rough work, before i forget -wevaer
This is a different kind of catagorization than 'normal' and 'adventure' mods
Simple mods just add or change stuff. Weather that's new items, stations, ships, factions, systems, and so forth; or new interfaces and utilities; balance tweaks or new funcitons for existing game content; whatever, the point is that they're designed to do their thing and that's it. The mod isn't intended to be interacted with by other mod — at best it's designed to minimize base game overwrite conflicts — it just makes its change to things that are already going to appear or adds new stuff flaged to hook into existing content using creation attributes like everything else.
These mods don't tend to do much if anything on their own, but they provide modders with some sort of interface to create things in new and/or standardized way. The best example is probably Dockscreen Framework. Framework mods are currently underused, probably because there's no easy way to distribute them with mods that require them without dealing with version conflicts, unid clashes, or double-inclusion issues, and also because it's harder to get players to download a mod that dosen't do anything on it's own.
System mods combine a framework with their own (often substantial) content. Popular system mods often cause players to request integration features from the creators of other mods; mods that have the capacity to integrate with appropriate system mods when both are present provide a greater feeling of professionalism and game system integrity to the players; for this reason the creators of some system mods also sometimes provide patches for other popular mods. Current and upcoming major system mods include:
Interoperability between major systems mods can become complicated, but when it happens it makes the overall game experience that much richer.
Um … this is all very rambly and first draft and i'm tired, so I will edit it for tightness in a week or so if no one does it first :) —weaver …