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alecdacyczyn

Saturable Reaction Wheels

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Hey OP, I reccomended you edit the OP to include your better idea. Otherwise people won't realize what it is and think we are all approving of your old idea.

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While the second suggestion is better than the first, if you're never going to notice it during normal flight and operations then what is the point? So you can stop that one time somebody parks there lander on too steep a slope? It still feels like you're adding complexity just for complexity's sake, which is never good.

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I think I know how I can make everyone happy. Change the Reaction Wheel module to have a saturation limit, but also an 'aether-magical' angular momentum dissipation rate. For example:

Inline Reaction Wheel

Torque: 20 kN∙m

Saturation: 100 kN∙m∙s

Dissipation: 5 kN∙m (kilonewton meter seconds... per second)

A simpler suggestion: what if instead of having an explicit saturation mechanic, you only allow reaction wheels to have an effect if the ship's angular momentum is below a certain threshold? It wouldn't fix the infinite lander exploit, but it would mean that you have to use RCS for fast turns or large ships -- from a gameplay standpoint, I think we all agree that reaction wheels should be better in some situations and RCS in others.

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I really like this idea; even the first version. A couple things to consider would be: If the "forgetful" version wouldn't change gameplay in any noticeable way, then there's little reason to go through the effort of implementing it. Which is why I think that if any version of this were to be implemented, it should be the first, but as part of a realism expansion or mod due to the micro-management required by the new system (unless I misunderstood how it would affect gameplay). Which brings me to the second consideration: How would it work for vessels that are not under active control by the player or that are under the effects of timewarp?

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Sounds more like mod material to me, but I'd give it a shot. As it stands now, the only time I need to include RCS thrusters and monopropellant is when the craft is going to be docking. And even then, I usually get away with the RLA Stockalike tiny RCS ports and 10-unit monoprop tanks. So it might be nice having a reason to actually bring those things along on all vessels.

For the sake of gameplay though, I do think it ought to be a mod, rather than something stock.

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As an experienced player (and by no means a "noob"), I think this addition is unnecessary. If it is added, however, I would ddefinitely want it to be the method described on page two, and not the method in the OP.

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I don't want them to be "fixed". That means even in space the reaction wheels would move much slower even in space (wasting more time). The reasons "realistic" reaction wheels work well in real space programs is because most things are auto-pilot and pre-calculated so not much changing is needed.

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It would be a bit too in-depth for the stock game, I think, but it'd be awesome to see in a mod.

Agreed. The difficulty of KSP is fun, but OP's idea would be artificial difficulty and complicated, which is not fun. Just make it a mod.

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Ok, I've read some more and realize I probably need to study some more to get my head around this. I think I've got a basic understanding of what's happening though. As long as the ship is in space, then you can change heading with reaction wheels. You start the ship spinning, and then stop it at the desired heading and net change of angular momentum is zero. But when the ship has unbalanced thrust, the reaction wheels would eventually reach saturation in order to maintain heading, right? Same thing when landed on a slope sufficient enough to tip to lander over, regardless of the gravity of the planetary body, you would eventually tip over because you reach the limit of what a reaction wheel can do, right? If I've got this right, then I would like to see changes made to way reaction wheels currently work to more accurately reflect real life. I'm already paranoid about building balanced craft. The only thing that would affect me is having to choose my landing sites a little more carefully, which I think would actually add to gameplay and increase the challenge and be even more fun.

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For those who are unfamiliar with how reaction wheels work, these videos are pretty good. The torque rods could be interesting in combination with this suggestion too.

Edited by pizzaoverhead

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Nerffing the reaction wheels would both add realism and benefit gameplay.

At the moment they make monopropellant useless for everything expect docking.

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Nerffing the reaction wheels would both add realism and benefit gameplay.

At the moment they make monopropellant useless for everything expect docking.

The problem with nerfing is that certain mods (Like MechJeb) require significant amount of raction wheel strength and landing and dokking become significantly harder

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I'm actually all in for the first idea. If I'm going to be voting for the second, it will be because I can see that not many are excited about such a change in Stock ksp. I would still like it as a mod, though.

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Nerffing the reaction wheels would both add realism and benefit gameplay.

At the moment they make monopropellant useless for everything expect docking.

Less wobble for propellent for a similar of not more powerful force applied. So RCS is still very useful. Also, no translation with reaction wheels (unless cheating, which can be done due to the game physics :P ). IMO they are a slight fix to the game. IRL we have better abilities to balance systems. Not so in KSP (really, you cannot fine tune rocket nozzle position etc) so a reaction wheel allows a rocket to (in orbit) to face the direction needed a little more easily.

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The problem with nerfing is that certain mods (Like MechJeb) require significant amount of raction wheel strength

MechJeb works fine without reaction wheels at all, as long as there is an RCS system for attitude. It is not dependent on reaction wheels or a minimum amount of torque at all.

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I'm glad this thread has been bumped. I would love this functionality available in stock KSP, so long as it is as available as a setting for higher difficulties. This is exactly what kind of thing the difficulty options should include.

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Urgh, it'd just cause arguments over how they should work in a game opposed to how they really work, and trigger countless bug reports.

For a simulator fine, you want this, for a game where players don't want to be punished by some little known effect that leaves their craft spinning uncontrollably, no, you don't want this.

Also, serious necro guys, not cool.

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For a simulator fine, you want this, for a game where players don't want to be punished by some little known effect that leaves their craft spinning uncontrollably, no, you don't want this.

Considering that rocketry (and KSP) is based on Newton's third law, I don't think that the basic conservation of momentum should be a "little known effect".

At present, small rockets don't need to have any thrust vectoring, RCS, or control surfaces of any kind. It's not just unrealistic, it's ridiculous. To me, it is as obvious a flaw as is Sonic walking at a leisurely pace around loop-de-loops in many of the 3D Sonic games.

IMO, I don't think that it would even be that difficult for beginners. When starting out building their first rockets, they would simply come to the realization that they need to have some Control parts, just like they come to the realization that they need an engine, or a parachute. But at any rate, this is a change that they could easily make toggleable in the difficulty settings.

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Lower torque ratings on the reaction wheels might be a good idea

That might be combined with a tweak for a little more realism: have the amount of electricity used by reaction wheels proportional to the amount force they exert.

I'm currently running the game with reactions wheels tweaked to have 1Nm/s = 1Watt, and that gives a strong incentive to reduce torque.

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I am not against reducing SAS torque to give more incentive to use RCS, as well as making space-flight feel harder.

However I'm not in favor of making the game needlessly complex for irrational reason, like for the belief that "KSP would be better if only it fixed the last thing I learned about real rocket science".

KSP is a game, to be playable by its targeted audience it require simplification and abstraction because you ain't actually capable of build and fly a real rocket.

Such audience do not necessarily care for every single liberty taken with physics, even if they happened to be engineer who knew better.

So: "if it ain't broke, don't fix"

That's all from me.

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Well, this is not for me, it's too annoying to consider that much for a player who want to cares more about thrust and delta V.

Stock torque NEED nerf, but not this way.

I suppose that reduced torque and a slow warm up speed will do trick

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I would think this should be a fully optional hardcore difficulty setting, really. Just an extra little consideration that makes it harder to do things here and there. It needn't be enabled in any stock difficulties, but available as part of the custom difficulty settings. :)

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