Let's put content into mods

tl;dr: someone put stuff into mod manager so people aren’t angry anymore

[quote="“github post”"][spoiler]
I understand that this is probably going already on people’s minds, but it’s not an issue yet, so I figured i’d make one.

As of now, thanks to Galenevil’s framework and bevapdin’s heroic effort to make mod manager functional, we can now load mods into mod manager. We already have a couple mods, but as a whole mod manager has not seen much use.

There are piles and piles of arguments about what cataclysm should be on the forum. It ranges from “the most realistic zombie simulator possible” to “dead rising style zombie apocalypse” to “B-movie sci fi apocalypse” to “minecraft with zombies”. Clearly, it is impossible to create one single maingame implementation that satisfies everybody. Keep in content, and people who don’t like the content are mad. Remove content, and people who liked the content are mad.

I think that this argument is tainting the game community. Mod manager is, to me, the single most hopeful method of solving this deadlock. If we place the more controversial things into mods, then we can satisfy every party. Don’t like swords? At the click of a button you can take swords out of your game.

Here’s the three groups of items that seem most controversial to me:

“Ridiculous” items

I am seriously hesitant to peg any one thing as “ridiculous”, but some items to some people severely break immersion. Such items include the infamous fursuit, the kitty outfit, and so forth.

Advanced Guns

I, personally, am all for more guns in the game. There is, of course, some obvious questions as to how New England is full of exotic weaponry. Rivtech weapons, RPG-7 rocket launchers, grenade launchers, really really rare weapons like the American 180 and the tec-9.

Dead-rising esque weapons

This is probably going to be the easiest one to do, as the distinction between “semi-realistic” weapon and “dead-risingesque weapon” are obvious. Chainsaw latajangs, flameswords, probably the flamethrower spraycan, the still-in-PR block buster and vierhandler, and so forth.

I project at least a 10% decrease in whining if we do this, dependent on weather conditions and local topography.

Information on the behavior of mod manager can be found in a variety of places, including
We cannot currently use mods to remove things, but we can put maingame things into a mod. It should be completely possible to put preexisting content into a mod.

This will not solve inherent balance problems with the combat system, so that will have to wait.
Hear me out, ok?

Our community is being poisoned from the inside out by balance issues and content trouble. Though balance issues are something different from what i’m talking here, content troubles are serious.

Over the past couple months i’ve seen numerous threads and numerous people arguing that something should be removed, and just as many people fighting back and saying that something should stay in. The basic problem is that everybody has a different idea as to what the game should be. Some people want realism, others want more survival-oriented gameplay, some think it should be easier and some think it should be harder.

Content has caused more arguments than anything else, but we have an actual opportunity to solve this problem. It’s called the MOD MANAGER. Galenevil did piles of work on it and Bevapdin got it to a functional stage as it is now. If you guys would take a look at the latest experimental, it is currently part of the game in full and ready for mods. We as of now already have some mods, including mostly proof-of-concept dinomod and a recently merged mod that added a couple exotic guns to the game.

Without those mods selected at world If you download the latest experimental, gen a world, and include dinomod or that weapons mod, you’ll see they merge seamlessly into the game. I’ve done some testing and it works perfectly. Dinomod generated some dinos in the wildlife field office building that it generated and the exotic gun mod generated CW-24s in an LMOE shelter and gun nut’s basement along with giving you a recipe for modifying your guns into full auto monsters. It works so well that I think that we have an opportunity to satisfy both the content-remove and content-include people. If we put things into mods, you can enable or disable them at the press of a button, or even generate multiple worlds with different mods.

So, i’m asking people, what exactly should go into mods instead of the main game?

This is all subjective, so let’s try to keep an open mind here and be conservative about what we call wrong.

Is it possible to add mods without generating a new world though?

I completely agree with you.

I am well aware that many people don’t share the idea I have for what Cataclysm is. When I first played, I was really into the idea that it was “every end of the world at once”, and that’s still how I pitch it to friends. I’d love to play a game where I can have psychic powers and extradimensional monsters to go with my zombies and crafting stick weapons. I want that variety, but I know many people don’t.

I think Cataclysm has a great framework, and we should use the mod manager to fully allow people to customize their experience.

I suggested this already in the last week.

The official response IIRC was that it’s already planned and they just haven’t gotten to it yet.

There's a logical distribution of content that should be had, namely the most simple of materials, types, and resources should go in the first pack. IE raw materials, like everything from strings through ropes, metal chunks through steel lumps, plastic chunks, plastic bags, basic containers, etc etc etc. Towns and related spawns would be another base pack, and each special site with related monsters and special spawns would probably be another pack reliant on some stuff preceding packs (core resources and some towns stuff).

Sorry, didn’t see that.

I figured also that it’s time to make a github issue for it, as there is not currently one and more visibility is often a good thing.

There are some extremely simple things that could address a lot of the issues people have, some others require a bit more work.
The issue of “too many guns” is totally solvable by moving json entities to new files, it’s just a matter of looking through the files and doing copy/paste on them, and interacting with git to make the PR.
Basically, find unrealistic or unrealistically rare guns and ammunition, and move them to a mod file with a description of what kind of content it is. some examples:
A “rare guns” mod, that takes a lot of the “one in a million” guns that are in the game, but in reality only exist as a handful of prototypes. One of my favorite guns in the game is the American-180, but in reality they are so rare that you would NEVER see one unless perhaps you devoted yourself to tracking one down, and even then it’d be hard. There are other guns much rarer than that, but in the game are fairl common, on the order of 1/1,000 chance of seeing one, rather than the more realistic 1/1,000,000,000.
A “scifi weapons” mod, that simply takes weapons and items that don’t currently exist and moves them to a mod, possibly several for “near scifi” vs “far scifi”. A laser rifle might go in “near scifi” while a plasma gun would probably belong in “far scifi”. Power armor would likely go in some scifi category as well, or just move into its own mod.
“unrealistic” items (better name needed) might have their place in a mod, such as the various flaming weapons, and various cobbled-together items you can’t expect to work in reality.

Just because something is in the mods folder doesn’t mean that if you download DDA and play with default settings it won’t appear. There will be quite a lot of stuff I’m sure that gets moved to a mod, but is configured to be part of the default game. Similarly this initial sorting of things to mods or core isn’t final, the structure we create will likely continue to be useful indefinitely, but the end goal is to have things tagged such that they can be included or excluded based on various categories, which will make it easier for us to add things to categories, and easier for players to pick what they want in their game.

This leaves the question of what belongs in the “core” game. This is a really tough question. For monsters it’s fairly simple, we’ll look at moving fungaloids, worms, and triffids into their own mods. Zombie-free cataclysm really doesn’t work, and if you want that game you can simply set zombie spawn rate to 0 anyway, so that leaves zombies and animals in the core game. Robots will probably be shunted to a scifi mod, with the exception of turrets, which are deployed in some capacity in several places in the world today. For guns it will include a selection of the most common guns in various categories. With probably several different “more guns” mods to chose from. Some mods might follow a theme, like the rivtech guns moving to their own mod, etc. For utility items, I don’t see most non-scifi tools and other items moving to mods, there doesn’t seem to be much demand for it. For clothing, various specialty items might move out to mods, but I don’t see a huge need for paring down that list either. Feel free to propose items to be pushed out of the core, but if it’s an item that exists in reality and is reasonably common, expect an uphill battle. If it’s an invented item, or is in reality incredibly rare it should move out to a mod.

The code that runs the game would maintain support for everything in the mods, but if it’s not loaded, it won’t appear in the game.

I already expressed my support for dwarfkoala’s idea.

Just because something is in the mods folder doesn't mean that if you download DDA and play with default settings it won't appear.
I'm trying to understand this sentence. Am I right in thinking that it would be a 'core' mod that would be enabled by default, but you could disable it if you wanted? If yes, that's precisely what dwarfkoala means and what I was advocating for some time when saying that content removal belongs in mod manager.

I wanted to make a content pack that moved the large number of guns and ammo types to its own mod, but I’m part of the minority that doesn’t like having all these esoteric guns/ammo types in a game, so I’m sure doing that would be met with lots of flaming for causing them inconvenience for having to activate the mod.

I wouldn’t know how to do an inverse: a ‘Less Complex Weapons’ mod.

Well dunno I already threw a medieval content pack that moves some of the medieval gear from vanilla

I wanted to make a content pack that moved the large number of guns and ammo types to its own mod, but I’m part of the minority that doesn’t like having all these esoteric guns/ammo types in a game, so I’m sure doing that would be met with lots of flaming for causing them inconvenience for having to activate the mod.

I wouldn’t know how to do an inverse: a ‘Less Complex Weapons’ mod.[/quote]

You would no doubt get a lot of flaming for it, but it’s really, really worth it. We’ll back you up!
Moving everything into mods is definitely the best way, although I do still feel that we’ll need to decide what is ‘default’ and what isn’t, as you can’t feasibly balance things with loads of mods.

One disadvantage of having everything in mods is fragmentation, different players may enable different mods and have varying gameplay as a result. This leads to many complications and confusions, also it will be a pain to balance the game around a fluctuating set of mods. Should we assume that a “normal” player will enable all mods (original content or user-made mods like DinoMod) ? What if he only enable some or none at all? The gameplay, strategies and relationship between the items will be changed and the balance will shift. I think we should move some content into mods but make them “core mods”, or “module” to be exact and enable them by default. This way we can have an unified default gameplay and balance the game around it.

I think we should move some content into mods but make them "core mods", or "module" to be exact and enable them by default. This way we can have an unified default gameplay and balance the game around it.

That’s exactly what Kevin said earlier and what is being done now (by Icecoon and John Candlebury).
They are going to be on by default, but people who don’t want some already existing content can turn them off.

They are not actually on by default, they are just downloaded when you download the game, you still have to chose them every time you make the world.

I doubt it would be difficult to create a new ‘core’ flag for mods which makes them default to being activated.

Yes, they are not on by default.
I would support that system that was mentioned by the OP on github. Mod packages from past(medieval weapons) to present stuff to unrealistic, near sci-fi and far sci-fi.

One thing I noticed, that if you reset a world, all mods are erased from it and there is no way to get them back, you have to create a world again.

I think that as long as the ‘core’ is playable on it’s own then that’s all that matters. I dislike the idea of having to use mods to have a playable game, and although I realise that nobody is really arguing it should be like that, I just feel that we need to make sure we don’t fall into the trap of having it so modularised that it’s completely fractured.

Really, I just feel we’re going to have a problem with what is ‘core’ and what is modules. Can we go on the assumption that core is only things that are physically possible (except for monsters obviously) and generally available/common? Granted, it is set a few years in the future, but this might be the best cut off point rather than a lot of speculation of what advancements we’ll make in 40 years.

I feel like that’s acceptable.

Whoo, check it out.

John Candlebury’s working on a medieval items pack, which puts all the medieval stuff into a mod.

Let’s see how this works out.

I agree. Core should represent the basic gameplay. Modules should be just the extra flavor, for instance extra enemies such as the Triffids, extra weapons, etc.

Agreed completely.