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ComSenMod (now for A18)


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ComSenMod 3.3 Now Available!

 

Happy Labor Day to all the American and Canadian players out there!

 

Today I'm releasing ComSenMod 3.3, which makes over 30 new improvements over version 3.0, and is updated to be fully compatible with Alpha 16.3 b12, the current stable release as of this posting. Highlights include overhauled container sizes, a workbench that now uses tools like other stations, repurposed hazmat clothes, changes to how you use tires and snowballs, and the usual batch of tweaks to loot, recipes, and more.

 

Of special note is the rebalancing of wooden chests. I felt that people that want to use the larger, fancier, and harder to make furniture shouldn't have to suffer a penalty in terms of container size compared to the smaller, more basic wooden chest. This meant making the wooden chest smaller - 32 slots - and other containers larger. That's still the size of the backpack, so a whole backpack of loot still fits into one chest. However, if you plan to use ComSenMod 3.3 on an existing save, I recommend first checking if you have more than 32 items in any of your wooden storage chests, because any overflow will probably disappear after installing ComSenMod 3.3.

 

As always, feedback is appreciated!

 


 

Version 3.3 Change List

 

Merged all ComSenMod files with updates up to Alpha 16.3 b12 (Stable)

 

blocks.xml

  • Enabled picking up tires directly instead of destroying them
    Destroying a tire would make it unusable
  • Enabled picking up hubcaps directly instead of destroying them
    Destroying a hubcap would make it unusable, plus this rewards getting up close to check suspected mines in the wasteland
  • Added chance to harvest hubcaps from intact cars and air filters from partially damaged cars
    If you dismantle a whole car, you’d expect to find these car parts

 

buffs.xml

  • Players now get steadily hotter while they’re on fire
    Fire hot! :flame:

 

items.xml

  • Restored machete’s block damage to vanilla values
    Only the damage versus wood needed adjustment
  • Increased machete damage bonus against wood
    Machetes are made to chop wood, so they should be as good at damaging wood as an iron fireaxe
  • Increased fire protection from hazmat clothes
    Repurposing hazmat clothes as fireproof clothes, since radiation protection doesn’t currently impact gameplay
  • Reduced economic value of hazmat clothes by a factor of 4 (about three times that of leather clothes)
    To better match their actual value as clothing, and value when scrapped
  • Changed padlock material from metal to brass
    They look like brass, which is a common padlock material. Extra padlocks should be more valuable given their rarity, and this compensates for zombies not carrying as much brass as in vanilla.
  • Disabled farming tip when picking up coal
    Assumed to be an oversight, since coal isn’t used in farming
  • Enabled eating snowballs directly, causing cooling and potentially dysentery
    To replace melting snow at a campfire (see recipes change)

 

loot.xml

  • Combined quests & treasure maps into one loot group
    The tiny probabilities were too cumbersome to keep recalculating with every other change
  • Removed quests & treasure maps from football, hazmat, cheerleader, skateboarder, & businessman zombies
    These zombies all drop ‘personal junk’ loot, which incorporates the chance to drop quests or treasure maps
  • Standardized chance of finding a quest or treasure map from a zombie (2.7%) or container (0.75%)
    Some typical ‘everyday’ zombies, like businessmen and cheerleaders, had an extra chance for no particular reason
  • Added new, separate male & female clothes groups for future use
    E.g. so male zombies don’t carry skirts
  • Replaced ZU shirt in cheerleader zombie loot with tank tops
    To better reflect her appearance & reduce redundancy with football player loot
  • Increased chance to find compound bow parts among basic gun loot
    They were several times rarer than common firearm parts, and found less often than whole bows in testing
  • Changed lumberjack & farmer zombies to have a chance to drop all bows & bow parts
    If they’re going to carry a bow, there’s no particular reason it would have to be one bow over another
  • Slightly increased chance to find magnum parts among basic gun loot
    It’s taking too long (over 140 days) to assemble a magnum in testing
  • Reduced chance of finding pistol+ammo in toilets
    This was noted in version 2.5 but never actually changed
  • Reduced container size of storage chests & generic chests
    The easiest container to make shouldn’t also be the biggest. There’s still plenty of space: enough to transfer a whole backpack of stuff.
  • Rebalanced all containers sizes, mostly by increasing sizes of furniture containers
    Players that want to use more than just crates or chests will get more consistent results based on each container’s size, shape, and how costly it is to craft or buy
  • Added night vision goggles to military armor loot
    They could be found alongside other military gear
  • Removed night vision goggles from zombie soldier loot
    He’s not visibly wearing goggles, and it’s now redundant with military armor

 

recipes.xml

  • Replaced iron pipes in minibike seat recipe with wood & mechanical parts
    Research shows metal pipes aren’t involved. A wooden base is typical, with bolts to mount it.
  • Added nails to wooden desk recipe
    To match similar furniture, and balance better with the iron desk
  • Removed wrench & hammer from workbench recipe
    Tools for the workbench are now used like tools at other stations
  • Updated workbench recipes to require the wrench, wire tool, or tool & die set for large constructions, electronics, and tools/parts, respectively
    Not everything requires the same tools. As the workbench’s role grows, it becomes more important for its utility to evolve over time, instead of having endgame capability as soon as it’s created.
  • Increased forged iron required to craft lockers
    For consistency with similarly-sized metal furniture
  • Replaced duct tape in mechanical parts recipe with oil
    Nuts, bolts, gears, washers, bearings... none of these require duct tape, but they may require coatings or lubrication
  • Disabled recipe to melt snow at a campfire without a cooking pot (replaced with eating snowballs)
    If you don’t use the pot, you’re melting it in the jar, in which case there’s no reason you couldn’t boil it (and anything else) in the jar to get clean water.
  • Added new recipe to turn 2 tires into a set of minibike wheels
    It fits better visually to require 2 tires, and this maintains the balance of total wheels available without affecting the amount of road debris

 

xui.html

XUi/windows.xml

  • Added tools window to workbench, including the wrench, wire tool, and tool & die set
    As the workbench gains more recipes, it makes sense to use the existing tools mechanic to make more advanced things

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Apparently the previous downloads contained some unnecessary metadata files, which could cause problems with some zip extractors. The metadata is now removed, and the link has been switched to a permalink. I'll endeavor to make all future versions available from the same location.

 

Please chime in with any issues you have or other feedback. Your thoughts are a big part of what allows ComSenMod to keep improving.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for this type of mod, I read thru several changes although not all of them I found a couple that could be considered iffy.

 

About the machete, its original intended purpose was to chop thru jungle underbrush and a basic edged weapon, mostly and it found other uses along the way ("useful things"). They are not a refined item and mostly were made from cheap scrap iron not steel, from my experience, a good thick piece of metal you can shape easily that you can put a cheap edge on. I think one of the rambo movies showed one being made, with a propane torch and a grinder. So do consider keeping the recipe as iron, other than that, whatever you decide...

 

Ok

-Mailbox loot list: you changed this early on so I am guessing the game never leaves the mailbox door down or open. Great place for a birds nest. add a few feathers here.

 

-Trophies: I dont know about you but I wouldnt keep my faux-chrome plated little league trophies in a safe. They are worthless materially, but to some people they might be priceless, sentimentally.

 

-Minibikes: when traveling over the top of a steep hill you can really get some good quality air time thats a bit painful when you do finally land. The bike gets minimal damage but you suffer the brunt of it, death is more common than a broken minibike. I think bikes, or certain parts of the bike, should rack up more damage from these failed attempts at going orbital.

 

-Padlocks: If these are not on the Junk list, they should be. I kept a padlock in my car to use when I went to the gym.

 

just my 2cp here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks for this type of mod, I read thru several changes although not all of them I found a couple that could be considered iffy.

 

About the machete, its original intended purpose was to chop thru jungle underbrush and a basic edged weapon, mostly and it found other uses along the way ("useful things"). They are not a refined item and mostly were made from cheap scrap iron not steel, from my experience, a good thick piece of metal you can shape easily that you can put a cheap edge on. I think one of the rambo movies showed one being made, with a propane torch and a grinder. So do consider keeping the recipe as iron, other than that, whatever you decide...

 

Ok

-Mailbox loot list: you changed this early on so I am guessing the game never leaves the mailbox door down or open. Great place for a birds nest. add a few feathers here.

 

-Trophies: I dont know about you but I wouldnt keep my faux-chrome plated little league trophies in a safe. They are worthless materially, but to some people they might be priceless, sentimentally.

 

-Minibikes: when traveling over the top of a steep hill you can really get some good quality air time thats a bit painful when you do finally land. The bike gets minimal damage but you suffer the brunt of it, death is more common than a broken minibike. I think bikes, or certain parts of the bike, should rack up more damage from these failed attempts at going orbital.

 

-Padlocks: If these are not on the Junk list, they should be. I kept a padlock in my car to use when I went to the gym.

 

just my 2cp here.

 

Thanks for the feedback, Death2gnomes! I want you to know I gave each of these items consideration.

 

Machete: I'm not sure what you mean when you talk about iron versus steel in the machete recipe. The machete blade is forged using iron and clay, both in vanilla and in ComSenMod. As for it being a cheap unrefined tool, that may be. But it's designed as a tool first and a weapon second, whereas in game it was like 90% weapon, 10% tool. I'd also point out a fire axe isn't a proper felling axe, either. It's made for cutting through doors and windows, not chopping down trees. So it still seems reasonable for the machete to be comparable to the iron fireaxe when it comes to chopping wood.

 

Eggs & feathers in mailboxes: I love it. I'd been looking for a more interesting variety of loot to put in mailboxes. I've added this locally and will test it out soon. Thanks for the idea :)

 

Trophies: Having thought this over, trophies are abundant for the sake of balancing brass, but there aren't many places where they make sense. I've suggested that the devs add a glass display case, which would be perfect for them. In the mean time I agree they have sentimental value and that, coupled with their bulk, makes them still seem more at home in a safe than in a filing cabinet. Can you think of a better place for them among existing containers?

 

Minibikes: Okay, you've convinced me the minibike should take more damage. It has one million HP now if you can believe it. I did some experiments and by my estimate, a terrible quality minibike would have to take a 100 m fall ten times before anything (the tires, in this case) failed. I also ground on it with an auger, and suffice it to say you really have to be trying to destroy it. So it should be safe to reduce the total HP, which is good because I don't know how to make it just take more fall damage. I expect the minibike to be totally rebalanced come Alpha 17, however.

 

Padlocks: You only need a handful of padlocks at most. I turned them into brass because it was completely plausible (they even look like brass), and this way they can be valuable whether you use them as-is or scrap them. Anyway, in ComSenMod you can find padlocks in places including desks, suitcases, file cabinets, and (duh!) lockers. Technically you can find them in cars too, but they're a rare find like so many other things found in cars.

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As long as you dont give 100% weight to Trophies being in safes, I do think file cabinets could be appropriate for some Trophies. Most of my childhood trophies are in a cardboard box in storage area, LOL. :bi_polo:

 

I came up with a couple more suggestions but I havent put much more thought into this recently, I shamefully admit I've been playing other games (*Cough* Empyrion) atm.

 

A17 will see other modes of transportation, so the hope of some rebalancing with the minibikes hopefully is part of that.

Edited by Death2gnomes (see edit history)
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Trophies: Having thought this over, trophies are abundant for the sake of balancing brass, but there aren't many places where they make sense. I've suggested that the devs add a glass display case, which would be perfect for them. In the mean time I agree they have sentimental value and that, coupled with their bulk, makes them still seem more at home in a safe than in a filing cabinet. Can you think of a better place for them among existing containers?

 

 

IMO - you could actually make the trophy a stand alone item like the shopping baskets to pick up - sitting on a fireplace mantle or table top, desk top or the top of a file cabinet. As for a glass display case, I think it would make sense to just add a bookshelf item - with out the books - instead - make it look like picture frames, trophies, flower arrangements etc that would be used as decor in someones home.

 

 

The ZRebs

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@Death2gnomes: That's my hope, too. :) And not to worry: there are plenty of other things to find in safes, and plenty of other places to find trophies.

 

@The ZRebs: That'd be cool if there were more objects like shopping baskets and candles that exist as both items and blocks. Hopefully a bookshelf/display case could be done in a way that doesn't require a lot of polygons. The current bookshelf has a flat box shape and relies on its texture to suggest depth.

 

What I'd like to see even more is a version of the metal shelves we have with a nonspecific pile 'o' junk on them. Imagine taking the shopping cart and dumping the contents onto the shelf. These could occasionally replace the empty shelves in stores etc., and then we wouldn't need wooden crates lying around conspicuously in every store. It could even use the helper system, so that which shelves have stuff on them is randomized for each building instance.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am not sure if this mod is the cause of the issue but in the new Alpha 16 if you know a schematic it wont let you read it again, with this mod installed it does? Is this something you changed?

 

It doesn't do it on my other worlds and this is a new work just for this mod and SMX (SMX isn't causing this issue as it's fine on my other worlds)

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Thanks for your question! That behavior changed in vanilla. In Alpha 15 vanilla you could read multiple copies of the same schematic. In Alpha 16 vanilla you can only read each schematic once. If anyone knows if re-reading books is moddable, please let me know.

 

What ComSenMod changes is the skills that reading the schematic gives you. If you read a book about pistols, you become more skilled at using pistols, in addition to any other skills you would gain in vanilla. Unfortunately, since you can now only read one pistols book, you can only improve your pistols skill by one level this way. It waters down the feature for most things (armor is an exception) to the point it barely makes a difference.

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So I have tested with and without your mod and it seems as if a change you made allows to keep reading any schematic regardless if you read it or not.

 

Also, I found some meat in the past in places I wouldn't expect to find them, maybe they can be added to refrigerators, I am not saying make it a high loot value as meat isn't exactly hard to come by.

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I stand corrected! Apparently what matters is that a schematic can't be read if you already know everything it provides. Since schematics in ComSenMod provide skills, while schematics in Alpha 16 vanilla don't, you can re-read schematics only in the former.

 

So yes, this was something I unknowingly changed. However I think the ability to re-read is better. If you haven't maxed out a skill, that means there are still things you have to learn. And it's quite plausible to learn more on re-reading technical literature.

 

There's the issue of why you don't re-read the same copy of a book 100 times to easily max out the skill. But that's really an issue with the book being consumed when you read it (and the fact that I can't find a way for reading books to take time). From a role playing perspective, one can imagine two pistol books are actually different books on the same subject, with different information, or that each book contains only a few readable pages.

 

I welcome your feedback on scavenging meat. Was it raw meat or rotten flesh you found in unexpected places, and do you remember in what places you found them? I reviewed the files and the only meat you should find is

raw meat and meat stew; which is found in refrigerators, coolers, and Shamway crates; and rotten flesh, which is found all over the place.

 

Edited by Crater Creator (see edit history)
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I honestly can't remember where I seen the meat in a random place, it could have been in Alpha 15, anyways here is something you might have over looked.

 

Tallow, its used to make candles or torches, You need Tallow to make a campfire, you need a campfire to make tallow, Catch 22?

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Ah, you've hit on one of the key changes.

 

I don't think the player should be able to just grab a pile of rocks and turn it into a fire. You need fuel and a source of ignition. That's why the campfire requires a torch or candle to craft. The tallow is a bit more roundabout than, say, adding embers to the game as an item. But it works out nicely such that you can't make a fire out of nothing. You need a fire before you can make another fire.

 

Since you start the game with a torch, this isn't as crippling as it may sound. In fact it creates an interesting choice in the early game: is it more important to have that source of light, or a way to cook and stay warm? Mimicking an actual survival situation, that first campfire becomes a pivotal lifeline in the early game.

 

I've played games where my one campfire is destroyed, and it's a whole new experience trying to make it with no fire. Suddenly those few candles or torches on the walls of PoIs become more than pretty decorations. I'm not a sadist, either. You can find candles occasionally when looting zombies. Here, I treat them like cigarette lighters - something a percentage of people would be carrying on them. You can also find tallow in a few places.

 

Once you're out of the early game, you have a cooking pot and a steadily growing supply of animal fat, so you can make as many torches, candles, and campfires as you like, as in vanilla.

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Me again, I agree that there maybe many candles or tallow around but at the point of me needing it I found a base and as I noticed I was on 13% food/water I decided to make a campfire not realising that I needed tallow, when you start the game you get a torch which is fine but since you changed it and people aren't expecting to know you needed tallow that's when the problem starts, I was running around in the desert collecting yucca for food and blueberrys for water but because I was in the desert I had stage 2 heatstroke so I had to eat and walk out of the desert, losing water quicker than I was gaining it. Needless to say I made it and bought a candle from the trader.

 

On another note:

Here is what I am thinking, you seem to have made looting bookcases longer, not sure why, also there are inconsistencies in the available space for certain containers, like for example, small chest storage and large boxes hold the same amount, surely a large box can hold twice the amount of a small chest.

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Enjoying all your feedback. :)

 

I think there's going to be new things to learn for any mod that changes things. My hope is players will notice the new campfire recipes as they go through the starter quest. That's the go-to place for teaching the player things, and I've updated the quest requirements as well as the (English) text to reflect changes in the mod. I can't undo people's learned habits, but this seems like the best approach available.

 

Bookcases and some other containers take longer to open for a few reasons. For one thing, leveling up your scavenging speed doesn't make much difference when you open almost everything in a second regardless. But moreover, what I'd really like is for it to take time to read books, instead of reading them in an instant. I haven't found a viable way to do that, so as a substitute I make it take longer to loot the bookcase. You can imagine it takes this long to browse the titles of the fifty books on the shelf and pick out the one that's useful.

 

Lastly, you've caught me on the container sizes. I made an error in ComSenMod 3.3 when setting those sizes - the large boxes are supposed to have more capacity. I've corrected this locally for ComSenMod 3.4.

 

On that note, now is as good a time as any to share that ComSenMod 3.4, which is compatible with Alpha 16.4, is currently in testing and can probably be released soon.

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Really looking forward to trying this mod out, as so many things in it make so much sense. I really like what you have done with books giving skill points, especially :)

 

As far as birds nests go, how will loading a current vanilla game with the mod active affect nest counts? I assume it will have no effect? Or will it affect areas (chunks) that are so far unexplored? Keep up the good work, and I'll wait for 3.4 to be released to kick your mod into effect.

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Thanks, 7DaySonney!

 

If you install ComSenMod on an existing game, expect only new areas you explore to have ComSenMod-tuned bird nests. Explored areas are already generated, so they should keep the nests where they were before. However all trees (previously seen or not) should have the chance to yield feathers, since that's computed as you harvest them.

 

I've gotten through the first seven days testing 3.4, and no issues so far. I feel obligated to do another week or so though, to catch any issues in the later game.

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Thanks, 7DaySonney!

 

If you install ComSenMod on an existing game, expect only new areas you explore to have ComSenMod-tuned bird nests. Explored areas are already generated, so they should keep the nests where they were before. However all trees (previously seen or not) should have the chance to yield feathers, since that's computed as you harvest them.

 

I've gotten through the first seven days testing 3.4, and no issues so far. I feel obligated to do another week or so though, to catch any issues in the later game.

 

It's a delusion! One person will not be able to catch all the errors. Only the crowd has a chance to quickly identify problems, because of the different styles of the game.

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Boy, all you guys have me pleasantly surprised! I say that because after I released the last major version, 3.0, I didn't hear a peep from any users for two months. I can't complain; it's just weird how interest can wax and wane seemingly independent of the mod's development.

 

Given the increased interest, I've decided 3.4 is sufficiently tested for release. It doesn't make huge sweeping changes to 3.3, anyway, so if there are any problems they're likely 'just' balance related.

 

3.4 puts increased attention on different zombie types, particularly differences between the sexes. Loot is gender-specific (males won't carry skirts), and I've rebalanced the hit points on zombie types. The overall balance should be about the same, but I've shrunk the difference in hit points between males and females. Instead, they are differentiated by how much damage their attacks do. I hope this won't be controversial. I see this as implementing TFP's design decision to distinguish male & female zombies in a more authentic way.

 

I've just cleared up a logistical question with the mod launcher, and 3.4's release should follow shortly.

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I have a "common sense" request: That is that health items stack more than 5. Realistically, bandages come in boxes of 50 or 100. What do you think?

 

I follow your reasoning, but I can think of two reasons for not doing this.

 

First, the many-bandages-per-box argument interprets that one unit of bandages in game means one bandage, but the game doesn't follow this conversion in general. Consider that the blueberry pie recipe requires 3 units of blueberries, or that the minibike holds 1000 units of gas. Clearly that doesn't represent exactly 3 blueberries, or 1000 cans of gas. It would also take more than one little band-aid to stop you from bleeding out, so I conclude that the units are not to be interpreted so literally.

 

Secondly, if the stack for health items is to be based on the mass or volume of health items, it wouldn't be right to only cherry pick health items. The same logic would need to apply to other items for the mod to maintain self-consistency. That would mean no more stacks of 1,000 buckets of concrete. People tend not to point out where realistically things would be less convenient. :)

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