Tired of exploring Skyrim's rolling mountainscapes all by your lonesome? One enterprising modder hopes to alter the experience by allowing you to link up with your friends. "Skyrim Online" adds many of the trimmings you'd expect to find in a conventional online multiplayer roleplaying game, including the ability to quest, chat and trade with other players over the Internet. That's the plan, anyway. In its current alpha build, the mod only allows you to see and chat with other players, who appear as naked prisoners, which should still offer some entertainment value.
You can download the add-on through Skyrim Nexus, but you'll definitely want to skim the release notes before taking the plunge. For instance, the three-step installation instructions mentions that Skyrim Online will overwrite your existing configuration files, so be sure to back them up. There are also various bugs to consider, including incompatibility with other mods, crashing for unknown reasons and user interface glitches. It also has the potential to break fast travel and you'll have to delete saves made with Skyrim Online installed, so back up all your saved games.
Although it shipped with various bugs and a quirky menu system, Bethesda's latest RPG has received over two dozen "game of the year" awards, according to a recent press release. "We are gratified that Skyrim continues to garner high review scores and accolades around the world," said ZeniMax Media CEO and Chairman Robert Altman. That popularity is highlighted by the fact that Skyrim represents the fastest-selling title in Steam's history, though it's worth noting that all versions of the game ship with Steamworks. In other words, retail copies helped break that record.