Bethesda's latest patch for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim contains a bug that breaks resistance – and has caused some dragons to break with tradition by flying backwards.
Resistances are enchantments that reduce the damage the player takes from certain attacks. Players have found that not only are their enchantments having no effect on the damage they take after installing the patch, but it applies to every NPC, creature and enemy in the game.
It's embarrassing stuff for Bethesda, which has been working on patches to fix technical issues present in all versions of the game since its launch earlier this month. The Xbox 360 version had texture scaling problems; PS3 players experienced severe framerate drops when their save files exceeded 5MB in size; and PC players complained of freezes of several seconds in outdoor areas.
So inundated was Bethesda with complaints from gamers demanding fixes that the publisher's VP of PR and marketing, Pete Hines, took to Twitter to tell players: "Patches/updates take a little time. We can't turn it around quite that fast. It's been three days. Calm down, we're working on it."
While the speed at which Bethesda has issued fixes – the latest patch coming just 19 days after launch, far quicker than the platform holders' certification processes typically allow – is commendable, it's deeply disappointing that such an obvious error wasn't picked up before the patch was submitted.
Players can choose not to install the update when prompted, but will be signed out of Xbox Live or PSN as a result.