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spikeyhat09

A visual criticism of the Shuttle engine

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I've been arguing for a long time that the 1.25m engines effectively become nothing more than lander engines, once you're past a certain point in the tech tree (or playing sandbox), since they're really weak compared to larger diameter engines.

Yep, the issue is the 1.25m engines being to weak. It makes sense in regards to the tech tree, but it's kinda weird in a sandbox/endgame situation.

I don't dislike the Vector (actually I think it's going to fill a wonderful niche for shuttles and the like, and its quite pretty), but I'm wondering if it would have made more sense to aim for the 800 thrust range, rather than 1000.

I don't like that idea. Would make the shuttle engine to a super-niche thing you'd hardly ever use. At this point, it's maybe 5% better than the Mainsail in generic use. Which I think is ok in sandbox, and it's actually kinda UP considering the price in career.

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its not like this is one of the 1.25 engines you get at the beginning of the game. its at the end for a reason, enjoy how science and technology work :P

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I don't get, what is there to tweak?

It's exactly like one quarter of a Mammoth, only worse! Slightly heavier and significantly more expensive.

Did you complain that the Mammoth was OP?

Stats-wise, it's completely in line with all the other engines.

I hope Squad keeps them exactly as they are.

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I really don't see the problem.

The item is up in the Tech tree and cost a whole lot more.

It really doesn't have any advantages other then the gimbal which you crank way down (5%) for standard rockets.

For shuttles definitely yes.

I would like to say it is a progression engine and it is but it isn't.

It fits a niche that was not in the game.

And as far as overpowered.

Well you should get better items as you progress not just bigger items.

And well I will stay with the mainsail as my primary engine unless I build a shuttle.

Edited by Korizan

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The only reason this engine seems so OP is that it is a 1.25 meter engine, but it is just as powerful as the 2.5 meter engines. If you stop relating it so the smaller engines and start relating it to the bigger engines it looks less OP. Also that it's cost and late game-ness make it balanced for career IMO, and sandbox wasn't really meant to be balanced, the whole idea of a sandbox.

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I really don't see the problem.

The item is up in the Tech tree and cost a whole lot more.

It really doesn't have any advantages other then the gimbal which you crank way down for standard rockets.

For shuttles definitely yes.

I would like to say it is a progression engine and it is but it isn't.

It fits a niche that was not in the game.

And as far as overpowered.

Well you should get better items as you progress not just bigger items.

And well I will stay with the mainsail as my primary engine unless I build a shuttle.

The first problem is that sandbox player simply ignore campaign and tech tree.

The second problem is that people seems to forget real life SSME as advance as it is expensive.

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Its a nice engine that i feel is pretty fair.

Compared to a quad, it actually has MORE DRAG since you have the empty stack (the engine at the end of a 3m stack has similar drag values to the uncapped stack, and the 4 radial engines increase drag by their own amount each, in total being worse then the quad alone.

Really the only majorly cool and useful thing is that these engines are very small and with certain designs look nicer. They can be placed on a bi or tricoupler easily, and in that configuration they are relatively low drag (quad coupler is a bad idea as the quad engine is better).

The only other benefit is that they allow scaled down eve SSTOs to be built. I was NEVER a fan of large craft (that arent capital ships and thus have no business being in eve's atmosphere), but now i might be able to make a smallerish laythe SSTO! Assuming eve's atmo hasnt altered too much, if a single quad engine can lift a SSTO to orbit, i see no reason why one of these cant do the same to something thats ~1/4 the size/mass.

And although thsi doesnt pertain to me as i dont play carreer (i come from the pre 0.20 days, and career/science mode does nothing i cant do myself with some imagination, and also has no place with military and combat designs i like to make), they are very expensive and not very practical unless its recovered in something such as a space shuttle.

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The first problem is that sandbox player simply ignore campaign and tech tree.

The second problem is that people seems to forget real life SSME as advance as it is expensive.

The big problem is that sandbox and career just wont balance vs. each other. Sandbox balancing requires every part to be the single best one in the game for some purpose, ever, because otherwise those parts that are best in nothing will never get used. Career balancing requires rewarding the player for advancing in the tech tree by giving parts that better the old parts for the same purpose, because otherwise the player will not feel that they are really advancing anywhere.

So as long as KSP has both sandbox mode and career mode, Vector will never be balanced perfectly. It is impossible for it or any other top tech part to be.

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The big problem is that sandbox and career just wont balance vs. each other.

Now that actually surprised me to read.

I agree, you never balance sandbox as it has no merit, you have all the toys from the start.

And yes that means there will be a lot of toys you just won't use because you have a better version.

Unless you want to try and make a lesser version work.

Where in a career based game you are forced to use whatever is available.

I really don't like using the word balance in a game as it implies being equal, and flat out items should not be equal.

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i had a fairing initially but it ended up being 2/3 the length of the rocket. it would actually bend inside the fairing and blow itself up. pretty quickly i realized that it had way more than enough muscle to do what i wanted. a pretty stupidly large amount of muscle in fact. plus that guy said aerodynamics dont matter anymore for whatever reason (why did they do that exactly?)

Strut the payload to the fairing by placing struts on the payload and connecting them to the fairing base. Try to place the struts on spots of the payload that normally wobble when in the fairing where they also can still attach to the base, and if the payload is very tall, you might also want to connect some struts from higher parts of the payload to the fairing base. Also, make sure the payload itself is strong enough at weak points. I have launched many a payload that otherwise would bend and explode within the fairing by using struts.

Aerodynamics DO matter, it is just that with enough thrust and a relatively aerodynamic rocket, fairings aren't always necessary (if you are fine with less efficiency when launching, due to fighting some drag). It might be a bug that the person in question was referring to, which the silent update yesterday may have fixed. In addition, too much thrust means you could possibly swap out the Vectors for lighter engines, like the Mammoth, that should still be able to launch the same payload without the extra engine weight.

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-snip-

i am aware of this tactic, and ive used it myself quite a bit in the past. in this case however, the payload is far too long for base connections to be sufficient. the only fairing solution would be to somehow attach struts from the payload directly to the fairing walls, which is impossible. that and i also found it much easier to simply attach a 2.5m nosecone to the top of the payload :)

On a side note, I find it rather odd that a very large majority of the community seems to have shifted towards pure career mode play, especially since the game had a large and adoring community even before career mode was a thing. I myself could never jump on board (primarily because career mode's implementation is too grindy for my personal tastes, and i prefer to relive the glory days of space exploration in the space race when NASA had virtually unlimited funding). when did the sandbox population become so sparse?

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On a side note, I find it rather odd that a very large majority of the community seems to have shifted towards pure career mode play, especially since the game had a large and adoring community even before career mode was a thing. I myself could never jump on board (primarily because career mode's implementation is too grindy for my personal tastes, and i prefer to relive the glory days of space exploration in the space race when NASA had virtually unlimited funding). when did the sandbox population become so sparse?

Probably around the time that career mode got good and actually made sense ;)

No, but for real. Arsonides contracts add a lot of value for the game, IMHO. Sandboxing around without a goal seems kind of pointless to me, and apparently to many others. Not trying to diss you here - if you really enjoy Sandbox, that's great for you!

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Well, my career mode is sandbox at this point:

over 10 million funds stockpiled, all tech unlocked, all facilities upgraded.

I occasionally take a contract or two, but mostly just do what I want now.... that includes extensive infrastructure on /around Duna, a mission to Moho before the "explore moho" contract came up, ditto for Dres... already lifting stuff for a laythe station and base.

I SSTO to LKO for between 100-250 funds per ton on average (depending on payload mass and dimensions), from there the payloads can go anywhere with tugs and pushers in LKO supplied by ISRU on Mun, Minmus, Duna, Ike, and Gilly...

Its basically as if I was making an STS in sandbox...

The income from mobile labs and the science-> funds strategy (set at 85% to give a nice even 100 fund per converted science, and to allow me to stockpile science incase a new update releases more tech nodes).

I will take contracts when they propose something interesting (combined with the asteroid day mod, it seem an interesting challenge to put an IR telescope in an orbit about half the radius of moho's orbit), something I'm going to do anyway (surface base on laythe, capture an E class asteroid), or something that doesn't require extra work (my SSTOs are often flown with no crew, so I'll take tourism to LKO contracts and just passivley complete them).

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I can say only for me. I have made every interesting thing with sandbox. Visited on every body, made stations, bases, huge ships. So large than lag have reached my annoying limits (nearly 2000 parts). And on the other hand, there is no any other reason to make larges structures but just try how large things can be. On the other hand, I am not interesting in miniatyrization or loading other solar system of coloured balls with couple of geometric and physical parameters. I have also tried RO, realistic scale solar system mod, but it was exactly same thing with longer boring phases between activities.

Career is far from perfect but it is relatively entertaining. It gives a nice feeling of real space progam when I add a little bit imagination, rolegaming, couple of mods and adjust difficulty settings to give just correct amount of grinding for me. Career will also become sandbox when I get all technology and use normal funding. Money is not an issue then. I have several millions and can choose only the most interesting contracts.

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Now that actually surprised me to read.

I agree, you never balance sandbox as it has no merit, you have all the toys from the start.

And yes that means there will be a lot of toys you just won't use because you have a better version.

Unless you want to try and make a lesser version work.

Where in a career based game you are forced to use whatever is available.

I really don't like using the word balance in a game as it implies being equal, and flat out items should not be equal.

It is a bit surprising, but I got the thought of sandbox balancing from this very thread actually. If you read through, a great many players are criticizing the Vector for making lots of engines useless in Sandbox mode. (Because they are worse for any use than the Vector.) So in effect they are calling for the sort of sandbox balancing that I described: Every part is the best for some use, and none is best for every use. While in a career game you actually expect to use lesser parts only until you can unlock or afford the superior parts.

I don't know what the root issue with the "useless" parts is though. Maybe people don't like having parts they are never gonna use cluttering up the lists? But this can be a problem in career games too, and in fact some games go as far as removing the obsoleted parts when the better parts become available.

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My humble opinion is that both the vector and the mammoth are overpowered,not game play wise , but in relation to their real life counter part. On shuttle and SLS the SRBs provide the majority of the thrust at sea level in KSP this seems to be the opposite, the SRBs in ksp are pretty underpowered in relation to the core stage mammoth or SSMEs.

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My humble opinion is that both the vector and the mammoth are overpowered,not game play wise , but in relation to their real life counter part. On shuttle and SLS the SRBs provide the majority of the thrust at sea level in KSP this seems to be the opposite, the SRBs in ksp are pretty underpowered in relation to the core stage mammoth or SSMEs.

This. The sea level thrust of the SSMEs / Vectors should be reduced so the SRBs provide the most thrust at launch, and when you're higher up in the atmosphere, the SSMEs would take over because they are more powerful there.

It's similar to the RD-180 engines used on Soyuz and Energia, which have hardly any power at sea level, but give a good kick once the boosters (which are powered by the more powerful, at sea level, RD-171 engines) are jettisoned higher up.

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The RD-180 is used on neither Soyuz (RD-107/108) nor Energia (RD-0120 on the core; the boosters use RD-170s, which are effectively double RD-180s--i.e. exactly the kind of sea level power you're talking about).

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I stand corrected: I was referring to the RD-108 (used on the Soyuz core), not RD-180. -171 were used on Zenit.

The role I was talking about doesn't change though, on Soyuz, the 107's on the boosters are more powerful at sea level where the 108 in the core (or 0120 on Energia) are more powerful at high altitude and vacuum.

EDIT: OK, so apparently the issue may not be the Vector that is overpowered, but the boosters that are hilariously underpowered compared to the Vector and typical Shuttle weights.

peef117.jpg

The first image shows the STS with a typical dummy payload of 27t and nothing but stock parts. The ET is scaled correctly and the numbers on Delta-V and weights for the SSME (Vector) add up nicely. But the boosters are totally dwarfed and hardly contribute anything to TWR.

IFvbRRO.jpg

Solution: Scale the boosters up by a factor of 1,5 and they match the stack both in terms of size and thrust. I got the test payload into LKO100 without a hitch using this setup (the only mods I used were KER and TweakScale) and it pretty much adds up to a typical launch and mission profile for the STS, the real STS also has a launch TWR in the range of 1,5-1,7, but it has more powerful SRBs with a longer burn time. For Kerbin scale, this setup is pretty accurate.

So apparently, we don't need a nerf on the Vector. We just need bigger boosters. ;)

Edited by Stoney3K

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In KSP we don't have any high-thrust solids, and Mainsals aren't surface attachable (and have big tankbutts) so you can't easily cluster them on a 3.75m stack. Both factors combine to mean that while the KS-25 *looks* like an RS-25, it performs like an RD-191 (and the Mammoth an RD-171), not like an SSME. Or rather, since everything's storable, an RD-275.

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