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ChrisHale

Space Planes Now Scare the Living Tar Out of Me

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In this version I started a fresh career mode and decided I wanted to go Iron Man with all the flags unchecked. I was getting pretty good at building space planes in 0.24 but I didn't realize how often I reverted. My first design twisted on take off and blew up killing the test pilot before it even got off the ground. My next one didn't have enough lift and I had to bail into the ocean. I'm now terrified of trying a new design until I have a few extra safety features or more powerful engines available. The difficulty panel really added a sense of danger to career mode.

Has anyone else been playing on the edge of their seat since 0.25 went live? :D

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One thing I noticed today, is my game play and how I go about career mode has changed dramatically. Playing with reduced funds and now having to not only spend science points, but also pay the entry cost for each part in each section, has slowed my progression down slightly. Then add Mission Controller mod where each new hire is 4k and each death is 20k (with DRE, NEAR, RealChute, LS to further show my self hate), I have gotten quite a bit more cautious in nearly all aspects. However, I think one of my newest worries, is dropping a stage on KSC while not paying attention. :D

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Giving up the revert feature and the quicksave feature is pretty unnerving, because you make a lot of mistakes that you had been making all along, you just hadn't been paying for them. I like it, though.

When I first played KSP, I din't even know the quick save feature existed, so I flew very long, dangerous, risky missions with no quicksave. It was unnerving, but it made it a lot more fun.

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Oh but the new parts are so very, very saucy! One thing I learned from messing with them is keep focused. Have different, smaller planes for each task, not one huge plane to tackle them all. This keeps your mass down which keeps those lower-tier engines useful. Use probe cores so you don't risk crew until the kinks are worked out of a design. Fly on, brave adventurer! :)

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I've yet to use a quick save except for a save file repair to correct a kerbal in a coma on the Mun (had to edit save so he was no longer "debris").

I don't revert except for dumb "I forgot to uncheck the pilot so this would be unmanned!" type errors. I have tons of cash (on hard). It honestly doesn't feel even a little different to me.

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Small cargo bay + drone core. Or use the specialised SP+ one.

Saves wear and tear on your Kerbals while prototyping.

Failing that, a decoupler behind the cockpit, some parachutes and a few Sepratrons to get clear.

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Failing that, a decoupler behind the cockpit, some parachutes and a few Sepratrons to get clear.

I'd say stick to the probes. Decoupling the cockpit wont work for the wobble wobble wipeout on the runway crashes. Chances are in that situation the kerbal is dead before you could even try to hit abort and even if your quick enough you might still get smacked into the ground too hard by the eject.

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Always prototype a new spaceplane design in a Sandbox file (or at least one that lets you revert to SPH). Figure out the problems, fix or compensate for them, and when you have the vehicle figured out, only then should you try to fly it on a save with no reverting.

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I use FAR and I'm so afraid I'll kill off my entire space program once I start trying to design and land planes. At the very least I'm going to lose a looot of probe cores.

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If you think that's scary, just wait until you discover that when squad said everything is destructible, they meant EVERYTHING (including segments of the runway)

Well the good news is that it takes 3 or 4 destroyed segments to bring your runway "out of commission", so I guess there's that if you don't mind trying taking off before you get to wh

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Honestly, this is why I refuse to play ironman, despite having a ridiculously safe space program in general. It just really penalizes the sort of ridiculous experimentation that KSP was founded on, and which you still run into all the time in the spaceplane design process. It's just far too easy for something outside of your control to destroy a really expensive spaceplane design, to say nothing of the dead kerbonauts that may or may not be involved.

For instance, if you think the wobble wobble wipeout problem is bad in stock, try using the landing gear in the B9 mod in an x64 executable. Something wrong with the 64-bit plugin, I'd assume. I blew up a dozen or so times before I confirmed the problem was tied to that mod and not some other issue, which I couldn't have done without an option to revert.

Besides, I'm playing on a custom difficulty (Hard, but with quickload/revert turned back on), and was tough enough staying in the black during the first few missions since the contracts could barely even cover the material cost of the rockets that DIDN'T blow up. Well, it WOULD be tough if the new admin strategies were balanced, but the +science ones are just too strong; a few orbital jaunts and one trip to the Mun and back and I've basically finished the tech tree, and that's at only 20% on those two strategies. But that's a discussion for another thread.

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Now that i play with permanent deaths enabled in .25, i never launch advanced designs with kerbals on board, unless it has been tested with a probe core. This is even more true for spaceplane designs. And i love those new parts. They are simply awesome.

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I'm with you on that, I do a few test flights and revert to try it with different fuel loads and tweaks until I'm happy with the design, before I try and do a mission with it. From a roll play perspective you'd have put a lot more science in to the design, tried things out in the simulator and got them pretty good before letting a kerbal loose in one. Ejector seats would be a useful addition though

In the real world they used to lose a lot of aircraft and pilots in the X-plane days but these days it's pretty rare to lose a development aircraft.

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The Kerbal Construction Time mod has an added game-play mechanic that could help here. KCT adds many days to build the planes or rockets which can be tough to get around if you have a failure and have to wait another 25 kdays missing a launch window or something. As a result, they add a "simulate" portion where, for a certain amount of kfunds, you can launch the thing for some set time to see if it works. At the end of your simulation, you lose all progress, but at least you know if the design works as far as tested. You can also test around other celestial bodies, but you have to have entered their SOI to do so, which is also a nice touch.

Unfortunately, I can't recall if KCT is updated to 0.25.0 as my game is still in 0.24.2. It might help with the fear-factor of space planes.

By the way, I'm totally with you on planes - they're death traps for kerbals. 2 of 3 of my dead kerbals in my career game are due to problems with the planes. One flew too low and the other tried landing too fast and the plane flipped over on the runway. You are not alone!

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I play Iron Man with quicksave. While I never use it for a failed landing, it is invaluable as a Kraken fixing tool

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I play Iron Man with quicksave.

Ironman mode = no quicksave/quickload. So you are certainly not playing ironman mode.

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If I ever do this, which I'm not sure I will, I would use a Sandbox to create my planes and test them prior to use.

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Yeah, Ironman has COMPLETELY changed how I play. I now launch TEST craft, with no Kerbals aboard... My first attempts did not. Lost 5 Kerbals right in a row, due to various design problems. I swear I thought I was better than this. It's... humbling, to say the least, to see just how much I reverted before without even thinking about it.

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It's to much for me for doing a combined part test flight. Having to meet 4 different altitude and speed requirements in one mission, instead of just ascending to orbit. It's close to home but a lot harder then landing on the Mun. Without revert it would take me days of planning instead of hours of trying.

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Ironman mode = no quicksave/quickload. So you are certainly not playing ironman mode.

Yeah, but I agree that losing a game to a bug ( and gosh, this game has tons of bugs that can trash your game with zero intervention of your part ) is really worthy of a computer thrown through the window :/ That is the only reason I still use quicksave as well ( I have a big love for rovers and I already had my fair share of trashed games due to the game saving with a rover on the surface not being completely still ( effects might include trashed cockpit and rover going escape velocity through the planet :D ) ... that can be saved via save edit , though ) )

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Yeah, but I agree that losing a game to a bug ( and gosh, this game has tons of bugs that can trash your game with zero intervention of your part ) is really worthy of a computer thrown through the window :/ That is the only reason I still use quicksave as well

Totally agreed.

I stumble upon so many bugs, including random spontaneous de-assembly, that there is no way I'd play ironman. No point wasting my nerves on a game riddled with bugs.

Besides - even if by some miracle they'd actually fix all of them - KSP still doesn't have any of the tools required for planning long-term missions... like for example a basic Delta-V display - making ironman more of a mode for people with too much free time than anything else - at least in vanilla game.

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I checked off the Hard mode and struggle to keep up on funds to pay for the parts after unlocking them with science. I used the admin building to convert Reputation into funds and science. So far i've enjoyed the progress.

I have really tried to focus on planes over rockets for this go around. I had one low altitude plane testing parachutes, and found I could not reach 23000m to complete a contract, as i was using the first basic jet engines.

So returning to the runway i was less then 500m over the runway and the wife looked over my shoulder and noticed my speed was 100m/s or there about and started to panic. "your going too fast!" i laughed it off and said, "oh yeah i have a parachute!" (keep in mind the test parachute was mounted in the nose). so activated the parachute as the plane started to flip tail first in a slow motion dramatic crash into the runway. Pilot survived amazingly and the runway was left with only a few scratches.

Good times.

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My biggest issue with the planes so far is designing a useful cargo plane with a dorsal cargo bay. My spaceplane designs were complete nightmares until I adopted a high-wing design that basically solved all my stability issues (maybe I'm just a bad pilot, but hey, not gonna argue with what worked for me). Problem is the high wing designs block the location of the dorsal bay. I've tried going back to mid-wing designs, but all the old instability problems are back, even with dihedral wings.

But yeah, planes scare the bajezus out of me now, too.

The Kerbal Construction Time mod has an added game-play mechanic that could help here. KCT adds many days to build the planes or rockets which can be tough to get around if you have a failure and have to wait another 25 kdays missing a launch window or something. As a result, they add a "simulate" portion where, for a certain amount of kfunds, you can launch the thing for some set time to see if it works. At the end of your simulation, you lose all progress, but at least you know if the design works as far as tested. You can also test around other celestial bodies, but you have to have entered their SOI to do so, which is also a nice touch.

Unfortunately, I can't recall if KCT is updated to 0.25.0 as my game is still in 0.24.2. It might help with the fear-factor of space planes.

By the way, I'm totally with you on planes - they're death traps for kerbals. 2 of 3 of my dead kerbals in my career game are due to problems with the planes. One flew too low and the other tried landing too fast and the plane flipped over on the runway. You are not alone!

Totally agree with this.

KCT adds an awesome element of build times to the game, and offsets the problems with the paid simulations to test designs before committing.

Unfortunately, KCT and TAC-LS still aren't updated to 0.25, so my modded hard mode is on the back burner until those get updated.

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My biggest issue with the planes so far is designing a useful cargo plane with a dorsal cargo bay. My spaceplane designs were complete nightmares until I adopted a high-wing design that basically solved all my stability issues (maybe I'm just a bad pilot, but hey, not gonna argue with what worked for me). Problem is the high wing designs block the location of the dorsal bay. I've tried going back to mid-wing designs, but all the old instability problems are back, even with dihedral wings.

Tried high-tailplane mid-wing setups?

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