Gargamel

KAC has destroyed my progression

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KAC is a wonderful mod.  I really couldn't live without it.  So thank you @TriggerAu.

BUT.....

I'm getting no where in game.   I haven't for the past couple versions.  

Before I started using KAC, like v .2x, I would launch a mission, and fly it to completion.  I had no other choice, other than to miss manuever nodes and such.  I made it Eve, Jool, etc.  I did all the things, but one at a time.

Now I'm sitting here, waiting for a Duna transfer window to launch the first round of probes, and I see I have 43 days left.   So I think I'll send some tourists on a tour of the local moons.  Well that takes 20 days or so.  So I launch another one while the first is on it's way from the Mun to minmus.  Oops, now I gotta harvest the science from one of my stations.  Hmmm... more time to kill, I'll send up more tourists.   Oh now it's time to rotate the crews of the various stations I have.    Oh those crews aren't all level 2 yet?  Ok when they get back, send them on a tour of the moons.  Aight, now I'm preparing for the manned Duna mission on the next window.   Time to build the mothership (I use life support, so I build big interplanetary vessels).   Ok that's built, time for a shakedown tour of the moons.  Oh look, more time for tourists to the moons!  Build a space hotel?  Ok.....

I'm not getting anywhere, by doing so much.  Sigh.... 

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I used to have the EXACT same problem. I tried several things to alleviate it but eventually I just had to accept that sometimes, time warping is OK.

I started by forcing a 10 day rest between launches if waiting for any alarms. Then it became 20 days. When I started going to places outside of Duna's orbit, I upped that to 50 and then 100. Then I started rounding up to the nearest 100 :D

It weaned me off of the need to constantly be productive with my time.

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Yes. What @5thHorseman said. I don’t run too many missions in parallel. Otherwise you (a) end up having upgraded the entire KSC and all science within a week (Earth days) or so and (b) interplanety never happens.

Another risk of running too many things at once: inevitably, a re-entry will coincide with some absolute mission critical maneuver node.

Still, you’ll have to pry KAC out of my cold, dead hands.

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I always had this "problem" as well. KAC is my only mod; and I wouldn't wanna do without it. However, it really can slow your progress if you let it. I learned to put a stop to it with a pretty simple cutoff switch; money. Once I have an unGodly amount of cash, I start warping more. This also coincides with Reputation. Once your Rep is high enough, it doesn't hurt you to warp for long periods. This also has the added bonus of letting you cherry pick through the available contracts. If you keep getting the same ones, you can let 'em go and wait for something better.

I've also found, once you start heading further out and warping for longer periods, you will reach points where there is an exciting blur of activity all at once. You'll have ships arriving at Moho and Duna while you're in the middle of a few missions around Jool. And now your ship at Eve has a window home, while the next launch window to Eeloo just opened. I really love it when you get to that point. Sometimes I jump to an alarm and can barely remember building a certain ship or what it was meant to do. It's a lot of fun.

So if you've got the cash, act like a fat-cat. Thumb your nose at those piddly contracts and move on to bigger and better things. It's more exciting.

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Ive never minded maxing the tech tree early so I usually do have this issue before the first Duna window. I wouldnt say it prevents me from going interplanetary though, there are windows to Moho, Jool and Eeloo before then for probes. I do also enjoy the flurry of activity building up stations and mining ops in KSOI. As Kerbalkrunch points out quickly though you do hit that point where the tech tree is maxed and youre converting all your science to money and/or rep, and at that point I do generally cool it on the local schmocal missions. Still theres always crew to train, tankers to capture, probes arriving and coms to set up. Im usually warping 10-20 days at most. 

I should think about kerbal construction time for my next save. That might space things out better. 

Edited by Pthigrivi

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Kerbal Construction Time was recently updated.  I've been using that in my heavily modded install, was well as Snacks, and Kerbal Health.  These three have ensured that even with KAC installed, I never have too much going on at once in my career.

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I feel your pain!

In my mission report, Project Intrepid, I have at least ten different things going on. Some of the ships in there are a year old and haven't done anything yet!

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Oh I know this one. I used to constantly never get beyond minmus because I'd be taking contracts to plant flags on mun or minmus while I waited for the window.

So now I have a rule - I only allow myself to accept new contracts when either a) I complete an exploration contract or b) I've done all the contracts in my list. It naturally paces itself then, because I can't take an more contracts until I've done that duna flyby

 

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I just checked and I have 9 active crewed flights, 16 probes and 12 coms satellites going right now and Im just hitting my first Eve window. The real bugaboo is Jool. So much happens before the first probe even gets there. 

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I don't know if its just me, but reading these posts it actually sounds like everyone is running a Space Program. :D

 

(Looks at trackingstation: ehm... 28 flights in progress)

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4 hours ago, Gargamel said:

I'm not getting anywhere, by doing so much.  Sigh.... 

Welcome to 'the business' :p

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7 hours ago, Gargamel said:

I'm not getting anywhere, by doing so much.  Sigh.... 

I think the problem is not KAC per se.  The problem is by having a "do all the things" mentality while playing.

I'm not a KAC user myself, but I do make a routine practice of running lots of concurrent missions-- basically I'm an OCD detail-oriented person, and I just routinely check the tracking station to see what's coming up next.  Basically I'm just running KAC in my head instead of in the game.  ;)  So I think I get where you're coming from.

When I was in my early days of playing KSP, I would tend to get bogged down the way you've described, because I wanted to "do all the things"-- don't let a contract go by, never timewarp if there's something I can pick up, etc.

However, after my first career or two, I pretty quickly settled on a basic way of relating to the game that has held me in good stead ever since:  story arcs.

Basically, what I do is this:  Every time I'm about to start a new career, I always figure out ahead of time what is this career going to be "about".  I have a story arc in mind, with a specific end goal.  And I'll have a specific set of mods to use in that career, which will help determine how the story plays out (e.g. life support or not?  Extraplanetary Launchpads or not?  SpaceY or not?  etc.)

This has a couple of benefits.

First, it keeps the game fresh for me over time.  Every career has a different planned story arc and a different set of mods for working towards it, which means each career plays out differently, which keeps me coming back for more.

But second (and more relevant to the point you raise), it also keeps the career moving along.  My goal is never, ever "do all the things".  It's always to "move the story along towards the desired goal."  Perhaps, for example, I decide I'm going to play with Galileo's Planet Pack, and also with Karbonite+ (so I can get those sci-fi karborundum-powered engines, but which requires mining karborundum), with the end goal of sending a crewed mission to the star Grannus and back.  Everything I do in the career is geared towards furthering that goal.  "Okay, first I have to get out into the solar system... now I need to prospect to find where the karborundum is... now I need to set up a mining operation... okay, now I need to build my interstellar ship... off we go to Grannus... now I'm back, successfully land... yay!  Done.  Time for a new career."

A typical career's story arc will account for usually several dozen hours of play time, at least-- long enough to keep me entertained for a good long while, but short enough that I don't get bored with it.

And since every single thing I do in the game is in furtherance of the main goal, this means I don't get sidetracked by trying to "do all the things".  Did a juicy tourist contract just pop up?  Should I take it?  Well, do I actually need any money in order to build my Grannus expedition, or do I have enough right now?  If I've got enough, then stopping to pick up more would be counterproductive, so I just skip it.

I find that having that story arc and "goal" always in mind generally keeps me nicely on track, and I never get bogged down.  Works great, keeps KSP fun for me, and keeps me coming back for more.  :)

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I "solved" this with a mental role-play stipulation that mission control staff resources are finite.

Astronauts on the ISS have their every minute scheduled in advance by people on the ground. They are in constant contact throughout the day as they complete their tasks. This requires a room of people at workstations monitoring communications, going over checklists, following up on questions and requests, etc. The same was true of Apollo, and even long-inactive unmanned probes occasionally interact with the Deep Space Network.

So when I have a mission or three active, I tell myself that "Houston" is stretched to the limit and kept busy monitoring those missions. Even when I'm time warping at 1000x, they (in my mind) continue right along coordinating schedules, troubleshooting devices, looking up repair procedures, forwarding family communications, etc. Yes it would be nice do another suborbital tourist trip, but "we" just don't have the capacity for it at this point.

If something really interesting comes up, well, you can always hire a few temps and pay overtime for a while, so the limit is flexible (in addition to being entirely imaginary). But it allows me to time warp without guilt (especially "warp to here", which satisfies 80% of what I used to use KAC for).

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@Snark Your example is pretty much what I'm doing in my GPP 2.5x career titled "Nodens or Bust". And just for the record, once a player figures out how to bring home Karborundum and land it next to the Space Center, there's never a need to take ANY contract just for the funds.

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I mainly play career mode and only use contracts at the beginning for money. My typical game goes something like this in various order.

  1. Get my gold mining operation on Mun going using TheGoldStandard, means semi regular dropship missions.
  2. Build out my communications networks, As I use OPM and Extrasolar.
  3. Send out FTL probes to set up jump points to various planets.
  4. ScanSat probs to survey all the planets for resources.
  5. Using MKS, build out support bases for my Kerbals and suppy points.
  6. Flush out the tech tree, using KRnD mod to extend research.
  7. Colonize planets, plants flags and capture asteroids.

There is a whole bunch of RnD, supply runs, Planet fall, Star Bases, Exploration, accidents in between those points. I just enjoy going out and doing the things I like to do. KAC seems to help me organize and do this as I may miss them otherwise(bye bye FTL beacon that took 60 years to arrive). I do try not to have to many concurrent missions and just accept the Time Warp at times.

 

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I too can't seem to get anything done with KAC. I am pretty sure I have done a careers worth of missions without having  even launched a Duna probe.

 

Still love the mod tho.

Edited by Mark Kerbin

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10 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

I just checked and I have 9 active crewed flights, 16 probes and 12 coms satellites going right now and Im just hitting my first Eve window. The real bugaboo is Jool. So much happens before the first probe even gets there. 

If you think Jool is bad, consider how much you can get done while your Eeloo mission is underway...

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Talk about OPM and Sarnus mission with Jool gravity assist. That's 11-year trip.

Yep, in my last career my kac was flooded with alarms as well, but after a short break when I didn't have time to play I decided to screw it, and just warped through all missions, doing what was needed to be done and then warped again until the Kassini arrived at Sarnus. And that marked the end of my career. Then I took another break and recently started new, hopefully better.

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12 hours ago, Snark said:

However, after my first career or two,

See, there's. the kicker for me.

Up until, last summer/fall, I was a sandbox player.   Maybe I just got used to sandbox being the ONLY mode available in the game, and I never tried career.   But this is only my second career play through (I believe), and it's the second just cause I finally decided to update to 1.3.1 when 1.4 dropped, and I didn't want to lose stable mods.    So being a new career player, I'm stuck in that "Do all the things!" mode. 

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6 hours ago, Gargamel said:

Maybe I just got used to sandbox being the ONLY mode available in the game, and I never tried career.

Ah.  As soon as career mode became available, I immediately switched to it and never looked back-- sandbox mode suddenly became boring for me.  Useful as a testbed from time to time, but nothing I wanted to spend any time in.  The reason I'm still here playing KSP after all these years is career mode:  I'll start a career, play it through a story arc over the course of a couple of months, finish it with a sense of satisfaction, then start a new one.

For me, career mode is satisfying-- the early, middle, and end stages of a career are part of the story, like reading a good book or watching a good movie.  Sandbox mode is like suddenly tuning in to the middle of a soap opera that's been running for decades and will continue to run for decades more-- there's stuff going on, but there's no plot for me, no sense of developing narrative.  (It's the same reason why my careers always have an end goal; they're never open-ended.)

The fact that my careers are designed from the get-go to be finite-- and not just finite, but reasonably compact, generally no more than a couple of months to play through-- also gives me a safety valve.  If I ever "get it wrong" and start in on a career that turns out not to be as much fun as I thought it would be-- like picking up a book in the airport newsstand to kill time, and discovering that it's a lemon-- well, I don't have all that much time invested in it, so I can just toss it and walk away without a pang and start a different one.  If I had a really long-running "soap opera" that I had years of effort invested in, it would be a lot harder for me to walk away from, even if I wasn't enjoying it all that much, with the result that I would be slogging rather than having fun.

I'm definitely more of a "novel" or "movie" kinda guy-- soap operas aren't for me.  :)

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I can't really speak to stock or a lightly modded install, but in RP-0 at least Kerbal Construction Time alleviates this problem almost completely. I've actually had a couple of times when I've launched a fleet of probes to Mars, and then warped all the way to their arrival date waiting for something big (i.e. lunar mission) to finish building. Inserting that delay between launches, especially big launches, really helps pace the whole thing out. Also, it makes the rocket assembly/recovery process feel less magical.

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Ksp is weird in that, unlike most games, sandbox is not a good way to introduce beginners. It’s so complex that career mode actually works better for learning the ropes. It also encourages practice and refining techniques, with the whole funds system.

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11 hours ago, Snark said:

sandbox mode suddenly became boring for me.

That's why I think I switched from sandbox.  There was no drive, no onus to progress.   Contracts and suh are helping with that.  I think I also got frustrated with the science gadgets not doing anything!  :D

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