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Starhawk

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Everything posted by Starhawk

  1. I didn't accept it, but I saw one last week to test the launch stability enhancer while landed... on the Mun.
  2. Hmmm, maybe the Island Airstrip should have this texture. It's not as though you have a smooth grassy area as an option over there.
  3. I've been playing around with SSTO's for a couple of releases, and since 0.25 I love the new Mk2 spaceplane parts. This is the current variant of my favorite design, newly rebuilt in 0.90. Because it's so simple, I expect someone else has already created a similar design. Being new to the forums, I've only seen a fairly small number of other designs so far. The Sparrow Mk2 is a minimalist design. Only 6.1 tons with selected fuel amounts, and only 18 parts. 100% stock. Flies beautifully. Takes off horizontally, but can pitch right into vertical climb. Flatten out at 10k or so, use the sweet spot for as long as you can, and circularization. I've previously made orbit in it using less than 30 m/s from the rockets. It does, however, have no luxury features other than it's esthetic appeal. No solar panels, no RTG, no batteries, no RCS, and no docking ports. (Make sure you turn off SAS and lights once you make orbit! Those Rockomax 48-7S engines produce no juice.) Being a two-seater makes it ideal for those 'rescue a Kerbal from Kerbin orbit' contracts. Here's a look It has enough fuel left to do it all again! (Even though this was a fairly sloppy ascent.)
  4. Having had a chance to play with this release for a little while, here are some (hopefully not too random) thoughts. Editor Overhaul Beautiful work. As I said in an earlier post, the changes to the editor are revolutionary. Gizmos are wonderful, should they be unlockable? KSC Facilities Upgradeable facilities are an excellent gameplay mechanic. Definitely a necessary part of the economic system, and a valuable incentive to do more missions. Having the maneuver nodes and ability to EVA be unlocked via building upgrades adds more sense of progression as players proceed through career mode. I think unlockable content needs to be fleshed out much more, especially with more building tiers coming. Some ideas for things that could be unlockable with building upgrades: - Gizmos - Symmetry switching - Display of interplanetary transfer windows - Discovery/display of celestial bodies - Crew transfer without EVA - Visual representation of range/delta-v of a craft (maybe by showing a potential orbit in the tracking station.) To improve the richness and complexity of the game, a lot could be added here. Visually, to my eye, the quality of the tier 1 and tier 2 buildings is not up to the standard of the tier 3 buildings yet. It's a work in progress - 'nuff said. Kerbal XP Another system which adds significantly to gameplay. Once again, this is brand new and, from my viewpoint, also needs a lot of fleshing out. I would definitely like to see more reasons to want/need a particular Kerbal skill on a given mission. Some possibilities for skills that depend on a Kerbal's role or on the role/skill level combination: - Scientist required to move science data from instruments to pods or from one pod to another - Science lab only functions when crewed by scientists - Engineer required to move fuel/electricity from one part of craft to another - Engineer required to deploy solar panels on a craft that has run out of power - Engineer required to deploy any part from outside the craft - Engineer required to extract resources (assuming resource extraction becomes part of the core game) - Pilots could have more autopilot-type skills, i.e. rendezvous, docking, even ascent and landing (I realize a lot of players will hate this idea. Just trying to think of ways the roles might be more valuable) As others have pointed out, the changes to probe core tech really blunt the impact of the Pilot skill. Specifically, SAS is the only critical pilot skill, the rest are merely a matter of convenience. Since SAS is available with any probe core except the Stayputnik, once any of these are unlocked, pilot skill isn't that important. I'd definitely like the pilot role to have more value. So far, only the scientist role has any improved value after level 3. Hopefully, the other skill levels will eventually be fleshed out so that they mean something. Fine Print A vast improvement over the available content in First Contract and Economic Boom, the addition of all the new contracts is, it seems to me, an essential part of the core game. I believe we now have a good start on the contract system. While there is more to be done here, the improvement in gameplay up to this point is enormous. I would definitely like to see a much greater diversity of contracts. An even broader selection of contracted missions to choose from would probably improve career play for most players. The contract system already gives us the ability to decline contracts causing them to be replaced instantly with new, randomly generated, contracts. Along with enough variety of contracts, this should satisfy players with many different interests and play styles. Another possibility to improve the contract system would be mission contracts that build on work done for previous contracts. For instance, after putting an orbital station up to fulfill a contract, a contract could appear asking you to add a lab, or another habitation module, or a part with more solar panels, or rotate the crew. Perhaps some contracts to do survey missions could be generated near where you already have infrastructure, with appropriately balanced payouts. This would lead you to use infrastructure placed for earlier contracts and could add significantly to the sense of progression in gameplay. SAS & Probe Cores Changes to SAS can definitely alter early career gameplay. I enjoyed the challenge of placing a satellite in a specific orbit without SAS, but I wonder if some players may find it daunting. Giving the various probe cores all different characteristics is very interesting and definitely adds to the usefulness of many of the previously unerutilized cores. The SAS ability of most probe cores does, however, as noted above, vastly reduce the value of the SAS pilot skill. Overall, I found the career mode gameplay richer and more interesting as well as much more challenging.
  5. I actually built this ship and did the mission in October. I was partway through my first 0.25 career when I saw the youtube video of Scott Manley beating First Contract in two missions. I wondered if I could finish unlocking the tech tree with one mission. So I built this lander. I had a fair bit of the tech tree unlocked, including a node or two on the last tier so this lander has the seismic and gravity sensors in addition to what the rules here call for. I'm afraid there isn't anything very interesting about the design. I did set it up to return all three Kerbals home after the mission. The ship is 100% stock, and the cost, as you can see, is 179 640. Only 10 300 is recoverable, but it's about the science, right? Visited 11 munar biomes, doing the landing, reorbit, rendezvous, and docking cycle each time. For efficiency, no batteries or solar panels were added to the lander (translation: engineering staff forgot). This made for a couple of interesting rendezvous situations. Fortunately, there is plenty of RCS, so I could maneuver and dock, even without any power. While it is short of electrical power, the lander has more fuel capacity than it needs to land, reorbit and rendezvous, so you won't get stranded, snackless, on the Mun. A pic of the second landing at a very dicey location in the NW Crater. And one from the edge of the Canyons. Took three tries to successfully land in the area. A look at the Mun map after the final redocking. And, finally, the mission is completed. More than enough science to unlock the rest of the tech tree. I think I had about 800 science points left over.
  6. Wow! I finally upgraded my R&D to tier 3! I had just enough before my last mission, but would have left me with a pittance for future launches. So I did a Mun mission to fulfill five contracts - one to take four temp measurements in flight, one to return science from space near the Mun, one to plant a flag on the Mun, one to deliver an outpost capable of containing five Kerbals, and finally, one more to take temperature measurements - four in flight and one on the surface. Tough challenge! The tolerance for position of the temperature measurement on the surface is much smaller than the in-flight measurements. I'm down to 623000 currency, but I can keep doing science. Sondrin Kerman is now indefinitely stationed at Mun Outpost 1, but there are enough batteries to keep the lights on all night.
  7. Okay, thanks. I was trying to design a spacecrane which will drop a small habitat on the Mun to satisfy a 'Place an outpost on the Mun' contract. With the design I'm using, this is essential information! Thanks again Red Iron Crown.
  8. Why, yes they were. It's an unusual craft configuration for me, so I've never run across the behavior before. Thanks for the info. Is this an issue with the gimballing algorithm then? Do you know what happens if the CoM shifts above the engine(s) while running?
  9. So... I'm having an issue that I don't see posted anywhere. Probably because nobody ever uses these engines. I read that the ISP for the Rockomax Mark 55 Radial engine was buffed up with the release of Beta Than Ever, and I built a few of them onto a ship I was working on. I loaded Jeb into the cockpit, launched for my test flight, and... soon veered completely off course and began doing those ever-so-amusing crazy rocket flips before crashing. Further experimentation revealed that the controls appear to be reversed when these engines are in use, and Jebs SAS skill always cause the vehicle to crash. I was able to fly it manually without SAS (I love that part in the early career mode now), but I had to reverse all my control movements. I don't know the config files well enough to tell at a glance if this is just a typo. Has anyone else experienced this?
  10. My pleasure. BTW, the offset gizmo works the same way.
  11. If you look at the info (i) icon on the bottom right toolbar, you'll see that it turns orange when you exceed any limitation. Clicking on it gives more info.
  12. Beautiful work, Squad! This update is excellent! As others have said, we actually have a game now. I love having to plan and consider many factors when choosing contracts. Currency now has much more value, forcing me to decide whether I can afford to upgrade a facility and still afford to build the rocket for the next mission I want to do. The new contracts from the Fine Print mod are a great addition and definitely a step in the right direction. The contract system still needs to be fleshed out with much more content, but the new content is exactly what I was hoping for - new, interesting challenges that can earn me science and funds. The editor upgrades are revolutionary! I am enjoying the build process more than ever. Kudos to HarvesteR! Kerbal experience is very exciting! This is a very necessary gameplay element for me. Up until now, the Kerbals were just (cute) placeholders, but now they are worth protecting. I'm playing normal mode for my first career in 0.90, but I'm looking forward to playing without the ability to revert. I will be building launch escape systems into every manned craft. I can't wait until more skills are added. Perhaps a specific level of engineer skill should be necessary to pump fuel or electricity from one part to another. Maybe an engineer is required to unfold a solar panel if the electricity runs out. Scientist skill could be required to remove and transfer science data from an experiment or a pod. Maybe having a scientist or an engineer on board would allow you to have TWR, or delta-v info displayed. The possibilities are exciting and endless! The building upgrades could include things like the gizmos or symmetry switching not being available until a certain tier is unlocked at the VAB or SPH. Maybe discovery/display of the other planets could depend on upgrading R&D and/or the Tracking Station. Anyway, to everyone who has worked on this project, CONGRATULATIONS! Thanks again Squad!
  13. If you turn part snap off, you can use the gizmo to rotate parts smoothly by any amount.
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