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A couple of weeks back the Nexus sites silently recorded their 2 millionth registered member which is a great achievement. As dictated at the last registration milestone, the millionth member, I decided the next milestone would be 2.5 million members, and 5 million members after that, and we're slowly creeping up on that figure day-by-day.
Each milestone is greatly coveted by me. The milestones are a trophy for the strong support of the modding communities behind the Elder Scrolls, Fallout and Dragon Age series and indeed the success of the Nexus sites within these communities.
Just like the previous milestone I am going to hold a modding competition to celebrate the occasion and hand out some nice prizes to the winners. Hopefully these competitions will become tradition for those users who stick around with us long enough to see each milestone.
The theme for the competition is not going to change from the last and revolves around that of the community we are in. I'm hoping to see some great mods that cover users in the community that might have influenced you during your time here, the various sites of the community that you are a part of (it doesn't just have to be the Nexus!) and what you like about the community.
The type of mod you make, be it a quest, a new landmass, a house or castle, NPCs, weapons, armour, etc. is totally up to you but I will look more favourably upon entries that have a quest in them because I'm a sucker for a good quest! That doesn't mean a mod with a quest in is going to win, however, and if you come up with something really unique then I'll probably love it! A Nexus defence mod, for example, where you defend fort Nexus from a horde of trolls with your fellow moderators wielding ban hammers by your side is something I've dreamt about...
This competition is for Oblivion, Fallout: New Vegas and Dragon Age: Origins. While I understand some modders have not made the move from Fallout 3 to New Vegas (or indeed Morrowind to Oblivion) I did not want to dilute the entries or the prize pool to accommodate these earlier games in their respective series. Sorry to all those disappointed by this.
For full details on what to do and how to enter go visit the competition page. This year the prizes have been tripled in value from a prize pot of $500 to a prize pot of $1,500 and we're covering Dragon Age, too. Top prize for winners is a $350 Amazon.com voucher, with $100 prizes for runner-ups and $50 prizes for mods with the highest potential.
The competition ends 10 days after the 2.5 million member mark is reached so by current estimates that's about 8 months away; but there may be more Nexus sites on the way in the mean-time that makes that figure likely to change, so jump on it quickly to avoid disappointment.
For those without the creative edge or time to create modifications we are currently running a raffle competition on the Nexus Wiki whereby any helpful articles you add to the site will count as a raffle ticket to go towards a prize draw for a $100 Amazon voucher that will be decided at the same time as the 2.5 millionth member competition. So there's something for everyone here.
Further updates will come as we get closer to this milestone. Feel free to voice your intentions to enter this competition and, if you wish, share your plans with the community. Good luck to everyone!
Some of you might have thought that this was a given while others, like myself, wanted to wait for official confirmation from Bethesda before we got all excited and had to change our underwear.
Today Bethesda have announced via their blog that there will indeed be an SDK for Skyrim.
Here's the blurb:QUOTEBethesda has a long history of supporting the modding community, and for good reason. It’s a science fact that mod tools make the world a better place: they make modders happy because they can mod, they make developers happy to see modders gaining experience, and they make fans happy to see an endless stream of content they can mess around with. So today we were pretty happy to finally confirm our plans to continue that support with Skyrim.
As Game Informer confirmed on Monday, Skyrim’s new engine has been dubbed the “Creation Engine.” Accompanying that engine will be the Creation Kit, our suite of level-building tools that we’ll be releasing to the community, much like the Elder Scrolls Construction Set for Morrowind and Oblivion.
The Kit was recently mentioned in the Game Informer article on the tech behind Skyrim. While we have nothing further to announce regarding the Kit at this time, give that article a read for more details on just how powerful these tools will be.
This is excellent news and I, personally, am grateful Bethesda have quickly nipped any doubts in the bud and just come out and said it. Some of you will remember how they handled the G.E.C.K. for Fallout 3 where they didn't announce their intentions until after the games release. It left many of us in limbo. It's great to see Bethesda be progressive in this matter, listen to their fans, and continue to support their awesome modding community.
No doubt more details about the tools and a possible release time frame for the Creation Kit will be announced closer to the release of the game. Lets be patient now, happy in the knowledge that all is well in the land.
Recently I've been working in the background on getting an acceptable Wiki in place for use on the sites. As much as the article database integrates in to the sites they're limited in their functionality, especially when it comes to articles that are relevant to more than one site (such as help with the Nexus sites, or certain modding techniques applicable to the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series).
The Nexus Wiki is a simple Wiki set up to replace the article database on the sites and provide a more central area for helpful articles and tutorials to do with the Nexus sites, the games and modding in general. The mission statement is in no way to attempt to replace any popular community wiki's (such as the UESP or the official SDK wiki's for the various games). It's designed to share information on making modding easier and provide tutorials and help for people struggling to install modifications or use the sites. MediaWiki as a platform is far more versatile than the article database ever would have been so it makes sense to do this switch.
The Wiki login system uses your Nexus username and password so you won't need to sign up again. Once logged in you can create new pages and edit current ones as you would any other wiki. Normal wiki etiquette applies and remember; everything is logged and vandalism will be handled and moderated as it would on any other section of the site (with a swift strike of the ban hammer).
The articles and tutorials in the Wiki are sparse right now and each article and tutorial of worth needs to be manually added to the Wiki from the old article database and rearranged to fit the Wiki template. It's a time consuming process that I've been working on when I can but I could definitely use some help.
As an added incentive for any budding wiki users I will be running a lottery on the Wiki from now until the end of the (soon to be announced) 2.5 millionth member competition. For every new helpful article or tutorial added to the Wiki your account will be entered in to a lottery draw to win a $100 Amazon gift voucher (or an amount of same worth in your own currency). If you write 10 helpful articles or tutorials you get 10 tickets. The draw will take place once the 2.5 million member mark is reached, so hop to it!
I will keep the article database on the sites in their current location (e.g. http://www.tesnexus.com/articles/ for the TESNexus article database) until I am satisfied all the articles currently in the database have been transferred over to the new Wiki.
As many will know the Gamebryo formally used by Oblivion and Fallout 3 has been dying a slow death of late. On November 10th 2010 the assets of the engine were put up for sale. Such events have raised questions about Bethesda's choice of engine for TES V and the modability of any new engine that Bethesda might choose to use.
The most likely engine candidate was thought to be the id Tech5 engine that is currently being used for the upcoming RAGE game by id as well as the next Doom game. With Zenimax's (Bethesda's parent company) acquisition of id Software earlier on in the year TES V on the id Tech5 seemed like a very real possibility. Unfortunately the engine is not great for open world games and is even worse for modders due in no small part to the massive texture system the id Tech5 engine employs.
Since the announcement of TES V last night Nick Breckon has tweeted that TES V will use an all-new engine:QUOTEWe can now confirm that the TES V: Skyrim engine is all-new. And it looks fantastic.
This coincides with a recent interview with Todd Howard on Eurogamer:QUOTEEurogamer: Is it fair to say then that it's based on existing technology?
Todd Howard: The technology is ours and it is inspired by the technology we have. We have a lot of it. But that's our starting point - the Fallout 3 tech. It started with Morrowind, we went to Oblivion, we did a lot between Oblivion and Fallout 3 because now we had final hardware - with Oblivion we had six months on final hardware, so Fallout 3 technically does a lot more than Oblivion. The new stuff is an even bigger jump from that.
And finally an IGN interview with Todd Howard should put the rumours to bed:QUOTEBethesda Game Director Todd Howard explained in a separate interview with IGN that his game would not use id Tech 5. The studio's new engine built for its upcoming title is more beneficial to creating huge, open-world games, such as Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, while id Tech 5 is better for more contained environments.
"We decided to really reboot our technology after Fallout 3, so we had been making plans for that and started doing some things. The id thing came along later, so it's a mix of that plus the kinds of games we do are a bit bigger and more dynamic.
"Id Tech 5 is the best thing in the world at doing a very static environment that looks pretty and you're going to run through. But for the kinds of things I like to do, I like the world to be more dynamic."
While we have no details on this new engine it sounds like it has been specifically tailored for the Elder Scrolls series and games of similar ilk. We can only hope that Bethesda still love us, the modding community, enough to develop their tools with the end user in mind as well.
As it is an SDK is always at the furthest edges of a developer's mind so I wouldn't expect to hear anything about it (modding) way in to the new year and much closer to the release date. I would love Bethesda to prove me wrong though.
Oh yes, it's been announced. Those of us who dared to believe already knew the location (because they registered trademarks in the name of Skyrim yonks ago). We already knew it was in development, but we didn't know the release date.
It's coming, and it's coming within a year.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was announced by Todd Howard last night at the Spike TV VGA awards to many cheers, a few tears, and a clapping audience. The teaser trailer can be seen on the official site.
Do we know much about the game yet? Nope. Any screenshots? Not that I know of. Any word on an SDK? You've got to be kidding me. Does it matter yet? Nope. Lets all try to remain patient and keep our underwear clean while we wait for the inevitable trickle (or torrent, depending on how Bethesda want to handle this) of news, information and content previews to make its way in to the print and press.
TES V: Skyrim is due out 11.11.11. Which is handy for us Brits because it means we don't get confused by the whole MM.DD format rather than DD.MM format. Hurrah.
Just a reminder for anyone who hasn't noticed the latest site blog that I will be hosting an Amnesia: The Dark Descent demo night tonight. Midnight GMT, 7pm EST time.
The premise is simple; people interested can download the demo, download Mumble; the free to download/use VoIP software and log on to my Mumble server and we’ll all play through the demo at our own pace individually. Everyone sets their Mumble to "all talk" so that we can hear everything going on; every person that jumps, every person that welps, and every person that screams "WHAT THE BLOODY DICKENS WAS THAT?!?" (that would be me).
For more information check out the latest blog post.
It is with both annoyance and regret that I have to announce that I discovered today that the Nexus sites had been compromised through a hole in the site's code. The compromise was serious giving the script kiddy access to all the MySQL databases, including the database for the forums that contains user information such as your email address.
I have had reports today from people who have told me that "one-time" accounts used to sign up to the site have been receiving spam. It is my belief that the script kiddy decided he would place some of the member's of this site's email addresses, or all of them, on a spamlist. Now spam for a large majority of you shouldn't be an issue considering the modern day counter measures against it but the fact this data has been used at all is worrying enough and I apologise for that.
Please remember that you should not post anything about yourself on the internet that you do not want to be public domain. While you have a right to expect your information to remain safe and secure on this site these situations do happen, from the smallest sites all the way up to the Google's and Microsoft's of this world.
I am making every effort to try and plug any holes I find and once again make sure the site is secure. I would like to thank the people who emailed me earlier on in the day for not only informing me but also their calm attitude to the situation. Obviously this situation is very embarrassing for me and I'm making every effort to insure this doesn't happen again.
The good news is that the script kiddy decided that he would not attempt to make too much of a hassle of himself; indeed he failed in his attempts to compromise the forum skins and seems to have given up since. More amusingly the hacker made no attempt to mask his IP address from the access logs of the site which means we've traced down exactly where he lives (due to his ISP having a static IP address) to his very front door. Indeed we also tracked his use to a Call of Duty forum he either owns or has admin access to (a Call of Duty script kiddy; that's about as cliché as it gets). This forum provides scripts and hacks for the games. We are currently considering our options baring in mind the person is probably a teenager using his mum's internet.
Once again I apologise for the inconvenience.
I have added a new filter to the Advanced Search on the site to allow you to search by files that have their permissions set to "Yes, but you must credit me for all the files you use" or "Yes, no credit or permission needed" under "Users can use assets contained in my files in their own files".
This should allow mod authors who are looking for usable assets to quickly find files that have been made open for others to use under certain conditions.
I've been working recently on tallying up all the various "interesting" statistics this site records in to one grand total to get an overall view of the popularity of the sites within the gaming community. I thought it would nice to see just how big this community is and how popular it is to mod the games.
I was hoping to use sales figures from the various Bethesda games to come up with a ball-park figure of PC owners who have downloaded and modded their games through the Nexus. Unfortunately Bethesda aren't a public company and won't provide me with their sales figures (I can understand why) and the sales figures that have been announced through press releases will now be massively out-of-date.
I did recently use a BioWare press-release for Dragon Age that allowed me to come up with a ball-park figure. Including a 15% decrease on the results to account for piracy I worked out that 32% of the PC owners of Dragon Age had moddded their game using mods from Dragon Age Nexus. That figure obviously doesn't include users who download from other sites, such as the BioWare social site. The figure might be big to you, or it might be small to you, but the fact almost a third of BioWare's PC customers have modded the game suggests to me that modding is something PC game developers should be supporting more often.
The stats for TESNexus, Fallout 3 Nexus, New Vegas Nexus and Dragon Age Nexus can be found in the right-hand navigation under "Statistics".
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