Battlefield 3 Mod Tools Petition
To: EA Digital Illusions CE
tl;dr: Battlefield has always been about mods (Battlefield 2 came from a mod). There are many great Battlefield 2 mods out there with many players. Unfortunately, DICE seems to imply that mod tools are unlikely or will be very disappointing. If you want mod tools, or at least mod support, in Battlefield 3, sign the petition.
In a recent interview with AusGamers (8/29/11), Karl-Magnus said that they are not ignoring the plea for mod tools, but they need to decide what to focus on as they cannot do everything. He went on to say that Battlefield 3 will definitively not ship with mod tools, but they are "thinking about it".
What worries me about this approach is that they can simply wait a while after release while we hold onto this hope and then after we have all gone out and purchased Battlefield 3, they can simply drop that they have decided to move their resources onto the next title.
Even if mod tools are not viable for DICE, at the very least least they could build mod support into the game so that the modding community can develop their own tools.
Be sure to continue to spread this petition (especially on twitter, maybe even send it to DICE), release is only a little under two months away!
Since Battlefield 1942, Battlefield has always been about not only the core game, but also modding. Probably the most famous mod in Battlefield history was Desert Combat. Desert Combat converted Battlefield 1942 into a modern military shooter with the same mechanics of 1942. Instead of driving a Sherman you could drive an Abrams. Arguably without this mod, Battlefield 2 would not have existed, at least in its current form. The Desert Combat team, also known as Trauma Studios, was bought by DICE and helped work on Battlefield 2.
Battlefield 2, arguably the last game in the spirit of what is known as Battlefield (other than 2142), was just as successful with modding as was its predecessor. These mods ranged from casual and creative mods such as Sandbox and Allied Intent Xtended to more serious and hardcore mods like Project Reality.
-Sandbox allows for the creation of structures and other objects using statics from Battlefield along with some others.
-Allied intent adds completely new content such as new vehicles and weapons some of which are over the top, but fun to use (I am looking at you minigun!)
-Project Reality transforms Battlefield 2 into a game that is as realistic as possible and as such is HEAVILY teamwork oriented, even more so than the original Battlefield 2. It is probably the most active Battlefield 2 mod (at the time of this writing has currently 400 people playing) and is still updated regularly with new content.
Not only do mods increase a game's replayability, they also increase sales. Instead of being restricted to the gameplay of the original game, players can download a mod that is more interesting to them. Many people have purchased Battlefield 2 for the mods, especially for Project Reality. We can also look at Valve and their success with mods. Two of their most popular games were once mods (The Team Fortress Series, and Counter-Strike series).
Now on to Battlefield 3. clearly everyone agrees that a sequel should live up to its predecessor and improve upon it while also maintaining its core mechanics. Thus Battlefield 3 should continue support for the modding community. Neglecting this, it is hard to see what truly makes Battlefield 3, given what we already know, deserving of the title "battlefield". Without modding, it cannot be. If Battlefield 3 truly wants to be a Call of Duty killer, it needs to have mod support. Even Black Ops is getting mod tools soon.
Currently DICE has only told us (through Game Informer and twitter) that there will be no mod tools at release and it sounds like it will be unlikely to get them at all because of the complexity of Frostbite 2.0 (AKA DLC). They have also said that they will not be coming in the same way as they did with Battlefield 2.
If Battlefield 3 lacks mod tools it will not only mean lost sales, but more importantly fan loyalty. Even ~5 years later after Battlefield 2's release it is still played and loved by many, a great proportion of which play for the mods as well as the core game. This proves that to the many Battlefield fans, it is not merely just about the game itself, but also the replayability that comes from the modding.