are constantly healed whilst bashing the intruders!

Sat at work currently waiting until I can go home and play. Once I rage quit having died for the 10th time I'll log onto Eve and take my frustrations out on the Caldari..... providing I'm not tempted by an 11th attempt.

P.S. Mmmmmm actually what could we learn about this game for Eve.......


  1. Hi Drack...
    Imagine this:
    Titan is tackled, stripped from shields, neuted etc
    Then FC gives command : GO !
    DUST mercenaries board the ship.
    Titan's pilot set autodstruction timer to 15 minutes
    they must get to control room or die....
    al the time fighting against horde of defense droids
    (best ones - sleepers)
    FC and all the fleet can only watch delayed and lo- res video from their helmet mounted cameras
    finaly mercenary comander opens capsule and puts a blaster to capsulers head...
    "this shiny ship is no longer yours..."

    a capsule with someone who can fly titans docks, mercenaries are rich beyond their imagination
    winning side has +1 Titan

    u could write it better if u have some time (while all are farming plexes)

    this would be ultimate integration of EVE and DUST actually usefull and profitable to both sides.

    it could be "end game" for DUST - hi risc and entry cost but highest profit also...
    this would gave real reason (outside FW) to interact with DUST players

    i think it would be more usefull then walk in stations
    and not requireing lot of work on EVE side.
    all would be in DUST - something like 1 more dungeon

    What do u think about this idea ?

    1. Holy crap, dust bunnies boarding cap ships?

      That sounds incredible, so long as it was balanced, blah blah blah.

      But I bet you'd have bunnies signing up by the thousands for a chance to kick some of us eggers in the face onboard our own ships. I really hope this happens one day.