Conbadicus

What is the deal with these contracts

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The system is absolutely required to be able to generate an infinite number of contracts. To imagine that all those contracts could also be meaningful at the same time is ludicrous. Keep that word "infinite" in mind when thinking about contracts. In the real world, contracts are what someone else wants you to do -- and their desires do not usually perfectly align with your own. So to imagine that contracts would always be helpful in pushing you along to do exactly the things you want to do is also ludicrous.

Career mode makes KSP into a strategy game. You gather resources to make progress in the game. The resources are: science and funds. Contracts are the chores you do to get funds, just as science activities are what you do to get science. If you don't have the patience for strategy games, I can understand that. Maybe career mode just isn't for you. As said above, if you want to exercise your mind while performing contracts, then invent ways to fulfill 3 or more contracts in a single mission -- it can get very inventive and imaginative if you try. And dragging a booster up into midair to fire it does teach you things about the game. Using the sliders in the VAB to adjust weight -- so you can get the altitudes correct. Using aerodynamics on rockets to adjust your orientation, lift, and drag in midair. Which parts have more drag. Which boosters can lift what loads, how far. Details of what staging methods give you more altitude, or more acceleration, or which don't do anything useful at all.

Contracts encourage you to do wacky things with your craft (which you can then learn from), that you would never otherwise have tried. I am currently practicing doing precision aerodynamic landings of return vehicles on the launchpad, to maximize my recovery funds. I expect that this may help me do a lot better on my next mission to Eve.

In the past, I thought the panther engine was woefully underpowered, until multiple contracts forced me to actually learn how to use that engine. Now I love it 10 times more than a Wheesley.

 

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15 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

Absolutely. For example, executing a rendezvous with Minmus without patched conics.Rendezvous/ docking in low orbit without the benefit of target tracking. Do a low Munar flyby for science without solar panels or SAS. Moreover, the challenges of career mode are the type I'd be unlikely to consider when playing sandbox. "Return science from the Mun within this part count/ weight while using only these parts. Turn a profit, do it right the first time, and don't kill anyone". That's a pretty specific set of parameters for sandbox. There are some challenges you just have to run into before you would ever guess you'd need to be able to do them.

 I certainly have "lost" in the past. I learned from my mistakes and the experience of others. I would never have been able to get to this point by merely playing sandbox.

Incorrect. As I said, the contracts are rarely required and completely unnecessary in early career. The point is to gather science and unlock the tech tree without going broke. I plan my missions to achieve this goal within the constraints of career, not just blindly execute contracts. When I execute contracts, that's merely to keep the lights on.

*edit* I think this is where you're hung up. You presume that career mode is merely executing the contracts the game gins up for you. Not the case. You still have to devise/ plan/ and execute your own missions, same as sandbox. You just have to make it happen within whatever limitations career imposes or face bankruptcy. This requires more imagination, not less.

Finally, something we agree on ;)

Best,

-Slashy

Patched conics is an entirely different thing from manoeuvre nodes.
Rendezvous/docking in low without the benefit of target tracking (really, I thought that was always there?) is something you can do in sandbox just by not using map mode.  Or setting the target.
Same with your flyby and Mun science - although actually getting science points would require science mode rather than sandbox.
OR - there is a contradiction between wanting such a specific set of parameters, devised by the mission-generation system, and "the contracts are ... completely unnecessary".

I think neither of us is hung up on this but that where we disagree is that you enjoy being forced into those constraints while I prefer to choose my constraints.

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1 hour ago, Pecan said:

OR - there is a contradiction between wanting such a specific set of parameters, devised by the mission-generation system, and "the contracts are ... completely unnecessary".

Pecan,

 There is no contradiction there at all. There is no "mission generation system" in career. The player generates their own missions just like you do in sandbox, they just find ways to achieve them within the financial and technical constraints career mode imposes. Completing contracts is not required to beat career mode. At least not in the early game (which is what this discussion was originally about).

1 hour ago, Pecan said:

I think neither of us is hung up on this but that where we disagree is that you enjoy being forced into those constraints while I prefer to choose my constraints.

Clearly, although I'd point out that being forced to operate within imposed constraints is more challenging. It certainly doesn't indicate a "lack of imagination" on my part.

 If there's anything I'm hung up on, it's that this thread has absolutely nothing to do with your opinion of career mode, who it's intended for, or how you prefer to play the game. You've bestowed upon us an opinion that nobody asked for, is completely off- topic, and is insulting to half the community.

Best,

-Slashy

Edited by GoSlash27

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There are no constraints at all in sandbox, and frankly, aside from early in a career game, there are nearly no constraints in career, either, then at the end of career... no restraints. What career IS, and what career SHOULD BE are two things that are incredibly far from each other, frankly.

If anyone has played something like Il-2 (a combat flight sim), there is a campaign mode, or short scenarios, then there is an "instant action" mode where you set some parameters of friendly and enemy aircraft around you, then just fight them. Sandbox feels like this to me. OK from time to time, but ultimately unsatisfying. Career in KSP is also ultimately unsatisfying, but only because it is so very poorly executed, I would prefer the progression.

Ultimately, I think career should have a randomized solar system, forcing the player to actually "do science" to learn how to do the missions required. In the real world, Venera 4 told humanity things about Venus that were up to that point unknown, and raised more questions (their pressure sensor maxed out, and the craft didn't even broadcast from the surface). It put the kibosh  on thoughts of manned expeditions to Venus any time in the foreseeable future. That's the kind of thing that would be cool in KSP. Having a range of possible values for a world that make sense---and having to actually send craft there to check it out.

At the very least an AI opponent would be awesome (competing programs with meaningful research/construction time added to the game) because a "space race" would instantly give career an entirely different feel than science or sandbox mode. You'd be forced into making design choices based upon "winning" vs the opponent and safety. Rep would be the score, and loss of kerbals would give you a huge hit, and important "firsts" would give you big plusses. Things like rescues would only occur in the context of the AI opponent failing. To replicate human-designs, the game might have a toggle whereby any player's craft can be shared (complete with mods noted). So a player might be 2 years into the game, and the AI has unlocked a certain array of tech tree nodes. When the AI goes to create a craft for its next goal, it looks at the server, and grabs craft files that fit the goal, using the required constellation of nodes unlocked (i.e.; using parts that is has available).

Initial career settings for such a "space race" variant might include a slider for the relationship between the opponents, as well as they type of rivalry. Types might be commercial and national, for example, and the relationship could go from friendly, to bitter enemies. The relationship value could change via gameplay. So your bitter rival has a failure on orbit, and since the system is using something like KCT has no reduce capability. The player gets a news flash that the USKR has stranded a kerbal in LKO who will die in 15 days (USILS with death). If the player manages a rescue, in addition to scoring Rep, they might change the relationship status towards the friendly end via this act of good will. When that status is sufficiently friendly, the AI might propose a joint mission (and the player is always free to do so, but the AI might reject it if hostile). Anyway, this would be fun to play, IMO.

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23 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

Rescues and satellites are my favorites. Satellites are highly lucrative, quick and easy. Rescues... you're basically getting paid handsomely to sign up experienced kerbonauts.

 

I second that!

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1 hour ago, GoSlash27 said:

 If there's anything I'm hung up on, it's that this thread has absolutely nothing to do with your opinion of career mode, who it's intended for, or how you prefer to play the game. You've bestowed upon us an opinion that nobody asked for, is completely off- topic, and is insulting to half the community.

I completely fail to see how constaints are more challenging for being 'forced' than self-imposed.  Much more importantly though I have, since my first post in this thread, been replying to your/tater's comments.  If you think I'm insulting you or anyone else then I'm disappointed in you for several reasons.

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1 hour ago, Pecan said:

I completely fail to see how constaints are more challenging for being 'forced' than self-imposed.

That's self- evident. If you were able to see it, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

1 hour ago, Pecan said:

If you think I'm insulting you or anyone else then I'm disappointed in you for several reasons.

 How terrible that must be for you! It must be difficult to handle such wrenching disappointment, especially during the holidays! :(

*Aaaanyway...* Back on topic.

Yeah, the early contracts suck. But since you can get through the early career without them, it's not really a problem. By the time you actually need to take contracts, they'll be better.

Best,

-Slashy

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Anywho, I hope the OP is getting it figured out. (Another way out of the early grind is to either start a career with some extra dough or make the rewards give a bit more $$$, even 110% is a comfortable money cushion).

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On 12/29/2015 at 0:37 PM, Conbadicus said:

So, I've put hundreds of hours into ksp and finally decided to give these contracts a go. The first 3 are great, milestones such as launch your first ship, orbit, etc.
Following that, immediately I get a ton of stupid contracts that make absolute no sense.

Haul a booster into flight above Kerbin.  Ok sure, this makes sense. DERP except It has to go between 23 and 28km alt... ANnnnnd be traveling at 250kmh, or what ever it was.  This led to several test flights fine tuning fuling vs thrust, ascent angle, etc. Eventually I just gave up on the contract.  Way too tedius, reward completely not worth the time. 
Same for parachutes, really? get a craft to a specific height and speed? 
Ferry 4 people to ___ location. What the hell I don't even have space to carry these people and I wont for a couple more science nodes.

I understand we need lots of stuff to do to earn money but... these are killing me.

^ The original post. Can we please get back on topic?

Best,

-Slashy

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6 minutes ago, tater said:

ObOnTopic: contracts are bad because they were tacked on.

tater,

 Honestly, I think the whole game was tacked- on. It's a work in progress. But of course there ain't nuthin' we can do about that ;)

 How do you handle bad contracts in early career?

Happy New Year,

-Slashy

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Some posts have been removed from this thread or edited. Please do not resort to personal insults. 

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I don't take any that don't interest me, or cannot be folded into the mission I have already planned for myself. In the latest 365 career I mentioned above (I think I mentioned it), getting to the Mun and back with Kerbals is non-trivial early career (I need about 10km/s dv assuming some slop in there to do so). So I took some contracts that were coincident with some probe missions I undertook to unlock stuff I require to get larger craft to the mun and back.

In sandbox, I'd have just built my apollo-like craft and I would have accomplished it over a beer my first night playing.

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2 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

 How do you handle bad contracts in early career?

The offers for the contracts go away in a few days, or even hours, while you usually have years to fulfill them after you accept them.

So, watch those times, but get rid of the bad ones by going to the space center scene and fast forwarding to when they go away.

 

The ones I avoid are usually the "low altitude at high speed" tests and the high altitude surveys.

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to OP:

Since you have so many hours spending on KSP.

How is you opinion about getting to the Minmus orbit in Tier-0 (Fresh career game with nothing upgrade/unlock) with your current skill/design capability?

 

I assume this.:- You need more hours in KSP.

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44 minutes ago, Sirine said:

to OP:

Since you have so many hours spending on KSP.

How is you opinion about getting to the Minmus orbit in Tier-0 (Fresh career game with nothing upgrade/unlock) with your current skill/design capability?

 

I assume this.:- You need more hours in KSP.

Haven't tried that personally but something like that is far easier than some of these contracts. So, missing your point.

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47 minutes ago, Sirine said:

to OP:

Since you have so many hours spending on KSP.

How is you opinion about getting to the Minmus orbit in Tier-0 (Fresh career game with nothing upgrade/unlock) with your current skill/design capability?

 

I assume this.:- You need more hours in KSP.

"Your opinion is invalid because you're a nub.  LRN2KSP"

Love this forum sometimes.

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7 hours ago, Sirine said:

to OP:

Since you have so many hours spending on KSP.

How is you opinion about getting to the Minmus orbit in Tier-0 (Fresh career game with nothing upgrade/unlock) with your current skill/design capability?

 

I assume this.:- You need more hours in KSP.

Could you elaborate a bit? Are you claiming that you can do this, or that the OP assumes that he can do this?

I'm not seeing how this is helpful.

Best,

-Slashy

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13 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

Could you elaborate a bit? Are you claiming that you can do this, or that the OP assumes that he can do this?

I'm not seeing how this is helpful.

Best,

-Slashy

Doing it solve the OP money|science points problem, which eliminate the needs of getting some so call 'difficult' contracts.

Those contracts itself are not difficult if you can do it skillfully.

Understanding the rewards in gameplay environment is part of the experience. 

Gaining skills in design vs gaining in game money and science are two different things. 

Fulfill contract are more towards skills.

To earn science and money, go explore.

:)

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5 minutes ago, Sirine said:

Doing it solve the OP money|science points problem, which eliminate the needs of getting some so call 'difficult' contracts.

Those contracts itself are not difficult if you can do it skillfully.

Understanding the rewards in gameplay environment is part of the experience. 

Gaining skills in design vs gaining in game money and science are two different things. 

Fulfill contract are more towards skills.

To earn science and money, go explore.

:)

Sorry, I'm still not understanding what you're trying to say.

 Are you suggesting that you can get to Minmus orbit at career Tier zero? Or that the OP should be able to? Or that the OP should know that he cannot?

 How does this relate to the original question?

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3 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

Sorry, I'm still not understanding what you're trying to say.

 Are you suggesting that you can get to Minmus orbit at career Tier zero? Or that the OP should be able to? Or that the OP should know that he cannot?

 How does this relate to the original question?

OP tend to think that to get money = to fulfill contract.

I'm telling OP explore get more money in early stage, compared with fulfilling contracts.

And to do that, you need skill. Hence, spend more time in Ksp.

And to answer your question, yes, yes and yes.

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Sirine,

 I agree with the reasoning that exploring pays better than contracts, but if you seriously believe that you can get to Minmus orbit without unlocking parts or upgrading facilities, then you are sadly mistaken and perhaps it is *you* who needs more practice.

Happy New Year,

-Slashy

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3 hours ago, GoSlash27 said:

Sirine,

 I agree with the reasoning that exploring pays better than contracts, but if you seriously believe that you can get to Minmus orbit without unlocking parts or upgrading facilities, then you are sadly mistaken and perhaps it is *you* who needs more practice.

Happy New Year,

-Slashy

Slashy,

I can put 10 Kerbals in 2 launch to Mun. Precision land and take a party photo.

In 0.18 Demo version of KSP.

If you think launch pad limits you. You are limiting yourself, think outside the box.

Perhaps you might want to figure it out how I make 2 launch to Mun with 10 Kerbals.

Yes. I can make it to Minmus. With .... You guess? Kerbals Engineer or Meckjeb told you it can't be done? You are wrong.

Happy New Year,

-Sirine 

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Uhh... what on Earth does .18 Demo have to do with 1.05 career?

In 1.05 career, you cannot "orbit Minmus at tier zero with no upgrades" as you claimed. You can't even make Kerbin orbit. If you think you can, have at it:

If you had spent more time following your own advice and less time belittling others, you would know this.

Happy New Year,

-Slashy

 

Edited by GoSlash27

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Regarding exploration paying better in career than contracts, I think I am unsure what the "milestones" pay out. Certainly the science rewards are virtually all from doing, not contracts, but what about funds? Honestly, funds are never a problem for me in career, so I think I have not actually paid attention to what if anything is earned by milestones funds-wise.

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