August 23, 2016
Here are a few, first-impression, points I had. (I apologize if they have already been addressed/suggested - be warned, some of them may be harsh/pedantic.)
Remove the minimap - I feel like it breaks immersion and makes the atlas mod (which looks wonderful) redundant. Minimap is a client-side mod, so players who really want it can go and install it themselves, however I feel like new players should be discouraged from doing so and as such it should be removed from the base pack.
Can we please talk about the GUI - I understand that this may be out of your control, but to put it bluntly I find all of the little HUD additions... ugly. If this extra information is going to be displayed to the player - I feel like it needs to be done so in a more aesthetically pleasing way.
Starting items - (This is probably a non-issue and something that you were going to tackle anyway - close to release.) I feel like everything except for the better beginnings gear and the food/drink is not needed - I like the idea of players who wish to become a cartographer (with the atlas) or a pet owner (that pet tracker) to do so of their own accord. I know mod-creators like to autospawn guides for new players on their mods (open blocks) - but I personally don't appreciate this and always throw them away.
Unique Artifacts - Seems like a great mod!... but is there a reason it is in this pack? It seems a bit magical.
Reliquary - Similar to above, some of the items don't seem a bit out of place, but I am a newcomer, so might have misinterpreted the theme of the pack ;).
Limiting Items - I have no idea how you are doing it at the moment, but do you plan on banning certain items? For instance, the speedboat from mariculture looks like it might be unfitting. (the rest of the mod is great though!)
Clothing Craft - I really like this idea, it would be cool to see if you can find more mods like this - that add periodic clothing to the pack!
Class system - The problem you're going to have is that people aren't going to want to trade for certain commodities like stone or food when they could easily make it themselves.
Have you thought of including classes that people must choose. I played on Medieval Craft (by the author of Industrial Craft) and players had to choose 1 major skill path and 2 minor skill paths (trader, blacksmith, hunter, ect...). It forces people to be unable to be a 'jack of all trades' and encourages player-interactions and trading.
For example, you could have it so food crafted by a 'Chef' if 50% better (or some other positive buff) and food by anyone else has a debuff, like a chance to give an illness, this might encourage people to trade for food.
You don't want to restrict players too much, but if you don't include something to discourage players from collecting their own food/materials - they wont feel the need to trade for it.
All I have for now!
February 10, 2016
Thanks for the feedback. First of all, I apologize for the lack of some of this information and it not being up front, but I guess that's the nature of beta.
Minimap - This is a testing tool only. I slapped it on just to make it easier for people to locate stuff in the world. I plan on removing this and forcing the use of Antique Atlas on the final release.
GUI - Yep. It's a mess. That section with the Day/Biome etc? Debugging. Wont be there for release. The coins? I'll pass this to the Tradecraft dev. The thirst and temp? Yea, Im gonna actually go into the enviromine.jar itself and modify the gui graphics and find an ideal place for them. With the minimap gone, there will be more real estate on the screen as well, so I may place something there. In fact, I want the GUI to be as minimal and immersive as possible, but also informative. Hmm....
Starting items - Inventory pets! Ok, that mod I placed in the pack just to see what it does. But, after looking into it, it doesn't fit the scope of the modpack, so it's getting yanked next update.
As for the rest of the starting kit, here's the plan: Players will start with a *basic* set of survival items. Like a couple loafs of bread, flint and steel, couple of torches, campfire... idk, stuff to make surviving their first night easier. Probably also a basic flint hatchet. Players will also start in a city and with a handful of coins. They will be able to interact with an NPC that sells some kits, like a starter blacksmith kit, starter farmer kit, etc. Still deciding on this part and how to execute it, but I want players to immediately make their first trade pack and set out to deliver it. The goal here is to get players *away* from the city and familiar with the trading system.
Artifacts/Reliquary - Actually, these two mods, along with Falling Meteors, will be an integral part of exploration. Idea here is this. Players may want to explore the world rather than, say, mining, fishing or tailoring. They could sell secrets to other players, like safe routes and maps, or find treasure to sell to other players. I'm going a step further and jumping ahead here by taking full control of and overhauling world exploration and dungeoneering by also incorporating trade into it.
Here's some more details on it: https://forum.feed-the-beast.com/threads/tradewinds-beta-0-0-24-a-trading-based-modpack.90894/page-4#post-1688123
Limiting Items - I haven't dug into Mariculture yet, but for items like that, I first check configs. If I can switch it off, then that's how. If not, then Minetweaker to remove the recipe (if possible). If that still doesn't work, then for the server... well, I'll have to use a plugin to handle it.
Class System - I've thought about this but don't have a perfect solution to it yet. The closest I have come is perhaps incorporating CustomNPC factions into it somehow. For example, one approach is to sell core components for certain stages of a 'profession' (like flux for blacksmiths or nails for carpenters) via NPCs, and delivering trade packs based on those professions grant profession-specific reputation, which unlocks more components. But, this may not work for every situation nor may be ideal - like, what is a core component that I could sell exclusively from NPCs that wouldn't also screw up or confuse something else a player is doing? (Nails are used for a lot of things for example)
Like you said, I don't want the system to be too restrictive, but also not too loose. Perhaps we can heavily suggest specializing in one or two professions just by how we streamline and configure recipes and progression which will be enough to 'speak to the player' that, hey, maybe doing fishing AND blacksmithing AND tailoring AND exploring isn't the best use of your time, and you should focus on fewer things. Hmm... it's kind of like skills in Runescape. Some people enjoy doing a little bit of everything but take longer to progress over all, and some people like to focus on a single skill but, because they ignored other skills, they have to find players to trade with.
I also want to be careful about adding mods that implement restrictive class systems, mainly due to that they may interfere with a couple of core mods like MineFantasyII - but, Im willing to try things out.
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