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Just a quick update on the UK file server (in Maidenhead) and an announcement of expected down-time for all Nexus sites in the coming week.
The Maidenhead server had a rocky life, clearly unable to cope with the amount of Europeans trying to download from the server it was hit or miss whether it would work at any time of the day. The server is now completely offline and is pending a replacement. Which leads to the next news.
It's server upgrade time for the Nexus sites. With the launch of Fallout: New Vegas looming, the knowledge that I'll be launching a seperate site for New Vegas rather than incorporating it in to Fallout 3 Nexus (for ease-of-use and clutter reduction reasons) and the ever increasing member base across the Nexus sites (now over 1.75 million members) it's a good time to improve the infastructure before the next influx of members.
The forums will be moving to a new super powerful server, about twice as powerful as the current Nexus servers and will be accompanied by the New Vegas Nexus site closer to the launch of the game. The server the forums currently inhabit will be converted in to the new UK file server that should be much better equipped to deal with all the European downloaders.
As the forums are integral to the running of all the Nexus sites this does mean that all the Nexus sites will be taken offline while this transfer is actioned. The down-time should be around 8 hours give or take 4 hours. As the forum database is very large and has some extremely large indexes that the move will require to be rebuilt the time frame is very loose.
I'll provide an update on the exact date of this down-time closer to the time.
There is currently an issue with the servers that means small files below 2mb cannot be downloaded. Similarly any new files uploaded will not work. This is because of an internal network issue in the datacentre between the servers and the SAN.
Please hold off uploading any new files until I have updated this news post with the all clear as you'll only waste your time trying to upload for nothing at this time.
Update #1, 16:37 GMT
The issue still persists. I have put in place a temporary work around for the issue of small files not being downloadable while the situation is resolved. You still cannot upload any new files at this time.
The problem is at the server provider and there's nothing I can do on my end. We just need to be patient.
Update #2, 19:55 GMT
This problem has now been resolved and both small file downloads and file uploads should be working again. If you uploaded a file today before this time then it's probable your file is broken and you'll need to reupload it.
Thank you for your patience.
I thought I would provide a quick update on the previously reported forum situation before heading out.
In the late hours of Sunday night a Ukranian group managed to inject some malicious code in to the forum code using an exploit of the forum software. On Monday morning I attempted to resolve the issue by taking the forums offline and upgrading them to the latest version. Upgrading the forums also removes all the skins and customisations (such as kudos and the new AP system).
Today I have re-applied the old forum skin that has been updated for the forum upgrade. I will not be re-applying any of the old customisations to the site until I can be sure that the hackers have been stopped in their tracks and the security hole has been plugged.
At the time of writing the forums are perfectly safe and I have good reason to believe they shall remain so for the foreseeable future.
This whole problem comes during a busy week for me; graduation week at my old university where many of my friends are graduating and celebrating. Similarly my sister is back from China with her husband and 1-year old child and it's been over a year since I've seen her, so I'm currently in demand!
Things will be back to normal soon.
The forums are currently being focused by some Ukrainian "hackers" for malicious attacks. As a result I have taken the forums offline as I work to sure up the forum security and protect against future attacks.
The activity on the Nexus sites will hopefully go unhindered during this down-time.
There's no reason to believe this is an attack focused on the community, rather just an attack on a popular message board that can provide the hackers with access to some potentially unsecured computers. I would like to reiterate that if you are browsing the internet without an anti-virus or firewall as a bare minimum of protection then you are very, very open to being exploited by these sorts of hackers.
Update at 23:21
I'm still working on tightening security on the forums and have confined the skin choices to the default forum skin for the time being. It's bright, I know. I'll go to sleep soon and will assess the security situation in the morning. If the hackers have injected some malicious code again it will be back to square one.
Some new stats have been added to all user accounts on the site called "Activity Points" or AP.
Each time you perform a beneficial action on a Nexus site you'll gain AP so that other users of the site can see how much you have done on the Nexus sites. The more AP you accrue the higher your level and rank on the sites will be. At the moment AP and levels are just for show; they don't unlock any special features or secret sections of the site but who knows, maybe in the future your AP might be put to good use.
For more information on Action Points including what actions will increase your action points and by how much check out the article I've written on action points.
Your action points are shown in your profile (with a break-down of what actions have given you points) as well as when you post on the forums or leave comments on files, images and articles.
A new statistic has been added to all file pages and individual file counters across the Nexus sites today. The new statistic, "Unique downloads", gives as true of a representation as possible of the total number of individual members that have downloaded your file over its history.
To clarify; total downloads includes repeat downloads from the same member. So if you have released five versions of your file and a member has downloaded all five versions then that adds five to your total download counter. Unique downloads would only add one (at the start of the first download) to the counter and no matter how many times the same member downloads a file in a single entry it will not increase the unique download counter.
Why is this useful? Well, you might like to know how many individuals actually use your files and how many individuals make use of the updates you release. So if 100 people have downloaded your main file and 80 people have downloaded your updates then you can assume that 80% of the people who originally downloaded your file actually really enjoyed it, and still use it.
Note: the TESNexus recount is still taking place and will be finished within a couple of hours of posting this. If you have files with a Unique Download counter of 0 then please be patient. It will update soon.
Thank you for your patience during the down-time on Sunday the 27th of June. I'm constantly striving to improve the performance of the servers and increase site load times and this change will hopefully be a big part of that.
This maintenance has now been completed. Thank you for your patience.
All the Nexus sites will be taken offline tomorrow at 13:00 GMT for up to an hour while the forum database is optimised for efficiency.
The forums have been loading particularly slowly recently and the hope is that this optimisation will sort the issue. The forums need to be taken down in order for the optimisation to be performed and the forums are integral to the running of all the Nexus sites; so when they're down all the sites are down.
Thank you for your understanding.
The total daily unique visitors on TESNexus soared by 25% on normal figures this weekend (12th/13th of June) after popular gaming platform Steam launched a special Game of the Year promotion of Oblivion and Morrowind respectively.
As a result TESNexus had its most popular weekend ever with back-to-back figures of 113,000 and 123,000 unique visitors achieved on Saturday and Sunday with a total of just over 300,000 files downloaded and 2.6 million page views. Registrations almost doubled from the usual number of 3,500 new members on a weekend to 6,100 new members as the influx of Oblivion players scrambled to mod their new game.
The optimistic part of me would like to assume the timing of this promotion on Steam, where Oblivion is being sold with the Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine for £14.99 or with the two expansions plus all the DLCs for £19.99, is a precursor to the announcement of the sequel to Oblivion that is hopefully The Elder Scrolls V at E3 some time in the coming week.
Whatever way you look at it; the site held out. You've got to be thankful for that. I know I am, because I was away this weekend.
I brought down the site for a few minutes this afternoon at 2:50pm GMT to repair a broken table in the database that stored all the download history data for user accounts.
The table has been repaired and the database has been speed optimised during the downtime. The table corruption means that anyone trying to endorse a file recently off the site may find that the file won't allow them to do it as their original download wasn't recorded by the site. In order to fix this you'll need to go through the download process again for each file; once the download starts simply cancel it and you'll be able to endorse the file after the usual 3 hour cool-down period.
Apologies for the inconvenience.
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