Tradewinds (BETA 0.0.30) - A trading based modpack.

Discussion in 'Modpack Creation' started by Rebirth Gaming, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    Thanks for taking interest!

    For now, the pack will remain in closed beta as we rapidly change mods in and out, add stuff, remove stuff, tweak configs, and update our Tradecraft mod through rapid on-the-fly development.

    Once the pack has a semi-final list of mods, and development slows, we will the pack to an open beta and make it available on the Technic launcher (since Technic allows us to much more easily share our pack and update without waiting for third party approval).

    I will try to keep everyone up to date on this thread and seek suggestions and ideas. I may even release a verryyyy early alpha, but we shall see. It's much easier to keep the alpha version within our community and have internal testing happen.


    Update:
    I've thrown together an initial, first alpha version of the pack. Lots of bugs and flaws, but at least the pack launches!

    The Tradecraft mod was updated to a first, alpha version that I can finally play with (thanks Coolmanzz!)
    Also, I created our banner and logo for the pack. The logo is on the OP!
     
    darthwesix likes this.
  2. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    Quick question: Can you trade wood for sheep?

    Catan jokes aside, I am really interested in this pack. One thing that has occurred to me though is the potential to 'Sell coal to Newcastle', i.e. get some resource from far away, travel a long distance, and then make lots of money selling that resource to a settlement that has it in abundance. One of the solutions I have thought of is that you can only make the the packages in a town that produces that resource, and maybe make it so other towns that produce it won't accept it, but I think that the latter may be a bit harder to implement. However, I suspect it may not be that much of a problem, just could be a funny quirk.

    Anyways, I wish you luck in your endeavour, I too will offer my services in case you decide you need extra help.
     
    Lethosos likes this.
  3. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    Well, currently the way Tradecraft works is like this:

    There's a Pack Crafting Station and a Pack Delivery Station. These are both blocks only accessible to map makers (OPed/creative players) for the intent of them deciding exactly where they reside in the world.

    An OPed player can then use a creative-only key to access the Pack Crafting Station to configure it.
    The options include assigning which pack model will be used, the pack's name, the base cost, the distance multiplier, and of course, the ingredients required to craft it.

    So, I might set a Pack Crafting Station to use the livestock pack model, name it "Cow Pack", and set the ingredients to be a tradepack frame, feed, hay and a cow (yes, a live cow).
    Then I can set the base cost to be 5 loonies plus a multiplier. I don't quite remember the formula, but basically the mod takes note of the exact location where you crafted the pack. Then, when you deliver the pack to a Pack Delivery Station, it calculates the distance between the originating Pack Crafting Station and the Pack Delivery Station, uses that for the multiplier, and bases that off of the base cost to determine your final payment amount. So, the further you travel, the more money you get. And it's absolute distance, not blocks traveled (preventing players from running in circles to tick up the multiplier), favoring the most direct/fastest route possible.

    The Pack Delivery Station does nothing fancy. It simply accepts your tradepack and gives you coins in return.

    I guess it could be possible to allow Pack Delivery Stations to be assigned a blacklist of packs, but that would be a lot more work for the map maker, since tradepacks are fully custom, and blacklisting a pack means knowing what packs you have assigned to be craftable.

    Rather, we hope to do our best to keep resources biome specific, and to limit an over abundance of certain biomes/resources. I plan to use CoFHCore to fine tune which biome IDs can contain which ores, and how much of it, then use map making tools to be like 'ok, this map has 3 continents, and each one has no more than 2 of each meta-biome (but can contain multiple sub-biomes within). We shall see though. I hope to have a public beta that delivers good results and feedback so we can really fine tune and balance the gameplay, and to get rid of any possible exploits.
     
    Lethosos likes this.
  4. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    That's fair enough, I thought it was a rather nitpicky thing of me to mention anyway. I'm still impressed that you've managed to make livestock work as part of a package.
     
  5. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    Added a modlist! It's gonna change frequently, but at least you can get an idea of what's in the modpack. I will begin writing up descriptions of each mod and why I've included it as I become more confident the mod will remain in the pack.
     
  6. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    Alright followers and enthusiasts. Quick update before the weekend.

    This pack is going through a lot of mod changes, but the core concept is becoming more solidified.

    The plan is this. First, I want to perfect world gen. I've found a few more mods that alter the way ore generates. Things like diamond ore no longer existing near bedrock, but instead only found in Kimberlite vents, as is in real life. Or gold only being found in overworld quartz veins.

    Next is to determine primary professions. Players will be able to choose a primary profession. This determines recommended start locations and a starter set of tools. Wanna be a fisher? You start with bait, a simple boat, fishing rod, beginner mariculture stuff, and get pointed towards the nearest ocean or lake. Want to be a miner? You get a minecart, some rails, a basic pick for mining copper, and get pointed towards the nearest mineshaft.

    If you want to delve into professions other than your primary, you'll have to progress through starting steps. For example, if you're not a miner, you gotta start from the bottom by making a digstick, find some flintstone, and go find and forge your own copper pick.

    This sort of division among professions will be vital as a driving force behind trading. You're a fisherman but you need iron and wood? Trade some fish for it. You're a blacksmith who needs more metals for better forging machines and furnaces? Trade some tools for it. Things like that.

    Anywho, I'm going to start uploading mods to our solder repo this weekend so I can start compiling alpha packs for community members to test.

    Oh, and here's something you all can chew on. I'm toying with the idea of forcing tool progression, like with iguana tweaks... except, without even using ticon at all! Yep, found some other mods that should do nicely, and offer more realistic forging and blacksmith techniques. Should be fun!
     
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  7. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    So is that going to be using the same tool continuously? I'd be curious to see how that could be implemented, I can only guess a few methods, although they would be by Mariculture alone. (Mariculture is a surprisingly robust mod!)

    I am also curious on how you'll limit the players into classes when they start up, because I can imagine that when someone starts they immediately try to become a jack of all trades.

    Finally, is this going to be a custom map, or are you going to have this procedurally generate? Since you've mentioned worldgen, it makes me suspect that you're trying to engineer a world, but you've mentioned you're making towns by hand. The custom map also brings the question of finite resources, and how you'll work around that. That is, if you want to avoid a metal market economy crash. Which sounds kinda fun, actually.
     
  8. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    For your first question, there's a couple mods that add more realistic tool progression and forging techniques.

    First, there's Material Evolution, which forces early game progression via more primitive means. You can't mine hard blocks with your fist (hurts you when you punch wood, stone, etc), and your first tool needed is a digstick, which allows you to dig up gravel for flint to make flint tools. From there you can advance to stone, then make a bloomery and kiln, and fire ores for processing.

    Then, Metalforge comes into play, where you can use more advanced techniques to create alloys and whatnot, and create tools. It seems it is done a similar fashion to TiCon, but n a much 'lighter' fashion. Kinda hard to explain, but here it is:

    http://www.minecraftforum.net/forum...ods/2245125-wip-metalforge-the-blacksmith-mod

    I'm gonna use Minetweaker to help bridge the progression between the two.

    As for 'forcing' players into specific trades, the idea is sort of like this:

    Each trade/profession will have some sort of initial early game difficult progression, such as a miner needing to go through all the steps to get a basic pickaxe, or a fisherman having to get the stuff for a fishing pole, bait and a boat. A blacksmith has to acquire the initial furnaces, anvil, hammer and crucibles for early game ores (copper, bronze).

    Well, when players start out, they are given a choice. How I introduce this choice to players is still brewing as multiple ideas, so here's a couple:

    The first idea I had was just popping up a GUI in a new player's face. Pick a profession. Get a profession item kit. Then choose from a list of recommended biomes based on your chosen profession, and you get plopped down at an outpost in the chosen biome. The outpost contains basic amenities to help you survive the first couple days as you venture out and secure a location. Outpost will also contain NPCs that sell basic supplies. Players will also get a survival kit specific to their chosen biome. Things like some food, a firepit, and if you chose a tundra, you get a bucket of lava, or if you chose a desert, you get some ice and a camel pack.

    The second idea I had was to start players off in a major city. The players will have some coins and be directed to some NPCs who sell kits. You use the coins to buy a profession kit and a survival kit, plus a few extra coins for a handful of other things. Players will also get some basic materials for free for their first trade pack. They craft the pack and immediately set out to deliver it. I will somehow 'suggest' players go a certain route based on their chosen profession, but nothing is forced. If a fisherman wanted to travel to the desert, by all means do so. Overall, the point is to give players their first trade pack so they know how the system works.

    Either way, players will get a kit containing the tools and materials needed to push them past early progression steps for a specific profession/trade. Players can, at any point, set out to become a jack of multiple trades, but it'll distract them from their primary profession if they do it too early, since there will be other factors that players need to address like surviving, securing better methods of travel, thinking of ways to earn more money to get past certain progression gates, etc.

    There's a lot of ways I can do this, but I want to make it not feel forced, rather heavily suggested. The ultimate goal here is to get players trading. If players can just hunker down and progress all the way to Immersive Engineering-level power gen without ever trading (with either tradepacks, other players, or with NPCs), then the overall idea of this modpack has failed.

    Both, actually... I think.

    So, I originally thought of 100% handmaking the map. However, after screwing around with the world gen a lot (I've made countless maps already), I think I found a good solution.

    Right now, worlds are generating with huge biomes and climates. My current map placed me in a flower forest with an ocean to the north and a desert to the west.

    Here's a bit of the map:

    [​IMG]

    That's just one biome, and I'm not quite sure where the edges are except for the north and west (western desert doesnt show on this SS)

    There's also very light structure gen. I've currently disabled all Recurrent Complex structures (will be using that mod to generate only custom structures, none of the defaults), and cut down on several of the structures other mods make. Still more tweaking to do, but I do want some 'lightly' scattered random structures (which we specifically hand build and insert to be random gen'd).

    This modpack is very likely going to solely depend on a live server to fully function. It's gonna be very difficult to properly do a single player map *and* implement a robust trading system.
    For that, our plan is when we enter beta, we will open a beta server and a beta feedback forum. We will take notes on things like one's ability to survive when traveling, biome sizes and climates, resource abundance/scarcity, etc.

    When the modpack goes live and officially released, the server we host for it will be closely monitored. One of the ideas I was given was to let the world generate randomly under these fine tuned configs with a world border. We could have players, as stated above, start in a main city-hub. Then, we will hand build specific towns and outposts, and add stuff to the world as time goes on. Perhaps add additional continents and islands via extending the world border.

    Lots of ideas and approaches, but a SMP setting will be much needed for the theme to carry through. We might also, later down the road, compile a server admin's package for those who want to host their own, but for now, we will keep it local.

    This should be easily achievable. First of all, there's a few mods already in place that shake up conventional Minecraft methods of ore gen. I'm not talking about just CoFHCore either (which will still be used...)

    For example - one of the mods, SGU BetterGeo, removes diamond ore from the game and replaces it with a more accurate-to-real-life method of finding it. Basically, the mod adds something called Kimberlite pipes to the game. These are real life geological formations that result from lava vents extending to the Earth's surface. These pipes contain diamonds.

    The same mod also adds geological layers to the world. So, instead of most of the world being made up of stone, there are layers of shale, limestone, etc, and each one has its own hardness, meaning the deeper you go down, the harder it is to mine through these layers. This is where pickaxe progression will come into play, along with other methods of strip mining (such as Railcraft tunnel bores... which will be LATE game gated, btw)

    Now, as for CoFHCore, I will be using it to manipulate ore gen on a per-biome basis. Each biome will potentially contain all ore types, but, for example, a desert will contain more copper than most biomes, and some biomes may contain like 1% copper, but then contain, say, more bauxite than a desert.

    I will try to give hints as to what biomes contain what resources in abundance (and in scarcity), such as a book or maybe even via NPCs selling whatever that biome has a lot of, and buying whatever is rare... so, a NPC in the desert might sell oil, glass and copper in near-infinite quantities, but also want to buy things like water, wood and fresh fruits from players.

    So, large biomes + biome specific resource abundance and scarcity+a world border should be enough to drive trading. Also, the element of progression, because, ya know, players wont be able to tunnel bore or quarry the world in the first week. In fact, automation will be closely monitored and regulated. Even though Im including BC (for now), quarries and pumps will likely be disabled completely (pumps probably late late game and expensive to run)
     
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  9. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    Alright guys. Few things here. Some of you all should be excited to read this.

    Development is going good and steady.

    Last night, I removed Material Evolution and added Better Beginnings.

    Couple reasons behind this decision.

    I started going through the process of unifying ores in preparation to adjust and implement biome specific ore gen rates. Part of this process is eliminating duplicate ores from world gen, but ensuring that in doing so, recipes don't get screwed up (which means using minetweaker to add oreDict values and remaking recipes for machines etc)

    Well, ME wasn't playing nice. It seemed a bit too intrusive in how it changed vanilla ores without offering configs to work around it.

    On top of that, ME lacked documentation. It utilized multiblock structures, but didn't document what they were. Even if I figured it out, other players would get frustrated early game. We can't have progression based on lack of info. That's no fun.

    And, AFAIK, ME doesn't have any MT integration, so I couldn't even be sure it would work with other fuel types like coal coke.

    I did, however, like ME's early game progression, like having to progress to early tools, removing the ability to make wood pickaxes. and forcing correct tool usage for breaking blocks.

    So, I found an alternative called Better Beginnings, which adds early game progression, but in a much more streamlined, simple and understandable manner. It does so without adding ridiculous grinds or deadly dangers.

    Between this mod, a lush world with plenty of sources for materials, and a new player's ability to buy a survival kit, early game progression should be fun and rewarding, rather than grindy and frustrating.

    And, real quick, I plan to implement Too Much Time. I'm thinking of quadrupling day length and doubling night length. This means an entire d/n cycle is 1 Hr, with night being 20 min and day 40 min.

    And now for an announcement!

    CALLING FOR ALPHA TESTERS AND HELPING HANDS!

    I've been getting a lot of requests from people to help out. I haven't been ignoring you all!

    I'm at a point where I don't quite want to do an open beta, but I do need help with various tasks and need different opinions and suggestions on stuff.

    So, here's how this will work.

    If you're interested in helping with pack development, and willing to put some work into this, then send me a PM. I'll give you a link to our TS3 and a current version of the modpack.

    Here's what I need from testing:

    Feedback on world gen. I'm happy with the direction it's going, but still not perfect.

    Mod friction. This is when mods don't play nice together, or if 2 mods that do something similar imbalance each other. We need to make mods flow together, and the overall feel of the pack to be balanced.

    Minetweaker suggestions. Related to above, and for other areas of the pack, I plan to use MT heavily to fit mods together, to provide players a fun experience, and to enforce progression and balance where required.

    Ore distribution suggestions. This is currently at the top of my list, and is a major component to finalizing world gen prior to entering open beta. I need someone who's willing to plug away at this and provide meaningful feedback and suggestions about how to approach this. Such a person should also be familiar with CoFHCore, which has the capability of achieving this.

    There's are approx 250 biomes.
    There needs to be an equal distribution of ores across all biomes, but no single biome shall contain an equal amount of all or most ores.
    Unfavorable biomes should have priority to contain lots of extremely useful and vital ores, like coal in deserts and iron in tundras.
    Vanilla ores are currently lowest priority in the unification process, with SGU BetterGeo alternatives having the highest.
    Minetweak where needed.
    Some ores will not be included in the biome distribution due to unique gen rules handled by SGU BetterGeo, such as diamond ore.
    This modpack will not contain the end, and the nether is still being questioned. If both are disabled, then CoFHCore can help ensure nether and end resources are found in the over world.

    One approach is to divide all ores into 3 categories:
    Abundant, common and scarce.
    Each biome will contain all ores, but 1/3 will be scarce, 1/3 common and 1/3 abundant.
    Each ore will be scarce in 1/3 of the biomes, etc.

    Question is should I group biomes based on type? That 250 biomes includes sub biomes, as I call it, such as a forest and a flower forest. Both are forests. One just contains a crap ton of flowers. There's also a handful of different savannas, so I guess they all should be counted as a single biome for ore distribution purposes.

    Anyways, that's all I have for now.
     
    CaptPanda likes this.
  10. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
  11. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    Yea, you're not the only one. I've never encountered this issue, but then again I have 6GB allocated to Minecraft.

    The pack isn't optimized yet, and world gem chews on a lot of ram. Try tossing in optifine or fastcraft, and allocate more ram if possible. Also, keep an eye on console and see what messages pop up during spawn prep.
     
  12. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    So far, I had removed streams as I had noticed that was appearing a lot on the active log, and after doing so, it finally decided to work. I will mention that ATG had to implement compatibility with streams for it to work, so I suspect Streams isn't friendly with other worldgen mods.

    I spawned in a snowy rainforest, which is right next to a jungle. the insect sounds immediately cut out when I move from the snow to the jungle. ???

    I'll try fastcraft, That may help a bit.
     
  13. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    The streams spam in console is intentional. The mod author claims it's there to help you find streams.

    That mod though seems to be ram hungry. I'll have to contact them and see what's up and if there are plans to fix that.

    As for the sounds, yea, they are biome specific. Wonder if there's a way to smooth out the sound transitions. I'll look at configs or something.
     
  14. darthwesix

    darthwesix Active Member

    yea my computer has no hope at playing this pack in its current state
     
  15. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    Another user had luck with removing the streams mod. Seems to be eating a lot of RAM. You can try installing fastcraft, and/or removing Streams.

    I need to perform some serious optimization to get RAM usage under control. Running around the world currently eats up around 4-5GB, but I also don't have any Java args running.
     
  16. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I use 2GB ram and I bumped up the permgen to 512, and it seemed to load eventually. I think you definitely need to ease up the worldgen, or at least have a server to take the load.
     
  17. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    That's the plan, actually. This modpack will heavily depend on a dedicated and maintained public server to pull off what I want.

    A build or two prior to full release, we will create a server with a world, pregen it, slap down a border, and build main cities, establish trade routes, configure NPCs, etc. As if we were making an MMO lol.

    I'm sure there's a lot I can do, however, to cut down on RAM usage. I usually float around 4GB, which is still above average, but it's already an improvement compared to a week ago. Sometimes, however, I hit 100% RAM, and reloading my world seems to fix it. I installed OPIS last night so I can start observing my RAM usage to figure out the biggest sources of lag, and start reducing it.

    I think this weekend, I'll create a local server and connect to it, so I can get RAM readings that better represent what it's like when a client connects to a server. Sure, my PC will still use the same amount of RAM, but at least the F3 screen/OPIS will only show what my client is using, and not what the server is using.

    Also, while I'm here... updated the changelog.
    - Reduced meteor spawn rates, increased the distance from a player which they can fall, reduced the max meteor size, and (hopefully) disabled K-meteors from spawning nether portals.
    - Fixed an issue with Savannas going nanners. Upon entering a Savanna, all the grass and trees would die in a matter of minutes. Not only was it lag-inducing, but it created a dirt wasteland. Apparently, NatureOverhaul had Savannas' humidity set to 0 with a temp scale of 1.2. For comparison, this is the same as the nether. I increased humidity to 0.2, and hey, no more dying plants! Might be other biomes that need similar adjusting, so report them to me if you come across any.
    - Removed all poor ores from the world. Just too many ores already, so we don't need a poor version of them.
    - Removed all vanilla ores. "Say what?" you say? Don't worry, this is part of my process of overhauling world gen. "Vanilla" ores will still exist, but will be handled by other mods. Iron, for example, is largely handled by SGUBetterGeo, which causes it to spawn in the world as "Banded Iron Formations". Diamonds are also handled by SGU, and are spawned in the world in the form of Kimberlite pipes. So, vanilla resources are still obtainable, but in an unconventional (but still easy to access) way. Also, SGUBetterGeo happens to remove all vanilla stone from the world, and replaces it with a nice variety of other blocks that aren't stone, but they are part of the stone ore dictionary. So, in reality, there's still technically stone in the world... it'll just look different. Because stone has been overhauled, and because vanilla ores use the stone texture, this was another reason to remove vanilla ores (along with many others from mods that also use the vanilla stone texture). I will be using CoFHCore to have ores spawn in the world, but will 'spawn in different rocks' (so, you might find copper ore in slate and gneiss, or even sandstone, for example)
    - Began thumbing through ores and ingots to determine which mod's variant of an ore/ingot to use, and to remove all duplicates from other mods. This is the unification process, so players won't end up with 7 different kinds of copper. There will just be ONE of each different kind of metal/ore. SGUBetterGeo will take priority for its included ores and metals, followed by Immersive Engineering, then mod-specific ores (like Mariculture's titanium).

    MAPPING SYSTEM.

    Ok, I'm still trying to figure out a good mapping system.

    Part of making the world feel huge, aside from actually making it huge, is to introduce an intentional lack of knowledge in regards to the world, geography and locations. In other words, if there's a large city 1 mile to the east, but you don't know it, then you as a player might feel like there's no civilization for miles and miles away. It makes the world feel much more open, simply by not knowing what's around you.

    Here are my current thoughts on mapping and exploration, and I need feedback and thoughts on this:

    Radars are 100% off limits. Knowing where players and mobs are via a minimap is NOT what I want. At all.

    Players could just have a map like mapwriter, and be given a modpack that includes the server's map already populated on the client. The player would know where all the cities are, where different biomes are, etc. It might not matter at all... or it might matter in that players could just then plot out where to live based on the geography, allowing players to game the system to their favor. I mean, why live in a desert if you can live where 3 biomes meet, including a desert. Part of forcing players to travel less unless trading is stripping them of the ability to map out the world in a short time. If you're in a forest biome that takes 30 minutes to travel from one end to the other, you're much less likely to spend time finding that perfect spot when you start running out of hydration, body temp drops too much, and you start to starve. These factors force players to stop exploring on day one, and sit down and just survive, which then leads a player to assess their surroundings and figure out how to make-do with what they have. This then of course leads to players figuring out how to trade their local resources for those they need.

    I feel like giving a players a completed map would cause them to circumvent a lot of what I just described above, which gives them less reason to trade if they can just find a sweet spot between ideal biomes on day one.

    So, a completed map might be out of the question.

    This leaves me with two options, currently:

    Mapwriter (or similar) that's incomplete. Players can get general info on which direction to travel to reach certain (local) biomes, as well as major cities. But finding super specific locations will have to occur from just staking out the world (or being smart and following land marks and rivers... if a player wanted to reach the ocean, well... every river leads to one eventually)

    The second option is a true mapping system that requires some minimal effort put into it.
    I came across a mod (ExplorerCraft or something like that) that enhances the vanilla mapping system. Yes, those clunky, hard to use vanilla maps that aren't even all that accurate to begin with.
    This mod overhauls and enhances the vanilla maps to make it a viable and usable mapping system.
    You can still make maps the vanilla way, but a few things that make it better:
    Maps have higher resolution. Maps can be zoomed into. It's like any other minimap mod, but you interact with it via vanilla maps.
    Atlas book! Yes, you can take multiple maps and put them in an atlas book to combine them.
    Map splicing - you can combine maps to get a bigger one, and overlapping regions are automatically spliced together.
    A better marking system. You can add custom markers etc to your maps.
    Map sharing! You can copy and share your maps. This should be neat, and can encourage a different form of player trading - trading secret routes and isolated locations.
    This might also allow me, as a server admin, to create maps and sell them via NPCs. Want to know how to get to the gem mines of legend? Better pay up for that elusive map! Or, here's an idea - I can bury treasure in the world, and sell maps/add maps as chest loot with a marker to the location. Hmm...
     
  18. darthwesix

    darthwesix Active Member

    that last part sounds amazing
     
  19. CaptPanda

    CaptPanda Well-Known Member

    That does sound cool, though now I'm wondering if there's any point to Millenaire villages if you're going to be making custom towns. Surely you could do something with CustomNPCs or a plugin for villagers in that case?
     
  20. Rebirth Gaming

    Rebirth Gaming Well-Known Member

    Perhaps. I haven't yet messed with Millenaire's configuration. I do know its capable of doing biome specific village types (along with NPCs with specific trades based on the town type, therefore biome specific trades.)

    The idea behind Millenaire (or similar alternatives) is to have random villages spawn during world gen that are specific to biome arche-types. This allows me to say, for example, a desert can contain desert-specific villages who have villagers that will pay you money for water, or sell copper and oil. But, in a forest, it would be different.

    With vanilla villages, I can't do that, even if I use a mod that allows me to configure villager trades, because villages and their villagers are randomized.

    Now, CustomNPCs and hand built towns are for something different. Yea, there will be random villages in the world, but these villages wont contain specific amenities, tradepack crafters nor tradepack delivery stations. Hand built towns will define trade routes, because they include the start/end points of those routes. The CustomNPCs will be for not only scripted events, but also to sell much more specific items and kits, like progression-gating crafting components.

    Here's an example. Automation in this modpack needs to be closely regulated. Things like quarries will just be outright disabled. However, a machine like the tunnel bore would be acceptable. Since it is a powerful machine that shouldn't be abused or easily acquirable, I thought about adding an item called the Mining Certificate. I'll add this item via Quandry, and give it no crafting recipe. I will then change the Tunnel Bore recipe to require the Mining Certificate, which you must purchase from an NPC for a very high price.

    Similarly, tradepacks might require Quality Certificates. These tradepacks will have higher distance multipliers (worth more), but will require a purchase prior to making them.

    Things like the certificates can't be part of a random trade-table attached to a randomly spawned villager, because there's the potential players will never find one, blocking progress into certain parts of the modpack.

    But, if I create a static NPC in a static town with CustomNPCs, and have that NPC sell the certs, then players will always know where to get them, and be capable of buying them when needed.

    TL;DR villages are random, and have random trades that only serve as a way of making money/getting common resources. Towns and CustomNPCs are static and serve very specific functions, necessary for certain progression stages.
     

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