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First a little disclaimer - I'm not in any way personally related to Sleeper, nor I'm involved into creating the mod beyond fan's support (well, I am in the credits, but my input is laughable as compared to whole thing). Obviously, I'm not getting any financial benefits from the donations made.

Now, what's the fuss all about? It's the FTL: Captain's Edition, simply the best mod for FTL available, period. It is, in fact, a developer-quality expansion bringing "FTL: Advanced Edition" into new level of awesomeness, a thing truly worth the title of "cult" classic, already. It is lore-friendly, professionally made result of more than 2 years of work, that stays true to the "original" experience, but enhances it - seamlessly - in so many way, that you simply refuse to play without it, after first try. At the same time, it's modular, allowing - if you want to - to enable and disable parts of it as you like, including optional, more radical changes, that never occurred to the developers (like thousands of randomly generated [including visual changes!], prefixes-based weapons, randomized starting ships/flagship inc. layouts... All truly random, yet sanely created!).

I could go and go about how great piece of work it is, but Sleeper did it better, already, on the first post of gigantum FTL:CE thread on the official FTL forums:
http://www.ftlgame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15663

Side note: I have *no* idea why CE wasn't introduced in GOG's FTL mod's spotlight. Seriously, GOG, fix it, please - you featured things that were obsolete and non-working on the moment of spotlighting (like pirate mods), while omitting such a jewel.
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But it is not everything - let me explain it for a bit, as it's quite special case. The thing is, that Sleeper Service - author and mastermind behind this ingenious piece of work - always refused to accept *any* donations. Which was a real "WTF?", cause his treatment of FTL:CE community and fan-base is a big thing, too - "Captain's Edition" predates official "Advanced Edition" update, being released almost two years ago (on 6 Jun 2013), and since then, constantly polished, updated, and morphed according to fans suggestions - non-stop. Literally - there was NO noticeable period of inactivity, and Sleepy continued to add both BIG features, that inspired even original developers (do you know that artillery weapons appeared in CE year *before* developers introduced them offiocially?), and small tweaks, based on most hardcore FTL's fans suggestions.

I'm quite active in many, many modding communities, but I have NEVER seen something like that. Every single suggestion discussed, rationalized, and considered by Sleepy, always in *very* friendly way. You could put half-baked, 3/4 broken idea, and often Sleepy would pick up on it, remake it from scratch into something sane and ingenious, implement it over long modding hours... And then put you into credits for it! And the bug reports, oh boy. CE is the most glorious example of bug-hammering, and I wish "pro" developers would react to bug reports like that, let alone mod creators.

Again, I could go on and on, but lets sum it - "FTL: Captain's Edition" is a true work of love, not only in the passionate style of old times, but even surpassing it. Absolutely awesome, this kind of things that make you stay for years, and always return - it *is* the thing that made FTL a stellar example of cult classic. The game wouldn't be the same, without it.
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So, whats with the donations thing, then? Well, returning from the short "shore leave", I noticed that Sleepy finally - and quietly - agreed to accept donations, in the form of Patreon. FTL:CE is and will always remain free and in continued maintenance, no matter if the donating thing succeed or not - heck, again, Sleeper already explained the thing better than me, so just check this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLGN0D3zFZM&feature=youtu.be

...and read this:
http://www.ftlgame.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=15663&p=91156&hilit=patreon#p91156

The thing is, that Sleepy is truly and "old school" artist - he is so sincerely humble, that he started patreon thing as a totally silent tip-jar, no kickstarter-style campaign, no adverts, no "premium content" behind a pay-wall... You name it. As a result, 3-months later, there are a whooping 2-person support, for a total of 2 USD.

This is where we, FTL fans step in (including yours, truly) - cause, you know, it is totally ridiculous. Definitely best FTL mod ever, and one of the most bright modding achievements in last years *alltogether* - downloaded by, literally, tens of thousands (if not much, much more), streamed in thousands of gameplay videos, and monetized for hundreds of dollars by those video creators - and the man behind it gets two dollars worth of donations. It's just NOT right, and it's why I'm pledging for supporting it here, on GOG - IMO, best place for it, where folks value real, love-filled working on favorite games. As said, I have no material gain/interest in it - I'm doing it, cause - as dwarf Zoltan from "The Witcher" would say - cause it's, heck, the right thing to do. No matter of results.

Albeit, as for results, I *do* hope for them. I would really like to see Community being able to value such a gigantum, "for love's sake" work, without any special reason. It's not like Sleepy got suddenly ill (thanks goodness), or require the money to survive. He just did the most awesome work, never wanted anything in return, yet he truly *deserves* it.

If you like FTL - or just appreciate the "our" (GOG's folk) way of passionate work for a favorite game, and you can pledge support - even the lowest amount, being a whooping 1USD per month - please do so:
https://www.patreon.com/user?u=581715&ty=h

/Estel
Post edited May 31, 2015 by Estel_
intresting i haven't heard of this captain edition thing nor the donations. I'll look in to this when i have time
Estel's shining praise is more than justified. I loved FTL and FTL:AE, but Captain's Edition cemented FTL as a long-term addiction and one of my favorite gaming experiences ever.

It adds so much content and is so consistent with the original spirit of FTL that I can't imagine playing this game without it any more. There are flaws though. Well, my version of CE is maybe a couple of years old now so I don't know if what i'm about to mention has been fixed (I should check...) but it's so good anyway I never felt the need to keep up to date with new versions! The only real flaw is a fair handful of spelling and grammar errors in the texts, but for the sheer scale of added events, dialogue, scenarios and interactions, all so imaginative and lore-enhancing you can hardly tell they weren't part of the original game, it's a tiny price to pay.

I wouldn't recommend it to a new player; there are so many added weapons, drones, augments, enemies, possible strategies and builds (and possible dooms!) that the RNG factor requires more considered player skill and decisions. With all the additions, you can never count on a specific build panning out and have to work with what opportunities arise much more so than vanilla FTL: the stores for example will only very rarely have just the thing you were looking for because there's so much more for them to randomly offer. Also on a similar theme, many of the added features cater to specific build ideas. Anti-personnel or energy-intensive auto lasers for example often seem weaker than original weapons, even useless.. at least until you happen to hit on the right build that synergizes just right. How can a one-shot, one damage laser that costs three reactor to power possibly be useful? I took a risk and paired that Auto II up with an Auto I, and their combined fast firing, albeit at a whopping five power, was enough to shred the flagship once it synergized with a single Combat drone I and Hacking.

Once you're familiar with FTL's mechanics, Captain's Edition is just the ultimate unofficial expansion pack for folks who can't get enough. And once you're familiar with CE, you get Randtrel's random flagship and random playerships mods and voila! No excuse to ever stop playing! Every single run can be unique from end to end!

ermagerd I love FTL:AE:CE:Randtrel

I also tried Infinite a couple times, but it was, literally, a little too infinite for me to handle. 8 sectors makes for a good game.