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Atmosphere still too soupy to anyone else?


ZooNamedGames
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I have spent time since .25 refining my Saturn Shuttle (and still continue to) but one of my biggest problems is that I lose so much speed during the final moments of the landing that I can almost stall moments before touching down with less than 20m/s remaining. Which I find not only problematic (as it's stall speed is far above that so stall to that extent is catastrophic or possibly even fatal). In reality the Space Shuttle landed at 214 miles per hour (344.4 kmh) or ~95.6m/s (on the low end). Whereas I end up landing at highway speeds of 44 miles per hour (71.9kmh).

Understanding this takes place on a unrealistically small world with vastly simplified physics but I still have to wonder-

Am I the only one who thinks the atmosphere is still too thick?

Or are there players out there who find the game perfectly suitable, making me into a raving madman? Or do others agree?

Ps- I am aware there are mods to solve my problem however I am a vanilla kinda guy and more importantly feel that it's a lingering stock problem that should be resolved... again.

Discuss

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1 minute ago, G'th said:

Should just get FAR. Stock ultimately still has a be a game first, simulation second. Soupy atmosphere works better for the game.

My subquote answers this but it's not that good. Efficiency of rockets are compromised as is any hope of realism understanding it can't be FAR due to the challenge it poses but it can be less soupy and keep it's simplicity.

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1 minute ago, G'th said:

Wait, are you saying FAR makes rockets inefficient?? Because frankly I find my rockets to be extremely overpowered in FAR and I have to balance my own game to make it not dumb. 

Reverse of that statement. FAR makes rockets more effective and able to be more fuel efficient (like real rockets) during the initial ascent as there atmosphere resists less. Stock makes rockets inefficient. More power is needed to do smaller tasks in the lower atmosphere in stock than in reality.

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Right, hence why you should just get FAR. Doing something like a Shuttle you can only go so far before you have to improve the testing conditions in order to see better results. The issue you're describing is something ultimately FAR is going to resolve. The stock game really can't get much better than it is without not only a potential full re-balance of every relevant part but also some potentially game-changing redesigns.  

 

Besides that, under FAR you have to take more into consideration when building your plane, be it of the space variety or otherwise, so if you're one to continually tweak and optimize, having these other considerations can add to the fun of it. 

 

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2 minutes ago, G'th said:

Right, hence why you should just get FAR. Doing something like a Shuttle you can only go so far before you have to improve the testing conditions in order to see better results. The issue you're describing is something ultimately FAR is going to resolve. The stock game really can't get much better than it is without not only a potential full re-balance of every relevant part but also some potentially game-changing redesigns.  

 

Besides that, under FAR you have to take more into consideration when building your plane, be it of the space variety or otherwise, so if you're one to continually tweak and optimize, having these other considerations can add to the fun of it. 

 

I can but as a person who likes to share my builds without a "mods used" label attached. So I'm stuck to stock.

Plus FAR makes it overly complex. I just want to glide in faster. I don't need to adjust the other 500 variables that FAR introduces.

Just...

Gotta go fast

1dx5gs.gif

 

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1 hour ago, The Space Dino said:

Well, I built some plane which I put into a dive and it only reached about Mach 1 before the speed started decreasing even though the engine's thrust was increasing. 

That means nothing, it happens in real life as well.  As you dive, you get into thicker atmosphere, which creates more drag,etc.  most likely the drag, which increases by the cube of the speed, was increasing far faster than the engine thrust was increasing.

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27 minutes ago, TheEpicSquared said:

I think the atmosphere's fine. However, my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt, as part from the demo, I've never played on the old atmo.

I'm talking about the current atmosphere not the old one.

34 minutes ago, Jas0n said:

There are variables in the physics.cfg you can mess around with now right? I'm pretty sure there was a thread about that not too long ago, can't remember where though.

I'm a vanilla man. 

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1 hour ago, Jas0n said:

There are variables in the physics.cfg you can mess around with now right? I'm pretty sure there was a thread about that not too long ago, can't remember where though.

One example is the suggestion from Ferram, whose post there plots a lift curve to substitute for the liftMach curve for wings in Physics.cfg.  (For experimental changes, I would scale Ferram's suggested curve down to match the current curve at mach 1, rather than also adjust the base lift as he suggests.)

I have been meaning to try this for a while now, expecting it to require some aircraft redesign.  I have read complaints about the runway being too short for takeoff, and changing the curve that way might help there as well -- by giving wings designed for trans-sonic aircraft relatively more lift at low speeds.

32 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

I'm a vanilla man. 

Now, if you want to improve the current flavor of vanilla, and someone says "maybe we can adjust the recipe", you might want to encourage that we try some new recipes, to maybe recommend a better one to the dairy.

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5 minutes ago, OHara said:

Now, if you want to improve the current flavor of vanilla, and someone says "maybe we can adjust the recipe", you might want to encourage that we try some new recipes, to maybe recommend a better one to the dairy.

I'd love to follow that logic and it's a good one but I like to cater to those who can't DL mods whether it be for technical reasons (unable to run KSP with mods) or they simply can't access them for whatever reason but if they are willing to reach out to mods then I occasionally build content they can use.

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4 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

I'd love to follow that logic and it's a good one but I like to cater to those who can't DL mods whether it be for technical reasons (unable to run KSP with mods) or they simply can't access them for whatever reason but if they are willing to reach out to mods then I occasionally build content they can use.

Adjusting the atmosphere doesn't require mods. It only requires the debug menu: there are Aero and Drag tabs under Physics that allow you to modify the atmosphere just about however you want, up to and including reverting to the pre-1.0 "souposphere." The only people who can't access that are console users.

Of course, that doesn't address the other big reason for not using mods--to be playing the same game as everybody else, and have craft you build work in other players' games.  It would, though, as @OHara says, be a good place to experiment to come up with more specific suggestions for changes to the vanilla atmosphere. Suggestions like "decreasing the Global Lift Multiplier a bit would make things more realistic," for instance (no idea if that's true or not, but given your concern about shuttles coming in too slow, it'd be a place to start).

Personally I've never noticed a problem with my spaceplanes coming in too slow, if anything they come in too fast, but I'm generally trying to land very heavy SSTOs, not shuttles, so your experience might differ from mine.

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23 minutes ago, Hotaru said:

Adjusting the atmosphere doesn't require mods. It only requires the debug menu: there are Aero and Drag tabs under Physics that allow you to modify the atmosphere just about however you want, up to and including reverting to the pre-1.0 "souposphere." The only people who can't access that are console users.

Of course, that doesn't address the other big reason for not using mods--to be playing the same game as everybody else, and have craft you build work in other players' games.  It would, though, as @OHara says, be a good place to experiment to come up with more specific suggestions for changes to the vanilla atmosphere. Suggestions like "decreasing the Global Lift Multiplier a bit would make things more realistic," for instance (no idea if that's true or not, but given your concern about shuttles coming in too slow, it'd be a place to start).

Personally I've never noticed a problem with my spaceplanes coming in too slow, if anything they come in too fast, but I'm generally trying to land very heavy SSTOs, not shuttles, so your experience might differ from mine.

Yeah as it stands I can nearly completely stall at a moments notice with many of my crafts and I'm still fighting to get it to work right and the only means of getting it to fly faster is to make it heavier and ultimately that'll cost me on the launcher so I'd rather if it could just go faster.

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If I recall correctly the new aero model when it was implemented was MUCH thinner and I enjoyed it quite a bit. They made it thicker in the following versions after too many difficulty complaints. I imagine getting that back is achievable via the debug menu as has been mentioned above. I love FAR. Can't play without it. It can be as simple or as complex as you make it. 

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Yes, it's too soupy ( it was too soupy in the initial revised aero too ) - mostly you can see the problems when you maneuver aircraft. I've used FAR since a month after I started playing & won't leave it, and most of the time I just throw aircraft or spacecraft together & they work, it's not any more complicated than building something stock. Only time I use all the scary number tools is when something is wrong and I can't work out what by looking, if I was running stock I'd be really wishing I had the same tools...

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Try flying a plane with planks instead of wings in real life: it's not going to be a pleasant experience. Since KSP doesn't have proper wings we are stuck with flying plank-winged aircraft with generate very little lift, the game compensates this by making the atmosphere more soupy, ie: more drag which means terrible L/D ratios and diving shuttle landings. The fact KSP's drag model is terrible doesn't make things better.

I'm not familiar with FAR but I'm guessing wings generating proper lift helps in a realer atmosphere.

Edited by Gaarst
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I have been flying the first few aircraft I built when I was new to KSP, about a year ago, using the lift curve in the following MM patch.

Spoiler

@PHYSICSGLOBALS
{
    @LIFTING_SURFACE_CURVES {
        @LIFTING_SURFACE {
            @liftMach {
                !key = delete
                key = 0.0 0.40 0 0
                key = 0.5 0.43 0.2 0.2
                key = 1.0 0.65 0 0
                key = 1.5 0.40 -0.2 -0.2
                key = 5.0 0.08 0 0
            }}}
}

That patch gives roughly the curve here, scaled so that takeoff/landing speeds are 160% that in stock, so it addresses the desire of the OP, and feels more realistic to me.    I think I would have been able to handle that, and would have enjoyed it, as a new player.

It also require new players to increase their wing-area, takeoff-pitch and/or takeoff-speed.   Pulling up to take weight off the nose-wheel are even more important to prevent wheelbarrowing .  Landing bounces, and floating past the end of the runway, are less of a problem.

There is an interesting interpretation here (maybe just a first-impression) about the strange lift curve in stock, that it compensates for the lack of consideration of the shape of the wing in stock.  If that is the reason, the stock lift-curve overdoes it, and we might rather have our glider wings look a little fat, than have space-shuttles float like gliders.

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2 minutes ago, luizopiloto said:

Some of my Spaceplanes have to do S-Turns before the final landing phase, because they simply don't loose sufficient speed for a safe landing... how is that possible? :P
XFoL2ym.jpgDxe72ig.jpg

I do them as well during the re-entry to make sure any lift doesn't push me past the runway but once I'm below Mach 2 (~600m/s) I coast in and try to conserve speed because once I drop below 2km ASL my speed bleeds off rapidly.

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2 hours ago, Gaarst said:

Try flying a plane with planks instead of wings in real life: it's not going to be a pleasant experience. Since KSP doesn't have proper wings we are stuck with flying plank-winged aircraft with generate very little lift, the game compensates this by making the atmosphere more soupy, ie: more drag which means terrible L/D ratios and diving shuttle landings. The fact KSP's drag model is terrible doesn't make things better.

I'm not familiar with FAR but I'm guessing wings generating proper lift helps in a realer atmosphere.

Yes. It's more than that though, there's much less energy bleedoff when you're maneuvering too, a good sense of how much energy you're really carrying in the craft, and the overall shape really does matter. Current stock is at least lightyears away from the insanity of pre 1.0 stock aero where either drag or lift depended on mass, if I remember properly... this was the sea level max speed, and yes that was a viable "aircraft" :P

16918644711_ffa7ec5551_c.jpg

Edited by Van Disaster
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I don't fly planes in KSP, so I don't have an opinion on the atmosphere's apparent density. But I can say from some of my student pilot lessons IRL that in slow-speed flight, such as encountered when landing, you rather counter-intuitively use pitch attitude to control your airspeed and your throttle to control your sink rate (this is known as the"region of reversed command" if you want to look up more info). Could it be that you are landing too slowly because your angle of attack is high (your nose is pitched high)?

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3 minutes ago, Xavven said:

I don't fly planes in KSP, so I don't have an opinion on the atmosphere's apparent density. But I can say from some of my student pilot lessons IRL that in slow-speed flight, such as encountered when landing, you rather counter-intuitively use pitch attitude to control your airspeed and your throttle to control your sink rate (this is known as the"region of reversed command" if you want to look up more info). Could it be that you are landing too slowly because your angle of attack is high (your nose is pitched high)?

I follow the same methods that the real space shuttle flew with.

 

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