mcwaffles2003

Poll to see where the community is at on recent topics

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101 members have voted

  1. 1. Should liquid fuels be split up into more fuel types? (Hydrogen, Methane, and RP-1 for instance)

  2. 2. Would a form of life support being added to base game be prefferable?



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Posted (edited)

Just making a poll to find out where the overall consensus of the community is at on topics recently discussed.

Add justifications or reasoning if you wish to do so.

Also, I didn't make this thread to steal from the discussion in the other topics, so if you do post your reasoning please leave it to just that and take the arguments to the other threads (no quote posting here please). If your reasoning has changed please just edit your post, this way everyone should have one post max reflecting the purpose of their vote.

Edited by mcwaffles2003

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Personally, I'd like to see as many features as possible make it into base game while, in general, keeping them as simple as possible. I'd like life support to be included but perhaps only requiring a single resource to better enable modders to create life support mods base on dev frameworks to hopefully improve cross compatibility without bogging down the game with logistics. I would also like to keep liquid fuel as a single resource to minimize the many different fuel types we will be encountering also minimizing logistical difficulties.

As for the fuels, I believe I could be persuaded otherwise if engines themselves were procedural in a similar manner to simple rockets and Trust/Isp were dependent on fuel type. Essentially, if we can build engines then I will agree to more fuels. But as the game is in KSP 1, where engine specs are dependent on the engine and not fuel type, I do not see the pros of adding fuels to outweigh the cons of the added complexity in logistics later on.

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The main thing would be to have the differences be meaningful but not overwhelming, and not straight-up upgrades.

this creates all sorts of problems in terms of "how to implement". because, if you want there to be meaningful differences in terms of fuel/oxidizer combinations you're going to get into the "program management" side of things a lot more.

and by "program management" I mean "cost-benefit analysis"-type stuff that you'd see some bureaucrat writing memo's about things like "Does not needing cryogenic-specific safety procedures/cryogenic-specific launchpad facilities outweigh the cons of requiring safety-procedures and facilities specifically for the highly toxic hypergolic propellants that are room-temperature stable?".

and then there's the even more controversial stuff like "faulty equipment" which is basically "pray to RNG". (Random Number God), where something like a hypergolic bipropellant might create issues.

Life support is oddly simpler in this regard as it's simply "resource that puts a cap on" (Amount of Crew) and (Time Said Crew Can Spend in Orbit). Though I'd really want there to be somewhat more serious concerns that prevent "self sustaining colonies" from being an easily-done thing given how complicated that prospect is IRL (Nitrogen cycle, carbon cycle, are complex stuff not easily done).

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1. I don't feel like there should be that much detail, like RP-1 instead of liquid fuel (kerosene would be better in my opinion) and hydrazine instead of monoprop. However, I would like more fuel types like LH2, Methane, and maybe stuff like Aluminum Oxide for your ISRU rocketry needs. Variety, rather than needless complexity, is where I stand on this. If the RO people want real names, realfuels will be a lot easier, to the point of being just a MM (or equivalent- nobody really knows what modding will be like) patch.

2. I feel like players (especially new) would prefer something more like USI-LS (without complex conversions), or Snacks! with habitation mechanics. I personally use TAC-LS + Kerbal Health as my Kerbalism substitute (incompatible with some of the stuff in my GameData), and would just use a mod for it. Life support could keep people out of the game, or it could be really fun and challenging if implemented properly. Of course, with any increase in difficulty in the game, you need to give an option to turn it off.

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Yes to both, they both gameplay expansion to that "one Ore to do everything" that's the actual resource system, also having more fuels early on prepares the players for when they'll have to manage and produce nukes, fusion fuel and metallic hydrogen.

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more fuel types sounds cool, but not necessary. soft no.

some life support is the gud, kerbals need them snacks, and oxygen, and boneless water. big yes.

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We know we will get metallic hydrogen and fusion fuel. Also bombs for orion drives who also is an sort of fuel. 

For chemical fuels in common use we have RP1, hydrogen and methane is upcoming, then we have hypergolic. Hydrogen is also preferred for nerva engines.
Now it looks like hypergolic is getting less relevant at least for larger missions. Starship will use methane while blue origin prefer hydrogen for their moon landers. 
However this might over-complicate things for little benefit as we already have various high performance fuels. 

One relevant game play mechanics I assume we get is that chemical fuel will be pretty easy to produce like in current game but metallic hydrogen and nuclear bombs will be much harder and the colony probably need a specialized factory for this or at least an large colony at the building spaceship level.  
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Life support yes, however make it so colonies who are large enough to be called this and not just an outpost are self supplied and might even export life support resources to ships and other outposts. 
It can just be one resource however I enjoy TAK life support where you can recycle oxygen and water at an mass penalty for this units making you only use them on larger ships on long missions. 

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Honestly, I think the that splitting liquid fuel types is, among a lot of other suggestions I'm seeing for KSP2, a great thing to add as a difficulty option.

Keeping it simple for onboarding newer players, leaving it disabled, or enabling the option as a way to add more depth to advanced players.

I see the community being really divided over these kind of things. Makes me think "why not both?".

If the game is build from the ground up with mod support taken into account, I would assume that it wouldn't be too hard for the devs to allow options in the base game to increase/decrease difficulty/realism.

Take with a grain of salt, this is pure speculation on my part as I can only guess how easy or hard this would be for the devs, I can't wrap my head around programming...

 

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Posted (edited)

Most of the challenge from different fuel types comes from having to balance the ratios, which is definitely not something that belongs in KSP. I like the approach taken in simple rockets where oxidizer (or the second hyperbolic propellant) is included in the fuel, if KSP did this it would get rid of the ratio issue, however this would have implications for SSTO's and other rapier/nerva based craft, so you could also manually chose the ratio (this would actually create new possibility for SSTO's such as a 2.5m fuselage that is not just smaller tanks stuffed in a faring. The tank would automatically adapt to the engine below it so that the update would not be annoying. Being able to customize engines would be cool but in my opinion that is in the realm of mods.

Edited by catloaf

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given that the game has already been in development for 3 years and they are extending release dates by over a year, i would like to see less features and a project that actually gets finished this decade rather than not at all.

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I said no to both. No to fuels because it doesn’t really add anything to the experience. Once you have a “good” fuel there would be no real reason to use the other fuels unless you start adding things like boil-off and those types of consequences, at which point I think they start to lose focus on one of their design pillars 

No to life support unless you can somehow completely ignore a ship without being punished for it by running out of resources, as that would completely violate one of their design pillars.

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No to 1 because several fuels does nothing to add to gameplay unless it's just fusion pellets, futuristic fuel and interstellar gas, and yes to 2 as long as I can turn it off and it doesn't get in the way of leaving a kerbal on Eeloo for a long time while I sort out a rescue mission.

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Since now it's confirmed that we'll have multiple resources to craft parts I don't think having multiple fuels would complicate the the game that much, especially since we already know that we'll have some alternative fuels.

But as always only if they're used as a gameplay IRSu or  engine balancing thing, not just for realism sake.

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I doubt there’s going to be many different fuel types. I mean yea, there’s going to be metallic hydrogen, nuclear pellets for the orion drive, etc. etc. But for chemical rockets, there’s really no point in different fuel types. That’d make the game overly complex. Heck, one of the design pillars was to keep it simple...

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Multiple fuel types are already confirmed, you can see different resources from that VAB pic from the dev update. And yes, if you're building a base, you should have a variety of simple but very different fuels. I mean, you can't run an interstellar drive on LF alone right?

As for life support, something like snacks would be great as a difficulty setting so we don't lose 'Bill rides around on a space chair for 100 years' in KSP 2. My personal fav LS mod is TAC support for the perfect blend of resource management and good recyclers to cut down on the actual LS load taken. Also the parts look cool. But Snacks would be fine.

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I say yes to both. KSP1 already has multiple fuel and engine types (ion, monoprop, nuclear, solid, LF) so adding a bit more variation to liquid fuel/oxidizer combos with different strengths/weaknesses (like kerolox having engines with the best thrust and fuel density, methalox being a happy medium, hydrolox having the best ISP with poor fuel density, hypergolics with the most compact and cheapest/lightest pressure fed engines for space, etc) would give some nice variety without overly complicating things.

For life support, I still argue it's a critical balance feature that is absolutely necessary for sensible game progression (something KSP1 largely lacks) and to make probes relevant. Doesn't need to overly complicated, but most definitely should be a core feature of KSP2 (with the option to disable it for sandbox or easy, unbalanced career).

 

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I definitely think more fuels should be added, as long as they are distinct and not over complicated. Nertea's mods are a good example of this, all of the fuels that he adds (argon, lithium, hydrogen, etc) have different use cases so they don't feel pointlessly similar. For example, Argon has less efficiency then Xenon, but is much cheaper and its engines have higher thrust then their Xenon equivalents. Lithium is extremely expensive, is unlocked at the end of the tech tree, and its engines require a ton of electricity to use, but its thrust and efficiency are unmatched. Hydrogen has extremely low density and forces you to place double the tanks then LiquidFuel for the same mass, but the engines that use it have much higher ISP.

I'm very much in favor of life support, in addition to habitation limits (so you can't stuff a kerbal in a MK1 pod on a 10-year journey), as long as it's possible to make automated resupply missions. Life support shouldn't be that strict by default, you should be able to do missions without sacrificing a ton of your deltaV for life support hardware. In addition, it should be challenging (though not MKS-level hard), to create a self-sufficient base, especially one that produces more life support resources then it consumes.

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Posted (edited)

I say yes to more fuels, because it adds a little more variation, but only that it adds restrictions. For example, X is cheaper but Y can be ISRUed, X is more efficent but Y can be ISRUed etc, I don't see the point of multiple fuels if their in name only. Also, for the sake of simplicity each engine should be able to run different fuels, because different engine stats usually do the work for multiple fuels.

Life support is fine as long as it's an option, it dosen't kill the kerbals, but reduces their resource output, that way that you don't strictly need life support, but those who want the challenge/want things done faster can do it.

Edited by DunaManiac

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1 hour ago, DunaManiac said:

I say yes to more fuels, because it adds a little more variation, but only that it adds restrictions. For example, X is cheaper but Y can be ISRUed, X is more efficent but Y can be ISRUed etc, I don't see the point of multiple fuels if their in name only.

Life support is fine as long as it's an option, it dosen't kill the kerbals, but reduces their resource output, that way that you don't strictly need life support, but those who want the challenge/want things done faster can do it.

Same here, kerosene or RP-1 would be cheaper but heavier and cheaper than hydrogen or methane but it would add more oomph but hydrogen would be efficient for upper stages and would likely be able to be ISRUed  unlike kerosene what would only be able to be found on a planet with life.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2020 at 8:09 PM, MechBFP said:

 Once you have a “good” fuel there would be no real reason to use the other fuels 

Not really true, each fuel has an advantages and disadvantages.

For example, let's say your building a shuttle to transport tourists from LKO to the Mün's surface and back to LKO. You would compare all the different fuels at your disposal. The shuttle must be independent and use isru on the Mün's surface, so that rules out hyperbolic and kerolox. The shuttle has a heavy crew compartment and only 1 small engine so the heavier fuel tanks and lower thrust of hyrdrolox are inferior to the higher thrust and density of methalox. Plus dV is not an issue because it uses isru so fuel is free and it's just a Mün shuttle. This the isp hit from methalox is not an issue, making it the obvious best choice. But for a similar Minmus shuttle a different propellant may be the best choice. Low gravity means that your engines thrust is not as important. Also water is very common on Minmus while methane is quite rare, this means you can land in easier spots. Furthermore the high isp and thus dV savings from hyrdrolox allow you to carry extra passengers making hyrdrolox the obvious choice.

Every fuel type would have pros and cons and be more of less applicable in certain situations. You would not have a best fuel because different fuels would be better our worse in certain applications. Even if you insist that you will end up with a super-fuel that will beat all others it would still add an immersive and entertaining progression mechanic. And even then when you have z-pinch fusion propulsion and nuclear turbo-jets you would still use a different fuel for the former than the latter. Having "fusion fuel" instead of real chemicals would not only be a gross oversimplification, but would be disrespectful to the engineering in these wonderful ideas. The same basic thing applies to regular liquid fuels. I would not understand a ksp2 that has metallic hydrogen but no liquid hydrogen. Claiming that all liquid fuels are the same is like claiming all mammals are the same species just because they have some things in common. (Rudeness about drinking mercury because it's close enough to water edited out before posting (although some Chinese emperors have done it to become immortal* aand H2O and Hg both have h's;)))

*die a few hours later

Edited by catloaf

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Posted (edited)

I feel that liquid hydrogen should be split from the generic liquid fuel, which I would be fine leaving as some kind of generic hydrocarbon (kerosene, methane, butane, doens't matter compared to lH2 NTRs, orion drives, fusion drives, etc).

When going interstellar, there had better be some form of life support, even if its just requiring some closed loop life support module/X greenhouses per kerbal.

Sending a kerbal to the next star system straped to a chair on the side of a rocket is too ridiculous (granted, I won't even do that in KSP to other planets)

Edited by KerikBalm

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I hereby announce that I've flipped on both of these topics. I'm now in favour of both, although my support for LS is tentative and conditional.

The crucial thing is that both are incorporated into other, higher-level game systems that creates meaningful gameplay from them, while avoiding the pitfalls that would easily turn them into tedium and grind. The latest from the dev team suggests that they're well aware of this and intend to do this however. I hope they pull it off and am cautiously optimistic.

They will have to be careful with LS in particular, as it's a hard needle to thread. Make it too forgiving ("just add this magic part and forget about it") will add no meaningful gameplay so there's really not much point; make it too realistic and it'll turn mid/late game into a soul-crushing grind of a milk run simulator, punctuated with despair as your crews starve or asphyxiate to death beyond reach of help. It needs to find a careful balance between these two and have gameplay systems in place to automate away the milk runs, while making the whole process fun and challenging.

If that doesn't pan out, I would rather have no LS at all. 

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12 hours ago, coyotesfrontier said:

I'm very much in favor of life support, in addition to habitation limits (so you can't stuff a kerbal in a MK1 pod on a 10-year journey)

That just takes the fun out of making rockets as light as possible.

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Posted (edited)

@Bej Kerman@SpaceFace545, and @catloaf

Please, no discussion in this thread. There are other threads for this.

 

On 5/19/2020 at 5:15 PM, mcwaffles2003 said:

Also, I didn't make this thread to steal from the discussion in the other topics, so if you do post your reasoning please leave it to just that and take the arguments to the other threads (no quote posting here please). If your reasoning has changed please just edit your post, this way everyone should have one post max reflecting the purpose of their vote.

 

Edited by mcwaffles2003

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