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“Will break indefinitely”: changing the compiler in the Anniversary Edition will deprive TES V: Skyrim of support for many mods

For the decade of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, November 11, Bethesda Software will release a new re-release of the game – the Anniversary Edition. As it turned out, technical innovations will complicate the work of custom modifications – many of them will need to be fixed.

Global mod Falskaar.  Image source: nexusmods.com

Global mod Falskaar. Image source: nexusmods.com

The problem was noticed by the user Reddit under the nickname Extrwi, the developer of the popular Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) toolkit, which expands the scripting capabilities of the game and allows mod creators to add new features. He explained that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition will use the Visual Studio 2019 compiler, while the Special Edition generates code using Visual Studio 2015. This will prevent mods that include the original code (for example, modifying gameplay).

Extrwi suggests that the developers decided to change the compiler due to the fact that the Xbox Live libraries required for achievements in the Windows Store are supported in Visual Studio since version 2017. According to him, only code rework will help to avoid the trouble: the authors will have to rewrite the signatures and filter procedures and re-find functions.

Enderal: Forgotten Stories is a global mod for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  Image source: Steam

Global mod Enderal: Forgotten Stories. Image source: Steam

Extrwi himself is confident that he can quickly make the necessary changes to SKSE, but he doubts about other modders and plugin authors. “The plugin ecosystem has been around for a long time, and many developers have not supported their code for a long time, – he explained. – Almost all plugin creators will have to take some steps to get them working with the Anniversary Edition. In fact, this means that after the release of the re-release, the modifications with the native code will break for an indefinite time. “

Extrwi advised everyone who is worried about possible problems with mods to postpone the installation of the new edition by disabling automatic game updates on Steam and on consoles. He confirmed that the Anniversary Edition will be released as an update and not as a separate product. In addition, the developer recommends that you run the game only through the modification manager or SKSE and make copies of the executable file and some others (the list can be found at the link above). He also urged users not to blame Bethesda Game Studios and the plugin creators.

Image source: bethesda.net

Image source: bethesda.net

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition will include all DLCs (Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn), Special Edition enhancements, and over 500 Creation Club content (including Fishing, Survival Mode, and Saints and Seducers questline). The three named mods are free to all Special Edition owners on any platform. In addition, title holders and Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Xbox Series X and S will receive improvements for this generation of consoles are free.

Extrwi also noted that Fallout 3 switched to Visual Studio 2019 with the recent update. However, according to him, this is unlikely to cause any difficulties, since the third part is of much less interest to the modding community than Fallout: New Vegas.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition will be released on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S.

About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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