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Space Stations in Career


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I think there needs to be more incentive to have space stations in career mode. Everyone loves space stations, but by the time you have the relevant pieces and rocketry to get it to kerbin orbit, most if not all of the kerbin orbit science has been done.

I only think about it because the Dragon freighter recently rendezvoused with the ISS, and when it returns to Earth it'll be bringing back samples from science experiments etc.. It made me realise how important the ISS is and it's not just there to be pretty or to be some engineering feat (even if it is both those things), it's actually invaluable to science.

Unfortunately space stations in KSP fail to live up to the scientific glory of the ISS. Perhaps there are some plans to make career mode better in this respect and I am just ignorant of it, but either way I hope some improvements come along...

What do you think about it all?

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Well, the Mobile processing lab has gone a long way to encouraging space stations. I usually bring up two results from each science instrument from Minmus' surface: One gets processed and transmitted, one gets stored until a crew vessel picks it up. It's easy to have a station as a rendezvous/refueling/storage/processing location.

I'm expanding the station to act as a refueling depot for interplanetary ships leaving Kerbin, and am planning a similar station for the Jool system.

I think I'm happy with how stations are incentivized currently.

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If something is implemented to encourage science after maxing the tree out, this could give a good reason to build stations, with processing labs. I too would like more of a reason to build stations, although it's never stopped me!

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Why do you need career mode to give you an incentive? Getting science to get parts is a silly way to arrange things. Getting science so you can build a space station is much more fun! Lol - what I mean, is have a space station because you can, not because the limited career mode says it has a reason.

I play sandbox and have stations because they are useful, not because they contribute to some unnecessary and arbitrary scoring system.

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An idea I had was making research costs increase much faster than they do now, but have some modules that have to be on the same station or base/rover to work that give more science than basic landing and return. The upper tier parts might cost 10000+ research points, but you'd be able to get that from a Bop base. This would require a few more upper tier parts, though.

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Consider this: Devs announced that all three economic resources in game (science, reputation, money) will be interchangeable. All they have to do is add an ongoing experiment continuously generating science points. Place it on your station in LKO, and BAM! - you have station that is useful and economically important. Even when we max Tech Tree, we would still be able to exchange generated science points for reputation and money. Heck, there even could be three separate processes generating each kind of resources, allowing us to customise our space infrastructure.

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To make a station around Kerbin worth it early in career mode, there's a few issues that need to be solved.

First, the most basic parts needed for a station need to unlock much earlier. Waiting until the very end of the tree for the six way node doesn't work.

Second, with science as it is, you want your station close to where you do science. Kerbin offers no incentive since you can return any experiment by deorbiting. A station with a science module is only good when Kerbin is impracitcal to reach.

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Perhaps 2 different types of mobile science labs could be implemented

1 being the current type , and a new type that will continously and slowly generate science points, say 1 point per day, its also the size and weight of a jumbo64 fuel tank to discourage people from humping 300 of them into LKO, setting the time controls to max and waiting 2 yrs to complete the science tree. perhaps with a max science capacity of 50 points before transmission/recovery as an additional hinderance

Or how about the science it generates reduces the longer its on orbit.

Boris

just some ideas.....

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To make a station around Kerbin worth it early in career mode, there's a few issues that need to be solved.

First, the most basic parts needed for a station need to unlock much earlier. Waiting until the very end of the tree for the six way node doesn't work.

Second, with science as it is, you want your station close to where you do science. Kerbin offers no incentive since you can return any experiment by deorbiting. A station with a science module is only good when Kerbin is impracitcal to reach.

Totally agree with both points, especially the first. It would certainly help if docking ports were unlocked a lot earlier. I don't mind building a linear space station to start with and then being able to build a more complicated one later but at the moment, you can't really build any sort of station until you're a good long way down the tech tree. Heck you could even have two levels of docking port - a basic one that you unlock early, to let you stick modules together and a more advanced one (coming in at about the point that they do right now) to let you transfer crew without sending them on EVA.

Without wishing to open up the whole 'KSP vs realistic history argument' again, I also note that docking was an early priority for human space programs and the early space stations were mostly just a module of some kind with a docking port on one end

Not quite sure how to deal with the second point though. Scotius makes a valid point about having long duration science missions later on, to give you science points to exchange for rep or cash but I can see that being hard to balance and possibly not worth it early in a career. I guess ideally, you would need to do some on-orbit science to unlock some of the tech tree. Regolith samples, temperature readings etc. are nice but they don't help you solve the problems of living, working and building stuff in space. However, this would probably make the tech tree / science system too complicated if the science you do actually has to plausibly match up to the technologies you unlock.

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Totally agree with both points, especially the first. It would certainly help if docking ports were unlocked a lot earlier. I don't mind building a linear space station to start with and then being able to build a more complicated one later but at the moment, you can't really build any sort of station until you're a good long way down the tech tree.

Docking ports are unlocked early in the career mode. Even if you completely ignore biomes and science experiments, you can easily get docking ports after landing on Mun and Minmus. That's also the right time to get them, because you don't really need docking for anything before going interplanetary or otherwise starting to build big stuff.

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Docking ports are unlocked early in the career mode. Even if you completely ignore biomes and science experiments, you can easily get docking ports after landing on Mun and Minmus. That's also the right time to get them, because you don't really need docking for anything before going interplanetary or otherwise starting to build big stuff.

You can't perform an Apollo mission without docking ports. That's a pretty clear indication that you're wrong.

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If you do end up getting science gradually, then time warp shouldn't count. The time that you have actually been playing should determine how much science you can get. this will allow you to do other things at the same time, and it would be a bit more reasonable.

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You can't perform an Apollo mission without docking ports. That's a pretty clear indication that you're wrong.

It's simpler, faster, and more efficient to land on Mun and return back to Kerbin in the same ship, instead of doing a complex Apollo-style mission. Separate landers are rather pointless (except for the additional challenge), unless the planet is big enough or far enough from Kerbin that it's infeasible to carry the fuel for the return trip to the surface and back.

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I disagree. Tier 6 for your first docking ports, is not early in career mode. I would move Clamp-o-Tron Jrs back to Tier 4 (General Construction) and leave the others where they are. That way you get a docking port to go with each capsule size. Maybe move the 1-man lander can back to Tier 4 as well as a sort of Hitchhiker Jr. At which point you can do a lot of cool stuff with the Mk1 command pod, including basic space stations and Gemini or Apollo style missions. Granted, none of this is 'necessary' to further (and probably quicker) progress through the tech tree but it adds options and fun for people that like that kind of thing whilst making no difference at all to those folks who just want to burn through the tech tree as fast as possible.

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perhaps a "station lab" part could spawn random test results for 50-150 science every 24 hours (when in space for a day/not on kerbin) they cannot be transmitted, and so require return trips(send up a kerbal, eva to grab the experiment, bring it home)

it would encourage rotating your crew,building good ssto craft,learning docking (all semi-realistic things a space program would do)

Squad could write up 20 or so random fluff texts to go with the experiments.

it technically could get spammed, but really to go to that length for some science, let em.

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Maybe like the ISS you should have to bring a science module up to the station, it takes a few weeks to run the experiments, then you retrieve the module and bring it back to Kerbin. It encourages "resupply" type missions to keep getting science from the station.

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I disagree. Tier 6 for your first docking ports, is not early in career mode. I would move Clamp-o-Tron Jrs back to Tier 4 (General Construction) and leave the others where they are. That way you get a docking port to go with each capsule size. Maybe move the 1-man lander can back to Tier 4 as well as a sort of Hitchhiker Jr. At which point you can do a lot of cool stuff with the Mk1 command pod, including basic space stations and Gemini or Apollo style missions. Granted, none of this is 'necessary' to further (and probably quicker) progress through the tech tree but it adds options and fun for people that like that kind of thing whilst making no difference at all to those folks who just want to burn through the tech tree as fast as possible.

I think I define the phases of the career mode in the following way:

Early career mode: You build rockets from the 1.25-meter parts, and your only capsule is the Mk1 Command Pod. A single mission equals a single launch, as you explore the Kerbin system. If you have played KSP before, this part of the game only lasts for a couple of hours.

Middle career mode: By the time you have unlocked Skippers, X200-32s, docking ports, big command pods, and hitchhikers, the nature of the game changes. You can now launch tens of tonnes into orbit, use separate landers, go interplanetary, and fly complex missions. A single mission may now last for hours of real time.

Late career mode: When you unlock nuclear engines, things change again. Efficiency is no longer that important, as you can haul large payloads and lots of spare fuel anywhere. You can now do essentially whatever you want.

Basically, docking ports are one of those parts that transform early game into middle game. But as you can get them quickly after flying a few simple missions, you can easily get them in early career mode, if you want to do that.

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perhaps a "station lab" part could spawn random test results for 50-150 science every 24 hours (when in space for a day/not on kerbin) they cannot be transmitted, and so require return trips(send up a kerbal, eva to grab the experiment, bring it home)

it would encourage rotating your crew,building good ssto craft,learning docking (all semi-realistic things a space program would do)

Squad could write up 20 or so random fluff texts to go with the experiments.

it technically could get spammed, but really to go to that length for some science, let em.

This is actually a good idea. Perhaps making the science output less frequent, like once every few days or so, and then changing the amount of science depending on the experiment being done, I think it would be a really good incentive!

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