What is a mod? I understand it makes a game much better. Like Oblivion.

ricleo2

Golden Member
Feb 18, 2004
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Ok, I have a feeling this is a question I should know by now. As I have been playing PC games since 1995. But bear with me. What is a mod and how does it make a game play better. How do I get one?
 

Barfo

Lifer
Jan 4, 2005
27,554
212
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Originally posted by: ricleo2
Ok, I have a feeling this is a question I should know by now. As I have been playing PC games since 1995. But bear with me. What is a mod and how does it make a game play better. How do I get one?

Hard to believe but anyway, short for modification and as their name implies they modifie a game, whether to enhance it graphically (high res texture packs, model replacements, etc.) or to change the gameplay (adding new quests, maps, changing rules, stats, almost anything).

As for getting mods, it depends a lot on the game, some have huge modding communities and others not a single one, it's a matter of searching for your favorite game and see what the most popular mods are, read reviews and ultimately install the mods and keep them if you like.

It can be a time consuming process but it has the potential to turn a mediocre game into something really good.

Edit: They come in many flavors from installers to source code you have to compile yourself, most of them overwrite original game files so always make backups before installing a mod.
 

Rike

Platinum Member
Oct 14, 2004
2,614
2
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HATE HATE INSULT INSULT

OK, now that that's out of the way for everyone, mod is short for modification. It is something that is designed to change the way a program works, in this case a game. Mods vary wildly in quality. In Oblivion, many mods focus on making the game play more realistic. For example, when your character is low level you run into lots of wolves and mean dogs, but when you are high level, fully loaded NPCs seem to be everywhere. Some mods focus on more balanced game play so that no matter your level, there's wolves and deer in the woods but occasionally a high level NPC or other nasty. That's just one example of something that you can do. Mods can change almost any aspect of a game.

Do some research by googling "Oblivion mods" and you should find all sorts of resources.
 

ricleo2

Golden Member
Feb 18, 2004
1,122
11
81
Originally posted by: Barfo
Originally posted by: ricleo2
Ok, I have a feeling this is a question I should know by now. As I have been playing PC games since 1995. But bear with me. What is a mod and how does it make a game play better. How do I get one?

Hard to believe but anyway, short for modification and as their name implies they modifie a game, whether to enhance it graphically (high res texture packs, model replacements, etc.) or to change the gameplay (adding new quests, maps, changing rules, stats, almost anything).

As for getting mods, it depends a lot on the game, some have huge modding communities and others not a single one, it's a matter of searching for your favorite game and see what the most popular mods are, read reviews and ultimately install the mods and keep them if you like.

It can be a time consuming process but it has the potential to turn a mediocre game into something really good.

Edit: They come in many flavors from installers to source code you have to compile yourself, most of them overwrite original game files so always make backups before installing a mod.

I thought modifying software like that is illegal. Is this law not being enforced?

 

acheron

Diamond Member
May 27, 2008
3,171
2
81
Frankly I don't bother with mods much; the ones that aren't blatant cheats are usually terribly designed. If the "modder" was good at game design, they'd be getting paid for it.

If you want to put in the effort to find the one good one in the giant pile of crap, then go for it.

But to answer your second post, no, it's not illegal.
 

AstroManLuca

Lifer
Jun 24, 2004
15,628
5
81
Originally posted by: ricleo2
Originally posted by: Barfo
Originally posted by: ricleo2
Ok, I have a feeling this is a question I should know by now. As I have been playing PC games since 1995. But bear with me. What is a mod and how does it make a game play better. How do I get one?

Hard to believe but anyway, short for modification and as their name implies they modifie a game, whether to enhance it graphically (high res texture packs, model replacements, etc.) or to change the gameplay (adding new quests, maps, changing rules, stats, almost anything).

As for getting mods, it depends a lot on the game, some have huge modding communities and others not a single one, it's a matter of searching for your favorite game and see what the most popular mods are, read reviews and ultimately install the mods and keep them if you like.

It can be a time consuming process but it has the potential to turn a mediocre game into something really good.

Edit: They come in many flavors from installers to source code you have to compile yourself, most of them overwrite original game files so always make backups before installing a mod.

I thought modifying software like that is illegal. Is this law not being enforced?

I guess a mod that involves modifying one of the actual game data files might possibly violate the game's license agreement, but the general consensus is that license agreements (EULAs) aren't legally binding anyway. I think the main reason for anti-software modification clauses are to prevent "cracks" anyway (not that companies enforce those either).

Most mods don't even modify the actual game files - they provide "plug-ins," or files that provide new data in a separate file that is loaded from a particular folder. Then, instead of going to the trouble of moving and renaming data files, you can just move little mod files around and not have to rename anything.
 

Golgatha

Lifer
Jul 18, 2003
12,650
1,512
126
Originally posted by: acheron
Frankly I don't bother with mods much; the ones that aren't blatant cheats are usually terribly designed. If the "modder" was good at game design, they'd be getting paid for it.

If you want to put in the effort to find the one good one in the giant pile of crap, then go for it.

But to answer your second post, no, it's not illegal.

Err...I've played a lot of mods (total conversions) that are better than the original game. Desert Combat and Counter Strike come immediately to mind. High resolution textures packs for Oblivion and Fallout 3 also come to mind.
 

AnonymouseUser

Diamond Member
May 14, 2003
9,943
107
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A mod is completely legal when the developer's provide modding tools, provided you abide by their EULA and don't infringe other's rights. FWIW, Counter-Strike was originally a mod of HL.

Some mods are Total Conversions (TC), such as The Dark Mod, a TC of Doom 3 based on the Thief games. So long as the devs don't infringe on Eidos' IP they won't face any legal actions.
 

Schadenfroh

Elite Member
Mar 8, 2003
38,416
4
0
What is a mod?[/b]
Me




Joking aside, a mod can be a number of things.

Illegal mods can circumvent copy protection or license keys.

Cheat mods can make the game easier.

Copyright infringement mods involve people adding content to a game (like new storylines, maps, levels, etc.) based on IP that does not belong to them (see the mod created sequel to that JRPG that was posted the other day that Square shutdown).

Some companies openly support mods, like Bioware and Neverwinter Nights. Mods in NWN take on many forms, they can be new campaigns (completely new storylines / games in of themselves) or even pseudo MMORPGs.

For example, if you have NWN1 you have access to the mods here:
http://nwvault.ign.com/View.ph...ys=30&show_days_back=1

All are free and many are far superior to the original campaign (unmodded).

Other mods are simple utilities, like GNag (that gets rid of splash screens that are displayed upon startup of certain games):
http://forums.anandtech.com/me...=2307091&enterthread=y