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Am I alone in thinking that the Kerbals themselves can be a bit overrated?


How important are the kerbals to the game itself? (please pick closest to where you most comfortably align)  

166 members have voted

  1. 1. How important are the kerbals to the game itself? (please pick closest to where you most comfortably align)

    • 1 - They are a detriment to the game itself and the game would be better without them
      3
    • 1.5
      1
    • 2 - Unnecessary, but non-detrimental
      2
    • 2.5
      10
    • 3 - They add flavor to the game and it would feel empty without them but the game would still be fun
      41
    • 3.5
      33
    • 4 - Without them the game would have value but I most likely wouldn't still be playing it if they weren't there
      26
    • 4.5
      14
    • 5 - Absolutely essential, they are the core focus of the game and without them KSP is utterly worthless
      36


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18 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

Ok, have fun with that i guess. Ill just use alt F-12 to teleport a lone kerbal outside of any capsule to the moon. Wow... look at me go

I don't see the point of this statement. I was saying that your argument about probes being more difficult only applies if the communication mechanic is left on. It's a mechanic that I never figured out, and I have always played without it from the beginning, long before it was even added. I know there's a number of others that do so as well. Still, not everyone plays with the same settings. But I don't see what your response is supposed to mean here.

I do think that probes are more awkward to design rockets around though.

Edited by Bill Phil
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3 minutes ago, Bill Phil said:

I don't see the point of this statement. I was saying that your argument about probes being more difficult only applies if the communication mechanic is left on. It's a mechanic that I never figured out, and I have always played without it from the beginning. I know there's a number of others that do so as well. Still, not everyone plays with the same settings. But I don't see what your response is supposed to mean here.

I do think that probes are more awkward to design rockets around though.

Sorry for being so dismissive then, I thought you were just suggesting undercutting the fundamental difficulty of the probe to diminish my statement about difficult as a cheap gotcha. What is it about the comms mechanic you dont get though? It seems fairly straight forward to me.

As for probe being awkward to design around I always felt that about capsules since many of them come in odd shapes with angled sides. I like probe cores cause you can just build off them in all directions and they take very little space where as capsules normally need to be at the tip of a rocket.

Edited by mcwaffles2003
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3 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

I always felt that about capsules since many of them come in odd shapes with angled sides. I like probe cores cause you can just build off them in all directions and they take very little space where as capsules normally need to be at the tip of a rocket.

another reason as to why manned spaceflight is more impressive than probed spaceflight

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Just now, mcwaffles2003 said:

Sorry for being so dismissive then, I thought you were just suggesting undercutting the fundamental difficulty of the probe to diminish my statement about difficult as a cheap gotcha. What is it about the comms mechanic you dont get though? It seems fairly straight forward to me.

Ah, no worries. 

I just never bothered to learn much about it. I could probably figure it out if I tried but I'm kind of set in my ways in how I play KSP. I don't play as often as I want to though, so I usually just end up doing an Apollo style mission to some target planet/moon and back. I do want to do some probe missions as well but I usually end up sending Kerbals.

6 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

As for probe being awkward to design around I always felt that about capsules since many of them come in odd shapes with angled sides. I like probe cores cause you can just build off them in all directions and they take very little space where as capsules normally need to be at the tip of a rocket.

Being at the tip of the rocket makes it easier to design around in my experience.

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[snip]

 

1 hour ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

that can't even simulate wind or gravity?

 

KSP doesn't simulate wind, and those apps simulate gravity, although a dumbed downed version. SFS was stef's application to the dev team (Or so i've heard) so its kind of supposed to be a gateway for new players to get into space and rocket making before going into the big leagues

[snip]

 

Now i need to leave and i shall return one day. i bid you adiue

Edited by Snark
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Hi folks,

Various content in this thread has been redacted and/or removed due to excessive acrimony, which escalated to the point of  people making personal remarks, which is never okay.

Please remember that we're all friends here.  It's fine to have a lively discussion and sharing of differing opinions about things-- that's the whole point of this thread, after all.  Just... don't make it personal.  Address the post, not the poster.  And please don't take it as a personal attack when someone happens to like something different from you.

I can't believe I actually need to come right out and say this, but apparently enough folks have forgotten that the point needs to be made explicitly:

Different people like different things.  And that's okay.

Look, KSP is a very "flexible" game.  You can use it in all sorts of different ways to achieve different sorts of purposes.  That's a good thing-- it attracts all sorts of people to the game and is a big part of what makes it as popular as it is.  But that also means that what you like about it is likely to be very different from what other folks like.  And this thread does a pretty good job of bringing those differences to light.

(Which, personally,  I think is a good thing:  otherwise it's easy for me to forget that other people enjoy the game in very different ways than I do.)  ;)

So, to be clear, all of the following are perfectly okay to say, and it would be silly for anyone to get angry or annoyed at any of them:

  • "I like <thing>."
    • Extra bonus points:  "...because <reasons>."
  • "I don't like <thing that you like>.  I like <other thing> instead."
    • Extra bonus points:  "...because <other reasons>."
  • "I'm surprised you like <thing I don't>.  Why is that?"

And of course, it would be silly and pointless for you to call someone else's opinion "wrong", or to try to persuade anyone to change their opinion to yours.   Opinions are just a matter of what a person likes; and as such, they're a matter of emotional preference, and aren't "rational" per se.  Arguing about whose opinion is better would be as silly as arguing over which ice cream flavor is better, vanilla or chocolate.  (Chocolate.)

So... feel free to talk about your likes and dislikes here, and how you voted and why.  But please don't stoop to ridiculing other people for liking different things.

Aside from steering clear of personal remarks, two other things have popped up in this thread that you should avoid:

  • Please avoid making contentless posts.  Simply quoting yourself (or someone else) without adding any comments doesn't really add anything to the discussion.
  • Please don't try to tell other people what to do or what not to do.  You're not a moderator, so it's not your place to do so.  If you think someone is breaking rules, then by all means report the post and the moderators will have a look at it in due course.  But please don't try to enforce anything yourself; it doesn't help and just leads to bickering and fights.

 

Thank you for your understanding.  Play nice, okay?  :)

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Jeb's unique among flagship franchise characters in that he not only provides an iconic emblem, he also embodies a philosophy of play. KSP, at least on paper, sounds like the kind of game you'd be bad at when you first pick it up. The magic of Kerbals is that they turn that reality into a virtue: of COURSE you'll be bad at it, and that's hilarious.

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14 hours ago, Oneiros said:

i actually wonder if the cartoonish kerbals are the reason this game isn't taken seriously as a spaceflight sim outside the gaming community.

Maybe more inside the gaming community. The real-world spaceflight community seems to embrace the game.

7 hours ago, K^2 said:

I don't think they need to be terribly complex. I don't think I ever wanted more out of Kerbals than what base KSP already has. But at the same time, without them, the game would be kind of empty. How often would you even bother to look back at a lander that crash-landed on another planet? But now if there's a stranded crew, what sort of monster wouldn't launch a rescue mission? It's definitely a big part of replayability of the game.

I think we can do with some more variety, booth in looks (I know, there are mods for that) as well as in behavior. It always bothers me when I see a video of somebody flying/driving around the KSC with one or two Kerbals onboard in external seats, and all you see is one or two helmets that stay absolutely stationary no matter what happens. There might be dead bodies in those suits, as far as I know.

 

For me, the Kerbals are pretty essential in a couple of ways:

  • Initial Attraction: virtually everyone starts the game with fail after fail. outside sheer tenacity, seeing the Kerbals panic adds a bit of fun to the game that makes the failures more endurable and keeps you going. I llike to think that without those silly Kerbals, a lot of us would have missed out on the game, even when the Kerbals themselves wear off after a while
  • Motivation: saving Kerbals that you stranded, making missions with a return component; there's a lot more that gets added to the game once you have crew. Granted, those could just be mechanical stick men, but I wouldn't feel the same urge to bring them back home as when they are adorable little creatures you're responsible for.
  • Variation: the spice of life! If we do the same thing over and over again, things get boring. This is where the game currently lacks: we have male and female Kerbals, and tourists. Getting more variation in who they are and what they do on a ship can only help in making the game last longer.
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They add character to a game that would lack it without them. They are an excellent marketing tool and are probably the reason KSP is considered one of the best games ever made. I believe without them this game would have been another indie with a tiny playerbase. 

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15 hours ago, Le Lynx said:

Sorry, I'm French and I make mistakes. Shame doesn't mean "dommage"?

For the record, your English usage was perfect.    "That's a shame", "that's a pity", "that's too bad" all are good renditions of "c'est dommage".

                                                                                        

Also for the record, the creators of the game, whose vision -- and imagination -- has made it what it is, have stated their deliberate decision that it be a game and not a simulator.

Borrowing from reality is not, per se, an exercise in Imagination.

Edited by Hotel26
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4.0 -- Taking care of my little guys is fun.  You have to think about certain constructions if you're bringing them over, otherwise it would be all probes (hey, like real life for the last 50 years !  Well, barring Low Earth Orbit)
I mean making Mars Duna Rover can be done easy, be super light and fast... Or less light but nigh invincible.  But if a tire burst, you'd be done for unless you savescum.
Now if you bring a little guy, s/he can fix the tires.

The only thing I am missing is a very BASIC life support option in the menues. Like Water/Snacks, maybe Oxygen. 1/3rd down the tech tree you could start having air scrubbers or devices that eats water and give air at the cost of E/C.
Nothing a mod can't fix, but it would be a nice base thing to throw in there.

Kerbal's personalities really perk the game up in my book.

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I've putzed around with SimpleRockets 2 a bit and while I have tremendous respect for what they're attempting, the faceless astronauts just don't do it for me. It's irrational, but then playing games is irrational, so there it is.

So I would most likely quickly lose interest in KSP if it didn't have kerbals, or some functional equivalent -- even if I've happily flown pretty long probes-only careers. Every game needs a focus, a point, something to seize the imagination, a hook to hang thoughts on. In KSP, kerbals are it. Kerbals are also really successful at it -- if you replaced them with similarly fleshed-out but more realistic cosmonauts with personalities, names, and what have you, I'm not sure I'd enjoy the game as much. For one thing it'd create problems with suspension of disbelief in the areas where KSP's realism goes out of the window -- and I'm also not at all certain that I'd enjoy a space sim realistic enough to fix that problem.

So yeah, kerbals matter. It's a 4 to 4.5 on the scale for me.

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On 12/28/2020 at 9:54 AM, The Aziz said:

Like you said, Simplerockets or Orbiter sim. Yet Another Spaceflight Simulator 2015 (YASS)

On 12/28/2020 at 5:37 PM, DunaManiac said:

Kerbals to me are what seperates KSP from the pack of space simulators of Simple Rockets 2 and Orbiter.

On 12/29/2020 at 7:24 AM, Souptime said:

Space agency, spaceflight simulator, SR2, all the other ones that come up when you search rocket builder

 

 

So I'm genuinely asking here, what other games are like KSP?

 

  • SR/SR2 - IMO, they are the closest thing to KSP. They feel much less developed or nuanced with a much lesser variety of parts and much more bland scenery. Rocket shape doesn't seem to matter as it seems aero-forces don't tumble a craft (as far as I recall), there is no reentry heating, modding is much more sparse... but it does have stock realplume like effects, a VPL (havent played since it released), and configurable engines.. So the games not inferior in every way, just 90% of the ways.

 

  • Orbiter - never played but from what I've seen it is nothing like kerbal in building rockets, seems vastly more difficult to fly, and just very dull overall.

 

  • Space agency - Genuinely fun game for a phone game. That said, it's version of orbital mechanics is far removed from reality, getting to orbit feels more like a dull minigame of "tilt the right amount" where you match your orientation to that of a preset tilting thing in the top left corner. You can make space stations and customize rockets but this is all very limited. You can go to other planets but to get there you fly directly at them and not along a hohmann transfer and navigating around can be a pain with there being no map....

             TL;DR gimmicky phone game the is far from competing with kerbal, may as well say clash of clans is competing with command & conquer/AoE/Warcraft.

 

  • spaceflight simulator - another phone game, very similar to space agency, also far from being close to competing with KSP.

 

So... does anybody know of any other KSP-like games? If you do, please let me know, I'd like to check them out and so far I haven't found any. I'd like to go along with these opinions that kerbals are the thing that separates KSP from the pack, but from where I'm looking, there is no pack for KSP to separate itself from. It's a truly unique game, with or without kerbals in it.

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Kerbals are great comic relief and definitely add to the overall appeal of the game for me, but they're still ultimately just a nice side touch and should not distract from the core game mechanics of building rockets and flying missions. I've spent far more time in KSP building and flying rockets/aircraft that were either unmanned or had the kerbals permanently in their capsules such that it wouldn't matter if they're kerbals or not than actually using them directly.

That said, I would like to see them integrated a bit better into the core game mechanics with a better implementation of kerbal skills and experience for example (not the current magic XP they can get from just being passengers on an interplanetary mission) so that highly skilled kerbals are actually a valuable resource.

 

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Yeah but that's just it. KSP wasn't first on the market but is, in a way, unique. And mixes features from all those titles mentioned above. It doesn't have procedural parts like Simplerockets (if they're needed, that's entirely different discussion), but has more interesting world, better physics than SpaceAgency, (it's 3D lol) and it's funnier than Orbiter which is really just hardcore Spaceflight sim.

Now that I begin to think, how are physics in Space Engineers? I used to play it for like an hour but dropped really fast, way too complicated. And I think I crashed into a planet.

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1 minute ago, The Aziz said:

Now that I begin to think, how are physics in Space Engineers? I used to play it for like an hour but dropped really fast, way too complicated. And I think I crashed into a planet.

The collision physics are pretty impressive for a voxel builder with block damage and destruction and terrain deformation, but the actual simulation isn't great. Things like tensile strength aren't simulated at all so its entirely possible to build enormous constructs supported by tiny beams.

Orbital mechanics aren't simulated at all either. Planets have gravity wells that will gently pull you in towards them in a straight line, but there's no circular orbits at all. As soon as you cross the magic threshold to get out of a gravity well, you can completely shut off your engines and your ship will be completely stationary.

Space Engineers is more of a sci-fi PVP playground where players can test their ship designs against each other than anything else.

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3 hours ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

So... does anybody know of any other KSP-like games? If you do, please let me know, I'd like to check them out and so far I haven't found any. I'd like to go along with these opinions that kerbals are the thing that separates KSP from the pack, but from where I'm looking, there is no pack for KSP to separate itself from. It's a truly unique game, with or without kerbals in it.

That new mars game seems to be claiming to be a KSP-like game.

My personal thoughts about the kerbals are that they are there to make the game connectable. I have a very hard time connecting to a robot probe but Jeb's awe at Jool makes me feel an emotional attachment to Jeb. If I were there I would be staring in awe too. But a probe in orbit will just click and hum and do exactly what it is told to do. Not very exciting or relatable.

No game is like KSP because of the kerbals. All the other games focus on the rocketry aspect not the human/kerbal aspect. And the reason humans aren't there are because it doesn't work as well. I would always feel a kind of love for kerbals but if that was a human it would just feel weird.  The kerbals embody the best parts of humanity too. They constantly feel the need to explore and discover. Their goofy nature makes me feel excited to be working along side them. They don't hate, they don't fight, they don't discriminate, they just are passionately excited to exist. If the Kerbals ever invented an internet, they would probably just talk about snacks and space all day. No trolls and no hate. Who wouldn't want to be a Kerbal?

Edited by Kerminator K-100
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I'm not voting because there isn't a response that fits my position. Without the Kerbals the game is still quite playable, but it would lose something. Others have offered a variety of reasons why the Kerbals are necessary, but my personal opinion is that the Kerbals add that spark of life to the game.

I hate it when I strand they somewhere, or kill one of them. Without that emotional bond, or at least the want to do it right when the Kerbals are involved, the game would seem really cold and less appealing without them.

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11 hours ago, Kerminator K-100 said:

That new mars game seems to be claiming to be a KSP-like game.

BeardyPenguin is doing  a lets play on it and you can design a rocket for missions but you cant fly it. It all just comes down to a series of dice rolls.

11 hours ago, Kerminator K-100 said:

No game is like KSP because of the kerbals. All the other games focus on the rocketry aspect not the human/kerbal aspect.

See... I would like to believe this but I just don't see it as being the actual case. It seems that no game is like KSP, not just because of kerbals, but just no game lets you build rockets and fly them with a decent simulator running it.  Simple Rockets is the only game I know of that exists in the same genre as KSP and I really doubt that if we somehow pulled the kerbals out of KSP and put them in simple rockets that most people would start thinking simple rockets is a better quality rocket building/flying game.

That said, I get their appeal, I really do, but I just don't think they're the  only thing that separates them from the pack and instead that there's just no pack to separate from

[snip]

12 hours ago, The Aziz said:

Now that I begin to think, how are physics in Space Engineers? I used to play it for like an hour but dropped really fast, way too complicated. And I think I crashed into a planet.

12 hours ago, Lord Aurelius said:

Orbital mechanics aren't simulated at all either. Planets have gravity wells that will gently pull you in towards them in a straight line, but there's no circular orbits at all. As soon as you cross the magic threshold to get out of a gravity well, you can completely shut off your engines and your ship will be completely stationary.

Another example of a game that I wouldn't even put in the same genre as KSP. 

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On 12/29/2020 at 1:10 PM, mcwaffles2003 said:

I keep hearing this but I dont understand it. The ONLY other space sim I know that exists that is in any way similar to KSP is simple rockets 2. In my opinion that game is just very unfinished, lacks a lot of content, and has no where near the depth of simulation that KSP has. So please, if you can name another space flight sim that allows me to build and fly complex modular rockets with similar ease to KSP please tell me what it is, because when I hear "another space simulator" I'm left asking "what other ones even exist?"

I think people are trying to say that it would give the impression that its just another rocket game from a first impression. Kerbals are only aesthetic but more often than not its the small things in games that make them great and not just another "space sim".  I love them but I get were you are coming from. I would prefer the gameplay to be better and the bugs to be fixed in ksp over new kerbal animations myself but assuming the game works I would like the Kerbals to be improved on its a bonus. The only thing I dislike is the way one of the devs said that kerbals are genius by accident. That is not the case. I do not want Kerbals to turn into a joke because they are not.  You do not invent rocket engines by accident. One of the devs even said kerbals would not fly a play the we would because scott manly pointed it out. I think they should fly planes correctly because they managed to build them too. Its a fine line and I am not going to make a bid deal about it but they are professional, atleast the way I play. 

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5 minutes ago, dave1904 said:

The only thing I dislike is the way one of the devs said that kerbals are genius by accident. That is not the case. I do not want Kerbals to turn into a joke because they are not.  You do not invent rocket engines by accident. One of the devs even said kerbals would not fly a play the we would because scott manly pointed it out. I think they should fly planes correctly because they managed to build them too. Its a fine line and I am not going to make a bid deal about it but they are professional, atleast the way I play. 

Yeah I would rather not see them exaggerated as morons as well. Also, if you are piloting a craft and steer to the right and your body gets pulled to the left from centrifugal forces think about the body mechanics. Your body goes left while your hands go right? Just doesn't work... Kerbals shouldn't act like ragdolls while piloting...

 

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1 minute ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

Yeah I would rather not see them exaggerated as morons as well. Also, if you are piloting a craft and steer to the right and your body gets pulled to the left from centrifugal forces think about the body mechanics. Your body goes left while your hands go right? Just doesn't work... Kerbals shouldn't act like ragdolls while piloting...

 

Thinking about it moving around in the spacecraft would be really nice. 

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