Incorporating MODS in TL2

AttackGorillaAttackGorilla Posts: 1,656
edited August 2010 in TL2 General Discussions
I know Runic is still working out how they want to incorporate MODDING into TL2, but I just want to voice my concern about this potentially breaking the multiplayer aspect of the game. I do not want to have the exact same mod files as someone else, or have to go searching for mod files, in order for me to play on a multiplayer game someone else started. When 80% of the multiplayer games are using some mod of some kind it will be next to impossible to find a compatable game that matches your mod foler.
I am sure Runic is aware of this hurdle, but I am just worried about it...
It think it would be one of the greatest things ever if they could get mods working in TL2 and I am all for it, I just hope it goes smoothly.

Anyone have any great ideas on how this might work well???

I see a need for an interface to startup prior to TL2 so you can see a listing of all the multiplayer games and if they are running mods, so you can acquire the mods prior to starting TL2. I would recommend you simply download the files from the host into a temporary directory automatically, though assigning them all unique IDs so there aren't conflicts without Runic hosting the mods themselves may be a challenge (and so you don't have t redownload every time).
Either this or we just hope everyone is really good at putting mods int manageable packages, but even then there wil be too many versions floating around.
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Comments

  • RnFRnF Posts: 944 ✭✭
    It will be interesting to see how this is handled. I think the best way to do this, is who ever creates a game, all of their mods are loaded and anyone who joins the game will experience the same mods since the server is being ran from the modded computer.

    I would guess that the peoples mods who are joining the game would have to be disabled, except for UI mods??

    Seems like a complicated mess lol.
  • CCCenturionCCCenturion Posts: 575
    edited August 2010
    Well, multiplayer in TL2 will be played over LAN, right? So presumably you will have to know who you are going to play with, and can coordinate your mods ahead of time.

    I think the easiest solution would be for people to download standardized mod packs, and play with others who use the same pack.

    I wouldn't be surprised if we see some sort of Guild or Clan system develop in the community where groups of people who like to play a particular way will put together mod packages that fit their style. Then they could add newly approved mods to their list at regular intervals and everyone would know when and where to download the latest update. That way if you want to set up a game with a friend or someone you met on the forums, instead of saying "I have these mods: Ultimate Magic Find, Ninja Class, Lightsabers,...", you could just say "I play with the Ragnarok mod pack", and people would know which ones you are using.
    Paladin Class: discussion thread, download page
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  • JerichJerich Posts: 1,665
    I would most like to see something like neverwinter nights 1. The ability of people to make persistant worlds that store a mod specific character. I am not sure if that is doable with their framework though.
  • wolfmanewolfmane Posts: 1,997
    WarcraftIII had the custom map scheme down pretty good. If you didn't have the map for the game you joined, it automatically downloaded it. I could see something like this working for T2, the only problem being that mods are not always compatible and possibly buggy as ****. They could create a classification system though and either divide out characters who've ever used mods and those that don't, similar to Diablo II or divide out the mod types. This would work for very benign map type mods and keep characters leveled with game mechanic mods seperate.

    I don't know, it's definitely a serious quandary and one I have some concern about. I'd prefer to play multiplayer without any mods ever. Maybe they could allow mods for SP, but disallow it for MP games. I just don't see a very likely way to sync or organize mods if you're jumping in and out of games with varying mod types running without hosing your character. I already have a tough time keeping my character versions straight when I change the mods I'm running on Torchlight.

    Maybe they neuter TrochED to only be a map/quest design mod, keeping game mechanic changes solely in the realm of sanctioned patches.
    sig2p.png
  • Maybe they neuter TrochED to only be a map/quest design mod, keeping game mechanic changes solely in the realm of sanctioned patches.

    UGH.
  • Maybe they neuter TrochED to only be a map/quest design mod, keeping game mechanic changes solely in the realm of sanctioned patches.

    UGH.

    Double ugh!
    Paladin Class: discussion thread, download page
    Shared Animations Library: discussion thread, download page
  • hawknhawkn Posts: 8,348
    I think a modified version of Torchleech may work. As long as Runic has a dedicated program to compare and allow you to download mods.

    Honestly though, the issue will be whether people are using gamebreaking mods that make everything boring...
    ...I most certainly am not the meanest person on these forums, I defer that position to hawkn. ~ AMB2010
    I7OBI.png
    Runic Games Fansite My Deviant
  • DushoDusho Posts: 988
    yep.. it looks like a tough challenge
    also note, that mods that are changing textures only (like HD mod from SSO) does not affect game mechanics and players should be able to play together even if one has the mod and other one doesn't - also it may be a bother to sync mods and wait for 130 MB of data to download
    another thing is versioning - one guys has NewUniques v1.03, other NewUniques v1.05 - what then, download the new v1.05 ? Then mod needs to know to have higher priority than already present v1.03 (and I'm not sure if there won't be ID clashes, cause normally you just replace older v1.03 files with v1.05)
    I'm afraid that at the end they would have to drop the 'mods in multiplayer' idea, cause it looks lots of troubles to solve.
  • OmnifasOmnifas Posts: 3,442 ✭✭✭
    Using Torchlight's current structure:

    %appdata\runic games\torchlight2\

    OnlineModProfiles folder:
    Basically mods.dats of other players that you download as you join games.

    Mods folder:
    The same as the one we have now with our single player mods.dat and the place our mods are located.

    Hostmods.dat:
    The mods.dat that we use if we host an online game.

    Obviously to make it smoother this time around they kinda need an first party mod manager.
    Maybe they neuter TrochED to only be a map/quest design mod, keeping game mechanic changes solely in the realm of sanctioned patches.

    UGH.

    Double ugh!

    Triple UGH!!!
  • AttackGorillaAttackGorilla Posts: 1,656
    Runic already said they want people to play modded classes and such, so I doubt this would work in a dumbed down version of Torched.
    As far as texture isolation, how would Runic be able to classify each file as critical or not? That would be an insane amount of work and when mods incorporate original files not in TL2 then how would it classify them?
    I thought it was LAN enabled, but that we would also be able to setup online games across the internet....
    I still think packs are messy. It worked in Neverwinter because there were so few mods and so few servers, but with TL2 there will be way to many mods to manage by going online and looking for the packs on your own. Sure it is doable, but what a pain.

    I was thinking that when you initiate a new game, TL2 should look at all the custom content you have running as TL1 does, but then it grabs all those folders and files and packages them up into a nice package when you initiate a new game. Then when someone joins it simply sends them that package. Sure a lot of times the packages will be like 50megs, which will ****, which is why there should be a runic control mod registry where you go online an acquire unique mod IDs to insert in your mod so everyone's computers can crosscheck each other when the sync up, then the computers would perform a checksum cross-reference check to make sure the files match and have not been altered. This puts a lot of burden on the mod developer, but I think that is better than putting the burden on the player....
  • Well, multiplayer in TL2 will be played over LAN, right? So presumably you will have to know who you are going to play with, and can coordinate your mods ahead of time.

    I think the easiest solution would be for people to download standardized mod packs, and play with others who use the same pack.

    I wouldn't be surprised if we see some sort of Guild or Clan system develop in the community where groups of people who like to play a particular way will put together mod packages that fit their style. Then they could add newly approved mods to their list at regular intervals and everyone would know when and where to download the latest update. That way if you want to set up a game with a friend or someone you met on the forums, instead of saying "I have these mods: Ultimate Magic Find, Ninja Class, Lightsabers,...", you could just say "I play with the Ragnarok mod pack", and people would know which ones you are using.


    So nobody likes my mod pack idea? Really? I'm not suggesting it as the only solution, but I definitely think it's one that would work. Deciding what mods to include in a mod pack would be the tricky part, but once that's been settled, people can just plug and play.
    Paladin Class: discussion thread, download page
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  • AttackGorillaAttackGorilla Posts: 1,656
    Modding in TL is too dynamic in my opinion ti simply same mods packs are the solution. New mod packs would be released every 1-2weeks as more content is released, then you kind of bypass the ease of you you would of had with mod packs.
    Yes, technically it could work, but I think/hope Runic will do better than that, rather than using a clunky quick solution from 10 years ago... At least with a semi-Leech.
  • wolfmanewolfmane Posts: 1,997
    Here's an example of the issue I'm trying to get at. So you download a gem mod. Great, changes around all your gems and adds in new ones. You level for a while like that outfitting gear and such. Then you get a call from a friend to join his game, only he's not running the same gem mod. He's also leveled his character, but with a different version of a gem mod. So now who takes priority? Do you download his gem mod, does he download yours or do you download both? Now you have to both play with different types of gems falling and sorting through those, which could feel intrusive to the style of game you wanted to play.

    Then you get a call from another friend who runs vanilla. You jump over to his game. Who takes priority now? Does he download your mod or are your mods disabled and how will your gems react? Will they stay (in which case he'd have to download your mod) and possibly upset gameplay balance or do your gems get nulled out or converted to vanilla (if they get converted to vanilla, who does the translation work, the modder or runic)?
    Runic already said they want people to play modded classes and such, so I doubt this would work in a dumbed down version of Torched.

    I also want a million bucks and a Ferrari (not really) but that's not realistic. There are always trade offs to be made. I know your feelings on my comment about nerfing TorchED, of which I'm there with you but tbh that kind of utility under the light of multiplayer is basically a hacking/dupe utility. The implications of it reaching in and unbalancing the game between players are severe and far reaching.

    There were some good ideas suggested over on the MMO forums about a mod community that has to submit and go through an evaluation by Runic then labelled as 'safe' or 'official'. I could see that happening with classes and such but that also leaves Runic the burden of a lot of work. It also creates a bottleneck. The mod pack is also pretty decent, but has the same issues with leaving Runic doing the legwork, which I guess is their decision that we'll just have to wait to see what they decide.
    sig2p.png
  • AttackGorillaAttackGorilla Posts: 1,656
    wolfmane, you bring up an excellent point. Not only would those gem version conflicts exist, but what about missing mod files. Say you acquire a staff from a mod then join an unmodded game. Then what happens to the staff??? is it gone forever?
  • wolfmane wrote:
    I also want a million bucks and a Ferrari (not really) but that's not realistic. There are always trade offs to be made. I know your feelings on my comment about nerfing TorchED, of which I'm there with you but tbh that kind of utility under the light of multiplayer is basically a hacking/dupe utility. The implications of it reaching in and unbalancing the game between players are severe and far reaching.

    I see your point, and I agree with you, but I'm taking the other side of that tradeoff. You want to sacrifice modding for the sake of more multiplayer compatibility, but I would rather see more mods at the expense of more universal multiplayer settings. Why? Two reasons: first of all, I'm a modder and I'm married with kids, so not many of my friends play Torchlight. So there's the selfish reason out of the way.

    The other reason (and I think the more relevant one) is that I believe Runic's ultimate goal isn't TL2, it's TLMMO. Or TLO, for short. My personal suspicion is that Runic wants to encourage modding so that they can look for ideas to implement in the MMO. That's right, I'm saying that we modders are just a bunch of cheap (free) labor for them to save money on development costs. And I totally don't care at all. If I come up with a cool mod that makes its way into the MMO in some shape or form, then that's all the repayment I could ask for.

    It's a fantastic business model. Outsource a huge portion of your R&D to the community (not just for cheap, but for free), take care of the core game development on your own, and then release an MMO with a readymade fan base waiting to play, and charge them to buy virtual items. Build the game for cheap, then literally sell people digital 1's and 0's. If I'm right, then Runic will want to give modders as much flexibility as possible in TL2, and that means allowing any type of mod to be implemented in the game.

    wolfmane, you bring up an excellent point. Not only would those gem version conflicts exist, but what about missing mod files. Say you acquire a staff from a mod then join an unmodded game. Then what happens to the staff??? is it gone forever?

    I think that an application like Torchleech could be useful here; have it built into the game and screen each person's mod folder for conflicts before they start a multiplayer game. If conflicts are found, then they'll have to work out who needs to download or deactivate what in order for the game to proceed.
    Paladin Class: discussion thread, download page
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  • DushoDusho Posts: 988
    I can see cheap solution like this:
    - player handles all the mods himself
    - host's player TL2 scans mods and produces hash code (together with names and versions of mods) for each mod
    - players that want to join have to have matching hash codes for mods (all hashes from host must be present - they have to overlap)
    - if there is no match, player joining is informed about mod mismatch (by name + version) and is able to join only when he installs mods that host have

    also CCCenturion:
    I think you're overestimating importance of mods for Runic. I don't see them ever using ideas introduced by community into MMO. Mods are for players only, to expand/improve gameplay, but it's not 'cheap (free) labor for them to save money on development costs'. I bet there are still people in Runic (maybe old Diablo clan) that doesn't like to have players fiddling with their data and ideas.
  • Dusho wrote:
    I think you're overestimating importance of mods for Runic. I don't see them ever using ideas introduced by community into MMO. Mods are for players only, to expand/improve gameplay, but it's not 'cheap (free) labor for them to save money on development costs'. I bet there are still people in Runic (maybe old Diablo clan) that doesn't like to have players fiddling with their data and ideas.

    Yeah, I may have overstated my case a little bit ;) ... anyway, I don't share mods with the community because I think I'll end up in the MMO (like I'm really going to be able to rival the guys who created Diablo :roll: ), I do it because it's the best way to find other people to help me with the project I'm working on. It's all just for fun.

    But the main point I'm trying to make is that if people can make mods, then they should be able to play them with their friends. I proposed the mod packs idea because at a bare minimum, that's one simple way to give people the resources they need to play together. But hopefully we'll see a more elegant solution. I think Torchleech is a great way to start.
    Paladin Class: discussion thread, download page
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  • JerichJerich Posts: 1,665
    Instead of Peer to Peer, wouldn't it make sense for the Torchlight multiplayer to be Client / Server where the server stores the character and enables mods? That way, mods could be stored / updated on servers and checked /downloaded whenever a player connects to the server. That way someone could set up their own torchlight server and have people play it with them.

    Possible features of a Client / Server system
    • Server stored characters files (helps protect the community)
    • Server wide moderator / DM tools (helps protect community)
    • Server wide mod mix (Makes each community unique)
    • Server wide chat / message board features (helps build community)
    • Server wide auction house (for fun)
    • Allow a server either run multiple games of torchlight at once or run a persistant overworld with monster spawning and and dynamic dungeon instances

    hmm, maybe I should make a post about this. What do you think? Would it be too late for Runic to add this feature?
  • wolfmanewolfmane Posts: 1,997
    I agree with you Jerich, I think the assumption at this point though is that it won't be a client/server based character database system. That would be another good question to any Runic staff.
    sig2p.png
  • WebbstreWebbstre Posts: 7,231 ✭✭✭
    Some of these questions and info about the mods were answered in today's Shotgun podcast. viewtopic.php?f=30&t=14198
    Administrator/Former Owner of Runic Games Fansite. Be sure to visit RGF for all your Torchlight series needs![/color] Don't forget to check out ModDrop as a one stop solution for installing and sharing mods easily!
  • TorchLeechTorchLeech Posts: 429
    Built-in mod synchronisation as pre-download while joining a game (like custom maps in RTS -> WC3, SC2) or as a background stream (like Guildwars or upcoming WoW:Cataclysm). Best way today: Build-in **** tracking system to share same packages as fast as possible. It would be a shame to pull out TL2 without any support for mod sync between the players - even if a futher version of TorchLeech could be capable to sync mods.
    TorchLeech - a free mod manager for Torchlight. --- powered by Runic Games Fansite.
  • HeroHero Posts: 226
    Mods definitely add a 'cheating' aspect to this... But having server side characters would help but I don't think this will happen. I don't see what the big deal is if someone wants to host their game with x, y, z mods and when you join your client selects those 3 out of the mods you have and you're all set. I do think we will lose any chance of people who go "modless" even to start with it's going to be hard to find people playing the original... People are going to find something they don't like, mod it out as their playing through and by the endgame it's not even the original game anymore. It's going to happen anyway, just a matter of how much Runic can stop this by giving us what we want out of the game without the mods.
  • hawknhawkn Posts: 8,348
    The only problem I see with mods is that enabling and disabling mods may be a hassle, and that there will be mods that will almost become required to join any game, whether you actually want to use it or not.

    Also, I really don't mind hackers, as long as there is a black list, like Travis mentioned.
    ...I most certainly am not the meanest person on these forums, I defer that position to hawkn. ~ AMB2010
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    Runic Games Fansite My Deviant
  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    Simply put, they need to limit the modding programs abillities. Even then there's problems. Hmm i keep typing out sentences then deleting them upon the realization that all my solutions to this problem are way to complicated and annoying. I guess you simply have to have a mod free server, and a mod-permitted server. Like how diablo 2 had open no closed
    cuA6w.png
    I put the "DOOM" in "****."
  • ThndrShk2kThndrShk2k Posts: 144
    Just wanted to chime in my two cents about this issue:

    The most sensable solution is to have a local mod manager inside the game in which enables mods you have installed per character. Depending on what the mod edits, allowing or restricting moving characters through mods. This way you can import SP characters to MP games, and vice versa.

    To handle all of the mods, depending on how they're going to be handled (folders or a package system similar to valve's VPK) along with a large game lobby to preview what games other people are playing online, there should at least be a dynamic central mod database with approved mods, but having any other mod be downloaded directly from the host of the game (With a warning listing what mods, and text from an info file describing the mod). Although downloading from a host should also be an option they can turn off if they are limited on uploading amounts, but mod info texts should include a URL to a download site if needed.

    With a Runic approved ModDB, they can also prevent people from automatically downloading any risque mods when they try to join a random game, as they can just have a filter option that doesn't show the games.


    Basically in the end, a central server that hosts chatrooms, mods, and account stuff, and lists games you can join hosted by players. Although they could do server hosting of games, but they're a small company and they might not be able to afford that many servers.
    TL2 Dwarven Class Mod Discussion
    Current Goal: Milestone 1 - Model Insertion
    Status: Looking for Modelers and Animators.
  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    Well we won't know till the next convention but since they are the diablo 2 team there very well might be 2 seperate servers to solve this.
    cuA6w.png
    I put the "DOOM" in "****."
  • WebbstreWebbstre Posts: 7,231 ✭✭✭
    From what we've heard so far there will be a way to tell what mods someone is using before joining the game. Also, we know they won't host mods on their own servers for legal reasons - a policy they've had since Torchlight 1. Additionally, we know there will be server-hosted characters, so you can play from anywhere, but they won't be cheat-free because of the mods.
    Administrator/Former Owner of Runic Games Fansite. Be sure to visit RGF for all your Torchlight series needs![/color] Don't forget to check out ModDrop as a one stop solution for installing and sharing mods easily!
  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    well the i guess we will just all have to mod, and the someone can come up with an insane lvl 999 boss mod which is hard even with super enchanted lvl 999 modded items!
    cuA6w.png
    I put the "DOOM" in "****."
  • DushoDusho Posts: 988
    or just mods need to be tagged better - like 'balance braking mod', 'cheat mod', 'original balance', ...
    I'm sure community sites can handle that, and it will definitely useful for players.
  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    Well that's another thing. If someone hosts with a mod will you need their mod to play or will the server itself incorporate the mod settings? If so then even if someone is playing a cheat mod, someone could join the game, benefit from the mod, and then go to normal servers without being tagged as a mod abuser. There are so many issues with modding+multiplayer
    cuA6w.png
    I put the "DOOM" in "****."
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