Atova

Want to start properly.

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Hey guys,

So ive played KSP a few times over the years and had numerous mods each time, after getting to the mun and doing a few extra things I tend to just stop playing even though I’ve wanted to carry on.

ive always wanted to get a space station set up around Kerbin and even the mun but never really got there.

Im going to give this another go but with so many mods it’s tough to know what the really useful ones are. I think the engineer redux and alarm clock are my first ones. What others would you recommend to get started with?

Also, which are great for the visual aspect to enhance the graphics?

Thanks!

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  • RCS Build Aid: absolute must. Not just for RCS, but also to tell you how many parachutes you need for a safe descent speed on non-Kerbin bodies.
  • Antenna Helper: handy if you're planning on going interplanetary with CommNet.
  • Craft Manager: really good if you have lots of craft designs you need organized.
  • Dock Rotate & Docking Port Alignment Indicator: since you said you'd like to build stations, these will work out nice for you.
  • CorrectCOL: a must if you want to build planes/SSTOs.

Other convenience mods:

  • VABReorienter: so that you don't have to rotate 90° every time you launch a rocket.
  • QuickRevert: lets you revert to VAB even after loading an autosave if you find your current design is fundamentally flawed.
  • Editor Extensions Redux: a collection of small trinkets in the VAB
  • Auto Actions: conveniently sets throttle and auto-activates SAS before launch; in fact, you can set global defaults here to apply to all of your rockets

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Thanks buddy, will definitely get those! Do you recommend Mechjeb?

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I use the Navball Docking Alignment Indicator CE-2 by @linuxgurugamer  - it's much more intuitive than the separate window docking mod in my view, and less clutter on screen.

 

@Snark's Missing History Mod, which fleshes out the 1.875m line of parts with battery, stowage and reaction wheel parts as well as the wonderful Pallici Pod is a number one on the install mod for me.

 

Click Through Blocker, RCS Build Aid Continued, Kerbal Alarm Clock and East Vessel Switch are all absolutely indispensable IME.

 

I also like to have either Aviation Lights or Surface Mounted Lights to give some extra illumination options.

 

KIS and KAS are great, although AIUI there might be compatability issues with the current version.

 

I also adore Structural Tubing Restructured (another of LGG's rescued orphan mods), but it often does not play well with KIS/KAS activity or with the in-VAB symmetry tool.

 

I don't use MechJeb personally.

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Posted (edited)

Even though I've had the game for several years, both PC and Xbox/Xbox One versions, I still consider myself a relative newbie.  Out of 16 planets/moons in the default Kerbal Solar System, I've never been to half of them still.  A few of them I've done a unmanned flyby, and even less have I ever landed a Kerbal on.  For the longest time, Kerbin, Mun, and Minmus were the only places I would visit.

I stayed away from mods for as long as I could, and tend to use as little mods as I really need.  The main ones I use:

  • KER - even though newer KSP updates have added the dV values, I still like the information and layout of KER.
  • [x] Science - If you are playing Career or Science modes, this one helps gather science without having to click on all the science experiments indvidually.
  • RCS Build Aid - When you start doing bases, labs, etc where you need to dock and use RCS, this is handy to make sure your RCS thrusters are moving your vessel appropriately and not making it drift/push to a specific 
  • Docking Port Alignment - I had a lot of issues docking, and found this tool valuable.  I no longer use, as many experienced players have said, learning how to use the NavBall is the best thing you can do to get docking down pat.
  • Alarm Clock - I don't have it loaded right now.  If you are going to do a lot of missions to other planets, it can come in handy.

I've never tried Mechjeb.  I've tried to avoid it since it seems to do a lot of the "challenging aspects" for you.

Edited by djr5899
added sentence

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Thanks guys, I really am trying use as little mods as possible to get started with. @djr5899 that seems to be the right amount I’m looking for. Will use these first!

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5 hours ago, Atova said:

Im going to give this another go but with so many mods it’s tough to know what the really useful ones are. I think the engineer redux and alarm clock are my first ones. What others would you recommend to get started with?

Also, which are great for the visual aspect to enhance the graphics?

Hmmm......

Having recently returned to KSP in 1.7 after taking a break after 1.3, I have noticed that the stock game + DLC now contains many of the things I used to use mods for.  As a result, the number of mods I currently use is WAY less than it used to be.  Thinking about your desire to build stations and not mentioning KER and KAC which you already use, I can offer the following.

Quality of Life:

  • RCS Build Aid:  Lets you build balanced RCS (useful for that station you want to build) as well a spaceplanes whose CoM doesn't move enough to matter between launch and re-entry.
  • Surface-Mounted Lights:  Small, unobtrusive, extremely useful for finding the small part you need to right-click on while orbiting in the dark.
  • MechJeb:  Once you get scads of ships doing different things, it's nice to be able to automate some of the highly repetitive things you've already done 10000 times.  Also, it's got an excellent transfer window planner.

Station Parts:

  • MOLE:  Nice labs and new experiments to do in them.  Also a nice selection of 1.875m parts (probe core, SAS, new engines, pods, tanks) which are great.  Also, has a fuel-switcher plug-in that's quite useful to have for its own sake.
  • DSEV:  Like MOLE only moreso---bigger parts, centrifuges, huge girder elements, etc.  Intended for starships but also works excellently for stations.

Visuals

  • EVE:  This is where the clouds come from.  Can also be forced to make haze and stuff.  Not THAT huge of a performance hit.
  • Scatterer:  This is what REALLY makes things look good, with cool waves in the ocean and all.  However, it's a BIG performance-eater.  My system can't stand it so I just use EVE myself.
  • Stock Visual Enhancements.  An alternative to EVE if you're using the stock system.  I rather like it better than EVE.  However, I don't often use stock system these days so I don't often use SVE.

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Modding question moved to the modding subforum. Carry on. 

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Um there are a few other mods I'd pick up before those, to give you actual interesting options for things to build and the ability to build in orbit and at bases.

SSTU (sorry don't have time atm for links, google will easily find them all), Wild Blue everything (several mods), Near Future everything (several mods) and if you want stations, Nertea's Space Station Parts Redux. Contares everything, Blue Dog Design Bureau. Space Y, KW Rocketry.

Astrogator for finding and moving to launch windows.

Kerbal Alarm Clock as you very much need it once you have a dozen or so vehicles going different places, I also use it to remind me a launch window is coming up and I need to design vehicles.

Filter Extensions and WASD Camera to make the VAB/SPH much better.

Kerbal Engineer Redux for critical flight data that you can organize however you like it.

SCANsat for the code, parts, and contracts to set up scanning satellites that give you very detailed previews of planet surfaces to plan landings and bases.

Kerbal Foundries for very good ground vehicle wheels.

Extraplanetary Launchpads for everything needed to build rockets in orbit and at bases. Supported by SSTU and Wild Blue parts.

Kerbal Joint Reinforcement to prevent Kerbal-standard Noodle Rocket Syndrome.

BonVoyage for an autonomous rover autopilot that can take rovers all the way around a planet unattended

KIS and KAS for very good storage options and connecting/transferring tools and parts you need to build nice bases.

EasyVesselSwitch to stop vessel switching from being painful

Distant Object Enhancement, does what it says.

For much improved graphics, you want PlanetShine, Scatterer, and Environmental Visual Enhancements (E.V.E.).

And you absolutely have to have Mechjeb, don't fly anywhere without it.  
 

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I don't think I will be using mechjeb because it feels like it does too much for you. I used it before and didnt really learn much and basically put the game on autopilot. Going to use kerbal engineer though! Thanks guys

 

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11 hours ago, Atova said:

I don't think I will be using mechjeb because it feels like it does too much for you. I used it before and didnt really learn much and basically put the game on autopilot. Going to use kerbal engineer though! Thanks guys

 

That's fine and all, right up to the point at which you need two vehicles to rendezvous in orbit, which is a requirement for anything beyond the most simple missions. Manually calculating the steps for a Hohmann Transfer, good luck with that. It's technically feasible, you can save and try to nail the correct burn points a few dozen times before you get close enough. But that isn't fun once, it's sure as hell not fun when you're on your 20th rendezvous as you build your space station.

NASA has never once done an orbital rendezvous without having multiple computers calculate the burns and timing with all of their results agreeing. 

So strongly recommended you get it and install it at least for the maneuver planner's match planes/Hohmann Transfer/Match Velocities maneuvers. You will also need it and/or Astrogator for calculating interplanetary transfers as well, unless you intend to stay in Kerbin's SOI.

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Im about to do the space station stuff. Im new too (about 3mnths), playing career mode and have been to Mun, launched various sats, rescued numpty kerbals etc. Ive not used any mods. I installed mechjeb but havent the faintest idea how to use it. :)

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9 hours ago, bootsam said:

Im about to do the space station stuff. Im new too (about 3mnths), playing career mode and have been to Mun, launched various sats, rescued numpty kerbals etc. Ive not used any mods. I installed mechjeb but havent the faintest idea how to use it. :)

First you need to be in a proper position to start a rendezvous, which is as circular an orbit as you can get that's either 50-100k lower or higher than the target's orbit, which itself needs to be as circular as possible for best results. It doesn't really matter whether you start above or below the target.

You should have the MechJeb button at the top of your screen, click on it, it will drop down and give you lots of choices. Click on Maneuver Planner.

Then go to the map view, select the vehicle with which you are trying to rendezvous and click on Set Target.

On the Maneuver Planner there is a drop-down of various maneuver types it can execute. Select Match Planes with Target, click on the Create Node button and then on the Execute Next Node button and it will perfectly execute the maneuver node which will make your orbital plane match the target's. Remember to click on the Auto-Warp radio button so MJ will time warp to the node.

Next select Bi-Impulsive Hohmann Transfer from the maneuver drop down. Again, click on Create Node and then Execute Next Node. Depending on your position relative to the target, this can mean several hours and several orbits before the correct phasing relationship is achieved. Very important to have auto-warp on.

That maneuver will either be dropping the periapsis to match the target orbit, or raising the apopapsis, depending on whether you started above or below the target.

After that maneuver is complete, select the Match Velocity maneuver type, and make sure At Closest Approach is selected. Again tell it to create and execute the next node. The end result should be your vehicle parked within a couple hundred meters of the target. You can take over with RCS from there.

All that said, MechJeb features aren't all enabled at the start of the game, you have to progress through the tech tree. So if you don't see the Maneuver Planner option on the MJ menu, you need to do some more sciencin' until it's unlocked.

 

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