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  1. Taking a cue from the recent discussion on implementing life support and one of the ways in which Better Than Starting Manned uses this, it might work if Kerbals in crew containers consume substantially less life support. They just can't control the craft from there, meaning you'd need either a command pod (which you transfer out of once you're on your long trajectory) or a probe core for command. You could effectively gate interplanetary travel this way by only giving pods enough life support to make it out to Minmus, making crew cabins essential for months-long interplanetary flights.
  2. Well that's cheating Seriously though, maybe it's a misunderstanding but I think this discussion should be about the stock experience and how to improve it. Edit That's not to say modded play is invalid. If anything, it shows that there are workable ways to imrove the stock experience!
  3. Yeah don't get me wrong, I'm all for more structural panels and parts Just found it funny.
  4. Funny enough, I actually use the I-beam part as the core of my generic small rover design:
  5. Yup, that's why I used it as an example I like the work you've done on ISRU and the mobile lab and how it makes both Kerbals and probes valuable assets, especially considering how long that particular design challenge has loomed over KSP. I'll be looking forward to what you and the others come up with next. My hope is that it will have a wider scope. KSP finally seems truly 'feature complete' so it would seem natural to now really develop an arch / narrative / progression / pacing / call it what you will and balance all the game's elements around that.
  6. I think we're trying to say the same thing here. Since the tech tree was introduced there has been an explicit focus on making the Kerbals take center stage. In fact this was something that had been hotly debated until then, as it always seemed there was no real point in sending Kerbals anywhere when a lighter probe could do the job just as well. Now with 1.0 this design problem seems to have been reversed: Kerbals are now required to get max science returns, max prestige, to operate mobile labs and ISRU as efficiently as possible, to provide SAS functions to spacecraft. They're better than probes in every way except mass, a penalty that is easily offset by the greater returns on a successful manned mission as opposed to an unmanned one. Which now leaves us wondering: what are probes good for? With Kerbals being the bee's knees, an obvious way to pace the progression of the game would be to introduce some barrier to how far Kerbals can go until Milestone X has been achieved. Life support, in whatever form, is the first thing that springs to mind. Mind you, in a more general sense I'd like to see a more clear distinction between what probes can do and what Kerbals can do. I'd like to see probes defined as pathfinders, able to range out ahead but simply incapable of doing as much when they get there. I'd like more instances where the game makes me think "ah, this is clearly a job for a probe!" The scanning mechanics for ISRU are a good example of this. It feels right to have a probe scan the planet, then have a lander/rover perform more detailed scans and finally mark the perfect site for the manned mining rig to exploit. Pathfinding! Or, well, prospecting in this case. You get the idea
  7. I reckon they haven't bothered too much with the latter because of the former. Of course the former is the juicier question I actually do like the idea of "screw how humans do it, these are Kerbals". And I think that's a principle that can be designed around pretty well. In its most basic sense, imagine a progression where Kerbals are little green people who really really want to go into space. They do so, but they run into a barrier. There are no snacks in space (insert life support here). They then develop probes to go out ahead and look for good places to go and how to get there. Probes do the scouting and preliminary research, then Kerbals follow to do cool space exploration stuff. Lots of explosions in between. That might make for a pretty natural arch where probes pave the way for Kerbal exploration of the solar system.
  8. It´s always a sliding scale though, isn´t it? When is 'realistic' realistic enough? When does 'arcade' become too arcadey?
  9. I feel KSPs happy-go-lucky "let's have a new feature that's 80% complete!" days are over. We're in 1.x territory and that means we're well due a focused game experience. Giving us sliders to tune it to our own liking is nice, but there's no core to work from. The fact that Squad just overhauled New Aero within days of it being released - drastically changing the game's basic parameters - speaks volumes. We need a baseline. Squad needs to sit down and decide how they want the game to played, and then tune all these fantastic mechanics they've implemented around that. Only then will options and sliders really mean something. Right now KSP stands more on the strength of its concept that its design. It has for over four years now and it has been great! The concept it stands on is brilliant and its mechanics are well-implemented. It's just time to make a real game out of it.
  10. True. What I'm trying to say is that life support would, in my opinion, only really be an interesting gameplay mechanic in career mode. Maybe in science mode too, now that I think about it some more. But not in sandbox mode really, there it would just add some parts and then be a non-issue. Career mode is so chock full of interfacing mechanics (currencies, strategies, building upgrades, the tech tree, crew experience) that it's a hot mess to balance. Adding life support as a means for devs to say "OK, at this stage in the game, you can send Kerbals to the Mun and no further" would finally allow them to implement a real progression system that can't be broken five minutes after it's thrown to the monkeys
  11. I believe career mode desperately needs a way for the devs to pace player progression - especially during the early game - and life support could be just the ticket. If so, I'd like to see it implemented simply and elegantly. I don't want to worry about how many times Jeb needs to jettison a #2 and whether or not it could be recycled into oxidizer. Just give me a simple LifeSupport (or Snacks) resource and give me more hours of Kerbal lifetime out of it as I move up the tech tree. Let me create it through ISRU once I'm far enough along and presto In Science and Sandbox mode... Maybe not so much needed, no.
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