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Is it true that most KSP players never go interplanetary?


KerikBalm
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There is really enough mods in this game to fly interplanetary: first, the WIKI to learn, then KER to calculate DV, PROTRACTOR to calculate interplanetary travel, MECHJEB as autopilot, Docking Port Alignment Indicator to help with docking.

You can't make an interplanetary travel with a lot of knowledge and tools. Would you build an airliner to go from Paris to New York and fly the aircraft all the way long manually? Certainly not! It would be suicide....even if you know everything in the art of piloting.

There's no shame using tools to fly interplanetary travel. If you can't land manually on mun the first time, use mechjeb to learn, then fly the landing and take off manually.. Once you realize it's easy to go to the mun, Duna is easy, every travel is easy and the big challenge is Eve for the rockets and Laythe for the Aircraft. In the real life astronaut never flies manually take off and climb, they use tools and computers to do it.

then the challenge is to build and improve ships as well as fly missions....

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I've been playing for about three years and I've not done many interplanetary missions. I've visited everywhere except Vall and Tylo and maybe Dres. Although most of that was before we had career mode and they were boring missions that made no contextual sense. I.e., launch big rocket -> rocket lands on its fins on Bop after 5 years -> rocket comes back after 5 years more.

After I did all those missions I decided that I wanted my space program to make sense, which was right about the time career mode and ISRU came out. At that point I lost interest in KSP for a while due both to not wanting to figure out this new facet of the game and confusion over which mods I really wanted. Plus I think my computer broke or something... anyway I've just recently been returning to the game and I must say that I'm enjoying it much more now than I have in the past.

My first career in a long time, in 1.1, I had probes and kerballed ships that had landed on and returned from Duna and Ike, a probe at Eve with a kerballed mission on the way, a flyby of Moho, and probes headed for Dres, Jool and each of its moons. I had two bases on the Mun and one on Minmus, as well as a space station around Kerbin. That save got cancelled because I found so many mods that I just had to have and decided it would be easier to start over.

Now in my current save, I've got four probes waiting for a Duna transfer window, while I set up my Kerbin station and explore all the various biomes of the Mun and Minmus with the tiniest spaceship I have ever designed (the Mun Beetle, look how cute it is :Dhttp://imgur.com/a/e9ROx). However I'm getting QUITE sick of the Mun and Minmus so I'll have to go back to my old habits of launching missions to everywhere, but unfortunately I can only bear to time warp through weeks to get to a transfer window if there is nothing left for me to do between now and then, so... I've got 180 days until Duna transfer, and all my funding is more or less depending on exploring Ike... so I'm going interplanetary no matter if I like it or not :D the free market says so.

Anyway, I think the biggest barrier to me back when I first was doing missions was rocket design. Although back then rockets were fairly simple, not a lot of science or heat shielding or anything like that. So it really wasn't much challenge. But now...

Now I think there are two big challenges. Designing ships that are capable of doing science and bringing it back is tough. Re-entry means something now and science modules are delicate, so that can be tough. The other main barrier (for me at least) is time. It takes years to get to Jool, and as badly as I want to go back to Pol because I thought it was breathtaking last time I was there, but I just don't have the heart to coop up a kerbal in a Gemini pod for 10 years straight anymore. So for me the challenge is infrastructure for roleplay. (Well, and recently USI life support... still not sure how I'm gonna go interplanetary with that xD)

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Well, to add my voice to this discussion. I've never reached another planet (save for once hyperediting two things into Duna orbit for some manoeuvres that I could have done over Kerbin just the same), let alone completed an interplanetary mission. I do a lot of Kerbin system missions though.

The reason for me is quite simple, it's not a lack of skill in piloting or designing or feeling intimidated by the prospect. It's time.

I usually play career games and I don't like letting the agency just sit while I wait for transfer windows. As a result (I think it was 1.0.2 or 1.0.4 for the best example) I sometimes start an interplanetary flight, in fact I'm always keen to do so. However, long before arrival a new version drops and I restart (1.0.3-1.0.4 and 1.0.5-1.1.2 were the exceptions, the latter to prevent this). This is compounded by long design phases and limited time to play.

To compensate I RP implement launch delays and intend to slow down operations soon to allow more travel time to be time warped.

So far: I have my first mission (an "out of season" Dres mission, and before anyone gets excited, it was just because I managed to snag an easy transfer to it, I don't intend to wind up a part of that debate) on its way and a Duna & Jool expedition about to hit their window (the Jool expedition is being sent via a non-optimal trajectory). That should cover it for a while but we'll see if it works out.

Edited by AkuAerospace
Removed "sign off"
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To me interplanetary is where all the fun and challenge is!

 

But I feel the lack of embedded dv charts, launch window planner and readouts for stages undermine any intention of interplanetary travels in the stock game. Sure, we have mods for that.. but shouldn't that be stock?!

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I have mastered the fine art (ummm, yeah, that's what it is, I'm quite sure) of eyeballing transfer windows from the tracking station. Actually, I use the the edge of a piece of paper to keep track of the tangent of the inner planet's orbit in my transfer, and timewarp until that tangent intersects the outer planet in its orbit. Then I stop timewarp and launch. I probably look ridiculous twisting that piece of paper around in front of my laptop screen, heh.

Sometimes I'm not patient enough even for that and launch without looking at launch windows, and then perform my interplanetary flight similar to how you would fly a rendezvous with two craft in Kerbin orbit. I don't usually launch multiple missions at once and I am quite okay with timewarping a lot. It's a waste of delta-v, of course.

What I would have trouble living without is KER's delta-v readouts, though.

Edited by pasukaru76
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My biggest challenges are getting the planetary capture and actually designing a vehicle that can get there and back.  The maneuver planning tool is so hard to use, I can never tell what direction I'm going to arrive at the planet, or if I'm even going to be able to stop myself, let alone have enough fuel to land the thing.  Oh, and you want me to come back to Kerbin as well?  I've done 2 missions (both drones) to Duna and only one of them managed to hit its SOI.  That one came in so hot that I burned up all my fuel just trying for a capture - and failed at that.

 

I enjoy building modular stations and bases in career mode and have several orbital refueling stations and science centers around Kerbin, Minmus and the Mun.  My current challenge is figuring out how to land multiple vehicles in the same location so that I can start really exploring building surface bases on the Mun and Minmus.

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3 hours ago, Greylin said:

I can never tell what direction I'm going to arrive at the planet

In case this info is new to you (hard to tell), try pressing tab a few times in the map screen to set focus to your destination planet. Makes it much easier to see the effect of a given burn on your arrival path.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Career mode places much less emphasis on planets IMO.  Sure, you get tons of science for them, but when you've got missions expiring in days and things take weeks to arrive, it's hard to keep your attention focused.

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For me at least it's still a bit of a task to figure out interplanetary transfers.  Esp since I have a self imposed mandate to not leave junk all over.

I went to duna in the past with a crewed mission, I've flown probes to Duna, Eve, and threw one past Jool on a Voyager like escape trajectory back in 0.24 and just yesterday I managed to do an Apollo Applications type Eve flyby.

Tho I had to dock 2 Nuclear Shuttles to the ship, which were crashed into Eve once empty.  While there I deployed 2 polar ore scanners around Eve and Gilly, and dropped a Science probe on Eve.  Then managed to get the flyby to get me back to Kerbin, tho it took every bit of fuel to do it (and a few dozen m/s off RCS).

This was all very seat of the pants, even with calculators and plotters, as they never seem to quite match up with what happens in the game...

The game really needs such a launch window indicator in the game.

And no Mech jeb doesn't cut it, at least not ATM when you get wildly different "answers" with every press of "Create Node".

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I sent a 1 man mission to Duna and returned after assembling the craft in orbit comprised of a lander and interplanetary tug, now I just send probes to other planets and moons and mainly stay in Kerbins SOI, I may plan a duna return in my new save though in the future)

Edited by AeroAviation
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I have the minimum amount of satellites and a station usually in Kerbin orbit and a lot of interplanetary probes. For me the funniest moment is when I carefully plan, build and execute interplanetary manned missions. 

I like to build huge motherships with landers, probes and a lot of space of the astronauts. 

Thanks to Kerbal Alarm Clock I can build the ship way before the departure, launch the mission and do other things while waiting for the mission to arrive. 

I play just in Science mode, so I enjoy a lot gathering science all around the solar system.

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It seems to me that in career mode interplanetary is contrary to the contract system.  If you like to grab contracts that you will be doing a bit latter then you decide to go out of Kerbin's SOI you run into the problem that once you leave timewarp you find your contracts have either lapsed or are nearly lapsed forcing you to complete them (or give up on them) when you aren't quite ready. 

If contract expiration time was suspended while in time warp it would eliminate this problem (maybe a mod could do this if it can be triggered at the start and end of every time warp than it could just add the elapsed time back into any active contract's length of contract parameter, I think).  I know they make contract expiration time fairly long to account for this but I still have the problem, it would be nicer if they just had relatively short times but were suspended while time warping.  The other problem is having to periodically go out of time warp and go back to the space center to see if any interesting contracts have popped up, but you can just ignore that (though I've got some nice contracts checking periodically) as new ones will pop up after the time warp.

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Lifesupport & Interplanetary = inefficient

Probes are the way to go... but even lately i just reached duna with probes before starting a new game (lack of useful contracts in old game). 

Edited by StainX
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On 14.6.2016 at 5:13 PM, Corona688 said:

Career mode places much less emphasis on planets IMO.  Sure, you get tons of science for them, but when you've got missions expiring in days and things take weeks to arrive, it's hard to keep your attention focused.

Yes, career kind of kill interplanetary missions if you keep accepting contracts for the kerbin system all the time. 
 

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I play ksp since late 2013.
Since I started I only went to mun minmus. I did take a Duna trip within my first year, and send several probes to eve and one to Jool. But most of my missions which were several to many dozen of them went to Mun/Minmus.
I was to caught up in the beginning with station building, sending rovers, building bases, playing the career mode and harvesting science on my nearest satellites to even bother the other objects.
It is since a year that I completely lost interest in Mun/Minmus.

I think I havent gone to the Mun in like 6 months or so, except for some probes in RSS, but that's not the Mun but the Moon ofcourse, and in a way harder then a stock interplanetary mission.
These days, I mostly focus on the Joolian 5 (not a Jool 5) just on one or more of the moons, Moho, and since last week been heavily into making Eve designs. I haven't gone to the Mun and I'm not planning on doing so.


I think everyone starts there and expands their horizons. I don't think I will ever get done with KSP, ever. It simply is to much fun to ever lose interest in.
Most people do lose interest, as with many games, that just happens.
Many people lose that interest after going to the Mun/Minmus and then will say never to go beyond the Kerbin system when lurking the forums.  But that is obvious, because going further is harder. So saying that tells you that most don't go beyond the Kerbin system is actually a self fullfilling prophecy, and therefore it's probably very accurate.
The Kerbin system is most popular. And because of this I think Squad will not add additional planets to the game due to the lack of spirit. Just saying for all your "I wish additional planet being added" suggestions.

Edited by Vaporized Steel
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7 hours ago, CG_Kerbin said:

Quite a lot of people just dont have the time to got interplantary. They might like the game but just dont want to sink 100+ hours into, and may get bored by that point and go onto another game.

Which is my main gripe with career mode.  It wants to keep you tied up sending an infinite number of satellites around Kerbin for 100+ hours.  With KE and some sort of launch window calculator (or even just an idea of the correct angles) you should be able to get to Duna (and back) in sandbox with well under 100 hours of gameplay.  But you have to be in sandbox or it isn't happening.

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On ‎6‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 7:12 AM, wumpus said:

Which is my main gripe with career mode.  It wants to keep you tied up sending an infinite number of satellites around Kerbin for 100+ hours.  With KE and some sort of launch window calculator (or even just an idea of the correct angles) you should be able to get to Duna (and back) in sandbox with well under 100 hours of gameplay.  But you have to be in sandbox or it isn't happening.

I think it would help a whole lot if you could at least look the basic transfer phase angles up in KSPedia. The lack of any really useful information about the various bodies there was kind of perplexing to me. 

 

Edited by herbal space program
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I'll just say that while I try to go to other planets, I mainly focus on Mun and Minmus because you have to wait forever for the planets to line up, and then you need to wait forever for the ship to get there, and then ideally wait for it to return. This is why I've been trying to make one-way missions: I get to skip 1/3 of the waiting.

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After years I think I believe I have visited every body; not necessarily sending kerbals there and back again. But that was a long time ago. I rarely go that far away from kerbin anymore. I focus on taking the stock physics of the game to make crazy STOCK working contraptions without mods and taking the game to it's limits. I found it more fun in my history to develop and share well refined crafts with the community than to do a bunch of tedious exploration missions to things thousands of other people have already discovered. 

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On 5/17/2016 at 0:46 AM, KerikBalm said:

I've heard it stated on these forums that many if not most of the KSP players haven't visited a body farther than minmus (and even fewer do more than land on eve/duna, and fewer still return from duna).

Is this true? If so why?

I've made one trip to Duna and one to Eve.  In both cases, I was able to manage a fly-by, but not land, due to misjudging and running out of fuel.  I'd say in my case, the reasons why I haven't landed on any body further than Minmus or visited anything farther than the 2 nearest planets is that it takes a long time to get there, and I have a habit of making one mistake at some point on the grand missions which costs me my ability to succeed.  Burning too long, forgetting which part I previously set as "Control from Here" and burning several seconds in the wrong direction at the wrong time, or missing the planet entirely.

Despite that, I plan to try again soon - but it can be somewhat disheartening to spend a couple hours getting from Kerbin to Eve to find out that you can only manage a fly-by and whiz by Gilly totally by accident but be unable to slow to a capture speed. (and then unable to be rescued because your Kerbals are in a wacky solar orbit that makes rendezvous difficult)

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I'll weigh in on this one and my reasons why.

Yeah, I don't go interplanetary.  I've done it before, visited every planet once, though individually and often times not in the same saves.

Why don't I go interplanetary?  It's simple: There is nothing I can do on the other planets that I cannot do back on Kerbin.

If I want to go boating?  There's an ocean no more than 5 minutes away from KSC by rover.
If I want to fly a plane?  Build it in the SPH and send myself hurtling over mountains, barely above the ground.
If I want to make a rocket?  Typically, I don't, but I can make a rocket and fly it to orbit.
If I feel like driving for a bit?  I can build a rover and wander around Kerbin.

I can do almost anything without leaving Kerbin.  For the one or two things where I need low gravity to enjoy them, well, it's not hard to get to the Mun or Minmus, and then I can have my low-gravity party with rocket-rover crater jumping.

 

As for how to fix this?  I'm pretty sure that until we can build cities (and no, making bases and outposts doesn't count, I'm talking the idea of shipping a few dozen kerbals to a planet and having them automatically build a city with similar architecture to the KSC, with roads and buildings.) and thereby shuttle Architect Kerbals to planets in all three modes (Career, Science, and Sandbox), there's no real use, at least to me, to go to the other planets.

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10 hours ago, Jon144 said:

After years I think I believe I have visited every body; not necessarily sending kerbals there and back again. But that was a long time ago. I rarely go that far away from kerbin anymore. I focus on taking the stock physics of the game to make crazy STOCK working contraptions without mods and taking the game to it's limits. I found it more fun in my history to develop and share well refined crafts with the community than to do a bunch of tedious exploration missions to things thousands of other people have already discovered. 

I think  most people who've played for a really long time end up either doing this or getting deep into mods. I've played the game for probably close to 2000 hours now, and I still haven't been to Dres or Eloo. What's the point? Two more drab, airless moons with Mun-like gravity and very little that's new to find on them. Been there, done that.  Similarly, I landed on Vall only because it was part of the Jool5 mission. Moho, Eve, Duna, Laythe, and Tylo each present unique opportunities and challenges, so I've landed on each of those a fair number of times. But at this point, the only aspect of the game I keep finding fun is to try to come up with better, faster, or oddball craft, mostly testing them extensively on Kerbin to probe the edge of the design envelope. That seems to be the space where there is the most opportunity to squeeze more novelty out of the game. I did also get a fair amount of enjoyment out of figuring out how to get around the Kerbolar system cheaply using multiple gravity assists, but that's kind of becoming old hat now as well. On thing they could certainly do to make the stock game more fun for people who have reached this stage would be to take all their Mun clone planets (Ike, Vall, Dres, Eloo)  as well as their Minmus clones (Gilly, Pol, Bop), and change their basic properties in some interesting way that presents new technical challenges and opportunities. For example, they could make one of the tiny planets have a really high gravity field (let's say because it has a cloud of quantum  black holes orbiting its core) as well as a deep, oxygen-containing atmosphere. They could have another one surrounded by a cloud of asteroids, perhaps, and one with only minimal solid surface or super-chaotic terrain. Similarly, a thin, oxygen-containing atmosphere on Eloo would give people like you and me a reason to go there, so we could see what kind of planes could be made to function in that environment. Vall could perhaps be superheated by tidal flexing like Io and have lakes of deadly lava, etc. etc. I believe that making some of these changes would produce quite a lot of new opportunities for experienced players to get something fun out of visiting other bodies, and that of al the things they could do to that end it would be among the easiest. I guess we'll see what happens once they have the bugs worked out of the new physics engine...

8 hours ago, Madrias said:

I can do almost anything without leaving Kerbin.  For the one or two things where I need low gravity to enjoy them, well, it's not hard to get to the Mun or Minmus, and then I can have my low-gravity party with rocket-rover crater

As for how to fix this?  I'm pretty sure that until we can build cities (and no, making bases and outposts doesn't count, I'm talking the idea of shipping a few dozen kerbals to a planet and having them automatically build a city with similar architecture to the KSC, with roads and buildings.) and thereby shuttle Architect Kerbals to planets in all three modes (Career, Science, and Sandbox), there's no real use, at least to me, to go to the other planets.

What if there were all kinds of novel terrain and conditions on the other planets and time warp were upgraded so you didn't have to wait 20 minutes or more to get to Eloo?

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