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The Jedi Master

MechJeb Review

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OK, so I broke down and got MechJeb a few days ago, and HOLY CRAP this thing is powerful. Perfect orbit every time, perfect landing every time. If MechJeb can't fly it, no one can. No wonder people say it's overpowered, it IS to a certain extent.

Now, before people start arguing with me, I will tell you that it DOES NOT have a magic "go to Eeloo" button. What it WILL do is get you into orbit around Kerbin, set up the nodes for the Eeloo transfer, get into orbit around Kerbol, get the inclination right, get a transfer and land. All individually. And you can go manual at any time.

My recommendation? Use it, but understand that their is a reason people say it's overpowered. Use it for things that either:

A)You've already done

B)You absolutely, positively CANNOT do without it (really hard ships, Eve ascents, etc.)

C)You need a demonstration of

Otherwise, fly manually.

PS. I did notice it's a tad inefficient on the ascent. Also, I STILL can't rendezvous and dock...

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I only use it for information, testing rocket efficiency, and if I need to land in a particular place (I let it do the initial burn to target, I then take over the rest of the landing). Besides that, I do everything manually.

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I use it for vehicle information... I guess their is another mod that just gives that now but it is still nice to have for those instances where I am to lazy to fly a routine refuel mission to my space station. I have done it a thousand times manually so I am pretty sure I have accent mastered.

I don't get why there is such animosity towards people that use it, if it makes the game funner for you or you really suck than go for it if not don't use it.

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When I don't feel like driving my ship, I turn the cruise control on.

Then turn it off for the fun rides.

(And MJ can fail at flying things a human would, been there done that)

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A)You've already done
IMO the only legitimate use of MechJeb.
B)You absolutely, positively CANNOT do without it (really hard ships, Eve ascents, etc.)
When you can't do it yourself, then you should either go back to the VAB and design a better ship or practice some more. When you let MechJeb do it for you, you are just cheating yourself.
C)You need a demonstration of
In that case I would rather recommend to read some tutorials, look at some YouTube videos or even better figure it out on your own through trial&error and analysis. You might learn something while doing this. Not just how it works but also why it works.

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perfect landing every time.

Sometimes to a fault. On one of my tests of a reusable service vehicle I told it to land at KSC. It did, and ended up with about a 30m margin of error, quite a bit smaller than it usually gets. Turns out that it set me down right next to the launch pad. On the ramp. And I didn't have enough fuel left to abort and bring it down manually.

The pod survived but the rest of the rocket was reduced to a pile of rubble.

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When you can't do it yourself, then you should either go back to the VAB and design a better ship or practice some more. When you let MechJeb do it for you, you are just cheating yourself.

You do know how some people are artists and are able to draw fantastic? Then you have some people who have practiced much much longer and more often then that artist and still sucks? Same situation can happen here. Expecting everyone to be able to do everything you can, is not a very smart way of thinking.

People who don't know how to draw, don't simply learn to draw, they tend to get others to draw for them. Is it cheating? What if the person only likes the sim part of the game. and not the piloting part?

But ya, you can't expect everyone to be able to do everything. This is why we are all not pilots in real life. This is why we are all not artists in real life, and so on and so fourth.

In that case I would rather recommend to read some tutorials, look at some YouTube videos or even better figure it out on your own through trial&error and analysis. You might learn something while doing this. Not just how it works but also why it works.

What is the difference watching on youtube or watching on your game? It's the same thing. X3

Trial and error? Do you have any idea how many more deaths we would have today if everyone used that method? If you are trying to play like it's realistic, you would not have much room for error.

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I'm a pretty big proponent of MJ myself, but it makes mistakes all the time, many are due to its lack of fine control. I've seen it shake rockets apart, flip them end over end, miscalculate burns to planets and moons.

But all that being said, it is still an excellent program, and makes it easier for me to play the game like I like to (like a mission control rather than a pilot)

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You beat me to it Tauge. Real spacecraft have analog controls with fine precision (though most of them are flown by computer control anyway). Having a binary choice between zero and pressing 'W' to slam your pitch all the way to the wall is a terrible control system. It's a wonder we're able to fly these things manually as well as we do. :)

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You beat me to it Tauge. Real spacecraft have analog controls with fine precision (though most of them are flown by computer control anyway). Having a binary choice between zero and pressing 'W' to slam your pitch all the way to the wall is a terrible control system. It's a wonder we're able to fly these things manually as well as we do. :)

Hit Caps Lock to toggle precision control. It's very helpful for small craft, and for docking.

Still have no real interest in MechJeb myself, but I do see its value to many a user. More power to 'em, I say.

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I use it for everything. However before I used it, I started with version .17 of KSP. I landed on Mun,Minmus, Eve, and Duna befor getting MJ. YESTERDAY I loaded up the game and for some reason my MJ didnt load up when I loaded my 317 part 600 ton deep space beast. It was a crazy trip to orbit but I managed it without MJ with a tad more fuel then usual I might add. Did the jump to Mun landed took off rondevoued took off to minmus landed took off again and got everyone home. I nodded my satisfaction (yeah, I still got it!) as I turned the game off and went to go eat dinner.

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The only parts of it I use are the info panels, the landing/aerobrake calculator, and SmartASS. I think those features should be added to the vanilla game anyway as part of the ASAS module or some new part. It would be nice to unlock better computers in career mode.

The auto-pilots often waste fuel and bug out, making them too unreliable. They can be useful for helping new people learn how to do the maneuvers though. Actually seeing your rocket go through the maneuvers in-game is a much better guide than reading or watching a video.

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OK, so I broke down and got MechJeb a few days ago, and HOLY CRAP this thing is powerful. Perfect orbit every time, perfect landing every time. If MechJeb can't fly it, no one can. [snip]Also, I STILL can't rendezvous and dock...

While Mechjeb can fly most of my easy ships, try the ascent autopilot on some of my more complicated things. although I can get them into orbit with a delicate hand on the controls and judicious use of SAS, Mechjeb's "SHIP TURN PROGRADE NAO" approach tends to result in bad problems.

Since I like to land things, I've only ever tried the Landing autopilot once and suspect the extreme lithobraking maneuver that resulted was more to do with me not knowing how to use said autopilot than the autopilot itself.

For interplanetary transfers it often disagrees with me on what constitutes a launch window, usuall wanting to wait another year, so I never use that.

If I use it to fine tune a rendezvous in a low orbit I have to take care to check before hitting execute in order to avoid unexpected areobraking.

And although I have seen video of other players successfully using the docking autopilot, it has never worked for me. Docking isn't hard though, and without the autopilot you can save weight on Monoprop.

All in all, though I love the additional info Mechjeb provides the autopilot is relegated to performing only the most routine of launches.

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What is the difference watching on youtube or watching on your game? It's the same thing. X3

Authors of good videos explain what they are doing and why they are doing it. Mechjeb doesn't.

Trial and error? Do you have any idea how many more deaths we would have today if everyone used that method? If you are trying to play like it's realistic, you would not have much room for error.
Seriously, you are defending using MechJeb with realism? In reality, humanity learned about rocket science through experiments and analysis. Not because some higher intelligence gave them a magic computer program which controls their rockets. Sure, nowadays rockets are computer-controlled, but the computer programs are the result of a long understanding process. And that's what KSP is about: understanding rocket science (or its limited simulation thereof). When you take that away, there is no game which remains. Edited by Crush

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Every. Single. Time.

I will repeat my bit ad nauseum. Nobody can or should tell me, or anyone else, how to play a single player game. There's no legitimate way to use Mechjeb, there's only yes or no. Nothing else matters. The only place this discussion should ever be is in the challenge thread, and even then it's tenuous. Do what you want, how you want. Don't use the internet to try and justify how good a pilot you are because you do or don't use MJ. It doesn't matter one jot to anybody else, and it does not give you the right to preach at others about how their achievements are not as significant as yours because they do something differently.

  • Like 2

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I love MJ. I'm a crap pilot and I need it, it makes the game more playable and fun for me. And I'm fine with that. The engineer in me needs consistent launches and orbit transfers to refine my designs.

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I'm a pretty big proponent of MJ myself, but it makes mistakes all the time, many are due to its lack of fine control. I've seen it shake rockets apart, flip them end over end, miscalculate burns to planets and moons.

But all that being said, it is still an excellent program, and makes it easier for me to play the game like I like to (like a mission control rather than a pilot)

This. Tie mechjeb into a user interface for use with Firespitter's MFD, and I would be the happiest clam.

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Authors of good videos explain what they are doing and why they are doing it. Mechjeb doesn't.

Seriously, you are defending using MechJeb with realism? In reality, humanity learned about rocket science through experiments and analysis. Not because some higher intelligence gave them a magic computer program which controls their rockets. Sure, nowadays rockets are computer-controlled, but the computer programs are the result of a long understanding process. And that's what KSP is about: understanding rocket science. When you take that away, there is no game which remains.

Actually a lot of math went into rocket designs before testing. It was not trial and error. At least not most of the time. I do admit trial and error does work sometimes, but that is only if you need to gather information that you do not have. Do you think the very first space mission was done through trial and error? Actually most of the testing was done with simulations and math. A lot of computers where used in the process. Even using computers can give you a really good understanding of rocket science. You can bet your butt that any maned missions had computer autopilots on board, to think other wise is crazy.

Also, unmanned rockets needed computers as well, you know .. cause they don't have a human to control it on board. Heck you can't pilot a rocket manually without a person on board. You needed to make a computer program to do it for you. So maybe everyone should learn programming to pilot unmanned rockets?

Also how many rockets where actually directly controlled by a person to launch it in orbit? Why would Nasa have a person who is prone to errors control a rocket when a computer could with little to no errors?

Edit: Also KSP is part sim, so yes im going to compare to realism. If it had nothing to do with realism, then what part of it is a sim?

Edit 2: Also some people don't need explanations. It's a human ability called observing.

Edited by Brabbit1987

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Authors of good videos explain what they are doing and why they are doing it. Mechjeb doesn't.

Seriously, you are defending using MechJeb with realism? In reality, humanity learned about rocket science through experiments and analysis. Not because some higher intelligence gave them a magic computer program which controls their rockets. Sure, nowadays rockets are computer-controlled, but the computer programs are the result of a long understanding process. And that's what KSP is about: understanding rocket science (or its limited simulation thereof). When you take that away, there is no game which remains.

Well, we dont develop the bell designs on the rocket engines, or code the ASAS software, or develop the fuel do we? It's all tools, you use to achieve what you want. I'm an engineer, not a pilot. I like the challenge of "Get to jool, with a ship that has a lander, and orbital probe for every moon, and 1 manned lander for laythe, with the capacity for the mothership to return home." I like the challenge of building the launch vehicles, but the flying is tedious for me, and I am prone to making mistakes that MechJeb wont.

I do find it odd that this bothers you so much though. I mean, they aren't ruining your game experience are they?

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It always tends to happen because there is always someone who decides to post a ignorant comment, you know cause what they think is important.

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Moved to the Addons section.

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I like to do things first manually, then once I've done them manually, decide whether or not to use MechJeb based pretty much on what I feel like doing (The role-playing justification I use is that data collected from the manual flight can be used by my Kerbal software engineers to develop MechJeb programs for accomplishing the same task). I almost always use it for docking (my first manual docking was a terrible, terrible ordeal), and sometimes use it for landing and orbital maneuvers. My guideline has always been "what would be more fun?" KSP is a game; I'm not about to sit in front of a computer tapping WASD for four hours because I designed a cool-looking ship that handles like crap and I can't get it in the right position to dock, but it's not really any more entertaining just clicking "autopilot enable" and sitting down with a cup of coffee to watch the game do everything for you. Tedious or annoyingly difficult stuff, I'm more than happy to use MechJeb for, as long as I've shown that I can do it first, but it just feels boring to sit back and let the game play itself.

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I'm pretty sure you can tell it to go to Eeloo and it will go to Eeloo without any user interaction.

Edited by whatisthisidonteven

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