Recommended Posts

Hi,

It's probably been proposed again and again, but seriously, what with the tech tree ? Before the expansion I thought it didn't make much sense, but now it seems completely random.

Why don't we have plane parts before (or at least at the same time) rockets ? It makes no sense to put a man in orbit before being able to navigate on kerbin. Also, I would like to see RCS and batteries coming with the first rocket engines, otherwise we just forget about RCS and rely on SAS only, which is a shame

The biggest issue still is with the expansion. We unlock the 1.875 fuel tanks before any engine that fits them. Sure we can use multiple 1.25 ones with the new decouplers and it works great, but for the casual new player I think it is a bit too complicated for a start. Why not unlock some of the 1.875 engines with the tanks or at equal tech level ? It also seems broken to get the (overly efficient) AJ-10 replica that soon because it outshines most of the other engines and most of the supposedly more advanced ones that we unlock later...

Anyway, I know a lot of mods change that,  but I just wonder why Squad never reworked this tech tree, if there is a good reason for the choices made or if it is pure random...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Gameplay > Realism.

Kerbals =/= Humans.

The stock tech tree is more focused on being a tutorial that slowly drips new concepts to you. As far as the expansion stuff, idk. I already had most of it unlocked when I bought it so didn't pay much attention to where it was.

Edited by Rocket In My Pocket
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

Gameplay > Realism.

Not mutually exclusive, and far to much debate in this.  More than I'm willing to write after following KSP for 5+ years, and hearing the same thing infinitum.

20 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

Kerbals =/= Humans.

This is an excuse, not a reason.

 

20 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

The stock tech tree is more focused on being a tutorial...

Does it actually do a good job of this?  I'd argue it does not.

Edited by klgraham1013
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I have no issues with it, and being a habitual restarter; I've gone through it more times than I care to count.

It seems to me the overall goal was to not dump too many new systems on a player at once; which is a sound enough concept. Then again I'm only guessing at what the intent was, who can say.

You can't please everyone I guess? Luckily that's what mods are for. Plenty of alternative tech trees for those inclined.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MajorTomtom - it depends what you want the tech tree to do. Do you want it to act as a tutorial of sorts as @Rocket In My Pocket mentioned? Do you want it to provide a sort-of-realistic historical progression for your career game?  Do you want it to provide strategic gameplay choices for your career game? 

I would argue that catering to any one of those options would give you a very different tech tree - and provoke reams of forum debate (I'll be polite here) from players who feel that their particular play style isn't being catered to. The stock tech tree avoids that problem by being a messy compromise that tries to be all things to all players.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

Personally I have no issues with it, and being a habitual restarter; I've gone through it more times than I care to count.

It seems to me the overall goal was to not dump too many new systems on a player at once; which is a sound enough concept. Then again I'm only guessing at what the intent was, who can say.

You can't please everyone I guess? Luckily that's what mods are for. Plenty of alternative tech trees for those inclined.

When I got the game years ago, I just wanted to quickly see what it was about, if it was worth my time. I jumped into Sandbox and I was blown away by the massive part selections.

When I started Career mode the same day, it immediately made so much more sense what each part is. New players don't notice it weird that airplanes are not a starting tech, but they do notice and appreciate that there are only 5 new parts to worry about for every hour of gameplay

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/10/2018 at 4:29 AM, Blaarkies said:

When I got the game years ago, I just wanted to quickly see what it was about, if it was worth my time. I jumped into Sandbox and I was blown away by the massive part selections.

When I started Career mode the same day, it immediately made so much more sense what each part is. New players don't notice it weird that airplanes are not a starting tech, but they do notice and appreciate that there are only 5 new parts to worry about for every hour of gameplay

I agree. The game is called Kerbal Space Program, not Kerbal Airplane Program or Kerbal Rover Program or Robot Space Program. Since the game bills itself as being about launching kerbals into space, it's no surprise that the tech tree starts you with the ability to launch kerbals.

If the game required a new player to spend a bunch of time building planes and launching satellites before launching their first Kerbal, it would be more realistic, but they might lose a lot of new players who bought the game to build crewed rockets.

Having restarted many times I use unmanned before manned and like having to work up to crews - it gives me something to look forward to. As a new player I was really excited to put a kerbal in a Mk1 on top of a Flea SRB and see what happened.

Edited by Tyko
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no issues with manned before unmanned. Organic guidance systems have been around a lot longer than mechanical or electro-mechanical ones

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Though I can see how some see it as a way to slowly introduce new concepts to new players, I do also see that there should be some accommodation for older players so that they aren't alienated. The option of different tech tree paths, more complex choices, more complex planning and mission operation- not just straight up more difficult contracts just for the sake of increased difficulty. Entering long term career paths should be available, like locking in plans to go to a planet/moon and research it, and with it comes benefits but also the limitation of other missions (can't go to Duna when researching the moon), etc [Basically what the mod Strategia offers].

Another major suggestion would be to add some sort of overarching purpose to contracts. Pointing back to an earlier comment- I've already stated sandbox games shouldn't force a path or direction on the player, but in the case of career, a clear indication of intent would be beneficial. There are a lot of 'test' this part contracts. But never do they ever have any functionality. Parts themselves don't improve [despite the developers even adding an option in the Save Settings Menu called 'All Part Upgrades Applied in Sandbox' which clearly indicates that part variation would be present in some form or another, and this isn't for mods as such changes occurred even before such an accommodation was implemented] and we also don't see them fit into any sort of development. Noting now that not every design tested sees eventual use- it still should be mentioned that if something is being tested it's likely for use. Looking to real life space agencies and corporations, when they test a new technology, let's say like the various test firings of the RS-25 for the Space Launch System. The purpose is to get data to ensure it operates to it's best capacity and work to resolve any faults in the design. However testing a part in KSP has no function whatsoever other than haul it to X destination with Y conditions and receive money for it. There's no long term reward for any action taken. Every contract has the same amount of weight in the long term. Some just pay more and thus are more valuable.

One suggestion I've always had is Squad adding more to career mode in the style of fitting payloads onto pre-existing rockets, or making rockets for pre-existing payloads and having to logically engineer situations instead of 'just add more boosters'.

 

That's just my thoughts anyway.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think KSP should be more realistic, have at it!  Download and install 1.3.1 (available at no extra charge if you bought the game from the KSP web site, and I've read there are ways to get old versions if you bought form GoG or Steam).  Install Realism Overhaul.  Play away (oh, requires about 10.5 GB RAM to load, at least in 64-bit Linux).

You'll start with the tools to make basic propeller and jet airplanes, and 1940s technology sounding rockets; even though the calendar will say January 1, 1951, it'll be more like early 1946 (you have access to a bunch of -- presumably captured -- A-4 rocket tanks, engines, fins, and guidance units).  You'll spend hours and hours and hours gleaning science one or two points at a time, warping past weeks or months of construction time, and scraping every :funds: trying to keep your program solvent.  When you manage to put a basic satellite into orbit, you'll feel a real sense of accomplishment; when you manage to fly past, impact, or orbit the Moon you'll be proud, and when you put actual crew in orbit, you'll have something to shout about.

I've played RO exclusively for the past few weeks.  I've bankrupted three programs and closed one because I had the settings too easy.  I'm close to launching to (uncrewed) orbit in the fifth, having spent more than eight and a half game years (in a couple weeks real time) getting there from the first launch in April, 1951.  In the current career, I haven't launched a single airplane, because I suck at landings (or design, I'm not really certain which) and I'm playing on "hard" setting, so no respawns, reverts, or quick loads.  I've learned in some depth why modern commercial launchers like Falcon 9 use kerosene and LOX, rather than, say, inhibited white fuming nitric acid and unsymmetrical dimyethyl hydrazine (like the Apollo Service Module engine did), or hydrogen and oxygen like the Space Shuttle (hint: the answer in the latter case is "money").

It's more fun (for me) than the original game.  Your mileage may vary, but if you like the idea of a logical tech tree (and have enough RAM to load all the mods), you owe it to yourself to at least install RO and give it a try.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many things that were apparently planned but fell by the wayside. Back in alpha the parts in the editors had a "quantity" number, suggesting production was going to be a thing. It seems many of the features had placeholders roughed in, intended to be fleshed out later. But these placeholders have become finalized, when there is potential for sooo much more.

R&D, Mission Control, and the Astronaut Complex could be so much better with an overhaul. Kerbal skill progression should be much more than a passive, automatic system. I'd like to pick my skills, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree of course, RO is great for realism, but I also enjoy the relative simplicity (and stability most of all) of the stock or near-stock ksp.

What I meant with this tech tree is just that some parts always seem to arrive before you can actually use them, for example 1.875m tanks before 1.875m engines, or probe cores before fairings etc. It's not making the game unbearable or anything, just a bit surprising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I agree.  Even in the basic game of 1.2.2 or 1.3.1 (the first two versions I played), you somehow have the Swivel gimballed engine before the Reliant with its fixed mount.  In real history, some of the earliest engines had thrust vectoring, but it was done with jet vanes (A-4/V-2, as well as the A-6 and A-7 Redstone/Juno/Jupiter family and the Russian ethylox RD-100 through RD-103M).  Aside from jet vanes, fixed engines came first, often with verniers added for control.  Restartable engines were another innovation -- the X-1 could restart, sort of, and the X-15 could, but aside from these X-plane engines, restarts came with Lunar and interplanetary missions, and initially were hypergolic engines only (ignition was easy -- just start the pumps or open the valves).

Throttling for boosters came in with the Space Shuttle; SpaceX may have been first to use it for uncrewed missions (okay, i just remembered, Delta IV Heavy and the original Russian boosters with twenty main chambers firing at launch throttled the cores to help them burn longer than the side boosters, but SpaceX goes to lower thrust than the others).  Otherwise, "deep" throttling was down to 50% like the LEM descent engine (the XLR-11 that propelled the X-1 could throttle to 25%, but it did it by shutting down three of its four chambers).  And reaction wheels are something you use to overcome solar wind and light pressure on your deep space telescope and conserve RCS propellant, not something that can turn a multi-tonne rocket in flight.

The original RP-0 was created to address this -- airplanes before rockets, uncrewed before crewed, low-tech first.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm always annoyed that you get an engine you can't use because you don't even have adapters to fit it to your current tanks, or tanks you can't use for the same reason, and I seem to always get the big Rockomax decoupler before anything else that size. But I've never wondered why Kerbal SPACE program doesn't let you build planes, rovers, boats, or anything else before rockets.

It's also never bothered me that you don't get ladders until much further in the tree. There are like 3 worlds big enough to need ladders and even though 1 of them is (somewhat ironically) the only one you're on at the start of the game, you almost never actually need one there if you're doing what the game is about: Shooting your little green people into space.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Famed cartoonist Gary Larson has a great story. It involves a cartoon which displays a 1950s household. Fedora-wearing husband comes home, putting his trenchcoat and briefcase down. Wife is cooking dinner. Oh, and they are mosquitoes. The caption is along the lines of “how was work, honey?” “It sucked.”

He said that he got tons of mail over the cartoon, pointing out that the female mosquitoes are the ones who suck blood, not the male ones. Never mind the house, household, clothes, job, talking english, etc. All of that was no big deal, but oh my gosh suggesting that the male mosquito sucked blood...

One can argue that it’s part of the suspension of disbelief, but at the same time it’s ironic to see all these discussions about the perceived lack of realism in the tech tree, while it’s totally ok for all the other things in KSP to be unrealistic.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now