The Steam update is available now, with an Xbox 360 and PS3 patch incoming soon.
The strength of Skyrim is in its open-ended gameplay, not the sometimes surreal bugs that crop up. We fantasy gamers are willing to tolerate magic spells tossing fireballs of death and huge reptilian beasts flying through the northern sky, but if those dragons fly backwards, that's just weird. After we reported on such anomalies last week, Bethesda said that a new patch fixing those issues would be beamed up on Steam on a future date. Well, that day has come as firing up Skyrim on Steam will start the auto-updater downloading patch 1.3. On their official forums, Bethesda said the team submitted the same patch to Microsoft and Sony for review and those platforms should have an update soon.
Most of the nagging issues seems to have been dealt with with this patch, including the two biggest problems created by 1.2 - the backwards flying dragons and resistance buffs not working as advertised. It also looks like the problem people have had with books disappearing from shelves might have been fixed. Good, because I've been busy collecting every book I find with which to decorate my house in Whiterun - as soon as I save up the 5000 gold - and I didn't want lose them all to some stupid code. Now, a Khajiit thief sneaking in to nab my books, that's totally cool.
Bethesda has made the game run even better on systems with Core 2 Duo CPUs, which most modern gaming computers would have by now, so that seems like a good thing even if I'd love to have that be done before launch. Perhaps more importantly, Bethesda included a note saying they are working on utilizing the full 4 gigs of virtual memory address space available, essentially negating the need for mods like 4 GigSkyrim. "We're also planning on rolling out support for 4-Gigabyte Tuning (Large Address Aware) next week for our PC users," said Bethesda. In laymen's terms, using more memory will make the game run faster and decrease loadtimes on the PC. So we got that going for us.
As for the PS3 users with big save files, it doesn't look like patch 1.3 will help fix the slowdown issues you've been having. Maybe next week?
Here are the full notes for Skyrim patch 1.3:
- General stability improvements
- Optimize performance for Core 2 Duo CPUs (PC)
- Fixed Radiant Story incorrectly filling certain roles
- Fixed magic resistances not calculating properly
- Fixed issue with placing books on bookshelves inside player purchased homes
- Fixed dragon animation issues with saving and loading
- Fixed Y-look input to scale correctly with framerate