To all those of you complaining about the pets, I would like to remind you that due to Stonehearth’s openness, it’s virtually impossible to have the pets protected in any meaningful way.
First of all, how do you authenticate a user? SteamID? What about HumbleBundle users? Do you put your user id into a JSON or something? If so, anyone can do it. There’s no centralised authentication to identify a backer.
Second, even if there were, and it wasn’t easy to workaround (say, Steam), does the game just refuse to load the mod with the hash XYZ? I unzip the smod, add a newline somewhere, re-zip it, and call it a day. A new hash, a new mod, and this one isn’t protected.
“But we can protect the content itself” - unless you really want deep-integrated checks that absolutely refuse to load any animation that looks like a dog, and any model that looks like a kitten, then you’re out of luck. And even if you do try that, then what? I’ll add a 0.000001 to the animations, which isn’t visible, but probably breaks the heuristic enough.
So, because Stonehearth allows modding, we have things like Frostfeast, Candledark, Archipelagos, and many, many more. It’s this openness that allows great community contributions; and it’s the opposite of limited DLC.
Keep in mind that right now, the game is living on borrowed time. The developers, independent of how much they are to blame for this fiasco, have limited time at their hands. And they’re still reading some of these posts. If you wish for them to implement puppy DRM instead of trying to tackle on the big, underlying issues (such as performance), then well, that’s your choice. I know where I would want my resources to be invested in.
It’s completely possible to turn Stonehearth into a FPS with mods, I think.