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OK, time to give my opinion its own thread.

FTL on easy is far too easy, on normal it's far too prone to luck. Whatever unlocked ship I play with, whatever guide/advice I read (and apply) about way of playing this, most of the time I get wrecked randomly without anything I can do about it, mainly in the first sectors but sometimes a bit further.

A couple days ago I finished it on normal with the Federation Cruiser through TOTAL SHEER LUCK. Got 3 powerful weapons FREE (2 laser burst mk2 and a small bomb) then a shitload of scrap (got the augment giving 10% more scrap, basically turning this into an easy run)!

All this keeps convincing me that the game is unbalanced. I was really hot on this game at first but I'm getting more and more dissapointed. I don't feel like I'm making mistakes (most of the time, on that run I technically killed 2 crew members because I was too cocky to remember how the artillery beam worked :P).

All this to say: if I'm doing something wrong, what is it? I've been told in another thread that it was basically my fault for being unlucky and I find this outrageous. If the game wasn't so much based on sheer luck I wouldn't have an issue with it.

Whatever, just rambling, not expecting much from this.

Its hard to say what you do wrong, without knowing what you do, but you are right, the first 1 or 2 sectors can sometimes take you out before you can properly prepare for the worst, but thats usually only 5 to 10 minutes of playing time lost. And if I was a better player, I'd probably have no problem there either.
But after that you should have enough shields, a defense drone I ( not II) and evasion to hardly ever get hit.
Even on normal, after sector 2, with most ships I rarely lose, and if I do, only because I messed something up (usually stupidly letting some crew die), not because of bad luck. Bad luck only sets me back a little, losing is my always my fault.
Its no different than other strategy games like Civ or Imperialism, if you play badly (wrong planning, bad tactics), you eventually lose, no matter how little or much luck you have.
I was going to say there's already a thread for bitching about the game's randomness, but I see you started that thread yourself.

Duplicate threads aside, there is a lot of randomness and risk management in FTL, and sometimes luck (good or bad) can get out of hand.

But it's flat out wrong to say the game is left up to chance. A good player, despite all the randomness, can beat the game regularly.

As for what you may be doing wrong, who knows. Maybe you could gain some perspective by watching some playthroughs by skillful players. I started magically producing wins after watching a few games by VanguarfOfValor on Youtube. Maybe the same will work for you.
Post edited November 24, 2012 by farlark
It's like game of poker.
Even though luck plays significant role in poker, on the long run, good players will still win.
It's same here.
I think the poker analogy is pretty apt. It's not about having the best hand possible, but working with the one you are dealt. It is pretty easy to plan out what the "ultimate" ship set up would be for yourself, but there is no guarantee that you will get the components for that ship. The game play is not centered on getting augments A, B and C with weapons X, Y and Z. Instead you're trying to decide between getting a decent upgrade or saving your scrap for the one you really want but may or may not appear. You may have a perfect plan but along the way you get access to some powerful upgrades, are you nimble enough to change strategies midway or do you throw away the most powerful weapon in the game because you wanted a tranporter only run? Because the choices also change each time you can't just say "well I got the Pre Igniter last time and that was pretty good but this time I'm going for three Auto Loaders instead." Luck plays a factor in the game, but strategy and adaptation count for so much more.
If you are play more you die less. You come father along even with a very unlucky combination of loot/shops. That's skill based on experience and knowledge.

Yes the best player can die to a unlucky encounter. And the worst player can get a killer weapon combination. But that's one play through. The bad player will die 9of10 times before sector 8. The good player on the other hand will get there most of the time.

If it's was that luck based than would not be possible.

There two big errors many player make with the game.

They stick to a plan.
Don't plan too far ached. You can try to get a specific combination of Weapons and systems. But don't bet on it. Be ready to change your plan on the fly. Especially don't read a FAQ for perfect ships and hope you can get the same Ship.

They think they lost a battle because the random encounter was unwinnable. Even if they don't make any errors in Battle. So they learn nothing and don't get better.

While that sometimes true (mostly at the beginning). Its often a false a premise.
Yes the encounter maybe was unwinnable regardless of combat skill. But often you made errors. Maybe not in Battle. Maybe not in this sector. But three sectors ago.

If you make early->midgame errors you can die in mid-late game without even realizing that it's your fault.
Randomness obviously does play a role in the game, yes; whether you win or lose can be as much about luck as your skill, yes. However, I think this is an accurate state of affairs for the premise of the game. You're going into uncharted, almost certainly dangerous territory, with an obsolete ship, on a long-shot, last ditchg effort to save your way of life from an aggressive and (however inexplicably) superior force.

Under such circumstances you'd need a little luck, not to mention considerable skill, to survive.
I've said all I have to about the games randomness in another thread. Short story; yes it is a factor. But you can't really call the game unbalanced, by that token good fortune can unbalance the game in the players favour as well.

Personally I find my best efforts have come as a result of;
1) Focussing all my 'plans' on how to beat the boss.
2) Sticking to the plan as much as possible.
3) Weighting the odds

Baring a real run of bad luck (which can happen) I find the real focus of the game is on overcoming the biggest hurdle and that is the boss. It's worth pointing out that my highest scoring run did not actually win the game. On that run I pushed everything to the limit, and built an incredible ship. It could beat everything easy, BUT it wasn't optimised to beat the boss and I lost.

I do feel there are builds that are simply better than others, and that each ship model works best with different builds. There are different ways to beat the boss, but the distinction is that there are indeed ways, and they are finite. If you build too far outside of an optimum you will lose. Goods ships and tactics can be thrown together with skill but you need a gameplan for the final battle.

Some people have mentioned playing the game like poker and handling each challenge as it comes while building the best hand. I'm not against that, you will always have to adapt on your way the the final battle. I just prefer to focus on the endgame.

Finally I guess weighing the odds never hurts. If I am focussing my build around a teleporter and I have a chance to buy one, I will get it, no matter what. Even if I miss out on a crew member or shield/power upgrades etc have to wait. Simply because the chances of finding another teleporter are low. Normally I find at most one per game. Whereas scrap is plentiful and crew members fairly common. How I cope with compromising myself in the short term is a test of skill and micro-managment which I may overcome. But without the teleporter, I'd have no chance in the long run.

Just my thoughts.
Hmm weird, I can't even remember losing to the boss, if I get there, I beat him, its more likely I lose in the first few sectors due to some mistake I make. But when I reach the boss, he mostly doesnt even hurt me more than 1 to 5 HP in all three phases combined.
Always have 4 shields, 45-50% evasion. Usually he only hits me during the supershield phase, since theres no way to take out the missile launcher before it can shoot. Except with a cloak of course, but I avoid it, because it makes everything too easy.
Post edited December 16, 2012 by jamotide
The boss has beat me at the second stage a fair few times, I don't think I've ever lost the other stages (could be wrong). The boss is something of a hydra, granted the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, but you still have to kneecap the sod!

I think having lost with a really good ship is what has made me adopt the play style I describe above. I remember once having a very defence based build, the boss couldn't really do much. But I was unable to score enough hits with my weapons, and I lost a long war of attrition. My priority these days would be making sure I can do just enough to sufficiently mitigate the boss' best attacks, and ensuring I can consistently inflict damage with every volley. But it's just my personal experience of this brilliant little game.
worst part is when on the map the rebels are getting close and it turns out the systems you are at are just to far away from the exit
result: you have to go back all the way to the left of the map to be able to reach the exit, passing 6 or more systems under rebel control

i hate it when the map does something like that
dragonbeast: worst part is when on the map the rebels are getting close and it turns out the systems you are at are just to far away from the exit
result: you have to go back all the way to the left of the map to be able to reach the exit, passing 6 or more systems under rebel control

i hate it when the map does something like that
Well, you can examine each node, but it's really annoying that the map is not visible in full. Situations like these are rare, so I get tired of watching out for them, then bam, SURPRISE DEAD END.
Post edited January 02, 2013 by Starmaker
dragonbeast: worst part is when on the map the rebels are getting close and it turns out the systems you are at are just to far away from the exit
result: you have to go back all the way to the left of the map to be able to reach the exit, passing 6 or more systems under rebel control

i hate it when the map does something like that
I find this amusing. But anyway, if it annoys you, you can still toggle path visibility in the options, and check the paths in advance.