So we're just about 2 weeks in to Skyrim's global launch and Skyrim Nexus has reached over 1,000 mods available for download
, which is pretty damn impressive without an available SDK! And for you nit-pickers out there, I deliberately waited until we surpassed the threshold of uploaded save games, so that's 1,000 actual mods and game files, not including save games.
I just wanted to post up a little something about what I, and the sites, have been through these past two weeks. Not least because I don't want you to think I've been sat on my backside rubbing my hands at some sick traffic figures!
To say that I wasn't really ready for the influx of traffic Skyrim Nexus received was a bit of an understatement, despite my 12 months of planning! The last benchmark I had to go off of was the launch of Fallout: New Vegas and the subsequent launch of New Vegas Nexus, which at it's peak received just over 200,000 unique visitors a day. So I applied some logic to these figures and thought an extra 50% (so 300,000 UV) on those figures, perhaps 75% (350,000 UV) would be a logical top figure. But no, Bethesda out-did themselves, and we've been pushing more than 550,000 unique visitors a day (and some 4million+ page views a day) since the game's launch. That's over 6 unique visitors a second (and 46 page views a second). And that's just Skyrim Nexus, not including the other sites. This traffic not only causes massive server load issues (and we're using some real powerful servers) but bandwidth issues too. The Nexus sites alone are pushing over 600mbit/second at the moment. The file servers are pushing 1Gbit. So put the two together and the network is pushing some 1.6Gbits of traffic a second (that's 205 Megabytes of bandwidth a second). So if you're wondering why the sites have been a bit slow at times, that's why.
After many sleepless nights I believe Axel and I (Axel is the site coder who's cooking up some seriously cool stuff for you all to enjoy very soon) have tweaked things in to a pretty stable state. You might be unlucky and hit a little blip here and there, but overall, things should be much more bearable now despite the traffic being pretty constant this past week. We're just now in the process of setting up a static content server with a nice, sexy, unmetered gigabit connection so we can continue to serve this stupid amount of bandwidth without it having a negative effect on the site load performance (and my wallet).
People criticised me when I put those video ads up on the downloads last year. I hope now you can at least partially acknowledge my foresight on the matter, being aware that Skyrim was coming out and that I would need the funds to pay for the ridiculous bandwidth and server bills. A note on those ads; they'll be coming off the other Nexus sites (they aren't on Skyrim Nexus) within a couple of weeks. These ads brought in much needed funds to pay for an upgrade in the site infrastructure. Prior to the release of Skyrim I had bought 2 additional super powerful servers to augment the 4 we were already using. And I've bought another 2 since then to handle and spread the load more. Folks in the EU will be getting a brand new file server by the start of December to download from, so stay tuned on that.
Over the last two weeks I also announced our work on the Nexus Mod Manager
which is in Open Beta. The feedback you've all been providing has been invaluable, and I especially want to thank the vast majority of you who read-up on how we'd like bugs to be reported and have provided us with some good, detailed, bug reports. I cannot tell you how much easier it makes it for us when your bug reports are done properly
! We're taking on all your advice, feedback and bug reports and working hard to get fixes out as quickly as possible. So if you're experiencing issues with one version, give it a couple of days and check back, more than likely if you've reported your problem it should be fixed in that time. There's a long way still to go on NMM and we've got lots in-store for you. Some great news on collaboration with another piece of well-known software as well, but I'll save that for another news post and another time..!
Looking on in to the new year I think I'm going to have to hire some new help pretty soon. These 18 hour days working on some sites that aren't my real job aren't really making me too happy! Hiring another dedicated web programmer and a dedicated software programmer will allow me to focus on the things that I at least kind of know, which will be acting as a community manager (and accountant, and server technician, and moderator...etc.) for you all. These sites have held up well on my code over the past 10 years, but my word I'm looking forward to moving over to Axel's stuff.
If you're going to take away one thing from this wall-of-text, it's this (aka. TL;DR:). It's been one hell of a ride these past 2 weeks and I'm glad we're all still here. I hope to continue to do good by you all for a long time to come. And watch this space, because super cool things are on the horizon.