Those of you following the checkered story of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim probably already know a few things. First, as our own Rob Keyes pointed out in his review, the game is pretty awesome. Second, the game has already been privy to a few updates, but it seems that with each update the developers over at Bethesda break something else.
The cycle of fixes and patches has caused many players to put their Skyrim adventures on hold until the issues are resolved. For folks playing the PS3 version, however, lag in loadtimes and framerate have become major issues. On Monday, Joshua Sawyer, Project Director on Fallout: New Vegas, issued several statements regarding why the lag issue exists for PS3 players, and speculated that it would take a very long time to fix.
"[The PS3 lag is] an engine-level issue with how the save game data is stored. We're talking about how the engine fundamentally saves off and references data at run time. Restructuring how that works would require a large time commitment."
Today, Bethesda's Pete Hines, vice president of PR and marketing, stated via Twitter that Sawyer's comments were unfounded. Hines goes so far as to say that Sawyer's comments are representative of issues that have already been solved.
"No, it isn't true. He brings up issues we solved long ago. Josh Sawyer did not work on Skyrim nor this engine and his comments don't reflect how the current tech works."
Hines also posted a link to the Bethesda community forums with tips on to how to improve Skyrim's performance on a PS3. The post, made by a senior community manager, follows.
"As we continue to work on updates for PS3 (as well as Xbox 360 and PC), here are some helpful pointers that can help the game's performance."
"Turn off auto saves. This can cause temporary stuttering since the PS3 saves these files in the background. This is most noticeable with large saves when fast traveling to a new area or entering a new area that auto saves."
"Clear space on your hard drive. Skyrim makes heavy use of the hard drive, and freeing up space on here seems to help many people. Hard drive speeds also differ in PS3 models. Some users have reported increase performance by upgrading their drives."
Waiting for time to pass. Many things are running in the world depending on what quests you've done or places you have visited. Using Wait or Rest options, passing time will clear up some of these. It depends how long you wait, it may take up to 30 days for some items. Saving, resetting, and loading after this will have the largest effect.
The latest edition to the Elder Scrolls franchise, Skyrim has experienced several issues post-release. In fact, even before the game was released a day one patch was revealed, but the fixes within were not. Shortly after its release, players of the Xbox 360 began to experience texture resolution issues associated with installing the game.
Meanwhile, there were also reports of PS3 copies of the game having lag issues associated with save game file sizes. It was originally thought that both of these problems would be solved with the subsequent 1.2 patch, but sadly the PS3 issue has continued to be a problem despite some tweaks from Bethesda.
As if all of this weren't bad enough, the 1.2 patch also completely removed magick resistances, thus rendering some player builds useless. Here's hoping that these issues are resolved soon as there are probably scores of gamers out there who are eager to resume wandering the vast expanse that is Tamriel.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim is available now for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
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