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Nerfherde

A rant about KSP

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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

Lol I need to remember to follow those quote links in future...

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.

KSP has a learning curve, there's fun in climbing that curve a little bit at a time, it's pretty steep too so when you are at the top it can be hard to see the slope again as others are making their way up.

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MechJeb 2, use the RCS balancer, works wonders to make it behave better and use a normal amount of RCS fuel.

Can't dock manually either, just lack the fine control needed when you have RCS going full blast or not at all (that and my terrible lack of depth perception and fine motor control).

Same with finetuning burns. Having throttle control in 10% increments just isn't enough at times. Which is where MechJeb comes in with its very fine control.

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I find docking takes practice and patience, and lots of 'em; but the more you have of one, the less you need of the other. Take your time at the start and don't rush, get in that practice early so that later on you don't need so much patience.

Oh and use those tutorials; they may not seem to help at the start, but they will help you avoid making some of the more frustrating mistakes too often. The "point normal-antinormal" hint in particular will help, because that'll keep the docking points fixed in relation to each other. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to line up with a docking point that's rotating the whole time...

-- Steve

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just lack the fine control needed when you have RCS going full blast or not at all (that and my terrible lack of depth perception and fine motor control).

Do you have fine control (Capslock) on? With that and just tapping the keys velocity can be adjusted in 0.1m/s increments.

Depth perception in space is generally a problem because there are no nearby reference points. I'd suggest for docking it's better to rely on instruments.

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My only suggestion has been noted numerous times throughout this thread, and that's to try MechJeb and learn how it does the things you want to do, then try playing without it. This is how I learned the game so I can vouch for the effectiveness of this method. If you want you could even reinstall MechJeb later on to automate just the tedious bits of the game.

If not, you could always keep watching tutorial videos.

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Well guys you were right.

In frustration a few days ago I scrapped my first space station called "Oasis" after I really bamboozled on the docking.

Well finally, I think I got it right :D

kerbal_zpsbf753375.gif

Thanks Guys.

I used MechJeb only for the informational stuff and the orbital planning.

- 1 Habitat module with the large solar panels

- 3 medium tanks with RCS central storage [about half full]

- 1 Large tank [full]

- Station core towards the bottom.

- Cislunar tug at the bottom

- RCS tug

Ready to build more stuff.

Har.

-- Dingbat

Edited by Dingbat1967

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I found that the thing which really helped me understand docking was EVA. Once you know which buttons are for up/down etc it isn't really any more difficult docking small ships together thanguiding a kerbal back to a hatch.

I took this to extremes when I made a Kerbal land on Minmus, take off again and meet his ship using only his jetpack (and 99.8% of his fuel!) I've also done it on Gilly, but a gnat's fart is enough to send you into orbit on Gilly.

Edited by Khrissetti

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I painstakingly learnt how to manually rendevous and dock, then I let mechjeb, then at 0.21 I went back to doing it manually, and after paying attention to how MJ did it I became a hell of a lot more efficient.

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Now that I finally learned how to dock, a crazy idea popped into my head. How about a space station that stretches all the way around Kerbin. Is that even possible?

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Now that I finally learned how to dock, a crazy idea popped into my head. How about a space station that stretches all the way around Kerbin. Is that even possible?

No, because the physics only extends 2.5Km each way from your ship to cut down on CPU time.

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Seeing that this thread is still active, I thought I'd chime in. For people still having problems getting docking to work, perhaps you might want to check out my in-game docking tutorial plugin. It uses the game's tutorial system to try and teach docking maneuvers.

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Now that I finally learned how to dock, a crazy idea popped into my head. How about a space station that stretches all the way around Kerbin. Is that even possible?

You, sir, are insane. LOL :D

I opened a challenge to build something circular by bending straight docked sections in a circle, you can start with that.

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Where am I ranting against KSP? I love this game, even though its very difficult for me.

KSP needs more ranters.

I'm sick of the sheep.

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You've been playing this game for more than a year and a half and you still can't do basic things? Hm. You should consider quitting. I know I would.

Pffffffffft.

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I kind of understand the frustration you had. I've been playing since early .17 and I seem to have difficulty getting to other planets. I understand the maneuver planner and can use it well enough to reach the Mun and Minmus efficnently (as opposed to a brute force burn) but for other planets - even nearby Duna - I have a hard time of it if I don't use MJ to automatically plot it out and warp to the magical "right time" to do a transfer.

On the bright side, I've got no problems docking! I've spend at least 90% of my kerbal time messing about with space stations and building orbital complexes... Not a lot of time practicing on the interplanetary trips because of the frustration hehe.

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I'm sorry, but when I read the original post, what I got out of it was not a rant against KSP, so much as a general complaint that it's all just too hard.

Seriously, docking is admittedly a bit tricky at first, but it's not *that* difficult, as many hundreds of YouTube videos and forum posts will testify. It all comes down to knowing what to watch, and knowing how various controls affect a ship's velocity.

Same applies for getting to the other planets. For the longest time I only went to the Mün because I learned the trick of firing off for orbital transition just as the Mün rises over the horizon. Then I got the itch to try something new, and I kept floundering trying that "brute force" method, so I did some reading on the wiki, looked at some videos, and learned how it all works.

Floundered a couple more times because I was screwing myself up with the timing, but eventually figured out how my actions were producing the results I was seeing, made some adjustments to my assumptions, and now Jool is a cakewalk to reach.

If you've been playing the game since 0.8.5, and assuming you've been playing each of the releases since then, and you still haven't had the proverbial lightbulb go off over your head, perhaps the real problem isn't with the game, but with your lack of willingness to learn how it's done. Watching videos means nothing if you're not analyzing them for information that fills in what you're missing. Nobody's going to just hand you the solution on a silver platter, because everybody needs to know a little something different according to their experience and current level of knowledge.

Use some critical thinking skills, watch some of those YouTube videos again, and really watch and listen to what people like Scott Manley are telling you about these maneuvers.

Also, fair warning: docking and performing orbital transits are not at all similar. Learning to do one will not automatically give you the ability to do the other. HOWEVER, learning to do one will teach you some critical concepts that apply to the other.

I don't know what your current level of knowledge is, going by your post, but I'm going to make the assumption that part of your docking issue has to do with rendezvous in the first place. So here's some tips that will help with that:

In the map view, set your target vessel. The lower you are relative to your target, the faster you are going relative to it. Conversely, the higher you are from it, the slower you are going relative to your target.

So if you achieve orbit and your target is behind you, go to a higher orbit and it will catch up, and from there you can decelerate to shrink your orbit to meet it (takes a little practice to know when and where to start the burn).

If the target is ahead of you, assume a lower orbit.

Once you've gotten and reached a rendezvous point, you no longer need the map view. Your navball should be showing "TARGET" in the top display. If not, click it until it does. You are now looking at your speed relative to your target. The pink targeting reticules will show you which direction your target is from you, and the yellow velocity vector will show you which direction you are moving relative to your target. Point your nose directly away from the target (the pink indicator opposite the circular one that looks like a Predator laser sight) and burn until your velocity shows near zero. Then turn back toward your target and burn directly toward it, keeping your velocity under 100m/s. Keep the yellow velocity vector within the pink targeting reticule. If it drifts, you can correct it by remembering these "rules":

  • When burning toward your target, the yellow velocity vector will be "attracted" to your current heading (you can "pull" it upward by aiming your nose above the target and burning a bit)
  • When burning away from your target, the yellow velocity vector will be "repulsed" by your current heading (you can "push" it in a direction by pointing your nose away from it)
  • The farther away your nose is from the yellow velocity vector, the greater the effect will be on your course when you burn

Once you're pretty close to your target, say about 1,000 meters, point your nose directly opposite your direction of travel and burn to decelerate. Turn back toward your target, and now rely exclusively on your RCS system. Nudge the ship forward again (H) and watch your speed. Watch how fast it climbs. This will tell you when you should start decelerating.

As you approach, your velocity vector will drift. Use RCS translation (IJKL) to "push" the yellow velocity vector to keep it on the pink targeting reticule.

When you're close enough to see your docking point, right click it and Set As Target.

Adjust your course to match the new targeting reticule's location with RCS translation again.

When you're within 100 meters, kill most of your forward movement and start moving the camera around to determine your orientation relative to the dock. Get yourself as perfectly perpendicular to the port as you can. It doesn't matter if your nose isn't currently pointing right at it; you just want to be sure that when you do get to it, your coming at it dead-on.

After orienting, go back to using RCS translation to push the ship in-line with the target. The pink targeting reticule will now be dead-center of the navball.

Nudge the ship forward toward the port.

When you're very close, kill your forward movement to under 4m/s, and you should end up docking nicely.

This all seems very wordy, but if you read through this and experiment a little while, you should start seeing what I'm talking about. Eventually it'll click into place and you'll be docking like a pro, I promise.

If this is still really confusing, and if none of the other available YouTube videos are still of any help, let me know. I would be happy to put together a narrated tutorial on how it's done, along with some pointers on how the various indicators on the navball behave. :)

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*derp*

Apologies... I didn't do any back-reading. I shall blame lack of coffee.

Anyway congrats on the milestone! :)

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I've had the exact same problem. I've just used MechJeb. I've landed on Minmus and The Mun.

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Do you have fine control (Capslock) on? With that and just tapping the keys velocity can be adjusted in 0.1m/s increments.

Depth perception in space is generally a problem because there are no nearby reference points. I'd suggest for docking it's better to rely on instruments.

Wish I'd known that this evening while I completed my first *almost* completely manual docking... Mind you... My problem for the most of the 2 hours I spent lightly bumping my docking target was that I had forgotten I had the Jr docking port instead of the regular sized one.... >.< Much easier when I switched to the port of the right size! lol

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If you are having trouble with rotational or positional alignment, try this instrument...

ssv203.png

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/showthread.php/43901-Plugin-0-21-Docking-Port-Alignment-Indicator-(Version-2-0)

Oh that's really cool! I didn't even know this was out there!

So no more worrying about getting perfectly aligned with the docking port by rolling the camera all over the place? SOLD!!

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Docking has been the scariest thing in KSP. I have finally managed it and have docked 2 things on my first day. After your first docking it gets much easier. The biggest thing to remember is kill your target speed when you get close. From there is just smooth sailing with RCS. I promise!

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After finally Learning how to dock, im now pretty good at it. Im just enjoying building my own station, trying to make it as big as kerbally possible.

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