Wjolcz

Programs instead of strategies, no science points, no tech tree and some other things

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3 hours ago, Veeltch said:

Keep in mind that as the Jool mission is en-route there are also other programs available. Completing them would also get you reputation. Preferably way more than standard Kerbin SOI missions. They would be simply a way to keep your reputation healthy if you are running low on reputation.

Yeah I mean there's some good stuff here but the system you're proposing is still enforcing really out of whack mission proportions. You're talking about doing 50+ Kerbin missions for every Jool mission, 10 for every Duna mission, etc. Most people just don't want to do that. They want to do 5-10 Kerbin missions, A few Duna missions, some probes to other planets, maybe a few more Kerbin missions, a Jool mission, etc. Thats a proportion of like 2-5 to 1 for local v interplanetary, not 10 or 50. Im also just not seeing what completely restructuring the game to remove science points is doing for us gameplay-wise besides making you feel like it "makes more sense". If science points are gone and reputation is money then all that really matters is gaining rep. People are just going to do the one thing that gets the most of that one thing and everything flows from that. You're removing a really important trade-off system, allowing players to make strategic choices between gaining more science and getting more parts vs focusing exclusively on money and reputation. You're also still massively overcomplicating the process of game balance and budgeting by making money trickle in over time. Its more than a convenience to look up at your funds and say "Okay this is how much money I have". It makes the game comprehensible and lets players know how much they can spend on rockets rather than living in this endlessly fluctuating no-mans land in which money increases over time but then curves and decreases as rep bleeds away depending on what missions you have going and how long they have to reach their targets in a completely unpredictable fashion. You assume this will just work out, but at 2 rep loss per day any given mission gains can be erased in a few months and all of your income will disappear. Why not just give people the money up front and on delivery?

Edited by Pthigrivi

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Ehh... You are either not reading carefully (again), or completely rejecting the concept of this whole thread (also again). Some people tell me I'm a really patient man. Anyway, here we go again:

3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Yeah I mean there's some good stuff here but the system you're proposing is still enforcing really out of whack mission proportions. You're talking about doing 50+ Kerbin missions for every Jool mission, 10 for every Duna mission, etc.

No, I'm not. The player would have a choice. Do a juicy (reputation-wise) program with a whole lot of missions and earn a whole bunch of rep to warp thrugh the Jool/Duna/Whatever mission (and lose tons of rep you've just earned), or do one mission per month to keep your reputation in a healthy conidition. One mission per month is not a lot, really. The mission-per-month thing is a sort of a life boat keeping you on the surface of the ocean of reputation. As long as it's full of air, you won't sink. Also, it's just an example. it all depends on how the whole system gets balanced. If we get to play with the sliders ourselves it could even be 1 LKO mission per 3 months/6 months/a whole year to keep you afloat. It all depends on how the system gets balanced.

3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Im also just not seeing what completely restructuring the game to remove science points is doing for us gameplay-wise besides making you feel like it "makes more sense". If science points are gone and reputation is money then all that really matters is gaining rep.

Exactly. All we have to take care of is getting reputation (just like in real life; prove yourself useful so you can keep your space program running).

3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

People are just going to do the one thing that gets the most of that one thing and everything flows from that.

I really don't understand this sentence. Do you mean grind? If so, then it also depends on how the devs balance it all (the reputation reward per mission)

3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

You're removing a really important trade-off system, allowing players to make strategic choices between gaining more science and getting more parts vs focusing exclusively on money and reputation

There's no trade-off system in the current game. You either fail at the start, get stuck or earn tons and tons of resources (by grind, if you're playing on hard/custom hard settings). The science points are useless anyway if you've completed the tech tree. All you do then is sit in the Admin Building and add to your forever-growing piggy bank or reputation bar.

 

3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

You're also still massively overcomplicating the process of game balance and budgeting by making money trickle in over time. Its more than a convenience to look up at your funds and say "Okay this is how much money I have". It makes the game comprehensible and lets players know how much they can spend on rockets rather than living in this endlessly fluctuating no-mans land in which money increases over time but then curves and decreases as rep bleeds away depending on what missions you have going and how long they have to reach their targets in a completely unpredictable fashion.

No, I'm not. If the only thing to care about is reputation, then all you have to keep your eye on is THE reputation, as it influences the (preferably) monthly budget. If only the game would atumatically calculate your reputation by the end of the month, then there's no problem with keeping your budget at a healthy level each time a new month starts. It's also not unpredictable, as you have a constant influence on what's happening during your month (launching rockets into LKO/HKO/completing missions from other programs).

 

3 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

You assume this will just work out, but at 2 rep loss per day any given mission gains can be erased in a few months and all of your income will disappear. Why not just give people the money up front and on delivery?

And again, the 2 rep per day decay was just an example. You have completely taken that out of context. You get the money up front. At the beginning of each month, that is. You know how much you have, and if you do well this month, you raise your reputation level and know how much money you'll have next month (given that it's somehow calculated in-game, or we can calculate it ourselves by knowing what's the reputation decay).

Edited by Veeltch

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25 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

No, I'm not. The player would have a choice. Do a juicy (reputation-wise) program with a whole lot of missions and earn a whole bunch of rep to warp thrugh the Jool/Duna/Whatever mission (and lose tons of rep you've just earned), or do one mission per month to keep your reputation in a healthy conidition. One mission per month is not a lot, really. The mission-per-month thing is a sort of life boat to keep you on the surface of the ocean of reputation. Also, it's just an example. it all depends how the whole system gets balanced. If we get the sliders it could even be even 1 LKO mission per 3 months to keep you afloat. It all depends on how the system gets balanced.

Well its not really a choice if the alternative to doing 50 Kerbin SOI missions is to have your reputation, income, and ability to develop parts completely and simultaneously erased. 

25 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

There's no trade-off system in the current game. You either fail at the beginning, get stuck or earn tons and tons of resources (by grind, if you're playing on hard/custom hard settings).

There are a couple of things going on here. By having separate types of resources (funds, reputation, and science) different types of missions have different types of payoffs. You can do a tourist mission to gain just money and reputation to build a bigger rocket, or send a probe to collect science to build a better rocket. With your system there is only one type of payoff--reputation, so there's no weighing of different strategies and therefore no real choice in playstyle. The one that gains the most reputation is the best, period.

Also, and this is a general critique of a lot of proposals I see, you've played stock and didn't like it, but instead of looking at what specifically is a awry and thinking of ways to solve those specific problems you've thrown out the entire system and injected an entirely new set of problems.

 

25 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

No, I'm not. If the only thing to care about is reputation, then all you have to keep your eye on is THE reputation, as it influences the (preferably) monthly budget. If only the game would atumatically calculate your reputation by the end of the month, then there's no problem with keeping your budget at a healthy level each time a new month starts. It's also not unpredictable, if you have a constant influence on what's happening during your month (launching rockets into LKO/HKO/completing missions from other programs).

You've reduced the game to a single currency, but that currency is no longer stable. Your reputation is erased over time which means your income is erased over time and the only way to keep from depleting back to zero is to do dozens of repetitive filler missions. Once you have 4 or 5 concurrent missions going your income ends up in constant flux, bumping up whenever one of them reaches a milestone only to bleed away again until the next mission hits a milestone. From month to month your income could be a zillion dollars or zero, and the only way to predict that into the future is to sit down and do 20 minutes of algebra or graph your various predicted mission completion dates and reputation bleed rates in excel. That seems pretty unreasonable. 

Edited by Pthigrivi

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44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Well its not really a choice if the alternative to doing 50 Kerbin SOI missions is to have your reputation, income, and ability to develop parts completely and simultaneously erased. 

What?

44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

You can do a tourist mission to gain just money and reputation to build a bigger rocket...

Which makes sense.

44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

...or send a probe to collect science to build a better rocket.

Which makes zero sense and is also backwards and limiting.

44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

With your system there is only one type of payoff--reputation, so there's no weighing of different strategies and therefore no real choice in playstyle.

How is merging two modes and adding a third one not influencing the choice of playstyles? You choose to go for science only (Science Mode), for missions/contracts only (Commercial Mode), or for both of those options (Career Mode) + you pick the objectives youself instead of wasting time in the Mission Control cycling through a bunch of nonsensical and random "contracts".

44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

The one that gains the most reputation is the best, period.

And again: it all depends on how it's balanced.

44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Also, and this is a general critique of a lot of proposals I see, you've played stock and didn't like it, but instead of looking at what specifically is a awry and thinking of ways to solve those specific problems you've thrown out the entire system and injected an entirely new set of problems.

Because the current system is flawed. Also what kind of problems are you talking about? Care do give any examples?

44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

You've reduced the game to a single currency, but that currency is no longer stable.

As it should. Do nothing and get nothing. Do something and get something. It's simple.

44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Your reputation is erased over time which means your income is erased over time and the only way to keep from depleting back to zero is to do dozens of repetitive filler missions.

There are plenty of thing to do around Kerbin's SOI only. Don't forget we also have two other bodies there. Start a Kerbin space station, launch a spy sat into a molniya orbit, launch a sat into a tundra orbit, a geostationary orbit, perform a set of experiments, build a Mun space station, Build a Mun base, maintain it, maintain the orbits of the spy/communication sats, rotate the crew, add an ISRU unit to your Mun base, start assembling an interplanetary vessel in LKO, add another module to it and so on and so forth. Do you want me to make a whole list of things possible in Kerbin's SOI only?

44 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

From month to month your income could be a zillion dollars or zero, and the only way to predict that into the future is to sit down and do 20 minutes of algebra or graph your various predicted mission completion dates and reputation bleed rates in excel. That seems pretty unreasonable. 

Well, I'm not going to say I'm the best at algebra (I'm actually not and didn't pass a few final exams during my high school times), but I can calculate it for you, if you want. Just hit me with a PM whenever you need it.

OK, so let's do the "20 minutes of algebra", shall we?

-Let's assume that 1 reputation = 1K in money
-Let's also assume the reputation decay is 2 per day
-The month is 30 days long (I don't remember how much a Kerbin month takes, but I don't really care at this point)

You start your first month with 160 rep points, which just got you 160K funds. You did nothing for a whole round month, so you end up with 100 rep points (-60 rep points; 2 points per day). A new morning has come and the payday is here! You have 100 rep points so you get 100K in funds.

Taaaa-daaaaa! You can hit that big, red button on your stopwatch now. How much time did it take me to calculate this whole thing?

Edited by Veeltch

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1 hour ago, Veeltch said:

What?

This is central so lets look at it. You've carefully built up a reputation up to over 1000. You launch a probe for Jool, but if you don't run 50 kerbin SOI missions all of the reputation you've amassed bleeds away to zero and your income and R+D halt long before you get there. Thats not a real choice. Its not just that you have to do 50 low level missions over the course of the game, its that you have to do 50 missions before your first probe gets there, another 15 waiting for a transfer window then another 50 waiting for a manned mission, 15 waiting for a return window, then 50 more waiting to return home. Thats nearly 200 Kerbin SOI missions before you return home from Jool once. 

 

1 hour ago, Veeltch said:

OK, so let's do the "20 minutes of algebra", shall we?

-Let's assume that 1 reputation = 1K in money
-Let's also assume the reputation decay is 2 per day
-The month is 30 days long (I don't remember how much a Kerbin month takes, but I don't really care at this point)

You start your first month with 160 rep points, which just got you 160K funds. You did nothing for a whole round month, so you end up with 100 rep points (-60 rep points; 2 points per day). A new morning has come and the payday is here! You have 100 rep points so you get 100K in funds.

Taaaa-daaaaa! You can hit that big, red button on your stopwatch now. How much time did it take me to calculate this whole thing?

Which is fine in month 1, but what about month 20 or 30 when you have 5 or 15 different concurrent missions going on all with different rates of return, expiration and payout dates? If I want to understand the consequences of time-warping forward because Im sick of doing dozens and dozens of Kerbin SOI missions and just want to see an asteroid already the only way to project how much money I'll have in the future is to factor for each ongoing mission's stage completion dates and what my reputation will be as it depletes between each. It actually doesn't even matter how complicated it is, if people have to do algebra just to understand how much money they'll have you're doing something wrong. If you just have lump-sum advances you don't have to do any budget projections. You just look at the amount of money you have.

 

1 hour ago, Veeltch said:

Because the current system is flawed. Also what kind of problems are you talking about? Care do give any examples?

The fact that you have a limited number of contracts means you can't really go where you want to go. So just make the explore contracts for each body always available, and then players can go where they want to go. Also conducting science is clicky and grindy, so fix the experiments so they are less clicky and grindy. Also time doesn't matter, so tighten up deadlines and give bonuses for players who reach their targets in less time. All of this could be done without rewriting the game from scratch.

Edited by Pthigrivi

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4 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

This is central so lets look at it. You've carefully built up a reputation up to over 1000. You launch a probe for Jool, but if you don't run 50 kerbin SOI missions all of the reputation you've amassed bleeds away to zero and your income and R+D halt long before you get there. Thats not a real choice. Its not just that you have to do 50 low level missions over the course of the game, its that you have to do 50 missions before your first probe gets there, another 15 waiting for a transfer window then another 50 waiting for a manned mission, 15 waiting for a return window, then 50 more waiting to return home. Thats nearly 200 Kerbin SOI missions before you return home from Jool once. 

But you also do science and complete program missions in Jool SOI. They also get you reputation and IMO they should give you enough rep to get you back home (if you're really planning to do that) with the warp button pushed to the fullest, but again: it's a matter of balancing the rep rewards.

10 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Which is fine in month 1, but what about month 20 or 30 when you have 5 or 15 different concurrent missions going on all with different rates of return, expiration and payout dates? If I want to understand the consequences of time-warping forward because Im sick of doing dozens and dozens of Kerbin SOI missions and just want to see an asteroid already the only way to project how much money I'll have in the future is to factor for each ongoing mission's stage completion date and what my reputation will be as it depletes between each. It actually doesn't even matter how complicated it is, if people have to do algebra just to understand how much money they'll have you're doing something wrong. If you just have lump-sum advances you don't have to do any budget projections. You just look at the amount of money you have.

*tactical eyeroll and sigh* I don't see that as a problem. The player should know the consequences of literally not doing anything in his/hers free time. Not my fault the game doesn't provide basic information about things.

13 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

The fact that you have a limited number of contracts means you can't really go where you want to go. So just make the explore contracts for each body always available, and then players can go where they want to go.

This has already been discussed. All of the program's missions/objectives would be available from the start. As you complete programs new become available (First finish the Jool Scientific Program to unlock the Jool Colonisation Program, or sth like that AKA Scruffy's mission tree idea).

18 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Also conducting science is clicky and grindy, so fix the experiments so they are less clicky and grindy.

I don't like the clicky experiments either, but this is not what we are discussing here. Making them more fun won't fix the broken career system.

19 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Also time doesn't matter, so tighten up deadlines and give bonuses for players who reach their targets in less time.

I also agree with this. Except that could also be done in the more sane system that we are discussing here.

21 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

All of this could be done without rewriting the game from scratch.

I'm sure it could, but it won't fix the problem which is the overcomplicated mess we all call "The Career Mode".

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On 6/17/2016 at 0:58 PM, Veeltch said:

So: the Jool mission is on it's way. While it's going there you start a new program. Let's say it's a Minmus exploration program. You do missions the program throws at you but you also have those low-rep LKO missions...

"But I want to go to Jool! :(
I don't want to do anymore Kerbin based missions, I built my super ship to see the green giant so i deserve to see it NOW!"

That was just a joke, but do you understand what I am getting at? A lot of player like gameplay like that. They choose to play a game and they like it when they have some control over what happens in the game. In a sandbox game where you create your own story-line it will be a disappointment if you cannot go to Jool all willy-nilly anymore("You can, but at what cost?!" *over-dramatic for effect*:D)

Constructive criticism: It's about not making it feel like "chores". Doing anything else than warping directly to Jool, is not always what the player wants(that is reality, space programs did other launches and stuff while waiting for New Horizons...but this is a game first, people play games to forget about chores)

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2 hours ago, Blaarkies said:

"But I want to go to Jool! :(
I don't want to do anymore Kerbin based missions, I built my super ship to see the green giant so i deserve to see it NOW!"

That was just a joke, but do you understand what I am getting at? A lot of player like gameplay like that. They choose to play a game and they like it when they have some control over what happens in the game. In a sandbox game where you create your own story-line it will be a disappointment if you cannot go to Jool all willy-nilly anymore("You can, but at what cost?!" *over-dramatic for effect*:D)

Constructive criticism: It's about not making it feel like "chores". Doing anything else than warping directly to Jool, is not always what the player wants(that is reality, space programs did other launches and stuff while waiting for New Horizons...but this is a game first, people play games to forget about chores)

I fully understand that. But the question should be asked: do we want to play sandbox or do we want to play actual career?

IMO the time should matter. If it doesn't then there's no point in creating, maintaining and playing the career mode.

Maybe there should be some sort of reputation lock mechanism. Or maybe the Jool mission objectives should give enough reputation to get you back on track (I used this idiom correctly, I hope?) even after excessive warping. Or maybe there should be an option to simply disable the reputation decay for those who don't want it.

I would keep it enabled in my save though.

BTW have you guys seen Scott Manley's Interstellar Quest? He was sending probes all over the system while doing tons of other missions in Kerbin's SOI waiting for them to arrive. Even though his game was heavily modded I feel like it's still possible to achieve this kind of career management in regular stock KSP.

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3 hours ago, Veeltch said:

Or maybe the Jool mission objectives should give enough reputation to get you back on track (I used this idiom correctly, I hope?) even after excessive warping.

Here's how I was seeing it.

Something else that came to mind: we've discussed periodical updates here. That is, instead of your rep continually dropping, there are discrete - monthly, quarterly, yearly - events where money comes in and rep goes out. What if rep only diminished if you've achieved no goals during the period? Any goal, no matter how small, from either contracts, milestones, or strategies, just once per year - quarter, month, whathever - is enough to secure your current rep.

Oh, also: I've seen some discussion on what he appropriate Kerbal month-equivalent time interval should be, and wether it should be called a 'month'. I think, given the tininess of the Kerbol system, that a quarter year is good enough. Call it a 'season': they're kinda-objectively delineated in nature, and not as arbitrary as our 12 months (altough our month almost coincide with the lunar phases, I don't think the Mun is as suitable)

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On 18/06/2016 at 4:02 PM, Pthigrivi said:

You're also still massively overcomplicating the process of game balance and budgeting by making money trickle in over time. Its more than a convenience to look up at your funds and say "Okay this is how much money I have". It makes the game comprehensible and lets players know how much they can spend on rockets rather than living in this endlessly fluctuating no-mans land in which money increases over time but then curves and decreases as rep bleeds away depending on what missions you have going and how long they have to reach their targets in a completely unpredictable fashion. 

 

On 18/06/2016 at 7:35 PM, Pthigrivi said:

From month to month your income could be a zillion dollars or zero, and the only way to predict that into the future is to sit down and do 20 minutes of algebra or graph your various predicted mission completion dates and reputation bleed rates in excel. That seems pretty unreasonable. 

I get paid every month. If I don't do my job, I lose my professional reputation and get fired, and then I don't get more money every month.

I don't think getting money every month complicates my life. I think it enables it :) 

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38 minutes ago, monstah said:

Something else that came to mind: we've discussed periodical updates here. That is, instead of your rep continually dropping, there are discrete - monthly, quarterly, yearly - events where money comes in and rep goes out. What if rep only diminished if you've achieved no goals during the period? Any goal, no matter how small, from either contracts, milestones, or strategies, just once per year - quarter, month, whathever - is enough to secure your current rep.

Hmm... Yeah, I like the idea, though this might be a bit problematic to deal with.

Without the constant decay it's very easy to build up tons of reputation. One way to deal with this problem is directly exchanging the reputation for cash. And I mean all of it. Then, when a new season begins, you start with zero reputation and try to build up as much of it as possible.

Do you mean something like that?

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Not really, what I meant was that, instead of having to do stuff all the time to keep your rep, there is a 'grace period'  in which your rep doesn't drop because you've done something recently. As for it being easy to build up tons of rep, I guess only after fiddling with the levels we'll actually know :wink:

You could also go the way of exponential decay: whether it's a continual drop or at discrete intervals, the rate of decay is proportional to the amount you have. Obviously the exact numbers need to be tweaked, but the gist is that if to keep a large amount of rep stable, you need to keep active, but if your rep is lower, you can do things at a slower pace.

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6 hours ago, monstah said:

 

I get paid every month. If I don't do my job, I lose my professional reputation and get fired, and then I don't get more money every month.

I don't think getting money every month complicates my life. I think it enables it :) 

This really important to understand: just because a thing exists in real life doesn't mean it's fun to do or even works in the context of a game. The scheme as described thus far requires players to do hundreds of mundane low level filler mission or else lose all of the reputation they've thus far amassed. It also requires players to run a budgeting spreadsheet in the margins just to predict thier yearly income. I also do lots of mundane tasks and run budgets in real life, but that doesn't mean I want to spend my time in KSP doing that. 

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14 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

The scheme as described thus far requires players to do hundreds of mundane low level filler mission or else lose all of the reputation they've thus far amassed. It also requires players to run a budgeting spreadsheet in the margins just to predict thier yearly income.

It doesn't! Honestly, are you reading the thread? In fact, why are you even here? It's clear that you don't want to play the game we're suggesting here. By all means, go play it the way you want it!

You haven't added anything here, only subtracted. All your contributions so far have been "this and this and this isn't good". This is getting very annoying. Either tell us what kind of progression would you like to see, or just go play it and leave us to discuss how we'd like to play. Please.

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1 hour ago, monstah said:

Either tell us what kind of progression would you like to see, or just go play it and leave us to discuss how we'd like to play. Please.

More contracts and science "tweaks", I'd assume.

Edited by Veeltch

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5 hours ago, monstah said:

It doesn't! 

I know Im harping, but I really am doing my best to help you see this. There is a fundamental problem with the idea of monthly budgets based on daily declining reputation that you are not dealing with and cannot be balanced away, and that is the fundamental difference in time-scale between long and short missions. As a player you essentially have 2 options:

1) Do what Veeltch wants and complete a mission every month. Remember that interplanetary missions cannot accomplish this because those missions take between several months and a few years to reach their destinations. Sure, you can send out interplanetary probes, but month to month these will make up only a small portion of your completed missions because first you have to wait for your transfer window and then you have to wait for them to reach their destinations. The vast majority of your missions will be puttering around in Kerbin SOI just make your monthly quota. What happens, in practice, is your mission counts--how many missions you send to each moon/planetwill end up being inversely proportional to their duration. Because some missions take so much longer to complete than others you end up doing 30 Kerbin missions for each Eve mission, 70 for each Duna mission, and almost 100 for each round trip to Jool. Maybe sending up satellites and doing re-supplies are fun for the 10th, 15th, even 20th time, but after 30, 70, 100 times people are going to get really bored. Its a subtle thing, and might not seem immediately apparent, but by making reputation and therefore money decrease with time you've inadvertently created a general, systemic bias against long term missions.

2) Say the hell with it and time-warp through multiple months because you're sick of messing about around Kerbin. This is where the currency instability becomes an issue. What happens is your reputation is declining linearly and so each month you are receiving less money linearly until all of your reputation is gone and you receive nothing. Not only does this make budgeting hard to predict because you are receiving less and less money each month, it means the actual monetary reward of any given task (which is what people really care about) cant even be listed as a single number. Reputation gains actually represent a temporary boost in funds that curves away down to nothing over time. This is incredibly difficult to balance because you can no longer tightly tie rewards for one type of mission to the start-up costs of the next. At any given time people won't simply get the reward up front, instead they will have some percentage of a linearly declining commodity. Say a Mun mission should cost 50,000 funds. How much funding per month should people get for completing the previous type of mission to fund it? 5,000? 10,000? At a given point players could have 10% of what they need to complete that mission or 500% of what they need. Later matters get even worse because you'll have many missions going on no real way without a spreadsheet to keep track of which months include stage completions and which months your reputation is declining and therefore no way of knowing how much money or reputation you'll be left with if you time-warp forward 5 or 10 or 20 months. 

Worse, you still won't have overcome the basic bias against long missions. Because the penalty of reputation decline is based on doing one thing per month, only people who do so can avoid it. You can make long duration missions worth more reputation, but it wont matter because by the time those missions complete any previously accumulated reputation will be long gone. Without doing a mission each month and succumbing to option 1 tedium you are totally incapable of building any lasting, sustainable funding stream. Every time you break the rules and time warp to Moho or Duna or Jool everything you've accomplished thus far will be erased. The systemic punishment for doing long missions can only be overcome by doing lots and lots and lots of filler missions. 

I love the idea of being able to chose which body you'd like to explore and of making time matter in the game. I'd love to say "woo-hoo! great idea guys!" but in the scheme you've defined thus far these issues are still very real. I totally agree that stock has some less than optimal mechanics going on, but I don't relish replacing one set of tedium inducing requirements for another.

Edited by Pthigrivi

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43 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

I know Im harping, but I really am doing my best to help you see this. There is a fundamental problem with the idea of monthly budgets based on daily declining reputation that you are not dealing with and cannot be balanced away, and that is the fundamental difference in time-scale between long and short missions. As a player you essentially have 2 options:

1) Do what Veeltch wants and complete a mission every month. Remember that interplanetary missions cannot accomplish this because those missions take between several months and a few years to reach their destinations. Sure, you can send out interplanetary probes, but month to month these will make up only a small portion of your completed missions because first you have to wait for your transfer window and then you have to wait for them to reach their destinations. The vast majority of your missions will be puttering around in Kerbin SOI just make your monthly quota. What happens, in practice, is your mission counts--how many missions you send to each moon/planetwill end up being inversely proportional to their duration. Because some missions take so much longer to complete than others you end up doing 30 Kerbin missions for each Eve mission, 70 for each Duna mission, and almost 100 for each round trip to Jool. Maybe sending up satellites and doing re-supplies are fun for the 10th, 15th, even 20th time, but after 30, 70, 100 times people are going to get really bored. Its a subtle thing, and might not seem immediately apparent, but by making reputation and therefore money decrease with time you've inadvertently created a general, systemic bias against long term missions.

2) Say the hell with it and time-warp through multiple months because you're sick of messing about around Kerbin. This is where the currency instability becomes an issue. What happens is your reputation is declining linearly and so each month you are receiving less money linearly until all of your reputation is gone and you receive nothing. Not only does this make budgeting hard to predict because you are receiving less and less money each month, it means the actual monetary reward of any given task (which is what people really care about) cant even be listed as a single number. Reputation gains actually represent a temporary boost in funds that curves away down to nothing over time. This is incredibly difficult to balance because you can no longer tightly tie rewards for one type of mission to the start-up costs of the next. At any given time people won't simply get the reward up front, instead they will have some percentage of a linearly declining commodity. Say a Mun mission should cost 50,000 funds. How much funding per month should people get for completing the previous type of mission to fund it? 5,000? 10,000? At a given point players could have 10% of what they need to complete that mission or 500% of what they need. Later matters get even worse because you'll have many missions going on no real way without a spreadsheet to keep track of which months include stage completions and which months your reputation is declining and therefore no way of knowing how much money or reputation you'll be left with if you time-warp forward 5 or 10 or 20 months. 

Worse, you still won't have overcome the basic bias against long missions. Because the penalty of reputation decline is based on doing one thing per month, only people who do so can avoid it. You can make long duration missions worth more reputation, but it wont matter because by the time those missions complete any previously accumulated reputation will be long gone. Without doing a mission each month and succumbing to option 1 tedium you are totally incapable of building any lasting, sustainable funding stream. Every time you break the rules and time warp to Moho or Duna or Jool everything you've accomplished thus far will be erased. The systemic punishment for doing long missions can only be overcome by doing lots and lots and lots of filler missions. 

I love the idea of being able to chose which body you'd like to explore and of making time matter in the game. I'd love to say "woo-hoo! great idea guys!" but in the scheme you've defined thus far these issues are still very real. I totally agree that stock has some less than optimal mechanics going on, but I don't relish replacing one set of tedium inducing requirements for another.

Perhaps existing craft, such as space stations and previously landed probes could continue to provide reputation as long as they are active.

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23 minutes ago, The Optimist said:

Perhaps existing craft, such as space stations and previously landed probes could continue to provide reputation as long as they are active.

This is a great solution! Besides helping to reduce filler missions, it would give an actual reason to launch bases and stations. For balance, they could stop giving rep after a certain time. Also, I'm not sure about probes. They would do their science for rep pretty quickly, and probably wouldn't need this.

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6 hours ago, The Optimist said:

Perhaps existing craft, such as space stations and previously landed probes could continue to provide reputation as long as they are active.

 

6 hours ago, Panel said:

This is a great solution! Besides helping to reduce filler missions, it would give an actual reason to launch bases and stations. For balance, they could stop giving rep after a certain time. Also, I'm not sure about probes. They would do their science for rep pretty quickly, and probably wouldn't need this.

Since science experiments grant rep the mobile lab would more than perfect for this.

7 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Say a Mun mission should cost 50,000 funds. How much funding per month should people get for completing the previous type of mission to fund it? 5,000? 10,000?

Except you would get funding for a Mun mission from a Mun Program.

The ideas of LKO missions was only to keep the rep on the same level in case you run out of program money and can't get any further.

@Pthigrivi all I see you doing here is either not reading, not understanding or trying to be annoying. You go all "Yeah, but that wouldn't work, because [insert strawman here] and that's really problematic and also I'm so trying to help you guys out solving all these problems, you know".

This is just annoying. I am aware of these problems, but me and others try to somehow come up with ideas how to solve them. You do nothing except coming out with the same silly arguments that add nothing to this thread. So please, either leave or try to actually help us fleshing this out.

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9 hours ago, Panel said:

Also, I'm not sure about probes. They would do their science for rep pretty quickly, and probably wouldn't need this.

WHAT? I'm still pre-mourning the end of Cassini, and you give me this heresy?

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I have another idea on how to tackle the whole reputation decay problem.

Maybe programs could freeze some rep while they are active? That way, even when players decide to warp for long periods of time, tiny amounts of reputation would be secured and they would not go rep bankrupt. That way the game would be more forgiving even for people who run one mission at a time (direct Kerbin -> Jool for example).

I'm thinking that the amounts of rep should be really tiny though. Just to keep your space program barely running.

Edited by Veeltch

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25 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

Maybe programs could freeze some rep while they are on-going?

I like this idea. Maybe instead of each program freezing some rep in addition to each other (and rep from missions), they could set a low bar: while this program is active, your rep can't go below X. Kinda like the current XP system, where you get the XP for the highest scoring activity per SOI. For this to work, they need some (actually tangible) failure conditions, tho, or a player could just aim for the hardest program and never actually achieve anything, just leaving it there for income.

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13 minutes ago, monstah said:

I like this idea. Maybe instead of each program freezing some rep in addition to each other (and rep from missions), they could set a low bar: while this program is active, your rep can't go below X. Kinda like the current XP system, where you get the XP for the highest scoring activity per SOI. For this to work, they need some (actually tangible) failure conditions, tho, or a player could just aim for the hardest program and never actually achieve anything, just leaving it there for income.

Or deadlines that would make sense (not lasting for 60 years).

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