Tyko

[1.5.x] Engine Tweaks for Making History [Deprecated]

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The orange bar is saying that ‘this thread is quite old’. Whatever, this mod should really be stock. Good job @Tyko!

I’m going to assume that this’ll work in 1.5.x, as it’s just MM patches, right?

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Thanks! Yea it works fine. I updated SpaceDock just forgot to update the headline for this post. I'll fix that.

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@Tyko It was recently announced that the Poodle engine will be revamped in 1.6 (looks awesome by the way) and I'm sure that many, including me, will want to use the new version. So maybe for 1.6, you could un-hide the Poodle and maybe change the Wolfhound's stats so that it's a bit more powerful than the Poodle? I'm not sure, it's up to you.

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5 hours ago, RealKerbal3x said:

@Tyko It was recently announced that the Poodle engine will be revamped in 1.6 (looks awesome by the way) and I'm sure that many, including me, will want to use the new version. So maybe for 1.6, you could un-hide the Poodle and maybe change the Wolfhound's stats so that it's a bit more powerful than the Poodle? I'm not sure, it's up to you.

Yea, I was thinking the same thing. I've also made a few other tweaks to engine configs as a result of many hours of playing. I wasn't sure when to roll them out, but doing it all when 1.6 arrives would make the most sense.

Where do you think the Wolfhound should land stat-wise?

While I'm at it, I'm open to other tweak suggestions.

Edited by Tyko

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I think the Wolfhound should keep it's stats, just reduce the ISP to something realistic. 355/360?  This will leave it as a larger vacuum engine and a baby Rhino while the  Poodle remains a lander engine sacrificing some thrust and ISP to keep a low profile for landing legs.

I suspect if it weren't for backwards save compatibility the Mastodon would have completely replaced the Mainsail including taking over the stats and I might be inclined to make it so.  Lost ISP always bothers me so the Mastodon is always on the bottom of my personal engine choices while the Mainsail still exists.  Looking at your spreadsheet, I don't really think the Mainsail's ISP should be increased, it's a first stage engine after all, but I would think the Mastodon should have ISP on par with the Mainsail.

The Skiff is always having an identity crisis.  Not powerful enough to be for a 2.5m stack and too long for the 1.25m with a bell that belongs in vacuum.  The thrust increase is nice and making it a vacuum engine isn't a bad idea but I think 370 ISP is too much.

Kodiak 300 thrust.  It should probably have more if it's meant to be a next level 1.25m first stage engine, but what it clearly is meant to do is build Russian spacecraft and it already has unnecessarily high thrust for this role. 

Cheetah should retain it's ISP to keep it as the 1.875 and heavy 1.25 vac engine, though maybe nerf the ISP at sea level.  With the Poodle back in play the thrust should be reduced back to MH level.

I don't have much experience playing with 1.875 stacks, but I like your idea for the Bobcat to make it a better first stage engine for that size.

Changes to the Skipper are a nice idea.  I've always wanted it to have a bit more thrust so it could hold it's own as a center 2.5m stack after the crossfed boosters are jettisoned.  As it is in stock I always seem to need to attach some Thuds or Reliants with nosecones to the side.

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7 hours ago, Tyko said:

Yea, I was thinking the same thing. I've also made a few other tweaks to engine configs as a result of many hours of playing. I wasn't sure when to roll them out, but doing it all when 1.6 arrives would make the most sense.

Where do you think the Wolfhound should land stat-wise?

While I'm at it, I'm open to other tweak suggestions.

I agree with @overkill13 that you should nerf the Wolfhound’s Isp a bit. 350ish sounds right. Maybe also reduce the Wolfhound’s thrust a little, but so the Poodle trades off some thrust and Isp in return for being a shorter engine more suited for landers.

As for the Skiff, it’s gameplay versus realism. The Skiff is based off the cryogenic J-2 engine used on the second and third stages of the Saturn V, so it needs to have quite good Isp (as cryogenic engines generally do) while having decent enough thrust to push Making History Saturn V stages. Not really sure on the specifics, but I reckon it should be around that ballpark.

Edited by RealKerbal3x

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@Tyko, did you ever try the tweaks for these engines that I included in UBM Extended? I'm not entirely satisfied with the Saturn / Apollo engines, but I thought moving the Russian engines to Basic Rocketry and nerfing both their ISP and thrust, then setting up upgrades to get them back to stock performance worked pretty well. I like how it reflects the longevity of Russian design.

Anyway, I just figured that there's not much of a point to duplicating effort across our two mods, so you're welcome to integrate any of the tweaks from UBME you would like, then I can point people over here to get the full package for the next release.

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17 minutes ago, theonegalen said:

@Tyko, did you ever try the tweaks for these engines that I included in UBM Extended? I'm not entirely satisfied with the Saturn / Apollo engines, but I thought moving the Russian engines to Basic Rocketry and nerfing both their ISP and thrust, then setting up upgrades to get them back to stock performance worked pretty well. I like how it reflects the longevity of Russian design.

Anyway, I just figured that there's not much of a point to duplicating effort across our two mods, so you're welcome to integrate any of the tweaks from UBME you would like, then I can point people over here to get the full package for the next release.

I did look your changes over and they make sense. So far I've been avoiding Parts Upgrades for engines. I stripped them out of PartOverhauls and I haven't seen most other parts packs start using them. I'm not sure I really like the idea that a rocket that I designed a year ago and decide to re-use suddenly changes it's stats - I know the stats only improve, it just seemed odd.

That said my mind isn't "made up" on that topic and I'm willing to talk through it.

How do others feel about engine upgrades?

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52 minutes ago, Tyko said:

I did look your changes over and they make sense. So far I've been avoiding Parts Upgrades for engines. I stripped them out of PartOverhauls and I haven't seen most other parts packs start using them. I'm not sure I really like the idea that a rocket that I designed a year ago and decide to re-use suddenly changes it's stats - I know the stats only improve, it just seemed odd.

That said my mind isn't "made up" on that topic and I'm willing to talk through it.

How do others feel about engine upgrades?

I know that the part upgrade doesn't apply to parts that are already on a ship being used...

You know what, I think I might have made those configs back when I expected to have a way to select whether or not to apply the upgrades in the editor. I remember there were a couple of different mods for that, but they all seem to have gone by the wayside.

I don't believe I use the upgrades in the part overhauls either. I still like the upgradable thing, but I'd like it to be optionalon a per-vehicle basis, instead of forced.

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27 minutes ago, theonegalen said:

I know that the part upgrade doesn't apply to parts that are already on a ship being used...

You know what, I think I might have made those configs back when I expected to have a way to select whether or not to apply the upgrades in the editor. I remember there were a couple of different mods for that, but they all seem to have gone by the wayside.

I don't believe I use the upgrades in the part overhauls either. I still like the upgradable thing, but I'd like it to be optionalon a per-vehicle basis, instead of forced.

I'd almost rather just populate a new engine a "mk2" or "block 2" at the new tech level so it doesn't mess with the previous engine. Just never decided to tackle that.

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RE the Poodle/Wolfhound issue

The Wolfhound inheriting the Poodle's stats is a good idea, as the Wolfhound's ISP and thrust are too high for it's low weight, making it the clear choice for 2.5m (and larger) orbital stages, and landers if you can work around the height. Making it exactly the same as the Poodle (thrust, mass, ISP curve) makes it match what it should be to match the IRL AJ-10 SPS engine (bipropellant hypergolic vacuum engine), while not being OP compared to the other vacuum-optimized engines.

That leaves what to do about the Poodle. I'd either leave Mass and Thrust where they are or slightly buff them (1.5t, 275-300kN), and cut the ASL/Vac ISP to put it in line with something like the Reliant. That would put it squarely in the "low profile landing engine" niche for planets with and without an atmosphere, in a 2.5m diameter. Having a low-profile engine that can let you land on planets with atmosphere is usually something you can only do after you unlock the Dart aerospike engine, and even then you need more than one of those to land a 2.5m craft, which increases part count and weighs more than a single Poodle does.

I'm all for allowing things to be done with less parts, as anyone who has tried to do something large-scale in KSP knows, more parts = more lag. My game becomes a slideshow around 300 parts, I notice the low framerate around 200 parts, and the MET clock turns yellow around 150 parts. I take every opportunity to get rid of a few parts that I can find, but it's still not enough.

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4 hours ago, SciMan said:

I take every opportunity to get rid of a few parts that I can find, but it's still not enough.

Have you tried UbioZur's Part Welder?

It's not perfect, and has some limitations, but it can help a lot with reducing part counts.

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I think the Poodle should really stay the same, but the Wolfhound should be nerfed a little from its stock performance so it's kind of like a 2.5m Rhino engine.

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@JAFO I've heard of the UbioZur's Part Welder mod, but my problem with it is that I run a lot of mods so my KSP takes a while to start up, and IIRC you can't see the welded parts until you restart KSP.

As far as the Wolfhound, if you don't want to do a straight "replace Wolfhound stats with Poodle stats", I think your idea to nerf the ISP and give it better thrust would work if we're not making drastic changes, but if you want a 2.5m Rhino, I think the Skiff is a much more fitting choice (once the changes are made that give it the thrust and ISP to do so, that is).
To me, the Wolfhound should stick to being a service module engine for 2.5m capsules, meaning high ISP but low-ish thrust. Perhaps even lower thrust than the current poodle, now that I think of it. 100kN would be enough to do the job, so long as the weight was reduced to match (1t so it is a direct replacement for 2 Terriers but with 5s better vac. ISP).

As for the poodle itself, unfortunately it has to be changed. The engine bell is simply too short for the ISP to be so high. Not even Full-flow Staged Combustion can save an engine with such poor ASL ISP from the problems that a short engine bell brings. It simply doesn't make sense, that's all there is to it.
It would take a new model with multiple small nozzles each having a good expansion ratio all fed from a common turbopump to make it look right (common turbopump like how the RD-170 works, but with 7 vacuum nozzles instead of 4 sea-level nozzles). That would keep the low profile the Poodle has, while visually explaining the high vacuum and low sea-level ISP.
My changes would reduce the mass and nerf the Vac ISP, but increase the thrust and ASL ISP, making it an overall good lander engine for 2.5m stacks. Right now it's an okay vacuum lander engine, but useless in atmosphere. I don't think it should be a good upper stage engine, that's where you'd use clusters of Terriers or a Skiff. I also don't think it should be a good first stage engine, so it should have less thrust than the Skipper (which also needs a thrust buff, but that's another topic).

If you need an engine that has good vac ISP but also low profile like the Poodle for something like a heavy lander that uses a center 2.5m tank along with side stacks, you would have to start thinking differently about how you design it. Perhaps compromise on the need to have a low-profile engine, that opens up a lot more options.
All you need to do is add some girders to the bottom of the lander to put the landing legs low enough that they touch down (and the suspension bottoms out) before the engine bell touches.
Upgrading existing launchers would be simple enough as well. Just swap the Poodles for Skiffs. Much better thrust, similar or better ISP (after the patches being discussed of course).
Really the only situation in which you would need to redesign the whole rocket is one in which you've calculated everything out to the last m/s of delta-V, and I don't know about you, but I don't have time to do that on every rocket. I usually have a fair bit of excess fuel around and sure, using a higher mass engine like the Skiff would cut into that margin, but it shouldn't cause big problems.

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2 hours ago, SciMan said:

@JAFO I've heard of the UbioZur's Part Welder mod, but my problem with it is that I run a lot of mods so my KSP takes a while to start up, and IIRC you can't see the welded parts until you restart KSP.

As far as the Wolfhound, if you don't want to do a straight "replace Wolfhound stats with Poodle stats", I think your idea to nerf the ISP and give it better thrust would work if we're not making drastic changes, but if you want a 2.5m Rhino, I think the Skiff is a much more fitting choice (once the changes are made that give it the thrust and ISP to do so, that is).
To me, the Wolfhound should stick to being a service module engine for 2.5m capsules, meaning high ISP but low-ish thrust. Perhaps even lower thrust than the current poodle, now that I think of it. 100kN would be enough to do the job, so long as the weight was reduced to match (1t so it is a direct replacement for 2 Terriers but with 5s better vac. ISP).

As for the poodle itself, unfortunately it has to be changed. The engine bell is simply too short for the ISP to be so high. Not even Full-flow Staged Combustion can save an engine with such poor ASL ISP from the problems that a short engine bell brings. It simply doesn't make sense, that's all there is to it.
It would take a new model with multiple small nozzles each having a good expansion ratio all fed from a common turbopump to make it look right (common turbopump like how the RD-170 works, but with 7 vacuum nozzles instead of 4 sea-level nozzles). That would keep the low profile the Poodle has, while visually explaining the high vacuum and low sea-level ISP.
My changes would reduce the mass and nerf the Vac ISP, but increase the thrust and ASL ISP, making it an overall good lander engine for 2.5m stacks. Right now it's an okay vacuum lander engine, but useless in atmosphere. I don't think it should be a good upper stage engine, that's where you'd use clusters of Terriers or a Skiff. I also don't think it should be a good first stage engine, so it should have less thrust than the Skipper (which also needs a thrust buff, but that's another topic).

If you need an engine that has good vac ISP but also low profile like the Poodle for something like a heavy lander that uses a center 2.5m tank along with side stacks, you would have to start thinking differently about how you design it. Perhaps compromise on the need to have a low-profile engine, that opens up a lot more options.
All you need to do is add some girders to the bottom of the lander to put the landing legs low enough that they touch down (and the suspension bottoms out) before the engine bell touches.
Upgrading existing launchers would be simple enough as well. Just swap the Poodles for Skiffs. Much better thrust, similar or better ISP (after the patches being discussed of course).
Really the only situation in which you would need to redesign the whole rocket is one in which you've calculated everything out to the last m/s of delta-V, and I don't know about you, but I don't have time to do that on every rocket. I usually have a fair bit of excess fuel around and sure, using a higher mass engine like the Skiff would cut into that margin, but it shouldn't cause big problems.

@SciMan, are you comments related to the current old Poodle model or the new KSP 1.6 Poodle model? The current discussion about Poodle and Wolfhound are around what to do when the new model comes out. The old model was ugly and didn't obey the laws of physics but the new model is much more "realistic" and a lot better looking, so we're working out how to pull it back in.

 

 

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Yes, my comments were about the old Poodle model, not the new one. Seeing the new model, I don't have any objections to it keeping it's original stats, with the exception of adding a config node in the middle of it's atmosphere curve so that it's still useless to land on Kerbin, Laythe, or Eve, but is very useful as an engine to use for landing in moderate atmospheres like found at Duna.

Back to the Wolfhound, now that I know what's happening to the Poodle, I think the Wolfhound should have higher ISP than the Poodle to reflect it's longer engine bell, but not as high as it is in stock (~367?). Thrust should be reduced to 125kN and mass reduced to 0.83T (keeps the same TWR as Poodle, but with reduced thrust because it's supposed to be a service module engine, not something you'd use to push large stacks around).

The engine to move heavy 2.5m and lightweight 3.75m stacks around in space would be the RE-I2 Skiff, which IIRC from comments in this thread should be getting it's thrust and ISP boosted to more properly fill the role that it's IRL counterpart fills when recreating the Saturn-V in stock.
I agree with this, but I have some specific stats in mind. Because it's a LH2+LOX engine, I think a vacuum ISP of 375 makes sense, and because it's supposed to be a sustainer and upper stage engine, a sea-level ISP of 175 seems to make sense to me (pretty bad for a sea-level engine, but really good for a vacuum engine operating out of it's element). Due to the high empty weight of LFO tanks in general, I think a thrust of 500kN is warranted.

Mastodon? More thrust than Mainsail, specifically 2250kN. Make it useless in Eve's atmosphere if it isn't already, otherwise leave the ISP as it is (brute force inefficient lifting engine).

Other than the one's I've commented about, I think the changes being made via these patches are fine.

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Cool ideas. I'll take a look at it. Did you see the Google Sheet in my OP? If you want feel free to make a copy and plug in your numbers on new lines. That would make it easier to stare/compare them.

Thanks for your ideas

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On 12/11/2018 at 3:00 AM, SciMan said:

@JAFO I've heard of the UbioZur's Part Welder mod, but my problem with it is that I run a lot of mods so my KSP takes a while to start up, and IIRC you can't see the welded parts until you restart KSP.

Yes, that's true about having to restart the game.. If loading times are becoming that much of an issue for you, have you considered moving the game to an SSD? That's what I did, and it improved loading times tremendously.

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@Tyko SQUAD just posted a new KSP Loading newsletter, and they mentioned that they’ve done some rebalancing on several Making History engines, including the Wolfhound. So your mods’ nerfing of that engine may not be needed post-1.6 :)

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41 minutes ago, RealKerbal3x said:

@Tyko SQUAD just posted a new KSP Loading newsletter, and they mentioned that they’ve done some rebalancing on several Making History engines, including the Wolfhound. So your mods’ nerfing of that engine may not be needed post-1.6 :)

Here's hoping they come up with something workable. I'd be happy to shut this down so there aren't competing specs out there.

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NOTE: Squad is reporting changes to MH engines in 1.6. Once official specs are published I'll revisit the changes made by this mod. Thanks!

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@JAFO I already have KSP on a Samsung 840 PRO 128GB SSD, loading times are still in the 5 minute range. There are a 4 MM patch warnings that come up every time I start up KSP, so it has to throw out the MM cache every time it loads, but that's not the part that takes the longest (even tho it's 15367 patches applied).

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Okay, so Squad caught me a bit off guard releasing this week. I've added the new stats to my Google Sheet, but I haven't had a chance to do any analysis yet. I'll tackle this after Christmas. Probably New Year's week.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tzovHSBZm_4_xLrglqAKbmLzeGQozpZfQr2YAaOTs8k/edit#gid=0

Here's the official post about the changes. I've also linked another discussion @klesh started about the new stats:

 

 

 

Edited by Tyko

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At the very least you gotta unhide the poodle now that it got a facelift.  Think you might enjoy the Wolfhound changes, extra cost, slight nerf to isp and moved way back in the tech tree. 

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1 hour ago, klesh said:

At the very least you gotta unhide the poodle now that it got a facelift.  Think you might enjoy the Wolfhound changes, extra cost, slight nerf to isp and moved way back in the tech tree. 

Yea, I'm going to follow the convo on your thread. May check with @OhioBob since he's got all the math on how engines 'should' spec out.

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