FTL: Faster Than Light – Advanced Edition Mini-Guide

Weapons

A few new weapons were added to the game, and we will discuss the different types of weapons briefly, with their relevant uses.

Flak Cannons – All the Flak Cannons operate on similar principles. They fire a “cluster” of flak which then falls apart creating numerous projectiles which then aim at weakening the enemy shield or causing massive damage to their hull and systems. While the Flak Cannons are meant to deal with shields mainly they can cause hell on earth to ships that have numerous systems close to each other. The Flak Cannon II with its 7 “shrapnel” pieces can reduce any shield it encounters to zero, or cause some scary damage to the enemy ship. It might not be too accurate but with so much shrapnel it is bound to do some damage.

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The Type C Federation Cruiser starts with no weapons, and its “Main Gun” is an advanced Flak Cannon. How advanced? Let’s say that with an accurate shot it can take out any “lower level” ships in a single salvo. You may also noticed that the ship appears to be prepared for harsh boarding action (Respirators and Cloning Bay). I am having a hard time with trying to keep my Marines alive.

(Ion) Stun Bomb – This is a surprisingly effective weapon. It acts as a small Ion Bomb and on top of that it also Stuns enemies inside of the room. There is also just the “Stun Bomb” without the Ion effect but extended stunning on enemy crew members. If you ever wanted to ensure a ship is destroyed with little resistance you can use Stun Bombs in areas where there are numerous enemy Crew Members and “Knock them out” while you continue destroying or invading the enemy ship. Stun Bombs also work on Drones.

Charging/Chain Weapons – There are a few variants of these. Charging Weapons load a number of shots, and when you order them to fire they will fire all their stored shots (might be a single or up to four shots, depending on the weapon). Chain weapons tend to either fire more rapidly (in the case of lasers) or fire more powerful shots (in the case of Ion weapons) the more times it was fired. So a Chain Laser Cannon will at first fire slowly, but as you fire more shots its cooldown will be steadily reduced. Certain Chain weapons are incredibly useful. I found the Chain Ion Cannon to be extremely dangerous once it heated up, causing four ion damage per shot (much like the Ion Bomb, only without having to use up missiles). I did not use Charging Weapons myself, but if you waited patiently to charge them up and fire them at once when the enemy shields are weakened or down you could overwhelm them with the massive barrage of lasers or ions.

There are a few more individual weapons added into the game, and some ship variants may obtain non-standard weapons but for the most part the three types of weapons described above are the new weapons added to the game through advanced mode.

Augmentations

A few new Augmentations have been added. Some relating to specific systems and some have more general uses.

Hacking Stun – When Hacking a room anybody inside that room will be stunned for the duration of the hack (much like a Stun Bomb). If you want to bog down the enemy even more then this is a useful Augmentation, especially when you fully upgrade your Hacking system.

Defense Scrambler – Frustrated with enemy Defense Drone shooting down your missiles and drones? Not anymore. This Augmentation makes enemy Defense Drones completely useless. Now you can harass the enemy as much with you like, with Drones and Missiles.

Emergency Respirators – The Lanius Cruiser is equipped with these. In essence your crew takes less damage from suffocation. If you rely on teleportation, or using vacuum to defend your ship, then this Augmentation certainly aids your crew.

Fire Suppression – While I never saw this Augmentation (or earned it) it is mention on the Wiki, and if the description is accurate this could be a useful Augmentation when dealing with enemies that rely on Beam Weapons.

Backup DNA Bank – If you lose crew members and the Cloning Bay was shut down they will perish forever. With this Augmentation they will be safely stored, and await cloning, even when the Cloning Bay has no power or is destroyed.

Distraction Buoys – While nice in theory these Buoys could be exchanged for far more useful Augmentations. They only delay the Rebel Fleet by one jump. In some cases it might make a difference but I would not rely on this augmentation too much.

Zoltan Shield Bypass – You can teleport Crew and Bombs onto ships where the Super Shield (Zoltan Shield) is still active. If you lack a weapon that can rapidly take down these shields then this Augmentation is a blessing.

Reconstructive Teleport – During a recent game with the Mantis this was one of the best Augmentations for my crew. When you teleport crew members to or from your ship they will be instantly and fully healed. That means that even if your crew is about to die they will be ready for action in an instant, without the need for a Medbay visit. If you have a high level Teleport system you could use this as a substitute for a Level 3 Medbay.

Lifeform Scanner – This is an Augmentation that becomes useful in Nebulas and you lack a Slugman. I would not call it an overly useful Augmentation, but it can certainly help in some situations.

The Augmentations in Advanced Mode are versatile and useful. They allow your ship to specialize in specific tasks even more. One of the best examples I can think of is a Mantis Cruiser with the above Zoltan Shield Bypass and Reconstructive Teleport Augmentations. Not only will your skilled Mantis be able to teleport onto any enemy ship, when you would pull them back, or send them back onto the enemy ship they would be always fully healed. It’s terrifying to behold, but carries with itself so much fun.

Lanius Race and Cruiser

The Lanius are a new race added in Advanced Mode. What’s the deal with them? The main boon and curse is that they drain any oxygen in the room they would be currently in. Other than that they can survive in rooms with no oxygen, whatsoever. What does this make them? Your primary choice for fixing breaches, excellent boarding commandos and even defenders or fire fighters. While they would work poorly together with other races (aside from Crystal-Men) if you managed to get your hands on a few Lanius they would make an excellent addition, and they could match a number of roles. Of course, the main problem with the Lanius is that they do drain a lot of oxygen quickly. If you sent them to Medbay together with other Crew Members you might accidentally cause numerous deaths. If a Lanius needs help with defending a room it might be risky to send anybody in, due to the vacuum.

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The Lanius Cruiser features two Advanced Mode weapons and the Hacking System already installed. I found it a good first ship to try in Advanced Mode.

In general though, the shortcomings of the Lanius are also their strengths. A ship that has numerous Lanius is essentialy fire-proof, and near impossible to board. Any breaches can be sealed and if they are teleported onto an enemy ship they can cause untold carnage, by suffocation.

The Lanius Cruiser is designed with one thing in mind, vacuum. There are numerous doors leading into space, meaning you can easily get rid of any oxygen, in almost any room, in an instant. Another curious thing about the Lanius Cruiser is that it can have all the new Systems (Hacking, Mind Control and Cloney Bay) at the same time (most ships can have either Hacking or Mind Control, not both). What is the Lanius Cruiser suitable for? Initially it relies on Ionizing the enemy shields with its Ion Stun Cannon, and then chipping away at the enemy’s hull with its chain laser. Later on it may be adapted for a number of things. If given numerous laser weapon, and you invested some time into improving your Hacking System you could drain the enemy shields and then fire all of your lasers at the same time to rapidly destroy the enemy ship. You could install a Teleport, to send your Lanius against the enemy, or perhaps even have a few Drones to help maintain the ship, or attack the enemy.

You will need to quickly find a weapon to take down more advanced enemy shields. Once you meet level 3 shields you won’t have enough firepower to take them down, unless you hack them. The Respirator Augmentation allows your crew to cope in vacuum a bit better, and the Cloning Bay does allow you to get back lost crew members, who might had suffocated or died during combat. In general it’s a very interesting ship to use, especially if you want to familiarize yourself with some of the new systems and weapons.

Now, when facing Lanius ships remember that they are completely filled with vacuum. As such boarding is out of the question (unless you have Lanius of your own).

Drones

A few new Drones have appeared, some of them are especially annoying, or deadly.

Shield Overcharger – This Drone floats around your ship. Every 8 seconds it will add one layer of Super Shield, up to a maximum of five. This Drone, in essence, allows a ship to have an additional layer of protection. If your ship lacks in normal shields this could be an answer to your problems. It might not look like much but the Super Shield can stop missiles and bombs, so if the enemy relies on them then the Shield Overcharger can effectively block such attack attempts. A Defense Drone could be more efficient in taking down enemy missiles but the Overcharger can protect you from ordinary lasers and beams as well.

Fire Drone – Think Beam Drone, except fire. I am still not sure whether picking the Fire Drone is the best of ideas, simply because the Beam Drone can still start a fire and uses up less power.

Ion Intruder – Just as tough as a boarding drone, but its abilities are not associated with destruction of systems or killing the crew. The Ion Intruder attacks with Ion Blasts. It enters a system, blasts it (and anybody inside of it) and then proceeds to the next room. I have mixed feelings about the intruder. A Boarding Drone will remain in the room it breached into until the system is fully destroyed before moving on. The Intruder might ionize a system and then move on, but if you wanted it to permanently take out a system it would be unable to do so. As such I find the Boarding Drones superior, even though the Ion Intruder can also stun crew members.

Anti-Combat Drone – This Drone stops any enemy drones from approaching your ship. As such it could stop hacking attempts, drone boarding or any attack drone. A Defense Drone might be more useful, since it also takes out missiles and asteroids, but the Anti-Combat Drone’s focus on countering other Drones makes it also useful in taking out annoying beam and laser attack drones.

Conclusion

The Advanced Mode offers new challenges, but also a lot of new things for you to play with. The new systems, augmentations and the Lanius themselves allow you to create interesting combat combinations, which might not always work but they certainly offer a new layer to the whole experience. I am especially intrigued by the new possibilities of Type C ships, such as the new Federation Cruiser that uses and advanced Flak Cannon instead of the standard Beam Cannon, or the Type C Mantis Cruiser with a Cloning Bay, Stun and Lock Bombs and well as a Lanius and Mantis on board. I am still trying to get some of the Type C ships and see in what ways I can use the different new Systems for.

If you do not enjoy these new additions to FTL you can always turn them off at the hangar, you would be missing out though!

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About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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