KerikBalm

Is it true that most KSP players never go interplanetary?

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2 hours ago, herbal space program said:

I was totally innocent of Oberth at the time, so I just massively overbuilt my ship and did it by brute force as I described. I can't be the only player who got to Duna for the first time in this fashion.

Not at all. My very first interplanetary mission was supposed to be almost the same as what you describe, except I realised that my craft had such a lot of spare fuel (this was before I really understood dV) that I could push out to Dres instead - which I promptly did.

Of course, that was the first and only time I've been to Dres.

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I often go interplanetary, but rarely make it back. And have never returned from a gravity well greater than Ike.

Usually due to version changes and starting from scratch each time, or some sort of irreversible save file corruption.

I do have the 4 Orange suits in orbit of dres awaiting a refuel ship to help them come home or maybe head out.

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13 minutes ago, capran said:

I agree with all 5 points. But I'm puzzled as to your L4/5 planetoid suggestion. Why would that matter? Forgive me, for I am not an astrophysicist!! :o

This page from Wikipedia might help.

The short version is another planet at L4 or L5 would be orbiting at the same solar altitude and the same orbital period as Kerbin - reaching it from Kerbin would be kinda like rendezvousing a shuttle with a space station in LKO, but on a bigger scale.

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5 hours ago, regex said:

I also personally feel like the maneuver node editor in the stock game is perfectly serviceable; I have no need for a more precise editor even when playing with a fully modded RO (funny because I'm the guy who originally wrote PreciseNode).  About the only thing it needs is a better method of making minute adjustments and possibly an ejection angle display, although that can be easily eyeballed and the recent ability of the widget to remember what orbit it's on while dragging it around the orbit alleviates that to some extent.

I agree. For a while after 1.1 came out I did several interplanetary ejections without PreciseNode or Transfer Window Planner (though I did have Kerbal Alarm Clock because I'm not an animal) and while it took more work, the tools were perfectly serviceable. It was like hammering a nail with the butt end of a screwdriver. Sure you'd prefer a hammer but if one's not available and you really want that nail in place, it works just fine.

4 hours ago, The_Rocketeer said:

I guess some were born to Ground Control, and some were born to BadS. For me, BadS wins every time.

More seriously, I like the times when the plan DOESN'T come together but all my guys get home anyway. This is more or less the premise of every great half-decent work of science fiction ever.

I plan my missions to the nines. You could call me a "Ground Control" type person. I have never - EVER - though had a mission of any reasonable size go even remotely well all the way through. The idea that my planning ahead can possibly eliminate all the instances where everything doesn't come together is quite frankly laughable.

1 hour ago, DChurchill said:

Honestly, fiddling with that thing is just not fun. I'll do it if I have to, but not willingly. Even in the Kerbin SOI. Pull on an arm, check the apoapsis. Too far. Pull the other arm. The only time I mess with it now is early career and when doing contracts that require a special orbit.

Try this next time: Right click your apoapsis. The information (In 1.1 and later versions) will stay on the screen. Same with AN and DN markers, and I think even encounter markers.

Also, you can push and pull each of the 6 gizmo handles on the maneuver node, and pushing them is more (less? I never know in this case) sensitive so you can make finer-tuned changes. I frequently push my prograde down instead of pulling on retrograde when making my final adjustments.

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Just now, 5thHorseman said:

I plan my missions to the nines. You could call me a "Ground Control" type person. I have never - EVER - though had a mission of any reasonable size go even remotely well all the way through. The idea that my planning ahead can possibly eliminate all the instances where everything doesn't come together is quite frankly laughable.

I like the RP element of 'pretending' that there's a plan. Going through a checklist at the end of the runway, for example, is something I often do off the top of my head just for immersion's sake, or having a mental overview of the manoeuvres I need to line up and rough estimates of fuel allowances. I have tried crunching the numbers to get some proper efficiency out of my designs, but the truth is I got a lot more fun out of the game when I genuinely didn't know if my latest bit of ingenuity was going to work or fly apart 15 seconds into the ascent and take me back to the drawing board. Now, that I have a few years of this approach behind me, I guess I have the experience to assume that it shouldn't fly apart. Thus comes the frustration that it all too frequently still does!

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I spent several months learning the game on my first career mode without ever leaving Kerbin's SOI. I was messing with the USI Kolonization and Life Support mods, and the thought process for me was to get a fully autonomous base built on Minmus that could build my rockets for interplanetary exploration. However, I came up against the limits of unity, got really frustrated, and stopped playing. So for a while, you could put me into that category of someone who had played a few hundred hours and never even took a peek outside Kerbin's SOI.

This time around though, for some reason I decided early on to just head out and explore other planets. I think probably the first time I thought I wanted to save the science that was available until I could labs and stuff set up, but I quickly realized that with DMagic's orbital science installed, there's basically oodles and oodles of science and transmitting a bit of it back from each planet will not give me less to do later when my base and station building process at each planet gets started.

So tl;dr is that in my first playthrough of several hundred hours I never left Kerbin's SOI because I wanted to save the science on the other planets until I was able to build bases and stations to process it all and build all my vehicles in place; this time around, I still have that as a long-term goal, but I realized there will still be plenty of science to do so I ventured out pretty early in the tech tree.

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By the time I have had time to make it far along the career tech tree to send manned return missions to Duna, a new update comes out and I start over. Oh, and the mods. The mods. 

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1 hour ago, capran said:

I agree with all 5 points. But I'm puzzled as to your L4/5 planetoid suggestion. Why would that matter? Forgive me, for I am not an astrophysicist!! :o

At a lagrange point, the body and kerbin are always in the same relative position... there's no need to wait for a better phase angle, because the phase angle is always the same.

Now la grange points dont actually exist in KSPs simplified SOI model of gravity...  so the best we can do is but something at more or less where the lagrange point *should* be... but since planet orbits are on rails and all orbits are stable (unless crossing an SOI boundary, or hitting a body's surface/atmosphere)... la grange points don't matter.

Essentially, I'm saying that a planet co-orbital with kerbin should be added ie with the exact same orbital period, so the transfer conditions are always the same

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3 hours ago, Dfthu said:

Yea, I thought the same thing. Sure most of the time I stay in the Kerbin system nowadays ,  Before that I got out of Kerbins SOI pretty fast in the game. I never used transfer nodes and I still got there fine. I sent probes to most of the planets and moons.  I thought mostly everyone get our of Kerbins SOI. OP should make a poll about this.

None of those things are necessary to go interplanetary, I managed just fine without mods.

I'm just saying' but the good ol' 18 kiloton rocket is still in the hangar. Always use big rockets for  interplanetary launches. Just makes you look cooler.

15 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

#1 Waiting for transfer windows sucks when you can keep playing in kerbin's SOI

Sure, but you can always improvise with the brute force method. Hohmann transfers require patience. If you lack patience, then I recommend the brute force method.

15 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

#2 No good way of finding out when there is a transfer window in game

You can hack KSPedia in two steps.

 

15 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

#3 No good way of finding out dV requirements in game

That's why there is KER.

15 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

#4 No good way of finding out your craft's dV in game

 

That's also why we have KER.

 

15 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

- Last two combine to make players hesitant to attempt a longer mission given expected failure rates.

#5 Maneuver node editor can be a pain

 

You can a) revert flight, or b) google how to do it, or c) find a good interplanetary rocket from my collection in a few weeks. (No ad intended)

And MJ can create maneuver nodes that encounter your destination planet with the dv you have.

Hope this clarifies. And, yes, I do like to build unnecessarily big rockets. For fun, because stock parts + RSS = huge rockets.

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16 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

#1 Waiting for transfer windows sucks when you can keep playing in kerbin's SOI

This is not a big deal, IMO, because you can do both.

Quote

#2 No good way of finding out when there is a transfer window in game

This is huge, new players, or anyone unfamiliar with orbital mechanics already doesn't really "get" transfer windows at all.

Quote

#3 No good way of finding out dV requirements in game

Another huge issue.

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#4 No good way of finding out your craft's dV in game

The lack of something like KER is a critical failing. Yeah, I know it's hard with cruddy crafts that don't actually look like rockets to get it right all the time, but it could have a big disclaimer that if it doesn't look like something you see on a news website about rocket launches, the dv value might be very wrong.

The "Explore" missions should occur in advance of a transfer window, and should perhaps list optimal dates for sending the mission right in the text.

The one thing I would like to see is the ability to set map focus not just on my craft, now, or the target world, but on the maneuver node itself, as well as any arbitrary point along an orbit.

Edited by tater

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I choose to go to the outer planets and I don't use space planes on principle. I suppose its because I hate the fact NASA (well government funding and politics played a big roll too) didn't finish their bought and paid for Apollo missions then abandoned human space exploration for probes, space stations and that ridiculous shuttle. For all the money dumped into the shuttle program we could have been on Mars and well into planning manned Jupiter moon missions. Not long ago I read an article, can't really recall what the specific topic was, where NASA said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "It would take us at least 10 years to get men back to the moon." WHAT? Seriously? They didn't qualify that as being due to budget constraints either.

I'm sure a lot of folks will disagree with my opinion on this and that's fine. But I try my best to avoid any NASA style nonsense when I play KSP.

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49 minutes ago, tater said:

The lack of something like KER is a critical failing. Yeah, I know it's hard with cruddy crafts that don't actually look like rockets to get it right all the time, but it could have a big disclaimer that if it doesn't look like something you see on a news website about rocket launches, the dv value might be very wrong.

Have you head the story about how Kerbals started out as twisted foil strapped to fireworks? I really think this is the true spirit of KSP - it's not a serious space simulator, it's a wacky game of pyromania where serious space simulation eventually arises serendipitously.

And this sherry apparently has me all poetical. :blush:

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Going to space is hard, even in the simplistic universe of kSP. Eve is the easiest planet to get to and easy to land on, but the hardest to escape from. And that's after you've traveled for "months". Duna the second easiest planet to get to, but it's a really boring world. But then there's not much to do on any of the worlds, other than a science grind. 

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My sole reason for not having ventured beyond the Mun (not even setting foot on Minimus) was because practically all of my KSP time is spent making and maintaining add-ons.

I'd really like to sit down and play the game properly someday, but add-on work is never done.

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For my first trips years ago, I just winged the delta v required based on; "if you make it to orbit you are halfway anywhere". 

I first built a rocket that could get to orbit, and then built a rocket underneath that could launch it into orbit. I did not use any mods or tools.

I would eyeball my transfer windows based on tangents. I learned this from the video I saw from the WIKI: 

 

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In my opinion, the biggest obstacle to people advancing to interplanetary flight in this game is that it's hard and those who don't advance don't find enough enjoyment in that type of challenge to make it worth their while to do it.  As an aero engineer, I find it fun because sending up planes and rockets was all I ever wanted to do as long as I can remember.  I was willing to endure any amount of higher math in order to attain that goal - and calculus took several attempts for me before it finally clicked.  When I hear people complain that "xxxxx is too hard", what I really hear is "I don't enjoy xxxxx enough to invest the time required for me to learn it".  Of course, I believe that nearly anyone can learn nearly anything, if they have the correct motivation, and no, that isn't a threat.  Some of us you guys learned how to dock real easy and never looked back, some of us too a bit longer, but clearly some others have never really mastered it, and I would wager that many of those are very smart individuals who are very capable in some other things that some people who can dock in their sleep are not.  As a side note to those having trouble with docking, I highly recommend the built-in docking tutorial.  Made things a lot easier for me once I realized how much docking guidance was already built into the nav ball.

Like many others, I think that some of the mods should have been features, but my particular challenge is not docking - it's time management.  KAC (Kerbal Alarm Clock) helps me with this a ton!  KER, obviously makes it much easier to build a ship by performing all of the mundane calculations of delta-V for you, and MechJeb provides some basic automation that existed in the US space program since day one, so it would be nice if KSP included some of these features.  Of course, Squad says they left these things for the community to improve, and obviously the community has really stepped up, but maybe Squad could do something to make installing mods easier?  Oh - we have CKAN for that... but seems like half the modders out there are really down on CKAN.

Well anyway - I think that fun is really the bottom line - after all, it is a game, right?

 

Danny

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21 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

#1) What percent of those people have gone on to interplanetary missions?

Me for one.

I must admit that doing this was my main attraction to KSP.  I came to KSP after many years of playing Orbiter, which tries to be as realistic as possible.  Which is actually quite depressing for somebody who grew up watching the Apollo program on black-and-white TV and expecting to be living on a Jovian moon by now.  To me, KSP is pure fantasy, but still gives enough lip service to real spaceflight that it allows (witch a willing suspension of disbelief) me to live out all my old dreams of large-scale interplanetary colonization.  Thus, I did my 1st interplanetary trip within a just a couple weeks of getting KSP, once I'd learned how the game works.  I was already familiar with the orbital mechanics involved so that wasn't a stumbling block to me.  The hard part was just making the game give me the information necessary to design the type of ship I wanted and know it would work.  I was used to having scads more information as part of the stock interface in Orbiter.

Ever since then, all I've been doing is more and more extravagant interplanetary missions.  I've even added OPM to have more places to go, and have sent fairly large invasion fleets to most places.  Now I'm thinking about going to other star systems.  But I must say, after several years of doing such things, I'm quite tempted to do my next game as more of a stay-at-home.  Maybe make an undersea base.  Maybe devote a lot of time to messing with KerbinSide, now that 1.1.x allows me to use it.  I know much more about the far side of Sarnus than I do about Kerbin :)

---------------

But that's just me.  I know most folks don't play KSP for the same reasons I do and that's cool.  In fact, that's the best thing about KSP, that everybody can approach it differently and do whatever the Hell they find enjoyable.  One of my favorite YouTubers is Bagel Rabbit, who freely admits he's hardly ever been to even Mun, yet he makes wonderful ships that qualify as works of art, which I find amazing.  And it is for this very reason that I fundamentally oppose any and all attempts to incorporate more so-called "realism" features into KSP, because they limit the wonderful array of options open to players.  If you want to pretend you're really playing Orbiter, then knock yourself out with mods to do that, but don't cram them down the throats of people who'd rather not play that way.  I was MUCH happier using FAR and DRE when and if I wanted them (which was most of the time, to be honest) than I am now that they've semi-become stock, simply because that's cut down drastically on all the weird and wonderful things people used to make.  I say, to each his own.  My way of playing is not for everybody and vice versa.  Vive la difference!

As such, while I do find the subject of this thread interesting, I sincerely hope that nobody reading it feels in the least bit inferior because they choose, for whatever reason, to NOT do interplanetary missions.  From a gameplay perspective, there's no real difference between going to Minmus and going to Eeloo except the trip takes longer.  You make all the same maneuvers for both.  So if you can get to Minmus, there's really no further challenge in the orbital mechanics part of the game, so why bother unless you just really want to see what a planet looks like up close?  Why not instead do something different that presents a new challenge, or is just entertaining in its own right?

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Jovus said:

I have played this game since 0.23 (Not as long as many, but long enough.) I have landed probes on Duna (and Ike) once, and done nothing else interplanetary unless a quick jaunt out for solar science counts.

I play with KER and KAC, so finding and utilizing transfer windows is no trouble for me.

Why haven't I gone further, done more?

First, I semi-like playing in career mode. I like the progressive unlocks, and I like being constrained by money. At the same time, I generally find the contract system to be a grind (though I haven't experienced it much past 0.90).

Second, I always have grand plans. I want an orbital station with regular resupply runs (using TAC-LS) from my spaceplane of choice. I want a Mun fuel refinery and orbital station (also with resupply runs). I play with RemoteTech a lot, so I also want strong com systems in the Kerbin system and also around Duna, Eve, and Jool. I want to transition to primarily using spaceplanes, with rockets only for putting up massive payloads that won't easily fit in cargo bays. You get the idea.

Third, I tend to play KSP off-and-on. I play a lot of KSP, but I get tired of it and do other things/play other games.

Fourth, I like mod-sets. One run I've had was with KSP Interstellar. Then one on RSS (which I'll go back to when I get my real computer back). So on and so forth.

So, as a whole, I tend to get bogged down a bit in the home system, then take a small break after my fifth or tenth or fiftieth orbital rendezvous, and then SQUAD comes out with a new release and I just chuck it all and start over again.

If we didn't have another feature-rich release for about a year or so, I'd probably actually finish some of my plans. As it is, I'll be restarting everything for 1.2, of course, because Antennae! etc.

I was thinking about contributing to the thread, but then I realized Jovus already said everything I would have. Grandiose plans + gradual progress + huge list of complex mods = it takes me a very long time to get anything done. By the time I start looking at interplanetary missions, I'm burnt out on the game and need to take a break... or I'm irritated the game still can't handle my planned vehicles/missions without lagging to a crawl and/or crashing every five minutes... or a new version drops and it's time to start over... or most often it's all of the above.

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my first Mun-drone go interpanetary ... on acident :D
i want to orbit the mun, and i miss that ... (to late ... its complicated without maneuver nodes)

so i do a swing-by manever on the moon, and then on Kerbin...
so my drone got interplanetary...

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8 hours ago, Belerafon said:

You can hack KSPedia in two steps.

That's why there is KER.

That's also why we have KER.

You can a) revert flight, or b) google how to do it, or c) find a good interplanetary rocket from my collection in a few weeks. (No ad intended)

And MJ can create maneuver nodes that encounter your destination planet with the dv you have.

So... mods, mods, mods, download someone elses craft, google, or repeatedly bang head against wall (revert, and start a long mission all over)

Pretty much everything you said above requires looking for something outside the stock game.

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10 minutes ago, KerikBalm said:

So... mods, mods, mods, download someone elses craft, google, or repeatedly bang head against wall (revert, and start a long mission all over)

Pretty much everything you said above requires looking for something outside the stock game.

You can go interplanetary with stock install, any man who can land on the mun can go to duna imo.

But i agree that game lacks built-in Delta V calculations, it should have from start.

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I haven't left Kerbin SOI except for some very crazy overpowered sandbox rockets that just went straight up into wherever the launchpad was pointing. (Didn't meet another planet so far.)

Mostly I play Career mode, for reasons that can only be described as masochism. I also don't like to play with mods, so whenever I need to know dV of my rocket I calculate it myself, which gets a pain for larger multistage rockets or ships assembled in orbit.

Waiting for launch windows is not the issue for now (but will be), as I don't know when they are and the launch window maps/tools I have seen didn't seem helpfull to me. So my current plan is to just build a big thing and go for it. Unfortunatly this requires a lot of grinding in career mode and after a while of grinding I loose interest and play other games for a while. And when I come back the game has updated and I can't get into orbit anymore. (This will hopefully change now that KSP is released.)

TL;DR:

Only Mun and Minmus (Kerbol orbit in sandbox)

Reasons: #1, #2 and #3 + Career mode Grinding is boring, but other modes miss out on game mechanics.

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Same as many others, grand plans tend to bog down.

 

I play Career with Kerbal Construction Time and Antenna range, and I still want to build that Duna colony and finish a manned Eve return mission.

I think I once visited the Jool system with a probe... but I don't think I ever put a Kerbal on any of those moons. Too little time and too grandiose plans.

 

What I should do is play Sandbox, and actually execute those plans...

Edit: and I've been playing since before persistance

Edited by OrtwinS

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51 minutes ago, OrtwinS said:

Same as many others, grand plans tend to bog down.

 

I play Career with Kerbal Construction Time and Antenna range, and I still want to build that Duna colony and finish a manned Eve return mission.

I think I once visited the Jool system with a probe... but I don't think I ever put a Kerbal on any of those moons. Too little time and too grandiose plans.

 

What I should do is play Sandbox, and actually execute those plans...

Edit: and I've been playing since before persistance

Career tend to kill interplanetary missions as I tend to do so many contracts around kerbin the interplanetary never arrive. 

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