FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

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FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by Justin » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:37 pm

EDIT: We forgot that you have to be logged in to vote in the poll. We therefore made a new poll that anyone can access. Just click the following link.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ftpPFnT7FqMHqX-CFc6Ae1XAyypHDujZN5sLDshuXMw/viewform


Hello FTL fans!

Part of the reason we announced FTL: Advanced Edition early is because there are a few things we want to get feedback on before we release it to the public. The following is one such potential change.

(POTENTIAL SPOILER: Small images of the ships are shown in the images below)


The change: An additional method for unlocking ships.

Background: We never felt the current method of unlocking ships was perfect. We liked the concept of trying to find the correct solution for a quest to appeal to each race, and generally a player would stumble across these quests in normal play. But the end result was far more random than we’d prefer, with players having to constantly restart games in the hopes of spawning the right sectors in the right location. This change is meant to offer an alternative.

Basic Concept: In addition to the present unlock quests, each of the main ships can be unlocked by beating the game (Easy or Normal) using a previous ship as shown by the image below. A fresh launch without any unlocks would look like this on the ship list screen in the hangar:

Image
Fullsize: http://www.ftlgame.com/screenshots/ship_list_1.png

In this mockup of the ship list you can see there is an order of unlocking ships: If you beat the game with the 4th ship, you will unlock the 5th. (note the actual order may be different and isn't of importance for now) There are two exceptions:
-- The Engi Cruiser will still be unlocked by getting to the fifth sector (now specifically with the Kestrel)
-- The Crystal Cruiser has a new unique requirement of unlocking all other ships. It will be shown off to the side.


In the next image you'll see a potential situation after many hours of play:

Image
Fullsize: http://www.ftlgame.com/screenshots/ship_list_2.png

4 ships have become available:
-- Player got to sector 5 with the Kestrel and got the Engi Cruiser
-- Player beat the game with the Engi Cruiser and got the Fed Cruiser
-- Player obtained the Zoltan Cruiser through the Zoltan Home Sector unlock quest.

The player can now unlock a new ship by beating the game with either the Fed. Cruiser or the Zoltan Cruiser. He can also continue to unlock ships through quests.

Mini-Achievements: You may have noticed the icons below each ship. These represent the achievements for that specific ship. We want to add them to the ship list so it's easy to get a quick summary of what you have left to do. Specifically:
-- The "1", "2" and "3" icons represent the 3 ship achievements.
-- "V" is a mini-achievement for beating the game with that ship.
-- "Q" is a mini-achievement for completing the unlock quest for that ship. This way there is still recognition for completing the original method of unlocking a ship.

The last image shows what it looks like if the player has every normal ship and completed every achievement.

Image
Fullsize: http://www.ftlgame.com/screenshots/ship_list_3.png

A few things to keep in mind:
-- We are also considering making the boss slightly easier on Easy mode.
-- The victory achievement applies to the whole the cruiser - beating the game with one layout will give the achievement for both.
-- We realize this group contains some of our most dedicated players but keep in mind this change is intended for new and the more casual players.
-- We just want to gauge the public response and won't be guaranteed to implement the highest voted opinion; but we will promise to take the feedback into consideration.
-- Let us know if you think the visual representation isn't clear. It will potentially also be explained with text but we want it to be as readable as possible.

Again, the link to vote is here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ftpPFnT7FqMHqX-CFc6Ae1XAyypHDujZN5sLDshuXMw/viewform

Thanks!
-justin & matt
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Re: FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by agigabyte » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:04 pm

Will we still keep our unlocked ships?
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Re: FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by Matthew » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:23 pm

All of this is purely in addition to the current method. All previous unlocks will of course remain, and you can still continue to unlock new ships with the old method.
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Re: FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by Koveryl » Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:42 pm

This is a great idea. Also, good on you guys for keeping the feature with the quests for the ships. That way if somebody's natural playing style doesn't fit the Kestrel, they can still unlock it with the quests, without having to beat the game. Nice!

Another thing I like is the fact that you guys have the little mini-achievement thing for the original unlock methods. I haven't unlocked the Crystal Cruiser myself, but I'll have reason to do it now; as I'll probably end up doing it after unlocking the Crystal Cruiser with the new update.

I suggest a small change, though. Make it so that to unlock the Crystal Cruiser, you have to complete the unlock quests for all the previous ships. This way it isn't TOO easy, as I still want getting the legendary ship a hard challenge, even if you do have to unlock all the other ships. That would be too easy. Potentially, the only time you would ever have to beat the game is to get the Fed. Cruiser. While you still wouldn't have to beat the game other than getting the Fed. Cruiser with my idea, it's still not as easy as now.

All in all though, good work! Keep it going!
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Re: FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by 5thHorseman » Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:11 pm

I was wary on a first read, but it sounds good now that I've thought about it for a bit.

In addition to making the boss easier in easy mode, could you make it harder for normal mode? Or add a hard mode that is normal mode with a harder boss? Dunno what would make it harder per-se, but maybe boarders and normal drones in all 3 phases, and a crew refresh between phases so tricks like emptying the entire ship of crew would no longer be viable?
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Re: FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by CytochromeT » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:28 am

I really like the change overall, as it makes it easier for new player to unlock a wider variety of ships. My only concern is that the crystal cruiser is being made to common. The Crystal Cruiser is supposed to be a secret/bonus ship. It loses its magic if you can unlock the ship without having to go to the crystal homeworlds yourself. One of my favorite moments playing this game was when I first stumbled upon the Crystal homeworlds. I understand that many people get frustrated trying to get the right string of events to unlock the ship, so maybe it could be unlocked in some other way. I just do not think it should be as easy as is suggested.
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Re: FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by 5thHorseman » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:09 am

[quote="CytochromeT"]I really like the change overall, as it makes it easier for new player to unlock a wider variety of ships. My only concern is that the crystal cruiser is being made to common. The Crystal Cruiser is supposed to be a secret/bonus ship. It loses its magic if you can unlock the ship without having to go to the crystal homeworlds yourself. One of my favorite moments playing this game was when I first stumbled upon the Crystal homeworlds. I understand that many people get frustrated trying to get the right string of events to unlock the ship, so maybe it could be unlocked in some other way. I just do not think it should be as easy as is suggested.[/quote]

Actually based on the images they have, the crystal ship is excluded from this. There are 9 ships total, and their graphic only shows 8.
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Re: FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by UltraMantis » Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:51 am

It's explained above that the crystal cruiser will have a special unlock mechanic. one that is probably a lot less frustrating than the current one. mind you, i have no qualms over the current unlock conditions.

And the new system sounds really excellent. Well done guys.
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Re: FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by HeadHunter » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:52 am

[quote="CytochromeT"]The Crystal Cruiser is supposed to be a secret/bonus ship. It loses its magic if you can unlock the ship without having to go to the crystal homeworlds yourself.[/quote]
The shine kind of wears off after several times of finding the pod, but not even getting the opportunity for the second part of the quest. The few times I've gotten started, I find myself at best with the Crystal crewman, or worse yet, saddled with the pod in my last upgrade slot until the final sector.

I'm definitely looking forward to a better way to unlock this ship. I understand and expect that it will still be a special circumstance, but hopefully it will be less random, in that a smart and careful player will not be gated out of the opportunity by dumb luck.
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Re: FTL: Advanced Edition - Ship Unlock Poll

by BlueChooks » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:59 pm

I'm in two minds here.

On the one hand, for me, unlocking the ships through their quests was the most compelling part of the game. I love how unique and relevant the quests are to the ships they unlock - it draws you in to the story and the world it's set in, and each ship in the hangar brings to mind the sense of achievement that came with completing its quest. If I were a first-time player (or restarting), and only finished the stealth ship's quest (for example) after I'd unlocked it by beating the game with a different ship, the sense of achievement would be far less.

On the other hand, FTL is focussed on strategy rather than story, and I think your proposed unlock system would alleviate some of the frustration of players who want to play with those ships for their different strategies but can't find the right quests. And it would be more accessible to casual players.

Maybe you could compromise by making Type B ships only unlockable through the quests?
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