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RockyTV

M700 Survey Scanner is quite overpowered

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Got a satellite equipped with the Survey Scanner on a polar orbit around Kerbin. It didn't take about 5 minutes for it to complete the orbital survey of the planet.

I think it should take more time. What are your thoughts about it?

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Time isn't valuable, gameplay-wise. What's the difference between getting the results instantly and time warping for five seconds beforehand?

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Time isn't valuable, gameplay-wise.

Yeah, Time is the only freely available infinite resource in the game. As such, the challenge should not be to wait for your craft to do its job but to get the craft in position and then make use of the information it gives.

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Time isn't valuable, gameplay-wise. What's the difference between getting the results instantly and time warping for five seconds beforehand?

I played with scansat once, and putting a probe into a high inclination orbit to watch it slowly scan in the map was kinda rewarding. an equatorial orbit shouldn't give you much info except for the narrow band along the equator.

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I played with scansat once, and putting a probe into a high inclination orbit to watch it slowly scan in the map was kinda rewarding. an equatorial orbit shouldn't give you much info except for the narrow band along the equator.

they could have done that but they chose simplicity which sometimes is better and should be respected (especially by spacecraft engineers)

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I like how they did it. Scan sat was fun to watch at first but after a couple of times I starting warping until it was done or go do something else in the game and check on it later. haveing to just get close to a polar orbit is fine with me.

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Maybe they should have compromised and just shown a (junk) animation of the planet surface being revealed?

I haven't played with resources yet, so I'm not sure what it looks like.

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There's a thread in the suggestion/development section about this: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/116615-Newbish-Scanning

I thought more people would be disappointed with the scanner. Yeah, it's simple; but this is a game about flying things into and around orbits - once there's something interesting to do in orbit why would you make it happen instantaneously? Obviously there are people who like it the way it is, but to me it comes across as a prototype system - not something that belongs in 1.0. Of course this is the first release with resources, maybe they'll make it better in subsequent releases. Or maybe that's why they're advertising that resources are so modable.

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I can understand making it instantaneous since time is meaningless in stock KSP. Once you start playing with mods that make Kerbals require oxygen, food and water a scanner taking time can have an impact. The old scansat system is a better system. If your going to realistically model rocket launches with aerodynamics, limited fuel and gravity why not every system in the game? Otherwise why not just place a scanner on the launch pad and instantaneously have the planet scanned. Or better yet as soon as you research the capability to use scanners have every planet automatically scanned?

You either model nothing or you model everything correctly in my opinion.

Hopefully the Scatsat guy will update his mod and change this system back to a more realistic and better system.

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I myself prefer the current system, as I do not like having to sit for 5 minutes on max time warp. Though if it is an option you can choose in the difficulty menu, I'm perfectly fine.

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Shameless promotion:

If the way the orbital surveyor works really bugs you, I made a mod that tweaks the surveyor to make it take longer to scan, as well as provide a biome overlay toggle along side the resource overlay toggle for planets that have been scanned. The "scan progress" runs in the background so you can set your orbit up and then go do other things.

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Got a satellite equipped with the Survey Scanner on a polar orbit around Kerbin. It didn't take about 5 minutes for it to complete the orbital survey of the planet.

I think it should take more time. What are your thoughts about it?

Considering that the information provided by this scanner is pretty much useless, you get what you pay for. So not at all OP.

The best way to think about the orbital ore scanner is as an abstraction of centuries of groundbased telescope observations of the planet going back to Kalileo, stuff you should arleady know before you left, but which the game has no other mechanism of presenting. All you get is a general idea that certain large regions of the planet in general might possibly have some ore here and there in higher concentrations than elsewhere. That's all you learn from this scanner. The only way to learn anything useful is to take this initial scan as a starting point for detailed, on the spot investigations with the much more accurate ground scanner and NBS. And most of the time, these scanners will show you that most of what the orbital scanner said was a lie.

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I've gotten a few contracts to deploy satellites with the resource scanner on them

None of them put me in orbits where I could actually USE the scanner!

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Shameless promotion:

If the way the orbital surveyor works really bugs you, I made a mod that tweaks the surveyor to make it take longer to scan, as well as provide a biome overlay toggle along side the resource overlay toggle for planets that have been scanned. The "scan progress" runs in the background so you can set your orbit up and then go do other things.

Love It, Love it, LOVE IT!

Great job for a first mod!

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I think having to wait around for 10 minutes for your satellite to complete a planetary scan as utterly retarded.

A better system would be to have the scanner scan the planet in the background while you're off at the launch site doing other productive things like launching other rockets rather than sitting around like a dunce.

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I think having to wait around for 10 minutes for your satellite to complete a planetary scan as utterly retarded.

A better system would be to have the scanner scan the planet in the background while you're off at the launch site doing other productive things like launching other rockets rather than sitting around like a dunce.

Not the most delicate way of phrasing it, but I respect your bluntness and strongly agree with you. It would add nothing of value to the game to force the player to sit watching it for a while. The current mechanic is basically just fine, and it is absolutely not overpowered or broken.

That said, "just fine" isn't the same as impossible to make it better. "Just fine" means that there's no burning issue with it that needs any urgent changes. I certainly wouldn't have a problem if the results were not available until it had been sitting up there for a while, as long as there was no pointless forced interaction with it.

One thing though, if there's to be any change, don't make the classic noob-navigator mistake that SCANsat historically made (not sure if it still has the flaw or not, have not used it in a long time). Do not ever treat longitude as being of constant physical distance, it's not. Latitude is constant physical distance, longitude varies according to latitude. Using longitude for distance is only valid at the equator, it's not even close once you're out of the equatorial region. That flaw made using SCANsat slower and more annoying than it needed to be. The longitudinal width of scan lines should grow with latitude on Mercator projection maps (or equivalent), tending towards 360° from a single pass over or near each pole, assuming a constant altitude circular orbit. The maths to calculate the correct longitudinal width are not difficult.

I'm also not convinced that ore scanning would really benefit from a model which required an actual complete scan based on the satellite physically passing over the entire surface through many orbits. Simply having the results available an hour or a day later would be fine, if there was to be any change at all, the precise detail of the scanning doesn't need to be implemented.

Edited by Murph

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I don't think it's that much of an issue. I guess if you want to play realistically maybe, but even so it isn't very long for it to scan the entire planet.

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Waiting 30 seconds for the scan to timewarp doesn't add anything to gameplay, it just makes you stare at the screen for a long time.

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Also, orbital scanning isn't the only thing you have to do if you want to get an accurate read of what the Ore is like in the region. The orbital scan is /very/ coarse, and can be quite wrong about what conditions are on the ground.

You actually have to land something in the biome with the Surface Scanner to get a truly accurate picture of what things are like dirtside. The difference between what the Mun's Farside Crater looked like on the scanning map before and after I put a Surface scanner on site was quite large. Before, yeah, it looked like a place I might want to drop a miner. After...heck no. Ore was way too sparse there.

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I think the current time is OK. OTOH, time warping ahead (or letting it run in the background) would give a better sense of time and is easy enough to do.

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While I have no problem with the way it is implemented, I do have a problem with the inconsistent treatment of time in the game. Justifying the implementation of the scan as time is an infinite resource, then makes me question why resource mining, resource processing and science generation from MPLs is not instant. Or even data transmission.

Now I'm not suggesting the mechanic for those other items should be changed, and I'm not suggesting the scan should change, but I am saying they seem a little incongruent.

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I haven't really voiced my opinion on the matter on the forums yet, but I guess this thread is as good as any.

KSP is a balance between realism and simplification for gameplay's sake, but I feel like they missed that balance this time. To me, the current resource scanning system (the initial survey portion with the M700) seems inconsistent and doesn't teach the player anything, removing the hands-on discovery that made me fall in love with this game. Why do I have to be in a polar orbit? Because the thingy said so.

The current system limits choice. Sometimes I'm only interested in scanning for resources along the equator, but I'm forced into a polar orbit with my scanner regardless.

It also don't take into account any logistic challenges that come real-time scanning, like maintaining electric charge or coordinating time frames with your other missions.

I'm not saying I want SCANsat to be stock, but it would be nice to have some semblance of real-world orbital scanning mechanics. Personally I'd rather the scanner have an unrealistically huge FOV to make the process quicker and simpler but still show players why a polar orbit is needed to map the whole planet. That seems more consistent with the rest of KSP's design philosophy.

But that's just my opinion! I guess I should be thankful in the end; the M700's behavior pushed me to try my hand at modding and I'm having a blast.

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Time isn't valuable, gameplay-wise. What's the difference between getting the results instantly and time warping for five seconds beforehand?

Time IS valuable.

When I am sending an Armada of crafts to Jool because the Window for a Transfer was there, i dont want to know right in an instant what the composition of a planet is when all my crafts are swirling around Jool.

Make it realistic!

Edited by MalfunctionM1Ke

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Also, orbital scanning isn't the only thing you have to do if you want to get an accurate read of what the Ore is like in the region. The orbital scan is /very/ coarse, and can be quite wrong about what conditions are on the ground.

You actually have to land something in the biome with the Surface Scanner to get a truly accurate picture of what things are like dirtside. The difference between what the Mun's Farside Crater looked like on the scanning map before and after I put a Surface scanner on site was quite large. Before, yeah, it looked like a place I might want to drop a miner. After...heck no. Ore was way too sparse there.

I have yet to figure out if the surface scanner is good for anything at all. When I bring it along, it shows the ore percentage and then asks me if I want to scan. Once I scan, all it does is continue to show me the ore percentage.

I think the narrow-band scanner is the most useful. You can't use it until you have scanned the planet or moon with a wideband, but once you have it shows you a little map of what you are flying over. It shows the ore, the biomes, and also the lat/lon coords.

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