Sneaky Skyrim 1.3.1 Patch Supports 4GB RAM

By John Walker on December 20th, 2011 at 10:46 pm.

Why can't this look as pretty in a screenshot?

Well goodness crikey, Skyrim seems to have snuck out a micro-patch. Running the game tonight an odd thing was happening – important texts from bodies were automagically opening when I looted, rather than waiting for me to pick them up and dig them out of the inventory. A change! I cried at the screen, and checked the version number. It’s now 1.3.10.0, and it seems there’s a bigger reason for the update: the game now supports 4GB of RAM.

The official update notes on Bethesda’s site read:

Update 1.3.10 Notes (PC)

Support for 4-Gigabyte Tuning (Large Address Aware)
Fixed issue with accented characters not displaying properly at the end of a line

Huh to the second part, but that first bit is the thing everyone was begging for. A while back, a user patch meant the game could support all four of your RAMmy gigabytes, and then Bethsoft updated the game and it broke. And the whole world cried. Now, at last, they’ve made the Large Address Aware option an official, and on-by-default part of the game. So no longer is the game needlessly ignoring your super-fast PC memory. Although I’m now waiting for the 8GB update. (I don’t understand how RAM works, or what large addresses are.)

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98 Comments »

  1. steve19137 says:

    What about the LAA patch for those people who have 16GB* (me)?

    *I’m an animator and modeler, I’m allowed :D

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Alas, short of a 64-bit executable that’s not going to happen.

    • Underwhelmed says:

      I am not an animator and am probably not allowed to have the 16GB of ram that I have. But now that you mention it….

    • dsi1 says:

      16GB? Super multitask!

    • sublimb says:

      reply fail

    • RvLeshrac says:

    • Valvarexart says:

      Well, 8 would be nice, too. You know, 8 is socially accepted if you are a gamer.

    • thegooseking says:

      I’m not sure there’s anything ‘social’ about the amount of physical RAM that’s acceptable.

      Although that would make me socially accepted. First time for everything, I suppose.

    • zaphod42 says:

      (Software Engineer Here )
      They didn’t just arbitrarily go “4GB should be enough” and assign that. 4GB is the limit for x86_64 applications running on Windows, Large Address Aware is a linker flag which allows Windows to run the application in a special mode, allowing slightly more space. The limit for x86 is even less, due to x86 architecture limitations (you only have 32 bits maximum for anything).

      They could fix this, and allow arbitrary amounts of RAM for x64 Windows, but they’d have to recompile Skyrim from source targeting a 64 bit native architecture. That binary wouldn’t work on x86 systems then. That said, Lots of modern videogames install both x86 and x64 executables (crysis, devil may cry 4, just off the top of my head, etc.). Those x64 native binaries won’t even need the LAA flag / patch, they’ll support up to the maximum of x64 windows (8GB-192GB based on your windows version and Microsoft’s stupid limits).

    • Premium User Badge FriendlyFire says:

      Make your own patch the way the cool kids do. With 16gb, you have enough to run the game (4gb), your OS and other programs (4gb) and dedicate the remaining 8gb to a RAMdisk with Skyrim on it!

      As soon as I get some more RAM to go from 8gb to 16gb, this is what I’m doing. Skyrim is small enough to fit entirely in your RAM. If you think SSDs at 500mb/s are fast, wait until you taste the sweetness of multi-gb/s throughoutput.

    • thegooseking says:

      Those x64 native binaries won’t even need the LAA flag / patch

      Technically, a 64-bit process with LAA off is limited to 2GB just like a 32-bit process. The difference is that 64-bit processes have LAA turned on by default and if you want it off (for reasons) you have to turn it off manually. (Well, the amount of memory they can access with LAA is the other difference.)

    • elmuerte says:

      Technically, a 64-bit process with LAA off is limited to 2GB just like a 32-bit process.

      What? No. There is no such thing as “LAA” for 64bit applications. The address space is simply 64bits and all of it could be used. The address space for 32bit applications is 32bit, which is 4GB. But due to the use of signed integers for memory addresses this this is sort of limited to 2GB. Of course it you carefully write our code you could make use of the full 32bit address space. The LAA flag which is set for the Windows executable tells Windows that the application is carefully programmed and that memory address above 2^31 can be handed to it (otherwise the application would crash due to negative memory addresses).
      This has mainly been a Windows problem. On a lot of other operating systems most applications could make sure of the full 4GB address space. And in quite some cases applications could use 36bit of address space when they make use of PAE. PAE (Physical Address Extension) is a CPU instruction set created by Intel in 1995. On certain Windows versions you could also make use of PAE and thus use more than 4GB of RAM in a single application. For example, Windows 2000 Professional and above you make sure of it.

  2. cjlr says:

    Given that it’s still a 32 bit executable, that’s instead of…
    3.2GB!
    Probably. Roughly.

    I guess that’s about 25% more, so for all that the game is RAM limited (VRAM is more important iirc) that might just be a respectable improvement.

    • Jae Armstrong says:

      Actually, unless a program is marked LAA, it can only access 2GB max on Windows.

    • catmorbid says:

      And as far as I know, on 64 bit OS it can support whole 4GB because no mem is needed to reserve to OS from this 4GB pool, supposing you’ve more than 4GB ram.

    • Snuffy the Evil says:

      Not quite! Hopefully someone a little more qualified than me can explain this in better detail.

      If an application is “32-bit”, the range of integer values it can generate/store is 0 to 2^32. In this case, each integer refers to a memory location which, in the type of RAM most home computers use, represents a byte (which is, of course, a string of eight bits or binary values). 2^32 bytes -> 2^22 kilobytes -> 4096 megabytes -> 4 gigabytes.

      I’m not so sure about this part, but you don’t want a 32-bit program taking up all of the available memory on a 32-bit operating system, so Windows limits the amount of available memory to around 2 GB, and will only allow a program to take advantage of that much memory if it’s marked as LAA.

      The notion that a 32-bit operating system/program can only access 3.x GB of RAM is because this number also takes VRAM (the kind on your GPU) into account.

    • Theory says:

      Under a 32-bit OS the “unused” 2GB of address space is mapped to hardware resources, with GPU memory being the obvious target for most games.

    • baldrik says:

      Requiring programs to specify LAA is somewhat of a security measure. Memory addresses is typically stored as 32-bit integers, which use 31-bits for the value and 1 bit is reserved for signage. If a program where to use 4 GB RAM then the memory addresses would have to use the signage bit (if stored as an integer), meaning addresses would go up to 2^31 and then start going into the negative range instead of getting larger. This could lead to unforseen problems if the programmers are doing operations based on the memory addresses.

      /technoramble

    • MattM says:

      Windows program access virtual memory. You can have a 3 programs each using 2 gigs of memory on a computer with only 4 GB of physical ram. The OS is responsible for managing which programs are actually using physical memory and which are paged out to disc. This also prevents programs from overwriting each other in memory.

    • DrazharLn says:

      32 bit programs can generate and use larger integers. A 32 bit operating system is restricted because it can only send 32 bits at a time to the processor (these 32 bits are called a word). So, when a program wants to refer to an address in memory the address must be 32 bits long. Each memory location can hold 8 bits (one byte) of data and a 32 bit address allows 2^32 unique addresses, hence the 4GB limit.

      An obvious comment might be asking why you can’t send a longer address in multiple instructions. You could do that (with difficulty). To understand why we don’t do that you should subscribe to your local Computer Science Department’s Operating Systems course.

      (I’ve almost finished such a course and I’d guess it’s because sending addresses a part at a time would require fairly complicated changes to the hardware of the processor and/or new, specialized, instructions. The better, faster way to support larger addresses is to simply increase the word length of the processor and operating system (as with 64 bit systems)).

    • cjlr says:

      Hey now, I’ve taken my CS courses…

      I’m not sure what the limit for Skyrim was before, but it was probably something around ~2 or ~3.2; in any case 4 is an improvement.

      I just don’t think Skyrim is very RAM limited, so that difference is not going to be all that significant. If it’s RAM + VRAM that we’re talking, it might be a bigger improvement, but still not earthshaking.

      But still – it had been an educating comments thread, I’m sure.

    • sublimb says:

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Every single person in this thread is wrong for a different reason.

      Here:

      http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2010/WCL402

    • ChromeBallz says:

      @Snuffy the Evil

      Almost….

      A 32-bit program uses a signed int to store memory values: (2^(32-1)) – 1 : Of those 32 bits, one is reserved for whether it’s a positive or negative integer. 0 is also an integer so you don’t actually get 2^32 full anyway. This corresponds to exactly 2 GiB.

      LAA changes this to an unsigned integer so it becomes (2^32) – 1 : In other words, exactly 4 GiB. However, a program needs to know that i can use an unsigned int to store memory values, hence not all 32-bit programs can be LAA enabled.

    • Premium User Badge frymaster says:

      another point is that on 32-bit windows, it’s still limited to 2 GB unless the user sets a boot flag (which almost no one will). This is why the game doesn’t need the LAA flag – it’d not work on 32-bit systems otherwise – though of course it’s nice.

  3. Dominic White says:

    The game shouldn’t ever really need more than 4gb of RAM. Without mods, 2gb is tons, as the engine is designed to run on systems with far less system and video memory. 4gb basically ensures that it should handle things will no matter how many mods you throw at it.

    • Premium User Badge PoulWrist says:

      “Need” and “allow the use of” are two quite different things. Why shouldn’t it use more RAM if you have it? I wouldn’t mind if the entire game loaded up into my RAM…

    • Dominic White says:

      The entire engine is designed to stream data as required, though. They’d likely have to do a major rewrite if they wanted to do anything as nuts as load all the world data simultaneously.

    • Jim9137 says:

      640K ought to be enough for anybody.

    • Aemony says:

      Last time I checked mods were quite a massive part of the gaming experience. In fact, it was even so big that Bethesda mentioned their hopes of porting the whole stuff to consoles, allowing their “90%” to access this marvelous content as well.

      Skyrim without mods rarely goes over the 2 GB limit (unless you have an old save with a lot of progress and content explored and changed), but merely by extending it a bit you quickly get passed the limitations of the memory access and the game crashes.

      So, in retrospect, Skyrim really should use the /LAA flag since the modding is such an integrated part of the optimal gaming experience. Heck, even the system requirements recommends a computer running 4 GB, but even this is useless as the game at release would never use more than 2 GB.

      Or wait, you said “The game shouldn’t ever really need more than 4gb of RAM” ? Well, that’s a whole different topic all together. With the /LAA flag the game can now use the maximum available memory 32 bit addresses allows it to. Using MORE than 4 GB of RAM means supporting a 64 bit build of the game. The *only* benefits of this is a heavily modded (or extended) game, albeit currently the game enforced the limitations of former Bethesda-Gamebryo games as well with a 255 mod limit (or something or the other, something to do with ESP IDs or such if I remember it correctly).

      I dream of a 64 bit build, even if I recognize that it isn’t really needed nor will it most likely ever happen. However first on my list of prioritizes is to complain about why Bethesda takes so long to release micro-patches, and what the heck is with all the stealthy patching procedure.

    • SiHy_ says:

      @Jim9137 I concur. Anything that can’t be run with 640K isn’t worth running.

    • psyk says:

      “Last time I checked mods were quite a massive part of the gaming experience. In fact, it was even so big that Bethesda mentioned their hopes of porting the whole stuff to consoles, allowing their “90%” to access this marvelous content as well.”

      LMAO yeah this will produce the funniest rage threads ever as the hardware of millions of 360 owners crys and crashes and the gamers misplaced rage flys towards Bethesda.

    • utzel says:

      The game only properly works for me with the LAA flag.
      Unmodded v1.2 on pretty much highest settings (without ini tweaks) has a “Time to CTD” of about 1min here. Same with v1.3: 1min and I’m out.
      Both work fine with the 4GB Starter, I played 2 hours at a time max, not a single crash in all the time, even with some small mods.
      1.31: First test, 30min without a hiccup.

      Even without mods the game offers enough options to make it not work without LAA here. I never tried lower settings though.

  4. MinisterofDOOM says:

    Important-Text-Auto-Open (ITAO) has been happening for me for a while now. I actually do not like it at all. It’s jarring and often happens when I just want to mash “take all” and get back to what I was doing.

  5. MonolithicTentacledAbomination says:

    Skyrim gets better by the week that I don’t start playing it. I was holding out for greater value for money, but then received the game as a gift. I’ll start playing soon, Bethesda, so push those betterment patches out soon!

    • Kadayi says:

      Better value for money? It’s a 200 hour game….

    • John Connor says:

      It’s a miserably broken 200 hour game with terrible menus and graphics from 2007.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      @John Connor … oh go away

    • Saiko Kila says:

      200 hour game? I have spent 600+ hours in Oblivion with single character. Skyrim must be crap then! Comparing value for money.

    • Stevostin says:

      Nah, don’t listen to him. I am a level 26 with 42h of play (and yes, leveling slow down a bit on the long run). With that I did roughly 2/3 of thieve guild, and 1/10 of DB, a few extra dungeon/quest, and that all. That let Warrior quest line, Mage quest line, imperial quest line, rebel quest line, main quest line, daedra’s quest, blade quest (just one but very long AFAICT from the wiki). And I totally exhausted Oblivion and add on in 300 hours, so it seems I am playing faster than you. It is substantially longer than Oblivion from what I can tell, and it does sometime take my breath away (such is the art). Also the content is hugely more interesting, the gameplay is surprisingly well balanced so far. I suggest playing in normal difficulty with no quicksave for maximum involvement !

    • DrGonzo says:

      @rustybroomhandle

      He’s allowed his opinion. You go away!

    • youthful cynic says:

      @DrGonzo He is indeed and I for one would fight to keep it so. What he doesn’t have the right to do is give his opinion and then no one is allowed to criticise it for being incredibly stupid. Which it is. Incredibly stupid that is.

    • Meat Circus says:

      Let’s take what he says in order:

      Is it broken? Well, yes. It’s terribly buggy.
      Is the user interface confusing? Very.
      Is it using graphics from 2006? Yes, it’s using Oblivion’s Gamebryo engine with a few of its worst characteristics fixed.

      Is any of this truly relevant to whether or not Skyrim is a good game? I’d say no.

    • thegooseking says:

      I’m not convinced on the point about the graphics. I’d like to see the game that’s been released since 2007 that is similar or larger in scale, but has technically better graphics. I assume there must be one that’s being used as a basis for comparison, here. I’ll be satisfied with even one example (though more would be better for establishing a baseline for comparison, rather than an individual title), but right now I can’t think of any.

    • Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

      What does scale have to do with anything? What other things besides lousy graphics does it justify?

  6. yangman says:

    The last text segment before a linewrap occurs is a common place to run into odd edge cases that results in programming bugs. If the engine is using unicode and combining characters to render accents, it’s easy to see why a bug like that can crop up.

    /iamagamedev
    /nobodyprobablycares
    /iwasbored

  7. Premium User Badge Carra says:

    The real question is what they broke this time? Dragons all rolling over to get petted once you pass them?

  8. Tally says:

    Presumably this means the game is now playably stable as previously it would crash every thirty minutes without the LAA patch. As usual, Bethesda is one step behind their modders, but the change is nonetheless appreciated.

    I’m thankful that I’m playing on the PC so I can unbreak quests with the console. I have several friends stuck with broken major quests on their Xboxs.

  9. Eddy9000 says:

    Wonder if they’ll do anything about the fact that my destruction mage’s master fire spell seems to be: “Flame Tickle – enemy is gently tickled by a warming flame that must be maintained for 17 minutes until lasting damage is done”

    • JFS says:

      I hope so. But I wouldn’t hang those hopes too high, either.

    • itaniknight says:

      Hey, if you haven’t already figured it out – spell damage doesn’t scale with level, so you need to go buy new ones (from spell trainers all over the place) to keep doing effective damage.

      Generally whenever you get a new “cast [x] level spells for half magicka” perk in destruction magic you should be looking for new spells to match that. Destruction magic is basically tiered, so you’re mostly forced to ignore your old spells in favour of your new ones to keep your damage output relevant.

    • Stromko says:

      He did say ‘Master Fire Spell’, so he might actually mean the strongest available flame spell. That would be pretty messed up, though I haven’t much had that problem. My first fire-bolt spell is getting a bit meh (unless I double-cast them to stun an enemy with minimal magick cost), the starting flame-thrower spell is only good for breaking wards, but I seem to recall fireball and other spells are doing good enough damage well into my level 30′s.

      My second wizard is still using lightning bolt at level 30, but he has fortify destruction gear so he can just chain-cast it five or six times to kill every enemy with plenty to spare. I’m not sure how bad it gets once you approach the practical level limit though, I’d imagine after level 40 as a wizard you’d have already received the best destruction spells and have nowhere to go but down. So far though, I’m finding pure wizards are the most effective that they’ve ever been in an Elder Scrolls game.

    • Jumwa says:

      My level 58 wizard is still blowing away enemies with ease. My second caster, focussed mainly on illusion and alteration with destruction straggling way in back, still has no issue in the 40′s despite my neglect of destruction spells.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      The problem I’ve found is that on master difficulty the top destruction spells don’t do much at all against enemies. You might say that playing on master should be difficult, but it should be difficult in that it balances a players familiarity with games in general and Skyrim in particular, forcing the player to use their knowledge of the game and the tactics they’ve learned. It feels like this with my melee orc and stealthy Kajit, I’m still getting through it and still feel powerful, but I’m having to use my shouts more, pay more attention to enemy positioning, taking out mages first, using orc special power etc. With the destruction mage I just feel like I’m grinding through it because of the damage decrease, the top projectile fire spell takes about a tenth of the health off a bandit plunderer dual cast and I can only cast it about 5 times before running out of mana even with cast reduction at 80% and about 2/3rds of my points in magic. Not to mention that casting takes time, in which any of their chums have walloped me. The big cast time on the master spells make them even mor inneffective, 5secs to cast a spell that doesn’t even kill half the lvl 40 mobs in one go. Mages in general aren’t a slog, at 100 conjuration master diff is a cakewalk, and illusion can get everyone to kill each other nicely. It’s just that destruction brings nothing to the party on master as a mages primary form of damage. Where destruction is very handy is in the extra damage it gives to weapon enchants, up to 70 damage on each hit, combned with dual wielding will kill anything, and a combined sword/enchant/detruction build can be fun using range and melee, but that doesn’t solve the fact that it is a slog to use destruction magic on master as a primary form of damage in a way that archery and melee isn’t. (just a note to say I don’t use the alchemy/smithing/enchant exploit, only one per build). I could turn down the difficulty but it’s a shame the challenge on master for stealth and warrior builds is thinking quicker, paying attention to game lore and being more tactical, whereas the challenge for destruction mages is backpedalling, drinking magik potions and endless stunlocked casting as you chip piddly little bits of health off your foes.

      I think a little less magika cost would balance it out a little, and perhaps an additional +25% damage perk at 100.

    • Stevostin says:

      Don’t know for destruction but as a Thieve I gave up on master difficulty. Master difficulty worked very well in Fallout games but never in the TES serie – I think even in Oblivion it ended up being still too easy or something. In Skyrim, it’s so obviously huge dmg reduction and huge inc damage boost. I grew tired of needing 8 blow to deal with an opponent that I totally dominated gear wise and probably skill wise and level wise. This was to the point it broke immersion : apparently I was playing a severly crippled dude.

      They’d better do a hardcore mode with no pause during menu and need to eat, need to sleep, no instant heal and/or ennemies who consumes healing potions.

    • Hindenburg says:

      Funny thing, that. Aside from the need to eat and sleep, you…pretty much described Dark Souls.

    • fwfulton says:

      I must be doing something wrong because my flame spell has grown with me. I can completely destroy a opponent with just a few seconds of blast. I have around 300 Magicka and about 50 points of destruction. I have even burned Flame Atronachs down to almost nothing ready to be one-handed.

  10. Zelius says:

    I haven’t been able to figure this out yet, so could someone please explain? If I have 4GB of RAM on a 64 bit OS, does this patch mean the game will be able to use the full 4GB, or does the OS take up a significant portion of that? If so, how much?

    • ibnarabi says:

      In a 64 bit OS an application can use all 4 gigabytes, even a 32 bit application, if the LAA flag is set. Without this flag set, windows will restrict the app to 2 gigabytes.

      In 32 bit windows, you only have 4 gigs of address space available. If you have a video card with 1 gig of ram, you have 3 gigs left. This has nothing to do with physical ram, it’s just how high a 32 bit OS can count. If you have 2 gigs of ram on the video card, you’re stuck with only 2 gigs of addressable space left. So if you were foolish enough to have 16 gigs of ram on your motherboard, you could only use 2 gigs. The BIOS also needs a tiny amount of memory space to keep track of things.

      A single standard process on a 32-bit Windows operating system is limited to a total of 2,093,056 kilobytes (2 GB minus one 4 KB page), while large address aware 32-bit processes can allocate up to 4 GB. Any application is a process…

      64bit windows can handle 8 terabytes per process.
      http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778%28v=vs.85%29.aspx

    • Danarchist says:

      You would be surprised, actually probably nervous, if you knew how many Network Admins I talk to in a week that do not realize minimum system requirements actually mean minimum to run just this software+OS. I ran into a guy, at a nuclear plant no less!, that thought he could run a Domino mail server, security for it and a local AV, plus Active Directory on a system with 2 gigs of RAM. Glad I don’t live within blast radius of him anyways.

    • thegooseking says:

      You can find out. Windows 7 should ideally be using all your memory, but most of it is cache that it can free up for programs you want to run. Hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete and start task manager, then go to the performance tab.

      You should see your 4GB under ‘Total’ physical memory. ‘Cached’ is how much memory Windows is using for stuff it thinks you might need, to make it load faster. ‘Available’ is what you want to be looking at. This is memory that might be in use (e.g. for caching), but that Windows can give to a process that asks for it (e.g. by getting rid of the cached stuff that’s in there). That’s how much memory will be available to Skyrim.

      (‘Free’ should be some small number. That’s normal. Don’t worry about it. Free memory is unused memory is wasted memory, so it’s good to have that number small. ‘Available’ is the important one.)

    • thegooseking says:

      In 32 bit windows, you only have 4 gigs of address space available. If you have a video card with 1 gig of ram, you have 3 gigs left. This has nothing to do with physical ram, it’s just how high a 32 bit OS can count. If you have 2 gigs of ram on the video card, you’re stuck with only 2 gigs of addressable space left. So if you were foolish enough to have 16 gigs of ram on your motherboard, you could only use 2 gigs. The BIOS also needs a tiny amount of memory space to keep track of things.

      A single standard process on a 32-bit Windows operating system is limited to a total of 2,093,056 kilobytes (2 GB minus one 4 KB page), while large address aware 32-bit processes can allocate up to 4 GB. Any application is a process…

      A large-address-aware 32-bit process can only allocate up to 3GB of RAM on 32-bit Windows. In a typical 32-bit Windows, there is a limit of 4GB (including, as you say, video RAM), which is split by 2GB being allocated to a process, and 2GB being restricted to the kernel. Large-address-awareness on 32-bit Windows makes use of 4GT (4 Gigabyte Tuning), which is just a different way of splitting the memory: with 4GT, a process can have 3GB, while the kernel is limited to 1GB.

    • Badjelly says:

      From my understanding of windows servers I would suggest the memory works thus, normally with 4GB installed, 2GB is for the kernel memory and 2GB is for the user memory. You can use a /3GB boot.ini switch to use 1GB for kernel memory and 3GB for user memory. Kernel memory is used by the OS for things like accessing hardware, user memory is where your programs run, they will ask the OS kernel to do stuff like get info from the disk etc… My guess is that the Large Address Aware switch lets the a 64bit OS know that the 32bit program use the full 4GB addressable space. As an aside, 32bit SQL Server running on a 32bit OS could use more than 4GB for it’s buffer cache, the OS needed a /PAE switch in it’s boot.ini file and the 32bit SQL Server needed to have AWE (Address Windowing Extensions) memory usage enabled.

      edit: if you are running a 64bit OS with only 4GB of RAM, you ask yourself why? memory is cheap, throw a bit more RAM in your rig and experience the advantage of a 64bit OS.

  11. KingCathcart says:

    Yeah but can it run Crysis?

  12. AshEnke says:

    About the accented characters not displaying properly, you english-speaking people don’t have this problem with your language, but us french have a lot of accents everywhere and the french version of the game was broken with these last patches because of these.

  13. alundra says:

    Did you people notice there is an online play mod @ the nexus?

    http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3592

  14. sinister agent says:

    Large addresses make Skyrim load faster if you live in a big house. This is why they’re important.

  15. Neon Kitten says:

    After all this time, this patch STILL doesn’t allow the game to run on a secondary monitor, despite the option being available in the launcher (an option that worked just fine in Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas).

    It’s kind of put me off playing the game until it gets fixed, sadly.

  16. Fearzone says:

    Yesterday I got the 4 gb launcher. Might have been just my imagination or wishful thinking, but the game felt smoother, slicker, and less drag over time. Glad to see Bethesda make it official.

  17. Premium User Badge Thirith says:

    Yay, accented characters! Finally Manuel the khajiit will see the light of day! ;-)

  18. Ultima says:

    Wow, it only took them a month and ten days to add a basic PC function that should have been there from the start.

    Bethesda truly is a learning animal.

    • thegooseking says:

      You mean compared to the year it took ARMA2 to implement it (patch 1.07), or the year and four months it took for The Sims 3 to implement it (patch 1.17), or the fact that WoW only implemented it in April this year (after god knows how long of being asked to do so by the community, but a year after Blizzard released a patch that caused WoW to require more memory than it was allowed)?

      Or perhaps you’re referring to that long list handful of games that do ship with LAA.

    • Weylund The Second says:

      LAA is not “a basic PC function”. It may be trivial to implement, but not to test, and it can’t be taken for granted, like 99% of the gaming public seems to think it should be. It doesn’t just magically, automatically work, and when it really *doesn’t* work, it’s gonna blow stuff up.

      I’d say implementing and testing LAA in roughly a week, on a game of Skyrim’s size, is downright admirable.

    • FCA says:

      Given that a LAA patch was a known workaround for crashes in their games since Morrowind, they certainly took their time.
      Especially the community provided “patches” (more like howtos) to do this yourself, which unfortunately were broken by Skyrim’s integration with Steam.

    • thegooseking says:

      Given that a LAA patch was a known workaround for crashes in their games since Morrowind, they certainly took their time.

      LAA has been known to be useful for extensively modded (i.e. overhauled) Morrowind since, oh, about last year. Which is not nearly the same thing as “since Morrowind”. Not sure why you’d want to make it appear that way.

    • FCA says:

      Well, for Morrowind it is only measurably useful when using lots of mods indeed, but I’ve been using it ever since I found out about the tool, which was more than one year ago. Sure, I was doing a bit of hyperbole when I said “since Morrowind”, but technically I’m correct. All of their games since Morrowind benefit from it. Certainly since Skyrim has larger textures than say, Oblivion, so the memory load is probably a lot like a heavily modded Oblivion.

      I can’t find an exact release date for the tools/patches/howtos, but at least a youtube video with detailed instructions for Fallout 3 from September 2009, so 1 year is certainly too low. Given that they’ve had over 8 years to work with this engine (Netimmerse -> Gamebryo -> Creation is largely the same) you’d think these kind of bugs would be ironed out….

    • Weylund The Second says:

      So what you’re saying is, LAA only helps when you’re not using their program as it was designed to be run. Is that right? Because it sounds like vanilla Morrowind runs just fine without it. Which means they did their job. And modders came along and created situations where the engine didn’t perform well. And you’re blaming Bethesda.

      I wonder how many people having trouble with Skyrim were using mods. RPS?

  19. gametic114 says:

    Finally a patch that doesn’t break the 360 controller. Runs great so far, but I still wish such a heavy game like Skyrim didn’t use minimum power.

  20. Squirrelfanatic says:

    And Merry Christmas to you too, Bethesda!

  21. Apples says:

    Opening important texts always happens but only on certain items/bodies – I haven’t updated my game ever and I was very surprised when it happened for the first time in my last play session. So probably the 4GB thing is the only change really (…that us non-filthy-foreigners care about)!

  22. TODD says:

    Better headline: “Bethesda Enters 2004.”

    • Weylund The Second says:

      Except it’s more like 2008 or 2009, really, and that only for people who understood what was going on and knew the difference between a 32- and 64-bit OS, which isn’t everybody. And which is probably longer than Skyrim’s been in development.

      My guess is that, on their test machines with an un-modded Skyrim, they never ran into problems with running out of memory, not least because they were targeting consoles. People out in the world do not configure their systems so sanely.

      Finally, they’re using bits and pieces from old engines, so it’s not safe to assume you can just “put in” LAA and it’ll work.

      This sort of hyperbole is why game developers find it hard to listen when customers complain about technical issues. You don’t understand a damned thing that’s going on, and yet you’re willing to rant about it until the sun goes down.

  23. Gothnak says:

    Great, another patch… That means Steam will delete my TESV.exe and i’ll have to do a filecheck and update all my settings again…

    3/3 patches so far…

  24. chiroben says:

    OK, so someone may have mentioned this before but I’m much more interested in the sound of my own voice than what you other people have to say… but for me the main difference in 4GB change, as it was for the 4GB mod, is that instead of crashing every fifteen minutes or so the game seems to crash… well…. never.

  25. povu says:

    Even though Skyrim never got anywhere near 2 GB of RAM usage (let alone more than that) for me, the LAA switch did solve issues with texture replacers acting odd (skin textures going black with Xenius Character Enhancement) so having this in the official update is nice.

  26. psyk says:

    Not played with the new patch yet but how is

    “important texts from bodies were automagically opening when I looted, rather than waiting for me to pick them up and dig them out of the inventory.”

    A good thing? it sounds like a great way to remove control while pandering to fish people.

    Oh yeah and something like 79.89% of steam users who have done the hardware survey have 4GB of ram or under.

  27. 78stonewobble says:

    I don’t own skyrim but I have played quite a bit of oblivion. Far most of it with mods. Normally I don’t think graphics are that important to a good game but…

    Oblivion, when it came out, was good looking and e ven today with mods its one helluva good looking game (not in all areas offcourse).

    To me it’s a combination of the detail and the whole complexity of the miljeau(spelling?) that adds alot of immersion for me.

    And any technical change that can allow modders to add that little bit extra is a good thing.

  28. MCM says:

    Too little (maybe), too late (definitely.)

    I mean, really. Would it have been so bad if Skyrim had come out this week (right before Christmas) instead of on 11/11/11?

    The 11/11/11 release date had been advertised for MONTHS. Clearly their marketing department set that date, not anyone actually familiar with the, you know, programming side of the program.

    Pretty downright inexcusable and I give Bethesda very little credit for releasing patch 40 days after the game came out. Hey, guess what, if your game needs 40 more days to be done right, maybe you should take 40 more days to do it? Or hire another guy to help if you really have to hit that magick 11/11/11 date?

    • Nid says:

      Of course they can’t release the game this week.

      Everyone has pretty much finished buying presents for Christmas. There would be no time for the success of the game to get out, and people to actually purchase it, and for Bethesda to actually cash in on the sales.

      Why do you think all the big releases were in november?

      It’s a great thing that Bethesda is actually maintaining and improving their software. Whereas modders can mod at their own peril, Bethesda has to run QC on their software before releasing a patch. This takes time.

  29. jolouh says:

    uw4u4ejh