Bethesda announced details on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's next major patch today. Update 1.5, now available in beta form through Steam, will make your killing blows a bit more satisfying.
The patch adds "killcam" views for magic and ranged attacks. Melee-oriented characters will have a few new kill moves to look forward to as well. The extra flashiness doesn't fix my issues with the combat but at least it'll distract me from them.
One other big change: your smithing skill increases based on the value of the items you make. Bethesda didn't provide any additional details on this but I assume that it means you can't make a dozens of iron daggers to max out your skill. Good thing I did that back in November!
If you decide to download the beta version of 1.5 through Steam, make sure you back up your saves. Alternately, you can make fresh save files. Your old saves will work with the current version of the game if and when you decided to opt out of the beta.
Bethesda is also planning to release the update for Xbox 360 and PS3. No date was provided. They say it's coming "soon," though.
The trailer and full patch notes are below.
New cinematic kill cameras for projectile weapons and spells
New kill moves and animations for melee weapons
Shadows on grass available (PC)
Smithing skill increases now factor in the created item’s value
Improved visual transition when going underwater
Improved distance LOD transition for snowy landscapes
General crash fixes and memory optimizations
Fixed issue with Deflect Arrows perk not calculating properly
In “A Cornered Rat,” the death of certain NPCs no longer blocks progression
Fixed issue where Farkas would not give Companion’s quests properly
Fixed crash when loading saves that rely on data that is no longer being loaded
Followers sneak properly when player is sneaking
Fixed issue with weapon racks not working properly in Proudspire Manor
Arrows and other projectiles that were stuck in objects in the world now clean up properly
Fixed issue where “Rescue Mission” was preventing “Taking Care of Business” from starting properly
Fixed issue where certain NPCs would fail to become Thieves Guild fences
Fixed issue in “Diplomatic Immunity” where killing all the guards in the Thalmor Embassy before starting the quest would break progress
In “Hard Answers,” picking up the dwarven museum key after completing the quest, no longer restarts the quest
Killing Viola before or after “Blood on the Ice” no longer blocks progression
Fixed issue where Calixto would fail to die properly in “Blood on the Ice”
In “Waking Nightmare” fixed occasional issue where Erandur would stop pathing properly
Fixed issue where letters and notes with random encounters would appear blank
Fixed rare issue where dialogue and shouts would improperly play
Lydia will now offer marriage option after player purchases Breezehome in Whiterun
Fixed issue where if player manually mined ore in Cidhna Mine, jail time would not be served
Fixed rare issue with skills not increasing properly
Fixed issue where the Headsman’s Axe did not gain proper buff from Barbarian perk
In “A Night to Remember” it is no longer possible to kill Ysolda, Ennis or Senna before starting the quest
Fixed issue with the ebony dagger having a weapon speed that was too slow
Fixed issue with “The Wolf Queen Awakened” where backing out of a conversation with Styrr too soon would block progress
The third level of the Limbsplitter perk now properly improves all battle axes
Fixed a rare issue where Sanguine Rose would not work properly
In “Tending the Flames” King Olaf’s Verse will no longer disappear from explosions