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  • 20 September 2012

    IGN List of 100 Best RPGs

    posted by Lingwei Game News
    IGN has created a new list of the greatest 100 computer RPGs.

    A number of Nexus website games made the list:

    Skyrim #7
    Fallout 3 #10
    Oblivion #22
    Neverwinter Nights #31
    Morrowind #32
    The Witcher 2 #78
    Fallout New Vegas #89

    Related games for comparison:

    Fallout 2 #28
    Fallout #34

    The Witcher and Dragon Age didn't make it.

    Planescape Torment was the highest ranking "old school" RPG at #13.

    Read the full list at IGN. Spotted at NMA.
  • 19 September 2012

    Announcing Dark Souls Nexus Launched

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    Hot on the tails of our new Grimrock Nexus site we’ve got another special treat for you. It’s my pleasure to announce the launch of Dark Souls Nexus for Dark Souls: Prepare to Die edition.

    For those living under a rock for the past few months I’ll break it down a little. Dark Souls was (originally) a dark-fantasy console-only RPG that is well known for being quite difficult but particularly rewarding for players. It was so popular that the PC gaming community petitioned for a PC version of the game. In the end the petition received over 90,000 signatures, so the developers got on board with the idea and released Dark Souls: Prepare to Die edition for the PC. Some players have been quick to criticise the direct port of the game lacking certain PC comforts, but developers FromSoftware were always very candid in mentioning that the Prepare to Die edition would be an almost direct port, so if you’re one of those complaining; stop! I think the best way to put it would be “perhaps the worst port going, but still the best game this year”.

    While the game hasn’t been without its fair share of issues, the PC gaming community has been quick to take on the task of getting it up to scratch (one of the many beauties of the PC as a gaming platform, I’m sure you’ll agree) and many programmers and modders have been working away at the game to see what they can do to make things better. And boy have they worked hard.

    While several great utilities have been released to make PC gamer’s lives easier within Dark Souls, the cream of the crop has got to be Durante’s DSfix tools. DSfix provides many customisable options, including changing the game’s internal rendering resolution past the embarrassingly tiny 1024x720 defaults, depth of field changes, HUD customisations, save game backups, but most importantly for modders, texture over-rides.

    Using DSfix with texture overriding enabled allows users to find, modify and change pretty much any of the textures used within the game. It also allows users to share these modifications with others. And that’s what Dark Souls Nexus is here to help with. While texture overriding isn’t like having a full SDK or editor to play with, it’s a great start, and heck, even if that’s the only modable thing the clever-clog programmers like Durante can get out of the game then it’s much better than nothing. Durante has kindly agreed to keep us posted on his work on DSfix as a news writer here at Dark Souls Nexus, and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be getting an initial piece up about what DSfix currently can and can’t do in regards to modding some point soon. So keep your eyes peeled for that.

    Thanks to the great Reddit community and the quick action of some of the users on the site there’s already a flourish of modding activity going on for Dark Souls over in the DarkSoulsMods section, all pretty much revolving around DSfix. Some have come to the Nexus forums to see if a Dark Souls Nexus might be possible, and I’ve been monitoring the situation for a little while now. What I’ve seen being done and worked on with what little resources have been provided from the developers has really made me want to help out in any way I can. The Dark Souls modders deserve a decent modding community to get behind them, and I’m here to try and kick it up a gear.

    With that in mind I’ve tried to contact as many mod authors as I could find on Reddit to see if they’d be interested in getting their work up on Dark Souls Nexus before I launched the site. Their response has been fantastic and I’m really pleased to say there are already a good handful of mods available for the game. If you’ve created some new textures or utilities for the game then please come and share them with the rest of us, and sorry if I didn’t catch you on Reddit.

    Because DSfix is required to enable modding in Dark Souls it does present a small barrier to entry for newcomers to modding. Having said that, we are currently working on getting Dark Souls supported in our Nexus Mod Manager that will enable the easy one-click installing of mods. It will still require DSfix to work, but we’re going to build some checks in to NMM to ensure you’re all set to go. If you haven’t got DSfix, or you haven’t setup your ini properly for modding, NMM will tell you. So that should hopefully help out a few people. In the mean-time, if you want to get in to modding your Dark Souls game then head on over to the DSfix page here on the Nexus, download and install it and then check out willypiggy’s tutorial video on how to get your DSfix setup and ready for modding. You’ll need to do this for mods to work in your game.

    If you’re reading this news and you’re an RPG fanatic but haven’t looked in to Dark Souls: Prepare to Die then get on it. If you can get around the slightly disappointing obvious console port feel to the game you will honestly find it one of the deepest, darkest and challenging RPGs you’ve ever played. Just a word of warning however, it’s not called “Prepare to Die” for nothing.
  • 12 September 2012

    Announcing Legends of Grimrock Nexus

    It is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of the newest Nexus website, Legends of Grimrock Nexus, through my proxy, Axel.

    Legends of Grimrock is a great throwback to the era of Dungeon Master style games, where you control a party of up to four characters and delve into the mysteries and puzzles of dungeons. For those of you who aren’t aware of Legends of Grimrock, here’s some of the blurb from the official site:

    “Legend of Grimrock is a dungeon crawling role playing game with an oldschool heart but a modern execution. A group of prisoners are sentenced to certain death by exiling them to the secluded Mount Grimrock for vile crimes they may or may not have committed. Unbeknownst to their captors, the mountain is riddled with ancient tunnels, dungeons and tombs built by crumbled civilizations long perished now. If they ever wish to see daylight again and reclaim their freedom the ragtag group of prisoners must form a team and descend through the mountain, level by level.”

    Legends of Grimrock is available for $14.99 right now from multiple different digital distributers, including Steam, GOG.com and Gamers Gate.

    The developers, Almost Human, are due to launch their modding tools that allows users to easily create their own dungeons and items for the game and share them with others very soon. Almost Human have also kindly given us access to the closed beta and versions of the game so that we could quickly set up a Nexus site and integrate the game in to our Nexus Mod Manager (NMM). If you’re new to the Nexus, NMM is our very simple to use mod management software that allows you to one-click install mods directly from the site and on to your computer, with no need to fuss about with zip files and folder placements. The latest version of NMM, available now, is fully compatible with Legends of Grimrock.

    At the moment the Grimrock Nexus site is quite bare as we’ve only just launched, and the open beta for the modding kit has only just started. I will be working closely with the Grimrock modding community to get the site up to scratch as soon as possible and ensure we can provide the very best and most feature rich service for all the mod authors out there. If there’s anything you think the site needs, just let me know.

    PS. sorry I couldn’t do this in person, I’m currently travelling until the end of the week so have sporadic internet. I’m around all week for Nexus work, though :)
  • 07 September 2012

    11th birthday, 1 million NMM unique downloads, and a download overhaul

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    We've passed a few milestones over the past couple of weeks so I thought that now would be a great time to announce them along with a belated birthday present for the sites.

    August marked the 11th birthday of the Nexus sites in its varying forms. From Morrowind Chronicles, to Morrowind Source, TESSource and Skyrim Nexus and everything in between these sites have been up and running for over 11 years now. I've said it before and I'll say it again; the principle goal when I first started hosting mods for Morrowind back in 2003 (before that Morrowind Chronicles was a Morrowind fansite and forum community) was to provide a modder's resource that people could rely on to still be up in the future. 2002-2004 was a turbulent time in the Elder Scrolls modding community as many mod hosts failed to keep up with demand (Morrowind Files, EuroMorrowing, Morrowind Mods et al) so I really wanted to provide a resource that mod authors could trust to stick around. I stuck in there, despite people telling me that the NewsCorp funded FilePlanet would always outlast whatever I did (ironic, no?) and I think I've realised that goal.

    As if fate smiled upon the birthday we also reached a milestone of over 1 million unique downloads for the Nexus Mod Manager. We launched the Nexus Mod Manager last year, on the 15th of November, so we've managed to hit over 1 million downloads in just over 9 months. It's a great achievement and one I'm really proud of. I'm happy so many people are enjoying and making use of what we've managed to get out there, and we've got lots in store. Happy Birthday to the Nexus.

    Our timing has been a little off, and it's taken us a bit longer than anticipated, but we're very close to finalising our work on the new download mechanism for the sites and for NMM. Some people have been reporting some sporadic issues when downloading from the sites or through NMM and we're hoping that this new system will sort that out.

    When we set out planning the new download system we wanted to release something that would benefit both normal members and Premium Members alike and we think we've got it right. Premium Members are the life-blood of these sites and without them we could not afford our mounting expenses (currently at $25,000/month and growing monthly), so I'm always glad when we can add something to the Premium experience.

    With the new download system your downloads are balanced across our entire file server network (currently 10 file servers). Non-premium members are capped at a download speed of 1MB/second (8mbit) across all their downloads. If you download 1 file, you'll be able to download at a maximum of 1MB/second. If you download 2 files, you'll download at 500kb/second for each file. 4 downloads would be 250kb/sec per file. And so on and so forth. Premium members are obviously uncapped and will be able to download as fast as their connections allow. We've also added another Premium-only download server in the US for their use.

    All downloads have been opened up to download manager support, or even simple pause/resume functionality using the built in browser download mediums whether you're a Premium Member or not. This will now *fingers crossed* mean that if you get cut-off or the server drops half way through your download you'll be able to resume it from where you left off. If you're not a premium member you'll still be limited to 1MB/sec download speeds and you'll only be allowed to download 1 chunk per file, even if you use a download manager, but you'll have greater control over your downloads. Premium Members will be able to download files using multiple chunks/threads per file, even on the non-Premium-only servers, and thus get speeds as fast as possible. We still highly recommend using DownThemAll! if you're a FireFox user as this is the download manager that requires the least fuss when used in conjunction with the Nexus. We've also tested the system with GetRight and can confirm it works, but it requires a couple of settings tweaks which we'll write a tutorial for in due time.

    Over the coming weeks we'll be updating the Nexus Mod Manager to take in to account these new download changes and we'll try to make it as obvious as possible in the download manager how fast you're downloading and whether you're hitting your download speed limits. The hope is to entice some of you to part with your hard-earned cash to help us out a little; not just with the server expenses but with bringing on more professional help to make these sites the best they can be. We've got 3 people working full-time on the sites now. 2 on the sites, 1 on NMM. And we'd like more. I'd never jeopardise the future of the sites by overspending, however, so can only get more people on-board if the cash flow is right.
  • 08 August 2012

    Site issues since Dawnguard

    posted by Dark0ne Game News

    Hi folks,

    I thought I’d jump on real quick and fire off a news update on the sites. As is my way, I’ll start off with some self-defensive history.

    Roll-back to a few weeks ago and the one month XBox exclusivity on Dawnguard, the first Skyrim add-on/expansion/whatever you want to call it, was due to expire. Many expected Bethesda would release it for the PC there and then. But they didn’t. In fact, Pete Hines coyly came out and said “We have not announced Dawnguard for any other platform, nor given any timeline for any such news. If we have any news, i promise i'd tell you”. So Dawnguard was an unknown.

    Around this time of the year I tend to take a trip to Zakynthos in Greece with old housemates and past university friends. I’ve done so for the past 4 years now, so when they said they were going again this year I left it to the last minute to decide if I would go. With Dawnguard’s release up in the air, I booked my tickets and went and had a merry old time (thanks for asking), with my middle finger in the air to Dawnguard until I returned. Then Dawnguard middle-fingered me back :(

    Without so much of a whisper, Bethesda released Dawnguard on Steam 4 or 5 days ago and lots of people who’d moved on from Skyrim came back, and they were hungry to see what mods had been made in their absence. And that’s when the problems hit. Not only was I away on holiday, but we were literally half-way through rolling out our new download system, so it was a bit like Bethesda pulling our pants down in gym class without knowing we were going commando that day. No fault of their own, of course, it’s the wacky world of Bethesda PR and they’ll do things how they want, and I won’t begrudge them that. However it meant that we had a huge 30% influx in traffic smashing the hell out of our download and database servers whilst we were half way through bringing out a piece of non stress-tested new code. The servers went parp, I went parp, and I also got hit with a nice $5,000 bandwidth overage bill to boot as well. We pushed over 1200 TB of bandwidth last month. I had to look up what 1000 terabytes is. Apparently it’s a Petabyte. New Nexus record, anyway!

    So it’s been all hands on deck since then. I returned home about 2 hours ago after a flight back through the night, on zero sleep, and I’ll get this fixed as soon as possible. I’ve responded to a lot of the emails (especially to premium members having problems) but please understand, I’ve got about 3,000 unread messages from the past 2 weeks so if you don’t get a response to your “Why doesn’t it work” email, it’s because I’ve got about 2,000 more of the same email from other people! I’ve just sent in a request for an additional 2 US file servers to lighten the load on these, increase the download speeds and hopefully stop any of the connectivity issues that have plagued the servers in the past 5 days. The coders are busy working on tweaking everything as best they can.

    The new download system is taking a back seat for the time being until we can get things back to decent functionality again. I’ll cover what we’re doing in more detail soon, but in a nut-shell normal members are going to get download manager support but the total capped bandwidth will remain, premium members will be able to multi-thread their downloads and hopefully, if all goes to plan, maximise their full internet connection speed to download files much better than before. And NMM will do it all for you, if you use NMM.

    Anyway, better get back to sorting all this mess out!
  • 06 July 2012

    New Site Index - Day 3

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    A few days ago we finished rolling our preliminary new index page, complete with feeds. Since then we’ve been carefully combing through the feedback that didn’t contain threats on our lives or the use of pitchforks, fire-lit torches or tinfoil hats and we’ve been gradually working to improve the features on offer. I thought, on day 3, I’d share some of the updates and improvements we’ve made since first rolling out the new index page and just let you know that we’re still working on it and taking on-board constructive feedback.

    The change log up until now:

    • Moved the Hot Files thumbnails from the right nav to underneath the large hot files image, where it was before. Expanded the width to take up the entire content area to ensure we can fit the new 6 hot files, up from the original 5
    • Added left and right arrows that allow you to move the hot files image to the previous or next file in the list
    • Removed the tool-tip to the right of the "Your feeds" heading and replaced it with a link to your feed preferences to make it more obvious you can actually manipulate the feeds to some extent
    • Site news is now the default feed for people who haven't set a default
    • You can now disable your activity feed on your profile within your preferences
    • Increased the font size to make it more readable in most areas
    • Large images posted in file news articles are now scaled down in the File news tab to ensure they don't take up too much space (this will not affect the actually news article itself)
    • Fixed an issue with the file news article likes that meant you could like an article an unlimited amount of times
    • Changed the Latest Files and Latest images so that they show three in a row, and 15 per page
    • Entries in the Latest files and Latest Images now show how long it has been since the file has been added to the site
    • The "more" button on the Latest Files and Latest Images tabs will now provide 15 more entries on the same page [note: we plan to update this so that it replaces the current 15 entries, rather than tacks another 15 on to the end. You'll then be able to scroll back and forth through the latest files and images without leaving the index]

    If you haven’t already I’d recommend you go to your preferences where you will find options to manipulate your feeds a bit more to your liking, and change your default feed preference. Don’t care about the activity feeds? That’s fine, change your default feed to Site News, Latest Files or Latest Images, depending on what you come here for, and you’ll get that every time you land on the site.

    As I said, we’re still very much working on this and appreciate the constructive (with emphasis on constructive) feedback we’ve been receiving.
  • 29 June 2012

    Site and NMM updates, social networking features incoming

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    It’s been a while since I provided you all with an update on our activities so I thought I’d fire off a “quick” news article on what we’ve got rolling out soon, and in to the future.

    Site speed
    We’ve been working like badgers since rolling out the new code on Skyim Nexus to get everything refined and optimised for the new code base and to eradicate the slow-downs that have plagued the site and forums over the past few weeks. We think we might have sussed it out now, and we hope that 502 errors and 15 second page loads are now going to be a thing of the past (until we break it again with more code!). If you think we haven’t sussed it, let me know.

    Social features
    One thing that people said was high on their priority list on Nexus sites was more exposure for mods that have been on the site for a while. One of the ways I thought we could get more exposure for mods was by using the very driving force of this community, that would be you (by the way), to show what’s popular at the moment. What I’m really talking about is quasi-social networking features so you can see what your friends are talking about, what they like at the moment and so on and so forth.

    We’ve already rolled these features out on to Fallout 3 Nexus, Dragon Age Nexus, Neverwinter Nexus and Mount & Blade Nexus and more sites will follow soon. At the moment the features are at a base level, and we hope to expand upon them over the coming months. So don’t be disheartened if you think it’s rather limited at the moment, we’ll continue to develop it based on your feedback.

    We’ve changed the front pages of these sites to show “feeds” that you can pick from. You have a feed for activity on your tracked files, a feed to show what your friends have been up to recently and also a new feed for “File news”...

    File news
    One thing we wanted to allow mod authors to do was get the word out on new features they have added to their mods, or perhaps send out a pre-emptive heads up about what’s being worked on at the moment (much like this news post). With that in mind we’ve added an “Articles” features to all files in the database.

    If you’re a mod author you will be able to write news articles for your files, and these will show in a new tab on your file pages, and will also show up in the “File news” tab on the front of the site. So if you’ve got something new you’d like to mention about your mod or if you want to ask your users questions and get feedback then you can write up a news article for everyone to see. Each article has its own forum thread, so your article comments are kept separate from the rest of your file. You can write these articles by clicking on the “Articles” link from your mod management page.

    To prevent authors from “spamming” the front page file news feed with news posts for the same files only one article will show from your file within a 48 hour period. So if you write 3 articles within the space of a few hours, only one will show on the news feed on the front page.

    You can start writing articles right now on sites that have already had these social features added to them.

    Nexus Mod Manager
    We’re getting close to having 750,000 unique users of the Nexus Mod Manager and today we released version 0.18.8 of NMM, which contained a few bug fixes, including a fix for the scripting issues.

    We’re currently working on two new major features for NMM that have been begged for since we released the program last November; categories and profiling. Categories will enable you to organise your mod lists better, placing mods in to your own categories or allowing NMM to manage your categories for you based on the category the mod is in on the site. Profiling will enable you to create specific load customisations for your gaming; so Profile 1 might contain Mods A, B and C while Profile 2 might contain Mods B, C, X, Y and Z. When you start the game you can choose which profile to load.

    Downloading and uploading
    We’re working on overhauling both our current manual and NMM downloading system to be much better, faster, more efficient and more stable. I’ll talk about what we’ll be rolling out in the not too distant future, but rest assured that we are looking at it. We’re also looking in to making our uploads resumable so you can stop and start your mod uploads and restart from where you left off if your computer or browser crashes or your internet drops.

    So that’s just a glimpse at what we’re working on at the moment. Over the next couple of weeks the social network features should be rolled out to all the sites and you can begin to test them out and see what needs improving.
  • 16 May 2012

    Site updates and content filtering

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    We are in the final stages of rolling out our new codebase on all the Nexus sites and the only site left to be converted is Skyrim Nexus. We’ve been converting each Nexus site one at a time and then tweaking and updating the code to reflect any performance issues that have occurred. Due to the sheer amount of traffic that Skyrim Nexus still receives we’re being extra careful and ensuring we’ve optimised all the code as much as possible (based on our observations from the sites we’ve already converted) before doing the final conversion. So stay tuned on that one.

    Back when I did my State of the Union video at the end of February I mentioned that the three priority features we’d be working on at the Nexus after the conversion would be:

    • Content filtering that enabled you to hide any content that you’re not interested in. If you have absolutely no interest in anime, skimpy outfits, nudity, unbalanced content or mods that aren’t lore-friendly (to name but a few of the regular dislikes) then you should be able to remove these mods from view on the sites as much as feasibly possible.
    • Improving the visibility of mods and ensuring that mods can still be found among all the clutter after the first few days of release.
    • Improved and enhanced moderation features so we don’t have to have such a black (you’re banned) and white (you’re not banned) method of moderation.


    I’m happy to report that the first of those features, the content filtering, has been completed for all sites except Skyrim (which will be supported once we convert Skyrim Nexus!).

    The new Blocked Tags page will list a number of tags that you can use to filter content out on the site. Unlike past attempts at doing this, this newest version will filter mods out across all the features on the site including the hot files, category view, search results, top 100 lists and so on. Because we don’t want you to completely debilitate yourself using the new blocking features, we’ve added in the ability to see exactly what it is you’re blocking when browsing categories and search results. The easiest way to test this functionality is to block the “English” language tag and then do a blank search. You’ll see that a new information box displays above your results:

    QUOTE
    Your search has produced 20503 results. 6702 results have been omitted due to content filtering. You can repeat the search including those results.


    So the content filtering will let you know exactly how many files have been filtered by your filtering preferences and even allow you to repeat your search (or browsing) showing all the previously omitted results, without changing your preferences.

    Obviously, because the content filtering system is using our tag system then content filtering is only as good as the tags that have been applied to files in the first place. The site can’t filter out an anime mod if the anime tag isn’t being used. To that end I’ve worked on rearranging a lot of the current tags so they’re more accessible while adding some more content classification tags on some of the more regularly complained about content, including: anime, lore-friendly, not safe for work, nudity, sexy/skimpy, translation and saved games. As some of these tags are new it’s up to us, you, and mod authors to begin adding these new tags to these files.

    To further help in this process we’ve added a new page to the “Files” drop-down menu on all converted sites labelled Files without tags. This page will list every file that has absolutely no tags at all.

    To remind people of the tagging procedure, anyone and everyone can tag files on the site as long as they’re logged in. You can tag files by going to a file page and clicking the “Tags” tab (it’s the pencil icon) and using the green up or red down arrows next to each tag label. If you’re a mod author you can instantly tag your files. If you’re not the author of the file then you can recommend tags in the same way, using the green and red arrows, but it will take 3 recommendations from 3 separate users for the tag to become “confirmed” for the file. A “confirmed” tag will mean that mod can be searched for or blocked based on the tag. Mod authors automatically confirm their tags without the need for any other users to recommend the tag.

    If everyone browsing the sites spent 10 minutes of their time to go through the Files without tags page and tagged a few files then all the features that rely on the tagging system would be a lot more powerful. I don’t want anyone coming to me complaining that the tag system isn’t powerful enough if they have “Files tagged: 0” in their profile. We’re all in this together, folks!

    My hope is that this new content filtering is going to alleviate a lot of the complaints about seeing content that you’re not interested in. If you don’t like anime mods, block the content and you’ll never ever have to see it again. If you see an anime mod that hasn’t been tagged as such, do the right thing and tag it yourself, ensuring that you don’t go off on a crusade in the comments section while you’re at it.

    We’ll continue to tweak the content filtering and tagging system as necessary, and if you have any recommendations or bug reports then feel free to air them.

    We’ve got lots of really cool stuff in the works at the moment for both the sites and for NMM but I think I’ve said enough for now, so check up on the news soon as I provide an update on the other stuff.
  • 03 May 2012

    The Elder Scrolls Online announced

    posted by Dark0ne Game News
    Last month I posted some news that it was widely rumoured that Bethesda would be announcing the title their MMO department have been working on over the past 4 years in May some time. That announcement has come today from Bethesda via the Beth Blog and their long time announcement medium, Game Informer magazine.

    Here's the blurb from the Beth Blog article:

    QUOTE
    Since opening its doors in August of 2007, we haven’t been able to say much about happenings at ZeniMax Online Studios – until today. Announced just minutes ago, Game Informer’s June 2012 cover story is… The Elder Scrolls Online!

    The magazine will be available to subscribers early next week and should arrive at GameStop stores shortly after that. You’ll also want to keep your eyes on GameInformer.com/ElderScrollsOnline. Today they put up the magazine cover, and you can expect more updates throughout the month.


    We can expect to hear lots more about the game over the coming months. But perhaps the most obvious secret in the gaming industry is now out of the bag so we can all get on with it!
  • 03 May 2012

    The Shivering Isles 'madness armour' one of the 25 best

    posted by Lingwei Game News
    IGN has declared that the 'Madness Armour' featured in the Oblivion expansion The Shivering Isles is one of the 25 best armour sets in games.

    QUOTE
    The Madness Armor is a heavy armor set that you get through taking on the Antipodean Hammer quest. Once you have enough Madness Ore bring it to Cutter at Cutter's Weapons in Bliss and she will make you a piece of the armor. Boots cost two pieces of ore, as do the helmet, shield and gauntlets. The greaves need three to be crafted, and the cuirass five.

    The Madness Armor not only adds scarily good bonuses to your character it also looks, well, mad. There's a face with sharp teeth engraved into the breastplate, mini faces on the knees and a multi-eyed, pointy tooth face on the shield.


    Oblivion Nexus is glad it doesn't have to make up lists like this to fill news posts.