During a PC Gaming World Congress conference -- hosted by none other than PC Gamer -- Dean “Rocket” Hall and other developers of renown status were on a panel where they talked about game design, modding, community interaction and more. Easily, one of the more explosive comments of the panel was Hall's mention about DICE releasing mod tools for Battlefield.
PC Gamer tossed up a quick article containing the exchange, which had Hall talking about developers embracing the community and dealing with some of the restrictions of design architecture. The project lead for the highly anticipated DayZ standalone stated that...
“Well, I don’t want to kick SimCity while it’s down, but I suspect that was probably part of the design,” ... “It’s like, I think that if DICE wanted to kill Arma, all they’d need to do is release some modding tools tomorrow. Psh, gone. It always really hurt me when Battlefield 2 was the end in terms of modding, so I’m pretty obviously supportive of the whole modding idea.
First up, the client/server/modder conundrum has been a problem for the team ever since they announced that DayZ would be moving away from the standard setup of Arma II and adopt an MMO server architecture in order to cut down on hackers, which was one of the biggest complaints of the original mod next to all the glitches.
Interestingly enough is that Chris Roberts, the ambassador of PC Master Racedom, churned out a simple solution that RSI is using for Star Citizen to fix the client/server/modder conundrum by drumming up the proposal of private servers being separate from the main persistent server, so everyone gets their cake, frosting and a cherry... and they eat it, too, saying...
“I’m doing it in Star Citizen,” ... “You definitely can mod and you can run your own servers, but if you want to be on the big persistent universe everyone else is on, obviously you can’t mod in that situation, because it wouldn’t work if someone built a battleship that could blow everyone up.”
Circling back around to DICE and Battlefield however – the team previously mentioned that the tools would be too complex for modders, and they wouldn't release mod tools because it would be too complicated for the average modder. Modders = insulted.
I'm sure there are some part-time modders out there who are smarter than the design engineers at DICE, so yeah.
Anyway, DICE later stated that mod tools would foster hacks, and that by releasing the tools hackers would run amok with Frostbite 3. Modders = insulted.
Ultimately, it would have been nice had DICE and EA just been honest with the community: They don't want to pay out the bung hole due to all the licensed middleware used in Frostbite and they're not going to support modding or mod tools or a modding community so long as they can sell gamers the same kind of content that would be produced via mods, but with a price tag. It's the complete opposite mentality that's being used with Arma and Garry's Mod and a ton of other games with strong niche communities.
But, if DICE ever did decide to release mod tools for Battlefield 4, then yeah... Arma would be toast. Can you imagine what DayZ would be like via Frostbite 3?