I wouldn't call myself a modder, more like a file tweaker, but i agree that modding is a way for any of us to change the game, within our ability to do so. For me raising or lowering outright weapon damage, there is also the subject of timing, and how often a weapon or an ability re-fires. Raising and lowering shields or armor, or mitigation, raising or lowering culture percent rate.
There is also concentration for each race. Do i increase the phase abilities for the Vasari? Raise the hull points and the restore rate of the Tec, the shields and restore rate for the Advent?
Do i increase ship speed? Or lower it? Increase or lower resources and populations that produce credits and metal and crystal for purchasing ships and planet modules. Do i raise costs on things? Or lower them? Where is the fine line between my over powering everything that comes at me, and finding where my skill level will let me play and enjoy a game without getting slaughtered every five minutes by even the militia?
What about the highly skilled heavy gamers, that can outplay anything the game in normal or hard mode can throw at them? How do i mod for that? Well, i guess i make it harder and harder for my medium skill and ask them to play the heck out of it and give me feedback. That would be good. Gamers and modders talking, one saying this works, one saying that doesn't.
But the truth is, if i find a "sweet spot" for me, that i can enjoy and play without dying all the time, it will probably be good for only a small part of the community that, like me, are middle of the road skill wise.
So what we need is not "one fix" but perhaps half a dozen, or two dozen. How much of the game community will that cover?
Lets say that 60 percent of Sins players are casual players, they like a nice game, they get caught off guard quite a bit in the upper level maps or beyond 2 other opponents, or going from hard to unfair with pirates on.
lets say the other 40 percent are heavier players, and 10 percent of that 40 are very hard players, they live and breathe and kill opponents with a skill that borders on instinct. What do they want? Certainly not a game that is targeted and built for a casual game skill level. If we make it hard, and appeal to the hard and hardest players, then the casual players get left behind fairly quickly, they get to mid level, maybe and then die and die till they slow down playing until maybe they dont play except rarely. As a dev, if i were a dev and the numbers above were right, and this is only an example, ok? So its only used as an example, but as a dev, if i target one level of player, then i run the high risk of pushing out the other. Hard games push out the lower skill level players, low level games push out the hard and harder level players.
What if i sort of generalize the game? give it a range? Run small and medium maps with units that are difficult, but don't kill the easy player too regularly. Middle game, make it harder, make the maps more comlplicated, the ai harder, give the higher level players something to sink their claws into. And i suppose make the high end, something like Hell mode where if im not Johnny Hardcore, then im losing my socks in the first 15 minutes!
Anyway, modding can and does answer many of the personal preferences of a lot of people that play this game, any game for that matter, and maybe the devs hoped giving us tools to do things ourselves would make it a game where everyone could find their own "sweet spot" no matter if they were hard core or casual. That is a good decision, it lets people make the game "their" way.
Anyway, with a little more community interaction, modders, and even file tweakers like myself, and those gamers, the casual ones and the heavy and ultra heavy ones could work on projects that will make lots of people happy.
But most of us, and maybe this is modern life, but most of us play and then find things we like or dont like personally, and then tinker with the game and build our own "special" mods.
This is of course just my view on it, but it seems that complaining doesnt help, though i understand the frustration sometimes, haha, you should see how frustrating it is to try and make planets 20 times bigger, because that is what i want and run up against game physics. Haha, i was pulling out my hair!! Well, at least for me, i resized them to 4 times larger for the planets and 10 times bigger for the stars, and you know what? I was happy. It wasn't 20 times bigger, but it was closer to what i wanted.
And when i wanted more ships? Like disruptors and mercy medical ships and cheap fleets of cannon fodder that kept my enemy busy while i built one massive and killer ship that wiped out almost everything the bad guys had. Well that made me happy too.
What im saying is probably obvious and probably contrite to other people, maybe especiallly those that are fed up to the max with certain things in the game. But what im saying is you dont have to stay frustrated, and what you want may not always work, but you sure might be able to get closer to what you want if you try it.
Im no brain, and i cant draw and import models, or re-do cool skyboxes or build abilities that link to this and do that, and give me an effect on top of that as well, but i tweak the files, and play with values and change meshes and raise and lower things, and have a great time. I spend almost more time tweaking than playing, haha, but that is okie, im happy and i like it. So it doesnt bother me. And as for expansions and costs, well, i love this game, and $10 bucks is cheap, and i will get it sight unseen, because i like what they've done so far, and will still like it, when this game becomes like HomeWorld and is ten years old and the devs have gone on to other projects and there are still a small group of us that play and mod it and talk about the good old days.
So if you know how to tweak files, then get a copy of the game files in text and open notepad and start to figure it out. Or if you dont have a clue, like me when i started, haha, and im just slightlly up from base noob, then you can always ask a million questions, like i did, and was of course concerned that everyone would hate me eventually for asking so many inane and out of the blue questions and wouldnt shut up. Haha, or find a friend who mods, or hang out on the forums and make a friend of someone who mods. And ask them to do it, because you are their friend, and they like you. That works too. But anyway, enough of my rambling. This is a good game, it cant be all things to all people. Unless we make the game the way "we" want it. And many many people do.
Take care, and thanks for listening, keep gaming and keep modding!!!!