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Thread: ComSenMod (now for A17)

  1. #1
    Community Moderator Crater Creator's Avatar
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    ComSenMod (now for A17)

    Click here to download
    Latest release: 3/20/2019
    Last tested with Alpha 17.2 b27 (Stable)


    Latest News: ComSenMod 4.0 is completely rewritten for Alpha 17, with new artwork and other changes!

    What Is ComSenMod?

    The Common Sense Mod
    At its heart, ComSenMod is about using what’s already in the game in a more intuitive, common sense way. Loot is carefully apportioned to occur in places where you’d intuitively expect it to be, without prior knowledge of the game. Clothes in a suitcase make sense, so that omission from vanilla is added. Coffee beans under a bathroom sink don’t make sense, so that peculiarity from vanilla is removed. The same philosophy is applied to blocks (like storage boxes holding more than the smaller chests), items (like cigars being made of plant fibers), and recipes (like needing a source of ignition to start a fire).

    Less Useless Clutter
    A couple of nails or arrows clutter your inventory and are almost more cumbersome than they’re worth. So although ComSenMod doesn’t aim to increase loot overall, when you do find something, it’s a stack big enough to potentially change the narrative of your game. Similarly, each boulder only yields one resource other than stone, instead of every boulder having every mineral. Players get a bonus for destroying a tree or boulder completely, instead of leaving them partially damaged.

    Better Balance
    Quantities of lootable items are fine tuned, iteratively based on many hours of gameplay. Many factors, including risk versus reward, rarity, tangible value, the progression curve over time, and utilization are taken into consideration.

    Improved Experience for New Players
    The starter quest is re-ordered based on increasing complexity and a player’s real priorities. Localization text is improved (English only) to communicate more important information. Sleeper zombies scale up with gamestage, so that seeking shelter in an existing building is viable.

    What ComSenMod Is Not
    ComSenMod isn’t aimed at making the game easier, harder, or catering to any one playstyle. It’s not meant to take the game in a wildly new direction with experimental or frivolous changes. My hope is that the mod will have broad appeal, and all kinds of players will wonder why the game wasn’t always this way.

    What’s New In ComSenMod 4.0?

    • All zombies can be looted again, for junk-level loot. Zombies drop loot backpacks more often, with the loot in the backpack tailored specifically to the type of zombie.
      This hybrid approach rewards engagement, monitoring your passive defenses, and targeting specific zombie types. It creates a progression, from looting every zombie in the early-game struggle to survive, to only going after loot backpacks in the later game. It reduces the pressure on non-renewable resources in multiplayer. The backpacks still feel like a rare bonus, while still taking the guesswork and tedium out of looting.
    • Each boulder has one resource besides stone, for reduced clutter
    • Tree hit points & harvest amounts better reflect the tree’s visible size, with more intermediate sizes
    • A new hot ember item is used as the source of ignition for all fire-type recipes
    • For the first time, ComSenMod adds new artwork to the game, in the form of several new item icons
    • Localization files are fully updated (English only) to reflect all of the mod’s changes, and to provide more help to new players in the starter quest
    • Traders pay less attention to the quality of an item, since most of the added value is theoretical unless you actually have mods installed
    • The usual batch of loot, recipe, and other changes for the sake of balance, utilization, intuition, and how stuff works.


    Installation

    Automatic Installation (recommended)
    Download sphereii’s Mod Launcher app (https://7daystodie.com/forums/showthread.php?48537). Then find ComSenMod in the list of mods and download & install ComSenMod directly from within the app.

    Manual Installation
    Move the ComSenMod folder into the game’s Mods folder. Then, in the vanilla game’s data files, locate “Localization.txt” and “Localization - Quest.txt” in the Config folder. Replace these two files with the two files of the same names in the ComSenMod->Config folder.

    ComSenMod & Other Mods
    ComSenMod uses standard xpath syntax and so should be compatible with most other modlets. If anything, you may need to merge changes to loot.xml, Localization.txt, and Localization - Quest.txt.

    Multiplayer
    For multiplayer games, every player should install ComSenMod on his or her own machine, in addition to the server operator. Like with other mods, some data isn’t pushed from the server to the clients, so clients without the mod installed will get confusing results.

    Known Issues

    • You can’t retrieve arrows from ragdoll corpses, because it conflicts with them being lootable. Players should retrieve their arrows before the zombie dies, or wait until the corpse disappears & the arrows appear in small sacks (though some sacks will, unfortunately, fall through the ground).
    • Extra zombies may be briefly visible or audible as you approach a POI, due to a hack to reduce the number of sleepers at low gamestages.
    • Road debris sometimes floats above the ground, though it shouldn’t be any worse than the cinder blocks in vanilla
    • Bandages take up three belt slots when starting a game. Players can stack these into one slot if they like.



    Credits

    ComSenMod is solely developed by me, Crater Creator. My thanks go to the good and knowledgable people of Guppycur’s Discord, and to sphereii for his Mod Launcher. Source images for the item icons come from these sources.
    7DtD wiki (http://7daystodie.gamepedia.com/7_Days_to_Die_Wiki)
    https://shop.lodgemfg.com/images/L8GP3_L.jpg
    https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1194136

    Feedback

    I love feedback! Please tell me what you think right here in this thread.
    Last edited by Crater Creator; 03-22-2019 at 11:22 AM. Reason: updated download link

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Crater Creator's Avatar
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    Change List - Part 1

    This is a list of all changes in ComSenMod relative to the vanilla game. For your reading pleasure, each change is accompanied by the reasoning behind it.

    biomes.xml:
    • Reduced max surface rock probability (found in clay subbiomes) from .025 to .015
      Aesthetically, the 2 rock models used are old Unity assets that look bad when repeated so often on screen
      Balance-wise, these were so abundant, you never needed to mine underground
    • Quadrupled chance of mining silver/gold/diamond ore in all biomes
      Don’t have a feature so rare the player never encounters it. That’s still a 1 in 1250 chance to hit silver, just among sub-biome blocks, and the other ores are rarer.
    • Reduced hollow tree stumps by 50%
      There shouldn’t be many of them within eyesight. It’s visually repetitious, and too many warm clothes growing on trees nullifies the unique challenges of the snowy biome.
    • Reduced bird nests by 50%
      Goes with another change to put ‘bird nests’ in trees, where players intuitively expect to find them
    • Reduced snowberries in forest subbiome by 50%
      They were unnaturally thick, and more abundant in temperate forest clay than any other place

    blocks.xml:
    • Moved harvesting car headlights from fully damaged state to somewhat damaged state
      The headlight is only visible in the intact and somewhat-damaged models. Besides, it would be broken long before the car is down to its metal chassis.
    • Added chance to harvest car batteries from undamaged cars
      Logically, car batteries are easily accessible and removable without having to strip down the car first.
      Balance-wise, players weren’t harvesting enough batteries relative to the number of headlights.
    • Any tree with harvestable wood has a chance to drop feathers when destroyed. Trees that also bear seeds have a 50% greater chance of feathers.
      Most birds make nests in trees, so players intuitively expect to find them there. This represents picking through any bird nests that may be
      in the tree after it falls, while the eggs break from the fall.
    • Doubled chance of harvesting mechanical parts from all stages of cars
      A car has far more bolts, gears, etc. than other sources of mechanical parts, like chairs and toilets
    • Changed coffins to use their own loot list
      Coffins should have clothes & bones over random junk
    • House front doors have a chance to drop doorknobs when destroyed
      The doorknob is clearly visible, and this is consistent with other brass fixtures in these houses
    • Bird nests drop wood when destroyed instead of plant fibers
      The nest’s material is set to wood. When you hit it, it sounds like wood, and makes wood particles.
    • School desks can be harvested for scrap plastic & iron
      The seat and desktop are made of plastic. It was probably set up before plastics & harvesting were introduced
    • Cacti drop wood when destroyed instead of yucca fruit
      Cacti were effectively just another yucca plant, and too much fruit makes hunger & thirst a nonissue. Now players will still appreciate the wood, from which the ribs of a real saguaro are made.
    • Blinds drop scrap plastic when destroyed
      These were probably created before the game had plastic as a material

    buffs.xml:
    • Increased splint effectiveness from 2x healing speed to 3x
      The healing time was still frustratingly slow when you consider a splint is the only and best remedy a player has, and how easily legs sprain and break.

    entityclasses.xml
    • Set basic female zombies to drop basic zombie loot instead of fat zombie loot
      This is expected to lower the overall amount of food from zombies considerably. It was probably an oversight.

    items.xml:
    • Increased chance of torches alighting enemies from 10% to 25%
      This is the one obvious thing players expect could happen when hitting a zombie with a torch. Torches aren’t trivial to make and are poor weapons otherwise; this helps the game ‘look right’ more than anything.
    • added weight to running shoes so they can be scrapped
      No reason these shouldn’t be scrappable like all other shoes. Probably an oversight.
    Last edited by Crater Creator; 02-24-2017 at 02:37 AM. Reason: formatting

  3. #3
    Community Moderator Crater Creator's Avatar
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    Change List - Part 2

    loot.xml:
    • Added small chance to find precious metals in cupboards & drawers
      This represents finding fine silverware.
    • Increased quantities found for some stackable junk loot, like nails
      Finding one nail at a time is useless; it just takes up inventory space. Finding a handful of nails is at least equally plausible and more likely to be good for something other than scrap.
    • Added scrap iron to junk
      Representing all the random stuff people throw away containing iron or other cheap metals
    • Added clothes to junk
      Old clothes get thrown away. Naked in the apocalypse, you’d be happy to wear dirty rags.
    • Added plant fibers & dirt fragments to junk
      Representing yard waste & decomposing matter, and that junk tends to be dirty.
    • Made first aid kits twice as common as other rare medicine
      They’re less valuable than beakers, antibiotics, blood draw kits, and first aid schematics, so they should appear more often.
    • Added medicine to lootable backpacks
      Medicine’s just a sensible thing someone traveling with a backpack would pack.
    • Renormalized backpack loot probabilities
      No effect on gameplay, just easier to compute at a glance
    • Added scrap plastic to medicine & sinks
      Representing old plastic bottles one would find under sinks and wherever medicine is found (mostly medicine cabinets)
    • Increased probability of old cash from safes
      Safes are where the money is.
    • Added iron club to zombie cop loot
      Representing a billy club
    • Added tools to garage loot
      What garage doesn’t have some tools lying around?
    • Added working stiffs loot to airdrops (including chance to spawn rare tools like calipers)
      The army is enlightened enough to realize you don’t just need stuff, you need things for making stuff. Teach a man to fish and all that.
    • Added eggs, feathers, and mushrooms to hollow stumps
      Representing that dead stumps may be home to nesting birds and growing fungus
    • Added clothes and books to suitcases
      What do people pack in suitcases? Clothes, mostly. Maybe a book to read. This isn’t rocket science.
    • Replaced instances of Sham sandwiches in loot with all types of rotten food
      A sandwich contains meat and bread. But since you can’t scrap a sandwich to get either of these (material=“organic”), zombies should drop the pieces sometimes instead of the whole sandwich.
    • Added repair kit to guns+ammo loot group
      It makes sense people would keep materials for repairing/maintaining their guns with their guns and ammo.
    • Added goldenrod & red tea to beverage loot
      No reason not to add these: they’re drinks you’d find in coolers where this loot group occurs, and their value lies between beer and water
    • Reduced container size for purse and bird nest from 12 to 8
      These container’s capacities didn’t reflect their small physical size. 8 is small enough to notice, without being too small for the loot they might contain.
    • Increased max number of casino tokens from cash registers by 50%
      I found that I never got enough tokens from a store to be able to buy something from its vending machine, which makes the convenience of having vending machines in different stores irrelevant.
    • Split backpack loot between ‘cupboard’ food and rotten food
      This reflects that some people packed perishable food in their backpacks, which are often moldy and decomposing by now.
    • Doubled max amount of loot in dumpsters
      Dumpsters are big. Their container grids are large, but they only spawned as much loot as a small trash pile. It’s still junk, there’s just more of it.
    • Increased Utility Worker’s chance of dropping tools
      If there’s one zombie you’d expect to be carrying a hammer, wrench, or other tools, it’s this guy.
    • Added a number of Working Stiffs-type loot to Utility/Construction Worker zombie loot
      Same. This changes the zombie from merely looking different into a sought-after target.
    • Removed books from Mortician’s Drawer
      Why would there ever be a book in there?
    • Added facial piercings to skateboarder zombie loot
      It fits the skateboarder stereotype.
    • Added facial piercings & black bandana to biker zombie loot
      It fits the biker stereotype.
    • Replaced beer with grain alcohol in farmer zombie loot
      Anyone can drink beer. Homegrown moonshine has more backwoods charm.
    • Added overalls to farmer zombie loot
      It fits the farmer stereotype.
    • Moved trophies out of filing cabinets and into safes
      Keeping a trophy in a safe seems much more plausible than keeping it in a filing cabinet. Who does that?
    • Slightly increased possible feathers & eggs per bird nest
      Offsets lower nest frequency
    • Added rare medicine to Pop n Pills loot
      If a football player can drop a first aid kit schematic or a beaker, surely you should be able to find them at a pharmacy.
    • Reduced amount of medicine you can get from airdrops
      On the default 3 days between airdrops, you accumulate too many antibiotics and beakers
    • Doubled amount of loot you can find in cars
      Cars are larger than other containers. They have more grid space and they occupy many blocks, so it makes sense that, like dumpsters, they can hold more things.
    • Increased max forged iron or steel you can find from several containers from 2 to 10
      You can’t do anything with 2 forged iron/steel, and they’re too rare to accumulate enough from multiple sources to do anything. I assume this is a holdover from when it took less iron to make things.
    • Reduced container size of gas pump from 32 to 20
      Only gas spawns in gas pumps; there’s no need for extra space
    • Made new loot list for coffins
      Coffins should have bones & clothes over random junk
    • Standardized sources of scrap plastic, other than UMA zombies, to spawn 1-8 units
      You can’t do hardly anything with 3 units of plastic
    • Added bucket to tools loot group
      Buckets weren’t found in any loot. This puts them alongside other common hardware.
    • Added military armor & hazmat gear to airdrop loot
      If they’re willing to give you military weapons, they should be willing to give you military armor.
    • Transferred hazmat gear from lumberjacks to nurses & doubled probability to 0.02
      One would sooner expect a nurse to encounter hazardous materials than a lumberjack.
    • Added scrap armor to heavy armor loot group
      Scrap armor wasn’t found in any loot. This makes them appear rarely in backpacks.
    • Added concrete mix to working stiffs loot
      You’d find it in a hardware store and, like rebar, it’ll give a player a nice timesaving, versatile leg up on building.
    • Added a rare chance to find seeds and duct tape in mailboxes
      Trying to make mailboxes less boring by adding better things to rarely find. Also, these items weren’t found in many different places. Duct tape represents packing tape & other adhesives you could reuse.
    • Reduced amount of oil you find in junk
      Now it matches the amount you find in the automotive loot group
    • Switched garbage piles & dumpsters to use new “trash” quality template
      Junk now contains items with quality levels, which should be low quality since they’re junk
    • Loot found in trash (pile, dumpster, can) has lower quality by using a new quality template
      This became necessary now that clothes, which have a quality, are found in trash
    • Removed duplicate entry for coffee beans in seed loot group
      Assumed to be an oversight
    • Added black shades, worn boots to warm clothes loot group
      Where there are shades, there should be black shades. Boots are warm.
    • Adjusted probabilities of individual ammo types in ammo loot group
      They were all equal except for magnum rounds. They now better reflect the scarcity/power/skill level of each type and/or the weapons that use them.
    • Made new “survival stash” loot group to replace sporting goods
      Found only in tree stumps, many sporting goods weren’t relevant. Now it’s stuff someone would stash on a hunting trip.
    • Reduced chance of finding doorknobs in junk by half
      Doors now sometimes drop doorknobs when destroyed, so this is to keep the overall balance of brass roughly the same
    Last edited by Crater Creator; 02-24-2017 at 02:45 AM. Reason: formatting

  4. #4
    Community Moderator Crater Creator's Avatar
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    Change List - Part 3

    quests.xml:
    • Updated bedroll quest to match new recipe
    • Updated campfire quest to match new recipe


    recipes.xml:
    • Changed bedroll recipe to require cloth & cotton
      A bed is valuable for gameplay and imparts a degree of permanence. It should take more than 5 seconds worth of effort to make one. Helps justify very abundant cotton plants, and could deter PvP griefers.
    • Added calipers recipe requiring tool & die set
      Addresses the odd situation of finding the tool & die set before you find calipers, which means you can make rockets before you can make bullets. Tool & die sets are for making tools, so it works.
    • Added alternative steel arrow & steel bolt recipes using plastic and a workbench instead of feathers
      This pairs with more abundant scrap plastic. Players can use more ‘high-tech’ plastic fletching to complement more ‘high-tech’ steel arrowheads.
    • Changed exploding crossbow bolt recipe to use scrap plastic instead of feathers
      This pairs with more abundant scrap plastic, and reflects the higher-tech nature of these ammunitions.
    • Reduced electric parts needed for flashlight to not exceed other craftable lights
      Flashlights are smaller and less complex than wall lights, so they shouldn’t require more electric parts.
    • Added candle/torch to campfire recipe
      You can’t make a fire with just rocks. You need a source of ignition. This changes the early game radically, but is pivotal for this to really be considered a survival game.
    • Reduced smelting time for brick blocks by about one third
      The long forging times are a side effect of bricks being all clay. In short, when you compare the hit points of various materials as a function of the time to make them, brick was not competitive.
    • Changed food recipes that don’t use water to require the grill instead of the pot
      The grill was underutilized. There was almost no reason to get one. Now both the pot and the grill offer a number of food options.
    • Changed blunderbuss recipe to use brass instead of forged iron (doesn’t require forge)
      By the time most players could make a blunderbuss, they’d moved on to better weapons, so the blunderbuss didn’t fill any role.
    • Added alternate mining helmet recipe that uses ZU football helmet
      The ZU football helmet is just a different color; it should work the same

  5. #5
    Community Moderator Crater Creator's Avatar
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    And lastly for now, anyone is welcome to incorporate ComSenMod into their own works, but I'd appreciate it if you'd credit me, Crater Creator, if you do. Or to put it formally, ComSenMod is released under the CC BY license. I will gladly take an opportunity to put out a Terms of Use that isn't 10 pages of legalese.

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    Colony Founder TSBX's Avatar
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    Awesome work, I like your line of thinking.

  7. #7
    Guppycurian Forum Whore Guppycur's Avatar
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    Saves me the trouble, thanks.

    Hm, I thought you were done, didn't mean to break your post string.
    Last edited by Crater Creator; 03-21-2019 at 12:38 AM. Reason: Moved to keep top posts together

  8. #8
    Hood Ornament Gamida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppycur View Post
    Hm, I thought you were done, didn't mean to break your post string.
    No Soup For You!!!

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    Colony Founder The-Walking-Dad's Avatar
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    Doubleplusgood!

  10. #10
    Tracker AlienZ's Avatar
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    Wow, great stuff!
    Can't wait to check it out

  11. #11
    Guppycurian Forum Whore Guppycur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crater Creator View Post
    And lastly for now, anyone is welcome to incorporate ComSenMod into their own works, but I'd appreciate it if you'd credit me, Crater Creator, if you do. Or to put it formally, ComSenMod is released under the CC BY license. I will gladly take an opportunity to put out a Terms of Use that isn't 10 pages of legalese.
    Bah, Nm then. I'll spend the 10mins editing the recipe xml. ;-)

    (Cracking myself up since 1971)

  12. #12
    Colony Founder Doombringer101's Avatar
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    Nice list
    I may have overlooked it but I personally think the chances of one or more whole guns in a gun safe is realistic, along with parts, suitable ammunition and repair kits.
    Sample loot (just examples, numbers just plucked from nowhere, not balanced)
    *hunting rifle
    *spare part(s) -hunting rifle barrel, hunting rifle parts or hunting rifle bolt
    *ammunition - 50-100 7.62mm rounds
    *repair kit(s)

  13. #13
    Community Moderator Crater Creator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guppycur View Post
    Hm, I thought you were done, didn't mean to break your post string.
    I guess you could say Guppy is now

    ...on my list.

    The real problem is you can't reserve a post reliably, because if you reply too soon it'll append it to your first post.

  14. #14
    Tracker AlienZ's Avatar
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    I was reading through your change list and thought that I can implement some of your ideas into my game, so I started highlighting the ideas I like. I ended up highlighting almost all of the document!
    I am going to merge those ideas into the War of the Walkers mod that I am playing.
    I already merged some ideas from other mods as well and I'm really starting to enjoy the end result. I think after I'm done adding your ideas it will bring some much needed balancing to my mod bundle.
    Thanks for your hard work and creativity!
    Last edited by AlienZ; 02-25-2017 at 12:36 AM.

  15. #15
    Community Moderator Crater Creator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlienZ View Post
    I was reading through your change list and thought that I can implement some of your ideas into my game, so I started highlighting the ideas I like. I ended up highlighting almost all of the document!
    I am going to merge those ideas into the War of the Walkers mod that I am playing.
    I already merged some ideas from other mods as well and I'm really starting to enjoy the end result. I think after I'm done adding your ideas it will bring some much needed balancing to my mod bundle.
    Thanks for your hard work and creativity!
    That's so good to hear, AlienZ! Let me know how it plays out!

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