Xavven

Why I don't use mods

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Mods are a big part of KSP and the community, and I wouldn't change a thing about them. That said, I'll explain as briefly as I can why I personally don't use mods anymore in KSP or indeed in most games I play. And I'd love to hear your opinion too on why you do or do not play modded!

  1. Uncertainty in Continuing Support and Updates  - In most cases, modders eventually get bored of the game and their mod and move on to something else, seeing as they aren't paid for their work and they have no obligation or incentive to continue. Sometimes mods are abandoned for long stretches of time until another modder picks up the project, or it's permanently abandoned.
  2. Bugs and Crashes - The more heavily modded the game, the more likely things don't work together properly.
  3. Variable Quality/Fidelity/Completeness - Some mods are made even better than the official developers could manage, but there sure are a lot of mods out there that look so bad that they wouldn't pass a professional QC (quality control) team. Some mods in both KSP and other games don't even bother to put in basic graphical elements like icons and textures, so I load it up and I see these jarring ridiculous assets appear in my game. Some mods are incomplete and make me feel like I'm playing an early access game, even when the stock game is polished. Sometimes I don't realize how poorly done a mod is until I'm halfway into a save and it feels like I've wasted a ton of time.
  4. Time Investment in Trying Out Mods - Since some mods are really great and others not so much, I have to spend a lot of time researching them and/or trying them out until I tune my game the way I want it. But some mods don't really show their quality or lack thereof until mid or late game. On top of that, problem #1 creeps in, and when a key mod I am using is abandoned, I have to find a replacement. It's just too much shopping around for my liking.
  5. Changes in Game Difficulty - Modders typically don't have a team of quality control or play testers to help them, and so sometimes their mods radically change the game difficulty or create difficulty spikes in unanticipated ways. While there's the occasional mod that intentionally breaks the difficulty curve by adding an obviously overpowered part, like a super cheap engine with 100 TWR and 9999 Isp, there are unintentional balance issues that can occur too. For example, making the atmosphere and aerodynamics more realistic can change the amount of delta-v required to get to orbit. Seeing as the stock engine stats, part costs, weights, etc. were all balanced for KSP's stock atmosphere, what effect does an aerodynamics mod have on the game's overall difficulty? Does it trivialize some challenges and/or create new and harder ones? How does this affect the difficulty curve for career progression? How will you know how the difficulty curve has changed unless you've already beaten the game vanilla? Are you potentially cheating yourself out of fun challenges/puzzles without even knowing it?
    1. Side tangent: my favorite example is for another game, Freelancer, that was an AI mod that made 1v1 through 1v3 dogfights more challenging and fun, but it created an ENORMOUS difficulty spike in one particular mid-game mission where it's you vs. a large armada, because that mission was originally designed specifically for a poor AI that misses you a lot. That one mid-game mission was almost unbeatable for me -- harder than the game's final missions (with the AI mod still) because you have better equipment late-game. The unmodded game had no such difficulty spike because it was (presumably) thoroughly play-tested.
  6. Waiting for mods to update when the base game is updated - Patches break mods and you have to wait days or weeks sometimes for the mods to update.
  7. Having to build my own game - I saved my most important reason for last. I find a lot of satisfaction in exploring a world someone else created, discovering how it works, being surprised by new and interesting challenges and puzzles that they built for me, and overcoming those challenges. Modding takes away from that experience for me personally, because I feel like I'm building my own world with my own rules, so the challenges were obstacles I put there to begin with, and the surprises are ruined because I put them there. If a trial is too hard, I can just lower the challenge level. Some puzzles can be ruined by just giving myself extra tools that let me circumvent the puzzle altogether. In conclusion, to me, it's like watching a movie but where I was the one who wrote the script and directed it. It's just not the same.

So, how about you? Why do you play an unmodded game? Or, why do you play a modded game?

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I play modded, but don't rely on any mods. Basically for all the reasons you won't use them at all.

If any mod has any issue, I just pull it and move on.

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Starting off i want to say this; all of these are perfectly valid reasons for playing stock. And i have completed the vast majority of the base game well before modding it (I never unlocked the biggest wheels because i didn't want to grind another 500 science for that node)

So why do i play modded? I think the biggest reason is because iv'e always modded games; i was like 8-9 when i first started modding C&C Generals, Zero Hour and moved on to Spore, Civ III and SWEAW. And if i reflect on the reasons i decided to mod those games it's pretty simple; there's always something lacking. In Generals for instance there were hidden factions that could be restored with a few lines of code, vehicle niches that were not filled in specific factions; Spore i decided to mod because i was playing heavily around the time the Kepler Space Telescope went up and started discovering large amounts of potentially habitable worlds around red dwarfs. Which spore heavily weighted toward not hosting worlds, let alone habitable ones. So i got a mod and tweaked it to represent what the data was saying (Worlds, mostly barren because dwarfs are flaring stars but the occasional habitable one.). Civ III just had awesome mods; ditto for Civ IV. And SWEAW only covered a small fraction of the extended universe content.

Tl;dr It's for one of three reasons; Realism, Content, Exploration. 

Now i actually want to go over your points; because i find some of them interesting. 

Spoiler
  1. Uncertainty in Continuing Support and Updates  - In most cases, modders eventually get bored of the game and their mod and move on to something else, seeing as they aren't paid for their work and they have no obligation or incentive to continue. Sometimes mods are abandoned for long stretches of time until another modder picks up the project, or it's permanently abandoned.
  2. Bugs and Crashes - The more heavily modded the game, the more likely things don't work together properly.
  3. Variable Quality/Fidelity/Completeness - Some mods are made even better than the official developers could manage, but there sure are a lot of mods out there that look so bad that they wouldn't pass a professional QC (quality control) team. Some mods in both KSP and other games don't even bother to put in basic graphical elements like icons and textures, so I load it up and I see these jarring ridiculous assets appear in my game. Some mods are incomplete and make me feel like I'm playing an early access game, even when the stock game is polished. Sometimes I don't realize how poorly done a mod is until I'm halfway into a save and it feels like I've wasted a ton of time.
  4. Time Investment in Trying Out Mods - Since some mods are really great and others not so much, I have to spend a lot of time researching them and/or trying them out until I tune my game the way I want it. But some mods don't really show their quality or lack thereof until mid or late game. On top of that, problem #1 creeps in, and when a key mod I am using is abandoned, I have to find a replacement. It's just too much shopping around for my liking.
  5. Changes in Game Difficulty - Modders typically don't have a team of quality control or play testers to help them, and so sometimes their mods radically change the game difficulty or create difficulty spikes in unanticipated ways. While there's the occasional mod that intentionally breaks the difficulty curve by adding an obviously overpowered part, like a super cheap engine with 100 TWR and 9999 Isp, there are unintentional balance issues that can occur too. For example, making the atmosphere and aerodynamics more realistic can change the amount of delta-v required to get to orbit. Seeing as the stock engine stats, part costs, weights, etc. were all balanced for KSP's stock atmosphere, what effect does an aerodynamics mod have on the game's overall difficulty? Does it trivialize some challenges and/or create new and harder ones? How does this affect the difficulty curve for career progression? How will you know how the difficulty curve has changed unless you've already beaten the game vanilla? Are you potentially cheating yourself out of fun challenges/puzzles without even knowing it?
    1. Side tangent: my favorite example is for another game, Freelancer, that was an AI mod that made 1v1 through 1v3 dogfights more challenging and fun, but it created an ENORMOUS difficulty spike in one particular mid-game mission where it's you vs. a large armada, because that mission was originally designed specifically for a poor AI that misses you a lot. That one mid-game mission was almost unbeatable for me -- harder than the game's final missions (with the AI mod still) because you have better equipment late-game. The unmodded game had no such difficulty spike because it was (presumably) thoroughly play-tested.
  6. Waiting for mods to update when the base game is updated - Patches break mods and you have to wait days or weeks sometimes for the mods to update.
  7. Having to build my own game - I saved my most important reason for last. I find a lot of satisfaction in exploring a world someone else created, discovering how it works, being surprised by new and interesting challenges and puzzles that they built for me, and overcoming those challenges. Modding takes away from that experience for me personally, because I feel like I'm building my own world with my own rules, so the challenges were obstacles I put there to begin with, and the surprises are ruined because I put them there. If a trial is too hard, I can just lower the challenge level. Some puzzles can be ruined by just giving myself extra tools that let me circumvent the puzzle altogether. In conclusion, to me, it's like watching a movie but where I was the one who wrote the script and directed it. It's just not the same.

1-4 i totally understand; using a modded save is like having a project car always in the shop. This can be somewhat reduced by just having a standalone copy of KSP you use exclusively for modded content; but you still run into 1-3.

But 5 is mostly a wash for me; i always ask myself if a mod adds something completely gamebreaking and rarely run into this. 6 is completely moot by having a seperate standalone modded folder.

But the one i find most interesting is 7; because iv'e never seen it put like this. When i use mods i feel the exploration factor increases by a factor of 10; because now i'm not only exploring squad's game and seeing all the clever tricks and solutions they used to put something like KSP togther. I'm now exploring each ship; finding and appriceating the work of the modders who made my parts with each trip to the VAB.  And since the majority of my mods actually increase the number of hurdles and challenges in game; i don't feel like it's detracting from the experience at all. It really comes down to how you like playing games i guess; along with your outlook and mental framing of mods in the first place.

 

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I'm with @5thHorseman. I do use or have used a whole bunch of mods, but other than KIS/KAS they're helpers or tweaks that don't really alter the game, and I could continue playing without them, although with less convenience and sometimes subtle differences or higher difficulty.

Currently using or waiting for them to be updated -- would love for them to be in stock:

  • KER, although it's a lot less critical now that dV information is visible in stock. If they added the suicide burn countdown I might not need it anymore.
  • KAC, more convenient than using alexmoon's launch window planner
  • KIS/KAS, absolutely brilliant, works well, expands gameplay in perfectly kerbal ways

Used to use, but dropped because of improvements in base game or impatience in waiting for updates:

  • Atmosphere Autopilot - currently stock flight controls are acceptable so I haven't been using it; might reinstall however
  • FAR - dropped because of impatience, never bothered to put it back; also I share some of my craft on KerbalX so it's better to design them for stock aerodynamics to avoid surprises
  • various visual upgrades - dropped because of impatience, bugs, or performance issues

Would like to use but waiting for them to be updated:

  • Outer Planets Mod
  • various visual upgrades

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9 minutes ago, Brikoleur said:

 

  • KER, although it's a lot less critical now that dV information is visible in stock. If they added the suicide burn countdown I might not need it anymore.

Well, in 1.7 we got orbital information in flight view, so we’re one step closer to stock KER.

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Back in 1.0.5, I was using Hullcam VDS and Squad's Asteroid Day,. Then 1.1 came out -x64 support, hard to pass.

Got tired of waiting for either to update, which meant I'd lose ATVs with onboard cameras and sentinel probes in the process. The latter wasn't as bad. But the cars were roaming various celestial bodies by then and I didn't want to hyperedit replacements -seemed too "cheap" at the the time. Ended up restarting, which I obviously didn't quite like.

And there were other, excellent, well balanced and regularly maintained part mods that I'd be crazy if I ever raised a complaint about. But I sat down and thought "If I had access to these, what reason would I have to use their stock counterparts?"

Anyway, I resorted to using mods I can live without. Well, except KAC -that one is vital.

3 hours ago, Xavven said:

My favorite example is for another game, Freelancer, that was an AI mod that made 1v1 through 1v3 dogfights more challenging and fun, but it created an ENORMOUS difficulty spike in one particular mid-game mission where it's you vs. a large armada, because that mission was originally designed specifically for a poor AI that misses you a lot. That one mid-game mission was almost unbeatable for me -- harder than the game's final missions (with the AI mod still) because you have better equipment late-game. The unmodded game had no such difficulty spike because it was (presumably) thoroughly play-tested.

Yeah... I think Freelancer was play-tested having in mind players who wouldn't (or didn't know how to) go pseudo-inertial (a.k.a. engine kill) and wouldn't use missiles (or didn't know when to fire one). These, besides the (obvious?) strafing and ECM usage.

Even then, I've had a relatively recent example of a live-streamer who would repeatedly get destroyed because he wouldn't even boost. And he wouldn't accept ANY advice whatsoever -you risked getting timed or kicked if you did. Because Freelancer's bots can only forgive so far -they will tear you apart if you don't do what you have to :P 

Edited by Atkara

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It's not often that I'll play completely stock, but all your reasons are why I tend to keep my modlists short (in any game). I'm adding some parts packs once I get the chance to play Breaking Ground though, stuff like Restock and Near Future is just so good.

I do raise an eyebrow at players who play heavily modded and then complain about game performance and stability - and often come across as blaming the core game developers for the problems caused by the mods.

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Cool manifesto amigo. Thank you so very very much for sharing your opinion with everyone.

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11 hours ago, Xavven said:

Or, why do you play a modded game?

Because it's a LOT less boring.

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I play modded for the simple reasons that the stock game doesn’t do all the things that I want it to do, the game was designed to be modded almost from the start because the original author knew that Squad couldn’t make everyone happy, and I’m willing to put in the work to make the game do what I want. 

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6 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

I play modded for the simple reasons that the stock game doesn’t do all the things that I want it to do, the game was designed to be modded almost from the start because the original author knew that Squad couldn’t make everyone happy, and I’m willing to put in the work to make the game do what I want. 

Indeed, 'playing a modded game' is a bit different when you write your own mods.  95% of the 'issues' with 'using mods' disappear when you create them yourself; you can decide your own balance, and if something is broken, you know exactly who to contact to get it fixed.

I use mods.  Lots of mods.  But I also write mods and am also capable of fixing any issues that pop up in those mods, so the points the OP express mostly don't apply. 

 

At the end of the day, its KSP -- play it however you enjoy it :)

 

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10 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

Currently using or waiting for them to be updated -- would love for them to be in stock:

  • KER, although it's a lot less critical now that dV information is visible in stock. If they added the suicide burn countdown I might not need it anymore.

You really don't need KER anymore. Better Burn Time is more lightweight, and has a suicide burn indicator and a time of closest approach indicator. Although half of its functionality is also now in stock.

49 minutes ago, Angel-125 said:

I play modded for the simple reasons that the stock game doesn’t do all the things that I want it to do, the game was designed to be modded almost from the start because the original author knew that Squad couldn’t make everyone happy, and I’m willing to put in the work to make the game do what I want. 

To be fair, though - you wrote most of the mods you use in your game. ;-)

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Since I've never really fallen into a career game, I don't share craft much and don't really do any challenges, I'm in the "mod it till it breaks, then mod it more to fix it."

The only performance/bug issues I complain about are ones that are still present in a pure stock.

 

I play with a fair amount of mods, a great deal of them are parts.  I like having a lot of options for parts.  I only have a small number of must-have mods though.  KJR being the most important.  I find the game horrifically unplayable without it.  Autostruts are cumbersome and absolute garbage.  Despite a lot of its abilities now in stock, I still like to have KER around, mainly for suicide burn numbers.

KIS/KAS have become pretty second nature as well, but I could play without them.  I could play stock/MH/BG + KJR, but I probably wouldn't have a lot of fun with it.

 

Side note though, I did play the game for a month or two bone stock before I even tried my first mod, which was Konstruction!  So it's not like I bought the game and dove head first into the mod pool.

I typically don't update game version right away, I have no problem waiting for mods to update.

 

 

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I typically play with 50-80 mods, but a lot of those are small mods that perform one function. I also have a stock (or sometimes "mostly stock" game with less than 3 mods. (currently just ReStock, and ReStock Plus) The main reason I play with mods is to make things look prettier - EVE, SVE, SVT, AVP, Planetshine, Distant Object Enhancement, etc, and DMagic's science mods, because Squad just didn't have enough science instruments for my tastes.

I also typically play with Kerbal Konstructs, because I like to fly from place to place on Kerbin. And Final Frontier, and TAC-LS. I almost always use a life support mod, because I like the extra challenge, and I've never found it realistic (I know, there's THAT word) to have kerbals in space for a year without even a tin of biscuits.

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This is why for pretty much all the reasons you've listed, I have two KSP directories. One is modded and on the last stable version that supports said mods and one is vanilla so I can see all the new stock goodies.

This method solves most of your problems, however it doesn't solve the issues of having to build your own game from time to time.

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13 hours ago, Xavven said:

... I personally don't use mods anymore in KSP...

Good for you... your loss.

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Ever since an issue  a while back where a disagreement between two mods messed up some stock files, I keep my steam install folder stock + DLC's - which kinda supports the OP's ideas.  Whenever a new version comes out, I update that and if there is anything really exciting about it, I can play on that till my preferred mods update.   To update modded versions, I copy the stock folder to a new directory & mod that.  If nothing much is broken, I may continue an existing career - especially if it's fairly early.  If too much breaks or I'm wanting a change in mods or I'm getting bored with my old career, I'll start fresh.

I like to have a life support mod because I like the added challenge - I've used Snacks & USI-LS, and like them both.  I mostly stick with Snacks because I'm also a fan of  @Angel-125's other mods.   I also like having some kind of cloud mod, just because it looks SOOOO much better with clouds around planets with atmospheres.   I would use other visual mods, but I have doubts my computer could handle them and the other mods I use. 

Once it comes to parts mods, I've found a selection I like, although it changes over time.  I trim a lot of parts out of mods due to duplicates with other mods or parts I'm just not interested in.  Lithobrake Exploration Technologies is a good example - the only parts I keep any more from that mod are the long ladders & large parachutes, although there are a lot of other good parts in that mod.   I've also deleted about 50 RCS blocks of various sizes/shapes where multiple mods have all added nearly identical ones.  I try to keep it where I recognize every part in the VAB/SPH and use it at least occasionally.   If it's been there for a while & I don't know what it does, its time to trim it out. 

14 hours ago, Brikoleur said:

Currently using or waiting for them to be updated -- would love for them to be in stock:

  • KER, although it's a lot less critical now that dV information is visible in stock. If they added the suicide burn countdown I might not need it anymore.
  • KAC, more convenient than using alexmoon's launch window planner
  • KIS/KAS, absolutely brilliant, works well, expands gameplay in perfectly kerbal ways

I use Better Burn Time for the suicide burn rather than KERKAC is vital to me once my space program goes beyond Kerbin's SoI plus the built in launch window info is handy.  KIS/KAS, well I can play without them, but I just don't want to.  I wish they would be stock, too.  Especially now that Squad has added their own inventory that doesn't play nice with KIS.  It would also be nice if Squad's parts were up to Restock's standard.

Edited by Cavscout74

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I am currently playing totally stock.  This is actually an anomaly as I've used LOTS mods since about 2 days after I started playing back in 2013.  But I haven't played KSP in a long time and many things have changed, so playing stock is a good way to learn all the new stuff.  However, once I've done that to my satisfaction, I'm going back to mods and more mods :).

I use mods for 3 main reasons:

1.  Reduce Repetitive Tedium

  • I've been playing KSP since 0.20 Orbiter for decades before that.  Thus, I've flown every maneuver by hand many, many times.  I'm bored with that now.  I enjoy designing the hardware and planning missions, and I enjoy plotting the maneuvers.  But actually performing them?  I'll leave that to MJ's autopilots while I go get another beer ;).
  • The best way to avoid the grind of the career game is to increase the rate of science acquisition.  You can either jack up your science rewards in the settings OR you can get mods that give you more experiments to do.  The more experiments you can do, the more science you get per trip to any given spot.  Doing more things (and finding room for them) doesn't seem as cheaty as just buffing your science rewards, plus is more interesting that watching the same stock experiments over and over and over.  Thus, I've always been a huge fan of @DMagic's Orbital Science.  Also @Angel-125's MOLE.
  • The stock Ore scanning system was deliberately designed to require tedious, often fruitless, and always very expensive, prospecting.  I like to skip all that, so I like to use SCANsat to save some boredom there.

2,  Provide More Instrumentation

  • Use to be, KSP deliberately hid critical design info like dV and TWR from you, forcing you to do trial-and-error.  I never like that, especially now that you have to pay for your mistakes, so I used to use KER or MJ to let me know in advance if my design would probably work.  However, this is no longer necessary as this info is now available in stock.
  • The in-game KerbNet thing's biggest failing is that you can't get a permanent map to look at while planning later missions.  So another reason to use SCANsat.
  • MJ and KER both provide a lot of useful info about where you are and what your ship is doing that you really SHOULD know but which for some reason the stock game won't let you have.

3.  Do Things Impossible in Stock

  • #1 on this list is having more than 1 mission in process at a time.  The stock game was designed around the idea that you'd only ever have 1 ship in flight at once, and that it wouldn't go further than Mun.  Despite the game eventually getting docking, Minmus, and then a whole solar system, many of its core principles remain wedded to its original concept (such as KerbNet scanning).  This is why Kerbal Alarm Clock is so important.  Otherwise, you'll go mad trying not to warp past the important maneuvers and events of ships scattered all through the solar system.
  • Go other places.  After 6 years, the stock KSP planets are boring.  I like new planets, especially OPM, and completely new solar systems (many to choose from).  And because the new planets in OPM are so far away, you need other mods (besides KAC) to facilitate gameplay at such distances.  Everything from higher warp speeds to cryogenic Kerbals to more powerful radio antennae.
  • Flying in non-oxygen atmospheres.  Sure, you can make stock props, but they're clunky, the pre-BG ones definitively broke physics, and all in all I'd rather not.  So having 1-part aircraft engines with reasonably believable stats for such places is nice.
  • Making planetary bases that don't suck and are less Kraken-bait than stock, plus actually do useful things.  Pathfinder is my favorite for that.
  • Doing anything you can think of.  There's a mod literally for everything, sometimes more than 1.

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All of the points you made in your original post @Xavven are most of the same reasons why I play stock as well.  I would also add on top of that, I want sharability to be a factor.  If I post a photo of something, I want people to look at it and think to themselves, "Yeah, I could build something like that," without having to wonder if they have the right parts for it or not.

Because that's what I do when I look for cool pictures of constructions on this forum.  :cool:

That having been said, I have used some very minimal informational mods from time to time.  For example, I've used Kerbal Alarm Clock so I can keep track of my transfer windows without accidentally skipping over them.  I tend to think of "time" as an in-game resource worth conserving or spending as needs be and try not to be wasteful with it, and so I plan for doing short-term missions that I can squeeze in while waiting for the next stage of a long-term mission, or overlapping long-term missions (like maybe sending a package of communication satellites burning to intercept Jool while I'm waiting for my crewed exploration mission to finish their transfer to Duna.)

But nothing that would affect the reasons you stated.

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Good discussion, guys. To be perfectly clear, I'm not trying to convince anybody that modding is the wrong way to play KSP. I'm reading a little defensiveness/sarcasm in a couple posts and I think that's just not necessary. IMO mods are great for the community, they're just not for me. I do like reading about what mods you use and why, though. Think of this as a friendly opinion poll but with longer explanations :)

Edited by Xavven

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I wanna give my two cents here:

On 6/5/2019 at 12:39 AM, Xavven said:

Uncertainty in Continuing Support and Updates  - In most cases, modders eventually get bored of the game and their mod and move on to something else, seeing as they aren't paid for their work and they have no obligation or incentive to continue. Sometimes mods are abandoned for long stretches of time until another modder picks up the project, or it's permanently abandoned.

Choose carefully the Add'Ons you get attached to. Check the License terms, and see if they guarantee you the right to download and use old versions - as well the right to you (or someone else) to fork the thing, fix it and republish it.

I completely understand the reasons from some Authors to do not allow it, but I also understand that users get emotionally attached to their creations - and some compromise need to be reached. The License is that compromise.

 

On 6/5/2019 at 12:39 AM, Xavven said:

Bugs and Crashes - The more heavily modded the game, the more likely things don't work together properly.

Yeah. You push things, they push you back. However, it's also how we move forward. :)

But, hey… Things are improving! :) 

 

On 6/5/2019 at 12:39 AM, Xavven said:

Variable Quality/Fidelity/Completeness - Some mods are made even better than the official developers could manage, but there sure are a lot of mods out there that look so bad that they wouldn't pass a professional QC (quality control) team. Some mods in both KSP and other games don't even bother to put in basic graphical elements like icons and textures, so I load it up and I see these jarring ridiculous assets appear in my game. Some mods are incomplete and make me feel like I'm playing an early access game, even when the stock game is polished. Sometimes I don't realize how poorly done a mod is until I'm halfway into a save and it feels like I've wasted a ton of time.

Most Authors are not professionals. But it's part of the fun, IMHO. I see a lot of potential on a lot of that "early access Add'Ons" - and if the licensing terms are satisfying , you can contribute back if you want.

In the end, it's about the Stone Soup.The "Soup" will gets better (even that somewhat messy) by having more people contributing.

But it's OK not liking Soup. :D It's all about choice, and not willing something is one of that choices.

 

On 6/5/2019 at 12:39 AM, Xavven said:

Time Investment in Trying Out Mods - Since some mods are really great and others not so much, I have to spend a lot of time researching them and/or trying them out until I tune my game the way I want it. But some mods don't really show their quality or lack thereof until mid or late game. On top of that, problem #1 creeps in, and when a key mod I am using is abandoned, I have to find a replacement. It's just too much shopping around for my liking.

Cheap, Fast, Good - pick two. :D You will always have to expend something, money, time, whatever, in order to get something you want. You would be surprise by the money you would have to spend if the best Add'Ons around would be for sale! 

About the replacement, choose your Add'Ons using the Licensing terms as criteria. This will help on the long run.

 

On 6/5/2019 at 12:39 AM, Xavven said:

Changes in Game Difficulty - Modders typically don't have a team of quality control or play testers to help them, and so sometimes their mods radically change the game difficulty or create difficulty spikes in unanticipated ways. While there's the occasional mod that intentionally breaks the difficulty curve by adding an obviously overpowered part, like a super cheap engine with 100 TWR and 9999 Isp, there are unintentional balance issues that can occur too. [cut by me]

It's part of the development cycle - and one of the reasons that the best Add'Ons are the ones which people help to develop and test. Remember that Stone Soup thing? Yeah, testing and suggesting are contributions too. Like salt and pepper to the Soup.

 

On 6/5/2019 at 12:39 AM, Xavven said:

Waiting for mods to update when the base game is updated - Patches break mods and you have to wait days or weeks sometimes for the mods to update.

You can't have the cake and eat it too. :) 

Things take time to be figured out. And with people doing this on their sparing time, it's pretty understandable that things goes this way.

Again, you can contribute to get these time shrunk. The most the people contribute testing and figuring out things, the less time Authors have to spend their own time on it, allowing them to focus on get things done on their side.

Stone Soup. :) 

Edited by Lisias
My English is bad enough. Writing late night? Make it worse! :D

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As i  mostly-stock player myself, i would have to agree. KSP is a great game that can be made fantastic through mods, but mods still change the game. I myself like KSP the most for the craft building aspect, and when i do make crafts that i share i want them to be available to as many people as possible, hence a stock game. 

The only mods i do use are simple ones, with 3 being my must have for a KSP install at this point. The first is collide-o-scope, a neat mod that allows you to view the exact hitbox of a part and is INCREDIBLY useful for creating stock mechanisms. Its also the type of mod that is very stable, and im pretty sure i am using the same download from about 1.3... The second is vessel mover. In the same fashion it is a stable and reliable mod that is very useful for moving things such as boats. The third is EEX.  While not quite as simple, it is the mod i usually wait for to update. The enhancements to building are fantastic, and provide so much better control when creating craft that i cant stand to not have it anymore. In the past I used mods like KER, but with the update I have found that pretty unneeded now (all i really used it for anyhow was the TWR and DeltaV)

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35 minutes ago, Bubbadevlin said:

I myself like KSP the most for the craft building aspect, and when i do make crafts that i share i want them to be available to as many people as possible, hence a stock game.

I also build stock craft, I don't share them per se, aside from pictures that may serve as inspiration... but I do want them to be stock, or basically stock (Stock + life support parts, which will do nothing to improve the craft's function in a stock install), so that I can use other designs as references, and vice versa.

The main mods I run are Scatterer, Kopernicus and Sigma dimensions(sigma just makes it easier, if sigma goes away I can still mod everythingto 3x scale), my own planet pack, and occasionally OPM.

On 6/5/2019 at 5:39 AM, Xavven said:
  1. Uncertainty in Continuing Support and Updates 

I have confidence that major mods like Kopernicus will at least release the source code if they tire of keeping it up to date. I imagine many times kopernicus fails to work because it is version locked, not because its actually broken by the update (but version locking it ensures it can be tested for compatibility before use). If such a mod ever becomes obsolete, I can at least text edit the save file to move the major craft to stock planets/stock sized orbits. If scatterer ever stops working, the game just goes back to looking like it did.

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2. Bugs and Crashes - The more heavily modded the game, the more likely things don't work together properly.

Yea... but that's why I just keep my mods to a minimum. Kopernicus works well enough, so does TAC LS

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3. Variable Quality/Fidelity/Completeness

OPM is good enough. My personal planet pack is to whatever quality I have the desire and capability to achieve. Mainly its just a mars based planet (using real mars heightmap data), a vesta based planetoid (using vesta data), a pallas based planetoid (I forget which real world body I used for this one... deimos?), and a body at kerbin's pseudo-L5 point (similar ot the hypothetical Theia, using real world data from Callisto)

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4. Time Investment in Trying Out Mods

Well, I don't try so many out.

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5. Changes in Game Difficulty ... How does this affect the difficulty curve for career progression?

With planet mods, this can leave the stock planets untouched (OPM, except for Eeloo), or this can change the difficulty as you want. For my part I like the challenge of 3x KSP. I found career progression to be fine. Then I decided to move Mun to where minmus was, and throw Minmus out with Dres, the Vesta, and the Pallas analogues, as the 4 largest members of the "asteroid belt".

Without Minmus in the system, science and kerbal experience became difficult to get, so I upped some science and XP multipliers in system (mun got the multiplier of Minmus, or maybe slightly higher, kerbin orbit multipliers went slightly higher).

Now with breaking ground, I added more surface features to kerbin (Kerbin has geysers and basalt formations now in its badlands, and icebergs at its poles... I'm thinking using cryovolcanoes as undersea thermal vents)... just waiting on Kopernicus, but I think the changes made the science grind better balanced again. Plus, more to explore on Kerbin, since getting to space is more effort.

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6. Waiting for mods to update when the base game is updated

Only the version locked ones, Scatterer and tac ls work fine I think.The wait for kopernicus is a bit annoying, but I can play stock and upgrade to 3x as long as I have nothing in orbit at the time, so I'm going to do the science grind in stock while waiting.

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7. Having to build my own game - I saved my most important reason for last. I find a lot of satisfaction in exploring a world someone else created, discovering how it works, being surprised by new and interesting challenges and puzzles that they built for me, and overcoming those challenges. Modding takes away from that experience for me personally, because I feel like I'm building my own world with my own rules, so the challenges were obstacles I put there to begin with, and the surprises are ruined because I put them there. If a trial is too hard, I can just lower the challenge level. Some puzzles can be ruined by just giving myself extra tools that let me circumvent the puzzle altogether.

I can see your point, but I think building your own game can be a bit fun too. With a 3x rescale, I'm taking the world someone else created, the parts they created, and the challenges they created, and turning it up to 11. The same goes if I use OPM.. if I didn't make the mod, then it should be the same, no?

For my Mars based planet... I may have added it, but that's real data that the heightmap is based on. Exploring those canyons, valley, and volcanoes is fun, because its based on something really out there... of course in my version it has an ocean and a thick-ish atmosphere... like it may have been in the past (although my addition of O2 and obvious signs of life is pure speculation/fantasy). I feel like I'm just getting more variation on the challengesthey put out there.

Like building a stock submarine, and flying it to laythe... ok, but then I can set a challenge of a stock submarine that is air transportable by a cargo plane (still a challenge for stock), but then what ifthe cargo plane has to deal with a thin-ish atmosphere... like my Mars based planet with an ocean (>0.5 g's, because I made it proportionatley bigger, and 0.17 atmospheres)... or Duna, I take the stock challenge, and increase it by changing Duna's gravity to be 0.376 g's (mars gravity) instead of 0.3.

I feel that the stock game set the baseline challenge, and if I'm met those challenges, mods let me increase the challenge.

For a while, I modded my own stock electric "ducted fan" engines (rescaled goliath's using electricity)... but those made the stock submarine challenge too easy, and I got rid of them.

I have yet to determine if breaking ground will make stock submarines feasible on worlds with no oxygen atmosphere (currently only Eve, but also Tekto if using OPM, and sometimes I load up my mod which adds small seas to Duna).

If there's no stock way to achieve a challenge, then mods may be the only recourse... like an Eve submarine

 

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I really enjoy doing stock challenges. But for careers?

My preferred options for careers are hard difficulty, no extra ground stations, g-forces, pressure limits, plasma blackout etc but allowing quicksaves and reverting. The goal is for every planet/moon to have a base, a station, a few rovers, a five star crew and a few different ships. And it takes a lot of launches/missions/landings. To do this once or even twice with a stock install is fathomable but to keep doing it for five years or more is not. I'd go insane without using MJ and KAC at the very least.

The simple answer, as others have pointed out, is to have multiple installs. I have a stock install for challenges and at least one other install with whatever mods I feel like.

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14 hours ago, Fearless Son said:

All of the points you made in your original post @Xavven are most of the same reasons why I play stock as well.  I would also add on top of that, I want sharability to be a factor.  If I post a photo of something, I want people to look at it and think to themselves, "Yeah, I could build something like that," without having to wonder if they have the right parts for it or not.

Because that's what I do when I look for cool pictures of constructions on this forum.  :cool:

I do too, although I think there are several mods, most notably for me, Airplane Plus, which add a lot of vital parts not provided in stock and which greatly enhance the game for me personally. People joke that it's Kerbal SPACE Program, not Kerbal AIR Program, but I've gotten a lot of fun and good gameplay out of Airplane Plus + Kerbinside + NavUtilities + Giving Aircraft a Purpose and flying kerbals from one base to another, etc. But I also play stock. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd have nearly as much fun if I confined myself to a single game instance. Like many people in KSP, I cut my teeth on Orbiter (way back in 2002 or so) - and in Orbiter, playing without mods is significantly less interesting. The game almost requires them. I started playing KSP in 2012 in version 0.17, before docking was even available. I already had a decade of experience with Orbiter, and modding the crap out of that game, so for me doing the same in KSP, and starting to get into "light modding" (i.e. frankensteining things and writing config files for Module Manager) was a natural progression. Honestly, if I had more time, I'd be trying to write a .dll of my own, start working on IVAs, and an alternative to Kerbinside (i.e. several bases / airports) for other "Kerbins", like in GPP or JNSQ. But having kids means life frequently intervenes and takes away time for both modding and playing KSP.

 

6 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

I also build stock craft, I don't share them per se, aside from pictures that may serve as inspiration... but I do want them to be stock, or basically stock (Stock + life support parts, which will do nothing to improve the craft's function in a stock install), so that I can use other designs as references, and vice versa

What would really help in that regard is if Squad or a mod author created a tool which could identify what mods were in a design and allow editing that design visually to get it into the format needed for the game you're trying to import it into. That would be a major and complex undertaking however. Honestly, it's a miracle that the VAB/SPH editor now recognizes both parts and part modules at time of import and allows at least some ability to get them into a game without having all the prerequisites. Hopefully that aspect continues to get fleshed out.

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