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What tech belongs in KSP 2?


KerikBalm
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Which are you ok with including in KSP 2  

85 members have voted

  1. 1. Which techs would you find to be acceptable in KSP 2

    • Technobabble tech - example: Phase modulated polaron flux capacitor drives
      5
    • Pseudoscience tech - examples: Free energy generator, gyroscope drives
      6
    • Bad science tech, based on outdated theories -example: Aether jets and propellors
      4
    • Tech that is only possible if a material with certain properties exists, which may not exist - example: Warp drives using negative mass
      25
    • Tech that is only possible if a material with certain properties exists, which almost definitely does not exist - example: Unobtanium rockets.
      12
    • Tech that is theoretically possible, but we don't have a good idea how to solve the engineering challenges - examples: pure fusion rockets/antimatter rockets
      68
    • Tech that is theoretically possible, and we have a good idea how to solve the engineering challenges - examples: Orion drives, liquid/gas core NTRs
      70


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Folks, if you want to debate the merits of the movie The Martian, please make a thread for it in the Science sub. This thread is about techs which might be included in KSP2, so the posts talking about The Martian have been edited or removed. 

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I think that they should get rid of metallic hydrogen, because it is unnecessary to game progression and may not be possible. For example:

Progression without metallic hydrogen:

  • Fusion rockets (nerva and Orion.) The only barriers are political, not scientific. 100% possible.
  • Fusion rockets (Daedelus, Z-pinch, etc.) Most are likely to be possible with tech that will probably exist in the future, they are allowed by physics and will likely exist.
  • Antimatter rockets (torch ship.) Still allowed by physics, however it may not be possible for a long time or ever. I would give it a 50% chance of happening by the year 5000, but I'm not a scientist.
  • Tech that we don't know is possible, but is okay in the late game because we are getting to the part of the future that's very difficult to try and guess about and something like it may exist someday (acubierre warp drive, pseudoscience tech.)

Progression with metallic hydrogen:

  • Fusion rockets (nerva and Orion.) The only barriers are political, not scientific. 100% possible.
  • Rockets that rely on a material that is difficult, maybe even impossible to store in anything other than gas giants, and probably belongs in the late fusion early antimatter part of the tech tree.
  • Fusion rockets (Daedelus, Z-pinch, etc.) Most are likely to be possible with tech that will probably exist in the future, they are allowed by physics and will likely exist.
  • Antimatter rockets (torch ship.) Still allowed by physics, however it may not be possible for a long time or ever. I would give it a 50% chance of happening by the year 5000, but I'm not a scientist.
  • Tech that we don't know is possible, but is okay in the late game because we are getting to the part of the future that's very difficult to try and guess about and something like it may exist someday (acubierre warp drive, pseudoscience tech.)

As you can see, in the first tech tree the tech becomes more speculative and less rooted in science as you increase time, but metallic hydrogen is a break in this logical progression and should be moved. However, when it is that late in the tech tree it is already redundant and has no reason to exist and therefore should be removed.

Ok that's my rant for today.

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You meant "Fission rockets" in the first place. :) But in general, it's how I imagine this, too. If it gets put in, I suppose it could have a place besides the Alcubierre drive (with regards to how speculative it is), but by the time the players get there, they'd have no use for these engines, anyway (they'll have heavy-duty fusion and fission by then).

The second stage I'd put in as "advanced fission/early fusion" in the realistic tree. This option needs more exposure. Some work on fusion engines has been done (particularly non-breakeven ones), and there are liquid core, vapor core and gas core fission engines that are are real concepts on par with fusion drives. Liquid core fission would even match metallic hydrogen almost exactly in performance, had the latter worked out.

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1. Tech that is theoretically possible, but we don't have a good idea how to solve the engineering challenges - examples: pure fusion rockets/antimatter rockets
2. Tech that is theoretically possible, and we have a good idea how to solve the engineering challenges - examples: Orion drives, liquid/gas core NTRs
3. Maybe... Warp drives using negative mass

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16 hours ago, catloaf said:

I think that they should get rid of metallic hydrogen, because it is unnecessary to game progression and may not be possible. For example:

Progression without metallic hydrogen:

  • Fusion rockets (nerva and Orion.) The only barriers are political, not scientific. 100% possible.
  • Fusion rockets (Daedelus, Z-pinch, etc.) Most are likely to be possible with tech that will probably exist in the future, they are allowed by physics and will likely exist.
  • Antimatter rockets (torch ship.) Still allowed by physics, however it may not be possible for a long time or ever. I would give it a 50% chance of happening by the year 5000, but I'm not a scientist.
  • Tech that we don't know is possible, but is okay in the late game because we are getting to the part of the future that's very difficult to try and guess about and something like it may exist someday (acubierre warp drive, pseudoscience tech.)

Progression with metallic hydrogen:

  • Fusion rockets (nerva and Orion.) The only barriers are political, not scientific. 100% possible.
  • Rockets that rely on a material that is difficult, maybe even impossible to store in anything other than gas giants, and probably belongs in the late fusion early antimatter part of the tech tree.
  • Fusion rockets (Daedelus, Z-pinch, etc.) Most are likely to be possible with tech that will probably exist in the future, they are allowed by physics and will likely exist.
  • Antimatter rockets (torch ship.) Still allowed by physics, however it may not be possible for a long time or ever. I would give it a 50% chance of happening by the year 5000, but I'm not a scientist.
  • Tech that we don't know is possible, but is okay in the late game because we are getting to the part of the future that's very difficult to try and guess about and something like it may exist someday (acubierre warp drive, pseudoscience tech.)

As you can see, in the first tech tree the tech becomes more speculative and less rooted in science as you increase time, but metallic hydrogen is a break in this logical progression and should be moved. However, when it is that late in the tech tree it is already redundant and has no reason to exist and therefore should be removed.

Ok that's my rant for today.

Metallic hydrogen may not be possible - why not replace it with Explodium? Explodium remains fluid at reasonable pressures and could be repurposed as a fuel resource harvested from Eve (only from Eve, transported to other colonies in late game) for KSP 2.

@KerikBalm, people don't like how you've worded the poll.

8 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

I assume you refer to Kerik's poll on tech to be included in the game? Those questions were biased. Not a bad thing, but realistically, who here will vote for "aether screws"? "Bad science" is a shortcut around debate; it implies that anyone voting for "bad science" in a game is unscientific IRL. This is ridiculous, of course.

  I won't go for or against aether screws here but you shouldn't add your own bias in polls to steer it in a direction you like.

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28 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

Metallic hydrogen may not be possible - why not replace it with Explodium? Explodium remains fluid at reasonable pressures and could be repurposed as a fuel resource harvested from Eve (only from Eve, transported to other colonies in late game) for KSP 2.

I have advocated for a simple rename as a compromise, so I'd agree with this

28 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

@KerikBalm, people don't like how you've worded the poll.

  I won't go for or against aether screws here but you shouldn't add your own bias in polls to steer it in a direction you like.

I think the poll is worded quite well. I think examples help illustrate what I'm talking about (differentiating technobabble from psuedoscience, from outdated science). I regret the "pixie dust" wording, and think unobtanium is pretty good, but I'd really like to go back and use Red Mercury as a better example.

As to the objection you are quoting, I think it is without merit. @SOXBLOX ""Bad science" is a shortcut around debate; it implies that anyone voting for "bad science" in a game is unscientific IRL" No, it implies anyone voting for bad science, wants bad science in the game. I'm not implying that anyone who plays eve online, or Elite dangerous are unscientific IRL.

First we can establish if the majority of people want KSP2 free of bad science or not, and if they want it bad science free, we can debate what does and does not constitue bad science. Its not a shortcut around debate at all.

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[snip]

5 hours ago, DunaManiac said:

I would actually agree with @KerikBalm that we can all reach a compromise by renaming it to handwavium, does it really matter what it's called?

Gameplay goes first.

[snip]

I thought it would make for good gameplay, since Eve's seas are explodium, and you'd have to get it there. Want the super fuel for ascent vehicles (not interstellar travel)? conquor the hardest ascent in KSP1 to get it.

 

On 2/21/2020 at 2:52 AM, KerikBalm said:

I'd feel much better about this engine if they just called it the "liquid explodium drive", instead of promulgating bad science.

 

On 2/21/2020 at 4:31 AM, KerikBalm said:

But realistically, Star theory is clearly too far along and has focused a lot on these engines... they won't get rid of them now.

At this point the most I can hope for is that they do a quick rename of metallic hydrogen to "liquid explodium" or something like that. Plus, since Eve has Explodium seas, you can go there to extract it, but then you need to be able to do an Eve Ascent to make use of the extracted explodium (or make much bigger colonies elsewhere to synthesize explodium).

Now that I think about it, I'm liking that idea even more... call it explodium, and have Eve be a good source of it... because... why not, no one will confuse Explodium for actual science.

Edited by Vanamonde
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9 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

I have advocated for a simple rename as a compromise, so I'd agree with this

I think the poll is worded quite well. I think examples help illustrate what I'm talking about (differentiating technobabble from psuedoscience, from outdated science). I regret the "pixie dust" wording, and think unobtanium is pretty good, but I'd really like to go back and use Red Mercury as a better example.

As to the objection you are quoting, I think it is without merit. @SOXBLOX ""Bad science" is a shortcut around debate; it implies that anyone voting for "bad science" in a game is unscientific IRL" No, it implies anyone voting for bad science, wants bad science in the game. I'm not implying that anyone who plays eve online, or Elite dangerous are unscientific IRL.

First we can establish if the majority of people want KSP2 free of bad science or not, and if they want it bad science free, we can debate what does and does not constitue bad science. Its not a shortcut around debate at all.

Hmm. I would say that the categories "pseudo-science" , "technobabble tech", and "bad science" should all be the same category. They are all not possible IRL. Perhaps the categories "handwavium", for where math and physics don't even apply, " unobtanium" for when math and physics can calculate properties, but it doesn't work IRL, "current tech" for chemical rockets, and "tech likely possible in future with significant advances in matsci" for futuristic stuff like gas core nuclear, etc.

I do still object to most of your categories, but the part of my quote on bad science was made on a different topic. Also, I objected not because I thought the bias was bad, but because someone wanted to the numbers in the poll to back up a position without noting the slant.

Also, if you don't object to a rename which retains the engine's same properties, why will you not accept it being called metastable metallic hydrogen? Is "explodium" better than mmH? If so, how?

Edited by SOXBLOX
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I would actually be okay with metallic hydrogen if it was in the mid fusion part of the tech tree. It would have a place there as it would replace lf-ox. I don't dislike the technology, I just think putting it before fusion doesn't make sense. As for explodium, I'm all for it, but not as a substitute for metallic hydrogen. It would be great as a mid game substitute for liquid fuel. Maybe it could be refined from "raw explodium" to "epa" (explodium propellant a) and "epb" (explodium propellant b) that could have better stats than lf-ox. Also, on a slightly unrelated tangent, having lf-ox be hyperbolic propellants would make sense and explain a lot (deep throttling, infinite restarts.) Kerbals are not humans, so why should their space program be like ours. Maybe high efficiency hyperbolic propellants are just abundant in the Kerbal universe, and Kerbals never needed to develop cryogenic propellants until nuclear tech became feasible. Plus it's super Kerbal.

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7 minutes ago, catloaf said:

I would actually be okay with metallic hydrogen if it was in the mid fusion part of the tech tree. It would have a place there as it would replace lf-ox. I don't dislike the technology, I just think putting it before fusion doesn't make sense. As for explodium, I'm all for it, but not as a substitute for metallic hydrogen. It would be great as a mid game substitute for liquid fuel. Maybe it could be refined from "raw explodium" to "epa" (explodium propellant a) and "epb" (explodium propellant b) that could have better stats than lf-ox. Also, on a slightly unrelated tangent, having lf-ox be hyperbolic propellants would make sense and explain a lot (deep throttling, infinite restarts.) Kerbals are not humans, so why should their space program be like ours. Maybe high efficiency hyperbolic propellants are just abundant in the Kerbal universe, and Kerbals never needed to develop cryogenic propellants until nuclear tech became feasible. Plus it's super Kerbal.

Explodium is fake, it’s unrealistic 

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I really, really do not like the idea of introducing technobabble like "explodium rockets." The cool thing about KSP is you play the game and learn practical real-life terminology (delta-V, apoapsis, ISP, etc.). KSP1 tried to introduce a parallel set of nonsense resources, but it ended up being walked back over time because it was way too confusing and didn't allow for the import of the player's real-world knowledge. Cracking water into hydrogen and oxygen is straightforward and practical, what turns into explodium? Dimeritium and magic dust? I'd rather not have to learn a whole lexicon of babble words to play the game.

The game is more than capable of being both fun and scientifically accurate in its terminology. And if it introduces a whole new generation to STEM concepts in the process, all the better.

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7 minutes ago, SpaceFace545 said:

Explodium is fake, it’s unrealistic 

So are magic pink gas rockets that may not be possible for a long time. The main thing ksp teaches is orbital mechanics, so I think that funny but unrealistic technology that doesn't obviously violate the basic principles of the game will only upset the ro crowd.

Edited by catloaf
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39 minutes ago, catloaf said:

So are magic pink gas rockets that may not be possible for a long time. The main thing ksp teaches is orbital mechanics, so I think that funny but unrealistic technology that doesn't obviously violate the basic principles of the game will only upset the ro crowd.

I am in the ro crowd 

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9 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

Hmm. I would say that the categories "pseudo-science" , "technobabble tech", and "bad science" should all be the same category. They are all not possible IRL.

I can see the validity of a category including all 3 of them, but I also see a value in distinguishing between them:

  • technobabble: doesn't risk having people believe that an invalid concept is actually valid, its just gibberish (as in the example
  • Pseudoscience: never had any scientific backing, and was always outside the realms of science. Quick research can show thi unambiguously
  • Bad science: perhaps I should have labeled this outdated/disproven science - once was a scientifically valid concept, and scientific papers can be found backing it, although from a long time ago. Due to the presence of legitimate scientific papers on the subject, people may believe that it is still a valid concept.

 

9 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

I objected not because I thought the bias was bad, but because someone wanted to the numbers in the poll to back up a position without noting the slant.

I'm really not seeing the slant, unless its slant to say that appealing to outdated science is appealing to bad science/ doing science with disproven theories is doing bad science. Can you elaborate more on what slant you perceive, and what specific phrases/words cause this perceived slant?

9 hours ago, SOXBLOX said:

Also, if you don't object to a rename which retains the engine's same properties, why will you not accept it being called metastable metallic hydrogen? Is "explodium" better than mmH? If so, how?

I object because it risks causing people to think that an invalid concept/ invalid science is in fact a valid concept/valid science - particularly given all the statements by the developers praising the realism of KSP and talking about the experts that they consulted with.

Therefore explodium is better than mmH because it runs no risk of promoting bad science.

8 hours ago, afafsa said:

I really, really do not like the idea of introducing technobabble like "explodium rockets." The cool thing about KSP is you play the game and learn practical real-life terminology (delta-V, apoapsis, ISP, etc.). KSP1 tried to introduce a parallel set of nonsense resources, but it ended up being walked back over time because it was way too confusing and didn't allow for the import of the player's real-world knowledge. Cracking water into hydrogen and oxygen is straightforward and practical, what turns into explodium? Dimeritium and magic dust? I'd rather not have to learn a whole lexicon of babble words to play the game.

The game is more than capable of being both fun and scientifically accurate in its terminology. And if it introduces a whole new generation to STEM concepts in the process, all the better.

Well, as I've said, there are certain engines that many feel simply cannot be "both fun and scientifically accurate" - so the option is then to discard the engines (not going to happen givne their prominent focus in the released information), or at least to rename them to prevent promoting science.

Furthermore, the game already has babble words, what is "Blutonium"? - obviously Plutonium, but they don't call it that

https://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/PB-NUK_Radioisotope_Thermoelectric_Generator

What is Explodium? The word is already in KSP 1 as part of a biome name. Additionally, many people feel that gameplay should trump scientific accuracy (a view I can respect, as long as they are willing to admit certain inaccuracies). I think it would be good game design/gameplay to have what seems to be the best fuel for landers/ascent vehicles be hard to get... by placing it in places like Eve. Since Eve canonically already has "explodium seas", it seems like a good fit.

 

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14 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

What is Explodium? The word is already in KSP 1 as part of a biome name. Additionally, many people feel that gameplay should trump scientific accuracy (a view I can respect, as long as they are willing to admit certain inaccuracies). I think it would be good game design/gameplay to have what seems to be the best fuel for landers/ascent vehicles be hard to get... by placing it in places like Eve. Since Eve canonically already has "explodium seas", it seems like a good fit.

 

As I said, KSP1 devs introduced an entire roadmap for these babble resources, but it got discarded for being confusing. There's a few remnants of it, but other than that it was and is a bad idea.

14 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

Therefore explodium is better than mmH because it runs no risk of promoting bad science.

[snip]Torch drives are probably bunk as well, but I'm a lot more forgiving of that than I am "magic rockets." [snip]

Edited by Vanamonde
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[snip]

Hardly. As of now, over 50 people voted for realistic tech, while only 5 voted for technobablium. And being persistent is exactly how you fight misinformation - by countering with real information every time it comes up. Hopefully, most people who see these discussions, instead of arguing for an obsolete theory, will see that it's obsolete and start ignoring anyone pretending it's possible. Maybe even a KSP2 dev will see one of these threads and reconsider putting metallic hydrogen into their game. I'd love to see that happen, even if that meant delaying the release.

 

Edited by Guest
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[snip]

KSP planets are 10x as dense as IRL, I don't think Kerbals making metallic hydrogen/explodium is out of the question yet. Kerbals can literally fabricate all the fuel and reactants needed to power rockets from the soil on Kerbin and the ice on Minmus. Perhaps it's 10x as easier for the Kerbals to make liquid hydrexplodium as it is for us, maybe it's already liquid and sitting in Eve's oceans. As long as it's presented as something only the Kerbals can do, like make reactants from soil, then I wouldn't mind seeing liquid hydrexplodium in KSP 2. Even if Liquid Hydrogen is stupid and dumb and most importantly stupid and dumb, it's not worth delaying the game over.

Edited by Vanamonde
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1 minute ago, Dragon01 said:

scientists are working on [metallic hydrogen engines] right now

But they are working on metallic hydrogen. Either not reading enough sources or a simple mistyping. Either way, the developers are probably smart enough to know the difference and maybe I'm wrong and I'm the one who hasn't read enough sources.

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[snip]

Huh? I voted for the bottom two only as well, but I don't see a problem with things like Epstein drives. The X-ray flux would turn the vehicle into slag in seconds, but I'm willing to just assume advances in materials science don't rule out the possibility in the somewhat distant future.

Taking creative license within the rough limits of the possible is kind of mandatory, unless you want to fly NERVAs to alpha centauri.

This seems like nitpicking all the least interesting parts of scientific plausibility.

Edited by Vanamonde
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44 minutes ago, afafsa said:

Huh? I voted for the bottom two only as well, but I don't see a problem with things like Epstein drives. The X-ray flux would turn the vehicle into slag in seconds, but I'm willing to just assume advances in materials science don't rule out the possibility in the somewhat distant future.

Taking creative license within the rough limits of the possible is kind of mandatory, unless you want to fly NERVAs to alpha centauri.

This seems like nitpicking all the least interesting parts of scientific plausibility.

Absolutely! Without a torchdrive, Kerbal players wouldn't learn brachistochrone trajectories. Even though it's basically impossible IRL to cool it properly, etc, we can still enjoy building, flying, and crashing it.The

***

Also, some players have decided that since mmH is unrealistic IRL, we shouldn't have it in the game. But this is contrary to logic and the scientific process they claim to be defending. You do not overturn incorrect theories/hypotheses/whatevers by removing or censoring them from the public view, you present counterarguments for those who are interested. "A spoonful of honey catches more flies than a gallon of vinegar", right?

Deciding what is best for other humans is a treatment commonly applied to children, who don't know better. Applied to adults, it leads...to topics that do not belong in this forum.

I personally look forward to playing KSP 2 in my own personal style, and I hope everyone gets the ability to do that. I believe that that is the magic of KSP.

Edited by SOXBLOX
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