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My Disappointment in Career mode and 1.0 in a Whole


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Wat I fink is.

I don't want to be given contracts for stuff I was going to do anyway, whats the point, I could just play sandbox or science mode and just do entirely what I want. I like that a contact may appear that makes me change or alter my plans, or may make me plan to do something I never intended. 

 

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42 minutes ago, Wallygator said:

In my simple world I replaced the word 'contract' with 'quest', vomited a few times and then reverted to all sandbox play. 

 

They really are basically side quests. Something major must be done to make Career mode better.

33 minutes ago, trebizond79 said:

What about competition? The contracts would work much better (as far as I'm concerned) if I had someone on the other side of the Kerbal Curtain to try to beat to the punch, as it were. At the moment, they just feel like hoops to jump through, but if I knew that the Kerviets were about put Kergarin in orbit and the clock was ticking, I'd be much more motivated :)

 

 

Something like this. Having an adversary could be what's needed.

Then again, there's something to be said for the humankind (kerbalkind) vs. environment narrative. It worked for The Martian, after all. Having a time-based funding model and being forced to explore or lose funding could be what's needed.

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On 15/12/2015 at 3:45 PM, Speedbird said:

 I do not want to get a mission to build a station! I do not want to build stations for the sake of fulfilling missions, I want to build the stations to gather science! I want missions that use the stations, not missions that make me send up stations!

...

 can make this game fun for me again, or has this game just taken a course that does not appeal to me?

 

This backwardness is what's put me off career too.  It's functional as a way to earn points from doing space things, but not a great way to make it feel like you're running a space program, and that's what I wanted from career.

I think this is why career isn't working for many people. It's sort of answers some basic needs, (it tests your ability to build and fly missions on a budget, it requires you to have some idea of what's feasible and what not,) But the way it does it, it feels more like your a launch provider, a contractor like Space X, than a full space program like NASA or Esa. The systems in place let you earn money and progress, but coming up with plans of your own takes a back-seat to fulfilling the plans of others.

Another problem is the lack of time based mechanics. If we had to contend with costs over time- playing crew wages, deal with life support, etc, then we could have gains per time- from Kerbals doing research, monthly grants etc. Then timewarp becomes an issue of cost/benifit balance. 

Similarly, there's too much focus on things that are over and done with before long. A better career mode would not make ticking of the parts list, list of building upgrades, list of biomes,  but instead focus on getting the player to develop more advanced parts of their space program. Bases, stations, continual monitoring and exploration of the solar system could all be ways to earn the benefits in the aforesaid cost benefit balance.  

My ideal form of career would put the player back in control. Instead of doing things because contracts ask you, you'll be given reasons of your own. For example, if budget was partially based on rep and your rate of science collection, (and maybe a few other factors like what millstones you'd already achieved so far, with the budget for that time period based on what you've achieved in that time period, so you don't earn if nothing's happened.) you could look at the chats (data you've already collected,) and identify a good spot for a research base. Similarly, there couldn't be criteria which makes an area attractive for tourists, so if you land a base there, it's more likely to attract interest from paying guests.

They  key difference is where in contracts, the details are worked out for you, here, you work them out yourself. 

Many parts of the system are almost there. Contracts already provide away of judging space activity, but it falls short by taking control away from the player, and not providing away for them to come up with their own goals, and get rewards from the. Contextual contracts almost gets it, but there are a few subtitle, but key differences that ruin it as it is.

 

(I'd also like science that's more like actually doing something, rather than a click to collect, but that's a rant for another time.) 

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8 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

To be more fair, exiting the screen, time warping 4 days, going back in, checking the contracts, exiting back out, time warping 4 more days, going back in, and repeating a dozen times or more because the system keeps generating contracts for things you obviously don't want to do can take quite some time. Time that I could instead be playing a video game.

Well, if you've got to the stage where you don't have other missions needing attention, more moons to explore, or new Eve return craft to test, all of which will involve quite a bit of warping before you even think about checking the contracts out, then to be fair I would say we're out of the realms of "I don't like the contracts" and more into the land of "I want an expansion pack".

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11 minutes ago, Plusck said:

Well, if you've got to the stage where you don't have other missions needing attention, more moons to explore, or new Eve return craft to test, all of which will involve quite a bit of warping before you even think about checking the contracts out, then to be fair I would say we're out of the realms of "I don't like the contracts" and more into the land of "I want an expansion pack".

So checking back to Mission Control every 4 days while time warping while 3 ships are each on a year-long transfer to other planets isn't bad gameplay?

I'm in Mission Control because I want a contract. If I can't get one 99% of the time and the only (and poorly implemented) way to get new ones penalizes me either monitarily or with a (real-life) time consuming rigmarole, then why is the building even in the game?

And no. I don't have an Eve return craft to test. Because I'm trying to play the game they designed here and there aren't any Eve Return contracts. Too bad I can't easily regenerate them.

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On Mittwoch, 16. Dezember 2015 at 5:45 AM, Speedbird said:

but it no longer displays my ships temperature! I hate it when a bar appears on the top of my spacecraft whenever it gets too hot or aerodynamically stressed! I need advice, is there anyway I can make this game fun for me again, or has this game just taken a course that does not appeal to me?

then put a 2 HOT thermometer on your vehicle and toogle the display :P

 

for me i had started career mode over and over again with newer bigger updates and changes and everytime i do it better, that actually i reduced the payout in funds, science and reputation to 40%

 

Edited by diggzakk
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On 2015/12/16 at 6:45 AM, Speedbird said:

 

Hi guys as the title says career mode has left me disappointed.

.

Have you ever seen a space agency fire a rocket 17000 meters high just to test a jet engine?

.

Whats more, even if I do find some good mission mods, chances are I will be flooded with boring missions!

.

I need advice, is there anyway I can make this game fun for me again

To answer these in sequence:

*As has your posting.

*Yes. 5 minutes of googling brings up 3 separate references to exactly this. Just because you cannot conceive it, does not make it inconceivable.

*You have a low boredom threshold, and a very pessimistic outlook on life.

*You have a low boredom threshold. This is usually caused by a low imagination activation.

Stop finding fault with the world, and start finding the FUN in the world.

KSP is a GAME! You are supposed to be having fun. It is a wide-open universe full of rich opportunities, new discoveries, and daunting challenges.

But in the end, it is up to you to *decide* to enjoy it.

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Imho the entire procedural generation scheme for missions needs to be scrapped.  There are a thousand different potential missions.  Having some brain dead algorithm churn out a handful at a time without any human curation will always end in grind.  What makes science mode remotely fun is that it allows players to set their own goals and be rewarded for completing those goals.  In career mode you goals are determined by a hairbrained droid.  There are countless ways to do this.  Any gamer can come up with countless schemes, none of which would require grinding out tourist contracts.

 

Squad also has to stop chasing reviewers.  They are far to focused on the early game, and by early I mean the first HOUR.  They care because that's the part of the game that gets reviewed.  It's what gets youtube's attention when a game is new and unknown.  But KSP is past that.  The youtube crowd has all but forgotten KSP.  Just look at number of 100k+ videos.  They aren't there anymore and neither are any original playthroughs.  The few vids that do exist (Manley) rely heavily on mods.  Squad needs to focus on keeping the game fun beyond that first hour so that youtubers will have a reason to return.  Bumping up the rewards for the first load of junk contracts isn't enough.  They need something fundamentally new.  I just hope they can bring themselves to admit past mistakes, a very hard thing to do from the mindset of a perpetual startup.

Edited by Sandworm
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Most of the extra stuff in Career that isn't in Science feels kinda dull and tacked-on. Administrative business strategies? What is this, Space Program Tycoon? I thought KSP was a rocket construction and space exploration simulator...

I do find contracts (mainly the rescue missions) are sometimes helpful when you're bored and need a random thing to do, but the trouble is that most contracts are themselves boring. And other than the tourism ones, it makes very little sense that some private entity is paying you to do these things. Real life space agencies don't get funds from corporations; in fact, it's often the other way around.

The other issue is they're kinda grindy; you have to do assigned missions to pay for missions you want to do, in a sandbox game? How about awarding reputation based on any accomplishments (instead of only the ones currently assigned to you), removing it for deaths and disasters, and getting a steady salary of funds based on reputation? That would be a better way to make the game more "gamey" without making it a completely different kind of game.

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I`ve said for a while and I continue to think that a good way to handle career would be to have different trees which have different biases for example, real life tree would start with rovers then jets then better jets then early unmanned spaceflight then eventually manned spaceflight and so forth.

I would imagine a real life tree, manned and unmanned space trees (manned space is the current tree) and a few others for variety.

Barring the best solution of a fully customisable tree this would be better than current and keep gameplay interesting for career players.

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5 hours ago, MarvinKitFox said:

To answer these in sequence:

*As has your posting.

*Yes. 5 minutes of googling brings up 3 separate references to exactly this. Just because you cannot conceive it, does not make it inconceivable.

*You have a low boredom threshold, and a very pessimistic outlook on life.

*You have a low boredom threshold. This is usually caused by a low imagination activation.

Stop finding fault with the world, and start finding the FUN in the world.

KSP is a GAME! You are supposed to be having fun. It is a wide-open universe full of rich opportunities, new discoveries, and daunting challenges.

But in the end, it is up to you to *decide* to enjoy it.

Wow, that was rude as hell. It is not his fault. Career mods is quite frankly a joke. It's a weakly implemented poorly thought out mess. And reduces an amazing game and its many possibilities into a part unlocking yawn fest filled with nonsense, pointless, boring missions.

He is right to be krakened. it is a MASSIVE wasted opportunity.

 

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I've not ever gotten very far in career mode (I have gotten far in Science mode).  At some point between achieving Kerbin orbit and orbiting a moon, I simply find it being not particularly enjoyable anymore.  That's when I go back to playing Sandbox mode.  Your mileage may vary, but that's what I get out of the different modes.

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9 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

So checking back to Mission Control every 4 days while time warping while 3 ships are each on a year-long transfer to other planets isn't bad gameplay?

I'm in Mission Control because I want a contract. If I can't get one 99% of the time and the only (and poorly implemented) way to get new ones penalizes me either monitarily or with a (real-life) time consuming rigmarole, then why is the building even in the game?

And no. I don't have an Eve return craft to test. Because I'm trying to play the game they designed here and there aren't any Eve Return contracts. Too bad I can't easily regenerate them.

Well, give me a couple of years and I'm sure I'd happily pass you my "bring 2400 ore from Eve to Gilly" contract if I could.

But please, don't twist the very clear points I was making. You do your stuff, you work on completing the contracts you have already accepted, and hey presto! a whole new slew of contracts have appeared while you were away. Nobody is suggesting you should obsessively consult mission control every 4 days just so that you don't miss the golden-egg-laying contract of your dreams.

Career is a great way for beginning-to-middling players to feel rewarded for their efforts, stimulated into new enterprises and pushed beyond the basic fill-the-science-tree goal. And of course, some of those players won't appreciate it but prefer science/sandbox modes, and some will wish it was something completely different. However, I'm pretty sure that the ones who are most vocal critics of it are those who have already done all that and more, have pushed their value-for-money from buying the game down to about $0.05 an hour or less (maybe far less), and really shouldn't need the contract system to be providing the main focus for whatever they are doing. And in the meantime, the beginner-to-middling player should really have more than enough going on not to be constantly scouring the contract system for that rare lvl 30+ enchantment or whatever.

So yes, of course the contract system could be improved, but I get the distinct feeling that some of the gripes expressed here are less about the contract system being bad, and more about wanting more content, period.

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7 hours ago, kotomikun said:

Most of the extra stuff in Career that isn't in Science feels kinda dull and tacked-on. Administrative business strategies? What is this, Space Program Tycoon? I thought KSP was a rocket construction and space exploration simulator...

To be fair. Career mode has always been pitched as "tycoon style space program gameplay" on the squad website.

I don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with career mode... I like it. I let contracts dictate my missions, and I have fun doing it. "If you aint paying, I aint going." is my motto.

What I dislike is how unintelligent the system is. My contract acceptance rate is about 1 in 5, which isn't great. It would probably be even less if I didn't use contract packs.

Edited by severedsolo
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11 hours ago, diggzakk said:

then put a 2 HOT thermometer on your vehicle and toogle the display :P

 

for me i had started career mode over and over again with newer bigger updates and changes and everytime i do it better, that actually i reduced the payout in funds, science and reputation to 40%

 

Gotta toogle that display. Google my toogle!

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6 hours ago, Plusck said:

So yes, of course the contract system could be improved, but I get the distinct feeling that some of the gripes expressed here are less about the contract system being bad, and more about wanting more content, period.

We agree on this part, for sure, though I'd say those are two sides of the same coin. Part of the reason we're lacking content is because the two buildings that were added specifically for career don't add much gameplay.

And I'll admit I've not played career in 1.0.5. I got into a fun Science Mode game in 1.0.4 and then Fallout came out so I've not played much. But I can recall multiple instances where I was in orbit around Mun with some extra fuel and thought to myself, "Well let's knock out a contract or two hmmm?" and then spent several minutes declining "take people into sub-orbit", "rescue some fool from Kerbin orbit", and "Test some part while ejecting from Minmus". It was bad enough that I had to keep saying "no, no no" to what was essentially the SAME CONTRACTS, and I wasn't losing rep or time for it. In the end, I'd actually just decline 10 or so and if I didn't get what I wanted (pretty much every time) I'd just give up.

Maybe this new system is in place specifically to keep people from going through what I went through. Make it SO BAD that the player won't even bother with it at all. It's worked for me!

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The career system in KSP feels slapped together and incoherent, and it's been that way since day one, like it was added because some unimaginative people were crying about not being able to set goals for themselves in a sandbox game and thus needed it forced on them.  Far from being a "space program simulator", as advertised, we got a lackluster and unimaginative "side quest system".  It's bad and it will always be bad for a great many reasons, chief amongst those the ridiculously unbelievable paywalling of gameplay features masquerading as "progression" and the utterly random, and barely topical, goal generation that kills any hopes of the player meaningfully steering their space program while penalizing them (under default settings) for even daring to try by playing the "slot machine".

In short, OP, you're not alone.

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On 12/24/2015 at 3:27 PM, Majorjim said:

Wow, that was rude as hell. It is not his fault. Career mods is quite frankly a joke. It's a weakly implemented poorly thought out mess. And reduces an amazing game and its many possibilities into a part unlocking yawn fest filled with nonsense, pointless, boring missions.

He is right to be krakened. it is a MASSIVE wasted opportunity.

 

I should add that KSP as a sandbox is one of the finest gaming experiences you can have. I just think Squad dropped the ball on the career mode. Planet sparse-ness is a big factor in this.

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On December 24, 2015 at 7:52 PM, trebizond79 said:

What about competition? The contracts would work much better (as far as I'm concerned) if I had someone on the other side of the Kerbal Curtain to try to beat to the punch, as it were. At the moment, they just feel like hoops to jump through, but if I knew that the Kerviets were about put Kergarin in orbit and the clock was ticking, I'd be much more motivated :)

 

 

I am working on a similar mod.  It's still in VERY early stages, and quite unstable.

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On 12/16/2015 at 10:45 PM, Speedbird said:

Hi guys as the title says career mode has left me disappointed. In order to launch missions, I need money, and while that all sounds great at first, it actually is not, and that is the missions themselves fault. They are ridiculously specific, making them take a lot of time and energy to accomplish, but they are also ridiculously boring! Have you ever seen a space agency fire a rocket 17000 meters high just to test a jet engine? The money system and the boring missions combined keeps me from doing things I really want to do, like flying to the Mun, gathering science, building space stations, launching satellites ect. You could suggest that I download mission mods, but the thing is no mods fulfill what I want to do! I do not want to get a mission to build a station! I do not want to build stations for the sake of fulfilling missions, I want to build the stations to gather science! I want missions that use the stations, not missions that make me send up stations! Whats more, even if I do find some good mission mods, chances are I will be flooded with boring missions! I could just play Science mode, but then the boredom of being able to launch how ever many ships I want, no matter the outcome, strikes me hard! Its not just career mode that left me disappointed, its the whole of 1.0! Many of my favorite mods have not been updated, but that is not Squads fault. Deadly Reentry, one of my favorite mods is obsolete! The new version is good, but it no longer displays my ships temperature! I hate it when a bar appears on the top of my spacecraft whenever it gets too hot or aerodynamically stressed! I need advice, is there anyway I can make this game fun for me again, or has this game just taken a course that does not appeal to me?

You can get the temperatures to display again real easily; they built a hidden option into the stock game. Alt+F12 and under the physics->thermo tab there is an option along the lines of "show temp in context menu" or something to that effect. It shows temperature and a whole lot of other temperature data (such as thermodynamic flux).

Now, I have been playing KSP for two or three years (since version 0.20).  And I have gone through the "bored" phases. I've been known to play KSP non-stop for three or four months, go to another game, then come back. Especially with version releases. 0.23.5 was the version that I really loved, and is probably my favorite version of the game; it was the version directly before they released contracts in 0.24. 0.24 was good as well. When 0.25 came out, I went on to other things for a while. I came back with the release of 0.90, and I am currently on 1.0.4 (I haven't migrated my saves to 1.0.5 yet). 

But I always come back to KSP. There's just something about the game that Squad has right; that freedom to go and explore and do whatever the heck I want, much to the dismay of Jeb. Contracts are not meant to restrict you; it is up to you to determine whether a contract is accepted or not. Yes, contracts bring in money. That amount of money can be adjusted; I have my payouts set to 10x just so I can avoid grinding and so I can fund the things that I want to do, such as the Sparky mission (that mission to Eeloo that my wife is making me do). I currently have $80 million saved up, which is more than enough to fund whatever the heck I want to do. 

I wouldn't suggest downloading other contract mods. But I would suggest downloading the Outer planets mod. It is quite good, and opens up more exploration possibilities. It's also of some very good quality, and appears to be professionally done and is seamless with the stock game. Another thing I would suggest is get into the modding scene. If you are unhappy with the current contracts, then make your own. With a mod called contract configurator, making contract mods is simply as modifying a text file.

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On 12/16/2015 at 9:45 PM, Speedbird said:

Hi guys as the title says career mode has left me disappointed. In order to launch missions, I need money, and while that all sounds great at first, it actually is not, and that is the missions themselves fault. They are ridiculously specific, making them take a lot of time and energy to accomplish, but they are also ridiculously boring! Have you ever seen a space agency fire a rocket 17000 meters high just to test a jet engine? The money system and the boring missions combined keeps me from doing things I really want to do, like flying to the Mun, gathering science, building space stations, launching satellites ect. You could suggest that I download mission mods, but the thing is no mods fulfill what I want to do! I do not want to get a mission to build a station! I do not want to build stations for the sake of fulfilling missions, I want to build the stations to gather science! I want missions that use the stations, not missions that make me send up stations! Whats more, even if I do find some good mission mods, chances are I will be flooded with boring missions! I could just play Science mode, but then the boredom of being able to launch how ever many ships I want, no matter the outcome, strikes me hard! Its not just career mode that left me disappointed, its the whole of 1.0! Many of my favorite mods have not been updated, but that is not Squads fault. Deadly Reentry, one of my favorite mods is obsolete! The new version is good, but it no longer displays my ships temperature! I hate it when a bar appears on the top of my spacecraft whenever it gets too hot or aerodynamically stressed! I need advice, is there anyway I can make this game fun for me again, or has this game just taken a course that does not appeal to me?

You could always fly aircraft missions: 

A fun, repeatable way to make money, earn science, and reputation - using aircraft!. See link in my sig. In development, will be released very very soon.

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The same things are said in every thread about career. It's a mess. It's also entirely tangled together with the science and tech tree elements of the game to the point that the idea of fixing contracts is quite pointless. It needs a reboot. Squad's claim of tycoon-like make little sense, particularly when there is no AI to the kerbals (it's not program management if you are required to do every single thing yourself---and this is coming from someone who has never even downloaded mechjeb to try it).

 

As was said above, a foil would be ideal, and it's implied in the current system (this stranded kerbals must come from competing programs). To do it properly requires a computer-controlled adversary, and time as a meaningful game element (things need to take time, in other words). There are other possibilities for a decent career mode, of course, but honestly a space race is the most promising, IMHO. One idea would be a sort of offline multiplayer aspect. You check a box in kip that allows craft-sharing, and there could be a KSP server that archives craft files that are attached to career game states (tech tree stuff unlocked, etc). Your AI opponent could then present you with a competing craft that it borrowed from the library of player-designed craft files that have matching gamestates to the current position of the opponent in the space race. Ie: the opponent has all the first 3 tech nodes unlocked, plus one of the next nodes. The game could search for appropriate craft that use only parts that are contained in those nodes, that way if the player stumbles across an AI craft, or is tasked with rescuing one, they will be novel.

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The biggest problem with career for me, and I like career, is that the missions are all random. I get that the missions are offered by many different companies, but still it would be nice to have missions kind of nested so, "Oh, we want you to fly to the Mun and gather science." So the next mission from that company would be to build a space station either on the Mun or orbiting. Then they could say since they liked how well I did with the Mun, now I could try Minmus, or Duna.

 

It kind of does that but each mission is basically non-interconnected with any of the others.

 

I noticed the rep hit - I don't think that used to be there because before I quit for something like 5-6 months, I remember clicking through them and people saying that is how it was done. Now, if I don't like them, I go to the space center and accelerate time and then come back and a whole bunch of new missions are posted.

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2 hours ago, joekidd1992 said:

The biggest problem with career for me, and I like career, is that the missions are all random.

...

It kind of does that but each mission is basically non-interconnected with any of the others.

 

Great point, joekidd. World firsts, and later contextual contracts, were attempts to create some kind of progression and continuity, but I agree with you that it didn't do enough. Squad has probably put a good amount of time into tweaking what contracts arrive at what reputation levels and after what achievements have been made in the game (like achieving orbit, reaching Duna, etc.), too, but again it's just sugar coating a pill -- it still only spits out random contracts, so there is no sense of narrative or story.

While I personally would rather see an overhaul of career, having contract chains (kind of like quest chains in MMORPGs as much as I hate that system, but anyway...) could help. For example, complete an "Explore Duna" contract and the next contract is to get temperature readings from a specific location around Duna's equator, followed by a temperature reading at both poles. It would feel more like scientists are trying to map something out instead of "hey, we'll pay you 50,000 funds for yet another temperature reading of space high above Duna, from that one satellite in the same orbit you got the temperature reading from the last twelve times."

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I tend to think the contract system is nowhere near as broken as some here seem to think, but I do agree there's something missing. I started a thread about it nearby. I've read this thread carefully and though this doesn't cover everyone, the central desire most players seem to have is wanting to decide where to go next. They're looking at the tracking station or the VAB and thinking "Okay I want to do a Mun mission" or "Let's see if I can land and return from Eve", and then they go to Mission Control and there's no mission available to do that. Going places is the game, everything else is in essence a side-quest. These can be fun! And I think its actually important to inject unexpected constraints and rewards to stretch players' imaginations sometimes. 

To me then this is really all about the Explore X and World First contracts. They are the main quest. My suggestion is that they show up from the very beginning, and the reward can be collected if you're good enough. Rep really should be tied to gaining the advance, and players ought to be able to easily see how much more rep they need to get it so they can plan ahead. What's nice is that players can still explore the system in any order they like, so long as they have the skill to make that profitable. Thats where the random contract system comes in--offering players optional missions and mission add-ons that boost the profitably of their program. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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