Well, that's the question that comes to mind when playing FTL, because that is exactly what I'm working on. I've found out that my standard double laser beam is more effective than I thought. Sometimes I use it after I use a missile on their weapons, but I've found that sometimes I need to use it to disable the their shields in order to get a missile in. So, those are the two that I usually end up targeting.

As for upgrades, I like upgrading my shields to two, which requires power and system upgrades. Whenever I can afford a Drone Controller Subsystem, I like to get it because the Drone that does Hull Repair is a life saver! The Defense Drone hasn't seemed very effective, though I found an upgrade, but never got the chance to use it. I don't really feel the need for System Repair Drones unless I'm low on crew.

I like the rock aliens, especially where ever there's a fire. I also like them and the Mantis when I have intruders. I like the Engi for repairing systems. I've also had a Slug once, but not for long.

I usually try to explore a sector instead of rushing to the end of it. This can be beneficial, since I found out that the level of difficulty progresses with each sector and it's already a "hard" game on "easy." I avoid the spiders and most other "investigate" missions for fear of losing crew. Sometimes I have plenty, but there's usually always room for more and I don't often buy them unless I need to. Having around 10 energy and missiles at the beginning of the sector is good, I think.

I've found some really good weapons. Recently, I found a missile upgrade that sends Drones to destroy a system, very effective and helpful. I've seen it miss maybe once. I've had various lasers and beams and like them, too. I have not yet unlocked different ship layouts. I'm not even sure if I've unlocked a ship, but I'm sticking with the default one.

It's a real fun game even though death seems eminent. The music is good, too. I've played for 18 hours.

Travis   Admin wrote on 02/22/2014 at 12:38am

You should definitely explore, just keep the rebel progression in mind.

How far have you gotten?

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 02/22/2014 at 12:46am

I think my stats say I've reached Sector 5.

AdamPFarnsworth wrote on 02/22/2014 at 12:54am

Unless you I with a ship that has drones at the start (Have you unlocked the Engi ship yet?), buying the drone controller subset is too expensive for me. That said, I do enjoy using them :)

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 02/22/2014 at 02:01am

I've apparently only unlocked the Torus. I just discovered that and haven't tried it. Do you recommend it?

AdamPFarnsworth wrote on 02/22/2014 at 02:11am

Yeah, it's definitely a fun build! It's difficult (of course), but fun.

Timogorgon   Member wrote on 02/22/2014 at 07:27pm

I use to never bother with drones but I've since warmed up to them. :) If you are going to use drones though, definitely pick up the drone recovery arm augment for your ship. It will save you a lot of money on drone parts and (more importantly) you are much less likely to find yourself running out of drone parts in the middle of a fight.

As far as improving your survivability goes, I'd say make sure you have a pilot and engineer and then put a few upgrades into your engines. Bumping up your evade % really helps. Buy a cloaking device when you can, and time your cloaks right as the enemy is firing missiles/bombs at you. Don't worry about cloaking to evade laser fire, that's what your shields are for. Two shield pips should be fine until you start getting into the later sectors, but if you have the resources to upgrade, getting that third pip early certainly doesn't hurt. I rarely go for the fourth shield upgrade.

That defense drone was likely working better than you realized. The mark I drones will shoot down missiles every couple seconds. In the early sectors it's rare to find an enemy with more than one missile weapon equipped, so you will only need to worry about energy weapons. If your enemy only has lasers or beam weapons, then the defense drone is useless. Also, if you're in an asteroid field the drone will target asteroids coming at you, which may keep it too busy to shoot down missiles. The mark II drone fires faster and can also shoot down lasers (not sure how that works exactly).

I could go on a lot more (I love this game!) but I think I'll stop here. I don't want to overwhelm you. :P

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 02/22/2014 at 09:55pm

I tried the Torus, but didn't get very far. In that one, it seems you disable their systems with your weapon, while using drones to attack.

Tim, that's a really good post and I don't think you should hold back. If there's more you want to say, please feel free to! I didn't really consider the evade % that much, that may be something I'll have to look into. I've had the cloaking device a couple of times and probably just need to get to it and when my enemies fire to make it more effective. I think there might have been only one time I bought drones.

You've provided some great input, Tim, thanks!

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 02/23/2014 at 02:28am

My first gold star: http://i.imgur.com/0Pak5Bo.jpg

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 02/24/2014 at 09:06pm

I've reached Sector 7 twice: http://i.imgur.com/s9FmjAN.jpg

jdodson   Admin wrote on 02/24/2014 at 10:01pm

Hey, not bad!

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 02/24/2014 at 10:53pm

=) I've managed to upgrade my engines and shields to almost max. I've also recently learned (after my first gold star) how to level up crew. The music has stayed in my head the last few days. I've been trying to do some more research on guides and strategies. There are still aspects of the game I'm trying to figure out, especially when it comes to strategies. I'm often not sure if I should save scrap or spend it on an upgrade and which upgrade if any. I guess that's a bit of the nature of the game.

I'm also not quite sure if sensors are a reasonable upgrade since they seem to always be disabled in the nebulae. I've started opening most outside doors, to help work on fires if and when they happen. This means 3 rooms of no oxygen on the Kestral. I think this strategy has helped me maintain fires and intruders, who I sometimes try to suffocate.

I don't usually buy weapon upgrades, I usually find then. I've also been learning better power management skill. For instance, the Medbay doesn't always need to remain powered unless crew are healing.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 02/25/2014 at 01:37am

> I've managed to upgrade my engines and shields to almost max

For most games, i'd agree with your thinking here. That said, I wouldn't go past 3 shield dots. It's just that the fourth is very expensive and you don't really need it during the Rebel Flagship fight.

I can't speak to the engines, BUT like with most systems in FTL, maxing them out isn't really a pre-requisite.

> The music has stayed in my head the last few days.

Ben Prunty's score is really awesome. I have it in my music player as I always want to listen to it :D

> There are still aspects of the game I'm trying to figure out, especially when it comes to strategies. I'm often not sure if I should save scrap or spend it on an upgrade and which upgrade if any. I guess that's a bit of the nature of the game.

Yeah, the game is very strategic. I'd say it depends on what build you are going for, where you are at and what's going on.

> I don't usually buy weapon upgrades, I usually find then. I've also been learning better power management skill. For instance, the Medbay doesn't always need to remain powered unless crew are healing.

Yep. This is really useful during a battle when you need to shuffle things around to power a system that is out for whatever reason. I use pause a ton and then shuffle things around depending on what I need, it's fun.

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