posted by Dark0neThere is going to be some down-time on all Nexus sites and the forums this week as we work to move our databases over to our new cluster setup. Each site needs to be taken offline while a “dump” of the database can be created, transferred to the cluster and then imported in to the cluster database setup. The sites obviously have to go offline during this process so no new content is lost between the time when we make the dump and the time until the import process is fully completed.
The total down time will depend entirely on the site being transferred at the time. The forums, Skyrim, both Fallout sites and Oblivion are going to take longer than the other sites as they have a lot more content to transfer over. The forums and Skyrim should take 4 hours each while the other sites might take less time. Either way you’ll know when the transfer is happening as the site will be taken offline, with a message to that effect, during the process.
It’s my utmost hope (and no doubt yours too) that, through this transfer to our cluster, the reliability issues with the servers is going to be a thing of the past. For good. If all goes to plan this weekend should be the last weekend of stability issues for the Nexus and we can move on to doing what we actually want to do; making the service better for everyone and expanding our reach to all games so anyone can use the Nexus for modding if they so wish. We’ll also be far more DDoS proof due to the distributed nature of our own server setup that will mean we can shift load between many different servers ensuring any attack will have to split the botnet being used considerably in order to cause any down time.
I’ll hold off on thanking you for your patience during this trying time until we can confirm that this is going to be the solution to all our problems but our initial testing has been very positive, so now it’s time to take the plunge and hope for the best.
Down time starts tomorrow (Monday) morning, starting with the forums.
If you’ve followed the news on the network over the past 6 months you’ll know we’ve been working extensively on our server architecture backend to resolve all the stability issues. Down-time, 502 errors, 503 errors, slow-downs, posts going missing when you click submit, they’re all a part of a range of issues that we’ve been working to fix through a lot of hard work and expense. We know we can’t expand and start supporting more games until we sort out this very frustrating issue.
We think we’re almost ready. Again. We’re currently running a test on the forums right now that’s going well, and we’re much further ahead than we were before. We’re planning to run a test on Skyrim Nexus from around 4pm GMT. This will involve putting the site in to “read-only” mode and switching over the site to use our test database. How will this affect things during the test?
- You will not be able to make any new posts on comments anywhere on the site
- You will not be able to publish new files
- Some posts and topics will be missing as our test database is around 24 hours old; any posts made in the past 24 hours will not show during this time (but they have NOT been lost!)
We plan to run this test after 4pm GMT, but might delay it a bit later in to the afternoon/evening. You’ll still be able to browse the site and download files, just the commenting system will be affected. We expect to run the test for 30 mins before restoring things back to how they normally are.
Hopefully salvation is just around the corner.
We've been no strangers to bog-standard DoS attacks and thousands-strong botnet DDoS attacks over the past 12 years. Any given week we'll be DoS'd, just most of the time you won't notice it because systems are in place to prevent such attacks. Every once in a while, though, someone with a rather large botnet or someone using more sophisticated techniques comes along that either requires us to adapt or just to weather it out. All I know is, it's been 12 years, we've survived countless DDoS attacks, and the sites aren't going anywhere.
Going hand-in-hand with that is the fact school holidays have begun which means kids have more time to waste. I used to enjoy playing football, cricket, skating and trampolining in my summer holidays but I guess some kids like to run bot nets instead. The why isn't really important (and I have no idea as to the why). All I know is that it's happening right now on the servers and we're doing what we can to alleviate the problem as best we can.
There's not much you can do on your end to fix this exact problem. There is, however, something you can do to help the general DDoS plague and that's to not be one of the millions of dolts out there browsing the internet without an anti-virus and firewall running as a bare minimum. Botnets form because "hackers" have gained access to insecure systems. The more insecure systems they control, the more powerful their botnet becomes. Typically gamers are more clued in than most in this regard, but still, I know some of you will be reading this without any anti-virus installed on your PC and to you I'll simply say this; you are a part of the problem. You're not the problem, but you're a part of it in the same way you're a part of the problem during an epidemic if you sneeze without covering your mouth with your hand or don't wash your hands after going to the toilet. You're in that group of people. You aren't the virus but you help to spread it through your lack of action. So get on to fixing it if you haven't already, or at least please don't complain to me about the sites being down if you're in that group.
A blunt news post, I know, but in all truth I treat DDoS attacks with utter emotional disregard. Not that we're not trying our hardest to solve the issue, but frankly, there's no point getting upset about it. Some idiot is DDoS'ing us and cowering behind the internet's anonymity, we've had no contact from said individual(s), it'll end when it ends or when we find a way to block it and there's no point getting upset about it.
In this video I was looking for a more performance friendly ENB mod and after trying quite a few I finally settled on RealVision ENB (performance version).
Installation video that covers this mod can be found here.
For an overview of the aims of this series see this video.
Download link for mod:
The author of the Race Menu mod has been busy updating one mod, releasing another and finding ways to make new and exciting mods a real possibility. Find out how in this video.
Thumbnail image for this video is 'The Second Wind' courtesy of TheRequiem.
Download links for reviewed mods:
As we (continue to) ramp up towards our centralisation of the site databases we’ve started work this week on “splitting up” sites that currently host more than one game. Each game for Dragon Age, Neverwinter, The Witcher and Mount & Blade will be split into separate Nexus sites and while they’ll keep the same colour scheme I’ll change the background image to make it more obvious which site you’re currently browsing.
Typically the Nexus sites aren’t as easy to navigate if more than one game is hosted on the same site; it makes it harder to find mods for the specific games while muddying the waters by making multiple games all vie for the same top files, files of the month votes and so on, so it makes sense to separate the sites. Our plans to centralise the sites will eliminate this problem, but this task not only makes the current sites more usable but also eliminates a task we’d have had to have performed later anyway.
Hopefully that’ll be done relatively soon, but there’ll obviously be some (hopefully only momentary) downtime during the actual splits of the sites as the databases are reworked.
On the NMM front we’ve recently plugged several more bugs in the software and have also implemented support for Dragon Age. We’ve updated Dragon Age Nexus to support the “Download with manager” functionality but this functionality will only work with Dragon Age 1 (and not Dragon Age 2) for the moment. We hope to have DA2 support implemented quite quickly after we’ve split the sites and have some feedback on DA1 support.
We’ll release the Dragon Age support officially in version 0.45.0 of NMM when the site split is completed but we’d love it if you could download this version early and let us know if it works well for you. We’ve tested it with zipped up loose files, straight .dazip files and .dazip files within .7z or .rar archives (so archives within archives) and initial testing suggests it’s working well, but we’d love it if you could help us out, download this latest version manually and let us know yourself. This release simply adds Dragon Age support so it’s not really “cutting/bleeding edge”, and if all goes well this exact file is the one we’ll push to the update server for everyone to get in a week or so.
Lastly a few people requested the ability to be able to go past the top 25 and top 100 file lists to see the top 26-50, 51-75, 76-100 lists and so on. We’ve added this functionality to the hot files now and you can use the “forward” and “back” links to go backwards and forwards through both the lists. So if your file is 101 in the list, and ergo just missed out, it no longer misses out.
The second in a series of videos looking at the many ENB mods available for Skyrim. In this video look at another popular ENB mod, 'Project ENB' , and compare it to the Sharpshooters ENB covered in part 1.
To find out how to install this mod watch Installing Skyrim ENB Mods 2 - Project ENB (realistic).
For an overview of the aims of this series see this video.
Download link for mod:
Project ENB (realistic)
While we have our cluster setup looked in to we’ve been busy looking in to some other areas of the site we’d like to improve before we “centralise” the Nexus in to supporting mods for all games.
We’ve come up with a new file adding wizard that’s usable on all sites. Indeed, when we finally get around to centralising our database you’ll be able to add a mod for any game ever made to the site through this one file wizard, but for now it’s setup to work with the sites and games we already support. The idea is that the new file wizard will take you, step-by-step, through the process of making a complete file page for your files. While in the past you would simply add a few details and then be expected to add things in later, now you’re taken through every step of the process, with 9 steps in total.
You can skip steps that you don’t want or don’t need to do (like required files), or skip the wizard entirely if you so wish, but I’m hoping that this new process will at least introduce new mod authors to all the file page features we currently support so they can provide as much relevant information to their users right from the start while also providing veteran mod authors of the site with a quicker way of get their pages set up on the site without having to keep going backwards and forwards.
We’ve also added a new set of options to the wizard that allow you to better categorise your files. It actually makes use of our tags system, but in a much more obvious manner, in an attempt to better support our content blocking system, which I’ll now discuss.
Recently we had a couple of nude mods show up in our hot files on Skyrim Nexus. It’s not a particularly rare occurrence by any stretch of the imagination, but what was a bit more rare was the content of one of the mods. A penis. EEK, A PENIS! Lets get this out the way. Please repeat after me: penis penis penis, vagina vagina vagina. Got that out your system? Good. While we get the occasional rant about big boob mods or general female nudity on the sites, nothing sparks an absolute outpouring of pent up closet-case emotion like the showcasing of a penis mod on the site. Indeed, no less than 6 people sent me a message to inform me of their outrage of bearing witness to a penis mod on the sites. When pressed for clarification on why vagina mods were ok but penis mods weren’t the conversation went ominously silent. While I’m no expert in the field let me provide some advice: if seeing a penis mod throws you into a fit of quizzical fury you might need to explore your own sexuality a bit further. Don’t repress it, explore it. You’ll save yourself lots of therapy payments in the future.
With that said, I can completely understand why you might not be interested in seeing a penis, or a vagina, or boobs, or scantily clad men or women, or translations, or lore-breaking files, or save-games or any number of various types of content (indeed, the issue isn’t in not wanting to see the content but the way in which people get so comically worked up over the issue). While we can’t provide a 100% success rate method of removing this content from your viewing we can try our hardest to tailor the mods you see to your specific preferences.
We’ve had content blocking available for a long time. It works by blocking files that have been tagged with specific tags. If you block the “Sexy/skimpy” tag you won’t see any mods that are using that tag. There are a few pages that are the exception to that rule, the hot files originally didn’t block this content but it now does (we fixed it recently) and the new today/new recently pages don’t. However, the category results/search result pages will block this content. We even go one step further and tell you that you’re currently blocking content and you’re only seeing X number of files as Y number of files have been blocked from your viewing, with an easy link to see the results with your previously blocked content showing as well. The systems are in place, you just need to use them.
There are two inherent problems; (1) not enough mod authors tag their files and (2) people complain about files not being tagged but then don’t tag files themselves. Your profiles have a statistic on them called “Files tagged”. It tells people how many files you’ve successfully tagged. If you complain about files not being tagged properly and your “Files tagged” statistic is 0, you’re a part of the problem and not a part of the solution. Your complaining about the lack of tagging doesn’t fix the issue, your actual tagging of files does. So next time you see a nude mod that hasn’t been tagged properly, “doing the right thing” isn’t complaining about it, doing the right thing is actually tagging the file yourself so that others don’t have the same problem you did.
With that said we’re trying to do our part to make these features more prominent. In the new file adding wizard we’ve hand-picked some tagging selections that are known to be the most regularly blocked tags on the sites. You’re asked “Tick any of the boxes that apply to your file. My file...” and on Skyrim Nexus, for example, options include “contains nudity”, “contains sexy/skimpy outfits”, “is a translation”, “is for male characters”, “is for female characters” and so on. (Note: as of writing I haven’t actually gone around and added these, but they’ll be up within an hour of me posting this article). Ticking these boxes will automatically tag your file with the relevant tag.
On the user end, we’ve added these same tags to the file search page under “Attributes”. Each tag is given a tick box. If the tag is ticked then you’ll see files using that tag. If you untick the box you will no longer see files using that tag. It works exactly the same as our content blocking system but it’s just much more obvious, and provides a link to the full range of tags you can block on the sites.
The aim is to make content blocking both more relevant, by asking direct questions about the type of content your mod contains, and also more prominent, by making it a part of our extensive filtering system that should help you to drill-down in to the file database and discard the types of mods you would never be interested in anyway. While this system was always present on the site it was never this prominent.
You’ll also notice the new file wizard has some new options for categories. This is more of a precursor for our centralisation work as I think most of the sites are pretty set in their categories now, but I’ll quickly run through it. You now have three category options. You must pick from a pre-set list (as before) but you can also suggest your own category that you think would best suit your file, or you can select from a pre-set list of what others have suggested. What’s the point of this? With current sites there’s not too much of a point to it as there’s already plenty of usable and relevant categories, however if we start supporting new games we want to be as automated and flexible as possible. The idea is if you’ve got a texture replacer mod for a new game, you add the game yourself and the site will automatically setup the game site along with a “Miscellaneous” category (all games have that category in them, current and future). You select the “Miscellaneous” category for your file but you suggest a “Texture replacer” category. While the file will begin in the Miscellaneous category if an admin agrees with the suggested category any files uploaded to the “Miscellaneous” category but using that suggested category will then be moved over to this new suggested category. The suggested category becomes a new category in and of itself. It sounds complicated but it’s really not.
Alrighty, I’ve gone on long enough. I hope these new features can be put to good use and if you think something isn’t working properly then let me know.
Jump to page