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It's all happening today, folks!
First of all I have completed the download history section of the site. This handy little page allows you to see all the files you have downloaded from the site since it was launched. This was originally intended to be a Premium Member only feature, but what with the awesome donations I have received from people the server is now more powerful and can now cope with all users having access to this feature. However, Premium members will still be the only ones who gain access to the upcoming file and author tracking systems.
Now onto more exciting news; another new feature and a competition, with a PRIZE!
I've recently started playing Oblivion again and have been looking for some decent mods to run the game on. Unfortunately I ran into a few snags, especially with things like weapons and armour. Unfortunately all the file images were lost when TESSource went down and many of the authors of these files have not returned to update their entries with new images, so many awesome mods can no longer be previewed first.
During an "exciting" Operations Management lecture I started writing up plans for a new system that would allow general users of the site to upload images of mods in use. File uploaders have a new option available to them when editing or uploading files that allows them to choose from one of three options. (1) Allow images to be uploaded by other users indefinitely, without their moderation, (2) allows images to be uploaded by other users, but add the image to a "pending" queue that needs to be verified by the file uploader or (3) do not allow users to upload images for the file. By default all files have been set to the first option (upload indefinitely).
The upload system is in place and you can now upload your own images for files either by clicking the "Add your own images" link under the "Actions" box on file pages, or on the actual image gallery pages themselves.
But thats not all. Because I know some people just won't be bothered without some sort of impetus, from now until the end of November I am going to be running a competition, aptly named the "Gotta screencap them all!" competition. Open to all users, admin included, the user who uploads images for the most files will be bought a video game of their choice, costing no more than £35, or your local currency equivalent of £35. In the event that there is a draw between one or more entrants one user will be picked at random.
Please note this competition is not about how many images you upload, but how many files you upload images for. Try to spot the difference! General rules include my decision is final, no cash alternative, and all images are subject to review from me (to make sure you're not just uploading rubbish images that aren't relevent to the file). Similarly only those images verified by the uploader of the file (where applicable) will count.
Happy screencapping folks!
PS. If you do not know how to take screenshots in Oblivion you might want to read the "Taking screenshots 101" information on the official forums. Alternatively just use a program like Fraps.
As I'm sure many regulars know Bethesda's last official plugin for Oblivion has now been released, and for this week only it is available to download for free. This is a great gesture from Bethesda and I hope people respect it as such.
As it mentions on the download page please do not upload this file to TES Nexus, or any site for that matter.
As mentioned a couple of days back the file tagging system is now up and running. All users who have uploaded files, are going to upload files, or admins of the site can tag their files themselves and completely ignore the voting system necessary to confirm tags. The original system remains the same; 3 agreements are necessary from users on a specific tag before it becomes confirmed, that is, before it can be found via the tag search feature, but on top of this the uploader of a file, or a site admin, simply needs to tag the file themselves to instantaneously confirm tags (bypassing the need for the 3 agreements from members). Once a tag is uploader or admin confirmed it cannot be voted for or against by users of the site.
There is also a new convenient link to the tagging window for all your uploaded files in your member area. If you have already tagged your files and want to confirm the tags then first select the disagree option, then agree with it again.
The tagging system has now been recoded and added to file pages across the download database. All the original tagging suggestions have been retained and the system dynamics have remained unchanged. Users suggest tags for files and if two other users agree (for a total of 3 tag suggestions) then the tag becomes "confirmed" and the file can then be found via that tag.
Going hand-in-hand with the ability to tag files is the ability to search for files via their tags. This has also been released and is now available for use. As before, the more confirmed tags there are in the database the more useful the tag search feature becomes so get tagging!
A slight edit will be made to the system over the coming days to allow file authors to directly tag their files (removing the need for 2 others to agree with the tagging suggestion), but I figured it best to get the current system out now and tweak it a little later.
You'd think that 4 years after the last expansion for Morrowind was released the Morrowind Modding forums would be rather quiet. Well it's not! While it is not as hyperactive as the Oblivion forums, Morrowind mods are still being updated and released.
I wanted to mention a few mods that have been created or updated in the last months, for those people who own Morrowind and would like to give it another shot. If you don't have it, read a bit about it and then buy it! :)
Julan Ashlander Companion
This companion mod adds the ashlander Julan to the game, who will join you on the Morrowind Main Quest. You can ask about his opinion on the subject, has a few quests, and is a nice guy to have around!
Several months ago, Connary showed up at the Morrowind Mod Forums and started releasing all kinds of texture replacers. While they are not as 'high-rez' as other texture replacers, they keep the original Morrowind feeling and look good as well!
He has retextured many things. Items, buildings, many creatures and more. He even retextured the books from the LGNPC mods and some creatures from Piratelord's 'Creatures' mod. Which brings us to the following...
This mod adds a lot of new creatures to the game, and are mostly lore correct. The most recent version is 'Creatures 9'. There isn't much to say, you'll have to look at the screenshots. All I can say is that I've been using this ever since I first found it. Piratelord is currently working on 'Creatures 10'.
Less Generic NPC's is a mod that gives many npc's who don't have anything original to say new dialogue and quests.
Many LGNPC mods have been released already, but more are coming!
Morrrowind Graphics Extender&Morrowind Script Extender
Both utilities are still being worked on. MGE is most famous for the distant land feature it adds.
And MWSE is used for a lot of mods. Especially Fliggerty's. MGE is currently waiting for the MWSE update,
because MGE will integrate the new version of MWSE into the program.
Fliggerty's Morrowind Mods
Fliggerty's mods usually use MWSE (Morrowind Script Extender), and adds all sorts of interesting and useful things to the game.
And when they're not really useful, they're funny. Take the 'Mostly-Mini Todd' mod for example.
This mod adds a small companion to the game who has Todd Howard's head! Todd Howard actually made a post (He hasn't posted anything for a long time) in the release thread on the official forums. 'Best. Mod. Ever.'
Other mods worth checking out are Darknut's Armor Retextures, Tamriel Rebuilt (Yes it's alive!) and Morrowind Comes Alive. There are many more, which you'll have to discover yourself!
As promised last night I have now released the Image Share section of the site for general use. Just like on TESSource, the Image Share feature of TESNexus allows members to upload images related to any of the Elder Scrolls games. You can use it as you wish; maybe you want to show off some cool shots of your character or perhaps you want to use the system just as a link for others to see what you're talking about.
On a related note I am just putting the finishing touches on the rating popup that shows you how different members have rated files in the database and what comment they left. This feature should be available by the end of the day on all file pages.
Thought I would fill you all in on some different events and thoughts and ideas I've had recently. I've been in a few boring 2 hour lectures recently so have had the time to scribble down some notes!
First of all the Image Share feature of the site is almost complete. I just need to do the rating system, comment system and make some aesthetic tweaks and then it'll be ready for release. As I mentioned when TES Nexus launched I could not save the images from TESSource in time and the image database will be completely empty. The Image Share feature was relatively new to TESSource when it went down, it was up for around 2 months in which time users uploaded around 3,000 images to the site. Hopefully the new Image Share should fill up again relatively quickly.
Next, I have decided to allow users to choose between having the navigation all on the right, as it is by default, or on the left and right in a more traditional format. I know I said I wouldn't but I have decided to go against my word and do it, pending any technical reason I can think of to not do it. As long as I can code it so that it doesn't require me to edit two stylesheets/files when I want to make general changes (i.e. only having to edit the CSS file) then it shall happen. This option will be available from the preferences section in your member area when it is ready.
I changed my mind after a couple of weeks on my new Business Studies course. I transferred from Computer Science to Business Studies this new univeristy year so I could focus on a course that would provide real benefits to my business and provide me with the practical thinking required to further it. So now I have an extra year at uni (2 years computer science, 2 years business studies) but I think the practical implications of this new course will become largely apparent over the coming years. It's time to focus on generating the sites and features that people really want. Up until now I have been running my sites my own way; only doing things that I've actually wanted to do. Thankfully for you folks, for the most part, what I wanted to do went hand-in-hand with what you wanted. Now it's time to bite the bullet and take a more conservative business approach: what do people want? Is it practical? Lets do it.
With that in mind LHammonds will be getting his way sometime soon too. I'll be linking file comments to the TESNexus database so authors can order their files based on the last comment date of the files. So you'll be able to see at a glance which of your files has new comments and which haven't.
As I've mentioned previously a UK file server is in the pipe, I just need to be mindful of my cashflow. Typically I receive advertising money 30 - 90 days after the end of the month for that particular month (so money generated in January won't be seen until March, April or even May) so I need to sit on my hands and watch that bank account. But once I'm sure it's all kosher I'll get onto ordering that UK file server.
Premium members will also see a return of the file and author tracking, but probably with a slightly different twist. The new system will be favourite files and favourite authors. As before you will be able to keep tabs on updates to your favourite files and any uploads made by your favourite authors and receive updates either via email or direct access to the site. Similarly sooner, rather than later, you'll have access to your download history for the past year again. So never fear premium members, you haven't been forgotten!
Phew! Time to hop into bed. I need to read pages 1 - 50 of my marketing text book and get up for a 10am tutorial tomorrow (that's early for a student).
Astute regulars to the site will have noticed the advanced file search page has just been launched for general use. You can now search for files in the database that relate to a number of different criteria, including words in the file name, description, author name and uploader name, as well as by the number of downloads, the file size, the upload date and last update of the file.
Hopefully people will find this a powerful tool to help find specific mods in the database. Minimal testing done so consider this a beta launch. Got another 9am lecture tomorrow but wanted to get this out there before I hit the sack -- my old Computer Science lecturers would hate me for doing this. Ho hum.
This one is for all the people who do not like the blocked listing of files on the category/search pages and for the Premium members out there.
There is now a preferences section within the member area that will enable you to edit a few particulars relating to the site. As a premium member you can edit how many files you see on category listings and within search results (from between 10 and 50). Similarly premium members can choose how many comments they see on each page (from between 10 and 50).
All members have the option to edit how they view file listings. The two options are "block mode", which is the site default. The other option is "flat mode", which was the default of TESSource. Flat mode lists files vertically rather than side-by-side. Many people expressed a wish to return to this format while many expressed their like for the new side-by-side approach. So I've split it down the middle and left the decision to you!
Go to your preferences area now to change how you use the site.
Ok, I hope this worked! Today I have reinstated the original TESSource supporters (the people who paid to help the site/for the benefits) as Premium Members on TESNexus with their original time, plus 28 more days. This (obviously) only applies to those people who were still have Supporter time remaining on TESSource when it went down.
It should all work, so please let me know if it doesn't!
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