Jump to content

Kerbals too tough? (EVA self-rescue from munar orbit)


Recommended Posts

Does anyone else think that game mechanics are way too forgiving of kerbals?

Observations (yeah, I know, not so new):

- Their EVA propellant is way overpowered (too much dV)

- Reentry heat is way too forgiving for kerbals on EVA

- Surface impact is also way too forgiving for kerbals on EVA

I just had a rescue mission for a Kerbal stranded in orbit around the Mun. It was a fairly high orbit. Just for fun, I wanted to see what I could do with just EVA. So I piloted a ship so that it passed within 2km (thus "waking up" the rescuee), but that's the only involvement that any craft had.

Having done that, the Kerbal was able to rescue herself from munar orbit with no ship whatsoever.

1. She used EVA to accelerate to munar escape and get a Kerbin periapsis of ~45km.

2. On entering atmosphere, she aerobraked as easy as a feather. No heating at all. Not even any Mach effects.

3. She dropped into the ocean and survived impact. No special "try to use EVA to slow the fall," she just kerplunked in and was fine.

This seems completely ridiculous to me. Yeah, I know, it's a game, and though I like realism, I'm fine with putting gameplay decisions above realism. But rescuing yourself from munar orbit without a ship? Seriously? It seems like poor gameplay-- what's the point of sending a ship up there if it's not actually needed? There was virtually no skill involved in any of this, other than being able to bring a craft within 2km of the rescuee (no need to match velocities).

IMHO, they ought to do the following:

- Nerf EVA dV. Lower it to, say, 100 m/s. That's still better than reality, but not so ludicrously overpowered.

- Kerbals hitting atmosphere should heat up, and should have a very low heat tolerance. Re-entering without a ship should be deadly.

- Falling at terminal velocity onto any surface (even water) should be, well, terminal.

What do folks think?

Link to post
Share on other sites
IMHO, they ought to do the following:

- Nerf EVA dV. Lower it to, say, 100 m/s. That's still better than reality, but not so ludicrously overpowered.

- Kerbals hitting atmosphere should heat up, and should have a very low heat tolerance. Re-entering without a ship should be deadly.

- Falling at terminal velocity onto any surface (even water) should be, well, terminal.

-Now that's not very Kerbal, is it? But yeah, I kinda agree, though I honestly think 250m/s would be better, as it's simply halfing it.

-I've had kerbals re-enter and burn, your periapsis was simply too high.

-They can fall and die, I've had it happen myself

Link to post
Share on other sites

They should definately be more fragile, I agree. I had the exact same situation, I was rescuing a Kerbal.. botched it.. and she landed in the ocean to survive. Now I just suicide them if that happens because to me its super important to have a non-cheaty-game.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I've always thought they were a little too durable. Personally I use the VNG parachute mod to give them their own parachutes so bailing-out is a valid escape method in atmo, but it would be nice if they actually, you know, NEEDED the chutes.

As for the jetpack delta-v, I assume it was done that way to give Kerbals more freedom to jetpack around on low-gravity planets... having to actually walk several kilometers on the Mun for a survey contract would be unbelievably annoying (it's annoying enough on Kerbin!), so I guess I hope they don't change it. On the other hand I would be in favor of limited EVA fuel (say, you can only refuel from the pod two or three times rather than infinite times), to remove some of the exploity "get-out-and-push" options for spacecraft rescue.

Although orbital skydiving sounds fun. Must remember to try it before next update, on the off-chance they actually DO nerf Kerbal durability.

PS. It occurs to me that nerfing jetpack delta-v would make rovers a more useful option for some of those survey contracts, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad if they did. I can't decide...

Link to post
Share on other sites
-Now that's not very Kerbal, is it? But yeah, I kinda agree, though I honestly think 250m/s would be better, as it's simply halfing it.

-I've had kerbals re-enter and burn, your periapsis was simply too high.

-They can fall and die, I've had it happen myself

I agree that "zany antics" is very Kerbal. :)

They just need to be reasonably believable, and challenging.

For example: I would contend that "getting from orbit to the surface of the home planet in nothing but a spacesuit" should be frankly impossible. Or, if not quite impossible, it should require near-legendary finesse, so that if you actually pull it off, you'd feel like "wow, I just got a hole-in-one." As it stands now, it's trivially easy-- "adjust periapsis to 45 km and go get a cup of coffee." That's just sad.

I'm not saying it's impossible to kill them off... but I tried the EVA landing once, and succeeded once, and didn't do anything special.

I always hated that it was possible (pre-1.0) to re-enter in a craft while sitting in an external command seat, so I role-played and just refused to do it. Now we're in 1.0, and I was thinking "oh boy, they will have fixed that now" ... but nope.

Edited by Snark
Link to post
Share on other sites

Your average Kerbal's bloodstream is molten adamantium, and their skin is made of sheets of nanoscopic diamond particles. Their energy comes from a biologically stable fusion reaction. You're acting like you're surprised that they can survive a simple fall from space. Why do you think Jeb and the others never seem to fear anything? They are immortal.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've opened a hatch facing the ground on Kerbin, trying to send the Kerbal on EVA and he exploded into dust. I've had a Kerbal survive a fall of 400m onto Kerbin soil. Neither one seems realistic. In general I agree with the OP, just don't nerf the jetpack too much.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I encountered a bug that I feel should be a real thing. I had a Kerbal approach a ship during EVA way too fast. The Kerbal slammed into the craft, and the Jetpack went completely haywire! I thought it was a new feature until the problem mysteriously vanished and I simply EVA'd back the ship more carefully. If implemented, it should be a more hardmode sort of thing, but still.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like that they have a fair amount of delta V. It's not enough to do a lot with, unless you're very careful.

Their non-fragileness makes them even more useful than probes at the moment.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think they're fine, really. It's not poor design, it's actually quite the opposite. If you want them more fragile, make a mod. Otherwise, it's better to be pretty forgiving for both kids and people that don't take such things so seriously.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's terrible design. They should have far less propellant, and they should reduce it from the ship's stores assuming they can refill.

Link to post
Share on other sites

- Nerf EVA dV. Lower it to, say, 100 m/s. That's still better than reality, but not so ludicrously overpowered.

Well, you just ruined jetpacking in low gravity bodies, so no thanks. I agree with the other points.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The funny thing is I think all these issues steam from the physics engine. You want to be careful about lowering their impact tolerances in case they get stuck in something and pop. I think letting them survive an orbital impact is a more preferable scenario then having them pop every time they accidentally clip a part. The first scenario can only really be caused by a conscious player action, whereas the second scenario can be caused by just having a part too close to the hatch. As for the reentry burn itself, if you have such a gentile reentry angle most parts will survive just fine, not just the kerbal. You set up a long cool aero-break, and making it more aggressive will make reentry in general more difficult. That is a hard line to balance. The only real solution is to make kerbals more dense, so they do not break as effectively, and carry more speed deeper into the atmo. Making kerbals more dense would also help with the EVA dv, since I believe their dv is calculated from their propellant reserve, mass and ISP. If you give them less MP you limit how long they can EVA, and since we have no real way to rescue a stranded kerbal (they cannot grab each other, or implement tethers) erroring on the side of too much is a gameplay decision to make up for that fact I think.

So yeah, while you could theoretically fix it in stock doing so would probably have a significant negative impact (i.e. more difficult, with greater impact from bugs) on gameplay in other areas. It is better to leave EVA self rescue as a player choice than to remove it and make people frustrated with the unintended side effects.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The reentry needs to be addressed as well, add heating, and have them not survive… say 330-340 K (that's pretty generous). Impact at greater than maybe 6 m/s is sketchy. It all depends on the time/distance to reach 0 velocity. 7 m/s --> 0 in 5cm is ~50 gs, it's half that if you squish 10cm into the ground.

- - - Updated - - -

At least rovers would have a purpose in stock then.

Yep. Another plus.

Link to post
Share on other sites
At least rovers would have a purpose in stock then.

I have two arguments:

rovers have no purpose in low gravity bodies, they don't have enough traction for keep everything in control.

rovers will have a purpose once you make them pleasant to use, not by nerfing jetpacks to the ground. If I had no jetpacks I would just make a little vessel with RCS and a command chair, no way I'm going to be forced to use rovers in munar surface.

Edited by m4v
Link to post
Share on other sites

Rovers will have a purpose once you make them pleasant to use, not by nerfing jetpacks to the ground. If I had no jetpacks I would just make a little vessel with RCS and a command chair, no way I'm going to be forced to use rovers in munar surface.

Agreed. Rovers are useful when you want to go further than you can with just the jet pack. On low gravity worlds, RCS vessels are a good option. (Or reaction wheel hoppers)

IMHO, the Mun is marginal- a well designed rover can be useful, if you design and drive with a little care.

Giving rovers a use would be better done by adding in some things to investigate while you're on the ground.

They sort of have a use in base making, and doing those survey contracts too.

The crazy abilities of kerbals is part of the fun, but I do think they should be nerfed a little. It's nice that they can fly around quite well, but having them be more likely to survive outside a pod than inside isn't quite right. Except maybe if you're really lucky.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Your average Kerbal's bloodstream is molten adamantium, and their skin is made of sheets of nanoscopic diamond particles. Their energy comes from a biologically stable fusion reaction. You're acting like you're surprised that they can survive a simple fall from space. Why do you think Jeb and the others never seem to fear anything? They are immortal.

This.... This is why i have addiction issues with the internet.....

...And KSP...

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have two arguments:

rovers have no purpose in low gravity bodies, they don't have enough traction for keep everything in control.

rovers will have a purpose once you make them pleasant to use, not by nerfing jetpacks to the ground. If I had no jetpacks I would just make a little vessel with RCS and a command chair, no way I'm going to be forced to use rovers in munar surface.

The rover problem is solved by fixing rovers, not by leaving in LOLkerbals EVA propellant levels (infinite with pod resupply, into the bargain).

We also have the external command seat… How about Making a "hopper" with that for low gravity worlds, instead?

Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...