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State of the Mod: 2019

Discussion in 'Community Patch Project' started by Enginseer, Mar 15, 2019 at 8:26 PM.

  1. Enginseer

    Enginseer Salientia of the Community Patch Supporter

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    To a few of us here today this is a festive occasion, and yet in the history of Vox Populi, it is a commonplace occurrence for the Community Patch Project to be involved. We emphasized the Community part in the Project hoping that every user with a voice gets a say into the Project.

    The business of our project goes forward. Vox Populi is confronted with a social affliction of great disproportions. We suffer from the flaws of a decentralized democratically-involved project. It distorts our balance decisions, penalizes modmods, and crushes the one we hurt the most: the silent userbase of our project who ask not much from us besides to let them keep playing as usual.

    Decentralized systems are flexible with timing and the quality of the mods from these systems are usually higher than a centralized system. However, the flaw consists of a lack of communication and factional conflicts begin appearing within these systems.

    We have tried to centralize the system of our entire modding sub-sections with a
    centralized Modpack, a list of mods, and a Discord to keep in touch with our modders and developers, but of course, we do not grab everybody and not enough users use these links.

    But great as our democratic system is, it has not exercised moderation. For months we have piled complaints upon complaints, mortgaging our balance and the future balance for the sake of change. Is this for the better or worse? We grant everybody a voice so each individual can voice their opinion, but a few have overreached their power.

    You and I, as individuals, can, by suggesting and arguing, tip the game's balance beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. There will be a point that collectively, as a project, the project might stagnate on any future development. Let there be no misunderstanding that the project might halt development in the near future, but users need to consider that too much experimentation is bad for the health of this project.

    The penalty that modmods suffer has come upon us over several months. They will not go away in days or weeks and this depends on whenever or not the modmods are updated on a basis if at all. We must be wary of radical changes to the base mod for this hurts modmods more in the long-term. Modmods have been built in the spirit of this project and has helped the project become more successful. Let us not tamper with this progress.

    We hear very little of the silent user group, but they are many compared to those who voice themselves. Our concerns must be for this group that have been too long neglected. It knows no way to voice itself or address balance. It is made up of loyal users who have stuck with Vox Populi for years for the modmods they enjoy or for the increases of enjoyment from the mod itself. We offer our gratitude for such loyalty and we should not neglect them nor alienate them any further with more radical changes especially when these changes are late into the development of the project.

    After all, I must ask the community to advocate for smaller changes and not more radical changes because change for the sake of change is not a viable operation for this project to endure. I'd like to thank everybody for reading.

    Previous Year's State of the Mod
     
    glider1 likes this.
  2. ryanmusante

    ryanmusante Regular Supporter

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    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 5:05 AM
  3. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    This is clearly directed at me. Which is fine. In the future, if you have concerns, feel free to reach out to me directly, I prefer it to having 95 theses stuck to my e-door.

    I made clear in advance that I was dismantling parts of the happiness system that were, frankly, nonfunctional. And it is done. It's in beta right now, which means that this is a chance for the community to test and consider the new changes, and for modders to get a feel for how the new code functions. It's not the official release, and I would not point new users to this beta at this time - as in the past, when I mean 'beta,' I really mean 'alpha' in terms of changes and functionality. There's really no other way for me to reliably distribute comprehensive code changes than via a release. We don't have any other distribution method.

    If any modders have concerns or questions as to how to adapt to the new system, I'm always happy to field questions or offer code snippets. Regarding the happiness system, none of the prior code was taken away. It all still works the same, and the formula values are close enough to the prior version that they would remain compatible as-is. The only truly incompatible functions are UI elements that are not updated to use some of the new LUA hooks for the happiness system. And that's it.

    I could not be more thrilled by the wellspring of modmods that have emerged around VP over the past few years. It's a humbling testament to the vitality of this project. However - and I don't say this lightly - there will always be a certain amount of risk involved when it comes to creating modmods for a project that is not yet complete. It's inevitable, much as modders for any other game or project have to adapt when the developer releases a patch or expansion.

    I truly appreciate the modmod community, and I do not envy your task. But I'm also not going to leave a core system of VP in a lackluster state.

    G
     
  4. Enginseer

    Enginseer Salientia of the Community Patch Supporter

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    Indirectly, but not directly. You don't cause the changes without probable cause, you see. :king:
     
  5. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    Enginseer, I have nothing but appreciation for your contributions. I can see why you are concerned about modmods, even though it's a low priority for me. But to say you're speaking for a silent majority that you have intuited are threatened by the current changes is absurd, and lowers the credibility of your entire post.
     
    shangela and wobuffet like this.
  6. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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    I mean, I literally put pen to paper. Or finger to key. Whatever. Again, I'm not mad or anything, but I do my best to warn and document.

    G
     
  7. Enginseer

    Enginseer Salientia of the Community Patch Supporter

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    The silent majority do exist in which users do lurk around this forum or via their friends sharing a version. They don't participate in these discussions thread as common as we want them to. Instead, they just see fun things to download and then start downloading it. There are some who will play on older versions as well if they don't like the changes and some who receive these downloads from their private Discord.

    Now some may argue the 90-10 Lurker/Participant is an obsolete ratio, and some opt for a more (active?) 65-35 Lurker/Participant ratio, but there is a majority at hand that does not participate and prefers to stay out of the drama. The extent they stay out of the drama is that they'll even go to really old versions if the new version isn't to their tasting (because it's a beta or the changes are undesirable). Because giving a very liberal estimate of 100 active participants, there are definitely more than 100 lurkers around here (otherwise, I shouldn't be modding anymore!)
     
  8. Gazebo

    Gazebo Lord of the Community Patch

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  9. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Chieftain

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    Sure, there are many Vox Populi players who don't participate in forum discussions, but I see no indication that a majority of them share your viewpoint. I'm no longer a regular participant myself, and I am pleased with the direction that development is going.

    Vox Populi is not a democracy. Gazebo makes all the decisions. He wisely listens intently to user feedback, because he knows that players have insight into the game experience that developers cannot, but he has the final say in all decisions. In no way is Vox Populi design dictated by majority rule. G has never been shy about rejecting proposals from the peanut gallery.

    I see few specific complaints in your address. The only one that I see is regarding the modding scene. I doubt that avid modmod consumers and producers make up a majority of the playerbase, and besides, I have not seen any massive outcry in the Discord channel over changes to the game. I am a modder myself, and to offer a counterpoint, I believe that the gameplay improvements have been well worth the minor inconveniences that they've caused to my mods.

    I agree that we should not make radical changes unnecessarily. But I do not think that has been happening. You may not agree, but the latest major change, to the happiness system, has been long overdue. My experience has been consistent that an unintuitive and incomprehensible happiness system has been a major hindrance to new players trying to enter Vox Populi, and while I do not know yet whether the new changes will be better, I firmly believe that experimentation on this front is far from unnecessary, and is crucial to the continued health of the game.
     
  10. pineappledan

    pineappledan Warlord

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    The silent majority don’t use modmods. I don’t get even a tenth of the downloads that G gets, but I’m sure I’m on the low end because my mods are a bit more ‘obtrusive’
     
  11. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Enginseer has added a Reformation belief to the "complicated civ mod" religion.
     
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  12. Txurce

    Txurce Warlord

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    I didn't say anything about the existence of players who don't post. I said you have no reason to claim you're speaking for them.
     
  13. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    For whatever it's worth, I really like the direction of the happiness changes. VP is the best Civ game out right now and moving toward clarity over Byzantine mechanics was a good step for making it more broadly appealing.
     
  14. glider1

    glider1 Chieftain

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    One question this raises in my mind is do we actually want VP to be more broadly appealing? I sound like I'm being elitist but hear me out. The main evolution of Firaxis version of Civ is already for broad appeal and it has been very successful at that. There is a place for a mod that speaks to the minority player that likes deep, strategic games that are difficult to master and understand even after many years. These latter player are not well represented by Firaxis and you could argue that the purpose of mods is to differentiate clearly from the main user base of the vanilla game. In my humble opinion what I'm saying is not elitist because the bulk majority already are in a good place with Firaxis vanilla design principals.
     
  15. Gothic_Empire

    Gothic_Empire AKA, Ramen Empire

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    Yes, this is elitist.
     
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  16. ashendashin

    ashendashin Chieftain

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    I agree with Gothic. I honestly think if Firaxis released something like VP in the first place they would've been even more successful. The difference between vanilla and mod users is made even worse given how VP lacked a tutorial system and so many users have trouble adjusting to a game so different from vanilla but still uses many of its concepts, not to mention how fractured Civ's modding communities are which muddies the already somewhat niche interest that is modding.

    Our separation from the rest of the Civ community is not necessarily because VP as a game is entirely limited to a niche audience. The circumstances are more limiting than anything else from my point of view.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 1:34 AM
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  17. Asterix Rage

    Asterix Rage Warlord

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    VP a drama !!! VP is one of the best Civilization Mod ever. What are you speaking about ?
    You know what? I bet the majority of silent majority appreciate what G is doing. Simply his best

    Enginseer, You are the greatest here and Gazebo is leading the project. Simply said
    We all love and need your expertise on ...everything about VP, sql, xml, lua, even fxsxml, even community ! And I bet again the majority of silent lurkers will appreciate (7) Community Patch Events:hug:

    Edit :
    And if not don't even think "I shouldn't be modding anymore!":rolleyes::)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019 at 2:35 AM
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  18. Asterix Rage

    Asterix Rage Warlord

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    Gold ( no beta version ) needed
     
  19. swapoer

    swapoer Chieftain

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    Well , the best Civ Mod is FFH II. Don't argue with me at this topic:).
    Fall from Heaven II has 631k downloads and the most popular mod of Civ V is EUI, which has 516k downloads.

    FFH II has several total conversion modmods and many small modmods. So far, VP has only small modmods, which add new civs or improve UI.

    For me, the best part of FFH II is how the game combine lore and gameplay so well. Reading the ingame wiki is like reading a novel. And playing the game is like creating a new history.
    Civ V has fallen short in this part when Civ V discarded the civil and reformation system and replaced it with the culture policy which play like a perk system of any rpg and makes no sense when you are role playing a civilization.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 5:00 AM
  20. doublex55

    doublex55 Chieftain

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    How would one get into civ 4 btw? Seems interesting. I haven’t tried it yet because square grid feels so foreign.
     
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