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Project 'Big E': 6/2/2022 11:40:19


Just_A_Dutchman_ 
Level 59
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Warzone mods are amazing, there is no other word for it. They add helpful features, modify game mechanics or even adds them. But still a big part of the community have never touched them...

Even if players start using them, they most of the time are unaware of what the mods actually do and how they work. Players mostly don't even try to understand how they work, try them out and quit them forever due to the 'strange, mysterious' things happening they don't understand.

Now I must state that most mods are not well documented enough. The mod descriptions tells you a lot, but there are always a lot of black spots that are not covered. That is why I've started working on Project 'Big E'

Project 'Big E' consists out of 3 parts:

  • A google document, slowly getting filled with manuals for every individual, public mod
  • A mod, Essentials, that will be also filled with the same manuals as the google document but with a bit of delay (I can't do all in once lol)
  • The official Warzone wiki, that also will slowly updated with the same manuals

I want to point out that the Essentials mod is already public and there is absolute no excuse to not use it, since it only allows players to easily read and learn about the mods.


Why creating a forum post about this?

First off, I want to raise more awereness for this project. Not to boost my own ego, but to help the modded community grow by giving new and experienced players a better way to play and learn mods.

Second, I do all of this in my free time and don't get paid for it. I really don't care about it and quite enjoy making these manuals. But I'm a movitation driven person, if I don't get the feeling this project is welcomed by the community I won't make much manuals :p

third, this is now a general place where I and you can leave all kinds of useful stuff. Updates, problems, questions, useful links, etc.

Edited 6/4/2022 08:51:56
Project 'Big E': 6/2/2022 13:58:25

Dazda
Level 54
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Go for it!
Project 'Big E': 6/2/2022 17:39:25

killshot
Level 55
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Yes, Half the time I have no clue how the mods work and just hope someone explains it in the chat. this would be super helpful.
Project 'Big E': 6/2/2022 23:47:16

Kakoo 
Level 62
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It’s a great idea! I have actually slowly been working through the Manuel when I get a chance. I’m about 1/10 of the way through. It’s fascinating

Maybe put a link to the document in the first post?

Edited 6/2/2022 23:47:45
Project 'Big E': 6/4/2022 08:47:47


Just_A_Dutchman_ 
Level 59
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I can deliver the manuals for the mods but spreading the knowledge of them is something where y'all can help me out with. You don't need to advertise this project, but you at least should message the game creator if he didn't include the Essentials mod into his modded game.

I you want to help me advertise this project you can share this project thread in modded games, if players have questions or problems they can ask / state them here in this thread. I'll try to answer / fix them all.
Project 'Big E': 6/4/2022 08:48:22


Just_A_Dutchman_ 
Level 59
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@Kakoo, I'll add the link to the document soon, im mobile now and don't have it here xD
Project 'Big E': 6/4/2022 08:49:20


Just_A_Dutchman_ 
Level 59
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Also, there will be an update of the Essentials mod soon, which will take the total amount of manuals to 25!
Project 'Big E': 6/13/2022 23:29:23


Just_A_Dutchman_ 
Level 59
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it's been a while since I've worked on this project, uni and a new mod has brought me distracted enough to kinda forget about it xD. i don't know how productive I'll be in the next summer period, but I do want to finish the manuals for every promoted and standard mod
Project 'Big E': 6/23/2022 05:19:59


burner1 
Level 56
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> Warzone mods are amazing, there is no other word for it. They add helpful features, modify game mechanics or even adds them. But still a big part of the community have never touched them...

The reason why the community has never touched them is because it costs money to use them. To me this is like charging people to install 3rd party addons in Garrysmod, and I think it hurts the longevity of the community.

While I applaud the effort in updating and organizing documentation, the reality is this:

Its a feature I've never had as a non-member, so before I knew of it, I did not know what I missing out on.

Once I learned about it, I was excited and considered buying membership for it, until I remembered that the majority of players do not have membership, and thus would be confused in any games I hosted with mods.

Up until that point, I considered buying membership, until I learned that I had to literally pay (with gold) to allow people to join my games that use mods. That's when I realized that I'd never actually benefit from buying a membership, despite my former interest.

It's a broken system that locks out the players who should be seeing it up close to sell them on a long term time commitment.

FIzzer had it right with having cosmetics cost money, but I think locking out features that so many players *want* to use in games with other players serves no purpose. A step in the right direction would be making membership unlock @ a certain level and have it revoked @ certain boot levels if you want to make it exclusive to the players that are spending the most time on the platform.
Project 'Big E': 6/23/2022 07:37:14


Just_A_Dutchman_ 
Level 59
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I partially agree with you @burner1, but you've got to know why mods are implemented this way rather than completely free. Fizzer has good reasons for this.

The first reason why mods are behind the membership paywall is this:
modded games are significantly more CPU-intensive for the Warzone server to run than non-modded games

This is taken straight from the official Warzone wiki page for Mods. If every player was able to create modded games than it would be possible to occur that the servers are not able to handle it anymore.

Up until that point, I considered buying membership, until I learned that I had to literally pay (with gold) to allow people to join my games that use mods. That's when I realized that I'd never actually benefit from buying a membership, despite my former interest.

Fizzer still didn't want to have unlimited modded games running on the servers and so implemented a fee for non-members to join modded games. But he did realize that a lot of players would be discouraged from making modded games, so once per week this fee does not apply. I had the same concerns about this, I was a really productive game creator back in the days, but I've almost never created a public game with non-members by paying the fee. In reality, you hardly ever create more than 1 modded game per week and if you do than the games are likely not 40 player games but way smaller.

You didn't point out that only members can create mods. This has a good reason too.
You see, Mods are great for enhancing the normal gameplay but can be broken. If anyone would be able to create Mods they can easily rig it by giving themselves unfair advantages, or create public mods that crash a lot. Fizzer has to approve every mod before it is made public but he's not going through the full source code to see which issues might arise, this would take just to much time and has a lot of other issues to like how mod creators rarely supply good comments in their code of what it does etc.

A step in the right direction would be making membership unlock @ a certain level

Now this is something I've never thought of and you can suggest it to Fizzer, its a great idea! I would say that instead of unlocking the whole membership I think only parts of it should unlock (and probably a bit less than the membership, otherwise the whole point of it is gone). I like the idea of players being able to create modded games when they have level 55+, with something like every 2 weeks for free and otherwise with the same fee as members.

All and all, I do agree that mods being behind a small paywall does hurt them, but there are some really good reasons for this. I don't think all of this is ever made fully public, but I do really like the idea of players unlocking mods at a high level.
Project 'Big E': 6/23/2022 14:43:32

Kakoo 
Level 62
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I would say at level 60 instead of level 55 it would unlock some mod features but otherwise I absolutely agree Dutchman. Having one free modded game every 2-3 weeks for those dedicated enough to rise to level 60 would be awesome.
Project 'Big E': 6/23/2022 16:31:33


burner1 
Level 56
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@Dutch

> Fizzer has good reasons for this.

I'm familiar with their reasons, and while I understand the added cost, I would argue that most mods should not be that resource intensive. Plus, even if it was made available to all players or to certain players @ a certain level, the modded games still would not be even close to a majority of the games being played. Whether its offloading the mod loading/script running to the user end or finding a balance/drawing a line between resource intensive mods and not so intensive mods, the following remains true:

(1) The majority of players are totally unaware that the mods exist

(2) The majority of players are unlikely to introduce new players to mods when it costs gold, especially when selling users on new game types is already an uphill battle.

> Fizzer still didn't want to have unlimited modded games running on the servers and so implemented a fee for non-members to join modded games. But he did realize that a lot of players would be discouraged from making modded games, so once per week this fee does not apply. I had the same concerns about this, I was a really productive game creator back in the days, but I've almost never created a public game with non-members by paying the fee. In reality, you hardly ever create more than 1 modded game per week and if you do than the games are likely not 40 player games but way smaller.

While I understand the rationale, I can't help but feel that this is an example of the modding element of Warzone being squandered. I personally think that modding *is* where new, long term communities are born out of as we've seen in Minecraft, Terraria, Garrysmod, Portal, Skyrim...the list of old games that still hold a huge audience goes on.

To me, its a huge missed opportunity.


> You didn't point out that only members can create mods. This has a good reason too.

As an aside: I didn't explicitly state this as I felt it was clearly implied.

> You see, Mods are great for enhancing the normal gameplay but can be broken. If anyone would be able to create Mods they can easily rig it by giving themselves unfair advantages, or create public mods that crash a lot.

That means the modding workflow/codebase/API is broken. It needs to be optimized so that its not such a resource hog/compute hog and it needs to be sandboxed in such a way that, at the very least, Warzone cannot crash. If that's too overwhelming, all you'd have to do is open the testing of mods to the community and have some sort of rank system that can help automate testing, if you're so inclined.

> Fizzer has to approve every mod before it is made public but he's not going through the full source code to see which issues might arise, this would take just to much time and has a lot of other issues to like how mod creators rarely supply good comments in their code of what it does etc.

Sandbox the environment so that's its 100% harmless, add fallbacks that flip a situation that would crash a game into a situation that auto-resets to set default parameters that are known to work. And then push that entire workload of testing mods to the community...allow it to be theirs in both the development, testing, and ranking of mods, not unlike any of the other aforementioned games.

If there are mods that cannot be built within a sandboxed environment and require elevated privileges, then just create an email address for users to request elevated privileges and go from there. It's not like there's a huge clamoring crowd of people building mods for Warzone, I think thats something that would scale just fine, but then again, this whole section is addressing symptoms of a problem rather than the problem itself: insulating the user from accidentally breaking the game.

> Now this is something I've never thought of and you can suggest it to Fizzer, its a great idea! I would say that instead of unlocking the whole membership I think only parts of it should unlock

In the context of this message's elaboration, the access unlock @ a certain level is just a rudimentary trust/rep system, with the idea being that if a user wanted to troll using mods, they'd have to go through a considerable amount of effort just to gain access to the opportunity.

The caveat here is that players of any level would need to have the ability to join these games w/o issue. Personally, I hate the idea that matchmaking settings are locked behind level unlocks, but I know better than to suggest such a huge overhaul to the game's reward system.

> (and probably a bit less than the membership, otherwise the whole point of it is gone).

If the point of membership is to have access to mods, then there's been a huge failure in the messaging. To me, membership offers no additional useful abilities outside of using features that will only be consistently useful if all players are familiar/have access to them, which is not the case.

Revenue should probably come from cosmetics, and there's a lot that can be added on that front. Thats just my 2 cents though.

> I like the idea of players being able to create modded games when they have level 55+, with something like every 2 weeks for free and otherwise with the same fee as members.


Why level 55? Make it level 15 or even possibly lower. My perspective is that you want to drive as many players to the mods as possible because thats where individuals can make the game their own. If that wasn't a priority for Warzone, then I don't think we'd have all the parameters available to us when creating a match.

> All and all, I do agree that mods being behind a small paywall does hurt them

It's not really a small paywall so much that it is a paywall. I haven't purchased a membership because there's really no point (as mentioned in my first reply). You have to gain the trust of the user if you want them to spend money. What you want them to trust is that the investment is worth it for the added entertainment value you'll get out of the game. But that isn't what's happening today. What's happening today is confusion as to the point of the membership. My thought process when I first saw the membership page after joining Warzone a few months ago was "I'm not sure what any of this shit means, but its not stopping me from joining games and figuring out how to play, so I guess I don't need it".


> but there are some really good reasons for this.

I disagree that they are good reasons. I think they are 'good enough' reasons, but the reasons outline seem to be rooted in a codebase that is too flexible and a lack of cohesive messaging surrounding the benefits of membership.

And I'm not trying to argue from the esoteric perspective here-- I think my suggestions are the optimal business decision as well. I'm sure Warzone generates a pretty penny in revenue right now. You may lose 15% of your revenue by removing the paywall for so many features, but if you combine removing the paywall + a more cohesive/explanatory way of showing users what the Warzone engine can do, I think you'd see a huge jump in long term players that would offset that 15%. Hypothetical financials aside, theres this huge expansive space that Warzone occupies, but so much of it is shrouded in mystery or hidden behind a paywall and it ultimately seems like a wasted effort.

Anyways, thanks for taking the time to reply, sorry for bombing you with another wall of text, I'd be lying if I said this wasn't something I think about everytime I play!
Project 'Big E': 6/23/2022 19:45:21


Just_A_Dutchman_ 
Level 59
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I'm enjoying some social time right now, but I'll answer your message and close the argument then. this is something we both have different opinions on and it doesn't hurt to have these kind of conversations, but we shouldn't turn this into a massive back and forth between our opinions
Project 'Big E': 6/25/2022 09:27:13


Just_A_Dutchman_ 
Level 59
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first of all, i do want to state that I'm not at all against any changes in regards with the way mods are available these days. i just want to defend what I think what Fizzers reasons are and state my opinion about it.

I would argue that most mods should not be that resource intensive

True, there are some mods that are really small and not resource intensive, but you still have to think about the worst case scenario. if suddenly mods go booming and a lot of games start using them, the servers must be able to handle it all.

The most important fact about the servers is that as far as I know no information has ever been made public by Fizzer. not where they are, how good they are, etc. This means we can only speculate about how resource intensive mods are for the servers. I don't know this for sure, but I believe the Lua scripts (the mod language) has to be translated to the language Warzone uses which is never a good resource routine.

(1) The majority of the players are totally unaware that the mods exist

I can't and won't deny this. I do want to raise the awareness for mods but there are other ways than making mods available for everyone.

(2) the majority of players are unlikely to introduce new players to mods of when they cost gold.

Yes and no. This really depends on how many games you create every week. As stated before, every week you get a free game, no fee for any player which is more than enough for even the more averaged game creator. The biggest reason for players spending gold on their fee is re-hosting games due to mistakes they made in their template / settings, which can be easily avoided by testing the template / settings in singleplayer.
About the new players not being interested enough in new game types, this is by far most of all due to the player themselves.

I can't help but feel that this is an example of the modding element of Warzone being squandered.

I do understand you, but want to point out that Fizzer already has made some changes / statements regarding mods on Warzone. He has lowered the fee already for non-members players from 5 to 2 gold for example. He also stated once 'that mods are most likely the only way for adding new features and settings to Warzone classic' in one of his Ask Fizzer Anything livestream.

That means that the modding workflow/codebase/API is broken. It needs to be optimized so that it's not such a resource hog / computer hog and it needs to be sandboxed in such a way that, at the very least, Warzone cannot crash

Well, there's no need for that and to late. Changing anything can break at ease 20 mods, if not more. It is also already pretty much optimized.
This is indeed want you ideally want, but in practice this has almost never been accomplished with software. Also games like Minecraft also have the same method really, you can crash it with mods, just like here in Warzone.

Don't get me wrong, but this API has been here for years and revamping it will not be worth it. This would mean that every mod creator has to remake their mods or they would disappear from Warzone and seeing how 70% of the mods are made by (almost completely) inactive players this will not happen.

One last thing I want to point out on this topic is about the work being done on it. I've had at least 30 different mail conversations with Fizzer about bugs, unexpected behavior, missing features, etc. Fizzer is not at all abandoning the mod API.

allow it to be theirs in both the developing, testing and ranking of mods

Development and testing is already in the hands of the community and the modded community is simply not big enough to allow them to rank / approve the mods themselves. I do agree that this part can be shifted to the community once it's big enough and it takes to much time for Fizzer himself to handle this

just create a email address for users to request elevated privileges and go from there

This will most likely never ever happen. Warzone is a game where everyone is equal, member or non-member and is definitely not going to give away privileges to players and exclude other players from them. I'll talk about the membership later

if the point of memberships is to get access to mods, then there has been a huge failure in the messaging

Don't blame it directly on the messaging, the wiki tells you everything you need to know. The main function of memberships is to be able to play ad-free by supporting the game with money directly instead of getting adds. Besides that members get access to a few other features included (and the biggest) the ability to include mods into their games. The main reason for memberships is thus supporting the game directly in exchange for some features.

why level 55?

There are a lot of reasons why you wouldn't want level 15 players creating games with mods. One of them being that a player should first have played with mods and understand how they work before they actually start creating a games with them. One other reason is players at a higher level than 50 are mostly experienced classic Warzone players and are more likely to play better with mods than players that are only playing warzone for a month. The biggest reason still being that just like with custom scenarios mods can give unfair advantages, especially for experienced modded players. Since I've started making mods I've learned a lot about how they work and found a lot of exploits / methods / strategies where I've got a huge advantage out of. One of the reasons for this Big E project is to share these with the community, being alone at the top isnt fun :p
but really, i can fairly simple turn a 'normal' mod to function exactly how I want to
Project 'Big E': 6/25/2022 09:32:17


Just_A_Dutchman_ 
Level 59
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i now state this argument as closed since we'll just likely start saying the same things over and over from now on, not that I don't want @burner1 to reply on it.

this conversation was really helpful tho, and i hope you see it too @burner1. I'm going to chat with Fizzer about his opinions about the ability to include mods for non-members at some level and really hope he sees too that the modded community really could use a boost :)
Project 'Big E': 6/25/2022 09:36:29


Samek ● 
Level 57
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Thank you for all the work you do for the WZ and Modding Community! <3
Project 'Big E': 6/25/2022 21:04:56


Graaf Reinoud I 
Level 56
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The modded community will never be big if it is hidden behind membership and payment wall and as long as it has still many issue to solve.

I started and played several modded games:
Some mods are great, especially the trusted ones for changing the gameplay (diplomacy mods)
But I also tried mods which have bugs (late airlifts, taking turns), or mods which are really unpractical to use (custom card package), or mods which are completely unpredictable (swap territories mods) also many mods are not reliable (I don't know when a mod is reliable?) or only possible specific settings (commerce, multiattack)

I think the modds should be better tested not only technical but also playable, like it is for the map making community.

Conclusion for myself is that I'll only create games with trusted mods at most once a week to avoid payment and not to chose for not trusted mods because of the issues descriped above

Meanwhile I suggest to every mod maker to improve your mods, also for other settings.
Project 'Big E': 6/25/2022 21:40:11


JK_3 
Level 62
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Some mods are great, especially the trusted ones for changing the gameplay (diplomacy mods)
But I also tried mods which have bugs (late airlifts, taking turns), or mods which are really unpractical to use (custom card package), or mods which are completely unpredictable (swap territories mods) also many mods are not reliable (I don't know when a mod is reliable?)

WZ mods cant really be tested, cause its near impossible to find the players and time to do so.

Making modded games with open seats is expensive, so not feasible for testing. As a result of that, mod test games become member only. And once a mod is stable enough to be playable, it becomes an Experimental mod, where its up to the community to start using it and test. When the community has played enough test games, it becomes a Standard mod, and then it might get promoted after that.

If the community isn't playing modded games, they aren't tested. So to make better mods, mods need to be used a lot more.

only possible specific settings (commerce, multiattack). Meanwhile I suggest to every mod maker to improve your mods, also for other settings.

The problem is that some things in WZ are simply only possible with specific settings. It's then up to the mod maker to decide if they simply deactivate the mod if the required settings are disabled, or if they force the settings on, which might mess up the game.
And since players can enable/disable settings after configuring the mod, you also cant catch such errors when the host creates the game.
Project 'Big E': 6/25/2022 22:14:45


AbsolutelyEthan 
Level 62
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I can only speak for myself, but I'm not really interested in mods. I have to be shown a mod that is interesting, easy to understand, and easy to toss into a game. So you could say I'm just constantly on the fence about whether or not I even care about mods, I have to be shown why I should care about mods. There might be a mod or two out there I'd really dig, but I don't have the interest in researching/experimenting. I would not be shocked if there are other players like me in this regard.

So for me it comes down to how mods are advertised. If every-time a new mod is put in experimental or standard, then I could see a popup get sent out to all players on startup or something. Helps folks like me remember that mods exist, and if the popup says you get a free game creation with that mod then that's good advertisement I'd think.

Like anything in this game that's user created, the only thing the creator gets in return for making it is gratification. So I 100% get frustration from mod-smiths for spending a bunch of time on a mod and never see anyone notice it exists. Furthermore as a map maker I get the frustration of making a thing and struggling to get volunteers to help test it. For a map, if no one wants to properly test it (ie play for balance and check for missing connections) then you could at least show people what it looks like and get feedback. Not as easy to do with mods, I'm sure. Plus sometimes the help or feedback isn't useful. I remember being in a testing game for a Goldtank map of europe (real big map, very nice. max territories and everything, it was sweet) and some loser only ever said "It's a basic map" with no actual feedback, presumably because that dweeb was jealous and/or just generally unhelpful.

So I sympathize with folks on this and I agree with most of what I'm seeing. It makes sense for me that mods get highlighted more often, and a change of some sort happens to encourage more modded games to be created. We just gotta remember that this is critique/complaint/suggestion #48 in a list that gets filtered to the one guy that makes this game. A lot of people don't think they're in a niche corner of the game when they suggest/demand changes, but they are. All this stuff has to get prioritized by the guy while he also (hopefully) adds neat new stuff.
Project 'Big E': 6/25/2022 22:17:41


JK_3 
Level 62
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We just gotta remember that this is critique/complaint/suggestion #48 in a list that gets filtered to the one guy that makes this game. A lot of people don't think they're in a niche corner of the game when they suggest/demand changes, but they are. All this stuff has to get prioritized by the guy while he also (hopefully) adds neat new stuff.

Yeah, i hope the mind-blowing thing will be a big improvement to mods!
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