• 09 April 2013

    Skyrim Mod Sanctuary 62 : Werewolves II

    posted by Gopher Mod News

    Part 2 in my series of videos covering werewolf mods for Skyrim

    Thumbnail image for this video is 'Lalatia' courtesy of stormdrooper1.

    Download links for reviewed mods:
    Werewolf Perks Expanded - Dawnguard
    Bloodmoon Rising - Dawnguard Werewolf Overhaul
    Werewolf Mastery
  • 29 March 2013

    Skyrim Mod Sanctuary 62 : Werewolves I - Heart of the Beast and Tales of Lycanthropy

    posted by Gopher Mod News

    The next few videos from me will be devoted to making the Skyrim werewolf experience more intense and enjoyable.

    Thumbnail image for this video is 'Twin Fangs' courtesy of 0o0Visigoth0o0.

    Download links for reviewed mods:
    Heart of the Beast - Werewolf Sound and Texture Overhaul
    Tales of Lycanthropy - Werewolf Overhaul

    Download link for previewed mods:
    Gypsy Eyes Caravan
  • 28 March 2013

    More commenting options for mod authors

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    An extremely underused feature on the Nexus file pages is the “Discussions” tab, which allows authors and users (provided the author allows it) to create different threads for different parts of conversation to do with the file. When you have a large mod that gets hundreds of new messages a day it can often be difficult to keep up with what’s going on within your single comment topic. Bug reports, feedback, suggestions, troubleshooting and general chit-chat get all mixed up in a big soup of one large mega thread where anything and everything is spoken about and large amounts of cross-talking takes place. With discussions you can create separate threads for these issues and then, hopefully, people will use the thread most relevant to what they want to talk about on your file.

    I hope the new reply mechanics are helping you to keep up with the amount of cross-talking going on, but discussions are also there for mod authors to make use of that help to segregate their chats into more concise areas. Unfortunately because using the single comment topic is so ingrained in what people do on the Nexus sites a very large proportion of people completely ignore the discussions area, or worse, don’t know about it.

    I know lots of mod authors like having a single comment topic where everything is placed and nothing has changed for you folks. In fact if you don’t care about discussions you can stop reading now and get on with your merry business. But what we have done is provided some options when you make your file page for how you would like your comments to be setup. You can now choose to have a comment topic and no discussions area, a comment topic and a discussion area, just a discussions area and no comment topic, or no comments at all. How is this different you ask? Well before we didn’t let you have a discussion area without a comment topic as well; so you couldn’t force your users to use your discussion area and split your discussions up into more manageable chunks. The problem was then that everyone would just talk in the single comment topic and ignore the discussions. By turning off the single comment topic you can force people to use the discussions instead if you so wish.

    You can still choose whether you want to let users make their own topics or you can choose to setup your own topics and not allow others to make one, so you can control the flow of what people talk about more easily. You can also lock, sticky and delete any of your threads, providing you with even more control. Why is this helpful? Well, you can setup your threads so you have a “Bug Reports”, “Troubleshooting” and “Feedback” section and then direct people to the correct thread for the topic being discussed.

    If you want to remove your comment topic and make use of your discussion area on a mod you’ve already uploaded you’ll find a new setting in your file attributes page that lets you turn off your comment topic, essentially providing you with the same functionality.

    While we were hoping we could give each mod its own private forum category on the Nexus forums after further investigation and research we worked out we couldn’t do this as past around 5,000 forum categories things kind of die, and with over 90,000 files hosted on the sites now it won’t be possible to achieve.

    We’ll be taking a short break for easter now (happy easter) and then we’ll get back into the swing of things with a design update to the category and search result pages, NMM profiling and a move to our new database server cluster. Fingers crossed.
  • 27 March 2013

    Check your e-mail! First wave of ESO beta invitations has been sent out!

    posted by Zaldiir Game News
    Today, Zenimax Online Studios sent out the first wave of Beta invitations, so check your e-mail, and pray that you are luckier than me!

    Haven't gotten any e-mail? Do not be discouraged. This wave was a small one, and they have plenty more to send as the tests goes on.

    Oh, and be sure to check your spam folders!
  • 21 March 2013

    NMM bug fix release and download hacking problems fixed

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    We’ve released a bug fix edition of NMM, taking us to version 0.44.4. Here’s the change log:

    1. New Feature: The ReadMeManager now supports PDF files.
    2. Bugfix: ReadMe Manager preventing .txt files from being installed in mod folders. (This fixes the installation of mods like Fores New Idles)
    3. Bugfix: Rare crash while deleting a mod in CategoryView.
    4. Bugfix: Omod script interpreter.
    5. Bugfix: Users were able to set Mods and Install Info as the same folder.
    6. Bugfix: NMM crashing with a corrupt ReadMeManager.xml file.
    7. Bugfix: NMM using the wrong game path after a game rescan.
    8. Bugfix: LoadOrder export using the wrong plugin list.

    You can download the update through NMM or by downloading and installing manually through the NMM download page.

    Unfortunately earlier today we found out that some of our file servers had been hacked, replacing manual (not NMM) downloads with a malicious installer that contained malware. This hack was targeted as the hacker deliberately named the file “Nexus_Downloader.exe” to try and snag as many people as possible. While I haven’t tried to run it myself it seems to be a scam malware that sends the user to a fake FBI page informing the user they must pay must in order to unlock their system. To make it worse only 4 of the 20 main anti-virus programs people use flagged this as a virus. It’s obviously a relatively new one that most haven’t caught up with, and this might have caught a few of you off guard.

    As soon as we found out about the breach we had the servers down and patched up within minutes and we’ve been working today further hardening our servers and shutting down the method used by the hacker to gain access. All told, malicious downloads were only being served for an hour early this morning. If you don't know what I'm talking about then you missed it all.

    There’s a few things to take away from this. First of all I’m sorry that this has happened to some of you. You clearly trust us to provide you with a safe and secure modding experience and we got caught with our pants on our heads. While this won’t help you now, can I give you some advice? Don’t trust anything, any site, or any person fully on the internet. Be suspicious of everything. If you’ve tried to download a fluffy sheep mod that says it’s 50mb in size for Skyrim and instead been given a file called “Nexus_Downloader.exe” that’s 100kb in suspicious. We’d never do something like that, especially without letting you know first. These sorts of things can happen to any site out there (just look at the past hacking’s of Sony, Valve/Steam...even Bethesda got hacked) and having an anti-virus, firewall and malware protection won’t keep you 100% safe. Nothing will. But try and be perceptive and don’t let your guard down.

    We can’t guarantee your safety 100% when browsing and downloading from the Nexus. No other site can offer you that guarantee either. What I can guarantee you is that we work hard to try and make the experience as safe and secure as possible, and we work even harder when we know we’ve been breached, often without sleep.

    Never be afraid to report suspicious activity either by others or by the sites themselves on the forums or to the staff.
  • 18 March 2013

    Recent site updates and NMM 0.44.3 released

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    We’ve been knocking out tiny updates and tweaks to the site since we changed the design around a bit a week or so ago. These updates tend to be small enough to not warrant a news post, but when they build up enough I like to smash them all out in a news post in one big list. But before we do that let's get NMM out of the way.

    We released NMM 0.44.3 last Friday that contains some more bug fixes and some minor feature changes. Here’s the list:

    1. New Feature: NMM will now prevent ReadMe files from being extracted in the mod folder (thus only installing them in the ReadMe Manager), you can set this behaviour on/off in the Settings menu (Default on).
    2. New Feature: The user can now select the game mode by double-clicking on it.
    3. Bugfix: Mods failing to deactivate on upgrade.
    4. Bugfix: Category view failing to update after mod rename.
    5. Bugfix: Mod list not re-sorting after mod/category name change.
    6. Bugfix: NMM mods startup scan searching in the readme folder (causing some duplicate entries in the mod list).
    7. Bugfix: NMM crashing when another instance of the program is already running.
    8. Bugfix: "Yes to All" not working as intended.
    9. Bugfix: Some OMOD crashes (comment lines and "misplaced" curly brackets).

    We’ll continue to drill out some bug fixes in coming updates, and the next major feature we’re working towards is mod profiles; the ability to have different modding profiles for your games so you can have different mods installed and running in your games for different saves/instances. We don’t want to introduce a DLL hack to do this, though, so we’re exploring other ways of doing this with NMM so we can get profiling in every game NMM supports. We then hope to further expand on that functionality so you can share these profile setups with others on the Nexus sites, like Steam Workshop Collections, but done slightly differently. That’s the plan, anyway.

    As always you can get the latest version of NMM from the download page

    And now the site updates:

    1. The arrow next to your account information in the top right corner is now clickable so as to be less confusing.
    2. Changed the search button so it highlights the textfield, bringing the search functionality back to a one-click process.
    3. Added the ability for advanced search options in the filename field, including using quotes to group words, the “OR” operator and the “-” operator. Instructions on this functionality can be found on this wiki page.
    4. If you have tracked a file the wording will change from “Track” to “Un-track”. If you have endorsed a file the wording will change from “Endorse” to “Unendorse”.
    5. Fixed an issue with the vote, track and endorse buttons being a bit temperamental and sometimes not working.
    6. If you have not voted for a file this month the vote button will be green. If you have voted for the file you are looking at the button will be orange. If you have voted for a mod, but not the mod you’re currently looking at, the vote button will be yellow.
    7. Added a confirmation popup for voting to let you know you’ve already voted for a file this month, that you can only vote for one file in a month, and if you vote for the current file you’re looking at then your previous vote will be removed.
    8. Adult-only files are now eligible for the hot files, provided the user has turned adult-only content viewing options on.
    9. Added a “reply” link to every reply to a comment so that you don’t have to scroll up to the original comment in order to reply (replying to a reply is just treated as a reply to the original comment, however, and there’s no added nesting).
    10. Replying to a comment will now bump the comment (and replies) to the top of the comments. If you don’t like this functionality you can turn it off in your preferences under “Replies to posts bump the original post”.
    11. We have reduced the wait time between downloading a mod and endorsing a mod from 3 hours to 15 minutes.
    12. The “Download with NMM” button no longer shows in the file header if a file has more than 1 main file. The user will have to go to the “files” tab and choose which file they want to download.
  • 12 March 2013

    Skyrim Mod Sanctuary 61 : Pure Waters

    posted by Gopher Game News

    I often get asked which water mod I am using, and what other graphical mods/settings I use. In this video I attempt to answer those questions.

    Thumbnail image for this video is 'A castle in the sky' courtesy of Freddynho.

    Download links for reviewed mods:
    Pure Waters
  • 11 March 2013

    NMM 044.2 fix release

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    We’ve released version 0.44.2 of NMM today that provides a number of bug fixes and updates to problems caused in the recent 0.44 builds. Here’s the fix and new feature list:

    1. New Feature: New “Uninstall all active mods” button in the Tools menu.
    2. New Feature: The readme scan is now optional and you can manually perform it by right-clicking on selected mods/categories and choosing the option from the context menu.
    3. Bugfix: Category view: category and mod properties failing to properly update on the list.
    4. Bugfix: Category view: NMM freezing when trying to delete a mod from the list.
    5. Bugfix: WoT manager crashing when the game was using a malformed version number.
    6. Bugfix: NMM crashing when checking for mod updates and the server was unreachable.
    7. Bugfix: NMM reporting a mod as installed/uninstalled even though the user aborted the scripted install/uninstall or there was an error performing it.
    8. Bugfix: NMM failing to properly load saved column sizes.
    9. Bugfix: Readme Manager creating readme archive files into the wrong folder for newly downloaded mods.
    10. Bugfix: Readme Manager setup adding random mod files in readme archives.

    With version 0.44.0, in moving the mod view control system fully over to our new system a few debilitating bugs quickly rose to the surface once we released the update publicly. I’m sorry for that, however, having read some of the overly-entitled opinions left in the comments, I’d like to once again reiterate a few important points when it comes to NMM.

    NMM is still very, very, very much in beta. We have never alluded to it being anything other than in beta, despite the fact it’s been in beta for going on 18 months now and has 1.7 million people using it, and there’s good reasons why it’s still in beta; we’ve got a lot more things we want to add in to NMM before I’m confident to say it’s ready for a full release. We’ve got a huge to-do list of features we want to implement and I’d never want to say NMM is “done” before giving it a completely new lick of paint and a UI overhaul to make it look less like a “my first .NET program” school project. So yes, you have that to be worried/look forward to.

    What does being in beta mean to us? It means we’re going to continue to add new features, updates and bug fixes, test them on our end and then push them out into the public domain to be tested by you. We don’t have a QA department. We don’t have a huge team of programmers working on NMM and we don’t have a computer farm we can send our new builds to as test beds that test every function in every operating system/program variation going. We release updates out into the public domain so that you people become our testers, because we can’t afford them ourselves. You are our QA department. That’s the whole point of this beta and that’s why we still call NMM a beta, because we rely on you. Seeing some of the horrific responses and opinions of people who were affected by the bugs in version 0.44 I can’t help but feel some of you either don’t know what software being in open beta means, or you’ve been spoilt by the recent trends in MMO games where “beta” really means “demo”. No, when we say beta, we mean beta, and we release new builds out to be tested and get valuable feedback on.

    If you’re someone who relies on NMM and doesn’t want to test new builds and you just want it to work, then it’s reeeeeeeeeeeally simple (so simple I don’t understand how it’s a problem at all): don’t update NMM until you’re confident (from reading feedback in comment threads/the forums) that the newest versions are stable to use. If you think NMM is perfect exactly how it is and you don’t want anything more from it at all; why are you bothering to update at all? You can still carry on using old versions of NMM all the way back to version 0.34 (and before then if you don’t download/check for new mod versions in NMM), and we only forced an update with version 0.34.0 because we changed our login and downloading system that prevented old versions from working. If you aren’t downloading NMM to help us beta test it and provide us with meaningful feedback then it’s completely your prerogative when and how you update it. What we’re not going to do is change our releasing methods to hold your hand for you, into a Linux style system of “bleeding edge”, “current”, “release” and “stable” during the beta. Once we bring NMM out of beta we’ll probably do this; and incentivise people to be testers for us, but not now, not while we’re in beta. So the onus is completely on you, the user, on when you update NMM. We need testers, and we value your feedback on bugs and features in the program. We don’t particularly value your feedback on how you think we should have “better QA”. You’re our QA. But if you’d like to pay me the £100k or so to hire on some QA testers then by all means, I’ll tell you where you can mail the cheque.

    While I can’t assure you that all our releases will be completely bug free, I can assure you that when bugs are found we document and work on them in order of highest priority as quickly as possible.
  • 08 March 2013

    Skyrim Crash on Startup FIX : Part 1 (Troubleshooting your Load Order)

    posted by Gopher Mod News

    One of the most common requests for help I get are those from people who have crashes when they start Skyrim. This is usually caused by a missing master in your load order, so in this video I show you how to find out if that is the case, and which file is the problem.

    Download links for reviewed mods:
  • 07 March 2013

    Site design update, file backgrounds and hot file cropping

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    If you’re reading this from a Nexus site then you’re reading it from our updated design. Before I go into explaining a few of the changes just a quick note that we’ve changed our imagemap, so if some images look out of place or things look like they’re in the wrong place you might want to refresh your browser cache for the site. Easiest way to do this is to press CTRL+F5 (a hard refresh). If that doesn’t fix it then try again. And again. If it’s still broken after that it’s either us, or not “broken” and you just think it looks wrong.

    As promised I’ve made some changes to the layout that aren’t too different from the original. So, far from being an overhaul, it’s more an update to the original design. Right now we’ve made changes to the headers of all the Nexus sites and to the file page layout. We’ve got a few more page layout changes in the works, and next will be the category/search result page, but right now lets run through the current changes.

    As mentioned the header has changed. The search, messages, notifications and account options are all accessible from the top bar now and we’ve removed the need for the originally (relatively garish) coloured bar, thus saving a few pixels in height in the process. Clicking the search button will produce a bubble box for you to do a quick search, and we’ve also made it more obvious that we have an advanced search as well. One thing that really surprises me from doing the internet rounds is that lots of people still don’t know we have an advanced search feature to really drill-down into what you’re looking for.

    We’ve changed our logo area a bit; each site is labelled as Nexus Mods and the name of the game is listed below it. This is going to fit in to our future plans a bit more, so this change is more a change for the future rather than a necessary change right now. The normal navigation is still in-tact from the original design, no changes there, so you shouldn’t get lost.

    The file page changes are slightly more substantial.

    Probably the most notable change we’ve made is adding a file header background image that mod authors can create themselves through the site interface, to bring some more colour and variance from other mod pages out there. Something that makes your page look more unique from others. As is our way, creating a file header for your pages is completely optional, so if you don’t like them on your file pages you don’t need to do anything, you can stick with the default look (or you can play around with the system, then delete it if you don’t like the look).

    To create a file header you need to go to your file images and click the background image icon underneath the image you’d like to use. You’ll be taken to a page where you can crop the image you’ve selected (much like you might crop your profile image on a social networking site like Facebook) and see how it’ll look on your page before you decide on whether you want to use it or not.

    In the same vein we’ve also produced a similar tool that allows you to create your own hot file images for the site to use. Up until now the site has automatically generated these images and it’s been a bit hit and miss. Sometimes it produces a great hot files image, other times it produces an image of..the sky...or the sea...or a head...and it’s not so great. Now it’s all on you. If you think this feature is redundant for you because all your files were released a while ago and are no longer eligible for the hot files system then think again. We’re bringing in a “Feature file” system for the new category page. This system will show a random file from the category you’re viewing that changes every 10 minutes. Every file with a hot file image is eligible for the Featured File system, and we’ll rotate properly so every file gets equal time and exposure. We’ll also let you know how many times your file has been featured on a category, just for your own peace of mind. So creating a hot file image on your old files is highly recommended if you’d like some added exposure in the not too distant future.

    We’ve moved the buttons to download the file, endorse it, vote for it and donate to the author to the top right in prominent green colours. We’ve also added a big “Track” button as well, as lots of people didn’t know we had a file tracking system. Clicking the vote, endorse and track buttons will make them turn orange (if it was successful), so you know when your vote, endorsement or track action has worked. They’ll remain orange when you revisit file pages, so you know at an easy glance whether you’ve already endorsed or tracked a file or not.

    We’ve added some text below the “Action” buttons which should make it more obvious what each one does without being a mystery meat navigation that you can’t intuitively work out without hovering over the tiny icons. Similarly we’ve increased the size of the file tabs themselves and added a description at the top of each tab, once again to make it more obvious what each tab is for.

    And that’s it!

    If you think something isn’t looking right or working properly then feel free to let me know. I’ve tested the site in the latest versions of IE, Fire Fox and Chrome, but can’t account for every variation.

    NB. If you think something is broken please take a screenshot of it, as it will help me in understanding whether it's actually broken or whether it's working as intended. Thanks!