Yemo

[1.3.x] SETI, Unmanned before Manned [Patreon]

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After playing for a few days, it seems to me that the contracts pay out way too much. I'm playing on hard difficulty, with payout at 60%, reputation gain set at 60%, and am just now getting to "Manned Minmus Landing". This contract is offering $200,000 and +90 reputation. My launchpad and VAB are already fully upgraded, Mission Control, Tracking Station, R&D, and Astronaut Complex are all level 2. I have $488,000 in the bank. This is with no Adminstration Building strategies in place. 90 reputation seems like a crazy amount of rep, and 200k seems excessive also. I'd also like to point out that I have yet to even land on the Mun or Minmus to gather science experiments, and am still early in the tech tree.

Compare this to the stock contract, "Ultimate Kerbin Challenge", which is 3 stars and pays $250,000 and 30 rep (which is the biggest rewards I've seen from stock so far), and it may make you think the contracts are a bit overpowered. For now, I'll just edit my persistent save and lower the gains so they result in something more reasonable (or just start another game with lower payouts).

Just making an observation, not complaining. I'm loving the progression of the contracts, as it makes the game seem to have more of both a story, and a point.

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If you're rolling in that much money, I want to be doing whatever you're doing... Admittedly, I just completed "Manned Orbit and Recovery," so I have a ways to go, but even so, I have Level 2 upgrades for the launchpad, Astronaut Complex, Tracking Station, and Mission Control... and that's it. Scraping together enough money to upgrade the VAB to Level 2 and still be able to launch rockets is proving challenging. :( (FYI, I'm also playing on 60% Funds Rewards, but 100% Reputation Rewards, and 100% Penalties across the board).

Might just be an issue with how I play the game, but up until reading that post I felt like I was doing pretty well. :blush:

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After playing for a few days, it seems to me that the contracts pay out way too much. I'm playing on hard difficulty, with payout at 60%, reputation gain set at 60%, and am just now getting to "Manned Minmus Landing". This contract is offering $200,000 and +90 reputation. My launchpad and VAB are already fully upgraded, Mission Control, Tracking Station, R&D, and Astronaut Complex are all level 2. I have $488,000 in the bank. This is with no Adminstration Building strategies in place. 90 reputation seems like a crazy amount of rep, and 200k seems excessive also. I'd also like to point out that I have yet to even land on the Mun or Minmus to gather science experiments, and am still early in the tech tree.

Compare this to the stock contract, "Ultimate Kerbin Challenge", which is 3 stars and pays $250,000 and 30 rep (which is the biggest rewards I've seen from stock so far), and it may make you think the contracts are a bit overpowered. For now, I'll just edit my persistent save and lower the gains so they result in something more reasonable (or just start another game with lower payouts).

Just making an observation, not complaining. I'm loving the progression of the contracts, as it makes the game seem to have more of both a story, and a point.

If you're rolling in that much money, I want to be doing whatever you're doing... Admittedly, I just completed "Manned Orbit and Recovery," so I have a ways to go, but even so, I have Level 2 upgrades for the launchpad, Astronaut Complex, Tracking Station, and Mission Control... and that's it. Scraping together enough money to upgrade the VAB to Level 2 and still be able to launch rockets is proving challenging. :( (FYI, I'm also playing on 60% Funds Rewards, but 100% Reputation Rewards, and 100% Penalties across the board).

Might just be an issue with how I play the game, but up until reading that post I felt like I was doing pretty well. :blush:

Yep, the contracts are OP, there are several reasons:

1. The economy (contracts, parts, building upgrades especially with penalty slider) is totally imbalanced anyway, and contracts are mainly for roleplaying. No real reason to balance the contracts when the rest is so imbalanced anyway.

2. With all the modifiers for target bodies and prestige, I would have to calculate every base payout. Because of 1., that was not worth the effort so far.

3. The whole stock contract system is a major headache. The SETI contracts have to be competitive with totally imbalanced stock contracts.

I agree that it is not balanced, but I kind of lack the motivation to solve all the underlying problems or put time into really balancing the SETI contracts if everything else is a total mess.

It works for casual derping around, everything else requires roleplay anyway.

Considering the recent squad updates, that is working as intended by squad.

- - - Updated - - -

edit: I have some more challenging gameplay in mind, might do some minor rebalances of the contracts if I feel bored enough to fight the squad windmills of unmotivated disimprovements.

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If you're rolling in that much money, I want to be doing whatever you're doing... Admittedly, I just completed "Manned Orbit and Recovery," so I have a ways to go, but even so, I have Level 2 upgrades for the launchpad, Astronaut Complex, Tracking Station, and Mission Control... and that's it. Scraping together enough money to upgrade the VAB to Level 2 and still be able to launch rockets is proving challenging. :( (FYI, I'm also playing on 60% Funds Rewards, but 100% Reputation Rewards, and 100% Penalties across the board).

Might just be an issue with how I play the game, but up until reading that post I felt like I was doing pretty well. :blush:

And I didn't even mention that I have "no entry purchased required on research" disabled, so I've also had to buy each item after I unlock the research category using science points. I also have 4 permanent satellites orbiting Kerbin, 2 around the Mun, 1 parked on the Mun, and 3 around Minmus. And I didn't even do any contracts that asked to test at the launchpad. Most of my money was from SETI Contracts and the Remote Tech Contracts Pack (which also seems to pay too much). Started a new game and with the FundsGainMultiplier and RepGainMultiplier set to 30% payout, it looks like it'll be (hopefully) just the amount of difficulty I'm looking for.

Once you're finished with the necessary KSC upgrades (the strategies building can be left at level 1, and most others except the launchpad (and maybe VAB) can be left at 2), you'll be swimming in money, or will only need to do contracts when you need money for rocket parts. I think what this game needs is a "daily maintenance/upkeep cost" to maintain KSC. But even that won't work for most people (now that I think about it), since fast-forwarding to get your ships interplanetary would drain your bank account real fast...

To up the ante in difficulty, I've made my own "rule". No manned flights unless their flight path is covered by Remote Tech communications satellites. I really wish there was a way to disable the player's ability to create maneuver nodes. It would be awesome if that ability could be toggled off whenever the manned ship lost contact with Mission Control (as defined by Remote Tech's unmanned flight rules).

Thanks for the reply, Yemo. I think I'll also add another rule for myself, either don't accept OP contracts, or if I do and complete them, then I'll just accept other contracts and abandon them to penalize myself for however much I think the reward should have been lowered by.

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And I didn't even mention that I have "no entry purchased required on research" disabled, so I've also had to buy each item after I unlock the research category using science points. I also have 4 permanent satellites orbiting Kerbin, 2 around the Mun, 1 parked on the Mun, and 3 around Minmus. And I didn't even do any contracts that asked to test at the launchpad. Most of my money was from SETI Contracts and the Remote Tech Contracts Pack (which also seems to pay too much). Started a new game and with the FundsGainMultiplier and RepGainMultiplier set to 30% payout, it looks like it'll be (hopefully) just the amount of difficulty I'm looking for.

Pretty safe to say I now feel inadequate (definitely have "No Entry Purchase Required" active...). Hopefully I'll be able to "catch up" by the time I'm further along in the career, though. :blush:

One day...

Edited by Landwalker

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And I didn't even mention that I have "no entry purchased required on research" disabled, so I've also had to buy each item after I unlock the research category using science points. I also have 4 permanent satellites orbiting Kerbin, 2 around the Mun, 1 parked on the Mun, and 3 around Minmus. And I didn't even do any contracts that asked to test at the launchpad. Most of my money was from SETI Contracts and the Remote Tech Contracts Pack (which also seems to pay too much). Started a new game and with the FundsGainMultiplier and RepGainMultiplier set to 30% payout, it looks like it'll be (hopefully) just the amount of difficulty I'm looking for.

Once you're finished with the necessary KSC upgrades (the strategies building can be left at level 1, and most others except the launchpad (and maybe VAB) can be left at 2), you'll be swimming in money, or will only need to do contracts when you need money for rocket parts. I think what this game needs is a "daily maintenance/upkeep cost" to maintain KSC. But even that won't work for most people (now that I think about it), since fast-forwarding to get your ships interplanetary would drain your bank account real fast...

To up the ante in difficulty, I've made my own "rule". No manned flights unless their flight path is covered by Remote Tech communications satellites. I really wish there was a way to disable the player's ability to create maneuver nodes. It would be awesome if that ability could be toggled off whenever the manned ship lost contact with Mission Control (as defined by Remote Tech's unmanned flight rules).

Thanks for the reply, Yemo. I think I'll also add another rule for myself, either don't accept OP contracts, or if I do and complete them, then I'll just accept other contracts and abandon them to penalize myself for however much I think the reward should have been lowered by.

Pretty safe to say I now feel inadequate. Hopefully I'll be able to "catch up" by the time I'm further along in the career, though. :blush:

I guess the OPness really comes into play for the contracts going to the targets with higher multipliers, so no need to feel inadequate.

Originally I intended to revisit the contracts when the CustomBarnKit allows more than 3 upgrade levels. Unfortunately it does not seem that this will happen soon.

Will revisit the contract payouts since I have to work on the contracts anyways (manned landing, records and so on).

Though I cant promise really balanced contracts due to the aforementioned reasons, I ll try to make them less OP.

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To be fair, just about anyone does anywhere on this website makes me feel inadequate. When you haven't been further than Minmus since 0.22 and haven't been further than Duna ever, it's not hard to do. :P Hopefully one day I'll understand how folks are so darn good at this stuff.

--- Edit ---

That said, I don't mind feeling challenged at allâ€â€and I certainly feel challenged as far as picking up my new program by the bootstraps. But I wouldn't want (and hopefully won't face) the same penny-pinching atmosphere for a well-established program, so I'm actually happy that later contracts are high-paying. My attitude is that once you get through the lean early days of the program, the challenge should be more determined by what the player wants to do (with some guidance from the contracts) and less by "I need to do a handful of asinine parts-testing missions or whatever that I've already done in various forms a dozen times, all so I can fund a mission that's actually interesting."

Edited by Landwalker

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To be fair, just about anyone does anywhere on this website makes me feel inadequate. When you haven't been further than Minmus since 0.22 and haven't been further than Duna ever, it's not hard to do. :P Hopefully one day I'll understand how folks are so darn good at this stuff.

--- Edit ---

That said, I don't mind feeling challenged at allâ€â€and I certainly feel challenged as far as picking up my new program by the bootstraps. But I wouldn't want (and hopefully won't face) the same penny-pinching atmosphere for a well-established program, so I'm actually happy that later contracts are high-paying. My attitude is that once you get through the lean early days of the program, the challenge should be more determined by what the player wants to do (with some guidance from the contracts) and less by "I need to do a handful of asinine parts-testing missions or whatever that I've already done in various forms a dozen times, all so I can fund a mission that's actually interesting."

Yeah, that is the problem. Most of those contracts can be completed by very light and cheap craft (probe telemetry report is enough), for which the payouts are OP by a factor of 20 or more.

They are more like roleplay guidelines.

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I've certainly been using them as guidelines. Just tried to finish the minmus and kerbol contract, along with a orbital survey contract needing low kerbol orbit at the same time. Pulled it off with a probe that had just the bare necessities and still needed 3 stages and 10,000+ delta/v. But I made it :)

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It appears the antennas you have put into the pods are overwriting vens lights. So now when choosing to turn on the antennas iy also toggles the lights, with no option to do it separately, as it is tied into the "retract/deploy" option now.

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I've certainly been using them as guidelines. Just tried to finish the minmus and kerbol contract, along with a orbital survey contract needing low kerbol orbit at the same time. Pulled it off with a probe that had just the bare necessities and still needed 3 stages and 10,000+ delta/v. But I made it :)

Hm, Minmus & Kerbol only requires to dip out of Kerbin SoI (85Mm from Kerbin), which only requires less than 100m/s dV more than a Mun flyby. Which is the reason for the early availability of this mission.

It appears the antennas you have put into the pods are overwriting vens lights. So now when choosing to turn on the antennas iy also toggles the lights, with no option to do it separately, as it is tied into the "retract/deploy" option now.

Lol, no idea how that works. I just add a module. If anyone has a recommendation how to prevent this, please tell me.

In other news, SQUAD seems to be determined to continue the disimprovements in 1.1:

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/content/350

The first feature is probe telemetry. With this, a probe must establish a connection back to Kerbin or another ‘control point’ via an antenna part in order to operate - be controlled by the player, or active in any way. These control points are the planet Kerbin, or a craft with an antenna, a pilot Kerbal, and optionally a large probe core.

An example of using pilots as a control point would be a mission over Duna where a piloted command module serves as the remote control point for a landed, unmanned rover. If the player has a non-pilot Kerbal on board, they can still fly the ship, but they would lose access to the probe’s piloting capabilities (i.e. a ship where a player uses a probe core for control, and crews it with a non-pilot).

So connection requirement for control, but no flight computer, rofl (and tying in the horrible/non-config moddable kerbal experience/caste system).

Effectively making probe mission much more time/resource demanding (relays) than manned missions (no life support) in stock...

Again one of those "interesting/shiny features" but no thought whats-o-ever to the features interactions with the rest of the framework/gameplay/balance.

List of features extended, incentivised gameplay balance shot up, again...

I guess it is now time to come to terms with the fact that (marketable) features over gameplay was not just a string of mistakes (experience/caste system/artificial progression restrictions/heat system), but is the new maxim for "development".

Continued disimprovements are here to stay and grow.

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It ain't that bad. Just need a LS mod and a mod to add signal delay and a flight computer and....

I applaud them for adding this, but no flight computer and no incentive to use probes (or not use kerbals) means that it isn't really a complete feature IMHO..

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It ain't that bad. Just need a LS mod and a mod to add signal delay and a flight computer and....

I applaud them for adding this, but no flight computer and no incentive to use probes (or not use kerbals) means that it isn't really a complete feature IMHO..

Yeah, the idea is great, but the execution has to be seen within the existing framework/situation.

And the only word I can find for that is "horrible disimprovement".

It would have been great if they just restricted science transmission to an active connection.

For control restriction (and no life support) you need a flight computer to not relegate probes to roleplay only.

2 great choices benefiting gameplay, but they invented a 3rd one which makes the feature a disimprovement and just acts as a discouragement for using probes.

Another topic:

CKAN seems to have serious updating issues at the moment.

SETIctt patch 0.9.1.4 was released more than 36 hours ago, but is not indexed by CKAN so far.

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And the only word I can find for that is "horrible disimprovement".

The only reaction I can have is "At least we have the modding community." :huh: As long as they don't do too much to shoot that up... If it ends up being something that overrides or nullifies things like RemoteTech or AntennaRange, though, I might lose my marbles.

My attitude with stock changes at this point is basically "Do whatever you want, just don't completely break the fundamental elements of the game, and don't make it impossible for the modding community to change." With maybe a side of "improve the job system," but that seems farfetched.

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Well, yes, my biggest concern toward this is that they don't screw things so bad that is no longer possible to mod for anyone preference.

Like that new heat system, they took only one part of deadly reentry features (skin heating) without looking big picture and poorly implemented in stock game because other stuff from DRE is missing. Making things lot worse than it was before, creating tons of bugs whent interacts with most popular mods around and forcing me to quit playing for a while until proper fix is found by either Squad or moding comunity.

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Hm, Minmus & Kerbol only requires to dip out of Kerbin SoI (85Mm from Kerbin), which only requires less than 100m/s dV more than a Mun flyby. Which is the reason for the early availability of this mission.

I waited to do that particular contract, and I the orbital contract needed LOW kerbol orbit, so it was at less than 1 Mm. Hence the 10,000 dV

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Anybody know how well/poorly Firespitter plays with SETIctt?

Edited by Landwalker

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Anybody know how well/poorly Firespitter plays with SETIctt?

For me it works pretty good, could you specify what exactly you mean?

On that topic: does anyone know some 1.0.4 SETI compatible mods that fill the following nodes:

Colonization

Automation

Mechatronics

Ressource Exploitation

Advanced Motors

Experimental Motors

Wide Body Aerodynamics

Aerspace Composites

Specializeed Flight Systems

Aerospace Tech

Experimental Aircraft Engines

Experimental Actuators

Exotic Alloys

Gigantic Rocketry

Collosal Rocketry

And mby filling out other nodes more

edit: here is my modlist

Edited by Akronymus
added modlist

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For me it works pretty good, could you specify what exactly you mean?

On that topic: does anyone know some 1.0.4 SETI compatible mods that fill the following nodes:

Colonization

Automation

Mechatronics

Ressource Exploitation

Advanced Motors

Experimental Motors

Wide Body Aerodynamics

Aerspace Composites

Specializeed Flight Systems

Aerospace Tech

Experimental Aircraft Engines

Experimental Actuators

Exotic Alloys

Gigantic Rocketry

Collosal Rocketry

And mby filling out other nodes more

edit: here is my modlist

hmmm, try space-y lifters, kerbal foundries wheels, mark IV system (its an awesome plane), should fill out a few of those for you.

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Yeah these mods gave some nodes a use. specifically:

advanced motors

specialized flight systems

aerospace composites

aerospace tech

experimental aircraft engines

so, thank you very much

Edited by Akronymus

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I'm trying to fulfill the station contract, "Kerbin Orbital Station!", which says "...consisting of at least one station part (eg Mobile Processing Lab)". So I built a ship which includes all the specified parts (docking port, crew of 2, Mobile Processing Lab) and put it in orbit. The contract then says that I have no "station part". I see in the cfg file that it actually says for the parameter, "vesselType = Station". Yet in looking at the Squad part file for the MPL (largeCrewedLab.cfg), it says "vesselType = Ship". So it's not possible to complete using the MPL. Are there any actual stock parts by Squad that are of vesselType = Station?

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I too have a problem with those contracts. It's not clear as to what is required. For example I am stuck with a "Manned Power Landing on Kerbin". Apparently a MK1 pod with a pilot, a TLV-200 fuel tank and a LV-T45 engine do not meet the criteria of no aero and parachute parts and 1 kerbal crew reaching 500m. Plus you still get a parachute with the very first note which is probably not intended (part given is RealChute Cone Chute)

EDIT: it seems like if you launch any kind of vessel after taking this contract then it is impossible to complete it as it will look for that other vessel instead. Might be same problem with the space station parts. If you launch anything after taking the contract it might be looking at a different vessel. I aborted the contract after I had my satellites I wanted in place and it worked with the same configuration.

Edited by HellDuke

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Here's the real issue (for me) that I see with this tech tree mod. While the technology is laid out in a very well thought out manner, if you're using MKS, the majority of the parts are available very late, or at the end of the tech tree. Maybe this is RoverDude's categorization as well as this modified tree, but the issue that I have with this is that it makes the entire point of colonization moot.

What I was looking forward to was the ability to colonize other planets/moons, set up resource extraction sites, as well as science-collecting sites, to further my expansion in the solar system. However, since the required technology to do all this is at the end of the tech tree, this means that by the time I can do all this, there will be no point in doing it, since I will be finished with the tech tree and have no further need of science. At that point it just becomes sandbox play. This goes back to the original difficulty curve in collecting science in this game, where you could finish the tech tree before ever leaving Kerbin's SOI. For many players (myself included), this results in a loss of motivation for further exploration.

Upon reflection, I think that in order to play the game the way I envision it, I'm going to have to come up with my own tech tree that allows base-building and mining earlier in the tech tree, while moving a number of the science-gathering instruments to later in the tech tree. This will encourage base-building on the Mun/Minmus to create a refueling station, and a slow colonization/expansion into the rest of the solar system. Unless someone knows of a mod that already does this?

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Here's the real issue (for me) that I see with this tech tree mod. While the technology is laid out in a very well thought out manner, if you're using MKS, the majority of the parts are available very late, or at the end of the tech tree. Maybe this is RoverDude's categorization as well as this modified tree, but the issue that I have with this is that it makes the entire point of colonization moot.

What I was looking forward to was the ability to colonize other planets/moons, set up resource extraction sites, as well as science-collecting sites, to further my expansion in the solar system. However, since the required technology to do all this is at the end of the tech tree, this means that by the time I can do all this, there will be no point in doing it, since I will be finished with the tech tree and have no further need of science. At that point it just becomes sandbox play. This goes back to the original difficulty curve in collecting science in this game, where you could finish the tech tree before ever leaving Kerbin's SOI. For many players (myself included), this results in a loss of motivation for further exploration.

Upon reflection, I think that in order to play the game the way I envision it, I'm going to have to come up with my own tech tree that allows base-building and mining earlier in the tech tree, while moving a number of the science-gathering instruments to later in the tech tree. This will encourage base-building on the Mun/Minmus to create a refueling station, and a slow colonization/expansion into the rest of the solar system. Unless someone knows of a mod that already does this?

While I'm not familiar with "Bog-standard Community Tech Tree", have you tried just using that? (And if so, does/would it help with the problem you're running into?) There's also OpenTree, but I don't know where the MKS parts fall on that.

I also saw this relative newcomer the other day. It doesn't look like he's incorporated the Kolonization stuff yet, though.

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