Update #2: The patch is now out on Xbox Live, too, which is nice. Confirmation comes by way of The Elder Scrolls Twitter account.
Subsequent tweets clarified that the patch will be released on PS3 later today.
Update: Skyrim patch 1.9 has been released in its final form on Steam. "For console players out there, we're hoping to release 1.9 later this month," wrote Bethesda on its blog.
Since the patch went into beta testing on Steam, there's been clarification (on Reddit) about how the new Legendary skills effectively do away with Skyrim's level cap (81).
If you have a skill at 100, you can opt to have it become Legendary by using the Book of Waking Dreams. This resets the skill to 15 and reimburses you all invested perk points in that tree. A little Imperial dragon symbol is displayed underneath the name of the skill tree.
You're now free to level that skill again to 100, and in doing so can gain another character level. With each new character level - level 82 and beyond - you gain a new perk point and ability point.
Theoretically you can rinse-repeat this process an indefinite amount of times, gaining as many new perk and ability points as you can bear to grind out.
Each time you opt for that skill to become Legendary, another Imperial dragon symbol is displayed. These symbols, I think, do nothing but serve as a memory marker for how many times you've Legendary-d a skill.
Skyrim patch 1.9 adds a new Legendary difficulty to make this worth your while.
Original story: There's a new Skyrim patch available in beta on PC that effectively does away with the game's level cap.
Until now, the highest level a character could reach was 81. But patch 1.9 adds a Legendary difficulty and the ability to make skills Legendary, and this changes everything.
"Skills of 100 can be made Legendary," the Bethesda blog announced. "This will reset the skill to 15, return its Perks and allow the skill to affect levelling again. This effectively removes the overall level cap."
I don't understand what the benefit of making a skill Legendary - only to lose all your skill and perks in that line - is, but then I am a bit simple.
It doesn't look like enough people have tried the new patch to offer their thoughts on the official forum yet either.
Do remember that this is a beta version of the patch. If you want to test it, open your Steam Library, right-click on Skyrim, select Properties then the Beta tab and then opt in.
Patch 1.9 also has a huge list of bug fixes. I thought I'd list them all below.
- General memory and stability improvements
- Fixed issue with quest scripts that were not shutting down properly
- Companions will equip better weapons and armor if given to them
- Fixed rare issue where player is unable to learn the Clear Skies shout during "The Throat of the World"
- Fixed rare instance where Alduin would become invincible during "Alduin's Bane"
- Fixed a rare issue where player could become stuck in Night Mother's coffin during "Death Incarnate"
- Fixed rare issue where protected companions could be killed from poison damage
- Fixed rare issue with certain ash piles left from resurrected NPCs not clearing properly
- Fixed rare issue with NPCs and creatures respawning improperly after player fast travels
- Fixed rare crash when entering Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary
- Fixed rare crash when entering a player owned home
- Random dragon attacks will no longer occur during "Battle for Whiterun"
- Fixed a rare crash when attempting to save your game during "Waking Nightmare"
- Fixed issue where "Glory of the Undead" would not start properly if player is in combat with Eorlund Gray-Mane
- The white phial is no longer consumed if given to a follower
- If player marries Aela, the "Totem of Hircine" quest will be available
- Unused briar hearts can be dropped after finishing "The White Phial"
- Fixed issue with paying off a crime against the Companions that prevented player from getting Companions quests properly
- Thieves Guild caches are now properly enabled in the appropriate cities
- The Dragon Infusion perk now works properly when taking Esbern's Potion
- Cragslane Cave properly resets if player receives a radiant quest to clear it out
- Fixed rare issue with bounty quest objectives not properly clearing after completion
- Gallus' Encoded Journal is no longer a quest item after completing the Thieves Guild
- In "No Stone Unturned" Vex will now accept Unusual Gems if you've collected them all before starting the quest
- Vekel the Man now gives rewards for completing "Toying with The Dead"
- Fixed rare issue with being unable to turn in stolen items in "The Litany of Larceny"
- Fixed issue with followers becoming over-encumbered after being repeatedly rehired
- Fixed rare issue with visiting Kynesgrove on horseback not progressing "A Blade in the Dark" properly
- Fixed issue with receiving a duplicate radiant quest from a Jarl
- Fixed conflict with clearing Driftshade Sanctuary before starting "Trouble in Skyrim"
- Fixed issue with using shouts while in jail and having guards unlock the jail cell
- Fixed rare issue with quest NPCs not properly moving to quest locations
- Fixed issue with NPCs not selling master level spells
- Fixed rare issue where player gets control locked outside the Thalmor Embassy at the start of "Diplomatic Immunity"
- Fixed rare issue with disappearing containers after upgrades in player owned house
- Fixed issue with being erroneously attacked while as a werewolf during "Ill Met By Moonlight"
- The Ebony Blade is now only improved by two handed perks
- Locked door to Proudspire Manor can now be unlocked by proper key
- Fixed issue with merchants not receiving the proper additional gold with the Investor perk
- Fixed a rare issue where the player would be unable to learn a word after leaving for several days during "The Way of The Voice"
- The Nord Hero Bow can now be improved
- The Purity perk no longer requires the Experimenter perk
- Fixed rare instance where Lovers Comfort would not be applied properly
- If you approach Frostmere Crypt from the north, "The Pale Lady" will start properly
- Fixed rare issue where player could be prevented from speaking with Atub to start "The Cursed Tribe"
- Fixed rare issue where a dragon could appear in the Mind of a Madman realm and kill the player
- Fixed instance where player could get stuck in Japhet's Folly
- Fixed rare instances where Arngeir would not teach Worldwind Sprint
- Fixed issue with "Ill Met By Moonlight" if Sinding dies before the quest starts
- Gharol can now properly train up to level 75
- Fixed conflict with visiting The Karthspire before starting "Alduin's Wall"
- Reduced the instance of random dragon attacks after fast traveling post main quest
- Recruited Blades now have appropriate dialogue while at Sky Haven Temple
- Fixed rare issue where an incorrect dungeon could appear as a location during "Totems of Hircine"
- Fixed rare instance in "Fetch me that Book" where books found before getting the quest would not be properly recognized
- Fixed rare issue with traveling to Thalmor Embassy with companions during "Diplomatic Immunity"
- Fixed issues with Matching Set perk not working properly with certain pieces of armor
- Fixed issues with Custom Fit perk not working properly with certain pieces of armor
- Fixed issue with NPC dying in a bear trap blocking progress in "Time of My Need"
- Fixed rare issue with swinging door becoming stuck and blocking an entrance in Volunruud
- Imperial Light Armor can now be crafted
- Fixed issue with "Vald's Debt" where Vald was not leveled properly
- Fixed issue with Vilkas not giving proper greeting after completing "Battle for Whiterun"
- Fixed issue with respawning actors that were raised by using the Ritual Stone power
- Fixed issue with the Ancient Knowledge perk not calculating properly
- The Palace of Kings now has patrolling guards on upper floors
- Reduce percentage chance of getting a werewolf loading screen while player is a werewolf
- Pantea's flute is no longer a quest item after completing "Pantea's Flute"
- Placing an unread Oghma Infinium on a bookshelf in the player's house no longer allows the book to be reused again
- Adjusted dialogue priority to improve chances of hearing more combat dialogue from certain NPC enemies
- Fixed issue with falling damage on high difficulty levels
- Fixed bad collision on certain clutter objects
- Fixed rare instance of couriers who would appear only dressed in a hat