SQUAD

A "KSP Loading..." Preview: 24-77 "Twitch" Liquid Fuel Engine Revamp

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I think it looks great, I like it, the variant too :)

Now @SQUAD, if you have other MH engines rebalancing to make: when the engines specs change just like that out of the blue, a lot of already launched missions just fail. That's quite unfair I think, to have to choose between upgrading to get the next features you work hard to build, and losing a lot of our previous work because ships are suddenly useless. That's why I haven't upgraded to 1.6 unfortunately... I honestly don't mind changing the way I build future missions, taking into account the new specs, really, but if only the already launched missions wouldn't get sabotaged by rebalancing :( ...

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1 hour ago, SnakyLeVrai said:

Now @SQUAD, if you have other MH engines rebalancing to make: when the engines specs change just like that out of the blue, a lot of already launched missions just fail. That's quite unfair I think, to have to choose between upgrading to get the next features you work hard to build, and losing a lot of our previous work because ships are suddenly useless. That's why I haven't upgraded to 1.6 unfortunately... I honestly don't mind changing the way I build future missions, taking into account the new specs, really, but if only the already launched missions wouldn't get sabotaged by rebalancing :( ...

Did 1.6 nerf anything besides the Wolfhound? I didn’t really pay that much attention to the other MH engines.

I just sent an APB to all the crews out there advising that a flaw was found in the Wolfhound engines and to run them at a lower chamber pressure (hence ISP) or they might explode. Since my ships are generally over engineered anyways, they generally managed. It adds a little gameplay wrinkle to have to send out emergency tankers if necessary, but that doesn’t help the would-be orbiters that can now only manage a flyby. 

I’m sure that by now someone has probably written a MM patch to unnerf them if really necessary. 

Edited by StrandedonEarth

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@RoverDude are we nerfing the twitch? Cause I don't see how a smaller engine with no turbo machinery is supposed to be complimentary and on par with the spark engine.

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26 minutes ago, passinglurker said:

@RoverDude are we nerfing the twitch? Cause I don't see how a smaller engine with no turbo machinery is supposed to be complimentary and on par with the spark engine.

Isn't it actually slightly less efficient?

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22 minutes ago, Deddly said:

Isn't it actually slightly less efficient?

Decently so, yeah. 

Spark has thrust 20 (16.8atm), isp 320 (270 atm)
Twitch has thrust 16 (13.8 atm), isp 290 (250 atm)

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39 minutes ago, Deddly said:

Isn't it actually slightly less efficient?

Enough to attribute to a reduced throttle or shorter engine bell not a fundamentally different engine cycle.

If it's supposed to be pressure fed (Ie no turbos) then it would be more like an upscaled spider more thrust but similar twr and efficiency. With the spark establishing what is needed to achieve a certain level of performance then for consistency sake I would expect the twitch to follow (and ideally just be the same engine with a shorter bell and different mount as it was with kspx, but I'm guessing the artists didn't think that far when they churned out the spark and shrugged the feedback so I'd settle for having two different turbo fed rockets.)

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9 minutes ago, passinglurker said:

Enough to attribute to a reduced throttle or shorter engine bell not a fundamentally different engine cycle.

If it's supposed to be pressure fed (Ie no turbos) then it would be more like an upscaled spider more thrust but similar twr and efficiency. With the spark establishing what is needed to achieve a certain level of performance then for consistency sake I would expect the twitch to follow (and ideally just be the same engine with a shorter bell and different mount as it was with kspx, but I'm guessing the artists didn't think that far when they churned out the spark and shrugged the feedback so I'd settle for having two different turbo fed rockets.)

I'd classify this in the category "Does it really matter?". It looks good, and that's the main objective. Only rocket nerds are going to notice such things, no other person who plays the game is going to notice "Oh, this radial engine does not have a turbopump, but only has slightly lower thrust instead of much lower thrust"

 

(Couldn't you also just say that the turbopump is hidden inside the structure the engine is attached to, just having an external nozzle?)

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On 1/29/2019 at 2:10 PM, DonaldPK51 said:

Please be a drop in replacement please be a drop in replacement...

Lots of deployed vehicles with the current Twitch

Your old craft will just have the old Twitch, that's how it always works with part revamps.

1 hour ago, Lupi said:

Decently so, yeah. 

Spark has thrust 20 (16.8atm), isp 320 (270 atm)
Twitch has thrust 16 (13.8 atm), isp 290 (250 atm)

This really bugs me quite a bit, it's why I never bother with the Twitch, and I hope they fix it for 1.7 now that it's looking nice and pretty. I think it should have 315 vacuum Isp, so it's only slightly worse than the Spark.

Any hint of what's next for revamps? I was hoping to see Mainsail and Twin Boar get touched, although on reflection, I'd probably most watch the Twitch's stats fixed (so I can start using them for Mun/Minmus landers instead of the aggravation of Terriers potentially hitting the surface), with second place going to the Rhino not being a waste of time (it's great on TWR, but 340 Isp just doesn't cut it with the Wolfhound staring me in the face).

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56 minutes ago, T1mo98 said:

"Does it really matter?"

Excuse =/= Reason

56 minutes ago, T1mo98 said:

It looks good, and that's the main objective.

Possibly, but certainly not the only objective.  Adding such attention to detail can only improve the end product.  As a basic example, have you ever come across a door in a game that is obviously out of scale, or has the knob at the wrong height?  "Does it really matter?"  The door still opens for your character. but wouldn't the proper attention to detail create a better piece of art?  (Oh no.  I just called video games art.)  This sort of attention to detail not only limits the immersion breakage of an oddly huge door, but it shows a level of professionalism and an amount of care that is put into this regular sized door which is now before your character.

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1 hour ago, T1mo98 said:

I'd classify this in the category "Does it really matter?". It looks good, and that's the main objective. Only rocket nerds are going to notice such things, no other person who plays the game is going to notice "Oh, this radial engine does not have a turbopump, but only has slightly lower thrust instead of much lower thrust"

So we cater for the lowest common denominator now? That's a good design ethos. Thumbs up.

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21 minutes ago, Nebbie said:

second place going to the Rhino not being a waste of time (it's great on TWR, but 340 Isp just doesn't cut it with the Wolfhound staring me in the face).

I agree that Wolfhound overshadows many other engines. Perhaps the Wolfhound should be nerfed down closer to every other engine in the game rather than asking that every other engine get inflated like the Wolfhound currently is  :) 

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1 minute ago, Tyko said:

I agree that Wolfhound overshadows many other engines. Perhaps the Wolfhound should be nerfed down closer to every other engine in the game rather than asking that every other engine get inflated like the Wolfhound currently is  :) 

I think 380 Isp is within the realm of reason, and it kind of needs something to be chosen over the Poodle; I can see a reduction to 370 or even 360 Isp as reasonable, but it doesn't solve the bigger issue that the Rhino is only worth it for thrust, but thrust isn't a huge deal in vacuum. The Rhino logically should be the highest Isp vacuum engine with its gargantuan bell.

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1 minute ago, Nebbie said:

I think 380 Isp is within the realm of reason, and it kind of needs something to be chosen over the Poodle; I can see a reduction to 370 or even 360 Isp as reasonable, but it doesn't solve the bigger issue that the Rhino is only worth it for thrust, but thrust isn't a huge deal in vacuum. The Rhino logically should be the highest Isp vacuum engine with its gargantuan bell.

It's not the size of the bell, it's the shape that matters (yes, I just typed that LOL). You can have very small engines with high ISPs. 

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2 minutes ago, Tyko said:

It's not the size of the bell, it's the shape that matters (yes, I just typed that LOL). You can have very small engines with high ISPs. 

Size does matter, by quite a bit, in engine bells for vacuum. There's a reason the Falcon 9's upper stage has a huge bell compared to the 9 atmospheric engines. Also, the bells of these two engines in KSP are the same shape and only differ by size, yet the much larger one is somehow much less Isp; this is nonsensical.

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17 minutes ago, Tyko said:

I agree that Wolfhound overshadows many other engines. Perhaps the Wolfhound should be nerfed down closer to every other engine in the game rather than asking that every other engine get inflated like the Wolfhound currently is  :) 

Perhaps they will take the Wolfhound down another notch in a future update. As it is, my typically over engineered crafts could absorb the hit, bringing comfortable dV margins down to tight margins. If they took the ISP down to 360s I would have had to send out tankers. 

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The Twitch also has almost three times the gimbal range of the Spark, with a slightly smaller mounting footprint, even compared to the bare Spark variant.

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38 minutes ago, Raptor9 said:

The Twitch also has almost three times the gimbal range of the Spark, with a slightly smaller mounting footprint, even compared to the bare Spark variant.

True, but it just isn't worth it with how crazy reaction wheels are and with the Spark's gimbal already being sufficient. Radial-mount is the way to go with landers in theory, but I can never justify the fuel costs from the terrible Isp of them all.

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17 minutes ago, Nebbie said:

True, but it just isn't worth it with how crazy reaction wheels are and with the Spark's gimbal already being sufficient. Radial-mount is the way to go with landers in theory, but I can never justify the fuel costs from the terrible Isp of them all.

I like radial mounts even more for the large craft I tend to build, so I can have Sr docking ports at either end. The “Saturn V” base tank from MH is nice for that, if you can guide a Jumbo between the outboard engines. 

I wonder if they’ll ever make even larger docking ports....

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39 minutes ago, Nebbie said:

True, but it just isn't worth it with how crazy reaction wheels are and with the Spark's gimbal already being sufficient.

But that's just a difference of player gameplay style and craft design.  Some players (including myself) don't use reaction wheels because they feel they are "cheaty".  Therefore, higher gimbal limits may make a significant difference in maintaining attitude control, especially if doing retropropulsive landing over the Duna surface where there is just enough atmospheric drag to pull the aircraft to one direction or another.

I'm not making the argument that KSP should strictly adhere to real-life in all aspects of the game.  That ship has sailed and the debate regarding it has been beat like a dead horse.  However, because a given player doesn't use a part for a particular reason really isn't a valid argument.  Some players don't bother loading any monoprop and RCS thrusters on their craft because they just use reaction wheels and small puffs of main engine thrust to dock, but that doesn't mean RCS is any less relevant than reaction wheels.  Some players use antennas for landing legs on small probes for crying out loud.

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44 minutes ago, Raptor9 said:

But that's just a difference of player gameplay style and craft design.  Some players (including myself) don't use reaction wheels because they feel they are "cheaty".  Therefore, higher gimbal limits may make a significant difference in maintaining attitude control, especially if doing retropropulsive landing over the Duna surface where there is just enough atmospheric drag to pull the aircraft to one direction or another.

I'm not making the argument that KSP should strictly adhere to real-life in all aspects of the game.  That ship has sailed and the debate regarding it has been beat like a dead horse.  However, because a given player doesn't use a part for a particular reason really isn't a valid argument.  Some players don't bother loading any monoprop and RCS thrusters on their craft because they just use reaction wheels and small puffs of main engine thrust to dock, but that doesn't mean RCS is any less relevant than reaction wheels.  Some players use antennas for landing legs on small probes for crying out loud.

When talking game balance, I don't think it's correct to include ideas of players tossing out parts as "cheaty". The same logic would hold for the old Wolfhound at 420 Isp, and it was still corrected down to be more in line with the other engines. Balancing is about making it so that, when all options are on the table, players have interesting decisions to make, like a slightly more efficient vacuum engine, but less control, or a slightly less efficient one, but with more control. Currently, reaction wheels remove that decision, and you have to artificially avoid them to negate that. That's not good balance.

Of course, maybe the devs should nerf reaction wheels. But still, I don't think radial-mounted engines need such egregious penalties for such minor benefits even if reaction wheels get toned down.

Edited by Nebbie

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@Nebbie, my original statement was that the Twitch has a much higher gimbal range than the Spark; the point being that despite the Spark having a slight edge over the Twitch in atmo and vacuum Isp/Thrust, the high gimbal range of the Twitch does in fact make it relevant for specific uses.

After which you seemed to counter my point by stating this below:

1 hour ago, Nebbie said:

True, but it just isn't worth it with how crazy reaction wheels are and with the Spark's gimbal already being sufficient. -snip-

So in effect, your argument seemed to me that the Twitch wasn't relevant if a player uses reaction wheels, or that the Spark's gimbal was sufficient (which is a subjective statement in itself).  My follow-on response was that since some players don't use reaction wheels (for whatever reasons), then high-gimbal range engines are in fact quite important, despite some of their performance deficiencies.

Then, you made this statement:

46 minutes ago, Nebbie said:

 -snip- Balancing is about making it so that, when all options are on the table, players have interesting decisions to make, like a slightly more efficient vacuum engine, but less control, or a slightly less efficient one, but with more control. Currently, reaction wheels remove that decision, and you have to artificially avoid them to negate that. That's not good balance.

So forgive me, but I'm confused.  Your first statement seems to counter my original point about the Twitch, but the second one seems to support it.

In any case, I think we agree about the tenets of gameplay balance in KSP, but there was a misunderstanding somewhere.

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2 minutes ago, Raptor9 said:

@Nebbie, my original statement was that the Twitch has a much higher gimbal range than the Spark; the point being that despite the Spark having a slight edge over the Twitch in atmo and vacuum Isp/Thrust, the high gimbal range of the Twitch does in fact make it relevant for specific uses.

After which you seemed to counter my point by stating this below:

So in effect, your argument seemed to me that the Twitch wasn't relevant if a player uses reaction wheels, or that the Spark's gimbal was sufficient (which is a subjective statement in itself).  My follow-on response was that since some players don't use reaction wheels (for whatever reasons), then high-gimbal range engines are in fact quite important, despite some of their performance deficiencies.

Then, you made this statement:

So forgive me, but I'm confused.  Your first statement seems to counter my original point about the Twitch, but the second one seems to support it.

In any case, I think we agree about the tenets of gameplay balance in KSP, but there was a misunderstanding somewhere.

The point is that the Twitch isn't properly balanced because it has extremely marginal and irrelevant upsides over the Spark and large downsides. It would be optimally-balanced with downsides approximately equal to its upsides, which would be the case if it had only a very slightly smaller vacuum Isp.

Furthermore, I have made it clear that I am completely discounting the idea of not using reaction wheels, that's what I mean with "all" options on the table. However, I think even if reaction wheels were nerfed into oblivion, Sparks on cubic octagonal struts would probably still be so much better that the extra degrees of gimbaling don't make up for the disparity in Isp.

Edited by Nebbie

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What I would appreciate more would solid white/black color variants for all fuel tanks. Right now I have to fiddle with different tank orientations sizes and variants to make those annoying stripes match up

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Just now, bartekkru99 said:

What I would appreciate more would solid white/black color variants for all fuel tanks. Right now I have to fiddle with different tank orientations sizes and variants to make those annoying stripes match up

I think everything should have a primary color/texture and secondary accent color selector, rather than these prebaked variants we have now. It's getting very awkward meshing up "orange" variants, because some stuff just is white with an orange stripe, while other stuff is outright gray. It's also really difficult to get black/white stuff looking like it belongs, because sometimes "black and white" means "white"...

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1 minute ago, Nebbie said:

I think everything should have a primary color/texture and secondary accent color selector, rather than these prebaked variants we have now. It's getting very awkward meshing up "orange" variants, because some stuff just is white with an orange stripe, while other stuff is outright gray. It's also really difficult to get black/white stuff looking like it belongs, because sometimes "black and white" means "white"...

Yeah, that's true.

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