It Sucks That The Witcher 3 Isn't Getting Better Mod Tools

It Sucks That The Witcher 3 Isn't Getting Better Mod Tools

The Witcher 3 finally has official tools that modders can use to make cool stuff from now until the end of time. There's just one problem: they could be a lot better.

Don't get me wrong: the new tools -- released by Witcher developer CD Projekt -- are better than nothing. And even with nothing, modders managed to unlock the camera, create a Ciri clone army, and of course, make everyone naked. Problem is, official mod tools were supposed to Change Everything. The ones CDP released, however, don't pop open the role-playing's hotrod's hood so much as they crack it ever so slightly. Players can manipulate in-game objects and add their own meshes/visual changes to the game, but they can't (easily) script entire quests or anything like that. So basically, The Witcher 3's Modkit is a helpless kitten of a thing compared to The Witcher 2's Redkit, which let players make their own quests and create entire worlds. And unfortunately, CD Projekt doesn't plan to release anything more robust for modders to work with. A lot of fans and would-be modders are not pleased.

It all started when CD Projekt RED community manager Marcin Momot tweeted:

Problem the first: In a 2014 interview with IGN, CDP co-founder Marcin Iwinski said there'd be a Redkit for Witcher 3 "sometime after the game launches." Promising a feature and then taking it back? Not a great idea when you're dealing with Witcher fans, as it turns out.

Then came the wailing and gnashing of teeth and frightening of extremely skittish horses:

It Sucks That The Witcher 3 Isn't Getting Better Mod Tools
It Sucks That The Witcher 3 Isn't Getting Better Mod Tools

There are some clear recurring trends here, even outside the whole "You guys let us down; may your pets be hoarded by rock trolls who think they're shoes" refrain. A lot of people are comparing the situation to Skyrim, a knee-jerk reaction that doesn't quite hold up under scrutiny. The Witcher 3 is a very different game. Yes, it takes place in a massive open world, but The Witcher 3's central appeal -- at least, for most players -- lies in pre-authored micro-stories, something most modders won't be able to reproduce because, contrary to popular belief, Writing Is Actually Hard.

On top of that, CD Projekt tried damn hard with mod tools once, and players reacted with all the enthusiasm they'd typically reserve for a wet fart in a quiet room. As you do in such scenarios, they pretended not to notice and conspicuously shuffled away. Seriously, I was considering doing a feature on Witcher 2's best mods before Witcher 3 came out, but between Witcher 2's Nexus page and the official Redkit site, there were only a handful of player-made quests -- let alone good ones. So I can see why CDP might be hesitant to go all-in on mod tools again, since the last time they built it, nobody came.

However, despite the impressive range of choices Witcher 2 offered, it was still a constrained and narrative-driven linear game. It did not immediately present itself as a modder's paradise like, say, Skyrim, nor did it have mod tools at the height of its popularity (Redkit launched a couple years after Witcher 2 first came out on PC). Frankly, the conditions weren't ideal for the formation of a bustling mod community.

It Sucks That The Witcher 3 Isn't Getting Better Mod Tools

Witcher 3, on the other hand, has a full open world that supports all sorts of side quests and activities, and it's already far more popular than Witcher 2 ever was. It's not necessarily destined to boot Skyrim off its throne with a flourish and a dad joke, but it's got a much better shot at mod-born immortality than Witcher 2 did.

I mean, even with 60 hours on the clock, I still feel like I never want to leave The Witcher 3's world. I think that says something all by itself. I want to go on more adventures in this place, with these characters (Or even as these characters. A whole adventure as Ciri? Yes, please). And damn, the game is already pretty silly sometimes, so bring on the piss-out-my-eyes bizarre hell world populated by Thomas The Tank Engine Slendermen. Give me cool mods, give me weird mods, give me terrifying mods -- I'll take 'em all.

As is, though, our prospects are looking pretty grim. As I said earlier, something is better than nothing, but now there's a very real possibility I'll never get to realise my dream of creating an introspective journey of thoughtful conversation and self-discovery starring Roach the horse. That's a damn shame, if you ask me.

Oh well. At least we'll always have Geraltesemir.


Comments

    It's why we will never get Half Life 3, because expectations placed upon companies already doing their best to support community are unrealistic and self entitlement of some community members is at its peak...

    To simply put it, there is just no pleasing of the very vocal and very self entitled minority. So, watch our for upcoming petitions to get someone fired or sued... I am sure they are coming right up!

    Last edited 18/08/15 7:04 pm

      Also... current modding tools are still better than anything that BioWare and Dragon Age team have ever offered the community :)

      Last edited 18/08/15 9:01 pm

        I'm still working on a mod for Dragon Age: Origins with the toolset that came with it. Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm taking forever, but it's probably 15ish hours of gameplay for a single playthrough with multiple paths/choices. I'm also just one person and getting people to do VO work is *HARD*. (Which is mostly what's left)

        That said, the mod tools for Dragon Age weren't terrible, they were just user-unfriendly as all hell, AND BioWare's support for the modding community was pretty pretty lacklustre. A bunch of dedicated modders tried to engage and get them to more actively support the modding community but it just didn't really go anywhere.

        Hence when DA2 and DAI basically had no mod support whatsoever, I wasn't surprised. After all, a company can't sell DLC of shiny new weapons for a few bucks when players could get exactly the same thing for free from a modder.

      Wow that word gets thrown around again, all the cool kids are saying it...

      It's not entitlement when they said they were going to release redkit at some stage then pull a switch at the last minute.

      Source:- Google this

      Marcin Iwinski: It's a single-player experience all the way, but we are looking to release the REDkit sometime after the game launches for the modding community. This way, people can create their own adventures, and this will inevitably add a lot of fun and replayability to the game./q>

        Right there is a problem, companies can no longer open their mouth to say something because it will be quoted to death and often taken out of context just to prove a point or demand something...

        Hey, I am all for REDkit being released and I hope they do it after all XPacks are out, but as someone with realistic expectations I understand that their priorities for what I considered an optional element might have changed. Release of a product like this does not take place in the vacuum...

        If you bought Witcher 3 just so you can mod it (are there really people like that?), I understand you could be upset. That being said a vast majority of content in the responses to CDPR's announcement is uncalled for.

        I am not going to white knight CDPR, but as someone who have been playing video games for more than three decades my priority is to support good, honest, hard working developers especially given that they are an exception to the rule.

        Last edited 19/08/15 2:24 pm

          Right there is a problem, companies can no longer open their mouth to say something because it will be quoted to death and often taken out of context just to prove a point or demand something...

          That's not a bad thing. Unless they can deliver they are much better keeping it in house as an idea OR specifically mentioning that its only a possibility HEAVY EMPHASIS on possibility. In this case he specifically mentions REDkit and that it will launch sometime after the game is released - they're no longer doing it. Looks pretty clear cut to me

          Honestly i don't have an issue w/ CDPR at all - probably wouldn't mod it much anyway as the base game is just fucking amazing but companies should be called out on their bullshit otherwise they'll promise the world and deliver you a canned piece of shit (some gaming companies are already doing this - just look at the trailers for Alien: colonial marines compared to the game that was sold - that's just one example and there are many out there).

          Just because it's CDPR (which have an amazing track record) doesn't mean they are exempt. Marcin made a pretty clear statement that the REDkit was going to be released after the game was launched. They've sinced renege via twitter of all things. If a company isn't 100% sure they can deliver on something they should immediately come clean to the people that it would have mattered to - in this case it was their most loyal customers the ones that actually followed news closely for the game and assumed that nothing had changed on the REDkit front.

            In principle you are right…
            However there is the issue of equal treatment.

            An extension of your opinion would suggest that everyone should be a subject of the same standard, regardless of their track record and attitude.
            In a way implying that CDPR word is equal to that of others, regardless of their proven record. And that does not work, companies do not exist in vacuum.

            As an example, if CDPR promised a multiple endings product and say, BioWare promised multiple endings product the assumption would be to treat them equally, despite existing record. Furthermore, you are suggesting that companies should only have a spokesperson that communicates with community with extensive use of marketing and legal language. Only saying things that are absolutely correct and can never be misunderstood.

            I disagree…

            The difference I guess is in how you approach a communication with said entities. I tend to look at them as friends that have conversation at a dinner table. Just like with my real life friends, I have a bullshit detector and maintain individual reputation for each person.

            Around the table, on this occasion I have three friends, Marcin, Casey and Chris…

            Marcin and I played Witcher RPG (pen and paper) for years, he told me he plans to write up a new scenario that allows players to re-design the setting to certain extend.

            Playing with Marcin has always been a joy, him and I see eye to eye and he has always (within his capabilities) delivered, I will take his word for it and I know he will do his best.

            Chris tells me he is writing a new book, called Star Citizen, but it’s getting delayed despite excellent funding. I tell him that I grew up reading Wing Commander and never really paid for it, so I am more than happy to preorder his book and pay in full to support his endeavour. I know he is very ambitions and he might be biting more than he can chew, but he has not failed me in the past.

            Casey turns around and tells me that he is thinking about writing an interactive story with multiple endings… I politely remind him that the last story he worked on had three different colour pages at the end. Furthermore, I tell him that I wish him best of luck but he will have to actually provide some sort of demonstration of what he has in mind since his last promise did not deliver.

            Right then Randy, a guy we know walks buy and tries to convince us that his new idea actually is as good as its cover… and we all send him on his way.

            Last edited 24/08/15 3:12 pm

    Self entitled gamers right there.

      Entitled to what CDPR said they were paying for, sure.

        All they said was "looking to release..."
        That's no promise. That's a "we are thinking about maybe releasing..."

    Yeah - it was something like 18 months after release of TW2 that the Redkit was released. At least let them get the expansions out of the way first!

    And to add to a point sorta made in the article - Skyrim and TW3 are two very different games. Skyrim is a first-person open-world dungeon crawler. TW3 is Legend of Zelda all grown up.

    Last edited 18/08/15 8:51 pm

    news just in: gamers act like entitled jerks, without tact or respect, it must be one of those pesky days of the week that ends in the syllable 'day'

    lets not wait to hear why the mod support is less than their normal standard, lets just launch straight into the lameness

    been gaming for 35 odd years, its only been the last two I am thoroughly ashamed to be a gamer

      Okay, I'll bite. Where did they explain their reasoning for going from "RedKit 2" to "making it easier to make existing mods but limiting you to only one at a time" within the space of a couple of months?

    While I certainly hate the buzzword "entitled" and I think if they promised powerful modtools and failed to deliver, they should at least say something about it - with a game as content heavy as Witcher 3, you could probably forgive them for being a little lax in that one area.

    This article skips over the keyword in the answer to the modding question.

    "Looking to release" is far from a promise.

    Last edited 19/08/15 8:12 am

    There’s just one problem: they could be a lot better.

    There's one problem with this rhetoric: It could be a lot better. There's a problem with that logic: it could be a lot better. There's a problem with everything: It could all be a lot better.

    comparing the situation to Skyrim, a knee-jerk reaction that doesn’t quite hold up under scrutiny. The Witcher 3 is a very different game. Yes, it takes place in a massive open world, but The Witcher 3‘s central appeal — at least, for most players — lies in pre-authored micro-stories, something most modders won’t be able to reproduce because, contrary to popular belief, Writing Is Actually Hard.

    This is pretty much the first thought I had about hearing the news. Oh well, that's sad I guess, who knows what we'll miss out on, but it's not like Witcher 3 really needs it. This isn't Skyrim with user-generated storytelling and player-insertion avatars.
    It's Geralt's story and it's very, very thoroughly, exhaustively, completely well-told. There's room for some quality-of-life mods, but those already exist.

    I'm a huge fan of CD Projekt RED. I love the Witcher series, but this has nothing to do with "entitlement" though many of the "fans" did react poorly. Rather what I feel is just... extreme disappointment. It's the first time I've ever really betrayed by this particular studio. I still love them, and I still have a remarkable amount of trust in them because at the end of the day The Witcher 3 is one of my favorite games of all time and I've been playing for a long time now. Yet I still just feel this insane amount of disappointment.

    You can go on about how mods don't "fit in" but really how well do some of the mods fit into Skyrim? It's not about fitting in. Personally I always do one pure run through and then, if possible, start playing with mods. The Witcher 3 is already a much better game than Skyrim ever was with or without the story and I have 400+ hours in Skyrim. The mechanics just eclipse anything Skyrim did.

    You can say that the REDkit wasn't picked up the way it should have been and that's a shame because it is a great tool. I've made a few mods in it and its a great piece of software. But the REDkit came out TWO YEARS after the game. How much of the community is even left at that point? 1/5? 1/10? And the modding community is even only a fraction of that number. I find it hard to believe that they didn't know why the REDkit wasn't celebrated quite as much as Creation Kit. Do you know what the time frame was after Skyrim came out that they got modding tools? Four Months. Even if it had been six, I think it would have been fine. So we could have waited for a better REDkit. Instead we have the MODkit with the power to do precisely very little to keep players coming back.

    In the end it's just a massive shame. I still love CD Projekt RED, but this bitterness will linger at least for a little while.

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