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Let's make new Community Patch for NWN:EE !

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Shadooow
Let's make new Community Patch for NWN:EE !

Okay, so in past my work on community patch for NWN1 was criticized a lot. That it is not a community project, that it is package of one guy's personal house rules, that there is a lot of stuff that is wrong, doesn't fit and shouldn't be there. It seemed that everyone just knew how to do it better.

 

So, here is your opportunity:

 

NWN:EE will not be compatible with community patch 1.71/1.72 - a new community patch will have to be made.

NWN:EE will only fix hardcoded/engine bugs. Content-related bugs were confirmed to be dealt with, but we don't have ETA on that and it won't be in initial release.

So neither NWN:EE will come perfectly bug-free an unofficial patch might be needed.

Community Patch project is open&free to edit/reuse/repost.

I am not going to work on this in near future - if someone else will tackle with it, I will offer my help/advices though.

 

If you had objections against CPP this is your time to make it better. You can show me how it should have been done in first place now.

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Cursed Eclipse

 

So neither NWN:EE will come perfectly bug-free an unofficial patch might be needed.

a little bit OT ...but In that case i will not buy it.

Leanowar: 130.255.75.252

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meaglyn

No software product ever shipped has been bug-free...

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Cursed Eclipse

Theory that is valid except when you're selling a software 15 years old.

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Tarot Redhand

Think of it this way. So good they bug checked it twice.

TR

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

I'd need to understand a really compelling reason to buy into a new patch.

With 1.69 and EE, I now have two versions to test every time, doubling my workload. I accept that - in fact welcome it - for two heavyweight reasons, namely that 1.69 is the platform of choice for most players (for now) but EE will attract new players in significant numbers.

Apparently, EE will be enhancing and bug-fixing for the foreseeable future, so just keeping pace with that will be a priority.

I'd need a truly profound reason to take on a third version.

 

NWN and DAO adventures at http://proleric.com/

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Empyre65

Like with Bioware's version, I think we should wait until Beamdog releases their final patch before taking the reins and making a community patch.

"Never laugh in the face of a live dragon." - Bilbo Baggins

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jjglvz

Can they fix that bug where you're running so fast (due to Haste, etc) that your area-effect spell can't keep up with you and gets left behind? :D

Also, I don't think people were vehemently opposed to the OP's choices made in the original CPP as such. It's more that people would rather pick and choose the individual modifications they install themselves rather than download one giant mod, at least that's what I tend to prefer. Maybe a compromise would be if the CPP were split into it's component parts instead of being offered as one all-or-nothing installation.

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VaultDuke

IMHO, what will define whether a new patch truly becomes a community patch, is not what will be decided to be inside it, but rather how it's development is handled.

 

It needs to have a forum for discussions,

a bugtracker with discussions,

clear documentation and patch log, so newcomer do get a chance to get up to speed and contribute

and it needs a leader, that has a vision for the project but at the same time knows to stay away from micro managing the CPP.

Also, a clear release schedule would help; no more feature creep during beta times etc...

 

Personally, I think the way AD handled the CEP, or the way the unofficial patches for Bethesda games are done would be something I'd support.

 

Aside from these organizational quarrels, I personally had little complaint about the patch content per se. I also liked the way the content of the patch was split into parts that act client side, server side or offer features for builders, while still offering one easy way of installation and remaining backwards compatible and i appreciated, that this was where 1.72 would have pushed further towards, making more of it's features optional server side flags etc...

From my side, I want to say a huge thank you to Shadooow for starting the project, when large portions of the community didn't see the need for it (spoiled by years of official patches, and coming from a community that was imho mostly builder-, and less user-focused in their creations).  So without further ado, thank you very much for everything you have done for the CPP and the NWN community Shadooow (though I'm sure you'll still be around). I'm thrilled to see parts of your work have made it into the EE and I'll be on the look out whether any of my two contribution made the cut as well ^^

 

 

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Shadooow
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TheBarbarian

Dangit, I want to make a quip about New Year's Resolutions, but I can't think of any and it's not even 2018 yet.

For what it's worth, I don't think you need to pay much attention to the complainers you're addressing. If you want to make the CPP more open to input, try setting up polls; explain the issue and the potential solutions, and let people vote and discuss. If you want to recruit more people to work on it with you, try putting out tutorials; that way, you're giving people the skills they need in order to do the work, without them having to approach anybody and (gasp! death sentence! quickly everybody, burn the useless worthless waste of fleshl!!) admit they don't know how. Reading/Listening to tutorials gives folks a chance to familiarize themselves with the author, too, making it easier to approach them, especially if you tack on kindly invitations to do so.

It's actually just like with flirting; the people that don't care about messing things up or hurting the other person find it easier to approach potential partners, because it's not that important to them. Nice people capable of respecting and appreciating others tend to need encouragement.

I do think naming something a "Community" anything kind of gives people reason expect that the opinions of the community at large are asked for and prioritized in decision-making, but as long as you're the one doing the actual work... if somebody's giving you (expletive) about not spending your limited and non-refundable lifetime making things work in the exact way they want them to, they're pretty clearly being (expletive)s and should stop it and go spend their time working on something themselves rather than harrassing people that are working on something.

Best way to deal with people who're doing that is to smile, wave, and appreciate the feeling of freedom that comes with spending time doing what you want to be doing, the way you want to be doing it. Nobody else's opinions ought to matter there, positive or negative.

And always keep in mind that people address and react to what they see when they look at other people, not to what those people actually are, and nobody is more likely to be deterred from approaching somebody who's sending out "leave me alone!"-signals than considerate people. It's a vicious trap where people being (expletive)s gets other people to brand themselves so non-(expletives) keep their distance. I could rant about this (expletive) so much.

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

@TheBarbarian - the point you're missing is that Community Patch, as currently implemented, impacts everyone. 

It overrides every module, whether the author wants it or not, and presents itself misleadingly as though it were a point release of the Bioware original, encouraging players to install it whether they need it or not.

The impact is that we have to deal with the problems which are not of our making, such as broken cutscenes and botched installs.

As it stands, it is an imposition, so we are entitled to say - no more!

It would be an entirely different matter if fixes were offered in a truly optional manner, preferably modular, so that builders could choose whether or not to use it. There are countless mods which work like that. Almost none of them are controversial.

Why? Because they return control to the builder.

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TheBarbarian

It doesn't impact everyone, Proleric. It impacts everyone who chooses to install it - and I say that as someone who's never used the CPP, so take my lack of outrage at whatever problems it may bring with a grain of salt.

I'm generally sympathetic to the plight of builders struggling with bugs introduced by somebody else's work, but there's an extremely simple solution to that: Don't incorporate that work. If you're building a 1.69 module, and players are using the CPP and running into problems, then you, the builder, can cheerfully tell them that you're not supporting the CPP. Send them to report their backwards-compatibility problems to the people making the pack that's causing the problems, so it can be fixed there, as it should be.

And, if trying to convince somebody to spend their free time working to your benefit, don't demand and blame but rather ask nicely and appreciate what they're doing. It's the same thing we're allowed to insist on for ourselves, in dealing with people who have issues with our work, in the name of self-respect and fostering an environment where people would want to work.

Shadooow's expressing exasperation with the stance people have been taking in delivering their criticism more than anything else, far as I can see. If the stance of the affected builders is "The optional pack you are creating which I have incorporated into my work is causing malfunctions and I am entitled to you fixing those in the manner I see fit!", I'd say he's got a point. It's neither necessary nor constructive to raise these kinds of complaints in a hostile manner - all that lies down that road is alienation of a person capable of constructively contributing to society/the community, and discouragement of lurking others who might have done the same work in the future.

If the structure of the CPP needs to be altered to make it more usable for builders, then somebody is going to need to be doing that work, and it's going to have to be somebody who's capable of doing that work (and that is a limited resource!). Given that this is going to take lifetime that person isn't going to be getting back, I'd argue that it's nothing but just that that person should be able to get some happiness out of doing it, rather than a dull feeling of resentment from working for the benefit of people that don't appreciate them just so as to not be abused - which is the threat that comes with hostilely confronting people who are not working in a manner the group at large deems desirable, and establishing that kind of behaviour as acceptable is a threat to everyone who is working in the environment, not just the individual being made an example of at the time. Would you be pleased to be confronted like that by players - "I'm entitled to you fixing my problems"? I know I wouldn't stand for being treated that way, though I'd probably go for a "lel, I love you, but nope, I don't give a damn. Want some toys? :D Come play!"-kind of reaction instead.

TL;DR, it's fine to be addressing problems, but it's unnecessary to do so in a manner that deals damage to somebody's wellbeing. Nobody is entitled to anybody else's time. It's the single most valuable thing we've got.

 

If there are many people affected by the current state and workings of the CPP, maybe some of those folks could be interested in taking Shadooow's suggestion and joining in the work. You lot wouldn't be arguing over the CPP if you didn't find value in it, right?

Then, you lot could move the debate over to the specifics of how you want the CPP to work in the future, and contribute to the workload of making it that way. For that kind of goal, retaining people capable of doing the work is one of the highest priorities there is; appreciate the fact that you have people who know how to do the things you want done, even, or especially if you find them difficult to work with on a personal level. In noncommercial environments, we don't have money as an incentive to keep the group working together, you know? As long as the only real incentives and deterrents in play are appreciation/praise/recognition and hostility/insults/disregard, it's damn easy to tip the balance unfavourably. Hostility/insults/disregard should never be aimed at people that are producing something for free, not even if it's low-quality or outright broken.

Also I think I'd tentatively like to vote in favour of considering things to be what they actually work like in practice, rather than by what they call themselves (with an eye cast at past and present governments of the world... x_X). Although making things work like what they're calling themselves is probably the better way (yay consumer protection!). But, y'know, the arguments "It's a community patch and therefore the community has a right to say how it should be developed" and "It's Shadooow's personal pack" are kind of mutually exclusive. I'm mostly undecided how I view that one, but I'd direly suggest rewarding rather than punishing the people you want to be doing the work to anyone who's inclined towards the former.

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

@TheBarbarian - sorry, your argument falls at the first fence.

If builders have to tell players not to use something, that wastes our time. Handling issues that present as bugs but turn out to be mod-related wastes our time. This only happens when mods like CPP are designed in an intrusive way that impose themself - not only on the players who choose to use it, but also on the builders who have to pick up the pieces. 

Objecting to this intrusion is not a discourtesy. Like "get your hand off my ass", it's a firm response to something that was impolite in the first place. 

If CPP delivered some really major advantage, I might turn a blind eye to the intrusion and become a supporter (as happened with Shadooow's CEP1 fix), but I don't see it. Why should I be grateful for something that only causes me problems?

It can be argued that CPP has only caused a few problems, but that's like when a child steals a dollar - of course we can work around it, but asserting the principle is more important, to guide future behaviour.

There is a very simple resolution, as I've already said - make any new CPP optional, under builder control.

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TheBarbarian

It is fully optional for the players. Whether and which additional mods players choose to install is simply not under the control of the builder. This is the exact same issue as players experiencing routing problems or crashes on area load when after walkmesh-modifying tileset overrides, or finding that an elderly character suddenly has a young-looking head if installing a heads override pack.

Let's imagine players were installing the override version of my heads pack on top of your module and going to you saying "Hey, so, I installed this heads override pack, and now this old guy in your story looks like a teenager and it's weirding me out", would you be blaming me (rather than the player who chose to install the override, thereby borking up your work!)? Would you come to me demanding that I adjust the heads in my pack?

What if I was clearly getting frustrated, saying that I was considering dropping this project, which I've been working on and off for years, because of your demeanor? Would you, in that situation, when I've clearly said that I'm uncomfortable with the way the discussion is going, insist that the community at large is entitled to me putting in the hours of making the changes you want, that me putting my pack out is an imposition on builders and the community as a whole?

I'm not saying "don't try to get changes in the CPP implemented", I'm saying "be a little less belligerent about it", you know? :-/ If somebody's at the point where they're getting frustrated enough to want to drop a project they've been working on for years and years, it's probably time to step back a little, and remember that the other person isn't just relevant insofar as they're of benefit to us, personally.

It's a question of showing respect for the commonality by showing respect for the individual, because wholes are comprised of their individual parts. :-/ I don't know what's gone on between you guys that's gotten you this ticked off, but it's not worth it. Take a couple of minutes to listen to some Circle of Life, maybe, put the scale of the problems into perspective. I'll sympathize the heck out of you on "&"%&$"%&$%&$, players keep installing game-modifying patches that cause bork-ups in my modules and then complain about it to me making me go on wild goose-chases for the bug that wouldn't be there if they hadn't installed the modification", that's got to be extremely frustrating. Spreading the frustration by disrespecting the people capable of fixing one iteration of the problem just isn't going to help there, though. This kind of thing will keep happening, over and over, simply because things can be modified; this problem will never go away entirely. Skilled workers, on the other hand, may choose to leave if mistreated.

Why should I be grateful for something that only causes me problems?

For one thing, even things that are inconvenient for us personally interact with other things in incalculably many tiny ways, which can be beneficial to society at large or actually loop around to be crucial for our survival or the survival of our descendants. I've an uncle who argues similarly (or used to argue similarly, anyway, I don't actually know what he thinks about it now) to say that he shouldn't be taxed to pay for schools given that he doesn't have children. He recently benefited from decades if not centuries of continuous investment in education and research - which he and others like him would have chosen to abolish had they been able - through the existence of cancer treatments, medication, and qualified personnel.

Meaningful advancement in society doesn't come from supporting only things that seem immediately useful, in general. There are incredibly many fields that could be worked on, and what all of them need most is active, interested individuals able and willing to contribute. Many of them seem frivolous and pointless to individuals who've chosen another field. I'll guarantee you there are many people who'd consider us spending time on videogames at all a waste of time and an imposition upon society, since we're not doing something more "useful".

I'd argue that disparagement of ability and most of all effort are always a poor choice, no matter the circumstances. Observers will take note of which behaviours are encouraged and which are discouraged by the group; this affects which kind of newcomers we get and which'll stick around, and which kinds of skillsets people try to develop. I think adapting to established standards for behaviour might actually be a pretty deep-rooted survival thing; you can see it pretty clearly when it starts happening in small children, at an age where being rejected by the group would be a literal death sentence.

Even if a specific NWN project is of limited or no use in the context of NWN, or an inconvenience to any individual member of the community, everybody stands to benefit from fostering a constructive environment. Showing regard for the creators of something that's useless or inconvenient for us personally is a small sacrifice compared to the long-term gain of having a multitude of people, versed in a multitude of different skills, willing to work to benefit eachother and all that come after them. That goes all the way out into the real world. Lack of this is IMO the main cause of most of the problems we've got.

The other problem with not being respectful towards people whose work or behaviour causes us problems is reactance. There's some evidence that attempting to inhibit somebody's choices actually makes them more likely to spit it right back in our face and do the opposite of what we might have wanted them to do - kind of like if you and I were to start growling at eachother too. For the record, I kind of love debating with you. :x I've had arguments with people who just blatantly refuse to even read or consider my points; I get a bit "omg what I say actually matters!! somebody is listening!! ::sob:: I'm not stuck in here alone shouting at blank walls!!!" when we debate. Tell me when I need to back off, I'll keep going forever with a smile on my face otherwise. Secretly, I'm horribly lonely.

I'm 100% with you on the importance of feedback and guiding and stabilizing eachother's behaviour to be prosocial - even as adults, for that matter; I know I could use a steadying hand on my back more often than not. But: Be authoritative, not authoritarian. The aim is the wellbeing of the group and the individual; this is the only thing that can possibly justify attempting to exert control over somebody else. Don't devalue, don't degrade. The point is to raise someone so that they may stand as an equal, not to push down an inferior until they submit.

And keep in mind that we're (probably, mostly) all independent adults hereabouts. The hierarchy isn't as clear as when one person is incapable of surviving on their own due to lack of experience and physical development, nor are we trusted caregiver-figures whom we have known for the entirety of our lives to eachother. Attempts to teach aren't unlikely to come across as a challenge from a rival rather than guidance from a parent, and be treated as such. I know; I tread the same line frequently enough.

...

Okay, yeah, no, this thing is getting way too long I'm cutting it off here.

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Proleric
Proleric's picture

This isn't personal. Witness my point about CEP1.

It's a matter of principal. Overrides intrude on other modders' work. The more fundamental the override, the bigger the problem. 

I'm entitled to object to intrusion on my time and space. Far from authoritarian, I'm the little guy who won't roll over for the big machine.

 

 

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TheBarbarian
Are you certain the big machine is in fact the big machine you're perceiving it to be, though? There's real people behind any project. Hereabouts, just one real person more often than not.
 
Depressingly enough, anxious-avoidant behaviour is very common among intellectuals, and the real world gives people plenty of reason to be pufferfish (spiky and prone to making ourselves look bigger when we feel threatened). There's arguably a higher chance that anybody who resorts to spending their free time working alone at a computer has made a string of experiences with social rejection; had we been better-accepted and thus integrated into our IRL environment, would we still be hanging out on the internet, putting time into independently learning skills, building things that are of little to no real-life benefit to us?
 
I think that's the point, really. When you're seeing a big machine, acting towards you with unhesitant, unthinking aggression, then being aggressive and unyielding in response is bravery; standing up to someone bigger than yourself, showing them that other people, too, are capable of being steely. That's very respectable; backbone worthy of admiration.
 
But it's not actually that likely to actually be the case, or an useful response in a practical sense. You're not dealing with machines - if anything, you're dealing with the people behind the machines. There absolutely always is a personal component in any conflict involving a minimum of one person. Note that you, too, are expressing that you are feeling personally imposed upon, and reacting based on that, no?
 
If
"Creating an override, by itself, is an imposition upon all builders, on part of the creator of the override rather than on part of the player who uses the override."
and
"Therefore, it is acceptable to treat creators of overrides poorly"
are both true, then are Tonden and I next? Zwerkules?
 
You see how following this logic stands to lead to more rather than less (edit: fewer?) problems in the community. :-|
 
Other people may not share your vision of the big machine out to harm you and others, and will only see the hostile and unyielding stance you yourself are taking, which makes you the machine in their(our?) eyes. If they(we?) apply the same logic, they(we?) will react with indignant hostility - which will seem unprovoked in somebody else's eyes, and then the whole thing goes on, and on, and on, as it does in the real world all the time.
 
Creators of override packs have and are cultivating skillsets that are of benefit to the community as a whole. We want people who have and are cultivating these skillsets; making the environment unattractive for them, by establishing that it is acceptable to mistreat them for no reason besides the kind of work they do, is not to anybody's benefit, and is more likely to discourage those types of creators from working here at all rather than it is to encourage them to make changes to their project to increase it's compatibility with any of ours.
 
So absolutely - object away! Criticize! Give negative feedback whenever you see something that could stand to be improved, about anything; constructive criticism, malcontentment with the situation as is even, are driving factors of improvement. Just make sure to be aware of and considerate towards the person behind the work you're criticizing while doing it. If nothing else, the person and the skillset they have or are in the process of acquiring are valuable assets. And someone positively inclined towards you will be more likely to decide to change their work to your benefit rather than to your detriment. Whereas, without willing and able workers, none of the work will be getting done at all.
 
That's really my point in it's entirety. There are no machines; just people*, with the capacity to be callous or considerate, depending on which response we consider appropriate in our current situation. And usually if you see someone pufferfishing, it just means they're scared, and life's better for everyone if we don't kick eachother when we're down.
 
*... although it's debatable whether or not people should be considered machines. o_ô I suppose technically we do seem to be some sort of bio-bots.
 
::srs nod::
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JFK

Here's something to dwell upon:

 

Much of the 1.71 patch has already been implemented in the EE

 

Well, there ya go... this guy certainly thinks a whole lot of the hours of work on fixes that Shadooow put into the unofficial Community Patch - so much so, that much of it is implemented into the game. Those fixes won't be an imposition, but if people had convinced Shadooow to drop the project because their players wanted to install it anyhow, the game wouldn't have had those (boy, not the clearest sentence I've ever written. Oh well.).

There are many overrides, and no builder can assure that players won't use them. Impossible. But stopping development of the override and its resources isn't a good thing. 

​Just my opinion, of course. 

-JFK

My other  sword is a +5 Holy Avenger!

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henesua

I'm with JFK. While I no longer have any interest in a community patch, I don't see why such a thing should not exist if someone wasnts to make it.

 

We should be encouraging each other's creatitivty rather than standing in oppositiion to projects.

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