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'Explore' Contracts


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So, in Campaign, I have tried to go to planets in the order the explore contracts give them to me, for a sort of storyline/progression even after I have finished the tech tree. However, this is just getting annoying.

Explore Ike: perform a rendezvous around Ike, perform a docking around Ike.

Explore the Sun: Rendezvous two vessels, perform a crew transfer.

Explore Gilly: Return to Kerbin from orbit of Gilly.

Now, I want to explore new planets, and I am nearly done with these moons and planets. However I keep getting more contracts for Ike and Gilly, and even the Sun.

I just finished the Explore Ike contract using a probe with a claw on it, and then got a contract to do a crew transfer around Ike, and I have no other easily available ships to do that with, from my Duna base. These contracts just start to feel more annoying after I've already done X around Y so many times.

The return missions are annoying as well. When I first explored Gilly, it told me to return from a Gilly flyby. I sent a probe, returned it to Kerbin. A contract for orbit Gilly + return then is available. Since most of the time I either send one-way probes to moons/planets or I send refuelling bases, it means I either have to send another vehicle to go there and return, or sacrifice one of the vehicles I already have there to go back, which means sending a duplicate again, which gets boring after I've sent two different vehicles to the Duna system for Ike returns.

What are your opinions on these Explore contracts? Personally, I believe it would be better with just Flybys, Orbits, Landings, Flags and Science but that's just my opinion.

And also, is it true that going to a location early skips all Explore contracts for that location?

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The thing is, the moment you accept a particular type of contract (flyby, docking, explore, rescue, tourist, part testing, etc.), the game tends to more frequently generate that kind of contract (and usually tend to be in the particular planet that you finished your previous contract (so accepting docking contract on moho tend to make future contract revolves around moho, and usually involves docking (space station or whatever)). This can be mitigated by selecting various type of contract in various planetary body instead of focusing on finishing as much contract as possible on a single planetary body in a single run. In contrast, rejecting a particular type of contract (say, rescue mission) will make that contract appear less than other types (so you rarely get rescue contract).

Personally, in my playstyle, one of the most essential building to upgrade in career mode is administration building. As soon as I'm able to max it's level and have enough funds and science, I'm setting "leadership initiative" strategy (gain more funds and science from milestones in exchange of gain less funds and science from contracts). That way, I can play KSP however I like, with the income from milestones (such as first time orbiting mun, first time landing on minmus, etc.) usually enough to upgrade KSC, cover up the cost of my freely-designed craft, and the bonus science from milestones (not counting actual science activity that I'm performing during flight) is usually enough to unlock all parts. Once it's done, any excess science points can be converted into funds, and the main income for funds is just tourist contracts (which gives an opportunity for new science activity or to create new craft to play)

And no, going to location early does not skip it (unless it's first time contract like "orbit kerbin")

That's my opinion :)

Edited by ARS
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I find most contracts are good, but the progression based Explore contracts are not. I mean the explore contracts about Exploring Mun, then Minmus, then probably Duna, etc. They're the only ones I do not like, as they cannot be declined unlike the others, and I believe are considered the storyline contracts. I also personally find the leadership initiative strategy useless, as milestones generate very little funds compared to the contracts given, with my average Duna contract now giving around 1m funds, which easily covers the 60k those missions usually cost around.

I guess one way I can get around the return vehicle problem is to have a bunch of spare craft, but that adds to ship count around my base, and will probably cost a lot. Maybe I should plan for these same contracts at each location, like at least 2 manned vehicles, 2 kerbals, 2 landers, etc per planet SOI.

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