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Auto Pilot/Auto Maneuver would be nice


Dientus
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33 minutes ago, Rejected Spawn said:

[...]

The debate is dangerously getting close to the "accessibility vs difficulty" one. 

I don't want to prevent people from installing MJ and I don't have anything against the mod, but I don't want the devs to design the game with the idea that flying should be completely optional.

Just like I enjoy challenges of people building trebuchets to make challenges but I don't want the main career/adventure mode to be designed around that activity.

I love the idea of using real training missions to level up crew and test tech to unlock increasingly advanced automation systems.

(Also planes autopilot a little more complex than SAS should be a thing, at all levels, at least some altitude and direction hold)

Edited by Master39
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4 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

(A while back I argued that KSP2 should have no optional systems. I stand by that. Options, yes, but these should be scalars that you can tune to adjust the difficulty to your liking -- but nothing like optional CommNet, atmospheric heating, etc.)

I don't like having to bother with commNet or anything more advanced in my casual play-through. Sure it's a space simulator but it's also a game.  Who cares if you make a unrealistic thing. Realism isn't always fun and nobody dictates what is fun and isn't fun. Some people are casual. 

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23 minutes ago, Arco123 said:

I don't like having to bother with commNet or anything more advanced in my casual play-through. Sure it's a space simulator but it's also a game.  Who cares if you make a unrealistic thing. Realism isn't always fun and nobody dictates what is fun and isn't fun. Some people are casual. 

I'm against the "no optional systems" stance, but it's true that KSP 1 was developed (due to its story) like a bunch of completely isolated optional systems each with its own part sets barely interacting with each other.

I want option to be there, but I also want the game systems to be designed together as parts of a whole and not as a set of unrelated switchable addons.

Keeping it on this example I would prefer a "automation" branch of the tech tree, starting with the first probe cores, crossing the "logistics" one for the supply routes and culminating in a full blown flying automation system instead of a mere "flying everything automagically" switch in the settings.

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26 minutes ago, Arco123 said:

I don't like having to bother with commNet or anything more advanced in my casual play-through. Sure it's a space simulator but it's also a game.  Who cares if you make a unrealistic thing. Realism isn't always fun and nobody dictates what is fun and isn't fun. Some people are casual. 

I am very much not a member of the realism squad. KSP2 must be a fun game first and foremost, if realism gets in the way then realism has to move over.

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5 minutes ago, Master39 said:

I'm against the "no optional systems" stance, but it's true that KSP 1 was developed (due to its story) like a bunch of completely isolated optional systems each with its own part sets barely interacting with each other.

I want option to be there, but I also want the game systems to be designed together as parts of a whole and not as a set of unrelated switchable addons.

Keeping it on this example I would prefer a "automation" branch of the tech tree, starting with the first probe cores, crossing the "logistics" one for the supply routes and culminating in a full blown flying automation system instead of a mere "flying everything automagically" switch in the settings.

This is completely what I think. 

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21 hours ago, Dientus said:

Juggling 4 Mun missions at once got me to thinking... I personally would like an option in the settings that would allow your kerbil pilots to automatically perform a maneuver that you have already created or preset when the time reaches the T -0 point.

:awe:

Hear me out, I don't mean complete computer control per se. I'm thinking it would only occur if the option were set, you were not in control of the craft, you had appropriate controls in the craft and you had a pilot in the control seat. Results of the burn/maneuver could be based on the kerbil pilots skill level. Such as 2% margin of error for top level, 4% for the next, 8% next, 16%... and so on. 

I think it would add a dimension of play in pilot choice depending on mission, and could make for very interesting situations if the skill were too low. It would also help in the current situation I am in, where 3 crafts maneuver windows are within 1 minute of each other! :sad:

Any thoughts? Or has this already been mentioned elsewhere?

This could be a feature activated in a chaeta menu.

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7 minutes ago, Master39 said:

I want option to be there, but I also want the game systems to be designed together as parts of a whole and not as a set of unrelated switchable addons.

In my view this is a self-contradictory stance.

Or, specifically, requiring game systems to be both designed together as parts of a whole and switchable, makes designing, testing, playtesting, and debugging them a lot harder than if you only picked one or the other, and the process of doing so will most likely result in something that's significantly compromised over just designing all of them together as parts of a whole.

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1 hour ago, Rejected Spawn said:

I still have a hard time believing how intense the undertones of "you're playing the game wrong" still show [...etc...]

I think it would be more worthwhile to address the points people are actually making, rather than inventing straw men and dramatically knocking them down. A game that does not even exist yet cannot be "played wrong", because it cannot be played at all. So no one is saying that. This is a discussion of the potential consequences of including a feature in that future game; what the gameplay experience would be like with and without that feature. Some readers think that including this feature would remove something important from that gameplay, and it's not very charitable to interpret that as an attack on other players.

1 hour ago, Rejected Spawn said:

The player has to unlock at least some tech through relevant actions. [...] Likewise you could "teach" the kerbals and probes to fly by gathering tons of flight data to gradually expand their options, and rather than level up each kerbal your flight data is included in their training programs so they learn most of it before showing up as usable crew in the first place. [...]

None of this would do anything to address the problem that I, at least, pointed out: That an auto-maneuver system that doesn't simulate vessel physics could give players the option of building craft that are physically incapable of performing a maneuver, and then performing that maneuver anyway. Eventually we would see new players doing it unintentionally, not realizing they've broken one or more of the cardinal rules of craft design, because they haven't had to learn them. I am 100% in favor of convenience and avoiding repetitive gameplay, but the maneuver system, physics system, and craft construction systems are intertwined in ways that often have interesting consequences for the player, and care should be taken to avoid unravelling that structure.

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10 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

In my view this is a self-contradictory stance.

Or, specifically, requiring game systems to be both designed together as parts of a whole and switchable, makes designing, testing, playtesting, and debugging them a lot harder than if you only picked one or the other, and the process of doing so will most likely result in something that's significantly compromised over just designing all of them together as parts of a whole.

You make a "flight automation" branch of the tech tree, you end it with complete automation (late into the game, with nodes normally unlockable only with advanced colony labs), you make all the refined interaction with other branches (Relays, scripting, remote mission control buildings, supply routes) that you couldn't do if the game behaved like a bunch of isolated systems, and then you give the player the ability to chose at which tech level they want to start their game.

In that way you have everything well designed and integrated but you also give the players options.

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It's pretty common to see new players on Gameplay Questions starting with "I'm running with MJ and..." then proceeding to ask questions that demonstrate that they have no idea about the basics of spacecraft design or operation -- and it's really hard for them to learn if they're just putting bits together more or less at random, clicking buttons on MJ, and hoping. 

– If there is a way to gate autopilot away from newbies, then it's not necessarily a bad idea IMO. I don't think putting it late in the tech tree is sufficient, however, at least not if some analogue of sandbox mode is retained. I'm all for systems that reduce tedium and busywork, but I do feel very strongly that features that dilute or invalidate core gameplay elements simply should not be implemented – especially in a game as moddable as KSP.

To use an analogy: asking for a stock MJ analogue in KSP is like asking for Civilization with a switch that disables war. It's not that you're wrong or bad for wanting to play Civ as a pacifist or – if there is one – install a mod that removes military units from the game. It's just that war is a really huge part of the gameplay experience, and if you're not into war, then you'd probably enjoy playing a city-builder more.

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Just my 2 cents then, I think using MJ is a two sided coin, two examples:

When I started playing KSP some years ago, I couldn't perform a Mun landing, always crashes, crashes, and more crashes. Then I installed MJ and let it do the landing. And watched, very closely. And began to understand. And tried it again myself, which after three attempts finally succeed.  Fast forward to today, I do all my landings manually which for me works better than MJ.

As I said earlier, I'm playing KSP for a couple of years now and have launched a couple of thousand rockets. It's the very same same over and over again to reach orbit, that is why I delegate that job to MJ. I'm a bit OCD here, I totally love to build and optimize rockets so they follow the predefined ascend trajectory as close as possible, optimizing sometimes for hours without any practical relevance or use, just for the fun of it.

Edited by VoidSquid
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2 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

The effort spent to implement any given feature is effort not spent to implement some other feature. It is a bad idea to spend time and effort to implement optional features, especially if they go directly against one of the main pillars of the game's design intent.

(A while back I argued that KSP2 should have no optional systems. I stand by that. Options, yes, but these should be scalars that you can tune to adjust the difficulty to your liking -- but nothing like optional CommNet, atmospheric heating, etc.)

Sorry but your argument doesn't make much sense to me. The implementation of such feature is not gonna damage the development of the game. And it doesn't go against one of its main pillars. To the point most of main KSP players use one or twice features from mods like HyperEdit, KOS or MechJeb.

It's also not unrealistic to unlock certain automatization process within the tech tree, since nowdays most of space maneuvres are mostly calculated and executed by computer programs anyway.

I just can't stand this very toxic pc gamer culture of "oh, a game should be played hard and difficult, like real men". That's just stupid, KSP is all about making your own fun. May be OP enjoys building big bases and doesn't want to spend half of its free time performing monotonous rendevouz maneuvres. May be he want to test something before commiting to a full mission execution. Maybe he's just bored and wants to do something absurd and crazy.

The more hours I spent with this game, the more I am convinced, GIVING THE PLAYER MORE OPTIONS should be the main pillar of the game design. For instance, I prefer playing in IVA mods with full instrumentational flight. And there's a lot of stuff that the main game doesn't even support, like radio navigation.

 

Having automation tech tree not only would allow players more freedom of play, but, if properly implemented, it could also be an essential part of the tutorial. What better way of teaching a new player how to orbit a planet, or how to use gravity to accelare or reduce speed? Just make him see an automated flight that has full instructions.

Edited by Sesshaku
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2 minutes ago, Sesshaku said:

Sorry but your argument doesn't make much sense to me. The implementation of such feature is not gonna damage the development of the game. And it doesn't go against one of its main pillars.

There is a finite amount of time, money, creative juices, and motivation to produce the game. Developing one feature means that something else wasn’t developed. That’s just in the nature of things. That means you need to choose what to make, and what not to make. Optional features are a poor use of finite resources. A feature that invalidates a really big and really central gameplay feature – flying craft, in this case – doubly so. 

(As to the realism argument, I don’t care. If realism gets in the way of fun gameplay, fun gameplay must win.)

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I personally do not use MJ, I do enjoy flying a ship and dare I say, after 900 hours, am quite good at it.

The post wasn't mean to spark any sort of dissent, it was just a thought I felt could be worked into the framework of Kerbal Space to make the game more interesting and less tedious.

Seeing that automated cargo flights in ksp2 is a possibility if you meet certain criteria seems to fit right into my original line of thinking. I have had over a hundred simultaneous flights happening at the same time in ksp1 before. It seems ksp2 opens up a real possibility that I may eventually see hundreds. Im not sure it's humanly possible to manage that many complex flights at once by one person. NASA certainly doesn't use just one person.

That being said, @Brikoleur
thank you for your opinion, I do respect it even if I am not grasping what the core issue is. I guess we just have to wait to see what the devs do and how they implement the auto-routes that has been mentioned.

 

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I don't think disagreement is a bad thing, it'd be a bit odd if all of us had exactly the same ideas about what KSP2 ought to be -- and I certainly don't hold any of you in less regard for not agreeing with some of mine. I do try to be as clear as I'm able about what I do think; if I don't succeed in explaining myself, then at least a part of the blame is with me. :)

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Autopilot is not even remotely optional given the scope and technologies this game is addressing. Daedalus drives would burn for months, maybe even years on their way to other star systems. Even with a good physics warp, you would have to put all other missions on hold while it completes, unless you're willing to stop and restart burns while juggling a time table of other missions. Flying two interstellar missions at once would be flat impossible.

Colonies won't work either if the player is expected to fly every resupply mission. Even if you get rid of having to move life support resources around, which would be a mistake IMO, do you expect to fuel an orbiting interstellar rocket entirely by hand? That's the "game ruining" kind of tedium. Unless you're into that sort of thing, then go nuts, just don't demand the rest of us enjoy it.

Just unlock the autopilot and mission planner gradually as the player demonstrates they know the core concepts. That would hardly ruin anyone's fun.

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2 minutes ago, afafsa said:

Autopilot is not even remotely optional given the scope and technologies this game is addressing. Daedalus drives would burn for months, maybe even years on their way to other star systems. Even with a good physics warp, you would have to put all other missions on hold while it completes, unless you're willing to stop and restart burns while juggling a time table of other missions. Flying two interstellar missions at once would be flat impossible.

They've already said that KSP2 will support brachistochrone trajectories and torchships. It won't be a matter of long coasts punctuated with short burns. There will have to be some kind of trajectory planner for them. I would also expect some kind of KAC analogue is needed to bring you back to the mission whenever it's needed. That's not at all like an autopilot or MJ.

5 minutes ago, afafsa said:

Colonies won't work either if the player is expected to fly every resupply mission. Even if you get rid of having to move life support resources around, which would be a mistake IMO, do you expect to fuel an orbiting interstellar rocket entirely by hand? That's the "game ruining" kind of tedium. Unless you're into that sort of thing, then go nuts, just don't demand the rest of us enjoy it.

Nate has said that there will be supply route automation: once you've flown a supply mission once, you can set a schedule for it and the game will fly them in the background. Again, not an autopilot.

6 minutes ago, afafsa said:

Just unlock the autopilot and mission planner gradually as the player demonstrates they know the core concepts. That would hardly ruin anyone's fun.

The mission planner and automator, absolutely -- that's core gameplay. An autopilot, however, is not at all necessary for that.

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2 minutes ago, afafsa said:

I genuinely have no idea what you're describing if not an autopilot.

In supply line automation, the craft would not even be present as physical objects. You'll just get the mission cost deducted and the resources transferred on schedule.

Moreover, because those pesky planets keep moving and almost no two transfer windows are identical, those supply missions won't even be 1:1 identical. You wouldn't be able to automate them with an autopilot -- you'd have to set up every individual mission separately, set the manoeuvre nodes for it to get it done, and click "fly," over and over again. That would be almost as tedious as having to fly them manually. Abstracting them away also means the game won't have to compute a flight plan for every mission; it just needs to be able to compute the cost, which it can do well enough just with a transfer window planner.

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4 minutes ago, afafsa said:

That sounds a lot more gameable than an autopilot. Also the math isn't that hard.

It's a game. Of course it's gameable. That's the entire point.

And yes, that kind of porkchop plot is exactly what I'd expect the supply line automation uses to determine the intervals with which the mission can be flown, and the cost of flying them.

Of course it would be possible to generate an actual flight plan based on that data, but doing that would be a significant amount of work, for almost nil gameplay benefit. Therefore I think it makes far more sense just to completely abstract them out. 

Edited by Guest
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It sounds like you're more interested in playing word games. I just don't want to manually pilot a brachistochrone trajectory, nor do I want it abstracted to something that isn't true to the physics.

Call it an autopilot, call it an "automator," it doesn't matter to me. Just don't force me to fly missions I don't want to because that would somehow ruin your fun... somehow.

What a weird conversation.

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Just now, afafsa said:

It sounds like you're more interested in playing word games. I just don't want to manually pilot a brachistochrone trajectory, nor do I want it abstracted to something that isn't true to the physics.

You said you didn't know how what I was describing isn't an autopilot. I explained. They're two different things, it's not just semantics. Autopilot is a MJ analogue. Supply line automation can be implemented any number of ways. At its simplest it just moves numbers around in accounts. At its most complex it has the game make a flight plan for each mission, then execute it with the MJ analogue. 

I agree with you on both counts, and I'm quite sure that so do the people in charge of KSP2.

1 minute ago, afafsa said:

Call it an autopilot, call it an "automator," it doesn't matter to me. Just don't force me to fly missions I don't want to because that would somehow ruin your fun... somehow.

I don't want to fly repetitive milk runs either, and have been quite vocal about it (until the devs explained what they had in mind for it, which set my mind at ease).

 

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7 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

I am saying that KSP is a game about building and flying spacecraft, and if you're not interested in building and flying spacecraft, then you will most likely find some other game more to your liking. It doesn't mean you're a terrible person or bad or wrong, it just means your interests don't align with the kind of game KSP is. No game can please everybody.

Does having an autopilot feature somehow disable someones ability to manually fly spacecraft? If not, then why does everyone have to play the way you want to?

If you dont wanna use autopilot, then dont, but don't force the rest of us to perform the same monotonous maneuver a million times because it doesn't fit your standard of "how the game SHOULD be played" and now the rest of us who have other things to do can no longer develop a large interstellar civilization because we dont have 10,000 hours to spend on it.

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On 3/3/2021 at 6:12 PM, mcwaffles2003 said:

Does having an autopilot feature somehow disable someones ability to manually fly spacecraft? If not, then why does everyone have to play the way you want to?

My opinions aren’t about how you play the game. They’re about what the game you play ought to be like.

On 3/3/2021 at 6:12 PM, mcwaffles2003 said:

If you dont wanna use autopilot, then dont, but don't force the rest of us to perform the same monotonous maneuver a million times

I believe there are ways to avoid having to do that which do not invalidate core gameplay elements. As I just said in the post above, I don’t want it to turn into Milk Run Simulator either.

[snip]

Edited by Guest
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