Am I doing something wrong?

General discussion about the game.
M1ST3RT0RGU3
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Am I doing something wrong?

Postby M1ST3RT0RGU3 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:36 am

I have logged 78 hours into FTL. I've used the Kestrel probably 92% of the time, having not really cared much for Type A or B of the Engi ship, and only just recently unlocked the Zoltan ship.

All I want to know is...

HOW DO I BEAT THIS FUCKING GAME?!

Seriously! I've only ever gotten to Sector 6 ONCE! RNG LOVES to fuck me over at any point possible on every single run attempt! Am I doing something wrong? Is there some special method of playing or using/unlocking the different ships that I'm completely unaware of?

I seriously have trouble sometimes believing that anyone has beaten this game. It's fantastic, a true challenge of micromanagement and quick thinking, but RNG plays so heavily into it that some things end up being completely out of control and impossible to beat way too early.

Just to give an example, on my last run I used the base model Kestrel (since I have yet to get any achievement for it other than Tough Little Ship which I JUST GOT TODAY), and ended up with a Heavy Laser I and a Burst Laser I along with the starter weapons by Sector 3. Got them randomly from destroying ships. Didn't have any obscenely difficult enemies to face, until I end up losing just a few beacons into Sector 3 from a 2-Shield ship in the middle of an asteroid field with 2 Heavy Lasers, a Beam Drone, a Combat Drone, and what appeared to be ridiculously high evasion. I only had 2 Shields and only decent Evasion, so I went from roughly 24 Hull down to 0 within 1.5 minutes, myself only having actually landed 1 projectile from each weapon.
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4n4rch1st
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Re: Am I doing something wrong?

Postby 4n4rch1st » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:40 am

Here are some tips to help you:

1. Don't accept every event. Sure, some have nice rewards, but fighting alien spiders all day is sure to get you killed sooner or later.

From the sounds of it, it looks like this is your biggest problem. Sure, it can be entirely RNG based, but that's only if you allow yourself to be at the mercy of luck.

1.a) Know the outcomes of most events.

This will help you make informed decisions on whether or not you should risk an event.

2. Get shields level 4 (2 layers of shields) IMMEDIATELY.

So many enemies in sector 1 and 2 can't do anything to 2 layers of shields.

For a more detailed plan as to how to upgrade your ship, this should be a decent one. (I'm assuming that you're playing on easy)
Sector 1: Lv 4 Shields
Sector 2: Lv 3-4 Engines
Sector 3: Get more weaponry
Sector 4: Lv 6 Shields
Sector 5: Lv 5-6 Engines
Sector 6 and 7: Focus on more firepower.

Of course, it isn't perfect, but it works.

3. Engines are important. Sure, it means you're relying on luck using them, but you won't be the one laughing when an enemy brings 2 missile weapons to the table.

4. Buy weapons from shops occasionally. If you need more firepower, shops are a mostly reliable way to get some more.

5. You aren't the biggest fish in the sea. If you come across a very difficult ship, just run.

Again, this looks like one of your problems.

6. Volley! Don't auto fire.

From the sounds of your last game, you should've had more than enough power to kill the other ship. 1 Burst MK2 (3 shots) + 1 Burst MK1 (2 shots) + 1 Heavy Laser (1 shot) = 6 shots. Plus the Artemis means that the ship's shields would instantly go down to one layer if the missile hits. And the asteroid field.
Let's also assume a 30% dodge rate (which, by the way, is still ludicrous for sector 3). That still means that approximately 4 shots hit.

7. Know what to aim at.

If enemy shields are weak enough, just shoot weapons. If their shields are stronger, shoot at shields. If they keep dodging, shoot their piloting.

If you need help beyond these tips, please reply.
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M1ST3RT0RGU3
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Re: Am I doing something wrong?

Postby M1ST3RT0RGU3 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:32 pm

4n4rch1st wrote:1. Don't accept every event. Sure, some have nice rewards, but fighting alien spiders all day is sure to get you killed sooner or later.

From the sounds of it, it looks like this is your biggest problem. Sure, it can be entirely RNG based, but that's only if you allow yourself to be at the mercy of luck.

1.a) Know the outcomes of most events.

This will help you make informed decisions on whether or not you should risk an event.

Like I said, 78 hours. I know there's still plenty of events I haven't seen before, but considering I rarely get past Sector 3 I think I've seen most of the events the early game has to offer. And yeah, that's one of the events I almost always refuse to do unless I have one of the alternate options (oddly enough though I succeeded 3 times in a row without other options yesterday).

4n4rch1st wrote:6. Volley! Don't auto fire.

I fully understand the importance of pacing your shots. I only ever use auto-fire whenever I really, really need to bombard 1 system with lots of lasers.

4n4rch1st wrote:From the sounds of your last game, you should've had more than enough power to kill the other ship. 1 Burst MK2 (3 shots) + 1 Burst MK1 (2 shots) + 1 Heavy Laser (1 shot) = 6 shots. Plus the Artemis means that the ship's shields would instantly go down to one layer if the missile hits. And the asteroid field.
Let's also assume a 30% dodge rate (which, by the way, is still ludicrous for sector 3). That still means that approximately 4 shots hit.

Honestly, that fight was one of those "had to be there" things. It wasn't a lack of firepower. In fact, I'd say it was completely shit-luck that killed me there. Asteroids seemed like they were appearing more often than usual and rarely missed, the first thing the enemy hit was my shields so the drones were able to rip through me, they DODGED (not blocked) most of my missed shots, my engines were constantly hit so I couldn't jump or dodge, etc. It just did not feel comfortable letting me do ANYTHING there.

4n4rch1st wrote:7. Know what to aim at.

If enemy shields are weak enough, just shoot weapons. If their shields are stronger, shoot at shields. If they keep dodging, shoot their piloting.

I've kinda figured to follow this philosophy. It sounds counter-intuitive in theory, but in practice focusing on the enemy's strongest points first tends to bring victory more often than taking advantage of the weak areas.

All in all, I pretty much understood everything you said before I posted this thread. It's not that I'm still inexperienced, it's that to me it feels like all my experience is worthless because of how much luck and random chance goes into 85% of the game.

Also, I've played on Easy maybe twice. It might sound like I'm trying to be a hard-ass (and maybe I am), but I don't like playing games on anything less than at least normal. If I don't feel like I'm experiencing the game at it's base challenge, as it's meant to be played, I don't get any enjoyment out of it. That might just be my problem here, the refusal to make it easier on myself, but I refuse to play the game otherwise.
4n4
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Re: Am I doing something wrong?

Postby 4n4 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:40 am

In FTL, easy is actually normal difficulty. Normal is hard, and hard is somewhere between nintendo hard and deity difficulty level in civ games.
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4n4rch1st
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Re: Am I doing something wrong?

Postby 4n4rch1st » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:26 am

Wait.

You're playing NORMAL?

Ohhhh.

That makes sense.

Don't play on normal. Until you've won a few games.

Normal is normal. For hardcore, roguelike-loving gamers. AKA the beta testers who got in the group by paying a lot of money on kickstarter.

And Easy is Normal for everybody else.

Also:
8. Try different ships!
8.a) Try and get new ships. Look for "Homeworlds". But considering you've played for a while, you should know that.

9. Watch someone else do it.

I couldn't even get NEAR sector 4. At least, before watching Vanguard of Valor. Then I was able to get to The Last Stand.

For the amount that FTL is based on luck, I'd say its nearer to 40%. Hell, maybe even 30%.

But seeing how much you know, tell us what you DON'T know. That should help clear up any troubles.
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stylesrj
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Re: Am I doing something wrong?

Postby stylesrj » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:59 pm

Yeah, Normal is rather hard to play.
Took me a bit of time to work my way up there after several Easy victories and defeats, then I watched other people playing the game and I learned quite a few things.

If your ship is damaged, don't spend money fixing the hull to full. Repair only up to 66% (When the Hull bar turns green)
That'll save you a lot of Scrap as you never know when someone might give you a free hull repair or something.
icepick
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Re: Am I doing something wrong?

Postby icepick » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:17 pm

I will also back up the easy runs. I had to start there until I could win. Then I moved up to normal. Don't think I've bothered with hard, as I'm not a masochist.

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