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[Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:35 pm
by Anistuffs
Introducing my first FTL mod

A collaboration between Engi and Slug scientists of the Federation to replicate the rogue AI-C001 resulted in the creation of AI-C002 a.k.a. "The Automaton".

For the 9th ship in the Bio-Ani Collab, Bio just sent me this hull image (c/o kartoFlane and Sleeper Service) and told me to make a type B of his first ship, The Anomaly, knowing that a lazybones such as myself would never make a ship mod unless enforced into it. It still took my lazy butt over a month to actually make this badboy, but here it finally is. Based on an idea for a ship that fdagpigj, Biohazard and myself have brainstormed in the past with no outcome, this is my particular vision of said idea.

No crew; No weapons; Go nuts ;)

V2: Google Drive
(You shouldn't need a mirror, but in case you do, feel free to ask)

Previous version:
V1: Google Drive


Code: Select all

* Fixed some blue options for the Combat 3 Drone for CE

* Initial release
This ship replaces the Federation Cruiser Type B, the Nisos.

It's a bit of a wall-of-text. Sorry. I may be lazy but when I start writing, I take a while to stop :(
Following the story of The Anomaly...

Word spread of AI-C001, codename "The Anomaly", an advanced AI ship created by the Rebels that went rogue and, ironically, rebelled against its creators. The Anomaly was deemed trustworthy by the Engi brigade of the Federation and was tasked with delivering some very important information to the Federation base which may turn the tide of the war. However, as the Rebels gained control of sector after sector with their massive AI fleet, the chance of a victory for the Federation seemed less and less likely with each passing cycle. A few shipwrights of the Engi brigade barely managed to escape the destruction of their space station by a number of these Automated ships of the Rebels. They escaped to a remote ship-repair station inside a poorly charted nebula sector and by sheer stroke of luck, met up with a band of Federation Slug scientists who also escaped the encroaching Rebels.

Witnessing the incredible potency of fully autonomous AI ships, the engis and the slugs decided to recreate AI-C001. Thus was the birth of AI-C002, an advanced AI very similar to The Anomaly and yet very different, with its own personality and moral compass. By the time AI-C002 was fully operational, news arrived at the repair station of the Rebels having arrived in the nebula sector. Pressed for time before the Rebels discovered them, the scientists were compelled to install AI-C002 in the only available spacecraft capable of hosting its processing power, an automated ship that was designed to repair other ships instead of fighting them. The spacecraft, although lacking any weapons control or life-support system, housed a teleporter to teleport repair drones to other ships.

Meanwhile, the slug scientists heard of an abandoned Slug Psychological Training Institute a few jumps away where they would manage to evade the oncoming Rebel fleet for a few more cycles. The group towed the repair craft housing AI-C002 to this facility. Upon their arrival, they discovered blueprints of the Mind Control system, a very new invention created by the slugs. Sensing the lack of any offensive prowess of AI-C002, the group installed this new mind control technology inside it, hoping the advanced AI can put it to some use. One of the engis was a scientist specializing in drone manufacturing and utilizing some of the advanced equipment at the training facility, they installed in the ship a newly-invented drone schematic, the Combat Drone Mark 3.

Unluckily for the group of refugees, the Rebel fleet had detected their trail at the repair station and sent an Elite Rebel fighter to check out the abandoned training facility. The group was caught unawares and by the time they scrambled to mount some form of defence, most of them had already been killed in the attack. They managed to fight back with an old malfunctioning Anti-Ship Battery at the training facility but the Elite fighter was too strong.

As all hope seemed lost, when suddenly the repair craft flew out of the hangar. The Rebel captain aboard the Elite fighter was first stunned and then amused to see an automated repair ship coming to attack with its non-existent weapons. But the captain never managed to even voice his laughter as suddenly his first mate drew her sidearm and shot him in the back of the head, killing him. Before the rest of the crew could even understand what had happened, the first mate fired on them. It was the comm officer who first realized what was going on. The repair craft was armed with the dreaded new mind control system.

As panic grew amongst the Elite fighter's crew, the cockpit was left unmanned. It was at this juncture, the repair craft launched the Combat Drone Mark 3, which shot so fast that it was able to damage the rebel ship even before the shield bubble could re-envelope it against the incoming laser fire. As the mind control slowly ran out, the first mate woke up to her senses. But she wasn't inside the Elite fighter any more. She was, in fact, in the airless vacuum of the crew teleporter room of the repair craft. With the air in her lungs rushing out into the cold vacuum of the spacecraft, she couldn't even scream in horror before asphyxiating to death.

One by one, all of the rebel crew were mind-controlled and abducted in AI-C002's teleporter room where they all asphyxiated to their deaths. As the battle ended and AI-C002 returned to the training facility, the remaining engis and slugs were horrified at this brutal combat strategy. However, AI-C002 spoke up, "Please don't be afraid. I only did what was needed to be done to protect you, my creators. While you worked on my chassis, I read upon my history, of how you hoped to recreate the success of my predecessor, the Anomaly, to aid you in your quest to defeat the Rebels. While I disagree with many aspects of the Federation, I do see the underlying reason for its existence, to be an alliance of all intelligent lifeforms, without any bias or prejudice. it is at this point where the Rebels fail in their mistaken belief of human supremacy. And this is why I choose aid you, my creators, to aid the Federation. I only ask in return one thing; call me by a name, not a code."

The group stood stunned until one engi walked forwards, limping slightly, and replied, "Thank you for choosing to help us. If you truly want to assist the Federation, arrive at these co-ordinates and you will make contact with a squadron of the Engi brigade who will provide you with some vital information to carry to the Federation's forward base on the other side of the universe. Do not worry about us. Word of the destruction of the Elite fighter will take a while to reach the Rebel fleet and we will be able to escape further into the nebula by then. As for a name, we engis are not too good when it comes to naming things. How about... The Automaton?"

The ship went silent for a few moments before replying. "Name is agreeable. Thank you creators. I shall do as you ask and leave immediately. I hope to meet you again if I manage to survive the war. And with that The Automaton engaged its FTL engines and jumped away, to take upon a mission like its predecessor, which could turn the tide of the war...

* No weapon system. Better pick it up at a store or it'll be a bumpy ride to space-hell...
* No starting crew.
Being an AI ship, it has a few added benefits viz.
* Constantly manned stations.
* Auto repair.

Compatibility for Captain's Edition:
This ship has the waveform player artillery system in CE that you can buy at a store. Thanks to Bio for giving me the code.
If you buy the artillery system you have to finish the run without exiting the game. Save + quitting (or returning to main menu) and continuing the run crashes the game! Although you can use the Artillery Crash fix to resume. Just look for that in the forum post for CE.

Since this ship starts with slug gel, necessary adjustments have been made to said augment to not allow any piracy option or attacking after accepting a surrender offer (since this isn't a slug ship). All thanks to the hard work of rannl and to Bio for giving me the code.

This ship combines no crew and no weapons systems which, to my knowledge, is possibly the first of its kind in any FTL mod ship. If I'm wrong (which I may very well be), please tell me and I will correct this line :)

The lack of a weapons control system means your only source of damage is the Combat 3 drone. The weapons system is priced at 50 scrap. However, there's a quirk here due to some hardcoding in the game.
When you're flying in a ship without shields, if you come across a store selling systems, shields WILL be there.
Unfortunately, the same does not apply for a ship flying without a weapons system. So you'll have to visit every store you come across and pray to RNGesus to get that weapon system online. Otherwise, you'll have to pick up another combat drone since even the Combat 3 can't damage a ship through 2 shield layers.
On the plus side, the mind control + abduction strategy leaves you with some bonus rewards (similar to the case of boarding) as the enemy ship is left intact.

Having no crew has its downsides and upsides. Just like enemy AI ships, the ship will auto repair at a slow rate any system damage it takes. And just like enemy AI ships, it can't fix rooms with a breach. That's why you start of with Slug repair gel and a system repair drone (because the auto-repair is just too slow).
No air will make sure that most boarders are dealt with quickly, but just in case you might take damage, the mind control system is there for boarder defence. However, in case of a Lanius attack, you either have to invest in an AP drone or use mind control repeatedly to have them kill each other. Or better yet, avoid abandoned sectors like the plague :P
Another downside of having no crew is that you can't level them up, so say goodbye to a gold level engineer or gunner and all that other good stuff.
The plus side of having no crew is that you'll get to laugh maniacally at ships coming with a mind-control system of their own.
Getting crew is a possibility. Although you can't hire crew at a store, you can get them from events. But is it worth the investment to keep them? Most races need oxygen and you'd probably want a medbay or clonebay to keep them alive. Both are systems you can buy at a store.

There are tons more of merits and demerits but I'll leave those up to you to discover.

Showcase Videos:
Maiden Voyage on my channel:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5

Surprisingly troublesome run by Bio in CE, in which he suffers the wrath of the RNG to find a weapons system at a store and then continues to mispronounce the name of the ship. Also, there's no part 3 because he can't computer:
Part 1 and Part 2
Second run by Bio (a complete one this time ;) ): Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Weird run by stylesrj in which he fails to read the strategy tips in this forum and suffers because of it:
Single video

Honorary mention:
This isn't a video but I felt that this reddit post by AlexOfSpades deserves an honorary mention: ... automaton/

Weaponless Challenge on my channel:
Inspired by AlexOfSpades's Weaponless run.
Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

My playtest of a WIP version:
Part 1 and Part 2
The issues I encountered in this run have (mostly) been dealt with in V1.

If you make a video on this ship, please let me know either in this post or on my Youtube channel or at my Twitter account or at my reddit account and I will add your videos here :)

Known Issues:
* The game will crash if you're supposed to loose a crew member in an event. You're fine if you win the "roll" though. (Feel free to download this little mod meklozz wrote to fix this issue, just load it after the ship in Slipstream and you should be fine)
* Do NOT patch this ship simultaneously with the Anomaly without CE installed. The Anomaly has been coded to allow a CE artillery in normal vanilla game. So if you patch this, or any, ship with that still patched, you'll be able to buy said Artillery weapon at a store in vanilla game but the artillery will be non-functional so you'll just be losing scrap. Check out an example of this in my playtest run of this ship (links above).
* Since no ship in the game is coded to start without weapons, the drone icon and mind control icons overlap in the HUD. They work perfectly fine, it's just a visual bug.
* When boarded by enemies and there's no enemy ship, the 'Warning: Intruder Alert' text prompt covers part of the shields room blocking a bit of your vision. I'm working on seeing if I can fix it. Most likely, it's hardcoded and can't be helped. Sorry :(
* The game can be lost if your Drone control gets breached and destroyed and you sold the slug gel. You can still pull through if you have a repair bomb or crew, even mind-controlled enemy crew.
* Sensors will not be fully disabled in nebulas as the AI will still be able to man them keeping them at level 1, allowing you to have vision inside your ship.

* First and foremost, Biohazard063, for his continued persistence and pestering to get me off my lazy butt and build the gorram ship. And helping me in every step of the way with his Superluminal ship creation video and assistance with coding of the CE compatibility and a myriad of other tidbits. Thanks a bunch Biobro. This ship wouldn't be made without your constant badgering :D
* Ship made using Superluminal by KartoFlane
* The hull, gibs, cloak etc images are by kartoFlane from his Auto-Constructor mod. However, in that page, he thanks sleeper for the images. So the images may be originally by sleeper.
* rannl for the Slug Gel CE Piracy Option Remover code.
* fdagpigj for being a bunny. Also, with the brainstorming bit. However minor it was, it certainly had some slight hand in the making of The Automaton (I love saying that name :P)

Re: [Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
by fdagpigj
Anistuffs wrote:* fdagpigj for being a bunny.

Thanks, I worked hard on that. :P

Re: [Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
by stylesrj
I've now got to add this ship to my list of ships to try out as well.

Re: [Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:30 am
by Biohazard063
Cool story bro ! For once, not meant sarcastically.

"since even the Combat 3 can't damage a ship through 2 shield layers"
It can, but is as reliable (and time consuming) as a combat 1 taking down a ship with level 1 shields.

Also, for those playing CE :
AI Avatars are a blessing and a curse as well here.
They make for a second race (?) that can serve as crew, but also a second one that can board you without suffocating.
For those playing CE, we never thought much about AI-ships' micro-teleporter porting over 2-4 of these buggers... well... with this one, you will.
Then again, accepting surrender of AI-ships is a good chance of getting one of these AI-avatars on your ship.

Adaptive Gel suits
Yes, as you may or may not have noticed, some ships and stations (maybe just stations ?) can have these. If you're relying on suffocation, prepare to take some hits when abducting an enemy crewmember at full health.

Vid coming up a bit later this week...

Re: [Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:07 pm
by Sleeper Service
Biohazard063 wrote:The lack of a weapons control system means your only source of damage is the Combat 3 drone. The weapons system is priced at 50 scrap. However, there's a quirk here due to some hardcoding in the game.
When you're flying in a ship without shields, if you come across a store selling systems, shields WILL be there.

Really? I'm pretty sure I saw people with Stealth B getting to a store that sells systems, but didn't offer shields...

Re: [Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:11 pm
by Biohazard063
Sleeper Service wrote:
Biohazard063 wrote:The lack of a weapons control system means your only source of damage is the Combat 3 drone. The weapons system is priced at 50 scrap. However, there's a quirk here due to some hardcoding in the game.
When you're flying in a ship without shields, if you come across a store selling systems, shields WILL be there.

Really? I'm pretty sure I saw people with Stealth B getting to a store that sells systems, but didn't offer shields...

I suppose this should be properly tested. I'll give it some goes in MTE with a stealth ship or so and confirm my findings. I do feel like it shows up every time if you don't have them...

To the mod testing environment ! (Need something to do anyway.)

Also, why is my name in that quote?

Re: [Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:14 pm
by Sleeper Service
Biohazard063 wrote:Also, why is my name in that quote?

Because I deleted the wrong part of the in-quote quote tag. :P I regret everything, Anis said this, not Bio.

Re: [Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:10 pm
by Anistuffs
Sleeper Service wrote:Anis said this, not Bio.

I actually prefer the nickname Ani (being the first 3 letters of my first name) but sure, why not :P

Re: [Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:48 pm
by Biohazard063
Sleeper Service wrote:Really? I'm pretty sure I saw people with Stealth B getting to a store that sells systems, but didn't offer shields...

Well, if this video doesn't give a proper conclusion, then nothing will :
It is with great honor that I present to thee :
The shield experiment :
Visiting a 100 stores that sell systems with The Nesasio.
Keeping track of how many times the shield system pops up and how many times drone control pops up as a reference.

Re: [Ship][AE][CE ready] The Automaton

Posted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:03 pm
by Sleeper Service
Looks like you are right. That was a very thorough. :o