For years, mods have been one of the biggest reasons to buy a multi-platform game on PC instead of consoles. Mods allow players to use the base game as their foundation for myriad of weird, wacky, and incredibly creative content such as: ‘Skywind‘ (the Skyrim/Morrowind mashup), Giraffe Theft Auto, and the recent Batman: Arkham Knight mod that lets players ditch the masked hero and play as his butler, Alfred, instead. Popular zombie MMO DayZ even began life as an ARMA 2 mod.
In addition to mods just being good fun, they also keep games feeling fresh and new for years to come. It’s why Skyrim is still a massively popular game on PC, long after the console version has slid out of the charts, and it’s why Steam recently tried to sell mods via its store (albeit with disastrous results). It’s also why so many players are upset with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s mod support, as the game’s modding system isn’t as robust as many players had expected.
Last week, The Witcher 3 got an official MODkit from its developer, CD Projekt RED. CDP explained that the MODkit isn’t an editor but it’s “meant for people who are somewhat experienced with modding software and are designed to make creating mods easier” and that it provides access to game files for “easy extracting, compilation, and decompilation of resources”. The developer also stated that modders would be able to “change UI assets and script files”, explaining that “majority of gameplay-related mechanics are written in scripts”.
@MeerMusik This is the mod support for the Wild Hunt. At this moment we are not planning to release anything else.— Marcin Momot (@Marcin360) August 14, 2015
But after having used the modding system for themselves, modders are discovering that while MODkit does allow them to make cosmetic changes and even new equipment, it’s severely limited. They aren’t, for example, able to make their own story content or game modes. In the tweet above, one Witcher 3 player asked Marcin Momot (CD Projekt RED’s community lead) whether any more mod support is planned, but unfortunately it is not. CD Projekt RED may not have ruled it out entirely, but it doesn’t look as though new modding tools are a priority.
Fans are particularly frustrated with this as in January 2014, CD Projekt RED CEO Marcin Irwinski told IGN that the developer would release the REDkit mod tools for The Witcher 3 at some point after its release. REDkit was the kit that players of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings used to make their mods, with the game’s modding community still going strong to this day (over four years after its initial release) with a huge fan-made modding guide being released back in June.
It should be noted that CD Projekt RED is planning two major Witcher 3 story expansions which, combined, are said to total the size of The Witcher 2. However, these will be paid-for, so it will be interesting to see if the sequel has the same staying power without major mods and if these official add-ons will be enough to keep players invested.