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How balanced is the career in 0.90?

How's the balance of funds/science in the DEFAULT career?  

246 members have voted

  1. 1. How's the balance of funds/science in the DEFAULT career?

    • way too much science/ way too little funds
    • too much science, too little funds
    • about balanced
    • too much funds, too little science
    • way too much funds, way too little science
    • about balanced, but too much of both (too easy)
    • about balanced, but not enough of either (too hard)


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I think it's balanced. If anything, you need more funds but if you just take the strategy to convert rep to funds you're fine.

Of course, I'm a pretty advanced player who took Normal just to see what the baseline was like.

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Alright, I've worked on through those 1st tier blues, and am getting the place satellite missions. I see what people are saying, and I recant on my gripes. The place satellite missions are good income, especially with the collect science ones. Got VAB upgraded and am socking back the cash to get the R&D center upgraded. At that point I should be able to kick on Outsourced Data.

Please forgive my impatient gripes! :blush:

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Hmmm. I actually really enjoy the new balancing. Currently playing on moderate and I greatly enjoy the game much more, since it feels real with having to do menial tasks for funds.

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Well, more levels could be added in between that don't change the look of the buildings. I mean, the current 1st VAB is big, and a few simple behind the scenes upgrades would boost part count to 50. Then 75. Then 100 and tier 2 looks. Then 150. Then 255, and finally unlimited with tier 3 looks.

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I agree with this. While I don't find it a grind, there's this HUGE gap between 18 tons and 140 tons, and 30 parts and 255 parts. That's going from a comfortable Mun orbiter (or really squishy tight Mun lander, possibly) to an interplanetary station mission.

I would really like a tier of upgrades in between the starting facilities, and the first level upgraded facilities - like 70 parts and 50 tons (or thereabouts). That would take us from LKO/Munshots to Mun landers/small Mun stations.

I definitely agree there.

The practical difference between 30 and 255 parts is enormous. The difference between 255 and unlimited is meaningless for most people

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#1 There needs to be about 6-8 tiers of the runway/pad/VAB/SPH.

Part counts: 30,60,120,180,240,unlimited

Weight: 20t, 40t, 80t, 160t, 250t, 500t, unlimited

With costs at around 10k,20k,40k,80k,160k,320k,640k

#2 - The early "testing" missions need to be rebalanced upwards, especially the "flying" missions. Once you get into the sub-orbit and orbital testing contracts the payments are very decent, but early on when you only have two contract slots, offering a payment of 110 funds and zero science is just not good enough.

"landed at" missions need to be changed to "test on the runway or launchpad" description with a minimum reward of 2k + cost of the part to be tested. Yes, they are cheesy that you roll a part out to the runway/pad and hit spacebar, but you can role play that slightly as "static testing".

"flying" part test missions need to have a minimum of about 5k + 5 science

I end up rejecting dozens and dozens of contracts that get offered because they either have nonsensical test requirements (testing a BACC SRB at 18km altitude at a specific speed) or because they offer < 1000 funds and zero science points. Which makes the early game feel more like playing the slot wheels at a casino.

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I voted for "too hard" but that isn't really what is wrong with career mode. The problem is that the science mechanics are grindy and boring and the contracts are grindy and boring. Here are the changes I would make:

1. You should never have to click on anything to perform an experiment. Science points should automatically accrue whenever you take a science capable module through a zone. If I am launching a craft I don't want to be dealing with crew report nonsense. I just want the points.

2. There should be no contracts on the ground of Kerbin. If I wanted a flight simulator I would buy one. I want missions in space not on the ground.

3. A lot of altitude requirements of "test this part" contracts should be dropped. If you want me to test a part, then let me test it by actually using it, not by building a special purpose launch vehicle and then having to press the button at just the right moment. Changing "test this part" to "use this part in a vehicle that reaches orbit" would be a lot nicer.

4. Blow open the science tree into a forest. Have individual nodes for "Solar Panels 1/2/3" and "Jet Engines 1/2/3." If I don't want to build planes, then let me skip planes. If I don't want to build rockets, let me skip rockets. Let me focus on what I think is important to accomplishing my missions.

5. Provide some fringe benefits to repeated launches, but don't make it necessary. Currently you have to launch the same craft a half dozen times to get all the science data (because the stupid goo canister cannot be reset). Instead of a requirement, make it optional. If you repeat a mission a second or third time, then you: get experience points for pilots, reputation points for successful missions, improved stats for parts used in that vehicle (say a 5% weight reduction in those parts going forward). Perhaps every time you reuse a launch vehicle without changing it, it becomes a little bit cheaper, etc...

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I personally didn't have a problem with it - playing on Moderate difficulty I've now managed to unlock maneuver nodes, EVAs and more than 30 parts - I can go anywhere from here. I kind of enjoyed the challenge.

However, I also think it's not really well-designed for new players. The game should be teaching them how to play - I feel removing maneuver nodes at the start is a step in entirely the wrong direction. I managed to cope, but someone is bound to pick the "Explore the Mun" contract and find it's really hard to design a 30-part lander, and maybe they don't know the tricks to even actually get there. I also didn't like that it wouldn't show me the time to SOI change so I had to leave time acceleration at 1 for long times so as to not break the engine.

I think the game could stand a redesign of the tech tree, and an improved contract system. The parts testing contracts are just too silly and grindy to bother with, it would be much better to have meaningful goals like "launch a communications satellite" or "launch a ScanSat mapping satellite". The tech tree should have more easily unlocked stages with vital bits of infrastructure, such as solar panels, batteries or ladders.

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What was annoying me was the need to do like five satellites in a row before I could go to the Mun.

Well, after some more messing around... you don't have to do more than one or two satellites, really. Maybe none. Just get a Kerbal to the Mun, no need to return him just yet. This will unlock a host of other well-paying contracts. You still have to grind for your money, but after you've been on the Mun you've got much more to chose from, and the good old plant a flag / science from orbit contracts will work as well as always. Toss in the occasional part test (the more expensive the part, the better: look out for Kerbodyne engines) or "space station" around Kerbin, and you may occasionally want to do a survey for a change. There will be several surveys that are within ease range of basic jets *and* pay well enough.

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Well, I can't say much on the overall balance, since I'm porting a 0.25 save in Hard to 0.90 ( so full buildings on and a nice 8 million cushion on the funds ), but I can definitely say that Hard in 0.90 seems to be VERY funds starved, much more than science starved or reputation starved . Well 0.25 on hard was the exact opposite, so maybe the devs overcorrected, I guess ...

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250k before I can use action groups seem rather ridiculous.

I find it a massive grind as it is; not difficult by any means and incredibly repetitive without context or motivation. Not very fun, says the guy who runs regular supply runs to Laythe in sandbox.

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#1 There needs to be about 6-8 tiers of the runway/pad/VAB/SPH.

Part counts: 30,60,120,180,240,unlimited

Weight: 20t, 40t, 80t, 160t, 250t, 500t, unlimited

With costs at around 10k,20k,40k,80k,160k,320k,640k

"What Squad needs to do is create at least twice as many interesting scenes, buildings and destruction models to accommodate some arbitrarily smooth gatekeeping."

Why not just tweak the 3 tiers we have now to smooth better? I mean the existing teirs are perfectly fine functionally, they just require a lot of balancing.

2. There should be no contracts on the ground of Kerbin. If I wanted a flight simulator I would buy one. I want missions in space not on the ground.

aha

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Also a lot of players here need to look at the gatekeeping more objectively. I've said it before, but we're a bunch of veterans re-taking our flight exams over, and over, and over. Of course it feels dysfunctional not having access to maneuver nodes and action groups, but remember when you first started playing and didn't even know what they were? I don't think I started using action groups until well after I first made it to Duna, and nodes took me a while to really appreciate them and I used them only sporadically, and even then as general, confusing suggestion markers.

A lot of newbie play is a lot simpler than most of us have grown accustomed to.

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Squad doesn't have to create new scenes (art) for all the tiers immediately, they could (for now) just re-use the existing artwork across multiple tiers.

Multiple satellite contracts have more meaning if you have Remote Tech mod installed. You end up needing a LKO mesh with the 2.5Mm omnidirectional antennas plus a few sats at KEO with longer range directional dish antennas. So the early orbit contracts are useful to get paid for putting up those KSC -> anywhere link satellites.

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I mean the irony here is we're bickering over what's by-and-large placeholder values. I'd argue little to no tweaking and balancing time has been seriously applied to contracts, upgrade costs and values, even part costs are probably really slapdash right now because that's what beta is for. Alpha they just needed to get all the blocks on the table.

We're complaining the just-spilled box of Legos doesn't look like a house right out of the gate.

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I mean the irony here is we're bickering over what's by-and-large placeholder values. I'd argue little to no tweaking and balancing time has been seriously applied to contracts, upgrade costs and values, even part costs are probably really slapdash right now because that's what beta is for. Alpha they just needed to get all the blocks on the table.

We're complaining the just-spilled box of Legos doesn't look like a house right out of the gate.

You could call it complaining, or you could call it doing the tester's job. Up to you!

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Also a lot of players here need to look at the gatekeeping more objectively. I've said it before, but we're a bunch of veterans re-taking our flight exams over, and over, and over. Of course it feels dysfunctional not having access to maneuver nodes and action groups, but remember when you first started playing and didn't even know what they were? I don't think I started using action groups until well after I first made it to Duna, and nodes took me a while to really appreciate them and I used them only sporadically, and even then as general, confusing suggestion markers.

A lot of newbie play is a lot simpler than most of us have grown accustomed to.

So veteran players have nothing to look forward to, then? The game is complete as far as we veterans are concerned? Is it a game that you only play through once then? I've seen early access projects go down that route, with poor results; low player retention kind of makes your game irrelevant in the long run.

When I started playing, those utilities didn't exist. It is rather counterproductive to not have them from the new player perspective, since they are central to gameplay. Not having them only makes the game more difficult.

This kind of gatekeeping belongs in F2P progression and levelling, in my opinion, absolutely not in an open-ended game like KSP. It's the most overused mechanic ever....

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1. You should never have to click on anything to perform an experiment. Science points should automatically accrue whenever you take a science capable module through a zone. If I am launching a craft I don't want to be dealing with crew report nonsense. I just want the points.

Yeah, you're right. I shouldn't have to hit the throttle either, I should just be in orbit when I hit spacebar. Seriously that's what you sound like. If you don't want to do science then go play Sandbox mode, that is why it is there. If you want to play Career mode, I'm sorry, but you are probably going to have to click and interact with a few things.

2. There should be no contracts on the ground of Kerbin. If I wanted a flight simulator I would buy one. I want missions in space not on the ground.

There is no requirement to take any ground mission. In fact, the only 'ground' missions I did was the test x part on the launchpad mission. Everything else I did in space and I'm on Duna now sooo..

3. A lot of altitude requirements of "test this part" contracts should be dropped. If you want me to test a part, then let me test it by actually using it, not by building a special purpose launch vehicle and then having to press the button at just the right moment. Changing "test this part" to "use this part in a vehicle that reaches orbit" would be a lot nicer.

I don't mind the altitude requirements, it's the combination altitude with speed parameters that make them very difficult and usually not worth the time. Overall though, this is a good idea , and a ton of people have suggested it which makes it seem like a very common thought, which means it might very beneficial to be implemented this way.

4. Blow open the science tree into a forest. Have individual nodes for "Solar Panels 1/2/3" and "Jet Engines 1/2/3." If I don't want to build planes, then let me skip planes. If I don't want to build rockets, let me skip rockets. Let me focus on what I think is important to accomplishing my missions.

The tech tree is also another area of common complaint but probably hasn't a priority because for the moment it is working. Obviously it would make more sense to sort the tech tree out once all the parts that Squad intends to add are in. It doesn't really make sense to change the tree, add new parts, and possibly have to change the tree again.

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You could call it complaining, or you could call it doing the tester's job. Up to you!

I mean, we're not really testers, not by the occupational sense, nothing's asked of us formally, but that's another thread/debate.

So veteran players have nothing to look forward to, then? The game is complete as far as we veterans are concerned? Is it a game that you only play through once then?

Is this a concern for the restriction of the feature in your early-to-mid game? Because in terms of progression you do have access to nodes and action groups in the mid-to-end game, and certainly in the sandbox, which is typically where post-career veterans end up.

I'd also argue that yeah, in terms of development the game's major mechanics and structures are complete. It's not finished obviously, plenty of polish and content, tweaking and balancing, probably new parts and skills and a few bodies maybe, but if you're thinking they're not feature-complete having left alpha you may be disappointed.

When I started playing, those utilities didn't exist. It is rather counterproductive to not have them from the new player perspective, since they are central to gameplay. Not having them only makes the game more difficult.

They're not central to gameplay. They're central to advanced gameplay, and they're tremendously useful, but not central to certain stages of gameplay. That's the objectivity I'm suggesting we need to exercise. You can get to orbit and back without ever needing to set a node, and get to just about anywhere without ever needing to create an action group. It's best new players are weened into these advanced features and not confuse them right out of the gate.

This kind of gatekeeping belongs in F2P progression and levelling, in my opinion, absolutely not in an open-ended game like KSP. It's the most overused mechanic ever....

Sandbox.

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You know, I'm thinking I'd really like to see a no-science funds-only "Career/sandbox hybrid" for older players. A lot of the fun I had in 0.25 was figuring out how to build and fund my larger-scale missions on a budget.

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You know, I'm thinking I'd really like to see a no-science funds-only "Career/sandbox hybrid" for older players. A lot of the fun I had in 0.25 was figuring out how to build and fund my larger-scale missions on a budget.

Make a career game and give yourself max science and max science rewards. You should have the tree clear in a few minutes.

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Honestly, the ability to tweak the settings kind of make this a moot conversation, doesn't it? I suppose one could request the ability to change some of the percentage gains mid-game if they feel it needs some tweaking. I rather like the Normal settings: the easy science and the ability to revert means there is little grinding to do. Admittedly, you can find yourself running out of funds if you foolishly keep doing the 1-star and 2-star missions, as most of them don't pay as much money as it will cost to fly them (and you have a 2-contract limit which prevents a good stack of contracts per launch). Just reach high and things progress nicely.

I'm sure there will soon be plenty of guides on what to upgrade first for those that have a difficult time starting up, but I feel they've done a pretty good job with balance.

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The early career, yes, though there are tricks (apparently one dude cleared 400k in Normal on his first launch by creative use of contracts) to make it easier. Now, I'm playing on hard, so perhaps my experience isn't what you're after, but from where I sit science earnings and fund earnings are reasonably balanced on hard; I arrived at the funds to upgrade my R&D building (after doing the launchpad, astronaut complex, tracking station [could've skipped], and mission control) with one 90-science node left to unlock.

With one exception: Outsourced R&D pays out ridiculous amounts of science if you have it running at 25%, let alone the 60% from an upgraded building. At 25% I would not be materially impacted in terms of cash-- I might need to do an extra satellite mission or two-- and the ~500k funds would translate into something like 16,000 science, enough to push the tech tree nearly to the end.

What is not balanced is the funds awarded per contract relative to the other contracts and the difficulty of achieving them.

For myself, I'd make a few changes:

1. Nerf Outsourced R&D dramatically. An order of magnitude at least.

2. Boost the initial science returns from actually doing science in places.

3. Reduce the science awards from random contract completions.

4. Boost the funds awarded from the early random contracts (in particular, the low-tier "test this part" ones)

5. Drop the funds awarded from the higher-tier random contracts (in particular, high-tier "test this part" ones)

6. Boost the funds and science awarded for the one-time completion missions (altitude, orbit, explore X body)

7. Segregate the one-time missions from the others and make it so that they a. are automatically all accepted and b. do not count against your maximum contract limit. It's irritating to accidentally lock yourself out of them because you met their objectives without having the contract accepted. I'm looking at you, altitude records. Hide the ones that you're probably not expected to make to avoid list clutter but keep 'em active so that if you do it by mistake, you still get the rewards. F'rexample, initially you'd have "Launch New Ship", "5000m", "11,000m", "22,000m", "Space", "Orbit" visible. If for some reason you happen to orbit the Mun on your first mission, though, you'll still get the Mun subobjective completed and the rewards for it. Achieving Kerbin orbit would make Duna, Mun, Minmus visible, etc.

Edited by foamyesque

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