Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

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CMAugust
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by CMAugust » 25 Jul 2018, 03:43

In regards to earlier remarks, I'd caution against projecting any misanthropy - even when people are being unreasonable or downright ugly. I have a lot of admiration for Gavin Clayton, the developer of Daggerfall Unity, for his unwavering projection of positivity. When a response to criticism is necessary, it is handled in a tone of respect. If any tension appears in an online discussion, he is able to quietly defuse it with a certain level of understanding and grace. It makes the community - and the project as a whole - a pleasant and optimistic place to be.

For the record, I think the OpenMW community is also generally pleasant - most of the time. :)

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Ravenwing
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by Ravenwing » 25 Jul 2018, 07:14

NullCascade wrote:
24 Jul 2018, 22:46
I think a lot of the negativity comes from some different experiences and comments on Reddit/Nexus. The first thing any new mod gets asked on those platforms is "Is this Rebirth compatible?" followed by "Is this OpenMW compatible?" I think this creates some animosity towards them, even though they're both fine projects.
Not going to say you don't have a bit of a point, but I think all sides of this equation have been intellectually dishonest. Mod authors are tired of being asked if their work is compatible with an engine that is consistently increasing in popularity? Well everyone here is tired of being asked the same questions over and over again too. It is shocking how often people still ask, both here and on other platforms, if MWSE is compatible with OpenMW. Not even mods that use MWSE, but the actual MWSE itself! A quick search of the Nexus forums shows that the majority of OpenMW related threads involve people who a) couldn't be bothered to make an account here to ask, b) did but are impatient for an answer (from a very small, volunteer dev group), or c) could have answered their own question by 10 min of reading the FAQ and some of our docs.

I will be the first to admit that our marketing/PR could be greatly improved. A lot of our information is difficult to find, difficult to understand, or outdated. I also think that a lot of users and occasionally devs greatly overplay the actual progress/status of the project. This happens more so on platforms like reddit, where we have less influence over how information is being conveyed. My personal philosophy is that, if you're being asked the same question over and over again, it's probably because you haven't explained it well enough, which is why I'm trying to help with documentation when I can.
NullCascade wrote:
24 Jul 2018, 22:46
In the case of OpenMW, it should be that project's job to be compatible with Morrowind mods, not the job of Morrowind mods to be compatible with it. Many modders finish them, try them out on the other engine, and they just don't work. This makes people working on vanilla MW hate how unstable and unreliable OpenMW is, while it makes OpenMW modders shrug and just not support the vanilla engine. During this year's modathon more than a few modders ranted at OpenMW and why it wasn't working with their mods.
This is also intellectually dishonest. It is accurate only so far as, it is OpenMW's responsibility to be compatible with mods that are compatible with vanilla MW. And even that can't be totally claimed, because we haven't made it to 1.0. So many mods use 3rd party tools, it would be ridiculously out of scope, certainly at this point, to try to support them all. And claiming that OpenMW is "unstable and unreliable" is pretty ridiculous, given that the main thing going for OpenMW at this point is that it's more stable and reliable than vanilla. I understand you've been having problems with rendering, but we've also been trying to fix it, correct? As to what MW and OpenMW modders do with and feel about their mods, they're volunteers too. If they don't want to put in work making their mod compatible with the other engine, it might suck for some users, but as long as they don't restrict others from increasing compatibility, I don't see a problem. (Sorry, I've always been a Cathedralist)
NullCascade wrote:
24 Jul 2018, 22:46
Another factor is time. I think OpenMW is more than a decade old? The longer development stretches on without any tangible, beneficial deliveries to modders, the more modders will write it off. Plus for the past few years devs have lied and said "It's almost ready! Probably releasing this year!" then not met those statements. It's cool to tell someone you'll take them to the zoo this year. It's not cool to tell them you'll take them to the zoo this year, for the past 5 years, but never actually do so. At the end of the day, it just doesn't live up to its own hype, which sparks disappointment/resentment and makes people think OpenMW is vaporware.
I think this is an understandable feeling to have, but it still comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of what kind of project this is. And part of this delay was because of the switch to OSG, something hard for the average user to grasp the gravity of. Part of this is certainly our own fault, but even a slight amount of hyping gets blown way out of proportion by people not even connected to the dev team. I think we've also been trying to address this over the last couple of years at least. Over time, people have become so used to the bullshit they have to put up with for the original engine, they view doing some of the same things for OpenMW as much worse. Expectations for the engine have also been a moving target. Just because we've said 1.0 means feature parity with vanilla only doesn't mean users' and modders' expectations haven't risen beyond that. (Thanks in no small part to your own significant advances with MWSE, lol)
NullCascade wrote:
24 Jul 2018, 22:46
I think OpenMW is well on track for fixing some of these issues, by starting to work more closely with modders. Make them happy, and they'll make you happy. More measured expectations might also help. Instead of pulling an E3 Oblivion Todd and saying that everything "Just works!" be honest with the limitations and progress.
Here we are in complete agreement. I think since we're actually getting much closer to 1.0, we're finally able to start branching out into some of the things we've been neglecting while rebuilding the actual engine has been taking precedence. We've also learned from our past mistakes, but putting systems in place to prevent them is slow for a volunteer project of this scale. I hope that you start to see some results from this even if you don't agree with all of our scope, and that you start to lay off a little from some of the more public criticism. I for one am quite excited that you're willing to work more with us.

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Atahualpa
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by Atahualpa » 27 Jul 2018, 08:00

Nice, balanced post, Ravenwing (as usual). Just two remarks:
NullCascade wrote:
24 Jul 2018, 22:46
In the case of OpenMW, it should be that project's job to be compatible with Morrowind mods, not the job of Morrowind mods to be compatible with it. Many modders finish them, try them out on the other engine, and they just don't work.
To be precise: For 100 % mod compatibility, OpenMW must run every mod which does not rely on third-party software and contains no errors (especially scripting). The vanilla engine is very forgiving when it comes to error-checking - which is a developer's nightmare and nothing we'd want to reproduce in OpenMW. The OpenMW team has already put countless hours in tracking down related issues and has come up with various work-arounds and tweaks to achieve compatibility. A fact that is often forgotten in modding-related discussions.

Please note that this is no excuse for the many issues our engine still has.
NullCascade wrote:
24 Jul 2018, 22:46
[...] Plus for the past few years devs have lied and said "It's almost ready! Probably releasing this year!" then not met those statements. It's cool to tell someone you'll take them to the zoo this year. It's not cool to tell them you'll take them to the zoo this year, for the past 5 years, but never actually do so. [...]
Please choose your words more cautiously, NullCascade, because claiming that developers have lied about the project's status is a lie by itself. Yes, our predictions were too optimistic and we failed to achieve our goals in time, but none of us has ever tried to deceive the community. That being said, we have become more realistic and try to avoid overhyping OpenMW. (Which - what subtle irony - lead to people stating that OpenMW is dead.)

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kuyondo
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by kuyondo » 27 Jul 2018, 10:08

Atahualpa wrote:
27 Jul 2018, 08:00
To be precise: For 100 % mod compatibility, OpenMW must run every mod which does not rely on third-party software and contains no errors (especially scripting). The vanilla engine is very forgiving when it comes to error-checking
Exactly, I found a handful of mods, most of which are popular to have bad scripting. When I checked the script, it is indeed a poorly written and have bad syntax. Vanilla engine is really forgiving for those errors. For example, this mod-http://mw.modhistory.com/download-11-13440.
NullCascade wrote:
24 Jul 2018, 22:46
In the case of OpenMW, it should be that project's job to be compatible with Morrowind mods, not the job of Morrowind mods to be compatible with it. Many modders finish them, try them out on the other engine, and they just don't work. This makes people working on vanilla MW hate how unstable and unreliable OpenMW is, while it makes OpenMW modders shrug and just not support the vanilla engine.
I find this statement quite ignorant.
NullCascade wrote:
24 Jul 2018, 22:46
During this year's modathon more than a few modders ranted at OpenMW and why it wasn't working with their mods.
There are some minor cases where OpenMW doesnt replicate vanilla Morrowind mechanics, but I believe so with good reasons. OpenMW can replicate such behaviors but not with side effects, and we dont want such stuff to hinder and detriment the other more important goals of OpenMW. Im sure theres a workaround, if there are mods that need to be reviewed for OpenMW, do let me know.

glorsh66
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by glorsh66 » 27 Jul 2018, 15:01

I have just recently returned to the Morrowind, and obviously, I was trying to find the most appropriate mods that meet my requirements for performance and way it changes the original game (makes it better in some ways, but not completely changes it to the point that it's unrecognizable, especially considering that in truth it's my first full walkthrough).

And initially, I had had some hostile feelings towards OpenMW (before I tried it), although it had not been really hostile more like I had felt some mistrust towards this project, and feared a lot of bugs and quirks.

My reasoning for this (if put concisely):
1) It's an alpha version of the game. And the zero at the beginning of the version number doesn't add much assurance.
2) The version of the game has not been updated for a year or so (I am not talking about the nightly build which I ended up using)
3) It's an open source project and sometimes it means that the project would die before reaching its maturity and can be dotted with bugs.
4) It's somehow new project and not so proven by time. ( Lots of people simply don't know about it and don't trust it)


But after I tried several different sets of mods, I finally have chosen OpenMW - because of its smoothness (even if the FPS counter says otherwise, gameplay in OpenMW at the very least feels smoother than MGE XE and moreover, than the vanilla version of the game)

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raevol
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by raevol » 28 Jul 2018, 01:00

glorsh66 wrote:
27 Jul 2018, 15:01
1) It's an alpha version of the game. And the zero at the beginning of the version number doesn't add much assurance.
2) The version of the game has not been updated for a year or so (I am not talking about the nightly build which I ended up using)
3) It's an open source project [..]
This is a great time to learn about Semantic Versioning! https://semver.org/ As you said, this is an open source project, so we don't use the "traditional" versioning schemes used by proprietary projects.

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wareya
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by wareya » 28 Jul 2018, 03:56

Semantic versioning is unbelievably terrible for anything that isn't a shared library. It's not a standard anywhere else, especially not game engines, and OpenMW being an open source project has nothing to do with it.

In the first place:

Image

Game engines do not have public APIs. It is not possible to construct a public API for a game engine. If you try, you will end up with something several hundred kilobytes long, possibly megabytes, with such ridiculous behavioral descriptions that it's completely unusable. If you say "its behavior is the public API" then any change at all will be a breaking change and the version number will just be a release counter with two zeros attached to it.

If you decide to make a small public API that only describes a small part of what the game engine does, like how content data is compatible with it, you just versioned a small part of the engine and called it the engine. Good job.

You can semantically version individual parts of a game engine (such as its scripting language!), but not the engine as a whole.

Guys, please stop planning to make OpenMW semantically versioned. It downright doesn't make any sense.
paying attention to #1751 #2473 #3609 #3862/#3929 #3807 #4297 #4623

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lysol
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by lysol » 28 Jul 2018, 05:58

Ok, so this discussion has really nothing to do with what brought up this subject, right? Because I guess you don't think OpenMW should be at version 1.XX right now, because that would make no sense at all.
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Atahualpa
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by Atahualpa » 28 Jul 2018, 18:06

Disclaimer: I know that semantic versioning is a bit more complex than what I assume in the following rant. Let's just say that we borrowed the formatting and adapted it to suit our project. Hence, I don't use the term "semantic" below.

I consider our versioning scheme to be practical, intuitive, and honest.

Why is it practical? - Because, first of all, we have a well defined set of main goals for a "version 1.0". Until then, we will simply increase our version number with every minor release. After version 1.0, new main goals will evolve (e.g., multiplayer integration) for a "version 2.0" - and so on. A real no-brainer if you ask me.

Why is it intuitive? - Because I have certain associations with version numbers: A leading "0" stands for a alpha/beta status with possible compatibility issues between releases; a "1" indicates a finished product with (at most) minor issues; a "2" marks a matured product with almost no issues and new, shiny features; etc. The following numbers symbolise the natural development of the product - with a nice, satisfying increase for every (minor) release.

Why is it honest? - Because we will only increase the major version when we have reached the corresponding main goals; because we will never reach a point where we have to guess some sort of percentage to indicate our progress; because we will never feel the urge to push a release to meet certain progress expectations.

Sorry, that was a bit off topic. I don't think that we'll change our versioning scheme anyway. Let's go on with the main discussion.

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wareya
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Re: Recent Negativity Regarding OpenMW

Post by wareya » 28 Jul 2018, 18:57

That's completely valid. I just take issue with trying to call it semantic versioning when it's almost certainly going to be impossible to apply it according to its specification. I'll avoid diverting the thread any further.
paying attention to #1751 #2473 #3609 #3862/#3929 #3807 #4297 #4623

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