When Bethesda announced the newest update for Skyrim, many probably suspected that it would just contain more fixes for bugs and glitches. As it turns out, the version 1.9 update is more than just a simple fix. Though the update contains over 50 fixes, the best addition is definitely the new “legendary” features. In fact, these new features might be one of the best things to hit Skyrim yet–possibly even better than the DLC expansions Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn.
The 1.9 update will now include “Legendary Skills” to alleviate the need of starting a new game to experience all of what a skill (or even a new class build) has to offer. Skills in Skyrim maxed out at level 100 but now can be made “Legendary”. When made legendary, the skill will reset to level 15 and lose all previously obtained perks. After being reset, the skills will once again affect leveling thus removing the level cap. A new difficulty setting, appropriately titled “Legendary”, has also been added.
On the surface, these new updates might not seem like a big deal to some. After all, uber-leveled characters and hard modes have been in countless past RPGs. But these additions enhance the “go anywhere, do anything” nature that the Elder Scrolls series has always prided itself upon. Completing quests and vanquishing dragons was only part of the game’s appeal. Skills like alchemy, enchanting, smithing, or even sneaking could easily be overlooked by players who didn’t feel that they “fit” the character they were trying to build. Though these skills are not crucial for success, passing over them means missing out on a fun and interesting element of Skyrim. The ability to experiment with new skills and perks opens up parts of the game to players who don’t want to start over completely. The new difficulty also provides a great test for players who thought the game became too easy as their levels rose.
Another thing to note is that the update is a good move by Bethesda. Considering the controversy that surrounded the PS3 version of Skyrim, having the update come out in a timely manner for all three platforms is a good sign. It also shows that the company is still willing to do more to the game even after all this time. Other updates that help extend the longevity of the Skyrim experience would be welcomed by all. A New Game Plus mode with scaling difficulty would please anyone looking for an extreme challenge. Dungeons where only certain weapons or spells are allowed or the hardest enemies spawn would be a nice twist. Bethesda could even find ways to make those looked over skills seem appealing. Why not have quests where the character can only use crafted or enchanted armor and weapons? How about an option to remove all potions from the game except ones that the players creates themselves? Skyrim is a massive game and this newest update might be the best way to get it on the path to be even bigger.