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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim patch 1.4.27 fixes companion sneaking">Skyrim Sabercat



Ever managed to sneak right up to an enemy's exposed back, only to have your companion stand up and start stomping around the place screaming battle cries and alerting the entire dungeon to your presence? The latest Skyrim patch insists that companions will "now sneak properly when player is sneaking." FINALLY. Hopefully that means lone rogues can roll with some company from here on in.



The Bethblog mentions that the patch has moved out of beta and will now apply automatically through Steam. The update also comes with fixes for a few mod issues, and will let you continue to download mods even when you're subscribed to 50 already, hopefully bypassing the pesky limit that some players were running into.



If you're interested in enhancing your copy of Skyrim, but don't know which mods to start with, check out our round-up of the 25 best Skyrim mods, and our guide to the best and weirdest entries so far in Steam's Skyrim workshop. Here are the latest patch notes.



LAUNCHER



Fixed issue with downloading mods when you are subscribed to more than 50 mods

Fixed crash when loading a subscribed mod that has been removed from Workshop by the author

Mod load order functionality



 

BUG FIXES



Fixed occasional crashes when loading a save that relies on plugins/master files that no longer exist

Fixed issue where controls would become unresponsive while charging an enchanted weapon

Fixed issue where controls would occasionally become unresponsive while switching from third to first person while using the Arcane Enchanter

Fixed issue where controls would become unresponsive if activating a crafting station with autorun active

Fixed issue where keyboard would fail if Rename Item was selected before choosing the number of charges, while using Arcane Enchanter

Fixed several issues with remapping buttons while using an Xbox 360 controller

Fixed issue where pressing Escape button after fast traveling but before the loading would cause certain menus to stop working properly

Followers now sneak properly when player is sneaking



 
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Nvidia drivers boosts Skyrim performance by up to 45%, makes Modern Warfare 3 prettier">Skyrim - the lovely outdoors



If you're playing Skyrim and have an Nvidia card, you'll definitely want to grab the latest driver update. The Nvidia site boasts of significant improvements to Skyrim framerates. Indoor scenes should run 45% faster and Skyrim's grand outdoor vistas will see a 16% boost. The drivers also come with an improved version of the ambient occlusion effect added by the last set of drivers. This adds a subtle layer of extra shadowing and darken the deep cracks in Skyrim's rocky landscapes, boosting their cragginess factor by about 14%.



Modern Warfare 3 gets the same ambient occlusion treatment, boosting war torn grittiness by 32%. Additional AO for the Diablo 3 beta applies a chunky 35.2% hike to lingering sense of dread levels and PhysX fixes improve Batman: Arkham City's bat-punchiness with 10% extra Pow! 4% extra Zam! and a minor increase to overall levels of Biff! You can download it now from the Nvidia site, where they also have some fancy interactive screenshots that show off these Ambient Occlusion updates quite nicely.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Skyrim beta patch removes 50 mod limit, free official iphone map app released">Skyrim Giant



The latest Skyrim patch has gone into Steam beta testing with a fix for the "issue with downloading mods when you are subscribed to more than 50 mods," which seems to suggest it'll fix the current 50 mod limit. That's great news for those of us who just can't stop whimsically adding user made updates, slowly turning our copies of Skyrim into a fairground of monocled mudcrabs and gianter giants. You can apply the beta patch by opting in via your Steam settings menu, though Bethesda warn that it is currently in beta, so you're applying it "at your own risk."



Also, if you're unsatisfied with Skyrim's map, or have the urge to perch an ipad next to your monitor so you can plan your route and scout ahead with a few gentle strokes, the Bethesda blog has word of a new official app that you can download to your Apple device right now. The free version will give you the map of Skyrim and the nine major cities. Interior maps and more locations can be bought as extras. You can grab that from the App store now. Meanwhile, here are those patch notes from Bethblog.



LAUNCHER



Fixed issue with downloading mods when you are subscribed to more than 50 mods

Fixed crash when loading a subscribed mod that has been removed from Workshop by the author

Mod load order functionality



 

BUG FIXES



Fixed occasional crashes when loading a save that relies on plugins/master files that no longer exist

Fixed issue where controls would become unresponsive while charging an enchanted weapon

Fixed issue where controls would occasionally become unresponsive while switching from third to first person while using the Arcane Enchanter

Fixed issue where controls would become unresponsive if activating a crafting station with autorun active

Fixed issue where keyboard would fail if Rename Item was selected before choosing the number of charges, while using Arcane Enchanter

Fixed several issues with remapping buttons while using an Xbox 360 controller

Fixed issue where pressing Escape button after fast traveling but before the loading would cause certain menus to stop working properly



 
PC Gamer






Making a mod for Skyrim actually isn't that hard, and Bethesda are making it even easier with a series of 15 minute video tutorials. This is part 7 - if you're just joining us, see part 1 of the Skyrim Creation Kit video tutorial first.
PC Gamer






Making a mod for Skyrim actually isn't that hard, and Bethesda are making it even easier with a series of 15 minute video tutorials. This is part 6 - if you're just joining us, see part 1 of the Skyrim Creation Kit video tutorial first.
PC Gamer






Making a mod for Skyrim actually isn't that hard, and Bethesda are making it even easier with a series of 15 minute video tutorials. This is part 5 - if you're just joining us, see part 1 of the Skyrim Creation Kit video tutorial first.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Skyrim mods are quite popular: two million downloads in three days">Skyrim Workshop Mods - Midas Magic



The Skyrim Creation Kit was released last Wednesday. Within hours, the Steam Workshop was stuffed with mods, including good ones, bad ones and downright scary ones. In case it wasn't obvious already, Skyrim mods have proved extremely popular with players. Bethesda say that two million mods were downloaded within three days of the release of the Creation Kit.



Players have had plenty to choose from. According to Bethesda "more than 2,500 mods have been published by the gaming community." It's an almost overwhelming selection that ranges from new armour and upgraded textures to new combat moves and devastating magic. Thankfully, the Steam Workshop now has a much needed search bar, making it easier to find mods your friends have recommended. Speaking of which, here's our round up of some of the best Steam Workshop mods so far.
PC Gamer






Making a mod for Skyrim actually isn't that hard, and Bethesda are making it even easier with a series of 15 minute video tutorials. This is part 4 - if you're just joining us, see part 1 of the Skyrim Creation Kit video tutorial first.
PC Gamer






Making a mod for Skyrim actually isn't that hard, and Bethesda are making it even easier with a series of 15 minute video tutorials. This is part 3 - if you're just joining us, see part 1 of the Skyrim Creation Kit video tutorial first. We'll be posting part 4 this time tomorrow.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The Elder Strolls, Part 10: The Pale Horse">Skyrim



After weeks of contentedly walking everywhere at a snail's pace, I suddenly feel an overwhelming urge to rush. With my wedding over, I'm eager to leave Riften behind and start my new life in Whiterun. I can't wait to move into my new home, to find a place to store my various collected possessions, and to get back to a quiet life of smithing and hunting. Oh, and also to find my wife, I guess, who wandered away halfway through our wedding ceremony and hasn't been seen since. (You can watch the entire ceremony here on YouTube.)



So, I'm in a hurry, for a change. It feels like a cheat to hire the wagon outside the city, so I decide instead to buy a horse from the Riften stables, and moments later I'm galloping along the trail, with Jasper following. It's strange to be traveling this fast, mostly because I'm zooming past all these flowers and herbs and thistles. I should be picking them. I'm... compelled to pick them. It's almost making me tense, passing them all by like this. But, like I said, for once I'm in a hurry.



Besides the speedy travel, the horse I bought provides another useful service: it desperately wants to kill anything that threatens me. After dismounting to face some wolves, both Jasper and the horse sprint off ahead of me, kicking and biting the wolves to death before I can even contribute to the effort. A little later, a few bandits ambush us, and once again I'm late to the party, having to trail my ferociously loyal pets into battle.







The blood lust I inspire in my four-legged companions can also be a bit of a nuisance. After galloping too close to a fort, I notice Jasper has stopped following us. I ride back, and see him staring up at the fortress walls, where a bandit is perched, trying to loose arrows at us. I climb off my horse, and it joins Jasper, both of them staring longingly up at the figure but unable to reach him, like a couple of cats who have batted a toy mouse under the fridge.



I manage to kill the bandit with a few arrows, but still, my pets can sense other evil-doers inside the fort and won't leave with me. Sighing, I scramble up some rocks, jump inside the crumbling fortress walls, and kill off the remaining bandits myself. Okay? Everyone happy that I've brutally slaughtered the bad men? Can we leave now?



A little later, I help my two violent animals kill a novice fire mage who made the fatal mistake of being angry at me from a distance. Searching her body, I find she has a staff that lets me summon a familiar. Cool! Now I can conjure up a ghost wolf who will smite my enemies as well. If I could just train one of them to pick flowers, I could retire.







We cover an astounding amount of ground in just a few hours of riding, and it's mid-afternoon when we come across a familiar sight: the bandit fort Jasper and I encountered on our first trip to Whiterun. It consists of two towers on either side of the river, with a stone bridge connecting them. Last time we passed it, a female bandit demanded payment for safe passage, which I paid before being drawn into a fight. As I gallop past, I notice the place has been repopulated, and the replacement female bandit waiting by the trail doesn't ask me to pay a toll. Instead, she just runs up to my horse and attacks.







I climb down off my horse, and I can already tell this bandit is an upgrade over the original. She's spinning and hacking at me, weapons in both hands, landing several blows before I can even get my shield up. Before I know it, my health is flagging. With Jasper's help, I manage to kill her, then chug my entire inventory of health potions, and try to get back onto my horse and flee before the rest of the bandits hidden in the fort engage us.



It's too late, though. My horse has sprinted down to the river bank, for some reason: maybe a mudcrab is clacking around ominously down there. Jasper is gone as well, dashing into the tower to attack the hostile bandits inside, just as he did the last time we were here. Great, here we go again. I follow him inside, and find him halfway across the bridge, going snout-to-sword with two bandits.



I join him, hacking away at the bandit as arrows from the other side of the river clatter down, around, and into us. One bandit drops, the second steps forward to take his place, and I draw back my axe for a power attack. And then...



I see what's about to happen, but too late to stop it from happening. Jasper, ever loyal, gets between us. Already sporting an arrow in his side, he leaps at the bandit just as I swing my axe. I connect, tragically, with both of them, and Jasper, the dog who never stops making noise, falls silent and collapses to the stones. He's dead, just like that. My poor dog. His terrible epitaph, "Search Stray Dog", hovers into view, as the game now sees him as just another object to be rifled through and reminds me that I never even looked up the console code to rename him. Sorry, Jasper. You deserved better.







Well, great. This is all going great! At least I can avenge my dog by tearing this bandit jerk a new axe-hole. I step forward to start hacking when suddenly, surprisingly, my horse appears next to me. He's somehow made it into the fort, climbed the stairs, and rushed out onto the bridge to do battle. Great! Except he's so eager to kick the bandit to death that he shoves past me, and his giant fat ass knocks me right off the bridge! Also great!







I fall. Is this it? Am I about to die? I know the bridge extends out over the land quite a bit before it even reaches the river. A second later, though, I splash safely into the water below, missing the rocks by a few feet. Stupid horse! Stupid bandits! Stupid everything! This fight is going terribly. I swim to shore, rush back into the tower, climb to the second story, and head toward the doorway that leads out onto the bridge, determined to hack every last one of these bandits to death. As I reach the doorway, I'm met by my horse coming through in the other direction.



Or, I should say, I'm met by the airborne corpse of my horse, which comes sailing through the doorway and into the tower, crumpling against the far wall. I see why a moment later: a heavily armored bandit chief runs into the tower, wielding a giant two handed war hammer that absolutely looks capable of sending a horse flying through the air.







The chief bashes me once, then hauls back his giant hammer to have another try. I attempt to raise my shield, but I must be staggered from the first blow because it just won't seem to come up. I press the key for my Battle Cry power but it's far, far too late. Again, I can see what's about to happen. I just can't do anything to prevent it.



The bandit chief finishes his swing and the head of his hammer drives into my chest. Clong. I sail across the chamber, along the floor, and into the next world.







And so, just like that, Nordrick's strolling days come to a bloody, brutal end. Crushed in a heap next to his dead horse, still dressed in his ceremonial wedding armor, hand-crafted for a marriage he'll never get to enjoy. Goodbye, Jasper. Your moronic barking was irritating, but you were a good boy. Goodbye, horse. I'm sorry I never had time to name you or project a personality onto you. And goodbye, my wife, my lovely Ysolda. If I had one wish it would be that you were here with me now, dying horribly beside me, because I'm still kind of annoyed that you walked out in the middle of our wedding.



Goodbye, Nordrick. In keeping with the rules I laid out in Part 1, there's no reloading from an earlier saved game. You lived like an NPC, and so you must die like one: permanently. Still, your life, though brief, can't be seen as a failure. You survived the dangerous world of Skyrim for 52 days. You killed 37 people, 122 animals, and 3 bunnies. You crafted 92 pieces of armor, mixed 281 potions, and picked just shy of 1,000 flowers. With the exception of a couple minor tasks, you avoided quests, and with the exception of being pounded to death by the giant hammer of a heavily armored bandit chieftain, you avoided adventure.



On a personal note, may I just add this statement: DAMMIT. I can't believe that happened! I was so close to getting Nordrick everything he ever wanted, and I was genuinely looking forward to continuing to play Skyrim with him for a good long while. And now, in the blink of an eye, it's all gone.



That's death in Skyrim, though. It comes suddenly, it comes shockingly, and it comes, often, at the hands of some dickweed with a giant hammer. Thanks for reading.



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