sal_vager

Modpacks, should they be banned?

Mod repacks, time to end it?  

104 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Allow mod repacks, or ban them?

    • Allow repacks
      36
    • Ban repacks
      68


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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TheKurgan said:

ALL modders should make their mods CKAN and AVC compliant.

The day that happens is the day I stop modding. No modder should have to put their mod onto a certain distribution platform if they don't want to. It would be like making all mods be distributed through Curse. Can you imagine the uproar?

I would argue that a CKAN "modpack" is not really the same thing anyway, it's just a text file, and CKAN goes and grabs the originals. No dependency hell, no redistribution.

In terms of the kind of modpack the OP is asking about, I would support a ban, but don't necessarily think one is needed. I agree with RIC If modders don't want their versions redistributed, they would put that in their licenses.

Edited by severedsolo

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, severedsolo said:

The day that happens is the day I stop modding

Why? Name ONE real legit disadvantage to having ALL mods distributed by one single platform?

There isn't one.

 

Anyway, sorry all for my above comment, I don't want my comments to turn into a CKAN debate... I don't even use it.

I think user created mod packs should be banned, but I think multimod devs could put out mod packs... hint hint @linuxgurugamer

Edited by TheKurgan

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8 minutes ago, TheKurgan said:

Why? Name ONE real legit disadvantage to having ALL mods distributed by one single platform?

There isn't one.

 

You're right about that. There isn't one; there are many. But I'll refrain from derailing this thread.

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10 minutes ago, TheKurgan said:

Why? Name ONE real legit disadvantage to having ALL mods distributed by one single platform?

There isn't one.

 

Depends on the platform, you say you don't really use ckan, well for Linux and Mac users ckan is a real pain to use, requiring a Mono install separate to the Unity engine, it'd really be nice to have a better cross platform alternative, there's a python client for ckan called Pykan but it needs work.

And what if your platform is Steam workshop? No one outside Steam can use it.

What if it's Spacedock, but it's down?

What if it's Curseforge, and they decide to expand their annoying Curse advertising to the rest of their sites?

Options are good for everyone.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, TheKurgan said:

Why? Name ONE real legit disadvantage to having ALL mods distributed by one single platform?

There isn't one.

You're saying you can't see a single disadvantage of monopolies? You don't have to be an economist to see what a terrible idea this would be. Just two examples: CKAN goes down: byebye KSP; I don't want to use an automated installer because I have custom configs because of compatibility issues that I don't want to be overwritten whenever I update a mod (Steam anyone?).

 

Back to the modpack issue, I think a good thing would be to enforce strict rules for repackers (have consent of every author, explicitly state all the licences in the OP, guarantee they will provide support for issues...) and simply delete the packs when these are not respected, with no appeal. It would avoid simple zipped bundles just because looking out for licences and asking authors would take time that would-be-repackers obviously don't want to spend on their pack.

This wouldn't solve issues on the user end though, ie: people complaining to the authors instead of the repacker because they can't be asked reading a few lines of instructions.

Edited by Gaarst

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Posted (edited)

Ok, for the record, I did not mean only available through CKAN... my use of the words one single platform was poorly written...

All the mods on CKAN are still available through github, Spacedock, Curse... and other places. 

Yes, having ALL mods available through a single platform would satisfy the vast majority of players... having all these mods still available through all the other current options should definitely stay in place.

There should never be a monopoly, but having a single source with everything would be awesome.

LOL I stand by my modified statement "There isn't ONE real legit disadvantage to having ALL mods distributed by a single platform"

With a bunch of other available sources of course :P

Edited by TheKurgan

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Posted (edited)

Maybe what's needed isn't so much a mandate of CKAN compatibility, but an independent packaging standard to which mods could conform, and which CKAN or any other mod management utility could support (analogous to the way KSP-AVC already works today). Then each modder would have a single target that would make their work compatible with everything, and users could choose the installation/update utility they like best. We have a few years' worth of experience now to inform what would be needed for such a standard, thanks to CKAN, and such a standard could potentially help to resolve some of the outstanding technical issues that still cause trouble.

(Apologies if this is too far off-topic, but it is still connected via the thin thread of, "If we had a good enough packaging system, then modpacks could be done better.")

Edited by HebaruSan

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Posted (edited)

I believe that we should not ban modpacks, it would be a waste of time. If your mod is repacked by a youtuber it's not the modder's problem to say "Stop repacking my stuff! I am so angry that my page gets no downloads but repacks do!". Maybe some modders are doing something wrong, or they simply copy of other people's work just to get some downloads because they don't link downloads to simple mod download websites.

~ForumUser

 

(Sorry if I seem in a negative state of mind, one modder threatened me in order to take down a repack I made [It was the KAS/KIS/Other Mod I Forgot About That Has To Do With Construction])

Edited by ForumUser

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Yeah Ckan is pretty off-topic tbh, ckan scripts aren't modpacks.

Maybe I should list the advantages and disadvantages I see.

Disadvantages:

Old mods in circulation, not good when KSP updates, and not good for modders who drop support for old versions.
Can create new issues with mods in the pack that the packer won't fix and the modder can't fix.
Licensing issues, the more mods the more likely this becomes.
Incompatibility with newer mod releases/other modpacks.
The culture of repacking, taking recognition away from the modders in favour of the repackers.
Huge downloads, inability to cherrypick.

Advantages:

Lets non-modders gain recognition from players.
Convenient for players, until things break.
 

Can't think of any others.

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Kerbalspaceport was a monopoly. Sank with mods.

Small FireSpitter's dll is redistributed in every second mod. Not full FireSpitter mod. Are they modpacks?

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18 minutes ago, ForumUser said:

(Sorry if I seem in a negative state of mind, one modder threatened me in order to take down a repack I made [It was the KAS/KIS/Other Mod I Forgot About That Has To Do With Construction])

Not even being able to remember what the mod is goes a long way towards demonstrating why modpacks are trouble.

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Just now, Frybert said:

Not even being able to remember what the mod is goes a long way towards demonstrating why modpacks are trouble.

Well, from what I remember the mod was bad anyway. Modpacks don't cause trouble, it's the modder's that have dodgy tactics to destroy the modpacks that cause trouble

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14 minutes ago, sal_vager said:

Lets non-modders gain recognition from players.

There are other ways to gain recognition from the KSP community than pretend you're writing mods (even if that's not your intent, it's how it will be seen). Plus, this is an advantage for the repacker, not for the community as a whole.

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4 minutes ago, ForumUser said:

Well, from what I remember the mod was bad anyway. Modpacks don't cause trouble, it's the modder's that have dodgy tactics to destroy the modpacks that cause trouble

You included a mod that was bad in a mod pack? Why would you do that?

Content providers get to decide themselves what can and can't be done with their software. That's not dodgy tactics, that is their right. If someone has done something truly bad, please PM me and we can discuss it.

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3 minutes ago, ForumUser said:

Well, from what I remember the mod was bad anyway. Modpacks don't cause trouble, it's the modder's that have dodgy tactics to destroy the modpacks that cause trouble

Dodgy tactics? Care to expand?

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3 minutes ago, ForumUser said:

Well, from what I remember the mod was bad anyway. Modpacks don't cause trouble, it's the modder's that have dodgy tactics to destroy the modpacks that cause trouble

 

OK, it's pretty obvious that being told no doesn't sit well with you. And if you consider restrictive licenses to be "dodgy tactics", you really should take the time to understand licensing and the reasons for it.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Deddly said:

You included a mod that was ban in a mod pack? Why would you do that?

Content providers get to decide themselves what can and can't be done with their software. That's not dodgy tactics, that is their right. If someone has done something truly bad, please PM me and we can discuss it.

It wasn't banned, they banned it as soon as the modpack got over 100 downloads.

 

2 minutes ago, Galileo said:

Dodgy tactics? Care to expand?

Look above.

1 minute ago, Jack Wolfe said:

OK, it's pretty obvious that being told no doesn't sit well with you. And if you consider restrictive licenses to be "dodgy tactics", you really should take the time to understand licensing and the reasons for it.

Look above

 

Edited by ForumUser

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@ForumUser My apologies, I intended to write "You included a mod that was bad? Why would you do that?"

Everyone else, this user can take it with me privately, please don't ask for specifics on this thread

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I bundle several (CRP, B9PartSwitch, ModuleManager, FirespitterCore) third party dependencies with my mods. In addition, some of my mods share dependencies and bundle common items (NearFutureProps, CryoTanks) across several packs.

I see no problem with whatever you want to do as long as you do not interfere with the practice of bundling dependencies. In my eyes that would be a serious hit to the way I package content.

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@Nertea I think that's the kind of package that doesn't cause any problems and should be OK even if there were a ban on mod packs

 

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Quote

Modpacks don't cause trouble, it's the modder's that have dodgy tactics to destroy the modpacks that cause trouble


This is exactly the attitude that causes problems, for modders and players, repackers for the most part are incapable of providing support, or unwilling, "it's the modders fault if a mod don't work, I just made the modpack".

People should not be making a name for themselves off of others work in this way.

Edit:

Have to add to this, a modder is within their right to request that a rehosted mod is removed, this isn't just true with KSP, you will see the same on the Minecraft forums, Nexus mods, just about anywhere that respects the content creators.

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Posted (edited)

My only problem with CKAN is that if i select multiple mods same time, and then try download them. It doesn't allow me, so i have to download all mods one by one, or few parts. Of course this is just CKAN/Mod creator problem, but it also means that modpacks as CKAN file doesn't work, Because there are some mods which doesn't allow other mods download same time [BUG?]. So CKAN modpacks would be problem, some people at least.


But outdated mod isn't even very bad, usually updates are slight bug fixes, but it can also stop working with other mods. This is just speculation, but i am sure that has happened. So modpacks got usually that working version of all mods.

Modpacks should be allowed as .zip file if 1. Mod creator has given permission to include inside modpacks. But it could create lots of messages to mod creator. So it should be okay to include mods inside modpacks as long license allows it.

And also some huge mods/modpacks are slow to download through ckan.

Edited by SolidJuho

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Posted (edited)

With some of the concern mentioned there should be an obvious statement in the rule if made that allows specific mods do declare they can be in "modpacks" I am using that term here to describe only things like Firespiter Core, CRP, B9PartSwitch, InerstellarFuelSwitch, ModuleManger, etc. Mods like those are made specifically to be bundled as dependencies for mod makers.

 

I wouldn't call what Nertea does a mod pack personally. I think he is bundling mods he created and has the explicit right to do so, and whether a mod is seen as many folders and dlls or just 1 is could be considered "one" complete mod, e.g., NearFuture's suite, and further, the extras are again made for this exact purpose to be bundled by mod makers.

Edited by Svm420

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Posted (edited)

I'll preface this with the following:

I am not a modder in the strict sense (though I help out a bit with some mods), and I am not distributing any work for download on these forums that exceeds the size of small MM configs written out in forum threads (though I am working on something that someday maybe could be).

Nevertheless I want to add my opinion to the matter, which is the following: (TL;DR version available at the bottom)

 

Licenses are a thing that exists, and due to existing rules, every mod here has a license. These licenses, in whatever form they appear, describe how each mod may or may not be distributed.

If I create a mod and distribute it under (to pick a common example) CC Attribution Noncommercial Share-Alike, then I explicitly grant other people the right to redistribute my mod as long as they a.) give me credit, b.) don't charge money for it, and c.) the redistribution is licensed under an equivalent license. If another person now comes and puts my mod into a modpack with ten others, all of which feature CC licenses, and licenses the whole modpack as CC-BY-NC-SA, then as long as my name shows up in the attributions, they did everything right.

And this means: I do not have the right to go and demand my mod to be removed. Now that's not saying I can't ask politely, and I don't think any modpack maker would have a problem with honoring a polite request. But at the same time, I cannot strictly speaking legally demand it, and I most certainly cannot prevent it from happening in the first place. Because I chose a license that explicitly allows it.

And this goes not just for myself, but for all other modders as well: if you do not want your mod to be redistributed in a modpack, pick a license that does not allow it. Don't go and give people permission, then act all surprised (or even offended) if they take you up on said permission. Unfortunately, there is no gentler term to describe this than "disingenuous".

Of course, if the person who bundled your mod into a pack goes and screws up honoring the license, then by all means, request the pack to be removed by a moderator. It's their fault that it happens to them. Just as properly choosing the license is the mod author's job, properly honoring the license is the redistributor's job.

 

Now, what about vetting license breaches? What am I as a mod author expected to do if my "do not redistribute at all, ever" mod gets silently bundled by some random guy who doesn't care? Should I have to spend time monitoring the forum for new modpacks to make sure my license is honored? Wouldn't it be better if we banned modpacks straight-out, to spare me this effort? I would say: no, I shouldn't have to spend my time on searching out modpacks to check. But at the same time: no, it wouldn't be better if we banned them.

Because nothing would really change. If we allow license-compatible modpacks to be posted here, modpacks that breach licenses would be illegal on the KSP forums, so their creators would advertise them on other websites or not at all. If we ban and disallow license-compatible modpacks to be posted here, modpacks that breach licenses would be illegal on the KSP forums, so their creators would advertise them on other websites or not at all. Yes, it's no coindicence that these sentences are in fact the same. Because the only thing that changes is that modpacks that correctly follow every license get punished.

Much rather, I'd see modpacks stop receiving special treatment at all. Right now they're in this weird grey area where nobody is really sure how to treat them, because so many people are so extremely sensitive about them. The mere act of bringing up the topic here on the forum usually gets you dogpiled in a hurry by people with rather unpleasant tones of voice, half of them not even authors themselves who have no stock in the topic. I can speak from experience, as I had innocently asked "why is it that there are no modpacks" here when I was a wee n00b - and was made to feel rather unwelcome in response, when all I wanted was neutral information. But sometimes, people still try to make a modpack. They then don't know how to treat it either, or where to put it, and usually end up sticking it in Add-On Discussion with some sort of attempt in the opening post to explain that they are open to requests for changes. Where they then promptly get criticised by people despite complying perfectly with all licenses, often enough including mod authors whose works are explicitly allowing unchecked redistribution. But isn't that against the spirit of the community and the purpose of the forum? Why does it have to be that way?

Instead, standardize things. Treat modpacks like any other mod, period. The rules already exist - they just need to actually be followed and enforced, instead of allowing modpacks to exist outside the rules like they are now, merely because nobody is comfortable touching the topic. That's just a self-made problem, really.

The release thread belongs into Add-On Releases... like any other mod. The opening post and the download must include a license statement... like any other mod. This license statement must include not only a license for any original work, but also a description of all bundled items, their licenses, and how they fit together with the license chosen for the pack... like any other mod that bundles Module Manager or Community Resource Pack et cetera. If the license statement is missing or unsatisfactory, a moderator will remove the download links and remind the author to do their homework... like with any other mod that has an invalid or missing license.

As for who checks the licenses: I think this is strictly the job of the forum moderators. Having the correct license is a forum rule, after all. Therefore the enforcement of it is a staff task. Nobody else should be expected to try and enforce forum rules on other forum users; mod authors certainly shouldn't be expected to do so either, even if it's their work being redistributed. After all, even if a mod author notices a license breach, they can't really remove the offending download link, can they? No, all they can do is report the thread for moderator attention. Doing anything else would be backseat moderation, which is actually forbidden by the forum rules in turn (section 3.2), or worse if it is worded in an offensive fashion (section 2.x).

 

Therefore this whole discussion really boils down to three things:

1.) As a mod author, I need to make sure the license I selected actually represents how I want my work to be treated; otherwise it's my fault alone if my mod is legally redistributed in a way I don't like.
2.) Banning modpacks on the KSP forums has no effect on out-of-license redistribution when compared to allowing modpacks as staff-vetted regular mod threads; nor does it prevent the fact that old versions of a mod are available on the internet; nor does it prevent people using derivative works from coming to the original author's thread for support.
3.) The only valid reason for banning modpacks is if the forum staff decides they don't want to be required to vet modpack license statements. Which is a decision that mod authors and regular users have no real say in, and is therefore not really worth openly discussing here.

 

 

TL;DR: In light of all of the above, my opinion on the question posed in the OP is: "no, modpacks should not be banned, they should fall under the same rules as any other mod, and staff should make sure these rules are followed".

 

Thanks for reading, and if you disagree, please remember to do so respectfully :)

 

Edited by Streetwind
Typos, typos everywhere!

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This guy knows what's up. 

This is exactly why I changed my licenses. If a mod author doesn't want modpack redistribution, it is trivially easy to stop it for all versions going forwards. That warm fuzzy feeling of permissive licensing comes with requirements and caveats. Plan what you want people to be able to do with your stuff.   

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