5thHorseman

Kerpollo - A Complete Science Mode Run In 9 Acts

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kerpollo_400.png

 

The challenge is simple, but a bit hard to define. Sorry about that but here goes.

THE SETUP

Start a Science Mode game. No money. No contracts. You'll be busy enough trust me. Make it with (almost) any settings you want, but document them. Use any mods you want, but document them. Challenge yourself! The only setting you MUST have is that you MUST enable saves and reverts. Not many challenges require that one, eh? I would also suggest not making the science gathering all that difficult. I did this with normal science and it wasn't exactly easy. Though you could probably knock down gains to 75% and still complete the whole tech tree in this challenge.

THE RULES

  • General rules:
    • You have 9 specific missions, each to land on a specified world or some specified worlds.
    • You must land on the specified world(s) and may not land anywhere else during the mission, except of course Kerbin upon your return.
    • These missions must consist of one single launch from the launch pad with everything you need to complete the mission, and end with the successful return of all Kerbals launched.
      • This counts leftover things from previous missions. No refueling mission 5 with fuel tanks left in orbit from mission 4. Missions are self contained.
    • Only one mission can be ongoing at a time. You may not launch another mission until the current mission has completed successfully.
    • While you can only launch 9 times, you can send things to the runway and launch pad to just gather science around the KSC.
      • If really want, drive wherever you want but you can NOT fly under rocket or jet (or helicopter if you know how to do that) power anywhere.
      • Other than jumps, no leaving the ground.
      • Also, no using other launch sites, either for science grind or legit launches. Everything should launch from KSC. If you really want that desert science, return to there from one of your missions.
    • No science labs, sorry. If you use a mod that helps you in science in any way, specify it. If it generates free science like the lab does, you should consider this rule banning that mod, though you can ask if it's ok if it's marginal.
    • While Breaking Ground (And Making History) is allowed, the science contained therein is not. There is already plenty of science to be gotten in the stock game, so much that I had to limit you to one biome per planet. I can't allow several new experiments to give you even more science. Make robotic landers, though. I want to see lots and lots of those :)
  • Lander rules:
    • Each landing must be Kerbed, and can not include any probe cores.
    • You may only land ONCE and may not roam from the landing biome to another biome. You can only get science readings from ONE ground biome per world.
      • You may though collect as much flying science during the mission as you can from anywhere you can, so long as you don't break the other rules.
  • Orbiter rules:
    • Once you have unlocked any docking port, you must also leave a craft in orbit of each world landed on, during the landing.
    • This craft must also be Kerbed during the landing, and also may not have probe cores.
    • The lander must re-dock to the orbiter to complete the land-and-return portion of the mission.
    • If you do not need your lander (or orbiter) after that successful docking, the unneeded stuff may be undocked and left behind.
  • Some more general rules:
    • You may use one lander to land on multiple worlds in the longer missions, and the same orbiter to orbit multiple worlds. You can even use one world's lander as another world's orbiter and vice-versa. However you do not have to.
    • Before EVERY launch, make a backup of your save.
      • Alt-F5 named quicksaves are fine.
      • If for any reason you cannot complete all mission parameters with the ship launched while complying with the above rules, you must revert to this save.
      • There are no rescue missions here. You succeed or you retry, from scratch. And possibly with a modified ship or a different mission.
      • NOTE: This does not mean you can't quicksave/quickload! Save early and often, and reload any time you want. If the ship you built isn't up to task, you must revert and fix the ship. But if you just screw up a landing or time warp through an atmosphere, reverting to a quicksave is perfectly alright.
    • When unlocking tech tree nodes after a successful mission or science-gathering jaunt around the KSC, you can unlock nodes within a tier in any order but you must completely unlock a tier before unlocking any nodes in a higher tier.
      • So yes, you do have to unlock nodes with plane parts and probe cores (and docking ports) if you want those parts in higher tiers.
    • The "Only one biome per landing" rule counts upon return to Kerbin as well. For rockets, this means no landing on Kerbin's surface and then taking off to land again. For space planes, it means ... well it means the same thing. Note: If your return vehicle splits up into different pods that's okay, so long as they all land in the same biome.
    • While you can't have a probe on your lander or orbiter, you CAN bring probes with you for other things. Most notably, scanning for ore. You could also bring some as relays. So long as they're not on the orbiter or lander during the landing, it's fine. And no, they can't land themselves or get extra science you don't get with the Kerbals. If you're concerned, ask me.
    • Asteroids are fine to gather science from. If you want to devote some of your precious payload to grabbing one - or just want to put the extra work into rendezvousing with one at Dres - then by all means go for it. I think the extra work being rewarded with extra science is in this case worth it.

THE MISSIONS

You may do these launches in any order. In particular Dunpollo can be done earlier. I only listed it so far down the list because it's a multi-world mission. Other than that, though, this is a pretty decent suggested order. It's actually the order I did it when I tested the challenge.

SINGLE-WORLD-MISSIONS

  • Kerpollo
    • Orbit Kerbin.
    • Should be easy, and about all you can expect to do with the starting tech that you can get from early runway/launchpad science.
  • Munpollo
    • Land on Mun and return.
  • Minpollo
    • Do the same for Minmus.
    • Remember, you can only land in a single biome. I don't care how easy it is to do more.
  • Drespollo
    • Dres DOES exist.
    • Prove it by landing there and returning alive.
  • Eelollo
    • Eeloo's pretty cold this time of year.
    • Which is fine because it will probably take several years to complete your land-and-return mission.
  • Mohollo
    • Mahalo for doing Mohollo, and returning from a successful Moho landing!

MULTI-WORLD-MISSIONS

  • Dunpollo
    • Land on both Duna and Ike and return all Kerbals to Kerbin.
  • Evepollo
    • This may be the hardest mission of them all.
    • Land on both Gilly and Eve and return all Kerbals to Kerbin.
  • Joolollo
    • This may ALSO be the hardest mission of them all.
    • Do a Jool 5, but by now you've got docking ports for sure, so you need an orbiter around every world you land on.
    • Remember, you can (but aren't required to) reuse landers and orbiters, so long as they're both present when you do your landing.

THE BADGE

Here's a quick badge I made for the challenge. It's 107 pixels tall which seems to be the max on signatures?

kerpollo_badge_107.png

 

 

 

IN CLOSING

I fully expect I missed a rule, or messed up a rule. Feel free to comment with any questions or concerns. Don't comment though that it's impossible. I just completed enough of it my own self to prove to myself that it's doabe (I unlocked the entire tech tree) but will be doing it from scratch, and documentation.

Edited by 5thHorseman
Changed the descriptor of the challenge to remove KSP terms I was using as regular words, that were causing confusion

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WINNERS (in the order that they finished)

PARTICIPANTS (in the order that they started):

---- THE ROGUES' GALLERY -----

This list is for those who decided to take this basic idea in a different direction.

  • @ManEatingApe
    • Normal science career, stock only.
    • Unlocked the entire tech tree in 2 launches. His first was Kerpollo, then he did Joolpollo. He may very well be the only one to do it without first unlocking docking ports.
    • Then he went on and did the rest just for funsies.
Edited by 5thHorseman

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That's an interesting one, I'll put it on my list of challenges to do :)

One question though:

14 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

You may though collect as much flying science as you can from anywhere you can

Does it include Kerbin as well? Somehow it would conflict with the allowed number of launches if you build a plane and fly around Kerbin to collect science

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7 minutes ago, 4x4cheesecake said:

That's an interesting one, I'll put it on my list of challenges to do :)

One question though:

Does it include Kerbin as well? Somehow it would conflict with the allowed number of launches if you build a plane and fly around Kerbin to collect science

"...during the mission." I thought it was implied but I'll add it so it's implicit.

The idea is, you can orbit Minmus as much as you want and get EVAs from everywhere, but once you land in a Minmus biome, you can't land in another. Also, on your way to Minmus you can fly through Mun's SOI to pick up some science you didn't have unlocked when you did your Munpollo mission.

Edited by 5thHorseman

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This looks very interresting :) I might give it a shot, also because I've never landed on Eeloo & Moho .. !

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5 hours ago, Kerbolitto said:

This looks very interresting :) I might give it a shot, also because I've never landed on Eeloo & Moho .. !

That's actually where this originally came from: my desire to land on and return from everywhere was being stymied by my irrational need to not time warp a lot. So I started a save with basically the rules in this challenge. To this day almost 5 years later it's my favorite career I've ever completed the goals for.

Edited by 5thHorseman

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I'm assuming no science labs are allowed, right?

I may make an attempt. I'm gonna go get 1.6 finally...

EDIT: Nevermind, I don't want to get all the informational mods ready, 1.4.5 it is... That's fine, right?

Edit 2: There are many mods installed but they are all informational or visual, aside from HyperEdit and VesselMover which I will not be using for this challenge, obviously.

Edited by Ultimate Steve

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On 12/30/2018 at 4:53 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

I'm assuming no science labs are allowed, right?

Oops I forgot to specify that, yes. Though it's not an instant win it can get you more science than multi biomes would, so the lab's out.

Quote

I may make an attempt. I'm gonna go get 1.6 finally...

EDIT: Nevermind, I don't want to get all the informational mods ready, 1.4.5 it is... That's fine, right?

Of course nothing changed in the planets. And it's big enough getting it in any version is impressive.

Quote

Edit 2: There are many mods installed but they are all informational or visual, aside from HyperEdit and VesselMover which I will not be using for this challenge, obviously.

I'm trying to be generous with mods on this as it's so big. I'd hate someone to skip it because a mod they feel "should be stock" is banned.

I will personally be using All Y'All  to get science in atmospheres and ForScience in space so I don't have to worry about it any more. I will also not farm KSC science outside the runway and launch pad unless I get totally stuck.

Edited by 5thHorseman
mobile typos

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@5thHorseman  If a glitch happens... Say if you accidentally warp past something, say, warp through Kerbin's atmosphere at the end of a long Eeloo mission (something that shouldn't really happen, phasing through things), could one quickload to just before that happened or would one have to redo the entire mission?

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7 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

@5thHorseman  If a glitch happens... Say if you accidentally warp past something, say, warp through Kerbin's atmosphere at the end of a long Eeloo mission (something that shouldn't really happen, phasing through things), could one quickload to just before that happened or would one have to redo the entire mission?

Another thing I forgot to specify, and the revert rule does make it seem like the revert is the only method, but really what I meant was that you need to revert when the choice is revert or rescue.

Quicksaves/quickloads are fine. Reverts are fine. You can quicksave and quickload  any time you want, and revert any time you want. The only rule is, if your mission becomes impossible to correct without quickloading (say, you realize you really don't have enough fuel to get home no matter how miserly you are on the way there) then you can't sent up a rescue or refueling mission. you must at that point revert, fix the problem, and relaunch.

Just time warping through atmosphere, or even crashing on a landing because you hit X instead of Z at that last crucial moment, is fine to correct with a quickload.

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1 hour ago, 5thHorseman said:
1 hour ago, Ultimate Steve said:

 

Another thing I forgot to specify, and the revert rule does make it seem like the revert is the only method, but really what I meant was that you need to revert when the choice is revert or rescue.

 Quicksaves/quickloads are fine. Reverts are fine. You can quicksave and quickload  any time you want, and revert any time you want. The only rule is, if your mission becomes impossible to correct without quickloading (say, you realize you really don't have enough fuel to get home no matter how miserly you are on the way there) then you can't sent up a rescue or refueling mission. you must at that point revert, fix the problem, and relaunch.

Just time warping through atmosphere, or even crashing on a landing because you hit X instead of Z at that last crucial moment, is fine to correct with a quickload.

Ah, okay, I can reduce my stress level by a factor of 5 now! I was really dreading trying to do Eve without saving!

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Looks like fun @5thHorseman! Didn't you just say this in my thread... ;) I'll try this... 

I'll be back...

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2 minutes ago, Kerbalstar said:

Looks like fun @5thHorseman! Didn't you just say this in my thread... ;) I'll try this... 

I'll be back...

I did :) I also said I should make it officially a challenge. :D

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1 minute ago, 5thHorseman said:

I did :) I also said I should make it officially a challenge. :D

Yup! And a great challenge did you make! :)

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The first prep and then the Kerbin,Mun,MinMus, Eeloo,Dres,Duna missions are absolutely trivial

The Moho mission is easy

The Jool-5 is a very,very tuff nut to crack, with a SINGLE launch, and requiring orbital dock etc. each landing. No refuelling? wow.

 

Eve and gilly.  manned. return. from a SINGLE launch (From the launch pad, even). Ok, sorry, here I give up.

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On 12/30/2018 at 11:22 AM, 5thHorseman said:

While you can only launch 9 times, you can send things to the runway and launch pad to just gather science around the KSC.

Does this mean that building a science roller and rolling it around KSC to get e.g. goo readings from the various KSC sub-biomes is allowed? And what about rolling all the way to non-KSC biomes? (At least shores should be easily accessible, and grasslands and water should be reachable with a bit of effort.)

And what about sending a plane to fly around Kerbin to collect "flying low above" / "flying high above" science from different biomes? And if I can't do that freely, what about if one of my nine missions just happens to include a spaceplane launch / return stage with some extra jet fuel for finding the optimal landing site? :wink:

(Don't get me wrong, I think this sounds like a really neat challenge, and I'll probably be trying it in any case. I'm just trying to figure out just how far I can stretch the rules for that all-important early extra science.)

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, vyznev said:

Does this mean that building a science roller and rolling it around KSC to get e.g. goo readings from the various KSC sub-biomes is allowed? And what about rolling all the way to non-KSC biomes? (At least shores should be easily accessible, and grasslands and water should be reachable with a bit of effort.)

Yes this is fine. I at one point had "You may not leave the KSC peninsula for this" but then figured if you really want to drive an hour to the mountains for a couple dozen science, go ahead. I should note, on my test I never bothered leaving the runway or launch pad.

Quote

And what about sending a plane to fly around Kerbin to collect "flying low above" / "flying high above" science from different biomes? And if I can't do that freely, what about if one of my nine missions just happens to include a spaceplane launch / return stage with some extra jet fuel for finding the optimal landing site? :wink:

No to the first part. Sending a plane somewhere counts as a launch.

As to the second, you can (and must) land that plane when you get back and yes, you can choose your landing spot. You cannot however fly it all over Kerbin. Same rule as with the other landings: One biome per landing. I'll make that clear in the OP.

Quote

(Don't get me wrong, I think this sounds like a really neat challenge, and I'll probably be trying it in any case. I'm just trying to figure out just how far I can stretch the rules for that all-important early extra science.)

No problem! :)

Edited by 5thHorseman

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Hmm this is interesting. Might have to give this a shot. Honestly never done a full "unlock the tech tree" in career or science, so that would be a first for me.

How is leader board ranking/status given?

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13 minutes ago, qzgy said:

Hmm this is interesting. Might have to give this a shot. Honestly never done a full "unlock the tech tree" in career or science, so that would be a first for me.

How is leader board ranking/status given?

There are no points, so it'll likely just be a list, possibly split modded/unmodded but I think just noting significant mods and perhaps any difficulty setting changes off of "normal."

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

There are no points, so it'll likely just be a list, possibly split modded/unmodded but I think just noting significant mods and perhaps any difficulty setting changes off of "normal."

Ah so more like a guest list, similar to the Jool 5 or K-Prize. Sounds good.

Edited by qzgy

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I've done Mun, Minmus, Eeloo, and most of Duna/Ike. I still need to do Moho, Eve, Dres, and Jool.

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Finally got around to restarting this legit. Here's part 1, Kerpollo.

https://imgur.com/gallery/jsUoLRZ

MODS:
For Science - will always be off while flying through atmosphere.
All Y'All - For collecting science easier in atmosphere.
Making History - far better balanced in 1.6
Kerbal Alarm Clock - May not even use it.
Astrogator - May not even use it.
Transfer Window Planner - Why I may not even use Astrogator
Antenna Helper
Precise Node
Warp Everywhere

SETTINGS:
Normal Mode, no changes.

RECAP:
First science grab opened the first tier and Survivability in the 2nd tier, specifically for the barometer.

Kerpollo launched polar, with enough science doodads to get readings in the high atmosphere on the way up and low on the way down using All Y'All, and then all the space science using ForScience, including 11 space EVA reports. I then landed in the mountains while aiming for the badlands. I lost the Mystery Goos on the way down, so missed low flying and landed in the mountains for those. So sad! Still, I had 227 science total when done, so unlocked all of tier 2 and all of tier 3 except Aviation, which is useless to me in a low-tech Mun run. Also, it gives me the Science Jr, an unwieldy and heavy - but very profitable science gatherer.

Next up, Munpollo!

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

Yes this is fine. I at one point had "You may not leave the KSC peninsula for this" but then figured if you really want to drive an hour to the mountains for a couple dozen science, go ahead. I should note, on my test I never bothered leaving the runway or launch pad.

Fair enough. Although it turns out that the amount of science you can get from just KSC alone if you really milk it is pretty crazy. I started a game in hard mode (60% science rewards) and managed to unlock the entire tech tier 4 (yes, one full tier at a time, as specified; counting tiers from 1, so the 2HOT Thermometer is in tier 2 and the Science Jr. is in tier 4), and have over 300 science left to spare, using only rollers and rovers and without ever leaving the KSC. And I didn't even do any deliberate jumps to grab crew reports and thermometer readings from the air, although I did get one or two by accident while trying to roll up the stairs of various KSC buildings. And I did have Bob climb the flag pole for an "EVA report while flying over Kerbin's shores". :D

Since I already started doing this, I think I'll keep going with it at least a little longer, and see just how far I can take this crazy science farming scheme.  But I did also consider just doing a self-imposed "no Kerbin science outside launch pad and runway" restriction, which would probably be closer to how you intended this challenge to play out.

12 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

No to the first part. Sending a plane somewhere counts as a launch.

As to the second, you can (and must) land that plane when you get back and yes, you can choose your landing spot. You cannot however fly it all over Kerbin. Same rule as with the other landings: One biome per landing. I'll make that clear in the OP.

OK, but looking your edited rules, they seem to say that I actually can fly a plane all over Kerbin (as part of a mission), and grab atmospheric science along the way, as long as I only land it once. Is that correct?

Also, another loophole occurred to me: with all the parts I've unlocked from exploring the KSC, I'm pretty sure I could do (at least) a Mun / Minmus fly-by as part of the first LKO mission. I don't see anything in the rules that forbids that, as long as I don't land there. If I can reach tier 7 on the very first mission, that would give me a whole bunch of extra science instruments to bring along on the later missions (and to drag all over KSC, of course :sticktongue:).

Edited by vyznev

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24 minutes ago, vyznev said:

OK, but looking your edited rules, they seem to say that I actually can fly a plane all over Kerbin (as part of a mission), and grab atmospheric science along the way, as long as I only land it once. Is that correct?

Correct. But note the majority of experiments don't give extra for other biomes (Only thermometer?). And if you can fly around doing EVA reports, you *earned* those science points.

 

25 minutes ago, vyznev said:

Also, another loophole occurred to me: with all the parts I've unlocked from exploring the KSC, I'm pretty sure I could do (at least) a Mun / Minmus fly-by as part of the first LKO mission. I don't see anything in the rules that forbids that, as long as I don't land there. If I can reach tier 7 on the very first mission, that would give me a whole bunch of extra science instruments to bring along on the later missions (and to drag all over KSC, of course :sticktongue:).

You can, for sure, and really this count for anything. You can do a Mun flyby each time you go, and get the science from each new part. And fly by Eve on your way to Moho and Duna (and even Ike) on your way to Dres. And the more you get early, the easier that will be. But it's a lot of work to save a little work. If it's worth it to you to grind to avoid doing the missions with supoptimal parts, I'm not going to be chaffed too much.

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