BioWare’s upcoming collection of Mass Effect remasters, Mass Effect Legendary Edition, is unlikely to support the majority of existing mods that were developed for the original trilogy. That’s according to ME3Explorer and ME3Tweaks Mod Manager author Mgamerz, who published a blog post yesterday elaborating on the technical reasons behind the incompatibility and why package file based mods will not work with the remastered versions of the games. ME3Explorer is a premiere modding utility that was used to develop some of the most popular mods, such as BackOff, CEM, Expanded Galaxy Mod, MEHEM, JAM, and ThaneMOD.
“Our files are tied to certain engine versions of BioWare’s fork of Unreal Engine 3,” Mgamerz explained. “On top of this, each game in the trilogy is on a different build of Unreal Engine 3 with more and more BioWare changes on top, and that spans 5 years of engine development by Epic Games as well. Unless BioWare changes absolutely nothing in their game, things will not work.”
“Complicating matters is that while our modding tools have improved greatly recently, many mods were built with older, buggier tools, and it is more a bug that they actually work in the game, rather than them actually being properly supported. Many of my older mods even have issues, but the game somehow still works with them.”
Mgamerz goes on to confirm that he nor anyone else in the toolset development group has been contacted by BioWare despite project director Mac Walters’ claims that the studio has been in touch with the modding community to update them on changes that will impact existing mods. This has raised some serious concerns, as Walters may have inadvertently promised Mass Effect fans something that neither party can deliver on.
“I do feel that there is an expectation of modding Legendary Edition that is not actually based in reality, and it’s going to cause issues if the game turns out to not be so easy to work with,” Mgamerz cautioned. “End users will blame both us, the tool developers, and BioWare, as they feel they were mislead.”
“They will also blame mod developers because BioWare’s statements made them think this was easy – we have users already come for assistance asking why these games are not easy to mod like Skyrim.”
We’ve have been in touch with a few in the modding community to learn how best to a) update everyone on changes that will impact existing mods, and b) set the modding community up for success going forward. It’s ongoing, and we’ll discuss in more detail by launch.— Mac Walters (@macwalterslives) February 4, 2021