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Science is pretty much stupid. Just get rid of it.


JoeSchmuckatelli

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For my part, I don't think it's really fair to level a lot of criticism at the KSP2 science system at this point because it's pretty obviously not finished yet. I too felt that the absence of actual readouts of temperature, pressure etc. made the experience of doing science  less rewarding somehow, and also that the apparent paucity of mission options and alternative paths forward to unlock the tech tree are  pretty restrictive. But I also can't believe that's all there will be to it. This is just the foundation of the building. After all, we have whole new tiers of parts that don't exist yet that will need to be unlocked somehow. And I actually like the idea of using a series of  Easter egg hunts as a means of getting to some goal in terms of new alien techs and interstellar capability, which is where it looks like they might be going to me. I actually lobbied for that idea long ago in the KSP1 forum, because so many of the science missions in that game seemed totally pointless to me. I get that this might hamper the replayability of the primary campaign as such, at least if they don't implement some alternate paths to unlocking the essential capabilities,  but with so much new content and so many whole new modes of play on the horizon, I have to believe there will be new campaigns that become available once the whole initial tech tree has been unlocked, and more still after that in the form of new star systems as DLC. Anyway, I think what we have now is still basically just a stub.

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8 hours ago, Fizzlebop Smith said:

I think you are missing the biggest complain from so many people.. 

There is a finite set of mission parameters that have a linear but non logical progression.

I was only responding to calls to completely rework science, using something other than science points style currency, specifically doing something or going somewhere to unlock specific techs or parts. And just voicing my opinion, that I would rather they stick with Science points. Overall, this is what I expected from Science gameplay. And, I haven't heard any suggestions that I would prefer to science points. Folks have been voicing the opinion that they don't want Science Points. I'm voicing my opinion that I prefer they stick with Science Points.

I'm not arguing the current system is perfect. It could do with some adjusting. I'd love to see some more different experiments. But I'm also willing to wait to see how it interfaces with Colonies and Resources. As I think a lot of progression and management people are looking for could be introduced with Resources.

 

Also, I'm not a sandbox player, I pretty much only play in progression style modes. Career in KSP 1, and now Explore in KSP 2. I really only used Sandbox to build and test stuff to be used later in career. But I've been loving the new KSP2 Science mode setup. As I said before, I found the KSP 1 Career to quickly devolve into a pretty boring grind of running several dozen identical missions to grind up money and science to be able to do the missions I actually want to do. After playing KSP 2's mode, it's made me wonder why I ever really played KSP 1's career mode. I like having the limit of money, I like being forced to build cheap efficient rockets to run missions, but the only missions I could tolerate doing in KSP 1 were the 'world's first' ones, and gathering stranded kerbals from orbit. And it sure got boring saving 30 kerbals from orbit to pay for the KSC upgrades. I much prefer the speed of progression in KSP 2, and I'm looking forward to resources to reintroduce a need for cheap efficient rockets, and to invest in building colonies. 

 

20 hours ago, MirageNL said:

The problem isn't the finite amount of science, it's that you can spend it arbitrarily.

...

You learn how to go fast with the Panther, then you learn to go higher with the Whiplash, then how to transistion to orbit with the Rapier. No cutting corners: earn it.

I don't know, I prefer a system where it can be spent arbitrarily. 

For that suggestion, I see it being done very easily with cut corners. If I play through using rockets and get all the points to unlock the Rapier. If it's locked behind flying the Wheezley, the Panther, the Whiplash, all you have to do is build a quick plane. Air Intake, Cockpit, Fuel Tank, Wings. Fly it to complete the Wheezley requirement. Swap the engine out for the Panther and repeat. Swap out for the Whiplash and repeat. It just doesn't seem like it adds much to me but some busywork.

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7 hours ago, Fizzlebop Smith said:

No? No to what. You find the game boring, and therefore  can in no way be one of the people i am refering to.

11 hours ago, Fizzlebop Smith said:

So many of the people talking about how great the current state of game is are clearly more in tune with the sandbox approach. 

I'm one of those people, though I probably can't speak for the rest of them. Gameplay now is relatively good. Close to KSP 1. Just because I'm bored of it doesn't mean it's bad. I've sunken many hours into it. Sandbox was boring from the beginning.

7 hours ago, Fizzlebop Smith said:

Are you agreeing, disagreeing?

A bit of both. I assume both camps will enjoy everything a lot more, with further roadmap updates. Not because of bug fixes, but because gameplay will be expanded in such a way, that you'll need to think ahead. You'll have further goals. That is, if the implementation of these systems is well thought out.

To tie that up with the topic of the thread, I don't think science alone is relevant anymore. We've all been there, done that. Copy-pasting KSP 1 gameplay isn't enough. I still want my funny readouts, but ultimately, I want my attention to be focused elsewhere. Thus, I'm waiting for colonies.

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22 hours ago, MirageNL said:

I totally agree, but unlocking jet engines should be earned by actually flying.

I think I figured out a way to explain my problem with this better. A requirement to fly to x height and x speed with x engine would either be so ridiculously easy that it requires 0 thought or ridiculously hard to the point there is only one way to do it or most players won't be able to. Let me explain.

 

If the only requirement is x height and x speed, there is no requirement for the plane to also be an ssto, there is no requirement for it to carry a payload, no requirement for it to be a certain size or fly a certain distance. The engines have power sized to also be carrying a lot of payload. So the best plane to do that mission with is so easy to build you could throw it together in 30 seconds. Air intake, cockpit, fuel tank, engine. Add wings and gear. Because there's no requirement for payload and ssto capability or even safely landing, you can build a plane that is entirely fuel and engines. A plane that is just a cockpit, fuel tank, and engine will be able to fly higher and faster than any other plane using that particular engine. So if the x height and x speed requirements are reasonably low enough that a plane carrying an actual payload or ssto rocket fuel can reach them, this tiny engine and fuel only plane will easily blow passed them. If the height and speed are high enough to be a challenge with this tiny plane, then no plane carrying an actual load will have a chance.

 

The problem with so many limited requirements like that is finding a balance. If they are easy enough to be accomplished by a craft in addition to doing something else, they will be trivially easy for a craft purpose built to do them. If the requirements are hard enough to be the least bit challenging to a craft purpose built to do them, they'd be impossible to do with any sort of general purpose craft in addition to being useful in other ways. And it would pretty much come down to building the bare minimum just to get the requirements out of the way. It becomes a chore to do rather than a challenge.

 

Add to that KSP needs to cater to a wide variety of player skill levels and its even harder. If the challenges pose even the slightest difficulty to the long time players it becomes impossible for the first time ones. Even somewhere in the middle, and the challenge becomes something hard enough for the new time players they might just give up, or look up walk-throughs showing them exactly how to get passed it so they can get by onto the rest of the game, while it still poses no challenge to the long time players and becomes pointless busy work to get passed.

 

 

The only thing you need to know to accomplish any mission like that, is to build a plane that is only an engine and one tank of fuel. Once you know that, there's no challenge in it at all. It's no longer a test of a player's skill, or planning, or creativity. It just becomes a test of the player's patience making them fly those flights.

Edited by SolarAdmiral
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12 hours ago, EngineeringWaffle said:

A lot of the objections being raised seem to be of the format: "if non-fungible science rewards were added in an terrible and tedious way, the result would be terrible and tedious." Obviously adding non-fungible rewards would not be something you would just do completely randomly with no thought, it would need to be just as carefully thought out and carefully constructed as any other system.

As I laid out in my previous post. I seriously doubt that a lot of the requirements and suggestions made here could possibly be added in a way that isn't terrible and tedious. I'm happy to hear suggestions. But I was just pointing out that none of the suggestions I've seen so far seem any good.

 

I really fail to see the middle ground between requirements so specific they are punishingly difficult especially for new players, and so easy they are pointless busywork especially for the more experienced players, made even worse if they are something that has to be redone exactly the same way every time you play through the game. What sort of nonfungible requirement locking specific parts do you envision that aren't, extremely hard for new players, are fun to replay every time you do a new career, and are actually some sort of challenge and not just wasting the players time with pointlessly easy requirements? 

 

Flying to a specific height and speed, trivially easy if you know that simple trick and a pointless waste of half an hour flying to make me prove I know it. Landing on a specific moon to unlock a specific engine or part, now you have to do that every single game, probably at about the same tech level every time.

 

Your idea for the super special parts locked behind certain places is a bit more interesting. But I think runs a major risk of those super special parts either being so much better than the regular ones that consensus quickly becomes 'you have to go unlock these as soon as possible'. Or so little improvement that everyone ignores them. Or so easy to accomplish along the way of playing you barely even notice as you get them.

 

I can even point to something pretty much exactly like your suggestion. Stellaris has parts researched only by killing specific space creatures. They vary from underpowered and so common you get them without even thinking about it. To the point you start to just ignore them or take them as granted. To super rare and very powerful. But so rare you seldom get the chance to actually get them in a game.

But stellaris has a massive advantage over KSP for implimenting this in an interesting way, in that you're competing with the other empires, to expand your boarders to catch these creatures or getting to them and killing them first. There's a challenge there in competition, racing against the opponents.

KSP, as long as it's still single player, offers no challenge like that. KSPs challenge comes down entirely to just physics. There's not really anything in the game more challenging than landing at the temple on Duna or Tylo, or returning from Eve.

That's why I think my vote will always be for generic science points to be spent as you please. It lets the player choose their own path. What order and how they want to do everything. What order and how they want to unlock everything. So they can go and face the real challenges in the game, orbital transfers, landing, entering atmospheres. 

Why lock an engine or a part behind a landing on Duna, what does that offer beyond visiting the Duna temple?

 

 

Now, maybe something like you propse could be interesting for multiplayer. If it is limited and there's an actual race between the players to get it first.

 

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7 hours ago, SolarAdmiral said:

I think I figured out a way to explain my problem with this better. A requirement to fly to x height and x speed with x engine would either be so ridiculously easy that it requires 0 thought or ridiculously hard to the point there is only one way to do it or most players won't be able to.

To be clear: I don't want to get rid of science points. In fact, I agree they work great as a tech currency, making you think about what to invest in next. What I'm suggesting is to make the available options depend on what the player has achieved so far,. This adds a sense of natural progression and prevents skipping steps. So yes, the requirements should be minimal, so they can be achieved by playing the game normally.

Edited by MirageNL
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On 2/28/2024 at 8:39 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Um... You are saying that the group of players who hated science in KSP could bind all the science to an action group to 'reduce tedium'.  Meanwhile the player who enjoyed science could run the experiments, get the Kerbal out to do stuff and read the wacky results.  All players had options. 

That is a very funny definition of "options". Players who want QOL have to tediously bind everything to an action group, and players who are tedious can enjoy the tedium.

You realise if you don't like this change, you can just ignore  the science button, right? Players still have "options", just that the ones who want QOL are spared action group tedium.

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On 3/2/2024 at 7:05 AM, MirageNL said:

To be clear: I don't want to get rid of science points. In fact, I agree they work great as a tech currency, making you think about what to invest in next. What I'm suggesting is to make the available options depend on what the player has achieved so far,. This adds a sense of natural progression and prevents skipping steps. So yes, the requirements should be minimal, so they can be achieved by playing the game normally.

What would be great IMO is if the Mission Control code could adapt to what tech nodes you have already unlocked and what kind of missions you have flown  previously, to create alternative high-reward paths to unlock the tech tree, and perhaps also alternative trails of Easter eggs that all ultimately lead to acquiring some special alien interstellar tech that enables the late game.  For example, I was always a plane enthusiast in KSP1, and flew all sorts of missions to faraway places using SSTO planes, but KSP2 Mission Control has never offered me ANY kind of mission that involves flying, even though I have unlocked multiple nodes of the aviation tech tree.  Where is the "take off from the runway with an airplane,  attain an altitude of at least 4000 meters,  and land again safely" mission? IMO, it should be right there next to the "Launch a rocket" mission at the beginning of the game, or at least as soon as you've unlocked enough aviation-related nodes to build one. As it stands now, I'm already being offered some of the most difficult challenges in the whole game wrt rocketry with only about half of the tech tree unlocked and no access to any space plane-capable jet engines yet.  Ditto probe cores, although it seems like while planes have been left out in the cold entirely, probes are just inside the room but have to stand in the corner quietly until  (infrequently) called on. Again,  I think there should be some kind of probe-specific mission available just as soon as you unlock the capability to make them.  You could even think of these three branches of exploration -- aviation, robotic, and crewed, as three separate victory paths ala Civ, each of which you can freely choose to pursue to the extent you see fit. Thus, if you have separate tech trees for those three things, as we sort of do now, you can also add separate mission trees for those three things, each of which ultimately leads to the same place through a different series of steps. I think that something like that would offer the best possible mix of both replayability and playstyle flexibility for the campaign, while still maintaining science points as a fungible resource.

Lastly, in addition to what techs/missions you choose, the game could look at your success/failure rate on specific early missions and adjust the rate at which the difficulty ramps up based on that.  I dunno, maybe it already does that?  That might explain how I'm getting such extremely difficult things  served to me so early on, which is fine for me but seems like it would be pretty off-putting to a beginner.

Edited by herbal space program
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Science was the only thing that turned the initial sandbox release into something that most people began to enjoy, based on the reversal of review scores. Going from 25% to 75% positive is huge.

If the devs said "it's stupid, let's get rid of it" that would lead to a major step backwards for this game, and it's difficult to understand why any fans would want that. Thankfully, haters are not developers, otherwise the rest of us would never get anything worth playing. Calling something you failed to understand "stupid" is a completely inaccurate reflection of the thing, and more of a reflection of yourself, and it's strange to me that people think this makes them seem anything else.

There are definitely some improvements that could be made to the science system. I've spent a lot of time working on various ideas, and it's very difficult. None of the alternatives I've seen in other mods improve over the KSP system greatly, except that "For Science" mod, which they integrated. That is already an improvement over base game KSP, which they are clearly aiming for, and making small steps towards.

I'm not here to have people with seemingly zero game design experience tear into my own plans for science modding. But I can remember a time, when I made my first tech tree mod for KSP, where people contributed and helped me a lot, and the discussions were positive and led to real improvements, for someone who was actively working on these things, and paying close attention to feedback from players. I didn't have the skills then to make anything more than a tech tree, but now I can make almost anything, and unfortunately most of this feedback is just biased negativity.

If you want something improved, constructive criticism is the only way it's going to get better.

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14 hours ago, KSRe-dev said:

If you want something improved, constructive criticism is the only way it's going to get better.

I'm not arguing that constructive feedback/criticism is the vastly preferable process, but this sentence is simply patently false. And there's plenty of examples out there, both gaming industry (No Mans Sky) and movies (Sonic).

Any criticism is valuable. Just because someone doesn't make the effort to sugarcoat it, doesn't mean the underlying point is invalid. The only thing that isn't making anything better is pure insults, that's it. Everything else is a developer not being able to handle criticism.

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On 3/2/2024 at 2:22 AM, herbal space program said:

For my part, I don't think it's really fair to level a lot of criticism at the KSP2 science system at this point because it's pretty obviously not finished yet. I too felt that the absence of actual readouts of temperature, pressure etc. made the experience of doing science  less rewarding somehow, and also that the apparent paucity of mission options and alternative paths forward to unlock the tech tree are  pretty restrictive. But I also can't believe that's all there will be to it. This is just the foundation of the building. After all, we have whole new tiers of parts that don't exist yet that will need to be unlocked somehow. And I actually like the idea of using a series of  Easter egg hunts as a means of getting to some goal in terms of new alien techs and interstellar capability, which is where it looks like they might be going to me. I actually lobbied for that idea long ago in the KSP1 forum, because so many of the science missions in that game seemed totally pointless to me. I get that this might hamper the replayability of the primary campaign as such, at least if they don't implement some alternate paths to unlocking the essential capabilities,  but with so much new content and so many whole new modes of play on the horizon, I have to believe there will be new campaigns that become available once the whole initial tech tree has been unlocked, and more still after that in the form of new star systems as DLC. Anyway, I think what we have now is still basically just a stub.

Agree, we miss all the colony parts and the more advanced engines, orion, metallic hydrogen and the huge fusion engine, probably an smaller fusion engine who is more advanced. 

Now you have alternate paths. I went to Eve an Moho before Duna.  Then I reached the Duna monument I cashed in the Eve orbit, Gilly measurement and the moheart missions just afterward this letting me unlock large fairings and the large round hydrogen tank before day 300. Yes part of this is because I messed up a lot in my first game and restarted. 
 

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On 3/6/2024 at 5:47 AM, magnemoe said:

Now you have alternate paths. I went to Eve an Moho before Duna.  Then I reached the Duna monument I cashed in the Eve orbit, Gilly measurement and the moheart missions just afterward this letting me unlock large fairings and the large round hydrogen tank before day 300. Yes part of this is because I messed up a lot in my first game and restarted.

I'd call that an alternate order rather than an alternate path, since the missions are still the same, but indeed if you know what's coming you can definitely be more efficient with time and missions.  I didn't have the benefit of that knowledge,  but I was still able to save a lot of time by sending multiple missions and/or overbuilding my missions to Duna and Eve . That allowed me to knock off a couple of things that popped up after the first mission was completed without having to wait for the next transfer window.  I actually sent five separate probes to the Jool system, even though one would have been enough to do both of the two missions that pop up initially, on the assumption that new missions for Jool will appear after the first two are done. The probes start with something like 17,000 m/s of dV on LKO, so they can reach just about anywhere, and have a universal lander module that can land on any body and also return from most of them.  I'm basically sending at least two of those to every planet now as the transfer windows happen, and not waiting for any directive from Mission Control.

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Great discussion!

I've just started playing the game (after playing ksp1 for over many many hours), and although the science button is handy, I find it hard to grasp the type of science being conducted. I miss the simplicity of KSP1. Could this be because I'm still adjusting to the new user interface? That would make sense. :)

It would be great to see some visual feedback during experiments or receive science updates incrementally through pop-up messages. Currently, when I open the science tab, I'm greeted with a long list of reports, making it difficult to distinguish between new and old without scrolling. Perhaps highlighting new reports could help?

Additionally, it might be nice to have an option for players to choose between a one-button approach for all science or manually performing experiments and retrieving them with a scientist. Highlighting science parts ready for retrieval could add to the experience.

 

I'm enjoying the science missions introduced in mission control; they add a new dimension to exploration. The story-driven main quest elements are also a nice touch.

 

On a related note, I hope they'll enhance the anomalies in the main quest missions, perhaps by making them larger and sheltered. Currently, I simply land near the anomalies, complete the mission, and return to Kerbin. It would be more immersive if we had to use rovers or crafts to explore a sheltered temple or similar structure and retrieve a valuable,( heavy or light) artifact. This would make rover and small ship exploration more engaging. I'm aware that the game is about space stuff and this is probably a no go for many, but it would be nice to have reasons to build useful rovers, amiright? 

Lastly, I'd love the opportunity to discover anomalies myself using scanners and other tools."

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On 3/9/2024 at 11:32 AM, xendelaar said:

I'm aware that the game is about space stuff and this is probably a no go for many, but it would be nice to have reasons to build useful rovers, amiright? 

If someone pulls the "space stuff" card, I wouldn't consider taking it too seriously. While KSP is about the journey and not the destination, the journey would be pointless without the destination. Hence why we have rover parts (+ a Tylo cave and a Vall lake) in the first place!

I'd dig subterranean gameplay, especially considering the possible near-future exploration of Europa IRL.

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I think making the science parts more animated when they run experiments might make the button seem more engaging. A couple parts do have nice animations but for the most part it's hard to tell them when your experiments are actually running unless you are looking at the pam. A touch of scifi aesthetic could go a long way in drawing the eye towards active experiments.

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5 hours ago, kdaviper said:

I think making the science parts more animated when they run experiments might make the button seem more engaging. A couple parts do have nice animations but for the most part it's hard to tell them when your experiments are actually running unless you are looking at the pam. A touch of scifi aesthetic could go a long way in drawing the eye towards active experiments.

I agree just not so long as the orbital lab or they start recording at once but you get the animation. The orbital lab uses 8-10 seconds to activate who is an pain on planets like Duna or Moho who is very spotted with small biomes. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/13/2024 at 1:18 PM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

My specific quibble is that I wanted the science system to expand the educational / immersive opportunity that KSP1 did not quite reach. 

That would be a neat touch :)

It'd be nice if we could also get the witty science data readbacks like we got from KSP 1 back

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