Skyrim gets new difficulty, skill changes in patch 1.9

Skyrim's getting a doozy of an update more than 16 months after its release: A new difficulty, an open-ended skill system which removes the level cap, and dozens of bug fixes may be enough to tempt even the most open-world-weary adventurer back to the icy mountains.

Patch 1.9 will add Legendary difficulty to the game, which we can only assume will be tougher than Master. Similarly-named Legendary Skills are basically RPG Prestiging: skills which have capped out at 100 can be reset to 15 including perks. Players can then improve that skill to gain experience again, meaning the effective level cap is no more.

Finally, a whole bunch of bug fixes should further tame the glitchy reaches of Skyrim; there are too many to list here, but a few highlights are general stability improvements, companions auto-equipping superior gear, and no more couriers "who would appear only dressed in a hat."

PC players can download the beta patch now, and console players will hopefully get their hands on the release version later this month.