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Modding Mondays: Better Than Starting Manned


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<p><img src="https://31.media.tumblr.com/f877983c4f5dc185bb3b4a0e8611b711/tumblr_inline_mynifbAJob1rr2wit.jpg"/></p>

<p>* **<iframe frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dFQ6jtkR5EU" width="420"></iframe></p>

<p><strong>FlowerChild</strong>'s <a href="http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/61632-0-23-Better-Than-Starting-Manned-Career-mode-redefined-%28v1-111-Dec-28th%29"><strong>Better Than Starting Manned</strong></a> is a brand new way to look at gameplay progression through career mode - or as <strong>FlowerChild</strong>, himself puts it, the mod is <strong>"Career Mode Redefined."</strong></p>

<p>It brings new balance and many new features to career mode, as well as upping the skill and difficulty needed to progress through it, without making things more “realistic.”</p>

<p>Some of the many features you will find in this mod are a rebalanced tech tree, rudimentary life support, reorganized part tabs and a greater reliance on taking greater space-centric actions to climb through your career.</p>

<p>Have a better look at <strong>Better Than Starting Manned</strong> <a href="http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/61632-0-23-Better-Than-Starting-Manned-Career-mode-redefined-%28v1-111-Dec-28th%29"><strong>HERE</strong></a>.</p>

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[rant]The problem with the stock tech tree is that the devs designed it for newbies. If experienced players have to resort to mods to archieve a balanced gameplay, definitely there is something wrong.[/rant]

That mod looks kinda cool, might check it out later. :)

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Am I the only one who finds it a little bit funny that the showcase is a mod which is basically "Here's everything that's wrong with the way your science tree is laid out, fixed?"

Yeah it's a bit odd isn't it...

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The *NAME* is even a dis on the default tech tree.

Well played, FlowerChild. Well played indeed.

Well, no insult was intended with it really. Obviously I disagreed with the whole manned missions first design decision, but I'm certainly not the first to have expressed that sentiment, and I've certainly seen it phrased in far more rude ways :)

At the end of the day I think it's clear that I love what Squad created with KSP or I wouldn't have chosen to sink so much of my time into expanding upon it.

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On the flip side, I'm fairly certain a good number of experienced players don't give an ass's rat about the current structure of the tech tree, especially when the game is so far from feature-complete, to say nothing of content-complete.

Oh well. To each their own. :)

The name is the thing that I find the worst about the mod by far though, which I guess is a good indication of the mod's quality. ^_^

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On the flip side, I'm fairly certain a good number of experienced players don't give an ass's rat about the current structure of the tech tree, especially when the game is so far from feature-complete, to say nothing of content-complete.

Oh well. To each their own. :)

Sure, but the same could be said about any mod. Take any given one, and you can be pretty certain that most players don't really care about the particular issues it's trying to address, or the features it adds, at least not enough to install it. Also, I think it's pretty much the common motivation amongst modders that they want to make the game better than what it currently is in their eyes. If they didn't see a problem or deficiency that they are trying to address, then why would they bother creating anything in the first place?

Also, you can say "it's an alpha" all you want, but Squad has made very specific statements about what they intend with career mode with regards to it being a tutorial and such. That wasn't what I was personally hoping it would be, and they've stated clearly they aren't going to make it what I wanted to be, so I decided to make my own. IMO that is a far more constructive approach than just complaining about it.

It's fine and all to wait on a upcoming feature or what have you, but in this case Squad has stated they never intend to do anything along these lines.

Edited by FlowerChild
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Nice mod! One of the strenghts of KSP is that it allows players to mod the game into the game they want to play. It is just impossible to make a game that everyone loves equally. The core of KSP is building, building rockets but also building a game that is tailor made to specific needs trough modding by players themselves. I just don't understand all the complaining people do. I completely agree with FlowerChild: "dont like something!? Dont cry about it and help making it better"!

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Nice mod! One of the strenghts of KSP is that it allows players to mod the game into the game they want to play. It is just impossible to make a game that everyone loves equally. The core of KSP is building, building rockets but also building a game that is tailor made to specific needs trough modding by players themselves. I just don't understand all the complaining people do. I completely agree with FlowerChild: "dont like something!? Dont cry about it and help making it better"!

How can I make it better if what I don't like is other people liking to make the game into something I don't myself like, then claiming it's better that way? :P

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How can I make it better if what I don't like is other people liking to make the game into something I don't myself like, then claiming it's better that way? :P

Make your own mod that changes all of their changes back so you've effectively changed the changers from changers to changed.

That'll show 'em.

Regarding the mod, to keep this post at least remotely on-topic, I personally don't like Deadly Re-entry so I've never tried this one, even though I'd love to see how the changes would affect vanilla play. I generally don't like massive, sweeping changes in mods. I prefer those that tweak one thing and make it different. This mod is just a bit too big for my tastes, though I can appreciate the effort and result.

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Oh good, as if "Better than wolves." wasn't irritating enough with minecraft.

To say, there was nothing wrong with that mod for that game, even though I personally found it a bit irritating on how it was advertised. At the time as well, Minecraft was still Beta as I recall it, not completed.

Now, "Better than starting manned"...

Same concept, sticking it to an incomplete feature to make the mod seem more appealing. Granted the idea behind this isn't terrible and adding a rougher way to progress in the tech tree could actually solve the difficulty level debate for many invested players. In practice though, as was the same with the old minecraft mod that took this similar approach, they both make some intense changes that go beyond what they make it appear to be.

To each their own opinion on the mod, and good work for the effort and result, but I'm going to have to steer clear from this one. There are many ideas within it I like, but all together, I feel more comfortable with Squad's manned missions. At least until an unmanned start also begins with some actual purpose and not just an incentive for the difficulty hungry.

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At least until an unmanned start also begins with some actual purpose and not just an incentive for the difficulty hungry.

It's not exactly more difficult, it's just some guy's idea of how your career should advance. Literally just install DRE, your choice of life support mod, choose a tech tree, and you've got this mod, only without the railroading. The only advantage this mod has over your choices is that it's a single package. Oh, I suppose he re-purposed some parts from stock to confuse you and confined your science to a specific path, there is that. I suppose if you consider "difficulty" to be "guess how I want you to progress" this mod would be difficult.

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It's also worth mentioning that his previous mod, BTW, took more than a year before it added anything resembling extra difficulty, and much longer before it became the total conversion it is today.

At first glance, BTSM looks really hard, yes. But at the same time, the early tech tree (T0/1 through T3/4) does a brilliant job of holding your hand to get you used to general concepts behind rocket building and flying, and keeps a fairly narrow set of mission choices for the player so they don't get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice available. As you progress, it slowly opens up the game by giving you the ability to send kerbals further, re-enter from further up, and once you defeat the mid-boss - the first Manned Mun landing - unlocks the first solar panels which make interplanetary travel possible.

I'm one of the people who was fairly new to KSP when career mode came out, and frankly I didn't have a clue what to do, or how to go about doing it. BTSM gives you direction, while providing a challenge for newer and more experienced players alike.

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I'm going to say aloud here, that whatever service is hosting this forum style, needs to fix a very annoying bug. Where when you click the "post quick reply" button after typing as big a post as I just did, it sends to to the advanced editor anyways and deletes what you wrote.

I know I clicked the post button too, because I moved the go advanced button client side way off the face of this planet. just to make sure I wasn't actually clicking it while this happened.

In a nutshell, regex and Stormweaver. Excellent points, it's not the content however that bothers me, it's the approach.

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I always thought the mod was a reference to the Minecraft Mod "Better than Wolves" which was made after a similar update in which the playerbase didn't nescessarily agree with the devs as much.

I might be playing with this :D

Edit: After seeing your avatar, I wondered if you were the maker of the BTW mod. Then I went to your Mod's page and read that you ARE the maker of the mod :P. Kudos on both accounts!

Edited by AmpsterMan
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Hehe...I'm always amazed how often wisdom like "don't judge a book by its cover" and "a rose by any other name..." is lost on internet communities. I'm also amazed how much hate can be mustered for someone creating content for a game we all love and deciding it to share it with the community free of charge :)

It's not exactly more difficult, it's just some guy's idea of how your career should advance. Literally just install DRE, your choice of life support mod, choose a tech tree, and you've got this mod, only without the railroading. The only advantage this mod has over your choices is that it's a single package. Oh, I suppose he re-purposed some parts from stock to confuse you and confined your science to a specific path, there is that.

Ah. So that's what I just spent the last couple of months working on. Thanks for clearing that up.

Hey man, if you don't like it, that's totally cool. No need to diminish the hard work of others in stating it however.

How can I make it better if what I don't like is other people liking to make the game into something I don't myself like, then claiming it's better that way? :P

Therapy :)

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Ah. So that's what I just spent the last couple of months working on. Thanks for clearing that up.

Hey man, if you don't like it, that's totally cool. No need to diminish the hard work of others in stating it however.

Oh, sorry, I thought I was free to have a conversation on a public forum. Keep up the hard work!

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Oh, sorry, I thought I was free to have a conversation on a public forum.

Absolutely man, and in reading many of your previous posts over the past few weeks, I've agreed with you on several topics. Delivering those messages in a diplomatic manner however, does not seem to be your forte ;)

Edited by FlowerChild
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upping the skill and difficulty needed to progress through it

To be honest I can't really say it was particularly difficult or required more skill in some way, at least when I tried it a little while ago. For me, it made progression feel more meaningful - the first manned flight definitely felt like an achievement.

without making things more “realistic.â€Â

I would consider starting with unmanned vehicles (like happened in the real world), more "realistic"... is it just me or has "realism" almost become a dirty word for some these days?

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I would consider starting with unmanned vehicles (like happened in the real world), more "realistic"... is it just me or has "realism" almost become a dirty word for some these days?

Been lurking on these forums for a long time I see people who bought the game thinking they would get Orbiter in a new format, Others thinking they would get a roller coaster tycoon style game and some a mix of both. (not everyone thinks this way just a general way I saw how people bought this game recently)

I still think the best way is too have two options for career mode, Rookie and Expert. With a side function to turn on/off things like real deaths.

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To be honest I can't really say it was particularly difficult or required more skill in some way, at least when I tried it a little while ago. For me, it made progression feel more meaningful - the first manned flight definitely felt like an achievement.

Yes, that's more what I was going for here. It's not so much about the difficulty as much as it is providing a meaningful sense of progression and accomplishment. In terms of challenge, what it brings to the table most is providing unique rocket design challenges using different subsets of parts at different stages of the tech tree. That's not necessarily more difficult, but rather provides more discreet challenges if that makes sense.

I would consider starting with unmanned vehicles (like happened in the real world), more "realistic"... is it just me or has "realism" almost become a dirty word for some these days?

Oh, it is more realistic, it's just not why I decided to do it :)

Many of the changes I make happen to coincide with realism, but I always do them for gameplay reasons, and "realism" (in quotes because of philosophical objections to the concept, and my own tenuous grasp on "reality") isn't my primary motivation. In the case of probes before manned for example, I did it because I feel that landing a Kerbal on the Mun should be a "Neil Armstrong moment" of celebration for the player. To me then, having manned missions being the defacto standard hurts gameplay progression, and thus that sense of reward, since it removes the build-up to actually achieving something like that, turning it more into "ho hum...on the Mun".

In terms of objecting to realism in the game, it all comes down to whether you view KSP as a game or a simulator, and where you want to draw the realism line as a result. Honestly, I find striking the balance between the two to be one of the most interesting and compelling aspects of working on a mod like this where I'm trying to provide the player with additional gameplay considerations while still retaining the feel of stock KSP.

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Oh good, as if "Better than wolves." wasn't irritating enough with minecraft.

To say, there was nothing wrong with that mod for that game, even though I personally found it a bit irritating on how it was advertised. At the time as well, Minecraft was still Beta as I recall it, not completed.

Now, "Better than starting manned"...

Same concept, sticking it to an incomplete feature to make the mod seem more appealing. Granted the idea behind this isn't terrible and adding a rougher way to progress in the tech tree could actually solve the difficulty level debate for many invested players. In practice though, as was the same with the old minecraft mod that took this similar approach, they both make some intense changes that go beyond what they make it appear to be.

To each their own opinion on the mod, and good work for the effort and result, but I'm going to have to steer clear from this one. There are many ideas within it I like, but all together, I feel more comfortable with Squad's manned missions. At least until an unmanned start also begins with some actual purpose and not just an incentive for the difficulty hungry.

Nah wolves were pretty terrible. While I don't play career and have no opinion on FC's ksp mod, Better Than Wolves was great. Honestly the only thing I have against FlowerChild is that now I can't name my mod "Better than Multiplayer". :<

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Nah wolves were pretty terrible. While I don't play career and have no opinion on FC's ksp mod, Better Than Wolves was great. Honestly the only thing I have against FlowerChild is that now I can't name my mod "Better than Multiplayer". :<

Hehe...thanks man. And I agree with you on the multiplayer front as well, as I think it's an unfortunate investment of development resources for little gain.

The wolves thing is kinda funny actually, in that by criticizing the fact that I was against an incomplete feature back then, it gets forgotten that they never got improved and I was essentially correct in my predictions :)

In fact, if I had to point at any individual feature that marked where MC development began to go astray, wolves would be it, and I stand by that to this day.

Edited by FlowerChild
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