Paid Mods Arrive, Not with a Bang, but with a Whimper

So this week, Bethesda proudly trumpeted in the arrival of the Bethesda Creation Club, officially launching the Beta access for the program for Fallout 4. There are only a handful of mods available right now, but it should be enough to give us a rough idea of what to expect from the program.

So what is available for purchase? 

2 new armor types (that cannot be modified) (one is Chinese Stealth Armor from Fallout 3, the other is crossover armor from Prey), a modular backpack that offers various in-game buffs, 3 paint jobs for your Pip-Boy, 1 paint job for your power armor, 2 new weapons (pipe version of a shotgun, hand cranked gauss rifle), a furniture pack, and 2 new suits of power armor.

Most of these just magically appear in your inventory or become instantly available to craft via their various means. A couple of them, however, are only available through new quests. The Chinese Stealth Armor, the schematics for the gauss rifle, and both sets of power armor. 

So it's off to a slow start. But it does give some insight into what we should expect as far as values and prices for their paid mod services. Right now, on Steam, you can get 750 Creation Club Credits for $8. Pip-Boy paint jobs are 50 credits a pop. The Power Armor paint job is 100 credits. The new armors very in price from 250 credits for the horse armor (we will get to this in a minute) to 500 credits for the unmoddable Hellfire Power Armor. All of the initial offering comes in at a total of 3000 credits. Coincidentally, you can buy 3000 credits for $25. 

They are going to give everyone 100 credits for "free" to check out the service. But let's be honest here, there are only 2 things you can buy for those 100 credits right now. A paint job for your power armor, or 2 paint jobs for your Pip-Boy. So if you want anything of substance from the service, you're going to have to break out your wallet.

But there are two armor mods we need to talk about. The first is the Hellfire Power Armor. It's modeled after the Enclave's Hellfire armor from Fallout 3. It wasn't in Fallout 4 because the Enclave isn't in Fallout 4. But there is some controversy surrounding this particular mod in the Creation Club. Mainly, this mod is available for free, made by fans, and actually looks better outside of the Creation Club... but only if you're a PC Gamer. Seriously, take a look at this, it's a little nuts and has people worried about the nature of Bethesda's paid mod service.

And then, let's talk about the Horse Armor. When it comes to Bethesda and paid DLC, they will always be the butt of jokes about their Oblivion Horse Armor DLC... literally cosmetic horse armor you paid for for use in The Elder Scrolls 4. One of the power armor get ups they have available for $3 from the Creation Club is a suit of power armor that's been jury rigged with Giddy Up Buttercup toy ponies. Literal Horse Armor. A tongue-in-cheek reference to the past of Bethesda. But I'm going to go out on a rather sturdy limb here and say that this is an incredibly tone-deaf offering by Bethesda that only strengthens resentment from fans toward their paid mod programs (which Bethesda still claims isn't a paid mod program, btw). 

The problem is that it's not funny in the way Bethesda probably hopes that it is. People were literally already making horse armor jokes when Bethesda announced the Club (myself included) and now we are literally receiving affirmation that that's exactly what this program is for. A money grab from Bethesda with minimal effort from the company to squeeze as much life and money out of the same 2 games (Coming to Skyrim in September!) while dragging their heels on the next game that fans want. 

To make all of this even worse, the addition of the Creation Club actually breaks lots of free mods that people have been using for years now in some cases. It changes and forces the mod load order to be done alphabetically instead of however you have them configured. Anyone with significant experience modding Bethesda games knows that the order mods get loaded in can be EXTREMELY important. Mods will stop working, saves can be corrupted, and very bad things happen if you change and mess with the load orders... 

I know for me, I will be incredibly critical of Bethesda's next offering. I will not be pre-ordering it. I will not be purchasing a Season's Pass for DLC without them announcing what all the DLC will be. And I will be avoiding paid mods like the plague. But for any of that to happen, Bethesda has to actually announce a game first. November marks 6 years since the launch of Skyrim, and Bethesda says it is not working on the Elder Scrolls 6 and that the next Elder Scrolls game is still years away. We are waiting. 

Here's a video from a youtuber JuiceHead who bought all of the initial mod offerings to show them off, so you can check them out for yourselves.

** CHOP'S eSPORTS GAME OF THE WEEK **

Man, last week was interesting. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has a really interesting method for covering their games on stage. 70+ players is kind of nuts for one play area. The stage was divided interestingly so that teams could be clustered together. I highly recommend checking it out. And oh man, their trophies are hilarious. Bronze, Silver, and Gold Frying Pans. Brilliant.

This week though, we have the finals of the LCS Summer Split. And we get the matchup we deserve. #1 vs #2. Team SoloMid, who have literally played in every Split Final that has existed in the LCS. Which is nuts. They face off with relative newcomer the Immortals. It's their second year in the LCS. Last year they fell short in the Semi-Finals, this year they get a shot at the big trophy. I can't wait to see this showdown.

Sunday September 3rd @ 3pm - Team SoloMid vs Immortals - Hopefully this will start close to 3pm. See my post from last split complaining about how Riot puts the EU LCS playoffs first...

Coverage options can be found over on the LoLesports website.