This article covers the most basic information about ThaneMOD. Things like scope, purpose, development approach, compatibility, and information about localizations. There’s also a few details about what options console players have when it comes to experiencing ThaneMOD’s content.
ThaneMOD is an immersive overhaul to Thane Krios’ character in Mass Effect 3.
It seeks to:
- Provide players with a realistic, fully player-controlled option that determines whether Thane will appear during Priority: Citadel II (the coup)
- Create more consistent characterization of Thane that aligns with the player’s choices and experiences in ME2
- Insert a player-controlled option for a true romance with Thane, locking out other love interests and awarding the paramour achievement
- Fix all bugs related to Thane, Kolyat, Bailey, and hanar/drell content in ME3
- Provide a more satisfying end to Thane’s story that all players can experience (not just those with Citadel DLC), in the case of his death
- Implement epilogue content that properly reflects Thane’s fate
- Outfit Thane and Kolyat with UHD textures
For players who want to use it, the optional ThaneMOD Lore DLC module will also build an enormous amount of new, lore-friendly content into the game. For details, see “Coming in ThaneMOD v3.0” (forthcoming).
To give Thane’s character the treatment he deserved and to provide Mass Effect fans with a choice.
BioWare RPGs are based upon the concept of player choice. Certainly not an infinite number of choices, but the ability of the player to direct the course of the story as it is offered within a specific framework. Within the Mass Effect series, Mass Effect 3 was the only title which required the death of a specific squadmate (two, actually), both recruited in Mass Effect 2: Legion and Thane Krios. The original Mass Effect also required the death of a squadmate, but the player could determine which from a selection of two choices (Kaidan Alenko or Ashley Williams). Even this “illusion of choice” was valuable, both in a role-playing sense and in the context of the player having some say as to whether Shepard’s love interest met their demise.
Mass Effect 2 lacked any required squadmate deaths whatsoever. While the player was constantly reminded they were on a “suicide mission,” it was relatively easy to ensure not a single squadmate died during the assault on the Collector Base.
The tables were turned in Mass Effect 3. The player had no say in the death of either Legion or Thane Krios. It was a rude awakening for players who began the series with Mass Effect 2, and even more so for those who had chosen Thane Krios as Shepard’s love interest. Many players who wanted the option for a “happy ending” were disappointed, and their disappointment was two-fold. Thane was not only required to perish, but was removed as a love interest entirely. These players could experience a tragic or bittersweet ending for Thane, but a happy one was not an option. Compounded by the ME3 ending debacle, many were left with an incredibly unsatisfying conclusion to the trilogy.
Development of ThaneMOD adheres to a specific set of priorities. All components of the mod are conceived and constructed with these goals in mind.
Discussions with the community continues to indicate it’s important ThaneMOD’s features are implemented in a way that maintains maximum immersion. This means:
- Sticking to established lore as much as possible
- Minimizing the creation of new lore or ensuring new lore is optional
- Avoiding “expanded” lore external to the games proper, that not all players will experience
- Differentiating content by romance status and in-game decisions
- Following existing in-game stylistic and technical conventions
- Using dialogue recorded by the original voice actors
- Adhering to a high standard of quality
One primary goal of ThaneMOD is to create more consistent characterization of Thane across games. This is especially difficult due to the seven different relationship experiences Thane can have with Shepard in ME2:
- Unloyal and semi-friendly (incomplete loyalty mission)
- Unloyal and hostile (failed loyalty mission)
- Loyal and friendly (successful loyalty mission)
- Fully romanced (requires loyalty; sexual relationship)
- Non-fully romanced (requires loyalty; non-sexual relationship)
- Amicable breakup (requires loyalty; may or may not be sexual)
- Hostile breakup (requires loyalty; may or may not be sexual)
Each relationship is quite different. Some dramatically so. Yet, vanilla ME3 contains almost no variation to account for these differences. All seven play out almost identically in game.
ThaneMOD seeks to edit and add a variety of content to ME3 to compensate for this failing. To do this successfully, is a challenge. The safest way to ensure content is immersive is to avoid falling into “headcanon” and follow Thane’s ME2 content as literally as possible.
Thane was one of the poster-children of ME2. BioWare designed an entirely new race we hadn’t seen in the original Mass Effect: the drell. They created an rich backstory for both Thane and his people. They assigned Thane a unique combination of combat abilities and made him an ideal love interest for female Shepard. The writers even inserted two loopholes into his ME2 story that could have saved his life.
BioWare then proceeded to kill Thane in ME3 and ignore the drell race almost entirely.
For this reason, another priority for ThaneMOD is to provide Thane the same type and depth of story and romance content as other, less neglected ME2 squadmates. Miranda, for example. Not to provide him more, but to create a level playing field. ThaneMOD attempts to do this in the most lore-centric way possible, by following conventions established in both ME2 and ME3.
ThaneMOD is compatible with all ME3 DLC. Users should be aware that all Citadel DLC content is contingent upon Thane’s death, therefore, when Thane survives via ThaneMOD none of this content will be triggered.
ThaneMOD is a large, complex mod. Due to this, it is very likely to conflict with other story-based or gameplay-enhancing mods for ME3. Version 3.0 of the mod will be accompanied by an online resource that clarifies intermod compatibility and required patches, similar to what’s available for one of my other mods, BackOff.
ThaneMOD is available for International versions of ME3, only. This is an English language localization that uses the “_INT” suffix on the TLK file and various PCC files.
ThaneMOD is an extremely dialogue-heavy mod. Due to the time and labor required, other localizations will not be released as part of the main mod. I am, however, open to extending permission for others to create localizations. Modders interested in this should see the For Modders (forthcoming) part of the site.
ThaneMOD’s changes are unfortunately confined to PC versions of the game. Console players should take advantage of the Spoilers section of the website and the ThaneMOD YouTube channel.