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Azunai

0.24 Some feedback about contracts and funds

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I love the contracts. It causes me to design and fly missions I never would have done otherwise, as well as keep sub-assemblies of smaller launchers because they're cheaper than the new ones.

I never would have run a mission which was to reach a specific altitude with a specific payload of parts to test on a sub-orbital trajectory before, so I think its added a tonne of value. That said if I have one complaint its this, I've got too much money. I normally return only the capsule and I've still got 1.5 million funds after going to the Mun and Minmus, after crashing 5 missions. My average rocket only costs about 20,000. I recognize that new players, who don't have my experience, might not have that problem but there should be something for older players.

Personally I think they should insert a difficulty slider for contracts (and perhaps science) that just multiplies the cost of parts (and tech). You have standard, hard (3x), harder (5x) and hardest (10x).

I'm not sure I understand the argument against the 'test parts' missions. Yeah the 'landed at Kerbin' ones are somewhat dull, but the rest give you a mission objective. People are saying they want the contracts to focus on big picture stuff but that was all I did before 0.24. I've been to Jool, I've been to Duna, I've been everywhere; it was my impression that contracts were supposed to expand the game, not just pay me to do what I already did. Contracts without part testing is pretty much science mode. So I like the missions that have objectives and specific criteria. That said I hope they add more to make it more interesting. Say launch the a pre-built satellite that's been placed in subassemblies to 'here', or rescues that require you to refuel and fly a ship or probe back to kerbin.

Also I want more biomes, but that's not related.

Edited by Brapness

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You do know that not everybody masters this game instantly, like you? If you design games, you have to think about a few more types of players...

This is far from "balanced" right now, we all know that. And thats why we are talking here.

You really should read carefully. It's not balanced right now because it got significantly easier since 0.24 due to huge influx of science points that never was there and funds playing marginal role in the game if any at all. They didn't scale the research tree to match science points you receive in 0.24 and they didn't scale income to expenses properly (edit: look: post right above this one)

24 years for a flag on Duna is indeed a long time. And this is ingame now. Got it? Or should i paint a picture for you?

Yea - and you agree that it's a good deadline. Ridiculous. That's what I tried to point out in my post - but again: you didn't read it carefully.

Edited by Sky_walker

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I think I would agree with most of the OP's points. Needs to be much less cash flow and science, that or the research costs need to go up more. They lessen the amount of parts you get for researching certain groups. In my opinion it should be a part by part system anyways.

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...That's what I tried to point out in my post - but again: you didn't read it carefully.

You just don't get it... maybe you should start reading post by post, not quote by quote...

please, go on with your monologue.

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Even the exploratory contracts ring hollow because of their obvious progression. After Mun and Minmus, Duna is the logical next choice -- yet even the obious progression can't really do it right. In my very first game of KSP, I was quite excited when I finally "mastered" Mun & Minmus and revelled a bit in my achievement, flying a few more missions just because. An EXPLORE DUNA! appering in my inbox the very moment I leave Minmus would have watered down that triumph quite a bit. But that was just me; other players might be more impatient, grudgingly performing the Minmus mission only because they have to "unlock" the Duna contract.

Hum.. If I get this right. My Duna and Ike missions should never have unlocked as I don't have my Minmus part at all unlocked nor was my Mün Contract finished (think I only had an Orbit and transmite data Duna). All because a contract wanted me to test 2 diffrent side mounted decouplers on an escape Kerbin SOI tregectory (which are also on an escape tragectory out of the Sun too O.o?).

But, the crazy thing is. I started a new career start. And was able to hit Minmus on a very first launch and that did not get the Minmus mission contract at all. Just plant a flag and collect data from orbit as well as Mün..

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One thing that really has to be adressed is the "get science from space around X" missions. You should not get those if you already done them ( or get smaller rewards as you repeat them, to simulate long term studies ) and they should be specific about what science and where in space ( say, gravioli readings in space around Duna at 600-650 km ). As it is now, it only invites you to drop a sat with a thermometer and a antenna in low orbit and simply click in send when it pops out ....

Edited by r_rolo1

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0.24 is a fantastic update and contracts are welcomed massively. I love building a AR-8 winglet thingy plane and strap a booster under it to test X in Y at Z speed. I must be looking at these contracts in a different light to other since I come up with some brilliantly Kerbal ways to complete them.

We, as a community, also have to remember this is just a suggestion thread and not get to upset about not having contracts, on their first shot, EXACTLY how we want them.

I think all it needs is some polish, and maybe get rid of some of those hilarious contracts like testing stability enhancers on the Mun :)

It would be nice to get more specific scientific and probe contracts though. I for one have been playing for almost 300 hours (I think) and still haven't been to Eeloo, Dres or stopped off in the Joolian system. The new preposed contracts would force me to do such things which would be brilliant :P

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After some more thought, science missions should also "point" you in the direction of undiscovered science points. Have it send you to places you can still get more points within your range until those run out.

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I think I would agree with most of the OP's points. Needs to be much less cash flow and science, that or the research costs need to go up more. They lessen the amount of parts you get for researching certain groups. In my opinion it should be a part by part system anyways.

The balancing isn't good right now, but I really don't understand this approach. So say Squad takes this advice, and makes parts far more expensive and science far more scarce, what has that solved in how enjoyable the gameplay is? It just slows progress. The tech tree progress slows to a crawl, the larger rocket progression slows to a crawl. Is that our goal with contract/science gameplay? To stretch it out? What value does making the existing game play at half or quarter speed have?

Personally I like the idea of being able to pick up cash easily with difficult contracts, and being able to flesh out the tree reasonably. There's no end-game beyond a listless sandbox right now, but why slow progress? Players take happiness from concrete progress, so why delay it?

If anything the issue is, as has been spoke of before, is that there isn't any punishment for failure. The game progresses in cash and science too fast, not because we're given too much, but because none's ever taken back from us for our mistakes. We just revert to launch, revert to VAB, or load a quicksave. It makes mistakes meaningless, and the game seem too easy/giving.

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The balancing isn't good right now, but I really don't understand this approach. So say Squad takes this advice, and makes parts far more expensive and science far more scarce, what has that solved in how enjoyable the gameplay is? It just slows progress. The tech tree progress slows to a crawl, the larger rocket progression slows to a crawl. Is that our goal with contract/science gameplay? To stretch it out? What value does making the existing game play at half or quarter speed have?

Personally I like the idea of being able to pick up cash easily with difficult contracts, and being able to flesh out the tree reasonably. There's no end-game beyond a listless sandbox right now, but why slow progress? Players take happiness from concrete progress, so why delay it?

If anything the issue is, as has been spoke of before, is that there isn't any punishment for failure. The game progresses in cash and science too fast, not because we're given too much, but because none's ever taken back from us for our mistakes. We just revert to launch, revert to VAB, or load a quicksave. It makes mistakes meaningless, and the game seem too easy/giving.

Both of you are right. Let's have difficulty levels so those who think its tedious can play on easier difficulties, and those who think they're swimming in too much cash and/or love grinding can play the harder ones.

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Like I've never once failed a contract. It's not possible to, reasonably. If I mess up, I revert to launch. If my rocket wasn't designed right, I revert to VAB. I revert, revert, revert until I complete the contract. An economic system requires failure punishment, otherwise it's meaningless, since you can never reasonably fail. It just slows you down if you're given infinite do-overs.

And my reputation in the game is stellar. I've capped that out immediately. reverted kerbals never die, so they ain't got jack on me.

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With First Contract, I feel like Squad gave us very little new sand with a lot more box. :(

The procedurally generated contracts just miss the mark for me... I'll admit I sensibly chuckled the first time it told me to test a turbojet engine flying over the Mun, or a launch escape system that's landed on Minmus (stage that puppy, hilarity ensues)... but it quickly degraded into annoying "test a stack separator on a sub orbital trajectory between 78999 and 80012 meters with a velocity of 90m/s".

I've gotten to the point where I completely ignore the misc test contracts... it wouldn't feel right to get 250 science for performing some randomly generated but totally illogical task which teaches you nothing about the game. (The whole "by using the staging sequence" requirement is a huge annoyance too.)

I've started using the loopholes to farm funds, basically bypassing the entire funding system... one poor Kerbal has multiple PhDs in astrogeology but spends her time sitting on the Mun planting flags ad infinitum (I've dubbed her landing site the Graveyard of her Dreams). You slip a couple temperature probes into orbit and you'll never run out of funds or rep. Headlines read "ROCKET LAUNCH DISASTER: 3 killed, $200,000 ship destroyed"? No big deal, plant a Nike flag on the Mun and check to see if it's still cold in the space around Minmus... I'm back in the black and the public loves me again. Blah.

I did get a couple hours of enjoyment from engineering the cheapest rescue craft I could... only to have my accomplishment smashed by a bug when I returned the guy home. (You break the contract forever if you recover the hapless Kerbal in a command seat without first putting him into a pod of some sort).

The rescue craft fiasco is exactly why I'm so disappointed in the release. I wasn't short on funds... I didn't need to build a cheap rescue craft, and the contract system didn't encourage me to do it... I did it on a whim because I could see the ship cost in the VAB. That's all. Squad could have just added the ship cost to the VAB and I would have gotten the same incremental enjoyment. Contracts as they are just feel grindy and annoying. :blush: I don't even feel rewarded when I set my reentry capsule down smack dab in the middle of the runway for 100% return... I could have just crashed the darn thing in Lesser Siberia, planted a flag on the Mun, and made 5x as much money per time spent.

I hesitate to offer ideas for fixes and improvement, because right now it seems a lot of people are using the loopholes to completely avoid having to deal with funds and silly contracts, but here goes:

  • Flag missions should require you use the flag of the sponsor on the mission. This makes more sense... McDonalds funds a Mun mission as an advertising campaign, the rocket is emblazoned with the golden arches, and Jeb is "Lovin' It" when he plants the McDonalds-logo flag on the mun. I'm sure they could even freeze dry a Big Mac or something. See also: Red Bull Stratos.
  • Science missions should actually return science to count as a contract objective. Don't fix this without adding new and better ways to make money, because I don't want to be forced to do the silly separator tests to fund the interesting missions. Best bet, give me recurring science and contracts (below).
  • Chute-based calculation for recovering booster stages. When cleaning up "debris" from a spent lift stage after the 2.5km limit, do a quick check. If it has enough chutes attached to impact at a reasonable velocity, calculate the recovery reward and credit my account. No need to worry about physics calculations until landing... just add a function call to the code that despawns debris.
  • Design fees... as suggested by a previous poster. I want financial incentive to design and use standardized craft. The first time I design and "certify" something, it should incur a large design and engineering fee based on a multiple of the cost. If I then pull a previously certified 25t lifter out of the subassembly list, I should just pay for parts and fuel. If I edit it, I should incur a redesign fee, based on the ratio of changes to original cost. The math would not be hard to work out.
  • Time-based recurring costs and profits. I feel Squad really missed an opportunity with science here, and continue to miss with funding. Some science parts should be able to return science over time... the longer you keep that grav sat in Munar orbit, the more science you get from it, a little at a time up to some set cap per science type, situation, and celestial body.
    The same with funding... missions should require recurring funding to keep operating, probably based on a percentage of the part cost in orbit with a few multipliers (such as being manned).
    Pay-over-time contracts would be good too... operate the Orbital Hilton (a hitchhiker can with the sponsor logo on it) and you get $2k per day. Symphonic Electronics will pay $50k for a successful orbit and then $500 per day to operate a satellite with 3x 88-88's on it. I want to fund my space program with things like this... not by flying a seperatron to Eve.

I play KSP because it's a sandbox game that makes me think and allows me freedom to solve problems in interesting ways. Sometimes, I create the problem, and then have to create the solution (I once welded Jeb into an orbital tug with a carelessly placed RCS block. He made it home... eventually). The new contract system is mostly at odds with those goals... getting X part to Y altitude at Z speed just isn't my idea of a good time. Things like mining and mapping and orbital construction will make this game really take off (har har). Silly contracts, not so much. More sand, less box.

Edited by DasValdez
formatting

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I guess there's now an option to disable revert, isn't there? I have been refraining from reverting/reloading to make things tougher. I'm struggling with funds, myself. But I'm new to KSP.

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More of a PSA than anything. For the "test parts" contracts the parts must be activated through the staging. Action groups don't count.

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Koscosmos is. And now we at KASA must save them....

:P

Ye, cosco is sending kerbals up into space and you play as cosco

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* They grant way to much science in average, i nearly got the full tech tree unlocked after 2 mun missions...

* All those contracts about testing parts while your rocket is "Landed, On Kerbal" are senseless at the moment. There is no condition to even launch the rocket, you can just put them on a plain vessel go to launch pad and activate it - Contract fulfilled.

* Every vessel you put on the launch pad without actually launching it will grant reputation on recover without losing funds

* Experimental parts you get by a contract are highlighted blue (good!) but those you already have unlocked are not, i'd like to see them highlighted too so you don't have to check all the parts name over and over again to make sure you picked the right one :D

* Some contracts about deploying satellites or rovers in space would be a great variation

* Supply transports to existing space-stations including docking eg. "bring xxx fuel to space-station alpha / bring William Kerbal to space station beta"

* Collect space debris to clear Kerbals orbit?

* Build and test rovers on kerbal?

-I agree with this point

-this point also.

-this is a thing? Do squad even experimental feedback?

-YES.

-Also YES

-No, I don't want procedurally generated space stations, it's almost like cheating if the station has any quantity of fuel or RCS, because then you can just use that as a refueling depo rather than building your own, I don't like it, sorry.

-again, depends on the type of debris, if it's a massive collection of fuel tanks, then no, because you could retro-fit it with docking ports .ect, if it's structural parts or EMPTY fuel tanks, then yes sure.

-Yes, this is a good idea but it lacks a bit of precision, maybe a required top speed or a minimum stopping distance and mass and part counts requirements could help with an actual goal in this type of contract but still allowing some freedom in designing.

(BTW it's kerbin, and stock)

vanilla is for minecraft 6.28 year olds

Edit: I also completely agree with the re-arrangement of the displays, except with should get rid of the decimal point (I.e 00,000,000.0) and should have an option to switch between European (and possibly other places) display, so the value is shown like this: 00.000.000,0 (I think that's how they do it in Europe, sorry if I offended anyone) and the 'other' mode: 00,000,000.0.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE

With First Contract, I feel like Squad gave us very little new sand with a lot more box. :(

  • Flag missions should require you use the flag of the sponsor on the mission. This makes more sense... McDonalds funds a Mun mission as an advertising campaign, the rocket is emblazoned with the golden arches, and Jeb is "Lovin' It" when he plants the McDonalds-logo flag on the mun. I'm sure they could even freeze dry a Big Mac or something. See also: Red Bull Stratos.
  • Science missions should actually return science to count as a contract objective. Don't fix this without adding new and better ways to make money, because I don't want to be forced to do the silly separator tests to fund the interesting missions. Best bet, give me recurring science and contracts (below).
  • Chute-based calculation for recovering booster stages. When cleaning up "debris" from a spent lift stage after the 2.5km limit, do a quick check. If it has enough chutes attached to impact at a reasonable velocity, calculate the recovery reward and credit my account. No need to worry about physics calculations until landing... just add a function call to the code that despawns debris.
  • Design fees... as suggested by a previous poster. I want financial incentive to design and use standardized craft. The first time I design and "certify" something, it should incur a large design and engineering fee based on a multiple of the cost. If I then pull a previously certified 25t lifter out of the subassembly list, I should just pay for parts and fuel. If I edit it, I should incur a redesign fee, based on the ratio of changes to original cost. The math would not be hard to work out.
  • Time-based recurring costs and profits. I feel Squad really missed an opportunity with science here, and continue to miss with funding. Some science parts should be able to return science over time... the longer you keep that grav sat in Munar orbit, the more science you get from it, a little at a time up to some set cap per science type, situation, and celestial body.
    The same with funding... missions should require recurring funding to keep operating, probably based on a percentage of the part cost in orbit with a few multipliers (such as being manned).
    Pay-over-time contracts would be good too... operate the Orbital Hilton (a hitchhiker can with the sponsor logo on it) and you get $2k per day. Symphonic Electronics will pay $50k for a successful orbit and then $500 per day to operate a satellite with 3x 88-88's on it. I want to fund my space program with things like this... not by flying a seperatron to Eve.

I play KSP because it's a sandbox game that makes me think and allows me freedom to solve problems in interesting ways. Sometimes, I create the problem, and then have to create the solution (I once welded Jeb into an orbital tug with a carelessly placed RCS block. He made it home... eventually). The new contract system is mostly at odds with those goals... getting X part to Y altitude at Z speed just isn't my idea of a good time. Things like mining and mapping and orbital construction will make this game really take off (har har). Silly contracts, not so much. More sand, less box.

Numero uno: I don't know why squad didn't include this in the first place.

Número dos: Yes, providing your other points are included.

Número tres: yes, but you have to also include things like at what altitude would the booster land at, would the parachutes stay attached ect. Or you could just go with a simplified version.

Número cuatro: yes, this would add another layer to the contracts system. Instead of launching new, cheaper more fancier parts launchers, you could still use your old, obsolete launchers at a much lower cost then otherwise, but it would be less powerful/efficient, I do like this idea.

Número cinco: yes, YES,YES YESYES, even BTSM had simple science equipment that you had to stay within a certain area for a certain amount of time for it to finish and give you one load of science, it shouldn't (I am speaking here from a place of very limited coding knowledge) be very hard to reverse the code and make sure that is you stay in one area it would continue to send back a very small amount of science and if you left that area you could send new science back from that area, this allows whole new gaming mechanics to open up, like mapping and AND SPACE STATIONS FINALLY HAVING A USE. Although with SQUADs attitude of "let the modders sort it out" I doubt that we will ever see any of these, let alone mapping, mining and NEW PLANETS, dear god, I'm getting bored of these spheres, give us gas planet 2, that's one thing modders can't do.

TL;DR I agree with most things, and I like planets.

Edit2: this is by far my longest post, ever.

Edited by SpaceSphereOfDeath

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Glad the contract system is in but now the work just begins. In its current state it only generates random missions with random rewards but that doesn't reflects the "grow" the players is experiencing. A mission to plant a flag on the Mun should not happen if you have unlocked the whole science tree.

In my opinion the missions should be more about changing the current state of the universe. For example:

Mission one: Send a probe in orbit of the Mun and send some data

Mission two: Send a kerbal in orbit of the Mun and gather some more advance data

Mission three: Land a probe on the Mun and send some data

Mission four: Land a kerbal on the Mun, plant a flag, and gather some rocks

Mission five: Get the kerbal back to Kerbal

Mission six: Get a rover on the Mun

Mission seven: Build a small base on the Mun (Some science stuff)

Mission eight: Extend the base on the Mun (More advance science stuff)

Same kinds of missions can be generated for other stuff. Like bringing a satellite into orbit and extending it to a big station in the course of a couple of missions.

Personally I do not use mods, maybe due to the fact I cannot bother to find out how and I like vanilla games, so I really hope they will incorporate followup missions. Oh and remove the science rewards from those missions. Right now I only accepted missions where I have to test something landed and I have unlocked half the science tree :S

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Mission one: Send a probe in orbit of the Mun and send some data

Mission two: Send a kerbal in orbit of the Mun and gather some more advance data

Mission three: Land a probe on the Mun and send some data

I've said so already: that's merely making the player go through hoops. That can be a successful concept (Portal was nothing more than a series of hoops yet people loved it), but I hope that KSP finds another way.

People have felt the urge to "explore" Mun, Minmus, Duna since they're in the game. Their mere existence is reason enough that people want to get there, you don't need no contract to coax them. I think that there should be no definite order or prescribed approach -- people should be able to explore what and how they want within the limits of available funds and technologies. Some may want to thoroughly explore the Mun, others may prefer to send a host of probes to all planets. I'd prefer if KSP could somehow accomodate either approach, as well as others I can't even think of. (@Aragosnat: no, you didn't get me right)

I kinda like the funds how they are at the moment: They're more about bragging rights in social media than an actual in-game constraint. Not that I'm entirely happy with that, but I certainly prefer this to the alternative of having to grind for money before I can launch a big mission (I'm already grinding for money in my day job, thankyouverymuch).

The "transmit science" contracts, for all their shortcomings, at least encourage you to establish some sort of infrastructure that actually serves a purpose. I like the direction this is going. It wouldn't be as silly if the infrastructure in question was a manned lab, though gameplay-wise it would pretty much amount to the same. I don't like the idea that you have to physically return the results each time -- this would be grindy, see above.

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I don't really want things appearing and disappearing in my game. I run the space program. I put things in space. :)

yeah, that's why I ignore the rescue a kerbal from orbit contracts. How could he come there without a launch?

And if I imagine another space programs on kerbin, they must do a miserable job and they should rescue the kerbal, not I :D

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The challenge that Squad faces is that everyone plays the game differently. However, viewing this from how I play the game, yes, you get too much money for contracts.

Hey, this is alpha, it's ok if it doesn't all work just right. This is just feedback. To me, it's too easy to make money (and science).

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I actualy have to correct myself about the "way to much funds"

i completed all contracts once (not repeating stuff like plant a flag)

i got around 3,500.000 just by doing some mun missions.

Now there aint no contracts left and im facing eve, but i can rarly create 3-4 rockets with those funds :P

i guess the main problem currently is that there aint enough different missions and you cant choose what to pick and what not

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A glimpse into a possible future for contracts.

After loading KSP and starting a new career we move over to the contracts building. Here we see a large meeting table with many empty chairs. In one or two we see a kerbal in a business suit. Near them is the company logo they are a representative for.

Selecting the representative we are provided a list of contracts related to the company. This one happen to be a broadcasting company, and for one of the contracts listed we see a request to get a satellite up into orbit. This also shows an image of the part they want tested. We go ahead and accept the contract. We also notice the same company is trying to test a brand new solar panel so we pick that up as well. Now we select the other representative for an airliner company. We are currently more focused on rockets so we skip most of the parts they wanted tested, but do grab the one to test some aerodynamic parts.

Now we leave the contract center and enter the VAB. We see the new parts that require testing that we selected highlighted in blue. After reviewing the details of our contracts we notice the satellite requires the following requirements.

The part listed must meet the following.

1: (insert Probe body name)

2: Stable orbit at 100k - 105k attitude.

3: maintain 5 revolutions around kerban. (powered)

With the other contract we picked up to test the solar panel we see different requirements.

Right click (or bind to an action group) and select run test during the following conditions.

1: (insert solar panel name)

2: Landed on kerban with over 50% sun light.

3: In orbit at altitude 120k - 125k under 50% sun light.

And the final part testing of aerodynamic parts we see these requirements.

Right click (or bind to an action group) and select run test during the following conditions.

1: (insert name of aerodynamic part)

2: Landed on kerban at 0 speed.

3: over altitude 10k but below 75k at speed greater then 400m/s

So we proceed and build a ship we believe will meet these requirements, launch and preform the required test. After all the objectives for the contract are complete we get a notification that shows the company logo and new funds and other rewards granted.

Now we jump over to the tech tree to spend the new science we collected during the contracts and our own personal science we decided to get using crew reports. At first we only saw a very basic tech tree of what our space program knew. Parts are researched individually, but still divided biased on function. We could continue down the path provided unlocking each part, but we notice a few new items we can research that are highlighted in blue. The parts we tested successfully are now available in our tech tree in the proper location. So we spend the science to unlock these parts that without the contract we would never has access too.

Over time, the players increased reputation would start bringing in more company's to fill those empty chairs at the meeting table which will offer more challenging missions and new high tech parts.

Edited by K77LostNSpace

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Testing should possibly grant access to the part <i>once unlocked on the tech tree</i>. Without such a mission, when you unlock the tech tree, you would get only the tech you have been granted from the missions. Those you fail, you loose the option to use those new rockets.

This would give ground testing a method of use to some extent... though more "testing" parameters are needed, such as "test to overheat" or "test to destruction" or more boring "test at different throttle settings". :P

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Número tres: yes, but you have to also include things like at what altitude would the booster land at, would the parachutes stay attached ect. Or you could just go with a simplified version.

Speaking of "Let the modders sort it out"... I've fallen in love with Debrefund. It's exactly what I envisioned above.

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I have way too much time to test parts "around mun" or "in kerbin orbit". Make it so that you have a reasonably small deadline. (3 days to get to mun and back, 4 day contract.)

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