As I mentioned in my earlier post about starting Gyllerah on ESO, I filed a support ticket with Bethesda about how the ESO launcher crashed out on me as soon as I hit the Play button, when trying to run natively on my new Mac.
Unsurprisingly, their primary answer to this was “sorry, we don’t support the game on M1 Macs”. They likewise also had to tell me that they don’t support playing in VMs, either.
I was not surprised by this answer. There is an announcement Bethesda put up that basically says the same thing, and I’d already seen that announcement. And speaking as an SDET who’s had quite a bit of experience with software development, even if I haven’t worked on something as huge and complex as a worldwide MMO, I can see where they’re coming from when they say it’d be a huge deal for them to try to rework ESO’s code base to make it support ARM machines.
(Further extensive geekery about this behind the fold.)
I’d already called out in my pages for the Anna Play Skyrim site that I’d been planning to upgrade my primary laptop and get an M1 version of the MacBook Pro. Dara’s also recently upgraded her laptop, but I wanted one with the fancier M1 Pro Max chip, because I knew for sure that I wanted to game on it. And I also wanted 32GB of RAM.
The surprising part that comes in here is this: Apple dropping a bunch of security updates and Catalina, the version of the operating system my prior machine has, not receiving any. Apple never actually announces these things to the public, but that round of security updates strongly suggested to Dara and me that Catalina had fallen off their official support matrix.
Which meant that that machine, Aroree, is probably now unpatchable. Which is not acceptable for any machine actively talking to the Internet.
So I’d been setting aside some funds already intending to save up for the new machine. The security update situation, though, accelerated my and Dara’s timetable for when we were willing to get me a machine, too. I went ahead and ordered one a couple of weeks ago.
And now Apple actually shipped it to me this week, a whole week earlier than expected. 😀
I’ve gotten it set up now, including with a Windows 11 VM. Which means that this new machine–dubbed Lydia–is now in play as a thing I can game on.
I’d hoped to try to run Elder Scrolls Online on this machine, but that’s proving problematic. (More on this in my next post.)
So for now my primary gaming intentions on this machine are going to be Skyrim-focused. Primarily, that’s going to be Skyrim Together Reborn. I have STR functional on the Deck now, but doing it on the laptop will actually be better, because I’ll have a bigger screen and a full keyboard at the same time. And can plug in headphones for voice chat purposes.
That said, it’s also pretty much guaranteed that I will experiment with mods on this machine as well! It may be even better for modded playthroughs than the Deck, I dunno yet. It’ll be fun to find out!
I’ll be updating relevant Anna Plays Skyrim site pages to include this new addition to my gaming-capable electronics! And I’ll have plenty to say about the machine in general over on the main annathepiper.org blog soon.