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jpkerman

.22 playtesting being waylaid by mods?

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Or Squad has been focusing on parts the modding community has been missing since they know that many of the mods people have developed are quite good. They have the mod API for a reason. Before the start of career mode with the tech-tree the only mod that seems to have similar research features is the interstellar pack which came out fairly recently I believe.

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Or Squad has been focusing on parts the modding community has been missing since they know that many of the mods people have developed are quite good. They have the mod API for a reason...

They've integrated 1 popular mod into the game with this release.

It makes sense to sit back and let people decide what's worth developing (by monitoring spaceport downloads for example), and then slowly integrate the official "Squad" versions of them into releases as time progresses.

Who knows, we might well end up seeing the Squad versions of Kethane, MechJeb & Remotetech, as well as parts resembling those in B9 & KW, to mention but a few

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I find it rather amusing and annoying that people think that because the tech tree is already modded, that the stock tech tree is broken. It's a work in progress and judging from the weekly updates I read prior to 0.22, they were tinkering with it almost daily to get what we're seeing now.

I still have my mods from 0.21 installed (they don't seem to break anything during startup, so I'm being lazy about clearing them out) but they have no impact on career mode since the parts aren't 'unlocked' in career mode anywhere in the tree. Therefore, I'm still plugging through it as intended.

Are there things that I would do differently if I made the tech tree? Sure--I'd probably move the wings and wheels to earlier in the tree to make more use out of them for all skill levels. Though, now that I know how science works better and how to gain it, I started career again fresh and I'm 4 launches in (with only one successful failure--otherwise I'd probably be 3 launches in) with several items in the 5th tier unlocked so I can do flight this time and get science for it. Thus, I can see why flight parts are where they are--experienced players can make use of them early in Kerbin's science, though for a new or inexperienced (or someone, like me, who got too used to MechJeb or the like) it seems impossibly difficult to unlock while it's useful.

Which is another thing to keep in mind when discussing the tech tree. Everyone has different expectations of how things 'work' and everyone has different skill levels they're bringing into career mode. Some will be new players, while others will be people who got used to MechJeb or other very useful tools (and they are useful--if used as a tool, not a crutch), and still others are those who can slap a few engines and tanks together and manually fly the rocket to Duna and back with fuel left over. The main thing I think Squad will be looking at with the tech tree is finding the middle ground which will challenge new players (without scaring them off through being too difficult) while still providing interesting challenges to experienced players. Already, I think they've been doing a good job on the latter--there are a number of threads I've read about how having limited parts are making people try combinations they never had before.

Just my 2 Kerbits.

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The confusing parts of this game have almost nothing at all to do with 'I have too many parts' and 'these engines are too good'. How does the tech tree teach you about orbital mechanics, docking, RCS, SAS, and how aerodynamics in the game work?

The tech tree does none of those things and you obviously know that. However, Squad's position at the moment is that it is a teaching tool, not end-game content, and given that some people are expecting end-game content from the tech tree I would not be surprised if we ended up with two different tech trees, one for proper career play and another integrated into a tutorial game mode which we can potentially assume contains all the "confusing stuff" you list above.

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I like the fact we don't start with a probe. It fits with the theme of the game that you start with manned mission with Jeb being crazy enough the ride the first thing that the Kerbal Engineers came up with.

That being said, this is just the toe tip in the water of career mode, I can't wait to see how else the game will evolve.

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Sorry, I can't believe the stuff that's being said in here. Did nobody watch Scott Manley's interview with Felipe/Harvester? The Tech tree is SUPPOSED to be easy for veterans of the game to abuse. You are not having updates catered to the "hardcore" crowd any more. This is where the game starts shaping up for release. They're anticipating brand new players to the game, there is NO REASON AT ALL to make a niche game that caters to "hardcore" players if they still expect to make money off of this. There's a reason the tech tree is easily moddable, so if you don't like it, just install a mod that fits your "hardcore" needs. Seriously just do it. I recommend starting with Yargnit's tree.

Also I dare you to try starting with a probe. See how difficult it makes the game then. Though I supposed it wouldn't be a problem for you "hardcore" types, right?

EDIT: If it sounds like I'm tryign to be hostile, stop that assumption immediately. I'm simply irritated at the way some of you think. KSP is a game first and foremost. It's not supposed to be a "hardcore simulator" like Orbiter. If you still think it's a simulator, well, stop thinking that.

Edited by AlternNocturn

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The evidence suggests KSP's main audience is the hardcore player. Orbiter isn't hardcore, it's just bad.

Even if Squad wants players beyond the hardcore crowd. they should not ditch us.

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Boomerdog,

First of all, look at the popularity of Deadly Reentry, FAR, KW, B9, etc. The mods that added hardcore functionality became extremely popular, because that is what people want. Second, and this is by way of analogy , let's talk about another company that tried to cater to a simpler audience. Microsoft and MS Flight.

Microsoft thought they could make more money if they developed a flight game that was simpler, and was not called a simulator. When simulator fans complained they, like Squad, spoke about the 'silent majority' of gamers who didn't use forums and didn't want a simulator. They were wrong, and MS Flight's development was cancelled.

The fact is, the simpler crowd wants Minecraft, wants Angry Birds, etc. There isn't really demand for a game that's half realistic simulator(KSP's physics and rocketry) and half arcade game. That repels both audiences. If Squad wants the hardcore crowd(their most likely audience), then they need to start implementing aerodynamics, reentry heat, etc into stock. If they want the simple crowd, then they better make space straight up and create a iPhone version.

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Sorry I'll give you FAR and Deadly Reentry but KW and B9 make it harder? B9 was the reason I managed to get this monstrosity into orbit then have it bring 6 satellites out to Duna.

lXZYGZa.jpg

Since KW and B9 are packs that include some useful (and sometimes a bit over-powered parts) they hardly seem to make it more difficult.

Which leaves FAR and Deadly Reentry, which are to replace an atmospheric model that we already know isn't finished yet.

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B9 and KW don't add difficulty, they add complexity. When you choose between different tanks and engines, you have to think.

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How are players not thinking when they use the current parts? They may have to think more. To design their ship using the limited number of parts at their disposal instead of picking 1 out of a hundred specialized engines.

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Even if Squad wants players beyond the hardcore crowd. they should not ditch us.

In what way are they ditching the hardcore crowd? I haven't found any aspect of 0.22 to be easier than 0.21. If they can aim the tech tree at new players or the hardcore crowd and let the other group mod the tech tree to fit their desires, which do you think is more capable of modding, the new players, or the hardcore crowd?

I don't agree with every decision that they've made, but I can understand the reasoning, and it's really not going to affect my enjoyment of the game. Not sure I'd call myself part of the hardcore crowd, but I'm certainly not a casual player.

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If Squad wants the hardcore crowd(their most likely audience), then they need to start implementing aerodynamics, reentry heat, etc into stock.

Correct me if I am wrong but I am pretty sure that these exact features are already planned to be implemented.

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In all reality, being able to mod the tech tree or 'alienating the hardcore' is not the problem the devs have. It's threads like this where people whine about details that aren't even finished that cause the most problems with alienating players.

Yes, Microsoft botched Flight--in part because of dumbing it down, in part because they were trying to milk more money out of it but that was not caused by the 'silent majority'. Instead the blame can be laid on the management decisions by people who didn't understand why Flight Simulator was so popular after over a decade. This kind of thing comes up more and more throughout the industry in the bigger publishers.

Typically the 'vocal minority' are the few people who dislike one minor part of the game because it doesn't fit their preconceived notions or their existing playstyle. When devs listen to this, sometimes constructive often not, criticism the game ends up changing in ways that alienate even more players which can, and have, caused games to basically self destruct.

As I recommend to friends about lots of different games in situations like this, be constructive in your criticism but be patient and play the game as it is, not as you think it should've been. More often than not, you end up either providing a positive influence or you end up actually liking the changes instead of being afraid of them.

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Not sure why everyone thinks the games easy with research tree. The easy part makes total sense. Your missing an important part in the game. Money. All these people posting 7000 point 1 st mission science scores can only do this because they have no limit on what they can build. Even level 0 stuff means nothing when you can just make a 500 part ship and do it anyway.

Most they vessels would be well out of the price range of a starting space org.

Just a thought.

So in a nut shell mods help overcome this problem. No matter how hard you make the tech tree. Without a budget, you can still build just like sandbox mode.

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Not sure why everyone thinks the games easy with research tree. The easy part makes total sense. Your missing an important part in the game. Money.

I love seeing this mis-guided viewpoint on the forums. Please explain to me how a tech tree forwarded to the playerbase as a "tutorial" for new players is somehow going to get EXTRA HARD when an economy suddenly shows up. I don't think experienced players are going to be at all troubled by an actual economy considering what we've seen of the tech tree. Maybe we'll all have to make three more flights to earn the money to unlock stuff, big deal.

Unlocking tech tree parts is not going to be an issue because the tech tree is considered a tutorial.

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Unlocking tech tree parts is not going to be an issue because the tech tree is considered a tutorial.

I keep seeing this all through the forums yet not once have I seen a citation on where people are getting this. So who at Squad is saying that this tech tree is just a tutorial?

The closest I've found is them saying that they expect experienced players to move through the tree fast, though experienced could be just about anyone who's spent any time in the sandbox in this context.

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I keep seeing this all through the forums yet not once have I seen a citation on where people are getting this. So who at Squad is saying that this tech tree is just a tutorial?

The closest I've found is them saying that they expect experienced players to move through the tree fast, though experienced could be just about anyone who's spent any time in the sandbox in this context.

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/53140-ScienceDefs-cfg?p=705181&viewfull=1#post705181

Tech tree is designed to introduce. In other words, it's a tutorial.

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Extra Hard? Who said anything about the game getting extra hard all of a sudden. Malkuth merely said that we cant really judge the difficulty yet because of the missing economy. But go on judging anyone elses view as mis-guided. Because certainly there is no way you could be wrong.

And about those hardcore players - youve been around for half a year. How could you be talking about hardcore?

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All right, I grudgingly stand corrected. Still, the tech tree itself is not a tutorial even if it is meant to make it easier for new players to understand how the game works by introducing them to various parts in an incremental manner.

Otherwise every game of Civilization would be a tutorial.

Now, considering the first 3 or 4 tiers (about the time you get batteries and RCS, I would think) as the tutorial is fine by me...beyond that, why consider it a tutorial? The current advanced players probably won't care about the career mode--they'll be busy doing what they've always done in the sandbox. While future advanced players might decide that getting the most bang for the buck in research and cash will be the real 'endgame' of the game, not the building megastations and fleets of ships that turn the whole solar system into the backyard. *shrugs* I still stand by the whole we need to be patient instead of calling this the death of the game just because the first tech tree isn't what people were expecting.

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I don't think the tech tree will get extra hard, but if it is a tutorial for new players and then they add money to said tutorial, it will then mean that you may not be able to do the same thing you have done. Plus, then they might add mission control and whole other sets of nonsense that will make the tutorial even more expansive. Once it is done, I imagine it will be incredibly simple like all tutorials - you know, Press A to move to the left - This is a rocket, it makes your ship go up. I also doubt that this will even be the tutorial in the end.

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It seems that testing the new tech tree is being hijacked by all the mod makers adding their parts to the tech tree and reorganizing the nodes and such. it seems that Squad cannot release their vision for KSP without it being turned into Star Trek/Dr. Who/NASA/ Red Dwarf/Space X and the Soviet Space program by all the modders. Is anybody but Squad testing the released version of the game? I am afraid the game is going to get side tracked more than helped by the mod sub culture.

-Yes, I have my favorite mods and parts, I'm not against the fine features they have inspired or 'blazed the trail' on, but with this last release a mod reordering the tech tree was out before any real feedback was being posted.

As far as I see it, the mods themselves are very much valid playtesting results - It goes the same way as posting a topic saying "I think it'd be better like this", or "I wanted to see more of that". But instead of presenting such conclusions in the form of a forum post, any mod is an inevitable suggestion to a large extent, showing in a very hands-on way what an user would have done about a feature if it were his call...

It just so happen that said user really did go out and do it. :D

There's a lot devs can learn from mods, even though it's a far less straightforward learning process than one would initially expect....

I don't think the tech tree will get extra hard (...)

mind you a snippet from game design theory 101 -- there's a thing called a "flow state curve" (or whatever) that basically defines how difficult a game must "feel" to a player as he progresses and develops his skills. Breaking away from the optimal curve will lead to either boredom or frustration down the line -- any game that aspires to be fun will have it's core mechanics built around this deceptively simple concept

this means, whatever new features ever come along, they're most likely not gonna change this very finicky balance of difficulty and progressi as much as devs can manage - that's a game designer's job, at it's most basic... worrying about this is pretty much moot - it's like worrying if a pilot knows how to fly an airplane :P

new updates are gonna bring new and interesting ways to go about the same "optimal" difficulty/progress curve - they're unlikely to break it unless something truly unexpected happens

cheers

Edited by Moach
so mnay typos

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