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I think those of us who are playing Skyrim here at The Critical Table are all under the same general opinion that, while a tremendously fun and amazing game, The Elder Scrolls V is a glitchy, buggy mess. The newest patch, which released earlier in the week, was supposed to address some of the more nagging issues that gamers have been experiencing. Here it is from Bethesda themselves:

UPDATE 1.2 NOTES (all platforms unless specified)

  • Improved occasional performance issues resulting from long term play (PlayStation 3)
  • Fixed issue where textures would not properly upgrade when installed to drive (Xbox 360)
  • Fixed crash on startup when audio is set to sample rate other than 44100Hz (PC)
  • Fixed issue where projectiles did not properly fade away
  • Fixed occasional issue where a guest would arrive to the player’s wedding dead
  • Dragon corpses now clean up properly
  • Fixed rare issue where dragons would not attack
  • Fixed rare NPC sleeping animation bug
  • Fixed rare issue with dead corpses being cleared up prematurely
  • Skeleton Key will now work properly if player has no lockpicks in their inventory
  • Fixed rare issue with renaming enchanted weapons and armor
  • Fixed rare issue with dragons not properly giving souls after death
  • ESC button can now be used to exit menus (PC)
  • Fixed occasional mouse sensitivity issues (PC)
  • General functionality fixes related to remapping buttons and controls (PC)

After releasing the 1.2 update, we will continue to monitor forums, blogs, etc. for issues you are reporting, and we will keep you updated on further updates to improve your gameplay experience.

Thanks for playing Skyrim.

What Bethesda seemed to leave out of their list of updates is that patch 1.2 also completely nullifies all elemental attributes in the game. Happen to run into a Flame Atronach? Go ahead and throw a firebolt at it. It’ll do just as much damage as frostbite. Did you enchant a Skyforge Steel sword with frost damage? That’s cool. Your sword is only going to do its base damage and completely ignore the elemental buff. Oh, and those racial bonuses for playing as a Nord or Dunmer? Yep, you guessed it. Gone.

Hey, Mr. Nord. You might want to put on some long-sleeved armor. I heard it's gonna get chilly.

Additionally, there are still rampant issues with freezing and crashing being reported. The issue seems to affect PC players more than anyone else.

If there’s a positive, it’s that Bethesda seemed to have listened to Courtney. They certainly notched up the difficulty on the dragon battles. Unfortunately, they did so by making the dragons fly backwards and refuse to engage you in combat.

Thankfully, fighting dragons isn’t necessarily a major plot point or anything.

The good news is that Bethesda is obviously aware of the issues, and is working on fixing them as quickly as possible.

Continued Game Updates – This week we released update 1.2 across all platforms, and we’ll be releasing an incremental update next week. We anticipate it will be up on PC first, and then hit PS3 and Xbox 360 later in the week. Among other things, the update will fix issues like magic resistance not calculating properly and the rare, amazing backwards flying dragon. Once the update is released, we’ll share the full release notes.

After the holidays, we’ll continue to release regular updates for the game — through full title updates, as well as incremental “gameplay updates” to fix whatever issues come up along with rebalancing portions of the game for difficulty or exploits. We plan on having a lot of these, not just a few. Overall, you should expect updates to be hitting the PC and Steam earlier and more often, as that’s a process we control. Console updates will follow, as they must be certified and processed by those manufacturers.

We all know this is a huge game, and everyone has a different experience. We’ll continue to do everything we can to make the game better and better for as many people as possible every day. We’ve also realized that with the millions upon millions of people playing Skyrim, we need to treat our updates with greater care. If we get too aggressive trying to fix a minor issue, we run a risk of breaking something larger in a game like this. To be safe, we are prioritizing code side fixes right now over data fixes. Quest and balance issues are usually data, and those will start rolling in a large way with the January updates.

On the one hand, I am not a fan of the whole “fuck it, we can patch it later” method of game development that’s becoming increasingly more prevalent these days. On the other hand, I can’t understand why anyone is surprised that the new sprawling epic from Bethesda has bugs and glitches. They’re sort of infamous for it by this point. It’s not necessarily their fault.

Anyone who knows how the development cycle works understands that there is a tremendous amount of pressure to get a game out on schedule and under budget. Bethesda is constantly pushing the envelope as far as what they can cram into a single game. In some regards, other game developers should be ashamed of themselves when comparing their works to Bethesda. I’ve done more cool shit in the 20 hours I’ve spent on Skyrim than I did in the 20 hours it took me to beat L.A. Noire. By the way, L.A. Noire is a THREE DISC GAME.

We should all be thankful that Bethesda is committed to resolving these issues for us. They are clearly passionate about their game and about their fans. They’re making it right as quickly as they can. In fact, the only reason dragons are flying backwards right now is because they were trying to fix other stuff that was wrong with the game. Yes, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about that because there’d be no bugs. But in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to have my news feed clogged with a bunch of unemployed, neck-bearded mouth-breathers screaming for the blood of Todd Howard’s firstborn son as atonement. Or maybe they were calling to file a class action lawsuit. One or the other.

We all know Skyrim isn’t perfect. Can the glitches be annoying? Of course. But there’s no point in continuing to beat a dead mammoth. If the glitches bother you so much that you consider the game unplayable? Don’t play it! Sell your copy back to GameStop and play something else. It’s really that simple. Honestly? The rest of us in the Skyrim community? We won’t miss you at all. We’ll be too busy enjoying ourselves playing the game of the year to even notice you’re gone.

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