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A look at the for science tech tree in KSP 2 vs the tree in KSP 1.


RayneCloud

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I wanted to take a moment to look at the different tech trees from a UI/UX position, as well as gameplay and feature parity. I figured we could start with the stock KSP 1 tree taking a look at it as it stands with t he final update to KSP 1.

The KSP 1 Tech Tree has,
* 9 Tiers
* 61 Total Nodes
* Requires 18 468 Science to unlock
* IS a singular Large UI that does make it somewhat harder to drill down on compared to the newer Tree.

Tech_Tree.PNG

The KSP 2 Tech Tree
* 4 "Pages" 
* 26 Rows 
* 87 Nodes
* Requires,
* 1,010 Science Points for Page 1 which includes 8 rows and 25 nodes.
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Page 2 requires,
* 11,170 Science spread across 7 rows and 26 nodes
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Page 3 requires,
* 42,900 Science across 6 rows and 20 nodes
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Page 4 Requires,
* 97,000 Science across 5 rows and 16 nodes
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KSP 1 Totals,
Nodes: 61
Total Science Required to Unlock: 18,468

KSP 2 Totals,
Nodes: 87 (An increase of 26 additional nodes over the stock ksp 1 tech tree.)
Total Science Required to Unlock: 152,080 (An over 8 times increase in total science required to unlock the entire tree in KSP 2.)

KSP 1 Total Science Parts:  14
Labs: 1
Experiment Storage: 1
Telescopes: 1
Sensors: 8
Resource Scanners: 3

KSP 2 Total Science Parts with 0.2.0:  9
* 5 XS Science Parts
* 2 SM Science Parts
* 2 MD Science Parts

TXI3mxk.png

I imagine we'll not only see feature parity here (as I imagine some sensors or experiments will be merged in to a singular part) but we'll also see additional science parts as the game progresses no doubt with resource scanners and colony science etc. I imagine there's also just as much science to collect as there was in KSP 1, which as a note had nearly 370k science to recover across all biomes (someone feel free to correct me on that if I am wrong.) In short, The tech tree is bigger, easier to navigate and read, and seems to perhaps have extended science oriented gameplay beyond that of KSP 1. 

Thoughts all? :)

Edited by RayneCloud
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It's pretty nice! I especially like the geometric progression in science costs because it will be a big incentive to explore further afield, you can't just grind biomes on Minmus to unlock the whole tree. It also looks like they've ditched the MPL which is great because that just totally trivialized the whole science mechanic. 

I'm keen to get my hands on it because I expect I will have some quibbles but overall it looks much more fun than KSP1's tech tree. Also LOADS of parts! :joy:

-- There is one thing I'm curious about which I'll only be able to tell when I'm actually playing it. KSP1 had a lot of busywork clicking on individual science experiments and doing EVAs to reset them. With KSP2 it appears that this has all been put behind a "collect science" button that runs all the experiments at once. I'm actually not sure this is a good thing -- sometimes convenience like this makes you engage with the game less and makes it feel more sterile, and also clicking on a button when it goes green is still busywork: if you go that far, why not make it completely automatic? Basically, while that change sounds nice on paper, I'm curious how it'll change the way I feel about playing the game. Busywork has a function too!

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33 minutes ago, Periple said:

It's pretty nice! I especially like the geometric progression in science costs because it will be a big incentive to explore further afield, you can't just grind biomes on Minmus to unlock the whole tree. It also looks like they've ditched the MPL which is great because that just totally trivialized the whole science mechanic. 

I'm keen to get my hands on it because I expect I will have some quibbles but overall it looks much more fun than KSP1's tech tree. Also LOADS of parts! :joy:

-- There is one thing I'm curious about which I'll only be able to tell when I'm actually playing it. KSP1 had a lot of busywork clicking on individual science experiments and doing EVAs to reset them. With KSP2 it appears that this has all been put behind a "collect science" button that runs all the experiments at once. I'm actually not sure this is a good thing -- sometimes convenience like this makes you engage with the game less and makes it feel more sterile, and also clicking on a button when it goes green is still busywork: if you go that far, why not make it completely automatic? Basically, while that change sounds nice on paper, I'm curious how it'll change the way I feel about playing the game. Busywork has a function too!

I actually think with this new progression, that a MPL might be even more valuable now, as you'd actually have a use to long form science production. Something that happens in KSP when I play with the whole of the near future and far future mod series. That and with the money part of KSP 1 and having the policies that science turns in to money, it really helps be a nice loop. I'm just excited to see what comes next :)

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2 minutes ago, RayneCloud said:

I actually think with this new progression, that a MPL might be even more valuable now, as you'd actually have a use to long form science production. Something that happens in KSP when I play with the whole of the near future and far future mod series. That and with the money part of KSP 1 and having the policies that science turns in to money, it really helps be a nice loop. I'm just excited to see what comes next :)

It depends on how it works. My problem with the MPL was that the science output was WAY too high. You could park one around Mun, another around Minmus, grind a few biomes, warp, and you were up to your eyeballs in Science. I think the science output from labs needs to be capped so that they won't let you grind your way through the tiers no matter what you do.

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I think the science tree in ksp1 was too easy to unlock. it only took me a few missions to unlock like half of it, and I finished it several times in new saves before I got bored of that save. 
There's no reason to keep doing science if you've already unlocked everything, so I think this will make it more challenging, and keep me busy on a single save file for a lot longer.

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22 minutes ago, Periple said:

It depends on how it works. My problem with the MPL was that the science output was WAY too high. You could park one around Mun, another around Minmus, grind a few biomes, warp, and you were up to your eyeballs in Science. I think the science output from labs needs to be capped so that they won't let you grind your way through the tiers no matter what you do.

As a note, we've also seen that experiments take time now, all of them. So that changes things up a bit too.

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The increase of costs suggests that it's far more a challenge to complete the tree and likely impossible by grinding away in the Kerbin system alone.

That's good if there's rewarding missions and exciting science to be done at the outer planets and bad if it merely means you'll have to repeat the same experiments everywhere. My fear is the latter as the design tends to stick very close to copying KSP1 without daring gameplay overhaul but I hope I am wrong.

The best thing for the tech tree would be to be just that—the end to a means. There's a human tendency to want to complete things, and without a separate achievements board the tech tree will be the ersatz feature for that. Players will strive to finish the game by completing the tree, instead of achieving things even after it's completed.

That makes me wonder, how will progression mode differ from sandbox once the tree is completed? I'll be impressed if the game is set up in such a way that it doesn't feel like "all is done" when that point is reached.

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1 hour ago, Kerbart said:

That makes me wonder, how will progression mode differ from sandbox once the tree is completed? I'll be impressed if the game is set up in such a way that it doesn't feel like "all is done" when that point is reached.

I think that's going to be an individual thing, and not something overly defined by the game itself.  I guess it will depend on what parameters you set for yourself when you create a new game.  Are you doing a speed run to see how long it takes to unlock the tech tree?  Are you aiming to hit every planet/moon in the Kerbolar system?  Once we get to colonies, are you aiming to turn them all into resource generators or habitat modules?  What one person defines as being "all done" with a given save will not be the same as what another person defines.

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13 hours ago, RayneCloud said:

In short, The tech tree is bigger, easier to navigate and read, and seems to perhaps have extended science oriented gameplay beyond that of KSP 1. 

I pretty much agree.

Of course, the number of science points to unlock nodes in one game vs the other is not a comparison you can make, not knowing how many science points you can expect to get from any mission/planet/biome/etc, not even counting anything in one game that is simply not in the other. However, having science less grindy to get AND needing more is exactly what I want because I love "doing progress" but I hate "doing grinding"

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11 hours ago, Superfluous J said:

I pretty much agree.

Of course, the number of science points to unlock nodes in one game vs the other is not a comparison you can make, not knowing how many science points you can expect to get from any mission/planet/biome/etc, not even counting anything in one game that is simply not in the other. However, having science less grindy to get AND needing more is exactly what I want because I love "doing progress" but I hate "doing grinding"

Except, we can get a base idea already from the dev chat video, for example..

il8rGd7.png

We see here that a Crew Observation report , Kerbin / Landed / Kerbal Space Center, gives 4 science. We have the ability to return samples or transmit data just like in the first game and I imagine data transmission will take power and time.

Also this example here,

huoEX8L.png

We see that returning that surface sample is worth 100 science, also we get little "notes" on each science report. We see that connection is still required so basic kerbnet functions return properly, etc. This shows us fully that biomes are in fact 100% back as they should be, etc. During the dev chat they did say that Data can be transmitted for 100% reward, but samples need to be returned to the KSC

Nn3jnsi.png

We also get science from mission completion as well.

During their first test mission they brought back 147 science points which is a little under 20% of what Page 1 requires for a full unlock. We can infer from all this information, that as you progress in to each new tech page, and t he costs skyrocket, you're going to HAVE to explore outward and you wont be able to just sit around kerbin local with the Mun and Minmus.

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It’s becoming clear to me now that For Science will be Career Mode without funds. There’s a tech tree with less nodes per column but much more expensive, forcing players ro do research beyond Mun and Minmus. And Funds have been dropped; contracts (now called Missions) only yield science points.

And that’s it. Anyone expecting more from it is going to be disappointed.

A bit underwhelming given the time it took. And with the bolted-on nature of Science and Career in KSP1 most of us were hoping for a game mechanic revised from the ground up and more integrated in nature, but it’s consistent with the “don’t change anything” attitude we’ve experienced sofar — UI/UX changes only.

3 hours ago, RayneCloud said:

We see that returning that surface sample is worth 100 science, […]

During their first test mission they brought back 147 science points which is a little under 20% of what Page 1 requires for a full unlock. We can infer from all this information, that as you progress in to each new tech page, and t he costs skyrocket, you're going to HAVE to explore outward and you wont be able to just sit around kerbin local with the Mun and Minmus.

Keep in mind that they mentioned in the video that the 100 science for the surface sample was a bug that was already fixed (just not in the demo). In the 0.2 release you won’t clean out 20% of tier one with the first sortie.

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29 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

Didn't Intercept hire some former Squad developers?

There are, in fact, several former KSP 1 devs and KSP 1 mod makers working on KSP 2, but people do so love being hyperbolic about things don't they? lol

45 minutes ago, Kerbart said:

It’s becoming clear to me now that For Science will be Career Mode without funds. There’s a tech tree with less nodes per column but much more expensive, forcing players ro do research beyond Mun and Minmus. And Funds have been dropped; contracts (now called Missions) only yield science points.

And that’s it. Anyone expecting more from it is going to be disappointed.

A bit underwhelming given the time it took. And with the bolted-on nature of Science and Career in KSP1 most of us were hoping for a game mechanic revised from the ground up and more integrated in nature, but it’s consistent with the “don’t change anything” attitude we’ve experienced sofar — UI/UX changes only.

Keep in mind that they mentioned in the video that the 100 science for the surface sample was a bug that was already fixed (just not in the demo). In the 0.2 release you won’t clean out 20% of tier one with the first sortie.

You've already made your mind up for not playing it yet eh? Each their own I suppose. As for the "don't change anything" thing, that's incredibly unfair and not even remotely accurate.

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23 minutes ago, RayneCloud said:
53 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

Didn't Intercept hire some former Squad developers?

There are, in fact, several former KSP 1 devs and KSP 1 mod makers working on KSP 2, but people do so love being hyperbolic about things don't they? lol

Okay, so you don't suspect this has to do with science being similar to how it worked in KSP 1?

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It’s important to remember that many gameplay elements in exploration mode aren’t revealed yet. My personal guess is that most of the juice will come out of the new resources, colonies and logistics systems. 
Maybe that’s why the new science system feels lacking something. It’s not supposed to be the only gameplay element, serving more as a learning curve so that players don’t feel overwhelmed. Being fun is just collateral.

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48 minutes ago, Bej Kerman said:

Okay, so you don't suspect this has to do with science being similar to how it worked in KSP 1?

Yeah, that's exactly it. The missions look just like contracts, acquiring science seems to be the same, using science points seems to be the same. It'll be more fun to play than sandbox, but I don't think I'm the only one who thinks that the gameplay aspect of KSP1 was a bit thin. And that was fine. It started life as a sandbox-only game, and career mode was something added with duct-tape and string. It worked decently but it's nature of "collect points to advance" has a grindy nature.

For KSP2 the gameplaty element vould be designed from the ground up. More storytelling, perhaps some backgrounds, quests, subquests, whatever... There's a blank canvas in the game waiting to be filled with something new, exciting and refreshing. And we get... this.

Maybe I'm wrong. But the precviews we've gotten since last year are intended to create hype, Intercept doesn't have an underpromise and overdeliver culture. So I'm going to assume this is what we're getting. And given that the game designers had a blank canvas to start with, no ballast or conventions set by an existing framework, seeing a repeat of KSP1 does not make for a happy Kerbart.

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The science progression does seem pretty simple. By itself maybe too simple? I wonder though how it’ll feel when resources come online. All those systems have to work together and if one of them is too complex it might turn into a chore.

I don’t think Civilization would be improved if the research system was a lot more elaborate. It would get in the way of the exploring, building, diplomacy, and war fighting!

I’m reserving judgment on this until we’ve got all the core systems in place. It’s always possible to add frills later if it feels like they’re needed!

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14 hours ago, Emanuel01 said:

It’s important to remember that many gameplay elements in exploration mode aren’t revealed yet. My personal guess is that most of the juice will come out of the new resources, colonies and logistics systems. 
Maybe that’s why the new science system feels lacking something. It’s not supposed to be the only gameplay element, serving more as a learning curve so that players don’t feel overwhelmed. Being fun is just collateral.

This is a great point. I am excited for the "exploration" milestone most for this exact reason. 0.2 appears to still be working towards feature parity with KSP 1, but 0.3 and beyond will be the first significant steps into new territory that build upon the foundation still being worked on now.

I have high hopes for colony/resource features and the depth they can add to exploration mode. I do wonder how far resource management will go though.... When will it come into play, how will it impact progression, etc? My hunch says the dev team doesn't event have this entirely sorted yet, but I'm excited regardless.

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On 12/2/2023 at 7:15 AM, Kerbart said:

The missions look just like contracts,

Just to pick at this thread, we don't really know how they're going to be delivered to the player, that being whether they're random, whether they're introductory, whether they autocomplete, and so on. (Or I entirely missed the deep dive into them)

What we do know is that they're entirely optional for the player to engage with and that is a big change from KSP1. I would hazard a guess from this that missions are designed as a sort of narrative, introductory path for the player to follow with incentives to complete them; they serve the simultaneous purpose of advanced tutorial, guidebook, and goals for people who need that.

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Yeah we're seeing a few subtle changes here that I think are big improvements on the original and should (I hope) reduce grind. One is that data always transmits at 100% and there's a clear distinction between samples that need to be returned and transmittable data. That means players aren't encouraged to go back to the same biome and repeat the same experiment to scrape the barrel. There's also of course the "collect all science button" which is really nice for obvious reasons. The third thing we've heard mentioned but not  seen exactly is that they're reducing the number of big, visually indistinct biomes and adding in much smaller discoverable zones. This reduces the amount of repetitive biome hopping over and over to places that look and function exactly the same. What I'd like to hear much more about is how each experiment will differ in its functionality, how discoverables might be detected, and how that affects the actual planning of missions. 

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On 12/1/2023 at 4:39 PM, Kerbart said:

I'll be impressed if the game is set up in such a way that it doesn't feel like "all is done" when that point is reached.

Possibly multiplayer? Many players don't think that combat should be the biggest part of KSP, but once people complete the tech trees they might just decide to throw a space rock at their friend's colony for the fireworks.

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I think you can tell that Tier 4 ends a bit abruptly, it would likely go over into interstellar in the future, so maybe we will see at least one more tier later on? Or they'll just add more engines into Tier 4. 

I feel with KSP 1 science multipliers exponential growth in costs would be too much, as the science modifier weren't exponential. Eeloo had the highest modifier and it was just 3 times that of Minmus. So I would expect to see a larger difference this time around.

But that's easy enough to change for KSP 2.

As for feature parity, I would measure that more in terms of parts variety than simply science nodes - especially with the two addons KSP 1 ended up putting a lot of parts into one node. 

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On 12/1/2023 at 3:39 PM, Kerbart said:

That makes me wonder, how will progression mode differ from sandbox once the tree is completed? I'll be impressed if the game is set up in such a way that it doesn't feel like "all is done" when that point is reached.

Not a lot for now I think, but once we ger resources that will introduce a whole new progression and "survival" mechanic (Not in the way that you can die, but that you don't get everything for free. )

 

In addition to science, progression will come from infrastracture that allows you to colonize planets, build larger and larger craft and eventually go interstellar, where you can again get science and build infrastracture.

Edited by Datau03
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