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What is the point in kerbals having stats?


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My opinion is that unless the devs introduce some type of flight control system whereby kerbals can be trained to operate it (some good and some poor) then the stats probably will not align with any useful activity.

Still, I set here and retain hope...

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Last week I did about 900 miles traveling between three cities about 100 miles from each other. Haven`t played much, only been on the forum on my phone so have not browsed freely. I hadn`t seen the latest devnotes but a quick look shows me that this thread is a bit out of date...

Mike (Mu): Well, the experience system has come on in leaps and bounds. The back end is finished and has some nice little features which modders should enjoy. The Kerbal experience traits boost the ship/part they’re on and can have some very funky effects. Currently these include boosting thrust, reducing heat generation, increasing fuel efficiency and boosting science output. Obviously, the performance boosting effects have to be quite subtle to not make things too easy but will still provide a solid boost should you care for your Kerbals.

My opinion is that unless the devs introduce some type of flight control system whereby kerbals can be trained to operate it (some good and some poor) then the stats probably will not align with any useful activity.

Still, I set here and retain hope...

There are benefits from experience that are outside of having the kerbal control the craft with no input from the player. It seems that the devs are doing some good things which will affect gameplay in a good way. These were the sort of things that I was thinking of suggesting.

This also is just like my opinion, man ;)

EDIT : Well it seems that all the good things that were planned are shelved. Now we look to just be getting a science boost, which we already have.

I think I`ll go back to my opinion that stats have no real effect on the game. I already have far too much science (at 30%, thinking of going to 20%)

Edited by John FX
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later in that thread Max decided to cancel kerbals modifying part stats.

Which sort of makes this thread valid again, I mean what actual real effect (apart from a bit more of something there is too much of already, namely science/rep/cash) will kerbal stats have on the game?

There is already far too much cash, rep and science so a boost to them is like no benefit.

What`s left? The shelved bits...

I don`t want to put anything on the games of people who don`t want it so IMHO stats affecting parts should be kept but be optional. How could anyone complain if their game is not affected?

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My opinion is that unless the devs introduce some type of flight control system whereby kerbals can be trained to operate it (some good and some poor) then the stats probably will not align with any useful activity.

Still, I set here and retain hope...

This.

They should be able to do their job, which is to fly spacecraft.

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This.

They should be able to do their job, which is to fly spacecraft.

Not going to happen. Diametrically opposite to the intended gameplay.

To get back on topic, this thread is about stats, not automation. Please don`t threadjack.

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I`ve seen the stats but they have no effect whatsoever on anything.

That is disappointing.

Is that going to change and how relevant will they become if it does?

They were going to implement something and the community was up in arms about it. I didn't see any better ideas though.

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EDIT : Well it seems that all the good things that were planned are shelved. Now we look to just be getting a science boost, which we already have.

I think I`ll go back to my opinion that stats have no real effect on the game. I already have far too much science (at 30%, thinking of going to 20%)

I think the problem is not so much about the stats, just that the 'science' system in the game at the moment, quite broken.

Rather than re-write all my thoughts, I'll link this blog post I made so I wouldn't have to re-write stuff.

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/entries/1767-Science-is-pretty-shallow-Could-it-be-shaken-up-a-bit

TL, DR: science becomes a dead end after the tech tree, doesn't really feel science-like, and could be a lot more interesting.

Kerbal experiance could serve to make kerbals more individual, and make choice of crew more important. At the moment, kerbals are virtually interchangeable.

Again, to avoid lots of repeating, a proper kerbal experiance mechanism could function along the lines of this: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/98466-Kerbal-Experience-and-Roles

That is a better idea.

Having a lot of well-trained kerbals could be made a reward in itself some how. Plus, if a reason to have many kerbals flying around at the same time emerges, training kerbals, and a reason to shuttle crew between missions could be a thing.

Edited by Tw1
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There is already far too much cash, rep and science so a boost to them is like no benefit.
If you have too much currency you aren't playing on a hard enough difficulty level :-P There's still a lot of game balance work to be done, but even when the game is well-balanced I expect the normal difficulty to be balanced for newish players, and old hands at the game will need to go for hard mode for a proper challenge.
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They were going to implement something and the community was up in arms about it. I didn't see any better ideas though.

i wont rehash it, its a dead horse that shouldn't be beaten, however ill clarify that it wasn't the entirety of the feature they were up in arms about, just anything that altered parts. Some good ideas where thrown around in the thread, though i doubt that there close to what squad has in mind. then again they might be exactly what squad has in mind. I don't know.

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My opinion is that unless the devs introduce some type of flight control system whereby kerbals can be trained to operate it (some good and some poor)

That actually was the plan. Maybe still is but it has not been mentioned for a long time. I suspect it might have been canceled because it would require multiple vessels all over the solar system to be active at the same time, which is probably hard to make it work well.

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I think if they gave kerbals individual classes that they could gain experience in it would be awesome. For example, I pilot Kerbal with high endurance could sustain more G's, while one with less endurance may black out, causing you to loose control of the craft (like a dead battery on a probe). An engineer kerbal could fix tires and landing gear, while a scientist kerbal can't fix things. The scientist kerbal CAN give more science though, but of course, the pilot can't do didly cause he isn't trained. Maybe I'm biased to my own idea, but I think this would be the PERFECT way to make kerbals unique and keep you from wanting to kill them.

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I think if they gave kerbals individual classes that they could gain experience in it would be awesome. For example, I pilot Kerbal with high endurance could sustain more G's, while one with less endurance may black out, causing you to loose control of the craft (like a dead battery on a probe). An engineer kerbal could fix tires and landing gear, while a scientist kerbal can't fix things. The scientist kerbal CAN give more science though, but of course, the pilot can't do didly cause he isn't trained. Maybe I'm biased to my own idea, but I think this would be the PERFECT way to make kerbals unique and keep you from wanting to kill them.

Sounds like a nice idea, actually. It kinda gives recruitment more meaning. I think it's also good to have something like a training center for Kerbonauts so that while you're doing some flights or time-warping, your Kerbals keep getting better at what you've assigned as their specialty in the training center.

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In my opinion it would be just fine if experienced kerbals received elements that were not gameplay buffs such as titles, medals, and maybe outfits.

However, I do not believe that the tech tree should require a lot of exploring to completely unlock and experience science buffs + more biomes provides money exploring other locations on planets.

It would be nice to use the higher tech parts before the end-game.

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Not going to happen. Diametrically opposite to the intended gameplay.

To get back on topic, this thread is about stats, not automation. Please don`t threadjack.

Automation is a computer on board the spacecraft flying the spacecraft. The pilot flying is not the player flying, but it is not "automation."

It's not opposed to intended gameplay, either. Tycoon has been a comparison, should the player have to drive every railroad spike by hand? Do you have to do the budget spreadsheets? No. Most elements of the game are in fact abstracted, except spaceflight maneuvers (even those that would never have any control that was not done by a computer). In addition, just last week the devs were going to have kerbals alter the physics of their spacecraft, which shows that they want them to matter as pilots.

Having kerbals act as pilots is THE way for having kerbal skill to matter. Anything else is just a silly way to retrofit meaning to them when the only real meaning (kerbals available as AI astronauts) has been taken off the table.

Edited by tater
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I think if they gave kerbals individual classes that they could gain experience in it would be awesome. For example, I pilot Kerbal with high endurance could sustain more G's, while one with less endurance may black out, causing you to loose control of the craft (like a dead battery on a probe). An engineer kerbal could fix tires and landing gear, while a scientist kerbal can't fix things. The scientist kerbal CAN give more science though, but of course, the pilot can't do didly cause he isn't trained. Maybe I'm biased to my own idea, but I think this would be the PERFECT way to make kerbals unique and keep you from wanting to kill them.

Nice idea for me too.

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Automation is a computer on board the spacecraft flying the spacecraft. The pilot flying is not the player flying, but it is not "automation."

It's not opposed to intended gameplay, either. Tycoon has been a comparison, should the player have to drive every railroad spike by hand? Do you have to do the budget spreadsheets? No. Most elements of the game are in fact abstracted, except spaceflight maneuvers (even those that would never have any control that was not done by a computer). In addition, just last week the devs were going to have kerbals alter the physics of their spacecraft, which shows that they want them to matter as pilots.

Having kerbals act as pilots is THE way for having kerbal skill to matter. Anything else is just a silly way to retrofit meaning to them when the only real meaning (kerbals available as AI astronauts) has been taken off the table.

Yes^^^ I've mentioned in another thread the book "Digital Apollo" by David Mindell - this book (for me that is) really put all the elements of skill, training, pilot vs passenger and the actual manner in which spacecraft are operated into a clear perspective. I highly recommend it.

EDIT: I should add that I HOPE the Devs read it also ;-)

Edited by Wallygator
schpelling
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This ^^, recursively.

What's the rocket-equation for experience changing physics? dV = ((Isp*G)*LN(Full_Mass/Empty_Mass)) + A_Bit_Of_Pilot_Magic ?

Pilots don't change the way a rocket works, they FLY it better, so let them fly it. Since it'll be optional YOU won't have to turn it on when you don't want it.

Almost everyone said Kerbal experience and individualisation was a great idea, just that "ye cannae break the laws of physics" (as an engineer, let alone a pilot) by changing part stats depending on who happens to be in the ship. Several other good and uncontroversial ideas were suggested, some requiring more or less of the developers; which may be a major decider of what we end up with. They may or may not be inspiring or interesting to as many people but they certainly didn't upset as many either.

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I don`t see why the option of having kerbal stats affecting parts can`t be kept on the table. As you say

Since it'll be optional YOU won't have to turn it on when you don't want it.

Then your chief engineer won`t have to complain in a terrible accent.

I myself would like the kerbals to fly the ships but that horse is dead and has been flogged into dust, the dust turned into dirt which grew grass and a baby horse ate the grass and after a long while died of old age and was then itself flogged while dead until there was nothing left. It is a pointless direction for a thread to take.

If you wish to discuss that please start a thread yourself. It is likely to be closed in short order but YMMV. This thread is how the stats of a kerbal can be made to be relevant under the proposed system instead of just giving yet another science boost.

`something that is not the player` will never fly the ship without a mod. It would make a good mod TBH. Like mechjeb but requires a manned craft and it can make mistakes depending on the stats of the kerbal. Go talk to sarbian about it or write it yourself if you want that.

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...I can see some very outspoken posters in a few threads about the topic but not many in number. It seems the same people are posting the same issues in many places.

I worry that a few loud voices are riding roughshod over a less vocal majority who would not mind stats meaning something.

I can see some very outspoken posters in lots of threads about the topic but not many in number. It seems the same people are posting the same issues in many places.

I worry that a few loud voices are riding roughshod over a less vocal majority who would not mind stats meaning something.

Guess who I'm talking about John FX? Please show me these stentorian posts that say they don't want stats to mean something. I have seen very, very few (3?) people saying they don't want Kerbal experience or upgradable buildings. I have seen lots (20?) people saying they don't want those to affect parts or physics.

I think the topic is dead anyway but I'd really like to ask something else - why are you so keen to make parts/physics variable rather than have any of the other options considered?

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The devs thought of altering the parts/physics as a way to try and represent pilot skill. It's pretty clear that they meant for it to represent less efficient use of the rocket, not physically changing the rocket, but they physically changed the rocket, and most people were not pleased.

They could do the same thing, by having the stats alter the pilot. How, when the player is in fact the pilot? They could randomize control inputs, and even time warp without telling the player. So the most skilled pilot would be indistinguishable from what we have now. As their skill is below this value, when you exercise any control input, the game could alter time compression (lightly changing physics warp from 0.XX to 1.XX time compression to screw up burn times), how your craft is pointing (lag control inputs), and even lagging throttle commands. Note none of these would be constant, they'd constantly change so you could not get used to it. The changes would be tweaked so they are small, but a kerbal with 50% stupidity might average X% less efficient in making course changes, etc.

There, player as pilot, AND kerbal skill at the same time, no physics broken. You are telling him what to do, and he's doing it as well as he can (which might be pretty sketchy).

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