Survey - Future Quest Based Modpacks

Discussion in 'Feed the Beast News' started by Feed the Beast, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think in order to use combat as an effective gameplay mechanic, you would need something that slowly escalates the challenge as you get more powerful, but in the case of a server/multiplayer session, have them region based so that new players don't join a max difficulty server. (EG Super Hostile Online is a good example of zoning)

    Also, whatever that mod is that gives mobs random attributes that will wreck you seven ways to sunday, do not include that. One of the things that makes players rage is when something feels unfair and it wasn't their fault for dying, and that mod really does feel like a ball sheet.
     
    Magzie likes this.
  2. Magzie

    Magzie Well-Known Member

    God I hate that mod...! Amen! Seen the evolved Endermen yet?
     
  3. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    Nope, sticking with FSLS for now, which is why I suggested zoning of mobs so that new players don't get caught up in vet mob's attacks. Also getting stumped by BWM. Good times.

    But to elaborate on what SHO and vanilla maps do, is that they have MCedited/Wedited/whateveredited spawners to spawn mobs over custom ranges, and command blocks are also used as well. You could try and pair these techniques with BetterNPCs, though I have no idea how well that would work. (Also get mobs that telegraph attacks that can be dodged, instead of default 'walk towards player' mobs)
     
  4. mti_

    mti_ Active Member

    This is obviously a rather lengthy post. If you can not be bothered with in depth rationale you may want to abstain.
    In order to show where I am coming from with this I’ll go on a bit of a tangent so please bear with me.


    I have to state that I do not play non-gated packs anymore. For us, me and players on my server, there is no point. At the pace that we play most mods can be completed in a very short amount of time and there usually is a single, clearly superior mod for whatever you try to do so anything suboptimal is not touched. This is a shame because there are a lot of great mods that become effectively irrelevant for players like me.
    As a result I believe that gated, themed and “expert mode” packs are really where it is at. There are plenty of platforms and even individuals that can throw together a kitchen sink pack and they all play the same. While it is a great experience for the masses all it takes is a single one per major MC version.
    You will not be able to truly set your KS pack apart, it requires no game design of your own. Expert packs, gated progression, themed packs such as forever stranded or material energy are the ones where pack makers can really shine. This is what I personally wish FTB to focus on because that is where real talent, experience and attention to detail will shine.

    One of the biggest gripes I have with modded minecraft in general, but especially gated packs, is that they are terrible at communicating the changes made and the progression intended. It is virtually impossible for me to get any new players to pick this game up because it is horribly convoluted.
    If you look at the state of modded minecraft since the arrival of NEI you have to consider the fact that the entire game revolves mostly around one mod. To a degree of course and while we see a lot more and better JEI integration of mods in 1.10 and 1.12 it still has it’s limit.
    It can tell you how something is crafted but it can not tell you how systems are set up.
    Some mods provide in game documentation, even very fancy executions, but most do not.
    That forces people to look for outside documentation. We have gotten used to this by now but that does not change the fact that it would be deemed utterly unacceptable in any commercial product. Even vanilla minecraft itself has overcome Notch’s reservations about what MC should be and added an in game recipe book.
    We have had projects like the in-game wiki come and fail.
    What has stuck around are quest books. We had HQM and now BQ is very popular. Those put the responsibility of documenting progress in the hands of the pack maker, not the modder. This seems especially reasonable, if not required, if the default progression “inside” of mods has been changed.
    FTB Infinity was one of the greatest packs I have ever played. Because of the lack of recent FTB packs that appeal to me *cough* I have finished it 3 times, including the skyblock version.
    The pack introduced the FTBU based guide book but it felt more like an afterthought. Barely anything past the initial couple hours was documented.
    At that point the pack fell back into “progression curve is deducted by NEI digging” mode.
    I play modded MC since 1.2.5, before FTB was even a thing, and I have played all major packs on all major distribution platforms since then.
    I myself regard NEI/JEI as the holy grail because I have been there, actually digging in wikis for recipes. This does not mean that it has to be the final state of affairs though. It takes someone to show an alternative that works well in order for others to catch on, just like FTB Infinity Expert did bring the “Expert mode” into the mainstream.
    Even without any future mods tackling this issue being released I think that there is a great opportunity with what we currently have available to us. I think it is only fair to suggest looking at what Modern Skyblock 3 is doing right now. There we see a gated progression that does not require any grind because all recipes are untouched. It is like the “anti Project Ozone Kappa mode” pack. For me it really lacks the cross-mod integration and more expensive recipes but the idea is great for the concept that it proves.As with many things in life a compromise seems to be where real value could be created.
    I will take Infinity Expert as an example again. If that pack was to be remade on 1.12 I think that what should be added on the “meta” side of things is a quest book that properly documents the intended progression curve. Use that quest book to unlock stuff in the Modern Skyblock 3 fashion. Why be able to see all the AE2 components in NEI if you can not craft them anyway? It effectively has the unlocking system in place via recipe changes but reflects that design very poorly. I am willing to bet that anyone who played IE:E has at some point started to craft an item only to realize half way through that something is a lot more difficult to obtain than expected.
    Having extensive documentation via Quests and a cleaner JEI via “stage unlocking” could massively improve the user experience without any actual changes to the pack whatsoever.
    As such I feel that Quests are appropriate in pretty much all non-KS packs, but can also help in KS packs in order to offer in-client documentation.


    The survey seems to focus heavily on how Quests are to be executed rather than the merit of them.
    I personally do not read flavour text. I appreciate good writing but I will almost always skip it in order to get to the meat of the thing. I want Quests to be more of a guide than a story.
    So I like gated Quests, instructional writing and will almost never complete the “hoarder” quest lines that are purely about amassing X amount of item Y.
    The amount of quests and longevity of a pack depends on the number of mechanics that are introduced. I like building new systems rather than scaling out existing ones for mass production. When I feel like I am at the end of the technological, magical and gear progression curve I will lose interest, no matter how many Quests are still open. Finding a good balance between explaining everything but not having the user have to craft things they are not interested in just for completion’s sake is going to be a real challenge.


    The last thing I want to bring up is the idea of how difficulty is created, which the survey also touches on.

    Combat:
    Simply, I do not like it. I think that combat is one of the worst, if not the worst, mechanics in all of minecraft. I have yet to play a combat focused pack I like. Having IE:E gate an important early game mechanic (making steel) behind mob drops (gunpowder or ender eye) was one of the biggest gripes I had with it. Combat in MC is imprecise, flaily and mob drops are RNG.

    Nested recipes:
    They are nice, to a degree. Having an item that is in itself a bit more involved to make included for a recipe of an item/block that feels too cheap with it’s original recipe is a very valid way of creating a more involved crafting experience. Requiring incredibly nested items for high frequency items is not fun though. The example I always use are the machine frames/chassis/etc from Age of Engineering. Having to upgrade them all the way through the “tiers” was getting more than a little tedious towards the end of the “pre ME phase”.

    Exploration:
    I remember Slowpoke saying on stream that people do not do it and that is very much in line with my experience and play style. We leave our base to find item X and that is it. Since world gen is RNG and stuff like BOP can make finding specific geographical features quite hard it can become very annoying quickly and in my experience leads people to explore the map at rapid pace which drops server ticks and artificially bloats the backup file size. Not a fan.

    Grind:
    I like system building. I do not mind having to build a system to obtain the side product of it (e.g. plutonium in IE:E) but I do not like having to supersize something just because I need 100 of something rather than 1. That, in my book, is uninspired design and not for me.

    Energy:
    A great tool for balance. The only problem I have with it is the way it is usually executed. Simply changing values for energy creation and consumption in the config will leave the user clueless as to what is going on. Quests could help here and relying on power generation tools that clearly indicate how much they are producing. If the quests did not serve to gate other progress but simply showed what falls where in the power curve it allow the user to get a great idea of what might be worth working towards at the current stage of progress.

    Alternative late game recipes:
    This is what I like the most. I love the idea of having to use basic tools first but having initially difficult tasks become negligible as my technological capabilities progress.
    You need to start with a wooden pickaxe and end up mining 5x5 with ease. The same should be true for machines. We have seen this in IE:E with cooking meats and making plates.
    I can not recall the pack that did it but there was one that allowed making many of the commonly used items/blocks a lot more easily once the player had access to the highest tier (of that pack's "gating choices") tech mod. I.e. once you had access to mekanism circuits the alternative recipe was really easy to make.
    Obtaining the ability to make something crucial a lot more easily, cheaply and quickly than before gives a great feeling of progress.

    Hunger Overhaul:
    No. Hunger in MC is boring and even stuff like managing different nutrient groups only serves to obstruct you from what you actually want to do with tedious micromanagement.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  5. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    help I have a short attention span

    In seriousness, I would like to add a few things. When I was making Gooeyless, I decided that instead of having a quest book, I used Enchiridion to explain the main changes that the pack made and the main progression path. Also it had a very nice GUI (Ironic for the pack it was in), and I found it pleasant to use.

    as for other things, I would generally state that it depends on the theme of the pack being what aspects it focuses on. With all that said and done, I would provide points to compare to your conclusions.

    Combat is limited, however for a lot of minecraft players it is a heavy focus for vanilla servers to have PvP. Having items specifically designed for fun combat would be a good step forward, and my point of reference would be DWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARVES VERSUS ZOMBIEEES. I will pair this with exploration, being that the best experience you get with exploration is if someone properly designed the map. Point of reference being vanilla mapmakers in general.

    If we go into technical aspects using industrial mods, then I like the concept of late game alternatives, and I think that having easier and more efficient ways to craft items later on in the pack just for the quality of life. Unlockable QoL is probably something people would really appreciate.

    And finally, Spice of Life if you're making a bear grylls pack. Magic Farm 2 was actually one of my favorite packs, because it did allow players to start farming a wide range of food early on, so food was more of an inconvenience than a pressing issue. When you're limited on what you can eat, then I take issue with SoL (Which is one of my few complaints of the Blightfall pack).
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
  6. Nedrith

    Nedrith Well-Known Member

    Agreed. IMO mods like Immersive Engineering are a lot of fun but terribly underpowered and I don't play them. Enderio has a really nice AE like system and RFTools has one as well along with a really nice modular storage system. These two get heavily outshined by the ease of setting up a AE or RS network.
    Personally I would of preferred quests, but IE:E's guide book wasn't that terrible. A quest book still would have been better.
    JEI unlocking would be cool, but recipe changes IMO are also a very good thing. Recipe changes take a pack of a ton of different mods with their own feelings of balance and what recipes should look like and redefines them as one game in the eyes of the pack creator. Without recipe changes it's just a regular kitchen sink pack where certain things need to be completed before you can learn how to craft something else.

    {quote]
    The survey seems to focus heavily on how Quests are to be executed rather than the merit of them.
    I personally do not read flavour text. I appreciate good writing but I will almost always skip it in order to get to the meat of the thing. I want Quests to be more of a guide than a story.
    So I like gated Quests, instructional writing and will almost never complete the “hoarder” quest lines that are purely about amassing X amount of item Y.
    The amount of quests and longevity of a pack depends on the number of mechanics that are introduced. I like building new systems rather than scaling out existing ones for mass production. When I feel like I am at the end of the technological, magical and gear progression curve I will lose interest, no matter how many Quests are still open. Finding a good balance between explaining everything but not having the user have to craft things they are not interested in just for completion’s sake is going to be a real challenge.
    [/quote]
    Agreed for the most part, I do like good written story, take Running Red 1 for example. I just hate badly written pointless story filler.

    The last thing I want to bring up is the idea of how difficulty is created, which the survey also touches on.
    Agreed, hence why modded minecraft has mob farms easily creatable.
    I think this is a interesting point. Did you know that AoE had a better way to make those nested recipes pre ME. As soon as you got access to the UU matter you could replicate the machine frames/chassis/capacitors. Really really easy. That is a kind of recipe change I like. The whole craft this thing one way initially and then once you get another machine you can craft it simpler or cheaper later on. Gregtech does this well, atleast in Infitech and Gregtech: New horizons it did. It was quite common to make something one way only to late make it another way for 1/2 to even 1/8 of the cost.

    agreed
    agreed, if you ever need a ton of something there better be a good way to produce a ton of it.
    Honestly, energy in modded minecraft is one of my least favorite things with how RF based devices generally do it. IMO we should be using an extreme reactor as an emergancy power generator or during heavy usage. An AA oil generator or IE disel generator as a primary energy generator. This can be done by making yellorium hard to find for example or raising fuel consumption. Of course which generators are used can change but we shouldn't just be using a single generator type and if we do it should be hard to keep running. Power shouldn't be simple to make.

    Infitech 2 again did this great. 3 different types of basic circuits. the one requires no machines to make, the second requires decent machinery and the third requires heavy machinery. Each one can be used in the same recipes but the higher tier machinery makes it out of different materials and generally more efficiently. Once you get high enough you can make machine hulls through a machine that can produce them a ton more efficiently. We should always be looking at ways to improve old processes. Progression shouldn't just be about making new stuff but also making the old stuff better and more efficiently.

    Without a doubt. Any mod that changes hunger needs to bear in mind that food is easy to get. unless you can make food hard to get while still being fun to gather and do other things than don't touch it. I wouldn't mind a pack that removes hunger completely and introduces a item based healing method. A few that did it to differing degrees of success. Invasion for example was cool but you need a healing cooldown.
     
  7. mti_

    mti_ Active Member

    I agree entirely. Recipe changes require to automate more interesting processing machinery than you usually would. Take the AA Infusion (is that what it is even called?) for example. In a normal game you can make a stack or two of that stuff and you will never craft more AA machinery than that. Once you make it part of every (more advanced) machine you need to automate it.
    I like everything that is more involved than "pipe item X in and Y comes out the same block" and many of these expert packs make more complex automation necessary.

    That being said I think that because recipe changes essentially introduce tiers and ways of "unlocking" new tech, recipe unlocking would further refine the system. It would not actually change what we think of as expert mode but rather enhance it in terms of usability.

    Some packs do, some do not. If your progress is not highly dependent on mob drops I find it acceptable to use system that are more costly to set up than mob grinding utils (cheap, powerful masher with no power usage).

    Power should be interesting to make. It should be the opposite of solar power (1 block, passive generation).

    Agreed. I can see how walking the line between making a resource "too grindy" to obtain and not using enough resources to lead people to refining their systems can be difficult. Someone will not like your choices. I am really happy with how IE:E improved over TPPI and I am sure Continuum will be even better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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