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Away with the old and in with the new, and this time it's a poll where your votes get a relative look in on something on this site, so get on it!
Firstly, the last poll asked "Are you going to buy Bethesda's upcoming game, Fallout 3?". Here are the results:
Yes, 8092 votes (48%)
No, 2768 votes (16%)
Maybe, 3923 votes (23%)
Only if it comes with a construction set, 2056 votes (12%)
16839 total votes.
Impressive statistics that a potential 84% of TESNexus visitors could be buying Fallout 3.
Now onto the next poll. The latest poll asks "Should the file database rating system be changed to be like the Image Share rating system?". For those not in the loop the Image Share section recently had a rating system overhaul whereby user ratings are much like the kudos system for members. You cannot rate images negatively, only positively. If you don't like an image then you just don't rate it. Instead of rating the file from a set number range, you give the file your endorsement, which gives the file a "+1" to its rating.
Why would such a system be necessary I hear you ask? Well, first of all the 1 - 10 rating system has become more of a 1 or 10 rating system, with the odd 5, 6 and 7 thrown in for good measure. You rate 10 if you like a file, 1 if you don't like a file, and 5, 6 or 7 if you think the file has potential but don't think it's at its best. However, there are also people out there abusing the rating system for their own benefit, or just because they're prats. They'll rate files 5, 6 or 7 and give a constructive post, but deep down they're doing it because they want to see that file lose some rating points.
Similarly with the ability to rate files badly with a necessary comment comes a lot of negative, rude and insulting comments. It's something we're aware of, we've tried to change, and the moderation team try their hardest to weed out and remove (the ban statistics since the rule changes have been...impressive...to say the least). Unfortunately there are still those who want to push their luck and think we won't ban them if they're derogatory towards others.
By removing a tool for negativity and promoting only positive feedback the hope is mod authors will be more content with sharing their files with the public.
There's been a focus in the community recently on authors leaving because they don't feel respected; while I can sympathise with these people it is, unfortunately, a way of the internet. You should see the amount of crap I get through my inbox on a weekly basis from raging kids! After seven years I've learnt to ignore it, or amuse myself with it, but never take it to heart.
As per the current system you will still need to leave a comment with your endorsement, and comments will still be available for constructive feedback.
So please cast your vote in the new site poll and feel free to discuss the issue through the poll thread, or this news thread.
As part of a new project I am currently working on TESNexus as well as the forums might be particularly slow and unresponsive this evening (13th October 2008), and the site login might run into a few issues. Please be patient during this early phase of development and testing and report any problems you encounter on the forums as necessary.
Thank you for your understanding.
As promised I have finally gotten around to making some of the changes to the Image Share section that have been on my to-do list for a while. Today see's the overhaul of the rating system and top images.
As part of the changes "ratings" as they were (1 - 10 subjective ratings) have been completely done away with. In their place is a "Thumbs up" endorsement system similar in kin to the kudos system for members. The idea is that instead of subjectively rating an image from 1 - 10 you merely choose to register that you "like" the image. That gives it a thumbs up. If you don't like the image you can't rate the image.
In the interest of fairness all past ratings to images are still present and any ratings that were registered as a 7 or higher have been converted into a single thumbs up for that image. All ratings below 7 have been removed from the system and are not counted positively or negatively towards any image.
If you don't think an image deserves your endorsement but would like to offer constructive criticism to the author on what he can do to improve, in your opinion, then you can still leave comments without endorsing the image. However uploaders now have the ability to block their new images from being rated or commented on in the same kin as the file database.
With the rating overhaul comes an overhaul in the top image lists as well. The top lists no longer work on a bayesian estimate but on a much simpler system of "the most thumbs up in the past two weeks". Only people who have registered that they like an image in the past two weeks will be counted on the top lists. Hopefully this will generate a much more dynamic and fresh top 25/10 that is constantly changing so that the same images aren't always at the top of the list.
It's important to note that the image top 25 is different to the file database's "file of the month" system in that the system does not clear itself every 2 weeks. The date variable used to calculate the 2 weeks is real-time. If you register a thumbs up on an image on Monday at 1pm then the top 25 system will no longer count your vote at 1.01pm on the Monday two weeks from that date.
Once again in the interest of fairness (and to fill up the top 25!) all past ratings have been post-dated to today to give them their time in the sun. So count the next two weeks as the top 25 for the past year! If you're a top 25 junkie (ugh) who is desperate for their image to be in the top 25 you might want to hold back on uploading your image until two weeks from now, else you'll be fighting against images that have a one year headstart on yours.
There's still a few things that need doing in the image share section, like making use of the categories, but I consider these latest changes to be a large part of the overhaul promised for the image share section. Have fun!
Constructive feedback and feature requests are welcome.
Not really related to the Elder Scrolls (but perhaps related to any future ES games that might surface) but interesting none-the-less is a new interview with Pete Hines that covers the modding situation with Bethesda's soon to be released Fallout 3. Here's a snippet:QUOTERPS: Getting more technical - care to talk about the mod situation?
Folk probably took for granted that every time we make a game, there's a mod tool. We explained to folk that it takes a lot of time and effort to get that tool ready for release, and it's not on our schedule right now. We need to get the game done and out. It's not to say we won't do it. It's that right now we have an enormous amount of work to do, for three platforms and all these different languages to get it out around the wall. Right now, we can't say definitively “there will be mod tools, and here is when they'll be out”. That work remains to be done.
I'm not sure if I "take it for granted" so much as I take it as an awesome feature of a game that sets it aside from most other games out there. The question I ask myself is "Would I like Morrowind and Oblivion as much as I do now if they didn't come with a construction set?", the answer is a resounding no. They're good games made excellent by a strong and talented modding community that compliments the great job Bethesda did on providing the construction set on day one of the game's releases.
I wish Bethesda success with Fallout 3, I know I'll be buying it, but a part of me hopes that they'll get bitten in the backside a little for this. Not anything major, just something that causes a little resentment in the Bethesda ranks and makes them look back and think "gosh, I think we should have released the SDK with the game!". Selfish and unlikely, I know, but hell...here's to honesty!
To me Bethesda set a precedent in the gaming community with Morrowind and Oblivion by releasing their SDK with the game (or on the day of the game's release); a good example to other developers of what they can be doing to both better support their community and boost sales at the same time. This latest step with Fallout 3 seems like a step backwards in my book.
It's something I'll be watching closely over the coming months. I'm interested to see if it will have any effect on the Fallout 3 community.
Unfortunately it seems that the "few spoiling it for the many" once again applies to TESNexus, this time in regards to the Image Share section of the site. Certain users of the site have been deliberately rating their own images high and other users's images low with multiple accounts in order to skew the top 25 images and/or persue personal vendettas against other members of the site.
First of all having multiple accounts on TESNexus is not allowed and in most cases will mean all accounts will be banned from the site entirely. Secondly deliberately rating your own or other user's images high or low in order to try and fiddle the top 25 to your liking is not only pathetic, but bannable. It stands against everything this site and community is about. People who want to partake in these actions are not welcome here. Thirdly, people taking it upon themselves to try and get revenge against these pathetic individuals are also not welcome here. We have strict rules against vigilantism and the saying goes "our way, or the high way".
If you don't like how we work then please just leave and don't look back. If you think things need changing then leave a respectable message on the forums and wait and see; if you don't get your way it isn't your right to try and screw things up on the site in an attempt to get your way. If anything it will simply fill me with enough contempt to remove the feature from the site entirely.
Until I get around to making changes to the Image Share section (that have been in the pipeline for months) all image ratings are disabled along with the top images list. I apologise to those mature users of the site who have been enjoying the Image Share section. Hopefully you'll appreciate the situation and will enjoy the new features and changes made when they're launched.
This week in August marks the yearly anniversary of TESNexus in all its incarnations, dating back to August 2001 when Morrowind Chronicles was first launched. Now 7 years old, TESNexus is still here and still going just as strong as ever (infact the site beat the old daily unique visitors record by 2,000, up to 64,000, just last Sunday!).
That's thanks to what I consider to be the strongest modding community in all the gaming industry. That may sound a bit sensationalist, but point me in the direction of a gaming community that can boast a catalogue of 11,367 modifications (not including save games) with an average increase of 18 new uploads a day on this site alone. Similarly TESNexus welcomes over 800 new members every single day with the trend increasing rather than decreasing; so don't let people tell you that the Elder Scrolls community is dwindling, if the stats this site can give are anything to go by the community is getting larger, not smaller.
TESNexus had humble beginnings in Morrowind Chronicles which was launched as a general information site for Morrowind complete with a small but tight-knit group of forum regulars. In 2003 Morrowind Chronicles changed to become Morrowind Source and in 2005 the site became The Elder Scrolls Source to accommodate both Morrowind and the soon to be released Oblivion. In September 2007 the site made its last name change to The Elder Scrolls Nexus.
7 years is a long time and I'd like to thank Bethesda for making such awesomely modifiable games (damnit if Fallout 3/ESV doesn't have a construction set I'm gonna crack some skulls!), the greater Elder Scrolls community, both mod authors and downloaders, for their commitment to their work and play, the TESNexus community for sticking around and making it a place worth socialising in, and of course the dedicated staff here at TESNexus who keep this site clean and tidy.
To pay homage to this special occasion and thank you all for making the site what it is I have remmoved the advertisements on this site for a 24 hour period for all members. The adverts were removed at 12 noon BST today and will remain off the site until noon tomorrow.
The old poll is now down and the results are in. Here's the info:
Battle of the browsers; which browser do you preferably use at home?
Fire Fox - 12229 votes (66%)
Internet Explorer - 4000 votes (21%)
Opera - 1736 votes (9%)
Other - 360 votes (1%)
As you can see Fire Fox has a clear market cut in the Elder Scrolls community!
The next site poll sees a return to a question I asked back in August of 2007, so it seems only right to ask the same question a year on as the game nears launch. Are you going to buy Bethesda's upcoming game, Fallout 3? It might not be Elder Scrolls related but I am interested to know how many of the Elder Scrolls faithful are going to venture into another of Bethesda's games. I know I'll be giving Fallout 3 a go.
It came to my attention today that people have been having trouble accessing TESNexus recently via the domain "tesnexus.com" without the "www" at the beginning. Sure enough when I tried to access the site via "tesnexus.com" instead of "www.tesnexus.com" I was redirected to a bad splash page website.
Astute forum member yoyohobo665 investigated the issue and found that there is a vulnerability in Windows XP and lower "that could allow spoofing", i.e. the redirection of legitimate traffic to bad places by bad people. There is a hot fix out and if you're a regular windows update user you will probably already have this fix, but if you don't use windows update or if you're a naughty person there is a downloadable version for XP available here. This fix does not check for legitimate XP installs. If you use an operating system other than XP (I believe Vista is safe) then you can find relavent downloads at this microsoft page.
I'm unsure at this time whether this issue is server side (i.e. an issue I have to fix), client side (i.e. an issue you have to fix) or both. What I do know is that this issue is resolved via the hot fix Microsoft have released and I am inquiring about whether I need to be doing anything my end.
I have investigated this issue and have patched up the server accordingly. Windows users (not including Vista) are still recommended to install the hotfix provided and please let me know if you experience the issue again.
Good news for Premium Members! The premium download server has been modified and recoded to allow all premium members to use their download managers and accelerators on the server with full download pausing/resuming capabilities and multi-tasking/threading of downloads for faster downloads. Premium Members that are getting slow speeds on other servers are encouraged to make use of this new feature so you can download at your connection's maximum speed.
Tested download managers include Down Them All! (Fire Fox plugin), LeechGet and Free Download Manager. It's important to note that this feature is only available on the Premium Only (London) server and is not going to be available on any other server or for normal members.
Last night saw a bit of down-time on the site as the Data Centre the Nexus server is hosted on went through an infastructure upgrade. I apologise for not informing you all sooner about the issue but there were difficulties in ascertaining which server was actually going down! However...
Many folks both here on the Nexus forums and over at the official Bethesda forums have commented recently on the site being slow during American peak hours. Unfortunately I haven't had the time to investigate this issue (i.e. stay up until 3am in the morning GMT/DST and do some investigative work server-side) due to various real-life issues. However in the hopes of actually getting some sleep on the night I am able to investigate the issue I wouldn't mind having some definitive times at which the site is down or very slow.
If anyone does know the times at which the site is unusable please post them up here so you can help me manage my sleep! Thank you.
The site is quite bloated and an explorative look through the code at bloated and inefficient features has been on the cards for a long time, as well as adding in some anti-spam features to help reduce load for legitimate users. It may be that the server configs just need a few very simple tweaks, it may be some buggy code (I'm no coding guru, that's for sure!) or it may mean the server hardware can't keep up with the demand for the site, in which case I'll have to dig into the old pockets again!
Statistically Sunday's are the busiest days of the week for the site where traffic tops 60,000 unique visitors and 525,000 page views for the day; that's 6 page requests a second! Such traffic figures have remained steady for the better part of 10 months now which just goes to show how strong the ES modding scene still is.
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