Steam Service Providers, and some how needing to clarify the Nexus stance again

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I'm going to preface this news post by telling you to read the entire article, to the bottom before you run off and start quoting things left right and centre out of context. With that said...

Yesterday, Steam's new Paid Workshop had its first casualty as Chesko pulled his mods off the site. He made a post on Reddit explaining his decision, and took a pop at the Nexus at the bottom by saying:

I am also considering removing my content from the Nexus. Why? The problem is that Robin et al, for perfectly good political reasons, have positioned themselves as essentially the champions of free mods and that they would never implement a for-pay system. However, The Nexus is a listed Service Provider on the curated Workshop, and they are profiting from Workshop sales. They are saying one thing, while simultaneously taking their cut. I'm not sure I'm comfortable supporting that any longer. I may just host my mods on my own site for anyone who is interested.


This obviously sparked some controversy, not least because it omitted some quite pertinent details. People scrambling to see if it's true, wildly speculative wails of betrayal echoing across the internet. Okay, I'm being melodramatic. Basically, people read it, some people justifiably wanted a reasoned explanation, some people went batshit crazy. The internet. I responded to Chesko's post on Reddit pretty quickly and answered people's questions and even humoured a crazy person for a bit. Things died down considerably once people had the facts. By that point it was getting late, around about 8pm in the evening, and I'd been at my desk all day with a few hours sleep the night before. I figured I'd do a bigger news post tomorrow if it was really necessary, else I'd let my response on Reddit do the talking.

However, when I got to bed I decided that no, I would do a news post about it no matter what. In my previous news I'd categorically said "and I'm also not going to bury my head in the sand and pretend like it isn't happening...I think everyone should know everything there is to know about [paid modding]", so it seemed right to explain the situation properly, here, not on Reddit.

Before I explain the concept of the Service Providers, let me finish off Chesko's story by saying that he has since announced the following in his Frostfall file page comments:

Thank you everyone very much for your outpouring of support. It means so much more than you know.

I have taken every mod I have ever published off the Workshop, and it will stay that way. The Nexus files will remain; in the end, this is the community that has supported me every step of the way. Arissa is currently hidden until we decide what to do.

I have deleted many of my accounts and will be leaving the modding community for a time. I don't know how long.

Thank you again.


And at this time, as far as I'm aware, most, if not all of his mods are still available on the Nexus. Class.

Now, Steam Service Providers. In order to explain them, I'll give you my timeline of events, so they're in context. I will be quoting small, relevant snippets from a couple of emails. Please understand, it would be illegal to simply paste or printscreen an entire email and post it up here without permission.

Around about a month ago I was contacted by a representative at Valve. They explained that they were working on a new feature for Steam Workshop, in conjunction with relevant developers, to "allow mod authors to choose if they wish to charge money for their mod or give it away for free". I'd already cottoned on to that by putting two-and-two together when Valve announced Curated Workshops at the same time Bethesda announced they'd removed the 100mb file size limit on Skyrim Workshop. They went on to explain the reason for emailing me:

We noticed that many of these games also have significant communities on the Nexus sites, which we think is great. We think the communities you support on Nexus offer a ton of value to mod-makers and customers, and we’d like to figure out how to help support the work you do. One way to do this is to add Nexus as a Steam Workshop Service Provider.

With Service Providers, Workshop authors can select from a pre-approved list of toolmakers and online communities to receive a percentage of Valve's revenue from sale of their items. We think this is really valuable because it gives a good path for rewarding and compensating tool-makers, supportive communities, and occasionally really helpful individuals for the value they provide in the process of creating awesome content. And, mod authors don't give up any of your revenue--this comes from Valve's split.


(In the interest of clarity, they said "one way to do this", and this was the only way mentioned. They haven't suggested anything else).

I was, of course, skeptical about it. I went and did my own research. I read and understood their revenue sharing agreement (which is comparatively small and easy to understand), I looked at how they've implemented the system for TF2, I verified that any money came from Valve's cut and not from the mod author's cut and I did some research in to what the cut was (5% of Valve's cut). Most importantly, I ensured that it was the mod author's complete and utter choice as to whether they wanted the Nexus to receive a cut of Valve's cut in all of this.

The system works by presenting the mod author with a list of "Service Providers" when they go to upload their file. They're informed that they can choose to support none, one or more of these Service Providers and that any cut is taken from Valve's cut, and not from their cut. The cut percentage is 5%. Ergo, if a mod author does not select any Service Providers then the cut remains 25% to the mod author, 40% to Bethesda, 35% to Valve. If the mod author picks one or more Service Providers then the cut changes to 25% to the mod author, 40% to Bethesda, 30% to Valve, 5% shared between one or more Service Providers.

So what we have here is Valve coming to me, in a positive and open exchange, with no strings attached, offering to share some of their split of the profit they receive from specific mod authors who have specifically stated when they upload their mods that they would like the Nexus to receive some of Valve's cut of the profit. Wrap your head around it. Mod authors using the paid workshop system say "I like the Nexus, I feel like the Nexus has helped me or the community at some point, I would like to support the Nexus, I'm going to donate some of Valve's cut to the Nexus". So the Nexus gets a trickle of funds, for free, for no extra work and for no promises of allegiance or support of Steam Workshop. I can still express and already have expressed my misgivings and criticisms of the way things have been implemented and how I think the system can be improved. The only string attached to all this is that I cannot share the revenue details publicly. I have signed away my right to that privilege, as I'm reminded on the revenue page where it says "Reminder: Sales data is provided for your personal use, and you've agreed to keep this data confidential (see: Workshop Legal Agreement).". A small price to pay for a few groans of "that's convenient!" from the conspiracy theorists among you. If you want to see what I agreed to then the Workshop Agreement is open for anyone to view. As I'm not actually contributing anything (and I have had this clarified for me by legal counsel), those terms pertaining to contributions do not apply to the Nexus. So, the off-the-rails person on Reddit who claimed I'd sold my soul to Valve and that they could now commandeer all of the Nexus and twist it to its evil will, making us charge for mods as well are mistaken. Because I'm not stupid. Thanks.

I don't know if it needs to be said, I mean, I've been doing this for 14 years, since 2001 when I was 14, these sites were the first sites I ever made and have formed the third company I ever started in 2007. They obviously mean a lot to me. I've mentioned many times in the past the amount of offers I get to cooperate or sell up and this tiny trickle of additional funds, in the grand scheme of things, is not going to make me flip out and change my views or make me align myself with Valve or Bethesda. If I do that, I do that because I think it's right, not because I'm getting paid a small amount by them. That's just silly. In the same vein, I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face.

But this is election season in the UK, so let me pledge to you right now, that any funds that this accumulates will go straight back into supporting these sites. That's the spirit in which they were given, both from Valve and the mod authors who select the Nexus as a service provider, and that's the spirit in which it will be accepted and used.

I already mentioned the forum server needs to be replaced, so that's the first place it's going to go. It's no where near enough to fund the replacement, but every little helps. If this some how explodes and becomes more than a tiny trickle then it will go towards hiring on a new programmer for NMM and the sites. Oh, and I also want to fund a complete redesign of the sites (with full mobile support, maybe even an app). That's really not cheap.

Most importantly, I pledge that any funds the Nexus receives from this will not be funds the Nexus relies on in order to survive. The Nexus has always been self-sustaining, relying on its users to help fund the site through adverts and Premium Membership. I would never jeopardize that by using Service Provider money to expand beyond the sustainable financial limits of these sites without that Service Provider money. What this means is, the Nexus can use the money, but it won't rely on that money in order to survive. As I mentioned in my Reddit response, the Nexus now needs to earn $500,000 a year in order to pay for the servers, the CDN, the bandwidth, the database cluster, the firewalls, the legal counsel, the accountants and the programmers. If we can bring in more money to pay for things that aren't needed but are surely wanted (like mobile support), that won't place a burden on the current financial requirements, without doing anything to further annoy users, like more ads, then hell yes! This is free money to support the Nexus, at the expense of Valve. It's almost poetic.

In total, 3 emails were exchanged on the actual topic of how it worked as a concept. During that time they mentioned they'd read my blog post already which they said "seemed totally appropriate and on-mark". The remaining 4 emails were used to give Valve the information they needed to set me up as a service provider.

I'll bullet a few more pertinent points for even more clarity:

  • I was not under an NDA, I was simply told "we haven’t announced this information publicly yet, so we appreciate you keeping this under wraps for now.". If you believe I should have outed them right there and then and completely destroyed my relationship with Valve and Bethesda then I think you're being naive.
  • They also asked me if I could suggest any other tools within the community that would deserve to be a Service Provider. They said they'd already be in contact with SKSE, NifTools and TES5Edit. I directed them to wrinklyninja and the BOSS/LOOT team. I do not know if they contacted them or what their response was.
  • I did not get to see any of their implementation or how any of it would work before any of you did. All I did know was that free and open modding was not being shut down and, "It will be similar to the path that users have now for posting mods to the Steam Workshop, except that they will be able to pick whether their mod is posted free, for a price, or to enable a pay-what-you-want option."
  • I did not know any more than any of you about when this would be announced and/or released. The only people who did are Valve, Bethesda, and the mod authors specifically picked by Valve and Bethesda.


After the email exchange had ended a couple of days later I heard nothing more from Valve (or Bethesda). And I still haven't to this day. So I'll consider any communication with them done and dusted.

I had no idea when this was going to be launched. In fact, I only found out when I was up in my room packing my bags for a holiday I'd booked in 4 months ago, way before Valve got in contact with me. I was busy putting some shirts in to my bag when I received a message on my phone from a friend saying "No more steam workshop for me!". That's when I knew it had been released, that's when I knew I had to cancel my holiday, let down my friends, and spend this weekend making my eyes bleed reading and writing a copious amount of text while watching SSH terminals spew out server statistics like I'm reading The Matrix for any signs of server downtime or overloading. Thursday evening was a mess, cancelling my flight, cancelling my taxi and hotel, informing my friends I could no longer go with them, writing up the news, monitoring the servers, watching the forums explode, and reading...so much reading, and very little sleep. If I have one regret in all of this, it's that in all the mess and stress I didn't manage the release of this information about the Service Providers from the start, and instead letting it come out via a third-party, who kind of threw me under the bus a little. Bearing in mind it's there for anyone to see on the Steam Workshop page. It's hardly top secret!

Some people have expressed dismay, that I'm being two-faced or hypocritical by on the one hand being critical of the way Steam have implemented some of their features while on the other taking some of their money. And to those people I'd ask, have you cut off your nose to spite your face? Have you deleted all your Steam games, deactivated your Steam account, uninstalled Steam and made that financial sacrifice before coming here telling me I should make a financial sacrifice? I imagine a very, very, very tiny percentage of you actually have, but an overwhelming majority of you won't have. I've already covered that in this post, that just because the Nexus is a Service Provider doesn't mean I'm under any obligation to say only nice things about Steam Workshop or that I'm in their pocket. As far as I'm concerned, that money is a gracious donation from those mod authors who pick us when they add their mods to Steam Workshop (and by the way, if you're one of those authors, thank you! I have no way of knowing which authors have done it else I would PM you to say the same). Once again, the money was offered as a gesture of thanks, from Valve, and it is being accepted, respected and used in the way in which it was given. Nothing more.

Indeed, people have taken it further than that, saying that I've positioned myself as the "white knight of the free modding community" and that I can't say I'm against paid for modding and then take the money. And you're right, I can't, and it would be bad if I had. But I haven't. I'm looking over my shoulder, wondering if there's some other Dark0ne in this house or someone here that's ghostwriting for me, because I sure as heck haven't come out against paid for modding. In fact, I've been extremely careful not to do exactly that. I know you want me to. But wanting me to come out against it isn't the same as me actually coming out against it. If people are heralding me, specifically, as their champion in the fight against paid modding then they've done that of their own accord, and I certainly haven't agreed to be that champion.

I've been skeptical of it, worried how it would affect things and I've been critical of the way in which certain elements of it have been implemented. I've also categorically said that as long as I'm in charge of these sites all mods on these sites will be free. That is not the same as saying that I am against paid for modding on other sites.

I had to go back through my blog post and subsequent news posts last night just to make sure. And it turns out, I do know what I said. Thank god. You can see these posts here, here and here. Let me quote some snippets for you.

What these figures show is that modding, or user generated content (UGC) as it seems to be called now, can make some serious bucks. So serious that I think most developers and publishers would be crazy not to be considering it.


Is there a link between Skyrim Workshop and the new Curated Workshops announced by Valve? As in, would Bethesda be interested in releasing a Curated Workshop for Skyrim and removing the file size limit is a precursor to that? It seems a little late now, but I think it could still work. And based on the earning figures Valve released I think Bethesda would be crazy not to consider it.


I don't want to be sceptical. I don't want to instantly fight this change without good reason to. I don't want to be one of those people because lets face it, change definitely isn't always bad. What I do want to do is sit down and try to rationalise things, probably in futility considering this is all based on conjecture right now, and point out some of the potential issues that money could bring, the issues that Valve or anyone else seriously contemplating this has to take in to account. We know change is coming, but the worrying thing for me isn't the change itself, it's that we won't know how this change will affect and has affected our communities until the change has happened, by which point we can't go back.


Look at Nehrim or Falskaar, two epic, highly rated mods made by extensive groups of modders. I think a lot of us will have said at one point or another, either about those mods or about others, "I'd definitely pay for this". And my god, there are so many mods out there that are so good, so professional, so well done that yes, I'd pay for them in an instant! I mean, once you get SkyUI you don't ever want to think about going back to the way it was before again, right?


Just like how amateur football changed and "progressed" back in the late 1800s, we're now seeing the formation of the Premier League/NFL of modding, where the pros go to make their money, in Curated Steam Workshops. And that's really how I see it. Grass roots football has suffered from it, but it has also grown, the Premier League and NFL bring more people into the game that would otherwise never have bothered to play a game of football. In the same way, Curated Steam Workshops can, if done right, bring more people into modding that would otherwise not have given it a second look.


The Nexus is for everyone from every background, colour, creed, and political, religious or sexual persuasion. We strive to make this a community where anyone and everyone can enjoy something here away from hate. And that includes mod authors who want to make money. So if you break that peace and attack mod authors here for what they've chosen to do, you'll be gone. By all means debate, but when your debating becomes abusive, it's no longer debating.


Time will only tell how well Valve and Bethesda are going to handle these issues, and I'd say stolen assets being used in paid mods is one of, if not the biggest issue right now. Some of the rumours going around are not nice to hear, but we've got to let the dust settle and see what comes of all of this. It's too early to tell. I appreciate it's ironic to say that after I just had a little rant, but my god, it's already freaking happened, less than a day in, and I've smashed my head in to my desk on more than one occasion today in disbelief because of it. So not a great start from Valve and Bethesda, but yes, it's still to early to tell.


And so, if you're wondering where the Nexus sits in between all of this, then you'll find us sitting where we've always been sitting, right here, without fundamentally changing. We're still going to be about the free and open distribution of mods for everyone and I don't see that changing any time soon. Sure, I've had offers. Lots of offers. And I don't discount anything at all, but right now, for the foreseeable future, there are no plans to shake things up at all. I have absolutely no idea how these changes within the modding community are going to affect the community here at the Nexus, but I think that there's still going to be a market for a site that continues to offer a free and open sharing platform, away from money, where people who want to continue modding as a hobby, not a career, can shine.


Does this sound like a champion of modding being free everywhere? No, it does not. Do not use me as the poster-child for that campaign as I never said I was. What will I champion? I will champion and fight for modding being allowed to remain free and open on any platforms that want to remain free and open, like the Nexus, like ModDB, and all the individual modding communities out there for games. I will fight against the DRMification of modding. I will fight, as I always, always have, for an author's right to choose how and where a mod author distributes their work. And I will most definitely fight against anyone who chooses to persecute, attack or seek "revenge" against mod authors who have chosen to sell their mods. Because that is wrong. It's fucking wrong. And I do not swear in these posts lightly.

My position on paid modding remains exactly the same as it has been the past month. It's too early to tell pretty much anything. I will continue to sit back, read, analyse, consult and form my own opinions on the subject. I will not be forced into making knee jerk reactions, and I most definitely will not support the same individuals who are attacking mod authors. The people attacking mod authors are an absolute disgrace.

Irrespective of whether I end up agreeing with or supporting paid for modding or not, this one simple fact remains the same. The Nexus is free.

The finger pointing has begun. Pointing the finger at Valve, at Bethesda, at modders, at the Nexus, at YouTubers. Have you really not seen this coming, at all? Evolve launching with $100 worth of day zero DLC? Buying games knowing the developers have said they won't release SDK's any more because it's "too hard"? Paying money to beta test games in Early Access? Pre-ordering games based on hype despite the developers and publishers enacting review embargoes? Users spending $220 million plus on mods already for TF2, CSGO and DotA 2? Of course this was coming. Anyone who's done any of these things has been complicit in getting us to this stage! I'll put my hand up and admit I bought DayZ stand-alone. I'm sorry, alright, I didn't realise they were going to be this bad and take this long!

Some of you will be furious, asking "But Dark0ne, how can you sit around while Valve and Bethesda destroy the modding community?". I can sit here and remain calm, collected, and continue to analyse things because I'm aware of the full facts from my side. I'm not reading figures that someone is putting on Reddit, or the forums, or Steam without verifying them myself. The sheer amount of made up facts and figures, and the lying, is ridiculous. And what's even more ridiculous is the amount of silly people who'll read these lies, believe them and not do their own research. Jesus wept. It's been less than 48 hours, guys. As soon as Valve announced the paid workshops I took a count of the number of Skyrim files on Skyrim Nexus. We had 40,567 mods on the site. Right now that count sits at 40,492. We've lost 75 mods, of which, almost all of those "lost" mods have been hidden by mod authors who want to see how this all plays out, many of which contacted me to explain what they're doing. Indeed, there's been an amazing outpouring of amazing mod authors who make amazing mods here on the Nexus who have categorically stated that their mods will remain completely free. That's awesome!! The sky is not falling down!!! And frankly, I think you are insulting the mod authors who have decided to remain free by saying free modding is over. If you believe strongly in this, stick by them, show them your support, endorse their files if you like them, donate to them. That's what this community needs, not a swirling cesspit of vitriolic hatred.

And so, I will say, once again, it is too soon (Too soon, too soon, TOO SOON!) to come to any conclusions on any of this. And I will leave you with my main, primary fear in all of this, which I brought up in my original blog piece.

The worry is with the introduction of Curated Workshops that free and open modding will be removed entirely, as in, it just won't be possible to do. You've seen the arguments before with developers like BioWare and DICE no longer supporting modding with their games, they say it's because it's too complicated for modders or because they don't have time to work on the tools, many users argue it's because they don't want mods to cut in to DLC sales. I don't know any more about it than you in that regard, but if you're running a curated modding marketplace and there's a site out there with lots of mods available for free (note: probably not the same mods, as that wouldn't make sense!) will you willingly let that continue or would you try to ensure all your mods were going through your curated marketplace? I guess it would entirely depend on the developer and publisher in question, but if you ask me, my main concern now is the DRMification and closing down of free and open modding, the concept that modding can only take place if it's done through one official platform to the detriment of all others. Because up until now that's definitely not what modding has been about at all.


That is what I will fight. That is what I will champion against.

1443 comments

  1. ZoeS17
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    I'm going to college in the states for a bachelor's in computer science majoring in computer programming. I intend to make that my main job but I would code NMM, the DBs, and mobile apps, as I could even starting now for free. I would sign an NDA too because to me it's for the community and not for me. I cannot provide any coding samples as of yet which is the only reason I haven't sent an official email to the Nexus legal and administrative teams. I must say I agree with the current motives and actions as posed in the above news article. I do understand how easy it would be for the server network to crash and/or become inoperable due to fiscal reasons.
  2. HadToRegister
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    remember when modding was simply about the pleasure of contributing to the community development of a game without all the confusion and fuss? Pepperidge farm remembers...


     
    From Canadian Ice's "Modder's Realm" website
     

    Creating modifications (mods) is a hobby. We don't do it for fame or glory, but for the fun of creating. We make stuff that we like, the way we like it. The level of detail, color and features that go into it are to suit our own tastes. If others like it, it's a bonus.
    So if you like our creations, download them and use them with our blessing. If you don't like them, go somewhere else... please. We have neither the time nor the desire to listen to endless petty gripes and complaints. If it doesn't suit you, feel free to exercise your right to not use them. It's that simple.

     
    That's WHY people started modding Skyrim a year before the Creation Kit was even released.
    FOR THE LOVE OF MODDING
     
    Hell, I just spent the last two weeks setting up Skyrim and Oblivion with Mod Organizer (SOOOO Glad I did), and am currently playing the most awesome looking version of Morrowind thanks to WryeMash and Mlox
    It's a super frustrating thing to do, but sometimes just setting up the game with a S***-ton of mods and getting them to work together IS part of the fun of playing Skyrim, Oblivion, and Morrowind.
  3. UberSmaug
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    So there is this thing called a "Craft Fair". Craziest thing. It this place where hobbyest go to sell their little do-dads, and funny little needle point kitty cat tissue box covers, And woodcrafts, and WORKS OF FRIGGIN ART!!!!!!!! They don't steal from each other's tables when the other person is not looking... Well some probably do but that's because some people are jerks, And want to take things because they somehow justify to themselves that they are entitled everything they see simply because.... they want it. Yeah some people are going to try to abuse the system. Just like somebody will try to abuse every system. Is that really a reason not to give this a try? It will not be perfect right away. And probably will never be "perfect". Nothing is. We will just have to respect each other and be honest in our actions. Those who betray that trust will be outed if we watch each others backs.

    Why is modding any different from Wood Working Jewelry Making, Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, Music, Knitting, and countless other, hobbies for some, but for others they are more. For those willing to put in the hard work and dedication, make things of a professional quality, it can become a job. Maybe not your primary source of income but a nice secondary bump. Who cares if its not going to make you rich. You had fun while you were doing it right. This is not about being greedy.

    All these posts about evil gaming companies trying to scam people and rip you off is the highest form of disrespect. If you cant understand that it makes me sad. If not for Bethesda and Valve and Nexus and all the others there would be no mods, let alone a game to play at all. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. If you think for one second the developers at these companies don't love games as much as you do than we are lost. That kind of thinking, not the money, will eat away at this community and the entire gaming industry.

    Pro Paid mods. Is not Anti Free mods. Free mods should not go away. There are plenty of mods that just wont be able to jive with the paid model and they should not be eliminated. New modders need a place to get their feet wet. We need a place to get feedback on works in progress. If your mod doesn't make it to the market place you should have to option to releases for free. Trying to ban free modding would be a huge mistake. And IF that happens I guaranty you will see a modder strike

    Why shouldn't we be able to sell our Art like any other Artist? People at these craft fairs all have a really good time and are supper nice to each other. They share ideas, help each other out, collaborate on projects. Teach each other techniques. Form lifelong friendships. FALL IN LOVE. Because they share a common interest. That is a Community. And the best kind of community where race, sexual orientation, religion, and nationality don't matter anymore. Because for once were not concentrating on what makes us different but what make us the same.
    1. MrJoseCuervo
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      If your work is worthy people will donate. If that's not good enough for you take up needle point.
    2. Crashloop
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      @MrJoseCuervo
      In theory you are spot on, however theory doesn't match reality.. If I put up a ad saying I will take pictures for you, you donate money if you like my work and want to donate. How many would you think actually donated? As a hobby photographer I cannot and will not work for free unless it's benefits me. Majority of people want stuff for free it's that simple.
    3. bungdorji
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      I definetely agree, if your work has a best result, people will donate willingly, but if not im sure they wont
    4. dpgillam
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      A) craft fair people are selling a finished, stable, working product. Not a beta, not a "maybe" not a "well it works on MY computer" line of Bull. You want me to pay you for something that has a significant chance of not working. In the US (and most the civilized world) its illegal to sell defective goods knowingly, and anything based on skyrim's bugged up system is defective, by default.

      B) Im paying you? Then I expect to get what I pay for. The mod had better look EXACTLY like the pictures (false advertising is a crime) I have the right to tech support (Federal lemon laws) For as long as the game is maintained you must keep your mod up to date. And, as poor Chesko found out, you have no control over your mod. Its not "ebul compnies" as you suggest, its simple business, and the fact that the average person is clueless enough to think the world works like they see on tv. :roll:

      C) Craft fair people dont steal each other's "IP"? Ever notice how much nearly-identical garbage is strewn across the tables? We have thousands of magazines per hobby telling you how to make the junk that the flea marketers are selling. For there to be a fair comparison to modding, you would have to publish a magazine monthly with all the code for the best mods as freeware, deny the concept of IP ever existing, and THEN try to sell your art. You have a fantasy notion of craft fairs. a few people are as warm and fuzzy as your delusion. Most are just noral. And then there are the financially motivated. In all, you'll find the same attitudes and temperments as you find here.
    5. UberSmaug
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      I agree. IF you pay for something it should be of good quality. If you are selling something you should stand by it and provide support for your customers. False advertising is a crime, lemon laws and all that are good. I still support all of my free mods and will continue to do so. I've never said otherwise.

      I was only trying to bring light to the fact that being a hobbyist should not exclude you from seeking profit for the things you produce. Its done everyday all across the world. If all mods are as broken as you imply why would you want them even if they are free. If skyrim is so bugged that all mods are junk why are you playing it at all.

      Your last comment proves my point even more. Even with money involved people are still willing to share ideas, assist their fellow hobbyist, share assetss, make tutorials, look at each others work and say "awe man that's good but I bet I can improve on that." Some people sell kits for others to assemble and in turn sell again. Those financially motivated are sitting right next to those who are not. Yet the system still functions. Its not a fantasy, I may be hamming up the love and good will stuff a bit. That much warm and fuzzy makes me a little sick. But I'll settle for just moral.

      I Ask again. How is modding any different? Why is ok for these people to sell their wares and we can not?
    6. x9fallen
      x9fallen
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      I don't believe there is a corporation running the craft fairs and taking 75%. As someone who has donated getting close to $1k to various modders/content makers, that was my biggest complaint about the system.

      Do I want to financially support modders when I can? Damn right. Do I want to give 75% of that money to Valve and Bethesda? Hell no.
    7. UberSmaug
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      Absolutely there is an organizer. And there is a vendor fee which is divided between that organizer and the venue where the event is held, be it a Church parking lot or a convention center. The amount of that fee varies greatly. In this case it is a flat fee, for mods it would be a percentage of total sales My question is not is the split fair or not. (Please read the Forbs piece and Bethesda blog concerning that if you have not already. Those numbers were not set in stone.)

      After reading the Forbs and Bethesda blog I feel the absolute best split we could hope to see would be 30% valve standard digital distribution fee, 35% Bethesda 35% to the Modder. More realistically 40% Bethesda 30% Modder. Maybe service provider 5% is volunteered from the modders share. Mod authors would always be getting less than half but still potentially more than a studio developer (counting in heath care and yada, yada, yada, evens that out a bit). and I am personally ok with that. To those who say they would pay for mods but this first offer is unfair. Would a 5%-10% increase to the modders + modders donate to service providers be enough to change your mind?
    8. singlebelong
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      @MrJoseCuervo
      This "If your work is worthy people will donate" thought is really hurts, like after all the hard work I made a bunch of worthless junky mods.

      ========================

      I'm so disappointed about this fiasco, maybe this is why my friends told me "modding is fool around. It is a hobby and it can only be a hobby. You cant build a career you cant earn a decent life, you cannot even make a living! Come and get a job you damn fool, we can use a 3D model artist!"

      They are right, I'm wrong. Maybe now is the time to make things right.

      This is not a victory, everybody is lose.
    9. Tyerial12
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      you went into that wanting to make money..

      people made mods before money was even thought of for free..

      Soon as money gets involved most all good mods go to pay to have and then full of junk crap mods aswell.

      Leaving the free community with jack crap and they say it wont kill the free community ha! sooner or later people will get tired of the crap mods being made for free because the good modders are filling there pockets with green.

      Money corrupted this community.. i just hope it can recover

      and before i get flamed.. i do support mod authors getting donations and not forcing us to buy a it may work mod sorry but my opinion
    10. lesliewifeofbath
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      I totally agree with you. This site kicked off a pretty terrific mod some time ago for some pretty stupid reasons, even after the developer tried to make things right.

      Methinks Dark One protests too much.
    11. SaraphanLord
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      Only that has been shown to be false in the real market again and again. Their are several non-profit restaurants that have shown that people are generally good and will pay people for services that they value. For example the Non-Profit Panera Restaurant has shown in a recent report that roughly 60% of people pay the suggested cost of what they eat were 20% pay more then what is suggested and the other 20% pay less or nothing. Ultimately it balances out for them. Now not all of the businesses see that it works out like that, some fail and some succeeded and that's not all the different from mods being popular or remaining obscure forever. but a business has many other factors that clue into success or failure out side of the clients paying for the service. So the similarities start to end once you look beyond the customer end of the business.

      My point is that your assumption that people want free things is more or less false. When the service is worth it to the person they will be more then happy to pay. So how does this apply to mods? Have a donations button and a suggested price listed next to it based on work done and a mind for what the consumer would be able to easily pay. Modders would be able to see a lot of mileage out of such practices I would think.

      Edit: this was in reply to statments made by Crashloop and UberSmaug
    12. NocturnX
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      I do agree with you a little bit, but only just. While I do believe anyone has a right to sell something they make and earn a profit for their work; introducing money/economics/finances as a factor into anything, complicates things and generally leads to greed, corruption, and more. Such things need to be taken into consideration before we fully embrace this new concept. This is particularly a concern to us when it has to do with software and especially video games. Now I'm not saying that this negative side of money is going to turn everyone into some bad person who's only interest is self-interest, but it will infect(metaphorically speaking) most. It's already happened time and time again with regard to areas other than modding is concerned.

      I guarantee you that for every little bit of good (yes, I admit it will do *some* good) this will do for the "community", it will do much more for the worse. It WILL eventually push free mods to the wayside, making free options marginal at best. Not right away, but give it time. Maybe a year. Maybe even two, but it will happen. The "DRMification" as Dark0ne put it seems inevitable as well.

      When you said "All these posts about evil gaming companies trying to scam people and rip you off is the highest form of disrespect." I thought it was funny. It's a little hard to read someone's tone from text, but it's pretty clear you were deliberately using the word "evil" sarcastically as if to imply that people speaking out against the gaming industry and it's well-known tactics are all just exaggerating or speaking nonsense. Yeah, actually... said companies DO often try to rip off it's very own loyal customers. It's absolutely naive to think anything otherwise. It's also very wrong to suggest that people posting comments that put these companies in a negative light are somehow out of line. They have every right to. On top of that, using terms like "highest form"... really?... really?!...REALLY?! Even the word "disrespect" seems out of place here.

      I'm not sure how to take your comment "If not for Bethesda and Valve and Nexus and all the others there would be no mods, let alone a game to play at all.". The words "and all the others" which you conveniently tacked on is very broad and/or vague, so I can't can't really reply to that with any certainty, but I'm sure I don't have to tell you or anyone that Valve and Bethesda are far from the source of all gaming and mods related. It does though almost sound as if you're saying we all owe them a debt of gratitude. That can't be it though, not when one could easily argue the reverse. That would just be silly. Furthermore, there are far more important companies and factors that laid the groundwork and still play very important roles in gaming, mods, etc.

      As for the notion of a modder strike - that's a bit naive too. Especially now that modders are being given an incentive.

      One last thing and this may come across as cynical and possibly even harsh, but I feel compelled to say it. That last paragraph of yours made me gag a little it was so over the top with the whole after cheesy, after school special, togetherness vibe.
  4. Xactar
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    remember when modding was simply about the pleasure of contributing to the community development of a game without all the confusion and fuss? Pepperidge farm remembers...
  5. Mur_Zik
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    Bethesda has all rights on what we're making. I do always remember that, aren't you?
    So they can buy or sell everything we make) And it doesn't matter do we like this or not))
    1. DukeNukem0911
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      It does matter. We're their customers. If they do something that upsets us, they may lose tons of money. Which is why the paid mods system has been taken out of workshop.
    2. Mur_Zik
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      Bethesda could initially make all modding commercial. I think they already lost millions on illegal mods distributing. So they just trying to establish some rules. IMHO.
    3. chaotech
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      "Illegal mods distributing"? You're going to have to explain that one. I don't think we have the same view as to just how much modders owe the game devs and just how much the game devs should be paid for a modder's work (whether the modder wants a profit or not).
    4. Mur_Zik
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      IMHO.

      I think there are TESModders, TESTalkers and TESScum in current TES"Community". The Scums are the most numerous and aggressive, though they contribute nothing and seems never played this game.

      I'd wish the Scums no longer exist, though seems it's impossible till far.

      @Xactar It's not a bad idea to remember the past. They say, there is no future without it)
  6. morbidslinky
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    Man, get over yourself.
  7. ChaosTherum
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    I have very mixed feelings on this subject. Full disclosure I have never modded a game at least not to the extent that it's worth bragging about. But I have always been a huge mod player mostly beth games and minecraft. I think the biggest issue is the implementation I don't think getting a paid mod on the workshop shouldn't be as easy and clicking a checkbox on upload there should be a team at beth that play tests the mods and vets them for quality and then either approves or doesn't the mod that they have been submitted. I would feel far more comfortable with bethesda getting 30% if I knew they had a department of people working solely on that. Short of that the modders should get more around 70% of the profit because they literally do all of the work short of creating the engine itself. I generally don't like anything that isn't donation based though. I for one played a bootlegged copy of minecraft for probably 6 months before I decided to buy it. Same thing goes for fallout 3 and skyrim. I think that if your work is worth it then people will pay to see you continue. There have been some problems like this in the minecraft community the most recent one to come to mind is with a mod called magical crops whee the modder pay walled the updates to it. This will eventually resolve itself though I hope bethesda will take more community input for the next round of this because it seems with one fell swoop they shattered this community which is really sad I've always loved it.
  8. GrimCreation
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    Thanks for putting everything out on the table for us, I think this should settle things for most people who aren't conspiracy theorists.
  9. Mur_Zik
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    It's beyond my English to read ALL above, so excuse me if duplicating one's idea.
    If TES modding is your hobby and you don't wish someone is making money(or reputation) on it, just don't share. Works good for me)
  10. Nightasy
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    Well, I didn't see a problem with paid mod content. I saw it not one bit different from a site such as Turbosquid or Daz3d. Not one bit different from any site where you buy 3d models. It's a trade, it's also a hobby and it's also a way to make a living. What I did see though that has made me decide to back off from modding for awhile, possibly forever was something much more appalling. I saw a bunch of posts and mods spring up that suggested mod authors didn't work hard on mods.

    Titles such as "Give me Money for No Reason" and "Pay me for doing nothing" really caught me off guard. Developing a mod, 3d model, scripting, setting up esp files is an exceptionally tedious task. There is an abundant amount of work that is required to make mods. There is an abundant amount of learning that is required to make mods, from learning to use the available tools right down to understanding what a UV map is. I found many posts and those aforementioned mods quite belittling to modders and I'm sorry to say but that is what disgusted me. Not the pay system but the lack of appreciation being shown.

    There was an abundant amount of work that went into developing the Creation Kit as well as setting up Skyrim so that it could be modded. There was an abundant amount of work that went into setting up a pay system on steam, setting up a workshop to support it. So much work went into the entire setup of Skyrim as well as the Creation Kit as well as the workshop as well as the mods that are developed for the game and it was all so very much under appreciated.

    The paid mods would not have had any negative impact on the free modding community. There would have always been free mods. Mod authors would have had an additional option to also release paid mods but because of the many (mostly non-mod authors) thinking mod authors don't work hard, that Bethesda didn't work hard, that Steam didn't work hard, now we don't have that option. Mod author's have given so much for free and have never asked for anything in return. The one time we had a bone thrown our way and due to a lack of appreciation it was taken from us.

    I'm sorry, but I've decided to pull down all of my mods while I think on this experience. I'm not quite decided as to how I feel about all that has happened. I suppose I just need some time to think and until I've come to a conclusion I won't feel comfortable providing support for my mods.

    Best Regards.
    1. MrJoseCuervo
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      So you think you should be paid because you had to learn stuff? You find your hobby tedious? Perhaps you should find a new hobby.
    2. digitaltrucker
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      A is your privelege. I respect it, even though I disagree. I wish you the best and look forward to your return.

      Cheers, friend!

    3. falcor23
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      Sad to see you go, but this was bound to happen. Modders are going to leave because of this and the amount of attention this has gotten will bring more modders in. This has been a clusterfuck at best and will leave this community shattered for along time coming.

      Best of luck in your future endeavors.
    4. sunshinenbrick
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      I think one of the major issues surrounding all this was the way it was implemented. How about a mature thought out inquiry and discussion between developers, modders, contributors and users/testers would have possibly avoided this whole sham.

      It is because of how this was done that my respect for Beth and Valve has been damaged and it is only with time and future experiences that this may improve.

      Let us not forget that Nexus supports all games now. There will always be new developers.
    5. popopipo
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      I think the titles "Give me Money for No Reason" and "Pay me for doing nothing" were aimed at Valve and Bethesda, not at modders in general.

      But yes, you have people who don't understand at all what modding is about, who just behave like consumers in the worst way. They were very loud during the shitstorm. They are the same people who complain a lot on the comment section.

      I do believe this paying mod thing was a very bad idea, but I do show respect to all the time modders spent working to improve the game.
    6. MrJoseCuervo
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      A better option would be that people who donate get the latest updates first. This would encourage donations as well as encourage innovation by the modders. Greed is the only true evil in this world.
    7. Zennethe
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      So basically, a patreon-based model.
    8. Tyerial12
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      Problem is all the good mods would be Pay to Use them leaving the free community with junk (not saying all mod authors will) then some will uploadfree mods sure but leave a spam box saying like my Mod Buy the full verison (insert link here) now making it a spam mod.

      So as im saying the Free community of mods would die out because no one wants crap quailty mods or mods that get uploaded then abandoned.

      I do support mod authors with a DONATE BUTTON but force me to pay for a mod that i can not test for more than 24 hrs hell no

      Sometimes it takes awhile to find out the mods broken right were it should shine.
    9. sunshinenbrick
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      Some mods can destroy and corrupt save games too, unintentionally. I remember Imaginator, didn't find that one out for months then BAM! Save bloat and no more save game for you!

      EDIT: Its fixed now btw and is an awesome mod.
    10. etholas
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      "MrJoseCuervo 0 kudos 12 posts
      So you think you should be paid because you had to learn stuff? You find your hobby tedious? Perhaps you should find a new hobby. "

      What a wonderful way to thank those who have contributed so much time and effort for the sake of others.
    11. treota
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      I would caution you against dumping your hobby because of other people, there will always be haters and horrible people no matter what you do, no need to pander to their bile.

      "The paid mods would not have had any negative impact on the free modding community. " -There is really no way to say this for certain without sitting back and observing, it may have or may not have.

      Having personally read a large portion of the posts on steam and elsewhere I can say for certain that most people were in full or partial support of the modders or just plain on the fence, the minority were unfortunately stirring the pot as they do and being general disgraceful human beings.
    12. Nightasy
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      I'm going to end on this note which I worded to another well-known modder.

      I've always modded in the past for myself. I made mods I wanted for me and then shared them for free on the Nexus out of pure charity. Yes, I made the mods for selfish reasons but giving them away for free was just me being nice. I’ve even gone a step further with such charity on multiple occasions by catering those mods I gave away to fit the desires of the community. I don’t even use some of the body types I’ve converted my mods to work with but someone asked me to do it and I did.

      What do we get for being nice? Nothing because nothing was expected as it was entirely an act of charity. We asked for nothing and with the exception of a simple thank you here and there, we got nothing in return. Though for all that charity that we offered and all that free stuff we just gave away, it was not without consequence. We built up and unknowingly supported the mentality that mod developers don't deserve anything and that all mods should be free. This was of course not our intent but that's what we did by releasing our mods out of charity. We are partially to blame for creating this mentality.
    13. Tanesis12
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      I agree with every point you've mentioned. Mod authors do deserve recompense for the time and effort they invest into their projects. Particularly those who incur costs while producing their Mods.

      However I remain neutral becuase from a consumers point of veiw playing a modded Skyrim, or any future Bethesda game, could become an increasingly expensive hobby.

      The money you have lost is much smaller than the overall cost for the consumers once you have taken Valves/Beths cuts out. Beths cut in particular made no sense to me at all, especially as they claimed it would be helping mod authers.

      F.e If I ran £50's worth of mods then £12.50 would see its way to 30 mod authors and £22.50 to Bethesda and the consumer would be £50 + cost of game down.

      Ultimately I think it was an attempt to place a culture of microtransaction mods in place for Beth's next game. The ultimate victims were the Mod authors who faced a quantity of unreasonable, undeserved and, quite frankly, idiotic BS for aspiring to believe they could make money from their hobby.
    14. Nightasy
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      @Tanesis12 - That is looking at the small picture. The reality is that the Purity mod would have generated the mod author over 1000 USD in 5 days alone. You can call that "a quantity of BS" but I call that 1000 USD. I know I could've easily been pulling in a couple hundred bucks a month at the very least.

      The issue isn't the % that the mod authors were getting. The issue is that we had that right stripped from us. We had an opportunity stolen away from us. The majority of people opposed to paid modding weren't even modders. This is like fighting slavery in that we had no choice before but to offer all our mods for free but once we were given an option to make money it then became a matter of having the right to sell mods. Now this is a matter of our legal rights being taken away from us. We were legally being allowed to sell mods and now it has been made illegal to do so once again.

      Nobody fought the matter before because no one suspected that Bethesda would support it. Once Bethesda did show that they supported modders selling their work they opened that door. You can't close that door, you just can't. Just like when slavery was made illegal in the north, you couldn't close that door and now slavery is illegal across the country. People should have the right to get paid for their work. Bethesda supports the modders having a right to choose whether or not they want to offer mods for a payment. This is because Bethesda is comprised of artists and artists believe in other artists having the right to sell their work.

      That is the bare bones of it. This is a fight for artists rights to decide whether or not they want to charge for their work. Art can be free and art can cost money, that's how it should be. That Bethesda and Valve backed off is a shame because they let the fight against artists rights win. They threw modders rights under the bus and didn't stand their ground. That's metaphorically what they did. But freedom of choice wasn't given away over night. It's a matter of fighting for it and I have chosen my side because I am an artist and I believe in artists having rights. We should have the right to chose whether or not we want to sell a mod that we worked hard on and nobody, I MEAN NOBODY, should be allowed to take that right away from us.
    15. ChizFoShiz
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      Stop trying to justify yourselves and your beliefs with this "we did it for you guys, that cut wasn't right" nonsense.

      If that were the issue then it would have been at the forefront of every post, comment and spoken word, but it wasn't.

      Whether that cut was fair or not was a decision to be made by the seller, nothing more and nothing less. Now that 25% is 0%, way to go, what a great renegotiation.

      The system needed tweaking and policy changes, not an angry mob tearing it to the ground.

      If somebody was giving away prints for free and you started seeing their other work in stores would you burn the place down and form a mob to crucify the author? Because that's exactly what happened here.
    16. Frosticus14
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      You can still sell your mods, that right wasnt taken away. Put them up on your own website and charge for them. What was taken away was an easy to use marketplace. You are still welcome to see your art through other avenues just like any artist would.


      I'm not opposed to payed mods, the price just has to be realistic in respect to the game. If the whole game is $50 then most mods should be around $0.25 up to maybe $5 for a massive overhaul with the vast vast vast manority being under $1. Imo
    17. Stormaxel
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      Point of these situations is that no one likes to be told what to do. I personally think both sides of the modding community are being down right selfish. For all of the mod authors out there who believe that endorsements are false. Your right to an extent, but there are others who wholeheartedly love what you do for them. In reality without both sides of the modding community mods would not and could not exist, Why? well its simple if you make a mod and say you hand it out for free, but there are a mass of script bugs in your mod that you didn't know about, well without the AND I QUOTE "Complaining little brats" you may have not seen those errors leading to your mod being forgotten. IF YOU WANT TO QUIT UNTIL SOME CAN PAY GO AHEAD, BUT I TELL YOU THIS, WATCH HOW FAR YOU WILL MAKE IT WITHOUT HELP FROM OTHER MODDERS OR THE COMMUNITY. WE ARE ALL A MASSIVE FAMILY HERE.
    18. Tanesis12
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      Nightasy Sorry you miscontrued my meaning. I was refering by "a quantity of unreasonable, undeserved and, quite frankly, idiotic BS" as to mod consumers towards Mod authors. I was referring to some of the threats made to mod authors for wanting to monetise and I was defending mod authors in general.

      I DO NOT REFUTE THE RIGHT FOR MODDERS TO MONETISE. I do however refute the method Beth chose.

      The oppertunity for outright theft of mods, little protection for the buyers of modded content, Valves nonexistent moderation, no actual professional tech support etc all suggest a bulls*** implimentation that it looked like Beth wanted to take the $$$$ while shouldering none of the responsibilities. I would also suspect that there were would be potential legal difficulties.

      If Beth truelly wanted to allow mod authors the oppertunity to monetise for the good of the larger community then they would have engaged with journalists, they would have had roundtables with experienced parties and generally communicated more. I doubt they should have shrouded everything in NDAs.

      Again I do not refute the right of modders to monetise. I think that the right of modders needs to be explored. More thoroughly though and not in a situation which feels like a cash grab by the developer but within a way that makes the consumer to feel valued and supported.

      I apologise if I came across in an agressive way or you feel that I am against mod authors in general I am not.





    19. WizardlyWerks
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      I do believe the intent of "Give me money for no reason" and "Pay me to do nothing" was aimed at Valves 25%-75% policy not the developers of mods, a good majority of the people here who don't mod and don't put the countless hours into making mods are more than happy to support mod authors. We aren't interested in seeing mod authors removing content or to end they're modding career because of this incident. Hope you decide to come back.
    20. samueladams17
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      This is in response to "Titles such as "Give me Money for No Reason" and "Pay me for doing nothing" really caught me off guard." I just want to point out that as far as I know those two mods were targeted at Valve, not the modders. We do realize that y'all put in quite a bit of effort into mods and do not want y'all to think that everyone thinks y'all don't work hard on your mods. Just wanted to point that out.
    21. Tyerial12
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      as i agree with you but selling mods is not worth peoples time as for examples:

      What if a mod author sold a mod that didnt work with other mods.. oh yeah 24hr refund waiitt. took a week to see it was broken! now im screwed

      or Mod author makes a mod then later down the road stops working on it or charges for each update.. people were selling mods worth more than the game itself.

      Not to mention it would have left the free commnity with crap mods or just mods we didnt need. Not everyone is rich and can afford all the mods in our load order

      Now i do agree giving money to mod authors with a donate button is awesome but forcing us to pay for :it may work: mods its not a wise idea. some people like to try things out for 30days and if they dont like or is broke they can get there refund not 24hrs
    22. Nightasy
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      ...deleted this comment cause I was really drunk when I made it, lol.

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