Tuesday, 29 November 2011

More Than Mildly Annoyed With Skyrim

I know I have some regular viewers even if I don't know who they actually are...so I'm still alive despite not posting for over a week or thereabouts.

I've been playing Age of Conan again and considering what's been happening with my Skyrim game I'll be staying with AOC, Deus Ex and other mostly stable games for awhile yet if the imminent patch for Skyrim this week doesn't fix the freezes and sudden exits to desktop.  There are the texture bugs as well but that's tolerable, lockups are not.

I started out the game with no problems at all except for only one freeze and a couple of sudden exits to the desktop in over 50 hours that I can remember, but tonight I decided to play after a week's hiatus doing other things, and it froze twice in less than an hour and that includes the time having to hard reset the PC...twice.   After all the drama I've had with HDD failure this and last year I'm not happy having to hard reset frequently because of a game, even if it is a new drive and different brand.

I also spent quite some time between lockups and play attempts researching issues including the ENBSeries dll fix but it still freezes randomly.  Doesn't seem to be a catalyst....for example I can be just walking my horse along a road and BAM....freeze, or a dragon attacks and ...again, freeze.   It's not magic effects or the sound issue some are having, but completely random, even just standing still in the middle of town doing nothing.

No need to suggest all the usual things like drivers, defragging, checking for overheating etc, etc.  been there done it all to no avail.   And it's only this game with issues.  Every other new and old game I have, (besides Oblivion) performs perfectly, except for the very occasional crash in Age of Conan after playing for 8 hours straight.  That can be excused I think.

Ironically, I haven't allowed STEAM to download the second patch as I play my STEAM games in offline mode, but from what I've read that has caused a major uproar among players and is worse than the problems I'm having now.   

I've didn't try the (serious) suggestion to run TESV.exe in Windows 95 compatibility mode...What the hell...in this day and age that is beyond ludicrous.  Maybe I should give it a whirl, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope.  I'm afraid that if the game freezes again I'll do something violent.

Anyway, it comes down to the fact that I'm sick to death of micro managing games.   Oblivion was boring, uninspiring and level scaled without mods and the only way I could play it is with it modded as much as possible.   I don't play it anymore and have no further interest in it not only because of the constant management and tweaking, but mainly because it's had it's day.  I think I've only played it a few short times this year actually.  The contrast between it and Skyrim is light years, if only Skyrim was in a stable condition.

If the forthcoming Skyrim PC patch doesn't sort out these freezes, which are affecting users of Windows XP primarily, but not exclusively according to a very long thread on the Official forums, the game is going in the cupboard until and if something is done.   Whatever the cause, it's recognized as a genuine issue and Bethesda have asked people for their DirectX reports and specific info re the problems.   So, it's not just me and a few others.   If I could afford to upgrade to Windows 7 and buy more RAM I probably would, although I'm still happy enough with XP as it does what I need.

It seems obvious that the tweaked and renamed Gamebryo engine wasn't tweaked enough or there has been some other reason for the problems, like rushing to release on the specified day which is a big mistake in the first place.  It should have been..."When it's finished", not a definite date.   Bethesda should have know better.

Then I have to wonder if these freezes, graphic issues, quest bugs, and animation glitches like activators not working, (switches and puzzle elements in dungeons etc) weren't picked up in testing, assuming it was done on various systems besides consoles and they have their own problems.   Surely someone noticed things weren't in a stable state.

I'm trying  very hard not to be a whiner and complain about the obvious console porting and lack of love for faithful PC users who actually supported the devs over the years only to be kicked in the teeth with a console port.  There's more than enough whining and generally insulting, juvenile behaviour on the Official and Nexus forums, but hopefully that will settle down after a certain number of people have had their five minutes of fame and their user name in a flame thread....often as the instigator.

Anyhow, here's hoping Bethesda come to the party and support this game more than they did Oblivion and if not the talented modders we have may do their magic and fix all ills.....when the Creation kit is released.

I just found this very basic list of things that are supposed to be fixed. for all platforms.  I love how they say "rare" bugs when some of them seem to be happening with annoying frequency to a lot of people.

The author of this article mentions other things he or she would like to see fixed.  I'll add a few I'd like to see way before decorating and marriage fixes.   The ability for horses to step backwards, not be suicidal heroes and the sole attraction for bandits and monsters, more UI fixes than listed there but I guess it's a start, the disappearing or weirdly distorting textures bug, quests fixed and general stability issues fixed.  Not to mention level scaling which is still there for loot tables and general balancing.  I hate level scaling.

Hurry on Wednesday for the PC patch.  (And the Xboxers patch...lol)

Another thing....for heaven's sake, can we have less cabbages.  Phew!!!  What about a few turnips instead.  /jk

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