TimAy! wrote:...I find the game to be mediocre despite the many things I like about it, not because I hate it in its entirety.
You know when i think about it, i have to agree that FTL actually is mediocre in many ways. My brain just filters out a lot of it. Call it bias. If you would argue that the game doesn't deserve to be this much fun or that there are flaws that should be corrected, i would agree, but that really is
a matter of taste. We all use different criteria when we decide how much to forgive games or wheter or not the game was done right.
To most of those that like FTL, it's a no brainer. Those who dislike it, usually find the diffculty annoying. The game mechanics divide opinions much deeper than just a like/dislike verdict. One of the features that sets FTL apart from many games is that it doesn't have a foolproof strategy. This is mostly because the steps ahead are highly unpredictabe except for the constant presence of danger. Every choice a player makes is a bet or sorts. Luck naturally plays a huge role but so does skill. There are no moral paths or safe paths, every playthrough wildly differs from the others. The random elemets are presented to the player but the player must choose. The skill isn't so much about micromanaging crew and weapons as it is about analysing the challenge and figuring out not the ideal
solution, but one the player can succesfully complete. Sometimes it's to take minimal damage and flee. Or the choices could be between crap item A, and crap item B. Maybe it's how to survive several jumps with 1HP left. Or it could be an elegant solution that silences the enemy without either side firing a shot. I consider it a skill to be able to balance the various needs of your ship as you progress through the game in and outside of combat. Combat is about weapons (if you count crew as weapons also, and they count imo), but the overall game and it's succesfull completion hang in the balance every time an event presents a choice to the player. There are a lot of choices and they aren't allways good ones.
One review described FTL as a game where you don't play a cremember or captain, you play the ship. I agree. The ship is *you*. Your alter ego in the game. You build it up and level it. And learn what kinds of traps there are and how to deal with them.
I could have a better wins/losses record if i could be arsed to try and improve it. I counted 60 damn failed attempts to complete the game in a shieldsless ship. Not to prove anything or brag, but because it seemed like the most unlikely stunt to pull off. A crowning moment of awesome. I know of only two succesfull attempts. Trying to win is difficult enough but to give yourself a disadvantage isn't neccessarily madness. It wasn't fun though, it was exhausting and pointless, but i was determined to try. Making it to stage2 of the boss twice fight feels like an acievement despite what the stats say.
I have a recorded playthrough of a victory
that absolutely steamrolled the game. You don't have to sit though all of it. Most of it is a repeating series of boarding victories against ships that forgot to install medbays. Only one or two fights were trouble. Luck made it easy, and i admit that skill was not a major factor but it was still my skill and barins that guided the ship from beacon to beacon all the way to victory. Other attempts to duplicate this game could end in disaster because there were close to a 100 steps taken. But even though it's my favourite ship and it would be easier to score victories in it, i dont play it much. That one time, it was especially fun. But i havent played that ship since.
It's not that FLT players are weirdoes who like to lose a lot. Winning is satisfying, but the game is unforgiving. Mistakes end in failures. Then there are other types of ships that promise a different playstyle, and it takes some defeats to learn.
Ultimately the individual verdict will break down to a simple question: Is it fun? To lose, to win, and to play.