On Bloat

Please don’t tell me you’re not offended when you clearly are. Where did I once insult you, or admit to it? The fact that I don’t think Rivtech has value is not an insult. I’ve made no remarks about your character. I’ve made an objective assessment of the value of something that more or less constitutes procedurally generated items. I just don’t believe that something a computer program could generate by filling in some fields constitutes a valuable contribution.

You’re welcome to make counter arguments. I believe they went something along the lines of encouraging people to do bigger things, by allowing them to contribute things of questionable value. I’m afraid I can’t agree with that, though I certainly accept the argument. I just don’t believe the benefit outweighs the cost. Lowering the standards so more people can contribute things of questionable value, in the hopes that they later contribute things of significant value, is a poor gamble to me. I’m supposed to believe you would’ve just given up and not tried at all if they didn’t accept Rivtech? You obviously like the project enough to learn C++, and I actually respect that a lot. People who want to contribute will find a way to do so. I don’t believe they need that kind of encouragement (i.e. lowering standards) since it really doesn’t take that much to learn how to compile and make some rudimentary edits. And frankly, that is far more likely to result in significant contribution than letting people use “training wheels” since the disconnect between json and actual code is significant and some might be content to just spam low value mods. The best way to learn is by doing. But json editing doesn’t really teach you anything except what you already know from playing the game, that items have such and such properties.

In fact, I would almost go so far as to argue that json modding encourages people to not learn C++ (and thus how to contribute things of value). Why bother learning something boring like programming languages when you can bang out a few hundred json edits? It’s not like learning how to copy-paste and fill in numbers in notepad makes learning C++ any less daunting.

I’d like to point out that we have had several people show up and offer a PR up for review, then vanish completely when it wasn’t excepted. Similarly there have been several people who have stayed and helped to contribute specifically because they were happy about how excepting we were with their first PR.

How does it make it harder to balance? You establish a performance envelope for items, and don’t allow items outside the envelope. The number of items doesn’t make a difference. It’s the number of features that makes it more difficult, because you have more axes to balance on.
I find the concept that you need few enough items to memorize all their stats very odd. Sure there’s a certain minimalist appeal to it, but categorically stating that it’s a requirement is overreaching to say the least, it’s another subjective opinion.

Again, more totally subjective statements, labeling it “unprofessional” is meaningless, since when is “professional” a critical element of a game? Again, using loaded words like “clutter” isn’t helping your argument.

Appeal to status quo, pointless.

What the hell, he doesn’t even have a working game yet and somehow the content he hasn’t created yet is a paragon of consistency? I guarantee a good number of the items being complained about were added by whales.

I’m really not sure if you’re trying to be rude or you’re just not capable of understanding that you are, but if you can’t see that this is insulting, then I cannot explain why it is to you.

I’ll reiterate:

We don’t merge crap.

Just my two cents, but I’m a big fan of all the so-called clutter and vanity items floating about Cata, I’d argue we need more variety, not less. New additions by definition provide players with more content. Don’t know what kind of gun that is? Reads its desc! Like building vehicles/bases? New parts! Abandoned your humanity? CBMs and Mutations galore!

It was said best with “the world has lots of stuff”

Having more than one item that serves the same utility ((ex: Slightly different handguns)) just means that you may come across one and not the other, or both and find yourself using whichever you prefer. As for those that seem overly agitated about having the option I’d put it like this.

Cata isn’t a three-course meal, its a buffet. You put what you like on your plate and enjoy it. In that same respect you don’t yell at the staff for making something you’re not going to eat and you certainly don’t throw it out so no one can have it.

If anything the fine men and women that keep this game chugging along with constant updates and experimentals have been bending over backwards with the inclusion of a more modular system. Don’t like lasers? Uncheck a box. Don’t want historic weaponry? See you in hell nodachi!

With all that in mind what’s left for there to possibly complain about in regards to new or existing items?

I’m really not sure if you’re trying to be rude or you’re just not capable of understanding that you are, but if you can’t see that this is insulting, then I cannot explain why it is to you.

I’ll reiterate:

We don’t merge crap.[/quote]

Maybe you just take offense too easily. And I beg to differ about the merging. Now that was rude. See the difference? If you seriously can’t accept that others have a low opinion of your work without taking offense, I’m sorry, but I don’t know what else to say. You must have lived a very sheltered life if you can’t accept criticism. But I’m not going to shy away from stating, matter-of-factly, with no malice or insult intended, what I believe. And I applaud anyone who feels the same.

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.

Masterfully written KA101.

That said I think it might be time to lock this thread, since at this point it’s pretty much boiled down to one poster launching attacks at the various devs who respond with various defenses why his attacks aren’t true, only to have the same things reiterated. No real discussion is happening here, and the majority of the last few pages have basically consisted of “devs merge stuff I think is worthless”, and “we the devs don’t think it’s worthless”. I say lock it.