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  • 5 February 2014 14:29:11

    NMM 0.47.0 "forced" update to fix the download issues

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    Over the past few weeks the NMM crew have been working tirelessly on a new version of NMM. The main focus of this version is to dramatically improve, if not altogether eradicate the incomplete download issues that have plagued NMM for the past month or more and to also reduce the rather substantial requirements and strains that NMM is placing on our server-side infrastructure.

    On 0.46.0 I was getting a 25% completion ratio on downloads. That is to say, if I started 10 downloads, 2-3 would complete as expected, 7-8 would fail. Obviously that's not good at all. We know that, you know that. With 0.47.0 the proof is in the pudding, while writing this update I started 50 downloads in NMM, by the end of writing all 50 had finished with a 100% completion ratio. Much better.

    So what have we changed?

    On the back-end, non-NMM side of things we're fixing the bugs that were/are causing the "file does not exist with this ID" error, which were also causing the issues with NMM. However, on top of that, NMM has been recoded to now try the same server 3 times, and if all 3 attempts fail then NMM will then try to download from another server entirely. Rinse, repeat until a server that actually works for you is found. This has probably helped to rectify 95% of all the original download issues that existed.

    We've changed the way in which NMM picks the servers it uses based on your NMM option settings. Lots of people don't seem to know that if you go in to NMM's options you can pick your closest location. This doesn't 100% guarantee NMM will always use the server's near to you, but it will always try them first before moving on to servers that will actually work for you or won't be overloaded. For Premium Members, you can now pick the specific Premium server you would prefer to download from. Once again, NMM will always check that server first, but if that server is down, overloaded (shouldn't be for Premium) or struggling then NMM will automatically find a different server instead.

    As mentioned in my previous news article on the subject, we've also changed the amount of concurrent downloads you can have running at any one time. With the rise of sites that provide easy compatible lists that allow you to download mods more quickly (because you trust the source and don't read all the file descriptions) we've seen lots of users trying to download 50, 100, even 200 files at the same time in NMM. This obviously isn't good for the servers so we've coded in a queuing system that will only allow you to download a certain amount of files at a time. For non-Premium users that number is 5, for Premium users that number is 10. Now, if you try and download 50 files at once then all 50 files will be added to NMM's download list, but only 5 will download at once. Once a download is finished, another is automatically started from the queue until all the downloads are done. This should help to alleviate a lot of pressure on our file servers and ensure that everyone is using the service fairly. This also pre-empts a planned future functionality to allow users to share their mod playlists and collections with others.

    In the same vein we've changed the way NMM starts and connects to the internet. Before this new update all versions of NMM attempted to login to our servers before NMM would fully load. However, this seems inefficient considering there are many times when you want to use NMM; to modify your load order, to change your installed mods, and so on, where you don't need to be connected to the site. On-top of that, each time you started NMM it was requesting various bits of information from our servers that you didn't necessarily need. For example, the "Latest version" information. To save our servers a crap-ton of stress we've now made NMM start offline for everyone. NMM will no longer automatically connect at the start and check for the latest version information. Instead, if you want to check for the latest versions of files you should start NMM and click the green arrow icon to the left of the "mods" tab, labelled "check for new mod versions" when you hover over it. This not only benefits us, from a server perspective, but also benefits you, as NMM should now start faster for you (as it doesn't have to wait to connect) enabling you to get on and do what you want to do faster.

    We've added a little buddy in the bottom left hand corner of NMM to let you know if NMM is offline or online. If NMM is in "offline" mode then our little buddy is red. Clicking him when he's red will either automatically put you online (if your login details are saved) or prompt you for your Nexus username and password. If the little buddy is green then NMM is in online mode, and clicking him will log you out. If NMM is in offline mode and you try and do something that requires NMM to be in online mode, like checking for new mod versions or downloading a file, then NMM will, once again, either automatically log you in without prompting if you've saved your login details, or ask you for your login details if you haven't saved your details.

    While I understand that lots of people like to check for the latest versions of their mods we believe this update, while inconveniencing you with one-additional click if you want to check for new versions, will be worth that inconvenience.

    Because this update fixes a major issue with NMM that is being reported a lot daily, and because we hope it is going to free up a substantial amount of server resources, 0.47.0 is going to be a "forced" update. That is, any versions before 0.47.0 will not be able to go online. We've updated our process now so that if you are using an incompatible version of NMM it should now tell you as much, and tell you that you need to update NMM in order for it to be able to login again.

    Once again, the update process for NMM is very simple. Indeed, it seems to freak people out when they don't update from "within" NMM. Actually, all NMM does is download the latest update from the site for you. You still have to click through the install process. To "manually" update NMM simply go to our NMM download page and download it. Once you run the installer you've hit the exact same step you'd have hit if you'd clicked "yes" to updating from within NMM. All you need to do is ensure that the paths in the installer to where you have NMM and your mods installed are correct. That's it. All your mods will still be where, and how, you left them.

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