I was always a bit reluctant with modding games. The only titles that I’ve ever modded were Minecraft (stuff like Mo’ Creatures, Optifine, Inventory Tweaks, or Shaders) and The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ (that mod that tells you what the items do), so I figured I should try and broaden my horizon a little bit and explain as to why mods are good and why I hesitated so much with installing a lot of things.
For starters, I’d like to point out that I don’t hate mods entirely. For me it’s just a bit hard to install them and I end up doing something wrong somewhere, so I need to redo everything, and then I give it up altogether, resulting in a rather unpleasant experience. At the same time, some mods disable Achievements in games on Steam and I ended up avoiding mods due to that reason, especially as I didn’t know what games did it and which ones didn’t do it. I’m not a completionist by any means and I expressed some thoughts on Achievements before as well… but I still kind of care about them and don’t like playing a game while they are disabled as it kind of bothers me.
Mods are great though. Stuff like Optifine or Shaders can make a game like Minecraft actually rather pretty and add a lot of nice details to the world, even without you running that raytracing stuff (is that out already btw? Asking for a friend). At the same time, there are plenty of mods that add more content to a game without taking too much away from the vanilla-experience or they add so much awesome stuff to the game that it becomes an entirely new experience, which is amazing. There are also cases where games only are held together and popular because of the modding community, which is amazing and which must be a good thing.
But despite modding being such a common thing, I still kind of hesitated to install any in some of the games that I played. I ended up shoving aside the idea of modding RimWorld as I wanted to learn how to play the vanilla game, first. At the same, there are titles like Skyrim or Torchlight that have fantastic examples of community-made content that maybe (or probably?) surpasses the original developers’ ideas and creativity. New classes, smarter pets and enhanced GUI in Torchlight’s case or new enemies, more character customization and roleplaying capabilities in Skyrim’s. The potential is basically endless and I felt like I should maybe try it out myself.
Alas, I started up Stardew Valley again, which is a great and very underpriced title that I’ve only spent a hundred hours in so far. I last played it on March 23rd 2020, so I was a bit rusty… and with new additions that were made to the games, I was a bit hesitant of starting it up again. But well, I figured, I may as well try it out with the Expanded mod among others, to give it a completely new vibe and more interesting things to discover as well as new NPCs to romance and new crops to place down.
The picture below shows the installed mods that I’ve chosen. I used a Pastebin that KingArgaroth shared for his playthrough of this mod pack and alas, I figured I may as well copy that and share it with y’all. Make sure to check him out if you haven’t yet! I talked about him and other great streamers briefly in this post here. The mods mentioned in the Pastebin technically make use of SMAPI but I ended up having trouble with that, so I opted in for “ModDrop” which is a piece of software that made the whole process A LOT easier. I installed a lot of mods that are needed for both Stardew Valley Expanded and for Ridgeside Village. Both of these mods add a lot of new areas, events, dialogue options, features, and NPCs to the game. Apart from that, I also made use of the Season Villager Outfits that are actually quite lovely and the Dynamic Night-Time mod.
In today’s stream, I then started it up for the first time and to my surprise it went quite well. There was a hiccup at the beginning where it took a while to load but honestly, that’s quite understandable when there is so much going on in the game and when there are so many mods involved. I didn’t have any issues after that with it apart from the Experience Bars Mod (that I now uninstalled) constantly showing… and I need to add a mod to update the map to also feature Ridgeside Village… but other than that it worked pretty well.
I’m quite overwhelmed with all of the content but overall, it was more than enjoyable. The new farm layout is fantastic and the new NPCs in the game are a lot more diverse and fun than the previous ones who all felt a bit one-dimensional… From RSV’s Flor, Corine and Maddie to SDVE’s Sophia there are plenty of cool characters in the game… but it’s actually not that easy to decide on who to potentially date/marry yet as the bachelors in the game are all rather cute as well and as I haven’t gotten to know them all just yet.
But yeah, I really enjoyed that experience. ModDrop really helped with the hurdle of installing things easily… and the mods that I used actually don’t disable achievements, which is also incredibly cool. Looking forward to playing more soon!
Have you ever modded a game before and what were your experiences with the install-process and the game itself? What are your opinions? Do you like modding games or are you more of a Vanilla-Only person? Let me know!