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5thHorseman

Squadcast Summary 2015/10/16 - Two Types of DC, and Two Types of ISRU

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Could be a difficulty toggle. There's got to be a trade-off somewhere for gameplay reasons. And the difference with life support is: it only degrades when you use it. The reason in certain RPG's I wouldn't use my gun if I could sneak on someone and use my knife, because every shot made the gun slightly worse.

Flying pink flamingos could be a difficulty toggle. That doesn't mean the devs should drop everything and go put them in the game. Time based mechanics do not enhance this game.

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So to hop in on the ISRU discussion (as always, I like to do the early reveals so we get a chance for constructive feedback).

Usual caveats, anything below is subject to change based on QA, experimentals, etc.

There has been a thermal overhaul on ISRUs and drills - this is not insignificant, since now it's an extremely effective lever.

The mini ISRU is not as efficient cooling, cannot make monoprop, and is significantly less efficient (both in terms of ore use, making it a very poor choice for those 'ore powered ships' out there, and in terms of raw speed.

I recognize that any efficiency number is out the window if you can just 'warp to infinity and get all your stuffs'. This has been addressed in the case of the mini ISRU - it is optimized for relatively short operation cycles - i.e. it's the wrong bit to use for your mining base because it cannot operate for years on end without a break. But it's excellent if you just need to do short-term conversions (i.e. refueling a biome hopper, etc.).

Radiators will be important - critical - for ISRUs and drills. That being said, if you have one of the 2.5m ones out there on a ship with no radiators, you will still be able to operate, but the efficiency will be very low since it will overheat quickly (but not down to zero in the case of the 2.5m ones - they will tend to hit equilibrium with a net positive in processing capabilities).

The design choice here is to provide two very clear options with each one having it's benefits and drawbacks. A large, more robust ISRU for bases and such where you want continuous, unattended operations, and a smaller, less industrial-grade one that's better for quick fuel runs. Take your pick.

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Thanks Bob :) You've been doing a marvelous job so far and Im sure you've thought hard about this. Also glad to hear about the heat overhaul, should make things much more interesting. Out of curiosity, will a burnt out converter be repairable?

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At the moment, they have safety features so no cooking your parts. They will spool down as they get too hot, and in extreme cases shut down

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Flying pink flamingos could be a difficulty toggle. That doesn't mean the devs should drop everything and go put them in the game. Time based mechanics do not enhance this game.

I do feel this is entirely a personal preference. There are enough people with a different opinion, just look at the number of topics requesting life support in stock, one way or another.

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At the moment, they have safety features so no cooking your parts. They will spool down as they get too hot, and in extreme cases shut down

Cool man, thanks!

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ISRU belongs to permanent structures or some oversized capital vessels.
No, it doesn't, it belongs on small probes and landers. That's how we'd use it IRL and it certainly wouldn't use drills, it'd be filtering products from the atmosphere where you landed. If you wanted water from an asteroid or Deimos/Ceres/Phobos you'd probably bag it (if its small enough) and then use drill-like equipment (Kuck Mosquito). If you wanted to filter products out of regolith you also wouldn't use a drill, you'd use some sort of bucket harvester to process as much as possible at one time.

Now, obviously this is KSP and not IRL, but why exclude the small return concepts we're coming up with today from the game? That's exciting gameplay for people who enjoy replicas and future concepts but not the utterly boring gameplay of base building.

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What does "DC" stand for in the thread title?

District of Columbia and Detective Comics.

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I do feel this is entirely a personal preference. There are enough people with a different opinion, just look at the number of topics requesting life support in stock, one way or another.

You are stating the obvious? It's an opinion. Of course there are people that think differently. I would be concerned if there weren't. You asked for thoughts, that's what I gave you :P

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No, it doesn't, it belongs on small probes and landers. That's how we'd use it IRL and it certainly wouldn't use drills, it'd be filtering products from the atmosphere where you landed. If you wanted water from an asteroid or Deimos/Ceres/Phobos you'd probably bag it (if its small enough) and then use drill-like equipment (Kuck Mosquito). If you wanted to filter products out of regolith you also wouldn't use a drill, you'd use some sort of bucket harvester to process as much as possible at one time.

Now, obviously this is KSP and not IRL, but why exclude the small return concepts we're coming up with today from the game? That's exciting gameplay for people who enjoy replicas and future concepts but not the utterly boring gameplay of base building.

I'm talking about KSP, not RL.

Well, like LV-N for years was the only solution for interplanetary, smaller ISRU can become the only solution for everything. Why plan anything - slap a nuke, slap a drill and drill round the system all the way.

I've heard realism people don't like the very concept of 'drill with an industrial miner for magic fuel', do they?

P.S. Bases are cool.

Edited by Bloody_looser

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[Redacted Self] I was commenting on how to balance ISRU, but it looks like RoverDude answered that question.

Edited by Vallius
Didn't read relavent previous posts.

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2.5 m ISRU and its drill are a total overkill suitable for huge bases only, so I salute this and hope there will be a nice small drill for it, too.

Female Kerbals are indeed bouncy as old Kerbals used to be. I like that.

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@Roverdude - can we also get a small drill for the Small-ISRU in a future Version? I can imagine building a Biome-Hopper with two of those gigantic drills attached to it to keep it balanced out.

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@Roverdude - can we also get a small drill for the Small-ISRU in a future Version? I can imagine building a Biome-Hopper with two of those gigantic drills attached to it to keep it balanced out.

Having only giant drill can help balancing small ISRU in all meanings. :)

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How would we balance out a smaller drill? Maybe it couldn't pick up materials as quickly, or overheats easier? Perhaps it could realistically cut down the ability to grab resource from a location even more? Just some engineering thoughts.

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I'm talking about KSP, not RL.
I was too. See, a lot of our current IRL ISRU concepts have literally nothing to do with enormous bases, they have to do with getting a certain payload back to Earth. Why should that sort of gameplay be excluded from KSP? It's exciting for the science-based crowd who don't want to play in the real solar system.
Well, like LV-N for years was the only solution for interplanetary, smaller ISRU can become the only solution for everything. Why plan anything - slap a nuke, slap a drill and drill round the system all the way.
Nothing wrong with that. This is a sandbox game, after all. Throw it at the end of the tech tree as a prize. If you think it's cheating don't use it; it's the same argument we make in RP-0 when someone brings up using balloon tanks with Soviet engines.

Besides, once you've opened the ISRU door there's no reason not to have small and large equipment. Launches in the toy solar system have absurd payload fractions and it is incredibly easy to get anything anywhere (except maybe Moho. Moho is hard). Therefore mass as a limiter of gameplay isn't a very good limiter.

I've heard realism people don't like the very concept of 'drill with an industrial miner for magic fuel', do they?
I can't speak for others but I find most of the stock-alike ISRU mods (and the stock implementation itself) to be incredibly silly. There have been a few that tried for a semblance of realism, but the popular ones likein stock, Kethane, and Karbonite are ... well, let's just say I don't think they're any good.

That being said, there is precedent within KSP for realistic-er concepts like small ISRU.

P.S. Bases are cool.
No, sorry, bases are dumb, they bore the living hell out of me.

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You are stating the obvious? It's an opinion. Of course there are people that think differently. I would be concerned if there weren't. You asked for thoughts, that's what I gave you :P

Thank you for clarifying your sentence, my mistake in misunderstanding "Time based mechanics do not enhance this game." :wink:

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I was too. See, a lot of our current IRL ISRU concepts have literally nothing to do with enormous bases, they have to do with getting a certain payload back to Earth. Why should that sort of gameplay be excluded from KSP? It's exciting for the science-based crowd who don't want to play in the real solar system.

Nothing wrong with that. This is a sandbox game, after all. Throw it at the end of the tech tree as a prize. If you think it's cheating don't use it; it's the same argument we make in RP-0 when someone brings up using balloon tanks with Soviet engines.

Besides, once you've opened the ISRU door there's no reason not to have small and large equipment. Launches in the toy solar system have absurd payload fractions and it is incredibly easy to get anything anywhere (except maybe Moho. Moho is hard). Therefore mass as a limiter of gameplay isn't a very good limiter.

I can't speak for others but I find most of the stock-alike ISRU mods (and the stock implementation itself) to be incredibly silly. There have been a few that tried for a semblance of realism, but the popular ones likein stock, Kethane, and Karbonite are ... well, let's just say I don't think they're any good.

That being said, there is precedent within KSP for realistic-er concepts like small ISRU.

Yep, since the system is that small, ISRU is not really needed at all in the first place. Though for some reasons SQUAD added it. From that point of view - yeah why not make various sizes.

From the other point of view - making it smaller won't make it realistic in any mean. Small ISRU will either be OP or kinda useless. Since everything time-based is solved by time-warp it'll be OP.

Anyway, all that stock ISRU is kinda OK and fits the whole level of KSP realism (or it's lack). Hopefully they won't add some shameful engines, running on ore only. That kind of things was the main turn-off for me in ISRU mods.

No, sorry, bases are dumb, they bore the living hell out of me.

To each his own, I guess.

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From the other point of view - making it smaller won't make it realistic in any mean.
Uh, yeah, it will. Mass is at a premium IRL, so making things smaller and lighter is the way to go. Current ISRU concepts are based on that premise. If you want realistic, smaller is the way to go.
Small ISRU will either be OP or kinda useless. Since everything time-based is solved by time-warp it'll be OP.
Since KSP doesn't have time as a limiter (a compelling gameplay option when you consider budgets, upkeep, life support, build times, etc...) this holds true. I imagine it'll end up kind of useless but open up the door for people who enjoy replicas or creating current ISRU concepts in a gamey sort of way. There really isn't any compelling reason not to add smaller or larger ISRU parts considering the lack of constraints. Again, if you don't like that sort of gameplay, don't use the parts. There are plenty of other parts you can use to construct your mission and feel good about doing it without "cheating" or being "overpowered". That's the beauty of a sandbox.

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I would have made the small ISRU module have mass loss on conversion, not able to convert nearly as much into fuel. (90% or 80% conversion instead of 100% conversion)

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I would have made the small ISRU module have mass loss on conversion, not able to convert nearly as much into fuel. (90% or 80% conversion instead of 100% conversion)

Since it is easy to carry to the surface, that is basically the same as just making it work slower.

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