Rate the shop Augmentations

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PrinceStolos
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby PrinceStolos » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:46 am

I think the problem with giving rating to augmentations like this is that, indeed, a lot of them are situational, but situational means a LOT of things in FTL. There is what ship you are running, what your battle plan is, what sort of sectors you are going through, and some other things. With this in mind, I'll try and rate these things by separating the augments into situation tiers in which they would be most valuable.


"ASSAULT": Lasers, missiles, beams, all out ship-to-ship combat. Relies more on offensive gear than defensive.
Automated Reloader - 9.6 [Speeds up your attacks overall, and stacks]
Weapon Pre-Igniter - 9.2
Explosive Replicator - 8.8 [If you're using ballistic weapons, like missiles/crystal]
Shield Charge Booster - 7.1
Long-Ranged Scanners - 6.6
Defense Scrambler - 6.3 [If you're using ballistic weapons, like missiles/crystal]
Stealth Weapons - 5.7
Repair Arm - 4.8

"TROOPING": Teleporting, mind control, bombs, boarding drones. Crew vs. crew murderfest.
Backup DNA Bank - 9.3 [Requirement if you have a Clone Bay]
Zoltan Shield Bypass - 8.9
Reconstructive Teleport - 8.4 [Requirement if you DON'T have a Clone Bay]
Long-Ranged Scanners - 7.7
Shield Charge Booster - 7.1
FTL Jammer - 6.6
Explosive Replicator - 6.4
Lifeform Scanner - 5.7
Fire Suppression - 5.3 [Not an issue if you have maintenance crew]
Repair Arm - 5.1
Hacking Stun - 4.6


"STEALTH": Cloaking, perhaps Hacking/Mind Control. May use high-power weapons.
Stealth Weapons - 9.7 [Duh.]
Automated Reloader - 8.9
Long-Ranged Scanners - 8.7
Weapon Pre-Igniter - 7.8
Scrap Recovery Arm - 7.4
FTL Recharge Booster - 6.5 [In case you need to GTFO]
Reverse Ion Field - 6.2
Distraction Buoys - 6.0 [Less chance to get caught in fleet events]
Shield Charge Booster - 5.8
Zoltan Shield Bypass - 5.0
Hacking Stun - 4.7
FTL Jammer - 4.3
Adv. FTL Navigation - 3.6

"DRONES": Drone Control, some Ion weapons, Hacking, Bombs. Ship itself is more defensive.
Drone Recovery Arm - 9.3 [Economizing]
Drone Reactor Booster - 8.7
Reverse Ion Field - 7.6 [Don't want your drones getting knocked out]
Defense Scrambler - 7.3 [For those pesky Anti-Drones]
Automated Reloader - 6.8
Scrap Recovery Arm - 6.5
Long-Ranged Scanners - 6.0
Shield Charge Booster - 5.5
Hacking Stun - 5.1 [Might be cool, I dunno]

"GUERRILLA": Ion, Bombs, Hacking, Anti-Bio, and Fires. Defeat ships without destroying them or sending your crew.
Automated Reloader - 9.3
Drone Reactor Booster - 8.4
Weapon Pre-Igniter - 8.3
Scrap Recovery Arm - 7.6
FTL Jammer - 7.2
FTL Recharge Booster - 6.8 [In case you need to GTFO]
Distraction Buoys - 6.1 [Less chance to get caught in ASB fleet events]
Long-Ranged Scanners - 5.9
Lifeform Scanner - 5.7 [Handy in a nebula if you don't have Slugs]
Zoltan Shield Bypass - 4.9 [If you're using Bombs/Mind Control]
Hacking Stun - 4.6

Probably inaccurate, but whatever, I've already spent more time than I would've liked on it so I thought I'd at least follow through to the 'end' of it.
stvip
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby stvip » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:17 pm

LostAlone wrote:Hacking stun (You're already locking the guy in a room by himself and throwing hungry mantises at him; tasering him him first just seems uncalled for.)


Thank you for that.

Anyhow, I'm not going to rate all the Augmentations against each other. I will, however, note that Distraction Buoys is a good one to have, and will earn you extra scrap, yet is inferior in every way to the Scrap Recovery Arm. The latter nets you extra scrap without any of the additional risk of exploring another beacon (including the risk of it being empty), and has a profitable blue option - all for less cost. It's always good to have. FTL Jammer is more useful in AE, now that enemies can jump more quickly. Still not worth it, however, since escape is a rare occurrence. The FTL Recharge Booster, on the other hand might be more useful than previously thought, since now with the ASB, it might provide you with a relatively safe way to explore extra beacons in each sector. The fourth scrap-earner is the Long Ranged Scanners. It's good. Would usually still prefer the Scrap Recovery Arm.

Automated Reloaders are always good to have, regardless of weapon loadout. The Preigniter, while potentially extremely powerful, does depend on having powerful, long-charge weapons. Sadly, I only managed to get three Reloaders on an Artillery Beam ship after the AE nerf.

Shield Recharge Booster - just as Shields are usually the last system manned, so do I consider this inferior to its alternatives. Still, it would be interesting to see what a ship with three of those and an experienced crewmember can withstand.

Hacking Stun is just weird. It might have some marginal use of allowing weak boarding crews to still cause significant damage, and/or maybe a specialized use of hacking the Medbay. I used this once on an extremely powerful combination of Ion Blast + Ion Stunner + Ion Stunner + Fire Beam + Hacking, but that loadout was wondrously effective without it too.

Repair Arm (boo, hiss) needs a category of its own.
LostAlone
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby LostAlone » Fri Apr 25, 2014 11:32 am

stvip wrote:
Hacking Stun is just weird. It might have some marginal use of allowing weak boarding crews to still cause significant damage, and/or maybe a specialized use of hacking the Medbay. I used this once on an extremely powerful combination of Ion Blast + Ion Stunner + Ion Stunner + Fire Beam + Hacking, but that loadout was wondrously effective without it too.



That's pretty much my experience. The hack always locks the doors and lets you 2 vs 1 (or 4 vs 1) a single guy. You are going to kill him. Stunning him is better than not stunning him, but it doesn't really add anything.

Perhaps it was designed to give you more effective downtime out of attacking one specific subsystem, so you'd shoot it some, then hack it to fully offline it for a while and the stun stops someone repairing it. But that seems so incredibly fringe to me.

It's hard to think of a situation where hacking stun is substantially more useful than hacking alone, especially since you have to pick your hack target at the start of the fight, so you can't situationally target rooms where important repairs are happening.
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Twinge
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby Twinge » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:19 am

Alright, here's my initial pass, loosely ordered within tiers. Mostly assuming Hard difficulty here - some things can be better when scrap is more readily available.

"Awesomesauce" Tier
  • Weapon Pre-igniter - Ranges from good to great in most builds, but very pricey.
  • Zoltan Shield - Great defense throughout the game that stacks nicely with evasion.

"I'll Often Buy This" Tier
  • Automated Re-loader - Lower cooldown can mean taking down their weapons before they hit you, or could mean out-DPSing the Flagship.
  • Long-Ranged Scanners - Helps you get better beacons, especially in nebulae.
  • Scrap Recovery Arm - Going to pay for itself if you get it by Sector 4, though the opportunity cost of losing that 50 scrap in the present must be considered.

"I Might Buy This" Tier
  • Drone Recovery Arm - Very strong for specific builds, especially in Hard Mode where drone parts are going to flow less freely.
  • Distraction Buoys - Very similar to Scrap Arm; I currently estimate it's a touch worse (costs 5 more, doesn't work right away, requires fuel).
  • Backup DNA Bank - A bit of a luxury, but cheap enough to be a good insurance policy.
  • Shield Charge Booster - I'd say Shields and Shield Recharge are a bit stronger in AE; I'm happy to have one of these, though it's hard to quantify exactly how helpful it is in practice.
  • Rock Plating - With the Flagship fight being more of a DPS race now, having ~18% more effective HP can actually be pretty relevant.

"Sometimes Keep Free Ones But Probably Wouldn't Buy It" Tier
  • Reverse Ion Field - Ion is rare enough that it's still not exciting, but can be decent now. Will be stronger once it works against Pulsars.
  • Defense Scrambler - Does good work, but costs a ton (even keeping a free one costs you 40). Situationally great.
  • Zoltan Shield Bypass - Good with certain boarding setups; often doesn't make much difference.
  • Engi Med-bot Dispersal - Mostly a luxury, but can be nice to have especially early.
  • Mantis Pheromones - Quicker movement speed allows for more effective kiting strategies when boarding and getting around your ship faster is somewhat useful; like Med-bots, fine to keep or sell.
  • Stealth Weapons - Very situational, and even in the good cases generally not terribly exciting.
  • Fire Suppression - Usefulness depends on the ship layout. Really pricey to justify buying, but seems like it can be somewhat decent; need to test it further.
  • Emergency Respirators - Not particularly exciting, but does let you board Auto-Drones more reasonably and helps fighting off Lanius boarders. Especially worth keeping for a while on the Fed. C.
  • FTL Jammer - Less silly now with how fast enemies can jump away on hard, but still doesn't have enough effect that I really like it.
  • Slug Repair Gel - Another luxury item - repairing breaches is nice, but 30 scrap early is often more important.
  • Reconstructive Teleport - I still don't understand why I should be excited about this: expensive, the loss of combat skill from being cloned is only 1, and similar effects can be gained from upgrading Medbay and Teleporters.
  • Explosive Replicator - Missile weapons still suck and you won't generally be using 2 bomb weapons and also pricey at 60 (you need to fire 20 missiles to break even, which isn't hard to hit but if you're hitting it easily you're still running out of missiles even with it). Occasionally decent, often worthless.

"Does Slightly More Than Nothing" Tier
  • FTL Recharge Booster - Put that money into upgrading Engines instead, which ALSO give an evasion bonus!
  • Titanium System Casing - The purpose of this augment is to be sold to help you buy Shields. Probably worth keeping on a Shieldless run though.
  • Battery Charger - Too expensive for what it does: your batteries are still down for 10 seconds.
  • Lifeform Scanner - Does offer a few useful blue options, but 40 is a lot to play just to try and force Mind Control to be more useful when there's so many other strong Systems you could be getting instead.
  • Hacking Stun - I can construct scenarios where this is great, but those are so ridiculously specific I don't really know that I'd ever actually want to use it in reality.

"At Least It's Not Repair Arm" Tier
  • Adv. FTL Navigation - Even worse in AE now that Last Stand repair stations cannot be re-used. Would need to not advance the Rebels when used to be any good, most likely.
  • Crystal Vengeance - Also known as 'Crystal ships start with 40 free scrap'.
  • Drone Reactor Booster - At least the Engi B starts with this piece of garbage for the free scrap? I don't understand why the speed boost isn't at least 50%, or even 100% (same speed as normal crew).
  • Damaged Stasis Pod - Literally does nothing in a standard run (take the free weapon instead!) - here to emphasize how bad the Repair Arm is.

"Actively Bad to Have" Tier
  • Repair Arm - Drains a whopping 15% of your scrap for a meager 1-2 repair, and costs a hefty 50 initially to boot. Stores are not rare enough the incremental heals are helpful and you will always lose scrap in the long term. Better on Hard because of the lower scrap gains, but still a net negative to buy and use.
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project_mercy
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby project_mercy » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:51 am

I thought I might provide some alternatives to you, Twinge. Though I mostly agree with you (though I'd put the mantis pheromones in the "At Least It's Not Repair Arm" tier.

Twinge wrote:Distraction Buoys - Very similar to Scrap Arm; I currently estimate it's a touch worse (costs 5 more, doesn't work right away, requires fuel).


I view it more as a way to maximize your points. You get more hops in, so you get more shots. To that end, I think it's actually superior, baring the fuel issues you mentioned. If you're capturing ships though, it seems fuel is less of an issue. I try to hit Distraction Buoys up until maybe sector 6.

Usually in sector 7 I vendor the distraction buoy, or possibly the scrap arm depending on my position and if I'm going to try farming sector 8. So, you recoup half the cost.

Twinge wrote:Reconstructive Teleport - I still don't understand why I should be excited about this: expensive, the loss of combat skill from being cloned is only 1, and similar effects can be gained from upgrading Medbay and Teleporters.


This augment really shines with the clone bay. Every time you cycle the Teleporter, they're good to go again. You don't have to take the XP hit if they live in the next fight. In fact, you can even heal the rest of your crew by popping them over to the enemy ship. As drone recovery arm is to drone bay, I feel reconstructive teleport is to the clone bay. At least on a boarding ship.
itg
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby itg » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:26 am

project_mercy wrote:
Twinge wrote:Reconstructive Teleport - I still don't understand why I should be excited about this: expensive, the loss of combat skill from being cloned is only 1, and similar effects can be gained from upgrading Medbay and Teleporters.


This augment really shines with the clone bay. Every time you cycle the Teleporter, they're good to go again. You don't have to take the XP hit if they live in the next fight. In fact, you can even heal the rest of your crew by popping them over to the enemy ship. As drone recovery arm is to drone bay, I feel reconstructive teleport is to the clone bay. At least on a boarding ship.


Since you can "heal" your boarders by suffocating them after every fight if you have a clone bay, most of the time the reconstructive teleporter is 70 scrap just to save a little bit of skill, which is definitely not worth it. I think it would be pretty nice with Lanius boarders, though, since you can't suffocate them.
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Twinge
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby Twinge » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:17 am

project_mercy wrote:I view Buoys more as a way to maximize your points.


Sure, they're good for that I guess, but score is a pretty meaningless metric in FTL - you can farm Rebel Elites endlessly for score if desired.
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recumbentrider
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby recumbentrider » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:12 am

Just a few random 'augmentation' comments:
  • In the 'old' FTL, I used to almost always buy an Automated Reloader if I saw one at a store. Since in the Advanced Edition it 'only' increases reloading speed by 10% instead of 15% (like it used to), I do not feel as strongly about buying it. I still like the automated reloader; it is just that it is no longer on my 'must-buy' list.
  • If I am using a hacking system, I am very inclined to get a Defense Scrambler, since this assures that my hacking drone will always get through (including the 'drone' phase of the flagship battle).
  • If I am using boarders or bomb weapons, I am strongly inclined to buy a Zoltan Shield Bypass if I see one in a store, even if it is only for that third-stage flagship battle.
  • In my one successful AE run with the Shivan, I was very glad to find a fire-suppression system; since that ship has no doors to vent rooms, that augment was worth its weight in gold (or should I say scrap?).
  • If I am using boarders, I really like to get the Reconstructive Teleport, especially if I have a clone bay instead of a med-bay.
The only augment that I buy nearly every time I can find it (no matter what ship I am using) is the long-range scanners. If I find a Pre-Ingiter, I will usually do what I can (i.e., sell everything that isn't nailed down) to buy it.
slattikarma
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby slattikarma » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:26 am

I guess I rate the Hacking Stun higher than the other posters in this thread. I found it very effective when hacking medbays. Normally, when you hack the medbay the crew would leave or force their way out, and normally had already blown the doors up. Hacking combined with Stun means instant death for everyone in there. Very useful for destroying the crew in the flagship very quickly.

That said, this was before I realised cutting the power to hacking allows the crew in without destroying the doors. So in previous runs, I kept having the problem of crews breaking the door to get into the medbay, and once I had hacked it then just escaping through the broken door. I guess if you let them in via powering down, then activate the hack and lock the doors, they may die trying to force open the door, which makes the hacking stun not as necessary. (Although still useful for killing four crew in the enemy flagship when they are in the medbay. Four crew could probably break the door fast enough not to die).
spacecadet13
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Re: Rate the shop Augmentations

Postby spacecadet13 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:06 am

I just do not get the love for the Pre-Igniter! It's only worthwhile having if you've got a weapon loadout that can easily get through/past the other ship's defences in one volley and do significant damage, and if you've got a weapon loadout that can do that, then you don't actually need the Pre-Igniter and can spend your 120 scrap on something - several things - far more worthwhile. If some of that first volley misses or gets blocked and you can't do damage (or much damage), then the Igniter is just an ornament that cost you 120 taking up an augment slot for the rest of the fight. It's a luxury purchase that makes a powerful ship somewhat more powerful - you'll be a little faster at winning battles that you're gonna win anyway without it. It doesn't make a weak ship stronger at all, if you're struggling for firepower relative to how far through the run you are, you're still going to struggle with the Pre Ignitor...excepting one ship. Yeah, for one ship out of the 28, with one specific weapon, it's terrific, but even then, what its worth when you start running into ships with two/three/four shields? Not much, unless you've grabbed other weapons and bumped up your defence, which is gonna be tough having splashed out so much scrap to buy it instead of grabbing shields, upgrading engines and stealth. Hell, for the stealth/glaive, hacking is a miles better alternative - cheaper, gives blue options and can be used more than once in the battle.

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