YaBoyShredderson

How to make the lab less op?

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Anyway to make the lab less powerful?

I really like the lab, as it gives a reason to build space stations and bases, and is a nice ad on for large interplanetary ships, but it produces waaaay too much science. 1 big mission with it and i can pretty much fill out the tech tree, given enough time warping so what even is the point?

I was thinking to have it only be able to process the material science and the mystery goo, because things like thermometer, barometer etc are just a number, cant really get more out of it, and crew reports are the kerbal taking notes, so how can i do this? 

Also, can i do this to labs that are in mods too? Like the planetary bases mod?

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 You can turn down your career Science gains. Or ban use in Kerbin SOI except for decoration and to complete a contract.

And/or when you do use it out of Kerbin SOI , make it a part of a larger station that has to be built.

 I personally just use them for decoration and to fulfill a contact on space stations. I don't use them to get science any more. 

I can't really help with Mod's. I would assume there are ones that make the lab more relevant and less OP.

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I feel like the mobile lab should be a place where, instead of gaining MORE science from an experiment, it should just be able to give you the full amount of science via transmission. It would make sense, considering that instead of bringing the science back home for analysis in a lab, you literally brought the lab with you to analyze it instead. It would still take some time for analysis, since a mobile lab wouldn't be a robust institute as the one in the KSC, but the results could be worth it if you don't want to wait however long it would take to get that science back to Kerbin on it's own.

Edited by Yellowburn10

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My personal solution for the lab is to cheat. Don't use the lab for actually processing experiments, but still build stations with it. Then, whenever I feel stuck in the tech tree and want to advance without grinding science, alt-f12 and cheat myself enough science to advance. Pretend it's a scientific breakthrough made in the lab.

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I don't play career much, but the last time I tried playing career, it was damn difficult when you first start out and just putting 1 kerbal in orbit with only a few low-tier parts was a huge challenge, but once you get the lab up there, it's game on! finally I can unlock the parts that I normally use in sandbox, but have actual missions to complete.

I say keep it like it is, and if you think it's OP, then don't use it at all; orbital stations don't NEED the lab to BE a station.

Edited by Xyphos

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I treat the lab like it's an automated green house that can sustain 2 Kerbals. It doesn't matter how low your science returns rate is, it's still an infinite source of science.

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science from the lab has always been fluff for me, because i don't time warp to ridiculous amounts. i run all my missions simultaneously, so i have several interplanetary ships that i launched months ago (both in-game and in real life ) that still haven't reached their target because i've been busy dealing with all the stuff in the kerbin system so far. i'm still around day 170, no time to gather enough science with the lab.

on the other hand, i already unlocked the full tech tree with nothing but mun and minmus landing, without ever launching a dedicated science mission. simply, every time i got a tourist contract to land on mun/minmus, i made sure to land at a different location.

face it, this is not a game where "balance" is a concern. getting infinite science, as well as infinite money and close enough to infinite reputation, is trivial. that's not what the game is about.

i considered lowering science/money returns, but that would only encourage grinding, taking on boring contracts only to net some cash.

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2 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

science from the lab has always been fluff for me, because i don't time warp to ridiculous amounts. i run all my missions simultaneously, so i have several interplanetary ships that i launched months ago (both in-game and in real life ) that still haven't reached their target because i've been busy dealing with all the stuff in the kerbin system so far. i'm still around day 170, no time to gather enough science with the lab.

on the other hand, i already unlocked the full tech tree with nothing but mun and minmus landing, without ever launching a dedicated science mission. simply, every time i got a tourist contract to land on mun/minmus, i made sure to land at a different location.

face it, this is not a game where "balance" is a concern. getting infinite science, as well as infinite money and close enough to infinite reputation, is trivial. that's not what the game is about.

i considered lowering science/money returns, but that would only encourage grinding, taking on boring contracts only to net some cash.

I feel largely the same way. There's tons of science out there. When I did the Kerpollo challenge, I completed the tech tree with just 5 or 6 missions using no labs, no deployed science, and only a single landing on each body. The labs and deployed science really just add some roleplaying value because without them scientists would become virtually useless once the tech tree was complete. It would be nice if the overflow science was good for something other than converting it to reputation/funds that I don't really need either.

Edited by Grogs

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13 hours ago, Yellowburn10 said:

I feel like the mobile lab should be a place where, instead of gaining MORE science from an experiment, it should just be able to give you the full amount of science via transmission.

That's what Kerbalism's science does. It does a lot more, though, not everyone's choice ;)

 

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I only ever use them to fulfil station/ base contracts.  I put some scientists in one once but they take so long to process stuff you can progress a lot faster by just going out and getting some more science instead. 

 

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Yup kerbalism science.  Thats it.  Also,  you can tweak it to be required to clean the mat lab and goo and then stop your scientists from cleaning them in the field.

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Labs for me are homeworld surrogates. In addition to leveling up Kerbals, I also Alt-F12 complete "rescue" contracts when I've gotten the Kerbal to a lab. I wish this was an option in-game for a lesser reward.

I never use them for science, though.

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On 9/3/2020 at 12:20 AM, Yellowburn10 said:

I feel like the mobile lab should be a place where, instead of gaining MORE science from an experiment, it should just be able to give you the full amount of science via transmission. It would make sense, considering that instead of bringing the science back home for analysis in a lab, you literally brought the lab with you to analyze it instead. It would still take some time for analysis, since a mobile lab wouldn't be a robust institute as the one in the KSC, but the results could be worth it if you don't want to wait however long it would take to get that science back to Kerbin on it's own.

Then it would have close to no use when in a space station in orbit of a body, and would be the most effective as/in a rover, since it would be able to travel to each biome and transmit full science, but sti that would be a huge nerf and would make it almost into a different part. However I'd like if there was a new part that could do that

 

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I remember several threads on this same subject years ago. Science labs are OP in my opinion if you make the assumption that the goal of the game is to complete the tech tree, make tons of money, and push out to the innermost and outermost planets. Indeed, that's the gameplay loop that KSP set up.

However, this can also be thought of as an open-world, sandbox game where you make your own goals. The lab gives an alternate means of completing the tech tree without forcing the player to grind Minmus landings or go interplanetary. Speaking of which, last I heard the statistics showed that a lot of players (not just the ones who post on this forums) don't actually make it to the interplanetary phase of the game. For them, the lab is the key to make the later nodes of the tree accessible, which you need if you want to make giant Mun landers that takes 20 passengers, or space shuttles. Neither of those are required to mine science from Mun and Minmus, but people make them for fun. Lately I've been playing around with quad-copters despite not really needing them for science or money farming, strictly speaking.

That said, I have a suggestion. Time warping needs to mean something. I think that your space program should have a monthly operating cost that represents building maintenance, salaries, etc. and that operating cost increases with building upgrades, kerbals currently on mission, and probe cores on mission. That way, when you time warp to get a new set of contracts, complete lab science, or get breaking-ground deployed science finished, it actually costs you something.

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17 hours ago, Neil Kermstrong said:

Then it would have close to no use when in a space station in orbit of a body, and would be the most effective as/in a rover, since it would be able to travel to each biome and transmit full science, but sti that would be a huge nerf and would make it almost into a different part. However I'd like if there was a new part that could do that

 

That's just one way to use it. But who says you have to take the lab with you to every minute valley and crevasse? Why not have a separate craft go and collect science, then just bring it back to a base or station that has a lab? Like as an example, a space station could send a lander or probe filled with science equipment down to the surface of a planet, gather all the science available in the area, then head back up to the station to analyse all of it with the lab. Then you could repeat the process over and over, eventually gathering all the science from a celestial body, at full value, all without ever needing to leave. Sure, it would be a bit resource intensive, and refueling the lander over and over might be an issue, but it's far from impractical or not worth using. The lab would still have a very good and practical use, giving a good amount of science without being too OP.

And yes, of course it would be a nerf compared to what the lab is capable of doing now, but that's kinda the point of what YaBoy was wanting to discuss.

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10 minutes ago, Yellowburn10 said:

That's just one way to use it. But who says you have to take the lab with you to every minute valley and crevasse? Why not have a separate craft go and collect science, then just bring it back to a base or station that has a lab? Like as an example, a space station could send a lander or probe filled with science equipment down to the surface of a planet, gather all the science available in the area, then head back up to the station to analyse all of it with the lab. Then you could repeat the process over and over, eventually gathering all the science from a celestial body, at full value, all without ever needing to leave. Sure, it would be a bit resource intensive, and refueling the lander over and over might be an issue, but it's far from impractical or not worth using. The lab would still have a very good and practical use, giving a good amount of science without being too OP.

And yes, of course it would be a nerf compared to what the lab is capable of doing now, but that's kinda the point of what YaBoy was wanting to discuss.

Yeah I also thought about making a base or a station, but having a rover with it is would be more effective.

What I disliked is how it would become a totally different part

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I wrote a MM patch to move the lab further down the tech tree, to a CTT node costing something like 1500, making the lab by that point mainly useful for unlocking the stuff costing 4000+. If you use any tech tree mod you could probably adapt this to your needs, but the vanilla tree doesn't have enough of a cost increase to make this a viable solution.

@PART[Large_Crewed_Lab]:NEEDS[CommunityTechTree]
{
    @TechRequired = longTermScienceTech
}

Another idea for a restriction is to only ever recover data from labs, meaning no transmission, so you at least need to return the survey craft or have it shoot home a science return pobe. This might make craft design more interesting depending on your (non)recovery tendencies before.

Edited by Rocket Witch

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I just edit the lab’s part.cfg file and turn the science per data point value down considerably, this along with a 10-20% science gains setting makes the lab vastly less OP. You can still collect duplicate data and process it in multiple labs on the same vessel to get the full gain from each, but the easiest way to fix that is not to do it :wink:.

With such low gains, scraping all the science from Kerbin’s SOI still won’t complete the tech tree; this does make the early phases of a career game take a while though.

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On 9/14/2020 at 2:23 AM, jimmymcgoochie said:

With such low gains, scraping all the science from Kerbin’s SOI still won’t complete the tech tree; this does make the early phases of a career game take a while though.

If I'm not mistaken, you can launch a new science lab and then collect the same data and get more science again. You just can't repeat the same data experiment in the same lab. This makes it so that science is infinite, only limited by available funding, which you can get from repeating contracts within Kerbin's SOI.

This also means that the game loop is a little different than most games. Usually you're forced to progress until you beat the game. Career mode on the other hand is sandbox with some grind thrown in to give the illusion of purpose. Honestly, it works sorta well, but its limits really start showing the more I play KSP.

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1 hour ago, Xavven said:

Honestly, it works sorta well, but its limits really start showing the more I play KSP.

That's why it's CRITICAL as a player to - once this starts to bother you - toss aside the game-given progression and make sure you're striving toward your own goals.

For me it's been forum challenges that have kept me going.

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On 9/3/2020 at 5:20 AM, Yellowburn10 said:

I feel like the mobile lab should be a place where, instead of gaining MORE science from an experiment, it should just be able to give you the full amount of science via transmission. It would make sense, considering that instead of bringing the science back home for analysis in a lab, you literally brought the lab with you to analyze it instead. It would still take some time for analysis, since a mobile lab wouldn't be a robust institute as the one in the KSC, but the results could be worth it if you don't want to wait however long it would take to get that science back to Kerbin on it's own.

I wish it acted like that. It used to act somewhat like that (improving the transmission amount, so it seems labs back on Kerbin are more advanced).

Instead I use it as a way of funding missions without bothering with contracts. Lab provides science... use the admin building to do science> fund conversion.

Thus I can fund my missions using this, and ignoring contracts.

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