What Makes PC Gaming Unique? Part 1 - Mods Make the Games you Love Better
Without talking about frame rate, resolution, power, price, or the amount/quality of games, I want to talk about what makes the PC platform unique. PC isn't just Windows, it encompasses all Operating Systems and hardware. Even ARM CPUs, which are mostly found in mobile devices but are starting to make their way into cheaper Laptops.
This is how I want to play Skyrim.
This is the first part of a mini-column about what makes PC unique, this part will tackle mods.
What Can Mods do For a Game?
...they give a game which would last 200 hours the ability to last 500+ hours more.
I've recently been playing Skyrim, again. And wanted to go through and sort out all my mods, so I started up the game, and created a no mod clean save. After carefully uninstalling all the mods. Accomplished by using Nexus Mod Manager and uninstalling a few mods, loading and saving each time I did this to get a clean save. When done, I deleted the Skyrim folder to make sure it was fully clean.
I then loaded the game back up, just to have a look and made sure it still worked, the only way to describe what I saw is pure shock. By the lack of foliage, the lack of fancy lighting, swords are now paddles, I only have 'boring' armor, NPC faces are no longer animated, I don't have any fancy swords, etc.
This got me thinking about mods and the modding community, in general.
Mods can make games look better
The first mods you will often see for games are textures or lighting. These simply improve fidelity of textures or add fancy lighting effects. They don't do much else apart from that. They allow you to show how powerful your PC is, by recording and playing back at 60FPS, or taking some beautiful screenshot. Some who do this are just show offs, others want to push their hardware as far as it can go.
Walking to Solitude never looked so good.
Mods extend the life of the game
The best mods are the complete conversions, in the case of RPGs large quest mods, or new lands mods (these are new areas you can explore, such as Falskaar).
These lengthen the life of the game, they give a game which would last 200 hours the ability to last 500+ hours more. I played Skyrim and Fallout 3 without mods for around 200 hours each.
Modders always look to the stars! They can accomplish anything.
The ability to fix niggles in the game
Skyrim has many Unofficial Patches which fix little things in the game that Bethesda have overlooked. They add stability for further mod support, as Bethesda games can sometimes become very unstable when using many mods, even if they are all compatible with each other. Tools to allow the most novice user to mod are also available, such as Nexus Mod Manager or the Steam Workshop.
Closing mods comments
From making things even shinier, to extending the life of a game, to fixing small niggles, creating 250 hour new lands mods, new quests, even new weapons or powers, modders can do almost anything they want. They live right at the heart of the PC community and should be celebrated more. Some have even gained jobs from the modding work they have done.
So three cheers for modders and the mods they create!
Hip hip hurrah!
Hip hip hurrah!
Hip hip hurrah!
What do you think about modding? Does it even interest you? Let me know with writing bellow.