I might be a little late in posting but how can I pass up when I see cyberion posting about modding at the start of this thread. I too was one of the modders for the excelcia freelancer mod back in the day; that was right at the start of freelancer modding when people were still figuring out what could be done to the game. The previous server we had been on and abandoned to found excelcia was one of many freelancer servers that turned to crap (again to make clear, it was the server we played on before excelcia that was crap, not excelcia that I’m calling crap).
Unfortunately many people believe that a great ship is one with invincible stats and not one that looks good with balanced stats. I've seen many ships which people spend a couple minutes on the model and give it super stats and call it done. As a result everyone is forced to fly that one ship to stay on level ground with other players, and you’re stuck seeing pieces of crap flying around the server. Albeit this has more effect on multiplayer then single player experiences.
Then you see mod’s where people take ships from every sci-fi venue they can find and mash it together, again in my opinion crap mods which you see often. Let’s go kill some tie fighters in my starship enterprise…
I will grant there were some decent full conversions of games. Also I think we did a decent job on excelcia as an extension of freelancer and making things fit in with the original themes.
So my two cents is I will side with both sides. A carton of eggs can have some good and some bad eggs. The only way to be sure is to open the carton up and look before you buy. So I am fine with the modding tools to be released on a case by case basis with people prostrating before the Pioneer team for rights. Although for single player I wouldn’t mind being able to throw that danrik model I made back in the day in just for the sake of nostalgia, but I would just do that for my own enjoyment to see it fly again, not for marketing out as a great mod, my models would look like crap next to howards.
As for the talk about tools before the game is released…
Just to spite people, release the mod tools first then wait 3 years to release the game / joke