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What do you look for in a mod review?

RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,610
This thread is not meant to review any mods. It is also not meant to discuss any specific reviewer. Rather it is meant to find out what people find helpful in a review. What makes one review hold more weight with you than another? What makes you tend to disregard the opinions of one reviewer, while embracing the opinions of another?

I am grateful when someone takes the time to post their impressions of a mod, but sadly, have often been disappointed too find that instead of a review it was really more of a venting session. Too often I have found that a review just highlighted the things the author didn’t personally like about the mod. Then passed judgment on whether it was good or bad based on whether it included content they personally liked. Just not very helpful.

The type of review that I find most helpful offers me information from several perspectives. I really appreciate it if the reviewer is obviously trying to provide information without bias. Especially if the reviewer didn’t find the NPC appealing, but remains respectful of both the modder and those players that may like something different than themselves. Some of the information I personally look for is the following.

General impression about the NPC’s personality. I appreciate it if I can get an idea of whether or not I am likely to enjoy having this NPC in my party.

How strong or weak the NPC might be in their class. This is not as important to me as other points. I find that I can so easily change stats with EEKeeper to better fit my own game that it is rarely a problem for me. Still, I do appreciate its inclusion.

Information about any personal equipment the NPC might have so that I can decide if it fits into how I like to balance my game. Also if the equipment is removable.

The NPC’s alignment and general acceptance of other NPCs who’s alignment/personalities differ from their own.

Are there any quests, personal or otherwise, added to the game with the inclusion of this NPC.

How much dialogue and banter the NPC adds to the game.

If the NPC offers a friendship or romance path for the protagonist or other NPCs.

One of the things that really makes me question the validity of a review is when a reviewer gives a mod a grade like Pass/Fail. When a reviewer does this I get a mental image of a judge bringing his gavel down. This makes me tend to lose respect for the review in general as it says to me that the reviewer is more interested in making a point about what they personally want in their game than giving others helpful information.

Overall, I guess the thing that holds the most weight with me is if the reviewer remains respectful of both the modders hard work and the other players out there who do like the mod. Especially if they didn’t personally like it. I find myself really trying to understand their points if I see that despite the fact that they really didn’t like it, they at least respect the fact that others might.

As with the mods themselves, everyone finds different things helpful in a review. I would very much like to learn about what you find helpful.

JuliusBorisovlolien

Comments

  • Glam_VrockGlam_Vrock Member Posts: 264

    Some of the information I personally look for is the following.

    General impression about the NPC’s personality.

    How strong or weak the NPC might be in their class.

    Information about any personal equipment the NPC might have...

    So do you want a review or a summary? All this info can be (and often is) provided by the modder themselves.

    Ravenslight
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,610
    As much as the reviewer is willing to offer. For example, I have often found helpful bits of information within a review that the mod author hadn’t thought of adding to their readme.

  • HudzyHudzy Member Posts: 290
    I tend to look for a good summary and highlights of any major issues or conflicts with popular mods. After that I'll make my own opinions generally after trying it out myself.

    I guess I find other people's opinions more credible if I've agreed with them in the past about other content, but it's only ever a guide.

    RavenslightSaber83JuliusBorisovlolien
  • Saber83Saber83 Member Posts: 93
  • inethineth Member Posts: 572
    edited July 2016
    For NPC mods, I expect a good review to comment on the quality of the voice set.

    Fan-made voice-overs tend to range from half-decent (like the Tyris Flare mod), to ear-bleeding atrocious.
    Not gonna name examples of the really bad ones here, but they fall into two categories:
    • Sloppily cut from a movie or similar:
      When every time the character opens their mouth it sounds like someone pressed Play on a radio, and you're bombarded with background music/noises almost drowning out the voice, only to abruptly return to silence once the character has finished their sentence.
    • Recorded by an amateur with no guidance/experience, and poor equipment:
    • As evident by static noise, large variations in volume, and lack of clear enunciation (especially the ends of words/sentences being unintelligible).
    While it may seem harsh to criticize volunteers who put in effort to make voice-sets for mod characters, it really does limit my enjoyment of the game when it's bad (I'd rather have no voice-over than a bad one), so I'd like to know before installing a mod.

    mf2112smeagolheart
  • smeagolheartsmeagolheart Member Posts: 7,311
    ineth said:

    For NPC mods, I expect a good review to comment on the quality of the voice set.

    Fan-made voice-overs tend to range from half-decent (like the Tyris Flare mod), to ear-bleeding atrocious.
    Not gonna name examples of the really bad ones here, but they fall into two categories:

    • Sloppily cut from a movie or similar:
      When every time the character opens their mouth it sounds like someone pressed Play on a radio, and you're bombarded with background music/noises almost drowning out the voice, only to abruptly return to silence once the character has finished their sentence.
    • Recorded by an amateur with no guidance/experience, and poor equipment:
    • As evident by static noise, large variations in volume, and lack of clear enunciation (especially the ends of words/sentences being unintelligible).
    While it may seem harsh to criticize volunteers who put in effort to make voice-sets for mod characters, it really does limit my enjoyment of the game when it's bad (I'd rather have no voice-over than a bad one), so I'd like to know before installing a mod.
    Things like this is why I often avoid all NPC mods. Seems that finding one that blends in without issues like that or similar is really tough.

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