thereaverofdarkness2

An In-depth Proposal for Science Revamp (Image!)

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Image - Example comparison of the proposed modules, to show how I imagine their size.

 

 

I've had this idea developing in my mind for quite some time now, and I think I'm finally ready to present it in its complete form. This proposal would make significant changes to the way science works, but mostly by adding new things. Science collection in general will feel very familiar to KSP players, but it will be more streamlined and balanced, and make more sense. More total science will be available to collect--I won't show a revamp of the research tree but I'll touch upon some ideas to expand it and make room for the science without adding a ton of new items.

 

All of your data collection science will revolve around a base set of experiment types:

  1. Crew Report
  2. EVA Report
  3. Surface Sample
  4. Goo Study
  5. Materials Study
  6. Thermometer Reading
  7. Barometer Reading
  8. Seismometer Reading
  9. Gravometer Reading

Early in the tech tree you will unlock all experiment types in their most basic form, you can easily have them unlocked before you leave Kerbin to go to the Mün or Minmus, but later you will unlock better versions. These may allow you to collect a larger percentage of the maximum science on the first try but they will not increase the maximum amount of science you can get from any given experiment type in any given collection region. This means that if you send out a long mission early in the game, that mission can carry all of the important scientific instruments you'll need along the way. It would be great to take advantage of higher technology, but it won't be mandatory.

 

Just like now, each experiment type/biome combination will have its own maximum cache of science. For instance, there's a limit to how much science you can gather from performing goo studies while landed on the Mün's midlands, which is separate from the science you can gain from thermometer readings while landed in the Mün's midlands, or from goo studies while flying over the Mün's surface.

Scientists can increase the science gathered when you collect data, and can slightly increase the maximum science you can gain from an experiment in any given location, but the scientist must be the one performing the experiment to get the bonus.

Any science processing unit can be used to increase the transmit value of experiments (except crew/EVA reports which already transmit at 100%) and any kerbal can operate these facilities, but scientists increase the bonus transmit value. No matter what, there will always be a good margin of science you can't get without returning the experiments home, but with a sufficiently large processing array and well-trained scientists, you can become able to transmit the better majority of the science.

 

Data Collection Experiments

Here I will list each experiment type along with details and tentative numbers about its maximum yield, transmit value, and some suggestions for later tech upgrades to the collection units:

Crew Report:

  • Base maximum value: 6
  • Transmit value: 100%
  • Recover value: 100%

EVA Report:

  • Base maximum value: 8
  • Transmit value: 100%
  • Recover value: 100%

Surface Sample:

  • Base maximum value: 60
  • Base transmit value: 12.5%
  • Max transmit value: 25%
  • Recover value: 50%

A kerbal can carry a 1kg sample of regolith which has a recovery value of 50% of the maximum, and this takes up space and adds mass to the capsule it is stored in. Returning more surface samples from the same biome gives much less science--you have to take home a whole ton of material to get the full 100%, but you can make it to 75% by bringing back just 100kg. Later in the tech tree you will unlock a surface collection unit which can collect the surface material rapidly and can store 100kg of surface sample, and then a storage tank that can hold a full ton of surface sample material and maybe a larger tank that can hold several tons--if you were to gather from multiple biomes.

Surface samples provide a way to get extra science from the same places you've already been to. It's generally a lot more productive to explore new places for science, until you start to run out of places to explore. Also, they have the largest gap between maximum transmit value and potential recovery value, so they are your biggest incentive to bring the experiments back home.

Goo Study:

  • Base maximum value: 15
  • Base transmit value: 20%
  • Base processing bonus: +50%
  • Max transmit value: 60%
  • Base recover value: 66.67%

The Mystery Goo Containment Unit, like other material-based experiments, has a low base transmit value. It is best recovered. There is a diminishing return on how much of the max you get for recovering it--the first one gives 2/3rds of it, and packing a few extra goo units can squeeze a bit more out if you're willing to run multiple goo experiments per biome. Later in the tech tree you'll unlock the Mystery Goo Habitat, a larger and heavier unit which has more and more lively Mystery Goo inside, and is better for study. The Habitat returns for 100% recover value in one try, and yields half more transmit value, 30% of the max up from 20% but has a much larger transmit size in MITs.

Materials Study:

  • Base maximum value: 50
  • Base transmit value: 15%
  • Base processing bonus: +25%
  • Max transmit value: 45%
  • Base recover value: 50%

The Science, Jr. unit offers your first mobile research lab, and these will become a staple for squeezing out as much research as possible from any biome, but they are also the heaviest module to tug around. Initially it recovers just 50% and you can run several to increase the recovery, but it would take an exorbitant amount of Sciences, Jr. to reach 100% due to the diminishing return. However, with just a few you can get significantly higher than 50%.

Later in the tech tree you unlock the Science, Sr. which is a much larger 2.5m in-line lab with a base recovery of 80% and a base transmit value of 24%. You can get close to 100% total recovery with just a few of these, but they are a lot bulkier. The Mobile Research Laboratory is a late tech tree unlock, it's a huge 3.75m unit which can perform a materials study at 100% recover or 30% transmit value, it can collect and store some surface material, and it is able to process experiments to increase their transmit value. Finally, it can clean out experiments, including itself. Takes three kerbals to run it at max capacity, but it can run with a minimum of one kerbal.

Temperature Reading:

  • Base maximum value: 8
  • Base transmit value: 50%
  • Base processing bonus: +50%
  • Max transmit value: 100%
  • Base recover value: 100%

Pressure Reading:

  • Base maximum value: 12
  • Base transmit value: 50%
  • Base processing bonus: +50%
  • Max transmit value: 100%
  • Base recover value: 100%

The thermometer and barometer are lightweight instruments that can gather a bit of useful data. They have the highest base transmit percent, making them especially useful for missions you aren't returning home, or for when you didn't bring enough instruments for every area you're going past. Later in the tech tree you unlock an infrared scanner and an atmospheric analysis module, these are the advanced versions of these experiment types, and they both have a base transmit value of 75% but a much larger transmit size. I am eliminating the existing atmospheric scan experiment, as I am wrapping it in with the barometric scan, making them the same base experiment.

Seismic Reading:

  • Base maximum value: 25
  • Base transmit value: 40%
  • Base processing bonus: +50%
  • Max transmit value: 100%
  • Base recover value: 80%

Gravity Reading:

  • Base maximum value: 25
  • Base transmit value: 40%
  • Base processing bonus: +50%
  • Max transmit value: 100%
  • Base recover value: 80%

The Seismic Accelerometer and Negative Gravioli Detector are very small and light like the thermometer and barometer but they have a much larger data size and transmit at only 40% initially. Later you unlock the larger Seismograph and Negative Gravioli Scan Array, which have a base transmit value of 60% and will always recover for the full 100%. You can alternatively set an accelerometer running at a landed craft/base, or set a gravioli detector running on an orbiting craft/station, and have it gradually increase its recover value over time, to eventually reach 100%.

 

Lab Processing of Data

Processing labs can process experiments, increasing their transmit value. They can also clean experiments. These units can be operated by any kerbals, but scientists are able to squeeze extra transmit value out, in addition to their overall science bonus based on their level. The Mobile Processing Laboratory (2.5m) and the Mobile Research Laboratory both have the full processing functionality, but the smaller Mobile Processing Unit (2.5m, much shorter) is only able to process for half the bonus. It is much smaller and lighter, however, and thus can be good to bring along if you can't spare as much mass for your trip.

The more kerbals you have working on processing, the faster it'll get done. As long as there is one scientist in the crew, you'll get the full scientist bonus, but the extra based on the scientist's level is taken from the highest level scientist in the crew. The small MPU has room for only one kerbal, but it's still faster than the other units because it doesn't process the data as far. Scientists also make the labs run slightly faster.

 

Kerbal Scientists

The full processing value increases the transmit value by 50% over base, but a scientist will get a base 75% increase to transmit value at level 0. At each higher level, a scientist gets +5% processing transmit value, +3% to all science gathered, and +5% faster processing lab operation speed.

For example, a level 4 scientist gathering a materials study (Science, Jr.) from the Mün's lowlands: The multiplier for this biome is 4x, so the base 50 on materials study gives us a base max of 200 science for this experiment in this location. The true maximum is 230 with a max-level scientist. The module has a base transmit value of 15% and a base recovery value of 50%. The scientist increases the recovery by 12%, to 56% or 112 science on the first try. It will transmit for only 33.6 science, but we can process it higher. A non-scientist processing the experiment in a full-scale station would get it up to 42 science, but our level 4 scientist can process to +95%--however the materials study experiment type only processes half as high, so our scientist can process it up to +47.5%. The scientist would also add a 12% value to the experiment, but it already has a 12% bonus modifier applied to it since the same scientist gathered it in the first place. The final transmit value is 49.56 science, about a quarter of the base max for recovery. The same scientist could transmit for a higher value on the same experiment if a higher tech module was used to collect the data initially.

 

A change to experience gain: Scientists now gain experience by performing experiments. Each experiment performed in each region gives them experience, and they level up by performing enough experiments in enough different areas. They can reach max level by running experiments only on Kerbin, but there are higher multipliers on more distant worlds. Also, kerbals will gain half of their field experience while still on the mission, applied at KSC midnight. They must return home to gain the other half, but they can level up during long missions.

 

Expanding the Tech Tree

I had an idea to both stretch out the tech tree and also give the player more options to begin with: provide more of the important types of modules earlier in the tech tree but have later science improve the designs. Important structural elements should be provided early on, allowing you to construct a spacecraft of any shape you wish, but later research could unlock upgrades to the same shapes, making them lighter and stronger. Even large engines should be available pretty early in the tech tree, but later research would unlock more efficient and powerful engines. Later fuel tanks could have a smaller dry mass fraction, or contain advanced fuel that increases engine specific impulse. Wing surfaces could become lighter and stronger as well as gaining a higher lift rating. Early photovoltaic panels could be stationary, and later panels would rotate to track the sun automatically. Later docking ports need not only be larger, but can also have a stronger grip and be thinner/lighter/more durable. And as I have talked about above, the science experiments are all available early in the tree, but have later variants that improve them--though it is possible to get all the science with the starting experiment units.

Changing the tech tree in this way would give the player more freedom early on, and would allow players to plan ahead in their space program rather than forcing them to build crap spacecraft that are quickly made obsolete by new science unlocks. One thing that bothers me about KSP is that I have to explore first before I unlock the parts I need for exploring. I want to build my spacecraft, then send it out on a grand mission, and have that grand mission benefit my space program. It doesn't feel right when I have to unlock the whole tech tree just to prepare for launching my grand mission.

 

Edited by thereaverofdarkness2
trying to add image, new forum editor sucks

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I like the idea that Scientist can increase the Science value gathered from experiments.
As for your statement of 1Kg mass per sample. That would first mean that Squad has to introduce mass to kerballs above their static 93.5kg per kerbal. Which is fine, but that would be a whole new introduction of itself. But I do agree they should.

This would make some missions in the Solar system quite complicated. I think it's a easy to hardcore mode option applied to the difficulty setting. Remember, if you were to introduce this on eve, and you would harvest 1 or 2 biomes, that would make your Eve ascent capsule very heavy. Possibly to heavy to get back into orbit. Rendering your mission useless. These kind of realistic settings are more for the modding territory if you ask me, but it is a good idea for "hard" mode if introduced, but not on lower difficulties.

So I say aye, but only with the option to turn it on/off. But the percentage difference for each gathered science sample or experiment, definitely!
But as always, a option to turn it on or off, or make it that it applies to the easy to hard mode, and a range of percentage gain upon these experiments and/or samples based on your easy through hard mode career setting.

The larger mystery goo habitat, good Idea!

I don't agree about the Science Sr.
The fact you have to get your science laboratory and your Science Jr to your location of science harvesting is bad enough, don't make it worse then it is, please. Or you'll want to cancel the whole science laboratory with it.
Definitely agree with the temperature and pressure readings.

I agree with the Gravity reading, not with the Seismic reading.
It's bad enough you'll have to create a vessel able to bounce into the planet biomes surface to get the data at all, minding you'll destroy something like a wheel or worse to get this data. It is also unlocked relatively late in terms of the smaller science experiments.

The Mobile reasearch laboratory is 2.5m. because that is it's width. Your referring about it's length. Which is longer then 2.5m. Your new processing laboratory idea is still 2.5m width but less long? Is that what your getting at. Yes or no, a smaller processing laboratory whether in width or length is something I agree with. Whatever it's size will be!

@ Kerbal Scientists


So when you transmit data and a Scientist is onboard you'll get the transmit bonuses, but only if you transmit that data right? If so, I agree to a bonus, whatever the percentage may be.

As for expanding the tech tree, there are mods for this. Structural elements add weight. under the 18 ton limit (on a tier 1 launch pad) and 30 part count limit, width, length and height restrictions adding any structural elements seems limiting in all ways one could describe. If there is purpose in that plan, what do you mean by structural elements?

All engines have a very close ISP versus their weight, onlyh a few are put apart in terms of efficiency like the Aerospike and Vector engine. Squad would first have to readjust the ISP to make a huge difference in efficient engines which would be against KSP stockalike versions of real world rocket specifications, basically rendering the game a bad rescale of real life rocketry. And I don't think anybody wants that.

Smaller dry/mass faction.

Same story about the engines. Some structural weight is needed to hold that fuel mass. It is scaled down to 1/10th real solar system weight and specifications. Making one tank heavier or lighter also turns the game into UKSP (unrealistic KSP)

More uncyillindrycal aeroplane specific fuel tanks like the MK2 are already a little bit more ineffecient for fuel/dry mass ratio because earoplane tanks tend to be more durable and heavier.

Advanced fuel?

Install the real fuels mod, some things are ment to be plugins, a multitude of fuels is one of that.
KSP is not just for you, but also for occasional gamers not willing to get into technical details.
If that is an idea, then what fuels for what? Lower stages, upper stages? Some fuels are used for atmospheric engines, some for vaccuum engines. If you start with one more efficient fuel for any atmospheric or vaccuum stage, you are basically forced to add all the fuels in existence otherwise you'll be picky or add a non existing KSP kind of fuel like a Kethane variant and you will be getting into scifi KSP.

Static Photovoltaic panels are earlier in the tech tree and rotating ones later, so what your suggesting is already as it is.
As for docking ports, NO!
Docking ports are not structural powerhouses to not wobble under momentum produced by engines.
The same is in real life, cracks and vaccuum leaks will be produced under prolonged stress of 2 docking ports. So it's already unrealistic as it is, don't make it more unrealistic. If you want more constructional strength between 2 docked vessels, suggest something stock so that a Kerbal on EVA can strengthen joints with mobile equipment. Something like the KAS mod introduces.

All these things should be balanced in accordance with the career difficulty settings. But I do agree with some of them.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Vaporized Steel

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Nothing I have suggested here makes science collection more difficult than it already is. The base return values are the same as what you already get, only the max amounts are increased. It would be neat to have some of this made easier or harder based on your difficulty setting, but ultimately there's a lot of power to the player to define their game by choosing how much effort they want to put into gathering science.

The Science, Jr. hasn't been nerfed. You can get just as much science as before without using a Science, Sr.--it's up to you to bring that monstrosity if you want it. I picture the Mobile Processing Unit (MPU) (the small one) being similar in size to the Science, Sr., about the size of a 2.5m monopropellant tank and probably having around 0.5 to 1.0 ton mass. The currently existing Mobile Processing Laboratory (MPL) is 2.5m wide and very tall, with a mass of 3.5 tons. The Mobile Research Laboratory (MRL) would be 3.75m wide and have a height similar to the MPL, probably giving it a mass somewhere around 8 tons. The names are a bit confusing but very much tentative...

I'm not sure how big the Mystery Goo Habitat should be, but I was imagining a short 1.25m dome module you could attach to the top of a stack, when it opens it reveals a clear dome window through which you can see the goo habitat innards, with the goo moving about weirdly in some slow animation. Maybe similar size and mass to the Science, Jr.

 

Maxing out the gravity reading through setting up seismic stations would be very tedious, but there's no need to do this. With the advanced instrument, you collect 100% data on recovery. Even with just the basic module, you still get 80%. There's only a small gain from monitoring over an extended period of time. However I was thinking that since the orbiting craft would pass over multiple gravity biomes, it should only collect data while traveling over the right biome. So, then, you could set up an orbiting probe with multiple gravity readers collecting data on all biome types as it passes over each one. To match this for the ground, perhaps a seismometer could very slowly catch readings for biomes it's not in, with the collection rate sped up for every other seismometer actively reading while on the same world but in another biome. So if you land 3-4 craft in different places with seismometers, you could just sit there and gradually soak up all biomes worth of seismic activity.

 

" So when you transmit data and a Scientist is onboard you'll get the transmit bonuses, but only if you transmit that data right? "

The scientist attaches the bonus to the data unit when it is gathered. You simply need to have the scientist on-board the vessel when the experiment is run. After that, non-scientists can transfer the data by hand without diminishing it's value. You need to also have scientists inside the processing unit to get the maximum transmit value.

 

 

As for realism regarding parts and engines: real-world rocket engines have improved a lot over time. We actually improved them mostly by learning the most efficient engine bell shapes for various conditions, but the kerbal designs could also vary in terms of materials they're built with. I have always noticed that despite being much smaller than our rockets, kerbal rockets are much more flimsy and less durable as well as being more dense. I have to assume they are using cheap structural materials and that they could improve the designs with better strength to weight ratios as well as more efficient shapes.

But early science could unlock cheap, lousy engines more akin to what NASA produced in the early days. Middle science would unlock high-quality conventional engines. And the most advanced science would unlock the really cool engines, like the LV-N or the PB-ION.

 

It doesn't make sense to me that some parts like the Docking Port, Sr., the Kerbodyne adapter, the hubmax multipoint connector, or other structural items are unlocked so late in the tech tree when they're really just a bigger piece of metal. There should be early versions, though they might be adversely heavy and not as strong as is ideal for their size, but it shouldn't take till the end of the tech tree just to have all the basic structural elements.

 

It would be great to make Kerbal Attachment System stock.

Edited by thereaverofdarkness2

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I edited my post to show an image of the size comparisons of the proposed science parts. I used existing parts that were of a similar size and shape to demonstrate about what I'm picturing.

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This is really complicated.

IMO the science experiments shouldn't give any "science points" as they are simply just another way make a mess out of career/science mode. They should give reputation instead based on where you are without any percantage caps, or whatever. Also making things bigger and heavier as the tree progresses doesn't make much sense.

Giving science experiments rewards, "balancing" (you can't really balance sth that is broken from the beginning) them based on what kind of crew/lab you have and tying it directly to the tech tree was a bad idea made by the devs. Now they have to do all sorts of circus tricks to make it work well, but it still doesn't. Make it simple, make it work like IRL or don't create it at all, because otherwise it won't end well.

I like the idea of many new experiments though. The game is still lacking things like magnetometers, particle collectors, cameras and stuff like that. Would be nice to finally get them.

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17 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

This is really complicated.

IMO the science experiments shouldn't give any "science points" as they are simply just another way make a mess out of career/science mode. They should give reputation instead based on where you are without any percantage caps, or whatever. Also making things bigger and heavier as the tree progresses doesn't make much sense.

Giving science experiments rewards, "balancing" (you can't really balance sth that is broken from the beginning) them based on what kind of crew/lab you have and tying it directly to the tech tree was a bad idea made by the devs.

I like the system they have going right now, my only issue is that a player will reach their best science-collecting potential only after the science collecting is done. I like collecting science, I just want to be able to unleash my full science collecting potential and still have collecting science be worth something.

I think players just wouldn't feel right about getting reputation for performing science experiments, even if it is realistic or works from a gameplay perspective. We've been programmed to think that anything called science in games yields technology unlocking points, and I don't see that as a problem. Also, the reputation system is confusing and somewhat useless. It's too easy to max out your reputation, too hard to tell how much you have, and it seems to have no major impact on gameplay. I'd love to see the system reworked, but as it is it's not a decent reward for all these experiments and the work that goes into collecting them.

I'm not trying to make things bigger and heavier as a reward for new science, but rather I want a large and a small option and it makes more sense to give the small option first. In a way, the small one is better, because you can do anything you want with it. It has no real limitations. The big modules are more powerful but it comes at a cost, and a later game player is more likely to be able to offset that cost. But you don't have to--the early game modules are great for use in late game so it's up to the player to choose how they play.

 

 

I have a few ideas about changing my proposed processing labs both for less confusion and for more variance:

2.5m x 1.5m small lab: Automated Experiment Processor

This module has a mass of 1.2 tons and is unlocked for 160 science. It can be operated by a single kerbal in order to clean experiments and process the data for better transmit value, but it is only able to process up to half the bonus you get from other processing labs. It has the special ability of being able to operate from any part of the craft without inserting the science data into the module, and it can be operated by a probe core which gets the same bonus as a non-scientist kerbal, which is +25% transmit value. Unfortunately, the Automated Experiment Processor cannot store experiments.

 

2.5m x 4m medium lab: Mobile Processing Unit

This module has a mass of 3.5 tons and is unlocked for 90 science. It can be operated by up to two kerbals to process experiments to increase transmit value. It gets the full bonus but provides no other functions. It can store most science experiments in unlimited quantities but only has a small amount of room for surface samples.

 

3.75m x 4m large lab: Field Laboratory

This module has a mass of 8 tons and is unlocked for 550 science. It can be operated by up to three kerbals and is able to process and clean experiments, perform the best materials study experiment, collect surface material, and it has a significant amount of storage room for surface material as well!

Edited by thereaverofdarkness2

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Great post, I really like the rigor with which you've thought this out. The changes you're making aren't that drastic, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I have a few concerns about the way you're leveling scientists and part upgrades but we can leave that aside for a moment. Just a couple of minor questions:

On 6/24/2016 at 3:17 PM, thereaverofdarkness2 said:

A kerbal can carry a 1kg sample of regolith which has a recovery value of 50% of the maximum, and this takes up space and adds mass to the capsule it is stored in. Returning more surface samples from the same biome gives much less science--you have to take home a whole ton of material to get the full 100%, but you can make it to 75% by bringing back just 100kg. Later in the tech tree you will unlock a surface collection unit which can collect the surface material rapidly and can store 100kg of surface sample, and then a storage tank that can hold a full ton of surface sample material and maybe a larger tank that can hold several tons--if you were to gather from multiple biomes.

Forgive me if I missed this, but are surface samples then equivalent to ore, and can you fill up your 1t with a drill? Does this complicate liquid samples when splashed down?

On 6/24/2016 at 3:17 PM, thereaverofdarkness2 said:

The full processing value increases the transmit value by 50% over base, but a scientist will get a base 75% increase to transmit value at level 0. At each higher level, a scientist gets +5% processing transmit value, +3% to all science gathered, and +5% faster processing lab operation speed.

Super minor, but I think you could get away with a 10% processing boost, 5% collection boost and 20% processing speed boost. Levels should be tough to get, but the rewards should be worth it. 

On 6/24/2016 at 3:17 PM, thereaverofdarkness2 said:

The Science, Jr. unit offers your first mobile research lab, and these will become a staple for squeezing out as much research as possible from any biome, but they are also the heaviest module to tug around. Initially it recovers just 50% and you can run several to increase the recovery, but it would take an exorbitant amount of Sciences, Jr. to reach 100% due to the diminishing return. However, with just a few you can get significantly higher than 50%.

I would caution you against the diminishing-returns technique. This is somewhat similar to the way science worked very early on in its implementation and it led to a LOT of grind. You think people wont put 20 goo containers on their ships and right click through all of them, but they will. Better might be to just make a hard cap for the initial model at 2 or 3 (or 1) before maxing out. 

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On 6/28/2016 at 8:44 PM, Pthigrivi said:

Forgive me if I missed this, but are surface samples then equivalent to ore, and can you fill up your 1t with a drill? Does this complicate liquid samples when splashed down?

There's a surface collection facility which is actually a unit used to collect surface material rapidly. It has drills built into it--probably a shorter kind of drill than what you use to get ore. The facility just grabs whatever it's sitting on, so it'll work fine in the water. But it could also be fun to use drills to gather surface material into ore cans. I'm just tossing ideas out for that one--mostly I wanted players to be rewarded for logistical efforts to carry the samples. Actually collecting them is supposed to be easy.

 

Quote

Super minor, but I think you could get away with a 10% processing boost, 5% collection boost and 20% processing speed boost. Levels should be tough to get, but the rewards should be worth it. 

Good point. I could set non-scientist base to 25% and scientist base to 50%, and let them go up 10% per level, so they still get to 100% max. Now it's a lot more important to use a scientist. The processing speed boost could be 10% but it doesn't need to be very high. The processing module doesn't take that long anyway, so it's a minor bonus. Consider how much speed boost you get with three level 5 scientists.

The bonus to maximum science needs to be small. At 15% max bonus, it still makes a huge difference. Say you sent a probe around the Joolian moons gathering 80% of the max science for gravity scans from each biome, gaining 160 science for each one. Later you can come by with a level 5 scientist and gain 70 more science from each one. I don't think leveling up your scientists should essentially refresh all the biomes. I'd rather encourage people to visit new places.

It might make sense to grant a recovery bonus for scientists. I didn't want the base recovery to be too low, or the max recovery to go above 100%. But maybe just take all the existing values and that'll be for level 5 scientists. Each level lower will collect 2% less, and non scientists will collect 80% on recovery. These smaller percentage values on recovery are multiplying larger numbers than on transmit, so it'll still be just as important to have a scientist for recovery as for transmit.

 

Quote

I would caution you against the diminishing-returns technique. This is somewhat similar to the way science worked very early on in its implementation and it led to a LOT of grind. You think people wont put 20 goo containers on their ships and right click through all of them, but they will. Better might be to just make a hard cap for the initial model at 2 or 3 (or 1) before maxing out. 

Also a good point! Perhaps 4 would be the max, that works well with various symmetrical designs. It'll also allow me to set amounts without actually constructing a mathematical function for it. For example:

Base recovery / Base non-scientist recovery / Base scientist recovery / Max scientist recovery
1 Science, Jr.: 50% / 40% / 45% / 57.5%
2 Sciences, Jr.: 58% / 46.4% / 52.2% / 66.7%
3 Sciences, Jr.: 62% / 49.6% / 55.8% / 71.3%
4 Sciences, Jr.: 64% / 51.2% / 57.6% / 73.6%
1 Science, Sr.: 80% / 64% / 72% / 86.25%
2 Sciences, Sr.: 90% / 69.6% / 78.3% / 103.5%
3 Sciences, Sr.: 95% / 76% / 85.5% / 109.25%
4 Sciences, Sr.: 97.5% / 78% / 87.75% / 112.125%
1 Field Laboratory: 100% / 80% / 90% / 115%

edit: changed Science, Sr. to recover closer to max when you use multiple units. It makes the Science, Sr. a better late-game tool and makes the enormous Field Laboratory less of a necessity.

Edited by thereaverofdarkness2

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On 29/06/2016 at 1:43 AM, thereaverofdarkness2 said:

I think players just wouldn't feel right about getting reputation for performing science experiments, even if it is realistic or works from a gameplay perspective. We've been programmed to think that anything called science in games yields technology unlocking points, and I don't see that as a problem.

Except "science" in KSP isn't even any kind of science. It's just "unlock points". And the worst thing is that SQUAD made a decision to force people to go places in order to progress and yet most of them don't even leave Kerbin's SOI because all the science to unlock the tree can be gathered on Mun and Minmus.

I would love to gather actual scientific data that could boost the funding for my space program, but the game doesn't allow for that.

On 29/06/2016 at 1:43 AM, thereaverofdarkness2 said:

Also, the reputation system is confusing and somewhat useless. It's too easy to max out your reputation, too hard to tell how much you have, and it seems to have no major impact on gameplay. I'd love to see the system reworked, but as it is it's not a decent reward for all these experiments and the work that goes into collecting them.

That's the problem with design choices made by SQUAD. They could create a great unlocking system, but instead decided that a bunch of systems poorly stitched together is good enough and now that everyone got used to it there's no reason it should be changed.

Oh, how I love the mobile version of this forum:

"I like the system they have going right now, my only issue is that a player will reach their best science-collecting potential only after the science collecting is done. I like collecting science, I just want to be able to unleash my full science collecting potential and still have collecting science be worth something."

As I said above: if there was a proper unlocking mechanism in place since the dawn of the career mode people wouldn't be forced to collect the unlock points (aka pseudo-science) to progress.

Not everyone wants to do science all the time. Money+time=tech, science=reputation and reputation=money is the best solution, as it would allow people to pick one of the three paths: Commercial mode, Government funding and Progression through science.

Right now there's only one: "Unlock Points Mode and Side Quests" mode. You can't progress the way you want. You have to collect science. Not everyone wants to do that.

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On 8/24/2016 at 7:36 AM, Veeltch said:

Except "science" in KSP isn't even any kind of science. It's just "unlock points". And the worst thing is that SQUAD made a decision to force people to go places in order to progress and yet most of them don't even leave Kerbin's SOI because all the science to unlock the tree can be gathered on Mun and Minmus.

I think that's a good point. It'd be nice if Minmus gave less science, and if the whole science tree went a lot further. I'd like to see a lot of futuristic technologies put in at the end with high science requirements, giving a player a lot of room to expand. It would give purpose to collecting science from all of those places.

On 8/24/2016 at 7:36 AM, Veeltch said:

Not everyone wants to do science all the time. Money+time=tech, science=reputation and reputation=money is the best solution, as it would allow people to pick one of the three paths: Commercial mode, Government funding and Progression through science.

Right now there's only one: "Unlock Points Mode and Side Quests" mode. You can't progress the way you want. You have to collect science. Not everyone wants to do that.

That's a really important point as well. You can turn up the science rewards from missions and turn down the science gain from experiments (I think), but it would be nice to have alternative options of gameplay. I like collecting science and running contracts, but I don't like it when the game selects for me which I have to do to progress.

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