Guide:STEP Community Citizenship

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Community Citizenship Guide

Community Guidelines and Information

by: Step Modifications  | Forum Topic



The language of this page may be updated or changed at any time, without notice. By using any Step Modifications owned and/or maintained platform, community members agree to be bound by and uphold this Citizenship Guide; whether they have read its contents or not, as it's presented to all members at the time of signup and to all Guests via a "guest message" on the forums.


Welcome to Step Modifications! This document serves as the community Guidelines for all registered members and visiting Guests to Step Modifications (The Site). By visiting The Site, you are agreeing to the Guidelines below, the Terms of Service Agreement, and the Privacy Policy.

On The Site you will find many forums (The Forums) related to modding and various projects. We also host a unique wiki (The Wiki) implementation that articulates, to some extent, with The Forums and hosts our official modding Guides, which are always under active development. The Wiki is open to the public, except for functional pages relating to Projects, guide framework, and content formatting. Within The Wiki, many helpful resources exist, which have been voluntarily provided by Step staff and members of the modding community.

To read more about Step Modifications, see our About page.

A Word From Staff

We humans are composed of personalities that fall within a range of positive to negative, and fortunately, the majority tend to lean towards the more positive side. Unfortunately, there is a minority that leans more negative --not necessarily pessimistic, but more truly negative. While these individuals are not necessarily "bad" individuals, they can be a damper to the majority. Like a wild yeast, these individuals can have a tendency to sour an otherwise perfectly good batch of mead.

The Step Modification staff ask for all to participate and/or contribute in a manner of good spirit and common courtesy. Adherence to this simple ethos will head off any unpleasantries before they manifest. Let the guidelines outlined within this document serve as a reference so the community may evolve to its maximum potential.

Lastly, it is expected that any information added to The Wiki or The Forums is clearly cited, where applicable. Many people do not appreciate unverifiable speculation, unless it is plainly stated as such. Please feel free to write what might or might not be factual, but qualify what is intended to be factual with verifiable information by posting a link where appropriate. We always want to facilitate community contributions, so we encourage everyone to get involved in these discussions!

  • When citing any user from a third-party location, include a link to the citation.
  • When citing members on The Forums, use the "Quote" button at the bottom of the post.

The Wiki

The Wiki is a community-driven source of information. Step's goal is to house the best, most up-to-date guides and resources for the community to use. Since this is community-driven and due to our "Opening Modding" philosophy, any content provided outside of a member's "userspace", will be consider community content maintained by staff and various member contributors. This content is open and available to all to freely use as they'd like. Exceptions to "open content" guidelines include:

  • Wiki structure
    Anything relating to the structure of the wiki and its layout and design (e.g., templates, style sheets, wiki software files) are considered the property of Step Modifications.
  • Official Step Modification Content
    Any content maintained specifically for use within the various modding Guides provided by Step. This content is restricted to Step staff and housed under protected Namespaces.
  • Other Guides
    Refers to any guide located within the General Modding Guides category/sub-categories. Though open for community contribution, Step maintains a level of moderation over them. This is due to a few reasons:
    1. Step Modifications, by request or from seeking from authors, has been granted permissions to maintain the guides in an official capacity.
    2. To maintain a consistent grammatical style, design structure, and writing style among these popular guides.
    3. They are being used for internal use in conjunction with our official modding Guides.
  • Userspaces
    All content within a member's userspace is considered to be property of that member, and all rights to said content will remain with the member. However, Step retains the right to moderate and/or complete necessary maintenance tasks as needed. A member can find their userspace by clicking their username on the menu bar in the top-right side of any wiki page. The address will be as such,, where "UserName" is replaced by the member's username on The Forums.

Content Creation and Guidelines

For guidelines and help in constructing wiki content, see the Step Wiki User Guide.

The Forums - Member Guidelines


Use good judgement when choosing a username for use on Step Modifications. They apply across our platforms (The Forums and The Wiki), and the following guidelines apply:

  • It is recommended to use the same username as used on Nexus Mods.
  • Don't choose something offensive or vulgar.
  • Don't choose a username that is tied to a known mod author. These names are reserved for those authors and are verified before a Mod Author badge is given.
  • Usernames may be changed by contacting an Administrator, but this will only be done once or within special circumstances, so choose wisely.

Mod Authors

If you are a Mod Author and a community member on The Forums, please contact an Administrator. You will be required to contact us via Nexus Mods for verification. Within the messages include your Step Modifications username and the email address used to sign up on The Forums, as well as, your Nexus Mods username. Once verified, authors will be placed within the 'Mod Author' member group. This grants a special status title that verifies you as an author. This also gives access to an Authors-only forum and higher limits on The Forums for things like files and messages.


  • Avatars follow general forum guidelines as well.
  • NSFW avatars will be removed by the moderation team and a warning giving to the user for its use.
  • Avatar size is limited to 256x256 pixels.
  • Avatar file size must be <= 128Kb.


Crazy signatures are a distraction, so we enforce limitations. This is not meant to be restrictive to personal freedom, but is meant to accommodate signatures within reasonable

  • All rules and guidelines for The Forums also apply to signatures. This means keep them Safe-For-Work, no adverts/spam, etc.
  • Signatures are limited to 3 lines and 6 URLs.
  • Signature images are restricted to special groups (128x64px limit).
    • Excessive animation or otherwise annoying images can clutter a page; therefore, we retain the right to remove such clutter if it proves distracting.
  • Font sizes should be limited to a reasonable size (not too much bigger than normal text please).
  • Font color should remain readable and neutral toned (nothing too bright please).

The Forums - Posting Guidelines

The following guidelines apply to all members when posting to the forums:

  • Please use English language and grammar to the best of your ability to do so. For our foreign members that don't speak English, natively, Google Translate can be a useful tool.
  • Don't use [Caps Lock] or "all caps" for topic titles or for any substantial part of a post (this is akin to 'yelling' in digital format).
  • Organize posts into short paragraphs for easier reading and to avoid "walls of text".
    • Use spoilers where appropriate by using the Spoiler button on the editor (eye icon).
  • Please refrain from posting short agreement/disagreement expressions ('+1', '-1', thumbsup, thumbsdown, /signed, etc.).
    • Positive expression can be achieved using the Reputation rating, found at the bottom right on any post.
  • Always try to cite sources when stating information. People appreciate the extra effort of providing links to sources.
    • Use the search feature for a forum or topic to find post references when needed.
  • Screenshots/videos are allowed, but they should be hosted elsewhere. Most members are limited to 50MBs of storage on The Forums.
    • Do not attach these files! Simply paste the "direct link" to these files into the editor and they will be parsed correctly.
    • Imgur, Postimages, and YouTube are popular choices for third-party hosting of media.

Prohibited Content

Permanent Bans

The following is a list of prohibited activities, but is not exclusive. These offences will result in permanent bans regardless of the situation:

  • Advertisements are prohibited!
    • Posting of advertisement material will automatically assign the member as a "spammer" by the moderation team.
    • Promotion of websites, products, or services outside of the websites, products, or services considered to be within the "modding community" will considered advertisement.
    • Posting of "referral links" or other "income-generating links" will be considered advertisement.
  • Posting/uploading Not Safe For Work (NSFW) material is prohibited.
    • Discussion of NSFW modding material is allowed.
    • Links to NSFW modding material (e.g., mod pages) is allowed but must noticeably state they are NSFW links.
    • Beyond links, do not post/upload any NSFW material to any of Step Modifications platforms!
  • Excessively abusive language, malicious trolling, promotion of hateful ideologies, hate speech, targeted attacks, etc. are prohibited.
  • Posting from multiple accounts, known as "sockpuppetry", is against the spirit of honest and fair discussion and is prohibited.
  • Discussion, assisting, or linking to digital, or otherwise, asset/software piracy (warez, cracks, serials, etc.).
  • Links to any harmful websites, software, malware, phishing sites, etc. are prohibited.
  • Discussion or assisting in illegal activities.

Other Moderation

Any post with the following will be subject to moderation of varying degrees.

DO NOT ...
... post flashing or strobing images or text.
... post anyone's, include your own, personally identifiable information (PPI)...ever.
... generate spam by posting frequent and/or annoying messages that are not on topic, or are difficult to read.
... plagiarize content or post material from other sources without reference links to the original material is prohibited. Always give credit where it's due!
... reply with rudeness and personal insults. Debate and discussion are always encouraged, but these things are not.
... use excessive amounts of large, colorful, or otherwise annoying text to emphasize content.
... re-create a deleted or locked thread for the purposes of trying to continue its discussion.
... reply to a thread without anything to contribute (e.g., ...replying just for the sake of arguing).

New Posts

New members on a forum are often upset when they receive a seemingly curt reply to their posts. This often occurs if the question or comment has already been posted, often repeatedly, in the past. Even the nicest communities tend to get irritated by this situation. Therefore, we ask our members to make good use of the search feature before posting. This especially applies to members looking for support!

  • Search before posting a question to ensure it hasn't already been answered!
  • New topics should be placed in the correct sub-forum. Topics posted in the wrong forums will be moved by the moderation team.
  • Once a post has been made, wait and be patient for a reply. Constantly repeating the same post will be considered spamming, and likewise addressed by the moderation team.
  • Refrain from "Double Posting" in multiple forums. This is not allowed and duplicate posts will be locked by our moderation team.
  • Wait at least 24 hours from posting before "bumping" new topics.

Editing Posts

When editing or modifying a post:

  • Posts can not be deleted by anyone but administrators. This restriction has been purposefully implemented (see Preservation of Information). Any circumventing of this by editing posts to replace the original content with messages of content removal (i.e., "removed", "deleted", etc.) will be subject to moderation.
  • When editing to add additional content to a post, do so by starting a new line at the bottom of the post with EDIT:.
    It can be confusing and unfair, if a post another user has responded to or quoted changes. When performing minor spelling or punctuation corrections, this is not necessary.
  • Editing of posts for new members is time-limited to 15 minutes from the initial posting. See this post as to why.


  • Use common sense when replying. If members are inexperienced with our community's vibe, read through a few topics to get a feel for the atmosphere before posting/replying.
  • Be conscious of maintaining the original topic to avoid derailing discussions or hi-jacking a topic (such is referred to as "off-topic posts").


If a member is in doubt about the tone of their post from a heated debate then they should:

  1. ...pause before posting. Grab a hot cocoa, a coffee, beer, glass of wine, or a shot of tequila (for those legal-aged members).
  2. After a few minutes, return and preview the post.
  3. Read the post and ask, "Is this offensive or needlessly provoking?"
If the answer is anything but "of course not!", then please don't post it. Our moderation team does not enjoy extinguishing fires and the members involved aren't going to enjoy it either.

The Forums - Mod Topic Guidelines

The following guidelines only apply to topics created for mod topics. These topics are located within each of the Supported Games sub-forums.

Additionally, consider creating a mod page on the wiki when creating a new mod topic on the forum. It's not necessary, but having the community do this also helps to build our "mod database". The "database" is used to build our mod lists for Guides and Builds. The more mod pages we have on The Wiki, the faster it will be to assemble mod lists using our framework.

Avoid redundancy and excess

  • Search the forum for the mod of interest before creating a new topic! Search by author and mod name.
  • If the mod topic already exists, post within the existing topic. Multiple reviews and suggestions in the same topic is the desired result.

Making mod topics easier to find

  • The topic title should reflect: <modName> (by <authorName>)
    • The <modName> should reflect the name of the mod, exactly, as it is on Nexus Mods.
    • The <authorName> should reflect the author's name according to Nexus Mods.
    • For tools or mods that don't exist on Nexus Mods, use the dev's/mod author's given titles.
  • Add relevant tags to the mod.
    • The recommended tagging scheme is to use the path of the mod-provided assets. For example, appropriate tags for a mod that re-textures the female elven armor would be: textures, armor, elven, female. All these tags are relevant to the mod in this example.
    • Up to 5 tags can be added.

Enhance quality and usefulness

  • The opening post (OP) should always be formatted using the Mod Topic tool:
  • All OP should include a short review of the mod and its features in the member's own words
    • A mod review should be provided from in-game experience. Personal opinions and practical experience for using the mods also welcomed.
    • If screenshots can be provided with a review, they will be appreciated by the community and staff.
    Please do not copy and paste the description from Nexus Mods or the ReadMe file for a "review".
  • If a member suggests a mod for a Guide's inclusion, which they have not used, please state as much and provide a statement of the reason why the mod is being requested for review.
    • Additionally, members should add the tag, testing, to the list of tags. This will allow staff to easily find the user suggestion.
  • If comparing two different graphical mods, please provide screenshots of both mods in the post complete with a vanilla-based comparison shot. This will go a long way in helping the community, and helps to promote different perspectives.

The Step Modifications Community expects members posting reviews to have used the mod enough to post a quality review that is more than a few vague statements!

The Forums - Moderation

Moderators can be identified by special username coloring on their posts and anywhere their usernames can be seen. The following are a few guidelines in regards to moderation:

  • Don't attempt to impersonate a Moderator or falsely claim authority over other members.
  • The Forums has a warning system that utilizes a point scheme. Warnings will incur points. Too many warnings in too short a time will automatically ban members temporarily or permanently. Various negative behaviors are weighted differently.
  • Moderators do not want to ban anyone! Step Modifications doesn't support "Dirty Harry" moderators who enjoy kicking people out followed with by a stinging rebuke for good measure. Our moderators are all nice people who have proven themselves in the community. Please listen and be respectful to them, if and when contacted by a moderator or staff member for any reason.
  • Step encourages open and honest practices; however, to respect the privacy of all parties, all moderation tasks will be completed private. If a member feels something was handled incorrectly, first contact the Moderator responsible. If necessary or uncomfortable with that, contact and explain the situation to a different Moderator or Administrator.


Rude and/or out-lashing behavior towards the moderation team while performing moderation tasks is strictly not tolerated! Any such behavior happening privately or publicly on The Forums or The Wiki will be handled swiftly and harshly, up to a permanent ban. All our members are required to follow the guidelines outlined within this Guide. The moderation team is simply upholding these guidelines and performing the duties of their roles. Polite and professional behavior is expect when moderation occurs.

Preservation of Information

Step Modifications values useful member contributions, so once any member creates any content, anywhere on our platform, this information is preserved for posterity at the discretion of the Step Modification staff. As covered in out About Us page, Step Modifications supports "cathedral" modding, thus, user contributed content to our platforms will be considered "public domain", and stewardship of said content is granted to Step Modifications at time of creation. Members agree to this by using our platforms.

Member contributed content is any content the member supplies to any platform owned and maintained by Step Modifications. This includes but is not limited to posts/replies/PMs on The Forums and any content created on The Wiki.

Account Removal Requests

To submit an account removal request, contact an Administrator. There is also no set time frame for completion of account removal requests by staff. Requests will be completed "as time permits", but still within a "reasonable" amount of time.

Member accounts will be deleted upon request. Once done, the member will be unable to log in or retrieve personal identifying information (PII) from the account. The following are examples of the PII removed:

  • Member username
  • Member E-mail
  • Member Password
  • Member Profile information
  • Member Signatures
  • Member IP addresses

Posts are not removed, per our information retention policy. Member's posts will be converted to a generic posting without any PII. If PII is contained within a post, itself, the PII will be removed if and only if the member provides a working link to said post. Other than PII, this does not remove:

  • User posts/replies on The Forum
  • User created content on The Forum or The Wiki


  • Currently there is no way of scrubbing member names from "quoted replies" (replies that include a quote from another user). By using the forums, members acknowledge this limitation and understand their member name will remain within such "quoted replies" when account removal requests are submitted and fulfilled.
  • Accounts will only be completely removed at the sole discretion of the Administrators.
  • Members agree to these terms by using our platforms.

The Forums - Member Groups

Staff Groups and Hierarchy

The following member groups are official Step Modifications staff members and are listed in order of hierarchy from top to bottom:

  • Administrator
    Administrators are at the top level of Step Modification staff. They are non-profit board members, site development leads, and oversee the entirety of Step Modifications.
  • Step Admin
    Step Admin are sub-administrators and help to guide all aspects of all Projects. Their main focus is working closely with other staff members to ensure the successful running of Step Projects.
  • Step Curator
    Step Curators are staff who curate one or more of our official gaming guides. This group is primarily responsible for the successful publication of new mod-build guide releases.
  • Senior Moderator
    Senior Moderators are the top-level moderators for the forums. They can handle all moderation tasks on the forums and are not limited on the actions that they can take to resolve moderation related issues.
  • Moderator
    Moderators staff who help moderate the forums. They are limited on the actions which they can handle and may have to escalate issue up to higher tier staff.

All remaining groups are considered "Citizens" and have no affiliation as official Step Modifications staff members.

Member Groups

The following is a list of the member groups which can be found on the forums:

  • Watcher
    This is the default group at signup and has some restrictions in place. Members of this group are usually newer members of our community who will auto-promote to Citizen once they have become accustomed to our community. Restrictions include:
    • Posts can only be edited up to 15 minutes from timestamp of original post
    • Signatures are not available
    • Limited mailbox space
  • Citizen
    These are all considered full members of the community, as the name suggestions. They have none of the restricts that Watchers have.
  • VIP-Supporter
    Members who have substantially contributed and supported Step in terms of project work and/or ≥ $50 in donations. Any good-standing member that contributes 2,000 or more posts will automatically be promoted to this group. Several of these members are also retired staff.
  • Founder
    This is an honorary group given to members who helped start Step Modification from the beginning.
  • GameName Curator
    Members of this group are those who curate unofficial mod-build guides using the Step Guide Framework.
  • Mod Author
    Just as the name suggests, members of the Mod Authors group are verified authors. We love it when authors are involved in the community!

A Note About Mod Redistribution


Step Modifications has a zero-tolerance policy in regards to piracy. This includes, but is not limited to, software and mod piracy. In relation to software companies like Steam, piracy can be defined as any means employed to circumvent an established software/hardware mechanism used by said companies to control the use of their assets. DRM is one such method and any means employed to disable that, even if the user owns an "uncracked" version, will be viewed as piracy.

  1. Any members found sharing or posting links to pirated content will receive a warning.
    • Subsequent violations of this nature will result in said members being banned.
  2. Any member found to be using pirated software will have their membership restricted to a read-only status.
    • This status can be lifted by contacting an Administrator with evidence supporting a claim to owning, and using, legitimate software/mods.

An example of why STEP does not provide support for pirated games, aside from the legal issues.

Automated Downloaders & Third-Party Mod Compilations

Closely related to the previous topic is the practice of developing automated mod installs or so-called "modpacks" (aka torrents). Modding is an involved process that requires a lot of manual effort and time to learn the tools of the trade. Many wish for a simple "one-click" approach to modding a game, ask others to develop such solutions (sometimes for a fee), or set up websites that house pre-compiled modded games. Step Modifications does NOT support this practice.

Pre-configured solutions can take many forms from simple archive downloads to automated installers complete with GUI. Sometimes the level of sophistication may give the user confidence in the solution's legitimacy. Many torrent creators likewise may think that their solution is legitimate and that they are performing a service to the community. This practice certainly presents a convenience to the user, but the fact is that it is most often NOT, technically, legal. In most cases, these solutions remove mod authors from the process, which could lead to copyright infringement. Many mod authors develop and release their mods not only as a service to the modding community but also for a sense of accomplishment, recognition, and even accreditation for their work. Some mod authors even cite their accomplishments with potential employers. Removing them from this process separates them from control over their unique creations, their ability to support their work, recognition from the community (e.g. endorsements, feedback), and competition with other mod creators on the Nexus and other legitimate, mod-hosting venues. Step Modifications recognizes the legal rights of all mod authors over their unique creations, as well as, their agreements with mod-hosting venues to steward and distribute their property in accordance with known Terms of Service.

It may be very hard to verify the legitimacy of all the assets used in these solutions, or that all mod authors affected have explicitly agreed to this form of distribution of their work. More often than not, these solutions are technically infringing upon the legal rights of others. So whilst not all the developer of these solutions may be technically breaking the law, Step Modifications holds the view that these solutions do not contribute to the broader interests of the modding community. We also don't have resources to vet and maintain the status of these third-party solutions.

Automated solutions may be freely discussed and torrents of mods provided by their mod authors are considered legitimate, however:
Anyone advertizing or posting about a site or service that hosts either/or "modpack"/Step Guide torrents, without the expressed permission from all contributors of said mods, will be reported to Nexus Mods, receive a warning for the first instance, and be banned from Step Modifications upon further infringements. So please be warned.

We understand wanting to download mods in bulk from a torrent, or even better, the skyrim/ directory from the full setup; however, we at STEP are committed to the whole of the modding community. That includes mod hosters, the modders that host with them, and the users of said mods. In good faith to all, our commitment precludes our support of mod hosting without the expressed consent of the mod authors.

Most of us are firm believers in "freedom file sharing", but it's a matter of respect and ethics that governs the majority of the modding community that we align to. Step Modifications simply demonstrates how to utilize these resources using the intended channels via our modding Guides. Users win by the fruits of these labors, so the least they can do is spend the time it takes to download, prepare, and learn how to use these resources.