Poll: best ship on hard difficulty (other than Crystal B)

All your guides, strategy discussions, request for help on how to play go here. Please use [SPOILER] if relevant.
Levgre
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:35 pm

Poll: best ship on hard difficulty (other than Crystal B)

Postby Levgre » Wed May 21, 2014 12:57 am

I haven't decided yet, I'm going to test out what other people suggest. But I am going to put one up for consideration... Zoltan A. It is extremely 'self-sufficient', requiring few fortunate turns (weapons, systems, etc.) for a successful run.

It's incredibly strong early game, which is I think a much larger struggle on hard difficulty, than on normal. Then there are just a number of other perks, protection from missiles with the shield, more energy in plasma storms (due to less energy being in reactor), level 2 doors and shield for strong anti-boarding measures from start.

The other one I was thinking of was Red-Tail, but that ship has to replace its whole weapons layout. I haven't unlocked Lanius B, I could see that as the top spot also.
itg
Posts: 130
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:37 am

Re: Poll: best ship on hard difficulty (other than Crystal B

Postby itg » Wed May 21, 2014 1:13 am

I'm in the middle of a Zoltan A run right now, and it's definitely better than I remembered, but I still wouldn't call it the second best ship. Mantis B and Lanius B are probably the top candidates for that spot.

Mantis B has the best starting defenses of any ship and the insanely good 4-man teleporter. Its only weakness is no way to get through Zoltan shields with the starting equipment, but the high value of that equipment more than compensates for the lost scrap.

Lanius B is a candidate. too because it's both a boarding ship and a gunship. It starts with both a teleporter (with strong boarding team) and the best weapon in the game, and on top of that it gets mind control.
project_mercy
Posts: 117
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:31 am

Re: Poll: best ship on hard difficulty (other than Crystal B

Postby project_mercy » Wed May 21, 2014 1:15 am

I would say probably one of the following, probably in this order.

  • The Shrike (Lanius B)
  • The Kestrel (Kestrel A)
  • The Basilisk (Mantis B)
  • The Adjusticator (Zoltan A)

The reason for this list:

First is scrap is tight, and weapons are dilluted with AE. This means starting with a weapon you will use throughout the game is a huge savings. Shrike starts with ADV Flak. Kestrel starts with BL2 and Artemis. The Adjudicator starts with a Halberd Beam. All of these go the distance.

Second, I find most of my damage (which repair costs scrap, which we've established is less avaiailable) comes from missiles. This means that a defense drone, cloak and (somewhat) a zoltan shield can reduce repair costs. Mantis B comes with the defense drone and two shields.

Third, having a teleporter early is a huge boon. While the Flagship fight is slightly less easy with a teleporter, it's still compelling for taking out two of the guns. Obviously, 4-man teleporter is huge, so nod to Mantis B.

Four, beam weapons are really nice. Anecdotally, enemy ships get a bonus to evade (or you get a penalty to hit) on hard. They still can't dodge beam weapons. A flak I (or adv flak) or BL2 and a beam can really mess things up. I prefer the Halberd Beam.


I would say an honorable mention goes to Stealth A and B. I know, it sounds crazy. And yes, you get a bunch of failed starts. But it starts with a cloak (a huge investment) and decent weapons or augs you can sell if you find them. Clever usage of the cloak can reduce damage taken, which results in a decent game. You're stuck with only 3 weapon slots, so you need to pick up drones to augment it, which goes well with the defense drone suggestion.

Right now, my Hard high score is a run with Stealth B. I haven't hit the Hidden sector yet in any game, so that's just straight 8 sectors. I didn't have a scrap recovery arm or distraction beacons and my score was 67##.
User avatar
Twinge
Posts: 278
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:04 am
Contact:

Re: Poll: best ship on hard difficulty (other than Crystal B

Postby Twinge » Wed May 21, 2014 12:14 pm

Here's my current AE Tier 1:

Carnelian
The Shrike
The Basilisk
The Theseus
Red-Tail
The Torus
Tetragon

(Still has plenty of room to move around; ship strengths feel a lot closer in general with AE.)

Boarding got some big nerfs, but 4-mana Teleporters are still insane. Mind Control boarding early is just as good and offers some neat tricks, and the Adv. Flak is of course ridiculous. Kestrel B and Engi A are still powerhouses and Engi C is fairly comparable to Engi in overall strength.

The Zoltan A still needs something to do reasonable damage by Sector 3-4; this is more reliable with Hacking, but still a definite issue. Kestrel A has solid starting weaponry, but NO other advantages - mediocre crew, very bad layout, and poor starting systems.


project_mercy wrote:Anecdotally, enemy ships get a bonus to evade on hard.


They start by manning their Engines first, and thus have more evasion early on.

project_mercy wrote:I would say an honorable mention goes to Stealth A and B. I know, it sounds crazy. And yes, you get a bunch of failed starts.


I primarily rate ships based on their ability to win -- this means no resetting or early deaths. There are different ways to rate them, of course.

project_mercy wrote:Right now, my Hard high score is a run with Stealth B.


Score has incredibly little to do with the power level of a ship; it's not a good judge of much of anything I'm afraid.
FTL Tips & Tricks Video Series

Catch my stream on Twitch

Improve game balance, fix bugs, and have more decisions: Twinge's Balance & Bugfix Mod
Levgre
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:35 pm

Re: Poll: best ship on hard difficulty (other than Crystal B

Postby Levgre » Wed May 21, 2014 3:28 pm

"The Zoltan A still needs something to do reasonable damage by Sector 3-4; this is more reliable with Hacking, but still a definite issue."

This isn't necessarily true, you have the leto missile which can certainly bring enemy shields at those sectors down to 1 bubble. Of course the missiles won't last very long with a leto, but they build up in sectors 1 and 2, and can last 1-2 sectors. I've found it extremely low risk to get absolutely nothing to temporarily bring down enemy shields to 1 bubble by that time. (hasn't happened yet, in 6 games)
spacecadet13
Posts: 126
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:10 pm

Re: Poll: best ship on hard difficulty (other than Crystal B

Postby spacecadet13 » Wed May 21, 2014 11:45 pm

I find plenty of instances where the leto hits and does nothing to the system - no shields down, no weapons down - just 1 damage to the enemy hull, due to there being one 'extra' unpowered bar on that system. Just about any other 1 bar weapon is better, with the Heavy Laser I or Ion Blast I being ideal early on - sell the leto and slot them right in without the need to upgrade reactor or weapons.
Levgre
Posts: 118
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:35 pm

Re: Poll: best ship on hard difficulty (other than Crystal B

Postby Levgre » Thu May 22, 2014 12:17 am

spacecadet13 wrote:I find plenty of instances where the leto hits and does nothing to the system - no shields down, no weapons down - just 1 damage to the enemy hull, due to there being one 'extra' unpowered bar on that system. Just about any other 1 bar weapon is better, with the Heavy Laser I or Ion Blast I being ideal early on - sell the leto and slot them right in without the need to upgrade reactor or weapons.


While it is slower to work, it does have the benefit of 'permanent' system damage. and when evade is still low-ish 2-3 shots is usually enough to reduce shields for the halberd. And it can fire 2 shots while you wait for the Halberd, anyways.

All I can say is in my experience it very consistently does the job, while ships still have just 2 shield bars. Don't find it necessary to spend my scrap on a sub-optimal weapon I wouldn't want to keep.

Not saying Zoltan A wouldn't be better off with HL1, and especially IB 1. But the leto does keeps you out of hot water, not being able to do anything to a 2 shield ship.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests