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falloutaddict

What is the rationale behind playing completely stock?

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build absolutely anything with no limitations and so the challenge goes out of the game for me.

For me the trick is to pick and choose mods such that there's still a challenge, just a different challenge from stock. For instance, right now I'm playing with the stock parts in the stock solar system, which feels pretty well balanced. But later, I might want to install Outer Planets Mod, which gives much more distant destinations, and TAC Life Support, which makes flight duration a much more serious issue, so I'll probably also want to install something like KSPI or Near Future Propulsion to make up for that increase in difficulty, KW to make it a little easier to build super-heavy lifters that still superficially resemble rockets (and have a civilized part-count!), maybe even Extraplanetary Launchpads so I can build my big interplanetary ships on Minmus instead of on Kerbin. Still a challenge, still limited, just not the original challenge. Trying to do a harder thing, but working with better tools. And as an added bonus, the future-tech stuff means more tech nodes to research, which means more incentive to keep collecting science.

The downside, of course, is I'm no longer up against the same challenge as everybody else, so comparisons between my achievements and everyone else's get a little less meaningful. Which is one reason I'll probably always play mostly-stock at least part of the time.

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What if there were no mods? What if KSP was an un-modable game (as, I believe, the vast majority of games out there are)? Would you still play it? I think that's a better question.

Definitely not. Usually I don't play KSP after update because I'm waiting to mods.

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I think there are many good reasons, but I'll give three:

- I believe that Antoine de St. Exupéry was right: "Perfection is not achieved if there is nothing left to add, but if there is nothing left to take away". Just adding more doesn't make KSP a better game.

- I trust Felipes vision. If he thinks that this is how KSP should be experienced, and this is the essence of the game, then I believe him. And so far I had no reason to doubt him.

- I am interested in the game design. Every time I encounter something new, I wonder: "what did the designer have in mind? What does he expect me to do?". I am interested in the way SQUAD works, and I am not able to learn that if the game has been altered by someone else.

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On the original question… I'm mostly a stock type person. There are several mods I've used, and will use again (KAS is fun to build with, KA is incredibly useful, DRE and TAC add a lot, and I like the challenge of RemoteTech, PreciseNode incredibly useful, etc.)… but at the heart of it, Stock (for me) is about the challenge of staying within the limits laid down by the designer.

There's a game within a game - the developer lays down a challenge and the rules, and the player sees if they can rise to that challenge. A first-person shooter with an infinite ammo code isn't the challenge the designers released to the wild, although it might be fun. Getting to Jool is pretty easy via hyperedit. So at least at first, I like accepting the challenge as described. That's all. Nothing special or magical.

Yep, they made it movable so (wonderfully!) if I don't like that challenge, or want a new challenge, I've got plenty ready and waiting.

Disclaimer: that's just me. I may be weird. But… it's a wonderfully wild, weird, diverse community. And having said that, one other point…

...I do want to know how you do without a mod like kerbal engineer or KAC?...

My passion, and training, is physics; I teach planetary science (among other things). And while I don't do it professionally, spacecraft theory & design is something of a passion of mine. So for me, doing all those calculations like delta-v, launch window timing, gravity assists, etc. is FUN. Being able to "do it myself" is actually one of the reasons I play. With a simple calculator, a pencil, and lined paper by my side. Yeah, that's incredibly strange to some folks I know… but being able to actually DO the science and engineering is why I went into the fields of study I did in the first place. Handing all that fun back over to MechJeb and KE would… reduce the game for me.

Like I said, we're a very diverse, and weird, community :)

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I tend to start fresh on stock after every release for a while, then after a couple of weeks or a month, I go on a mod-downloading spree.

I could make all sorts of arguments as to why, but really I just do it to offend the sensibilities of the maximum possible number of members of our community within any given dev-cycle.

Also Mozart is objectively better then Beethoven.

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For me it was primarily for consistency. I tried mods once and it was fun until the game got up dated then I had to wait for the new mod updates as most of my craft had invalid parts.

Then some mods never got updated. ....

Maybe now the game is "released"it won't have to many major changes I'll try some more

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I do not want to wait after updates. I need KSPserialIO to communicate with KSP, but zitronen is fast on the take. and I like to Kerbal Engineer around, but will fly without if it is not updated. Since I start over on updates, I go ahead without Ship Manifest, but add it when it gets updated.

I consider KAS and KIS to be valuable additions to the core game, as well as TAC, but I do not use them. The game is complex enough as it is for me. As for MechJeb, I think it spoils the fun, but realise that is a very subjective opinion.

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Oh you haven't? It's all over the place, attempts by people to make themselves look better than others. Builders look down upon procedurals because they're not "creative" ("You have any part you want, that's not creativity") and planners look down upon ENG or MJ users because they're not doing the math themselves. Hell, just using a mod that shows the maneuver ejection angle could be reason to look down on someone because they're not properly "winging it KSP style". That's the way things go around here; there's no direct competition so people have to make it up. Really has nothing to do with the word "cheating" either.

That's what threads like these are great for, people putting others down by claiming their way is better, or more skillful, or more creative. Intentional or not it always boils down to that one fact.

Thank you, really appreciated your Statement.

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What if there were no mods? What if KSP was an un-modable game (as, I believe, the vast majority of games out there are)? Would you still play it? I think that's a better question.

What if it wasn't based on Unity, what if it wasn't and indie, what if all the design facilities were not free/shareware that anyone can create on . . . . .what if it wasn't KSP.

What if birds had scales and fins and swam in the ocean, but couldn't fly?

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Stock game is pretty limiting, it hasn't really changed for an incredibly long time. Introduction of career was not challenging and further iterations just made it more grindy.

Additions of more mechanics and parts are needed.

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Well, you need to seperate 2 very big chunks of people:

a) The ones who already sank over 500 hours in the game and have been to all places already

B) Those with <100 hours of gameplay still dreaming of a successful Duna mission

(That engineer mod showing you dV and TWR of stages should of course be in the vanilla version)

The "newcomers" to KSP are absolutely in no need of mods.

The "elders" surely should look out for mods to increase the gameplay experience.

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I think some people play stock out of ignorance. Or possibly time constraints. I guess if you have never used mods before, it can also seem scary to indulge in, im thinking about the installation process etc. But id say its worth it. Modding games is definately worth it.

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There's a phenomenon I call mod overload, anyone who played total annihilation or similar would have experienced this.

There's just so many, and many overlap providing much the same stuff, but you want to try all of them in case something is really cool or really suits your play style, but things are lost and overlooked in the ever growing amount of stuff in your game, too much stuff is a distraction.

It's worse with multiplayer as your opponent has just as much stuff, but different, so you have to install all of that and you're swamped even more with unfamiliar stuff you'll never use.

The game becomes unwieldy, there can be too much choice, and you end up trying to use every unit when your opponent just rushes you with stock tanks.

Even in KSP, which of the hundreds of engines should I install and use for X or for Y? Not everyone needs or wants that getting in the way of just flying somewhere, sure you could install fewer mods, but which ones?

While the stock engines already do a good job.

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I played total annihilation totally stock. I didnt know about mods back then. So i have not experienced that. I feel like i missed something wonderful now...

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Because stock parts often do not fit in with the way I like the game and they often become useless

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Well, you need to seperate 2 very big chunks of people:

a) The ones who already sank over 500 hours in the game and have been to all places already

B) Those with <100 hours of gameplay still dreaming of a successful Duna mission

(That engineer mod showing you dV and TWR of stages should of course be in the vanilla version)

The "newcomers" to KSP are absolutely in no need of mods.

The "elders" surely should look out for mods to increase the gameplay experience.

I started with all stock, then went to using a variety of parts mods, and now I'm back with all stock. I think I will stay there until the 1.xx release cycle stabilizes and I have played and discussed it to death, probably another 200 or so hours. After that, I presume it will be a good long wait before the devs come up with anything new, so I will surely be counting on all those mods to keep things interesting.

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Well, you need to seperate 2 very big chunks of people:

a) The ones who already sank over 500 hours in the game and have been to all places already

B) Those with <100 hours of gameplay still dreaming of a successful Duna mission

(That engineer mod showing you dV and TWR of stages should of course be in the vanilla version)

The "newcomers" to KSP are absolutely in no need of mods.

The "elders" surely should look out for mods to increase the gameplay experience.

You need a third group. Those who have sunk 1000+ hours and have yet to hit all places. Never been to Dress yet. Dispite having 2400+ hours in the game. Nor been to every Jool Moon.

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(That engineer mod showing you dV and TWR of stages should of course be in the vanilla version)

Vanilla currently tells you how much your ship weighs on the pad, and it also tells you how much thrust each engine has. Truly, adding the latter numbers for your first stage, dividing by ten, and then dividing that number by the weight of your ship does not seem to me like too much to ask of the player. Calculating the vacuum deltaV of a given stage from those numbers is a little more complex, but if I really felt like I needed to know that number exactly, it would take me about 5 minutes to cook up a spreadsheet to do it, and believe me I'm no math whiz. Now back in the day before Vanilla even told you how much your ship weighed, THEN it was a real pain in the end that should not point towards space. The funny thing though is that even though I've sucessfully completed the Jool 5 challenge (too lazy to post it all for the badge, but I will one of these days), and have done countless other fairly difficult missions, I've never actually once calculated the vacuum deltaV of any of my stages exactly. In a few cases, I've estimated it by burning for a set amount of time/fuel in a circular LKO and scratching out a few numbers on a piece of paper. If your stage has a given TWR and burn time ( burn time is easily calculated from the engine description in the parts tabs and the amount of fuel in your stage), you basically just multiply those two numbers by each other then by 10, and that's your minimum deltaV! In reality of course it will be more than that, especially if the stage you're calculating for has a significant percentage of its weight in fuel. But generally speaking, you want to have that added cushion anyway, because it is almost never a good idea to embark on a big mission with exactly the minimum amount of fuel you need to do it. That's all I've ever needed to do to complete all those missions, and I've never really gotten burned for it once.

Edited by herbal space program

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If I may comment on this thread, my situation is almost the exact opposite of the O.P.

When I first started playing KSP v.19 there were already a bunch of mods available for it, and I grabbed as many as I could when I first started.

As the game has continued in it's development, I've slowly reduced the number of mods I've used until now I only play the stock game. That's not to say I don't maintain a modded installation, I just don't feel a particular need to play it more than the vanilla game.

If anything, it's a tribute to how much progress has been made in KSP development, you don't actually NEED mods in order to enjoy the game.

There might be a few tidbits here and there, U.I. improvements, clouds and weather, and a few bugs that still need some mods to fix, but Squad themselves have already stated they're going to be working on all of that.

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I guess my rationale is that the stock game is pretty good, given it's always in development state, and the amount of parts and visuals/textures/graphics is good for a baseline. I was a classic stock player until I first downloaded B9, Kethane, and KW; then I was hooked. Sure some have come and gone like Kethane, but I've found others like Near Future, the Cryogenic engines mod, KAS, and every one of RoverDude's mods that just expand what you can do exponentially. I want Kerbals on eva to do something rather than just take the chance of flying off or using them to push a spent rockomax fuel tank out of the way - hence KAS/KIS. The Outer Planets mod is another one of these that just expand what you can do in the game. Have I explored every planet and need somewhere else to go, no, but sometimes I don't want to go to Duna again and again. I just want to build a cool mothership and go somewhere else on a one off mission with different scenery.

I've found myself using more and more mods recently, actually I'm surprised I haven't crashed in 1.0 yet, so I know the pain of mod and part overload. So many choices that you can't use every cool part or engine. Though when I go to cull some, it's always so difficult to pick which ones. Some of mine consist of beautification mods such as planet shine, engine lighting effects (name?), and EVE when it worked well back in 0.24-0.90 (it may still I don't know). These just make the whole experience more stunning. I want to be mesmerized when I round the Mun and see Kerbin over the horizon or come to the dark side of a planet and have the skybox fade into view and resemble our Milky Way with texture replacer and distant object enhancement. I also download part mods to expand my design choices. I never thought about using the Mk2 spaceplane parts from stock since the form factors just didn't suite me. Now that I found the Mk2 stock expansion set, everything's changed and I can't wait to build an SSTO or shuttle with the Mk2 parts. They're cool now. I play with whatever has good quality a la B9, KW, you know the type, and also fill a niche like the B9 spaceplane cockpits or the hydrogen fuel and ion engines from Near Future propulsion.

I do sometimes envy the stock player though when I'm still downloading mods after a release, but that just gives me a reason to play with the newest update changes until I start career again. I see nothing wrong with either side of the coin, but rather as a spectrum from no mods at all, to no stock parts and using Ven's stock expansion that replace even the Squad originals.

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I tend to start fresh on stock after every release for a while, then after a couple of weeks or a month, I go on a mod-downloading spree. I could make all sorts of arguments as to why, but really I just do it to offend the sensibilities of the maximum possible number of members of our community within any given dev-cycle.

Consider my sensibility offended.

Also Mozart is objectively better then Beethoven.

You are so totally wrong. You have absolutely no taste in music, it's obvious.

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Because all the things that i create must be useable from every other players

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I felt the devs put out the game as they want it played. No reason to muck around with it.

Then I got KER. For the life of me I cannot figure out why this info is not in the stock game.

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I felt the devs put out the game as they want it played. No reason to muck around with it.

Then I got KER. For the life of me I cannot figure out why this info is not in the stock game.

I expect some of the reasoning involves not presenting new players with a huge flood of numbers creating a confusing mathsplosion of an interface. When you start learning how to do more advance things, you realize how necessary all those numbers really are, and plugins like KER start to seem more mandatory. We're seeing some of that information work into the game in clever ways though (ie, Engineers Report and such). I'm sure the trend will continue.

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