Editor’s note: Edward finds that the options for role-playing games are limited compared to the variety of mods found in first-person shooters. Is this because FPS games are easier to mod, or is it because the toolsets of many RPGs just aren’t as extensive as the toolsets for FPSes? -Jason

wolfeThe A Wolf Is A Man’s Best Friend mod from Conall turns your dog into a wolf.

I’m about to finish my second playthrough of Dragon Age: Origins on the PC. This time, I finished all of the sidequests that I could given my origin, and I still only reached level 22. It’s a big game, and Western role-playing games seem to have better pacing than other RPGs — they make take a long time to play, but it seems like it goes by quickly.

Dragon Age is right up there with Mass Effect and The Witcher for me. If I had the authority, I’d give it something like a 9.3 score. The game has high replayability thanks to different origins, though I found out the hard way just how similar each origin experience is, and it’s sad that this game could’ve been so much…better than it is.

Players, however, can make it better thanks to Dragon Age’s toolset.

BioWare gave modders the tools that apparently they used to make Dragon Age. Players have already started making mods for the game (I played with the HDR texture mods). But something’s bothering me about mods — do mods for first-person games such as Half-Life 2, Fallout 3, and The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion go so much further than mods for games such as Dragon Age and The Witcher?

 

People are making character and weapon models, animations, and such in HL2, Fallout 3, and Oblivion. But even in Warcraft, Dragon Age, and The Witcher, it’s like the best people can manage is to make modules (basically sidequests and minicampaigns) with a bunch of preset models, sounds, and animations.

I’ve gone through and found that you can’t really even make lookalikes for the CG character models from the Dragon Age “Sacred Ashes” CGI Trailer with the toolset. It doesn’t even have a way to make hair that looks like the hair that the CG versions of the characters have. Why? Because it’s not in the presets, so such a face morph can’t be done. I hope that I’m wrong, but my real beef is why do FPS-style games get so much more modding power than third-person games?

Go to sites like the Fallout 3 Nexus or just search for Half-Life 2 mods, and you can tell that people can practically remake the game if they wanted to. Is this because the games are in first person? Because I know that in all the “powerful” toolsets developers give for third-person games (mainly RPGs, of course), there isn’t as much freedom as one would think, and it sucks how nude mods are the farthest one can go when trying to make something from scratch, not presets.