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More challenging career mode is what we need.


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Fist of all the game is great but one thing is bugging me: the career mode is not really pushing you.

the reason i came to this conclusion is that is has no real goals other than doing contracts. i personally never or almost never leave the kerbin system in career mode. this is because you actually dont need to because with the help of the mun, minmus and a orbital research station you can unlock the entire tech tree in stock and every usefull tech node in Communitytechtree mod. this makes that you dont leave the system for other reasons then just fun. now you can just nerf the research lab but that would make it a very expensive piece of garbage in a career mode.because getting that thing in orbit in early career is expensive but worth it.

now i have given some thought on how to fix this and i looked in the forum and mod list for a solution but i could not find it. if there are but i just didnt find it please tell me.

so my question for you is: how do you keep your career mode fun all the way to the end?

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of course I would not just ask you a question without giving you the best solution i came up with.
[suggestion]
the biggest problem for me is that the tech tree is to easy to unlock with the current science system. i do like the system but if the tech tree had obstacles like: before you can unlock the tech tree node for the nuclear engine with normal science, you need to return a surface sample from a specific biome of duna.
now you can also use this earlier in the tech tree with just science date from minmus, mun or even kerbin.

if i where a modder i would make a mod like this because this makes you go places you otherwise wont go with the tech that has a low chance of success at best.

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Spoiler

forgive me for any mistakes in grammar or spelling im dutch and dyslectic :confused:

 

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Try increasing your difficulty. No not to "Hard", because even with no reverts/quickload that is still way too easy. You sound like you would enjoy setting the difficulty rewards down to 30%(funds, science, rep). Then take off the training wheels(the MPL science lab, don't press that "transmit science" button)

Now it sounds harsh, but that is really what it is about. You like getting pushed to go farther than before, land missions on other planets and so forth...with 30%, you cannot unlock the tech tree from the Kerbin system alone, you must go to at least half of all the celestial bodies(and farm them clean, every binome). The start is really fun, even getting to orbit is a challenge again since you don't have control surfaces or reaction wheels(use spin stabilization) and that is because even just choosing tech tree upgrades becomes a real strategy of what you really, really need.

There is of course many other solutions, but this one is the most "stock/vanilla" type i have encountered

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Increasing the difficulty just makes career grindier, not challenging.

Progression makes no sense whatsoever, adding the need to farm every single biome to unlock parts that you should start with is just annoying.

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4 minutes ago, Gaarst said:

Increasing the difficulty just makes career grindier, not challenging.

Progression makes no sense whatsoever, adding the need to farm every single biome to unlock parts that you should start with is just annoying.

agree I'm playing with highest difficulty that does not make the game feel like an RPG. i dont want to do the same mission 10 times just to unlock a tech tree node, that is repetitive and boring. but still want to get pushed to go to an other planet for other reasons than just science.

if i only would progress in the game by going some where that would make it a lot more challenging. try landing on duna and return with a surface sample on a low budget without nerv engines and ISRU.(it can be done but it is a challenge for sure)  

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13 minutes ago, Gaarst said:

Increasing the difficulty just makes career grindier, not challenging.

Progression makes no sense whatsoever, adding the need to farm every single biome to unlock parts that you should start with is just annoying.

It can make it more challenging if you've never felt the need to explore outside of Kerbin's SOI. But if your sole goal is to unlock the techtree, yeah, I can imagine that it would feel even more grinding.

For me personally, I use career to add the funds variable, and do contracts whenever needed to 'finance' my own goals.

I like some of the contracts challenges, but it could indeed use more variety in them.

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Career in KSP is fundamentally broken, and difficulty is incredibly hard to address, because KSP gets easier the more you play.

Making KSP more challenging would require more realistic limitations on resources (money), life support, and ideally a combination of scaling everything up in the solar system, and having each career generate a new solar system and some fog of war so that you have to explore a bit more (meaning that you only know what you could know from the ground with telescopes before you go someplace).

Edited by tater
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Define "Fun"
Fun: amus--</Sigourney Weaver voice>
Dang, got to remember to turn of that silly computer.

Define "End"
End: the term--</Sigourney Weaver voice>
Gah!

You're thinking about it from the wrong direction. The tech tree and the contracts are not the point of the game. Finishing the tech tree isn't the end. The contracts are only there to provide some general pointers of direction.

KSP like Minecraft has no end. Just things you do in the middle.

 

 

 

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I say this in many threads about career, but what career mode needs is a foil for the player.

KSP is without question informed in its look by the Space Race of the 1960s, and the game implicitly acknowledges this via the "world's first" milestones. That implies it would be possible to be "second." In addition, there are other kerbals launching rockets because of the rescue contracts.

So either the milestones and rescues need to go away, or they need to embrace the Space Race.

The new DLC will add a few things that are required (like part failures, and a set of parts that represents a different aesthetic/function of a different program), but it lacks what is really needed, a full-blown opposing program, and the ability to have it function autonomously, and perhaps even respond to the player's successes in some fashion. 

Adding in that, plus making TIME matter (something along the lines of the KCT mod), could be a more challenging mode of play, certainly. In a Kerbal world where the competition just keeps going, it can remain so farther into gameplay. I'm assuming life support is a thing, too.

 

2 minutes ago, steuben said:

You're thinking about it from the wrong direction. The tech tree and the contracts are not the point of the game. Finishing the tech tree isn't the end. The contracts are only there to provide some general pointers of direction.

KSP like Minecraft has no end. Just things you do in the middle.

This thread is about career mode, not sandbox. If you want no limits, play sandbox, then noodle around making things.

The tech tree is the point of career due to bad game design. People unconsciously play games for rewards when there are reward systems. The tech tree in KSP is the only reward system. Many of us don't think of it as what we are playing for, but we cannot control the fact that we unconsciously want to unlock it. This is exacerbated by the fact that the tree is so absurd that things we might want, the rightly happen alongside the very first nodes we cannot use without unlocking much later... RTGS and solar panels were both flying in space within a few weeks of the first US suborbital flight, for example.

The entire contract paradigm for a space program is absurd, frankly. Programs have rationales outside of "contracts." Contracts would be for commercial providers. Career needs a player-directed mission planner. The player sets a goal, and instead of rewards for completion, they get a budget to complete the task. The player decides where to go, they don't wait for contracts. Sat contracts, etc, can exist as contracts to add to the budget assuming some profit level. Career mode in KSP is pretty awful, and need a ground-up replacement.

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9 minutes ago, tater said:

This thread is about career mode, not sandbox. If you want no limits, play sandbox, then noodle around making things.

and you can't do that in career mode?

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Just now, steuben said:

and you can't do that in career mode?

You can do it, but there are supposed to be limitations in "career" mode so that the player faces challenges they might not face in sandbox. The reality is that career is only ever "hard" right at the beginning when you have almost no resources (money, and part selection), then after you make the first few milestones, it becomes science mode, as funds are not even slightly an issue, then it becomes sandbox.

That's a standard career progression in my experience.

Career needs to be fundamentally different, IMO.

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48 minutes ago, Noud said:

im just thinking quick fixes for current version, im hoping the new expansion has a better career mode 

Don't hold your breath.

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2 hours ago, Gaarst said:

Increasing the difficulty just makes career grindier, not challenging.

Progression makes no sense whatsoever, adding the need to farm every single biome to unlock parts that you should start with is just annoying.

Thats very true...so if we can avoid the temptation of doing the same experiment on multiple binomes, then sure Normal difficulty would not unlock the entire tree in the Kerbin system, which is a complete solution, but you need very clear cut lines to stop yourself :P

@Noud you might want to look into this 

It is quite fun, but the definition of fun is different for all of us. It really makes my progression and missions direction unpredictable...you could say this career is by the will of the Kraken :cool:

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The very notion that doing planetary science would help you do R&D on rocket parts is absurd in the first place. 

R&D should be independent of "science" unless science was subdivided into different types, some of which have utility. 

One of my first few posts ever here suggested dividing science into planetary, medical (kerbal factors in space, basically), and rocket science. Most stuff now in KSP would generate planetary science, which would be good for a limited number of things. I'd prefer that planetary science unlocks information that is actually useful to the player. Make a trajectory planner for atmospheres be part of stock. The use of this tool would unlock on a world by world basis based upon doing certain atmospheric science. Surface samples, etc, are required to do ISRU, etc.

R&D would be funds, and TIME, but could be accelerated via specific sorts of parts testing (that actually make sense).

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Career mode is just sandbox with unnecessary and annoying obstacles like the tech tree. I've written essays upon essays about this and even composed a modlist that meant to deal with the issue.

Edited by Veeltch
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KSP has no objective as far as an 'end-game' goes.

If it had actual objectives for easy medium, hard and custom levels then how fast R&D was done would be of minor concern.

For example Easy level objective. Have a station at Kerbin. Plant flags on the Mun and Mimnus.

Medium. same as Easy level plus plant a flag on Duna. Have stations at Mun and Mimnus. and a Mining Base at either Mun or Mimnus.

Hard. Same as medium level plus Have a Station and a Mining Base in the Jool System and plant a flag on all Moons of Jool.

The idea being that as there would then be actual 'end game' scenarios and this would then be the prime objective of the player. He would no longer feel at a loss having researched everything in the tree. 'Careers' would be about the main objectives and the contracts would be of less 'end game' importance to the player.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Daveroski said:

KSP has no objective as far as an 'end-game' goes.

If it had actual objectives for easy medium, hard and custom levels then how fast R&D was done would be of minor concern.

For example Easy level objective. Have a station at Kerbin. Plant flags on the Mun and Mimnus.

Medium. same as Easy level plus plant a flag on Duna. Have stations at Mun and Mimnus. and a Mining Base at either Mun or Mimnus.

Hard. Same as medium level plus Have a Station and a Mining Base in the Jool System and plant a flag on all Moons of Jool.

The idea being that as there would then be actual 'end game' scenarios and this would then be the prime objective of the player. He would no longer feel at a loss having researched everything in the tree. 'Careers' would be about the main objectives and the contracts would be of less 'end game' importance to the player.

 

 

It doesn't have to be a "land there, do  that to complete the game" scenario. The objective could be actual management of a space program, which this game is clearly lacking. It's not "Kerbal Space Program" but instead just "Kerbal Space". And career makes it "Kerbal Unlock-That-Tree" (<- still no "program" in there). There's just grind to get what you need to fulfill the self-set goals (if the contracts haven't killed your motivation yet). How many times have I seen a thread called "I completed the game by fulfilling the tree! Weehee!"? Too many.

There's absolutely no management to this game. The devs should seriously consider changing the name just so the "Program" in the title doesn't mislead potential buyers.

Edited by Veeltch
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4 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

It doesn't have to be a "land there, do  that to complete the game" scenario. The objective could be actual management of a space program, which this game is clearly lacking. It's not "Kerbal Space Program" but just "Kerbal Space". And career makes it "Kerbal Unlock-That-Tree" (<- still no "program" in there). There's just grind to get what you need to fulfill the self-set goals. How many times have I seen a thread called "I completed the game by fulfilling the tree! Weehee!"? Too many.

There's absolutely no management to this game. The devs should seriously consider changing the name just so the "Program" part doesn't mislead the potential buyers.

As far as I'm aware, I have 'managed' every game I've played.
I decide what to launch where,why and what crew to use. What experiments to perform. My 'program' while entirely free-form and liable to change from day to day is still a 'program' and I am managing it.

Perhaps I misunderstand.
What do you mean by 'There's absolutely no management to this game.'?
Please define 'Management.'

 

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There is no program to manage, @Daveroski. You fly the missions you want, but there is no management in stock whatsoever. If you add life support, for example, then you have some logistics that require management (resupply, crew rotation, etc). In the stock game, there is nothing to prevent the player from serially flying all their missions. Launch to Duna, warp till you land, leave, and warp until you return. Your "program" doesn't care if you warped 1 minute, or 10 years.

You can do a bunch of driving around the KSC area, and collect "science' to unlock a bunch of the tree (R&D), yet warping 8 years to Eeloo might result in zero R&D done for 8 years, then a huge bunch in 1 minute when you transmit science back.

Management would require a budget that matters, and time that matters. You'd need agents to manage---meaning that the kerbals should have "agency" in that they can do things. You tell R&D to spend this much of your budget, and they research stuff you tell them to. You have resupply missions for your station, and that takes a certain budget, and it just happens. That would be management.

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Just now, Daveroski said:

As far as I'm aware, I have 'managed' every game I've played.
I decide what to launch where,why and what crew to use. What experiments to perform. My 'program' while entirely free-form and liable to change from day to day is still a 'program' and I am managing it.

Perhaps I misunderstand.
What do you mean by 'There's absolutely no management to this game.'?
Please define 'Management.'

 

Tycoon game type of management.

What you say you've done as part of the "management" can be done in sandbox just as well. In career you still have to fulfill the tree to some degree (as much as you need or want) to progress. You have to do the contracts to get money. It doesn't matter much which kerbal you pick and what experiments you perform and where as all of them have only one type of reward that can be used to unlock the tree and nothing else. And the strategies? Let's be honest, they are useless.

Actual management would give you a way to earn money some other way, like actual budget based on how well you're doing a'la national space agency. You would have to juggle the finances and decide where and when to spend them.

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You don't actually have to do contracts to get money in career as it stands, the milestones pay rewards, too. Career becomes sandbox before the first good Duna window  even opens unless you intentionally drag your feet.

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1 minute ago, tater said:

You don't actually have to do contracts to get money in career as it stands, the milestones pay rewards, too. Career becomes sandbox before the first good Duna window  even opens unless you intentionally drag your feet.

I actually had such a long break from stock career I forgot about that.

Edited by Veeltch
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Yeah, I do a stock play through (till I lose my mind) every time there is a version update, just so I have a sense of where the stock game sits.

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Oh my goodness no... not my kind of game at all.
Far too much micromanagement.
I want to pilot the missions. (I can too from IVA)
I want to build the ships, stations and bases.. No Problem there.

All that management of funds etc. but to what end? Eventually I'll still have unlocked all the tree and still be feeling like something is lacking in the game when I am landing my Tylo Miner. There's a kind of 'So What!?' feeling.

No end in sight.. no objectives... no End-Game.
It doesn't matter how much micromanagement is added to the game, it will still end up being an endless sandbox game.

Having an actual 'Game Over' situation would give me something to aim for and make me feel more like starting a new game to try things differently.

It seems we and many others want different things from our game.

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6 hours ago, Noud said:

so my question for you is: how do you keep your career mode fun all the way to the end?

I simply don't play it anymore. I don't even play the RO version (RP-0) anymore. The big problem with KSP's career mode is that you must babysit every single flight. That means achievements, logistics, fund-gathering, science, pretty much everything, takes player time and attention. Certainly that should be a goal in every game, keeping the player interested and providing things to do, but in KSP it can, and often does, result in a lot of grind and uninteresting missions. At some point you will end up flying missions for no reason other than to make cash, or get some science, or whatever, purely to make another, more interesting mission possible. With KSP you have to babysit that, whereas with another game you may be able to set up automation or another precondition to complete that portion of the requirements while going to do something else.

That's where KSP goes wrong in regards to career mode, you can't sideline certain tasks to do others, you can only do one thing at a time, which means you will eventually run into a wall of things you need to do in order to progress that are antithetical to how you want to progress.

Edited by regex
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