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Codraroll

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Everything posted by Codraroll

  1. I think this could be done simple enough to work in-game: Consider a three-tier building, the Observatory (or planetarium?). With tier one, the Tracking Station will only show Kerbin and its two moons, plus Eve and Duna (and perhaps Ike, but not Gilly). It would simply look as if there were no more planets in the system. Upgrading the Observatory to tier 2 would show you Dres, Gilly and maybe Jool, but not its moons. Also, more information about the known planets would be displayed (most crucially, launch windows). An upgrade to tier 3 would show more information about the planets (such as a biome list), but not reveal the rest of them. It would, however, unlock new parts: The Space Telescope. Sending a telescope into orbit would reveal the existence of Moho, the Joolian moons, and Eeloo. That mechanic could feasibly be split in two if you like, for instance that a 2.5 m telescope reveals Tylo, Moho and Laythe, while a 3.75 m telescope shows you Vall, Pol, Bop and Eeloo. As such, the space telescopes would not require hours of manual scanning. Just plop them in a stable orbit, perhaps above a certain altitude, and the scientists will figure out the rest. It's not completely realistic, but it does add a gameplay element of exploration. Of course, sending probles to the planets would also mark them as discovered in the Tracking Station, but good luck finding them without a telescope.
  2. If I recall correctly, the Devnotes once talked about a "discovery" system for planets. If they are still seriously considering to implement it, I can't see how it would be done without involving Hubble-esque telescopes. So you might be in luck here.
  3. Wouldn't there then evolve a metagame of harvesting Science off KSC the quickest, to unlock parts you can do fun things with? People would work out an optimal path through the tech tree to get the most useable parts quicker. In a game with as few strategical decisions as KSP, everything but the flying would quickly delve into "execute the optimal maneuver the fastest". Also, contracts would be a bit of a wrench in the machinery. Some player could be lucky and get a contract with a high advance early on, allowing him to upgrade his facilities quickly and then skip around the system collecting achievements while other players struggle to lay down the money for a launchpad upgrade or something. Just pointing it out, though. If KSP added competitive multiplayer, I wouldn't complain. I'd just choose not to play it. But it seems evident that there are some challenges to overcome before competitive multiplayer can thrive.
  4. The names themselves aren't problematic, they're rather... symptomatic. It's the whole thing with having a Mercury analog near the Sun, followed by a Venus analog, followed by an Earth with a large, Moon-like moon, then a Mars analog further out, followed by Ceres and Jupiter... once you start thinking about it, the Kerbal solar system is an awful lot like the real one. Sure, there are a few extra moons here and there, but the overall trends are very similar to what we know from real life. I can understand that some players would like this fantasy solar system to differ a bit more from real life. Not having roughly the same planets in the same order. There are good outliers, though. I applaud Eve for being very little like Venus, so technically my comparison isn't all that accurate. The purple is a nice touch too. Duna having a huge moon like Ike is cool too, I like Minmus very much, and Laythe is awesome. But I feel it wouldn't have hurt to be a little less conservative with KSP's planets. There could be rocky worlds with rings, planets of strange colours (again, kudos to Eve), worlds with extreme mountains, gas giants with a solid core you can land on, planets going the other way around the sun, planets in extremely elliptical orbits, or tons of other little quirks, many of which are explored in mods already. Instead, we have a system that is very Sol-like, with a Kerbal analog for most of the inner bodies. It's not a 1-to-1 likeness, but close enough for us to long for a little more creativity.
  5. Just popping by to add my name to the list of people whose day this tool saved. Great work! For those wondering, I had the "undock but nothing happens" bug, which glued a completed Station Science experiment to my Kerbin Orbital Station. Although the station is a little out of date compared to my tech tree progress, I wouldn't have liked to deorbit it all to get the experiment back to base. Thanks a lot again!
  6. We already sort of have one of these, but not really. The LFB KR-1x2 "Twin Boar" Liquid Fuel Engine is a mid-game mainstay for me, with more thrust than the Mainsail and useable Isp. But it keeps me pondering where the LFB KR-1 "Boar" engine is to be found. Although the Twin Boar produces twice as much force as the Vector, and half of it thus doesn't really fulfill your objective, I think it'd be nice to see a Single Boar engine too. Just let it produce slightly less than half the thrust of the Twin Boar for... reasons (less overhead losses when multiple engine bells are fed with the same fuel system or something?), and it'd be a good 1.25 m bridge between the Reliant and the Vector. That, or the Boar could be a 1.25 m engine with an integrated fuel tank. Either way, I'd like to see the Boar engine in the game, if only for completions' sake.
  7. For some reason, the huge bay by the desert always reminds me of the Gulf of Mexico. There's neither a Mexico nor a Florida to be seen, and the bay is not a gulf, but the bay is the Gulf regardless. When doing LKO rescue missions, I always do my deorbit burn over the landmass east of the bay, for a fairly accurate landing within 10-50 km of the KSC site. By the way, has there ever been a fan project to assign names to the various places on Kerbin or the other planets?
  8. First and foremost: Legs and wheels (need not be impact tolerant) whose height can be adjusted with a slider. It'd revolutionize planetary base building. A rover cockpit would be nice too. But first and foremost, height-adjustable legs and wheels. Also, Station Science in Stock. Something, anything, that rewards you in the long term for building space stations, which at the moment only exist to fulfill contracts.
  9. In my opinion (and seemingly that of many others on these forums too), planets have more fundamental problems than "there aren't enough of them". Adding more planets add some variety to the game, true, but fact still remains that the majority of KSP players - even the "pro" ones - rarely leave Kerbin's SOI. With a proper reason to visit or even settle on most planets, and a clear and permanent benefit from doing so, I think the game would benefit a lot more than it would from just adding more, but essentially more of the same, planets.
  10. This sounds interesting, actually, and could be used to "fix rovers". If biome mapping was a thing in-game, it would be easy to identify the hotspots, which would make perfect sites for rover landings. That, or simply adding "hotspots" manually. Some place with several points of interest within a small area, small enough to require difficult precision landings if "lander hopping" was used. Underground caves could also be used. Just somewhere interesting to send rovers, where sending a lander would be too difficult or time-consuming, and a lone Kerbal with his jetpack can't do the job because various instruments are required.
  11. I think that, with the size change, the purpose of the monolith changed. But it's still legit. It went from being an easter egg at the KSC site to a "hint", of sorts. Players see it, think "What's that over there?", build a rover to head over to it, and might realize that there could be more of those monoliths around. It's easier to spot now than it was earlier, but instead of being the only monolith a player was likely to find, it is the promise of more monoliths being in the game. Now, all the monoliths need is a purpose, a reason to seek them out, maybe with a text hinting at the placement of the next one, and we could have a fun little easter egg hunt in-game. Personally, I'd make a little plaque at each one, readable the same way flag plaques are, vaguely hinting of where the next monolith could be found. Reading them would add a contract to seek out the next one. The last monolith would point at the Kraken lying on Bop. Upon finding it (but only after having found all the monoliths), a special part, the Kraken Drive, would be unlocked.
  12. Since the low weight of the Mk1 cockpit is useful for several early-game atmospheric planes, I wouldn't meddle too much with it or outright replace it. Might as well add another 1.25 m cockpit instead. I'd rather like to see a Mk1B cockpit, unlocked slightly later in the tech tree, with integrated heat shields and increased heat tolerance.
  13. All the bodies need location-based biomes, in my opinion. The Mun has several distinctly named craters, why don't the other planets? Craters, mountains, valleys or other anomalities need to be addressed a little better. Also, biome-specific contracts need to be a thing. "Plant flag on Gilly's Poles" or "bring back surface samples from the Farside Crater". It would encourage players to land in interesting places rather than the first and easiest location they come across.
  14. I'm a huge advocate for orbital and extraplanetary base building. Implemented correctly, I believe it would solve many of the challenges and problems the game faces. First of all, it removes the tedium of getting off Kerbin. After a couple hundred launches, getting out of the Kerbal gravity well is pure routine work. Even with stuff like MechJeb, it is a time-consuming, repetitive task that offers little challenge once you're familiar with the basics of the game. Second, it gives players a goal to strive for. Your off-Kerbin construction yard would be something you earn, not something you get at the start of the game. Getting a base in Kerbin orbit - or even on the surface of another body - would require an ungodly amount of Science and Funds, and the launch of several very heavy modules. There might even be Rep requirements to even getting the projects approved. It would not be a shortcut on the learning curve, merely a reward for your hard work and experience. Extraplanetary bases could be fixed to a few pre-programmed locations on each body, requiring players to survey the planet and send Kerbals there to plant flags before construction could begin. Third, it makes longer missions more convenient. Perhaps more easy too, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. There's a vast skill/time investment gap between working in Kerbin's SOI versus missions to other planets, and a lot more infuriating when something goes wrong. Getting stuck on the Mun because you lack the Delta-V to get off its surface is very frustrating. Getting stuck on Duna for the same reason is much, much worse, since you spent a lot more time getting there, and having to re-do the mission from scratch because of a small design mistake is very annoying considering the time it took before you could discover that mistake (for a seasoned player, it's a small annoyance. For a newbie, it's a "close-the-game-and-don't-pick-it-up-again-for-months"-inducing frustration). If you could launch from Kerbin orbit or even Minmus, it'd be easier to make purpose-built craft for interplanetary voyages, and it would take a lot less time to do off-Kerbin missions. Fourth, as a result of point 3, off-Kerbin bases act as "stepping stones", encouraging the exploration of the outer planets of the Kerbin system. Going to Jool is currently a daunting task, requiring hours of play and several in-game years. As a result, only a marginal fraction of KSP players ever go there (there was a thread on this a while back). Using a construction/launch facility on Duna makes the Jool trip a lot less demanding. And once bases are established on the Joolian moons, Eeloo is within feasible range, even for a casual player. At the moment, Eeloo is so remote that there's no real need for outer planets - very few players even go halfway there at all, and missions are dastardly hard and time-consuming. Fifth, it gives Funds a late-game purpose. After a few dozen successful missions, you have enough money to make the resource practically worthless. Once all the KSC facilities are upgraded, and you keep getting rewarded for your exploration, you have to try hard to get the Funds counter down towards 0 again. But merely constructing a basic off-planet facility would cost an arm and a leg. Now, upgrading your VAB on Ike would make the Funds you spent on the KSC seem like pocket change, and the sum you have to lay down to build a facility on Vall... As you unlock the entire tech tree, you go from Science-seeking missions to Funds-seeking ones. Extra con-yards would give all those Funds somewhere to be spent. Sixth, it gives purpose to all the other space programs that appear to be flying in Kerbin's skies. A host of different actors manage to put one-man capsules in orbit around the Kerbal bodies, or even on the planets. If Rockomax can put ships on the Mun, they could probably fly there with parts for my rocket building facility too. They'd ask for handsome payments, though. While a solar panel costs very little in the KSC VAB, it'd be a lot more expensive in orbit, with prices increasing exponentially the further you go from Kerbin. Building a 10-ton vessel A on Duna would cost twice as much as vessel B on Kerbin, with the capability of delivering vessel A in its entirety to Duna. Or in more Earthly terms, building the Apollo lander on the Moon would cost more than building and launching a Saturn V on Earth. I suppose your off-planet bases could have buildings or facilities which reduced these costs, though. Seventh, the system wouldn't be forced on anybody. It's a single-player game, who would you be cheating? It wouldn't remove the option of launching all your missions from the KSC either. Play the game your way, there's no competition and nobody judging you. I would even be satisfied with Squad if they just added support for such a system in their game. Namely, the ability to have multiple KSCs, even on locations off Kerbin. If I understand correctly, this is currently not possible, although you can change which planet the game considers to be Kerbin. Just lay down the groundwork, and modders could take care of the rest. Properly integrated extraplanetary bases and eventual colonization would really add longevity and purpose to the game, which at the moment turns into a bit of a sandbox once the tech tree is unlocked.
  15. Hasn't there been like three threads recently on this very subject? Both of those have their latest posts within a week from now...
  16. My "dream" for KSP is the ability to create entire space centers on foreign bodies. Places where you could build rockets, recruit Kerbals, and access a copy of the Mission Command center (offering different contracts on different bodies is just asking for trouble). However, building and launching rockets from those space centers would be incredibly expensive, at least at first. And upgrading buildings? Possible, absolutely, but you'd need to take a few really high-paying contracts before even considering the level 2 VAB on Vall, for instance. The implication is that other companies are shipping rocket parts to your extraplanetary bases, at a cost. As to how it all would be built... I think it would be easiest for the game to pre-define available locations on the various bodies. You wouldn't have complete freedom as to where to build your space center, you would have to choose between pre-defined locations. A specific crater on the Mun. A flat-topped mountain on Eve. A plain on Duna. Just like how the KSC, the Inland Space Center and the Island Runway are all in pre-defined locations on Kerbin. Discovering those pre-defined locations would require a survey scan of the planet, maybe even painting a flag to demonstrate to the higher-ups that it is possible to land there. Maybe even returned surface samples. That would certainly make an Eve base a proper challenge to establish. The facilities could be built by bringing the necessary parts to the pre-defined locations, after which they would be converted to regular buildings. Maybe you'd have to pay both Science and Funds to erect the buildings once parts were in place. Buildings could include ore mines, refineries and factories, to bring down the cost of fuel and parts. Maybe you'd even have to construct solar arrays or reactors too, then again that might change the genre of the game too much. Maybe just have an upgradeable "life support" building, which has to be upgraded before other buildings can be upgraded? Anyway, no matter how it's done, I agree that Kerbalkind should strive for a permanent presence outside Kerbin. Not only would it give the game long-term goals to reach for, it would also make interplanetary exploration less daunting. After all, you don't need much delta-V to get to Duna if you launch from Minmus. From a Dres base Jool is not far beyond reach. Reach Laythe, and you can launch to Eeloo and planets beyond. With extraplanetary bases, transfer windows become less of a hassle too. There would always be some transfer window open somewhere.
  17. Well, if those people want to ruin their own fun, that's their choice. In a single player game, exploits like that harm nobody but the single person playing. I wouldn't worry too much about seismometer spam. It would require a bit of a convuluted setup, specifically made to harvest loads of Science, and then... play with all parts unlocked, I guess? There's not much more you can do with lots of Science, is there? That's already in the game, in fact it's an entire game mode in itself. Ultimately, any "overpowered" exploit to get Science is just a complicated way to set up a Sandbox game.
  18. Try to think of it this way: Kerbals are inherently curious creatures. They will risk anything to gain knowledge, to the point that there probably is a "something-I-know-for-something-you-know" barter economy thriving all over Kerbin. I can imagine most of the work done in the Science center involves interns phoning various suppliers such as Rockomax and having conversations something along the lines of "Hey, we just figured out the mean temperature and pressure on Minmus' Greater Flats. Wanna know what they are? We'll tell you if you give us the designs of your Jumbo tank. We could give that information to Probodobodyne instead, if you're not interested..." In short, the knowledge earned by the space program is traded with other corporations, in exchange for part designs.
  19. I also like the combine harvester idea. There should be one on every body in the system. Including Jool and the Sun.
  20. One little addition for me: Going places should automatically yield some science, in a "mapping the surface" sort of way. Flying high above the planet would give you mapping points for the face of the planet you see (that is, all of it if you remain in orbit), but at a very low resolution. Flying in atmo means you map a smaller area, but at a higher resolution. Sending a rover to the surface gives really high-resolution data, but of a very small area. Following the same logic, a Kerbal on foot would give the highest resolution and the smallest area, but since it would be such a massive chore to walk around the various biomes of the planets, I think it could be enough to send rovers. For extra "fun", the night side of the planet could yield a lower resolution multiplier, giving you a reason to stay in orbit until you've seen the entire planetary surface in sunlight. This feature would essentially replace the current crew reports/EVA reports, or rather, perform them automatically. Actually, I'd be content enough if Kerbals were allowed to write their reports after the fact, meaning that you could get EVA reports from orbit above the Mun's Highlands, Lowlands and Midlands if the Kerbal stayed in EVA while passing over those three biomes. No need to get out and write while you're above them. As for your suggestion about the Materials bay, I think it could use a slight tweaking. Rather than loading up the samples in one location and taking them directly to another, I suggest to tie the Materials bay to the existing surface sample mechanic in a different way: At the onset of the game, the Science Jr. would work as it did today. It's filled with various samples of materials from Kerbin, which you bring to the different locations and expose to the elements. After you collect samples from the Mun, a new setting would be unlocked for the materials bay in the VAB, allowing you to load it up with Mun materials instead. This somehow implies that the handful of dust you picked up on the Mun is enough to stock the Materials bay for experiments in all of the game's 100-ish biomes, but I'd say it's still within reason. Besides, it means you won't have to stop on Minmus for every trip to other planets to stock up on samples. Either way, I like to see some discussion on the Science in this game. Hopefully, improvements will be made in the future, and I like most of your suggestions.
  21. So... you've effectively made a space elevator? Nice!
  22. The way this thread is going, I think one of the big issues is this: Some people are fine with having a few bugs, but would shout at Squad for delaying updates. Some people are fine with delayed updates, but would shout at Squad if they are released with bugs. Either way, people shout at Squad. It's not like the fan base is "unpleasable". No matter what decision the developers make, the majority of the fans will be pleased. But there will always be some who think they made the wrong decision, and won't hesitate to voice their discontent in the forums. And when the community has grown to a certain size, that vocal minority will be numerous enough to fill page after page in the devnote threads. Those who feel they can handle the occasional bug or CTD, or those who believe they will be fixed soon enough to not make a ruckus about it, they stay silent. But some of them would have been shouting if, say, an update was delayed or didn't have enough content, or something else entirely. All changes will make some people upset. You can't please everybody. There will always be shouting, but from different people and for different reasons. Just know that most of us still enjoy this game, and think you're doing a good enough job. Always room for improvement, of course, but keep up the good work, and most of us will be pleased!
  23. Thank you so much for everything! Good luck in the future, wherever your course may take you.
  24. To be fair, there aren't that many Ks in KSP when you think about it. Officially, the only notable objects whose names begin with K are Kerbals and Kerbin. Lots of other names are deviations of the word "Kerbal", such as the name of the game, and the space center, but what else should it be called given the circumstances? In the game about Kerbals and their wacky space program, it's not like naming one after the other is terribly unoriginal. If the Sun was to be named Kerbol in some capacity, the number of K names would increase from 2 to 3. You may call it a 50 % increase, but it's not that very dramatic. Of the 17 bodies present in the solar system, 3 have names beginning with M (4 if you count the Magic Boulder), and even if the Sun was called Kerbol, there would still be as many D and E names as there were K names. The old meme of "adding K to every word" is a little misleading, I think. It is used very little in-game. Although, there are more parts manufacturers whose name begin with K than any other letter (Kerbodyne, Kerlington and Kerbal Motion LLC) - tied with R and S, that is. We could afford to change the name of the Sun to Kerbol without overusing the K.
  25. That's another relevant discusion. My first Duna spacecraft was basically only a Hitchhiker attached to a landing/ascent vessel in one end, and a fuel tank with a Nerv in the other. The transfer burn to Duna took 17 minutes, yet the craft was still light enough to only contain enough fuel to enter Duna orbit (after an 11-minute braking maneuver). Building a barely-accelerating craft, only to find out it contained half the fuel I needed to fulfill my mission, was not an experience that encouraged more interplanetary trips. Especially since design errors related to fuel amount will only be found when you've done a couple of those 15+ minute burns, you're lost on a remote planet, and you have to spend another few hours on a simple rescue mission (no Kerbal left behind!). Kerbin SOI, here I stay.
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