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Kethane vs Karbonite

Whats your favorite resource mining mod?  

118 members have voted

  1. 1. Whats your favorite resource mining mod?

    • Kethane
      21
    • Karbonite
      83
    • Other
      11


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Leaving aside physics debates (there's enough of that in the Reaction Wheel thread), here's my thoughts:

The new stock system LOOKS like it might actually be my favorite. Until I can play it though, Karbonite is currently my fave. However, it's not an easy "this one rules, this one sucks" thing. They each have their advantages:

Karbonite

- ScanSat integration, KAS parts

- Background(-ish) processing

- Unlimited resources

- Better part flexibility (stuck me as having more ways of doing things)

- Permissive license

Kethane

- The hex map (as was commented before) in Kethane is pretty.

- I liked the scanning bit (this has been overtaken by ScanSat integration)

- Kethane parts seemed more stock-like to me, and did seem lighter on the part count/resource usage.

- Simpler, more straightforward feel

- Green is a very kerbally color :)

I dislike the resource depletion of Kethane, as it strikes me as excessively fast, and somehow drains an entire region rather than a hex..that's kind of a dealbreaker there. The new stock system sounds like a nice compromise between the two...

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Leaving aside physics debates (there's enough of that in the Reaction Wheel thread), here's my thoughts:

The new stock system LOOKS like it might actually be my favorite. Until I can play it though, Karbonite is currently my fave. However, it's not an easy "this one rules, this one sucks" thing. They each have their advantages:

Karbonite

- ScanSat integration, KAS parts

- Background(-ish) processing

- Unlimited resources

- Better part flexibility (stuck me as having more ways of doing things)

- Permissive license

Kethane

- The hex map (as was commented before) in Kethane is pretty.

- I liked the scanning bit (this has been overtaken by ScanSat integration)

- Kethane parts seemed more stock-like to me, and did seem lighter on the part count/resource usage.

- Simpler, more straightforward feel

- Green is a very kerbally color :)

I dislike the resource depletion of Kethane, as it strikes me as excessively fast, and somehow drains an entire region rather than a hex..that's kind of a dealbreaker there. The new stock system sounds like a nice compromise between the two...

Hit it right on the button there. Yus.

With kethane is its way way too fast to deplete. I can complete some deposit regions in just 2 mining excursions.

Even the more dense ones wouldnt take much more than that, probably.. roughly. Though i havn't been far. Havn't actually used karbonite yet, but im really liking the sound of unlimited :) and scansat intergration, and background activity.

I do prefer that green to that red :P

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The major issue I have with resource mods right now is that they're very generic. ISRU in the real world is very specific to the location; you have to know what resources are available where you're going and you also don't have access to organics (insofar as we know) which cuts out a lot of fuels (RP-1, for instance). KSP abstracts the fuel and provides no real connection to volume so we can really only make assumptions about what types of fuels the stock engines use, making it very difficult to make location-specific ISRU. Hence the "magical unicorn/fairie poop" meme (so's your fuel).

Realistically, you could probably get methane from the Dres/Ceres regolith but, for the most part, you're looking at hydrogen or oxygen from the rest of the solar system. Storing cryogenic fuels long-term is tough, so you'd probably refuel and immediately get on your way, using a tiny probe with the ~700kg of equipment (drop the dead weight before leaving) and a nuclear engine (one study quoted that, IIRC). Titan is an interesting case, we could probably make some very complex fuels out there quite easily but the trip with all that equipment would be long and arduous.

Basically any refueling will be very specific and require specialized equipment for the location. Which is why I don't bother with resource mods.

I agree completely, but there can always be room for abstraction I suppose. If you used what will be stock ISRU, as long as you don't take the same gear to different places, you can simply assume that whatever gear you take is specific to the locale you actually land at. Land on the Mun, and you are, dunno, scraping regolith extracting hydrogen and oxygen. On another body, you might be going for water ice. Just don't pack up the lot and cart it from one world to the next.

I could see using it, but I'd be likely to do so in a more role-playing way. I'd require a substantial infrastructure on the body (I think in terms of scarping large tonnages of soil up, so habitation (with LS) for many kerbals, rovers delivered (that look like front loaders, perhaps), etc. I'm not terribly interested in the "Mr. Fusion" version. Presumably there will be some cool mods around this.

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The major issue I have with resource mods right now is that they're very generic. ISRU in the real world is very specific to the location; you have to know what resources are available where you're going

On bodies similar to Earth's Moon, it should be possible to extract oxygen from the rocks. This requires grinding up and melting rocks, so it requires some quite heavy duty equipment, and a decent supply of power, but it is doable. In IRL rockets, the oxidiser weighs quite a lot more than the fuel, so being able to produce oxidiser and life support oxygen in-situ is very helpful. Water ice is known to exist in permanently shadowed polar craters, but it may be in difficult to access forms such as permafrost.

The most easily obtainable ISRU feedstock on Mars is it's carbon dioxide atmosphere. This can be used as low grade propellant for nuclear thermal rockets, or broken down in to low grade rocket fuel in the form of carbon monoxide and oxygen. If you have some hydrogen available to use as feedstock, you can use a Sabatier reactor to make methane and oxygen, which offers much better rocket performance (which is handy if you plan on actually getting back to Earth). A small amount of hydrogen can be used to produce a lot of fuel, so it isn't too much of a hardship to import the hydrogen from Earth on an early mission, or, if you can find some, you can use locally obtained water to get the hydrogen. Water is obtainable as polar ice, permafrost at higher latitudes, hydrated clays, subsurface brines, and in some areas as geothermally heated liquid water. A geothermal well would be very handy for a permanent base, supplying water and power.

Further out into the solar system, water ice is abundant. Water can be used as nuclear thermal rocket propellant, or can be (very power intensively) electrolysed into hydrogen and oxygen for use as rocket fuel. Hydrogen is very difficult to store, as it needs to be chilled to super cold "hard" cryogenic temperatures and has a propensity to boil off over time.

Titan is worth an honourable mention due to the hydrocarbons available there.

Realistic depiction of ISRU in KSP would require Squad to either clarify exactly what the current fuel and oxidiser resources really are, or abstract the above methods so that we don't have to worry about the chemistry.

Oxygen from Moon-like bodies is easy enough. Just bring a big "rock oven" and accompanying "rock digger", which produce oxidiser at the cost of huge amounts of electrical power. This would be especially useful if simulation of life support oxygen was implemented, as you would have easy access to the stuff on the Mun in the early game.

We know now that Minmus is definitely not made of delicious mint ice cream. :confused: However, we don't know what it is made of either. I'm game for it having subsurface brines, providing an easy source of water in the early game. A water mining and distillation/purification unit could allow players to drill for or mine water from various bodies without scratching their heads about whether their Kerbals will be able to drink it or not. Water will be a quite forgiving life support resource (if implemented) since the Kerbals shouldn't have too much difficulty finding it all around the Kerbol system. Players could be allowed to electrolyse and chill hydrogen provided they bring an electrolysis/refrigeration unit and lots of electrical power.

A Sabatier reactor could be used on Duna, and perhaps run on dry ice dug up in the outer Kerbol system. The hydrogen requirement could either be simulated by having it consume some water (with the oxygen from the water turned into oxidiser), or fed with hydrogen if it was decided to implement hydrogen as a resource in the game.

This would lead to the further question of whether to depict realistic nuclear thermal rockets or not. If hydrogen, water, and carbon dioxide were implemented as resources, then it could be possible for an NTR to draw any of these resources for use as a propellant, with corresponding performance being obtained. This would allow players to adopt a "live off the land" strategy, feeding their NTRs with lower grade but easily obtainable propellants. I would suggest that the variety of NTRs available in the game should be expanded, but that they should be given very high tech requirements, making them a strictly end-game technology so that they don't completely dominate the game.

One way to approach chemical rocket fuels in KSP would be to continue to use just one oxidiser resource (liquid oxygen), but allow various fuels to be used, with performance varying accordingly. It might be interesting if different engines used different propellants, as this could have interesting strategic implications and give many otherwise useless or uninteresting engines a clearer role in the game. For example, what if the LFB only burned kerosene, while the Mainsail only burned hydrogen or methane? The different fuels should have their own tanks (since they have different densities). This doesn't have to be as silly as it sounds, since not all fuels would be needed for all situations, while some would be used only in limited niche roles, so the variety of tank types needed for each fuel type would be reduced proportionately. To keep things sane, I would suggest that hydrogen boil-off should not be depicted in the game, but hydrogen should require realistically bulky and heavily insulated tanks.

The power requirements of many forms of ISRU hardware would create a demand for a small space nuclear reactor in KSP. This could also be used in tandem with a larger ion engine, allowing players to choose between nuclear electric and solar electric propulsion options (as advanced late-game tech).

Trying to depict ISRU realistically might seem rather involved, but it has huge implications for human space exploration IRL. If life support resources are implemented in KSP, then ISRU will play a central role to their replenishment.

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The new stock system LOOKS like it might actually be my favorite.

I've been more busy than usual as of late, but I've been paying a decent amount of attention and don't remember a detailing of the new stock system. Do you have a link or could you briefly describe it?

Personally I don't mind the "magic" aspect that riles up others. It's an abstraction. You're not mining "Karbonite" and magically running it through a converter. You're the boss and the actual workers are doing the actual work and just telling you how much they got.

My only bone of contention (and it's a small enough one that it doesn't bug me) is that you can get LF and O from the same source. I'd like to have to mine LF somewhere, and mine O somewhere ELSE. Then transport them to a central location (your station, or transport one resource to the other mine) to use.

And yes, I didn't say you'd need to mine something else and convert that to LF or O. Just mine the LF or the O. How could this be? Converting is done on site. Saves a resource and the need for 37 tanks of various sizes to hold it. It's all about abstracting. The scanner didn't say there was a concentration of 0.05 LF there. Your expert told you that the concentrations there would allow the system to convert the local resources to LF at 0.05 efficiency.

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I believe that this will be possible with the new stock system, 5thHorseman. And if I know the moderating community at all, someone will make a mod for that.

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Been perusing the notes above, and as Max noted in the SquadCast, this is being made to be very open and moddable, so yep, I expect there will be some really interesting stuff coming out from the modding community pretty soon after launch, which is awesome :)

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Kethane Does Not Break Conservation Of Mass

Kethane Does Not Break Conservation Of Mass

Kethane Does Not Break Conservation Of Mass

It used to, but that was changed.

The large converter's rocket fuel mode makes 0.975 kg of product for each kg of kethane, including the 0.005 kg of xenon gas. Its monopropellant mode, and the jet fuel and oxidizer modes on the small converter, all have much worse mass ratios. Kethane tanks are lighter than corresponding rocket fuel tanks (with the possible exception of the Mk3 parts) so there is a small advantage to shipping kethane.

Even back when kethane *did* break conservation of mass, it was by a few percent, not enough to have a meaningful impact on gameplay.

Now with that rant out of the way, I've only tried kethane so I can't really have a favourite, but as I see it the main differences are:

Kethane is finite and deposits deplete, while Karbonite deposits are bottomless. This is probably the single biggest difference, and which you prefer is up to you. I opted to stick with Kethane because I want the encouragement to keep on moving and I feel it chimes with modern concerns about the environment and the depletion of our natural resources. Karbonite on the other hand would let me set up infrastructure that will endure indefinitely.

Karbonite has a bunch of cool engines, while Kethane is focussed on the mining and has just the single kethane-burning jet. Some players might like the engine options in Karbonite, others might feel they have enough engines as it is.

The scanning systems are quite different. I'll be honest, Kethane scanning isn't great, though keep in mind that it doesn't take too long to locate numerous deposits, you don't have to scan every last little hex.

Oh, and did I mention Kethane Does Not Break Conservation Of Mass?

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Yep, we clarified that a few pages back :) One of the OPs was mistaken in his assessment of Kethane so I checked with Taniwha.

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Leaving aside physics debates...

Yes please. Let's move back to the topic of which and why.

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Karbonite because I secretly play this game with the sole intention of re-enacting the Bespin cloud city light saber fight in-game above jool, and realistically I'm going to need to harvest something to keep that thing afloat!

But for real though, karbonite due to unfocused production (or rather instant regolith catch up production, as stated earlier).

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I use Karbonite. But I'm curious: why does everyone prefer a resource that isn't ever depleted? I don't want to start another realism argument; I'm just asking about gameplay. Isn't it more interesting to have to search continuously for new deposits of a resource?

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Depends on your definition of interesting ;)

On the one hand, it would be a serious challenge for a couple of Kerbals with a drill to deplete the resources in an area within the timescale of a KSP game. It's like one dude with a shovel clearing out a coal seam.

Kethane depletes... but it's... weird. You can deplete an entire continent worth of stuff. So it's like one guy with a straw sucking up the great lakes in a few days.

That being said, Regolith (the framework Karbonite runs on) has had depletion support for a while now... just nobody uses it ;)

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Interestingly, real world off-planet ISRU proposals don't seem to be focusing on huge mining operations or trying to dig for specific materials, and are instead developing methods to extract all the materials they need straight from the surface regolith using a variety of chemical processes.

It's no too hard to imagine all these processes being handled by one machine, like the swiss army knife of materials processing.

It makes stuff like Kethane and Karbonite a lot less magical ;)

You're not kidding. Aluminium and water as rocket propellent. You could just dig that up out of the ground in certain places on the moon.

All of the resources required to make plastics exist on Mars with most of the elements coming from the atmosphere. So you could just print certain rocket parts literally out of the thin air.

Magical.

I use Karbonite. But I'm curious: why does everyone prefer a resource that isn't ever depleted? I don't want to start another realism argument; I'm just asking about gameplay. Isn't it more interesting to have to search continuously for new deposits of a resource?

If the kerbals moved about by themselves and could be set up to automate some tasks, like driving a rover to a new location, while you got on with something else then I'd agree.

As it is, you set up a supply chain only for the resource to run out requiring another load of grind setting up the exact thing you just set up and for me at least it made resources something I didn't want the hassle of.

You could always roleplay and force yourself to move your mining operation every 10th tankerfull or something. I edited the .cfg to make all the deposits ultra huge.

Then of course karbonite came out so I just set up a space station skimming gasses from the atmosphere and converting it into rocket fuel.

Edited by John FX

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Didn't a lot of people move to karbonite after the whole modstatistics drama with kethane?
IIRC Karbonite came out after that. E: I meant way after the drama, I think. By that time Squad had changed the rules about mods phoning home and Modstats was dead. My timeline may be internally screwed up after my recent hiatus, though.

E: Also, decided to give Karbonite and EPL a try in my "no-thought Friday-night" stock-ish install, pretty nice. I've edited and pruned some parts as needed, the config files are fairly easy to understand. Not bad, not bad. The texture colors are a bit ... much, but that's alright, they look okay.

zUip1vV.jpg

Edited by regex

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I've been more busy than usual as of late, but I've been paying a decent amount of attention and don't remember a detailing of the new stock system. Do you have a link or could you briefly describe it?

Um, let me see.. there's a scanning picture (not sure how it works, exactly though, but it looks neat) in the latest Squadcast Thread. It was described to me as a semi-depleting model: the high concentration dots degrade to low concentration ones over time, but never completely go away. So if you want maximum rates, you have to move your establishment around, but if you have a spot you really love, you can just use some patience instead..

My only bone of contention (and it's a small enough one that it doesn't bug me) is that you can get LF and O from the same source. I'd like to have to mine LF somewhere, and mine O somewhere ELSE. Then transport them to a central location (your station, or transport one resource to the other mine) to use.

OOoh.. what if those places where close together? Like.. close enough to rover, but not so close that a single ship can mine two at once? Some would make sub-orbital hops, but if the equipment were heavy enough, it might then be profitable to rover it from one of the locations to the other...

I use Karbonite. But I'm curious: why does everyone prefer a resource that isn't ever depleted? I don't want to start another realism argument; I'm just asking about gameplay. Isn't it more interesting to have to search continuously for new deposits of a resource?

RoverDude covered the realism angle pretty well (drinking Lake Ontario with a straw~). From the gameplay perspective, well, that sounds kinda like drudgery to me. There will be plenty of opportunity to explore for resources when you move to a new world -- and it will actually be new then, rather than maintenance of old infrastructure. Plus it means that the Kerbol system will eventually fail due to resource depletion (and under Kethane's default values, that could happen pretty quickly with heavy usage).

(also note that depletion of a resource usually follows the 'long tail' model or an inverse-square shaped curve, which makes the stock mechanic seem more appropriate)

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Hmm, a semi-depleting model might be a nice compromise. I guess I'm in the minority, but I kind of like scarcity. (Again, I'm talking gameplay here, not realism.) I know Minecraft is a different sort of universe, but I like that some (most?) of its resources are depletable.

On the other hand, I'm not a fanatic about this. I don't mind in the Civ games when a resource remains forever.

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Hmm, a semi-depleting model might be a nice compromise. I guess I'm in the minority, but I kind of like scarcity. (Again, I'm talking gameplay here, not realism.) I know Minecraft is a different sort of universe, but I like that some (most?) of its resources are depletable.

On the other hand, I'm not a fanatic about this. I don't mind in the Civ games when a resource remains forever.

I believe C&C: Red Alert 2 had a system where you could extract a field of materials really fast, but then when it was gone it slowed down as the materials had to be replaced. I think that sort of system would be interesting.

Anyway, I always like Kethane, but moved to Karbonite because of more active development and integration with pretty much everything. Plus Roverdude is awesome and I use all his mods, so it just makes sense.

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I use Kethane simply due to it having only the parts I really need. Karbonite has tons of extra parts I don't want so I have to go and delete them.

Apart from that they are pretty similar and I wouldn't mind using either.

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I switched from Kethane to Karbonite, because Karbonite don't have spy-ware.

And unsustainable Kethane deposit is a silly setting, should I make a new game save after kethane deplete??

Underwater Kethane also a trouble, I need a submarine mod to make part sink, KAS mod with .cfg edit make drill sink under -600m without explode, firespitter mod to make the refinery and fuel transport plane float

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I use Karbonite. But I'm curious: why does everyone prefer a resource that isn't ever depleted? I don't want to start another realism argument; I'm just asking about gameplay. Isn't it more interesting to have to search continuously for new deposits of a resource?

No because there isn't much searching. You scan and you know. If you want difficulty you go find Karborundum on EVE or Eloo. If you use MKS (or whatever is called now), you'd be looking for a bunch of different minerals and a spot with all of them in a 2 km radius. Setting up and assembling a MKS base anywhere other than Kerbin moons is not particularly easy task, so having to move it just distracts from other things I'd rather be doing. Their isn't any particular difficulty involved, but rather a waste of time.

Also I don't know why should it be depleted. Oil wells produce crazy amounts of oil before they deplete, so if you think about it for a small group of individuals a single well would be practically infinite. And others would be renewable.

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Non-depletion is what got me looking at Karbonite and MKS/OKS... because moving bases because have to doesn't seem fun. There is no way that a dozen kerbals is going to deplete anything.

RL examples: My grandparents have a bunch of oil wells that have been productive since they were started the 60s, I see no reason why a rich deposit of anything on another world would be much different. In Butte, Montana they turned a mountain into a giant hole and a toxic pit. Took about 100 years of heavy active mining... and they're still mining it but not to the degree they were 30 years ago.

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Hello,

I dont use Regolith simply becuase it doesnt work for me in many ways.

ScanSat doesnt work altho it is a nice MOD it is plain broke for me; why: because resources are messed up.

I use Kethane MOD exclusively to detect and mine resources; I have also cut resource availability by practically 90% and even still they will never expire in my lifetime or that of the Kerbal Universe; afterall; arnt I GOD here? I can replenish resources myself and just say it was an asteroid hit !

I have also placed resources where I think they should go myself and more correctly in my opinion; not only that with a few minor tweaks I can detect and mine anything I can think of.

Now resource placement is subjective and should be played accordingly; I have added ICE as a resource for WasteWater which is then filtered for drinking water; and it was easy to setup; I cant even detect ANYTHING with ScanSat let alone mine it; its alot of eye candy but what good is it if you cant eat it?!

I spent probly going on 3 weeks now figuring out this mess and getting it to work; I even deleted the resource config folder that Regolith supposedly points to and it still 'works' (?)...I think they are all hardcoded so no one can mess with them; somewhat like Planet Factory.

With the Kethane MOD I was up and running in a week and added half a dozen or so more resources.

When certain resources appear in 'off' places, like ICE in water; well they could be icebergs (!); Kerbals wont mine there; they will mine at the poles; Methane and other gas deposits made available to ground mine are available only in a few pockets depending on the body it is on; Yukon looks like it could have many pockets of various gases; that sort of thing; that is why I practically deleted gas resources on bodies with no atmosphere.

I can now also collect atmospheric resources using Kethan MOD and an Interstellar model; Regolith, like any resource generator can probly do the same; but how easy is it to code the modules?

I play KSP as a SIM and I look for many things in that respect: looks, aesthetics, functionality, gameplay; many are on an equal basis; I cant get EPL to build rockets; maybe MKS does but has too many parts that take up too much memory in my game; I will take what I feel looks kool and works, put them together, and make a SIM...Kethane makes that easy for me; why (!): Because It Works !

I looked at the resource configs outside of community resource; they look promising, especially the BIOME improvements and addtions; when they get this stuff to work I will defintely move into it; but if I cant Scan It I cant Mine It !!

Cmdr Zeta

Edited by Cdr_Zeta

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