Potato, I think you've missed the update about the map design process. There are several things that would make making maps harder (but I agree, not impossible)
You have to make the map (hi-res)
You have to mark where characters can walk
You have to mark certain objects for occlusion (does this show in front or behind a character as he walks past it)
You have to adjust light sources for the dynamic lighting system (otherwise your map might look weird as it is being played)
Some objects are 3D layovers on the 2d map.
I do believe that the biggest problem is that the tools to do everything but point one are proprietary, but not Obsidian's.
Occlusion and height map are basicly the same. And as such, can be created automaticly via the appropriate modeller plugin.
Collision maps as binary images can easily be hand-painted over the rendered background image. So I guess a tool for that could be useful, but isn't really required.
Light sources and dynamic lighting, of course, would need a proper tool to be placed. But so would all other things that fill the map with life: NPCs, monsters, destructable objects, etc.
This is where a tool is needed. But it's very likely that these tools exist and are obsidian's home-made creations, since unity doesn't explicitly provide commercial editors for things like that.
So in the end the modding community kind of depends on the release of such a tool to thrive. I hope they'll consider it.
Of course, the technical possibility is one thing, but the artistical skill is the other. However, from my experience with modding communities in the past, I can tell that artistical expertise is just a matter of perception and purpose. I've seen everything from stylized, comic-y looks to ultra HD photo-esque stuff made from amateurs. Who wouldn't love to play a custom made module of PoE with comic-style backgrounds or just black and white scribbly crayon landscapes? Well I'd definitely play that!
It's a matter of what you consider community content. Of course, expecting a complete module spanning several hours of gameplay would be ridicolous (although that has been done before, remember the DA:O mod replicating Chateau Irenicus!). But I could for example see a community mod that adds a small dungeon with riddles or ultra hard arena battles or just some custom housing.
Scope differs from mod to mod. But just because a mod has a small scope doesn't mean it's not valuable content.
I played an NWN module in the past where you were the matron of a brothel. It basicly had an economy sim feel to it and not a single battle. Just to give an example of how different community content can be. And despite the rather dark setting, it was engaging as hell.
Edited by Zwiebelchen, 10 June 2014 - 03:15 AM.