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Author Topic: ASV's Mod Reviews (Latest: Xen Races)  (Read 2355 times)

AcetheSuperVillain

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ASV's Mod Reviews (Latest: Xen Races)
« on: October 11, 2019, 12:40:34 PM »

I play a lot of RimWorld and I use a lot of mods.  I want to make a list of some of my favorite mods and try to explain what they're like, so you can decide if they'd fit well into your style of play.  I'm going to use Steam Workshop links, because that's how I manage my mods, but be aware that most of these contributors are also here on Ludeon Forums or RimWorld Base if you prefer. 

Before I begin, I'll briefly explain my style of play, as that will obviously color my opinion of mods.  I generally get bored with colonies once they get sufficiently developed, so I don't go for much late-game content.  One of my favorite things is being able to tame and raise wild animals, so I do a lot of wildlife mods.  I often wish the base game was more sci-fi, so I'm keen on any alien races, space-man guns and miraculous technology.  I like to explore different biomes, so I also appreciate any introduced technology that makes it more viable to colonize harsher ecosystems, or get out of the mountains. 

To start, let's cover some of my favorite wildlife mods.

Dinosauria:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1136958577

If you've never in your life dreamed about having a pet dinosaur, I think there's something wrong with you.  Besides the child-like thrill, these gigantic animals add some interesting gameplay balance, because the largest dinos are easily as strong as most early raids.  Accidentally pissing off one of these walking tanks will lead to complete mayhem, and you can intentionally anger them to attack raiders or caravans.  And if poaching is more your style than taming, a lot of dinosaurs will yield valuable hides or trophies like T-Rex skulls and Triceratops horns.  Also check out Packmules Extended - Dinosauria to allow your dinos to haul loot across the Rim. 

Sauropods are especially interested.  The mod really reminds you how insanely large these creatures used to be.  A sauropod is a dangerous foe, capable of charging through volleys of bullets and squishing pawns into pulp, but you're handsomely rewarded for your efforts with valuable sauropod leather and a mountain of meat that can feed your colony for multiple quadrums.  Sauropods can also eat live trees, like alpha-beavers, making them an annoying presence at times.  I always thought sauropods were a really boring kind of dinosaur, but after hunting and getting squished by them, I have a new respect for these ancient titans. 


Megafauna: 
https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=1055485938



Megafauna is like Dinosauria, but with prehistoric mammals, birds, bugs and reptiles instead of dinosaurs.  I recognize a lot of these critters, but most of you definitely won't.  Since most of these animals are larger or weirder versions of modern day animals, it's more fun to think of these creatures as alien or mutant versions than resurrected prehistorics.  In general, these creatures aren't as large and dangerous as the Dinosaurs, but are more dangerous than the vanilla wildlife. 

The Megafauna modder is pretty keen on making compatibility patches with other mods, so Megafauna is very likely to work with whatever your other favorites are. 


Alpha Animals: 
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1541721856



Alpha Animals is a massively creative and intricate mod that adds a lot of fun things to do and new ways to die to your game.  A lot of the unique animals produce cool resources, like a tree-eating beetle that sheds steel, but there are also a lot of killer events.  Feralisk clutch mothers will pump out a brood of carnivorous spiders that will slowly decimate all life outside the walls of your colony.  Strange Drop Pods will spawn an army of man-hunting plant monsters.  And you'll be raided by the Black Hive, mechanoid-hunting super insects that now run amok throughout the rim.  So not only are you getting more interesting wildlife, but more interesting raids and events as well.  The alien animals also give those RimWorlds a much needed sci-fi feel that the Muffalo just don't quite reach. 

Also check out Alpha Biomes.  I generally don't like Biome mods because they're often buggy and unbalanced and my Dinosaurs won't show up, but at least with Alpha Biomes, you'll still get the Alpha Animals.  There are a lot of cool things in the Alpha Biome mod, if you wish your alien RimWorlds felt more alien, then you should definitely give this a shot. 


MoreMonstergirls: 
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=860692531



I held off on this mod for a long time because I thought it would be creepy and weird, but after finding a comment along the lines of "it's actually not that bad" I decided to give it a shot, and it's now one of my favorite wildlife mods.  It probably will feel creepy and weird for some people, so try at your own discretion, but to me it mostly feels cute and cartoony, and there are just as many monster boys as girls.  The main appeal here is that you get some really beneficial animal friends.  Almost all of them produce useful resources and can be trained to haul, and most of them are very fast, making them great mounts for the Giddy Up mod.  They're also fairly easy to train, so you don't need to be a master Handler.  The catch is that they're pretty fragile, they'll easily get torn to pieces by any dinosaurs or feralisks on your map, so you still need to keep them safe and tame them quickly once they stroll onto your map. 

One could argue that this mod is unbalanced, but if you like the taming/training system and wish you could get more out of it, then this is a mod worth trying out.  These guys are definitely useful, whereas I'm constantly asking myself whether it's worth keeping around a huge hungry Triceratops all the time to occasionally kebob a mechanoid or carry my cocaine down to the market, I always feel like the monster critters are an important part of my colony. 


Yokai Village: 
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1532938687


If you really want to weeb up the Rim, try out this collection of Japanese mythical monsters.  Most of these are humanoid, but there are a few completely bonkers ones like a walking block of stone with a face on it.  Most of these creatures have a very magical/mythical feel to them, and many produce resources in a similar way.  One of my favorites was the Joru-gumo, Spider Girls, which are dangerous hunters, produce spider silk and only eat fresh corpses and meat, no kibble or simple meals.  A lot of these monster races come in individual mods, if you don't want the entire Yokai family all at once, but the comprehensive Yokai Village mod also comes with a bunch of furniture, food, weapons and armor to give your colony an even more magical feel.  In particular, if you don't like dealing with electricity, Yokai Village offers some magical items that offer alternatives to modern conveniences like air conditioning. 

And if that feels too cushy to be any fun, rest assured, there are some absolutely bonkers hard creatures roaming around in Yokai Village that can single-handedly extinguish an entire colony, and the best magical technology requires the extremely rare ingredients, so there's still plenty of hard work to do and late-game schemes to try.  There are a few things about this mod that might feel kinda creepy and effed up, but the magical/medieval vibe mostly mitigates that feeling.  And if you're used to Japanese yokai stories, they are generally supposed to feel effed up. 


Housekeeper Cats: 
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1541620640


One of the few stand-alone animal mods I'm going to recommend, Housekeeper Cats are my absolute favorite.  The main attraction is that these little guys will do cleaning work, once they have at least Obedience training.  They can also be trained to haul and will produce small amounts of Housekeeper Cat Wool, which is very expensive.  If you're tired of your colony constantly being covered in blood and puke, this is the mod for you. 


L-Slimes: 
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1206705240

This mod introduces Slime creatures, like the classic RPG monster.  Slimes come in dozens of formats, there are slimes that produce food, medicine, electricity, heat, cold, gunk, and even ravenous killer slime-babies. 

I used to play with this mod, but I've stopped since I've come to feel that it's too unbalanced.  Your gameplay experience will completely revolve around slimes.  This can be fun, but if you're trying to sample a bunch of other mods, it gets tedious when they are constantly overshadowed by the same old slime tactics.  And to be fair, you're still generally at the whim of the Rim's randomness.  Like sure, it's great to have an electro-slime instead of a power generator, but there's no way to guarantee that you'll encounter one, and even if you do, it might go berzerk or get eaten before you actually tame it. 

The feel of this mod is hard to nail down.  It kinda works for a magical/medieval feel or a super alien/sci-fi feel, but honestly, it mostly feels like some sort of comedy or parody collection.  Some of them even feel more like a gamey hack, like "I don't want to deal with refrigeration, so here's a slime that makes it cold".  But if you wish that RimWorld was a little easier or a little goofier, definitely give this a shot.  And it has been a long time since I've played it, so maybe they've balanced it better since. 


Animal Collab: 
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1444853494



The Animal Collab Project adds a bunch more natural animals to the ecology of RimWorld.  I really like this, as the default animal selection in RimWorld always felt very sparse to me.  The extra animals make each biome feel a lot more real.  Though this pack is mostly normal animals, there are a few cool critters, like the Dire Wolf, (which seems to be more like the Game of Thrones creature and not the RL prehistoric canine).  If there's a limit to how many mods you can have at once, there are definitely more game-changing wildlife mods to choose from, but if you can work it in, this is an excellent mod to have. 

One ACP animal that I really like is actually the horse.  I've always thought it was weird that there are no horses on the Rim, especially since there's a strong Wild West vibe to much of the game.  If you use the Giddy-Up mod for mounts, there really aren't a lot of animals in RimWorld or all of its mods that fill the niche of a horse, an easy-to-handle herbivore that moves fast and is big enough to carry a person and some cargo.  If you don't want to take on this giant Ark of animals just for horses, the horses from ACP are available as a stand alone mod, and there's another mod simply titled Horses which I recommend if you'd prefer to have more depth in your selection of steeds. 


Magical Menagerie: 

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1821617793

This mod introduces a plethora of mythical creatures to your RimWorld experience.  While it's obviously cool to have a bunch of magical monsters running around, and the artwork is great, I do have some complaints about this one.  Though it is by the same developer (or at least uploader) as Alpha Animals, this mod lacks the same creativity, most of these creatures are just big predators with a projectile attack that they don't use often enough to be truly dangerous.  Most of the Magical Menagerie are also complete pussies compared to Dinosaurs, Yokai or the meanest of the Alpha Animals.  You might be excited to see a herd of Unicorns or Gryphons enter your map, but they're probably going to be decimated by predators before you can successfully tame them.  It also means that while it sounds cool to ride into battle on a Gryphon, it isn't actually much stronger than a horse or muffalo. 


Bichang's Creatures: 
https://steamcommunity.com/id/Bichang/myworkshopfiles/?appid=294100

This isn't a single mod, but the contributor Bichang has several mythical creatures that fit well together, the Red Dragon, Huri, Frilleus, Kyulen and Sacred White Fox.  These guys have absolutely beautiful sprites, and in general, they are all strong enough to absolutely annihilate entire colonies.  Red Dragons and Frilleus will appear as events, kinda like Thrumbos, while the others just chill out in most biomes.  They are pretty easy to tame, but they're dangerous enough that you can't try it willy-nilly. 

(I haven't played with these critters for a long time because it's a little unbalanced, and there are creatures from the Yokai Village that do kind of the same thing, in fact I get this dragon and that dragon a little mixed up in my head.  But now that the mod loading time has been improved I might give them another shot.  Also, the Cyberpunk damage tweak might give you more of an edge against the Red Dragon.)

« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 04:54:34 PM by AcetheSuperVillain »
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Ruisuki

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2019, 11:32:28 PM »

i appreciate the dedication and will take a look at your stuff. Barky used to do video reviews but then he dropped off the planet so nice to see someone pick up the torch
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AcetheSuperVillain

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2019, 11:49:00 PM »

Next, I'd like to discuss a few "game changing" mods.  These have a profound impact on gameplay. 

Zombieland
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=928376710


Zombieland is based on the popular zombie apocalypse trope and it is by far, the game-changiest of the game-changers.  Your maps will flood with literally hundreds of zombies, banging away at your walls and doors, and gobbling up any idiots that wander outside.  Getting bitten by a zombie will infect you with the zombie virus, changing you into a zombie after a few days.  Also Packaged Survival Meals are retextured and renamed "Twinkies".  What's especially cool about this mod is that you get a lot of options about how your zombie apocalypse to play out.  Zombies can be super resilient and aggressive or just mindless push-overs.  One of the cool options is to choose whether to have zombies appear only at the map edges, or allow them to spawn out of the soil.  Better try some hydroponics. 

One of the fun side-effects of the zombie apocalypse is that zombies will fight off Raiders and Raiders will generally target zombies before your own colonies.  You also have the option of enabling zombies to target wild animals, which means you can watch a herd of elephants go on a crazy zombie-killing rampage, until they're finally overcome by blood loss from a thousand bites and scratches and you can choose whether to venture outside and fight off the zombie scavengers before they gobble up the valuable corpse with its meat, hide and ivory.  Merchants will also attract zombies, but the caravans are generally well armed enough that they can survive the trip up to your front door. 

I definitely recommend giving this mod a try.  I don't particularly like zombie apocalypse stuff, but I love this mod.  I don't play with it all the time, but every once in a while, it's fun to switch it on and hold out for as long as you can.  It's such a game-changer that it's like playing a different mode or a RimWorld sequel.  This mod is especially fun when combined with Rim Cities.  It can also be fun to combine with Vegetable Garden and craft the world's largest stockpile of tequila while the world around you burns. 



Cyberpunk
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1301071669
and
Cyberpunk Factions
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1134649225


The idea of these mods is to give RimWorld a gritty near-future sci-fi with new bionic implants, trendy clothing and a shitload of guns.  The Factions add-on fills the world with various non-randomized Mega-corporations.  There aren't any complicated interactions between these factions.  They're all pretty friendly, and their merchants will make it rain guns like a red-neck christmas.  Also, wanderers and new colonists will have a chance to start with random weapons, armor or cybernetics, which makes Cyberpunk games start up a lot faster. 

An important feature to point out is that the combat has been very rebalanced in two major ways.  First thing you'll notice is that gun ranges have been greatly exaggerated compared to Vanilla.  Pistols and shotguns will only be able to shoot a few tiles, while assault and sniper rifles will be able to shoot across almost the entire map.  Second, everything is much more deadly.  What would be a flesh wound in Vanilla will probably be death or dismemberment in Cyberpunk.  Unreliable weapons can also jam when trying to fire, and even very reliable guns will jam once in a while, and given the extra deadliness, this can really turn a battle against you. 

The huge quantity and variety of guns that this mod adds is a little overwhelming, but if you're the type that likes pouring over spreadsheets to find the ideal weapon for your personal style, than this is absolutely the mod for you.  If not, don't worry, the basic labels of "shotgun", "handgun", "assault rife", etc will give you a strong hint of how they operate.  Most of the best Cyberpunk guns are only found in stores, and can't be built by your colony.  If you want a Militech M31-A1 or Arasaka Monokatana, you're going to have to pay money.  Or steal it.  I enjoy this, since I'd rather just farm cocaine and experience the thrill of finally getting a visit from a gun-runner now that I have enough silver to actually buy one.  Also, if you like RimWorld's world travel mechanic, but wish there was more to do with it, it can be fun to go down to the nearest Mega-Corp town to offload cocaine to buy bigger guns.  The Cyberpunk arsenal is not as sci-fi crazy as some weapon mods you can get, but they are plenty deadly. 

The Cyberpunk mod mostly plays along pretty well with other mods.  The extra Mega-Corp factions will provide you with plenty of visitors for the Hospitality mod.  RimCities is a good match if you really want to get into the urban Cyberpunk aesthetic.  Cyberpunk's extra apparel seems to be designed to work around the Visible Pants mod.  If you're playing with other gun-mods, the Cyberpunk mod tends to drown them out.  This can be a good thing, it'll make your other mod's super-sci-fi gun much more rare and exciting once you finally find or build one.  Though to be honest, Cyberpunk's guns can outshine a lot of other gun mods, in particular the guns from Rimsenal will feel overpriced and underpowered by comparison.  The extra deadly gun rebalancing feels fair when you're playing against gun-wielding raiders, but any dangerous wildlife will now be at a big disadvantage.  Hunting sauropods just isn't the epic adventure it used to be.  And that might be a good thing if you'd rather not be dealing with wild animals, and it does feel more realistic. 

However, if you're the type who only wants a few mods, Cyberpunk is a great pick.  It's got such much stuff packed in and such a strong flavor to it that it really stands on its own very well.  I love playing with hundreds of mods going at once, but sometimes I do like to shut them all off and just let Cyberpunk do its thing. 


Xeva Faction:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1823549410


This young upstart mod is similar in scope to Cyberpunk or Rimsenal.  Lots of new factions with new weapons, apparel and even storytellers.  There's definitely a lot of cool stuff, but unfortunately all the text is in Chinese, which makes it hard to tell what everything is supposed to do.  You can muddle through it pretty well, since all the normal stats are still in English, but it always feels like you're missing out on the full picture. 

While the artwork is very good and very unique, the actual game balance leaves much to be desired.  It adds more sci-fi flavor, but the guns just aren't as powerful as what you'll find in other sci-fi gun packs.  It's disappointing to know that your Xeva super sci-fi rifle is only about as strong as a Ni'hal pistol. 

But like I said, this mod is young, introduced Aug 2019, and I think it's definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.  Hopefully someone will come up with an English translation, and maybe the contributor behind Xeva Factions will balance up the equipment at some point. 



« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 07:58:38 AM by AcetheSuperVillain »
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AcetheSuperVillain

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2019, 11:56:11 PM »

i appreciate the dedication and will take a look at your stuff. Barky used to do video reviews but then he dropped off the planet so nice to see someone pick up the torch

Thanks, I thought about videos, but that would require a lot more work.  Also, for most of these mods, I think saying a few sentences is enough to give people a sense of whether or not a given mod would be a good choice for them. 

Also, if anyone has any questions about any mod, if it's one I've played, I'll try to answer. 

AcetheSuperVillain

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2019, 01:08:21 AM »

Some more game-changers:

Quarry
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1543177113


This mod allows you to build a good ol' medieval quarry on any gravely or stoney ground.  Colonists can use their mining skill to mine random minerals from the earth.  Quarries have a percent complete, and once your colonists finish it off, the quarry disappears and the ground beneath it can be turned into soil.  Quarries have two modes, either mining resources or cutting stone blocks directly.  In mine resources mode, the quarry will still produce normal stone chunks that can be made into blocks in the normal way, so I've never really used this feature. 

The quarry really turns RimWorld's mineral scarcity mechanic on its head.  Even on a completely flat map, you can scrounge up enough stone and steel to wall off the entire map.  In the mod settings, you can also set various resources on the quarriable list, I tend to add components to this list, since I've always hated the scarcity of components compared to how many you need.  By default, you can also mine resources like gold, silver, plasteel and uranium.  I think the abundance of these resources will be based on the natural resources on your map, i.e. if there are a bunch of uranium deposits in the open on your map, there will be more uranium in your quarry.  This means that if you're willing to patiently mine in your quarry, you never need to trade for any of these things, and if you're lucky, you'll also be getting plenty of silver at the same time. 

There are some drawbacks to balance out the quarry.  Quarries are really big, 13x13 for full quarries and 7x7 for half quarries, and they require gravel or stone floors to be placed on, and they're fairly difficult to wall off and defend (though they do produce the materials to make walls, so that balances itself out).  It takes a lot of time to set one up and it takes a lot of time to actually mine them.  Quarries are also very ugly, -5 on every square, and like I said, they're really big, so anyone working the quarry will start loosing mood quickly.  As part of the normal game balance, mining a bunch of resources will start to attract stronger raids, so you can't just do a lot of quarrying all at once without preparing for the consequences. 

Overall, I really like this mod.  I find the mineral scarcity in Rimworld really frustrating, and this is a cool way to address it without feeling cheap.  Though it alters the balance of Rimworld, it's the kind of thing that feels realistic to do, you should be able to just dig a whole without frickin' micro-electronics.  I like that it adds a sense of 3-dimensionality too, as a Dwarf Fortress veteran, RimWorld's 2D scope has always been a sore spot.  It also gives your miners more work to do, and makes it realistic to build fortress in open terrain, instead of always building on mountains. 



Deep Storage
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1617282896


Deep storage adds a bunch of storage units, like shelves, but they can all hold multiple items per tile.  This doesn't sound like much of a game changer, but ye gods, it changes everything.  I for one am constantly struggling with storage space in RimWorld, and it is frustrating and kind of silly that you can get to a point of building ray guns and power armor, but you still throw all your junk on the floor.  And, not only do you get to store multiple things in one place, stored items don't reduce beauty like loose items.  You can even put corpses on a Big Shelf and colonists won't get the Observed Corpse moodlet when they're nearby.  (though this doesn't work for Meat Hooks, which can hold 10 corpses in a single square, and boy will that make your colonists gag) 

There are lots of different storage units.  The generic storage units, Big Shelves and Tall Shelves, can't hold as many stacks of items as more specialized storage units, like the Skip which can only hold building materials, or the Food Basket, which can only hold raw foods and vegetable matter.  The storage units are also somewhat more balanced by requiring a mandatory pause for colonists to sort items when they put them into storage.  This isn't really a big deal, the storage units are all a major net positive. 

I absolutely love this mod.  It makes fortresses feel much more civilized and really eases the process of finding places to put all your junk.  Because frankly, I don't play RimWorld for the junk-management aspect, I play to grow cocaine and shoot people and then fly into outer freaking space with sunglasses on. 



Vegetable Garden Project
https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=1185272266


On the surface, this family of mods might seem like a minor tweak to the farming system, but there is a huge family of sub-mods that touch every aspect of life on the Rim. 

My favorite sub-mod is definitely Garden Gourmet, which allows you to produce various real-food meal types for your colonists, like kebabs, porridge, pizza and tacos.  I never bothered to produce Fine or Lavish meals for my colonists, but I take great joy in finally gathering all the ingredients I need to produce a pizza.  Most of the better foods also give the beneficial Well Fed mood boost, which will increase their productivity. 

Garden Drinks is a fun mod which allows you to produce Soda from any fruit and Alcoholic Beverages from almost any crop, sake from rice, tequila from agave, whiskey from corn, etc.  Even though I'm a teetotaler in real-life, I enjoy getting that top-notch whiskey for my colonists, and vodka is a great add-on for my cyberpunk cocaine cartel.  If you'd rather be nice to your pawns, Soda is a fun way to get almost as much money as drugs, without putting your colonists at risk.  I forget which sub-mod has it, but there's also a mod that adds tea, coffee and tobacco for more safe drug-like materials. 

The Garden Fabrics sub-mod adds Flax and Linen, a textile that's halfway between cotton cloth and devilstrand.  I also forces you to process raw textiles at the loom, instead harvesting finished bolts of cloth immediately.  The loom also allows you to deconstruct ratty or tainted apparel into raw textiles. 

Garden Tools allows you to cremate corpses (including rotten or desiccated ones) into fertilizer, which you can use to place your own Garden Soil, 130% growth rate, or Plowed Soil, 160% growth rate.  There are also new growing lamps and growing boxes which allow you to grow crops anywhere. 

Smoked Meat allows you to extend the lifespan of raw meat, while also cooking it to remove that Ate Raw Food moodlet.  This is great if you like to hunt sauropods, but don't like to build freezers. 

I forget which sub-mods do this, but they allow you to produce materials like Synthread, Neutroamine, Ambrosia and other trade-only materials yourself. 

There are a few sub-mods that I don't care for.  Soylent Production felt weird and not as fun as making pizzas and things.  Canning required steel for each can, which always made me uncomfortable.  (although now that I use the Quarry Mod, that's probably not so bad)  Garden Resources, which allows you to grow steel, gold, etc. in your farms, felt cheap and too made-up.  More Veggies and Xtra Trees & Flowers just added clutter without adding anything to game balance. 

AcetheSuperVillain

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 11:22:28 PM »

How about some gun mods?

Quick disclaimer, my favorite gun collection is actually the Cyber Punk mod, which I mentioned previously, but it's more of a game changer mod than a pure gun mod.  I also enjoy the Ni'hal and Orassan guns from their respective Alien race mods, and I'll cover them at some point. 

Also, I realize that some people consider Combat Extended (CE) to be standard, but I'm not a big fan of it.  Managing ammunition is tedious, and it doesn't work together with just any mod.  However, I did like the ability to equip multiple weapons, and I'm thrilled to have found that in a stand-alone mod:

Simple Sidearms:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=927155256


Simple Sidearms allows you to equip multiple weapons at once.  Well, not at once, but you can carry multiple weapons on your person, and depending on the mod settings, your pawns will automatically switch to the best weapon for the best situation.  I'm really surprised that this functionality is not built into RimWorld itself.  It really feels like the game was designed with this mod in mind, and it's a mod that I absolutely can't play without. 

The basic thing to do is give your character a diverse load-out.  For example, you might carry a sniper rifle, shotgun and a longsword.  Use the sniper rifle to engage foes at long range, as they close in, switch to your shotgun, and then to your longsword if they manage to get into melee.  And you can carry a weapon like grenades or molotov cocktails in addition to a "real" weapon. 



For the record, if you did want to equip multiple weapons at once, there's:
Dual Wield:
https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=1628211313


It's self explanatory, you can hold two weapons at once, at the cost of accuracy and aiming time.  I enjoyed this mod for a while, but I remember that it got complicated and kinda buggy with other mods in play.  It can be made to work with modded weapons by altering the mod options, but by default, you (or the raiders) can dual wield crazy railguns and rocket launchers, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's annoying to fix.  Also, if you're genuinely trying to balance which weapons are good two-handers or one-handers, two pistols generally just aren't as good as a single assault rifle, so you're left wondering why you have this mod installed in the first place. 


Rimsenal:
https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=725950793

The real elephant-in-the-room when it comes to gun mods is Rimsenal.  It's a huge pack, very well drawn and with a fun lore behind the collection.  Besides guns, there's also lots of power armor, which I just love.  But, I have to admit a love-hate relationship with this mod because all the guns are very late-game minded weapons if you try to produce them yourself, and they're just not very powerful.  For the amount of research and materials needed to produce the Rimsenal guns, they're just not worth the effort.  It's especially bad if you're playing with other gun mods, since they tend to blow Rimsenal out of the water.  However, they are fairly reasonably priced if you manage to get them from a merchant, and friendly towns will often have lots to sell. 

But while I'm lukewarm to the main Rimsenal line, I love the Rimsenal Feral faction and gun collection.  The Ferals are supposed to be like a post apocalyptic Mad Max junkyard warrior type of faction.  You can craft your own junkyard weapons very quickly using the Scav Bench once you research normal gun making.  A lot of Feral equipment also uses actual scrap instead of steel, which is an interesting way to add some use to this otherwise annoying item.  I am especially a fan of the Feral Nail Gun, and I'd even venture to say that it is possibly the best weapon in the entire RimWorld modiverse if you have really high level shooter.  It's basically a pistol, with similar range, but it fires a barrage of tiny nails.  Each nail does almost no damage, but you're pretty much guaranteed to hit your target with some of them, which will start causing blood loss and decrease in movement speed and fighting ability.  This also makes it a somewhat non-lethal weapon for home uses, curing berzerker rages or incapacitating prisoners without killing them, although a lucky nail to the brain can still ruin your plans.  And a shooter with 15+ skill level can probably hit with most of the nails in each salvo, which is absolutely devastating.  I remember getting a level 20 shooter in a zombieland game, and that cat would just insta-kill almost anything with a full salvo of nails to the brain. 

The other Rimsenal faction, Federation, is also a fun twist.  Most Federation weapons use burns instead of bullets, which makes them great for capturing prisoners and dealing with some unorthodox opponents.  The Federation pistol is fairly ubiquitous and you can easily get a bunch of them to give your troops as side arms for non-lethal encounters.  However, unlike Feral gear, you can't make Federation equipment yourself, and the harder Federation raids will throw a lot of unfair bullshit at you, which i know is fun for some people, but not for me. 


Rimfall Frontier:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1547881310


AND

Halo UNSC Weapons:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1542254108


Confession time:  I definitely played with both of these mods at the same time and I have no idea which was which.  However, I am going to say that this is still a valid point to review.  They just really don't stand out much.  I seem to recall that they felt a little better than the unmodded weapons, but ultimately, they don't stand out the way most of the other gun mods do.  I'm not a big FPS fan, maybe if I had played Halo or Titanfall the recognition might help, but for the most part, it was just a bunch of meaningless names with meaningless descriptions.  It was especially hard to tell which guns were supposed to be better than others without diving big time into their stat sheets. 

But you know, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.  If you want a RimWorld experience with just a little bit more flavor, this is the mod for your.  Adds a lot of futuristic feeling guns without anything game breaking.  And if you do recognize Titanfall or Halo guns, then this collection might be a nice familiar thing for you. 

(Again, I really don't remember the guns that well, but I vaguely think that the Titanfall guns were more early research stage, while the Halo guns were more Charged Projectile level tech.  But I think that the Titanfall collection has Charged Projectile level weapons as well.) 



Plasma Weaponry:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1500625118


This is ultimately a fairly lackluster space-gun collection.  The Plasma weapons are all basically variations of the charged rifle, just imagine a charged pistol, charged shotgun, etc, and you've got it.  Again, this is a weapon pack that I've only ever used with other gun mods installed, and it always feels overshadowed by other collections.  It's not as interesting, it's not the most powerful, and the guns don't seem to show up in raids or caravans as often as other collections do.  It's possible to build them yourself, but by the time I have enough research done to even think about it, I've already got an arsenal of space-man-guns that I've pried from cold dead fingers or bought with cocaine money.  And again, this can be a good thing if you only want to push the game balance a little. 



Apex: Rimworld Legends
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1688705593


This is yet another slightly enhanced Rimworld pack, but I must admit I like this better than most of the others.  A:RL adds some true variety to every level of the normal gun development research line, and in a very simple and understandable way.  The Mod workshop page also has very helpful explanations for each of the guns in the collection.  The art style is likewise, simple but bold and attractive. 

So I definitely recommend this collection, especially if you want more variety without breaking the game, but even if you do want to break the game with other mods, the A:RL pack will add some nice variety to the default weapons. 

The same mod author also does the Spartan Foundry, a collection of fun power armors for more situations than just combat. 



Adeptus Mechanicus
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1541438614


Now this, this is what space man guns are supposed to be.  If you didn't recognize it from the title, and neither did I for a long time, these are weapons from Warhammer 40k.  These guns are incredibly powerful and will absolutely break your game balance, but in exchange, they are fairly difficult to obtain, so it will break your game but slowly, and you can enjoy some tamer gun mods while you work up to dishing out The Emperor's Justice.  To truly screw yourself over, you can also play with the Adeptus Mechanicus Xenobiologis mod, which adds hostile Warhammer factions that will come to raid you, and I mean immediately. 

Adeptus Mechanicus adds a fun and doable level of challenge to your RimWorld experience.  I'm quick to complain when things just feel unfair, and though the random nature of RimWorld can still do that to you, nothing about Adeptus Mechanicus feels insurmountable. 



Girl's Frontline Sangvis Ferri
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1684134687


So I assume that Girls Frontline is some anime about creepy little girls that I'm never going to watch, but the Sangvis Ferri gun collection is some truly top notch over-the-top anime flair.  These guns are truly powerful, I remember having one that would 100% always destroy walls if it missed a shot, and there are also a lot of gun-melee hybrids, which is a fun mechanic that doesn't happen much in the RimWorld modiverse.  If you've had it with these MFing Centipedes on this MFing plain, and really want to shoot the bleepers out them, the Sangvis Ferri collection will do that for you, and in style. 



Cybernetic Warfare and Special Weapons
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1811369911

I'm going to present this one as a little bonus item.  It's got some really cool designs and ideas, but I'm not all that familar with it yet.  I played with it alongside the CyberPunk mod, which you'd think would make sense, but the sheer volume of CyberPunk stuff just overshadowed and swallowed up the CWSW collection.  The only weapon I remember having was an Energy Glove and yeah, it pummeled stuff good. 

So I'll try to give this a better shot later, but for now, I feel like it's a good looking mod, at least. 

EDIT:  Okay, so I did sort of give it a try without any other gun mods installed, and I was disappointed.  None of the weapons show up in caravans or raids, and the research to build them is VERY late-game, and since I wasn't having fun waiting around to be able to build guns, I gave up on that game before being able to research CWSW.  It might be that they show up, but very rarely, or that they start showing up in raids once your colony reaches a very high wealth, but I for one will never know.  So hey, maybe it would be an interesting thing for people to be able to build late-game weaponry that only your own colony would have access to, but to me, this is tedious and seems unfair.  Also, I think it's safe to add these kinds of mods to existing games, so if you already have a late-game fortress, maybe you could add this in and give yourself something new to do. 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 02:20:07 AM by AcetheSuperVillain »
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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2019, 10:10:15 PM »

Besides weapons of war, a lot of cool modders have thought to use the weapon slot as a tool slot to give you pawns a boost to various skills. 

I mentioned it last time, the Simple Sidearms is an absolute must for tool mods, as otherwise, you'll need to scramble for a gun every time there's a raid.  Sidearms also allows you to carry different tools for different occasions, if you've got one of those renaissance pawns who is great at more than one thing. 

XND Survival Tools:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1566269698


We're going to start this collection with a mod that I absolutely hated.  Instead of tools making the game easier, XND Survival decrease all base work times so that you NEED tools to actually get anything done.  Your tools will also decay and need constant replacement.  This also means that if you have a multi-talented pawn, you need to follow them around and order them to change tools for each different job they try to do.  This is just an insane amount of micromanagement, and I really hated it. 

That said, it might still be for you.  If you like to micromanage, or want a more realistic feel, here you go.  And if you do want to "cheat", there is an item called the Glitterworld Multi-tool, which does allow you to do everything faster. 



Gimmicks:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1838946720


This is another low grade from me.  I don't hate it, but it just doesn't stand out.  The meager bonuses that Gimmicks tools give you barely matter.  It's hard to keep track of what each tool does and which ones are better.  If this your first tool mod, it probably feels great, but there are cooler ones out there.  And if you're the type who wants to jealously protect your precious game balance with only minor bonuses, then yeah, minor bonuses is all you get here. 



Toolmetrics:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1526599749


Toolmetrics is my second favorite tool mod.  Unlike the other mods, you can craft toolbelts which raise multiple stats and go in your belt slot instead of weapon slot.  You can buy toolbelts from traders, but they tend to be crazy expensive, so I usually try to make them myself instead of buy them with drug money.  Ultimately, this is my second favorite because it's a little overwhelming.  Toolbelts are made from tools, so you need to craft or obtain 5 or 6 different tools for one belt.  There's a huge number of tools and toolbelts, which is hard to keep track of.  And raiders will show up with tools, which meant that my stockpiles were always overflowing with dead men's thimbles.  (seriously, game, why thimbles?) 



Additional Tools:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1443002973


And here we are, at my favorite tool mod.  The humbly named Additional Tools is actually the most game-breakiest of them all, and this is exactly what I want from a tools mod.  After I've toiled away in the cocaine farms and cocaine lab to make enough money to put food on this table and buy a nice tool afterwards, I want that tool to make my life better, and this noble dream is exactly what Additional Tools gives you.  When you finally get your hands on a chainsaw, you can watch your farmer spin around a cyclone harvesting or planting crops with lightning speed, or get the laptop with 1200% research speed to absolutely eat research projects like they were tater chips.  And while the best tools are crazy good, there are nice normal tools that aren't quite so gamebreaky. 

To be fair, obtaining these tools is hit or miss.  Tools in general show up pretty frequently from traders, but they're rare enough that you can't really plan your colony around getting a particular tool.  They're expensive enough that you can't buy them immediately, but cheap enough that a single season's cocaine harvest will probably earn you one.  The tools are pretty easy to research and the best tools only need a machining table, but the chainsaw and laptop require over 10 crafting skill to make, so you need to be really lucky or diligent to have a pawn capable of doing it. 

One complaint that I have about the Additional Tools mod is that it lacks a sense of video game logic.  There's generally two tiers for each labor, and the best balanced example is that for plant work, you've got the low tier machete, craftable from the smithy, and the high tier chainsaw, craftable from the machining table.  But for mining, you have the Wooden Pickaxe and Steel Pickaxe, both of which come from the smithy, or for animal handling/harvesting, there's only the humble bucket, with no industrial tech to sheer and milk your muffalo.  There's also no tool that increases your crafting speed, which is the main thing I actually spend time on in the late game. 

So yeah, it's not perfect, but still my favorite. 

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 08:15:03 AM »

Power Mods:

Advanced Power Generation:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1426296659


This mod adds several late-game power generators that require micro-electronics to research.  Wind, Solar and Geothermal generators get upgraded, and it adds a new Nuclear generator that runs on uranium.  What's cool is that these generators can be un-installed and moved, like a workshop, so you can very rarely buy one from a caravan or even start with one if you chance your scenario settings or use Prepare Carefully. 

I like them.  Power generation in a late-game fortress is always tricky to manage, and it also feels like you should eventually be able to use your space-man technology to get more efficient power sources than the first few industrial generators.  They are game-breaking if you choose to start with one, but they are so rare and expensive in caravans that realistically, 9 games out of 10 you're going to have to research and build them yourself. 


BioReactor:
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1564657272


The BioReactor is a cool reactor that is unlocked by researching Biofuel Refining.  They work by placing a living organism in the tank (like a cryosleep casket) and then "fueling" it with nutrients, raw food.  You can order your own pawns to enter the BioReactor, which is a great way to deal with that asthmatic pyromanic that's incapable of dumb labor, or you can place a downed pawn or animal into the BioReactor, and yes, that includes raiders.  There are 3 sizes of BioReactor, 2x2 which fits up to human sized creatures, 3x3 which fits up to rhinoceros sized creatures, and 4x4 which allegedly fits anything.  I have to be honest with you, I didn't notice the 4x4 reactor until just now.  The 2x2 and 3x3 reactors have icons, the 4x4 is only available from a drop-down menu, and I completely didn't notice or forgot until I saw the picture on mod page for writing this article. 

Besides producing energy, the BioReactor has a secondary function, "histolysis", which will convert whatever is inside it to chemfuel.  This sounds more useful than it is, because to get anything into the BioReactor, you need to be able to beat them up without killing them, which means you can't simply order a prisoner or tamed animal to enter, you need to actually beat them up without killing them first.  If you're using a lot of stun weapons or burn weapons from a mod, then maybe it would work better, but by default, (definitely in the extra deadly CyberPunk mod which I usually run) it's really tricky to actually get a living thing into your BioReactor in the first place. 

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2019, 10:51:27 PM »

I'm deeply interested by real life plastics, and I always thought it was weird that vanilla RimWorld doesn't have any plastics, or some equivalent.  Luckily, the modding community has it figured out.  There's actually a lot of these, so I'm only covering my favorites. 

Carbon
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1376609823


This time, I'm going to start with my favorite, Carbon.  And okay, it's technically not plastic, but it's a building material produced from chemfuel, which is basically how all the other plastic materials work.  Carbon is relatively easy to research, 600 points after Biofuel.  It comes in 3 forms, C-Composite, a wood/steel replacement, C-Weave, a cloth replacement, and Diamond, a stone replacement.  C-Composite makes sturdy structures, but isn't any good for weapons.  Diamond is crazy sturdy, but requires a lot more resources.  Since it's renewable, you could still craft a diamond fortress if you're willing to wait, but realistically, you're looking at a few strategic diamond doors or embrasures.  Diamond also has a high selling price and beauty, so it's great for scultures or just selling raw, though not as satisfying as cocaine.  C-Weave I don't think is especially different from regular cloth.  Since cloth is already renewable, there's isn't a lot of attraction to producing C-Weave. 



Plastic Revolution
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1609378715


This is a newer mod, and though it doesn't knock Carbon off my favorite spot, it does offer some interesting uniqueness.  Plastic Revolution has 3 levels of plastic, Basic, Reinforced and Advanced.  Basic and Reinforced can by researched with nothing by Electricity, albeit at a whopping 1200 and 1500 points.  Advanced plastic will set you back 2000 and requires the Multi-Analyzer.  Basic plastic can be produced directly from vegetation without the need for chemfuel, although you can produce it from chemfuel if you're a boomalope farmer or you've got the infinite reactor.  Reinforced Plastic is a combination of plastic and steel, Advanced Plastic is Plastic and Plasteel.  They're not as strong as the pure metal, but they give you a chance to extend your supply.  You also get recipes to produce synthread and hyperweave and "steelar" which is like Kevlar, and there are recipes for plastic helmets and flack vests that don't require Smithing or Machining.  So even though the research cost is high, you really get a lot of bang for your buck. 



XND Simple Plastic
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1102480398


For the sake of completeness, there's also XND's Simple Plastic.  I tried it back in 0.18, and I didn't much care for it.  It's just kinda bland, and plastic is generally worse or less economical than other materials, so there's not much reason to use it in the first place. 



Rimefeller
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1321849735


Technically, there is also Rimefeller.  This is closer to a game-changing mod, but I hesitate to put it in that category because you can just ignore it if you wanted to.  Rimefeller is an oil industry mod.  You find oil deposits in the ground, kinda like deep minerals, and you can build oil wells to extract it, pump it to refineries with a system of pipes (which work kinda like power cables) and use it produce electricity or lots of plastic. 

Unique to Rimefeller, you have the option to produce plastic in a variety of colors.  So if you've always wanted an olive green base with bright orange floors, you can totally do that.  (Yeah, I totally did that!)  There are other fun things like artificial wood floors. 

My main complaint is that this is an incredibly complicated mod.  You will have to learn a whole new supply chain that doesn't really mimic any existing RimWorld system.  And having all the different colors and varieties of plastic is kinda nice, but also means one more level of complexity and slogging through an array of menus to get what you want.  And after all that, eventually, your map will run out of oil and Bernie Sanders will laugh at you as you have a gigantic oil refining facility that's now completely useless.  Or more likely, some electrical fault or mechanoid attack will catch your oil wells on fire, and they will burn with the fury of a thousand suns, either destroying your entire base or at least your expensive and complicated oil refinery site.  And you'll look at your smoldering ruins and all you can say to yourself is "oh right, I'm playing RimWorld.  This is what I signed up for." 

(To be fair, I think you can feed Chemfuel from Boomalopes or Bio Refineries into the Rimefeller system if your oil reserves run out, but it's still a bummer) 

So yeah, on the one hand, I have to give the author credit for coming up with a truly inspired and unique design, but on the other hand, I have to ask myself if Rimefeller actually makes the game more fun, and frankly, no, not really.  At least, not for me.  If you're more interested in the base building aspect of RimWorld and have a higher mental tolerance for your entire base bursting into flames, then this mod is a great pick. 

And if you like it, the same author also does RimAtomics.  I have never really tried this, because it requires even bigger research and build times, it's even more insanely complicated and you're just going to explode in a bigger way.  But it does come with the option to fire nuclear missiles at other faction bases. 
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 11:04:12 PM by AcetheSuperVillain »
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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2019, 09:33:29 AM »

Today I want to mention a particular mod that I've always had a confusing love-hate relationship with. 

UN-Colony
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1542036108


UN-Colony Furniture
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1547681343


This mod adds a lot of new buildings and textures and drastically changes the RimWorld supply chain.  In general, raw steel needs to be processed into steel plates, which are then processed into tubes, mesh grids, wires, etc to be used in other constructions.  As you progress, you create larger assembly lines and furnaces for processing metal.  There's also an assembly line that will convert stone into concrete and glass.  This I enjoy, since I always find it annoying to have a bunch of miscellaneous stone blocks lying around.  Concrete is a lot tougher than stone walls for defenses, and glass is prettier, both in-game to the pawns and I love the glass wall textures myself, though of course, they can be easily broken.  The UN-Colony also gives you a lot of auto-doors for free, without needing an extra research step.  The furniture mod adds a bunch of useful new things to add to your fortress, like electric fans and new medical equipment and more dressers and chests to boost the value of rooms. 

It all sounds great, and sometimes I forget about the downsides and play it again, but there are definitely a lot of things I just don't like about this mod.  First of all, it is SLOW.  Everything requires extensive research projects to build, and then everything requires lots of processed metals which take time to process, and it takes an extra element of micromanagement to get to the exact amount of processed materials that you need without going over, if resources are scarce or your crafters have better things to do.  And this is all on top of all the normal things you need to do in a fortress.  You still need to be researching and building weapons, mining resources and growing cocaine and so forth.  The metal processing ties up your crafters, so you've also got one less person helping out with the colony and it means that building something like the UN-C wood power generator requires both crafting and construction to get built.  A lot of the furniture is also much more expensive.  Wooden beds also require cloth, and if you live in the desert and want an alternative to wood, the steel bed requires your precious components to build.  UN-Colony's industry buildings are also much bigger than any normal workbench, so you'll need more space than you're used to. 

The UN-Colony also gets a pretty severe "Does not play well with others" grade.  Processing steel or components into the plates and whatnot you need for UN-C buildings means they are no good for guns or whatever.  There are a lot of things that require wood, and they won't take alternatives like bamboo or c-composite from other mods.  To some extent, it doesn't really play well with Vanilla RimWorld.  You can go through this long production chain to make the UN-C wood generator, but the mod doesn't prevent you from building the vanilla wood generator either.  If you're playing in harder difficulty or in a challenging environment, you have to constantly ask yourself if it's really worth it to put the effort into UN-C stuff, if staying in character is going to make you lose.  Because the thing is, most of the UN-C supply chain is self inflicted.  You can put a lot of research into new supply lines that process metals faster, but the only thing you're actually using metals for is to build bigger metal processors.  The UN-C mostly doesn't add anything new or useful.  The one thing that would be interesting are the concrete and glass materials, but these can only be used for UN-C constructions.  You can't build concrete or glass sculptures or non UN-C furniture or anything. 

That said, there are some mods that make UN-Colony more bearable.  Tool mods can speed up your colonists work speed.  Xenofungus allows you to grow xylem tubers which are a better wood crop than trees.  Hospitality can bring visitors with components to trade. 

And to be fair, a lot of the problem with UN-Colony is just that it's different.  A lot of your RimWorld familiarity is thrown out the window.  And that can be a good thing.  Part of the point of mods is to change things up and make the game feel fresh again.  But for most mods, you get something new for your trouble.  UN-Colony adds prettier textures, but as far as gameplay substance, it mostly just makes it different.  And SLOW. 

So who is this mod for?  I think if you like giving your pawns a cool base to live in, if you wish for a more realistic feel, if you enjoy managing more complicated supply chains, or if you just turn on RimWorld to keep your hands busy while listening to pod-casts, UN-Colony will be fun for you.  If you're the type who likes taking on ice sheets or extreme deserts or getting into gunfights with sauropods, then the UN-Colony stuff will mostly get in the way. 

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews (Latest: Cosmic Horrors & Bones)
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2019, 01:53:32 AM »

Recently, I started playing with an old mod that I had turned off for a while.  It's fun and definitely worth a review. 

Call of Cthulhu: Cosmic Horrors
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=765890823


The basic premise of this mod is that it will add new Raids made up of Lovecraftian monsters.  Some of these are really cool, like the invisible Star Vampires or the tunneling Chthonian, these will add more of a horror flavor to your game and not just the same old raids you've seen a million times by now.  I like this mod because I often feel that RimWorld doesn't have a very strong sci-fi feel.  The alien creatures of Cosmic Horrors make you feel more like you're dealing with genuine aliens. 

Besides getting ripped to shreds, your colonists will be mentally assaulted as well.  Any colonist who lays eyes on a Cosmic Horror, or its corpse, will be hit with a really whopping negative moodlet.  Seeing the Horrors or eating their flesh can also cause the new Sanity Loss health condition.  This actually heightens the colonist's Conciousness at first, which might seem like a good thing, but it makes them more subject to mental breaks, and finally they will go Berzerk.  Eating the flesh raw will send you into Berzerk with one or two servings, but the kitchen can prepare "Strange Meals" which allow you to approach Sanity Loss more slowly.  If you don't want to risk your own colonists, you can sell Strange Meals for a hefty lump of silver, and if you like tormenting your prisoners, there's always that.  Even if you don't want the meat, Horrors are worth butchering for their exotic hides. 

Cosmic Horrors is cool, but it does have some weirdness.  The horrors do not adapt well to embrasures, if they don't have a specific target, they tend to stand around blankly instead of try to break down walls or doors, even if they're being shot at.  I'm not sure if the mod creator intended them to be used alongside embrasures, since their speed and strength are phenomenal.  If you don't have embrasures or space-man guns, they will rip your colony to shreds before you can get a few shots off.  However, if you do have a competent defense of embrasures, turrets and space-man guns, you can handle Cosmic Horror Raids pretty easily, which can make the mod feel a bit dull.  And if you're not the type who likes to play with madness, dealing with all the Strange Meat and horrifying corpses can be too big of burden. 



I'll add that Cosmic Horrors is part of a much larger collection of spooky and Lovecraftian horror mods.  In general, these don't appeal to me, because they are more fantasy, while I prefer sci-fi.  But there is one on that list that I do enjoy...

Rim of Madness - Bones
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1180573408


I was originally a Dwarf Fortress fan, which allowed you to extract bones when you butchered corpses, and I miss not being able to do that in RimWorld.  It especially feels right if you're playing with a lot of animal mods that add giant dinosaurs and mammoths and whatnot, it makes sense that you can build a house out of giant dinobones.  Unfortunately, this mod is wildly overpowered by default, but there is a mod option that allows you to tweak how much bone you get when butchering corpses.  I think turning it down to 10% feels balanced, but it is fun to have all your corpses exploding into building materials when you butcher them.  With research, you can also learn recipes that will turn bones into more interesting materials, Calcium Polymer, Bonecrete, Bone Porcelaine, and after a lot of research, you can combine bone plastics with steel to make plasteel.  (come to think of it, I should have included this in my list of Plastics mods...) 

Although I enjoy Rim of Madness - Bones, I typically play with this turned off because it generates clutter, can feel unfair and isn't as useful as other material mods like Carbon or Mechalit.  However, it's fun to go back to it once in a while, and if you like to give your colonies a fun theme, the bone stuff can give you some cool options.  And if you're not using one of the other gazillion ways to produce plasteel, Bones is one of the more do-able ones. 

Also, I do give this a mediocre "plays well with others" grade, since creatures like bugs or slimes will have bones as well.  In general, I think bones stand in for wood for making stuff, which generally works well with other mods. 
« Last Edit: December 16, 2019, 11:14:12 AM by AcetheSuperVillain »
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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews (Latest: Cosmic Horrors & Bones)
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2019, 03:03:27 PM »

I just tried a kind of random mod, and I absolutely love it

Run and Gun
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1204108550


Run and gun is kinda random mod by roolo, who has done some other mods that I really like (and havent' reviewed, now that I think of it).  I had always skipped it, because it sounded like it would get buggy and not particularly useful, but after finally giving it a shot, I can happily report that it is neither of those things.  Basically, it gives your pawns the ability to move and shoot at the same time, at the cost of decreased movement and accuracy, which you can adjust from the mod menu. 

Run and Gun is wildly, incredibly useful.  The most obvious strategy is that you can keep shooting at something while running away, which is especially useful against dinosaurs and other dangerous melee oriented opponents, as they'll start to slow down after a few shots.  Another strategy could be to keep shooting while moving from one area of cover to the next, or allow a melee pawn to fire some shots while they're closing in (assuming you have Side Arms or a melee/ranged hybrid weapon, although it can also be useful to engage in melee to tie up a dangerous ranged weapon). 

A fair question is whether or not Run and Gun is fair.  For one thing, keep in mind that enemies can do it too, including firing at you as they retreat.  But of course, melee oriented enemies, especially wild animals or Cosmic Horrors, won't have that advantage, so that area of the game becomes much easier.  Also, it's something that I think most RTS games allow, and it's fairly realistic.  Roolo also does the Giddy-Up mods, and it absolutely makes sense that you'd be able to move and shoot while on horse-back (or dog-back or triceratops-back or whatever).  It also makes the game more fun and opens up new strategies, which I think cancels out the fairness question completely.  And I feel like if one part of the game feels unfair, you can always make the game more difficult in other areas to compensate.  Roolo also does a funny rant in the description:  "Take a look at the mod settings, you can make RunAndGun as useless or as OP as you want. This makes saying that this mod is overpowered is as silly as saying your television is too loud because you never figured out how to tweak the volume. "



Why not knock out some more of Roolo's mods...

Search and Destroy
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1467764609


This is another very simple concept, you can set pawns to be AI controlled while drafted.  I liked this option for melee pawns, but not for shooter pawns.  This allows melee pawns to automatically go after a new target as soon as they've finished one, or if their target got knocked out before they reached it.  Shooters on the other hand will always try to shoot from cover, which can lead to them doing stupid things.  The obvious thought is that they'd be able to chase after and shoot down enemies that are fleeing after a battle, but this doesn't actually work because they'll slow themselves down by looking for cover instead of following as the crow flies.  As far as I know, the AI won't try to kite melee enemies, so it doesn't help with that either.

Now that I think of it, this might be designed to work with Run and Gun, having the two mods at once might make it more effective. 

I give a mild recommendation for this mod.  It can be useful, especially for a melee-heavy strategy, but it doesn't really add any functionality to the game, so it might be better to keep your loading time that few seconds faster. 



Giddy-up!

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1216999901
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1217001091
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1253251478
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1331961995

I've already mentioned Giddy-up several times, and as you can probably tell from my first review, I'm a big fan of animal mods, so this is an absolute must-have mod.  Basic in explanation, this mod allows your colonists to ride animals, using the animal's base walking speed instead of their own.  The various sub-mods allow you to ride animals into combat, automatically ride them around the map, or ride them on caravans in the world map. 

Animals need at least Obedience training to be ridden around.  For automatic riding, a colonist will run a little pathfinding algorithm to see if it's faster to grab an animal or just walk there themselves.  If they decide to ride, the chosen animal will pause and wait for the colonist to come ride it, then pause again for a small amount of time after reaching the destination.  Riding an animal into combat will also allow the animal to use its melee attack, and can be a way to essentially command animals directly.  For the world map, when you add an animal to your caravan, you can select a pawn as that animal's rider.  This will preclude the animal from being able to haul cargo, but replace the rider's base speed with the animal's base speed, which can allow you to travel distances insanely quickly with the right mount. 

One of the fun things about Giddy-up is that a lot of previously fast-but-useless animals are now very useful as mounts.  Some of my favorite mounts:
From vanilla, the Gazelle is insanely fast, and it's small, doesn't eat a lot and reproduces quickly.  If you're in colder climates, Deer are second best option.  Muffalo and Camels are good to ride around on the home map, but not for caravans, as they are better off hauling cargo.  By default, huskies and labradors are large enough to be used as mounts in the mod options.
From Dinosauria, I love the gigantoraptor as a mount, these are very fast and pack a whallop if you get into a fight with them.  Gallamimus is a little weaker but a little faster.  Of course in combat, any of the giant dinosaurs are great, a lot of them are strong enough to knock out mechanoids on their own, and combined with a human rider, they can really shine.  Megafauna has the macrauchenia, but otherwise they are pretty slow and not as good as dinosaurs at combat.  Alpha Animals has the various aves species, which are a pain to tame (literally), but make very rewarding mounts.  If you can somehow obtain one, feralisks are great because they're fast, deadly and they'll use their web spitting attack in combat.  And obviously horses from the animal collab project or stand alone horses are fantastic.  I will warn that SpiderCamp's horses have a whopping speed of 10, which is completely ridiculous.  The ACP cheetah for comparison has a speed of 7.5.  Jorogumo from the Yokai Village is also a cool mount, since Jorogumo silk is necessary for a lot of the Yokai tech recipes, it's nice that your tamed Jorogumo also make very effective mounts. 



And if you remember my review of Dual Wield, that was also a roolo mod.  Good work, bro. 

Roolo also does What the Hack, and Giddy-up Mechanoids which allegedly allows you to hack and tame Mechanoids.  I've never tried it, because it sounds dangerous and late-gamey, but since I vouch for the developer, I'll mention it, in case you want to give that a try. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2019, 03:05:58 PM by AcetheSuperVillain »
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CucumberedPickle

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews (Latest: Giddy-up, Run and Gun, Search and Destroy)
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2019, 12:50:21 AM »

Hey, since you like wildlife mods, how about reviewing the Vanilla Animals Expanded mods. There are like 10 of them now, each one adding 3-8 animals of a specific biome or category, that, as the name implies, add animals that expand to vanilla.
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AcetheSuperVillain

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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews (Latest: Giddy-up, Run and Gun, Search and Destroy)
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2019, 12:12:54 AM »

Hey, since you like wildlife mods, how about reviewing the Vanilla Animals Expanded mods. There are like 10 of them now, each one adding 3-8 animals of a specific biome or category, that, as the name implies, add animals that expand to vanilla.

I've seen the series around, but it doesn't interest me, so I doubt I'll go to the trouble of trying them out.  In lieu of a review, I'll explain. 

It strikes me as uninteresting.  Generally, in a RimWorld mod, I'm looking for content that makes the Rim feel more alien and futuristic, and this collection, by design, does not do that.  You can also get the same thing from the Animal Collab Project (which I've reviewed previously) which also has fun sci-fi fantasy creatures like the Dire Wolf, Wooly Horse and Jackalope, and puts everything into a single mod, which strikes me as more convenient. 

Unfortunately, it's not something that I could quickly review either, I'd have to play multiple games in multiple biomes to really get a feel for it. 

I will say that I've got several mods by the same developer, Oskar Potocki, so I feel sure that the overall quality of the mod is probably good.  Frankly, I trust it to be exactly what it sets out to be, a little more variety without anything game-changing.  Usually I'm a fan of Oskar's artistic style, but for some reason, I don't like his animal drawings as well.  Part of the reason I've always used ACP instead of Extended Vanilla is that I like the artwork of ACP better. 

For future reference, much of this philosophy extends to the Vanilla Extended weapons and armor mods as well.  I trust the team to do a decent job, but they just don't offer anything that I particularly want.  I also don't like to have clutter, I don't want my game to get clogged up with animals or items that just make me wait longer for the Triceratopses and CAWS rifles that I actually want. 

Related note: I recently discovered the RimWorld Bestiary Wiki,
which catalogs most of the major animal mods, like Vanila Animals Extended and Animal Collab Project.  It's a great resource, and it's incomplete, so if you like playing RimWorld and contributing to wikis, I encourage you to give them a hand. 


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Re: ASV's Mod Reviews (Latest: Giddy-up, Run and Gun, Search and Destroy)
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2019, 01:47:51 AM »

For a long time I've wanted to cover the alien races for RimWorld.  I wanted to do a big all-out post, like I did for animal mods, but I'm just not finding the time for it, and these mods usually merit a deeper investigation.  So instead, I'm going to start with a few of my favorites. 


And, I'm going to start us off lite, with a mod that isn't really an alien mod: 

Murry Mod
https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=1423368669


This wonderfully simple mod just changes all of the previously human faces into animal faces.  It's purely cosmetic.  Since a lot of the alien race mods can be pretty complicated and start causing glitches or not playing well with other mods, the Murry Mod is a nice way to add some non-human flavor to your game.  If you don't want the fully furry experience, you can always go into the image file folder and replace a few of them with whatever face files you usually use. 

I especially like doing this with CyberPunk, since its various style changes tend to not play well with a lot of the alien races. 



Orassans
https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1541519487


The Orassans are a race of technologically advanced cat-people who prefer colder climates.  I'm not a huge fan of the Orassans themselves, but I love the various technologies that they bring to the Rim.  Basically, they make great neighbors, even if you don't play as them.  The mod also comes with a special Orassan storyteller whose style is a bit hard to nail down, basically pretty close to Phoebe Chillax, but with more spacer enemies, I think. 

Orassans come with a bunch of advanced military equipment, spacer guns, powered armor and the deadly Orassan Saber.  Orassan military equipment is more or less on par with Rimsenal, it's better than anything you'll find in the base game, but not completely bonkers.  My favorite is the Tunda Falcon, an advanced handgun with a high accuracy and rate of fire. 

The Orassan mod adds special cold-weather crops, which I'm not too familiar with because I don't often play in cold climates, but one is like caffeine and the other is like alcohol.  There is a new animal called the Ori, a sort of monkey-like thing that is small, but is advanced trainable.  Orassan merchants can sell you a device called the Orassan Power Transfer, which will generate electricity proportional to how friendly you are with the Orassan faction.  (see?  great neighbors)  Finally, the best thing about Orassans is their Neo-crete material.  It's made from crushed rocks and a small amount of steel, mixed at the stone cutter, or a special electric concrete mixer that will do it in bulk.  Neo-crete is stronger than granite and quick to build.  I also like that it gives you a way to combine various rock types into a single material. 

I typically don't play the Orassan starting scenario or seek out Orassan colonists, but I do enjoy them as trading partners and as guests.  And I think that's what they were designed to be, this is someone's original creation and she wanted it to feel fun and friendly for everyone. 



Ni'hal
https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=1541567184


Ni'hal come from the same creator as the Orassans and share a similar design and lore, although I think they were originally a Stellaris randomly generated race that came to life and jumped out of her computer.  But the Ni'hal are very much the polar opposite of Orassans, instead of being friendly neighbors, they are hell-bent on eradicating all other life from the universe.  "Suffer not a xeno to live!" 

Like the Orassans, the Ni'hal mod adds several spacer guns and powered armor.  Ni'hal equipment is on par with Orassan and Rimsenal equipment, but it's more practical and spartan, you'll find the typical shotgun, rifle, sniper types.  Ni'hal do not send traders, only raiders, so you will only obtain these weapons as loot.  Ni'hal raiders send a lot of melee units equipped with shield belts, though they don't have any native melee weapons of their own. 

Since Ni'hal are designed to be more of an enemy race, they don't add as much cool stuff to the game as Orassans.  There is a recipe to make insect jelly at the kitchen.  I think people's favorite thing about the Ni'hal mod is the introduction of an alien creature known as the "Drake".  These large, voracious predators are incredibly dangerous, but can be tamed by the brave colonists into faithful and very useful companions.  There are also mods to get Drakes on their own and there patches to make them compatible with A Dog Said and Animal Gear.  As far as animal mods go, they are not top tier like Death Claws or Acklays, but they are stronger than anything in the base game.  Not strong enough to help against Mechanoids, but they are strong enough to fight off tribals and maybe pirates if you're clever with them. 

The Ni'hal mod also comes with an absolutely fantastic starting scenario and storyteller, which are best used together.  You get to start with 10 Ni'hal colonists and an arsenal of Ni'hal weapons, and the Ni'hal storyteller will send you nothing but raids.  Supposedly the Ni'hal colonists will not be bothered by sleeping in barracks, so you can pack them in like sardines, but I find that it's still best to make them as comfortable as possible, since a Ni'hal in a bad mood can be extra dangerous.  Ni'hal always have the Xenophobe trait, which makes them dislike other alien races, but unfortunately, they're still not cool with butchering and eating them, and when you've got 10 mouths to feed, you really need to work hard to keep them fed. 

Ni'hal can still show up as normal randomly generated colonists in spacer factions.  These tamer Ni'hal will unfortunately still have the Xenophobe trait, and may start with special Ni'hal weapons or armor. 

Ni'hal are a great faction, whether you play as them or just add them to the list of raiders. 
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