• 2 December 2013 23:42:11

    Nexus Mods centralisation complete, we now support mods for all games

    posted by Dark0ne Game News
    Well hello there. Before we get into the main meat of this news post I’d like to list a few things happening right now on the sites that we are aware of, that we don’t need you to tell us about or confirm, or reconfirm, that will be fixed soon. I say soon, we’ve been working 14 hours straight, from 9am to 11pm and while the main conversion is complete there’s still work to do which will be pushed into Tuesday day (i.e. we’re going to bed soon!). Anyway, here’s the list, and if you comment on this news post bringing up these points it means you didn’t actually read this news post before commenting and that you, sir, deserve a turd sandwich:

    • Apparent slowness on all sites or pages not loading at all with 500-504 errors. Sometimes at random, sometimes all the time. This is because our new server setup and configuration needs lots of testing and tweaking with the new load put on it. It should go away over the coming days. Good news for us is it’s not database related. First time this year.
    • Not all the file servers are up and operational yet. The ones that are up might be slow, or not working at all, due to this fact.
    • Issues with some Premium Memberships not working. Unsure whether this is on the sites (can’t replicate this issue on my end) or in NMM (can replicate this issue on my end, Premium Members not being recognised in NMM). Feel free to share feedback on this one to help me troubleshoot (obligatory turd sandwich is waived in this instance).
    • A few broken links. I know about the forum button link and the “More from this uploader” link. Any others feel free to share.

    And now, to the meat of the news...

    Our maintenance work is now completed on all sites and I can now happily announce the completion of my plans to centralise the Nexus into one database and open up the site to mods for all PC games.

    The overall premise of this update is to centralise the management and presentation of game files across all the games we support while still maintaining that drilled-down, focused aspect of browsing individual Nexus sites for individual games. I understand that some users only visit the Nexus to get files for a single game and I also understand that some users use various different Nexus sites and also have files and images on multiple different Nexus sites. I didn’t want to remove the more personal Nexus browsing experience you get when browsing a Nexus site for a specific game but I did want to offer the option to users to very quickly and easily find files for multiple different games very quickly and easily without having to switch between sites, or even pages.

    Perhaps more exciting is the fact we have updated our file upload wizard and now accept files for any and all games on the PC platform. As part of my wish to support modding in totality I wanted to open up the Nexus so it could be used by all mod authors out there, irrespective of whether we support the game currently or not. As a mod author it’s actually extremely simple to add a file for a game we don’t currently support and there’s very little extra work involved. The process is as follows:

    • Go to our file upload wizard on nexusmods.com
    • The very first step, Step 1, is where you choose what game your file is for
    • If the game already exists simply select it from the drop-down menu
    • If the game does not exist enter the name of the game
    • Continue with the file upload wizard as per before

    Note: this step is made simpler if you use the file upload wizard from a specific Nexus site, e.g. if you use the file upload wizard on Skyrim Nexus then step 1 is completed for you with Skyrim pre-selected.

    The game addition phase is a manual one which requires an administrator to confirm the submittal of your suggested game to the database. This means until an administrator confirms your game suggestion your file won’t be visible on the sites. While adding this bottleneck is a bit counter to how we’ve done things up until now I’m sure you’ll agree it could become an organisational nightmare if the game adding process was automatic. It’s simply there to allow me time to add the game box art and ensure that people haven’t uploaded different files for the same game under different names, e.g. C&C3, Command & Conquer 3, Command And Conquer 3, CNC3 and so on. In such an event I can merge all the files in all those games under one name and ensure everything isn’t a mess before publishing the game on the network. However, you can still create your entire file page including uploading your images and files and submit your file so that as soon as the game is approved by an admin it will be instantly published along with the site. That means you don’t have to suggest a game, wait for it to be approved, and then submit your file. You do it all at once and then simply wait for me to approve the game, at which point your file will become available.

    Once a new game is approved a new Nexus site is automatically created and added into the pool of games to browse in the file database and our game list. For all intents and purposes once the game is approved you’ve just created an entirely new Nexus site in seconds. Minecraft Nexus? You can do that. The Sims Nexus? Yep. GTA Nexus? Uh huh. I no longer dictate what games the Nexus supports, the mod authors do.

    Any new Nexus site created by this new system will use a generic design under the original Nexus orange and grey colour scheme (the Oblivion colour scheme) with no background image. You can tell what Nexus site you’re currently browsing in many different ways. Established Nexus sites have unique colour schemes and unique background images that really make them stand out, but all Nexus sites have the name of the game in the top-left hand corner of the site below the Nexus logo. It’s my hope and intention to create unique colour schemes and background images for any games that reach a certain level of activity. In my mind that level of activity is around about the 30 files uploaded mark. Once 30 files have been added to a specific Nexus site I’ll create a unique background and colour scheme for it.

    With this update we’ve also changed the addresses/URL’s used and we’ve moved away from the subdomain system of separating Nexus sites (e.g. skyrim.nexusmods.com, oblivion.nexusmods.com, etc.). I know this is annoying for some of you who like to ensure you’re using the latest links but we really did think it through and, with this update, the benefits of changing from a subdomain system far outweigh the annoyance of the change. We’ve been careful to ensure any old links to your files will still work with the new system; they should seamlessly redirect to the new URL, but I do understand the frustration of having to change links, just please know it was in our best interests, and ultimately, yours (it’s all to do with search engine optimisation). All new Nexus sites will not have a subdomain attached to them. If you’re noticing that redirects from the old URL to the new URL are not working then please let me know and I’ll get it fixed up as soon as possible.

    We’ve updated the NexusMods.com homepage accordingly to become the central hub for finding all the games we support and even accessing all the files across all the games from one single page. From NexusMods.com you can find any file for any game on any Nexus site from the files page. This page is exactly the same as the file page on individual Nexus sites only you can broaden your browsing range from a single game to all games. If you prefer to browse for files from specific Nexus sites then you can still do that (indeed, the Nexus sites remain pretty much unchanged with this update), and you can also access our game list to see a list of all the games the Nexus currently supports.

    As part of this work we’ve centralised our database into one single database. Originally each Nexus site used a different database. 18 games, 18 databases. We’ve now merged all the databases into one. This provides practical functionality to the sites, for example if you’ve uploaded files or images across multiple different Nexus sites you can now manage all of them from a single page or, in keeping with my wish to maintain a more personal approach, you can continue to go to each individual Nexus site and maintain your files for individual games from there. Your file management pages have a form field at the top that lets you filter between all the games you’ve uploaded files for which provides quick and easy access. Similarly the centralisation also allows us to present a unified listing of all your files and images on your profile page for everyone to see. Once again, filter options are available that allow users to see what files you’ve uploaded for specific games.

    While originally only Skyrim was using our new Cloud setup we’ve now moved every site on to the Cloud. While this might create a few days of instability as we re-tune all the settings and config for the increased load on the nodes it is the next step in our efforts to increase the reliability of the network which I’m sure you’ll agree (and if you don’t you’re being silly) has improved over the past couple of months compared to the past few years. It’s still not perfect by any means but we are getting there and this work is a step towards the ultimate goal of 100% uptime and 100% reliability. Liken it to surgery; relatively brief times of pain for much longer term benefits and gain.

    Having said that this centralisation work is the combination of thousands of hours of work and while we’ve tried to test it all as much as possible I think logic (and past experience) dictates that there are going to be niggling issues and, potentially, bugs. We’ll be working overtime to ensure we fix any bugs as soon as we find out about them and, once again, we’re relying on you guys to let us know when you find something amiss or not working properly. We can only fix what we know about.

    It’s important to understand that this update is laying the groundwork to future improvement. It’s not the end, it’s simply the beginning of a new era, a new foundation for Nexus Mods from which we’ll be working from. This year has been all about two things. Improving the reliability of the network and opening up the network to files for all PC games. In the new year we’ll build on both of those objectives and we’ll be switching our focus away from these two big projects into a lot of smaller, more functional updates and improvements which we haven’t really focused on this year at all. It’s difficult to say “the best is yet to come” but I honestly believe it. What you see before you right now is a foundation. Next year we want to build on it and improve on it based on your feedback to us and we’ve positioned ourselves accordingly.

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