KerikBalm

Is it true that most KSP players never go interplanetary?

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1 hour ago, KerikBalm said:

Or just reach escape velocity for kerbol... that should eventually lead to a fly by of another star

Is that actually possible within KSP, or do you just loop back in ten thousand years anyway?

Back on topic, 1.1.3 has accidentally turned into my biggest exploration career ever. I planned on waiting for 1.2 and wheel fixes, but sort of lost interest in other games and decided to have a punt with KSP as 'rockets only'. Somehow this mutated into the discovery that the bigger the landing gear, the less unstable it is, which then lead to spaceplanes galore and now I've had kerbals on Moho, Gilly, Duna, Pol and Bop, and have an Ike mission in the planning stage. As yet I have not ventured to the OPM planets with crews, but since I have a spectacularly long-range mothership constructed in LKO, that too is becoming a very real possibility. I'm also eyeing up Eve for the sheer challenge, but I might send a rover first to identify the optimal landing spot, and maybe a probe return mission. I might even visit Dres, if it exists.

Unless I start all over again with 1.2, which is equally possible :)  After reviewing how I've played this career and what I enjoyed most, I could be tempted to change my mod selection, but there's vessels in the wild that mean I can't really do that right now.

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15 minutes ago, eddiew said:

Is that actually possible within KSP, or do you just loop back in ten thousand years anyway?

Yes, escape velocity from the sun in KSP is possible. You'll never leave its SoI but you will never fall back toward it again.

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Just like our sun doesn't have a SOI where its gravity stops, neither does the sun in KSP... its SOI is infinite, but that doesn't mean you can't have your trajectory change from an elipse to a hyperbola.

Basically if you're going fast enough, the force of gravity decreases slower than your velocity. You travel some distance, the force is halved, you travel some more distance, the force is 1/4... more distance and the force is 1/8th...

The % of velocity lost between each halving is less and less each time as gravity is weaker and weaker... it will never stop you.

Like the series 1+1/2+1/4+1/8+1/16..... will never equal more than 2, 2 is the limit. Thus if that represents how much velocity it can stop, if you're going 3, you never stop.

Start at 3 m/s, in the first interval you slow by 1 m/s,  in the 2nd interval you slow by 0.5m/s, in the third 0.25...

Lets say 1 would be your hyperbolic excess velocity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbolic_trajectory#Hyperbolic_excess_velocity

This is a very simplified and not quite analagous explanation... but it at least contains a similar concept of limits :P

Of course, as you slow, you take longer to traverse the next distance where acceleration is halved... but htis just raises the velocity needed, you can still get an escape trajectory with no perapsis, even if the force of gravity never stops

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I have Jeb, Bill, Bob, and a couple of redshirts on an ISRU science hopper.  They were on a trajectory to intercept Dres for my first interplanetary mission ever.

 

Before they left the SoI of Kerbin, v1.2 dropped.

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Furthest I've got is a crashed ship on Duna and a Jool ship that couldn't even leave Kerbin's SOI... now that I've started playing again though that should change :)

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13 hours ago, Red Iron Crown said:

Yes, escape velocity from the sun in KSP is possible. You'll never leave its SoI but you will never fall back toward it again.

But with mods, you can actually visit other "solar systems."

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After 200 hours, I made it to Duna. Before that, most of the time was spent designing a mining, refueling, and shuttling system to get fuel to LKO without spending so much money, so I could have a proper ship go interplanetary, with its own science bay, and rover, and nuclear engines, and everything I could think of. There was also a lot of time wasted on over-engineered stuff, as I had no idea what to expect, and only on the later stages of that career save did I find out about the interplanetary transfer guide thread, and the dV "subway map". I only play stock on my first playthrough of a game, since I want to experience the game as the devs intended it to be. The exception is when I find a game is broken without a feature that a mod offers. In KSP's case, it's KER.

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I found out that it's no problem to plan and build any mission to any planet (when having dV map and MJ for transfer burn planning it's just a matter of ship design), so I usually take several contracts for 1 planet, build a ship that can accomplish them all in 1 trip, put it on parking orbit, plan tranfer burn and that's where trouble starts. Usually tranfer window is in distant future and I rarely can overcomy myself and press "max warp" button, usually I decide to make another mission or two during waiting time.. then another.. and another.. So when I finally notice that alarm clock reminder to make transfer burn, I usually totally forget what that ship does and what it was designed to accomplish. 

Another thing is that before 1.1.3 I was usually starting new carreer after each significant update and was also trying diffent mods like ScanSat. So once I mapped almost all bodies in Kerbol System, then another update came in and I was too lazy to do it all over again.

Perhaps only exception was when I built quite a mothership with biofuel farm and a lander in tow and visited all landable bodies except Eve, I was going to drop that save anyway, so I was just making power burns and regrowing fuel during warps.

So generally answer to main topic's question is that only thing preventing me from going interplanetary on regular basis is myself and unwillingness to skip few years of Kerbal time doing singly mission, even though I understand that it won't have any consequences and will be more fun to play than doing lot of missions at same time :)

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According to Steam, I have 386 hrs in KSP (the most in any game I own or have owned in my 30+ yrs of gaming). The furthest I have reached was landing a rover on Duna with another one behind it destined for Ike. Why? Several reasons. One, the learning curve in KSP is huge. Learning how to rendezvous and dock (without using a docking mod) is very challenging and time consuming WHEN first learning how to do it (now its not that bad, and with a docking mod to help line up the docking ports, fairly routine now). Perfecting orbital insertions to minimize DV is not as easy as one would think... perfecting RCS thrusters/landing can be disorienting at first... Second, there is so much to do with all the biomes on Kerbal, the Mun, and Minmus that one can spend countless hrs setting up satellite relays, mining operations, refueling space stations, Mun/Minmus bases, ect. Going interplanetary just adds more complexity and time to the mission...

 

However, having said all of that, I plan on sending out probes to more planets this playthrough. I also plan, in the near future, a "manned" mission to Duna/Ike.

 

I would love to see an update or expansion that would include life support systems (yes I know there is a mod for it), better descriptions to every in-game part, as well as certain tools that I find absolutely essential: DV when designing planes and rockets on Kerbal, improved docking alignment tool, and a planetary transfer window tool. The mods for these things are great but every time KSP updates it seems like I have to wait weeks before I can have all the things that make the game fun for me up and running. I would love to test out 1.2 but without Kerbal Engineer AT A MINIMUM it just isn't any fun. My game time is too limited to waste time doing DV equations by hand

 

 

 

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I think I've been here 3.5 years. I've landed something on everything except Vall and Eeloo (Plus I've sent stuff into the sun and Jool) and Lerbals have walked everywhere except for Dres, Vall, and Eeloo (excluding the Sun and Jool).

I do, however, have kerballed ships en route to Dres, Eeloo, and the Jool system with landers for those. I have long-term plans to make a Jool Ascent Vehicle, even.

I think that most KSP players go at least into solar orbit. I'd say most of the people who regularly played before 0.17 visited the planets, and a good portion of the new-ish players.

Most probably won't get around to landing Kerbals on another planet. However, >90% of "serious" players probably do.

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Interplanetary has always been one of the attractions of KSP to me. The orbital mechanics give good insights into how it is done in the real world. That has always been a bit of a mystery to me. KSP has been a great way to learn about stuff that would otherwise seem far to hard. KSP allows me to try it out, get it wrong and get away with it :) Better next time.

My first interplanetary mission was just two days after getting KSP, with a rocket that was designed to look something like a Saturn V, because I figured NASA knew what they were doing, and KSP had parts that looked similar. It worked, and after a frightening mun landing, I set my sights further afield. I'm pretty sure I just did it the simple way, first escape Kerbin, then muck around with nodes to get an intercept. The Saturn V was grossly overpowered. Scott Manley's videos really helped a lot, even though I didn't really understand them all that well at the time, but I did learn that Duna was much easier than Eve :)

I've landed on every planet and moon since then, many times, got off eve from sea level, and got a good slingshot for a maned Moho landing and return on just my third career mode launch. I love getting a slingshot from Tylo for Jool insertion without burning any fuel. But orbital mechanics always seems to have more to learn. Those Rich Purnell NASA folk do some pretty amazing stuff, something you gain an appreciation for when you try to emulate them!

 

Still, aside from science and a few easter eggs, there's nothing much to do once you get there. I can finished the career mode tech tree on Ike without visiting any other planet, and could probably do it from just Kerbin, Mun and Minmus, but that's just a grind.

I wish there was more to do on the planets! Like anomalies to be investigated that are unique to each game. Local exploration that makes it worthwhile setting up a base on a planet. Treasure hunts of some kind perhaps. The trail of a long gone alien race or something. It would be cool if specific areas that are identified in contracts, or discovered through other fairly obvious clues, had bonus science. Maybe add "Alien Artifacts" as an additional score, that reveals further interesting locations through contracts.

Setting science rewards lower does help, so you do more missions before science becomes worthless, but perhaps there could be more focus on more interesting contract based bonus science locations rather than just landing at every biome. I recently got 26,000 science from one mission to Duna and Ike before I got bored and went back to Kerbin (testing 1.2). That's the whole tech tree in one mission (although not the first mission!), and there was at least twice that available.

Then there's the maneuver node system is, which is, shall we say, basic. There's a few tricks to learn here to get the maneuver you want, and it can be frustrating at times, but it is amazing what can be done with such a simple system. I've never used a mod to plan a maneuver, other then Precise node that just makes it easier to adjust the nodes.

 

I've never been that much into space stations or space planes. But the Mun and Minmus are always good for quick missions and minimalist challenges.

 

Some of us do fly interplanetary!

 

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That's so sad. Visiting planetary bodies is not difficult at all. It's just fiddling with maneuver nodes. At least one can set something on an impact trajectory and equip it with parachutes and ablators.

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The problem with interplanetary is that I feel guilty time warping without having other things queued. I play with Kerbal Construction Time and Tourism Plus. I always make sure there's some contracted mission (usually tourist related) that's being prepared to farm money for upgrades. As a result, interplanetary missions take a very long time to happen since my time warps are in very small bursts at low multiples (relative to interplanetary time-warps).

RemoteTech and USI-LS also slow things down on top of that.

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1 hour ago, Suedocode said:

The problem with interplanetary is that I feel guilty time warping without having other things queued. I play with Kerbal Construction Time and Tourism Plus. I always make sure there's some contracted mission (usually tourist related) that's being prepared to farm money for upgrades. As a result, interplanetary missions take a very long time to happen since my time warps are in very small bursts at low multiples (relative to interplanetary time-warps).

This is my problem as well. I'm very uncomfortable timewarping for more than maybe a week or two at a stretch. My max is a month for my solar tourister runs hopping out of Kerbin's SOI then right back in, and even then I often have other things happen in the meantime rather than warping through.

Edited by Jarin

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I am constantly surprised by the number of people who have powerful psychological barriers to using time warp.

I assume people are willing to time warp to do a trip to the Mun, so it seems strange to me that so many are unwilling to time warp faster in order to go to Duna or wherever.  For a long time after I got KSP I only played one mission at a time, even in career.  So it made sense to always time warp until the ship was where I was interested in it being, even if that was years away.

Most of the posters who profess an aversion to using time warp seem to feel that time-warping 'too far' is the issue.  As if time were somehow being wasted.  In fact, I once had a somewhat heated disagreement with another member (probably fuelled by a bit of 'hydrazine') over the value of time in KSP.

Playing a career with many many simultaneous missions running seems to require KAC for me.  But, with KAC, there's no problem time warping however long and however fast to get to the next maneuver or SOI change alarm.

Going interplanetary is just the same as going to the Mun or Minmus.  It's just the scale of things that changes.  But it doesn't require any more play time to get to Duna than to get to the Mun.

Anyway, that's my two funds worth.


Happy landings!

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I don't timewarp huge distances at a time because I am very bad at having my satellite networks aligned probably and i end up having to stop to rewind them. also life support makes it hard at times.

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13 hours ago, Suedocode said:

The problem with interplanetary is that I feel guilty time warping without having other things queued.

Same here, I check my transfer windows at the start of each career game, and plan my missions from that.

In my currently active save I have my Duna run planned and in orbit, ready to blast off in about 138 days.

But I don't time warp to that time, instead I fiddle with minor missions, gawkers, rescue missions and so on to add cash and rep.

I could just time warp, but that's not the way I play,

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13 hours ago, Suedocode said:

I feel guilty time warping without having other things queued.

Funnily enough, I am the inverse. I always make sure that all of my missions are finished, landed, or in stable orbits before beginning an interplanetary mission.

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I've made it to Duna, and to Eve orbit and back, so far. Main reasons I haven't gotten further:

  1. Normal difficulty was too easy. I scrapped the career with those two launches because I was filling up the tech tree, and I know my motivation to keep playing would flag if that happened.
  2. I got sidetracked by SSTO spaceplanes.
  3. Then 1.2 beta dropped and I started another new career.
  4. It's actually pretty hard to do without Kerbal Engineer Redux or some other way to see what the dV on your ship/stage is. The base game would need these tools IMO.

Other than that, I really enjoy/am looking forward to interplanetary missions. I can work out/plan transfers through out-of-game resources, but figuring out dV is a problem. In the Kerbin system the tolerances are big enough that I can seat-of-the-pants it, but that doesn't really cut it for interplanetaries. The Kerbal Engineer Redux mod solves this, but it oughtn't be necessary really.

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I go interplanetary in career only, and that's with probes.  I mostly farm Mun and Minimus for the science before launching a rocket with the best science modules for Laythe.  I've been thinking about going to Duna though......

In sandbox I don't go interplanetary that often, although that's because I'm usually off blowing my own ships up with missiles.....

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I have +150 hours and have never gone interplanetary. It's on the list tho. Maybe on this save.

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On 9/22/2016 at 0:38 PM, Starhawk said:

I am constantly surprised by the number of people who have powerful psychological barriers to using time warp.

I assume people are willing to time warp to do a trip to the Mun, so it seems strange to me that so many are unwilling to time warp faster in order to go to Duna or wherever.  For a long time after I got KSP I only played one mission at a time, even in career.  So it made sense to always time warp until the ship was where I was interested in it being, even if that was years away.

Most of the posters who profess an aversion to using time warp seem to feel that time-warping 'too far' is the issue.  As if time were somehow being wasted.  In fact, I once had a somewhat heated disagreement with another member (probably fuelled by a bit of 'hydrazine') over the value of time in KSP.

There's a couple of possible reasons. My last "big" save involved missions to all the planets (except Eve's surface...), plus several additional planets from mods. I ended up trying to finish it in as little in-game time as possible, avoiding skipping past too many transfer windows, since that seemed wasteful. Also because having Kerbals out on missions for many decades feels "cheaty" or illogical; they don't age or require supplies, but we sorta feel like they ought to.

The other thing is more straightforward: with the default timewarp limits, even at max speed, interplanetary trips can take several minutes of real-time (compare to visiting the Mun, which takes around 10 seconds). You can't do anything until you get there, and there's not much to look at, so it can get tedious. Especially if you miss the direct transfer and go around the sun several times trying to find an encounter, which is probably what most new players do for their first few interplanetary missions; kicking yourself straight from one planet to another takes a lot of precision/fiddling and, often, knowledge of transfer windows.

Plus, since the physical warp goes to scary-red at max speed, people may think the regular warp is dangerous at max speed, too (which it kinda was before the game automatically dewarped at encounters, and that sometimes doesn't work) and keep it below that, which makes transfers really slow.

Edited by kotomikun

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Steam says I have just over 250 hrs in game.  I have been mucking about in the Kerbin SOI primary because I am working towards goals in that area.  I've thoroughly enjoyed tinkering with orbital stations, and missions to the Mun and Minmus.  Frankly, I'd thought about going further, but there always seemed to be something else to do first (and I was having fun doing it)  That said, I started reading this thread about a week ago, and decided to fire up a 1.1.2 career save, and amazingly, the window for Duna opened 12 game days later, and Eeloo 12 days after that.  I've fired off my first interplanetary probes and fully expect the missions to be less than a stellar success, but I enjoyed planning and building (planning :/   Admittedly, rather slap-dash missions).  So, thanks to the OP for unintentionally giving me a kick in the butt and out of the Kerbin SOI!

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 I think the main problem is when/how/direction of launch.. This small pic can help (a little)
12507638_10208458975741316_8301912079141
 THis isn't always EXACTLY the case, but it's a pretty good simplification.
The basic rule of thumb for launch is:
Going to outer planets, you launch when the sun is setting
 Going to inner planets, you want to launch when the sun is rising.

Edited by Talavar

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2 hours ago, Talavar said:

The basic rule of thumb for launch is:
Going to outer planets, you launch when the sun is setting
 Going to inner planets, you want to launch when the sun is rising.

...assuming a low inclination parking orbit.

I'd also observe that the second rule is somewhat inaccurate, I prefer this professional grade MSPaint diagram (also assumes low inclination orbit):

IPEjection.PNG

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