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BGEE/BG2EE list of mods (Children of Bhaal) - ask for opinion


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Hello G3 community!

For quite some time, I'm maintaining a kind of repository of BGEE/BG2EE mods on a Polish site, Children of Bhaal. These lists can be found here:

Since the lists are maintained on a Polish site, it can be a bit confusing for non-Polish speakers to navigate, so here are some tips:

  • The first column ("Pobierz") is essentially a direct download link to the latest version of the mod (if such a direct link is possible to set). There are a couple of abbreviations behind the link that hint the source of the download (i.e SHS, G3, Beamdog, etc). When you see the source "Inny", it means the download link is in Dropbox, Mediafire or other provider of such.
  • The second column ("PL") is strictly for Polish users and tells them if mod has Polish version or not.
  • The central column shows the following mod information: name of the mod, author and/or maintainer of the mod, Polish translator(s) (if available), version of the mod and the date the mod was added/updated on the list. There is a following colour coding introduced: a) for BGEE - white (mod is compatible with BGEE and SoD), brown (mod is compatible with BGEE but not SoD), gold (mod is also compatible with EET); b) for BG2EE - white (mod is compatible with BG2EE), gold (mod is also compatible with EET).
  • The next column ("WWW") links to the mod site ("Strona) and/or mod forum ("Forum")
  • The last column ("CoB") links to the support thread on Children of Bhaal forum and is less relevant for English users.

Now, some time ago it came to my attention that the direct download link may not be an ideal solution from mod makers' perspective, since one can download mod without actually visiting the mod site, directly from the mod list on Children of Bhaal site. I have set up the direct links mainly from convenience reasons, putting a lot of effort to set the links the way they can lead to the last official release (or pre-release), assuming that players would appreciate they can download the mod in the quickest possible way. Besides, there is a separate column ("WWW) that leads to official mod site and/or forum, if the player wants to visit them to learn more about a mod. But, on the other hand, I understand where this objection comes for and that's why I'd like to ask how do you prefer download links work on those lists:

  1. Direct link (current implementation): Example - Tweaks Anthology
  2. Link to download site: Example - Tweaks Anthology

Due to my limited time, switching to a second implementation will take some time, but if there is a real demand for it, I'm willing to do it.

Looking forward to your opinion on this and on the lists in general. Please have in mind that I'm only the maintainer of the list, so more complex code changes I'd need to report to the site owner to implement, which may or may not be problematic.

 

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I believe it's always better to give links to site, not to the file. These website quite often include very important information: for example what happens if you mix mod A and B, about install order or what other platforms they work on.

Let's look at Ajantis BG1 Expansion. On the mod's website you can read: "For Tutu, BGT, BG:EE, and EET, the mod adds a friendship track and more romance content for the BG1NPC Project romance for Ajantis (...)" - if you give direct link, someone may not know this mod can be mixed BG1NPC Project and that they are compatible.

Then let's take a look at Yoshimo's Remorse: "The mod may be installed along with Yoshimo Romance, but if such relationship took place in SoA, he won't appear in ToB and the content from the Yoshimo Romance mod will happen instead." - I would say it's an important piece of information, because that may not be exactly what people may hope for when mixing those two together, some may think you will both be able to romance him in SoA and and the bring him back in ToB and that's not how Remorse work with Romance.

Now, something from Weasel Mods: The Vanishing of Skie Silvershield for BG1EE has this note: "I would also advise not to install any other component that changes Eldoth's starting location (like the one in the Tweaks Anthology). "

Furthermore, this list may suggest these are all EE mods, but many of them work also on oBG2 / o BG1 / BGT / Tutu.

When you give links to websites, there is a greater chance that players will actually read these pieces of information and will be able to build a more stable mod composition.

Oh, and BTW:

Quote

The second column ("PL") is strictly for Polish users and tells them if mod has Polish version or not.

Sometimes the note says NIE, and sometimes it says BRAK. Shouldn't it be somehow... unified?

Edited by Lava
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Guest Morgoth

I'm not the ideal target for the list, but I'm pretty sure that the use of direct link is a good idea. No one is going to install the mod without reading the readme of the mod or actually visiting the website forum. Especially for complex mods such as The tweak anthology.

I commend your effort on these direct link buttons.

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Guest Morgoth

That's because people are lazy, not because there is a direct link button on a webpage.

These people are the same kind that would use BWS tool if they knew about its existence, because they don't want to waste time actually reading but want a plug and play kind of experience. 

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When someone wants "a link" for one of my mods I send them to the project page (e.g. IWDification). It gives a nice overview of the mod and acts as a hub for anything else the player wants--more info (readme, subpages), download, or engagement (forum, Discord). For a non-English audience none of this is really helpful, and ditto for someone who is already familiar with the mod. As such I'd suggest that rather than changing all of the existing download links, you add a 'home page' or 'more info' link.

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Guest Morgoth
15 minutes ago, CamDawg said:

 For a non-English audience none of this is really helpful, and ditto for someone who is already familiar with the mod. As such I'd suggest that rather than changing all of the existing download links, you add a 'home page' or 'more info' link.

+

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7 hours ago, Cahir said:

The next column ("WWW") links to the mod site ("Strona) and/or mod forum ("Forum")

Let me reiterate this part. This means that there is a direct link to an original mod site and/or mod forum. This way, anyone can visit mod site/forum, clicking on "Strona" or "Forum" link, respectively. It's not that I don't offer a link to mod info on any of the mod lists I maintain. 

The download link leading to a direct download is just for convenience - to save some mouse clicks. As I understood, the concern was more that due to the fact that some people will download the mod directly through CoB site, the original mod site itself will have fewer entries (the mod is still downloaded from the original mirror, so the download counter will increase either way). Also, I can understand that some may be hesitant to download mods directly from some foreign, unknown site. That's why I'd like to hear your opinion on the matter. I don't have the strong opinion towards any of the solutions (besides the fact that I'd need to change all the links in case option second wins).

I realize it would be great each mod would have a short description, unfortunately I don't have time to provide it for all mods, I barely have time to keep those lists updated at the moment.

6 hours ago, Lava said:

Sometimes the note says NIE, and sometimes it says BRAK. Shouldn't it be somehow... unified?

Thanks, Lava, I'll unify it when I have a chance.

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34 minutes ago, Cahir said:

there is a direct link

BTW, doesn't that mean you need to update every time the file has a unique link? I know it's not an often thing, but that feels like a waste time. And let's say you want to take a break: the list will get outdated pretty soon. If I were you, I would spare myself the constant thinking about changing download links.

I believe all PPG mods and DropBox packages use such links and there are some of these on your list. And then you take a break and poof -- few weeks and you need to check all the updates and you have to update 20-25 links.

Edited by Lava
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7 minutes ago, Lava said:

BTW, doesn't that mean you need to update every time the file has a unique link? I know it's not an often thing, but that feels like a waste time. And let's say you want to take a break: the list will get outdated pretty soon. If I were you, I would spare myself the constant thinking about changing download links.

This is an issue, true, but so far it's only a problem with Dropbox links of Weasel mods (the direct link is not working for your mods shared on official site for some reason, so the links lead to download site) and those G3 mods that have Mac/Linux versions (here the link usually leads to version for other OS after mod update). But yes, this is actually one of the reasons I see changing the links might be a good idea. Saving me a headache is always a good idea :)

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Yep, WM will always lead you to download page. Alternative download (DropBox) works as you described - if you decide to change the direct link, you can just give link to that mod's DB folder. 

26 minutes ago, Cahir said:

Saving me a headache is always a good idea :)

And it's kinda healthier when you don't need to follow modders on the update-rampage 😛 You already help people greatly, you do not need to be there all the time :) Furthermore, you do not have a team that helps you with these updates.

Edited by Lava
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Ok, I decided to change all download link to lead to general download page, not the file itself. This will take some time, but it also means I'll have much less headache while updating the list. Of course, for mods that don't have a site and/or their own download section, I'll leave download link as it is now (which usually leads to an offsite Dropbox megashare space). In case of github hosted mods, that doesn't have Release section, I'll probably also leave a download link to a master version. 

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Missed this. I agree to linking to the download's page instead a direct download link where possible.

Making the list more resilient against updates plus preventing you from burning out is a huge point. But also my illogical fear of players missing crucial information and borking their game by blindly installing things adds to me preferring it this way.

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4 minutes ago, jastey said:

Making the list more resilient against updates plus preventing you from burning out is a huge point. But also my illogical fear of players missing crucial information and borking their game by blindly installing things adds to me preferring it this way.

As I wrote before, the link to mod site is already there, it's just a separate download link that lead directly to a file. But I understand your doubts, that it may look like mod is hosted on CoB site. 

Changing all links may take some time, though. 

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