Balance thoughts after 59 hours.

General discussion about the game.
Magnianhk
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:48 pm

Re: Balance thoughts after 59 hours.

Postby Magnianhk » Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:29 pm

Tal wrote:For me, the biggest issue FTL has is teleporting. For a small investment (75scrap), you can consistently capture ships - which has huge benefits - more scrap, more crew, and more weapons. It pays for itself very quickly.
You also don't need to invest in weapons (a bomb or missile to take out a medical bay/ reduce their firepower) is all you really need. Because weapons and weapons systems are so pricey, not having to do this lets you spend more on defenses, which means you take less damage, and get more money etc etc. It's also brilliant against the last boss. To put it simply, teleporting is reliable, predictable, and too good.


I disagree that teleporting is too good. In order for teleport to be reliable you need to upgrade it right away, otherwise you risk losing your crew if your tele is on cooldown. This means a huge initial investment. Not only do you need to upgrade it for it to be effective, but you need proper crew in order to invade an enemy ship. Mantis and Rockmen are my favorite, but if you don't have any of those it's more of a gamble. And every crew member that you designate as invasion is one less crew member manning systems on your own ship. Teleporting is also slow to win battles and without adequate defenses that buy you time while your invasion party does damage, you can take a lot of damage from their weapons, especially missiles.

Teleporting is also not effective against unmanned drones, and it's only effective against the last boss when taking out the weapon systems. You cannot beat the last boss with a teleport strategy alone. You need to do damage.

75 scrap is not necessarily a small investment because that's almost a double shield upgrade (100 scrap is 2x shields and 2 energy to support it), or more points into evade or weapons systems. It makes me wonder if you consistently play on easy. I rarely upgrade into a tele strategy simply because I am more focused on getting weapons that will secure any kind of victory, i.e., lasers.

Tal wrote:The boss
I like the last boss - he's a nice challenge at the end of the game. But taken with the rest of the game, he creates a weird problem. The problem is because he's such a challenge compared to the rest of the game, you need to have a very good run to have to beat him. On most winning attempts, I get lucky/do well in the early sectors, and then can farm for the next 4-5 in relative safety. This was ok the first time, but not so afterwards.

In contrast to this, all my favourite games of FTL involve going from crisis to crisis, limping to a store, not being able to afford what I want because I'm spending so much on repairs, and each battle nearly being my last. But if you have a game like that, there's no chance at the end. This tension between the most enjoyable games, and winning the game seems strange, but I don't have solutions for this.


I completely agree with this. The last boss is somewhat disconnected from the rest of the game. I can usually tell if I will win the game or not based on the first 3 sectors. If I am behind in my shields or weapons, or am spending too much repairing or getting fuel then I know I won't have enough later. Some ships, such as the Engi or Stealth or even Rock, I almost need to get a few lucky weapon drops for my games to go well. When you start going up against level 3 shields and can't do damage you are going to lose.

Tal wrote:Missiles

Missiles are fine for enemies, but for players they're just much worse than bombs, because doing hull damage is way less important than disabling systems, so missiles aren't efficient.


I agree with this too, I think missiles are a waste of time. I will use them if they drop for me and I have a few extra missiles sitting around but in general they are slow and easy to counter. Defense drones will shut you down if you go with missiles, PLUS they use ammunition.

My ideal strategy is a couple of burst lasers mk. II, a hull laser, and a teleporting bomb, either breach or fire. 8 shots and teleporting bombs is going to win every time.
Madhax
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:52 pm

Re: Balance thoughts after 59 hours.

Postby Madhax » Sun Nov 04, 2012 3:04 am

Magnianhk wrote:I disagree that teleporting is too good. In order for teleport to be reliable you need to upgrade it right away, otherwise you risk losing your crew if your tele is on cooldown. This means a huge initial investment.


False. Level 1 teleporter is good enough in most situations. You only need an upgraded teleporter if your boarders are vastly inferior, you're attempting to board an AI ship, or you're facing the boss. Plus, upgrading the teleporter is dirt cheap.

Not only do you need to upgrade it for it to be effective, but you need proper crew in order to invade an enemy ship. Mantis and Rockmen are my favorite, but if you don't have any of those it's more of a gamble. And every crew member that you designate as invasion is one less crew member manning systems on your own ship.


There are enough crew slots to board without sacrificing manpower aboard your own ship. Only four systems can be manned, and manning shields doesn't even matter very much.

Teleporting is also slow to win battles and without adequate defenses that buy you time while your invasion party does damage, you can take a lot of damage from their weapons, especially missiles.


Teleporting is often the fastest way to win battles. With experienced boarders, killing crew is much faster than disabling shields and dealing hull damage unless you have amazing weapons. And that hardly matters, because boarding doesn't reduce your defenses. Your ship can still dodge, absorb shots with shields, or deploy defensive drones. The only logic behind boarders hurting your survivability is if you're using, for example, one of the Mantis ships, and that's an early-game tradeoff that balances out later.

Teleporting is also not effective against unmanned drones, and it's only effective against the last boss when taking out the weapon systems. You cannot beat the last boss with a teleport strategy alone. You need to do damage.


Anti-personnel drones are no match for experienced boarders, not sure what gave you that impression. Taking out the last boss's weapon systems is extremely useful and shouldn't be understated, but additionally it is wholly possible to beat the last boss with a teleport strategy. Damaging a system to red deals a point of hull damage. If your weapons are absolutely worthless in the final fight for whatever reason, you can simply teleport around to kill all the flagship's crew, then continually re-damage their systems as they regenerate. Their crew is easily handled since it is all human; simply hurt four of them, then when they rush to heal, bomb or missile the med-bay.

75 scrap is not necessarily a small investment because that's almost a double shield upgrade (100 scrap is 2x shields and 2 energy to support it), or more points into evade or weapons systems. It makes me wonder if you consistently play on easy. I rarely upgrade into a tele strategy simply because I am more focused on getting weapons that will secure any kind of victory, i.e., lasers.


Teleport is an EXTREMELY lucrative investment. Taking ships intact gets you the best rewards, meaning that a teleport pad pays for itself many times over very, very quickly. That's why teleport-strategy ships are often the highest-scoring ships in the game, and I've been able to fully upgrade them by sector 8 more than once.

I think you have entirely the wrong idea about teleporting. Give it another shot, and I'm sure you'll realize how overpowered it is as a strategy.
Magnianhk
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:48 pm

Re: Balance thoughts after 59 hours.

Postby Magnianhk » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:56 am

Madhax wrote:Anti-personnel drones are no match for experienced boarders, not sure what gave you that impression.


I didn't mean AP drones, I meant unmanned drones (ships, but you seem to understand this because of your quote below), as in the ones with no oxygen aboard. Your boarders will almost die if you have to wait for your level 1 tele to come off cooldown. And if your med bay isn't upgraded it takes forever to teleport> do damage> teleport back> heal > teleport again. In those situations I find weapons to be much quicker, and therefore, much more effective.

Madhax wrote:False. Level 1 teleporter is good enough in most situations. You only need an upgraded teleporter if your boarders are vastly inferior, you're attempting to board an AI ship, or you're facing the boss.


Most ships only allow for 2 boarders to be sent at once, and in the later sectors you start encountering ships with 3+ crew members. This means that unless your boarders happen to be Mantis or Rockmen, or Crystal, you are disadvantaged, and if you cannot pull your guys out in time and then heal them quickly with your medbay to send back in, the fight can take a while. The fight takes even longer if the enemy has boarders of his own, and you must first deal with them using the extra personnel that you have that would normally be designated for boarding. Also, If you go up against any Zoltan ships, their initial shield has to be down before you can begin your boarding strategy.

Madhax wrote:Taking out the last boss's weapon systems is extremely useful and shouldn't be understated, but additionally it is wholly possible to beat the last boss with a teleport strategy. Damaging a system to red deals a point of hull damage. If your weapons are absolutely worthless in the final fight for whatever reason, you can simply teleport around to kill all the flagship's crew, then continually re-damage their systems as they regenerate. Their crew is easily handled since it is all human; simply hurt four of them, then when they rush to heal, bomb or missile the med-bay.


It's a great theory to take out the last boss primarily by using a teleport strategy, but I think in practice it is slow and unreliable. You say that in order to damage the medbay you could use a bomb or missile, but honestly only a bomb weapon is trustworthy because in the 2nd Phase the boss has a defense drone, which will counter your missile system (unless you have multiple missiles and, but I find that rare). In the 3rd Phase the boss has the Zoltan shield which regenerates This means again that, you will have to do damage all the while taking damage before teleporting on. In the 3rd Phase the boss will transport crew of his own that you will have to deal with.

In summary I think that teleport is not effective and truly reliable until you have upgraded it to at least level 2, have at least medbay 2, have cloak or defense drones of your own, and have EXTRA crew members to fight boarders on your own ship so that simultaneously you can have boarders of your own. Teleport feels like a very combo-y strategy, having to rely on many factors, and being slow in many scenarios. As such I do not invest in it often. One of the most determining factors in my decision to buy teleport and upgrade as needed, or not, is whether or not I get the appropriate crew members for free, because purchasing crew is expensive.

All in all I find it much more reliable to put scrap into shields and evade, and try to visit as many stores as possible to find the weapons that I want specifically.

Investing in a teleport strategy often feels like a gamble to me, but I will try it out a few more times if you and others seem to have luck with it :)
Derakon
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:05 am

Re: Balance thoughts after 59 hours.

Postby Derakon » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:03 am

Magnianhk: you don't seem to be aware of some basic teleporter strategies, probably because you think the teleporter is so weak. :)

Item 1: unless the enemy has upgraded his doors, it's practically impossible for him to kill your crew since you can just keep them dancing about his ship until your teleporter is recharged. So your crew are generally safe. And as long as you keep his weapons locked down, it doesn't matter how long the fight takes.

Item 2: the flagship does not recover crew between phases. So when you use a teleporter strategy, you kill all of his crew in the first phase (excepting one, generally, since otherwise an AI takes over). First you teleport over to the missile weapon and take it out, then the beam and ion weapons; at that point (in the first phase) his only remaining offense is the heavy burst laser, which is completely harmless as long as you have level-3 shields. So you can take as much time as you like to kill the rest of his crew.

Since his crew stay dead in later phases, you can basically immediately take out his weapon-based offense in phase 2, and then destroy the shields and shoot him down very quickly, minimizing the amount of time you have to deal with the droneswarm. Or take out his drone control, since without the extra two attack drones, the droneswarm is much less threatening. And of course in phase 3 you just burn down the Zoltan shield and then continue as normal.

Item 3: of course having a teleporter does not absolve you of having other weapons. And you'd use those other weapons to take out droneships (you can teleport onto droneships but it's risky with a narrow margin of error). Affording other weapons is slightly more difficult immediately after buying the teleporter, since you're down 75 scrap compared to usual, but the teleporter will rapidly make up that difference through increased scrap returns from other ships. Remember, it's 75 scrap for the teleporter, and that's all you really need. Level-2 teleporter is nice but not required, ditto level-2 medbay.
UltraMantis
Posts: 2141
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:17 pm

Re: Balance thoughts after 59 hours.

Postby UltraMantis » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:09 am

Derakon wrote:Magnianhk: you don't seem to be aware of some basic teleporter strategies, probably because you think the teleporter is so weak. :)
I feel partly responsible for this. I havent plugged my video enough :roll:
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Tal
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:22 am

Re: Balance thoughts after 59 hours.

Postby Tal » Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:33 am

Yes, as the others suggest, a teleporter is immediately useful as you can dance crew to avoid damage. The extra crew you get will rapidly let you keep everything manned. The second level of it isn't necessary most of the time - instead of teleporting the initial crew back, healing and then back again, it's often easier just to send two more crew from your ship to finish off the enemy. I only get level 2 medbay when I'm really out of other things to spend money on.

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