Fresh from my trip to Vegas I have now updated the file commenting system here at TESNexus. The change is immediate and every file with comments enabled will be influenced by this change. Let me run you through it...
There is now a new option for file uploaders when they add or edit file pages to the site. This entry sets whether you would like other members to be able to create new topics for commenting. The entire commenting system has been changed to incorporate topics. There is no longer only one thread in which all comments go in to. Instead the author and (if enabled) other members can create topics, much like you would on the forums, in which to discuss particular areas of a file.
If you're a particularly tight file uploader then you might like to disable the "Allow users to start new comment topics" and instead opt to create your own comment topics for users to comment in. This might be particularly attractive to authors who'd like to have a clutter free commenting system where they can setup specific threads for "Feedback" , "Troubleshooting", "Improvements" etc.. Alerternatively authors might like to allow other members to create their own topics to raise their problems or feedback in. Whatever you choose as an author the default is set to allow all members to create new topics in the file comments, so if you don't want this then go in to your file attributes and change the setting immediately.
Clicking on a topic title will allow you to view all the comments made in that particular topic and comment in that topic much like you would have commented on a file before this recent change.
All endorsements go in a seperate topic created when the file page is added so long as endorsements are enabled for the file. This topic is pinned to the top of the board. As an author you can also pin your own or other's topics to the top of your comments section so they're more prominent by others and not affected by the "bumping" of other, non-pinned topics through new posts.
As there is now no easy way to count the total number of comments for a file the number of comments has been removed from the "Manage files" section. Perhaps the most overlooked feature by uploaders is the ability to order your uploaded files by the date of the last comment using the "Organise" tool. Organise your files by "Last Comment" "Desc" and the files with the latest new comments will be shown first. The last comment date is the first attribute of your file, the one above the number of endorsements.
As always reporting feedback and troubleshooting/error messages is appreciated as I almost always overlook something. This feature is being rolled out on TESNexus first for beta and then published later to FO3Nexus.
Millionth member competition winners announcement to follow soon!
There appears to be an issue with the download servers not updating with new uploads. It appears to be an issue with the servers being out of sync and I have posted in the staff forums for Dark0ne to take a look at the issue....when he checks in. He is presently out of town and does not have his normal internet acccess, so when he tells the staff anything I will be posting a followup here as well.
We are aware of the issues, they are available on the premium only server, but the others do not seem to be updating immediately. Wait an hour after the file is uploaded and give that a try. The extremely large files seem to not update even after waiting. I have posted this for information so all can be made aware of the present circumstances.
This is something that only Dark0ne can check and resolve...so please be patient. None of the staff has access to this aspect/portion of the site. A mistake back in the black hole could have devastating results so we will have to wait for Dark0ne.
Thanks for your understanding.
Well it's official, the Nexus sites have been moved to their new home here in England. There were a few quirky problems over the days following on from the move but these should all have been ironed out now. The move was a resounding success and extremely quick thanks in great part to the folks over at Krystal who are now hosting the web servers. Simon, one of the directors of Krystal, was actually the co-founder of Morrowind Chronicles back in August of 2001 which is the website from which this one derives. That also means that today, or around about today, is TESNexus' 8th birthday on the internet. If you're interested in this sort of stuff then I'd recommend reading the site history section on TESNexus that provides detailed information on the timeline and history of this site and all the sites that spawned off from that first site, Morrowind Chronicles.
A big thank you goes to the people at Krystal, who worked extremely hard and above and beyond the call of any quality web host to get the service moved over as quickly, efficiently and painlessly as possible. As a thank you I promised I'd pump their services because they really deserve it. If you're in the market for some excellent quality and competitively priced web hosting; shared, dedicated or otherwise then head on over to Krystal Web Hosting and take a look around. If you use the coupon code "NEXUS" on ordering then they'll give you a stonking 50% off as well, because they're nice like that, and because I promised to throw a tantrum in their office if they didn't.
I hope everyone agrees that the sites are now a lot faster and much more stable than before; I personally haven't seen an IPS Driver Error since the move and the servers have far more capacity for expansion now, which means more features and updates. Oh, and redundancy too.
So thank you all for your patience. Thank you to the premium members without which these changes wouldn't be possible and thanks to Krystal who were fan-dabbie-dozie throughout.
The Nexus sites are currently being moved over to their new servers. If you're reading this then you're ON the new server, welcome! The work doesn't finish here though; there's lots of config files, tweaks, module installs and server restarts to go. So hang in there.
The Nexus sites are big sites with lots of specialised code. I'm not a professional coder and I often forget important things, so if the site is breaking then please report it here. Provide the page you're visiting and the error you're getting and I'll get around to it. Your help can speed up the process, thanks.
The stress of last week is now behind me and the forum server is back up (but how long it will last is anybody's guess). To preempt the final failure of the forum harddrive the proposed server moved scheduled for the middle of August has been pushed forward to, hopefully, as early as this coming Wednesday (5th Aug 09).
First of all why is this server move necessary? It's necessary because the servers are at their peak. They can handle what's being thrown at them right now but I want to squeeze more out of the sites. I'm going to be adding more functionality and more features to the sites over the coming months and the current hardware just won't support these updates. Similarly the sites aren't getting smaller, they're getting bigger. Every file you add, every rating you make, every comment you make and every file you download add to both the space and processing overheads of the site. Add to that an average of 1,500 new members every single day and the hardware simply needs to keep up with the demand.
Where is the site moving to? I'm moving the webservers out of the US and in to the UK, working with some good friends who have been hosting sites for 7 years to make a more tailored solution to the Nexus's unique needs. At the moment the sites make use of 32ghz of processing power and 16GB of RAM across 3 servers. The sites will be moved to two Blade servers, in the same chassis, with a total of 40ghz of processing power and 32GB of RAM. What's more the setups will be run in proper RAID-1 arrays to prevent the recent problems with hard-drive failures from reoccuring; something I can't currently do due to space requirements.
What will the move entail? Both Nexus sites and the forums have a large amount of data that needs moving. To make matters worse the data needs to travel several thousand miles from Texas to London. Work has been under way since last week moving over all the necessary files to the UK, which took several days, but there are other files, such as the site databases that can't be moved until the site is taken down. This takes time and as a result the Nexus sites will be taken down for an entire day, at the moment that day is Wednesday, to complete this move. Similarly as the server IP's will be changing the DNS Zones also need to be updated and it can take time to process depending on your individual ISPs.
I'll release more information as and when I know more.
On a side note there are two other issues I'd like to address. First of all, all current premium members will be getting 3 days of additional time added to their accounts in the near future to offset the time lost over the forum hard-drive failure and the upcoming day of down-time.
Second of all I definately haven't forgotten about the millionth member competition. Obviously things are very busy at the moment so I haven't been able to dedicate much time to playing through the excellent entries on offer, but I want to play through them and judge them personally. As an act of good faith (and because there weren't a large number of entries) all the members who entered will be getting a $10 Amazon voucher at the end of the competition. Obviously winners will be getting the prize money instead ;)
Buddah for info:
Posting this here so it is easily found. If you uploaded a file in the past 3 or 4 days and ratings and comments are disabled. No one, I repeat NO ONE, not even Dark0ne can enable them. When the forum servers went wonky....there was no file thread created when the file page was initiated so there is nothing that can be done about it.
The only fix, and again I repeat THE ONLY FIX is to delete the old file page and create a new one if you want to have comments and ratings disabled.
If you find you are unable to delete a file page, use the report this file button and I will delete it for you. With the server issues some things have to be done by an admin.
The main hard drive on the forum server is on the brink of failing, much like the Fallout 3 Nexus file server hard drive did. To make matters a little more interesting I have already begun plans to reconsolidate the webservers here in the UK on some much more powerful hardware and given my current provider their notice. This means that a server move will be taking place around the middle of August and my hope was that the forum hard drive would hold out until then.
Sadly I'm not sure it will as it continues to put out at random intervals causing all the non-registration and commenting issues the site is currently experiencing. It's a beggar. I've scheduled a disk check to be run on the forum server around 10am GMT tomorrow, which will bring the forum server down for a couple of hours. This means the forums, as well as registration and commenting will not be possible during this time.
These things happen, and the good news is the new hardware will be more redudant and secure than the current hardware. The file servers themselves will remain in the US.
Please bare with us while we go through this difficult phase.
Update 31st July @ midday GMT: The harddrive is going through a full diagnostic at the data centre which is taking a long time. It's been going for about 12 hours and only completed about 55%, what's worse is it's coming back clean so far. So there's still some time to wait on that front.
For me this comes at a bad time; I'm currently moving out my student house that I've been living in the past 3 years while also running all sorts of errands for my brother's wedding, which is tomorrow, in which I am the best man.
I'm afraid you're all going to have to wait a little bit longer and just hang in there. All the data is backed up so no worries there. I'm going to quickly try and jump in to some of the site code now and disable some of the features on the site that won't be working to avoid confusion, inbetween having a shower and running on back home to do a rehearsal for the wedding tomorrow. Fun times.
I have added a notification overlay to display once every 7 days (by default) to remind all members to rate as many files as possible that they have downloaded by viewing their download history.
You can tweak how often you get reminded to rate your files in your member preferences section, which also has the option to disable them altogether.
Our current category structure was getting very over crowded and with a little urging from a certain member who shall remain unnamed, but is known locally as
Here is a new comprehensive list of all catagories:
Default - I forgot to set this. (this one is for me, for those who forget).
Audio, Sound and Music
Castles, Palaces, Mansions and Estates
Cheats and God Items
Cities, Towns, Villages and Hamlets
Companions (CM Bsed)
Dungeons and Locations
Gameplay Effects and Changes
Hair and Face Models
Items, Objects and Clothes
Mercantiles (shops, stores, inns, taverns, etc)
Millionth Member Competition
Models And Textures
New structures (Formerly Buildings)
Quests And Adventures
Races, Classes and Birthsigns
Ruins, Forts and abandoned structures
Skills and Leveling
Videos and Trailers
Visuals and Graphics
Weapons And Armour
With the input from the community here, on the ESF and numerous PM's the above are now available for you to use, if you have a file that would be better suited in one of the new categories please feel free to move your file.
That should do for now, but if you have a suggestion I will take it under consideration.
As promised both on the forums and in recent news posts the rating system in the downloads area has been completely reworked and changed to suit the underlying rules and principles that this site revolves around. This update has been long in the coming and I've based my design choices on the feedback of literally hundreds of users on this site who have had their say on how they'd like to see the rating system changed (or in some cases, not changed).
The story so far...
First of all let me address why this update was necessary. Since Oblivion's launch TESNexus has gathered a very strong following of both forum regulars, file database regulars and general users who like to upload and download from the site. These users have grown to understand how this site operates and how to conduct themselves properly within the Elder Scrolls community, which I personally believe is a unique community compared to other modding communities. The Elder Scrolls community is not only productive, but constructive and full of avid modders who are willing to share and extend their knowledge to other users. It has always been important to foster this virtue within the community and as such Nexus sites have always been advocates of the "constructive criticism" policy; that is if you have something to say you word it in such a way that it is constructive to the author of the work.
Unfortunately my views of "constructive criticism" no matter how much I tried to explain it to users often fell on deaf ears, especially to new users who had come from communities that didn't share the same views as myself or were new to modding communities in general and who couldn't be bothered to read the rules of the site. This problem was further compounded by the 1-to-10 rating system that really simply became the 1-or-10 rating system. Any number other than 10 was seen as a negative rating due to the way in which the top 100 was calculated. The underlying problem with the top list system was how you create a top list of downloads on a site that can accommodate the fact that not all files are going to be as popular as each other? The weighted system was the best system irrespective of its many flaws.
So in light of these problems it became apparent that a change was needed. Either the 1-to-10 rating system needed to be better enforced or a complete change was necessary. As far as further enforcement goes I don't care what anybody says; the moderation team at Nexus (Buddah, LHammonds, BBen and Slof) have done a brilliant job over the years and they've gone through various high-profile and not so high-profile banning runs that would take its toll on anyone. Rather than ask them to keep up or step-up their current efforts, as well as take on more moderation crew, I decided to rework the rating system to better fit in to my views of "constructive criticism". Many users of the site wanted a multi-tiered rating 1-to-10 rating system that would see users rate various aspects of a file, unfortunately the problem with this is that some users of the site have a problem with only one thing to rate, so to give them many different things to rate would seem counter productive!
So what's new
A rating system needs to be able to present people interested in downloading a particular file valuable feedback from the community on whether they think that file is actually worth downloading.
As mentioned the 1-to-10 system was always really the 1-or-10 system and as such the ratings were always very black or white, 1 or 0, you either liked it or you didn't like it. The new system follows but expands on the image share thumbs-up rating system that had a successful integration last year. But simply having a "I endorse this" feature on the site only presents one side of the picture, and a popular file might still have its issues. In the past the problem was that people didn't know how to be tactful in how they down-rated files; instead of providing that all important "constructive criticism" they simply lambasted the author of the file in question, never really addressing what the problem was and instead expressing themselves in such a way that it made the author feel like crap and then the ban-hammer swiftly came out. That's exactly what I didn't want.
In response to this the new system is a thumbs up, thumbs down system with a twist. The thumbs down system doesn't negatively rate a file; it doesn't affect the new top lists of the site and instead is used to explain to an author why exactly you haven't decided to endorse the file in question. What's more you can't leave a comment with your negative rating and instead you choose from a set list of reasons why you haven't endorsed the file. Why have I done this? Well, to address the issue of people not being able to play nice and to save the Nexus moderation team from sifting through countless people who haven't read the rules. It's the new "let me hold your hand through this process" system for those people who don't like to read before they rate.
With the new rating system comes a new top list system. To offset the popularity contest that is "whoever has the most endorsements wins" more features have been added to the list, along with a top 25 that shows the most rated files in the past two weeks, which provides a surprise; it might not be the files you think! Probably most asked for is the ability to generate lists based on adult and non-adult file preferences along with lists for files within individual categories. These features are now all available.
Now with added protection
Added to this are new security checks built in to the rating system. You can no longer rate a file without downloading it, and similarly you cannot rate a file within 3 hours of downloading it. This insures that users have at least taken the time to try files out before they rate.
New members have a 24 hour cooldown period that means they cannot rate files positively or negatively for the first 24 hours of their account life. This should help to reduce those "special" individuals who create multiple accounts in order to down-rate other user's files.
These features go hand-in-hand with the updated download history page (accessible from the right hand navigation) that will now show you which files you have rated, and how you have rated them.
But this isn't the end....
These changes are in the forefront of further changes to the download section of the site that should both improve the functionality of the site and increase usefulness and interactivity.
Following on from this rating system rehaul work has begun on a new commenting system for all files that will change the current mono-thread commenting system into a multi-threaded system that will be moderated not only by the moderation staff here but also by the file authors themselves. Thus file pages will become self-contained "mini-forums" where users can create multiple threads to post in, rather than all posts being placed in a single thread, with everything fully controlled by the file owner who can set whether they want other users to be able to create new threads or just themselves, as well as being able to remove posts and threads made by other users. And of course the file owners will be able to pin selected threads to the top of the list as well.
But for now
Take a look at the new system and see what you think and maybe hold back judgement until you see the affect it has on the site. Of course all the old ratings have been converted over to this new system and ratings of 7 or more on files have been changed in to endorsements for the file in question. Ratings of less than 7 have not been changed in to endorsement feedback because a PHP script cannot ascertain the reasons why someone has rated low.
Feedback, as ever, is appreciated. Just remember; constructive criticism.
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