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Life Support Mods


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I use TAC, and it's the only one I've used.  It's nice and simple.  Integrates nice with Universal Storage(I'm sure the other ones do as well).  I didn't pick it for any specific reason, it's just the one I grabbed.

Of course I negate its use most of the time, since I just freeze my Kerbals on interplanetary trips. 

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USI LS as i play full Constellation.

Is a  good midway. TAC os tealy complex and Snacks not enough complex. And Supplies as seen as full combination of Food, Water and Air as one Package make it a way easier. And i personaly like the Hab/home idea. As it makes it complex again. You don't have the ability of other LS modes to slap enough containers on, to reach the target in one go. You have to plan to held the Boys and Girls sane.

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I used to use Snacks!, I rather liked it.

At some point I realized that life support mods basically all do the same thing and that you could achieve the same game-play effect by strapping progressively larger weights to your rocket to increase the difficulty of going places. Ie. It's mostly window-dressing. It just boils down to more resources that have weight that a given rocket needs to get to a given place.

I may re-visit life support mods after I've been everywhere in the Kerbin system stock. Or assuming Squad ever implements a stock system.

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Kerbalism. "Kerbal Death simulator" :D

When you realize half way to duna one of the crewmembers start to throw out supplies due to spacemadness...

I love it. Basically like reallife, just Kerbal.

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So far I've only tried Snacks.  I wanted my first encounter with life support to be something simple, so Snacks sounded like a good place to start.  I might eventually try USI or TAC, but not yet.  I think I've heard more good comments about USI than TAC, but they both look interesting.  I doubt I'll try Kerbalism; from what I've heard, it just takes over too much of the game.  It also doesn't work with multiple stars, and I'm currently using a binary star system.

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13 minutes ago, OhioBob said:

So far I've only tried Snacks.  I wanted my first encounter with life support to be something simple, so Snacks sounded like a good place to start.  I might eventually try USI or TAC, but not yet.  I think I've heard more good comments about USI than TAC, but they both look interesting.  I doubt I'll try Kerbalism; from what I've heard, it just takes over too much of the game.  It also doesn't work with multiple stars, and I'm currently using a binary star system.

Well, it seems to work fine for me, & I have Valentine orbiting at 10 trillion km (fwiw).

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1 hour ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

I used to use Snacks!, I rather liked it.

At some point I realized that life support mods basically all do the same thing and that you could achieve the same game-play effect by strapping progressively larger weights to your rocket to increase the difficulty of going places. Ie. It's mostly window-dressing. It just boils down to more resources that have weight that a given rocket needs to get to a given place.

I may re-visit life support mods after I've been everywhere in the Kerbin system stock. Or assuming Squad ever implements a stock system.

At least with TAC:LS, there are multiple recycling options, and it isn't quite as simple as "strapping larger weights on"; you can trade delta V for faster transits.

In my game (which has some MM patches I made myself), some of what I've done:

Add reversible H2O <-> H2 + 1/2 O2 fuel cells to a planetary base to last through a 360-hour night without needing 20 tons of batteries or resorting to a nuclear reactor.

Added a water/hydrates drill to replenish water supplies.

Just now realized that drill theoretically makes water replenishment redundant.

Given me reason to schedule double moon missions for transfer windows.

I've also seen other people do things like use complicated and slow slingshot trajectories to preposition return supplies, with the Kerbal sent later on a much more direct trajectory.

Life support is what you make of it, not necessarily a lead weight.

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1 hour ago, klgraham1013 said:

I have used TAC, USI, Snack, and Interstellar.  I am currently using USI to go with everything else USI I'm using.

What about USI makes it the one you are currently using?

1 hour ago, GarrisonChisholm said:

Kerbalism, agreed.  :D

 

(though, if I find I am writing a disaster then my 2nd fav would be USI  :P)

What about USI do you like?

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2 minutes ago, Wcmille said:

What about USI makes it the one you are currently using?

What about USI do you like?

USI for me provides the right degree of complexity, neither too simple nor too complex, and felt "right" when I played.  Only for Minmus/Moon, LKO though.

One thing I will note is the food density of storage for these mods.  With Kerbalism, I can package supplies reasonably for 2 crew to Duna and back.  In USI however, I could not.  The craft was going to be massive.  Kerbalism is more challenging and dangerous, but you are able to craft a much more reasonably sized vessel (in my opinion).

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Here's my notes on USI LS - I've not used TAC or the others so can't comment on those:


Roverdude's MKS suite of mods allow colonisation of other planets and moons.  They can be supplemented with Planetary Base Systems and Extra Planetary Launchpads.  This means that you're no longer just doing exploration missions - you're going to stay at least for a while, and you have to worry about life support.  If you then make the mission larger, you can start building a self-sufficient colony that can produce its own rockets and new Kerbals being born in-situ.
This adds a significant level of challenge to KSP, and isn't recommended for the starting player - if you're comfortable being able to send 40 ton payloads to other planets though, this may be ideal for you, as this opens a whole new game.

MKS adds two things you need to worry about:
* Crews need plenty of room.  This means additional crew cabins and special habitat modules to stop your Kerbals going stir-crazy.  Essentially, if you give your kerbals too little room to move around in and no creature comforts, they will go on strike after a period of time and refuse to work (become Tourists).
* Crews need supplies to keep them alive.  Again, by default, they will convert into Tourists when they run out of supplies.
* If a crew member becomes a Tourist due to lack of supplies, returning them to Kerbin, or placing them in a medical bay will make them revert to their actual profession.
* Whilst it is possible to change the default behaviour of what happens when they run out of supplies/habitation, I would advise against it - I've mostly had them revert to being tourists due to an MKS bug rather than lack of planning on my part.  Thankfully this hasn't happened for a while now.

== Habitation ==

MKS is designed so that you can do almost everything Mun-related without having to worry about the above - crews can starve for a week, and cope with cramped conditions for a week.  This also applies to transferring of crews - so if a Kerbal has spent the journey in a nice roomy spacecraft, they can climb into a cramped capsule for a week or so before going on strike.

Improving the length of time that a Kerbal can spend in a craft is relatively straightforward.
* Increase the number of crew cabins
* Add special habitat parts - of the standard parts, the Hitch-hiker pod, and the Cupola both provide habitat bonuses.  Each habitat module requires you to "Start Habitat" on those parts to give the benefit, and this uses a small amount of electricity.  There are also numerous special habitat parts supplied with the mod, and if you need more Planetary Base Systems has more options.  In addition, there are also "inflatable" parts, which also have the same effect - but these can be transported uninflated (i.e. not heavy) and inflated using Material Kits when they reach their destination (when they become significantly heavier).  Some of the habitat parts add additional days to the habitability of the craft, others add a multiplier, so a combination of these two is best.
* Within the VAB (or SPH), clicking on the green toolbar icon will tell you how long the crew can survive in a particular vessel based on the parts that you've added and the crew that you've assigned.  Be slightly cautious of the numbers it gives you if you are planning on having different numbers of crew aboard - if you have recycling capabilities and calculations based on four crew members, and then add a fifth one for some reason, the habitation ratings will take a nosedive.

== Supplies ==

Supplies can be added in the VAB or SPH - the containers in the Life Support tab contain plenty of parts that allow you to add supplies to your vessel.
Improving the length of time your supplies last is more complex than habitation.

* The easiest way to extend the duration of your supplies is to add Life Support systems.  These either come as parts themselves, or are built into the crewed parts (e.g. Science Lab, Salamander Pod).  These recycle a percentage of your used supplies, meaning that supplies last longer.  All life support parts can support only a limited number of crew - adding a life support system for a single Kerbal, and then cramming a crew of seven in is going to mean your life support will basically be redundant.  Water purification also counts as life support.  All life support uses electricity.
* The next way to extend the duration of your supplies is to use Agroponics (farming).  This means taking Mulch and Fertiliser to create more supplies.  Mulch is produced by your Kerbals when they consume supplies in a 1:1 ratio, and Agroponics will take Mulch and Fertiliser in a 10:1 ratio and convert it back into Supplies.  This chain uses a small amount of machinery - more on machinery later.   If you're sending crew to another planet, it's very worthwhile to use the Agroponics route for both the transit vessel and the final base, as agroponics ultimately means that your supplies last ten times as long.  For multi-year long trips, add an empty mulch container and pack some spare machinery.
* The final way is to generate supplies directly, normally in combination with the methods above, as raw supplies generation is very slow.  Essentially, Substrate or Dirt plus Water will give you supplies, when using an Agriculture module and the Cultivate method on it.  This chain also involves using a small amount of machinery.
* It is possible to produce more fertiliser - this normally takes place when landed using an Agricultural Support Module, converting either Gypsum or Minerals into Fertiliser.  Again, this requires a small amount of machinery.

 

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I used to play with TAC, currently using USI.  I also used one that predates TAC, but it's been so long I can't remember the name.  I think it was the most common one prior to TAC becoming available.  Not that it matters, development on it stopped a long time ago.

TAC is highly detailed, but I didn't really find that added anything beyond detail and a few options for corner cases.  On the other hand, it does nothing for living space, which USI does deal with, and that's an interesting mechanic for now.  I may reach the point that it doesn't add much, but I'm not there yet.

At some point, I'm going to try Kerbalism, but I'm not in any rush to do so.

 

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I switch between IFI LS and Kerbalism.  But I've modded them slightly for my own tastes, kerbalism using a slightly more complex version of Simplified in my signature which is basically what IFI LS is now after it has been updated and enhanced.  With both I add an additional set of Ores and modified GC and EPL with them.

I reckon IFI is a great LS mod to kick off though.

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Another USI suite user here.

I started with TAC as my first foray into a LS mod, and when I had a pair of science stations in orbit of Mun that could basically last next to forever (5 years without resupply) and 4 scientists in each ship, I thought it was a bit too easy for my tastes. TAC's recyclers are a touch too efficient imo. 

I looked around, and Snacks! is even easier, and Kerbalism is a bit too likely to have random failures, USI just kind of fit in the mid-range. The fact that USI also has the MKS suite of features helped clench the deal for me. Admittedly, some of the USI parts are a bit OP for when they unlock (lookin' at you SpaceCrane!), but I just don't use those parts until I feel they are in the correct unlock period for my Career game. The fact that you can't effectively make a space craft, especially a mobile space craft, that can perfectly self resupply, but CAN make one that has years of potential recycling (big, heavy parts, mostly in the 3.75m range, great for Jool/Eeloo missions, unnecessary for Duna/Eve/HKO) was pretty much the final nail in the coffin of my resistance.

That, and I was looking for a good mod for kolonizing, and USI just integrates into that seamlessly.

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4 minutes ago, Onigato said:

Admittedly, some of the USI parts are a bit OP for when they unlock (lookin' at you SpaceCrane!), but I just don't use those parts until I feel they are in the correct unlock period for my Career game.

The SkyCrane (I assume that's what you meant!) is pretty much equivalent to 6 24-77 Twitch engines attached radially, plus a battery and a reaction wheel - the Delta V and TWR is roughly the same for both - it's not overpowered - it just uses one part rather than 8

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TAC life support. I've tried USI, but apparently it's too complex to me. Well, it doesn't do much though, all it did was making me focus on probes and drones instead using kerbals on my ship or if the mission does require them, I'll just freeze them on cryotubes

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13 minutes ago, bigcalm said:

The SkyCrane (I assume that's what you meant!) is pretty much equivalent to 6 24-77 Twitch engines attached radially, plus a battery and a reaction wheel - the Delta V and TWR is roughly the same for both - it's not overpowered - it just uses one part rather than 8

Not the SkyCrane, that one unlocks with 160 Sci (not in front of my KSPing computer, can't be 100% of SkyCrane's tier), it's a different unit. SkyCrane actually makes a lot of sense, both in design and when it appears.

Built in RCS, 150 EC, probe core with full autopilot, a built in LF/Ox tank of decent size, fuel cell, four mounts for engines, and all unlocking at the 45 Sci line. I'll have to get home and pull the thing up, but it's got to be somewhere from USI, that's the only mod set I have except KER and ScanSat that add any parts. I'll report back once I get off work.

Edited by Onigato
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15 minutes ago, Onigato said:

Not the SkyCrane, that one unlocks with 160 Sci (not in front of my KSPing computer, can't be 100% of SkyCrane's tier), it's a different unit. SkyCrane actually makes a lot of sense, both in design and when it appears.

Built in RCS, 150 EC, probe core with full autopilot, a built in LF/Ox tank of decent size, fuel cell, four mounts for engines, and all unlocking at the 45 Sci line. I'll have to get home and pull the thing up, but it's got to be somewhere from USI, that's the only mod set I have except KER and ScanSat that add any parts. I'll report back once I get off work.

I think you are on the false trail. This beauty is the GC SkyCrane that comes with full GC Suit. If you use only USI integrated version of GC (Core) you never get him:wink:

But talking of OP maybe futile as the Parts have other "disadventages". May it be the mass or permanent need on ressources or suplies to work propperly, or need on spezialised personal in spezialised modules (mechaniks in Workshops for maintance as example). But like said above it is complex but not so overhelming as you give up midway.

The best part for me is you can support a carrier without using meaning free contracts like "plant x-ish flag on the Mun"

Edited by Urses
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7 minutes ago, Urses said:

I think you are on the false trail. This beauty is the GC SkyCrane that comes with full GC Suit. If you use only USI integrated version of GC (Core) you never get him:wink:

But USI has its own skycrane with retractable engines, SAS and a battery in a single part.

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2 minutes ago, sh1pman said:

But USI has its own skycrane with retractable engines, SAS and a battery in a single part.

Yes but the described one is the GC one and unlike the USI one it is tweakable and have no inbuild engines.

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5 minutes ago, Urses said:

Yes but the described one is the GC one and unlike the USI one it is tweakable and have no inbuild engines.

Yes think you're right - it's part of Ground Construction mod - I've never used it (it's not part of USI by default):  https://github.com/allista/GroundConstruction/tree/master/GameData/GroundConstruction/Parts/SpaceCrane

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