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> Skyrim Workshop Now Supports Paid Mods
gpstr
post Apr 25 2015, 03:15 AM
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I haven't read anything on this thread yet because I just want to air my own thoughts while they're still there. I'll maybe comment some more later, after I wind down a bit.

First, bluntly, simply - this whole thing fills me with the urge to vomit.

Nothing good ever comes from getting money-hungry corporate weasels involved in anything.

If this is successful (which is to say, profitable for Beth and Valve), then it's absolutely guaranteed that free, amateur modding will be driven underground at best.

Scenario:

Acme Company hosts "X" mod behind their paywall.

<FreeModSite>.com hosts "Y" free mod that does the same thing.

Acme Company WILL see every download of "Y" mod as lost revenue, and therefore WILL seek to eliminate "Y" mod by the most direct and effective way - by eliminating <FreeModSite>.com entirely.

Count on it. In fact, I'd go so far as to presume that Valve and Beth have already had their lawyers look into just that issue, because they know, just as I do, that if they're going to continue to profit from the mods that are offered, they're going to have to ensure that there is no free competition. If players can download "Y" mod for free, then they have no incentive to pay for "X" mod and they won't, and there's no way that the companies invested the necessary money to bring this about with that possibility looming over their heads. It's certain that they not only believe that they can shut down free modding, but that, if this is successful, they fully intend to and already know how they'll go about doing it. They would not have made this decision without that assurance.

Again, the whole thing just fills me with the urge to vomit.
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mALX
post Apr 25 2015, 03:50 AM
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QUOTE(gpstr @ Apr 24 2015, 10:15 PM) *

I haven't read anything on this thread yet because I just want to air my own thoughts while they're still there. I'll maybe comment some more later, after I wind down a bit.

First, bluntly, simply - this whole thing fills me with the urge to vomit.

Nothing good ever comes from getting money-hungry corporate weasels involved in anything.

If this is successful (which is to say, profitable for Beth and Valve), then it's absolutely guaranteed that free, amateur modding will be driven underground at best.

Scenario:

Acme Company hosts "X" mod behind their paywall.

<FreeModSite>.com hosts "Y" free mod that does the same thing.

Acme Company WILL see every download of "Y" mod as lost revenue, and therefore WILL seek to eliminate "Y" mod by the most direct and effective way - by eliminating <FreeModSite>.com entirely.

Count on it. In fact, I'd go so far as to presume that Valve and Beth have already had their lawyers look into just that issue, because they know, just as I do, that if they're going to continue to profit from the mods that are offered, they're going to have to ensure that there is no free competition. If players can download "Y" mod for free, then they have no incentive to pay for "X" mod and they won't, and there's no way that the companies invested the necessary money to bring this about with that possibility looming over their heads. It's certain that they not only believe that they can shut down free modding, but that, if this is successful, they fully intend to and already know how they'll go about doing it. They would not have made this decision without that assurance.

Again, the whole thing just fills me with the urge to vomit.



Ditto.




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SubRosa
post Apr 25 2015, 05:11 AM
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So far I have read a couple articles on Forbes about this whole mess. The bottom line of their reporting is this:
QUOTE
The pros are technically “modders get paid, the game maker gets paid,” but past that, there are too many cons to count.

This will prove to be a disaster, and may damage the PC the modding community irreparably if the practice spreads.

Which I believe is spot on.


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mirocu
post Apr 25 2015, 07:38 AM
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QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 25 2015, 02:32 AM) *

Goodness! The BethSoft SkyMods forum is going through about one full thread (they lock at 200 posts there) each hour! No kidding. They're about ready to open thread #7 on the subject. Lots of upset people. ohmy.gif

I´ve been following it a bit and from what I can see it´s basically the same thing being repeated over and over. But I imagine of course that is because people are upset mellow.gif


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Grits
post Apr 25 2015, 01:29 PM
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The tone is considerably calmer this morning, or at least it was when I looked in. Emma made a post that I’m glad I stumbled on before it got buried: Link to Emma’s post.

In situations where none of the news is good I appreciate hearing from the mature, level-headed folks whose opinions I respect regardless of whether I agree with them. As ever I’m grateful for the great oak of Chorrol where folks can have a passionate discussion without lashing out like vindictive children.


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Acadian
post Apr 25 2015, 02:22 PM
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Grits, thanks for linking to Emma's post else I'd have missed it for sure given the speed of comments over there. She makes excellent points and she's right that if she charged what Vilja was worth, the price would be more than a new gaming PC! tongue.gif

Although Vilja is too. . . overpowering for Buffy and would relegate my nurturing elf to a 'sidekick' status, there is no doubt it is an incredible mod and sets the gold standard for followers. I'm confident that without Vilja, the Dawnguard's Serana would have been just another vanilla follower instead of taking the giant leaps in interactivity that she did. And as Emma alludes, the recipe was passion, love of modding and cooperation with other modders - not cash or competition.

You nailed the reason I started this thread here. Chorrol is a supportive and mature place to discuss things. When passions run high - as they do in this case - we can count on reasoned, supportive and mutually respectful discussions. Not to mention at a pace that is a bit easier to follow! wink.gif


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SubRosa
post Apr 25 2015, 04:09 PM
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What Emma says about sharing brings me back to my first days of modding. Back then I was playing Rome Total War, and I wanted to make a few minor changes to the abilities of units in the game. There was already a well established modding community by that time, but it was fragmented across several forums. There were how-to guides, but many things were still not spelled out in specifics. I was still very grateful for what I could find as it got me started, and made me realize that this was not so difficult after all. It was just time-consuming, and a person only needed the willingness to invest their time in order to change the game in extraordinary ways.

Soon I moved beyond the little onsey twosey mods, and began a huge conversion project for the game - Amazon Total War. As the name implies, it brought more female units into the game. I had no idea how to do most the things I would need to in order to make it work. I had to learn it all as I went. Thankfully there were plenty of people out there willing to help explain things when I could not figure them out myself.

It was a long, slow process, but ATW became a reality. I didn't stop there, but kept working on the mod, expanding it, improving the graphics, meshes, adding more factions, and so on. This literally took years of hard work. By my third major version of the mod I heard people saying "I would pay for this". Also at that time I began to import a great deal of material from other mods into my own. Things like new ship meshes and textures. New landscape graphics. New skins for things like shields and armor. New animations, etc... Everyone I asked for contributions gave me their blessing to use their work, and naturally I credited them all. That final, most polished version of ATW could never have existed without the help of those people, like Halie Satanus, Riczu, Pinarius, SrJamesTyrrel, Mark Centurion, GreenViggen, Palantir/Dol Gulder/Master of None, Andalus, and many, many more. It was my mod, I did all the work on it, but without the free and helpful support of these people it never would have been what it was.

As Emma says, the spirit of modding is sharing. If the RTW modding community had been a for-pay environment, none of that would have ever happened. These people would not have shared, and I would have never even asked for their material in the first place. They would have been my business competitors, not my friends. They would have wanted to see me fail, because that would leave a larger market share for them. That is just the reality of finance.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 25 2015, 05:56 PM


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mALX
post Apr 25 2015, 06:00 PM
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*

One thing no one has mentioned on any of these discussions: Where this is headed.

We know that Bethesda is saving money by distributing their games through Valve-Steam; there is no doubt about that. Steam is having to pay the bandwidth for all these mods they are hosting.

For decades Bethesda has stood firm about no money compensation for mods, now suddenly they are buckling that firm stand FOR STEAM users only. That should tell you something about the driving force behind this change.

Something Chesko said in his wimpy excuse for his actions struck me - he said he was asked how many would pay for accessing Steam to access these mods.

In other words, either the mods sell and pay back Steam for some of this bandwidth; or they start charging members to access their own games that they already paid for.

Now Bethesda has saved a ton of money and wants to keep saving that money in their upcoming games - may even have a contract with Steam already in effect for that.

Steam has them by the balls now. They own more of their rights than Bethesda does. They are calling the shots now, as far as I can see. So all this tight 100 mb hold Steam had on their bandwidth is suddenly miraculously opened up so they can handle huge mods - why, because the bandwidth is about to be paid for by the sale of all those mods using it. One way or another.

I am pretty sure that Steam will start charging users for using their site for uploading mods or charge users for getting any mods from them or both. And they are not going to like Nexus offering mods for free; because who will deal with Steam if they can get it for free elsewhere?

So then they will charge membership fees to access the games you have already bought. I can about guarantee this is where it is headed. They cornered the gaming market, and Bethesda stupidly fed right into their hands trying to save a buck on security and distribution.

Better be looking for that membership fee at Steam, because they want their bandwidth paid for and won't stop till it is, imho.

Instead of concentrating on the wheels as they turn, might really want to take a look at where they are heading.

*

This post has been edited by mALX: Apr 25 2015, 07:23 PM


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SubRosa
post Apr 25 2015, 06:14 PM
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In the past Bethesda refused mods to be sold because they had no way of controlling the money themselves. All the money would have gone to the modder, and none of it to them. But after moving their sole distribution to Steam (even if you bought a physical disc in a store, you still have to use Steam to install and play the game), they finally realized that they have a means of controlling sales, so they make the money, rather than the modder. So of course now they are tapping the previously untouched revenue stream of mods.

Skyrim is not the first game to have mods for pay. Valve started it with their own in-house created games like Team Fortress. The fact that they made a lot of money from it is what made Bethesda take notice, and I am sure a lot other game companies. Even though it is far from a new game anymore, Skyrim still has a huge number of players and a gigantic mod library. So it was an obvious choice for the first non-Valve game to go the paid-mod route. It is a win for Valve, and a win for Bethesda. Only the modders and players lose.

It is also worth noting that Bethesda does not call all of its own shots. Just like Bioware does not. They are just a subsidiary of a much larger investment corporation. That corporation has lost a lot of money lately. So they want to make it back any way possible, and selling mods is just one way the mega-corporation can do that.

And yes, Valve opening up the bandwidth for Skyrim mods a little while ago was definitely laying the groundwork for the paid modding. It was a necessary first step for the business. What I can see as a next step is to make Fallout 4's Geck (that is what they call the Fallout creation kit), to be more integrated with Steam, so that you cannot save your mods locally. Instead they will probably only allow saving to Steam's servers. That way Valve and Bethesda will have complete control of the mods, and cut out sites like the Nexus. They will claim it is a good thing, because online storage will protect your mod from being lost due to things like hard drive failures.

Will Valve start charging a monthly fee for Steam use? That I kind of doubt, since even single mmo games with monthly subscriptions usually fail. Very few people are willing to pay $20 a month just to play a game. So I don't believe people would pay Steam a monthly subscription. Instead they would just pirate all their games and cut Steam completely out of the picture. People who do not want to deal with Steam now - when it is free (albeit the internet connection is not) - have been playing pirated copies of Skyrim since the first day it came out.

Of course whether Valve is smart enough to understand that is another matter entirely though. Companies are remarkably stupid when it comes to DRM schemes and piracy. They never seem to realize that DRM does absolutely nothing to deter piracy. Instead it costs them more money to buy the DRM scheme in the first place, makes their game more unstable and sometimes unplayable, and insults paying customers by treating them like criminals. In the end DRM schemes promote piracy, because for many people it is literally the only way they can play the game because the DRM prevents them from doing it legally. Even the remarkable success of DRM-free distributors like Gog.com and donation sites like Kickstarter have not clued most of the gaming industry into the fact that you do not need such absolute control to make money. People will still buy games even when they could pirate them. Simply because we are honest, and want to reward the developer, and insure they continue to make good games.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 25 2015, 06:41 PM


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Acadian
post Apr 25 2015, 06:42 PM
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I'm scratching my head here still at the lack of sense. It is clear that the modding community overall is not behind pay for mods. BethSoft has provided their CS/CK free and, in return, has sold more games because of modding and not had to repair tons of tiny bugs that the modders do. The situation has been, in my mind, symbiotic with mod makers, players and BethSoft all benefiting. If it ain't broke. . . .

If there is a case for paying some modders, it seems that BethSoft should look at paying the wonderful 'unofficial patch' teams for doing a notable chunk of their patching work for them. laugh.gif

But decisions like this don't always make sense. Even big company's sometimes only learn by screwing up and getting bitten (ESO, I'm looking at you and the embarrassing reception to your pay to play MMO).


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mALX
post Apr 25 2015, 07:30 PM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ Apr 25 2015, 01:14 PM) *

In the past Bethesda refused mods to be sold because they had no way of controlling the money themselves. All the money would have gone to the modder, and none of it to them. But after moving their sole distribution to Steam (even if you bought a physical disc in a store, you still have to use Steam to install and play the game), they finally realized that they have a means of controlling sales, so they make the money, rather than the modder. So of course now they are tapping the previously untouched revenue stream of mods.

Skyrim is not the first game to have mods for pay. Valve started it with their own in-house created games like Team Fortress. The fact that they made a lot of money from it is what made Bethesda take notice, and I am sure a lot other game companies. Even though it is far from a new game anymore, Skyrim still has a huge number of players and a gigantic mod library. So it was an obvious choice for the first non-Valve game to go the paid-mod route. It is a win for Valve, and a win for Bethesda. Only the modders and players lose.

It is also worth noting that Bethesda does not call all of its own shots. Just like Bioware does not. They are just a subsidiary of a much larger investment corporation. That corporation has lost a lot of money lately. So they want to make it back any way possible, and selling mods is just one way the mega-corporation can do that.

And yes, Valve opening up the bandwidth for Skyrim mods a little while ago was definitely laying the groundwork for the paid modding. It was a necessary first step for the business. What I can see as a next step is to make Fallout 4's Geck (that is what they call the Fallout creation kit), to be more integrated with Steam, so that you cannot save your mods locally. Instead they will probably only allow saving to Steam's servers. That way Valve and Bethesda will have complete control of the mods, and cut out sites like the Nexus. They will claim it is a good thing, because online storage will protect your mod from being lost due to things like hard drive failures.

Will Valve start charging a monthly fee for Steam use? That I kind of doubt, since even single mmo games with monthly subscriptions usually fail. Very few people are willing to pay $20 a month just to play a game. So I don't believe people would pay Steam a monthly subscription. Instead they would just pirate all their games and cut Steam completely out of the picture. People who do not want to deal with Steam now - when it is free (albeit the internet connection is not) - have been playing pirated copies of Skyrim since the first day it came out.

Of course whether Valve is smart enough to understand that is another matter entirely though. Companies are remarkably stupid when it comes to DRM schemes and piracy. They never seem to realize that DRM does absolutely nothing to deter piracy. Instead it costs them more money to buy the DRM scheme in the first place, makes their game more unstable and sometimes unplayable, and insults paying customers by treating them like criminals. In the end DRM schemes promote piracy, because for many people it is literally the only way they can play the game because the DRM prevents them from doing it legally. Even the remarkable success of DRM-free distributors like Gog.com and donation sites like Kickstarter have not clued most of the gaming industry into the fact that you do not need such absolute control to make money. People will still buy games even when they could pirate them. Simply because we are honest, and want to reward the developer, and insure they continue to make good games.



This is the most informative fact filled post I've read yet on this whole situation; and the thought of them controlling the Geck right from the start - I never would have thought of that, but now that you've said it - oh yeah, I do see that happening. And I've been afraid all along that Nexus is about to crash and burn because Valve-Steam will sweep it out of the way.

Hugely important post you made here, SubRosa. Huge.




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gpstr
post Apr 25 2015, 09:13 PM
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I closely watched, and commented on, Skyrim's development from the time it was announced up until a few months before release. At that point, I made the decision that I was simply not going to give Beth any of my money for that game, period. I no longer had any interest in what they were going to do with it because I was not going to buy it.

And what was the thing that put me over the edge? What was the thing that made me decide that, even after I'd seen and commented on the elimination of attributes and the elimination of spellmaking, among many other bad decisions?

The Steam requirement. THAT was the straw that broke my back.

This is a fine example of why.

@mALX - Nexus isn't going to crash and burn. Nexus is going to join ranks with Steam and Beth, at least as a licensed provider if not as a wholly owned subsidiary. Count on it. In fact, I'm willing to bet that that deal is already being worked out.

However, any other sites that try to offer free mods WILL BE shut down. That's guaranteed. As I noted in my last post, every download of "Y" free mod is going to be seen by Beth and Steam as lost revenue, and they're going to react accordingly.

And @SubRosa - I hadn't thought about it, but I'd about guarantee that you're right about the next Geck not being able to save locally. Just like the games, it'll require Steam's malware running in the background, and Steam's malware will make it so that it will only save to Steam's servers. That's the surest way for them to retain control of the mods, and they're not going to miss an opportunity like that.

And broadly - I remember when I refused to use RealPlayer because they required the installation of a bunch of entirely unnecessary bloatware. Then I was in the majority. Now I refuse to use Steam for the same reason, but now I'm in the minority. I just find that sort of weird, and sort of sad.
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mirocu
post Apr 25 2015, 09:43 PM
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QUOTE(gpstr @ Apr 25 2015, 10:13 PM) *

I closely watched, and commented on, Skyrim's development from the time it was announced up until a few months before release. At that point, I made the decision that I was simply not going to give Beth any of my money for that game, period. I no longer had any interest in what they were going to do with it because I was not going to buy it.

And what was the thing that put me over the edge? What was the thing that made me decide that, even after I'd seen and commented on the elimination of attributes and the elimination of spellmaking, among many other bad decisions?

The Steam requirement. THAT was the straw that broke my back.

You spoke for me too, gpstr.

I am still busy enough with Oblivion and Fallout 3 so my gaming time is limited enough as it is, but seeing that requirement broke the whole deal for me too. I don´t want to give away the control of my games.

But I´m doing a Renee here, sorry.. embarrased.gif


I do hope the modding community as we know it survives. Not everything needs to be monetized and sharing is a wonderful thing if done right. I don´t mod myself but if I did I would upload them and just be happy if others wanted to use them smile.gif


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Callidus Thorn
post Apr 25 2015, 10:32 PM
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QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 25 2015, 06:42 PM) *

I'm scratching my head here still at the lack of sense. It is clear that the modding community overall is not behind pay for mods. BethSoft has provided their CS/CK free and, in return, has sold more games because of modding and not had to repair tons of tiny bugs that the modders do. The situation has been, in my mind, symbiotic with mod makers, players and BethSoft all benefiting. If it ain't broke. . . .


It makes perfect sense. Modding only benefits Bethesda up to a point. It keeps people playing the games, keeps the games at the forefront of the players gaming library until the next game is released. Then it becomes a hindrance. How many people stuck to playing modded Morrowind rather than buy Oblivion? How many stuck to modded Morrowind or Oblivion instead of buying Skyrim? Once that happens, that free program that lets players extend the games lifespan gets in the way, and starts costing them sales. The fact that Morrowind still has an active section on the Bethesda forums shows how many people are still playing the game, and no doubt the high ups at Bethesda consider that lost revenue.

And on top of that, there's DLC. Players already have the choice of buying the DLC as it comes or waiting for the ultimate edition/GoTY edition and maybe getting them cheaper, but mods present another option: content that can be at a higher level than Bethesda can provide, but which doesn't come at a cost. So modding's potentially costing them money there as well.

And finally, there is a penalty to having people playing a TES game right up until the release of the next game; people immediately compare everything they find out about the new game to the old one, which is still fresh in their minds because they're still playing it. So of course people look negatively on the new game, particularly considering the direction Bethesda has been moving in with Oblivion and (more noticeably imo) Skyrim.

Killing off modding can benefit them, and doing it this way means they can sit back and make money while the modding community destroys itself. Sure, it might cost them sales, but the ones they'll lose, the long term modders aren't in their target demographic anymore.

Maybe making a mountain out of a molehill, but I can see how this can ultimately benefit Valve and Bethesda. Bethesda's gotten away with making questionable moves in the past, and Valve continues with its horrendous consumer practices, so I doubt they're particularly worried about this backlash.


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SubRosa
post Apr 25 2015, 10:41 PM
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My only real beef against Steam is the DRM they force upon all of their users. As an online storefront, I have no problem with them. While I lament the good old days of buying a disc in a store, the reality is those days are over. Online distribution is simply the way of gaming now, and always will be. Which is not really a bad thing. I saves the distributor money since they do not have to own a factory to produce dvds, or chop down a thousand trees to make boxes to put them in, and so on. But the DRM - requiring you to start the Steam Client every time you play the game to validate that you own a legal copy of the game - is totally unnecessary.

I have been thinking about what I said about future Geck/Creation Kits forcing you to save your mods onto a Valve or Bethesda server, and I am changing my mind. The reason is simply bandwidth and storage space. It would cost the companies a lot of money.

Instead what they might do is first outlaw all third party mod-organizer programs like OBMM or Wyre Bash. Bethesda loves to brings lawsuits against other companies. They are in court more often than most District Attorneys. It would not matter if they won or lost either. They have the money to simply bankrupt any mod maker in court. But they would win, as it is their game, and their modding software.

So then the only way to activate a mod would be through the game itself. Or more likely, through a Game Setup page on Steam, where you store all of your game settings and your mod load order. Mods uploaded to the Steam Workshop would be given a digital watermark. Then after you buy a mod and download it, when you go to the Game Setup page to put it in your load order, the server would check for that watermark, and refuse to activate it unless it is there. That way people could make all the mods they wanted. But they could only use the ones that came from the Steam Workshop. Including the ones you made yourself. That would give Bethesda and Valve absolute control over every mod, and they would be able to profit from every single instance of a person using them.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 25 2015, 10:47 PM


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Renee
post Apr 26 2015, 01:17 AM
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Renee: *munches popcorn*

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gpstr
post Apr 26 2015, 02:03 AM
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QUOTE(Callidus Thorn @ Apr 25 2015, 03:32 PM) *

QUOTE(Acadian @ Apr 25 2015, 06:42 PM) *

I'm scratching my head here still at the lack of sense. It is clear that the modding community overall is not behind pay for mods. BethSoft has provided their CS/CK free and, in return, has sold more games because of modding and not had to repair tons of tiny bugs that the modders do. The situation has been, in my mind, symbiotic with mod makers, players and BethSoft all benefiting. If it ain't broke. . . .


It makes perfect sense. Modding only benefits Bethesda up to a point. It keeps people playing the games, keeps the games at the forefront of the players gaming library until the next game is released. Then it becomes a hindrance. How many people stuck to playing modded Morrowind rather than buy Oblivion? How many stuck to modded Morrowind or Oblivion instead of buying Skyrim? Once that happens, that free program that lets players extend the games lifespan gets in the way, and starts costing them sales. The fact that Morrowind still has an active section on the Bethesda forums shows how many people are still playing the game, and no doubt the high ups at Bethesda consider that lost revenue.

And on top of that, there's DLC. Players already have the choice of buying the DLC as it comes or waiting for the ultimate edition/GoTY edition and maybe getting them cheaper, but mods present another option: content that can be at a higher level than Bethesda can provide, but which doesn't come at a cost. So modding's potentially costing them money there as well.

And finally, there is a penalty to having people playing a TES game right up until the release of the next game; people immediately compare everything they find out about the new game to the old one, which is still fresh in their minds because they're still playing it. So of course people look negatively on the new game, particularly considering the direction Bethesda has been moving in with Oblivion and (more noticeably imo) Skyrim.

Killing off modding can benefit them, and doing it this way means they can sit back and make money while the modding community destroys itself. Sure, it might cost them sales, but the ones they'll lose, the long term modders aren't in their target demographic anymore.

Maybe making a mountain out of a molehill, but I can see how this can ultimately benefit Valve and Bethesda. Bethesda's gotten away with making questionable moves in the past, and Valve continues with its horrendous consumer practices, so I doubt they're particularly worried about this backlash.
This is a well reasoned post, and probably about dead on.

It's akin to a thing I often tell people about politics, when they start going on about whatever seemingly stupid decision some government has made. These people are highly paid professionals. They're not stupid. If their decisions seem inexplicable, it's only because we're not reasoning through things like they are.

And more often than not, it's because we're decent, honorable people who would never think to do whatever manipulative, shady, self-serving thing they've decided to do - it doesn't make sense to us because our minds don't work that way.

And no - they're not worried about the backlash. Valve is guaranteed market share just because of their DRM deals and they don't have to, and don't, care. And Beth - this is a company that has a recurring character in the games whose only purpose at this point is to communicate just how much the devs hate the fans. Of course they aren't afraid of the backlash.

I can see it now: "Some people think that they should be able to use M'aiq's things whenever and however they want. M'aiq thinks they're assholes."


QUOTE(SubRosa @ Apr 25 2015, 03:41 PM) *

My only real beef against Steam is the DRM they force upon all of their users. As an online storefront, I have no problem with them.
The two are inseparable, and since it appears that humanity has lost the will to refuse to install malware, will remain inseparable.

If it wasn't for the DRM deals, Steam would be just another online storefront, and would have to compete on a level playing field with everyone else. They're not willing to do that and they're not going to do that unless customers demand it, and customers aren't demanding it.

Sorry, but every single person who continues to do business with Steam is part of the problem. I hate saying that to someone I like and respect, but it's true. As long as people continue to bend over and take it, Steam will continue to do it, and it really doesn't matter how much the customers might complain along the way. The only thing that stands the slightest chance of making them stop is if enough potential customers refuse to bend over for them at all. Unless and until that happens, nothing is going to change.

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But the DRM - requiring you to start the Steam Client every time you play the game to validate that you own a legal copy of the game - is totally unnecessary.
Of course it's unnecessary. It's not there because it's necessary or even purportedly so - it's there because it's profitable, and because there aren't enough people who are willing to say, "Screw that. I refuse to install your malware."

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I have been thinking about what I said about future Geck/Creation Kits forcing you to save your mods onto a Valve or Bethesda server, and I am changing my mind. The reason is simply bandwidth and storage space. It would cost the companies a lot of money.
Mmm... yeah. But still - it's an elegant and certainly effective solution to a "problem" (the "problem" of lost revenue from mods that don't go through Steam's online storefront).

QUOTE
Instead what they might do is first outlaw all third party mod-organizer programs like OBMM or Wyre Bash. Bethesda loves to brings lawsuits against other companies. They are in court more often than most District Attorneys. It would not matter if they won or lost either. They have the money to simply bankrupt any mod maker in court. But they would win, as it is their game, and their modding software.

So then the only way to activate a mod would be through the game itself. Or more likely, through a Game Setup page on Steam, where you store all of your game settings and your mod load order. Mods uploaded to the Steam Workshop would be given a digital watermark. Then after you buy a mod and download it, when you go to the Game Setup page to put it in your load order, the server would check for that watermark, and refuse to activate it unless it is there. That way people could make all the mods they wanted. But they could only use the ones that came from the Steam Workshop. Including the ones you made yourself. That would give Bethesda and Valve absolute control over every mod, and they would be able to profit from every single instance of a person using them.
Mmm... yeah. That's possible too.

Suffice to say, Steam and Beth will work out some way to ensure that their for profit modding "service" doesn't face any competition from free mods. That much, at least, is absolutely guaranteed.

And as Callidus points out, even if that destroys modding for these games entirely, that's fine. Beth's target market is young people with disposable income who'll shell out the money for a game that'll give them 20 or so hours of "open world" gaming with lots of visual goodies. I'm certain they care just as little about modders, in the end, as they care about roleplayers.
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mirocu
post Apr 26 2015, 07:28 AM
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QUOTE(gpstr @ Apr 26 2015, 03:03 AM) *

Sorry, but every single person who continues to do business with Steam is part of the problem. I hate saying that to someone I like and respect, but it's true. As long as people continue to bend over and take it, Steam will continue to do it, and it really doesn't matter how much the customers might complain along the way. The only thing that stands the slightest chance of making them stop is if enough potential customers refuse to bend over for them at all. Unless and until that happens, nothing is going to change.

This is exactly what can be said about politics; as long as people don´t actually stand up and say enough is enough, they can complain all they want. The agenda is still ongoing.



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Acadian
post Apr 26 2015, 04:03 PM
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Well, I downloaded a handful of Nexus mods on my 'watch' list and put them in a 'Just in case they disappear from Nexus' folder.

My understanding is that the SKSE mod team was asked and declined the offer to pair into this $cheme. So that's good news. Hopefully the SkyUI and USKP teams continue to avoid the $team thing as well.


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Grits
post Apr 26 2015, 05:28 PM
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That’s a good idea.

Since I had already removed some mods on the authors’ advice not knowing that their updates would be for pay, I’ve found that my game runs better than ever. laugh.gif Still wondering what to do about Shezrie’s Old Hroldan, since the whole page disappeared from the Nexus and the finished version is for sale under a different name. Removing it leaves a bunch of junk scripts in the saves, but keeping it unsupported seems risky. I guess I could remove it and gamble with the save cleaner like I’ve done with the others.

Arthmoor’s reply when asked on the USKP Nexus page how much future versions were going to cost: “$0.00 USD.” Glad to hear that.


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