Statement on Modpacks

It seems our community is dealing with another controversial topic: modpacks. This is thanks to tools such as Automaton and Wabbajack, as well as Patreon accounts that are selling modpacks. As a mod user as well as an author I understand the frustration of spending numerous hours selecting, downloading, and then dealing with mod conflicts before I can enjoy playing a game. It requires learning sometimes less than user friendly tools which can be very intimidating. I understand the allure of modpacks, particularly automated modpacks as a nice easy button to modding your game. As a mod author I'd like to tell you a bit about it from our perspective.

One of the things that rewards us most about modding (beyond the challenge of learning new things and creating) is our interactions with the mod's users. We love hearing about how our work made your game better. We love seeing screenshots and videos of how you used it. We appreciate feedback about bugs so that we can improve it and make it even better. We even like the requests for things we haven't thought of. In short our interactions with you all inspire us, motivate us, and make us happy. The unfortunate downside to modpacks is that we lose that. We become anonymous cogs in a sweatshop providing content and the only people getting any recognition (and sometimes very large amounts of money) are the people who compiled the mod pack rather than the people actually creating the content.

There are also technical problems with modpacks that anyone can create. There is no quality control, no way of knowing if the mods chosen will actually work together. If they don't and a user thinks they know what mod is causing a problem we get the blame (often unfairly), not the modpack creator. This is unfair as an entirely different mod that may break precombines, for example, can cause an unrelated mod to behave in unexpected ways. You may also have no recourse for fixing the problem with modpacks.

Beyond lack of quality with modpacks that aren't curated, there are other issues. We may have information on our mod page that is critical to proper use and enjoyment of our mod. If you've used a tool like Automaton/Wabbajack to bypass our modpage entirely then you never get that information and there's no guarantee that the modpack creator is going to pass along critical information on 100+ mods in their pack. As another example, uninstalling a mod without scrapping powered objects first will potentially break your save game files. Even if users of Automaton/Wabbajack are not premium Nexus users and thus have to manually download each file, they're more likely to skip reading the details, grab the file they're told to and run with it because they're trusting a recipe.

Finally, the single most upsetting part of this whole thing is that certain Patreon users are making thousands of dollars a month selling other people's content as mod packs. Some of them are illegally bundling the actual mod files, others are using tools like Automaton/Wabbajack which does at least get the download from our modpage on Nexus legitimately. But this is essentially making use of a legal loophole to make money on the content created by others. When you use a tool like Automaton/Wabbajack and/or put our mod in a list on Patreon you take away the majority of the things we get from modding, our main source of inspiration and motivation, and then you get paid for our hard work on top of it and it's the final insult to us.

Therefore, at this time we officially forbid the use of our mods in modpacks that are monetized by Patreon or any other methods indefinitely. We also forbid the use of our mods in any mod pack designed to be used with tools such as Automaton and Wabbajack since it makes it possible for users to bypass our mod page. Ultimately we want our content to always be available for free to all users.

Nexus has plans for curated modpacks that may possibly address some of our concerns. If the Nexus model seems like a reasonable compromise to us of providing the convenience of modpacks to our users while also addressing at least some of our concerns we may allow the use of our mods in Nexus modpacks in the future. However as of this time, September 2019, Nexus has refused to consider inclusion of a means of opting out of automated mod pack downloads. Therefore we have chosen to opt out of Nexus entirely. We will no longer have our mods available on Nexus, they will only be available on