RocketBlam

Game seems a lot more Grindy now

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I'm playing through my latest career (fourth? Fifth?) and the game seems really grindy now. I have enough science to completely finish the tech tree, but I have to keep taking missions to make enough money to upgrade it. It seems like the missions don't pay as much as they used to. And other than doing missions, I don't see another good way to make money.

I'm even recovering first stages exclusively now. Every launch, I land the first stage SpaceX style and recover it. But I just can't seem to get enough money. Did something change in the calculations for mission rewards?

Oops, this belongs in General Discussion. My bad.

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Maybe you should accept more challenging contracts, so that you also get some world-firsts bonuses. Also, combine multiple contracts into a single mission.

I don't recognize your situation at all. In fact, if I had posted anything on the income (career at normal setting), then I would have said the opposite. The contracts pay more than sufficient. The world-firsts will actually pay you even without you accepting having a contract for it.

To give you a picture: I rescued 23 Kerbals from various Kerbin, Mun and Minmus orbits (typically I rescued 3-4 per mission). I explored the Mun and Minmus quite thorough (as in: visited most biomes) and went to Duna, Ike, Eve and Gilly once. And after that, I was 14 million funds in the plus. Then I built a Jool-5 mission, which I launched without any contracts... The Jool-5 mission cost 3 million, but when it was finished, I had 16 million in the bank: the world-firsts alone had generated nearly 5 million, apparently.

Try to combine contracts for e.g. (1) testing parts, (2) collecting science data, (3) rescuing Kerbals and (4) planting flags. For example, you can fly to the Mun, test a part in Mun orbit, save a Kerbal from the surface, plant a flag, do a science experiment on the surface, fly back, and cash in 4 contracts in one go. This gets harder later in the career, when the contracts are scattered over many planets and moons... so you may have to accept one or two contracts first, then warp forward a few days to wait for a third/fourth contract to pop up to be combined.

It also helps to put a thermometer onto each satellite you launch, so you can instantly complete a contract to "collect science data from orbit of...". But I have to admit that this last comment feels a little cheaty to me.

 

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Or maybe you should support the change of career mode.

I feel like some sort of activist now.

"Hello, sir! Do you have the time to talk about our lord and saviour Careerus Modus?"

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The milestones pay out enough that you need not do anything else, frankly.

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The 2 big money sinks early on seem to be upgrading buildings prematurely and hiring kerbals. I usually play with 70%-ish funds, no starting funds. pay to unlock tech. My current career was tight so I went to the admin building to get some funds to help pay for my first Mun landing (I don't do tourist/part test/waypoint contracts unless they are really simple). The Mun mission put me in a good place funds wise and it's been comfortable since. OP may want to look into Contract Configurator and/or

or simply adjusting your funds % in settings

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I've never gotten to late-stage career mode, but my experience with mid-stage is the opposite. Most missions cost a fraction of their own income, to the point where I often don't even look how much rockets cost and don't bother reusing them. I reuse planes, but that's because most planes end up being survey vehicles that make little income.

Edited by Pds314

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This could be a result of your play style. I do know that some people just don't go interplanetary , which will make you tight on funds as in Kerbin missions only pay so much.  but once you break out and send something to another planet, missions can bank you big money easy.

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It doesn't matter what one does. There are no playstyles in KSP. The only way to progress is to do what the game dictates you to do. The fact that contracts ask you about random things doesn't give you much option to create your own "playstyle". You either do the random stuff and magically harvest "tech unlock points from space" or don't progress at all.

The career needs to change. It can be done, but since there's this weird career Stockholm syndrome going on the devs see no point to do that.

Finish the tree, finish the game, amirite?

Edited by Veeltch

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47 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

It doesn't matter what one does. There are no playstyles in KSP. The only way to progress is to do what the game dictates you to do. The fact that contracts ask you about random things doesn't give you much option to create your own "playstyle". You either do the random stuff and magically harvest "tech unlock points from space" or don't progress at all.

The career needs to change. It can be done, but since there's this weird career Stockholm syndrome going on the devs see no point to do that.

Finish the tree, finish the game, amirite?

Basically, yes.

I've heard the responses to this, that we play for other reasons---and they are also right. The difficulty of career, to the extent there is any, rests entirely upon the limitations of what parts or funds are available. Except for the very early game, no funds restrictions exist, and the parts restrictions are only around for a little bit longer in play. So I want to do X, but I am limited, so I grind some other stuff until I can unlock needed parts, right?

In career we are looking for difficulties to overcome, that's kind of the point. When the obstacle to an objective is "tech," then we play to buy tech to design our way to our objective. That's why my idea career mode would be either real exploration (requires an unknown solar system every game, and the tools to unlock the information needed to explore it), or a space race. In the former case, the foil is the unknown (not the tech tree or funds alone), in the latter the foil is the competing program.

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@Veeltch I agree with your PoV and your suggestions thread offers some excellent ideas!

In the meantime I play Science mode because the collection of science gives me a reason to start with smaller ships and it gives me some loosely defined goals without the strict (put a satellite here, save this dude, test this part) sorta random structure of Career. Also I've found the money aspect of Career to be pretty superfluous. The cost/reward model rarely challenges me to create really efficient designs since the payouts are often well in excess of launch costs.

TL:DR Career and science need a lot of work, but there's still a lot of fun to be had in Science mode.

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The one two times I thought the contracts were way too grindy was...

1. Testing extra large landing gear in Kerbol orbit. *Faceplam*

2. Having a mün rescue mission that paid for itself by strapping decouplers to the sides of it.

But I have not encountered low payouts. The glorious companies from above like to have you do nuts things, and are prepared to hand you their wallets in the process.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2016 at 0:27 PM, aleis said:

This could be a result of your play style. I do know that some people just don't go interplanetary , which will make you tight on funds as in Kerbin missions only pay so much.  but once you break out and send something to another planet, missions can bank you big money easy.

Yeah, It seems like if you do a large contract (for landing on Duna and getting back for example) then more contracts will appear about Duna!

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I had 30m and fully unlocked tech tree in almost no time in career mode without even going further than Minmus, the only grind was "mid tech" because I got picky about what missions to complete but now when I want quick cash with minimal effort I take a dozen tourist missions (and possibly a few Ore and Station missions) at once, build a massive rocket capable of taking roughly 40 kerbals to Mun and Minmus and home and one such trip takes on average 35 Kerbin days. Investment: 1,5m for a slow rocket, 2m for a fast one with plenty of drills. Mission completion: 5-7m, so always making at the very least 3 million - usually closer to 5. I build atrociously massive structures with up to 1000 parts all the time and waste millions on doing fun stupid stuff, like one out of five things I launch exists to make cash.

Now while I don't have anywhere near a money problem it would be nice if there was SOME way to get trickle income without having to personally oversee things, mostly for lazy players who don't want to be handed infinite funds but don't want to keep doing grindy missions all the time. Probably difficult to implement with reasonable balance and while making any sense but for instance making a special ore extraction facility on Kerbin that would constantly mine ore and sell it would be sort of cool, the only way to do something like that right now is to fuel up tanks and sell the entire tanks. Incindentally I tried that for fun, return on investment is... completely awful, but you CAN profit a tiny bit after a few months. :P 

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1 hour ago, Rejected Spawn said:

Probably difficult to implement with reasonable balance [...].

Not at all, actually. The only two things that would need to happen is getting rid of science points and having capped funds based on the amount of reputation. It's just that the current system is "prefectly fine" because apparently people are fine with it. No point in fixing something that is considered perfectly functional and fun by the majority.

SQUAD should do what Rust developers did. They implemented a whole XP system and then got rid of it. Same thing should happen to the career mode, except not being deleted but actually recreated.

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36 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

Not at all, actually. The only two things that would need to happen is getting rid of science points and having capped funds based on the amount of reputation. It's just that the current system is "prefectly fine" because apparently people are fine with it. No point in fixing something that is considered perfectly functional and fun by the majority.

SQUAD should do what Rust developers did. They implemented a whole XP system and then got rid of it. Same thing should happen to the career mode, except not being deleted but actually recreated.

Since I see you constantly expressing your absolute hate for science points in multiple threads I get that you don't like it, what I don't get is your apparent lack of understanding that many players DO like the current system. If a lot of players think a system is quite fun, why can't we keep that system? What is preventing the creation of a SEPARATE game mode for players like you who want an entirely different experience, we already have several ways to play the game so what is making a new mode suited to your needs not the best way to solve this? Why not even take it a step further by having CUSTOM game modes that let the player decide how things should work? Please do explain because at this point your opinion in the matter seems so single minded to me that I find it hard to take it as constructive but I don't think you're only here because complaining is all that fun so there must be some sort of reasoning that perpetuates your stance in the matter, thus explaining it properly would be greatly appreciated.

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3 minutes ago, Rejected Spawn said:

Since I see you constantly expressing your absolute hate for science points in multiple threads I get that you don't like it, what I don't get is your apparent lack of understanding that many players DO like the current system. If a lot of players think a system is quite fun, why can't we keep that system? What is preventing the creation of a SEPARATE game mode for players like you who want an entirely different experience, we already have several ways to play the game so what is making a new mode suited to your needs not the best way to solve this? Why not even take it a step further by having CUSTOM game modes that let the player decide how things should work? Please do explain because at this point your opinion in the matter seems so single minded to me that I find it hard to take it as constructive but I don't think you're only here because complaining is all that fun so there must be some sort of reasoning that perpetuates your stance in the matter, thus explaining it properly would be greatly appreciated.

Yeah, sorry about that. I actually phrased myself poorly.Yep, custom game modes would actually be better. I guess my overall dissatisfaction comes from what I excpected from the career mode before it was implemented and after it happened. I don't disagree with others' concept of "fun". The problem is you can't balance something like KSP's career mode simply by giving more options (just like the devs did).

It's like giving someone who wants pancakes beef instead. Then the chef says "But I actually want to eat pancakes this time". Then you throw more kinds of meat at him + some BBQ sauce and say "K, here's more options."

No pancakes for me. Gotta grind through the tech tree and contracts to start doing something I actually want to do.

So yeah, the customizable game modes would be the way to go, but then how much dev work would it take to do it vs. implementing a few mods I use to make my career more enjoyable.

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Now I get you a lot better, thanks for taking the time to sort it out. ^_^ I do think the options presented in the career mode are lacking, despite in a way being the complete opposite of lacking. Having a set standard that says "this is a [something] level challenge" gives a nice [something] level satisfaction when you clear a mission but the customized options now are very easily combined anywhere between making the game so easy you almost can't fail and all the way over to making it literally impossible, this has me quite confused because why would settings like that even exist?

I'd think having a sort of group of standard game modes in 2-3 standard difficulties each would be more than enough to meet the majority of players wishes and then breaking out the super custom game mode as completely separate from the other modes to satisfy the rest, maybe even go so far as to make the parameters in the custom mode sharable so players wishing to challenge each other can do so easily. Of course the "super custom" mode would need to be completely configurable not just with some sliders but by completely altering how the game functions. The biggest problem would be implementing something like that at this point in time because they can't very well rip out the old system entirely since some players have spent hundreds of hours playing and savegame compatibility is important... That said I don't think creating additional modes is any more difficult than most other stuff done on a regular patching basis, assuming the underlying framework is done in a reasonably organized manner.

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A way to make money without missions is to set up a mining rig near the KSC, then you can fill up empty tanker trucks or something and recover them for profit. I s'pose it's a bit cheesy though. Alternatively you could launch spacecraft unfueled and fill them using a tanker drawing from a rig on Minmus. Put a claw on the tanker so you don't have to fudge about with docking properly, otherwise it could start to get as grindy as missions every time you want to launch something.

If recovery is tedious, you can still save a lot by using expendable solid rockets with liquid fuel only on the final stage. I wouldn't recommend that on a stock career though since none of them have gimbal, nor are they wider than 1.25m, nor are there any vacuum-optimised ones... hmm, stock SRBs are quite lacking when you think about it. Still, it is doable, skill level depending.

Edited by String Witch

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if you keep going back to mission control, they often give contracts that can be completed with what you are already flying.  Once you are at a new location, you get contracts for that location.   Even the first time you go to orbit, if you go back to mission control before you come down, there will be a contract to come down.   completing flag contracts gives a ton of cash, and they pop back up pretty quickly after one has been done.  Multi biome landing missions are already a great way to get science, so you might as well get loads of cash at the same time.   And once you unlock advanced tech and experimental science, you have the capacity to create free money.

Or you could just increase the pay out multiplier in difficulty settings

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Personally, I'm finding the grind for money boring, so as soon as I can afford it, I roll out an absolutely ginormous monopropellant factory onto the runway, and just manufacture myself some cash to afford fancy projects.

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