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Last night we released the Nexus Mod Manager version 0.15.0 for general download to fix the issues that Bethesda and Valve presented all the mod managers out there with the changes to the way load orders are handled. Sadly Bethesda didn't give us nearly enough time to ensure we could solve the issues they've presented us (and I'm sure they'd argue they don't have to), so I know that wrinklyninja (of BOSS) has worked at least 100+ hours in the last week alone on getting the BOSS API to a usable state for kaburke (NMM) and Lojack (Wrye) to equally spend a lot of time updating the respective mod managers.
Unfortunately version 0.15.0 of NMM has a program breaking bug in it at the moment that is going to need to be hotfixed as soon as possible. Lots and lots of people have reported this issue so I think it's safe to assume that almost everyone has the same problem! There is a fix for this right now, however, if you are willing to do a little folder copy and pasting. Alternatively you can wait for a hotfix, that will hopefully come today, or roll-back to version 0.14.2.
The fix is very simple. Navigate to where you have NMM installed (the default location is C:Program FilesNexus Mod Manager), copy the "data" folder from inside the Nexus Mod Manager directory, go back one folder (to C:Program Files) and paste the data folder inside the Program Files directory. NMM should now start, load, and work. If it doesn't then I'm afraid you have a different problem, and one that has likely been in NMM since before this version.
When a hotfix gets released for version 0.15.0 you'll be safe to remove the copied data folder from your Program Files directory.
Many apologies for the program breaking bug, but everyone involved has been scrambling and putting in ludicrous hours (especially wrinklyninja, who deserves your thanks) to get this problem sorted for you as quickly as humanly possible.
It is with great pleasure that I announce that we are now supporting the Mount & Blade series of games at Mount & Blade Nexus.
The Mount & Blade series of games are unlike any game you'll have played and I'm a huge fan, in spite of the fact I've never quite been able to finish a campaign of either of the three games; Mount & Blade, Warband and With Fire & Sword despite pumping in over 50 hours of play time to each. If you've never heard of the Mount & Blade series, picture Civilization or Total War style castle building and world-map domination mixed with a first/third-person combat system that is second-to-none, with the real kicker being huge battles and excellent mounted horse combat.
You travel the world map in the name of your king (or in your own name if you wish in Warband), defeating rival faction warlords or sieging forts and castles until you are the last faction standing. The graphics aren't amazing compared to some recent releases (the Mount & Blade series is by no means old and dated, mind) but what it lacks in crazy video card killing graphics it more than makes up for in huge battles, gameplay and scope. So while in Skyrim your PC will start to die horribly with more than a few fighting NPCs on the screen at any one time, Mount & Blade will throw 200 horse-riding bandits at you without breaking a sweat. Trust me, after the first 30 minutes you won't care at all about the looks!
The Mount & Blade complete pack can be purchased from Steam (and other places) for £34.99, which I assume will be $49.99 for our friends across the pond. Alternatively and controversially, if you're a bit stumped for cash right now then Mount & Blade: Warband is £19.99 on Steam. I think you'll find most in the M&B community would recommend you play Warband first, and move on to With Fire and Sword if you're looking for something a bit new (which you won't want to do any time soon!). Warband is everything the original Mount & Blade was, but better, and with multiplayer if you wish!
The Mount & Blade series has a dedicated modding scene with over 2,500 modifications to boot. I have merged the prominent community modding site, MBRepository, in to the Mount & Blade Nexus database so that all files available on the Repository are available here on the Nexus too. This was, of course, done with the blessing of the owner of MBRepository, Janus.
If you're starting to tire of Skyrim, or if you're looking for something new in your gaming life then I recommend you get your teeth in to Mount & Blade, there's literally hundreds of hours of fun to be had in the vanilla games, and then hundreds more to be had within the already mature modding community. And all the mods will be here, at Mount & Blade Nexus.
Over the past month Axel and I have been secretly working away on a side project to upgrade and improve our file server infrastructure, primarily to make us future proof and increase the storage capacity of all our file servers, but also to ensure we have more than enough bandwidth to go around.
If you're particularly astute, you may have noticed that some servers have gone missing from the server selection window for days or even weeks at a time, and new servers have cropped up (for instance we now have 2 servers in Washington DC, and 2 servers in London). We've been taking down servers for upgrades and putting up new ones to bolster the ranks. And the reason? We're now pushing over 1.8Gbit of traffic a second across our network. Here's some maths:
1.8Gbit a second = 230 MegaBytes a second
230MB x 60 = 13.8 GigaBytes a minute
12.8GB x 60 = 828GB an hour
828GB x 24 = 19.9 TeraBytes a day
19.9TB x 30 = 597TB a month
Our upgrades are now complete and a direct result of these upgrades is that I am going to be doubling the speed cap on downloads for normal members from 500kb/sec to 1MB/sec. This will apply to both "manual" downloads and downloads through the Nexus Mod Manager. Expect this to happen some time next week.
We're very close to announcing the new site code going in to beta (any hour/day now!), which is something I've alluded to recently in the news and my recent State of the Union video blog. The beta and subsequent roll-out of this code is the spring-board for us to roll out a host of additional features and upgrades for the sites, so this is a really exciting time for us.
Axel is currently working on a new download mechanism for manual downloads that will do away with the server selection window and provide you with the best file server for downloading at the time. It should save you a few clicks and a bit of waiting around for your download to start. But more on that later.
Keep your eye out for the beta announcement as we're hoping as many of you as possible will take some time out of your busy schedule to make sure the sites are as bug free as possible before we go live. I want no complaints if we roll out the new code and things you use are broken because you didn't help us beta test!
Over the past few months the uptake of our Nexus Mod Manager beta has been tremendous, with now close to 350,000 users of the software. I would like to continue expanding and improving the Nexus Mod Manager and it's features while also improving the stability of the software and ensuring that as many people as possible who want to use the software, can use the software. With that in mind I am opening up a new employee position at the Nexus for a dedicated .NET/C# programmer to work on NMM, and similar utilities for the Nexus sites.
It will be the duty of the .NET developer to continue improving and expanding the scope of the Nexus Mod Manager while working on fixing bugs and stability issues with the current code.
If you are an experienced .NET programmer with at least 3 years of experience and are looking for a job, please head over to the job page for more information. Be sure to send in a CV and previous examples of your work to the email address provided.
A couple of months back I uploaded my first video blog for the Nexus sites, partly to save my hands from writing out the typically 2,000 - 4,000 work essay blogs I used to write, and also so you could see what I look like and see my mannerisms when I expressed my opinions. I said I would do some more if they were well received and I had the time, and today I've finally gotten around to doing another.
Today's video blog takes on the roll of a "State of the Union" type address. I cover the recent release of Steam Workshop and how it has affected the community and the Nexus sites, what we've been up to recently and what we'll be working on in the not too distant future.
While I had set out to make this video shorter than the last one I still managed to talk for 30 minutes without even realising it (my teachers always used to say I suffered from verbal diarrhea) so if you're only interested in a specific subject I'm talking about then take a look at the times in the contents list below:
1. Prologue, introduction to the video (0:00)
2. A talk on Steam Workshop and it's effect on the Nexus/the community (1:05)
3. What we've been up to at the Nexus in the past few months (9:47)
4. The future and what we're going to be working on (12:25)
4.1 Point of contention #1 - only showing content to users that they actually care to see (14:57)
4.2 Point of contention #2 - increasing the visibility of mods past the first week (16:40)
4.3 Point of contention #3 - overhaul of the moderation system (23:00)
4.4 File uploading system overhaul (27:14)
4.5 The Nexus Mod Manager (28:40)
5. Finishing up (29:50)
If you're the sort of person who likes listening to podcasts, or would simply prefer an MP3 to listen to on a portable device or on your PC rather than listening to the YouTube video, then I have uploaded the audio from the video blog here for you to download.
The Nexus Mod Manager recently passed the 300,000 unique downloads mark, which means that at least 300,000 of you are helping us to beta test the latest version of NMM. We've still got so much left to do with NMM, and I'm currently trying to see if I can squeeze enough out of the Nexus site budget to get a programmer on full-time to work on making NMM as stable and feature rich as possible. That's my hope (and if you're a C# programmer living in the UK, let me know!).
While I can't program in OOP languages to save my life, what I can do is documentation. A couple of weeks back I asked well known mod video blogger and Nexus member Gopher if he would be willing to create a video tutorial for people who were new to NMM. If you're not in the know, Gopher has a popular following of YouTubers who tune in to the regular mod review videos he publishes on his YouTube channel. I highly recommend them!
The video is now available and takes you through everything from downloading and installing NMM, getting it to work with FOMM to installing mods, managing mods and updating mods. It runs at 34 minutes, and I know some of you have ADD (among other things) and might not be able to sit still for 34 minutes, so I've taken the liberty of making a Wiki page that details what is in the video under specific headings, along with time links to the specific time in the YouTube video. So if you're only interested in learning about one area, you don't need to watch the whole thing to find it.
On the subject of the Wiki, the Wiki now has it's own NMM category and I've begun the long process of adding pages to the Wiki specifically for the Nexus Mod Manager. The hope is that in the not too distant future it will cover everything from the simple basics, to the really technical stuff like how to make those really cool scripted installers that make NMM really handy to have. Remember that you can help with publishing Wiki articles, and if you're serious about helping out then get in contact with me, I can help you learn the ropes of the Wiki (if you've never done wiki articles before) and maybe sort you out with a little Premium time for your troubles.
The backup has been restored and everything seems to be working again. This issue ONLY affected forum posts and file and image comments. All other data is up-to-date. Please note that the backup was from 10am GMT, so any posts made between 10am and 2PM GMT today will have, unfortunately, have been lost in the restore process. Apologies for this issue, but if it's any consolation, the table corruption has now been fixed! Yay!
I've been working hard today trying to fix an issue with a key database table that has become corrupted. I still haven't fixed the issue and I'm having to revert to a database backup made about 4 hours ago. This means that forum posts and file and image comments from the past 4 hours will "go missing", never to return.
I've brought the sites back online so you can still use almost all the functionality during this time consuming process, but please be aware that file and image comments will currently be blank. I'm obviously aware of this issue and working hard to fix it!
Decembers File of the Month interview with Andalay and Amadaun, creators of Dark Brotherhood ChroniclesDecember's File of the Month winners are Andalay and Amadaun, creators of Dark Brotherhood Chronicles. Dark Brotherhood Chronicles won with 27 votes. As usual, we have conducted an interview with the winners, and here are their answers:QUOTE
What was your inspiration for creating this mod?
Amadaun: I was a big fan of the Dark Brotherhood questline, and I really wanted to continue it. It always seemed that, out of all the Oblivion questlines, the DB was the one that really had the potential to keep going.
Andalay: My inspiration wasn't in creating the mod, rather it was what prompted me to join the team. Quite frankly, I was a bit bored at the time and looking to expand my skills. I didn't join DBC until Dec. 2010 and didn't start working on it until Jan. 2011. I was intrigued by the story the team had written and decided I could help them finish the mod.
What did you find most enjoyable about the creation process of this mod?
Amadaun: Definitely learning the ins and outs of modding. My artistic and writing skills have really improved over the years thanks to this mod.
Andalay: The learning process and meeting new friends.
What were some of the challenges you came across making this mod?
Amadaun: Suddenly finding myself in charge, for one! I found the first team and helped as a general forum moderator. After that one sort of fell apart, I joined the second team as the head concept artist. Over time, I somehow ended up as team lead! I had to learn a lot of stuff to keep the mod going.
Andalay: The learning curve. I hadn't done a lot of quest scripting before joining the team, so that was new. And DBC presented many challenges. I often muttered to myself: "You want to do what to who?" I didn't even know some of the stuff was possible until I did it for DBC.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of the Oblivion tools?
Amadaun: The havok simulator was a ton of fun. I never got the AI tools in the CS to work for me, though.
Andalay: I got a kick out of the havok simulator too. My least favorite thing would be the lack of documentation. The quest window is frustrating to deal with too.
What are some other common tools you used in your development?
Amadaun: Blender, Photoshop, Nifskope, and the Nvidia .dds plugins.
Andalay: CSE, TES4Edit, TES4Gecko, Wrye Bash, 3DS Max, NifSkope.
Roughly, what was the total time it took you to put this mod together so far?
Amadaun: Now, that's a tough question – since its inception in November 2006, the mod has gone through three dev teams, three hosting sites, and a lot of rewrites. And a lot of rough patches, to be honest.
Andalay: With the current team and storyline, it probably would have taken about three years.
Do you plan to add any more new features in your mod? Specifically, anything not listed on your mod's page on the Nexus?
Amadaun & Andalay: Yep! The DBC is supposed to be a trilogy extending into Skyrim. We're also going to finish up all the voice acting for Awakening, as well as add a couple more quests.
Do you have any other mods you are working on? If so, what might those be?
Amadaun: DBC was my first project, so I don't have any other projects at the moment. I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of stuff now that I've learned how, though.
Andalay: I'm working on the Black Marsh project. I still plan to do one more update to Oblivion XP. Then I plan on porting Oblivion XP to Skyrim. And Amajor7 and I are going to port Imperial Furniture to Skyrim.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where you are from, what are some of your other hobbies outside of games?
Amadaun: I'm a freelance artist and graphic designer. I do a bit of writing as well.
Andalay: I'm semi-retired now. I'm a computer consultant when I'm not modding. I'm also the owner and system administrator of the Dark Creations site.
What are some of your other favorite games if Oblivion isn't the only game you play? Any other game genres besides the RPG style games that Bethesda publishes?
Amadaun: I'm fond of puzzle and adventure games like the Myst series and Monkey Island. I also play Final Fantasy, Guild Wars, and, of course, the older RPGs like Diablo, NWN, and Baldur's Gate.
Andalay: I like Dragon Age, Civilization, and adventure games. Also the older RPG's.
Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
Amadaun: Don't give up. DBC probably had more bumps in the road to completion than most mods, but it was so worth sticking with it. And don't be afraid to learn something new. I hardly knew anything about 3D modeling or even texturing the models when I started, but now I'd like to think I'm pretty good at it. Same for level design.
Andalay: If you're doing a quest mod, be sure to write out your story and goals. Avoid scope creep - create a plan and stick to it. For other mods, like gameplay changes, identify the features and purpose of the mod and stick to that. You can always enhance it later. Get something completed and then release. The sense of accomplishment is great to keep you going.
And finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
We'd like to thank everyone for their support. Many people stuck with us for a long time. We'd also like to thank the rest of the team - there's no way this would have gotten finished without our writers, scripters, modelers and testers. Lastly, thanks to everyone for voting for DBC!
Thanks to Andalay and Amadaun for taking their time to answer these questions. Now, don't forget to vote for February's File of the Month! (And January's File of the Month will be posted in between.)
It’s been a hectic day today. The astute among you will have noticed we’ve done a domain move on every Nexus site to subdomains of our new central domain, nexusmods.com. Don’t worry, we’re not making any funky visual changes to the sites! It’s just better for us this way.
In between all the crazy name server and DNS changes (and all the issues they bring with them!), Kaburke has managed to get the latest version of the Nexus Mod Manager out and available for download. Version 0.14.1 adds some super cool and much needed UI tweaks and features that make the program look more modern, and more functional!
We’ve stuck the download manager at the bottom of the program, and it will pop-up and show you your download activity if you start a new download. You can choose to move this back to where it was before if you prefer, but I think it’s way better in this latest version! Talking of downloads you will now be able to see your download speed within NMM. Normal members are limited to 500kb/sec per file and Premium Members are able to use up to 4MB/sec per file and both normal member downloads and Premium Member downloads are multi-threaded. That basically means if you are far away from the file servers and wouldn’t normally be able to download as fast as possible, you should be able to now. And you don’t need to do a thing to make that happen.
The UI is now much more customisable. You can move the tabs about to suit your needs, and you can even “pull” them out of NMM in to their own separate windows. You might find that handy for debugging certain things. Or if windows really rock your boat! If you make a mess of things and can’t work out how to get it all back to normal there’s a setting under the Tools icon to reset your UI back to the default, so no worries there.
NMM is really starting to gear-up and play the part now and I’m really happy with how it’s starting to look. We’ve got lots and lots of things we still want to do and get in to the program, and we’ll get around to it all eventually. Some people have mentioned the fact that the download page for NMM is hard to find on the sites, and that’s a conscious decision I’ve made to not advertise the program too much because we are still in open beta with the program. Having said that, we’re almost at the 250,000 unique downloads mark for the program, so word-of-mouth really does speak for itself. Version 0.14.1 will mark the start of when I begin to advertise NMM on the sites so you’ll see some more visible links to the Mod Manager page and how and where to download the program on the sites soon. I think it’s time to get the word out.
Edit: It should also be noted that for some people, the domain changes today will have caused a few glitches and errors that you might still be experiencing. These will go away within the next 24 hours depending on how fast your ISP is to update their DNS caching.
It's been quite a while since my last blog post, and there's a very good reason for that. I've been busy, very busy! It's not all been Nexus work, but most of it, and perhaps more than I'd like, has been Nexus work. I'm writing this latest blog to keep you all updated with what's going on right now, and some of our plans over this coming year.
Something obvious that you'll notice coming to a Nexus site near you over the coming days is a move to a central domain at nexusmods.com. Each Nexus site is going to move to a subdomain of nexusmods.com (so tesnexus.com will become tes.nexusmods.com, skyrimnexus.com will become skyrim.nexusmods.com and so on). There are lots of different reasons for doing this, some point to the here and now and some point to the future. But primarily I really want to centralise things more because as it stands right now each Nexus site is like its own island tentatively linked together by the forums. Apart from the domain change you're not going to see a change in the appearance or functionality of the site, and we're not planning to mash all the sites in to one or anything like that. What a mess that would make. Having said that your login will be global across the Nexus sites, so if you're logged in on one you'll be logged in on them all. A nice by-product of this move. The current Nexus domains will still work and automatically redirect you to the current subdomain address, so you don't need to worry about updating any links.
And now for more exciting things. Since the site redesign back in August I relinquished my role as the sole programmer and coder for the Nexus sites as I brought Axel on board, full-time, to work on completely "professionalising" (that's what I like to call it) the code for the Nexus sites. The premise was simple; if you want to build a network that will stand the test of time your foundation must be strong. And to continue the cliché I'll refer to the parable of not building your house on the sandy land: we've got lots of plans for improving and expanding the sites, but before you build your house you ensure your foundation is rock-solid. And that's what our current work is all about. It's a phrase that I've repeated many times over the years and it's why my focus has always been on consolidating and strengthen my sites, constantly revaluating, improving and tweaking them, rather than expanding them and spreading my resources and time thinly and biting off more than I can chew.
Naturally sites that are as complex as the Nexus sites take a long time to recode properly, and it's not just a matter of sorting out the code, but working with the huge database files and ensuring that all the data can be retained as we transition from old to new. Things have taken longer than I would have liked them to and I've had to learn to deal with delegation rather than doing everything myself. It sounds like that should be a good thing (because I'm doing less work and focusing on other areas) but when you're used to being in complete control of your work and deadlines, it's hard to push that on to someone else.
One real advantage I've had with Nexus sites compared to others has been the ability to adapt to circumstances and react quickly. Very quickly. There's a lot to be said for having a system as far away from bureaucratic problems as possible, so when I want to add a new feature to the sites I plan it out, perhaps discuss it with the mod authors or the users on the forums, code it and then commit to the sites for people to use and test. It's a very simple process that is not hindered by the bureaucracy others might have to deal with, like the designer having to write out a design document, who has to pass it through his project leader, who has to OK it with the higher ups, who then pass it to the coder who has to code the system, thoroughly test it, perhaps pass it on to a QA team and then commit the code. It's what I like to call the "no dilly-dallying approach" to site coding. It works because you guys are pretty cool about being used as the beta testers because, I think, you're pretty confident I'll fix the glaring bugs quickly.
I want to hold on to this sense of fast and quick site updating as we finalise our current work and look to improving the functionality of the sites again. This month I have hired on a second coder so we can get to the point where we're pushing through some super awesome new and improved functionality for the sites on a very regular basis.
The fact is we've got lots of really cool and exciting ideas and not enough time to get it all done, and it's starting to get on my nerves! We want to get this boring recode out of the way so we can start pushing out some of the functionality I've been promising, or dreaming of, for a long time now. To list a few of these proposed plans off the top of my head:
- We've got designs and ideas planned for improving the visibility of otherwise invisible files that get lost in the quagmire of the Nexus file databases and really highlighting some of the hidden gems that you might never have otherwise seen. Some of them quite fun and interactive.
- We're completely recoding our file uploading and management system to be fool-proof and much more powerful for mod authors, and this will link up great with the Nexus Mod Manager.
- We'll be completely re-doing the tracking system to make it super powerful and useful so you'll never miss a beat on the files and authors you really like. If you're friends with others on the Nexus then you might get some hints from the stuff they really like as well.
- We'll be adding an achievement system for all users for a bit of fun. So the more you use the site the more achievements you'll earn.
- We're going to create a complete playlist/mod collection showcasing system so users can share their mod lists with others, without trying to complicate the already bad situation of users not actually reading file descriptions/readmes.
- Our moderation system is going to be completely reworked and much less black (you're banned) and white (you're not banned). Moderators will get lots more tools to make their job much easier.
- Continued improvement of the Nexus Mod Manager.
That's just a taste of what we have planned, and we hope to get these features rolled out hard and fast, as soon as this recode is done. The beauty is that some ideas I would never have been able to implement because of my lacklustre coding skills are now a very real possibility, so I can cook up some truly awesome ideas for site functionality that I could have never contemplated before.
As we finalise the recode of the Nexus sites I'll be engaging with the community a lot more on what they would like to see from the sites. And I'm sure that this upcoming Steam Workshop integration with Skyrim will give us all some food for thought. I'm quietly confident that we can happily adapt to any changes or curve-balls that the integration might throw at us, as we have in the past, and I think that we're excellently positioned right now to not only do this, but push on with our plans for expanding and improving this community.
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