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[1.5.x~1.7.x] ProgressiveColonizationSystem - Life Support & Colonization for more fun in late game


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On 4/3/2020 at 1:59 PM, pand1024 said:

Let me know if there is or is going to be a wiki for progressive colonization because I would be happy to contribute this kind of information there!

There's a wiki on GitHub (https://github.com/SteveBenz/ProgressiveColonizationSystem/wiki), which you can contribute to via pull-request.  But I don't want to post those numbers there, because they're subject to tweaking and they'll always be wrong.  I pulled them pretty much out of the air and am always unhappy one way or the other.  E.g. right now I think it's too costly to go from Tier1 to Tier2 hydroponics and too cheap to go from Tier-3 to Tier-4.

I've also given some thought that maybe on different worlds different techs will be harder/easier to research.  But I guess the main reason is that I don't want the mod to be a game of formulas.  I want players to just huck some kerbals up there, see what happens and fix it when it breaks!

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I'm sure you still have some game balancing to do but you've made a fantastic mod just as it is today. Do keep in mind that some of us enjoy reading the instructions before assembling the furniture and if something isn't calculated for us we will want to calculate it. It's rocket science after all!

Speaking of which, is there a reason to use the hydroponic module vs the aquaculture module?

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18 hours ago, pand1024 said:

I'm sure you still have some game balancing to do but you've made a fantastic mod just as it is today. Do keep in mind that some of us enjoy reading the instructions before assembling the furniture and if something isn't calculated for us we will want to calculate it. It's rocket science after all!

Speaking of which, is there a reason to use the hydroponic module vs the aquaculture module?

No, there isn't.  The SSPX mod, which supplies the part, just has both.  I kitted them both out because they were both there...  But, now that you brought it up, I wonder if I could come up with some distinguishing features.  Like perhaps the Aquaculture part could be more kerbal-efficient (in terms of the number of biologists/capacity) but more massive.  By doing that, it'd make the aquaculture module more amenable to stations.

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Seams like a drastic change to the recycler. By default recycled vessels are turned into 90% scrap metal and 10% loss. The progressive colonization config replaces this with 30% rocket parts, 10% complex parts, and 60% loss. On the one hand, the 60% loss is a pretty dramatic nerf. On the other hand, the complex parts is a huge buff, as you can sustainably recycle rocket parts into complex parts and then use those complex parts to craft more rocket parts then you started with (tier 2+). I guess stuff isn't actually a storeable resource which is why rocket parts don't recycle into stuff?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/13/2020 at 5:28 PM, pand1024 said:

Seams like a drastic change to the recycler. By default recycled vessels are turned into 90% scrap metal and 10% loss. The progressive colonization config replaces this with 30% rocket parts, 10% complex parts, and 60% loss. On the one hand, the 60% loss is a pretty dramatic nerf. On the other hand, the complex parts is a huge buff, as you can sustainably recycle rocket parts into complex parts and then use those complex parts to craft more rocket parts then you started with (tier 2+). I guess stuff isn't actually a storeable resource which is why rocket parts don't recycle into stuff?

Yeah, thing is that Scrap Metal takes quite a bit of work to make it back into a rocket part.  The notion of a "rocket part" is that it's good to plug straight into a pre-planned ship, so it seems to me that if you're going to produce rocket parts out of recycling, it has to be that savagely-low thing.

But you're right that the number of complex parts is actually pretty boggling given the conversion rate at T3 and T4.  In my own play-throughs, I tend to end up throwing away complex parts because I get way more than I could ever sensibly use.

And yeah, because "Stuff", which is kindof akin to scrap metal, is so malleable, and I intentionally made it so that storing it was senseless (just because when I played MKS, I found all the storage for intermediate results a PITA to manage for no-fun-gained).

At this point, I just don't see a compelling reason to adjust the numbers.  I mean, maybe I could go for a 5% complex-part-rate, just to make it so that there's possibly a reason to ship the stuff in one day.  Maybe a small buff to the Rocket Parts rate - not for realism or anything, but just because KSP is all about building ships, and it's nice to be able to do that, and rocket part production is pretty slow.

 

I tell you one thing I struggle with - the recycler parts (in EL), don't take apart my ship very well.  I end up with 30% of the ship getting recycled and the rest just floating in space.  I've taken to creating garbage-truck spacecraft & rovers to hoover up the remnants.  Have you had better luck?

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On 4/23/2020 at 12:38 AM, NermNermNerm said:

I tell you one thing I struggle with - the recycler parts (in EL), don't take apart my ship very well.  I end up with 30% of the ship getting recycled and the rest just floating in space.  I've taken to creating garbage-truck spacecraft & rovers to hoover up the remnants.  Have you had better luck?

So far I've been making heavy use of the Kerbal Inventory System Mod. With that I can place parts overlapping the recycler and they get sucked up into it. I don't think I plan to use the recycler for complex part production but if I did I'd just stick it right on the launch pad so as soon as the part gets released it gets sucked up. So far it's been more of a trash where I can shed extra part count on my LKO station.

Speaking of which, I have some unsolicited suggestions, which you should feel very free to ignore if they don't align with your vision or priority list.

I've been very slowly making progression on my career save, and I now have 20 Kerbals and two hydroponic modules on my LKO station. The EL workshop is hard at work assembling a third hydroponic unit at which point I'll move pretty much the rest of my space program up there as well. I think this will reduce the remaining time for progression to tier 1 to less than 300 days. I don't think I will be able to expand much more then that given both game performance/crashing/kraken and also the fact that rescue contracts seam to have dried up due to me doing them incessantly. Any kind of bonus for getting to level 1 that involves quality over quantity would probably be good for the meta.

I managed to get a probe on it's way to Gilly on year 1 day 18 so that will be the first interplanetary spot where my greenhouses can function (assuming you can actually land there). It's going to be a really long time before I can really do much outside of Kerbin SOI. I wish there was a config to turn off the requirement to return a probe after landing. A compromise might be the option to transmit data back instead of actually physically returning. Take Duna as an example. Using the Launch window planner, first launch window is around Year 1 day 238. The next return windows is around Year 3 day 241. After that you could actually launch greenhouses around year 5 day 368 and have then arrive year 6 day 246. In short if you are waiting for a probe to return from Duna, you're going to be waiting until the third launch window. If you could transmit data back then you would wait a single launch window and you could launch around year 3 day 311. Sooner is probably possible with absurd burns. Sooner is likely more practical by investing in orbital greenhouses (i mean hydroponics) and lots of snacks. As in you _could_ launch Year 1 day 238 and bring enough snacks. I think once you reach tier 1 you can live entirely on a combination diet of 40% tier 1 hydroponic snacks and 60% tier 1 snacks. I know that you want players to understand how many snacks they need well before launching so my argument probably just further proves your point for why this requirement exists in the first place.

Edited by pand1024
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Just a few comments to pand1024. I personally find "orbital greenhouses" to be almost worthless. I assume you mean the hydroponic labs; if there's actually some sort of different orbital greenhouse in EL or something, then ignore my comment on this. When you look at the mass of a hydro lab compared to the mass of just hauling snacks you have to be out something on the order of 1000 days to break even, even for the high tier hydro labs. Maybe for missions to the outer planets or perhaps for stations that are staying up indefinitely, but I don't see them as helping much for missions to dres or inside that.

Gilly. Yes, it is trivial to land on Gilly. Heck, you can literally land a kerbal from Gilly orbit using just his/her suit's RCS. Do *NOT* however, try to use MechJeb's autoland; it can't seem to deal with the low gravity sensibly, particularly on final landing below 500 meters. My biggest prob;em on Gilly has always been staying landed. :-) Physics phase-in tends to make many vehicles bounce wildly off the surface - sometimes fatally - on scene load. A trick I've used is to avoid putting landing gear on anything landing on Gilly. The springiness of the gear tends to make the problem of bouncing on scene load really bad. If you need something to help stabilize things, I just stick some structural beams out horizontally from the bottom of my landing craft; works much better than gear on Gilly.

Edited by rmaine
typo
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On 4/24/2020 at 8:14 PM, rmaine said:

Just a few comments to pand1024. I personally find "orbital greenhouses" to be almost worthless. I assume you mean the hydroponic labs; if there's actually some sort of different orbital greenhouse in EL or something, then ignore my comment on this. When you look at the mass of a hydro lab compared to the mass of just hauling snacks you have to be out something on the order of 1000 days to break even, even for the high tier hydro labs. Maybe for missions to the outer planets or perhaps for stations that are staying up indefinitely, but I don't see them as helping much for missions to dres or inside that.

That's true.  The greenhouses are really expensive and not really worth it for, say, a trip to deliver crew to an existing station.  Honestly I haven't really done the math insofar as the fuel is concerned.  Mun supplies all the gas I ever need, and I like the hydroponics for the aesthetic.

On 4/24/2020 at 5:36 PM, pand1024 said:

I've been very slowly making progression on my career save, and I now have 20 Kerbals and two hydroponic modules on my LKO station...

Note that progression is regulated by how many produced hydroponics get consumed, so having more than (as I recall) 6 or so kerbals with 2 tier-0 greenhouses doesn't help.

You didn't mention Mun or Minmus colonies.  The vision I had was that folks would need 3 stations - one in Mun orbit, one in Minmus orbit, and one in LKO for no good reason.  If you have that setup, you'll find it takes a couple years to get to tier 1 and perhaps a few too many more to get to Tier-2, then in one trip to Duna you get to Tier-3.

It also takes a few years to advance Mun & Minmus to Tier2, and you'll likely make some mistakes there.  Of course, those bases can be fixed readily, but a goof at Duna is a permanent situation.  Best to have some practice first.

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On 4/27/2020 at 10:53 PM, NermNermNerm said:

Note that progression is regulated by how many produced hydroponics get consumed, so having more than (as I recall) 6 or so kerbals with 2 tier-0 greenhouses doesn't help.

Each hydroponics module produces 2 snacks, but at tier 0, each Kerbal consumes only 0.2 per day. This means that each hydroponics module supports 10 Kerbals (2 / 0.2 = 10). My station now has a ridiculous 30 Kerbals which exactly fills the capacity of the 3 hydroponics units. I'm currently at 4.25% progress and 217.54 days left to go towards Tier 1. That means that I might be able to achieve tier 1 hydroponics slightly late for the first Duna launch window.

For greenhouses it's 5 Kerbals per greenhouse (2 / 0.4 = 5), but it's not as important because it's not limited by the amount consumed. I just landed a small surface base on the Mun with 3 greenhouses, 1 fertilizer factory,  and 1 stuff scrounger, 1 farmer and 1 engineer. It's the closest I could find to a perfect ratio without scaling up considerably. Without any further changes I should reach tier 1 in both farming and production in 213 days.

I'm only on Year 1 day 26 as I've not been skipping forward in time much but those are my numbers for now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the rate for producing rocket parts is way too low. Blue workshop produces 1944 rocket parts per day from metal. K&K workshop produces 15 rocket parts per day from stuff and complex parts. The rate never gets better from what I can tell. It just requires less complex parts. To get the equivalent of one blue workshop I'd need to have 130 k&k workshops with 520 mechanics/engineers. To reach my goals I'd need thousand of mechanics/engineers. It's simply not feasible.

My tiny Mun base is over 7,000 rocket parts. My medium Minmus base is over 23,000 rocket parts and will probably grow to the equivalent of around 100,000 rocket parts by the time it's finished. The medium side station I just launched into orbit is over 40,000 rocket parts not including the lower stages to get it into orbit. I want to setup surface bases around the Kerbol system that are capable of completing these kinds of projects in a reasonable amount of time. I'm already pretty excited about what kind of crazy colony ship I can cook up once i've established a big base on Minmus. I want my Kerbals to be a solar system spanning species before Jeb starts growing any more grey hairs!

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

100000 rocket parts / 15 a day gives you 15 years of work...  4 Kerbals, working flat out for 15 years to build a station big enough to support 50 kerbals...  Does that sound so wrong?  But more reasonably, you'd probably want those 4 kerbals to work flat out for 3 years to get together 40k parts, which is comfortably enough to expand to having 2 rocket part factories, giving you 8 kerbals, which can get you those remaining 60k parts in 9 years.

9 years is a long time in Mun/Minmus timescale, but it's not so long in the 3-4 year round-trip to Duna time.

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Just found this and it looks right up my alley; it’s easily the most Kerbal concept to resources I’ve seen, and I love those planetary base kits anyway.

Just playing around in a 1.8.1 sandbox to get a feel for what mods play nice and how it works; struggling with the lack of information though.

Looking over the tutorial I can’t really see the point in orbital greenhouses? Isn’t the tech independent of farming so you’d have to start again as soon as you landed on the same body?

Also trying to copy the Mun base but on Minmus for reasons; is there a craft file available because I can’t see what half the modules are, and it’s kind of contradictory? (Talks about one drill, one fertiliser, one shinies when there’s three things on top and two drills, blues I can’t tell what those storages between the modules and hub are, fuel?)

Can’t seem to store any of the mats in the base form factor modules, or the non-specific snack boxes (nothing for shinies?) either, is this intentional or am I missing a dependency? Also why is ore being stored when that’s not part of the chain?

Then again I’ve got bigger issues down the line, like how I’m going to land that bugger in the first place; still huge even for a tiny base.

 

Thanks.

 

Edit: Also, is the stuff extraction rate constant or varies by biome? And are crush-ins like that or lode only + auto added once you’ve done the two runs?

Edited by Deathninja
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@Deathninja I agree that the "orbital greenhouses" (hydroponic labs) are pretty useless; see my post a bit above on that. I do them, but just for completeness instead of necessity. The planetary ones, on the other hand, are crucial; once you get them to tier 4, your base can become self sufficient. For storing shinies and snacks (and other stuff), use the storage modules from the station parts expansion redux mod, which CKAN lists as a dependency, so you ought to have it. stuff and crush-in rates are constant, as far as I can tell.

I don't worry about drilling ore until I want to feed some fuel cells for reliable power that doesn't run out at night time of when too far from Kerbol. (The fuel cells need fuel, which comes from processing ore in an ISRU). I pick sites with ore so that I can do that, but its not the first thing you need in a base. What you need first is stuff (for darn near everything). Next priority is fertilizer for the greenhouses to feed people... I mean Kerbals.

P.S. And I find it hugely easier to land a minimal base as a hub and then build on expansions in place. Took me a while to get the hang of building the expansions. Mostly, you need docking ports to build from... and you need to orient the docking ports with the proper side out or the expansion builds in the middle of your base hub instead of outside of it, which results in... fireworks. I did initially just fly a prebuilt base up from Kerbin. That's tricky, but doable for bases on airless moons. For Duna, it is *REALLY* tricky to reenter with those greenhouses jutting out.

 

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29 minutes ago, rmaine said:

@Deathninja Took me a while to get the hang of building the expansions. Mostly, you need docking ports to build from... and you need to orient the docking ports with the proper side out or the expansion builds in the middle of your base hub instead of outside of it, which results in... fireworks. I did initially just fly a prebuilt base up from Kerbin. That's tricky, but doable for bases on airless moons. For Duna, it is *REALLY* tricky to reenter with those greenhouses jutting out.

Thanks for clarifying all that. I guess hydroponics might have some use to reduce the amount of T4 you have to pack when you go interplanetary, but not much else (also it’s unclear as to if hydro is per-body like the ground stuff is).

On a related note are shinies just for sending back to Kerbin for funds? I mean it’s completely in-character but I’m mentally sketching out mission priorities.

But the main thing is your point above: I’m guessing you’re talking about using EPL and shipping in rocketparts/materialkits/whatever, I get my resources mixed up :x

I was looking at that, or possibly starting with OSE instead and dropping modules in the general area, building and mounting wheels and connecting that way, or alternatively have some Konstruction forklifts nearby and just KAS them in place.

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Orbital hydroponics are not per body; heck the same orbital farm might possibly be at multiple bodies at different times.

Yes, shinies are mostly just to sell for funds, though I usually don't find it much worth the bother, at least for interplanetary stuff. Perhaps early on from Mun and MInmus. Elsewhere, the main use I find for shinies is just to contribute to the work needed to level up the production tier. I tend to throw away the shinies to make room for more. (There's not an explicit throw away that I know of, but temporarily changing the cargo type of the storage unit does the trick).

And yes, using EL (I'm informed that the author prefers it to be referred to as EL instead of EPL)... or actually in my case SImple Construction as a simpler substitute for EL. Yes, there are other ways. Choose your poison.

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Hi,

Kerbal doesn't load after this mod installed (with all dependencies: B9 Part Switch, Community Category Kit, Community Resource Pack, Kerbal Planetary Base Systems, Module Manager, Near Future IVA Props and Stockalike Station Parts Expansion Redux), I get stuck on this part loading:

PlanetaryBaseInc/BaseSystem/Parts/Utility/Greenhouse/Greenhouse_g/KKAOSS_Greenhous_g

Am I the only one in that case?

Thanks.

Edit: my bad, didn't read How to Get Support link before post. I'll do it properly when at home.

Edit2: oh well I cleaned the mods and now it's working fine... Morality: read sticky posts before asking for help, it's magic :p

Edited by lasyan3
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  • 4 weeks later...

Not sure this is the right place to ask, but how do I transfer snacks between ships? I landed a freight ship next to my minmus base to bring snacks and load up on fuel, but I can only transfer fuel with the cupcake dialog. The ship is filled with snacks-4. The base produces snakcs-0 and has a half-empty container of snack-4. I also tried depleting al snack-4 on the base with hyperedit, but no luck.

Screenshot: https://imgur.com/a/iEFJJuy

Hitting refresh does no help, and if I transfer the fuel and refresh it just says 'nothing to transfer'

Also: Is it possible to overproduce lower tier snacks? Production works for immediate consumption, but they won't fill an empty logistics module. I would like to export the higher level tier snacks down to my orbital base (and speed up research for tier 2 hydroponics). Screenshot: https://i.imgur.com/Nd2KFyd.png

Edited by vanatteveldt
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  • 2 months later...

I (finally) have been getting back to the game a bit and just updated PKS with a collection of small changes that have been accumulating for a while - and a couple new things.

The version bump to 3.0 is because we now have a couple of new dependencies on some community libraries. This is needed to address some conflicts between this mod and others. The root of the problem is that the KSP API's for controlling toolbar buttons and some related resources are written with the assumption that all mods know about all other mods... Not a good thing. The way the community has dealt with this is to have a library that basically manages the cooperation. PKS now uses that library rather than the KSP API's directly.

With this change, it's now no longer necessary to have scanner parts in orbit of the body they are scanning - they just need to be in the system. For example, you can have a station orbiting Duna that has scanners for both Duna and Ike. This change was made so that folks could have a single busy station instead of a bunch of sparsely populated ones.

And last but not least, there it's now possible to manually control resource transfer.  The UX isn't what you could call buttery smooth yet, but it allows you to pick and choose which resources are going to be sent, released, or left alone.  Obviously that's been a big pain point for a lot of folks, so hopefully that helps.

In terms of changes that I'm thinking about making going forward, there are some that have fallen out of my ongoing efforts to colonize the Jool system.

  1. Folks have pointed out that the hydroponics isn't mass-efficient.  To some extent, this should be by-design, but right now, my math says the break-even point for where hydroponics is around 1500 days.  A voyage to Jool is about 900 days.  So even going there, you're really better off sending the Kerbals with a (huge) cache of food.  The main rub here is the agroponics parts themselves, which mass out at 4, 6, and 11 tons...  That's kinda chunky, but not unreasonable - it's twice as much as an empty fuel tank of the same volume.  From a volume-perspective, it feels like a reach to believe that a part of that size is going to be able to produce nutrition for more than 3 kerbals.  But still, something has to be done, and it's just a game.  My thinking is that the mass should be reduced by about 40% and the output could be increased 33%, which would push the break-even point down close to 900.
  2. Once you get to the point where you can skip Tier-2, the UI doesn't reflect this, and that's confusing to folks.  That should be cleaned up.
  3. Kerbal-management at Jool is painful - you make a careful plan, you launch your crew, then by the time the 2 years or so pass to get yourself to Jool you totally forgot the plan.  That's how it is for me.  Plus just getting kerbals on Kerban is a bit of a pain as well.

So I have a few ideas on kerbals:

  • Retraining - it'd be nice to be able to re-train a kerbal to have a different specialization.  I figure the training should take time, during which the kerbal can't do anything else but train, and there should probably be a part for the job - I'm thinking research labs should be the part required to do retraining.  There could be some other things - like penalties for retraining too often, but the more I think about that, I don't think it's worth the time to code up those special cases.
  • Getting new Kerbals - procreation - one way to go for getting new kerbals without all the bother of going back to Kerbal would be to enable kerbals to begat more kerbals.  There's prior art for this: Modular Kolonization System goes this route.  It works...  But feels a bit awkward given that you get fully-formed kerbals in months.
  • Getting new Kerbals - space adventurers - the other idea is built around rescue contracts.  Suppose we made it so that you no longer have to take your rescue-ees all the way back to Kerbin?  What if it was enough to move them into a base that's producing Tier-3 or above food?

Personally, I'm partial to the contracts-based model.  It gives you an excuse to fly your seaplane around laythe.

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  • 4 months later...

@NermNermNerm  Not sure whether you are still fiddling with this mod or not, but I just started a new career in KSP 1.11 and PKS (the mod seems to work ok, btw). Thought it time for me to give a little feedback on various things I've noticed mostly from prior careers. I really haven't found any other mods that I feel I can reasonably make self-sufficient bases with; that's the biggest attraction of PKS to me. I've fiddled with a few others, most recently MKS, but I wasn't finding it very engaging to me (plus it's clearly in the middle of major changes).

1. The one thing that drove me to give up on my prior career with PKS wasn't directly the fault of PKS, but regardless of fault, it ruined the game for me. That was the problem of bases not staying stable on scene load. Sometimes they would slide around and bump into nearby things (even on perfectly flat lakebeds on Minmus). Worse, they would sometimes fly up into the air and then crash down; Gilly was particularly bad about that. I'd have a self-sufficient base set up, but come back in a few years just to check on it and see it annoyingly self-destruct (or if not the whole base, the automated stuff rover would go). I *THINK* the ground tether of USI tools (plus a tweak I read about elsewhere to apply that tether to all command modules) might have fixed that for me. The ground "stiction" of KSP 1.11 might also be helping, though it clearly was not enough by itself. Haven't yet gotten to Gilly on this career to test it there.

2. It's discussed in other posts above, but I think the tutorial walkthrough leads people down a miserable path in suggesting launching a fully-built base from Kerbin instead of pointing people to EL (or Simple Construction, which I use) to expand from a minimal starting hub.

3. I long ago gave up on the transfer stuff in PKS. Simple Logistics substitutes fine. I admit I haven't tried the transfer since your latest tweak to it, as I was already used to Simple Logistics.

4. Probably just a personal preference of mine, but I find driving rovers around incredibly painful and most definitely not fun. As rovers are all but mandatory for PKS, that pretty much killed it for me until I tried the rover autopilot of McJeb. That's still a pain, but the pain level is at least low enough for me to tolerate. I recently discovered the Bon Voyage mod; haven't actually tried it yet, but I intend to do so with this career. Relating to rover pain, I'd sure like to have a way to search for another source of stuff if the first one found is in a bad enough location. As is, you can search for another source, but only after depleting the first one, which doesn't address the problem of the first one being too difficult to access. I've taken to save scumming to avoid horrible stuff locations.

5. The requirement to do a round trip to a body before I can even start a base is awfully stringent. I could see requiring a one-way trip first, but to return? Considering that I'm mostly not planning on having the Kerbals that "man" (um Kerbal) the base ever return, that requirement doesn't seem to match. In my past careers, I never managed to get a base on Eve because of that requirement. Hmm. Maybe I could swing that with sufficient support craft rendezvousing in low Eve orbit. Might try that this career.

6. Oh. One thing that turns out to be a lot simpler than you probably intended. I happened onto it pretty much by accident. Since starving Kerbals has no long-term consequences, it is trivial to send them on long interplanetary journeys with even minimal snacks. Just turn off the usage of the snacks from every component where you have them stored on the vehicle. Ignore the resulting whining until you get to the destination. Then turn snack availability back on and everyone is soon happy, perhaps after a brief time or scene switch. Don't know whether you want to go so far as to kill Kerbals off when they starve, but reviving them probably ought to be harder than just giving them a snack.

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On 1/21/2021 at 2:59 PM, rmaine said:

1. The one thing that drove me to give up on my prior career with PKS ... was the problem of bases not staying stable on scene load.

Yeah, it's maddening, and really inconsistent too!  My Ike base (and everything near it) would fall for a good couple hundred meters every time I switched to it.  I had to remember to turn on the no-crash-damage cheat every time I switched to it.  I read somewhere that the KSP devs are looking to address that, but if I got the gist of what they were planning on doing, it was to make a mode to fix the base to the ground.  I hope they've thought this through, because although that'd work for the base itself, what about a rover parked next to it?

And like you point out, it seems confined to certain regions on certain bodies.  Ike is terrible, Duna is (generally) good.  I've also never had a problem on Minmus (when building on flats).  I think the flatter your terrain, the happier you'll be, but it's really a crapshoot.  I had a base on Gilly that gave me no trouble at all, but I fully believe you when you say you found a spot where it was bad.

 

On 1/21/2021 at 2:59 PM, rmaine said:

2. ...the tutorial walkthrough leads people down a miserable path in suggesting launching a fully-built base from Kerbin

The tutorial does strongly suggest getting Extraplanetary Launchpads, but I can make the language stronger.  (Could be that you read it prior to me adding some language there).  PKS is straight up built to work with EPL.  I also am fond of Konstruction, one of Roverdude's mods that basically gives you weldable docking ports.  It feels a lot more realistic than EPL, but it's no fun to have to wait for transfer windows...

I should also add those to the suggested mods list in CKAN.  Gah, so many mods seem to use that "suggested" field to advertise other mods that are useless.

 

On 1/21/2021 at 2:59 PM, rmaine said:

3. I long ago gave up on the transfer stuff in PKS.

I think you'll find the current iteration better, but it still suffers from a bug which I just figured out where some vessels, particularly multi-stage vessels, would just refuse to work.  I finally cracked that bug a week or so ago.  I've been holding onto some changes (see the post above), because I just haven't felt like the contracts stuff was working well enough.  I think probably I'll go ahead and ship what I've got soon.  It's not good, but not terrible.  (And the retraining system is a nice add).

 

On 1/21/2021 at 2:59 PM, rmaine said:

4. I find driving rovers around incredibly painful

You should get Bon Voyage, it's practically a requirement for this mod.  That, to me, is a necessary thing.  Rovers just randomly flip.  Hell, I can't even taxi down the KSP runway without hitting some invisible thing that knocks a 200 ton spacecraft for a loop.  I've recently been using "Steering Tweaker" mod with success - it allows you to do stuff like make it so that your spaceplane's nosewheel steering is fully active at speeds less than 10m/s, has diminishing strength through 30m/s and is completely ineffective at speeds above that.  Awesome.

Enforcing re-doing the rover gathering on upgrade is one of those things that's on my short list of mechanics to get rid of; after a while, it gets old.  Currently that happens to be the mechanic that requires you to up-size your rover if you expand your base, so that needs some attention...

 

On 1/21/2021 at 2:59 PM, rmaine said:

5. The requirement to do a round trip to a body before I can even start a base is awfully stringent.

I've heard that before...  It does seem realistic, but...  Is it fun?  Idunno.  It does seem like it puts the brakes on folks charging off to Duna in their first run at it and making a mess of things, but the round trip to Jool is achingly long.  Requiring a there&back to Mun/Minmus is pointless because you'll have done that 57 times just to get the science required.

Really, the only "stringent" thing about it is time.  If you can make a vessel that'll haul either a base or enough stuff to make a base, you can certainly plan a round trip.  All you have to do is time-warp, right?  I don't know about you, but I find time-warping very hard.  I always decide there's something I could get up to, and so I end up getting distracted and feeling overwhelmed by all the kerbal alarm clocks and I'm still waiting on my probe from Tylo to get back...

 

On 1/21/2021 at 2:59 PM, rmaine said:

6. starving Kerbals has no long-term consequences,

That was one of those reality vs. fun choices I just made.  Given that the Kraken exists, it seemed extremely un-fun to load up your base at Duna a year later and find all your Kerbals dead because you left it for a year with some random part or another in a bad state (or the part just somehow decided to silently shut itself down).

 

I really appreciate your feedback!  It mostly mirrors my own experience.  I find the PKS mechanics to be better than MKS in most respects, and there are fewer random frustrations.  My principal beef with it is that it gets old.  Creating a colony on, say, Pol, is really not different than making one on Minmus.  The idea I originally had to deal with that boredom factor is still the best idea I have:  create a variety of parts (with different masses and efficiencies) that work on different worlds.  Alas, though, I really have struggled to learn Blender and such.  I made a few 3d models, but it was such a struggle.  I'd really love to find somebody who enjoys making 3d models.

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I missed your reply til just now. Glad to see you are still around. I got a little farther in me recent playthrough in the last few days.

Not far enough to be 100% sure yet, but it looks offhand like ksp 1.11 plus the USI ground tether hack is indeed helping a lot with things self-destructing on scene load. ANyway, none of my bases on mun, minmus, or gilly (that's as far as I have gotten) have done anything nasty yet.

The tutorial bit I was talking about was the walkthrough on the wiki, which shows designing a base in the VAB and then says "So yeah, there are a lot of means of getting stuff like this to orbit - you can build it in orbit with Konstruction or Extraplanetary Launchpads. But when you're talking this kind of scale, you can do it the Kerbal way by offsetting a lack of aerodynamic efficiency with more boosters.". That seems to downplay the EL option. Heck, you never actually build the base as shown anywhere if you are using EL. You build a hub and then expand it.

Yes, I tried your new transfer stuff and I'm reasonably happy with it. Enough so that I deleted SimpleLogistics (particularly since it looks like SImpleLogistics no longer has an active maintainer). Did notice one glitch where I didn't seem to be able to transfer fuel+lox in one case, but I didn't track that down as it wasn't a big deal. Minorly awkward that I can't do a partial transfer (wanted to transfer some but not all of my snacks from my tier 0/1 base to my tier 2 one). But I worked around that.

Still learning Bon Voyage. My first few attempts were, um, spectacular failures, but I think I got it a little better figured out.

Oh, and I discovered another thing that probably doesn't work quite like you intended in regards to the rover missions. I really only need to do one of them (thankfully). Transfer the stuff from my rover to the base. Then immediately transfer it back and do a second transfer from the rover. Works. Gotta run. Wife just called me for dinner. PS. Thanks again for the mod.

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Back from dinner. On the round trip thing. Yes, it works easily enough for Gilly, Ike and Dres. I've done all those in past careers. As you say, mostly just a matter of time. Duna was a bit harder, but still doable. Eve, however... taking off from Eve is hugely harder than landing there; I've never managed that round trip. I also haven't been farther out that Dres, but that's mostly because the self-destroying bases hit my tolerance limit before I got that far on my prior careers.

I'm using EL instead of SimpleConstruction this career, partly because it seems more actively maintained. Discovered that in some ways EL with your tweaks is simpler than SimpleConstruction anyway. You simplify the resource chain so that it doesn't need a bazillion different sorts of resources; I hadn't really picked up on that before. I found I can use EL's launchpad 2 to avoid the hassle of dealing with survey stakes (and I haven't had problems with rovers bouncing into the air as soon as I build them).

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  • 1 month later...

Been playing with KSP 1.11.1 for a while now. Between improvements in stock 1.11.1, plus parking brake (same principle as the USI ground tether, but a bit simpler), the problems with bases randomly exploding on scene change seem under control. And Bon Voyage takes the rover stuff down to the level of just painful (which is a big improvement). My current reason for posting is an issue of transferring resources. The new stuff in PKS is mostly ok on that, but I'm having one big pain, which I think is going to drive me back to reinstalling SImpleLogistics, which I've been doing without so far this playthrough. Sometimes fuel and lox just fail to transfer. This makes setting up a base for refueling.... awkward. Log files linked below for an example, though I can't detect anything that seems likely related amidst the huge amount of noise that seems typical of the log files.

For the example logged, I started the game, immediately went to the tracking station and thence to "tanker", which is basically just a huge fuel tank with an engine and enough  support stuff to fly and grab onto craft needing the fuel. It is landed next to my "gilly base 2", which is set up to mine and make fuel and has oodles of it stored. I bring up the PKS GUI transfer window and tell tanker to "take" fuel and lox from the base. Clicking "start" results in the progress meter immediately jumping to finished, without any transfer having happened. Doing a reset and trying again has the same result. I was able to transfer a token amount of residual fuel from the "gilly supply" craft, but not nearly enough for the mission. Just can't get any of it out of the base. Darn; that's what the base is here for. Round trip from Kerbin to the surface of Eve and back really needs the refueling help.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/r6yni6jd3stn3xw/KSP.log?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/nr923xqvf3d5t7f/Player.log?dl=0

 

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@rmaine's recent post finally poked me off of my butt to put out a release.  The transfer bug he's talking about is really, really annoying.  The bug is one of those hazards of KSP modding.  There are API's that work.  There are API's that certainly should work but do nothing.  There are API's that certainly look like they work, but actually only work some of the time.  And then there are the API's that should exist but can't be found.  Anyway, I was using one of those API's that looks like it works for resource transfer.  I finally figured out why my call to the API was subtly different than the correct usage.

The big change in this release is the ability to re-train crew. Move the Kerbal that is going to change careers into any research lab (yeah, you have to kick out the scientists) and click on the 'Crew Training' button in the tweakables menu.  The retraining will take several weeks (random, but based on the Kerbal's stupidity).  This release also takes halting steps towards integration with the "Contract Configurator" mod. If you have reached level-3 farming, you may see rescue contracts appear where you'll be required to find the kerbal and bring them back to your base at which point they join the crew.   These contracts work, but they're flavorless and dull.  I've still got some work to do here.  Don't make bank on staffing up your colonies this way.

Truly keen-eyed observers who have installed "Contract Configurator" will see that I have added "Calculating Victor's vector..." to the list of loading blurbs.

 

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