Using Vortex, someone can build a mod list/mod setup locally on their machine, and then export a meta file with all the information about the mods/files/conflict resolutions etc. and upload it to the site. We refer to this on the site as a "collection".
A user can then add this meta file from the site to our mod manager Vortex and Vortex will fetch all the download links for the mods, download them (i.e. the mod authors still get the unique downloads for that new user), and install the mods the same way the original user (the curator of that mod list) has them installed (including conflict resolution) on their end.
A collection is not a "mod pack" in the sense of a large archive including many mods bundled together. Instead think of it as a list that our mod manager Vortex can read and interpret for you to then download and install a bunch of mods referenced in the mod list.
Free and Premium users both have access to the collections feature and benefit from a much more convenient way of downloading and installing a (great) number of mods in one swoop - complete with conflict resolution data, so that they can spend less time worrying about mod conflicts, and more time playing their modded game. Regardless of membership status, this means that collections will save users a great deal of time as they won't have to search for and download compatible mods and patches and then work out mod conflicts themselves, but instead they can rely on a curator having done the legwork of assembling a stable setup which they then simply download through a collection.
That being said, on top of that, Premium users are able to queue up the download of an entire collection, meaning they get an experience we like to describe as "as close to a one click installation as possible". In combination with the uncapped download speed all Premium members enjoy, this means that they're able to download and install an entire collection much faster than free users, without having to go from mod page to mod page to initiate the download of each mod.
Unlike the Premium user experience, free users are sent to each individual mod page for every mod in a collection to initiate the download for the needed file. This is done because we are not serving third party ads in Vortex, but only on our website, so if users were not sent to the mod page, they'd be bypassing our entire revenue stream. Unfortunately, we are not in a position where we can afford to have the vast majority of our users (free users make up around 99%) bypass ads, but instead we rely on this revenue stream along with Premium memberships to fund the site and our service.
Free users, however, still benefit greatly from the collections feature. While it takes a bit longer to go through the download phase, the installation and setup process is the same for free and Premium users, meaning that free users also get to enjoy a replicated, conflict free setup - as curated by the collection creator. Instead of having to hunt down the download links for a number of mods, navigate to the correct file, pick the correct install options etc., free users simply have to click through the download modal and initiate each download one by one - a process that can be paused and resumed at any time.
Lastly, let us highlight that there is no difference whatsoever in the collection creation flow - meaning both free and Premium users have full access to the same exact features when creating a mod collection.
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.
We refer to the creator of a collection as a "curator" - someone who has taken the time to curate a list of mods that work well together.
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.
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.
Each time a collection is edited, a new revision of that collection is created. Revisions are numbered incrementally each time they are published. This means that for example revision 7 is always followed by revision 8 and that the higher numbered revision is always newer than a lower numbered one.
A collection is ultimately just a list of mods that is interpreted by a mod manager (Vortex). Just like you would not expect to be able to opt out of someone mentioning your mod in their “Top 10 Mods” list, a collection referencing your mod is not something you can opt out of either. Your mod is not being redistributed as part of a collection, but instead it is downloaded from the source (Nexus Mods or an external website).
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.
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.
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.
Yes. Collections can include instructions to direct users to a specific website and download a file. If permitted - you will also be able to provide a direct download link for the file.
After the full release of Collections it may also be possible to include mods from different sources by creating an extension for Vortex which can interact with the API of a different modding site.
No. Earning Donation Points is currently a feature exclusive to mod authors.
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.
No, all site users will be able to download, install, and create collections. However, much like speeding up the download process on our site in general, Premium membership is going to speed up the process of downloading a mod collection. This is because Premium members, through their purchase of membership, are actively contributing to the upkeep of our site be it server costs, 18 employees, a content delivery network (CDN) spanning across the globe, giving back to mod authors via the Donation Points system, insurance, an office in the heart of Exeter, and so on. Therefore, we can and want to offer them the best possible service including added convenience when using the new collections feature, which we believe will help make modding much easier.
Not at the moment, no. Vortex is required for collections so any game that does not have a Vortex extension (and is therefore unsupported) cannot access the feature.
Just as Vortex itself, the collections feature is going to be released under the GPL-3 License meaning that community developers may be able to adapt the collections related code and find a way for third party apps to support collections for games without Vortex support. We aim to provide documentation sometime after the final 1.0 release that should help aspiring developers with this.
Yes, absolutely. Collections are just list of mods and there is no reason per se you cannot put together more than one of them and apply them to your game. However, the more of them you use - as with mods - the more potential there is for conflicts between them. Some collections will be intended to be used as an "all-in-one" solution, including many different mods and thus they're more likely to conflicts with other mods or collections you may want to install on top of them. Other "themed" collections, such as for example a small collection of 10 different player homes, could easily be combined with other, small-medium collections altering, let's say, magic or gameplay related elements. Please always make sure to read the description on the collection page and leave a comment to ask the curator directly, when in doubt.
Please leave a comment on the collection page for the curator to review while providing as much detail as possible that will help them address the issue. Please do not comment on mod pages for bugs/issues related to a collection.
As of version 1.5.0 of Vortex, the "Collections" tab is available in the side menu, just underneath "Mods". After switching over to the Collections tab, you can click "Discover more collections" and browse Nexus Mods Next for a collection you'd like to add to Vortex.
See also: Collections introduction videos.
You can also create your own collections by switching to the Workshop tab and selecting "Create a collection". Please see this article for more information on how to create a collection.
Please note that Collections is a feature that is currently in the Alpha testing stage meaning there might be more bugs than usual, instabilities etc. It is advised to backup your mods, game, and save games.
The preview build is intended only for users who would like to help test the Collections feature ahead of the full 1.0 release. It is not intended for general usage at this stage. While we are reasonably confident that we've ironed out the more serious issues with collections, it is still unfinished software and may be prone to unforeseen bugs or other issues.
If you are already mid-playthrough with an older version of Vortex (or another mod manager) we strongly recommend you finish your game before updating. Alternatively, make sure you back up your current setup in case you encounter issues while you are trying out the new features.
Yes, Vortex is designed to allow you to update to the latest version with minimal disruptions.
It is possible to downgrade back to the stable release, however, it is strongly recommended that you first remove any installed collections as they may cause unusual behaviour in older versions.
It is possible, however due to some new features exclusively in the preview build you may need to reinstall any mods that use mod installers (FOMODs) in order to add them to a collection properly.