Modding: Creative Ingenuity or Greedy Weakness?

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In the wonderful world of gaming, there is one area that members of the community, at least most of them, fear to discuss. That area is modding; where gamers change code in a game to have vastly different affects. There are various kinds of modding, but there are two main kinds, which i shall refer to as aggressive modding, and pacifist modding. These are not official terms, but these are how I will call them for ease of explanation. The gaming community have a range of opinions on modding and the modders themselves, be it good, bad, or both. This article will bring these opinions to light, and determine how these modders are regarded by the rest of the community, as well as my reasoning behind my opinion; that modding is both good and bad, in the right hands.

We shall start by explaining the difference between aggressive and pacifist modding. These types of modding are incredibly different in ideals, but similar in how they are done. Now, don’t misunderstand “pacifist” modding as how it sounds; pacifist modding, in my own opinion, is when a modder creates mods that don’t affect the core gameplay exactly. For example, not godmodding (making yourself invincible, etc). Pacifist modding encompasses such things as quest and graphical mods for games (such as Skyrim, Fallout, and others) – Essentially, mods that cause no other players intentional harm.

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Now, personally, I strongly support these kinds of mods; they cause no grief to other players, or take away from the game, but add to it. These kinds of modders should be encouraged, and are. There are entire websites dedicated to downloading these kinds of mods, which, if done right, add many more hours to a game that you’d stopped playing. One such mod is the Skyblivion; a modder recreated the entirety of Cyrodiil within the game of Skyrim, which looked as if it had always been there. These mods encourage the community to be creative, and if they’re not harmful to other players, but merely improve the game in some way, then we should support these people more.

Sometimes, these mods even create entirely new parts for games that never existed. For example, Just Cause 2 and Skyrim had a multiplayer mod added; granted, the Skyrim one was more of other players being able to SEE you in your world alone, not help with quests and such (yet, anyway…), but it’s a massive leap in modding.

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And of course, we must make mention of perhaps the most well-known mod of all; DayZ, the ARMA 2 and ARMA 3 mod. This mod changed the entire game – what went from a war MMO simulator, became a zombie survival MMO simulator. Zombies roam the world, and you must survive at all costs. Gathering food, water, medical supplies, were all essential. And you would also run into other players, who could help you or kill you. This mod became so loved and well-known, that it was bought and became a standalone game, which will arrive on consoles at a TBA date. If mods are gaining this much success and fame, then why should the rest of us condemn them and hound them, when they make the games more enjoyable.

But, not all mods are fun for all. These are the aggressive mods. Mods that exist to give the user an unfair advantage over other players, or the game itself. Godmodding, file tampering, DDOSing, all of these are self-centred mods that only do one thing; destroy the experience.

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I’ll give a personal example of one I’ve encountered, on Dark Souls. Modding is surprisingly easy in this game, and so it wasn’t long before I encountered my first modder (though with aggressive mods, the line between modder and hacker thins greatly). We fought, and I quickly noticed that I did no damage to him at all. He eventually stood still, allowing me to hit him and realise that there wasn’t a damn thing I could do. My only option was to die, so I did. Later I learned that the bleed mechanic is their weakness, and so when I experienced my next one, I defeated them, and they yielded 1,000,000 souls; almost certainly a hack.

Modders and hackers like this are the ones we should be hounding. Those that mod purely to cause misery to those around them, or to take the easy route in games. Aggressive modding shows weakness; if you have to tamper with the files to beat the game, or to cause pain for others to gain an advantage online, then you show that you’re too weak to do these things legitimately.

Of course, I’m only one guy, and one guy cannot speak for the whole community. So i decided to ask a range of members from the gaming community, what their own thoughts or experiences are with modding and modders (they will all remain anonymous for their own ease of mind).

We found that a lot of members had a similar idea to mine. One member said:

Anything that doesn’t alter core gameplay is fine. Graphics mods and alternate skins and stuff like that. Exploits are pointless.”

Another gave a similar opinion, and gave us the example of a GTA mod (be sure to check it out):

Can be fun, some modders are douchebags online but some modders are hilarious. Like the raining whales mod on GTA.”

We even had an ex-modder come to us, who gave us this:

As an “ex” modder, I really think nowadays modders can be assholes, like in GTA! Being in godmode, etc. But there are good modders too. Who drop cash (Somewhat still bad though).
I used to mod alot on PC, like in GTA IV-EPFC. With trainer, had godmod. Spawned Gay Tony until the server crashed. Just for the “LOL” But then again. I helped others, spawned cars to them etc. Had tons of fun.”

When asked about how the community reacted to him, he said this:

Some of them (other players) sent me death threats, some wanted to be my friend. So mixed reactions.

But, not all of the community agree with this, and their opinions are just. For example, one member said:

All modders are cheating scum. They don’t deserve to own the game or even play it.”

Another gave her story of her first experience with modders:

Gta on Ps3 was where i first encountered them.

We were enjoying the game and messing around, next thing you know a player pops up beside me dressed as an alien, which isnt possible on game, and a billion dollar bounty on my head, which of course is not possible! So we all freak out and my friends are trying to kill me for it. I left.

Over time i learned that people were changing DNS codes and using mods somehow. They ruined the fucking game dude. You couldn’t go anywhere without people doing it. But their god mode had a flaw, if you ran them over or slapped them with a tank barrel, which was my preference, they couldn’t do shit! They couldnt get up. We had fun with that till Rockstar fixed it.

Then the jailbroken Playstations started to shine.. people could blow you up while you were in your house! They could enter your house uninvited. They spawned windmills and snow men and ferris wheels on your character so that you couldnt do shit. It was horrible, you would hear people in lobbies losing it at modders, countless arguments between modders and regular players.. it was just horrible.

Modders ruin games, especially online. They are usually also able to DDOS people or they are accompanied by someone who can. They’re trouble makers, and i know its not the mods its the people behind the screen but fuck do mods turn an asshole into a cunt. I know you can’t use swear words (of course we can!) but it’s the only way I can explain it. I’ve used a jailbroken playstation before and sure its fun.. but there is no challenge online doing that.. it defeats the purpose of the game.”

These are the kinds of modders that break games for other players, and the kind that should be clamped down on. Sure, it’s not possible to completely stop them, and there are already various measures from various developers to stop them. But when they give the modding community a bad name, even those who did nothing wrong, and simply make mods that are a benefit to all, then these are the ones we should shame and hound.

Got an opinion on modding? Then let us know below what you think of the modding community, or if you have any experiences with both aggressive and pacifist modders.

CrazyBrit96


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