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Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? #629532
11/10/17 12:59 AM
11/10/17 12:59 AM
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Alexstrasza Offline OP
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Alexstrasza  Offline OP
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Thread title.

You want to hide them? Okay, I guess. Whatever turns you on, Larian.

You want to be unnecessarily annoying to people who use mods to fix your mistakes by stopping them from earning insignificant little tokens on their Steam profile? Get real, now you're just being brats.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #629537
11/10/17 01:07 AM
11/10/17 01:07 AM
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The Composer Offline

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I've actually been contemplating this topic quite a while. For each thread of thought, they always tend to conclude at this, although it's more up to Valve and Steam to give the developers the toolkit to do this:

At first I thought maybe it's a Steam policy, but then with a quick google search I found other games on steam allowing mods with achievements, Darkest Dungeon to mention one for reference. So it's definitely a per-game decision.

A more optimal solution or at least a tool to choose to use, to have achievements enabled in workshop but able to be moderated by the developer. And players can flag the mod as "cheat" if they so feel that way. If enough flags are given, it's highlighted for developers to review (this way to not require developers to have to review every single mod...) and decide upon it.

It seems like a middleground, but not available at this time I think.

I too would like to see achievements available to mods, as I'm working on a huge one but me myself finds it as weakening the "appeal" to play without achievements, that being said as I don't care a drop about achievements on Steam myself. Yet, when the message pops up, I feel discouraged as I feel I reduce the game to add more.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #629546
11/10/17 01:29 AM
11/10/17 01:29 AM
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NeoAnubis Offline
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The problem with that "middlergound" is: why would developers care if players cheat on their game?

This is not an MMO or a competitive game, one player cheating doesn't ruin another player's experience.

Not to mention that if someone actually wants to cheat achievements there's absolutelly nothing Larian can do about it. Cheat engine is MUCH more efficient than any of the mods currently available.

I could go even further, one could download a savegame right before the achievement trigger (I personally have some for the currently bugged achievements, only I checked a list of achievements and rushed there myself, still, I could give them to someone else)

The conclusion is: preventing a modded game from getting achievements does absolutely nothing to prevent achievements from being obtained by cheaters but it does prevent people who want to improve their gaming experience from gaining them.

I don't actually know why people even care about cheaters (and this is not in anyway related to mods, even though some argue it is) getting achievements anyway. Personally I don't feel insecure if someone else gets a hard achievement with no effort, if anything they're the ones missing out on the fun of getting it.

This limitation should definitely be removed, it doesn't have a place in a game advertised as mod friendly (and also the reasons listed above).

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: NeoAnubis] #629564
11/10/17 02:15 AM
11/10/17 02:15 AM
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Originally Posted By: NeoAnubis
I don't actually know why people even care about cheaters (and this is not in anyway related to mods, even though some argue it is) getting achievements anyway. Personally I don't feel insecure if someone else gets a hard achievement with no effort, if anything they're the ones missing out on the fun of getting it.

I agree, I don't understand it either, but some people do get terribly uptight about how others enjoy their solo experiences and it is an ongoing thing.

It's a problem I've seen with other games too which in spite of its inconsistency suggests that Steam may well be the common factor, though I admit that if there's a problem and Steam is involved, they're automatically top of my list of likely suspects. Other games where achievements are disabled if mods happen end up with mods to re-enable the achievements anyway so it all seems a bit of a pointless faff.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #629573
11/10/17 02:26 AM
11/10/17 02:26 AM
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The Composer Offline

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I absolutely agree, there's no logical reason to disable achievements by using mods, as they're easy to get in plethora of ways other than "the vanilla way" even for the most casual of users, Cheathappens, Cheat engine, loading save profiles, you name it.

I'm just arguing thoughts that would perhaps make sense to someone who is against enabling mods and achievements (for what ever odd reason). It boils down to either about creator's pride, "I won't allow you to play my game and get the treats if you alter my fantastic creation in any way!", which as you all point out, doesn't really accomplish anything on their end...

Or it boils down to some API between the game and Steam, that files in a particular folder structure is "applied" to the Steam achievements API and anything beyond that is considered a "cheat" for a lack of a better term by the achievement API and won't trigger, which would explain why that you can make mods compatible with achievements by moving most of the mod's files and folders into the standard corresponding directories of DoS2, and there's not actually anything Larian can do about it other than relying on us to find workarounds, like FNIS for Skyrim etc. If that's the case, I have no idea. No clue how steam and their achievements work.

So yeah... That's pretty much the only two reasons I could guess why mods aren't enabled with achievements.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #629792
11/10/17 03:26 PM
11/10/17 03:26 PM
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NeoAnubis Offline
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I'm not quite sure Steam itself has something against it, since there are plenty of games that do not require any workaround to have achievements work with mods, even from the workshop (Darkest Dungeon, X-Com and Binding of Isaac are probably the more well known examples). On the other hand, Bethesda is pretty adamant on being mod friendly and their games require achievement enablers, which is rather weird.

The conclusion one could reach is that Steam defaults to only allowing achievements on the unmoded game, unless the developers ask for it to not be like that (though this makes the Bethesda case really weird).

I used to think that Steam defaulted to only allowing achievements if the files validated correctly, but Divinity 2 itself awards achievements if loose files are altered, you just can't use the .pak files themselves so...

Another possibility is that the game needs to have some kind of file that "tells" steam to allow such a thing, this option would consider that games like Darkest Dungeon, X-com, and BoI have that by default.


I want to believe that Larian just forgot to ask Steam to allow them on a modded game (just because it's the simpler option). Although only time will tell if that is the case.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: The Composer] #629827
11/10/17 04:56 PM
11/10/17 04:56 PM
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Horrorscope Offline
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Originally Posted By: The Composer
I absolutely agree, there's no logical reason to disable achievements by using mods,


Come on it is easy to come up with at least one.
They want you to play the game as-is to earn them.
It's their challenge to us.
Good thing for me... I have no interest in them.
But your mileage may vary.
But to me it is very easy to understand why they did it.
I'm also ok if they backed off it.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #629831
11/10/17 05:10 PM
11/10/17 05:10 PM
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Kalrakh Offline

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There is no challenge to earning achievements. The game itselfs offers many way of breaking the game mechanics with cheesy tactics. One-hitting everything with indestructible chest, keeping boss occupied with talking, plastering everything with barrels around boss fights, playing hit and run with sneak, sniping shot and flee, creating henchments just to steal and dispose of them afterwards... Just to mention a few. There is hardly any challenge in this challenge, if you really want those achievements regardless of mods.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #629839
11/10/17 05:30 PM
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NeoAnubis Offline
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@Horrorscope I explained on a previous post why those, and several other arguments that are often used just don't hold any ground when faced with the reality of things.

Most of the time this sort of speculation comes off as a player being insecure about someone else having the same "irrelevant" things they have. This is especially reinforced by the fact that they hold no objective value.


I'm actually quite interested in reading a compelling argument defending it, but so far, even on other similar posts, all we see is the same sort of thing repeated ad nausea, even though most of them are easily proven factually wrong.

Last edited by NeoAnubis; 11/10/17 05:39 PM.
Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #629861
11/10/17 06:15 PM
11/10/17 06:15 PM
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CatR Offline
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I have a feeling whoever was in charge of achievements and modding compatibility simply didn't think things through. You don't advertise a game as being mod friendly and then block some of the meta aspects behind a wall if you use mods. I am sure it is the product of either carelessness or a poorly conceived of idea that will quickly change once confronted.

Presuming the devs take a peak at this forum still, I think they'll change it eventually. But hey, first make the actual parts of the game like companion quests work, right?


Trap Strats: DOS1:EE? Cheese - DOS2? Mashed potatoes - Proper nutrition is key to dungeon delving.
Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #629871
11/10/17 06:34 PM
11/10/17 06:34 PM
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Ferrin Offline
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Achievements do not have any value if someone can "cheat" their way to them. Mods can very simply make the game to easy, reducing the value of achievements. That is probably the reason why.

Now... is it worth it? I don't think the people cheating to get achievements mind, and it's not like people compare achievements. It's more of a vanity thing for many people I imagine, but those that do care about them can't enjoy both that aspect of the game and its mods.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Ferrin] #629947
11/10/17 10:14 PM
11/10/17 10:14 PM
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The Composer Offline

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Originally Posted By: Ferrin
Achievements do not have any value if someone can "cheat" their way to them. Mods can very simply make the game to easy, reducing the value of achievements. That is probably the reason why.

Now... is it worth it? I don't think the people cheating to get achievements mind, and it's not like people compare achievements. It's more of a vanity thing for many people I imagine, but those that do care about them can't enjoy both that aspect of the game and its mods.


That's basically displeasing thousands to please less than 10% of that, which is kind of backward if you'd think about that.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Ferrin] #629950
11/10/17 10:26 PM
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Alexstrasza Offline OP
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Alexstrasza  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Ferrin
Achievements do not have any value if someone can "cheat" their way to them.


Achievements don't have any value period. What difference does it make to you how someone else got them? Why do you care? There's already ways to unlock achievements instantly.

This part isn't direct at you, Ferrin. If someone uses a 'cheat mode' in a single-player game and plays through the entire game and is just invincible, who cares? If a handful of people (seriously, I doubt any real fraction of the community has that mindset, "I GOTTA GET CHEAT COMMANDER AND GET DAT DANK HONOUR MODE ACHIEVEMENT!") do in fact want to earn it that way, I don't care. So long as I can earn my achievement by removing Larian's heavy-handed and downright grotesque change to initiative and a few other things that royally irritate me, then I'm happy.

Call me a b*tch, but I'm just annoyed they even went through the trouble to block achievements like that. The incredibly strange decision to make them all hidden like that is a bit weird, but I guess that's what gives them a boner. It's just really annoying because games like Total War: Warhammer 1 and 2 both allow mods and allow you to earn achievements, because they don't care. They just want you to have fun both playing their game and have fun earning these little petty milestones.

It all breaks down to this one golden rule of game design: Yes, but is it fun? If at any point the answer is 'no', then you need to reevaluate what you're doing and why.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #631940
18/10/17 11:11 AM
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Mauv E Rine Offline
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As long as I'm alone in a game, I don't mind what anyone (including me) does. Save and reload, "cheat", get achievements even if playing with mods - it won't hurt anyone else. D:OS2 is to me for the very most part a single player "foreveralone" game along the lines of Skyrim, where players craft the worlds they like. I see no error in letting them do so. When there are more players in a game, however, all those things turn a bit more sinister. In those circumstances I would not deem the things I previously mentioned as okay.
When I (singleplayer) game, I look for an escape from the harsh world out there, and to for once not have to scramble for resources or fail due to circumstances I cannot affect. I'd appreciate the ability to not lose out on either mods or achievements, the completionist in me wants both :P


The less I own, the less to lose
The more I give, the less I crave
And time is my most expensive resource
Take the time I have
Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #631955
18/10/17 12:39 PM
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GreatGuardsman Offline
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This is the case for a very simple reason:

Achievements are not for players, they are for analytics. The Achievement system is primarily a way to track player activity in a player-oriented fashion by establishing these milestones and data points as player goals.
A modded game may not provide accurate data, so that data collection is turned off.


The Flaws of Divinity: Original Sin II: A list of observations of the game's shortcomings for the community.
Found HERE.
Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: GreatGuardsman] #631964
18/10/17 02:06 PM
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CatR Offline
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Originally Posted By: GreatGuardsman
This is the case for a very simple reason:

Achievements are not for players, they are for analytics. The Achievement system is primarily a way to track player activity in a player-oriented fashion by establishing these milestones and data points as player goals.
A modded game may not provide accurate data, so that data collection is turned off.


A colour does not a painting make. That is definitely a valuable aspect of steam achievements, and would be an explanation why they've started out with them turned off with modded games. But they themselves do not warrant lowered user satisfaction when there are perfectly fine analytic tools available to developers that do not need such crude systems.


Trap Strats: DOS1:EE? Cheese - DOS2? Mashed potatoes - Proper nutrition is key to dungeon delving.
Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #631967
18/10/17 02:12 PM
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NeoAnubis Offline
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Those arguments do not hold any ground when faced with the reality of things on Steam. For several reasons, most of them already listed on previous replies.

Cheating on a Multiplayer Divinity 2 game doesn't hurt anyone else either. But that has nothing to do with getting achievements, they are irrelevant for both you and the others playing with you.


If you're argueing that achievements are not for players, but for analytics, it is safe to say that not only does it fail on doing that, but it also fails on preventing in getting accurate data.

A player can, as of right now, download save games right before the achievement firing point and get all of them if they so desire.

A player can use cheat engine to severely alter his characters (hell he could even go invincible, with infinite source and action points) and he would still get his achievements just fine.

On the other hand, a player who downloads a mod to prevent items from being added automatically to the hotkey bar will not get achievements.


Not only that, among games that are advertised as "mod friendly" the VAST MAJORITY either allows achievements to work with mods or provide a way to make it work (Examples: All Bethesda Games, Binding of Isaac, X-Com, Darkest Dungeon, Grim Dawn...).

Your argument about analytics would work on a situation similar to the Paradox Games, where things are done properly, you can use mods, but not mods that alter the checksum, AND you absolutely must play on IRONMAN to make achievements obtainable (which prevents most ways of cheating, not all of them, but it's definitely a barrier).

If you remove those other conditions all you're doing is failing on both sides of the equation: not getting "accurate data" and not allowing players to get milestones on a modded game.


There's also an argument to be made about allowing cheaters to get achievements, since they're meaningless, which I made on previous replies, but that is not exactly a counter to your present argument so...

Last edited by NeoAnubis; 18/10/17 02:14 PM.
Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #631975
18/10/17 02:49 PM
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vometia Offline

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The Bethesda games do attempt to disable mods on a whim: ISTR New Vegas would disable them if the console was activated (which is very easy if like me you're not an accurate typist) and FO4 requires a F4SE plugin to re-enable them if you're using mods. It all seems rather pointless and annoying: if anything, data gathering is even more compromised by arbitrarily disabling them and it just annoys players.


J'aime le fromage.
Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: Alexstrasza] #632070
18/10/17 09:42 PM
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KentDA Offline
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Actually Achievements are an odd duck. For many players they are indeed of great value. It digs into that whole "collector" mentality.

I mean "gotta catch em all" ala Pokemon.

There are people who love to Collect things. I mean there are people who play the most horrid Steam games just to get another level or another "card".

There are also a lot of players who just don't care, but the Collector Mentality is too big to just ignore.

So, to ensure that an Achievement has some "value" to these collectors, its not uncommon to say no to Mods.

Yes, a good middle ground would be "flag" certain mods that would say prevent you from getting Achievements.

I personally could care less about most Achievements, but I do understand WHY there is an obsession with getting them.

Re: Mods Disabling Steam Achievements: Uh, Why? [Re: KentDA] #632091
18/10/17 10:57 PM
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The Composer Offline

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Originally Posted By: KentDA
Actually Achievements are an odd duck. For many players they are indeed of great value. It digs into that whole "collector" mentality.

I mean "gotta catch em all" ala Pokemon.
[...]
Yes, a good middle ground would be "flag" certain mods that would say prevent you from getting Achievements.

I personally could care less about most Achievements, but I do understand WHY there is an obsession with getting them.


Precisely! I recognize the intent to protect the meta-value of achievements. Which was the point of my suggestion, because not all mods affect how easy/hard it is to obtain mods. If anything, they're material to potentially add more achievement opportunities.

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