Dec 1, 2011

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Bethesda Reveals Plan for Future Skyrim Updates

Bethesda Reveals Plan for Future Skyrim Updates

It’s been a rocky start for Bethesda’s epic RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which launched on November 11 to both critical acclaim and a deluge of technical issues that early purchasers were forced to deal with. From game-breaking framerate drops on PS3 to texture issues on Xbox 360, the problems have hit home for everyone. Even PC players have been struggling, with game freezes and control problems arising periodically. Skyrim’s long-awaited second patch arrived this week for all three platforms, and so far reception has been mixed: some issues have been fixed while new problems have arisen.

In an effort to reach out to fans and raise confidence in the game’s future, the official Bethesda Blog has posted a detailed plan for future patches and updates while thanking gamers for their patience. Among the announcements are the introduction of the Creation Kit for modders, Steamworks functionality, and a series of updates that will focus on technical problems first before branching off to gameplay and quest bugs and balancing. Bethesda had this to say about the Creation Kit and Steam Workshop integration:

Beginning in January, PC players will be able to download the same development tools we used at Bethesda Game Studios to create Skyrim. In tandem with the Creation Kit’s release, we will roll out a new Wiki and videos to help you get started. It also features something we think you’re going to love…

We’re excited to share news that we’ve been working closely with Valve to integrate Steam Workshop into the Creation Kit. Using the Workshop, you’ll have free user content with the push of a button. The Creation Kit will bundle your mod and upload it to the Workshop, where everyone can browse, rate, and flag mods for download. You’ll be able to do this from any web device, including your smartphone. Like a live Netflix queue, when you fire up Skyrim, mods you flagged will be automatically downloaded and installed. Everyone here is really excited about the opportunities and possibilities this opens up for our entire community.

If you prefer installing your mods manually and are worried that Steam integration might complicate mod interaction, don’t worry. Bethesda has promised that gamers will still be able upload, share, and access Skyrim mods through fan-created mod sites.

Furthermore, the blog post details that another Skyrim patch for all three platforms will be arriving next week. From here on out, gamers can expect the PC version to receive updates more quickly than consoles due to the need for patch certification by Sony and Microsoft. Next week’s update will address magic resistance issues and backwards-flying dragons that have arisen since Patch 1.02, among other concerns. Expect full patch notes when the update goes live.

Finally, Bethesda states that future updates will be divided in two types. The first is small incremental updates that will address quest bugs, gameplay exploits, and balancing issues. The second type is larger title updates that focus on a variety of concerns. Right now, the company is prioritizing code fixes for issues like framerate and performance, but gamers can expect a deluge of data fixes addressing quests and balancing in January.

For more details, hit up the official Bethesda Blog. In the meantime, stay tuned to Vivid Gamer for Skyrim news, and let us know what you think of the game and Bethesda’s plans in the comments below.