Jump to content

Mobile Processing Lab is OP


Recommended Posts

There, I said it.

Now, I know what you're saying: "This is a single-player game. There is no such thing as OP". (OP, by the way, means "overpowered" in game speak, for those of you not as geeky as I am).

And you're right. The Mobile Processing Lab is not as OP as, say, a KV-220, but it really imbalances the science and career games. Hear me out.

Take a lander to Minmus. Have two Sc-9001 Science Jr's, two Goo Modules, a thermometer and a Barometer on your lander. Visit two biomes on Minmus, plus temp and pressure readings in atmosphere and in orbit. If you want to, take four goo modules and get science from the atmosphere and in orbit from them. Of course, get samples from your landing zones too, and crew/EVA reports from wherever you can (you can only store one crew report for the Processing Lab, but that's ok).

Return to orbit, dock with an orbiting Processing Lab. Unload all your science into it. of course you should have two scientists on board. I have two level-1 scientists on mine. It's easy to level the scientists to 1 star just by getting them into Kerbin orbit once and returning.

That science may be all you need to fill out the entire tech tree. 

And I haven't done the maths, but I suspect you could do it with only science from Kerbin, in a Processing Lab sitting next to the launch pad. It would take multiple biomes, though.

Now, to me, that seems a bit much. The science you get from the Processing Lab is very, very good. It multiplies the science you get by two or three, or more. Again, I haven't done the maths, but I am currently sending a probe to Bop. I did as I described above before I left. I've done one more mission to Eve and Gilly since then. Every 350 days or so, on the way to Bop, I go back to the Processing Lab I have in orbit and transmit the science. I get 500 science from it every time. I started out with 750 data (from the Minmus mission), and have already transmitted 1000 science back. I still have 500 data to work with (it converts "data" to "science" at some multiple, more than 2-1), and I haven't even processed all the data I got from Minmus.

I should really do the maths here. But I'm lazy. I did this in my last career, and it was the same kind of thing. A mission to Minmus (or the Mun, if you prefer) that would normally return 300-400 science returns thousands of science after processing.

Now, I'm not complaining, necessarily, but it does seem to be an astounding return for the effort you put into it.

Thoughts are welcome.

 

Edited by RocketBlam
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you may be commenting on the overall freestyle nature of KSP gameplay and not noticing it. It seems what you're getting at is not the part but how you are using it. The tech tree surely could be filled out this way, but doing what you described involves a bit of skill in the game. A player able to construct and pull off all the necessary maneuvers you described, while still considering it trivial, shouldn't really be trying to unlock the tech tree this way. Maybe try not using the lab within Kerbin's SOI? Or better yet, just fiddle with the difficulty options in the settings on a new save to reduce those science returns to trash. Bump up that difficulty! You may have reached the point in your KSP path where you have to start making things harder on yourself!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, fair enough. I guess it's a question of the difficulty curve. Once you can land on Minmus or the Mun, and can dock, unlocking the Lab is basically a ticket to the end of the tech tree. I mean yes, it is easy for me, the player who did the Kessel run in 12 parsecs returned a Kerbal from the surface of Eve -- Twice. 

(I'm sorry if it seems like I'm bragging about that, but... who else am I going to brag to? The people in World of Tanks?)

But it's actually easy for anyone who can just get to the Mun, and dock afterwards. Well... ok. You have a fair point. You also have to know how to rendezvous in orbit, which to be blunt, even the Russians couldn't figure out.

Still, you can fill out the tech tree from just one mission to one of the moons of Kerbin. That seems really strong.

OK, I did a little bit of the maths, also.

From a science mission that would have returned 57.6 science if recovered, that science converted to 290 data. So that's a more than 5-1 conversion ratio.

Converting 100 data resulted in 500 science - another 5-1 ratio. So we're talking about a 25-1 ratio of recovered science to processed science! Return it to Kerbin, 57.6 science. Process it in a lab, over time, that's over 1400 science!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not meant to be harsh in anyway, hope it didn't come off as such :)

I get what you're saying though, it definitely feels like you can get to the "end" of the game quick, but that comes back to the questions of where for someone the game really starts...*Pshhhhh* *mind blown*

Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it didn't sound harsh. You had a good point actually. I hadn't really thought of the kind of skills you have to have to do this... docking, rendezvous, etc.

Although it occurs to me, if you can land your lander fairly close to a specific spot on Kerbin, you don't even have to dock. Just land near a Lab on Kerbin, take the science out with your Kerbal, and put it in the lab manually. Hmm... I may try that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My dirty trick is simple- an MPL with a gravoli detector in Munar orbit. You can keep it filled with science for quite some time with this simple setup. I think the science numbers in general are OP, I just started a career with 30% gains and it seems to be a bit more challenging balanced. The entire sci/tech system could use some balance, I feel that the other planets should be more involved in unlocking the tech tree to encourage more exploration.

Edited by Waxing_Kibbous
Link to post
Share on other sites

As was pointed out above, if you can figure out how to use this functionality as an exploit and then go through the trouble of doing it, then yes, it might be considered overpowered. But for the average player, playing the average Career campaign on Normal difficulty, it makes a lot of sense.

For instance, I'm running a somewhat-heavily modded Career save in 1.1.2 (actually started it in 1.0 but didn't get very far, fiddled a bit more in 1.0.4, then took a long-ish break until the 1.1 betas, but anyway ...). Since late March, I've played a few hours every few days, longer on weekends. When I got back to my game with the 1.1 betas, I had only unlocked the first couple tiers of the tech tree. Having played the game for over three years now (since 0.19), I've "done it all" with only a few exceptions (never done a single-mission Grand Tour, or bothered beating my head against the "Eve Return" brick wall). But I've been to all the bodies in the system including Tylo, done Laythe and Duna colonies, established resource mining bases (with Kethane before stock resources were a thing). 

I say all that to underscore this: I know what *can* be done, if I want to just mine Science!™ instead of play the game. But most average players, the kinds of people who only hit up a forum to troubleshoot a problem, won't know how to do this thing. What they'll do is something like what I have ended up doing late in my own Career save. In my case, I've visited Eve and Gilly with a couple probes, done a flyby of Moho (screwed up my dV estimates and couldn't make orbit - feel like a n00b again), landed a probe on Ike and a crew on Duna, have another crew en route to Jool for Science!™ around as many moons as I can manage before hitting my dV budget, and have a probe en route to Dres. So I'm now with only a few top tier nodes left (all requiring 500 - 1500 Science™ each) I have a choice: I can spend the couple of game-years between transfer windows grinding through stupid contracts ferrying tourists, rescuing buffoons or doing silly tests of landing gears on escape trajectories out of Minmus just to earn millions of Funds, or I can load up a couple Labs on stations with Science!™ and then warp a month to the next mid-course correction or SOI change for one of my missions and gain enough Science™ to maybe finally unlock another one of those high-tech nodes. 

Frankly, either approach isn't "realistic" in the sense of how humans run space programs. But both represent viable ways to play KSP, depending on how one chooses to define "fun." For me, sometimes I want to do space rescue silliness, so I'll go rescue Idiot Kerman from low Mün orbit. But other times I'm impatient to get my lander to Gilly or get a probe to Jool, so 'll timewarp to an SOI. But if I'm going to "waste" that time, I might as well simulate the general advancement of science and technology that occurs with the passage of time in a progressive civilization. 

So in that sense, I don't mind checking in on my labs every month or two, getting 300 - 500 Science!™ each time so I can unlock those last few nodes and finish out my tech tree, thus enabling my "end game" of colonies on Minmus, Mün, Duna and maybe Laythe, mining stations on Minmus, Gilly, Ike and the Joolian moons, whatever. In other words, a way to avoid the biome grind.

tl; dr - play however you want. What's OP for you is just another way to avoid a grind for someone else.

Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI, I've been to Tylo also, and... Eve isn't that much harder than Tylo, it's just a different kind of hard. Tylo is easier to take off from, but much harder to land on. You have to have huge D/V and huge TWR. My first couple of tries crashed because I just couldn't slow down fast enough. 

Just a thought. Eve isn't a brick wall, but it's a big challenge. I have to try it again now, since aerodynamics and atmospheres have changed so much.

Edited by RocketBlam
Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion by the time you have unlocked the lab and the parts to get it into space, along with having the skills or knowledge required to send it to another body and man it, recover the data to feed it and dock a craft with it...chances are you have unlocked a good sized chunk of the tech tree anyway right?

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can adjust the difficulty to get less science. You can get part packs and community tech tree to expand it so there are more things to unlock with science. And if you still have too much science, you can convert science to funding or rep with admin strategies. Sooo...yeah.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, RocketBlam said:

FYI, I've been to Tylo also, and... Eve isn't that much harder than Tylo, it's just a different kind of hard. Tylo is easier to take off from, but much harder to land on.

As someone who's done both as well, I find Tylo to be marginally more difficult than Mun, but consider Eve the single hardest thing you can do in the game.

Regarding the MPL, I don't use it. It seems an odd combination of grindy annoyance and super science fountain.

Edited by 5thHorseman
Link to post
Share on other sites

If KSP was an MP game then, yes, the MPL would be OP. For a SP game though, what would be the point of rushing through the tech tree? You would only be robbing yourself of part of the experience you paid for. 

In fact, it makes an interesting alternative way to the end-game once you are a little jaded with the usual ways. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

First: no, if you put an MPL on the surface of Kerbin you get almost nothing for it, ever. A grand total of maybe 500 science points in 3 years, if you load every single one of the 500+ Kerbin experiments into it. (As I recall, an MPL in Kerbin orbit filled with Kerbin experiments will get you about 6000 science points eventually -- so it's not enough to fill out the tree.)

I had a thread about the MPL once. Another player made a comment about a personal rule that he was only allowed to put one MPL in Kerbin orbit and load it with Kerbin data only, and that was it. If I use an MPL at all, I kind of like that rule. But an MPL in Kerbin orbit with one scientist only produces 5 points of science a day -- so a big science mission returning from the Mun or Minmus totally overwhelms the output from the MPL. That makes it more of a balanced part.

It's also true that the MPL is on the tech tree in (what I consider to be) the best path to the Variometer device. So I get it very early in the game -- before I've even gotten to orbit, usually.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the lab to unlock the tech tree early, often before I go to Minmus. I do all my role playing in career and the lab plays a big part.

i have bases which send back science for funds. With the use of multi-mission rockets and a mining operation, I need very little contracts later on.

i just wish the planets had more bioms to make the bases as fun as the ones on Minmus and the Mun.

The way I play, unlocking the tech tree early isn't cheating myself. It is when my game really starts.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, RocketBlam said:

Take a lander to Minmus. Have two Sc-9001 Science Jr's, two Goo Modules, a thermometer and a Barometer on your lander.

Nope, install ForScience and then take a lander to Minmus with one science jr, one goo, one tmp, one pressure, one scientist and one pilot. Visit two biomes to gather science and don't transmit any of it (not that you could - the batteries aren't good enough) and when you return to Kerbin get 1600 science. Yes, that is what I got from one trip.

There's a huge amount of science in the game and I suspect that most people are missing most of it. I doubt if people have actually got the time to actually process all of it. Besides, you can probably fill out the entire tech tree without the processing.

I feel that that mod takes out a large part of the game but I also think that Squad went a little bit overboard in sheer tedium of gathering all that science.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jabbman said:

Eh?

They figured it out but it took them longer than the Americans. Their first widely-touted dual mission was more of a low relative-velocity flyby (Vostok 3 & 4); Vostok and Voskhod spacecraft couldn't change their orbits, aside from deorbiting at the end of the flight.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The shame of unlocking the science tree too fast is that you miss out doing the intermediate designs that you wouldn't have tried out with the complete tree. Also, it kinda makes the whole science mechanic irrelevant so you question why is even there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Waxing_Kibbous said:

My dirty trick is simple- an MPL with a gravoli detector in Munar orbit. You can keep it filled with science for quite some time with this simple setup. I think the science numbers in general are OP, I just started a career with 30% gains and it seems to be a bit more challenging balanced. The entire sci/tech system could use some balance, I feel that the other planets should be more involved in unlocking the tech tree to encourage more exploration.

I was under the impression that this was more or less fixed in 1.1  In 1.0 you could do this, but eventually (after getting five times the data) you would "use up" the MPL and need to move the gravoli detector to another MPL.

Also, have you really tried it?  With only the tiny amount of science provided by a single source of science (even across all the biomes), you probably won't get enough science to really fill the hopper and have a decent return of science (or not.  Especially with a "automatically grab all the science" mod.  And you really want a "grab all the science mod" since using a polar orbit (to grab all the biomes) means taking a kerbal month to process around the Mun.

I started an overly ambitious plan to grab all the science via Minmus on 1.0.x and pretty much burned out before completing it.  I highly recommend changing the way MPLs work to prevent tedious abuse (both of the game and the players).

Link to post
Share on other sites

The MPL is not overpowered in Hard Mode.  Or with the Science Rewards slider turned down to whatever you want - Normal is 100%, Hard is 60%, and the slider goes down to 10%.  I guarantee that on 10% rewards, you will need to spam labs everywhere you can reach and lean on the > key quite a bit.

This is generally true for statement "XXX is OP!"  If anything in the game feels too easy, make it harder.  If you buy Call Of Duty and set it on easy mode, you shouldn't complain that you didn't get your money's worth because you finished the game in an hour.  

Sometimes I'm a little surprised how little discussion there is on the forums about difficulty levels in KSP - this ought to be everyone's primary mode of tuning the game to their liking, and there are a LOT of complex variables.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To test it I just ran through a new science game. It wasn't the most efficient way but the following took about an hour...

Basic experiments outside VAB and then SPH. 

Rocket straight up to +250km and back.

Unlock more experiments and repeat above.

Flyby of Mun, low and high.

Flyby of Minmus, low and high. 

Unlock MPL.

MPL base on Mun with most of the experiments. Use warp to speed things up. 

MPL base on Minmus with all experiments. 

Tech tree complete. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It definitely felt OP when I tried it.

This is a game, not just a simulation. Of course, you can simply choose to not use the MLP, but do that makes it feel like a bug.

They need to add a setting that only lets you get MLP science for a given thing once.  Hard mode should use this setting.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's rather hard to balance science, IMO. If you simply crank up the difficulty / crank down the science return sliders, it just becomes too grindy. I think it would be better to chop the science returns after the first biome or two on a body (except maybe Kerbin itself, since the returns there are tiny anyways); this would encourage going interplanetary, and probably require interplanetary to complete the tree. I certainly couldn't be bothered to land on every biome on the Mun yet again, after a few careers with completed tech trees.

Link to post
Share on other sites
This thread is quite old. Please consider starting a new thread rather than reviving this one.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...