Favorite Parts of FTL

General discussion about the game.
TimAy!
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:08 am

Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby TimAy! » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:41 am

1) Music
2) Sprites

It's too bad that the gameplay itself is so terrible. Nothing interesting about cheap deaths, random store inventory, a ridiculously hard boss who breaks game rules (an old game convention that should have died out long ago,) not to mention the extraordinarily worthless tutorial.

The defenses I keep hearing for this game are same three tired (and vacuous) arguments over and over:

1) Trial & Error fixes everything
2) Luck is fun ("sometimes it just doesn't go your way")
3) You're not using the correct research/ units/ weapons etc.

I'll address them in order. First, there are no continues. You can't save-load your way to victory (at least, not without save scumming). Trial and error might give you a general idea for what weapons are available, but that doesn't fix an enemy ship randomly breaching your O2 and Medic Bay at the same time.

Next, luck is fun in Las Vegas; it should be a minimal part of a game that is purported to be "strategic." I hear the same delusion repeated in various forms:

"If you get free parts in the first 5 sectors the game is easy!"
"Well, sometimes you get fires in three rooms simultaneously, but only sometimes!"
"If you meet lots of slavers you'll have a full team for free!"
etc.

The meta-argument here is: a perfect set of random events will let you win. I don't think I need to explain why this is not fun. Maybe if you're a huge fan of Yahtzee! but I grew out of that when I was 8 years old. Sure, you could, in theory, just try the same "optimal strategy" a few dozen times until you get lucky. I've seen several forum threads talking about how stupendous that is, as if doing the same thing over and over with no real control of the outcome is awesome. Sounds like glorified gambling to me, and at least the drinks are free in Vegas.

Lastly, the "I am so smart" argument. Some games--even rogue-likes--have lots of randomness mitigated by strategy. Examples include Diablo 2, Dark Gate, DoomRL, heck even Elder Signs:Omens or Minecraft could make the list depending on how much leeway you give the genre. Whichever examples you choose, the important point is that these games have strong correlation between a good plan/strategy/character build/etc. and victory. In other words, if you have a good strategy, you're significantly more likely to win those games than if you do not.

The (admittedly anecdotal) evidence shows that FTL doesn't have much connection between the supposed strategy component and actual completion of the game. The best ratio I've seen was around 26 runs /1 victory on Normal. (If you've got a better ratio, please share the screenshot...) Assuming this was using a "good strategy" that's pretty terrible. My amateur ratio (including all of the restarts and achievement grinding) was about 37/1. If the difference between an optimal choice making system and a mediocre one is 1% that tells me that your choices don't make a meaningful difference. This "strategy" of making the right choices is an illusion. (delusion?) But you know what? Even if one stipulates, for the sake of argument, that there is a "perfect strategy" (always boarding, using the ion cannon exploit, [insert your fan favorite here],) that means that the other options available to you are "viable" in appearance only. In other words, the choices are illusions.

It's a shame. The game is cheap, and it superficially appealed to many of my preferences: indie, difficult, good music, strategic. I was ready to give this game all kinds of chances; I set the bar pretty low. And it still couldn't meet those meager expectations.
Last edited by TimAy! on Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
UltraMantis
Posts: 2141
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby UltraMantis » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:47 pm

I liked the game instantly. I could not put it down for two weeks. I could sing it praises but i could not convince you that you should like the game too.

You just dont like it, that's ok. It can't appeal to everyone. Most of the points you make don't even occur to me, and some of the frustrating things i have read others complain about also don't matter. But that's because i like the game, so i'm biased and blind and most of the 'bad stuff' just doesn't exist. :D I'm still reeling from the 10-brutal losses in a row the game handed me recently (despite my experience and knack for surviving bad luck, and general awesomeness) but i know it will be fun and appealing the next time i play. And i could not care less for the wins/loss ratio, (125/4 i belive) i play for fun not for statistical analysis or even victories. And victories in FTL are longshots by design, since there's no unbeatable strategy, only the daftest luck can make a player invincible but that happens very very rarely.

<3 FTL. That's what makes the difference for me.

1) all of it ;)
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ExtraCheesyPie
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:37 pm

Re: Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby ExtraCheesyPie » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:59 pm

UltraMantis wrote:I liked the game instantly. I could not put it down for two weeks. I could sing it praises but i could not convince you that you should like the game too.

You just dont like it, that's ok. It can't appeal to everyone. Most of the points you make don't even occur to me, and some of the frustrating things i have read others complain about also don't matter. But that's because i like the game, so i'm biased and blind and most of the 'bad stuff' just doesn't exist. :D I'm still reeling from the 10-brutal losses in a row the game handed me recently (despite my experience and knack for surviving bad luck, and general awesomeness) but i know it will be fun and appealing the next time i play. And i could not care less for the wins/loss ratio, (125/4 i belive) i play for fun not for statistical analysis or even victories. And victories in FTL are longshots by design, since there's no unbeatable strategy, only the daftest luck can make a player invincible but that happens very very rarely.

<3 FTL. That's what makes the difference for me.

1) all of it ;)


this.

I guess the random rogue-like elements aren't for everybody. I play a lot of Binding Of Isaac and other randomly generated games, so I'm used to the :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: ing dumb deaths.
I hate FTL...

But I love it at the same time...
spacecadet13
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:10 pm

Re: Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby spacecadet13 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:03 pm

The TLDR version of the original post is this: I don't like losing. But I'll say I like "difficult" games, 'cause I'm just such a hardcore E gamer.

And if I do lose, I want to save load back to where I went wrong, so I can improve my "strategy" - please note how this is totally different to the "trial and error" I complain FTL is based on.

Ooooh, and I'll complain about random store inventory, as if having everying you need whenever you want would improve that "strategy", and as for the game having a "ridiculously hard boss", yeah, who ever heard of 'bosses' in a game being difficult, or even having powers/abilities that nothing else has, that's just crazy game design.

Stick to Farmville, you'll be happier.

Yeah, normal mode FTL is crazy hard, and you'll lose far more than you win - but that's the point (and the fun!). And if you don't get that, well, then, you just don't get it. Sorry.
azelea
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:56 am

Re: Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby azelea » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:04 pm

You prefer strategy over luck. That's cool. Why don't you try some excellent german board games like 'imperial' or real time strategy such as 'starcraft 2'. Plenty of strategy, very little luck (no dice rolls).

If you're curious to know, people like this for very different reasons than what you try to get out of a game. People don't play this game to win. They play it to experience stories. You could almost say they play to lose. I have to admit although my recent run where Í unlocked two ships was fun, I've had more fun when luck just screwed me royally.

There's something very pleasant about knowing you've made almost perfect choices and then seeing your ship burn, breached and quickly falling apart from one second to the next. It's funny and it never ceases to make me laugh. There's something even better about clawing your way back from that and surviving with 2 hull points and 2 crew members.

But the absolute best thing is when you've been able to fully repair your ship that was focused on boarding, you finally find the rock unlock battle for the first time, your ship is on autopilot with a repair drone (in case something happens to the teleporter) and then you don't know that the ship will jump away when it still has about 10 hull left.
Since my mantisses were destroying his weapons, they were taken away from me when the rock ship jumped.

I bet the rocks ate them.

Funny shit.

That's why I love this game.
anzuu7
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:47 pm

Re: Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby anzuu7 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:07 pm

I agree the music is excellent.

Personally while I find the overall game to be luck-based, the micromanagement (crisis management) is very entertaining and unique. Definitely reminds me of Star Trek ("Beam them over, Scotty! GIORDI FIX THOSE ENGINES!! Commander Worf...please stop missing...Nice dodge, Sulu!")

I feel like the ship combat system was awesome, and provides an excellent framework for sequels!
Farlark
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:28 am

Re: Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby Farlark » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:33 am

anzuu7 wrote:Personally while I find the overall game to be luck-based[...]

In all fairness to the game, the word "luck-based" means (ostensibly) that the core gameplay is based on luck. An example would be Candyland. It's all luck. FTL, on the other hand, like Poker, has a heavy luck element. Some people like the particular flavor of risk management and adaptive strategy that FTL provides; some don't. It's plainly inaccurate, though, to say that the outcome of the game (or, more importantly, the gameplay itself) all comes down to chance.
TimAy!
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:08 am

Re: Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby TimAy! » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:26 am

Well, I have to admit that I'm pleasantly surprised: most of the replies were courteous and well-reasoned. Look, I'm not really saying that I think FTL is bad, per se, but just that I disagree with the paradigms behind the central game mechanics. Maybe that is a matter of taste. Again, I find the game to be mediocre despite the many things I like about it, not because I hate it in its entirety.

It seems like many of the people who like the game (both here and in real life) enjoy it while they're losing--maybe even because they lose so often--even when they've got a good plan. Personally, I can't understand that. I *do* enjoy difficult games (e.g. Dark Souls, Super Meat Boy, Super Ghouls n' Ghosts, Ikaruga, you name it), but I also like to be able to see results from improving my skills. When I die in Dark Souls, it's because I made a mistake. (Usually an informed mistake, at that.) I just am not seeing that with FTL. Whether you call it "luck based" or "luck driven" is mostly an argument of nomenclature, the practical reality is what I'm concerned with.

Anyway, even though I am severely disappointed, I haven't given up on the game entirely. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind eventually. If I do, you'll be the first to know.
Fangz
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:57 pm

Re: Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby Fangz » Tue Dec 11, 2012 7:55 am

Some ppl follow this sequence in FTL:

dies a whole lot --> get frustrated --> persists --> get frustrated again --> get xped --> wins --> dies a whole less

Others follow this one:

dies a whole lot --> complains
ZiMMy
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:14 am

Re: Favorite Parts of FTL

Postby ZiMMy » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:01 pm

In FTL winning is fun, losing is fun, the gameplay itself is fun, even when you don't win.
Sorry for my really bad english.

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