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There's a shortage of missions I want to do...

I'm basically stuck... I've got a wall of focus survey missions and orbital tourists... and orbital part testing... missions that I either don't want to do or don't have the tech to safely do.  What's missing are return science from X and Suborbital tourist and launch pad part testing.

Tourist missions should always be a step behind what you do with a full astronaut. I barely put one kerbal in orbit.  Tourist missions should not be orbital at this point.  They should be suborbital to allow you to repeatedly practice.  I have the tech to put one Kerbal in orbit... not one and 2 passengers... I should be getting more put 1 kerbal in orbit missions... maybe with different altitudes and inclinations... With all the changes I'm relearning how to do things... and one orbital mission does not make me an expert... I need several repeats to practice and gain confidence before moving on to the next... and the missions available to me should support this learning without me having to do launches with no missions associated with them... 

And now that declining missions costs you reputation... I can't decline everything until I get what I want.  I'll have to timewarp until they expire... 

 

I'm on normal difficulty without any modifications.  I'm trying to see what the normal career experience would feel like to a new person.  I thought the missions were supposed to give you things you've done and evidently like not fill up with things you avoid...

My tech level is into the third tier.  I've got batteries and struts. 

Edited by FITorion

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7 minutes ago, FITorion said:

And now that declining missions costs you reputation... I can't decline everything until I get what I want.  I'll have to timewarp until they expire... 

This is what has you stuck. Don't think of declining as a penalty, think of it as an investment. When you decline now, you lose one or two reputation, but you also lower the weight of the type of contract you declined, which makes it rarer. You are spending reputation to see that contract less in the future. Think of it as, the agency is somewhat dismayed that they have to take their business elsewhere, but they will remember not to bring this stuff to you in the future.

Also, in the early game, there are less contract options, so the weights have a bit less of an effect. It is still pretty noticeable though.

Edited by Arsonide

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The contract paradigm is fundamentally flawed.

In the case of weighting, take OP's examples of orbital contracts he lacks the tech to complete. He then follows your advice and "invests" rep in rejecting them, causing those contracts to go away. Great. Now, he gets a few he can do, gains the tech to do the orbital contracts... but they are no longer offered, because he already told the game he hates them.

If the contract system is never going to go away, then at least the contracts should be interesting, reasonable, and rational. Very few contracts even meet one of those criteria.

EDIT: I should add that I realize that there is a semi-truck full of lemons (the entire career/contract system) and you're making lemonade with them. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the contract system, and it's a non-trivial task to design any sort of decent career system with the contracts as a backbone.

It tends to seem, well, random.

 

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There are some amazing Contract packs out there, made by some nice modders. Those clearly show the potential of the contract system. With contacts depending on each other, this gives much more purpose to the Career System then the stock ones, IMHO.

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2 hours ago, Arsonide said:

When you decline now, you lose one or two reputation, but you also lower the weight of the type of contract you declined, which makes it rarer.

How many declines weights it enough to never see it again?  Like, I never, ever want to see those stupid part test contracts appear in my list since they remove a chance for a much more lucrative and interesting contract to appear kind of never again.

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25 minutes ago, regex said:

How many declines weights it enough to never see it again?  Like, I never, ever want to see those stupid part test contracts appear in my list since they remove a chance for a much more lucrative and interesting contract to appear kind of never again.

There is a setting for that in Gamedata/SQUAD/Contracts/contracts.fcg lines 6 and 7

WeightAcceptDelta = 1 // How much accepting contracts affects their weight

WeightDeclineDelta = -10 // How much declining contracts affects their weight

The values above are NOT THE DEFAULT VALUES! I already fiddled with them and a lot of other values in that file but was to stupid to make a backup of the file first :D
  

Problem is that the "Reset Contract Weights" in the ALT+F12 Window dont seems to work. At least it makes no difference in the contracts offered.

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2 hours ago, regex said:

How many declines weights it enough to never see it again?  Like, I never, ever want to see those stupid part test contracts appear in my list since they remove a chance for a much more lucrative and interesting contract to appear kind of never again.

Then disable part test contracts by disallowing them from appearing at all. You don't need weights to do that. You already know that, because we've already discussed it. :P The weighting system is partially implemented in 1.1, and does not include planetary weighting, which will be implemented in a future patch.

4 hours ago, tater said:

In the case of weighting, take OP's examples of orbital contracts he lacks the tech to complete. He then follows your advice and "invests" rep in rejecting them, causing those contracts to go away. Great. Now, he gets a few he can do, gains the tech to do the orbital contracts... but they are no longer offered, because he already told the game he hates them.

This is not how the weights work. They will become less common, but they will still show up, and accepting contracts has a lower threshold for raising the weight than declining them does. It is also not entirely boolean when he tells the game he "hates" something. The game keeps levels of interest that shift over time, not like/hate flags that instantaneously flip. The feedback during experimentals has been positive. If you have tried it, but it is not working for you, then that is feedback we need to discuss and address during the pre-release.

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How fine are the weighting categories...

Like If I accept single passenger tourist contracts and decline the multipassenger ones?  

Or accept the landed part testing and decline the inflight ones?

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The weights are per template for the moment, and in the future will also include the planets the contracts are targeting. Specific details of each contract that are not present in all contracts are not weighted at this time.

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One of the Problems I ran into is that I don't get any "science from around body" atm. I put a cheap probe around Kerbin and Mun and thought I'd trigger additional science missions. So far no cigar. I declined a couple of aerial survey missions and now I'm wondering if they are related or if I actually have to send a Kerbal on a Mun flyby.

I think we need a wider variety of missions being offered at the same time. I would like to cut a few corners occasionally. Maybe send a probe to Duna and Eve before I even go to Mun and Minmus. I'd really like to grab all Mun related contracts and only send one big mission. Can we get flyby, science from around, surface sample, flag... all at the same time. I hate having to go back to the space center several times in hope to finally get the missions related to what I'm currently doing.

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1 hour ago, Col_Jessep said:

I would like to cut a few corners occasionally. Maybe send a probe to Duna and Eve before I even go to Mun and Minmus. I'd really like to grab all Mun related contracts and only send one big mission. Can we get flyby, science from around, surface sample, flag... all at the same time. I hate having to go back to the space center several times in hope to finally get the missions related to what I'm currently doing.

This. But my solution would be (as I've seen others suggest) to have buttons in mission control to let you specify your preferences before hand (and not let the system guess my preferences after I select a contract.) Would it really be so bad for the game to have toggable buttons so I can choose for example: "I want contracts on/around the mun and minmus, with part tests, tourists and space station building" and these choices would count towards the weight of those contracts? Ie let you directly influence the weight of the contract, but still use 1.1s system, so some randomness would remain. This way the wheighting would reflect where I want to go, not where I've been.

(But I would even more like some seperate, overarcing "main missions" where I could choose "I want to explore the Mun", which would both affect the weighting of the contracts, but also give me a big cash up front to accomplish the Mun exploration, and a big reputation boost after collecting "all" science on Mun. ("All" shouldn't be truly all science, rather for example run 20 different experiments in 5 different biomes.) And then of course a big rep hit if it expires before I can accomplish the mission, but for that to work it may require the "only one rocket launch per day rule".)

 

 

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31 minutes ago, ArgenTum said:

This. But my solution would be (as I've seen others suggest) to have buttons in mission control to let you specify your preferences before hand (and not let the system guess my preferences after I select a contract.) Would it really be so bad for the game to have toggable buttons so I can choose for example: "I want contracts on/around the mun and minmus, with part tests, tourists and space station building" and these choices would count towards the weight of those contracts? Ie let you directly influence the weight of the contract, but still use 1.1s system, so some randomness would remain. This way the wheighting would reflect where I want to go, not where I've been.

(But I would even more like some seperate, overarcing "main missions" where I could choose "I want to explore the Mun", which would both affect the weighting of the contracts, but also give me a big cash up front to accomplish the Mun exploration, and a big reputation boost after collecting "all" science on Mun. ("All" shouldn't be truly all science, rather for example run 20 different experiments in 5 different biomes.) And then of course a big rep hit if it expires before I can accomplish the mission, but for that to work it may require the "only one rocket launch per day rule".)

Your thoughts mirror the career feedback I've been keeping track of: that players, to an extent, would like more control over the randomness of career mode. The reputation penalties and weights were stepping stones towards some longer term goals that I have been building up to over time to address this. It's an ongoing process, but out of the scope of the pre-release for now.

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Finally got a flyby of Mun mission.  Sent up a Stayputnic with a bunch of batteries 2 goos a thermometer and a transmitter... Got up there and thought... what the hell, I've got enough fuel lets go into orbit.  Did that. transmitted thermometer and 1 goo ... and realized I didn't have enough battery to last till I was low enough to get the other goo... let alone transmit it.  So I put it on a collision course with the Mun.

Now here's the mission part... after all that I look at the missions... What do you think I found? What do you think I should find?  If it's more missions to explore the Mun... you'd be wrong and right respectively.  What I got was one mission to do temperature scans of Minmus...  Nothing about the Mun...

The flow of career... the direction players in career get is from the missions.  They should flow naturally... and they don't right now.  I don't expect this to change right now... prerelease doesn't seem the time to make major modifications to core systems... but if somethings can be tweaked a little for now so you can look at it in more depth later then that would be good.

 

Edit to add:  I do like the idea of sorta pre weighting certain catagories of missions so they come up more often.

Edited by FITorion

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51 minutes ago, Arsonide said:

Your thoughts mirror the career feedback I've been keeping track of: that players, to an extent, would like more control over the randomness of career mode. The reputation penalties and weights were stepping stones towards some longer term goals that I have been building up to over time to address this. It's an ongoing process, but out of the scope of the pre-release for now.

That I can understand. Just always nice to hear from someone on Squad that you at least have heard the community, then of course it is a whole other matter to find the time, resources and balance to implement new ideas in a good way. I have full understanding that such features will not be in 1.1, but no harm in coming with ideas for future updates, right?

And if you ever need ideas, I can provide them for you, I have a bunch (some of which I posted in the suggestions forum a while back). But then again, I guess everyone have their own ideas on how to make KSP better. What I am still actually lacking is Squad themselves explaining: "This is our vision for career mode. This is how the game is meant to be played [in career]". In my opinion, career should have a stronger "linear" experience in accordance with how Squad thinks KSP should be played, while sandbox is there for all those who just want to play however they want. Right now I get the feeling that even Squad isn't quite sure how they want the game to play, and instead try to please what they think the community wants, but often you don't know what you want until you see it before you, so it is important, IMHO, that at least someone has a clear vision where they want the game to go.

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10 hours ago, Arsonide said:

Your thoughts mirror the career feedback I've been keeping track of: that players, to an extent, would like more control over the randomness of career mode. The reputation penalties and weights were stepping stones towards some longer term goals that I have been building up to over time to address this. It's an ongoing process, but out of the scope of the pre-release for now.

I kept playing, send a mission to Minmus and got science from 2 biomes. After "parking" the ship and fulfilling some random contracts I got the missions I was looking for. It seems it takes some time for the new, interesting missions to replace the old ones.

Would be nice if related missions would be added at the bottom of the list once you accept a contract in a new SoI.

 

PS: I reloaded to test what missions I would get if I changed things up slightly and got different missions, pretty much all useless. It would be a very welcome change if you can give us more control over the RNG in future iteration. Cheers!

Edited by Col_Jessep

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On 3/30/2016 at 6:02 PM, FITorion said:

and the missions available to me should support this learning without me having to do launches with no missions associated with them...

I don't think I agree with that statement. Why should every mission be toward fulfilling a contract? I do the bare number of contracts needed to fund the missions I want to fly. I'm sure I miss a lot of opportunities to get funds because I did a mission on my own without checking whether there's a contract for it. In essence, Kennedy gave NASA a contract to get to the moon. All the dozens of missions from Mercury through Apollo 10 were to support their learning. Granted, they weren't conceived as a self-funded program, but then, I'm not sure why swarms of agencies just send me checks out of the blue every time I achieve a new milestone, either.

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On 3/30/2016 at 6:02 PM, FITorion said:

and the missions available to me should support this learning without me having to do launches with no missions associated with them...

I know that I disagree with that statement. You get so much money doing contracts in Normal difficulty that it is easy to do some missions without needing a contract for it.

The way I play (which is not for everyone) is:

My "space company" is trying to gather science from all the planets and moons in the system. Science missions are my priority, and I do them in an order that I think would be a normal progression for a real company. Contracts are a way to earn money to fund the next science mission. It is not important to me that my science missions complete any contracts, only that they bring back science. I also don't take any tourists anywhere until I prove that I can take and return a Kerbal safely, in the exact rocket that will be taking tourists. I know that I am not maxing out the money that I could earn, but that doesn't matter to me.

Note that this is just the way that I play, and it seems to work fairly well for me. I am not saying anyone has to play this way. There are a number of ways to play, and none are wrong. My point is that you don't need contracts to progress. Make up a reason to do a mission anyway!

Also, once you upgrade the Mission Control, there is nothing wrong with accepting missions that you cannot complete right away (like tourist missions). Take their down payment and use it to finish developing your rocket -- including launching some test flights before actually attempting the contract. That is something that real companies do*.

 

 

* Examples:

1) Virgin Galactic has already collected over $80 million? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Galactic#SpaceShip_Two

2) SpaceX and Boeing have received millions of dollars from NASA to develop their rockets as part of the Commercial Crew Program.

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1 hour ago, TaranisElsu said:

I know that I disagree with that statement. You get so much money doing contracts in Normal difficulty that it is easy to do some missions without needing a contract for it.

The way I play (which is not for everyone) is:

My "space company" is trying to gather science from all the planets and moons in the system. Science missions are my priority, and I do them in an order that I think would be a normal progression for a real company. Contracts are a way to earn money to fund the next science mission. It is not important to me that my science missions complete any contracts, only that they bring back science. I also don't take any tourists anywhere until I prove that I can take and return a Kerbal safely, in the exact rocket that will be taking tourists. I know that I am not maxing out the money that I could earn, but that doesn't matter to me.

Note that this is just the way that I play, and it seems to work fairly well for me. I am not saying anyone has to play this way. There are a number of ways to play, and none are wrong. My point is that you don't need contracts to progress. Make up a reason to do a mission anyway!

Also, once you upgrade the Mission Control, there is nothing wrong with accepting missions that you cannot complete right away (like tourist missions). Take their down payment and use it to finish developing your rocket -- including launching some test flights before actually attempting the contract. That is something that real companies do*.

 

 

* Examples:

1) Virgin Galactic has already collected over $80 million? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Galactic#SpaceShip_Two

2) SpaceX and Boeing have received millions of dollars from NASA to develop their rockets as part of the Commercial Crew Program.

You do need missions when it's early game and you don't have the funds to waste on a non-mission related flight and you have a wall of missions unrelated to what you want to do.

After you make orbit you should get a bunch of Science from orbit... rescue from orbit... put satellite in orbit... Dock 2 ships... or if you don't have the tech, get 2 ships close to each other... leave a kerbal up there for X amount of time... build a station with X parts... missions and those missions shouldn't dry up and go away ever.  There should always be Kerbin orbit missions.  Each new SOI you go to should add their related missions to the list without removing the previous SOI's missions.

So if you want to go to the Mun and then spend the next 10... 20... 100 missions just exploring the Mun... there should always be Mun missions available to you if you choose to use them.

Once you're late game and have a surplus of cash then you have the luxury of doing flights without a mission.  But Early Normal mode is not that time.

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I agree with OP the contracts seem completely random vs at least in the beginning identifying what tech you've unlocked and guiding you through progression to new challenges, I shouldn't get a contract to explore duna before ever having received a contract to explore mun and minmus.  I know programming isn't easy, but i feel the design of the contract system is so random vs being something that is intelligent and progressively offers more difficult/advanced contracts based on the tech you have unlocked.

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1 minute ago, ironhawx said:

I agree with OP the contracts seem completely random vs at least in the beginning identifying what tech you've unlocked and guiding you through progression to new challenges, I shouldn't get a contract to explore duna before ever having received a contract to explore mun and minmus.  I know programming isn't easy, but i feel the design of the contract system is so random vs being something that is intelligent and progressively offers more difficult/advanced contracts based on the tech you have unlocked.

Progression is what the World First contracts are about. They progress incrementally, whereas the "Explore" contracts have always been quite random. For 1.2 I have merged World Firsts and Explore contracts together, as outlined in a previous devnotes, which has several implications. First of all, the Explores will never jump planets, and proceed in a (relatively) progressive fashion. Second of all, they can occur more than once per planet until that planet is decently explored, so they cannot be "skipped" by making your own progress.

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3 hours ago, Arsonide said:

Progression is what the World First contracts are about. They progress incrementally, whereas the "Explore" contracts have always been quite random. For 1.2 I have merged World Firsts and Explore contracts together, as outlined in a previous devnotes, which has several implications. First of all, the Explores will never jump planets, and proceed in a (relatively) progressive fashion. Second of all, they can occur more than once per planet until that planet is decently explored, so they cannot be "skipped" by making your own progress.

Awesome to hear I must've missed those dev notes (try to read them weekly), as a veteran of the game I have an idea of whats what, but thinking as someone new to the game could see getting a contract to explore duna and only have a few nodes unlock extremely frustrating as they would look at the contracts as guiding elements on what they should be doing.

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It seems I am not going to Mimnus.

I have a mission available for Duna to do temperature scans after my orbit of the Mun and doing non-mission temperature scans there.

 

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On 3/31/2016 at 1:01 AM, Arsonide said:

Your thoughts mirror the career feedback I've been keeping track of: that players, to an extent, would like more control over the randomness of career mode. The reputation penalties and weights were stepping stones towards some longer term goals that I have been building up to over time to address this. It's an ongoing process, but out of the scope of the pre-release for now.

It would be cool if the player could set a goal.

"Minmus landing" -- you would get the "explore minmus" contract and the plant a flag on minmus contract

"Mun Landing" -- same deal, except of course Mun

"Kerbal Station" -- you would get some orbital contracts, some science from Kerbin space contracts, some station parts contracts, and finally a station contract. Maybe also some "keep a crew in space for xxx days" contracts too.

Etc.

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As this has turned into a suggestions thread it's now in Suggestions.

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Something that dismays me is that I get contracts to flyby Minmus and land on Minmus A) Before I get any Mun contracts(WTF Game?) B) Before I have landing legs, and C) Before I unlock 2.5 meter rockets. How is any new player going to fly by Minmus with 1.25 meter parts? I can barely make orbit with 1.25 meter parts, and the OP is absolutely correct in saying the Tourist contracts should stay a step behind the actual space program. Related, I think there should be World First differentiations made between kerbbed and probe flights.

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