Jump to content

Rascal Nag

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Rascal Nag

  1. Well, it seems like the answer to "Will it persist?" may turn out to be "No." The coma is rapidly losing brightness.
  2. This is why we shouldn't label comets dead at the first sign of struggle. There's definitely something left of ISON in my opinion at this point, now the question becomes will it persist, and if so, how big is the leftover and how bright it will get?
  3. I think it would have been more effective if he had said that the annual amount of deaths caused by coal power are greater than those caused by nuclear power - which is true.
  4. Harv, will science be separated into different branches? I mean, I highly doubt that getting samples from Duna would give you progress towards a new engine or capsule. Edit: I know there is a tree, I just want to know if there's one "science" value that works with all unlocks or if there is a variety of types that only work with one part of the tree.
  5. I know. I was just saying that I was against the solutions in the chart that employed automation (I'm personally against mechjeb), so suggested we get a robust MFD instead, and alignment would be manual. If it isn't aligned right it simply will not dock; if it is within a margin of error, it snaps into zero-misalignment position.
  6. I'm not implying in any way whatsoever that the fairing would be invincible. It's just that we get right back to the issue of strutting things into oblivion, an act which is significantly easier to do on a simply shaped fairing. And from there, we are left with a nearly invincible payload because of its shield and another strutted mess like before. Also, while we are assuming that once in space the part count will be low enough that the payload doesn't matter, remember: The largest conglomerations of parts are not only at the bottom, but at the top, because of how intricate payloads can become. For those who desperately need this, it's likely that the high part count of a payload is still going to cause framerate issues unless it's a very simple piece such as a small satellite or small Mun rover. For interplanetary journeys and larger payloads, the problem will still remain for many. It just seems like a band-aid fix to a problem, frankly. What needs to be done to address this problem is doublesided: first, KSP needs to have multicore support, which does not seem forthcoming in the near future, but may be somewhere down the line. When that rolls along, this entire fix would become obsolete as KSP wouldn't be unnecessarily bottlenecking itself. Second, the connections in general need to be less wobbly. This is a tough one because many updates ago, Squad removed part collisions on the same vessel which allowed much more wobble because things could wiggle through each other rather than being stopped by each other. When a solution is found to this and Unity implements multicore support, this fairing solution will be obsolete, andeven now it can be used for exploitation which is not something any developer would want in a fix. Furthermore, I personally think it's bad practice to add something in when it's known it will be removed later on, unless it's pretty much mandatory to make the game playable - and that's not the case. Breaking up payloads into separate flights DOES work for small to medium payloads, and for large payloads, if you use multiple docking ports (which isn't that hard, really) you greatly reduce any wobble. In fact, just three jr. docking ports can prevent almost all wobble if they are placed in a wide enough triangle along a payload. And the new ASAS also greatly reduces wobble by itself.
  7. I'm all for a realistic limit to alignment errors, but I don't think the alignment should be automated (outside of trained crewmen docking as a part of the eventual crew tasks feature). Instead, a true docking camera and docking MFD would be my wish. The camera would help for obvious reasons, and the MFD could provide simple visuals of certain properties such as alignment, distance, closing speed, etc. Here's the Orbiter 2010 docking MFD, for example: Looks complicated, right? Nope! DST obviously means distance. It gives a numerical value in 10^x meters at the top and a bar representation of the same value below it, starting at 10^3 meters (1km) and going down to 10^-1 meters (1 tenth of a meter, or 10 centimeters). CVEL means Closing velocity in 10^x meters per second. It also has the numerical value and associated bar, which also runs from 10^3 down to 10^-1 m/s. Now, about that circle. First, the center of the circle is where you're headed. The green cross is where the target is relative to this. It goes hand in hand with the yellow arrow and TVEL (top left). The yellow arrow gives you your vector in the plane perpendicular to approach plane. But from a purely visual point of view, the direction in which the yellow arrow points is the direction in which the center of the circle will move relative to the green cross (so in this case, we would continue moving the center of the circle up and to the left, or away from the target. This means we would shoot past the target to the top right if we did not make any corrections). The TVEL reading, or tangential velocity, simply gives you the magnitude of that vector (the velocity which the arrow represents). You should modify your TVEL so that the arrow points towards the green cross until it is centered, and then bring your TVEL down to zero so it stays there. Also provided is another scale along the concentric circles to give you a general idea of the speed a certain length of the arrow represents (Yellow numbers in bottom half of the circle. innermost circle is 10^-1 m/s, goes out to the outermost being 10^2 m/s). A similar scale is present in green; this represents your distance. It goes with the green circle, which gets smaller as you close in on the target. Each concentric circle has an associated distance which it represents on a logarithmic scale (10^x m). If your green cross is outside of this circle, you are outside of your "approach cone" and the TOFS (tangential offset - in the top left) will show a reading higher than 1. The circle will also become red. To visualize this better, think of the circle as not only a circle but as a hollow cone looked at from the bottom, with the green circle representing your current level in the cone. As you descend into the cone (get closer to the target), the circle will shrink since the cone shrinks as you approach the point. If the green cross is not centered, then as you get closer, it will eventually fall out of cone, meaning your target fell out of the cone. TOFS value is a numerical value that represents whether your target is in the cone or not. Values less than 1 tell you it is inside the cone. Next, the red cross is where you're docking port is pointing relative to where you're headed. After you align the green cross to the center, you should start aligning the red cross to the center by rotating your ship accordingly. There are degree readings (10 degrees and 20 degrees here) to describe at what angle your docking port is out of alignment with your approach path. If you are well aligned, the cross turns white (beware - as you get closer, any small misalignment becomes magnified, so adjust the whole way in). Finally, the red arrow indicates rotational alignment with the two docking ports. We would use Q and E to try and rotate this to the top of the circle. After you've successfully lined up these crosses and brought the red arrow to the top of the circle, you can go back to the easy-peasy DST and CVEL readings to make sure you approach at safe speeds. See? Not so bad. And anything in KSP would probably be simpler. I think a version without the logarithmic scales and a purely numerical DST and CVEL reading would be perfect.
  8. I don't think I can get past the fact that this would make things inside fairings invincible. And as people said, once the fairing opens, the part count shoots up and all of it is wasted. It seems like less of a performance piece, and more of a "make launches easier" piece. While that may not be the goal of the part, it certainly seems like the end result. My advice would be to break up payloads that are too big and awkward to lift in one launch and dock them later, or aim to make them as lean as possible. I still think fairings should be added, of course. And they still could make launches easier - but it would be through aerodynamics alone rather than through turning off physics for a payload.
  9. So, as night fell on the space center, I noticed that the birds happened to still be singing. I was wondering if this could be changed; perhaps it could be replaced with crickets? Obviously, this is not exactly the most important feature out there - just a little pet peeve...
  10. The idea that pulling something rather than pushing it will increase stability is a common misconception. At least if the pulled object is rigidly attached to whatever is pulling it. And since we don't have ropes, this means pulled rockets in KSP will always have the same problems as a pushed one. And even if we did have ropes, it would not be wise to use them in rocket assembly. What if you're towing an object via rope in order to avoid CoM issues, but then you slow down? Suddenly a piece of your own rocket is accelerating towards you, which won't end well. Wikipedia actually has an article dedicated to this very idea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pendulum_rocket_fallacy
  11. Took about 2 days before I figured it out. That was before the map view and even time warp, so checking to see if you even got an orbit meant needing to go all the way around in real-time. Luckily, the atmosphere ended lower so orbits could be quicker.
  12. I'll try. Back when KSP was first released, the community was smaller and was almost solely space enthusiasts. Furthermore, the simplicity of the game did not give much cause for huge divisions. The forums were, as a result, more peaceful and could be better in tune with the issues at hand. This made developer-community interaction easier, too, and moderation wasn't too hard. But things have changed, now that KSP has grown. Now, the forums are not as close knit since the community so so large. The concentration of the experts is much lower as well. This has made communication between devs and users much harder, and the differences have driven a wedge into the KSP community. New bugs in ambitious updates, plugins like mechjeb, and the difficulty of moderating a large, diverse community have all amplified this. To fix this, first the users can help by doing things like ensuring they don't repeat an old topic by searching, listening to arguments and understanding them before jumping in, and detaching themselves emotionally from their gripes. This will make things much smoother and easier for moderators and other users. Also, it might also be a good idea to try and research gameplay concepts yourself to help you along your way. It's rewarding! Then, the moderators can play a big role too. By avoiding curt and unprofessional responses and kneejerk reactions, the stigma of an oppressive moderation team will evaporate. Since I also would consider the stream under the jurisdiction of the community team as well, I think that needs some work as well to make sure it makes users as informed as possible. After the departure of Damion, it had fell on some hard times. Sure, transitions are never easy, but regardless, I personally think Skunky is not the best choice for the streamer, with all due respect. He has been with the community for a long time and has played a huge role in it, but I don't think he is the best fit for that post. I do like the idea of having prominent independent streamers getting slots, though. Finally, the developers. Really, my only advice would be to make tutorials one of the top priorities. If a robust tutorial system is implemented, then it is possible that we can regain the understanding we all once had with each other. Knowledge of the subject matter makes communication with other players and devs easier and even reduces the necessary frequency of these encounters because less is more when things are understood. There are certainly other important features, but tutorials should be up there with them too so that players can learn and create a friendly, helpful and intelligent community here on the forums. Everyone has to do their part though , or else it'll all crumble anyway. But it's definitely possible to turn things around.
  13. To me, I think that to get to the root of the problem, we have to look back at when KSP was just released. First, when I visited the forums then, it wasn't hard to find people, and the people I did find were much more in-tune with each other than those on the forums now since we all were closer. Things weren't as volatile. Second, we were mostly space enthusiasts. As a result, grasping some of the more difficult concepts of KSP came more easily. This made discussions on the forums a bit clearer and more filtered. People could jump right in to a discussion and understand what was going on without too much trouble, and the developer-community interactions were much easier since everyone was more familiar with the subject matter. Finally, we didn't have too many polarizing entities around to create divisions. There just wasn't enough stuff in KSP at the time to do that sort of thing. It was too simple to divide everyone. Obviously, things have changed. Now, when I enter a thread I see numerous names I've never seen before, many of which have less than 50 posts. This isn't an insult to anyone who fits that bill, though. It just shows that we have an influx of players. But as a community grows, problems arise. The once close forum members get spread apart by newcomers, for one, and so the forum slowly seems less personal. An effect of this depersonalization is that the self-stabilizing effect of a close-knit community fades away. It's easier for people to be harsh when the user(s) they are angry with are completely unknown to them. And this is aggravated by controversial issues such as bugs in ambitious updates, user generated content such as mechjeb, and the moderation of an ever-growing community. One thing about those three examples in particular is that they come from 3 different sources: The development process itself, the community, and those who watch over the community. It would be incorrect to paint one group as responsible for the current state of affairs. My take is that the original issue was that newcomers didn't have too much to guide them. The wiki was under constant assault from spammers and was often totally closed and in a state of total disarray. The original tutorials barely covered the bare bones, and although they have improved significantly, they still have a long way to go before effective at teaching everyone who wants to play. And so this presents new, not so space-oriented players with a problem. It's very difficult to learn and very difficult to find a good teacher, so what's left? One thing could be asking for more assists. Before maneuver nodes were added, there was much debate on how to handle this, and it could sometimes get heated. The addition of mechjeb into things only fueled the fire, and soon you had one end of the spectrum calling the other clueless, spoon-fed and idiotic, while that end in turn responded by claiming its attackers were elitist, dictatorial and opposed to fun. This, I feel, is the biggest divide in the KSP community. It's the smaller, older, more technical group versus the quickly growing, less experienced leisurely group. And because the latter is growing more quickly (since there simply are fewer space experts than there are laymen), the personality of the forum has changed markedly over KSP's two years since .7.3. It's simply not a given anymore that forum goers will be able to easily grasp and fully understand some concepts of the game and its development anymore, and so developer-community interaction breaks down. When that happens, the forum just gets even more crazy. People start shouting their ideas and wishes louder, hoping that someone hears them, for one thing. Arguments ensue. Fears that the game will go down a dark path spring up like no tomorrow. The forums become a generally hostile place. Moderation has to crack down, and so now things get even more tense. It just keeps spiraling downwards until people start to avoid the place. I don't personally think that the forums are beyond saving yet, though. But it requires some work. First, the users need to pitch in. Simple things like searching for something before posting, listening to an argument and understanding it before responding, and emotionally detaching oneself from problems or suggestions are big things. The first point stops you from annoying everyone with an idea that has been brought up and put down a thousand times, the second makes sure you have a good, intelligent discussion and don't just make projections, and the third will prevent you from sounding "entitled" as some people would say. Then, the moderators and the community team as a whole need to help, too. Being curt and unprofessional are the biggest no-nos I can think of here. A model for what's RIGHT in my opinion would be sal_vager; I don't think I've ever seen him do a forum goer wrong when assessing an issue. Another thing is closing threads - I think this needs to be treated as more of a nuclear option than the first response to intense discussions. Individual offenders should be picked out first and warned on a private basis, and if that fails, punishment on a private basis should follow, but the thread, as long as it stays on topic or is not a repeat of some sort, should stay open until it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is simply a breeding ground for wrongdoings. I think that just these two things would allow for amazing headway between the users and moderators. The next thing I would say should be on the list of things in need of review for the team is the stream. It's probably one of the best ways to get information from the devs to the users, and so it definitely needs to be up to par. And unfortunately, I personally do not feel that it is, and I would venture to guess that others think the same. BEfore Damion left, I felt like it was not what it could be, but at least functional and capable of providing information to viewers. But after his resignation, it's fallen on rough times. Admittedly, any transition is a bit difficult, and it being timed near the .20 release only worsened things. But I don't think it was handled well, honestly - at least the dev and community streams. I DO think the idea of having prominent streamers having time on the air on the channel is good. But back to the dev and community streams, while I know that Skunky has been an important part of KSP for a long, long, loooooonnnng time, and that he is well liked by many, with all due respect and courtesy I would feel better with someone else in the dev streams. There was a lack of decorum of sorts I felt which went unchallenged in the stream, but in the chat, similar things were cracked down on. Obviously, as one of the Captain's first streams, it's impossible to expect perfection. But I still think that the dev and community streams need to be seriously restructured in the wake of Damion's departure, as simply transitioning the duties to Capt'n Skunky has been rocky. If the streams can be improved and the impression of a repressive moderation team can be lifted though, I think everything will be on the right track. Actually, just one more thing. Finally, there is the development process itself. Since .7.3, we as a community have witnessed KSP evolve from its simple, small and bare-bones beginnings into a complex, massive and meaty game, thanks to the hard work of a dedicated development team that is striving to create a very rare type of game. Much praise is deserved for what has been added over the years. But while many things have been done to try and keep communication and interaction alive within such a large community, given the current state of the forums I think that there still is work to be done. But I do not think that the answer lies in more frequent dev blogs and streams - I think those just need more regulation. What I would do personally is make the tutorial system more robust, since given the current situation, the How To section, wiki and current tutorials aren't getting the job done. There are of course many other features that are of high priority, but I feel that tutorials need to be just as high as those too, because if the tutorials teach players well, the community is once again capable of easily grasping and understanding the issues at hand, like in ye olde times of the forums. Once that happens, it's very easy for devs and players to interact and understand each other and it's actually possible to cut down on the amount of communication because less is more when people know what you're saying. And that frees up time from tough schedules. The forums are definitely in a tough situation right now. There's no one magic solution. If better tutorials are in place but players don't take advantage of them, then it's as if they never changed. If they do take advantage of them but then the forums are mismanaged, it's still just as hard to get points across. But despite this, I feel it's possible to fix the forums given how much they have been through over the years. It'll take more than struts, but it's by no means unachievable.
  14. A gravitoelectromagnetic toroidal launcher is a super-theoretical propulsion method that would allow unbelievable acceleration without passengers feeling any g-forces. I have no idea how it works, but people have thought of it.
  15. Nah, Kittinger didn't use a drogue chute. Though they mentioned during the stream that in an earlier test jump, Kittinger's drogue deployed too early.
  16. I'd just like to clarify that it's rotation period (amount of time to complete a rotation), not speed that must be the same to get a geostationary orbit. Orbiting at the same speed would not work because the radius of the orbit is larger than that of the planet, meaning that the circumference is greater than that of the planet's, and so you would fall behind the rotation since you might be going speed A over distance 2D while the planet rotates at speed A over distance D (just a random scenario, not meant to refer to any real orbit around a real body). Obviously, the planet will complete its rotation in this case quicker than you can complete your orbit and so you'll fall behind.
  17. If this turns out as bright as some people report it to be, Hale-Bopp won't even compare. Some estimations have the show peaking at magnitudes fifteen times that of the full Moon.
  18. I've done it, but I have no screenshots. I'll do you one better though, in 15 minutes or so my youtube video should be uploaded. Edit: Done! www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBUxcGmWzEk I'd embed it but that doesn't seem to want to work.
  19. This is quite an impressive calculator, definitely will be using this. All that would be needed to make this perfect would be a way to calculate paths using gravity assists, for voyager-like missions.
  20. Only way the US would have a moon base any time soon is through the private sector. Or if NASA got more funding, but I doubt that's happening.
  21. After the tragic passing of Neil Armstong, I felt that a tribute was in order. I've made this video in his memory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9J01UjRHj0
  22. First, I plan to send out a probe that will pass by each of the new planets in one go - I'll probably try to slingshot around the Sun, taking me to Charr, which will fling me to Eve, which will fling me to the Desert planet, which will fling me to the Gas giant and then I'll just leave my probe be from then on. It will be quite the journey, I probably will record it (if it works, of course). The first one I will step on shall be the Desert planet.
  23. "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind" - Neil Armstrong. Today, the world loses one of its best examples of human innovation and achievement, and a source of inspiration to not only the United States, but to the whole world. His endeavors into the great and vast unknown gave our species a new vantage point in this universe, spurring us to ask new questions and to explore new frontiers. Had it not been for men like Armstrong, we would be lost as a species, endlessly toiling in the cradle of Earth. Through his actions, Armstrong brought us to the edge of this cradle and beyond, forever changing the human race. A tragedy has befallen the human species in his death. It is not often such men arise on Earth. We must hope that more like him can find their way to the top, and lead us on into a bright future. But for now, we mourn. Today, we lost Armstrong. Today, a chapter of the human race was ended. Today, we lost a hero. Goodbye, Neil Armstrong. You will be missed.
  24. That was brilliant. Sagan and Bradbury are sorely missed, and the world needs more people like them. As of yesterday, both of them have spots for them on Mars - Bradbury Landing and Carl Sagan Memorial Station.
  • Create New...