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In KSP, Science is acquired by performing experiments while "landed," "in flight," "splashed down," or "in space high/low." You get different results based on which biome you are in, so you would get two completely new results by just walking ten meters across a biome border. Not only is this unrealistic, but it also encourages grinding different biomes for science, performing the same experiments over and over again when you would not expect to actually learn anything from them in real life. Long story short, the "biome" science system isn't really suited to anything but surface samples

My proposal is for each science experiment to be dependant on things like altitude and latitude, as well as biomes. 

 

Zones

Zones are areas that differentiate where experiments will have new results.

Latitude Zones
Latitude zones change every 20 degrees of latitude. For example, if you took a temperature reading at 0 degrees (the equator) you would get a different result than if you took one at 20 degrees.
Latitude zones affect:
Temperature experiments (2Hot Thermometer)
Seismic readings (Double-C Seismic Accelerometer)
latitude.gif

 

Altitude Zones
Altitude zones only apply to atmospheric bodies. A new altitude zone begins every 10 km above sea level while in flight, and every 500 m while landed.
Altitude zones affect:
Temperature experiments (2Hot Therometer)
Seismic readings (Double-C Seismic Accelerometer)
Pressure readings (PressMat Barometer)
Weather readings (PressMat Barometer)

 

Biomes
Biomes are the same, except perhaps a few more could be added. (biomes for large craters on various bodies, islands on Laythe, etc.)
Biomes affect:
Surface samples (EVA)
Core samples (Drill-O-Matic Junior)
EVA reports (EVA)
Crew reports (Kerbed flights)

 

Solar Zones
This is a new Biome-like system that would apply to Kerbol. You would get different Science Reports for doing experiments over Kerbol's Poles, for example, or by flying extremely far from Kerbol.

 

New Experiments
Weather readings:

Weather readings would be an experiment that you could set a probe core to measure if the probe has a thermometer and a barometer. They work over a period of time, slowly gathering science. After a few days, a science message would pop up with something like "Recorded dust storm on Duna" or "Data acquired from hurricane on Laythe"

Magnetometer:

The magnetometer would be a new part that would measure the magnetic fields of planets/moons/Kerbol. It would only work in "in space high" or "in space low."

Core samples:

The Drill-O-Matic Junior could also be used as a sample drill, making surface samples possible for probes. They return 1.5 times the science of an ordinary surface sample.

Scanners

New scanning/mapping parts that give science based on how much of the surface has been mapped. This is basically just ScanSat.

 

 

Science Changes

-Crew reports and EVA reports would give much less science (How much can you learn by looking out the window?)
-Transmitting EVA reports, Crew reports, temperature readings, pressure readings, weather readings, and seismic data would give you 100% of the science, although you get much less science than now (They're just numbers, which can be easily transmitted).
-Surface/core samples can be used in the MPL for analysis, and this would take much less time. This gives the same amount of science as recovering the samples.
-The MPL can be used for long term study of weather, seismic data, and magnetic fields if the necessary parts are on the ship (Temperature and pressure readings are combined for long-term study). The longer the study, the more science you get, although after 30 days the science increase slows down significantly.
-Mystery Goo and the Science Jr. now only give different results if they have a significant temperature and/or pressure difference than previously conducted experiments. (No more biome-grinding)
-The Gravioli detector should be replaced with a gravity mapping part that is used long-term on a probe while in orbit to gain science and map the gravitational differences on the surface
-Thermometers and barometers are available at the second tech tree node.
-Only Surface Samples, Mystery Goo observations, Science Jr. observations and weather readings could be studied in the MPL to avoid science farming and to add realism.

 

What do you think about these changes?
Suggestions and feedback welcome!

Laythe
 

 

 

Edited by Laythe Dweller
A few changes
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I understand that you try to mimick different climate by using latitude and altitude as parameters? But actually the biomes already try to do exactly this, because the local climate also depends on additional factors. On Earth for example: Naples, Italy and NYC are located at about the same latitude and altitude, but have very different climate due to additional effects. As a consequence both places should give you different data for weather and climate experiments.

I do agree that the biome system is lacking some detail, to better represent climates there would have to be things like "Temperate Grassland" and "Subtropical Grassland". There is no "Scrubland" or "Tropical Rainforest" biome, and so on. But if you do too much detail everybody will lose track. The middle ground we have at the moment is not too bad.

That's for planets with atmosphere - on other the worlds latitude and altitude would propably be the relevant factors for weather and climate readings. But there is no weather anyway. It already does not make a lot of sense to do all those pressure and temperature readings in space all the time...

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Yeah I like a number of your suggestions, especially making experiments in principle 100% transmittable. Transmission losses could be managed entirely by Bob's new dish setup. I do think the larger focus aught to be on simplifying and streamlining to remove grind, and I'm not sure your lat/long system makes things any easier, though I do think fewer experiments aught to be able to differentiate above the surface. The main thing I think hindering things at the moment is all the part clicking. It's a bit like being asked to manually orient solar panels.  I'd highly recommended automating most experiments, so that they collected, stored, and reset whenever contacting new science so that players could focus on flying. 

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On 12/2/2015, 11:27:15, RocketPropelledGiraffe said:

I understand that you try to mimick different climate by using latitude and altitude as parameters? But actually the biomes already try to do exactly this, because the local climate also depends on additional factors. On Earth for example: Naples, Italy and NYC are located at about the same latitude and altitude, but have very different climate due to additional effects. As a consequence both places should give you different data for weather and climate experiments.

I do agree that the biome system is lacking some detail, to better represent climates there would have to be things like "Temperate Grassland" and "Subtropical Grassland". There is no "Scrubland" or "Tropical Rainforest" biome, and so on. But if you do too much detail everybody will lose track. The middle ground we have at the moment is not too bad.

That's for planets with atmosphere - on other the worlds latitude and altitude would propably be the relevant factors for weather and climate readings. But there is no weather anyway. It already does not make a lot of sense to do all those pressure and temperature readings in space all the time...

 

The latitude and altitude values are mostly a more intuitive and realistic way to conduct science. It doesn't make sense that you would learn anything from taking pressure readings in two biomes at the same altitude, and new players would think "Pressure science = go higher"

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Ok, my two cents, based also on how I do play science.

First I'd like to say that I find the general idea of expanding the biome system by adding an altitude / latitude element. I also like the expansion of possible experiments.

Now, what I do not like in the way science is done right now is the "instant" results. I try to play "real hard", that is hard campaign and realistic mission management. For realistic management i mean that for me a mission is over only when personnel is back at the runway and equipment is either: a) back at runway; b) destroyed; c) stranded and marked as debris pending recovery (yes, I do have a lot of clutter laying around but it makes those tourist's missions more interesting).

This takes me to the point. When personnel lands at the runway it has all the science reports of the mission for processing in my "science bug" farm. Then science starts to come out slowly and has to be transmitted to the KSC. Well what I'd like would be the R&D complex to work in a similar way getting prepared science data from missions and reports (and maybe differentiating science and engineering research, the former to unlock a technology, the latter to unlock the parts in that technology, but that might be too much complicated for casual players)

I also would suggest to drastically reduce the number of KSC biomes to avoid the "rolling pin ship" grind at the beginning (or make them more difficult to reach as a "VAB roof", "Administration pond", "Island old runway control tower" biome ).

Please feedback on how you like this kind of idea, I will try to elaborate more (and maybe go for a mod).

My Science bug farm:

A76BA770C32BA0E6C1708422C07B21A3AF1CDF30

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This thread and specifically this post gave me an idea:

15 hours ago, pandaman said:

Makes perfect sense to me.

If you want to study an environment then you do numerous tests in varying conditions.   So getting extra science for doing the same experiment in the same place, but at different times of day makes perfect sense.

Maybe four time bands would be sensible from a game play perspective - day and night (obviously) and then dawn (defined by when the sun starts to appear on the horizon until it is fully visible) and dusk (defined  by when the sun first touches the horizon to when it's fully obscured).  Dawn and dusk could be worth more in proportion of how short the 'window' is.  Midnight and midday could be Included too, but they could be harder to identify in game.

This goes along with the latitude and altitude idea posted in this thread. The thing is that it would increase the amount of unique experiments way to much. 

 

My idea to solve that issue is to add a secondary gameplay mechanic to deal with that problem, while the primary mechanic stays untouched.

 

So this is my proposal: Climate modelling

 

-You get science for each of the possible combinations of instrument/biome/situation/body (as they currently do)

-With each experiment, the game remembers more complex circumstances like latitude, altitude, time of day and others.

-If two experiments only differ in said complex circumstances, they will only be unique if you put it in a Lab.

-You unlock this Lab-functionality in the R&D facility upon unlocking the Lab itself, in the mid-game stage.

-Researching, whether you do it at home in the R&D facility or in a lab, takes time (as they currently do).

-The lab is for researching the climate of biomes, and you get additional science based upon the completeness of the scientific knowledge of a biome.

-Every unique experiment contributes to this knowledge after it has been researched.

-The amount of unique experiments researched, the completeness of scientific understanding and the science do not have to scale linearly.

-There is much more to do on a planets surface, namely experimenting, but only in mid-late game.

 

 

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The whole clicking to do science, then collect points paradigm is a bad one. It would be better to have better designed science, and have as much as possible actually be useful to the player. For example, a scansat-like form of mapping, and have the mapping adjust how far you can zoom in in map view. High enough res imagery, and you can zoom 1:1 in map view to plan landing sites, etc (maybe including the ability to drop markers you can target). Bodies that should have dense clouds, like Eve, could require a radar mapper. Atmospheric data gathering could unlock the ability to accurately plot your path through the atmosphere to allow more accurate landings. I'm sure we could think of others.

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On ‎3‎/‎18‎/‎2016 at 3:29 PM, tater said:

The whole clicking to do science, then collect points paradigm is a bad one. It would be better to have better designed science, and have as much as possible actually be useful to the player. For example, a scansat-like form of mapping, and have the mapping adjust how far you can zoom in in map view. High enough res imagery, and you can zoom 1:1 in map view to plan landing sites, etc (maybe including the ability to drop markers you can target). Bodies that should have dense clouds, like Eve, could require a radar mapper. Atmospheric data gathering could unlock the ability to accurately plot your path through the atmosphere to allow more accurate landings. I'm sure we could think of others.

 

I really like this idea, and it fits with having parameters of each celestial body be hidden until you take specific readings there.

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If latitude is going to effect science then I respectfully submit that night and day or longitude should as well.  Maybe not as many zones but add dusk/dawn and sunrise/set to day night and you have a good break up. Some planets you'd set up in one spot and wait others you'd need to move. 

As always I'd prefer science to drop the click at right time system. To more a get the equipment to the right place.

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2 hours ago, mattinoz said:

If latitude is going to effect science then I respectfully submit that night and day or longitude should as well.  Maybe not as many zones but add dusk/dawn and sunrise/set to day night and you have a good break up. Some planets you'd set up in one spot and wait others you'd need to move. 

As always I'd prefer science to drop the click at right time system. To more a get the equipment to the right place.

 

Yeah, that's a good idea. Maybe there could be an additional factor for tidally locked moons?

Not sure what you mean on the second thing.

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On 12/2/2015 at 11:49 PM, Laythe Dweller said:

The Drill-O-Matic Junior could also be used as a sample drill, making surface samples possible for probes. They return 1.5 times the science of an ordinary surface sample.

 

On 12/2/2015 at 11:49 PM, Laythe Dweller said:

Crew reports and EVA reports would give much less science (How much can you learn by looking out the window?)

I disagree with this. This would mean that using a Kerbal would be a waste in basically every scenario.

The way I see it, crew reports and EVA reports are about the Kerbal, not the environment. They take medical readings of the astronauts in the ISS to see how space affects them. This is what I see these reports as being.

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7 hours ago, Choctofliatrio2.0 said:

 

I disagree with this. This would mean that using a Kerbal would be a waste in basically every scenario.

The way I see it, crew reports and EVA reports are about the Kerbal, not the environment. They take medical readings of the astronauts in the ISS to see how space affects them. This is what I see these reports as being.

Not really, as the Drill-O-matic is way more of an investment than bringing along a pod. Plus, Kerbals have other functions, like repairing wheels and resetting experiments.

Not according to the game's science report, and even then, you won't learn more about the effects of microgravity in orbit of Duna than you would in Kerbin orbit.

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I partly agree with this.

IMO the main problem of the career is the science being directly bound to the research of parts, which IRL it isn't always the case.

First thing: get rid of generic science points. Second thing: directly bind some experiments and missions (contracts) to specific parts.

Example: you need better landing gear/rover wheels for the Mun rover. You go to the Mun and gather a few surface samples from different locations, then land the samples safely at Kerbin and recover them. The R&D gets the samples, analyzes them and decide it's very much possible to use a rover on the surface of Mun. Now you can research and build said wheels. They build you a prototype, which you have to test (accept a mission that tells you to do so). Once tested it's now in your 'inventory' and you can use them on your vessels from now on.

There is also a few other things that in my opinion would make the R&D more useful, but I don't want to go offtopic too much since it's only a discussion about the science system.

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4 hours ago, Veeltch said:

I partly agree with this.

IMO the main problem of the career is the science being directly bound to the research of parts, which IRL it isn't always the case.

First thing: get rid of generic science points. Second thing: directly bind some experiments and missions (contracts) to specific parts.

Example: you need better landing gear/rover wheels for the Mun rover. You go to the Mun and gather a few surface samples from different locations, then land the samples safely at Kerbin and recover them. The R&D gets the samples, analyzes them and decide it's very much possible to use a rover on the surface of Mun. Now you can research and build said wheels. They build you a prototype, which you have to test (accept a mission that tells you to do so). Once tested it's now in your 'inventory' and you can use them on your vessels from now on.

There is also a few other things that in my opinion would make the R&D more useful, but I don't want to go offtopic too much since it's only a discussion about the science system.

Yeah, I saw your system earlier, and I liked it a lot. It would really integrate well with this, as you could get data for better heatshields by, say, taking temperature and pressure readings while undergoing reentry, or the aerospike while taking pressure readings of various atmospheres.

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