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Atoning Unifex

Is the processing lab actually any use at all!?

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Make it so that sample experiments (ground samples, goo, materials bay) can *only* be analyzed and transmitted if the lab is part of the ship, otherwise require that they be returned.

For simple measurements (gravity, temperature), allow transmission for 100% value.

Done and done.

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The lab seems worthwhile if you're going to be using the same craft in mulitple areas or moons, say in the Jool system. Leave the lab on your CSM send the lander down for science. Store the results in your CSM then use the lab to reset the experiments. That way you don't have to bring 50 goo canisters or 4 different landers.

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From what I have read, the lab was a big botch. It is a lab. It should provide a lot more then a wimpy 15% boost of the slashed transmit value. The transmit value is so greatly reduced that basicly all the lab does is say, yep, that is an experiment, send it. It doesn't do any science. And then you have a 40% cap on top of it all...

Edited by Vorg

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The lab seems worthwhile if you're going to be using the same craft in mulitple areas or moons, say in the Jool system. Leave the lab on your CSM send the lander down for science. Store the results in your CSM then use the lab to reset the experiments. That way you don't have to bring 50 goo canisters or 4 different landers.

Imho thats already very useful. I was actually in the process of constructing a mothership with a whole system of modular lander, so i could store stuff from every jool-moon.

Its a limited use for complex high-end operations, but certainly not useless. Just wait and see what future patches bring, the science-system was only implemented recently.

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From what I have read, the lab was a big botch. It is a lab. It should provide a lot more then a wimpy 15% boost of the slashed transmit value. The transmit value is so greatly reduced that basicly all the lab does is say, yep, that is an experiment, send it. It doesn't do any science. And then you have a 40% cap on top of it all...

Just give it some time. Transmitting science was over-powered so they nerfed it. Now it's incredibly underpowered, they're still looking for the right balance.

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The science lab would be of use if:

-- all processed experiments are automatically stored on the lab, which then resets the experiments

--the processed results can be transferred to another vessel and thus returned for full points

Until this happens, the science lab fails as a collection point for returns.

You can EVA a Kerbal out to collect the experiments, store them in a command pod, then use the lab to clean up the experiments. Return the command pod for 100% science!

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I plan on using it to reset Material Labs and Goo Containers for my Minmus SCIENCE! mining ship. The main body of the ship, with a lab module, sits in orbit around Minmus and I'll have a lander with Material Bay, Goo, and all the other various science items. The lander drops into a biome and I do the full range of experiments, then launch back up and dock with the orbiter. My kerbal removes all the SCIENCE! from the equipment, stores it in the capsule, and then I use the lab to reset the Material Bay and Goo (the only ones that need to be reset, as far as I can tell). Then the lander drops onto another biome, rinse and repeat.

Just got back from this mission and it worked like a charm...one mission and 4000+ SCIENCE! in the bank.

Orbiting mothership had the science module, the lander was 2 command pods, and two of all science items (mat bay, goo, thermo, etc). Undocked the lander, landed on in a biome, did two of every experiment, stored them in the command pods, then boosted back into orbit and docked with the mothership. Topped up on fuel, scrubbed the mat bay and goo, then dropped onto another biome and repeated. Hit 6 biomes before I headed home.

The whole ship returned to Kerbin, where the mothership burned up in atmo and the lander came to a gentle rest on the ground. Recover and unlocked four top-tier advanced nodes. Gonna do the same thing with the Mun now, although I might end up with less because the SCIENCE! multiplier is less.

Science module worked perfectly! To do the same thing I would've had to bring along 12 mat bays and 12 goo cans. I can definately see the benefit of the science module...especially if Squad makes SCIENCE! even harder and requires ALL science equipment to be cleaned after an experiment, not just mat bays and goo cans.

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With the addition of kethane (or whatever resource system the devs choose to eventually implement) this system makes even more sense. Continue refueling the lander until you have all the science you want. If you have a smaller return vehicle you don't even need to return the lander anymore.

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I think that as well as it's current function, it should also be able to store data from experiments, so you can send it back and get the full experiment value without having to return and replace all the science modules.

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I think that as well as it's current function, it should also be able to store data from experiments, so you can send it back and get the full experiment value without having to return and replace all the science modules.

Why do you need this when you can store unlimited number of experiments in the command pod and just return that to Kerbin instead of the massive lab?

And it's a heck of a lot easier getting a command pod safely on the ground instead of the big lab module!

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From what I've seen, the lab is unique in the sense that it can store more than one instance of the same specific experiment (I.E. two goo/material studies taken from the same biome on the same planet).

Otherwise what annoys me, from a struggling beginner's perspective, is the amount of research needed to make the lab a viable option. Its rather deep position within the tech tree aside, it needs solar panels to function properly and docking clamps to provide any sort of advantage over just sending a lander (unless there's a possibility of cleaning research instruments of other crafts in close proximity to the lab I'm unaware of). All that is a lot of science points spent on just the peripherals, making getting the lab in my opinion less than worthwhile for early gameplay.

Also, I think Squad kind of missed the mark with the whole "long-term research" the lab was supposed to give. As it is now, it looks easier to send it back to Kerbin seeing as transmitting the data yields a significantly reduced amount of points. It would require repeated trips to the same place to compensate, making the process feel tedious. I agree with the idea of a lab generating a steady trickle of science points, perhaps even to the extent of biome-specific outposts transmitting to an orbital research station, with the equipment and diversity of said outposts determining the rate.

I know that the science system is still in its early stages and we can look forward to seeing many improvements over time, but that would make now the most prominent time to make suggestions and comments. So far KSP is a great game, one I enjoy playing a lot. I hope that it will just continue to grow and improve as it goes.

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The problem about the Science lab and the beginners is that it needs not only science to be ASAP unlocked (In career mod I tend to focus first on science modules so it's not a problem) but some skills that (no so) new players don't have, like rendez vous and docking while you can quite easily reach Kerbin orbit, Mun and Minmus orbit and even land on them. Well it's not like encourage ppl to improve their skills is bad, but at this time of the career and perhaps experience, it's a little bit too brutal. Facing them even earlier than before to their limits, what can be depressing (and more when you know you are "losing" science due to your space pilot skill). Plus the fact you need 2.5m engines and tanks to be able to send it for space trips around Kerbin (you can with 1.25m i know but the launcher is... well, kerbalistic :D ) so need more science than usual to unlock at least Skipper engine, of course for thoses who want to make landers subvessels, they need docking port too to be able to send the subvessel to the target, drain science et and bring the results back...

What you needed before 0.23:

  • Basic skills (leaving Kerbin, orbiting and transfert, landing on low gravity CB).
  • Focus on science nodes on the techtree in first place, like an investment. Unlocking science modules early permitting to earn science faster with drain it on Kerbin itself. Even no need to reach a moon. Until you have solar panel (who are unlocked quite rapidly) just bring back science report. After that, just spam science (who was a bit boring I have to admit, draining Mun orbit of all its science was long, not because it was needed to adjust trajectory to reach biomes, but cause it took decades to transmit back all this science stuff to KSC while you just couldn't do nothing else than wait (a bit similar when you have a 45min burn transfert due to your tiny engine and loooooooooooooong way to go). transmissions had to be affected by warp to make this less tedious.

What you need now:

  • Advanced skills: docking (well, not that difficult but need a more difficult skill to have...) and my nightmare, the rendez vous ;.; .
  • Unlocking science, Skipper at minimum, docking ports. That means you will have some kind of troubles to do that without "losing" science cause you could not boost it with science lab and have to make numerous missions to spam science what will make the process even longer and perhaps more tedious than spamming science before.

About returning the science lab it's not that difficult cause even if the module is big, it's not that heavy and i managed to make my flying science Lab take a trip around Kerbin and moons like piece of cake and bring it to home, the MK1-2 landing pod is heavier and less easy to fit with external components due to its... hummm... special symetry. If I can do that, new comers can.

To do the same thing I would've had to bring along 12 mat bays and 12 goo cans

Challenge accepted :D

4bjg.png

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Challenge accepted :D

Well that's only 5 Material Bays! :wink: And I wonder if you were able to land each of those pods without issue? I tried this same setup, and each time I landed with a Material Bay on the bottom it broke off from the pod, no matter how many chutes I used. I ended up making multiple landers, each with an engine and legs, so I could land better upon return.

Here's my science mission in v.22:

Javascript is disabled. View full album

With the lab module, you only need a single lander to hit multiple biomes:

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I agree with you completely though, that using the lab module this way requires more advanced techniques such as docking, rather than just returning multiple landers. But I guess the point is to get players trying these kinds of maneuvers, and getting all that juicy SCIENCE! with the lab module might just be the incentive players need to try out docking and other more advanced techniques...

Edited by ThirdHorseman
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The lab module is fairly useless within Kerbin SOI, but is great for interplanetary missions because you can remove the samples from the experiments, store them, and then reset the experiments. Within Kerbin SOI your are better off building a lander with multiple experiments, hitting multiple biomes at a time, and doing direct returns.

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Which still gives us zero incentive to use multi-man landers.

No it doesn't. With a lab you can put a station in orbit around the Mun with a light small science lander attached to it, and keep landing the lander at different "biomes" (I hate how kSP uses that word, as it's about terrain not biology so it's the wrong term) without having to carry the fuel of the return with you. Exploring 10 different "biomes" with one set of reusable science instruments, storing the results in the lab between landings, and then bringing the lab back home, is less expensive than sending 10 different missions to the moon and back. That way you are only paying the fuel cost of bringing the small lander in and out of the Mun's gravity well, not the cost of doing that with whole missions over and over.

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I plan on using the science lab on an interplanetary mission around Jool... once I figure out how to get there, of course.

I'll run goo and material studies, transmit the data, and clean the experiments.

This will let me, with just 1 small lander (and maybe a few others for backup) take 2 trips to every biome, one for a transmit so if something goes wrong the whole mission wasn't a total loss, and the second trip for a physical return sample.

The lab seems quite useful to me.

It would be silly to use it around kerbin, but I can really see it being ideal to use around Jool with all its moons, and being able to boost transmissions on materials, seismics, and nosecones is pretty significant because they are so low as it is.

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ThirdHorseman, how dare youuuu?! :D That wasn't my huge science vessel just a little cork to earn science on Kerbin. Ah! Ahhhh! Fear my beautiful Science Vessel "Bouchon 3" who isn't really a flying cork anymore :sticktongue: (Well, I know it's a bit overengineered ^^ )

Posing for the photo before Minmus transfert

ral0.png

Orbiting Minmus and starting to collect science

j32o.png

Landed, Jeb is really happy to be able to land this monster a bit failed in design (I wanted to make my last second only with RCS but they're too weak so it's barely able to counter vertical acceleration, so the vessel is vertical until the last few meters and flip on the belly activate RCS and... pray :sticktongue: )

7sfz.png

That's how I manage the descent

xyn6.png

Jeb went back home with 1701 science cause I messed up when tried to remove data (damn that's very awful atm to remove data in 0G EVA "STOP MOVING JEB! STOP MOVING FRACKING VESSEL!. Oh dear, he just smacked the solar panel and broke it...")... not enough place to store same experiment... ;.; and messed up a bit with action groups too. I just explored the greater and lesser flats plus earning some science in orbit. I will make my "little" bird to do the job more efficiently while I keep training on rendez vous.

I'm agree with the attempt to make ppl doing advanced manoeuvers, but I'm sure there is no need to push them too. when you see a pic or a vid of guy making rendez vous and docking, you WANT to do the same cause it's perhaps the most efficient way to do interplanetary travels, earning science and whatever but first it's so COOL :D (and frustrating when you fail, again, and again, and again, and again...)

I want to be sure on a point. A biome as a total science pool, the science lab just allows you to empty it with less science modules and less time (if you have to make several trips from Kerbin to the biome) right? Or does it give a science bonus that make a biome giving at the end an extra science amount when compared to the standard method? WAs taking with a friend who said me that and now... :huh:

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The processing lab definitely needs to be tweaked. I like that you can clean out experiments with it for reuse, and that there's a transmission bonus but, if I have to send kerbals for the lab to work anyway, then I'm just going to return the data with the kerbals, rather than taking the transmission loss (even with the bonus). Now, if we could get a data bonus to any stored data, whether we transmit it or physically return it, then it makes sense to bring the processing lab along. Otherwise, if you're sending a kerbals and plan on having them return, then the processing lab only makes sense if you'd be saving weight by cleaning out experiments with the lab, or sending a whole bunch of clean experiments.... 3.5 ton processing lab + 1 goo and 1 Science Jr vs x number of 0.15 ton goos or 0.2 ton Science Jrs.

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The processing lab definitely needs to be tweaked. I like that you can clean out experiments with it for reuse, and that there's a transmission bonus but, if I have to send kerbals for the lab to work anyway, then I'm just going to return the data with the kerbals, rather than taking the transmission loss (even with the bonus). Now, if we could get a data bonus to any stored data, whether we transmit it or physically return it, then it makes sense to bring the processing lab along. Otherwise, if you're sending a kerbals and plan on having them return, then the processing lab only makes sense if you'd be saving weight by cleaning out experiments with the lab, or sending a whole bunch of clean experiments.... 3.5 ton processing lab + 1 goo and 1 Science Jr vs x number of 0.15 ton goos or 0.2 ton Science Jrs.

If you're bringing the lab back to Kerbin you still have the advantage that it can store the data of experiments from one reusable lander. One lander with one material bay and one goo container can't run 4 different experiments with them in 4 different locations. But one such lander combined with a lab in orbit to dock with CAN, because the lab will store the science results each time you dock with it, and then allow the lander's experiment pods to be wiped and re-used without losing the science points.

I just wish it was consistent about that. It works with goo pods and material bays but not with gravioli detectors, seismographs, and so on. (the fact that those are normally re-usable anyway does not mean there's no value to storing their data in the lab so you can re-use them without losing it.)

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ThirdHorseman, how dare youuuu?! :D That wasn't my huge science vessel just a little cork to earn science on Kerbin. Ah! Ahhhh! Fear my beautiful Science Vessel "Bouchon 3" who isn't really a flying cork anymore :sticktongue: (Well, I know it's a bit overengineered ^^ )

Well that's still only 8 Material Bays! :sticktongue: I don't see a ton of fuel on that monster either...how many biomes do you think you could visit? I'm not sure what that big engine on the back is, so maybe you could hit a bunch of biomes. But the beauty of leaving the science lab...and all the fuel...in orbit is that you just have to land a small vessel and then return to the orbiter. It certainly does look like a pain to land...and you did it with only RCS! :cool: Very nice!

damn that's very awful atm to remove data in 0G EVA "STOP MOVING JEB! STOP MOVING FRACKING VESSEL!. Oh dear, he just smacked the solar panel and broke it...")...

Use ladders, and place all your gear as close to them as you can:

DWUbzIlh.png

My Kerbals just climb down the ladder and they can remove data from all of their gear without having to let go.

not enough place to store same experiment...

Yea I saw that you only had one command pod. To really get all the SCIENCE! you can you need to have 5 command pods. I think once you've done a particular experiment in a particular biome 5 times you won't get any more SCIENCE! from that experiment in that biome. So with 5 command pods you can store everything from every experiment in every biome, and still only have to put a small lander on the ground each time.

I want to be sure on a point. A biome as a total science pool, the science lab just allows you to empty it with less science modules and less time (if you have to make several trips from Kerbin to the biome) right? Or does it give a science bonus that make a biome giving at the end an extra science amount when compared to the standard method? WAs taking with a friend who said me that and now... :huh:

A biome has a total SCIENCE! pool for a particular experiment. So if you do a temperature scan on the Minmus Lesser Flats, and return that data to Kerbin, you'll get 40 SCIENCE! Do that a second time, and you'll get less (say, 20). The fifth time you do it you'll get like 1, and then repeat temperature scans of the Minmus Lesser Flats will get you 0 SCIENCE!....even if there is still SCIENCE! to be had on the Lesser Flats (by doing other experiments). So yes, there is a total amount of SCIENCE! that you can get out of a biome...but you need to do every experiment multiple times before you can get it all.

The Science Lab lets you get more SCIENCE! out of a location by allowing you to repeat experiments without having to return to Kerbin after each one or carry many multiple experiements with you. It DOES give a SCIENCE! boost when you are transmitting the data, but you will still always lose data when transmitting (except for EVA and Crew Reports, which transmit 100% of the SCIENCE!).

Edited by ThirdHorseman

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I just wish it was consistent about that. It works with goo pods and material bays but not with gravioli detectors, seismographs, and so on. (the fact that those are normally re-usable anyway does not mean there's no value to storing their data in the lab so you can re-use them without losing it.)

I can see Squad making all the science devices require a scrub after use. This will make the Lab Modules much more important to have on large SCIENCE missions with multiple experiments from multiple biomes...

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I can see Squad making all the science devices require a scrub after use. This will make the Lab Modules much more important to have on large SCIENCE missions with multiple experiments from multiple biomes...

I really hope not. It would be spectacularly irritating to have to wipe a thermometer between every use, and it would essentially make probes useless. After all, what is the point of sending a probe to Jool if it can only take 1 gravity and 1 temperature reading before it becomes a floating paper weight?

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Some science modules are not out of service after sending datas, thermometer is one fo them. And you can mount several science modules of same type on a probe. Most of them are tiny as possible so there is no problem to put 2,3 or more gravity sensor AND same with thermometer, the only science pods who are annoying for that are Goo and MBay.

@ ThirdHorseman: 12 MBay, the main structure of the Bouchon 3 is made with MBay and SAS and I didn't need several pods cause I use the TAC radial storage devices who are a lot, lot smaller and easy to place almost anywhere (but without this mod yeah, I had to use at least 3 pods, erf, what a weight increase). You can see them on the side of my pod (the box are not the stock radial chutes). I had 12 of each science modules (MBay, Goo, thermometer, barometer, seismograph and magnetometer antenna from Interstellar) even those I won't need for the mission like barometer (they would be useful on return while being in Kerbin atmosphere but... I forgot to activate them :blush: ). I closed the case with encasing almost all my science modules in a service module (nice mod)

9isd.png

The problem with my vessel configuration and ladder is that Jeb couldn't use ladder to reach radial MBay, and all science modules place on the "back" of my Bouchon 3, that's why I decide to totally rework my design especially now I have my beloved MK1 Lander Can (Jesus, I'm totally fond of it! It's so easy to configure a lander with it, good symetry, lightweight, lot of place to put devices, I just would that rasterpropmonitor be avaliable for it). About the fuel and the engine, I had plenty fuel (almost 900 liquid fuel), the pack you see on the vessel gave 1K4 dV with a Thrust of 120 but ISP of 390 If I remember right a sort of Poodle, but the main asset of this engine (L2 Atlas Low Profile Engine) is its flatness, drawbacks, TWR is atrocious, almost no vectoring and seems quite fragile, I managed to break it at my first attept of landing even If I hitted the Minmus ground at something like 3m/s, hop, just separated from the tank... =_='

Damn I like those little landers but no matter the efforts I do, my vessels tend to grow, becoming space behemots :( "Time to launch a little space lab!" *after some time to build it the "little" space lab weight 1,500t on the launchpad and the station itself "only" 170... I knew I shouldn't listen the little voice in my head whispering "whould be nice to make it go to Minmus and land everywhere you want." "Oh, nice nuke powerplant and electric generator, you may need them when being on the dark side of a moon." "What a wonderful engine, you need it!" etc.

I do know how works science but I'm wondering how ewactly science lab is impacting it. Let say a biome has 100pts of science, you can earn them by several mesures whatever you use (transmission who is less efficient or returning the data directly to KSC who is the best efficient way to earn science atm) So If I'm using science lab, will I just empty the 100pts pool faster or will I earn a juicy bonus making the TOTAL pool of science for the biome reaching for example 130pts. Shorter, is the lab makes me earning more at the end than the nominal science pool for a specific biome or just empty the biome faster (and easily when considering long range missions)?

If the lab was considered as same as KSC lab is (so for example no data loss during transmission between lab and KSC) the lab would be a must have and due to its electric supply consumption and time that take to process datas (damn it takes decades to process atmospheric datas! less than 1% per second) it's already balanced. atm Lab is just usefull ad far I know for long range missions when making several travels is a way too long solution (or sending at the same time several science ships but could be tedious and tricky especially when you have some "easy manoeuvers to do like Jool aerobraking @@ "Oops sorry Bob, I didn't make it in the time, send me a XMas card from Jool core!")

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Yes, I believe the OP makes some excellent points.

We had some issues with the science system and it's good that squad are trying to fix the grinding, make space stations useful, and so on. But right now those fixes are a bit duct-tapey, they don't really make sense from an overall gameplay and design point of view.

Personally I think the problem is that they're trying too hard to keep the science system simple. And frankly I think the majority of their players would rather something complicated. KSP is a complicated game. The learning curve for this game is like a brick wall. Trying to keep the science system dumbed-down and simplified for purposes of attracting new players is idiocy, especially since the basics of the game are pretty foreign to everyone already. I really think all that's going to do is frustrate their core players.

I think the general gist of the science system needs to be rethought. The game takes an eternity to play, but science is performed and transmitted in seconds? Feh.

I'd think that building and crewing a space station should give you some *ongoing* science gains... like X science points per game-hour played per space station that meets certain criteria. That would more accurately simulate what we use real space stations for. Perhaps you'd get diminishing returns unless you sent regular flights up there to restock/resupply the crew.. something along those lines.

Also we need an interior view for the lab.. i was hoping to see an IVA view for it so I could look around at all the Kerbal science apparatuses.. k_tongue.gif

There are a couple mods based on this concept that work pretty well. I have a basic space station in orbit around Kerbin right now growing plants.

We need more science like that, less science like 'push button, receive bacon'.

Edited by Frostiken

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I can see Squad making all the science devices require a scrub after use. This will make the Lab Modules much more important to have on large SCIENCE missions with multiple experiments from multiple biomes...

I think you misunderstood what I meant. It would be stupid to have to wipe a seismograph to reuse it. I didn't mean I want consistency in what needs wiping. I meant I want consistency in the lab's ability to act as a storage of the data so the device can be reused without losing the science. Right now a lab lets you use one material bay to do many experiments and carry back the data from all of them in the lab. But it won't carry back data from a thermometer or seismograph. Those science points are still stored in the measurement device itself and can't be moved into the lab. If you want to score the full points by returning instead of just transmitting you have to use the measuring device just once and then bring it back rathrr than storing it in the lab and bringing the lab back. And that's the inconsistency I meant. the lab stores data only from material bays and goo cans and not from anything else.

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