Frequently Asked Questions - BUGS
What constitutes a bug?
A bug is defined for our purposes as a defect in the game that can be factually proven to be broken. This can be anything from a quest that won't advance a stage when it should, to a typo in a book, and pretty much everything in between. Some judgment is used for issues that are more cosmetic than functional, such as the lack of heat blurs on smelters and forges. The game will obviously function just fine without those, but they constitute unrealistic visual presentation.
How do I report a bug?
Gather as many details as possible. Where did it occur? What did you expect to happen instead? What form IDs (if any) are involved? Are there any specific circumstances that can help narrow things down, like time of day, whether you're a vampire or not, what part of which quest you're on, etc.
Be prepared to justify the report and be as detailed as possible. Details, details, details! You need to be able to provide as many as possible.
Post your report on our bug tracker. Posts to forum threads are too easily lost. Posts to Nexus are going to get hopelessly buried. In fact, posting to any forum at all is just as likely to get ignored due to the high turnover rates. The forums are appropriate for discussing details, not for filing initial reports.
"It's broke, fix it." ---> This is BAD! Always bad, because, well, WHAT is broken?!?
"This armor has bad stats." ---> This is also BAD!
"I found a floating tree 5 miles from Windhelm." ---> BAD!
"There's a house in Solitude with ugly columns." ---> BAD!
"Fix the Gelebor bug." ---> BAD! (What bug?!?)
"It's broke. Stage 15 did not get set as expected when I turned in the Macguffin. Instead I ended up at stage 12 and some idiot told me to kill a zombie instead of a bear." ---> Better.
"This armor should have 15 points of protection. The game is only showing me 10." ---> Better.
"In the tundra southeast of Windhelm, I found a floating tree. It's form ID is [form ID]. Here's a screenshot." ---> Better.
"The alchemy store in Solitude has front support columns that are too short. Here's a screenshot." ---> Better.
"Gelebor won't walk over and activate the wayshrine after he called to me and we talked about his brother. Here's a save to show you." ---> Better.
What kind of evidence is accepted as proof?
Your bug report must first and foremost be reproducible on a vanilla setup using no mods other than the unofficial patches. If this is not the case, no amount of proof is going to sway the decision to fix something. A lot of people have simply stated "it's on the internet" or "the wiki has it listed". This is *NOT* sufficient proof, even if you provide a link directly to a report on a wiki that describes it in detail. All bugs handled by the Unofficial Patch Projects are independently verified before being fixed. There are too many reports in too many unreliable places of "that bug" that are caused by external factors.
Acceptable proof, in no particular order:
- A mod which actually fixes the problem and can be downloaded from a trusted source. No shady off the wall file sharing sites. They tend to be havens for piracy and viruses.
- A saved game with as few mods as possible that will immediately or very shortly exhibit the problem.
- For quests: Logs from quest stages that detail the current state of things, vs what you think they should be at a given moment. The Conskrybe utility is invaluable for this purpose.
- For scripts: Output from the Papyrus logs is best as they will generally detail what precisely is wrong if a script is not working as it should be.
- For weapons & armors: A clear example of what you're reporting. What stats are wrong? Is it a typo? A bad sound setting? An armor model that's pointing to the wrong thing?
- For meshes, a detailed description of what the precise problem is. Overlapping polygons? Bad UV mapping? Holes? Warped posts or doors? Collision that isn't working? Whenever possible, provide the path to the actual model file if you can. Otherwise, get a form ID from the object or something immediately nearby. Provide a screenshot as well because it isn't always obvious when looking at these things in the CK.
- For anything else, provide as many details as possible, screenshots where applicable, and a healthy dose of patience
Make sure any evidence being supplied is done with a save that has no mods other than the unofficial patches installed. All too often we find that there is nothing wrong because the vanilla game has no defect to fix. Check first. It's very easy for mods to not only undo official fixes, but also too undo or alter things that the unofficial patches have already addressed.
What kinds of issues can be fixed by the Unofficial Patch Projects?
We can fix the following things:
Actors: Anything that can be edited in the CK. Traits tab, stats tab, AI tab, etc. This also includes issues with facegen textures.
Audio: We have limited ability to splice in segments of audio which are proven to be incorrect. Whether an audio issue can be fixed or not is handled on a case by case basis.
Crashes: We have extremely limited ability to do anything with this. If something that the CK can edit will resolve a CTD, then we will do so. Otherwise don't hold out much hope.
Havok: This generally covers issues with animation and some cases of collision. The ability to fix these types of issues relies on the state of external utilities such as Nifskope. Often times, even with appropriate tools, someone with the experience to know how to use them is required. Issues in this area may take a long time to get fixed.
Interface: As a general rule, the Unofficial Patch Projects will not address interface issues due to the high probability of generating conflicts with both the official game updates and with other UI mods. We strongly advise you to take advantage of SkyUI to resolve most of the issues with the PC UI. That said, if a strong enough case can be made that the unofficial patches should address the issue, knowledge of Flash and Scaleform will be required to fix the problem.
Items: This covers all manner of objects the player can pick up and possess: Weapons, armors, ore, plants, cups, plates, ingredients, etc. This covers the BASE objects. That is, the records the game uses to generate the actual items you see in the world. The CK can fix nearly all issues associated with items.
Locations: Generally covers things like cells, navmeshes, landscape, interior data, and other forms of world data. The CK can fix nearly all issues associated with locations.
Magic: Anything to do with magic, shouts, powers, spells, or their underlying effects. The CK is generally able to fix most issues involving magic.
Meshes: The actual 3D models that make up everything you see in the game, from buildings to rocks, birds, and trees. Knowledge of external programs such as 3DS Max, Blender, and Nifskope are required to work with mesh files. The CK has no functionality to address these issues beyond assignment of texture sets.
Perks and Skills: Any issue which involves a perk or a skill you can access via the levelup menu. Issues ranging from faulty descriptions to perk formulas and advancement problems. Certain things, such as actor values and the layouts of the perk trees in the UI, are not editable via the CK. Attempting to edit an Actor Value will crash the CK.
Placed References: Problems with the actual objects placed within the game world: floating trees, rocks, misaligned walkways, buildings turned on their sides, etc. The CK can fix all issues relating to placed references.
Quests: Anything that shows up in your journal as a task to perform is considered a quest. All dialogue in the game is also a quest within the underlying structures. Any issues with aliases, stage progression, dialogue scenes, journal entries, and objectives will be found here. The CK can fix all issues relating to quests.
Scripts: The actual source code and/or compiled files which drive all scripted events. These are all external files stored outside of the plugin files. While the CK is capable of editing them internally, it's generally best to do so using a text editor such as Notepad++. Knowledge of the Papyrus language is required to fix issues in scripts.
Text: Minor text issues such as typos, misspelled words, or other trivial issues. All such problems can be fixed via the CK.
Textures: Everything you see in the game has a texture. They are what provide the details, on top of the meshes, to render the complete presentation. Textures are stored in .dds files. Knowledge of a graphical editing tool that can handle this format is required (Photoshop, Paint.NET, Gimp, etc). The CK has no functions for editing textures at all.
What kinds of issues CANNOT be fixed by the Unofficial Patch Projects?
Anything which is a fault in the executable code for the game engine is something the project cannot address.
A few examples:
- NPCs not having enough time to complete their dialogue.
- NPCs interrupting themselves because the player bumped into them or got too close.
- The orientation of the player swimming in 3rd person.
- The issue that causes Khajiit tails to wave even when dead.
- Objects making the wrong noises when picked up (provided they have the correct sound setting in the CK).
- The way the player clips and sometimes becomes invisible when riding horses in confined spaces.
- The way mounting a horse in the water will cause it to move as though you're on land.
- Giants sending people flying several cells through the air.
- Unowned items being marked stolen when your followers pick them up.
- Corpses that fall through the ground, spring up from underground, or fall from the sky on you.
- Being entirely helpless while swimming.
- The way items sometimes just blip out when you're staring right at them.
- Mouse lag in the menu to load a game.
- Glitches with transformation into a werewolf or a vampire lord.
- That ugly ass outline around fire effects that showed up after Patch 1.6.
- The lip sync bug introduced by Patch 1.9.
There's more, if you're in doubt, just ask.
I gave you all the details you asked for, supplied proof, and even gave you 3 of my saves. Why hasn't the bug been fixed yet?
Some bugs are easy to fix. A dagger that should do 5 points of damage that only does 4 is a 10 second number edit.
Some bugs are very difficult to fix. Don't understand why "the Gelebor bug" isn't fixed yet? That's because none of us knows what the problem is, even if you supply saves that clearly illustrate that the problem exists. So these bugs take much longer to work through. Consequently, they are also much more satisfying to see fixed.
There is a lot of variation in difficulty for things in between: Quests take time to pick apart. Scenes take time to parse. AI packs sometimes break for mysterious reasons. Certain quests may simply be riddled with bugs, like our old pal Blood on the Ice. Meshes need time for someone to import them, work on them, and export them back.
Posting comments to Nexus every 2 days about how X is still broken and why haven't we fixed it won't get it fixed any faster. All that does is irritate us, and wastes your time.
Some bugs we may not be able fix yet, but are things we think could be fixed once tools advance further to allow it. Wondering why it took so long to fix something so "simple" as missing heat blurs on forges and smelters? Nifskope wasn't up to the task until recently. It couldn't copy the block containing that effect.
I have a fix, or found a fix I'd like to contribute. How do I do that?
If you found a fix that isn't yours, provide us a link. The mod in question absolutely MUST have clear permissions listed saying that the assets within the file can be used freely. If this information is not readily visible, we will not pursue it further. Though it may seem otherwise, we have little time to chase these sorts of things down.
If you authored a fix yourself, report it to the bug tracker. Archive the fix (zip, rar, 7z, etc) and attach it to the bug report. If you have posted it to Nexus or another mod hosting site, you can instead provide us the link to that and we'll download it there. Make sure you specify that you are giving permission for us to use the fix. Be aware that if you provide us a fix, and that fix is implemented in a public release, we are under no obligation to later remove that fix. If you want your fix removed, make sure you ask us to do so BEFORE the beta cycle for the upcoming release it will be implemented in. If you have a certain way you'd like to be credited for a fix, let us know that too, so we can make sure the readme is correct.
We take the issue of permissions very seriously and documentation of everything is kept, and will be provided as needed, when asked by any of the sites the unofficial patches are hosted with. Having to remove something because it has inadequate proof of permission wastes our time, and hurts the users as well, when a fix has to be backed out because of it.
If you provide us a fix under false pretenses (ie: it's not yours, but you lied and said it was) the fix will be removed and we will no longer accept further submissions from you. Your privileges on the bug tracker will likely also be revoked permanently.
What if I find a bug in the unofficial patch?
Bugs in the unofficial patches should be reported the same way as any other bug, using the above methods. We are only human, mistakes will happen, but we need the details or nothing can be done about it.