Poll Question 057 – Do you think Mod Delivery Systems are a good idea?

16th November 2007

Single Player First Person Shooter Half Life 1 and 2 Maps and Mods
Mod Delivery System

Having a mod delivered directly to your game folder and being able to simply start the game and play it is obviously a great selling point. Steam has done it for games and CrosuS is trying to do something similar with mods. Here’s this week’s question:

Do you think Mod Delivery Systems are a good idea?

Ulterior Motive?

I used Vapour, which was a sort of “father of CrosuS”. It was good but had a few points that needed improving. CrosuS is a very stable and mature product, although as with all software it can always be improved.

Part of the reason for this week’s poll question is to see whether it is an area you would like PlanetPhillip.com to explore.

I can list lots of advantages and some disadvantages, but I would prefer you tell me what you think before I give you my opinion.

I am particularly interested to hear from PP readers who currently use CrosuS. In fact I would recommend you visiting the site, downloading the application and actually try it

Then come back here and be completely honest.

In a few days, I’ll add my comments and we can continue the discussion.


  1. Mel

    With the way that my Steam System is playing-up I would have to say that I think that delivery systems are a bad thing, although I could change my mind if and when I sort my Steam out. I hope we never get to the point when we are solely reliant on this method alone, it’s so refreshing to play HL1 games through the old menu system.

    What worries me is like in my case when the system does not work, where is the help and support? I can’t load anything through Steam with HL2 Eps1 content, resulting in update driver messages only to find after updating nothing will load from steam. I am not meaning to get off topic just trying to illustrate the downside of over-dependency with these type of systems.

  2. What worries me is like in my case when the system does not work, where is the help and support?

    It’s a good question but unlike Steam all it does (for the purpose of this arguement) is transfer the files. You still use Steam or the game itself to run the mods

  3. marnamai

    In my opinion, if you are too stupid to find out how to install a mod you shouldn’t be playing mods. (usually there is a readme with proper install instructions!)

    I have to mention I haven’t tried crosus and probably won’t.

    Exe’s and zip shouldn’t be traded in for the possible troubles this program could come up with.

    I just hate to have a different program for every single feature on my pc.

    It would be ok for me if valve decides to add such a feature to steam (and possibly add a mod download server?)

    I just prefer (multi)functionallity then 100s of different programs and unneeded features.

  4. In my opinion, if you are too stupid to find out how to install a mod you shouldn’t be playing mods.

    I find this opinion highly offensive. Just because people may not be technically proficient that doesn’t mean that shouldn’t be playing games.

    If you can’t install a spark plug you shouldn’t drive a car?

    There’s also the point that it might just be simpler to have the mod installed for you.

    When you buy a game it comes with an installer. Are you saying that you would prefer to manually install it?

    This type of opinion is riff in the computer and gaming world and it angers me.

    I remember a long time ago I asked for help on the WordPress support forum (The software I used to run the site) and one person answered that I should “learn to code and figure it out myself”.

    Seriously, this kind of attitude is not welcome on PP.

  5. Oh, by the way, I’m a terrible speller, does that mean I shouldn’t use English?

  6. Yes, a regularly updated steam-type system for mods would be brilliant.

    Wait, I just checked the site and Crosus is the successor to Vapour (a previous system like this)? I’ll have to check it out.

  7. I noticed that the mods available here, particularly half-life (2) seem to be consistently packaged which is a good thing. It facilitates installation which is quite easy once you’ve read the first “readme” file to see where it goes, and assuming you don’t have a problem with Steam.. However, there are probably those who would put off experiencing mods because of installation intimidation I suppose. Facilitating installation would be a good thing for them, as long as the program to do it isn’t more complicated than the basic mod install routine to begin with. I will install Crossus and try it out, but my main concern with automated install programs, especially those routines built into the file itself, is the assumption that you installed the original game in the default directory to begin with. I think this is a major shortcoming for those with dedicated game drives or who organize their drives by function rather than publisher.

    Since writing the above, I decided to wait and download & install Crossus before commenting. Although the install seemingly went fine without comment, it corrupted my game pad (Ideazon Fang) installation (engine) including all my custom profiles, which didn’t show up until mandatory reboot by Crossus. This necessitated a re-install of software drivers and recreating custom profiles (2+ hours) for my gamepad. Not a big thing for me, but I don’t think anyone who has trouble installing a mod is going to be comfortable with this.

    I found it interesting that a program designed to automate processes and didn’t install a desktop icon. This is certainly not a big thing, but if someone can’t install a mod manually, then perhaps they won’t be able to find the Crossus start icon in their start/programs menu either, which, in their case, probably has a hundred individual items to search through

    More importantly, after wiping out my hardware, it also wouldn’t run due to fourteen separate error codes in Crossus itself. (see attached). Perhaps this is due to something unique in my system, but even so… if the medicine is worse than the disease…WHY?

  8. since writing the above commentary I’ve sent the Crosus people an email containg screenshots of the error codes. This will test their support which I think is an integral part of any software. I must say I was happy to find the e-mail link easily, and am encouraged by their statement tnat they respond in most cases in 24 hours.

    I realize my problem is probably unique to my system/application, since I couldn’t find any similar comments on their forums. Also that the poll question was regarding these programs in general and not Crosus specifically, but think my comments and followup may be of some value to someone anyway.

  9. Mel

    I am not sure of all the implication of the above post but guess “chuckanut” is saying ‘don’t touch it with a barge-pole’

    So I won’t.

  10. I am not sure of all the implication of the above post but guess ” chuckanut” is saying “don’t touch it with a barge-pole”

    Just because one person had a problem doesn’t mean everybody will. You, of all people should know that first hand.

    Imagine if Valve said “We are pulling HL2 EP1 because Mel has experienced problems.”

    However, that’s not to ignore chuckanut’s issue, just don’t assume the same will happen to everybody.

    The silver lining is it will be interesteing to see how his “Issue” is dealt with.

  11. Mel

    I see your point Phillip but is it worth taking the risk?

  12. but is it worth taking the risk?

    Only individuals can answer that and I don’t blame people for being cautious. It installed beautifully for me and probably most people.

    However, knowing your recent troubles with Steam etc I fulkly understand your doubts. If I were in your gaming seat I proabably wouldn’t install it either.

  13. Chris Fox

    While in theory I feel that this system would be a good idea, I personally like the freedom of doing things myself, and although I am all for the development of more automated ways to do things, I always like the option to do things manually to be left open.

  14. Kerberos

    Hey, what does this CrosuS do? I don’t get it. I accesed their website and Google to look for info but no success.

  15. what does this CrosuS do?

    It allows you to browse mods and then simply download them directly to the correct folder (This is set via an options section, meaning you control the location for all the games they support).

    Now, the difference between this and download via me, is that the mod is actually installed for you.

    All you do is open the game in question, for example Steam (You will of course have to restart it, if it is already running) and the mod will appear in your Games list.

    The browse function include basic details, a few screenshots and a rating, plus a link to the author’s website if they have one.

    It’s very similar to Steam except that it is for mods.

    Whilst the idea of Valve making something similar sounds good, CrosuS supports many more games and is better placed in that regard.

    I even exploered this idea when this site was called Levelpedia and one regualr visitor (WHose name I can’t remember – sorry!) built a simple application to access the databse directly. It’s first stage was to simply have access to the information, and the second was to be able to install.

    The problem is that a PlanetPHillip Mod Installer is just too restrictive. With CrosuS you have access to quite a few games and the list is growing all the time.

    I always like the option to do things manually to be left open.

    You have hit the nail on the head. I don’t have to be convinced of the benefits of joining forces with CrosuS (For them or me) but I have decided the option should ALWAYS be aailable to download and install manually.

  16. bkadar

    Oh, by the way, I’m a terrible speller, does that mean I shouldn’t use English?

    LOL LOL LOL born and raised in the USA and I still after many years masacre the spelling

    having to install a mod especially diff parts to diff folders has taught me alot about what and where thefiles are and what they do.

  17. I find this opinion highly offensive. Just because people may not be technically proficient that doesn’t mean that shouldn’t be playing games.

    I agree and disagree.I find that there are a ton of people that just come to find an answer when it’s right there in the readme.They are just to lasy to look or to lazy to move a file.Either way they still have to do that work after asking anyway so why not read the damn file.

    Yes some people need help.Others think they are above help and the mods bad.

    Some people just need to relax and follow instructions. (piledriver I believe is one of em)

    Quote is from Phillip

  18. I voted Yes because, well, why not? if we want to install mods the old fashioned way, then we still can.

    It wouldn’t be hard to write such a program. To connect to a mods database that gets updated every day, and will tell you of news for the games you have installed, and allow you to download and install them with the click of a button. Kind of like GameSpy Arcade meets Steam meets ModDB.

    Zeroth404 – http://www.GamesThatWontSuck.com

  19. Cerberuuus (Old Kerberos)

    Man isn’t that amazing? I have for quite a while downloading mods with this thing. I don’t need to install it anymore!! Doh! It even detected older mods I had like some for Doom3 that I never played anymore. Bah this is really cool. It got quite some collection of mods.

  20. zeroth404

    The massive problem with programs like this is that they’re made specifically for Windows. For us Linux games, this doesn’t do any good. Though we may prefer for our own package managers to deal with our mods, I firmly believe that when you make a product to cater to gamers, it should not suffer from platform exclusivity. And thats not philosophy — that’s practicality.

  21. Cerberuuus

    It maybe right zeroth, the bigger problem today is the lack of support people offer for Linux. It is seen for overall people as “too difficulty” to operate, lack of resources, bad GUI, ect. (Not that this express my opnions, though). But what really make it this way is the amount of time that M$ spend doing advertisement, and (excuseme me if I’m wrong) everything started with Windows, I mean in the era of the true computer practicility, that I define being from the 80’s, more into 85 to later, but not that Windows already existed there (when IBM PCs Clones really evolved being used in everything), which is a shame since this reduced the liberty of choice, and people have the bad habit of being vinculated to M$ for their choices. Into a paid platform.

  22. I already use steam to list out all my games that are installed on steam. Any game that isn’t installed on steam, I have listed by windows games. A lot of them I’ve added there manually, and I suppose I could have added them to steam instead, but I like separating the steam stuff from the non steam stuff.

    It wasn’t really hard to add mods or games and keep them organized, but by the time you have installed and played enough games that you might need a specific program to help keep track of them, you generally have enough experience to make a system yourself by installing to specific locations and putting shortcuts in specific locations. I don’t see any need to have a separate program to do that, as it invariably will not have an option that I have in my own system.

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