Discussion regarding mod obsolescence

So because new items constantly get added into the game we cannot keep older mods that already remove most of them? “Oh no, 2 new items were added, let’s completely scrap the list that removes the other 61!” What kind of logic is that? Destroying a mod without archiving it means someone will have to work harder in the future to restore the progress that was already made on it. Even if a mod is incomplete it can still be functional, as proven by most Blacklist mods I restored and was told would “break” in 0.F. It’s a mod, not vanilla game, it shouldn’t be held to the same standards.

I’m not saying anything like that, that’s your words, not mine. I’m just saying that it’s a big mistake to think that mods don’t need to be maintained.

As for blacklist mods, it’s a Kevin position - he doesn’t want to have ton of mods that remove arbitrary stuff. He stated that he wants to implement something like blacklist manager in which everyone could remove items, monsters, locations etc from their worlds. This manager will actually make all blacklist mods obsolete, but unfortunately at the moment this manager still isn’t implemented, yet these mods are already removed.

I don’t like the “Remove stuff which is working non-perfectly right now and hope someone someday will make a better version” approach a bit, and it never really worked as far as I recall, but we all have to live with it.

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I’m not sure the opposite approach has ever really worked either, though.


What sort of an “opposite approach” do you mean?

Leaving things that are working non-perfectly and hoping that they are improved.

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It depends. In general non-perfectly working feature which isn’t breaking the balance or having some other serious flaws is better than no feature at all.

Imagine situation like this:
a) there is some feature;
b) the feature is non-perfect;
c) there are open issues on the github about the feature.

The chances that these issues will be resolved sooner or later by some contributor are much higher than if feature is outright removed from the game, and the only traces for this feature are in github history, closed issues and, perhaps, in memories of some old developers. New contributors most probably wouldn’t even know about the removed feature and most probably won’t “reinvent” it in a proper way, ever.

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They’re not my words. I am being told these mods were removed because maintaining them is burdensome. In reality, even if these mods are not completely up to date with the current item pool or item iterations, they’re still usable (for the most part) and still fulfill their purpose. For example, if no new holy texts are added, No Religious Books is still viable. Even if one new acidic zombie is added, No Acid Zombies still removes the rest. They’re usable.

EDIT: I feel I should clarify what “usable (for the most part)” means. The past couple days I have made an effort to restore pre 0.F Blacklist mods so that not only are they usable with current game versions, but also fully relevant with their item and monster lists. Here are the changes I’ve had to make so far:

  • All item exclusion mods now require an additional line to function ("whitelist": false).
  • A mod had 1 obsolete recipe removed.
  • Another mod had 2 monster names updated.

The rest were functional without any changes. If you want to go beyond (which I do) some mods require new items and monsters to be added. No Acid Zombies had 4 zombies added, No Religious Books had 3 items added, No Medieval Items had over 60. They’re not required to work, but I want to be thorough. A busy developer would have not liked to have to dig into these, but it’s not something hard to do.

That is the crux of the problem you keep dismissing. These mods accumulate breakage over time, and I’m not interested in comitting to do that work.

That’s completely understandable, but why remove partially (now fully, with some work) usable mods without archiving or stickying them on the forum? People went and created lists of things they didn’t like, these lists have gone through your quality checks and approval and were added to basegame mod list staying there for years. They’re not just “here’s 4 items I don’t like” mods, they’re global exclusions.

No Acid Zombies was created back when acid still destroyed items, nowadays it can simply be used to avoid inconvenience. No Explosive Zombies was created back when Grenadier Zombies terrorized the community, nowadays it can be used to make the game slightly easier. No Medieval Items and No Religious Books have been there since forever. They still work and I can assure you some people will very much be interested in using them. Why delete them without trace?

Seems like No Filthy Clothing cannot be restored anymore, since the EXTERNAL_OPTION for it is gone. Same with MANUAL_BIONIC_INSTALL from Manual Bionic Installation. These are mechanics players may have been interested in reverting. I understand you don’t want to split the community, your vision for the game is very clear, but mods shouldn’t be treated like vanilla, they’re merely optional addons.

They are archived, they’re right there in github for someone to dig up. You did it, you can feel free to make sure they remain available for all of perpetuity, feel free to do that.

All of this boils down to you saying I or the project need to do work to make sure resources that I don’t care about stay available. Why would I want to do that?

I didn’t “dig them up”, I only had access to these mods because I’m still playing the old 0.E version. I did not realize the mods were even archived until you said so. I went to the repo, looked inside the mods folder, and wondered where these mods you said still existed could be. I randomly clicked a little “master” button that apparently nested every single version of the game and found the results I needed.

You are under the impression the common player knows how to navigate GitHub and its interface, the many tabs that just seem to lead to more files, numbers and technical jargon, where to find particular folders or even how to download them, how to run things or make them work in the first place without having to read hundreds of pages of documentation.

And all this to remove chainmail armor from the game, with a mod that someone else made.

You’re right, I will make sure these mods remain available, in a neatly organized list with as much content as I can restore, as it very well should be: a central thread with everything that used to be featured in the game and can still be used. This is what this forum is for.

I was forced to learn because it’s not readily available anywhere else. The Wiki is such a joke I can’t even find information about things in the game I’m playing, let alone mods that I distinctly remembered existing. The forum is nothing but conversion and content mods, and Google is not of any help when it directs me to a thread from 2017 I myself wrote.

With the meager knowledge I have gained the past 3 days looking at how mods were made and reading docs I updated 5 legacy item / monster removal mods but inevitably hit a wall when it came to more complex things like overriding existing recipes and ties to other files. It’s not even about understanding the documentation anymore, I simply can’t find the relevant information to my issue across all these .md files, guides, threads and posts.

I have a feeling I won’t be able to restore mods that depended on these EXTRENAL_OPTION functions removed in the last update. Not everyone is capable of being a contributor, Kevin.

Yes, that’s exactly what I meant by “archived” and “dig them up”.

No, I’m not, I’m under the impression that if someone thinks it’s a good idea to make things more readily available, they can do so, which again, is exactly what is happening right now.

That’s not what it’s for at all, but if you want to do so you can.

Do you really not realize that literally everything you are saying is describing the system working as intended? Yes you were forced to learn, what a horrible imposition.

That is correct, but irrelevant. Volunteers like yourself and I are what make the project work.
And no, you won’t be able to restore some mods without forking the whole project or using an old version of the game.

The worst part is that i’m pretty sure someone already did all of that, did you look for “No_Mod_pack” or something like that on kenan’s github? Or goatgod compilation thingy on github too?

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I’m glad to see people are still trying to preserve these mods, truly a beacon of hope in times where the only thing still consistently featured in the game is total game conversions. Unfortunately Kenan’s Modpack only features one “No X” mod, it is mostly based around old content mods - which is still great to see, I will be sure to link to that in the thread I make.

GoatGod’s pack contains all the “No X” mods I wanted to restore, however they’re copy-pastes from half a year ago and have already been outdated at that point too. It seems they haven’t been “maintained” to a point where I assume they’d be considered complete enough to featured in main game. Some mods have been split into other mods, which is cool. It’s a great collection overall so thanks for pointing it out.

I will be able to update all the “No X” mods that are solely based on items and monsters myself, it’s just the more complex stuff I have trouble with. I’d also list all the deprecated mods with explanation as to why they’re not needed / won’t work anymore. I will still link to any restored content mods I find.

…so don’t maintain it
let it run until it breaks and make no promises that it will work guaranteed
if someone wants to try to fix it let them for the most part the little “mod” edits I do is just cross referencing data to figure out where the little pieces fit together more data is easier to work with than less

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So then clearly you see that these do require constant, time consuming maintenance.

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I’d suggest checking with GoatGod to see if there’s a desire to update the pack with your changes, as having multiple compilations with the “same” mods in various states of disrepair is a bad thing in itself, and keeping the number of places to check for mods down to a reasonable number is a good thing as well.
Concentrating non official mod maintenance to a few places makes sense, in my opinion.

I don’t want to distribute this as a mod pack. Each mod will be a separate download link with its own description and changelog. If GoatGod wants to update their pack with the mods in the list they’re more than welcome to do so! I’d be glad to help.

I will post the mod list on the forum as it has been the most reliable platform for resources in any community I’ve been part of. Google also directs you to the forum (right after the Wiki, but I doubt I have permissions to edit it) and in general you used to be able to find this kind of stuff on the forum without having to sift through brances, commits, pull requests, issues or whatever else you do on GitHub.

My original argument is that these mods work without maintenance; they’re not complete without it, but that’s on the player using them. If adding "whitelist": false to 6 .json files is “maintenance” then damn, guess it’s too much to ask of the devs who code entire parts of the game in C++ from scratch. Alternatively, as multiple users here pointed out and I wholeheartedly agree, you keep the mods in the game for someone else to fix and state players are using them at their own risk.

It took me about an hour to add missing items and monsters for the mods I mention, and that’s mostly because I still don’t know my way around the data directory and where everything is. Keep in mind this is my first time doing this. I am also not a developer who overviews and accepts these changes, if items and monsters are added to these lists right as they are being mainlined the tedium of looking through multiple 2k-line files is gone (although it reasonably cannot be expected of you to do this).

It took me about 10 additional hours over the course of a few days to read through the .md files and guides I was directed to, forum threads with similar issues, reddit posts, and plain trial and error going in-game, and I still haven’t found the solution to what I was trying to fix.

My point is that someone who actually knows what the hell they’re doing (AKA not me) will have an easier time navigating around and modifying these files than someone with zero knowledge who has to learn .json structures and entity properties because they want to remove the holy bible from the game. I’m doing this so others don’t have to, plain and simple.

So, trying not to sound like a jerk, but what you are describing in this thread is actually pretty normal.

A lot of people that have contributed to this game did so because they were passionate enough to devote time and energy to something other people weren’t. I understand your angle about an option being removed that had been there for awhile. But I assure you, the others in the thread are not lying when they say there are bigger and better things to spend time on. Even a little bit can add up, especially when they have to keep going back to fix them over and over.

Very few people playing this game would want a toggleable option on the creation screen that only works if you edit some code (however simple) to actually get it to work. It has to be one or the other. Can you imagine any other basic starting option that you couldn’t use without editing some file after starting your game being a good thing? If you had to turn on magiclysm when creating a character/world, then tab out, go download and extract a bunch of files in order to play it, everyone would hate it.

To be fair, this paragraph can describe a whole heck of a lot of things about the game, from monsters, to locations, to vehicle additions, weapons, yadda yadda yadda. The only reason these additions are actually in the game right now is because someone took hours of time to learn how to implement them, bug test them, showed off their work to others; with no monetary compensation (the internet celebrity points keep them warm at night, though!)

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You did not sound like a jerk, I completely understand what you’re saying and it sounds very reasonable. Thank you for taking the time to post and explain things slightly more in depth.

The fix for the broken 0.F item exclusion mods is a single line of syntax that could’ve very easily been added by the person in charge of this structural change. This is the only part that would’ve caused something like what you described (mod not launching so players have to edit files externally). Once you’re past that step, the mod works without error, even if incomplete. Completing the mod (i.e. adding more entries) is left up to the players or a maintainer so as to not consume more resources and time.

Instead, these mods are completely removed from the game, leaving others that require many more times the “maintenance” - full game conversions with new items, structures, vehicles, monsters, scenarios, professions, traits etc. - still in it. Monster exclusions did not need any type of fixing, for example No Anthills or No Beehives. These mods, with factions that did not even have any new monsters added to them, can be considered “complete”. Why were those removed?

There seems to be a bias against Blacklist mods as they do not fit a certain vision of the game. They don’t create a divide within the community, they aren’t harder to maintain than any other mod currently featured in the game, they don’t reflect poorly on the dev team or the state of the game, I feel they’re too simple to even break saves provided the same working mod is featured in both game versions.

The only truthful explanation can be found in every dev post that contains the words “not interested”. But, in my eyes, that should not equal actively ending support for working, usable, salvageable, whatever you want to call it, mods that have been featured in the game for many years.

Were the EXTERNAL_OPTIONs for No Filthy Clothing and Manual Bionic Install really incompatible with the new game version, or did you just want to remove the option for the players to use them? The EXTERNAL_OPTIONs for No Vitamins and No Faults are still there, they’re just as old; are they also fated to be removed once you feel the mechanic is balanced and players shouldn’t be able to turn it off?

Not many will go to older GitHub branches specifically to look for broken mods to fix. It feels like an active effort is being made to make all these mods obsolete, and that sucks. Even the tag they were given before their removal, “obsolete”, implied they were dysfunctional or unnecessary at that point.

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