The Hand of Death et. al. v2.1 [Anti-Bio Cruisers A/B/C]

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NarnKar
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The Hand of Death et. al. v2.1 [Anti-Bio Cruisers A/B/C]

Postby NarnKar » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:40 am

What's new to this version:
Rebalancing of The Hunter's Bow, art updates to The Reaper's Scythe, still the longest mod information you've ever seen
Not a significant update; you can stick with version 2.0 of The Hand of Death or The Reaper's Scythe if you'd like. I'd recommend downloading v2.1 of The Hunter's Bow, though.

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The engi watches as his fellow crewmembers die, one by one. Outside, their distress call beeps and blinks, sending out signals to the vast void of space.

The crew huddles in the medbay, their oxygen broken, as each nanobot repairs their dying lungs. They cannot move. They can barely breathe.

They draw straws, and one is chosen. He will fix the life support--or die trying. He heads into airless rooms, breathless, desperately trying to get their life support systems online. The pipelines are broken, the tanks punctured, spewing valuable oxygen into the bowels of the ship and the void of space;the reactor fails, barely keeping the lights flickering, leaving the life support unpowered.

He works, his air-starved brain slowly failing… his coordination drops, his tools falling from his hands; he can’t work any longer…he retreats, stumbling back to the medical ward, his empty lungs pleading for oxygen, for the nanobots to give him air, any air at all, even at their molecular pace…and he falls, unable to scream, unable to speak, nothing more than a wheezing cough marking his death, and his failure.

The oxygen is still broken; the crew is still in the medbay, dying. Their distress call goes unheard.

They draw straws again, and the next one goes, and from the medical ward they can hear her wheeze and choke and die. And they’re still stuck. Their distress call goes unheard.

So they draw straws again.

And again. And again. And their distress call goes unheard.


That was how a single engi was left with a bundle of straws at his feet, alone on an airless ship. And all he could do was wait, replaying his memories, and think about his chances—chance of continued survival <33%, chance of repairing oxygen <10%, chance of distress call response <5%—as the medical bots replaced his dying body with synthesized tissues, cell by cell, nanobot by nanobot…

But their distress call was heard, and a Federation vessel rescued him. As he left his fellow crewmembers behind, he did not mourn them—only recorded their names, their time and cause of death. And as he left them behind, he made an observation.

The flesh, he noted, was a fickle thing, a foolish dependency, nothing more than a virus that enabled the possibility of death. The engi race was about progress, about ideas, about innovation and technology—but at any moment that progress could be cut short by an internal mechanical failure. How idiotic that was! to leave such progress to chance—that at any moment death could halt their work.

Oh, the flesh had been useful, once. It had served evolution well, as the first lifeforms rose up from the tidepools, slowly beginning to explore the planet. But once they had begun to explore the cosmos, their voyages were cut short—by the boundaries and weaknesses of flesh, of life. Even now, as the engi roamed from star to star, they still insisted on keeping life, their personality codices programmed to protect their remaining organic material...how foolish of them, to be attached to a sentimental reminder, to such a fickle thing as life! After all, there was a possibility to move past this antiquated technology. To remove life from the library of dependencies.

How foolish of them to stay attached, he thought. But he would enlighten them. He would enlighten everyone…

The engi died that day, in a sense. But, perhaps more accurately, he became deathless—he removed his last traces of life, and in doing so, removed the possibility of death as well. One thing was certain, though: he was no longer alive.

That day, he founded the Anti-Bio Brigade and started his crusade across the galaxy, determined to spread his enlightenment. He tinkered with an Anti-Bio Beam, making it faster and deadlier...

A year later, a mad engi arrives at a Federation outpost, his internal programming deteriorated into errors and endless loops. He arrives in a strange vessel, made of the wrecks of other ships, and littered with the bodies of their crew. They had all died, one by one, trying to board his airless cruiser.

He calmly and resolutely states his only directive: to end all life. He has no reasons and no explanations for his directive—any logic behind it must’ve been forgotten long ago.

The Federation would deal with his omnicidal tendencies later. But for now, perhaps this engi and his deadly cruiser could be of some use…


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The Hand of Death
Unknown Ship Class [Designation: Anti-Bio Cruiser Type A]
Mission Codename: Ragnarok
Mission Priority: Aleph-1-Sigma

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This ship was built with the DA-SR 12 in mind: handles like a glass cannon, but once charged, can neutralize entire ships in a single blast. (Neutralize here meaning wipe out crew.) Its signature weapon, the Helvetica Beam, is a chain anti-bio focus beam that has a 20 second charge time, but once it fires the cooldown drops to 1 second, wiping out entire crews in seconds (similar to how the Glaive can destroy entire ships in a single blast).

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The Helvetica Beam

Download v2.1 (the most recent version) here.
Replaces the Engi A.

Note: There's no difference between v2.1 and v2.0, aside from a numbering change. v2.0 of The Hand of Death can be found here.

Note: if you find that your crew or boarders are getting stuck between rooms, try using FTL Profile Editor to remove them, or download The Hand of Death’s alternate layout patch here. You have to download the base Hand of Death for this to work, since its weapon and ship data is stored there.

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Most of the Federation feared the lone engi, but base command was fascinated by its deadly cruiser. They carefully replicated the Hand of Death, repainting it with the Federation colors, but scrapped its Helvetica Beam in favor of something less horrific. Although this version of the Anti-Bio cruiser is less deadly than its predecessor, only the most heartless of crew volunteered to run it. They christened this version The Reaper's Scythe, and sent it off in desperate hopes that it would save the Federation.

The Reaper's Scythe
Ship Class: Anti-Bio Cruiser Type B
Mission Codename: Thanatos
Mission Priority: Aleph-1-Beta

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This ship is essentially a Nesasio-flavored Anti-Bio Cruiser, similar to how the original Hand of Death was based on the DA-SR 12. It relies on its Basic Lasers to break shields and disrupt systems, while the Neue Beam can cause breaches that impede enemy repairs.

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The Neue Beam

Download v2.1 (the most recent version) here.
Replaces the Engi B.

Note: There's no difference between v2.1 and v2.0, aside from a numbering change and a small update to the hull and cloaking image. v2.0 of The Reaper's Scythe can be found here.

Note: if you find that your crew or boarders are getting stuck between rooms, try using FTL Profile Editor to remove them, or download The Reaper’s Scythe's alternate layout patch here. You have to download the base Reaper's Scythe mod for this to work, since its weapon and ship data is stored there.

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The civilian militias listened to the Federation, hearing of their strange new ship and its terrifying pilot. Perhaps they could improve upon its design? Certainly, they needed something to defend themselves with...

Through careful communications tapping, the local milita acquired a blueprint of The Hand of Death, but decided to take a more pragmatic route, replacing the flashy anti-bio beams with more traditional anti-crew lasers. However, unable to replicate the stealth system, the militia instead gave the cruiser a drone system and defensive drones. Renamed The Hunter's Bow, this third anti-bio cruiser launches into battle alongside its two brothers.


The Hunter's Bow
Ship Class: Anti-Bio Cruiser Type C
Mission Codename: Artemis
Mission Priority: Aleph-1-Gamma

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This cruiser is the anti-bio variant of the Simo-H, the Stealth Cruiser type C. It features an emphasis on fast weapons and quick fights, using its Artemis to disable systems and lure crew to repair them, then quickly knocking out crew with its Light Auto Laser.

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The Light Auto Laser

Download v2.1 (the most recent version) here.
Replaces the Engi C.

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And now for a long author’s commentary, along with brief notes about how each ship is played.

When I was thinking of new ship mods to do, I thought—there’s plenty of stealth variants replacing weapons and such, but there’s not nearly as many slug variants. No fondness for anti-bio weapons, it seems. I decided—why not combine the two? Stealth assassin-ships, decloaking behind enemies and wiping out their crew, leaving an empty husk in space…terrifying, and yet strangely alluring.

First, I decided to vary the DA-SR 12, with its powerful Glaive Beam. I set to work creating its anti-bio equivalent—the Helvetica Beam, named after the fictitious Helvetica Scenario. It’s a beam that costs 4 power, just like the glaive. It does 150 crew damage. The beam has a 21 second charge, with each chain reducing the cooldown by 20 seconds; of course, it chains once, because it only needs to chain once.

Why a beam? Well, a beam doesn’t miss, and it can only target one crew member. A bomb could miss, as could a laser, and they target an entire room’s population. (Besides, a beam is just much more satisfying. Fire the death ray! Snipe off their crew, one by one! Bwahahahaha! :twisted: )
Why a focus beam? Well, the trouble with a regular beam is that all your targets have to be in a line for it to work. A focused beam has better targeting.
Why a chain weapon? The cloak’s got a long cooldown, and without shields that leaves you a sitting duck. The idea is that once your glass cannon’s ready to go, it should be able to take things out in one hit—with this beam, its one-hit strike is made of several focused strikes to each crew member.
And it’s got 1 shield pierce because otherwise, I’d have to give it another weapon to break shields. And that kinda defeats the purpose of a “glass cannon” ship by strapping another gun onto the cannon, right? It should be able to take out ships by itself!
(The tooltip reads 2 shield pierce, and it does have <sp>2</sp>, but because it’s a nondamaging beam it only pierces one layer. FTL glitchy code stuff.)

I then gave The Hand of Death level 2 sensors—being unable to see the inside of the ship severely limits its ability to actually hit crew.

Of course, the Helvetica and the Glaive won't ever be truly the same--the Helvetica, after one shot, is essentially a one-second cooldown beam, while the Glaive stays at its 26 seconds. But there's also the fact that you need to get more support for this weapon, as it only has 1 shield pierce and doesn't do any direct damage. Hopefully, those two things balance each other out. You can still take the Helvetica to the Flagship as part of your core loadout, and you can still win--it just requires a little bit of different strategy to use than the Glaive.

So, there’s the immensely powerful Helvetica Beam. But on the other hand, the Hand of Death starts with no shields, and if it takes a hit to the weapons room, the player loses power to the Helvetica, and the battle quickly goes south. In addition, this cruiser doesn’t have any direct offense, and as such won’t do well against automatic ships or ships with clone bays. Thus, the Helvetica Beam requires some good support and a loadout built around it (just like the Glaive) to use effectively. If it goes up against ships with 2 shield layers, and doesn’t have any way to break the shields—you’re in big trouble. Just like the Stealth B itself!

As for the room layout, I chose to build around the Auto-Assault that was welded to the top of the cruiser’s hull. You’ll notice that the piloting room and the special systems are essentially a sideways version of the Auto-Assault’s layout.The rogue engi wasn’t a shipright; he couldn’t build an entirely new vessel! But he could refit an abandoned Auto-Assault with new systems.

With the Anti-Bio Cruiser B done, I decided to then make an anti-bio variant of The Nesasio, the Stealth Cruiser type A. Its main focus was a small, fast beam, paired with fast shield-breaking lasers. The Neue (Helvetica Neue, get it?) was made as an Anti-Bio variation on the Mini Beam. I couldn’t let it do any hull damage, as that would essentially be a more deadly Mini Beam. But I had to make it disrupt systems somehow—with The Nesasio, dual lasers break 1 shield layer and deal 1 damage to the shields system, with the Mini Beam dealing an additional point of damage to shields.

Since I couldn’t use hull damage, and since system damage felt a little too cheap, I decided to make it have some breach chance, in order to stall repairs to shields. Thus, the Neue Beam carries a 30% breach chance, in addition to 75 crew damage (had to make it trump the regular Anti-Bio-Beam somehow!). It is a 2 power beam that takes 12 seconds to charge. Most crew members should be dead within 2 sweeps.

In addition to the Neue Beam, The Reaper’s Scythe also carries 2 basic lasers. Why 2 basic lasers instead of a dual laser? Well, I wanted to “separate” the shots of the dual laser; if the enemy’s low on health, each shot of the dual laser would deal additional hull damage, which is against the aims of a crew-killing ship. So instead, I gave the Scythe 2 basic lasers—if the enemy’s low on health, just use 1 basic laser to break shields, letting the beam go through without damaging the enemy any further.

I kept the Scythe’s room layout the same, since the ship is meant as a weapon refitting of the original Hand of Death, not a complete reconstruction.

With the Neue Beam, I now had anti-bio variants of the strongest and the cheapest beams—Glaive and Mini, respectively. I was stumped for ideas on how to create a unique Anti-Bio Cruiser type C—simply including the Scythe’s loadout and removing cloaking wasn’t going to cut it. Then, I read a topic on the FTLgame subreddit: powerful loadouts that players had acquired. One reddit poster was playing Captain’s Edition, and had acquired two Light-Auto Lasers and a missile weapon. They would send a missile into a system, and as crew rushed to repair the system, they would spam the two Auto-Lasers and kill off the enemy crew.

That was my inspiration for The Hunter’s Bow. That user’s loadout was perfect for a Type C! Its loadout struck quickly, disabling enemy weapons before they could damage the Shield drone’s Zoltan Shield, and swept the remaining crew with fast lasers, just like the fast-weapons emphasis the Stealth C originally had.

The Auto-Laser this ship carries is similar to its CE counterpart, but renamed in order to avoid naming overrides or a CE dependency, and with 2 shots instead of 1. It is a 2 power weapon that does 15 crew damage per laser bolt, piercing 2 layers of shielding but unable to break shields themselves. Its main appeal is their low cooldown: 4.5 seconds. The Hunter’s Bow also carries an Artemis—a 1 power, 2 damage missile is perfect for the job of disruption.

This layout differs from that of its brethren—it was built entirely from scratch by non-Federation shipwrights, who were building off a blueprint garbled by signal deterioration. And, well, what better colors than the green-yellow stripes of the Nisos? This is a variation on a Federation ship, after all.

Last, I received some feedback about glitches with door-linking. (crew and boarders getting stuck, specifically). Those are innate to FTL's coding, and I can't do much about them. My personal recommendation is to download FTL Profile Editor v24. From there, clear boarders and delete stuck crew, and replace crew as necessary.

However, that can get kind of annoying, if it happens repeatedly. Hence, I've made a patch for the base mod that changes the cruiser layout.
You have to download the base mod for this to work! All the ship image data (like hull and gibs), image resources, and weapon data are in the base mod, and the alternate layout patch really only changes the layout (as its name implies).
Other than the layout, the ship has the exact same loadout as the base mod. These should be loaded AFTER the base mod; in other words, load The Hand of Death before loading its alternate layout patch.

Note that the alternate layouts are the same for both The Hand of Death and The Reaper’s Scythe; this is because their original layouts are also the same.


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Download The Hand of Death’s alternate layout patch here.
Remember, you need to download The Hand of Death itself!
Download The Reaper’s Scythe alternate layout patch here.
Remember, you need to download The Reaper’s Scythe itself!

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Disclaimer:
I am not against Transhumanism at all, and I do believe that death comes too early and we should try to fight it back. However, this engi is doing it wrong.

Attributions:
-The base ship hull was assembled from vanilla FTL parts (Zoltan Cruiser gib 6, Rock Cruiser gibs 3 and 5, Auto-Assault).
-In v1.0 and v1.01, I had done the orange paint myself (except for the space pirate logo, which I copied from a vanilla FTL ship). MaeniAck later tweaked the paint to be less obnoxiously bright, and this image is used in v1.02 and beyond.
-R4V3-0N repainted The Reaper’s Scythe with better Federation stripes. I recolored the stripes to get Militia colors, and copied his Militia emblem as well.
-The Helvetica Beam was spliced together from a vanilla Anti-Bio Beam and the targeting bracket from the Verdict Focus Beam. The Verdict Focus Beam is part of FTL: Captain's Edition, and credit goes to Sleeper_Service for its art.
-The Light Auto Lasers and their projectiles were taken directly from CE. Credit goes to Sleeper_Service for their data and art.
-Mod assembled in kartoFlane's Superluminal Ship Editor v2.1.0d.
-Presentation images assembled using TaxiService's presentation PSD.
-Text divisor graphics by R4V3-0N.

Changelog:

v2.1:
-Updated Type B, Type C artwork to include a portion of the Rock hull. Updated Type C's presentation image to reflect new loadout.
-Updated Type A version number to keep numbering consistent.

v2.0:
-Updated Type B’s artwork to use R4V3-0N’s awesome hull image
-New Type C added
-Thread’s first post restructured; now includes all ships in first post; commentary rearranged
-Neue Beam nerfed from 90 crew damage and 40% breach chance
-Type B gibs redone to match Type A’s gibs, in terms of position, movement, and appearance
-All types (a, b, c) changed to 2.0 to reflect complete overhaul and synchronization of artwork, gib images

v1.02:
-Created the alternate layout patch for base mod v1.02
-Fixed a battery image that intersected with a door
-Changed the Advanced Respirators description to be more explicit that it blocks O2 damage
-Changed the Advanced Respirators price to 110 scrap. It's really good defensively, defending your ship from fire and boarders, so I figured the price should reflect that.
-Changed the hull image to MaeniAck's awesome hull image
-Added more gibs, animations for gibs. However they still use the bright orange paint from v1.01's hull.
-Updated the forum description. Replaced screenshots, added some more details.
Download The Hand of Death v1.02 here.
Download its alternate layout patch here.
Download The Reaper’s Scythe v1.0 here.
Download its alternate layout patch here.

v1.01_alt layout:
Changed the layout to remove door-linking, replacing it with a more conventional layout. This can be run without v1.01.
Download here.

v1.01:
-Added a shields station, adjusted the shields interior image. The station should line up with the computer now.
-Tweaked the Respirators augment description to mention the heavy visors.
-Tweaked the Helvetica Beam's description. What it's referencing should be less obvious now.
-Added Long Range Scanners, as most of the Stealth Cruisers start with some sort of navigational system.
-Changed O2 system price to 30 scrap. O2 is purchasable in stores, in case you want it...although with the advanced respirators, I can't really see why you'd want it.
-Bumped engine power back down to 2 bars to be more like DA-SR 12. Also changed Reactor power to 8 to compensate for the extra bar.
Download here.

v1.0
-Original upload of The Hand of Death to the forums
Download here.
Last edited by NarnKar on Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:13 pm, edited 26 times in total.
FortunaDraken
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Re: [SHIP] The Hand of Death

Postby FortunaDraken » Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:37 am

Oh man scaaaary! I like the idea though, it sounds awesome. Kind of like the Mantis ships, only with the bio beam instead of teleporter.

Curious, how does the Engi stay 'alive' without the Oxygen system? o: Or is it an Engi skin on an AI?

Also I just wanna take this into CE infinite, get a teleporter and a pair of Lanius, and go to town.
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NarnKar
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Re: [SHIP] The Hand of Death

Postby NarnKar » Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:41 am

Should've put that in OP! I tweaked the Emergency Respirators augment so crew takes 0 damage from lack of oxygen. You could use a pair of Lanius, yes, but any crew can work on this cruiser! They just have to be okay with constantly being half-dead and stuffed full of nanobots and machinery, and also have the Respirator permanently attached to their face.

Also, it looks like I forgot to create a Shield station, hehe. I'll get on that.
FortunaDraken
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Re: [SHIP] The Hand of Death

Postby FortunaDraken » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:13 am

BRB stuffing this ship full of Mantis =D

Also lmao. Clearly this ship is meant for the hardcore who go shieldless.
FortunaDraken
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Re: [SHIP] The Hand of Death

Postby FortunaDraken » Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:58 am

Hm. Your doors aren't joining together well (my crew keep going through the closed door, then back through the door properly, then phasing into the room), and now I have a Mantis who is currently stuck in a wall and refuses to move :c
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Sleeper Service
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Re: [SHIP] The Hand of Death

Postby Sleeper Service » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:12 am

The mod has a great design and and innovative overall premise, well done! The beam seems pretty powerfull at first glance, but I guess there are indeed a lot of downsides to the whole ship.

One small thing: If you don't give the beam a length of 1 then people will still be able to target multiple tiles/rooms with it. If the enemy crew gathers in a large room to fix something the beam could easily one-shot three rockmen simultaneously right now. Not sure if that is intended. Also not sure if that is relevant with a one second cooldown beam.
Russian Rockman
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Re: [SHIP] The Hand of Death

Postby Russian Rockman » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:00 pm

Wow, a lot of effort put into this one. People don't make ship mods like they used to. Great Job!
Ciurrioc
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Re: [SHIP] The Hand of Death

Postby Ciurrioc » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:47 pm

Very nice all around :)
el Rago
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Re: [SHIP] The Hand of Death

Postby el Rago » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:55 pm

very nice model, and great writing too.

should give it a shot soon.

also, what does OP mean? I though it was over powered???
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NarnKar
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Re: [SHIP] The Hand of Death

Postby NarnKar » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:58 pm

Thank you all for your feedback! I've made some updates to the ship (such as adding a shields station) and I'll be responding to your questions in this post.

el Rago wrote:what does OP mean? I though it was over powered???

Most of the time, yes, but within this context I use it to mean "original post", as in the topic starter.

Sleeper Service wrote:One small thing: If you don't give the beam a length of 1 then people will still be able to target multiple tiles/rooms with it. If the enemy crew gathers in a large room to fix something the beam could easily one-shot three rockmen simultaneously right now. Not sure if that is intended. Also not sure if that is relevant with a one second cooldown beam.

Not intended, probably not relevant either given its fast cooldown. To be honest, the reason I gave it a 7px trail is because I have trouble aiming 1px focus beams...the 1px trail is too small for me :oops:

FortunaDraken wrote:Hm. Your doors aren't joining together well (my crew keep going through the closed door, then back through the door properly, then phasing into the room), and now I have a Mantis who is currently stuck in a wall and refuses to move :c

Door-linking has always been a rather glitchy business, as it misuses the door system in a way that wasn't really intended by FTL's devs. So your stuck mantis is just a byproduct of that coding system--I can't do a thing about it, unfortunately. What I'd recommend is using FTL Profile Editor v24, deleting your mantis, and replacing it with an identical Mantis in a regular room. In addition, I'd also try to move crew through neighbouring rooms--from engines to piloting, then from piloting to doors, and then finally to the teleporter, for example.

I made the layout so weird because, as you'll notice, there's an auto-assault welded to the top of the ship hull! And I wanted to copy the auto-assault's room layout, because it's not like you can just make new rooms in what's meant to be an automated ship.

FortunaDraken wrote:Clearly this ship is meant for the hardcore who go shieldless.

You know what? Maybe, maybe. Maybe it'd be more balanced that way. But I added a shields station anyway, just because it's more kosher by FTL standards. It's not like you'll have someone manning it early on anyway, unless you get lucky with hiring crew.

Lastly, thank you all for your compliments! :D I'm glad you guys decided to take my mod out for a spin, and I'm glad that the work I put into the mod shows! :)

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