Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix

Community Forum Update

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Summary

Recently we let you all know about an update we planned to make to our forum software. Our previous forum software, unfortunately, was extremely out-of-date and was really holding us back on being able to make quick and tangible updates to the Nexus Mods website. We've now finished this update and this article is going to explain what's changed, why we made the change and what you can expect in the short- to mid-term because of this change.


The New Forum



Why do we care about our forums?

For over 22 years Nexus Mods has had a forum community of some description. For 20 of those years that community has been housed on our Invision Board forums. We are extremely committed to maintaining a location where our users can share their opinions and knowledge in a forum format that will stand the test of time. We believe that having an area which is searchable and discoverable via search engines and other methods is extremely important to retaining all the knowledge that our community contains, and we lament the recent trend of various game developers and communities who have moved their entire communities onto Discord, where this functionality is not possible.


Historical Context

The Nexus Mods site has evolved over this 22-year period from a collection of unique, disconnected modding sites to a single hub with 45 million registered users and over 9 billion total downloads. To put it in perspective, you were probably using Windows XP when the site first launched.

To be perfectly frank, when Robin coded the first iterations of Nexus Mods he never knew or intended for it to grow into the huge community it is today. Back then, the decisions Robin made were the right ones for the site - to use a pre-existing piece of open-source forum software to handle lots of the social functionality such as comments, private messaging, profiles and so on. However, times have changed and our deeply interconnected setup with our forums is now hampering our efforts to update the main Nexus Mods site. Something had to change, and the work on this forum update is the first of many steps to rectify the situation.

Because our site code was so interconnected with the forum databases and code we've had to maintain an extremely old version of our Invision Forum software which has prevented us from upgrading the forums. This means we have not only missed out on any new functionality that Invision have released over this time, but also, most importantly, their security updates. We've done extensive work on securing this old forum software against data leaks, however, this can never replace the security gained by being fully up-to-date with all the latest updates from the vendor themselves.

So, in a nut-shell, this update was all about being able to release updates to our users on Nexus Mods without having both hands tied behind our backs while at the same time ensuring we are always on the latest version of our forum software.




Where we are now


We've been working on the forum update over the past 2 months, which is just about complete, and we've done a lot of work on untangling our site code from the forum code. This gets us one step closer to untying our developer's hands on the site code, allowing them to more quickly get on with the important work of updating our website and platform. It also lets us start to better meet the needs of our community in support and forums.

We have been monitoring the forums for performance over the last two weeks and they are holding up well. We think we have ironed out most of the major issues since updating to Invision Community 4.


But…there's always a catch


Unfortunately it has not been all smooth sailing with this and we have had to make some tough decisions about what functionality we can keep on the site and what functionality we need to let go of for now.

Some functionality that existed in Invision Board 3 (our old forums) no longer exists at all in Invision Board 4. We have been left with two options in this regard, to completely remake that functionality from scratch (which could take many months) or to say goodbye to that functionality entirely.

In the short term, disconnecting our site code from our Nexus Mods website code has meant the loss of several features and links between the two (now distinct) services. This is an unfortunate but inevitable consequence of what it is we were trying to achieve (the uncoupling of the forums from the website). Frustratingly for all of us, many of our most active users and mod authors are likely to miss these features the most. We hope to limit the short-term frustration you experience while pushing hard to implement the longer-term benefits these changes enable. 


What's changed?


We've spent a long time on this update and still to this day we are finding things in Invision Board 4 that are missing compared to Invision Board 3. Unfortunately, the developers of IPB are not the best at providing detailed change logs so we've had to do a lot of exploring ourselves. Similarly, some of the links in our code between the site and the forums are over a decade old and not heavily documented, thus, there's been a lot of trial and error going on. We think we've now found most of them, so here's a list of what we've been able to find:

The ability to send a private message to another user from a Nexus Mods user profile

Nexus Mods now has its own separate user service where all your user details are stored. These were originally stored on the forums until 2019 and the change was made for security reasons. Upon updating from IPB3 to IPB4, only users who made a post on our forums now or in the past will actually have an account on our forums. However, as soon as a user logs in to our forums using their Nexus Mods account details their account is then made on the forums as well. The problem is - our PM system uses the forum user database and has, and likely always will, use the forums but the forums currently only have ~10% of the Nexus Mods accounts in them.

We are working on a solution that will allow us to import all these user accounts back into the forum database but it is going to take us some time.

With this in mind we have made the difficult decision to remove the ability to send PMs via the site (you can still do it on the forums, if the user exists there) until the solution is in place. We understand this is extremely frustrating and some very necessary discussions happen between our mod authors using this system so we are rushing to get this back for you.

We expect the return of this functionality in early 2024.


Link from site profile to forum profile and vice versa

There is now no link from your website profile page to your forum profile. Again this is a frustration and affects the workflow of many users. As a community and moderation team, it is something we use very regularly as well.

We plan to return this feature in early 2024.


The Friends list

Some of our users relied upon the friends list as a resource for tracking mod authors, friends and content they like. Unfortunately, the friends feature had to be removed because it no longer exists in IPB4 at all. We have no plan to return this feature in the current form and if you have any thoughts on this then they can be added to our feedback board. Friends has been replaced by “Following” in the new forum, which we know isn't exactly the same thing.

There is the potential that, in the future, we will expand our social offering on Nexus Mods and a friends list will likely have in part in such a system, but this isn't on any short term radar.

‘About Me' page

We know that many of you used the ‘About Me’ location to promote your mods, your donation options and add a bunch of other personal information and context, and it had a lot of value. Unfortunately we've had to remove it for now as it was another "link" between the forums and the site that we needed to sever. But rest assured, it will be back.

We will be replacing our ‘Profile’ functionality in early 2024 and the ‘About Me’ section (or some form of it) will be re-enabled at that time. We will import your forum profile data across to the new “About Me” on the website when it goes live so you will not need to build this from scratch.


Mod Comment Search

Since the migration of the forums, users have lost the ability to search comments via their posts in the forum. While this was a bit of a workaround method of searching comments, it worked. Many users relied on this functionality and it is a loss. The need to click through multiple pages of content to reach the comments is frustrating and we understand that.
Again this removal was due to the mod comments being stored in the old forums which we are no longer giving users access to.
The ability to search mod comments will return in early 2024.

Kudos system

We had originally planned to can this feature but after the community showed strong support for retaining it we managed to convince our devs to hold onto this functionality for you all.

It’s a limited but useful tool for getting a quick idea of a user's engagement, helpfulness and longevity within the community. Beyond this, there is a lot more we want the feature to do. 

This was briefly removed from your profile page but has since been replaced and functions as normal. To confirm, this is staying, and we'd like to make it even better in the future.


User Post count

Previously this was shown on your forum profile as well as your website profile. This has now been removed from your website profile. Any posts made in the comments section of mod pages are not included in the counts. This is because we now have multiple locations where you can post comments, however, some are using different systems and thus the counts are all over the place.

There are no plans at this stage to bring this back to the website profile, but we will try and push for this count to be consolidated and brought back again in the future.


Donate button

Briefly removed after migration, then returned to your profile. Go ahead and donate to your favourite mod authors!


Avatars + forum profiles

Your user avatar was also previously stored and managed in the old forums. We recently built and launched a new avatar service that handles any avatar changes independent of the forums.



Forum users have the ability to customise their avatar and cover image on their profile. While ‘about me’ will be returning to your website profile in 2024, we also have a more detailed forum profile section on the forums.


New Forums

The new forums are live and we think they will provide a cleaner and easier-to-use experience. They will offer you more customisation, more effective linking to other profiles and resources, also more intuitive content discovery.

We have updated and simplified many of the game sub-forums. There were well over 10,000 unique sub-forums, some nested 5 or 6 deep. Many of the new games we added to the site might only have one or two mods with very little community discussion. In these instances, we have decided to merge these games into a general game forum. This is partially because reducing the number of forum categories significantly reduces the server load our forums produce.

Larger games with many thousands of posts now have their own forum, pulled from the depths of the a-z game list and placed more prominently on the front page of the forums. Where it makes sense, we will maintain the existing sub-forum structure of these game forums. This migration is ongoing and expected to last 2 more days.

As new modding communities rise in popularity we now have better tools to customise and develop our support forums for these games. We're really excited to be making use of these new features and engaging with our community more.




Forum Reputation System

A system exists within IP board to gamify forum engagement and community activity. We will share more info about how this system works, and then put it to a community vote on whether this feature is enabled or not.




Community Everywhere

Our forums and Discord will be our primary tools to support mod authors and mod users alike. Discord can never be a replacement for longer-form, detailed guides on modding, and support for specific technical queries.

We have further invested in building our community team with the introduction of two new staff members who will be working with us to better support our modding communities on and off-platform. Many new and exciting moddable games are emerging that we want to support, as well as continuing to be the primary location for larger, well-established modding communities. Our forums will continue to be the central resource for this activity.

With our new team on board, we plan to make better use of our modding.wiki to provide detailed guides and ‘how-to’ learning for new and experienced modders alike. This info will be more prominently highlighted to give visible learning paths and solutions to common problems. We will be investing heavily in the development of our modding resources, guides and tutorials.


In Conclusion

Many features have been impacted by our necessary move to break away from our ancient and creaking-at-the-seams forum platform, however, several of these features will be returning in early 2024.

Our forums will remain an important community hub and we will continue to invest in them. They will be our go-to-location for learning and support, as well as a place to find friends, build modding teams and just banter about your favourite games.

Come and join us on the forums and as always, your feedback is incredibly valuable and always looked at.

111 comments

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  1. Blackjack34A
    Blackjack34A
    • member
    • 6 kudos
    Thanks, you NUKED my Friends list.. 
  2. deadpool0600
    deadpool0600
    • supporter
    • 27 kudos
    Damn bro, Imma miss that post counter.
  3. gUISTASSI
    gUISTASSI
    • premium
    • 60 kudos
    : Wish the About Me comes back soon to the main site. I used it a lot to put some standards and how I usually operate as well as my Links for other works and sneak peeks of my MODs' development. The About Me is a primal part of an identity and to be honest, the main Nexus site, including the forums, should have more features the users could use to make identification easy and even showing the tastes of that user. YouTube and Deviant Art are good examples of profile customisation.

    I'm just 5 years already since I joined Nexus and trying to tell "about you" with these missing features made our accounts always blank. If I'm not mistaken, some years ago I once even suggested to increase the visibility scale of our avatars on the user's profile in the Main Site and comments for better identification. Only the forums have this still.
    Seeing the About Me, things you like, games you're currently playing etc etc being removed, was a huge disappointment.
    1. Demorphic
      Demorphic
      • Community Manager
      • 44 kudos
      This functionality will return. From the article above:
      We will be replacing our ‘Profile’ functionality in early 2024 and the ‘About Me’ section (or some form of it) will be re-enabled at that time. We will import your forum profile data across to the new “About Me” on the website when it goes live so you will not need to build this from scratch.
  4. QTmodz
    QTmodz
    • premium
    • 36 kudos
    Looking forward to the updates
    1. Demorphic
      Demorphic
      • Community Manager
      • 44 kudos
      We will keep you updated via news and forum updates once we have a clearer picture of what will be done and when it will be scheduled.
  5. VigilantWarden
    VigilantWarden
    • premium
    • 59 kudos
    Mark me down for one of the folks that sincerely hope the Friends List will return at a future date.
  6. Stillsnow1234
    Stillsnow1234
    • member
    • 186 kudos
    Are folks getting notification icon on the little message thingy on right hand top corner  when they receive a DM?
    To me it looks like it's not working.. :(
    1. Pickysaurus
      Pickysaurus
      • Community Manager
      • 667 kudos
      This is no longer possible. You'll need to check your emails or log into the forums to see your personal messages. 
  7. GammaX1998
    GammaX1998
    • supporter
    • 0 kudos
    Locked
    Hello , i wanted to ask is there a section in NexusMods where i can suggest mods to a specific game
    1. Pickysaurus
      Pickysaurus
      • Community Manager
      • 667 kudos
      This is unrelated to the subject of the news post. To share an idea, please see our forums https://forums.nexusmods.com/forum/8874-mod-ideas/
  8. FeliceHasAHat
    FeliceHasAHat
    • supporter
    • 8 kudos
    A system exists within IP board to gamify forum engagement and community activity. We will share more info about how this system works, and then put it to a community vote on whether this feature is enabled or not.

    Oh, for the love of everything, please do not do this. When you gamify something that's communal, people always start competing to score likes, follows, arbitrons, internet points, whatever, and they do it by spamming content that's only just barely good enough to get a point. It drives the signal:noise ratio on the discussion way, way down.

    Please, please, do not do this. 🥺 Don't even bring it to a vote. Just have a second thought and say, "Nah, that's not a good idea."
  9. Kraftwerk76
    Kraftwerk76
    • member
    • 0 kudos
    "The ability to send a private message to another user from a Nexus Mods user profile"

    Thats´s good news! I hope it comes back quickly.
  10. GunterSeverloh
    GunterSeverloh
    • member
    • 33 kudos
    I would hope the comment post count comes back, as no one really gives kudos and im always answering questions giving solutions
    and working on my mod.  But if there was a way to give kudos through the comments without having to go to someone's profile to do that
    i think that would make it easier for commenters to give credit where its deserved.

    I'm making posts almost everyday on my mod page and other then the mod itself, post count can show how long someone
    has been on the site, at least give some sort of credibility.