Like a lot of people in the Bethesda mod scene, I'm not exactly a huge fan of the Steam Workshop for mod distribution. Threads on that have been done to death, so I'll preface this post by saying that I trust you all know that the Steam workshop is not necessarily optimal for building large and stable load orders. However, there is one thing that the Workshop has all over Nexus, and that is genuine discoverability. There are a number of games that I play where the Workshop is *the* spot to host mods, and external mod sites (including the Nexus) are so much less popular that they're virtually impossible to use as your primary source of mods for those games. Let's start with the Nexus search, and how I feel it makes it incredibly hard for new (and great!) mods to shine. For that, let's look at the UI for the top files section: We have five categories to choose from on how to filter our mods. *Most endorsed files in the last two weeks* *Most endorsed recently added files* *Most endorsed files of all-time* *Most endorsed files of all-time (non-adult)* *Most endorsed files of all-time (adult-only)* Which sounds great! The problem... SkyUI and CBBE top four out of five of these lists. The rest of the mods in the top for each of these lists are the same familiar faces we've seen forever. The only list that actually has new mods is the "most endorsed recently added files" section. Huh? What about "most endorsed files in the last two weeks"? Shouldn't that have recent mods at the top as well? No, because "in the last two weeks" does not mean "mods that have been released in the past two weeks", and since SkyUI still gets endorsements, it stays at the top of the list. Besides "recently added" and "adult-only", four of these five lists are virtually identical. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where the mods that are at the top of the list early on stay at the top indefinitely, compounding more and more downloads and endorsements as time goes on. To make matters worse, in the "mods" [dropdown menu]( that shows these different sections of the site, there's also "most endorsed". This, once again, takes users immediately to the most endorsed all-time. Two of the five options in this dropdown menu are specifically suited to looking at old mods, not new ones. This is IN CONTRAST with how the Steam Workshop works. See the box I've highlighted? This filters by the most popular mods of today, one week, three months, six months, one year, or all time. As you filter through these different options, you end up with six wildly different lists of mods. "All time" works as every category does on the Nexus, providing users one place to see all the top dogs. But if you filter to 1 year or less, it shows only mods that have been *released* in that timeframe. This makes in an absolute dream to go through mods that have come up from the last time you've played. Going back to the Nexus, the master "Browse all mods" section works the way that the Steam Workshop does: If you filter by 1 year, it shows only mods that were published in the last year, like the Steam Workshop. This is great! The categories section works the same way: This is great! In my mind, these sections are the only good way to browse for mods on the Nexus, as the top files section is too slanted toward early releases and mods with historic popularity in the community, and not toward discovering new mods. "But Robbie, you fool! If there's a good spot to browse mods on the Nexus already, who cares? Just use the browse all or the categories menu!" I hear you typing. **This. Is. Bad. For. New. And. Casual. Users.** I cannot even begin to tell you how many people I've personally interacted with who are either getting into modding Skyrim for the first time, or for the first time in a while. Do you know what they click? It isn't "browse all". It's "top files". People want to come back and grab the stuff that's at the top, so of course they go to the top files. And what happens? They end up with the same 15 mods in every load order. Heck, what inspired my post today was me talking to a buddy who's going to mod Skyrim for the first time in a while and him actually saying to me that he expected more new mods, but that it was all the same stuff at the top. He thought the modding community had just died down and that not much new had come out in that time, because he clicked "most endorsed in the last two weeks" and saw the same old faces. With the rant out of the way, here is the solution that I think would be best: - A redesign of the "top files" section that functions much more closely to the "browse all" and the "mod categories" sections, where defining a date range displays only mods that were *released* in that time, not mods that were *still receiving endorsements at that time." - Reduce the "top files" section down to categories that work like the Workshop/the other categories of the mod site, and leave only one "Most-endorsed files of all time" section (which you can filter to adult + non-adult, adult-only, or non-adult only after clicking into) - Adding a most-downloaded section to the top files, so that users can choose between mods with the highest endorsements, or mods that have actually been downloaded the most. Both searches can be valuable, but only one is available from the top files section. - Alternatively, *get rid of the top files section altogether*, and have one master browse section that allows users to filter by top all-time if they want. This works fine for the Workshop, and genuinely makes it easier for casual/new/returning users to see what the community has been up to recently, instead of what they did six years ago. I look back at the mods that have been released in the past year, or two years, or three years, and I really appreciate how much great work the community is still putting out. But when I hear of people overlooking that work because they think top files is the place to look, and that the top files section actively punishes new mods, it's frustrating. I know how to find all the good stuff because I've been using the Nexus for a long time, and I really don't think this issue is a usability one. It's more that the Nexus might underestimate which tools users use to discover new mods, and (at least in my anecdotal experience) how dominant the top files section can be. Meanwhile, I look back on the last few years of mods for games like XCOM 2 and Tabletop Simulator, and I feel like I haven't skipped a beat. It's so easy to figure out what people were playing this time last year that it's easy to catch up on with the power of good filters. Whereas Skyrim top mods feel like a revolving door, mods on the workshop feel more like a passing of the torch: eventually, larger mods slow down as most everybody already has tried them, and newer mods have the opportunity to fill in the void and feed a community that's always hungry for more content, Some simple remedies could go a long way toward giving new mods and new mod authors a bigger shot at getting some well-earned recognition and popularity. While my post has some suggestions in it, the real purpose of this thread is to see how other members of the community feel about this. Maybe I'm the only one who thinks it's a problem... but only one way to find out. Incoherent rambling... complete! I apologize in advance if none of this makes any sense. EDIT: And just to be clear, the Nexus is still without question my favorite distribution platform for mods. I genuinely believe that they have gone above and beyond for both users and authors. But nothing is perfect, and there's always room for improvement.