We’ve updated the sites today with what will probably be the last new feature we add to the sites for a little while as we focus fully on expanding the Nexus sites to support all PC games which I mentioned in my recent blog piece
Today’s update has added a new link titled “Download history” to file comments which is displayed next to the post date information for mod authors on their own file page comment areas. When the author of the file clicks this link they’ll be able to see your download history for that file (and only that file), which will display the file version you downloaded and when you downloaded it.
You might be asking why, and what’s the point? There’s a few good reasons why it would be handy for a mod author to see your download history for their file.
One of the assets of Nexus functionality over Steam Workshop is the fact users have complete version control over the files they download. If a mod author releases an update that has a major bug in it then users can roll-back to a previous version or skip updating to the latest version until the mod author fixes the bug. This is in direct contrast to Steam Workshop where mod updates are applied automatically, without warning or a user choice, when a mod author uploads a new version.
However, with complete version control for users also comes a typical issue: users reporting bugs on old versions (say v1.2) that were fixed in newer versions (say v1.4). Because the user is still using the old version the bug still exists for them. When reporting the bug the user (more often than not) might not report what version of the mod they’re using, so the mod author has to waste time getting to the bottom of whether the bug is still in their current version or whether the user is using an old version that has since been patched. This is something we’ve attempted to help fix with this feature.
When a mod author can see your download history for their file they can quickly skip that “What version are you using?” step of communication and quickly provide you with feedback based on your download history. It’s hopefully going to save mod authors some time when trying to help you with your problems.
Another good reason is in helping to prevent mod trolling. If someone is trolling a file page comment section about how the file doesn’t work or how it doesn’t do what it says the mod author can quickly check their download history for the file and see whether the user has actually even bothered to download the file at all. And my personal favourite, “I’ve been using this mod for over 3 weeks and it’s broken all my saves”, *checks the download history and finds they only downloaded the file 10 minutes ago*, yeah...
To alleviate a few privacy fears let me just tell you that this feature does NOT give mod authors access to your complete download history for every file you’ve ever downloaded. Only the author of the file in question can see your download history, and only for THAT file. If I’ve released mod A and you post in the comment section for mod A I would not be able to see that you’ve downloaded mods B, C, D and E as well. When I broached this subject in the private mod author forums a relatively valid argument was raised that people don’t want their download histories to be public knowledge. However, having said that, if you’ve downloaded a nude mod, for example, and you didn’t want it to be public knowledge that you’d downloaded the file, you wouldn’t be posting in the comments section of the nude mod. By posting in the comments section of a nude mod you’ve already expressed your interest in said mod, and a mod author being shown your download history for that file isn’t going to make that interest any more or less obvious for the public.
This update is now live on all the Nexus sites. I hope that the mod authors can put it to good use.