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Something to get off the chest


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As a preamble, I am not creating this post to put down modding the game, nor am I doing this to be pias. I am doing this because there are rules in place, and those rules are ultimately for our own good, as well as the people making these fantastic mods.

 

With all that said... here we go....

 

As some of you are well aware, a mod was released today. This mod is a rehash of a previous mod that was forced to cease work and had to retreat into the shadows for a bit. Fast forward to today, and said mod is back, it's released, and it's hit an issue already.

 

This issue is a simple one: You cannot modify the CoreMods files. You are allowed to make something that works fine in the Mods folder by itself, but you cannot make a mod that modifies anything in the core game files. And this mod, did exactly that.

 

Now, while the only thing the mod modified was the cockpit, and visible shape of the aircraft, and changed nothing else, it could still be abused as an exploit. How so? Well, imagine you're in a dogfight with someone on a random public server. You think that the IC will keep mods out, but it turns out this mod somehow gets past that. You are flying the original aircraft, and you go up against someone who has this mod in BFM. The aircraft you fly is smaller than his, but as he is using the mod, and you aren't, your aircraft now appears larger, and because the liveries are not compatible, he sees a bright green aircraft shape that can only be you. You are now easier to see, track, and if you try to go low and escape, he cans still see you (especially if on a snow map). He has just gained a massive advantage that the server did not catch, and that you will not know unless you got ahold of his 'gun camera' (IE, if he posts video to YouTube). How was that fair? How was that allowed? Well, technically, it isn't allowed.

 

Let me be frank. I have no problems with the existence of mods. My group uses them in our campaigns and stand-alone missions from time to time, but none of the mods we use modify the game folders in any way. They slide into their own folders in the DCS/DCS.OpenBeta Mod folder, and are just as easy to remove. They're also safe, as this folder exists for this very reason.

 

Now, the sad part about this mod and its development is that while the exterior model looks great in the screenshots, and likely behaves just fine in game, the fact that the team behind it went out of their way to create one excuse after another as to why they couldn't just make it a stand alone item (or an item that requires a 'donor aircraft'), is just sad in my opinion. You have the A4, The Super Tucano, the C-130J, the AH-6, The MB339, the T-45... so many mods that do not require donor aircraft, and while some may have some limitations in how they can be used and what they can do, many of them have their own flight models, damage models, their own weapons lists, and some are even capable of interacting with the SCM. These guys did not do that, and instead of working on their own FM and cockpit functionality, they used one that already existed, and given the aircraft they made and the one they modded, their reasoning is exceptionally flawed.

 

If they had sat down, worked out how to get the aircraft to behave realistically, created their own flight model, their own weapons list, damage model, cockpit, etc. I would've been perfectly fine with it, and happy to promote it. But they didn't. And as such, I will not be using it, I've advised my unit to avoid it at all costs, and most importantly, I've decided I will not promote it either. Notice I didn't mention the mod once in this wall of text.

 

But I will end on this note: I can't stop people from using whatever mod they want. I use them to add items not in the game (like the Herc), and to add a bit of immersion where needed. And I'd like for that to continue for DCS as a whole. The devs have said that they want to support mods, but if people start releasing mods that can sneak past the ICs, and give people massive advantages, or create exploits, then what will happen is that the Devs will opt to not support mods at all, and we'll all be back at square one.

 

Key reasons to avoid mods that modify game files are:

1. It can make your game more unstable than it already is

2. They can give you an unfair advantage in multiplayer (which will see you banned from servers)

3. It breaks the EULA, which can result in you being banned from Eagle Dynamics services

 

So yeah guys, stay safe, use the mods that ED is actually fine with (the ones that go in the Mods folder), and avoid those ban hammers.

 

Tank out.

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Posted (edited)

EULA aside, this does not tend to bother me at all. I'm not a modder - just a guy who's been simming since 1994. The game performs well past any security expectation one should even expect. Perhaps too much so. I am more than willing to tolerate some level of exploit if it opens some potential for modding in this game in a way the community finds interesting.


Edited by exhausted
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