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Should Squad drop backwards compatibility with the new aerodynamics? (2nd update in OP)

Should Squad drop backwards compatibility with the new aerodynamics?  

510 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Squad drop backwards compatibility with the new aerodynamics?

    • Yes
      409
    • No
      51
    • I don't care
      50


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Stock aerodynamics has been at the top of the list of things the player community are annoyed about for a long time. Backwards compatibility would help to preserve the flying pancakes and stupid designs that we all want to see the end of. Few tears will be shed for the demise of such designs.

With Harv edit about using the old stock planes designed for the old broken aerodynamics as a "control", i fear the changes are going to be fairly minimal and stupid designs like a cube will still be able to fly as good (or even better) that aerodynamic planes

And what do you have against the V-173?

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It could confirm the poll and ensure it's more accurate given a larger data set. My idea of Squad polling users wouldn't just be for a single question like this. They could have a survey with multiple questions covering multiple topics. You could get 4,000 replies instead of 400. More info is never a bad thing.
Because it supports the "do nothing" action.

FWIW, Reddit seems to think it's BS as well

http://www.reddit.com/r/KerbalSpaceProgram/comments/2scl9k/harvester_details_the_aero_overhaul/

Well, for my purposes I was just trying to give the "No" crowd the benefit of the doubt.

But I do think that it's possible this poll is misleading. It's not exactly scientific. For all we know, the link has been posted in places where "Yes" people are more likely to see it. For all we know, the people who would vote "No" might tend to be the sort of people who just goof around on their own and don't frequent online KSP communities. And their voice matters too, even if they're not vocal. My point is merely that we don't KNOW how accurate this poll is.

That said, it's probably dead on, and I was being conservative.

There's a pattern that I've noticed. Whenever there's a controversial topic, the camp that gets the least votes will say something like "let's add 10 or 20% to our numbers because this poll could be skewed/the sample size is too small, etc". I think even I did that once.

For some bizarre reason they never assume that the proportions are the same everywhere, and they never assume that the silent majority of players would shift the numbers even further towards the majority opinion.

Well you're just pointing out the inherent flaws in listening to ANY feedback. It seems HarvesteR isn't quite listening to what people are saying anyway, and (as I see it) is missing the point behind peoples concerns over backwards compatibility.

Yes, that update seems to one giant red herring. Maybe he's just trying to backpedal from his original plan by pretending that we didn't understand it.

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And what do you have against the V-173?

The V-173 went sideways, not straight up. :P

I hope that SQUAD understand why people were so disturbed by "backwards compatibility". For me the scary part wasn't the backward compatibility itself, but the fact that it implied compatibility with broken design from a broken model

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HarvesteR updated the article, it might help you to understand what he means :)

And he still managed to miss the point.

When he talks about backwards compatibility, most people (me included) get the feeling he's talking about leaving some sort of leeway for flying bricks to fly as they already do, and/or some kind of superglue'd hack is being implemented to keep the dV-to-orbit, and/or something similar to that. Not about file formats or keeping the old stock craft around (and making the new atmosphere in a way so that they work easily, which taking into account some designs, is a pretty bad idea)

For me the scary part wasn't the backward compatibility itself, but the fact that it implied compatibility with broken design from a broken model

here, he said it better than me

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If people want unrealistic aerodynamics (which allow for wild, unrealistic ships), then let the community build a mod for it.

Those of us who enjoy realistic aerodynamics have depended on mods (FAR/NEAR) for quite some time now. It hasn't killed us. Even after Squad makes their changes, no matter what they do, there will probably still be a group relying on mods for even greater realism. That's okay.

According to this poll, 10-15% of players want their old, crazy, unaerodynamic ships to work. That's just the active community... Let's be generous and say that this number should be 25% when you include people who won't come into contact with this poll. That means 3/4 of KSP players are completely fine (if not hopeful) if Squad implements an aerodynamic model which makes the old, silly contraptions obsolete. That tells me that the community wants realistic aerodynamics to be stock.

And this is consistent with everything else in KSP. Are Kerbals quirky creatures that make you smile? Yes. Does stock KSP have a junkyard space center feel? Yes. Are crew reports funny? Sure. Are the contacts and strategies ridiculous sometimes? Definitely. But the physics in KSP are as good as it gets. The orbital mechanics are spot on. You can pull out a physics textbook to help you with the game. Why should this be different for aerodynamics? Shouldn't we expect something just as "real"?

The primary concern seems to be "fun." And I think that's a very noble concern. KSP is fun. KSP is a game. I don't think anyone wants for KSP to become a hardcore space flight simulator. But that doesn't mean it can't be realistic and fun! Just look at the rest of the game as it already is. Within reason, space flight works like it should. It's realistic. It's physics. Does this prove difficult for new players? Sure. Does it prevent you from flying around the solar system willy nilly? Yep. But that has never stopped people from having fun. Heck, for many I believe that the realism is what makes KSP so fun and rewarding.

Would a realistic aerodynamics overhaul change the game in a way some people dislike? Yes. But it's already in a state that people dislike, and those people have gotten along just fine with mods. Mods are one of KSP's brightest jewels. They support all kinds of functionality that most players don't care for. If you want unrealistic aerodynamics, that's totally okay! It's just that you might need a mod to get things the way you want. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Meanwhile, it's time for KSP's aerodynamics to meet the standards that Squad has set for the rest of the game.

If we're talking about fun, I for one believe that realistic aerodynamics would make it more fun. If a relatively small handful disagree, then let them find their fun in the form of mods (which the "pro-realists" have been doing all along, and will continue doing if the changes aren't sufficient).

Quoted for accuracy.

There's a pattern that I've noticed. Whenever there's a controversial topic, the camp that gets the least votes will say something like "let's add 10 or 20% to our numbers because this poll could be skewed/the sample size is too small, etc". I think even I did that once.

Funny how that works.

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I've noticed some people suggesting a setting to turn back on the old aerodynamic system.

This XKCD comic pretty much summarizes my response:

workflow.png

The current aerodynamics system is barely classifiable as an aerodynamics system. Really, it's more of a bad caricature of aerodynamics. I'm not a physicist, but I think that basing the aerodynamics off of mass is pretty much the worst way that you could set up an aerodynamics system. (Please tell me that mass-based aerodynamics will die with this update. Please. It is so ridiculously unrealistic.)

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If the overhaul is something akin to FAR, there's no compatibility to be broken. Sounds like a disguised way to forcefully convince people to adopt the new overhaul. Also, too much beating around the bush in there for the developer to clearly miss the point while trying to sound as corporate as possible(as if that would help in anyway other than confuse people).

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There's a pattern that I've noticed. Whenever there's a controversial topic, the camp that gets the least votes will say something like "let's add 10 or 20% to our numbers because this poll could be skewed/the sample size is too small, etc". I think even I did that once.

For some bizarre reason they never assume that the proportions are the same everywhere, and they never assume that the silent majority of players would shift the numbers even further towards the majority opinion.

I voted Yes, along with the majority. I'm just for improving the accuracy of the results, that is all. Why would they necessarily be the same everywhere? Would an electoral poll only look at a single state and assume it's a proxy for the entire nation? A more broad poll could definitely move the numbers more towards the Yes side and that's perfectly fine.

Edited by bdito

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Honestly, whether or not they keep everything backwards compatible or not, I'll probably still be using FAR + KIDS. I highly doubt they can manage something as detailed and advanced as FAR.

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II'm just for improving the accuracy of the results, that is all. Why would they necessarily be the same everywhere?

No, no. "Why wouldn't they?" is the question you should be asking. The default positions should always be one that you arrive at by induction. If however there is a reason why the silent community would genuinely shift the numbers one way or another then the burden of proof lies with those who know that reason exists.

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Meh. I voted "I don't care".

I start a new save or three every update. There's always new mods or ideas to try. I have very rarely copied a file from the old version to the new version. I also keep all my old installs, in case I have a need to go back to them. However, the main reason for my vote is that I have lost confidence is Squad's decisions for the game. If they continue to move the game away from what I thought they were making, hopefully mods will be able to fix it, and I can disregard whatever "update" is made.

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I voted Yes, along with the majority. I'm just for improving the accuracy of the results, that is all. Why would they necessarily be the same everywhere? Would an electoral poll only look at a single state and assume it's a proxy for the entire nation? A more broad poll could definitely move the numbers more towards the Yes side and that's perfectly fine.

That's because research by sampling is cheaper. Although you could use tighter margins, like 50%

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My only real interest in the atmosphere is that it's a thing that I have to deal with before Kerbal SPACE Program.

From that perspective - yes, at the risk of incompatibility, Squad should get it the way they want now, regardless of compatibility, rather than 'drag'-out a bad model that won't please anyone.

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What does everyone think of FAR's level of dV to orbit? Because if the new system is done right there WILL be less dV to orbit. And I think people just have to accept that. I like FAR's 3,600dV to LKO. Despite what most people think I find that way more realistic. Two stage to orbit rockets are very common. I said in the aero thread that the Mercury boys rode to orbit on a single stage of fuel. So to have ssto rockets carry a kerbal into orbit imo isn't bad. And then once you add more kerbals and complexity into a mission rockets get as large as they should be with FAR.

I just hope Squad isn't gonna pull some boostrap method to maintain that 4,600dV. I say to hell with it.. one major reason that number is so high in stock is because you have to fight gravity for 10km... Thats just.. so wrong.

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Even as someone who still uses stock "aerodynamics" I still think it would be better to just get it over with and do the potential save breakers now rather than later. Though including fairings in the same update would also be a good idea (for people that don't want to launch stuff with cargo bays).

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With respect to HarvesteR's comment about using the stock aircraft as control cases, I took the liberty of copying the stock aircraft into a FAR install to see how badly they performed.

Note that I am a pretty poor pilot to begin with.

Here is what I found:

- the Aeris 4A is probably not longitudinally stable in FAR and flies pretty poorly there. Don't know how much tweaking would be needed to fix that. However, it is abolutely unstable in stock as well, so it's a poor test case to begin with.

- the Stearwing D45 is probably not longitudinally stable in FAR and I couldn't get it to take off there. Looks pretty drag-heavy too. However, it is also unstable in stock, but you can at least fly it, unlike the 4A mentioned above.

- the Albatross 3 is longitudinally unstable in FAR, flips out and crashes on takeoff. I suspect this is because in FAR all body parts can generate lift, while in stock only the wings do. I suspect this design could be made stable without too much trouble by adjusting the wing locations and fuel balance, or the angle of incidence of the wings.

All other aircraft flew wonderfully either out-of-the-box, or with minimal changes to the control surface settings. So using the stock aircraft as the basis for deciding whether an aerodynamics model is good or bad doesn't seem like such a naive attitude. Note that I didn't test too heavily to see if their performance was as advertised, just that they flew and were controllable. By me. Who doesn't pilot very well.

I did not test any of the rocket designs. I figured the more important test was the stock aircraft.

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Maybe it would be better for the game to have 2 levels of difficulty

Easy - as the game is now.

Harder - New aero, re-entry heating ,etc.

Only because the actually KSP allow to build absurd craft it absolutely doesn't mean it's easier.

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What does everyone think of FAR's level of dV to orbit?

I feel that is is too low. Actually FAR is easier, at least to fly rockets. It took couple of trials to learn what kind of rocket FAR needs. Now I do not typically use simulation (I use Construction Time mod) because I am sure that rocket flies well. Even large rovers work well, if I put them in fairing. Rocket seems ridiculous ball on thin stick but its works.

3500 m/s is so low value, that one liquid stage with SRBs is enough to get anything into orbit. I am sure that single stage and reusability guys love that, but like staging of large rockets. I hope that dv requirements are increased or ISP values are nerfed about 20-25 %. At least I hope that ISPs will be made moddable so that I can balance game by using suitable mod after they release stable "ready" version.

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What does everyone think of FAR's level of dV to orbit? Because if the new system is done right there WILL be less dV to orbit. And I think people just have to accept that. I like FAR's 3,600dV to LKO. Despite what most people think I find that way more realistic. Two stage to orbit rockets are very common. I said in the aero thread that the Mercury boys rode to orbit on a single stage of fuel. So to have ssto rockets carry a kerbal into orbit imo isn't bad. And then once you add more kerbals and complexity into a mission rockets get as large as they should be with FAR.

I'd like to have bigger planets in the game, because the 3200-3500 m/s required to reach orbit from a stock-sized Kerbin with a reasonable atmosphere is just too little. If you use vertical staging with stock parts and want to maximize the payload fraction of a launch vehicle, the usual rule of thumb is 2000-2500 m/s per stage. In the stock game, a good two-stage rocket gets you to LKO. With FAR, you can orbit Mun or Minmus with the same rocket.

The game is currently balanced for 4500-5000 m/s to orbit. When I build stock rockets, I usually build 2.5-stage designs with side boosters (without fuel crossfeed) and two vertical stages. With FAR, I just double the payload fraction by replacing the upper stage with more payload.

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I feel I have to get used to FAR.

Truth is, I got used to the buggy stock aerodynamics and now my instincts are set to create planes for that physics model.

When I tried FAR last time and tested one of my finest craft, it didn't go very well. It rolled over as soon as it left the runway and crashed on its back.

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I'd rather the aerodynamics worked better, even if it meant my old designs didn't work.

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I don't think the new aerodynamics will kill the ability to create crazy contraptions. It might kill the old ones, but the new ones will be born.

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