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Navigation of FTL Guide

Drone Schematics

Drone schematics are what you need to deploy different drone types in the game Faster Than Light. Without a schematic, you have no way of using a specific drone, and so each drone schematic takes up one slot in your drone control system. Drones can be destroyed in the field, and in reaction it will take the drone schematic some time to re-initialize to be ready to deploy again, so there is no way for you to permanently lose your drone schematics short of disposing of them yourself.

Drone schematics themselves come in many different variations that serve a motley of purposes for the space cruiser and its captain. They can be anywhere from forming a super charged barrier like the zoltan shield, or crashing through one of the walls of an enemy space cruiser to attack its inhabitants like a space facing terminator, equipped with a laser and treadmill, to miniature ships buzzing around shooting at the enemy with beams and lasers. Because of this builds that rely on the drone control system can have greater flexibility than builds that focus on the weapons controls system, but come at the cost of a higher expenditure of drone parts, as drone parts are one of the three limited resources for the player, the last one on the right.

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Drone schematics are the blueprints used for the actual drones. The drones themselves are like machines with automatic behavior designed for their purpose, like combat for boarding drones and shooting down missiles for defense drones. They do not need a crew member to be controlling them is the point, and so there is no benefit, or really any actual use in manning a drone controls system, as great as that would be.

There are actually a few blue text options that will appear when your space cruiser has certain drone schematics equipped to its drone control system or in storage of the space cruiser’s cargo. Some overlap with weapon based blue text options though, like the beam drone being applicable for cutting free a random pirate ship trapped between two massive boulders in an asteroid field. So just by having a drone schematic on board somewhere may net the player some extra rewards from a random event where it otherwise wouldn’t happen.

Boarding Drone

  • “Breaches through the enemy hull and wreaks havoc. Awesome.”

At least one space cruiser comes equipped with the boarding drone from the hangar, the basilisk mantis cruiser. The addition of the boarding drone to that layout basically makes it armed to the teeth for crew brawling, as the basilisk mantis cruiser has a four person crew teleporter.

The boarding drone is an offensive type, that when activated by clicking on its schematic, the green tinged robot will be sent hurtling through spaced, curled up like an escape pod, to smash through the hull of the enemy space cruiser. Just the mere act of delivery will tear open a literal hull breach, and so that is an added effect every time the player’s boarding drone is sent out to attack. The boarding drone will unfurl itself and begin attacking whatever is in closest proximity to itself, whether that is an enemy crew member or a system. The boarding drone has little in the way of prioritizing between the importance of targets, and so it’s really only criteria for attacking something with its arm welded laser is just being close to it. Once it has completely destroyed whatever it was attacking, like the oxygen system being brought completely down to red, the boarding drone will trundle in a random direction to something else and immediately begin attacking that. Again it will choose whatever happens to be close to it.

The player’s only real control over its behavior is just by being able to power it on, which deploys it to the enemy space cruiser, or by powering it down, which if it is not destroyed in such a scenario then its shoulders will slump and it will be left defenseless to any hostiles. Since the boarding drone will never actually be inside the player’s space cruiser’s interior, it will always be in a hostile environment, and it is irrelevant to any enemy crew members whether the boarding drone is powered on or off, they will still attempt to destroy it. So there is no reason to willingly depower the boarding drone unless it is necessary to preserve some part of the ship, or otherwise achieve victory by powering up something else. An unlikely circumstance if the space cruiser is built for boarding warfare where the intended goal for victory is to defeat all of the enemy crew, to be able to safely salvage from the abandoned space cruiser.

Where the boarding drone breaches on the enemy space cruiser is neither up to the player’s discretion, as it will break through a room at random. This could be as fortunate as crashing into the oxygen system, or as pointless as tumbling into a hallway devoid of systems, subsystems, and crew members alike.

The boarding drone has stats similar to how a crew member does, and is actually affected by certain organic based weaponry, like the anti bio beam. However the boarding drone is affected to a lesser degree, specifically by half. This automated robot has one hundred and fifty health, putting it on par with the rockmen race. It has a standard rating of brawling damage, also making it on par with the rockmen race, or any other aside from the mantis race and the engi race.

Because of that, on a straight one versus one battle with a mantis, the boarding drone will actually lose since it inflicts less damage than the mantis does. That scenario is to the player’s benefit if they are defending against a boarding drone, as hostiles the player encounters can use them too, since the value of a mantis is more precious than that of a boarding drone. A boarding drone can always just be redeployed after a short delay, as any destruction that is not initiated by the player will cause the drone schematic to turn red until it is ready again. And that is the benefit to the boarding drone, in that the player does not need to risk their own crew members to fight, and that even if it is destroyed, it can just be sent out again, creating yet another hull breach.

A boarding drone will also serve to protect a boarding party consisting of actual crew members, as sending it out first will allow it to shoulder the brunt of the attack and take down the enemy’s health some to give the biological boarding party an advantage. It doesn’t even require a crew teleporter either, making the boarding drone actually more accessible and readily feasible to use than a crew teleporter would be; as the crew teleporter needs two unoccupied crew members who can be dispensable or possibly replaced should they fall in the line of duty.

The boarding drone is not deterred by any barriers as well, as it will cut right through them, but it is susceptible to defense drones shooting them down, creating a kind of interdrone counterbalance. It can also possibly miss, just like any variant of projectile can, but does seem to be less likely to. Aside from that, the boarding drone does need three energy slots, so this will be one of the dedicated drone schematic slots equipped to the player’s drone control system. However it can easily just not be deployed during a battle should it not be wanted, but that sort of casual use is more suited to space cruisers that have three or more total slots in their drone control system. Most space cruisers only have two unfortunately, unless their build style is meant to utilize the drone control system, otherwise the drone control system is treated more like an afterthought, as it is one of the most useful systems in the game.

The boarding drone makes a couple of blue text options available to the player, should those random events be met. The first one would be for the giant alien spiders, where the boarding drone can take the place of a crew member to fight them off, thus removing any risk of losing one of the player’s crew members to the dice roll of them making it out alive or not. The second one applies to the random event where the captain notices something peculiar about the moon, as there appears to be a cavern below. The boarding drone can punch through the thin surface, and eventually discover a zoltan scientist, still digging away. This blue text option awards the player with an extra crew member, that same zoltan scientist.

Ion Intruder

The ion intruder is a drone added to the game with the advanced edition update, and so it employs the new status effect introduced - stun. This drone breaks through the hull of a space cruiser in a similar, if not exact way to the boarding drone. It doesn’t have an arm welded laser to attack though, and doesn’t have a humanoid shape either. It freely floats, lacking a treadmill to trundle on.

This facilitates quick movement though, as the ion intruder darts from room to room periodically, releasing a cloud of stunning energy that ionizes systems and leaves crew members dazed. This makes attacking ion intruders particularly pernicious, stretching out the time needed to get rid of them to an excessive degree. This stunning cloud the ion intruder emits affects the anti-personnel drone too, so that is not a viable defense either. It is just something the player has to deal with patience, should they be attacked by an ion intruder; a rather unfortunate situation as the ion intruder wreaks havoc that cripples a whole space cruiser in a way other stun based weapons can hardly achieve.

Coming at the price of sixty five scrap, if it is found at a shop, the ion intruder needs three energy slots to deploy and keep active. Should the drone controls system be sufficiently damaged, the ion intruder will go dormant and motionless, easy prey compared to its normal aggressive and wild state for enemy crew and anti-personnel drones to get rid of it.

Usually once the ion stunner has emitted its ionizing blast, successfully taking down a system, it will dart away to ionize somewhere else. This makes it both swift moving and difficult to deal with, as it has a high rate of discharge of its stunning effect. In a hard to ignore way, the ion stunner is more tenacious and hardy than the boarding drone, capable of literally bringing a space cruiser to its knees from the inside; a feat the boarding drone cannot really achieve in any timely nor realistic manner.

The ion stunner is not going to be taking down crew members though, only rendering them incapable of performing their duties, and since the ion stunner’s dazing clouds do not differentiate between friendly and hostile, if there is a boarding party on board they will be affected by the ion stunner as well. So for as vicious as the ion stunner is, it does not mesh well with a boarding party simultaneously. They could be used at different points, but the ion stunner is really only as effective as it can be while it is still up and running around.

Combat Drone Mark I

  • “Powerful drone that continually attacks the enemy ship.”

This is one of the first drones the player is introduced to, from the engi cruiser. Upon deployment in a hostile encounter, the combat drone darts around the enemy space cruiser in a loosely orbiting track. When the combat drone pauses in its orbit, usually when it gets closer, it lets out a laser blast at a randomly selected part of the enemy space cruiser. The interval for when it fires off is intermittent, but generally at a fixed rate determined by the combat drone, and where it attacks is entirely random too, so the player has no choice as to what part of the enemy space cruiser the laser strikes, be that the pilots deck or the med bay rooms.

It is par for the course that the player cannot control the behavior or actions of a drone, and so that applies just as well to the combat drone. Because of this the player needs to time their weapon volleys around when they estimate the combat drone to fire, should they want to optimize both their own weapons and the damage the combat drone dishes out.

It is unusual for the combat drone to be able to strip down more than one layer of a barrier, as its firing frequency roughly matches the regeneration rate of just one barrier layer, but it will be somewhat slower. The speed of a barrier’s regeneration is actually rather fast after all. Should there be another source trying to pin down the enemy space cruiser’s barrier, then the combat drone will be free to fire in. Each laser that the combat drone unleashes will inflict one point of damage, should it strike.

The combat drone mark I bolsters any space cruiser’s damage prowess, putting it on par with lower mid-tier burst lasers. Since it doesn’t take up a slot in the weapons control system, it does make the combat drone mark I inordinately valuable, whereas it normally wouldn’t have such a place because the drone itself is not that strong by itself.

There is a more advanced version of the combat drone mark I though, so it is more ideal for a player to acquire the mark II version of the combat drone than to stick with this one throughout the length of a game instance. All the same, the combat drone mark I can come bundled with a drone control system purchased from a shop beacon, but a player can still sell it for some minor scrap to be able to afford something else, even if that is just an upgrade. Should the player’s space cruiser build presently be lacking in damage potential, it would be advisable to keep the combat drone mark I until something else can be acquired; as the sell value of drone schematics does not decay the longer they are in the player’s possession, or really change at all throughout the span of a game instance, whether the player is in the second sector or the seventh sector.

The combat drone mark I needs two energy slots to keep running, and one drone part to deploy. The player can power and depower the combat drone as many times as they wish without wasting the drone part that was initially used to summon the combat drone to begin with, as the combat drone will drift listlessly in space until it is activated again. Similarly if the drone control system is damaged, this will not destroy the deployed combat drone by proxy, and it can be safely powered back on when the drone control system is repaired enough to be able to provide two slots of energy from the reactor. Only a hacking station could make such a result that would cause the combat drone to explode in space.

The combat drone mark I, or really all space deployed drones are susceptible to destruction in an indirect way. Neither the player’s space cruiser nor the enemy’s space cruiser can actually target such space borne drones with say a burst laser, but drones can be caught in the crossfire, or otherwise certain environmental hazards like dashing asteroids. Sometimes the animation that plays out is curious in that it should seem that the drone should have a sophisticated enough programming to be aware not to position itself, and pause inopportunely, right in front of the opening of a missile launcher, that just happens to fire and explode on the drone, destroying it but inadvertently preventing the shot missile from even reaching the space cruiser. The times in which a drone gets destroyed by crossfire becomes less out of place than that, like a flying asteroid smashing into a drone that unfortunately darts in its trajectory. After a while, it just becomes plain the drone does not have any software to protect itself from spontaneously occurring collisions. Even so, it is not too often that a combat drone will be destroyed in such a way, but obviously the more of these potential hazards that there are, the more frequently the drone will be caught in the crossfire.

Found in a shop beacon, and not bundled with the drone control system, the combat drone mark I will have the price of fifty scrap.

Combat Drone Mark II

The higher tier version of the combat drone schematic, the combat drone mark II zips around the enemy space cruiser with agility and finely tuned haste, reaching a speed very nearly twice that of its predecessor. It moves so quickly that even the anti-combat drone cannot take it down, and so there is little counter to the aggressive presence of the combat drone mark II. Each laser blast unleashed does inflict one point of damage just like its predecessor, but the combat drone mark II fires at a much greater frequency, enough to take down layers of shielding and strike to the HULL.

There is not any further sophistication and advancement of the combat drone mark II’s programming and behavior, so the player still cannot dictate what places on the enemy space cruiser that it strikes, nor the frequency in which it fires.

The combat drone mark II should not be underestimated, as it is a viable alternative to high tiered weapons, and combined with such would make a space cruiser’s build tremendously formidable. It does not add to the energy slot use on the weapons control system, so it basically circumvents regular limitations on a space cruiser’s damage output by channeling that energy consumption through the drone control system. The combat drone mark II does need a great amount of power though, totaling four energy slots, half that of the maximum of a fully upgraded drone control system. Though that is high, this drone is strong enough to warrant such high power.

Unlike its predecessor, it cannot be luckily found in a bundle with the drone control system if it were purchased from the shop beacon. The combat drone mark II will cost one hundred scrap, a testament to its utility.

Anti-Ship Beam Drone Mark I

  • “Combat Drone that repeatedly attacks with a small beam weapon.”

If the combat drone schematics were the equivalent to burst lasers, then the anti-ship beam drone mark I is the equivalent to beam weaponry. This rounded drone, with a depressed symbol glowing in its center, will dart around the enemy space cruiser, blasting its thrusters to pause intermittently and a release a short spanned swath of a beam.

This anti-ship beam drone mark I has the remarkable ability to be completely accurate, never missing no matter how high the space cruiser’s evasion rate is. Furthermore the span of its beam is broader than just one room, so it can cut across on average two rooms if it touches down.

The downside to this surprisingly capable beam drone is that its beam cannot pierce through any shields, not even partially pierce as the damage rating on its red beam is only one point per touchdown. A statistic that may illicit an underestimation of the anti-ship beam drone mark I’s capabilities, but everything needs its own form of checks and balances for gameplay’s sake and this drone schematic is no exclusion to the rule. By using another kind of drone, like the combat drone, or a weapon or two to knock down the barriers of the space cruiser, the anti-ship beam drone mark I can sneak its beam through, quickly dealing a devastating amount of damage. Fires will rapidly spread, and the beams will cut across rooms, slicing explosions in its wake and harming crew members caught by happenstance.

Being caught without shields up by this drone can cut a player’s game instance startlingly short, as it has a capability for such high numbers of damage if the ship’s defenses are down for too long. The anti-ship beam drone mark I is even only the lower tier version out of two editions of the same drone schematic model.

It cannot be found bundled with a drone control system from a shop beacon, but will have the price of fifty scrap should it be successfully found in stock. It needs two energy slots to deploy and keep active, just like the combat drone mark I.

Anti-Ship Beam Drone Mark II

There used to only be one variant of the beam drone schematic, and with the Advanced Edition update, there is a higher tier version. The anti-ship beam drone mark II is an upgrade on an already viciously powerful offensive drone schematic. This higher tiered version is able to more frequently strike two rooms for every release of its red beam, and as such its two pincers that protrude from the front of the drone appear to be fully grown instead of just nub-like prongs.

The anti-ship beam drone mark II is not as far as an upgrade as the combat drone mark II is to the combat drone mark I, but it still is one, and for a drone schematic that was already very strong. Should this be found at a shop beacon, it will have the price of just sixty scrap, while to deploy and power the drone schematic it needs three energy slots, just one more than its predecessor.

Likely a good reason why this was added to the game was to add further flexibility for using drone schematics, and more variance between the selection of them that are in stock at the modicum of shop beacons the player will visit over the course of an individual game instance.

Defense Drone Mark I

  • “Shoots down incoming missiles and asteroids.”

A necessary counter to the existence of combat drones and beam drones, the defense drone mark I orbits the controller’s own space cruiser along the perimeter of the hexagonal patterned, blue translucent barrier of the shields, as if it were on an invisible track. It has a single barrel that swivels in the direction of its detected target, and releases a single green laser blast once it reaches a certain proximity. Not all projectiles travel at the same speed, so there is some variability as to when the defense drone mark I will fire, and if it will even catch the projectile in time to harmlessly detonate it in space, preventing it from impacting on the space cruiser the defense drone mark I is protecting.

Missiles can be cruelly destructive to the player’s HULL health, as the shields cannot ward them away, and so the space cruiser’s usual only resort is a chance to evade the missile. Worse is that missiles regularly have a damage rating higher than one, and even higher than two, even just one explosion by a missile is too much to shoulder per battle. Early on in the game, the player cannot spare much scrap to upgrade the engines systems to bolster the evasion rate to protect against missiles, when there is already so much else to invest into that is on a higher priority than just increasing the chances of a successful dice roll against a rocketing missile.

Having a defense drone up and running will pretty much prevent a one to one ratio of tandem flying missiles to the drone. So the defense drone will be able to shoot down one missile per roughly one second, and anything more than that it will have a high likelihood of failing to accurately shoot down the missile. Keep in mind, the defense drone mark I will try to shoot down the second missile, but what will likely happen is that the green laser will be fired at the wrong trajectory and glance past it by a too wide margin. Regardless the defense drone mark I actually reacts much faster than is normal for drones, such as the frequency of laser firing of the combat drone mark I, but that is probably due to the task the defense mark I drone is set to, sometimes requiring back to back reactions.

The defense mark I drone shoots down only physical projectiles, so there are a couple more things that fall under that criteria that this drone schematic will register and shoot down. There are asteroids that come flying by, ready to shatter upon the barriers and crash into the hull if exposed from the asteroid environmental hazard, there are boarding drones that hurtle through space curled up in a ball, and there are crystal weapons that shoot fragments. All of those things the defense drone mark I drone will try to shoot down, with varying degrees of success depending on how many come at the space cruiser, and how quickly in succession.

The defense drone mark I also offers one of the very few protections against a hacking drone, as it will also shoot down the hacking drone while it propels through space, soon to attach onto a system of the targeted space cruiser.

Using the defense drone mark I is enacting the practice of preservation, thereby sheltering the player’s space cruiser from substantial damage to its HULL - a rather precious vital for the journey. The more damage incurred to the HULL, the more the scrap currency the player will need to spend and the less there will be to use on upgrades, weaponry, drone schematics, augmentations, systems, and even crew members to recruit of the assorted races. Of course this will vary depending on what sort of enemy space cruisers the player encounters, what difficulty the game is dialed on, and how often those enemy space cruisers have missile launchers armed. Some will have a couple as well, especially in the latter sectors where the enemies are more pernicious and decidedly vicious.

This viable defense is used in exchange for a single drone part per battle, unless the player’s space cruiser has acquired the drone recovery augmentation that will bring back drones deployed into space, provided they have not been destroyed through the course of the battle. If not the drone part will cost eight scrap at a shop beacon, and will also be in limited supply, but that is a better cost than what it is to repair the HULL, as each point of HULL health is set at the price of three scrap each. And unless the player’s space cruiser is spec’d to be able to swiftly shut down a weapons control system, thereby disabling the missile launchers, chances are high that the enemy space cruiser’s missile launcher will rocket a few missiles throughout the span of the battle.

This does also come at the exchange of using two energy slots for the drone control system in order to keep the defense drone mark I up and running, but the player can swiftly toggle in and out of power for the defense drone mark I if a close eye is kept, however that does run the likelihood of causing the defense mark I drone to miss some of its potential targets, thereby diminishing its utility value.

The defense mark I drone schematic has a high cost at the shop beacon for its tier, at fifty five scrap, but it does have a chance to be bundled in with the drone control system should the player’s space cruiser be lacking one. This will cause the price of the drone control system to be raised somewhat, but not in perfect mirror of what the two’s combined price total would be separately.

Defense Drone Mark II

  • “It fires faster than Mark I and can also shoot down incoming lasers.”

Being the upgraded version of the defense drone mark I, this drone schematic - the defense drone mark II is able to shoot down more rapidly arriving targets, and is able to counteract more sources of danger and harm than just missile launchers and other physical projectiles like the fragments from crystal weapons. Suffice to say, is a player’s space cruiser build partially relies on a defense drone schematic to defend and protect themselves, then this is the solid choice over its predecessor. It serves to ward against much more sources of harm than just the defense drone mark I, essentially boosting the sheer barrier capabilities of their space cruiser’s shields by cutting down the density of each weapon’s volley intent on crushing the barriers.

The targets the defense drone mark II’s capability of shooting down has broadened to include more than just missiles, as it will fire down incoming laser blasts and ion blasts. Yes, the defense drone mark II will protect the space cruiser from ion blasts, a particularly difficult mechanic to get around if the tables are reversed and the player has their ion blaster rendered essentially useless by the mere presence of a defense drone mark II. Should the player be in possession of this remarkable drone schematic, then they have a sure defense against ion weaponry, and will avoid considerable amounts of damage that would otherwise occur with an ion weapon stripping down the shields, disabling them and leaving the space cruiser’s HULL keenly vulnerable to harm.

The defense drone mark II needs three slots of energy to keep active and vigilant, while at a shop beacon it has the price of seventy scrap. Unlike its predecessor, the drone schematic of the defense drone mark II’s quality will not be possible to be found bundled with a drone control system.

Another important thing for the player to know about the defense drone mark II, and really all of these defense drone schematics, is that more than one defense drone can be deployed at one time. So long as the player, or even technically the enemy artificial intelligence has two or more drone schematics in their possession and equipped in slots to their drone control system, they will be able to summon each of those defense drones. They can be of any combination and variation of the type of defense drones there are, and so this is a legitimate way of further protecting oneself against incoming missiles and lasers, as there will be that many more defense drones patrolling to shoot them down.

This tactic will all but nearly dedicate a space cruiser’s drone control system to them though, and if used commonly, will plummet the player’s limited resource of drone parts. It could always be used in a desperate situation, where otherwise the player would most likely surely perish by taking too many missiles to their HULL. Even if the HULL damage does not explode the space cruiser to bits, the severe numbers that missiles damage systems for can be traumatic enough to turn the space cruiser vulnerable to regular sources of damage like burst lasers and heavy lasers.

Anti-Ship Fire Drone

  • “Combat drone that repeatedly attacks with a small beam weapon that lights rooms on fire.”

A new addition to the game with the Advanced Edition update, the anti-ship fire drone is of the beam class in that it unleashes a short swath of scarlet shining beam that has a great propensity to ignite blazing clusters of fires. Like its beam weaponry equivalent, the anti-ship fire drone will be incapable of piercing or partially piercing through barriers on its own, as the scarlet beam it lashes out does not inflict any kind of base damage. If it did, it would perhaps be kinged as the higher tier offensive based drone schematic in the entirety of the game Faster Than Light. It does not though, and so the anti-ship fire beam relies on other weapons and drones to be able to unleash its fiery fury.

The anti-ship fire drone does have a quick frequency of lashing out its scarlet beam, and so in that way it can be more effective and aggressive about spreading fires on the targeted ship. However the player has no way of metering out the discharges of its scarlet beam, and will have to time their own weapon volleys based on an estimation and guess of when the anti-ship fire drone will lash out with its blaze spreading attack.

This is actually a rather rare drone schematic to find, and yet it should be considered for acquirement with some caution, as it requires some specific handling to use correctly. Without sufficient armaments, the anti-ship fire drone just will not be put to much use, as it can scarcely be able to spread clusters of fire if it is not supported adequately. At the same time, the anti-ship fire drone will take up a slot out of the drone control system where another drone schematic could take its place and not require such backup to perform its due purpose. That slot comes with more cost than just its occupying space, as the anti-ship fire drone will also need three energy slots to keep running.

The cost of this drone schematic is decent though, at fifty scrap. But it would be wise for the player to accommodate its talent in their space cruiser’s build, as it is unlikely to flourish well without proper accommodation.

System Repair Drone

  • “Will seek out damaged systems and repair them automatically.”

One of the most underestimated drone schematics by fresh to the game players, the system repair drone is an on board upright drone that trundles from room to room slowly, with metal shining clamp-like arms that extend out and repair systems and hazards with a sparking welder. It has a rather unremarkable appearance, like a piece of machinery a few too many decades out of date for this space faring setting of intergalactic warfare, with a yellowish tube-like body and a bulbous head like a rounded light bulb with no filaments.

Though the system repair drone operates in a similar reign as the anti-personnel drone, the system repair drone moves at a sluggish pace, matching that of a rockmen crew member. There is not as much haste needed though, as there is not ongoing destruction that the system repair drone could feasibly stop. Of course the space cruiser may be severely vulnerable to incoming damage if the shields were down though, but that is not the same as a crew member having holes burning through him from a laser handgun from an intruder.

Perhaps the greatest behavioral quality to the system repair drone is that it literally ignores the presence of intruders, it simply has no way of interacting with them, neutrally or aggressively. Because of this, it is capable of continuing along with its task, undistracted by the presence of others wherever they may be on the ship. A drone schematic that has its role divided would not excel at either activity, and so the system repair drone dedicates itself to repairing any damaged systems and subsystems, and eradicating the presence of cluster fires and hull breaches.

Surprisingly it is actually immune to a few sources of harm that otherwise most drones are. The system repair drone is invulnerable to ionization, and can neither be damaged by the presence of raging fires. Despite its lackluster appearance, the system repair drone must be crafted of hazard resistant parts that allows it to perform its job rather well.

A player can be easily surprised at the efficacy in which the system repair drone conducts itself. Tasks that would pull crew members away from their stations, thusly diminishing the attributes of those mannable systems, are attended to automatically by a system repair drone that is in a powered state. It neither has the risk of becoming destroyed by most sources of harm, that otherwise the player would have to watch over the crew member in question and take them away from say a fire in order to restore their health at the med bay, to then return to the hazard again and hopefully successfully snuff it out at the second round.

There is a further beneficial aspect to the system repair drone in that so long as it is not destroyed, it will not need another drone part to use again from FTL jump to FTL jump. It will be rather uncommon for a system repair drone to be destroyed, as realistically only an intruder will be able to destroy it, and the system repair drone would have to be left abandoned and undefended for a prolonged period for it to happen. It is true that an unwitting system repair drone can act as a buffer to protect systems from being damaged for a short while, but that will come at the inevitable cost of a drone part. The system repair drone only has seventy health points after all, but it can return to the drone control station and slowly regenerate its health if it remains powered.

The system repair drone returns to the drone control station when there is no longer any sources of hazard or damage that it can repair or manage, and if harmed, it will heal as mentioned. When systems, subsystems, and rooms are damaged in some way, either from a malfunctioning system from a stray laser or a hull breach opening up in a hallway somewhere, the system repair drone will act on a set of priorities intermingled with an inclination to what is in closest proximity. Before the system repair drone arrives at its destination to commence its duty, there will be a visible green highlighted square at the room it is traveling to, so the player can be aware of where it plans to go next. If the intended room’s damage is repaired from another source than the system repair drone, then the system repair drone will not recalculate its route and head to somewhere else just yet. It has to arrive at its plotted destination, and only then will it realize there is nothing needed to repair, and it will proceed on to the next hazard.

The only detriment to using the system repair drone is just that it uses a slot in the drone control station, and most space cruisers only have two in total, despite that being the lowest limit really. It otherwise only needs one energy slot to power, and so long as it is not being smashed to bits with frequent enemy intruders, it will use relatively little drone parts.

Admittedly the use in the system repair drone is practically non-existent when the player has a surplus of crew members and no crew teleporter, a surplus being seven or more crew members. That kind of situation usually only happens in the later stages of the game, and on lower difficulties. The system repair drone will still be immune to multiple sources of harm, but its slot in the drone control system may be put to better use at such a late stage of a game instance.

Anti-Personnel Drone

  • “Will seek out and attempt to destroy any intruders on-board your ship.”

This drone rides the line between being a luxury and being necessary depending on your strategy and crew makeup. Having a crew consisting of mostly engi will make this anti-personnel drone highly prized, and on vessels that lack a med bay this anti-personnel drone can also be very appreciated.

The anti-personnel drone will appear in your drone control room, and will return there when it no longer detects any threats. Fortunately your anti-personnel drone has his own set of sensors, as the interference the nebulae cause does not bother him. So long as he is powered, he will actively seek out intruders. He will not retreat to repair himself when he is severely damaged, and you cannot persuade him to do so as you have no manual control over him. You can merely turn him off or on by supplying power to him. Whenever the anti-personnel drone does return to the drone control system, he will be automatically repaired by a grey cloud of nanites, similar to the dispersal that you witness when an injured crew member steps inside of a med bay’s room.

This drone’s health is set to one hundred and fifty, matching that of the rockmen race, but because this drone does not have amplified damage like the mantis race, he will fall to a single intruding Mantis. However this would be preferable to losing a crew member to said hypothetical Mantis.

If this drone does not fall in battle, you will not need to use another drone part to re-deploy him, even if you depower him. When unpowered he will not be able to passively recover his health point bar though, so that is something to keep aware of.

The drone itself requires two energy slots to power and deploy, and if you find it for sale at a shop beacon, it will cost you sixty scrap to purchase. If your space cruiser has a slot limit higher than two, then this is a good drone to be used for support, instead of one of your main ones. It will aggressively protect your crew members, and is actually immune to some sources of damage or enfeeblement.

Since the anti-personnel drone is a machine, it does not need oxygen to survive, and so it is immune to the damage over time from a vacuum. This makes it ideal in fighting in situations where there are hull breaches, or when some Lanius have invaded your vessel. Of course it is rather rare for Lanius to board your ship, considering that you only see them in the Abandoned Sector and there are only a small number of clashes that you have with them too.

Ion damage will not directly affect this drone either, although it will if the ion damage targets the drone control system, as this would create the subsequent effect of your drone being without power. Fire neither harms the anti-personnel drone. It also has the same health point bar value as the boarding drone, allowing it to completely protect your crew in such a situation.

All of these things together make the anti-personnel drone ideal for hazardous situations which would in most cases spell likely death for your precious crew members. You might not have much regard for death when you have a clone bay, but when your crew members perish they are still losing twenty percent of their total gained skills, an incredible amount if their deaths chain together, eventually diminishing them to a newb-like status. Incredibly detrimental later on the game.

There is nothing stopping you from having your crew members fight alongside the anti-personnel drone too. This could also have the effect of preventing your anti-personnel drone from falling in battle, and so you will not have to use up another set of drone parts to re-deploy him. If you do unequip him at some point though, his model will entirely disappear from the interior of your space cruiser, and when you re-equip the anti-personnel drone it will cost you another drone part to resummon.

Hull Repair Drone

This drone schematic is what often times warrant the purchase of a drone control system outrightly, as it has the ability to change the course of a game instance fundamentally. The player’s space cruiser can only find a manual repair at a shop beacon, where a selection on the left offers the choice of one repair point at a time for three scrap, or to repair all damage to the space cruiser’s HULL should the player have sufficient scrap to cover the expense. Whether it is done all at once, or just one at a time, there is no price variation. The total price to repair all damage is contingent upon the severity of the damage, not how much the player can afford.

Because of this, the player’s space cruiser has to visit a shop beacon in order to receive repairs, and the span of time in between shop visits can stretch so long that the HULL dips down into dangerously low levels, making each subsequent hostile encounter increasingly precarious.

Having the hull repair drone schematic entirely turns that requirement on its head, as by simply activating the hull repair drone will initiate its cycle. The hull repair drone will appear at a distance from the player’s space cruiser, and dart around it on a loose orbit while radiating green crescent beams at every paused interval. Every time the hull repair drone releases those green beams, it replenishes the space cruiser’s HULL for one point of damage. There is some variance to how much the hull repair drone will repair for every full sweep, as it can repair anywhere between three points of HULL damage to five points of HULL damage, while never bringing it higher than its maximum, even as a temporarily buff.

Once the hull repair drone has finished its sweep, it will dissipate into space, presumably the drone parts that make it up are worn out beyond repair by such an extraordinary task. There is no limit as to how many times a player can deploy a hull repair drone at a beacon, and there is little delay in between possible deployments, as the manner in which the hull repair drone dissipates is not like an unexpected destruction that turns the drone schematic red until it can be used again.

The restriction is just based on the limited resource of drone parts the player has. As difficult to replenish drone parts are, by repairing the HULL with the hull repair drone and using just one drone part, the cost is less than that of purchasing a drone part, and repairing from the shop beacon itself. It is not by much, by one scrap, but with the hull repair drone the player can mend their HULL anywhere, even in the middle of battle. Such sheer ability while a battle is ongoing can actually save the player’s space cruiser where otherwise the space cruiser would rip apart into smoldering, broken bits by a couple of missiles. Over time the hull repair drone will save the player more scrap and fuel they otherwise would have had to expend on repairing and visiting shop beacons, allowing the scrap currency to be spend on more constructive things, even if just brought into the pool of limited resources so that there can be a greater quantity of them.

The repair hull drone perhaps sees the most utility when facing off against the rebel flagship, as there is little avoiding taking considerable degrees of damage through the fierce exchange. The rebel flagship is armed with high powered weapons, and has a super attack that can overwhelm most defenses if not specifically tuned to ward against it. And since the rebel flagship has multiple phases, requiring that the player’s space cruiser has to actually chase after it, the hull repair drone can mend the player’s space cruiser HULL in between those phases where otherwise a shop beacon could just not be visited due to the turn based limitations.

Being a space based deployable drone, the hull repair drone can potentially be recovered by the drone recovery arm augmentation. Since it automatically self destructs once it has completed its task, anywhere between three to five points of HULL health, to successfully recover the drone part used the player must FTL drive jump before the hull repair drone finishes. One could take a gamble that the hull repair drone will mend four points of HULL health, or even five, but that will surely introduce failures to this technique. To ensure that the drone part used for the hull repair drone is salvaged, the player should FTL drive jump once the hull repair drone mends the HULL for the second point. If the drone will not heal past three points, then it will immediately self-destruct on the third point healed, and so while the player will not receive the full healing value the hull repair drone has to offer, the player does not need to spend any drone parts, and thus any scrap in order to have the action done.

Of course this technique will only work when jumping beacon to beacon, but using it correctly should substantially lower the repair costs for that game instance.

The hull repair drone needs two energy slots to activate, and only needs it for a short while, so using the energy slots given from the backup battery is an excellent combination. And should it be found in a shop beacon, it has the price of one hundred scrap. That does lower how cost effective it is for repairing the HULL, but it will eventually outpace that investment so long as it is not acquired too late in the game. Even if it is, the hull repair drone will potentially protect the player’s space cruiser from destruction by the hands of the rebel flagship, or even an enemy prior to the boss of the game.

Anti-Combat Drone

Another addition to the game with the Advanced Edition content enabled, the anti-combat drone is of a schematic class of its own. This drone will seek out exterior drones and disable them with its armed ion weaponry, thereby cancelling out any negative influence they would have over the battlefield. The kinds of drones the anti-combat drone can affect are combat drones, hacking drones, and boarding drones. The anti-combat drone can only stop a boarding drone while it is hurtling through space, with an imminent impact.

The anti-combat drone has a sort of niche role in that it is not too commonplace for enemies to be using combat drones against you, but it does happen frequently enough to warrant carrying around this kind of drone. It will leave the player wanting when they face off against an enemy space cruiser that does not have any exterior drones, since the anti-combat drone has to be already equipped to the drone control system slot to be able to use in battle, as the game does not allow the player to swap drone schematics out during it.

But when the player does find themselves fighting such combat drones, the anti-combat drone viciously takes them down for as long as it is powered. Since it is ion based, it will have to remain powered in order to keep the combat drones in check, otherwise the ionization disabling those combat drones will fade away and they will resume attacking the player’s space cruiser.

The anti-combat drone does not put much strain on the drone control system, or even that of the space cruiser’s reactor, as it only needs one energy slot to keep running. Furthermore it has a low price of thirty five scrap, so it is not much of a gamble to be able to build up a stalwart defense against combat drones. The downside is like the system repair drone, in that it just needs a slot, and on most space cruisers the drone control systems only have two slots in total - a rather meager capacity.

Shield Overcharger

  • “Creates single Supershield barrier periodically.”

Only possible to be found in a game instance while the Advanced Edition content is enabled, the shield overcharger drone schematic has such a dramatically potent shield that it is on the tier of an upgraded system. The shield overcharger orbits around the summoner’s translucent barrier, with a green and grey body parted into two circle halves and with two green glowing eyes peering out, pausing every once in a while to erect a layer of a super shield like that of the zoltan shield augmentation. Unlike that zoltan shield though, that so long as the shield overcharger is powered and operating, the drone will continually replenish and strengthen layer by layer of the super shield. Regularly the zoltan shield can only be regenerated by a FTL drive jump, and beside that it only has five points worth of defense until it goes down completely for that beacon.

Perhaps one of the most useful drone schematics in that it can protect the space cruiser from incredibly high powered attacks like that from the rebel flagship, the shield overcharger will erect one layer of the super shield on an average of every eight seconds. For every layer that is already constructed, the subsequent layer to be built will take an additional three or so seconds to establish. Since the space cruiser is generally always undergoing some kind of an attack, the shield overcharger drone keeps a quicker super shield construction rate than if it would reach the limit.

This layer interweaves with the space cruiser’s already present vanilla shielding, but will still construct itself should the shield systems be down in some way. A maximum of five layers can be built up, but it is unlikely that limit will be reached while the space cruiser is undergoing attack. This super shield cannot be prepared before engaging in a battle either as the layers of super shielding will dissipate upon a FTL drive jump, making it operate in a reverse manner to that of the zoltan shield augmentation.

While the player cannot build up layers of shielding from inside of the shield overcharger, to be applied all at once, the shield overcharger offers one method of defense against high powered tandem attacks, like that of the rebel flagship’s super strikes where dozens of drones scatter, blasting lasers, or where several missiles rocket out, that otherwise could only be dealt with by the cloaking system, some mark II defense drones, or the natural evasion rate of the space cruiser’s engines.

The shield overcharger needs three energy slots to keep running, so this will be one of the space cruiser build’s primary drones to keep around, while it will have the cost of sixty scrap should the player be fortunate to find this rather uncommon drone schematic in stock at a shop beacon.

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