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The OpenMW team is incredibly proud to announce the release of version 0.22.0! Release packages for Ubuntu are now available via our Launchpad PPA and for Debian in our Debian PPA. Release packages for other platforms are available on our Download page. This release introduces the long awaited animation feature, many thanks to everyone on the team who has worked to bring this to fruition. Another major feature implemented in this release is support for loading multiple ESM and ESP files. Prepare to travel to Mournhold, Bloodmoon, and beyond into Tamriel Rebuilt and other mods. Other features include the "Dispose of Corpse" button, lights that are more faithful to classic Morrowind, and working active spell icons. The bug fix list for this release is quite extensive, see below.
PLEASE NOTE: Starting with this release, you must run the ini importer at least once! This can be done automatically through the launcher.
- Extreme shaking may occur during cell transitions for some users (enable anti-aliasing as a possible workaround)
- Launcher crash on OS X < 10.8
- Polish version of Morrowind.esm makes OpenMW crash
Check out the release video by the inexorable WeirdSexy.
- Implemented Active Spell Icons
- Implemented walking, running, and swimming animation
- Implemented support for ESPs and multiple ESMs
- Implemented proper collision shapes for NPCs and creatures
- Implemented lights that behave more like vanilla Morrowind
- Implemented importing BSA files as part of the settings imported by the config importer
- Implemented zoom in vanity mode
- Implemented potion/ingredient effect stacking
- Implemented object movement between cells
- Implemented closing message boxes by pressing the activation key
- Implemented random persuasion responses
- Implemented closing message boxes when enter is pressed
- Use rendered object shape for physics raycasts
- Improved the race selection preview camera
- Class and Birthsign menus options are now preselected
- Disabled dialog window until character creation is finished
- Decoupled water animation speed from timescale
- Changed underwater rendering to more closely resemble vanilla Morrowind
- Hid potion effects until discovered
- Finished class selection-dialogue
- Re-factored Launcher ESX selector into a re-usable component
- Various fixes and implementations for the script compiler
- Fix for a keyboard repeat rate issue
- Fix for errant character outline on water in 3rd person
- Fix for duplicate player collision model at origin
- Fix for dialogue list jumping when a topic is clicked
- Fix to prevent attributes/skills going below zero
- Fix for global variables of type short being read incorrectly
- Fix for collision and tooltip on invisible meshes
- Fix for CG showing in Options when it is not available
- Fix for crash when Alt-tabbing with the console open
- Fix for pick up sound playing when object cannot be picked up
- Fix for moving left or right canceling auto-move
- Fix for gender being swapped (woops!)
- Fix for footless guards
- Fix for waterfalls not rendering at a certain distance
- Fix for crash in "Mournhold, Royal Palace"
- Fix for not finding non-DDS textures
- Fix for some meshes being invisible from above water in Bloodmoon
- Fix for Messagebox causing assert to fail
- Fixes for Launcher file path selection
- Fixes for missing/incorrect UI graphical elements
- Fixes for various transparency rendering issues
- Fixes fo various character generation UI issues
- Fixes for config import in Launcher
- Fixes for various new issues discovered when handling mod content
- Various code cleanup
*Official Youtube Channel*
*For New Developers*
An extremely underused feature on the Nexus file pages is the “Discussions” tab, which allows authors and users (provided the author allows it) to create different threads for different parts of conversation to do with the file. When you have a large mod that gets hundreds of new messages a day it can often be difficult to keep up with what’s going on within your single comment topic. Bug reports, feedback, suggestions, troubleshooting and general chit-chat get all mixed up in a big soup of one large mega thread where anything and everything is spoken about and large amounts of cross-talking takes place. With discussions you can create separate threads for these issues and then, hopefully, people will use the thread most relevant to what they want to talk about on your file.
I hope the new reply mechanics are helping you to keep up with the amount of cross-talking going on, but discussions are also there for mod authors to make use of that help to segregate their chats into more concise areas. Unfortunately because using the single comment topic is so ingrained in what people do on the Nexus sites a very large proportion of people completely ignore the discussions area, or worse, don’t know about it.
I know lots of mod authors like having a single comment topic where everything is placed and nothing has changed for you folks. In fact if you don’t care about discussions you can stop reading now and get on with your merry business. But what we have done is provided some options when you make your file page for how you would like your comments to be setup. You can now choose to have a comment topic and no discussions area, a comment topic and a discussion area, just a discussions area and no comment topic, or no comments at all. How is this different you ask? Well before we didn’t let you have a discussion area without a comment topic as well; so you couldn’t force your users to use your discussion area and split your discussions up into more manageable chunks. The problem was then that everyone would just talk in the single comment topic and ignore the discussions. By turning off the single comment topic you can force people to use the discussions instead if you so wish.
You can still choose whether you want to let users make their own topics or you can choose to setup your own topics and not allow others to make one, so you can control the flow of what people talk about more easily. You can also lock, sticky and delete any of your threads, providing you with even more control. Why is this helpful? Well, you can setup your threads so you have a “Bug Reports”, “Troubleshooting” and “Feedback” section and then direct people to the correct thread for the topic being discussed.
If you want to remove your comment topic and make use of your discussion area on a mod you’ve already uploaded you’ll find a new setting in your file attributes page that lets you turn off your comment topic, essentially providing you with the same functionality.
While we were hoping we could give each mod its own private forum category on the Nexus forums after further investigation and research we worked out we couldn’t do this as past around 5,000 forum categories things kind of die, and with over 90,000 files hosted on the sites now it won’t be possible to achieve.
We’ll be taking a short break for easter now (happy easter) and then we’ll get back into the swing of things with a design update to the category and search result pages, NMM profiling and a move to our new database server cluster. Fingers crossed.
We’ve released a bug fix edition of NMM, taking us to version 0.44.4. Here’s the change log:
1. New Feature: The ReadMeManager now supports PDF files.
2. Bugfix: ReadMe Manager preventing .txt files from being installed in mod folders. (This fixes the installation of mods like Fores New Idles)
3. Bugfix: Rare crash while deleting a mod in CategoryView.
4. Bugfix: Omod script interpreter.
5. Bugfix: Users were able to set Mods and Install Info as the same folder.
6. Bugfix: NMM crashing with a corrupt ReadMeManager.xml file.
7. Bugfix: NMM using the wrong game path after a game rescan.
8. Bugfix: LoadOrder export using the wrong plugin list.
You can download the update through NMM or by downloading and installing manually through the NMM download page.
Unfortunately earlier today we found out that some of our file servers had been hacked, replacing manual (not NMM) downloads with a malicious installer that contained malware. This hack was targeted as the hacker deliberately named the file “Nexus_Downloader.exe” to try and snag as many people as possible. While I haven’t tried to run it myself it seems to be a scam malware that sends the user to a fake FBI page informing the user they must pay must in order to unlock their system. To make it worse only 4 of the 20 main anti-virus programs people use flagged this as a virus. It’s obviously a relatively new one that most haven’t caught up with, and this might have caught a few of you off guard.
As soon as we found out about the breach we had the servers down and patched up within minutes and we’ve been working today further hardening our servers and shutting down the method used by the hacker to gain access.
There’s a few things to take away from this. First of all I’m sorry that this has happened to some of you. You clearly trust us to provide you with a safe and secure modding experience and we got caught with our pants on our heads. While this won’t help you now, can I give you some advice? Don’t trust anything, any site, or any person fully on the internet. Be suspicious of everything. If you’ve tried to download a fluffy sheep mod that says it’s 50mb in size for Skyrim and instead been given a file called “Nexus_Downloader.exe” that’s 100kb in size...be suspicious. We’d never do something like that, especially without letting you know first. These sorts of things can happen to any site out there (just look at the past hacking’s of Sony, Valve/Steam...even Bethesda got hacked) and having an anti-virus, firewall and malware protection won’t keep you 100% safe. Nothing will. But try and be perceptive and don’t let your guard down.
We can’t guarantee your safety 100% when browsing and downloading from the Nexus. No other site can offer you that guarantee either. What I can guarantee you is that we work hard to try and make the experience as safe and secure as possible, and we work even harder when we know we’ve been breached, often without sleep.
Never be afraid to report suspicious activity either by others or by the sites themselves on the forums or to the staff.
We’ve been knocking out tiny updates and tweaks to the site since we changed the design around a bit a week or so ago. These updates tend to be small enough to not warrant a news post, but when they build up enough I like to smash them all out in a news post in one big list. But before we do that let's get NMM out of the way.
We released NMM 0.44.3 last Friday that contains some more bug fixes and some minor feature changes. Here’s the list:
1. New Feature: NMM will now prevent ReadMe files from being extracted in the mod folder (thus only installing them in the ReadMe Manager), you can set this behaviour on/off in the Settings menu (Default on).
2. New Feature: The user can now select the game mode by double-clicking on it.
3. Bugfix: Mods failing to deactivate on upgrade.
4. Bugfix: Category view failing to update after mod rename.
5. Bugfix: Mod list not re-sorting after mod/category name change.
6. Bugfix: NMM mods startup scan searching in the readme folder (causing some duplicate entries in the mod list).
7. Bugfix: NMM crashing when another instance of the program is already running.
8. Bugfix: "Yes to All" not working as intended.
9. Bugfix: Some OMOD crashes (comment lines and "misplaced" curly brackets).
We’ll continue to drill out some bug fixes in coming updates, and the next major feature we’re working towards is mod profiles; the ability to have different modding profiles for your games so you can have different mods installed and running in your games for different saves/instances. We don’t want to introduce a DLL hack to do this, though, so we’re exploring other ways of doing this with NMM so we can get profiling in every game NMM supports. We then hope to further expand on that functionality so you can share these profile setups with others on the Nexus sites, like Steam Workshop Collections, but done slightly differently. That’s the plan, anyway.
As always you can get the latest version of NMM from the download page
And now the site updates:
1. The arrow next to your account information in the top right corner is now clickable so as to be less confusing.
2. Changed the search button so it highlights the textfield, bringing the search functionality back to a one-click process.
3. Added the ability for advanced search options in the filename field, including using quotes to group words, the “OR” operator and the “-” operator. Instructions on this functionality can be found on this wiki page.
4. If you have tracked a file the wording will change from “Track” to “Un-track”. If you have endorsed a file the wording will change from “Endorse” to “Unendorse”.
5. Fixed an issue with the vote, track and endorse buttons being a bit temperamental and sometimes not working.
6. If you have not voted for a file this month the vote button will be green. If you have voted for the file you are looking at the button will be orange. If you have voted for a mod, but not the mod you’re currently looking at, the vote button will be yellow.
7. Added a confirmation popup for voting to let you know you’ve already voted for a file this month, that you can only vote for one file in a month, and if you vote for the current file you’re looking at then your previous vote will be removed.
8. Adult-only files are now eligible for the hot files, provided the user has turned adult-only content viewing options on.
9. Added a “reply” link to every reply to a comment so that you don’t have to scroll up to the original comment in order to reply (replying to a reply is just treated as a reply to the original comment, however, and there’s no added nesting).
10. Replying to a comment will now bump the comment (and replies) to the top of the comments. If you don’t like this functionality you can turn it off in your preferences under “Replies to posts bump the original post”.
11. We have reduced the wait time between downloading a mod and endorsing a mod from 3 hours to 15 minutes.
12. The “Download with NMM” button no longer shows in the file header if a file has more than 1 main file. The user will have to go to the “files” tab and choose which file they want to download.
If you’re reading this from a Nexus site then you’re reading it from our updated design. Before I go into explaining a few of the changes just a quick note that we’ve changed our imagemap, so if some images look out of place or things look like they’re in the wrong place you might want to refresh your browser cache for the site. Easiest way to do this is to press CTRL+F5 (a hard refresh). If that doesn’t fix it then try again. And again. If it’s still broken after that it’s either us, or not “broken” and you just think it looks wrong.
As promised I’ve made some changes to the layout that aren’t too different from the original. So, far from being an overhaul, it’s more an update to the original design. Right now we’ve made changes to the headers of all the Nexus sites and to the file page layout. We’ve got a few more page layout changes in the works, and next will be the category/search result page, but right now lets run through the current changes.
As mentioned the header has changed. The search, messages, notifications and account options are all accessible from the top bar now and we’ve removed the need for the originally (relatively garish) coloured bar, thus saving a few pixels in height in the process. Clicking the search button will produce a bubble box for you to do a quick search, and we’ve also made it more obvious that we have an advanced search as well. One thing that really surprises me from doing the internet rounds is that lots of people still don’t know we have an advanced search feature to really drill-down into what you’re looking for.
We’ve changed our logo area a bit; each site is labelled as Nexus Mods and the name of the game is listed below it. This is going to fit in to our future plans a bit more, so this change is more a change for the future rather than a necessary change right now. The normal navigation is still in-tact from the original design, no changes there, so you shouldn’t get lost.
The file page changes are slightly more substantial.
Probably the most notable change we’ve made is adding a file header background image that mod authors can create themselves through the site interface, to bring some more colour and variance from other mod pages out there. Something that makes your page look more unique from others. As is our way, creating a file header for your pages is completely optional, so if you don’t like them on your file pages you don’t need to do anything, you can stick with the default look (or you can play around with the system, then delete it if you don’t like the look).
To create a file header you need to go to your file images and click the background image icon underneath the image you’d like to use. You’ll be taken to a page where you can crop the image you’ve selected (much like you might crop your profile image on a social networking site like Facebook) and see how it’ll look on your page before you decide on whether you want to use it or not.
In the same vein we’ve also produced a similar tool that allows you to create your own hot file images for the site to use. Up until now the site has automatically generated these images and it’s been a bit hit and miss. Sometimes it produces a great hot files image, other times it produces an image of..the sky...or the sea...or a head...and it’s not so great. Now it’s all on you. If you think this feature is redundant for you because all your files were released a while ago and are no longer eligible for the hot files system then think again. We’re bringing in a “Feature file” system for the new category page. This system will show a random file from the category you’re viewing that changes every 10 minutes. Every file with a hot file image is eligible for the Featured File system, and we’ll rotate properly so every file gets equal time and exposure. We’ll also let you know how many times your file has been featured on a category, just for your own peace of mind. So creating a hot file image on your old files is highly recommended if you’d like some added exposure in the not too distant future.
We’ve moved the buttons to download the file, endorse it, vote for it and donate to the author to the top right in prominent green colours. We’ve also added a big “Track” button as well, as lots of people didn’t know we had a file tracking system. Clicking the vote, endorse and track buttons will make them turn orange (if it was successful), so you know when your vote, endorsement or track action has worked. They’ll remain orange when you revisit file pages, so you know at an easy glance whether you’ve already endorsed or tracked a file or not.
We’ve added some text below the “Action” buttons which should make it more obvious what each one does without being a mystery meat navigation that you can’t intuitively work out without hovering over the tiny icons. Similarly we’ve increased the size of the file tabs themselves and added a description at the top of each tab, once again to make it more obvious what each tab is for.
And that’s it!
If you think something isn’t looking right or working properly then feel free to let me know. I’ve tested the site in the latest versions of IE, Fire Fox and Chrome, but can’t account for every variation.
We’ve snuck the latest version of the Nexus Mod Manager out the door late this evening pushing us into version 0.44. This latest version contains a number of bug fixes along with a new ReadMe management feature and the new improved controls for the “old view” NMM mode, the same that the category view uses.
The ReadMe manager parses all your mods for text, rtf, doc and HTML documents and provides them as a list for you to open straight from NMM by right-clicking a mod and highlighting the “Open ReadMe file” element, making it quick and easy to view the ReadMe’s for your mods. Unfortunately this feature highlights a worrying trend for me; a lot of the mods I have installed do not have a readme included in the archive with the mod. This is bad form, mod authors. You should always try and include a readme with your mods containing at least a description of the mod, the author name, any credits, your license information and, if you’re looking for feedback, a preferred contact method (whether it’s a link to a forum thread, your email address, a username on a forum people can PM, etc.). Any sort of identifying ReadMe is better than none.
Now that the non-category mode for NMM has the updated control system you can do some of the cool stuff that originally only the category-view could, like clicking the columns and sorting them by ascending and descending. Why is this handy? One example would be when you install a new mod and then can’t find it. Go into non-category view and sort the column by install date descending. Now you can see your mod list based on when you installed your mods.
A number of bug fixes have also been implemented into this build. You can find the full changelog here.
On the site front we’ve added a number of bug fixes for the sticky posts and nested commenting. You can now properly edit your replies without seeing the additional HTML that makes the forum posts a bit more understandable as replies. Mod authors replying to comments in their own mod threads now have the proper coloured borders that make their posts more noticeable and prominent. Replies are now ordered by date ascending to make a more logical and readable thread of replies and mod authors can now lock their sticky posts so they don’t get spammed by off-topic replies.
We’ve added an additional 2 servers in the Salt Lake City area, bringing our total for file servers up to 12 plus 2 premium file servers.
We’re very close to releasing an update to the Nexus site design which will begin with an update to the site header and file pages. Mod authors, you can find a mockup of the new page layout in this private thread. These aren’t massive, extensive visual changes. Much like you can still tell Microsoft Word is Microsoft Word whether you’re using the 2000, XP, 2007 or later versions, you’ll still recognise the sites.
Lastly we’ve changed the Supporter membership, as promised, so that Supporters no longer see ads on the site. I’ve been working hard looking into alternative payment platforms besides Pay Pal for those people who have a chip on their shoulder (or who can’t actually use Pay Pal due to locational difficulties) but after lots of extensive searching I can tell you one thing; there’s a reason why Pay Pal are so dominant. They make it so easy; they don’t expect you to jump through ridiculous bureaucratic hoops just to be accepted or have ridiculous rules and their system integrates perfectly with almost everything out there, including our system. While some alternatives are out of reach simply because they’re not open to EU residents yet (Stripe) unfortunately some have ridiculous stipulations. Take for example Google Checkout, who have stipulated in their rules that you must use their payment button to direct people to their payment process. Our system isn’t designed to work with custom buttons so right now, we can’t use Google Checkout/Wallet. Pants on head stupid rules that serve absolutely no purpose. We’re looking at several payment gateways, but all of them will require extensive time to make them work with our system, which is time spent away from actually working on the sites. It would be a lot easier if you people would just used Pay Pal (if you can), but hell, I can’t force you!
I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the payment gateway front if and or when I have any further news.
The OpenMW team is proud to announce the release of version 0.21.0! Release packages for Ubuntu are now available via our Launchpad PPA. Release packages for other platforms are available on our Download page. This release introduces video playback, improvements to cell load time, and parsing for escape sequences in dialogue and message boxes.
Check out WeirdSexy's release video.
- No sound when playing videos on OS X
- Extreme shaking may occur during cell transitions for some users (enable anti-aliasing as a possible workaround)
- Launcher crash on OS X < 10.8
- Various dialogue, trading, and disposition fixes and improvements
- Torch flickering improved to better match vanilla Morrowind
- Fix for attribute fluctuation when infected with Ash Woe Blight
- Adjusted activation range to better match vanilla Morrowind
- Fixes for the Journal UI
- Fixed crash caused by Golden Saint models
- Fix for beast races being able to wear shoes
- Fix for background music not playing
- Fix for meshes without certain node names not being loaded
- Fix for incorrect terrain shape on inital cell load
- Fix for MWGui::InventoryWindow creating a duplicate player actor at the origin
- Added video playback
- Added support for escape sequences in message box and dialogue text
- Added AI related script functions, note that AI is not functional yet
- Implemented fallbacks for necessary ini values in the importer, unused in OpenMW as of yet
- Implemented execution of scripts of objects in containers/inventories in active cells
- Cell loading performance improvements
- Removed broken GMST contamination fixing mechanism
*Official Youtube Channel*
*For New Developers*
Things have been flying by a bit recently and we’ve been boshing out so many small fixes, tweaks and features left right and centre I’m almost struggling to keep up. So here’s a run-down of some of the recent changes we’ve implemented on the sites and in NMM.
I’ve been wanting to get this functionality implemented on the sites for a long while now but there was no point getting it done until we upgraded the forums (which was done within the last fortnight). Nested commenting allows users to reply to comments made on the sites and have those comments and replies grouped together for easy viewing.
Before nested commenting everyone’s comments were shown in a linear progression, one above the other, ordered by the date and time the comment was posted. It meant if you asked a question on a file page at 10am and the author (or anyone) couldn’t answer that question until 5pm, there could have been any number of comments (sometimes even hundreds) made on the file page in between the time you posted and the time a reply could be posted. That made finding the answer to your question very hard. Now, you can reply to the comments people make, and because they’re grouped together you’ll easily be able to see if anyone has replied to the comments you’ve made.
We’ve only provided one level of replying to comments. So comments only get nested (and indented) once. You can’t reply to a reply and have that reply indented further. Hopefully that makes sense. So you can’t have these crazy nested reply chains like you can on a site like reddit. It gets a bit messy!
Author’s sticky post
Something I know authors need help with is increasing awareness to their users about various things from incompatibilities, common issues, install instructions and what not. The inherent problem with the internet is there’s a percentage of users who seem to suffer from a form of attention deficit disorder and can’t spend the time reading the file description, readmes, FAQs and author warnings in big glaring multi-coloured fonts before they try to install a mod. If they can’t get it to work they then go to the comments section, completely by-passing everything the author has written on the topic in various locations and start asking for help. That’s REALLY frustrating if you’re a mod author. Unfortunately there’s not much you or we can do about that. If someone is really that dumb that they don’t read anything before asking for help then no amount of warnings, pop-up notifications and forced reading will solve the issue (much like our terms of service agreement boxes, or the big glaring boxes in the image share telling people not to upload nude images).
However, we’ll try to help with this issue in whatever way we can, and to that end we’ve introduced a “sticky post” system that allows file authors to sticky a single post in their comment thread. The post goes to the top of the comment section, where it is “stuck” there on every comment page, with a red border and a notification that it’s a sticky post from the author.
As an author this has some practical uses. Are you aware there’s a bug in your latest version that you’re working hard to fix? Maybe some major incompatibilities? People keep on bringing up the same issues that aren’t actually issues with your mod? Sticky a post to the top of your comments to let users know they don’t need to spam your comment section with bug reports about it. I’m sure you’ll still get bug reports from those previously mentioned users who DO NOT READ before they act (RAGE!) but hopefully you’ll be able to catch a few more people with such a notification that should help to reduce the load.
Something I’ve noticed from my time using the PC Gamer website, where they have nested commenting, is that the comment at the top of an article can often be used by people to talk about things completely unrelated to the original post. While we haven’t coded in a system to “lock” your sticky post (so people can’t reply to it with unrelated stuff) if it becomes obvious that it’s needed, we’ll do it. I’ll await mod author feedback for that one.
Latest version check box
The versioning system on the Nexus is far from complex, uniform or standardised. We let you guys version your mods however you like. Unfortunately sometimes this can lead to inconsistencies, especially with NMM where the latest version column checks the file version the user has installed against the file version shown on the file page (via the “edit attributes” page), not the file versions of your individually uploaded files. So if your file page says the latest version is v1.2 and your uploaded files have a file that’s v1.3, your latest file version is still v1.2.
While we want to visit the versioning system in more detail later, especially in regards to NMM, right now we’ve just added a quick and easy system for you to update your latest versions. We’ve added a checkbox when uploading your files that asks you if this is the latest version of your file. If you tick the box the latest file version information for your file will be updated with the content of the “file version” text field you’ve used in the upload form. Saves you going back and editing your attributes with your new version.
NMM drag n drop
Version 0.43.1 of NMM has added a small but useful feature for those people who still download their mods manually from the sites. You can now drag and drop files from your desktop into NMM directly, avoiding having to use the “add from file” functionality.
Right now this feature only works while in category mode. We’re working on updating the non-category view to use the same controller as the category view so it can make use of all the cool features the category view has, like being able to sort the columns, and the drag and drop functionality.
NMM bug fixes
Along with this feature update the latest version of NMM also contains some bug fixes. Here’s the change log:
*InstallLog didn't properly check for already present random mod keys (this will prevent the "An item with the same key has already been added" crash).
*Mod autoupdate check removing category info from mods, causing missing mods from categories.
*Uac check crashing with illegal folder paths.
*Scripted mod install failing when the installer tried to show a message to the user (throwing a Security exception).
*ProgressDialog bug causing mod update checks to fail.
*Illegal folder paths crashing the game scan process.
*The "move to category" ContextMenu didn't properly sort alphabetically.
*Prevents the user from settings Mods or Install Info folders equal to: HD root, game root, installed mods folder.
What we’re now working on
Moving on we’ve got lots of new features in the pipeline for both the sites and NMM.
Right now I’m working on some updates to the site’s design, which I’m sure will fill a lot of you with fear and dread. It’s not going to be a full redesign of the sites like we had last year at all. You’ll still recognise the sites, I promise. If you’re a mod author you can see my mock up for the file page redesign in the private mod author forums that I’ve appropriately titled “fixing things that aren’t broken”. I hope to do the changes progressively. So I’ll be changing the header about a bit to better manage the space. We’ll do that first. Then we might update the file pages. Then the category view. Then the site index. I don’t have plans for any other pages just yet.
The clever site coders are working on the bandwidth throttling system based on ads and endorsements that I brought up in my last blog post. They’re also working on a new feature for mod authors that’s going to let them pick and crop the images they want to use for their hot files and “feature image” on the new file page.
Our hot file system is quite unforgiving when it comes to picking and cropping the images it wants to use, and how it crops them, so we want a system where you can pick the image the site will use as it’s hot file image (if your file becomes a hot file) and also pick which area of the image gets cropped so it advertises your mod in its best light. This will be handy not just for people with popular mods because I also plan to use hot file images in the new category design, where we’re going to have a “featured” mod; a mod that is randomly picked from the category that will be advertised in the category for a set amount of time, and then sent to the back of the pile before it can be shown again as a feature mod. A form of banner advertising and rotation for mods, if you will.
On the NMM front we’re working on the aforementioned update to the non-category view, more bug fixing, better readme management and our initial work into creating a really easy to use mod packager for authors who want to ensure their mods work with NMM and, drum-roll, better scripting support as a part of it. We want to make it so that mod authors who don’t know how to script and don’t want to learn can still make some pretty neat installers that give their users more options when installing.
We’re aware there’s still some niggling issues with the forum upgrade for those people who use the forums. We’re aware of them (especially the VERY annoying bug that is causing edited posts to come up in garbled HTML at random), but some things are taking a higher priority right now. Word of advice that applies at any time; always copy and paste your long posts into notepad before posting a response.
It’s been a long day but 8 hours after taking the forums offline we’ve now put them back online with the necessary updates in place. There’s still quite a bit of work to do, tweaks and performance enhancements to make, but the majority of the functionality should now be in place and we’ve re-enabled mod publishing and commenting on the sites.
We’ve all got to get used to the changes that have been made by this latest version and we’re still trying to find our way around things and remember all the old settings we had in place before. While we use Invision Board for our forums we’ve made a hell of a lot of edits and tweaks to both the software and the servers over the years to be extremely optimised for the amount of traffic the sites receive. This latest update has wiped out all of those optimisations so we’ve got to try and get it back to how it all was before.
We’ve been testing out the new software over the past couple of weeks and while we can test for most things, we can’t stress test for the 100’s of requests the forums receive every second when things go live. Please bear with us, everything should be as it should be soon.
In the meantime if you’re one of our forum users feel free to do some exploring. I’m sure a lot has changed in the software. Don’t like how the posting forms now look? Me either.
Something we rolled out on the sites a couple of weeks ago without any kind of announcement was a new file publishing system when adding file pages to the Nexus. The inherent problem is thus; if you want to (properly) release a mod on the Nexus you need to first start a file page, add a good long description, add and setup all your images, upload your files and setup any videos and mirror links. If you do this without hiding the file (so that others can see it) you run the risk of some hasty (and annoying) users asking you why you haven’t uploaded your files/images yet. If you do it while your file is hidden then your file is losing “valuable” exposure in the new today and recent files pages and columns.
So what we’ve done is added an extra step to the process. You no longer choose whether you want your new file page to be visible or hidden. All file pages start off hidden and you now need to “publish” your mod before it becomes visible on the site. Until you publish your mod your file page will have no comment thread, no upload date and you have all the time in the world to upload and setup everything exactly how you want it before your mod is visible to everyone. It also guarantees you complete control over when the file is released to the public, and as the upload date isn’t updated until you publish the file, you can have your file unpublished for as long as you like without suffering any drawbacks.
For an added example of why this might be handy, take if you will a new mod you’d like to upload to Skyrim Nexus. You think this mod is going to be the next big thing. Now the Hot File system on Skyrim Nexus has a 7 day turn around time, so it only shows the most endorsed files uploaded over the past 7 days. If your mod is 1GB+ in size it might take you a very long time to upload it to the site, anything from a few hours to days depending on your upload speed. So by the time your file is actually up on the site and ready to be endorsed you’ve lost a hell of a lot of time, and perhaps dented your chances at hitting the (sometimes) coveted hot files. With the publishing system in place, your mod only gets properly added to the site when you click that publish button, ensuring you’re absolutely ready to launch. Now, if you don’t care about the hot files or your mod’s exposure then this isn’t a big deal for you, but I know it is for some. So that’s what the publishing system is for, and it’s going to come in handy for the partial down-time I’m about to tell you about.
We’re hoping that on Monday (the 11th of February) we’re going to be taking the forums down for a long overdue software update. Now the forums are pretty integral to the operation of these sites, and lots of functionality is linked to it; the commenting system, the user login and registration system, messaging, chat, and so on and so forth. We’ve been running some tests over the past couple of weeks, doing some mock runs, and we believe we can keep the majority of the site’s functionality operational during this forum downtime. You’ll still be able to browse the sites, download mods, look at images and even read comment threads, but you won’t be able to browse the forums or post any new posts or comments either on the forums or in file or image comment threads. Similarly new registrations will be locked down during this period.
As the forums are going to be locked down during the upgrade we’re also going to lock down the publishing of new mods to the database, as publishing a mod during the forum upgrade would result in the mod comment topic being lost. As such, you will be able to add or edit new file pages, upload files, images and everything else you do before publishing a mod, but you won’t be able to actually publish the mod so it’s visible to the public until the forum upgrade is finished. This only affects new file additions to the site. You’ll be able to manage any current files already published on the site no problem. We’re doing this for the integrity of our data, and for the safety of maintaining the effort you’ve gone into getting your file up on the site.
We’ll be putting notifications up on the site to let you know when we’ve taken the forums down and I’ll try to keep you updated. This is one of these things where any number of problems can occur along the way. We’ve tried to account for everything (and there’s a hell of a lot to account for considering how integral the forums are to the running of the sites) but it’s logical to assume that at some point something unexpected is going to happen that we’ll have to react to. So while I’d like to tell you that this forum downtime will probably only last 6 hours, it could last 12 hours, a day, or hell, even longer. But I hope not.
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