Deposit of modifications Nexus Mods has announced a policy change regarding the hundreds of thousands of mod files it hosts. Starting in August, modders who upload mod files to the site will no longer be able to delete them. Instead, modders will only be able to archive their files and hide them from users' view.
If this sounds like a weird political decision, you're not alone and some moderates are angry. However, there is a reason for this, even if no one agrees that it is good. Nexus Mods has been working on a feature since 2019 called “collections”. The collections will serve as selected lists of modifications that any Nexus Mod user can create and share.
"The project our team is working on is to facilitate modding so that the average user can spend less time worrying about modification conflicts and more time playing a modified game." read a long post on Nexus Mods. Using Vortex (the Nexus Mods Modification Manager), a modification user could create a curated list of modifications and then upload it as a collection, including the modification upload order, patches, and revisions used, conflict resolution, etc. Another Vortex user could add this collection and Vortex would download and install everything on this list.
It sounds like a useful feature, especially since playlists for games like Skyrim can reach hundreds, and it would be nice to be able to easily share those playlists among other users. But Nexus Mods says that for collections to work smoothly, modders must be prevented from permanently deleting their files:
"For our collection system, this means that no matter how much care and effort has been put into curing a collection of dozens or hundreds of modifications, as soon as one or more of its files collection are deleted by an author of modifications, for any reason … the collection is essentially and immediately "dead in the water" until the curator can replace or delete the particular file. "
The solution that came up with Nexus Mods is to stop allowing loaded mod files to be deleted. Instead, a modder who wants to delete their files will only be able to archive them. The files will not be directly accessible or downloadable for users, nor will they even be displayed on the site, although archived files will still be accessible through the collections feature.
I’m a frequent user of modifications and not an author of modifications, but as much as I think collections could be a great feature (not yet available), it’s not hard to see why some authors of modifications are so annoying. It can definitely be frustrating when a long dependency chain is broken because a mod is removed, but if you’re a modder and decide you just don’t want your mod to be available in Nexus Mods, for whatever reason, intuitively it looks like you should have the ability to delete it (as you can do in ModDB or Steam Workshop, the latter also has a feature collection of modifications).
For users who don’t want to leave Nexus Mods, they can. Modifiers have until August 5 to request the deletion of the modification files. For files that a modification author wants to delete because they are broken or no longer supported, Nexus Mods says it is looking for a system where a broken file can be deleted on a case-by-case basis after the author's request . Nexus Mods administrators will also continue to delete modification files themselves when modification files violate their rules (for example, using resources from another author without permission).
Deletion is not the only concern some modifiers have with the next collection system. By reviewing comments on Nexus Mods ads on Reddit and Nexus Mods Discord, some modders believe that collections will take users away from individual mod pages (where modders can collect donations for their work) in favor of simply use a collection (which would result in fewer donations). Some would like the option to decide whether or not their modifier appears in a collection, but Nexus Mods says there will be no participation system for the same reason that modders will not be able to delete files; a single modifier could "torpedo". disabling the collection system.
Some modders have already taken their work out of Nexus Mods completely, such as a Skyrim and New Vegas modder who hung out its modifications to ModDB and calls Nexus Mods "a lair of thieves." Another plans to remove your changes, but you can re-upload them after seeing how the situation unfolds. saying"I would love to have a collection of modifications here, but also have all the freedom I had as an author of modifications."
Other modifications seem to be more or less fine with the new policy. "The selected, high-quality modifications are the best thing that has happened to Skyrim modding and are the best thing that has happened to me, as an author." says a modder on Reddit who found a new audience for their modifications after being included in the mod lists of Wabbajack, a Skyrim modifier installer.
You can read the document Full Nexus Mods announcement here.