What's wrong with having DataStore as a require dependency & let the packager / clients work accordingly? The only real problem is the standalone ZIP doesn't include the required dependency, a simple note on the description page should handle that nicely.
Using the Required Dependency IMO is the better of solutions here than trying to redesign the curseforge system.
i agree. the manual downloads could also be helped along with direct d/l links for dependencies near to the d/l link for the addon itself. users need not be left in the dark here.
i'm a bit clueless about packaging stuff, but i'll chime in...
seems to me that these are not libraries and are instead addons that would be considered required dependencies.
if datastore gets embedded by the packager, since it's a top-level addon, how do you make sure that it's always the latest version? does the packager need to re-run on every addon that uses includes datastore each time datastore is updated by another addon?
seems like the curse client and wow minion could (and should?) read dependencies and install dependent addons automatically (or at least identify them as being needed).