CuAnnan

Pilots Suggestion

95 posts in this topic

Or maybe they should simply endure much more Gees than other classes.

But I'm pretty sure it's already a thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Waxing_Kibbous said:

I'd like to see level 4 pilots be able to execute maneuver nodes, maybe even with the option of splitting a maneuver node for more efficiency. Level 5 would be able to dock (although this is pretty complicated, I imagine ships would need proper RCS to enable it).

What?!?  You mean pilots actually pilot?!?  That's just crazy talk!

 

Seriously, though, I sort of support this.  I think ALL pilots should be capable of executing a maneuver node.  The higher the level of pilot, the more precisely they will execute it.

Level 5 being able to dock, or maybe carry out a mission profile you've already flown (or the Kerbal has already flown) would be cool, though.  (and for all the Kerbal Space Pogrom players, just think how funny it would be to watch one try to land a ship that's not designed for it... lots of boomtastic hilarity.)

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some cranky personal opinion follows; not speaking as a moderator. 

It was actually the original intention for a skilled pilot to be able to operate the vehicle more efficiently, as simulated by an increase in ISP. It was dropped because the adherents of strict realism went absolutely bonkers on the forum, insisting that the operator of a vehicle could not alter the fuel efficiency of its engines. They would not accept that the ISP change would only be a simplified representation of better steering and operation. In fact, they made such a fuss that the concept was dropped, so that was the end of that idea. 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On Wednesday, March 08, 2017 at 4:19 AM, razark said:

Level 5 being able to dock, or maybe carry out a mission profile you've already flown (or the Kerbal has already flown) would be cool, though.  (and for all the Kerbal Space Pogrom players, just think how funny it would be to watch one try to land a ship that's not designed for it... lots of boomtastic hilarity.)

 

On Wednesday, March 08, 2017 at 4:19 AM, razark said:

Kerbal Space Pogrom

 

On Wednesday, March 08, 2017 at 4:19 AM, razark said:

Pogrom

Most

Dangerous

Typo

Ever.

:D

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, MinimalMinmus said:

Most

Dangerous

Typo

Ever.

Typo?

 

:wink:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would be appropriate for experienced pilots to provide an efficiency boost to a craft's attitude control systems. RCS thrusters use less monopropellant, reaction wheels consume less electric charge. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Vanamonde said:

Some cranky personal opinion follows; not speaking as a moderator. 

It was actually the original intention for a skilled pilot to be able to operate the vehicle more efficiently, as simulated by an increase in ISP. It was dropped because the adherents of strict realism went absolutely bonkers on the forum, insisting that the operator of a vehicle could not alter the fuel efficiency of its engines. They would not accept that the ISP change would only be a simplified representation of better steering and operation. In fact, they made such a fuss that the concept was dropped, so that was the end of that idea. 

Seems to me like they could stick to RO, which could easily change that effect anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Vanamonde said:

They would not accept that the ISP change would only be a simplified representation of better steering and operation.

Perhaps if it had been pitched that way, it wouldn't have met with as much opposition.  The way it was stated, a high-level pilot provided a "bonus" to ISP, giving it more delta-v than it should have.

To simulate the effect of a higher pilot being able to steer better, it should have been a penalty to ISP for lower-level pilots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/7/2017 at 4:02 PM, Veeltch said:

Or maybe they should simply endure much more Gees than other classes.

But I'm pretty sure it's already a thing.

Yes, that's a thing with the new G-force tolerance feature.  Pilots can handle more gees.

It's still not much of an incentive to have pilots, though.  It's only relevant if the player has the feature turned on... and even there, the default settings are such that you really have to work hard to black out the kerbals.  Even the non-pilot ones can take a lot of gees, and the gees have to be sustained quite a while to reach the blackout point.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me of an interesting distinction I've noticed in some other genres of games.  In action-y games, like first person shooters, it's the player's own skill at the activity, not the character's, that decides what happens.  It's up to you to point the gun in the right place, and if you do, you hit your target.  Your character might get more ammo or better guns, but he doesn't get better at shooting or moving around because that's what the player is supposed to do.  But in many RPG-type games, the game attempts to model the character's own skills.  E.g., you click on a target, the character attacks, the game applies some hit-rate number crunching based on how good the game thinks your character is to see if you hit the target. 

It seems like at its core, KSP is really the first approach.  You're flying the ship, so it's up to you to do it the right way.  There's just not really concept of pilot skill to plug into the basic gameplay mechanic, and trying to force some in-game concept of piloting skill could result in awkwardness  (kind of like some action/RPG hybrid games where you can attack and clearly hit your target, but still "miss" if the stats don't go well).  As far as the solution, I have no idea.  Autopilot-like functions probably make the most sense, but I'm not very interested in that for the same reason I don't use MechJeb - I'm playing the game to fly spaceships.  

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/9/2017 at 4:34 PM, Vanamonde said:

Some cranky personal opinion follows; not speaking as a moderator. 

It was actually the original intention for a skilled pilot to be able to operate the vehicle more efficiently, as simulated by an increase in ISP. It was dropped because the adherents of strict realism went absolutely bonkers on the forum, insisting that the operator of a vehicle could not alter the fuel efficiency of its engines. They would not accept that the ISP change would only be a simplified representation of better steering and operation. In fact, they made such a fuss that the concept was dropped, so that was the end of that idea. 

As one of the cranks who strongly objected to the idea: The game is putatively educational, I really don't want it to teach people that the key to more efficient spacecraft is better pilots. Give them better SAS abilities (which is already modeled to some degree with more SAS modes available with higher pilot skill), ability to execute maneuver nodes autonomously, or even auto-suicide burns...I'd be all for that as they are actual pilot things. But not better engine performance, that's just silly.

7 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, nobody has really mentioned the total outrage that happened when they announced pilots would increase engine stats... :) I wasn't a fan of the idea at the time, but I play with so many mods now that it wouldn't be the end of the world I suppose. Still not very fond of it though.

The whole premise of this seems to be that probes can do anything that pilots can, but that ignores the need for a satellite network with probes. If you feel like that's too easy to set up then I'd argue for increased difficulty on that front rather than more bonuses for pilots.

I could definitely be talked into an execute maneuver node ability for pilots though. I don't want full on Mechjeb, but that would be just fine. Problem is that then people are going to say, "What about the probes? No love for probes? They should be able to do this as well."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Red Iron Crown said:

As one of the cranks who strongly objected to the idea: The game is putatively educational, I really don't want it to teach people that the key to more efficient spacecraft is better pilots. Give them better SAS abilities (which is already modeled to some degree with more SAS modes available with higher pilot skill), ability to execute maneuver nodes autonomously, or even auto-suicide burns...I'd be all for that as they are actual pilot things. But not better engine performance, that's just silly.

I came out in favour early in this thread, but after seeing the discussion on this, y'all have convinced me.  :)  I have to admit that having pilots offering manoeuvrability/execution makes a lot more sense than efficiency.

However... The reason I liked the efficiency boost is that it's a quick, simple change that fits into KSP as it is now.  Adding more SAS and such would absolutely be fantastic but it's not going to be something we get any time soon.  Ditto with career mode overhauls, which would make most of this conversation moot.  Since career mode already pushes the bar so far from reality, why should a quick playability/balance boost that pushes that bar just a little bit further be a big deal?

In other words, I'd like to see it done as a kludge until something better can be done.  (Which, as I understand it, is how early versions of KSP did a lot of the important stuff... like physics.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, paulprogart said:

In other words, I'd like to see it done as a kludge until something better can be done.

We are already still living with the consequences of so many "quick and dirty" implementations of things in the game that I am really, really reluctant to see another added.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Red Iron Crown said:

As one of the cranks who strongly objected to the idea: The game is putatively educational, I really don't want it to teach people that the key to more efficient spacecraft is better pilots. Give them better SAS abilities (which is already modeled to some degree with more SAS modes available with higher pilot skill), ability to execute maneuver nodes autonomously, or even auto-suicide burns...I'd be all for that as they are actual pilot things. But not better engine performance, that's just silly.

For main propulsion, yes, I agree. But I think there's room for an efficiency bonus on the attitude control bits. Not an increase in torque or thrust, but rather a small but noticeable reduction in consumable use. This would primarily affect docking and landing operations, where you would expect the pilot to be the most useful crew member.

Scott Carpenter's misadventures on his Mercury flight would seem to be a real world example of this. 

Changing the efficiency of the propulsion parts would negatively impact the educational portion of the game (was that dV boost due to the pilot, or the Oberth effect?), but KSP doesn't model attitude control well to begin with so I don't see the harm.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ten Key said:

For main propulsion, yes, I agree. But I think there's room for an efficiency bonus on the attitude control bits. Not an increase in torque or thrust, but rather a small but noticeable reduction in consumable use. This would primarily affect docking and landing operations, where you would expect the pilot to be the most useful crew member.

Scott Carpenter's misadventures on his Mercury flight would seem to be a real world example of this. 

Changing the efficiency of the propulsion parts would negatively impact the educational portion of the game (was that dV boost due to the pilot, or the Oberth effect?), but KSP doesn't model attitude control well to begin with so I don't see the harm.

 

I don't think you even need to alter the stats of control systems, just make the SAS smarter.  Low stars use the overshot and correct code of the current game. middle stars start countering rotation before the mark to avoid overshoot. High star kebels who know how to burn a node, gear the initial rotation thrust to be at the node orientation just in time. Both systems would save resources without undermining the physics of the game. 

 

I know, I know, I remember the backlash of "autopilot" skills was almost as bad as the physics boost backlash. To me the later is completely understandable as undermining game play. However in the case of Kerbal Pilots I don't get it. Kerbals are meant to skilled but they are just ballast even in the current system. 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Red Iron Crown said:

As one of the cranks who strongly objected to the idea: The game is putatively educational, I really don't want it to teach people that the key to more efficient spacecraft is better pilots. Give them better SAS abilities (which is already modeled to some degree with more SAS modes available with higher pilot skill), ability to execute maneuver nodes autonomously, or even auto-suicide burns...I'd be all for that as they are actual pilot things. But not better engine performance, that's just silly.

By this reasoning, engineers should not make mining equipment more productive because it's the machine doing the work in either case, and science instruments should not be more revelatory just because a scientist is present when they are turned on. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

By this reasoning, engineers should not make mining equipment more productive because it's the machine doing the work in either case, and science instruments should not be more revelatory just because a scientist is present when they are turned on. 

The engineer can fix or even make improvements to the mechanical device, plus in the abstraction would be trained in proper operation and able to adjust to previously unknown conditions discovered during operation.

Likewise, the scientist knows what results they are looking for and can modify the procedure/experiment or equipment to chase after observed results or to examine anomalies that an untrained Kerbal wouldn't notice.  Otherwise, why change the crew assignments to send a geologist on Apollo 17 if any arbitrary astronaut could have done the same job?

 

Engine performance is simply not something a pilot can modify or effect.  Better piloting can make better use of available delta-v, but cannot actually increase it, while bad piloting can waste available resources.  Better pilots can fly a craft without needing management watching over their shoulder and telling them which buttons to press.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Personally I don't like the idea of pilot skill increasing engine ISP, even as an abstraction.

I could, however, get behind pilots improving RCS ISP and/or reaction wheel torque (as an abstraction of the idea that a better pilot can maneuver the spacecraft more effectively/efficiently). That would be just as easy to implement and make more gameplay sense; it doesn't really enable missions that couldn't be done otherwise, as an engine ISP bonus would, but it does provide a reasonable incentive to send high-level pilots on missions--they would make the spacecraft easier to, you know, pilot.

I could also go for auto maneuver node execution, but something tells me autopilot of any kind would be too "un-kerbal" for Squad. Although the whole "keeping silly aspects of the game because it's the 'kerbal' thing to do" attitude came from the old dev team, maybe the new one is a little less attached to it. With 1.2 autostruts, they finally managed to get past noodle rocket syndrome, so maybe such un-kerbal concepts as delta-v readouts and autopilot functions aren't completely out of the question.

Edited by Hotaru
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

Engine performance is simply not something a pilot can modify or effect.  

Do all race drivers use the same amount of fuel and put the same amount of tire wear on their cars as they go around the same track? 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

17 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

Do all race drivers use the same amount of fuel and put the same amount of tire wear on their cars as they go around the same track? 

If they're driving in the exact same way, yes.

 

I get what you're saying.  But the engine will still run by the same physics, no matter which ass occupies the driver's seat.  Rocket engines do, too.

 

As I said earlier, if you want pilot skill to affect performance, lower skill should provide a penalty.  The best pilot in the world cannot get better performance than physics says he can.  As Scotty said (and opposed to what he did), Ye cannae change the laws o' physics! (Besides, Scotty was an Engineer, anyway.)

Edited by razark
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

Do all race drivers use the same amount of fuel and put the same amount of tire wear on their cars as they go around the same track? 

Gains in efficiency of spacecraft come from skill in navigation, not the actual operation of the engine. In fact that's largely true of racing drivers as well; sticking as close as possible to an ideal racing line is one of the most important factors to getting the most out of your car. But in KSP, as in racing games, navigation is something the player is doing, not the kerbals. Trying to abstract it onto a kerbal skill just seems like a hack--no different than if "leveling up" in a racing sim inexplicably gave every car you drive more horsepower.

Another way of looking at it: scientist and engineer bonuses make life easier, but there's no mission in the game that requires a level 5 engineer or scientist and simply cannot be done otherwise. If pilots got an engine ISP bonus, you get a situation where a mission on close delta-v margins might be not just slightly trickier or riskier but actually impossible without a level 5 pilot. To my mind, that's not the way it should be--skill bonuses should make missions more convenient, but not determine whether they're possible or impossible.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this is the same argument we had the last time. 'The operator cannot influence the performance of the operated', refusing to understand that it's not a literal alteration of the engine properties, but a simple way to represent more efficient piloting skills. I'm out. 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Vanamonde said:

...refusing to understand that it's not a literal alteration of the engine properties, but a simple way to represent more efficient piloting skills.

Again, if you give a penalty to lower levels, it's within the laws of physics, but a bonus to high levels is violating it.  In an RPG, or FPS, or any other genre, I'd say it's ok to give it a pass.  But when your entire game is based on actual realistic physics, you just don't get that leeway.

 

3 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

I'm out.

G'night.

 

Sadly, I think this is one of those points where we've got two camps that are never going to see eye-to-eye on the issue.  If it was added to the game, I wouldn't complain as long as it was able to be turned off.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Vanamonde said:

refusing to understand

Nobody's refusing to understand anything. It's an abstraction to represent increased skill. I get it. I just think it's an overly simplistic abstraction that fails to represent increased skill in a sensible way.

And this doesn't have to be a binary right/wrong thing (or a nasty argument in which both sides write off the other as being obstinate for the sake of it). There are plenty of ways in which pilots could be made more useful, a number of which have been suggested in this discussion. Personally I like the improved RCS/reaction wheel option, which is also an abstraction to represent increased skill but which (in my opinion) would have a nicer, more balanced gameplay effect.

And as @razark says, as long as pilot skill ISP modifiers were implemented as a penalty rather than a bonus, and could be switched off in difficulty options, I wouldn't be too bothered about it, even if I'd have preferred a different option.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now