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Is putting the science, reward and rep slider on 10% doable


xendelaar
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Hey kerbonouts, 

I thought it would be fun to start a career with the science, rep and reward slider set to  10 %. 

Turns Out,  it's pretty darn difficult to turn a profit. There is not enough science on kerbin to unlock the necessary the tech nodes to land on minmus or the mun without stranding  poor old jeb. and i don't get enough profit to upgrade my platform in order to launch bigger low tech vessels. I currently saved up 64k worth of funds (coming from 10k).

Have any of you guys tried this kind of carreer? How did you get out "the low tech valley"?

 

Edited by xendelaar
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That's pretty rough- You could probably go as low as 30% science and 50% funds, keeping the funds/rep penalty sliders at 100 still. Right now I'm playing at 40% science with the full science reward mod and 70% funds, 0 starting funds (Starting funds are kind of OP IMO), everything else normal. It feels challenging without being grindy, but it's still early in my career- we'll see how it goes when I try to get the later tech tree stuff :) At the same time I want my interplanetary missions to matter in terms of unlocking the tech tree so we'll see if this is a good balance.

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I guess  it's pretty uncommon to use these settings hehe. 

I'm going  to  save up and upgrade my launch platform before i decide to restart under more forgiving settings.  I'm hoping everything will go downhill from there.

 

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I'm the opposite of you , it seems. I only play Career mode with all settings on default except for starting science which is cranked all the way to maximum. SpaceM is a private space company, not discovering space travel from scratch! That way, the you get all the science nodes until the third facility update. You still have to collect science at that point, but I like having things like solar panels available from the beginning. :)

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Completing the science shouldn't be an issue. There is enough Science at KSC alone to get you the tech needed to get to Minmus. Once there, go biome hopping around.

About Science at KSC, just build a Science cart on wheel and visit each KSC buildings. Every building, including the flag pole, is a different biome.

This challenge might give you some inspiration:

 

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18 minutes ago, wibou7 said:

Completing the science shouldn't be an issue. There is enough Science at KSC alone to get you the tech needed to get to Minmus. Once there, go biome hopping around.

About Science at KSC, just build a Science cart on wheel and visit each KSC buildings. Every building, including the flag pole, is a different biome.

First you have to research wheels...

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29 minutes ago, TGApples said:

First you have to research wheels...

Or you put command pods together and use rotating wheels to roll around.

From launchpad you should be able to get to VAB and maybe a little farther (shoreline, ...).

From runway you should be able to roll to the lowland. If you are really conservative, you might get to the SPH.

With that, research the wheel and do the rest...

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 with the science slider at 10% the yield of any experiment at kerbin is extremely low (somewhere in the range of 0.5 science per experiment ). my next tech node requires 45 science. I'm never getting This amount of science by just visiting the biomes at the KSC..

Btw. I did the caveman challenge. It was great but a bit easy on regular hard mode. That's the reason I'm trying the 10% slider thing. :)

Edited by xendelaar
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This post in the ADNR Caveman Challenge is a mission log and details how to switchback up this mountain.  There was a feeling that it is going to be near impossible but the cave responded.  The ability to have EVA science from space cleared a path. 

6 hours ago, xendelaar said:

amount of science by just visiting the biomes at the KSC.

That is true even visiting all the other biomes on Kerbin.  When the science form EVA in space is achieved it becomes interesting.  You have the potential for amassing science and risk the kerbal to do so,.

Just finished a primitive kerbal korral design. The  testing went well and looks promising for venturing into outer space.

fP4g5ow.pngJpOzNBB.png

JmcaCy7.pngvDR4zoQ.png

Album

This design ensures the relative safety of the kerbal

Edited by MoeslyArmlis
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My previous career run

6 hours ago, MoeslyArmlis said:

This post in the ADNR Caveman Challenge is a mission log and details how to switchback up this mountain.  There was a feeling that it is going to be near impossible but the cave responded.  The ability to have EVA science from space cleared a path. 

That is true even visiting all the other biomes on Kerbin.  When the science form EVA in space is achieved it becomes interesting.  You have the potential for amassing science and risk the kerbal to do so,.

Just finished a primitive kerbal korral design. The  testing went well and looks promising for venturing into outer space.

fP4g5ow.pngJpOzNBB.png

JmcaCy7.pngvDR4zoQ.png

Album

This design ensures the relative safety of the kerbal

This is genius! Thanks for the advice :)

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From my experience, it's possible, but not enjoyable. You end up doing a lot of the same things; sending up dozens of contract satellites on the cheap, taking tourists up in SSTOs for local jaunts, switching to existing probes to send back the same experiment yet again. After a while, it gets dull, and you just want to end it even though you've barely sent a probe to Duna.

My 2p is that if you want a slower progression you should restrict science only :) 

Reduced science with standard funding will result in a real drive to get out of Kerbin orbit and go visit the richer pickings in the solar system, while not leaving you so starved of money that you can't afford the engines to go do it. 10% science becomes viable once you have a lab up in LKO. If all your trips home are returning through it, then you're back to 50%. It does require more mission planning, and you do need to bring things back however. You'll also end up doing a lot of trips on lower tech than you're comfortable with, which is challenging and usually very satisfying ^^ 

*edit* But as the OP observed, 10% is very hard to get rolling. It may be necessary to give the game a bit of an artificial kick early on, and award perhaps 50-100 science points so that you can have the basics like rocket fins, just to allow you to get away from Kerbin in the first place.

Edited by eddiew
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I agree with @eddiew.

My current career is at 10% science with 100% profit and 100% reputation and it is really not that hard.

I like having to explore more biome, put science lab everywhere and feed them with tons of data to be able to advance in the tech tree... But contracts are already tedious at 100%, it would be over-grindy at 10%.

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I prefer 50% science with 100% rep and funds (although I don't feel like reducing those down to about 70% would really impede me too much), but I also prefer to start with all <100 science nodes unlocked, really helps reduce the grindy feeling.

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It's doable, but yeah, grind is not difficulty any more than delta-V is difficulty.

The Caveman Challenge, now that's difficulty. And if you still think it's too easy, well 1) Go do a Caveman Jool-5, Eve Return, or Grand Tour, or B: Try even more aggressive restrictions on mass, part count, or tech tree level.

Edited by cantab
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7 hours ago, eddiew said:

From my experience, it's possible, but not enjoyable. You end up doing a lot of the same things; sending up dozens of contract satellites on the cheap, taking tourists up in SSTOs for local jaunts, switching to existing probes to send back the same experiment yet again. After a while, it gets dull, and you just want to end it even though you've barely sent a probe to Duna.

My 2p is that if you want a slower progression you should restrict science only :) 

Reduced science with standard funding will result in a real drive to get out of Kerbin orbit and go visit the richer pickings in the solar system, while not leaving you so starved of money that you can't afford the engines to go do it. 10% science becomes viable once you have a lab up in LKO. If all your trips home are returning through it, then you're back to 50%. It does require more mission planning, and you do need to bring things back however. You'll also end up doing a lot of trips on lower tech than you're comfortable with, which is challenging and usually very satisfying ^^ 

*edit* But as the OP observed, 10% is very hard to get rolling. It may be necessary to give the game a bit of an artificial kick early on, and award perhaps 50-100 science points so that you can have the basics like rocket fins, just to allow you to get away from Kerbin in the first place.

I enjoy the opposite. More generous science returns but less for funds, and a hefty reputation penalty to really spice it up.  You may get new parts released faster, but without the funds to upgrade facilities as quickly, then it becomes a challenge to meet within weight, height, and part limitations.  And if you can't upgrade R&D or the Astronaut Complex so soon, then that's less access to science, EVA's, and collecting ground samples.  I suppose this is one reason I don't mind tourist and VIP contracts so much.

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18 hours ago, regex said:

I prefer 50% science with 100% rep and funds (although I don't feel like reducing those down to about 70% would really impede me too much), but I also prefer to start with all <100 science nodes unlocked, really helps reduce the grindy feeling.

I do exactly the same, 50% science and 100% funds. That was nearly the same as 100%/100% except I had to go to Duna/Ike to unlock all the tech tree. I agree with you that 100% funds is too much. You get funds too easily.

Those sliders are quite hard to tweak. the early game is quite frustrating : you need to grind a lot to get a proper rocket to fly. the 30 part limits is a pain, especially when you only have small tanks for example. Then you get the second level on building that basically lift all restriction (you rarely launch 255+ part crafts even in late game.

Those upgrade require funds. BUT when you unlock them, there is no much reason to use funds except for flying rocket (you can easily get fund with contract for that).

So, my experience on reducing science, and maybe funds too is it makes the easily game more grindy and don't change the late game.

Maybe if there was 5 more gradual levels for buildings which would still have to be upgraded when you've reached Past Duna/Eve, that would make a smoother game.

For my part, I've upgraded all buildings (I lifted my fund constraint) and I unlocked all tech tree (I don't need science point now). Except for experience points which is not much of a fun gameplay, I feel playing sandbox.

 

Edited by Warzouz
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Here is the post that started the caveman EVA from space.  Gathering this EVA science data without upgrading the facilities was very exciting and allowed for harder careers. 

This for me was an interesting approach to gathering science. Bob went out to both moons and gathered EVA science from space.  The non physics time warp would cause Bob to drift away and then he had to use his jetpack to reach the safety of the service module.  After Bob climbed inside and shut the doors the vessel would then complete a maneuver.  Towards the end of the journey Bob's propellant was less than one unit which made every jetpack thrust done very lightly.  

Bending around the restrictions makes this career choice fun for me.  Even constructing vessels on the lawn to circumvent the VAB/SPH and launch pad limitations has totally changed how this career is played out.  Now the new wheel physics should make hauling an 18 tonne booster a little tougher.  And to make the construction phase even more difficult the dessert launchpad could be used for the final assembly and launch.  Too bad fuel refining and transfer can not be done on low tech levels and non upgraded facilities.

To answer the OP question if this career is doable and the answer would be yes.

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It'd be neat, if like an RPG, your space program had  "starting attributes", in the form of x number of unlocked tech nodes, and y number of upgraded buildings, so that you could form a "specialization", as it were. Then you wouldn't need to remember, "oh hey I need to tweak my funds to exactly this and my science to exactly this, in order to make this game not grindy but still experience the neat funds indicator as it wobbles close enough to 0 to give me the fear of god."

Harder "difficulty" (more grind), just subtract from x & y. 

But yeah, I don't recommend a playthrough with 10% anything.

I've been playing this game for apx 3 years and for the "fun" in 1.1.2 i started a hard career, just to confirm to myself that (again, and still) it is truly awful.

Even using normal difficulty, I find it takes not reasonably less than a dozen launches in order to go interplanetary with even a semblance of a ship with decent parts.

Retractable solar panels (to reduce solar panel spam): 300 science
Nuclear engines: 300 science
Docking port: 160 science
Lander can : 160 science
Seismic Accelerometer: 300 science (eg: capacity to do all science in a region at one time, minus losses)

Not including previous tiers: 1220 Science. Even opting out of some tech this is bare bones interplanetary and requires a good 850 science. And this doesn't even consider ISRU or rovers or anything else you might have liked to do with this video game, bc instead you're rolling around at KSC for 0.5 science.

The writing is literally on the wall. You must get 1220 Science before you even have practical interplanetary capabilities. Emphasis in bold. Sure, you can stack 50 tiny fuel tanks on whatever engine you happen to have unlocked and send an ugly monstrosity to another planet, but you're just going to dispose of that craft and be forced to launch another a more competent craft to the same interplanetary location at a later time. This just adds more to the existing grind problem.

Without a starting boost, the "difficulty" inferred from lower slider is, as others have mentioned, nothing of the sort. Save yourself the headache.

Edited by Violent Jeb
added junk, took away junk
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You don't have to wait for practical, though. The Skipper alone is enough for interplanetary travel, and can easily take probes to Duna and Eve for some prospective science.  So, the writing isn't on the wall.

There is absolutely no reason to wait until you got the ideal assortment of parts to get a probe mission going. Or even a kerballed mission with a chance of return or long-term base.  You don't even have to focus on any early interplanetary missions, and instead get them launched and enroute, and then focus on local missions in the meantime to build funds for a bigger follow-up interplanetary mission.  For example, send a probe to Duna, get some nice science that would still net a nice return through transmission, and have that science to give you a jump towards that ideal craft you'd like to build.

Sitting on your hands grinding to that ideal figure seems a bit ludicrous, actually, as there is already so much possible to do without NERVAs.

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It is completely possible, and actually easy if you exploit:
 - science rewards from contracts
    => unlock Mobile Processing Lab, and spam the data->sci conversion

I tried this 10% thing(hard + all rewards to 10%), with Contract Rewards Modifier mod to set science rewards on all contracts to zero, and with a vow to never touch the "Transmit Science" button on the MPL(station contracts still want them though). It is difficult, every launch is nerve wrecking and science is sacred...there is no unlocking wheels, because wheels won't get you to space, and space is the way to more science.

I had a tiny science capsule on a Flea booster, parachuted it down to every single KSC binome, and all the nearby binomes(luckily desert is just a few km's on the other side of the mountain). I find the trick is to get probes unlocked as quickly as possible: Better savings on each launch, and no nuking your reputation on a killed kerbal.

I had probes do flybys of Mun and Minmus, got all the LKO EVA sci, but it felt like a brick wall to get further than the 90sci node...it is more science than the total science ever collected in that career. Currently i am doing exactly the same type of career, but with 30% and it is not really hard. After the first interplanetary probe, you start drowning in money as usual...as long as you focus on keeping costs down

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It's great to read all your responses and ideas. Everybody is enjoying KSP in their own special way. :D

I have to admit: for me, putting all the sliders on 10% wasn't a very good idea. I couldn't get out of Poor Mans Valley and I sadly took on a contract that was virtually impossible with the techs I had available. Cancelling the contract would set met back 50k (which was approximately 75% of my current budget...)..

I finally caved in and restarted a career with the sliders on 20%... It's much easier this way. The missions are way more profitable now and getting science points/ unlocking nodes  isn't an issue any more. I think putting the science slider on 10% and the reward slider on 20% would be a perfect way of stretching the career experience. This way, I'm are "forced" to do science on other bodies other than the Mun, Miinmus and Ike/Gilly, which, on hard mode, contain more than enough science points to unlock the complete tech tree, even without the use of the science lab. Also, playing with a tight budget forces me to rethink my designs, which is always a nice puzzle. I know this grindy kind of gameplay isn't exactly mainstream, but I love it hehe.

 

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30/30 is rather easy.  I suspect 10% science 30% funds is a little more grindy and the jump from high orbit to Mun flyby can be pretty tricky with any science gear.  By the time you get to 10% science 10% funds my best missions barely pay back 50%.

 

Here are some tips you may not have thought of

1.  Everything must be 100% reusable.  First stage lifter should be a LFO reliant with parachutes and 1800-2000 dv.  This allows a nice high AP so you can get the next stage safe and recover the first stage

2. Your first flyby of the Mun may not have a science jr on it.  This is just a fact you will have to accept.

3.  Maned flybys of Mun and Minimus are possible with tier 0 and level 0 tech.  Astronaut complex upgrade and EVA farming are probably the most important science upgrades possible

4.  You may have to send probes before you will have the tech to send maned later.

 

If you are doing it no save/no revert these are pretty high risk strategies with very tight dv budgets so be very careful.

Edited by Nich
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