Skyrim SE Thoughts

Recently I have been playing a lot of the Skyrim Special Edition that was released last October. While I am grateful to the developer for providing this full game free of charge to owners of the original game and all DLC, I must wonder why they didn’t take some development opportunity to fix some major bugs in the game which were successfully addressed over the years by the Unofficial Skyrim Patch (USSEP). Seriously, what were they thinking?

This evening I was working on completing the Companions quest line, one of the most popular quest lines in the game. I had already achieved the Werewolf Mastered Steam achievement, and had already been named Harbinger of the Companions by finishing the last primary quest “Glory of the Dead”. This led me to working on some of the radiant quests, which brings you to cleansing both Vilkas and Farkas of their lycanthropy.

What the hell??

When getting the option to assist Vilkas, as soon as you leave Jorrvaskr the game seems to forget all about the radiant quest (no map marker), and Vilkas promptly goes about his business since the AI no longer recognizes him as a follower. But you cannot get anyone else to follow you as the game still thinks that you do have a follower. To say it was about two hours’ worth of ALT+TAB troubleshooting hell would be an understatement.

In the end, I had to complete all the Totems of Hircine quests with Aela the Huntress (which meant grinding through the alternating Animal Extinction quests) to somehow allow the game to let me use the “setstage CR13 100” console command as it was locked as completed (but not completed as in the screen capture above). Prior to completing the Totem quests with Aela, the game refused to recognize the console commands (and yes, I was entering them correctly).

After clearing Vilkas through the console, I could complete Farkas through normal gameplay, at which time I tossed another witch head into the fire to cleanse myself of the lycanthropy scourge. After that I went home and finally could sleep in bed with my avatar wife and gain the Lovers and Mothers comfort buffs for the next day.

And I thought getting this achievement was a grind.

I love Skyrim, but damn if these game breaking bugs take it down a notch. They are game breaking in that not all players would grind as much as I (and countless others) did just to clear something that never ever should have passed through quality assurance testing. AAA titles are supposed to have the requisite alpha and beta testing before being released, not substandard effort on quest critical issues years after release.

Which brings me to the final thought of the maddening decision by the developer to disable achievements for anyone who uses mods in the game, the most popular of which was USSEP which fixed many of the game breaking bugs that the developers couldn’t be bothered with.

Why allow mods in the game if you turn around and penalize the player (of a single player game) for using them?

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