Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

On Modding

A comment I recently read over on Google+ reminded me of ´something I’ve been reading over and over again – the alleged fact that PC gamers enjoy modding their games. Sure, some definitely do but that has to be a minority right? None of the PC gamers I know personally regularly mod their games and if they do it is usually for simple things such as the radio music extension for Fallout 3 or being able to run a game in windowed mode.

I’m not saying that modding has no merit, not at all. Modders have created great things, from simply improving upon a single factor of a game to total conversions. Counterstrike pretty much revolutionized the FPS genre and was created as a mod and the Warcraft 3 mod Defense of the Ancients spawned a whole new sub-genre of games. Mods are a great thing to have around for innovation purposes. Still, most gamers (in my experience) simply play the game as it comes out of the box. The “core PC gamer” will not care if games in a rental service (such as the newly announced GameFly service) can’t be modded because she wouldn’t even get the idea that modding is possible or desirable. Furthermore, most quality mods in the past were made for games that had explicit mod support (such as the aforementioned Fallout 3 and Warcraft 3) and there is no reason why those games shouldn’t still allow for mods on rental services.

Then there have been the complaints about Diablo 3 not supporting mods. Seriously, what percentage of players has ever used a mod for Diablo 2? And how many of those that did only used illegitimate tools such as map hacks? Yeah there are real mods for the game, but surely only a minority actually even knows about that?

Again, I don’t think it is a good thing to take the ability to mod games away from those players that enjoy modding, but to claim that the core PC gamer wants to mod her games seems quite wrong to me. Surely, modding is not the main separator between PC and console gamers.

 

  • I wouldn’t say that it’s an incredibly important part of PC gaming, but let’s take a look at WoW for a moment: Many of the Blizzard updates to the UI have been a result of the mods that players created. I think the precedence for allowing players to assist in that sort of area with mods has been set because of WoW, and not allowing it Diablo is a bit weird. I feel like they might allow it eventually though, given that their auction house will involve actual money.

    Now that I think about it, that AH might be the reason for no mods. It would make any and all auction house mods necessary for pulling a profit. That could get ugly…