Guide to FTL13

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So, after years of working on the same old stations you got bored. You wanted something new and thus decided to join the crew of NSV Astreaus on their dangerous voyage through space. Well, you're in the right place as this guide will tell you everything there is to know about FTL13 and its mechanics.

Most jobs on FTL13 are the same, an engineer is still repairing the ship and scientists are still doing their normal routines (for now). However, FTL13 adds some new mechanics that you should know about and understand before you take any command roles or FTL13 exclusive roles like Bridge Officer. And for that reason, this guide will explain all these new or changed mechanics.

FTL13

FTL13 is an SS13 codebase which takes inspiration from the highly acclaimed game Faster Than Light (FTL). Although we take inspiration from FTL, the game still holds up many of the values that SS13 has to offer instead of turning into a full carbon copy of FTL. The crews are still the same size, but everything is more compact, resources are scarcer, and the crew will face external threats instead of internal ones. One of the biggest changes this codebase has is that rather than a "stationary" station, this codebase has a ship. This ship can jump from system to system, send its shuttles to planets and stations, engage NPC ships in combat, and board said ships for missions. This changes a lot in the way SS13 works and gives the game a completely different vibe, as the crew now has to work together to tackle obstacles the ship faces rather than having internal conflicts.

New Jobs

FTL13 offers various new jobs that are related to space travel and ship-to-ship combat. To play these roles effectively you should understand how all of these roles work, as they are all dependent on each other and require the crew to work together, meaning you should put away the "traditional" SS13 mentality of "don't trust anyone."

Bridge Officer

COMMAND STAFF
Generic bridge officer male.png
Weapons Officer
Access: Maintenance, Outer Bridge, Bridge, Tactical Console, Helms Console
Additional Access: N/A
Difficulty: Medium
Supervisors: Captain, Executive Officer
Duties: Manning the weaponry of the ship.
Guides: Guide to Bridge Officer
Quote: What do you mean "We shouldn't fire at Nanotrasen Patrol Corvettes"?


The Weapons Officer is one of the most vital members on board the ship. They are in control of the ship's weaponry and have to ensure that enemy ships do not destroy your ship. This is done through their console, the Tactical Console. They are also responsible for informing the Munitions Officer about what shells to load.

The Tactical Console controls the ship's weapons, targeting, and shield systems. Bear in mind the ship's weaponry has a very limited range, so shooting at something that's not at the same planet you're at is just wasting ammo.

COMMAND STAFF
Bridge officer spitzer.png
Helms Officer
Access: Maintenance, Outer Bridge, Bridge, Tactical Console, Helms Console
Additional Access: N/A
Difficulty: Easy
Supervisors: Captain, Executive Officer
Duties: Flying the ship from point A to point B. Maybe with a stop at Point C.
Guides: Guide to Bridge Officer
Quote: Hang onto your asses, we're getting the hell outta here!


The Helms Officer is the person in charge of flying the ship. The ship is flown using the Helms Console, which you can use to see the status of the FTL drive, and jump from system to system, or planet to planet. It's fairly self-explanatory.

Make sure you warn the crew before you jump, else you risk leaving crew behind ("it announces it for me" isn't a very good excuse)! Leaving crew members behind during an FTL jump will kill them, with the exception of miners on a planet's surface. If you do not warn your crewmates before you jump and you cause the death of a crewmember in jumping (i.e. leaving behind a salvage team), you may face punishment both in-character (manslaughter charges) or out-of-character (job-bans).

Munitions Officer

SUPPLY STAFF
Generic munitions officer male.png Munitions officer bombsuit.png
Munitions Officer
Access: Delivery Office, Munitions, MO office, Outer Bridge, Bridge
Additional Access: N/A
Difficulty: Easy
Supervisors: Executive Officer
Duties: Load the MAC cannon
Guides: Guide to munitions
Quote: "The clown's getting loaded into the gun...." "Oh my god, for fuck sake..." [MAC cannon ejects live shell, shell detonates]


The Munitions Officer is the person that loads the biggest weapon aboard the ship - the Mass Accelerator Cannon, or MAC. The MAC is very big, very loud, and very powerful in the right hands. One very important warning: Once a shell is armed, it is very sensitive to shock until disarmed, and the MAC ejects its spent shells forcefully. In other words, if you try to remove an armed shell that's loaded into the MAC, it'll blow up and probably kill you and whoever is in the room with you. If it doesn't kill you, it'll definitely lead to a demotion.

New Mechanics

Objectives

FTL13 is a cooperative, PVE server. There are no traitors or other game-designated antagonists aboard the ship at round-start. Instead, the crew is tasked with an objective to complete. These can be things like boarding NPC ships, destroying a certain number of enemy vessels, or just helping Nanotrasen make some cold, hard cash. All crew members are expected to help complete objectives in whatever way they are able.

Salvage

FTL-13 features a rudimentary salvage system, where wrecks of destroyed ships will spawn and the crew can take the mining shuttle or cargo shuttle out to board them. The wrecks usually spawn aft of the shuttle's orbit point. The loot from the wreckage depends on where the WO was firing - for example, if they were firing at the hull, expect to not get much cargo. The wreckage may still have live enemies on it, so you should be armed when you head out.

One thing to note is that the salvage team is safe from fire while outside the shields: you do not need to worry about them being hit by incoming enemy fire. They are not safe, however, if you FTL while they are still off the ship.

Tactical and Navigations Consoles

There are 2 new consoles on the bridge: The Tactical and Navigation Consoles.

The Tactical Console is used to control the ship's weaponry and shields. This is where you can shoot at other ships, and monitor the status of the shields.

The Navigation Console is what is used to pilot the ship itself. You can jump from system to system from the starmap, or from planet to planet with the planet map. You can also view the status of the FTL drive.

Powering the Ship

The Aetherwhisp, Scarab, and Ineese ship designs are powered by a supermatter crystal or shard. The Butterfly and Feliciana designs are smaller, and are powered by solar panel arrays located on the port and starboard sides.

The Supermatter is discussed in more depth in this guide.

The Aetherwhisp and Scarab models use a thermo-electric generator, with the supermatter crystal powering the hot loop. As a quick reminder, the Supermatter emits plasma and heat when you hit it with an emitter, and that heat is what turns the hot loop. The cold loop is cooled by space to somewhere just above absolute zero.

The Ineese uses six radiation collectors to get power. The "hot loop" is actually used to dispose of waste gases and cool the air near the supermatter. Its cold loop functions similarly to the one mentioned above, but rather than turning a generator, it cools down the gases in the hot loop.

If left unattended, the supermatter shard can easily overheat. Overheating is bad, as it causes it to delaminate: If it delaminates, it explodes - violently - and you're left with a hole where the engine used to be, and an irradiated engine bay EVERYTHING. Of course, if it all hits the fan, you could always eject the supermatter shard - albeit with risks to your employment status for letting it get to the point to where it would need to be ejected in the first place.

Despite the risks, it allows a wide degree in the flexibility in its setup, and can be tweaked to improve performance or reliability.

Factions

Factions are covered more in depth here
FTL13 has reworked the factions slightly, so there are three major factions:

  • Nanotrasen are still your employers, and they're still friendly. However, firing upon them will cause them to retaliate with much more lethal force than the NSV Astraeus is equipped to handle. Systems controlled by Nanotrasen are represented by a blue dot on the starmap.
  • Solgov is a neutral faction, but if you attack one, be it by accident or on purpose, the entire Solgov fleet will know within minutes. Systems controlled by Solgov are represented with an orange dot on the starmap.
  • The Syndicate are sworn enemies to Nanotrasen, and are outright hostile towards Nanotrasen as a whole within FTL13. Syndicate-controlled systems are represented by a red dot on the map.
  • Pirates are not technically a faction as each of them work independently, but they're generally hostile and found within any system.