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  • 09 March 2012

    Nexus donation system for users

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    Up until today we have had a policy of not allowing users to request or receive donations from other users on the Nexus sites. This has included things such as mod authors asking for Pay Pal donations in their file descriptions. This policy stemmed from a long running rule on Bethesda's official forums, dating all the way back to the launch of Morrowind where asking for donations, or even talking about the prospect of donations is not allowed. The reason is very simple; it's a legal grey area. In between EULAs and contracts, no one really knows the full extent of the law in this regard and it's been better for everyone that the matter is just kept a closed book so we don't open pandora's box.

    It's never been a big issue on the Nexus because, as the largest source for Oblivion and Fallout modifications we helped to ensure this policy remained intact, so Bethesda have never had to look too deeply at the matter. In essence, we enforced the policy because our relationship with Bethesda, and ensuring modding isn't more hassle than it's worth for them (so they continue to release SDK's for their games), is more important than mod authors receiving donations. And I'll stand by that thinking.

    The truth of the matter is that I coded a donation system on the Nexus many months ago, before the launch of Steam Workshop, in anticipation of any changes that the integration with Steam Workshop might bring. There's a 13 page thread in the private mod author forums, where I discussed the various options with mod authors that I started months ago as proof of this. Those changes were put on hold until we could tell whether Bethesda's policy or endorsement of mod author donations changed with the Steam Workshop integration. Steam Workshop did not offer any direct donation or payment methods, however, with the launch of Steam Workshop several mod authors have questioned recently why Bethesda/Valve were allowing mod authors to request donations on the Steam Workshop in their file descriptions, but we weren't. I assumed that, actually, Bethesda weren't allowing it, but instead were just unaware that mod authors were doing this. So this seemed like the perfect time to rock-the-boat a little and enquire further on this matter.

    So I fired off an email to Bethesda this morning and we had a conversation on the matter. It was good to know that Bethesda and I are on exactly the same page in regards to this subject. However, I have now received a confirmation that if users want to ask for donations on their page then that should be fine. Which is good news. The worry is in the further ramifications, like mod authors trying to offer their services, support or files for money in any shape or form and that's something I agree with absolutely.

    It's great to know that Bethesda do not have a problem with mod authors receiving voluntary donations from other users (and they used the analogy of a tip jar) but we need to make sure that's all that donations are used for. Voluntary donations are fine, but let's list some of the things that aren't fine so we're completely clear:

    • Asking for donations in exchange for password protected files or additional content e.g. offering your own kind of DLC for mods in exchange for donations. All mods must remain completely open, and completely free. You cannot offer additional content for donations.
    • Asking for donations in exchange for updates for your uploaded files e.g. saying "for every £10 I receive I will update my mod with new fixes and features".
    • Asking for donations in exchange for help or support e.g. saying you won't help someone to install or fix problems with their mods unless they donate to you.
    • Offering incentives for people who donate to you
    • Anything that isn't just a straight forward, voluntary donation, in exchange for nothing



    We have to be strict on this because there are bigger legal ramifications at stake when money is being exchanged. Because of this, and because I don't want file descriptions to be spammed full of "PLEASE DONATE TO ME" messages, we are going to enforce a rule of absolutely no donation solicitation on the Nexus. That means you cannot ask or talk about donations in your file descriptions, profile pages, comments or private messages. And we mean that. We have updated our Terms of Service accordingly.

    I have coded a donation system in to every Nexus site that you can now configure in your preferences area. First things first, the donation system is completely optional and you most definitely do not have to use it. It's completely opt-in, so if you want to accept donations you need to fill in the required fields in your preferences.

    When you fill in your donation preferences you can set where you would like donation links to show. At the moment you can set them to show on your profile page and/or all your file pages and it's a simple toggle to turn that on or off. Once on, new links will show on the pages you selected, with a donation button and text reading "Like what this author does? Consider donating money to this user through Pay Pal to help support and encourage them.". That's it. All donation links on all files are in the same place, so if a user wants to donate to you, they will. So remember the no solicitation rules in regards to donations.

    I hope that this new feature within the community will be used, because god knows mod authors deserve any support and encouragement you're willing to give them, but I hope it's used properly and not exploited. We'll be monitoring the situation very closely to ensure that's not the case.
  • 07 March 2012

    Interview with Tytanis

    posted by yoba333 Game News
    Tytanis is one of the more prominent members of the modding community here at the Nexus family of sites. He has recently won our File of the Month contest and has one of the most endorsed files on Skyrim Nexus. "Tytanis - The Ultimate Mod" has been around since the very beginning of Skyrim modding, and continues to be one of the most popular mods. So without further ado, I give you an interview with Tytanis himself.

    QUOTE

    01. So, tell us bit about yourself. What are some of your other interests and hobbies besides gaming?
    To put it simply, I'm a jack of all trades. Some of my interests or hobbies include programming in various languages, custom built PCs, military, history, quantum physics, the universe, working on my car, producing music such as Drum'N'Bass and recently Dubstep...and so much more!

    02. How did you get the idea to create Tytanis - The Ultimate Mod?
    When I first bought the game and started playing, I was sad that there were no elemental arrows. That's how it began! I created the arrows as a personal project without the idea or knowledge that SkyrimNexus existed. After I ran around in game shooting arrows into people's kneecaps, I started looking for a Skyrim modding community. Bam! SkyrimNexus was first on the list. Before I released my arrows, I had created a "silly" mod, a couple "cheat" mods and messed around with Skyrim's UI. The feel of the community was amazing to me, so I had updated the arrows a little more before I released them with new content based on the mod requests section of the forums.

    03. How long has it taken you to get the mod to where it is now?
    A lot of sleepless nights!

    04. What was the most challenging aspect of creating this mod?
    The most challenging aspect is keeping up with the bugs, as so many players use the mod, they really get in-depth of what the mod can do and where it bugs out. Another is the ideas by players! There's tons of very creative people! I try to tangle with your ideas and put them into practical use.

    05. What was your favorite part of creating the mod?
    I would have to say, accomplishing what I didn't think could be done at first. After many failed attempts are certain parts, a victory is the best feeling you can get!

    06. Despite having so many features already present in Tytanis, what other ideas do you plan on implementing in the future?
    The ideas for future content are limitless. A new idea of mine pops up every hour and user ideas pop up every few minutes! There are many new features that are in progress and a lot that are in queue. Listing all of them would be spoiling, I'd like to keep the surprises coming!

    07. Is this your first mod? If it is not, what was your first mod and how have you progressed from it?
    I have been a modder for other games, publicly originating never done before mechanics in games such as CS:S and TF2 (I have heavily modded a ton of other games but that's a long list!). Some people may know me by my previous alias, Cr(+)sshair.

    08. How did the issue of not having a proper Creation Kit impeded your progress? Or were able to get past those issues?
    I was able to find workarounds for some issues, such as new mounts. But having the Creation Kit increased progress and new content.

    09. Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
    If you're having an issue doing an idea, just think of the problem logically! If you feel like giving up, get some sleep and you'll figure it out within the next day.

    10. Finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
    Keep watching the mod! We plan to take Skyrim to a whole new level and hopefully gain Bethseda's attention and endorsement.
    I personally appreciate everything SkyrimNexus and it's community has done for the mod!
    We are always seeking individuals with talent or the drive to learn! If you know or want to learn how to code, model, create new textures or content; please apply at www.tytanis.com!


    Special thanks to Tytanis for agreeing to do the interview. You can download "Tytanis - The Ultimate Mod" here.
  • 06 March 2012

    Nexus site beta ready - help us help you

    posted by Dark0ne Game News
    Over the past 10 months we have been working behind the scenes on a completely new Nexus site code. Because my code was not up to professional standards the premise was really simple, I've hired on 2 great programmers, and in order for us to make the most of the quality of these coders we needed to rebuild the site code so we had a strong base to push off from. We haven't added any new functionality or major changes, in fact, by the time we're happy with the code we want the site to look and behave exactly the same (apart from one or two bug fixes and small improvements).

    Think of it like you would a house: You have a house. It has 2 bedrooms, it's old, decrepit and falling apart. You want a better house, with more rooms, an extension, a conservatory and lots of mod cons on the same patch of land. You can try and build on and extend your old house, but it's likely that at some point all the new extensions and additions you make to the house will make your old, decrepit house fall in on itself from all the load and burden you're placing on it. You don't want your house to be held together by sticky tape and band aids, or be afraid of it falling down at any moment! So what you do is demolish the old house, reset the foundation and rebuild the house brick by brick to your new specifications. That's what we've done. We've rebuilt the site brick by brick, but better, and with massive room to grow.

    Before we roll-out this new code we would really love your help in testing it out. We want you to jump all over it, and try out all the features on the site to make sure they work exactly like they do right now on the Nexus sites, because as much as we test it, there are things that you do that we don't! And it's impossible for us to test every eventuality. To that end we have setup a Beta Site which is a mock-up of TESNexus. It is using completely dummy, test data. This means all the data on the site, and anything you add or change will NOT be live on any Nexus site and you're safe to test things with test data without having to worry about affecting the general operation of any of the Nexus sites. Feel free to add, upload, modify and delete to your heart's content because it will not affect any of the content available on the Nexus sites.

    The beta site should look and behave exactly like the current sites. We haven't made any major changes to the looks or functionality of the sites, so it should be practically like-for-like, and if it isn't, it's a bug which we need to squash! If you find a bug then please use our bug tracker to let us know and we'll get it fixed ASAP! So please, take 15 minutes out of your busy schedule to help us beta test the new code, because the sooner we roll-out the code the sooner we can start adding some really awesome new functionality to the sites.

    This beta test is important as it enables us to iron out bugs before we roll out the code to the sites. If we don't know about a bug then we can't fix it, and you'll come across it on the live site (which might have worse implications!), so help us to help you!

    So hurry up and help us ensure the transition is as smooth as possible by using every feature you can think of on our beta site.
  • 05 March 2012

    Skyrim beta update 1.5

    posted by Zaldiir Game News
    Today, BethBlog posted some information about update 1.5, which will include new features, like new killcams, specifically killcams for ranged combat and spellcasting! They also say that they are planning to add new features in upcoming updates... Skyrim is starting to look like the never-ending Elder Scrolls game at the rate they are spewing out updates and features!

    Update: It seems that BethBlog have removed this article from the blog for some reason, most likely because the beta does not seem to be up on Steam yet. But whatever the reason, it will probably be up again soon. (To anyone following BethBlog, they do send out mails where you can read the blog post.)

    Update Monday 22:00 GMT: Still no beta on Steam.

    Update Tuesday 16:00 GMT: Still no beta on Steam. (Only a Steam beta, not a Skyrim beta.)
    When asked about the article on BethBlog, GStaff replied this: "Sorry, that was an early draft. When we’re ready to post something, we will."

    QUOTE

    Today on Steam we've released a new beta update that gives you a first
    look at what's we'll be bringing to PS3, 360, and PC in the
    forthcoming 1.5 update.

    In addition to a number of new bug fixes, we're now using title
    updates as an opportunity to add new features to the game. Included
    in this update, players will be able to enjoy all-new kill cameras,
    including ones specific to ranged combat and magic.

    Sound familar? That's probably because they had a cameo in the Game
    Jam video [1] shown during Todd Howard's DICE keynoteTodd Howard
    presented at DICE.



    ---

    And while we're at it, they also posted about new features in the workshop, specifically a feature that allows you to follow your favorite mod authors. Hm... are they spying on Dark0ne?
  • 05 March 2012

    Farmville meets Skyrim in upcoming Tytanis update

    posted by Dark0ne Mod News
    Ever wondered what it would be like to own a farm? Ever played Farmville and thought to yourself "this would be so much better if it didn't insult my intelligence with cartoony graphics"? Me neither. But that's not the point! Tytanis, of Tytanis - The Ultimate Mod fame is currently working on updating his mod to include a wide spectrum of farming activities and the concept is too cool to not promote here on Skyrim Nexus. For a sneak peak of Tytanis's upcoming update, check out his teaser video.

  • 03 March 2012

    NMM 0.15.7 hotfix released [Updated]

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    NMM has now been hotfixed to 0.15.8 to resolve further crashing issues.

    Nexus Mod Manager version 0.15.7 has just gone live on the release server and should be available when you start NMM (if you can start NMM) or from the download page for NMM. This is a hotfix patch to resolve the issues that 0.15.0 presented.

    A big thanks to kaburke and wrinklyninja who have worked on a Saturday to get this out for us.

    In regards to version 0.15.x of NMM it's important to note that while NMM is now using BOSS API to manage load orders NMM does not currently use BOSS's auto-sorting functionality. That means that your load order is still completely managed by you. Priority with this release has been to just make sure the load order functionality is restored after Bethesda and Valve changed it to accommodate Steam Workshop. NMM does ask you if you want to download the latest BOSS masterlist, but at the moment this will not have any effect on your load order. It will be patched in soon (you are safe to pick yes or no).

    If you are unfamiliar with BOSS then it would be a good idea to read up on what it does on the BOSS file page here on the Nexus. Here's some of the blurb:

    QUOTE
    BOSS (Better Oblivion Sorting Software) will re-order your mods to their correct positions, putting any mods it doesn't recognise after them, in the same order as they were before BOSS was run.

    BOSS is designed to assist in the usage of mods, helping mod users avoid serious conflicts. It is not a complete solution to load ordering issues, as there are far more mods out there than BOSS knows about. To properly place mods BOSS doesn't know about, a good working knowledge of mod load ordering for Skyrim is still necessary, for which some research and documentation reading will go a long way.


    Once NMM is fully integrated with BOSS you will be able to use the BOSS masterlist, which tries to come up with the best load order for your mods automatically. You can still manually manage your load order, and you can use BOSS's autosort feature to see what BOSS thinks is the best order then edit that order to your heart's content.

    At the end of the day it's about providing you with as much help, and flexible choice, as possible.
  • 03 March 2012

    Skyrim Mod Sanctuary - Part 18 : Open War

    posted by Gopher Mod News

    Here is the part 18 of the Skyrim Mod Sanctuary video series. This weeks video covers a couple of great mods and briefly discusses the Nexus Mod Manager 0.15.0 problems and how to fix them.
  • 03 March 2012

    NMM v0.15.0 issues

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    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.
  • 01 March 2012

    Mount & Blade Nexus Launched

    posted by Dark0ne Game News


    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.
  • 01 March 2012

    Nexus server upgrades and increased download speed cap

    posted by Dark0ne Site News
    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

    Impressive stuff.

    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!