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"Time based mechanics" aren't fun, but we're shoving one in at the last minute...


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Okay, wow... So after years of Harv taking a hardline against including any kind of what he has referred to as "time-based mechanics in the game (namely life support and long-term research labs), we see this:

This week, along with various other tweaks and fixes, we’ve been having a look at the Science systems, specifically the purpose of the Lab module, which so far hasn’t been very worthwhile in terms of effort spent vs. the rewards it brings. We’ve completely rethought how Science Labs work now. Instead of merely boosting the xmit factor of a science experiment for a small amount (something that scientists can do now), and allowing you to restore inoperable experiments (also something scientists can do now), the Lab now works much more like a long-term research facility. Now, when you run experiments, you can transfer data to the lab just as before, but instead of a quick process for a small boost in the xmit factor, the data fed to the lab will generate a steady output of Science for a very long time, ultimately yielding far more science than transmitting or even recovering. This, of course, requires the labs to be manned by scientists, and have a steady supply of electricity. It should greatly increase the benefits of setting up orbiting science stations and surface bases, however, and also give you good reason to visit them every now and then. (The data does decay after a while, and the labs can only hold so much processed data before having to transmit, so don’t expect to be able to timewarp your way to infinite science)

In the latest DevNotes.

Wait, I thought it was impossible for time-based mechanics to be fun? I thought the mere existence of time-warp would completely negate such a mechanic!?

I know I'm gonna get hate for this position, but it just drives me up the wall that, suddenly, this mechanic can be fun... It is just so frustrating to see the devs do a complete 180 on these topics without any kind of acknowledgement that of the shift. I really hope they implement this right, but I'm getting really nervous about the quality of 1.0 with all these features being shoved in at the last minute without any time to test balance.

And to be clear, I'm all for time-based mechanics, and if we're including them, then I think life support systems are worth being re-evaluated.

Edited by LethalDose
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You mean the science points decaying over time? I think it was a measure to make the Lab thingy more useful while protecting it against exploits. I think is a good thing.

Also, there have been rumors about SQUAD adding life support in the medium future. Maybe, after they have improved the difficulty settings in the last patches, they are changing their mindset to use some hardcore mechanics.

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The science decay doesn't sound all that different from repeatable experiments giving less science each time you do it.

I took it as being "the science you will get out of any particular location will slowly decay over time".

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Yeah, I remember that post from Harv . It struck me as odd at the time that he would say that, giving that the game already has a time based mechanic for quite a while: Electricity.

TBH I don't mind that the devs are changing their opinion on stuff, but yeah, doing that a couple of days before the official release ...

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I'm talking specifically about this line:

the data fed to the lab will generate a steady output of Science for a very long time, ultimately yielding far more science than transmitting or even recovering

Generating science over time. I like that there is a time-dependent mechanic is the game. I dislike that the devs decried such a system being fun or even reasonable for years, and I hate that they're changing their mind without any acknowledgment.

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I noticed that. I think one of his main objections to time based mechanics has been that one could simply timewarp over it, nullifying the time aspect. Removing timewarp is not an option if you want to keep the fun in going to Jool. But he seems to have found a way around these. You need to periodically feed more experiment results to the lab and transmit the accumulated results to make room for new science.

Come to think of it, is this not the (entire) mechanism behind most facebook games? Fancy a round of Orbital Science Ville anyone? Well it is fun if it is balanced to my liking, and if it isn't, I can just do science the old fashioned way. An it is definitely an alternative to the biome hopping science drilling platforms.

Anyway. Come what may, in a week we see how this turns out.

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I'm talking specifically about this line:

Generating science over time. I like that there is a time-dependent mechanic is the game. I dislike that the devs decried such a system being fun or even reasonable for years, and I hate that they're changing their mind without any acknowledgment.

Well, this game has changed over time and so has the opinion of the devs. It's almost like they are humans that can change their minds. It probably isn't a last minute addition, that we don't know about it beforehand doesn't mean they weren't planning it already.

Hate is such a strong word though, what do you expect them to do? Crawl through the dust and apologise for introducing it and acknowledge they were wrong in the past? (even though you say you like the idea)

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Hate is such a strong word though, what do you expect them to do? Crawl through the dust and apologise for introducing it and acknowledge they were wrong in the past? (even though you say you like the idea)

I expected them to say "We changed our minds about this" or "We looked at this, and realized that we were wrong about time-based mechanics being un-fun and impossible to implement".

And as I stated in the OP, I expected to get lots of hate about this.

- - - Updated - - -

Why are people against time-based mechanics just because of timewarp? Even if you warp, the time has still passed.

Ask Harvester! He was DEAD-SET against them! I've always thought it's absurd position!

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As we all know, the best time to drastically change something is right before a 1.0 release.

I just hope this leads to other time-based mechanics. There's so many great games that take advantage of time, even with time warp. Life support, funds over time, rep decay. There's so many options to make the game part of KSP more interesting.

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So what? Since they learned that this game mechanic did make sense, they now have to grovel and self-flagellate about how wrong they were? This is their first game.

[sarcasm] Yep, that's exactly what I said. Acknowledgment = Groveling. The two terms are completely and perfectly coextensive [/sarcasm]

Thanks for the hyperbole, son. There's the door.

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Actually, I agree with (to co-opt a Scott Manleyism) Old Harv here. New Harv is implementing something that will either:

1) Encourage time warp just for time warp's sake, if it gives decent gains.

2) Not be worth implementing at all, if it doesn't give decent gains.

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Actually, I agree with (to co-opt a Scott Manleyism) Old Harv here. New Harv is implementing something that will either:

1) Encourage time warp just for time warp's sake, if it gives decent gains.

2) Not be worth implementing at all, if it doesn't give decent gains.

Thinking this is bad is simply goofy.

Regardless… TIME PASSES.

We warp "just for time warp's sake" to get into orbit around another world, sometimes, how is this different? I fly many concurrent missions (with LS), so I don't usually warp a lot, but say I sent a mission to Jool. When I arrive I'm gonna do a ton of science, and even just the transmitted stuff will be a major bolus of points. If I were to warp to that encounter… it would be no different than warping the same time period to collect points over time. No different at all. Just being in the SoI and meeting the "explore" contract requirements will land massive points, and all I need do is send a probe (usually a multi-probe, actually), and time warp. How is this different?

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A long as time based mechanics emulate real world systems, there should be no problem.

I have no Issues with the current plans for implementing adjustments to Science - I do however have a BIG problem wiht the entire Science / Research / Tech Tree system - but that's another thread topic I would assume.

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I expected them to say "We changed our minds about this" or "We looked at this, and realized that we were wrong about time-based mechanics being un-fun and impossible to implement".

And as I stated in the OP, I expected to get lots of hate about this.

- - - Updated - - -

Ask Harvester! He was DEAD-SET against them! I've always thought it's absurd position!

I don't think you're gonna get lots of hate for this thread, no. Most people will just disagree.

The problem here is that you are making it sound like you wanted SQUAD to make an official letter of apology towards "those who were wronged". But I fail to see who have been wronged here.

I mean, you are assuming that SQUAD is now 100% into time based mechanics, when in reality they said that there is a time limit to collect science from the lab, which will prevent players from exploiting the gathering of science. If you think about it, you'll see that what they said is very far from they saying they endorse all kinds of time based mechanics. Right?

Now, lets suppose they start implementing time based mechanics from now on. Why would they change their minds like this? This is what I speculate:

1- Now players can more easily customize the level of difficulty of almost all of the basic mechanics, including time based ones (if they ever get implemented in the stock version).

2- SQUAD added a new function called "warp to" or something (inthe 1.0 release). This function lets you warp instantly into a point in time. Without this function, life support could be too hard for newb players, as they could warp too much time before realizing their crew is dead. Maybe this new function is one of the reasons why SQUAD would start working on time based mechanics.

What I am trying to say is: maybe only now KSP has features that would make time based mechanics viable enough to meet SQUAD standards of gameplay.

Still, I don't see why get angry at the devs for changing their minds and, in the end, adding something you like to the game.

This is not a hate post.

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The lab yielding science over time mechanic would make more sense if there was life support. Otherwise there's really no penalty at all for leaving scientists orbiting Jool for 40 years :P

If you had to care about life support, the option to transmit science faster for smaller gain would be useful. If we go with life support, there should be a mechanic for reputation and kerbal health for leaving them too long in cramped stations for long periods of time.

Edited by The Czosnex
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I don't think you're gonna get lots of hate for this thread, no. Most people will just disagree.

The problem here is that you are making it sound like you wanted SQUAD to make an official letter of apology towards "those who were wronged". But I fail to see who have been wronged here.

Because you fail to see it, then it doesn't exist?

Well, you're new here, so maybe you haven't seen how dismissive the devs are/were towards ideas like this. To the point of being disrespectful. It's simply a matter of etiquette when you change an opinion about something that you previously dismissed, you acknowledge it. The devs', and specifically Harvester's, failure to do so is, again, disrespectful.

The development team has a long history of doing a crap job of communicating with the community, and this is just another example. Besides, I'm not expecting an "official letter of apology", I said "acknowledge". I never said that, so stop putting words in my mouth.

I mean, you are assuming that SQUAD is now 100% into time based mechanics, when in reality they said that there is a time limit to collect science from the lab, which will prevent players from exploiting the gathering of science. If you think about it, you'll see that what they said is very far from they saying they endorse all kinds of time based mechanics. Right?

This is one of the lowest forms of argument. I never said any of this, and I never assumed any of this... you're just not worth talking to.

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Because you fail to see it, then it doesn't exist?

Well, you're new here, so maybe you haven't seen how dismissive the devs are/were towards ideas like this. To the point of being disrespectful. It's simply a matter of etiquette when you change an opinion about something that you previously dismissed, you acknowledge it. The devs', and specifically Harvester's, failure to do so is, again, disrespectful.

The development team has a long history of doing a crap job of communicating with the community, and this is just another example. Besides, I'm not expecting an "official letter of apology", I said "acknowledge". I never said that, so stop putting words in my mouth.

This is one of the lowest forms of argument. I never said any of this, and I never assumed any of this... you're just not worth talking to.

Don't get angry at me dude, I said "you are making it sound like you wanted SQUAD to make an official letter of apology". I didn't say you asked for a letter. Simple interpretation issue right there. And English is not even my first language!

Even though you were right when you said I'm new here and I wasn't around when the devs dismissed some community's ideas, I still think you're overreacting.

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Come to think of it, is this not the (entire) mechanism behind most facebook games? Fancy a round of Orbital Science Ville anyone? Well it is fun if it is balanced to my liking, and if it isn't, I can just do science the old fashioned way. An it is definitely an alternative to the biome hopping science drilling platforms.

In a way, yes, but with the key difference being that (some) Facebook games intentionally introduce time delays to exploit human impatience, in order to ultimately squeeze money out of the player base. Just think if you pressed the "increase timewarp" button in KSP and got: "Players are limited to 1000x maximum timewarp. You can increase to 100,000x timewarp for 5 Golden Coins. Purchase Golden Coins at the online store now! 20% off when you buy 100 Golden Coins or more!"

LethalDose, I can see the devnotes reading a little nicer if Harv had just prefaced the Science Lab change with "You asked, and we listened!" Although in my experience, companies rarely do this. I don't think I ever got an apology from Microsoft from Windows 8 having a crappy interface (in my opinion). They just slowly tried to fix it through patching up to Windows 8.1 while I yelled "I TOLD YOU SO!" but nary an explicit acknowledgement came. You'd probably get a few less gray hairs if you lower your expectations, but if you ever get a job in PR you can use your philosophy of acknowledging the community for the better. :)

And maybe the science lab deserves more playtesting from the early access community since it's a big game mechanic change. Or is it? I already timewarp to get the planetary phase angle I want, I timewarp to the right point in my orbit to get to the landing spot I want, and to get more electricity, and to get daytime launches. I actually don't think orbital science changes gameplay a whole lot. What I think would change things is a downside of some sort. For example, if rep or funds got decremented over time, forcing you to keep doing contracts or face your space program being shut down, or life support. Then things get interesting! That would need some balancing and play testing for sure.

I'm not sure that "deposit science here, timewarp, profit" as it stands now is really a big deal.

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I think it's a great thing. Plus it sounds like there will be a sort of "hard cap" on how much science you can accumulate, which will hopefully stop abuse of time-warp. I think that's one thing you're overlooking, and if you care about "acknowledgement" I definitely think that was it.

I think in the future with potential life support and maybe adding some mechanics that require you to bring new science experiments/take old ones back (similar to what ISS does) would REALLY flesh it out. That way, sure you can time warp, but you need to keep your Kerbals stocked with food, science experiments, etc. How fun would it be to get an actual space station going that you have to manage, supply, and maintain? I do it with mods already and it's a blast. Adding it to stock would be even better.

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You get mad at SQUAD for changing their minds suddenly and implementing this, yet you said earlier that you enjoy time-based game mechanics... I read every post from this thread, and it feels like you are just bi***ing about them not telling you they have changed their minds. Get over it seriously ! What are you, 6 ? You get something that you wanted but still are unhappy enough to create a complain thread about it...

I really don't understand your point.....

(how about we wait till the 27th to discuss about those features ? We know nothing about it)

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