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Gravity-Inverted containers...why?


Dakanmer
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Like some other people, I got excited about the new gravity-inverted containers. I set up a spreadsheet and everything to see if they would be worth the exorbitant cost of production...only to find out that, by design, they do not work as anything but standard, lower-volume containers when linked to a hub.

For those who haven't tried making them, the schematic costs alone are nothing to sneeze at. I built a single production line for advanced containers, with enough sub-production to make sure there's always just enough stuff to keep the assembler running. Material-wise, it's not super-horrid, but time-wise it's a monster. Producing these containers (worse for rare, and I'm not dumb enough to even consider exotic, because the plasma cost and time sink are not worth the end product) is slow, so expect to only replace containers on ships you've already built....except....not even that, because, again, by design they don't work to reduce mass when linked to a hub.

 

In short, that means that you will now need to design new ships that put the containers at the center so that your adjusters will work properly (meaning turning doesn't result in pitching and rolling). Cost-wise, it would be better to just add more engines on a ship with standard containers, because at least then you can link to a hub and have the same result.

 

Sooo....why bother with gravity-inverted containers in the first place, if the intent was to have them act as single-container units from the get-go? What is the point? Designing a ship around individual containers, which you have to manually distribute resources between to get the center of gravity just right, was done away with when hubs were introduced. Why bring it back while wrapping it in the c***-tease "but you have a small mass reduction of the contents" ploy?

 

To be clear, I stopped my production of these containers. They're effectively lesser-volume basic containers that just cost a lot of time and resources to produce. That makes them worthless. No value added to the game except for ships designed around 1-2 containers with no hubs, and the cost doesn't even justify that for most cases. Maybe I'm just salty, but the fact that the official response to identifying the issue was to point out that they were intended to work this way doesn't give me much hope for the future of the game. If it was intended to work this way, but also to be changed later to work with a hub, then that would be fine, because that's the way of development...but not even that.

 

So a suggestion for the devs, if you want a feature to be seen as actually adding value to the game: make sure it isn't just a gimmick before releasing it.

This new gravity-inverted container type is a gimmick; a container that reduces mass, but only when not linked to a hub, and is supposed to go on a dynamic construct where mass and volume and center of gravity are important factors. The optimized containers at least work properly when linked to a hub, making them worth producing.

If it's about mixing container types/tiers, then do something simple, and make it so that the reduction only applies if all containers are of the same tier/type (independent of size, obviously). That, at the bare minimum, is reasonable.

 

This is a mixed rant and feedback. I wasted a lot of money setting up production, and got my hopes up that it would be worth the cost. Now I have millions worth of schematics that are worthless to me. Obviously, saltiness is to be expected, especially since it wasn't clearly explained that the mass reduction wouldn't work when linked to a hub. Something like that, for something so costly, speaks to incompetence or malice, given that it was by design, even if it was just an oopsie-doodle "I forgot to mention this really important 'feature' with this new element."

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This is indeed very much an annoying aspect of the new containers, though I understand its purpose. The containers are not unusable, but they probably shouldn't be linkable to hubs at all if they are going to lose their only purpose for being used/existing when linked to them... 

 

That said, a "gravity inverted hub" that can only be linked to gravity inverted cans (and vise-versa) seems like it would be an adequate solution to all relevant issues without needing too much work...

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To be a little contrary, I've always thought that the centre-of-mass property of container hubs was super-weird, and made designing ships way too easy. I can accept a certain amount of simplification in the physics model (eg the separation of thrust and torque), but being able to shift the mass around like that just makes zero sense from a lore point of view.

 

Not that it's alone in that. So many aspects of the flight/space mechanics seem to be arbitrary, with zero lore explanation, and transparently exist to either simplify the game implementation or the gameplay. The whole thing is a hot mess.

 

FWIW instead of container hubs I'd have some sort of transfer unit that could balance mass between containers, but in a way that took time and where you had to set the parameters (eg 20% mass here, 10% there, and so on). I'd also like a similar fuel pump unit. 

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On 6/1/2022 at 1:15 PM, Samedi said:

To be a little contrary, I've always thought that the centre-of-mass property of container hubs was super-weird, and made designing ships way too easy. I can accept a certain amount of simplification in the physics model (eg the separation of thrust and torque), but being able to shift the mass around like that just makes zero sense from a lore point of view.

 

Not that it's alone in that. So many aspects of the flight/space mechanics seem to be arbitrary, with zero lore explanation, and transparently exist to either simplify the game implementation or the gameplay. The whole thing is a hot mess.

Well... I don't exactly see how they'd make an mmo out of KSP...

 

In all seriousness though, I wasn't aware of any significant lore aside from the trailer/intro vid, and that concessions would need to be made to game logic/playability is a bit of a given.

 

 

On 6/1/2022 at 1:15 PM, Samedi said:

FWIW instead of container hubs I'd have some sort of transfer unit that could balance mass between containers, but in a way that took time and where you had to set the parameters (eg 20% mass here, 10% there, and so on). I'd also like a similar fuel pump unit. 

A fuel-hub of any kind would be amazing, but if players have to manually balance the hubs then there'd be almost no point in allowing them on dynamic constructs. It would probably be better to yield to what most people expect of hub'd cans before they learn otherwise and just have the game evenly distribute the weight amongst all the cans actual locations.

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On 6/3/2022 at 2:23 AM, Taelessael said:

A fuel-hub of any kind would be amazing, but if players have to manually balance the hubs then there'd be almost no point in allowing them on dynamic constructs. It would probably be better to yield to what most people expect of hub'd cans before they learn otherwise and just have the game evenly distribute the weight amongst all the cans actual locations.


I was thinking of a partially automated solution. So the player would have to perhaps set up some configuration parameters. Even a solution that just pumped from tank a to tank b would be useful if you could initiate it during flight. It would take time to run, too. So you could set up a complex network of pumps with some Lua to automate everything, or you could just have one pump with a manual switch to pump your emergency reserve into your main tank.

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