Update: The mad lad has done it again. Only six days after beating his own record by two minutes following a 10-month hiatus from the category, nucular has again lowered the Skyrim glitchless world record. The run now stands at 1:11:21, and nucular believes sub 1:10:00 is possible.
Original Story: Whenever I come back to Skyrim, I spend an obscene amount of time planning out my character, luxuriating in the beginner areas for hours before finally deciding there's something wrong with the guy I rolled and leaving the game for another 12 months or so before coming back and repeating the process again. I promise I will beat the main quest one day.
Other people have the exact opposite problem: Skyrim speedrunner nucular (Jackson Reynolds on YouTube) has never stopped to smell a single rose in Tamriel. As reported by TheGamer, he beat his own ten month-strong glitchless world record by almost two minutes, setting a new time of 1:12:15.
Nucular opted to use the same overall route through the game, unlocking fast travel points and completing main quest objectives in a precise order. Nucular improved on his previous time by minimizing mistakes and adapting strategies from his glitchless speedruns on the legendary difficulty. In the comments section of his new WR, he stated he believes he can shave at least another 30 seconds off his record in this manner.
"Glitch-free" certainly does not mean "exploit-free" in the context of this run. From the very beginning, nucular uses some wonky collision to parkour his way through the intro level, Helgen, sequence breaking his way past Skyrim's lengthy introduction. Another interesting trick up his sleeve is using the game's "wait" function to restore health, stamina, and draconic shouts with reckless abandon. As nucular pointed out to some perturbed commenters, the Skyrim speedrunning community have chosen to include these strategies in this category.
There is certainly a huge time differential between nucular's 1:12:15 glitchless run and the anything goes, glitch-a-palooza 22:58 any% world record held by the speedrunner Waz.
Whatever your philosophy on competition and what constitutes a "glitch," it's an impressive achievement by nucular. I'll be lucky if I finish this dark elf nightblade playthrough before the hundred-hour mark, if I finish it at all before creating a new character.