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Topics - zeidrich

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1
Off-Topic / Children & Ethics (split from DRM in mods)
« on: March 05, 2017, 09:34:18 PM »
These posts have been split from DRM in mods:



Look, I don't really care if people know it's my Children & Pregnancy mod in question. If people want to start a witch hunt go ahead. But you should be aware of the facts:
- The mod did not crash the game, it caused RimWorld to load endlessly if Children & Pregnancy and the 'other' mod were both being used. Neither did it intentionally cause a memory leak/freeze RimWorld.
- The 'other' mod was a mod which I had been informed (and been shown gifs of) that it allowed child rape when used in conjunction with my mod.

I didn't plan it to be any sort of "DRM", it was made entirely as a middle finger to people to want to simulate pederasty. So you can judge for yourself whether or not this was "problematic malicious code".

Ehh, if I were in your situation I would ignore it. 

A) The other mod writer can work around it if they want to.
B) By singling it out, there's other mods that you maybe don't single out.  If you block the ones you think are inappropriate, does that mean that the ones you don't block are ones you endorse?

For instance, you posted positively on a thread about a torture mod.  Do you recognize that that torture mod would most likely allow players to torture children if they combined it with your mod?  Do you support torturing children?

Of course you don't.  Does this mean that you will similarly block this mod from working with your mod?

What about a mod that allows you to do gender reassignment surgery?  Is it appropriate to do on a newborn?  Are you encouraging genital mutilation?

What about a mod that lets you put corpses straight into a nutrient paste dispenser?  Are you supporting the consumption of dead babies?

There's so many potential, and often accidental conflicts that are going to come up when you create a mod like this. I'm not sure that the author of the mod in question specifically wrote it with your mod in mind.  It's possible, I haven't used either of the mods.  But I can see a situation where you write a mod that interacts with pawns generally, and you write a mod that creates child pawns, unless the other author writes his mod specifically to avoid the scenario where child pawns exist in the game, and prevent certain actions, it's just going to be a consequence of the two mods.  In some ways, emergent behavior.

I don't particularly like the idea of either mod.  One adds a sort of "protected" class of people to a game that is way too rough and brutal to start with.  This is a game where people talk about their ways of committing mass murder and maximizing value by creating cowboy hats out of their leather.  Children don't really fit in this world, especially if you're worried about what might happen to them.  The other mod is just meaninglessly crass.  The game is brutal as it is, and that's with generally utilitarian actions.  Yes, you can butcher the dead and sell to slavers, but your colonists hate it, and it's not really supported.  For instance, you can't have a human "farm" or commit straight up malicious acts against colonists.  The worst you can do is schedule unnecessary surgery, and that's kind of a game limitation.  The other mod adds a level of malicious acts that I just don't think make the game better, just "edgier".

That said, it's not your responsibility to stop that mod from interacting with yours, and if you commit to the purity of your own mod, you're going to have a lot of work to do to make sure to continue to break that mod and others from interacting with yours. I think it's a losing battle.

2
Unfinished / [WIP] Expanded BaseGen
« on: March 05, 2017, 08:08:03 PM »
Introduction
I've been working on extending the base generation.  I always found it funny that when you attack a colony, you came across 15-20 people with no infrastructure or farms, and pretty random treasures which were a mix of food and medicine, generally way more medicine than was necessary, but way less food than was reasonable

Progress
I'm building the base out of multiple cells.  I've currently got lots of ideas for cells, but I'm still working on some of the helper functions that will help me put them together.  Currently cells are about 9x9 and there are 9 cells in a 3x3 grid inside the walled camp.  Right now I'm developing it so that these values can be easily changed, but this limits how easy it is to build the blueprints for each room, so I might just fix that so I can more easily decorate.

I've currently got farms working, but with some aesthetic issues.  Currently each base hosts 2 farms, and the rest is bedrooms (I haven't put beds in them yet).  A farm will grow crops in the case that the temperature is feasible and more than half of the tiles in the cell are arable.  Otherwise it will create a chicken coop.   If the soil fertility is 100% or better, it will plant rice, otherwise it will plant potatoes. 

To do
I've got lots of ideas for custom rooms.  I might need to expand base size from 9 cells upwards.  Each room should have some kind of treasure, and potentially some kind of guards.  There are some things that are difficult to do, for instance, the chickens right now will stay in their coops, and eat, but if you break in, they're going to fight you because they're on the opponent's faction.  However, if I make them wild, they aren't able to open doors, so without some extensive modding of other systems I won't be able to make them both able to get outside, and able to be, say, tameable.  Though there's something kind of interesting about putting treasure in a chicken coop and having to get pecked to death to reach it. 8 chickens can actually do a reasonable amount of damage if they surround you.

Lots of defenses and other things are possible.  Some stuff isn't really expected to be used by opponents so I'm not sure how it will work, like deadfall traps and turrets.  Will the player be able to see a deadfall trap set by an opposing faction? Will turrets fire at a player? Is power generation going to work as expected for an enemy faction? I haven't tested this yet.

Images
Here are some images:
Standard base with 2 rice fields

Base partially in mountain with a chicken coop and a rice field.

3
Mods / Give me ideas. BaseGen, world events.
« on: February 25, 2017, 01:55:11 PM »
I'm working on a basegen mod. It's coming along faster than I expected.  I'm generating a walled area with various rooms that are themed. I'm looking for ideas for room definitions.

I've been disappointed by vanilla basegen.  25 colonists, 12 beds, 300 pemmican and no farms or defenses seems super stupid to me. There's also little reason to attack a colony except for an obscene amount glitterworld medicine in vanilla.

Vanilla basically generates a "points" value for the number of colonists its going to generate, and creates a few rooms, designating the smallest as a store room which it just fills with junk based on whether the faction is neolithic or not.  It puts sandbags around non-neolithic bases.

My methodology instead generates rooms of reasonably standard size (about 9x9).  It generates farms based on the number of rooms (about 2-3 farms for 9 rooms).  Each room generates its pawns based on the room definition.  So a bedroom for instance might generate a single pawn with a weapon, and a faction pet.  The pet might be a labrador retriever if it's non-neolithic, or it might be a wolf if it's neolithic. 

Rooms also contain treasure, which I hope to offset the power of the inhabitants.  So if the room has more treasure the pawns from it can be stronger.

So ideas I have for rooms are:

  • Bedroom: Bed, animal bed, 1 pawn, 1 pet, treasure: televisions, sculptures
  • Kitchen: Butcher Table, Stove, 1 pawn with edged weapon, treasure: food, packaged survival meals
  • Hospital: Beds, vitals monitor, hospital beds, 1 pawn, 1 injured pawn, treasure: medicine, prosthetics
  • Tribal Chief: throne, scultpures, 1 pawn heavily armed/armored, treasure: gold and jade, sculptures
  • Farm: growing plants, 1 pawn, treasure: raw food
  • Workshop: workbenches, 1-2 pawns, treasure: finished goods, raw materials.
  • Warg pit: faction Wargs, corpses, treasure: meat?

I'm also considering world events, working on basegen made me realize that it's sometimes a bit awkward to actually leave your base and often not incentivized.  I want to later, when I'm happy with basegen stuff, add some events to the world so I'm interested in what people think.

Ideas are:

Opportunity events: a comm signal or wanderer tells you about something on another tile, and you can check it out or not.  Things like a crashed colony ship looking for rescue, a rumor of a wrecked caravan to salvage, an abandoned mine.  These can be good or bad or neutral.  Some can be a deception like a distress signal that turns out to be an ambush.

Pressure events: A notification about an event in another tile that if left alone does bad things to you.  For instance, a poison ship or psychic ship on another tile that will poison or drive mad your colony, and send mechanoids or mad animals, or toxic fallout if left alone.  A forward raiding camp that will send raids periodically if not destroyed.

Scouted events: You send out your own caravan and scout nearby tiles. You come across your own things, a sealed up temple, maybe filled with gold, maybe filled with mechanoids.  A deep mine filled with goodies and insects.  A colony destroyed by mechanoids.  Some things could be strictly bad, some could be strictly good, and some could be balanced.

The idea would be that for many of these, you would part with a scout, check it out, then follow up with support either as another caravan, or with drop pods, as reinforcements.   The purpose is to add some character to the world, but also to let some events happen a bit closer to home, so you don't need to stockpile thousands of pemmican to see something outside of your base.

I'm curious what people would like to see in a mod like this, that fits within the theme of the base game.

4
General Discussion / Playing Tribal Extreme
« on: February 21, 2017, 01:53:09 PM »
Most posts, or youtubers, I see are players who play on a mountainous crashlanded start, with carefully prepared colonists, make a mountain base, hide behind a killbox and get old and die waiting for armies of hundreds of raiders to filter through their meatgrinder.  Filled with mods to let the player cure any affliction, boost characters up to enhanced cybernetics, and generally get kind of dull.

I've done this myself.  Though, I have always played strictly no-mods, I've done the same, getting everyone cybernetic limbs, hiding behind defenses that the enemy fails to develop a strategy past "lets send 60 more guys through, maybe they'll run out of bullets" even in my sea ice game, where I eventually just built a ship out of boredom.

But I like losing. So I started to play randy or cass extreme, with a tribal start.  Rules are, no choosing colonists, no choosing starting location.  Just hit next on colonists, random on start, and not just that, but with a goal to win the game by reaching the crashed ship.

I've had some interesting games.  Yesterday I land on ice sheet, actually right in the middle, with the next biome probably 15 tiles away across mountains.  No trees on ice sheet. You don't start with complex clothing.  You don't start with steel.  You start with a bit of wood, but not enough to keep a fire going.  I had to deconstruct some derelict buildings before hypothermia set in in order to build a building around a steam geyser.  Everyone's sleeping on the floor.  I build a research bench and learn complex clothing, to try to get some jackets from some of the animals I kill.  And the pets, though they don't like that.  Pretty soon "some of the animals I kill" is whatever poor trader or traveler comes my way.  They donate both warm clothing, some food, and some leather.  I can't cook anything because I need to conserve wood, so raw cannibalism is the only thing on the buffet, at least between the occasional rabbit and polar bear.

Eventually I need to move.  Food has run out. I didn't get the research I wanted finished. But a combination of sleeping in the snow, starvation, cannibalism has made my colonists pretty unhappy, and I need to sort out the food situation.  Someone goes berserk, which is another meal, enough to manage to leave the area and go on to the next.

We manage to get to the next area, but we couldn't carry much building supplies.  We brought as much steel as we could carry, and built again around a steam geyser.  There's a couple of rabbits, but with no wood we can't build a butcher table. We eat them raw. Nobody is happy with this.  In the process of building the shelter, and fending off mental breaks, two of the colonists who haven't managed to get parkas off dead traders developed severe hypothermia and lost some fingers and toes.  The rabbits take off from the map, and we are stuck with 2 guys, a bow, some pila and a polar bear.  The other two are starving so they're not healing. There's another mental break, and I nearly kill one of them, but he survives.  I was hoping he could die so we could eat again. I could euthanize him, but for some reason that seems wrong.  We take on the polar bear, and lose.

It's fun.

The thing with Tribal though is there's some things that are kind of annoying.  The first thing I think is very frustrating is the way that colonists refuel.  Playing as tribal, you spend a reasonable amount of time using campfires, using fueled stoves, using passive coolers.  Coolers can't be refueled, they just expire.  I'm kind of OK with them.  But campfires and stoves are more annoying, because they can be refueled, but they don't get refueled reliably.  Both are used for cooking, so when the station runs out of fuel, the cooking stops.  The problem is that it's not a cooking job to fuel it, it's a hauling job, so you have to wait for a hauler.  Secondly, you can't refuel while it's in use, so if you're cooking a fair bit, it will straight up run out of fuel first.  In the case of a campfire its especially annoying because you lose the job definitions.  In my tribal games I'll probably want to make up to 3000 pemmican for travel, make a certain number of simple meals to keep colonists from eating raw ingredients when we don't have both veg and meat, and set them to drop them on the floor. That's a fair number of clicks to set up.

My suggestion here is that a campfire should have an unfueled state if possible that lasts for a couple of days, can be refueled, and keeps the jobs.  This way it feels more like a fueled stove for cooking.  Tribals start without steel, so a stove isn't always in the cards in some biomes where steel isn't immediately accessible.  It doesn't really change the functionality, but certainly changes the usability.

Second thing is that I think that fueling the stove at least should be a cooking job rather than a hauling job.  It doesn't make sense that a cook can't cook because there's no fuel in the stove, and won't try, even if they are capable of dumb labor, just because hauling is a lower priority.  So if your cooking is priority 1, and your growing is priority 2, and hauling is priority 3, the pawn will start planting the fields instead of cooking just because there's no logs in the stove, even though cooking is the top priority.  Doing the same for campfires might be nice, but I also don't think it would be right to have the cook run around feeding the campfires that are put in people's rooms for temperature either.  Campfires expire on a timer rather than by meals cooked anyways, so it makes more sense to let haulers do that one.

The next thing that's a bit annoying about Tribal start is combat.  Combat in rimworld seems balanced around killboxes and turret farms. This is frustrating because turrets take a long time to research as tribal, and it often seems like the best thing to do is ignore everything else and rush to making turrets.   Over time your wealth increases, and while really apparent on extreme, it's still the case on lower difficulties, you get very large raids pretty quickly.  First issue with combat is weapon choice.  There basically isn't much choice.  Early game you get clubs, shivs, shortbows. Shortbows are the only ones worth talking about.  Clubs maybe for your brawlers.  Getting smithing is a huge investment in research. Smithing gets you useless things, like knives, gladius, mace, spear, pila.  It also gives you a great bow, which is good, and long swords which are maybe OK, as long as their wielder doesn't go berserk.

I don't understand most of the weapons.  Knives and Gladius for instance, what's the point? They do sharp damage, but less than a long sword. They use less material, but a long sword is only 120. You're not going to ever have the steel and time to get a smithy but only have 50 steel left over for a gladius, not 120 for a sword.  Pila have such a long wind up time despite high damage, that makes it good for hunting, but the range and speed makes it useless in combat.

That said, getting smithing gives you great bows, which have a decent range. But the problem is the sheer numbers that will attack you.  If you're on even footing, you can take on a slightly larger force because you can have bunkers and sandbags and darkness, and light up the enemies.  But with Neolithic arms, you can only do so much. Meanwhile, the game will throw dozens of guys at you.  This is totally fine when you have turrets because they just walk into them and die.  When you have 7 tribals with longbows and you have to fight 20 tribals with longbows and longswords, you have a harder time. 

Getting machining gets you real weapons, but is a huge investment and generally by the time I have assault rifles, I'm seeing packs of 40+ tribals, which again, is not really feasible to manage on my own even with assault rifles and 7 guys.

So again it goes back to rushing to turrets, which kind of changes the feel of playing tribal at all. Instead of working through the tech tree, you just have to survive the couple of years it takes you to get turrets researched.

Another thing though, and I don't think this just applies to tribal, but to the crashed ship game too.  If you actually pack up and leave, you can't rely on the same kind of static defenses. This means that the combat is very much pawns vs pawns again.  While your wealth drops when you start a new settlement, you still get pretty big attacks in your new settlement, and I often find that the first raid after I set down in a new place is nearly unbeatable sometimes.

My suggestion here: Slow down with scaling the number of pawns that attack you.  It gets silly, and it's not logical.  Logistically it takes me quite a lot to manage to send my 7 colonists out to settle a new area, they eat a lot of food, I need to make a lot of pemmican.  It doesn't make sense that a rival tribe would send 40 men from a camp 10 days away over to me, that's like 12000 pemmican.  They would have to settle in my camp for a year, repairing it farming, just to get enough food again to get home or raid the next settlement, and half their people would likely starve to death in the attempt. You have to do kind of cheaty things to survive, and the game has to do kind of cheaty things like force people to outright die when they're downed so you can't get your own population up to 40.   Instead, make the raids smarter.  Have a group of tribals pose as a friendly tribe, and then when they're past your defenses, they open up on you.   Have them bring animals.  Have them be stealthy and not discovered until a pawn gets close.  Have them avoid conflict and try to steal your things.  Have them attempt to outrange you, or draw you into a trap that they set.  These are all things that would let the game send fewer pawns, but still be a challenge, and sometimes even more fun.  It would certainly make it more reasonable to play without turrets.

I'd like to see more attention paid to smithy weapons.  Pila for instance could be quickly thrown, but degrade a lot every shot, so you maybe only get 3-4 shots.  A fast thrown high damage attack is useful even at short range, but a very slow high damage attack is kind of useless against the guy charging you with a sword.  If you could, say, carry a gladius with pila, and a knife with a bow, it would make those two weapons meaningfully different than a long sword.

I think that turrets are kind of broken, but I think the game has become pretty reliant on them.  They're too intelligent. They know when an animal is passive and when it's hostile.  They know when a visitor is friendly and when they turn hostile.  They know that a berserk colonist is still friendly.  And they do this completely on their own.  Contrast this to, say, mortars, which need to be armed, aimed manually, and always miss. Or traps/IEDs, which need to be walked on directly and can be triggered by colonists or friendlies.

If a turret were to attack anything that moved while turned on, I think it would be a better system.  You would have to keep your turrets switched off most of the time, turn them on from a distance with a switch during raids, and risk friendly fire.  This would drastically change the game for a lot of players and would be probably unpopular. It would also necessitate the rework of raids immediately.  I guess you could have a system that uses AI persona cores later that can control turrets to give them their old intelligence.

Anyways, I just wanted to share my thoughts, my experiences playing random tribal extreme games,  some frustrations and some balance concerns that I had.  I think the game is fun, it's definitely balanced around a crashlanded start, and around players abusing simple AI through turret defense.  I think tribal could be a more fun way to play, especially with the goal of getting to the crashed ship, but a lot of people are very invested in the "make a super-ultra-base with a giant freezer of a thousand raider corpses to be harvested, a full bionic army, a massive prison etc." type of game, and I think it would be a big challenge to make the sort of caravan to the ship type game work better without changing that game that people already like.

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