What are packs? (Baby, don’t hurt me…)

The younger of you may not get that reference.
Those that do may not appreciate it. 😛

Something that comes up really often for me is modpacks. Part of this is that Mystcraft is constantly inundated with modpack requests, but also because I interact with the community on this point. I enjoy providing tools and options to people building interesting packs.
So this post about modpacks will be to modders, not pack creators.

I think of modpacks as something akin to a remix. Taking things which already exist and arranging them to make something new. This is what I think a good modpack should be these days.*
Now, this squarely sets me as one of the modders who wants to build my mod(s) such as to allow easy remixing. Thus I provide lots of configs and options and IMC tools and try to make things as adaptive and adjustable as possible. I realize not all modders see things this way, and that some don’t want to allow for that level of customization. That’s really up to them. However, I would implore everyone to consider it.
You don’t have to make it as easy as a config option -IMC mechanics work well for modpack creators-, but allowing for mechanics to be added, tweaked, and disabled permits pack creators to produce even more creative things.

Some thoughts to consider:
You never can control how a user uses any software you write. Ever. Ultimately, how a user wishes to use what you have created is up to them.
If you are creating a mod, you are doing precisely this to someone else’s mechanics; you are modifying and extending the base game. Disallowing others to do that to what you have created is your right, but it is when we build on others’ work that the most interesting things occur. Letting others build on your work can lead to exciting things. Sometimes those contributions can be integrated into your work, and that saves you a lot of work!
Enabling remixing and control over how things work at any level helps build a stronger (,better, and more friendly) community. I know that the MC community is often… well, not as great as we’d like. The trick is to insulate yourself with the better of them (and ignore the rest). This helps with that.

Just my two cents on the topic. I use mods to produce the game I want to play. I like when those mods are balanced and interact well with each other, but sometimes they don’t do that out of the box.
Providing the tools and options to fix that balance to your community (not necessarily to average users, but to some level of the community) allows others to do that balance work for you and strengthens your community.


*There are the two cases of packs outside this. Packs for smallish communities, which I think should be private, and packs for media content creators, which I allow to be public so that streamers and YouTubers can let their audience play along.