sal_vager

Modpacks, should they be banned?

Mod repacks, time to end it?   104 members have voted

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  1. 1. Allow mod repacks, or ban them?

    • Allow repacks
      36
    • Ban repacks
      68

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178 posts in this topic

Simply put, repacking mods has caused trouble every time it's happened, licenses are not honored, old versions are used, they are not updated.

This causes trouble for modders as players using these modpacks come to them for support, often for issues that are caused by the repacker.

This also leaves old mods in circulation as part of these packs, the packs might become popular but again they cause trouble for modders, asked to provide support for things they already fixed but will clash with the modpack.

We introduced rules for licensing mods to protect modders, the repacking of others work with minimal effort is not something we want to see with KSP.

But it seems the rules are not enough as they stand, so I'm asking you whether it's time to be more explicit and ban modpacks completely.

Obviously there has to be some common sense here, and if several modders decide amongst themselves to combine their work that's perfectly okay, it's their work to combine.

And if someone maintains a mod, or several, that should continue.

And of course we have Ckan, so anyone wishing to release a "modpack" can make a Ckan script, which is far smaller to download and the mods will be up to date.

But non-modders stuffing a zip full of others work is a problem, and it has to be dealt with.

See the poll above, if the community thinks we can manage with modpacks that's fine, otherwise they will be banned.

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Should you ban them? Yes since they do more harm than good.

Can you ban them? I highly doubt it. You can't stop people from pirating software either.

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@Tex_NL, I think the intent of Sal's post is quite clear. Such things can be banned on this community, like piracy that you mentioned

Edit: in answer to the question, @sal_vager, I'm torn. On the one hand, the reasons you give are important ones. On the other hand, making a modpack is a simple way for a non-programmer to feel that they are offering something to the community. It's also a way for someone on Youtube to say "download this to play the same game I'm playing."

I'm really torn about this...

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Just now, Deddly said:

@Tex_NL, I think the intent of Sal's post is quite clear. Such things can be banned on this community, like piracy that you mentioned

Sure. But it still happens.

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5 minutes ago, Tex_NL said:

Sure. But it still happens.

But the key is, since we have a rule against it, users are encouraged to report it - and they do - so that the moderators can remove it from the forum.

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24 minutes ago, Tex_NL said:

Sure. But it still happens.

That it still happens has no bearing on whether there should be a rule on it, if you have nothing sensible to add here I suggest you peruse another thread.

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Posted (edited)

I say we should control what we can control here in this community and ban mod packs. We can't control if someone redistributes on a 3rd party site, but we can remove links to those sites here. If we could get the spacedock guys on the same page it would help quite a bit. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure curse verifies if you are the owner of your mod and you aren't just repackaging someone else's work (probably due to the monetization aspect). Perhaps the same concept could be applied to spacedock? 

Edited by Galileo
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In my experience, nothing good has ever come from a modpack.

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I'm slightly torn as well. In the best case scenario, a modpack creator can perform several useful functions:

  1. Select the best of the best mods from the large number available
  2. Curate versions of those mods that best fit the concept of the modpack (controversial)
  3. Configure them for mutual compatibility and for modpack theme
  4. Convenient packaging
  5. Increased visibility

However, that best case scenario is rare. It's easier to say "these are my favorite mods" and put them all in one zip file with no additional contribution. All that accomplishes is #4 and maybe #5, which is of dubious value given the problems caused by secondary distribution of old versions.

Ideally it would be nice to make the rules fine-grained enough to allow "good" modpacks and ban "bad" ones, but that probably isn't possible. So I'll go with Ban, but it should be made as clear as possible why the rule is there, because none of this is obvious to someone just starting out with modding games.

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1 hour ago, Galileo said:

I say we should control what we can control here in this community and ban mod packs.

I find your post amusing, given that most of the mods linked in your signature are redistributing other mods with them. I know you add significant content of your own, but where do we draw the line between that and simple repacking? If I bundled a bunch of VFX mods and added one cfg of my own, is that kosher? Or a dozen cfgs? Or a texture? Or a dozen textures? At what point would I cease to be a modpacker and begin to be a modder myself?

*   *   *

In my opinion, the license should trump all when it comes to the forum rules. If the license permits redistribution then that is it, redistribution of that mod is OK as long as it follows the terms of the license. Not repacking mods is a matter of courtesy similar to hostile forks of openly licensed mods; it isn't and shouldn't be against the forum rules but instead a matter of etiquette.

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41 minutes ago, Red Iron Crown said:

I find your post amusing, given that most of the mods linked in your signature are redistributing other mods with them. I know you add significant content of your own, but where do we draw the line between that and simple repacking? If I bundled a bunch of VFX mods and added one cfg of my own, is that kosher? Or a dozen cfgs? Or a texture? Or a dozen textures? At what point would I cease to be a modpacker and begin to be a modder myself?

*   *   *

In my opinion, the license should trump all when it comes to the forum rules. If the license permits redistribution then that is it, redistribution of that mod is OK as long as it follows the terms of the license. Not repacking mods is a matter of courtesy similar to hostile forks of openly licensed mods; it isn't and shouldn't be against the forum rules but instead a matter of etiquette.

I get what you are saying, and i would distribute stand alone with my visual mods if the dependencies would work with module manager. I have zero control over that. I have also received permission from each modder to include them even if it's not necessary. This is for convenience and I have never claimed a dependency as my own and always give credit. I understand I come off as if I'm contradicting myself but I think you are stretching to include me in this. I believe there is a major difference in including a dependency (with permission) for convenience with your mod, and just repackaging your favorite mods for the hell of it.

And please take a look at how often I am answering questions on the threads of the mods I bundle. I know I change a lot in each mod I bundle, so I don't leave the other devs high and dry. It's not their job to fix what I break. I pride myself on that. I can assure you these forum users that make these mod packs have absolutely zero intention of troubleshooting any issue that arise from their bundle.

As to where to draw the line, perhaps a Permissions section needs to be added to the OP of a mod, just like a license is required to be, if you intend to bundle a mod.

 

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I dont see the big problem here. There are already rules for providing mods, why not expand them to cover modpacks aswell, and just add a rule that modpack authors are required to name all the mods and versions they use?  

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Posted (edited)

4 minutes ago, rudi1291 said:

I dont see the big problem here. There are already rules for providing mods, why not expand them to cover modpacks aswell, and just add a rule that modpack authors are required to name all the mods and versions they use?  

Because that wouldn't stop users from going to the original modder and complaining. I can't speak for other modders but I don't have time or the patience to troubleshoot an older version of my mods. All that would create is more work for me. And unless the mod pack creator knows the ins and outs of each mod (they probably don't) they are bundling, they would be zero help in the troubleshooting department.

Edited by Galileo
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4 minutes ago, Galileo said:

Because that wouldn't stop users from going to the original modder and complaining. I can't speak for other modders but I don't have time or the patience to troubleshoot an older version of my mods. All that would create is more work for me. And unless the mod pack creator knows the ins and outs of each mod they are bundling, they would be zero help in the troubleshooting department.

Yes, it wouldn´t stop users from complaining. But thats not a problem with modpacks. Users will always complain about something.

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To my knowledge any modpack troubles in the past were already governed by the licenses of the involved mods. So I don't see what problem this is supposed to solve. People who did not read the rules will still need to be addressed individually.

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14 minutes ago, rudi1291 said:

Yes, it wouldn´t stop users from complaining. But thats not a problem with modpacks. Users will always complain about something.

It is a problem with mod packs. It wastes modders time to troubleshoot a mod packs problems because their mod is included in an unsupported download.

5 minutes ago, pellinor said:

To my knowledge any modpack troubles in the past were already governed by the licenses of the involved mods. So I don't see what problem this is supposed to solve. People who did not read the rules will still need to be addressed individually.

This will probably be the case

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My views on modpacks are likely well known among fellow objectors , usually being among the first to post in discouragement every time some new forum user (as they usually are) promotes the idea of modpacks.  I'm, well aware the facility to create such modpacks is part of the SpaceDock tools and there's absolutely nothing I can do about that, and from what I've seen pack creators are very open about who owns what..  

My main objection is a long standing one,  I object   to mod packers who take credit for everything, change cfg's and generally screw with things they have no real experience with, (caused by a certain well known group of abusers doing just that to a whole set of mods I made for another game)  ,as surely if they did they'd be making their own mods rather than repackaging someone else's hard work  simply in order to call themselves modders.

To counter this apparently perhaps over harsh viewpoint I'm also fairly well known for helping new modders find their way around unity and the whole KSP mod creation dance

I'd much rather help than hinder, but to my mind mod packs are just a cop out from people who can't be bothered to learn how to make mods themselves

ps after so long holding this viewpoint  I'm very unlikely to ever change it....

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I think modpacks should should be banned becuase pack creators don't always give credit plus they rarely update for latest versions of mods. They also expect the mod developers to fix issues regarding use with mods that there mod wasn't designed for. That being said if proper credit is given, the mods are kept up to date and they attempt to fix issues themselves and don't just send bug reporters to mod thread it would be alright

But overall i say ban them

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1 minute ago, AceCrafted said:

 That being said if proper credit is given, the mods are kept up to date and they attempt to fix issues themselves and don't just send bug reporters to mod thread it would be alright

But overall i say ban them

Even if the mod pack creator put in big bold letters on each page "DO NOT BOTHER ORIGINAL DEVS" it wouldn't matter. People can't be bothered to read and in all probability, the mod pack guy won't be able to fix issues anyway.   Typically the mod pack creator is a newish forum goer that doesn't understand the etiquette quite yet, doesn't know how to mod and likes meaningless internet points. 

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1 hour ago, Galileo said:

I get what you are saying, and i would distribute stand alone with my visual mods if the dependencies would work with module manager. I have zero control over that. I have also received permission from each modder to include them even if it's not necessary. This is for convenience and I have never claimed a dependency as my own and always give credit. I understand I come off as if I'm contradicting myself but I think you are stretching to include me in this. I believe there is a major difference in including a dependency (with permission) for convenience with your mod, and just repackaging your favorite mods for the hell of it.

And please take a look at how often I am answering questions on the threads of the mods I bundle. I know I change a lot in each mod I bundle, so I don't leave the other devs high and dry. It's not their job to fix what I break. I pride myself on that. I can assure you these forum users that make these mod packs have absolutely zero intention of troubleshooting any issue that arise from their bundle.

You are taking my post as an attack or implication that you are simply modpacking and causing problems for other modders, but that is not my intention.

My point is: We *want* modders like you (and many others) to be able to bundle dependencies. How can we phrase a potential rule about this in such a way that it a) Prevents people from simply packing mods together, b) Doesn't prevent modders from including dependencies, and c) Isn't trivially avoided by including a tiny bit of content that is from the modpacker.

For that matter, there's no guarantee that someone bundling mods won't take the same diligence about support and permission that you do with your dependencies

Quote

As to where to draw the line, perhaps a Permissions section needs to be added to the OP of a mod, just like a license is required to be, if you intend to bundle a mod.

Seems pointless to me. If the mod has a permissive license (as many or even most do) then permission has already been given by that license. It is literally explicit, legal permission to redistribute under specific terms.

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3 hours ago, Deddly said:

@Tex_NL, I think the intent of Sal's post is quite clear. Such things can be banned on this community, like piracy that you mentioned

Edit: in answer to the question, @sal_vager, I'm torn. On the one hand, the reasons you give are important ones. On the other hand, making a modpack is a simple way for a non-programmer to feel that they are offering something to the community. It's also a way for someone on Youtube to say "download this to play the same game I'm playing."

I'm really torn about this...

That is easy to address.  Allown mod packs which are ONLY the CKAN  file.  That will allow people to create a bundle, but also addresses the problem of the mods being uptodate 

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4 minutes ago, linuxgurugamer said:

That is easy to address.  Allown mod packs which are ONLY the CKAN  file.  That will allow people to create a bundle, but also addresses the problem of the mods being uptodate 

Yes, totally makes sense. But this option is missing from the poll...

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Posted (edited)

9 minutes ago, Red Iron Crown said:

You are taking my post as an attack or implication that you are simply modpacking and causing problems for other modders, but that is not my intention.

My point is: We *want* modders like you (and many others) to be able to bundle dependencies. How can we phrase a potential rule about this in such a way that it a) Prevents people from simply packing mods together, b) Doesn't prevent modders from including dependencies, and c) Isn't trivially avoided by including a tiny bit of content that is from the modpacker.

For that matter, there's no guarantee that someone bundling mods won't take the same diligence about support and permission that you do with your dependencies

Seems pointless to me. If the mod has a permissive license (as many or even most do) then permission has already been given by that license. It is literally explicit, legal permission to redistribute under specific terms.

Oh, I didn't take it as an attack but I did feel the need to explain myself. I always respect the Crown. As for the requirements as to how to define the rule, it hard to make it black and white. I think the most we can do is simply ban it, then continue to be vigilant. Or use the CKAN script approach 

Edited by Galileo

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Posted (edited)

One more thing about CKAN.  And I may ruffle some feathers, but please read the whole post:

CKAN isn't perfect.  But it's a lot better than anything else available for KSP.

Anytime I read about an author who doesn't like ckan, I get the feeling that the author just doesn't want to take the time to be consistent.  Whether it is constantly changing file names, directories, or anything else.  Even changing the version ingredients method.  

All of my mods that I have written and maintain are CKAN compliant.  Even KW Rocketry, which has two different modes of okay, is done in ckan.  I actually have more trouble with people doing manual installs than with CKAN installs.

I challenge any mod author (other than Roverdude) to show why a good ckan file can't be made for their mod. I support the CKAN project, not only with my time, but on Patreon as well.  So I am putting both my time and money where my mouth is.

I have found that CKAN is more consistent in installs than doing it manually.  And when you have over 200 mods installed, it a big time saver.

One more thing is the AVC .version files.  People need to keep them up to date and correct.  It helps both CKAN and the AVC mod keep things correct.

Edited by linuxgurugamer
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Let's not derail this into a ckan debate please. (Discussion of ckan relevant to the topic at hand is fine, let's just not turn this into a full on ckan debate)

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