The forthcoming Skyrim Anniversary Edition could have a big impact on mod users.
Some of the best Skyrim mods available use the Skyrim Script Extender (SKSE) plug-in, but each time the Bethesda Creation Club receives a new update of content the SKSE can break.
That's why many players will load the game using a separate mod manager.
The Anniversary Edition release includes the Special Edition version of the game along with all mods available in the Creation Club and more yet to be announced.
However, as reported by PC Gamer, rather than releasing the game as its own version on Steam, the Anniversary Edition will be available as an update to the existing entry. This will have a major impact on mods using the SKSE.
"Bethesda has decided to update the compiler used to build the 64-bit version of Skyrim from Visual Studio 2015 to Visual Studio 2019," explains one of the SKSE developers on Reddit. "This changes the way that the code is generated in a way that forces mod developers to start from scratch finding functions and writing hooks.
"Plugins using the Address Library will need to be divided in to 'pre-AE' and 'post-AE' eras. Code signatures and hooks will need to be rewritten. We will all need to find functions again. The compiler's inlining behavior has changed enough that literally a hundred thousand functions have disappeared and been either inlined or deadstripped, to put it in perspective," explains the developer.
This is a considerable amount of work and while SKSE will be updated in due course, many mods are now outdated and likely won't be amended for the new edition. Says the SKSE developer: "This realistically means that the native code mod scene is going to be broken for an unknown length of time after AE's release."
The developer recommends mod users backup their executable and disable updates in Steam in advance of the Anniversary Edition release, due on 11th November.