An open letter from the Kingdoms of Arda team, and the total-conversion mod community

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Dejan

Community Manager
WBNWVCM&B
Just to clarify and avoid giving a false impression: We have gone over "internal" usages, added and removed some internal modifiers to make it less random / more consistent. So we haven't "removed all the internal modifiers".

There are some more coding-related changes relevant to you modders coming with e1.6.0 but let's wait for the patch. It's coming soon as always, we have some more blocker issues to resolve.
Great! Now when can we change certain areas of individual agent AI which is hardcoded in the C++ engine?
I sense that a more detailed proposal is on the way? :smile: What is it that you're trying to achieve and why? Have you tried doing it already and if so, what's the blocker? You can either respond here or preferably make a new dedicated thread here, please.
 

Bloc

Archduke
WB
So we haven't "removed all the internal modifiers".
And the reason for this is... what exactly?

Even simply doing CTRL+Shift+F , Replace All, "internal" -> "public" would help a lot of modders as many already wrote. Also, doing this can't have any production/build failures on your end as far as I can tell - because the scope of public > internal and if something is working with Internal it should work with Public too.
 

Jance

Recruit
WBWF&SNWVC
And the reason for this is... what exactly?

Even simply doing CTRL+Shift+F , Replace All, "internal" -> "public" would help a lot of modders as many already wrote. Also, doing this can't have any production/build failures on your end as far as I can tell - because the scope of public > internal and if something is working with Internal it should work with Public too.
While I agree with this, I'm just happy that there will at least be *some* of them removed. Pretty much every system I've tried to modify so far is littered with them, so this is a good first step imo.
 

Jance

Recruit
WBWF&SNWVC
I sense that a more detailed proposal is on the way? :smile: What is it that you're trying to achieve and why? Have you tried doing it already and if so, what's the blocker? You can either respond here or preferably make a new dedicated thread here, please.
Frankly even the agent/formation/siege behaviors that are exposed outside of the engine are pretty much unmoddable in their current state due to (you guessed it!) the internal keyword.

While I think the removal of some of the uses of internal is a good first step (as said above), if you really want modding to thrive and make the most of what you've given us to work with, it really should be removed from pretty much everything. Even something like changing the color of blood splatters like I worked on yesterday is made stupidly/unnecessarily difficult due to the internal keyword, and this is the case with pretty much every system I try to interface with.
 

Bloc

Archduke
WB
While I agree with this, I'm just happy that there will at least be *some* of them removed. Pretty much every system I've tried to modify so far is littered with them, so this is a good first step imo.
Based on what he says, they didn't just remove some but they also added some as well. And I don't see any reason why would anyone says: "Modding has always been a massive part of Mount & Blade, and Bannerlord is no exception to that! We of course want to do what we can to support you in your efforts wherever possible." and then adds new internals while letter itself says "remove them"

If you promise freedom to someone and then say "I will take you out of your prison cell, but you will still have your handcuffs and ankle shackles" I wouldn't call that freedom.

So @Dejan , I want to know the main reason. Why exactly this has been decided while you could just remove all of them?
Adding new ones also indicates that you are not planning to remove all of them in the future as well - so it's not a small step for future removal.
But please give TW's official reason/answer if possible - I'm not interested in personal thoughts on this like "...something something, but that's my opinion" since personal opinions have proven to be worthless in TW's internal decision structure.
If the official answer is "because of consistent structure", then you can just tell that too. I know you gave one reason but I want to make sure that this is the official and main reason of this weird decision.
 

Dejan

Community Manager
WBNWVCM&B
Frankly even the agent/formation/siege behaviors that are exposed outside of the engine are pretty much unmoddable in their current state due to (you guessed it!) the internal keyword.

While I think the removal of some of the uses of internal is a good first step (as said above), if you really want modding to thrive and make the most of what you've given us to work with, it really should be removed from pretty much everything. Even something like changing the color of blood splatters like I worked on yesterday is made stupidly/unnecessarily difficult due to the internal keyword, and this is the case with pretty much every system I try to interface with.
I understand the frustration and the desire that you have but I have already outlined the current stance that we have on this. As previously mentioned, we are willing and eager to go over the issues together with you, one by one - and you have outlined an example of such an issue just now.

Let's wait for the patch to drop, evaluate what has changed, and see if it's a step in the right direction for you guys to make the modding easier and more accessible. After that, we can discuss the remaining issues further.
 

Jance

Recruit
WBWF&SNWVC
So @Dejan , I want to know the main reason. Why exactly this has been decided while you could just remove all of them?
Adding new ones also indicates that you are not planning to remove all of them in the future as well - so it's not a small step for future removal.
But please give TW's official reason/answer if possible - I'm not interested in personal thoughts on this like "...something something, but that's my opinion" since personal opinions have proven to be worthless in TW's internal decision structure.
If the official answer is "because of consistent structure", then you can just tell that too. I know you gave one reason but I want to make sure that this is the official and main reason of this weird decision.
I've probably asked this 20 times already, and have yet to receive a conclusive answer. The lack of an official response has led to all sorts of speculation (I personally think it is someone non-technical high up in management pushing for this), so it's only further damaging TW's reputation as long as they aren't transparent about this.
 
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Jance

Recruit
WBWF&SNWVC
I understand the frustration and the desire that you have but I have already outlined the current stance that we have on this. As previously mentioned, we are willing and eager to go over the issues together with you, one by one - and you have outlined an example of such an issue just now.
I've already explained that this is a problem that is superfluous throughout the entirety of the game's code. Every time I set out to get something done for my mod I am hindered by this single problem (which happens to be extremely easy for you guys to fix, but continue to refuse to for unexplained reasons). While you may understand our frustration, whoever is pushing for this clearly doesn't, hence why I keep bringing it up repeatedly (and I will continue until something is actually done about it) on behalf of my fellow modders.

It would be a far better use of everyone's time if the keyword was replaced entirely, then we discuss where it is actually needed, rather than the converse.
 
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Bloc

Archduke
WB
I understand the frustration and the desire that you have but I have already outlined the current stance that we have on this. As previously mentioned, we are willing and eager to go over the issues together with you, one by one - and you have outlined an example of such an issue just now.
With all due respect, this is bull****. This sounds like a perfect way to waste Jance's or any other modder's time. Whoever suggesting this is either has no idea about code/class structures work or simply doesn't want people to do anything about this because no sane person would report each class one by one while you can just search for it on your own codebase.

I'm not sure what TW's end-game in this but this guy already wrote a huge letter to you all by combining all the concerns from several Total Conversion modders which clearly already took a huge amount of time and effort. I'm not a TC modder but even for me, Internal classes were extremely pointless and annoying. And now see that you are defending this and even adding new ones shows that previously this was also done intentionally as @John_M said. So my apologies John, I was naive enough to think that TW would be aware of the fact that their sole existence is depending on mods. But apparently, they really do think that their game is in its best shape and don't want anyone to touch it.

I guess you guys are afraid of modders, and trying to find a way to shut some doors, same as you did for MisterOutOfTime. If you clear the obstacles, they will make nice mods with features that should clearly be part of the main game but it isn't because of the same devs that want "consistent" code. Because if you allow them to do what they want to do, TW's breathtaking barber feature and sheep textures will be overshadowed by those mods.

So my suggestion, either stop using that PR sentence "we love modders" etc, or really commit to that word, listen and do what they are saying. No modder is asking these things just to "break" the game or for any malicious reason. Furthermore, it's extremely hilarious to say that this has been done for "consistency" while there is no trace of any consistency within the codebase - even in same goddamn class.

Removing internal keyword was the easiest thing that can be done in the codebase which they asked for and even for this you are acting extremely strange as a company. This is not a rant about internal keyword removal but about overall TW's bs attitude towards it's modding and player community.

PS: Don't take this personal, when I'm saying "you", I'm referring to TW. I know your role in the company and I know it's not your decision.
 

bonerstorm

Genghis Khan't
Sergeant
Well I'm glad that we got a follow-up response.

The response might have been analogous to "We've graciously decided to crap in all your lunchboxes" - but at least it's something.

I'm going to +1 @Bloc and @Jance and others saying that there's zero justification for blocking off any part of the visible code. The fact that there are any instances where the Internal tag is being added is a slap in the face.

@Dejan I unironically appreciate the communication, but seriously these communications would go over a lot better if we could get straight answers about why these decisions are being made.
  1. The players have a lot of detailed complaints about practically every aspect of the game
  2. We don't trust TW to take those complaints seriously
  3. We definitely don't trust TW to implement changes to address those complaints
  4. We trust modders to fix things how we like it - or allow us options to tweak things until they're just right
  5. What little trust we have in TW is eroded further when large sections of the game are labeled "No Modders Allowed" with no explanation - even if that gating becomes "more consistent"
In absence of explanations from y'all, people naturally come up with extremely unflattering explanations for this behavior.

I honestly don't believe that prolific use of the Internal flag is because of dev jealousy of the modding community or because of secret plans to monetize BL with microtransactions for character skins/equipment, but I'd be lying if I said they weren't plausible absent any evidence to the contrary.
 

guiskj

Squire
If you allow the horrendous and insensitive analogy, me coming back to these forums every day feels like a battered spouse who just won't quit.

Social Worker: why do you keep coming back to TW when they treat you so bad?
Us: you don't understand, we've been together for years. You didn't know them back in 2010 when they were at their prime. So charming and full of life.
Social Worker: look, I know their engine looks good, but is just all for show. They are going to hurt you again and again.
Us: I know TW, deep deep down their code is good. I have to belief that. I have to belief I can mod it!
Social Worker: it is you that don't understand. If you don't change, the CPU will take away your hard drives. Is that what you want?!?!
 

five bucks

Knight at Arms
@Dejan so just to be clear, there is a possibility that the internal keywords will be removed in future, correct?

If I understand correctly TW's stance is that internal keyword is left in to aid compatibility, but the modders' reply was that it hurts compatibility rather than aids it.

"modders are forced to patch code with Harmony or completely redefine generic classes within their own submodules, compatibility between mods is entirely dependent on whether those mods patch the same areas of code."

And I haven't seen a response from TW to that part. Why is it considered so crucial for 'internal' to be used when the modding community is vehemently against it and the only reason I've seen from TW (compatibility) apparently doesn't work anyway? I may have missed something, but could you please explain that for me/us?
 

dijiTurk

Banned
WBNWVCM&BWF&S
>TW should cover its all rights on anything at game(including any possible money gaining decitions from any part of game).
>Other companies shouldnt come TW with a copyright issues.
>Modders should able to change almost anything at game.
>Modders should be able to add any character to game within DLC contents(marvel characters etc).

I want these things..

And, yes. I would like to see green blood. Thats just a basic desire.
 
>TW should cover its all rights on anything at game(including any possible money gaining decitions from any part of game).
>Other companies shouldnt come TW with a copyright issues.
>Modders should able to change almost anything at game.
>Modders should be able to add any character to game within DLC contents(marvel characters etc).

I want these things..

And, yes. I would like to see green blood. Thats just a basic desire.
@Dejan another thing I want to add is that modders who want to new races such as elf/orc to skins.xml in addition to "man", "woman" etc are unable to do so because the skins are hard-coded in the engine.
 

Bloc

Archduke
WB
I honestly don't believe that prolific use of the Internal flag is because of dev jealousy of the modding community
Well... We do have proof of this claim which happened not so long ago to a modder. Whether what he did was legal or not is another matter - how TW reacted this is another. And you can clearly see that TW was sad like a 5 years old kid.
The problem with yours was that it was getting a publicity of being "a better mp" and there are many people working on server side. They are obviously upset that you kind of steal all the credit. I mean issues are mostly design issues, there are many other people. Devs, artists etc. that did their job well but all gone to kind of waste due to those community server people advertising their changes as "better mp".




Anyway, I'm done with modding. I will release one last thing because I promised to some people and don't want to waste their efforts but apart from that, I'm done with modding to this game.
With these latest arrogant actions, Taleworlds proved that they are not willing to help out their modders - modders who are making this piece of misery somewhat playable. Adding more internal keywords to code and explaining this has been done for consistency is beyond being pathetic. TW is unaware of how modding works or doesn't know their own inconsistent crappy codebase. In either way, the overall approach of TW is not friendly. I'm personally not okay with making something for a company that doesn't give a jack about the modders and blocks them but still takes the sweet credit and AAA price out of it.
 

Untold

Recruit
WBVCWF&S
Well... We do have proof of this claim which happened not so long ago to a modder. Whether what he did was legal or not is another matter - how TW reacted this is another. And you can clearly see that TW was sad like a 5 years old kid.





Anyway, I'm done with modding. I will release one last thing because I promised to some people and don't want to waste their efforts but apart from that, I'm done with modding to this game.
With these latest arrogant actions, Taleworlds proved that they are not willing to help out their modders - modders who are making this piece of misery somewhat playable. Adding more internal keywords to code and explaining this has been done for consistency is beyond being pathetic. TW is unaware of how modding works or doesn't know their own inconsistent crappy codebase. In either way, the overall approach of TW is not friendly. I'm personally not okay with making something for a company that doesn't give a jack about the modders and blocks them but still takes the sweet credit and AAA price out of it.
That sucks. Thanks for the hard work. Hopefully things change in the future but this seems to be how corporations deal with their fans and supporters now adays.
 

vonbalt

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVCM&B
Anyway, I'm done with modding. I will release one last thing because I promised to some people and don't want to waste their efforts but apart from that, I'm done with modding to this game.
With these latest arrogant actions, Taleworlds proved that they are not willing to help out their modders - modders who are making this piece of misery somewhat playable. Adding more internal keywords to code and explaining this has been done for consistency is beyond being pathetic. TW is unaware of how modding works or doesn't know their own inconsistent crappy codebase. In either way, the overall approach of TW is not friendly. I'm personally not okay with making something for a company that doesn't give a jack about the modders and blocks them but still takes the sweet credit and AAA price out of it.
Damn this is sad but i totally get you, you'll be missed, your works are truly amazing and definitely salvaged parts of the game for me :grin:

If this is the only way to show them this isn't acceptable and still hurt modders that keep their games alive so be it, i still hope they have a change at heart but the way things are going.. maybe when their next game doesn't sell aswell they'll understand what this community that hyped bannerlord to the moon and back for years have done for them.
 
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