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ArgenTum

Wiki integrated into KSP career mode

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Hi all! After posting my first post a couple of days back, I've decided to share an idea I've been thinking about/wishing for a long time. Sorry if something similar been suggested before, I have no possibility to search through so many, many threads.

My suggestion is to integrate a kind of wiki into KSP (I'm thinking only in career mode). I will start with some background:

When playing 0.90 on hard, I have discovered that it is very difficult to land on, for example, Eve. First I have to design a rocket to land on Eve, then design a rocket to transfer to Eve and then a rocket to take the other rockets to orbit. All these stages without knowing the delta-v (Sure, I could calculate delta-v for each stage, but without "cheating" and looking at KSP wiki, I wouldn't no how much delta-v I needed.) Now, with multiple saves I could go back and change the construction when learning that I couldn't make the transfer to Eve. But without saves, I could lose a few hundred thousands (with expensive science modules) in the launch, possibly going bankrupt. (The aerobraking around Eve is even more difficult without the option to fix periapsis, save, aerobrake, load, change periapsis, aerobrake again with better results.)

Now, my suggestion is like following: Integrate a wiki into KSP (building on the science summary thats already there perhaps?) If I send out a probe to EVE, it could show in the wiki when clicking on Kerbin: "Reached orbit using 4 800 delta-v." Then when transferring to Eve it would say when clicking on Eve: "Burning 800 delta-v was not enough for reaching Eve SOI". Or, when reaching Eve, it could say "Burning 1346 delta-v was enough to reach Eve SOI". And then, when trying to aerobrake, it could say: "Aiming for a periapsis of 30 km over Eve at a orbital speed of 4500 m/s was not enough to acheive orbit around Eve." Then, when you finally launch your manned craft, you know the delta-v needed for orbit around Kerbin, know whats needed for transfer and can at least guess what would be needed to successfully aerobrake around Eve. (The point beeing that if you keep sending out small, unmanned probes, you finally get a good estimate how much delta-v is needed, or which periapsis to aim for with which speed to aerobrake properly.)

If you were trying to land on Mun, the wiki could say: "Burned 450 delta-v - crashed into the surface." , "Burned 650 delta-v - crashed into the surface.", "burned 950 delta-v, landed safely." Thus you know that you need >650 and <950 to land. Also, after you invent the accelerometer, you could accurately measure the needed delta-v, making the wiki say "after measuring at 5 different sites of the Mun, you can conclude that >825 (or whatever the true delta-v requirement may be) m/s delta-v is needed to reach sea-level safely."

Now, why do I like this idea?

1. It would add to the immersion, not to have to go to an external wiki to find stuff I shouldn't really know. If I have never done tests on Eve or the Mun, how could I possibly know the delta-v needed to land or aerobrake. (Thats why I consider looking in an external wiki "cheating".)

2. It would make unmanned, small, cheap probes much, much more meaningfull.

3. It would open up a possiblity to win the game. If you successesfully fill out all the blanks in the wiki (there are also atmospheric composition, how do you know Laythes atmosphere contains oxygen if you don't measure it? And then you could measure to what percentage are there oxygen on Laythe, ie how much effect would I get from my jets?) (and maybe easter eggs could list in the wiki, and weather, and possibly many other interesting facts about the planets). Well, got off track. If you could fill out all the blanks, knowing all there is about the KSP universe, it should register as "game completed" and you would win.

4. There wouldn't be a point not to show TWR and delta-v when constructing a rocket (after a few upgrades of course), making the game more fun in later stages, since the trick would be to find the correct delta-v needed to reach, for example, Jool, not randomly construct expensiv rockets without nowing what you're doing (or having to constantly check the wiki for correct delta-v.)

5. It would make scientific experiments even more important (why crash a probe 10 times into Mun to find the correct delta-v, when you can just measure it?)

6. It would add a (much) bigger purpose to mid-late game. As the game stands now, I would say it is only really fun (as a game) the first perhaps 30-40 flights in career mode (after that it is more fun from a "sandbox" point of view). After 30-40 flights it kinda gets pointless, having most of the science you need and enough money as not to worry too much. My suggestion would give you a reason to continue exploring for a long, long time (I just want to find the correct atmospheric composition of Duna to be able to calculate the best aerobraking periapsis before I quit...)

Ok, long (too long?) post. Reactions?

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A link to the wiki would be nice but what we realy need are some basic delta V tools that should have been part in the game from the start, it should also be integrated with plottings tools that allow you to plan a mission from start to finish. like they do in the real world :wink:

Edited by FreeThinker

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If you're dead set about NOT using mods then it's probably better and simpler to use a notepad (a paper one) and a pencil. If you are open for some mods then all your current needs can be satisfied right now.

As for the reference information after months of playing I found out that I simply remember the most part of the delta-V map, and atmosphere heights. Also I can probably assess the total amount of delta-V of the craft by simply looking at it and 'safe-guess' the periapsis height needed for aerobrake.

Also, I don't think this game requires a winning condition.

Edited by cicatrix

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If you're dead set about NOT using mods then it's probably better and simpler to use a notepad (a paper one) and a pencil. If you are open for some mods then all your current needs can be satisfied right now.

As for the reference information after months of playing I found out that I simply remember the most part of the delta-V map, and atmosphere heights. Also I can probably assess the total amount of delta-V of the craft by simply looking at it and 'safe-guess' the periapsis height needed for aerobrake.

Also, I don't think this game requires a winning condition.

Well, I do use mods (mostly MechJeb), but the way I see it is that there are two sides of KSP. One is the sandbox one, the simulation/emulation of a space program. I think most users here, and I would guess you too, consider KSP to be the simulation/emulation one.

The game one, which I think is the one Sqaud is aiming for, is the career mode. A game, to be played, with different ways to "victory". For the simulation/emulation part, I agree that mods can satisfy my every need. But in career mode, the game mod, MechJeb/mods is cheating in my opinion. (In the sense that Squad has constructed and balanced a game to be played, saying that autopilot will not be a part of it.) In that regard, I would very much lika a feature to help me build rockets later in game, when the number of stages and the "mission plan" can get complicated. But more important, I want the game to give me a bigger incentive to keep exploring after the first missions (ie after landing on the mun a couple of times and landed on Duna and Eve at least once.) For me, starting with a blank wiki of a universe and then slowly fill it with interesting facts about the different planets and moons (maybe you shouldn't even know about all of them until you upgrade your facility), would make for a much more fun game (but not necessarily a more fun simulation/emulation.)

- - - Updated - - -

I agree. My point is that at the beginning of the game you wouldn't be able to use those tools, since you wouldn't know the correct delta-v's. Only by exploring (and finding out about a planets gravity, its atmospheric composition, atmospheric thickness/pressure etc) would you eventually be able to (accurately) plan a mission.

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Why not just alt tab to the actual wiki?

Why would you do that if you can just have a multi-monitor setup? :D

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But in career mode, the game mod, MechJeb/mods is cheating in my opinion. (In the sense that Squad has constructed and balanced a game to be played, saying that autopilot will not be a part of it.)

Nobody's forcing you to use autopilot. I suggest you browse through MJ's modules - it has many indicators and other instruments that hardly can be considered cheat. Delta-V info, recorder, orbit/surface/vessel info, maneuver node editor - all these are just instruments, not autopilot.

I agree. My point is that at the beginning of the game you wouldn't be able to use those tools, since you wouldn't know the correct delta-v's. Only by exploring (and finding out about a planets gravity, its atmospheric composition, atmospheric thickness/pressure etc) would you eventually be able to (accurately) plan a mission.

That's the problem - I already KNOW the correct delta-v's with or without mods. I can't just delete them from my memory. Think again - why would I want to replay the career if I knew every missing figure I am obliged to 'discover'?

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This is a great idea. Basically have "encyclopedia" information on the various worlds unlock as a function of science gained near those worlds.

Seriously, good idea.

If you get within SoI of a world, you get mass, orbital data. You might unlock biome maps after orbiting, etc.

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That's the problem - I already KNOW the correct delta-v's with or without mods. I can't just delete them from my memory. Think again - why would I want to replay the career if I knew every missing figure I am obliged to 'discover'?

Well, no, for you I guess it wouldn't make much sense. On the other hand, why would you (re)play career mode anyway?

But I feel like I'm not very successful in explaining what I want, my "vision" for the feature I suggest. I'm not really talking about delta-v (even though it would be a nice side-effect of what I propose.)

Lets see if I can explain it in another way...

Say I start a whole new career, and find a new, mysterious building. Upon entering that building, it says "Kerbal database". And its empty. Completely empty, a tabula rasa, except for a small miniature of Kerbin, with the text next to it: "Kerbin. Our home in space." Nothing else. I know nothing of the KSP universe. In the observatory I can only see Kerbin, no moons, no other planets. Then you start launching your first vessels, taking your first soil sample, and doing your first atmospheric reading on Kerbin (on the surface). Then, automatically, the database updates, saying "Kerbin. Soil samples suggests that Kerbin consists of... er... soil. First analysis of the atmosphere suggest it consists of oxygen, nitrogen and small traces of carbondioxide." And then you take another atmospheric reading, while flying perhaps, and in a couple of other biomes. And then it (automatically) updates to: "Kerbin. Soil samples suggests that Kerbin consists of... er... soil. Further analysis of the atmosphere confirms it consists of 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen and 0,65% carbondioxide."

Then I upgrade the observatory, suddenly finding Mun, Minmus, Eve and Duna. The database updates: "Mun. A small moon", "Eve. A far away planet" etc. Then, when landing on mun, doing a seismographic analysis and a surface sample, it says: "Mun. Surface samples suggests it consists of moon dust, some of it seems to be the result of tectonic movement. According to the first seismographic analysis Mun has no tectonic movement." And I think, that's strange. But after doing some more analysis of both surface samples and seismographic analysis in different biomes, it would update (for example after obtaining science from 70% of the biomes). "Mun. Further studies of surface samples confirms that Mun have had tectonic movement, forming the moon dust. The dust consists of 12% water, which would give 125 litres of O2/hour and 125 litres of H2/hour if resource harvested. Even though early seismographic experiment suggested that Mun does not have any tectonic movement, further studies have shown that the moon had some tectonic movement up to 1 million years ago."

The point being, that you start with an empty database, which slowly fills while exploring/playing the game. (The delta-v or resource harvest numbers in the example(s) above wouldn't be the point of it, more like a nice side-effect.) I can understand if some wouldn't find this interesting, but for me (being a gamer more than a "simulator/emulator", and a completionist) I would really think this would add to the KSP experience. It would feel more real. After all, space exploration (for humans, IRL) is about learning things about our solar system. This suggested feature would bring that basic "exploration"-feeling into KSP, I believe. I start the game knowing nothing, and then I start learning. And one reading on Pol won't be enough to learn all there is about it (even though the science points is more than enough to buy all science tech), encouraging repeated exploration of the same celestial body and giving a (in-game) point to continuous exploration, making it fun to keep exploring and keep doing science even mid-late game, long after the entire tech-tree is bought. That is my "vision". I personally think such a database would be really fun!

Does anyone understand what I mean at least? (Even though you may or may not agree.)

Speaking of mods. If someone knows of a mod that does exactly this, please point me to it!!!! :-D

edit: Changed request to suggest.

edit2: added some text about mid-late game effects.

Edited by ArgenTum

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A kind of encyclopedia would really be a very good idea. It would finally give envriomental sensors a purpose.

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Encyclopedia is of course a better word for what I mean than database or wiki. Because that is exactly what I mean.

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In a perfect world, career would randomize the Kerbol system, including the size of worlds, atmospheres, etc. Say everything but Kerbin. Replay on career needs "fog of war."

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Yes, I am thinking that also, but I guess that's even more complicated to implement than the encyclopedia itself (should HarvesteR ever actually implement such a feature, or if someone should make such a mod.)

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It would be cool to build up an archive of information gathered about the planets, but that's all it is. Cool

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I disagree. Or, it would be cool. But mostly (I think) it would be fun. And that is the point of games, after all, to have fun.

Besides, if implemented in the way I suggest, exploring would give in game advantages to accelerate further exploring, also increasing the fun. (For example finding out the correct amount of oxidizer and fuel to be extracted from moon dust. One could find that out in the online wiki of course, but where's the fun in that?)

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I thought of a vaguely related idea recently, integrating simulation mode into career as a building

at the moment you can design and test a rocket in simulation and then copy it across to your save folder, maybe having a simulator building you can test rocket designs in during career would be more streamlined and you could get a little kerbal experience in the simulator before attempting the real thing.

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I have thought about that as well (rocket simulation), and think it really is a missing feature. I would fit nicely in. After finding out enough info about Eve, you could (automatically) import Eves parameters into the simulator and let you test/simulate a landing craft before launch. It would cost money and time of course (being the "downside" of it.)

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I have thought about that as well (rocket simulation), and think it really is a missing feature. I would fit nicely in. After finding out enough info about Eve, you could (automatically) import Eves parameters into the simulator and let you test/simulate a landing craft before launch. It would cost money and time of course (being the "downside" of it.)

Now THAT is an awesome implention of this idea. We need a testbed for rovers already, so if you could set simulator gravity and a small area to try out rovers, that'd be awesome

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Nobody's forcing you to use autopilot. I suggest you browse through MJ's modules - it has many indicators and other instruments that hardly can be considered cheat. Delta-V info, recorder, orbit/surface/vessel info, maneuver node editor - all these are just instruments, not autopilot.

Meh, MechJeb is a compilation mod. People reference it BECAUSE it is a compilation mod, but there have always been other mods floating about that accomplish various parts of MechJeb. (Let's not go too far into it and just note that mechjeb has impossible accuracy on "simple instruments" and even values it could not obtain without cheating.) I would also note that MechJeb is designed to lure you into using their autopilot. When you give people a choice to cheat and wave it in their face, they're going to eventually cheat.

That's the problem - I already KNOW the correct delta-v's with or without mods. I can't just delete them from my memory. Think again - why would I want to replay the career if I knew every missing figure I am obliged to 'discover'?

What about ME? I haven't memorized all the Delta-V information! (But Delta-V is something I'd concede should be calculated ahead of time)

No. Just no.

I agree, this is a great argument! You really convinced me :D

I think that game wiki's tend to exist for one reason only. To spoil as much as possible in as few clicks as possible. Sometimes a game's scope is so large that you need a little spoiling to get started; but most often it gets to the point where you leave knowing more than you want and the game loses character to you. I haven't looked at the wiki anymore because I found it read almost like a walkthrough and I have compulsive reading disorder (once I start reading spoilers, I don't stop)

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I would also note that MechJeb is designed to lure you into using their autopilot. When you give people a choice to cheat and wave it in their face, they're going to eventually cheat.

I use MJ and do not feel sorry for it (neither I consider this cheating) though I only use 'Execute next node' button and Smart S.A.S. Your argument is all about self-discipline. I like MJ because it has 'all in one'. If you feel that you might surrender to the temptation of using 'take me there' button you can use other mods (KER, etc) that don't have such buttons.

A self-updating encyclopedia would be nice though. To make it more fun it should also contain records about kerbonauts and their achievements as they progress, history of Kerbal space exploration, i.e. 'The first Mun orbit was achieved by Jebediah Kerman onboard the craft 'Untitled spacecraft' on <date here>.'

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Meh, MechJeb is a compilation mod. People reference it BECAUSE it is a compilation mod, but there have always been other mods floating about that accomplish various parts of MechJeb. (Let's not go too far into it and just note that mechjeb has impossible accuracy on "simple instruments" and even values it could not obtain without cheating.) I would also note that MechJeb is designed to lure you into using their autopilot. When you give people a choice to cheat and wave it in their face, they're going to eventually cheat.

That would depend on what you concider cheating. Is it cheating to automate a task you have already done 5000 times? Most people would call that automation

And that information, it may use some behind the scenes info to give you that information, but in my opinion, you should have acces to that information anyway. I see it as the team of scientists behind the scenes, constantly cranking the data

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I like the idea of an in-game encyclopaedia that is filled out as the game progresses. Shouldn't even be that difficult to program in since the missions framework should easily allow hooking into the relevant game events. Effectively have hidden missions running (eg, Mun: flyby, enter orbit, map surface from orbit, perform X experiments in high orbit, low orbit, in various biomes on surface, ...) and as mission parameters get fulfilled the encyclopaedia entries are progressively unlocked.

This ties in with another idea someone proposed which has evolving surface textures for planets/moons - basically the astronomers on Kerbin have compiled rough maps of each body but it requires actual visits to map out the details.

Similarly there could be rough mass and atmospheric density estimates but to get the exact values requires measurements.

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That would depend on what you concider cheating. Is it cheating to automate a task you have already done 5000 times? Most people would call that automation

And that information, it may use some behind the scenes info to give you that information, but in my opinion, you should have acces to that information anyway. I see it as the team of scientists behind the scenes, constantly cranking the data

The point was that MechJeb is a compilation mod and should be referenced as a compilation mod instead of "The Mod." (Honestly, why they insist on keeping it a compilation is beyond me) If you REALLY want to debate why we still bother to train aeroplane pilots despite "automation" then do it somewhere else; the post in quotation was talking about the "cheaty aspect" in the first place.

I have MANY dislikes for perfect information... and many LIKES for it. On one hand, imperfect information makes setting up infrastructure important (assuming infrastructure increases level of perfection); On the other, setting up infrastructure is pretty damn hard without it; and often can be more tedious than need be. We can give dislikes as it removes some elements of the game and begins making it more "automated" and then likes because it helps achieve some things that would be difficult otherwise.

Ultimately, like wiki access, this is a level of information that taunts you into its use and further "automates" the game. You may have spent 5000 hours playing various parts of the game that you enjoy; and that is okay. But automation for automations sake isn't something that we should strive for. There is a such thing as being given too much information about a game and otherwise ruining the experience you would have.

And again, if and only if the player WANTS to automate tasks the player will choose to download mechjeb. If the player wants the information mechjeb offers without the constant enticement, the player can download K.E.R. or others. If the player WANTS to set up working infrastructure to "unlock" technology to go further out into space, the player can choose to download / write mods for that. If the player hates building stuff the player can download craft files and just fly the damn things. And, if the player just wants to know how to get to a planet, the player can go on the wiki (walkthrough) and skip it all.

Edited by Fel

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