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Discuss: MJ makes KSP more acceptable to Junior player. Hence, create more QUESTIONS.


Sirine
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You can't have it both ways. Either MJ is easy to add to the core game or it isn't. In the first half of your post you say that adding MJ is "quick and only needing one person for QA", then later talk about how it will "strain workloads and delay release". So, which is it?

Space planes are a set of parts not a game mechanic. This is the difference. If they planned to REPLACE the rockets with space planes you would have a point.

Similarly, if they planned to REPLACE manual piloting with MechJeb, you would have a point. And spaceplanes did change game mechanics, by allowing lifting craft! It suddenly got much easier to get into orbit or make an SSTO. It defies imagination that you can't see the analogy between C7 and MJ, other than being deliberately obtuse. Certainly, there are differences, as in any analogy, but I think the point stands.

Honestly you posts come across as "I would like this to be stock so everyone plays like me, no matter what others think".

That's an unfair characterization. I would never support a reduction in game modes. I know there are a lot of people who enjoy KSPs piloting, and they should be able to do so. But MJ doesn't take that away! If implemented, I expect there will be people who don't use it, just as there are people who don't use spaceplanes, or ion engines, or rovers. My position is, "MechJeb would improve the game experience for enough players with minimal impact on players that don't want to use it, so it should be included."

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This thread is way off topic. Whether MJ should be stock or not is beyond the scope of this thread (and could easily fill a thread of its own). Can we get back to Mechjeb's potential as a teaching tool for new players?

Except... your anecdote only "proves" they've used calculators too much and have thus been "harmed" only if you accept the premise that knowing all the square roots up to 100 is a desirable state. You're essentially making the same mistaken assumption when it comes to MJ - starting with an untenable assumption and then extrapolating from there. A castle built on air has no foundation.

I think it is your assumption that is untenable. Being able to mentally perform basic math functions without a calculator is essential for being able to teach a student more advanced forms of math (as a former math tutor, I've seen the effects of overly relying on calculators, its not pretty). Is it such a stretch that learning KSP would share some similarities? Yet you seem adamant that it is wrong to advise a new player to learn some basics in the stock game before playing around with the most powerful tool available in KSP. I wish there was a double blind study into the effects of learning KSP both with Mechjeb at the start, and with trial and error. But there isn't one (I hope Teachergaming LLC is looking into this though). Until then, we can only offer opinions based on our own experiences and observations.

Look at the Youtube "let's play" channels that showcase KSP. Most of them fire up the game for the first time live. Would you recommend that they immediately install Mechjeb to learn how to play? Isn't "failure is fun" one of the main attractions of learning KSP? Does Mechjeb massively cut down on the chance for failure?

Now I know you'll accuse me of "dictating how people should play", so let me stop you right there. I'm not asking that a new players puts in 200 hours of stock KSP before "allowing" them to try mods or anything. I'm just saying I would recommend that they play stock for a short time before diving into mods. From what I have observed, most players fail spectacularly at first, start to figure things out, achieve some of the basic accomplishments, then start to run into a wall of "what next". That is when I would suggest mods like Mechjeb. Its a learning process that most players seem to go through. Given no other information than "new player", this is what I would recommend.

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I have proof MechJeb is a good teaching tool for new players, because it taught me the game back when even the most 'For Dummies' Guide left me floundering. Getting to watch my rockets do stuff allowed me to improve my design techniques, and eventually allowed me to learn difficult procedures like transfers and rendezvous'. I still keep MechJeb around, but mostly for plotting interplanetary for me, getting my orbits to that exact 100km-100km above Kerbin and the occasional time I forget to pack lights on a night landing.

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For the "I can't pilot for my life, I want to just design crafts and plan my missions" situation there are 2 solutions:

a) use autopilot, take the challenge to design crafts it flies perfectly (the only minus is that MJ-optimized crafts might become almost unflyable by hand, making it problematic to even try learning piloting). You'll still get a nicely running space program. But if you start thinking about it getting boring, try to learn a bit of manual piloting.

B) try to learn to fly manually and take the challenge to design crafts even you can fly with no problem. You will practice both engineering and piloting skills.

Now, if you ask the oldschool players, most will recommend the second path. Why? There were times when plugins didn't exist, but there also wasn't much to do except practicing you piloting skills. But using MJ to kickstart your space program and then gradually learning to pilot (or even not leaning much) is fully legit, too.

Also there's a third option: find a friend who can't build a rocket, but likes piloting. And try playing coop!

But let me say one one thing about one of the strongest pro-MJ arguments about optimizing too repetitive tasks. If you ran into ten flights to assemble each interplanetary mission, maybe it's time for the engineering challenge to optimize it? Try reducing the size of your crafts or designing a better launch vehicle. That's also a great task for the engineers. (Says the creator of this thing *facepalm*)

Also the precision of MechJeb - you don't need that precision. Even in the real world it's impossible to get maneuvers with such levels of precision. That's what small mid-course corrections are for.

Edited by Alchemist
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I think it is your assumption that is untenable. Being able to mentally perform basic math functions without a calculator is essential for being able to teach a student more advanced forms of math (as a former math tutor, I've seen the effects of overly relying on calculators, its not pretty). Is it such a stretch that learning KSP would share some similarities?

No, it's not a stretch. 'Stretch' doesn't even begin to cover the mental gyrations needed to accept the premise you're defending. You're trying to extrapolate from the tiny number of people who will math tutors to... to I'm not sure what you're extrapolating to. You've leapt to the defense of math tutors but completely failed to anyhow make any logical connection to the thread at hand.

Yet you seem adamant that it is wrong to advise a new player to learn some basics in the stock game before playing around with the most powerful tool available in KSP.

The only things I'm adamant against are the nonsense and lack of logic from those who oppose MJ, the insistence that there is something wrong or deficient with people who use it, and feeling among some that they can dictate how other people play. Your statement above is an example of the last.

Isn't "failure is fun" one of the main attractions of learning KSP?

To some people, yes. But not to all. (Again, your logic fails because you extrapolate from the fraction to the whole.)

Now I know you'll accuse me of "dictating how people should play", so let me stop you right there. I'm not asking that a new players puts in 200 hours of stock KSP before "allowing" them to try mods or anything. I'm just saying I would recommend that they play stock for a short time before diving into mods.

The mind boggles that someone can simultaneously say "I'm not dictating how people should play" and "I recommend they play a certain way" without realizing the two statements are almost completely at odds with each other.

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No, it's not a stretch. 'Stretch' doesn't even begin to cover the mental gyrations needed to accept the premise you're defending. You're trying to extrapolate from the tiny number of people who will math tutors to... to I'm not sure what you're extrapolating to. You've leapt to the defense of math tutors but completely failed to anyhow make any logical connection to the thread at hand.

Its called an analogy.

The only things I'm adamant against are the nonsense and lack of logic from those who oppose MJ, the insistence that there is something wrong or deficient with people who use it, and feeling among some that they can dictate how other people play. Your statement above is an example of the last.

I don't oppose Mechjeb (I use and love it), except in this one extremely narrow case. You seem to be missing that point.

The mind boggles that someone can simultaneously say "I'm not dictating how people should play" and "I recommend they play a certain way" without realizing the two statements are almost completely at odds with each other.

It boggles my mind that you think the words "recommend" and "dictate" are equivalent.

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I started on my own and then tried out mechjeb early (prior to docking I have no idea when, it was a while ago) and didn't care for it. Once docking came out I was horrid with rendezvous so when mechjeb had the autopilot, or at least I heard that it did, I began using it again for that. After I used mj as a crutch to learn how to do things I stopped using it for everything except the information displays. In my opinion it is a great learning tool but you can become too dependent on it.

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I find Mechjeb is useful for learning, or doing something that you've done thousands of times before. I personally don't use it to rendezvous or dock (I find it wastes RCS), but I will launch to intercept, or use it to make Hohmann transfers, Or launch my rockets to a specific orbit for me, or land my landers. (And in the case of probes pretend that it's the probes programming doing it.)

EDIT: That being said I can do all of these things on my own, it's just that MechJeb does it better. I don't advocate it's use to a new person because I believe that they should learn how to do these things the hard way (The same way I learned, by trial and error) before getting some kind of autopilot to do it for them.

Edited by Taki117
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MJ is useful for times when you can't control most of the mission's aspects directly. Thought it's not perfect. I started being wary of it's faults when the maneuver node planner put my satellite in colision route to Duna's surface, instead of orbiting it. Also, no one is willing to make it work with FAR, which makes me steer away from it.

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I don't advocate it's use to a new person because I believe that they should learn how to do these things the hard way (The same way I learned, by trial and error) before getting some kind of autopilot to do it for them.

Sure, most new players probably start stock and try doing everything by themselves but could we leave the decision whether to use MJ (or any other mod) or not to them? You believe they should learn the hard way. I believe they should do whatever they want. I really don't get you guys. KSP is just a game, it's meant to be fun, not a struggle (unless you find fun in struggle). It's not real life, there's no real challenge to it. Most people don't care you managed to build a space station using only stock parts or that you landed on Eve and returned without refuelling.

Playing this game is the same as watching a TV series. Some people will watch one episode a week, while others will spend entire day watching two seasons one after another.

As for making MechJeb stock there's actually one good reason for it: if SQUAD makes it possible to control missions from a command centre you'd need at least some kind of an autopilot to do the job. I'm not sure but I think I read somewhere that they want to implement this feautre in the game.

Now to get back on the topic (is it a correct phrase?). MJ can be a good learning tool. I learned most things from youtube videos but it's more convenient to have this in-game. Proper placement of manouver nodes, Hohmann transfers, randezvous, inclination changes or proper launching (assuming you don't use FAR). Also it can be a great help for handicapped people. Not everyone can use their both hands or has a good hand-eye coordination.

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okay, gonna chime in again here, and just say, that there are some things that are nearly impossible to do w/out mechjeb or are possible, but the difficulty is way up there. Just gonna leave a few pictures here, to illustrate something.

I have launched this successfully. Twice. With MechJeb. Even WITH MechJeb, its something of a beast to fly.

uhP0Rto.png

TFWS703.png

I could NOT do this very easily before MechJeb taught me. Yes, I read tutorials and watched every video I could get my hands on, even Scott Manley's videos.

7ogu.png

in short. MechJeb is a valued asset to this game. BUT, in the end, we each play this game in what ever way we feel is fun for us, and SQUAD has given us unprecedented access to do just that! I know of no other game <aside from minecraft i think, i dont play that, so, correct if wrong> that gives players not ONLY the choice to play how they want, but lets THEM play with the code to TAILOR THE GAME to how THEY want. So, let people play how they want, and be thankful we have the CHOICE to do so!!!

Edited by AlamoVampire
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okay, gonna chime in again here, and just say, that there are some things that are nearly impossible to do w/out mechjeb or are possible, but the difficulty is way up there. Just gonna leave a few pictures here, to illustrate something.

I have launched this successfully. Twice. With MechJeb. Even WITH MechJeb, its something of a beast to fly.

http://i.imgur.com/uhP0Rto.png

http://i.imgur.com/TFWS703.png

I could NOT do this very easily before MechJeb taught me. Yes, I read tutorials and watched every video I could get my hands on, even Scott Manley's videos.

http://imageshack.com/a/img23/1070/7ogu.png

in short. MechJeb is a valued asset to this game. BUT, in the end, we each play this game in what ever way we feel is fun for us, and SQUAD has given us unprecedented access to do just that! I know of no other game <aside from minecraft i think, i dont play that, so, correct if wrong> that gives players not ONLY the choice to play how they want, but lets THEM play with the code to TAILOR THE GAME to how THEY want. So, let people play how they want, and be thankful we have the CHOICE to do so!!!

Yes, but this sounds more like and excuse to give MJ a purpose, when you could had launched the first rocket as separate pieces and joined them into orbit.

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Yes, but this sounds more like an excuse to give MJ a purpose, when you could have launched the first rocket as separate pieces and joined them in orbit.

So?

Your suggestion sounds more like an excuse to remove the use of MJ when you could launch it in one go.

What exactly is your point?

It`s all about each player playing the way they like. There are some things only MJ can do, there are some things only a human controlled craft can do.

If using mods is `cheating` until the point they become stock, at which point they are accepted (like subassembly loader or docking or crew manifest for example) then that sets up the premise that to `not cheat` then your mod must pass the golden gate and become stock. Only at that point will the `no mods` or `no cheating` purists accept the feature.

I find it hilarious that the people who do not want MechJeb as stock are the ones driving the pressure for it to become stock because they call it cheating as a result of it not being part of the stock game.

You can see that is what you are doing, can`t you?

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These MJ threads always feel like a religious "discussion".

Forum rules anyone? :wink:

It`s probably because there is no `right` solution for everyone, only a compromise, and similar to religion, some people are not willing to compromise. The best compromise solution that I can see is to give everyone the option of using MJ or not then everyone can decide as an individual whether they want to use that part or not but it seems some people want to exclude or restrict others from having that option which elicits a negative reaction. Others seem to want to retain some elite status by doing things in a particular way and restrict any options to make the game easier (for some people it makes the game possible), for example by having Dv or TWR readouts in the VAB or a more comprehensive range of readouts in flight.

I have noticed the viewpoints of various sides seem to range from `I play stock, mods are too ephemeral and your game experience is not guaranteed` to `The game is no fun for me that way` to `The information readouts are very useful` to `Play how you want it does not matter, it`s a tool in a sandbox game` to finally `I could not play without it`

None of these styles of play are wrong. The only wrong part come where someone tries to say that the way someone else plays is wrong or makes them a lesser pilot in some way. Any of the above viewpoints that has "so you should not use X and it should not be an option for others" on the end of it will get a negative response. Similarly saying that using or not using a particular mod makes you a better or worse pilot will do the same.

Myself I want as much information about my rocket as the people who actually make them would have. I want TWR (wet and empty on a stage by stage basis), Dv cumulative and per stage, burn times cumulative and per stage, and even projected capabilities for a land and return mission all in the VAB and readouts for every variable you could think of in flight but that`s me and not everyone wants or needs that.

I`m happy for a lot of that to be as an addon but I`d like to see a bit more info in the VAB and better node handling in the stock game (I believe we are getting some node improvements next update)

As regards the OP`s question, I think that you can tell someone that age (12-15) what to do and it sort of goes in but not really. If you show them what to do and then say `do something like that` they actually learn it. The best bit is they learn it with their particular craft.

I forget where it is from but someone said `I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand`

So I would say MJ is a good tool to refer to, like a textbook, if you are stuck or want a copilot to do something you`ve done loads already but like a textbook, you shouldn`t just copy it, you have to interpret what it does and learn from it and like a copilot, they should not be doing *all* the flying because then they are the pilot...

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I don't care for MJ for the primary reason it is a resource hog and the fact it does not work with FAR is another reason why steer clear of it.

Otherwise it is a great utility for those who do not like to do things themselves or have repetitive actions they do not want to do.

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So?

Your suggestion sounds more like an excuse to remove the use of MJ when you could launch it in one go.

What exactly is your point?

It`s all about each player playing the way they like. There are some things only MJ can do, there are some things only a human controlled craft can do.

If using mods is `cheating` until the point they become stock, at which point they are accepted (like subassembly loader or docking or crew manifest for example) then that sets up the premise that to `not cheat` then your mod must pass the golden gate and become stock. Only at that point will the `no mods` or `no cheating` purists accept the feature.

I find it hilarious that the people who do not want MechJeb as stock are the ones driving the pressure for it to become stock because they call it cheating as a result of it not being part of the stock game.

You can see that is what you are doing, can`t you?

First off, where you got the fallacious assumption that I am a stock purist?

Also, every single KSP player have used at least one mod at least once, which makes stock purists hypocrites.

And yes, making overly complex vehicles that are unstable to pilot and maneuver and stating that only MJ can pilot them, hence it is an improvement is an excuse to give MJ a function.

Take your assumptions somewhere else.

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Yes, but this sounds more like and excuse to give MJ a purpose, when you could had launched the first rocket as separate pieces and joined them into orbit.

That is basically dictating how he should pay the game. I'm sure that anyone with enough skill could launch it into orbit. Also you called it an excuse. Wouldn't reason be a better word for it? And a question how does he or anyone else play affect you in anyway shape or form.

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MJ is the *ONLY* reason I'm still playing KSP today.

When I found out about KSP, I downloaded the Demo (0.13.3) and played around with it for a while. I had to buy the full version to be able to install mods. I did. Just to be able to use that nifty autopilot. I watched and learned, watched and learned. These days, I fly OK without it at the beginning of the tech tree or sometimes when I feel like it. Otherwise I always use it.

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Take some deep breaths, everyone.

Breathe in - hold it, hold it, hold it - and out.

Feel any better?

Right now there are no plans to make MJ stock, so let's sweep that one under the rug. Just remember that there is no "wrong" or "right" way to play KSP. The experience that someone has by choosing to use MJ or any mod for that matter, is up to each individual.

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I think MJ is great. I didn't use it to learn the basics - I got my foundation in orbital mechanics playing Orbiter years ago. But in Orbiter I didn't learn by trial and error, I installed MFDs that were purpose built to help with launching, rendezvous, transfers, aerobraking, etc. Once I saw the kinds of maneuvers calculated by the MFDs I began to learn how things worked. If I didn't have that previous experience, I probably would have learned by watching what MechJeb does.

What I wonder about is whether a stock autopilot will interfere with the developer's vision for training Kerbal pilots to fly the ships. Given the choice, would anyone chose a Kerbal over MJ?

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Yes, but this sounds more like and excuse to give MJ a purpose, when you could had launched the first rocket as separate pieces and joined them into orbit.

Okay, let me be clear.

1. I work a little like Whackjob in that I enjoy designing big beautiful things.

2. I also like to build my stations as whole things in the VAB then break them down into chunks, but this time, I made it a mission to see if I could lift nearly 1500 tons off the pad and into orbit. This made it fun.

3. I find that MJ helps me fly larger more realistic missions thanks to its varied functions, not the least of which is its AUTOPILOT.

4. If having more data available to me on my vessel helps me fine tune (yes other mods can do this with out AP but) AND give me the ability to automate long or dull or highly repeated actions with out more added to my ship by use of 1 mod that gives me both aspects so much the better.

5. Cant stress this enough: MechJeb taught me better and more effectively than tutorials and vids could have because it did so with MY ships.

So there ya go

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I honestly think you should try to get to Duna and back without MJ once. This way you'll actually learn how the game works. MJ is like any computer, it breaks down;and when it does, you will get screwed if you dont have the training/patience/knowledge of moving your spacecraft manually....

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