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Vermil

788 hours, I continue, but here's some feedback I think is important.

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Short version:

The v1.0 game is less complete, less rational and less intuitive than v0.xxx.

Long version:

I maybe haven't been any active on the boards since my first posts, a long time ago when I started off, but I have continued to play the game intensively and extensively. Thus comes a time when I really feel I want to make some of my thoughts known around, hopefully to someone who cares.

So this is a bit of feedback. Let's start with where I (and thus the feedback) come from:

I play Science Sandbox.

My main interest is in manned expeditions to surface, and – of course – return. That is what I pursue, even if I also send unmanned probes everywhere. I have played two games. One before v1.0, and since everything was rendered useless by the v1.0 release, I've then started from the beginning again with a new game.

The state I reached in v0.xxx was that I had landed everywhere on Mun and Minmus, manned Duna surface missions were routine and I had landed probes on EVE and Laythe. Finally, I eventually also succeeded with a dress rehearsal for a manned mission to Laythe. An unmanned, but crew-capable rocket landed on Laythe and managed to return safely to Kermin. I never had time to repeat it with a crew, because next v1.0 arrived and managed to break everything I had built up to that point.

The state I have currently reached in my v1.0 game, is that though I've made many landings on Mun and Minmus, there's still a couple of craters left. Manned Duna landings are routine, and I've also done a manned landing on Ike (all return, of course). I've landed a probe on EVE (non-return). Additionally, I've made return probe missions from orbit of every planet in KSP system (and boy, was Moho and Eeloo difficult). Finally, I've done the dress rehearsal for the big Laythe mission. It was horrendously more difficult than in v0.xxx, because of the new heat model, aerodynamics, split of fuel systems and lack of suitable tanks for nuclear engines. But in the end, after months of development and testing, I hacked together a rocket that could do it, - and did it -, unmanned. And as we are talking, Jebediah, Bill and Bob are on their way on their biggest adventure yet. The trip will take almost 9 years, and it's not certain that they will get into orbit position to make a landing (the dress rehearsal may have had a lot of luck with slingshots, as it got into orbit around Laythe; fuel is critical).

- So that is where I am.

I do NOT use mods.

I will at some time. But I feel it's important for your understanding of my feedback that you fully comprehend WHY I don't use mods. There are a lot of mods out there which makes a number of challenges easier. That's not exactly what I want. Not using mods provide a consistent challenge, consistent game and a fixed measurement of achievement.

Thus all helpful comments that there's this or that mod that will solve something I mention as a perceived problem, are not useful at all. Neither is any comment that assumes I'm irrational and just want stock parts to fill a purpose some mod already takes care of.

My problem is NOT that I lack some parts, which will solve some problems of mine. I will happily try make do with what's available, and have done so.

My perceived problem is that KSP v1.0 feels like a LESS COMPLETE game than v0.xxx was.

And while the v1.1 talk is exciting, it doesn't really mention any of the things I feel are lacking. (...And there's the question in the back of my head: Will v1.1 again break everything in my game?).

“But there are mods...†- No, no. That's not what I'm talking about. I will make do (and I have). I'm talking about that the rocket part of this game feels curiously incomplete. What is a newcomer to KSP supposed to think? What is the use of this or that part? - There are no supporting parts!

There's a lot of focus on planes and space planes, lately. So much that I'm using some plane parts for my rockets. In fact, I'm forced to do it. But doing so, leads to a lot of funny problems, stemming from the original, intended use. Some examples:

No suitable propellant tanks for nuclear rockets.

Resorting to use a few available models of usable space plane tanks leads to a number of symmetry problems when building rockets. And it sure as hell is not intuitive! Using other tanks leads to an irrational weight penalty as you're not using the oxidizer part. The default game and gameplay is incomplete!

No advanced Command Pods.

The three-seat Mk 1-2 pod suffers horrendously in every attribute comparison to the Mk 3 space plane cockpit. Using space plane cockpits in rocket design leads to a lot of symmetry problems. Try getting crew down to the ground and try getting them aboard again. The game makes some very curious assumptions of what the orientation of the spacecraft is. Try making a soft rocket landing (on the tail); lots of artificial balance problems, originating from the plane cockpit. Sure, I man up and contrive solutions. But it's ridiculous.

In short, it feels to me like no one in the development team has been playing the rocket game for years? ...And completely botched/forgot it during the v1.0 upgrade?

This comprises and concludes my main feedback on KSP 1.0.

It's those rather big problems which can be easily and rapidly fixed, and I'm somewhat alarmed that there seems to be no plans to do so?

I have a bit more things to say though.

My personal wishes for where the game is going in the future:

With a manned landing and returning from the surface of Laythe, I feel like I'm coming to an end of sorts. What do I do next? Eve is close but seems almost impossible to return from, except for a mod-enhanced, very brute-force approach, which frankly doesn't stir my enthusiasm or interest much.

In passing, I'd also like to say that the gap in challenge between Duna and Laythe is way too big. There should be something attractive in-between.

At some point it's time to consider what content to add to KSP. I think that the planets and moons could be a lot more interesting to explore. More diverse details, exciting scenery. Wonders/rewards to discover. (That goes for Kermin itself as well).

More planets/moons. As I mentioned, I think there should be something exciting between Duna and Laythe in difficulty, but there should maybe also be some more distant planets? A Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. They could relate to future rocket technologies.

Speaking about future rocket technologies. I nurture the hope that someday, in the future, KSP will include interstellar flights.

Parts and functions that I feel are missing from KSP:

I'd like a programmable (positions) hinge and actuator. This could be used to build moving structures of varying kinds, like ramps, supports, cranes, unfolding/folding constructions, etc.

Habitat modules. Both for long rocket journeys and planet colonization. I currently role play and put together empty structural parts, like diameter adapters, and pretend that they're habitats. No way I'm sending my Kerbals away on several year long journeys locked into a small pod. Nope, in my imagination they have four floors of individual sleeping quarters, kitchen & mess, relax and recreation lounge, hygiene & fitness. But it would be nice to have purpose made parts which maybe could include airlocks and windows?

I'd like a way to unload (and load) a rover from a rocket. If there is a way, I apologize, but I haven't discovered it yet.

- Oh, and I'd like a class of even bigger rocket parts. ...And a bigger launch platform.

Finally: Please try to avoid changing existing parts' existing attributes, in new versions of the game. The reason is of course that this breaks existing rockets (and thus games), as you did in introducing v1.0.

P.S. I am not the author of the "789 hours, I quit. Here's why." on the Steam KSP site. It's merely inspired by it, because I happened to be exactly at 788 hours.

Edited by Vermil
changed font

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There is actually a planet between Duna and Laythe. Its called Dres.

I find it weird that you find the game less complete when it has more mechanics, like heat, solar power, atmospheric ISP and thrust curve, aero overhaul, plus a few thousand less bugs.

While I would like hinges and such robotic parts myself, they are entirely doable by stock parts, maybe a little impractically, but doable without mods for your vanilla feel.

Rocket soft landings are very smooth if you can use Shift and Ctrl blocks instead of Z and X.

And when you feel like unloading a rover out ouf a rocket, try a skycrane, or an aerocapsule, or making the rocket your rover itself, or a belly lander that opens a cargo bay to decouple a rover.

Or you can always slap two of them to your lander.

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There should be something attractive in-between.

There is actually a planet between Duna and Laythe. Its called Dres.

Dres ≠ attractive

Edited by CaptainTurbomuffin

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My perceived problem is that KSP v1.0 feels like a LESS COMPLETE game than v0.xxx was.

That makes no logical sense. How can it be less complete when they didn't remove anything?

And while the v1.1 talk is exciting, it doesn't really mention any of the things I feel are lacking. (...And there's the question in the back of my head: Will v1.1 again break everything in my game?).

Not likely. The Unity engine change does not affect the save files. Squad creates those, they have control over them. Game engines, like Unity, exist to allow developers a way to not develop everything in the game from scratch. They are libraries used to interface with PC/Console hardware. The phrase "Don't reinvent the wheel" applies. Every game out there uses certain basic elements that must be developed, by using Unity, small groups like Squad don't have to spend their time developing it. That doesn't mean some other change won't cause minor behavioral issues, but completely trashing your save file is not likely to happen. It has no more potential to do that than any patch would.

There's a lot of focus on planes and space planes, lately. So much that I'm using some plane parts for my rockets. In fact, I'm forced to do it. But doing so, leads to a lot of funny problems, stemming from the original, intended use.

The focus on plane parts is due to how incomplete they were. It isn't that we don't need more rocket parts, but planes were lacking for a very long time. Plus, they have a modeler that excels at them.

No suitable propellant tanks for nuclear rockets.

Resorting to use a few available models of usable space plane tanks leads to a number of symmetry problems when building rockets. And it sure as hell is not intuitive! Using other tanks leads to an irrational weight penalty as you're not using the oxidizer part. The default game and gameplay is incomplete!

You do know you can remove oxidizer from any LFO tank, right? You can use 90% of the game's tanks for Nuclear engines with no penalty at all.

No advanced Command Pods.

The three-seat Mk 1-2 pod suffers horrendously in every attribute comparison to the Mk 3 space plane cockpit. Using space plane cockpits in rocket design leads to a lot of symmetry problems. Try getting crew down to the ground and try getting them aboard again. The game makes some very curious assumptions of what the orientation of the spacecraft is. Try making a soft rocket landing (on the tail); lots of artificial balance problems, originating from the plane cockpit. Sure, I man up and contrive solutions. But it's ridiculous.

Fair enough, I agree. The command pods need some work.

In short, it feels to me like no one in the development team has been playing the rocket game for years? ...And completely botched/forgot it during the v1.0 upgrade?

I don't believe that is true. Game development goes through stages of focus, that is all. As I said, planes were lacking prior to PorkJets involvement in them. We had Mk1 planes only and even those were limited. Every version from the beginning to 0.24 was nothing but rockets. By comparison, there has been far more attention to rockets and planes have had heavy improvement in a mere 3 patches. It just seems like a lot, but isn't, only 3... 0.25, 0.90, and 1.1 (as far as we know). 1.0 was pretty well balanced between planes and rockets. Fairings and heat shields are pretty exclusive to rockets and most of the plane parts added in 1.0 are pretty lackluster (I mean, those hideous landing gear, geez Squad).

On another note, the forum software really doesn't work well with your font. I had to switch into source mode to fix this post. I suggest sticking to the defaults, except the occasional emphasis.

Edited by Alshain

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Some comments on various responses.

I never said I wanted another planet between Duna and Jools. I quite clearly stated I felt an attractive challenge, that was between Duna and Laythe in difficulty, was needed.

It is more incomplete to me, because some of the parts are no longer well supported by other parts. They did remove something. Yes, I use some LFO tanks for nuclear propellant, and I do remove the oxidizer to save weight, but removing the oxidizer does not make them hold any more propellant in my game? Both the oxidizer and fuel were previously propellants.

Breaking the game didn't come from v1.0 save files not being compatible. It came from changes to existing parts' existing attributes. This made the previous rockets unusable.

I accept the statement that plane parts were previously lacking. I wouldn't know since I didn't build planes.

I apologize for the font. I wrote it elsewhere and the font carried over with the pasting. I wasn't even aware of it. I will try fix it by editing.

Edited by Vermil
small changes for clarity

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I actually agree with many of the bulletpoints of your post, just not the thesis. It's obviously more complete now. But yeah! Capsules need balancing, I would love to see cooler surface features, new LF tanks, robotics, etc. There's always room for improvement and expansion. While I'm also not as into planes as some I get why proper aero and heat are important. It broke some lift strategies sure, but the whole launch and reentry process is so much more interesting and real now. Patience, most of what you're asking for is bound to come.

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Yes, I use some LFO tanks for nuclear propellant, and I do remove the oxidizer to save weight, but removing the oxidizer does not make them hold any more propellant in my game? Both the oxidizer and fuel were previously propellants.

Well, the answer to that is FSFuelSwitch, we've been begging for a stock version of that module for a long time. I don't disagree with you there.

Breaking the game didn't come from v1.0 save files not being compatible. It came from changes to existing parts' existing attributes. This made the previous rockets unusable.

The entire aerodynamics package changed, it was also Beta. They aren't doing that in 1.1.

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The three-seat Mk 1-2 pod suffers horrendously in every attribute comparison to the Mk 3 space plane cockpit
Please try to avoid changing existing parts' existing attributes

I'm confused. Do you want them to rebalance parts or not?

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I actually agree with many of the bulletpoints of your post, just not the thesis. It's obviously more complete now. But yeah! Capsules need balancing, I would love to see cooler surface features, new LF tanks, robotics, etc. There's always room for improvement and expansion. While I'm also not as into planes as some I get why proper aero and heat are important. It broke some lift strategies sure, but the whole launch and reentry process is so much more interesting and real now. Patience, most of what you're asking for is bound to come.

The physical simulation is more complete. While I agree that proper aero and heat are nice and satisfying, my point ignores how 'complete' the sandbox is. It's a peripheral consideration. You can have a complete game regardless of the depth of the simulation. And it will never be 'complete'. We will, for instance, hopefully not have to spoonfeed our Kerbals or take them to the bathroom.

But the v1.0 gameplay is less complete. The gameplay is about achieving space exploration goals by designing and building space crafts from parts made available, and then fly them. You have a nuclear engine. You have no tanks. The gameplay does not hang together, and it's extremely hard to understand why not. To clone existing rocket tanks, paint them black and yellow for distinction, and edit the attributes, is less than an hour of work for one person.

Edited by Vermil

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I'm confused. Do you want them to rebalance parts or not?

Well, if you feel confused, you could maybe question your assumptions.

I will always hesitate to ask for any specific part. I leave the design details of the game to the developers. My feedback (or complaint, if you will) concerns the lack of consistency and rationality. A holistic view. I feel the game has to make sense. How they achieve that is up to them. When I'm 'forced' to deploy a spaceplane cockpit as rocket command pod - because of the huge weight savings - and then have to offset a monopropellant tank in an overhanging position, to stop the rocket from crabbing sideways and toppling over during landings, and build ingenious and highly complex swirls of ladders around, taking hours to align properly, in order to have crew being able to reach the ground and board again, then the gameplay rational fails.

I do not specifically ask for any specific part. I ask for the gameplay to make sense. But like a Mk 3 pod, that sort of thing was more in my mind than a rebalancing of the Mk 1 - 2.

***

You bring up a point that is worth consideration though. Rebalancing. Again, it's not something I'll meddle in, but if the developers feel they need to do anything like that, I suppose I have to accept it. My comment comes from v1.0 reaction to my existing rockets:

"Contains locked or unavailable parts"

or

"Unavailable experimental parts - Unable to launch"

This is perfectly acceptable in a transition from v0-versions to v1.0. But I hope to not see it often in the future. How the developers accomplish that is really irrelevant, so I perhaps shouldn't have assumed that changing existing attributes is the one and only factor.

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I can definitely see OP's point, and I agree 100% . While there have been features added the game as a whole hasn't evolved much beyond build rocket/fly rocket. EVA and probes are one place that the game play is sorely lacking.

There are few reasons to take more than a couple steps from any landing site. There is no reason, other than to rescue missions, to ever spacewalk. There is very little (gameplay) reason to use rovers and satellites.

Allowing engineers to strut spacecraft, making repair and resupply missions for orbital stations would enhance EVA

Having surface constructables such as a habitat, or lunar observatory, would diversify the experience on the surface.

Requiring surface samples be of certain "quality" would encourage EVA exploration, and having certain tasks that kerbals couldn't do such as core samples would encourage building rovers.

Most all of the updates have been more oriented towards adding parts or administrative simulation. EVA has been neglected for a long time.

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