mods.factorio.com needs to separate Modlists and Mods

A place to talk about the official Factorio mod portal (https://mods.factorio.com)
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Quait
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mods.factorio.com needs to separate Modlists and Mods

Post by Quait »

An increasing number of Mods that are essentially only a list hard-dependencies to create a "modlist mod" are inflating the mod section. Example
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/KrastorioModPack

These modlist mods are inflating the search results, ingame and in-browser, making it much more annoying to find mods, especially ingame in the ingame browser.
And they can spread confusion among users as well. Example:
https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comme ... n_and_its/
OP only wanted Krastorio but got some mod with a incomplete modlist instead, where Krastorio and Space Exploration was bundled with something incompatible.

There are some "modlist mods" that actually add/change balancing between the used mods,
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/aio-se-k2
but they should be treated the same, not as a mod but as a modpack.

With the increasing popularity of streamers and them creating mod-lists for their gameplay videos this number will inflate, take minecraft as a great example where they create new modpacks every day. The number of "abandoned" modlists will increase, steadily increasing this problem.

so the main points are:
  • The Tag "Modpacks" is not enough to separate Modlists. They are still handled the same as mods.
  • Modpacks get confused with real mods
  • Ingame: The Tags drop down is not enough. Tags need to be shown in the description on the info panel on the right side too.
  • People use wrong tags, "non game changing" or "Balancing" for example.

Suggestion:
Ingame we need better Tag-Filter option. Make Tags more visible in the data page on the right side. The dropdown ingame is not enough.
Separate Modpacks from real mods. For example, hide Modpacks by default or something. If we search for a mod, make it visible what is a modpack, and what isn't
To better sort them into the modpacks tag we need the option to add and remove tags from mods. A "report wrong tags" options on mods.factorio.com itself for example.
Make it clear to Modauthors, that Modpacks tag exists.

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BlueTemplar
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Re: mods.factorio.com needs to separate Modlists and Mods

Post by BlueTemplar »

Hi, welcome to the forums !
And they can spread confusion among users as well. Example:
https://www.reddit.com/r/factorio/comme ... n_and_its/
OP only wanted Krastorio but got some mod with a incomplete modlist instead, where Krastorio and Space Exploration was bundled with something incompatible.
This is more of a separate issue about mod authors not "enforcing" their "trademarks".
The number of "abandoned" modlists will increase, steadily increasing this problem.
That's already an issue for other mods too - so far it has been hidden by regular Factorio major version changes "soft-deprecating" all mods.
To better sort them into the modpacks tag we need the option to add and remove tags from mods. A "report wrong tags" options on mods.factorio.com itself for example.
Yeah, though this too is a general issue for mods.
EDIT : I'm pretty sure that the option to add/remove tags from mods already exists. Of course only the mod authors themselves can change them, for obvious reasons ?
What about just posting in the forum thread for that mod and asking politely the mod author ?
EDIT 2 : I'm guessing that you are suggesting for tags to be instead assigned by anyone with a mod portal account, and then somehow shown with tag popularity thresholds ? This does *not* seem to be easy to implement well...
Make it clear to Modauthors, that Modpacks tag exists.
EDIT : What do you think that is currently unclear about it, and is not instead just about modders being lazy ?
Tags need to be shown in the description on the info panel on the right side too.
Yeah, ideally, the in-game mod manager would have the same or better functionality than the website. And please remove the discussion tab, it's worse than useless.
Separate Modpacks from real mods.
It's not like there's always a clear threshold between the two...

In the end, unofficial mod packs probably don't want to be using the mod portal anyway :
FAQ of how to make a modpack for the Mod Portal?
viewtopic.php?f=96&t=101173
(Because dealing with mod versions is kind of a hassle.)

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Re: mods.factorio.com needs to separate Modlists and Mods

Post by Pi-C »

BlueTemplar wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 1:38 pm
And please remove the discussion tab, it's worse than useless.
Please keep it! :-)

I'm quite in favor of the discussion tab because it's like a primitive mini forum. You can have several threads in it; that's useful for smaller mods that don't have their own subforum on forums.factorio.com, but just a single thread for everything (announcements, questions, bug reports). I've noticed that several modders have closed their discussion boards and only allow discussions on Discord or github. I'm registered on neither, and I don't want to. (I'm also not on any other social media, and registered on very few forums that are of special interest to me.) So, being able to contact a mod author directly on the portal is something I wouldn't want to miss.
A good mod deserves a good changelog. Here's a tutorial (WIP) about Factorio's way too strict changelog syntax!

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Re: mods.factorio.com needs to separate Modlists and Mods

Post by BlueTemplar »

You should post that in that thread rather than here...

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Re: mods.factorio.com needs to separate Modlists and Mods

Post by Quait »

Yeah, though this too is a general issue for mods.
EDIT : I'm pretty sure that the option to add/remove tags from mods already exists. Of course only the mod authors themselves can change them, for obvious reasons ?
What about just posting in the forum thread for that mod and asking politely the mod author ?
EDIT 2 : I'm guessing that you are suggesting for tags to be instead assigned by anyone with a mod portal account, and then somehow shown with tag popularity thresholds ? This does *not* seem to be easy to implement well...
Posting on the forum, saying "Mod X has wrong Tag Y, please adjust" is manual work to read and write for both Forum Moderators and the Users. Thats why I suggest an already more automated system, that removes unnecessary forum threads and will be a simple excel sheet for Moderators to approve or deny. A popularity threshold system would make this more automated, but also more complex to build, this would be step two.
EDIT : What do you think that is currently unclear about it, and is not instead just about modders being lazy ?
jeah, thats the problem... thats why I suggest a system for users to adjust lazy tagging by authors. It surprised me that no "report this mod" feature at all was created in the first place. Maybe the Moderators do already manually approve mods beforehand or something, but a system with no one controlling it is bound to derail and make a mess over time.
It's not like there's always a clear threshold between the two...
true, but clearly most of these packs are simple dependencies list with a few simple adjustments, only a few are bigger lists with adjustable options. But in the end, they do not invent a new mod. I think a clear question like "is it a new mod, does it create something new Y/N?" is all that is needed to categorize it as a (adjustable/modifiable) modpack.
And please remove the discussion tab, it's worse than useless.
Thats outside the topics I started, but the mini-forum style discussions to report bugs, talk with mod authors etc are not useless at all right now. It does need some work though.

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Re: mods.factorio.com needs to separate Modlists and Mods

Post by BlueTemplar »

Quait wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:59 pm
Yeah, though this too is a general issue for mods.
EDIT : I'm pretty sure that the option to add/remove tags from mods already exists. Of course only the mod authors themselves can change them, for obvious reasons ?
What about just posting in the forum thread for that mod and asking politely the mod author ?
EDIT 2 : I'm guessing that you are suggesting for tags to be instead assigned by anyone with a mod portal account, and then somehow shown with tag popularity thresholds ? This does *not* seem to be easy to implement well...
Posting on the forum, saying "Mod X has wrong Tag Y, please adjust" is manual work to read and write for both Forum Moderators and the Users. Thats why I suggest an already more automated system, that removes unnecessary forum threads and will be a simple excel sheet for Moderators to approve or deny. A popularity threshold system would make this more automated, but also more complex to build, this would be step two.
EDIT : What do you think that is currently unclear about it, and is not instead just about modders being lazy ?
jeah, thats the problem... thats why I suggest a system for users to adjust lazy tagging by authors. It surprised me that no "report this mod" feature at all was created in the first place. Maybe the Moderators do already manually approve mods beforehand or something, but a system with no one controlling it is bound to derail and make a mess over time.
A "simple excel sheet" would not be that simple, especially with Factorio's popularity - I'm pretty sure that Wube is already not happy with having to do moderation of things that violate their terms of service, and you would want them to do extra editorializing work too ?! Which involves having to decide which mod is "worthy" of a tag or not ?! (Can you see the can of worms that this opens up with people bitching about Wube's - since it's their final decision - editorializing choices ?) And work that mod authors should be the ones doing in the first place ?
The system is *already* self-correcting even without regular game major updates : mods(packs) that suck won't be used, and so won't be featured in "Most downloaded / Trending / Popular" tabs - you'll also note that the website shows number of downloads, game versions, and time of last update.
But maybe the issue is with the kind of people that don't mind using reddit - not willing to put even minimum effort into learning the system and netiquette ? (Including reading the mod descriptions rather just randomly installing the first result that pops up - maybe it's the mod portal search engine that is incentivizing recent changes a bit too much ? Like not having the mod website default to the "recently updated" tab ? But then that's good for the discovery of less frequently used mods. (So is not having an isolated discussion space there.))
It's not like there's always a clear threshold between the two...
true, but clearly most of these packs are simple dependencies list with a few simple adjustments, only a few are bigger lists with adjustable options. But in the end, they do not invent a new mod. I think a clear question like "is it a new mod, does it create something new Y/N?" is all that is needed to categorize it as a (adjustable/modifiable) modpack.
So, Sea Block doesn't qualify as a modpack ? :P
And please remove the discussion tab, it's worse than useless.
Thats outside the topics I started, but the mini-forum style discussions to report bugs, talk with mod authors etc are not useless at all right now. It does need some work though.
Again, why then talking about it here then ? The new mod portal (I haven't known the old one) is not useless - it's worse than useless, and improving it to be better would only make the situation worse - I gave my reasons of thinking this in the (currently) last post of that thread.

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