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Hello fellow kerbals. Let's talk about science mode ! I - The Issue I might be some kind of a masochistic player but I can't help to think that even with a 10 % science rewards settings, unlocking the tech tree feels wrong. In my experience, for a 10 % setting, it's : 1) Unnecessarily grindy at the very beginning 2) Somewhat normal around moon and minmus if you travel a bit through biomes with like 2 moon missions and 2 minmus missions 3) Still way to fast to unlock once you can get into other planets orbits 4) Rendered completely pointless by science lab, which stays OP even at 10 %. I mean, even if I just put science stations here and there and don't speed up time directly, any trip to Jool while they are running in the background will speed up that time anyway and grind hard. I won't say much about career mode as I feel it's quite the same issue, science and money feeling like two separates things even with strategies running, plus I tend to prefer science mode at the moment. My computer lags with too much pieces, so I actually build low-price rockets anyway :$ II - The Idea As I came across a simple achievement mod found on CKAN (this one, here) I thought "hey, it would be pretty cool if instead of science, tech tree was unlocked through objectives / missions / achievements of some kind !" It could look like this for instance : Launch a Vessel --> Land a Vessel / Splash-land a Vessel --> Get Over Kerbin Atmosphere --> Land at North / South Pole --> Get to Orbit --> SOI Moon or Minmus --> Orbit M or Mm --> SOI Sun --> Land M or Mm --> SOI Duna or Eve --> etc... That would require some kind of thinking as for the order, but it would be fun to play in my opinion. Plus, as tech tree columns grow in size, your possibilities tends to inscrease as well : orbiting Duna or Jool makes little difference, so the same mission in multiple planets could fill up tech branches (same for Moon or Minmus actually). As science parts would be rendered useless, some missions could call for them, i.e. "do an atmospheric scan landed of EVE" or something. What do you think, is that cool and doable as a mod ? (Or does it exist already, making me look very dumb ?) I know that one could challenge himself and not rely on a game mechanic, but I feel like a progressive mode like science is pointless if you have to moderate yourself playing it. I mean, you might as well go for the sandbox mode if you have to make your own challenges anyway. It would also be newbie-freindly I think, as it would give the player objectives that are assured to be doable, which is very good for motivation and understanding (i.e. seeing Minmus before Moon or at the same level could bring some kind of questions, leading to an illumination when player understands why / do the mission).
I've been puzzled by this omission and wonder if there's a mod that adds it. We have Sandbox mode, where you have full access to everything. You have career mode, where both science and funds are limited. And there is science mode, where you start off with fully upgraded facilities and money is no object. Why isn't there a fourth option, where the whole tech tree is unlocked, but you start off with a shoestring budget, the most basic facilities, and no rep, and have to build economical rockets or increase re-use, to gradually upgrade facilities, build out your space infrastructure and start putting Kerbals further and further afield. Would reward smart vehicle design and use of SSTOs or just partially re-usable vehicles, rather than putting you in the position of say NASA at the start of the space race, with no tech but huge resources, it would be like a present day or near future scenario where a smaller nation that formerly had no space program decides to start exploration?