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!

173 comments

  1. YojimboRatchet
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    An Interesting concept, perhaps collections can be used even for those with great computers and those with low-end computers. the potential here is unlimited.

    However, I don't use Vortex at all, and I don't plan to either. Making collections available -only- for Vortex users, and ignoring Mod Organizer 2, is going to seriously limit anyone who wants to share these collections or even help to test them as well.

    It's just one more form of monopolizing in a community where, accessibility is supposed to be paramount towards inclusion. This makes it go the complete other direction....

    Regardless, good luck. Hopefully at one point you will see the bigger picture and include Mo2 users in this little venture...
    1. showler
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      Boy, it's a good thing they told you that it isn't going to be limited to Vortex in the post you are replying to or you might have been confused.
    2. YojimboRatchet
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      It may not be "in time", but right now and for the forseeable future, it will be as explained in the details above.
    3. literallybyronic
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      You could easily download a collection with Vortex and then just pack the entire thing into an archive and add it to MO2.  You'd have to manually copy the LO into MO2 as well as any other necessities like xSE or ini edits, but it's still doable if you really want to try collections and don't want to wait for the API to be added to the client.  Basically the same concept as using mods from bethesda.net in MO2, just the whole collection at once instead of individual mods.
    4. taggartaa
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      "In time"? You mean when it releases? Ya I think it is totally fair that it is Vortex only during testing phase (when the API's are still probably undergoing development) and once it releases the official API can release for it (and then any other mod manager can take advantage). This isn't monopolizing the community lol, it is maintaining scope for a test phase.
    5. a1racer
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      Dude nexus invested in creating vortex as well as this so if they chose to they could just say nah that’s cool we are keeping this. But instead they are open sourcing this for all to use , and your complaining about it. Rethink your stance on this. 
    6. DragonStar99
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      Considering the fact that Wabbajack has (intentionally?) excluded Vortex users from accessing and using Wabbajack....  it only seems fair now that Vortex users will have access to a similar system available to us to use as "Collections".  Or do you just prefer that features such as this be exclusive to MO2 users only? 

      If you missed it above... they are providing the source code of Vortex   --   ***"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."*** 

      I'm sure Halgari already has plans to "incorporate" Collections into/or work with Wabbajack at some point,  so nothing really to worry about
    7. longjohn119
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      It's really kind of up to the authors of MO2 to include the extensions and if this takes off and the demand is there they likely will. I prefer MO2 mainly because I've used it for so long I know all the ins and outs and prefer the old twin pane XP style design rather than the "modern" design Vortex uses. Plus I like MO2's ability to be used in stand alone mode, I currently have 4 instances of MO2 installed, 3 for Skyrim mod lists and one for Fallout 4 and the only caveat is I have to switch the ENB for one of the Skyrim lists.  But with Collections doing most of the grunt work I don't have a problem using it and it will make it more likely I'll learn the more intricate details (I've never met a mod list I didn't modify eventually) because I'll start out with something that will work first time and I can learn it adding a mod at a time rather than creating a list of 300 to 400 mods and having to make them all work together a few at a time. It's not that I'm afraid I can't learn to use Vortex but the amount of time I'd spend to master it from scratch
  2. aka23
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    How will collections account for mod users who have been banned from a mod author mods ?
    1. DarkDominion
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      They will again be able to download the mod from the page(s) they have been banned from
      ( but only the mod they offer in the collection, not any other version.)
  3. RumBakats
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    I'M HAPPY AND HYPED ABOUT THIS.
    Modding is ABOUT COOPERATION and testing between modders and players, and if this system can give a more detailed and "easy to grab" mechanic to modding this would be A BIG WIN FOR MODDERS, PLAYERS AND ALSO DEVELOPERS.
    I never played a moddable game without mods.
    I never played any Elder Scrolls from Morrowind or any Fallout from Fallout 3 without HUNDREDS OF MODS IN IT.
    I SPENT MORE TIME MODDING AND TESTING TO GET THINGS WORKING TOGETHER, THAN ACTUALLY ENJOYING MY "HYBRID CREATION".
    I helped when i could to figure out compatibility issues etc.
    This thing will make things a lot easier, if they implement some kind of bugcheck/issue tracker thing will be even better FOR EVERYBODY INVOLVED.
    SO PLEASE BRATS AND IGNORANTS AGAINST THIS NEW COLLECTIONS FEATURE...JUST SHUT UP AND USE YOUR BRAIN.
    And thanks to everybody from modders to nexus staff. Hope you start thinking and stop being a sheeple (c0v1d farce docet) ;)
    1. Loveblanket
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      Wow, that post has a lot of unhinged to unpack, but mainly I would say to you that your points about yourself probably put you in the smallest possible percentage of users when we talk about games. Most mods exist on PC and most game sales are the smallest on PC unless they're exclusive. For example, only about 14% of Skyrim's original sales were on PC and that was before multiple console ports over multiple generations. Learn to live in a world where your experience doesn't equal everyone's experience. The overwhelming majority of human beings that play videogames will never touch a mod, and those that do will want more control than collections give them. I agree there's potential in this concept, but every step so far has been ill conceived and poorly thought out.
    2. longjohn119
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      Actually that's not true at all according to recent figures (2020) I have seen. While consoles as a whole have a bigger share than PC neither console on their own exceeded PC sales last year. Actually the biggest single share is currently held by smart phones with a 51% market share followed by PC (19%), Playstation (17%), Xbox (12%) and bringing up the rear at a mere 1% the Switch.  That's why Microsoft is hot to trot to include the PC to Game Pass and releasing Xbox "exclusives" on PC at the same time because it effectively gives them almost twice the market share as Sony. It's also why there is so much talk from Sony about releasing their exclusives on PC. There is no money in selling console hardware anymore, the money comes from selling games and services
  4. kyukonninetales
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    in a way similar to how Atlauncher used to do things for minecraft
  5. SirTwist
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    I am curious as to one thing. Will the collection go beyond just games like Fallout series and TES series? Such as things like the Witcher series, Dragon Age series, things like that? I know those are older games, but I do feel that they can have collections as well. I know it will be a bit harder reaching out to some authors to include their mods into a collection.

     As to my issues with Vortex, I think I will go to that area, and post them. I do have some issues with it, and they are, rather, beyond the scope of the current topic at discussion. I think, however, that going beyond Vortex with these collections can be a good thing.
    1. DalekMaster76
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      In their test example from a few weeks back, they used it on Valhiem. So I would assume so.
      Also, the authors don't give permission for the collections, anyone can make a pack with any mod.
    2. SirTwist
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      Okay, I see. Here is how I am reading this. Basically, instead of you making, merging, etc., a collection, what you are doing is hosting a collection, thus circumventing needing permission from mod authors. Basically, as a curator to your collection, you are just listing the mods you like, what order to install, where they are, etc.
    3. Tannin42
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      Collections at the basic level (download & install mods, putting them in the intended order) work with any game the manager (i.e. Vortex) supports.
      Of course there are game-specific features (e.g. plugins for the Bethesda games) that have to be implemented on a game-by-game basis as necessary.
      But we already have such functionality implemented for a bunch of games beyond the Bethesda ones.
    4. Loveblanket
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      I love what you guys have done here over the last decade plus, but this will end up being the ruin of this site and competitors will wreck it. Not allowing mod authors to opt out of this system is the biggest mistake this site has made. I get what you're trying to do and I support parts of it in a big way, but there's no way this moves forward either without major changes or without a competitor making this site irrelevant. This is like the new Fallout 76 worlds update. It sounds great on paper, but in reality won't be used that much and will eventually have to be changed or dropped.
    5. Dark0ne
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      but this will end up being the ruin of this site and competitors will wreck it.

      I disagree with your assessment. Our two biggest "competitors" already have their own versions of Collections and have done for a long time. They also don't let people opt out of their respective systems.
  6. Loveblanket
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    I'm sorry, maybe I'm confused and you can help. We were told that donating any amount to make ourselves supporters would free us from ads. The narrative in this post seems to have changed that and it would mean an instant out for me and many others. Please tell me that my donation to you for hosting a website for others peoples hard work still holds it's same position. This site stated that if every person that used it gave a dollar it would be financially viable forever and I did my part. If I have to deal with ads again moving forward, I'm out.
    1. Dark0ne
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      How so? Supporters will go through the free process but they will not see ads during this process unlike a non-paying user who does. 
  7. ShatterRock
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    My thoughts about DP: DP should only be exclusive to mod authors no matter what. However, just like anyone making patches about other mods can receive DP, collection curators should be allowed to receive DP from self-made patches on Nexus for their collections. In other words, you can't directly receive DP from your collections but can from patches you make in the collections. 
  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
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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. 
  9. KamariBVB
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    Locked
    About SKSE, since my post has been locked and the original point was lost:
    Guys, the SSE version of SKSE is packaged incorrectly, and I’m told that that caused my data folder to have TWO lists of the same scripts listed in different places within my data folder. I had two source folders and three script folders, and it wasn’t until one IRL IT tech and experienced modder and an vortex expert spent SEVERAL hours trying to figure out wtf was going on that another modder told us what had happened. The file path for SSE is supposed to be skyrimse/data/source/scripts but it’s not, it’s skyrimse/data/scripts/source. This was making creation kit experience fatal crashes, despite me having multiple masters mod and one other creation kit mod installed. 
    the point: when I installed skse this year, without vortex, I followed the instructions in the .txt of the 7zip file step by step. And I still ended up with all those problems. Ergo, if Vortex gives the same instructions, then what reason would anyone have to believe that this system would make modding easier for newbies? From my perspective, it does the opposite
    1. showler
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      Does Vortex even install the source files from SKSE64?  They aren't needed for players at all.
    2. KamariBVB
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      You are right they aren’t, but I wasn’t talking about the contents of the folder in the 7zip file called src. I’m talking about somehow my data folder manifesting another script and source folder in addition to the ones I originally had. One file path was skyrimse/source/scripts and another was skyrimse/scripts/source. 
      trust me, no one wants this to work more than a tiny part of me. You are looking at the girl who had to follow GamerPoets clean install tutorial six-six!-times, on a connection that took 8+ hours to instal the game PER INSTALL, and each time being bamboozled as to how tf my corrupted save files survived. Eventually I learned that the culprits were in my Documents folder. Even then, I still got a corrupt save file because by then I had Skyrim se installed on two separate computers with the same steam account. I had to talk my slightly technologically challenged mom through deleting the save files from my computer over text messages and then through face time. And none of that even covers the several hours I described in my original post. 
    3. showler
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      Yes, those are the source files I am referring to.  The instructions tell you that you don't need to install those files unless you plan to use SKSE64 with the Creation Kit.  They are only needed for modders, not players so most people would never install them.

      I mean, 1: those files are only relevant to the CK and therefore probably not of concern to the Collections discussion.

      2. Anyone who is going to start editing/making SKSE mods will hopefully have learned about this already.

      3. It was an intentional choice by the Silverlock team to stay with the modding standard practice rather than change to accomodate an error by Bethesda, so Vortex is installing SKSE64 the way it was intended to be installed in any case.
    4. KamariBVB
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      Maybe it is now, but it wasn’t in ‘19. And I don’t think we are talking about the same things because everything I put in my game folder from the 7zip was very necessary. 
      amd no, it wasn’t the folder in the 7zip called src or anything in it.
    5. showler
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      "3. If you create mods, copy the .psc files in Data\Scripts\Source\ into the Data\Scripts\Source\ folder of your installation. The .psc files are only needed if you have the CreationKit installed and intend to create or compile Papyrus scripts. Make sure to add them to your include path."

      That's copied from a three year old post.  They were never necessary unless you were heavily into modding.
    6. a1racer
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      Vortex loads skse 100% correctly as long as you have the mod set to load correctly and it does that for you automatically. It even loads the mod author needed files as well that’s the scripts files your probably talking about. This is a non issue vortex will also load enb files and presets if you package them right. The only real advantage mo2 has over vortex is you can drag and drop plugins without all the rules and stuff. Once vortex gets that figured out mo2 will be outdated. 
    7. Pickysaurus
      Pickysaurus
      • Community Manager
      • 16,092 posts
      • 383 kudos
      Once again, this is not at all relevant to the subject at hand. Please create a thread in the Skyrim or Vortex forums if you feel you need to discuss this.
  10. logan1710
    logan1710
    • member
    • 520 posts
    • 13 kudos
    Is using collections mandatory? I really don't want compatibility issues every 5 seconds I install something that isn't in a collection. 
    1. a1racer
      a1racer
      • premium
      • 527 posts
      • 4 kudos
      It’s not mandatory it’s a optional feature.