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To Mod or not to Mod

Since the first computer games made its way into the hands of players, modifying, or “modding,” them has been something that has increased their life expectancy. Adding new maps, items, or quests or simply upgrading and maintaining a game allow older games to still be entertaining after years on the market.  Do you mod your games? I do, a lot.

First, there are different types of modding. Some games come with an editor to create new maps or edit the original games. Strategy games usually have a map editor and allow players to share said maps between themselves, like Starcraft. While some RPGs usually have a game editors, that allow players to create new adventures or edit the official one, like the Elder Scrolls games. Other games get mods without the help of the original developers. These mods are closer to hacking then real mods, and can cause instability in a game.

My first true modded game experience was with Baldur’s Gate 2. While the game doesn’t come with an editor, it didn’t stop dedicated people (they are still making mods!) from adding new adventures, NPCs, or restoring cut content. SpellBound StudioPocket Plane and Gibberling 3 are the major BG2 modding websites. Now when I replay Baldur’s Gate 1&2, I simply download the latest BiG World Project and let it do the download and installation of mods for me (it takes a few hours, but it’s worth it).

My only experience making mods has been with The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind and Oblivion. I only made small little personal mods for personal usage, but I did install a lot of mods from other people. I still visit TesNexus regularly, despite not playing the games right now; you never know what people can come up with. By the way, TesNexus has sister websites for other game mod communities, as does SpellBound Studio.

The Elder Scrolls games are also where you can see the most amazing mods, in part because of how the Construction Set allows many mods to work together and how much freedom it allows. Mods like Nehrim are simply amazing, it’s actually a full new game with Oblivion’s game engine and quite fun to play. Players have also created mods for Nehrim, in some cases “porting” popular mods from Oblivion to the new game world.

In conclusion, I still replay oldies simply because I can “patch” new textures in or add new quests or encounters to them. Mods add a lot to the re-playability of a games, although, sometimes at the cost of stability. There is one downside to loving mods though: I think I hit a “When modding is too much” point with Oblivion; at some point I had 15GB of data added in the game and really, I didn’t need that much to enjoy the game.

One reply on “To Mod or not to Mod”

Mods are the only thing that kept me interested in the Sims franchise. I don’t expect companies to create all the goodies I want for a game–I’m perfectly willing to find or make my own. I just get pissed when they specifically try to make it as hard as possible to create add-ons.

Modding communities have this great DIY ethos that I really admire.

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