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Each ship you unlock has certain features which distinguish it from the others. The Zoltan ship has the Zoltan Shield Augment, Engi ship has the Med Bot dispersal Augment etc.

Is it possible to come across these augments in the wild whilst piloting another ship? So say I'm using the Red-tail, can I "find" or "buy" the Zoltan shield as an augment?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Neither one will show up in shops or as random rewards. However, there is one event that occurs at distress beacons in Engi sectors that has a guaranteed med-bot dispersal as a reward.

There's an Engi ship being attacked by rebels. After you defeat the rebel ship, you choose to give them some resources. Give them 40 scrap, two missiles, and two fuel, and they'll give you a med-bot augment.

As far as I know it's not possible to get the Zoltan shield or other "special" augments / subsystems outside of starting with them.

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That encounter is pretty rare. The only time I ran into that random encounter was when I started with the engi ship, such a waste >_< – l I Jan 23 '13 at 12:31
not having to pull crew off their stations in the middle of a battle helps a lot actually, especially with fires and breeches. – l I Jan 23 '13 at 12:37
It is useful with boarders as well. You have a clear advantage one on one!! and can basically stop worrying about who will win the duel as long as they are evenly matched(when I say that I dont mean a Engi v/s Mantis!!!) – Samyam Jan 23 '13 at 13:45
@JoeWreschnig The engi ship is a great boarding platform, with the teleporter right next to the med bay, if you had a spare rock/mantis they should be on the other ship and you don't have to worry about enemy boarders or a repair crew since your critical functionality are all well protected. I've beaten the game multiple times with the engi ship as I've found it to be one of the easier ones, along with the rock ship. – l I Jan 25 '13 at 3:35
@JoeWreschnig- You assume too much. I never said I upgraded anything. My comment only says one thing. You will have an advantage with boarders if you go 1 v/s 1 and that point holds. Nothing less nothing more. I did not even mention anything about falling behind the power curve. You could have added that as an addition instead of assuming otherwise. – Samyam Jan 25 '13 at 10:19

Now, in AE, the Zoltan shield augment can be obtained from the Zoltan Cruiser quest, with 50% chance. The other possible outcome is maxed out Zoltan crewmember named "Envoy".

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