Crystal Ship Unlock...

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Sines
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Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby Sines » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:17 am

Does anyone like the mechanics for unlocking the Crystal Cruiser?

While all of the ships are mostly unlocked through luck, there is a certain amount of preparation you can do, and even without that, you have good odds of unlocking them anyway just by normal play. The crystal ship, however, is heavily luck, with the only preparation you can do being to select a Rock ship, with the choice to fly any other ship reducing your odds of success dramatically. I'm not a huge fan of the mostly lucky-event based ship unlocks, but the crystal ship requires three of those in a single play through.

I can't imagine that anyone likes this method. I want to propose another method of unlock. If the Crystal Ship is supposed to be the extra powerful reward that you won't get until you mastered the game (As is the case currently, simply due to probability, if you haven't mastered the game by the time you unlock it, you're either a slow learner or really lucky) then why not make it that way. Beat the game on Normal once with each ship. Challenging, time consuming, and still requires a fair amount of luck. But it's the kind of normal game play luck you can plan for.

Now this wouldn't unlock it for me. I haven't even unlocked the Stealth B yet (I unlocked the Stealth ship and went straight to 'farming' the Crystal Ship), so it would still require me to put a lot of effort in. But it would be far more fun than what I'm doing right now, which is loading up the Shivan, and dashing through the zones, resetting if sector two isn't an Engi, Rock or Pirate sector. In three hours of doing that, I've gotten the actual Crystal Crewmember twice (needless to say, no Rock Homeworlds after that). The game is fun, but the only metagame rewards are the (mostly) lucky-based ship unlocks. Adding this alternate unlock for the Crystal Ship would provide players a long term goal to achieve, and require them to play the more challenging ships (Engi, Slug and Stealth B all come to mind).

Does anyone else agree with me on this, and is there any chance of the devs making it? I love this game, but this one element is a pain for me now, and seems to drive many players to just cheat-unlocking the ship.
aaaaaa50
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Re: Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby aaaaaa50 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:30 am

I think more people cheat for it than actually get lucky enough to get the crystal ship normally. There's no sense of reward for randomly meeting the requirements, and spending dozens of hours to get the ship is tedious in the extreme and reduces the game to one big boring roll of the dice. Anything other method would be an improvement. I'd love to occasional have runs go through the crystal sector instead of it happening on the count of one hand.

That said, there's very little chance the devs are going to implement any significant change. Besides bugfixing, we haven't really heard anything from them.
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UltraMantis
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Re: Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby UltraMantis » Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:21 am

We have heard from them that the crystal achievement is deliberately very improbable. The reasoning behind it is that it's a pleasent surprise to unlock some achievement after many hours of playing and mastering the game. It's a "once in a blue moon" achievement rather than an actual achievement of skill.

Ideally the crystal ship will come to you, it's very hard to get it deliberately. The ships unlocked are pretty cool i guess and are a nice addition but they are by no means indispensable. They lean on the OP side (or are outright OP) so there is less reward than unlocking say, the Slug or Zoltan cruisers, all four of which offer considerably more fun and challenge.

Extremly few mods depend on unlocked Crystal ships, so not having them is not a huge deal. In a way it's better to think of them as bonus ships rather than regular FTL world ships that you would want to collect.
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Re: Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby 5thHorseman » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:38 am

I agree with both sides of this. 99% of the time, I pretend the Crystals don't exist. The other 1% is split between playing Crystal ships, looking at the sector map after the first sector to decide if I'm going to take the pod or weapon, and taking the weapon anyway when it comes to it :)

Very rarely I'll take the pod and then sell it in sectors 6, 7, or 8 when I don't get the research station, and even more rarely I'll bring a crystal dude to the final boss. Never have I done all requirements in order to get the ship (or even get to the secret sector) and I expect I never will.
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aaaaaa50
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Re: Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby aaaaaa50 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:07 pm

UltraMantis wrote:We have heard from them that the crystal achievement is deliberately very improbable. The reasoning behind it is that it's a pleasent surprise to unlock some achievement after many hours of playing and mastering the game. It's a "once in a blue moon" achievement rather than an actual achievement of skill.

Ideally the crystal ship will come to you, it's very hard to get it deliberately.


There are more ways to go about that then simply putting a d100 roll on it and calling it a day. TF2 used to have their item drop system have a small chance to give a player an item every X time interval, but while it worked fine for most people some people got many items while others got none at all. Valve changed it so that everyone playing for a few hours a week is guaranteed a few items, with the drops happening at random but limited intervals. FTL could have a similar system to guarantee that FTL players who play for many hours would eventually encounter the Crystal Sector one way or another. That way everyone would eventually get the 'pleasant surprise' if they keep playing FTL for, say, a dozen or two hours.
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Metzelmax
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Re: Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby Metzelmax » Sun Aug 04, 2013 7:14 pm

I had played for 200 hours without ever getting the crystal unlock... I got as far as getting the crystal, but then the rock home world wouldnt show up or i didnt find the wormhole...
At the end I just cheated.
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agigabyte
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Re: Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby agigabyte » Sun Aug 04, 2013 9:10 pm

Metzelmax wrote:I had played for 200 hours without ever getting the crystal unlock... I got as far as getting the crystal, but then the rock home world wouldnt show up or i didnt find the wormhole...
At the end I just cheated.


I got it after about 40 hours, on accident. :D
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Re: Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby UltraMantis » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:16 am

So far i have not unlocked it, and i only once hatched the egg. Only other ship i haven't unlocked is the Shivan. It depends how frustrating it is to not have the damned ship. It doesn't irk me, so i guess i'm lucky. Anyway, the only choices are to keep playing and trying (you can restart when you see the sector map makes it impossible), or to cheat.
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James Gryphon
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Re: Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby James Gryphon » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:36 am

The Crystal Ship is definitely frustrating to unlock, but I'm not sure if it's far-and-away the hardest one to get in the game.

I'll grant that it depends more on luck than any other single unlock quest, but a decent part of that can be negated if you use the Rock ship for your unlocking attempts. It also has one big advantage over the Slug and Mantis quests, that it is pretty obvious which options you need to pick when the events come along -- the only problem is in playing a game where those events appear in the right order.

I hate to admit my lack of creative thinking here, but I'm not sure how long it would have taken me to get the Mantis or the Slug ships without looking at a guide for help. You have to have an advanced teleporter and an advanced medbay for the Mantis mission, and advanced sensors (or a Slug) + an inclination to let the Slugs surrender (in their home nebula). I probably would have figured out the Mantis thing eventually, but the only time, pre-guide, that I stumbled across the Slug string was when I "didn't know any better" and was merciful to them most of the time when they offered to surrender. After I got more experience and got burned by Slugs giving low tribute, I made a habit of not accepting Slug surrenders. The fact that the ship unlock quest only comes if you're in the home nebula, as opposed to any Slug-controlled nebula, makes it foggier. I guess maybe I should have figured that if I wanted to earn the ships, I should've been doing something I wasn't doing, so it's sorta my own fault there, but when the game encourages you (through better scrap rewards) to make the cutthroat decision all of the time, it's hard to step away from that.

Also, for what it's worth, I have not unlocked a single one of the Stealth cruiser's requirements. For some reason, cloaking right after the third-stage Flagship uses its power surged energy weapon doesn't get me the dodging achievements, and the odds for the other events haven't worked out yet, so yeah. Getting the glaive beam pre-installed sounds cool, though, so I figure I'll keep trying for it.
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Re: Crystal Ship Unlock...

Postby 5thHorseman » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:16 am

James Gryphon wrote:Also, for what it's worth, I have not unlocked a single one of the Stealth cruiser's requirements. For some reason, cloaking right after the third-stage Flagship uses its power surged energy weapon doesn't get me the dodging achievements, and the odds for the other events haven't worked out yet, so yeah. Getting the glaive beam pre-installed sounds cool, though, so I figure I'll keep trying for it.


Weird, I got it without trying by facing a drone with 2 BL3s. He fired them, I cloaked (seemed the thing to do) and got the achievement.

Tactical Approach is luck based but you can do it at LEAST every other playthrough if not more. I think it took me 2 tries. Easy peasy, you should get it before you get sick of playing the ship.

Bird of Prey is laughable with the Glaive beam. You can get it in the first encounter if you don't play tactically correct and just save your cloak until when you fire. Or just wait until a little later in the game, when you can cloak, fire your 2 BL2s and then the Glaive to finish ships off.
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