Non-programmer contributors generally need more time and effort to achieve the same result than programmers. That’s a nontrivial draw: I know, because I’m not a programmer. That 54-day streak on Github left me shot-to-hell. No recreational time, no actual playing Cata, negligible recognition. Get off low-paying work, go to non-paying work, go to sleep.
(So those mutations had best be worth something to you.)
I don’t know what Rivet’s schedule looks like, and I don’t really need to know. I know that’s a lot of work and stat-tweaking. Good writing too, even if I’d have done some of it differently. (I’m sure she’d rewrite some of mine. 's all good.) And her material adds a hella lot of flavor to the Cataclysm universe.
Rivtech inspires additional lore and was the basis for an RP proposal. I used the automag when testing my hacking code: it’s helpful to have a high-powered handcannon when going places that have turrets.
One thing folks seem to miss is that Rivtech guns are the primary indication that slugthrower design has progressed in the 30 years or so between now and the Cataclysm. Cranberries likewise add New England flavor, firefighting gear is something that people did notice as “missing”, and though I’ve not used most of the foods, that’s because the last time I was able to sit down and actually play a character was in July.
Only reason underwater gear doesn’t see much use is that we don’t have proper underwater areas to merit using it.
Holding that Rivet’s initial/signature work has no value, and that you’re sure that her later work might have some (but you haven’t bothered to look) is insulting in the extreme. To the degree that she’s Not Happy about that statement, she’s entirely justified in that Not Happy-ness.
I don’t recall whether my first self-made* PR was JSON-only.
*My first PR was getting someone else’s work set for review. My second was purely an organizational fix. Both have long since become obsolete.
But I do know that I’ve made a few. Perhaps they took less time to make, whether because I didn’t need to wrangle a compiler or because there was less code involved. Maybe they took as long or longer. I never bothered to time 'em.
I do know that I put a fair amount of time into every PR I file. If it has my callsign on it, it’s mine. If it’s bugged, that’s my failure. (And I strongly prefer to fix it myself.) If there’s something wrong with it, that’s something I’ll work with. If it’s accepted, that’s something that I’ve added to a game that I appreciate. And I can feel less of a freeloader.
(The actual mutcat expansions were months in thinking-out before I got up the righteous anger to actually mention them in IRC, post the proposal, and then actually get a compiler working. And yes, “righteous anger” is the correct emotion.)
BevapDin seems able to whip up bugfixes rather rapidly. I can’t imagine he takes as long with 'em as I would. I’d be weeks at it, if I could work it out at all with the time I’ve got available. So time-taken is not the only way to value a contribution.
Neither is coding-difficulty. What’s trivial for me now was not trivial months ago. At some point during your career you didn’t know how to write a function. At a point not so long ago I didn’t know how to write JSON. My martial-arts fix (that removed a recalcitrant blocker from 0.9) was all JSON, and it looks like shit. It pretty much was. But it helped 0.9 out the door and helped me feel useful and appreciated.
And apparently no Real Programmer could be bothered; it’d been there for several days, as I recall, before I invoked “If you want it done right…” and put in the time.
How exactly should we calculate the value of that work? “Shitty code, done in a non-compiler language, by a non-programmer, that took xem a nontrivial amount of time and effort, and that resolved a release-blocker issue.”
You ask me, contributions are valuable because the community and players use 'em. Rivtech guns are useful, as is the rest of her work. So are martial arts. So are mutations. So are vehicles.
And as I recall, the self bow was intended to be a way that a survivalist could start archery without having points in the skill (handy if you’re illiterate or without access to books). So it has a niche. A modest and transitory one, granted. But it has a niche in Cata.
Be careful what you delete, please.