Bethesda has released patch 1.2 for Skyrim today through Steam. First, take a look at the rather short list of changes below.
Improved occasional performance issues resulting from long term play (PlayStation 3)
Fixed issue where textures would not properly upgrade when installed to drive (Xbox 360)
Fixed crash on startup when audio is set to sample rate other than 44100Hz (PC)
Fixed issue where projectiles did not properly fade away
Fixed occasional issue where a guest would arrive to the player’s wedding dead
Dragon corpses now clean up properly
Fixed rare issue where dragons would not attack
Fixed rare NPC sleeping animation bug
Fixed rare issue with dead corpses being cleared up prematurely
Skeleton Key will now work properly if player has no lockpicks in their inventory
Fixed rare issue with renaming enchanted weapons and armor
Fixed rare issue with dragons not properly giving souls after death
ESC button can now be used to exit menus (PC)
Fixed occasional mouse sensitivity issues (PC)
General functionality fixes related to remapping buttons and controls (PC)
That is the entire list of changes. Some "rare" issues fixed and a few interface improvements made. There are no quest fixes or PC engine improvements or anything like that. But okay, the patch would be okay at this point; not a major improvement but a good step forward.
Of course, this is Bethesda, so that isn't possible. The patch breaks all elemental and magic resistances except the Elemental Protection block perk. Racial abilities, other perks, item enchantments, potions, and natural enemy resistances are all broken. They have no effect. You can kill a Flame Atronach with fire, your full set of shock resistance armor won't save you from a lightning bolt, and your 100% frost resistant vampire can be killed by frost spells. At the moment, many items and perks and abilities are entirely useless.
Update: Ianpatt, one of the people working on the Skyrim Script Extender, seems to have fixed the elemental resistances with the latest SKSE update. That was quick.
But wait, there's more! Dragon AI (the "rare" issue supposedly fixed) has gone haywire, with dragons flying backwards or not engaging targets or simply flying away. The much-appreciated bookshelves in houses are broken too, making removing or adding books impossible in many cases.
We're sttill not done. I haven't encountered these next problems myself (yet?) but I've read multiple reports for each issue. Users are reporting issues with the favorites menu or map closing erroneously, lockpicking controls not functioning at all, menu or container controls not working, vertical (Y-) mouse sensitivity changing for the worse, Xbox360 controllers not working correctly on the PC, and some visual effects (such as from spells) not displaying correctly or at all.
Most of those problems are probably the result of the "general functionality fixes relating to remapping buttons and controls," which were apparently too difficult for Bethesda to make without screwing up other things. Or, as now seems common with Bethesda patches (and games), there was inadequate QA and/or the patch was rushed out before QA could do its job or developers could fix the problems that were found.
These problems aren't new for Bethesda. An update to Oblivion's Construction Set broke its lip-sync functionality; that was never fixed and even persisted into the Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas G.E.C.Ks. I wouldn't be surprised if there is still no lip-sync in the Skyrim Creation Kit. Patch 1.1 for Fallout 3 broke mouse acceleration (now it's almost a trend) and broke V.A.T.S., the hyped combat system central to the game. Patch 1.5 fundamentally broke the way that .ESPs (mod/plugin files created by the G.E.C.K.) work. Users found and developed a workaround there, of course, since Bethesda had zero interest in doing so.
When you add this to Bethesda's abysmal patching habits, it generally falls to modders to fix Bethesda games. Morrowind had 2 patches, plus 1 patch each with the Tribunal and Bloodmoon expansions, for 4 total, which wasn't too bad although a lot of bugs still remained. Oblivion had 1 beta patch, followed by 2 official patches. After Shivering Isles was released users (not Bethesda, of course) discovered, investigated, and diagnosed a fatal bug related to FormID generation, which resulted in 2 more beta patches and 1 official patch. Note that those patches fixed nothing except that serious bug, so there were really only 2 full patches.
Fallout 3 had patch 1.1 with a small amount of bug fixes and quest fixes, but it also broke VATS. Patch 1.4 was next; that one zero fixes and only added DLC support. Patch 1.5 fixed one issue from patch 1.1 and three other unrelated issues, but broke .ESPs. Patch 1.6 fixed 2/3 of the problems caused by patch 1.5 and added more DLC support. The final patch, 1.7, added more DLC support, and nothing else. So Fallout 3 had one real patch (which broke a major gameplay feature) and one minor patch (which fixed some of the first patch and 3 other issues but broke .ESP functionality).
Bethesda does not effectively support their games after the games are released. They throw out a few mediocre patches, toss modders the editor so they can fix everything else (leaving console users screwed), and move on to producing and selling DLC. Other game developers, both smaller and larger than Bethesda, release more patcher, better patches, and patches longer after a game's release. Bethesda has no excuse. Of course, they also have no substantial competition in terms of large-scale open-world RPGs, which is probably part of the problem.
read more: Skyrim Patch 1.2 Released...Breaks Resistances, Bookshelves, Dragons, More