Collections - Preview and Tester Sign Up

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Collections - a project we've been working on aiming to make modding easier for everyone is reaching a testing stage in which we want to invite 100+ users to help us test. Anyone who is interested can apply to become a tester via the Google form linked below. We're now, for the first time, sharing more information and (alpha) footage of how the system will work. This should, hopefully, answer and address a lot of questions that have been raised, but if you feel there is more you'd like to know you can send in a question (details below) and we'll be responding to the most requested questions in one of the live events on our Discord server.


What are Collections? 
A while ago we started working on a project - now referred to as “collections” - with the aim of making modding easier for everyone. The Collections feature will allow you to download a complete list of curated mods - along with other important metadata - and replicate an entire mod setup, all while ensuring that mod authors still get the downloads for their mods and still earn mod rewards if they’ve opted into our DP programme.

It's important to understand that a collection does not redistribute the included mods packaged as a single archive. Rather, you can think of it as a mod list, say a list of "Top Mods" for a given game, curated by someone else. The difference being that a collection is designed to then be read and interpreted by a mod manager, rather than a human, and in doing so the download and installation process is streamlined. That way it is ensured that you end up with the same mod setup the creator of that mod list (the curator) has installed on their PC, complete with conflict resolution data.

We are convinced that the Collections system will lower the barrier for entry so that more people can enjoy our joint hobby of modding, but we don't believe it will completely replace "traditional" modding - rather it will complement it. Imagine you're new to a game and want to try modding it: you might start out trying a few collections to get a feel for how the game can be changed. Then you begin to customise the mods you've installed and learn more about how modding works to build your own setup. This progression into the modding scene can lead to you sharing your own curated collections or even creating your own mods. 


How will downloading a collection work? 
When you're looking for a collection to download, you'll be directed to our new "micro-site" called Nexus Mods Next. This is a sandbox area where you will be able to try out upcoming features ahead of the full release on the main website - think of it as a place to see what's next on Nexus Mods - clever, right? You may notice Nexus Mods Next uses some different fonts, colours and design themes compared to the current site - as a showcase of how we plan to evolve the UI in future iterations of the main Nexus Mods website. 

A picture can say a thousand words, so that’s why we have recorded three videos and uploaded them to YouTube, demonstrating various aspects of the new collections feature.

DISCLAIMER: ALL CONTENT DISCUSSED AND SHOWCASED HERE IS STILL UNDER ACTIVE DEVELOPMENT. THE DESIGN AND FUNCTIONALITY ARE BOTH SUBJECT TO CHANGE BASED ON FEEDBACK FROM TESTERS.



Downloading a collection will be similar to adding a mod to Vortex. A prominent button on the collection page will instruct Vortex to pull the collection metadata and start downloading the mods. The Collections feature will not require a Premium membership, but - just like a Premium membership uncaps your download speed - it will be faster and more convenient if you do choose to support our community.

For Premium users, a carousel at the top of the page will start showcasing the mods included in the collection while the downloading and installation process happens automatically in the background. Each slide will include links to the mod page and the author's profile so you can learn more about the content that is being installed (this is not fully implemented yet, so it does not feature in the videos). 

For free users (and Supporters), a pop-up window will appear with information about the mod you're about to install and it will direct you to the mod page for each file download. This step is required so that free users don't bypass our entire revenue stream by not seeing any adverts. Once you have started downloading the file, the pop-up will automatically refresh to the next mod in the queue. This process will repeat for each mod, but the installation happens automatically. The free user experience is therefore going to be a bit like downloading mods in a traditional mod list, with the added convenience of being directed to the exact file, as well as still getting all the automatic conflict resolution benefits through Vortex.

While this is not shown in the videos, depending on the collection, there may be prompts throughout the installation to download external requirements (such as SKSE for Skyrim) or to select options in mod installers. 

Overall the Collections feature will provide a much more convenient way of downloading and installing a curated list of mods than doing so manually by referring to a text-based list.


How will creating a collection work?
In essence, a collection is a bundle of metadata including a list of mods to download, file conflict rules, game settings and load order information. The exact structure of the data will vary from one game to another. 



To create a collection you will need to build a working mod setup in Vortex, then use the new Collections section to compile all the relevant information for sharing. Everyone - Premium and free users alike - will be able to create collections and there are no differences in the flow regardless of your membership status.

Once you have everything ready to go, you will be able to create a collection page on the website. This will be where other users can view and interact with your collection. After adding a category, description and images you will be able to publish your collection page to share it with the world. The page will showcase both the mods it contains and the mod authors who created them.

During the testing releases, we won't be allowing any collections to be published (i.e. downloadable by other users) without first being vetted by our team. This will allow us to closely monitor how the feature is being used and pick up on any potential mistakes made by curators before their lists are made public.

Mod Versioning
When adding mods to a collection, you will be able to specify which file version Vortex should be using. You can choose to always use the latest version of a given file, use the latest non-archived version or require exactly the one you currently have installed. If you require a version of the mod which has since been archived by the mod author, users who download that version will be presented with a warning that the content is no longer supported. The default will be to always use the latest non-archived version.

External Resources
You will be able to provide instructions for users as part of a collection to help users install mods that aren't currently available on Nexus Mods. We also plan to allow community developers to integrate APIs from non-Nexus Mods sources using extensions should they wish to provide added convenience to Vortex users. 

Bundled Content
Some types of content (such as dynamically generated or configuration files) may also be bundled as part of the collection for added convenience. Bundled content will be thoroughly virus scanned before it is available to download and moderation action will be taken against Collections that directly include content without permission to do so. 

Mod Installers (FOMODs) 
Some mods come with mod installers providing the user with options (for example, choosing a red/blue texture for an armour). A collection curator can specify whether their choice will be incorporated into the collection, or whether they want the user to run through the mod installer themselves, choosing whichever option they prefer.


What can collections be used for? 
Collections can allow you to share anything from a complete overhaul of your game to just a handful of themed mods that you like to use together. It is possible to install multiple collections at the same time too, meaning you can mix and match from different themed lists to create your preferred experience. 

Perhaps you just want to keep a private record of all the mods you currently have installed for the next time you play the game? Or you're playing on a Valheim server and want a convenient way of sharing a list of requirements for new players? There are plenty of ways to take advantage of the collections feature, but we'll only truly know how they'll get used once we open the floodgates and everyone gets a chance to play with the new toys! 


Testing Roadmap - How can I join?
From today, you can apply to become a tester of our Collections feature by filling out this application form. Each application will be reviewed by our staff and if we feel you are a good fit we'll send you instructions on how to get started via private message or Discord DM. 

Don't worry if you don't hear back though, you'll still be able to join the testing at a later phase. 

In the coming weeks, we're also going to start showing a special banner to a random sample of long-time users of the website who will be invited to take part in this Closed Alpha stage. 

We are looking for 100+ users to participate in this phase and we’ll be gradually opening more and more slots for additional testers as the project progresses. 

During the Closed Alpha, we'll be making any vital changes based on the feedback from these users before we move to an Open Alpha which will allow anyone to try out collections themselves.

We will be setting specific milestones which we will need to hit before the collections project graduates from alpha status and will become a fully-fledged feature on the site. This won't be the end of the road though. We'll continue to monitor feedback after the full release to further evolve the feature based on the needs of the community. 

Please note that what you have seen here today may still be subject to change based on the feedback during testing, but we're excited to finally be able to put this shiny new feature into the hands of our users. 


Quick FAQ
Do collections bundle all listed mods into a single "modpack" download?
No. All mod files are downloaded from the original mod pages and the mod author will still be receiving downloads and mod rewards, if they've opted into our DP programme.

Can I opt-out of collections? 
As mentioned earlier in the article, a collection is just a list of mods that is interpreted by a mod manager. Just like you would not expect to be able to opt out of someone mentioning your mod in their “Top 10 Mods” list, we do not feel it’s reasonable to expect the same of collections.

When are collections releasing?
The testing phases will allow us to capture vital community feedback to allow us to properly understand both bugs and desired features we can map into our future development. At this point, we’re entering a “closed alpha” so still a relatively early testing stage. Depending on the feedback and bug reports, we will then be looking at opening collections up for what could be considered an open alpha stage relatively soon. 

As a mod author, will I still get downloads/endorsements/Donation Points when my mod is downloaded as part of a collection?
Yes. As a collection is just a list of instructions to be interpreted by Vortex, the download still comes from your mod page so your stats will be incremented appropriately. Users are also still able to endorse your file from inside Vortex or on the website. 

Will collection curators earn Donation Points for their collections?
No. Earning Donation Points is currently a feature exclusive to mod authors. 

What about direct donations?
You can currently donate to any user by visiting their profile page and we have no plans to change this. We will not be displaying donation prompts for the curator on the collection page for the time being, but we may explore donation options as part of a larger discussion with the community in the future. That being said, we think that mod list/collection curators are and will be adding value to the community, so we do not believe we should be stopping people from donating to them, if they happen to like what they do. 

Can I "own" a collection?
In the interest of keeping things simple and fair, no single user can have exclusive ownership of a particular combination or list of mods. This means if I share a collection, you're welcome to copy it, tweak it and reshare it without issue. The mods themselves remain protected by the permissions posted on the mod page by the author.

Can I allow others to update my collection page? 
Not currently. Unlike mod pages, a collection will only have a single owner. While you may still collaborate with others, a singular user account must be used in order to publish updated revisions. This is something we will be exploring in the future if there is demand for it. 

Do I need Vortex to use collections?
We are launching the Collections system with Vortex - our official mod manager - so it will be required. However, as with everything else we build, we'll be providing the source code for Vortex and an open GraphQL API which can be used by third-party tools to take advantage of this feature. Documentation will be made available sometime after the full 1.0.0 release of Collections. 


Still have questions?
If you have a question you'd like us to answer, please send it in using this form. We'll comb through the responses and collate the most requested questions to answer during the Q&A sessions. A transcript of each session will be posted on the forums and a link will be added to this article.  

You can join us on Discord at the following times:


We do hope this article - along with our Q&A sessions - will go a long way to reassure the minority of users who might've had some concerns or reservations about the collection feature. 

Thank you for being a part of our community and for joining us on this exciting journey!

218 comments

  1. Pickysaurus
    Pickysaurus
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  2. Brandon3541
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    Will it be possible to install multiple collections in a single profile, or do they overwrite one another?

    I would hope they would be allowed to be installed side by side so that you could do things like making collections specific to a certain category like (using Skyrim as an example) "immersion overhaul collection", "NPC appearance Collection", "City and town overhaul collection" and so on, and only install the ones you want without having to do someone's entire load order consisting of all the categories and more.

    Of course there would potentially be more conflicts that would need to be manually sorted afterwards (unless collection patches are made available), but that would seem worth it to those that already know how to mod and do that, and just want an easier time filling in a certain category of mods without looking through thousands of pages. I, for example, currently have relatively stock NPC appearances and wouldn't mind having an appearance overhaul collection that redoes ALL (or close to it) NPC's appearances in a relatively consistent manner, and wouldn't have any issue with conflict resolution once I actually have the collection.
    1. Pickysaurus
      Pickysaurus
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      From the post above:
      Collections can allow you to share anything from a complete overhaul of your game to just a handful of themed mods that you like to use together. It is possible to install multiple collections at the same time too, meaning you can mix and match from different themed lists to create your preferred experience. 
  3. SCARaw
    SCARaw
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    i wanna sign up for this 
    1. DarkDominion
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      "From today, you can apply to become a tester of our Collections feature by filling out this application form. Each application will be reviewed by our staff and if we feel you are a good fit we'll send you instructions on how to get started via private message or Discord DM."

      Cheers
      -=DD=-
    2. 1ae0bfb8
      1ae0bfb8
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      i think being able to read is going to be a hard pre-requisite.
    3. a1racer
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      lets not make it to hard now.  
    4. DarkDominion
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      * too
  4. Nartaga
    Nartaga
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    I'm really looking forward to collections! I can't wait to get back into some of the other games that I'm less familiar with modding. Having an (almost) one click download for a list of curated mods will be great to get back into some of the other games I have.

    Thanks Nexus staff!
  5. nicconieves
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    Glad to see Nexus expanding and growing as a community. Now newer members of the community don't have to spend hours (more like days) modding Skyrim, at least if they want to mod Skyrim to hell and overhaul everything about it and even change it completely with 800+ mods or more. 

    Excited to see what will appear on here compared to Wabbajack :)
  6. ninjaoctopus23
    ninjaoctopus23
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    love the idea! Hopefully, it will be executed in a fair way to modders
  7. ILoveFluttershy
    ILoveFluttershy
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    I can't wait for a visual overhaul collection.
  8. JimboUK
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    It'll be interesting to see if people abuse that success rating, as we know from the old 1-10 mod rating and thumbs up/down comments rating if you give people a chance to be negative a number with take that chance. 
    1. DarkDominion
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      Hey Jimbo, long time no see man

      And yes, that will be something that needs to be addressed.
      "MuH GaMe CrAsHed, ImMa gOnnA doWn VotE tHiS"
    2. mulderitsme
      mulderitsme
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      In response to post #99279018. #99280768 is also a reply to the same post.


      Spoiler:  
      Show

      Even more people will completely disregard any special installation instructions, and you know you're going to have a million complaints because collections authors will not update their collections, and will include conflicting files.  Who will deal with that?  The mod authors.  Y'all have zero idea how many complaints we deal with because someone couldn't scroll down and read a couple steps, and now those people will be making collections for everyone.  Nightmares lol

      People already never read the instructions even if you bold it, underline it, and make it giant, can't wait to get rude messages because a collections author put minimal effort into a list and dipped without checking for updates.  People pretty much only say something if it's negative, with some lovely exceptions.  Most just download and don't interact.  I even occasionally get people who don't download anything complaining.

      I get what the intent is but I'm just not sure how it's going to do in practice.  Seems like making it slightly more user friendly for users who do not actually like modding, but 1000% more inconvenient for the people who actually make mods.  But we'll see, maybe I'll end up not hating it.  My actual issue was with the archive system.
    3. JimboUK
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      I think it'll bring in more people, I wonder how many new users mod their game for the first time, end up with an unholy mess and give up? hopefully some of them catch the bug, stick around and start producing content. 
    4. EX0stasis
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      Low effort mode Collections that don't get updated will just fade into obscurity behind better Collections that get updates regularly. There my be a temporary rise in annoying complaints that mod authors have to deal with, but once there is a decent library of quality Collections up, after a while, lazy/rude users will have their pick of the cream of the crop of mod Collections, where they don't feel the need to annoy anyone about issues.
    5. Ellimist000
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      mulderitsme, er, maybe say you won't support collections and then simply don't acknowledge complaints that don't show a modlist proving they aren't using one? I really struggle to understand why that is so difficult for authors?
  9. noahthegrey
    noahthegrey
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    Honestly, I'll just keep downloading mods on their own without putting them in a collection, it's what I've been doing and how I'll keep doing it.

    Sounds pretty helpful, though.
    1. RonanBloodluster
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      same here. I've already gotten this far I'm not about to go and delete everything just to make sure the individual mods don't get in the way of all the mods included in the collections. 
  10. thegotts
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    this is awesome I'm excited for it
  11. EX0stasis
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    Will Nexus Collections have a way to resolve mod conflicts on an individual file level? For example, rather than just deciding which mod's loose files win over the other, can a Collection author decide to remove individual files such as textures and/or meshes of a mod? I recall this being a very common technique described in Lexy's LOTD modding guide.