Year in review and looking forward

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A belated Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everybody!

We've been quiet in our news section recently as we've been busily working away on the site redesign and Vortex development, but the new year brings the perfect chance to update you on what happened last year and what we're working on in 2018.


2017 in numbers

We welcomed 1,612,142 new users to Nexus Mods in 2017, or to put it another way, a new member joined Nexus Mods every 20 seconds. We now support mods for 493 different games, up 80 on 2016. In that time users have uploaded 27,891 new mods to the site and all of you have downloaded 601,609,165 files between you, which means that 19 new downloads were started on Nexus Mods every second of 2017.

While traffic on the site has declined slightly on 2016's figures due to the initial buzz of Fallout 4's release dying down, you're all downloading way more than you used to, up 22% on last year's 491,161,244 downloads.


We got an office

Starting 2017 I was becoming unhappy with the remote working conditions at Nexus Mods. Since I hired the first staffer back in 2011, every position has been remote and we've had employees living in England, Scotland, Italy, Germany and the United States. However, it's become increasingly evident over the years that no matter what software or hardware companies bring out to bridge the gap between office workers and remote workers, nothing, and I mean nothing, replaces the sheer efficiency (and comradery) of individuals working in the same room together towards a common goal.

So while most companies try and open themselves up more to remote and flexible working, I decided to go the complete opposite direction and in May 2017, we setup a Nexus Mods office that myself, an existing member of staff and two new site programmers would be the first to fill.

From time to time Tom, our head of Programming and Paul, director of content, would come down and work a few days in the office as well.

I was dubious about the changes at first as this would be the first time in my life I'd be working in an office rather than from home, but any doubts I had quickly left me and I'm extremely happy with how the office has panned out.

Now I know it was the right thing to do, I'm about to put pen to paper on a new office that will be the Nexus Mods staff home for the next few years. Any new staff positions we fill will, most likely, be office based from our home here in Exeter in the UK.


Staff changes

We've welcomed some new faces this year and said goodbye to some long-standing staff as well.

As already mentioned, back in May we brought in two new site programmers working from the office and in November we welcomed Kit, our designer, to fill a brand new role in the team.

We've said goodbye to Fabio and Luca, who were the team behind the Nexus Mod Manager, as we look to consolidate as many staff positions as possible into the new office environment. Paul, whose absence you might have noticed from our news section in recent months, has also moved on to new pastures. We wish them all the best.


The site redesign

In November we pushed out our new site redesign, first as a public beta for testing and feedback, and just recently, into a full launch. The old design can still be accessed from http://old.nexusmods.com but will soon be switched off.

We're very happy with it, not just how it looks and works, but also the underlying changes made to the framework and logic make it far more efficient for a team of programmers (which is what we have now) to work on it.

Naturally, the redesign has had a polarizing effect, and indeed, in 16 years of running these sites I haven't launched a redesign without it doing just that. I'm not sure any established site does. But nevertheless, we've received a treasure trove of feedback from which we can work from, some very helpful, some not so helpful and some plain rude, but we know how to filter the helpful feedback from the rude stuff and just get on with it, and that's what we're doing.

With help from users reporting bugs on our GitHub tracker, we've squashed hundreds of bugs and refined several areas of the site from the original design already. We'll continue to iterate on it moving forward based on the feedback being provided.

The old design will go down soon. While many users have asked for us to keep the old design up, it's simply not feasible as our code base moves further and further away from it. We can neither afford to continue paying for the old hardware the old design is on, nor can we afford to maintain code/design parity with any new and future functionality we add moving forward. It's not cut out for the amount of data we're having to store now, nor is it cut out for a larger team of programmers to work on it. It's simply put, not fit for purpose any more and separating the design from the logic would be a futile task for us.


Vortex

Allllllllmoooooost there.

I had a little play around with Tannin's latest version yesterday and I'm really happy with how it's looking, how it's working, and all the exciting things we'll be able to do with it looking into the future.

It's touch and go whether we're going to hit that January deadline, but if we don't, it'll simply be for polish and fixing any last minute bugs the focus group bring up. We'll update you once we know for sure and if we can't hit January, we'll release some pictures and more information to tide you over.


Social media

Some of you don't care for social media, but a lot of us do and use it regularly. We brought Terrorfox onto the team back in 2016 to spearhead our external focus, past the Nexus Mods community, and as a part of those efforts, he's created a thriving social media presence for Nexus Mods.

On both Facebook and Twitter, Terrorfox releases a steady stream of popular mods and hidden gems you might never have seen or heard of before every couple of hours, that are all available on Nexus Mods. Mixed in with a few retweets or shout-outs to what mod authors are doing and talking about around social media, I can honestly say that it's a rather nice way of being informed about new mods in the community and what's being talked about on social media.

No clickbait here, just straight up "here's a mod, here's what it does, check it out". If that's of interest to you, give us a follow or a like so you can keep up to date with what's being posted there.


Looking forward to 2018 on the website

We've got a fight on our hands in 2018.

Our work on the redesign over these past two years has revealed some looming future issues in our backend that we need to rectify. Nexus Mods has obviously grown at an astounding rate since we first built the new framework for the site in 2011 and our needs back then were very different to our present needs.

You need only look at the download figures quoted above, which are increasing at an almost alarming rate, to understand the data sets we're talking about. In 28 months our download database alone has doubled in size (which means that our users have downloaded more since September 2015 than they did from June 2005, when our records in their current form began, to August 2015). Now, with 2.4 billion downloads in our system that we rely on for a number of different features on the site, we're in "big data" realms and we need to work hard and fast to accommodate this.

As a result, a lot of our time is going to be spent completely rebuilding all the backend logic and framework, from the ground up, to move us into more of a big data mindset. It's very boring talk for people like you and me, but it has very serious implications for the future of Nexus Mods if we do nothing, or if we don't get it right.

It was our hope that we'd be able to rectify these issues as part of the redesign process but all it has done is highlight the need for a complete ground up rehaul of our systems. That doesn't mean a new redesign, or rather, it does, but a redesign of our databases, server infrastructure, framework and so on. Basically, the stuff you don't see but can sometimes "feel", like when the site is slow or unresponsive. Recently announced functionality like our Mod Author Donation System will form a part of these new systems.

As such, the work we've done on the redesign, which has already involved some significant refactoring of our code, has given us a little room to breathe while we work on some pretty big stuff into 2018 and beyond.

While a number of our programmers will be focusing on these efforts, a separate team are going to continue working their socks off iterating on our redesign and taking on the feedback we're getting from all of you.

We've still got some speed improvements to make that should make browsing the new site faster and Kit continues to push changes to the design based on the feedback she's reading on the forum and in the news comments. That's an ongoing process that is never truly going to end.


Looking forward to 2018 with Vortex

First, we've got to release it.

Vortex is obviously going to be released in an alpha state and we're only going to recommend people use it, to begin with, if they want to help us actually test the software and aren't shy about potential bugs or issues that might come from completely changing your mod management software. During this phase, if you're a 500+ mod load order person who has everything delicately sorted to perfection and don't want anything messing with that then you're likely not the right person for the initial release of Vortex unless you want to help us test getting it all ported over and working correctly in Vortex!

Tannin will be eagerly awaiting feedback and bug reports and will no doubt work hard to resolve them all as quickly as possible.

Naturally, we have no idea how long that process is going to take, but we're confident we've learnt from the mistakes of the past on this one and don't want to be in a perpetual alpha state!

Looking to the future, we've been keenly watching developments unfold in the community recently in regards to mod packs. It's something we've explored for Nexus Mods and NMM in the past, so much so that we were mere weeks away from launching a full fledged mod pack system before I mothballed it. If you're interested in how that came about, the technicalities behind it and the reason why it was mothballed I wrote a rather extensive breakdown on Reddit about it recently.

I've tentatively spoken with Tannin briefly on the subject and, while we've got a to-do list that's years in the making, mod packs are something we'll likely explore again in the not too distant future. Naturally, we'll consult with mod authors extensively about our plans and what feedback they have during the design and implementation stage.


In finishing

I want to send a big thank you to the often unsung heroes of this community, our moderation team, who diligently volunteer their time to help moderate these sites and deal, often times, with some sickeningly awful individuals on the internet. Without them, Nexus Mods wouldn't be Nexus Mods. I can sit here and talk about "big data" this and "Vortex" that, but all of that is utterly moot if the community collapses in on itself (or doesn't exist at all) due to idiots who just want to act like dicks and ruin it for everyone else.

Also, obviously, a thank you to the mod authors who continue to create and share their content on Nexus Mods, without whom all of this is similarly pointless!

I wish you all a great 2018.

91 comments

  1. DarthSokar
    DarthSokar
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    Could you offer a pay service that allows us to access the old site aesthetic for a monthly fee or something? < legit willing to compromise here. lol
    1. Sueta
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      Yeah I'm sincerely going to miss the old Nexusmods design. Not a big fan of the updated version. But I guess we'll have to get used to it. :/
    2. DarthSokar
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      Seems that way, shame really. I'd legit pay a subscription fee to keep the old.
    3. Hollowrogue13
      Hollowrogue13
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      I like the new MO "Vortex" but I agree that I liked the old site better. This one is less user friendly in quite a few ways
  2. Factor8
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    What do you plan to do with GTA 5 mods website? Will it be integrated into nexusmods site?
    1. Ethreon
      Ethreon
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      What GTA5 mods website?
  3. Ghatto
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    There's only one thing I really need in the site redesign right now: mod page thread search.

    It's a real pain trying to troubleshoot any mods issues that may have already been discussed by searching for specific keywords. You can go to the mod's nexus forum page and search there but I'm certainly not going to be the first to criticise the forums readability - especially for reply and quote threads. (It's makes finding that elusive, "Hey I had that problem too and this fixed it" comment pretty laborious.

    Meanwhile the new redesigned mod pages with their accompanying mod thread view is beautiful and has lovely easy to read and easy to use commenting, but no search!
    1. Finaldeath1689
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      Another issue with searching mod comments in the forum thread is the stupid search timeout that is way too long.
    2. Ghatto
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      Oh yeah. Flood filter on posting? yeah makes sense. Flood filter on searching, eugh...
    3. ayman13
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      i think its to help with the less than stellar servers nexusmods ?had?
  4. JoeBlow90
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    I would like to comment on the "Search engine". It's definitely the worst i've used like ever...

    The other day while i was on a mod page, i typed the exact name of the mod in the search bar and got a message saying no mods were found... That's REALLY broken...

    1. Loveblanket
      Loveblanket
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      That's strange, I use that feature all the time and haven't had any trouble. I think it's much better at guessing what your looking for if you don't have the title exact. You may have just experienced some strange bug, but for me the search tool experience has been much improved.
    2. JoeBlow90
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      I'm sorry to say but this is not a "one time" issue for me. It happens ALL the time...

    3. Brabbit1987
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      I would like to second this issue. I run into it a lot to the point I actually bring up google search to find mods on Nexus instead.
    4. Wicketklown001
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      I had this a lot at first as well but I went in and manually cleared all the filters/blocked tags and reset them and it started working again I think I just had some that were set incorrectly. Haven't run into any issues since then.
    5. Dark0ne
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      First question: What were you searching for? We won't know if it's broken or not, and we can't fix it, unless you give us more details.

      Second question: Are you blocking tags/authors in your filtering settings?
    6. Augusta Calidia
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      The search function works well for me now. Initially I was having some problems finding certain mods. However, thanks to WicketKlown001's advice to check filters and blocked tags, I discovered that a couple of blocked tags were the guilty parties. Once I removed them, the missing mods showed up.
    7. JoeBlow90
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      I have no blocked tacked or content at all...

      Like i mentionned earlier... I was looking at a mod a few days on go... was right on the mod's page and type it's exact name in the search bar
      and got 0 results....
    8. Dark0ne
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      Joe, PLEASE give me the name of the mod and the exact search term you used. That's the only way anyone else can confirm the issue and fix it.
    9. Gongor
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      Same here..use google, saves time.
  5. DarthTrog
    DarthTrog
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    In this new format nexus is only useable if you know the name of the mod you are looking for already. The only search you have are the "popular" and newest and greatest, which does not mean greatest, only lemming village.

    The first thing that should be fixed is something that was not broken on the old site, the option to set your mod to its function, and then search for what you wanted. No way to search thru 50k mods for skyrm going page to page at 20 a time only seeing the top downloaded mods.

  6. tajetaje
    tajetaje
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    Any chance you might make your GitHub repo public that way the brave few who know how might compile it for ourselves?
    1. Dark0ne
      Dark0ne
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      For what? Vortex? It will be released open source as and when it's ready.
    2. tajetaje
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      Fair enough
  7. pitstop25
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    I have not been here long myself and boy am I glad I joined. It is one of the most professional sites I have been on inl my years in gaming. To say that you do a better job then all of the official game sites is an understatement. Not only do you care about the members and helping them along the way you are 100% behind the modders. As a modder myself (sim racing games) I can tell you that is something that is not seen an awful lot these days. Most sites just want us to post and post so as they get more money from the ads and sponsors. On here they are all treated with huge respect and I love it. The NMM is a fantastic program and takes all the headaches out of installing mods. Would be awesome to see this in use on things like Asseto Corsa in the future.
    A huge thanks from me to all of the Nexus team that make the site better and better and to the modders for their time in making awesome content for us to use and to the members that endorse and give feedback to the modders.
     
    Happy new year to you all.
  8. 93sc
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    In response to post #56866156.


    Spoiler:  
    Show

    "Power Line Physics." I selected Fallout 4, typed the mod title into the search bar, clicked on "Search," and the mod instantly appeared. Have you actually checked to see what blocked tags you might have? It wasn't until I did that and individually unblocked some tags that I was able to search for and find some mods that previously had eluded me. I hope this helps you.
     


    Well, I'm an idiot.  At some point I guess I blocked the PS4 tag.  Thats nuts.  I completely apologize for wasting anyones time.
  9. 93sc
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    In response to post #56798616. #56800041, #56800786, #56801706, #56802961, #56805466, #56840566, #56862306 are all replies on the same post.


    Spoiler:  
    Show

    Joe, PLEASE give me the name of the mod and the exact search term you used. That's the only way anyone else can confirm the issue and fix it.
     


    Power Line Physics is one I have had trouble with.  I just went to the mod page, copied the title, pasted it in the search bar and got no results.  I then clicked on "Clear Filters" and still got no results.  I hope that provides useful info for you.
     
    Edit:  https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/22932/
    1. Augusta Calidia
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      "Power Line Physics." I selected Fallout 4, typed the mod title into the search bar, clicked on "Search," and the mod instantly appeared. Have you actually checked to see what blocked tags you might have? It wasn't until I did that and individually unblocked some tags that I was able to search for and find some mods that previously had eluded me. I hope this helps you.
  10. Exchange324
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    Im happy with redesign, as the one who isn't able to surf through pc for half year, that's just a save for my traffic. There are little problems I encounter like it's 10% chance to me to successfully hit + button on a mod preview. My touch is ok (iPhone actually). The link hitbox is like moved a bit or small, sadly I can't see the corner
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