Bethesda Details Skyrim's "Legendary" 1.9 Patch

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Bethesda Details Skyrim's "Legendary" 1.9 Patch

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The next patch for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim raises the game's level cap, but this addition is neither as straightfoward, nor as exciting as you might expect.

This morning Bethesda Softworks debuted the beta version of the upcoming 1.9 patch for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Valve Software's ubiquitous Steam digital distribution platform. Full details on what the patch changes and adds to the game were then published on Bethesda's official blog. The good news is that this patch finally raises the game's level cap. The bad news is that to accomplish this, Bethesda had to employ a very esoteric solution.

Alright, here's how things work: If you've played Skyrim in the past, you're no doubt aware that the game eschews a traditional leveling system in favor of raising a player's strength through individual skills. Swing a sword at skeletons long enough and your ability to murder said bony jerks will increase. On paper it sounds pretty simple, but this system throws a massive spanner into any attempts to raise the game's non-existent "level cap."

Instead of merely bumping up the available number of levels, Bethesda opted to swipe a page from Activision's Call of Duty play book. Once you've downloaded the 1.9 patch, you'll find that any skills you've raised to the top of the game's 100 point system can now be reverted to level 15. This both denotes the skill as a "Legendary Skill," and allows players to further enhance their abilities beyond the original high water mark. As Bethesda points out, this "effectively removes the overall level cap," though it seems to only change the numbers your character is able to generate. To put it more simply, improving your sword fighting skills beyond that 100 point limit is now possible, but will only increase the amount of damage that particular skill is capable of generating and won't offer you new skills or any special attack animations.

It's a fix, but as far as "raising Skyrim's level cap," this is probably the simplest (read: least time-intensive) method Bethesda could have possibly employed.

As we stated above, the patch is still in beta and is thus only currently available to those playing the PC iteration of Skyrim. As of now there's no word on when this patch might be applied to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game, though we'd expect it appear on the former in short order. PlayStation 3 fans are used to a dearth of additional Skyrim content, so at this point we won't even speculate on when that game might be patched. At best, we expect it alongside the Xbox 360 game, but if history is any indicator Sony devotees could be waiting until mid-2014 to enjoy the new Legendary Skills.

Widely disappointing news aside, the patch also brings with a huge number of welcome bug fixes. Have a look:

BUG FIXES

-General memory and stability improvements
-Fixed issue with quest scripts that were not shutting down properly
-Companions will equip better weapons and armor if given to them
-Fixed rare issue where player is unable to learn the Clear Skies shout during "The Throat of the World"
-Fixed rare instance where Alduin would become invincible during "Alduin's Bane"
-Fixed a rare issue where player could become stuck in Night Mother's coffin during "Death Incarnate"
-Fixed rare issue where protected companions could be killed from poison damage
-Fixed rare issue with certain ash piles left from resurrected NPCs not clearing properly
-Fixed rare issue with NPCs and creatures respawning improperly after player fast travels
-Fixed rare crash when entering Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
-Fixed rare crash when entering a player owned home
-Random dragon attacks will no longer occur during "Battle for Whiterun"
-Fixed a rare crash when attempting to save your game during "Waking Nightmare"
-Fixed issue where "Glory of the Undead" would not start properly if player is in combat with Eorlund Gray-Mane
-The white phial is no longer consumed if given to a follower
-If player marries Aela, the "Totem of Hircine" quest will be available
-Unused briar hearts can be dropped after finishing "The White Phial"
-Fixed issue with paying off a crime against the Companions that prevented player from getting Companions quests properly
-Thieves Guild caches are now properly enabled in the appropriate cities
-The Dragon Infusion perk now works properly when taking Esbern's Potion
-Cragslane Cave properly resets if player receives a radiant quest to clear it out
-Fixed rare issue with bounty quest objectives not properly clearing after completion
-Gallus' Encoded Journal is no longer a quest item after completing the Thieves Guild
-In "No Stone Unturned" Vex will now accept Unusual Gems if you've collected them all before starting the quest
-Vekel the Man now gives rewards for completing "Toying with The Dead"
-Fixed rare issue with being unable to turn in stolen items in "The Litany of Larceny"
-Fixed issue with followers becoming over-encumbered after being repeatedly rehired
-Fixed rare issue with visiting Kynesgrove on horseback not progressing "A Blade in the Dark" properly
-Fixed issue with receiving a duplicate radiant quest from a Jarl
-Fixed conflict with clearing Driftshade Sanctuary before starting "Trouble in Skyrim"
-Fixed issue with using shouts while in jail and having guards unlock the jail cell
-Fixed rare issue with quest NPCs not properly moving to quest locations
-Fixed issue with NPCs not selling master level spells
-Fixed rare issue where player gets control locked outside the Thalmor Embassy at the start of "Diplomatic Immunity"
-Fixed rare issue with disappearing containers after upgrades in player owned house
-Fixed issue with being erroneously attacked while as a werewolf during "Ill Met By Moonlight"
-The Ebony Blade is now only improved by two handed perks
-Locked door to Proudspire Manor can now be unlocked by proper key
-Fixed issue with merchants not receiving the proper additional gold with the Investor perk
-Fixed a rare issue where the player would be unable to learn a word after leaving for several days during "The Way of The Voice"
-The Nord Hero Bow can now be improved
-The Purity perk no longer requires the Experimenter perk
-Fixed rare instance where Lovers Comfort would not be applied properly
-If you approach Frostmere Crypt from the north, "The Pale Lady" will start properly
-Fixed rare issue where player could be prevented from speaking with Atub to start "The Cursed Tribe"
-Fixed rare issue where a dragon could appear in the Mind of a Madman realm and kill the player
-Fixed instance where player could get stuck in Japhet's Folly
-Fixed rare instances where Arngeir would not teach Worldwind Sprint
-Fixed issue with "Ill Met By Moonlight" if Sinding dies before the quest starts
-Gharol can now properly train up to level 75
-Fixed conflict with visiting The Karthspire before starting "Alduin's Wall"
-Reduced the instance of random dragon attacks after fast traveling post main quest
-Recruited Blades now have appropriate dialogue while at Sky Haven Temple
-Fixed rare issue where an incorrect dungeon could appear as a location during "Totems of Hircine"
-Fixed rare instance in "Fetch me that Book" where books found before getting the quest would not be properly recognized
-Fixed rare issue with traveling to Thalmor Embassy with companions during "Diplomatic Immunity"
-Fixed issues with Matching Set perk not working properly with certain pieces of armor
-Fixed issues with Custom Fit perk not working properly with certain pieces of armor
-Fixed issue with NPC dying in a bear trap blocking progress in "Time of My Need"
-Fixed rare issue with swinging door becoming stuck and blocking an entrance in Volunruud
-Imperial Light Armor can now be crafted
-Fixed issue with "Vald's Debt" where Vald was not leveled properly
-Fixed issue with Vilkas not giving proper greeting after completing "Battle for Whiterun"
-Fixed issue with respawning actors that were raised by using the Ritual Stone power
-Fixed issue with the Ancient Knowledge perk not calculating properly
-The Palace of Kings now has patrolling guards on upper floors
-Reduce percentage chance of getting a werewolf loading screen while player is a werewolf
-Pantea's flute is no longer a quest item after completing "Pantea's Flute"
-Placing an unread Oghma Infinium on a bookshelf in the player's house no longer allows the book to be reused again
-Adjusted dialogue priority to improve chances of hearing more combat dialogue from certain NPC enemies
-Fixed issue with falling damage on high difficulty levels
-Fixed bad collision on certain clutter objects
-Fixed rare instance of couriers who would appear only dressed in a hat

Source: Bethesda Blog

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The real excitement(or whatever other positive emotion you want to use) comes from the knowledge that Bethesda is still willing to patch the game instead of simply abandoning it as is more often the case these days.

Scars Unseen:
The real excitement(or whatever other positive emotion you want to use) comes from the knowledge that Bethesda is still willing to patch the game instead of simply abandoning it as is more often the case these days.

Bethesda only finishes a game when it releases the next one.

-Placing an unread Oghma Infinium on a bookshelf in the player's house no longer allows the book to be reused again

Aww, that was fun -_-

Otherwise, this level cap thingy is strange, but I can't say its a bad idea.

This is a good change and far from disappointing imo. As is if you wanted to level up to face the higher content such as Legendary Dragons or the Ebony Warrior you'd be forced to level all your skills including the ones that you either hate or don't fit into your character's "design". This change allows you to just keep using/leveling what you want while still progressing. Hopefully it carries over to the next Fallout and they allow you level skills beyond 100 instead of again dumping them into skills you don't use or want.

They also could've just done the same thing a thousand mods already do, allow skills to go over 100. This whole legendary skill nonsense is just silly.

It's been over a year past release...and Blood on the Ice still hasn't been fixed.

So does a skill being legendary actually do anything, or is this just the most pointless thing ever?

-Fixed rare instance of couriers who would appear only dressed in a hat

Awwww, it was always funny to see some guy who was next-to-naked come running up the road to Winterhold just to tell me that they had something that was for "my hands only".

Really not sure how I feel about this whole "legendary skills" thing. Then again, the only skills I ever got to 100 was my thief/assassin's bow and stealth skills. I was feeling pretty overpowered by that point.

Damn, I've never ever hit the level cap with any of my 20+ characters.
Was this really a problem?
Regardless, cool addition I suppose.

Now I'm worried about what mods this will break...

Like SkyRe with the Uncapper.

Ghonzor:
It's been over a year past release...and Blood on the Ice still hasn't been fixed.

I've finished that quest multiple times over different patches and there is always a way to make it advance properly.

It amazes me they're still making patches for a game so old, considering that companies like Ubisoft can't be bothered to fix much needed bugs in games like Zombie U almost straight after release.

I'll have to see about the new level cap thing. At least it will mean I can distinguish which of my max leveled skills are the ones I am actually a master in (since I went ahead and mastered nearly all of them, which kind of kills immersion a little).

Still, there are still some glitches that haven't been listed in there that I don't think have been fixed yet:

- Skjor still being alive.
- The huge amount of Louis Letroush clones I have outside Whiterun.
- Pantea's flute is going to be fixed, but what about the lute and the drum?
- Vampires not being able to wear thieves hoods.
- I still can't get rid of that quest item amulet from the murder quest in Windhelm.
- The occasional textual glitch with the hood from the Nightingale armour set being lighter than it should.
- The game still counting me as a werewolf with NPC dialogue and the stat counter still rising, when I cured it within only four days of being one! It now says I'm at 350 days!

There's probably others, but these annoy me to no end. Were they fixed in other patches? I am on the PS3, so....

Making a leveling system that didn't rely entirely on grinding in the first place would have been nice...

Ghonzor:
It's been over a year past release...and Blood on the Ice still hasn't been fixed.

if you are on the PC the unofficial patches have had that one fixed for a while now

or the outer option is not to do the Dark brotherhood quest in windhelm before getting that one

The last time Beth added an unusual uncalled for feature into a free patch rather than DLC I had to hunt for a Mod to disable it (ranged and magic killcams). This new leveling feature will undoubtedly be another. It makes 0 sense to be able to continually improve a skill beyond 100 @ least via conventional methods and is not only a bit of an immersion breaker it totally kills my Nord mage whom I've been playing off and on since release via ruining his whole reason to be role played.(he has over 300 hours on him alone and still has a few unexplored locations and has not yet been to Solstheim as I have not bought it and has not killed Alduin as I"m waiting for all DLC to be released as killing Alduin is the last thing he will do)
His purpose since day 1 long before Dragonborn got released was to constantly search for power albeit without stealing or consorting with undead. He would become Archmage of the College, leader of the Dark Brotherhood, thane in 5 of the holds, a member of the Dawnguard, and 3 behind Ulfric and Galmar for leadership in the Stormcloaks. He since day 1 has slowly gotten all his magic abilities, alchemy, enchanting, and ability to make armor to the highest they could go through mortal means. And so even before Dragonborn he had been searching for a way to get into Hermaeous Mora's good graces so he could give him some more forbidden power than just the Oghma Infinitum. And once Dragonborn got on sale for me he would be able to see his goals accomplished.
To find out that now through mortal means he can never ever make his skills be perfect and stop leveling up which is what drove him to Mora long before even Dragonborn got announced to be able to continue his search for power via forbidden knowledge.
His goals now sadly can no longer be possible @ least upon the next patch because of Bethesda's dumbass decision with the leveling.

Seriously fuck you Bethesda for basically killing my character I've spent hundreds of hours in. Fuck you for destroying his reason to be role played his very being. I sure as fuck hope a modder can revert this back to pre 1.9 leveling. Otherwise I will no longer be able to play this character. And if that happens I may as well stop playing Skyrim altogether. Bethesda killed Loki via shenanigans the character I've played longer than any other in any game. And I'm not as attached to my other characters to continue playing them after this shit. I've been on Bethesda's side for a long time but after the shit of delaying Dragonborn for 2 months (which is why I'm waiting for a sale), all the fucking bugs in this game I've like a good little stooge willingly ignored and made excuses for, making a fucking Elder Scrolls MMO, and especially now this if no one fixes this dumbass decision by you I'll no longer buy any of your games and will be sad to say put you with EA, Capcom, Sony, and Ubisoft on my never buy games from list.

Fuck you Bethesda fuck you. No words can truly describe my anger right now @ you over this. @ least not words that can be used on this forum. /rant

Edit: Well crisis averted. Found out that leveling skills to legendary is thankfully optional. Good.

The Rogue Wolf:

-Fixed rare instance of couriers who would appear only dressed in a hat

Awwww, it was always funny to see some guy who was next-to-naked come running up the road to Winterhold just to tell me that they had something that was for "my hands only".

I will forever treasure those moments. I have never burst out laughing so sudden in any other game/movie/series/anything.

Cyrromatic:

The Rogue Wolf:

-Fixed rare instance of couriers who would appear only dressed in a hat

Awwww, it was always funny to see some guy who was next-to-naked come running up the road to Winterhold just to tell me that they had something that was for "my hands only".

I will forever treasure those moments. I have never burst out laughing so sudden in any other game/movie/series/anything.

While funny, it actually makes me wonder what kind of programming made this game. I mean completely naked I get, not appearing at all I get, getting stuck in door I get, but what set of circumstances happens that it's just a hat!?
But that is also why Skyrim (well Bethesda games) is the only single player game where it really does seem like the whole world keeps on running even after you turn off your computer.

Ghonzor:
It's been over a year past release...and Blood on the Ice still hasn't been fixed.

Wanna know whats worse? You know the Gildergleam quest? If you choose the sapling, the dead tree is supposed to disappear to make way for the sapling, but it doesn't and the sapling tree clips with the dead tree, an easily rectifiable problem (on PC, just use the console to get rid of the dead tree) but it is somehow NOT patched yet on consoles.

It's really not too bad, although adding one or two interesting new perks for each tree would have been cool, especially if you could only get them at a level OVER 100. That way you'd have more incentive to actually go Legendary.

piinyouri:
Damn, I've never ever hit the level cap with any of my 20+ characters.
Was this really a problem?
Regardless, cool addition I suppose.

Well, more so then just hitting the level cap, this allows players to bump up their level faster rather then pumping time and effort into skills they have little to no interest/investment in.

As far as I know there are 81 perks available in total for player use. But in practice, without exploits, getting all of them is a long road when you find yourself leveling skills you have no perks invested in (imagine trying to level destruction while you only have the capacity to use novice level skills at level 50). Trainers can only be used 5 times per level meaning by the time you reach 50 and are bringing the other skills up, you will be waiting a long as time to take on another trainer.

This is a great idea. A shame it doesn't open up the perk system, but making the vanilla perks more easily achieved without exploits is very welcome.

Also, a dozen fixes on that list are very welcome, especially the one where companions now equip better gear if given to them.

That's a LOT of bug fixes.

My favourite one to imagine is the last one. I'd totally use a courier wearing only a hat, whilst playing You sexy thing in the background.

-Fixed a rare issue where player could become stuck in Night Mother's coffin during "Death Incarnate"

Night Mother - I only wanted some company. One could only take Cicero's ramblings for so long...

-Fixed rare instance of couriers who would appear only dressed in a hat

Few things are creepier than a dude giving me a message, wearing just a hat and me wondering why his willy is free.

Ragsnstitches:

piinyouri:
Damn, I've never ever hit the level cap with any of my 20+ characters.
Was this really a problem?
Regardless, cool addition I suppose.

Well, more so then just hitting the level cap, this allows players to bump up their level faster rather then pumping time and effort into skills they have little to no interest/investment in.

As far as I know there are 81 perks available in total for player use. But in practice, without exploits, getting all of them is a long road when you find yourself leveling skills you have no perks invested in (imagine trying to level destruction while you only have the capacity to use novice level skills at level 50). Trainers can only be used 5 times per level meaning by the time you reach 50 and are bringing the other skills up, you will be waiting a long as time to take on another trainer.

This is a great idea. A shame it doesn't open up the perk system, but making the vanilla perks more easily achieved without exploits is very welcome.

Also, a dozen fixes on that list are very welcome, especially the one where companions now equip better gear if given to them.

Ah I see. I never try to get all the perks so that excludes me.
And I agree with the fixes. I've wanted a lot of those fixed since the game came out. I'm surprised Beth is still patching the game this far in to be honest. No complaints on that of course.

It took them this long to give a reward for Vekel's quest? Better late than never I guess.

Legendary skills seem cool. Now Sneak can fund all of my perks!

"Fixed rare instance/issue -insert bug here-"

Uh...none of those were ever fucking rare. In fact, they're more common than things actually going right. Also, I bet the Skyrim boards are up in flames over the Oghma Infinium fix. *goes to look*

Edit: Well... color me wrong. It's gotten like, one mention.

Actually, this is the most dramatic patch I have ever seen from Bethesda. For the most part, their patches are pure bug fixes. Generally, Bethesda hasn't been interested in the idea of "power gaming" having unabashedly made their rules systems broken to begin with. In Oblivion, without cheating and without abusing any bugs what-so-ever, you could give your character equipment which give him or her 100% magic resistance and 100% damage reflection, meaning that the only way to hurt your character was to fall off a really tall mountain or get hit with an arrow. In Morrowind, a disease you got during the main quest could be combined with an exploit using shrines to raise your physical stats to any level you want, and in those rules extremely high stats had an effect. Even in Skyrim, if your magic resistance is high enough and you are equipped well, there isn't a real challenge offered in the game's combat. Given this, that Bethesda is giving a nod to power gaming in order to enable you to gather more feats is a major change for the company. I guess it came about with Fallout 3 and the increases to the level cap offered there. I'm not so sure I am a fan of this decision. At any rate, it's a clear departure from their previous rules philosophy.

I feel like I've encountered most of the bugs they mentioned fixing.
This patch is much appreciated.

No mention of the fabled Fortify Restoration Potion bug?

"Working as Intended," I suppose?

grigjd3:
Actually, this is the most dramatic patch I have ever seen from Bethesda. For the most part, their patches are pure bug fixes. Generally, Bethesda hasn't been interested in the idea of "power gaming" having unabashedly made their rules systems broken to begin with. In Oblivion, without cheating and without abusing any bugs what-so-ever, you could give your character equipment which give him or her 100% magic resistance and 100% damage reflection, meaning that the only way to hurt your character was to fall off a really tall mountain or get hit with an arrow. In Morrowind, a disease you got during the main quest could be combined with an exploit using shrines to raise your physical stats to any level you want, and in those rules extremely high stats had an effect. Even in Skyrim, if your magic resistance is high enough and you are equipped well, there isn't a real challenge offered in the game's combat. Given this, that Bethesda is giving a nod to power gaming in order to enable you to gather more feats is a major change for the company. I guess it came about with Fallout 3 and the increases to the level cap offered there. I'm not so sure I am a fan of this decision. At any rate, it's a clear departure from their previous rules philosophy.

I think it's a good thing. The way it's being described by the PC testers is the level cap is completely removed. You can continue to re-roll skills to Legendary indefinitely. This can allow those who prefer "pure" classes (like me) without having to level undesired skills to actually get all the perks in skills we do want. **I 'unno, there are always those who will abuse systems to the breaking point just to be "OP, but there are a lot of us who like to play by the rules. And we should get to have the same benefits that the rule breakers do, and this kinda sounds like BethSoft is throwing us a bone.**

Anyways, I'm happy about it. At least I can get back into the game when the patch hits the 360. I got bored with having to metagame all my playthroughs just to mitigate all the glitches I encountered (almost all of them listed).

-----------

** I know TES is all about player freedom when designing their own class, but BethSoft could've avoided all this if they had just stuck with classic arch-type classes. Or at the very least, took a page out of Guild Wars' playbook and combine any two classes. But, that's just me.

Wait... that invincible Alduin thing was a bug?
That makes so much more sense. My poor mage just couldn't put a dent in his health. I thought maybe I had attempted to quest while being critically underlevelled with her or something, but her Destruction spells could own any other enemy in a matter of seconds, so that didn't make sense. But I had several other characters to play as, so I just moved on without thinking about it. I figured I'd go back and level her some more, eventually. Guess I might not have to, now, if that was the bug I was encountering.

hark hear that sound? it sounds like.. the sound of modders realising all their extensive mods have just been broken again by a bethesda patch

-Fixed rare instance of couriers who would appear only dressed in a hat

I've had a courier come to me wearing nothing but his diaper underwear. No hat or nothing.

Bit sad to see this one go, I mean, it was frickin' hilarious! I though Bethesda said they'd keep funny non game breaking bugs in?

As long as the patch isn't as big as the last one was, steam took forever to download that, which was strange considering it's usually fine and goes at a decent speed.

That's great and all, but the game is already easy enough as is. Does it really need to give the character a grindable path to god mode?

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