So… it’s getting close to that time again… Pack Changes. Time to change it up and see what we can do to keep things interesting. I’ve written a brief set of issues and possible solutions…
- Weight – Right now the pack weighs in on the heavy side of over a 100 actual mods. This means a long load time for the client as well as a high potential server load and some wacky mod interactions that are not intended.
- Theme – Currently, we have no theme. The pack is literally defined as a collection of mods enjoyed by the Frogpants gaming community. This has led to some ambivalence towards the pack as well as the world.
So how do we fix these issues? The obvious solution is first some mods need to go as they are either fat or causing issues. The short list is:
- Mekanism – I like this mod, as do several of our users, however due to a bad fork we’re stuck in the corner on this one. It has been a pain in my butt in terms of server load usage as well as odd errors. It tries to fill the purpose of about 3 other mods but somehow manages to cause triple the amount of issues as well. Thermal Expansion covers almost all the ore processing and power generation needs.
- BuildCraft – Feel free to gasp. Truth is, this mod has almost nothing to offer anymore to us. Tanks are done better by OpenMods, item movement is done better by several mods (ExtraUtils, Thermal Expansion, etc), and with the introduction of ExtraUtil‘s EnderQuarry and Endothermic Pump (which the server loves…. less resource usage for lighting/fluid updates) there’s not much it does besides Oil. When was the last time anyone built a system that depends on oil (give you a hint: EE2 was involved).
- RailCraft – Another old standby… but much of what it does is done better by Steves’ Carts as well as TrainCraft.
- BILLUND – It was cute… but really?
- Ars Magica 2 – After the initial break in… no one uses it seriously. The “bosses” are fun, but it’s kind of a pain to learn and use.
- Sync – Another fun mod, it doesn’t really fit in. We have the ability to /home and other fun things and death is not a problem (we don’t use Hardcore mode and graves have made gear retrieval easier).
- Tubestuff – You’re not using it. Trust me.
- Magical Crops – It was fun growing stuff… but it was way too easy.
- DartCraft – Again, fun… but breaks a lot of things.
- Binnie’s Mods – The extra bees and trees are fun but it does cause a few issues. The mod is fun but the author doesn’t have the time to fix some of the issues it causes.
- MystCraft – Honestly… we spend more time trying to ensure compatibility between mods and the server software in regards to this than anything. I could save us a headache and just use a Bukkit plugin for multiple dimensions that we have direct control over.
I’m torn on the inclusion of a few other mods… specifically Chisel (the decorative blocks are nice, though….), Steves’ Factory Manager (I don’t think anyone is using it), OpenPeripherals (the concept is cool… control everything… but most of us don’t have or take the time to play with it), and Switches (it’s throwing a few issues but nothing that appears to overly affect gameplay… but how many people are spending 2 diamonds/emeralds to make a switch…). With removal comes inclusion of some new mods, however, not as much as last time. Below are some additions/gameplay changes I’m hoping to add…
- Blood Magic – Big maybe. I’m loathe to introduce yet another magic mod (seems like I’m just continuing to try and patch the hole left in our hearts by EE2) but this one seems more balanced than most (you have to sacrifice your own HP to accomplish many things).
- Tinkers’ Steelworks – Replacement steel making method with the removal of Railcraft/Mekanism
- Tool Changes – Tools will be built according to Tinkers’ Workshop/Steelworks. The exceptions will be for mod specific items (wrenches and such, but more on that).
- Crafting Difficulty Increase – Various mod items will require more “expensive” ingredients while others will be disabled in favor of a mod alternative/replacement (wrenches… again). An example is all wrenches except ThermalExpansion‘s being disabled (requires Invar), while ComputerCraft computers will require a machine frame instead of redstone, etc.
- Story Quests/Events – These may take some coordination (possibly with a scripting plugin, which we’ve done before) but perhaps we can use HardcoreQuestMod to coordinate quests/story… (it is possible to turn off the “lives”, although I will muck around with it and see if it’s possible to set it so a player isn’t deleted when lives run out… just some sort of scoring system)
- Theme – This has always been a sticky wicket… we’ve made a story/background for the world then haven’t followed through, there’s been interest then a lack of interest, etc. I think it’s possible to finally nail down a theme and again, maybe using HardcoreQuestMod along with a custom book mod of some sort (looking into this and how OpenBlocks/HQM/Mariculture/etc do it).
- Food That Matters – Looking to add Pam’s HarvestMod as well as Hunger Overhaul. The result will be hunger matters, but way more food options (want to make a bacon cheeseburger? Go for it!)
Of course, all of these ideas are subject to change/balancing. We’re going to probably end up pushing MineTweaker to it’s limit this time around ;).