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yog-sothoth

please make manuever nodes easier to use

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for 1.3, is it possible to update maneuver nodes? maybe bind a key to bring to manuever node you are editing, and have a button to change it in .1 m/s increments?

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You can already make very small precise changes to a maneuver node by using the scroll wheel on your mouse when hovering over a vector.

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Posted (edited)

Yep, they can be frustrating. Check out precise maneuver node widget, it makes them much easier to use.

I would like to see the XYZ adjustments bound to keys as well. One idea I've mentioned before was a fine tuning toggle for nodes similar to steering input.  Until that happens I will stick to:

 

Edited by Waxing_Kibbous

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Also change the way that Normal/Anti-normal and Radial-in/Radial-out is applied. At the moment, they just add to the vector's direction and scale which is a bit counter-intuitive. The Normal/Anti-normal should only change inclination at that point(without affecting the final orbital speed). Same goes for Radial, i have seen some mod that does this

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2 hours ago, Blaarkies said:

Also change the way that Normal/Anti-normal and Radial-in/Radial-out is applied. At the moment, they just add to the vector's direction and scale which is a bit counter-intuitive. The Normal/Anti-normal should only change inclination at that point(without affecting the final orbital speed). Same goes for Radial, i have seen some mod that does this

No, this works as intended and makes sense. Please don't change it.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, The_Rocketeer said:

No, this works as intended and makes sense. Please don't change it.

You mean to say, that when I add about 80% as much dv to the Anti-Normal and the maneuver icon rotates as I pull the purple Anti-normal hook, that the new direction of the icons makes any sense at all? When you pull on an icon, it should at least add velocity in the visual direction of the icon, not in the original direction it used to point at 5 minutes ago.

If the node icons did NOT rotate, then it would be "works as intended and makes sense". But because the entire widget rotates, it also now must do what it displays...but it doesn't, which does NOT "works as intended and makes sense"

You don't eject with inclination much do you? Try that, or simply get yourself in an elliptical orbit, change inclination at Ap to get into a 90' polar orbit, then come and tell us how much you enjoyed struggling with the current maneuver node system.

Edited by Blaarkies

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Blaarkies said:

You mean to say, that when I add about 80% as much dv to the Anti-Normal and the maneuver icon rotates as I pull the purple Anti-normal hook, that the new direction of the icons makes any sense at all? When you pull on an icon, it should at least add velocity in the visual direction of the icon, not in the original direction it used to point at 5 minutes ago.

If the node icons did NOT rotate, then it would be "works as intended and makes sense". But because the entire widget rotates, it also now must do what it displays...but it doesn't, which does NOT "works as intended and makes sense"

You don't eject with inclination much do you? Try that, or simply get yourself in an elliptical orbit, change inclination at Ap to get into a 90' polar orbit, then come and tell us how much you enjoyed struggling with the current maneuver node system.

The problem with this is that the node widget moves with the future orbit. If it didn't then it would be confusing to adjust.

Let's imagine a thing here with a widget that is stationary (doesn't move with the future orbit):

You create a node on a circular orbit around Kerbin. Your vessel has enough TWR and dV to turn this prograde orbit into a retrograde one with the same Ap and Pe. You grab retrograde bit and pull it all the way until your future orbit is the retrograde one. Now the normal bit is antinormal and antinormal is normal, prograde is retrograde and so on. It's a bit hard to imagine, but hopefully you can tell that you have to deal with mirrored controls.

That is why it would be better to have some sort of Precise Node mod stockified instead.

Edited by Veeltch
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I think we all agree the stock maneuver node widget is rather annoying to use and lacks several key features.

In the meantime, I recommend Maneuver Node Evolved by Dmagic which address most issues and limitations of the stock widget in a nice and clean way. Unlike other plugins like Precise Node or Precise Maneuver, its UI integrate seamlessly within the current widget system and has a very "stock" feeling.

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Blaarkies said:

You mean to say, that when I add about 80% as much dv to the Anti-Normal and the maneuver icon rotates as I pull the purple Anti-normal hook, that the new direction of the icons makes any sense at all? When you pull on an icon, it should at least add velocity in the visual direction of the icon, not in the original direction it used to point at 5 minutes ago.

The direction of the icons is neither here nor there. The node calculates an impulsive manouvre based on acceleration on 3 axes/6 directions - anti/normal, anti/radial and pro/retrograde. Pulling a handles changes the amount of acceleration for that axis in the impulse calculation. The changing angle of the node helps you visualise how much acceleration has been applied to each axis at the node. You just have to remember the node represents an instant change, not the dynamic one you will actually burn through. If you've got this muddled, the manouvre node is the least of your problems.
 

8 hours ago, Blaarkies said:

You don't eject with inclination much do you? Try that, or simply get yourself in an elliptical orbit, change inclination at Ap to get into a 90' polar orbit, then come and tell us how much you enjoyed struggling with the current maneuver node system.

Not lately - I'm busy with an infant an a new job - but yes, many times, and without any extraordinary (well, Kerbally-speaking) grief.

Edited by The_Rocketeer

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5 hours ago, Veeltch said:

The problem with this is that the node widget moves with the future orbit. If it didn't then it would be confusing to adjust.

Do you mean that the maneuver node handles rotate to orient themselves relative to the future orbit? It used to work like that, before 1.2, I think, but that was reported as a bug, since it didn't work as @Blaarkies suggested in this thread. So they "fixed" the bug by making the maneuver node stop rotating. Now at least it makes sense that if you pull on the normal handle it will continue adding deltaV only relative to the initial orbit.

But I agree with the suggestion, even if there is the possibility of some confusion for maneuvers with very large normal or radial changes. I think this:

OYxlZ5v.gif

 

is far more intuitive than this:

Bbo38e4.gif

 

And while the two existing maneuver node mods are great, I'm partial to my own, which also addresses the OP's suggestions. :D I think the maneuver node itself works well, it just has some drawbacks, and I don't like the standard, mod-style, window-with-buttons feel of the others.

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6 minutes ago, DMagic said:

Do you mean that the maneuver node handles rotate to orient themselves relative to the future orbit? It used to work like that, before 1.2, I think, but that was reported as a bug, since it didn't work as @Blaarkies suggested in this thread. So they "fixed" the bug by making the maneuver node stop rotating. Now at least it makes sense that if you pull on the normal handle it will continue adding deltaV only relative to the initial orbit.

But I agree with the suggestion, even if there is the possibility of some confusion for maneuvers with very large normal or radial changes. I think this:

OYxlZ5v.gif

 

is far more intuitive than this:

Bbo38e4.gif

 

And while the two existing maneuver node mods are great, I'm partial to my own, which also addresses the OP's suggestions. :D I think the maneuver node itself works well, it just has some drawbacks, and I don't like the standard, mod-style, window-with-buttons feel of the others.

Whaaaaaaaat! I didn't notice it. That's pretty great.

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, DMagic said:

I think this:

*snip*

is far more intuitive than this:

I also didn't realise that the manoeuvre node's function had been changed. I expect that's another one of those undesirable changes that'll bug the hell out of me next time I start the game.

The problem with it is it makes no sense. Aligning your ship to anti-normal and just lighting up the big booster doesn't roll your orbit over, ever, it results in a change in eccentricity and inclination. Which is exactly what happens in KSP, and exactly what the manoeuvre node used to indicate. The only way it does what your figure shows is if you are dynamically tracking the change in 'anti-normal', which might be an option now but wasn't back when Jeb was still in the pilot seat.

This is just an example of dumbing down to shift a few more units. I don't mind it happening, but I wish they're leave me the option to keep my cherished gameplay unmolested. I don't want KSP to go easy on me after I've already climbed that learning wall.

Edited by The_Rocketeer

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I don't think they should change the maneuver node widget in the way suggested by (IIRC) Veeltch (apologies if I'm misattributing that). The way it currently works is to show you what will happen when you boost in the direction indicated by the axis. If, for example, you are in an equatorial prograde orbit (i.e.west to east) and you put a few hundred m/s into the normal direction, you'll end up leaving Kerbin... and that makes sense; your boosting north, you keep boosting north, and as your inclination changes more and more of the boost in that direction is prograde rather than normal.

Precise Node offers the option of the kind of behaviour he's looking for (under Options look for the "intuitive normal handler" or something like that; I'm at work and can't look it up specifically). There are some good reasons to mess around with turning that on and off. Here's an example:

I've got a probe heading to the mun. The target orbit is inclined 45 degrees, and I have the hyperbolic orbit inside the Mun's SOI intersecting with the target orbit. I can drop a maneuver node on that intersection. First thing will be to change the inclination. While I'm doing this I'll turn the intuitive normal behaviour on. However, there's more to matching the target orbit than just the inclination. After that I need to push retrograde so I don't just fly past, and after I get an elliptical orbit around the mun of approximately the right energy (i.e. apoapse and periapse are about right for the target orbit but not in the right places) I'll start pulling (anti-)radial to roll the orbit around so that they do end up more or less in the right places. At this point, there's tweaking to do; all of those will have affected the actual inclination change and so on, but it'll be very very close. At that point, pull up the options in precise node, turn off the intuitive behaviour, and start fine tuning the burn to get so that you end up precisely in your target orbit. Doing those tweaks means you WILL want that behaviour turned off because otherwise when you're pulling (anti-)normal you'll also be pulling a little retro and a little radial in and that will screw up the other components... when it's fine tuning time it's time to turn off that feature. The great part? I will very often bring in a satellite and with a careful burn an hour or so out of LKO to get the part of the orbit in the Mun's SOI to intersect target orbit, I can upon entering Mun's SOI make one burn that fulfills the contract.

Here's another way to put it. Get yourself into an circular equatorial orbit, point at the normal (that is, due north) without using SAS to follow it with a level 2 pilot and/or a probe core and fire and watch what happens to your orbit. Having the maneuver widget show you this is bloody important... because it's what will happen in the real world if you do that.

The maneuver node as implemented stock makes perfect sense given what it is. Having Precise Node add the option of having the maneuver widget automagically calcuate the required pro/retro and radial in/out components for you so that you end up keeping app. the same amount of energy in your orbit is awfully nice... but having it as the only option would really really suck. Sometimes it's really handy to have it NOT calculate that.

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Posted (edited)

For me brining drag circle from controls would be enough because whenever I look from top for example radial in/out is blocking circle so I can't move it around my orbit

Edited by Numerlor

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Posted (edited)

12 hours ago, The_Rocketeer said:

I also didn't realise that the manoeuvre node's function had been changed. I expect that's another one of those undesirable changes that'll bug the hell out of me next time I start the game.

The problem with it is it makes no sense. Aligning your ship to anti-normal and just lighting up the big booster doesn't roll your orbit over, ever, it results in a change in eccentricity and inclination. Which is exactly what happens in KSP, and exactly what the manoeuvre node used to indicate. The only way it does what your figure shows is if you are dynamically tracking the change in 'anti-normal', which might be an option now but wasn't back when Jeb was still in the pilot seat.

This is just an example of dumbing down to shift a few more units. I don't mind it happening, but I wish they're leave me the option to keep my cherished gameplay unmolested. I don't want KSP to go easy on me after I've already climbed that learning wall.

Maneuver node controls should not be the feature that makes KSP a difficult game, instead the rocket science should be the learning wall. 

You aren't reading the replies are you? 
If we are in a 100x100km orbit and we need to change inclination to 74.8'(relative to Mun, at any Longitude of Asc) i would simply want to drag the purple, Normal node handle until the Asc/Dsc nodes show 74.8'(still in a 100x100 orbit as well), then i release and DONE(thanks @DMagic, i love that mod).
Why do you want to:
- pull on Normal until you get an escape velocity trajectory
- pull on Retrograde to further increase inclination and also bring down that Ap of the previous trajectory
- repeat those steps 3 more time until you have Incl. around 74'
- now comes the fine tuning, where you control 2 dimensions, both have an effect on Ap and Incl. (at this point, it really saves a lot of time by just getting here, then setting up a new node...or eyeballing this by navball)

Which of those two methods takes less time?
Don't tell me the old nodes are faster/fun/precise. They make sense in the same way that a math equation makes sense...but the implementation of that equation in an electronic device is much more practical. If you want to pre-calculate the amount of dv required in each dimension to rotate your orbit by a certain amount, then i have bad news for you...stock doesn't display the current dv per dimension, it only shows the magnitude of the velocity change.

Precise node gives you that though (key in the amount of dv change for each dimension, and much more), and it is good practice since you quickly learn what type of maneuvers are inefficient when you calculate this by hand. It's cool that all the simple calculus tricks for vectors work so perfectly in KSP, but they should since it is a simulation of physics. But stock maneuver nodes are not any of these, they fall in the category of "good enough for average joe, and if you want more well theres a mod for that"

 

11 hours ago, stratvox said:

...Doing those tweaks means you WILL want that behaviour turned off because otherwise when you're pulling (anti-)normal you'll also be pulling a little retro and a little radial in and that will screw up the other components... when it's fine tuning time it's time to turn off that feature.

Pulling on Normal at Ap/Pe doesn't even touch Radial, why should it? Radial is completely orthogonal to the changes that Normal causes, mainly adding a vector to the final velocity vector(sum of these has a slightly greater magnitude), which we all see as "extra" prograde after the burn.

In stock when you pull on Normal in this situation, you mess up you Ap/Pe because you are changing the final velocity magnitude. Then you pull on retro a slight bit to fix that...that is exactly what the intuitive node automatically does.

This is like saying, lets keep calculating the sum of vectors by hand, instead of putting in the effort to design a transformation function with expected results as inputs. To be honest, i would like a mod where the screen becomes interactive:
- you add a node
- alt-click on the future dotted trajectory lines Asc/Dsc node, now your mouse cursor/pointer controls the inclination. you can swirl that line all over the planet where you want it, but the line always intersects the mouse cursor.
- alt-click on the Ap. Now you control the height of only the Ap, move mouse cursor up to the Mun orbit line...translunar orbit done
- alt-click on on the dotted line, now the Radials component tries to match the line to the mouse cursor.
- the cursor is basically saying "at some point in the orbit, i want the craft to go through this point right here"
...just because you can get more stuff done in less time, then why not? Sure, KSP is a great opportunity to learn the intricacies with these maneuver nodes, but once you know and understand them...why should you still calculate them?

 

Edited by Blaarkies

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4 hours ago, Blaarkies said:

Maneuver node controls should not be the feature that makes KSP a difficult game, instead the rocket science should be the learning wall. 

The rocket science IS the learning wall. Understand it and you understand the (original) maneuvre node.

I've made my point and frankly you're becoming a little too argumentative for me, so I think I'll bow out here. Bysie bye!

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