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Nerfherde

A rant about KSP

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Its weird for me. I must've played this game about 130 hours or thereabouts, and I have yet to even try to dock. Just haven't progressed that far yet.

I'm fortunate that I can spend a lot of time on gaming at this stage in my life (though that won't be the case for too much longer). As such, I tend to play any new game I get with a definite "Master crawling thoroughly, before ever trying to walk . . ." kind of mentality.

I'm often amazed at how quickly other players report having zipped through a game. For example, I think my Steam says "255 hours of play" for Skyrim (which I haven't touched for over six months) and a lot of that was just play-install mods-play-install mods kind of 'retooling my setup.' With that much play, I had only really visited two cities in the game world, and I doubt I had seen any more than 10 or 15% of the map. Mostly I just wandered around, having random encounters and doing a few quests just to get settled into the game world.

Anyway, just an idea that (maybe?) spending more time just focusing on the basics and developing good 'muscle memory' for the game in general can be a way to get better.

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It took me about two-three weeks to learn how to dock and that was practicing for several hours every day. Once I learn it, I could got better and better and could dock within 30-45 minutes (REAL TIME) after launching, while eyeing the tv in the background.

These days, I use MechJeb.

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Edit: Mechjeb isn't a solution; it's a spoon of honey rather than some antibiotics: it'll make you feel good for ten seconds but won't actually solve anything.

Ummm no, it will get him there without the frustration. You can use MJ as much or as little as you want/need.

MJ is a tool, use it or not. It isn't just push a button and you are there, that's hyperedit. :). MJ still requires you to plan.

Never understood the hair shirt attitude that a lot of users here have about a sandbox game. It's. like saying that you should walk to work every day. Yes I can walk 20 miles, I've done it in the Marine Corps, it takes a long while and try doing that in 118 f degrees in the summer here in Phoenix. No thanks, I'll use my tool for that. That tool is my car. And it has cruise control and A/C. I get to work in good time and I'm not a stinky, smelly mess to boot.

Don't like MJ? Great then don't use it, but stop telling others how to play the game. They are not cheating anyone, especially you. :)

Edited by BostLabs

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I'm pretty new here, and can understand the frustration. Actually, I have learned to match orbits, dock and work with maneuvering nodes and such. Patience, and expecting it to be practical rather than aesthetic is the key I think. I went mod crazy and downloaded every one I could click on. The mod creators are fantastic and talented beyond my skill level, by light years, but the mods can become overwhelming and bog you down just as fast. Mech Jeb is awesome, and so helpful, but if you don't figure out the basics, on your own, it's just a bunch of windows and buttons that make the game do stuff for you with no real satisfaction at the end of the mission....(For ME!!!! Not a discredit at all on the mod! I promise. I do use it as well lol)...I've really trimmed back to a very few mods and just try to make each flight interesting. There are times though, when I have to just walk away and laugh off the frustration. I'm currently working on a program that will get me to Duna. I've landed on each of Kerbans muns once now, and have built a small station that orbits the Mun. Now working on that T minus 40 day point, for a strong enough vehicle to get my little green guys there and back.

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I've been playing the game for a couple of weeks and docking is by far the most difficult activity.

I've used mechjeb and it managed to crash a couple of times, I really want to master it by hand however I feel it's really killing some of the enjoyment I have for this game. If they could enlarge somewhat the "capture" radius of the magnetic field on the docking ports it would probably make life a little bit easier. I've never been a good "twitch" gamer and docking does require a level of precision that confounds me.

I've managed to dock 6 or 7 times so far, the camera (even in chase mode) is a pain in the but and visibility is very bad most of the time.

Getting a matching orbit is ok -- I got it.

Slowing down and getting to a few dozen meters from target -- I got it.

But micro moving towards my target a bazillion times until I run out of RCS fuel -- that just plains sucks.

Sorry but if I wanted to play a hard core sim, I'd play Orbiter.

-- Dingbat.

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Initially I came into this thread to bite the OP. But, that topic is misleading. And reading what he wrote, I see that I was wrong, and I can sympathize.

OP will remain unbitten.

And practice, OP! You'll get there! Patience is your most important tool!

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Sorry but if I wanted to play a hard core sim, I'd play Orbiter.

This isn't even a remotely challenging sim, you don't need to worry about tidal forces and the like in KSP, all you need is to understand a few simple concepts.

1) Being in a lower orbit catches you up to your target.

2) Being in a higher orbit allows the target to catch you.

3) Time warp is your friend.

4) USE YOUR NAVBALL.

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Holy thread Necro, Batman! This thread died 4 months ago, who was browsing the thread cemetery again?

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This isn't even a remotely challenging sim, you don't need to worry about tidal forces and the like in KSP, all you need is to understand a few simple concepts.

1) Being in a lower orbit catches you up to your target.

2) Being in a higher orbit allows the target to catch you.

3) Time warp is your friend.

4) USE YOUR NAVBALL.

Hmm, what's your point? Are you just trying to make Dingbat1967 feel bad? Well, he shouldn't. He's only been playing a couple weeks (read his post) and if he's already into the docking phase then he's doing, IMO, pretty damn good. A lot of new KSP players are still struggling just to get into orbit during their first couple weeks of play.

I don't understand why some people find it amusing to chide struggling players who obviously just need a few words of encouragement, or better yet, some experienced help.

So, keep trying Dingbat. You'll get the hang of it. Go easy on the RCS, baby steps (patience) work best during the final link up . Also, kudos to you for advancing into the docking phase in only two weeks.

Edited by Ming

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Personally after a rash of failed docking attempts I downloaded MechJeb, saved my game and watched how the autopilot docked. Mechjeb Rendezvous is really good at showing the process broken down into steps. After that I reloaded and did exactly the same thing using maneuver nodes.

Between that, watching Scott Manley, and practice, docking is now easy though time-consuming. Oh, and minor detail, I discovered docking mode vs. staging mode, that is not very crystal clear in the game.

Edited by CaptainCrunch

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Houston, we have a hard dock. I never thought I would, but I did.

Congrats on the docking! Now, to repeat the feat a few times and you'll be set.

The main reason I was going to post in this thread was to suggest that the core issue could be not knowing how to perform a transfer. In your original post, you said:

I can get to the mun just fine, by brute force. That is, wait until the mun and the space Craft is aligned, launch and see if you got it right

That tells me that you may not know how to go from one orbit to another, which could explain why all the advice in this thread was of little help to you. If your orbital rendezvous was done the same way you get to the Mun (assuming you still do it that way), repeating the docking may prove quite difficult. So the key question is: Do you now know how to transfer from one orbit to another?

Holy thread Necro, Batman! This thread died 4 months ago, who was browsing the thread cemetery again?

OP resurrected it himself. :)

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Actually started building my own space station and docking is the bane of my existance right now.

Went to the Mun fine, Minmus fine -- was able to land on Duna and return but with single massive rockets with no docking involved.

I wanted to attach a new section to my orbital station and I just couldn't get it no matter how hard I tried. Maybe I am overcorrecting too much but my biggest mistake seems to not have have enough RCS fuel due to my ineptitude.

I know -- try one axis at a time. Check. Balance the RCS. Check.

-- Dingbat.

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Seems most of the players have their own system for docking and there's lots of good info here. My advice is to learn docking first, and then learn how to match orbits and approach.

Start by building a docking pod. The stock Kerbal X rocket is a great place to start. Disconnect everything below the capsule but don't get rid of it. Take the parachute off the capsule and replace it a sheilded docking port. Add some radial mount parachutes so you can get your crew back alive after the mission. Next add a 2.5m RCS tank then put a docking port SR on the bottom of that. Turn on the center of mass marker then add a ring of RCS quad thruster blocks using 4 way symmetry and line them up with the COM. You now have a docking pod with plenty of fuel for practice docking. If you have mechjeb installed, add a module to the capsule since the Smart Ass panel makes things MUCH easier.

Reattach the rest of the rocket then replace the decoupler with another docking port SR. Add a regular docking port to the side of the fuel tank on the upper stage. Finally, since you got rid of the last stage decoupler, set an action group to undock on of the docking port SR's. This will let you jettison the final stage engine and fuel tank after reentry.

The idea is that you can take off and acheive orbit with just one ship. You can then undock your capsule and you'll be moving in an orbit exactly the same as the rest of your ship. Open the sheilding on your forward docking port and select "control from here" and select the docking port on your fuel tank as the target. You can move around using RCS, line up on the smaller docking port then try to redock. Get used to using the yellow marker on the navball to approach the docking port. It shows your predicted path and if it's centered on the pink target icon you're going to hit it.

Make sure to use the chase view to keep the top of the capsule lined up with the top of the screen.

If you're using mechjeb make sure you're in the target tab of the smart ass screen and use target + to approach and parallel - for your final docking. (parallel lines up your docking port axis with the target docking port axis)

Once you manage to dock, undock and try to do the same thing with the SR docking ports. Keep repeating till you're good at it or low on RCS fuel.

Once you get good at docking with your own ship you can try to match orbits with a ship you launched seperatly and approach and dock. It's frustrating to spend a half hour matching orbits and approaching then flub the last few seconds. This lets you practise those last few seconds over and over.

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I've never been a good "twitch" gamer and docking does require a level of precision that confounds me.

If you are treating docking as a "twitch game", there's yer problem.

Slow down. Be patient. Put any ADD and insistence on instant-gratification away.

Docking is really, really easy... once you learn what the NavBall markings are actually telling you and figure out how to use them to nudge you into a path that will intersect the target while you sit back and watch it happen, rather than doing all that frantic button-mashing to drive yourself into the docking port. A single little white bottle of monoprop is good for a half-dozen dockings, if you just don't squirt it around all over the place trying to rush the process.

If your docking is boring, because you're just watching the ships drift into the right position on just a few puffs of RCS, then, you're doing it right. It will be time-consuming, but the faster you try to do it, the harder you're making it.

Edited by RoboRay

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Thanks Guys. I know I'll get it with persistance. Maybe I am being too agressive when it comes to my RCS manoeuvers.

- Dingbat.

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Wow. That's unbelievable. A little too unbelievable. So your seriously telling me that you haven't gotten to another planet on purpose since early 2012? I mean, you never watched a full video on how to get to Duna/Eve, copied their exact rocket, and flew it exactly like them?

Anyway. I learned docking like this: I watched videos, and completely ignored them. What I did is I launched 2 things into orbit, F5.

Then burned towards it. Do retro grade stuff.

Deorbit.

F9.

Try something else.

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Guys, please play your game and let levelord play his :)

That comment wasn't directed at me, it was directed at the OP. I didn't want others telling him to quit to discourage him from trying. :P

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I have to tend to agree. I hate docking, and can never get them to line up. I even tried when ORDA would teleport me right to the docking port and I still ended up missing, ram my station and blowing everything up. MechJeb over use of fuel lead me to make a ION version.

To be honest I can't play the game without MechJeb, from getting into orbit, planet transfers, to landing. I just fail at doing. I'm still learning though and i do try without it now and again.

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