If you play an MMO, chances are you play it with mods. Heck, my World of Warcraft experience consisted of using upwards of twenty mods at one time. We all have our reasons: boss encounters, custom user interfaces, we hate how the in-game clock looks. But if you play PlanetSide 2, the free-to-play MMOFPS from Sony Online Entertainment, you're never going to be using a mod. Ever. Today, Sony took to their forums to explain their (somewhat) strict policy.
Here's what Sony had to say:
"It is vital that you not run software which modifies the Planetside 2 client in any way. If you do this, you are indistinguishable from various hacks that work in the same manner. The result of this is that you will be banned from gameplay and lose your characters/items.
We cannot make exceptions to this. We do understand there are relatively harmless apps that fall in this category, but if we allowed those they would simply be used as a shield excuse by players trying to cheat. This same rule applies to data that Planetside 2 uses for gameplay. Do not modify any of these files or attempt to modify them in memory.
There are some applications that modify the windows or directx environment without changing the client. These may also result in suspensions unless we specifically exempt them and declare them ok to use.
The most simple guidance here is do not use third party programs which change the Planetside 2 gameplay in any way unless it has been specifically cleared by SOE.
The above does not apply to user initiated *.INI changes, those are allowed, although setting your own options incorrectly can result in bugs."
So what does all this mean? They don't want cheaters, nor do they want security risks. This is the best way they can ensure a safe and fair environment, even though it means not having beneficial in-game mods.
Sony clarified the issue of overlay programs as well:
"As a clarification, since some players have asked, Mumble, Teamspeak, Fraps, and of course Steam, which all use overlays, are expressly allowed. Having an overlay to display information to the user not related to Planetside 2 itself is fine."
How this will effect the Planetside community remains to be seen, but at least we know that SOE is attempting to keep this free-to-play title free of cheaters.