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KSP Weekly: The flight of the Norge and forging missions

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1 minute ago, klgraham1013 said:

Personally, I'd like failures to be attributed to the lifespan of the part, increasing steadily as the part ages.

Even if Squad doesn't add this you can do so with PartModules and Scenarios. Test Flight already does something similar with MTBF and rated burn times for engines, and it is a very cool thing for RO players (no idea if it has stock configs).

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From what they've said so far about the mission builder, it sounds like it's best uses will be challenges (you could set parameters to make sure certain objectives are completed, or just to make sure no one cuts corners) and measuring yourself against other players. How many times have you seen someone do something and thought "that was cool, but I think my way is better"? Assigning a numerical score could settle those arguments; but then open up a whole new argument about the way in which the score is tallied. Depending on all the elements of it, and how it's applied, I think it'll be a coin-flip. Either really cool, or something I don't use at all. I'm hoping for the former.

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27 minutes ago, klgraham1013 said:

Personally, I'd like failures to be attributed to the lifespan of the part, starting at low to zero, while steadily increasing as the part ages.  Additionally, engineers could use spare parts as preventive maintenance.  The part would be good as new, but the failure rate would increase much faster.  The oldest parts would gain little benefit from preventive maintenance, as the failure rate would increase so quickly.  

This would also mean parts would need replacing.  So KAS / KIS would need to be added.  So maybe this sort of thing shouldn't be stock.  Food for thought.

 

I'm not opposed to new ways a part can fail from crashing, bumping, over heating, things that can be avoided through good design and cautious piloting, etc... but I'm generally opposed to "life spans" its not conducive to infrastructure style of play the end result is either tedious repair eva's or tedious milk runs with replacement spaceships.

But anyway thats assuming this work on part failures some how back feeds into the core game I wouldn't be surprised in the end if this part failure work became confined to things like.. "You have a mun intercept!" *boom* "oops your fuel cell failed! teehee! your objective has changed. Use you lem's engines to modify your orbit for a free return back to kerbin!"

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On 5/14/2017 at 2:13 PM, regex said:

You're talking about scaling to real, historical missions what actually took place, how can "realism" not be a factor?

Thank you for this point, especially regarding how much imbalance is implied with new parts that are modeled after real-world analogues. I'm excited for the new art (I've commented before about how much I think the stock 2.5m engines need some art love), but I didn't spend much time thinking about what the parts imply for balance in a stock scale system. I never worried much about it because, from a gameplay standpoint, I can always find harder things to do, make more ambitious projects, try various mods, etc. RO changes the difficulty of individual tasks, but it doesn't change that I spend my time in both RO and stock working on those tasks that I find moderately challenging. In both, I rise to my "level of incompetence."

Now I am curious about how historical missions with implied overpowered parts (in stock scale) are supposed to fit in that scheme. I can find my own use for an overpowered launch vehicle and have fun with it, but I'm not sure how I use an overpowered launch vehicle to make a history-inspired mission that is also challenging enough to be fun. At least not with the Mun or LKO.

So, Squad peeps, can we hear in a future KSP weekly about how your design approach is looking to handle balance so that the new parts and missions are still appropriately challenging when used together? Of course, building our own missions will let us find challenge wherever we want, but I'm hoping some of the missions you include will keep my attention for a little while.

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14 minutes ago, danfarnsy said:

Now I am curious about how historical missions with implied overpowered parts (in stock scale) are supposed to fit in that scheme.

From my point of view it's simple: Doing "replica" missions in vanilla KSP as an experienced player implies either the bare minimum parts in something that looks nothing like the actual thing, something that has been "panel-spammed" (in which case the additional mass of aesthetic parts balances the mission somewhat), or something that is entirely overblown for the task at hand (SLS parts for example) which is done purely as an aesthetic exercise. Ergo, these missions, done with "replica" parts, are for newbies to the game who are facing an information-starved paradigm and may need all the help they can get. The parts, for experienced players, simply add to their bag of tricks.

I mean, seriously, why am I going to recreate Apollo again just because I got new parts? I've already done several Apollo-style missions (one to Moho, even) and used LM-style landers on places like Vall. I would never bother doing Apollo to the Mun again. Maybe Apollo to Dres would be better for these parts.

Now approach that from the newbie view rather than someone who has played the game for four+ years...

And I totally want to hear Squad's reasoning as well.

Edited by regex

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49 minutes ago, regex said:

Now approach that from the newbie view rather than someone who has played the game for four+ years...

Indeed. I remember being a newbie. I understand and still disagree with Squad's answer about information (bare minimum: apoapsis and periapsis visible on flight view rather than map, vacuum delta-v in a stage visible in VAB). Having information doesn't take away the challenge of figuring out what to do with it, especially for planetary landings, rendezvous, docking, etc. Those things are hard enough in their own right without adding artificial UI and information constraints. If I could change anything about KSP design, it would be to avoid the trap of introducing unrealistically hard things to compensate for the unrealistically easy things. Not much to do about it now, besides mods.

Still, I have hopes that Squad will find a way to insert some challenge to the expansion missions (as opposed to arbitrary obstacles). I'm not sure how I would go about designing historical missions with historic-ish parts in the stock system, but my lack of imagination has never been a constraint on anybody else. I'll be happy if they manage to get something balanced, but if not, I'm sure the tools for making and sharing missions with each other will keep me entertained. 

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2 hours ago, regex said:

Now approach that from the newbie view rather than someone who has played the game for four+ years...

And I totally want to hear Squad's reasoning as well.

Interesting point, as an "expansion" implies someone buying it who is already not a newb.

 

On an unrelated note, I actually looked at the Start Game screen a couple minutes ago... actually looked at it. Even Squad knows the stock rocket parts are ugly, the crashed mk1-2/decoupler/tank/poodle/gear craft with Mün or Bust! written on it... not a stock tank.

Edited by tater

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29 minutes ago, tater said:

Interesting point, as an "expansion" implies someone buying it who is already not a newb.

Squad is interested in making money, which means making an "accessible" game. They have rarely deviated from this; there is very little depth of detail in the game beyond some fidgety things hidden under "advanced options", interesting fuel choices are non-existent, crunchy technical explanations are replaced by ... whatever, etc... This is not the game for that. Whether your Saturn V is perfectly tuned to make an historically accurate (lol) landing on the Mun doesn't matter, the parts just have to look right.

The task of putting three Kerbals into Munar orbit, landing two of them, and returning safely to Kerbin is handled by perfectly capable parts already. Do you honestly think 5m tanks with relatively accurate proportions are somehow going to be "balanced" for the task of Mun landing? If they are then the parts will be incredibly gimped compared to existing parts. Imagine the uproar when the F-1 engine has 50 isp at sea level...

Edited by regex

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5 hours ago, regex said:

the parts just have to look right.

This.

A Thousand times this.

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Maybe the new parts aren't actually intended for the missions they would replicate?  Maybe the Apollo mission will be with a 2.5m craft.  The new Saturn V replica parts, etc. are just an added bonus to current players looking for more value from the DLC.

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11 hours ago, passinglurker said:

part failure type events.

If that is the difference then add me to the `this should just be an optional stock feature` crowd.

I still feel they are recreating the wheel, a fifth wheel if you like.

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7 hours ago, regex said:

Squad is interested in making money, which means making an "accessible" game. They have rarely deviated from this; there is very little depth of detail in the game beyond some fidgety things hidden under "advanced options", interesting fuel choices are non-existent, crunchy technical explanations are replaced by ... whatever, etc... This is not the game for that. Whether your Saturn V is perfectly tuned to make an historically accurate (lol) landing on the Mun doesn't matter, the parts just have to look right.

The task of putting three Kerbals into Munar orbit, landing two of them, and returning safely to Kerbin is handled by perfectly capable parts already. Do you honestly think 5m tanks with relatively accurate proportions are somehow going to be "balanced" for the task of Mun landing? If they are then the parts will be incredibly gimped compared to existing parts. Imagine the uproar when the F-1 engine has 50 isp at sea level...

This was in effect my point. Anything that looks even remotely Apollo-like in stock KSP will be grossly OP for the task. So yeah, the DLC is a parts pack of "looks right" parts.

Seems like for return players (presumably much of the market for an expansion), the scenario generator would be well-served by a built-in rescale feature, otherwise there would be effectively no challenge to any of them (unless so many parts are failing as to make it virtually impossible). KSP is certainly more interesting when you're at the edge of being able to do something.

 

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44 minutes ago, tater said:

This was in effect my point. Anything that looks even remotely Apollo-like in stock KSP will be grossly OP for the task. So yeah, the DLC is a parts pack of "looks right" parts.

Seems like for return players (presumably much of the market for an expansion), the scenario generator would be well-served by a built-in rescale feature, otherwise there would be effectively no challenge to any of them (unless so many parts are failing as to make it virtually impossible). KSP is certainly more interesting when you're at the edge of being able to do something.

 

Well served indeed it's hard to imagine how one would create more than a snap shot of apollo without the over kill for stock scale parts getting in the way

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Anyone who knows how far this is from release? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? Decades?:wink:

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I'm fully of the opinion these will be regular KSP-scaled parts that we'll be using in our regular gameplay as well as these socialially-oriented missions.

 

Presumably someone will create an Apollo style mission where tanks can only be filled 1/4 of the way or somesuch.  Perhaps a mass restriction on the final craft.  The mission itself will have to gimp the Saturn V to prevent it from being able to reach Eloo, so as to provide the challenge of reaching the Mun without oodles of fuel to spare.  Then you'll also have "How far can you take a fully-loaded Saturn V" missions.

Edited by klesh
added an "s"

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19 minutes ago, klesh said:

I'm fully of the opinion these will be regular KSP-scaled parts that we'll be using in our regular gameplay as well as these socialially-oriented missions.

Of course the parts are KSP scale that isn't the problem the problem lies in that a real world rocket brought down to ksp scale proportionally (as in both height and diameter) and balanced to ksp's "balance" (to the bet of ones ability) will be capable of much greater feats than its real world equivalent because ksp's planet scale is much much smaller than its rocket scale.

 

19 minutes ago, klesh said:

Presumably someone will create an Apollo style mission where tanks can only be filled 1/4 of the way or somesuch.  Perhaps a mass restriction on the final craft.  The mission itself will have to gimp the Saturn V to prevent it from being able to reach Eloo, so as to provide the challenge of reaching the Mun without oodles of fuel to spare.  Then you'll also have "How far can you take a fully-loaded Saturn V" missions.

Plausible solutions though imo they seem a bit more hacky than an upscaled kerbin. Also keep in mind that it'll take more than short stacking or underfilling the saturn V it'll still be using 5 F-1's which would have some pretty out of control twr on a lightened saturn V. So at this point you need to add restraining weights or thrust limits to your rocket and at some point you're gonna ask yourself which is easier/cleaner... upscaling the solar system by 3.2 (roughly 1/4 the scale of our own) and using the parts as is?... or custom balancing the anchor weights of all the historical missions?

Edited by passinglurker

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Yes, totally.  Gimping thrust would have to be in there too.

Indeed, adding some mod that multiplies the solar system to fit with the new parts is an easy option for those of us that can even use mods.  Consider the console players who eventually get a hold of this DLC and are stuck doing missions in a purely stock environment.   I could imagine a given mission being intended for PC only (having mod requirements such as a upscaled solar system) requiring no fiddling to the parts, or being available to all game formats and including a big list of required tweaks in order to qualify for whatever constitutes completing a mission.  This will probably lead to all sorts of confusion with console people downloading a mission intended for use with an upscaled system etc.  Maybe something will exist in the game itself to make prerequisites very clear and avoid confusion.

Maybe we'll have "Land entire SaturnV stack on Mun" challenges?  Heh.

I probably wont be using the mission element, as I have no interest in sharing missions with the community or really doing other people's challenges etc.  Just spitballing on how it might work.

Edited by klesh

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I highly doubt we're going to get a solar system scaling option. That's not a vanilla KSP sort of thing and you'll run into complaints about PQS resolution, and more "the planets are sooooooo boring!" stuff. IMO that's the sort of thing they would have hyped from the DLC announcement, but why step into the domain of a very popular and well-written mod? Players can handle adding that sort of challenge themselves. Besides, embiggening the solar system doesn't result in "fun", it results in a move towards "realism", and we all know how scary that is to the players.

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2 hours ago, regex said:

Besides, embiggening the solar system doesn't result in "fun", it results in a move towards "realism", and we all know how scary that is to the players.

I'm one who certainly focus on fun even if it's means less realism.

And it's not because I'm afraid of realism, it's just that I value fun higher when I play a game

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5 minutes ago, Curveball Anders said:

I'm one who certainly focus on fun even if it's means less realism.

And it's not because I'm afraid of realism, it's just that I value fun higher when I play a game

Good for you. I'm glad you've been able to prioritize your gameplay to maximize your enjoyment and are able to recognize the things that make you happy, and you seem very comfortable in that.

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Just now, regex said:

Good for you. I'm glad you've been able to prioritize your gameplay to maximize your enjoyment and are able to recognize the things that make you happy, and you seem very comfortable in that.

I am :)

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@John FX The main difference I believe I've seen mentioned by Squad personnel is that missions are capable of complexity far exceeding that of contracts.

I assume (and I know how evil it is to do that, but I have little choice) that since they're building the missions as a different system they cannot be shoehorned into the contract system without a lot of work on the contract system in stock KSP -- work which doesn't seem (to me) to benefit stock KSP and probably delay the release of the expansion.

So complexity of missions versus simplicity of career mode contracts seems to be the only main difference.

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18 hours ago, Mako said:

@John FX The main difference I believe I've seen mentioned by Squad personnel is that missions are capable of complexity far exceeding that of contracts.

Yes, that's what we are aiming for. 

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