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StrikeEagleCC

Time Since Node note and Scoring Clarification

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Frustrated with my inability to get a high score on the built-in mission "To the Mun via Minmus", I started poking around the mission builder and discovered the following problems with the mission design. While the problems are correctable and may not be bugs necessarily, some changes to the mission builder could prevent them from happening in the future.

When a "Time Since Node" node is referenced to the start node, it is actually referencing UT=0, regardless of the start time of the mission. This causes problems when the start node begins the mission at any time other than UT=0. For example, in the mission "To the Mun via Minmus", it makes the x2 multiplier for reaching Minmus in under 10 days impossible to achieve. The appropriate functionality can be accomplished with the "Mission Elapsed Time" or "Time of Mission" nodes, but as this mission demonstrates, players will expect a "Time Since Node" referenced to the start node to reference the UT set for mission start, rather than UT=0. A simple fix would be to prevent players from referencing the start node.

Also, for "To the Mun via Minmus", the silver and gold awards are unattainable due to what I suspect was a misunderstanding of the way score modifiers are implemented, a misunderstanding I have seen perpetuated elsewhere. The pop-up description of the "Modify Score" node  says "Modify the player's total score". This description implies that the modifier will be applied at the end of the mission to the players total score, as opposed to the actual behavior: modifying the score the player has accumulated at the time the modifier node is activated. Whether the description should be improved or the modifier's order of operation should be changed depends on the original intent of the devs.

There is also something goofy about the way the mun orbit is tested and rewarded. The 500 points for >80% accuracy is not activating for me, despite accomplishing an extremely accurate orbit upon a single circularization burn (<100m off from AP/PE, <0.01deg inc). I haven't figured this one out yet. If anyone else has, I'd love for you to share your understanding.

Due to these problems/misunderstandings, "To the Mun via Minmus" max possible score appears to be 7000, while the silver award threshold is 8000.

TLDR: "To the Mun via Minmus" max score is 7000; silver and gold awards are not possible. Do not reference the start node when using "Time Since Node". Score modifiers apply only to the score that has accumulated at the time when the modifier node was activated, and not to the total score at the end of the mission.

Edited by StrikeEagleCC

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It's a side effect of how the mission start time is set.

Each node has an activation time stamp.
The mission time is part of the start node, so it's the start node that changes it. If you set the mission start time to 10 seconds, the start node activates at UT 0, then sets the UT to 10 seconds.
"Time Since Node" is relative to UT, so if it's set to >= 15 seconds, since the start node technically activated at UT 0 (then set UT to 10 seconds), "Time Since Node" will activate 5 seconds after the game starts.
Putting a dummy node (eg. "Always True") right after the start node, and then setting the "Time Since Node" to that, will make it wait 15 seconds instead of 5.

So since it checks the time since a node activated in UT time, the behavior is correct, as suggested by its description: "Is based on the Universe Time the selected node was activated".

Rather than changing behavior, maybe a warning should be given.

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