FTL Continuity Shift   Leave a comment


A friend of mine, Kent, introduced me to FTL a few months ago, and I’ve been obsessing about it since then. The game does marvelous things with next to nothing. Its music is wonderful, its sparse story is engaging and the galaxy it randomly generates is enticing. There’s just enough information about everything to make you wonder and imagine. My friends who play the game have been surprised by the amount of stuff that I’ve found in the game. Either I’ve just played a lot more than they have in the short amount of time (which given my obsessive nature is possible), or I’ve had some ludicrous lucky streaks that showed me more things than they’ve seen (which given the nature of RNGs is also possible.)

Either way, I had a lot of fun talking to friends and asking if they’d seen things. “Have you seen a crystal or ice encrusted ship carrying a cryogenic pod yet?” “Did you see the Voltan who mastered time and space?” “So, the other day I found a hollow moon…” Generally, my friends just roll their eyes, but sometimes they also nod eagerly, knowing exactly what I’ve been talking about.

So, last week when my computer updated FTL so that the Advanced Edition became available for free to Steam users… well, some friends and I were very excited. We’ve already seen a lot of new, exciting things. A friend of ours who’d not gotten into the game before gave it another chance, and this time he actually really enjoyed it. However, there was an oddity… he apparently couldn’t upgrade his weapons system.

Confused, Kent and I invited him to log onto Steam with my laptop since I had FTL installed. He entered the game, it synchronized with his game data, and allowed him to play. So far he’d only unlocked the regular ship and the Engi ship (I know that doesn’t mean anything to non-players.) We looked at it, deduced that it was just a simple matter of him not quite understanding the different layout of the weapons system (he was quick to figure out what was going on once we asked to see a couple things) and called it a night.

That evening, I logged into FTL from home where I have no Internet access. It used his game data for me. I shrugged, decided to play it that way, and resolved to resynchronize my data with my online presence the next time I had an Internet access.

The next day, it didn’t work. Even on the Internet, I still had his game data, and not mine. I posted a question on the game forums, and the person who responded wasn’t sure, but imagined that my game data file had apparently been overwritten in the process.

The silver lining of all this? Last night, I decided to just remove my game data and start over. Since I’d already lost all my ships and achievements, it means I get to experience them all again. And where before I earned most of my achievements on Easy mode? This time I’m playing on Normal. I’m discovering that I have more Scrap in Normal than in Easy mode, even with Easy mode’s bonus scrap percentage (I wonder if enemy difficulty improves scrap acquisition beyond what the Easy mode bonus allows.)

I’m glad to say that last night I unlocked two ships (Engi and Voltan), and a few tricky achievements (Death By Asphyxiation). Hopefully my bizarre string of luck will continue into this new version of the game.



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