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TechAngel85

Nexus Mod Removals - What's Next

Nexus Mods Removals - Additional Download Sources  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. On how many websites (in addition to Nexus Mods) are you willing to register to download mods for the Step Guides?

    • None - Nexus Mods only or no additional registrations
      2
    • 1-2 sites
      9
    • 3-4 sites
      3
    • As many sites as it takes to complete the Guide
      11


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For what it is worth I recently decided to pulled all of Arthmoors Villages. PCS and Bring out your Dead from my guide.

Arthmoor is well known for his views of modding and mod authors rights (which he is entitled to).

I decided that there are other options for villages mods that I may not of considered before cos i was using Arthmoors.

My current train of throught is combination of ETaC and The Great City Series.

PCS could be easily replaced with something like Better Courier

I also had issue creating an account on AKFMods and had reports form other user having the same issue so for me I decided it was not worth the hassle getting user to create an account on another site just so they could download a few mods that might have better and simlar option on Nexus.

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5 hours ago, DarkladyLexy said:

I decided that there are other options for villages mods that I may not of considered before cos i was using Arthmoors.

My current train of throught is combination of ETaC and The Great City Series.

I've used and prefer ETaC, myself, for smaller towns. I don't use anything for bigger towns. Haven't used on for the cities yet, though I was leaning towards Dawn of Skyrim. (for my personal build)

5 hours ago, DarkladyLexy said:

I decided that there are other options for villages mods that I may not of considered before cos i was using Arthmoors.

I also had issue creating an account on AKFMods and had reports form other user having the same issue so for me I decided it was not worth the hassle getting user to create an account on another site just so they could download a few mods that might have better and simlar option on Nexus.

This is more or less why I wanted to open this topic up for discussion. We don't know the reliability of the other sites, especially personal owned ones like AFK Mods. Sites like ModDB and TES Alliance are more better established to handle file sharing. Arthmoor has already stated to us that he has limited bandwidth, which is why you have to have an account to download. That brings into question not only the possible availability of the mods for all users (hitting bandwidth limits) but also the feasibility of Arthmoor hosting such files long-term.

I think it's worth, at the very least, a reevaluation of all mods that aren't available from a provenreliable distribution source (Nexus Mods, ModDB, TES Alliance, etc.). On that same line, I don't think Cloud storage services (Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, Mega, etc) should be on that list of distribution services for the same reason of limited bandwidth. The files will eventually hit download caps on these services so they should not be relied upon for hosting of files that could see large download counts (aka mods).

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52 minutes ago, TechAngel85 said:

On that same line, I don't think Cloud storage services (Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, Mega, etc) should be on that list of distribution services for the same reason of limited bandwidth. The files will eventually hit download caps on these services so they should not be relied upon for hosting of files that could see large download counts (aka mods).

I'm also concerned that files on cloud storage services can mysteriously vanish into thin air at any time and I seem to recall this has happened in the past with some of the patches on user created guides posted here over the years. It's too easy to forget these files are used in guides and to delete them from local storage (and cloud storage) when removing unused files.

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I do quite like the Great Cities series cos for the most part it is lite on my system gives a visual overhaul to village like Dragons bridge (it make a lot more defenable now) but unlike Cities of the North series or Clefj Overhauls they don't alter vanilla interiors and is compatible with Immersive citizens which I still use (Except for TGC Falkreath).

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I agree with not using cloud storage options. Other modding communities tend to use them and run into the issues mentioned.

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Well, AFAIK, we are not talking about cloud storage options here even though it was brought up. I agree.

We should be discussing only how many sites we should use to source mods ... CDNs and legit websites authorized to host files other than Nexus (e.g., TES Alliance and AFK Mods).

So far, the majority agree that we use as many of these sources as it takes, and that is the most rational approach, IMO. I don't want to cut off a bunch of good mods just because those authors choose not to use a particular CDN.

We don't 'mascot' for CDNs. We use what legit sources are available and pivot when needed. If users don't want to get a mod because they don't want to register on the source website, then they don't get the mod. If it is a patch-dependent mod, then they don't use the Step guide in question.

Simple.

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15 minutes ago, z929669 said:

Well, AFAIK, we are not talking about cloud storage options here even though it was brought up. I agree.

There is one mod in the SE Guide that leads to random person's Google Drive. Sheson's beta/alphas and resources files do as well, however, I'm not so worried about those.

15 minutes ago, z929669 said:

We should be discussing only how many sites we should use to source mods ... CDNs and legit websites authorized to host files other than Nexus (e.g., TES Alliance and AFK Mods).

So far, the majority agree that we use as many of these sources as it takes, and that is the most rational approach, IMO. I don't want to cut off a bunch of good mods just because those authors choose not to use a particular CDN.

We don't 'mascot' for CDNs. We use what legit sources are available and pivot when needed. If users don't want to get a mod because they don't want to register on the source website, then they don't get the mod. If it is a patch-dependent mod, then they don't use the Step guide in question.

Simple.

That is well and fine, but why are you tying to limit the discussion? "How many" and "where" kind of go hand-in-hand, especially where "registration" required. :ermm:

I agree using as many as possible is the best approach. I believe we will end up going with as many as we need, however, I do advocate for creating and adhering to an approved list of "distribution services" that Step will link to. I don't think that is unreasonable and a fair compromise for all. Users will at least know what sites they may have to register for to complete the Guides and Staff will have documented guidance one which sites are allowed and which aren't.

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36 minutes ago, TechAngel85 said:

There is one mod in the SE Guide that leads to random person's Google Drive. Sheson's beta/alphas and resources files do as well, however, I'm not so worried about those.

That is well and fine, but why are you tying to limit the discussion? "How many" and "where" kind of go hand-in-hand, especially where "registration" required. :ermm:

I agree using as many as possible is the best approach. I believe we will end up going with as many as we need, however, I do advocate for creating and adhering to an approved list of "distribution services" that Step will link to. I don't think that is unreasonable and a fair compromise for all. Users will at least know what sites they may have to register for to complete the Guides and Staff will have documented guidance one which sites are allowed and which aren't.

See the poll question. One doesn't need to register to a Google Drive for downloads. That's a separate discussion that we can take offline. It has nothing to do with this topic, nor does it inconvenience any user.

It makes sense to use legit distribution services, and cloud shares are legit but can be unreliable. DynDOLOD and others like it are obvious exceptions.

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If I may provide comment from the lowly end user peanut gallery.

I registered with Arthmoor's site (AFK mods) to download his mod files last week and had zero issue, in fact I've had much worse problems getting my nexus account password revised a few years ago.  There is no easy answer to the problem of storage reliability, as I'm sure you are all aware.  A few years ago the 'default' community mod site for flight sims (forget the name) lost their whole database of files, it can happen to any site.

Slightly off topic, I have a Dropbox pro account through work, and moving large files around (CT scans) can be a major hassle requiring several attempts, though I do not know if the issue lies with dropbox or the ISP throttling my service.

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On 8/29/2021 at 1:44 AM, TechAngel85 said:

This is more or less why I wanted to open this topic up for discussion. We don't know the reliability of the other sites, especially personal owned ones like AFK Mods. Sites like ModDB and TES Alliance are more better established to handle file sharing. Arthmoor has already stated to us that he has limited bandwidth, which is why you have to have an account to download. That brings into question not only the possible availability of the mods for all users (hitting bandwidth limits) but also the feasibility of Arthmoor hosting such files long-term.

I think it's worth, at the very least, a reevaluation of all mods that aren't available from a provenreliable distribution source (Nexus Mods, ModDB, TES Alliance, etc.). On that same line, I don't think Cloud storage services (Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, Mega, etc) should be on that list of distribution services for the same reason of limited bandwidth. The files will eventually hit download caps on these services so they should not be relied upon for hosting of files that could see large download counts (aka mods).

We do know the 'reliability' of AFKMods.  Arthmoor has been a productive, committed member of the ES modding community for more-or-less two decades now.  Longer than the Nexus, I believe. And NM is personally owned as well - by Robin Scott.

So your point regarding reliability, with regards AFK at least, is largely irrelevant.

Your point about feasibility is pertinent, however, but doesn't it come down to traffic volume?  Do we know what the bandwidth limits are and if current traffic volumes are close to exceeding those?  Rather than make a decision based on speculation, if would be better to make an informed decision.

Is it feasible for STEP to provide some form of limited file hosting, perhaps as a mirror for any files stored on, let's call them, second-tier distributions sites, like those you listed?

Likely you'll mention cost as an issue but last time(?) you issued a call for donations, the response was fairly overwhelming, IIRC.

Lastly, it has been proposed that the second-tier hosting sites be more-or-less blacklisted due to bandwidth issues except for when they're used by a mod author with a proven track record.  That's a tad contradictory.  The bandwidth issue exists independent of reputation.

I'll refer back to my earlier point - I think STEP should be supporting any responsible, sensible moves to ensure a more diversified mod ecosystem.

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It's better for mod authors, and for the community in general, to have mod hosting sites competing with each other, rather than a single site.

Mod guides should always look for the best mods, regardless of where they are hosted.

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I enjoyed having all the mods hosted by one site. It was so convenient and tidy. I can't claim I have an OCD, it's a serious condition and no laughing matter, but I feel uneasy when I have to visit multiple sites to get the job done. 

That being said, hunting for mods outside the Nexus seems inevitable sometimes. Not all mods have a decent replacement/alternative on the Nexus. In FNV's case the decent UI mods are not hosted on the Nexus. I am willing to use alternative sites as long as they don't require sign-in. I hate it when I have to sing in just to be able to download one mod. 

Another thing that might be worth considering is that some users are sensitive about sharing personal data during sign-in. I know I am and that is partially due to the EU's (where I live) campaign to raise awareness about online security. 

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On 9/4/2021 at 8:57 PM, theblackman said:

We do know the 'reliability' of AFKMods.  Arthmoor has been a productive, committed member of the ES modding community for more-or-less two decades now.  Longer than the Nexus, I believe. And NM is personally owned as well - by Robin Scott.

So your point regarding reliability, with regards AFK at least, is largely irrelevant.

Your point about feasibility is pertinent, however, but doesn't it come down to traffic volume?  Do we know what the bandwidth limits are and if current traffic volumes are close to exceeding those?  Rather than make a decision based on speculation, if would be better to make an informed decision.

You've confused the meaning of 'reliability' within my statement. Arthmoor is not in question here. AFKMods is not in question. The only thing in question regarding 'reliability' is the ability to sustainability to hosts mods. Especially given the conversation I've already had with Arthmoor, which I already stated too...so not sure where all the claims of speculation are coming from? :huh: I'm addressing things I already have factual information about from talking to the source, Arthmoor. Arthmoor has limited bandwidth, which is why he had to require an account in the first place before users could download the hosted mods. Once he did that, his bandwidth stabilized. He can certainly purchase more, but he's not on a CDN and any amount of extra purchased bandwidth would be consumed quickly by file downloads on a regular server. Our discussion is not an unreasonable risk analysis, which is really what this conversation reduces down to regarding download sources.

You all need proof too much. Is Step and our staff not trusted after all this time? I do have Arthmoor's PM, but seeing it was a private conversation, I won't post it without his consent.
 

On 9/4/2021 at 8:57 PM, theblackman said:

Is it feasible for STEP to provide some form of limited file hosting, perhaps as a mirror for any files stored on, let's call them, second-tier distributions sites, like those you listed?

Likely you'll mention cost as an issue but last time(?) you issued a call for donations, the response was fairly overwhelming, IIRC.

Lastly, it has been proposed that the second-tier hosting sites be more-or-less blacklisted due to bandwidth issues except for when they're used by a mod author with a proven track record.  That's a tad contradictory.  The bandwidth issue exists independent of reputation.

I'll refer back to my earlier point - I think STEP should be supporting any responsible, sensible moves to ensure a more diversified mod ecosystem.

For Step Modifications, it can be feasible for a small number of mods, yes. But it would be very limited due to the same reason. Bandwidth. On any given day we use approximately half of our bandwidth allottment with ~70,000 visits per month. We do have spikes where 70-80% is used, though, so hosting mods would likely require us to have more bandwidth to relieve the spikes in service.

Donations are always open without us having to run a campaign. We don't actively ask for donations; people give what they can, when they can. Most can't or don't, and that's okay. Our services will always be free for all and free of advertising. Since Step's only source of income is donations and the very nature of donations see them ebb and flow, the lights are often kept lit from our own pockets. We are taking some measures to rectify that, but cost is always a factor. That is just business.
 

On 9/4/2021 at 8:57 PM, theblackman said:

Lastly, it has been proposed that the second-tier hosting sites be more-or-less blacklisted due to bandwidth issues except for when they're used by a mod author with a proven track record.  That's a tad contradictory.  The bandwidth issue exists independent of reputation.

I'll refer back to my earlier point - I think STEP should be supporting any responsible, sensible moves to ensure a more diversified mod ecosystem.

Actually, what I am recommending is a list of approved distribution sources that is approved by the staff, and for whom the community doesn't have any great concerns regarding. That has nothing to do with authors, but everything to do with the service hosting the files. How is their PI used? What do their ToS and PP allow? Is their service reliable or does it see occasional or consistent outages? Is it new or well established?

It's not about supporting this or that "to ensure a more diversified mod ecosystem." Step offers products to the community that are affected by third-party distribution services. We want to be sure our products are affected as little as possible by these services. So again, none of this is an unfeasible risk analysis for Step to undertake.

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On 9/7/2021 at 2:09 PM, Majorman said:

Another thing that might be worth considering is that some users are sensitive about sharing personal data during sign-in. I know I am and that is partially due to the EU's (where I live) campaign to raise awareness about online security. 

Hence, why I brought up PI, ToS, and PP of other sites in by reply to theblackman. Users will have to decide whether these sites are caring for their PI well enough for signup. Nexus Mod's I'm not worried about in that regard, especially considering they are based in the EU. Step has gone through a lot of trouble to make sure we're in complaint with such. We'll also scrub any PI from accounts when they are requested to be removed by their owners. Other smaller sites like ours might not even know the laws and rules around caring for your PI.

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I agree with Tech that its definitely relevant and pertinent to curate a list of more/less reliable mod-providing services. There are probably some that we should avoid (sites with a lot of hijacking and malware potential like torrents, mediafire, and the like).

Regarding the need to sign in: I just don't understand people having problems with this. Few distribution sources allow one to download without an account with any convenience. you either get throttled, or you must create an account. It's the world we live in and it's been this way for years now. Services cost money, so having gates makes sense.

Arthmoor shared with me similar thoughts on bandwidth. AFK bandwidth cannot abide thousands of people downloading during any given time period. The membership gate ensures that those that do download are at least invested enough to register with their community. It's a throttle that makes perfect sense for them.

Step does NOT want to be in the business of mod distribution outside of rare, special cases and personal agreements in writing ... or plugged into a CDN. All of that costs money, time, and comes with unwanted liability. We will leave it to those specializing in such services. I am very surprised AFK Mods is doing this. I suspect that it either won't last, will be throttled further in the future, or they will adopt a for-profit business model.

It would be nice if Nexus had a worthy competitor, but there are no longer any that come close that I know of. Planet Elder Scrolls used to be my main source ≤ 2006. My guess is that Arthmoor and others like him are formulating a business model as we speak. We are not.


EDIT: Speaking of time and money ... if more members of THIS community would step up and help out, I would be less snub-nosed about our time and resources and what we will and will not consider. Donations of $ are great and keep our services up (and our personal pocketbooks healthy if/when they are enough ... which they are not usually); however, much more valuable is the donation of personal time and commitment (we need staff, mod-build curators, and content developers).

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