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KSP 0.90 'Beta Than Ever' Grand Discussion Thread!


KasperVld
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Funny, if I'm putting them there for a 'company' then I shouldn't be able to terminate them eh?

Pay me and then I'll just obliterate your satellite because it serves me no purpose?

What I care is, that rep and those funds serve no other purpose than to build even more useless satellites to get even more rep and more funds to build more.... etc.

I think the point here is that you are simply paid to deliver a 'package' for a client. What that client does with it is not within the scope of the game. FedEx do it all the time, they get paid to deliver a parcel to a specific location and if they do it well they get good rep for it. What the recipient does with it is irrelevant.

That said, you are right in that you shouldn't really be able to delete it by pressing the red X button, as it's not technically 'yours' to delete. So maybe additional contracts to change it's orbit or remove it later in the game is an option to avoid overcrowding....

Agree on satellite clutter! As your rep increases, the complexity & pay increases... when you get to the Mun, you start getting Mun satellite offers, and on and on... my Solar System view is a mess of orbit circles. Agree with pandaman, I think the contract should remove player control after the orbit is matched ("Thanks, we'll take it from here"), and clean them up, after a few days have passed.

On the "endgame" - once you have completed the tech tree, you're kinda done. I wonder if it should be made more difficult to complete (spread the parts into more, smaller groups; make the tech map taller, not necessarily wider) given that we now have biomes everywhere. The solar system has been painted with a huge new pool of science points.

But once it IS all unlocked, KSP is now sandbox, with endless random contract missions. Squad has opted for an open-ended design, where every player decides for themselves what "done" is, instead of "Mission 31." (Then we would argue if "Mission 31" was a fitting end, for what came before it. One thing I do like about scripted missions, is players can try the same thing again in a later play-through as their knowledge improves. Online, you can compare how others did, with your solution to the exact same problem.)

KSP is a puzzle-solving game, with a huge pool of parts and near infinite combination of ways to assemble them, I think that's most of the fun. An official story campaign mixed in with the random contracts would be very nice, but I'm happy with what we have so far.

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Funny, if I'm putting them there for a 'company' then I shouldn't be able to terminate them eh?

Pay me and then I'll just obliterate your satellite because it serves me no purpose?

So don't terminate the satellite. Nothing says you're required to.

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FEEDBACK regarding the Early Career:

HI SQUAD! Thanks for such an awesome content rich update! I have some feedback to consider as you take this Beta forward toward completion... I know that much of these can be adjusted by sliders, but I think some tuning is needed on the default setting. (From a well tuned default setting, more casual or hard-core players can customize their play experience further).

Early Career:

Generally this phase of the game seems a tad slow, even for a seasoned KSPer like myself. It costs a LOT of money to do the first few things an early career player would want to do - and this is exactly the time that you want people trying out all of your new features, so they get hooked on their potential!

1. Building Upgrades: Some of the building upgrades are prohibitively expensive to start off with. It's fine to have upgrades get more and more expensive as time goes on - but players in the earlier career should be able to afford one or two basic building upgrades within the first couple of missions. This gets users hooked on what building upgrades will offer in the future, offering more incentive to save Funds for upgrades.

1b. Alternately - many of the buildings are of no use, at all, during the first two missions. I think that the players should be required to buy these buildings in the first place. i.e. the only buildings that should be accessible at the start are the Basic VAB, Basic Launch Pad, and Basic Mission Control. Right now, the area looks a bit crowded to a new player, to be honest. Starting with just the bare minimum of buildings for the first two contracts really sets the player up for a more simplified starting experience. Also, when a player comes back after their first two missions - you could offer the pop-up showing some of their construction options. Players will be much more interested in what a building does for them, after they buy it! Example: after the first contracts are done, the user might decide to by the Administration Building, granting them access to strategic initiatives, I guarantee that once someone buys the admin building, they will be more interested in kicking off a strategy to help their career. Another example: The first time they unlock the Tracking Station and see all the places they can go (and all the junk they've left behind, that might be recovered for some extra funds!) they player will be hooked on using the building - amplified by the fact that they paid for it in the first place.

2. Strategy Initiatives: Speaking of the Admin Building... Some of the strategies are entirely too prohibitive to start! A limit on the number of active strategies isn't a limit at all, if they can't be started in the first place. Entry fees for most strategies should be drastically lowered, so that players can kick them off. I like how the start-up cost is variable based on the commitment percentage, but the fixed values should be much more approachable. Some of these start-ups are so expensive that I would never use them, ever (250 Science points, I'm looking at you)... Again, getting people started in initiatives earlier is a way to hook them on the advantages, and keep your audience coming back to readjust their initiatives. Right now you only ever want to start an initiative once since it's so expensive - offering only a one-shot currency sink. If people can fidget with initiatives more, over time, users will sink their currencies into these initiatives over and over - encouraging them to go out and earn more! Also, if initiatives are easier to start, users will bang against the initiative limit of 2 strait away, encouraging them to upgrade the building (further sinking Funds out of their budgets).

2b. Basically, players need to be able to make decisions about what to spend their currencies on. While a limit on the number of strategies seems good on the surface, it's not a limit at all if the player can really only choose from one of eight strategies due to the high start-up cost. Lowering the initial costs of strategies and building upgrades.

3. Part progression / mission progression. This seems just about perfect for the early game - it shows that it has had a few cycles/releases to fine tune.

Edited by EtherDragon
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Having had a chance to play with this release for a little while, here are some (hopefully not too random) thoughts.

Editor Overhaul

Beautiful work. As I said in an earlier post, the changes to the editor are revolutionary. Gizmos are wonderful, should they be unlockable?

KSC Facilities

Upgradeable facilities are an excellent gameplay mechanic. Definitely a necessary part of the economic system, and a valuable incentive to do more missions. Having the maneuver nodes and ability to EVA be unlocked via building upgrades adds more sense of progression as players proceed through career mode.

I think unlockable content needs to be fleshed out much more, especially with more building tiers coming. Some ideas for things that could be unlockable with building upgrades:

- Gizmos

- Symmetry switching

- Display of interplanetary transfer windows

- Discovery/display of celestial bodies

- Crew transfer without EVA

- Visual representation of range/delta-v of a craft (maybe by showing a potential orbit in the tracking station.)

To improve the richness and complexity of the game, a lot could be added here.

Visually, to my eye, the quality of the tier 1 and tier 2 buildings is not up to the standard of the tier 3 buildings yet. It's a work in progress - 'nuff said.

Kerbal XP

Another system which adds significantly to gameplay. Once again, this is brand new and, from my viewpoint, also needs a lot of fleshing out. I would definitely like to see more reasons to want/need a particular Kerbal skill on a given mission. Some possibilities for skills that depend on a Kerbal's role or on the role/skill level combination:

- Scientist required to move science data from instruments to pods or from one pod to another

- Science lab only functions when crewed by scientists

- Engineer required to move fuel/electricity from one part of craft to another

- Engineer required to deploy solar panels on a craft that has run out of power

- Engineer required to deploy any part from outside the craft

- Engineer required to extract resources (assuming resource extraction becomes part of the core game)

- Pilots could have more autopilot-type skills, i.e. rendezvous, docking, even ascent and landing (I realize a lot of players will hate this idea. Just trying to think of ways the roles might be more valuable)

As others have pointed out, the changes to probe core tech really blunt the impact of the Pilot skill. Specifically, SAS is the only critical pilot skill, the rest are merely a matter of convenience. Since SAS is available with any probe core except the Stayputnik, once any of these are unlocked, pilot skill isn't that important. I'd definitely like the pilot role to have more value.

So far, only the scientist role has any improved value after level 3. Hopefully, the other skill levels will eventually be fleshed out so that they mean something.

Fine Print

A vast improvement over the available content in First Contract and Economic Boom, the addition of all the new contracts is, it seems to me, an essential part of the core game. I believe we now have a good start on the contract system. While there is more to be done here, the improvement in gameplay up to this point is enormous.

I would definitely like to see a much greater diversity of contracts. An even broader selection of contracted missions to choose from would probably improve career play for most players. The contract system already gives us the ability to decline contracts causing them to be replaced instantly with new, randomly generated, contracts. Along with enough variety of contracts, this should satisfy players with many different interests and play styles.

Another possibility to improve the contract system would be mission contracts that build on work done for previous contracts. For instance, after putting an orbital station up to fulfill a contract, a contract could appear asking you to add a lab, or another habitation module, or a part with more solar panels, or rotate the crew. Perhaps some contracts to do survey missions could be generated near where you already have infrastructure, with appropriately balanced payouts. This would lead you to use infrastructure placed for earlier contracts and could add significantly to the sense of progression in gameplay.

SAS & Probe Cores

Changes to SAS can definitely alter early career gameplay. I enjoyed the challenge of placing a satellite in a specific orbit without SAS, but I wonder if some players may find it daunting.

Giving the various probe cores all different characteristics is very interesting and definitely adds to the usefulness of many of the previously unerutilized cores. The SAS ability of most probe cores does, however, as noted above, vastly reduce the value of the SAS pilot skill.

Overall, I found the career mode gameplay richer and more interesting as well as much more challenging.

Edited by Starhawk
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Agree on satellite clutter! As your rep increases, the complexity & pay increases... when you get to the Mun, you start getting Mun satellite offers, and on and on... my Solar System view is a mess of orbit circles. Agree with pandaman, I think the contract should remove player control after the orbit is matched ("Thanks, we'll take it from here"), and clean them up, after a few days have passed.

That would ruin my devious take-two-birds-with-one-stone strategies where I FIRST put a satellite in the required Duna orbit and THEN after the 10 seconds of stability are passed I use it to land, take scientific data, and fulfill the exploration contract, all with a 70,000 credits vector + probe ensemble though :(.

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I like the idea of removal from orbit contracts. I'm sure directly connected contracts would add a little more relatedness between contracts.

IE:

1. Go scout this from orbit

2. Go scout this from land

3. Go build a base there

Or

1. put a Satellite into Orbit

2. Change that Satellites orbit to this:

3. De-orbit that Satellite and crash it here:

Or

1. Scout this from orbit

2. Take Science data from same orbit:

3. Build Station at this Orbit.

Im sure there could be more logical ones that can be connected. It would make more sense and give a player a reason to keep things around and remove them. Yea it cuts down on the freedom, but no one said you have to take these contracts. It just might not be as beneficial to not take a contract, as you already have the gear up there or down there, and the game knows it.

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All in all a great update!

.90 Cons:

As a whole the game needs to be balanced further.

Kerbal Experience isn't explained in enough detail. (I had to search the forums for further answers)

Space Center buildings are of poor model/texture quality.

Contracts lack any form of context. The differences between Agencies is nonexistent and interchangeable.

Too many Kerbin Contracts in general. (Early game is one thing, but I wish they'd taper off rather quickly- or alternatively, provide credits but minimum science)

New Biomes are awesome. Landscapes still look unimpressive (I realize this may be a later change. But its worth noting)

Building Upgrades aren't offering enough incentive. I dreaded the upgrades due to cost vs rewards.

By adding probe cores to any vessel, pilots become fairly useless.

With contracts really amping up the entire resource system (credits, science, rep) the admin building could really use some data for the player. Not just spending trends, but hard data on successful return trips, times landing on the planets, average use of different rockets, kilometers explored by rover...

Ultimately, the game has made some awesome strides forward. The gizmo's alone are amazing- in fact even with my complaints everything is moving in the right direction! Very excited as always-

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By adding probe cores to any vessel, pilots become fairly useless.

This isn't entirely accurate. Some probe cores simply provide unmanned control, while other more advanced probes provide additional functions like automatic attitude pointing towards different vectors, a target, or a maneuver node. A more experienced pilot will be able to outperform some probe cores. Depending on where you are in your tech tree, or how much money you have, you may not have the science points nor the funds to unlock and purchase the more advanced probe cores. In this case, experienced pilots ARE necessary.

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This isn't entirely accurate. Some probe cores simply provide unmanned control, while other more advanced probes provide additional functions like automatic attitude pointing towards different vectors, a target, or a maneuver node. A more experienced pilot will be able to outperform some probe cores. Depending on where you are in your tech tree, or how much money you have, you may not have the science points nor the funds to unlock and purchase the more advanced probe cores. In this case, experienced pilots ARE necessary.

But it's marginal at best. A single pilot or a single OKTO probe core gives you all the functionality that we've had up until 0.90 hit. Yes, for the first couple hours of play on Normal Stock mode, you have to use Jeb to get SAS. After that, he is unnecessary for everything we've done up until now. I'll admit that holding prograde and/or retrograde is pretty useful but it's by no means "necessary."

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One thing I'm not fond of in 0.90 is the fact that I can't lock the symmetry mode while building. If I'm in the SPH, then I want to be building in Mirror symmetry unless I change it to Radial for some reason. Don't know how many designs I've given up on because for whatever reason, the game gets it stuck in "You want Radial, right?" "No, I wanted Mirror. *presses toggle key*" "Ha! You'll be stuck in Radial symmetry unless you rip this whole structure apart and replace the one offending piece that I think you want in Radial mode."

If it wouldn't be too much work, can we have two buttons added to the GUI? Both under the Symmetry button, one being Symmetry Toggle and the other Symmetry Lock. And by default, have it locked?

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I'm sure this has been mentioned, but how could squad think that the level one runway would ever EVER get used? What insane pilot would think "hmmm, there is a nice, perfectly smooth grassy area to take off/land, or there is a thin strip of the roughest, most jagged terrain on the planet. RUNWAY IT IS!!" Actually, now that I think about it, that does sound a lot like Jeb's type of thinking.

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I'm sure this has been mentioned, but how could squad think that the level one runway would ever EVER get used? What insane pilot would think "hmmm, there is a nice, perfectly smooth grassy area to take off/land, or there is a thin strip of the roughest, most jagged terrain on the planet. RUNWAY IT IS!!" Actually, now that I think about it, that does sound a lot like Jeb's type of thinking.

Yeah if I haven't upgraded it I build my planes backwards so they can taxi off and take off to the west instead of the east. But the runway gets an upgrade pretty quick.

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I actually am the insane pilot, Yellow Dart. If I can take off or land on that runway, I can land anywhere. As for usefulness... Well, the bumps do occasionally tilt troublesome planes in such a manner that they catch wind under the wings and sail into the sky.

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I'm sure this has been mentioned, but how could squad think that the level one runway would ever EVER get used? What insane pilot would think "hmmm, there is a nice, perfectly smooth grassy area to take off/land, or there is a thin strip of the roughest, most jagged terrain on the planet. RUNWAY IT IS!!" Actually, now that I think about it, that does sound a lot like Jeb's type of thinking.

Hmmm, maybe the Island Airstrip should have this texture. It's not as though you have a smooth grassy area as an option over there. :cool:

Edited by Starhawk
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All in all a great update!

.90 Cons:

As a whole the game needs to be balanced further.

Kerbal Experience isn't explained in enough detail. (I had to search the forums for further answers)

Space Center buildings are of poor model/texture quality.

Contracts lack any form of context. The differences between Agencies is nonexistent and interchangeable.

Too many Kerbin Contracts in general. (Early game is one thing, but I wish they'd taper off rather quickly- or alternatively, provide credits but minimum science)

New Biomes are awesome. Landscapes still look unimpressive (I realize this may be a later change. But its worth noting)

Building Upgrades aren't offering enough incentive. I dreaded the upgrades due to cost vs rewards.

By adding probe cores to any vessel, pilots become fairly useless.

With contracts really amping up the entire resource system (credits, science, rep) the admin building could really use some data for the player. Not just spending trends, but hard data on successful return trips, times landing on the planets, average use of different rockets, kilometers explored by rover...

Ultimately, the game has made some awesome strides forward. The gizmo's alone are amazing- in fact even with my complaints everything is moving in the right direction! Very excited as always-

I have to support this. I still think it is a great Update but implementing Fineprint as it was, has been a bad decision.

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I have to support this. I still think it is a great Update but implementing Fineprint as it was, has been a bad decision.

I'd have to disagree with that. FinePrint has made contracts much less repetitive and much more interesting for me. There's certainly room for improvement but I wouldn't characterize it as a "bad decision".

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There's some good points here. I would say though that the first iteration of a lot of features in past updates were lacking as well, but as they were refined, balanced, and added to they became much better. My personal example was when the science and tech tree mechanic was added to make the career mode, I thought it was tedious and I hated it. But several updates later when they added the contract system and the admin strategies, I started playing career mode and enjoying it more than sandbox. I would guess that the next update or two a lot of the content that was added in 0.90 will be refined and balanced just as previous aspects of KSP were in 0.23, 0.24 and 0.25.

Regarding Fine Print specifically, I support the implementation. When I get tired of aerial surveys, I can switch to satellites, when I get tired of that, I can focus on parts testing, etc etc. Much less repetition indeed. I also like how you have to figure out how to meet the requirements of a orbital station or base while trying to remain in budget so you're not losing money, or at least not so much to negate the science or rep gain.

Edited by Raptor9
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Not sure if it's a bug or feature, but thought it was worth mentioning:

There's a way to exploit docking to allow you to bypass the "build new ship" contract requirement. Effectively it's possible to use the same old ship to complete an infinite number of contracts all requiring a "new ship to be built after the contract is completed", provided the ship has a docking port.

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I'm wondering about the possibility of getting some building upgrades as part of mission rewards for the career.

So for example, Orbit Kerbin gets you the tracking station upgrade to get your patched conics. Landing on the mun and minmus and returning with data would get you your manoeuvre nodes, etc.

Now I'm also thinking about a series of linked progressive contracts, more like a story I suppose. A bit like the altitude record ones that unlock once you hit 5k, 11k etc.

"Put a SCANSat in xyz orbit", then once complete put another one in the same orbit but delayed 90 degrees. Or even "We need a relay network, put 4 sats in XYZ orbit with this much separation"

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Some people are talking about how probe cores having SAS functionality makes pilots irrelevant, and I suppose they are right, but is that necessarily a bad thing? I launched some early rockets and crewed them with my engineers and scientists to try to level them up, and I have to say that doing anything without SAS was a miserable and frustrating endeavor. I was basically forced to stare at the navball while making constant, finger-fatiguing adjustments to my trajectory. Not fun at all.

So I'm forced to conclude that having SAS is a basic gameplay feature that is necessary for an enjoyable experience, and having it tied to one of the three classes was just not a good idea. Those of you who enjoy piloting without SAS and/or don't find it difficult can leave it turned off, but I think most players, especially newer ones, will want it available all the time.

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Would be nice if it just defaulted to putting a pilot in the cockpit if there is only 1 seat.

Bill sneaking in just cost me 10k lol.

EDIT: I wonder if that problem is now solved since I dragged Luster to the top of my list. Lets see.

EDIT 2: It would appear so! No more Bill trying to sneak aboard!

Edited by DBT85
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