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CuAnnan    48

Scientists are always useful, engineers are always useful, pilots are only useful to get to a planet the first time and deploy a satellite network. After that, probes do everything a level 5 pilot can do.

To address this, I think that pilots should add their level as a percentage to the fuel efficiency. 5% more fuel efficiency isn't huge, but it's a bonus. Unlike "you get nothing from this pilot, the core you have is more advanced than he is".

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Gaarst    2643

This would literally make no sense. Why would a pilot increase the efficiency of an engine?

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Tyko    543

I think it's an interesting idea, although I wouldn't choose efficiency - that would be more what an engineer would do.

As to why engine efficiency could be improved, I think it would have to do with little things that a season expert would do that a novice wouldn't think of. Specialists in RL often extract more performance from a vehicle than a novice. Look at Formula Racing as a great example. The driver doesn't actually make the engine more efficient, but he does know how to take the best advantage of it in each circumstance to improve his overall performance.

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paulprogart    81
58 minutes ago, Gaarst said:

This would literally make no sense. Why would a pilot increase the efficiency of an engine?

Heh you think that if you sat down at the controls of a 737 and flew it that you would be as efficient as a captain who has spent 5000 hours in that same seat?  Real-world fuel efficiency is a factor of the vehicle and its operator.

Now I don't know if that applies as much to rocketry because of all the automation, but it seems like a neat idea for KSP precisely because it doesn't have a lot of that automation.  So it'd be kind of compensation for that.

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CuAnnan    48
1 hour ago, Gaarst said:

This would literally make no sense. Why would a pilot increase the efficiency of an engine?

Using exactly the same real world physics and science that allow an engineer's level to increase the efficiency of drills and IRSUs.

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Gaarst    2643
1 hour ago, CuAnnan said:

Using exactly the same real world physics and science that allow an engineer's level to increase the efficiency of drills and IRSUs.

You can imagine that an engineer actually knows how to operate a drill or refinery instead of just pressing the big red START button, it still makes some sense.

1 hour ago, paulprogart said:

Heh you think that if you sat down at the controls of a 737 and flew it that you would be as efficient as a captain who has spent 5000 hours in that same seat?  Real-world fuel efficiency is a factor of the vehicle and its operator.

Now I don't know if that applies as much to rocketry because of all the automation, but it seems like a neat idea for KSP precisely because it doesn't have a lot of that automation.  So it'd be kind of compensation for that.

You can gain fuel by being a better pilot by saving on manoeuvres, using better trajectories... but not by magically making your engine more efficient.

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CuAnnan    48
Just now, Gaarst said:

You can imagine that an engineer actually knows how to operate a drill or refinery instead of just pressing the big red START button, it still makes some sense.

You can imagine that a pilot actually knows how to operate an engine instead of just pressing the big red START button, it still makes some sense.

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Gaarst    2643
Just now, CuAnnan said:

You can imagine that a pilot actually knows how to operate an engine instead of just pressing the big red START button, it still makes some sense.

Expect that engines actually work by pressing big red START buttons, you don't choose your settings. You choose your thrust if you want/can but you can't alter fuel mixtures, chamber pressure, combustion temperature, expansion ratio...

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Snark    6696

Moving this suggestion to Suggestions.

Having pilots do something more useful is a suggestion that's been around a long time.  It's been discussed a lot.  To take just one example (I'm sure there are plenty more),

2 hours ago, CuAnnan said:

I think that pilots should add their level as a percentage to the fuel efficiency. 5% more fuel efficiency isn't huge, but it's a bonus.

^ Precisely this suggestion has been made, and discussed at length, along with related suggestions around improving ship performance.  Certainly there's nothing "inherently" wrong with the idea, but there's a pretty sizeable contingent of players who are very strongly against the idea.

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adsii1970    4424
17 minutes ago, Gaarst said:

Expect that engines actually work by pressing big red START buttons, you don't choose your settings. You choose your thrust if you want/can but you can't alter fuel mixtures, chamber pressure, combustion temperature, expansion ratio...

But this idea could work if you had an engineer on board for that mission... :D

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Gaarst    2643
11 minutes ago, adsii1970 said:

But this idea could work if you had an engineer on board for that mission... :D

I wouldn't go as far as saying it would work, but I believe it would indeed make more sense for an engineer to improve the efficiency of an engine rather than a pilot (who probably has no idea of how his engines work).

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adsii1970    4424
1 hour ago, Gaarst said:

I wouldn't go as far as saying it would work, but I believe it would indeed make more sense for an engineer to improve the efficiency of an engine rather than a pilot (who probably has no idea of how his engines work).

Being a Star Trek fan, my first thought was "but Scotty can..."

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Veeltch    1997

Making pilots magical amulets that grant you percentage bonuses is really stupid especially in a game that isn't RPG. You could as well suggest introducing alchemy. Same thing. Same with the damn XP system. It should have never been introduced in the first place.

IRL pilots don't grant you magical efficiency boosts because that would be breaking the laws of physics. This game always lacked micromanagement of the ship and that's what pilots should be used for. Maybe they should even get some sort of autpoliot to fly in formation. That would be much more useful.

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p1t1o    1651

We have gyroscopes with several orders of magnitude more force than is possible and no saturation, solar panels of ridiculous efficiency, a planet made of degenerate matter (in an impossibly compact system) and ion engines that make real world technology look like wooden torches and clubs.

The "realism" argument is moot, I think. For everything.

"How would an engineer increase efficiency?" By using his special key awarded at 5 stars which unlocks the "extra efficiency module" that is installed in all capsules of course. Perfectly reasonable.

Boring answer: There are many compromises made to enhance gameplay, and many real-world factors that if included, would destroy gameplay. Having a bonus for your max-level kerbals is totally within scope and OP has a point about probe cores - at somepoint its like, why take a kerbal at all? And I like having a reason to bring those guys along :)

 

.........impossibly accurate positioning systems, impossibly good sensor coverage of the system, Kerbals that are impervious to radiation, and require no resources to survive indefinitely, we've got jet engines with ridiculously wide operating envelopes, superluminal communications (theres a biggie!), fuel refineries the size of a small hatchback that can extract rocket fuel from rock in seconds, no lagrange points or other n-body phenomena...........

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mattinoz    222

Surely if pilots improved anything it would be handling and stability more than anything. Using skill and situation feel to tweak handling in flight.

 

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eloquentJane    1906
Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, mattinoz said:

Surely if pilots improved anything it would be handling and stability more than anything. Using skill and situation feel to tweak handling in flight.

 

This makes sense. Perhaps an improvement to pilots would be for SAS to be more accurate as level increases (and the same would go for improved probe cores). For example, a level one pilot might struggle keeping the rocket pointed at a node, whilst a level 5 pilot in the same vehicle would maintain attitude perfectly with almost no error (provided that there are enough reaction wheels).

Edited by eloquentJane

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Veeltch    1997
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, p1t1o said:

We have gyroscopes with several orders of magnitude more force than is possible and no saturation, solar panels of ridiculous efficiency, a planet made of degenerate matter (in an impossibly compact system) and ion engines that make real world technology look like wooden torches and clubs.

The "realism" argument is moot, I think. For everything.

"How would an engineer increase efficiency?" By using his special key awarded at 5 stars which unlocks the "extra efficiency module" that is installed in all capsules of course. Perfectly reasonable.

Boring answer: There are many compromises made to enhance gameplay, and many real-world factors that if included, would destroy gameplay. Having a bonus for your max-level kerbals is totally within scope and OP has a point about probe cores - at somepoint its like, why take a kerbal at all? And I like having a reason to bring those guys along :)

 

.........impossibly accurate positioning systems, impossibly good sensor coverage of the system, Kerbals that are impervious to radiation, and require no resources to survive indefinitely, we've got jet engines with ridiculously wide operating envelopes, superluminal communications (theres a biggie!), fuel refineries the size of a small hatchback that can extract rocket fuel from rock in seconds, no lagrange points or other n-body phenomena...........

Fair enough. It's not a realistic game but then should it become more of a flight sim or an RPG with kerbals as amulets that make the Isp higher for some odd reason?

I'm fine with engineers boosting the ISRU. I can easily imagine them pushing and pulling things, redirecting EC to more demanding subsystems when needed and rising pressure of the coolant in radiators because he/she knows what their actual limits are (unlike robots). ISRU has many subsystems (radiators, drills, refinery with a few modes). They are also on-site to patch everything up if they screw up (which frankly they should be able to do with stockified KAS).

And then there are pilots. They turn the engine on, off and change the thrust. And that's pretty much they can do. They won't change the type of fuel, or make the nozzle a bit longer thus rising the Isp of the engine. All they should be able to do is fly because they are pilots.

Edited by Veeltch

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Blaarkies    234
1 hour ago, eloquentJane said:

This makes sense. Perhaps an improvement to pilots would be for SAS to be more accurate as level increases (and the same would go for improved probe cores). For example, a level one pilot might struggle keeping the rocket pointed at a node, whilst a level 5 pilot in the same vehicle would maintain attitude perfectly with almost no error (provided that there are enough reaction wheels).

What if I want the control to be slightly wobbly, but all my level 5 pilots are OCD perfectionists? Now i need to find a level 3 somewhere...:/
What about they bring back that ridiculous over-correction we had in the previous version, where the ship would swing way past prograde, only to try and rotate backwards and again over-correct for it over-correction. Bring that back for low-level pilots and cores:wink:

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p1t1o    1651
Just now, Veeltch said:

Fair enough. It's not a realistic game but then should it become more of a flight sim or an RPG with kerbals as amulets that make the Isp higher for some odd reason?

I think that there is plenty of room in the grey area between those two extremes!

1 minute ago, Veeltch said:

I'm fine with engineers boosting the ISRU. I can easily imagine them pushing and pulling things, redirecting EC to more demanding subsystems when needed and rising pressure of the coolant in radiators because he/she knows what their actual limits are (unlike robots). They are also on-site to patch everything up if they screw up (which frankly they should be able to with stockified KAS).

And then there are pilots. They turn the engine on, off and change the thrust. And that's pretty much they can do. They won't change the type of fuel, or make the nozzle a bit longer thus rising the Isp of the engine. All they should be able to do is fly because they are pilots.

An ISRU boost is a perfectly reasonable alternative, but about the ability of pilots to effect change - If you are driving a car around a corner, you can drive it poorly around the corner, or you can drive it efficiently around the corner. The trajectory could be almost indistinguishable from an outside observer, but one driver could use slightly less fuel than another, simply by how he manipulates the clutch, which exact line he takes around the corner, how smoothly he operates the steering, it all adds up. Different mechanisms in flying a rocket of course, but the idea is the same - tiny adjustments in angle or thrust curve, taking into account quirks such as pogo resonance frequency or other esoteric things to get a minute percentage advantage, just like how a driver who "knows" his vehicle could get a minor but discrete increase in efficiency.

It seems plausible to me IRL, without any fantasy caveats. Ok, maybe 5% is way more than you could realistically achieve IRL, and IRL autopilots are probably far better than humans....so thats the only caveat, you exaggerate the effect for gameplay.

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Rath    441

I am against having kerbals effect any stats directly other than mining and maybe a few other things complex enough for that to be a viable abstraction.  However, piloting and engine thrust or efficiency are the core parts of the game and therefore do not need that kind of abstraction. 

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Gaarst    2643
11 hours ago, p1t1o said:

I think that there is plenty of room in the grey area between those two extremes!

An ISRU boost is a perfectly reasonable alternative, but about the ability of pilots to effect change - If you are driving a car around a corner, you can drive it poorly around the corner, or you can drive it efficiently around the corner. The trajectory could be almost indistinguishable from an outside observer, but one driver could use slightly less fuel than another, simply by how he manipulates the clutch, which exact line he takes around the corner, how smoothly he operates the steering, it all adds up. Different mechanisms in flying a rocket of course, but the idea is the same - tiny adjustments in angle or thrust curve, taking into account quirks such as pogo resonance frequency or other esoteric things to get a minute percentage advantage, just like how a driver who "knows" his vehicle could get a minor but discrete increase in efficiency.

It seems plausible to me IRL, without any fantasy caveats. Ok, maybe 5% is way more than you could realistically achieve IRL, and IRL autopilots are probably far better than humans....so thats the only caveat, you exaggerate the effect for gameplay.

There is a huge difference between "reducing dV used" and "increasing dV available".

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Waxing_Kibbous    494

I'd like to see level 4 pilots be able to execute maneuver nodes, maybe even with the option of splitting a maneuver node for more efficiency. Level 5 would be able to dock (although this is pretty complicated, I imagine ships would need proper RCS to enable it).

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p1t1o    1651
34 minutes ago, Gaarst said:

There is a huge difference between "reducing dV used" and "increasing dV available".

In real life, yes. In game? Im not against it.

Theres precious little reason to level up your kerbals, its supposed to be Kerbal Space Program, I'd love to see even a little token more put into crew stuff.

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regex    8869

I would like to see pilots removed from the game, and then allow scientists and engineers to press the "T" button in the cockpit.

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Jarin    420

I'm more in favor of them increasing the maneuverability of craft. Mechanically this could be increasing the power of reaction wheels and RCS, or possibly handled in the background by having the rotational inertia calculations use reduced mass. (note, I'm only talking back-end here; the mass would remain the same for everything important other than rotation)

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