herbal space program

Current early career Munar orbit ripoff!

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This is more of a bug (I think) report than a suggestion, but it doesn't really belong in the support forum either. Twice now in an early career game I've put my craft in Munar orbit according to the map view, only to find that I was suddenly back in Kerbin orbit as I approached my Ap. The second time I actually lowered it by half at least from the altitude of its initial appearance before hitting timewarp, and yet still I escaped the Mun instead of staying in orbit. Rather infuriating really. What gives? Is this just some kind of deliberate early career crappiness or is there something wrong with how that level of the tracking station is implemented? I don't think this has ever happened to me in Sandbox. Anybody else had the same problem?

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I don't think I got that with the Mun, but several times I have put my craft on a Minmus trajectory only to warp and find that my Ap is short.

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7 hours ago, herbal space program said:

only to find that I was suddenly back in Kerbin orbit as I approached my Ap.

How high was the AP of your orbit around the Mun? If it was above 2.23 Mm, then you just left the SOI of the Mun. Without having patched conics unlocked the map view will only show you the orbit around the current CB as if it's SOI was infinite. And when you change SOIs then gravity suddenly changes and your trajectory will be drastically different.

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6 hours ago, fulgur said:

Several times I have put my craft on a Minmus trajectory only to warp and find that my Ap is short.

I'm experiencing the exact same thing myself. It only started happening after 1.8.1 came out. Before, it was fine.

How many craft are you having in flight at the time? I thought it was caused by the game having to keep track of too many objects at once, but if it's also happening in early career like @herbal space program says, the cause is something else.

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1 hour ago, AHHans said:

How high was the AP of your orbit around the Mun? If it was above 2.23 Mm, then you just left the SOI of the Mun. Without having patched conics unlocked the map view will only show you the orbit around the current CB as if it's SOI was infinite. And when you change SOIs then gravity suddenly changes and your trajectory will be drastically different.

It was pretty high, not sure exactly how high. But what you're saying means it's deliberate, to which I say Boo! How are early players supposed to know about SOI's? After all they are not a real thing, but rather a kludge that the devs use because they can't really model multi-body physics. Punishing players for not knowing that yet by lying to them about whether or not they are actually in orbit around a particular body is just plain stupid. If they don't fix dumb ideas like this for KSP2, they are going to turn off a lot of players right out of the gate.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, herbal space program said:

It was pretty high, not sure exactly how high. But what you're saying means it's deliberate, to which I say Boo! How are early players supposed to know about SOI's? After all they are not a real thing, but rather a kludge that the devs use because they can't really model multi-body physics. Punishing players for not knowing that yet by lying to them about whether or not they are actually in orbit around a particular body is just plain stupid. If they don't fix dumb ideas like this for KSP2, they are going to turn off a lot of players right out of the gate.

That is the point, the tracking station needs to be upgraded with funds in order to accurately project trajectory. Early career is hard for a reason.

Edited by DunaManiac

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Just now, DunaManiac said:

That is the point, the tracking station needs to be upgraded with funds in order to accurately project trajectory.

Which I am saying is just a really stupid idea from the point of game play. These things after all are not ordained by some deity, they represent actual decisions made by the game developers. And you know it does show you going in and out of the Mun's SOI at the beginning and then around it after supposed orbital insertion, so it's not just refusing to tell you if you're in orbit or not, it's actually lying to you about it. I mean, I can live with having to upgrade the station to see the patched conics and all that, but stuff like this is really going to turn people off, and I don't actually think it was like this before, because I never remember this happening in prior career games.

1 hour ago, Fraktal said:

I'm experiencing the exact same thing myself. It only started happening after 1.8.1 came out. Before, it was fine.

How many craft are you having in flight at the time? I thought it was caused by the game having to keep track of too many objects at once, but if it's also happening in early career like @herbal space program says, the cause is something else.

Just the one. It was like mission number 6 in a hard career game, ferrying 2 tourists to a Munar flyby and satisfying a contract to orbit the Mun. And I haven't played a whole lot of Career, but I have played it for at least 200 hours or so, and I don't ever remember anything like this except for edge cases.

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1 hour ago, herbal space program said:

And you know it does show you going in and out of the Mun's SOI at the beginning and then around it after supposed orbital insertion, so it's not just refusing to tell you if you're in orbit or not, it's actually lying to you about it.

I wouldn't call that "lying". Is a strategy game lying to you because it doesn't display a concealed enemy unit in your field-of-view? What is a valid criticism of KSP is that it doesn't actually teach new players all the concepts that are necessary to succeed at it. KSP-2 claims that they will do this better, but how successful that will be remains to be seen.

P.S. And if you think that implementing multi-body physics would make this easier, then good luck finding stable orbits around the Mun.

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29 minutes ago, AHHans said:

I wouldn't call that "lying". Is a strategy game lying to you because it doesn't display a concealed enemy unit in your field-of-view? What is a valid criticism of KSP is that it doesn't actually teach new players all the concepts that are necessary to succeed at it. KSP-2 claims that they will do this better, but how successful that will be remains to be seen.

P.S. And if you think that implementing multi-body physics would make this easier, then good luck finding stable orbits around the Mun.

I don;t understand why people need to get all haughty about this. The game is not concealing something from you, it is actually giving you false information about where you are going. Not the same thing. And no, I don't want multi-body physics. I want the game to be fair to the player and reveal that you are going to leave the soi when that is what is going to happen rather than pretending you are going to stay in orbit just so you can feel cheated when you don;t. And it's not like that is ever going to happen to me again anyway. I'm just commenting on what shoddy gameplay design this is. I've played this game for over 2,000 hours and still I got fooled twice by that stupid "feature" of early career. YMMV, but to my mind that is no way to design a game campaign.

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10 minutes ago, herbal space program said:

I don;t understand why people need to get all haughty about this. The game is not concealing something from you, it is actually giving you false information about where you are going.

I don't see anybody getting haughty, I just see people disagreeing with you.

As I do. A level one tracking station does not show patched conics. There are conics that would orbit the Mun if Kerbin was not present, and without patched conics those will appear as orbits of Mun.

It's one of the many, many reasons I think career is for veterans and Science mode is the real beginner's game.

(Caveat for veterans who prefer science mode)

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8 hours ago, 5thHorseman said:

I don't see anybody getting haughty, I just see people disagreeing with you.

Well I'm sorry, but I found the remark about if I think N-body will make it easier I have another think coming gratuitous,  beside the point, and a bit insulting, considering how long I have been posting on this forum and all of the genuinely difficult challenges I've successfully participated in over the years. This, as I'm sure you know, is not about me not being able to get into Munar orbit. It's about the supposed navigational aids in early career making it excessively, unfairly difficult to do so by actually showing you false information about your trajectory in the map view. Lots of people have explained to me now how it is the game does that, which I understand now, thank you, but nobody has come close to explaining to me why it was a good idea for the developers to have made it thus in the first place. If somebody like me messes up two missions in a row and gets annoyed enough to make a forum post about it because the map view lied to them, the consternation that "feature" causes could easily make somebody in their first 100 hours of game play to just throw the game against the wall and never play it again. That is the point I was trying to make. I've actually played through this stage of career probably half a dozen times now and somehow never encountered this, so it's new to me in spite of all that.

Quote

As I do. A level one tracking station does not show patched conics. There are conics that would orbit the Mun if Kerbin was not present, and without patched conics those will appear as orbits of Mun.

No, those are the orbits that would occur if there were no arbitrary SOI boundary. If Kerbin didn't exist, then you would still transition to the Kerbol SOI. Either way, concealing that boundary from you at any stage of the game, particularly early in the campaign mode, is unfair, precisely because it is so arbitrary. And you're saying you disagree with me saying that they really shouldn't do something so dastardly to players who are just starting out? I'd like to know why you think it is appropriate to treat beginners that way.

Quote

It's one of the many, many reasons I think career is for veterans and Science mode is the real beginner's game.

(Caveat for veterans who prefer science mode)

Honestly, I think this statement says it all. Career still has the wrong end pointed towards space after all these version updates. I mean, I agree the only reason I'm tempted to play it is because some of the early missions that reach beyond your tech level are so challenging, like rescuing  stranded Kerbals with no maneuver node or information about future encounters available. But that is truly, really not the way it ought to be.

Edited by herbal space program

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3 minutes ago, herbal space program said:

No, those are the orbits that would occur if there were no arbitrary SOI boundary.

That boundary is not arbitrary, it is determined by the relative masses of Kerbin and Mun. If Kerbin didn't exist Mun's SOI would be much larger inside Kerbol's SOI. You'd still hit it and the non-patched-conics orbit wouldn't show it, but it'd be bigger nonetheless.

I'm not arguing semantics here, it's an important point. These things are natural consequences of the patched conics system. The very system that the lowest tracking station has no information about.

7 minutes ago, herbal space program said:

And you're saying you disagree with me saying that they really shouldn't do something so dastardly to players who are just starting out?

I'm disagreeing that it is "dastardly", yes. And that brand new players should go to Mun before they have patched conics unlocked, doubly so.

The game could tell players more, sure, but I'm having a hard time thinking of a single place in the game where that's not true. Including the tutorials and those little "Here's the VAB" blurbs upon first entry.

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I think I can see both sides of this issue.

If I'm understanding correctly, there is on one hand the opinion that full orbital information, including patched conics, should be available from the very beginning of career mode. And on the other hand there is the opinion that how the game progresses through tracking station upgrades is currently satisfactory.

My own opinion is simply that the game does not actually give the player any good information about what the mysterious "patched conics" is, what that upgrade would reveal, or what the lack of patched conics entails. Perhaps the mouse-over text for tracking station upgrades should explain that "Without an upgrade to our patched-conics tracking software we can't accurately calculate trajectories between two worlds yet. You can try, but you might get lost."

Edited by HvP

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54 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

That boundary is not arbitrary, it is determined by the relative masses of Kerbin and Mun. If Kerbin didn't exist Mun's SOI would be much larger inside Kerbol's SOI. You'd still hit it and the non-patched-conics orbit wouldn't show it, but it'd be bigger nonetheless.

At what radius it occurs may be systematic, but at what radius/mass it occurs is still arbitrary. All I'm actually saying is that the level 1 station should show you only what happens in your current SOI, but at least have the decency to tell you if you're going to leave that SOI rather than pretending it's infinite and you're going to stay there when you aren't. It actually does so in cases when you're outside the infinite SOI escape velocity, so it only shows you wrong stuff when you're in between that and the arbitrary SOI apoapsis, where it maddeningly tells you you are in orbit before you actually are. Are early players really supposed to be able to figure all that out?

54 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

I'm not arguing semantics here, it's an important point. These things are natural consequences of the patched conics system. The very system that the lowest tracking station has no information about.

I'm disagreeing that it is "dastardly", yes. And that brand new players should go to Mun before they have patched conics unlocked, doubly so.

Well the contracts system was giving me over 50% Mun-related contracts at that point, including every last one of the good ones, so if I was not supposed to go there yet the game did a pretty bad job of telling me that.

54 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

The game could tell players more, sure, but I'm having a hard time thinking of a single place in the game where that's not true. Including the tutorials and those little "Here's the VAB" blurbs upon first entry.

Well at least on that I agree with you without any qualification.

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1 minute ago, herbal space program said:

Well the contracts system was giving me over 50% Mun-related contracts at that point, including every last one of the good ones, so if I was not supposed to go there yet the game did a pretty bad job of telling me that.

I didn't say you shouldn't go there. I said if you're going and want correct information when you get there pony up the... what is it $75,000? ...on the upgrade. :D You already have the Mission Control upgrade so you'll also get maneuver nodes. Really it's a no-brainer that the game actually told you about when you upgraded Mission Control.

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48 minutes ago, HvP said:

I think I can see both sides of this issue.

If I'm understanding correctly, there is on one hand the opinion that full orbital information, including patched conics, should be available from the very beginning of career mode. And on the other hand there is the opinion that how the game progresses through tracking station upgrades is currently satisfactory.

My own opinion is simply that the game does not actually give the player any good information about what the mysterious "patched conics" is, what that upgrade would reveal, or what the lack of patched conics entails. Perhaps the mouse-over text for tracking station upgrades should explain that "Without an upgrade to our patched-conics tracking software we can't accurately calculate trajectories between two worlds yet. You can try, but you might get lost."

It's actually considerably narrower than that for me. I don't think there's any problem with the tracking station not giving you whatever information early on, I just think that it's unfair for it to actually give you false information before you have unlocked patched conics. Your trajectory ending at the edge of the SOI and you don't know what happens next is just fine as far as I'm concerned, but having it show you outright wrong trajectories in that situation is no good.

Edited by herbal space program

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31 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

I didn't say you shouldn't go there. I said if you're going and want correct information when you get there pony up the... what is it $75,000? ...on the upgrade. :D You already have the Mission Control upgrade so you'll also get maneuver nodes. Really it's a no-brainer that the game actually told you about when you upgraded Mission Control.

Is that what it costs in easy mode? In my current game it costs $300,000, but that's beside the point as well. Like I said, it's fine for the game to withhold whatever information they deem appropriate at whatever level of the tracking station. The idea of just giving you wrong information however totally rubs me the wrong way. It's a pointless, essentially unavoidable frustration trap, and I don't think I've ever actually seen it done on purpose anywhere else in the game.

Edited by herbal space program

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I do see your point, but I disagree with your conclusion.

In order for the Lv1 tracking station to know you are about to cross an SOI boundary, you'd have to have a knowledge of the patched conics system. As explained, the Lv1 tracking station does not. It's not giving you false information, it just doesn't know that the other SOIs exist. It literally goes "I will draw this orbit until the current SOI stops" (does it show if you leave Kerbins SOI? I've never tried).

I absolutely agree with the point that KSP does a terrible job about telling you about these things though.
 

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On 1/11/2020 at 1:29 AM, severedsolo said:

In order for the Lv1 tracking station to know you are about to cross an SOI boundary, you'd have to have a knowledge of the patched conics system. As explained, the Lv1 tracking station does not. It's not giving you false information, it just doesn't know that the other SOIs exist. It literally goes "I will draw this orbit until the current SOI stops" (does it show if you leave Kerbins SOI? I've never tried).
 

It will show you leaving whatever SOI you are in only when you have exceeded the escape velocity with no SOI boundary or other bodies taken into account. That is why it shows you entering and leaving again when you first have your Munar encounter, but not later, when you may have lowered yourself to an AP that crosses the SOI boundary but would remain bound to the Mun otherwise. Presumably that will be true for Kerbin too, but I haven't tried. And that is the part that I find unfair and deceptive.  After the first-level upgrade, you get to see everything, including times, speeds, intersects, maneuver nodes, and what your trajectory will be after you leave your current SOI. I guess what I'm suggesting is that it would be much more fair to the player if they did still show the SOI boundary at Level 1, but none of the other stuff. SOI's are indeed part of the patched conics system, but the patched conics themselves are the trajectories that are spliced together, not  the (arbitrary) SOI boundary itself.  So just not showing you those or any of the other useful information still seems both reasonable and consistent to me with the statement "patched conics not visible" for the Level 1 station. Anyway, for my own part I've obviously played way past that particular annoyance in my game and will never fall victim to it again, but I still feel like what I said would be a better way to do it in terms of game play than the way it works now.

Edited by herbal space program

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I haven't read the long comments, but I agree that the trajectory prediction should be cropped at the SOI boundary. This would be consistent with unlocking patched conics, but you're only able to see the trajectory for your current parent body and no encounters.

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This is probably something for which there should be a dedicated tutorial for. I will say that it does feel very good inside to do rendezvous and Hoffman transfers on a lvl 1 tracking center, and on lower funds/rep rewards that 300000 goes a very long way.

Edited by SlinkyMcman
More stuff.

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