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SamuraiWindu

Balancing and Tweaking MegaMod

I have been playing Banished with the MegaMod and Colonial Charter 1.75, and it technically works great.  I love the vast variety of buildings that the MegaMod offers, but I have noticed that balance between similar buildings that originate from different mods can be a bit skewed in utility and it is hard to know what structures work best.

For example, a Medieval Kiln and a Brickworks can both make 3 Bricks at a time with educated workers (I’m not sure what their production is with uneducated workers), but the Medieval Kiln uses 10 Clay and 1 Firewood, while the Brickworks uses 13 Clay and 3 Furnace Fuel.  Other buildings have similar discrepancies.

Major considerations include:
• Recipes that produce the same items, such as in the example above concerning Bricks, should have similar (if not the same) cost and output, but may differ in production rate.  I think that the net trade-value of items produced by educated workers should always be greater than the trade-value of the resources consumed, where uneducated workers should produce quantities of items that are equal (or slightly less) in trade-value.
• Many buildings (and in particular homes) do not have balance in utility.  In general, qualities that make utility go up include: having more production options, higher production rate, larger family size, and positive effect on Happiness.  Qualities that make utility go down include: having higher cost to build, larger spatial footprint (discounting walkable areas), higher fuel consumption (for homes), and negative effect on Happiness.
• Some buildings require obscure materials compared to their counterparts.  For example, advanced Medieval buildings require Bricks and Roof Tiles, while advanced Colonial Charter buildings require Building Supplies, Homewares, and Fancy Homewares.  I would prefer all advanced buildings to require Building Supplies, Homewares, and Fancy Homewares.  Roof Tiles can be incorporated into a recipe for Building Supplies or simple removed for the sake of simplicity.
• I love that we can now see the positive (blue) and negative (red) radii of building effects, but it seems that not all production buildings that I would expect to have a positive or negative effect do.  The Roadless Well, Fort Well, and various statues lack positive radii, and many production buildings lack negative radii.  I think any production building that would create a lot of noise or smoke should have a negative effect on Happiness.  This would include most mines, quarries, saw mills, kilns, etc.
• Some of the Medieval production buildings employ Workers instead of Kilnmen, Potters, etc.  I think the ambiguous Worker job should be eliminated and such buildings should employ a more descriptive job.
• I love the idea of archeological buildings, but I think they should interact with Arrowheads and Native Artifacts in some way.  Maybe studying Stone or Clay can have a chance to produce Arrowheads or Native Artifacts instead of just Archeological Artefacts?
• The Tiny Quarry (and maybe other quarries or mines) should be made upgradeable in order to gain more resources.

In short, I would like to see some consistency between buildings’ relative utility.  I realize that this is a result of combining huge quantities of mods together that otherwise would probably work well in isolation or with the mods that they were intended to be combined with.  You guys have done a wonderful job combining them in a way where they all work together without introducing redundant materials.  I guess what I am saying is that I think the work isn’t quite done yet.

Could someone make a balancing mod (similar to a compatibility mod) that overwrites some of the values of these buildings to make them more balanced?  Or maybe (if this desire for balance is unanimous) make these changes in the next iteration of the MegaMod proper?

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There's definitely a learning curve when you start to use MegaMod - especially if you haven't played with these mods individually beforehand.  Note that MegaMod is a compilation of over 100 standalone mods created by many different modders.  Those mods reflect the differences of the various creative and sometimes changing viewpoints of those modders. MegaMod assembles these mods together to assure they can be conveniently uploaded and won't crash when loaded together, but there is really no intention of rebalancing MegaMod as a whole or to eliminate the differences you've noted.  

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Medieval Town mod is hard to accept when you only knew CC ^^. sounds like all this crappy mod (medieval town) need to be put in the garbage cans ^^

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35 minutes ago, Ketchup said:

need to be put in the garbage cans

No one is saying that NMT is *bad*, just that it's different. :)

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nooooo don't kill RED's mods. different players play different and have different ideas. simple solution is what modders always tell us: if you don't like a mod don't use it.  sure some people want the game to be harder.  but others play to expand and cover maps,some play to make nice looking cities. others might like to build several different villages or towns. not everyone's style is the same. this is the main reason for so many mods.that is also why banished is still playeed and popular. the freedom to play as we want not to follow rules and forced to play the same way as everyone else. i wasn't trying to cheat either. i use RED's brick maker because i like the llooks of it. plus i like the looks of the claypit. if i am playing to build a forest town, i like to use the dryer to make deer jerky. balancing a mod set  is not easy. balancing all the mods at once  would be crazy. and more players would be unhappy than happy with such an idea.

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9 hours ago, Ketchup said:

Medieval Town mod is hard to accept when you only knew CC ^^. sounds like all this crappy mod (medieval town) need to be put in the garbage cans ^^

I really love Medieval Town.  I do want it to stay.  My point is that the balance of parts of it clash with Colonial Charter and other mods.  As estherhb put it,

16 hours ago, estherhb said:

Those mods reflect the differences of the various creative and sometimes changing viewpoints of those modders.

 

stiles also makes a very good point.

5 hours ago, stiles said:

different players play different and have different ideas.  ...  sure some people want the game to be harder.  but others play to expand and cover maps, some play to make nice looking cities. others might like to build several different villages or towns. not everyone's style is the same. this is the main reason for so many mods. that is also why banished is still playeed and popular. the freedom to play as we want not to follow rules and forced to play the same way as everyone else.  ...  balancing a mod set  is not easy. balancing all the mods at once  would be crazy. and more players would be unhappy than happy with such an idea.

That is why I suggested that the solution be to make a balancing mod similar to a compatibility mod, that way not everyone has to use it.  I don't think that having a fair and balanced play experience will detract from the ability to have an aesthetically pleasing town.  I love the expansive options that MegaMod offers.  I just want to be able to choose the buildings that I find aesthetically pleasing (and will do the job) without feeling like I am cheating when I utilize a building, or worse, feeling buyers-remorse when I find out that that magnificent castile I just exhausted my quarries and mines to build has no real purpose.  :(  I want to build what I like and have the game just work.

 

Maybe some of the more active modders can discuss and agree upon a rule set for balancing building utility in banished?  You can use the bullet points in the original post as guidelines to get started.

5 hours ago, stiles said:

balancing a mod set  is not easy. balancing all the mods at once  would be crazy.

Maybe each mod creator could be responsible for making the balancing changes to their own mods.  That way the burden of work would be more manageable.

 

This could help the entire modding community create more compatible mods.  How can that be a bad thing?

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22 minutes ago, Ketchup said:

Part of the goal was to SHARE all the "Entities" and "Souls"  all these mods have, and this is what is the most important.

Exactly.  

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As a beginning modder myself, I didn't follow using CCs materials and some of their textures because I felt that CC was the "correct" way to go, but because the Black Liquid crew was awesome enough to share their resources, time and skill with me as they have done with many of us. 

The fact that so many of the mods out there are compatible with CC or use many of the same ingredients speaks to the amazing community we have established here, not CCs "correctness".  We have all built upon each other's work more often that not with the help and tutoring of those that were here before us.  @Ketchup, @kid1293, @Necora, all the Black Liquid guys ( @ShockPuppet @Kralyerg and @Denis de la Rive especially with me) have been indispensable in helping the whole modding community move forward in ways we never thought possible.   If you don't like someone's mod or someone's acsthetic fine... Don't use it. But talking a bunch of crap or disparaging someone elses work around here is not welcome.  

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sometimes i wonder if statements come across that way because of a bad translation from 1 language to another.there are mods that can not be built unless you have rooftiles also. and those arenot included in the MM.i agree it has to be a big job to put the MM together without conflicts,or as few as there seems to be. i chose not to load the MM but do have many of the individual mods.i always felt i would have less conflicts and more control of the mod order.

 PILGRIM where have you been ?? on strike????lol.you built the houses and then you disappeared like you ran away.it was a big task in such a short time.i was curious as to what you would do next. you did have good ideas to continue the set.

  RED,we like options. if the game throws us on flat ground and gives me an odd grain, can do stuff still. i have a root cellar and i have options to build mills before i get to lumber of mines. i bet the indians laughed at the white man when he asked where lowes home improvement was so he could build a house.columbus didn't land next to a nice iron mine either. and PILGRIM is still stuck with gray houses at plymouth rock before the indians told him how to make red dye and windows for his nice colonials. what century is this anyhow???

  just this year you all invented grass meadows.and poor NECORA iss till trying to learn how to skip rocks across the creeks(streams).maybe some day soon KRAYLERG will create the moon and sky for us.lol

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I haven't disappeared. RL just got a little crazy. Lost my teaching position and decided it was time for a career change. Starting a new company doing home inspections and custom carpentry. (Following my dad's footprints. One of the New England Houses is based on his house.  I think was build in 1730 and he has spent the last 20 years restoring it. )

I should be around more now that things are settling out. I am in the process of getting an update together for the New England mod, either still as part of CC or spinning it off as a companion. 

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yah life does have its ups and downs. i sure hope you is happier in the end of it all though. that counts.

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I am sorry if my suggestions offend you, Ketchup, or anyone else in any way.  I love your work.  Your Medieval mods and the others you put together are truly wonderful.  I in no way meant to imply that Colonial Charter’s ideology of balance was more “correct” than any other.  We agree on that point.  Each mod included in MegaMod works well in its own right.  These mods are truly the best of the best.  That is why they are included.  Right?

My point is that I think the mods included in MegaMod can be integrated in such a way the makes the experience of playing Banished more fun.  I believe this can be achieved while retaining the “soul” of each of these various mods.  When I think of the “soul” of a mod, I think of the look, the feel, the aesthetics, and–to an extent–the functionality.  I think we all agree that each of these wonderful creations should look, feel, and function the way its creator intended.  That is not to say that they are perfect and any modification to their design is bad.  I believe there is always room for improvement.

When I refer to “obscure materials”, I simply mean any materials that are not included in vanilla Banished.  In this way, Colonial Charter is much more “obscure” than any other mod included in MegaMod.  It just so happens that Colonial Charter introduced the concept of ambiguous materials in the form of Building Supplies, Homewares, and Fancy Homewares.  I prefer these materials as building requirements over requiring other more specific materials, such as Bricks and Roof Tiles, simply because of how well they can be used to integrate many other types of materials.  In creating such a comprehensive mod as MegaMod (and I do realize what a monumental task this must be), I feel that there is an opportunity for a level of integration between mods that could not be achieved by installing multitudes of individual mod.

In order to achieve such a level of integration, there must be some level of agreement among mod creators as to what constitutes a balanced building; a formula of sorts that can be used as a guide when designing and balancing a building.  These guidelines could be similar in form to the guidelines that Dungeons and Dragons 5e has for creating custom monsters or class features.

I outlined many concerns of balance in the original post, but there are likely flaws in those ideas or at least more things to consider.  This task is not as simple as conforming to Colonial Charter; there are several suggestions in the original post that, if followed, would alter Colonial Charter as much, if not more than, other mods.

My intent here is to encourage a constructive dialog that would result in an agreed-upon formula for designing a balanced building.  If such a task could be accomplished, then we can discuss applying that formula to MegaMod.

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I agree that balancing does need to happen in my own individual mods, but as far as being able to balance all the mods in the MegaMod to work cohesively... whoa!

Who has time for this? It would require a huge amount of time testing and altering a lot of different files.

I don't envy Kralyerg as it is now when I send him updates to my mods that contain 1000's of files that he must sort through to update the megamod. And every update we do means the same for kralyerg.

For us as modders to all conform to the same set of standards isn't as easy as it might seem. Not all of us play with CC, so introducing Building Supplies or such to our own individual mods could be counter-productive and instead we are just unnecessarily making it more complicated than it needs to be, plus we might all have different views on where our mods would like to go in the future, adopting a single approach is likely to kill creativity.

 

To be honest, I'd like to see more of you take up modding - it really isn't that hard, just time-consuming.

;) if you yourself would like to try and make this mod, I can point you in the right direction on how to do it.

 

In terms of the happiness effect of buildings, there was a conversation and testing done regarding this on the WOB website and as far as we can tell the whole happiness code doesn't seem to have any significant effect on gameplay.

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3 hours ago, SamuraiWindu said:

I am sorry if my suggestions offend you, Ketchup, or anyone else in any way.  I love your work.  Your Medieval mods and the others you put together are truly wonderful.  I in no way meant to imply that Colonial Charter’s ideology of balance was more “correct” than any other.  We agree on that point.  Each mod included in MegaMod works well in its own right.  These mods are truly the best of the best.  That is why they are included.  Right?

My point is that I think the mods included in MegaMod can be integrated in such a way the makes the experience of playing Banished more fun.  I believe this can be achieved while retaining the “soul” of each of these various mods.  When I think of the “soul” of a mod, I think of the look, the feel, the aesthetics, and–to an extent–the functionality.  I think we all agree that each of these wonderful creations should look, feel, and function the way its creator intended.  That is not to say that they are perfect and any modification to their design is bad.  I believe there is always room for improvement.

When I refer to “obscure materials”, I simply mean any materials that are not included in vanilla Banished.  In this way, Colonial Charter is much more “obscure” than any other mod included in MegaMod.  It just so happens that Colonial Charter introduced the concept of ambiguous materials in the form of Building Supplies, Homewares, and Fancy Homewares.  I prefer these materials as building requirements over requiring other more specific materials, such as Bricks and Roof Tiles, simply because of how well they can be used to integrate many other types of materials.  In creating such a comprehensive mod as MegaMod (and I do realize what a monumental task this must be), I feel that there is an opportunity for a level of integration between mods that could not be achieved by installing multitudes of individual mod.

In order to achieve such a level of integration, there must be some level of agreement among mod creators as to what constitutes a balanced building; a formula of sorts that can be used as a guide when designing and balancing a building.  These guidelines could be similar in form to the guidelines that Dungeons and Dragons 5e has for creating custom monsters or class features.

I outlined many concerns of balance in the original post, but there are likely flaws in those ideas or at least more things to consider.  This task is not as simple as conforming to Colonial Charter; there are several suggestions in the original post that, if followed, would alter Colonial Charter as much, if not more than, other mods.

My intent here is to encourage a constructive dialog that would result in an agreed-upon formula for designing a balanced building.  If such a task could be accomplished, then we can discuss applying that formula to MegaMod.

@SamuraiWindu I am not a modder, I am not a coder, I am a very happy gamer, and that's where my thoughts will come from, and the tone I hope to convey in the following.

 

Simply put - no.  Sorry, but I can't see any of the above working, or being at all healthy for the game, or the community.
I for one don't want to play in a cookie-cutter world, nor, do I want to play in a world where it becomes 'by the numbers', with balancing etc.

Many of us gamers play at different levels of intensity, some of like to build and explore, others like to starve and fight, fight, fight in the harsh hard elements, so, balance won't be suitable in this regard, or, at least a 'standardise balance', some of us pick and choose our buildings and game design because some are easier to access and build, some choose them because of their harder, less forgiving outputs.

There is often a conversation when a mod is published by the original author as to the 'numbers', the balance, the work flow, and many voices speak and are heard, and then the mod gets published.  Some players are happy, some are not, some of us will get over it and adapt.

Not to mention, in some cases different mods with different criteria will work with different maps.  Some maps won't have as much access to X resource, so not all buildings will be able to be built until a trader arrives, but, in other maps there will be an abundance of items.

The whole point of MM (in my mind) is to bring together an amazing amount of mods by extremely talented modders, to work with each other, but not to be 'the same as each other'. 

Here's the thing, I also don't want to be forced into using 1 set of building tools, I want to explore other building options, tiles, bricks, lighting, candles etc.  I don't want to load up my map and just always have to build the 'same ole same ole'.  

Sure, for some, it makes the game easier, you don't need to build 4 windmills before you find the one you need for the grain you have, but, then, where's the fun of exploration?

I use 1 mod that alters all the tailors so that all the tailors will use the same items (feathers & reeds in my water worlds), but, I certainly don't want ALL the building mods to have that "same same" value to it.

And as much as I love CC and certainly won't criticise it, why should all the modders work to the CC values, or the CC devs work to the other modders?  

A community should be diverse, and celebrated, and that's what MM does, and as players we either learn to adapt to the differences, or, simply, just don't use it.

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Whoa! How many things to read! :o

 

In principle, I agree with @Ketchup. It doesn't seem right to change the soul of the mod in the collection.

Anyway, in the real world things can be achieved in different ways, with different procedures and different waste of resources. Then Megamod is realistic in its own way.

 

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If I might interject ... the different variations make it interesting to me.  Those inconsistencies are fun to explore and suss out.

 

The sooner we figure everything out, the sooner we'll get bored with the game.

 

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Very well.  It seems there is little interest in discussing this topic further.  I will leave it alone.

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everyone plays diferent. each individual mod has to be balanced itself for productivity,trade value,sizes,pupose,etc. and as QUERY stated not everyone's ideas are agreed upon.some mods are good for game starts and the building material idea is better for later in the game.usually the firewood needs are adjusted better for the more advanced housing.part of the problem isn't the mods but the game itself. the bannies can not use all the various items that have been created. it would be better if happiness mattered more. and i do wish the furniture,candles,and silverwares could be used. there is so many trade goods.those problems many have tried to fix.

  DS,i did try modding with FS13. i still have files all over this computer. was building a super map that was a compilation of like 5 maps onto 1. it had buildings and decorations from like 10 maps or more.i never could get some of it figured out though. i had no luck at coding machinery. i was able to redesign the animal farms and add to them and added some crops. i thnk the map had like 10 animals and 12 or more crops. some day i will pick it back up and work on it more. modding gives me headahces and fits.thing is i never got to play much either,lol. it is so easy to make just a simple mistake in the coding and it can take forever to find those.

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