Before starting this article, sincere apologies for the lack of news lately, the NS2News team has been/is really busy IRL and cannot publish news at our usual rate.
A few weeks ago, I asked the community to answer a poll on the UWE forums. This poll followed the previous events that lead to the temporary shut down of CompMod and NS2+ (check our prior article for more details).
So here are the results (136 voters). Please, this graphic does not represent in any way a genuine tendency of the NS2 players but expresses the opinion merely of those passing on the forums from time to time. The community includes various and large ideas and opinions that haven’t been voiced in this poll. Some did not find an adequate response and decided not to participate.
We can notice two major trends. 47% of the voters wouldn’t play NS2 if not for the mods (such as NS2+, Shine Administration, etc) while 37% of the voters could live without mods but enjoy playing them or with them nonetheless. Only 12% of the voters play modded games exclusively (CompMod/competitive players mostly). The tendency shows that only a handful of people pick out vanilla servers, clean of any mod that influences gameplay or aims to provide a better experience. It can be explained by the current representation of the mods ingame. Not many servers do not have NS2+ mounted for instance and even those who wish to play a 100% vanilla experience may have some troubles finding their path across the large amount of modded servers.
What can we learn from those results? Whether you like them or not, mods have become part of what’s NS2 is today and even if a big part of the community would stick around if mods were gone, a sizeable portion would definitely quit the game. Not having NS2+ for a few days has been very upsetting for some people and this situation shows the serious impact and negative consequences mods can have upon the community itself. The community has evolved and adapted following mods that for the most, filled the gap that UWE left behind when they first moved to Subnautica but even when they were initially developing the game. Mods such as Siege, the Faded, Combat exist because the vanilla game does not offer all the possibilities it could. Mods like NS2+, Shine and CompMod either present new options or a different balance that for some groups in the community, cruelly lack in vanilla. UWE has allowed its community to build and rely on mods. One might claim they’ve done this to make sure mods fix stuff they couldn’t, or didn’t want to do themselves. One might say they’ve done this to offer the community the ability to make NS2 a greater game. Mods allow their creators to move faster than UWE, whenever something needs fixing, it can be done through mods. The downside of leaning on mods is obviously some modders becoming necessary and whenever a mod breaks (due to new official updates or conflicting mods), the burden of resolving the issue lies on the modder.
Very hard to imagine NS2 nowadays without any mods though, they’re what makes it especial, unique and awesome. Today, we can honestly characterize two different developers on NS2: the UWE team that aims for the greater good and the community in the whole, without making distinctions between each individual or group and the modders that become part of the game too and who provide regular updates as well with the explicit goal of making the player’s experience easier and better. One might say that if one of those two sides vanishes, the game would become a sadder experience. These last few months, some mod features have been implemented (Shine and NS2+ options for example) onto the vanilla game and most of the PDT (Paid Dev Team) members today have been modding on NS2 even before being hired by UWE so we can frankly say the game wouldn’t have gotten this far without the help of modders and their amazing work.
If you’re fond of what’s happening in the modding scene, please, check this post by Ghoul about the latest changes that have impacted NS2 gamemodes. If the linked post still makes no sense to you, have a look at our previous article, which attempts to make things more clear.
Feel free to share your opinion on the matter in the comments below.
We’ve started another poll a couple of weeks ago, go ahead and vote!