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I feel like I suggested this once before, but I can't find the thread. Anyway, with Kerbals getting parachutes, I feel it is time to revisit the idea! The basic idea is to give the player backpack options for the Kerbals, so you choose whichever backpack type suits you. The default backpack is the EVA pack, and if you change the backpack for a given seat on your craft, it will save that setting with the craft. Perhaps you could store extra backpacks in the command module and switch while on mission, with each command module having its own backpack storage limit.

 

EVA Pack: The vanilla backpack. It's excellent for maneuvering in low or zero-G, and can be used to easily fly on the Mun or any body with similar or lower gravity. Comes with a hose that can connect to another EVA pack or a fuel tank to transfer monopropellant.

Parachute: Exactly what has now been given to all Kerbals. With my idea, it's an option which carries an opportunity cost. Excellent for a Kerbin or Laythe landing, might even be strong enough to survive a landing on Duna.

Jetpack: Much higher thrust than EVA pack, but only provides thrust in one direction and it has lower total dV, meaning the burn time is much shorter. You can use it to travel upwards pretty fast even on Kerbin, and it is strong enough to lift Kerbals on Eve. Despite having thrust in only one direction, the user can twist their body to affect their heading slightly. Comes with a hose that can connect to another jetpack or fuel tank to transfer liquid fuel and/or oxidizer.

Storage Pack: It's a backpack for holding things. This would go well with Kerbal Attachment System if it were made stock. Various small items could be placed inside and carried around by the Kerbal to be deployed later. Could be interesting if engineers were given some various tools to use.

Comms Array: A medium-range radio transmitter with antenna and battery pack which can be used to relay science reports. Comes with a cord that can connect to another comms array or battery to transfer electric charge.


Just for fun:
Wingsuit: A folded pair of glider wings which can be extended while falling to enable the Kerbal to do impressive aerial stunts. Also comes with a tiny one-use solid rocket which can be used either to lift the Kerbal off the ground initially or to get a temporary speed boost while in mid-air.

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The Jetpack is waaayy to situational. Why should I use a limited capacity fuel-draining version of ladders (although it would be good to have a back up measure). Storage packs would be a novelty at best, but could be implemented in a mod if a base system for adding and using new packs are added. Comms array... Why? Just go back to your ship to transmit data. I'm not replacing my EVA pack just to avoid adding one antenna to my craft. Or forbid, storing the experiments in the capsule itself. But I do think that EVA and crew reports should just auto-store.

And the wingsuit...

[insert image of paramotor]

But the addition of extra packs to choose from could be fun. And the Jetpack is a solid idea, just tone it down to only Kerbin gravity strength. And only use EVA Fuel.

What we're missing though is more Kerbal usefulness. Their only useful point is for ISRU with engineers (and marginal utility in labs with scientists, but pilots are still left in the dark), but they could do so much more, instead of being second and heavier to probes.

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4 hours ago, FireKerb said:

[insert image of paramotor]

Here you go :wink:

 

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I am a firm believer that KIS/KAS should be stock, so I'm gonna say we should just go that route if we're going to start suggesting backpacks for Kerbals.

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I agree KIS/KAS should be stock. It actually makes kerbals useful. SQUAD should've made that stock instead introducing kerbal experience.

I don't know about wing suits. We have parachutes and I'm pretty happy with that. A jetpack would be pretty fun. A bit outlandish for a semi realistic game like KSP but then GTA V has some wild stuff (Me 163, VTOL PBYs and rocket cars) in it and it doesn't seem game breaking so why not short burst jet packs in KSP?

Edited by Wjolcz

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I agree that parachutes and EVA packs should be separate.  A storage pack would be great if KAS/KIS were to become stock, but I'm not holding my breath for that one.

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On 5/30/2018 at 3:44 AM, FireKerb said:

And the Jetpack is a solid idea, just tone it down to only Kerbin gravity strength.

The jetpack is already going to be less fuel efficient than the EVA pack even if it uses the same fuel (monopropellant) merely because it has a higher thrust. If that thrust isn't high enough, it won't be able to lift the Kerbal far enough to be useful on Kerbin. I feel like an adequate amount of thrust for use on Kerbin would be high enough to lift them on Eve, even if it's not high enough for you to want to use it on Eve.

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Fair enough.

One thing I would add to this list of packs is a scuba-diving pack. With some ballast and a weaker but fueless EVA pack.

Underwater bases here I come!

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My thought about this is a module/ part that can be entered by kerbals to change their loadout (it's like astronaut spacesuit storage room) during mission. Some of the backpack types that I had in mind, themed for kerbal's profession:

Normal backpack: self-explanatory. Your basic, standard issue kerbal backpack with built in parachute + RCS thrusters

Science backpack: built-in science container, integrated antenna for science transmission, increased science yield. Can only be equipped by scientist

Delta-v backpack: much larger RCS fuel capacity, stronger RCS thrusters, built-in reaction wheel (kerbal can reorientate in zero G without using RCS thrusters), built in stability assist and can use maneuver nodes while EVA. Can only be equipped by pilot

Engineering backpack: built-in drill and micro-sized ISRU. Allows manually mining the soil with handheld drill and refine the ore with ISRU. Output will be stored in onboard tank (very limited capacity, comparable to half of oscar-b fuel tank) that can be used to refuel craft. Can refine the ore to monoprop for replenishing RCS fuel supply on kerbal EVA suit. Can only be equipped by engineers

I also agree on scuba pack :)

Edited by ARS

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15 hours ago, thereaverofdarkness2 said:

The jetpack is already going to be less fuel efficient than the EVA pack even if it uses the same fuel (monopropellant) merely because it has a higher thrust. If that thrust isn't high enough, it won't be able to lift the Kerbal far enough to be useful on Kerbin. I feel like an adequate amount of thrust for use on Kerbin would be high enough to lift them on Eve, even if it's not high enough for you to want to use it on Eve.

It's still useful for jumping over the obstacles or reaching higher ground  and can be used to slow down the descent, so kerbals can perform powered landing on the bodies where rcs thusters isn't powerful enough

Edited by ARS

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