We’ve been quiet for the last couple of months, but rest assured that’s only because we’re hard at work trying to finish both the expansion and the iPad port. We still do not have a date for when everything will be complete, but we’ll be sure to tell everyone once we do. Until then, we thought we’d share some more details about the new ship systems that you’ll be installing on your Kestrel sometime in the relatively near future.
EDIT: For those new to these announcements, FTL: Advanced Edition is a upcoming free expansion for FTL. It will launch alongside an iPad port (which will require a second generation iPad or newer). We’ll be looking into Android and other touch devices (such as Surface) after the iPad launch. The original announcement with trailer can be found here: http://www.ftlgame.com/?p=598
New Systems & Subsystems:
The system limits for each player ship will remain the same, with only 8 systems installed at one time. You will have to prioritize which systems you feel work best for your current strategy, and mixing and matching the new and the old creates a lot of fun combinations. The following are the new systems and subsystems.
Previously unannounced, the Clone Bay is an alternative to the Medbay. Whenever a crew member dies, a clone is generated to replace them at the cost of losing some of their skills. Without the Medbay, your crew will not be able to heal in the traditional way, although the Clone Bay will heal all crew slightly every jump. All Type C ships will come installed with a Clone Bay, or you can replace your Medbay from stores for a cost.
The goal of the Clone Bay was to really disrupt the core way you play the game. You’ll be able to send crew off into dangerous situations without fear of death. Giant alien spiders will no longer be the terrifying, unstoppable force that you’re used to, since the system can simply revive your crew after the event. But, if a stray missile takes out the system mid-clone, you’ll find death can still be quite permanent. And you probably shouldn’t let your crew ponder too long on the fate of their previous iterations.
Designing hacking for FTL was one of the most challenging aspects of the expansion. We’ve gone through many wildly different iterations, but are exceedingly happy with the final version.
At the cost of a drone part, the system allows you to launch a hacking drone that attaches to a chosen system on the enemy vessel. As a passive effect, that system’s doors will be blocked (delaying enemy crew) and you’ll be granted detailed vision of that system. You’ll also then be able to initiate a hacking pulse which affects each system slightly differently. Some examples:
- Weapons: The current charge status of the weapon will drain, delaying the weapons from firing.
- Shields: The shields will drain, giving you a brief moment to get your shots in.
- Drones: All currently active drones will be stunned for the duration of the pulse with a chance of being destroyed.
- Teleporter: Immediately force enemy boarders to teleport back to their own ship.
The different uses against different systems, along with the passive obstruction of doors, opens up a multitude of exciting tactical options.
The Mind Control system temporarily turns a single enemy into an ally. Upgrading the system will increase the duration of the control as well as providing a health and combat boost to your new minion. You’ll be able to make a boarder temporarily man the weapon system, cause in-fighting on the enemy ship, or lock your teleporter onto your new ally to teleport him into an airless room back on your ship. The caveat is that Mind Control requires vision of the crew to activate, and the telepathic Slugs are immune to its ability, making nebulae a dangerous choice for those who rely on it.
Tired of not being able to power the entirety of your fully upgraded ship? Find Zoltans unreliable? Need a little extra power boost in Ion Storms? The Backup Battery makes sure you have the power you need… most of the time. When fully upgraded, the Backup Battery can provide 4 extra reactor bars for 30 seconds but it has a 25 second cooldown between uses. In addition, it takes up a new 4th subsystem slot so it does not use any additional room that would be used for other systems.
Visual Improvements: As we’ve mentioned before, along with the new content we’ll also putting in a host of minor tweaks and improvements to the game. One example would be the new and improved reward boxes, making event outcomes more clear:
Hard Mode: For our more masochistic fans, we’ve also added an additional Hard difficulty to the game. More challenging enemy generation, lower scrap rewards, and other small tweaks should help keep the game interesting for anyone who might be bored of Normal.
One final piece of news. Ben Prunty, FTL’s composer, is doing the soundtrack for a new sci-fi game: StarCrawlers. It’s currently on Kickstarter and looks great. Go check it out: