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Project Eternity's longevity will be determined by its modability


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My two gold pieces:

 

1. The BG modding community is awesome. Admittedly, there are pearls amongst swine, but we have folks like aVENGER who post here who have genuinely made BG2 more fun to play than it was. How can you slag off Unfinished Business, for example? Or Weimer's Tactics?

 

2. So, a blanket 'Mods are ****e' stance is retarded. Some mods are ****e? Sure. Alll of them? No. In fact, a significant minority are inspired.

 

3. The best mods, in my humble, simply put stuff into a game that (a) devs would have done if they'd had more time and / or money or (b) put right the po-faced dev bias against 'degenerative' play. If I want to stack 200 arrows in a non-competitive, single-player game why the **** should it bother anyone?

 

4. There is a reason why the ranks of developers are bolstered by modders - it is because they are great devs in their own (albeit unpaid) right.

 

5. Lest anybody wonders, I have no dog in this fight: I struggle to install a bloody mod, let alone create one. But I do respect passion and creativity and technical nous, which the best modders have in abundance.

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I don't think Baldur's Gate 2 is a very good example. The modding community for it was so robust just because it was possible, not because it was easy. Modding Baldur's Gate 2 is extremely difficult and time consuming even to add a simple dialogue tree. Just getting character dialogue not to randomly crash out and start over was a pain in the ass. I can't even count how many mods were written and designed, but pretty much fell apart because of coding difficulty. If they want this to be possible, it should come with a toolkit.

 

Though I have to say that's not really something I'm all that interested in. I usually don't add mods to experiences that I feel are complete, and Obsidian/Black Isle games always felt whole to me.

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Good grief, people! The game hasn't even come out and you're already talking about modifying it?!

Yes. As it should be. Just like I did with Skyrim and FONV. Within 2 months of the modding tools release, someone will mod a better UI. Within 3 you'll have rebalances out both big and small, the majority bad, a few good.

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"You know, there's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it"

 

"If that's what you think, you're DOING IT WRONG."

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I don't mind replaying PE in 2032 with updated graphics, 3D models, unofficial bugfixes, and nude Cadegund.
So yeah, PE should include modding capabilities, mods are optional anyway. At least as moddable as Bethesda games (which executable can be extended even, crazy o.O)

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But what about da bigger boobs. 

 

 

es. As it should be. Just like I did with Skyrim and FONV. Within 2 months of the modding tools release, someone will mod a better UI. Within 3 you'll have rebalances out both big and small, the majority bad, a few good.

 

Seriously though, this is important. 

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Within 3 you'll have rebalances out both big and small, the majority all bad,

 

 

Fixed.

 

This is all that needs to be said if it's anything like the IE mods.

 

In fairness, none of the mods that came out for the IE games were all that spectacular until people actually started building their own scripting languages for the game. Then there's the fact that the file format was the opposite of friendly to play with. Given that Obsidian has already stated they will be properly documenting their file format and attempting to make it as clear as possible, it is unlikely that there will be much of an issue in that regard.

"You know, there's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it"

 

"If that's what you think, you're DOING IT WRONG."

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Mods are great for multiplayer games and can really extend their longevity and then get questions raised about X game is destroying the industry cause everyone only plays that, not new ones. Of course that's quite irrelevant to this discussions. Mods for single player games on the other hand are not so important. Unless the game itself already has good longevity, by the time good quality mods start coming out, most of the player base will have already left.

 

I have personally made a few mods for a few games, and do enjoy playing around with mods from time to time. The only single player games that I have *really* played with lots of mods would be Fallout 3 and Fallout NV. My first play through of those took so long that by the time I wanted to do a second, there were heaps of mods to play around with. Lots were pretty forgettable, but sometimes you'd find something special.

 

The world in PE though is going to be difficult to mod so I don't think relying on people modding the game for longevity to be a particularly good idea. The chances that we'll see people making new areas is going to be remote at best. That said, there are ways that the game could be constructed to make things easier, such as lots of unused buildings in cities that modders could use to do things with, as well as reusing premade areas for new situations. Such ideas "worked" for Bioware in Dragon Age II *shudders*, so tbh if its not hard to do, it would be a good option for modders.

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That's fair, but you're saying that Obsidian should be actively trying to woo these people.  I'm curious, did BioWare actively try wooing these people?

 

Dave Gaider was very encouraging to modders and was extremely open around his own mod for BG2 / ToB. It might not have been official, but the fact that DG was involved spoke for itself. But that was when Bioware was Bioware.

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Dave Gaider was very encouraging to modders and was extremely open around his own mod for BG2 / ToB. It might not have been official, but the fact that DG was involved spoke for itself. But that was when Bioware was Bioware.

 

Timeframe?  I was completely oblivious to it (only spent a short amount of time on Interplay's forums.

 

I mean, Sawyer made his own mod for FONV, but I don't know if that necessarily means that Obsidian is actively trying to woo modders.

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Dave Gaider was very encouraging to modders and was extremely open around his own mod for BG2 / ToB. It might not have been official, but the fact that DG was involved spoke for itself. But that was when Bioware was Bioware.

 

Timeframe?  I was completely oblivious to it (only spent a short amount of time on Interplay's forums.

 

I mean, Sawyer made his own mod for FONV, but I don't know if that necessarily means that Obsidian is actively trying to woo modders.

 

Dave Gaider created the Ascension mod for Throne of Bhaal, which basically completely overhauled the final battle of the series. This must have been around 2002 or so.

 

I remember the Bioware of old being absolutely stunned by Dark Side of the Sword Coast, one of the first mods ever made for the original BG. It wasn't very good, but I think they were just bowled over by the sheer effort involved in modding the original game from scratch, no tools at all, apparently a much trickier business than modding the sequel.

 

All in all, if Bioware wasn't actively supporting the mod community, it certainly seemed to recognize and appreciate it.

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Heh, I sent Dave Gaider and PM about Ascension and my rigs performance with it in about 2002 or thereabouts and got a personal reply from the man himself. Ascension is a really good mod and a labour of love.

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I am always curious about this. I am a rampant consumer of mods and community content (I played the living hell out of NWN), so I feel like something a parasitic part of this particular community. Usually I am on the side of community content as a great addition, but I think the situation has changed since the days of the BG's and even the NWN's.* I really got to thinking about this after a post on the BSN asking about a toolset for DAI (which, in my opinion, will never happen, but that is neither here nor there). 

 

DAO's tool set was set up in the hopes that it would replace NWN series as a factory of community content, and I think it fell far short of that goal. I mean, on the BSN the featured mods are still the little adventures that were done as part of a contest when the game released! Now, there are some great mechanical add-ons that I always use (chest bash) and graphical alterations (trailer companion looks), but the actual content is somewhat lacking (although there are some gems, like (Alley of Murders, Fragments of Ferelden, and Kal Shirok). It just never took off. I suppose there are a number of reasons for this, the faster game turn-around cycle, official DLC, communities spread over multiple platforms, and more games available in general, are all going to affect the way that players (and designers) deal with community created content.

 

Now, PE is a different beast in many ways. The design cycle and expansion schedule won't be beholden to a publisher. Expansions will not need to be huge technological leaps forward in order to wow everyone. It has many things going for it that will encourage community content, but we have to remember the playing field is different than it once was. 

 

 

*My irrational hatred of TES had rendered me unable to play more than a hour of any of the games, so I won't include them, since I don't really know much, except that Skyrim does appear to have a vibrant (if not large) modding community, as evidenced by the recent release of the news-worthy user campaign. I think, however, that this is the exception that proves the rule. These sorts of campaigns have become outliers, as opposed to the dozens that were once available with NWN. There are many reasons for this, but I think it is also indicative of a substantial change in the atmosphere community content. 

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DA:O mod tool was overly complex and with limited uses, so it's no wonder that the community gave up. There is still more mods out there for DA:O than DA2 so that should count for something.

I agree that modability extends the life of a game; there are people still putting out mods for Stalker,  but it also depends on the quality of the mods how much support went into nourishing the community. TES has a very healthy modding community since Bethesda relies on them for making their games (and I do mean that) I don't know what the devs have said about modding support for PE. We'll see after the game comes out.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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Prior to Oct. 6, 2012 I had no knowledge of Kickstarter or Project Eternity but after reading the Site News on the Nexus site I joined Kickstarter and backed Project Eternity. Robin Scott had posted an article describing Kickstarter and in particular Project Eternity. Within the article was the following quote from Obsidian to the Nexus.

 

Nexus Site News

 

October 6, 2012

 

Obsidian commit to mod support and the Nexus for Project Eternity

QUOTE

 

From Neverwinter Nights 2 to Fallout: New Vegas, we've enjoyed supporting the mod community, and we are continuing that with Project Eternity. It is awesome to see how you extend the worlds we make.

To make getting mods easy, we are excited to announce that our friends at the Nexus will be the official spot to download Project Eternity mods once the game is released. They have been a great host for mods for our past games, and we want to continue the trend with the Project Eternity Nexus. Check out the Nexus Network at www.nexusmods.com.

Our plan is to release our file-format information and expose as much of the data in the game as possible for you to extend and edit. We traditionally do not "hard-code" numbers so that our designers, and you, have the power to easily change and iterate on RPG data. We also plan on releasing localization tools to let communities around the world create localized versions for languages we are not translating Project Eternity into.

As we get more familiar with Unity during production, we will be extending Project Eternity even more for mod makers. Look forward to announcements in the months ahead as we make further progress and can provide you with more information about tools and mod support.

 

 

For what it's worth the article is available on the Nexus site under Site News. You need to go back 4 or 5 pages to view it.

 

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Wow.. this is one of the first forums i see, which offers a "hate" for modding...

 

Never heard that before.. imo modding is one of the coolest options a game can have.. no matter if rpg, strategy or whatever.. 

 

If it´s Total War, Fallout, Crusader Kings, Elder Scrolls or BG for example.. good mods are always an improvement to the basic game..

 

but ok, if some guys only know some better cheats as "modding", then maybe the negativity is a bit understandable..

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I don't mod, but I have big plans for P:E. My time on these forums have filled me with ideas, and depending on the game and the tools released I hope to build a huge content mod for it.

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Wow.. this is one of the first forums i see, which offers a "hate" for modding...

 

Never heard that before.. imo modding is one of the coolest options a game can have.. no matter if rpg, strategy or whatever.. 

 

If it´s Total War, Fallout, Crusader Kings, Elder Scrolls or BG for example.. good mods are always an improvement to the basic game..

 

but ok, if some guys only know some better cheats as "modding", then maybe the negativity is a bit understandable..

 

I don't hate modding. I prefer good mod support.

 

I dislike a focus on modding, influencing design, and a *modders will fix it* attitude.

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I disagree with the suggestion that Project Eternity be mod-able, but I don't disagree with the OP.  Longevity does not mean more people will purchase the game; what it means is that more people who have purchased the game will not purchase more Obsidian's Eternity products unless it provides them with more mod-ability.  This excludes the non-fictional subset that will pirate Eternity and share it with friends *including* mod software.

 

I paid a certain amount of money to assure this game was made, more than one ninth of my meager monthly income.  I do not look forward to what software pirates will do with this game.  I'm pretty sure I don't want it mod-ed by third parties because that might diminish interest in a sequel.  Furthermore, I agree, quite a few mods are low quality in comparison to the commercially built version.

 

I know some of you (perhaps many of those who are active in the community) will disagree with me, but in my opinion it's important for a company to draw the line and remain supportive of commercial creative activity, even if you fund yourself largely through crowdfunding.  More people contributed in crowdfunding than exist as active forum user here, no doubt, but it remains that the average active forum user is probably going to want mods, shareware, and access to private livejournal entries. ;)  I can say that this old man doesn't need nor want those things from Obsidian.  Project Eternity is not Realmz, as much as Realmz remains enjoyable.

"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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^ So... seeing what people who just happened to take a stab at modding can do with the game will somehow make people say "Man... you know what I'm totally uninterested in now? Seeing what the people who originally produced all this in the first place can do on a second run."?

 

I would agree that the focus of the devs shouldn't be on mod-ability, so much so that the initial quality of the game should suffer with "don't worry, lots of awesome mods will make up for that suffering" in mind. But, I'd hardly say that the game's mod-friendliness discourages anything other than a lack of creative progress, from both the community AND the developers.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I paid a certain amount of money to assure this game was made, more than one ninth of my meager monthly income.  I do not look forward to what software pirates will do with this game.  I'm pretty sure I don't want it mod-ed by third parties because that might diminish interest in a sequel. 

 

No offense, but this makes zero sense to me. More (free) content = less interest? Modability = pirates will ruin everything?

 

Pirates will do what they'll do regardless of mods. And if having lots of mods kills interest in sequels, someone should alert Bethesda before they lose any more money on their horrifically mod-ridden Fallout 3 and Elder Scrolls series. God only knows how much better Skyrim might have done, financially speaking, if Bethesda made sure the game strictly forbade people to add anything or change anything. 

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I disagree with the suggestion that Project Eternity be mod-able, but I don't disagree with the OP.  Longevity does not mean more people will purchase the game; what it means is that more people who have purchased the game will not purchase more Obsidian's Eternity products unless it provides them with more mod-ability.  This excludes the non-fictional subset that will pirate Eternity and share it with friends *including* mod software.

 

I paid a certain amount of money to assure this game was made, more than one ninth of my meager monthly income.  I do not look forward to what software pirates will do with this game.  I'm pretty sure I don't want it mod-ed by third parties because that might diminish interest in a sequel.  Furthermore, I agree, quite a few mods are low quality in comparison to the commercially built version.

 

I know some of you (perhaps many of those who are active in the community) will disagree with me, but in my opinion it's important for a company to draw the line and remain supportive of commercial creative activity, even if you fund yourself largely through crowdfunding.  More people contributed in crowdfunding than exist as active forum user here, no doubt, but it remains that the average active forum user is probably going to want mods, shareware, and access to private livejournal entries. ;)  I can say that this old man doesn't need nor want those things from Obsidian.  Project Eternity is not Realmz, as much as Realmz remains enjoyable.

 

Your rant makes no sense what so ever.  One of the biggest PC companies today (Valve) was pretty much built into a multi million company due to mods.  Team Fortress, counter strike, Day of Defeat, Dota, etc; all of these games started out as mods that ended up making millions throughout the years.

 

Also, many of today's videogame developers started with modding.  Modding is how they got into the videogame industry, because it's one of the best ways to build of your resume. 

 

You want examples of mods helping sales?  Games like Just Cause 2 and Arma 2 still sell well because of modding.  The Day Z mod for Arma 2 became so popular that the developer of ARMA 2 hired the guy who made the Day Z mod.

Edited by Bill Gates' Son
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One of the biggest PC companies today (Valve) was pretty much built into a multi million company due to mods.  Team Fortress, counter strike, Day of Defeat, Dota, etc; all of these games started out as mods that ended up making millions throughout the years.

 

This is so true, yet You are talking about FPS' and RTS'. Wouldn't it be difficult to make something like a different game from a cRPG?

 

Anyhoo, I tried some of the mods for Baldur's Gate series, Fallout Tactics and some were better, some were worse; none of them were perfect whatsoever. Story and/or mechanics related mods are not my first choice. This is because the new content usually has poor writing, the plot is weak, and new things added make the game so much easier. It would make a pretty damn good job for a really interesting modification of this sort. What are the mods that I like, then? Basically cosmetic changes, e.g.:

  • removing ugly animations of some items that are worn in Baldur's Gate 2 (Cloak of Reflection animations are so damn annoying)
  • changing the UI of conversations and barter in Fallout: New Vegas (finally a more Fallout-1-and-2-ish look, yay!)

That's just it, small changes that are not changing the balance of the game, just are more pleasant for the eye.

 

Still, we have to wait and see. I bet that the game "longevity" will stand by itself :)

Edited by Messier-31

It would be of small avail to talk of magic in the air...

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