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MAJOR DOWNSIDES OF THE GAME: Debries recovery and multiple space ships launch


wbonx
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Hi, after many hours of playing I decided to write down what made me step back from the game. Since I think the game is really well made and addicting, I was wondering why the developers didn't address what seems to be a major concern for a lot of users.

It becomes natural after playing at the hard level in carreer mode, but also for a matter of simulating reality, to try to recover the initial stages of the rocket, commonly defined debries. In theory after the last update the engine is supposed to be able to take care of whatever is detaching from your rocket in a range of 20km>, at the same time multiple mods addressed the issue.

My question is then, why the developers didn't take it seriously and didn't address the problem? Even a simple solution like the one present in the mods would have been enough... and if it is possible to track the debries (when they have a parachute) down to the launch pad, why then they have to disappear without recovering some of their value?

The second major concern is about how the launch of multiple "space ships" is managed. Here I may miss something, but I'm having troubles tracking and managing 2 or more vehicles when they are detaching from the same rocket (manned pods).

Going back in the forum there are multiple users rising such concerns, even years ago. It is a pity that no one cared, it is a step back in terms of immersion in the game and feels quite frustrating.

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My two cents: Trying to recover of every discarded stage is a distraction. From my perspective people got overly excited when money was added thinking that means they should try to recover every last spent booster. If you can, more power to you - it's a challenging problem. But I don't think that's a required or even encouraged activity - even if it's somewhat supported - so it doesn't justify a lot of effort to be made easier.

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I use the Stage Recovery mod to recover my parachute-equipped pre-orbital stages.

With such a large fan base, it is easy to find a 'lot' of users (dozens or even hundreds) that want something where that 'something' would actually be detrimental to the enjoyment of a majority of those that play the game.

On the plus side, Squad planned for this and made KSP very easy to mod. This means that even if the stock game is not exactly to your liking, there is probably a collection of mods that you can use to fine-tune your game to be exactly what you want it to be.

And if there is not, you can either suggest or create that mod yourself. If there really are a 'lot' of users that want something, there is probably a mod for that. (not including things that Squad would really like to fix but cannot due to Unity or other issues, such as a functional 64 bit version on windows for example)

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My two cents: Trying to recover of every discarded stage is a distraction. From my perspective people got overly excited when money was added thinking that means they should try to recover every last spent booster. If you can, more power to you - it's a challenging problem. But I don't think that's a required or even encouraged activity - even if it's somewhat supported - so it doesn't justify a lot of effort to be made easier.

The recovery of the debries represents 50% of the design and planning of a rocket lunch.... I really don't think this can be kept away from a game like Kerbal. Even if the Unity engine has limitations different solutions to the problem exists.

More then managing teh spaships I got the feeling the whole concept of designing one rocket with 2-3 spaceships is a bit bugged, doesnt' always work (look at mass balance during rocket design) and even when it works it becomes impossible to play both the spaceships at the same time and sometime one get's lost when trying to drive the other.

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Regarding as low cost as possible designs and short money hard career begins kind of challenging approach it could be sort of some kind of concern. (Speaking less of ecology e.e. more or less sidely related things).

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/118777-Master-Thread-Parachutes

2cp. may be not a major downside but could probably be enhanced and balanced a little bit more than actually (eventually with a workaround tricky script or alike wich is always better than decoupled stages crashing almost 90% of time systematically, especially during launch/landing phase of a single vessel when they shouldn't imho, far away orbit vessel not focused is another matter but current vessel decoupled parts ...).

Edited by WinkAllKerb''
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There is only so much the developers can devote their limited time to. These are just a couple of gripes that you have pulled out from many previously listed. Besides, what is the point in building up a modding community if you are just going to implement Everything that they come up with? Best to leave some things to the community to solve so that the devs don't have a million and one things to focus on!

Also removing the objects from the game over a certain distance is really good caretaking. If you decouple 100 boosters from your rocket, you dont want to be still feeling the effect of their lag when you are half way around the planet! So remove them from the memory! They are not tracked to the ground. Even the mods make the assumption that if it has a parachute on it, there is a high chance for it to be recovered. :)

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The recovery of the debries represents 50% of the design and planning of a rocket lunch.... I really don't think this can be kept away from a game like Kerbal. Even if the Unity engine has limitations different solutions to the problem exists.

More then managing teh spaships I got the feeling the whole concept of designing one rocket with 2-3 spaceships is a bit bugged, doesnt' always work (look at mass balance during rocket design) and even when it works it becomes impossible to play both the spaceships at the same time and sometime one get's lost when trying to drive the other.

Do you have a citation for that? Beyond STS Solid Rocket Boosters, STS Shuttle, Buran and Space X's current work on Falcon 9 Stage 1 recovery, I can't think of any rocket systems intentionally designed to do more than burn up on re-entry or splash into the ocean. That's barely a drop in the bucket compared to the number of rocket systems frequently used around the world.

Edit: I forgot to include the Shuttles.

Edited by csiler2
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And it isn't exactly realistic to be recovering stages anyway. The shuttle recoverd it's solid boosters - but not anything else, Sapce X is experimenting with landing its first stage. For every other rocket the only concern that the designers have worried about is making sure that the stage doesn't land on anyone. Which they have mostly done by simply launching from the east coast of somewhere with plenty of empty ocean to hit.

Ninjad

Edited by tomf
Ninjad
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There is only so much the developers can devote their limited time to. These are just a couple of gripes that you have pulled out from many previously listed. Besides, what is the point in building up a modding community if you are just going to implement Everything that they come up with? Best to leave some things to the community to solve so that the devs don't have a million and one things to focus on!

Also removing the objects from the game over a certain distance is really good caretaking. If you decouple 100 boosters from your rocket, you dont want to be still feeling the effect of their lag when you are half way around the planet! So remove them from the memory! They are not tracked to the ground. Even the mods make the assumption that if it has a parachute on it, there is a high chance for it to be recovered. :)

It might desserve a reward sure xDr...

Sure things is, a mod community point is not to prevent the game core to evolve and get polished, neither to unallow squad to implement things because a modder already worked on it and that it fit to the game and they didn't get enough time before to work and/or consider it specifically ...

I really feel like licensing around modding sometime is just really silly and suffocating for the game itself, in some certain "case" i mean ... ... ...

2950911719.png

Also yup there a tons of things on the crazy to do board like for exemples ... .

And it isn't exactly realistic to be recovering stages anyway. The shuttle recoverd it's solid boosters - but not anything else, Sapce X is experimenting with landing its first stage. For every other rocket the only concern that the designers have worried about is making sure that the stage doesn't land on anyone. Which they have mostly done by simply launching from the east coast of somewhere with plenty of empty ocean to hit.

Ninjad

in 2015 may be ... in 2500 may be not ... just get used to it or reproduce the same mistakes again and again ; ) because nahhh traffic density quickly rising in 50 years !!! it never happen before it's just a urban legend not to car' a boot ... ; )

evolution-trafic-aerien.jpg

Edited by WinkAllKerb''
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I'm wondering about that "50%" claim too. Recovering rocket stages isn't exactly a common thing - it's Falcon 9/Heavy which are both in development or STS solid boosters. I won't count orbiters, because recovering them works in KSP just fine (if you can launch them in the first place). There's also a proposed ULA method of dropping the engines on chutes and grabbing them with a helicopter, but that's even further away than Falcon.

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If it's a trade off between smoother game performance and being able to recover suborbital debris I'd rather have smoother game performance. I think that is partly why debris still disappears after a certain range, so the game can just focus on processing the craft in focus. I would like better stage recovery, but I'd rather have the game run better.

Regarding the managing of multi craft launched from the same craft (I presume once in orbit). If they are right by each other then yes, seeing which is which in map mode can be tricky, but if they are that close (and within 2.2km) then you can use the square brackets [ ] to switch (something I do so much I've bound those keys to two extra buttons on my mouse).

I do think orbital (map mode) view could do with some improvements.

- As it is the current craft has it's orbit in blue while all other orbits are white (with the exception of a target's orbit which is green). I'd like it if the icon for the focus craft was also blue and similarly if the icon for a target craft was green (or at least had a coloured outline). I also think we need more icon styles for different craft types and the ability to add our own custom icons.

- I think when zoomed right out (viewing the whole solar system) the individual craft around a planet should be somewhat masked so it is easier to select just the planet and not accidentally switch to a craft in orbit of it. That has been a bit improved and you do get the "focus view" option come up, but not always. In addition to the focus view there should be an expanding list that lists all the craft in orbit and for each one gives you the option to switch to or set as target. That way you can easily select a target craft that's in orbit of a different planet from the one you are focused on without needing to first switch to the target's planet and then switch back to which ever one you are currently on.

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in 2015 may be ... in 2500 may be not ... just get used to it or reproduce the same mistakes again and again ; ) because nahhh traffic density quickly rising in 50 years !!! it never happen before it's just a urban legend ; )

http://s3.e-monsite.com/2011/02/28/03/resize_550_550//evolution-trafic-aerien.jpg

True, but by then I would think we would be using something like an advanced version of Spaceship One or realized versions of the many canceled SSTOs rather than chemical rockets, which are coming close to reaching their maximum potential (part of the reason Space X abandoned a recoverable upper-stage). Since we can create SSTOs with space-planes in the hanger, I don't see why this is an issue.

Besides, stage reuse is way more expensive and annoying than engineers care to admit. The Space Shuttle was supposed to launch once a week according to spec, but launched maybe every six months at the height of launch frequency and cost way more per refurbishment period. The Redstone rockets in Project Mercury were designed to be recoverable, but this was never implemented because the cost of refurbishing engines damaged by salt-water corrosion was more expensive than just building a new rocket.

The only reason Space X may make this work is because they are sacrificing significant payload fractions to land their first stages under power on dry land rather than letting them splash down into the ocean.

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in 2015 may be ... in 2500 may be not ... just get used to it or reproduce the same mistakes again and again ; ) because nahhh traffic density quickly rising in 0 years !!! it never happen before it's just a urban legend not to car' a boot ... ; )

Umm, I don't think we are using 2500-level tech in the game. Maximum "Twenty Minutes Into The Future" tech. From what we don't currently have is NERVAs (which are rather old actually) and SABREs which are SSTO tech, not stage-recovery tech...

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On a side note:

"Modelling of the gas expansion produced by local heat sources in a closed volume" 1987 ... sometime i feel that our childrens atmosphere could miss some gravity delicate equilbrium at a certain height ... all thing considered relatively to long period of time and traffic density rising more or less slowly but most certainly surely over that long period of time. But after all why not ... no need to care about that kind of things ; ).

hehe Kuu : ) : ) : ), i only use 1906 tech ,after all it's only a century ago and things haven't changed that much since ; )

120px-Traian_Vuia_aircraft.jpg

Edited by WinkAllKerb''
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I'm wondering about that "50%" claim too. Recovering rocket stages isn't exactly a common thing - it's Falcon 9/Heavy which are both in development or STS solid boosters. I won't count orbiters, because recovering them works in KSP just fine (if you can launch them in the first place). There's also a proposed ULA method of dropping the engines on chutes and grabbing them with a helicopter, but that's even further away than Falcon.

I call bogus on the 50% thing as well. It's always necessary to ensure that the stages are going to splash harmlessly somewhere, which is pretty much automatic for launches from NASA's KSC, in the same way that it's automatic for our KSC if you do a real gravity turn starting just above the pad. That's the extent of it though, other than the limited examples mentioned already, and it's a tiny amount of the mission planning, not 50%.

As for recovering them with a helicopter, I don't know the details, but there's an old proven technique which seems like an obvious way to do it, using a plane: Fulton surface-to-air recovery system. As used by Sean Connery in his 007 days.

Edited by Murph
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and if it is possible to track the debries (when they have a parachute) down to the launch pad, why then they have to disappear without recovering some of their value?
The second major concern is about how the launch of multiple "space ships" is managed. Here I may miss something, but I'm having troubles tracking and managing 2 or more vehicles when they are detaching from the same rocket (manned pods).

If this is what "Major Downside" means nowadays I think I'm going to reconsider my education.

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If this is what "Major Downside" means nowadays I think I'm going to reconsider my education.

Yeah, I can't even see a minor downside anywhere here. It's good for stock KSP to simulate debris to the extent it already does, but I have pretty much zero desire for any more debris handling to be added to the game. On normal difficulty, I absolutely don't care about debris recovery in financial terms, and just don't really care about it at all, I mostly just want it gone without a fuss.

Multiple craft too difficult? Don't do multiple craft on a single launch then, although I seriously can't see how it's too difficult if we're talking about detaching them in orbit. Detach, then use '[' and ']' as required, pause to go through each craft and the launcher to rename and set class as necessary, then it's all right there in the tracking station, or the in-flight map. I see a little learning required, but no difficulty. Multiple craft in atmosphere, ok that's not really supported, but it's also really not necessary and a limitation that does no serious harm to the game. Again, on normal difficulty, there's not really a huge financial concern that makes multiple craft for a single launch something that you absolutely must do. Nothing is forcing, or requiring, or even encouraging you to do multiple craft per launch, it's just an option if you find that fun (and if you don't, then don't do it).

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I don't think I have ever considered trying to recover all my debris. I'm sure there's mods that will give u ur funds back if u attach a parachute to everything.

Personally I have no trouble with funds to warrant debris recover. Im pretty Damn wastefull in ksp. I've often left half full stages in orbit because they aren't even needed and the added mas just makes piloting a tiny bit more tedious. Or I've ballsed up and the ship is no longer needed (normally because I under engineered it for that particular trip

This is ksp not reality. Be wastefull.

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The latest change allowing the separated vehicle part in atmosphere to survive up to 20km of separation did change the profile of the recoverable booster I could build in a positive way, however, I do still find that a recoverable booster is not something you can afford to build until you have unlocked the tech tree to a certain point. A 5 orange tank booster with chutes and a probe core works just fine (or as well as it ever did).

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