Recently, Valve introduced the ability to have mod makers put a price on the mods they make. I don't support it. I won't support modders that try to sell me a sword for $2. I won't support those that try to sell me a pack of mods, some of which were free for years, for more than the normal cost of the game itself.

I'm all for supporting mod makers but the way Valve is attempting to do it, is not the right way of going about it. Set up an optional donation button. Make it flashing and have big arrows pointing towards it if you must. Put it on the page for the mod and let the public decide from there if they want to give money to the mod maker. Just make it a proper donation split too with the bulk actually going to the mod maker. As it stands right now, it seems as though 75% of the money doesn't even end up in the mod maker's pocket with Valve's new system.

Let's face it: Valve isn't doing this for the good of the community nor for the advancement of game modifications. They're doing it to make a profit, just like any other company out there.

The only mods that I might consider paying for would be total conversion mods. These would be mods that drastically alter the game so much that it's like playing an entirely new game. Look at Counter-Strike. Look at Team Fortress. Look at Red Orchestra. Look at Dota. Look at Natural Selection. Hell, three of those are now Valve products. Those were all free mods that eventually became paid, full retail releases. That's what should be the case. They grew in popularity as free mods. Their communities grew because nobody had to risk a penny trying out their early releases to see if they were good or not. The good mods flourished. Those community members told their friends and the community and fans grew even more. Loyalty was earned and that loyalty eventually turned into sales. It was all because those fans already enjoyed the previous free work and they figured that they're probably going to enjoy the new and updated work from those creators. They offered up enough in the way of fresh content that people determined it to be a worthwhile investment.

The problem with modern TC mods is the fact that they don't really exist. At least, they don't exist as they used to. Sure, there are a few large mods in the works here and there. There's still Skywind that's supposedly still being worked on. There is the Falskaar mod that adds in over 20 hours of new gameplay! It includes its own storyline quests, new sidequests, new books, new recipes, new weapons, new armor, new spells, a 14 song soundtrack, and even new voice acting from 30 different actors.

That is a FREE mod that you can download right now at the Nexus. This is the kind of content I would even consider paying money for. I'll be damned if I think about spending even a couple of dollars just for a new skin on a sword that nobody besides me will ever actually see in action.

In the past few years, Valve has made the move to cosmetic DLC. And you know what? I'm fine with that for multiplayer games. It makes sense there because others can see your cool gun skin, or your rare character model, or what have you. But putting a price on piecemeal content, much of which is largely unproven in terms of quality or worth, for a single player only game? Haha... you're out of your damn mind!

Yesterday, I believed that monetizing mods like this could potentially lead to seeing more of these great total conversions. I've come to realize that it won't. Why? Look at the engines and tools being offered for free, or nearly free, to aspiring game makers now. There's Unity, Unreal Engine 4, CryEngine, Torque3D, Blender, and even Source 2. If there's a team out there that wants to make something akin to a total conversion with hopes of one day making it big, they have the means to completely bypass the middleman and just jump straight to a full retail release. They can be an Indie studio and self-publish their creations on websites that can be bought for a few bucks. They can even hit up Valve's own (still largely flawed) Steam Greenlight to try releasing through Steam.

At this point in time, there is very little incentive to create total conversion mods like we used to see.

In the short term, the here and now, you get swords and skins for a couple of bucks. You have previously free mods that you now have to pay for. You have a community that is furious at this, directed at a company that should know better given their own history in the industry.

In the short term, you get things like this:

None of this has even touched upon the situations where you have a free mod that depends on another mod that now has a cost associated with it. What happens then? What happens when a game receives an update but the mod you purchased isn't updated and stops working? What happens when someone steals a mod, mod content, or even a mod idea and sells it for cheaper or distributes it for free as their own mod?

The community is mad. They have every right to be mad about this. It's a sleazy move by those parties involved and does nothing to nurture creativity.