Captain Sierra

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About Captain Sierra

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    Aerospace Overengineer

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  1. So I've completed all of my test crafts and tweaking everything for the latest version. That turned into tedium towards the end.... Now I can push all the data into a spreadsheet and properly analyze it. I intend to drop the sheet here along probably with a bundle of my test crafts (I'll list the necessary mods) so that others can analyze the same data. I also need to finish the control crafts which use NF propulsion and Kerbal Atomics engines to offer existing comparisons. @Nertea So far a lot of the balance changes you made are generally for the better. Antimatter consumption on a lot of the engines I regard as "antimatter-efficient" did go up considerably so they're slightly less AM-efficient now, but 50u of antimatter still only takes 33 days to generate at max level factory so my complaints in that regard are rather heavily undermined.
  2. As for those you haven't looked at ... The Dirac seems fine in high density mode. When you swap it to medium density though, it consumes so much antimatter that it seems basically worthless. At that point in time the Cochrane becomes a much better option. If you ignore the med density mode entirely it seems like a fine engine. Speaking of the Cochrane, it's actually pretty weak I've found in its 5 and 10 meter configuration. Often other engines will do the job better. However once it gets to 15 meter and larger it begins to come into its own and really become the inferno-spewing torch drive it's meant to be. As a disclaimer, my tests have been specifically building for 20,000 dV with 23.25 tons of payload mass. The small variants may not be suited to this specific task well. Heinlein definitely needs nerfing into the ground. Realism aside, the thing offers so much power for so little effort that - although other engines can technically offer more power - it's easily the best choice for almost every reasonable use case. Moving over to the engines you have addressed: The Microstar did not seem like it needed that efficiency buff. The thrust increase is definitely welcome but its efficiency felt fine. When you say full 3.75m tank do you mean the flat-pack or the spherical? I've automatically assumed all of these engines should be using an auxiliary reactor, even the Z-pinches. They also run a bit warm for having a lack of physical combustion chamber but I guess mini nuclear fireballs do that. Part of the Polaris' difficulty is how many pellet canisters you need. It may be worth an Isp buff too but worth further analysis with the updated build. Magnetic ICF still has crap TWR ... like really crap. Given the size of the engine and the mass of the ships that will usually be using it ... a thrust buff here may be worth it since its thrust is just so pitiful compared to ablative. That's actually a huge nerf to the Casaba antimatter consumption. Part of what made that engine attractive was how little antimatter it needed making it a really good entry level. Sure it means you're dragging a quarter-full tank around, but it was really nice. I'd consider adjusting that in the future, perhaps to 10u AM per large tank (which means one storage ring easily gets you 2 full usages of the engine) As for holding off on a comprehensive assessment ... I'll definitely do a rework pass on all my test crafts before I compile a spreadsheet & offer a statistical breakdown. Are you going to continue tweaking before you ship or do you intend to ship those balance tweaks soon?
  3. So to respond to @RedParadize about antimatter tanks ... I think we're okay because of the dual nature of antimatter consuming engines. They either eat tiny amounts of it needing no more than a couple of torus rings ... or they consume unfathomable quantities of the stuff needing bigger thanks than we already have (100k AM storage tank? Big, spherical? One more piece to the ISV Venture Star replicas? Plz?) Now to @Nertea about the ablative engines. I've been working on some VAB numbers testing for balance. Note that none of this is flight testing so I may be over or undershooting on the thermal control needs. However KER does provide some excellent info. I'll compile everything into a spreadsheet once I'm done with it (the multi-length engines I'm not even sure how I'll handle). Back on what I wanted to mention you for, the pellet counts for the ablative engines: The AMCF is actually pretty close and consumes about 3800 pellets or a bit more than one large tank. It also consumes only 6 or 7 units of antimatter. At those points the ablator is gone. The ablative ICF engine is a whole different beast. It actually consumes somewhere between 750 to 800 pellets, less than half of a small tank. That doesn't seem like much but for a ~23 ton mission payload its still getting 33 thousand delta V. Its thrust is also absolutely ridiculous in comparison to the nonablative ICF engine. It also needs less radiator mass and less energy charge and has the dV for most missions. The nonablative ICF engine struggles to compete against that for anything but the highest dV missions (my general balance assessment is that it's too weak compared it its direct competition).
  4. So unfortunately bad news. The far future plugin appears to crash on load in 1.3 (shoulda seen that coming really). I am refraining from shoving logs at you for now because it possibly just needs a recompile (if that doesn't fix it, let me know to shove logs at you). I figure this is a minor thing on the list for whenever the next dev release comes ... which I presume is relative to whenever the magnetoinertial fusion rockets are done.
  5. Bit of a double post but that'll have to be fine. I noticed a small bug yesterday when building. The H250-16 hydrogen tank (hydrogen-25-3.cfg) displays the exact same model as the H250-64 (hydrogen-25-1.cfg) tank, despite only having a quarter the capacity. I suspect a slight exporting error. No biggie, since I rarely have need for a hydro tank that small. Can anyone else confirm, just as verification it isn't me?
  6. So I'm not quite sure what Nert was going for balance-wise with the aerospikes ... but absolutely ridiculously awesome seems to be the order of the day. About 40% payload fraction is pretty insane. Insanely cool. Really only about 37-38% payload fraction though if you take advantage of the core stage RTLS (50% total launch cost recovery by saving the engine).
  7. I'm dealing with a wierd issue. Telescope is not detecting any bodies even when everything is set up correctly. Checking logs, I get a spam of this when I enter the tracking station to go to my telescope. [LOG 12:56:12.580] 11/25/2016 12:56:12 PM,ResearchBodies-PCBMWrapper,Arrggg: Exception has been thrown by the target of an invocation. Full log here. First 80% of the log is just loading in. Possible conflicting mods would be OPM/Kopernicus mainly. Further testing on my end pending to rule mod interaction out. Running version 1.2.1 but that hotfix I wouldnt expect to fully break the mod (possible though).
  8. TweakableEverything adds these sliders already. Having used that in the past, I will attest there is a time and place for stronger magnetic force. However for general applications, at least for the smaller ports, its definitely undesirable for intermediate players.
  9. Please put this glorious thing on KerbalX @LeuZ. Very very sleek & I want.
  10. Changing the subject, I found this gem. That is JCSAT-14 as time-lapsed from the shore of South Carolina. Large streak is the upper stage burning for orbit, and the red scratch between the tree limbs is the first stage going in for barge landing. Photo shot, edited, and assembled by Zach Grether (not me), all rights reserved.
  11. Confirm your modulemanager is up to date? Thats what will control those patches.
  12. Post your output_log.txt. Its found under KSP_x64_Data. I suspect you're a victim of the random crashes that are currently plaguing the game and are receiving criminally little attention. (an unpredictable CTD should be at the top priority of everyone at SQUAD, and here)
  13. SQUAD plz. Y u not do this already?
  14. This lifter was posted on reddit by /u/MarcusIuniusBrutus. Its only shortcoming, he notes, is that is light on parachutes, only able to safely land at terrain <1000m ASL altitude. He also notes that it packs just shy of 7900 dV after ladders, science, and legs have been jettisoned. It reached orbit from 500m altitude with 300-500m/s of dV margin. Also, here is his full album.