• Tuning changes in 1.6


    Maxsimal

     

    1.6 has brought a lot of great changes, and we’re really thrilled with what the team has created for it. One of the changes that we've done, and something we felt strongly about doing, was tuning work that we felt would improve the quality bar of the game.


    Craft Improvements
    First, we've gone through all the stock craft, including VAB, SPH, and Making History craft, delivered for the game, with an eye toward updating them for the new parts that have been released in 1.6, and also improving the fly-ability of many of our craft.  At one point, the idea was to have some of these stock craft have flaws for the player to correct.  This did not have broad awareness in the community,  so we've improved the flight behavior of quite a few of our craft - including using features like auto-strutting that weren't around when they were first added to the game.

    In particular, all of our space planes - the Learstar, the Dynawing, and the Slim Shuttle - have been fine tuned to improve their control behavior.  They're still challenging to fly, of course, but you don't have to fight their controls quite so much.  We've also strutted and improved the fly-ability to craft like the Albatross, Muna 1 & 2, the Acapello and several others.  We encourage you to check the 1.6 change log for the full list.

     

    Making History Engine Rebalancing
    The other major change was adjustment to the tuning of a number of Making History parts - especially the engines.  The engine changes in particular may be more controversial, and we'd like to explain the rationale behind them. 

    The overall goal here is to put all the Making History engines in line with base game tuning.  To let them have their own niche, and to neither obsolete nor be obsoleted by other engines.  And generally, engines that are either bigger, or more specialized, will be unlocked deeper in the tech tree.  Finally, we’re trying to make as few changes as needed, so that they won't drastically change the purpose of an engine.

    NOTE: For all stats in tables - a green background indicates an improvement over the current version, a red background means it was worsened.

     

    Small ASL Engine Tuning
    First, let's look at the smaller ASL engines. There are three Making History engines in this size category - the Skiff, the Bobcat and the Kodiak.  Here are the relevant stats vs similar base game engines:

     

    Engine Comparison Thrust (Vac) ISP Vac ISP ASL Mass Vac TWR ASL TWR Cost/kN Thrust Tech Level Gimbal EC/s Crash Tolerance Cost Entry Cost
    Reliant 240 310 265 1.25 19.57 16.73 4.58 General Rocketry (3) 0 7 7 1100 3200
    Swivel 215 320 250 1.5 14.61 11.41 5.58 Basic Rocketry (2) 3 6 7 1200 3500
    Thud 120 305 275 0.9 13.59 12.25 6.83 Advanced Rocketry (4) 8 0 7 820 3500
    Vector 1000 315 295 4 25.48 23.87 18 Very Heavy Rocketry (8) 10.5 3 7 18000 115000
    Current Kodiak 240 305 265 1.25 19.57 17.01 5.42 Heavier Rocketry (6) 0 3 6 1300 4200
    New Kodiak 260 300 285 1.25 21.2 20.14 4.23 Heavier Rocketry (6) 0 5 9 1100 4400
    Current Skiff 300 330 265 1 30.58 24.56 5 Heavier Rocketry (6) 2 3 6 1500 4500
    New Skiff 300 330 265 1.6 19.11 15.35 7.67 Heavier Rocketry (6) 2 3 7 2300 9200
    Current Bobcat 400 310 290 2 20.39 19.07 5 Heavier Rocketry (6) 5 3 6 2000 6000
    New Bobcat 400 310 290 2 20.39 19.07 5 Heavy Rocketry (5) 5 8 12 2000 800

    Kodiak:  Overall, the Kodiak need the most adjustment - it’s just entirely matched or outclassed by the Reliant, which appears earlier in the tech tree as well.  Therefore, and in keeping with its real world equivalent then RD-107, the Kodiak's stats were adjusted to give it a much better ASL ISP, a lower cost per kN of thrust, and a better durability.  This gives it a niche as a 1.25m liquid fueled booster, leaving the Reliant as the more general purpose no-gimbal engine.  The extra specialization helps to keep it at Heavier Rocketry, however, to match its historical partner, the Cub.

    Skiff: The Skiff's tuning is closer to ideal , but it turned out to be *too* good in too many categories categories - more efficient, better TWR, and lower cost/kN than other engines.  It occurs later in the tech tree, so we've chosen to keep its high efficiency at the cost TWR and cost. Now it’s a great sustainer-category engine - its ASL ISP and cost won't justify its use as a main engine anymore, but it’s fantastic as the center stage with some SRBs or Kodiak-powered boosters.

    Bobcat: The bobcat had tuning most in line with the stock, so few changes were made.  It got sturdier, and it moved earlier in the tech tree to give another ASL option in Heavy Rocketry, as we felt the end of the tech tree was getting crowded.

     

    Large ASL Engine Tuning
    Then let’s look at bigger ASL engines:  In this category we have the Mastodon
    Note: The stats for the Twin Boar reflect what they would be without the built-in tank.

    Engine Comparison Thrust (Vac) ISP Vac ISP ASL Mass Vac TWR ASL TWR Cost Cost/kN Thrust Tech Level Gimbal EC/s Crash Tolerance Entry Cost
    Vector 1000 315 295 4 25.48 23.87 18000 18 Very Heavy Rocketry (8) 10.5 3 7 115000
    Mammoth 4000 315 295 15 27.18 25.46 39000 9.75 Very Heavy Rocketry (8) 2 12 20 115000
    Twin Boar 2000 300 280 6.5 31.37 29.27 11250 5.63 Heavier Rocketry (6) 1.5 0 20 65000
    Mainsail 1500 310 285 6 25.48 23.43 13000 8.67 Heavier Rocketry (6) 1.5 12 7 38000
    Skipper 650 320 280 3 22.09 19.33 5300 8.15 Heavy Rocketry (5) 2 10 7 14000
    Current Mastodon 1350 290 280 5 27.52 26.57 22000 16.3 Very Heavy Rocketry (8) 5 3 6 135000
    New Mastodon 1350 305 290 5 27.52 26.17 8000 5.93 Very Heavy Rocketry (8) 5 8 15 32000

    Mastodon: The current Mastodon has no niche, being outclassed in all categories by other large engines, and being really expensive to boot.  The new Mastodon therefore become both more efficient and significantly cheaper.  Now it is an ASL workhorse that doesn't perform QUITE as well in Vacuum as engines like the Vector and Mainsail, but it’s more flexible and a little more efficient than the Twin Boar, without quite matching the Twin Boar's amazing TWR and cost.

     

    Vacuum Engine Tuning
    Next we've got the vacuum engines:  In this category we've got our most controversial engine, the Wolfhound, as well as the Cheetah.  

    Note: For this chart, ISP ASL is not listed - with good reason.  It just doesn't matter for engines that are almost exclusively used in a vacuum, it's not a significant balance criteria.

     

    Engine Comparison Thrust (Vac) ISP Vac Mass Vac TWR Cost Cost/kN Thrust Tech Level Gimbal EC/s Crash Tolerance Entry Cost
    Terrier 60 345 0.5 12.23 390 6.5 Advanced Rocketry (4) 4 0 7 1600
    Poodle 250 350 1.75 14.56 1300 5.2 Heavy Rocketry (5) 4.5 8 7 4200
    Rhino 2000 340 9 22.65 25000 12.5 Very Heavy Rocketry (8) 4 12 7 68000
    Current Wolfhound 375 412 2.5 15.29 1680 4.48 Heavy Rocketry (5) 3 8 6 6200
    New Wolfhound 375 380 3.3 11.58 3000 8 Very Heavy Rocketry (8) 3 8 6 12000
    Current Cheetah 125 345 1 12.74 1000 8 Heavier Rocketry (6) 3 3 6 3000
    New Cheetah 125 355 1 12.74 850 6.8 Heavier Rocketry (6) 4 5 7 3400

    Wolfhound: The Wolfhound is amazing in every category that matters - an ISP that's 20% higher than any other LFO engine, great TWR, unlocks relatively early, and is the cheapest cost/kn for an LFO engine.  Sorry rocketeers - the Wolfhound needed adjustment to have some valid trade-offs vs other vacuum engines.  It's still an amazingly efficient LFO engine, without having the sort of abysmal thrust & cost of a NERV, but now it doesn't completely overshadow every other LFO vacuum engine.  As a more specialized, high efficiency engine, its moved back in the tech tree with the other Making History Apollo-class parts as well.

    Cheetah: The cheetah, conversely, is too expensive and heavy to justify its relatively low TWR, low-end ISP and high cost, so several improvements were made to help it stand out.  Now it’s a bit like a smaller Wolfhound.

     

    Small & Maneuver Engine Tuning
    Finally we've got the small engines - for Making History, this is the Cub.

    Engine Comparison Thrust (Vac) ISP Vac ISP ASL Mass Vac TWR ASL TWR Cost Cost/kN Thrust Tech Level Gimbal EC/s Crash Tolerance Entry Cost
    Ant 2 315 80 0.02 10.19 2.59 110 55 Propulsion Systems (5) 0 0 7 1500
    Spider 2 290 260 0.02 10.19 9.14 120 60 Precision Propulsion (6) 10 0 7 1750
    Twitch 16 290 250 0.09 18.12 15.62 400 25 Precision Propulsion (6) 8 0 7 1600
    Puff 20 250 120 0.09 22.65 10.87 150 7.5 Precision Propulsion (6) 6 0 7 2500
    Spark 20 320 270 0.1 20.39 17.2 240 12 Propulsion Systems (5) 3 0 7 2800
    Current Cub 40 320 270 0.18 22.65 19.11 1000 25 Heavier Rocketry (6) 22.5 0 6 3000
    New Cub 32 310 280 0.18 18.12 16.37 800 25 Precision Propulsion (6) 22.5 0 7 3200

    Cub: The Cub, relative to other maneuver engines, is too good in too many areas.  Its ISP as good or better than all others, great TWR, fantastic (though only 1-axis) gimbal range and it is surface attachable, something most engines pay a penalty.  Therefore, it got a bit of an thrust and efficiency nerf - it actually generated far too much thrust relative to its companion, the Kodiak, which helps make its TWR more reasonable as well. Finally, it moved to the appropriate tech node for maneuvering engines.

    Other Making History Tweaks
    We've also made the engine plates fall into tech nodes appropriate for their size, rather all in the same node.

    Anyway, I hope you'll appreciate these changes - we'll be watching community reaction to see how they go over!  We encourage you to comment on these changes.
     



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    1 hour ago, Aegolius13 said:

    I think I said this before in one of the "Wolfhound / Skiff Switched" threads, but there's just no way to be completely faithful to the historical stats, and still balanced for gameplay.  As you say, the Apollo SPS engine was relatively low ISP due to hypergolic fuel and so forth, but thay was based on the need to store fuel in space and easily restart. The J-2 had much better efficiency, but that came with all the disadvantages of hydrogen (low fuel density, poor storage) etc.

    I think the Wolfhound as a monopropellant engine with Isp of, say, 320 s and thrust matching the Poodle would still be a better representation of the historic engine.  At the same time, the Skiff certainly still looks too light and too weak for its size. Maybe its place is between the Skipper and the Mainsail (which puts the thrust near the Vector, but the Vector has its niche for the small size and good atmospheric Isp, and the Skiff ASL Isp may be nerfed to, say, 220 s to emphasize its intended use).

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I would have liked to see an increase in both the Skiff and the Bobcat's thrust. The Skiff is unable to lift a fully tanked Saturn 5 replica and the Bobcat can barely lift a fully fueled Titan 2 replica.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 12/22/2018 at 6:19 PM, GregroxMun said:

    It should have a specific impulse around 310 s in vacuum, certainly no higher than 360 s. Even more, its thrust should be around 150 kN.

    In that case, why would anyone ever use it?  Ever?  It would have nearly the worst Isp of any LFO engine in a vacuum, and not much in the way of thrust, either.  Heck, a Swivel would beat it (higher Isp, higher thrust, much lower on the tech tree).

    As @Aegolius13 points out, KSP is a game, significantly simplified from IRL, and game balance matters.  So if you tweaked the Wolfhound as you describe, then what reason would players ever have to use such an engine in their designs?

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    10 hours ago, Snark said:

    In that case, why would anyone ever use it?  Ever?  It would have nearly the worst Isp of any LFO engine in a vacuum, and not much in the way of thrust, either.  Heck, a Swivel would beat it (higher Isp, higher thrust, much lower on the tech tree).

    As @Aegolius13 points out, KSP is a game, significantly simplified from IRL, and game balance matters.  So if you tweaked the Wolfhound as you describe, then what reason would players ever have to use such an engine in their designs?

    Having historically accurate rocket parts suited to replicating the Apollo/Saturn V in function and appearance is a good enough reason to me, in a pack which is supposed to be a historical pack. I think the best game balanced Wolfhound would probably be around 370 s and 120 kN. Still overpowered by far for kerbal-scale apollo, but much better. Depending upon its cost and mass, it could still find a niche like that. The thrust is the most annoyingly high part of the wolfhound to me, that it literally beats an actual upper stage engine.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hmm, from a purely game perspective, ignoring the historical analogues and such, my issue for the rebalance is with the Mastodon. It looks okay in terms of cost/kN, but I think that's a trap because the Twin Boar has an absolutely absurd thrust for a 2.5m engine and is consequently near the low end of cost/kN.

    The Mainsail meanwhile is pushing 8.67 cost/kN, creating a really striking difference between a low-tech, shoddy, super expensive engine and a cheap high-tech beast (Mastodon's thrust may be low, but with less mass and more Isp, it's just crazy). I don't think currently the Mainsail fits in any niche. Hopefully it gets a rebalance next update.

     

    Now, from a historical perspective...the Mastodon being too low in thrust to lift a fully-fueled Saturn V replica is just wrong. It makes no sense it has less thrust than the Mainsail. All in all, I would hope the Mainsail gets mass & cost lowered while the Mastodon gets thrust & cost raised.

    Edited by Nebbie

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Very pleased to see those awful stock craft finally getting some attention. I always thought it was ridiculous that many of them had intentional flaws for the player to fix, but this is mentioned absolutely nowhere in the game (which is awful game design IMHO). Between this and the new dV readout, I'm happy with the current direction the game is headed in.

     

    Also, I'm glad to see that the MH parts are being tuned to be more in line with the base game, but honestly I still feel like the base game tuning still needs a lot of work.

    Part costs in general seem to be more related to the tier they're unlocked in instead of anything to do with the part itself, so even relatively simple structural parts in high tiers like the quad coupler are often unreasonably expensive. The cost of engines vs other structural elements also doesn't really make any sense. In the early game, 3 of the fixed winglets cost MORE than a 1.25m rocket engine.

    There's also stat problems with other parts as well. MK2 and MK1 tanks have exactly the same fuel capacity, but the MK2 tanks have substantially more volume that is apparently wasted. I'll often use MK2 cargo bays with a 1.25m inline tank and 2x radial 0.625m tanks on the sides just to maximize the fuel capacity. The Kerbal pods are backwards with the beginner pods having the best weight per Kerbal ratio, with more advanced pods being effectively worthless from a gamplay standpoint unless you're really pinched for part count.

    Not to mention how little sense the tech tree in general makes with the order that parts are unlocked in. The remote guidance systems in particular have always bothered me with their location in the tech tree. These looks like rocket guidance systems used starting from the V2 rockets from before staging was used, but for some reason they're not available until the end of the tech tree, well past the point where they might have been useful for early sounding rockets (which need to use that awful Stayputnik part that really needs to be used with a fairing). Not to mention how silly it is that your first flight (where a new player is most likely to make a mistake) MUST be manned so there's a good chance they'll kill a Kerbal right off the bat instead of, you know, starting with an unmanned rocket like ALL real-life space programs did? That and how poor of a beginner engine the Flea is. WAY too much of a kick for a lone MK1 pod (and its poor stats make it useless in the rest of the game as well once you get any other engine) unless you use tweakables (which isn't taught, but what is taught based on how few parts are available is to use excessive amounts of thrust to splatter your Kerbals on the inside of the pod).

    I won't even get into all the problems with career mode in general.

     

    Anyways, hopefully this is just a step in the overall tuning process to fix the worst problems in MH before doing a more comprehensive look at the full game.

    Edited by Lord Aurelius

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 12/28/2018 at 7:56 PM, Lord Aurelius said:

    Part costs in general seem to be more related to the tier they're unlocked in instead of anything to do with the part itself, so even relatively simple structural parts in high tiers like the quad coupler are often unreasonably expensive. The cost of engines vs other structural elements also doesn't really make any sense. In the early game, 3 of the fixed winglets cost MORE than a 1.25m rocket engine.

    There's also stat problems with other parts as well. MK2 and MK1 tanks have exactly the same fuel capacity, but the MK2 tanks have substantially more volume that is apparently wasted. I'll often use MK2 cargo bays with a 1.25m inline tank and 2x radial 0.625m tanks on the sides just to maximize the fuel capacity. The Kerbal pods are backwards with the beginner pods having the best weight per Kerbal ratio, with more advanced pods being effectively worthless from a gamplay standpoint unless you're really pinched for part count.

    Aerodynamic parts in general seem overcosted for glorified pieces of metal. I think also that a lot of engines are too cheap. If both of these were fixed, it would make reusability far more sensible by adding cheap control components and fuel to recover expensive engines.

    I think the problem is the devs saw Mk2 as double Mk1, so it's twice the capacity/mass, but more than twice the volume. It'd make more sense being twice the mass, but with capacity scaling to volume. The pods have a different scaling issue where mass increases about linearly with volume, but capacity doesn't quite keep up. There's certainly reason to use the bigger ones (like impact tolerance...though 45m/s is absurd), but it would be nice if they got a tiny mass trimming or possibly more of their mass devoted to monoprop storage.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 1/7/2019 at 3:13 AM, Nebbie said:

    Aerodynamic parts in general seem overcosted for glorified pieces of metal. I think also that a lot of engines are too cheap. If both of these were fixed, it would make reusability far more sensible by adding cheap control components and fuel to recover expensive engines. 

    I think the problem is the devs saw Mk2 as double Mk1, so it's twice the capacity/mass, but more than twice the volume. It'd make more sense being twice the mass, but with capacity scaling to volume. The pods have a different scaling issue where mass increases about linearly with volume, but capacity doesn't quite keep up. There's certainly reason to use the bigger ones (like impact tolerance...though 45m/s is absurd), but it would be nice if they got a tiny mass trimming or possibly more of their mass devoted to monoprop storage. 

    The amount you can recover in costs with reusability is actually pretty substantial.  Especially when doing heavy lifters.

    The best heavy lifter for reusability is a simple 3 stage with a disposable solid booster attachment (with on-booster drop-tanks of course).  The maintainer stage gets almost to orbit then detaches, leaving the orbital stage to finish.  For a super heavy you could make a separate maintainer/core and orbital attainment stage, then detach reenter the orbital attainment stage with a tiny bit of extra fuel. 

    There is a little bit of tricky jumping around between subvessels, but after the core stage reaches suborbit and is detached, you achieve orbit, then switch back to the core stage and land it.   You then deorbit and land the orbital attainment stage if you use one. (That is if it isn't doubling as an orbital placement stage, in which it returns after it's done it's job.)

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    These changes are great, especially the Mastodon tweaking. That engine was completely worthless before. Now it is quite useful for certain lifter designs.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    No longer a 400+ ISP Vacuum engine... not even at highest tech tier. 

    You all lost me. 

    I'm on to contributing to other space sandbox games now, might check back in when a v2.0 comes out.  Maybe it will include some fixes to some of the bugs that broke most of what I (at one time) liked to do in this game. 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Deddly

    Posted (edited)

    34 minutes ago, XLjedi said:

    No longer a 400+ ISP Vacuum engine... not even at highest tech tier. 

    You all lost me. 

    I can understand what you're saying, and it's a pain when old craft don't work anymore. But can you see that if changing one single engine's stats makes the game change so much that you feel the game is no longer fun for you, the problem was with that engine all along? It was never intended to be the go-to engine that makes everything else obsolete. The entire game was never supposed to hang on the performance of a single part. 

    A similar decision was made with the Aerospike back in the early days, and it was the right decision, even though easy sea-level Eve SSTO planes were no longer possible after the stats were adjusted. 

    Edited by Deddly

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    24 minutes ago, Deddly said:

    I can understand what you're saying, and it's a pain when old craft don't work anymore. But can you see that if changing one single engine's stats makes the game change so much that you feel the game is no longer fun for you, the problem was with that engine all along? It was never intended to be the go-to engine that makes everything else obsolete. The entire game was never supposed to hang on the performance of a single part. 

    A similar decision was made with the Aerospike back in the early days, and it was the right decision, even though easy sea-level Eve SSTO planes were no longer possible after the stats were adjusted. 

    It's one of many items that has (in their entirety) just made the game not fun anymore...  I'm playing Interstellar Rift now.  It has its issues, but they at least seem to have command of the game engine they are programming with.  This game seems to be a perpetual victim of the Unity engine and where one thing is half-fixed another problem or "feature" gets added.  I haven't really been able to do a rover mission with the Mk3 Cargo Bay since 1.3.

    Since I have a large hangar of craft over on KerbalX, I'll probably follow along at each update.  ...may even blueprint and post a few more of the craft I have in my backlog.

    Honestly, stock "Craft Improvements" are a dev focus now?  ...do they have any actual programmers still working at Squad?  I'd maybe settle for a gifted modder or two.  An equally valid improvement to the stock craft would've just been to delete them in their entirety.

    Talk to you all later...  s'pose the good news is there will be one less critic posting to these threads now.

    Edited by XLjedi

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    4 hours ago, XLjedi said:

    It's one of many items that has (in their entirety) just made the game not fun anymore...  I'm playing Interstellar Rift now.  It has its issues, but they at least seem to have command of the game engine they are programming with.  This game seems to be a perpetual victim of the Unity engine and where one thing is half-fixed another problem or "feature" gets added.  I haven't really been able to do a rover mission with the Mk3 Cargo Bay since 1.3.

    Since I have a large hangar of craft over on KerbalX, I'll probably follow along at each update.  ...may even blueprint and post a few more of the craft I have in my backlog.

    Honestly, stock "Craft Improvements" are a dev focus now?  ...do they have any actual programmers still working at Squad?  I'd maybe settle for a gifted modder or two.  An equally valid improvement to the stock craft would've just been to delete them in their entirety.

    Talk to you all later...  s'pose the good news is there will be one less critic posting to these threads now.

    Wow. So rude. The MH engines were WAY too OP. I was delighted when they were nerfed.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    19 hours ago, The Dunatian said:

    Wow. So rude. The MH engines were WAY too OP. I was delighted when they were nerfed.

    It need to be OP. That's what DLC is for. Industrial standard.

    If it's just looks, they can easily ship it as a variant. It may not have the exact same looks, but we do our best anyway.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Laie

    Posted (edited)

    On 1/16/2019 at 6:44 PM, Jestersage said:

    It need to be OP. That's what DLC is for. Industrial standard.

    Yeah, I get that.

    I've just thrown some money in Squads' direction, literally just now, got my hands on these things for the first time, and... no. Just no.

    The J-2 Skiff would have been an excellent opportunity for a bigger Poodle (or smaller Rhino) with something on the order of 500kN@345s. Yes, it would declass the Poodle and possibly the Skipper as well, but *handwave* just place it high up in the tech tree and you're set. We could definitely make do with a ARM-class 2.5m engine, but they let that opportunity go to waste.

    It would also have been a chance to introduce another Eve lifter engine. There's a lot of room between the Mammoth/Vector and everything else that could arguably be explored, but nope. Didn't even think of that, it seems.

    So at least we got a superior deep-space engine to up-end the Poodle, but why they chose the SPS Wolfhound for that role is beyond me. Or why it has to be so ridiculously OP -- you literally cannot show that engine in polite company, it's barred from all challenges. A nerf to 380 seconds won't help that.

    I certainly appreciate the Gemini pod and 5m tanks. And the engine plates are positively great, better than anything I've seen in mods. The engines, however... If only someone had warned them.

    Edited by Laie

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Is it just me or are all these re-balancings just nitpicking? I'm not trying to say that squad not do it - by all means, it's your game. I mean people complaining. The reason being - even moderate changes in ISP, at least at vanilla scale, make very little difference.

    For example, people used to complain about how useless the Thud was. So I, curious, made a bunch of launchers using only Thuds. For an awful engine, it worked great. Sure, I had to carry a bit more fuel but some of the other strengths (TWR for one) made the launchers very practical, and I still sometimes use Thud-based launchers to this day.

    In regards to recently-added engines, I'm talking mostly about the Wolfhound - which is an engine that going to (or has? I'm not on top of KSP news much these days) receive a buff according to this chart, which makes it, like the Thud, a "terrible" engine. I use it all the time. Its ISP is more than sufficient and its TWR is in a nice sweet spot. Plus, it looks cool. I think it's a great engine. Which means either two things - either I'm crazy. or shaving 5 seconds of specific impulse and a few kilos mass just doesn't make much of a difference.

    (Side note: a part's place in the tech tree and cost DO make a huge difference, however. I just ignore those like I ignore the "Science mode" and "Career mode" buttons when making a new save file. :P )

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    seyss

    Posted (edited)

    Damn you messed with 2 engines used in pretty much all Saturn V replicas.. Skiff and Wolfhound. 

    Edited by Vanamonde
    Mind the language, please.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Reviewing this article again for the fourth time now, I still don't get it: what's the use for the Skiff?

    Compared to the Bobcat, it's only two small advantages are its slightly smaller weight, and the slightly better vacuum ISP, in all other aspects the Bobcat is better. And that slightly better vacuum ISP, not relevant for an ASL engine at all. Why pay more for an inferior engine?

    So what do I miss here???

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Well... 

    either nobody has a good answer, i.e. a satisfying, good reason for using the Skiff...

    ... or nobody cares :D 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 8/16/2019 at 5:15 AM, VoidSquid said:

    Reviewing this article again for the fourth time now, I still don't get it: what's the use for the Skiff?

    Compared to the Bobcat, it's only two small advantages are its slightly smaller weight, and the slightly better vacuum ISP, in all other aspects the Bobcat is better. And that slightly better vacuum ISP, not relevant for an ASL engine at all. Why pay more for an inferior engine?

    So what do I miss here???

    Well, the Skiff's vacuum Isp isn't just a little better, it's a lot better.  So the Skiff is a good choice for anything in a certain size range that you light up off the launchpad but still in atmosphere, or even, like the OP said, if it's a long-burning center stage that lifts off the pad aided by boosters.  You probably wouldn't do that with a Poodle or Wolfhound!  

    [edit:  I mean, let's be honest, the launchpad Isp of 265, which is unchanged, already suggested it was never meant to be best in class during the actual liftoff.  Its specialty is having the best vacuum Isp among engines that aren't total garbage on the pad.  In other words, mid-atmospheric performance.]

    Edited by FinalFan
    edit

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites