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Should celestial bodies in KSP 2 have axial tilts?


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Am I crazy to think that minor axial tilt just isn't that big a deal to deal with? It's just an inclination burn. I fully agree that Kerbin, the Mun and Minmus should stay as is, but if you tilted Val and Dres 5-10 degrees or Gilly and Bop 20-30 degrees would it really hang people up that much? Half the time you need a corrective inclination burn anyway on interplanetary intercepts and this would just be a little intro for players when they encounter wilder inclinations in other systems. So long as its slowly introduced I feel like it's an additive teaching experience for new players rather than some giant roadblock to progress. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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35 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Am I crazy to think that minor axial tilt just isn't that big a deal to deal with?

No, you're not crazy. I think people just don't realize that a 1-5 degree tilt doesn't mean much. My typical equatorial orbit is off by 1-5 degrees, it doesn’t change my interplanetary transfers much. It may mean a little more expensive mid course correction burn later on, but not enough to truly worry about.

Edited by shdwlrd
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On 6/27/2022 at 12:50 PM, Rutabaga22 said:

I DO NOT want any changes to kerbol.. They can do all the new stuff in other star systems, but keep kerbol the same. I don't care if it's easy, it's meant to be easier than the others. If you can go interstellar you can deal with axial tilt, but in kerbol I don't want any challenge compared to the first game because not everyone has mastered the game.

Yes but like many of us we learned what we needed to know to stop getting it wrong by watch others who’d worked it out. That built buzz and community around the game. 
 

if there is no new challenges in the Kerbol system for advanced players and the notable streamers why would they play in the sand box and make new content. You’ll be on your own or following videos from version 1. The streaming will all be from interstellar stock systems or a mod system.

To my mind tweaking the stock system is a must so players new and old are challenged in the same space. Axial tilt seems a good start it that it can be used to make some transfer easier and some harder. New outer planets also which will see lots of interesting gravity assists videos being made. 

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On 6/28/2022 at 7:14 AM, Superfluous J said:

(replying before I read the rest of the thread)

Yes. I believe they should. Possibly as a difficulty option.

I wrote down somewhere what I thought each should be but I can't find it now. But I think Kerbin and Minmus should each be tilted to match Minmus' orbit, and Mun should remain in the ecliptic. Eve should rotate backwards, and Duna should be tilted 20-30 degrees. Not sure about the rest of the planets or the moons.

I don't expect this in the base game, but I do hope it's as simple to change as modifying a text file to change a "0" to another number.

I wanna see Duna’s tilt line up with its massive icecaps too, but Duna is also tidally locked with Ike, and I don’t know if such an aggressive axial tilt would be stable under tidal locking.

Maybe just tilt the entire Duna-Ike system?

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On 6/29/2022 at 3:34 PM, Snark said:

To be clear, when I say "I don't feel strongly one way or the other, about it, as long as it's easily moddable":  what I mean by that is, I believe that as a matter of game design, they should design the game to appeal to a broad audience and should give a lot of weight to making it fun and accessible to the majority of KSP players.  It's the right call.  It will make the player base the happiest (in the aggregate), which in turn will help sales, which will help encourage further development, which will benefit all the players, so everyone wins.

You'll note that I didn't say that they should design the game to appeal to me, personally.  That's because I am not a typical KSP player.  The typical KSP player finds it a challenge just to make it to the Mun, and going interplanetary at all, even when everything is zero axial tilt, is a major leap.  (I'm not being judgmental about that at all, merely commenting on what I perceive the statistics to be.)  I mean, sure, if they designed the whole game to appeal perfectly to my personal tastes, to the point I wouldn't want or need any mods at all, then that would be great, as far as my own play experience is concerned... but it would be pretty short-sighted of me to want them to do that.  Because my own idiosyncratic tastes are a tiny minority of what the overall player base wants.  If they designed the game to appeal specifically to me... they would render it less attractive to the large majority of their prospective customer base.  Which would tank the game's sales.  Which would pull the plug on any further funding, which means I would lose, in the long term.

Therefore, as  a self-interested, selfish player :) ... what I want is not a game that caters to my personal tastes.  I want a game I enjoy, sure, but what is really important is that lots of people need to find it fun.  That's what will get me the largest amount of sustained kerbal goodness into the future, so it's what I want.

Which means, I have to be okay with options that are less than what I, personally, would prefer to play with.  Personally, I think it's the right call for them to keep the home solar system's bodies at zero tilt, mainly because I think that will make the solar system more accessible to a lot of players-- without killing the enjoyment for me (after all, I've been happy to plow thousands of hours into KSP1, which doesn't have tilt at all).  I can get my jollies from having interesting planet designs in other systems (including tilt).

And in that context, when I say "I don't care much, as long as it's easily moddable", what I mean is:  that lets me, personally, tweak the home system as I like.  Which mitigates any angst I might feel about their correctly (in my opinion) deciding to leave the home bodies with no tilt.

Well, sure, so do lots of people.  Heck, I was playing the game for a year-- I mean, a lot, more time than I'd ever plowed into most games-- before I ever installed my first mod.  Suppose the game had been built in a way that it was completely unmoddable.  I still would have enjoyed the heck out of it, I still would have plowed hundreds  of hours into it, I still would have been utterly happy with my purchase and convinced that I got my money's worth dozens of times over.  (But I probably would have eventually have gotten bored and wandered away from it after a year or two.)

I'm a little confused by your raising this point, though-- do you have some reason to believe that KSP2 won't be a good stock game?  Or that it won't have any difficulty options?  I haven't seen anything to indicate either of those two things to me, and was curious whether you've been reading something I haven't.

I agree that mods shouldn't be a crutch to fix the game.  I disagree that they are one in KSP1.

I'm sure it's possible to have a lengthy and spirited debate on that question ;) ... but I won't go into it here, because it would be off-topic for this thread, which is specifically about axial tilts in KSP2.

Same here.  My guess is that probably most players are in that boat, too.

(Even with a "great mainstream, balanced experience" that I can enjoy with 0 mods, though, I'd still eventually end up playing with mods, anyway, if only because they open the door to variety and help extend how long I'm likely to play it.)

Why do you think it’s the “correct” game design choice not to include axial tilt on any of the home bodies, not even small bodies like Bop, Pol, or Gilly?

I think you’re mistaken if you think that it’s niche or selfish to want axial tilt in a game about orbital mechanics. Orbital decay? Axial precession? Sure. But children learn about axial tilt in middle school. It doesn’t make you “not like other players” to expect this basic bit of astronomy to be a feature in a game that teaches people about basic celestial mechanics (especially when some planets have such prominent ice caps!).

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12 hours ago, joratto said:

Why do you think it’s the “correct” game design choice not to include axial tilt on any of the home bodies, not even small bodies like Bop, Pol, or Gilly?

I think that in general, newer players will find it easier without the axial tilt involved, and that there can be plenty of axial-tilt challenges to be had in other star systems.

That said:  I don't think it's super critical.  A few bodies here and there (like Pol, Bop, Gilly, as you mention)?  I don't see that it would particularly harm anything to include tilt, there.  Like I said, I don't feel especially strongly about it.

12 hours ago, joratto said:

I think you’re mistaken if you think that it’s niche or selfish to want axial tilt in a game about orbital mechanics. Orbital decay? Axial precession? Sure. But children learn about axial tilt in middle school.

Yep.  The concept that it exists, is pretty easy to explain.

I'm talking about flying missions, and making the game harder than it needs to be in the early stages.  After all, Earth has a substantial axial tilt, and space launches happen from facilities that aren't on the equator, and the Moon's orbit is inclined with respect to Earth's equator.  Yet KSP gives Kerbin zero tilt, and puts KSC right on the equator, and gives Mun a perfectly circular orbit with zero inclination.  Why?  Because it's easier to fly in KSP that way-- even though an elementary-school student can understand these concepts by looking at a globe.

You're also mis-stating my position.  I don't think it's unreasonable to have tilt in the game.  On the contrary, I think it's very important to have tilt in the game, and the fact that KSP 1 didn't was a major hole; I've long been astonished that they didn't put it in.

What I said was:  I think it's reasonable to keep the axial tilt at zero for the home-system bodies.  Absolutely for Kerbin / Mun.  I lean towards it for the other home-system bodies, too, though as mentioned above, I don't feel as strongly about that.

12 hours ago, joratto said:

It doesn’t make you “not like other players” to expect this basic bit of astronomy to be a feature in a game that teaches people about basic celestial mechanics (especially when some planets have such prominent ice caps!).

No, but I've never said that.

What makes me (and an awful lot of the folks here on the forum) "not like other players" -- or, at least, not like most of them -- is that I can, in fact, land on the Mun and manage interplanetary travel.

Most KSP players don't get that far.  I would contend, from what I've seen, that a substantial majority of KSP players don't make it as far as a Mun landing.

I realize that the above statement is a pretty strong one, and may sound rather hard to believe.  Once upon a time, I would have had trouble believing it, myself.  Here's a discussion from a few years back, however, that I found quite eye-opening at the time:

Another data point:  I was able to attend PAX West 2019, when KSP 2 was announced.  There was a presentation session that the developers (Star Theory) did, at the time, that was pretty well-attended.  Must have been well over a hundred people in the audience.  The presenter asked "How many people here play KSP?", and basically everyone's hand went up.  The next question was "How many of you have gotten to orbit?" and a lot of hands went down.  By the time they got to asking "How many of you have successfully landed on the Mun?" ... it was only a tiny minority-- I don't have an exact count, but it was well under 20% of the crowd, and may have been under 10%.

I realize that's not a particularly big statistical sample.  But it was a lot fewer than I would have expected, and it's worth bearing this sort of thing in mind when considering "what should the developers do when designing the game."

To be clear:  I'm not primarily making an assertion that it would be a good idea for the home-system bodies to all (or nearly all) have zero axial tilt.  My primary assertion is that the game needs to be accessible to a large percentage of the player base, and not have a learning curve that's steep enough that it may put people off before they can really sink their teeth into the game.

I just happen to think that keeping players from having to worry about axial tilt until they've gotten well into the game-- including a fair amount of interplanetary exploration-- is a reasonable choice on the path towards that goal.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Snark said:

the game needs to be accessible to a large percentage of the player base

I agree it's important to also focus on this - with tutorials and a simple Kerbal - Mun - Minmus system. Beyond that, the space race is on! By the time you worry about interstellar missions, you should have sunk your teeth in axial tilt.

If you think about it, the progression is there:

Kerbal -> equatorial orbit -> Mun encounter (only pro-grade burn) -> Minmus encounter (needs matching orbital inclination) -> Eve / Duna encounter (learning interplanetary transfers) -> then Duna should definitely have axial tilt, which is more important for manned mission takeoff than just landing, and considering no one is really taking off Eve before learning the game.. yes Duna should have axial tilt - aren't the Polar Ice Caps at an angle anyway?

Edited by Vl3d
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3 hours ago, Vl3d said:

then Duna should definitely have axial tilt, which is more important for manned mission takeoff than just landing, and considering no one is really taking off Eve before learning the game.. yes Duna should have axial tilt - aren't the Polar Ice Caps at an angle anyway?

It's certainly a legitimate discussion to have, as to whether Duna should have axial tilt for gameplay reasons or not. ;) 

And certainly, IRL, Mars has axial tilt.

However... the polar caps have nothing to do with the fact that there's axial tilt there. They're polar caps because they're at the poles, which are on average colder because they get less insolation than more equatorial regions. And that would be true even if there were no tilt.

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5 hours ago, Snark said:

However... the polar caps have nothing to do with the fact that there's axial tilt there. They're polar caps because they're at the poles, which are on average colder because they get less insolation than more equatorial regions. And that would be true even if there were no tilt.

The poles are where the polar axis intersects the surface of the body. Axial tilt means the tilt of the polar axis. If there is axial tilt, it means the poles are tilted. The polar ice caps are at the poles (according to axial tilt) but they change shape depending on orientation relative to the sun (thus we have seasons).

Earth_tilt_animation.gif

I was under the impression that Duna's polar ice caps were tilted, but after doing some research it seems not.

I hope they will be in KSP2 and we'll have seasons on Duna.

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5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

I was under the impression that Duna's polar ice caps were tilted, but after doing some research it seems not.

Why would they be?  Polar ice caps are at the poles, and for good reason (because the poles are coldest).  Duna has zero axial tilt.  Were you expecting the polar caps to be ... somewhere other than the poles, for some reason?

Discussion of polar caps and axial tilt in spoiler, since this is a discussion that's more about IRL science stuff and would belong better in Science & Spaceflight, and is getting away from the topic of this thread (which is axial tilt in KSP2).

Spoiler
5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

The poles are where the polar axis intersects the surface of the body.

Correct.

5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

Axial tilt means the tilt of the polar axis.

Correct.

5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

If there is axial tilt, it means the poles are tilted.

Correct.

5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

The polar ice caps are at the poles

Yes, because that's the coldest place on the planet.  Which would be the case regardless of whether there's axial tilt or not.  That's why polar ice caps are, well, at the poles;)

The poles are the coldest because the geometry of latitude gives them the lowest insolation, averaged over the course of a year.

Here's a chart of the theoretical daily-average irradiation at the top of the Earth's atmosphere.  They Y axis is latitude, and the X axis is time-of-year (with 0° = vernal equinox, 90° = summer solstice, 180° = autumnal equinox, 270° = winter solstice:

495px-InsolationTopOfAtmosphere.png

To see how much sunlight you get at a given latitude over the course of a year, draw a horizontal line across the chart.  The "total sunshine" you get, over the course of a year, is essentially the sum of the brightness over the length of that horizontal line.  As you can see, the poles do briefly get a lot of sun, but overall they get less total light over the course of the year.  That's why they're colder.

If the earth had no axial tilt, then we'd basically be in a perpetual equinox, and this chart would look approximately like this (please forgive my crude attempt at shopping the image for illustrative purposes):

bjgk8cn.png

Poles would still be the coldest place (indeed, more so).

5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

(according to axial tilt)

...Not sure what you mean by that?  The coldest place is at the poles, even if there were no axial tilt.  The location of the polar caps doesn't depend on it.

5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

they change shape depending on orientation relative to the sun

Well, no.  They change size (bigger in the winter because it's colder, smaller in the summer because it's warmer), but their overall shape remains "approximately circular, centered on the pole" regardless of season and regardless of axial tilt.

If the Earth had no axial tilt, we'd still have polar ice caps, and they'd still be in the same place... it's just that they'd stay the same size year-round, because we wouldn't have seasons.

(Note that all of the above discussion assumes a relatively "mild" axial tilt, such as on Earth or Mars.  For a body with extreme axial tilt, e.g. close to 90°, then it's a rather different discussion.)

 

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5 hours ago, Vl3d said:
  11 hours ago, Snark said:

However... the polar caps have nothing to do with the fact that there's axial tilt there.

5 minutes ago, Snark said:
5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

The poles are where the polar axis intersects the surface of the body.

Correct.

5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

Axial tilt means the tilt of the polar axis.

Correct.

5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

If there is axial tilt, it means the poles are tilted.

Correct.

I believe we're in agreement. Axial tilt refers to the polar axis position which defines the poles and implicitly sets the polar caps location.

8 minutes ago, Snark said:
5 hours ago, Vl3d said:

I was under the impression that Duna's polar ice caps were tilted, but after doing some research it seems not.

Why would they be?  Polar ice caps are at the poles, and for good reason (because the poles are coldest).  Duna has zero axial tilt.  Were you expecting the polar caps to be ... somewhere other than the poles, for some reason?

No, I was under the impression there was a texture placement error in the game for Duna. I got confused by something I forgot about.

Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-2.45.37-PM-640

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Posted (edited)

The first question is: would it improve gameplay? Because for a large group of grizzled veterans,  more realism equates a better game, because there are more challenges.

Challenges are what keeps the game fresh, so it's important to have those. They also form a barrier of entrance to novice players, so it's important to not have too many of them. There are challenges that can easily be turned on or off in the game settings/ In KSP 1 it's the requirement for a com-link to remotely control an unpiloted ship for instance. And that's great.

Axial tilt is not one of those things that is a bit tricky to turn on/off. So you probably don't want it in the Kerbin system, at least not for Kerbin and likely not for Mun either (to facilitate the inevitable rescue missions for starting players).  Probably not for Minmus either, or maybe just 5° or so.

Beyond that... especially when base building comes in play, axial tilt is going to provide a few fun challenges “beyond spend some dV to align orbit.” Provide enough tilt, like the 23° at Earth and things get interesting at higher latitudes. Shorter/longer days, endless days and nights, seasons (hopefully even the scenery can adapt to that). Your outpost might rely on solar cells for power. The batteries can bridge a night, but can they handle an entire winter? There's a great educational aspect to that as well. Combine it with eccentricity and you can set up a great classroom experiment showing that surface temperature depends more on latitude and axial tilt than on distance to the sun. There's diagrams to prove that, but how much cooler is it to get data from your own weather stations?

I wouldn't mind seeing (significant) axial tilt in the game, even within the Kerbol solar system. Especially in the Kerbol system as it wouldn't require interstellar travel to experience it. Just not everywhere, and especially not at Kerbin to keep the game easy on starting players.

Edited by Kerbart
removed the "not" typo
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19 minutes ago, Vl3d said:

No, I was under the impression there was a texture placement error in the game for Duna. I got confused by something I forgot about.

Screen-Shot-2019-08-19-at-2.45.37-PM-640

Ah yes, the notorious "we put the sun in the completely wrong place to make the image look neat" shot, which at least they have the good grace to be a bit sheepish about. :)

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19 hours ago, Snark said:

Most KSP players don't get that far.  I would contend, from what I've seen, that a substantial majority of KSP players don't make it as far as a Mun landing.

I realize that the above statement is a pretty strong one, and may sound rather hard to believe.  Once upon a time, I would have had trouble believing it,

@joratto

Snark is absolutely correct

These forums are the playground of the experienced - especially these latter days - chock full of players who have SSTO toured every body and found every Easter Egg and proudly display stickers showcasing their accomplishments. 

But 

There are players like me who have only ever made it as far as Minmus (regularly) and who might have only thrown a probe at 1-2 other planets. Lots and lots and LOTS of people who flew and blew up rockets and maybe built a few planes and then couldn't figure out how to get to the Mun. (my kids, for example - and lots more people I've crossed paths with on various forums) 

The game is HARD, man! 

The players who 'get it' just get it, and many of the best intentioned players who try to help folks like me cannot grasp why I can't figure out how to do what they say I should do.  

Take a player who has a solid maths and physics background: they probably don't remember when they learned what they currently know - and then take a player who struggled with and stopped learning math with Algebra 2.  The two players likely speak different 'languages' when talking about how to play the game (in English). The 'maths' player understands TWR and Isp and other stuff. The non-maths guy (me) has had that explained time and again by well intentioned maths guys - and I still don't get it.  Instead, I simply Neanderthal it by defaulting to a build where each stage has a TWR above 1.1 (the higher the better).   TWR for me is intuitive.  Isp is something that other people get and I have to trust them that it matters - but it STILL makes no sense to me. Something, something, efficiency, something - probably about fuel, ah screw it, slap on a bigger tank and engine and see if it can get to orbit and maybe dock it and fuel transfer and maybe it will get there. 

Truth: my default lander engine is and remains the Thud.  A pair of Thuds just works.  Probably because of vectoring.  I think every Kerbin to anywhere engine is a Poodle.  My 1st stage is something so overbuilt that it can launch a science filled lander with a pair of Thuds and a orbit transfer craft with a Poodle and enough fuel to orbit, land and return to Kerbin all in one go. 

I literally cannot tell you how many players have given up trying to help me because I cannot 'understand the words coming out of their mouth'.  I'm not being intentionally stupid... Its just that they might as well be speaking Martian.  Something, something, Isp, Twitch, Spark, efficiency, something - screw it, Thud works. 

The challenge I hope the KSP2 crew ( and folks like @Just Jim_) succeed in accomplishing is helping the Neanderthal Enthusiasts like me to be able to understand some of the more advanced concepts and to be able to get to the other planets and systems.  And I can tell you from experience... That won't be easy. 

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2 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

The challenge I hope the KSP2 crew ( and folks like @Just Jim_) succeed in accomplishing is helping the Neanderthal Enthusiasts like me to be able to understand some of the more advanced concepts and to be able to get to the other planets and systems.  And I can tell you from experience... That won't be easy. 

I completely agree with you on the difficulty of the concepts, end even though I understand them intuitively and conceptually (to me, it sounds like mass ratio,  landing TWR, Isp, Twitch, Spark, efficiency, effective gravity), I still think that those concepts could use more clear communication. And one of the most important parts of that communication is introducing concepts slowly. The jump from flying to orbiting involves managing a delta-v budget, knowing what an apoapsis is, doing a gravity turn, then burning the right amount in the right direction at apoapsis. Then, getting to the Mun involves knowing how to raise and lower orbits, and knowing how to land without an atmosphere, and then how to burn prograde to go retrograde relative to the Mun. The more new things you have to learn to do something, the harder it is to do. As such, I think leaving tilt to the later planets is a good idea to allow people to learn without that extra barrier to entry which is already too high for most. 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

I'm talking about flying missions, and making the game harder than it needs to be in the early stages.

And?

Orbital inclination already makes the game harder than it has to be (as you rightly pointed out!). In fact, most players will never even fly by Minmus (the first big "orbital inclination challenge" most players encounter). So why make its orbit inclined if it would just make the game harder? After all, you can still learn oodles of orbital mechanics just by transferring between perfectly coplanar orbits.

Because A: I think it makes the game more varied and interesting.

B: It's a relatively small consideration that doesn't seem to require an especially large step up in understanding (especially compared to the prerequisite knowledge of getting into and maneuvering in orbit in the first place!).

C: It's realistic, immersive and educational.

I never said that Kerbin or Mun should have axial or orbital inclination. But you're avoiding asking players to eventually have to consider something as elementary as axial tilt on top of their other concerns just because it's "making the game harder", and missing out on an amazing opportunity for players to experience the unexpected consequences of the axial tilt we all know from childhood globes as a result! Because taking basic knowledge that we all kinda sorta had as kids and making it all make real, physical, intuitive sense is one of the things that KSP is the very best at.

 

Quote

You're also mis-stating my position.  I don't think it's unreasonable to have tilt in the game.  On the contrary, I think it's very important to have tilt in the game, and the fact that KSP 1 didn't was a major hole; I've long been astonished that they didn't put it in.

What I said was:  I think it's reasonable to keep the axial tilt at zero for the home-system bodies.  Absolutely for Kerbin / Mun.  I lean towards it for the other home-system bodies, too, though as mentioned above, I don't feel as strongly about that.

You think it's reasonable to have important, major holes in the home system? What could cause you to lean towards important holes in game design? :D

Quote

I am not a typical KSP player

No, but I've never said that.

What makes me (and an awful lot of the folks here on the forum) "not like other players" -- or, at least, not like most of them -- is that I can, in fact, land on the Mun and manage interplanetary travel.

Sure!

...And?

You (much like me) are most definitely "not a typical KSP player" in that sense. In fact, the orbital inclination of celestial bodies in this game will probably never affect most players.  It's a feature that, while realistic and enjoyable for some, only raises the barrier to interplanetary travel for the vast majority of players.

But we both know that's not sufficient to say it shouldn't exist, right? :huh:

So why do you mention it, @Snark?

-----------------------------------------------

I feel ya @JoeSchmuckatelli! i know the pain of trying to get my friends and family into this game, only for them to get overwhelmed and quit immediately. What I don't see is how that could be a good reason not to add something as basic as axial tilt!

Can you imagine if Squad had implemented axial tilt years ago, and people were now arguing that they should remove it? :D

Edited by joratto
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Posted (edited)
On 7/4/2022 at 12:13 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

The challenge I hope the KSP2 crew ( and folks like @Just Jim_) succeed in accomplishing is helping the Neanderthal Enthusiasts like me to be able to understand some of the more advanced concepts and to be able to get to the other planets and systems.  And I can tell you from experience... That won't be easy. 

We are all working very hard to make the learning experience easier and more enjoyable.

Edited by Just Jim
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Just now, Just Jim said:

Yes, we are all working very hard to make the learning experience easier and more enjoyable.

GRIN! 

I've already lost my son to FPS games - but I hope to capture my 12 yo daughter into the orbit of KSP2...  While many people have 'oohed and aaahed' over the graphics and thingys shown thus far - comments like this are what I'm looking forward to the most in KSP2! 

Three cheers for the tutorials and writing team! 

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We definitely recognize that axial tilt introduces additional navigational challenges and we're designing the planet progression with that in mind. I think it would be pretty presumptuous of us to tilt Kerbin, as cool as it would be to make it more like Earth... for reasons stated above, we'd like people to learn to walk before they run. There will be PLENTY of opportunities to interact with aggressively-tilted planets as you explore further ;)

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On 7/4/2022 at 2:47 PM, t_v said:

I think leaving tilt to the later planets is a good idea to allow people to learn without that extra barrier to entry which is already too high for most.

Having read @jorattoand @Snark's comments, and with what I know about the Kerbol system... I think they could do both.

Although - I worry about changing the Kerbol system too much b/c of 'cannon'. 

The thing is... KSP did not force me to do anything 'in order'.  I did not have to go to Duna before sending a probe to Jool. 

While I can see joratto's point, given that early missions /science requires me to be able to establish a Polar Orbit - and what is so different from that to changing inclination to match a planetary inclination? - it is, perhaps a step too far.  Because when I have gotten to Minmus and gone for a Polar Orbit... I often run out of fuel.  And if I have other things I wanted to do with the craft... Now I can't and have to run a different mission to 'rescue' it.  Part of the fun - but Minmus is doable.  If I had to capture at Jool, normalize the orbit to the inclination and then try to visit the moons - certainly it would be more realistic - but Gawd that sounds difficult for my skill level. 

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Axial tilt it is then.

 

9 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

The thing is... KSP did not force me to do anything 'in order'.  I did not have to go to Duna before sending a probe to Jool. 

No, but new players would probably want to, since it's easier. It is like first step in learning interplanetary transfers. They could go deal with 4 year long transfer, huge, heavy gas giant on the outskirts of the solar system and its 5 moons doing havoc to planned orbit, but it's easier to just make a short trip to a small planet with only one annoyance which is Ike.

9 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

given that early missions /science requires me to be able to establish a Polar Orbit - and what is so different from that to changing inclination to match a planetary inclination? - it is, perhaps a step too far.  Because when I have gotten to Minmus and gone for a Polar Orbit... I often run out of fuel

Some could say that changing inclination is as easy as pulling the :antinormal:/:normal: node and following the maneuver marker. In theory, yes, sure. But to do it right, and efficiently, few more steps are required.

Launching into polar orbit usually means literally turning the rocket 90° in VAB and doing everything else as always. But to do proper inclination change in space you need to know where exactly to do it - usually it's at AN/DN of the target or equator. Then doing it in low orbit is going to cost you tons of fuel - so the best way to do it really is making first a very elliptical orbit with Ap as high as possible, matched with AN, and then performing inclination change burn there, so it's cheap due to low speed at Ap. Of course, as long as extending and then circularizing orbit doesn't cost more than single maneuver in low orbit.

And so, launching for Minmus from equatorial orbit when Kerbin is tilted, requires very good timing or costly maneuvers. Guess you wouldn't want to be crushed with another wall of knowledge just after you've learned how to orbit the home planet.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, The Aziz said:

doing it in low orbit is going to cost you tons of fuel - so the best way to do it really is making first a very elliptical orbit with Ap as high as possible, matched with AN, and then performing inclination change burn there, so it's cheap due to low speed

Chuckle!

This is one of those bits of information that is so easily forgotten by the novice / Neanderthal. 

I'm certain that I remember learning that back when I first started playing KSP - and then completely forgot by the time I came back to the title in the latter years. (I'm definitely guilty of the low altitude 

2 hours ago, The Aziz said:

pulling the :antinormal:/:normal: node and following the maneuver marker

This is why we need an in-game Kerbilopedia! 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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Posted (edited)
On 7/5/2022 at 7:27 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

If I had to capture at Jool, normalize the orbit to the inclination and then try to visit the moons - certainly it would be more realistic - but Gawd that sounds difficult for my skill level. 

The fun at Jool is that you've got all those moons to play with even in your initial capture. You can get some crazy efficient captures with a well placed flyby or two of Tylo or Vall. Another fun method is to bring a heat shield and blast through Laythe's atmosphere to get into a useful orbit around Jool. All of this can be worked out literally after you've entered Jool SOI, setting different moons as your target, adjusting your maneuver and seeing what kinds of orbits emerge. It seems scary at first but if you've packed enough fuel to circularize around Jool you'll have plenty to mess around. 

My feeling is absolutely it makes sense to keep Kerbin and its moons simple, but once you get out to Jool or are ready to land on Eve a little axial tilt here and there is the least of your worries. But it sounds like the devs are all over this, staging these kinds of things in slowly so players get used to a 10 degree tilt long before they have to worry about a 40 or 90 degree tilt. 

You make a good point about Kerbilopedia. What I'd love to see is how they're handling the mission planner. Its a tricky bit of UI but it be awesome to be able to visually lay out your flight plan so you could easily manage dV budgets and compare them to your vessel in the VAB. Might even be able to tie this into the alarm clock/scheduler.  

Edited by Pthigrivi
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So my thoughts:

- within Kerbin's SOI:

  • axial tilt is equivalent to having Mun and Minmus inclined. Giving Kerbin an axial tilt of 6 degrees, and Mun an axial tilt of 6 degrees in the same plane changes nothing as far as getting to Mun
  • A degree or two of axial tilt doesn't change much. Even putting Mun at a 6 degree tilt doesn't make much difference given its size and distance (although it is quite relevant for Minmus
  • Kerbin could easily take 1-2 degrees of axial tilt, enough that new players will notice it has an effect, but not enough to really screw up their early missions.

- outside of kerbin's SOI:

  • * it won't change things dramatically for interplanetary transfers, as the effect of axial tilt will be much less than the effect of kerbin's orbit not being coplanar with the target body
  • Currently duna has an ever so slightly inclined orbit, and even Eve has a 2.1 degree inclination. Have you ever really noticed issues with Eve and Duna's inclination? No? Then a few degrees for Kerbin won't matter either
  • Many players won't even insert into an orbit of kerbin within 2 degres of an equatorial one anyway, its within the margin of error.

Overall, I think they should ditch the bodies with perfectly circular, 0 inclination, 0 tilt orbits. 

Add a little eccentricity, tilt, and inclination, but for the starting system, keep it small, within the margin of error of newbie orbits anyway.

1-3 degrees of axial tilt for Kerbin is fine for new playes, 23.5 degrees is too much for new players.

  • If larger axial tilt is introduced, then players might ask for dynamic ground/planet textures to reflect growing and shrinking icecaps to go along with seasons.
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So your point of view is add it but so little it's practically unnoticeable. Sure, but you're missing small but important detail. It's still yet another chunk of knowledge new players would have to chew through as soon as they get off the ground. As if the very basics of spaceflight weren't complicated enough. You know, concepts of orbits, gravity, rocket building, engine specifications, aerodynamics, quite literally most of what you need to know to reach space (as the saying goes, once you're in orbit, you're halfway to anywhere). Why not leave it to a bit later? Concept of interplanetary travel sounds like much but it really isn't (it's basically going between Kerbin's moons but at larger scale) so you may as well start teaching about the tilt there.

Or, if the animated tutorials are available regardless of point in the game, and there's a chance they are, people can learn whenever.

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