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Old December 6, 2019, 16:54   #24
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Getting back to your original question, I'd say there's broadly speaking four major kinds of improvements you can make to the game: fixing bugs, improving the UI, refactoring the code, and changing game mechanics / content. The first three are way less controversial than the fourth, to the point that the way you get started is just to clone the codebase, make your tweaks, and submit a pull request. You can do the same for the fourth category, but there's absolutely no guarantee that your changes will be integrated into Vanilla; you also need to do some evangelism to convince the community (and more particularly, Nick, who approves pull requests) that the change is a good idea.

As an example, back in the day one of the potential side-effects of being hit by unresisted Nexus breath was swapping two of your stats permanently. Many players, myself included, felt this was rather harsh, so I submitted a patch a few years back to change it to temporarily swapping all of your stats around. It sat in the pull request queue until Nick revamped the ID system to greatly increase the amount of use-ID players needed to do. Since that included having to get intentionally hit by nexus, possibly multiple times, he also integrated the change to make nexus breath less punishing. But it took a long time for the patch to be integrated.

A change that small wasn't really worth making binaries for to help push my cause. But some of your gameplay changes sound pretty extensive. That's where Gwarl's "make a variant" advice is coming from. You don't have to become a maintainer, you just have to say "hey, I have some ideas that I think could improve the game, I've implemented them, you can try them out here." That gives people the chance to experiment with your ideas, they'll submit feedback, you can use that to further improve them, and all of the people playing your changes will help drive the discussion of whether they ought to be in Vanilla.
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