You mean that convulted mess, run-away train of a thread which starts out with a user asking a question and multiple developers giving out non-direct and unhelpful answers? The reason people keep asking the same question is because they're not getting straight-forward, honest answers.
There is a reason for doing this. Let me try to explain.
There are roughly three groups of users:
- Users that really understand what happens if you change newgrfs in a game, mostly newgrf developers.
- Users that don't fully understand, but take warnings about possible consequences seriously, and act accordingly.
- Users that have no clue, click OK withhout reading, and expect the program to work correctly, no matter what they try.
The first group really needs the feature, which is the only reason
why we didn't rip out the feature completely.
The second group does not need it, but they can be trusted with dangerous toys. They may eventually become a member of the first group.
The third group is where the problem is. In your view, they should have access to the feature too. In my view, they should not.
I believe they want a good gaming experience, which to them means a stable program, so they can play with it in any way they like to.
It is true that by giving them access to the feature, they can do new things. They can do a little more. However, they 'just want to play', so in my view, having a stable program is more important to them. (If you'd give them a feature, which crashes the program immediately, they accept it does not work, and happily play without the feature.)
The trouble with the changing newgrf feature is that the program does not simply consistently crash, it sometimes crashes, and sometimes appears to work without a hitch, while in reality, the internal data structures are corrupted, so it takes some time before the problem surfaces.
This leads them to think the feature works, and they apply it more and more, until one day, the program acts "weird".
To them a "weird" acting program destroys the gaming experience. They worked months on that save game, and now suddenly, it is bad. All that work gone down the drain. What a s*** progam, that OpenTTD.
In other words, for people that do not understand the risks of the feature, it is a very bad feature. It makes you look smart (I can do thing no-one else can), but eventually they pay a big price.
As they don't realize they caused it themselves (it did not crash, so it works right?), they blame OpenTTD, and may even turn away to another game.
All that for a feature which is not stable, will never be stable, and thus is inherently dangerous to use???
If instead, you tell the third group of users not to use the feature, they will not encounter the above situation, not get themselves in trouble, and be happy with the program for many years. Eventually, they may find "just wanna play" to be insufficient, and develop an interest in the program itself, and perhaps start writing newgrfs or code. At that moment however, they moved to the second group of users.
(The feature of changing newgrfs creates a limit, but the game imposes many many limits. Pretty much every suggestion is a question to move some limit a bit further. So the only thing that happens above is that the third group of users just has a different value for one limit of the many limits of the game.)
So why do we play this complicated dance when a user asks about newgrf changes?
The trouble with people asking newgrf change questions at the forums is that nobody knows which kind of user he is. This is why we use this convoluted messy way of responding. People of the second group are interested in the program itself, and are willing to invest the time reading about it at the forums, and dig up the information they want. Users of the third group are usually not willing to invest time in getting to know the program, as they "just wanna play".
As such, the convoluted messy way of answering is working.
It is messy, but it works. If you know a better way, please let us know.