Skyrim’s Update Patch Breaks Old Mods and Adds New Paid Mods


After all these years, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, or just Skyrim, is one of the most popular games in Bethesda’s story. In 2011, this Open-World RPG revolutionized the genre and started a new trend for open-world games. The game received multiple updates over the past years and still has a huge amount of players that enjoy the classic while Bethesda reportedly works on Elder Scrolls VI. Besides the support, Skyrim has been kept alive thanks to the commitment of fans and modders who are always adding fun and interesting mods to add new life to the game. Today, however, it was Bethesda’s turn to bring a new update to the game, However, it didn’t have the intended impact on fans. The update didn’t bring anything remarkable, but reintroduced a paid mod platform into the game and broke up some mods. (Source: PCGamer).

A Brief Introduction to Skyrim:

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an action role-playing video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is the fifth major entry in The Elder Scrolls series, following The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006), and was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on November 11, 2011. (Source).

A New Update Arrives For Skyrim Special Edition Bringing Controversy

Today, Bethesda released a major update for Skyrim Special Edition. It garnered attention for two specific reasons, and both have players upset. Some fans are frustrated by what they see as a renewed focus on paid mods for Skyrim. Other fans are angry that the update breaks a large number of existing mods.

Bethesda’s History of Paid Mods

In 2015, Bethesda introduced the original paid mods program for Skyrim. But it didn’t go well. The company’s idea was met with a huge backlash from a community that had grown using free, fan-made mods. The idea was scrapped within a week. It was revived in a way in 2017 with the Creation Club. However, Bethesda made it clear that this was not a paid mod system. Nevertheless, the mods in the program were only accessible with “credits”, which had to be bought with “real money”.

What does the new Update bring to the Table? It Revamps The Creations Section

The latest update for Skyrim is being released today. It’s a refinement of the program that brings together existing mods and Creation Club items. Additionally, new Creations have been introduced, as well as a new Creations menu in Skyrim Special Edition. Bethesda also introduced the new Verified Creator Program. The “evolution of Creation Club” allows verified members to sell their content.

 

Skyrim
Image Credit: Bethesda Softworks

Not all “Creations” are paid, and the Creation FAQ states: “While anyone can upload free Creations, only approved members of the Verified Creator Program can have content approved for sale and earn royalties on each Creation they sell.

Fans Argue that “Paid Mods” are back

However, some fans are upset about the new program and update. Some of them see this as a shift towards the system that Bethesda tried to implement in 2015. There are some discussions on Reddit. In the r/pcgaming thread, some Skyrim fans argue that “paid mods are back,” while others state that they have been around since 2017.

Skyrim

“Creation Club content went through a Bethesda dev pipeline and was often developed by Bethesda themselves (and was also criticized on release and has been criticized every time a CC update broke the game),” Redditor wertwert55 wrote. “This is opening the door for mod authors to just outright charge for mods after getting verified by Bethesda. Saying ‘paid mods are back’ in the sense that mass monetization of mods is again possible is completely accurate.”

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In 2017, Bethesda managed to deliver something much better than the paid plan of 2o15. The overall reaction to the Creation Club announcement was less negative. After all, it was an improved program and the amount of paid content was very limited. Only 74 Creation Club items became available, while the plan got a lot of free mods. Presumably, Bethesda will keep things at this pace, but that remains to be seen.

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The biggest problem with this week’s update is that it breaks several old mods that have been working fine for the past few years. The changes made by Bethesda have affected the functionality of the Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) tool, which extends the game’s capabilities to allow many community mods to work.

The New Update is Breaking Mods That Rely on Script Extender

For those unfamiliar with the Script Extender (SKSE), it is a mod that extends Skyrim’s scripting capabilities to allow other mods to do things far beyond standard Skyrim functionality. The Script Extender is flexible and powerful, which is why a huge amount of mods are produced under its “wing”. The problem is that if it goes down, all the mods that rely on it go down with it.

The SKSE team reacted quickly

The impact of this update can be seen in several Steam discussion threads. There are various titles such as “Is there a way to roll back the update” or “Bethesda, who asked? There are also some tips on how to avoid installing the update, and recommendations to buy the game again on GOG, which does not include the Creation Club option. Finally, those brave enough can download the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Downgrade Patcher from Nexus Mods.

Skyrim
Skyrim with Mods Looks Stunning!

It is worth noting that the SKSE development team reacted quickly and updated the Script Extender to work with the new patch. So all players need to do is install the patch update and their mods will work again. This won’t protect some players from the surprise of running the game and seeing their mods broken.

Despite the controversy, what are the highlights of this update?

Although the modding community has once again been put to the test with this update, some notable features make this update quite interesting. For example, it adds support for Steam Deck and ultra-wide monitors. So if you play Skyrim with mods that use Script Extender, make sure you download the latest version.

New Features Coming With The Update

  • Mods and Creation Club menus have been combined into a unified Creations Menu.
  • Missing Creation check feature added to resolve missing Creations when loading a save file.
  • Store your Active Load Order and retrieve it from Bethesda.net
  • ESL Range has been doubled to 4096 records. Source scripts for Fishing, Rare Curios, Saints & Seducers, and Survival are now provided as a Creator’s resource.
  • Resource Pack added to the game to assist Creators.

For More Details About the Update You can refer to the official link here.

The Bottom Line

Skyrim was released almost 12 years ago and continues to be popular among players. This probably explains why Bethesda continues to take an interest in the game, trying to build community features and make some profit in the process. There is nothing wrong with this. However, the company needs to move carefully when trying to implement ideas that didn’t work well when the game still was in its most successful years. The company should learn from the mistakes and avoid the same policies with Starfield its latest open-world RPG set to get the same level of support that Skyrim has been seeing after all these years.

 

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