Modder's Paradise: A modding appreciation thread!


#1

I was thinking we could take the time to appreciate some of the mods we’ve been using in our games!

Mods are a labor of love within the gaming community, ones we can donate to in fact, and we see how creative people can get with systems put in place by the original developers. It’s wild to see a game’s life extend well past it’s shelf life, or become elevated to new heights because of a simple tweak or adjustment to a system that changes the game suited to a specific player’s needs.

There have been a number of great stories from Waypoint about mods, most notably from Patrick, but I was curious about what mods you folks were loving!

A quick disclaimer: Let’s make sure to keep the adult mods out of this conversation. Stuff with excessive gore, nudity, or sexual content can certainly be referenced, but let’s try and keep the links and images we share in compliance with the forum’s rules.

Also, I’d recommend linking to the creator’s Patreon if possible to be posted! A lot of Nexus links have direct donation buttons.

So, as for me, I’ve been replaying a lot of Skyrim lately, and I’ve had some time to play with a few cool mods in my load order.

The ones I appreciate right now are these:

Inigo is such a good companion, that it makes you wonder how much better Skyrim could have been if Bethesda put attention like this towards the followers in the vanilla game. Filled with personality without being grating, the fun amount of cheese to his quips, non-judgy outlook on your actions in game, and padded with interesting backstory and quests! It feels like they put a Fallout 4 companion in Skyrim. The only con is that you can’t marry him. ;_;

I think Radiant Quests get a lot of flak from people, but I honestly find them fine if they’re well defined and easily maneuvered around. This mod is specifically for that player! Sometimes, I don’t have time to do some serious questing, so I like chipping away at some meaningless quests before bed and so on. The notice board is perfect for that.

Another favorite is this in canon holidays mod. This mod basically adds the lore-friendly holidays of TES to the different holds around Skyrim. This is surprisingly effective. I couldn’t help but smirk at some of the pumpkins laying around Markarth as I made my prison escape, or popping into Rorikstead to see the villagers out in the streets, drinking, dancing, and playing instruments to celebrate some winter holiday. It adds a TON of flavor, and is pretty light on your load order. Couple this with the Obsidian weather mod, which adds seasons, and you get a real immersive experience:


#2

Been spending most my life livin’ in a…

Okay, I’ve done all I can here.


#3

Honestly, that’s where my mind went too when I wrote it.


#4

One mod that I think is really cool (although I have to admit I haven’t actually played it myself) is called Morrowind4Kids.

It was made in the early 2000s by a work-from-home mom as a way for her kids to play and enjoy Morrowind. The Bethesda Blog did an interview with her in 2008 and it’s been backed up on a Morrowind Modding Wiki since the Bethesda Blog at some point reworked their links and broke the bookmark I had of it (oops). There used to be a ~30 minute video on YouTube of someone playing it but it seems like that video is gone now, but there is this 7 minute AMV that shows a bit of it. It’s really extensive and quite impressive. Probably the biggest things to point out is that it seems to be an entirely new world with a ton of custom character models in it (featuring things like dragons and fairies to Chocobos and Moogles).

It never got finished and was almost lost to time but someone was able to find all the files necessary and put them on NexusMods. I mostly just wanted to post it because I think it’s a really cool little piece of modding history.


#5

Put a solid ammount of time into the recent Daughters of Ash mod for the original PC version of Dark Souls 1.

The elevator pitch for it is basically “Scholar of the First Sin for DS1, but with way more changes”. It makes an effort to change pretty much everything, in ways that range from small and cute, to absolutely mind bending. There’s stuff in here that evokes some of the best things from the later games, plus stuff that’s just incredible by it’s own measure. If you’re someone that loves DS1 and has played it to death, this will make it feel fresh again.


#6

this post is a placeholder for me yelling about natural selection, sven coop and soccerjam, thank u


#7

Modding is absolutely terrific. The work modders put in to keep games alive or repurpose them is admirable. Not to mention that many commercial games and genres started out from them, or that they on their own kept e-sports scenes going.

Recently I’ve been playing a bit of The Dark Mod, a Thief mod of Doom 3 which went standalone after the source code to that game was released. I’ve even started a map of my own in the editor they built for it.


#8

I have played countless hours of Kaiserreich a Hearts of Iron alternate history mod. Its still based around WWII but a WWII where the US stayed out of WWI resulting in eventual German victory.

Syndicalists have driven the royal families out of France and the UK, the Austrian and Ottoman empires are weak and crumbling, the US is rife with social division and economic troubles.

Its a very interesting and well realized world, highly recommended.

Back in the day I played tons of Chaos UT for both Unreal Tournament 99 and 2k4. Loads of fun weapons and mutators for matches.


#9

I’ve fallen hard down the Skyrim modding rabbithole. I’m using the Holidays mod as well and really like it too. I recommend all of the mods on Nexus by that same author: iNeed is a good mod for adding fatigue, hunger, and thirst to the game, Realistic Water I recommend ironically for the watercolor option in that, which doesn’t make the water look more realistic but does make it look very nice, especially combined with his Vivid Weathers mod, which also adds quite a few nice color saturation and lighting adjustments.

Immersive Armors is great for adding a bunch of new armor to the game, because if you’re going to want to play dress-up (and who are you kidding, this is half of why you’re playing) but you want the armor to fit in with the rest of the game and not look like it came out of an anime (no shade, I have the anime armor installed too) then this is the mod for you. It also has options to control where the armor spawns in the world, which is good if you don’t want the Thalmor to show up with Vvardenfell Glass Armor for Lore Reasons™

Also, there’s a console command to make an NPC available for marriage. Considering it’s a custom NPC with custom dialogue, it might do funny things, but hey: that’s Skyrim modding!

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/615805-the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim/61242343


#10

Heh, I read on the Nexus page for Inigo that there is a story reason for why he is non-romantic, which I respect! I ain’t gonna force my purple kitty pal to marry me if he doesn’t want to.

I am gonna install this mod though:

It supposedly allows for multiple marriages, so I can live my dream fantasy poly lifestyle that I DESERVE to have.


#11

Gonna plug a thread I made a little while back for sharing mods for Fallout: New Vegas. I’m many hours into my replay of that game at this point and the mods I’ve installed have certainly made it easier to revisit and enjoy. I tried to include some tutorials in the OP for how to go about installing the mods, as well as google doc I was using to collate all the mods I found & folks suggested:


#12

Half-Life did have some amazing mods (also broken and unfinished ones).
I loved Natural Selection, which provided the probably best Aliens experience of any game so far. Having never before seen a multiplayer shooter with asymetric gameplay before, the whole morphing aliens vs techy humans was very cool, as was having so many different playstyles in one game with the RTS commander and aliens that could wallrun, fly, etc. I would love to know how they went about balancing the game.
Also played Counter-Strike, Science & Industry, Sven Coop (well, I tried to) and dabbled with some of the single-player mods.

Well, that was then. Nowadays I mostly just use UI mods that make things prettier or more functional (preferably both) and mods that tweak the game rules more to my liking.


#13

Half-Life, Quake and Doom mods were my jam, and in a lot of ways, still are my jam.

I remember losing hours to ReaperBots in Quake 1, which were so good it got the creator a job writing the bot AI for Unreal Tournament 2004. Back when games still cared about that kind of stuff.

I also remember spending a lot of time in a mod called Unreal Tournament Forever, which more than tripled the number of guns, maps, and modes for UT99. I loved it for the absolute insanity it bore; you were never sure what was happening, what function guns had, and it was customizable to the max. You could restrict certain weapons from spawning, you could make killed players spawn zombies, just absolutely nuts all around.

I cannot tell you how long I played The Specialists for Half-Life. It turned the deathmatch in to an action scene out of a John Woo movie, or The Matrix. Long before the multiplayer mode in Max Payne 3, The Specialists solved the problem of how to do bullet time in multiplayer. My friends and I played it for years.

We held out for ages hoping for a Source Engine port or something that never materialized. Eventually some of The Specialists crew put out Double Action Boogaloo for Source, but by then we’d moved on.

On the other end of the coin, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in my circle of friends to enjoy a Half-Life mod by the name of Zombie Panic. I tried to get my friends in to it, but most bounced off, due to the nature of the game. It was an early zombie mod, where one player is picked to be the zombie and must slowly kill and convert the survivor team. It could be incredibly frustrating, as getting that first kill was never easy, but it had a campy mood and the feeling of being in the zombie team as you rushed down the last surviving human was always fun. It transitioned to Source, but didn’t have the same magic, and eventually even graduated to becoming a retail game called Contagion (that apparently has a bad history behind it). I’ve heard Zombie Panic Source is under new management now and apparently got a huge content update a few months ago.

On the subject of under-played zombie mods, also shoutouts to Zombie Master for Source. Instead of the zombies being a team of players, Zombie Master gave one player an overhead RTS view of the action, with the ability to spawn zombies and control map events, all in service of making sure the human team did not finish the objective. It was a FANTASTICALLY good idea let down by a simple lack of content and polish. As I recall, midway through development, Zombie Master lost some of its artists and the mod suffered as a result. It never had enough maps, and a lot of the maps it did have were ugly as hell. But when it was good, MAN, it was incredible! Ubisoft quietly borrowed this concept for the multiplayer mode in Zombi U, but it failed to take off there, too.

The state of Doom modding continues to shock me. There are so many weird, wacky, wild things going on in that community right now.

Pirate Doom is a fantastic total conversion that pulls in elements from games like Monkey Island. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all and has great level design.

Unloved almost sort of turns Doom in to a Metroidvania, blended with elements of Silent Hill 4: The Room. Essentially, different objects in your house teleport you to different “worlds,” but everything is subtly interconnected and a puzzle you solve in one world could effect something in another. The developer “remade” it as a stand-alone game to sell in Steam, but in the process it was turned in to a procedurally generated co-op roguelike, completely changing basically everything interesting about the original. I’ve never actually played the Steam version, but I looked at a lot of video not long after it first released and was not impressed.

Simon’s Destiny turns Doom in to a flippin’ first-person classic Castlevania game, both for better and for worse. The gameplay is mostly left intact, and you really have to stop and reconsider your new perspective on the action. I’d say it’s more interesting than it is fun, though; I made it up to the boss fight with Death, and not being able to see what’s behind you turned in to quite the handicap.

I guess I can’t mention Doom mods without bringing up Sonic Robo-Blast 2, a Doom Legacy Total Conversion that turns it in to a 3D platformer, and a fairly decent one at that. I was a texture artist on this game for a little bit. It’s been in development for over 20 years at this point, and the current team is teasing a new update that will finally add proper sloped surfaces to the game (as well as completely overhaul all of the visuals). The SRB2 community is insanely active, running multiplayer games (deathmatch and race) and even being so active as to give SRB2 its own modding scene.

Most recently released is a mod called SRB2 Kart, which is a total conversion of a total conversion that turns SRB2 in to a Mario-Kart-style kart racer. That, in itself, is starting to build its own modding community of people making custom racers and tracks. The same team that is responsible for SRB2 Kart also made something called SRB2 Top Down, which takes inspiration from games like Super Mario 3D World and Sonic 3D Blast.

And then, with regards to Doom modding, something I’ve started to have fun with are the idea of mods that don’t necessarily add new levels, but can be placed over the top of other mods. Such is the case of “High Noon Drifter.” This mod adds a completely new set of weapons and game mechanics that can be used in tons and tons of existing Doom, Heretic and Hexen maps. I played through all of Heretic with High Noon Drifter and it was a strange but memorable experience. And thanks to having tons of customizable toggles, I also played through the tough-as-nails Ancient Aliens map pack with High Noon Drifter as well, with the settings tweaked to soften the challenge a bit.

Another fun one is MetaDoom, which takes the existing set of Doom weapons and monsters and blows them out to include every variation of everything ever made for this franchise. It’s a very fun idea, and adds a whole heck of a lot of variety to a game you might have played a dozen or so times already over the last 25 years.

I could keep going, but I’ll stop here for now.


#14

I like to follow a few modder focused youtube channels, and I thought I’d recommend them to ya’ll! There’s a lot of people out there doing mods weekly vids, but a lot of them can be pretty problematic, and focus on the fucky mods more than the more interesting ones.

JuiceHead focuses mainly on Fallout 4 mods, and his content is pretty dang consistent. He’s focusing a lot on the Fallout 76 drama right now, but from what I’ve watched, he’s very leveled about it. He even uses the news of 76 to double back on some Fallout 4 stuff. He’s how I heard about the new Conquerer addition to Sims Settlements.

Brodual is mainly Skyrim mods, and he too focuses on the more gameplay-oriented mods. His content tends to have a video focus on one or a few mods at a time, and they’re comprehensive at explaining what the mods do.


#15

So, I just started a new modded play through of Fallout 4. I’m hoping to focus specifically on the base building, but one of the mods I downloaded was a neat little mod that saves your spouse in the game, Nora, from being killed:

Here it is in action. Some spoilers for Fallout 4, obviously.

She instead becomes a companion, and she’s fully voiced with lines from other scenes spliced in to your conversations.

I already absolutely love this mod. I was always kind of annoyed with how the game disposes of your spouse so quickly. She/He is there to hold your baby while you run from the blast, then they’re dead within 15 minutes. There was no relationship, no intimacy between them… You get a sassy line about doin’ it in the park, and that’s it.

This mod changes that, and it completely reverses the LITERAL fridging of your wife. I should also mention that Nora will look like how you want her too as well.


#16

I actually just started my first Kaiserreich HoI4 game last night and it feels much more dynamic and in depth than the base game. The base game feels extremely boardgamey in a way to me which I generally like but I appreciate a different style!