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What is the deal with modern Bethesda mods?

Do modern Bethesda mods suck compared to the past?

  • Yes

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.

Ravielsk

Magister
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
1,147
Recently I again had this urge to replay Skyrim it being the spooky season I got the bright idea to make it into more of a horror game than just a regular adventure romp. Naively I thought that it would take only a couple of mods with the majority being quest and armor mods. You see in the past(when Skyrim was still relatively new) Youtube recommended me a couple of decently sounding horror mod videos for Skyrim and I assumed that some progress was made on that front since then.

Fuck, me was I ever wrong.
Basically, nothing has really changed since 2013 besides the volume of mods available but otherwise, the quality has gone in every direction but upwards. Despite 10 years of progress the modding scene surrounding Skyrim is effectively stuck in the same spot as it was in 2013. Most mods seem to be designed as part of a daisy chain of other mods to produce something tangible. That something being usually 50+ mods removed from actually getting it because no mod really works on its own.

For example, Draugnarok sounds incredibly cool, I mean zombie apocalypse in Skyrim? Hell yeah, right? But then you read what the mod does and it turns out that it basically does nothing beside just spawning endless waves on of the most overused enemies in the game. Like it does not really modify or create new types of draug, it does not contain any new quests or general objectives, it does not even disable the essential flags on NPCs so it literary does not even hinder you in finishing the main story. So really its more of an inconvenience mod because without extensive modification of other parts of the game its basically just a very elaborate monster spammer.
To achieve anything close to a zombie apocalypse in Skyrim you need like another dozen mods to even approach the ideal of surviving during or after a zombie apocalypse. Worse yet this is almost universal for everything.

Vampire overhaul? Well actually its just a bunch of extra vampire spells that are either wholly broken or useless.
Massive quest mod? Actually, just a mega dungeon pack with some vaguely defined story.
Armor/weapon mod? Actually its just a mesh and a texture that has literary 0 integration into the game so its either again entirely broken or worthless.
Combat overhaul? Lol, actually I just made the bandits roll around more.

Oblivion or Morrowind(or any other game for that matter) were never this fucking obnoxious. When they marked something as a Overhaul it was a fucking overhaul, not just a minor tweak of a bad system that fundamentally changes nothing. I just cant wrap my head around someone wasting hundreds of hours making something that by design does not work on its own. I get making smaller stuff but with Skyrim(and FO4) even the big mods are essentially worthless without another 10-20 companion mods.

Even the sex mods suck balls. Seriously why is 90% of them somehow somehow centered around the player character being someones bottom?

Is this just me or has anyone else noticed just how bad these modern modders are compared to the old guys?
 

Gargaune

Magister
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
2,171
Is this just me
It's you. Off the top of my head: Enderal, Project AHO, Beyond Skyrim: Bruma, Beyond Reach, Falskaar, Wyrmstooth, Darkend, Moonpath to Elseweyr, The Forgotten City, Conan Hyborian Age, Summerset Isle. Just to name some of the bigger Skyrim pieces I recall - polish might vary, but none of these expansion/quest mods are low-effort. Nor does that mean that small, standalone mods can't be extremely useful or sophisticated, ranging from utilities like Quick Light for Skyrim to weapons like AKM Complex for Fallout 4, or Immersive HUD for either. Sure, there's a ton of minor, "baby's first .ini tweak" stuff as well, but that's just how it's gotta be with the modding base expanding and newcomers trying their hand at it.

As for the ever-increasing mod dependencies, I grant you it's annoying, but it's the cost of doing business with more labour-intensive game platforms. If a modder's gonna spend I dunno how many hours making their thing, they're not gonna double up their workload by duplicating the functionality of an existing mod. It sucks, sometimes you gotta pass on an interesting mod just 'cause you can't bother with the dependencies, but that's life.

If you're after a grimdark hack-and-slash for Halloween, give Darkend a look. It's supposed to be inspired by Dark Souls, I wouldn't know since I never played that, but I had fun with it.
 
Last edited:

Shaki

Learned
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Dec 22, 2018
Messages
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Location
Hyperborea
Quality of mods definitely went down, especially when it comes to quest mods. I don't think Skyrim actually has any decent quest mods at all, aside from Enderal. (I count total conversions as quests mods, for the sake of simplicity)

Oblivion was a shit game, but I remember playing multiple 10h+ long quest mods that were actually pretty decent. Morrowind had shitloads of good quest mods.

Every next game in the series has more tiddies, hairstyles and shiny shit modded in, but the number of mods that actually add something valuable, is getting smaller and smaller. Instead of expanding the content and saving you from shitty Bethesda writing, new wave of modders seems focused on letting you play through garbage vanilla content, but as an anime vampire with 2 katanas and big tiddies.
 

Ravielsk

Magister
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
1,147
Did you try installing the big tiddy mods?
Never play without them, but there is only so many ways I can play around with the tiddy slider before it becomes as engaging as Skyrims combat.
expansion/quest mods are low-effort.
My problem is not with the absence of effort. I can acknowledge the effort that goes into making a big mod. My problem is that these mods almost universally achieve their size by focusing on all the worst parts of Skyrim but then present themselves as some giga breakaway from it. Darkend for example is literary just a shitty map pack. It is inspired by Dark Souls in name only and effectively its just a huge map pack that occasionally throws out a couple of enemies but never enough or strong enough to be even remotely a problem. I dont question the effort but the fact that said effort was spent as if the guy never played Skyrim or assumed that everyone is running some hyper HC combat overhaul(which btw I am not even sure exists) because without it most encounters in the mod have all the gravitas of a random wolf encounter.


As for the ever-increasing mod dependencies, I grant you it's annoying, but it's the cost of doing business with more labour-intensive game platforms.
Again, not the problem. Installing dependencies is fine, the problem is that so many mods even if they do not have hard dependencies are effectively worthless without another 5 or so mods to even make their impact on the game felt. I specifically mentioned the Draugnarok because for all its complexity without an extensive series of overhauls to combat, survival, economy... and basically everything its just a annoyance mod that makes you clear out rooms of draugher before you turn in quests.

Instead of expanding the content and saving you from shitty Bethesda writing, new wave of modders seems focused on letting you play through garbage vanilla content, but as an anime vampire with 2 katanas and big tiddies.
Yeah, I get the impression that this is because the old modders were aware of their respective game's shortcomings and either avoided or mitigated them. Skyrim(and FO4 by association) modders seem to be under the impression that Skyrim is already 100% perfect but just needs a touch more horny to make it all work.
 

laclongquan

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Full VA killed quest mods.

Couldn't one just use blank sound files and go with text instead?
Or would that lead to a peasant uprising on the Nexus?
Generally there's a lot of loudmouthers immediately jump up and down screaming "where's the voice acting?" and declare "i dont play without VA" that it's not very cost effective (in reducing headaches)to go that way. Extreme annoying~

And for your other question, sometimes modders have standard and dont want to use the existing assets on Nexus for their VA aspect~ Yet they still get that demand

The statement Full VA kill questmod is not an over exaggeration.
 

octavius

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Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
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Bjørgvin
Sometimes the results from must-have-VA-at-all-cost can be hysterical, like when that modderfucker Giskard voiced a female character in one of his mods.
 

BruceVC

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Joined
Jul 25, 2011
Messages
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Location
South Africa, Cape Town
Recently I again had this urge to replay Skyrim it being the spooky season I got the bright idea to make it into more of a horror game than just a regular adventure romp. Naively I thought that it would take only a couple of mods with the majority being quest and armor mods. You see in the past(when Skyrim was still relatively new) Youtube recommended me a couple of decently sounding horror mod videos for Skyrim and I assumed that some progress was made on that front since then.

Fuck, me was I ever wrong.
Basically, nothing has really changed since 2013 besides the volume of mods available but otherwise, the quality has gone in every direction but upwards. Despite 10 years of progress the modding scene surrounding Skyrim is effectively stuck in the same spot as it was in 2013. Most mods seem to be designed as part of a daisy chain of other mods to produce something tangible. That something being usually 50+ mods removed from actually getting it because no mod really works on its own.

For example, Draugnarok sounds incredibly cool, I mean zombie apocalypse in Skyrim? Hell yeah, right? But then you read what the mod does and it turns out that it basically does nothing beside just spawning endless waves on of the most overused enemies in the game. Like it does not really modify or create new types of draug, it does not contain any new quests or general objectives, it does not even disable the essential flags on NPCs so it literary does not even hinder you in finishing the main story. So really its more of an inconvenience mod because without extensive modification of other parts of the game its basically just a very elaborate monster spammer.
To achieve anything close to a zombie apocalypse in Skyrim you need like another dozen mods to even approach the ideal of surviving during or after a zombie apocalypse. Worse yet this is almost universal for everything.

Vampire overhaul? Well actually its just a bunch of extra vampire spells that are either wholly broken or useless.
Massive quest mod? Actually, just a mega dungeon pack with some vaguely defined story.
Armor/weapon mod? Actually its just a mesh and a texture that has literary 0 integration into the game so its either again entirely broken or worthless.
Combat overhaul? Lol, actually I just made the bandits roll around more.

Oblivion or Morrowind(or any other game for that matter) were never this fucking obnoxious. When they marked something as a Overhaul it was a fucking overhaul, not just a minor tweak of a bad system that fundamentally changes nothing. I just cant wrap my head around someone wasting hundreds of hours making something that by design does not work on its own. I get making smaller stuff but with Skyrim(and FO4) even the big mods are essentially worthless without another 10-20 companion mods.

Even the sex mods suck balls. Seriously why is 90% of them somehow somehow centered around the player character being someones bottom?

Is this just me or has anyone else noticed just how bad these modern modders are compared to the old guys?

I mod all Bethesda games using the Nexus Vortex Mod Manager and I always use the maximum number of workable mods which is apparently 254. The mods I choose are always lore and narrative friendly, so for example I wouldnt use Star wars mods in any Elder Scroll game and that includes Adult mods

I use mods that increase the variety of monsters, spells ,dragons , quests and things like being able to change or increase faction quests and my experience is always excellent and rewarding

So I have only the highest praise for the mod community and all the great work they do :salute:
 

gurugeorge

Arcane
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Aug 3, 2019
Messages
5,594
Location
London, UK
Strap Yourselves In
There are a lot of fairly big quest mods and extensions to Skyrim territory, as Gargaune pointed out, but on the other hand, supporting the OP's point, they're all quite old and well established.

What has improved a lot in Skyrim in recent years is 3rd person stuff. What with the Nemesis animation engine (a less clunky and better FNIS replacement), the Dynamic Animation Replacer (which can vary animations depending on conditions you can set via text files), True Directional Movement and the combat overhaul of your choice (there are several on offer, ranging from Souls-like attempts to just general QOL tweaks to vanilla, through anime-like combat overhauls), you can have 3rd person combat that's actually surprisingly close in slickness to standard modern 3rd person games. And flavour-wise, with DAR there are also several packs that make your character and NPCs significantly more varied and lifelike. Long gone are the days of being in 3rd person and having your character do that godawful twitching as soon as you nudge your mouse even the tiniest bit. "Skating" in 3rd person combat is also a thing of the past.

ENB has also continued to progress, and with ENB Light (which is best for 3rd person), and newer lighting mods that take account of ENB lighting possibilities (like Lux), the game continues to improve in terms of visual beauty. Cathedral weathers is also the pinnacle of weather mods now, and Rudy ENB now suppots it. (Ofc texture replacements are a question of taste, I always have it all pretty much vanilla as I think the art direction for Skyrim originally is sound, and all of a piece - all you really need is SMIM and piecemeal replacers for whatever textures really annoy you.)

The standard these days in terms of general systems overhauls seems to be the inter-related series of "Simon Magus" overhauls (the very popular Mysticism magic overhaul is one of those) - they're more V+ rather than total overhauls, but it's a pretty good collection.

The inter-relatedness is a good thing to my mind - when you have pack leaders like the Simon Magus stuff, the big addons and extensions like Bruma, etc., people making new mods feel obliged to make compatibility patches. It can be a bit fiddly to set up for that reason, but on the other hand once you have it set up it's all pretty stable.

But isn't the problem just that Skyrim is built with a very old system? I don't think you can expect it to be pushed much further than it has been.

One thing that's quite different today is the Wabbajack system, where you can basically have curated mod collections delivered through Vortex or MO2, downloaded automatically and functioning, pretty easily. So I think that's where the action is now if you're a new person, or tired of fiddling with modding for yourself and just want to play the game - just find a mod collection via Wabbajack that looks like what you might be interested in, and use that.
 
Last edited:

laclongquan

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So I have only the highest praise for the mod community and all the great work they do :salute:

You obviously havent contacted much with modders' community.

While I have praises for the works they do...

It's unquestionably full of dramawhores. Many of them are gays and gay-affiliates.
 

Gargaune

Magister
Joined
Mar 12, 2020
Messages
2,171
There are a lot of fairly big quest mods and extensions to Skyrim territory, as Gargaune pointed out, but on the other hand, supporting the OP's point, they're all quite old and well established.
Eh, the game is ten years old so things are bound to wind down, but it's had its share of megamods during that time. From the ones I mentioned, Project AHO was released in 2018, and while Bruma was released the previous year, it was still updated just this month. I guess the bulk of the remaining Skyrim quest modders have gravitated towards Skywind, Skyblivion and the Beyond Skyrim parent project. Not that I'm getting my hopes up for 'em at this point.

More generally, sparser major quest mods is a natural progression of the higher demands of fidelity on newer game platforms, level design gets more labour-intensive so fewer projects make it (part of the reason NWN2's modules selection is only a fraction of its predecessor's, for another example). And that's without factoring in expectations for new 3D assets or voice acting. While the available resource pool is also much larger, and this is probably true for Skyrim above all others, the increase in required effort is nonlinear because of the added logistical overheads of coordinating a team.
 

BruceVC

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So I have only the highest praise for the mod community and all the great work they do :salute:

You obviously havent contacted much with modders' community.

While I have praises for the works they do...

It's unquestionably full of dramawhores. Many of them are gays and gay-affiliates.

Yes you correct, I have never had any personal contact with any modders. The mods I use work or at least seem to work and but because I use so many Mods, 254, I dont go through each mod to confirm its exactly working as expected. But I always notice changes that are directly related to mods that I remember, for example in FO4 I used a Vampirism mod that was lore friendly because it was about a blood based infection and the Vampirism was more a type of disease. Anyway I knew it worked because my character got infected in battle

Also I have had to read change logs on Nexus forums and posted some questions on these forums and people often respond explaining what I am missing, not all the time but mostly
But I have never reached out personally to a modder to either complain or debate so my praise to the mod community is because they take the time to create mods for free and these mods enhance my game and make it better
 

Humbaba

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Aug 12, 2021
Messages
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The Rhine
Recently I again had this urge to replay Skyrim it being the spooky season I got the bright idea to make it into more of a horror game than just a regular adventure romp. Naively I thought that it would take only a couple of mods with the majority being quest and armor mods. You see in the past(when Skyrim was still relatively new) Youtube recommended me a couple of decently sounding horror mod videos for Skyrim and I assumed that some progress was made on that front since then.

Fuck, me was I ever wrong.
Basically, nothing has really changed since 2013 besides the volume of mods available but otherwise, the quality has gone in every direction but upwards. Despite 10 years of progress the modding scene surrounding Skyrim is effectively stuck in the same spot as it was in 2013. Most mods seem to be designed as part of a daisy chain of other mods to produce something tangible. That something being usually 50+ mods removed from actually getting it because no mod really works on its own.

For example, Draugnarok sounds incredibly cool, I mean zombie apocalypse in Skyrim? Hell yeah, right? But then you read what the mod does and it turns out that it basically does nothing beside just spawning endless waves on of the most overused enemies in the game. Like it does not really modify or create new types of draug, it does not contain any new quests or general objectives, it does not even disable the essential flags on NPCs so it literary does not even hinder you in finishing the main story. So really its more of an inconvenience mod because without extensive modification of other parts of the game its basically just a very elaborate monster spammer.
To achieve anything close to a zombie apocalypse in Skyrim you need like another dozen mods to even approach the ideal of surviving during or after a zombie apocalypse. Worse yet this is almost universal for everything.

Vampire overhaul? Well actually its just a bunch of extra vampire spells that are either wholly broken or useless.
Massive quest mod? Actually, just a mega dungeon pack with some vaguely defined story.
Armor/weapon mod? Actually its just a mesh and a texture that has literary 0 integration into the game so its either again entirely broken or worthless.
Combat overhaul? Lol, actually I just made the bandits roll around more.

Oblivion or Morrowind(or any other game for that matter) were never this fucking obnoxious. When they marked something as a Overhaul it was a fucking overhaul, not just a minor tweak of a bad system that fundamentally changes nothing. I just cant wrap my head around someone wasting hundreds of hours making something that by design does not work on its own. I get making smaller stuff but with Skyrim(and FO4) even the big mods are essentially worthless without another 10-20 companion mods.

Even the sex mods suck balls. Seriously why is 90% of them somehow somehow centered around the player character being someones bottom?

Is this just me or has anyone else noticed just how bad these modern modders are compared to the old guys?

jerry-seinfeld-whats-the-deal.jpg


couldn't resist
 

Lemming42

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Messages
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The Satellite Of Love
Even the sex mods suck balls. Seriously why is 90% of them somehow somehow centered around the player character being someones bottom? ?

I like these, I always have a couple running for comedy purposes, especially the ones where you can't control when it starts.

Shop guy walks over. "I work for Belethor, at the general goods store!" but as he hits the word "general" you realise something's up because you can't move forwards anymore. Oh no! He's sliding into position behind you, but an old woman is walking towards the sordid scene and has bumped into you, knocking you out of place. Now Mr general goods store is dry-humping mid air while your male Orc barbarian is bent over two meters away, ass thrust upwards, making "kyaaa! aaa! eeee!" sounds ripped from some sad, forsaken hentai. Just at the exact moment your ass gets coated in a weird cum effect that looks more like an explosion at a shampoo factory, some dude nonchalantly walks over and is like "have you heard of the dragons?" Cool. It's the way the game was meant to be played.
 
Self-Ejected

RNGsus

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Messages
8,106
Full VA killed quest mods.

Couldn't one just use blank sound files and go with text instead?
Or would that lead to a peasant uprising on the Nexus?
Generally there's a lot of loudmouthers immediately jump up and down screaming "where's the voice acting?" and declare "i dont play without VA" that it's not very cost effective (in reducing headaches)to go that way. Extreme annoying~

And for your other question, sometimes modders have standard and dont want to use the existing assets on Nexus for their VA aspect~ Yet they still get that demand

The statement Full VA kill questmod is not an over exaggeration.
See, what you do is find sound files that interest you personally then make a mod around those. You might have Teddy Roosevelt and Ice T giving guild quests.
 

laclongquan

Arcane
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Full VA killed quest mods.

Couldn't one just use blank sound files and go with text instead?
Or would that lead to a peasant uprising on the Nexus?
Generally there's a lot of loudmouthers immediately jump up and down screaming "where's the voice acting?" and declare "i dont play without VA" that it's not very cost effective (in reducing headaches)to go that way. Extreme annoying~

And for your other question, sometimes modders have standard and dont want to use the existing assets on Nexus for their VA aspect~ Yet they still get that demand

The statement Full VA kill questmod is not an over exaggeration.
See, what you do is find sound files that interest you personally then make a mod around those. You might have Teddy Roosevelt and Ice T giving guild quests.
1. the issue of copyright is very loud among modders, especially on Nexus. 1st question, always, asked either by their fellow modders or the audience is "do you have permission to use this?". :annoyed"
2. the 2nd problem is collecting a fully useable amount of sound files are not that easy.
3. And finally, you need a mesh, and meeting together between existing sound files and modder's idea of a mod. Also a very hard condition.
 

copebot

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As it relates to copyright, you cannot copyright a mod, but you could register the copyright to the assets which the mod references. To my knowledge, no small time modder has sued anyone in federal court alleging copyright infringement, and I don't believe many of them even go to the trouble of registering their art assets. Due to recent precedent, you must have a valid copyright registration to file a copyright lawsuit in federal court. It's not like it's hard to register copyrights either in bulk or piece by piece: if you can sign your name and have some money, you can file a registration.

Modders have certainly been sued by game companies and other big time IP holders, but sadly for the lawyers, modders have not yet learned to sue each other. Please modders, work an extra job somewhere or raise money on Patreon so you can afford to pay your lawyers to work out your petty disputes with your fellow modders in federal court.

You could do what some extremely scummy plaintiff attorneys do already in the field of internet stock photos, which is to file registrations on old assets that have been widely available for free for some number of years on behalf of the original creators, and then spam out cease and desist letters and/or actual lawsuit filings to everyone who has used those publicly available assets shaking down individuals for mid-four figure settlements. The way that the statutes are written are extremely favorable to copyright plaintiffs and this type of exploitative behavior. Historically, modders have been too poor to be attractive targets. The growth of game asset marketplaces and patreon-fueled modders might change that calculation. There's also the factor of pure spite as a motivating factor to consider: someone who makes a popular mod that gets referenced or combined with others could potentially just sue everyone that he considers to have infringed on his registered work. The key part here would be to register the assets and not the mod itself, since the mod is a derivative work but the assets contained within a mod might not be considered derivative works.

So, to avoid such a fate (being sued for referencing copyrightable-but-not-yet-copyrighted material), it's good to avoid referencing assets with unclear provenance, because even if the artist and/or developer has not decided to register yet, they could always elect to do so in the future. If you ever think to yourself, "that couldn't happen, that's much too evil," you have to remember that lawyers get multiple circles of Hell dedicated to them in the afterlife, and to predict what lawyers will do in the future, you'll rarely go wrong if you ask the motto "What Would Satan Do?"
 

laclongquan

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The modders, small time or not, dont sue anyone because they fear getting laughed out of court. Which some did do that and did get laughs for their ignorance of involved laws. There is a reason every games force players to check a 30 pages license to play, which certainly protect game's copyright owner.

The modders, however, can make life tough by swarming the comment section to ask "do you have permission?". They can harrash. They can make opponent too tired to do any work require some peace of minds.
 

copebot

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The modders, small time or not, dont sue anyone because they fear getting laughed out of court. Which some did do that and did get laughs for their ignorance of involved laws. There is a reason every games force players to check a 30 pages license to play, which certainly protect game's copyright owner.

The modders, however, can make life tough by swarming the comment section to ask "do you have permission?". They can harrash. They can make opponent too tired to do any work require some peace of minds.

Most copyright lawsuits do not even get to the point to which they can be laughed at by the judge. If you can pay the filing fee and have an attorney admitted into the relevant federal court write the complaint, you can get into federal court. For example, the many, many porn copyright lawsuits that are filed every day against torrent downloaders tend to never make it to trial. The defendants in such cases mostly pony up settlement payments to make the suit go away before it goes to trial. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the defendant defaults or the case settles before trial. Most EULAs don't really have all that much to do with copyright, although they do play a significant part in distinguishing the limits of what modders are allowed to do and what rights they are allowed to claim as it relates to the parent game. A game company does not need to bind you with a EULA or any other contract to have the power to pursue you for copyright infringement.

The real reason modders and other small time game developers don't litigate is just that they are too cash poor to afford to litigate and most of them do not make enough money from it to justify it from an economic perspective. Most also do not formally protect their rights, so they cannot litigate. Among amateur creatives, the dominant opinion tends to be a lot of uninformed gibberish about the automatic nature of copyright supplemented by the belief that copy and pasting a paragraph about their rights to the material grants them some sort of magical power that deters infringement. This type of misinterpretation is particularly popular among small time authors and artists, but you see it among some game creatives as well.
 

Azdul

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The statement Full VA kill questmod is not an over exaggeration.
Many mods want characters to replace visual storytelling with one guy explaining everything at the beginning during 10 minutes exposition - and do the same at the conclusion of the story. Or make every of 10 guards less generic by having them deliver some memorable, quirky lines. The effect will be the same as in Redguard - Bethesda first fully voiced game. None of voice actors was able to put that performance on their resume - through no fault of their own.

Long poorly written dialogue may be bearable without voice acting - but as soon as it is voiced - it becomes painful - especially when delivered by inexperienced voice actor. Most people do not want to get involved in something like this - especially for free.

Mods with well written story, dialogue and interesting characters - have no issue finding voice actors.
 

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