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[Relz] Vortex - Mod Manager


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Vortex - Limited Alpha released Alpha - See Edit below

Announcement here https://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/6354696-redesign-launch-stage-2-in-progress/

 

Download Page here https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/14987

Download Page now here https://www.nexusmods.com/site/mods/1

 

Support forum here https://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/forum/4301-vortex/

 

Providing this topic for a place to discuss on AFK Mods, for any support / technical help use the Nexus support forums linked above where developers will be monitoring feedback.

Will probably grab it myself to see if my dual Wrye Bash Wizard / FOMod script driven mods still install ok. But will probably miss this limited alpha.

 

What is it ? - Replacement for Nexus Mod Manager, and combine the simplicity of the Nexus Mod Manager with the advanced functionality of Mod Organizer and create something that is accessible to all types of modders.

 

Current Description :

 

 

 

For over a year now we've been working on a mod manager to replace the ailing Nexus Mod Manager. The premise was simple, attempt to combine the simplicity of the Nexus Mod Manager with the advanced functionality of Mod Organizer and create something that is accessible to all types of modders. Back in May of 2017 we named this replacement "Vortex" and we aimed for a January 2018 release date.

1-1517400557.png

With that in mind, the full release of Vortex is almost upon us. To give us a bit more time to polish things up (more on the web side than the application side) we're aiming for a full unlimited alpha release of Vortex on the week starting the 12th of February.

In the meantime, we would really like to do some limited testing of our software and do a small stress test of our brand new online API service. So today, Wednesday the 31st, we will be doing a very limited release of Vortex of around 1,000 users. I plan to spread out the release through the day to try and give a chance to people from different time zones, likely opening up downloads to 200 unique users every 4 hours or so from midday GMT until I go to bed.

After discussing this at length with Tannin and the web programmers we felt a limited release over the next couple of weeks would be the most beneficial for us, allowing us to test our all new API functionality in a controlled environment in an attempt to avert the issues of the past where we inadvertently managed to DDoS our own servers with NMM releases, while also providing additional feedback for Tannin on the software side.

This file page will be left visible until 200 unique downloads have been reached, then we'll hide it again for 4 hours before making it available to a further 200 unique downloads. And so on, and so forth. 

For this limited release, you will only be able to use Vortex if you first login to the software and we will be limiting the number of users who can login to Vortex via our API so even if the Vortex installer gets shared elsewhere on the internet, we'll still only allow a limited number of users to access the online services Vortex provides. This limitation will not be in the full unlimited release in two weeks time and you will be able to use Vortex without first having to login in at that point.

You should never trust any download links provided for our software anywhere other than on Nexus Mods, so if you see Vortex on other sites I highly recommend you don't install it. Not just because you're potentially inconveniencing us (and the community) by overloading our services, but also because you cannot trust the file is safe to use.

We will know who is using the service without downloading it from Nexus Mods, as we can correlate our download information with API logins on the site. If you're logging in but the download stats show you haven't downloaded Vortex from Nexus Mods then you've been naughty!

With the full unlimited alpha release of Vortex less than two weeks away I please ask that you think of the community, and us, and only download Vortex if you're legitimately going to use it and test it extensively over the next two weeks. If you're not going to get around to doing that within two weeks, and you're not willing to troubleshoot potential issues both with the software and with your mod setups, then please just wait! If we can get 1,000 users who thoroughly use Vortex it will provide us with an invaluable source of feedback that will mean we can improve and iterate on the software, to the benefit of everyone, that much quicker. Thank you for your understanding.

Before you enter into this process please have a think about the type of user you are and whether being a first adopter of the software is right for you, and us.

Most importantly, this is alpha software. As such, our advice would be to try out Vortex, attempt to get it setup and working with your games, but do not switch over from your usual day-to-day modding setup straight away. If you're not comfortable with this or you're chomping at the bit to switch over completely, the software likely isn't ready for your use type and we do not recommend downloading Vortex until we do the full unlimited alpha release and you see the feedback coming from other users.

Vortex installs as a separate application on your computer. Any existing installations and setups you have of NMM and/or MO will not be affected by you installing and using Vortex. The only thing that will be affected is how NXM (download) links are handled on the site, e.g. what application starts and downloads files when you click the "Download with manager" button on the site.

Vortex includes an "Import from NMM" functionality that will attempt to copy your mod setup from NMM. This is non-destructive and will not impact your NMM setup. Because of the (now) archaic way that NMM handles files in the data folder, we recommend disabling any mods you have installed in NMM (or switching to an empty profile, that will, in turn, clear up any files NMM has placed in your game data folder) if your import to Vortex is successful. This is because Vortex and NMM both try to keep track of which files they've installed, and using multiple modding tools for the same game at the same time makes that difficult. If you need to revert back to NMM, you can simply disable Vortex and reapply your NMM profile to return your setup to how it was before.

As always, please backup your current modding setups in case the worst happens. Ensure you create a safe copy of your mod installations somewhere else so that you can restore from this backup in case of a problem.

Vortex contains a feedback and bug reporting system built into the software. If you experience issues while using the software please report them using these methods, providing detailed information about what you were doing at the time the problem occurred. We'll be opening up a feedback forum shortly where you can discuss the software in detail.

We appreciate the patience most of you have shown over the past 18 months and hope we can hit the ground running with our official alpha release of Vortex in a couple of week's time. We're extremely happy with how the software has shaped up and its potential for the future, and we hope once you get to use it properly, you will be too.

Commenting is disabled on this file page. If you would like to discuss Vortex you can do so in our brand new Vortex sub-forums.

Vortex currently supports and manages 28 games, and while this file page is on the Skryim Special Edition Nexus site, it should work with any of these games and we are looking for people who can test Vortex in any of them. These are:
 

  • Breaking Wheel
  • Dark Souls
  • Dark Souls 2
  • Dragon Age
  • Dragone Age 2
  • Dragon's Dogma
  • Factorio
  • Fallout 3
  • Fallout 4 VR
  • Fallout 4
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Legend of Grimrock
  • Morrowind
  • No Man's Sky
  • Oblivion
  • The Sims 3
  • The Sims 4
  • Skyrim
  • Skyrim Special Edition
  • Starbound
  • State of Decay
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • War Thunder
  • The Witcher 2
  • The Witcher 3
  • World of Tanks
  • X-COM 2
  • X: Rebirth

 

 

 

EDIT: As of 15/02/2018 Vortex Alpha is now live for all to download on its Nexus page linked above

Quote

Hello everyone,

For over a year now we've been working on a mod manager to replace the ailing Nexus Mod Manager. The premise was simple, attempt to combine the simplicity of the Nexus Mod Manager with the advanced functionality of Mod Organizer and create something that is accessible to all types of modders. Back in May of 2017 we named this replacement "Vortex".

A couple of weeks ago we did a limited Alpha release of Vortex to 1,000 users, many of whom have been extremely helpful in posting bugs and feedback for us to work from. As a result of this feedback, Tannin has released four new updated versions of Vortex since the initial release two weeks ago. These have included fixes for a number of bugs and some updates to the functionality. I want to thank those of you who used the software extensively and posted bugs via the feedback system within Vortex, like we requested. Your help has been extremely useful to us during this process.

We're now ready to open up the Vortex Alpha to anyone who wants to give it a go.

Before you jump in head first, I implore you to fully understand what "Alpha" means, what state Vortex is in, and whether Vortex is currently right for you.


What is Alpha software?

To save you a Google search, here's the first result for a description of Alpha software:
 

Quote

Alpha software is computer software that is still in the early testing phase. It is functional enough to be used, but is unpolished and often lacks many of the features that will be included in the final version of the program. The "alpha phase" of software development follows the early programming and design stages, but precedes the "beta phase" in which the software closely resembles the final version.

Since the alpha phase is an early part of the software development cycle, alpha software typically includes significant bugs and usability issues.


It's important we adequately warn you of the state of Vortex (as we are, right now!) because if you run to the forums or elsewhere to complain about Vortex breaking your mod install, and you didn't make any backups of your save files or game states, knowing full well what we're telling you right here and right now, we're honestly not going to have much sympathy. We're going to want to know about whatever bug is causing this issue and will work our hardest to fix it ASAP, but I want you to be under no illusions that this is Alpha software, and we're treating it like Alpha software with the expectation for there to be unfound bugs that will need fixing.



Who is this for? Should I use Vortex?

Ask yourself whether being an early adopter is right for you at this time, or whether it makes more sense for you to wait until Vortex reaches a more polished Beta or full release state. Considering we're being fully open about the fact Vortex will have bugs and is not in a feature complete state, do you really want to be using the software in this state? Are you going to get upset if it does not function properly or creates issues that mean playing your game is not possible until Vortex is updated or until you fix things manually? If so, this is NOT the right time for you to be using Vortex as your mod manager.

Are you competent enough to know how to backup your save games and modding folders, and able to rectify any issues manually or in another mod manager if Vortex doesn't work properly for you? Do you want to help us by providing constructive feedback and bug reports without getting emotional and rude? Are you patient and able to wait for fixes and functionality to be developed? Then we'd love it if you could download Vortex and give it a thorough run through, and we're looking forward to hearing from you.



Does Vortex replace NMM/MO/my current mod manager?

Right now? No. We're not recommending anyone fully switch to Vortex from their current mod management tools. We think it will get there in the not too distant future, but it's not there yet.

Many users in our testing group and in the limited Alpha we did over the past couple of weeks have been able to switch over fully. We do recommend that you try and switch over, but that you backup and keep whatever current mod manager you're using (and your mod setups/savegames attached to them) so if something goes wrong with Vortex, you can easily and quickly switch back so it does not affect your gaming.

With all this in mind, we're not officially replacing NMM on the site at this time. We're keeping the "Install NMM" button in the top nav, and the only place you're going to be able to download Vortex is from our own Nexus Mods game page, which will also hopefully include extensions for Vortex moving forward.

This, in itself, should tell you how we're treating this release of Vortex. This isn't an all singing and tooting release of Vortex to the masses where we tell everyone it's the best thing since sliced bread and that everyone should switch. This is still us releasing quietly, telling you that we're happy with the direction it's heading but we know that it still needs more time in the oven.



What type of people are you looking for during the Alpha?

We really want people to try Vortex and we're really grateful for any help you can provide in bug reports and functionality feedback. What we're looking for right now are individuals who are competent in modding their games, who understand the risks of using this Alpha software and are willing to be patient with bugs and possible missing functionality to help us develop something really good.



How long is the Alpha going to last?

We're aware that NMM was in a permanent Beta state and this was not ideal for anyone. We want to avoid that with Vortex, but we cannot give you a timeline or roadmap at this time.

Our initial focus is going to be on fixing bugs in the Alpha and addressing any issues that it brings to light. We'll then work on a roadmap moving forward, establishing what goals we want to hit before we're confident with it reaching Beta.



Is there any documentation?

Right now documentation that is ready for public viewing is very limited, but we hope to rectify that over the coming months. In the meantime, popular YouTuber Gopher is working on some tutorial videos that will introduce Vortex to users and help guide you through the process of using the software. I'll update this news post when his Introduction video is ready, and you can get further updates by visiting his channel.



Does Vortex include an import tool from NMM or MO?

Vortex installs as a separate application on your computer. Any existing installations and setups you have of NMM and/or MO will not be affected by you installing and using Vortex. The only thing that will be affected is how NXM (download) links are handled on the site, e.g. what application starts and downloads files when you click the "Download with manager" button on the site.

Vortex includes an "Import from NMM" and "Import from MO" functionality that will attempt to copy your mod setup from those respective mod managers. This is non-destructive and will not impact your setups.

Please be patient during the process, it might take a little while for Vortex to read your current mod setups if they're particularly large.

Because of the (now) archaic way that NMM handles files in the data folder, we recommend disabling any mods you have installed in NMM (or switching to an empty profile, that will in turn clear up any files NMM has placed in your game data folder) if your import to Vortex is successful. This is because Vortex and NMM both try to keep track of which files they've installed, and using multiple modding tools for the same game at the same time makes that difficult. If you need to revert back to NMM, you can simply disable Vortex and reapply your NMM profile to return your setup to how it was before.

As always, please backup your current modding setups in case the worst happens. Ensure you create a safe copy of your mod installations somewhere else so that you can restore from this backup in case of a problem, and ensure you know how to restore these backups properly before you attempt to use Vortex.



How should I provide feedback?

Vortex contains a feedback and bug reporting system built in to the software, which can be access from the menu in the top-right corner. If you experience issues while using the software please report them using these methods, providing detailed information about what you were doing at the time the problem occured. This is the direct line to Tannin and the fastest way of getting any bugs spotted and fixed.

If you post your bugs in the forums or elsewhere, without using the bug reporting tools in Vortex, it's honestly not helpful to us. Feel free to discuss any bugs elsewhere, but at least ensure you give us a proper bug report from within Vortex first (if you can!).



A note on feedback

Please keep in mind that, currently, Tannin is the only developer working on Vortex and as such, we need to manage his time carefully. To us, it's more prudent that he spends the vast majority of his time actually working on Vortex to improve it, because every hour he spends responding to user feedback is an hour he hasn't spent working on Vortex itself. So while it's my hope we can respond to as much as possible, please be aware it's unlikely we're going to be able to respond to all feedback. We will read it all, however.

A common thing we're hearing at the moment between the Vortex release and the release of our new site redesign is this concept of "you don't listen to us". I want to take this time to nip this silly notion in the bud right now.

There is a big difference between not listening to what some of our users are saying and not acting on what some of our users are saying/asking for/outright rudely demanding. I guarantee you, we read all the feedback we receive on Vortex and on the site, but not acting on that feedback does not mean we do not listen.

We might not act or change something that you or multiple users request for a number of different reasons and you should not expect to always get your way. We need to cater for a user base of over 14 million users, some of whom may completely disagree with what you're saying or have completely different wants and needs to your own. Yes, we want to try and cater for all users, but sometimes that simply isn't feasible or possible.

If we agree changes need to be made, or even contemplate them, then you need to be aware that our to-do list is years long, and acting on your feedback might not be placed right at the top of the pile (nor is it just going to be dumped at the bottom). This, once again, does not mean we "do not listen" or that your feedback is not valued. Thank you for your understanding.


Is Vortex open source? Where can I get the source code?

We plan to release the source code to Vortex as soon as possible. You will see the repos show up on GitHub, step-by-step, probably over a day or two. I shall update this news post and we shall post in the Vortex Code Development forums when they're ready.



I've read all of this and I'm sure I'd like to use and help test Vortex. Where can I get it?

Vortex can be found via the "Nexus Mods" game page where we've setup a special mod page just for Vortex. 

 

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I was able to grab the installer in time and installed it. I added Skyrim SE to its management and right off the bat, it disabled all of my mods and screwed up the load order. I'd like to be able to use it specifically for installing mods that need a Fomod, but it doesnt seem possible at this early point. Uninstalling it. I prefer Wrye Bash and would like to use WB as the only mod management program and hopefully it will get Fomod support soon. I see no use for Vortex, with the exception of games that WB does not support.

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Questions not understood :

"Beside" means "at the side of" or "next to", how do you get loose files next to BSAs ?, and in what context, are we talking about some kind of side by side list?

And I should imagine you can do anything you want before ("prior to") doing your next action with another mod?

Confused what you are asking in both cases.

I think you may be asking does Vortex do any of the advanced features the abandoned MO used to, like files from BSAs overriding loose files contrary to Bethesda's Load Ordering = I dont think it does.

I cant imagine anyone in their right mind would consider giving the replacement for Nexus Mod Manager (Simple manager for less advanced users) anything so powerful as to literally drive all mod authors nuts with all the complex issues it would cause. Tannin regretted including that feature in MO which he abandoned, I cant see it being a thing in Vortex.

I havent got the new Vortex yet, so cant say if it has VFS, but I think if it isn't already, that may be planned as an ability to switch on later on in development, so that Profiles will be a thing.

 

I just hope now that they are insisting on it being installed in the system partition, that any downloaded mod installers are stored in Documents somewhere so they can be easily relocated off the system partition and backed up. Wish it was portable with its settings stored in its own folder, but I am not likely to be a long term user of it anyway so my opinion doesnt matter, I will check my mods scripting FOMod for compatability and then probably uninstall it again preferring Wrye Bash to do everything. There is definitely a need for yet another generation of OBMM though with a few tricks up its sleeve for the majority of users who want a simple to use Mod Manager.

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Sorry, sometimes I don't find the right words, I prefer German :) Let me explain with some examples:

1.
I install Mod1, no loose files, only BSA. Then I install Mod2, which has only loose textures that are in the BSA of Mod1 too, but a little bit altered.

Question: Do the loose textures 'win' everytime? I hope so.

 

2.
I install Mod3 with a huge bunch of loose textures. Then I install Mod4 which another bunch of textures. There are 20 conflicting textures but I want to decide each of them to be overwritten or not.

Is this possible with Vortex? NMM has this feature and it is very important for me.

 

Thank you.

 

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Loose files should win every time. That's how the games have always been designed to work.

No idea if Vortex is going to ask you on every single loose file if you want to overwrite it or not, but if it's as bad at handling these things as NMM is, it won't be useful for it to do that anyway.

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Everything I've seen so far tells me their design was targeted at the lowest-common denominator. It lacks basic mod manager functionality and looks like the ModDrop and CurseForge clients had a deformed baby.

A few screenshots courtesy of the Reddit thread:

Spoiler

FFDQuiY.pngKpbpRVH.png

 

To wit: there is no manual sorting of plugins by design. They are expecting the end user to rely entirely on LOOT to manage load order. Mind you, most people will still use Wrye Bash to manually tweak their final load order, but I'm kind of concerned what kinds of headaches and support issues this thing is going to cause for the Bash and LOOT teams.

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"...there is no manual sorting of plugins by design..."

I do not know how to other people but for me this "convenience" completely eliminates Vortex as a useful modmanager.

Another great idea just like this shitty virtual system in MO and NMM.

Congratulations to developers for common sense.

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I really don't get the reasoning behind why they chose to leave out manual load order adjustment. That's such a basic feature. Both Tannin and Darkone are vigorously defending this position and it's just bizarre to watch.

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From the Changelog I am guessing its the first entry on the list of changes brought by 0.12.8

https://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/6360526-current-version-0128-released-on-622018/

"added extension to lock mods to a specific mod index" - Maybe an extension called Plugin pinning?

Which considering OldMansBeards topic solves his need to move things where he wants without having to set rules LOOT fashion.

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12 hours ago, fireundubh said:

From what Arthmoor is saying, Vortex doesn't sound too great. More frustrating Tannin decisions. Not really surprised.

Also not sure why @alt3rn1ty said Mod Organizer is abandoned. It is open source, getting updates, and now fully works for me.

One day when I have tried Vortex I will probably form my own opinions too, not sure if Arthmoor has tried it yet but I dont think so.

Have you tried it yet fireundubh?.

 

MO original as far as I know was abandoned by Tannin, MO2 development has been taken over by LePresidente.

 

See this topic, first post ..

Quote

Dear MO users,

As you may have already read on the Nexus news (http://www.nexusmods...im/news/12905/?), I've recently joined their ranks.

If you haven't read it yet: Yeah that happened.

Over the coming weeks and months we will keep the community informed on what we're planning
and working on for the future of NMM but right now many of you may be more concerned with
what this means for MO.

First I want to assure you that the primary reason of Robin hiring me was to take advantage of my experience with MO and to integrate it into the Nexus offering, not to kill off MO.

And the primary reason for me to take the job was that it will allow me to invest serious time into creating a better modding experience when previously it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to find time and motivation to work on MO in my spare time alongside a demanding job.

Obviously I won't be working on MO any more which unfortunately means that, unless someone else picks up where I left, MO v2 won't appear in a stable version. I know that will appear as a loss now and I apologize to everyone who was looking forward to a new release.

I do hope however that you trust me, and everyone else at Nexus Mods, to understand what you liked about MO.

I'm confident that with what we're planning you won't be missing MO for long.

My bold,

That sounded pretty final to me.

And here is where LePresidente took over MO2 in this topic

So yes its open source, and MO2 has been taken over, but the original MO was abandoned by its author.

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I have not tried it, but I've been keeping an eye on conversations and discussion about it enough to know that it relies exclusively on LOOT and its rules system to handle everything about load order. I don't really NEED to try it to know this is overcomplicating things needlessly. Drag n Drop load order management is a basic feature of all mod managers, including MO and MO2, so a whole lot of people don't understand why he's going down this road.

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20 minutes ago, Arthmoor said:

I have not tried it, but I've been keeping an eye on conversations and discussion about it enough to know that it relies exclusively on LOOT and its rules system to handle everything about load order. I don't really NEED to try it to know this is overcomplicating things needlessly. Drag n Drop load order management is a basic feature of all mod managers, including MO and MO2, so a whole lot of people don't understand why he's going down this road.

It's because LOOT never makes mistakes, so why would you need to manually arrange anything? :teehee:

I don't think a lowest-common-denominator mod manager is a bad thing, but it would be better if it offered some path up the complexity scale, otherwise it risks being useless the minute a mod user starts doing anything non-trivial. Then again, I'm just going on the opinions stated above, I haven't heard anything else about Vortex, so I might have things wrong.

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Well, honestly, Tannin's responses actually do seem to imply that LOOT is infallible to some extent. He's even hinted at the possibility of Vortex letting people submit their rules into the masterlists in some way. I think that's asking an awful lot, especially since he says he's never even talked to you about this at all. The possibility for contradictory data alone means it could never work the way he's envisioning.

I don't know if you're interested or not, but this thread may shed some light on things: https://forums.nexusmods.com/index.php?/topic/6357846-giving-up-on-vortex-for-now/

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7 hours ago, alt3rn1ty said:

MO original as far as I know was abandoned by Tannin, MO2 development has been taken over by LePresidente.

I thought you meant MO itself was abandoned, as in not being worked on by anybody and not receiving updates. Tannin may have started the project, but open source projects can have many different lead maintainers over their lifetimes.

MO2 is a fork of MO, but that's a conceit of how GitHub works. MO2 is MO albeit in the hands of a different lead maintainer with a more open approach to community contributions. My two cents.

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MO and MO2 are two completely separate programs. MO is 32-bit and was essentially finished about 2 years ago. Tannin developed 64-bit MO2 for FO4, but he left it to work on Vortex before it was made usable for Skyrim. That's what is still being worked on. Regardless of its subsequent development, I don't trust it and won't use it for anything except installing fomods in order to make a simple BAIN for WB. MO (both versions) is great for that. 

I read the thread that Arthmoor linked, and also the latest announcement thread on Nexus. Tannin's basic justification seems to be "people used this function incorrectly in MO, so I will remove their ability to use it at all." And I remember a comment he made in the "Ramifications of BSA extraction" thread on S.T.E.P. forum years ago, that less user control is generally a good thing. From his perspective, as the primary one who has to to deal with user-error-generated "bug" reports, that might be the right approach. And he has pointed to Vortex's ability to use extensions as the solution to people who want different functions. But it appears that Vortex is not going to be the all-in-one solution for all types of users, at least at first. 

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