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KerikBalm

Scientists - how do they work?

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So this latest update has changed a few significant things with regards to science collection.

But mostly, I'm wondering about the scientists... this science recovery bonus... I'm guessing it doesn't change the maximum science you can get from a bonus, simply that it will take fewer repeats to max out the science?

Ie, returning a temperature scan (1 experiment maxes out the return) - it won't make a difference if there was a scientist or not, right?

Suppose I have a lvl 4 scientist, with a +20% science modifier, and I run a hypothetical experiment that returns 80% of the remaining available science.

So if the experiment, repeated ad infinitum, would yield 100 science points, and 1 experiment yields 80... will the scientist max out the science after 1 experiment? or is it not 20 percentage points, but the return value *1.2 (capped at 100%, obviously)... so that the 80% science return becomes 96%... sort of the way the mobile lab works, but for physical returns rather than transmissions.

Next: does a scientist have any effect on transmitted data without the use of the lab? Does the scientist increase the effectiveness of the lab?

The lab took a pretty heavy nerf to its transmission efficiency (I've argued for a buff), is this to offset the effect of having a high level scientist?

If so, I still think its dumb... the transmission function was already nearly useless... now its even more of simple a 3.5 ton weight to lug around to reset goo and mat bays.

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If so, I still think its dumb... the transmission function was already nearly useless... now its even more of simple a 3.5 ton weight to lug around to reset goo and mat bays.

Actually lab is great. Think about landing on each biome of a different planet. The lab is supposed to be left in orbit...

Transmission is also useful, you transmit, then bring a sample home. You get all the science this way, so you needn't revisit said biome. Think about visiting each biome of Jool's moons... It even helps for the local moons. Honestly I don't remember case I didn't use lab+lander to clear up all the biomes on Minmus and the Mun.

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yes, I use it to harvest multiple biomes too. In the past (before part, size, and weight limits), I could do a single mission to get mun and minmus biomes.

I still have to lug it to orbit, and to the mun, even if I leave it in orbit.

But only a 15% bonus to transmission efficiency? I just won't transmit the non-reusable experiment results. Its easy enough to transmit from the surface, re-run the experiment, load it into the pod, re-run the experiment, and then dock, and do a boosted transmission of one copy, while you store the other for return (and since the repeatable experiments are massless, you can bring 2 of them easily if you want to return more)

But I am not going to transmit the data from a mat bay. Going from 20% transmission efficiency to 23% transmission efficiency with the lab is a waste.

I've modded the transmission stats on previous games (25% instead of 20% base efficiency, 50% instead of 30% boosted efficiency), and with the diminishing returns for multiple returns, I'd get almost the same amount of science by doing 1 boosted transmissio, and 1 return vs 2 returns...

But this 15% boost... useless.

The utility of the lab lies in 2 things:

#1) Resetting experiments

#2) Boosting transmission

They made #2 useless now.

The whole thing isn't useless, I just don't understand why they did that. Its not as if transmitting data from a lab was OP'd.

FWIW, I'm done simple mod in previous saves to make an unmanned "automated lab" that can't reset experiments, but did give the transmission boost. I'd like to see something like that added. Its good for 1 way probes.

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I've been on several threads talking about this question. In my experience, I cannot see ANY changes that scientists supposedly help with. I've tried many different scenarios to get a change in science (transmitting, recovering, etc.) but I can't see any indication that scientists help and neither can anyone else as far as I've seen. If anyone can get some actual specific data showing changes in their science values through Kerbal scientists it would be much appreciated. Otherwise, I think it is a bug that only works in theory. I hope it is a bug, because in my gameplay scientists have been useless. I don't mean to complain, I just hope I'm either very wrong or this can get fixed soon.

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Scientists do in fact boost lab efficiency as far as I saw, at least in theory.

In any case I usually make a lander with 4 mat bays (makes it pretty stable to land), put the lab in polar orbit of Mun and take 2 in each biome then hop to the next. Once done I transfer to minmus.

Transmissions are also good for contracts, you can actually make lots of cash that way so it does make some sense collecting them in the lab and transmitting when required.

It also helps when getting science from far away places, rather than waiting for return window and trip.

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can't answer the scientist boost question (I came here hoping for an answer too :)) however I like transmissions on small probes.

You can stick 4 goo and one or 2 materials bay (with a means to detach them once used to reduce mass if desired) on small probes and ping them around the solar system for some nice science.

Yes, you will need to repeat and recover to max the science out but they give decent % the first few transmissions, and can easily be sending over 50-100 science for each experiment (100-200 per probe). A very useful bonus, and an excellent way to practice maneuvres before you send up Kerbals, in the early-mid career game. And, all for a cost of about 5k per probe including launch costs (I send up 2 at once on a simple rocket + SRBs).

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The big problem is that unless you do some sort of super hard mode, science experiments are almost useless outside of how they can get you contracts.

I mean, really. 400 science for putting a space station up, or a dozen science for a temperature scan on Mun. Sign me up for the station contract, please.

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The big problem is that unless you do some sort of super hard mode, science experiments are almost useless outside of how they can get you contracts.

I mean, really. 400 science for putting a space station up, or a dozen science for a temperature scan on Mun. Sign me up for the station contract, please.

I agree with this completely.

But at least some of the contracts are fun (like building Mun base etc) though could do with them better integrated with later contracts (e.g. 'Extend your base by adding 8t of fuel') and it counting anything landed within a certain radius of each other as part of the same base.

On the other hand, I had a silly testing contract for an engine that, because of some reputation and funds to science conversion thingies (forgot the name) gave me 1.5k science, thus unlocking pretty much a whole tier of tech. This was silly and demotivated me to do the more interesting contracts.

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Off-topic, but with KCT (Kerbal Construction Time), you can convert excess science points into improving your SPH/VAB construction speed. Helps to give a reason to do science after finishing out the tech tree.

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How much would a science bonus ever really mean?

All this "reset the experiment" talk is only relevant to two experiments. You can land on the Mun and do temperature, gravitron, seismic, surface and EVA experiments and simply collect all the data and fly it back to Kerbin. You can always do a crew report and transmit for 100% science.

I'm really noticing this because I wanted to focus on doing contracts and getting $$, so I never bothered with the weight of these two experiments, or tried to land anywhere other than needed for a contract. Instead of trying to farm science of from Mun and Minmus like usual, I just went about doing things and by the time I had my sights set on Duna, only the final tier of the tech tree remained.

Between Duna and Ike, it still got cleared out. So what benefit would there really be in any form of science bonus?

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How much would a science bonus ever really mean?

All this "reset the experiment" talk is only relevant to two experiments. You can land on the Mun and do temperature, gravitron, seismic, surface and EVA experiments and simply collect all the data and fly it back to Kerbin. You can always do a crew report and transmit for 100% science.

I'm really noticing this because I wanted to focus on doing contracts and getting $$, so I never bothered with the weight of these two experiments, or tried to land anywhere other than needed for a contract. Instead of trying to farm science of from Mun and Minmus like usual, I just went about doing things and by the time I had my sights set on Duna, only the final tier of the tech tree remained.

Between Duna and Ike, it still got cleared out. So what benefit would there really be in any form of science bonus?

I completely agree with this. I'm going to make an orbital lab manned by scientists, but only because I like the idea of it. The bonus is practically worthless. I focus on doing stuff because it's cool. The only thing I ever worry about is having enough money!

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