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 Post subject: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:39 pm 
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Just wanted to create a place for people to discuss my recent post on the subject of ModPacks.

If you've not seen it, check it out here.

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 Post subject: Re: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:18 pm 
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Seems reasonable to me

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 Post subject: Re: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:01 pm 
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I feel like I've heard this view from you before.

Quote:
How can you please the builder and the explorer in the same pack?

Quote:
We are long past the point of downloading modpacks because installing mods yourself is hard.


I actually think I've come up with an answer to these. I've been doing a bleepload of config tuning/adjusting on my server pack, and just as Jaded abused minetweaker to re-write the tech tree, I'm abusing COG to rewrite decorators.

My answer to the first: There's lots, and LOTS, of things to use in building. But everything you want is in mystcraft ages, not the overworld.

My answer to the second: Modpacks that are based around modified configs are not just "install them yourself".

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Currently a work in progress (3 of 5 parts finished). A 5 minute "TL; DW" summary is at the end of part 3. The first 10 minutes of part 3 are a summary of parts 1 and 2; part 3 is a decent job of being a self-contained mod spotlight, and does significant details on how to write worlds.

Part 4 will be looking at dangers of ages, coming soon


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 Post subject: Re: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:08 pm 
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You know I agree with the idea. Its what I hoped would happen when I made Magic Farm 1. And now there are so many new and exciting packs. And with 1.7 removing ID conflicts, us modpack creators will have more time to take mods and combine them in new ways for unique experiences.


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 Post subject: Re: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:42 am 
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A previous thread on this topic, if people want more to read.
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=874


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 Post subject: Re: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:27 am 
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It's great criteria to discriminate on. I just don't see the reason to discriminate in the first place.

Except for being concerned about something like adfly revenue, author recognition, reused controlled code, etc, I haven't heard a reason for devs restricting pack inclusion. I noticed the adfly link was optional, so that can't be it.

Are there any other reasons to be choosy about packs I just hadn't thought of or heard voiced?

Whatever the case, this doesn't affect me much because I don't create (private/personal) packs without meeting your criteria anyway; I don't see the reason to have 200+ mods except maybe to try wheedling out the most OP cross-mod interactions and exploits (but those games never last very long).


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 Post subject: Re: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:28 am 
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Physicist wrote:
Are there any other reasons to be choosy about packs I just hadn't thought of or heard voiced?


How about the dozens of hours spent trying to track down the bug in FTB Ultimate where the agedata as the user wrote was completely ignored and a new age generated in its place, but only about ten percent of the time, because one of their however many (100+?) mods did something to change the world provider under very specific circumstances? Frequent enough that a reasonable amount of testing on their end would have revealed its presence, even if the cause wasn't apparent, but uncommon enough that testing to see if it happened with a subset of mods was incredibly time consuming, and even binary search style culling of mods took a LONG time.

Modpacks, if they become popular, almost always increase support burden of mod authors. And support time is time taken away from actually developing the mod itself.

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 Post subject: Re: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:00 pm 
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Crafting a consistent experience is without a doubt one of the hardest parts of making a mod or modpack. Even between a mod and vanilla or between different parts of the same mod there can be a break in theme, both artistic and conceptual. It's no surprise then that it's difficult to express a unifying vision in a modpack that combines many mods from different authors.

That being said, I do not think these different play styles are as mutually exclusive as you seem to suggest. It's completely normal for some people to like both building and exploring and features that please one type of player do not necessarily bother others. Sure, some people may actually dislike certain themes and they won't be happy if they have them forced upon them, but most mods can simply be ignored if you're not using them. Rarely will any mod ever force you into something you don't like doing, unless it's needed for that mod itself, in which case the issue is with the mod, and not the modpack.

For mods that can't so easily be ignored (spawns mobs, removes vanilla features, or alters terrain in a major way) people need to be careful so they don't break the experience of people who don't like that kind of stuff. Other than that though I think it's perfectly fine to include many mods in order to appeal to many play styles. I would even argue that over-duplication of certain features is more harmful than having a bunch of mods that have no common theme. Take ore doubling or generating BC power for example. Any self-respecting tech based pack will have so many options that a new player is left completely clueless.

I can think of at least one good reason to have big packs that just accumulate a whole bunch of mods and that is for people who don't know what's out there/don't know what they want/want to keep their options open. I say this because I'm one of those people. In fact, if it weren't for Unleashed, I would probably never have started playing Mystcraft. As long as mods don't force themselves onto the player too much I don't think there's really any issue in having so many of them. There is of course a risk that certain combinations create exploits, but as long as it's not too broken it doesn't really bother me.

To continue my point about feature duplication, I think this is a major issue with many modpacks these days. I understand that any tech mod wants/needs to be able to stand alone but we've come to a point where there's so many different ways of doing things that I frequently end up not doing anything at all. These mods are still included though, because they all have their own unique features as well.

In the end I like to do one of two things: either install a humongous modpack that includes anything I might possibly like playing with, or select only one or at most a few mods that I want to capture the feel of, along with some support mods like NEI. (This is how I like to play Millénaire or Minecolonies for example, note that I never use both at the same time either, since they sort of occupy the same "space" conceptually, both being about villages.)

Either way I think it's just a fact of life that there are people with bad tastes or no sense of balance. I see no need or reason to disallow a modpack because of that. If it were me I wouldn't care about it at all, but that's just me.


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 Post subject: Re: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:11 pm 
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CubicBerserker wrote:
In the end I like to do one of two things: either install a humongous modpack that includes anything I might possibly like playing with, or select only one or at most a few mods that I want to capture the feel of, along with some support mods like NEI. (This is how I like to play Millénaire or Minecolonies for example, note that I never use both at the same time either, since they sort of occupy the same "space" conceptually, both being about villages.)


I should get you Tsar's server pack. It has 238 mods in it.

That's more than FTB Unleashed, I think.

Then you (and everyone like you) will be happy.

His server is actually at the point where "adding one more mod" is nearing impossible, due to the fact that he's down to a countably-finite number of unused block IDs (less than 100).

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 Post subject: Re: XComp's Blog Post on Modpacks
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:33 pm 
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Veovis Muad'dib wrote:
Physicist wrote:
Are there any other reasons to be choosy about packs I just hadn't thought of or heard voiced?


How about the dozens of hours spent trying to track down the bug in FTB Ultimate where the agedata as the user wrote was completely ignored and a new age generated in its place, but only about ten percent of the time, because one of their however many (100+?) mods did something to change the world provider under very specific circumstances? Frequent enough that a reasonable amount of testing on their end would have revealed its presence, even if the cause wasn't apparent, but uncommon enough that testing to see if it happened with a subset of mods was incredibly time consuming, and even binary search style culling of mods took a LONG time.

Modpacks, if they become popular, almost always increase support burden of mod authors. And support time is time taken away from actually developing the mod itself.


We do try and do a lot of the testing ourselves :(

And with a pack like Magic Farm, its such a conversion modpack most users come to me first to verify if something is a bug or intended. About the only issue I have had is people tend to assum I changed the basic functionality of a mod and then I see something and go... "Why didn't you report that so I could find a solution?" and they are all "I thought you meant for that to happen".


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