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What about interstellar communication?


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28 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

People can independently invent things without ever knowing each other (like in the case of the Morris-Thorne vs Ellis wormhole, where Kip Thorne & Mike Morris and Homer Ellis came up with almost identical wormhole metrics despite having 0 contact). This isn't breaking any lag rules. It's just a coincidence. With lag times, two colonies sending expeditions to the same system unknowingly is just bound to happen.

You are missing the point. Yes, simultaneous breakthroughs happen all the time; what doesn't happen is for every single time, every piece of hardware engineered out of it is completely identical in everyway for both. Yes, you can explain this as game limitations, but that's still a handwave. You will probably be able to save and load ship designs just like we can now, there is no reason to take it out. Building a nice elegant probe design on Kerbin, then loading and using that same, 100% identical design to launch exploratory missions in three different star systems at once absolutely breaks lag time.

Yes, two simultaneous missions doesn't break lag time, but the fact remains that you planned both missions and decided to launch them together in a coordinated manner does, especially if you, for example, built the mission profiles in a complementary manner, so they brought different parts or resources for whatever reason (maybe different levels of availability, or tech level differences, if that was a part of the game), which would be incomplete on their own, but combined with the other expedition has everything you will need/want and that absolutely breaks lag time. Saying it's bound to happen is nothing more than your personal handwave that works for you, which is great, but also disingenuous to say it is anything other than that.

38 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

That's a necessary part of interstellar travel. It would be disingenuous for the game to ignore that. You simply cannot have interstellar colonies remain in contact without serious lag. You can't have one president overlooking more than one star system like in Hollywood, that is literally impossible.

In real life, sure, but guess what? The person overlooking multiple star systems at once is you, there is absolutely no avoiding this. Yes you can compartmentalize it all you want in your head, and pretend/plan as if they are totally independent, or warp manually for years every single time you want to take a coordinated action, or handwave away all the jumping between systems away as you being the narrator, as it were, not the controller, but the fact is that having the ability to jump between different systems at will fundamentally breaks those rules, full stop. There are areas were you could then go ahead and enforce it selectively, but the impossible is an inextricable element of the fundamental game concept.

Beyond that, it simply comes down to the essential realism/fun dichotomy. As much realism as possible is the good goal, but it is still a game, and there is a tipping point where it makes things no longer fun, especially if there aren't serious positive tradeoffs to go with it (and I don't mean tricky, or has a steep learning curve, or difficult to understand, just genuinely non fun (at least to the majority of players. There is no completely universal/objective grading of fun, obviously)), and that's where you start alienating all the non-super hardcore people. It's why distances are compressed: yes you need to have a sense of how long this kind of travel takes, but as long as you can do that, warping 15 years rather than three adds nothing. Requiring a bunch of extra manual warps to account for lag time because someone wants to keep their colonies coordinated adds nothing, and leaving it out can easily be explained by time compression, for the same reasons that we have distance compression.

We simply stand at different places on this issue, and that's fine, and interesting to discuss. The only thing that I will say that you are absolutely wrong about is saying that the developers are doing something dishonest/disingenuous/wrong if they do not include this in the game (though I think most of us would like an in game acknowledgement/handwave about it).

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56 minutes ago, GigFiz said:

You are missing the point. Yes, simultaneous breakthroughs happen all the time; what doesn't happen is for every single time, every piece of hardware engineered out of it is completely identical in everyway for both. Yes, you can explain this as game limitations, but that's still a handwave. You will probably be able to save and load ship designs just like we can now, there is no reason to take it out. Building a nice elegant probe design on Kerbin, then loading and using that same, 100% identical design to launch exploratory missions in three different star systems at once absolutely breaks lag time.

Yes, two simultaneous missions doesn't break lag time, but the fact remains that you planned both missions and decided to launch them together in a coordinated manner does, especially if you, for example, built the mission profiles in a complementary manner, so they brought different parts or resources for whatever reason (maybe different levels of availability, or tech level differences, if that was a part of the game), which would be incomplete on their own, but combined with the other expedition has everything you will need/want and that absolutely breaks lag time. Saying it's bound to happen is nothing more than your personal handwave that works for you, which is great, but also disingenuous to say it is anything other than that.

In real life, sure, but guess what? The person overlooking multiple star systems at once is you, there is absolutely no avoiding this. Yes you can compartmentalize it all you want in your head, and pretend/plan as if they are totally independent, or warp manually for years every single time you want to take a coordinated action, or handwave away all the jumping between systems away as you being the narrator, as it were, not the controller, but the fact is that having the ability to jump between different systems at will fundamentally breaks those rules, full stop. There are areas were you could then go ahead and enforce it selectively, but the impossible is an inextricable element of the fundamental game concept.

Beyond that, it simply comes down to the essential realism/fun dichotomy. As much realism as possible is the good goal, but it is still a game, and there is a tipping point where it makes things no longer fun, especially if there aren't serious positive tradeoffs to go with it (and I don't mean tricky, or has a steep learning curve, or difficult to understand, just genuinely non fun (at least to the majority of players. There is no completely universal/objective grading of fun, obviously)), and that's where you start alienating all the non-super hardcore people. It's why distances are compressed: yes you need to have a sense of how long this kind of travel takes, but as long as you can do that, warping 15 years rather than three adds nothing. Requiring a bunch of extra manual warps to account for lag time because someone wants to keep their colonies coordinated adds nothing, and leaving it out can easily be explained by time compression, for the same reasons that we have distance compression.

We simply stand at different places on this issue, and that's fine, and interesting to discuss. The only thing that I will say that you are absolutely wrong about is saying that the developers are doing something dishonest/disingenuous/wrong if they do not include this in the game (though I think most of us would like an in game acknowledgement/handwave about it).

We can spend all night debating about it, but in the end making science transmission instant is not a good option in the least; it teach players new to the idea of interstellar colonies that keeping contact between anything more than half a light year apart is completely infeasible, and it generally undermines the distance between colonies.

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Transmission is already instant in ksp1, I highly doubt theyd make interplanetary probes have a transmission delay, so why would they do the same for interstellar probes? It seems really weird to have some magic number to where transmissions are no longer instant and respect relativity, not to mention not really worth it gameplay wise, KSP is a space simulator not a political empire simulator. 

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Decades of travel time will be plenty to separate colonies. Sure you can just warp through it, but you can say the exact thing about comm lag.

I don't buy the  'teaching people wrong stuff' argument in the slightest for this; anyone who has the slightest knowledge of space (or even just relativity, or even just that light speed exists) knows that communication has a lag time, and KSP isn't going to magically make everyone think we have/will easily ftl communication. Besides, 6 months is a while, but not even remotely insurmountable. Age of sail empires had colonies that could take months to travel to (England to India was 4-5 months by boat, for example). And seriously, half a light year? if you think that, there is a greater problem already. The closest star system to us is 4 light years away, and there aren't all that many under 10.  So an interstellar colony, even with truly light speed communication that's four years bare minimum (which is still totally doable for keeping contact, if a bit tough for keeping a group truly unified), and from there you rapidly get to the prospect of colonies having a lag time of a decade/decades (increasingly less doable, obviously).

But yes, this is just going to go in circles, or degenerate (or both). I disagree with you, though that one way or the other is fundamentally incorrect way to do it. I certainly have a side I am on, but they are both valid design choices, with arguments that can be made for both and their respective pros and cons. It will be what it is, and if we hate it, this is ksp, someone will mod it to something we like.

Edited by GigFiz
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8 minutes ago, GigFiz said:

I don't buy the  'teaching people wrong stuff' argument in the slightest for this; anyone who has the slightest knowledge of space (or even just relativity, or even just that light speed exists) knows that communication has a lag time

You're making the debate easier by setting up a false premise? :D

Most people don't know this, probably because of decades of sci-fi media conditioning them to think that having more than one star under the same nation is possible.

Seeing is believing; teach people that star systems cannot keep contact with each other by presenting hurdles if they do try keeping contact between star systems. It cannot be made easy without significantly eroding the walls between systems and misrepresenting the true struggles real colonies would face trying to remain in contact.

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1 hour ago, Bej Kerman said:

You're making the debate easier by setting up a false premise? :D

Most people don't know this, probably because of decades of sci-fi media conditioning them to think that having more than one star under the same nation is possible.

Seeing is believing; teach people that star systems cannot keep contact with each other by presenting hurdles if they do try keeping contact between star systems. It cannot be made easy without significantly eroding the walls between systems and misrepresenting the true struggles real colonies would face trying to remain in contact.

The problem is that this ignores the problem of gameplay. Players of the game (not all of them, and not me) will not want to deal with the issues posed by speed-of-light delay in the game. The question is: Is SoL delay such an integral part to the KSP 2 experience that it needs to happen by default, like the orbital mechanics and engineering challenges of the game? Or is it something more minor that could help reflect real space travel but ultimately can be hand waved, like the dimming of skyboxes in sunlight? I personally think it is the latter. 

And, if you want scientific explanations for things being the way they are, it is best to forget it. If there are magic photoreceptors that somehow have 30 stops of dynamic range, then why not magic waves that travel infinitely fast? I think that in your opinion, this feature would fit solidly into the core of KSP 2, and correct me if I am wrong. But other people don't see it as a necessity, and the hinderances it poses to gameplay could outweigh the benefits of "realism." (remember, nothing about the way the KSP universe or the Kerbal civilization works makes sense unless you consider that a player is playing a game)

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10 minutes ago, t_v said:

The problem is that this ignores the problem of gameplay. Players of the game (not all of them, and not me) will not want to deal with the issues posed by speed-of-light delay in the game. The question is: Is SoL delay such an integral part to the KSP 2 experience that it needs to happen by default, like the orbital mechanics and engineering challenges of the game?

Yes. Completely. Again, you don't want players leaving and thinking "well clearly keeping two colonies with light years of separation under one administration should be easy peasy!".

10 minutes ago, t_v said:

Or is it something more minor that could help reflect real space travel but ultimately can be hand waved, like the dimming of skyboxes in sunlight?

SoL cannot even be compared to something as trivial like how bright the skybox is. The skybox being a bit brighter than it should be won't do something as bad as completely mess up a player's perception of the distances between stars.

10 minutes ago, t_v said:

But other people don't see it as a necessity, and the hinderances it poses to gameplay could outweigh the benefits of "realism."

To repeat, the importance of SoL over interstellar distances is being completely undermined. It might not seem important when it's not right in front of you, but it's completely important. Either KSP 2 has a SoL or the devs shouldn't bother making interstellar communication possible - I might even go as far as to say they shouldn't have even bothered with interstellar travel, because the proverbial spanner that is "no SoL please" will just clog the gears of the game. It's one or the other because the alternative third option here is physically and logistically impossible and would send players off thinking that interstellar administrations aren't completely impossible with the technology that'll be available to us in the next millennium.

KSP is supposed to be a teaching tool, and sacrificing SoL for something as petty as "I don't want to keep track of a few discrepancies between part trees between colonies" goes completely against its potential to demonstrate to players the true distances involved between stars and also slay misconceptions like "well interstellar administrations/organizations/nations are possible". That's besides the fact that you shouldn't even need to bother with Kerbol or the KSC's tech trees anyway once you're set up elsewhere - you try playing it out in your head and you think it'll be massively complicated, but it wouldn't be.

Edited by Bej Kerman
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Tech differences arent really a big deal just an annoyance considering the fact that timewarp exists, if they're just mechanically annoying then that just seems bad gameplay wise. Also the emphasis on "But large administrations impossible" doesnt really fit ksp. Not only is ksp a game about possibilities instead of limitations, its also not really relevant to Kerbals. Kerbals are in some ways an ideal by the fact they're driven way more by ambition then political and petty gains, having something for the purpose of saying that communication and cooperation is practically impossible across long distances goes against the spirit of ksp, which is to say that the sky isnt the limit and if we put our minds to it we can do amazing things. 

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4 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

We can spend all night debating about it, but in the end making science transmission instant is not a good option in the least; it teach players new to the idea of interstellar colonies that keeping contact between anything more than half a light year apart is completely infeasible, and it generally undermines the distance between colonies.

 

2 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

Yes. Completely. Again, you don't want players leaving and thinking "well clearly keeping two colonies with light years of separation under one administration should be easy peasy!".

...

- you try playing it out in your head and you think it'll be massively complicated, but it wouldn't be.

I think this is a good argument, and could even lead to interesting gameplay, but ultimately this delves into the question what is this game actually about? What is the core KSP experience? I think on many occasions we've all loosely agreed we don't want this to be KSP milkrun simulator, we don't want Kerbal HR simulator, we don't actually want to do the job NASA administrators do managing contracts and vendors. I think you're right this is a very real and profound administrative problem that will be a huge issue in interplanetary let alone interstellar civilizations. Its just not one I think players really should have to worry about when playing a game that centrally is about engineering, navigation, and building and flying vessels. If when you're building a vessel in any old colonial VAB several parts are greyed out or mysteriously not available until you time-warp through speed-of-light relay from wherever science is collected to where its processed to the manufacturing facility its just going to be a finicky, difficult to predict annoyance rather than an additive gameplay mechanic.

There's also a meta-framing/meta-narrative question here which I think is super interesting in gaming and you're right--instantaneous tech upgrades absolutely breaks some walls there. I just think when people are playing Mario they aren't really existentially hung up on "Wait, am I Mario? Is Mario a remote control object Im controlling? Am I a god dictating Mario's fate?" Its a great and fascinating question, but its a bit esoteric from the standpoint of the general game-playing experience, and I don't think it matters more than simple and straightforward upgrade UI that that gobbles the least player-time possible. 




 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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I would like to say that the last two responses really encapsulated what I was hoping to say; that for many, KSP isn't about managing a disjointed space empire, it is about building and flying rockets to have a good experience and work towards cohesive goals. I personally think that SoL communications is a feature that I would like to see in the game - but as a mod, just like I see power suits as a fun mod mechanic in Minecraft, for example. It just doesn't mesh well with the rest of the game for me. 

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I think that, opposed to input delay which would just force people towards autopilots and remove quite a lot of realistic mission profiles, transmission delay for information could play well into the colony management loop.

 

You can build some significant gameplay around that, give the players strategic an interesting choices around when to branch out, how much of an advanced colony you want to build in a new solar system.

Do you really want to wait for all the tech and science to transfer or you're just going to build a bigger colony on the other side with top tier lab facilities? That alone would act as a multiplier for an otherwise simpler science system. A simple system for casual players that automatically becomes more complex as you go interstellar.

What if we have tiers of science points?

You "buy" tech from the tech tree with the highest tier of "refined" science points, but there's 2 or 3 steps to convert the raw science you get from experiments every steps reduces the amount of data to send by an order of magnitude or more, that plays into communication facilities, the amount of "refinement" or study you want to do on your raw science in situ, maybe even upgrades to experiment parts to get better raw science and, with communication delay, it adds a whole lot more importance to your choices when you're deciding if it's better to send some small probes, a small low-tier autonomous colony, or a fully equipped space city.

Caps on data transfers could play well into this too, what will I do, build another 3 or 4 antennas that use those resources I already have and engineers that I have plenty enough or I should start mining that other resource on this planet's moon that would allow me to build a new and improved lab and, by training a couple more scientists to the right tier, allow me to refine science to a point in which I will only be sending 1/10 of the data I'm sending now?

I don't want the game trying to be a Factorio like game, keep the crafting easy, but a place where KSP could use some of that complexity is the science system, few raw resources being converted and condensed through multiple steps to multiple end products used in the tech tree. That alone could enable the usefulness of a ton of things going from Kerbal Scientist to the data limits of the Commnet, to otherwise cosmetic bases and stations.

An having a geologist in your Apollo-style mission is going to improve quite a bit the quality of the science he brings back, give him a fully equipped lab-habitat on the Mun and he's going to bring back MB of research and a few grams of samples instead of hundreds of Kg of randomly selected rocks.  

 

I don't see any problem with hand waving it away, but sure enough it could play well to deepen a bit the whole strategy/management side of the game. But only if approached as a "we can use this to add a fun gameplay loop" and not "it must be there because it wouldn't be realistic otherwise".

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2 hours ago, Master39 said:

I don't see any problem with hand waving it away, but sure enough it could play well to deepen a bit the whole strategy/management side of the game. But only if approached as a "we can use this to add a fun gameplay loop" and not "it must be there because it wouldn't be realistic otherwise".

It definitely could add a new gameplay loop, and having those decisions to make about how to progress across multiple colonies is the reason I personally want SoL delay in my personal KSP 2 experience. But for the average player, I think it would add too much grind.
 

Sure, you can transmit this tech in four years, but why would you do that if you can unlock it again in two? So you fly a science mission, just to unlock a tech that you have already unlocked several times, which doesn’t feel like you are making meaningful progress. Instead, without delay, you can transfer the tech between colonies provided that you have powerful enough comms, and then the next science mission can be focused on discovering a new technology or building towards one, instead of repeatedly unlocking each essential technology. 

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4 hours ago, t_v said:

It definitely could add a new gameplay loop, and having those decisions to make about how to progress across multiple colonies is the reason I personally want SoL delay in my personal KSP 2 experience. But for the average player, I think it would add too much grind.

This is interstellar distances though, shouldn't that be the pinnacle of the grind in KSP 2? We obviously don't know what tools they've implemented to help players with interstellar travel, but it's a fundamentally different mission profile that should be more difficult and one of those difficulties is managing SOL communications.

 

6 hours ago, Master39 said:

I think that, opposed to input delay which would just force people towards autopilots and remove quite a lot of realistic mission profiles, transmission delay for information could play well into the colony management loop.

 

You can build some significant gameplay around that, give the players strategic an interesting choices around when to branch out, how much of an advanced colony you want to build in a new solar system.

Do you really want to wait for all the tech and science to transfer or you're just going to build a bigger colony on the other side with top tier lab facilities? That alone would act as a multiplier for an otherwise simpler science system. A simple system for casual players that automatically becomes more complex as you go interstellar.

I think a system like this is the sweet spot, my idea was to have homogenous science points, but each system's space center would have individual pools set once they've left the originating system. From there an unlock in the system would start timers in the rest of the systems, with the option of spending local science points to speed up the research in each  subsequent system. With this individual systems could prioritize different technology but you'd be able to timewarp to complete the research across the board and sync everything up. 

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IMO light speed communications lag just doesn't belong in KSP 2.
The speed of light in KSP 2 could be said to be "observed to be as close to infinity as our instruments let us measure".
This gets rid of the entire problem quite handily, with exactly ONE departure from the known laws of physics.

Besides, it's just not a good gameplay mechanic (I'll explain below), and it would require a lot of complicated calculations to implement, because believe it or not you're opening a HUGE can of worms when you want to introduce speed of light delay (and I'll explain why it's such a huge can of worms further below).

Why is it a bad gameplay mechanic? It's all stick, no carrot. There is only ever a punitive effect given to the player.
Light speed communications lag as a game mechanic is a bad idea, because there is no situation where NOT knowing about some important advancement in technology or science is ever beneficial to any race of sentient beings, Kerbal, Human, or Other. So if knowledge is power, you want all the "power" all the time, as soon as possible, right? At least that's how IRL is going, humans have the ability to look up more knowledge more quickly now than at any other time in history, ever since the advent of smartphones with an internet connection and access to a search engine.

It's the same reason why I think Life Support is a bad game mechanic, at least in the way pretty much all the KSP 1 mods for it implement it.
What do you get if you design a ship with a good life support system? The crew gets to experience that greatest luxury known as "Not Dying".
Aren't you happy the game didn't kill you?
No?
Why?
Is it perhaps because "the game didn't kill me because I did something right" sounds like the start of an abusive relationship between you and the game?
That's what it sounds like to me, or at least it's a very few steps removed from it.
"Do right and don't get punished" without a "do right and get rewarded" isn't how you design a fun game. Maybe some people find that kind of game fun. I guess that's why Elden Ring is so popular these days. But I don't find Dark Souls type games to be fun at all, there might be "some" "carrot" type rewards you get, but it's not much, and it's buried under a MOUNTAIN of "stick" type punishments for not doing something EXACTLY right.
I don't appreciate the games I paid money for treating me like I'm a misbehaving dog. And just like a misbehaving dog, I probably won't understand why the game's punishing me the first few times it happens, leading to a period of trial-and-error before I decide that the whole thing's just not worth it and I avoid the situation entirely by not playing the game anymore.

Put another way, you don't train any living thing well if all you ever do is use the stick. Sometimes, you have to use the carrot.

Besides, there's no communication delay in KSP 1. Why put it in KSP 2? Sure the distances are greater, but there's other problems with this.
And here's where I explain the part where implementing lightspeed communications delay opens up a whole can of worms that I promise you you don't want to open

If you implement ONE feature of "communications delay, or ships not being able to go faster than light", you have to implement BOTH of them, or your game will be inconsistent with respect to the laws of physics.
If you fail to simulate EITHER ONE, you get SOME form of the possibility of FTL communications.
If you simulate Relativity but not Lightspeed Communications Delay, you get "FTL radios". Plenty of games do this, but none of them have realistic orbital mechanics based spaceflight.
But if you simulate Lightspeed Communications Delay but not Relativity, you get "FTL mail ships". Plenty of games do this too, but again, none of them have realistic orbital mechanics based spaceflight.

Either way the message is allowed to travel at speeds greater than the speed of causality, with the resulting issues of time paradoxes arising naturally.

What's an "FTL mail ship" you ask? Well, let's say you don't have relativity saying you can't accelerate a physical thing faster than the speed of light. But you do have light speed communications delay making messages take literal years to cross the gap between stars.
That's fine. You can just design your fastest possible ship, and send messages on that ship, rather than on electromagnetic waves.
A physical carrier for a message of data. A mail ship, that goes really fast. A mail ship that goes faster than light.
Or you could skip right to the end and call it a FTL mail ship. Or an FTL Courier even.

This brings up a problem, naturally. If you use such ships to carry parcels like we use airplanes to carry Amazon.com orders, causality gets weird.

Not only does your package arrive instantly. Oh no that wouldn't cause a problem. What happens is that your package arrives before you even ordered it!

Now I don't know about you, but that sounds like a universe-ending problem. Because the link between cause and effect would have been effectively broken.

Besides, it is my personal opinion that methods to break causality, either with a physical thing or a simple electromagnetic wave somehow traveling faster than light, always result in the universe de-stabilizing and it only becomes stable again when the universe has eliminated all evidence of that method of breaking causality. Likely by containing them inside the event horizon of black holes.

In other words the only stable universe is one where there is no possibility of backwards time travel or violating causality.

That's why I think setting the speed of light to be "infinity as far as we can tell" is so smart. If the speed of light is infinite, then you can't go faster than light, no matter how fast you go.

Of course the concept of measuring distances in light years also evaporates with that, so we'd have to switch back to physical standards for length, but that's a small price to pay IMO for doing away with the whole problem of not breaking causality, while also not unduly penalizing the player for "the universe being the way that it is".

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1 hour ago, Bej Kerman said:

And is there any reason you think this?

2 hours ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

 It's just convoluting. 

Why add this infrastructural complication to the game which offers no gameplay benefit that only serves to make the game more difficult to understand?

Really, what does delaying science updates  add to the gameplay experience? Feels a lot like having to simulate walking to the fight from home in street fighter

19_rick-morty-street-fighter-bnrt.webp

Morty's indignance is my own in this matter.

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3 minutes ago, SciMan said:

IMO light speed communications lag just doesn't belong in KSP 2.
The speed of light in KSP 2 could be said to be "observed to be as close to infinity as our instruments let us measure".
This gets rid of the entire problem quite handily, with exactly ONE departure from the known laws of physics.

Besides, it's just not a good gameplay mechanic (I'll explain below), and it would require a lot of complicated calculations to implement, because believe it or not you're opening a HUGE can of worms when you want to introduce speed of light delay (and I'll explain why it's such a huge can of worms further below).

Why is it a bad gameplay mechanic? It's all stick, no carrot. There is only ever a punitive effect given to the player.
Light speed communications lag as a game mechanic is a bad idea, because there is no situation where NOT knowing about some important advancement in technology or science is ever beneficial to any race of sentient beings, Kerbal, Human, or Other. So if knowledge is power, you want all the "power" all the time, as soon as possible, right? At least that's how IRL is going, humans have the ability to look up more knowledge more quickly now than at any other time in history, ever since the advent of smartphones with an internet connection and access to a search engine.

It's the same reason why I think Life Support is a bad game mechanic, at least in the way pretty much all the KSP 1 mods for it implement it.
What do you get if you design a ship with a good life support system? The crew gets to experience that greatest luxury known as "Not Dying".
Aren't you happy the game didn't kill you?
No?
Why?
Is it perhaps because "the game didn't kill me because I did something right" sounds like the start of an abusive relationship between you and the game?
That's what it sounds like to me, or at least it's a very few steps removed from it.
"Do right and don't get punished" without a "do right and get rewarded" isn't how you design a fun game. Maybe some people find that kind of game fun. I guess that's why Elden Ring is so popular these days. But I don't find Dark Souls type games to be fun at all, there might be "some" "carrot" type rewards you get, but it's not much, and it's buried under a MOUNTAIN of "stick" type punishments for not doing something EXACTLY right.
I don't appreciate the games I paid money for treating me like I'm a misbehaving dog. And just like a misbehaving dog, I probably won't understand why the game's punishing me the first few times it happens, leading to a period of trial-and-error before I decide that the whole thing's just not worth it and I avoid the situation entirely by not playing the game anymore.

Put another way, you don't train any living thing well if all you ever do is use the stick. Sometimes, you have to use the carrot.

Besides, there's no communication delay in KSP 1. Why put it in KSP 2? Sure the distances are greater, but there's other problems with this.
And here's where I explain the part where implementing lightspeed communications delay opens up a whole can of worms that I promise you you don't want to open

If you implement ONE feature of "communications delay, or ships not being able to go faster than light", you have to implement BOTH of them, or your game will be inconsistent with respect to the laws of physics.
If you fail to simulate EITHER ONE, you get SOME form of the possibility of FTL communications.
If you simulate Relativity but not Lightspeed Communications Delay, you get "FTL radios". Plenty of games do this, but none of them have realistic orbital mechanics based spaceflight.
But if you simulate Lightspeed Communications Delay but not Relativity, you get "FTL mail ships". Plenty of games do this too, but again, none of them have realistic orbital mechanics based spaceflight.

Either way the message is allowed to travel at speeds greater than the speed of causality, with the resulting issues of time paradoxes arising naturally.

What's an "FTL mail ship" you ask? Well, let's say you don't have relativity saying you can't accelerate a physical thing faster than the speed of light. But you do have light speed communications delay making messages take literal years to cross the gap between stars.
That's fine. You can just design your fastest possible ship, and send messages on that ship, rather than on electromagnetic waves.
A physical carrier for a message of data. A mail ship, that goes really fast. A mail ship that goes faster than light.
Or you could skip right to the end and call it a FTL mail ship. Or an FTL Courier even.

This brings up a problem, naturally. If you use such ships to carry parcels like we use airplanes to carry Amazon.com orders, causality gets weird.

Not only does your package arrive instantly. Oh no that wouldn't cause a problem. What happens is that your package arrives before you even ordered it!

Now I don't know about you, but that sounds like a universe-ending problem. Because the link between cause and effect would have been effectively broken.

Besides, it is my personal opinion that methods to break causality, either with a physical thing or a simple electromagnetic wave somehow traveling faster than light, always result in the universe de-stabilizing and it only becomes stable again when the universe has eliminated all evidence of that method of breaking causality. Likely by containing them inside the event horizon of black holes.

In other words the only stable universe is one where there is no possibility of backwards time travel or violating causality.

That's why I think setting the speed of light to be "infinity as far as we can tell" is so smart. If the speed of light is infinite, then you can't go faster than light, no matter how fast you go.

Of course the concept of measuring distances in light years also evaporates with that, so we'd have to switch back to physical standards for length, but that's a small price to pay IMO for doing away with the whole problem of not breaking causality, while also not unduly penalizing the player for "the universe being the way that it is".

You could apply roughly the same arguments to gravity. All punishment, no benefit. It'd be easier to play the game if we could just make a beeline between point A and point B without worrying about Hohmann transfers or developing hyper-efficient engines. But if you get rid of gravity, what are you really teaching the players about how rockets move through space?

You can't just be rid of communication delays without misinforming players about how things work over interstellar distances. Just saying "the speed of light is practically infinite" does not teach players what KSP 2 should be demonstrating - the fact that colonies communicating easily is flat out impossible. Anything less is effectively denying the existence of one of the biggest hurdles of interstellar colonization, besides getting the colonies out there in the first place.

5 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

Really, what does delaying science updates  add to the gameplay experience?

It tells the player "No, interstellar agencies and nations are not possible" in the same manner KSP 1 tells the player "No, spaceflight does not work the same way that it does in Star Wars".

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8 hours ago, Master39 said:

You "buy" tech from the tech tree with the highest tier of "refined" science points, but there's 2 or 3 steps to convert the raw science you get from experiments every steps reduces the amount of data to send by an order of magnitude or more, that plays into communication facilities, the amount of "refinement" or study you want to do on your raw science in situ, maybe even upgrades to experiment parts to get better raw science and, with communication delay, it adds a whole lot more importance to your choices when you're deciding if it's better to send some small probes, a small low-tier autonomous colony, or a fully equipped space city.

Caps on data transfers could play well into this too, what will I do, build another 3 or 4 antennas that use those resources I already have and engineers that I have plenty enough or I should start mining that other resource on this planet's moon that would allow me to build a new and improved lab and, by training a couple more scientists to the right tier, allow me to refine science to a point in which I will only be sending 1/10 of the data I'm sending now?


I think this is a cool idea, but its a little bit different from the question of FTL communication. No matter the data size its still going to take 4+ years for the information to get beamed back to the Kerbol system from Debdeb. If that data can get processed by a local lab in Debdeb thats no biggie, the question is are the parts you unlocked there available back on Kerbin instantly or 4 years later? Likewise if you collect science around Kerbol while your colony vessel is en-route do you need to wait 4 years for those parts to be available in Debdeb? Do you need to buy parts twice if you want them earlier in both places? You're essentially in a situation where you're managing a separate tech tree for every off-world VAB and Orbital platform, because you don't know when those communications might be coming in from different systems. For that reason you also end up with separate pools of science that accumulate in different places at different times,--and can you spend that twice? Things get weird faster than you think.

Im generally of the feeling that the more time you spend in management windows the less time you spend building and flying. You need some of that to pick and choose what technology you'd like to invest in and set up things like automated supply runs, but in principle the process should be as straight forward as it can be and still produce interesting strategy. Its the reason I hope science collection and transmission is greatly streamlined from all the repetitive clicking and biome-hopping we see in KSP1. In that vein the question "Should I pay for this tech node twice or just time-warp for a few years?" is much less interesting than some of the ideas you've come up with. If experiments produced raw data and you needed labs to process it into usable science then all of a sudden there's a real dynamic to colony building where you're trying to eke out extra energy and personnel to upgrade more quickly. If those labs were local to where science was being collected you wouldn't need huge dishes to transmit it over long distances. If there's a 'wait' built in to research put it there in the labs so that players can manage it and invest in increasing that rate. If the wait is in transmission time there is no strategy because you cant' change that variable. 
 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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11 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

Feels a lot like having to simulate walking to the fight from home in street fighter

No, that's a false analogy. Really, it feels a lot like having to drop the landing gear in a flight simulator that's designed secondarily to teach people how planes work. There's bound to be people who think having to use the landing gear is grindy in a simulator where the most critical part of landing is the landing gear, but it is necessary. And yes, experienced pilots know that this is inaccurate, but a new player wouldn't know better.

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1 minute ago, Bej Kerman said:

No, that's a false analogy. Really, it feels a lot like having to drop the landing gear in a flight simulator that's designed secondarily to teach people how planes work. There's bound to be people who think having to use the landing gear is grindy in a simulator where the most critical part of landing is the landing gear, but it is necessary. And yes, experienced pilots know that this is inaccurate, but a new player wouldn't know better.

I disagree

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6 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:
9 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

No, that's a false analogy. Really, it feels a lot like having to drop the landing gear in a flight simulator that's designed secondarily to teach people how planes work. There's bound to be people who think having to use the landing gear is grindy in a simulator where the most critical part of landing is the landing gear, but it is necessary. And yes, experienced pilots know that this is inaccurate, but a new player wouldn't know better.

I disagree

The analogy you gave me just simply doesn't apply - doesn't stand on its own. Street fighter isn't an educational game, nor is its purpose to show you how walking works. KSP 2 is an educational game though, and so is MSFS. Both of those games can't just sidestep such important things as SoL delay and aircraft systems respectively.

Edited by Bej Kerman
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Just now, Bej Kerman said:

That's unfortunate, because your own analogy just simply doesn't apply. Street fighter isn't an educational game, nor is its purpose to show you how walking works. KSP 2 is an educational game though, and so is MSFS. Both of those games can't just sidestep such important things as SoL delay and aircraft systems respectively.

Analogies don't need to be one to one like that... This game is already sidestepping a lot of SoL delay side-effects and this seems like a weird one to stick to, in my opinion. SoL delay affects space program research but not craft communication? It's just not my cup of tea man.

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1 minute ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

SoL delay affects space program research but not craft communication?

Why would a probe running off a pre-defined script need to be in constant contact?

1 minute ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

Analogies don't need to be one to one like that...

Well then it isn't an analogy.

2 minutes ago, mcwaffles2003 said:

It's just not my cup of tea man.

Doing several consecutive gravity assists in order to get to Jool more efficiently isn't my cup of tea either, but to say gravity should be removed for the sake of convenience, that would go against KSP's entire purpose.

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1 hour ago, SciMan said:

That's why I think setting the speed of light to be "infinity as far as we can tell" is so smart. If the speed of light is infinite, then you can't go faster than light, no matter how fast you go.

I don't think it's nearly that complicated. It's just something thats abstracted away by framing. Presumably players don't need to time-warp 4 years to switch focus between vessels in 2 different systems. We're not transferring some kind of AI-code at the speed of light between vessels and probes in order to take the wheel. The player is just an omniscient god who can jump instantly from place to place. It's the same with the tech tree. When a part is purchased it becomes available everywhere at the same time. It's not realistic, it's just a reasonable convenience that makes the game more playable. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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