...i really hate to ask but...that game of your sounds awesome could you possibly post the links to those survival mods you have?
I wonder why the coders weren't able of doing such stuff with previous GTAs, that they do now with GTA IV, also there are very few games or engines that allow complex modding(more than changing models,textures and maps), and also some of best mods I've ever tried tweak gaemplay to make an awesome game a godlike, for example "Cinema mod" or "Max Paynelich"(which became lost long years ago and nobody ever found it again,possibly it's host failed and the modder didn't notice) for max payne 2(almost no gameplay tweaking required) or "Kin' edition 2008" for Soldier of fortune 2 Double Heli(because just wielding 2 differrent guns and shooting invisible predators that throw grenades at you in a game with best gore ever is FTEW). also it's shame only few games get total conversions. Complete graphical revamp as in case of HL2 cinema mod are also ocurring way too seldomly. Also it's shame that total makeovers take so many years to develop, to such extent that total conversions of MP2 are being released now. Also "Black Mesa" mod upgrading HL1 onto source engine didn't get out yet. I wonder if we're ever getting a nightvision mod for GTA IV, because these games usually only get minor improvements than complete new game-altering features.(all that mods and trainers mostly use stuff that already was in the game).
That's my problem with Bethesda. Set aside the moddig for a sec, and let's look at the mods the game designers made for the game, namely the DLCs. They made some great mods for F3, that are full of potential but ultimately fail to deliver. Sure, we get new surroundings, new weapons and other stuff, a new bit of story, but when you finish a given DLC, there is no reason to go back.
Major case in point: Mothership Zeta
I just played through the DLC, only to find...
...it was a waste of time. Sure, the new funky alien weapons and stuff is great, but there is nothing else in there.
Sadly, this goes for all the DLCs. Once you finish them, it's like they've never existed, and only some of the new stuff rotting in your locker reminds you of them (because most of the stuff you find in DLCs are also useless compared to what you already have if you finished F3 beforhand).
Threre are no new gameplay elements, nothing to extend sandbox play once you are finished with the quests. Once you beat the game, the stuff from the DLCs does nothing. New shiny armors and killer weapons, for what? There is no one left to defeat, no one left do defend against, and roaming the wasteland quickly becomes boring.
I always wanted to be a trader in F3, start my own caravan, going from settlement to settlement selling stuff, just like the in-game ones, or start a trading post and create Bartertown from Mad Max 3. Without the mods, I couldn't do either of them.
What I'm saying is, the game designers, who are familiar with the game, could do all this safely in a matter of days, unlike the modders who need months to create a buggy mod that may or may not work or crash the game so bad it needs reinstall. It should be game designers making these mods, not the players.
Bethesda seems to think they're making console games, what with their insistence on console UIs and the like, but their games really are unplayable without mods, which means that PC is the only way to go.
Also, Half life mods are pretty awesome, which you can't get on console (Just about the only time buying someone something I knew they already had has got me such massive thanks)
Morrowind is still one of my favorite games ever, but only because of mods. Although it's old, and it shows, that also means that it has a pretty big back catalogue, and the really massive projects are coming of age. (Mainland morrowind, anyone?)
Also, don't think the wasteland in fallout 3 is big enough? get the global travel system and relive the fallout 2 days but traveling across the entire world, with new areas in their own separate worlds. (not many mods for it yet, but I'm sure more will arrive)
I have never actually been a fan of modding games. Seemed to me that if a game couldn't stand on its own two legs, that was it. I am also one of the few people it seems, who enjoyed Oblivion without any kinds of mods. Fallout 3 however relied a bit too much on the kill'emall kill'emall kill'emall and didn't really tap into that vast potential. All the NPCs go about how hard it is to get by while I chug 10 stimpaks to deal with the itch on my finger. Your article convinced me, or at the very least made me interested in seeing how Fallout 3 would have been with focus on actually surviving. I will try this!